President Donald Trump’s naïve (or willfully blind) notion that Wall Street will work better at raising capital if it is unleashed from strident Federal regulation is unhinged from the facts on the ground. Those facts, as illustrated above, are that the Boards of two of the largest banks in the U.S. are utterly spineless when it comes to holding their CEOs and employees accountable in the face of a tsunami of crimes.
Opposition to Trump is extremely important, particularly when it comes to someone like me who sees his Wall Street love affair and disregard for civil liberties as serious threats to the nation. That said, it is absolutely imperative to see Trump as a symptom of a sick and broken system as opposed to the root cause of anything. The corporate media and legions of mourning Hillary cultists continue to present the Trump threat in extraordinarily simplistic and unhelpful terms. They act as if he’s the head of some evil snake, and that disposing of him as an individual will get America back on track. This couldn’t be more wrong. ⇒ Keep Reading
By Robert Parry, the investigative reporter who many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. Originally published at Parry’s Consortium News (republished with permission).
One positive thing about a change in party control of the White House is that the new occupants sometimes release information that the old residents kept hidden because the facts were politically embarrassing or did not support some favored policy.
We saw this in the first days of the Obama administration when President Barack Obama declassified some documents relating to President George W. Bush’s internal policy debates about torture and other abuses from the “war on terror.”
However, as yet, we have seen nothing similar from the Trump administration even though some truth-telling might work very well for President Donald Trump, especially given his reputation for getting facts wrong. A commitment to transparency – giving some truth to the American people on important topics – could change Trump’s image for the better.
Plus, by releasing information that was unjustifiably kept hidden during Obama’s second term, Trump could underscore how Obama grew increasingly obsessive about secrecy the longer he remained in the White House, treating the American people as objects to be manipulated rather than citizens to be informed. ⇒ Keep Reading
The CIA backed a right-wing coup in Syria in 1949. Douglas Little, Professor, Department of Clark University History professor Douglas Little notes:
Recently declassified records… confirm that beginning on November 30, 1948, [CIA operative Stephen] Meade met secretly with Colonel Zaim at least six times to discuss the “possibility [of an] army supported dictatorship.” [“Cold War and Covert Action: The United States and Syria, 1945-1958,” Middle East Journal, Winter 1990, p. 55]
As early as 1949, this newly independent Arab republic was an important staging ground for the CIA’s earliest experiments in covert action.
The CIA secretly encouraged a right-wing military coup in 1949.
The reason the U.S. initiated the coup? Little explains:
In late 1945, the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) announced plans to construct the Trans-Arabian Pipe Line (TAPLINE) from Saudi Arabia to the Mediterra- nean. With U.S. help, ARAMCO secured rights-of-way from Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The Syrian right-of-way was stalled in parliament.
In other words, Syria was the sole holdout for the lucrative oil pipeline.
Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s UN ambassador since 2006, died unexpectedly at age 64 in the consulate, two days ago. And while it was said initially that Churkin died of a heart attack, that is not the case, according to his autopsy.
Professor Emeritus of Russian Studies at Princeton, Stephen Cohen, this week in The Nation, dissects the six “factually unverified allegations” that supposedly prove “Trump has been seditiously ‘compromised’ by the Kremlin” and that Trump and Putin worked together to steal the election.
His conclusion: “It is not Putin who is endangering US and international security, but rather the high-level political and intelligence enemies of détente. Similarly, it is not Putin who is degrading the US media with “fake news.” Nor is it Putin who is subverting the American political process…”
(An aside: many may be surprised to note, as well, that Cohen points out there is “no evidence” Putin is a “killer of personal enemies”. Other analysts have noted there is about as much evidence for this unverified theory, which is now an ironclad “fact” in the US religio-nationalist doctrine, as there is for rightist conspiracy theories about the Clintons whacking dozens of political opponents.)
Cohen notes the Trump/Russia/Putin allegations are “exemplified now by New York Times columnists (who write of a “Trump-Putin regime” in Washington), strident MSNBC hosts, and unbalanced CNN commentators[. T]he practice is growing into a latter-day McCarthyite hysteria. Such politically malignant practices should be deplored wherever they appear, whether on the part of conservatives, liberals, or progressives.” ⇒ Keep Reading
1. Consumerism is psychological/ spiritual junk food (French: malbouffe) that actively reduces well-being (bien-etre) rather than increases it.
2. Better rather than more: well-being is increased by everything that cannot be commoditized by a market economy or financialized by a cartel-state financial machine– friendship, family, community, self-cultivation. The goal of economic and social growth should be better, not more. On a national scale, the cancerous-growth measured by gross domestic product (GDP) should be replaced with gross domestic happiness/ gross national happiness (GNH).
3. A recognition that resources are not infinite, despite claims to the contrary. For one example of many: China Is Plundering the Planet’s Seas (The Atlantic). Indeed, all the evidence suggests that access to cheap energy only speeds up the depletion and despoliation of every other resource.
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