By Paul Craig Roberts
Does anyone remember when National Public Radio was an independent voice?
During the 1980s NPR was continually on the case of the Reagan administration. NPR certainly had a Democratic slant, and a lot of its reporting about the Reagan administration was one-sided. Yet, NPR was an independent voice, and it sometimes got things correct.
In the 21st century that voice has disappeared, which was the intention of the George W. Bush regime. Bush put a Republican woman in charge who made it clear to NPR producers and show hosts that the federal part of their funding was at risk.
Money often over-rules principle, and when corporations added their really big money NPR collapsed. Today the local stations still pretend to be funded by listeners, but if you have noticed, as I have, there are now a large number of corporate advertisements, disguised in the traditional terms “with support from . . .” If you are not listening to classical music, you are listening to corporate advertisements.
From AI/AN ATS
by Vince Rinehart
William Lind, in his article Gangs of Aleppo shares with us some insights into the conflict in Syria and what is fueling the violence.
One of the characteristics shared by most disintegrating states is a vast surplus of young men who have no access to jobs, money, or women. Gangs are a magnet for them. We see this in American contexts as well: in public schools, in ethnic neighborhoods, and in our prisons, most of which are controlled not by wardens but by racially defined gangs.
I have no idea whether any of this is true or not, but it would be consistent with my own understanding of Obama as a manifestation of a class revolution carried out by an upper middle class motivated by cultural leftist ideology. If indeed Obama was a Marxist revolutionary in his youth, it’s quite likely that he’s since modified his views to accommodate a social democratic version of capitalism but one with a strong cultural leftist orientation. That’s the general trajectory that the New Left has displayed and while Obama is too young to have been a radical in the 60s it is clear that it was in the offshoots of that ideological milieu that his political ideas were formed.
By Dr. Gary North
I sent a stripped-down version of my movie review of 2016 to my Tea Party Economist list. I knew it would outrage some of them.
Why did I do it? To make sure D’Souza sees it. The list is large. Someone will send it to him. I want him to know that the Old Right isn’t buying his thesis that Obama’s agenda is somehow uniquely wrong because it is anti-colonialist. Obama is a defender of the American Empire as Bush was. His agenda is that of one of the factions of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is not in bed with the neocons, meaning big on Israel, but the dominant foreign policy objectives of the CFR were pro-oil and therefore pro-Arab long before 1948, let alone the late 1960s, when the neocons showed up.
Hat tip the Center for a Stateless Society.
This essay first appeared in Reason magazine, written by Roy A. Childs and published in 1971.
By Matt Zwolinski
The welfare state is a relatively recent historical phenomenon. How did individuals and societies meet the needs of the poor before its emergence? And how might they deal with those needs in the future, if the welfare state should fall?
Those questions are explored in a new book, After the Welfare State, edited by Tom Palmer and published by Students for Liberty, a group the praises of which I have sung before. It includes a terrific essay by David Beito, whose pathbreaking work on mutual aid societies in the United States should be required reading for those interested in classical liberalism and issues of social welfare (for the gist, see his short article here). Other essays by Michael Tanner, Johan Norberg, and several by Tom Palmer himself, analyze the current crisis of the welfare state and the moral and economic principles that should guide us in moving forward.
Some of us here at BHL have suggested that, in principle, some form of state-based provision for the needs of the poor might not be impermissible on classical liberal grounds: see, for instance, here, and here. But whether the welfare state can be justified in principle is an entirely separate question from whether it can be judged in fact. And in fact, the welfare state has often produced disastrous unintended consequences.
[Editor’s Note: If anyone had any doubts at who the ANC and it’s government in South Africa serves, it should be clear not that it is not the working class: English, Bohr, or Black. This rail-roading of striking miners makes that clear, and complacency of union labor aristocracy makes that even clearer.]
Kevin Carson has written an insightful piece on Obama’s new war on 3-D printers, and the threat they pose to a faux scarcity corporate economy. The attempt to stale creative destruction, one of the few useful forces within a capitalist economy, is not in the interest of the working class or new innovation: it is a recipe for stagnation. One should never forget who these Democrats serve: a slightly different managerial “elite” than the Republicans do, but still a managerial pseudo-elite nonetheless.
A trader in Greece gives Business Insidera grim assessment of the mood in the country right now.
Right now, I am afraid there is very little visibility regarding the political developments in the next few months. You might as well toss a coin.
Goad grapples with lies, damn lies, and statistics at TakiMag.
The email challenge came like a squirrel defiantly placing an acorn on its shoulder and daring me to knock it off: “respond to this damn article.”
The damn article was from Forbes, and I’ll be damned if the headline didn’t claim that Barack Obama was the “Smallest Government Spender Since Eisenhower.” The damn article came with a damn chart, which, at a second’s glance and with zero understanding of statistics, would seem to support the headline’s contention. Obama’s bar on the chart was far punier than the others, which, if you were born without a brain, would seem to suggest that he was, mais certainement, the “Smallest” spender.
Christian Science Monitor
Fears of a coming economic collapse that could spark widespread violence, even civil war, fueled the continued explosive growth of conspiracy-minded antigovernment “patriot” groups in 2011.
That’s the conclusion of a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist groups in the United States. The organization’s quarterly Intelligence Report, issued Thursday, found that the number of patriot groups grew from 824 to 1,274 between 2010 and 2011, up from 149 in 2008.
By James Edwards
The voters of Montana, 93% of whom are White, elected Brian Schweitzer to the highest office in their state.
What does he think of them after they sent him to the Governor’s mansion?
To him, they are nothing but “White, racist rednecks.”
IT IS ONE of the world’s most secretive and high-powered groups – bringing together figures from the political, financial, diplomatic, corporate and media worlds in a confidential four-day conference discussing all manner of sensitive topics.
Today, TheJournal.ie can shine a light on some of the inner workings of the Bilderberg conference – an annual meeting where the world’s most powerful and influential people meet to discuss the shape of the world and what can be done to improve it.
Documents obtained under Freedom of Information legislation reveal the full agenda of the 2012 meeting, which counted Ireland’s Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, among its attendees.
They also provide previously unconfirmed details about the protocol and nature of the invite-only event – the secrecy of which often prompts accusations that the group’s ultimate task is either the advance of capitalism worldwide, or the formation of a unified global government.
From The Independent.
Ever so slightly fucked!
By Tom Bawden
A South African platinum mine turned into something akin to a war zone yesterday when an attempt by riot police to break up a week-old dispute by workers resulted in the deaths of up to 18 people.
As Britain loses faith in its banks and feels shockwaves from the euro crisis, one city is trying to keep local wealth in local pockets with the launch of its own currency.
Businesses can pay local taxes in Bristol pounds and the council has offered its 17,000 staff the option of receiving part of their pay in the currency Photo: Getty Images
The Bristol pound – usable only with member businesses in the city in southwest England – is to launch in September, and organisers are deluged with local firms wanting to sign up.
“The perception of banking and money is that it’s a very ruthless system: people are out for what they can get,” co-founder Ciaran Mundy told AFP.
From The Blaze.
As the old saying goes, “no good deed goes unpunished”.
By Erica Ritz
Angela Prattis has spent part of the summer distributing meals to hungry children in Pennsylvania, but now, the township has informed her that if she does not obtain a costly “ordinance,” she will be fined $600 each day she distributes food.
(Related: MI Teen Starts Hot Dog Stand to Help Disabled Parents, Shut Down by City Almost Immediately)
The Daily Times has more:
“I’m not stopping,” said Angela Prattis, who has been distributing meals she receives from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to about 60 children from a gazebo on her property this summer. “These kids are hungry. I’m not tearing down the community. I’m keeping the children out of harm’s way.”
Prattis, who has lived in the township for about three years, started distributing meals and drinks to underprivileged children at her church, the Church of the Overcomer in Trainer, several years ago. This year, after giving birth to her second child, she began distributing the meals from the gazebo in her yard.
The Daily Kos
Henry George(1839 – 1897) is a progressive hero that has been largely forgotten by time. In his heyday, he was one of the most famous living Americans in the World. Surpassed by only Thomas Edison and Mark Twain. His most famous book was translated into dozens of languages and sold 3 million copies in his lifetime. He was invited to speak and lecture all over the country and world, and his writings appeared in newspapers across the nation. At his funeral in 1897, 200,000 paid their respects by filing past his casket(as a comparison, when President McKinley was assassinated 4 years later, only about 100,000 people filed past his casket. So how did a 19th century printer, living in San Francisco , with no more than a 7th grade education become so famous? And why was he forgotten?
By Theodore Butler
There has been an explosion of interest and commentary these past few days as a result of a front page story in Monday’s edition of the influential Financial Times (of London). The story stated that the CFTC was set to drop its four year investigation into alleged silver price manipulation due to insufficient evidence to bring charges, according to three unnamed sources. I went to sleep Sunday evening when the story first appeared prepared to wake up to similar and confirming stories in other publications. Instead, there were no other stories confirming the case was set to be dropped; only strong statements that the FT was story was “premature” and “inaccurate in many respects” by a named source, Commissioner Bart Chilton of the agency.
The CFTC’s silver investigation is a hot button issue and the FT story, as well as Commissioner Chilton’s response to it, set off an outpouring of emotion and conjecture in the precious metals world. And for good reason, as this is an extremely important issue. There can be no greater concern than whether a market is manipulated in price. The issue of a silver manipulation is also a divisive matter, even within the CFTC itself; otherwise there likely wouldn’t have been leaks that the investigation was over and the immediate response of not so fast. As is usually the case with extremely divisive issues (like politics and elections), emotions take hold and the real issues can get distorted.
By Paul Craig Roberts
The bumper sticker on the beat-up pickup truck read: “Friends don’t let friends vote Democrat.”
The driver was obviously not affluent. Yet, despite all the news about mega-trillion dollar bankster bailouts, mega-million dollar bonuses for financial crooks, and unimaginable compensation packages for corporate CEOs who have moved middle class jobs out of America, something made the down-and-out pickup truck driver associate with the political party of the super-rich.
As I wondered at this strange alliance of the dirt poor with the mega-rich, I remembered that in 2004 Thomas Frank wondered about how the Republicans had managed to convince the poor to vote against their best interests. Frank’s answer, or part of his answer, is that the Republicans use “social issues,” such as gay marriage and Janet Jackson’s exposed nipple to work up indignation over the threat to moral values posed by liberal Democrats.
The working poor have been convinced by Republican propaganda that voting Democrat means giving the working poor’s tax dollars to the non-working poor, to providing medical care and schooling for illegal aliens, and being soft on terrorism.
By Kevin Carson
In classical logic, the standard model of deductive reasoning is the syllogism. Most people are probably familiar with this example: All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
The enthymeme is an incomplete syllogism with one of the premises left implicit. In classical rhetoric, a speaker uses an enthymeme to appeal to the unstated shared assumptions of the audience. The unstated premise is an unexamined cultural assumption — frequently a prejudice — shared by the audience, which is left unstated because to state it might invite critical examination.
In a class society, the enthymeme takes on special importance. The ruling class ideology is conveyed by enthymemes embedded in all the messages with which the cultural reproduction apparatus — political speeches, the schools, the news media, entertainment — bombards us every day.
One of the most effective weapons we have, in our fight against the ruling class and its ideology, is to make explicit the unstated premises of the enthymemes in ruling class propaganda and expose them to critical examination.