Political Articles from 2018

Ten Years After the Crash, We’ve Learned Nothing

[Economic]
Ten Years After the Crash, We’ve Learned Nothing
by Matt Taibbi
Posted September 20, 2018

Wall st sees results of its actionsTen years ago, on Saturday, September 13th, 2008, the world was about to end.

The New York Federal Reserve was a zoo. Imagine NASA headquarters on the day a giant asteroid careens into the atmosphere. That was the New York Fed: all hands on deck, peak human panic.

The crowd included future Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, then-Treasury Secretary (and former Goldman Sachs CEO) Hank Paulson, the representatives of multiple regulatory offices, and the CEOs of virtually every major bank in New York, each toting armies of bean counters and bankers.

The asteroid metaphor fit. In the twin collapses of top-five investment bank Lehman Brothers and insurance giant AIG, Wall Street saw a civilization-imperiling ball of debt hurtling its way. More…

Central Banks Have Gone Rogue, Putting Us All at Risk

[Economic]
Central Banks Have Gone Rogue, Putting Us All at Risk
by Ellen Brown
Posted September 17, 2018

privately owned Central Banks buying stocksExcluding institutions such as Blackrock and Vanguard, which are composed of multiple investors, the largest single players in global equity markets are now thought to be central banks themselves. An estimated 30 to 40 central banks are invested in the stock market, either directly or through their investment vehicles (sovereign wealth funds).

The result, as noted in a January 2017 article at Zero Hedge, is that central bankers, “who create fiat money out of thin air and for whom ‘acquisition cost’ is a meaningless term, are increasingly nationalizing the equity capital markets.” Or at least they would be nationalizing equities, if they were actually “national” central banks. But the Swiss National Bank, the biggest single player in this game, is 48 percent privately owned, and most central banks have declared their independence from their governments. They march to the drums not of government but of private industry. More…

Two Knockout Blows to US Imperialism: De-Dollarization and Hypersonic Weapons

[Politics]
Two Knockout Blows to US Imperialism: De-Dollarization and Hypersonic Weapons
by Federico Pieraccini
Posted September 17, 2018

new strategic allianceIn the current multipolar world in which we live, economic and military factors are decisive in guaranteeing countries their sovereignty. Russia and China seem to be taking this very seriously, committed to the de-dollarization of their economies and the accelerated development of hypersonic weapons.

The transition phase we are going through, passing from a unipolar global order to a multipolar one, calls for careful observation. It is important to analyze the actions taken by two world powers, China and Russia, in defending and consolidating their sovereignty over the long term. Observing decisions taken by these two countries in recent years, we can discern a twofold strategy. One is economic, the other purely military. In both cases we observe strong cooperation between Moscow and Beijing. The merit of this alliance is paradoxically attributed to the attitude of various US administrations, from George Bush Senior through to Obama. The special relationship between Moscow and Beijing has been forged by a shared experience of Washington’s pressure over the last 25 years. More…

Trump Takes on the Fed

[Economic]
Trump Takes on the Fed
by Ellen Brown
Posted September 17, 2018

stock marketEver since the 1970s, the Fed and other central banks have insisted on their independence from political control. But according to Timothy Canova, Professor of Law and Public Finance at Nova Southeastern University, independence has really come to mean a central bank that has been captured by very large banking interests. It might be independent of oversight by politicians, but it is not a neutral arbiter. This has not always been the case. During the period coming out of the Great Depression, says Canova, the Fed as a practical matter was not independent but took its marching orders from the White House and the Treasury; and that period was the most successful in American economic history.

According to Bernard Lietaer, a former Belgian central banker who has written extensively on monetary innovation, the real job of central bankers today is to serve the banking system by keeping the debt machine going. More…

I traced missile casings in Syria back to their original sellers

[Justice]
I traced missile casings in Syria back to their original sellers
by Robert Fisk
Posted September 14, 2018

US missles in Al-Queda possesionReaders, a small detective story. Note down this number: MFG BGM-71E-1B. And this number: STOCK NO 1410-01-300-0254. And this code: DAA A01 C-0292. I found all these numerals printed on the side of a spent missile casing lying in the basement of a bombed-out Islamist base in eastern Aleppo last year. At the top were the words “Hughes Aircraft Co”, founded in California back in the 1930s by the infamous Howard Hughes and sold in 1997 to Raytheon, the massive US defence contractor whose profits last year came to $23.35bn (£18bn). Shareholders include the Bank of America and Deutsche Bank. Raytheon’s Middle East offices can be found in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Egypt, Turkey and Kuwait.

There were dozens of other used-up identical missile casings in the same underground room in the ruins of eastern Aleppo, with sequential codings; in other words, these anti-armour missiles – known in the trade as Tows, “Tube-launched, optically tracked and wire-guided missiles” – were not individual items smuggled into Syria through the old and much reported CIA smugglers’ trail from Libya. These were shipments, whole batches of weapons that left their point of origin on military aircraft pallets. More…

The karma of ‘blowback’

[Spiritual]
The Karma of ‘Blowback’
by Philip Farruggio
Posted September 9, 2018

karma of blowbackThe late Chalmers Johnson wrote a great and timely as hell book entitled Blowback (2000). In it, he discussed how our American Empire (I call it the Military industrial Empire) has seen its sins come back to repeatedly haunt us all. Interesting how one year after his book was published 9/11 occurred. This was a ‘dual blowback’ to our empire because

A) we supported the Mujahedeen fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan who then created the repressive Taliban while simultaneously spreading a fanatical Islamic mindset throughout East Asia and the Middle East; and

B) By propping up a myriad of dictatorships in those regions for generations our country has had the blood of innocents on our hands. The Shah of Iran and his secret police (Savak), Saddam Hussein who our CIA nurtured into power, the House of Saud and their repressive non-democratic Saudi Arabia… need I go on? And then our ‘idiot emperor’ Bush Jr. had the nerve to ask why they hate us! More…

The Whole System Is Rigged

[Politics]
The Whole System Is Rigged
by Chris Martenson
Posted September 7, 2018

the system is riggedRecently I’ve been frustrated by the efforts to convince Americans that our democracy is under attack by outside agents when there’s ample evidence — concrete, hard, firm evidence which I’ve repeatedly covered — that US elections have been spitting out improbable and even sometimes impossible election results for the past 14 years, ever since insecure, low-integrity eVoting platforms and central tabulators were introduced.

Yes, nefarious agents may well indeed be undermining our democracy. But the real villains appear much more domestic than foreign.

There’s nothing more poisonous to the notion of democracy than fraudulent election outcomes. Nothing. And yet the number of people rising up in protest on this issue may as well be zero, as long as we’re rounding to the nearest whole percentage. Meanwhile millions are up in arms about the still-unproven allegations that Russia tipped the recent presidential elections with a laughably tiny amount of social media ads. More…

Regeneration: Solving the Immigration and Climate Crises at the Same Time

[Spiritual]
Regeneration: Solving the Immigration and Climate Crises at the Same Time
By Ronnie Cummins
Posted September 7, 2018

we are not addressing the root causes of migrationMost of the media coverage of these issues until now has focused on the bad news:

“Hottest Year Ever,” “CO2 Concentrations in the Atmosphere Rising,” “Trump Determined to Build a Wall,” “Thousands of Immigrant Children Separated from Their Parents and Locked Up,” “Another Boatload of African Refugees Sinks in the Mediterranean,” “Immigration Crisis Polarizes EU.”

Unfortunately, there’s been little or no discussion about the interconnected roots of these crises and, most importantly, the good news: that there are positive solutions at hand.

Almost nowhere will you find a news story or commentary that connects the dots, as Vandana Shiva puts it, between “the soil crisis, the food crisis, the health crisis, the climate crisis and the crisis of democracy.” More…

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