UPDATE: Moreno: Assange can remain at embassy as long as he doesn’t practice journalism, by Caitlin Johnstone. . . needs to be read by one and all . . . not nice! I also want to add that I hope if you do not read anything else today, you will also read The Cognitive Dissonance Surrounding Donald Trump. . . and as you do, try to put aside your political bias and just read it as an American who loves our country. Thank you, ~Jean 🙂
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Comment: Last night, I watched yet another time Joan Baez’ 75th birthday concert on public television. Since I find the Memorial Day concerts now lack any vestige of our national cultural heritage — I believe it’s being destroyed on purpose, because it brings us together as a nation (!) — those who can remember the days when such things existed, when we sat down and sang together as one people, also as-in Peter, Paul, and Mary — might enjoy listening to Joan’s broad selection of songs. Since I must work with all this dark material, it certainly helps my sanity! Hugs, ~Jean
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Learn what part CERN is playing in our earthquake situation. My question: Is CERN’s role positive or negative?
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Kilauea crater flyover here.. looks totally different now that it’s collapsing. Amazing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJZwe…
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The Cognitive Dissonance Surrounding Donald Trump. . . IMO, no matter what we may believe about Trump — or want to believe, we all need to read this article. Neither can I make your decision for you, nor do I want to — be responsible for it, because the time is approaching when I think we are all going to have to stand for what we believe. It is, however, always your choice 🙂 ~J
In general, it has always been dangerous to put blind faith in human icons of any kind; not to mention, entirely unnecessary. The maxim that one “should never meet their heroes” is something far more people should take to heart when applying elevated status to political leaders in particular. Hero worship of a celebrity is unhealthy, but hero worship of a president can be truly dangerous.
Why? Because political power relies mostly on “human capital” — the number of people within a society that are willing to support or even fight for a particular change. Swaths of citizenry can be wielded by politicians with ill intent like a weapon to create the illusion of consensus and dramatic reversals in cultural principles. These changes usually tend to involve more control for government and less freedom for the public and can last for generations.
The cult of celebrity has never been more prominent in politics than it has the past decade. Starting with Barack Obama, something changed in the American view of presidential leadership. With Obama, there was an element of naive adoration that leftists largely embraced. Obama was more than a president — he was an idol.
Unfortunately, I am also seeing some of the same behavior in elements of the conservative population when it comes to Donald Trump. There are many reasons for this.
First, Trump is one of the few presidents that was already a celebrity before running for office. His notoriety went far beyond that of someone like Ronald Reagan, who did rank as a kind of known cultural element, but certainly not an icon or idol before becoming president.
Second, Trump rode the wave of a backlash movement against the far left, which is now by every definition fully invested in cultural Marxism if not economic Marxism. For many people, Trump represents the moment America was “saved” from imminent destruction by an insane ideology. In fact, I would say Trump’s popularity was directly proportional to the moderate public’s disgust with social justice fanatics; people who believe that sabotaging a culture from the inside, breaking it down through deliberate crisis and then replacing its core principles with their own, is an acceptable strategy.
Third, the election of 2016 was not about Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton – it was about traditional American values versus moral relativism. At least that was how many conservatives viewed it.
Some people may argue that Trump earned his election win by bravely taking on the establishment and the hard left when no other candidate would. This rebellion remains to be seen, but the notion is powerful and people take it personally. Trump cheerleaders react with disdain when any critical tone is applied to his behavior. In their mind, only evil leftists are critical of Trump, and if you are on the political right, then you better be toeing the line. If you are not with them, you are against them.
It’s funny; when I was writing analysis on the disturbing nature of the Bush administration, I was called a leftist. When I went after Barack Obama, I was called a “far-right extremist” and a potential racist. Now, when investigating Trump’s odd activities, I’m back to being accused of leftist antics again. I’ve magically come full circle. When it comes to political bias, reason takes a back seat to team-based psychology.
Trump’s win, of course, had nothing to do with his validity as a candidate nor did he create his own following. His following was prepackaged. The rage against social justice and leftist absurdity was already vast. Trump was simply used as a focal point for that rage and his rhetoric tapped into the conservative psyche. He said most of the right things during his campaign; whether he actually believes in those things is another matter…
So far, his track record is not so great. One of his most vital campaign promises which appealed to the largest portion of conservatives was the idea of “draining the swamp.” What is the swamp? Trump defined it himself by going after Hillary Clinton’s contingent of elitist allies from think tank cronies to Goldman Sachs banking ghouls. This is a perfect example where Trump rhetoric does not match reality. – Click article title to continue reading.
. . . then, there is the following article, which discusses the Trump tax cuts.
USA in a Debt Trap Death Spiral, by F. William Engdahl . . . (I think the title, as it appears on sott.net is misleading – “Does it matter? USA in a debt trap death spiral.” For anyone interested in learning the truth about Trump — along with the [deceptive?] jobs data that appears to be positive, I think it absolutely does matter.) In a section of this article called ‘Trumponomics Disaster’, Engdahl speaks, reliably I believe, on the future Trump has set up for America and all Americans, no matter their political persuasion.
The US economy and its financial structures have never recovered from the great financial meltdown of 2008 despite the passage of ten years. Little discussion has been given to the fact that the Republican Congress last year abandoned the process of mandatory budget cuts or automatic sequestration that had been voted in a feeble attempt to rein in the dramatic rise in US government debt. That was merely an added factor in what soon will be recognized as a classic debt trap. What is now looming over not just the US economy but also the global financial system is a crisis that could spell the end of the post-1944 dollar system. – Click article title to continue reading.
“The real question in analyzing the May jobs numbers released Friday is whether there are enough synonyms for ‘good’ in an online thesaurus to describe them adequately.”
[T]he thing to take away from the May numbers is that the United States economy just keeps humming along at a steady pace, putting more people to work and at gradually higher wages. – Click article title to continue reading.
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“I Arrived In Brazil In The Middle Of The Zombie Apocalypse…”. . . people are calling for the intervention of the militaryand — under the right circumstances, maybe not a bad idea. A few days ago, I read a brief article that ‘Lula’ was involved in the discord — from behind bars, where the corrupt leaders of Brazil had placed him. No surprise that today I cannot find any reference to it. (BTW, remember how they got rid of Dilma Rousseff?)
Brain Winter, Editor-in-Chief of Americas Quarterly, has just returned from a week in Brazil, and what he describes is incredible…
In 15 years of following Brazil, I have *never* been as pessimistic as I am following a week in Sao Paulo. Open clamor for military “intervention,” politicians frozen, CRAZY ideas circulating in society at-large. Bolsonaro rising. More here: http://americasquarterly.org/content/brazil-scared-and-leaderless-looks-military …
The once unthinkable is now becoming normal…
SÃO PAULO – I arrived here on Sunday in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. Or so it seemed. A nationwide truckers’ strike was in its seventh day and 99 percent of São Paulo’s service stations had run out of gasoline. The roads of South America’s biggest city were deserted of cars and people, and the skies were a murky gray. The normally hellish drive from the airport, which often lasts two hours or more, took a disconcerting 23 minutes.
Up on Avenida Paulista, the city’s closest thing to a public square, things seemed more normal – at first. Huge crowds milled about, vendors were grilling beef and sausage, and girls in hot pink roller skates clomped by. A quadruple amputee was belting out the falsetto ending of Pearl Jam’s “Black” to an enthralled crowd. The sun was out now, and families sat at wooden tables with sweaty buckets of beer, laughing. Of course, I mused, Brazilians are going to make a party out of a bad situation. I bought a can of Skol and decided to join the fun.
Then I saw it. A huge banner, spanning the entire avenue, carried by a group of protesters:
“SUPPORT FOR THE TRUCK DRIVERS. MILITARY INTERVENTION! ARMED FORCES, URGENT!”
And that was the start of a week where I saw and heard things I never believed I would in Brazil. – Click article title to continue reading.
- Iraqi nationalist leader, Moqtada al-Sadr
General elections were held in Iraq on 12 May. They were intended to consecrate Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s « Victory Alliance », in other words the sharing of the country between the United States and Iran.However, that is not what happened. In fact, the two winning coalitions were the « Alliance towards Reforms » and the « Victory Alliance » – two anti-US formations. – Click article title to continue reading.
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This situation is getting frightening:
. . . and . . . Eric Zuesse once again addresses this situation:
ANKARA (Sputnik) – Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin condemned on Saturday Washington’s decision to veto the UN Security Council Resolution regarding the protection of the Palestinians amid increasing violence in the Gaza Strip.
. . . and is this the result of continued US behavior? . . .
In an interview with Sputnik, Gurkan Kumbaroglu, head of the International Association for Energy Economics, said that he does not exclude that the implementation of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline projects may add to better ties between Turkey and Bulgaria.
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There is lots of chatter in the news today, but not much is based on reality or sanity. Here’s an article that explains what I mean:
The case of the death and resurrection of the Russian journalist Babchenko in Kiev is even more surreal than it seemed so far. According to Ukrainian sources and court documents the whole hoax was part of an attempt to raid and take over a private company.
Babchenko himself and the man who was hired to “kill” him had cooperated with the main branch of the Ukrainian national security service. The “operator” who is accused to have hired the “killer” for Russia appeared in court. He claims to have cooperated with the Ukrainian counter intelligence agency, which is side branch of the national security service. The accused “operator”, an executive of a private joint venture, has been under pressure over claims against his company. There are indications that the whole stunt may have been staged to get him “out of the way” to then take over the company he leads.
High levels of the Ukrainian security services staged the whole affair not only to blame Russia but also for someone’s personal gain.
In 2017 Arkady Babchenko, despised in Russia for his open hostility against its people, came via Israel to the Ukraine. He was welcome in Kiev for his anti-Russian position. Babchenko found a job with ATR, a Crimean Tatar TV station. The fine-print on the ATR websitesays that it “was supported by the Media Development Fund of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine”.
On May 29 the Ukrainian government claimed that Babchenko had been assassinated. As usual the death of a journalist hostile to Russia was used by NATO aligned media to blame Russia, the Kremlin and Putin. That there was zero evidence that Russia was involved did not matter at all. A photo of the allegedly killed Babchenko laying in his blood emerged. – Click article title to continue reading.