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Left libertarian.

“Children Are Dying”


I AM  BACK AT  http://showmethemoneytbone.blogspot.com/


















Special report: Because of nationwide shortages, Washington hospitals are rationing, hoarding, and bartering critical nutrients premature babies and other patients need to survive. Doctors are reporting conditions normally seen only in developing countries, and there have been deaths. How could this be allowed to happen?By Alexandra Robbins

Will Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter Stop Meaning Anything When Climate Change Hits?

I AM  BACK AT  http://showmethemoneytbone.blogspot.com/. HOPE YOU WILL FOLLOW THIS SHOW ME THE MONEY AT THE NEW LOCATION!

My kids and their friends and everyone roughly their age will, in fact, be the last human beings to remember a stable, predictable procession of seasons.

This article first appeared at Orion magazine under the title ” The Discontent of Our Winter.” You can enjoy future  Orion articles by signing up to themagazine’s free trial subscription program.

My children have snow anxiety. For the record, this started in the winter of 2011–12 when no snow fell—at all—and sleds, saucers, skis, and snowball makers sat dejectedly on the porch, unused, next to the irrelevant and despondent snow shovel. Week after week, month after month, Faith and Elijah scanned the skies and studied the forecast. When June-like temperatures hit in March, the sight of the toboggan filled them with so much despair that they wordlessly dragged it back to the barn and put it in storage.

Which did not go unnoticed by their dad and me. When had our kids ever put stuff away without being asked? It was as unprecedented as a snowless winter in upstate New York. Nobody had ever experienced that either.

During the unfrozen winter of 2011–12, the grown-ups all walked around saying, “This is crazy!” True enough. When the temperature in the mudroom hits eighty degrees before the daytime:nighttime ratio hits parity, some synonym for insane is what the thesaurus should take you to. But “This is crazy!” also implies that we possess no rational explanation for June arriving in March. And I noticed that my son and his friends never said things like that to each other. They spoke more grimly, along the lines of, Global warming. It’s here. Now we can’t go sledding. Probably ever. So what do you want to do, dude?

When snow and ice finally fell in April—hard enough and fast enough to cancel school—it fell on tulip and magnolia petals and killed off the entire cherry crop.

The toboggan stayed in the barn.

But wishful thinking springs anew in the hearts of children, even in the face of permanent catastrophe, so, after a cherryless summer and a fall with few apples, Faith and Elijah conferred hopefully about the upcoming winter. Last year was a global warming winter. But maybe global warming winters come only every other year. Maybe this year would be normal.

The snow fell. The sleds came out. The snow melted…






Based on both recent history and mainstream economic theory the past few years should not have been possible. When you cut interest rates to near-zero, run deficits of 10% of GDP and buy up every government bond in sight with newly created currency, you get a boom, end of story. That’s just the way capitalism works.
But this time was different. After four years of QE and ZIRP and all the other easy-money acronyms, we entered the month of May with Europe in a deepening recession and the US recovery petering out.
The culprit? The one piece of the puzzle that governments can’t control: the velocity of money. This is simply a measure of how quickly holders of currency, i.e., banks, consumers, businesses, hand their currency off to someone else. The faster and more frequent the hand-offs, the more stuff gets bought and the more robustly an economy grows. But after their 2009 near-death experience, the world’s banks have been in no mood to lend. Instead, they’ve been sticking all the new currency their governments have been giving them under the proverbial mattress. This reluctance to lend means record low money velocity and little or no economic growth.
Velocity of money 2013
But in just the past month something fundamental has changed. US home sales and prices have accelerated, with prices returning to 2006 levels in some markets and bidding wars, flippers and interest-only mortgages once again becoming common. Stock prices pierced old records and then spiked rather than corrected. Suddenly we’re back in an asset-driven boom.
But it’s a boom with a twist because it coincides with unprecedented amounts of “excess reserves” in the banking system. This is the raw material for new loans, and banks across the country are worrying that they’re missing the boat by remaining in cash. Marginal mortgage applicants now look a lot more attractive because their collateral is appreciating. Private businesses, judged by the share prices of their publicly-traded peers, are becoming more valuable and hence more creditworthy. Families with rising stock portfolios and appreciating houses suddenly look like better bets for car loans.
So what happens if a tidal wave of bank reserves are suddenly converted to business and consumer loans at a time when asset markets are already overheated? Maybe the fabled crack-up boom of Austrian economics. A couple of weeks ago Daily Reckoningaddressed this issue in an article that quoted Ludwig von Mises’ famous definition of a crack-up boom:
This first stage of the inflationary process may last for many years. While it lasts, the prices of many goods and services are not yet adjusted to the altered money relation. There are still people in the country who have not yet become aware of the fact that they are confronted with a price revolution which will finally result in a considerable rise of all prices, although the extent of this rise will not be the same in the various commodities and services. These people still believe that prices one day will drop. Waiting for this day, they restrict their purchases and concomitantly increase their cash holdings. As long as such ideas are still held by public opinion, it is not yet too late for the government to abandon its inflationary policy.
But then, finally, the masses wake up. They become suddenly aware of the fact that inflation is a deliberate policy and will go on endlessly. A breakdown occurs. The crack-up boom appears. Everybody is anxious to swap his money against ‘real’ goods, no matter whether he needs them or not, no matter how much money he has to pay for them. Within a very short time, within a few weeks or even days, the things which were used as money are no longer used as media of exchange. They become scrap paper. Nobody wants to give away anything against them.
It was this that happened with the Continental currency in America in 1781, with the French mandats territoriaux in 1796, and with the German mark in 1923. It will happen again whenever the same conditions appear. If a thing has to be used as a medium of exchange, public opinion must not believe that the quantity of this thing will increase beyond all bounds. Inflation is a policy that cannot last.
So how close are we to the point where “finally, the masses wake up?” Hard to say. Stocks and houses are back at previous-bubble levels and there’s even talk of a shortage of government bonds. And based on the excited emails pouring in from people who, after a decade of bad returns have seen their aggressive growth funds rise by 25% in a quarter and are feeling like geniuses, animal spirits are back and happy. All while bank lending has barely started to ramp up.  It’s safe to assume that banks getting into the game would heat the markets up even more.
How would today’s financial system handle the resulting volatility? Prudent Bear’s Doug Noland addresses this in his most recent Credit Bubble Bulletin:
I don’t mean to imply that today’s environment is comparable to 1999. The U.S. economy was sounder in 1999 – and the global economy was a whole lot more stable. Global imbalances in 1999 were insignificant compared to the present. The U.S. economic and Credit systems had yet to be degraded by a doubling of mortgage debt and a massive misallocation of resources. The federal government hadn’t doubled its debt load in four years. Europe had not yet terribly impaired itself with a decade of runaway non-productive debt growth. China and the “developing” economies had not yet succumbed to historic Credit booms, overinvestment and economic maladjustment. Central banks hadn’t yet resorted to really dangerous measures.
The implication: This world, levered to the hilt in response to the policy mistakes and financial crises of the past few decades, is more complex and fragile than the systems that (barely) survived the bursting of the tech stock and housing bubbles. So this bubble and its aftermath might be a whole different animal.

Washington Signals Dollar Deep Concerns — Paul Craig Roberts


Over the past month there has been a statistically improbable concurrence of events that can only be explained as a conspiracy to protect the dollar from the Federal Reserve’s policy of Quantitative Easing (QE).

Quantitative Easing is the term given to the Federal Reserve’s policy of printing 1,000 billion new dollars annually in order to finance the US budget deficit by purchasing US Treasury bonds and to keep the prices high of debt-related derivatives on the “banks too big to fail” (BTBF) balance sheets by purchasing mortgage-backed derivatives. Without QE, interest rates would be much higher, and values on the banks’ balance sheets would be much lower.

Quantitative Easing has been underway since December 2008. During these 54 months, the Federal Reserve has created several trillion new dollars with which the Fed has monetized the same amount of debt.

One result of this policy is that most real US interest rates are negative. Another result is that the supply of dollars has outstripped the world’s demand for dollars.

These two results are the reason that the Federal Reserve’s policy of printing money with which to purchase Treasury bonds and mortgage backed derivatives threatens the dollar’s exchange value and, thus, the dollar’s role as world reserve currency.

To be the world reserve currency means that the dollar can be used to pay any and every country’s oil bills and trade deficit. The dollar is the medium of international payment.

This is very helpful to the US and is the main source of US power. Because the dollar is the reserve currency, the US can cover its import costs and pay for its cost of operation simply by creating its own paper money.

If the dollar were not the reserve currency, Washington would not be able to finance its wars or continue to run large trade and budget deficits. Therefore, protecting the exchange value of the dollar is Washington’s prime concern if it is to remain a superpower.

The threats to the dollar are alternative monies–currencies that are not being created in enormous quantities, gold and silver, and Bitcoins, a digital currency.

The Bitcoin threat was eliminated on May 17 when the Gestapo Department of Homeland Security seized Bitcoin’s accounts. The excuse was that Bitcoin had failed to register in keeping with the US Treasury’s anti-money laundering requirements.

Washington has stifled the threat from other currencies by convincing other large currencies to out-print the dollar. Japan has complied, and the European Central Bank, though somewhat constrained by Germany, has entered the printing mode in order to bail out the private banks endangered by the “sovereign debt crisis.”

That leaves gold and silver. The enormous increase in the prices of gold and silver over the last decade convinced Washington that there are a number of miscreants who do not trust the dollar and whose numbers must not be permitted to increase.

The price of gold rose from $272 an ounce in December 2000 to $1,917.50 on August 23, 2011. The financial gangsters who own and run America panicked. With the price of the dollar collapsing in relation to historical real money, how could the dollar’s exchange rate to other currencies be valid? If the dollar’s exchange value came under attack, the Federal Reserve would have to stop printing and would lose control over interest rates.

The bond and stock market bubbles would pop, and the interest payments on the federal debt would explode, leaving Washington even more indebted and unable to finance its wars, police state, and bankster bailouts.

Something had to be done about the rising price of gold and silver.

There are two bullion markets. One is a paper market in New York, Comex, where paper claims to gold are traded. The other is the physical market where personal possession is taken of the metal–coin shops, bullion dealers, jewelry stores.

The way the banksters have it set up, the price of bullion is not set in the markets in which people actually take possession of the metals. The price is set in the paper market where speculators gamble.

This bifurcated market gave the Federal Reserve the ability to protect the dollar from its printing press.

On Friday, April 12, 2013, short sales of gold hit the New York market in an amount estimated to have been somewhere between 124 and 400 tons of gold. This enormous and unprecedented sale implies an illegal conspiracy of sellers intent on rigging the market or action by the Federal Reserve through its agents, the BTBF that are the bullion banks.

The enormous sales of naked shorts drove down the gold price, triggering stop-loss orders and margin calls. The attack continued on Monday, April 15, and has continued since.

Before going further, note that there are position limits imposed on the number of contracts that traders can sell at one time. The 124 tons figure would have required 14 traders with no open interest on the exchange to sell all together in the same few minutes 40,000 futures contracts. The likelihood of so many traders deciding to short at the same moment at the maximum permitted is not believable. This was an attack ordered by the Federal Reserve, which is why there is no investigation of the illegality.

Note also that no seller that wanted out of a position would give himself a low price by dumping an enormous amount all at once unless the goal was not profit but to smash the bullion price.

Since the April 12-15 attack on the gold price, subsequent attacks have occurred at 2pm Hong Kong time and 2 am New York time. At this time activity is light, waiting on London to begin operating. As William S.Kaye has observed, no entity concerned about profits would choose this time to sell 20,000 to 30,000 futures contracts, but this is what has been happening.

Who can be unconcerned with losing money in this way? Only a central bank that can print it.

Now we come to the physical market where people take possession of bullion instead of betting on paper instruments. Look at this chart from ZeroHedge. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-05-16/gold-demand-one-chart-physical-vs-etf The demand for physical possession is high, despite the assault on gold that began in 2011, but as the price is set in the non-real paper market, orchestrated short sales, as in the current quarter of 2013, can drive down the price regardless of the fact that the actual demand for gold and silver cannot be met.

While the corrupt Western financial press urges people to abandon bullion, everyone is trying to purchase more, and the premiums above the spot price have risen. Around the world there is a shortage of gold and silver in the forms, such as one-ounce coins and ten-ounce bars, that individuals demand.

That the decline in gold and silver prices is an orchestration is apparent from the fact that the demand for bullion in the physical market has increased while naked short sales in the paper market imply a flight from bullion.

What does this illegal manipulation of markets by the Federal Reserve tell us? It tells us that the Federal Reserve sees no way out of printing money in order to support the federal deficit and the insolvent banks. If the dollar came under attack and the Federal Reserve had to stop printing dollars, interest rates would rise. The bond and stock markets would collapse. The dollar would be abandoned as reserve currency. Washington would no longer be able to pay its bills and would lose its hegemony. The world of hubristic Washington would collapse.

It remains to be seen whether Washington can prevail over the world demand for gold and silver. Can the dollar remain supreme when offshoring has deprived the US of the ability to cover its imports with exports? Can the dollar remain supreme when the Federal reserve is creating 1,000 billion new ones each year, while the BRICS, China and Japan, China and Australia, and China and Russia are making deals to settle their trade balances without the use of the dollar?

If the consumption-based US economy deprived of consumer income by jobs offshoring takes a further dip down in the third or fourth quarter–a downturn that cannot be masked by phony statistical releases–the federal deficit will rise. What will be the effect on the dollar if the Federal Reserve has to increase its Quantitative Easing?

A perfect storm has been prepared for America. Real interest rates are negative, but debt and money are being created hand over foot. The dollar’s demise awaits the world’s decision how to get out of it. The Federal Reserve can print dollars with which to keep the bond and stock markets high, but the Federal Reserve cannot print foreign currencies with which to keep the dollar afloat.

When the dollar goes, Washington’s power goes, which is why the bullion market is rigged. Protect the power. That is the agenda. Is it another Washington over-reach?

Bitcoin Note: On May 16, PCWorld reported: “The seizure of funds of the largest bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, was triggered by an alleged failure of the company to comply with U.S. financial regulations, according to a federal court document. The U.S. District Court in Maryland on Tuesday ordered the seizure of Mt. Gox’s funds, which were in an account with Dwolla, a payments company that transferred money from U.S. citizens to Mt. Gox for buying and selling the virtual currency bitcoin.”
Reports subsequent to my column suggest that instead of funds being seized, a money transfer mechanism was shut down. Whatever happened, the government has demonstrated that it can disable or destroy Bitcoin at will. Bitcoin might be tolerated unless it becomes widely used. If the government regards Bitcoin as a refuge from the dollar, it can simply have its agents buy up the Bitcoins, driving the price skyhigh, and then dump the purchases all at once, just as tons of gold shorts were dumped on the gold market.
Bitcoin showed its vulnerability in April when, according to news reports, someone gave away $13,627 worth of Bitcoins, and Bitcoin values crashed from $265 to $105. Some people who watch this market concluded that the exercise was a covert central bank stress test.
The fact that I reported on Bitcoin does not mean that I oppose Bitcoin. The point of my article is to demonstrate that the government will take all steps to protect the dollar from Quantitative Easing.


Ohio Republicans Push Law To Penalize Colleges For Helping Students Vote

Graduates and guests attend commencement at Ohio State University earlier this month.


HUNTER WALKER MAY 17, 2013, 6:00 AM 11744 

Republicans in the Ohio Legislature are pushing a plan that could cost the state’s public universities millions of dollars if they provide students with documents to help them register to vote. Backers of the bill describe it as intended to resolve discrepancies between residency requirements for tuition and voter registration, while Democrats and other opponents argue it is a blatant attempt at voter suppression in a crucial swing state.

“What the bill would do is penalize public universities for providing their students with the documents they need to vote,” Daniel Tokaji, a professor and election law expert at Ohio State University told TPM. “It’s a transparent effort at vote suppression — about the most blatant and shameful we’ve seen in this state, which is saying quite a lot.”

The legislation is a provision in the state budget that was backed by the Republican majority in the Ohio House of Representatives. It is now headed to the Ohio Senate, which also has a GOP majority.

Currently, Ohio requires voters to be “a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days 
immediately before the election in which you want to vote” and to provide photo identification, a current utility bill, a bank statement, current paycheck, current government check, or “an original or copy of a current other government document, other than a voter registration acknowledgement notification mailed by the board of elections, that shows the voter’s name and current address.” Students who live in dormitories and do not have state identification or a job or bank account in Ohio might not be able to meet this requirement even if they have lived in the state for over a month. Public universities provide letters or utility bills to students to help them meet the residency requirement for voter registration. If the legislation is passed, it would force schools that provide this documentation to charge out-of-state students the same tuition they charge students from Ohio.

This change would effectively eliminate out-of-state tuition, which is more expensive than the rates currently charged to students from Ohio. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, university officials have said they will continue to provide the documentation even if this item remains in the state budget and a group called Innovation Ohio that opposes the legislation has estimated the will cost the schools about $272 million.

Supporters of the legislation said it will streamline government.

“The amendment has the purpose of getting a discussion going on sort of the mismatch that exists in Ohio, where we have one requirement for when a student becomes in-state for tuition purposes and another requirement for voting,” Republican state Rep. Ron Amstutz told the Enquirer.

To qualify for in-state tuition, Ohio law requires students to have gone to an Ohio high school or have a parent or spouse who lives or is employed in the state prior to enrollment. Registering to vote simply requires identification and the 30 days of residency.

Opponents of the legislation argue it is designed to give the GOP an electoral advantage by making it harder for students, who traditionally vote Democratic, to cast their ballots. Ohio has been seen as a crucial battleground state in the last few presidential elections. In 2012, President Barack Obama won the state by just 166,000 vote and Ohio has about 24,000 out-of-state students.

“They’re somehow trying to thwart the strategy that worked to elect President Obama,” Democratic Ohio Senate Minority Leader Eric Kearney told the Enquirer when asked about the motivation of the legislation’s supporters.

Tokaji agreed, but added that strategy might backfire….


“Astoundingly Disturbing”: Obama Administration Claims Power to Wage Endless War Across the Globe



Published on May 17, 2013
http://www.democracynow.org – A Pentagon official predicted Thursday the war against al-Qaeda and its affiliates could last up to 20 more years. The comment came during a Senate hearing revisiting the Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, enacted by Congress days after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. At the hearing, Pentagon officials claimed the AUMF gives the president power to wage endless war anywhere in the world, including in Syria, Yemen and the Congo. “This is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing that I’ve been to since I’ve been here,” said Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine. “You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution here today.” We play an excerpts of Thursday’s Senate hearing and our recent interview with Jeremy Scahill, author of the new bestseller, “Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield.”

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For All the Deluded and/or Stupid People (which is most people), and a Second Iron Law

[UPDATE: I added a few brief comments toward the end of this post in an attempt to avoid one possible confusion. You’ll find them in brackets immediately following the Second Iron Law.]

I may have some more particular comments about the various unfolding “scandals” when I feel slightly better than terrible physically, which is how I feel at the moment. I heard some of Limbaugh’s comments on the IRS business this morning. Limbaugh’s typically penetrating wisdom caused me several minutes of uproarious laughter. He went on and on about how “mean” the IRS and the Obama administration were to go after their political enemies. This is “unAmerican!,” Limbaugh screamed. “America is aboutfairness,” he intoned, “about the idea that everyone has an equal shot.”

Along those lines, my favorite comments to date might be from a letter to the NYT:

I believe that all Americans, and not just the Republican Party, should seize on the issue of the Internal Revenue Service’s focus on conservatives.We should all be very concerned about a government agency using its power for political ends.

This is genuinely impressive. It is stupidity refined and shaped into a weapon of massive destructive power, stupidity that is positively metaphysical in its reach. Idiocy on this scale obliterates universes.

To use “its power for political ends” is what any and all government agencies do. That is the reason they exist. The State itself, including its various critical appendages (such as “the law”), is a weapon forged by the ruling class to protect and increase its own power and wealth. The State and its appendages are used against everyone else. Thusly, as explained by Albert Jay Nock:

The positive testimony of history is that the State invariably had its origin in conquest and confiscation. No primitive State known to history originated in any other manner. On the negative side, it has been proved beyond peradventure that no primitive State could possibly have had any other origins. Moreover, the sole invariable characteristic of the State is the economic exploitation of one class by another. In this sense, every State known to history is a class-State. Oppenheimer defines the State, in respect of its origin, as an institution “forced on a defeated group by a conquering group, with a view only to systematizing the domination of the conquered by the conquerors, and safeguarding itself against insurrection from within and attack from without. This domination had no other final purpose than the economic exploitation of the conquered group by the victorious group.”

The same is true of the United States, and it has been true since the time of the founding. As set forth in that article, one of the ruling class’s chief weapons in the founding of the United States was the Constitution itself.

What is notable about Limbaugh’s comments regarding “fairness” and “everyone” having “an equal shot,” and regarding the letter to the Times, is the universality of these particular delusions. In different terms (and sometimes in the same terms), every politician and almost every commentator now wailing and whining about how “outrageous” these abuses are offers the same perspective. This is true whether the politician or writer is conservative or liberal, or libertarian, or supposedly “radical.” And as detailed in theconcluding section of my article about how the Constitution betrayed the very brief and genuinely radical impulses behind the American Revolution, even writers such as Chris Hedges and Glenn Greenwald appeal to “the rule of law,” and the “original” understanding of the law’s purpose. In Greenwald’s case, it should be emphasized that what he hails as an ideal — “law has been completely perverted from what it was intended to be – the guarantor of an equal playing field which would legitimize outcome inequalities – into its precise antithesis…” — tracks perfectly the rationalization and distortion offered by America’s new ruling class to justify the Constitution. As stated by Terry Bouton:

[T]he governments that emerged from the Revolution often fostered massive inequalities of wealth. At the same time, they redefined “democracy” as an ideal that could be reconciled with those disparities. By transforming democracy into a concept that encouraged uninhibited wealth accumulation rather than wealth equality, the founding elite (and subsequent generations of elites) tamed what they could not defeat. They turned democracy from a threat into an asset by making it into a concept that supported their own ideals and interests.

In this manner, Greenwald not only misses the point entirely: he adopts and advances the State’s own propaganda and heralds it as a noble goal toward which we must strive (or to which we need to return). When a well-known “dissenting” writer absorbs the State’s propaganda to this extent, we are in very deep trouble. As, indeed, we are.

I want to mention briefly one other aspect of the all-too-familiar charade now playing out. Everyone, beginning but hardly ending with the asses in Congress, is demandinginvestigations! We must get to the bottom of this! We must fix these abuses, and make certain that nothing like this ever happens again! Every time we go through this routine, I’m reminded of something I wrote just before the midterm elections in 2006. Yes, my friends, almost seven bloody years ago. After setting forth the reasons for my conclusion that it wouldn’t matter a damn whether Democrats won or not — and who was right about that, hmm? — I wrote a passage which applies to any investigations, any time, conducted by Democrats or Republicans (or anyone else in the national government and, at this point, in government at any level):

Ah, but the Democrats will investigate the Bush administration’s endless crimes. The investigationswill restore honesty, decency and “true” American values to government. All the universes will be saved! Do people actually believe this nonsense? All such investigations will be exactly like all other government investigations of itself. People seem congenitally incapable of grasping that all politicians are now part of the same corrupt system, which aims only to protect itself and its existing prerogatives, as it simultaneously seeks to expand them. (The exceptions in the political class are so few that they don’t matter.) In the end, all such investigations and committee hearings will conclude just as the 9/11 investigation concluded (and any other investigation you care to name): some criticisms will be made, general fault will be found but no one in particular will be condemned in terms that might cause distress, and some new guidelines and regulations will be proposed and enacted. Neither party wants to judge the other too harshly or cause irreparable harm: they don’t want to, because they count on the same consideration in return. Both parties are happy to accede to this deal, for it is precisely how their system continues on its merry course, guaranteeing their lives of immense comfort and privilege, together with their hold on power. Many of the rest of us, both here and abroad, will be screwed, maimed or dead — and just when exactly did that concern the governing class?

And then, in a year or two or five, and as on every other similar occasion, inventive ways will be found to circumvent the brand spanking new guidelines and regulations — and the corruption and dishonesty will continue pretty much as before, via new routes and avenues. It’s all a charade, by means of which politicians, the major media, and “serious” commentators (and bloggers) can convince themselves of their own virtue, that this time they really mean it, and that everything will be different now. An interesting question is how many times people can fall for such complete bullshit, and still be regarded as serious, credible or intelligent to any degree at all.

It helps to perpetuate the charade — one that encompasses every aspect of domestic and foreign policy — that most people know nothing of history, either our own or that of other countries. It’s as if none of it ever happened before. For most of these people, it’s as ifnothing ever happened before. No wonder they so easily believe that this time will be different. For them, there are no other times at all.Everything is new to them, even and especially their own iniquity.

In the case of the present “scandals,” it may turn out that some scapegoats will have to be offered for sacrifice. If the scandals prove to be especially nasty and ugly, a few people may be fired; perhaps several individuals will eventually even go to jail. That doesn’t alter the dynamics I’ve described. In fact, I spoke of this phenomenon in “It’s not the sex. It’s never the sex“: …


Chris Hedges on Monitoring of AP: Symptomatic of a Reconfiguration of Our Society into a Totalitarian and Surveillance State


Published on May 15, 2013
http://www.democracynow.org – The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges joins us to discuss what could mark the most significant government intrusion on freedom of the press in decades. The Justice Department has acknowledged seizing the work, home and cellphone records used by almost 100 reporters and editors at the Associated Press. The phones targeted included the general AP office numbers in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Hartford, Connecticut, and the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery. The action likely came as part of a probe into the leaks behind an AP story on the U.S. intelligence operation that stopped a Yemen-based al-Qaeda bombing plot on a U.S.-bound airplane. Hedges, a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and former New York Times reporter, calls the monitoring “one more assault in a long series of assaults against freedom of information and freedom of the press.” Highlighting the Obama administration’s targeting of government whistleblowers, Hedges adds: “Talk to any investigative journalist who must investigate the government and they will tell you that there is a deep freeze. People are terrified of speaking, because they are terrified of going to jail.”

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