Saturday, July 16, 2016

Turkish Strongman Erdoğan Easily Crushes Inept Military Coup: Last Gasp of Secularism in Turkey?

Autocratic Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has quickly crushed a badly organized military coup, apparently instigated below the general staff level. The rebellious army units neglected the first rule of any successful coup- immediately neutralize the ruler you're trying to overthrow. That's Job One. Erdoğan was vacationing in southern Turkey, and it should have been easy to seize him as he was far from the capital, Ankara, or Istanbul.

Instead the coupists fired on the Parliament with tanks- not sure what the point of that was. They managed to kill about a hundred civilians, and it's reported by the regime that 105 coup troops were killed, and 1,500 taken into captivity. It's claimed that police units were able to defeat units of the coup attempt. A coup helicopter was shot down, and one flew to Greece with officers of the coup seeking asylum. (Greece and Turkey have a hostile relationship, for historical and contemporary reasons, the contemporary ones centering around the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Both are members of the U.S.-bossed military alliance, NATO, making them uncomfortable bedfellows at the same time.)

Erdoğan called on his followers to turn out in the streets and confront the coup elements, requiring them to defy coupist instructions to the population to stay indoors. Apparently thousands heeded Erdoğan's call, complicating matters for the coup side.

Erdoğan, true to his temperament, vowed that the "traitors" would "pay a heavy price." (Mass executions, anyone?)

Torture of prisoners has long been routine in Turkey, both in political and non-political cases.

Military coups have been common in Turkey since World War II. They are generally done in the name of protecting the secular nature of the Turkish Republic. [1]

Erdoğan, an Islamist who leads an Islamist party, and whose base is the religiously-oriented segment of the populace, a segment that has been growing both in numbers and in religious conservatism in Turkey, has been gradually eroding that secular aspect of the Turkish state. His rise to power represented in part the liberation of the religious from the suppression they suffered under the Ataturk legacy.

So the handy defeat of this coup may well spell the end of secular power in Turkey.

The so-called "Western democracies" all rushed to back Erdoğan, predictably, since they want to stay in his good graces for their own reasons (and they have sensitive power-sensing antennae, so they could detect which way the wind was blowing on his coup attempt). The Europeans have a deal with the regime for Turkey to act as a garbage bag for unwanted refugees from Syria and elsewhere. The U.S. is running military air operations out of Incirlik air base in Turkey. [2]

Which brings me to a second big mistake of the coup plotters. They didn't clear their plot with the U.S. first.


1]  The contemporary state of  Turkey was founded on secularist principles by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a revolutionary army officer, and first president of the new nation he is credited with founding, the Republic of Turkey, (the core of the Turkish Ottoman Empire). After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I (1914-18, during which time the Turks conducted the Armenian genocide under cover of war), Ataturk led a successful war against the Allies from 1919-22 to create the new Turkish nation.  The name "Ataturk" was bestowed on him by Parliament in 1934 and means "Father of the Turks." By law no other Turk may use the name.

Ataturk abolished the Caliphate and sharia courts in 1924. A failed assassination plot against him in 1926 provided him an opportunity to hang various political opponents.

2]  U.S. Secretaryt of State John "Skull and Bones" Kerry issued noises supporting Erdoğan, German Chancellor Angela "The Iron Mouse" Merkel did likewise, and newly-anointed British Foreign Secretary Boris "BoJo" Johnson called the Turkish Foreign Minister to give him a verbal pat on the back.


Birds of a Feather: Erdoğan and Obama, Two Ruthless Rulers.


 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

China Joins U.S. As Outlaw Nation

China’s claims over huge swaths of the South China Sea are illegal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

So ruled the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands. [1]

China is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and thus is legally obligated under that treaty to abide by decisions of the Court. [Fat chance.]

In reaction to the Court's ruling, China's government and media (which is part of the government) have gone into paroxysms of denunciation and hysterical vows to ignore the ruling. Even before the official ruling, Chinese propagandists were issuing crazed rants, for example a front-page editorial spewed out the day before the Court issued its decision, by the so-called People’s Daily, blaring a conspiracy theory line that the case was a US and Philippine plot against China, a sneaky trap set by the US and the Philippines with the Court acting as an accomplice.

[I might interject here that, contrary to my somewhat misleading title, China isn't just now becoming an outlaw nation. Its invasion and absorption of Tibet was a criminal act also. And it has long been guilty of numerous, severe abuses of human rights. Oh, and it invaded Vietnam in 1979, an act of unprovoked aggression. (Actually the "provocation" was that Vietnam had the temerity to overthrow the mass murdering Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. The U.S. was also mad at Vietnam for doing that.)]

China did not defend itself in the Court, obviously because it knew it didn't have a leg to stand on legally or factually, and it had already determined in advance that it would ignore the Court's decision. China claims, absurdly, that most nations support its illegal position on the series of disputes in the South China Sea.

The other nations whose feet China has been stomping on regarding their territorial claims and rights of free navigation and fishing, are Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei, Taiwan (which China insists is a mere "province" of China), and Vietnam, that last one a country China has repeatedly invaded over the centuries, including in 1979 with the connivance of the Carter regime of the U.S.  [2]

China is a lovely neighbor, eh?

Only the Philippines had the guts to bring suit (so far) against China. It filed the case last year.
China is trying to grab undersea oil and gas, as well as hog the fish in the area. It has been caught illegally fishing in the territorial waters of other nations in the region. In return, its navy chases the fishing boats of other countries out of international waters, which it illegally claims as Chinese territorial waters.

Part of China's scheme has been creating artificial islands, reinforced with military runways and bases, around which it then claims territorial waters. The Court rejected this tawdry scam in its ruling.  [3]

But the Court, lacking a navy, has no enforcement powers over China, It can't even freeze Chinese assets or bar China from the international financial system -only the U.S. has those powers.

There is a superceding law over all the formal laws and treaties in "international relations." It's an unwritten law; The Law of the Jungle. The principle of that "law" is, Might Makes Right.

In other words, as long as you can get away with it, it's "legal." Because you just declare it so.
Put another way, the powerful decide what the rules are, regardless of what's written down on some piece of paper they solemnly signed and ratified (aka a "treaty").

Such as when the regime of Bush the Younger declared U.S. torture wasn't torture, merely "enhanced interrogation techniques," a smarmy, slimy euphemism persisted in to this day by the U.S. corporate propaganda system, known by the opaque and evasive term, "the media."

And invading Iraq on a trump-up, transparently fraudulent pretext wasn't criminal aggression. (But the U.S. has been invading places since 1812. It's a tradition, you see.)

Speaking of the U.S, so far the U.S. response to China's contemptuous spitting on its international obligations under the treaty it signed, has been quite muted. Nothing from Obama, or even John "Skull and Bones" Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State. Just an anodyne, milquetoast burp from State Department chief mouthpiece John Kirby, saying, while not being able to comment yet on the merits of the case, the U.S. supports the rule of law and peaceful efforts to resolve maritime disputes. (The merits were already decided, Kirby, by the body empowered to decide them! And the Court vote was 5-0. Sounds pretty definitive to me.)

Highlights of the absurd, evasive, head-ducking press release from State Department Chief Flack Kirby:

"The United States strongly supports the rule of law. " [Actually it only supports it when it's in the U.S. "interest." Otherwise fuck the law. See for example invasion of Iraq, torture, subversion and overthrow of "hostile" government, assassinations, gross human rights violations domestically and abroad, etc. In fact, the U.S. doesn't even respect its own domestic laws or Constitution. Its police are virtually above the law, for example. Its police and secret police routinely violate the "guaranteed" rights of the Constitution, and always have. Officials break numerous laws all the time with impunity. If a big enough scandal erupts from lawbreaking, such as Reagan's criminal Iran-contragate conspiracy, a price is paid- namely "embarrassment." Man, if "embarrassment" were the only penalty for crimes, I'd be a bank robber! (Not really. Unlike the people in power here, some of us have a moral compass.)]

More from Kirby:

“In the aftermath of this important decision, we urge all claimants to avoid provocative statements or actions,” he said, splitting the non-existent difference. Now you all behave yourselves.

"We are still studying the decision and have no comment on the merits of the case... As provided in the Convention, the Tribunal’s decision is final and legally binding on both China and the Philippines. The United States expresses its hope and expectation that both parties will comply with their obligations." [My emphases. So even-handed! The ruling went almost totally against China. And why does the U.S. "have no comment on the merits of the case"? The merits have been decided, you just effectively admitted, Kirby.]

In fact, much of the statement is written as if the Court decided nothing. It urges the parties to "clarify" their claims and "work together to manage and resolve their disputes." Well they tried that already, that's why the Philippines went to Court! China is openly defying the ruling of the Court, despite the fact that they signed a treaty agreeing to accept dispute resolution through the Court. Now what's the U.S. gonna do about it?  [4]

It has alliances, official and unofficial, with most of the countries on that list that China is pushing around. China has declared, quite furiously, that it intends to push ahead with its absorption of the various islands, reefs, rocks, and vast ocean area it claims as its property. The other nations cannot successfully confront China's military unless the U.S. military backs them up.

Best case scenario is that Obama steps up to the plate, and China backs down in a confrontation. But what happens in a decade or two, when China's military is stronger, maybe much stronger?

But there's no reason to assume Obama will even risk a confrontation at present. His punking out when Assad, the Butcher of Syria, crossed Obama's "red line" over using chemical weapons, does not inspired confidence. Obama is good at attacking the weak. Confronting even the somewhat strong is too risky for his taste. Backing down from China will be a green light for increasing Chinese aggressiveness.

They've thrown down the gauntlet to the U.S. So far the U.S. is pretending not to notice.



1]  The Court issued a press release and the judgment, which they call an "Award," as English .pdfs, July 12. Click on the indicated links for those. The judgment is 501 pages, by the way.

2]  I remember well how the Chinese dictator at the time in 1979, Deng Xiaoping, came to the U.S. to be officially feted by president "Jimmy" Carter, and immediately after Deng left, China invaded Vietnam. Being a "cynic," that is, someone who isn't brainwashed by the crap in this country, I thought at the time that there was probably some connivance between the U.S. and China, given the timing, and the grudge the U.S. held against Vietnam for not surrendering after the U.S. killed at least 3 million Vietnamese, dropped 6 million tons of bombs on Vietnam (three times the tonnage the U.S. dropped in World War II), permanently poisoned the land with defoliants contaminated with carcincogenic, neurotoxic, and DNA-damaging dioxins, and the commisions of numerous war crimes and atrocities. Carter said the U.S. didn't owe Vietnam any apology (much less reparations) because "the destruction was mutual." (Yeah, the U.S. bombed Vietnam, and Vietnam shot down some of the bombers. So it's even.)

The Carter regime of course lied through their teeth and denied they'd had the slightest inkling of the impending invasion. (And this with the massive U.S. global surveillance system. Even if the Chinese couldn't resist sharing their plan with the U.S. so they could mutually gloat in advance, U.S. communications intercepts and satellite and airplane surveillance couldn't possibly have missed the military build-up on Vietnam's borders and the preparations for invading.) As it turned out, the Vietnamese beat back the Chinese invaders.

Some years later, the sinister Count Dracula lookalike, Zbigniew Brzezinski, a Russian-hating Pole who was Carter's eminence grise as head of the "National Security Council," couldn't resist boasting about how Deng had told the American rulers of the impending invasion. The Carter regime imperialists couldn't have been happier.

Brzezinski, by the way, successfully plotted to lure the Soviet Union into invading Afghanistan, another crime he unwisely boasted about. [See Brzezinski in his own words, from Le Nouvel Observateur (France), Jan 15-21, 1998, although I can't vouch for the English translation. Also "THE STRATEGIC MIND OF ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: HOW A NATIVE POLE USED AFGHANISTAN TO PROTECT HIS HOMELAND," whose author interviewed Brzezinski, former CIA Director Robert Gates, who oversaw an operation to arm violent Afghan religious fanatics, the so-called Muhajideen, "Holy Warriors," starting six months before the Soviet invasion,  high government apparatchiks Walter Slocombe, David Aaron, Dennis Ross, Leslie Gelb, leading Democratic Party operative Bob Shrum,  Jim Mowrer, and journalist Hedrick Smith.

There are brief summaries of Brzezinski's anti-Soviet plot, which eventually culminated in the Afghanistan we have today, at "Brzezinski Vision to Lure Soviets into ‘Afghan Trap’ Now Orlando’s Nightmare," Huffington Post, June 10, 2016.

Here's Brzezinski's flippant dismissal of the immense "blowback" the U.S. and much of the rest of the world has suffered from the policy he sold to his stupid boss, president Carter:

“What was more important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of central Europe and the end of the Cold war?”
("Afghanistan: The Soviet Union's Vietnam," Aljazeera, April 23, 2003.)

Carter was and has often been sold to the U.S. public as a "peanut farmer," but more pertinently he was a career naval officer who served on atomic missile submarines. He was steeped and marinated in the culture of U.S. imperialism and anti-Soviet ideology. He increased the military budget by 50% during his single four-year term in office, a fact that is never mentioned in the U.S.

Carter also initiated the contra terrorist war against Nicaragua. And before that, to get around Congress, he secretly had Israel supply arms to the dying regime of the evil dictator Somoza. On top of  that, Carter declared that the Shah of Iran, rated as the worst dictator in the world by Amnesty International when he was in power, as a "good friend." As with Somoza, he tried to save him (and was considered a weakling by U.S. fascists when that proved impossible).

Jimmy Carter, getting to live to a ripe old age in his 90s, unlike so many of his victims, has reinvented himself (with U.S. media help) as some kind of Great Humanitarian. Yeah, right.
By the way, Deng Xiaoping ordered the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. Hey, you can't make an omelet without breaking a few thousand eggs! (The "omelet" being the continual rule of bastards in power.)

3]  See for example, "China has reclaimed 3,200 acres in South China Sea, Pentagon says," PBS NewsHour, May 13, 2016. PBS is the Public Broadcasting Service, set up by the U.S. government and funded in part by large corporations and a slew of major haute bourgeois foundations, plus U.S. government money and viewer donations.

4]  I've reprinted the entire State Department press release here, so you don't have to have your ip address snatched up by the U.S. government and spyware planted on your computer.  But if you insist on verifying the accuracy of it, click on the title below:

Decision in the Philippines-China Arbitration
Press Statement
John Kirby
Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
July 12, 2016

The decision today by the Tribunal in the Philippines-China arbitration is an important contribution to the shared goal of a peaceful resolution to disputes in the South China Sea. We are still studying the decision and have no comment on the merits of the case, but some important principles have been clear from the beginning of this case and are worth restating.

The United States strongly supports the rule of law. We support efforts to resolve territorial and maritime disputes in the South China Sea peacefully, including through arbitration.

When joining the Law of the Sea Convention, parties agree to the Convention’s compulsory dispute settlement process to resolve disputes. In today’s decision and in its decision from October of last year, the Tribunal unanimously found that the Philippines was acting within its rights under the Convention in initiating this arbitration.

As provided in the Convention, the Tribunal’s decision is final and legally binding on both China and the Philippines. The United States expresses its hope and expectation that both parties will comply with their obligations.

In the aftermath of this important decision, we urge all claimants to avoid provocative statements or actions. This decision can and should serve as a new opportunity to renew efforts to address maritime disputes peacefully.

We encourage claimants to clarify their maritime claims in accordance with international law -- as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention -- and to work together to manage and resolve their disputes. Such steps could provide the basis for further discussions aimed at narrowing the geographic scope of their maritime disputes, setting standards for behavior in disputed areas, and ultimately resolving their underlying disputes free from coercion or the use or threat of force.

Hooboy! This China thing is gonna be sticky! State Department 
Flack-in-Chief John Kirby. Maybe he should have taken the day off.


Self-fancied Master of International Intrigue Zbigniew Brzezinski.


"Peace and Love, Everybody!" James Earl "Jimmy" Carter.


Deng Xiaoping, erstwhile paramount ruler of China, 
finally deceased after a long, destructive life




Friday, July 08, 2016

American Political Dissidents Must Brace for Wave of Vicious Repression After Shooting of 12 Cops in Dallas, Texas

The sniper attack on police in Dallas at a Black Lives Matter Rally yesterday is going to result in revenge attacks against progressive activists, especially BLM activists, as surely as night follows day. There will also be more random police violence as police adopt a "defensive" mode of preemptive violence.

In the preceding two days before the sniper incident in Dallas, two black men were murdered in two U.S. cities. First in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old man whose "crime" was selling CDs on the street to support his five children, was tackled by police, pinned to the ground, and then shot five or six times in the chest. The police cannot lie their way out of this only because a bystander recorded a cellphone video. Of course, they will still get away with it. Sterling allegedly had a pistol in his pocket- perfectly legal in Louisiana, a state that boasts of having the laxest gun laws in the U.S., no permit needed to carry a gun.

The next day, another black man, Philando Castile, was shot dead in his car over a broken taillight. This occurred in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, named Falcon Heights. (Perhaps the police there see themselves as birds of prey, swooping down on hapless "blacks.") Castile informed the cop that he had a licensed gun, and when the cop asked for his driver's license, Castile reached for it and the cop filled him full of lead. Again, if a passenger in the car, Castile's girlfriend, hadn't been recording on her cellphone, the usual cover-up would have succeeded. As it is, the police seized her cellphone on the spot and treated her as an armed and dangerous criminal, but her phone was live streaming the video to her Facebook account. The police immediately deleted her account (which they have no right to do, but in the U.S., the police do whatever they want to certain categories of people, categories that increasingly include most of the population). However, others had already copied the video feed.  [1]

The snipers in Dallas shot 12 cops, killing 5, and two civilians. Two suspects were arrested because they were seen driving rapidly from the scene. The police have refused to identify them, or say whether rifles were recovered in their car. Doubtless they are being brutally tortured right now. A third suspect was cornered, allegedly made incriminating remarks, and while police "negotiated" with him, sent a bomb-carrying robot in his space and blew him up. Apparently their thirst for vengeance was so powerful that they couldn't wait him out and thus have the opportunity to interrogate him.

Initially disinformation was put out that this alleged sniper shot himself to death after being cornered. The first hint that this wasn't so came from Wade Goodwyn, one of the few honest NPR reporters. (NPR being the U.S. government's national radio network, which is partly sponsored by corporations and listener donations.) This morning Goodwyn didn't toe the "suicide" line but said the man died.

The establishment media has been quite mendacious about the murders of Sterling and Castile, including the British government propaganda network, the BBC. I will have some analysis of that forthcoming.

Meanwhile, the police, who are already permitted to continue killing people with impunity, and much more, will now ramp up their brutality and killings, and the general repression of dissent, especially dissent against police violence, will rise to a more intense level.

1] After her escape from the clutches of the police, Castile's girlfriend and witness to his murder, Diamond Reynolds, spoke emotionally to a crowd of sympathizers.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Chickens Come Home To Roost In Saudi Arabia With 3 Suicide Bombings

The feudalistic regime of the House of Saud, which arrogated to itself the right to claim ownership of an entire country constituting most of the land area of the Arabian peninsula, just experienced some blowback for its spreading globally of a noxious, intolerant, extremist religious ideology, Wahhabism. The blowback came in the form of three suicide bombers, who struck in three separate Saudi cities near the end of the "holy" month of Ramadan.

One bomber took out four Saudi security guards with him, and wounded five more, outside "the prophet's mosque" in Medina, "the second holiest city in Islam," as the catechism goes. Another bomber, a Pakistani man who came to Saudi Arabia 12 years ago to work as a driver, according to the Saudi regime, blew himself up outside the U.S. consulate in Jiddah, wounding two guards. The third bomber targeted a mosque in the predominantly Shiite city of Qatif. (Wahhabism and its terrorist spawn are Sunni. Both the Saudi regime and ISIS persecute Shias. The regime executed a leading Shiite cleric in January for leading protests for more rights and democracy, and ISIS considers Shiites "apostates," abandoners of Islam, and worthy of death.)

This is far from the first time people even more extreme than the Saudis have violently attacked the regime. There have been other attacks on religious sites, shootouts with state security, and assassinations.

So repression, even the extreme repression of a Saudi Arabia, cannot totally suppress attacks by determined zealots willing to sacrifice themselves or take great risks. This is one reason the eventual overthrow of vicious regimes does not result in humane new orders. It is the fanatics who have the gumption, will, and commitment to fight repressive regimes. The decent, moral people are cowed, imprisoned, driven into exile, or killed.

All across the world, cancerous offspring of Wahhabism have sprouted. First came Al-Qaeda, then various Taliban organizations and movements in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, whose military aided and abetted the creation of terrorist organizations to use against India, and provides a haven for the Taliban, policies that in recent years have come back to bite them. (Frankenstein's monster slipping out of the control of the creator.)

In the Philippines there is Abu Sayyef, founded by a veteran of the U.S.-Saudi-Pakistai anti-Soviet crusade in Afghanistan instigated by Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski and vigorously pursued by the Reagan regime in the 1980s.

Another of the numerous Sunni jihadist organizations is Jemaah Islamiyah, which also operates in the Philippines, and in Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore.

Indonesia, the major country in that region, is also the site of Islamist terrorist activities, such as the Bali nightclub bombings of 2002 that targeted Australian and other tourists and killed 202 people. (A lot fewer than the approximately one million Indonesians murdered in the CIA-inspired anti-communist military pogrom of 1965.) Members of Jemaah Islamiyah were convicted in the bombings.

In Nigeria, Boko Haram has wreaked havoc. (The brutality of the various Nigerian military regimes led directly to radicalizing Boko Haram.)

In Libya there is a war on against ISIS by Libyans fighting back.

In Bangladesh, the regime's tolerance of Islamofascists murdering bloggers, writers, and secularists by hacking them to death with machetes has suddenly come with a price tag, as Islamofascists just attacked foreigners in a restaurant. This is not only scaring off tourists, but is causing foreign clothing companies to consider taking their production business out of the country to saver slave-wage states.

Other attacks in just the last few days include a truck bombing in Baghdad that slaughtered over 200 people so far, and the first attack in Malaysia credited to ISIS, a grenade lobbed at a club that wounded 8 people. [1]

Egypt's tourism industry has been devastated by Islamofascist attacks there, including the destruction of two airliners in flight so far, first a Russian one, then an Egyptian.

In Turkey, the most recent bombing there, in the Istanbul airport by armed suicide bombers, is being blamed on ISIS, even though ISIS hasn't boasted its responsibility, which they usually do. (NPR and other media have been claiming the attack "has the hallmarks of ISIS" or even "all the hallmarks of ISIS." No it doesn't. Which doesn't mean ISIS didn't do it, of course.)

So while ISIS is being systematically squeezed geographically in Iraq, where it declared its "caliphate," and is being fought by the Kurds in both Syria and Iraq, fanatics inspired by it have been undertaking attacks on civilians around the world.

We can expect this situation to last for years. Which is great news for the U.S. political elites of both parties, and the secret police/military combine. That combine sought and deliberately created a never-ending "war on terrorism" in order to gain huge increases in both funds and powers. They initiated this operation, with malice aforethought, by arranging to allow al-Qaeda operatives to hijack planes on September 11, 2001. In order to create "another Pearl Harbor," in the words of one of the seminal planning documents for this criminal enterprise, agents of the U.S. deep state planted demolition charges in three steel structures at the World Trade Center and detonated them on that day, as has been proven beyond doubt by Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth, an organization of 2,000 experts.

Thus the program to Create a More Perfect Police State continues, under both Democratic and Republican regimes.

1]  "Toll climbs to more than 200 in Islamic State’s worst-ever bomb attack on civilians," Washington Post, July 4, 2016.  "Islamic State launches first successful attack in Malaysia," CNN, July 4, 2016.

Suicide bomber goes up in cloud of smoke in Medina, presumably ascending to paradise and his reward of an orgy with waiting virgins.


Sunday, July 03, 2016

Same People Who Lecture Us That "Change Is Good" Suddenly Don't Like Change With Brexit

I notice an irony that those creating it are sure to be unconscious of. The same ruling elites that patronizingly purr at the masses under their feet that "change is good," to pacify those masses and disarm them psychologically when the majority, who increasingly have to struggle to keep their heads above water economically, are under attack economically, those elites suddenly don't like change at all when it's a change they don't want. If "change is good," why isn't a change in the European Union good? Why isn't political change in Britain good?

"Change is good" is the narcotic propaganda fed to Americans when "free trade" treaties directly assaulted their economic interests. Told they had to compete against dirt cheap third world labor, "change is good" was one of the propaganda lines spewed by establishment media. Whenever the government of the rich launch a new salvo in the unending class warfare against the rest of us, we are instructed to take it lying down because "change is good."

Well okay then! If "change is good," then stop your WHINING about BREXIT, bourgeoisie! Shut up and suck it up!



Friday, July 01, 2016

EU Masters Won't Be Able To Rid Themselves of Britain As Fast As They Want To

Looks like Britain may have the European Union bosses over bit of a barrel. They can't actually eject Britain from membership in their dysfunctional club. Britain has to invoke Article 50 of one of the EU treaties to begin the process of withdrawal. British Prime Minister David Cameron announced in the British Parliament that he would leave it to his successor to initiate that process. (Assuming his successor chooses to do so, which he is under no obligation to do. The just-completed referendum does not legally compel the British government to actually withdraw from the EU.)

Cameron announced he is stepping down in October. So that's already 3 months before anything can happen. He also referred to negotiating before Britain invoked Article 50. That gives Britain a good deal of leverage in extracting relatively favorable terms from the EU regarding trade, immigration, and social benefits for immigrants.

Meanwhile, there's been an odd disconnect between the political events and the behavior of stock markets. Every day, the political chatter from and about Britain is that it is "leaderless," since a clear successor of the Tories to replace Cameron hasn't been selected, and the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has a rebellion on his hands in his own party. Labor MPs are overwhelmingly calling for his resignation, and his shadow cabinet has resigned. We're being told that months, or even years, of uncertainty lies ahead.

Stock markets are supposed to hate uncertainty. And yet, after declining for the first two trading days after the Brexit referendum on Thursday June 23, stocks fell on Friday and Monday, in the U.S. about a total of 6% in the broad averages. Then they went up strongly the next 3 days in a row, recouping all the losses. This morning U.S. stocks are up again, for the fourth day in a row, although anything could happen by closing. As so often, the stock market confounds by defying its own putative "logic."

One excuse (aka "reason" or pseudo-explanation) for the rally is that traders expect central bank easing as a result of the Brexit vote. In other words, they assume that central banks (the Fed in the U.S.) exist to facilitate ever-rising stock markets by providing financial sugar for the professional speculator class. Perhaps some thought a measly 6% decline created a "bargain" situation. Given the extremely short-term perspective of "the market" in recent years, that probably is at least part of it.

How to square the continuing hand-wringing and bitter condemnations by financial and political commentators over the Brexit referendum outcome, along with their doom-and-gloom predictions for the economic future of not just Britain but even the entire world, with the giddy reversal of direction by stocks globally? Could it be that the elite chatterers and "economic experts" are dead wrong? Since they fetishize markets, surely they must defer to the "judgment" of those markets.

Following Moody's another "rating" agency, S & P, has downgraded the credit rating of the British government. As I stated in my previous essay, these credit "rating"agencies have shown themselves to be criminal enterprises by their complicity in the packaged mortgage securities fraud, rating junk mortgaged Triple-A. They deserve no credibility whatsoever.

Even the British pound rallied back to $1.35, from $1.32, although right now it's back to just under $1.33. But the gloomsters ignore the positive of that. It means British exports are cheaper, just boosting British exports. That in turn benefits at least some British workers, and certainly the export businesses. It also will boost tourism to Britain, since it means vacationing in Britain becomes cheaper for Americans and Europeans using the Euro. The downside is more expensive imports, and it makes foreign travel more expensive for Britons, who will get less foreign currency in exchange for their pounds when abroad. Net, Britain gains economically from a cheaper currency. And I doubt it will fall anywhere near the low of 1987, when it dropped to $1.04 U.S.

A looming political question is what Scotland will do. Scotland voted strongly for Brexit, and doesn't want to lose the alleged advantages of EU membership. There has been talk of another vote on Scotland independence, (Which requires the permission of the British Parliament, unless Scotland wants to fight a war of succession.) Well, the British empire has been shedding pieces of itself for a century, perhaps it's high time for another piece to molt off.

One worry going forward: now that the Tory former London Mayor Boris Johnson has dropped out of competition to succeed Cameron, the egregious Home Secretary Theresa May very much wants the PM job. She's a repressive authoritarian who has consistently pushed for more powers for the British secret police agencies, including the NSA's little brother, GCHQ (General Communications Headquarters, an electronic spy agency that works hand in glove with the NSA as one of the "Five Eyes," the electronic secret police organizations of the U.S., UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand). She also lobbies hard for more repressive laws. And if Britain leaves the EU, the privacy laws of the EU and the European Court of Justice will no longer exert a restraining influence on the British ruling class' thirst for more repression. At this time she has but a single rival to take Cameron's place, and that is Justice Secretary Michael Gove, an erstwhile ally of Boris Johnson in the pro-Brexit camp.



The Nightmare Scenario: The Remorseless Theresa May as Prime Minister of Britain.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

"Hit The Road, (Union) Jack!" Sneer EU Big Shots

In the immediate wake of the vote by the majority of the British electorate two days ago to withdraw Britain from membership in the European Union superstate, the foreign ministers of the 6 founding members of the EU have publicly demanded that negotiations on Britain's exit must be concluded swiftly.

This sort of pulls the rug out from under what the British expected. They were operating on the assumption of a 2 year window during which the status quo would continue and negotiations could be conducted, as per EU treaty.

To be sure, there is some logic to the EU giving Britain the bum's rush. For one thing, it will greatly shorten the period of uncertainty if Britain's exit is expeditiously. effected. For another thing, the EU bosses are worried about their entire project falling to pieces. The sooner to get Britain out, they figure, the better in terms of shoring up the cohesion of the EU with the remaining 27 member nations.

Meanwhile, the "ratings agency" Moody's wasted no time downgrading Britain's sovereign credit rating to "negative outlook." That will result in the British government having to pay higher interest rates to borrow money from the private market. That in turn will create a ripple effect of higher interest rates throughout the British economy, which will slow economic activity. Thus the "experts" predictions of economic damage from Brexit will be effectuated by the same financial elites that made the prediction!

Moody's is treated as a credible, respectable organization, when in fact it is a criminal organization. It is one of the "rating" agencies that made possible the massive mortgage securities fraud that helped precipitate the global financial crisis beginning in 2008. Banks and a crime gang called Countrywide Financial headed by Angelo Mozilo gave mortgages to people they knew wouldn't be able to repay them, packaged the loans into things called Collateralized Debt Obligations, paid "rating" agencies like Moody's to rate them AAA (i.e. the safest investment grade) when in fact they were high-risk, and billions of dollars of this fraudulent garbage was then sold off to suckers. Moody's and its ilk are not just utterly lacking in ethics and integrity, they are racketeering organizations under U.S. criminal law, the RICO law (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations). They should have no credibility whatsoever, but instead the establishment power structure, including "the" media, feign amnesia and report their "ratings" today as if they are coming from trustworthy, neutral, objective outfits. (The U.S. government radio propaganda network NPR, for example, has been informing its listeners hourly of Moody's downgrade of Britain, without mentioning any of this.)

The corrupt financial oligarchy that arrogantly rules the planet is now setting out to punish the British for voting "wrong" on Brexit. What is absent is a political party to oppose the coming assault. The Conservatives obviously are the party of the rich. Meanwhile Labour is no longer interested in actually fighting for the interests of the "lower" classes. A third party, the "Liberal Democrats," is completely opportunistic and unprincipled. Finally there is the United Kingdom Independence Party, UKIP, headed by former commodities trader Nigel Farage. Farage has stated his aims- double the prison population, increase military spending, cut social spending, and of course reduce immigration.

Given that London is an important base of global finance capital, there is no chance of a real defense against the punishment to be meted out for the "wrong" result in the referendum.

U.S. Emperor Obama had to pipe up again, repeating his threat that Britain will be at the "back of the line" for cutting a trade deal with the U.S, while also saying how much he values Britain. He's very skillful at talking out of both sides of his mouth simultaneously. And he reassuringly purred that the oh-so-special relationship with Britain is intact. (Translation: the U.S. will still be using Britain as its Bitch, much as Israel uses the U.S. as its.)

Are you enjoying the interesting times we're living in?





Friday, June 24, 2016

British People Vote To Leave EU: Elites In Shock: Financial Speculators Freak Out

Looks like the financial and political elites of Britain declared victory a tad too soon. After (over) confidently predicting a vote to reject "Brexit" (British exit) in the referendum to leave the European Union by 54% to 46%, the Leave side won instead, 52-48. Turnout was about 72%, quite high. (The latest wrong prediction was based on exit polling by those mega-parasites, hedge funds, leading to giddy rallies in global stock markets and the British currency, the pound sterling. Speculators placed bets presuming their desired outcome in the referendum. Oops!)

Apparently the sky has fallen on the establishment. On the United Kingdom Government's propaganda arm, the BBC, its "World Service" "presenters," as their on-air personnel are called, sounded like attendees as at a funeral, all doleful tones and sad head shakes. There was even talk of the UK breaking up, due to the fact that Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU.

"An astonishing victory," declared a BBC anchor. "A political earthquake" declared a co-anchor.

"This is a crushing, crushing day for Britain, and a terrible day for Europe," opined a British politician, saying "it's all over" for the EU and trade. Followed by shocked comments from various European pols. The "consensus," as the BBC presented it, was that the referendum result was a disaster.

Almost all the guests brought on were "Remain" supporters, consisting of politicians and media commentators. So the attendees at the funeral did most of the talking. I monitored the broadcast for about two hours. Almost no supporters of "Leave" were put on-air in that time. In other words, no attempt at balance. This "journalism" consisted of an establishment arm, the British Broadcasting Corporation, crying in its beer over what for that establishment is a "loss."

Some illustrative comments from the BBC "presenters" themselves:

"Whether the United Kingdom exists, five years from now is going to be the big question," (his emphasis).

"All this mayhem you're seeing in the market," exclaimed a female BBC-er.

"It's an absolutely extraordinary act of defiance" by the voters against the political and economic establishment, which all exhorted people on the "right" way to vote, and the disaster that would befall the country if they voted "wrong." That one by the BBC's Rob Watson.

Watson also claimed that the "Leave" side lacked a "plan." "A lot of people are going to say, "Krikey, have you got a plan?'"

Actually, they do. Within the two-year time frame where nothing with the EU changes, negotiate new trade arrangements. You know, trade has gone on for thousands of years.It wasn't necessary for countries to all belong to a superstate to trade. Nor do China and the U.S. belong to the EU, yet they do a lot of trade with it. Funny thing, these facts escape the professional Chicken Littles who are squawking that the sky is falling.

Another Chicken Little on BBC fretted, "This is a recipe for chaos."

Dry your tears, fellows. Even the powerful can't always get their way.

One revealing comment by a BBC co-anchor about the referendum underlined for me the undemocratic nature of the United Kingdom.

"Everyone's vote is equally weighted, and that's unusual in Britain."

Well, it is a KINGDOM, a monarchy, of course no longer an absolute one. Notice that for bourgeois types to truly "arrive" in Britain, one must be granted an aristocratic (feudal) title.

There was talk of "disintegration" of the EU by one Jackie Davis, "commentator on European affairs." "A domino effect," "great consternation" among the political bosses. "How do you show you are listening" to your disgruntled masses while making clear "but leaving is not an option," she says.

How indeed. How to herd the ignorant mass to follow behind their "leaders"? Where are Walter Lippmann and Edward Bernays now that you need them? (Lippmann was a theorist of manipulating the masses to obey their masters and keep their ignorant noses out of "decision-making." Among propagandist Bernays' crimes were getting women to smoke, and participating in the 1954 CIA coup in Guatemala, that established fascist death squad rule there.)

The BBC gang hauled on a German former EU commissioner, who promoted EU enlargement, and pestered him to say that the EU was going to fall apart, which he declined to do.

Various politicians and opinionators were all aflutter, calling the outcome "a political earthquake, a seismic event" and making similarly overwrought comments.

"A sad day for Europe" was the verdict of a Maltese politician, a member of the European Parliament, or MEP, invoking "our forefathers." (??? Yeah, I know, baffling.)

Hour after hour of worried hand-wringing and moaning.

If they keep this up, they're going to create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

And a Labour MP (Member of Parliament) (the Labour Party strongly backed staying in the EU, whereas the working classes, that Labour supposedly represents, voted to leave, as expected.) said "we have to listen carefully" (maybe you should have done that before!) because the vote was "a roar of defiance against Westminster elites" (like you!) symptomatic of "anger and fears that are out there." (Hey! She noticed!)  [1]  

As for the speculators who bet on winning the referendum by driving up stock prices and the pound, they immediately went into a tizzy. That global mob of parasitic speculators, aka "the markets," meaning stocks, bonds, currencies, futures, options, all that rot, were caught wrong-footed by the vote outcome. The Japanese futures market at one point tripped a "circuit breaker," meaning trading was halted when a limit to the size of allowable movements was reached.

The British currency, the pound sterling, immediately fell 10%, from a six-month high to a thirty year low. Which is a fine example of the fickleness, and fragility, of the financial markets, which holds the world in their thrall. An obvious, but taboo, thought on that is: the world economy, and the well-being of all of us, shouldn't be captive to the whims of a capricious, arbitrary, and very vulnerable financial superstructure of parasites sitting on top of the real economy. By "real," I mean the actual production of useful goods and services created by work.

It's a bit ironic that one of the leaders of the "Leave" camp, Nigel Farage, got rich as a financial speculator. He's the head of the United Kingdom Independence Party, UKIP. A fast and smooth talker, on the day of the referendum he predicted defeat for his side- not helpful while voting was going on! Now he's celebrating.

But let's put this in perspective. Financial markets are chronically subject to wild gyrations. They swing far in one direction, then back the other way when the stampeding herd of speculators reverses direction on a dime, and on a whim. It's classic manic-depressive behavior.

The pound, having risen to a 6-month high around $1.50 U.S. on premature euphoria by the speculator class, fell about 10% in an instant, to around $1.32. That may be a 30 year low, but it is well above the $1.04 it hit in 1986. And guess where it was in 1991? $2.00, practically double in value against the U.S. dollar. Since then it's zoomed up and down between around $1.38 and $2.10. (You can see a chart, here.) As for the Euro, the currency of the Eurozone, there was moaning on the BBC of it going near parity to the dollar, i.e. worth $1.00. To which I say, get some prspective. The Euro was launched n January 1999 at $1.20, and it promptly went into decline, bottoming out finally at 79 U.S. cents. ($0.79.) Then it began ascending, eventually topping out at $1.60. From there it went into a long decline, until seeming to find a floor just above one buck.

All of which is to say, when you let currency speculators determine exchange rates, there is no way to tell what the actual value of a currency is by its market price. [2]

Well, all those bets on stocks and the pound that went the wrong way are now being reversed in a panic. How far they go down, having gone up on a presumptuous false assumption of another bourgeois victory, will partly depend on the degree of "uncertainty." For as those who make excuses for the behavior of the financial markets whenever the speculators are having a tantrum are fond of saying, "Markets hate uncertainty."

But just who is exaggerating the degree of uncertainty here? The elites themselves. Getting themselves all frazzled. Will Scotland leave the UK now, since Scots voted to remain in the EU? Maybe. What if they do? They came close to voting to become independent (as they used to be) a few years back. You'll deal with it.

And by the way, that referendum isn't legally binding on the British government. So there may be some dirty double-cross in the future. (See Guardian, UK, "Is the EU referendum legally binding?," 23 June.)

A letter carrying the signatures of 84 Tory MPs (Members of Parliament of Cameron's own Conservative Party) who supported Brexit, or leaving the EU, stated that Cameron should stay on as PM regardless of the outcome of the referendum. This letter was made public just before the vote. Apparently it wasn't worth the paper it was written on, as Cameron has announced his resignation.

Let me offer a bit of farm wisdom for the elites: next time, don't count your chickens before they hatch.


There's the sky. See? It isn't falling.



1]  The BBC wasn't alone in wallowing in gloom over its dashed hopes. Take the organ of the "respectable" leftish edge of the British establishment, the Guardian newspaper. On the day of the vote it "helpfully" explained that only pathetic people who cling to the past would vote to leave the EU. Then when defeat dawned later the same day, one of its columnists informed that "Brexit earthquake has happened, and the rubble will take years to clear."

Sounds like a great business opportunity for entrepreneurs with bulldozers to rent!


"Last-minute EU referendum polls put remain support ahead," Guardian, 23 June 2016.

The propaganda line was the same on this side of the Atlantic. U.S. government radio propaganda network NPR started the morning with a gloomy take on the referendum outcome. Their Moscow correspondent reported how great it was for Russia, as Britain was the most vociferous voice for economic sanctions against Russia within the EU. (The UK acting as guard dog for U.S. "interests." An example of what Obama meant when he said the UK was more valuable to the U.S. within the EU than outside.) And NPR put on David Rennie, from the reactionary, overtly ideological British rag The Economist, to proclaim a "disaster" for the U.S., and attack the dishonesty of the Leave camp, asserting that they invented facts completely. (There were more than a few invented facts on Rennie's side.) The rest of the commanding peaks of U.S. corporate media see things the same way. 

2]  Interesting short article on how George Soros made a billion dollars attacking the British pound back in 1992, at the expense of the public treasury,  "No Mr. Soros, Brexit Will Not be a Black Friday for the British Pound," 22 June 2016.







Thursday, June 23, 2016

Financial Elites Celebrating Victory in Brexit Referendum Before the Votes Are Even Counted

It was still morning on the east coast of the United States- over an hour before noon, in fact- when word came over the radio today that stock markets and the British currency, the pound sterling, were rallying on expectations that the British public was voting for Britain to remain in the European Union in today's referendum. This giddy arrogance apparently was fueled in part by a private exit poll, asking voters how they voted.

Since the polls leading up the actual referendum were about even for quitting the EU (Brexit, British exit) or staying, I figured the vote would break for staying in, because people are innately conservative, by that I mean resistant to change. Change almost always feels riskier than the status quo, since one is exchanging the known for the unknown. Of course that's an illusion, since the future is unknown no matter what.

There was much demagogy by partisans on both sides, but mostly on the "stay in EU" side. British Prime Minister David "Big Toff" Cameron actually raised the specter of a third World War breaking out in Europe if Britain left the EU, a preposterous suggestion. (If anything forced the European nations to get along, it was being gripped in a U.S. headlock, economically and militarily, with the U.S.-controlled NATO military alliance putting them on the same side against the Soviet bloc, and now against Russia and as auxiliaries to U.S. military campaigns in the Middle East.) The most outré bit of fatuousness on the "leave" side came from former Tory mayor of London Boris "BoJo" Johnson, who compared EU unity to "unity" under Hitler and Napoleon, speciously equating military conquest and subjugation with a voluntary association.

The economic arguments were mostly overstated, on both sides, and avowed with far too much confidence. No one can really know with certainty what the economic future holds either way.

Nor was it a surprise that the "experts," who are virtually all in the pay of the financial or political elites, wouldn't sabotage their own careers by arguing for a vote to leave. I'm reminded of the saying, figures don't lie, but liars figure. I'm sure the calculations the gang of economic soothsayers came up with "proved" exactly what they determined in advance they were going to prove. Not worth the paper it's printed on.

Of course the Boss of the World, the current U.S. Emperor, Barack Obama, had to weigh in, with threats ("you won't get a trade deal with the U.S. for ten years if you drop out of the EU") and cajolings. He was followed by various U.S. imperialist poohbahs and financial elitists,uniform in their very self-serving opinion. (Opinion stated as objective fact, however.) I wrote previously on this topic,  [1]

Naturally the parasitic financial class, and large corporations, favor staying in the EU, because that is in their perceived economic interest. The Big Lie they always tell, whenever promoting their own self-interest (that is, always) is that what they want is good for everyone. Not only is this absurd on its face, but it has been disproved repeatedly by empirical evidence. Examples abound, such as the so-called "free trade agreements," which are actually corporate hegemony deals.

The populations of the "advanced" countries, as in the rest of the world, are divided into "winners" and "losers." The "winners" are people whose labor and skills (and sometimes connections) have significant value to capitalist employers. The rest of us are a dime a dozen, and can be had for a song.

In Britain, EU rules have obligated the country to allow hundreds of thousands of migrants from Eastern Europe to settle annually in Britain, driving down the "cost" of labor (wages) by increasing its supply. Working class objections to this are branded "racist," or at best xenophobic. The "lower" classes are not allowed to have their own economic interests, in bourgeois ideology, a totalitarian ideology that excludes all others from serious consideration. (The U.S. Government propaganda radio network NPR has gotten into the act, pushing the line that pro-Brexit supporters are "racist.") That somebody might want to limit immigrant without racism being the motive is excluded from consideration by the establishment media in both the U.S. and UK.

As for the economic arguments of the Brexit camp, these were dismissed by bludgeoning them with the deluge of propaganda issued by institutions of the financial oligarchy- all the usual suspects, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (those two notorious enemies of the world's poor and indeed nascent middle classes to boot, collection agencies for foreign debt holders), various "consultancies" and crooked major accounting firms that were essential in bringing us the mortgage crisis in the U.S. by certifying that billions of dollars worth of garbage mortgage securities were solid gold. {Rated AAA when in fact they were junk, a massive fraud they got away with scot-free. Yet these organized gangs of liars are treated as if their credibility is solid. The past never happened!)

The fact is, the EU is an anti-democratic project of Euro-elites, slid down the throats of the peoples of Europe. Loss of national sovereignty means even less control over their own countries- and lives- than before for the people. And making a supra-nation out of dozens of disparate nationalities with distinct cultures, languages, traditions, and histories, seems like a fool's errand. But maybe the European bourgeoisies are fools. They are enough alike one another that they can unite just fine. Dragging those they rule along with them has proven a bit of a chore.

One more note on the economics. With the EU long in the doldrums, the systematic destruction of Greece, and Spain still in a depression, with a quarter of the workforce unemployed, it takes a damn lot of gall to claim that leaving the EU spells economic disaster, and staying in guarantees prosperity!

Well, as to the referendum...

It would have been a nice rebuke to the self-designated Masters of the Universe if they'd gotten their comeuppance just this one time. Maybe they will, if the vote doesn't turn out to go their way as they've already assumed.

1]  "Obama Threatens Britons Over Leaving the European Union," April 22; "Obama Gives Another Reason For Britons to Stay In the EU: The Better To Spy On Europeans," May 2; "France Kicks the Leg Out From Under One Obama 'Reason' For British Voters to Reject EU Exit," May 4.


AND THE WINNER OF THE BREXIT REFERENDUM IS.....



THE USUAL.

[Boss Tweed, as illustrated by Thomas Nast. Then as now, political and economic power were cozy bedfellows.]



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Why Did the FBI Pass On Adding Another Scalp To Its "Terrorist Plot Smashed" Belt In The Case of Orlando Gay Nightclub Mass Murderer Omar Mateen?

Information has been dribbling out from the establishment media and from the FBI itself, including from the mouth of FBI secret police boss James Comey, over the days since the Sunday, June 12th 2 am massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in which 49 mostly Latino gays were murdered and 53 wounded. What's somewhat curious now is the fact that the murderer Omar Mateen would have been a perfect target for the FBI's "create a terrorist plot we can foil" program. The FBI has a long-established pattern of luring hotheads, malcontents, poor criminals looking to score money, and the mentally ill into "terrorist conspiracies" created by "confidential informants" (in actuality agents provocateur), giving them fake explosives, and arresting them when they walk into the trap. Or even when they just sound like they're "planning" "terrorist acts." Then the FBI trumpets its feat, and a complicit media blares the story with top-level, luridly overheated coverage.

The story we've been given so far is that Mateen first came to the attention of the FBI in 2013, when they launched an investigation of him, which was subsequently closed. They investigated him a second time in 2014, again throwing the fish back into the pond instead of hooking it and reeling it in.

What we've been told so far is that Mateen was first investigated by the FBI in 2013 when co-workers (Mateen was a security guard at the time, of all things) called the FBI and reported that Mateen claimed to be a member of the Lebanese Shiite militia/political movement Hizbollah, a "terrorist" organization to the U.S. Government.  The FBI then interviewed Mateen, who told them he just said that out of anger at his co-workers, who he felt belittled him over his Muslim religion. (There's scant evidence Mateen was particularly religious.) Comey claims the FBI interviewed him three times in all, tailed him, tapped his phone calls, but after 10 months deemed him to not be a threat and closed the case. Then in early 2014, the FBI investigated him a second time over "links," as they say, to a suicide bomber in Syria, but inexplicably took him off their watch list soon after in May 2014.

In any event, one of these investigations included ten months of surveillance, and the assignment of an "informant" to surreptitiously record conversations with him. For unexplained reasons, this investigation was terminated without the usual procedure of setting up the target on some kind of conspiracy terrorism rap, which merely requires verbal agreement with the agent provocateur to carry out a fantasy attack, plus one overt act "in furtherance of the conspiracy," like duping the target into buying a spool of wire from a hardware store "to build a bomb." It's extremely easy to do this in the U.S. police state, and in fact they've been doing this sort of thing since at least the 19th century, when labor organizers, among others, were set up in  similar ways. They've got it down to a routine by now. Police manuals and training courses teach the ABCs of it.

You have to wonder, after TWICE homing in on Mateen, and in one instance spending ten months in a serious effort, they just abandoned the project. There was already a significant investment of time and energy expended, and Mateen was quite a violent person, as those who knew him are describing. His former wife had to be physically rescued from him when he virtually imprisoned her, forbade her to communicate with her family, and violently abused her. Former co-workers describe a volatile, angry man. And it turns out that he frequented the gay nightclub he attacked, Pulse, up to a dozen times. Patrons remember him as nursing drinks alone, and sometimes angrily lashing out. Seems like an easy lay-up shot for the FBI to lure such an alienated hothead into a "conspiracy."

You'd have thought the FBI would be rubbing their hands over finding a live one like Mateen. His co-workers said he claimed Hizbollah membership (his denials to the FBI could always be dismissed as self-serving and untrustworthy), so once lured into a "plot," he could be portrayed as a typical aspiring terrorist. Slam dunk for the FBI.

It's not as if the FBI feels sorry for the sad sacks they entrap and send to prison for decades. And as it turns out, Mateen really WAS a menace.

On the other hand, the FBI has been unrelenting in their surveillance, harassment, and sabotage of me for over 40 years. Numerous "black bag jobs," warrantless wiretaps and bugs, physical surveillance, the whole gamut of "counterintelligence" techniques, wherein they treat American dissidents like spies for a foreign power. In my case, without ever bringing charges, by the way. Make of that what you will. What I make of it is that persecuting people for ideological reasons is one of their top priorities, if not the top one.
                                  


Example of FBI psychological warfare. This wireless network appeared within range of my home starting last year and is on around the clock. And no, it isn't in a van. I had to waste my time checking out that possibility. Another chunk of my life stolen. Over the years. the stolen time (life) and money has been significant.

To the FBI, and to their local police accomplices in repression, anyone on the "left" is a "terrorist," including environmental activists and most recently the Occupy Movement.

Perhaps we'll get more clues in the coming days as to what happened in the Mateen matter. It will require careful parsing of FBI information/misinformation/disinformation, and sorting and weighing other information. Of course much that seems to be independent reporting in the media will be government planted, so care must be taken in evaluating it.

The FBI is in a somewhat delicate situation. They in effect let a dangerous man slip through their fingers twice. Recall that in the Boston Marathon bombing, they had interviewed the elder Tsarnaev brother, in fact apparently tried to recruit him as an "informant." They had also been warned by the Russians that he was a terrorist. The FBI claimed, variously, that they hadn't been warned, or there was "no evidence." (As if evidence was needed to imprisoned thousands after September 1, 2001, all around the U.S. in a mass roundup of Muslim men, and in Guantanamo Bay and various other military dungeons and CIA black sites. The suspicious minds of FBI secret police don't need evidence to decide someone is guilty. First the verdict, then the evidence.)

I suspect they'll take their usual tack when one of their glaring failures becomes public. They'll whine that their hands are tied by pesky rules and regulations and "rights," and they need still MORE power to get the job done. That's how they turn their blunders to their advantage. It happens over and over.

Meanwhile, the liberals and their auxiliaries on the "progressive left" are taking the opportunity to claim that the problem is that people can buy guns. Well, with 300 million guns in private hands, seems to me there are plenty of options for people to buy guns secondhand, or steal one. It seems odd that one man can shoot over a hundred people with semi-automatic weapons, then hold 30 hostage. Maybe the NRA has a point that if more citizens carried weapons, the net effect at least in mass shootings, would be fewer deaths in mass shooting situations. A hundred plus people being helpless against one vicious mad dog- there's something wrong here. And you'll never prevent a determined, vicious person from acquiring weapons.

By the way, Mateen had a 3-year-old son, who he was apparently willing to abandon in pursuit of his sick sanguinary goal. Mateen had a degree in "criminal justice technology" and was looking for a career in "law enforcement."

So that's one less killer-cop we have to worry about. There's your silver lining.

Omar Mateen, Myspace photo. Good riddance.




Mateen, age 29, the aspiring policeman.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Hitler reacts to Hillary Clinton winning the Democratic nomination

On a lighter not: Hilarious parody video on youtube. See at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVjeN3rOBzM

Personally I enjoyed it. Good medicine for me, as the secret police scum of the U.S. (FBI, CIA, and their local police stooges) has victimized me for over 40 years now and in some respects ruined my life.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Democratic Party Apparatchiks Insist on Going With Weaker Presidential Candidate

The AP (Associated Press) and NBC on June 6 declared Hillary Clinton the winner of the Democratic Party nomination for president. Totaling up the delegates she won in state primaries and caucuses and adding the over 500 unelected "superdelegates" (party poohbahs and assorted elected officials) backing her, they figured she has hit the magic number of a majority of delegates. Thus seeming to obviate the June 7 California, New Jersey, and other primaries. California being by far the most populous U.S. state, with the most delegates, and once again consigned to political irrelevancy.  [1]
Clinton's "victory" is actually not great news for the Democrats.

Senator Bernard Sanders has consistently polled stronger against Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton has. Yet the Party apparatus, controlled by the Clintons and their minions, is going with the weaker candidate, Hillary Clinton. (Perhaps we should refer to the Democratic Party as the "Clinton Machine." Even since 1992, that seems to be about what it is.)

In a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted in mid-May among 1,109 registered voters, Clinton beat Trump 47% to 41%, a lead of 6%. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3%, which means the two candidates could actually be dead even. In any event, poll results are volatile, and public opinion is very fickle.  [2]

Sanders, on the other hand, leads Trump 51% to 38%, a pretty wide margin. (The New York Times calls that "a more hypothetical matchup," striving to be neutral, I suppose. Can't really fault that circumlocution.)

Sanders has consistently done better in polls against Trump than has Clinton for months now. So logically, the Democratic Party should at least be giving serious consideration to Sanders.
But the Democrats would probably rather LOSE the election than anoint Sanders as their standard-bearer.

It seems that their role as protectors of corporate hegemony trumps even their own partisan self-interest.

Sanders is hardly a radical. He calls himself a "democratic socialist," by which he apparently means New Deal Democrat or social democrat. That is, he's for a decent "safety net" for the population, rather than dog-eat-dog capitalism with most of the wealth going to a small class of plutocrats, as in late 19th century-early 20th century America (which the Republicans relentlessly push returning to, being an atavistic, revanchist party), or the system of crumbs doled out as pacifiers as favored by the current Democratic Party. The Republicans would eliminate the crumbs: the Democrats, under their last two presidents, Obama and Bill Clinton, have proved willing to "compromise" with the Republicans and reduce the amount of the crumbs. As in any compromise with fanatics, such compromises are only temporary, as the fanatics always come back and demand more until reaching their ultimate goal. Thus the "reasonable" sellouts eventually "compromise" their way to utter defeat. (THAT'S the "lesson of Munich"!)

Both of the hegemonic political parties are fronts for big capital interests. (The Libertarian Party are laissez-faire capitalists like the Republicans minus the crony capitalism of the Republicans, and lacking the taste for militarism and imperialism of the two ruling parties. The Republican Party in actual elections almost entirely sweeps up libertarian-minded voters.)

Both Clinton and Trump were viewed negatively by over 50% of the respondents to the poll. This too is consistent over time. If one were to included people not registered to vote in the tally, those negatives would probably be even higher. People who don't register are either thoroughly disgusted with the system, alienated from it, or indifferent. (Or just unmotivated.) So a high percentage of them have no use for "politicians" generally.

Now, it's true that Clinton got more votes in the Democratic primaries than Sanders. But in the general election in November, independents and Republicans will be voting too. The point is, Sanders does better than Clinton in that situation. Certainly among independents, and while only a relatively small percentage of Republicans would ordinarily vote for the Democratic presidential candidate, I suspect that more would go for Sanders than for Clinton. Because even though he calls himself a "democratic socialist," he acts like he wants to shake things up, something many Republicans want. Plus, he's a bit of a crotchety, ornery old coot, as are many Republicans. And they really hate Clinton. Then there's the fact that a significant number of Republicans can't abide Donald Trump. So I think it is clear that Sanders would actually be the better opponent against Trump.

Sanders is officially an "independent," while functioning as a "left wing" Democrat in the mold of a Dennis Kucinich. The Democrats usually have someone playing the role of "progressive" in order to continue to dupe progressives into voting for their corporate hegemonist and mass-murdering imperialist party. Sanders, like Kucinich, like indeed all of the handful of "progressive" Democrats in the Congress, is a lone wolf who refuses to even form a caucus of progressives in the Congress. That fact alone is enough to prove that these people aren't serious.  [3]

Sanders is functionally a Democrat in the Senate, as he votes their way almost always. In return, they reward Sanders with plum seats on various Senate committees. They also don't try to unseat him in Vermont elections.

But the Clintons are practitioners of cronyism on a vast scale, especially with their multi-billion dollar "foundation." They are a source of jobs and money. And they wired the Democratic Party power structure long ago. Hillary landed in New York State as a political carpetbagger and bumped aside other Democratic Party politicians who were "in line" to run for a Senate seat there. That's how she became a U.S. Senator. Then it was expected she would be the Party's presidential candidate in 2008, as if by some divine right of succession. The upstart hustler from Illinois, Barack Hussein Obama, yanked the rug out from under her with his slick moves, willingness to shamelessly lie about his future policies, and the technical brilliance of his campaign machinery. And oodles of money from Wall Street and other precincts of Big Capital (who obviously knew his "progressive" rhetoric was a sham to dupe the rubes- I mean, the citizens).

Ironically, Obama is very much like Hillary's husband, Bill Clinton. Both are very adept con artists, lacking any conscience, very good at lying (unlike Nixon) which they do convincingly. And both implemented very repressive policies domestically, and liberally killed people abroad.

Yeah, life is ironic sometimes.

1]  Here's one measure of how profoundly undemocratic the U.S. is- and this is never spoken of. The U.S. Senate, the upper chamber of the U.S. Congress, is immensely powerful. Because of its archaic and anti-democratic rules and procedures, a single Senator can block legislation.

Each of the 50 states elects 2 Senators to the Senate, for a total of 100. The state of California, as of July 2014, had a population as estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau of just shy of 39 million people. The 22 least populous states had a total population of about 39 and a half million. So Californians had two whole Senators to represent them in the U.S. Senate, while virtually the same number of people from elsewhere (mostly reactionary backwaters) had 44, close to half the entire Senate!

The least populous state, Wyoming, Dick Cheneyland, with a population barely over half a million, has the same number of Senators as California, which has 66 times Wyoming's population. A 66 to 1 ratio. 66 Californians equal 1 Wyoman in political weight.

Nice and democratic!

2]  "Republicans Want Their Party to Unify Behind Donald Trump, Poll Shows," New York Times, May 19, 2016.

3]  Ralph Nader has thoroughly exposed this sham. See for example this excerpt from Nader's appearance on Democracy Now!, May 18, 2015, when he was interviewed by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. Sanders snubbed him for 15 years, and 9 Congressional "progressives" completely ignored his pleas to them to form a united front to advance an agenda.

Here's the transcript of the relevant portion of the interview:

RALPH NADER: Bernie Sanders does not answer my calls. Fifteen years, he’s never answered a telephone call, never replied to a letter, never replied to a meeting that I wanted to go down and see him. I even had to write an article on this, called "Bernie, We Thought We Knew Ye!" One of the problems he’s going to face, other than his good graces in Vermont, is that he doesn’t have good political antennae. He doesn’t have political social graces. And he’s going to have to change that. A lot of his friends have told me that that’s a problem. But most progressive senators don’t really respond to any progressive group that tries to push him to do more than they want to do. I wrote nine letters to nine progressive senators, like Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and saying, "Look, you’re all lone rangers doing good things, but you’re going nowhere. So why don’t you get together into a caucus of nine, 10, 12 senators in the Senate and push a unified agenda on poverty, on labor, on the environment, on trade, on military policy? You might really get somewhere. At the least, you’ll raise these issues more prominently." Not a single response. Called up, said, "Would they respond?" Not a single response. I did finally have to go down and meet with the general counsel for Senator Warren. But by and large, that’s the problem with the left. That’s the problem of progressives. They don’t link with one another. You never see Heritage Foundation or Cato or all these right-wing groups tolerate members of Congress treating them that way who are supposed to be on their side.- "Ralph Nader on Bernie Sanders' Presidential Bid & His Unanswered Letters to the White House," Democracy Now!, May 18, 2015.]

The Unbearable Phoniness of Congressional "Progressives."


              Sheesh! Looks like my time in the limelight is just about up.



Clinton Victory "Historic"- For Those With No Knowledge of History

And for those who feign no knowledge of history. They're the ones brainwashing the ones who apparently have no actual knowledge.

That is, propagandists (aka "journalists") manipulate the masses. As usual.

What's the big "historic" event? A female is set to be nominated for president of the U.S. by one of the two oligarchic parties here.

Hillary Clinton won decisively in Democratic primaries in California and New Jersey June 7, trouncing Senator "Bernie" Sanders. (She also won in two insignificant states with small populations and thus few delegates.) She had already declared the winner of the Democratic nomination for president the day before by the AP and NBC, based on their calculation of her "superdelegate" (unelected party apparatchiks and officials) count of about 550. (These convention delegates aren't chosen by voters and are a Party elite.) Thus Clinton started the "race" with a huge head start over Sanders as almost all the superdelegates were in her bag before the first primary or caucus. (That's the best way to win a race. Start with a big head start.)

Her wins in the primaries of June 7th actually changed nothing, except to increase her lead. Sanders' position was already virtually hopeless, at least in terms of achieving the Democratic Party nomination for president. (His other game is to wield some influence on  the party's platform and policies. At the same time he seems to have a hard time letting go of the quixotic idea that Clinton's over half a thousand superdelegates could desert her and vote for him at the convention. The Clintons have a machine, the Party is wired.)

That didn't stop Clinton, her personal propaganda machine, and the bourgeois media in general (and not just in the U.S.!) from showering the world with the glad tidings that "history" had just been made.

You'd think they could at least wait until she actually gets elected president. (That seems to be something that "the" media is trying to effectuate, as U.S. elites are increasingly anxious at the prospect of one Donald John Trump becoming chief executive of U.S. imperialism. So the media is trying to head off that outcome by "going negative" on Trump and positive on Clinton. Excepting of course the GOP bullhorns of Rupert Murdoch, for now at least.)

So let's put this in perspective. What we see is this:

Hillary Clinton Campaign Declares She Made "History"- and the Propaganda System Agrees.

And what literally happened is this:

A person with a vagina is to be the chosen candidate for president from one of the two ruling U.S. parties instead of a person with a penis.

That has never happened before.

To which a person capable of logical thought would say:

So what?

What matters are the person's ideology, values, character, class interests, and political loyalties and commitments. And past history.

Hillary Clinton is nothing new under the sun in U.S. politics. Just as Barack Obama was nothing new. Both are completely committed to the existing power structure of the U.S., an economic system dominated by corporate oligarchy, a system of bourgeois class dictatorship, and imperialism that relentlessly seeks world domination, never ceasing for a second to increase its power globally. Clinton and the international assassin Kissinger share a very public, mutual admiration.

The pigmentation and genitalia of such agents of the system can hardly be very important.

But they are certainly made to seem important. And that has important uses politically and ideologically for the existing power system.

Blacks and women, who are mostly without power in the U.S. and considered inferior (although this is no longer overtly acknowledged) in general are alienated or skeptical of the system, and suffer more from it than white males. (Yes, these are sweeping generalizations with plenty of individual exceptions.) So having a black or female as the top symbol of the system gives them a sense of identification with it, renewing their loyalty to it and faith in its legitimacy and benigness.

Secondly, it draws them into the system as aspirants to power. Clinton explicitly hit this point in her victory speech after her primary wins, saying this proves there is nothing women can't do, there's no "limit" to how high they can rise. (Assuming you're willing to be evil and murderous, as Clinton is. She's an accomplice in protecting the murderous coup regime in Honduras, and shamelessly boasts of her role doing this in her last book.) [1]

By the way, one reason for the white male rage we see in America now (men that Trump, who projects as an angry white powerful male, appeals to) is their sense that they are not an overclass anymore. Now they have to be "equal" to women and blacks, not superior. The idiots lack any class consciousness as well as human consciousness.

As far as the World Historic Signicance of all this, if Clinton does become president, she'll be trailing Cleopatra VII by a mere 2,068 years as a female ruler. (And Cleopatra was a historical laggard compared to the pharaoh Hatshepsut, who came to power around 1473 BCE- 3,490 years ahead of Clinton, assuming she arrives at the White House next January. In fact, there were thirteen female pharaohs of Egypt.)

For that matter, Clinton is lagging behind numerous other female rulers throughout history.

Like Indira Gandhi of India in  1966. 51 years before Clinton will be sworn in as president in January 2017, if she wins. Or Margaret Thatcher of Britain in 1979, Queen Victoria in 1837,  Elizabeth I in 1558, Mary Tudor in 1553. (People the British media apparently never heard of, as they too jumped on the "historic" Clinton victory bandwagon.)  [2]

But maybe "history" is different from history.

Or maybe what they're all saying is that something only counts when the U.S. does it.

Obama's election was similarly hailed with hysterical hosannas as "historic." As if a brown-skinned man had never ruled before. (That too is very old hat, also going back thousands of years.)
Maybe what's "historic" is the part that always goes unmentioned. The U.S. is SO racist and SO sexist that it's a VERY BIG DEAL if the U.S. can finally vote for a black for a female in the twenty-first century.

Actually that's not very impressive.

I'll tell you one thing the U.S. is a leader in:

Chauvinism.

1]  Clinton, in her victory pep rally speech to her supporters, also shouted out a line that hit a populist note: "If we stand together we will rise together because we are stronger together." Yeah, we're all in this together! And she's just one of the gals. (Only one with a multi-billion dollar foundation funded by foreigners buying favors. But hey, play your cards right, and maybe one day you too can get paid a quarter million a pop to give speeches to finance capitalists.)

2]  The British government propaganda network BBC had it as Clinton's supporters "waved American flags as they celebrated an historic occasion," for example. The British "news"papers also seemed to be suffering from historical amnesia, invoking the "H" word, including the liberal Guardian. The Murdoch-owned Times of London labeled it "a historic night;" it was "Hillary Clinton's historic moment" in the rightwing Telegraph's headline, and the Mirror...nothing! Weird. Lots of lurid, half-baked crap of the type one sees in U.S. supermarket tabloids, however.

There's a slew of articles about the numerous women rulers throughout history and in various regions at Powerful Women Rulers Everyone Should Know.


The paid propaganda and the "news" propaganda are in agreement- this is "Historic!!"


 The Empress is Ready To Meet Her Destiny!

Hillary Clinton Campaign Declares She Made "History"- Propaganda System Agrees