Free - Beyond Collapse

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Only Way To Stop The Empire - Starve It

Guest Post by Gary Flomenhoft,

The final days of US empire are fast approaching. Perhaps its end will pass slowly and gradually, or perhaps the event will unfold rapidly and catastrophically. Maybe chaos will break loose, or maybe its demise will be organized well and proceed smoothly. This nobody knows, but the end of empire is coming as surely as day follows night and sun follows rain. Overexpansion, overreach and over-indebtedness will take their toll—as all past empires have discovered. Empires are like bacteria in a Petrie dish; unthinking, unseeing, unfeeling, they expand until they run out of food or contaminate their environment with their waste, and then they die. They are automatons, and they just can’t help it: they are programmed to expand or die, expand or die, and, in the end, expand and die.

What does the empire feed on? It feeds on money and fear; your money and your fear, both obtained with your cooperation. It is bigger now than when it faced an actual adversary in the Soviet Union. Russia is no adversary; all it wants is to be a normal country, at peace with the world. But the empire won’t let it, will it? It must create enemies. Who are our enemies? According to the authors of endless war they are North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Islamic terrorists. Are any of them actually capable of threatening the US? Well, yes, but they are all quite easy to deter. But the plan of the authors of endless war is not to deter them; it is to back them into a corner with political instability and sanctions, while whipping up the population on both sides into fear-filled frenzy.

We all know that the US military-industrial complex has become a self-perpetuating and uncontrollable organism, just like Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us in 1961. Everyone knows the phrase and Eisenhower's warning—it is part of our collective memory. At a trillion dollars a year and growing, with over 1000 bases ringing the planet, it has expanded far beyond what Eisenhower could have imagined in his worst nightmare. We can’t say we didn’t know: he warned us. After the National-Socialist episode in Germany, many good Germans voiced regrets at not speaking up, claiming that they didn’t know what was being done in their name. But we do not have that excuse: we all knew all along.

Nor was it the first time we were warned. General Smedley Butler told us before, in 1933, and his words are still with us, posted online. Why is it that everyone, generals included, suddenly gain wisdom immediately upon reaching retirement? Butler offered an explanation: his “mind was in suspended animation while serving as a soldier and following orders.” In 1933 Butler told us that he “was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.” He said:
“I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912…I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.”
This empire is nothing new, and we knew what it is and what it does all along. We can’t say we didn’t know. We have watched throughout our lives as the US put down every popular uprising against local autocrats and oligarchs, placed countries under US control, then helped organize and train the death squads that killed off the opposition. Think of Indonesia, Argentina, or Honduras. We watched as the empire crushed every democratic government that threatened US business interests under the false pretext of “anti-communism,” starting with Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, and proceeding to Congo, Haiti (numerous times), and most notably and infamously Chile in 1973 (assassinating president Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973), Nicaragua in the 1980’s, and many, many others. (For details see William Blum’s Killing Hope.) And of course, many of us lived through the epic lies and genocide of millions in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia during the so-called “Vietnam War.” We knew, we watched, and we paid taxes that paid for the bullets and the bombs.

More recently we’ve seen the barefaced lies of empire laid out for all to see in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Georgia, Pakistan, Yemen, Ukraine... they never end! But the trouble we stir up in other places never seems to come home and ring our doorbell, does it? Maybe that’s why it keeps on going. We think that we can just ignore it and go on with our lives—that it won’t affect us. Or does it?
Let’s leave aside the destruction of democracy that always accompanies a militarized, fascist police state that the US has gradually turned into. And let’s ignore the violence that pervades US society, or the vast gulag of incarceration that disposes of our useless eaters. Consider that the only military attack on US soil that actually scored a palpable hit since Pearl Harbor was 9/11. Pearl Harbor was on the periphery, way out in the Pacific, “A Day that will live in Infamy,” the more so since FDR knew it was coming and did all he could to provoke it by cutting Japan off from oil supplies, directly provoking it into launching the attack. But Hawaii is the periphery while 9/11 struck at the heart of the empire, the financial center in New York that drives the imperial wealth pump, and the Pentagon, which is charged with the mission of US world domination.

Whether you believe that 19 Arabs armed with box cutters who couldn’t fly propeller planes took down 3 World Trade buildings that plummeted straight down at the speed of freefall in what looked like controlled demolition (yes there were 3, look up “Building 7”), and destroyed a section of the Pentagon, or whether you believe it was an inside job, doesn’t matter. The point is, in that act of destruction, the wars of the empire finally came home.

What was the result? Did these events cause us to reconsider what we are doing? Of course not! Instead, we went all-in for war. Remember, the empire is an automaton, a self-perpetuating organism, living on money and fear. What better way to whip up fear than to stage, or to allow, or to simply fail to prevent, an attack on the “homeland”—which is, by the way, a Nazi propaganda term. The purpose of war is simply to cause more war, since it is so profitable for the badly misnamed “defense industry.” Butler told us in 1933 that “war is a racket,” and documented massive war profiteering during WWI. Do you know how much money Lockheed, Northrop-Grumman, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon et al. are making from the “War on Terror”? The sums are astronomical.

As you read these words, the empire is busy doing its work in Ukraine. Here is how that works. First, it overthrows the elected government in a US-backed coup. Next, it directs its local puppet regime to unleash a military attack and organize death squads to deal with the population in the east that won't go along with the US-backed coup, in this case using actual Nazi-branded death squads, complete with Nazi SS Insignias. (Anyone can verify these facts with the most cursory internet search.) And for the final, consummate imperialist touch, it votes in the UN (together with Canada) against a resolution condemning the Ukrainian Nazis and other racist murderers, while the Europeans shamefacedly abstain. This sort of plan used to work really well, and so the empire keeps repeating it over and over again, even though the results are worse every time.

Vast numbers of Americans support the empire’s wars of conquest because they help maintain their lavish lifestyles. They bother some of us more than others. Many of us are adamantly against them, but only a few find it emotionally unbearable to countenance the destruction of millions of lives in our names and with our money. What makes them different? Who knows, you would have to ask a psychologist.
The question for those who oppose endless war is, What have we done about it? A mass movement in the 1960’s that added up to an uprising by a vast segment of society perhaps had something to do with ending the conflict in Vietnam. In spite of these protests, the empire was able to extend the war by an extra five years all the way to 1973, when it agreed to end it on the same terms that had been offered in 1968 to Nobel “peace laureate” Henry Kissinger. There has been no significant anti-war protest since then, and certainly none that succeeded in preventing or ending war. Why?
First, the draft was ended. This put an end to the involvement of average US families in the wars of empire, and therefore ending the requirement for consent of the governed. The strategists realized that the draft was a disaster for the empire. The new, much better and cheaper way to procure cannon fodder for the endless war is to enlist the children of the underclass, by using economic oppression in order to deprive them of any other means of advancement except military service.

Second, the military has been outsourced and privatized, requiring even less involvement by US families in the military, and less need for their consent. “You’re all volunteers, so shut up” is the attitude.

Third, the vastly increased scope of domestic spying by the NSA and other government agencies has helped keep everyone under control and stifle dissent.

Fourth is the tight government/corporate control of the US media, which has become consummately successful in brainwashing and propagandizing the population.

Finally, there is the war on whistleblowers and journalists who expose the truth, from Tom Drake to William Binney, Sibel Simons, Jesselyn Radack, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange. If necessary, the police, who are vastly more militarized than in the past, together with national guard troops, can squash any dissent like a bug. All these measures ensure that efforts at reform pursued through legal, nonviolent means such as voting, protest, civil disobedience, civil resistance, etc. will have absolutely no effect. The only action that can possibly stop the empire in its tracks is cutting off its food supply—the tax money on which it lives. We have to starve the beast through divestment, capital expatriation, tax resistance, tax refusal and tax revolt. Former Secretary of State Alexander Haig told us this flat out in the 1980’s when, being confronted with huge protests over US Central American policy, he said: “Let them protest all they want as long as they pay their taxes.” Truer words were never uttered by a US official. Is there any evidence to contradict his statement? Has any other measure had any impact on the war machine? The honest answer is no. Millions of people around the world protested before the 2003 invasion of Iraq. These protests were ignored. No amount of protest or other efforts can stop it, because it doesn’t cut off the empire’s food supply of money and fear. Only by cutting off its funds by not paying taxes can we stop the empire.
Many have said that the US doesn’t need tax money as it survives on endless debt. Yes, the empire lives on debt, but the ability to sell debt is based on the bond rating of US treasury bonds. Most recently in June, 2014 S&P gave the US a AA+ rating with “stable outlook.”

If there is any doubt about the US credit rating, the ability to sell debt to continue financing the empire comes into question. The ability to collect taxes is what maintains the US bond rating. Any reduction of the US bond rating, and interest rates have to go up in order to continue attracting more investment. Then the interest on the debt balloons out of control and becomes unrepayable—never mind the principal, which they have no intention of ever paying back. By the way, the Tea Party’s efforts to shut down government by refusing to raise the debt ceiling was helping this effort for a time, although for different reasons. They thought that the welfare system is bankrupting the country. This is a laughable claim, because welfare spending looks negligible when compared to military spending. Still, they did manage to lower the bond rating for a time. Shutting down the federal government is a step in the right direction, and since in recent years only the Tea Party has managed to do it, lets give them some credit

If the US became unable to reliably collect taxes, then its ability to finance the empire with debt would be diminished, and the US would have to turn to increasing taxes—another politically unpalatable choice, especially in the age of the Tea Party, when the empire’s main constituency is dead-set against more taxes. So it is absolutely clear that the only thing that could stop the empire is a tax revolt. It wouldn’t even have to be that big; the slightest question about the ability of the federal government to collect taxes could reduce the bond rating. Even a minor reduction could raise interest rates enough to make the US debt unrepayable.

Let's get down to brass tacks: How do you avoid paying taxes, when the IRS withholds our salaries, and the tables are rigged to withhold about 15% more than necessary on average, so 80% of people get a refund? Did you think that this is a coincidence? No, this is a one-year interest-free loan to the empire from taxpayers. Just stop it. But it’s actually quite simple not to pay taxes. Get a W-4 form, write EXEMPT in the space provided, and turn it in to your friendly HR office. Your employer is not allowed to change it unless directed by the IRS. Normally they have no reason to question it.

Here’s what happened last time it was tried on a big scale. In 2007, Code Pink joined the War Resisters League to organize a national project for war tax refusal, to “Stop Bush’s Wars.” This was not a true tax revolt, just more or less a referendum on how many people would potentially support withholding a portion of their taxes owed, even a token amount. The online petition asked people if they would be willing to commit to withhold some of their taxes, even $1, if 100,000 other people would agree to do the same. Out of the US population of 316 million, how many people do you think signed it? About 2,000. So you see, there is not much evidence that people will do the only thing that could stop the empire: a true Tea Party tax revolt.

What this implies is that the empire will continue to churn along, and debt will continue to build up, because any other approach to paying for it is not feasible, and therefore collapse is inevitable. The aftermath of collapse is unpredictable; maybe there will be a soft landing, maybe not. But unless you are willing to engage in some form of tax revolt, collapse is inevitable. You will get to live with the results: stage a tax revolt now, or face collapse later.

Are you sure you want to take your chances on collapse? The results of a personal tax revolt are predictable: retribution with penalties and interest from the IRS; living in fear of having your salary, your property, even your house seized, or worse, your door broken down by federal agents (although these extreme measures don’t happen too often, they happen often enough to instill fear). Perhaps there would be loss of income, or even your job. Losing one’s job often leads to depression, divorce, drug or alcohol abuse, etc. So you may prefer collapse after all: loss of your savings, no heat, electricity or trash removal, shops looted or closed, armed gangs roaming the streets... Your choice!

On the other hand, collapse might go well! Hope springs eternal in the optimistic American heart. We are (or used to be) the “can-do” people. Maybe we can-do collapse better than anyone else? Doubtful though if you read Dmitry Orlov’s Collapse Gap presentation.

The results of collapse later are likely to be worse then the effects of tax revolt now. Especially, since the IRS takes years to catch up to exempt W-4 forms, and it would be even harder to crack down if it were being was done en masse. But it’s perfectly understandable if you opt to do nothing now and suffer no consequences, while engaging in ineffective protest to assuage your conscience. You probably have a family to support, an expensive hobby, or some other excuse. So you decide to take your chances with collapse later. After all, collapse might turn out OK for you! This psychology is quite understandable. I truly hope that collapse will be as painless as you wish it will be, but somehow I doubt it. Good luck though! Whatever happens, you will have to live with your decision for the rest of your life—be it long or short.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

9 Of The Biggest Myths People Believe About 'The System'

Guest Post by Simon Black

Years ago, an elderly, frail Japanese martial arts master once boasted a 200-0 record against his opponents.

He claimed to have a unique power that allowed him to inflict serious injury on people without actually laying a finger on them.

Was it Chi? Magic? None of the above. It was a total scam. But that didn’t matter.
You see, the legend of the master’s powers turned out to be far more powerful than reality.
His core following of students believed in the master so much that they would fling themselves across the dojo whenever he raised his pinky finger.

And anyone who saw the display would become transfixed by the perception of the mater’s extraordinary abilities. It was an incredible case of mass delusion.

Everyone believed it, including the master himself. He was so confident in his skills that he put up a $5,000 challenge that he could beat any fighter in the world.

A mixed martial arts champion accepted the wager, and the result wasn’t pretty.

As you can see in the video, the master is quickly knocked to the ground with a broken nose and a pool of blood. Observers scramble to find a doctor to come to his aid.

You can almost hear the sound of reality quickly taking hold from the gasps of his students. No one could bring themselves to believe that the master had been so quickly beaten.

To an outsider, it seems so obvious that this guy is a phony (just watch the video). But mass delusion is an incredibly powerful force.

We see the same effects in the West today—mass delusions everywhere.

People seem to believe their governments are almighty beings capable of performing magic—water into wine, debt into wealth.

Here are some of the biggest myths we see in the system today:

1. The dollar will continue to be the dominant currency.
This is a total farce. Grumblings grow louder around the world to establish a new non-dollar financial system, and China has taken the lead to make this a reality.

2. The US is still the dominant military power in the world.
If you measure by the quality of trained personnel, this is true. But what good is all of that military power if you can’t afford to do anything with it?

3. The police exist to protect the people.
Wrong again. With so much civil asset forfeiture taking place at the point of a gun (federally funded assault rifles), it’s clear they’re far more concerned about protecting those that maintain the status quo than protecting you.

4. Elections make a difference
Completely false. Most Western governments borrow money to pay interest on the money they’ve already borrowed.
In the US, they spend so much on mandatory entitlements and interest they could eliminate almost the entire government and still not run a balanced budget.
At that level of desperation, it matters not who’s in power.

5. Your bank is safe
Your bank might HAVE a safe. But if you look at objective data, many banks in the West have incredibly thin levels of capital and liquidity—the exact opposite of what a safe bank is supposed to have.
Oh yeah, they’re backed by poorly capitalized deposit insurance funds, which are guaranteed by insolvent governments.
And bear in mind that even if your bank is reasonably capitalized, you are still guaranteed to lose money on a tax adjusted, inflation adjusted basis if you you’re holding your savings there.

6. You have to go to college in order to get ahead
Quite the opposite—going to college in many cases can get you behind; just ask any 36-year old still paying down that $100,000 student loan debt.
The world is a big place full of opportunity. Skills and experience matter more than pieces of paper.
Here’s a better option, especially for young people: head overseas, and become an apprentice to a successful, knowledgeable individual that you respect.
Any young person who thinks that going to college is a good idea should just ask any of their unemployed friends saddled with $100,000 of debt if it was worth it.

7. I saw it on TV so it must be true.
Ufff. The mainstream media exist to paint a distorted version of reality so that people are kept placated, docile and largely clueless about what really goes on in the world.

8. Debt doesn’t matter because we owe it to ourselves
Whoever first said this must have a lot of whips and chains in his closet because he seems to enjoy pain.
If we owe the debt to ‘ourselves,’ that means that we will need to default on ourselves.
This means no more Social Security, Medicare, etc. It means causing the US Federal Reserve to become insolvent and spark a currency crisis. It means causing the collapse of every bank in the country.
Sure, no biggie.

9. The United States is the Land of the Free
Draconian surveillance efforts on its citizens. Punitive taxes, fines and regulation. Rising police state. Telling people what they can or can’t put in their bodies, how to grow their food, who to adore, who to hate. Preventing them to collect their own rainwater and live off the grid.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Public School: A Conspiracy Against Ourselves

"Solve this problem and school will heal itself: children know that schooling is not fair, not honest, not driven by integrity. They know they are devalued in classes and grades,1 that the institution is indifferent to them as individuals. The rhetoric of caring contradicts what school procedure and content say, that many children have no tolerable future and most have a sharply proscribed one. The problem is structural. School has been built to serve a society of associations: corporations,
institutions, and agencies. Kids know this instinctively. How should they feel about it? How should we?"

A short video based on John Taylor Gatto's book, The Underground History of American Education.

Arranged and edited by Brett Veinotte

This excerpt is from Chapter Sixteen: A Conspiracy Against Ourselves, Section 1: "Two Social Revolutions Become One,"

Friday, November 7, 2014

Thursday, November 6, 2014

If You Really Think It Matters Which Party Controls the Senate, Answer These Questions

Guest Post by Charles Hugh Smith

Please don't claim anything changes if one party or the other is in the majority. Anyone clinging to that fantasy is delusional.

If you really think it matters which political party controls the U.S. Senate, please answer these questions. Don't worry, they're not that difficult:

1. Will U.S. foreign policy in the Mideast change from being an incoherent pastiche of endless war and Imperial meddling? Please answer with a straight face. We all know the answer is that it doesn't matter who controls the Senate, Presidency or House of Representatives, nothing will change.
2. Will basic civil liberties be returned to the citizenry? You know, like the cops are no longer allowed to steal your cash when they stop you for a broken tail light and claim the cash was going to be used for a drug deal.
Or some limits on domestic spying by Central State agencies. You know, basic civil liberties as defined by the Bill of Rights and the U.S. constitution.
Don't make me laugh--you know darned well that it doesn't matter who controls the Senate, Presidency or House of Representatives, nothing will change.
3. Will the predatory, parasitic policies of the Federal Reserve that virtually everyone from the Wall Street Journal to what little remains of the authentic Left understands has greatly increased income and wealth inequality be reined in? Please don't claim either party has any will or interest in limiting the Fed's rapacious financialization. There is absolutely no evidence to support such a claim--it is pure wishful thinking.
4. Will the steaming pile of profiteering, corruption, waste, fraud and ineptitude that is Sickcare in the U.S. be truly reformed so its costs drop by 50% to match what every other developed democracy spends per person on universal healthcare? It doesn't matter if ObamaCare is repealed or not; that monstrosity was simply another layer of bureaucratic waste on an already hopelessly dysfunctional system.
If you answer "yes," please run a body scan on yourself to detect the biochips that were implanted while you voted Demopublican.
5. Will the influence of Big Money be well and truly banned from politics? If you answer yes, please pick up your tin-foil hat at the door.
6. Will the incentives in the Status Quo be reset to punish rapacious financialization and gaming the system and reward productive investment and labor? Before you answer, check out who's buttering the Senators' bread. Hint: Wall Street does not qualify as productive unless we're talking about the production of life-draining parasites. Virtually none of the vast armies of skimmers and scammers, from those pursuing bogus disability claims to lobbyist leeches, will suffer any consequence.
Moral hazard is the Status Quo's Prime Directive.
7. Will anything be done to dismantle the Neofeudal Debt-Serfdom known as student loans? You are delusional if you think either party has any interest in limiting the predation of an academic Upper Caste that came to do good and stayed to do well.

8. Will any prudent assessment be made of unaffordable weapons systems like the F-35 Lightning--$1.5 trillion and counting for aircraft that will soon be matched by drones that cost a fraction of the F-35's $200 million a piece price tag? No way--parts of those insanely costly jets are made in dozens of states, so the pork is well-distributed. Never mind the plane is lemon, built to fight the wars of the past. It's jobs, Baby--that's all that counts. Never mind the $1.5 trillion--we can always borrow another couple trillion--the Fed promised us.
Do you really think the Senate controlled by either party will ask why the F-35's price tag dropped to $120 million from $200 million? That's easy--the revised estimate left out the engine and avionics. They'll be added back in after the Senate approves open-ended funding.
If none of these key dynamics will change, you got nothing. Please don't claim anything changes if one party or the other is in the majority. Anyone clinging to that fantasy is delusional.
If you doubt this, please take the above quiz again.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

"Selfish, Ignorant Citizens Make For Selfish, Ignorant Politicians"

George Carlin explains why he doesn't complain about politicians... "this is all we have to offer, garbage in, garbage out" Maybe, he chides, it's not the politicians, "the public sucks, f#$k hope!"

And my more serious explanation of WHY we are headed to a full blown collapse despite people voting.
Historically speaking, first it happens slowly, then without warning, all at once.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Shadow Government: Of, for and by the Powers That Be

Guest Post By Dr. Richard Sauder
Obedience to the government, and trust in its directives, is instilled in us by the mainstream culture our whole lives. As school children, and in our university studies, we are taught about the formal structure and function of government. We are taught to accept without question what the government says and does, and to believe in its essential goodness, honesty and trustworthiness.

But part of growing up is the realization that reality is far divorced from the official story that was drilled into our heads as children and young adults.

The truth is that in the USSA, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Germany, Egypt, Israel, Australia and virtually every nation all over the world, there is a secret, or shadow government that secretly pulls strings behind the scenes. The shadow government operates outside the bounds of the law and the formal constitution of the government. It is often massively funded by so-called “black budget” finances, or off the books funding that may be raised by a variety of means, including, but not limited to:
1) narcotics, weapons or human trafficking;
2) outright theft, embezzlement or transfer of national or state resources by illegal, criminal procedures;
3) plunder of other nations’ resources in warfare;
4) fraudulent conversion of national treasury assets under color of unconstitutional laws or regulations that are wrongly presented to the public as being lawful; or
5) via massive interventions in markets of various sorts through “front” companies and clandestine, market rigging.

Understand that all of the foregoing is carried out by a wide variety of government officials, including kings and queens, presidents and prime ministers, members of parliaments and other representative, elected bodies, secretaries of national government departments, high ranking military officers, heads of national central banks, and other prominent officials. Intelligence and military agencies are heavily involved in the shadow government. In the American system the CIA, NSA, FBI, NRO and a whole host of Pentagon and other government agencies play a huge role in the unconstitutional, shadow government. A similar arrangement prevails in many other countries.

The shadow government has strong ties to organized crime. Criminal syndicates and operatives such as the Sicilian Mafia (“La Cosa Nostra”), the Japanese Yakuza, Mexican and Colombian narcotics cartels, Chinese Triads, Afghan opium warlords, the Russian- Ukrainian-Israeli Mafia and the Israeli Mafia, to name just a few of many, have secretive ties to governments, intelligence agencies and military organizations, at many levels, all over the world, who use them for money laundering, assassinations, movement of contraband across borders, garden variety criminal operations, narcotics, weapons and human organ and human trafficking, and more. 
Because of government and mass media propaganda, many people are blinded even to the reality of the existence of the shadow government, much less its massive criminality. But it’s time to wake up and see the reality for what it is. The government of the USSA is not what the people of the world have been told, and the same goes for many other governments. We, the so- called ordinary peoples of the world, have been massively lied to.

In 1964, at the height of the Cold War, David Wise and Thomas Ross wrote a book about the secretive machinations of the American government, entitledThe Invisible Government, in which they described the “interlocking, hidden machinery that carries out the policies of the United States…” In 1973, Fletcher Prouty, a U.S. Air Force Colonel and former liaison officer between the USSA Air Force and the CIA, issued his own book which went even further:The Secret Team: the CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and The World. Prouty revealed that the Secret Team is a powerful, brutally violent, treacherous, international octopus, with many tentacles of influence that extend throughout the world. It has its operatives in many countries (Americans and non-Americans too) in universities and academic institutes (scholars, professors), in intelligence agencies (spies), in military agencies (enlisted personnel and officers), in private industry (businessmen and businesswomen), in the world of finance (bankers, stock brokers, financiers), in the news media (journalists, television personalities), in publishing (book editors). Prouty characterizes this Secret Team as the “real power structure” in our world.

Understand that he is talking about a rogue, out of control, international organization that is massively funded, has access to any computer data base, has cutting edge technology, has access to any technical expertise or personnel that it needs and that is also ruthlessly violent. It uses the government of the USSA and other countries as camouflage to hide and disguise its activities. Other similar books have appeared in recent decades. Former British MI-6 agent, Dr. John Coleman, has written his own expos√© of the shadowy, totalitarian power plays of European royal houses and powerful international factions allied with their interests. Conspirator’s Hierarchy: The Story of the Committee of 300 outlines a nefarious power bloc very much like Fletcher Prouty’s Secret Team, but revolving around the European royal houses instead of the American CIA.

Shadow Masters: An International Network of Governments and Secret-Service Agencies Working Together with Drugs Dealers and Terrorists for Mutual Benefit and Profit, by Daniel Estulin, also exposes the international, criminal collusion between national governments, intelligence agencies, terrorists, drug traffickers, big business and the banking industry.

Of course, some countries are militarily occupied by others and have a shadow government imposed on them by force. The USSA militarily currently occupies Afghanistan, and also stations military forces in scores of other countries, including in South Korea, Japan and Germany, even though WW II and the Korean War occurred in the mid-20th century, more than half a century ago. China militarily occupies Tibet, it is true, and Israel militarily occupies Palestine, however, over the last half century, the USA has far and away been the primary international aggressor.

In the case of Germany, the former head of West German military intelligence, Gerd-Helmut Komossa has in recent years published a book entitled The German Card: The Hidden Game of the Secret Services (Die deutsche Karte. Das verdeckte Spiel der geheimen Dienste) which reveals that in 1949 the USSA forced the government of West Germany to sign a secret agreement with the USSA that ceded German national sovereignty to the USSA until the year 2099, thus rendering Germany a vassal state to the USSA for 150 years. His book caused a big controversy in Germany, but the premise is obvious. Almost 70 years after WW-II, and approximately 20 years after the fall of the Berlin wall, after the reunification of West and East Germany, and many years after the collapse of the USSR, the USSA still stations large numbers of military forces on German soil. There are still dozens of American military bases and facilities in Germany. The conclusion is self-evident. Germany is not presently a sovereign nation, almost 70 years after the end of WW II. And yet this glaring truth is not officially acknowledged, whether in Germany or the USSA.

The case of Japan is similar. Long after the end of WW-II the USSA still stations 50,000 military personnel on Japanese soil. Sixty years after the Korean war, the American military still has more than 28,000 troops in South Korea. The implications for Japanese and South Korean sovereignty, or lack thereof, are crystal clear.
This does not even take into account the unknown thousands of personnel in unknown numbers of secret underground and undersea bases, the world over, a large number of whom are certainly American personnel, given the enormity of the American Black Budget and the decades-long history of the USSA government’s and military’s involvement in underground and undersea bases R&D and construction, which I have detailed in my books:

Hidden In Plain Sight: Beyond the X-Files 
Underground Bases and Tunnels: What Is The Government Trying To Hide?
Underwater and Underground Bases: Surprising Facts The Government Does Not Want You To Know

So forget what you were told in school about how government works. It was in large measure carefully contrived fiction and propaganda.

The reality is something else entirely.

Why I Don't Vote

Guest Post by Larken Rose

Let’s examine the ritual of voting, its purpose, and its insanity.

First, a summary of why I don’t vote:   I won’t give anyone permission to rule me, and I don’t have the right to give anyone permission to rule you.   Clear enough?

Imagine a country in which a self-appointed, self-perpetuating dictatorship were to swipe half of what everyone earns, as well as meddling in every aspect of common life.   For the moment, ignore the fact that this could not be imposed on the country by force (due to the armed populace).   What would your attitude be towards such a regime?   Hatred?   Willingness and eagerness to use force to stop them, and/or exterminate them?   Me too.

So since someone is doing those things to the people here now, why don’t you have that attitude?   Because every two years they let you walk into a booth and press a button?   Whoop-Deedoo.   Don’t you feel mighty as you press that button, before going off to earn more counterfeit money to give to various levels of "government"?   If this looks like freedom to you, then I would also like to "free" you.

Jackney Sneeb and I are going into the “democracy” business.   Here’s how it works: you give us half of what you earn, and if you don’t, we kill you.   But wait! That’s not all!   (If it was, you’d hate us, and possibly kill us.)   Every two years, we will allow you to come to our polling place, walk into a booth, and press either a button that says "Larken Rose" or a button that says "Jackney Sneeb.”   Feel free to swell with pride as you do it, too, and wax eloquent about your patriotic duty.   That’s the whole deal.   For your convenience, you can hand over your cash while voting.

Oh, you say you want that button-pressing to do something?   Like maybe make it so only one of us (whoever gets more votes) has power?   Picky, picky.   You don’t get that now.   Jackney and I will give you just what you get now:   after you choose a button, Mr. Sneeb and I will get together, and decide how to rule you.   You don’t need to know all the details of how we come to these decisions.   Remember, we are representing you when we do it.   Just trust us to look out for your best interests.   (And by the way, you are to blame for whatever we do, because we are only representing you.   It isn’t our responsibility.)

I sense you are not thrilled with this proposal.   Well . . . did you vote today?

"If you don’t vote, then you can’t complain about the results."

Apply that to the deal above, and you will see just how idiotic a statement it is.   But it is a fine propaganda tool to use on the moronic masses.   I can’t count the number of times that people have gone from "if you don’t vote . . ." to "if you’re not doing anything to change things . . ." without even realizing they're talking about two different things.   It’s freaking insane.

This is the essence of the grand delusion.   The current criterion for the Divine Right of Kings is the ballot booth.   We gave up the mythology of swords in rocks, bloodlines, etc., and chose a worse basis for the delusion.   It is entirely a religious belief, and is more bizarre than any other religion I can think of.   At least other religions make up some non-human, divine "authority" to bow to.   The nutcase civil authoritarians instead say that they themselves are the source of the right to rule ("government of the people, by the people, blah blah blah"), and yet are subject to that rule.   They didn’t even bother putting a curtain around that little guy who runs the Wizard of Oz gimmick.   They know there is no substance to it, and they still believe in it.

Here’s a simple question that makes most people freak out: "If you don’t have the right to tax, regulate, and control me yourself, how does your voting give that right to someone else?   (And if you can do it with theft, why can’t you do it with mass murder?) "Uh . . . uh . . . uh . . . it’s the system we have."   Well then let’s go back to the "system" of soggy bitches in puddles flinging weaponry around.   It caused less damage.   Calling a lunatic ritual a "system" doesn’t make it rational.

The power of the United States "government" does not come from force.   It comes from the delusion; the belief that these cult rituals give someone the right to rule.   Not only would the moronic masses not obey if they didn’t have this delusion, but the politicians’ hired thugs wouldn’t be using force if they didn’t have this delusion too (with the exception of a few who would just be honest mercenary assholes).   When you go into that booth, you legitimize this lunacy.   Regardless of who you vote for, you are making it very clear that you believe that this process gives the right to rule -- to rule you and everyone else.

Libertarians who vote often bitch at me for saying this.   But it is extra-loony for them to vote (even ignoring the fact that the basis of their philosophy rules out "government" entirely).   If they know they will lose anyway, why legitimize the ritual that will supposedly grant someone the right to rule them?   "We are making a statement." Yeah, and what a statement it is.   "I don’t really believe in inalienable rights, and I don’t really believe that the initiation of force is wrong."   If a libertarian does believe these things, how does this button-pushing bullshit fit into the equation?

"We believe these truths to be self-evident, that every voter is endowed by the voting booth with certain inalienable rights . . ."   If extortion, under any euphemism ("taxation"), is wrong, and stopping it with force is right (as the premise of libertarianism states), then what the hell is this bizarre election crap?

Why don’t we add the local murderers, rapists, and thieves to the ballot?   Let’s have campaigns for who gets to be the head murderer of the district.   "I promise to murder people more fairly."   All the murderers in the area will decide how the people will choose their new Chief Murderer.   Let’s all get together and vote for Ghandi as Chief Murderer.   That is the proper way to reduce murder.   AAK!

Sometimes libertarians say they are just doing this loony thing in the hopes of making a change without violence.   Go dance around a bonfire with goat skulls.   It will be more effective.   A change can be made without violence, and the first step of that change has to be unmasking all the political cult ritual crap for what it is: crap.   Stop asking the false god of the cannibals to please tell his followers to stop trying to eat you.   He isn’t there, and you’re making an ass out of yourself, while at the same time validating the beliefs of the dickheads who want you on the menu. 

What Does Societal Collapse and Martial Law Look Like?


 Guest Post By Dave Hodges

According to a survey conducted by the Adelphi University Center for Health Innovation, 55 percent of Americans believe that the government will come to their rescue when the proverbial poop hits the fan because your big brother really cares. Literally, every alternative media outlet could show conclusive proof that an EMP was going to wipe out the power grid. We could conclusively prove that nuclear bombs were going off in 39 American cities in the most horrific false flag attack in world history and it would not make any difference to 55% of all Americans because of their cognitive dissonance.

The United States is staring at an economic collapse in the face with its $17 trillion dollar deficit, $238 trillion dollars of unfunded mandates (e.g. social security, Medicare, etc.) and a one quadrillion dollar derivatives debt in which the governments of the world are being forced to assume in the form of the “bailouts”. Even if Obama and his bankster puppet masters never had any intention of executing a false flag event in order to put this country into martial law in order to fully complete the coup d’√©tat that is already underway, a crash is coming. The banks are going to collapse, the people will riot, there will be food shortages, whether they be planned or unplanned. I do, however, believe that food will undoubtedly be used to control the unruly masses, despite the DHS and their new found friends in the Chinese and Russian personnel which are on our soil.

Are you prepared? At the bottom of this article, I will visually demonstrate to the reader with real time examples of human behavior in groups, how each of us are going to be in very grave danger when the collapse comes. But first, let’s analyze America’s present level of individual and collective preparedness.

How Prepared Is America? 


The Adelphi University research center tells us that 53% of all Americans do not have a three day supply of nonperishable food and water in their homes. FEMA and DHS are not about serving the needs of the American people; These agencies are about preserving the status quo of the powers that be. But don’t try and tell that to 55% of the citizens of this country.

Most Likely Causes of a Societal Breakdown


As the TV show by the same name, there are literally a 1,000 ways to die. The following six events represent some of the most likely events which would mortally wound our society.
1. False flag attack as a result of a chemical and biological attack
2. False flag attack as a result of a series of nuclear explosions
3. World War III
4. EMP attack
5. Economic collapse
6. Military coup resulting in civil war

America’s Level of Preparedness


A brief summation of the Adelphi study reveals the following:
  • 44 percent don’t have first-aid kits
  • 48 percent lack emergency supplies
  • 53 percent do not have a minimum three-day supply of nonperishable food and water at home
  • 55 percent believe local authorities will come to their rescue if disaster strikes
This means that 56% of those with first-aid kits, 52% of those with emergency supplies, and 47% of those who have more than three days worth of water, will be victimized by those who have not properly planned. Please allow me to put this into a real number for you. Over 130 million teenagers and adults will be in the streets seeking to obtain life-sustaining resources in a very short time following the disaster event. This is a train wreck starting to happen.

Time Frame for Societal Breakdown


Those that would be fortunate enough to survive the initial event, or series of events, would face the following timetable of events.

In the first one to two days, all shelves would be emptied of food, water, guns and medical supplies. There will be no resupply as nothing will be shipped.
On the beginning of the third day, individuals will be in the streets scavenging for anything they can find that will keep themselves and their families alive. If there is a loss of power, many will die as a result of exposure to the elements.

By the fifth day, desperate people will organize into collectives (i.e. gangs) and will go house to house looking for stored supplies from the half that has somewhat prepared. Neighborhoods will begin to organize themselves into local vigilante groups for protection from local gangs who have become desperate. This is the day that many of the police walked off the job in New Orleans in order to protect their families. Groups of police could become the most dangerous groups in society.

In the days that follow, nobody can be trusted. There will be people who will dress up in official looking uniforms (e.g. military, national guard, police) in order to gain entry into a fortified home.
The game changing event will be a civil war. Not only will you have to deal with marauding hordes of resource deficient people, you could also be caught in the crossfire between two, or more warring armies.

Casualty Rates


1. World War III. The casualty estimates dating back to the 1960’s and 1970’s related to an all-out nuclear war was placed at 150 million Americans or at 80-85%.

2. False flag attack as a result of a series of nuclear explosions. The casualty rate is indeterminable and would depend of the number of cities involved and their relative populations and the size and placement of the nuclear device. Generally speaking, one nuclear device in a city the size of Phoenix would kill 20,000 to 100,000 people. Many more would die in the upcoming weeks due to the effects of radiation.
3. False flag attack as a result of a chemical and biological attack. The casualty rates are indeterminable but past pandemics have wiped out one-third to 40% of a society.

4. EMP attack. The Naval War College tells us that within two years of a power grid take down, that 90% of us would be dead.

5. Military coup resulting in civil war. The casualty rates of war as well as civilians victimizing each other would be impossible to calculate. Conservative estimates would place the rate at 5% to 25%.
6. Economic collapse. It is impossible to exactly determine. I think a safe bet would place this event in the category of a false flag “cyber attack” upon Wall Street and the Banking system. Or, the world totally moves away from the Petrodollar causing our currency to hyper-inflate. The resulting casualty rates would be difficult to calculate. The government would be able to establish order following a brutal crackdown. However, in our weakened state, we would be inviting an invasion. A civil war could break out as well.

What Will the Riots Look Like?


NORTHCOM, DHS, FEMA and the Russians have all practiced on quelling domestic disturbances and conducting gun confiscation. Even the elite have gathered their own private armies in preparation for the same civil unrest.

Unfortunately, DHS is not releasing any videos which demonstrate the severity of the civilian uprising that they are practicing for. However, we do have some Black Friday “drills” which exemplify how crazy it will get in the first few hours of a societal breakdown.

The following video is from the 2012 version of Black Friday. It raises the question, that if people will act like animals with depraved indifference towards the welfare of their fellow human beings in the first few minutes of a Black Friday sale, what will they do when it comes to food, water and guns?

If you think that this phenomena is just confined to 2012, think again. The following two videos from last year’s version of Black Friday.



At minimum, there is an economic collapse in our near future with the massive debt which is unsustainable. The presence of the NDAA and EO 13603 speaks to the government’s plans to deal forcefully with any disturbances. The preparation by DHS is unmistakable with its acquisition of over two billion rounds of ammunition and 2700 armored personnel carriers. And when we see foreign troops (e.g. the Russians and the Chinese), we should all be gravely concerned. Additionally, FEMA,  and DHS, both last and this year have engaged in a seemingly endless set of disaster planning drills which parallels the content of this article.
To the 55% who are clueless, take out an insurance policy and begin to store food, water guns and ammunition. To everyone else, who has at least some idea of what is going on, begin to reach out to your neighbors because you will need the additional safety that numbers can bring.
And what will the resulting martial law look like? A clear picture of this eventuality is beginning to emerge and that will be the topic of the next part in this series.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Most People Cannot Even Imagine That An Economic Collapse Is Coming

Guest Post by Michael Snyder

The idea that the United States is on the brink of a horrifying economic crash is absolutely inconceivable to most Americans.  After all, the economy has been relatively stable for quite a few years and the stock market continues to surge to new heights.  On Friday, the Dow and the S&P 500 both closed at brand new all-time record highs.  For the year, the S&P 500 is now up 9 percent and the Nasdaq is now up close to 11 percent.  And American consumers are getting ready to spend more than 600 billion dollars this Christmas season.  That is an amount of money that is larger than the entire economy of Sweden.  So how in the world can anyone be talking about economic collapse?  Yes, many will concede, we had a few bumps in the road back in 2008 but things have pretty much gotten back to normal since then.  Why be concerned about economic collapse when there is so much stability all around us?

Unfortunately, this brief period of stability that we have been enjoying is just an illusion.

The fundamental problems that caused the financial crisis of 2008 have not been fixed.  In fact, most of our long-term economic problems have gotten even worse.

But most Americans have such short attention spans these days.  In a world where we are accustomed to getting everything instantly, news cycles only last for 48 hours and 2008 might as well be an eternity ago.
In the United States today, our entire economic system is based on debt.

Without debt, very little economic activity happens.  We need mortgages to buy our homes, we need auto loans to buy our vehicles and we need our credit cards to do our shopping during the holiday season.
So where does all of that debt come from?

It comes from the banks.

In particular, the "too big to fail banks" are the heart of this debt-based system.
Do you have a mortgage, an auto loan or a credit card from one of these "too big to fail" institutions?  A very large percentage of the people that will read this article do.

And a lot of people might not like to hear this, but without those banks we essentially do not have an economy.

When Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, it almost resulted in the meltdown of our entire system.  The stock market collapsed and we experienced an absolutely wicked credit crunch.
Unfortunately, that was just a small preview of what is coming.

Even though a few prominent "experts" such as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman have declared that the "too big to fail" problem is "over", the truth is that it is now a bigger crisis than ever before.
Compared to five years ago, the four largest banks in the country are now almost 40 percent larger.  The following numbers come from a recent article in the Los Angeles Times...
Just before the financial crisis hit, Wells Fargo & Co. had $609 billion in assets. Now it has $1.4 trillion. Bank of America Corp. had $1.7 trillion in assets. That's up to $2.1 trillion.
And the assets of JPMorgan Chase & Co., the nation's biggest bank, have ballooned to $2.4 trillion from $1.8 trillion.
At the same time that those banks have been getting bigger, 1,400 smaller banks have completely disappeared from the banking industry.

That means that we are now more dependent on these gigantic banks than ever.
At this point, the five largest banks account for 42 percent of all loans in the United States, and the six largest banks account for 67 percent of all assets in our financial system.

If someone came along and zapped those banks out of existence, our economy would totally collapse overnight.

So the health of this handful of immensely powerful banking institutions is absolutely critical to our economy.
Unfortunately, these banks have become deeply addicted to gambling.

Have you ever known people that allowed their lives to be destroyed by addictions that they could never shake?

Well, that is what is happening to these banks.  They have transformed Wall Street into the largest casino in the history of the world.  Most of the time, their bets pay off and they make lots of money.
But as we saw back in 2008, when they miscalculate things can fall apart very rapidly.

The bets that I am most concerned about are known as "derivatives".  In essence, they are bets about what will or will not happen in the future.  The big banks use very sophisticated algorithms that are supposed to help them be on the winning side of these bets the vast majority of the time, but these algorithms are not perfect.  The reason these algorithms are not perfect is because they are based on assumptions, and those assumptions come from people.  They might be really smart people, but they are still just people.

If things stay fairly stable like they have the past few years, the algorithms tend to work very well.
But if there is a "black swan event" such as a major stock market crash, a collapse of European or Asian banks, a historic shift in interest rates, an Ebola pandemic, a horrific natural disaster or a massive EMP blast is unleashed by the sun, everything can be suddenly thrown out of balance.

Acrobat Nik Wallenda has been making headlines all over the world for crossing vast distances on a high-wire without a safety net.  Well, that is essentially what our "too big to fail" banks are doing every single day.  With each passing year, these banks have become even more reckless, and so far there have not been any serious consequences.

But without a doubt, someday there will be.
What would you say about a bookie that took $200,000 in bets but that only had $10,000 to cover those bets?

You would certainly call that bookie a fool.
But that is what our big banks are doing.

Right now, JPMorgan Chase has more than 67 trillion dollars in exposure to derivatives but it only has 2.5 trillion dollars in assets.

Right now, Citibank has nearly 60 trillion dollars in exposure to derivatives but it only has 1.9 trillion dollars in assets.

Right now, Goldman Sachs has more than 54 trillion dollars in exposure to derivatives but it has less than a trillion dollars in assets.

Right now, Bank of America has more than 54 trillion dollars in exposure to derivatives but it only has 2.2 trillion dollars in assets.

Right now, Morgan Stanley has more than 44 trillion dollars in exposure to derivatives but it has less than a trillion dollars in assets.

Most people have absolutely no idea how incredibly vulnerable our financial system really is.
The truth is that these "too big to fail" banks could collapse at any time.
And when they fail, our economy will fail too.

So let us hope and pray that this brief period of false stability lasts for as long as possible.
Because when it ends, all hell is going to break loose.
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Warning: Avoid This Corrupt, Third-World Country At All Costs

Guest Post by Simon Black via Sovereign Man blog,
John Anderson, an American tourist from San Clemente, California, was driving down a poorly-maintained highway when he saw flashing lights in his rearview mirror.

After a brief exchange with the local police officer, Anderson was shocked when the cop started searching his vehicle.

Anderson had $25,180 in US dollar cash in the car, which by the way was not a crime according to the local laws.

When the cop saw it, he told Anderson that we would take it and threatened him with arrest if he protested.

Anderson couldn’t believe it. This is the sort of stuff you always hear about in these third world countries—corrupt cops and state robbery.

Ultimately Anderson gave in; the cop let him go and did not charge him with a crime, but took every last penny in the vehicle.

And for the last two years, Anderson has been trying to unsuccessfully fight it in the country’s Kangaroo court system.
Clearly we should all avoid going to such dangerously corrupt third world countries.
Except in this case, Anderson was in the United States of America. And he is far from being the only victim of this highway robbery known as Civil Asset Forfeiture.
Since 9/11, police forces in the Land of the Free made over 62,000 seizures without charging anyone with any crime, stealing $2.5 billion in cash alone.

The cost of taking legal action against the government is so high, that only about 17% of the victims actually challenged the seizures.

And even then, only 41% of those that challenged have been able to get their money back.
This means that the government has a better than 93% success rate in outright theft.

This is worse than mafia—it’s blatant theft with impunity from the people that are sworn to protect and serve. It’s the kind of thing that is thought to only occur in heinously corrupt countries.
Here’s the good news: many people are waking up to the reality that they’re not living in a free country.
They are starting to understand what I call ‘the criminalization of existence.’

Every last detail of our lives is regulated—what we can/cannot put in our bodies, whether we can collect rainwater or unplug from the grid, how we are allowed to educate our own children, etc.
Driving this point home, a Tennessee woman was actually thrown in jail earlier this month for ignoring a city citation to trim some overgrown bushes in her yard.

This isn’t freedom.

The irony is that, even though many people are starting to realize this, they’re looking to the very institution that has enslaved them to solve the problem.
It is their own government that has created this system.

It is the government that passed US Code section 983 (Rules for Civil Forfeiture), allowing the police to commit highway robbery.

It is the government that continues to arrogantly, brazenly spy on every citizen despite overwhelming public outcry.

It is the government that continues to bring forth new regulation at an absolutely astounding rate.
Just today (this is 100% true), the US federal government published an eye-popping 490 pages of new rules, proposals, and regulatory notices.

To give you a little taste, today’s regulations include:
  • Stringent requirements for properly handling spearmint oil;
  • New tolerance specifications for a-alkyl-w-hydroxypoly sulfate
  • Additional powers awarded to the Department of Education to decide “whether certain postsecondary educational programs prepare students for gainful employment.”
  • A decision to centrally manage the 2014 ‘total allowable catch of Pacific Cod’ in the Bering Sea.
There’s even a new rule upholding fines for unauthorized playing of digital recordings.
You can’t make this stuff up—they are regulating nearly everything.
It’s government that does this. They are the problem, not the solution.
Looking to government to solve the problem that they themselves created is completely irrational. They are incapable of righting themselves.

The solution – the power – is with the individual.

All the tools and all the resources to distance yourself from this system already exist.
On one hand, there’s always the possibility of leaving. The American Dream is still alive and well… it’s just no longer in the United States. Not to mention all the financial, business, investment, and lifestyle opportunities for the taking.

But even if you stay, there are dozens of ways to take back your freedom.
For example, why hold 100% of your savings and assets in that jurisdiction when they could easily confiscate everything?

There are so many great, safe jurisdictions in the world to bank, to invest, to own property, and to store assets. And you can set all of this up without leaving town.

The solutions are out there. It’s time to consider them before becoming a statistic.

P.S. Here’s more proof that the official inflation numbers are completely phony… yet another market that has reached an all time high.

The American Dream: "You Have To Be Asleep To Believe It"

"It's never gonna get any better, be happy with what you got... because the 'owners' of this country don't want that. The 'real' owners of America - the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions - got you by the balls... What they don't want is a population of well-educated people capable of critical thinking."

Three minutes of uncomfortable truth...


Dysfunctional America

Guest Post by Paul Craig Roberts,

If you require more evidence that the United States is a dysfunctional society, observe American elections. Election season is slander season. Each party’s attack teams focus on misrepresenting, defaming, and ridiculing the opposing party’s candidates. Attack ads have replaced debates and any discussion of what the issues are, or should be, and how candidates perceive the public’s interest. Each attack team tells lies designed to enrage various voters about the other team’s candidate.

Whoever is elected is indebted not to voters but to the special interests that provided the campaign money. Once elected the official serves the private interest groups that put the official in office. In America the government can be bought and sold just like everything else. In its Citizens United ruling, a Republican Supreme Court put its stamp of approval on the right of corporations to purchase the US government.

Each state has its own dominant interest groups that win every election. In Florida real estate developers routinely defeat the environment and local communities. Developers have even been known to form organizations that pose as conservation supporters in order to misrepresent and defeat conservation measures.

Yet, despite their long string of losses to special interests, voters still participate in elections. I once read a theory that elections are a form of entertainment. President Clinton’s encounter with the young woman on MTV–”boxers or briefs”–is one indication of the lack of seriousness that Americans bring to politics.

Perhaps the lighter moment of a young woman’s interest in the president’s underwear should be cherished. The Clinton years will be remembered as scandal after scandal with dark events unresolved and covered up. The Clinton years were transformative. For those who don’t remember and those too young at the time to be aware, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s book, The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories (1997), will be an eye-opener. Perhaps the Democrats should read the book before nominating Hillary as the party’s presidential candidate.
Evans-Pritchard was Washington bureau chief for the Sunday Telegraph, one of the main British newspapers. He was stunned by how the American media ceased to function during the Clinton years. The Clinton years gave us such events as the federal government’s murder of the Branch Davidians in their Waco compound and subsequent coverup, the Oklahoma City bombing and coverup, and the coverup of the apparent murder of White House counsel Vincent Foster.

Almost everyone who paid attention saw coverups, not investigations, of these extraordinary events. Evans-Pritchard was one who payed attention, and what he saw did not pass muster. Yet, there was no press asking questions.

For example, the official story was that Tim McVeigh was the “lone nut” responsible for blowing up the Murrah Federal Office Building with a truck bomb. Yet, at McVeigh’s trial the prosecution did not call a single witness who could place McVeigh in Oklahoma City on the day of the bombing. “This is a rather astonishing fact,” writes Evans-Pritchard, and indeed it is. The reason the prosecution could not provide a witness to place MvVeigh at the scene of the crime is that the many witnesses all reported seeing McVeigh in the company of other men, and the prearranged official story was that McVeigh was alone. The FBI and the prosecution had to make this case, not conduct a real investigation and discover what really happened.

Experts who have examined the Oklahoma City bombing have concluded that the truck bomb was cover for explosives set inside the building. For example, US Air Force munitions expert General Benton K. Partin provided an extensive and detailed study and wrote to the US Senate: “The attached report contains conclusive proof that the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was not caused solely by the truck bomb. Evidence shows that the massive destruction was primarily the result of four demolition charges placed at critical structural points at the third floor level.”

Miquel Rodriguez, the associate independent counsel assigned the investigation of Deputy White House Counsel Vincent Foster’s mysterious death resigned after four months convinced that he was dealing with a FBI coverup and that his investigation was being sabotaged by personnel within his own office. The FBI’s official story differed completely from the story of the witness who discovered Foster’s body. Again, as in Oklahoma, the FBI’s case required the creation of a make-believe scenario at odds with the evidence. With no interference from a silent press, the FBI created the story that was needed. Evans-Pritchard wrote that the Foster case was “taboo for American journalists. In private, many concede that the official story is unbelievable, but they will not broach it in print.”

When Americans think of Clinton era scandals, they recall “Whitewater” and Clinton’s sexual escapades with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Evans-Pritchard writes that these two scandals were small potatoes compared to the Waco, Oklahoma City, and Vincent Foster coverups. Evans-Pritchard concludes that these minor events were used by the press to distract the public and perhaps Congress from inquiring into FBI coverups of criminal acts.
I remember asking my Wall Street Journal colleague Robert Bartley why he put so much energy and editorial ink into Whitewater, a minor scandal involving some real estate payoffs to the Clintons that did not pan out. Serious events were ignored while Clinton’s affair with Lewinsky became a matter of impeachment.

From Clinton to George W. Bush and Obama was another transformative change. The crimes of the Clinton regime were covered up and not acknowledged. The crimes of the Bush and Obama regimes are openly acknowledged by the presidents themselves and by their attorney generals who assert that the “war on terror” frees presidents from the Constitution and from domestic and international statutory law. Thus, we have indefinite detention, torture and loss of protection against self-incrimination, destruction of privacy, and execution of US citizens without due process of law.

Almost overnight the US government became unaccountable, released from constitutional and legal constraints. Elections serve only to validate the unaccountability of government.