The Fading Scent of the American Dream

The theme this week is The Rot Within. It’s been 10 years since I devoted a week to the theme of The Rot Within(September 17, 2007). Back in 2007, I listed 16 systemic sources of rot in our society, politics and economy; none have been fixed. Instead, the gaping holes have been filled with Play-Do and hastily painted to create the illusion of shiny solidity. We live in a simulacrum society in which the fading scent of the American Dream is more a collective memory kept alive for political purposes than a reality. Even more disturbing, the difference between a phantom prosperity (or in homage to the Blade Runner film series, shall we say a replicant prosperity?) and real prosperity has been blurred by layers of simulated signals of prosperity and subtexts that are carefully designed to harken back to a long-gone authentic prosperity.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2017.

TSA: US Residents from 9 States Will Need Passports for Domestic Flight

This latest move by America’s notorious Transportation Security Authority (TSA) seems to be step one in a move towards a national ID Card, complete with biometrics and embedded RFID technology.
By forcing residents of nine states to get passports in order to board domestic flights, the TSA is de facto pushing those states towards the implementation of a new state-of-the-art ID card system.
This will help to give real teeth to the ‘The Real ID Act’
It’s just the next phase in the further militarization of US society.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on OCTOBER 16, 2017.

Austria’s Burka Ban Causes An Arrest Of Man Dressed As Shark

A man dressed as a shark was arrested in Austria and officials cited the countries Burka ban. The man was working as a mascot for a McShark electronics store in Vienna when the arrest occurred.
New restrictions came into effect in Austria at the beginning of the month banning the wearing of the full Islamic veil and other items concealing the face in public places and buildings. This ban extends to medical masks and scarves as well, making the shark costume an obvious ‘no-go.’ The restrictions are aimed at ‘ensuring the cohesion of society in an open society,’ according to officials, and violations will be punished with a fine of up to 150. Even though the wording of the law was meant to be religiously-neutral, there is still a grey area in which Austrians appear to be exploiting in order to make a point.
When the police saw the young man in the shark costume, he was asked to remove it. The employee protested saying he was ‘just doing his job,’ so the police arrested him and slapped him with a fine. Apparently, the man in the shark suit was reported to police by a member of the public who wanted to make a point of the new piece of legislation. The McShark electronics company is now reviewing its policy on using mascots to ensure they comply with the new law.

This post was published at shtfplan on October 9th, 2017.

Did the Indians Understand the Concept of Private Property?

One of Ayn Rand’s most notorious claims is that Europeans and their descendants were justified in driving Indian tribes off their landsbecause aboriginal Americans “did not have the concept of property or property rights,” and because they “wish[ed] to continue a primitive existence.” Rand also claims the Indian tribes had no right to the land they lived on because “they didn’t have a settled society,” and “had predominantly nomadic tribal ‘cultures.’” Rand even uses scare quotes around “cultures” to perhaps imply that Indian culture was not any type of culture at all.
Today, many critics of laissez-faire liberalism (i.e., libertarianism) continue to quote these lines in order to indict all defenders of private property, whom critics like to associate with Rand’s peculiar ideology.
As with so many accusations that conflate Rand’s beliefs with libertarians, this is misplaced. Many libertarian writers have approached the issue from a a perspective which assumes the tribes were treated unjustly. Leonard Liggio, for example, discussed the issue from this perspective in the early 1970s, and Rothbard repeatedly wrote with sympathy in Conceived in Liberty about the tribes who interacted with colonial Americans. To this day, Indian-tribe sovereignty, as weak as it is, continues to be an important check on federal power.
Regardless of how one views European and American policy toward the tribes, however, the argument that the tribes and individual Indians had no concept of property – and thus whites were justified in seizing tribal lands – is a terrible argument for a variety of reasons.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Oct 9, 2010.

Spain is only the Blueprint for How All Governments Will Act

What is going on in Spain is the blueprint what what other governments will do. The Spanish people themselves outside of Catalonia are deeply divided. Many see this as offensive and others see the government as offensive. We are looking at the breakup of the USA as well and do not forget the civil war to prevent separatists in America. The real issue is that people ban together for creating society and civilization and then government abuses its power and the process of decline begins. This is throughout history and it really does not matter what culture or country. It is all the same.
Spain’s Constitutional Court, the puppet of Rajoy, on Thursday ordered the suspension of Monday’s session of the regional Catalan parliament. Rajoy is demonstrating that government will not tolerate losing power. You can always write a law and claim it is unconstitutional to separate. That does not make it legal, moral, or ethical.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Oct 7, 2017.

The U.S. Justice System Must Focus on Elite Criminality

Two very important articles published in recent days serve to once again highlight America’s metastasizing elite criminality problem. A problem which our justice system simply refuses to address. This corrupt two-tier justice system is something I’ve been focused on from the very beginning of my writings, and I continue to see it as a civilization-level threat for this country if not aggressively addressed and confronted in the very near future.
The two articles in question focus on different aspects of untouchable elite culture in America. The first relates to the continued fraud pervasive in America’s largest financial institution, while the second covers a thirty year history of predatory sexual behavior by one of Hollywood’s biggest moguls, Harvey Weinstein. In both cases, countless people have known and reported on repeated abuses perpetrated by both the institution and the man, yet the U. S. justice system and the vast majority of ‘elite’ culture happily help shield them from justice. Predators are predators, and elite predators are far more dangerous to society that your average street crook, so why does our justice situation deal with it in the exact opposite way?
Let’s start with the blockbuster article published in The Nation by the always informative David Dayen. The article is titled, How America’s Biggest Bank Paid Its Fine for the 2008 Mortgage Crisis – With Phony Mortgages!

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Michael Krieger | Posted Friday Oct 6, 2017.

Turkey Arrests US Embassy Employee

In a move that looks suspiciously like retaliation, Turkish police on Wednesday arrested a local employee of the US embassy in Istanbul and charged him with espionage and trying to overthrow the government, the Wall Street Journalreported, citing local media.
The arrest stemmed from the man’s alleged support for US-based Turkish Cleric Fettulah Gulen, a former ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who escaped to the US nearly two decades ago after he and Erdogan had a falling out. The president has accused Gulen of orchestrating last June’s attempted coup from his home in Pennsylvania, and his administration has relentlessly purged suspected supporters from nearly every institution in Turkish society.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 5, 2017.

Catalan Independence: Why The Collective Hates It When People Walk Away

I have written many times in the past about the singular conflict at the core of most human crises and disasters, a conflict that sabotages human endeavor and retards critical thought. This conflict not only stems from social interaction, it also exists within the psyche of the average individual. It is an inherent contradiction of the human experience that at times can fuel great accomplishment, but usually leads to great tragedy. I am of course talking about the conflict between our inborn need for self determination versus our inborn desire to hand over responsibility to a community through group effort – sovereignty versus collectivism.
In my view, the source of the problem is that most people wrongly assume that “collectivism” is somehow the same as community. This is entirely false, and those who make this claim are poorly educated on what collectivism actually means. It is important to make a distinction here; the grouping of people is not necessarily or automatically collectivism unless that group seeks to subjugate the individuality of its participants. Collectivism cannot exist where individual freedom is valued. People can still group together voluntarily for mutual benefit and retain respect for the independence of members (i.e. community, rather than collectivism).
This distinction matters because there is a contingent of political and financial elites that would like us to believe that there is no middle ground between the pursuits of society and the liberties of individuals. That is to say, we are supposed to assume that all our productive energies and our safety and security belong to society. Either that, or we are extremely selfish and self serving “individualists” that are incapable of “seeing the bigger picture.” The mainstream discussion almost always revolves around these two extremes. We never hear the concept that society exists to serve individual freedom and innovation and that a community of individuals is the strongest possible environment for the security and future of humanity as a whole.

This post was published at Alt-Market on Wednesday, 04 October 2017.

Canada: Risks of a Parliamentary Democracy

A Vulnerable System Parliamentary democracy is vulnerable to the extremely dangerous possibility that someone with very little voter support can rise to the top layer of government. All one apparently has to do is to be enough of a populist to get elected by ghetto dwellers.
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Thereafter, political correctness and a belief in multiculturalism in the larger society are helpful. One doesn’t have to be very good in political strategizing, or have strong organizational abilities, or even be intelligent. By jumping through a few hoops, anyone can end up as prime minister in a parliamentary democracy, a major risk currently staring Canada in the face.
Harjit Singh Sajjan is currently Canada’s minister of defense. He was elected in Vancouver South, which is one of the districts with the largest immigrant populations: about 75% of its inhabitants are either first or second generation immigrants. Sajjan received 21,773 votes in the 2015 election. He is new to politics, and it recently turned out he lied about his contribution as a military officer in Afghanistan.

This post was published at Acting-Man on October 5, 2017.

Rajoy Shuts Down Airspace & Orders Google to Stop Assisting Separatists

The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy who is becoming a disgrace to the image of a free society and is illustrating what governments do in a Private Wave – they become authoritarian whenever they lose power. Rajoy has gone way too far showing the world that Spain is itself a country risk for there is no human right or standard of international law. The Catalan supporters are now occupying poll points to protect their right to vote, while Rajoy has now blocked airspace over Barcelona as he wants to prevent the referendum in Catalonia by all means.
Rajoy had his puppet Spanish Supreme Court order that Google had to delete an app that had been used by the operators of the referendum to communicate with each other. The corrupt Spanish court ruled that the ‘On Votar 1-Oct’ application on the Google Play smartphone app shop violated the ban imposed by Spain to conduct the referendum. Rajoy is totally out of control and is illustrating everything that is wrong about the EU and how it claims to stand for human right with the refugees but crushes anyone Europe who disagrees with the politic elite.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sep 30, 2017.

Victims of Rashideen Betrayed & Politicized by Western Media, Exploited by the White Helmets – Part One

‘They sieged us, starved us, mocked us and then tempted our children with potato chips before blowing them up. Have they no heart?’
That was a question asked by many of the survivors of the tragic Rashideen massacre that took place in the western outskirts of liberated Aleppo on the 15th April 2017. I had arrived in Aleppo on the evening of that fateful day and just as I entered the doors of the hotel I received the news of this horrifying attack by US Coalition ‘rebel’ proxies, two savages gangs, Ahrar al Sham and Nusra Front.
The magnitude of this crime against these already starved, persecuted and ethnically cleansed people who lived in the villages of Kafarya and Foua hit me hard.
Along with independent journalist, Eva Bartlett, I had been following, very closely, the history of the terrorist siege of these two Shia Muslim villages, marooned in Idlib and surrounded by hostile extremist factions, funded and armed by the US Coalition, for over two years. This sectarian identification is not in keeping with the peaceful co-existence between sects that flourished, prior to the NATO-state-driven war in Syria that has caused powerful rifts among these communities. It is, however, central to the narrative, so I apologise in advance, for using this sectarian terminology that is anathema to the majority of Syrian society.
Since March 2015 the siege had tightened to a full lock-down, with daily shelling, sniping and intimidation by the Army of Conquest (Jaish al Fatah, comprising Ahrar al Sham, Nusra Front & additional entities).

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on SEPTEMBER 29, 2017.

‘All Sections of Syrian Society Should be Treated Equally Under the Syrian Flag’

21st Century Wire says…
The article we are republishing, was written in April 2016 and appears particularly prescient in the light of recent events in and surrounding Deir Ezzor and Raqqa in Syria.
‘It’s extremely doubtful to imagine that Arabs of any political disposition would rather live in a Kurdish-dominated statelet as second-class citizens than as equal ones within the Syrian Arab Republic, so the chances of the Kurds peacefully annexing Raqqa into their ‘federation’ via a plebiscite are close to nil. However, if the Arabs were forced out of their homes due to egregious war crimes by the US such as indiscriminate bombing and the widespread use of chemical weapons, then it becomes much easier to ‘hack the vote’ and create a public/international pretense of ‘legitimacy’. ~ Andrew Korybko for Global Village Space
The aforementioned article is by Maram Susli for Global Research:
‘The following points present a few simple reasons why PYD/YPG claims to federal autonomy and attempts to annex Syrian land are illegitimate, undemocratic, and could lead to genocide’
1. Kurds are not a majority in the Area PYD/YPG are attempting to annex
The region of Al Hasakah, which the Kurdish Nationalist Party (PYD) and its military wing YPG have declared a federal Kurdish state, does not have a Kurdish majority. Al Hasakah Governorate is a mosaic of Assyrian Christians, Armenians, Turkmen, Kurds and Bedouin Arabs. Of the 1.5 million population of Al Hasakah, only 40% are ethnically Kurdish. Moreover, parts of Al Hasakah Governorate, such as Al Hasakah district, is less than 15% Kurdish (!). In the other large minorities in the area the Arabs and Assyrian Christians form a majority. Declaring a small area with a wide array of ethnic groups as belonging to a specific ethnic minority is a recipe for oppression.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on SEPTEMBER 27, 2017.

Thoughts on Trump, Fake Patriotism and ‘Taking a Knee’

Americans do not and should not worship idols. We do not and should not worship the flag. As a nation we stand in respect for the national anthem and stand in respect for the flag not simply because we were born here or because it’s our flag. We stand in respect because the flag represents a specific set of values and principles.

– From the recently published piece: I Understand Why They Knelt
I almost always disagree with mainstream critiques of Trump, which is why I tend to stay away from commenting on the endless battles between the destructive and dangerous status quo and the dangerous and destructive Donald Trump. Critiques of Trump from status quo types and their supporters are almost always hysterical and superficial, based upon the false premise that everything was going just fine until Trump was elected.
I believe that sort of myth making is as dangerous as Trump himself, and I’ll never support a preposterous ‘resistance’ strategy which elevates Wall Street CEOs, the CIA, neo-cons, neo-liberals and all sorts of other destructive elements of our society into saviors. These shallow resistance types focus on the symptom of the disease versus the disease itself, and therefore can never offer a constructive path to a batter future. That said, in this instance I completely agree with the view that Trump’s authoritarian tweets with regard to NFL player protests in recent days are extremely dangerous and encourage his supporters to rally around a debased and superficial fake patriotism based on symbolism as opposed to ideals and values.

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Sep 25, 2017.

The Steep Price of Disaster in Mexico

Rebuilding with no insurance and little government aid. Wolf here: Don Quijones and his wife, who is from Mexico, spent part of the summer in Mexico but returned to Spain a few days before the earthquake. DQ’s in-laws live in Puebla, Mexico City, and Morelos – among the hardest hit places. They got through it unharmed and are more or less OK for now. But a lot of uncertainties remain. My thoughts are with them.
By Don Quijones, Spain, UK, & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET. Rescue efforts in Mexico are beginning to wind down after a trepidatory (vertical) earthquake unleashed destruction and bedlam in Mexico City and the two central states of Puebla and Morelos on Tuesday. The temblor took place 32 years to the day after a horrendous quake killed at least 10,000 people in Mexico City in 1985.
Thankfully, the number of victims this time is many magnitudes lower, due largely to improved building standards and enhanced public awareness in the wake of the ’85 quake. Nonetheless, the death toll is close to 300 with thousands more injured. And for survivors the financial toll is just beginning.
Just as happened in 1985, the response of civil society to the latest disaster has been astounding. As CNN’s Mexico correspondent Susannah Rigg reports, rather than rushing away from danger in the immediate aftermath of the quake, many people ran towards it, in order to help others who may be trapped in collapsed buildings.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Sep 24, 2017.

Undercutting the Nation State? Chicago Group Suggests ‘Global Cities’ Should Run World Affairs

Mark Anderson
TRUTH HOUND
CHICAGO, Ill. – The ‘Disruptive Forces Changing Cities,’ program, conducted by the Chicago Council of Global Affairs Sept. 15, was a textbook case of an elite organization pursuing a tightly planned, dictatorial society – while sounding like it’s seeking a democratic, promising vision of fairness and prosperity for all.
It’s all being spearheaded in accordance with the growing ‘global cities’ movement that gradually challenges the authority of the very nation-states that the world’s primary cities inhabit.
This approach, according to several CCGA-aligned think tanks, journalists and others supporting the Global Parliament of Mayors and similar groupings, amounts to a direct challenge to national authority, in order to usurp some of the key powers delegated to national governments by their charters and constitutions.
Since this movement chisels away at the constitutional foundations of nations, it risks undermining them in a way that would redraw the lines of governance, in a manner that’s highly unpredictable, and potentially radical and unlawful. The policy areas over which cities want to assume much more influence (and, ultimately, exert control) include battling climate change, regulating immigration in order to increase it while providing sanctuary cities, along with sparking job growth and several other things – even including the seemingly improbable realm of foreign policy, where you’d think mayors would not tread.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on SEPTEMBER 23, 2017.

The Free Individual is greater than the State

In a sane society, the Bill of Rights would be studied in great detail, in every school and college.
The historical incursions on, and the crimes against, the Bill of Rights would be laid bare and excoriated.
‘Grand juries’ of students would be formed to investigate, in detail, these incursions and crimes, and wherever possible track them to their sources.
Reading the Bill of Rights, the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution, it is plain that the natural rights of the individual are confirmed – and also, the attempt to exercise any sort of excessive power over the individual is shackled.
Why?
Because the Founders saw the handwriting on the wall, engraved for centuries in totalitarian regimes and theocracies.

This post was published at Jon Rappoport on September 20, 2017.

The Absurdities Mount

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The Absurdities Mount
As I predicted, the erasing of American history will not be limited to Confederate monuments. Last week a member of the board of trustees of the Dallas, Texas, school district recommended changing the name of James Madison High School. James Madison was the father of the US Constitution, considered by Identity Politics, the political ideology of the Democratic Party and the American liberal/progressive/left, to be a ‘racist document.’
From a British reader comes the news that the various segments of Western society divided into victim groups by Identity Politics have divided very finely and have turned on one another. On September 13, the Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFs) and their bitter enemies, Trans Activists, clashed in a fist fight in London’s Hyde Park. 60-year-old Maria MacLachlen, who describes herself as a ‘gender critical feminist,’ was knocked to the ground.

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on September 18, 2017.

In Florida, You Can’t Use Your Own Solar Panels in a Crisis

When it comes to the U. S. economy, the ‘con’ part offers the best description of the current relationship between business, government and the preyed upon consumer. The way things work in early 21st century America is large businesses bribe politicians in a variety of ways at both the local and federal level, and the end result is laws that are designed to increase corporate profits at the expense of the wellbeing and freedom of the American public. Politicians end up with financial war chests to run their next campaign, while bureaucrats see a lucrative opportunity to swing through the ever spinning revolving door should they play ball with lobbyists and their patrons. Yes, there’s always some degree of corruption within any society of humans, but there are peaks and valleys in such cycles. I’d argue we are somewhere in the peak corruption phase.
Today’s article focuses on one of the most highly regulated industries in the country, electric utilities. It’s one of the most boring businesses in America. I know this because it fell under the umbrella of my responsibilities during my last Wall Street job, and I could barely read a utilities research report without immediately falling asleep. Nevertheless, as you’ll see in today’s piece, the industry still finds a way to generate large profits while simultaneously harming the people its supposed to service.
When I think about solar panels, its not just the use of a renewable resource I find appealing, but also the potential to take energy generation into your own hands; something that can prove quite useful in a major global crisis, or even something more minor like Hurricane Irma’s impact on Florida. The latter could’ve be a lifesaver for some Florida residents recently, but a local electric utility has done everything in its power to deny its customers such freedom.

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Monday Sep 18, 2017.

SYRIA: NATO’s Anarchist Brigades and their ‘Rojava’ Ethnic Cleansing Programme

Thierry Meyssan
VoltaireNet
Presented in the West as the realization of a friendly utopia, the brand new Rojava is in reality a colonial state, designed and cemented in blood by Washington. This time, the plan is to expel the populations of the North of Syria and replace them with people who were not born there. In order to implement this ethnic cleansing, the Pentagon and the CIA have mobilised combatants from the circles of the European extreme-left. Thierry Meyssan reveals this insane project which has been ongoing for the last eighteen months.
In the ’80’s and ’90’s, Kurdish society was extremely feudal and patriarchal. It was maintained in a severe state of under-development, which pressured the Kurds to rise up against the military dictatorships which succeeded one another in Ankara [1].
The Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK was a Marxist-Leninist organisation, supported by the Soviet Union, which fought against the dictatorships of the Kemalist generals, who were members of NATO. It freed women and joined progressist combats. With the aid of Hafez el-Assad, it set up a military training camp in the Lebanese plain of Bekaa, under the protection of the Syrian Peace Force, close to the camp of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (FPLP).
During this period, the PKK could not find words strong enough to denounce American imperialism .

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on SEPTEMBER 18, 2017.

Is the individual an outmoded idea?

We are now told it’s selfish and greedy to promote freedom for the individual. It’s old-fashioned. It’s passe. It’s dangerous. It’s nothing more than a ruse floated by the rich to hold down the poor.
Forget about the fact that the next Einstein or Tesla, growing up in what has become a collectivist society, could be slammed with Ritalin, Prozac, and even heavier drugs – because they’re ‘abnormal.’
Someday, an anthropologist will write a celebrated history of this country, and it’ll be all about cultural trends and group customs, and no one will even remember there was such an idea as The Individual.
By that time, the population of what was once the United States will live in a theocracy dedicated to Mother Earth, and every day for half an hour, the people will kneel and pray, together, from coast to coast, for mercy from this Mother.
And the people will be happy doing it – such as they understand happiness. They will glorify The Group. They will live under the great dome of the Flying Drones and they will rejoice in their solidarity.

This post was published at Jon Rappoport on September 17, 2017.