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Another way the corporatists f**cked up America

Ever wonder why the right wing corporate shills disparage “Europe” and everything “European” and they associate liberalism with “european” ideals?    

Because many countries in Europe are better off than we are, that’s why.   And because the Corporatists don’t like that.  They want Americans to think that “America is the greatest country in the world” and all of that jingoistic bullshit, because, well, that fits into their brainwashing plan for the American worker.

Check this out.   Turns out that the economic downturn in Germany was just as bad as it was here, save for one particular aspect:   there wasn’t the mass unemployment that there was here.   Far more people kept their jobs in Germany.  

It’s no accident.  It’s because they have these things there called “laws”.   Apparently they haven’t yet had their German version of the heroic Ronald Reagan asshole to come in and convince them that that piss dripping down on them was actually rain.    They actually know what’s going on, and they have this concept of “the common good” where they actually take care of their own.  

NYT: The American worker is overpaid!

Yes, folks, what’s wrong with the American economy is that the American worker is paid too much.

This according to the “liberal” New York Times.

I suppose that America just can’t be competitive in the world economy until we have 15 year old girls making 6 cents an hour in our factories.

American Wages Out of Balance


Published: November 10, 2009

American workers are overpaid, relative to equally productive employees elsewhere doing the same work. If the global economy is to get into balance, that gap must close.

Gotta love that phrase:  “If the global economy is to get into balance”.

So that’s the underlying assumption now?   That it’s all about “the global economy?”   What about the American economy, you blowhards?

The NY Times is actually telling us that we all need to drop to “emerging economy” status in order to get the “global” economy “into balance.”   What the fuck does that even MEAN?    Who benefits from that?   Why, GLOBAL corporate bosses, that’s who!    Nobody else benefits form it,   JUST THEM.

And they’re already doing just fine.   A friend of mine just reported on Facebook that he’s working on a shoot aboard a $88 million dollar yacht, complete with a heliport for, you know, those times when the speedboat just isn’t fast enough.   In the meantime, millions of Americans can’t get jobs, and are losing everything.

And we’re being told we’re supposed to take a fucking PAY CUT?

And check this out:

The global wage gap has been narrowing, but recent labor market statistics in the United States suggest the adjustment has not gone far enough.

Oh, it’s been “narrowing” has it?  That’s what you call it?   I call it everybody making less money, I call it the  middle class being squeezed into non-existence, I call it economic COLLAPSE for this country.    But according to these fucktards, we’re “getting closer!”   To whatever they think it a “good” spot.   “Balance!”    Ah, who doesn’t want “Balance?”

What the article, and idiots like this, ALWAYS fail to point out, is that “emerging economies” have taken all the work because the CEO class is able to completely bypass generations of blood, sweat, and tears on the part of the American workers to get humanity-preserving and environment-preserving regulations into the Industrial landscape.   Our forefathers worked and fought and in many cases DIED for this stuff, and now the CEO class is just doing an end-run around 100 years or true progress in order to make cheap goods and increase THEIR profits.

They entice us by selling us this cheap shit, which works for a little while, but now?   The party’s over.   We’re all being told we have to now take paycuts to restore “balance” to the world economy, i.e. resort to making wages on the level of South Korea or elsewhere.  

Which is absolute fucking BULLSHIT.

Got dollars?  Well trade ’em in for something else.    These people want the dollar to fail:

Both moderate inflation to cut real wages and a further drop in the dollar’s real trade-weighted value might be acceptable.

I like how they say “acceptable”.   Like they have the power to “accept” this or not.   And maybe they do (not the writers but the transnational elites who now run things).   Dollars are now for suckers.   The dollar has to fall to make American goods cheaper to everyone else.

In other words, you can keep your $9 an hour job, because in a few years $9 will be worth about $2 and that will have restored things into “balance”.   And if you argue, they’ll tell you hey, you’re still making $9 an hour, what are you complaining about?

Les Leopold has a great rebuttal to all of this crap over at HuffPo right now.   He says it better than I can.

They are preparing us for the horrific rise in the unemployment rate that is still to come. But, like accidental time travelers from the go-go ’90s who haven’t learned that the current crash was manufactured by the financial sector, they predict the cause of any worsening in the situation will be those greedy workers.

In this they are recycling a theory that economists like Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke believe to be true: that the Great Depression got much, much worse because workers resisted wage cuts as deflation increased the buying power of their wages.

But blaming workers for their own unemployment is only possible if you adopt the deep logic of the Billionaire Bailout Society. In that world, financiers can do no wrong. In that world they deserve what they earn, because they earn it. In that world, wealth equals value, value equal wealth. By definition the super-rich are the most valuable among us. If their fantasy finance games eventually crash the entire system, we bail them out. Sure, they may have sent tens of millions to the unemployment lines, but that can’t be helped. Wall Street must be free to innovate and to earn their rapacious profits and bonuses. So under this logic, when unemployment skyrockets, like now, you blame workers for being overpaid. You see, the markets will resume job creation if they are free to adjust. We don’t want downwardly sticky wages caused by worker resistance to wage cuts. After all, wage cuts are for their own good and for the good of the unemployed. They must sacrifice for the good of their country.

Of course, even in this billionaire alternative reality, it’s very hard to get workers to cut their wages, especially while Wall Street is gorging itself at the bonus trough filled with workers’ tax receipts. So the authors suggest that “a moderate inflation to cut real wages and a further drop in the dollar’s real trade-weighted value might be acceptable.” In other words, we’ll cut their wages by devaluing them and maybe they won’t notice.

He ends with this:

The very last thing we need right now is to cut workers’ wages and turn over more booty to the billionaire bailout class. That should be clear to all by now unless you have succumbed to billionaire bailout logic.

Too bad they killed most of the Unions.   Do working americans really have a leg to stand on?

Justice Dept. demands user information from

I can’t help but think that this is designed simply to scare us.    Because, after all, we all know that they’re watching everything we do online anyway.    If they want to, they can read everything we post, every e-mail, every google search and there’s nothing we can do about it.

Or maybe they just want to make it easier for themselves.  

Or maybe they just want to see how far they can push.

Either way, it’s BAD:

Justice Department Asked For News Site’s Visitor Lists

Kristina Clair, a 34-year old Linux administrator living in Philadelphia who provides free server space for, said she was shocked to receive the Justice Department’s subpoena. (The Independent Media Center is a left-of-center amalgamation of journalists and advocates that – according to their principles of unity and mission statement – work toward “promoting social and economic justice” and “social change.”)

The subpoena (PDF) from U.S. Attorney Tim Morrison in Indianapolis demanded “all IP traffic to and from” on June 25, 2008. It instructed Clair to “include IP addresses, times, and any other identifying information,” including e-mail addresses, physical addresses, registered accounts, and Indymedia readers’ Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and so on.

“I didn’t think anything we were doing was worthy of any (federal) attention,” Clair said in a telephone interview with on Monday. After talking to other Indymedia volunteers, Clair ended up calling the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, which represented her at no cost.

This is our new dictatorship.    When the government dictates to you regardless of what the majority of citizens thinks, or desires, or wishes, or votes, you live in an actual dictatorship.  

Which is what we have now.   81% of Americans against the bailouts?   Doesn’t matter.    We are dictated to.    A clear majority support a public option?    Too bad.   We are dictated to otherwise.   Majority wants us out of Afganistan?   Same deal, it is dicatated to us that the war will continue, and not only continue but escalate.

America is dead.   The Constitution is dead.   Big Brother has won.    

Enjoy your televisions.    Watch the commercials we provide for you.    Consume.    

Blackwater bribes Iraqi officials with $1 million to buy their silence over crimes

Well, I’ll let the article just speak for itself:

WASHINGTON – Top executives at Blackwater Worldwide authorized secret payments of about $1 million to Iraqi officials that were intended to silence their criticism and buy their support after a September 2007 episode in which Blackwater security guards fatally shot 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, according to former company officials.

Why is this coming out now?

Blackwater’s strategy of buying off the government officials, which would have been illegal under American law, created a deep rift inside the company, according to the former executives. They said that Cofer Black, who was then the company’s vice chairman and a former top C.I.A. and State Department official, learned of the plan from another Blackwater manager while he was in Baghdad discussing compensation for families of the shooting victims with United States Embassy officials.

Yeah, right, Cofer’s just a real nice guy, I’m sure his concerns were all about “doing the right thing”.   Or maybe it was more like “staying out of jail”.

What a bunch of sleazebags:

Corporate America doing GREAT while unemployment soars

So if you’re like most people, myself included, you’ve probably been wondering how the stock market can be going up while American job losses keep rising, and the dollar keeps sinking.

In fact, it seems that there’s a full economic slow-motion meltdown underway in this country, with record numbers of people on food stamps, countless people being evicted, losing their homes, filing for bankruptcy, living in tents …..

Yet the CEO class — you know, those guys who now make half the money in the country — seem to be doing just fine, and their personal little casino known as Wall Street has been having a banner year …

Doesn’t make any sense, does it?  

Well, actually, according to this blog post I just found, it does!  

It makes a lot of sense.

I’ll try to hit the broad strokes:

Daniel Gross points out that part of the reason that the American stock markets are going up even though unemployment is rising and the real economy suffering is because multinational corporations headquartered in the U.S. are experiencing strong sales abroad:

Here’s a puzzle: The stock markets are doing very well, yet the performance of the underlying economy doesn’t seem to justify optimism. The buoyant S&P 500 has risen 53 percent since the March bottom. And while the economy expanded at a 3.5 percent rate in the third quarter, unemployment is high, incomes are stagnant, and consumers are shaky…

It could be that the notion the stock market is an accurate gauge of the domestic economy’s temperature is outdated.

Ya think?   I’d say that’s an understatement.   Of course, if we come up with a new, universally accepted barometer of the domestic economy, the media wouldn’t be able to tell us every day how great the “recovery” is, now would they?   They might actually have to tell us the truth.   And they sure don’t want to do that.  

And anyway, according to the trickle-down economic theory that has been in place in this country for almost 30 years now, supposedly what is good for Corporate America is good for Americans.  Right?  

Don’t American Workers Win?

The fact that companies based in America are raking in profits from sales abroad is good for American workers, right?


Gross points out that American workers don’t benefit because a lot of the goods sold abroad by American multinationals are made abroad.

We’ve all seen that one coming for a good long time.   Sure, having U.S. companies bypass worker-safety laws, environmental laws, unions, minimum-wage laws, and pretty much every other law our forefathers fought and bled and in some cases died for does give us lower-priced goods.    For a while.    But then, the bill comes due.    Suddenly nobody makes anything any more, nobody has a job anymore, and therefore nobody can afford to buy even the cheap shitty crap made overseas.

Ah, but if these corporations are doing so well, there’s a little bit of a silver lining, right?    I mean, they have to pay taxes here, don’t they?  

Don’t Multinationals Pay A Lot in Taxes?

Well, at least the multinationals are paying a good chunk of taxes into the American economy, right?

Not exactly.

The Washington Post notes:

About two-thirds of corporations operating in the United States did not pay taxes annually from 1998 to 2005, according to a new report scheduled to be made public today from the U.S. Government Accountability Office…

In 2005, about 28 percent of large corporations paid no taxes…

Wait a minute.  I had to pay taxes.  And I’m hardly rich, and I’m certainly not a corporation.   So I have to pay taxes, but “large corporations” can get away with paying none?

Dorgan and Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) requested the report out of concern that some corporations were using “transfer pricing” to reduce their tax bills. The practice allows multi-national companies to transfer goods and assets between internal divisions so they can record income in a jurisdiction with low tax rates…

[Senator] Levin said: “This report makes clear that too many corporations are using tax trickery to send their profits overseas and avoid paying their fair share in the United States.”

Indeed, as Pulitzer prize winning journalist David Cay Johnston documents, American multinationals pay much less in taxes than they should through a variety of widespread schemes, including:

Selling valuable assets of the American companies to foreign subsidiaries based in tax havens for next to nothing, so that those valuable assets can be taxed at much lower foreign rates

Pretending that costs were spent in the United States, so that the companies can count them as costs or deductions in the U.S. and pay less taxes to the American government

Booking profits as if they occurred in the subsidiary’s tax haven countries, so that taxes paid on profits are at the much lower safe haven rate

Working out sweetheart deals with certain foreign governments, so that the companies can pretend they paid more in foreign taxes than they actually did, to obtain higher U.S. tax credits than are warranted

Pretending they are headquartered in tax havens like Bermuda, the Cayman Islands or Panama, so that they can enjoy all of the benefits of actually being based in America (including the use of American law and the court system, listing on the Dow, etc.), with the tax benefits associated with having a principal address in a sunny tax haven.

And myriad other scams

As Johnston documents, the American economy is hurt by the massive underpayment of taxes by the huge multinationals.

House of Representatives SHAMES itself UPDATED

House Shames Itself on Goldstone Report

Do you even know what the Goldstone Report is?    Ring any bells?   Have you heard the Corporate Media even mention it in the last few days?   Maybe?   Barely?   Sorta?  

Gotta love how this story is already down the Memory Hole, after barely any mention in the press WHATSOEVER.

Our beloved House of Representatives passed a resolution by a nearly 10-1 margin denouncing The Goldstone Report, which was issued by the United Nations and basically charged the state of Israel with WAR CRIMES in its brutal and inhuman attack on the Gaza Strip last year.

Shame on the House of Representatives, and on the Democratic leadership of the House, for pushing through a resolution once again blindly taking the side of Israeli aggression.

I’m referring to the vote on Tuesday, by a lopsided 344-to-36 margin*, to condemn the Goldstone report on Gaza.

That report, by South African jurist Richard Goldstone for the UN, showed that both Israel and Hamas had committed war crimes in the lead-up to and during Israel’s invasion of Gaza almost a year ago. (To read the executive summary, click here)

It noted that Israel deliberately attacked civilian targets, and did not take sufficient action to minimize civilian loss of life. For instance, it found that Israel even refused to allow the evacuation of the injured by ambulance.

The report also condemned Hamas for its rocket attacks into Israel, which the report said were designed to create terror.

Even as the U.N. was about to consider the report, the House measure called it “irredeemably biased and unworthy of further consideration or legitimacy.” And it urged the Obama Administration to “strongly and unequivocally oppose” any discussion of it at the UN.

This reflexive attitude that Israel can do no wrong is morally bankrupt and exceedingly unhelpful in resolving, in a just manner, the conflict between Israel and Palestinians.

If you were paying any attention whatsoever, it is quite clear that Israel did, in fact, commit war crimes, and in no way can what they did be construed as “defending themselves.”

Yet our House of Representatives blindly sides with this tiny, belligerent, racist war-criminal state.  


I’ve been trying to figure out for a while now why the United States blindly supports the most fascist and peace-threatening regime in the Western World, the state of Israel.   What does the United States get out of the deal?   It sure as hell isn’t about “Democracy”.   The United States doesn’t give a rats ass about Democracy in any other country, no in any way shape or form.   Just look at our support of the totalitarian, boiling-people-alive country of Uzbekistan for one despicable instance.

It might be about sharing intelligence and resources for covert activities and blackops, but the U.S. does that with other countries as well, such as Turkey, without such a blatant in-your-face disregard for human rights.    

So much to talk about WITH UPDATE

I don’t know how these things work, but I have something that I really wanted to share here, but when I thought about it, I realized there’s really no better way to do this particular one than to simply “post the post” that I wanted to share.

I went looking for an open thread in which to post it and saw that, well, there wasn’t one.

So hey, I figured WTF, I’d start an open thread.  Why not?  

I’ll start with the thing I wanted to share.   I’ve recently bookmarked a site called “Naked Capitalism” and it has some pretty cool stuff in it.   Tonight I headed over there and found a link to this absolutely amazing post here:

Investor Psychology: Fear Turns People Into Sheep

I don’t even know what to do except tell you to read it.   It’s only a little bit about investing.   Mainly it’s about how the Powerful can exploit Fear.  

Sociologists from four major research institutions investigated why so many Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11, years after it became obvious that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

The researchers found, as described in an article in the journal Sociological Inquiry (and re-printed by Newsweek):

Many Americans felt an urgent need to seek justification for a war already in progress

Rather than search rationally for information that either confirms or disconfirms a particular belief, people actually seek out information that confirms what they already believe.

“For the most part people completely ignore contrary information.”

“The study demonstrates voters’ ability to develop elaborate rationalizations based on faulty information”

People get deeply attached to their beliefs, and form emotional attachments that get wrapped up in their personal identity and sense of morality, irrespective of the facts of the matter.

“We refer to this as ‘inferred justification, because for these voters, the sheer fact that we were engaged in war led to a post-hoc search for a justification for that war.

“People were basically making up justifications for the fact that we were at war”

“They wanted to believe in the link [between 9/11 and Iraq] because it helped them make sense of a current reality. So voters’ ability to develop elaborate rationalizations based on faulty information, whether we think that is good or bad for democratic practice, does at least demonstrate an impressive form of creativity.

An article yesterday in Alternet discussing the Sociological Inquiry article helps us to understand that the key to people’s active participation in searching for excuses for actions by the big boys is fear:

Subjects were presented during one-on-one interviews with a newspaper clip of this Bush quote: “This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al-Qaeda.”

The Sept. 11 Commission, too, found no such link, the subjects were told.

“Well, I bet they say that the commission didn’t have any proof of it,” one subject responded, “but I guess we still can have our opinions and feel that way even though they say that.”

Reasoned another: “Saddam, I can’t judge if he did what he’s being accused of, but if Bush thinks he did it, then he did it.”

Others declined to engage the information at all. Most curious to the researchers were the respondents who reasoned that Saddam must have been connected to Sept. 11, because why else would the Bush Administration have gone to war in Iraq?

Fascinating stuff, with lots of links, and it provided me, finally, with a quote that I am now using as my comment signature:

Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before.

How Bushian!   Do you know who said it?   Rahm Emanuel.

CIA boiling people alive in Uzbekistan to manufacture false confessions

Ever seen a guy who was boiled alive?   No?   Well, now you can say you have:

This is a guy that the Uzbeks tortured to death by boiling him alive.   This is what the CIA is hiring the Uzbeks to do to people, in order to extract false, manufactured “confessions” out of them.

What do these confessions say?   Why they say the following:

They were being told to confess to membership of al-Qaeda …

They were told to confess that they’d been in training camps in Afghanistan …

And they were told to confess that they had met Osama bin Laden in person.

How conveeenient!    So let’s get this straight, follow along, please:   The United States’ CIA grabbed people off the streets from all around the world, shipped them to Uzbekistan, and outsourced the torture to the real pros.    The CIA decided (as did the Bush administration) that having someone else do this made it “legal”.    They typed up “confessions” of what they wanted these poor saps to “confess” to, then tortured them by boiling them alive, raping them with broken bottles, and torturing their children in front of them, until the people would sign these confessions.    Said “confessions” were then turned over to the proper government authorities who could then point to the “confessions” as “evidence” to justify the military presence, and actions, in the bogus “WAR ON TERROR”.  

Fmr Ambassador to Uzbekistan: CIA had people raped with broken bottles

“I was absolutely stunned — it changed my whole world view in an instant — to be told that London knew [the intelligence] coming from torture, that it was not illegal because our legal advisers had decided that under the United Nations convention against torture, it is not illegal to obtain or use intelligence gained from torture as long as we didn’t do the torture ourselves,” Murray said.

Craig Murray was the UK’s ambassador to Uzbekistan until 2004, when he was let go for bringing up his concerns about these heinous and disgusting crimes.

“I’m talking of people being raped with broken bottles,” he said at a lecture late last month that was re-broadcast by the Real News Network. “I’m talking of people having their children tortured in front of them until they sign a confession. I’m talking of people being boiled alive. And the intelligence from these torture sessions was being received by the CIA, and was being passed on.”

So this is your “war on terror”.   Torture people until they confess to whatever you want, then call it “intelligence” and send your forces, the guys who would take a bullet for you, the guys who think they’re doing what’s right, off on wild goose chases.


What’s really disgusting is that the United States thought this would all be nice and legal since it was outsourced.  You know, it’s like thinking that hiring the hitman to kill your wife makes it ok, since you’re not the one pulling the trigger.

How the HELL could these idiots think this was legal?

It sure as hell isn’t legal if I hire someone to do something extremely illegal.  Not if it’s little old me, here in the United States.  But I guess the wizards like Alberto Gonzales and John Yoo were paid big bucks to come up with ways that we could torture people in the most medivel ways and get away with it.  

Oh, and if you thought somehow this was actually about a “war on terrorism”?  

Wrong.  It’s about natural gas, and pipelines.

Murray asserts that the primary motivation for US and British military involvement in central Asia has to do with large natural gas deposits in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. As evidence, he points to the plans to build a natural gas pipeline through Afghanistan that would allow Western oil companies to avoid Russia and Iran when transporting natural gas out of the region.

Murray alleged that in the late 1990s the Uzbek ambassador to the US met with then-Texas Governor George W. Bush to discuss a pipeline for the region, and out of that meeting came agreements that would see Texas-based Enron gain the rights to Uzbekistan’s natural gas deposits, while oil company Unocal worked on developing the Trans-Afghanistan pipeline.

“The consultant who was organizing this for Unocal was a certain Mr. Karzai, who is now president of Afghanistan,” Murray noted.

Murray said part of the motive in hyping up the threat of Islamic terrorism in Uzbekistan through forced confessions was to ensure the country remained on-side in the war on terror, so that the pipeline could be built.

“There are designs of this pipeline, and if you look at the deployment of US forces in Afghanistan, as against other NATO country forces in Afghanistan, you’ll see that undoubtedly the US forces are positioned to guard the pipeline route. It’s what it’s about. It’s about money, it’s about oil, it’s not about democracy.”

The Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline is slated to be completed in 2014, with $7.6 billion in funding from the Asian Development Bank.

What this means is that the “war on terror” isn’t even real.  The terror isn’t even real.  People are being boiled alive, and watching their children being tortured in front of them, so they’ll CONFESS to being terrorists, so we have an EXCUSE to keep our military there, and take over the country.

That’s about as evil as evil gets.

And our guy Obama seems to think it’s just a-ok to keep covering this up.  To do nothing about it.  Doesn’t that make him an accomplice?   I think it does.

Parents of slain UC-Davis student stunned by hospital bill

This is one of those horrible stories which seem to illustrate vividly the problem with the whole “profit in healthcare” system that is now in place in the United States.…

On Saturday, 10 days after Scott Hawkins was beaten to death inside his dormitory at California State University, Sacramento, his parents got a letter in the mail.

It contained a bill from the UC Davis Medical Center for $29,186.50 along with a form letter addressed “Dear Patient” that implied they were indigent and stated that the hospital no longer could provide them services.

“UC Davis can no longer provide follow-up care or any other non-emergency care to you,” it read. “Please go to a County clinic for all non-emergency care or to get a referral to another doctor.”

For Gerald and Elizabeth Hawkins, it was just too much to bear.

“It was just devastating and insulting,” Gerald Hawkins said Monday. “It’s just hard to grasp for words. My wife and I were near collapse.”

The couple said the mailing tore at the wounds opened by the loss of their 23-year-old son.

“We were just very upset on Saturday, it just all spiraled downward,” Elizabeth Hawkins said. “We called a crisis counselor and he came over and spent several hours over here.”

As a means of coping, the family made a copy of the letter, took it into the backyard of their Santa Clara home and burned it.

Monday morning, they picked up the phone to straighten things out.

Gerald Hawkins said he first called the UC Davis billing department, but was so distraught he lost his voice and handed the phone to his wife.

“It was just one more unpleasant process,” she said. “I was crying through the whole thing.”

The parents also sent a note to the billing department noting that their son was not indigent and that he carried full medical coverage through a Kaiser Permanente plan.

Contacted by The Bee on Monday, Carole Gan, a hospital spokeswoman, called the mailing “a mistake.”

A “mistake”.   Yeah, I’ll say.   Having a for-profit healthcare system is, indeed, a “mistake”.

Sorry!   We made a mistake!    You’ll just have to get over it!    Now have a nice day!

Why Propaganda Trumps Truth

Paul Craig Roberts was a prominent member of the Reagan administration.  

He served as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration earning fame as the “Father of Reaganomics”. He is a former editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Scripps Howard News Service. He is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and he holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He was a post-graduate at the University of California, Berkeley, and Oxford University where he was a member of Merton College.

In 1992 he received the Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 1993 the Forbes Media Guide ranked him as one of the top seven journalists in the United States.[1]

Smart guy, right?  Smarter still that he turned on his masters and now speaks his mind, and the truth (as he knows it) to anyone who will listen.

Check out what he’s saying about 9/11, and propaganda.

An article in the journal, Sociological Inquiry, casts light on the effectiveness of propaganda. Researchers examined why big lies succeed where little lies fail. Governments can get away with mass deceptions, but politicians cannot get away with sexual affairs.

The researchers explain why so many Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11, years after it has become obvious that Iraq had nothing to do with the event. Americans developed elaborate rationalizations based on Bush administration propaganda that alleged Iraqi involvement and became deeply attached to their beliefs. Their emotional involvement became wrapped up in their personal identity and sense of morality. They looked for information that supported their beliefs and avoided information that challenged them, regardless of the facts of the matter.

In Mein Kampf, Hitler explained the believability of the Big Lie as compared to the small lie: “In the simplicity of their minds, people more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have such impudence. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and continue to think that there may be some other explanation.”

What the sociologists and Hitler are telling us is that by the time facts become clear, people are emotionally wedded to the beliefs planted by the propaganda and find it a wrenching experience to free themselves. It is more comfortable, instead, to denounce the truth-tellers than the liars whom the truth-tellers expose.

This is why we see the extreme emotions displayed at a place such as Dailykos, where people get absolutely hysterical when anyone brings up the facts of 9/11.  That is the power of good PSYOPS, and it is why the military has a PSYOPS division.  

9/11 was a trauma for everyone.  We were all wedded to what we thought happened that day, and our minds and our brains adjusted, as best they could, to what we thought was the reality of it.  When we start to learn that what happened that day may have been completely different than what we not only believed, but what we mourned and grieved, we get angry.  

They’re like the emotions you’d experience if you found out someone you loved, who you thought was dead, who you had mourned and grieved, had actually staged their death.  You’d be pretty pissed.

The psychology of belief retention even when those beliefs are wrong is a pillar of social cohesion and stability. It explains why, once change is effected, even revolutionary governments become conservative. The downside of belief retention is its prevention of the recognition of facts. Belief retention in the Soviet Union made the system unable to adjust to economic reality, and the Soviet Union collapsed. Today in the United States millions find it easier to chant “USA, USA, USA” than to accept facts that indicate the need for change.

Or to change “Obama!  Obama!  Obama!” than to recognize that Obama is just another one of “them”.  

The staying power of the Big Lie is the barrier through which the 9/11 Truth Movement is finding it difficult to break. The assertion that the 9/11 Truth Movement consists of conspiracy theorists and crackpots is obviously untrue. The leaders of the movement are highly qualified professionals, such as demolition experts, physicists, structural architects, engineers, pilots, and former high officials in the government. Unlike their critics parroting the government’s line, they know what they are talking about.

Here is a link to a presentation by the architect, Richard Gage, to a Canadian university audience.  The video of the presentation is two hours long and seems to have been edited to shorten it down to two hours. Gage is low-key, but not a dazzling personality or a very articulate presenter. Perhaps that is because he is speaking to a university audience and takes for granted their familiarity with terms and concepts.

Those who believe the official 9/11 story and dismiss skeptics as kooks can test the validity of the sociologists’ findings and Hitler’s observation by watching the video and experiencing their reaction to evidence that challenges their beliefs. Are you able to watch the presentation without scoffing at someone who knows far more about it than you do? What is your response when you find that you cannot defend your beliefs against the evidence presented? Scoff some more? Become enraged?

Another problem that the 9/11 Truth Movement faces is that few people have the education to follow the technical and scientific aspects. The side that they believe tells them one thing; the side that they don’t believe tells them another. Most Americans have no basis to judge the relative merits of the arguments.

Now he brings up something I’ve written about here, more than once:  The Lockerbie bomber case.

For example, consider the case of the Lockerbie bomber. One piece of “evidence” that was used to convict Magrahi was a piece of circuit board from a device that allegedly contained the Semtex that exploded the airliner. None of the people, who have very firm beliefs in Magrahi’s and Libya’s guilt and in the offense of the Scottish authorities in releasing Magrahi on allegedly humanitarian grounds, know that circuit boards of those days have very low combustion temperatures and go up in flames easily. Semtex produces very high temperatures. There would be nothing whatsoever left of a device that contained Semtex. It is obvious to an expert that the piece of circuit board was planted after the event.

The Lockerbie case was similar to 9/11 in that people swallowed the government story, digested it, integrated it with their horror and grief at the tragedy, and now what they believe about the case is part of their actual belief system.  To throw evidence at them that their belief system is actually flawed makes them angry.  They feel insulted.

And now he gets to something that has confounded me for quite some time:

What I find puzzling is the people I know who do not believe a word the government says about anything except 9/11. For reasons that escape me, they believe that the government that lies to them about everything else tells them the truth about 9/11. How can this be, I ask them. Did the government slip up once and tell the truth? My question does not cause them to rethink their belief in the government’s 9/11 story. Instead, they get angry with me for doubting their intelligence or their integrity or some such hallowed trait.

The problem faced by truth is the emotional needs of people. With 9/11 many Americans feel that they must believe their government so that they don’t feel like they are being unsupportive or unpatriotic, and they are very fearful of being called “terrorist sympathizers.” Others on the left-wing have emotional needs to believe that peoples oppressed by the US have delivered “blowbacks.” Some leftists think that America deserves these blowbacks and thus believe the government’s propaganda that Muslims attacked the US.

I think he’s right about the emotional needs of people being a part of this, but he stops far short of the emotional truth of it.  Like I said above, people mourned the event, they grieved it, they emotionally digested it until what they thought was the truth about it became a part of them.  

To hear something that suggests that your very reality, that which you think is literally “the world that exists around you” is actually not true, is going to be met with fierce emotional resistance.  There’s going to be a knee-jerk emotional response of “no!”  To use the word “denial” to describe this would be somewhat accurate, but this is actually something far more powerful than simple garden variety denial.

And this is what the propagandists understand.

And that is why they have power over us.

It is, perhaps, the greatest power you can have over people.  It is greater than the power of force, because people will fight force.  Force is obvious.  Using force against people results in a similar knee-jerk emotional reaction, but against you.  Good propaganda results in them cheering for you, as I saw somewhere else (here?) it’s like the chickens rooting for Colonel Sanders.  

Now THAT’S power.

In the next section he talks about this power, but he attributes it to the power of the government.  I attribute it to the power of the media.  For most people, their window to the world, quite literally, is their television set.  Their sense of reality beyond their little tiny slice of the world is the television.  If they don’t see it on television, it’s not “real” and it didn’t really happen.  We all know what I’m talking about because almost all of us, whether we care to admit it or not, experience this to some degree or another.  I know I do, still, to this day (conditioning is hard to lose).   People simply do not question the media.

As far as I can tell, most Americans have far greater confidence in the government than they do in the truth. During the Great Depression the liberals with their New Deal succeeded in teaching Americans to trust the government as their protector. This took with the left and the right. Neither end of the political spectrum is capable of fundamental questioning of the government. This explains the ease with which our government routinely deceives the people.

Democracy is based on the assumption that people are rational beings who factually examine arguments and are not easily manipulated. Studies are not finding this to be the case. In my own experience in scholarship, public policy, and journalism, I have learned that everyone from professors to high school dropouts has difficulty with facts and analyses that do not fit with what they already believe. The notion that “we are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead” is an extremely romantic and idealistic notion. I have seldom experienced open minds even in academic discourse or in the highest levels of government. Among the public at large, the ability to follow the truth wherever it may lead is almost non-existent.

The US government’s response to 9/11, regardless of who is responsible, has altered our country forever. Our civil liberties will never again be as safe as they were. America’s financial capability and living standards are forever lower. Our country’s prestige and world leadership are forever damaged. The first decade of the 21st century has been squandered in pointless wars, and it appears the second decade will also be squandered in the same pointless and bankrupting pursuit.

If you haven’t seen this? See it

If you haven’t yet seen Frontline’s documentary about Brooksley Born, the woman who warned about the dangers of the Derivatives markets during the Clinton Administration, and the resulting financial disasters that ensued from deliberately choosing to ignore her, you simply must see it.…

Frontline is one of the few true journalistic documentary shows remaining in this country.  And in this case they do their usual superlative job in presenting the story of what happened when Wall Street took over Washington, and when an idiot named Alan Greenspan channeled tricked everybody into thinking he was a genius.  

And yes, Virginia, it was Clinton’s fault.  It happened on Clinton’s watch, when Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, and Alan Greenspan convinced everyone that NO REGULATION of the markets, of Wall Street, was a good idea.

Can you believe that?   Alan Greenspan actually came out and said that even going after blatant fraud on Wall Street was a bad idea, a mistake even, because “the markets would take care of it themselves”.   He gave fraudsters a GREEN LIGHT.  

This is like saying we shouldn’t fight gangs of street thugs because it will sort itself out.  Police?  Just stay home.  Rapists and murderers and thieves will somehow just take care of themselves and will magically eradicate themselves.

Indeed this was a classic example of Magical Thinking.

And Magical Thinkers ran this country’s economy, and almost destroyed it completely.  

And what is worse, is that the policies that led to this are still in place.  Nothing has changed, and I mean nothing.

And some of the people who LED this disaster are now back in power, with the Obama administration.  Larry Summers, for one, who was “the enforcer” for these fools, the tough guy who would really play hardball with people (and how that must have made his balls swell with manly pride when he would do that) is now Obama’s chief economic adviser!

This is just insulting as hell.

This is like putting Charles Manson in charge of security for the Oscars.

Obama is an idiot to have these guys anywhere near his big-ass ears.  These people should be too ashamed of themselves to ever step foot in Washington ever again, but here they are, in control.

What is astounding about this documentary is that what this woman warned about, regarding the derivatives market, happened.  

No, not in 2008.  It happened in 1998.  

In 1998, exactly as she predicted, a major, enormous hedge fund went under and almost took the economy of the United States down with it.   And what was the result?   Nothing.   Greenspan and the other fools managed to convince Congress that NOTHING was the thing to do, that NOTHING was the plan, that NOTHING could be done.   “I can’t conceive of any way we could regulate this!” was his refrain.   He didn’t want to.   He had a childlike fascination with Ayn Rand and thought that there simply should be no regulations of any kind, that government should have absolutely no ability or power to TOUCH industry, or banking.  And here we had a guy with this kind of MAGICAL THINKING in charge of the Federal Reserve!  For years.  And touted as a genius.  

It blows the mind.

And keep in mind this happened on a Democrat’s watch.  Bill Clinton, the best Republican President ever, as I’ve always said.  Indeed he was.

So what happened in 1998 happened ten years later, AGAIN, almost to the date.  Only this time it was a mega-meltdown, the mother of all meltdowns, and once again EXACTLY what this woman warned against.   This woman whose job as a regulator was destroyed by an Act of Congress, a woman who was deliberately neutered by these fools who didn’t even know what a derivative WAS.   And this time it nearly did take the economy of the world down with it and still very well might.  

And what do we have now?  This slimy old piece of dung FOOL, Alan Greenspan, saying “gosh, I guess I was wrong all my life”.    And his buddies Larry Summers and his mop-topped protoge Timmy Geithner back in the White House.

Obama, you’re an idiot.   Larry Summers, you should resign in shame at once.   Congress, you should figure out a way to impeach Geithner and get rid of him.  They all gotta go.  If they don’t clean house, this is all going to happen AGAIN.   And that’s not me saying that, that’s Brooksley Born saying that, and she’s saying that now, that if this isn’t dealt with, and it is STILL not being dealt with, that this will happen again.  And again.  And again.  Until we learn and finally get it right.

We have learned, and we are deliberately not getting it right?  Why?  Because Wall Street makes money off of it.  Yes, the banks.  And they will be bailed out, and they will have their billion dollar bonuses, and this country will see what is in effect NATIONALIZED GAMBLING taken hold, by the ultra-rich, in a game that they can never lose.

In fact, just today, it has come out that Geithner’s idea to “fix” things, this little fuck actually has the gall to come out and propose that the Big Banks have an unlimited line of credit from the Executive Branch of the country, that they should be able to do whatever the FUCK they want and be PERMANENTLY BAILED OUT.   With no limits as to the dollar amount behind the bailouts.  

What the FUCK is this shit?   This is throwing good money after bad taken to a literally insane level.  Here, check this shit you, you simply won’t believe it:

In my opinion, Geithner’s proposal is “TARP on steroids.” Section 1204 of the proposal [the proposal being the “Resolution Authority for Large, Interconnected Financial Companies Act of 2009”] allows the executive branch to use taxpayer money to make loans to, or invest in, the largest financial institutions to avoid a systemic risk to the economy.

Geithner’s proposal reminds me of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the $700 billion Wall Street bailout adopted last year, but the TARP was limited to two years, and to a maximum of $700 billion. Section 1204 is unlimited in dollar amount and is a permanent grant of power to the executive branch. TARP contained some limits on executive compensation and an array of special oversight authorities. Section 1204 contains absolutely no limits on executive compensation and no special oversight.

When I asked Geithner whether he would accept a $1 trillion limit on the new bailout authority (if the executive branch wanted to spend more, it would have to come back to Congress), he rejected a $1 trillion limit, insisting that the executive branch be able to respond without coming back to Congress.

That’s Geithner’s idea of how to “fix” corruption on Wall Street — KEEP GIVING THE CROOKS MONEY.

Why the FUCK does this guy have a job again?  Why the FUCK isn’t he fired?   How DARE he propose something like this?

This documentary should be required viewing by everyone in this country.

And after watching it you will never want to see Larry Summer’s ugly face ever again.  But you will, because he’s Obama’s “guy”.  

With Dems like these, who needs Republicans?  

They’re all crooked.  Time to throw them all out.  All of them.   Every last one.

It’s just so appalling.…

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