Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 1/7 - 2019's Biggest Geopolitical Risk, Saltwater Fish Extinction Seen By 2048

Monday, January 7, 2019, 10:48 AM

Economy

Global Markets Rise, but Enthusiasm Wanes (jdargis)

On Friday, the Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome H. Powell, said the Fed would be flexible amid market turbulence and broader concerns about slowing global growth. The comments sent shares in the United States higher, as did strong job numbers for the month of December and the resumption of trade talks between the United States and China.

2019's biggest geopolitical risk (tmn)

Bremmer calls them "bad seeds." "The geopolitical environment is the most dangerous it’s been in decades ... and at a moment when the global economy is faring well," Bremmer and Eurasia Group chairman Cliff Kupchan write.

The Impact of Import Tariffs on U.S. Domestic Prices (edelinski)

Although the average tariff rate is still low, there is a lot of dispersion across products and countries, and they cover a large share of U.S. imports–12 percent of total imports were affected by the new tariffs. Now, more than 10 percent of imports face a tariff rate greater than 10 percent, whereas only 4 percent had such high tariff rates in 2017.

Hospitals now required to list prices online for every medical procedure, service (edelinski)

“It’s not a particularly useful datapoint," said Marianne Udow-Phillips, executive director of the Center for Health and Research Transformation in Ann Arbor. "I don’t expect it to have a significant impact, and I don’t expect it to be a driver of lowering health care costs.”

For patients with commercial health plans such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, the price of services and procedures is determined by private negotiations between their insurance company and the hospital.

Bolton attempts to clarify US’ next step in Syria, troops could stay for a while: report (TS)

Trump declared victory over ISIS in a tweet. His decision to pull out troops was met with resistance and took many off guard. Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., said at the time that he was “blindsided,” but then said he felt “pretty good” about Syria after a lunch with Trump.

Graham said an early withdrawal by the U.S. would expose Kurd fighters and lead to their slaughter.

Trump Has Four Days Before People Start Missing Paychecks (jdargis)

Trump said at a news conference on Friday that “I’m very proud of what I’m doing” and invited reporters to call it “the Schumer or the Pelosi or the Trump shutdown,” referring to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, the new House speaker.

“Doesn’t make any difference to me. Just words,” he said.

Arkansas honey seller faults dicamba in closing (drbost)

Arkansas had about 1,000 complaints of dicamba damage in 2017, prompting the state Plant Board to ban its use on crops after April 15 last year. Even with that cutoff date, the board received 200 complaints, leading its members to believe some farmers sprayed illegally deep into the summer.

Salt-Water Fish Extinction Seen By 2048 (jdargis)

"This isn't predicted to happen. This is happening now," study researcher Nicola Beaumont, PhD, of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, U.K., says in a news release.

"If biodiversity continues to decline, the marine environment will not be able to sustain our way of life. Indeed, it may not be able to sustain our lives at all," Beaumont adds.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 1/4/19

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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16 Comments

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Australia braces for hard landing in housing market

Australia braces for hard landing in housing market

Irish Times-21 hours ago
... the collapse of the dotcom bubble in the early 2000s and the global financial ... doubled in real terms since the early 2000s and household debt has surged.

 

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Beware the "new" Green Socialism

https://www.spencerfernando.com/2019/01/03/i-survived-communism-are-you-ready-for-your-turn/

“I Survived Communism – Are You Ready For Your Turn?”

By Zuzana Janosova Den Boer

It was scientifically proven that communism is the only social-economic system providing the masses with justice and equality – 100% of scientists agree on this. The topic is not up for debate!”, so proclaimed my professor during one of his lectures on the subject ‘scientific communism’, while the country of Czechoslovakia was still under communist control. I was reminded of his blustery pronouncement the first time I encountered the spurious claim that “a consensus of 97% of scientists agree global warming is man-made.” Most people don’t question scientific statements because they think they are facts. They do not understand that scientific statements must always be challenged, because Science is not about ‘consensus’ideology is.

In March of 2007, the website WorldNetDaily published an article entitled “Environmentalism is new communism”. In it, the former Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, stated: “It becomes evident that, while discussing climate, we are not witnessing a clash of views about the environment, but a clash of views about human freedom.” He goes on to describe environmentalism as “the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity.” Klaus has also written a book: “Blue planet in green shackles”, in which he states “communism and environmentalism have the same roots; they both suppress freedom.” He also warns that any brand of environmentalism calling for centralized planning of the economy under the slogan of ‘protecting nature’ is nothing less than a reincarnation of communism – new communism.

Klaus understands communist propaganda very well – he should. Most of us who lived and suffered under communism can instantly recognize any signs of communist ideology, no matter how slight or subtle. Since I received my own vaccination of communist propaganda, during the first 27 years of my life, I too am immune to this disease. If someone is trying to ‘save me’ against my will, I’m instantly wary and ready to fight back – if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. So try to imagine how I feel, now as a Canadian, when I see the same tactics and hear the same phrases I saw and heard for years under communism, only this time in English!  If you think I’m paranoid, or that communism in North America is far-fetched, then good luck to you – I hope you enjoy what’s coming your way:

“You [North] Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept Communism outright; but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of Socialism until you will finally wake up and find that you already have Communism. We won’t have to fight you; we’ll so weaken your economy, until you fall like overripe fruit into our hands.”

Nikita Khrushchev  (1960)

Communism can be characterized by a single word: deception. Communists never disclose their real intentions. They are fraudsters who employ different identities, names and slogans, all for one goal: totalitarian enslavement. Since 1970, the goal of the Communist Party USA has been to subvert environmentalism and use it to advance their agenda. In 1972, Gus Hall, then chairman of the Communist Party USA, stipulated in his book “Ecology”:

Human society cannot basically stop the destruction of the environment under capitalism. Socialism is the only structure that makes it possible …This is true in the struggle to save the environment … We must be the organizers, the leaders of these movements. What is new, is that knowledge of [a] point-of-no-return gives this struggle an unusual urgency.

This idea was incorporated into the US Green Party program in 1989 (the same year soviet communism collapsed), in which the fictitious threats of ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ are used to scare the public into believing humanity must “save the planet”:

This urgency, along with other Green issues and themes it interrelates, makes confronting the greenhouse [effect] a powerful organizing tool … Survival is highly motivating, and may help us to build a mass movement that will lead to large-scale political and societal change in a very short time …

First of all, we [must] inform the public that the crisis is more immediate and severe than [they] are being told, [that] its implications are too great to wait for the universal scientific confirmation that only eco-catastrophe would establish.”

Do you think the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is promoting science rather than socialism?  Read the following admission from the co-chair of the UN IPCC Working Group III, during an interview in 2010 with the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung:

“We must free ourselves from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy … We must state clearly that we use climate policy de facto to redistribute the world’s wealth.”

Read the rest.  Very eye-opening, especially as you hear about today's new Green Socialism.

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Matt Holbert
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Perhaps hysteria over Green Socialism is overblown...

Any "ism" should be looked upon with a skeptical eye. However, in these times, I think that socialism for the wealthy should attract our attention much more than a group attempting to attain a better life for future generations of all life. We can disagree about how to get that done, but surely we can agree that we should leave something for future generations.

https://xkcd.com/1732/

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Communism vs science

 

Quote:

“It was scientifically proven that communism is the only social-economic system providing the masses with justice and equality – 100% of scientists agree on this. The topic is not up for debate!”, so proclaimed my professor during one of his lectures on the subject ‘scientific communism’, while the country of Czechoslovakia was still under communist control.

This professor was badly sadly misinformed, and to use him as an example of anything is a bit misleading in itself.  Although I get it.  I had a strongly anti-Communist Russian professor in college who came up with endless nutty conspiracy theories to justify his anti-Communism when he could have relied on the actual evidence of what Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot did.  Though I have to admit, the courses I took from him in Russian and Chinese history were fascinating.

Quote:

“a consensus of 97% of scientists agree global warming is man-made.” Most people don’t question scientific statements because they think they are facts. They do not understand that scientific statements must always be challenged, because Science is not about ‘consensus’; ideology is.

Not quite, ideology, political or religious, is based on faith.  The author of the above passage does not understand that scientific findings are based on objective evidence that is constantly challenged by other scientists until consensus is achieved through the peer review process.  Simply branding all science as ideology is intellectually weak and morally suspect.

Quote:

Authors of seven climate consensus studies — including Naomi OreskesPeter DoranWilliam AndereggBart VerheggenEd MaibachJ. Stuart Carlton, and John Cook — co-authored a paper that should settle this question once and for all. The two key conclusions from the paper are:

1) Depending on exactly how you measure the expert consensus, it’s somewhere between 90% and 100% that agree humans are responsible for climate change, with most of our studies finding 97% consensus among publishing climate scientists.

2) The greater the climate expertise among those surveyed, the higher the consensus on human-caused global warming.

Quote:

So a consensus in science is different from a political one. There is no vote. Scientists just give up arguing because the sheer weight of consistent evidence is too compelling, the tide too strong to swim against any longer. Scientists change their minds on the basis of the evidence, and a consensus emerges over time. Not only do scientists stop arguing, they also start relying on each other's work. All science depends on that which precedes it, and when one scientist builds on the work of another, he acknowledges the work of others through citations. The work that forms the foundation of climate change science is cited with great frequency by many other scientists, demonstrating that the theory is widely accepted - and relied upon.

https://skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus.htm

Quote:

Human society cannot basically stop the destruction of the environment under capitalism. Socialism is the only structure that makes it possible …This is true in the struggle to save the environment … We must be the organizers, the leaders of these movements. What is new, is that knowledge of [a] point-of-no-return gives this struggle an unusual urgency.

Gus Hall was objectively an idiot.  Capitalism, Communism, Socialism and all other isms have pretty much equally destroyed the environment.  It is only through science that we are understanding how bad the destruction is and it is only thorugh science we will figure out how best to deal with it.  Politicians need to understand that and get serious about doing some serious work.

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capitalism, environmentalism, socialism

There are a couple of things being conflated here.

Capitalism is just economics.  On top of capitalism, there is the form of government.  Theoretically, if you have a strong republic, then "the people" in a capitalist-republic can enact environmental regulation, retaining the economic efficiencies of capitalism but restraining its amorality in areas where it tends to become destructive to the commons.

Unfortunately, the problem with capitalism is that it has (historically) always devolved into crony capitalism and cartels, and from what I can see, cartels have (historically) demonstrated absolutely no interest in protecting the environment.  Monsanto is a case in point.

What's more, crony-capitalism has also historically ended up with the cartels seizing control over government.  What used to be a republic turns into an oligarchy run for the purpose of maximizing income to the cronies.  Environment is just one of the casualties of crony-capitalism.

Socialism is a reaction to crony capitalism.  The goal is to seize popular control from the demonstrably bad crony-capitalists, and initially that usually works.  However, socialism's economic performance will always be inefficient, since it runs straight against human nature (humans are programmed to love windfalls and free stuff, so whatever system socialism constructs will always be gamed), and there's always the risk that the bureaucrats will seize control over the government, thereby getting the worst of both worlds.

So if we are to keep a capitalist economy with all its economic efficiencies, we absolutely must break up the cartels, and remove the stranglehold that business has over government.  Otherwise - socialism is the likely outcome, because people are sick and tired of crony capitalism, not understanding the true underlying cause of the problem isn't capitalism, it is crony-capitalism's complete control over government and the economy.

So the cycle is:

capitalist-republic: efficient economy, popular control.

-> devolves into

crony-capitalist-republic: inefficient economy, little popular control, risk for totalitarianism.

-> demand to regain popular control

socialist-republic: inefficient economy, popular control, risk for totalitarianism.

-> bureaucrats/the military/a strongman seizes power

communism, fascism, strongman rule: inefficient economy, no popular control.

The "green new deal" is the logical reaction to the victory of the crony-capitalists, which is where we are today.  If we don't start getting rid of the cronies, socialism is where we will probably end up.

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Worry IS Worthless

Doug,

I've often wondered what the basis for the "97% of climate scientists agree ..." Here's another take on that "majority": [bolding was in the article.]

https://www.naturalnews.com/056116_fake_news_climate_change_science_hoax.html

An opinion survey of earth scientists on global climate change was conducted by Margaret R K Zimmerman, MS, and published by the University of Illinois in 2008.

Aside from his support from Dr Pantsdoumi, Mann often claims the imprimatur of "settled science": 97 per cent of the world's scientists supposedly believe in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming requiring massive government intervention. That percentage derives from a survey conducted for a thesis by M R K Zimmerman.

The "survey" was a two-question, online questionnaire sent to 10,257 earth scientists, of whom 3,146 responded.

Of the responding scientists, 96.2 per cent came from North America.

Only 6.2 per cent came from Canada. So the United States is overrepresented even within that North American sample.

Nine per cent of US respondents are from California. So California is overrepresented within not just the US sample: it has over twice as large a share of the sample as Europe, Asia, Australia, the Pacific, Latin America and Africa combined.

Of the ten per cent of non-US respondents, Canada has 62 per cent.

Not content with such a distorted sample, the researchers then selected 79 of their sample and declared them "experts."

Of those 79 scientists, two were excluded from a second supplementary question. So 75 out of 77 made it through to the final round, and 97.4 per cent were found to agree with "the consensus". That's where the 97 per cent comes from.

So, let's look at what it really means. We've got people who are involved in hard science being asked if in their opinion, humans are the cause of global warming. Polls are a soft science at best. Are those folks under oath and subject to cross examination for their opinions? How closely does each real opinion track the limited available responses? Is every opinion equally considered or are some more equal than others?

"Cause" is a very strong word. I'm sure each of us has a good idea of what it means. Choking someone long enough causes death. It really boils down to a binary result - yes or no. Those are what the choices in the survey really are. So what happens if the real world condition isn't so binary? For instance, forest fires can start in multiple ways. (I'll limit this to 2 options.) Sometimes, arsonists start fires. Sometimes, lightning starts the fires. Do lightning started fires contribute to carbon dioxide loading of the atmosphere, or is it only human started fires that do so? What about volcanoes? What about the microbes who convert vegetative matter into compost? That doesn't happen without release of carbon dioxide. Is it simply too insignificant to worry about ... or is it something else?

Could it be that those who want more power are trying to scare us into voting for an increase in TPTB power? It would be nice to see how all these scientists get funded. If I'm shopping for a given conclusion, wouldn't I be better off to contract with someone who knows which side of the bread gets buttered?

But, in reality, none of that really matters. Let's assume that the 3% who disagree with AGW got it horribly wrong. Let's further assume that the 97% were totally correct and it is only the anthropogenic carbon dioxide that causes global warming. What can we do about it? This is very pragmatic. If there is nothing that can be done to stop (or significantly slow) carbon dioxide emissions, then why worry about it?

So, there's been plenty of time for all the "chicken littles" to come up with a plan that will sufficiently address the problem. Just to set the stage, remember that all the human mouths need to be fed. All that food needs to be grown, harvested, processed, and transported. Look at all the behind-the-scenes work that has to be performed just for this to come to fruition. Then, there's housing and clothing and water and medical care and ... on and on. None of this works without our current finance system. We've seen it strained (almost destroyed) during the 2008 debt hiccup. To be complete, your plan has to address all the cogs in the wheel.

So, what can we do about it?

Grover

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People corrupt everything eventually, including themselves

Agreed. No system survives long because "we the people" corrupt everything.  I guess any system would work if people weren't people and didn't ruin everything.  

However, some systems restrain human depravity and reward human ingenuity, hard work, and compassion better than others.  Different systems have different incentives and disincentives, so some work better than others by more effectively rewarding positive human actions and punishing negative human actions.  History and experience have identified socialism/communism as having one of the worst records when it comes to prosperity and freedom for all (not to mention protecting the environment).

Worse in my mind than having the wrong dis/incentives for economics and prosperity, is socialism/communism's dependence on big government to solve human problems.  I go the other way.  Government is at best a necessary evil, to be kept as small and powerless as possible with clearly defined limits and roles.  Socialism/communism is built on the assumption that the ideal conditions will only be established by an all-powerful government (which in theory then dissolves away leaving heaven on earth with no government necessary).  Capitalism is ruined, as you observe, by Capitalists partnering with an ever-more powerful government to establish cartels and monopolies which in the end looks a lot like the results of socialism/communism gone mad. For my money, a small government democratic republic practicing capitalism works the best, but will be ruined eventually by human predators and human sheep who don't protect it's best features.

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government or "capitalists"

Tom-

Socialism/communism is built on the assumption that the ideal conditions will only be established by an all-powerful government (which in theory then dissolves away leaving heaven on earth with no government necessary).

Oh sure, there's the usual intellectual socialist blather that doesn't stand up to close examination, but I don't think that wooly-headed thinking is the underlying cause of the problem.  Silly Socialism only has room to come in the door when things get bad - as a result of the "victory" of the crony "capitalists." (Which, as far as I can tell, is a dynamic that is built into capitalism itself; no capitalist participant ever really wants to compete.  After all, competition is terrible for profits, and they're profit maximizers.)

From what I can see, Socialism appears only as a desperate reaction to a really sucky system that harvests the vast majority of its citizens to the benefit of a very few at the top.  Which is where we are now.

I strongly believe that if we want to keep any sort of capitalism, we'd better split up the monopolies, or else we'll end up with socialism because ordinary people have started to notice that they are being harvested.

As for a partnership between between crony capitalists and big government - I believe that crony capitalists have the whip hand, with "big government" playing the role of servant.  That's why I think the priority is to first fix crony capitalism and then we can figure out as a group what size government needs to be.

  • remove money from politics
  • slam shut the revolving door
  • make Congress in every case have to operate under the system that normal people have to operate under: health care, pensions, insider trading, etc.
  • break up the monopolies.  All of them: banks, defense, tech, drugs, chemicals, etc.

For my money, a small government democratic republic practicing capitalism works the best, but will be ruined eventually by human predators and human sheep who don't protect it's best features.

Ultimately, all this is just the cycle.  Teddy Roosevelt busted the trusts, and the Democrats faithfully kept Big Business more or less in check, with Labor and Capital in a rough sort of parity, right up until Bill Clinton appeared, who sold out Labor and now 30 years later capital runs the place - along with the neo-cons and other endless warmongers.

Notice that the neocons only got entrenched once the cartels were put in place.  Coincidence?

You can look at the cycle as something annoying or bad - but then again, every few generations, a group of people get the chance to play the role of hero.  :)

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Cycles and revolutions

I agree with you 100%.  When even the best system is corrupted by its human components, there's an opportunity for revolutions and alternatives, no matter how some of the alternatives may be just as bad or worse in the long run.  I'll stand with Jefferson who saw the same thing we see.

 https://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/little-rebellionquotation

"Societies exist under three forms sufficiently distinguishable. 1. Without government, as among our Indians. 2. Under governments wherein the will of every one has a just influence, as is the case in England in a slight degree, and in our states in a great one. 3. Under governments of force: as is the case in all other monarchies and in most of the other republics. To have an idea of the curse of existence under these last, they must be seen. It is a government of wolves over sheep. It is a problem, not clear in my mind, that the 1st. condition is not the best. But I believe it to be inconsistent with any great degree of population. The second state has a great deal of good in it. The mass of mankind under that enjoys a precious degree of liberty and happiness. It has it’s evils too: the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. But weigh this against the oppressions of monarchy, and it becomes nothing. Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem. Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government, and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs. I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.1 Unsuccesful rebellions indeed generally establish the incroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is a medecine necessary for the sound health of government." - Thomas Jefferson to James MadisonParis, January 30, 17872

I think we're well past the point at which the Jeffersonian republic can be reformed without some kind of disaster forcing the issue.  By disaster I mean another world war, a civil war, an economic collapse, an environmental disaster, a rebellion, etc.  I believe it was Claire Wolf who wrote, "We're at that awkward stage where it's too late to reform the system from the inside and too early to shoot the bastards." The time for shooting seems to be approaching rapidly.

If reform were possible, I would add to your excellent list term limits for Congress: perhaps 3 or 4 two-year terms for Representatives and 1 or 2 six-year terms for Senators. I don't know the current statistics, but in the 70's and 80's there was more turnover in the Soviet Politburo than in the US Congress.  Term limits wouldn't absolutely prevent the corruption of capitalism and our democratic republic, but I think it would slow down the speed of the corruption and disrupt its permanence by forcing politicians out and putting in new ones who MIGHT be less corrupt.  We can always hope.

 

 

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Yellow Vests Suggest Bank Run

It does indeed look like a large enough percentage of the citizenry of Europe has come to understand that they as citizens are being harvested by the oligarchy.  They already understand that much of their governance comes from outside their nations from people they did not elect, through a process that they cannot influence and is clearly NOT intended to meet their needs.  This has got to be a really discouraging thing to wake up to.

One group of Yellow Vest protestor is France has suggested that all citizens remove their money from the banks.  Targeted non-violent action.

If the government security forces are going to supress this with violence, they will need to first vilify the Yellow Vests.  This group of women look pretty harmless, likable and easy to identify with -- vilification will be tough!   

You really can't go in and beat them with clubs and maintain the moral high ground.

Case in point:  A mother in the Netherlands was wearing a yellow vest while walking an infant in stroller.  She was stopped by police and told to remove her vest.  She refused, and was promptly arrested for wearing that vest. (There was no protest--it was just her walking alone in a yellow vest.)

Leaving her infant at the scene with police.

 

Tom Luongo observes the increasing authoritarian response to the protestors by the French government with PM Philippe being drafted to play the designated bad guy calling for increased police response.

A call for a further crackdown against protests is the same response as the new EU laws on internet speech and dissemination of memes, Articles 11 and 13, they are attempts to stop open dissent against a distant and uninvolved leadership [of the EU].

And after Yellow Vests targeted both the Bank of France in Rouen and the National Assembly in Paris, Macron’s government has finally come out of hiding to announce even stronger crackdowns on these protests.

But Macron himself couldn’t do it. If he did it would simply spark an even more extreme reaction. So, at this point Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is handling the bad PR duties informing everyone that even more crackdowns are coming on these protests.

Because order and all of that.

And in Sweden, a group that monitors on-line "hate speech' on facebook and twitter proudly reports that it has filed 1,200 "hate speech notifications" leading to 144 convictions for "hate speech"   Hate speech here means criticism of immigration.

Obviously, anyone who does not like having their cars burned by bands of migrant youths is racist.

.

------

Which of course brings us to the common citizens response. 

.

Gun Use Surges in Europe, Where Firearms Are Rare

Growing insecurity spurs more people to clear high bars for ownership

When hundreds of women were sexually assaulted on New Year’s Eve in several German cities three years ago, Carolin Matthie decided it was time to defend herself. The 26-year-old Berlin student quickly applied for a gun permit, fearing many women would have the same idea and flood the application process.  (also discussed here)

It is obvious to me that this is the next step at The Animal Farm.

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focus on what you want

I've been told that its more productive to focus on what you want, rather than focusing on what you don't want.  Theoretically.

I'm not able to articulate exactly how such a vision will come to pass, but certainly the first step is being clear about what we are trying to create, and why.

When things get bad, there may come a moment in time when a person with a clear vision could make a difference.  Who can say how things will go.

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Rules for Deep State Overlords

A friend sent me a video by Matt Bracken titled Rules for Deep State Overlords.

I believe this video is very well done and I would like to recommend it.  Though I must confess that two of my favorite people are “socialists,”  Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.   I’m drawn to their open and kind attitudes and visions.  I am not coming from exactly the same place as Matt Bracken.

 

This talk by Matt is reminiscent of the excellent Rules for Rulers video posted here several times, and Naomi Wolfe’s explanation of the universal blueprint used for fascist transformation of an open society.

From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms.

Last autumn, there was a military coup in Thailand. The leaders of the coup took a number of steps, rather systematically, as if they had a shopping list.  [T]here is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship.

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

2. Create a gulag

Once you have got everyone scared, the next step is to create a prison system outside the rule of law (as Bush put it, he wanted the American detention centre at Guantánamo Bay to be situated in legal "outer space") - where torture takes place.

At first, the people who are sent there are seen by citizens as outsiders: troublemakers, spies, "enemies of the people" or "criminals". Initially, citizens tend to support the secret prison system; it makes them feel safer and they do not identify with the prisoners. But soon enough, civil society leaders - opposition members, labor activists, clergy and journalists - are arrested and sent there as well.

3. Develop a thug caste

When leaders who seek what I call a "fascist shift" want to close down an open society, they send paramilitary groups of scary young men out to terrorize citizens. The Blackshirts roamed the Italian countryside beating up communists; the Brownshirts staged violent rallies throughout Germany. This paramilitary force is especially important in a democracy: you need citizens to fear thug violence and so you need thugs who are free from prosecution.

4. Set up an internal surveillance system

In every closed society, secret police spy on ordinary people and encourage neighbors to spy on neighbors.

5. Harass citizens' groups

The fifth thing you do is related to step four - you infiltrate and harass citizens' groups. It can be trivial: a church in Pasadena, whose minister preached that Jesus was in favor of peace, found itself being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service. … So the definition of "terrorist" slowly expands to include the opposition.

6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release

This scares people…. In 2004, America's Transportation Security Administration confirmed that it had a list of passengers who were targeted for security searches or worse if they tried to fly. People who have found themselves on the list? Two middle-aged women peace activists in San Francisco; liberal Senator Edward Kennedy; … and thousands of ordinary US citizens.

Professor Walter F Murphy is emeritus of Princeton University; he is one of the foremost constitutional scholars in the nation and author of the classic Constitutional Democracy. Murphy is also a decorated former marine, and he is not even especially politically liberal. But on March 1 this year, he was denied a boarding pass at Newark, "because I was on the Terrorist Watch list".

"Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that," asked the airline employee.

"I explained," said Murphy, "that I had not so marched but had, in September 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the constitution."

"That'll do it," the man said.

7. Target key individuals.

8. Control the press

When citizens can't tell real news from fake, they give up their demands for accountability bit by bit.  [The oligarchy owns the press.]

9. Dissent equals treason

Cast dissent as "treason" and criticism as "espionage'. Every closing society does this, just as it elaborates laws that increasingly criminalize certain kinds of speech and expand the definition of "spy" and "traitor".

10. Suspend the rule of law

The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 gave the president new powers over the national guard. This means that in a national emergency - which the president now has enhanced powers to declare - he can send Michigan's militia to enforce a state of emergency that he has declared in Oregon, over the objections of the state's governor and its citizens.

[T] New York Times editorialized about this shift: "A disturbing recent phenomenon in Washington is that laws that strike to the heart of American democracy have been passed in the dead of night ... Beyond actual insurrection, the president may now use military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist attack or any 'other condition'."

 

 

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thc0655
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Oathkeepers: Orders we will NOT obey

The slide toward tyranny in the US could be arrested if more military, national guard and police would affirm the values of Oathkeepers.org and affirm the ten (unconstitutional) orders we will not obey. I'm not optimistic enough will pay attention and join us, but I'm convinced the slide to tyranny could be thwarted.

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Time2help
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Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2913
Systemic Control Fraud (Good luck fixing)

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sand_puppy
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Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 2115
The 10 orders that Oathkeepers will not obey

DECLARATION OF ORDERS WE WILL NOT OBEY

1. We will NOT obey any order to disarm the American people.

2. We will NOT obey any order to conduct warrantless searches of the American people, their homes, vehicles, papers, or effects – such as warrantless house-to house searches for weapons or persons.

3. We will NOT obey any order to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to trial by military tribunal.

4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state, or to enter with force into a state, without the express consent and invitation of that state’s legislature and governor.

5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty and declares the national government to be in violation of the compact by which that state entered the Union.

6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.

7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.

8. We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control” during any emergency, or under any other pretext. 

9. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies, under any emergency pretext whatsoever.

10. We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.

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Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2913
Two ways to learn an uncomfortable truth

The collective masses, via indoctrination, ineptitude or indifference, have made a clear choice.

Pain.

Whether beekeeper or bankster, the black line cares not one wit.

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