Category Archives: Politics

Is the U.S. Becoming a Third World Nation? by Charles Hugh Smith

You don’t have to look too hard to uncover many similarities between the US and a typical banana republic. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

This is a chart of an informal kleptocracy which cloaks itself in the faux finery of democracy and a (rigged) “market” economy.

Back in the day, nations that didn’t qualify as either developed (First World) or developing (Second World) were by default Third World, impoverished, corrupt and what we now refer to as failed states–governments that were incapable of improving the lives of their people and the machinery of governance, generally as a result of corruption and self-serving elites, i.e. kleptocracies.

Is the U.S. slipping into Third World status? While many scoff at the very question, others citing the rise of homelessness, entrenched pockets of abject poverty and the decaying state of infrastructure might nod “yes.”

These are not uniquely Third World problems, they’re symptoms of a status quo that’s fast losing First World capabilities. What characterizes Third World/Failing States isn’t just poverty, crumbling infrastructure and endemic corruption; at a systems level these are the key dynamics in Third World/Failing States:

1. The status quo protects insiders at the expense of everyone else.

2. There is no real accountability; failure has no consequences, bureaucrats are never fired for incompetence, reforms are watered down or neutered by institutional sclerosis.

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The Missing Howls of Denunciation Over Major Sex Trafficking, by Michael Brenner

Where are the harpy feminists when you need them? From Michael Brenner at consortiumnews.com:

Michael Brenner considers the dearth of #MeToo outrage at the foul activities of the 25-year-long Epstein-Maxwell operation.

(Alec Perkins, CC BY 2.0/Wikimedia Commons)

Why have the howls of outrage not echoed through the media? Why has the trumpet’s call to action been silent?  Why haven’t the halls of Congress resounded with denunciation and the demands for justice.

Sexual trafficking of women and children is probably the century’s greatest assault on girls and young women outside of Boko Haram’s rampages and the crimes of the Islamic State against the Yazidis.  In terms of sheer numbers, it exceeds those atrocities. High among the malefactors is the Epstein-Maxwell operation. Its foul activities went on for 25 years. It was known to law enforcement authorities for most of that time. The sole legal action taken was the one count lodged against Jeffrey Epstein in 2006 for “soliciting a minor.” With the connivance of the highest authorities in Washington, it was a genteel house arrest that was a mockery of supposed punishment.

U.S. lawmakers speak in support of End Demand for Sex Trafficking Act, 2005. (Wikimedia Commons)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most grotesque aspect of this sinister criminal ring was the knowing participation of dozens of members of the highest echelons of the American elite – possibly including two occupants of the White House. Rape – both statutory and violent – was the order of the day. So, too, involuntary confinement, extortion, blackmail, intimidation and god knows what other heinous crimes.

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The road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces, by John Solomon

What’s most disturbing about this story is Attorney General William Barr’s failure so far to pursue evidence that might lead to a completely different conclusion to the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Is Barr taking a dive? From John Solomon, who has done some of the best investigative work on these matters, at thehill.com:

August in Washington can be the political equivalent of an elephant graveyard: One good rain can wash away the dirt and expose the bones of scandals past.

And this August did not disappoint. Thanks to the relentless investigative work of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), we are learning that the Hillary Clintonemail case may not really be settled.

A staff memo updating the two senators’ long-running probe discloses that the FBI — the version run in 2016 by the now-disgraced and fired James Comey, Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok — failed to pursue access to “highly classified” evidence that could have resolved important questions.

The failure to look at the evidence back in 2016 occurred even though the agents believed access to the sensitive evidence was “necessary” to complete the investigation into Clinton’s improper transmission of classified emails — some top-secret — on her unsecure private email server, the memos show.

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How Amazon and Silicon Valley Seduced the Pentagon, by James Bandler, Anjali Tsui and Doris Burke

Big Tech’s relationship with the Pentagon and intelligence agencies is the very definition of crony socialism. From James Bandler, Anjali Tsui and Doris Burke at propublica.org:

Tech moguls like Jeff Bezos and Eric Schmidt have gotten unprecedented access to the Pentagon. And one whistleblower who raised flags has paid the price.

From left: Eric Schmidt, the former chairman of Google’s parent company, James Mattis, the former secretary of defense, and Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. (Nate Kitch, special to ProPublica)

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up for ProPublica’s Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox as soon as they are published.

This article was co-published with Fortune.

On Aug. 8, 2017, Roma Laster, a Pentagon employee responsible for policing conflicts of interest, emailed an urgent warning to the chief of staff of then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Several department employees had arranged for Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, to be sworn into an influential Pentagon advisory board despite the fact that, in the year since he’d been nominated, Bezos had never completed a required background check to obtain a security clearance.

Mattis was about to fly to the West Coast, where he would personally swear Bezos in at Amazon’s headquarters before moving on to meetings with executives from Google and Apple. Soon phone calls and emails began bouncing around the Pentagon. Security clearances are no trivial matter to defense officials; they exist to ensure that people with access to sensitive information aren’t, say, vulnerable to blackmail and don’t have conflicts of interest. Laster also contended that it was a “noteworthy exception” for Mattis to perform the ceremony. Secretaries of defense, she wrote, don’t hold swearing-in events.

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‘A Total Failure’: Homeless Crisis In Progressive Cities Reaches Fever Pitch, by Tyler Durden

Fox News investigated homelessness in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. These once desirable West Coast cities are becoming increasingly less desirable. From Tyler Duren at zerohedge.com:

As ZH readers are no doubt aware, America’s most ‘progressive’ cities have become ground-zero for a what has become an all-out homelessness crisis, leaving these once-beautiful cities a bastion of human suffering which rival some third-world nations.

This summer, Fox News‘ Barnini Chakraborty embarked on an ambitious project to chronicle the crisis in four West Coast cities; Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon.

“In each city, we saw a lack of safety, sanitation and civility,” writes Chakraborty. “Residents, the homeless and advocates say they’ve lost faith in their elected officials’ ability to solve the issue. Most of the cities have thrown hundreds of millions of dollars at the problem only to watch it get worse.”

In May, new data revealed that homelessness in San Francisco had jumped 17% since 2017, and would have risen by 30% if the city had used past definitions.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s definition of homelessness includes people who are living on the streets, in cars or in shelters. San Francisco’s own definition widens the category to people without a permanent address who are in prison, rehab or hospitalized. If the city used the same measurement it had in years past, the numbers would show an increase from 7,400 to 9,784 — or 30 percent in 2019. –Fox News

On Monday and Tuesday, Chakraborti published her findings on Los Angeles, and San Francisco, which notably points out the disparity between progressives driving around in supercars while homeless residents – many of whom are addicted to drugs or have mental problems which prevent them from working, languish on shit-covered streets.

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American Apocalypse: The Government’s Plot to Destabilize the Nation Is Working, by John W. Whitehead

The government has been gearing up for martial law for quite some time. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out … without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.” — H. L. Mencken

The U.S. government is working hard to destabilize the nation.

No, this is not another conspiracy theory.

Although it is certainly not far-fetched to suggest that the government might be engaged in nefarious activities that run counter to the best interests of the American people, doing so will likely brand me a domestic terrorist under the FBI’s new classification system.

Observe for yourself what is happening right before our eyes.

Domestic terrorism fueled by government entrapment schemes. Civil unrest stoked to dangerous levels by polarizing political rhetoric. A growing intolerance for dissent that challenges the government’s power grabs. Police brutality tacitly encouraged by the executive branch, conveniently overlooked by the legislatures, and granted qualified immunity by the courts. A weakening economy exacerbated by government schemes that favor none but a select few. An overt embrace of domestic surveillance tactics if Congress goes along with the Trump Administration’s request to permanently re-authorize the NSA’s de-activated call records program. Heightened foreign tensions and blowback due to the military industrial complex’s profit-driven quest to police and occupy the globe.

The seeds of chaos are being sown, and it’s the U.S. government that will reap the harvest.

Mark my words, there’s trouble brewing.

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10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall, by John Solomon

There’s still plenty of bombshells waiting to detonate from the Russiagate investigation. From John Solomon at thehill.com:

Behind the scenes, some major events were set in motion last autumn that could soon change the tenor in Washington, at least as it relates to the debunked Russia collusion narrative that distracted America for nearly three years.

It was in September 2018 that President Trump told my Hill.TV colleague Buck Sexton and me that he would order the release of all classified documents showing what the FBI, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other U.S. intelligence agencies may have done wrong in the Russia probe.

About the same time, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, under then-Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), voted unanimously to send 53 nonpublic transcripts of witnesses in its Russia review to the director of national intelligence (DNI) for declassification. The transcripts were officially delivered in November.

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