crisis blog. There are 6 items with 6 dotted links: Item
1 is about Chris Hedges' support for presidential candidate Jill
Stein; item 2 is about Robert Reich's idea that Ted
Cruz is "even more dangerous" than Donald Trump; item 3
is about Noam Chomsky's idea (which I share, indeed since 2005) that
9/11 was terrorism as was the American reaction to it (there are 2
kinds of terrorism: private and state terrorism, and
the lattter is far more dangerous); item 4
is about the inevitability of the next stock market crash; item 5 is about the U.S. deep state and is quite
interesting; and item 6 is about the Pentagon's
plans for surveilling everyone, willy-nilly, in secret, that date in
fact back to the 1960ies, and are still on track (for
now almost everybody is spied upon, in secret, by the secret
services and/or their secret algorithms).
The political crisis in America is
The old ideas that buttressed the ruling class and promised democracy,
growth and prosperity—neoliberalism, austerity, globalization, endless
war, a dependence on fossil fuel and unregulated capitalism—have been
exposed as fictions used by the corporate elite to impoverish and
enslave the country and enrich and empower themselves. Sixty-two
billionaires have as much wealth as half the world’s population, 3.5
billion people. This fact alone is revolutionary tinder.
We are entering a dangerous moment when
few people, no matter what their political orientation, trust the power
elite or the ruling neoliberal ideology. The rise of right-wing
populism, with dark undertones of fascism, looks set in the next
presidential election—as it does in parts of Europe—to pit itself
against the dying gasps of the corporate establishment.
This is the introduction of an article in
which Chris Hedges explains why he supports Jill Stein (<-
Wikipedia). We'll get later to dr. Jill Stein, who is a real
As to this introduction: Yes and no. I will concentrate on my noes:
While I agree with Chris Hedges that "neoliberalism, austerity, globalization, endless
war, a dependence on fossil fuel and unregulated capitalism" have been shown to be "fictions" when presented as
forces that would benefit democracy, equality and justice, (i) I simply
do not know how many - that is: what proportion of the
American adults - have been convinced these are quasi-
democratic, anti-egalitarian and quite unjust fictions, and (ii) my
guess is that this is not the majority (and probably
Something similar holds for Hedges' thesis
that currently "few people" (..) "trust the power elite or the ruling
neoliberal ideology": Again I simply do not know what
proportion of the American adults does not "trust the power elite" (etc.) while my
guess is that it is not a majority (while mere distrust without
sensible ideas about what to do also is not helpful).
But possibly I am more pessimistic or less well informed than Chris
Hedges is (but in any case, I do read considerable portions of
the press, and I simply do not know what I say that I do not
know - which suggests that there simply is no good clear evidence).
Then there is this in the article:
If we fail to revolt we will see the
numerous mechanisms for control enshrined in our system of inverted
totalitarianism — wholesale surveillance, militarized police
empowered to use lethal force against unarmed citizens, the loss of
nearly all civil liberties, the impoverishment of the majority of the
citizenry in the name of austerity, the use of the military as a
domestic police force, indefinite detention without trial,
government- ordered assassination of American citizens — spread like a
wildfire across the landscape.
Again, yes and no: Yes, the things Hedges
mentions are all happening right now, and most of them have
been happening and have been growing stronger and stronger
since 9/11, and all of these are quasi-democratic,
anti-egalitarian and quite unjust developments, that are also very
Then again no, simply because (i) I do not
see strong social forces that are willing to revolt, and (ii)
one failed revolt is probably enough to stop the idea that
revolting will help to restore democracy,
equality and justice - which I think may happen if the social
forces are strong enough and well-led - for
quite a while.
The following is not very consistent:
The imperative of revolt dramatically
reduces the importance of elections. Elections, managed by the elites,
mean nothing if radical movements are not powerful enough to disrupt
and dismantle corporate power. To deserve our support, a political
candidate or party must hold fast to the goals of a fiercely
anti-capitalist, anti-militarist movement.
One may believe - with Chris Hedges - that
revolt is "imperative", and that this much reduces the importance of
elections, but this does not mean that elections
"mean nothing" without a strong radical movement: It means that
the elections then will fail to bring a radical change. This is not
what Chris Hedges wants, and indeed it is not
what I want, but it seems currently (to me, at least) the most probable
outcome (i.e. either Clinton or Trump will probably win the
Next, we come to this (and there are more
reasons, for which I refer you to the last dotted link):
This is why I support Dr. Jill Stein, who is running to
be the Green Party candidate for president after having won her party’s
nomination in 2012. I support Stein because she understands that this
is primarily about building a global movement, not about participating
in an election. She, unlike Bernie Sanders, knows that this movement
will never be realized within the Democratic Party or by paying
deference to the power elites, the Israel lobby or the arms industry
and the military establishment.
This is a defensible position, but it
takes considerable faith, for it seems to come to this: "I
support a candidate who certainly will not win the
because the candidate may succeed in 'building
a global movement'".
First of all, I think that the chances that the candidate will succeed in 'building a global movement' are not large. And second, why partake in the
presidential elections at all
if one knows that the candidate one supports doesn't have a chance of
winning? Besides, third: Much as one may dislike Bernie Sanders and
Hillary Clinton, what about stopping a Republican candidate? I
Clinton, but she is considerably less bad than Trump or Cruz. Should
for Jill Stein if the real choice is between a lesser evil and
a very large evil?
Then again, Jill Stein has decent ideas:
“It is extremely corrupt,” Stein said of
the American political system. “It serves the interests of oligarchy.
It puts people, planet and peace—it subjugates those critical things—to
profit. We have a political system that is funded and therefore
accountable to predatory banks and fossil fuel giants and war
profiteers. Those are the interests it serves. Those are the policies
it creates. It’s sort of like an amoeba that oozes its way into all
aspects of the system.
But she will not win the
presidency and a vote for her may lessen
the chances that the lesser evil of two evil candidates for the
presidency - if it comes to Clinton vs Trump or Cruz - will win the
Therefore, I think I agree with Noam Chomsky here: It is very
important to prevent that the next president will be a Republican, and
therefore I think I cannot agree with Chris Hedges.
2.VIDEO: 4 Reasons Ted Cruz Is
Even More Dangerous Than Donald Trump
is by Robert Reich on Truthdig and originally on his site:
"September 11 was a terrorist
atrocity. So was the reaction to it," Chomsky explained in one of his
iconic interviews on the U.S. and the West's response to those historic
Terrorism is the calculated threat or
use of violence to achieve political gain through fear.
Noam hypothesized, "Suppose you
announce to people, 'We're going to continue to bomb you until you turn
over to us people who we suspect of crimes. We're not going to provide
any evidence and we're going to refuse negotiations.' I'm quoting
George Bush," he explains. "That's terrorism in the literal sense,
Yes, I agree
- and indeed have argued so since 2005
(in Dutch), when I also argued that there are two kinds of terrorism: That
by private individuals or organizations, and that by state
organs, and especially the police, the secret services and the
military, and that the latter kind, that deserves to be called state
terrorism is by far
the most dangerous of the two kinds, simply because it has murdered or
locked up - in Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Soviet Union, Mao's China - very
many more persons than private terrorists ever did.
There is more
in the article, and there may be a link to a video with Chomsky,
although this link seems to be missing on my system.
Stock Market Crash Inevitable
The fourth item is by Wim Grommen on Washington's Blog:
production phase or society or other human invention goes through a
so-called transformation process. Transitions are social transformation
processes that cover at least one generation. In this article I will
use one such transition to demonstrate the position of our present
civilization and and that a new stock market crash is inevitable.
In fact, Wim
Grommen is Dutch and I have seen his argument before, in 2012.
This is a very similar argument to one I treated before, except that
the present version is a bit longer.
I do not
think the arguments are conclusive, but they are
interesting (and the graphics certainly are frightening), while there
are some quite interesting bits such as this about that Holy of Holies,
the Dow Jones index:
The formula that was used on January 1,
1990 to calculate the Dow Jones:
Dow30_jan_1_1990 = (S1+S2+...+S30)/0.586
The formula that was used on December
31, 1999 (..) to calculate the Dow Jones:
On December 31, 1999 on an increase of
the 30 stocks again nearly three times as many index points, the same
value increase on January 1, 1990. Stock market indices are
That is, it
is arbitrary and manipulated. There is a lot more under the last dotted
the Powers That Be Maintain the "Deep State": An Interview With Mike
Deep State, author Mike Lofgren, whose 2011 commentary, "Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative
Who Left the Cult," remains the most-read article at Truthout.org,
connects the dots between apparently disparate aspects of our current
dystopia. "The deep state," argues Lofgren is "the red thread" linking
the "ideological syndrome" of McMansions; DC's culture of careerist
strivers; the financialization, deindustrialization and ultimate
mutation of the US economy into "a casino with a tilted wheel"; the
burgeoning of government secrecy even as individual privacy has been
demolished; the consistency and persistence of unpopular policies
regardless of which party wins elections; militarized foreign policy, "defense" and
"security" establishments that thrive on failure and enjoy essentially
unlimited funding whatever nostrums about the national debt and the
necessity for austerity are being peddled for every other function of
government; the prevalence of incompetence and ineptitude in government
response to crises; unequal justice, including impunity for the wealthy
and corporations, a corrupt Supreme Court and a strikingly punitive
criminal legal system for ordinary people; legislative gridlock;
perpetual war; political extremism and other ruinous epiphenomena.
Here is - to
start with - Mike Lofgren's definition of the "deep state" (<-
You describe the "deep state" as
the iceberg beneath the visible tip of the official US
government "that is theoretically controllable via elections." How does
it function and what are its main components?
It's a hybrid association of elements of
government and parts of top-level finance and industry effectively able
to govern the US without reference to the consent of the governed. Its
nodes are the national security agencies of government, Treasury, the
FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] court (whose dealings are
so mysterious not even most members of Congress know what the court is
And this is what alerted Mike Lofgren to
the existence of a deep state in the U.S.A.:
How did you personally
become aware of the deep state and what is the explanatory power of its
existence for understanding current affairs?
I became aware that there were
forces at work in the period between 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq that
were bigger than the government and were operating on their own compass
heading. We have a supposedly free press, but when you saw people like
Phil Donahue and Ashley Banfield fired or demoted for being critical of
invasion, you have to wonder.
Here is an indication of how the U.S. deep
state came about (I just quote the question: For more, click the last
You trace the
transformation of Washington, DC, and the explosion of the deep state
to the 1970s, the Powell
Memo and the explosion of tax-exempt foundations and its origins to
the secret development of the A-bomb.
As I said, there is more in the original, and
I think the above is a quite plausible explanation, although I would not
say that it was "the secret development
of the A-bomb" that is responsible
(this happened in WW II) but much rather that it was due to the
election and the personality of president Truman
(<- Wiki- pedia), that starts from his - very wrong, and quite
unnecessary - decision to throw atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Finally, here is Lofgren's diagnosis of what motivates the men who run
the U.S. deep state:
I think it's hard to improve on Upton
Sinclair's dictum, "It is difficult to get a man to understand
something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it." I
think they're all about the logic that if it pays for their kids'
cornflakes and their scholarship fund, they will do it without their
conscience bothering them too much.
So you don't see them as
Oh no, it's much more banal than that.
Like Hannah Arendt on Eichmann?
Exactly, the banality of evil.
Yes and no.
First, "banal" means "ordinary, everyday,
hackneyed", and in Arendt's explanation of Eichmann's character (in
which she was mistaken, I think, but that does not much weaken her
point) this referred to his - supposedly - not being special, not being
extra-ordinary, in his anti-semitism and Nazism: Very many Germans of
the second half of the 1930ies were anti-semites and Nazis.
Second, I don't think this holds of those who are in the deep
state: Their opinions and values are not ordinary ones, though
I agree that getting rich
is an important part, and I also agree that it seems as if the majority
political and military leaders tend to be more stupid, more ignorant,
less culturally interested, and by and large less civilized than
indeed they also rarely are).
Also, I guess malevolence
- in the form: who is not much like us simply
doesn't count and can be completely disregarded - plays a more
important role than Lofgren believes, as it did also in the case of
Eichmann (who was not banal himself, and who was a dedicated
In any case, this is a quite interesting article that is strongly
Pentagon’s secret pre-crime program to know your
thoughts, predict your future
The sixth item is by Nafeez Ahmed on Insurge-Intelligence:
Department of Defense (DoD) wants contractors to mine your social media
posts to develop new ways for the US government to infer what you’re
really thinking and feeling — and to predict what you’ll do next.
Pentagon documents released over the last few months
identify ongoing classified research in this area that the federal
government plans to expand, by investing millions more dollars.
The unclassified documents, which call on external
scientists, institutions and companies to submit proposals for research
projects, not only catalogue how far US military capabilities have
come, but also reveal the Pentagon’s goals: building the US
intelligence community’s capacity to forecast population behavior at
home and abroad, especially groups involved in political activism.
This is the beginning of a rather long article, that is
interesting and recommended.
And while the above correctly starts with your and anybodyelse's "social media posts" and indeed anything
and everything that the secret operatives of the secret
services can get from anyone's personal computer and/or
cellphone, I want to take you back for a moment to 1969 - 47
years ago - when the following was written:
Brezezinski does not expect that the Luddite lovers
anarchy will seriously obstruct the new order.
'it will soon be possible to assert almost continuous
surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date,
containing even personal information
personal behaviour of the citizen, in addition
customary data.' Moreover it will be possible
and plan to meet any uprisings in the future.
will even be able to forecast crises before the rioters
conscious of wanting them.
I quoted this from a file I wrote in 2012, "Propaganda and Control: Brezezinski"
where I quoted the above and more, that I got from Stephen Spender's
book from 1969 about the students' revolt of 1968.
This means that Mr. Brezezinski
(<- Wikipedia) - who is still alive, and active, and a supporter of
Obama - already 47 years ago (or more) had the same
ideas, ideals and plans as have been implemented by the NSA, the
Pentagon and the DoD since 9/11 (or before).
Also, "the internet"
(<- Wikipedia) was in fact developed by the US govern- ment, the
English government and the French government, or more precisely, by
their military ("defense") branches, again starting in the 1960ies and
It seems that while very much has turned out different
than it was expected to be, also in computing and the internet, it also
is the case that the internet-as-
desired-by-the-US-military lies steadily on course since 47
years - and by now almost anybody almost anywhereis
being checked, and filed, and studied by the U.S. secret
services (and may be Denied / Disrupted / Degraded or Deceived by the secret
services, all - in spite of Snowden - in the deepest secret).
some more about how extremely
far the Pentagon (and the NSA, the GCHQ etc. etc.) is willing to take the
total breach of any privacy of almost anyone:
The document calls for new work “to
communication among small groups.” Social meaning comes not just from
“the manifest content of communication (i.e., literal information), but
also from latent content — how language is structured and used, as well
as how communicators address each other, e.g., through non-verbal
means — gestures, head nods, body position, and the dynamics in
The Pentagon wants to understand not
just what we say, but
what is “latent” in what we say: “Subtle interactions such as deception
and reading between the lines, or tacit understanding between
communicators, relative societal position or relationship between
communicators, is less about what is said and more about what is
Again, this also means that the Pentagon (and the NSA, the GCHQ etc.
etc.) expects to be able to know absolutely everything
that almost anyone does with a computer or a cellphone,
including "head nods" etc.
I find that extremely frightening, but it still seems as if most of the
not well educated masses hardly knows what is possible with
and anyway doesn't much care if they are watched in everything
they do, including "reading between the lines" and recognizing the meanings
of their "head nods" etc.
men and women
don't care, because they reckon that "if you have nothing to fear,
nothing will happen to you" - in which they probably are right:
It is not
none-too-bright average hardly educated majority that runs
great risks. It is the intelligent minorities that risk full
secret control, total secret deception, or secret arrest.
There is a whole lot more under
the last dotted
link, and it ends as follows:
These cases suggest that massive
data-mining is designed to
help US military agencies influence the “cognitive behaviour” of
“underdeveloped populations,” so that the governments that rule them
may continue conforming to “US interests.”
In other words, the US military wants to
mine the world’s
social media footprint to suppress the risk of popular social movements
undermining the status quo, at home and abroad.