Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Adam Schiff is a Traitor to Humanity -- Paul Craig Roberts

Adam Schiff is a Traitor to Humanity
Paul Craig Roberts
Adam Schiff is a traitor to the United States. Indeed, to all of humanity. Yes, he is a Jew, but America has many loyal Jews. What makes Schiff a traitor is not that he is a Jew. He is a traitor, because he is undermining American democracy and the forces for peace.
The Clintons and the Democratic Leadership Council sold out the Democratic constituency, that is, the working class and peace, because they were convinced that they could get more money from Wall Street, the global corporations, and the military/security complex than they could from the labor unions.
The labor unions were going to be destroyed by jobs offshoring and the relocation of US manufacturing abroad. This relocation of American manufacturing would destroy the budgets of the state and local governments in America’s manufacturing regions and result in fierce pressure on the public sector unions, which are being destroyed in turn.
In short, Democratic Party funding was evaporating, and Democrats needed to compete against Republicans for funding from the One Percent. George Soros helped the Clinton Democrats in this transition, and soon there was no one representing the working class.
Consequently, since Clinton the real median family income of the working class has been falling, and in the 21st century the working class has been buried in unemployment and debt.
But the Democratic Party has prospered, and so have Bill and Hillary Clinton. The Democratic Party raised far more money, especially from the One Percent, than Trump, who allied with the working class, in the past presidential election. Bill & Hillary have a personal fortune of $120 million at least, and $1.6 trillion in their personal foundation that supports their daughter.
Using Government to get rich is an old trick in America, but the Clintons took it to new highs when they flushed the working class and became the whores for Wall Street, Israel, and the military/security complex.
This is where the Democratic Party is today. The despicable Adam Schiff’s function is to discredit the presidency of Donald Trump by creating an atmosphere in which any interest in establishing normal relations with Russia, thus reducing the tensions that could result in nuclear war, is proof of being a “Putin agent” and a “traitor.”
What Schiff is doing is making it impossible for President Trump to reduce the dangerous tensions between the nuclear superpowers that the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes created. These tensions can easily result in nuclear war, as I have often emphasized.
It is extraordinary that Schiff, who endangers the existence of all life on planet Earth, is a hero of the liberal/progressive/left. The pressitute media whores love him. He always gets top billing as he urges on humanity to its final destruction.
How is it that Donald Trump, who says he wants to reduce tensions with Russia is portrayed as a threat, while the liberal/progressive/left, the CIA, and the Democratic Party are portrayed as the salt of the Earth for promulgating nuclear war with Russia (and China)?
I have no explanation as to why the peoples of the West, as ignorant and idiotic as they are, and their ignorance and idiocy are extreme, prefer nuclear war with Russia (and China) instead of normal relations.
But the utterly evil Adam Schiff prefers nuclear war, and that is where he is leading the insouciant West.
And you can bet your last cent that the media whores will continue cheering Schiff on.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ukraine Annexed Crimea in the 1990s

Ukraine Annexed Crimea in the 1990s
Something else “our” government and its media whores did not tell us is that under the Crimean Constitution of 1992, Crimea existed as a legal, democratic, secular state. Crimea’s relationship with Ukraine was based on bilateral agreements. In 1995 Ukrainian special ops forces and Ukrainian Army troops invaded Crimea and annexed the territory.
The Autonomous Republic of Crimea was established by the 1991 All-Union Referendum in which 94% of Crimeans voted in favor of re-establishing their status as an autonomous republic. Crimeans repeated the vote in 2014 by an even higher percentage, and this time prevented another Ukrainian invasion by reuniting with Russia.
Why didn’t you know this? Why instead do you hear nothing but lies about a “Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea”?

So Who Annexed the Crimean Peninsula Then?

So Who Annexed the Crimean Peninsula Then?

Due to the international media’s continued claims about the «annexation of Crimea», it’s been difficult for the citizens of the US and Europe to make sense of the details of the peninsula’s recent history. Exactly three years ago, on March 16, 2014, the Crimeans were offered a choice: to rejoin Russia or to return to the constitution of 1992 that proclaimed Crimea a legal, democratic, secular state whose relationship with Ukraine was based on bilateral agreements. That constitution was unilaterally abolished by Kiev on March 17, 1995, and here’s what’s surprising: no one at that time in the West demanded that the Ukrainian government stop violating the provisions of international law and the rights of the inhabitants of the Crimean peninsula. And then in 1995, special ops forces from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the Armed Forces of Ukraine (ZSU) landed in Crimea and Sevastopol in order to establish «Ukrainian law and order», seizing the building housing the Supreme Council of the republic, where the administration of the acting president of Crimea, Yuriy Meshkov, was also headquartered, and demanding that he be turned over. Since Meshkov refused to vacate his office, they tried to poison him. Much later he described how his drink had been poisoned, and that later in the hospital he was refused proper medical care. Only an emergency evacuation to Moscow miraculously saved his life.
Yuriy Meshkov, Crimea President in 1991-1995
In this manner, the real annexation of Crimea by Ukraine, which no one condemned, was completed in 1995. It all began in 1991 with a power grab by the Ukrainian parliament, which annexed the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, forcibly joining it to Ukraine despite the results of the January referendum about reestablishing Crimea’s autonomy. The annexation by Ukraine culminated in the revocation of the constitution and the liquidation of the office of the president of Crimea. However, no one in Europe or America introduced sanctions against this new Ukrainian state that had flagrantly trampled on the right of nations to self-determination: according to the 1989 census, three-quarters of the population of Crimea were not ethnic Ukrainians.
From standpoint of the overwhelming majority of Crimea’s residents, a historical injustice was redressed in March 2014: Ukraine was stripped of what it had obtained illegally between 1991 and 1995 using deception and military force. In the eyes of Crimeans, Ukraine’s claims to the peninsula and the support of those claims by the West look very odd. In the 1990s, the world «overlooked» Ukraine’s annexation of Crimea, and no one was concerned that the rights of the inhabitants of the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic had been violated. But when those citizens again took it into their heads to determine their own destiny in 2014, an international scandal blew up that still burns today.
A rally in Simferopol in support of Crimea sovereignty, June 1992
Furthermore, Ukraine is floating the idea of dragging the peninsula «back» under its jurisdiction, knowing perfectly well that the Crimeans themselves are overwhelmingly and unequivocally opposed to this. It is very strange that over the course of the last three years the international community has not once listened to the voice of this majority. Moreover, international sanctions have not been imposed against Ukraine for its attempts to leave the inhabitants of the peninsula without water or electricity. Kiev has actually been working against the Crimeans, under the slogan: «Crimea will either be Ukrainian or uninhabited!»
In 2014, Kiev ordered the North Crimean Canal (built by the USSR between 1961 and 1971) to be cut off, as a result of which the acreage of irrigated land in Crimea declined by 85%. At the end of September 2015, a group of Ukrainian «activists», representing the ultra-right organizations Right Sector and Azov battalion as well as several fugitives from the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar People organized a transportation «blockade of Crimea»: the highways into Crimea were shut down to prevent Ukrainian goods from reaching the peninsula, with the intention of thereby triggering a food shortage and a rise in food prices, due to the complexity and expense of obtaining supplies from mainland Russia by sea, air, or across the Kerch Strait.
In mid-2014 Ukrainian media bragged about drying up the North Crimea Canal
Later, when it turned out that the plan had come to naught and that the «food blockade» had mostly caused harm to small shops owned by Crimean Tatars, the chairman of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, Refat Chubarov, unexpectedly claimed that the blockade «was instigated by several people, including the leaders of the Mejlis, but it had no connection with the institution of the Mejlis itself». As a result, Ukrainian businesses, which were deprived of the opportunity to sell food to Crimea, suffered the most from the actions of the «blockaders». In the peninsular, however, wholesale merchants quickly adapted to obtaining their supplies from Russia, domestic producers got a shot in the arm, and traveling markets popped up, offering products from as far away as Belarus.
Activists blocking a cross-point to Crimea in Kalanchak, Kherson region
By late 2015, the sponsors of the «trade blockade» of Crimea realized that they had not achieved their goal: there was no sign of hunger, nor a significant increase in food prices, nor social protests on the peninsula. In addition, many residents of Crimea began to ridicule the blockade on social media, publishing photographs from markets and stores that showed nothing resembling a food shortage, on the contrary they documented that meat, bread, milk, and cereals were easily available and that fish and fruit were in fact abundant. Then formally uncontrolled by Kiev Crimea Tatar activists led by Lenur Islyamov blew up electricity pylons in the neighboring Kherson region of Ukraine supplying the peninsula. Crimeans were left without electricity on the eve of winter. Since at that time the energy bridge from Russia had not yet been built, a state of emergency was declared on the peninsula. Kiev then set about to blackmail the inhabitants of the peninsula: they were offered electricity in exchange for signing an agreement with an electric company that included a line acknowledging Crimea and Sevastopol to be part of Ukraine. This blackmail ended in a massive failure. Only 6.2% of the Crimean residents surveyed supported the Ukrainian proposal, and 93.1% rejected it, agreeing to endure their difficult conditions for several months. The contract with Ukraine was not finalized on Kiev’s terms.
Supplying Crimea electricity pylons in the Kherson region, blown up by blockade «activists», October 2015
For three years the Western democracies have been turning a blind eye to the historical choice made by the people of Crimea. Ukraine has repeatedly tried to challenge this choice through provocations, blockades, and blackmail. However, the people of Crimea used to live without electric lights or heat and to endure inconveniences and deprivations, if only to avoid becoming once again part of Ukraine.
Another conspicuous result of Crimea’s transition to Russian jurisdiction is also telling: it turns out that, contrary to Ukrainian and Western propaganda, there are no conflicts between the Russian and Ukrainian populations in their shared home. Without the Ukrainian nationalist element in Crimea, it becomes clear that between the Russian and Ukrainian peoples there is no enmity, no tensions, and no reason to fight one other. Three state languages are officially recognized in the republic: Russian, Ukrainian, and Crimean Tatar. And Muslim mosques peacefully coexist with Russian Orthodox churches. Were it not for the warmongers who are trying to jump-start the underground activities of Hizb at-Tahrīr and other radical organizations in Crimea, Crimea would have no other problems, except one - coping with the devastation wrought by Ukraine.
New mosque in Crimean Tatar Voinka village, build in 2010 on donations by the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov
Throughout all the years of its independence, Ukraine enjoyed what it had inherited from the USSR in Crimea, without investing a cent in the peninsula, as a result of which Crimea today lags noticeably behind Russia’s flourishing Kuban region. For the last three years Russia has been actively investing in Crimea (annual subsidies amount to more than $600 million, which does not include the multi-billion-dollar investments in the construction of the Kerch Strait Bridge, which is a separate line item in the budget). Despite the enormous pressure from the international sanctions, these measures are already bringing real benefits to people’s lives. And in the next article I’ll tell you all about life today on the peninsula.
New terminal of the Simferopol international airport under construction, November 2016

A View We Don’t Often Hear

A View We Don’t Often Hear
Little wonder some of you prefer the Koch brothers propaganda. No global warming is a much happier story. I like it better myself. From a reader:
Hi Paul,
Right you are. The Arctic sea ice is steadily diminishing, the temperature of the Arctic seas is steadily rising. and if these trends continue, some near future month or year, there will be a sudden, massive eruption of gigatons of methane from the Arctic region into the atmosphere.
The primary, secondary and tertiary effects will be global and dramatic. Most humans will probably be dead as a result within a matter of a very few years or less. It will alter everything: climate (precipitation, winds, temperature), atmospheric chemistry, global ecology, global crop production (meaning lack thereof — hence no food), and much more.
This scenario could even kick in with a vengeance as soon as later this year, or in 2018 or 2019. We are drawing closer and closer to the big event. It will happen if we continue on the present global trajectory, and it won’t take decades to arrive.
This is quite apart from the concomitant Fukushima nuclear crisis (likely a global extinction level event in itself), the accelerating collapse of the global ecology, accelerating global deforestation, accelerating chemical contamination of global ecosystems, accelerating extinction of a whole wide range of flora and fauna, etc.
In other words, we are fucked, largely at our own hands. Some experts give the world ten years or less until the global decline and chaos on all fronts becomes so severe that even the most willfully stupid and the most willfully ignorant realize that all around them, the planet is swiftly dying. I am reasonably well informed and I would say that by 2035, at the outside, it all falls irretrievably apart, if humanity continues on our present, unimaginably stupid trajectory. That’s just 18 years from now. But I would not argue with those who say we have only ten years left, maybe less. The situation is extreme.
Donald Trump says nothing about any of this. Hillary Clinton says nothing about any of this. Angela Merkel says nothing about any of this. John McCain says nothing about any of this. The Bushes say nothing about any of this. And none of them offer any solutions, apart from the fact that their mental horizons don’t even extend 10% as far as mine. And yet they are so-called “leaders”.
They are all a bunch of political whores, goddamned sock puppets for the Big Banks, Wall Street, the Military Industrial Complex, the international multi-billionaire class and the CIA.
What’s needed is a massive, global reforestation project. A massive, global, sea cleaning operation. A massive, global de-nuclearization initiative. A massive, global, non-GMO, non-chemical agricultural movement. A massive, global roll-out of so-called “free energy” technology, which the compartmentalized Black World has and uses.
Absent these initiatives, we are cooked. It’s game over, as humanity and the planet die.
For what the scientific story is worth, it goes like this:

As a biosphere evolved that supports life on planet earth, toxic gases were locked away in various places, such as ice and permafrost.  

The atmosphere is in delicate balance.  Animal life absorbs oxygen and emits carbon dioxide.  Trees absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen.  This balance has been under assault for 150 years.  Deforestation has reduced the ability of the planet to process CO2, while a carbon-based existence of 7 billion people pour CO2 into the atmosphere.

The CO2 buildup is believed to be the cause of the warming that is melting the polar ice caps and the permafrost.  A sudden release of methane equivalent to 1,000 gigatons of CO2 could be the consequence.  This is about as much CO2 as industrial civilization has released in 150 years.
Warming also has effects on the oceans, on the acid level of the water, and the ability of oceans to absorb CO2 and retain oxygen.  The great barrier reef in Australia is dying.

There are many feedbacks, and once the process begins it feeds upon itself regardless of human measures. For example, the more polar ice is lost, the faster the warming.

Previous events that destroyed the balance in the biosphere resulted in life extinctions.
The belief that a 7 billion population in a carbon-based culture cannot alter the balance in the biosphere seems to be wishful thinking not supported by science.

It suits me fine if the Koch brothers climate spokespersons are correct. Even if they are not correct, why escape from The Matrix when not even Neo can repair the damage to the biosphere?

Russia Continues to Allow Washington to Finance Protests in Moscow and Other Russian Cities

The US Is Striving to Achieve a Nuclear First Strike Breakout Against Russia

The US Is Striving to Achieve a Nuclear First Strike Breakout Against Russia
The clear implication is that Washington intends a pre-emptive nuclear attack on Russia or
the threat of one with which to force Russia (and China) into vassalage.
As I have observed previously, we shouldn’t expect to live much longer, global warming or not.

US Navy Prepares Decapitating Attack Against Russia
ALEX GORKA | 27.03.2017 | WORLD

US Navy Prepares Decapitating Attack Against Russia

The US preemptive nuclear strike capability has significantly grown. The strategic nuclear forces modernization program has implemented new revolutionary technologies to vastly increase the targeting capability of the US submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) arsenal.
The Bulletin of American Scientists reports that as a result of improvements in the killing power of US SLBMs, they carry more than three times the number of warheads needed to destroy the entire fleet of Russian land-based missiles. Since only part of the W76 force would be needed to eliminate Russia’s silo-based ICBMs, the United States will be left with a substantial number of higher-yield warheads that could be used for other missions.
The increase in the lethality comes from the Mk4A «super-fuze» device that since 2009 has been incorporated into the Navy’s W76-1/Mk4A warhead as part of a decade-long life-extension program.
The super-fuze capability is now operational on all nuclear warheads deployed on the Navy’s Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines. The new fuze has also been installed on British SLBMs.
It provides for an adjustable height-of-burst as it arrives. The fuze is designed to destroy fixed hard targets by detonating above and around a target in a much more effective way. Warheads that would otherwise overfly a target and land too far away will now, because of the new fuzing system, detonate above the target. Explosions that occur near and above the ground over a target can be lethal to it. This above-target area is known as a «lethal volume»; the detonation of a warhead of appropriate yield in this volume will result in the destruction of the target. The result of this fuzing scheme is a significant increase in the probability that a warhead will explode close enough to destroy the target even though the accuracy of the missile-warhead system has itself not improved. Thus, an enhanced fuze would allow the United States to reduce the number of warheads on its ballistic missile submarines, but increase the targeting effectiveness of the fleet.
It’s worth mentioning that in addition to hundreds of W76-1/Mk4A warheads with a 100kiloton warhead that have a very high probability of destroying fixed silos, Navy submarines also carry the 455kiloton W88 Mk-5 that can destroy extremely hard and deeply buried targets such as military command centers.
According to Hans Kristiansen, the director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, «As a consequence, the US submarine force today is much more capable than it was previously against hardened targets such as Russian ICBM silos. A decade ago, only about 20 percent of US submarine warheads had hard-target kill capability; today they all do».
It should be noted that the US has always enjoyed significant advantage in sea-based nuclear forces. Together, the Ohio-class submarines carry approximately 60 % of US strategic nuclear warheads. The Navy has been constantly upgrading its Trident missiles. Additionally, a new submarine, the SSBN(X), which will replace the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, is undergoing development and is expected to cost about $140 billion to develop, according to the Defense Department.
Under the circumstances, Russia has the right to invoke Article VIII of the New START treaty, which provides that in those cases in which one of the Parties determines that its actions may lead to an ambiguous situation, that Party is to take measures to ensure the viability and effectiveness of this Treaty and to enhance confidence, openness, and predictability concerning the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms. Such measures may include, among other things, providing information in advance on activities of that Party associated with deployment or increased readiness of strategic offensive arms to preclude the possibility of misinterpretation of its actions by the other Party. This information is to be provided through diplomatic or other channels.
The enhanced capability could be used only against land-based targets, leaving SSBNs immune, at least those who are on patrol. Train-based systems have a good chance to survive and strike back. The super fuze does not eliminate the capability to deliver a retaliatory strike. What really matters is the fact that the US does not view the strategic potential as a deterrent but rather as a means to deliver the first strike reducing the opponent’s capability to respond.
The background also matters. While blaming Russia for starting an arms race, the US beefs up its nuclear potential. The US Air Force is modernizing the Minuteman-III missiles, replacing and upgrading their rocket motors, guidance systems, and other components, so that they can remain in the force through 2030. The service released a new ICBM solicitation last July. It plans to build a new weapons system to replace the long-serving Minuteman under a program called the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD). The US Defense Department plans to buy 642 GBSD missiles for roughly $66.4 million each to support a deployed force of 400 weapons and to budget at least $1.25 billion annually from 2036 to 2040. The goal is to deliver the first batch of new missiles by 2029.
In 2023, the USAF will receive the B61 Mod 12 guided, standoff nuclear gravity bomb to replace all existing gravity bombs in the arsenal. The weapon with earth-penetrating capability and selectable yield from 50 kilotons to 0.3 kilotons, is will be carried by both strategic and tactical stealth aircraft. The planned deployment foresees that others NATO members would use their aircraft as delivery means in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968 that forbids non-nuclear states from receiving nuclear weapons.
In the late 2020s and through the 2030s the Air Force will begin receiving the first of 100 new B-21 strategic stealth bombers.
The Long-Range Standoff (LRSO) cruise missile program is to develop a weapon that can penetrate and survive integrated air defense systems and prosecute strategic targets. Both conventional and nuclear versions of the weapon are required to reach initial operational capability (IOC) before the retirement of their respective ALCM versions, around 2030. According to the plans, the LRSO will replace the Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) program with 1,000 to 1,100 cruise missiles, representing the US Air Force’s standoff nuclear delivery capability.
The US implements an ambitious program of putting weapons in space. It includes the concept of «Rods of God» – secret space weapons deployed on orbital kinetic weapon platform that could achieve a velocity of about 11 km/s (around 36,000 feet per second). The ground-based BMD systems, the X-37B spacecraft and Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP) platforms could be repurposed into instruments of war in space.
The US goals have been strictly defined. According to White House spokesman Sean Spicer, that the president «was very clear on is that the United States will not yield its supremacy in this area to anybody. That's what he made very clear in there. And that if other countries have nuclear capabilities, it will always be the United States that has the supremacy and commitment to this».
President Donald Trump is critical toward the New START Treaty, calling it «a one-sided deal. «Just another bad deal that the country made, whether it's START, whether it's the Iran deal ... We're going to start making good deals», he stated.
Expanding the US arsenal with new or additional nuclear weapons would cost billions at the time the national debt is nearing $20 trillion, while the New START allows the United States to keep enough nuclear weapons to destroy the planet several times over. Without the New START and other arms control agreements, like the INF Treaty, the US America will be compelled to waste enormous military and financial resources on nuclear arms race.
The US is doing its best to gain supremacy in nuclear weapons. This policy may lead to total disintegration of the existing framework of treaties and regimes followed by resumption of arms race with dire consequences for the US itself.
With all the efforts on the way, there is little doubt about the Russia’s ability to survive the first nuclear strike and respond on kind.
Without violating the New START, the upgrade of the W76 warheads undermines future efforts to negotiate a New START treaty.
As history teaches, an arms race will never make anybody victorious. Nobody gains, everybody loses. It took a series of risky crises, like the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and several cycles of an extremely costly arms race to realize how dangerous the nuclear threat is. The history of arms control reveals the wisdom of Soviet (Russian) and US leaders finding ways to cap their arsenals even in the heat of the Cold War. Now all the efforts applied in the past may go down the drain as the US is going back to the once tried policy of seeking nuclear dominance. Now it starts again at the time the whole system of arms control is on the brink of collapse. The tide must be turned. Nuclear arms control treaties should have become a top priority of the bilateral relationship.

White Middle Class Dying from “Deaths of Despair”

White Middle Class Dying from “Deaths of Despair”
This is what the US global corporations have done to American middle class whites by moving middle class jobs offshore. Essentially, the US global corporations are murderers.

Global Warming Is Real Say the Academies of Sciences of All of the Major Countries, But a Handful of my Readers Know Better

Global Warming Is Real Say the Academies of Sciences of All of the Major Countries, But a Handful of my Readers Know Better
Paul Craig Roberts
I am fortunate in having readers who look after me. Some have offered me refuge in their countries and their homes from what they expect otherwise will inevitably be the midnight knock on my door. Others correct my mistakes from typos to content. As I have never considered myself infallible, I carefully read what they have to say.
Usually those who want to straighten me out on a subject are polite and respectful. However, among those corrections brought in by my reporting on the dangers implied by the warming of the poles and melting of the ice were a few not merely ignorant and uninformed, but also condescending and rude. One even accused me of selling out to the climate change hoax in order to buy my way off the lists of Russian agents and fake news purveyors.
I thought this was a bit much. Of course, the reader could have been a polluting industry troll. I also detected in the comments of some a good brainwashing by carbon industry-funded climate science.
It is difficult for those of us who are not climate scientists to form an opinion with confidence. Even climate scientists have honest disagreements. However, as far as I can tell, it is the carbon industry-funded scientists and think tanks that deny global warming, and it is independent scientists who say it is occurring and who are concerned with the implications.
I always ask the Roman question, who benefits? Some libertarians and free market advocates explain what they dismiss as the “global warming hoax” as a plot against capitalsim by left-wing climate scientists. So where are the right-wing or conservative or merely honest climate scientists? Are all or most independent climate scientists left-wing? Do all honest ones work for the carbon industry?
I find it difficult to believe that the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency, The University of Bremen’s Institute of Physical Analysis, the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Danish National Space Center, The Russian Academy of Sciences, the UK Royal Society, the US National Academy of Sciences, the Science Council of Japan, the Accademia dei Lincei of Italy, the French Academie des Sciences, the Academia Brasiliera de Ciencias, Canada’s Royal Society, the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Indian National Science Academy are in a conspiracy against capitalism. “Climate change is real” declares the Joint Science Academies’ statement.
Climate change deniers make much of a Russian scientist’s claim that we are all about to freeze to death, but the Russian Academy of Sciences agrees with all the other countries’ academies of science that global warming is real.
Now, compare this impressive group with the Koch and carbon industry funded climate change deniers. What interest do scientific organizations all over the world have in orchestrating a false issue? There is no obvious answer to this. However, the interest of polluters is obvious. To avert potentially cataclysmic consequences of global warming implies a reduction in the use of carbon-based energy. This reduction adversely affects the profits of carbon-based energy producers.
My article, which is mainly about the road we are on to thermo-nuclear war, reports as a second cataclysmic or apocalyptic event, the sudden release of massive methane locked in Arctic ice and permafrost. That such a thing could happen seems not to be controversial. The corrections I received from my readers focused on the melting Arctic ice. There is nothing unusual, I am assured, about the ice melt in summer. It always melts and then it refreezes.
Yes, of course, this is true. But what those setting me straight seem not to know is that each year more of the ice melts, but less refreezes and is much thinner. Moreover, the former impenetrable Arctic Northwest Passage has now thawed so much that the passage is open to cruise ships and freighter traffic.
So, if there is no global warming, why is the Arctic ice cap receding, which it most definitely is doing? Indeed, unambigious evidence shows that both North and South poles are losing ice. Apparently, in the Arctic this is because as the ice, which reflects the sunlight, recedes, the darker areas of the sea, which hold the sun’s heat, take its place. In the Anarctic, the ice appears to be melting because warmer water is melting the ice from below.
Below is a sample of various real news reports on the shrinkage of Arctic ice in the 21st century. The shrinkage is unprecedented in recorded history.
For what appears to be the first time in recorded history, a direct seagoing route from Europe to Asia, around the north side of Canada, is ice free.
The opening of the Northwest Passage is among the most conspicuous results of global warming and average temperatures in the Arctic region are rising twice as fast as they are elsewhere.
Until 2009, the Arctic pack ice prevented regular marine shipping throughout most of the year. Arctic sea ice decline has rendered the waterways more navigable.
The Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else on the planet. The extent of Arctic sea ice, which melts to its low each September, has steadily declined over the past three decades, as the chart below illustrates. The years 2007–2012 saw the six lowest levels since satellite imaging began in 1979. The trend is likely unmatched in recent human history, reported a UN panel on climate change in 2013.
We have seen the ice-covered area drop to just around 3 million sq km which is about 1 million sq km less than the previous minima of 2005 and 2006. There has been a reduction of the ice cover over the last 10 years of about 100 000 sq km per year on average, so a drop of 1 million sq km in just one year is extreme.
Beyond surface area, recent data indicate that Arctic sea ice is also younger and thinner, and hence more inclined to melt. Less white ice and more dark sea means that more solar radiation is absorbed, accelerating the thaw.
Of course, we could dismiss these facts, as a few of my readers do, on the basis of faith that it will all turn around. But we should at least have a basis for our faith.
The thawing of the Northwest Passage was predicted in 2002. No doubt the scientists who predicted the thawing were ridiculed for their fake news and plot against capitalism. The thawing actually occurred three years before the predicted date.
Whereas I am proud that my readers show their willingness to protect me from threats and error, I am saddened to learn that a few of them read me in order to have their prior beliefs confirmed and that when my columns do not confirm their prior beliefs, they kiss me good-bye with rude, aggressive, and condescending words.

The reason to read me is to learn to notice and think for yourself. If you read me, or anyone, for confirmation of your prior beliefs, you are not doing yourself a favor. Uninformed prior beliefs are part of The Matrix. So is carbon industry brainwashing.

The Democratic Party’s Death by Identity Politics

The Democratic Party’s Death by Identity Politics

The Democratic Party’s Death by Identity Politics
Guest Column by Michael Hudson
Read it. It is superb.
Wall Street First
By Michael Hudson
March 24, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –   Nobody yet can tell whether Donald Trump is an agent of change with a specific policy in mind, or merely a catalyst heralding an as yet undetermined turning point. His first month in the White House saw him melting into the Republican mélange of corporate lobbyists. Having promised to create jobs, his “America First” policy looks more like “Wall Street First.”
His cabinet of billionaires promoting corporate tax cuts, deregulation and dismantling Dodd-Frank bank reform repeats the Junk Economics promise that giving more tax breaks to the richest One Percent may lead them to use their windfall to invest in creating more jobs. What they usually do, of course, is simply buy more property and assets already in place.
One of the first reactions to Trump’s election victory was for stocks of the most crooked financial institutions to soar, hoping for a deregulatory scythe taken to the public sector. Navient, the Department of Education’s knee-breaker on student loan collections accused by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) of massive fraud and overcharging, rose from $13 to $18 after it seemed likely that the incoming Republicans would disable the CFPB and shine a green light for financial fraud.
Foreclosure king Stephen Mnuchin of IndyMac/OneWest (and formerly of Goldman Sachs for 17 years; later a George Soros partner) is now Treasury Secretary – and Trump pledged to abolish the CFPB, on the specious logic that letting fraudsters manage pension savings and other investments will give consumers and savers “broader choice,” e.g., for the financial equivalent of junk food.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos hopes to privatize public education into for-profit (and de-unionized) charter schools, breaking the teachers’ unions. This may position Trump to become the Transformational President that neoliberals have been waiting for.
But not the neocons. His election rhetoric promised to reverse traditional U.S. interventionist policy abroad. Making an anti-war left run around the Democrats, he promised to stop backing ISIS/Al Nusra (President Obama’s “moderate” terrorists supplied with the arms and money that Hillary looted from Libya), and to reverse the Obama-Clinton administration’s New Cold War with Russia. But the neocon coterie at the CIA and State Department are undercutting his proposed rapprochement with Russia by forcing out General Flynn for starters. It seems doubtful that Trump will clean them out.
Trump has called NATO obsolete, but insists that its members increase their spending to the stipulated 2% of GDP — producing a windfall worth tens of billions of dollars for U.S. arms exporters. That is to be the price Europe must pay if it wants to endorse Germany’s and the Baltics’ confrontation with Russia.
Trump is sufficiently intuitive to proclaim the euro a disaster, and he recommends that Greece leave it. He supports the rising nationalist parties in Britain, France, Italy, Greece and the Netherlands, all of which urge withdrawal from the eurozone – and reconciliation with Russia instead of sanctions. In place of the ill-fated TPP and TTIP, Trump advocates country-by-country trade deals favoring the United States. Toward this end, his designated ambassador to the European Union, Ted Malloch, urges the EU’s breakup. The EU is refusing to accept him as ambassador.
Will Trump’s victory break up the Democratic Party?
At the time this volume is going to press, there is no way of knowing how successful these international reversals will be. What is clearer is Trump’s political impact at home. His victory – or more accurately, Hillary’s resounding loss and the way she lost – has encouraged enormous pressure for a realignment of both parties. Regardless of what President Trump may achieve vis-à-vis Europe, his actions as celebrity chaos agent may break up U.S. politics across the political spectrum.
The Democratic Party has lost its ability to pose as the party of labor and the middle class. Firmly controlled by Wall Street and California billionaires, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) strategy of identity politics encourages any identity except that of wage earners. The candidates backed by the Donor Class have been Blue Dogs who pledged to promote Wall Street alongside neocons urging a New Cold War with Russia.
They preferred to lose with Hillary than to win behind Bernie Sanders. So Trump’s electoral victory is their legacy as well as Obama’s. Instead of Trump’s victory dispelling that strategy, the Democrats are doubling down. It is as if identity politics is all they have.
Trying to ride on Barack Obama’s coattails didn’t work. Promising “hope and change,” he won by posing as a transformational president, leading the Democrats to control of the White House, Senate and Congress in 2008. Swept into office by a national reaction against the George Bush’s Iraq Oil War and the junk-mortgage crisis that left the economy debt-ridden, they had free rein to pass whatever new laws they chose – even a Public Option in health care if they had wanted, or make Wall Street banks absorb the losses from their bad and often fraudulent loans.
But it turned out that Obama’s role was to prevent the changes that voters hoped to see, and indeed that the economy needed to recover: financial reform, debt writedowns to bring junk mortgages in line with fair market prices, and throwing crooked bankers in jail. Obama rescued the banks, not the economy, and turned over the Justice Department and regulatory agencies to his Wall Street campaign contributors. He did not even pull back from war in the Near East, but extended it to Libya and Syria, blundering into the Ukrainian coup as well.
Having dashed the hopes of his followers, Obama then praised his chosen successor Hillary Clinton as his “Third Term.” Enjoying this kiss of death, Hillary promised to keep up Obama’s policies.
The straw that pushed voters over the edge was when she asked voters, “Aren’t you better off today than you were eight years ago?” Who were they going to believe: their eyes, or Hillary’s? National income statistics showed that only the top 5 percent of the population were better off. All the growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during Obama’s tenure went to them – the Donor Class that had gained control of the Democratic Party leadership.
Real incomes have fallen for the remaining 95 percent. Household budgets have been further eroded by soaring charges for health insurance. (The Democratic leadership in Congress fought tooth and nail to block Dennis Kucinich from introducing his Single Payer proposal.)
No wonder most of the geographic United States voted for change – except for where the top 5 percent is concentrated: in New York (Wall Street) and California (Silicon Valley and the military-industrial complex). Making fun of the Obama Administration’s slogan of “hope and change,” Trump characterized Hillary’s policy of continuing the economy’s shrinkage for the 95% as “no hope and no change.”
Identity Politics as anti-labor politics
A new term was introduced to the English language: Identity Politics. Its aim is for voters to think of themselves as separatist minorities – women, LGBTQ, Blacks and Hispanics. The Democrats thought they could beat Trump by organizing Women for Wall Street (and a New Cold War), LGBTQ for Wall Street (and a New Cold War), and Blacks and Hispanics for Wall Street (and a New Cold War). Each identity cohort was headed by a billionaire or hedge fund donor.
The identity that is conspicuously excluded is the working class. Identity politics strips away thinking of one’s interest in terms of having to work for a living. It excludes voter protests against having their monthly paycheck stripped to pay more for health insurance, housing and mortgage charges or education, better working conditions or consumer protection – not to speak of protecting debtors.
Identity politics used to be about three major categories: workers and unionization, anti-war protests and civil rights marches against racist Jim Crow laws. These were the three objectives of the many nationwide demonstrations. That ended when these movements got co-opted into the Democratic Party. Their reappearance in Bernie Sanders’ campaign in fact threatens to tear the Democratic coalition apart. As soon as the primaries were over (duly stacked against Sanders), his followers were made to feel unwelcome. Hillary sought Republican support by denouncing Sanders as being as radical as Putin’s Republican leadership.
In contrast to Sanders’ attempt to convince diverse groups that they had a common denominator in needing jobs with decent pay – and, to achieve that, opposing Wall Street’s replacing the government as central planner – the Democrats depict every identity constituency as being victimized by every other, setting themselves at each other’s heels. Clinton strategist John Podesta, for instance, encouraged Blacks to accuse Sanders supporters of distracting attention from racism. Pushing a common economic interest between whites, Blacks, Hispanics and LGBTQ always has been the neoliberals’ nightmare.
No wonder they tried so hard to stop Bernie Sanders, and are maneuvering to keep his supporters from gaining influence in their party.
When Trump was inaugurated on Friday, January 20, there was no pro-jobs or anti-war demonstration. That presumably would have attracted pro-Trump supporters in an ecumenical show of force. Instead, the Women’s March on Saturday led even the pro-Democrat New York Times to write a front-page article reporting that white women were complaining that they did not feel welcome in the demonstration. The message to anti-war advocates, students and Bernie supporters was that their economic cause was a distraction.
The march was typically Democratic in that its ideology did not threaten the Donor Class. As Yves Smith wrote on Naked Capitalism:
“the track record of non-issue-oriented marches, no matter how large scale, is poor, and the status of this march as officially sanctioned (blanket media coverage when other marches of hundreds of thousands of people have been minimized, police not tricked out in their usual riot gear) also indicates that the officialdom does not see it as a threat to the status quo.”[1]
Hillary’s loss was not blamed on her neoliberal support for TPP or her pro-war neocon stance, but on the revelations of the e-mails by her operative Podesta discussing his dirty tricks against Bernie Sanders (claimed to be given to Wikileaks by Russian hackers, not a domestic DNC leaker as Wikileaks claimed) and the FBI investigation of her e-mail abuses at the State Department. Backing her supporters’ attempt to brazen it out, the Democratic Party has doubled down on its identity politics, despite the fact that an estimated 52 percent of white women voted for Trump. After all, women do work for wages. And that also is what Blacks and Hispanics want – in addition to banking that serves their needs, not those of Wall Street, and health care that serves their needs, not those of the health-insurance and pharmaceuticals monopolies.
Bernie did not choose to run on a third-party ticket. Evidently he feared being accused of throwing the election to Trump. The question is now whether he can remake the Democratic Party as a democratic socialist party, or create a new party if the Donor Class retains its neoliberal control. It seems that he will not make a break until he concludes that a Socialist Party can leave the Democrats as far back in the dust as the Republicans left the Whigs after 1854. He may have underestimated his chance in 2016.
Trump’s effect on U.S. political party realignment
During Trump’s rise to the 2016 Republican nomination it seemed that he was more likely to break up the Republican Party. Its leading candidates and gurus warned that his populist victory in the primaries would tear the party apart. The polls in May and June showed him defeating Hillary Clinton easily (but losing to Bernie Sanders). But Republican leaders worried that he would not support what they believed in: namely, whatever corporate lobbyists put in their hands to enact and privatize.
The May/June polls showed Trump and Clinton were the country’s two most unpopular presidential candidates. But whereas the Democrats maneuvered Bernie out of the way, the Republican Clown Car was unable to do the same to Trump. In the end they chose to win behind him, expecting to control him. As for the DNC, its Wall Street donors preferred to lose with Hillary than to win with Bernie.
They wanted to keep control of their party and continue the bargain they had made with the Republicans: The latter would move further and further to the right, leaving room for Democratic neoliberals and neocons to follow them closely, yet still pose as the “lesser evil.” That “centrism” is the essence of the Clintons’ “triangulation” strategy. It actually has been going on for a half-century. “As Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere quipped in the 1960s, when he was accused by the US of running a one-party state, ‘The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them’.”[2]
By 2017, voters had caught on to this two-step game. But Hillary’s team paid pollsters over $1 billion to tell her (“Mirror, mirror on the wall …”) that she was the most popular of all. It was hubris to imagine that she could convince the 95 Percent of the people who were worse off under Obama to love her as much as her East-West Coast donors did. It was politically unrealistic – and a reflection of her cynicism – to imagine that raising enough money to buy television ads would convince working-class Republicans to vote for her, succumbing to a Stockholm Syndrome by thinking of themselves as part of the 5 Percent who had benefited from Obama’s pro-Wall Street policies.
Hillary’s election strategy was to make a right-wing run around Trump. While characterizing the working class as white racist “deplorables,” allegedly intolerant of LBGTQ or assertive women, she resurrected the ghost of Joe McCarthy and accused Trump of being “Putin’s poodle” for proposing peace with Russia. Among the most liberal Democrats, Paul Krugman still leads a biweekly charge at The New York Times that President Trump is following Moscow’s orders.
Saturday Night Live, Bill Maher and MSNBC produce weekly skits that Trump and General Flynn are Russian puppets. A large proportion of Democrats have bought into the fairy tale that Trump didn’t really win the election, but that Russian hackers manipulated the voting machines. No wonder George Orwell’s 1984 soared to the top of America’s best-seller lists in February 2017 as Donald Trump was taking his oath of office.
This propaganda paid off on February 13, when neocon public relations succeeded in forcing the resignation of General Flynn, whom Trump had appointed to clean out the neocons at the NSA and CIA. His foreign policy initiative based on rapprochement with Russia to create a common front against ISIS/Al Nusra seems to be collapsing.
Tabula Rasa Celebrity Politics
U.S. presidential elections are no longer much about policy. Like Obama before him, Trump campaigned as a rasa tabla, a vehicle for everyone to project their hopes and fancies. What has all but disappeared is the past century’s idea of politics as a struggle between labor and capital, democracy vs. oligarchy.
Who would have expected even half a century ago that American politics would become so post-modern that the idea of class conflict has all but disappeared. Classical economic discourse has been drowned out by junk economics.
There is a covert economic program, to be sure, and it is bipartisan. It is to make elections about just which celebrities will introduce neoliberal economic policies with the most convincing patter talk. That is the essence of rasa tabla politics.
Can the Democrats lose again in 2020?
Trump’s November victory showed that voters found him to be the Lesser Evil, but all that voters really could express was “throw out the bums” and get a new set of lobbyists for the FIRE sector and corporate monopolists. Both candidates represented Goldman Sachs and Wall Street. No wonder voter turnout has continued to plunge.
Although the Democrats’ Lesser Evil argument lost to the Republicans in 2016, the neoliberals in control of the DNC found the absence of a progressive economic program to be less threatening to their interests than the critique of Wall Street and neocon interventionism coming from the Sanders camp. So the Democrat will continue to pose as the Lesser Evil party not really in terms of policy, but simply ad hominum. They will merely repeat Hillary’s campaign stance: They are not Trump.
Their parades and street demonstrations since his inauguration have not come out for any economic policy.
On Friday, February 10, the party’s Democratic Policy group held a retreat for its members in Baltimore. Third Way “centrists” (Republicans running as Democrats) dominated, with Hillary operatives in charge. The conclusion was that no party policy was needed at all.
“President Trump is a better recruitment tool for us than a central campaign issue,’ said Washington Rep. Denny Heck, who is leading recruitment for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).”[3]
But what does their party leadership have to offer women, Blacks and Hispanics in the way of employment, more affordable health care, housing or education and better pay? Where are the New Deal pro-labor, pro-regulatory roots of bygone days? The party leadership is unwilling to admit that Trump’s message about protecting jobs and opposing the TPP played a role in his election. Hillary was suspected of supporting it as “the gold standard” of trade deals, and Obama had made the Trans-Pacific Partnership the centerpiece of his presidency – the free-trade TPP and TTIP that would have taken economic regulatory policy out of the hands of government and given it to corporations.
Instead of accepting even Sanders’ centrist-left stance, the Democrats’ strategy was to tar Trump as pro-Russian, insisting his aides had committed impeachable offenses, and mount one parade after another. “Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio told reporters she was wary of focusing solely on an “economic message” aimed at voters whom Trump won over in 2016, because, in her view, Trump did not win on an economic message. “What Donald Trump did was address them at a very different level — an emotional level, a racial level, a fear level,” she said. “If all we talk about is the economic message, we’re not going to win.”[4]
This stance led Sanders supporters to walk out of a meeting organized by the “centrist” Third Way think tank on Wednesday, February 8.
By now this is an old story. Fifty years ago, socialists such as Michael Harrington asked why union members and progressives still imagined that they had to work through the Democratic Party. It has taken the rest of the country half a century to see that Democrats are not the party of the working class, unions, middle class, farmers or debtors. They are the party of Wall Street privatizers, bank deregulators, neocons and the military-industrial complex. Obama showed his hand – and that of his party – in his passionate attempt to ram through the corporatist TPP treaty that would have enabled corporations to sue governments for any costs imposed by public consumer protection, environmental protection or other protection of the population against financialized corporate monopolies.
Against this backdrop, Trump’s promises and indeed his worldview seem quixotic. The picture of America’s future he has painted seems unattainable within the foreseeable future. It is too late to bring manufacturing back to the United States, because corporations already have shifted their supply nodes abroad, and too much U.S. infrastructure has been dismantled.
There can’t be a high-speed railroad, because it would take more than four years to get the right-of-way and create a route without crossing gates or sharp curves. In any case, the role of railroads and other transportation has been to increase real estate prices along the routes. But in this case, real estate would be torn down – and having a high-speed rail does not increase land values.
The stock market has soared to new heights, anticipating lower taxes on corporate profits and a deregulation of consumer, labor and environmental protection. Trump may end up as America’s Boris Yeltsin, protecting U.S. oligarchs (not that Hillary would have been different, merely cloaked in a more colorful identity rainbow). The U.S. economy is in for Shock Therapy. Voters should look to Greece to get a taste of the future in this scenario.
Without a coherent response to neoliberalism, Trump’s billionaire cabinet may do to the United States what neoliberals in the Clinton administration did to Russia after 1991: tear out all the checks and balances, and turn public wealth over to insiders and oligarchs. So Trump’s best chance to be transformative is simply to be America’s Yeltsin for his party’s oligarchic backers, putting the class war back in business.
What a truly transformative president would do/would have done
No administration can create a sound U.S. recovery without dealing with the problem that caused the 2008 crisis in the first place: over-indebtedness. The only way to restore growth, raise living standards and make the economy competitive again is a debt writedown. But that is not yet on the political horizon. Obama’s doublecross of his voters in 2009 prevented the needed policy from occurring. Having missed this chance in the last financial crisis, a progressive policy must await yet another crisis. But so far, no political party is preparing a program to juxtapose the Republican-Democratic austerity and scale-back of Social Security, Medicare and social spending programs.
Also no longer on the horizon is a more progressive income tax, or a public option for health care – or for banking, or consumer protection against financial fraud, or for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, or for a revived protection of labor’s right to unionize. Or environmental regulations.
It seems that only a new party can achieve these aims. At the time these essays are going to press, Sanders has committed himself to working within the Democratic Party. But that stance is based on his assumption that somehow he can recruit enough activists to take over the party from Its Donor Class.
I suspect he will fail. In any case, it is easier to begin afresh than to try to re-design a party (or any institution) dominated by resistance to change, and whose idea of economic growth is a pastiche of tax cuts and deregulation. Both U.S. parties are committed to this neoliberal program – and seek to blame foreign enemies for the fact that its effect is to continue squeezing living standards and bloating the financial sector.
If this slow but inexorable crash does lead to a political crisis, it looks like the Republicans may succeed in convening a new Constitutional Convention (many states already have approved this) to lock the United States into a corporatist neoliberal world. Its slogan will be that of Margaret Thatcher: TINA – There Is No Alternative.
And who is to disagree? As Trotsky said, fascism is the result of the failure of the left to provide an alternative.
Michael Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and author of J is Junk Economics (2017), Killing the Host (2015), The Bubble and Beyond (2012), Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (1968 & 2003), Trade, Development and Foreign Debt (1992 & 2009) and of The Myth of Aid (1971), amongst many others.
[1] Yves Smith, “Women Skeptical of the Women’s March,” Naked Capitalism, February 10, 2017.
[2] Radhika Desai, “Decoding Trump,” Counterpunch, February 10, 2017.
[3] “Pelosi denies Democrats are divided on strategy for 2018,” Yahoo News, February 10, 2018.
[4] ibid


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