The Largest Military Machine in History Reply

Last night, the Senate overwhelmingly approved an $80 billion annual increase in military spending. Trump had asked for just $48 billion.

That $80 billion increase in military spending is enough to have satisfied Bernie Sanders’s campaign promise to make tuition free at public colleges and universities. (You may recall that when Bernie announced his proposal critics from both parties said the idea would bankrupt the country.)

If the Senate’s military package becomes law, U.S. spending on the military would exceed the total spending of America’s next 10 rivals put together.

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Forced Takeover of Catalan Government Institutions by Spanish Police Reply

Liberal democratic capitalism shows what it really thinks of self-determination and political dissent.

Thomas S. Harrington

Counterpunch

I just got of the phone with Josep Maria Sole Sabaté, my friend and a leading Catalan historian and public intellectual. He was nothing short of breathless as he described the helicopters flying overhead stated flatly that he was in the the midst of a coup being carried out by the Spanish State.

He wanted to get in touch with me and others “out there” because he was not sure how much longer free communication would be available to him and other out in the street protesting against he Spanish central government’s arrest of members of the Catalan Autonomous government.

As of this writing at least six agencies of the Catalan Government have been the object of forced police searches and thirteen, mostly mid-level members of the Catalan government have been arrested.

The homes of two the leading architects of the incipient Catalan state, Carles Viver Pi i Sunyer and ex Spanish judge Santi Vidal, have been searched by police. The headquarters of the far-left CUP, part of the pro-vote coalition in the Catalan Parliament, has been surrounded by police.

The leader of the Catalan National Congress Jordi Sanchez and the head of Omnium, a major Catalan cultural organization, Jordi Cuixart, has called Catalans to come into the streets and they have responded with a massive presence.

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Support of the Right of Secession Rises to 40% Among American Reply

By Kirkpatrick Sale

LewRockwell.Com

While division between both political parties has been accepted as a norm for decades, we have witnessed a level of intensity in 2017 that has dwarfed anything remotely similar in recent American history. While it appears to be boiling over, perhaps many are ready to set aside their differences in a way reminiscent of the Declaration of Independence.

Over Labor Day Weekend, a nationwide poll of 800 likely voters, conducted by John Zogby Strategies asked, among other questions, which view is closer to their own on the topic of secession; Statement A: If a majority of residents within a given state prefer to have the final say over their destiny without the control of Washington D.C. then let them have it – it is their right.Statement B: If residents within a given state were to take such a drastic measure and secede from the United States, the federal government would be justified in sending in the military to prevent secession from taking place.

While nearly 1/3 of the public (32%) agree that the federal government should intervene to stop any state movement for secession, nearly four in ten (39%) agree that each state has the ultimate say over their destiny and that secession is a right. Just shy of three in ten were not sure (29%).

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Robert Stark talks to Count Fosco about the Mechanisms of the Arts Reply

The Stark Truth. Listen here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Stark and Pilleater talk to returning guest Count Fosco. Count Fosco has a background in the film industry in Canada.

Topics:

Count Fosco’s background in the Canadian Film Industry
The economic mechanisms for funding the arts
Conservative opposition to funding the arts
Robert Stark’s debate with Joseph Dobrian on funding the arts
The cultural left’s influence on grants favoring politically correct demographic groups
Where the free market falls short and the importance of having an economic safety net for artist
Being an artist as a luxury for the rich and the importance of having the right connections and patrons
The fallacy that the best artist are rewarded economically(ex. Van Gogh)
Preferred relative guidelines for artistic funding and support for relative artistic freedom
How grants work for the film industry in Canada
Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 Hour Rule’ and how it applies to the arts
Should art serve a purpose for society?
Censorship in the Art World
The debate about what is art and what is pornography and the concept of “degenerate art”
Creating new artistic sub-cultures
Low Brow Pop Surrealism
Surrealism from Dali to David Lynch
Robert Stark and Brandon Adamson’s Art
The animated series Braceface staring Alicia Silverstone

Gold and Lord Rama- The Reason for the Diwali Season Reply

By J P Cortez

October 19, 2017 marks an important holiday in the Indian culture. Diwali begins.

Diwali is one of the biggest festivals for Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains. It is a lavish celebration of the victory of light over darkness with its gleaming candles, luxurious works of art, and opulent feasts. Diwali is also characterized by gift giving. Buying and gifting gold is considered auspicious during Diwali.

Given the nature of the holiday and the number of people who celebrate it, according to CNBC, the past few years have seen a tendency for the gold price to rise around Diwali. Last year during Diwali, Mihir Kapadia, founder & CEO of Sun Global Investments, said “As heavy consumers, the festive seasons always tend to surge the demand, and considering the current low prices, this should increase the market activity and thus push the prices a little.” Kapadia continued, “We do not expect it to boost prices significantly as the overall market is subdued due to the worries about rising interest rates.”

There is no shortage of economic analysis during the buildup to this year’s celebration as The Economic Times reported “bullion has climbed almost 10 percent on the Indian market this year as world prices increased on… reduced chances of a further hike in U.S. interest rates in 2017.”

However, history shows that rising interest rates do not necessarily make bonds and cash more attractive or push the demand for (and therefore the price) gold down. Interest rate hikes are usually a gold bullish event.

“Gold prices going down after rate hikes is a myth propagated by the financial establishment and portfolio managers who may be intellectually lazy or have a vested interest in scaring people away from gold,” says Stefan Gleason, president of U.S. precious metals dealer Money Metals Exchange. “In reality, central banks are almost always behind the curve, and real interest rates may be going in the opposite direction despite the rate hikes.”

Slaying the Beast Takes Multiple Blows

Diwali is a grand, extravagant multi-day festival celebrating many things by many different groups of people. One of the more popular tales remembered and celebrated during Diwali is that of the brave Lord Rama. According to legend, he returned from exile after having saved his kidnapped wife and slayed the evil demon Ravanna.

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America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars Reply

Given the recent exchange on anti-Semitism between anarcho-communist Wayne Price, national-anarchist Sean Jobst and myself, this article from Unz Review and the article from Telos posted adjacently offer two diametrically opposed perspectives on US-Israel relations, Zionism, Jewish power and anti-Semitism.

By Philip Giraldi

Unz Review

I spoke recently at a conference on America’s war party where afterwards an elderly gentleman came up to me and asked, “Why doesn’t anyone ever speak honestly about the six-hundred-pound gorilla in the room? Nobody has mentioned Israel in this conference and we all know it’s American Jews with all their money and power who are supporting every war in the Middle East for Netanyahu? Shouldn’t we start calling them out and not letting them get away with it?”

It was a question combined with a comment that I have heard many times before and my answer is always the same: any organization that aspires to be heard on foreign policy knows that to touch the live wire of Israel and American Jews guarantees a quick trip to obscurity. Jewish groups and deep pocket individual donors not only control the politicians, they own and run the media and entertainment industries, meaning that no one will hear about or from the offending party ever again. They are particularly sensitive on the issue of so-called “dual loyalty,” particularly as the expression itself is a bit of a sham since it is pretty clear that some of them only have real loyalty to Israel.

Most recently, some pundits, including myself, have been warning of an impending war with Iran. To be sure, the urging to strike Iran comes from many quarters, to include generals in the Administration who always think first in terms of settling problems through force, from a Saudi government obsessed with fear over Iranian hegemony, and, of course, from Israel itself. But what makes the war engine run is provided by American Jews who have taken upon themselves the onerous task of starting a war with a country that does not conceivably threaten the United States. They have been very successful at faking the Iranian threat, so much so that nearly all Republican and most Democratic congressmen as well as much of the media seem to be convinced that Iran needs to be dealt with firmly, most definitely by using the U.S. military, and the sooner the better.

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Conspiracy “Anti-Zionism”: The Current Face of Judeophobia 5

Clearly, we need a critique of the US-Israel relationship, Zionist imperialism, and related issues that stands apart from classical Christian and/or Nazi anti-Semitism on one hand, without simply dismissing these things a mere tools of the US ruling class. Instead, we need to develop a more nuanced analysis of the triangular relationship between Western imperialism, Zionism, and Wahhabi dominated regimes of the Persian Gulf, and the influence of both Israel and Saudi Arabia in domestic US politics.

By Andrea Pantazopoulos

Telos

The recent tripartite summit held in Thessaloniki in mid-June 2017 between the Greek and Israeli Prime Ministers and the Cypriot President to discuss energy- and security-related issues of the Eastern Mediterranean region, gave rise, again, to protests and strong reactions from the so-called political extremes against the visit of the Israeli Prime Minister to Greece. Within the context of the summit, the Greek and Israeli Prime Ministers also attended the official ceremony of unveiling a commemorative plaque for the planned Holocaust Museum in the city of Thessaloniki.

To begin with, this article discusses whether the protests organized and the statements made by the protesters (and several other political bodies) can convey some key representations of Greek Judeophobia. Far-left organizations held demonstrations in the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki, accompanied by announcements vehemently denouncing the summit. Interestingly enough, one of the main points in these announcements, namely, the denunciation of “Zionist” Benjamin Netanyahu, coincided with a similar condemnation coming from the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn organization: that was, indeed, a very striking coincidence both in terms of the target and the quality attributed to the targeted politician. The Israeli Prime Minister is challenged in the name of “Zionism”: a first indication that “anti-Zionism” or, more precisely, the demonizing caricature of the Jewish national ideology and Israel itself—their representation as a repulsive figure—is indeed the main theme of contemporary Judeophobia, contemporary post-racial anti-Semitism.

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Keith Preston: Interview with C-Realm Radio Reply

Listen here.

KMO welcomes Keith Preston back to the program to discuss the difference between absolute and relative poverty. There are a lot of people who make less than the national average, but most of the so-called poverty in the US is relative poverty. Even so, social stratification and wide disparities between rich and poor, even when the poor are not facing starvation, erodes the sense of shared national identity and makes democratic government difficult to maintain.

Keith Preston Trump’s response to hurricane Harvey Reply

This is a television interview I did with Press TV a couple of weeks ago. Watch here.

Hurricane Harvey finally hit the United States and destroyed the Gulf region, namely the states of Texas and Louisiana.

Flooding and ensuing rainfalls resulted in displacement of thousands of people and caused chaos. Like in any other natural disaster, the poor are doomed to suffer more both from the storm and its aftermath. At the White House, meanwhile, a nascent administration is being put to test amid the government’s response to the storm.

Battered by scandals, dismissals, and under pressure from many sides, the president mobilizes the government’s power in the wake of the devastation. But Hervey is not just any storm with expected consequences; it is a phenomenon occurring at a historical moment and could shed light into an ideological gulf in the US political system. What it has in store for the future of the Trump administration may not be perfectly clear, yet some officials are rushing to grab the opportunity to push their own agendas.

Handling such a crisis for an administration that is being pressured on many fronts over its performance could, of course, be a game changer but apart from that, how successful has the US government truly been in handling phenomena such as Katrina, Sandy and now Harvey? That and everything else notable about Harvey in this episode of We the People. 

Robert Stark interviews Kevin Lynn of Progressives for Immigration Reform Reply

The Stark Truth. Listen here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Stark and co-host Sam Kevorkian talk to Kevin Lynn. Kevin is Chairman of Progressives for Immigration Reform and blogs at the CENTER FOR PROGRESSIVE URBAN POLITICS.

Topics:

Kevin’s political background as an unrepentant Perotista, a failed Green Party member, and a frustrated Progressive Democratic Party member
Creating a dialogue with Progressives on the key issues of how immigration impacts workers rights, income inequality, and the environment
The longstanding tradition of Progressives opposing mass immigration including the early labor and environmental movements
How immigration impacts the environment
The Sierra Club Vote on immigration and how it was sabotaged by a wealthy financier
The 1924 Immigration Restriction Act and The Immigration Act of 1965
Will The RAISE Act Raise Employment Prospects
PFIR Unveils Its H1-B Visa Database
The misconception that H1-B Visa holders are high skilled workers
The middle class exodus out of California
New Urbanism
The dilemma that progressives are misguided on immigration while Trump and the Republicans are anti-environment, and the need for a new political paradigm

 

Liberals sick of the alt-left are taking ‘the red pill’ Reply

Cracks in the PC coalition continue to show.

By Elizabeth Ames

FOX News

The mainstream media failed to see the rise of Donald Trump in 2016. Now it’s overlooking another grassroots movement that may soon be of equal significance— the growing number of liberals “taking the red pill.”  People of all ages and ethnicities are posting YouTube videos describing “red pill moments”—personal awakenings that have caused them to reject leftist narratives imbibed since childhood from friends, teachers, and the news and entertainment media.

You might say that those who take the red pill have been “triggered.” But instead of seeking out “safe spaces,” they’re doing the opposite, posting monologues throwing off the shackles of political correctness.

Their videos can feature the kind of subversiveness that was once a hallmark of the left—before the movement lost its sense of humor.

Candace Owens, a charismatic young African American, posts commentaries on her YouTube channel whose titles seem expressly designed to make PC heads explode.

A sample: “I Don’t Care About Charlottesville, the KKK, or White Supremacy.” The commentary calls out liberal fearmongering over white supremacists. “I mean there are, what, 6,000 Klansmen left in our nation. You want me to actually process that as a legitimate fear every day when I wake up?”

Not insignificantly, her video got nearly 500,000 views and overwhelmingly enthusiastic comments. (“you rock, girl!” “this woman is awesome.”)

A later episode about Black Lives Matter got nearly 700,000 views and had the distinction of being briefly taken down by YouTube. Unapologetic, Owens responded with a follow-up commentary — “What YouTube and Facebook REALLY Think of Black People.”

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The city hardest hit by Mexico’s earthquake is a sexually liberated matriarchy Reply

Pan-anarchism for Amazons?

TheLilly.Com

On Thursday, an earthquake devastated parts of Mexico, killing at least 65 people in what President Enrique Peña Nieto called the country’s most powerful tremor in the past 100 years.

Approximately 50 million people felt the 8.1-magnitude earthquake, which was centered more than 600 miles from Mexico City in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Tapachula, a town in Chiapas famous as a way station for Central American migrants headed to the United States.

But one of the worst-hit towns appeared to be Juchitan, located in the state of Oaxaca. At least 36 people have been killed there. Entire streets have been turned into rubble; the town’s white city hall has been reduced to debris.

Juchitan plays a special role in Mexico. The city of 100,000 is home to the country’s indigenous Zapotec people, who run a matriarchal society.

“Women are public figures here,” Marina Meneses, a sociologist and Juchitan resident, told the Los Angeles Times. “Women are the main organizers.”

Many of the city’s men work as fishermen or farmhands, which leaves women to run the market. That economic freedom translates to social freedom.

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More signs point to Mark Zuckerberg possibly running for president in 2020 1

It could be that Trump has started a trend where the political class, corporate class, and celebrity class are increasingly blended into each other. Also, a Zuckerberg presidential candidacy would be significant in that he represents social and economic forces outside the traditional WASP plutocracy to a much greater degree than Trump in that he is both a minority (Jewish) and part of the rising class of the “newly rich” (i.e. those from outside the traditional elite who have acquired enormous amounts of wealth in newer, high-tech industries.)My suspicion is that Trump’s upset victory in 2016 largely represents “WASP America’s last stand” and that the trend begun by Obama of political leaders increasingly being drawn from the ranks of those outside the traditional elite (e.g. ethnic minorities or the newly rich from outside the traditional plutocracy) will continue in the future.

By Shawn M. Carter

CNBC

There’s increasing speculation that Mark Zuckerberg, the self-made billionaire chairman, co-founder and chief executive officer of Facebook, may one day run for office. And though it’s unclear that he will make a bid for to be the next U.S. President in 2020, he could certainly afford it.

The clues

According to Politico, some of the signs that he does plan to run are there.

Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have hired Joel Benenson, a Democratic pollster, adviser to former President Barack Obama and chief strategist of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, as a consultant for their joint philanthropic project, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

The pair also hired David Plouffe, campaign manager for Obama’s 2008 presidential run; Amy Dudley, former communications adviser for Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.; and Ken Mehlman, who directed President George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign.

Zuckerberg is on a yearlong “listening tour,” where he is traveling to all 50 states and meeting with leaders and constituents in each — and, to document the trip, he has hired Charles Ommanney, a photographer for both the Bush and Obama presidential campaigns.

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The Establishment Center is the Real Enemy 2

Some interesting comments from Lorenzo Komboa Ervin posted below.

I would agree with much of his analysis, except to say that Trump is not a fascist. He’s more like the Republicans we had back in the 70s like Nixon and Nelson Rockefeller (which is bad enough). It’s possible to criticize the establishment without exaggerating. All of the things that are being criticized in this statement have been generated by the neoconservative/neoliberal Center, and not by “fascists.” Radicals need to forget about these loopy fringe groups and start focusing on attacking the state/corporate/imperialist Center. The most dangerous thing about the far right at present is that some of them commit individual violent crimes (which makes them no different than tons of other violent criminals in US society). Other than that, the neo-Nazis and other similar tendencies are irrelevant pariahs. And the Antifa are Maoist and Trotskyist infiltrated gangsters that are just as worthless as commie terrorist groups from the past like the Weathermen.


From Lorenzo Komboa Ervin

My point of differentiation with Antifa, the ARA, and many Anarchists is that I have always considered the state and monopoly capitalist corporations as the greatest threat of fascism, not fascist street forces. A pro-fascist coalition now runs the state itself with the Trump administration, which screams out for new strategy and tactics.

The other thing is that Antifa do not unite with the history of Black anti-fascism and unite with communities of color. I have had this criticism for many years, and I think for Antifa to go to the next stage, it must build a mass movement, not just serve as a vanguard paramilitary force alone.

We have seen the war on drugs and rise of mass imprisonment of Blacks/POC, 30 + years of mass murders of Blacks/POC by paramilitary police, austerity attacks against the poor, the rise of corporate power and consolidation with the state, and so on, all of which opened the door for Trump’s corporate fascist regime.

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No, It’s Not the Troops Fault 1

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It is politically inappropriate and strategically counter productive to merely denounce rank and file members of the military as hired goons for the state. One of the most important political occurrences that happened in US history was the success of the anti-Vietnam War movement, and the consequent delegitimization of imperialist wars and military conscription. This success has reduced the US state, the most powerful state in history, to having to fight imperialist wars with armies of indentured servants, mercenaries, and proxy forces. The indentured servants that comprise the state’s official armed forces are largely generated by the economic draft which results from the ongoing impoverishment of poor and working class communities. That’s the reason why the US armed forces are both disproportionately minorities and disproportionately from white working class strongholds like the Rust Belt. The bottom line is that we need our vets for the revolution.

US has regressed to developing nation status, MIT economist warns Reply

By Chloe Farand

Independent

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Peter Temin says 80 per cent of the population is burdened with debt and anxious about job security.

America is regressing to have the economic and political structure of a developing nation, an MIT economist has warned.

Peter Temin says the world’s’ largest economy has roads and bridges that look more like those in Thailand and Venezuela than those in parts of Europe.

In his new book, “The Vanishing Middle Class”, reviewed by the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Mr Temin says the fracture of US society is leading the middle class to disappear.

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Millennials Are Way Poorer Than Boomers Ever Were Reply

The Baby Boomers were the product of the largest and most prosperous middle class in world history which has subsequently been destroyed by the convergence of dozens of factors.

By Lauren Messman

VICE

A depressing new analysis found that young Americans today are making 20 percent less than baby boomers were at the same age.

Despite being the largest and best-educated generation in the country, millennials are far worse off financially than baby boomers were, spelling out a troubling financial future for young people throughout their lifetime, according to a depressing new analysis from the advocacy group Young Invincibles.

After looking at 2013 Federal Reserve data for 25- to 34-year-olds and comparing it with the same age group back in 1989, the analysis found that millennials today are making a median income of around $40,000—a whopping 20 percent drop from what baby boomers were earning when they were just starting out. Baby boomers also had twice the number of assets that millennials have now.

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Municipalist syndicalism: organizing the new working class Reply

By Alexander Kolokotronis

ROAR Mag

A municipalist revolution is impossible without the support and cooperation of labor unions. In some cases, labor unions might themselves take the lead in promulgating a municipalist shift. To effectively pursue this path, the left must grapple with the diverse composition and structure of the working class — joining calls for union democracy with nascent municipalist movements. Experiments in participatory democracy can then be tried and tested at the intra-union level, nourishing possibilities for subsequent municipal-wide implementation.

Developments in the United States and Spain are showing that municipalist participatory platforms can win. Examples include the mayoral election of Chokwe Lumumba Jr. in Jackson, Mississippi on a three-pronged platform of building peoples’ assemblies, a solidarity economy and a network of progressive political candidates. A number of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) candidates are running on platforms of expanding participatory democracy and the workers’ cooperative sector. Municipalist movements are proliferating as a means of resisting Donald Trump and a rising far-right.

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Return of the city-state Reply

Political battles of the future will be between the forces of global capital and city-states where non-state actors manage to gain hegemony.

By Jamie Bartlett

Aeon.Com

If you’d been born 1,500 years ago in southern Europe, you’d have been convinced that the Roman empire would last forever. It had, after all, been around for 1,000 years. And yet, following a period of economic and military decline, it fell apart. By 476 CE it was gone. To the people living under the mighty empire, these events must have been unthinkable. Just as they must have been for those living through the collapse of the Pharaoh’s rule or Christendom or the Ancien Régime.

We are just as deluded that our model of living in ‘countries’ is inevitable and eternal. Yes, there are dictatorships and democracies, but the whole world is made up of nation-states. This means a blend of ‘nation’ (people with common attributes and characteristics) and ‘state’ (an organised political system with sovereignty over a defined space, with borders agreed by other nation-states). Try to imagine a world without countries – you can’t. Our sense of who we are, our loyalties, our rights and obligations, are bound up in them.

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