Trifecta: Pritzker Administration’s Pension Plan For Illinois Will Center On Three Strokes Of Folly, by Mark Glennon

A gang that can’t shoot straight takes Illinois from bad to worse. From Mark Glennon at wirepoints.org:

Deputy Governor Dan Hynes today released the first details of the Pritzker Administration’s plan for addressing Illinois’ pension crisis.

The administration will pursue three of the worst ideas available:

•  First, the state will borrow to pay off pension debt by offering a $2 billion pension obligation bond. We and many others have already written very extensively on why pension obligation bonds are irresponsible.  One credit card to another solves nothing and adds risk.

•  Second, the state will kick the can on its ramp for taxpayer pension contributions out seven years. The new goal for reaching 90% funding (which is still inadequate) will be 2052. Your grandchildren will fully understand why pensions are called “intergenerational theft.

•  Third, the state will gift public assets to the pensions. The particular assets and their value remain to be identified, but speculation has centered on the Illinois Tollway, the Illinois Lottery and government office buildings. The concept goes by the name “asset transfer.” We explained why it’s a sham in an article just yesterday. A pension actuary writing in Forbes did the same.

The combined effect of the first two is odd. All $2 billion from the bond offering will go immediately to the pensions, but the regularly scheduled pension contribution for the upcoming fiscal year will drop by $800 million.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Venezuela – Media Find Trump’s Coup Plan Does Not Work, by Moon of Alabama

This regime change business is tougher than it looks. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:

On January 25, two days after Random Guyidó declared himself President of Venezuela, the lack of planing in the U.S. coup attempt was already obvious:

My impression is that Trump was scammed. It was long evident that he gives little attention to details and does not think things through. Most likely Bolton, Pompeo and Rubio presented him with a three step plan:Phase 1. Support the self declared president Guaidó; Phase 2: … (wishful thinking) …; Phase 3: Take half of their oil!

Bolton and Pompeo are both experienced politicians and bureaucrats. They likely knew that their plan was deeply flawed and would require much more than Trump would normally commit to. My hunch is that the soon coming mission creep was build into their plan, but that they did not reveal that.

The U.S. coup planners and their Venezuelan puppets had hoped that the Venezuelan military would jump to their side. That was wishful thinking and unlikely to happen. They also thought up some “humanitarian aid” scheme in which pictures of trucks crossing a long blocked bridge would soon shame the Venezuelan president into stepping down. That was likewise nonsense.

Unless the U.S. is willing and able to escalate, the coup attempt is destined to fail.

‘Western’ media now recognize that phase 2 of the coup plan is in deep trouble. Today the Guardian, Bloomberg and the New York Times all describe growing frustration with the lack of success.

Continue reading

Why Are These Professional War Peddlers Still Around? by Tucker Carlson

Nothing will raise your standing in Washington, academia, and the mainstream media as much as consistently being wrong. From Tucker Carlson at theamericanconservative.com:

Pundits like Max Boot and Bill Kristol got everything after 9/11 wrong but are still considered “experts.”

Max Boot (Credit: U.S. Navy) and Bill Kristol (Credit: Gage Skidmore)

One thing that every late-stage ruling class has in common is a high tolerance for mediocrity. Standards decline, the edges fray, but nobody in charge seems to notice. They’re happy in their sinecures and getting richer. In a culture like this, there’s no penalty for being wrong. The talentless prosper, rising inexorably toward positions of greater power, and breaking things along the way. It happened to the Ottomans. Max Boot is living proof that it’s happening in America.

Boot is a professional foreign policy expert, a job category that doesn’t exist outside of a select number of cities. Boot has degrees from Berkeley and Yale, and is a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has written a number of books and countless newspaper columns on foreign affairs and military history. The International Institute for Strategic Studies, an influential British think tank, describes Boot as one of the “world’s leading authorities on armed conflict.”

None of this, it turns out, means anything. The professional requirements for being one ofthe world’s Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict do not include relevant experience with armed conflict. Leading authorities on the subject don’t need a track record of wise assessments or accurate predictions. All that’s required are the circular recommendations of fellow credential holders. If other Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict induct you into their ranks, you’re in. That’s good news for Max Boot.

Continue reading

The Left Looks Backward (Again), by Thomas DiLorenzo

The Green New Deal wouldn’t work any better than the original New Deal. From Thomas DiLorenzo at lewrockwell.com:

The so-called Green New Deal that was recently posted as a congressional Resolution and endorsed by many high-profile Democrats is essentially a twenty-first century version of the 1888 utopian novel, Looking Backward, by the Marxist-inspired writer Edward Bellamy.  The main character of the novel, one Julian West, falls asleep for 113 years and awakes in the year 2000 delighting in the fact that America had been turned into a socialist utopia.  A major theme of the novel is that all the evils of society can be eradicated by more-or-less totalitarian government controls, mandates, and regulations.  That is also the theme of the Green New Deal.

In Bellamy’s utopia private property is abolished and all industry is nationalized.  Government guarantees “jobs for everyone,” as does the Green New Deal.  Education is “free” (another Green New Deal promise) and everyone is paid the same by the government, the sole employer.  Special efforts are made to assure that men and women are all paid the same.  This is another key point of the Green New Deal.  Everyone retired at age 45 with a good taxpayer-funded pension.

Numerous Edward Bellamy Societies sprung up, established by socialist intellectuals of the day such as John Dewey, who founded the Edward Bellamy Society of New York. Looking Backward also spawned numerous small socialist communes, all of which collapsed in failure – a warning sign of what would become of twentieth-century socialism everywhere.

Continue reading

As US and EU Prove Unreliable Partners for Peace, Iran looks East, by Pepe Escobar

The US is pushing Iran, Turkey, Russia, and China into each others’ arms. From Pepe Escobar at mintpressnews.com:

Iran is already looking East – considering its top Asian energy clients and the close ties with the Belt and Road Initiative and the EAEU. Team Rouhani now knows, in realpolitik terms, they cannot trust the US; and the EU is an immensely problematic partner.

On the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, this past Friday, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei made an effort to express Iran’s geopolitical stance in simple terms: ‘We have good relations with all nations in the world, we don’t want to break relations with any European nation’, and an explanation of the slogan ‘Death to America’.

The Ayatollah said ‘Death to America’ “means death to Trump, John Bolton, and Mike Pompeo. It means death to American rulers. We have no problems with the American people.”

So, the slogan is indeed a metaphor – as in death to US foreign policy as conducted for much of the past four decades.

That includes, of course, the dismantling, by the Trump administration, of the nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA).

In a rash rebuke of the centrist government of President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif – who negotiated the JCPOA with the Obama administration, as well as Russia, China, France, the UK and Germany – Khamenei stressed he would not have signed it. His legendary distrust of the US now seems more than vindicated.

Continue reading

You Should Be Laughing At Them!

You Should Be Laughing At Them!

They get us into wars and never get us out. They get us into debt and never get us out. They want to run your life, but couldn’t run a lemonade stand.

And they laugh at us?

They’re the establishment, the powers that be–call them what you will. Guided by the unshakeable belief that they’re entitled to rule, they’ve made a holy mess of America…and the world. Their Ivy League credentials only confirm that degrees are often bestowed on idiots.

In the Kingdom of Lies, ruled by the Arrogant and the Absurd, truth is an enemy. So are satire and humor. If the pompous proclamations and inevitable ineptitude of these bozos leave you unsure whether to laugh, cry, or emigrate, why not laugh?

What if the Fountain of Youth fell into the wrong hands?

If there were a way to reverse aging, the establishment’s decrepit fossils would want it. Brilliant researcher Ted Wirth and his team of scientists discover a hormone that extends the lives of lab mice. The government comes a calling…the powers that be have a plan.

In war-torn Syria, among the many nations keeping the fate of Syria out of the hands of Syrians, a battle rages. Or does it? A suicide mission destroys a vital American industrial asset. It’s terrorism. Or is it? The world’s grand masters are moving the pieces in a game only they understand. Or do they?

An author that can generate the phrase “Blow it out your ass, Mr. President. Send in Vice President Winslow.” and make it believable gains my immediate applause and appreciation. To do so within a novel that so explicitly describes the pure evil wielded by the power brokers and administrators of our world and the degradations heaped on the rest of mankind with no thought of their own moral depravity, is genius.

Teddy H. Jones, Amazon reader review

Are you looking for…

A satire that will make you laugh, think, shake your head, wince, and howl with rage…sometimes at the same time?

Characters you’d like to know? And characters you’d like to banish from the planet?

A story with something to say about good and evil…without preaching or screeching?

Answers to all your questions about geopolitics, with plenty of pages left over for intrigue, action, romance, sex and satire?

You’ve just found all of the above…and much more!

Read Prime Deceit in an afternoon…it will stay with you for years.

Take it from readers’ enthusiastic comments on Amazon.

I could easily see this book as a big budget Hollywood production with an A list cast. It would need almost no alterations. It is tightly crafted, compelling, current, dramatic, and thrilling. Apart from its style, this book perfectly reflects the skepticism of the public in regards to the most powerful institutions of our day.

Robert Gore is a find, and a gifted writer.
Titus Flavius

Finally a book that is well written fiction based on plausible characters, not caricatures, without the blatant preaching of a thinly-veiled conspiracy theory; a book to actually enjoy reading.
John

Full disclosure, I also had received a pre-publication ebook from the author for review. Just as another poster did, I also purchased the book because I like it so much. Yes, I got it free and then went and bought it anyway!

I would classify this book as a real page turner and like all of Robert’s books, once you start it, you simply do not want to put it down.
Jean Dunne

This novel grabbed me from the first page and didn’t let go till the last. In fact, I’m not sure it has let go yet . The plot is chilling because it is so plausible. The rejuvenation technology is not so far from actual current research, and the depth of corruption of the elites seems right in line with current reality as well. Long after finishing it, my mind keeps coming back to it like a tongue testing a sore tooth. This or something much like it could really be happening.
David or Judy Wood

Strike a revolutionary blow against the powers that be! 

Amazon Paperback

Kindle Ebook

The Great Discontent, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Statist prescriptions are failing for millions, even billions, of people, and the people are pushing back. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

The problem is, of course, that not only is economics bankrupt but it has always been nothing more than politics in disguise.
-Hazel Henderson

It’s often hard to understand how people can be aware of something but then fail to link it to a perfectly logical next step, or even multiple steps, and see where it fits in a larger scheme. There really are people out there, believe it or not, who look at economic and political developments over the past decade in any particular western country and believe they are unique to that country.

In reality, while things may play out slightly differently from one place to the other, the core causes of what’s been unfolding are the exact same ones in every single location. The reactions of incumbent politicians and economics has been the same as well: massage the numbers and the media, keep the rich and powerful happy, and make sure you and yours are on the ‘right side’ of the line.

In France, the main complaint that the Yellow Vests movement has now taken into its 13th consecutive weekend is crystal clear: people can’t pay their bills anymore. In the UK, austerity has demolished wages, social care, the NHS and much else. In the US, many millions of Americans can’t afford a $400 emergency payment, have ever scarcer access to healthcare and live from paycheck to paycheck.

Rinse and repeat for every western nation. The storylines vary somewhat, but they all tell the same tale, they could be, they are, chapters in the same book. And it makes one think if people are not connecting them.

Renowned French philosopher Michel Onfray summarizes Emmanuel Macron’s ongoing Yellow Vests (Gilets Jaunes) problem in these words: “Macron is trying to explain that there is not enough liberalist Europe in our lives, while the Gilets Jaunes are saying back to him that there is too much – not too much Europe, but too much liberalism.”

That is true in France, and it is also true in the UK, US and many other countries. People may not see liberalism as their problem, or even know, let alone understand the term, but what they do understand is they can’t pay their bills anymore. And Macron’s response, just like that of Washington and London, is more neoliberalism, or, again in Onfray’s words:

“This is an order that is strong against the week, as we can see on the streets, and weak against the strong”. [..] “The [liberal] Maastricht state is “cruel to those who carry the burdens of globalization” and “simply by declaring their poverty, these people have been ideologically criminalized.”

Continue reading