Wow. Someone turned the turbulence up to eleven. The Jacobins came out of the woodwork and decided to trash everything. And, I talked about that, here:
It’s as if someone placed an order for a French Revolution to distract people from government stupidity. I’m not ready to say that it was planned, but I’m also not saying that it wasn’t. If this was intentional, their intentions will have unintended consequences.
I’m ready to proclaim 2020 as the ‘Year of Stupid’, and we’re only at the halfway point.
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The Weekend Shock Letter for June 6th, 2020
YouTube shortlink: https://youtu.be/bevrYwE9DC8
This Week’s Playlist:
2020 is turning out to be a special kind of stupid. The inmates have taken over the asylum, and it’s morons, morons, morons, everywhere. And, the best that we can do is try to get out of the way as the thundering herd rushes off the cliff.
I could say that I don’t understand it, but that would be lying. Human history is just one big comedy of errors, where the completely wrong decision is almost always made at exactly the wrong time. We’re all monkeys with hand grenades.
No. Scratch that. Monkeys aren’t THAT dumb.
The bad thing is that Martin Armstrong says:
The second half of the year is now looking to be a complete mess on every front.
Oh great. Just what we need. More and more stupid.
I don’t know about you, but I was not expecting the end of the world to be this insane. And, it’s kind of embarrassing.
What must the angels be thinking as they watch one dimwit moron after another destroy the world that God created?
Do they have a kind of ‘face palm’?
I wonder what the angelic word for moron is.
We know what God is thinking. And, He’s not amused. In fact, He’s getting ready to judge the earth for our evil. But, first, He’s going to rub their faces in it.
Oh, and He’ll laugh, too. Just read Psalm 2:
1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,
3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
7 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
– Psalm 2
Yeah. He’s laughing at them. In fact, I see the Hand of God in all that is happening. Yes, He’s allowing the evil of this world to set their plans in motion, but He’s forcing the pace. He’s jogging their elbow. Tripping them up and tweaking their nose.
And, I just can’t wait for this dark comedy to end.
How about you?
So, let’s take a looks at what has happened over the past week.
THE COST OF FOOD FOR THE WORLD’S POOREST COUNTRIES
This one is going to be hard to watch. I’m hoping that this is just a temporary blip on the radar, but I don’t think so.
This increase in the price of rice might not seem like much to you, but it’s a lot to those who aren’t doing much more than barely survive.
I don’t believe that the four horsemen are riding. But, this sounds like the one riding the black:
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
I don’t agree with everything that Martin Armstrong says. But, I don’t know of anyone who sees the future better than he does. Here are what I consider to be his most important posts for the past week:
THE CORRUPTION INSIDE THE JUSTICE AND JUDICIAL SYSTEMS
Once upon a time, we use to live in an honorable society. All systems move toward corruption and they inevitably move to protect their own agents. Ben Franklin wanted to create a legal system based upon the Scottish model where judges were nominated by lawyers and not politicians. He lost that argument and we have been paying dearly ever since. People see these protests and blame the blacks. They are ignorant of what is taking place in our legal system. It is not just about the blacks. The entire system has become so corrupt and this is why the United States has more people in prison than any other nation in the world including Russia. If you simply drive on federal property and forget your drivers’ license, you must serve 30 days in prison. A prosecutor will not get credit for a conviction in the Feds UNLESS you go to prison! Does that mean that Americans are the worst criminals on the planet? Or simply does it mean that it is time to change the system.
Proprietorial abuse is NOT limited to blacks. New York City specializes in prosecuting anyone who competes against the New York bankers. When I asked a lawyer why no New York banker has EVER been criminally prosecuted, he laughed and said, “You don’t shit where you eat!”
This was the prosecutor on my case — Richard D. Owens. We are heading into a civil war because the Supreme Court has held that prosecutors can do anything whatsoever. They can even knowingly seek the death penalty for people they know are innocent because the government should always be above the law.
In my case, under the direction of Owens, they seized Princeton Economics solely because my lawyers gave them one week to return the money they stole or we would file suit, which would end the takeover of Republic National Bank by HSBC.
They seized everything when we were NEVER in default and our clients were supporting us against the banks. The bank was illegally trading in or accounts and tried to claim that their own staff was assisting me from hiding losses they created. The problem was that we bought portfolios, but we were not managing them. We had to repay the note regardless of the performance. The allegation made no sense. We had issued notes buying the portfolios at their original cost with generally 10 years to repay covering their losses which were about 40%.
When the prosecutors finally figured out that the bank lied, they summoned me to a private reverse proffer session where Richard D. Owens admitted they knew I had never stolen anything. Yet he added, they would not drop the charges. They wanted me to plead to a conspiracy with Edmond Safra who was dead. I refused. To prevent me from helping our clients in suing the banks, they then imposed a gag order on me to prevent me from assisting my clients for LIFE!.
They used the charge of contempt without any description of a crime or any specific order to produce anything to purge the contempt, which is unconstitutional, but law means nothing in New York City. Clients even offered to put up the $1.3 million in cash to end the contempt and the court denied it, resulting in my lawyers simply saying this was just to prevent a trial making it impossible to produce anything. This was all just to protect the bank.
What is blatantly obvious is that $1 billion in our notes were sold to the bank to hide our profit. HSBC then redeemed our notes for $606 million, pocketing about $400 profit in foreign exchange so they could hide that from the public.
Because of this immunity that the Supreme Court has bestowed on police and prosecutors, there is ABSOLUTELY nothing you can do to defend yourself whatsoever regardless of your race, religion, or gender. Equal protection of the law does not exist! They are above the law and police have been abusing their position routinely. A friend who knew someone involved at HSBC commented it was a deal “too good to pass up,” which has always stuck in my throat wondering how much was paid back in bribes. Any of the major firms that compete against the bankers in New York are charged in New York, destroyed, and their bones are picked over by the New York bankers – i.e. Drexel Burnham (Philadelphia) and REVCO (Chicago). When a New Yorker is involved, MF Global, they are never charged.
Until the Supreme Court abolishes this unreasonable immunity, why should we ever expect this tension to subside? The protests are far better off in front of the Supreme Court for until that law is changed, there will NEVER be any reform. They have charged the three officers involved in Floyd’s death. That will not create lasting reform until the law no longer protects them.
George Floyd’s death has sparked civil unrest throughout the world. In Athens, Greece, protestors flung firebombs at the US embassy. In France, President Macron urged citizens not to compare France with the US as he does not feel police brutality, racism, or government control is an issue there. French citizens seem to disagree as 2,500 people attended a rally in Lille, 1,800 in Marseille, and 1,200 in Lyon. Germany, Denmark, Italy, Britain, Brazil, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Syria, and countless other countries are experiencing a surge of protests standing in solidarity with the US. But the unrest runs even deeper than yet another murder by armed government workers.
After weeks on end of forced isolation, the people are waking up to the control that the government possesses over every area of their lives. Anger is overtaking fear as thousands are disregarding the CDC’s continued pleas to stay at home and avoid crowds. There is no rule of law. Governments can and will act in their own self-interests and continue to view the people as “the great unwashed” who are not worthy of basic human rights. They can kill us, take away our jobs, our freedoms, and destroy the economy at will. Is it any wonder that the people have lost confidence in their governments?
The chaos is cyclically unfolding on schedule. All confidence in the government has been abandoned due to the draconian measures forced upon the people in such a rash manner that it could not be ignored.
This cycle will be on the back of shortages in commodities. This is what the computer has been forecasting all along. We have been witnessing shortages in food. But this coronavirus has also disrupted the supply chain in many areas. Then we have the Monetary Crisis Cycle coming for 2021 into 2022. With Europe planning to cancel its paper currency to try to force everyone into banks, you have the punters looking at this as bullish short-term for a trade.
The European and Japanese governments will have little choice moving forward, for they have destroyed their bond markets and are UNABLE to issue bonds that institutions will buy at these crazy rates. It is more than a simplistic printing of money. We are looking at the bond market is collapsing. This is the DESTRUCTION of Capital Formation so in the end, capital must flee anything connected with governments and seek shelter in primarily the stock markets.
So far, we are into a 3-month reactionary bounce with the NASDAQ taking the lead and the Dow lagging. This is very disquieting for it warns we are going to see much higher volatility into the next two years, perhaps more so than anyone has ever witnessed in their life or for the past 300 years.
In the Gulf, states are facing bankruptcy. Oman can hardly even pay his electricity bill. The IMF has been now lobbying to defer emerging-market debt for one year. We have been able to confirm from behind the curtain that more than 100 nations have asked the IMF for help. The sheer stupidity of this coronavirus lockdown is beyond belief. It seems no politician bothered to ask advice from anyone other than epidemiologists. Neil Ferguson may have resigned for bad judgment, but the politicians who failed to consult other fields including economics should resign.
The lack of common sense amounts to the sad fact that politicians have set off a Monetary Crisis Cycle over the next two years, for they have seriously disrupted the entire world economy. These emerging markets will not be able to pay their debts any time soon, especially when European politicians are trying to convert the economy to a Green New Deal & World Order. This will devastate emerging market economies and set in motion massive sovereign debt defaults. We could not have elected anyone more brain-dead than those holding office pushing this agenda after they wiped out the world economy with their fake virus PLAN-DEMIC.
The rise of civil unrest spreading across the country is more than just the death of George Floyd. People have been dying in police confrontations for many years. The fact that they have destroyed the economy and 40 million jobs with this fake coronavirus scam has added fuel to the fire, which our computer has been projecting since 2014. They are now targeting police as I have warned is the next logical progression when they protect police for wrongful acts. This is the very same human response we saw when the Catholic Church tried to hide priests who were molesting children. In both cases, they wrongly think they are upholding the image of the organization in question, when in fact they are undermining the public confidence.
A Gallup Poll from January 2020 showed that nurses are the most trusted profession with both police and journalists at the bottom of the list. Only a slight majority, 54%, believe police officers are honest and ethical. The view of fake news journalists is that now only 28% see them as ethical.
If Trump does not understand that the root of this frustration is the very lockdown, then he is throwing gasoline on the fire. He needs better advice, for this is stupid and shows a lack of analytical minds advising him at this time. You cannot simply look at the surface. The riots of 1844 that turned into gun battles against the Irish was because they were the last off the boat and were willing to work for less in a period of also rising unemployment as we have today.
We MUST look at the underlying economic conditions. That cannot be ignored. Prosecuting this one cop will not resolve the unrest. If he is found innocent, well, watch what happens! Trump’s suggestion that state governors should send in the U.S. military to quell unrest after five officers were shot and wounded in an escalation of tensions is inviting civil war. While looting should be stopped, the US military cannot take action directly against the people. That is the wrong thing to do. They must remain detached from the image of the police.
Civil Unrest has been taking place for a very long time. If you step back and correlate it to the economy, you will notice that it rises when people start to struggle. The race riots right now would NOT takes place has we also accelerated the unemployment dramatically to where there are officially 40 million people who have lost their jobs. There have been plenty of deaths inflected by police since 2014. This would have normally peaked out by 2018, but the economic conditions show this cycle will continue into 2027 if the Supreme Court does not overrule its previous decisions.
On May 25, Minneapolis, Minnesota police officers arrested George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, after a deli employee called 911, accusing him of buying cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. Seventeen minutes after the first squad car arrived at the scene, Mr. Floyd was unconscious and pinned beneath three police officers, showing no signs of life.
The death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police has re-energized a national debate over misconduct by law enforcement officials that the Supreme Court may be poised to enter. Both the left and the right finally agree on one thing – qualified immunity for government officials is unsupported by the Constitution and was even one of the express complaints in the Declaration of Independence:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
There can be no equal protection of the law as long as a government employee is above the law. Both prosecutors and police should be held to the same standards as any citizen. Until that happens, then the Supreme Court has placed the nation in jeopardy of civil war. There are plenty of good police, but they will be gunned down because of the abuses of the bad ones. Protecting bad prosecutors and police puts at risk others in the same field and the nation itself.
To understand Shakespeare’s famous line “the first thing we do let’s kill all the lawyers” we must view the context. Private citizens were not allowed to hire lawyers – only the king. So this saying comes from a tax rebellion where the “lawyers” were the king’s prosecutors who were seizing people’s property (farms and houses) because they were unable to pay his taxes. Prosecutors are by no means trustworthy simply because they hold that position. They are human just like the police and have knowingly prosecuted people wrongfully for political purposes.
If the Supreme Court does not ABOLISH all immunity for prosecutors and police, they will lead the country into civil war just as the Dread Scott decisions did in 1860 holding black were not covered by the Constitution in a stupid attempt to defuse the rising tension between North and South.
While looting is wrong, if the underlying legality is not changed, this is going to get far worse.
DAVID WOOD – Banned by YouTube
David Wood got banned for a week by YouTube for talking about Christian persecution. Since David is also posting videos on BitChute, I went there to see if I could find that video. It’s here:
But, the insanity of that ban made me mad, so I took that video and reposted it on my channel:
And, I also wanted to repost it so that I could include it in this week’s playlist. I can’t do that, if it’s not on YouTube.
Stop making me mad, YouTube!
I’m sure that my anger has them shivering in their boots. I mean… I can write a strongly worded letter, if they aren’t careful. That’ll show ’em!
Here are four more of David’s excellent videos:
THE MOVIE V FOR VENDETTA AS ALLEGORY
This next one surprised me. It had been a long time since I’d seen the movie ‘V For Vendetta’, and I was surprised at the stunning similarity between current events and the background plot.
Unfortunately, the guy (Sean W. Malone) making the connection to this movie, is an Atheist. So, he doesn’t get the the full spectrum of the problem. But, I give him points for some excellent observations.
The fact that he’s pointed in the wrong direction… well …only God can fix that.
THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE TIANANMEN SQUARE MASSACRE
Two days ago, it was the anniversary of the massacre in Tiananmen Square. At least 10 thousand kids were mowed down by the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA). In most cases, literally. They just drove right over them with their tanks and armored personnel carriers. It was vile. It was evil. It was 31 years ago.
It was very Chinese.
Mrs. Little is Han Chinese, and she knows all about the blood-soaked history of China. Those who do know, would not be surprised by what Jiang Zemin ordered the PLA to do.
Unfortunately, the Falung Gong seem to have forgotten this history, when they directly challenged the CCP, 20 years after the Tiananmen Square massacre. It was stupid, but they did it anyway. And, they’ve been squawking about their mistreatment by the CCP, ever since.
So, always understand that the Epoch Times, New Tang Dynasty and their fellow travelers cannot be trusted. But, they are also the ones who are helping to keep the memory of the Tiananmen Square Massacre alive. So, even though you can’t trust ’em, they get points for being a thorn in the side of the CCP.
DEALING WITH CHINA
I would love to be able to ignore China, and let them just fall apart on their own. But, we can’t. And, this article by Gordon Chang lays out some good points:
Here are the summary paragraphs:
- The truth is that the United States is defending more than just its position in the international system. We are defending the international system itself, the system of treaties, conventions, rules, and norms.
- Unfortunately, Xi Jinping, the Chinese ruler, does not believe in that system. He is trying to impose China’s imperial‑era notions of the world.
- In short, Chinese rulers believed that they had the mandate of heaven over tianxia, meaning “all under heaven.” Recently, his pronouncements have become unmistakable.
- In the last few months, Xi Jinping has seen an historic opportunity because the United States has been stricken by the disease that China itself has pushed out… What must we do? First, let us talk about what we must not do. We must not save Chinese communism again. In the past, American presidents, when China has been stressed, had ridden to the rescue of the Chinese state.
- On May 13 of last year, Beijing declared a “people’s war” on the United States. This means the contest with China is existential. There is going to be one survivor. It is either going to be the Peoples’ Republic of China or the United States of America, but not both.
- What should we do? In my call for action, there are eight items. First, we need to cut off trade with China. Now, I know a lot of people think we should not do this, or this would be unfortunate. Yes, this is unfortunate, but the point is that China’s communism cannot be reformed, so the only way we can protect American society and Americans is to reduce our exposure to China and our great exposure, of course, is trade… we should not be enriching a hostile state with the proceeds of commerce with the United States.
- China’s Communist Party does not have sovereign immunity…. We have the Global Magnitsky Act.
- We need to “rip and replace” all the equipment in our telecom backbone that has been supplied by Huawei Technologies… China has been using that company’s equipment to spy on others. We should have no Huawei equipment in our backbone
- Also, we should be turfing out even more Chinese journalists. Those “journalists”… work for China’s intelligence services.
- Unfortunately, China does not believe in comparative advantage, it does not believe in being a responsible member of the international community. Unfortunately, the only thing we can do is what many people think is unthinkable, and that is to cut our ties with China…. We cut our ties until… the Communist Party no longer rules [and] the Chinese people govern themselves…. I believe the Chinese people eventually will get this right.
I’m afraid that Mr. Chang is right. The CCP has got to go, if there is ever to be any peace in the Pacific. And, living on an island just off the coast of China makes it kinda personal for me.
They want me dead, and I don’t like that.
CHARLES HUGH SMITH
Martin Armstrong might forecast the future better than anyone outside of the Bible, but Charles seems to have the keenest eyesight for what is happening right now. He certainly does an excellent job of showing us how things are falling apart.
Here are three articles that tell us where we are:
Flooding the financial system with “free money” only restores the illusion of stability
I updated my How Systems Collapse graphic from 2018 with a “we are here” line to indicate our current precarious position just before the waterfall:
For those who would argue we’re nowhere near collapse, consider that over 20% of the Federal Reserve’s $2 trillion spew of free money went directly into the pockets of America’s billionaires: $434 billion by the latest estimates, while most of the rest went into the pockets of the top 10% who own all the assets that the Fed is goosing higher while millions of households are worried about feeding themselves: (American billionaires got $434 billion richer during the pandemic).
In America’s system, the solution to soaring, destabilizing inequality is… to goose inequality to new heights. No wonder there’s no middle ground left politically, socially or financially, and social disorder is so easily ignited. There are few feedback loops left in our fragile system; the rich get richer, and rather than restore some balance, our political system further empowers the parasitic and predatory financial elites. The rich and politically powerful are one group, sharing control of public and private institutions.
One way to understand “middle ground” is that the middle ground acts as a buffer between systemic extremes. The key concepts here are stability and buffers. Though complex systems are never static, but they can be stable: that is, they ebb and flow within relatively stable states supported by buffers.
America’s social, political and economic buffers have been thinned by extremes and excesses, but nobody noticed or cared: America’s reigning credo is: anything goes, winners take all.
In systems, this ebb and flow of low-level volatility generates stability and adaptation. In natural systems, feedback loops between the weather, environment and plant/animal species keep the ecosystem in a state of dynamic equilibrium. Ideal weather conditions may spark a rise in an insect population, for example, which then enables an increase in insect-predator populations (fish, birds, frogs, etc.) which then increases the consumption of the insects and reduces the impact of the higher insect population.
If the river runs low, the human populace relies on wells for reserves of water. In good harvests, grain is set aside for lean harvests; the wells and grain stores are buffers which can be drawn down to restore stability to a stressed system.
Buffers are largely invisible and of little common interest in times of abundance. When water and grain are well-supplied, who cares if the stores have spoiled and the well water tastes bad?
A system with thin buffers and few feedback loops looks robust on the surface but is highly vulnerable to collapse. In our example, the first lean harvest and low water flow completely drain the reserves, and the second year of drought triggers a collapse of the system.
In our complex socio-economic system, the buffers are largely invisible. As a general rule, “money” (currency created by central banks and private banks when a loan is issued) is our all-purpose buffer: if something becomes scarce and threatens the system, we print/ borrow into existence more “money” which is distributed to buy whatever is needed.
But “money” is an illusory buffer. If the well has run dry, no amount of money will restore ground water. If the fisheries have collapsed due to overfishing, no amount of currency issued by the Federal Reserve will restore the fisheries. In other words, the natural world provides hard limits that money can only fix if buffers are available for purchase.
“Money” is itself a system, a system with financial buffers, buffers that have been consumed by the speculative excesses of the private sector and the financial repression of central banks. These buffers are largely invisible; few know what’s going on in global liquidity markets, for example. Yet when liquidity dries up, for whatever reason, markets go bidless and asset prices go into freefall.
Flooding the financial system with “free money” only restores the illusion of stability. As noted in my diagram, restoring and maintaining an apparent stability thins buffers to the point of dangerous fragility.
When buffers are paper-thin, a crisis that would have been overcome with ease in the past triggers the collapse of the entire system. Everyone who based their faith in the system on its surface stability is stunned by the rapidity of the collapse, for how could such a vast, apparently robust system implode with so little warning?
The financial system’s buffers have been thinning for 20 long years, but nobody seems to care. The quality of risk, debt, borrowers and speculative gambles have all declined, but faith in the “Fed put”–that the Federal Reserve can fix anything and everything by printing endless trillions– is quasi-religious: few doubt the limitless power of the Fed’s currency-printing machinery to quickly overcome any crisis.
This is how systems collapse: misplaced faith in the visible surface of abundance generates fatal complacency and confidence, and the fragility of the buffers goes unnoticed.
Just before the collapse, central bank currency is super-abundant, but systemic stability is near-zero and all the buffers are paper-thin: the Fed’s trillions create an illusion of safety, as if all we need to do to restore the lost middle ground and buffers is to hand America’s most parasitic and predatory clique another $434 billion in stock market wealth.
Doing more of what has destabilized the system in the belief that new extremes will somehow restore equilibrium is simply rowing faster as we speed toward the waterfall of systemic collapse.
Our ruling elites, devoid of leadership, are little more than the scum of self-interested, greedy grifters who rose to the top of America’s foul-smelling stew of corruption.
The Founding Fathers were wary of institutional threats to liberty and the citizenry’s sovereignty, which included centralized concentrations of power (monarchy, central banks, federal agencies, etc.) and the tyranny of corruption unleashed by small-minded, self-interested, greedy grifters who saw all elected offices and positions of government influence as nothing more than a means to increase their own private wealth.
The Founders feared the dominance of self-interested, greedy grifters because they had no concept of the public good: to the greedy grifters, the government existed solely to serve their petty private interests and the interests of their fellow grifters.
The Founders understood that a republic required disinterested leadership capable of looking past petty self-interest to the common good of the people and their nation. They feared the election of self-interested, greedy grifters because once no one served the common good, the republic would fall into a fatal disunity.
We are living the Founders’ nightmare, for America is corrupt to the core. While everyone gorging at the public trough bleats about the “common good,” their single-minded focus is on aggrandizing as much power and private wealth as possible, and feeding their corrupt crew of insiders, lobbyists, “business interests,” bankers and assorted other legalized looters.
America has plenty of law enforcement, prosecutors and prison cells for those who loot a Whole Foods, but none for those who loot the public treasury, commit stock market swindles or financial fraud on a monumental scale. Not only did no one go to prison for the rampant institutionalized fraud of the 2008 looting, a.k.a. the Global Financial Meltdown–the looters were bailed out by the Federal Reserve and Treasury.
More recently, no one was even questioned when a biotech company issued a press release about a Covid-19 vaccine trial that boosted the stock’s price just long enough for insiders to dump millions of dollars of shares on a credulous public and also sell new shares in the company at a premium: a classic looting strategy known as pump and dump.
Members of Congress were caught red-handed in what amounted to insider trading, selling millions of dollars in their stock portfolios based on their secret briefings of the coming pandemic, while they reassured the public Covid-19 was no biggie. The farcical “investigation” found no wrong-doing.
Corruption in our political parties is so endemic nobody even bothers listing it except as a parlor game of pondering which party is more corrupt.
Our ruling elites, devoid of leadership, are little more than the scum of self-interested, greedy grifters who rose to the top of America’s foul-smelling stew of corruption. As for the nation’s infinitely greedy billionaires, if there was any justice left in America, Apple CEO Tim Cook would be rotting in a cell on Devil’s Island for buying back billions of dollars of Apple stock–buybacks were illegal not that long ago.
The cells next to his would be crowded with Big Pharma CEOs who advertised their products directly to consumers–also illegal not so long ago.
America is now a pay-to-play paradise of greed and corruption. The “public good” is a PR cover for legalized looting, much of which now depends on the Federal Reserve’s free money for financiers, parasites and predators.
If you think this is far too harsh on our current crop of greedy grifters and looters, please read historian Gordon Wood’s epic account Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815, which details the many critical debates between founders with fundamentally different views of what structures and safeguards were essential for the Republic’s survival.
When we look back at the genius of Hamilton, Madison, et al., and Washington’s obsession with ethics and promoting national unity, we are forced to weep for the pathetic, venal scum that passes for “leadership” in America today. The feedback loops the Founders designed to restrain the tyranny of corruption have all failed, as the biggest looters serve their interests under the guise of legality.
The Founders’ weren’t saints; they were flawed as are all humans, and like all humans, they were products of their era. But they did have a keen, abiding sense of the public good, and when they clashed over ideas about banking, the power of the presidency, etc., it was not for personal gain but for their vision of the common good.
If any of America’s “leadership” over the past 30 years had an ounce of concern for the common good, why did they enable financialization and globalization to hollow out the nation’s economy and social order? Why did they enable the frauds, skims, scams, cartels and monopolies that are the foundation of virtually every American billionaire’s “we pay no taxes” empires of greed?
The tyranny of corruption thrives in an amoral cesspool of anything goes and winners take all.
In today’s America, the tyranny of corruption has been so normalized that America’s polarized populaces are blind to the profound corruption of their parties and institutions. As in the last days of the Western Roman Empire, the masses are made complicit with bread and circuses, mimicking their “leaders” debasement of the public good to feeding at the public trough.
These are the troubled years that came before the deluge (Jackson Browne), for as Mr. Dylan put it, a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.
The fact that self-serving cover stories are now the norm is making it difficult to love our servitude with the slavish devotion demanded of us.
The need to suppress the truth and competing narratives arose with the emergence of urban elites whose power and wealth were threatened by any exposure of the self-serving nature of their rule.
Though suppression of the truth has a long history, it accelerated in the 20th century as totalitarian regimes embraced the technologies of mass communication and the marketing techniques of propaganda.
With the decay of the social contract and the emergence of monopolistic search and social media platforms, the suppression of competing narratives has accelerated as ruling elites tighten their grip in response to the unraveling of the social order.
Thus we get Federal Reserve Comedian Jay Powell claiming the Fed doesn’t create wealth inequality, when it’s pathetically obvious the Fed is the primary engine of wealth inequality. (Give me $10 billion at near-zero interest rates and I’ll get rich, too.)
We can summarize the current era in one sentence: truth is what we hide, cover stories are what we sell. Jean-Claude Juncker’s famous quote captures the essence of the era: “When it becomes serious, you have to lie.”
And when does it become serious? When the hidden facts of the matter might be revealed to the general public. Given the regularity of vast troves of well-hidden data being made public by whistleblowers and white-hat hackers, it’s basically serious all the time now, and hence the official default everywhere is: truth is what we hide, self-serving cover stories are what we sell.
The self-serving cover stories always tout the nobility of the elite issuing the PR: we in the Federal Reserve saved civilization by saving the Too Big To Fail Banks (barf); we in the corporate media do investigative reporting without bias (barf); we in central government only lie to protect you from unpleasant realities–it’s for your own good (barf); we in the NSA, CIA and FBI only lie because it’s our job to lie, and so on.
Three essays published long before the pandemic speak to the degradation of data and factual records in favor of self-serving cover stories and totalitarian political correctness.
Why we stopped trusting elites (The Guardian)
“It’s not just that isolated individuals are unmasked as corrupt or self-interested (something that is as old as politics), but that the establishment itself starts to appear deceitful and dubious. The distinctive scandals of the 21st century are a combination of some very basic and timeless moral failings (greed and dishonesty) with technologies of exposure that expose malpractice on an unprecedented scale, and with far more dramatic results.
Perhaps the most important feature of all these revelations was that they were definitely scandals, and not merely failures: they involved deliberate efforts to defraud or mislead. Several involved sustained cover-ups, delaying the moment of truth for as long as possible.
(The selective coverage) “generated a sense of a media class who were adept at exposing others, but equally expert at concealing the truth of their own behaviours.
Several of the defining scandals of the past decade have been on a scale so vast that they exceed any individual’s responsibility. The Edward Snowden revelations of 2013, the Panama Papers leak of 2015 and the HSBC files (revealing organised tax evasion) all involved the release of tens of thousands or even millions of documents. Paper-based bureaucracies never faced threats to their legitimacy on this scale.”
From the Late Founder and Editor Robert Parry of the Consortium for Independent Journalism (via John S.P.)
When I was a young reporter, I was taught that there were almost always two sides to a story and often more. I was expected to seek out those alternative views, not dismiss them or pretend they didn’t exist. I also realized that finding the truth often required digging beneath the surface and not just picking up the convenient explanation sitting out in the open.
But the major Western news outlets began to see journalism differently. It became their strange duty to shut down questioning of the Official Story, even when the Official Story had major holes and made little sense, even when the evidence went in a different direction and serious analysts were disputing the groupthink.
Looking back over the past two decades, I wish I could say that the media trend that we detected in the mid-1990s had been reversed. But, if anything, it’s grown worse. The major Western news outlets now conflate the discrete difficulties from made-up ‘fake news’ and baseless ‘conspiracy theories’ with responsible dissenting analyses. All get thrown into the same pot and subjected to disdain and ridicule.
In academia, censorship and conformity have become the norm (Globe and Mail)
In truth, facts today are deemed controversial if they deviate from accepted narratives, and professors must self-censor out of fear of being condemned and losing their jobs.
Based on conversations I’ve had with colleagues still working in academia and from what I can tell about recent cases of censorship, the antagonism is primarily from left-leaning colleagues attacking other liberals.
These instances are indicative of a larger, worrisome trend — instead of debating contentious ideas, those in opposition to them throw words ending in ‘-phobic’ around, shutting the conversation down and pretending they don’t exist.
For those who say ideas that denigrate members of society shouldn’t be entertained, silencing the debate doesn’t make hateful beliefs go away. In many cases, it isn’t controversial findings that pose a threat; the threat comes from the possibility that others will use these facts to justify discrimination. But it’s important that we distinguish between an idea and the researcher putting forth that idea, and the potential for bad behaviour.
With academics avoiding entire areas of research as a result, knowledge currently being produced is constrained, replaced by beliefs that are pleasant-sounding but biased, or downright nonsensical. The recent ‘grievance studies’ investigation, led by academics Peter Boghossian, James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose, laid bare how bad the problem has become. The trio managed to get seven fake papers (but oh-so politically correct and hence “good to go”–CHS) accepted in high-ranking humanities journals.
In a consumerist-based culture accustomed to 24/7 selling of one self-serving story or another, the fact that self-serving cover stories are now the norm is making it difficult to love our servitude with the slavish devotion demanded of us. I’ve noticed a new twist on self-serving propaganda: an alternative opinion isn’t debated, it’s debunked, as if questioning the authorized narrative is by definition a “conspiracy theory” that can be “debunked” by repeating the authorized cover story enough times.
Recent Podcasts featuring Charles Hugh Smith:
Meeting the Challenges of the “New Normal” World — FRA podcast (44:21)
The Pandemic Has Revealed The Structural Fragilities Of America — X22 Spotlight (31:55)
And, he has books and a Patreon account:
Audiobook edition now available:
Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($6.95 (Kindle), $12 (print), $13.08 ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).
The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)
If you found value in his content, join in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of his work via patreon.com.
I truly hope that you’ll be ready for this
A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. – Proverbs 22:3
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