Saturday, November 29, 2014
Writer, nuclear power expert, and green-powered-Earth advocate Harvey Wasserman reflects on how much better our country would have been today if President Kennedy had not been cruelly taken from us by conspirators never quite identified ...except maybe now in the must-watch preceding post!
Can We Ever Recover from the Murder of John Kennedy?
Harvey Wasserman | November 24, 2014 7:25 am
The images we ingest never cease to shape us.
Just 51 years ago, the head of a profoundly gifted young man was blown apart.
A few months earlier he’d given a speech that promised a new dawn.
He reached out to our enemies. He talked of going to the moon, of technological breakthrough and human promise. And he stopped the radioactive madness of atmospheric Bomb testing, a reason many of us are alive today.
It’s easy to idealize John Kennedy.
We still debate what he might have done in Vietnam.
But since the war did escalate, and we know the horrible costs to us all, then the possibility that he might have gotten us out gnaws at our soul.
So does not being sure about who actually killed him.
And then there’s the horror of the moment itself. A fellow human, blown apart before our eyes.
It hurts to think about it. To write about it. How can sorrow not reign in our hearts over this terrible human image that so deeply defines us?
As a nation, we still feel the murder of Abraham Lincoln. Having won a Constitutional Amendment to end slavery, he was the only one to smooth the transition from civil war to progressive peace. We still pay for losing him.
And for the image of a good man, seated happily in a theater, next to his wife … as a time for healing is unbearably shattered by a bullet to the head.
Russia never really recovered after Alexander II, a rare reformist czar, was murdered in 1881 while moving his nation toward a democratic constitution.
Michael Collins was a violent Irish revolutionary who turned to peace amidst a horrendous civil war.
Could he have ended it? All we know is the Troubles dragged on a ghastly seven decades after he was shot.
Mahatma Gandhi led the world’s first successful nonviolent anti-imperial campaign, then fasted nearly to the death to help halt a Hindu-Muslim civil war.
Then he was shot. And what is the outcome?
Egypt’s Anwar Sadat and Israel’s Yitzhak Rabin were also murdered. And what’s come since?
In America … Medgar Evers and Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy … and then John Lennon.
Around the world, names we don’t know. Faces we haven’t seen. Social movements crushed, freedoms lost, good people killed (too often by our own government) deadening the soul.
And who is next? Does all this mean activists of great heart and artists for social change inevitably court a death sentence?
It’s long been clear, for a wide variety of reasons, that we cannot rely on “great leaders” to save our world for us.
But can our minds and souls ever recover from such horrible images repeatedly rammed into our brains?
Lynn Stuart Parramore has written with brilliance at AlterNet about the traumas we all face in today’s America.
In their wake, we are being poisoned by a ghastly, malignant class of zombie corporations somehow granted human rights and no human responsibilities.
They have gutted the Democratic Party and seized our government.
Their cancer is of injustice, cynicism, pollution and war.
Avoidable poverty, racism for the hell of it, a gutted democracy, eco-suicide for private profit, perpetual war for its own sake … they all metastasize to feed the corporate tumor.
Another election has been bought, rigged, stolen and lynched. The internet is endangered. Likewise our civil liberties.
So do we turn our heads “until the darkness goes”?
Or do we face the unthinkable head-on, and refuse to blink (except momentarily—we all need a break from time to time) at what we see?
Somehow we have survived since John Kennedy was killed. Kids have been born … and so have social movements … along with many surprising twists of fate.
We are winning a culture war barely begun in 1963.
Silent Spring had just been published. An avid sailor, we don’t know how JFK might have interacted with a nascent environmental movement.
But born it was. A half-century later, Solartopian technologies are poised to green-power our economy. We have the means to survive in harmony with our Mother Earth.
But can we muster the political power to cure our corporate cancer?
Richard Nixon has come and gone. So have Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.
Now “Hope and Change” join them in the compost of history. They came too cheap. They meant too little.
Apparently we have more lessons to learn, more inner strength to build.
Departed friend, whoever you might have become, whatever you might have done, you have left us no choice.
The better angels of our souls now demand that we ask not what our planet can do for us …
HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES is at www.solartopia.org, along with SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH. In 1960, he saw John Kennedy speak on the steps of the Ohio statehouse.
This interview appears to be an open and shut case that Lyndon Johnson ordered John Kennedy's assassination.
http://youtu.be/IeDRov7zutY Nixon's Dirty Trickster: LBJ Killed JFK | Interview with Roger Stone
Published on Nov 4, 2013
Abby Martin speaks with former Nixon White House advisor and self-proclaimed 'GOP Hitman', Roger Stone, about his new book 'The Man Who Killed Kennedy' as well as his career behind the scenes of dirty politics.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Paul Craig Roberts' reflection on the meaning of Thanksgiving: "When Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, they don’t know what they are celebrating." "Thanksgiving became a national holiday with the completion of the Reconstruction of the South after the War of Northern Aggression and the extermination of the Plains Indians by the Union generals in the 1870s. This taints Thanksgiving as a celebration of the preservation and expansion of the American Empire and accurately reflects the goal of the political forces behind Lincoln."
What Americans Celebrate On Thanksgiving Day — Paul Craig Roberts
November 25, 2014 | Original Here Go here to sign up to receive email notice of this news letter
What Americans Celebrate On Thanksgiving Day
Paul Craig Roberts
When Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, they don’t know what they are celebrating.
In American folklore, Thanksgiving is a holiday that originated in 1621 with the Pilgrims celebrating a good harvest. Some historians say that this event is poorly documented, and others believe that the Thanksgiving tradition travelled to the New World with the Pilgrims and Puritans who brought with them the English Days of Thanksgiving. Other historians think the Pilgrims associated their relief from hunger with their observance of the relief of the siege of Leiden.
The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving, if it happened, might not have been the first in the New World. Historians say the Virginia colonial charter declared a Day of Thanksgiving in 1619, and other historians say the first Thanksgiving was observed by the Spanish in Florida in 1565.
Apparently, the different English colonies and later American states each had their own day of Thanksgiving, if they had one. Abraham Lincoln tried to make Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863, but the country was divided by the War of Northern Aggression.
Thanksgiving became a national holiday with the completion of the Reconstruction of the South after the War of Northern Aggression and the extermination of the Plains Indians by the Union generals in the 1870s. This taints Thanksgiving as a celebration of the preservation and expansion of the American Empire and accurately reflects the goal of the political forces behind Lincoln.
Today, Thanksgiving is simply known as “Turkey Day” and a time of retail sales. But as you eat your Thanksgiving meal, contemplate that what you are really celebrating is an Empire rooted in war crimes. If Lincoln had lost, and if there had been at that time a Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan would have been hung as war criminals.
Sheridan was probably the worst of the lot. His war crimes against the South, especially those he committed in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, must have been forgotten by Southerns who vote Republican, the Party of Lincoln and Sheridan. But Sheridan’s crimes against the Indians were worse. He attacked the Indians in their winter quarters, destroying their food supplies, and sent professional hunters to exterminate the Buffalo, declaring: “Let them kill until the buffalo is exterminated,” thus depriving the Plains Indians of their main food source.
Considering the enormity of the Republican Party’s crimes against the South, it is a testament to the forgetfulness of people that Southerners vote Republican. Sheridan expressed well the Republican attitude toward the South, declaring on several occasions that “if I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent Texas and live in Hell.”
In the 1870s when Democrats won elections in Louisiana, Sheridan, who had power over the state, declared the Democrats to be bandits who would be subjected to his military tribunals.
Sheridan graduated near the bottom of his West Point Class, but his immorality and viciousness propelled him to the rank of Commanding General of the US Army. Today he would delight in the endless US bombings of women and children in seven countries.
Note: The War of Northern Aggression is the South’s description for what those dedicated to preserving the Union called the Civil War. The South’s term seems more correct. The Union forces invaded the South. A Civil War occurs when contending parties engage in violence for control of the government. But the Southern states were not contending for control of the US government; they exercised their right of self-determination and withdrew from the union into which they had voluntarily entered. It was an act of secession based in divergent economic interests between an export agricultural economy in the South and a rising industrial economy in the North in need of protective tariffs. The Southern secession was not an act of war for control over the government in Washington.
Unionists saw secession as a threat to empire. Another country could be a contender for the lands to the West. In his books, The Real Lincoln and Lincoln Unmasked, Thomas DiLorenzo makes a case that the War of Northern Aggression was waged in behalf of empire. He quotes Lincoln to the effect that he would preserve slavery if it would preserve the Union, and, if memory serves, DiLorenzo quotes Lincoln’s generals advising him not to throw a bone to abolitionists by saying it was a war to end slavery or much of the Union army would desert.
Today Americans think of themselves as citizens of the United States. But in 1860 people thought of themselves as citizens of states. When Robert E. Lee was offered a top command in the Union army, he declined on the grounds that he could not draw his sword on his native state of Virginia. Lincoln used the war to establish the supremacy of the central government in Washington over the states to which the Constitution had given most functions of government.
The supremacy of the central government that Lincoln established advanced the forces of empire.
The “war to end slavery,” like the Iraq war to protect America from “Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction,” looks more like fictional cover for the employment of violence in pursuit of empire than a moral crusade.
Paul Craig Roberts' shocking revision of the American history that we've all been taught in school was immediately supported by Prof. Thomas DiLorenzo, who has studied and written extensively about the many falsehoods in American school books put there to conceal U.S. government war crimes.
The War Crime Deniers: Guest Column by Professor Thomas DiLorenzo
November 26, 2014 | Original Here Go here to sign up to receive email notice of this news letter
The War Crime Deniers
I was pleased to see my article, “What Americans Celebrate on Thanksgiving,” reprinted on LewRockwell.com together with Professor Thomas DiLorenzo’s article reminding the Lincoln Cult that numerous distinguished historians have documented the extraordinary war crimes committed by Lincoln and his generals during the War of Northern Aggression.
The worshipers of empire do their best to keep Americans brainwashed, because a brainwashed population does not contest the violence and coercion that Washington applies to other peoples. America is exceptional in the murder and mayhem its rulers inflict on other peoples.
Guest Column by Professor Thomas DiLorenzo
The New Generation of Holocaust Deniers
“[F]rom the military policies of Sherman and Sheridan there lies but an easy step to the total war of the Nazis, the greatest affront to Western civilization since its founding.”
–Richard M. Weaver, The Southern Essays of Richard M. Weaver, pp. 168-169.
Having lied about secession, states’ rights, the origins of the Constitution, Lincoln, and just about everything having to do with the American “Civil War” for many generations, the Lincoln cult is now hard at work on its biggest lie of all: that General William Tecumseh Sherman’s famous “march to the sea” did not negatively affect Southern civilians or their property.
In a November 14 New York Times article one Alan Blinder wrote of “an expanding body of more forgiving scholarship about the general’s behavior.” In its ten thousandth attempt (at least) to mentally “reconstruct” Southerners, the government-funded Georgia Historical Society, in cahoots with the Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum, recently paced a marker in Atlanta “near the picnic tables at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum” that is supposedly “a reassessment of Sherman” that has been “decades in the making” by the Lincoln cult.
Sherman was not “gratuitously destructive,” says the marker. He only targeted “military infrastructure.” Of course, in reality Sherman considered every Southern person, every acre of Southern land, every house, every barn, every blade of grass, every farm animal, and even every family pet as part of the Confederacy’s “military infrastructure.” Honest historians have documented this in spades for the past 150 years. It is also documented beyond all doubt by the U.S. government’s own Official Records of the war.
Nevertheless, the Lincoln cultists now dismiss the extraordinarily well-documented history of Sherman’s army’s pillaging, plundering, raping, and murdering of Southern civilians as “fables” and mere “family accounts of cruelty.” One source of such talk is John F. Marszalek, the executive director of the “Mississippi-based Ulysses S. Grant Association.” (A Grant museum in Mississippi is not unlike having a pro-Hitler Museum in Auschwitz, Poland). “The facts are coming out,” Marszalek ludicrously proclaimed to the Times. Sherman’s behavior “hastened . . . the reunification of the union,” the marker at the Jimmy Carter shrine absurdly announces. Yes, just as the German blitzkrieg “united” Germany with Poland and France during World War II, or how Soviet tanks “united” Eastern and Central Europe during the Cold War.
It is child’s play to prove what a pack of liars this new generation of Holocaust deniers are. It does require a little effort, however, which is probably what the Deniers are depending on when they spread their lies in places like the picnic area at the Jimmy Carter shrine. For example, consider just a few of the facts taken from the U.S. War Department publication, War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, as discussed in Walter Brian Cisco’s outstanding work of scholarship, War Crimes Against Southern Civilians.
From the Official Records, a Colonel Adin Underwood of Massachusetts described Sherman’s gratuitous bombing and burning of Atlanta after the Confederate Army had left the city as having burned to the ground “37 percent of the city” according to Sherman’s military engineers. This included many private homes and even churches.
An Ohio infantryman is quoted as describing “an ocean of fire” all throughout Atlanta. Eventually, at least “two-thirds of Atlanta lay in ashes” according to the Official Records. A Major Nichols was told that “the holocaust devoured no fewer than five thousand buildings.”
When Sherman’s chief military engineer, Captain O.M Poe, voiced dismay over seeing so many corpses of women and children in the streets of Atlanta, and informed Sherman that the day-and-night bombardment of the city was of no military significance, Sherman coldly called the corpses “a beautiful sight” that would quicken the ending of the war (Michael Fellman, Citizen Sherman, p. 184). There were approximately 4,000 private homes in Atlanta before Sherman’s bombing, with only around 400 left standing.
Sherman left a paper trail that was obviously intended to cover his murderous tracks, but at times he issued direct orders to murder civilians. Bothered by his inability to apprehend Confederate snipers who had been shooting at his railroad trains, he sent the following order to a General Louis D. Watkins: “Cannot you send over about Fairmount and Adairsville, burn ten or twelve houses of known secessionists, kill a few at random, and let them know it will be repeated every time a train is fired on . . ?” (John Walters, Merchant of Terror: General Sherman and Total War, p. 137). In order to carry out such war crimes, Sherman biographer Lee Kennett writes of how “the New York regiments were . . . filled with big city criminals and foreigners fresh from the jails of the Old World.” It took a special kind of “soldier” to carry out Sherman’s war crimes. (Lee Kennett, Marching Through Georgia, p. 279).
The Official Records also record how federal soldiers extorted money from Southern civilians by demanding “insurance” payments to avoid having their homes ransacked and burned down. A Major James Austin Connolly is quoted in the following way in response to reports that Southerners were hiding their valuables from thieving U.S. Army soldiers:
“Let them do it if they dare. We’ll burn every house, barn, church, and everything else we come to; we’ll leave their families homeless without food; their towns will all be destroyed and nothing but the most complete desolation will be found in our track. “
The Official Records also write of how Northern reporters associated with Republican Party newspapers often accompanied Sherman’s “bummers” as they were called, and then entertained the folks up North with tales of their raping, pillaging, plundering, burning, and murdering. One Northern reporter is quoted s saying of Sherman’s rampaging looters:
“If the spoil were ample, the depradators were satisfied, and went off in peace; if not, everything was destroyed . . . . Hogs were bayoneted to bleed; chickens, geese, and turkeys knocked over and hung in garlands . . . cows and calves . . . are shot . . . . the furniture [of private homes] is smashed to pieces, music is pounded out of . . . pianos with the ends of muskets.”
Another federal soldier is quoted as saying “I rather feel sorry for some of the women who cried and begged so piteously for the soldiers to leave them a little,” but nevertheless, “extermination [of the civilian population] is our only means now.”
When Sherman reached Hardeeville, South Carolina, one of his bummers is quoted in the Official Records as saying that “In a few hours a town of half century’s growth is thus leveled to the ground.” This even included a church where “First the pulpit and the seats were torn out . . . . Many axes were at work.” This is undoubtedly an example of what the Lincoln cult means when they refer to “military infrastructure.”
One of Sherman’s degradations was known as his “war on dogs.” A U.S. Army Colonel is quoted in the Official Records as saying, “We were determined that no dogs should escape . . . we exterminate all. The dogs were easily killed. All we had to do was to bayonet them.”
By the time Sherman was done with South Carolina, one of his officers boasted in the Official Records that “We have . . . burnt one city, the capital, and most of the villages on our route as well as most barns, outbuildings and dwelling houses, and every house that escaped fire has been pillaged.” This was no “family myth,” as the Lincoln cult shamelessly claims, but the words of a senior officer in Sherman’s army.
Sherman’s “march to the sea” was nothing new: he had been waging total war on the civilian population of the South for years. In 1862 he ordered the complete destruction through fire of the town of Randolph, Tennessee, near Memphis. Around that time, Sherman wrote a letter to his wife saying that “extermination, not of soldiers alone, that is the least part of the trouble, but the people” in general, was his intention. (Cited in John Walters, Merchant of Terror, p. 61).
In 1863 Sherman ordered the systematic bombardment of Jackson, Mississippi every five minutes, day and night. The city was sacked, looted, and destroyed, after which Sherman boasted in a letter to Grant that “the [civilian] inhabitants are subjugated. They cry aloud for mercy. The land is devastated for 30 miles around.” (Cited in Walters, Merchant of Terror, p. 101). He also boasted of the complete destruction of Meridian, Mississippi: “For five days, ten thousand of our men worked hard and with a will, in that work of destruction, with axes, sledges, crowbars, clawbars, and with fire, and I have no hesitation in pronouncing the work well done. Meridian . . . no longer exists.” (Walters, Merchant of Terror, p. 116). This, too, took place after the Confederate Army was long gone from the area.
James McPherson estimated that some 50,000 Southern civilians perished during the War to Prevent Southern Independence, but the true figure is probably much higher. Sherman himself boasted of how his “bummers” destroyed hundreds of millions of dollars worth of private property and walked off with hundreds of millions of dollars more. There are thousands of pictures of the burned out Southern landscape in the wake of Sherman’s “march” in addition to all the Official Records that record his war crimes.
But of course in war, the victors are never prosecuted. This probably explains why Sherman – and all the other Union Army top command, including Lincoln himself, became more and more murderous when it came to Southern civilians in the latter years of the war. They all understood that if the South was victorious, it would have been well within its rights to hang all of them as war criminals.
In the past, before the Lincoln cult commenced its current campaign to whitewash Sherman’s reputation, some cultists admitted this. Sherman biographer Lee Kennett wrote that “had the Confederates somehow won, had their victory put them in position to bring their chief opponents before some sort of tribunal, they would have found themselves justified . . . in stringing up President Lincoln and the entire Union high command for violation of the laws of war, specifically for waging war against noncombatants.” (Lee Kennett, Marching Through Georgia, p. 286). This proves that the Lincoln cultists know these facts but are once again doing everything they can to confuse and misinform the American public about their own country’s history. As such, it is not an exaggeration to label them as the new generation of holocaust deniers.
Republished with permission from LewRockwell.com
Thomas J. DiLorenzo [send him mail] is professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the author of The Real Lincoln; ;Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe, How Capitalism Saved America, Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Archenemy Betrayed the American Revolution – And What It Means for America Today. His latest book is Organized Crime: The Unvarnished Truth About Government.
Monday, November 24, 2014
Paul Craig Roberts' advice to Russia: "By its inaction the Russian government is aiding and abetting Washington’s onslaught against Russia. The Russian government could tell Europe to call off [the NATO/Ukraine attack on the eastern provinces] or go without natural gas. The Russian government could declare a no-fly zone over the separatist provinces and deliver an ultimatum to Kiev. The Russian government could accept the requests from Donetsk and Luhansk for unification or reunification with Russia. Any one of these actions would suffice to resolve the conflict before it spins out of control and opens the gates to World War III." And he adds that: "The American people are clueless that Washington is on the brink of starting a dangerous war." See the preceding blog for more details.
Opening the Gates to World War III — Paul Craig Roberts
November 23, 2014 | Original Here Go here to sign up to receive email notice of this news letter
Opening the Gates to World War III
Paul Craig Roberts
According to news reports, Washington has decided to arm Ukraine for renewed military assault on Russian ethnics in Donetsk and Luhansk.
A Russian foreign ministry official condemned Washington’s reckless decision to supply weapons to Kiev as a violation of agreements that would make a political resolution of the conflict less likely. This statement is perplexing. It implies that the Russian government has not yet figured out that Washington has no interest in resolving the conflict. Washington’s purpose is to use the hapless Ukrainians against Russia. The worse the conflict becomes, the happier Washington is.
The Russian government made a bet that Europe would come to its senses and the conflict would be peacefully resolved. The Russian government has lost that bet and must immediately move to preempt a worsening crisis by uniting the separatists provinces with Russia or by reading the riot act to Europe.
It would be a costly humiliation for the Russian government to abandon the ethnic Russians to a military assault. If Russia stands aside while Donetsk and Luhansk are destroyed, the next attack will be on Crimea. By the time Russia is forced to fight Russia will face a better armed, better prepared, and more formidable foe.
By its inaction the Russian government is aiding and abetting Washington’s onslaught against Russia. The Russian government could tell Europe to call this off or go without natural gas. The Russian government could declare a no-fly zone over the separatist provinces and deliver an ultimatum to Kiev. The Russian government could accept the requests from Donetsk and Luhansk for unification or reunification with Russia. Any one of these actions would suffice to resolve the conflict before it spins out of control and opens the gates to World War III.
The American people are clueless that Washington is on the brink of starting a dangerous war. Even informed commentators become sidetracked in refuting propaganda that Russia has invaded Ukraine and is supplying weapons to the separatists. These commentators are mistaken if they think establishing the facts will do any good.
Washington intends to remove Russia as a constraint on Washington’s power. Washington’s arrogance is forcing a stark choice on Russia: vassalage or war.
The insane U.S. government and it's mindless European vassals are arming Ukraine's blood thirsty neo-Nazi storm troopers to attack the Russian-speaking provinces abutting Russia, hoping to draw Russia into World War III. Up to now Russia has tried to negotiate. Be sure to read Prof. Petras "All-out War In Ukraine" artlcle linked to at the bottom.
All-Out War In Ukraine: NATO’s ‘Final Offensive’
November 23, 2014 | Original Here Go here to sign up to receive email notice of this news letter
Washington’s Reckless Demonization Of Russia — Paul Craig Roberts
If Professor Petras’ account of the developing war scenario in Ukraine is correct, it would seem that the Russian government has underestimated Washington’s mendacity and overestimated European independence and sense of survival.
There is little doubt that hubris has made Washington insane. But it is difficult to account for Europe’s insanity. With winter at hand, how can Europe expect to be part of bringing such trouble to Russia and still receive deliveries of natural gas?
Perhaps Europeans are fooling themselves that Russia will stand aside.
If the situation is as dire as it seems, the Russian government must prevent it from unfolding by accepting the request of the eastern and southern provinces to unite with Russia. Then an attack on Donetsk becomes an attack on Russia herself. Such an attack would be suicidal for Washington’s puppet regime in Kiev and for Europeans that back such an attack.
The Russian government has done all it can to encourage Europe to maintain profitable and peaceful relations with Russia. However, it seems that Europeans are too firmly under Washington’s control to act in their own interest. Europe’s vassalage is permitting a scenario to unfold that could lead to World War III. The Russian government could preempt this risk by accepting the separatists’ request for unification with Russia.
All-Out War In Ukraine: NATO’s ‘Final Offensive’ by Professor James Petras
Friday, November 21, 2014
I’ve always thought of Henry Kissinger as the quintessential neocon …and in the purest sense maybe he still is. The reason for my confusion may be that he is pragmatic and as logical as Paul Craig Roberts (who called my attention to the column below). The difference is that neocons presently running the U.S. government are illogical, and literally insane, in their push for a nuclear world war that would destroy themselves together with the rest of the human race.
Kissinger: Ukraine should forget about Crimea and NATO membership
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger spoke about global threats, the secession of Crimea and Ukraine's NATO accession.
Mr. Kissinger said that there currently is an urgent need for a new world order, but its coming into being will be long and complicated. "There are no universally accepted rules," said Mr. Kissinger in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel. "There is the Chinese view, the Islamic view, the Western view and, to some extent, the Russian view. And they really are not always compatible."
Speaking of Crimea’s accession to Russia, he noted that this is a special case, as Ukraine and Russia were one country for a long time. In his view, the West must recognize its mistakes. "Europe and America did not understand the impact of these events, starting with the negotiations about Ukraine's economic relations with the European Union and culminating in the demonstrations in Kiev," said Mr. Kissinger. "All these, and their impact, should have been the subject of a dialogue with Russia."
He is sure that Ukraine has always had a special significance for Russia. Failure to understand this was fatal, and the Ukrainian authorities can forget about the Crimean peninsula. "Nobody in the West has offered a concrete program to restore Crimea," said Mr. Kissinger. "Nobody is willing to fight over eastern Ukraine." In his opinion, introducing anti-Russian sanctions was a mistake.
"We have to remember that Russia is an important part of the international system, and therefore useful in solving all sorts of other crises, for example in the agreement on nuclear proliferation with Iran or over Syria," Mr. Kissinger said. "This has to have preference over a tactical escalation in a specific case." He added that Ukraine should not hope to become a member of NATO in the foreseeable future, as the alliance will never vote unanimously for the accession of Ukraine.
Published by: Strategic Culture Foundation on-line journal www.strategic-culture.org.
Monday, November 17, 2014
In the wake of the mid-term election two weeks ago, the despicable "mainstream media" have been busy "explaining" that the reason consistant pre-polling showing Democrats running neck-and-neck with their Republican adversarys or clearly winning yet losing on election day by 4 or 5 percentage points was due to errors made by the pollsters. Anyone who knows anything about statistics knows that random errors should be in both directions. Here election integrity advocate Brad Freeman responds to one such stolen-election-cover-up artist, Nate Silver. Note the vast amount of data Brad cites in making the case that there was massive fraud in this election, all favoring Republican candidates.
The Results Were Skewed Toward Republicans: A Response to Nate Silver
By BRAD FRIEDMAN on 11/7/2014, 6:02am PT
The presumption is that the results are always right, and if they don't match the pre-election polling, its the polling that must be wrong, as opposed to the election results.
On Wednesday morning, after Tuesday's mid-term election surprise in which Republicans reportedly won handily in race after race despite pre-election polls almost unanimously predicting much closer races or outright Democratic victories, FiveThirtyEight statistics guru Nate Silver declared "The Polls Were Skewed Toward Democrats".
His analysis of aggregated averages from dozens of different pollsters and polls this year found that the performance of Democrats was overestimated by approximately 4 percentage points in Senate races and 3.4 points in gubernatorial contests. Silver's assessment relies on a "simple average of all polls released in the final three weeks of the campaign," as compared to the (unofficial and almost entirely unverified) election results reported on Tuesday night. He doesn't suggest there was anything nefarious in the polling bias towards Dems this year, simply that the pollsters got it wrong for a number of speculative reasons.
Citing the fact that nearly all of the polls suggested Democrats would do much better than they ultimately did, when compared to the reported election results, Silver asserts it wasn't that the polls were more wrong that usual, per se, but that almost all of them were wrong in a way that appears to have overestimated Democratic performance on Election Day.
"This year's polls were not especially inaccurate," he explains. "Between gubernatorial and Senate races, the average poll missed the final result by an average of about 5 percentage points --- well in line with the recent average. The problem is that almost all of the misses were in the same direction."
Silver is much smarter than I when it comes to numbers; I'm happy to presume he has the basic math right. But he seems to have a blind spot in his presumption that the pre-election polls were wrong and the election results were right. That, despite the lack of verification of virtually any of the results from Tuesday night, despite myriad and widespread if almost completely ignored problems and failures at polls across the country that day, and despite systematic voter suppression and dirty tricks that almost certainly resulted in election results (verified or otherwise) that were skewed toward Republicans...
No doubt you're familiar by now with many of the surprising results Silver cites --- he describes them as "missed 'calls'" and "errors". For example, he notes, pollsters erred in the governor's races "including in Illinois and Kansas and especially in Maryland, where Republican Larry Hogan wound up winning by 9 percentage points despite trailing in every nonpartisan poll released all year."
In Senate contests, he wrote earlier on Wednesday, "Some of the worst misses came in states like Kentucky and Arkansas where the Republican won, but by a considerably larger margin than polls projected. There was also a near-disaster in Virginia. It looks like Democratic incumbent Mark Warner will pull out the race, but the polls had him up by 9 points rather than being headed for a photo finish."
There are many more examples you likely know by now. There were similar surprises in some ballot measures and down-ticket races as well. For example, in Kansas, controversial Republican Sec. of State Kris Kobach was reportedly "tied" with his Democratic challenger last week, according to KSN-TV's SurveyUSA poll. Yet, according to the results on Kobach's own KS Secretary of State site, he "won" the election by a remarkable 18 points. (That's a single poll, not an average of many, but you get the idea.)
Those results, as well as the ones cited by Silver, could, in fact, be correct. The trouble is a) we don't know, because nobody bothers to verify the computer-reported results (even in states which use paper ballots systems that could be verified, unlike states that use touch-screen systems) and b) they ignore all of the problems with voting systems and the ability of voters to even access them in the first place.
While many Americans may be familiar with the surprise of Tuesday's reported results, not nearly as many are aware of the problems that plagued voters across the country. So, here, for those who aren't regular BRAD BLOG readers, are just a few examples of those problems where not all, but most, seemed to skew the election and its results away from Democratic voters and towards the GOP:
• Polling place Photo ID and other voter ID voting restrictions have been shown, over and over again, in study after study and court case after court case, to adversely and disproportionately disadvantage Democratic-leaning voters. Wendy Weiser of NYU Law School's Brennan Center for Justice released a report on Wednesday, asking "how much of a difference did new voting restrictions", making it "harder to vote in 21 states" this year, have on the reported outcome of the elections?
Weiser rounds up up summaries of data in four states suggesting that "in several key races, the margin of victory came very close to the likely margin of disenfranchisement."
In the Kansas gubernatorial race, Weiser explains, Gov. Sam Brownback (R) beat challenger Paul Davis (D) by "less than 33,000 votes". That, despite a strict Photo ID law "put into effect right before the 2012 election, and a new documentary proof of citizenship requirement for voter registration," implemented by Sec. of State Kobach. "We know from the Kansas secretary of state that more than 24,000 Kansans tried to register this year but their registrations were held in 'suspense' because they failed to present the documentary proof of citizenship now required by state law."
Silver cites the pre-election polling average in the state that gave the Democrat Davis a 2.8 point advantage over Brownback in the days leading up to the election. Brownback reportedly won the race on Tuesday --- Silver calls it the "Actual Result" --- by 3.8 points, a 6.6 swing between pre-election polls and election results.
How many voters couldn't vote because they were blocked due to Kobach's scheme to disallow voters who didn't turn in some sort of "proof" of citizenship, even though they'd registered to vote with the national voter registration form that says nothing about a need to supply such documents?
Weiser goes on to cite the Senate race in Virginia, where Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Warner, who had been pegged by pre-election polls to win by 8.5 points, beat Republican challenger Ed Gillespie by just .6, or "just over 12,000 votes". That, despite the state's new Photo ID law, enacted last year, which, according to the Virginia Board of Elections, means that "198,000 'active Virginia voters' did not have acceptable ID this year." Moreover, as Silver himself estimated when he worked for the New York Times (he now works for ESPN), such restrictive voting laws reduce turnout by about 2.4%, meaning, according to Weiser, "a reduction in turnout by more than 52,000 voters" in Virginia.
In Alabama, on the Friday before the election, the state Attorney General quietly issued an edict that Public Housing IDs would no longer be allowable for use in voting there under that state's Photo ID voting law. How many lost their right to vote on Tuesday?
In Arkansas, though the state's Photo ID restriction was struck down by the state Supreme Court after being found a violation of the state's constitution, poll workers were reportedly asking voters for Photo ID anyway, leading the Arkansas Times to declare there were "voter suppression reports from all over" on Election Day and a "steady stream of complaints...from voters who say election officials around Arkansas demanded a photo ID before they could vote today."
In that state, pre-election polls predicted that Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor was likely to lose to Republican Tom Cotton by 4.7 points. The results show him as having lost by 17.
In Texas, reportedly, "the number of provisional ballots cast more than doubled since the last mid-term election in 2010." That, after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a strict polling place Photo ID law to be implemented this year, and despite a U.S. District Court finding, after a full trial, that the GOP law was "purposefully discriminatory", an "unconstitutional poll tax" and could disenfranchise as many as 600,000 disproportionately minority and poor registered voters.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found in a study earlier this year that polling place Photo ID restrictions in Kansas and Tennessee had decreased voter turnout in those states by 2 to 3% after they were enacted in 2012, and at even higher rates for minority and young voters.
While we'll have to wait to learn more about the specific effect of Photo ID restrictions on voters this year --- and we'll never know how many didn't even bother to show up, knowing that they lacked the specific type of Photo ID now needed to vote --- is it too early to consider how all of that voter suppression affect the reported election results this year in TX, AR, AL, KS and VA? More or less than the "Democratic bias" Silver finds in almost all of the pre-election polling averages?
• The Electronic Voter ID system went down for still unknown reasons in Florida in the Democratic stronghold of Broward County, resulting in voters who were unable to vote on Election Day. Gov. Rick Scott (R) is said to have defeated former Gov. Charlie Crist (D) there by just over 1%. Moreover, as Weiser notes, a host of new voting restrictions enacted by Florida Republicans over the last several years, included "a decision by Scott and his clemency board to make it virtually impossible for the more than 1.3 million Floridians who were formerly convicted of crimes but have done their time and paid their debt to society to have their voting rights restored." Might any of that had an adverse effect on the Democrats' results in the Sunshine State Tuesday night, an effect that wasn't picked up on in pre-election polls?
• Mysterious robocalls over the weekend before the election resulted in 2,000 election judges failing to show up for work at all in Illinois' Democratic stronghold of Chicago on Tuesday morning. The failure of one-fifth of the city's judges to show up resulted in many polls being short-handed during the morning rush or unable to open at all. Might that have affected the reported results in the Illinois Governor's race where the incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn was expected to win by .3, according to Silver's aggregated poll averages, but ended up losing instead by almost 5 points?
• Touchscreen votes were reported as flipping Democratic to Republican in Texas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Virginia and elsewhere, including in North Carolina where 100% unverifiable touch-screen votes reportedly flipped from incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan (D) to her challenger Thom Tillis (R). She was predicted to win by a small margin in the pre-election poll average --- and even, reportedly, according to Election Day exit polls late in the day --- but she ended up reportedly losing by almost 2 points or about 48,000 votes.
North Carolina voters also faced the most extreme voter suppression law since the Jim Crow era this year. Hundreds of voters are known to have been disenfranchised during the much smaller turnout during the state's primary election in April. As Weiser reports, during "the last midterms in 2010, 200,000 voters cast ballots during the early voting days now cut" by the new Republican law, a huge number of them were minority voters who tend to vote Democratic. Moreover, same-day registration for voters was nixed this year by the same law. Additionally, she writes, "7,500 voters cast their ballots outside of their home precincts" in 2012, but this year, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed all of those provisions of the new GOP law to be implemented, even after the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals had struck them down, finding "that African-American voters disproportionately used those electoral mechanisms and that House Bill 589 restricted those mechanisms and thus disproportionately impacts African-American voters."
Might any of those issues have resulted a Republican skew in the election results, many of which are based on ballots cast that were cast and registered --- either correctly or incorrectly, we can never know --- on 100% unverifiable electronic voting systems?
(For the record, unverifiable touch-screen votes also reportedly flipped in either unknown directions or from Republicans to Democrats in Arkansas, Illinois, Virginia and Maryland. Though reports of D to R flips are historically much more common, they also flip from R to D as well on occasion, a factor not accounted for at all in pre-election polling or in Silver's analysis of results.)
• Registration issues plagued voters in a number of states. I've already mentioned the thousands of Kansas voters unable to vote in state elections this year, but what of those 50,000 voter registrations in Georgia collected during a progressive registration drive there? It's alleged they were never entered into the system by the state's Republican Sec. of State. Might that have had an impact on the perceived "Democratic bias" in the polls compared to the results collected on the state's 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting system in the race for Georgia's open U.S. Senate seat between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue? In that contest, the pre-election poll average projected a 6.4% better result for the Democrat than the one ultimately reported by the computer tabulators.
In New Mexico and in Louisiana, where there were important races for Governor and the U.S. Senate respectively, the GOP-controlled states are accused of undermining voter registration by failing to properly implement National Voter Registration Act requirements to offer voter registration opportunities to residents via social services outlets, such as those applying for drivers licenses or medicaid or food stamps.
Across the nation, as Greg Palast reported at Al-Jazeera last week, millions of voters were threatened with disenfranchisement in some 20 states, thanks to an "Interstate Crosscheck" database created by Kansas' Kobach with a number of other GOP-run states. The database, while secretly implemented, is supposed to check for possible multiple registrations by voters in those states. Palast reports, however, that the system is plagued with errors, disproportionately targets minority voters, and might have resulted in unknown numbers of voters inappropriately removed from the voting rolls entirely and/or challenged at the polls on Election Day.
• Not enough paper ballots left voters unable to vote verifiably in Ferguson, MO and elsewhere in St. Louis County, as well as the city of St. Louis. The jurisdictions scrambled to print and deliver new ballots throughout the day, but many voters were effected, particularly during the morning rush and late in the day, when lines grew long and polls had to stay open to accommodate those who could afford to wait. At one polling place in Florissant, a town just adjacent to Ferguson, a poll supervisor reported that when they opened the polling place in the morning "they only had five of one of the paper ballots when they typically need about 300 of that version."
Could the difficulty voters had casting a vote in the predominantly African-American areas of St. Louis served to skew final results in favor of Republicans there?
We could go on. And on. And on. And on. There were many more problems across the country, and undoubtedly others yet to come to light, but you get the idea. And, of course, none of that takes into account whether any of the reported results themselves were accurately tabulated by the oft-failed computer systems which tabulate almost all our nation's ballots.
How much impact did all of those factors --- and more we haven't mentioned and more still rolling in --- have on the results? We don't yet know. But to simply presume the independent pre-election polls by dozens of different pollsters, each using their own unique methodology, were all simply wrong (skewed towards Democrats) seems presumptuous at best, at this hour, and recklessly misleading from someone like Silver (whose work, I should add, I generally admire).
Perhaps a question that he might better be able to help us all answer is: "What are the statistical odds of so many races all skewing towards the GOP?"
Am I suggesting that elections were stolen by the Republicans? There is no doubt it was a good year for Republicans. But there is also no doubt that it was GOP voter suppression laws that affected turnout and the ability of many voters to be able to cast their votes at all, so that could certainly have swung a number of contests. On the other hand, stealing that many elections wholesale in that many states via electronic voting systems, without leaving evidence behind --- particularly on our nation's hodge-podge of different types of systems --- would be a very difficult feat, most likely requiring a very large conspiracy. In such cases, it's usually difficult to keep such a large conspiracy quiet. There are a few ways it could be done with a somewhat smaller conspiracy of insiders, but we'll leave that discussion for another day.
Whether races would have had a different winner is ultimately unknown, but all of the items mentioned above could have had an effect on the polling averages versus the reported election results.
While Silver's focus on polling and reported results is understandable, the analysis he offered is itself a skewed picture of what actually happened on Tuesday. It presumes that election results reported on our terrible electronic voting and tabulation systems, amidst voter suppression efforts unprecedented since the Jim Crow era, are accurate, while it was the pollsters who must have got it all wrong --- and wrong, by a remarkable coincidence, in a way that supposedly overestimated Democratic turnout in almost every case.
While an analysis of such numbers is interesting media bait --- particularly for those to whom elections are little more than a horse race, rather than an exercise of the fundamental right which supposedly protects all others in this nation --- it offers Americans a skewed and misleading story. It suggests, without any evidence to support such a broad assumption, that the results were "right" and the pollsters were "wrong."
That may be an easy to story to tell, but it just isn't an accurate or helpful one. It serves only to skew our nation and our media even further from a once-great representative democracy to little more than a biennial ESPN Sports Center extravaganza.
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Sunday, November 16, 2014
Wonder which direction the U.S. economy is headed? Then turn to Paul Craig Roberts, Ph.D. in economics and practical experience as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. Here are some his remarks in this post: "As most Americans, if not the financial media, are aware, Quantitative Easing (a euphemism for printing money) has failed to bring back the US economy." "In the US QE caused inflation in stock and bond prices as most of the liquidity provided went into financial markets instead of into consumers’ pockets." "The extent of financial corruption involving collusion between the mega-banks and the financial authorities is unfathomable. The Western financial system is a house of cards resting on corruption."
A Global House Of Cards — Paul Craig Roberts
November 14, 2014 | Original Here Go here to sign up to receive email notice of this news letter
A Global House Of Cards
Paul Craig Roberts
As most Americans, if not the financial media, are aware, Quantitative Easing (a euphemism for printing money) has failed to bring back the US economy.
So why has Japan adopted the policy? Since the heavy duty money printing began in 2013, the Japanese yen has fallen 35% against the US dollar, a big cost for a country dependent on energy imports. Moreover, the Japanese economy has shown no growth in response to the QE stimulus to justify the rising price of imports.
Despite the economy’s lack of response to the stimulus, last month the Bank of Japan announced a 60% increase in quantitative easing–from 50 to 80 trillion yen annually. Albert Edwards, a strategist at Societe Generale, predicts that the Japanese printing press will drive the yen down from 115 yen to the dollar to 145.
This is a prediction, but why risk the reality? What does Japan have to gain from currency depreciation? What is the thinking behind the policy?
An easy explanation is that Japan is being ordered to destroy its currency in order to protect the over-printed US dollar. As a vassal state, Japan suffers under US political and financial hegemony and is powerless to resist Washington’s pressure.
The official explanation is that, like the Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan professes to believe in the Phillips Curve, which associates economic growth with inflation. The supply-side economic policy implemented by the Reagan administration disproved the Phillips Curve belief that economic growth was inconsistent with a declining or a stable rate of inflation. However, establishment economists refuse to take note and continue with the dogmas with which they are comfortable.
In the US QE caused inflation in stock and bond prices as most of the liquidity provided went into financial markets instead of into consumers’ pockets. There is more consumer price inflation than the official inflation measures report, as the measures are designed to under-report inflation, thereby saving money on COLA adjustments, but the main effect of QE has been unrealistic stock and bond prices.
The Bank of Japan’s hopes are that raw material and energy import prices will rise as the exchange value of yen falls, and that these higher costs will be passed along in consumer prices, pushing up inflation and stimulating economic growth. Japan is betting its economy on a discredited theory.
The interesting question is why financial strategists expect the yen to collapse under QE, but did not expect the dollar to collapse under QE. Japan is the world’s third largest economy, and until about a decade ago was going gangbusters despite the yen rising in value. Why should QE affect the yen differently from the dollar?
Perhaps the answer lies in the very powerful alliance between the US government and the banking/financial sector and on the obligation that Washington imposes on its vassal states to support the dollar as world reserve currency. Japan lacks the capability to neutralize normal economic forces. Washington’s ability to rig markets has allowed Washington to keep its economic house of cards standing.
The Federal Reserve’s announcement that QE is terminated has improved the outlook for the US dollar. However, as Nomi Prins makes clear, QE has not ended, merely morphed. http://www.nomiprins.com/thoughts/2014/11/10/qe-isnt-dying-its-morphing.html
The Fed’s bond purchases have left the big banks with $2.6 trillion in excess cash reserves on deposit with the Fed. The banks will now use this money to buy bonds in place of the Fed’s purchases. When this money runs out, the Fed will find a reason to restart QE. Moreover, the Fed has announced that it intends to reinvest the interest and returning principle from its $4.5 trillion in holdings of mortgage backed instruments and Treasuries to continue purchasing bonds. Possibly also, interest rate swaps can be manipulated to keep rates down. So, despite the announced end of QE, purchases will continue to support high bond prices, and the high bond prices will continue to encourage purchases of stocks, thus perpetuating the house of cards.
As Dave Kranzler and I (and no doubt others) have pointed out, a stable or rising dollar exchange value is the necessary foundation to the house of cards. Until three years ago, the dollar was losing ground rapidly with respect to gold. Since that time massive sales of uncovered shorts in the gold futures market have been used to drive down the gold price.
That gold and silver bullion prices are rigged is obvious. Demand is high, and supply is constrained; yet prices are falling. The US mint cannot keep up with the demand for silver eagles and has suspended sales. The Canadian mint is rationing the supply of silver maple leafs. Asian demand for gold, especially from China, is at record levels.
The third quarter, 2014, was the 15th consecutive quarter of net purchases of gold by central banks. Dave Kranzler reports that in the past eight months, 101 tonnes have been drained from GLD, an indication that there is a gold shortage for delivery to physical purchasers. The declining futures price, which is established in a paper market where contracts are settled in cash, not in gold, is inconsistent with rising demand and constrained supply and is a clear indication of price rigging by US authorities.
The extent of financial corruption involving collusion between the mega-banks and the financial authorities is unfathomable. The Western financial system is a house of cards resting on corruption.
The house of cards has stood longer than I thought possible. Can it stand forever or are there so many rotted joints that some simultaneous collection of failures overwhelms the manipulation and brings on a massive crash? Time will tell.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
In regard to the meetings this week in Beijing, the redoubtable Michael Hudson tells it like it is. Here are a few selected passages taken from the transcript of this don't-miss video. "Mr. Obama also said that the United States was going to cut back carbon emissions. But at the same time, he's still pushing for the XL Pipeline … to bring Alberta tar sands oil into the United States. That, of course, is the single most high pollution activity on the entire planet." "Mr. Obama has looked very uncomfortable at these meetings because he knows that he hasn't gotten anything that he wants.” In Brisbane "... you're going to see … Europe being completely left out. The sanctions that the United States and NATO have insisted that Europe impose on Russia means don't trade with Russia. So Russia has put on the counter-sanctions against French and Baltic and European exports to Russia. French farmers are already demonstrating.” “The Baltic states are screaming because Europe, France, Latvia, and even Germany had been looking to the one growing market since the last few years is Russia, and the United States says, don't deal with Russia ... Europe is left in a position of economic stagnation and shrinking.”
. .President Putin Pledges to Increase Trade with China and Asia to Rebuke Sanctions
The $400 billion, 40 year oil and gas deal between China and Russia is a response to the new cold war pressure and sanctions on Russia, says economist Michael Hudson - November 13, 14
Michael Hudson is a Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. His two newest books are The Bubble and Beyond and Finance Capitalism and its Discontents. His upcoming book is titled Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Yesterday’s re-post of an article by Paul Craig Roberts revealed the German people to have finally become so fed up with their “mainstream media’s” repeating blatant lies promulgated by the CIA, that they have stopped buying the print versions and are now even shunning their web sites. In the present re-post PCR exposes the many egregious lies wrapped up in “our” government’s Latest Jobs Report. How much longer will it take for the Americans to catch up with the Germans? PCR: “The propaganda that Americans are fed is more extreme than the propaganda of Big Brother in George Orwell’s 1984.”
More Lies from “Our” Government: The Latest Jobs Report
November 10, 2014 | Original Here Go here to sign up to receive email notice of this news letter
More Lies from “Our” Government: The Latest Jobs Report
Paul Craig Roberts
Just as the German media has destroyed its credibility with lies, the US government is consistently destroying Washington’s credibility both with its own citizens and the rest of the world.
Russia and China, the other two significant nuclear powers, no longer believe anything Washington says or any agreement that the US government signs. The Russian and Chinese governments have observed that Washington does not obey its own statutory law, much less international law and treaties that Washington has signed. Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized Washington for acting as if its will was the only law.
Europeans know that they and their governments are Washington’s vassals and that Europeans are impotent to do anything about it.
Some percentage of the 99 percent understand that Washington is aligned with the one percent against them and that their incomes and economic prospects will continue to decline.
Economists, or rather the few who haven’t sold their souls, know that the government’s economic data are pulled out of a magician’s hat and massaged to produce numbers contradicted by reality. Unemployment is measured according to methodologies designed to prevent its discovery. Inflation is measured according to methodologies designed to deny its existence. Jobs are reported that don’t exist, and GDP growth rates are announced that declines in real median family incomes and consumer credit make impossible.The poverty level income is set artificially low in order to minimize welfare spending.
The lies that Washington and the powerful private interest groups that control the US government tell us go unchallenged by the print and TV media and by NPR. The propaganda that Americans are fed is more extreme than the propaganda of Big Brother in George Orwell’s 1984.
In last Friday’s report the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tells us that the unemployment rate has declined to 5.8% and that 214,000 new jobs were created in October. Once again let me explain these lies to you. The unemployment rate is low because the one that the government and financial media emphasize does not count those millions of Americans who have become so discouraged from looking for jobs that do not exist, that they have quit looking. If you give up and stop searching for a job, the US government does not count you as a member of the work force. You are unemployed but not counted as unemployed.
The uncounted unemployed can be measured in the sharp 21st century decline in the labor force participation rate. The labor force participation rate has declined because there are no jobs to participate in. But Washington, the financial media, and the bought and paid for economists lie. They say the participation rate is down because the baby boomers are retiring. However, as John Titus, Dave Kranzler, and I documented with the government’s own data in a recent column, the participation rate of baby boomers is the highest of all and the only one that is rising. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/09/04/lie-serves-rich-roberts-titus-kranzler/
The reason is that with the Federal Reserves sole concern with the welfare of a small handful of mega-banks–the ones that sit on the board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank–real interest rates are negative. Therefore, retirees have no income from their retirement savings. (Generally speaking, retirees avoid stock investments, because they can lose a great deal from a major correction, and it can take more years than they have left for stocks to recover.) To supplement their Social Security pensions (a rigged CPI prevents or minimizes cost-of-living increases), retirees take the temporary, lowly paid jobs that are all that the US economy can produce. These jobs do not provide sufficient income with which to form a household.
As I have pointed out for a decade, or longer, the US economy no longer creates First World jobs. The US economy creates jobs for waitresses and bartenders, hospital orderlies, and retail clerks. The fact that the complexion of the US work force is becoming Third World is not considered a notable problem by the media or financial press, and economists seem immune to the facts.
Let’s look, once again, at the BLS payroll jobs report for October 2014: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t17.htm
There are 209 thousand private jobs created and 5 thousand government jobs created.
Where are the private jobs?
Almost all of them–181,000–are in lowly paid private services.
Retail trade with 27,100 jobs, wholesale trade with 8,500 jobs, and transportation and warehousing with 13,300 jobs and 48,900 jobs. With middle class retail stores closing and even dollar stores failing and with consumer income (except for the rich) and credit (except for student loans) shrinking, do you really believe that consumer spending supported almost 50,000 new jobs in October?
Where is the money coming from?
The vast amount of money that the Fed has created has gone into the handful of mega-banks to support the banks. The banks are not buying consumer goods.
The BLS reports that 37,000 new jobs were created in October in professional and business services. Employment services, such as temporary help services, account for 24,000 or 65% of these jobs.
Another old standby is education and health care services, which provided 41,000 new jobs. Health care and social assistance provided 27,200 of these jobs and home health care services provided 7,400 of these jobs. Together lowly paid services provided 84% of the jobs in health care services.
Now we come to the major jobs sector in America: waitresses and bartenders. Waitresses and bartenders are classified under “leisure and hospitality,” which claims 52,000 new jobs in October of which 41,800 or 80 percent are waitresses and bartenders.
If you look at the jobs that the BLS reports the US is creating, they are third world jobs. How is the US “the world’s only superpower” when it cannot create a middle class job.
Amidst the media hype of 214,000 new October jobs, here are some very disturbing facts: In October job cuts rose 68% from the previous month and 12 percent from the previous year. So far there have been 414,591 job eliminations in 2014 with 51,183 of these coming in October.
Where are the job cuts? Retail store closings have produced 38,948 retail job reductions in 2014 with 6,874 of those coming in October. Yet, the BLS reports consistent job growth in retail jobs.
Hewlett Packard cut 5,000 jobs in October, bringing its year’s total to 21,000 lost jobs.
Microsoft eliminated 6,509 jobs in October for a year to date layoff of 55,511, a rise of 92 % from 2013.
In October the electronics industry cut 1,648 jobs, bringing the year to date loss to 18,153.
The telecommunications industry cut 5,217 jobs, bringing the year to date loss to 20,038, an increase of 81% from 2013.
According to Wolf Richter, US job losses in the tech sector have risen 97 % from the previous year. http://wolfstreet.com/2014/11/07/layoffs-explode-in-big-old-american-tech/
My point is: how does consumer demand grow in order to propel the economy when good jobs are replaced by low-paying jobs?
Perhaps one day economists will notice the problem.