Payback is hell, as they say, and it looks like the Twenties are going to be a decade of payback. From Karen Kwiatkowski at lewrockwell.com:
In terms of ignoring reality, FOMO -YOLO’ing and flimflamming our collective way into the future, I think not. Those times have passed. Certainly they have for the US government and its extensive population of dependents.
This may be cause to celebrate for the 10% of the population who won’t notice, and will likely celebrate, the end of government jobs, government pensions or social security, deprivation of a government-subsidized health care service, lack of a government-income supplements, collapsed government contractors, or the elimination of a regulatory and counterfeiting state that has created whole industries out of nothing, industries that currently support millions of American families.
The leftward momentum of the entire cadre of Democrat candidates seeking the US Presidency this year doesn’t reflect a mass desire to make the US a socialist country. The US is already a socialist country. Friendly fascism is the name of the game, if we can believe Bertram Gross, Sinclair Lewis, or our own eyes. The 2020 candidates, announced and unannounced, aim primarily to hold these socialist gains in the face of what promises to be a very frightening decade for the 90 Percenters.
Donald Trump, in 2016 and presumably in 2020, speaks to the same sentiments the anti-Trump field emotes today, sentiments of maintaining life and economics largely as they are. Rather than politicians reaching for the stars, asking that the ship of state be guided into a brighter future, we see a display of white knuckles angrily gripping the present, with a few bones thrown to restoring some of the better memories of the past. There is no imaginable future for the US that does not contain short-term tragedy for the majority of the population, and all the candidates all know this.
Posted in Collapse, Crime, Cronyism, Culture, Debt, Economy, Government, Intelligence, Military, Politics, Privacy, Surveillance, War
Tagged Deep State, welfare state
Wishing will make it true. From Robert Bridge at rt.com:
Increasingly open to astrology, magic and sorcery while happy to virtue signal on behalf of any PC-saturated issue, the entire millenial generation seems wholly unequipped to face the daunting challenges of adulthood.
They may not know how to change a flat tire, cook a simple meal or stop living in their parents’ basement, but Millennials – the tech-savvy demographic typically born between the years 1981 to the early 2000s – seem increasingly preoccupied with subjects of a less practical nature ever since graduating from college.
Whether it is symptomatic of Trump Derangement Syndrome, some kind of New Age mysticism or perhaps spending four long years studying impractical liberal arts courses, it’s hard to say. But many people are looking to empower themselves with alternative techniques once ridiculed as sheer quackery.
Much ado about a lot of nothings was 2019’s theme. From CJ. Hopkins at off-guardian.org:
Well, it looks like we’ve somehow managed to survive another year of diabolical Putin-Nazi attacks on democracy.
It was touch-and-go there for a while, especially coming down the home stretch, what with Jeremy Corbyn’s desperate attempt to overthrow the UK government, construct a British version of Auschwitz, and start rounding up and mass-murdering the Jews.
That was certainly pretty scary … but then, the whole year was pretty scary.
The horror began promptly in early January, when Rachel Maddow revealed that Putin was projecting words out of Trump’s mouth in real-time, i.e., literally using Trump’s head like a puppet, or one of those Mission Impossible masks. And that was just the tip of the iceberg, as, despite the best efforts of Integrity Initiative, Bellingcat, and other such establishment psyops, Internet-censoring sites like NewsGuard, and an army of mass hysteria generators, Putin’s legion of Russian “influencers” was continuing to maliciously influence Americans, who were probably also still under attack by brain-eating Russian-Cubano crickets!
Posted in Collapse, Crime, Cronyism, Culture, Geopolitics, Government, Intelligence, Investigations, Media, Politics, Society
Tagged Mueller report, President Trump, Russia, Vladimir Putin
In competition with Asia, the West has a weak hand. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:
I’ve never been much of a gambler. On the rare occasions I’ve played poker, I almost always came out ahead, but I almost never bluffed and, probably more important, I always played with amateurs like myself, never with players who really knew what they were doing.
Of course, the business of governance is far more important than a friendly poker game between friends. All the more reason why, when political leaders are making their assessments as to the national future, they should make sure they have a winning hand, prior to betting heavily.
Every day, we’re reminded that the Asian powerhouse is moving ahead at a pace that’s unheard of in the West. It’s almost as though the clocks stopped in the West ten years ago, but Asia kept on advancing in every way.
This is clear to anyone who has had feet on the ground in Asia in recent years. Yet, every day in the Western media, the illusion is presented that the West is still running the show, and Asia is a lesser player.
Posted in Business, Culture, Economics, Economy, Education, Eurasian Axis, Geopolitics, Governments, Labor, Law, Politics
Tagged Asia, China, Japan, South Korea
Pink Floyd’s groundbreaking, blockbuster album, The Dark Side of the Moon, had much to say about contemporary conditions…46 years ago! From Jim Quinn at theburningplatform:
And if the cloud bursts thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon
Brain Damage, Pink Floyd
And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon
Brain Damage, Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd’s 1973 Dark Side of the Moon album is considered one of the greatest albums of all-time. It stayed on the Billboard 200 charts for 937 weeks. Roger Waters concept was for an album that dealt with things that “make people mad”. The Dark Side of the Moon’s themes include war, conflict, greed, the passage of time, death, and insanity, the latter inspired in part by former band member Syd Barrett’s worsening mental state.
The five tracks on each side reflect various stages of human life, beginning and ending with a heartbeat, exploring the nature of the human experience, and empathy. The themes of this album are timeless and are as germane today as they were forty-six years ago, if not more relevant. The country and world are awash in conflict, driven by the greed of evil men. Decent, law abiding, hard-working, critical thinking Americans see the world going insane as the passage of time leads towards the death of an American empire.
Posted in Capitalism, Collapse, Crime, Cronyism, Culture, Debt, Economy, Entertainment, Financial markets, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Imperialism, Military, Money, Morality, Politics, Society, Taxes, Technology, War
Tagged Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon
Replacing “Are Starting To Take” with “Have Taken” in the title is more accurate. From Michael Snyder at themostimportantnews.com:
It is getting scary out there. In order for society to function properly, we need to be able to assume that most people are going to behave rationally. And when I was growing up, it was generally safe to make that assumption. But now things have completely changed. No matter how hard one may try, there is simply no avoiding the hordes of crazy people that seem to be taking over our society. It is almost as if millions of us never learned the basic rules for how civilized people should treat one another. Sometimes this manifests in behavior that is simply rude, other times it manifests in behavior that is actually dangerous, and if you are really unlucky you will personally encounter someone that has fully embraced depravity on a level that most of us never even want to think about.
A filmmaker got it right over thirty years ago: the reality underneath is far different from what we see on the surface of our lives. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:
“You see them on the street. You watch them on TV. You might even vote for one this fall. You think they’re people just like you. You’re wrong. Dead wrong.” — They Live
We’re living in two worlds, you and I.
There’s the world we see (or are made to see) and then there’s the one we sense (and occasionally catch a glimpse of), the latter of which is a far cry from the propaganda-driven reality manufactured by the government and its corporate sponsors, including the media.
Indeed, what most Americans perceive as life in America—privileged, progressive and free—is a far cry from reality, where economic inequality is growing, real agendas and real power are buried beneath layers of Orwellian doublespeak and corporate obfuscation, and “freedom,” such that it is, is meted out in small, legalistic doses by militarized police armed to the teeth.
All is not as it seems.
Posted in Business, Civil Liberties, Collapse, Crime, Cronyism, Culture, Economy, Government, Intelligence, Media, Movies, Politics, Society
Tagged John Carpenter, Reality
The US is essentially stealing Syria’s oil. From Ben Norton at consortiumnews.com:
Hundreds of American soldiers are remaining in Syria, not to ensure to safety of any group of people, but to occupy the country’s oil reserves and block the Syrian government from revenue needed for reconstruction, reports Ben Norton.
U.S. President Donald Trump has reassured supporters that he is “bringing soldiers home” from the “endless” war in Syria. But that is simply not the case.
While Trump has ordered a partial withdrawal of the approximately 1,000 American troops on Syrian territory — who have been enforcing an illegal military occupation under international law — U.S. officials and the president himself have admitted that some will be staying. And they will remain on Syrian soil not to ensure to safety of any group of people, but rather to maintain control over oil and gas fields.
The U.S. military has already killed hundreds of Syrians, and possibly even some Russians, precisely in order to hold on to these Syrian fossil fuel reserves.
Washington’s obsession with toppling the Syrian government refuses to die. The United States remains committed to preventing Damascus from retaking its own oil, as well as its wheat-producing breadbasket region, in order to starve the government of revenue and prevent it from funding reconstruction efforts.
The Washington Post noted in 2018 that the U.S. and its Kurdish allies were militarily occupying a massive “30 percent slice of Syria, which is probably where 90 percent of the pre-war oil production took place.”
Now, for the first time, Trump has openly confirmed the imperialist ulterior motives behind maintaining a US military presence in Syria.
It’s amazing how few people ever ascribe pervasive poverty to bad laws, which produce bad governments and corruption. From John Stossel at townhall.com:
Why does most of Africa stay poor while other parts of the world prosper?
People blame things like climate, the history of colonialism, racism, etc.
But I say Senegalese businesswoman Magatte Wade gives the right explanation: too many rules.
“Once you hire someone, good luck getting rid of them for any reason,” Wade complains. Her government must approve every firing.
“Then the tax code is so complicated… worth at least two or three truckloads of paper.”
Wade started a lip balm company. Some of her ingredients are not made in Senegal, so she imports them. To “protect” Senegalese manufacturers, the government makes importing ingredients expensive.
“Some have a 70% import tariff on them!” she says.
President Donald Trump now threatens similar taxes on imports from China. In Africa, people sometimes escape such taxes by paying bribes. We hear a lot about African corruption.
“People complain about corruption as if corruption is a root problem,” says Wade. “I say no. Corruption is a natural consequence of stupid, senseless, idiot laws.”
The US wants to bring China to heel; there’s no way China is going to allow that to happen. From Pepe Escobar at asiatimes.com:
Bayon temple, Angkor World Heritage site in Siem Reap, northern Cambodia. File pic by Bruno Morandi, Robert Harding Heritage / AFP
The ultimate American imperial dream is to engineer a Chinese vassal state
There must be some kind of way outta here
Said the joker to the thief
There’s too much confusion
I can’t get no relief
Business men, they drink my wine
Plowmen dig my earth
None were level on the mind
Nobody up at his word
-Bob Dylan, All Along the Watchtower (immortalized by Jimi Hendrix)
Nothing beats the beguiling, stony smiles at the Bayon temple near Angkor Wat in Cambodia’s Siem Reap to plunge us back into history’s vortex, re-imagining how empires, in their endless pursuit of power, rise and fall, usually because they eventually get the very war they had sought to avoid.
The Bayon was built as a state temple at the end of the 12th century by the undisputed superstar of Khmer empires, Jayavarman VII. Its magical narrative reliefs convey a mix of history and mythology while depicting daily life in Khmer society.
We still don’t know today the identity of the faces shown on the temple’s giant stone carvings. They could be a representation of Brahma, or of Jayavarman himself – a practicing Buddhist. What we do know is that the glorious Khmer empire – incomparable in art and architecture, and even benign in the sense that the mandate for power was based on the king’s relationship with the gods, started to fade after the 15th century, dismembered by war against the Thai and later the Vietnamese.
Posted in banking, Business, Culture, Financial markets, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Imperialism, Trade, War
Tagged China, Financial warfare, Hong Kong, Hybrid War