Category Archives: Uncategorized

He Said That? 4/24/17

From  Noël Coward (1899–1973), English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, Blithe Spirit (1941):

It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.

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Candidate Trump: ‘I Love Wikileaks.’ President Trump: ‘Arrest Assange!’ by Ron Paul

President Trump does a flip-flop 180 degrees the wrong direction. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

“I love Wikileaks,” candidate Donald Trump said on October 10th on the campaign trail. He praised the organization for reporting on the darker side of the Hillary Clinton campaign. It was information likely leaked by a whistleblower from within the Clinton campaign to Wikileaks.

Back then he praised Wikileaks for promoting transparency, but candidate Trump looks less like President Trump every day. The candidate praised whistleblowers and Wikileaks often on the campaign trail. In fact, candidate Trump loved Wikileaks so much he mentioned the organization more than 140 times in the final month of the campaign alone! Now, as President, it seems Trump wants Wikileaks founder Julian Assange sent to prison.

Last week CNN reported, citing anonymous “intelligence community” sources, that the Trump Administration’s Justice Department was seeking the arrest of Assange and had found a way to charge the Wikileaks founder for publishing classified information without charging other media outlets such as the New York Times and Washington Post for publishing the same information.

It might have been tempting to write off the CNN report as “fake news,” as is much of their reporting, but for the fact President Trump said in an interview on Friday that issuing an arrest warrant for Julian Assange would be, “OK with me.”

Trump’s condemnation of Wikileaks came just a day after his CIA Director, Michael Pompeo, attacked Wikileaks as a “hostile intelligence service.” Pompeo accused Assange of being “a fraud — a coward hiding behind a screen.”

Pompeo’s word choice was no accident. By accusing Wikileaks of being a “hostile intelligence service” rather than a publisher of information on illegal and abusive government practices leaked by whistleblowers, he signaled that the organization has no First Amendment rights. Like many in Washington, he does not understand that the First Amendment is a limitation on government rather than a granting of rights to citizens. Pompeo was declaring war on Wikileaks.

To continue reading: Candidate Trump: ‘I Love Wikileaks.’ President Trump: ‘Arrest Assange!’ 

Liberals Want To Kill Free Speech, So We Patriots Must Fight Back, by Kurt Schlichter

Those who would use violence and force to stifle others’ freedom of speech and the press  (including governments) had better except the same from their putative victims. From Kurt Schlichter on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

Guest Post by Kurt Schlichter

Liberals Want To Kill Free Speech, So We Patriots Must Fight Back

Understand that if America is stupid enough to let liberals take power again, they will persecute and prosecute normal Americans like us who dare to dissent. That’s not a guess or a prediction – that’s a commitment they have made to their fascist followers. They’ve seen what the truth can do to their schemes. After 2016, there’s no way they are going to take a chance on another electoral rejection by us normals, so they don’t even pretend to support free speech anymore. It will be one gender neutral being-one vote, one more time, and then never again.

Hold on. That’s clearly nuts, right? This is obviously crazy talk that’s talking crazy, isn’t it? Don’t liberals love free speech?

No.

We know they don’t love free speech because they tell us they don’t, in both words and deeds. The whole free speech thing lost a lot of its luster for the libs when people like us decided to try it out. The liberals didn’t count on that – free speech was supposed to be their jam, a way to offend, annoy, and outrage us squares, to blow our bourgeois minds with their transgressive, no-holds-barred free thoughtery and critical thinkery. But they never intended for it to allow those banjo-strumming rubes living between I-5 and I-95 to express wrong thoughts and thereby win elections.

So now the progressives are trying to do something about it. Recently, every single Democrat voted to effectively repeal the First Amendment. You see, the words “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech” were too expansive for liberals’ tastes because they prevented Congress from making laws abridging the freedom of speech.

This creepy idiocy was in response to Citizens United, a Supreme Court case that, to people who actually believe in free speech and not liberal fascism, conforms to the First Amendment by telling the federal government that no, you can’t put people in jail for making a movie critical of Hillary Clinton.

To continue reading: Liberals Want To Kill Free Speech, So We Patriots Must Fight Back

11 Facts That Prove That The U.S. Economy In 2017 Is In Far Worse Shape Than It Was In 2016, by Michael Snyder

How bad do things have to be before even puffed-up government statistics cannot hide the deterioration in the economy? Things are getting worse. From Michael Snyder at theeconomiccollapseblog.com:

There is much debate about where the U.S. economy is ultimately heading, but what everybody should be able to agree on is that economic conditions are significantly worse this year than they were last year.  It is being projected that U.S. economic growth for the first quarter will be close to zero, thousands of retail stores are closing, factory output is falling, and restaurants and automakers have both fallen on very hard times.  As economic activity has slowed down, commercial and consumer bankruptcies are both rising at rates that we have not seen since the last financial crisis Everywhere you look there are echoes of 2008, and yet most people still seem to be in denial about what is happening.  The following are 11 facts that prove that the U.S. economy in 2017 is in far worse shape than it was in 2016…

#1 It is being projected that there will be more than 8,000 retail store closingsin the United States in 2017, and that will far surpass the former peak of 6,163 store closings that we witnessed in 2008.

#2 The number of retailers that have filed for bankruptcy so far in 2017 has already surpassed the total for the entire year of 2016.

#3 So far in 2017, an astounding 49 million square feet of retail space has closed down in the United States.  At this pace, approximately 147 million square feet will be shut down by the end of the year, and that would absolutely shatter the all-time record of 115 million square feet that was shut down in 2001.

#4 The Atlanta Fed’s GDP Now model is projecting that U.S. economic growth for the first quarter of 2017 will come in at just 0.5 percent.  If that pace continues for the rest of the year, it will be the worst year for U.S. economic growth since the last recession.

To continue reading: 11 Facts That Prove That The U.S. Economy In 2017 Is In Far Worse Shape Than It Was In 2016

Ready, Set, Splat. by James Howard Kunstler

James Howard Kunstler talks about the coming debt crack-up, with which regular readers of SLL may already be acquainted. From Kunstler at kunstler.com:

As I write, the French stock market (the CAC 40), is doing a grand jeté (up 4.5 percent!) in celebration of Emmanuel Macron’s assumed slaying of the dragon Le Pen. But that was just the first round under the interesting French election system. Consider that two other candidates who were eliminated, Monsieurs Fillon and Mélenchon, got nearly 40 percent of the vote. Are we so sure about where their voters go in the second and final round two weeks from now?

I suspect that most Americans — even the ones who follow Rachel Maddow — are about as interested in French politics as differential calculus. Macron, 36, is a blank slate. He was finance minister under current president François Hollande, of the Socialist Party, but declared during the election campaign that he’s not a socialist, he only wanted to be of service to his country, and this time he ran under his own party, En Marche! He appears to represent the continuation of business-as-usual with the European Union, which seems to put him on the wrong side of history at this crucial moment — if you suppose, as I do, that the EU is so riddled with hopeless financial contradictions and centrifugal political tensions that it is unlikely to persist.

Yet, understandably, people are reluctant to change the system they’re living under. Le Pen wants to blow the EU up, especially the bureaucracy lodged in Brussels that has become a self-serving and self perpetuating monster. Blowing up the EU would necessarily, it seems, mean the end of the European Central Bank, and with it the scams and Ponzi schemes that have provided an appearance of normality, despite an official 10.5 percent unemployment rate in France and a constant chain of public massacres by resident Jihadistas of one sort or another, some of them perpetrated by radical refugees allowed in under EU policy.

To continue reading: Ready, Set, Splat.

 

The French “Political Class” Gets Crushed – on the Surface, by Wolf Richter

Good article that lays out the basics of yesterday’s French election and French politics. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

It designed the rules to protect itself against an election like this.

According to preliminary results of the presidential election in France, the two candidates that came out on top during today’s first round and therefore made it into the second round, to be contested on May 7, are Marine Le Pen, leader of the right-wing anti-euro and anti-EU Front National, and Emmanuel Macron, leader of the centrist, pro-EU movement En Marche, which he founded just last year.

So congratulations to today’s winners.

This is the first time since the beginning of the Fifth Republic in 1958 that no candidate from the major establishment parties made it to the second round, and that neither of the two winning candidates are backed by parties that have ever held the presidency.

This is also the first time in the Fifth Republic that the winner’s party will have zero or practically zero power in Parliament.

According to preliminary results, Macron got 23.7% of the vote, Le Pen 21.9%, conservative François Fillon 19.9%, and far-left firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon 19.2%.

As expected, the biggest loser was the political establishment and the entire “political class,” as it’s called in France. At least on the surface.

After François Hollande’s dismal performance as President over the past five years, his Socialists practically disappeared during the campaign and in the election got only 6.3% of the vote. This left as sole representative of the “political class” the conservative and scandal-plagued former Prime Minister Fillon, who now lost too.

Just how frustrated is the public with the political class? Le Pen at the far right and Mélenchon at the far left obtained together 41% of the vote. That’s huge. They campaigned on leaving the Eurozone (the monetary union of 19 member states) and the European Union (28 member states).

To continue reading: The French “Political Class” Gets Crushed – on the Surface

Confronting Russophobia, by Srdja Trifkovic

Russophobia is far more dangerous to western society than Islamophobia, and precludes what could be an effective alliance against radical, violent Islamic extremism. From Srdja Trifkovic at strategic-culture.org:

There is a paranoid, hysterical quality to the public discourse on Russia and all things Russian in today’s America.  The corporate media machine and its Deep State handlers have abdicated reason and common decency in favor of raw hate and fear-mongering.  We have not seen anything like it before, even in the darkest days of the Cold War.

The roots of Russophobia’s emotional appeal to the left seem clear: It comes as a huge mental relief to the ultrasensitive liberal mind to be able to hate an outside group with impunity, and even to appear virtuous in the process.  Of course, the object of that animus is a Christian and European nation that stubbornly refuses to be postmodernized, or become gripped by self-hate and morbid introspection; a nation not ashamed of its past and unwilling to surrender its future to alien multitudes; a nation where nobody obsesses over transgender bathrooms, microaggressions, and other “issues” indicative of a society’s moral and intellectual decrepitude.

The liberals’ ideological and emotional Russophobia has blended seamlessly with the bread-and-butter hostility to Russia shared by Deep State operatives in the intelligence and national-security apparatus, in the military-industrial complex, and in the congressional duopoly. The result is a surreal narrative that mixes supposedly unprovoked “Russian aggression” in Ukraine, hostile intent in the Baltics, serial war crimes in Syria, political destabilization in Western Europe, and gross interference in America’s “democratic process”. The result is an altogether fictitious “existential threat,” which has made President Trump’s intended détente with Moscow impossible.  He may have been serious about turning over a new leaf, but the Deep State counterpressure proved just too great.  A solid rejection front emerged, left and right, conservative and liberal, which extends even into his own team and finally inhibited him from making moves that could have appeared too friendly to Putin.

The Russophobes’ narrative is unrelated to Russia’s actual policies. It reflects a deep odium of the elite class toward Russia-as-such. That animosity has been developing in its current form since roughly the time of the Crimean War, when in his Letters From Russia the Marquis de Custine said that the country’s “veneer of European civilization was too thin to be credible.”

To continue reading: Confronting Russophobia