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How empires end

Written By: - Date published: 11:57 pm, July 24th, 2011 - 118 comments
Categories: us politics - Tags:

The US is embroiled in the most extraordinary of crises. Unique among nations, the US has a legal debt ceiling. This artifice has allowed the Republicans to create the current ‘crisis’. For 30 years, Republicans have cut taxes and upped (defence) spending. Strategic deficits that now allow them to force a crisis by refusing the raise the debt ceiling.

With a Democrat in the White House and half of the Republicans in the House backed by the Tea Party, this is the moment to strike.

The Republicans have chosen to present the Democrats with two impossible choices: cut government spending so hard and fast that it will send the economy into recession; or hit the debt ceiling, stop new borrowing and, so, default on the rollover of debt not to mention not have money to pay for services.

This is a purely political move. The Republicans want a) to shrink the government permanently and decisively and b) derail the economy to stop Obama getting re-elected.

With the numbers in the House rock-solid and the knowledge that the President will be the main target of blame, the Republicans are playing real hard ball. They have rejected an offer from Obama that would have brought in cuts and tax rises equivalent to more than 10% of federal spending – $4 trillion over 10 years.

Their current proposal: a in the debt ceiling of a trillion dollars which will be met with a matching spending cuts, no tax increases, over a decade.

This relatively small rise in the ceiling would only permit a few more months borrowing, because the government has to pay back hundreds of billions it has appropriated from government employees’ superannuation accounts since the debt ceiling was hit in May. This short-term reprieve is intended to force another crisis on Obama in election year and extract even bigger cuts.

Even more significantly,  the Republicans are proposing a ‘Super-Congress’ to force through spending cuts. A 12-member board – 6 from each House of Congress, 6 from each party – would have the power to re-write spending legislation, especially cuts to Medicare and Social Security, and these changes would then be slammed through Congress without the chance for members to amend the legislation. It’s undemocratic as hell. Incredibly, the Democrats are warm to this idea.

However, there’s still no certainty that this deal will be made. There is a real chance that the unthinkable will happen and the US will default on its debt.

It’s important to put this all in the context of the Republican plan, extending right back to Reagen, to weaken and shrink the government to the point where “it can be drowned in a bathtub”. It is all about reversing the advances of the 20th century.

There is no logic to it, other than preventing government from taking their money in tax to pay for these services. Ultimately, it’s not really even about the money, which the rich don’t need and don’t notice, it’s about protecting and asserting their privileges as the elite even if it hurts their country.

Reagen and his Republican successors cut taxes and increased military spending to falsely stimulate the economy in the short-term on a diet of debt. The deficit under Reagen rose to a % of GDP only previously seen during the World Wars. Bush Snr and Jnr continued to set the records. Only President Clinton ran surpluses. (there’s reflections of this in New Zealand too, where neoliberal governments have run ever larger deficits, while the fifth Labour government ran 9 years of surpluses).

This table shows that the main causes of the current deficit, against the surpluses projected when Bush Jnr came to power, are tax cuts:

The long-term consequences of 30 years of tax cuts and defence spending, and the interest on all that debt, are the inability to pay for core government services – pensions and healthcare:

This is what happens at the end of empires. The interests of the elite become completely divorced from the interests of the ordinary people. Factions in the elite fight intensely amongst themselves, rather than looking outwards to tackle their shared challenges. They create crises for petty political advantage, which ultimately weaken the empire and accelerate the fall.

The millionaires in Congress and the millionaires who back them feel no personal sake in the health of their economy and don’t feel the need to plan responsibly for the future. They do not think about the future of their country anymore, they think about how to win the next battle. How to hurt the other side, even if it means hurting the economy. Everything becomes just a political pawn, even defaulting on debt, even decimating the services that millions rely on when they are sick or out of work.

118 comments on “How empires end”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Very very ugly situation. Real unemployment rate is at least 12% and much higher once you count in all the under-employed and ‘independent contractors’ etc who in reality are not actually working.

    US is also on the verge of being targeted by the same borderless financial forces taking Greece, Italy, etc. down. US CDS spreads are widening and the credit rating agencies have signalled than downgrades are likely even if the debt ceiling is raised.

    QE3 is almost a certainty. Savers and pension funds are being destroyed, speculators and bankers rewarded.

    All it would take now is for US debt to go back up to its historical mean of 6% p.a. That level of interest on a national debt of $15T…well do the math.

    • Vicky32 1.1

      QE3 is almost a certainty. Savers and pension funds are being destroyed, speculators and bankers rewarded.
      All it would take now is for US debt to go back up to its historical mean of 6% p.a. That level of interest on a national debt of $15T…well do the math.

      It’s all horribly apocalyptic…. Not zombies but Republicans (and from where I sit, there doesn’t seem to be much difference..)

  2. erentz 2

    Bugger. I am meant to move to the states in October, when I agreed to go i thought things were pretty bad, but surely the right corrections must come eventually despite all the republican douchebaggery, but it seems not. I’m continually being surprised as things get rapidly worse. 🙁

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Hope your contract is not in USD, that currency will be near worthless after QE3. Smart money has moved into silver, gold and swiss francs as long term stores of value.

  3. weka 3

    What will happen if the US defaults on its debt?

    • Locus 3.1

      “Most experts agree that if the US were to default on its debt payments, stock and bond markets worldwide would plunge, threatening a new great recession”

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Don’t believe a word of it. There’s not going to be any ‘new’ great recession, just the same one we have had for the last 4 years, worsening.

        Stock markets have been running up around the world magnificently for the last 2 years along with commodity prices, even though the economy has been getting worse and worse for 99% of people.

        The financial markets no longer represent fundamentals that people experience in the economy, in the slightest.

        A stock market crash, renewed credit freeze etc. is simply going to be another threat laid on us and on governments by the bankster occupiers. ‘Hand over all your remaining cash, and all your remaining assets, or else’.

        We thought 2008 was about TBTF, but we should realise that the US and the EU have let the banksters and the leverage get even bigger since then. Rough times.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          So what do you think would happen if the US defaults, CV?

          • Rusty Shackleford 3.1.1.1.1

            The debt ceiling and defaulting aren’t the same thing. The US treasury still collects trillions a year in taxes. They will just have to make some decisions about where that cash goes. They can still cover the interest on the money they borrowed so there is little risk of default. Just that they will (should have back in “07) to cut services. They should (but won’t) end the wars.

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1.1

              They can still cover the interest on the money they borrowed so there is little risk of default.

              Some of the debt matures in August. So it’s payments of interest and principle.

              Just that they will (should have back in “07) to cut services. They should (but won’t) end the wars.

              Well at the moment they are stealing, ahem, borrowing from other government accounts to pay the bills.

              Not sure why you should consider cutting services and benefits to the most vulnerable and distressed in your society and not just levy say a 10% assets tax on the top 1% in the country.

              Shucks, they could even make a few rule changes and ensure that big oil, GE, Apple, etc paid their fair share to the running of the country. Currently its not unusual for an oil major to make a few billion in profits and end up with a tax refund. Neat huh.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.2

            Hey weka, off the top of my head

            1) US credit rating downgrade to AA, leading to increased yields on Treasuries and increases in CDS spreads. It will get more expensive for the US Government to borrow funds (probably closer to the historical mean of 6% pa up from around 3% now). If it is a true default, a bunch of big banks will be hit hard with consequent CDS obligations.

            2) The temperature of debate in Washington DC over a spending vs revenues (taxes) package will hot up further. Lines will harden further and deadlock will entrench itself. Both parties are aware that its only 12 months to elections and are positioning accordingly.

            3) Severe governmental spending cuts will be enacted. If the Republicans get their way the spending cuts will be horrific and lead to a massive slow down in the US (and global) economy. Unemployment in the US will worsen. if the Democrats get their way the spending cuts will merely be ‘very severe’ and a significant (but not quite as severe) global slow down will still result.

            4) Demand for US Treasuries will decline (which will force the increased yields mentioned above).

            5) The Federal Reserve may very well end up having to buy Treasury debt issuances to make sure no debt issues fail to be 100% picked up. This effectively brings about Quantiative Easing 3: where the privately owned Federal Reserve prints billions upon billions of USD to buy Treasury bonds. (Ironically, the US Government will have to pay ~6% interest to the Federal Reserve on that newly created from thin air money).

            6) The value of the USD will drop like a stone as major holders try and exchange it for hard assets of real value before they become so much worthless scrip. (Farms and hydrodams are nice hard assets to pick up using worthless USD. It’d be like foreign colonial traders buying up Maori land for glass beads and whisky). Gold and silver will rocket up in value, as will the price of many basic commodities. Widespread hunger/fuel poverty will ensue and the NZD will go to near parity with the USD, destroying what is left of our export manufacturing sector.

            7) Where possible international trade will be increasingly conducted in ways which avoid the USD and its volatility/debasement. American financial power will decline further as the USD’s position as the world reserve currency is slowly but surely impaired. Once large amounts of the oil trade are conducted in something other than USD, the special status of the USD is over.

            8) Fragility to additional financial shocks (eg. from the EU) or other shocks in general will increase. More financial attacks against sovereign nations can be expected. As the US rolls over its debt month by month the new higher interest rate charges will start to apply. What’s 6% on $14.5T again?

            9) A war started somewhere to stimulate US military spending and distract the population. Somewhere with lots of oil is a good bet.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2

          The financial markets no longer represent fundamentals that people experience in the economy, in the slightest.

          What do you mean “no longer”? They never did.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2.1

            Well, they used to a little bit, on a cyclical basis leading fundamentals changes in the real economy by 6 months or so 🙂

      • mik e 3.1.2

        It would depend on who gets hold of the upper house and presidency if we end up with the republicans in charge with the tea party pushing them the proverbial will hit the fan!

  4. Jenny 4

    .
    Grant Morgan calls for left unity in the face of what he identifies as a terminal crisis in “global capitalism”.

    unityaotearoa.blogspot.com

    …..mired in the bog of war across the Middle East, with the greenback weakening as the world reserve currency, US imperial hegemony is ebbing away ever more quickly, yet China is beset with economic, political, social and ecological problems which are growing at a faster pace than the global reach of its Communist Party rulers, creating a leadership vacuum at the heart of the world system, and
    These and other world historic upheavals, in combination, point towards the end times of the 500-year-old civilisation we know as “global capitalism”.

    Grant Morgan

  5. infused 5

    In the short term, damm it’s cheap buying online. Go hard.

  6. Red Rosa 6

    George W Bush aimed to bankrupt the US, so his mates could buy it cheap.

    Joking? Just take a look at the current situation. Banks to big to fail, and corporations too big to sue. Hugely expensive wars, leaving a trail of destruction to no apparent purpose, with big parts of the cost concealed. A military-industrial complex unaccountable in both senses.

    Power is there to be taken. And the US populace has voted to move power away from ‘government’ to a sort of theo-kleptocracy of the Far Right, fuelled by Fox News.

    Sad end to a great nation. If you believe the christians, then Gibbon and Marx must both be watching, intrigued.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    FT just announced that China and Iran are discussing how to bypass the USD entirely (and hence all US sanctions, and volatility due to mass printing of USD) in order to conduct an oil trade worth many billions per year.

  8. The only good news coming out of all this is that if banks such as BofA collapse even more than they have done already, which is all but inevitable, John Key who has most of his dosh in shares in said BofA will loose a huge chunk of said dosh overnight if he hasn’t already. And since he made his money with the crap these bank have been selling I can only say: Well deserved!!!

    • Oh, and I told you so, oh, about four years ago.

      • Gosman 8.1.1

        You don’t even understand the nature of what derivatives are and think they were made illegal from the 1930’s through to 1980’s even though the CBOT and CME specialised in trading them during that period so why should we take anything you write seriously.

        • travellerev 8.1.1.1

          ROFL! Ignore at your own peril cowboy hat boy, and go do some homework!

          • Gosman 8.1.1.1.1

            I asked you a question a number of times before which you seem to be doing your best to ignore for some reason.

            Do you believe buying insurance is a bad thing?

            • travellerev 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Why would I believe insurance is a bad thing? (Was great when my water tank crapped out) and with that question you show your ignorance with regards to many Derivatives in their current form and the ones which were made illegal after the great depression. Now go and do your own research and don’t bother the grown ups with your ignorance.

              And yes, I try to do the polite thing and be gentle with people who show your level of aggressive ignorance, because I know your young and insecure, by ignoring you somewhat.

              I suspect your first girlfriend will be able to help you with that eventually but I tire of young, ignorant males with insecurity issues so go away and do some growing up!

              • Gosman

                I asked you about insurance because that is essentially what Derivatives are. Even those complex financial derivatives such as CDO’s and CDS are essentially designed to protect investors in the event of default by some party.

                So in your frenzied desire to outlaw something you know next to nothing about you are trying to stop something which you actually believe in.

                Truly weird.

                • Lazy Susan

                  Oh that’s right Gosman you mean insurance such as that provided by AIG

                  I do know what derivatives are and I do know that they can provide insurance against losses. The problem is that the current casino that is the global financial system is one giant deregulated ponzi scheme that is being propped up by the tax payers.

                  The over-leveraging in the current financial system has not even begun to unwind. Unless governments have the will to take on the financial elite the rich will continue to get richer and the other 99.9% will continue to get poorer. Not a great recipe for social stability I would suggest.

                • mik e

                  So where do the funds come for these derivatives Gosman and why haven,t they worked. was it because they were over sold, a ponzi scheme if they were such good insurance why did the banks that were selling them collapse.And need to be bailed out.The only reason their not outlawed now is the likes of Goldman Sachs are to big and powerful and no republican house would ever dream of pulling them into line!

              • Gosman

                BTW I am truly humbled and pleased that you feel I look so fresh faced and youthful but for your information I am on the wrong side of 35 with three kids, a mortgage, and a good paying job. By all means though please keep stroking my ego by calling me young. 😉

                • LMAO,
                  Sure cowboy hat boy, whatever you say. More fool you for being as ignorant as you are.

                  For those of you wanting to read up on derivatives:

                  And here is a link to a film about the financial crisis of two years ago:
                  Inside Job

                  It also has a very nice analysis about the sociopathy and needed to function as an investment banker.
                   
                   

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    And here is a link to a film about the financial crisis of two years ago:
                    Inside Job

                    Loved the way that one showed the economists changing their story (ie, lying) after everything they said turned out not to be correct and showed that they’d effectively been paid to say what they did.

            • mik e 8.1.1.1.1.2

              Gosman its a good thing if the company supplying it has solid asset backing, if its backed by ponzi scheming Speculative multi national tax avoiding banks who don,t have to answer to any govt its what causes catastrophies like the recent melt down.But when they get into trouble guess what, they go running to the US ,UK German Chinese Governments for a Bail out which the poorer tax payers have to pick up the bill. ie Greece where irresponsible banks that lent them all this money in the first place they are being asked by the German govt to pick up some of the bill rightly so . They are crying foul and are trying to blackmail the German Govt by drying up funds .so in short you argument shows complete lack of Knowledge in this area.Meryl l LYNCH crashed because tey didn,t have insiders in the Bush administration so got wasted leaving Goldman Sachs with no competitor. Just what you would expect from thes predator of the financial world.yeah they used the rating agencies to help perpetrate this whole fiasco and here in our country we have the branch mangers Key English and Joyce

              • Gosman

                The your problem is with people speculating using derivatives not with the derivatives themselves. Heck I could even be persuaded in the benefits of that argument.

                However that is not what travellerev is stating. She thinks the derivative themselves are the problem, which just highlights her complete and utter ignorance of what they actually are.

                • Give a bunch of kids some bombs to play with and really… the bombs are not the problem. LOL.

                  Here is a link to a series of articles called the financial Tsunami.

                  I’m off to do some stuff in the real world. Later!

                  • Gosman

                    That is my point – Derivatives aren’t bombs. They are not even close to being bombs. They are designed to insure against risks. Of course they might make it difficult to understand that risk or to enable some people to excessivly leverage their position. However that is a matter of Risk management not a problem with the products themselves. It is like stating that because you can kill someone with a fork you should outlaw the use of all forks.

                    • prism

                      @Gosman – But I understand forks and the amount of risk in dealing with them. There is little trickiness about forks. And the buyer does not sell them with an agenda that if successful, will reduce their usefulness and undermines their future value. Simple market forces operate with forks, not so with the financial finagling that derivatives traders have been able to weave.

                    • mik e

                      Gosman its actually a type of corporate welfare it means if say the us economy crashes those who have huge investments in derivatives ie boehner house leader for the republicans has huge money tied up in these investments which basically means he is taking a bet on the US economy crashing .So he,s pushing an agenda to make the US economy crash . Insider trading its called. derivatives are nothing more than a bet on a future outcome.if the company providing cover goes belly up be cause they. ve over sold ie Goldman Sachs Meryll Lyynch . They either go belly up or get rescued if they have people in White house

                    • Gosman

                      Depends on your view prism.

                      The initial cause of the financial crisis in 2007/2008 was not tricky Derivatives but a good old fashioned credit bubble.

                      Derivatives may very magnify the impact of a bubble bursting but it can also minimise losses. It all depends on how they are used.

                      There may well be a case to be made to restrict speculation in Derivatives but to argue they need to be outlawed is just ignorance of the highest order.

      • mik e 8.1.2

        He might have one form of Derivatives which a lot of right wing power brokers do, so it would benefit them if everything goes belly up. They will become even more powerful while the rest of us will have beg with the old brown sugar sack and hope theirs enough people left with some turnips and a few scraps.these derivatives are sold by the banks who are causing the problems by irresponsibly lending to those countries that can,t afford the loans so its a win win for them . No doubt the govts will print and bail out again.

        • travellerev 8.1.2.1

          For those of you still wasting time on Gosman.

          This is how Gosman operates. He doesn’t want debates about real issues. he just picks one and sees how far he can push it.

          I have in earlier versions of this discussion already diversified the forms of derivatives I was talking about. Some forms of derivatives strictly regulated have been in place to be used as forms of insurance and that makes a lot of sense.

          But the derivatives, which I already explained earlier, I am talking about are the ones which allow for gambling on and manipulating of prices of foods and fuel for example (to name but a few) plus derivatives build upon other dangerous product such as mortgages inviting huge bubbles and down right fraud.

          Gosman is not stupid and knows this but he just wants to waste time  mieren neuken or “ant fucking” as we call it in Holland.

          Added to that he was one of only three idiot still believing the official 911 conspiracy bull after Richard Gages presentation about building 7 which was simple and lucid enough to make about 600 people think that a new and independent investigation was probably a good idea.

          Engage at your peril!

  9. An American friend of mine made the very salient point yesterday that no matter what happens America’s governance is now recoginsed as being sub standard and a threat to the desire of anyone wanting to do business in the US.
     
    The Republicans obviously adhere to the view that “to save the village you have to destroy the village”.  Either that or there are too many of them who are stupid enough to believe their rhetoric.
     
    Funny times.
     

  10. Policy Parrot 10

    I’m increasingly of the opinion that Obama and the Democrats could grab a super-majority in the Senate after the next election.

    The Republican obstructionism is increasingly being seen for what it is, an abdication of the responsibility to govern the country within the framework outlined by the founders of the Republic.

    Thought I might provide some context.

    I don’t believe even Americans are that anti-tax that they would consider attacks on Medicare under the Ryan plan as more palatable.

    The Republican presidential primary will be interesting… Bachmann, for example who constantly criticises the reach of the “bloated” federal government, perhaps should consider starting deficit reduction talks at home, with her own farm estimated to have received US $1 million in subsidies over the last 8 years – put your own pork on the table first, huh?

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      “The Republican obstructionism is increasingly being seen for what it is, an abdication of the responsibility to govern the country within the framework outlined by the founders of the Republic.”

      Yeah, I agree. This budget crisis with the republicans refusing with Obama’s very very reasonable solution makes them look like children and Obama look like a principled statesmen. He can always say “look, I tried”.

    • mik e 10.2

      Its the rural republicans that are keeping these subsidies as well as stopping free agricultural trade. while these same people are telling us we shouldn,t be protecting pharmac. we are not aloud to compete in dairying but fonterra is aloud to build their dairy sector on the back of our profits. Bully on the block thats your free market republican tea party, can health care look after their rural support base at all costs,

    • ChrisH 10.3

      I think this is possible. On several occasions the USA has come close to being taken over by RWNJs, for instance the KKK was doing frighteningly well in the 1920s, as an anti-immigration party: http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/database/article_display.cfm?HHID=444 .

      But always sooner or later there seems to have been some kind of wave of revulsion as it gradually became clear just how nutty the RWNJs really were. The Americans always managed to avoid going over the waterfall the way the Germans did in 1933, save perhaps arguably in 1861 when they had to fight.

      HOPEFULLY sanity will prevail again this time and certainly people like Breivik in Norway are doing their damndest to cause a big backlash against the extreme guns-n-ammo right, if anything good comes of it.

      See also here, in more economic terms, in the Daily Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8655106/Im-starting-to-think-that-the-Left-might-actually-be-right.html .

    • DS 10.4

      Unfortunately, there are only nine Republican seats up for grabs in the 2012 Senate elections, as opposed to twenty-three Democrats. Simply holding the Senate will be good for the Democrats: a super-majority is out of the question.

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    Rep Sen Mitch McConnell once famously said that his most important political goal was to make Obama a one term president.

    Governing the US and leading its people forward into the future did not feature.

  12. Afewknowthetruth 12

    I find it amusing and saddening that some people still think there is a difference betweeen the Democrats and the Republicans. They are just two faces of the same coin -coporate capitalism- and the same corporations that sponsor Republican candidates into office sponsor Democrat candidates into office. What we see publicly is just a chirade, a performance carefully scripted to maintain the illusion of democracy, while the real decisions are made elsewhere -such as in the boardroom of Goldman Sachs or at garden parties at the Hamptons. .

    The real cause if this present crisis is rarely mentioned, of course: peak oil. US extraction of oil peaked in 1970 and has been in decline ever since, which means that the superficial wealth that comes from oil extraction has been declining since 1971, and once the crossover point was passed the US became increasingly dependent on imported oil (hence the various invasions and sponsorship of terrorism in oil-rich regions of the world by the US).

    Cheap oil underpins everything (including fractional reserve banking, leveraging and Ponzi schemes). Every day that passes sees around 85 million barrels of a non-renewable resource converted mostly into waste and every day it gets more difficult to extract the oil that is left.

    The US empire is the largest subset of many subsets which make up industrial civilisation; industrial civilisation is in terminal decline and will collapse over the next decade or two. Anyone who thinks otherwise is grossly uninformed or utterly deluded.

    As matters get worse we could well see the US morph from a covertly fascist state into an overtly fascist state, with the military being used with increasing viciousness to acquire oil and to suppress domestic dissent. All the anti-democratic legislation necessary was put in place under the Shrub, and President War-is-peace has done nothing to repeal it any of, of course, In fact President War-is-peace has broken EVERY election promise he made.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      The real cause if this present crisis is rarely mentioned, of course: peak oil.

      That’s not exactly true either. The real cause for the “crisis” is capitalism itself and it’s need for perpetual, exponential growth.

  13. Bill 13

    The Democrats will compromise. The compromise will be disastrous on a number of fronts.

    Any resultant policy will be ineffective. The compromise will mean that the Democrats will have, yet again sold out their constituency in the name of political pragmaticism. The ineffectiveness of rolled out policy will be used by the Republicans to attack the Democrats. And the sell out will ensure that the Tea Party and their ilk attract more adherents and the Democrats more (deserved) opprobrium from across the board.

  14. AAMC 14

    At which point do the Americans choose to engage in what is supposed to be the greatest liberal Democracy in History and disengage in “The American Dream”, I’m often frustrated by the sleepwalking masses of NZ, but Edward Bernays really did a great job on the Americans.
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-678466363224520614#docid=2641575773935962254

    At which point do all of those people on food stamps and in ghetto’s take to the streets? Seems long overdue that a country founded on revolution rekindles it’s founding spirit.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Whats happened is that Americans as a whole don’t see the struggles they are going through as a societal issue, but rather a personal issue. And the civic institutions which used to organise them e.g. unions have all been broken down.

      Further the Americans who have been politicised have often been convinced to protest against their own interests. Tea Partiers on medicaid pushing for government spending cuts etc.

      Still, there will come a time.

      • AAMC 14.1.1

        I understand the disconnect, but it does seem surreal that the swindle is now so profound and there is no public outcry and potentially – as you allude CV – a push by those suffering the most to support those who hurt them the most.

        It would be an entertaining watch if we weren’t likely to be pulled down by them.

        Still, I’d like to see a default and the the reverse of Republican desires. Their aim is to shrink Govt, but if there isn’t a compromise reached at the final hour, it’ll be the private sector that shrinks, achieving the opposite to their desires.
        http://www.slate.com/id/2299460/

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1

          One insight is that the Republicrats aren’t interested in assisting the private sector as a whole; they are only interested in assisting the big corporate private sector, and even more specifically, the big banks.

          One reason is because as the private sector sinks under a mass of unmanageable debt, the big banks will be able to swoop in and scoop up all those business assets and homes for cents on the dollar.

          That’s a massive pay day for the big financiers, especially since those debts were becoming valueless as the USD becomes valueless. Way better to hold the hard asset collateral underlying the debt instead.

          • travellerev 14.1.1.1.1

            He CV are you on facebook aka facistbook? If so could you link to my page travellerev ev?

            • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1.1.1

              You do know that the big time intel guys (not the chip makers ahem) have customised full access data mapping feeds from FB, Gmail etc? (Acording to Assange) 🙂

              • Hon, I’ve been on the list a long time.

                I once talked to Doug Rokke, who was the specialist clean up guy for the US army until he went public with his info on DU in a doco called beyond treason and when I told him I had received a comment on my blog from a guy called Roger Helbig defending the use of DU he told me to call the police and lodge a complaint because the guy was a CIA paid guy who harasses people who write critically about DU and he gave me three other names of guys doing the same. They all checked out. It took them less then half a day to find my little old blog in far away NZ. That was three years ago.

                Here is what journalist Felicity Arbuthnot has to say about him. the photo’s are shocking but I reckon that is going to be nothing compared to what we are going to see when the Fukushima cancers are going to show.

                I have been visiting international 911 truth conferences and keep in touch with many of the activist and peace activists such a Cindy Sheehan who famously sat on George Bush’s driveway to ask him why here son had to die in Iraq via Facebook. If I’m not on a list somewhere I’m not doing my job very well.

                • Colonial Viper

                  *Respect* 🙂

                • prism

                  @travellerev It is a good idea to explain abbreviations at least once in a comment. I realised it is a long time since I saw ‘DU’ and had to google it to find that it is depleted uranium. There was supposed to be a lot in Iraq I remember.

                  • McFlock

                    Still is – because it’s the best armour penetrator out there, it got thrown around like confetti (not just tank rounds – rapid fire cannon on aircraft and infantry vehicles), micro-particlised and inhaled / ingested.
                    It’s a bit like land mines – causes lots of suffering for years after a conflict is over, but is so useful the military (and their suppliers)  wants to disperse it liberally throughout the theatre, and will right up until it gets outlawed.
                     
                     

                  • Sorry Prism,

                    You’re absolutely right. It is absolutely everywhere there are conflicts. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, former Yugoslavia. In fact they even found particles at the space station.

                    According to Doug Rokke the US gives the ammunition away but France and England also produce Depleted Uranium ammunition.

                    It is also no longer limited to armour penetrating ammunition. Bullets are made from the stuff too and since it starts to produce it’s toxic nano dust the moment is shot  it is an equal opportunity killer. America soldiers are dying en mass from cancers and unexplained illnesses caused by DU just like the people in the war zones. It is hideous and a war crime of the greatest magnitude.

                    • prism

                      We need another Princess Diana who has the fame and ideals to bring this ghastly DU offense weapon to public notice and condemnation just like the mines she protested about. She wasn’t just a pretty face for sure.

      • Vicky32 14.1.2

            Whats happened is that Americans as a whole don’t see the struggles they are going through as a societal issue, but rather a personal issue.

        That seems to be the essence of it, to me… I was listening to an American song on my MP3 player today, and the first line

        is “They say no man’s an island/But I beg to disagree”… Funny I’d never really questioned that before!

  15. johnm 15

    Pushing Crisis: Republicans Cry Wolf on Debt Ceiling in Order to Impose Radical Pro-Rich Agenda. Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine again! Talk up a false chimera crisis to get further impoverishment of everyday Americans implemented
    Michael Hudson:

    “He’s quite right. This is an awful piece of legislation, and it’s too bad that Mr. Obama supports it. But you could see it all coming even before Mr. Obama took office, when he appointed the Deficit Reduction Commission. He appointed opponents of Social Security to the commission: Republican Senator Simpson and Erskine Bowles, who was Clinton’s chief of staff. Obama really believes in trickle-down economics. He believes that Wall Street are job creators, not downsizers and outsourcers and foreclosures. That’s the tragedy of all this.

    Now, how—the question is, how can a Democratic president put forth a Republican program? There has to be a crisis. Now in reality there is no crisis at all. In reality, raising the debt ceiling has been done for a hundred years automatically. There is no connection between raising the debt ceiling and arguing over tax policy. Tax policy takes many years to work out. All of a sudden, Mr. Obama is going along with the charade of saying, “Wait a minute, let’s create a crisis.” As his former manager Rahm Emanuel said, a crisis is too important an opportunity to waste. But Wall Street doesn’t like real crises, so there’s an artificial non-crisis that Obama is treating as a crisis so that he can put forth the recommendations of the Deficit Reduction Commission to get rid of Social Security that he has supported all along. That’s the problem. He believes it.

    “Well, you had this kind of debt ceiling come up, I think, maybe 20 times under Bush’s administration. It’s a non-threatening thing. It’s something automatic. It’s technical. It’s sort of like going to the corner and having a notary public certify what you’ve done. It’s a technical thing that has nothing to do with real economy or policy at all. They’re pretending it’s a crisis because they have a plan. And the plan is what Mr. Boehner has put forth. Just like after 9/11, the Pentagon pulled out a plan for Iraq’s oil fields, Wall Street has a plan to really clean up now, to really put the class war back in business and get rid of Medicare, get rid of the programs for the poor, and say, “There’s no money for you. We’ve given it all away in the bailouts.”

    Refer link: http://michael-hudson.com/ “Saving the Gambling Bankers”

    Nact given the chance will do the same here in NZ. They don’t believe the common good exists,everything must ultimately be privatised with the huge inequalities that must result as we copy the Banana Republic up North.

    • Afewknowthetruth 16.1

      FDR had an increasing supply of oil and a largely rural society that was connected to reality at his disposal.

      Neither now applies.

      As AAMC pointed out, Bernays did a magnificent job in deluding the American people. And much of the delusion spread across the South Pacific.

      Bernanke fired the last ‘bullet’ when the Fed dropped interest rates to prevent the US economy imploding immediately. He bought a little time and allowed the hole to be dug a bit deeper.

      • Rusty Shackleford 16.1.1

        “How FDR Did It”
        Did what? Create the longest depression in history?

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 16.1.1.1

          Yeah he did when he cut spending. That was before he ran up the the biggest govt deficit in US history winning WW2. We all know what happened next.

          • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1.1

            Massive boom of industrial and middle class wealth in the US through the 1950’s and 1960s.

            Many years of which the top income tax rate was set at 91%.

            • Rusty Shackleford 16.1.1.1.1.1

              Did total tax receipts increase under that tax regime? If not, how could such a high rate be considered anything other than punitive? (Although, I know both Obama and yourself are in favor of punitive taxation).

              • McFlock

                damn, wish I could be punished like that. Oh Noes, the gummint is taking most of the money I earn over a really large amount!

                • Colonial Viper

                  Indeed. Equivalent threshold in todays dollars was about US$2M p.a.

                  Rusty, not sure re: tax take, but WWII debt was rapidly paid off, and it was part of a very successful industrial economy package for the middle class.

  16. Rusty Shackleford 17

    Wasn’t a big portion of the debt run up under Obama?

    • The Voice of Reason 17.1

      A bit desperate there, Rusty. C -, must try harder next time.

      • Rusty Shackleford 17.1.1

        C- is a passing mark. So you agree with my statement?

        • Campbell Larsen 17.1.1.1

          C – is a restricted pass, and as such cannot be used to fulfil the pre requisite requirement for further study in the discipline

          • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1.1

            Rusty’s satisfied with his C- it seems.

            • Rusty Shackleford 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Did Obama run up the deficit or not?

            • prism 17.1.1.1.1.2

              Next questions from Rusty – why is the sky blue? Why is water wet? And over and over. No elucidation will ever accrete. For him blogging is a game to pass idle time.

              • Rusty Shackleford

                “For him blogging is a game to pass idle time.”
                What else would it be for?

                It seems plain that Obama ran up the deficit. The whole crux of the article is that “For 30 years, Republicans have cut taxes and upped (defence) spending.”
                But, this is equally true of Democrats. Especially the current president. Makes the whole article kind of dishonest.

                • Colonial Viper

                  “For 30 years, Republicans have cut taxes and upped (defence) spending.”
                  But, this is equally true of Democrats.

                  That’s why they’re both Republicrats.

                  Don’t you know mate, in the States you can either vote for The Bankers Party, or The Other Bankers Party.

                  ps most of the tax cutting and defense spending increases (including the off-Pentagon-budget wars) were initiated by Republicans. Although Obama has participated to some slight degree e.g. with the Afghanistan ‘surge’. But when it comes to the recent moves on letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire, and pressure to eliminate the Estate Tax:

                  that’s 100% Republicans, acting in the interests of the top 0.1%

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    Don’t forget his undeclared wars.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      sure, but every President has those so I figured that they were a wash.

                  • mik e

                    The Democrats didn,t make tax cuts they have had very little power since the 70s they held the republicans to ransom over balancing the budget during the Clinton era and turned a huge deficit into a huge surplus.For another spend thrift republican to blow it and run up huge deficits again Obama hasn,t had enough power to undo the drain of the bush tax cuts. so America is sliding down the slippery slope still!

                • mik e

                  LOW voter turn out has allowed the right wing ascendancy the right wing of the Democrat party is the middle ground of the Republican party. So I think your a little rusty on your Knowledge of US politics Rusty

                  • Colonial Viper

                    yeah its not a shift in the politics of the people in the US…its a shift in participation and the effect of big money interests.

              • Bored

                You are onto it Prism, a blog with Rusty is as John Lennon would say like “trying to shovel smoke with a pitchfork in the wind”.

        • lprent 17.1.1.2

          C- is a passing mark

          No it isn’t. Like Campbell says – it is a restricted pass.

          I almost got dumped from the first semester of the Otago MBA for getting two C-‘s* and had to resit the two papers to get enough marks to carry on. The subsequent semester I got marks that were quite a lot higher. This violated my personal credo that says getting anything above a C means that I wasn’t learning wide enough. Subsequent semesters I dropped down to a more acceptable mark.

          * It was 1985 and I ran into my first PC’s at a computer lab for the MBA students provided by IBM. They had a number of IBM XT’s with dual floppies and a IBM AT with a 10MB hard disk and turbo pascal. I fell in love with programming the beasts where I didn’t have those silly mini-computer restrictions about online time and storage that I’d had in my previous programming. The MBA became a backdrop to learning everything about PC’s.

    • mik e 17.2

      US politics is the problem voting takes place on a Tuesday so most employers don, t let their workers of till especially in poor areas till to late in the day and yhen they don,t put enough booths their so there are long cues so when people show up after a hard days work they would prefer to go home and have something to eat than wait 2 hrs to vote anyone with a criminal incarceration record is not aloud to vote either and considering their high incarceration rate. So the US has a very low voter turnout one of the lowest in the western world !So alot of his representatives are in right wing electorates they can,t change republican policy with out the danger of losing their seats . then Obama had enough of a majority to stop filibustering but one republican challenged the vote in his electorate and held onto his seat until nearly the mid term election preventing Obama from removing up bushes tax cuts which would have prevented this mess

  17. prism 18

    It occurs to me that as a major arms manufacturer, the USA helps to create demand for its own
    weapons, made by private enterprise and bought by their government, and is arms supplier to many factions in the world who would not be such a threat without the amount of arms they can obtain. Also, by taking its wars to countries they have decided need a strategic lesson, the USA helps to inflame the emotions and prejudices that turn into other wars, and fuel nut jobs like the Norwegian ‘warrior’. Result increased GDP for the USA.

    And we are kissing the star spangled coat hem. The Nats never seem to see past their now traditional belief that the USA has the answer to all our needs and will provide. Suckers.

    • Afewknowthetruth 18.1

      Smedley Butler worked out that war is a racket 80 years ago:

      ‘Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940), nicknamed “The Fighting Quaker” and “Old Gimlet Eye”, was a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. During his 34-year career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I. By the end of his career he had received 16 medals, five of which were for heroism. He is one of 19 people to twice receive the Medal of Honor, one of three to be awarded both the Marine Corps Brevet Medal and the Medal of Honor, and the only person to be awarded the Brevet Medal and two Medals of Honor, all for separate actions.

      In addition to his military achievements, he served as the Director of Public Safety in Philadelphia for two years and was an outspoken critic of U.S. military adventurism. In his 1935 book War is a Racket, he described the workings of the military-industrial complex and, after retiring from service, became a popular speaker at meetings organized by veterans, pacifists and church groups in the 1930s.

      Eisenhower warned against the industrial-military complex in 1961.

      Both were too late. 1774 Amschel Mayer Rothschild stated: “Wars should be directed so that the nations on both sides should be further in our debt.”

      • prism 18.1.1

        That’s a good quote Afkttruth. Could you direct me to what book or context he made it?

        • Draco T Bastard 18.1.1.1

          Which quote?

          As for Smedley Butler you can read about him here.

          • Bored 18.1.1.1.1

            The Business Plot is well documented by Michael Parenti. If you Google you should be able to get an MP3. Parenti makes the point that anti democratic pro fascist forces were well established within the US business community between the wars. The man who did most to defeat the plot was Eisenhower who despite his core Republican allegiences was very pro the American democratic process.

            • prism 18.1.1.1.1.1

              @Bored
              Found an Eisenhower quote in my little book.
              “When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war. War settles nothing.”

          • Mac1 18.1.1.1.2

            Smedley Butler sure had a Damascus experience. After a career in the US army as an Imperial soldier indeed, he wrote the following, and quoting from Draco’s link.

            “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

            Thanks for that link, Draco T and Afkttruth, which I’ve seen before, and for the much earlier link to the Authoritarians as well. Powerful stuff.

        • prism 18.1.1.2

          I was referring to the quote of Amschel Mayer Rothschild.. Who was he – an early business leader? In what country? Was he being deeply ironic?

          • travellerev 18.1.1.2.1

            Eh Prism,
            There is nothing stupid about asking questions so here goes: Amschel Mayer Rothschild was the arch patriarch of the Rothschild family,  and Amschel was was deadly serious about all his quotes. Here is another one: “Give me the right to print money and I care not who sits on the throne” meaning that the right to print money made him more powerful than the king or the government.

            Today his descendant Evelyn the Rothschild is the banker to the queen of England and the Rothschild family still print money.
            Here is a link to the Money Masters chronicling their accent to power.

          • Draco T Bastard 18.1.1.2.2

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amschel_Mayer_Rothschild
            Actually, reading that, it appears that people are attributing the quote wrongly as he was born in 1773. For that date it would have most likely be Mayer Amschel Rothschild and I can only find one quote attributed to him.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rothschild_family

            • travellerev 18.1.1.2.2.1

              One of the reasons to watch the doco Me thinks!
               

            • prism 18.1.1.2.2.2

              On skimming through wikipedia I could only find one reference that might lead the way to the quote about war that a Rothschild is said to have made, referred to above.

              These theories take differing forms, such as claiming that the family belongs to the Illuminati,[53] controls the world’s wealth and financial institutions,[54][55] or encouraged wars between governments.

              • prism

                Something else that caught my eye on the Rothschild’s Wikipedia page was that their background was Ashkenazi Jews. The Ashkenazi name was connected with wealthy Hungarians I had thought. Looking up Wikipedia for the detail of their early life 11th to 19th century I think, it is one of spreading importance of these people..

                It is amazing what a close family with strong standards and rules of behaviour can achieve. The Du Ponts in USA were also like this. The family held all or the major portion of the shares and may still do. The control and wisdom about how to run a business that continues successfully for more than decades and then passes to descendants who continue successfully, is not common. Usually the children manage to muck up what their father or parents built.

        • joe90 18.1.1.3

          Could you direct me to what book or context he made it?

          Major General Smedley Butler:

          War Is A Racket

  18. alex 19

    I’ve never seen a better chance to press for peace go to waste. As all great politicians know, you never waste a good crisis. Where are the future leaders of the pacifist movement? There is a truly instant fix for the budget crisis – end the wars, bring troops home, earn some international goodwill in the process.

    • Rusty Shackleford 19.1

      Couldn’t agree more. They were all rah rah when Bush was head honcho, but went to ground after Obama was elected.

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        When Obama was elected?

        You mean when the US Govt changed from being run by The Bankers Party, to being run by The Other Bankers Party?

        Clue as to how it was all going to go: when Obama kept Gates as defence secretary.

    • mik e 19.2

      Alex the US would crash even worse if they pulled out of these wars .The money is being largely spent in the US on armament and supplies . if the war stopped the money to these businesses would stop so there would be probably be another 1million people unemployed ,plus it costs about $1million per solder per year to keep them in the war. so when they come home it cost only maybe about 20 30 thousand dollars to keep them on a benefit. And a fair bit of that money would be spent on imported goods.

      • Rusty Shackleford 19.2.1

        By your logic they had better ramp up the wars, then. The neo cons were champing at the bit to invade Iran. There you go, problem solved.

        The situation you describe is pure Keynesian fallacy. It didn’t happen after WWII. The US govt even cut spending.

        • Colonial Viper 19.2.1.1

          You’re a bad liar re: post WWII

          The Govt gave returning soldiers massive socialised benefits and taxed the rich hard. Of course spending decreased you moron

          After all the US Govt didn;t have to build as many tanks and bombers

          And yeah, the recent wars have been very helpful to US corporations.

          • Rusty Shackleford 19.2.1.1.1

            By Mik e’s logic that cut in spending and employment (soldiers, support staff etc) should have lead to a catastrophic decline in GDP and employment (this is the standard Keynesian analysis), it didn’t.

  19. Afewknowthetruth 20

    That quote came from :

    The Elite, the ‘Great Game’ and World War III

    by Prof. Mujahid Kamran

    Global Research, June 7, 2011

    New Dawn Special Issue 16

    The control of the US, and of global politics, by the wealthiest families of the planet is exercised in a powerful, profound and clandestine manner. This control began in Europe and has a continuity that can be traced back to the time when the bankers discovered it was more profitable to give loans to governments than to needy individuals.

    These banking families and their subservient beneficiaries have come to own most major businesses over the two centuries during which they have secretly and increasingly organised themselves as controllers of governments worldwide and as arbiters of war and peace.

    Unless we understand this we will be unable to understand the real reasons for the two world wars and the impending Third World War, a war that is almost certain to begin as a consequence of the US attempt to seize and control Central Asia. The only way out is for the US to back off – something the people of the US and the world want, but the elite does not.

    The US is a country controlled through the privately owned Federal Reserve, which in turn is controlled by the handful of banking families that established it by deception in the first place.

    In his interesting book The Secret Team, Col. Fletcher Prouty, briefing officer of the US President from 1955-63, narrates a remarkable incident in which Winston Churchill made a most revealing utterance during World War II: “On this particular night there had been a heavy raid on Rotterdam. He sat there, meditating, and then, as if to himself, he said, ‘Unrestricted submarine warfare, unrestricted air bombing
    – this is total war.’ He continued sitting there, gazing at a large map, and then said, ‘Time and the Ocean
    – and some guiding star and High Cabal have made us what we are’.”

    Prouty further states: “This was a most memorable scene and a revelation of reality that is infrequent, at best. If for the great Winston Churchill, there is a ‘High Cabal’ that has made us what we are, our definition is complete. Who could know better than Churchill himself during the darkest days of World War II, that there exists, beyond doubt, an international High Cabal? This was true then. It is true today, especially in these times of the One World Order. This all-powerful group has remained superior because it had learned the value of anonymity.” This “High Cabal” is the “One World Cabal” of today, also called the elite by various writers.
    The High Cabal and What They Control

    The elite owns the media, banks, defence and oil industry. In his book Who’s Who of the Elite Robert Gaylon Ross Sr. states: “It is my opinion that they own the US military, NATO, the Secret Service, the CIA, the Supreme Court, and many of the lower courts. They appear to control, either directly or indirectly, most of the state, county, and local law enforcement agencies.”

    The elite is intent on conquering the world through the use of the abilities of the people of the United States. It was as far back as 1774 that Amschel Mayer Rothschild stated at a gathering of the twelve richest men of Prussia in Frankfurt: “Wars should be directed so that the nations on both sides should be further in our debt.” He further enunciated at the same meeting: “Panics and financial depressions would ultimately result in World Government, a new order of one world government.”

    The elite owns numerous “think tanks” that work for expanding, consolidating and perpetuating its hold on the globe. The Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, and many other similar organisations are all funded by the elite and work for it. These think tanks publish journals, such as Foreign Affairs, in which these imperialist and anti-mankind ideas are edified as publications, and then, if need be, expanded in the form of books that are given wide publicity.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski and Henry Kissinger et al, as well as the neo-con “thinkers,” owe their positions and good living standards to the largesse of the elite. This is an important point that must be kept in full view at all times. These thinkers and writers are on the payroll of the elite and work for them. In case someone has any doubts about such a statement, it might help to read the following quotes from Professor Peter Dale Scott’s comprehensively researched book The Road to 9/11 – Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (University of California Press, 2007):
    …Bundy’s Harvard protégé Kissinger was named to be national security adviser after having chaired an important “study group” at the Council on Foreign Relations. As a former assistant to Nelson Rockefeller, Kissinger had been paid by Rockefeller to write a book on limited warfare for the CFR. He had also campaigned hard in Rockefeller’s losing campaign for the Presidential nomination in 1968. Thus Rockefeller and the CFR might have been excluded from control of the Republican Party, but not from the Republican White House. (Page 22)

    The following quote from page 38 of the book is also very revealing:
    The Kissinger-Rockefeller relationship was complex and certainly intense. As investigative reporter Jim Hougan wrote: “Kissinger, married to a former Rockefeller aide, owner of a Georgetown mansion whose purchase was enabled only by Rockefeller gifts and loans, was always a protégé of his patron Nelson Rockefeller, even when he wasn’t directly employed by him.”
    Professor Scott adds:
    Nixon’s and Kissinger’s arrival in the White House in 1969 coincided with David Rockefeller’s
    becoming CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank. The Nixon-Kissinger foreign policy of detente was highly congruous with Rockefeller’s push to internationalise Chase Manhattan banking operations. Thus in 1973 Chase Manhattan became the first American bank to open an office in Moscow. A few months later, thanks to an invitation arranged by Kissinger, Rockefeller became the first US banker to talk with Chinese Communist leaders in Beijing.

    How They Manipulate Public Opinion

    In addition to these strategic “think tanks” the elite has set up a chain of research institutes devoted to manipulating public opinion in a manner the elite desires. As pointed out by John Coleman in his eye opening book The Tavistock Institute on Human Relations – Shaping the Moral, Spiritual, Cultural, Political and Economic Decline of the United States of America, it was in 1913 that an institute was established at Wellington House, London for manipulation of public opinion. According to Coleman: The modern science of mass manipulation was born at Wellington House London, the lusty infant being midwifed by Lord Northcliffe and Lord Rothmere. The British monarchy, Lord Rothschild, and the Rockefellers were responsible for funding the venture… the purpose of those at Wellington House was to effect a change in the opinions of British people who were adamantly opposed to war with Germany, a formidable task that was accomplished by “opinion making” through polling. The staff consisted of Arnold Toynbee, a future director of studies at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), Lord Northcliffe, and the Americans, Walter Lippmann and Edward Bernays. Lord Northcliffe was related to the Rothschilds through marriage. Bernays was a nephew of Sigmund Freud, a fact never mentioned, and developed the technique of “engineering consent.” When Sigmund Freud moved to Britain he also, secretly, became associated with this institute through the Tavistock Institute. According to Coleman, Bernays “pioneered the use of psychology and other social sciences to shape and form public opinion so that the public thought such manufactured opinions were their own.”

    The Tavistock Institute has a 6 billion dollar fund and 400 subsidiary organisations are under its control along with 3,000 think tanks, mostly in the USA. The Stanford Research Institute, the Hoover Institute, the Aspen Institute of Colorado, and many others, devoted to manipulation of US as well as global public opinion, are Tavistock offshoots. This helps explain why the US public, by and large, is so mesmerised as to be unable to see things clearly and to react. Bilderberg researcher Daniel Estulin quotes from Mary Scobey’s book To Nurture Humanness a statement
    attributed to Professor Raymond Houghton, that the CFR has been clear for a very long time that
    “absolute behaviour control is imminent… without mankind’s self realisation that a crisis is at hand.”

    Also keep in mind that currently 80% of US electronic and print media is owned by only six large
    corporations. This development has taken place in the past two decades. These corporations are elite owned. It is almost impossible for anyone who is acquainted with what is going on at the global level to watch, even for a few minutes, the distortions, lies and fabrications, incessantly pouring out of this media, a propaganda and brainwashing organ of the elite.

    Once your picture is clear it is also easy to notice the criminal silence of the media on crimes being perpetrated against humanity at the behest of the elite. How many people know that the cancer rates in Fallujah, Iraq are higher than those in Hiroshima and Nagasaki because of the use of depleted uranium, and maybe other secret nuclear devices, by US forces? Fallujah was punished for its heroic resistance against the American forces.
    The Importance of Eurasia

    Why is the US in Central Asia? In order to understand this, one has to look at the writings of the stooges of the elite – Brzezinski, Kissinger, Samuel P Huntington, and their likes. It is important to note that members of these elite paid think tanks publish books as part of a strategy to give respectability to subsequent illegal, immoral and predatory actions that are to be taken at the behest of the elite. The views are not necessarily their own – they are the views of the think tanks. These stooges formulate and pronounce policies and plans at the behest of their masters, through bodies like the Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg Group, etc.

    In his infinitely arrogant book The Grand Chessboard, published in 1997, Brzezinski spelled out the philosophy behind the current US military eruption. He starts by quoting the well-known views of the British geographer Sir Halford J Mackinder (1861–1947), another worker for the elite. Mackinder was a member of the ‘Coefficients Dining Club’ established by members of the Fabian Society in 1902. The continuity of the policies of the elite is indicated by the fact Brzezinski starts from Mackinder’s thesis first propounded in 1904: “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland: Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island: who commands the World-Island commands the world.”………………….

    Prof. Mujahid Kamran is Vice Chancellor, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan, and his book The Grand Deception – Corporate America and Perpetual War has just been published (April 2011) by Sang e Meel Publications, Lahore, Pakistan.

  20. prism 21

    @Afewknowthetruth – Thanks for extensive background. Will take a deep breath and read it. I hope its not just rant and emotive opinion. I will get going on it. I may be away for some time.

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    Apparently, some people enjoy washing their cars. Each to his or her own, I suppose. I mean, some people like duck shooting, some people follow Coronation Street, and some people’s idea of a good day out is to sit on a grass bank at Seddon Park and watch cricket all ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 days ago
  • If Shane Jones isn’t corrupt, he is trying very hard to look it
    Last week we learned that New Zealand First had apparently tried to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Today in Question Time Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones had his ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need to end fossil fuels
    Finally, governments seem slowly to be beginning to act on climate change. But its not enough. While they're publicly signing up to targets, they're planning to destroy the world by continuing fossil fuel extraction:The world’s nations are on track to produce more than twice as much coal, oil and gas ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • As bad as we expected
    Stuff has begun interviewing NZ First's secret donors, and it turns out that its as bad as we expected. They start with racing industry figure Garry Chittick, who is predictably grumpy about NZ First's coalition choices. Meanwhile, I'm looking at the list of pork NZ First has effectively given its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The Second (And Final?) Crucifixion Of Winston Peters.
    Stag At Bay: Twelve years ago, Winston Peters was still robust enough to come back from the political crucifixion which his political and media enemies had prepared for him. In his seventies now, the chances of a second resurrection are slim. We should, therefore, prepare for the last gasp of ...
    2 days ago
  • Earth’s artificial rings
    Satellites pass over NZ all the time (literally). Here I focus on the 187 Planet Labs ‘Dove’ Earth-imaging satellites, and I show that one can determine in advance where they will be, enabling scientists on the ground to correlate their environmental and other data collection with opportunities to get imaging ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 days ago
  • Softy Jejune Parson – the new Mother Superior of Wellington
      The Council of Disobedient Women has learned that the Prefect of Aro Valley has been promoted to a new role with the blessing of the Pope of Wellington. Softy Jejune Parson has been appointed Mother Superior of Woke Wellington for the work she has been doing calling out heretics, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Atlantic shakeup: US and UK leadership contenders ripping up the usual scripts?
    On both sides of the Atlantic, some purportedly “contentious” and “difficult to deal with” leadership contenders to lead the US and UK, as President and Prime Minister respectively, seem to have thrown a few spanners into the works of the normal messaging most are used to hearing constantly. Except they’re ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • Winston is the PM’s problem
    In Question Time today the Prime Minister was naturally facing questions about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his dubious party financing arrangements, which seem to violate electoral finance law. Her response was to pretend that it was nothing to do with her, and that she is not responsible for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Australia’s secret prisoner
    A prisoner stripped of their name, imprisoned for a secret crime after a secret trial, with all details legally suppressed for secret reasons. A story by Kafka or Dumas? China? No, its just the latest stage of Australian tyranny:An Australian citizen was prosecuted, convicted, and jailed in the ACT last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Bridges should put his money where his mouth is
    Stuff has more details on what New Zealand First's slush-fund has been funding, with much of the spending directly benefiting the party. Which makes it look a lot like hidden donations, rather than the completely-innocent-giant-pile-of-cash Winston is trying to portray it as. The Electoral Commission is now investigating, but Simon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The APEC police state enabling bill
    I've joked before about how hosting international summits effectively turns part of your country into a police state for the duration. Well, New Zealand is hosting APEC in 2021, with events throughout the year in Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland. And the government has put up a bill to give itself ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Why coastal floods are becoming more frequent as seas rise
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I saw an article claiming that “king tides” will increase in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • The cost of a range clearance.
    It has been revealed that firing ranges used by the NZDF while deployed to the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, contained unexploded ordnance that caused numerous deaths and injuries after the NZDF withdrew the PRT in April 2013. In 2014 seven children were killed when an unidentified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Still denying responsibility
    Stuff's story on NZDF's negligence around its Afghan firing ranges has produced a result, with a commitment from the Prime Minister for an urgent cleanup. But this doesn't mean NZDF is accepting responsibility for the deaths and injuries that have occured - they're still refusing compensation. Which given that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A corrupt practice
    Last week RNZ broke the news on NZ First's mysterious "foundation" and its dodgy-looking loans. The arrangement seemed to be designed to evade the transparency requirements of the Electoral Act, by laundering donations. But now Stuff has acquired some of their financial records, and it gone from dodgy to outright ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Democracy “A Bit Bonkers” – Thoughts Inspired By Lizzie Marvelly’s Latest Co...
    Didn't See It Coming: NZ Herald columnist Lizzie Marvelly's latest column merits serious scrutiny because such a clear example of anti-democratic thinking is encountered only rarely on the pages of the daily press. Which is not to say that the elitism which lies at the heart of such social disparagement ...
    4 days ago
  • Colombia: historic memory, massacres and the military
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Initially it was reported that in an aerial bombardment that took place on August 30th seven children were massacred; the figure then went up to eight and then on November 11th Noticias Uno reported that, according to people from the community in close proximity to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • On the road to Net Zero, the next step is to update our UN pledge
    A lot has happened since the UN’s report on 1.5ºC was released in October 2018. New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill has passed, and enshrines the 1.5ºC goal in law. The UK and France have also legally strengthened their targets to Net Zero 2050. The School Strike For Climate and Extinction ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • Corruption as usual
    Next year is an election year, and Labour needs money to fund its campaign. So naturally, they're selling access:Labour is charging wealthy business figures $1500-a-head to lunch with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at its annual conference later this month. [...] On the weekend beginning November 29th, around 800 delegates will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Fairer rentals
    Yesterday the government announced its changes to tenancy laws, including an end to no-cause evictions, limits on rent increases, and anonyminity for tenants who defend their rights against bad landlords (sadly necessary because landlords are scum who maintain blacklists of "uppity" tenants). They're all good moves, and have resulted in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Another NZDF coverup
    In 2003 New Zealand sent a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan to support America's doomed war there. While there, they conducted regular weapons practice on local firing ranges, littering the landscape with unexploded ammunition. These ranges weren't secure - they're on land used by locals for animal herding - so ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    5 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    6 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    1 week ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    1 week ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Holy bin chickens: ancient Egyptians tamed wild ibis for sacrifice
    Sally Wasef, Griffith University and David Lambert, Griffith University These days, not many Aussies consider the ibis a particularly admirable creature. But these birds, now colloquially referred to as “bin chickens” due to their notorious scavenging antics, have a grandiose and important place in history – ancient Egyptian history, to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    2 weeks ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Tackling child poverty
    It's been a great week of progress: we've celebrated Children's Day, we've made communities safer with 1800 new police, and we've seen almost 90% of eligible schools take up Government funding to scrap school donations - taking pressure off the families of more than 416,000 students. ...
    17 hours ago
  • New measures for wood processing boost
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry The Government will further strengthen New Zealand’s wood processing sector as part of our focus on ‘value over volume’ in our forestry industry, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones will today meet with forestry representatives in Northland to signal new measures to help the ...
    20 hours ago
  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    2 days ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    4 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    4 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    4 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    5 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    3 weeks ago

  • PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island
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