U.S. Intelligence Officials Demand that Obama Release MH-17 Intel

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Releasing an Intelligence Report on Shoot-Down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

It has been a year since the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine, resulting in the death of 298 passengers and crew. The initial response by the U.S. government supported the contention that the likely perpetrators were anti-government forces in southeastern Ukraine (the customary media misnomer for them is “separatists”), and that they were possibly aided directly by Moscow.

On July 29, 2014, we Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) suggested that the United States Government report publicly what intelligence it actually had relating to the shoot-down lest the incident turn into another paroxysm of blaming Russia without cause. We are still waiting for that report.

Executive Summary

Tensions between the United States and Russia over Ukraine are fast reaching a danger point. A major contributing factor in the American public’s negative perception of Moscow is last year’s downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

A public report detailing the investigation of the incident by the Dutch Safety authorities is expected by October but the draft is reportedly already in the hands of the United States government. There is speculation that the report will dovetail with media and leaked government sources that have placed primary blame on the ethnic Russian Ukrainians in southeastern Ukraine opposed to the government put in place after the Western-engineered coup of Feb. 22, 2014, in Kiev.

As the relationship with Moscow is of critical importance, if only because Russia has the military might to destroy the U.S., careful calibration of the relationship is essential. If the United States signs on to a conclusion that implicates Russia without any solid intelligence to support that contention it will further damage an already fractious bilateral relationship, almost certainly unnecessarily. It is our opinion that a proper investigation of the downing would involve exploring every possibility to determine how the evidence holds up.

Currently, the only thing the American public and worldwide audiences know for sure is that the plane was shot down. But the shoot-down might have been accidental, carried out by any one of a number of parties. Or it might have been orchestrated by anti-government forces, with Moscow either conniving in some way in that action or not. It is also possible that the downing was deliberately carried out by the Kiev government or one of Ukraine’s powerful oligarchs to implicate the anti-Kiev forces and Russia in this mass murder. And finally, though less likely, it might even be that based on the available intelligence it is impossible to determine who did it.

In light of the high stakes involved both in terms of our extremely important relationship with Russia as well as in establishing a trustworthy narrative that does credit to the White House, the failure of the Administration to issue a coordinated intelligence assessment summarizing what evidence exists to determine who was responsible is therefore puzzling. If the United States government knows who carried out the attack on the plane it should produce the evidence. If it does not know, it should say so.

In what follows, we former intelligence professionals with a cumulative total of some 360 years in various parts of U.S. intelligence provide our perspective on the issue and request for a second time that the intelligence over the downing be made public to counter the fuzzy and flimsy evidence that has over the past year been served up – some of it based on “social media.”

The Russian Dimension

It would not be the first time for a tragic incident to be exploited for propaganda reasons with potentially grave consequences. We refer to the behavior of the Reagan administration in the immediate aftermath of the shoot-down of Korean Airlines Flight 007 over Siberia on August 30, 1983.

Hours after the tragic shoot-down on August 30, 1983, the Reagan administration used its very accomplished propaganda machine to manage a narrative emphasizing Soviet culpability for deliberately killing all 269 people aboard KAL-007 in full knowledge that it was a civilian airliner. In reality, the airliner had been shot down after it strayed hundreds of miles off course and penetrated Russia’s airspace over sensitive military facilities in Kamchatka and Sakhalin Island. The Soviet pilot tried to signal the plane to land, but the KAL pilots did not respond to the repeated warnings. Amid confusion about the plane’s identity – a U.S. spy plane had been in the vicinity hours earlier – Soviet ground control ordered the pilot to fire.

The Soviets soon realized they had made a horrendous mistake. U.S. intelligence also knew from sensitive intercepts that the tragedy had resulted from a blunder, not from a willful act of murder (much as on July 3, 1988, the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian civilian airliner over the Persian Gulf, killing 290 people, an act which President Ronald Reagan dismissively explained as an “understandable accident”).

The story of KAL-007 should come to mind when considering the fate of MH-17. There might be legitimate reasons for opposing the increasingly authoritarian government of President Vladimir Putin, but exploiting a tragedy does not equate to constructive statecraft for dealing with an adversary.

At a minimum, the White House and State Department one year ago displayed unseemly haste in deciding to be first out of the starting gate with a narrative implicating Russia, at least indirectly – a narrative that may not be based on fact. That twelve months have passed and there has been no effort made to either correct or amplify the record is unacceptable.

Someone Is Lying

Both Russia and Ukraine deny any active role in the MH-17 shoot down. So do the anti-coup forces in southeastern Ukraine. Someone knows something and is lying to conceal a role in the incident. From the U.S. perspective what happened needs to be clarified and become a matter of public record. No other nation has the resources that the U.S. had to come up with an evidence-based answer; and intelligence collection and analysis are the tools that must be used. The information released to date does not bear close scrutiny; it does not permit an informed judgment as to who is lying about the shoot-down of Flight 17.

One year ago today, National Intelligence Director James Clapper authorized a background briefing including some sketchy talking points in a very short “Government Assessment” for selected mainstream journalists. It was just five days after the shoot-down and two days after Secretary of State Kerry pointed the finger of blame at anti-coup Ukrainians and Russia. Understandably, corroboration was being sought.

Like Kerry’s presentations on the Sunday talk shows of July 20, 2014, however, much of the “Government Assessment” was derived from postings on “social media.” The July 22, 2014 briefing addressed, inconclusively, the key issue of who fired the Buk anti-aircraft missile widely believed to have downed the airliner on July 17, 2014.

No update to that five-day-after “Government Assessment” has been provided over the past year. Are we asked to believe that one year later the intelligence community still cannot adduce evidence that goes beyond insinuation regarding the Buk missile?

The July 22, 2014 briefing also suggested that the missile might have been fired by a Ukrainian “defector.” Has there been no clarification on that point? It is, frankly, very hard for us to believe that the U.S. intelligence community has been unable to expand its understanding of these key issues over the past year.

To be sure, there has long been a tendency in Washington to “fix the intelligence around the policy,” to quote the Downing Street memo relating to the inglorious start of the Iraq War. More recently, we note the claim repeatedly made by Secretary of State John Kerry on August 30, 2013, that “we know” the regime of Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical incidents near Damascus nine days before.

In that case, Kerry also cited a “Government Assessment” to support his charges.  We saw the introduction of this unique genre of “assessment,” instead of the normally required “Intelligence Assessment,” as evidence that honest intelligence analysts were refusing to go along with the preferred narrative. In fact, Kerry’s accusations turned out to have been based on false and even fabricated intelligence provided by opponents of the Syrian government.

Choosing to Reveal the Truth

If the White House has concrete, probative intelligence regarding MH-17, we strongly suggest that the time is right to approve it for release before the “blame Russia” narrative becomes completely dominant. The American people are perfectly capable of judging for themselves what took place but they need to have all the information presented without bias and without any attempt to evade unpleasant conclusions. And it should be done even given the risk of compromising “sources and methods,” as the broader issue of war or peace with Russia is something that should be of paramount concern to every American.

What is needed is an Interagency Intelligence Assessment – the mechanism used in the past to present significant findings. We are hearing indirectly from some of our former colleagues that the draft Dutch report contradicts some of the real intelligence that has been collected. Resorting to another “Government (not Intelligence) Assessment” to sidestep the accountability issue is not appropriate and is itself an insult to the integrity and professionalism of the intelligence community.

Mr. President, we believe you need to seek out honest intelligence analysts now and hear them out, particularly if they are challenging or even opposing the prevailing groupthink narrative. They might well convince you to take steps to deal more forthrightly with the shoot-down of MH-17 and minimize the risk that relations with Russia might degenerate into a replay of the Cold War with the threat of escalation into thermonuclear conflict. In all candor, we suspect that at least some of your advisers fail to appreciate the enormity of that danger.

The courtesy of a reply is requested.

 

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

 

William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)

Thomas Drake, former Senior Executive, National Security Agency

Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)

Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC, Iraq & Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan (associate VIPS)

Larry Johnson, CIA & State Department (ret.)

John Kiriakou, Former CIA Counterterrorism Officer

Karen Kwiatkowski, former Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.), at Office of Secretary of Defense watching the manufacture of lies on Iraq, 2001-2003

Edward Loomis, NSA, Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)

David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East (ret.)

Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (Ret.)

Coleen Rowley, Division Counsel & Special Agent, FBI (ret.)

Peter Van Buren, US Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA

Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret.); Foreign Service Officer (resigned)

Posted in Politics / World News | 5 Comments

The American Nightmare: The Tyranny Of The Criminal Justice System

Submitted by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool’s hand?
To see him obviously framed
Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where justice is a game.—Bob Dylan, “Hurricane

Justice in America is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Just ask Jeffrey Deskovic, who spent 16 years in prison for a rape and murder he did not commit. Despite the fact that Deskovic’s DNA did not match what was found at the murder scene, he was singled out by police as a suspect because he wept at the victim’s funeral (he was 16 years old at the time), then badgered over the course of two months into confessing his guilt. He was eventually paid $6.5 million in reparation.

James Bain spent 35 years in prison for the kidnapping and rape of a 9-year-old boy, but he too was innocent of the crime. Despite the fact that the prosecutor’s case was flimsy—it hinged on the similarity of Bain’s first name to the rapist’s, Bain’s ownership of a red motorcycle, and a misidentification of Bain in a lineup by a hysterical 9-year-old boy—Bain was sentenced to life in prison. He was finally freed after DNA testing proved his innocence, and was paid $1.7 million.

Mark Weiner got off relatively easy when you compare his experience to the thousands of individuals who are spending lifetimes behind bars for crimes they did not commit.

Weiner was wrongfully arrested, convicted, and jailed for more than two years for a crime he too did not commit. In his case, a young woman claimed Weiner had abducted her, knocked her out and then sent taunting text messages to her boyfriend about his plans to rape her. Despite the fact that cell phone signals, eyewitness accounts and expert testimony indicated the young woman had fabricated the entire incident, the prosecutor and judge repeatedly rejected any evidence contradicting the woman’s far-fetched account, sentencing Weiner to eight more years in jail. Weiner was only released after his accuser was caught selling cocaine to undercover cops.

In the meantime, Weiner lost his job, his home, and his savings, and time with his wife and young son. As Slate reporter journalist Dahlia Lithwick warned, “If anyone suggests that the fact that Mark Weiner was released this week means ‘the system works,’ I fear that I will have to punch him in the neck. Because at every single turn, the system that should have worked to consider proof of Weiner’s innocence failed him.”

The system that should have worked didn’t, because the system is broken, almost beyond repair.

In courtroom thrillers like 12 Angry Men and To Kill a Mockingbird, justice is served in the end because someone—whether it’s Juror #8 or Atticus Finch—chooses to stand on principle and challenge wrongdoing, and truth wins.

Unfortunately, in the real world, justice is harder to come by, fairness is almost unheard of, and truth rarely wins.

On paper, you may be innocent until proven guilty, but in actuality, you’ve already been tried, found guilty and convicted by police officers, prosecutors and judges long before you ever appear in a courtroom.

Chronic injustice has turned the American dream into a nightmare.

At every step along the way, whether it’s encounters with the police, dealings with prosecutors, hearings in court before judges and juries, or jail terms in one of the nation’s many prisons, the system is riddled with corruption, abuse and an appalling disregard for the rights of the citizenry.

Due process rights afforded to a person accused of a crime—the right to remain silent, the right to be informed of the charges against you, the right to representation by counsel, the right to a fair trial, the right to a speedy trial, the right to prove your innocence with witnesses and evidence, the right to a reasonable bail, the right to not languish in jail before being tried, the right to confront your accusers, etc.—mean nothing when the government is allowed to sidestep those safeguards against abuse whenever convenient.

It’s telling that while President Obama said all the right things about the broken state of our criminal justice system—that we jail too many Americans for nonviolent crimes (we make up 5 percent of the world’s population, but our prison population constitutes nearly 25% of the world’s prisoners), that we spend more money on incarceration than any other nation ($80 billion a year), that we sentence people for longer jail terms than their crimes merit, that our criminal justice system is far from color-blind, that the nation’s school-to-prison pipeline is contributing to overcrowded jails, and that we need to focus on rehabilitation of criminals rather than retribution—he failed to own up to the government’s major role in contributing to this injustice in America.

Indeed, while Obama placed the responsibility for reform squarely in the hands of prosecutors, judges and police, he failed to acknowledge that they bear the burden of our failed justice system, along with the legislatures and corporations who have worked with them to create an environment that is hostile to the rights of the accused.

In such a climate, we are all the accused, the guilty and the suspect.

As I document in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we’re operating in a new paradigm where the citizenry are presumed guilty and treated as suspects, our movements tracked, our communications monitored, our property seized and searched, our bodily integrity disregarded, and our inalienable rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” rendered insignificant when measured against the government’s priorities.

Every American is now in jeopardy of being targeted and punished for a crime he did not commit thanks to an overabundance of arcane laws. Making matters worse, by allowing government agents to operate above the law, immune from wrongdoing, we have created a situation in which the law is one-sided and top-down, used as a hammer to oppress the populace, while useless in protecting us against government abuse.

Add to the mix a profit-driven system of incarceration in which state and federal governments agree to keep the jails full in exchange for having private corporations run the prisons, and you will find the only word to describe such a state of abject corruption is “evil.”

How else do you explain a system that allows police officers to shoot first and ask questions later, without any real consequences for their misdeeds? Despite the initial outcry over the shootings of unarmed individuals in Ferguson and Baltimore, the pace of police shootings has yet to slow. In fact, close to 400 people were shot and killed by police nationwide in the first half of 2015, almost two shootings a day. Those are just the shootings that were tracked. Of those killed, almost 1 in 6 were either unarmed or carried a toy gun.

For those who survive an encounter with the police only to end up on the inside of a jail cell, waiting for a “fair and speedy trial,” it’s often a long wait. Consider that 60 percent of the people in the nation’s jails have yet to be convicted of a crime. There are 2.3 million people in jails or prisons in America. Those who can’t afford bail, “some of them innocent, most of them nonviolent and a vast majority of them impoverished,” will spend about four months in jail before they even get a trial.

Not even that promised “day in court” is a guarantee that justice will be served.

As Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals points out, there are an endless number of factors that can render an innocent man or woman a criminal and caged for life: unreliable eyewitnesses, fallible forensic evidence, flawed memories, coerced confessions, harsh interrogation tactics, uninformed jurors, prosecutorial misconduct, falsified evidence, and overly harsh sentences, to name just a few.

In early 2015, the Justice Department and FBI “formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period…. The admissions mark a watershed in one of the country’s largest forensic scandals, highlighting the failure of the nation’s courts for decades to keep bogus scientific information from juries, legal analysts said.”

“How do rogue forensic scientists and other bad cops thrive in our criminal justice system?” asks Judge Kozinski. “The simple answer is that some prosecutors turn a blind eye to such misconduct because they’re more interested in gaining a conviction than achieving a just result.”

The power of prosecutors is not to be underestimated.

Increasingly, when we talk about innocent people being jailed for crimes they did not commit, the prosecutor plays a critical role in bringing about that injustice. As The Washington Post reports, “Prosecutors win 95 percent of their cases, 90 percent of them without ever having to go to trial…. Are American prosecutors that much better? No… it is because of the plea bargain, a system of bullying and intimidation by government lawyers for which they ‘would be disbarred in most other serious countries….’”

This phenomenon of innocent people pleading guilty makes a mockery of everything the criminal justice system is supposed to stand for: fairness, equality and justice. As Judge Jed S. Rakoff concludes, “our criminal justice system is almost exclusively a system of plea bargaining, negotiated behind closed doors and with no judicial oversight. The outcome is very largely determined by the prosecutor alone.”

It’s estimated that between 2 and 8 percent of convicted felons who have agreed to a prosecutor’s plea bargain (remember, there are 2.3 million prisoners in America) are in prison for crimes they did not commit.

Clearly, the Coalition for Public Safety was right when it concluded, “You don’t need to be a criminal to have your life destroyed by the U.S. criminal justice system.”

It wasn’t always this way. As Judge Rakoff recounts, the Founding Fathers envisioned a criminal justice system in which the critical element “was the jury trial, which served not only as a truth-seeking mechanism and a means of achieving fairness, but also as a shield against tyranny.”

That shield against tyranny has long since been shattered, leaving Americans vulnerable to the cruelties, vanities, errors, ambitions and greed of the government and its partners in crime.

There is not enough money in the world to make reparation to those whose lives have been disrupted by wrongful convictions.

Over the past quarter century, more than 1500 Americans have been released from prison after being cleared of crimes they did not commit. These are the fortunate ones. For every exonerated convict who is able to prove his innocence after 10, 20 or 30 years behind bars, Judge Kozinski estimates there may be dozens who are innocent but cannot prove it, lacking access to lawyers, evidence, money and avenues of appeal.

For those who have yet to fully experience the injustice of the American system of justice, it’s only a matter of time.

America no longer operates under a system of justice characterized by due process, an assumption of innocence, probable cause, and clear prohibitions on government overreach and police abuse. Instead, our courts of justice have been transformed into courts of order, advocating for the government’s interests, rather than championing the rights of the citizenry, as enshrined in the Constitution.

Without courts willing to uphold the Constitution’s provisions when government officials disregard them, and a citizenry knowledgeable enough to be outraged when those provisions are undermined, the Constitution provides little protection against the police state.

In other words, in this age of hollow justice, courts of order, and government-sanctioned tyranny, the Constitution is no safeguard against government wrongdoing such as SWAT team raids, domestic surveillance, police shootings of unarmed citizens, indefinite detentions, asset forfeitures, prosecutorial misconduct and the like.

Posted in General | 3 Comments

3-minute poetic video: .01% tell 99.99% we’re worthless and the economic problem. Ready for arrests of .01% criminals?

hat tips: What really happened, Wake up from your slumber and Agnes Torok

“Say it’s not political, say it’s just the way it is that food banks can be cut but big banks need to be bailed out.” (from the following 3-minute poetic video)

The economic and political costs of Earth’s current .01% “leadership” demand responsible citizenry response of arrests for OBVIOUS crimes centering in war and money.

The Emperor’s New Clothes facts:

I could go on to literally ~100 areas of crucial concern.

Public demand for arrests is lawful revolution; “turn around” is revolution’s Latin etymology

Responsible citizens must think, speak, and take actions to turn around OBVIOUS crimes we all can discern with a high school-level of critical thinking to stop criminal acts that yearly kill millions, harm billions, and loot trillions.

Obviously.

Please understand that I represent likely hundreds of thousands of professionals making factual claims with objective evidence anyone can verify. For example, the June 2015 Seizing an Alternative conference (and here, videos here) at the Claremont Colleges had hundreds of professionals presenting data and solutions in over 80 areas of speciality. My paper and videos for this conference is here.

The purpose of education since the “Age of Enlightenment” is to present facts for public verification, and to seize the victory of refuting lies by would-be dictators, especially when such lies are obvious and of crucial public importance.

The public’s choice seems to be either responsible arrests and solutions, or ongoing psychopathic “leadership” (and here) for Crimes against Humanity.

The path forward as we build critical mass recognizing Emperor’s New Clothes objective facts is to demand arrests and solutions:

  1. ARRESTS: the first responsible action upon recognizing massive crimes that annually kill millions, harm billions, and loot trillions is to demand that law enforcement and military enact arrests of criminal leaders to stop the crimes and begin unwinding the truth of what happened in Earth’s tragic-comedy (four-part article series with videos on arrests as the obvious citizen response).
  2. SOLUTIONS: the .01% with corporate media have suppressed solutions documented beginning with Benjamin Franklin how government can abundantly operate without taxes: monetary and credit reform allow the public to have near-instant prosperity: full-employment, zero public deficits and debt, the best infrastructure we can imagine, falling prices, and release of public TRILLIONS held in “rainy day” accounts. Full documentation here.

Have a better plan forward than arrests of OBVIOUS criminals then good-faith transparent implementation of apparently obvious solutions?

Now’s the time to think, speak, and take action.

15 minute discussion of economic solutions: Mark Anielski and Ellen Brown’s powerful response to an interview at the Seizing an Alternative conference (and here, with videos here) with former World Bank economist Herman Daly and co-author John B. Cobb of For the Common Good (video should start at 1:04:43):

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Note: I make all factual assertions as a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History, with all economics factual claims receiving zero refutation since I began writing in 2008 among Advanced Placement Macroeconomics teachers on our discussion board, public audiences of these articles, and international conferences. I invite readers to empower their civic voices with the strongest comprehensive facts most important to building a brighter future. I challenge professionals, academics, and citizens to add their voices for the benefit of all Earth’s inhabitants.

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Carl Herman is a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History; also credentialed in Mathematics. He worked with both US political parties over 18 years and two UN Summits with the citizen’s lobby, RESULTS, for US domestic and foreign policy to end poverty. He can be reached at Carl_Herman@post.harvard.edu

Note: Examiner.com has blocked public access to my articles on their site (and from other whistleblowers), so some links in my previous work are blocked. If you’d like to search for those articles other sites may have republished, use words from the article title within the blocked link. Or, go to http://archive.org/web/, paste the expired link into the box, click “Browse history,” then click onto the screenshots of that page for each time it was screen-shot and uploaded to webarchive. I’ll update as “hobby time” allows; including my earliest work from 2009 to 2011 (blocked author pages: here, here).

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Panem et Presidential Elections

I know you like the elephants and the acrobats, but we really do not have time for this.

The U.S. presidential election is very far away. There’s a measurable rise in the ocean, the construction of numerous new military bases, a decision on peace or war with Iran, a push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, intense antagonization of Russia, and more than likely another month-long bombing of Gaza between now and then.

We should be engaged in intense, all-out, creative, nonviolent resistance. We should be reforming or revolutionizing the election process, among much else. Even when elections have not been financed and reported on primarily by a wealthy elite with debates run by two parties, they haven’t tended to be the means by which important social change has come.

We need radical change, and the election process isn’t even advertising it. One of the chief sources of U.S. election funding, Sheldon Adelson, dismisses the idea of democracy because it’s not in the Bible. And of course Adelson is up-to-date compared with some of the people he funds. At least 32 Republicans are running, apparently with a collective IQ that hardly reaches three figures. For them I’d be willing to revive the Confederacy, give it lots of flags, and locate it in the portions of the Southeast expected to fall below the rising ocean (as long as Donald Trump is charged extra for beach properties!).

Of course Jill Stein has great positions, but let’s face it, the Democrats are not up to the task. Hillary Clinton has replaced FDR’s four freedoms with “the four fights.” It turns out she’s in favor of families, America, democracy, and economics (who knew?), or at least she wants to fight with them. Oh, and she also wants to fight with Iran, ISIS, China, and Russia — each of which is apparently somehow harming our “values.” Then there’s Bernie Sanders who pretends that the 54% of federal discretionary spending that goes to militarism just doesn’t exist. Military? What military? Martin O’Malley has the same approach. Lincoln Chafee claims very briefly and vaguely to oppose wars. Jim Webb adds a bit more to his claim to oppose wars, but makes clear that he wants to fund militarism while expecting doing so not to produce more wars. Chafee and Webb are the worst on non-war issues, unless you compare Clinton’s and O’Malley’s actual records to their stated desires. Sanders is the best on non-war issues but might do little to slow the rush toward bigger and more frequent wars.

A decent candidate with a basic grasp of the problem of war addiction would say something like this, and no Democrat or Republican is anywhere close to saying it:

As president I will work to change U.S. relations with the rest of the world to relations of respect, cooperation, and demilitarization. A Gallup poll at the end of 2013 found the United States widely believed to be the top threat to peace in the world. One reason for that could be that the United States spends far more on militarism than any other nation, engages in more military actions abroad than any other nation, and maintains many times as many foreign military bases as all other nations combined — all at great human, financial, and environmental cost.

Preparing for wars does not need to be the primary thing we do. In the analysis of the National Priorities Project military spending is 54% of U.S. federal discretionary spending. In 2001, U.S. military spending was $397 billion, from which it soared to a peak of $720 billion in 2010, and is now at $610 billion in 2015. These figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (in constant 2011 dollars) exclude debt payments, veterans costs, and civil defense, which raise the figure to over $1 trillion a year now. We need to return to 2001 levels and reduce from there.

The attacks of September 11, 2001, did not happen because military spending was too low. Thousands of nuclear weapons were of no value against an attack that used box cutters. In fact, the increased spending has been increasing dangers rather than reducing them, as former President Dwight Eisenhower warned it might, and as our experts say it has. Former Directors of National Intelligence Michael Flynn and Dennis Blair have called the drone wars counterproductive, as has an internal CIA report. Michael Boyle, Former Counter-Terrorism Adviser, agrees, as does General James Cartwright, former Vice-Chair, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and former commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal. Flynn has said the same of the war on ISIS and the war begun in Iraq in 2003. Former CIA Bin Laden Unit Chief Michael Scheuer says the more the United States fights terrorism, the more it creates terrorism. Statistics seem to bear that out. Numerous other former top officials agree.

The United States is spending at least $100 billion a year on over 800 bases in 70 nations, not counting permanent ongoing trainings and exercises, even though airplanes now allow the U.S. to get troops anywhere in the world without keeping them permanently stationed abroad. We need to close these foreign bases, beginning with the large ones in Germany, Italy, Japan, and South Korea.

As president I will put a stop to the practice of giving free weaponry to Egypt, Israel, and other nations — which are not benefitted by increased militarism. And I will put a stop to the sale of weaponry to foreign nations, beginning with those guilty of serious human rights abuses.

As president I will abolish the presidential kill list, propose a global treaty banning weaponized drones, cease the practice of launching wars not authorized by Congress or the United Nations, maintain peace with Iran, remove the missile defense systems from Europe that were justified by the idea of a threat from Iran, propose a global treaty banning nuclear weapons, remove the United States from NATO, and initiate a process of democratizing the United Nations.

As president I will propose dramatic increases in investment, using funds withdrawn from military spending, including new investment in foreign aid, green energy, infrastructure, education, housing, tax cuts for the lowest incomes, and payment of debts. I will introduce a program of transition to assist communities and workers deprived of military industry jobs.

As president I will reward whistleblowers, end unconstitutional mass surveillance, forbid the transfer of war weaponry to local police departments, and appoint a Secretary of Peace to advise me and my cabinet on alternatives to war in resolving conflicts.

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Are Tech Giants’ New Buildings Signs of the Top?

When banks build new gleaming headquarters, that generally marks the top of the bank’s fortunes. There appears to be some sort of hubris in constructing a monumental new headquarters that shouts “we’re rich beyond all conception” that angers the stock market gods.

For this reason, we should ponder the glamorous new headquarters Facebook just completed and Apple’s “spaceship” campus that is under construction.Google’s plans for an ultra-modernist headquarters were recently tabled by the city of Mountain View, but the grandiose plans themselves may count as hubris to the stock market gods.

Here is an interior view of Facebook’s new digs: note that it’s literally dripping with arty decor:

Here is Facebook’s stock chart:

Here is a drone-cam view of Apple’s spaceship campus under construction:

Here is Apple’s stock chart:

An architectural rendering of Google’s proposed complex that was turned down by Mountain View CA:

Here is Google’s stock chart:

If pouring billions of dollars into outrageous “look at me” buildings isn’t tempting the gods, what is it? At the top, it is inconceivable that these buildings could be monuments not just to hubris but to excessive confidence in endless growth of revenues, profits and valuations.

The idea that these magnificent buildings might some day be half-empty does not occur to one in a thousand people at this juncture.

This is not to wish these tech giants ill, it is simply to note that projections based on permanently parabolic growth have a long history of crashing back to Earth when the true believers least expect it.

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America Is No Democracy. Here’s Proof:

Obama Prosecutes No Mega-Crooks. Hillary Also Wouldn’t. Would Sanders?

Eric Zuesse

The chief reason why the USA is no longer a democracy (if it ever was) is that its mega-criminals have impunity, just like kings and other dictators in countries that make little pretense to being a ‘democracy.’

Any country where someone stands above the law is a dictatorship, by those people, against the public — against everyone who is punishable by that nation’s executive, legal, and judicial, process, if they violate that country’s laws.

Any country where there are two classes of people, one class who are above the law, and another class who are subject to the law, is, by definition, a dictatorship, by the former group, over and against the latter mass. That’s what a dictatorship is — that’s what it consists of: an aristocracy and its agents, on the one hand; and the public on the other.

For example, George W. Bush still has not been prosecuted, nor even investigated by the U.S. Government under Obama, for his mega-crimes, from which not only Americans suffer, but people around the world suffered — and we all suffer them today.

He certainly was guilty of violating U.S. laws, including treaties that the U.S. had signed, against torture, even though he has never been prosecuted, nor so much as (in the U.S.) investigated, for any of the numerous crimes, organized crimes, RICO-type crimes, such as Hitler did and for which Hitler’s subordinates were hanged after foreign powers took over. (Hitler, of course, committed suicide.) Nor were Bush’s subordinates investigated for that. Obama has protected them all. If Hillary Clinton becomes President, she certainly won’t instruct her Attorney General to investigate either Bush’s crimes or Obama’s crimes (such as his protection of his predecessor from even being investigated for his numerous crimes). But would Sanders? If he wouldn’t, then no one would, and then there is no chance for the U.S. peacefully to become a democracy, because there will then remain two classes of people in the U.S. — the aristocrats and their agents (such as the U.S. Presidents they place into office) on the one hand, and the public on the other. (The law is applied against only the latter group, the public.) If this ongoing succession of criminal Presidents who let their predecessors off the hook continues, then unquestionably the United States is a land where crimes that are committed by the nation’s leadership are not and will not be prosecuted; so, it’s then an established dictatorship, because the nation’s leaders stand, and will continue to stand, above the law, and the law is applied only to punish and restrain the people down below in the social order.

Furthermore, as I first documented in a 2004 book and repeated in an 18 April 2015 online article, with documentation to the sources both times, George W. Bush definitely did lie (intentionally deceive) America into invading Iraq. At a 7 September 2002 joint press conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, he was asked, “Q Mr. President, can you tell us what conclusive evidence of any nuclear — new evidence you have of nuclear weapons capabilities of Saddam Hussein?” and he answered that a “new report … came out of the Atomic — the IAEA that they were six months away from developing a weapon. I don’t know what more evidence we need.” Immediately, the IAEA denied that they had issued any such “new report” at all, or had any evidence that Iraq after 1998 had restarted their WMD program, but the President never paid any attention to their statement denying his statement, nor did the U.S. press — they ignored this exposure of an obvious fabrication by the U.S. President. It was the only clear and outright lie by Bush (assisted by the compliant U.S. press) regarding WMD in Iraq as the ‘justification’ for invading Iraq. Others of Bush’s numerous ‘misstatements’ on WMD could be attributed to the CIA (and Bush never fired his CIA Director, even after he blamed the CIA after-the-fact when no WMD were found to be in Iraq), but this one was instead attributed to the IAEA — which they promptly denied to be true. Bob Woodward repeatedly said things like “A mistake certainly can be argued, and there is an abundance of evidence. But there was no lying in this that I could find.” But Woodward couldn’t find it because, like other ‘journalists,’ he didn’t even ask the IAEA about Bush’s allegation which they had promptly denied. U.S. ‘journalists’ (actually stenographers for the U.S. Government) reflexively trust U.S. Government sources, and the IAEA isn’t part of the U.S. Government (they’re neither Democrats nor Republicans) — so, they just ignored it (even though it’s what Bush in that statement had referred to as his source).

So: Bush unquestionably did lie his nation into invading Iraq. Under the precedent that was established at the Nuremberg Tribunals following WW II, that’s a hanging offense — and Germans were hung for such war-creating lies, back then. Obama’s refusing to apply accountability for that hanging crime by Bush has made Obama an accessory after-the-fact, selectively not applying the law regarding his predecessor’s enormous crime of aggression against another sovereign nation, which had posed no threat to the U.S., and, even under Bush’s lies wasn’t clearly indicated to constitute an invasion-worthy threat to the United States. The entire Bush Administration had to lie through their teeth in order to invade Iraq — and they did. And now, Obama is part of their crime.

On 26 March 2014, I headlined “Obama Definitely Lied About Having Intent to Prosecute Banksters,” and I linked to the sources on that. Although Obama was truthful when he told the assembled banksters in private that he would block any prosecution of them, he lied in public when he said the exact opposite: that he would “hold accountable those who broke the law” regarding those mortgage-backed securities and deceptions against both mortgagees and outside investors.

Subsequently, I listed and documented the following three categories of areas of crime that will need to be investigated and prosecuted regarding Barack Obama: (1) Torture. (2) Protecting Banksters. (3) Perpetrating Ethnic Cleansing Abroad.

On top of that, Ted Rall bannered, on 17 February 2015, “Obama Destroyed Libya,” and documented that “What he did to Libya is as bad as what Bush did to Iraq.” So: there really is no basis on which the question of which of those two U.S. Presidents was the worse can easily be answered. And, on top of that, Obama’s international ‘trade’ deals will produce even more damage to the public (and more benefit to the aristocracy) than Bill Clinton’s did.

Those might seem to be crimes by Republicans — they’re so far to the right — but under Obama they have also become crimes by Democrats. Our entire Federal Government is thus now what one reasonably expects from a dictatorship. We even have the type of press that one expects in a dictatorship.

If this country does not stop being a dictatorship as soon as the next President enters office, and prosecutions start against the prior two Presidents and their officials, then only a violent second American Revolution will stand any realistic possibility of restoring American democracy, and the sham pretenses that this country is a ‘democracy’ should simply end. Lying doesn’t do any good for anybody, except psychopaths. It’s doing lots of good for them. And that’s why it should stop, right now. We don’t need to wait for the next President for that.

There is no excuse for continuing the lying. None at all.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Posted in Business / Economics, General, Media, Politics / World News, propaganda | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

We Need a Crash to Sort the Wheat from the Chaff

When a speculator bought a new particle-board-and-paint McMansion in the middle of nowhere in 2007 with nothing down and a $500,000 mortgage, the lender and the buyer both considered the house as $500,000 of collateral. The lender counted the house as a $500,000 asset, and the speculator considered it his lottery ticket in the housing bubble sweepstakes: when (not if) the house leaped to $600,000, the speculator could sell, pay the commission and closing costs and skim the balance as low-risk profit.

But was the house really worth $500,000? That’s the trouble with assets bubbles inflated by central-bank/central-state intervention: when inefficient companies and inflated assets are never allowed to fall/fail, it’s impossible to tell the difference between real collateral and phantom collateral.

The implosion of the housing bubble led to an initial spike of price discovery. The speculator jingle-mailed the ownership of the poorly constructed McMansion to the lender, who ended up selling the home to another speculator who reckoned a 50% discount made the house cheap for $250,000.

But what was the enterprise value of the property, that is, how much revenue, cash flow and net income could the property generate in the open market as a rental? Comparables are worthless in terms of assessing collateral, because assets are mostly phantom collateral at bubble tops.

Let’s assume the enterprise value based on market rents was $150,000. The speculator who bought the house for $250,000 sold for a loss, and at the bottom of the cycle the house finally sold for its true value of $150,000.

Leveraged 20-to-1, the lender’s loss of $250,000 in collateral/capital unhinged $5 million of the lender’s portfolio as the capital supporting those loans vanished.

The first speculator who put nothing down suffered a loss of creditworthiness, and the second speculator lost $100,000 plus commissions when he dumped the property for a loss.

The only reliable metric of valuation is revenue, cash flow and net income, not at the top but in recession. One of the best ways to get burned/go broke is buying assets at the top of the speculative cycle and valuing them on projections of never-ending increases in revenues, cash flow and net income.

Then when recession crushes demand (as it inevitably does), revenues, cash flow and net income all plummet, and the buyer can no longer cover operating costs and interest payments.

In a highly leveraged financial system such as ours, when the phantom collateral vanishes, so does the illusion of solvency. Losses are forced down somebody’s throat– either the lender or the owner, or both.

When that happens, the ability of lenders and speculators to leverage debt on collateral is impaired: once the phantom collateral vanishes, there’s no foundation to support additional debt and leverage.

And once the ability to pile on more debt and leverage goes away, the entire debt-dependent financial system does what this building in China did: collapse.

Analysis of the Collapse Of 13-Story Building in China

Shanghai building collapse (Telegraph, UK)

The only way to sort the wheat (real collateral based on enterprise value) from the chaff (phantom collateral created by central banks’ speculative bubbles) is for a crash to force price discovery and the cramdown of losses.

 

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

11-minute video: Japan awakes to being an economic slave colony of the US, approaching revolution

hat tip: Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange and economist Marc Abela

Economist Marc Abela explains in the video that Japanese are awakening to the fact that their government serves interests other than those of the Japanese people:

  • Prime Minister Abe works for increasing and ongoing financial support of US unlawful and lie-began wars, including keeping the US military on bases in Japan.
  • Abe works for increased domestic surveillance similar to the US and UK.
  • Japan, as all former imperialist nations, creates what they use for money as debt. These mechanics are like adding negative numbers forever, and cause increasing, unpayable, tragic-comic total debt.
  • Despite Japan’s debt, they are a leading buyer of US debt with $1.2 trillion.
  • Robotics is not leveraged to decrease work time, but used to drive wages down and cause the people to work ever-increasing hours to survive.
  • Suicides are over 30,000 a year. Since the year 2000, more Japanese died from suicide than died from US atomic bombs at the end of WW2.
  • Japanese corporate media never get to the heart of the most important issues, operating as Emperor’s New Clothes minions for lies of omission and commission.

Marc’s analysis is that these increasingly public-crushing conditions to use the Japanese as work animals will lead to a form of revolution. As always, I recommend the public standing for Emperor’s New Clothes obvious arrests in the obvious areas of supporting unlawful Wars of Aggression, and the trillions-damaging criminal fraud of claiming debt is “money” and good for the public.

This is lawful revolution of the word’s Latin etymology: to turn around. Responsible citizens always and only turn from obvious crimes centering in war and money, demanding rule of law to stop criminal acts that yearly kill millions, harm billions, and loot trillions.

Obviously.

I also recommend the analysis of Japan-based journalist Benjamin Fulford for further documentation how Japan serves US .01% interests.

Cultural expression seems a variation of US distraction (6-minute video from Luke):

Earth economics is upside down; a tragic-comedy.

Accelerating technology can and should provide:

  • more personal freedom from labor,
  • more beauty in infrastructure and nature,
  • greater joy in our freedom to create and explore our beautiful, powerful, and diverse virtues (something like “resource-based economics” as researched by The Venus Project).

We know what we have is in contrived Orwellian opposition of what leadership should create. We know that what we receive is literal criminal fraud:

I could go on to literally ~100 areas of crucial concern.

Please understand that I represent likely hundreds of thousands of professionals making factual claims with objective evidence anyone with a high school-level of education can verify. For example, the June 2015 Seizing an Alternative conference (and here, videos here) at the Claremont Colleges had hundreds of professionals presenting data and solutions in over 80 areas of speciality. My paper and videos for this conference is here.

The purpose of education since the “Age of Enlightenment” is to present facts for public verification, and to seize the victory of refuting lies by would-be dictators, especially when such lies are obvious and of crucial public importance.

The path forward as we build a critical mass of humans recognizing the Emperor’s New Clothes truth is to demand arrests and solutions, obviously:

  1. ARRESTS: the first responsible action upon recognizing massive crimes that annually kill millions, harm billions, and loot trillions is to demand that law enforcement and military enact arrests of criminal leaders to stop the crimes and begin unwinding the truth of what happened in Earth’s tragic-comedy (four-part article series with videos on arrests as the obvious citizen response).
  2. SOLUTIONS: the .01% with corporate media have suppressed solutions documented beginning with Benjamin Franklin how government can abundantly operate without taxes: monetary and credit reform allow the public to have near-instant prosperity: full-employment, zero public deficits and debt, the best infrastructure we can imagine, falling prices, and release of public TRILLIONS held in “rainy day” accounts. Full documentation here.

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Note: I make all factual assertions as a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History, with all economics factual claims receiving zero refutation since I began writing in 2008 among Advanced Placement Macroeconomics teachers on our discussion board, public audiences of these articles, and international conferences. I invite readers to empower their civic voices with the strongest comprehensive facts most important to building a brighter future. I challenge professionals, academics, and citizens to add their voices for the benefit of all Earth’s inhabitants.

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Carl Herman is a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History; also credentialed in Mathematics. He worked with both US political parties over 18 years and two UN Summits with the citizen’s lobby, RESULTS, for US domestic and foreign policy to end poverty. He can be reached at Carl_Herman@post.harvard.edu

Note: Examiner.com has blocked public access to my articles on their site (and from other whistleblowers), so some links in my previous work are blocked. If you’d like to search for those articles other sites may have republished, use words from the article title within the blocked link. Or, go to http://archive.org/web/, paste the expired link into the box, click “Browse history,” then click onto the screenshots of that page for each time it was screen-shot and uploaded to webarchive. I’ll update as “hobby time” allows; including my earliest work from 2009 to 2011 (blocked author pages: here, here).

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Posted in General | 10 Comments

Obama Simply Switched from One War Crime Which Increases Terrorism to Another

It has now been proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that specific type of torture which the U.S. used during the Bush years was a war crime.

Top terrorism and interrogation experts agree that torture creates more terrorists.  Indeed, the leaders of ISIS were motivated by U.S. torture.  And French terrorist Cherif Kouchi told a court in 2005 that he wasn’t radical until he learned about U.S. torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

But all Obama has done is to transition to drone assassinations which – beyond any shadow of a doubt – are a war crime (more here and here), and create more terrorists than they stop.

As the eminent historian  Alfred McCoy notes:

Back in 2006 readers may well have dismissed that warning about “state-sponsored murder” as improbable, even irresponsible. But now this distinguished panel [which includes former FBI director William S. Sessions, former Army intelligence chief Claudia Kennedy, and former DEA director Asa Hutchinson] tells us that is exactly what has happened. Under President Obama, the torture issue has faded not from reform but because we are no longer taking prisoners since, as this report states, “the regime of capture and detention has been…supplanted in large measure by the use of drones.” By killing high value targets with drones, “the troublesome issues of how to conduct detention and interrogation operations are minimized.” In effect, we have slid down the slippery slope of human rights abuse to find extra-judicial killings awaiting us like an unwelcome specter at the bottom.

Postscript: In reality, the Obama regime has simply replaced Bush’s torture techniques with ones “that emphasize psychological torture,” and by outsourcing torture to our “allies.”

And Obama is committing other war crimes which increase terrorism, like – according to a group of CIA officers – arming Al Qaeda in Libya so they would overthrow Gaddaffi.

Posted in Politics / World News | 5 Comments

Detainees Subject to Coercive Interrogation Are 14 Times LESS Likely to Share Information Than Those Subjected to Peaceful, Tried and True Techniques

H20The Water Torture
Facsimile of a woodcut in J. Damhoudère’s
Praxis Rerum Criminalium,
Antwerp, 1556

Last November, the Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology published the results of a study on coercive interrogation versus interrogation in which the interrogator built rapport with the detainee.

The authors – professors at the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security and School of Psychology at Charles Stuart University, and the Department of Psychology, Middlesex University, London – found that detainees subjected to coercive interrogations are 14 times less likely to share important information than those subjected to tried and true rapport-building methods.

As the British Psychological Association – the representative body for psychology and psychologists in the UK – notes:

Past research (pdf) suggests that using torture as a way to extract information or confessions from terror suspects isn’t just unethical, it’s also ineffective. The advantage of rapport-building interrogation strategies (including respect, friendliness and empathy towards suspects) over more coercive techniques is highlighted once again in a new study that involved interviews with law enforcement interrogators and detainees.

The research involved 34 interrogators (1 woman) from several international jurisdictions including Australia, Indonesia and Norway. And there were 30 international detainees (1 woman), most of whom had been held on suspicion of terrorism, including people suspected of involvement with the Tamil Tigers or the Islamist group Ansar al Ismal based in Norway. One in five of the detainees reported being subjected to practices that constitute torture.

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The results were striking – disclosure was 14 times more likely to occur early in an interrogation when a rapport-building approach was used. Confessions were four times more likely when interrogators struck a neutral and respectful stance.

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The researchers said their results “augment the accumulating cross-national consensus about effective noncoercive best practices in investigative interviewing.”

Hard to believe? Think that getting tough is the best way to break hardened terrorists or criminals?

You’re wrong …  The FBI, Pentagon, Homeland SecurityCIA and all of the top interrogation experts agree that non-coercive methods work best.

Posted in Politics / World News, Science / Technology | 4 Comments

Economic grace of ‘Social Credit’: national dividend and compensated retail prices to facilitate consumer goods distribution in an age of robotics

by guest author Wallace Klinck

“The unacknowledged, but obvious, truth is that unnecessary work, imposed by either edict or contrived financial legerdemain, is slavery and servitude—totally irrational and immoral.  Every engineer worthy of the name is trying to eliminate the need for human effort as a factor of production while every witless or hypocritical politician, pressured by the financial powers above and an insecure and uncomprehending population below, is professing, at least, to promote policies designed to ‘put people back to work.’” (from the below article)

Five minute video of Major C.H. Douglas, founder of Social Credit (1934):

Because of its deleterious impact on personal freedom and initiative, centralization of both economic and political power is the critical issue facing society. The primary obstacle to reversing this growing concentration of power is an almost universal ignorance of the manner in which the existing financial system renders the price-system increasingly non-self-liquidating, making impossible the recovery of industrial production costs through sales. Institutions and individuals attempt to resolve this problem by resorting to bank debt, thereby obtaining access to the products of industry by the self-defeating expedient of mortgaging our future–i.e., transferring these costs as an exponentially growing debt charge against future cycles of production–and by engaging in an orgy of wasteful and destructive activities, effectively culminating in continuous war.

Their monopolistic proclivities disincline both Finance-Capitalism operating under the Monopoly of Credit and every form of collectivist organization (e.g., socialism, communism or fascism) from grappling with this problem.  The solution must entail an appropriate modification of the existing financial-credit and price system so as to properly facilitate distribution of the immense output of modern technology-based industry, in the context of expanding leisure.

Nearly a century ago this emergent challenge was studied in depth by the British engineer Clifford Hugh Douglas, who not only analyzed the defects of the existing price system as it functions under present financial and industrial cost-accounting conventions, but also put forward realistic remedial proposals.  Between and for a period after the World Wars, Douglas’s ideas, which he named “Social Credit”, attracted large numbers of adherents and spawned many political movements in countries around the world.

Douglas recognized that life is more than bread alone and that in order to attain his full stature man must be released from unnecessary material concerns in order to make time for matters of the Mind and Spirit. This clearly was inherent in certain much-neglected aspects of the message of Jesus, who explicitly stated that lack of faith is the reason for our obsession with toiling our own way to material survival. Jesus asked how we could doubt that God, who provides for the fish and birds and the beasts, knows our needs and will provide even better for us. On more than one occasion Jesus unconditionally distributed loaves and fishes to crowds that had gathered to hear him. To indicate how reality operates outside of puritanical human notions of morality, Jesus pointed out that his heavenly Father causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and lets rain fall on both the just and the unjust.

An aspect of this divine caring is the ability we have been given to accumulate understanding of natural laws, which has resulted in an endless extension of “mechanical advantage”—termed by Social Crediters the Unearned Increment of Association—from which has emerged our amazing modern technology with its outflow of material abundance. Through learning how to associate effectively in the areas of both human endeavours and material resources, we have multiplied our productive capacity many thousands, if not millions, of times over.  The historical aggregation of Unearned Increments has provided the vast Cultural Heritage upon which we all so greatly, if unconsciously, depend.

This is the background of why Social Credit came to be perceived by its leading thinkers as “practical Christianity”. Although Douglas did not set out to design it as such, ongoing development of Social Credit thought has revealed it to be uniquely consonant with and revelatory of the assurances given by the founder of the Christian faith.

This realistic perception of our situation is absent from the major ideologies of our time.  For example, Libertarians promote the notion that the individual must “make it on his/her own”. No one today (apart maybe from individuals lost in the wilderness) is doing this; all have the benefit of the Cultural Heritage, which ties us in a web of dependencies not only with our contemporaries but also with previous generations.

Socialism, which calls for State ownership and administration of the means of production—the central planning of the economy and of human activity—similarly endeavors to alienate people from their heritage.  Besides specifically attacking the very principle of inheritance, Socialists force the energies of the members of society into mandatory employment in projects prescribed by the State. Suppression of individual initiative is an inevitable result of this constraint of access to the possibilities afforded by the richness of the Cultural heritage. This observation applies to all forms of “socialism”, whether national or international in nature.

Social Credit is the inverse of socialism and a negation of finance capitalism.  Many persons have it in their minds that a sharing society necessarily is socialistic; i.e., power centralizing. Presumably they think this way on the erroneous assumption that the sharing will be accomplished by redistributing existing wealth by means of various confiscatory forms of taxation.  However, Social Credit, uniquely, stands not for redistribution of earned incomes, but rather for distribution of consumer goods at source as they emerge from the production line.

Douglas enunciated and stressed the truism that production without consumption is sheer futility and waste.

The fundamental task of economic policy is to match and balance the cycles of consumption and production.  Producers’ costs cannot be recovered without money received from consumers, whose incomes alone provide business its means to liquidate all financial costs of production.

In order to effect this balance, Douglas recommended that National (Consumer) Dividends and Compensated (lowered) Prices at point of retail sale must be provided and financed by a Government Agency (created or existing, whatever is most efficient and convenient) with funds not derived from taxation but drawn down from a properly constructed National Credit Account.  This would be a continuously updated actuarial accounting of the nation’s real credit, being an inventory of all those resources which are available to be used for production and which, if so used, may result in the making of financial prices.

Unfortunately, the public are conditioned to reason from the false assumption that the economic “pie” is limited to the financial incomes paid out in production, and hence they perceive this as the only possible source of funding. This assumption includes the erroneous corollary that the price-system is self-liquidating; i.e., that incomes paid out as wages, salaries and dividends are not only equal to, but available to meet, the total financial costs of production. That this is a major fallacy is readily proved by the enormous accumulation of inflationary private and public debt created as loans by the banking system, which allows goods to be purchased after a fashion but does not liquidate their financial costs of production in a synchronized fashion.  As a kind of stop-gap expedient, these loans merely transfer these costs into the future, to be liquidated with income derived from later cycles of production unrelated to the cycles in which they were incurred.

The physical (i.e., real) costs of production are met as production takes place. Obviously, if this were not the case, production could not proceed.  This is self-evident and axiomatic. When goods are produced in finished form they are meant to be used and should be immediately available to the overall consuming public in toto and without entailing any residual financial debt.

This universal piling-up of debt is bogus and is required only because price increasingly includes, as real capital replaces labor as a factor of production, allocated charges in respect of real capital which are not distributed as income in the same cycle of production. Consumer income is cancelled prematurely, leaving a growing deficiency of income relative to the total prices of goods awaiting purchase. In other words, the flow of final prices increasingly exceeds the flow of effective financial purchasing-power. Purchasing-power is prematurely cancelled in respect of still existing real capital, whereas it should be cancelled only at the rate of actual physical consumption or depletion.  Money should be issued at the rate of production and cancelled at the rate of consumption

In the face of this predicament, we can simply forgo acquisition of these goods, leaving the producer no option but to warehouse or destroy them and go bankrupt—making his endeavors a mindless exercise in futility. Or we can ensure that, while required remaining actual “workers” (i.e., recipients of remuneration from others for services rendered) continue to have the benefit of their earnings, all citizens, workers included, have access to the full output of industry by being provided adequate aggregate purchasing-power to make this possible.

Besides being a practical necessity, such an arrangement recognizes the share all have in the almost fantastic Cultural Heritage of Civilization. In a Social Credit dispensation, Inheritance would be generalized.

In stark contrast is the socialist attitude, which is that inheritance is evil and should be abolished.

Social Credit stands most definitely, unashamedly and unabashedly, for a sharing society—and as labor is increasingly reduced by technology it would become more sharing with the passage of time. Unlike Socialism, which in reality has always been more about centralized control than about sharing, Social Credit does not involve State ownership, planning or administration of the economy or of social organization as such. By giving people as individuals full access to the ever-increasing abundance made possible by technology and to concomitant economic independence, it is in fact highly decentralizing.

The rational purpose of technology is to eliminate inefficiency, and “jobs” concocted merely for the sake of distributing incomes are precisely that—mere wasted energy and materials.  The solution to the problem of economic insecurity in the modern age of super-production does not lie primarily in “making” work, but increasingly in facilitating

distribution.  Those who clamor for “jobs” actually visualize a model along the lines of fascist and communist states, which give and demand of everyone endless work throughout their lifetime, in accordance with the rather suspect dictum that “work will make you free”—but not until you die.

The unacknowledged, but obvious, truth is that unnecessary work, imposed by either edict or contrived financial legerdemain, is slavery and servitude—totally irrational and immoral.  Every engineer worthy of the name is trying to eliminate the need for human effort as a factor of production while every witless or hypocritical politician, pressured by the financial powers above and an insecure and uncomprehending population below, is professing, at least, to promote policies designed to “put people back to work.”

Frankly, if I desire “work”, then I want to do it by my own choice and at my own leisure, increasingly freed from the enforced conformity and servitude of the existing system.

We should not be striving to provide more, and more, human work but rather more technological productive efficiency with augmented effective consumer purchasing-power capable of eliminating consumer debt and liquidating industrial costs in a timely manner.  Let robots do the work.  Tirelessly and without complaint, they perform the vast majority of it better than people can.

You want more work?  Then let’s have another war—or, better yet, continuous wars until we end up destroying the whole planet or all life upon it.

Indeed, the flaws in the current financial system provide a constant incentive for military war, which normally is just an extension of economic war. Unbalanced international trade is driven by the increasing inherent orthodox need to export—not to receive an equivalent of real wealth in return, but to capture financial credits from other nations to compensate for the internal intrinsic deficiency of consumer purchasing-power that exists in the domestic price-system of every nation.

Anyone who does not understand this compulsive destructive dynamic of the modern financial-economic system is totally unqualified even to comment on our economic position.

The abundance that technology makes possible should set men and women free from physical want, increasingly enabling them to choose independently and without duress their preferred activities in life. As opposed to the ubiquitous Keynesian, cognitively dissonant, counterfeit socialist concept of “economic democracy” as a centralized administrative proletarian Work-State, Social Credit gives real meaning to the concept of economic democracy by favoring a consumer-motivated system of production.

C. H. Douglas stressed the importance of understanding policy by tracing its pedigree.  From a metaphysical standpoint, Social Credit would be a practical, physical incarnation of the Christian Doctrine of Salvation by Unearned Grace—in contradistinction to the prevailing Judaic conception, and system, of Salvation through Works. The current financial system is predicated upon a materialist philosophy characterizable as do ut des,  meaning “this for that”—in other words, that nothing can be obtained except it be earned, that, as the saying goes, “There is no free lunch”. It is the underlying principle of the madness-inducing doctrine of “Salvation through Works”.

Hence, the existing financial system issues money only as debt for production and never for consumption, except in the latter case as debt which must be acquitted by future work This policy of issuing money only for work might have had some basis in equity in the primitive economy where production was primarily due to human effort. It makes no rational or moral sense whatever in the modern highly technological economy where non-human factors of production predominate and human intervention becomes increasingly a mere, although essential, catalyst within a vast productive complex.

Social Credit coheres profoundly with the Christian philosophy of Salvation through Unearned Grace–Grace being an outright gift from God. Spiritual Grace has, or should have, a physical counterpart, or incarnation, in the economic or material realm. Thus, from this philosophical standpoint access to consumer goods and services should increasingly be justified not by work alone but rather by the individual’s share in an inalienable inheritance of the communal capital that has accumulated over the ages.  The effect of growth of our historic Cultural Heritage has always been to advance the potential for faster, more diversified and less wasteful productivity, with an accompanying potential for enhanced human leisure.

Christian philosophy holds that it is a major sin to make an end of a means. The rational purpose and end of production is consumption, not to create work (a means). An economic system should provide goods and services for mankind as efficiently as possible with minimal trouble and effort for all concerned.

One might ask how it is possible for a nation such as the United States of America, professedly predicated upon Christian principles, to base its entire economy and social structure upon a financial system that is a total inversion of those principles. A clue to this strange contradiction may be found in Douglas’s observation that Finance and the Established Media are concentric. As a result, he said, society has been hypnotized, with the consequence that only a drastic de-hypnotization can save it.

If society can pursue a continuous, destructive, malevolent and malignant policy of devastating the continents and populations of foreign nations, then surely we can easily pursue instead the civilized alternative of providing (Consumer) Dividends and Compensated (lowered) Retail Prices to support a secure and leisured life for our citizens.  Under the existing iniquitous financial system we are driven to deliver those potential Dividends to other nations in the form of bombs.  This would appear to be insanity by any rational criterion, but it satisfies the overarching irrational one of providing plenty of “jobs” and “incomes” (not to mention “profits”)—albeit at the additional cost of stupendous physical waste, human suffering and a massive, exponentially expanding financial mortgage burdening our future.  This too would appear to be insanity, but apparently not to members of the banking fraternity, which finances it all with conspicuously detached equanimity.

Surely the time is long past when individuals and nations should have stopped “fighting” amongst themselves and instead concentrated their intelligence, energies and talents on demanding reality-grounded financial and economic policies.

I hope that the above commentary may help to clarify some of the major questions and issues often raised about Social Credit.

Dr. Oliver Heydorn has recently published a major informative book, comprehensively incorporating C. H. Douglas’s essential ideas. Refer:  http://www.socred.org

See also:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_credit

http://social-credit.blogspot.ca

http://www.socialcredit.com.au

http://socialcredit.schooljotter2.com

___________________________________________________________

The author was born during the so-called “Great Depression” when in 1935 the historic election of the world’s first “Social Credit” Government in the Province of Alberta, Canada startled the pundits and alarmed the global financial powers.  In later years he became acquainted with several Cabinet Ministers of that Government.  His close mentor was Mr. Leslie Denis Byrne, O.B.E., a British actuary and technical expert in Social Credit who was sent, with a colleague, from Britain by C. H. Douglas to advise the fledgling new Provincial Administration. The author holds baccalaureate degrees in Arts and Education. In Arts, he majored in political science, and minored in economics. In Education, he majored in social studies, secondary route.

Appreciation is expressed to Robert E. Klinck, M.A. for his considerate and patient assistance in editing this essay.

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Perhaps This Is Obama’s Grand Strategy

Eric Zuesse

Washingtonsblog’s anonymous founder and principal commentator is one of the most deeply knowledgeable writers on current events, and on July 19th he headlined “Governments Worldwide Will Crash the First Week of October … According to 2 Financial Forecasters.” He noted that both Martin Armstrong and Larry Edelson, two of the most respected stock-market predictors, are independently of each other predicting that “virtually all governments worldwide will be hit with a gigantic economic crisis in the first week of October 2015,” due to “a collapse of government solvency” as ricocheting government defaults spiral each other downward; and, because the U.S. won’t be forced to crash as quickly as Europe and Japan, there will then be a temporary worldwide rush into U.S. corporate stocks and bonds, especially stocks, as the short-term safe haven for investors fleeing from sovereign (government) bonds.

The next day, July 20th, Michael Meier’s German Economic News bannered “Clear Signs of Relaxation Between Obama and Putin,” and reported: “The nuclear deal with Iran and the withdrawal of heavy weapons by the rebels in the eastern Ukraine are clear signs of a détente between Russia and the US. The EU now needs to quickly develop their own strategy. Otherwise, the Europeans will have to pay for the chaos in Ukraine.” The article continues, addressing Europeans:

Your countries have to pay an enormous price for the sanctions [against Russia, and, earlier, against Iran]. With regard to a possible new global economic crisis, the loss of the Russian sales market has been devastating. The hope to do business quickly after the nuclear deal with Tehran could prove to be an illusion. Even the lightning-trip by Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel to Tehran will change little. Unlike Russia, the EU towards Iran continued business with Iran during the sanctions, but was stubborn to pay the extra cost of following U.S. requirements. Meanwhile, Russia has caught up technologically and is now sure to be able to step up its exports to Iran and outside of the arms industry [and thus will be less dependent upon imports from Europe after the anti-Russia sanctions are lifted].

The greatest danger, however, threatening the EU financially is in Ukraine: The EU echoed US policy there [though, unlike the U.S., the EU has lost hugely from U.S. Ukrainian policy]: [This U.S. policy was] Ukraine should join the EU and end all connections with Russia. For the U.S., Ukraine is far away, no real trading-partner [though it might become one after the February 2014 change of government in Ukraine. Not so for Europe: Ukraine is now, in effect, inside Europe.]. …

The reckless Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine took the European taxpayer immediately into the obligation: As in Greece, the Americans will insist that Europeans must keep Ukraine financially afloat. [Whereas the U.S. has few financial obligations there, the EU now is committed to Ukraine via its post-February-2014 Association Agreement. And Russia has already lost what it had risked in Ukraine, and now is relatively immune to Ukraine’s continuing collapse.] The Russians can always carry out their threat, and stop the gas deliveries through Ukraine [if the EU does not pay Ukraine, and Ukraine not pay Russia]. …

The costs of the “rescue” of Ukraine will exceed those for Greece many times.

So, with Japan’s having postponed its crash as long as possible, and the EU’s crash being now imminent, a flood of foreign billionaires’ cash into U.S. equities seems assured.

Now consider this 12 March 2013 explanation from me of how the Obama Administration, with the acquiescence of both Parties in Congress, simply postposed until at least 2019 what will probably be the biggest U.S. economic crash ever, and focus especially upon this graph in that article:

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 10.58.42 AM

The article explains: “So, basically, another Great Depression seems to be predicted here. According to their model, it will probably happen after the interest-rate on 10-year Treasuries rises above 5.2%, when the unrealism of current official projections has become sufficiently clear to the world so that the federal debt resumes soaring and the interest-portion of federal expenditures rises similarly. That would be some time after 2018.”

However: What would happen if, in, say, October 2015, all the rest of the industrialized world crashes and their investors are pouring into U.S. equities? In that case, the Federal Reserve will be able to end their QE and raise U.S. interest rates beyond the magical 5.2% with impunity.

Has Obama’s strategy been to weaken all other major economies so that the U.S. will still be able to avoid a collapse even while the wealth-disparity between America’s rich and poor continues getting ever-wider (largely via the Fed’s monetary policies reinforcing the fiscal policies from a heavily Republican pro-austerity Congress)? For example, is this part of the reason for what Obama has been doing to Ukraine, and to Russia, and soon stopping doing to Iran? Has he been preparing to get foreign aristocrats to pour their money into Wall Street?

If this is true, then how did he manage to get the EU to cooperate with this policy, which is economically suicidal for them? What are even European aristocracies expecting to win from this? Obviously, the European public lose enormously: their former welfare states will transform, like in Greece and in Ukraine, into high-tax low-welfare virtual national prisons, even as refugees pour into them from the wars that America has largely engineered in northern Africa and in Ukraine. Is Obama a brilliant psychopath?

These questions are not hyperbollic. Clearly, Obama is a brilliant and enormously successful liar. Clearly, benign interpretations of his Presidency are either stupid or lying, and they can’t explain in any intelligently credible way his actions, nor comport his actions with his words. For some reason, Americans assume that they should continue trusting him, and much of the rest of the world does, too, even though he is on record as being a strong defender of lying in political matters — he believes that politicians have an unlimited right to lie to the public.

How long will the public’s suckerdom continue, and why has it continued as long as it has?

———-

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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Governments Worldwide Will Crash the First Week of October … According to 2 Financial Forecasters

Update: Please see correction at the end.

Two well-known financial forecasters claim that virtually all governments worldwide will be hit with a gigantic economic crisis in the first week of October 2015.

Armstrong Painting
Martin Armstrong

 

Martin Armstrong is a controversial market analyst who correctly predicted the 1987 crash, the top of the Japanese market, and many other market events … more or less to the day.   Many market timers think that Armstrong is one of the very best.

(On the other hand, he was jailed for 11 years on allegations of contempt, fraud and an alleged Ponzi scheme. Armstrong’s supporters say the government jailed him on trumped-up charges as a way to try to pressure him into handing over his forecasting program).

Armstrong has predicted for years that governments worldwide would melt down in a crisis of insolvency and lack of trust starting this October.  Specifically, Armstrong predicts that a major cycle will turn on October 1, 2015, shifting investors’ trust from the public sector and governments to the private sector.

Unlike other bears who predict that the stock market is about to collapse, Armstrong predicts that huge sums of capital will flow from bonds and the Euro into American stocks.  So he predicts a huge bull market in U.S. stocks.

Edelson Paint Painting
 Larry Edelson

 

Edelson is another long-time student of cycle theory.  Edelson – a big fan Armstrong – has also studied decades of data from the Foundation for the Study of Cycles.

Edelson is predicting the biggest financial crisis in world history – including a collapse of government solvency – starting on October 7, 2015 – the same week as Armstrong’s prediction – when the European Union breaks up.

Edelson also thinks that huge sums of investment will flow from the Eurozone to America, driving up U.S. stocks (unlike Armstrong, Edelson thinks U.S. bonds will also benefit). He thinks that Japan will be the next domino to fall … and that Japan’s default will also drive investments into the U.S. as a safe haven.

In other words, both Armstrong and Edelson think that – as the best looking horse in the glue factory – the U.S. stock market will skyrocket as others fall apart.

But to be clear, both believe that the domino collapse will eventually hit the U.S., and America will end up defaulting on its debts – and falling into financial crisis – as well.

Are Armstrong and Edelson right or wrong?

We don’t have long to wait to test their very public predictions …

Note: Here’s more on Armstrong and Edelson.

Correction: Several people have pointed out that Armstrong is not predicting that the crisis will be felt on October 1, 2015. Rather, he’s forecasting that October 1st is a major turning point, but that the governmental financial crisis may not be felt until some months later.

Posted in Business / Economics, Politics / World News | 16 Comments

Top U.S. Warfighting Experts: Drones INCREASE Terrorism

Drone2

The former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency and director of Intelligence for the Joint Special Operations Command (3-Star General Mike Flynn) says in an interview set to air later this month:

When you drop a bomb from a drone … you are going to cause more damage than you are going to cause good.

Pressed by the interviewer about whether drone strikes create more terrorists than they kill, the general responded:

I don’t disagree with that.

Clinton and Bush’s counter-terror czar (Richard Clarke) – the guy who created the drone assassination program – says that Obama’s drone assassination program is “creating terrorists rather than eliminating them.”

Top CIA officers say that drone strikes increase terrorism (and see this).  Indeed, the CIA warned Obama that drone strikes might be counter-productive from a national security standpoint.

4-star general Stanley McChrystal – former Commander of the International Security Assistance Force, Commander of all U.S. Forces Afghanistan, Director, Joint Staff, and Commander, Joint Special Operations Command – said:

What scares me about drone strikes is how they are perceived around the world. The resentment created by American use of unmanned strikes…is much greater than the average American appreciates. They are hated on a visceral level, even by people who’ve never seen one or seen the effects of one.

McChrystal explained:

For every innocent person you kill, you create 10 new enemies.

Michael Boyle – a member of Obama’s counter-terrorism advisory group in the run-up to the 2008 election – conducted a study which found:

[Most Americans remained] unaware of the scale of the drone programme…and the destruction it has caused in their name.[Drones are having] adverse strategic effects [by causing hatred among the local populations where US bombs fall and also by] encouraging a new arms race that will empower current and future rivals and lay the foundations for an international system that is increasingly violent.

report by researchers at the Stanford and NYU schools of law found  that the drone program is “terrorizing” the people of Pakistan and that it is having “counterproductive” effects.  T]e report finds … the drone war has helped recruitment efforts of extremist groups like al-Qaeda.

And see this and this.

Of course, the failure of drone strikes in Yemen to curb radicals – and the rise of ISIS – show that the entire policy is an abject failure.

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Thousands of Refugees Flee Northward from Greece

http://deutsche-wirtschafts-nachrichten.de/2015/07/18/tausende-fluechtlinge-fliehen-aus-griechenland-in-richtung-norden/

Thousands of Refugees Flee Northward from Greece

Translated by Eric Zuesse, from German Economic News  |  as published: 21:40 clock 18:07:15 [18 July 2015] 

The precarious situation in Greece means that thousands of refugees are making their way to northern Europe. There, the reaction is increasingly panicked: The Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer has announced plans to fend off refugees with “rigorous measures.” In Germany, there have been several attacks on asylum facilities. In Italy and the Czech Republic, there were demonstrations and riots.

Dramatic scenes at the station of Gevgelija in Macedonia: Refugees from Greece fight for a place in a train to the north. (Photos: AP)

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 3.38.51 PM

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 3.34.39 PM

Everyone wants to come along. (Photo: AP)

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 3.40.01 PM

Trains to Serbia are overcrowded. (Photo: AP)

The following is from Italy’s Meridiana TV on July 17th, showing an anti-immigrant demonstration just north of Rome:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=-e5Nv7IMcgs

On Friday, tumult came to the station from Gevgelija in Macedonia (as shown in the AP photos above). Thousands of refugees flooded there heading northward due to the unclear situation and the rapidly deteriorating conditions in Greece. They try to get into the EU via Serbia from Macedonia. On Greek Islands the humanitarian conditions are unbearable. 

However, on the Greek mainland, refugees at the moment also have little prospect of improvement: The Greek Orthodox Church considers itself unable to cope with them in addition to the problems of their own people. German Economic News is informed that some monasteries have three times as many people to feed than free meals available to feed them. The problem for the monasteries is that they are the first to feel the financial restrictions. Cash is scarce because of the 60-euro limit for withdrawals — therefore in Greece, charities that were always very generous must now set strict priorities. They need the cash for their own families. Social services suffer a noticeable decline in donations, due to the economic crisis.

Reception conditions for refugees are “very precarious,” according to the Commissioner for Refugees of the United Nations, António Guterres. “And the conditions for integration into Greek society are also extremely precarious.”

YTD 80,000 migrants already had come to Greece before the crisis. Many were traveling through Greece to other countries, and this continues. “Therefore, we are seeing more and more a movement of refugees from Greece to Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and then continuing northward,” Guterres said.

The United Nations cooperated with the Greek government in the construction of the asylum system. Support for the refugees should “be the responsibility of the European Union,” Guterres said.

Instead, the EU follows, after the rejection of a quota by the Eastern Europeans and France, a different strategy, and prepares for the possible onslaught with defensive measures: Hungary has announced its intention to construct a border fence to prevent refugees from reaching its cities. This has also been proposed in Italy, because the refugees, according to north Italian regional politicians, interfere with tourism [an essential industry there].

On Saturday night, went up in flames in Remchingen (Baden-Württemberg) a vacant former clubhouse, after a remodeling to prepare for refugees to move in during 2016. Early Saturday morning in Lower Franconia Waldaschaff a paper trashcan burned in the garage of a refugee hostel [perhaps lit by locals]. At the time about 18 people were in the house, but no one was injured. The building itself was not damaged.

And before that, on Thursday night, unknown person(s) in Bavaria Reichertshofen set fire to two entrances at a building complex, which is planned to house starting in September, 67 asylum seekers. A motorist noticed this fire shortly after midnight. Firefighters then arrived, but already two floors and the roof had burned.

The Messaggero and the  Corriere della Sera report that in Rome on Friday occurred clashes with police because a crowd demanded the withdrawal of refugees from a camp. The atmosphere was extremely aggressive (see video at the beginning of the article)

In Prague there have been demonstrations for and against immigrants.The news portal Novinky.cz showed around a thousand people signed for a rally organized by the right-wing National Democrats, against immigration, and for separation of the Czech Republic from the European Union. A large contingent of police prevented clashes with hundreds of participants in a demonstration against right-wing extremists which had earlier begun. The protesters fought against the extremists mainly shouting matches, but occasionally there were also minor scuffles.

About a month ago numerous Czech right-wing extremists had been met in the Slovak capital Bratislava with violent incidents on the edge of a demonstration against the admission of refugees and the “Islamisation of Europe.”

CSU [Christian Social Union, rightwing Bavarian party] chief Horst Seehofer wants to further reduce the record number of asylum seekers from South Eastern Europe by using “rigorous measures.” About 40 percent of asylum seekers come from the Western Balkans, Seehofer said on Saturday at the Lower Bavarian CSU district convention in Essenbach. “The acceptance rate is zero. So it can not go on.” He was confronted daily by complaints from local politicians, that there are no more buildings and areas for accommodation. “We have found this 40 percent abuse, one can say the mass abuse, and must adjust accordingly.”

In summer, accommodation is still feasible — “but then awaits the fall and winter,” and Seehofer predicted problems during the cold season. “Therefore, we need to have these issues with the Western Balkans solved now, so that we can say to our people, We have stopped the abuse “

The issue of asylum is, in Seehofer’s assessment, so explosive that it could destabilize the established structure of German politics. “This issue can change the party,” the CSU leader said then at the district congress of the CSU at Barbing in the Upper Palatinate. At the same time, he stressed that Bavaria would continue to accept refugees from Syria and other war zones. The CSU must lead the debate in facts and should not in slogans. “We do not want to strengthen even more the seduction from the political right.”

———-

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Posted in Business / Economics, General, Media, Politics / World News | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments