Archive for February, 2018

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Cesspit of fake news and deceit just told me I spread a propaganda story, which was a lie. I did no such thing. At the bottom of the post it becomes clear that I did not share this anti-Syrian war propaganda, but Facebook would like me to PAY THEM so that I can.

I’ve been trying to stop this atrocity in Syria since 2012, and Amnesty / Facebook are now helping the terrorists’ side. This is the US government position and always has been. Amnesty is a tool of imperial warfare not a resistance to it. There is a reason half a million are dead in Syria, and it’s official US policy, arms and funding in league with its despicable Gulf tyrant “partners.”

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Ellen Brown

http://EllenBrown.com

February 27, 2018

One Belt, One Road,” China’s $1 trillion infrastructure initiative, is a massive undertaking of highways, pipelines, transmission lines, ports, power stations, fiber optics, and railroads connecting China to Central Asia, Europe and Africa. According to Dan Slane, a former advisor in President Trump’s transition team, “It is the largest infrastructure project initiated by one nation in the history of the world and is designed to enable China to become the dominant economic power in the world.” In a January 29th article titled “Trump’s Plan a Recipe for Failure, Former Infrastructure Advisor Says,” he added, “If we don’t get our act together very soon, we should all be brushing up on our Mandarin.”

On Monday, February 12th, President Trump’s own infrastructure initiative was finally unveiled. Perhaps to trump China’s $1 trillion mega-project, the Administration has now upped the ante from $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion, or at least so the initiative is billed. But as Donald Cohen observes in The American Prospect, it’s really only $200 billion, the sole sum that is to come from federal funding; and it’s not even that after factoring in the billions in tax cuts in infrastructure-related projects. The rest of the $1.5 trillion is to come from cities, states, and private investors; and since city and state coffers are depleted, that chiefly means private investors. The focus of the Administration’s plan is on public-private partnerships, which as Slane notes are not suitable for many of the most critical infrastructure projects, since they lack the sort of ongoing funding stream such as a toll or fee that would attract private investors. Public-private partnerships also drive up costs compared to financing with municipal bonds.

In any case, as Yves Smith observes, private equity firms are not much interested in public assets; and to the extent that they are, they are more interested in privatizing existing infrastructure than in funding the new development that is at the heart of the president’s plan. Moreover, local officials and local businessmen are now leery of privatization deals. They know the price of quick cash is to be bled dry with user charges and profit guarantees.

The White House says its initiative is not a take-it-or-leave-it proposal but is the start of a negotiation, and that the president is “open to new sources of funding.” But no one in Congress seems to have a viable proposal. Perhaps it is time to look more closely at how China does it . . . .

China’s Secret Funding Source: The Deep Pocket of Its State-owned Banks

While American politicians argue endlessly about where to find the money, China has been forging full steam ahead with its mega-projects. A case in point is its 12,000 miles of high-speed rail, built in a mere decade while American politicians were still trying to fund much more modest rail projects. The money largely came from loans from China’s state-owned banks. The country’s five largest banks are majority-owned by the central government, and they lend principally to large, state-owned enterprises.

Where do the banks get the money? Basically, they print it. Not directly. Not obviously. But as the Bank of England has acknowledged, banks do not merely recycle existing deposits but actually create the money they lend by writing it into their borrowers’ deposit accounts. Incoming deposits are needed to balance the books, but at some point these deposits originated in the deposit accounts of other banks; and since the Chinese government owns most of the country’s banks, it can aim this funding fire hose at its most pressing national needs.

China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, issues money for infrastructure in an even more direct way. It has turned to an innovative form of quantitative easing in which liquidity is directed not at propping up the biggest banks but at “surgical strikes” into the most productive sectors of the economy. Citigroup chief economist Willem Buiter calls this “qualitative easing” to distinguish it from the quantitative easing engaged in by Western central banks. According to a 2014 Wall Street Journal article:

In China’s context, such so-called qualitative easing happens when the People’s Bank of China adds riskier assets to its balance sheet – such as by relending to the agriculture sector and small businesses and offering cheap loans for low-return infrastructure projects – while maintaining a normal pace of balance-sheet expansion [loan creation]. . . .

The purpose of China’s qualitative easing is to provide affordable financing to select sectors, and it reflects Beijing’s intention to dictate interest rates for some sectors, Citigroup’s economists said. They added that while such a policy would also put inflationary pressure on the economy, the impact is less pronounced than the U.S.-style quantitative easing.

Among the targets of these surgical strikes with central bank financing is the One Belt, One Road initiative. According to a May 2015 article in Bloomberg:

Instead of turning the liquidity sprinkler on full-throttle for the whole garden, the PBOC is aiming its hose at specific parts. The latest innovations include plans to bolster the market for local government bonds and the recapitalisation of policy banks so they can boost lending to government-favoured projects. . . .

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Democracy Now & guest slammed for backing ‘neocon project of regime change in Syria’

 

 

 

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It would be obvious that Obama’s and Clinton’s cults are similar to Trump’s, and that the mental cleansing is similar. All negatives are cleansed, and all positives are blown out of proportion. That’s political propaganda in a nutshell, and a nutshell is the correct metaphor.

A particularly heinous meme circulates that Obama had “zero scandals.” The proof of this is a list of Trump’s scandals, as if there was logic to that. There is not. Ignoring your own favorite’s scandals has nothing to do with the other’s crimes. It boggles the mind, this attack on basic logic.

Obama’s scandals:

  1. Sided with Saudi terror sponsors over the victims of 9/11. This is Treason.
  2. Waged an illegal war on Libya, bombing ground targets in violation of the UN resolution. Helped Al Qaeda affiliate Libyan Islamic Fighting Group take over much of the country.
  3. Funded an illegal coup by neo-nazi elements in Ukraine.
  4. Armed, funded, and gave political cover to Al Qaeda in Syria in yet another illegal war that has murdered over half a million so far.
  5. Illegally spied on America. When Obama’s NSA chief James Clapper lied directly to Congress he was not prosecuted. Lying to Congress was ignored and became normalized.
  6. Protected CIA torturers–a felony–making the White House a co-conspirator to torture. Obama also protected all of the Bush war criminals with the nonsensical justification: “I prefer to look forward.” The point of law is to look backward at crimes that have been committed.

 

When you try and tell partisan propagandists anything whatsoever that scratches their bubble, they accuse you of being a Trump supporter, or worse, because they know nothing about the topics. More importantly, they CARE nothing about the topics or else they would know already. The crimes of their party are not to be understood or talked about. This is a formula for atrocity and tyranny. These people are malignant, a serious part of the problem, and should be confronted and demolished as needed.

 

 

 

 

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This is a list by Juan Cole, whom I never quote. But on this subject he’s correct. Cole also cheerleads for imperial wars every now and again, so beware.

Top Ten Signs the US is the most Corrupt nation in the World 

J. Giambrone

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I did not review S1 because it annoyed me. It was nothing so much as generic “noir in space,” an aesthetic we’ve seen far too much of. Star Trek, Twilight Zone, old 1950s genre films, Alien, Blade Runner, Outland, Lifepod, et cetera. Nostalgia for the 1940s is not a valid catch-all/be-all for science fiction. Season One of The Expanse didn’t seem to be trying hard enough to establish something original, and yet I kept watching.

I appreciated that Blade Runner 2049 went above and beyond and may be the best film of 2017. It ditched the expected looks and fashions to push things forward a generation. The only 2017 films that compete are Get Out, which just isn’t in the same league when all is said and done, and Dunkirk. Dunkirk delivers greatness, but Blade Runner 2049 edges it out with depth of experience, the thoughts it…

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fake news that exploits tragedy spreads on Facebook

Alex Jones and company use this myth to discredit anyone they oppose, calling them “crisis actors” without a shred of proof that such a thing exists at all. Their mindless followers eat it up and repeat it. According to Jones and the radical right, Sandy Hook was crisis actors, as was the Boston Marathon bombing, and now the high school students of Parkland Florida.

These people are pure evil. This is the kind of insanity that led Nazi Germany to become an abomination. The truth was demolished from the inside, the inside job that is the Big Lie.