Today is Friday 16 September 2016


(John Mason)

It increasingly looks to me that the Russians believed before the Kerry/Lavrov latest "ceasefire" was announced that this effort on the part of the US was simply another ploy to gain time and breathing space for the unicorns and non IS jihadis so beloved by the Borg. If that is what the Russians believed they appear to have been correct.  Rebel units are re-deploying under cover of the ceasefire.  The rebel commands are resisting the delivery of relief supplies to the people under their rule in East Aleppo.  Why?  They prefer to retain the IO/propaganda meme involved in the image of starving civilians in their part of the city.   The overall situation favors the Russians and the Syrian government.  The transformation of Russo/Turkish relations is a major gain for the Bear especially in economic issues involving pipe lines and other infra-structure projects. 

And then there is the over-arching problem of chauvinist Russophobia in the Borg, and now in the post Martin Dempsey world of Ash Carter's Department of Defense.  I have asked many well connected people to tell me what the roots of this hostility may be.  The usual answer is that the Russians threaten the US and our NATO allies.  When pressed for specifics the only substantive thing produced is the Russian annexation of the Crimea.  There is  a lot of talk about threats.  What threats there are other than the possession by Russia of a world killing nuclear capability, a capability surpassed by ours seem unknowable.  At root the Borgist problem with Russia seems to me to be a threat to the self-image of the American Borg (the foreign policy establishment both left and right).  This self-image is born of our fantasy political construct of the Exceptional City on the Hill.  How amusing that is!  It is a fantasy of those ignorant of actual history.  The City on the Hill thing largely rests on the story of colonial New England.  The Chesapeake colonies?  Well, the less said about those mere commercial adventurers the better.  (That was irony)  Well, pilgrims, my 9th great grand dad, Major John Mason commanded the colonial force of Englishmen and friendly Indians in the Pequot War in 1633 or thereabouts.  His men both European and Native Americans killed or enslaved something like a thousand Pequot Indians and very nearly exterminated the Pequots as a people.  Was this the Exceptional City on the Hill at work?  And then there was King Philip's War, etc., ad nauseam.  But, nevertheless most Americans have an ingrained belief in our superiority as a "people" and as the exemplar of the destiny of mankind.  that being the case Americans and the Borg particularly, believe that we should be the world's hegemon.  Countries who resist our hegemony must be evil.  France has sinned in that way in the past and now there is  … Russia.  Grrr!.  pl


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137 Responses to Today is Friday 16 September 2016

  1. Will says:

    The strategy is to double down on Syria hoping to embarrass Putin and cause regime change in Russia. John Mearsheimer explains this stuff in his book “The Tragedy of Great Power Politics.” It’s the perpetual struggle for hegemony.
    This is really sad if it’s true. Our Special Forces have been inserted to help out the head choppers. And they have turned on us. It would be kinda like what happened in benGhazi. Is that the reason why the agreement with Russia has stuff that we want to stay secret? to protect our troops over there?…/video-us-troops-northern-sy…/

  2. turcopolier says:

    USSF is with the Kurds. You consider them to be “head choppers?” the CIA are the people supporting Ahrar al-Sham, etc. “Is that the reason why the agreement with Russia has stuff that we want to stay secret? to protect our troops over there?” What are you taling about? pl

  3. Dubhaltach says:

    Meanwhile in parts further East the Russians have just finished their “Caucasus-2016” exercises during which an American P-8 Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft flew to within 60 Kilometres (40 miles) off the coast while the exercise was going on.
    A Russian SU 27 intercepted it flying to within 10 feet of it according to American Officials speaking to CNN. The same report says the incident lasted 19 minutes ( )
    If you dig through the verbiage and propaganda in this report from Fox News ( ) it’s apparent that the American plane had its transponder turned off. It’s a major crime if the Russians do that but when the Americans do it it’s perfectly alright, praiseworthy even.
    Towards the end of the Fox item there’s this:
    “Photos and video also showed a series of provocative moves from Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard targeting the U.S. military.
    On Sunday, the Guard’s fast-attack boats came within some 500 yards of the USS Firebolt, with one stopping right in front of the coastal patrol boat in the Persian Gulf, said Cmdr. Bill Urban, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, based in Bahrain. Urban said the USS Firebolt turned and missed the boat by only about 100 yards. Iranian speedboats fired rockets near U.S. warships and commercial traffic in December, and an Iranian drone overflew an American aircraft carrier in January.”
    On the other side of the Globe the Sino-Russian exercise “Joint Sea-2016” started last Monday off the Guandong Coast (See: and ) The Sputnik report gives a bit more detail including:
    “The massive military exercise code-named “Joint Sea-2016” will feature destroyers, submarines, fighter jets, shipborne helicopters and marines according to the Chinese Navy’s official website. The countries will join forces in practicing defense, rescue and anti-submarine operations in addition to “island seizing” demonstrations.
    Additionally marines will participate in live-fire exercises, defense and landing maneuvers in what is billed to be the single largest joint military operation between the two countries’ naval forces. The plan comes after China announced in July, before the situation in the South China Sea had fully escalated, that Beijing and Moscow planned to join forces in a “routine” naval exercise.
    Leading American think tanks, including the notorious RAND Corporation have also begun laying out the template for a war with China even taking to the pages of major publications to openly lobby for preemptive military action against Beijing substantially raising the stakes over the disputed waters.”
    Whatever happened to “never start a land war in Asia”? Has it been replaced with “let’s start a land war in Asia and a separate but linked sea war just for the hell of it”?

  4. Tigermoth says:

    With regards to Russian methodology; IMO they are slowly painting the US further and further into a corner in regards to showing that the US consistently breaks international laws. Since Russia plays the long game (maybe very long game); I see the latest suggestion from FM Lavrov is to make the full COH documentation public. But, via a UN resolution in the SC. This would make it also part of international law.
    With all of these UN resolutions becoming international law that the has US agreed to and then willful ignores, it shows how untrustworthy a “partner” the US is for all to see. As the world’s balance of power is shifting away from the West these transgressions will come back and bite hard in the future.

  5. turcopolier says:

    Please give us your opinion as to what happened at al-Rai. The Americans there do not look like GBs to me. Maybe an air force forward control party? pl

  6. Will says:

    Fair enough, the Kurds are displeased at their perceived abandonment. Or maybe it was “turcomans” shouting as the advisors crossed over from Turkey. Nevertheless, the secret clauses are probably aimed at protecting our embedded assets from retribution after the embedees perceive they have been doublecrossed or abandoned. Eventually, the secret will be leaked, b/ hopefully they will be out of harm’s way by then.
    hmm- this ceasefire has some tough hurdles to overcome

  7. turcopolier says:

    “as the advisors crossed over from Turkey.” What? Do the Americans at al-Rai and Tel Abyad look and sound like GBs to you? pl

  8. Will says:

    my bad, it was probably like you suggested- military observers or coordinators. The SF are hi principled, and i mean that sincerely, per their motto. No double meaning intended, I really do think a lot of them.

  9. Lemur says:

    There’s two basic establishment self narratives in the US. The rightist one goes “America has always been great because of its noble ideals, and we remain the last best hope of mankind.” The leftist ones have been diffuse and shaded. Some are overtly anti-American. But after the election of Obama that liberal tendency started to moderate itself. Liberals started to see an America made in their image. This new center left narrative now states “America was not always great. America did terrible things! But we have overcome them! Civil Rights! Gay Marriage! A Black President! Perhaps next a female president!”
    So John’s elaboration of historically unexceptional things America has got up to has very little impact on a Democratic party and electorate that conceives of itself as a pure ideological subject. In the same way the Soviet Politburo would not have felt it necessary to deal with, say, the excesses of Ivan the Terrible, the New Clintonian Exceptionalism is exempted from all historical criticism.
    The forces embodied technocratic global elite are almost unstoppable.
    As Heidigger said, ‘only a god can save us.’

  10. LeaNder says:

    the Russian annexation of the Crimea. There is a lot of talk about threats.
    Interesting topic. We had an interview on our public channel with Putin in this context. … apart that it is indeed an interesting topic, once compared to former Yugoslavia.
    Although yes, there were reports of threatening movements of Russian airplanes “on the borders”. Not lately though. To the extend I recall or pay attention to start with.

  11. J says:

    Speaking of France’s ‘sins’, DGSE loose lips:

  12. turcopolier says:

    Like you, I am shocked. SHOCKED! “Round up the usual suspects.” pl

  13. JohnsonR says:

    “And then there is the over-arching problem of chauvinist Russophobia in the Borg, and now in the post Martin Dempsey world of Ash Carter’s Department of Defense. I have asked many well connected people to tell me what the roots of this hostility may be.”
    Imo, there is definitely a degree of emotive irrationality behind the US regime’s attitudes towards both Russia and Iran, based largely on (what should be) irrelevant past events. Both are countries the US regime should have been seeking to have a constructive relationship with for the past two decades, rather than provoking. In addition to the historic grievances, of course, there is also the malign influence of particular foreign governments and their lobbies, who see fomenting US confrontation of Russia or of Iran as being in their own interests.
    China, on the other hand, is a real potential future peer rival and threat, unlike ether Russia or Iran. Which makes it all the more remarkable that so much of the US regime’s efforts seem to have been directed at driving the latter two into the arms of the former.

  14. Jack says:

    Escalation of conflict with Russia in the belief that we are the hegemon and we can brook no competition seems very dangerous.
    Since a president has a lot of sway in covert foreign operations, in your opinion would the Borg Queen ratchet up the heat another few notches if she ascends the throne?

  15. A Pols says:

    The real “threat” posed by these various independent operators like Russia and Iran is really not military per se, but rather to the future position of the US dollar as reserve currency and therefore to control of world finance, without which our “non negotiable lifestyle” is gone. That in my opinion is what undergirds everything else in our current machinations.
    Money and power is what it’s all about; all the rest is just furniture.

  16. Liza says:

    Col. Lang:
    Russia and China are acting very effectively to end American control of the international financial system. Their objective is to end the status of the dollar as the reserve currency. They are establishing a multilateral financial system, in which no single nation or currency is dominant.
    Wall Street and American government officials view this as an existential threat.
    The US government can continue to increase its level of debt exponentially as long as the dollar retains its status as the reserve currency. Global trade is now conducted with American dollars, so nations will continue to purchase treasury bonds, even without interest.
    Our debt is now approaching $20 trillion, the highest in the history of the world. And government expenditures will soon soar: Social Security and Medicare costs will soon increase exponentially with the retirement of the Baby Boomers. Three workers now support every social security recipient. By 2030, two workers will support every worker. At the same time, our economic growth has been dismal. Exports now account for less than 10 percent of the American economy. And American jobs are now going to Mexico.
    The government has only one strategy to deal with this: accumulate more debt.
    China is now building the Silk Road, which will revolutionize global trade. Russia is expanding the Eurasian Union, which will coordinate economic development between nations. (One example: Russia and Iran have launched plans to build a corridor to India and it’s vast market). America has yet to develop a viable economic strategy for the future.

  17. LA Sox Fan says:

    This article is well worth reading. Too bad Hillary Clinton believes ginning up another Cold War might help her election chances.

  18. says:

    I am baffled. why seemingly are Americans manning the .50 cal guns on those technicals? Surely locals could do the job. Please advise.

  19. jsn says:

    When one assumes good faith in DC, your critique and puzzlement makes sense. This is not to propose that there are no good and honorable people in the halls of power there, but as our host’s own previously stated experience with truth telling (TV during one our wars, IIRC) there shows, to stay active and to rise in that environment one is increasingly pressured to tailor one’s narrative towards the interests of those yet closer to the center. Are their interest in food faith?
    Without privy to the actual people there, one can only speculate and again our host experience with the “well connected”, as noted today, is that they appear to have withdrawn into a content free echo chamber, of what? An idealism that our war waging, for whatever reason, is virtuous because we are doing it? Who’s real world interest does this really support? Anyone outside the Borg is terrified by it, but I must note that DC no mints more millionaires than New York. There is, I submit, information in that.
    I continue to believe there are lots of excellent career people in our government as my own experience in New York has introduced me to many, many excellent people in finance, an industry I personally think turned into a criminal conspiracy about the time of the First Gulf War.
    I believe there is now a similar lawlessness at the heart of state and wonder what it will take to give those who do still care about the real interests of our nation the upper hand again:“For no society of men whatever can persevere its unity and continue to exist, if the criminal element is not punished, since, if the diseased member does not receive proper treatment, it causes all the rest, even as our own physical bodies, to share in its affliction…because when the wrong-doers have power they become more daring, and corrupt the excellent also by causing them to grow dejected and to believe that they will obtain no benefit from right behavior. For wherever the insolent element has the advantage there inevitably the decent element has the worst of it; and wherever wrong-doing is unpunished, there self-restraing also goes unrewarded… For it is not by any characteristic of birth that what is friendly is distinguished from what is hostile, but it is determined by men’s habits and actions, which, if they are good can make that which is alien like unto itself, but if bad can alienate everything, even that which is alien” Julius Caesar. Dio’s Roman History trans. E. Cary (1916)

  20. Degringolade says:

    I hope that you don’t consider me rude to be chiming in here, but in the long ago, any GB who even smelled a camera would do everything he could to vanish.
    All of these pix of pictures of “Green Berets” that are bandied about here in internet-land are suspect to me. Maybe the mission profiles have changed in these modern, selfie-driven times, but in the long ago past, the phrase “Quiet Professional” had real teeth.

  21. Dubhaltach says:

    In reply to JohnsonR 16 September 2016 at 12:32 PM
    “Imo, there is definitely a degree of emotive irrationality behind the US regime’s attitudes towards both Russia and Iran, based largely on (what should be) irrelevant past events. ”
    Those “irrelevant past events” may have been the original source of the American animus against those countries but it is their continued resistance that is the true source of the hatred for them within the American government.*
    Both Iran and Russia continue to resist American hegemony. Both countries refuse to accept that America is in the right. Both countries continue to offer an alternative to the American way. Both countries continue offer a viable cultural alternative to the American way.
    *In Russia’s case there is also cultural hatred from the likes of Zbigniew Brzezinski and many of the Zionists.

  22. Tyler says:

    I would be a lot of the animosity is driven by Russia’s opposition to Western secular hedonism. You see some people talking and you’d think Putin had personally waterboarded every single person in Pussy Riot. Not allowing gay pride parades is the equivalent to Dachau. There’s also the not so small influence of those like (((Masha Gessen))) who are still mad about the Tsar’s cossacks kicking great grandpa out of Russia, or the revolt against (((communism))) in Russia.
    This is what we are dealing with here – the Left will risk nuclear war for transgender bathrooms and historical grievances.

  23. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    The pervasive influence of Wall Street also deserves mention as a driver of Russophobia. The Too Big To Fail banks no longer see (if they ever did) their primary function as serving the financial needs of individuals and corporations that make and buy real products and real services that serve the needs of flesh and blood people. For the people who run these companies even the future health of the corporation they work for is not of major concern, except insofar as it amasses sufficient profits to continue providing them with fat seven, eight, and even nine figure year-end bonuses. This can best be achieved by extracting rents (in the economics sense) from as many toll booths in the “real” economy that they can set up. Among the most lucrative such opportunities are derivative securities based on underlying assets, and near the top of the attractiveness list of such assets are various natural resources. Russia, with its vast interior, is awash in natural resources, and Wall Street has been salivating for decades over them.
    This characteristic of the finance industry of a society straying from its role as a facilitator of a society’s real economy is not a new thing. As Michael Hudson, perhaps the today’s foremost economic historian, points out in his many writings, and especially in his recent book “Killing The Host,” the phenomenon can be observed in the records of the societies of ancient Mesopotamia over five thousand years ago.
    Killing The Host:

  24. turcopolier says:
    “Technicals” are junk put together in the third world. It is perfectly natural to have a pedestal mounted machine gun on a truck. We have always done that. i think these are probably USAF people. Would you really trust your close in security to “the locals” as you put it if you are USAF? pl

  25. turcopolier says:

    A Pols
    “Money and power is what it’s all about; all the rest is just furniture.” The usual economic determinist BS. pl

  26. turcopolier says:

    it seems likely to me. pl

  27. kao_hsien_chih says:

    LA Sox Fan,
    There is something revealing about Russia’s stance towards “modernity” in Hitchens’ piece, in the description of the monastery that was confiscated by the Bolsheviks and turned into “the Museum of Female Emancipation.” I tend to flinch when I hear the word “liberation”–to me and people who come from the same background as I do, “liberation” has a sinister connotation associated with communism. No doubt the same is true with the Russians, who saw their cultural heritage smashed, often literally, in the name of godless “progress.” At least the Bolsheviks promised bread, to go with “progress.” The West is offering a return to serfdom to go with this “progress” that looks suspiciously like the old (maybe the new serfdom is different, or not–the original serfdom came about because of markets and globalization too–Eastern European aristocrats and landowners doubled down on serfs since they could now export grain to Western Europe, thanks to advances in shipbuilding technology…and crow about how great and enlightened they are because they are importing Voltaire.)

  28. Matthew says:

    And the predictable UN intervention. See
    So Assad is winning, and we have a one-sided “ceasefire” and now a UN finding that he used poison gas inexplicably last week.
    Putin has the patience of Job.

  29. jsn says:

    What it costs the government to support seniors in their dotage is a pittance compared to what it tosses into the black box of DOD every year. In fact the supports for corporations from Exxon to Apple, from Tesla to GE would easily float Social Security in a much brighter future than the one it faces.
    A State that refuses to care for its population won’t stay one indefinitely.

  30. Jack says:

    While trading paper for real goods and services may be very beneficial in the short to medium term you don’t need a reserve currency to do that. All you need are your vendors to accept your paper.
    Having the reserve currency is not necessarily an unalloyed good.

  31. Jack says:

    The primary reason the dollar is the reserve currency is that dollar instruments have the most market depth relative to others. In any case any producer of goods and services can set whatever terms of trade they want. The Russians can choose to trade their nickel in Swiss Francs if they want or coconuts. Everything have pros and cons.
    Reserve currency imperative is another of those Internet conspiracy theories.
    You are right however that systemic leverage is growing in the US. And that increasing leverage is not increasing productivity. But leverage is also growing at a more insane rate in Japan and China. Since the IYI have convinced the pols (not that they needed any convincing) that there is a free lunch when central banks “buy” assets including government debt we’ll see more of it until confidence wanes and psychology changes.

  32. Keith Harbaugh says:

    “At root the Borgist problem with Russia seems to me to be
    a threat to the self-image of the American Borg
    (the foreign policy establishment both left and right).”

    Well, might I intrude on your psychoanalyzing with a few facts?
    I spent the years from September 1967 to January 1973
    (preceded by a USAR commission in June 1967 and followed by EAD, IOBC 73-2, and EW/Crypto Basic at USASATC&S at Fort Devens)
    as a graduate student in mathematics at Brandeis University.
    How different was Brandeis from my undergraduate university, Rice?
    At Rice the USA was good, the establishment was good, and the US Army was fighting a war against Communist aggression in SE Asia to save the Vietnamese from Communist tyranny and godlessness.
    As to what the campus ambiance at Brandeis was like,
    two writers at the Washington Post really capture that whole ambiance:
    Dana Milbank and Petula Dvorak.
    Reading them is like being back at Brandeis, reading The Justice or viewing what was posted on the bulletin boards.
    Milbank captures the sense of humor, irony, and detachment there.
    (His writing is somewhat reminiscent of that in one of the most discussed books at Brandeis of that time, Portnoy’s Complaint.)
    Dvorak captures the dyspeptic desire to dredge up grievances,
    part and parcel of the agenda of such groups as the SDS and the Weathermen.
    The SDS was a very strong presence on campus; it had been totally absent at Rice.
    And it wasn’t merely “the system” and “the establishment” which needed to be smashed, in the words of some;
    it was more specifically “the WASP establishment”.
    (Something worth noting when you consider how WASPs have been purged from the Supreme Court and the upper ranks of the Fed.)
    I was amazed at the encouragement the Brandeis Jews gave to homosexuality and what they called “gender-bending”. That seemed to be really cool to them.
    In fact, almost anything that was “counter-cultural” was wonderful.
    Another popular book there was Steal This Book by Abbie Hoffman.
    And as to the US Army?
    As I said, at Rice the Army was regarded as virtuous and noble in advancing democracy and freedom in Vietnam;
    at Brandeis the US Army were “babykillers”.
    The misdeeds and war crimes of a few bad apples were considered to be emblematic of the whole US Army.
    On the other hand, the Israeli Army (this was just after the 6-Day War of June 1967) were heroes.
    Anyhow, what does this have to do with attitudes towards Russia?
    Well, a running theme in the campus newspaper was articles written by students talking about their ancestors who had lived in “the Pale“.
    There was much talk about how virtuous their ancestors had been,
    and how sorely they had been persecuted by the Russian authorities of the time.
    There was much talk of “shetls” and Cossack raiding parties.
    There was a real sense of grievance against the Russians,
    who they felt had suppressed and repressed their ancestors.
    And indeed today, is it not true that the vast majority of the Oligarchs were Jewish,
    and that one of Putin’s thrusts has been their suppression?
    Nowhere else in my experience have I seen such intense antipathy towards “Old Russia” (versus the USSR) as at Brandeis.
    Nor such a desire to “smash the (WASP) establishment”.
    In general, I know something of the fears, goals, interests (heavily into medicine, finance, and education), methods, and abilities (I taught Honors Calculus for two and a half years) of the Jews, at least those who were at Brandeis.
    When the editorial page of the Washington Post argues for policies which uncannily track those fears, goals, and interests,
    in foreign, economic, and social policy,
    while they work against the broader American interest,
    do you think that is a pure coincidence?

  33. turcopolier says:

    Keith Hatbaugh. Analyzing the cultural roots of group attitudes is “psychoanalysis?” Well, my freind, I think think our group attitudes have deep roots in the diseased culture of Puritan New England. I think our group attitudes are our own problems. The “Chews” are IMO recent comers who have exploited the existing game. BTW my five direct and one collateral Mayflower ancestors set sail for Virginia today in 1620. They were not as bad in intolerance and small mindedness as the Massachusetts Bay Puritans who came ten years later. Ah, I remember you are a fervent defender of those who created “America’s home town.” I guess i am a self-hating Yankee. pl

  34. Laguerre says:

    It seems obvious to me that the Russians knew what they were doing in agreeing to another cease-fire in Syria. They’d been through all that before in the last cease-fire. But I don’t see much discussion of their plan. They are hardly being forced.
    I’d presumed that Putin’s idea was to extract the locations of “moderate” rebels, in order to separate them from the “terrorist” al-Nusra, who could be bombed. However the US is not revealing the locations.
    What else, for Russian objectives?

  35. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg says:

    If Russia and China managed to break the Anglo-American stranglehold on international finance, they’d be doing not only the world but the West itself a big favor. Wall Street and The City have amassed far too much political power than is good for anyone, including themselves.

  36. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg says:

    From some direct experience with people in the US military back in the 80s when the USSR was still a thing, I distinctly remember that a lot of what drove the ferocious Russophobia was the idea that the US somehow fought on the wrong side in WW2 and that history went all wrong when the USSR beat Germany (getting by with a little help from its friends, mind you) and that Roosevelt and Truman somehow betrayed Western Civilization at Yalta.
    Without getting into the weeds on the postwar carve-up of Germany, I really sensed a weird acceptance of wartime German propaganda about asiatic bolshevik hordes raping Europe. Naturally, the same people indulged in the mental gymnastics that allowed them to simultaneously be enthusiastic supporters of the most right wing elements of the Isreali project.
    On top of this, people like Brzezinski practically invented “neo-conservatism” – Someone who doesnt seem to have accepted that the Polish-Lithuanian Empire is a thing of the past.
    People who want to use the current crop of 22 year olds to fight over wrongs done to people two or three (or 300) generations back was supposed to be a European failure that America was quite above. But here we are, being subjected to a barrage of belligerent propaganda by people who want Americans to fight over the sins of the Russian Empire of 1855. I don’t envy young people today.

  37. The Beaver says:

    @ Matthew
    based on An international inquiry has identified two Syrian Air Force helicopter squadrons and two other military units it holds responsible for chlorine gas attacks on civilians, a Western diplomat told Reuters.
    The finding by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the global chemical weapons watchdog, is based on Western and regional intelligence, the diplomat said.
    “It was the 22nd Division, the 63rd Brigade and the 255 and 253 squadrons of the Syrian government,” the envoy said.
    western intel: who the French again, like in 2013 in East Ghouta?
    The Brits are busy in Yemen , thus it is either the US or the French

  38. ToivoS says:

    Stephen Cohen asked a DC insider why was the US was being so hostile to Russia. His source said it was due to Germany. There is apparently a real fear in the borg that Russia and Germany were entering into an economic alliance that would exclude US interests. Putin’s goal of a common economic zone from Vladivostok to Lisbon, as he so tactlessly put it, caused some real concern in Washington. Redefining NATO as anti-Russian is seen as a mechanism to drive a wedge between Russia and Europe and keep Germany in line.
    So what does the US do — drive China and Russia into a political, economic and military alliance. This makes absolutely no sense.

  39. VietnamVet says:

    The video cited by Will above is too interesting if shot at Al-Rai of a convoy of technicals and 2 tanks in support of Turkey’s invasion of Syria. To my very out of date eye the convoy is a mélange of westerners, military contractors, forward air controllers and Russian tanks. No military I know would have put that collection together in one place. If working T-72s, they had to be from somewhere like Libya and refurbished by somebody with lots of money; like the CIA.
    This is a new world order global war. 100% propaganda. Not fought with a sovereign nation’s conscript army but by proxy forces, military contractors and bombers. Not to win but to remain the hegemon plus rake in war profits. Damn the consequences.

  40. kao_hsien_chih says:

    I think this hostility to “the Russians” goes well beyond just Clinton, and not just (knowing) propaganda either. At least among many of the people whom I associate with professionally, there is an underlying belief that Russians will see the world as they do if only they were not being lied to by Putin or whoever is telling them lies (sic). Of course, many of these same people believe that most Americans will agree with them if only they weren’t being told lies by whoever is their enemy of choice (that’s the charitable half) or that the Americans who don’t agree with them are incorrigibly either (Note that I’m talking about both the right and the left.)
    Some time in the past, I used to date a girl from Siauliai, who came of age there in the last days of the Lithuanian SSR. She had a rather more complex and nuanced view of the Russians (although much less of the Poles, which I found amusing) than the Lithuanian-Americans I knew. I had initially found this very confusing, but eventually very enlightening about how to think about the world from different perspectives.

  41. Fred says:

    “Three workers now support every social security recipient.”
    What’s the subsidy rate for college professor’s and administrators who are going to be the beneficiary of the “free tuition” (since it passes right from students to universities with a few folks taking their share of the graft) that the left is proposing?

  42. Anna says:

    “This self-image is born of our fantasy political construct of the Exceptional City on the Hill.”
    May I respectfully disagree with the suggestion that the US “deciders” are some fervent idealists. – No, they are just banal thieves. Hence the visceral hatred towards Russian federation which had a temerity to slow down the planned looting of the Middle East and which refuses to being gang-raped by all kinds of foreign profiteers. The deciders for US (NATO) actions and for MSM drivel are scoundrels, thieves. What is the price for Chelsea Clinton’ new apartment in Manhattan – in the millions? This is what plutocracy is fighting for: for having servants and comforts by any means. All these Libyans and Syrians are important only because of their wealth that is either already stolen (like the enormous gold & silver reserve in Libya) or is waiting to be stolen (like Syria’s natural resources). What the new technology allowed the world to observe is that Western “deciders” are not able to hide and refuse their psychopathic tendencies, that is, the deciders’ natural leaning to steal and murder for personal benefit, all the laws – domestic and international – be damned.

  43. michael brenner says:

    Jerry Rubin wrote and promoted “Steal This Book” – not Abby Hoffmann. You have to be a Russian Jew who carries the cultural DNA of his Cossack-hating forebears to appreciate the difference.

  44. turcopolier says:

    fred, liza
    i have been under the impression that SS unlike medicare has been self-supporting. pl

  45. turcopolier says:

    I wrote of US attitudes. pl

  46. turcopolier says:

    Yes, there a lot of primitives. that is why I sought shelter in the Green Berets and MI.

  47. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    It’s amusing, if sad, to consider that the flag-waving right, which exalts Churchill, blames the partitioning of Europe primarily on FDR at Yalta in early 1945 when in fact the acknowledgment of the separate spheres of influence were agreed upon between Churchill and Stalin during the former’s visit to Moscow in the fall of 1944.

  48. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    The Borgistas are singularly incapable of thinking even one step ahead regarding the likely consequences of their actions.

  49. michael brenner says:

    The 1960s seems to bulk large in the minds of many – more as myth than as fact. Keith Harbaugh reflects this in his reminiscence of the trauma experienced in moving from Houston to Waltham. A certain corrective is in order. I offer these observations as someone who was in Berkeley from 1964 (FSM) until 1969 and at Cornell until 1972 – the heyday of the counter-culture.
    1. The phenomenon was at once cultural and political. The former was by far more widespread and enduring. Political radicalism stemmed from Vietnam and the racial crisis. The rest of the revolutionary imagery and rhetoric was little more than a fringe activity and primarily verbal. A lot of noise signifying not a hell of lot. Look at what’s happening in the ensuring 45 years – a veritable counter-revolution pulling us back to the 1920s with virtually no resistance.
    2. Ruben, Hoffmann et al notwithstanding, it was not mainly a Jewish phenomenon. Jewish faculty in particular led its denunciation. Sex – the core of the movement – was an equal opportunity avocation.
    3. During the period of 1965-1972, WASPs did not disappear from view. At both Berkeley and Cornell, all senior university positions were held by WASPs – as were governorships. In addition, the college life style associated with WASPS and predominant at places like Rice went on: fraternities and sororities, binge drinking, rape of young women at frat houses, homecoming football rallies, etc etc.
    4. Today’s university campuses are more like the 1950s than 1965-1972 – except in regard to sex, thank heaven. Here in Austin (supposedly liberal, cosmopolitan), all of the above noted activities are thriving. Politically, no one protests our mindless wars, no one protests the gutting of the Bill of Rights, no one protests the rise of a plutocracy led by predatory finance, no one protests the administration’s kow-towing to Texas’ dominant radical right. Only identity issues stir a modicum of student interest.
    A Rice alum circa 1968 would feel right at home.

  50. ked says:

    “self-hating Yankee”
    hey! I like that… I could be that. & a self-hating redneck too!
    everyone is so into characterizing the base motivations of the other these days…
    I guess it beats self-honesty.
    in contemplating American culture that can’t / won’t move on, let’s not overlook Protestant Evangelicals of the fundamentalist / Dominionist type. They see themselves saved (& thus elected) to bring about the Kingdom of God on Earth. they’re at least as insufferable as any bunch hell-bent on perfecting society, but with the bonus of having God on their side. that’s always fun.

  51. Kooshy says:

    IMO there is no difference in thier final goal between the lefties and righties, that is, R2Pers and right to invaders, with or without UNSC permission. They are all the same, especially for the receiving end. It may look different in the American eyes, but outside of US, media protected shipels cocoon, they see no difference how we name or term our excuses for our hubris. IMO this will not end with any administration change, or skirmishing little proxy wars.

  52. Brunswick says:

    >>Exclusive: A widely touted U.N. report accusing the Syrian government of two chlorine-gas attacks relied on shaky evidence and brushed aside witness testimony that claimed some incidents were staged, reports Robert Parry.
    By Robert Parry
    United Nations investigators encountered evidence that alleged chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian military were staged by jihadist rebels and their supporters, but still decided to blame the government for two incidents in which chlorine was allegedly dispersed via improvised explosives dropped by helicopters.<< >snip
    >>The U.N. report wasn’t officially available until the end of August, but even then it was extremely difficult to access at the U.N.’s Web site. This week, I finally reached a U.N. press representative who walked me through the maze of links required to get to the right page, but it turned out that the page had been off-line since last Friday, the press aide said. Finally, on Tuesday, I was sent a link that worked.
    Though these technical glitches may well have been coincidental, the effect was to delay any critical review of the U.N.’s report. By the time its evidentiary and logical gaps could be examined by the public, the conventional wisdom had already solidified regarding the Syrian government’s guilt.<<

  53. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You ought to include EU among the looters; chief among them has been former colonial ruler UK, followed by Holland, Portugal, Spain, France and Italy.
    I think if you live in France or Italy you can very clearly see the contemptuous sneer of the politicians – Left and Right – for the common man – awami adami; they do not even have the decency to hide it.

  54. Brunswick says:

    Turkish Army Leapard’s, not T-72’s.

  55. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The peace negotiated at Yalta entailed a profoundly sensible division of Europe between the Western Diocletian States and non-Diocletian states.
    Once USSR disappeared, the Western Diocletian marched East – as though they could transform the Easterners into Westerners. It was a matter of time, before the East reasserted herself – it is called the Ukraine Crisis.
    Here is Babak Makkinejad’s Theory of Peace: If the Block boundaries do not coincide with Civilizational Boundaries; there would be war.

  56. MRW says:

    American government officials view this as an existential threat.
    Because. It would mean among other things that the US federal government could not denominate debts to host countries where their global bases are located in USD. The US federal government/US Treasury controls and creates the USD. It is the monopoly creator of the USD worldwide. It costs them nothing to create USD to provision itself.
    Last year the US Treasury issued $60.8 trillion in new USD.
    It redeemed $60.4 trillion to pay government expenses.
    That left $365.5 billion for the use of The People in the real economy. This $365.5 billion was added to the “National Debt” as the nation’s equity, it’s wealth.
    You are confused about “government debt.”
    When the federal government incurs “debt” it is new interest-free dollars into the economy. No debt to children or grandchildren.
    When businesses, households, and state and local govts incur “debt,” it’s that bitchy stuff we all have to pay back, and supply collateral for.
    “Debt” is a contronym when you’re talking about government debt vs private sector and state and local govt debt. Look it up.

  57. Ghostship says:

    Dropping the USD as the reserve currency would cause major problems for the US economy as the US Treasury could no longer go on printing money to fund the military, wars, etc., but I think power is the real issue. Zbigniew Brzezinski reckons that Eurasia is the center of world power and that if the US wants to maintain its global dominance, then it’s imperative that no Eurasian competitor capable of dominating Eurasia and Africa be allowed to appear. Although its at best a “regional power”, Russia by its very size and position is starting to re-emerge as a power capable of dominating Eurasia. The same goes for China. The two combined are a real future threat so according to the Borg, preventative action is required, because if it’s not taken soon it won’t be possible in future and then the Western Hemisphere (US and Canada) and Oceania(Australia) become peripheral to the essential global landmass.
    Africa – 1.1 billion
    Americas – 0.95 billion
    Eurasia – 4.6 billion

  58. MRW says:

    The US government can continue to increase its level of debt exponentially as long as the dollar retains its status as the reserve currency.
    Look at the Historical Tables on the site. Table 1.1. Data from 1789.
    We were not the reserve currency during WWII (neither during the prosperous 1950s). Look at the total government “debt” (federal) during that time. Open the link above and do your research. That was because after we went off the gold standard in 1933, three federal government economists figured out in 1939 that it meant we, the US federal government, could denominate–pay for–anything we wanted as a country in USD. So they did. They put everybody to work buildings ships and planes for Britain. The phenomenal story of that is here: Keep From All Thoughtful Men: How U.S. Economists Won World War II by military historian Jim Lacey.

  59. Warpig says:

    Its not mutually exclusive to believe that America has been and remains mankind’s hope because of its noble ideals while simultaneously acknowledging that America hasn’t always been great and has done terrible things.

  60. Fred says:

    That was my impression too.

  61. MRW says:

    Global trade is now conducted with American dollars, so nations will continue to purchase treasury bonds, even without interest.
    You don’t understand the process. Countries want USD so they can buy oil. They don’t want to go on the open market and suffer the vagaries of the floating exchange rate where they could be forced to give up a significant portion of their treasury if their money isn’t doing so well. Example: Canada. Three years ago the USD and CAN$ were at parity. Now the CAN$ is around $0.75 against the USD. So anything they buy with USD costs them 25% more in real terms of trade. So Canada sells us stuff to get those USD. Ditto China. Ditto most countries in the world.
    When Canada or China sells us stuff those USD are wired to their foreign bank checking accounts at the Federal Reserve In NYC. They can go on the market and wire those profits home by exchanging USD for CAN$ or Yuan. They could buy US goods with them instead including stocks and corporate bonds. They could leave their profits in checking. Or they could make some interest.
    Since the purpose is to acquire USD, they usually choose the latter. They ask the Fed to transfer their profits from checking to savings and buy treasury securities which are risk-free USD cash equivalents that pay interest. Under no circumstances can they take USD out of the American banking system. Against the law. So Canada and China’s USD export profits are in their savings account at the Fed in Manhattan. (They do purchase small amounts of USD to service their country’s airport exchange markets, and the like, but not billions of them.)
    When Canada or China want to cash in those treasury securities, they inform the Fed who sells them through “primary dealers”–Fed-independent–and the capital and interest is returned to their checking accounts.
    The act of moving their capital and interest from their savings account back to their checking account is called ”paying off the National Debt”.

  62. MRW says:

    Our debt is now approaching $20 trillion, the highest in the history of the world.
    Lucky us. It’s The People’s wealth. Most of it is in individual and institutional pension funds.
    The National Debt is the difference between all dollars created since 1791 and present time minus the dollars used (destroyed) for taxes.

  63. MRW says:

    Three workers now support every social security recipient.
    Another ignorant bullshit statement.
    FICA taxes do not pay for Social Security.
    Social Security payments are mandated by law.
    The trust fund concept is used, for historical reasons, as one way to view particular future obligations of the government, but certainly not all. The government has the obligation to pay for future years of military expenses, too, and many years of employee payrolls, and the future costs of congress, etc., but it would not be meaningful to record artificial funds today to represent the total of those future payments for many years.
    The payments to be made by the government for each program are determined by law, not by the amounts recorded in the trust funds, and concerns about trust funds “running out of money” do not make sense. In fact, it would be easy to increase the size of any of the funds if we wanted to; it just wouldn’t accomplish anything useful. Congress and the President could simply pass a law calling for an accounting entry adding to a trust fund account: it could be for $ 500 billion or $ 1 trillion dollars, or any other amount, at any time. That would just be a larger version of what is done each year: an accounting entry determined by law is added to the fund accounting balance each year.
    Newman, Frank N. (2013-04-22). Freedom from National Debt (pp. 88-89). Two Harbors Press. Kindle Edition.

    Frank N Newman was Deputy Secretary of the US Treasury.

  64. MRW says:

    that there is a free lunch when central banks “buy” assets including government debt
    Our central bank, the Federal Reserve, buys and sells treasury securities on the open market to maintain the target overnight interest rate for interbank transactions, aka, the Fed Funds Rate. It’s a very complicated process for the average Joe to understand, but they’ve been doing it for decades, since before WWII.

  65. apenultimate says:

    SS will bring in less than it makes starting in 2020. Without any change, SS will not be able to pay out full benefits by 2035. After that time, it’ll people will get back 75 cents for every dollar they put in.
    There is an easy solution, which effectively is a tax on the richer members of society–eliminate the income caps. Currently, only the first $120k or so of income is subject to the SS withholding. If you make more than that, you might notice at some point during the year–after you’ve made that much–your paycheck might get a nice bounce upwards for the remainder of the year because SS is no longer taken out.
    If you eliminate that cap and make all earned income subject to SS withholding (without increasing benefits for people making over that much), then SS would remain solvent until at least the year 2090, if not beyond.
    Of course, that is something of a redistribution of wealth. But considering the huge disparity of wealth in this country at this point, I think it’s probably worth it.
    The establishment sees a lot of money in the SS fund and they want access to it–thus the attempts in the past decade to allow that money to be invested in more risky ways. Fortunately, so far those efforts have failed.

  66. optimax says:

    Abby Hoffman wrote STB. I scanned the book in a book store and picked up a bad piece of advice that got me thrown into jail for a night when in college. Drunk on tequila I was urinating in an alley when a police cruiser pulled up and two cops started asking me if I had been drinking. I was too drunk to not admit it. We were all quite friendly and joking but I stupidly took Abby’s advice by asking, “Am I under arrest. Ociffers?” thinking they would say “No” and let me go, as Abby said would happen. Instead, they said, “Now you are,” handcuffed me and put me in the drunk tank. I never listened to Hoffman or drank tequila after that night.
    The clownish behavior of Hoffman and Jerry Rubin made them perfect counter culture icons for the media. Here’s an old video of Hoffman being kicked off the Dorothy Fuldheim Show. She was a Cleveland institution by then.

  67. kao_hsien_chih says:

    As I understand it, SS theoretically has a huge reserve from the surpluses it has been running so far: the huge debt that US gov’t owes to the Social Security trust fund, which makes the latter effectively the biggest creditor to USG. This was the reform during the Reagan years, right? And the idea was that if this debt is paid, SS cannot become insolvent. Why is it that no one is talking about repaying SS (and the American retirees) what they are owed instead of cutting back benefits? (rhetorical question, more or less).

  68. VietnamVet says:

    Thanks. The clip pretty much ices that NATO is supporting the Turkish incursion notwithstanding any involvement with the earlier Coup attempt. As a result, Russia did not challenge establishment of the safe zone and settled for a cease fire. This pretty much assures the partition of Syria. The convoy is reconnaissance force at best to direct air strikes. Due to the purge of Turkish military, backstabbing the Kurds and the obvious hostility of the Syrian Sunni rebels; Ash Carter doesn’t appear to have the forces to take Raqqa by November 7th.

  69. Fred says:

    5 separate comments? How about a little consideration for the readers.

  70. jld says:

    “between the Western Diocletian States and non-Diocletian states.”
    And a pony…

  71. Fred says:

    Dr. Brenner,
    Sir I believe you should issue a corrective to your corrective. “The former was by far more widespread and enduring.” ….”Look at what’s happening in the ensuring 45 years – a veritable counter-revolution pulling us back to the 1920s with virtually no resistance.”
    Among the enduring political actions taken were the immigration act of 1965, which has led into a major change in the ethnic make up of America. (I’m sure you’ll hear plenty from Tyler on that subject.) Lets not leave out school de-segregation and school busing. I’m sure that those did not affect you in the privileged halls of Berkley and Cornell. Perhaps you heard of Roe vs. Wade over that 45 year period. You could watch the videos, but in that are you are correct, there is no resistance to that judicial gutting of the Bill of Rights that keeps them suppressed. Back to 1920’s, with legally mandated school segregation and abortion in the back alleys? No.
    “the racial crisis” It may have been calm in Berkley, but in 1967 the Detroit race riots led the governor to send in the national guard and LBJ to send elements of the 82nd and 101st. There was another riot in ’68. “not enduring” other than a city that still hasn’t recovered economically.
    “In addition, the college life style associated with WASPS and predominant at places like Rice went on: …. rape of young women at frat houses…”
    I’m sure there were some real ones. How many might there have been and which frat houses did they occur in? Were there any rapes in the football team’s showers like at Penn State? Men getting raped sure don’t seem to matter to any of our politicians, especially on the left, today. (They didn’t matter to Joe Paterno when he covered up Jerry Sandusky’s actions for decades. Penn State thinks it doesn’t matter now either since they are giving him a big tada this weekend.)
    “Here in Austin (supposedly liberal, cosmopolitan), all of the above noted activities are thriving. ”
    Which frat houses are women being raped in? Do you have personal knowledge of this? Have you reported those to the city or state police? I sure can’t find any reported rapes in a frat house in Austin in 2016 using google. Should I look for details in Rolling Stone, I think they had a write up about rape on a college campus not too long ago? Hopefully the legal team in the city is better than the guy who prosecuted the Duke lacrosse team, he would up disbarred.
    “A Rice alum circa 1968 would feel right at home.” How would that be? MLK was assassinated in April of ’68 which sparked riots across the country. I see a great deal of manufactured agitation in the US and Dallas recently suffered 5 assassinated cops but I don’t see nationwide riots needing almost a division of troops to put down. What was Rice’s student body make up in 1968, 90+% white? Florida, my alma mater, didn’t have more than a handful of black students and only 1 black football player that year. Maybe Rice was already “progressive” though I sure as hell doubt it.

  72. Martin Oline says:

    “SS will bring in less than it makes starting in 2020. Without any change, SS will not be able to pay out full benefits by 2035.”
    I’m curious if these figures include the monies siphoned off the fund by Congress to pay for unrelated programs? Do these numbers assume it is returned to the social security fund or that it is gone forever?

  73. LeaNder says:

    The Russians can choose to trade their nickel in Swiss Francs if they want or coconuts. Everything have pros and cons.
    Jack, I might even agree, if I understood what you have in mind with here: “dollar instruments have the most market depth”, the dollar is widely accepted on the world market? (systemic leverage is growing??? Not sure I understand, but if I do, I agree)
    The Russian’s don’t have nickels, your usage suggests definition 2, a pejorative usage, minimal worth:
    Russians have the Ruble (Russian Ruble) as the Swizz have the Franc, supposing you are American and not a Brit:

  74. LeaNder says:

    It’s a very complicated process for the average Joe to understand,
    Why not try anyway, MRW?
    Since the IYI have convinced the pols
    Could you help me out with IYI? Or what it stands for?

  75. jld says:

    May be he is paid by the word count?
    I find it puzzling the way he pushes a somewhat loony financial theory, printing money brings only good not inflation if you are “strong enough”, i.e. the US versus Zimbabwe.

  76. LeaNder says:

    And indeed today, is it not true that the vast majority of the Oligarchs were Jewish, and that one of Putin’s thrusts has been their suppression?
    KH, no doubt true, concerning the Yeltsin oligarchs. But weren’t there earlier ones? … It feels they always exist one way or another never mind the system. I am not suggesting you are wrong, by the way, but the sexual revolution had literary precursors. …
    What I found interesting in Phil Weiss’ (Mondoweiss) more personal writings was his mental struggle between what he perceived the old WASP elite and what he perceived as the new. The new oligarchs if you like. Or for that matter his “Jewish” identity struggles after having married into a WASP family.

  77. The Beaver says:

    May be those pics from this twitter a/c can help:

  78. LeaNder says:

    Today’s university campuses are more like the 1950s than 1965-1972 – except in regard to sex, thank heaven.
    I am not sure, Michael. Without any doubt there was quite a bit of bigotry against which earlier traditions (before the ‘6o’s) revolted, but for this casual observer in the 60/really early 70s the guys/blokes hadn’t changed much beyond propagating free love for all that in the end reduced women to whores available all the time. In its political extremes.

  79. kooshy says:

    Al Gore did , he said if elected he will put the SS fund in a Lock box, in media they ridiculed him all they could, the rest is history.

  80. Fred says:

    If memory serves he’s a Canadian who thinks the printing press is a great wealth generator. Some of his insights are worth the reading but posting like this is a bit over the top.

  81. Fred says:

    The Beaver,
    It took them a year to manufacture this report? They are slipping.
    “We don’t want the (U.N./OPCW) report to be taken hostage by the political process in Syria,” said a senior Security Council diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.” Of course not, they want Syria to be taken hostage by the UN (Samantha Power etc).

  82. LeaNder says:

    Men getting raped sure don’t seem to matter to any of our politicians, especially on the left, today.
    Fred, I had horrible hitchhiking experiences in France really from early on. Once I went there from London, visiting my favorite male cousin. At one point I gave up after having been dropped in the middle of nowhere and took the public transports.
    The interesting thing was that my cousin told me pretty much the same happened to him rather frequently. I have to admit I was pretty startled by it. Never ever thought something like that could happen before.
    Admittedly, I loved the Brits never mind the slogan: “No Sex Please, We’re British”. I met the most interesting people there and never ever had one similar experience there. Maybe I was only lucky, who knows. 😉
    But: It’s pretty easy to see why rape accusations should be handled with care. …

  83. LeaNder says:

    Is Leith Fadel related to Ziad Fadel? Hmm, apparently not:
    He has creative friends:

  84. Keith Harbaugh, LeaNder,
    Putin is the first unambiguously philosemitic leader in Russian history.
    Among many articles making this point, good starting points are pieces in November 2015 entitled ‘Putin’s Jews’ by the Polish Jewish journalist Konstanty Gebert, and in December 2015 entitled ‘How Russian Jews Helped Shape the Life of One of the World’s Most Powerful Leaders’ by the Israeli journalist Adam Eliyu Berkowitz.
    (Links are , and .)
    As regards the oligarchs, those Jewish and part-Jewish oligarchs who thought they go could on ruling the roost under Putin as they had under Yeltsin – Berezovsky, Khodorkovsky, Gusinsky – came unstuck.
    Very many of those who are grasped on which side their bread was buttered are doing just fine, as both Gebert and Berkowitz bring out. From the latter’s article:
    ‘In fact, Putin has surrounded himself with rich and successful Jews, such as Moshe Kantor (net worth $2.3 billion), Lev Leviev (net worth $1.5 billion), Roman Abramovich (net worth $9.1 billion) and Victor Vekselberg (net worth $13.6 billion). They are all close friends and confidantes of the Russian president, and they are all quite openly Jewish.’
    And ironically, among the rather substantial group of Putin’s cronies who have enriched themselves very successfully during his tenure in power, two – Arkadi and Boris Rotenberg – were his ‘sparring partners’ when in the somewhat rough St Petersburg neighbourhood in which they grew up, they trained with their (Jewish) wrestling coach Anatoly Rakhlin, who died in 2013.
    As regards Israel, as Stephen J. Sniegoski noted in an article on the ‘Consortium News’ site earlier this month, Putin has consistently cultivated good relations with that country.
    (See .)
    Of course, it would be surprising if, in a country with a long history of anti-Semitism, such as Russia, and where Jewish oligarchs – and (to a non-negligible extent Jewish) Western suppliers of economic ‘snake-oil’ – did so much damage in the ‘Nineties, one could discount the possibility of a revival of anti-Semitism.
    And one of the conclusions to which Gebert’s analysis points is that, if indeed the Putin ‘sistema’ were to collapse, an eminently possible outcome is the takeover of Russian ‘nationalists’ who would revert to historical patterns of scapegoating Jews.
    At the end of his article, Gebert quotes a Russian Jewish lady who is staying in this country, while her daughter is leaving, explaining that: ‘We may yet live to regret the good times under Putin’.
    Certainly, Russian Jews may do so, if the ‘neocons’ succeed in promoting ‘regime change’ in that country. Likewise, the policies they have advocated have had the – predictable – result of driving Russia closer to Iran and to Hizbullah.
    An advantage, or disadvantage, of being somewhat ‘long in the tooth’, if not ‘over the hill’, is that one remembers the – disingenuous and corrupt – rhetorics of yesteryear.
    Sometimes I am tempted to say that the editorial staff of the ‘New York Times’ and ‘Washington Post’ are – as a Stalinist might have said – ‘objectively’ anti-Semitic.

  85. irf520 says:

    When the US government creates new dollars at zero cost to itself and uses them to “purchase” real physical goods or services (aka someone’s labour), the net effect is that the US government gets something for nothing. Overall, you can’t get something for nothing – that is a corollary of the first and second laws of thermodynamics. Therefore someone somewhere must be getting robbed.
    The people being robbed are anyone who holds balances in US dollars. Each of those dollars are devalued. Saying the total amount of dollars in circulation is the nation’s equity is disingenuous because a dollar is not an invariant unit. It’s a bit like me starting with a tonne of wheat, then redefining a tonne to be 100kg and saying I have 10 tonnes of wheat. I still have the same amount of actual stuff; I just cheated on the measurement.

  86. MRW says:

    Social Security payments DO NOT come from a “Social Security Trust Fund.” They are mandated by law. They are determined Congressionally. The “Social Security Trust Fund” is an accounting fiction. Why is it so difficult for you to accept or research on your own?
    All Social Security payments are issued by the US Treasury, from its General Account. Those who have received these payments when they were paper cheques (now electronic) can tell you that the cheque issuer was the United States Treasury. These cheques never said Social Security Trust Fund, which they would have to do legally if it were true. They are not issued by a US federal government agency like the Social Security Administration. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, for example, issues Postal Money Orders, and the issuer is the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
    Take a look:

  87. MRW says:

    Why do one long one?

  88. michael brenner says:

    I made a clear distinction between cultural mores, above all the sexual revolution, and political philosophy. That’s obvious to any observer.
    Of course, race relations and policy have changed. The UT Longhorns didn’t field a black player until the early 1970s. I should have made clear that that was not included in my general assessment. On all other matters, including frat life and alcohol, we are closer to the 1950s than the (especially imagined) 1960s.
    On rape, I did not mean to single out UT which has a better record insofar as official attitudes are concerned than most others – including Harvard, Yale, Berkeley and 112 others cited by the federal government. The rape phenomenon on campus, and its mishandling, is a national disgrace – on several grounds.
    Last point on race, the events of 2016 (including Trump) demonstrate that genuine improvement not withstanding, racism is very much alive in America where it is morphing into xenophobia. If doubtful, take a look at statements by state, local and federal Republican officials.

  89. MRW says:

    (sigh) Zimbabwe does not have a sovereign currency. We do.

  90. MRW says:

    Michael Hudson is excellent.

  91. michael brenner says:

    I believe that the record on Putin and the oligarchs is clear. He suppressed them because they were oligarchs, not because they were Jewish. No Russian leader committed to restoring the authority of the state could do otherwise. Putin himself is not an anti-Semite. He spent much of his childhood in the apartment of an elderly Jewish couple who lived across the landing from the overcrowded apartment his family occupied. I know of no evidence of any effort to exploit anti-Semitic sentiment politically despite its existence among the ultra-nationalist who tend to support him and its latency among Russians generally.

  92. MRW says:

    “Dropping the USD as the reserve currency would cause major problems for the US economy as the US Treasury could no longer go on printing money to fund the military, wars, etc.,”
    Sure it could. Did it during WWII when the British Pound was the reserve currency. FDR built the middle class that way, putting the country to work building ships, planes, and armament for Britain and then ourselves.

  93. michael brenner says:

    Only Allah is perfect! And even He doesn’t rely exclusively on memory.
    P.S. I perused it in Moe’s Book Store on telegraph Avenue before I intended to steal it – and found it so inane that I instead stole a copy of Ramparts

  94. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Yup, thus my disclaimer about the rhetorical question. Why worry about obligations of tomorrow if there are spendings/tax cuts for today?

  95. kao_hsien_chih says:

    As far as I know, it will be mathematically impossible for SS to become insolvent if those monies are repaid. No one (today at least) is talking about putting the money back, though.

  96. michael brenner says:

    “Free love,” as you quaintly call it, was not an exclusive cause of men. Then, as now, liberation was a joint enterprise. Get to know a few under 40 women and you’ll be quickly disabused of that retro image.

  97. Mac says:

    I once read a post of yours whereby you aptly described the phenomenon of ‘the man or could have been General on the horse’ as being the greatest threat to our Republic….could u please refresh my memory and discuss this?
    With Gratitude,

  98. Babak Makkinejad says:

    They have been victims of relentless Right-Wing propaganda against the New Deal. These paragons of the Gilded Age have convinced many in the United States, over decades, that Social Security is “Bad”, “Socialized Medicine” is Bad, Pensions are Bad, Taxes are Bad, everything is bad, bad, bad until all government services – at all levels: municipal, county, state, and federal – are dismantled.
    Then, and only then, they would relent – or may be not even then; they would find a way to try to propagandize Slavery as well; likely starting from debt-slavery and then working their way from there.
    Where they will take the United States would be somewhere like Brazil or India (in eventuality).
    They have been rather clever too, channeling the bed rock of English Common Law; i.e. Freedom, into that Fantasy Land called Libertarianism and hiding behind the Second Amendment of US Constitution.
    These Gilded men and women, are as yet, afraid to come out and propose a Final Solution to the 45 million people in the United States who are on food stamps – clearly a useless and surplus population that would save a lot in taxes if they are sent somewhere else.
    And, they pine for the world in which no laboring classes exist – except servants – thus automated factories, driver-less cars etc. are technologies that they would support.
    In a way, they agree with the words of that Supreme Rationalist, one Baruch Spinoza: the only useful thing to Us are human beings in their capacity as Our servants.”

  99. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Putin does not like Iran, or Hezbollah, or Syria; that he has chosen to work with them, in my opinion, is indicative of the intensity of threat that he perceives to the Russian Federation.
    Israelis have been steadfast in not antagonizing Russia or Putin; that honor belongs to NATO states.

  100. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You are right, all it was a pose – all sound and fury, signifying nothing.
    Its only enduring legacy has been the drug culture.

  101. Jack says:

    You keep commenting here about your superior knowledge and that very few including you are the only ones that know federal accounting. Among those you claim are idiots who have no clue how the federal government accounts fir it’s receipts and expenditures as well as its balance sheet are Krugman, billionaire macro investors like Paul Singer, Howard Marks, Stan Druckenmiller as well as bond investor and fund manager Lacy Hunt and long term observer of financial markets Jim Grant. As I have noted to you before if you have this superior knowledge you must be more successful financially than these billionaire “idiots”? Are you? Or are you another Internet jockey peddling snakeoil?
    One does not need anything more than common sense to know that creating money out of thin air to expand a central bank’s balance sheet and government deficit spending to infinity is a ludicrous proposition as it always ends as it has in history when confidence in the underlying monetary system and currency evaporates.

  102. Fred says:

    You got dropped off in the middle of nowhere France. Boo hoo. How is that related to Jerry Sandusky’s decades long rape spree at Penn State University or the complicity of the university administrators in covering it up?

  103. Fred says:

    “reduced women to whores available all the time” for this you can thank that great achievement of the patriarchy – feminism. They were the great proponents of sexual liberation and still are.

  104. irf520 says:

    I can’t figure out what they hope to achieve with this “cessation of hostilities”. They must have known that the US wouldn’t keep it’s word. Everyone who’s paying any attention must realise by now that the US doesn’t keep to any agreements they make. Any negotiations are only ever used as stalling tactics or for propaganda purposes.
    They already tried this once and it was used by the headchoppers to regroup. It’s just prolonging the agony at this point. They just need to hit the terrorists as hard as possible and never mind the handwringing from the Western media.

  105. Fred says:

    Dr. Brenner,
    I see you did not address me directly, am I to conclude this response is meant for me comments?
    ” The rape phenomenon on campus, and its mishandling, is a national disgrace – on several grounds.”
    Not a single university president, chancellor, vp, or provost has been fired due to rape on campus. Rape is criminal conduct and should be addressed as such. The left does not wish to do so but to “redifne” terms in the best of cultural marxist traditions.
    “racism is very much alive in America ” I agree, I’ve been on the receiving end of racist conduct for decades to include discrimination based on “diversity” and “affirmative action”. Sadly the Obama era has only made that worse.

  106. turcopolier says:

    I don’t remember saying that. Refresh me. pl

  107. Jack says:

    Fred, jld
    MRW it seems has this faith-based belief which jld correctly labeled “loony”, that infinite government spending is the path to wealth nirvana. Taken to its ridiculous conclusion no one need work and we can all be on the beach as the government replenishes our bank account each month for a nice luxurious standard of living. Except of course there’ll be no one to produce anything. Ah! But MRW will likely claim that the Mexicans and Chinese will be happy to take our paper dollars while we lounge in the sun.
    I don’t get why he keeps up with this tripe on threads where government finances are discussed.

  108. Anonymous says:

    The following words by Col. Lang…
    “IMO American society began to disintegrate in 1964. In that year the national narrative based on a mythic effort to construct something like an opportunity driven society began to fall apart under pressure from college kids who had been raised by parents who were survivors of the depression and WW2 to expect a very high level of good living and freedom from any kind of want. That standard of expectation was unreasonably high. Dsappointment led to rebellion and the beginning of social disintegration. This process has continued ever since. American society has been falling more and more apart ever since then, with its elements driven farther and farther apart by people with revolutionary ambitions and dreams, some of whom dominate the media. Those who run the Obama Administration bear a heavy responsibility for the most recent and accelerating phase of the disintegration. Their scorn for traditional American mores and insistence on pursuing a “hope and change” utopia has cut the guts out of anything that was left of a national consensus and sense of a common destiny.”
    Are corroborated and put in a concrete context in this article by Harry Stein…
    Thus come to pass that from what was once a “common tribe worth fighting and dying for,” all that is left is the promise of unending discord:

  109. turcopolier says:

    fred et al
    I have been chaperoned in my relations with strange women since 1963, including in grad school where I was just after the SE Asia thing ended with me still breathing. I had spent much of the previous ten years overseas and happily married. Nevertheless I would say that the general attitude of college educated women had changed greatly over that period. They had become very aggressive sexually and undeterred by such minor impediments as the presence of a beautiful wife or the supposed repulsiveness of the soldiery. So … I would have to say that Brenner is right when he says that women were active and somewhat enthusiastic in participation in the “sexual revolution.” pl

  110. turcopolier says:

    Thanks, I suppose, maybe. As a humanities person who never destroyed a fine college I can only observe and strive however badly for eloquence. pl

  111. turcopolier says:

    And furthermore, the present inclination of the collegiate daughters, or grand daughters of the women I met in the early 70s to get drunk at parties (frat or not), get laid and then yell rape the next day is just pathetic. Are the men innocent? Of course they are not but women have some responsibility fir their behavior as well. I hope Rolling Stone goes down the drain for their assault on that frat at U. Va. BTW we had no frats at VMI. pl

  112. Fred says:

    “I would have to say that Brenner is right when he says that women were active and somewhat enthusiastic in participation in the “sexual revolution.”
    I certainly agree with that observation.

  113. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You are asking them to take responsibility for their own actions; that would be sensible advise.
    I would have supposed that their parents would have proffered such advise, yes?

  114. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Paul Sweezy was saying the same things in 1980s, and Patrick Buchannan in 1990s.
    When a man of the Left and a man of the Right agree on something, it behooves one to pay attention lest they be right.

  115. Babak Makkinejad says:

    May be you can take the trouble of explaining to them why US has sovereign currency and Israel (or Zimbabwe) do not.

  116. Jack says:

    (Sigh squared!) What is your definition of a sovereign currency? And who have such currencies?
    Under this definition Zimbabwe has a sovereign currency. And so does the Argentinian peso and the British pound, Swiss franc, Indian rupee, Venezuelan bolivar, Japanese yen, Thai baht.

  117. Jack says:

    Bingo. That’s exactly why they account for it as debt, a borrowing that needs to be repaid in nominal terms. That’s also why they issue Treasury Inflation Protected Securities.

  118. Jack says:

    “You don’t understand the process. Countries want USD so they can buy oil.”
    This is a good example of why the person who does not understand is actually MRW.
    Iran does not sell all its oil in USD. And Saudi Arabia too. The Russians also sell their oil under multiple terms including barter.

  119. Jack says:

    I’m talking about the metal nickel that Russia produces. They sell this metal under many different terms. It is their choice what to accept for each transaction. It can be USD or Euro or even coconuts.
    Market depth is basically the liquidity of an instrument specially under stress. Microsoft stock has more depth than a penny stock.

  120. LeaNder says:

    True, I shouldn’t have babbled. You are right of course: (especially imagined)
    “The rape phenomenon on campus, and its mishandling, is a national disgrace – on several grounds.”
    I am not familiar with current facts, statistics, research. I am only aware of the “the Rolling Stone case” Fred keeps referring to as symptomatic for “the left”.
    I am aware as a hitchhiker I must have been “asking for it” somehow. That was an attitude I encountered. Nowadays no one does that anymore.

  121. JMH says:

    I detect a profound lack of enthusiasm from the majority of the cadets in this picture.

  122. different clue says:

    That psychological posture seems capturable in two sayings:
    1: “It takes a big man to admit when he’s wrong, and I have to admit that
    I’m a big man.”
    2: “The End sanctifies the Means.”

  123. LeaNder says:

    “Free love,” as you quaintly call it, was not an exclusive cause of men.
    It never was an equal burden sharing field. Except for women that opted for some type of constant readiness. Thus no, it didn’t feel at all like a joint enterprise. Why contraceptive pill’s for women only? Ever asked yourself that question? Wouldn’t it have been possible to create something for men? In a different field it is possible: Viagra.
    There was a reason, I couldn’t read Wilhelm Reich, before I stumbled across Klaus Theweleit’s Male Fantasies. The Reichians were the worst among the post SDS revolutionary groups. I wasn’t fond of the ones with the Red or Green bible either.
    I know quite a few women under 40. Some things never change. Some do. My mother only could work without her husband’s consent from July 1977 on. Up to 1957, she wasn’t allowed to have her own bank-account without her husband’s consent. …

  124. LeaNder says:

    US has sovereign currency and Israel (or Zimbabwe) do not.
    They are both dollar denominated? Is the Euro? Or do I completely misunderstand? Aren’t we “sovereign” either, and the rest follows?
    I looked up two of his reading suggestions. Admittedly, I am not so sure anymore if economics is a “science”. Neither am I sure if the recurrence of housing bubbles couldn’t mean something more central. …

  125. LondonBob says:

    The nationalists are Putin’s most dangerous opponents whom he then persecutes periodically, although in current Western terms Putin is a nationalist in Russian terms he is not. In my experience, as Russia was previously a multinational empire, the Russian people understand that there are different peoples with different interests, and that Russians must pursue their own if they are not suffer at the hands of Armenians, Georgians, Jews etc.
    I would say Putin is like Trump, he has, and has had, many Jewish associations. Whilst he is not an antisemite he is aware that Jews have their own interests and that is something he is cognisant of. Of course for some that would be evidence of antisemitism…

  126. jld says:

    Ha! Ha!
    Imported troll from MOA?
    No much chance here…

  127. James Loughton says:

    michael brenner
    knows absolutely nothing about Rice University, its culture, or its student body. As a 73 Rice graduate, I can tell you the following: There are no fraternities or sororities at Rice because the “Greek” culture has been prohibited to all Rice students since the University’s founding in 1911. Entrance to Rice is highly competitive, based solely on standardized test scores and academic achievement. All of its students come to Rice having been standout students in their high schools. For some, the quality of the student body comes as a bit of a shock. You will meet lots of people whose intelligence is at least equal to your own, and some in who you can only be in awe. Rice is known for a rather serious and conservative attitude toward getting a first rate education. It is not known as a party school. There are no “gentleman’s C’s” at Rice. All regular courses are graded on the curve. Many Freshmen who have gotten A’s all their lives will be shocked to receive their first C’s and D’s. One third of each entering class will drop out prior to graduation to complete their studies at less rigorous institutions. There certainly was not a “rape culture” on campus.
    Mr. Brenner, your ignorant and bigoted slurs against Rice call into question your other opinions as well.

  128. MRW says:

    @Jack,What is your definition of a sovereign currency? And who have such currencies?
    A sovereign currency is non-convertible, meaning that it can’t be exchanged for a metal, and has a floating exchange rate, as opposed to a fixed exchange rate as we did pre-1933. These currencies are legally created **only** by the ‘sovereign’ government and backed by that government’s full faith and credit. They have the exclusive unlimited power to create their sovereign currencies, and don’t need to borrow to meet their expenses. Neither do they to tax at the federal level to meet their expenses.
    These federal governments can pay for anything they want to buy (aka “spending”), and hire anyone domestically that they want to hire, in order to provision themselves—which is how the federal government creates jobs in the private sector and grows the economy—because they pay in currency that they issue, which is effectively limitless. They cannot go broke. They cannot default. Not unless the government voluntarily does it, which can happen when you have elected idiots in power, like Russia/Yeltsin stupidly did in 1998 when he didn’t have to. The only constraint is inflation.
    Canada, the US, Australia, the UK, Japan, and China are monetarily sovereign. Japan, for example, has a debt-to-GDP ratio over 200%, yet it has the third strongest currency in the world, a highly educated population, strong manufacturing and industrial base, vibrant economy, and high living standard. The bond vigilantes can’t touch it, even though it has a credit rating below Botswana, because Japan doesn’t need to borrow money from other countries, just like we don’t have to. It suffers from deflation, just like we are right now; we’ve been trying to reach 2% inflation since 2008, currently at 1.1%. The bond vigilantes are what killed Greece. We can become the next Japan, but we can’t become the next Greece.
    The Zimbabwean dollar disappeared in 2009. They now use a basket of other countries’ currencies.
    The Venezuelan bolivar is pegged to the USD. That’s a fixed exchange rate. It’s not sovereign.
    The Swiss franc went off its Euro peg 18 months ago.
    I don’t know about Israel, and don’t feel like looking it up. But it is constantly hitting us up for bucks. And it needs USD to buy oil; it doesn’t have the industrial or manufacturing export base to provide for its needs on its own, even with the 1985 Free Trade Agreement (our first) with the US, a completely one-sided agreement in Israel’s favor. We are banned from selling many of our products there.

  129. MRW says:

    Robert Friedman wrote Red Mafiya: How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America. The Russian mob put a $100,000 contract on him after the book came out for exposing them.
    While he was interviewing the top meanest banana in Brighton Beach (aka “Little Odessa”), he tried to use his Jewishness to forge a bond with the Jewish gangster. It fell on deaf ears. The gangster didn’t give a shit, and wouldn’t answer any questions. The only question he would answer was where he was born, some dinky Russian village in the middle of nowhere.
    Friedman said, “That’s where my grandfather’s from!”
    The gangster asked him his grandfather’s last name (different than Friedman’s), and knew the family. It was like Open Sesame, Friedman said. He became the gangster’s new best friend who took him to the Little Odessa clubs, introducing him around, and telling him how the Mafiya really worked.
    Friedman wrote that he came to realize that in Russia, Jews weren’t united by religion the way they are here, “Is it good for the Jews?” with American Jewish groupthink and community exclusivity. Russians are united by the village or place they come from. Friedman discovered it is part of the whole “Mother Russia” thing, land, place, and religion has nothing to do with it. The anti-semitism of the Soviet days was also anti-Catholic, anti-Muslim, anti-any religion.
    When I visited Russia just out of high school in the early 70s for three months, I went with a group of similar students, the majority of whom were Jewish. They would interview the Jews they met about anti-semitism. I remember these older Jews being puzzled and not understanding the question, or the importance of it. And It certainly puzzled the Jewish students who thought the Russian Jews were just too scared to talk. They weren’t; they were just blasé.
    I didn’t understand it until I read Friedman. All religions were banned when I was there, including Russian Orthodox. The churches were for visiting, like mini-museums, to look at the icons and different architecture, and god knows I went to an endless round of them from St. Petersburg to Armenia, courtesy of the mandatory Russian tour guide who was having an affair with one of the students so she showed us stuff and took us places we weren’t supposed to see.

  130. MRW says:

    The 1% are going to continue to rule and clean up as long as the 99% don’t know how federal accounting works, how the closed system of the US dollar works transactionally. I am not talking politics here, or any Republican, Democratic, Independent, or Green Party agenda. Politics or social engineering is what you determine after you figure out what you have to work with. And people don’t know. A helluva lot did in the 1940s. Not now.
    I’m talking plain how it works. Every soldier can tell you that when you need to clean your gun you take it apart in a certain order, and you reassemble in reverse order or it won’t work. Period. It has nothing to do with who you want to kill, what war you’re fighting, whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, in Vietnam or Baltimore, or if you want to use your rifle to shoot ducks. Cleaning a gun is transactional. First this. Then that.
    That is all I’ve been harping about here in repeated posts over the past year and half. [Incidentally, commenter William Cummings agreed with me. He worked for the US Treasury in the 1970s. I don’t know where he is. Is he still alive? Or ill?]
    The 1% stepped in to clean up once we ended the gold standard internationally in 1971, and suffered the oil embargo inflation of the 1970s, because they started to figure out how money could travel internationally and make them enormous profits. But they had to get the laws changed to be able to maneuver. They needed Reagan. They systematically changed our economy from industrial capitalism to finance capitalism. The workers be damned.
    There was one event in the 70s that few know about that precipitated this. I’m tired right now and not thinking clearly. So if this is disjointed, I apologize. When oil shot up from $3/barrel to $30/barrel in seven years—10X–it drove the price of oil, cost of creating and transporting food, heating and cooling houses, and so many necessities of life sky-high for the time. It was what we call cost-push inflation.
    In addition, Carter installed Paul Volker as Fed Chairman, a regular ordinary commercial banker who had zero clue, I mean ZERO understanding, of how Federal Reserve transactions worked. Volker moved Fed HQ from the DC Fed to the New York Fed—bad move—and he thought if he restricted the amount of money that the Fed loaned to banks to handle the nation’s payment system and interbank transactions, he could control the inflation (caused by the price of oil). Not realizing that there are two kinds of inflation: cost-push (pressure on the supply side, price of oil and commodities) and demand-push (where too few dollars chase too few goods, which we haven’t had since WWII). Interest rates, the cost of doing business, the cost of money lent to businesses, shot through the roof. 21% at one point. He eventually dropped that lunacy, but not without causing enormous damage.
    Union contracts in the mid-70s introduced an automatic cost of living clause in it, which immediately raised wages when certain consumer indexes rose (I forget them at the moment). Which they did in spades with the high price increases of all the things in my previous paragraph. These automatic wage increases—there was a specific name for them—crippled a lot of companies. Businesses became anti-union. Businesses started looking for overseas labor for production. That’s why they wanted Reagan because they thought he could save them.
    Reagan deregulated many industries to help them, starting with the banks which produced the S&L Crisis. But Reagan’s big mistake was deregulating the media in 1985…the means by which the people could stay informed and were informed by responsible newsmen and reporters. Before 1985, nobody could own newspapers and radio stations and TV stations in multiple states. So you had what could loosely be called 50 different voices nationwide, because owners were restricted to ownership in their state, and subject to punishing fines if they violated them.
    Therefore corporate owners came in: Cap Cities bought ABC. Murdoch made his first foray into the US (Congress insisted he become an American citizen). Today there are five or six über-owners of the entire US print and broadcast media. A disgrace.
    TV and print salaries rose. National reporters started to hobnob with corporate sponsors and government officials. The pundit class started, and the infotainment news. But the main thing was that the national reporters and anchors living in high lifestyle cities like Manhattan and DC had huge monthly nuts to cover. When I left NYC, some of them needed $50,000/month just to meet basic expenses: rent or mortgage and co-op payments, private schools, in-house meals, maybe a couple of nights out a month, and city, state, and federal taxes, which in Manhattan then came to a combined total of 57%. They can’t afford to be gumshoe reporters now, confrontational; they can be replaced with more pliable ones who will toe the corporate line. What do Hannity and O’Reilly earn now? $35 million? $50 million? No way they’re going to threaten that livelihood.
    That’s how we got dumbed down. it all started with that oil embargo the consequence of which Kissinger never saw coming when as a newly minted SecState and without getting Nixon’s permission (Nixon was embroiled with the Watergate tapes and the newly discovered 19 missing 19 minutes) he urged Sadat in September 1973 to bomb Israel to get them to come to the table and give back the lands Israel captured in 1967. (Sadat was worried about his re-election and had discussed it with Kissinger when he was running the National Security Council the year before; Kissinger promised he would get Israel to the table if Sadat expelled the Russians from Egypt, which Sadat did in 1972.) Kissinger never warned Golda Meir, she despised Kissinger, who thought her country was doomed and loaded 13 nuclear warheads aimed at Damascus and Russia, and King Faisal was furious with Kissinger’s inept advice to Sadat and slapped on the OPEC embargo in retaliation. Kissinger had promised Sadat his little war would be a cakewalk, and Sadat guaranteed King Faisal that it would be and that the US would back them.

  131. MRW says:

    convinced many in the United States, over decades, that Social Security is “Bad”, “Socialized Medicine” is Bad, Pensions are Bad, Taxes are Bad, everything is bad, bad, bad until all government services – at all levels: municipal, county, state, and federal – are dismantled.
    Yeah, so much for government of the people, by the people, and for the people. The economy should be serving the public and its “general welfare,” just as the preamble to the Constitution states, not the financial industry.

  132. MRW says:

    correction to the recent long post. It’s “demand-pull (where too many dollars chase too few goods, which we haven’t had since WWII)” not “demand-push” inflation and “too few dollars.”

  133. pl and all,
    Sorry for the delayed response. I just got back tonight from my latest housewright’s retreat in Halfmoon. I agree with Degringolade. None of the pictures and videos of these SOF getting booed out of al-Rai appear to be SF. They look much more like the commandos of JSOC, the forces sometimes referred to as Blue, Green, Orange or some other new unit of operators I know nothing about. A big part of what these people do consists of being liaison elements to everyone under the sun. If I would hazard a guess, I would say these guys showed up out of the blue, as directed, to liaise with the FSA groups involved. They lack finesse.
    A while back I looked at a France24 film trying to spot the real SF among the SOF commandos assisting the Kurds. Those who I identified as possible SF may or may not be so, but the spirit is certainly there.

  134. jsn says:

    You might enjoy this, it documents statistically what you are saying:

  135. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you very kindly. I had not seen this work by Dr. Turchin.

  136. turcopolier says:

    i don’t have an e-mail address for you. pl

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