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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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  • Halfway there (maybe)
    New Zealand is now officially halfway through its first 4-week lockdown period. The good news is that it seems to be working - people staying at home has reduced the potential for the virus to spread, and we've had steadily decreasing numbers of new cases over the last few days ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • A pandemic Peter Principle.
    In 1968 Canadian sociologist Laurence Peter coined the phrase “Peter Principle” as a contribution to the sociology of organisations. It explains that in complex organizations people rise to the level of their own incompetence. That is, they get promoted so long as they meet or exceed the specified criteria for ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    20 hours ago
  • Hard News: Music is coming home
    The practice and business of music has been one of the sectors most gravely impacted by the virus sweeping the world. The emphatic nature of our government's response, necessary as it was, has slammed the industry and the people who work in it.There are New Zealand artists – Nadia Reid, ...
    21 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 14
    . . April 8: Day 14 of living in lock-down… The good news first: the downward trajectory of new cases appears to be a real thing. In the last four days, since Sunday, new infections have been dropping: Sunday: 89 new cases Monday: 67 Tuesday: 54 Today (Wednesday): 50 The ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    23 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 5: Don’t censor yourself
    The anti-fluoride movement wants to restrict your reading to “just four studies.” They actively ignore or attempt to discredit other relevant studies. Image credit: Censorship in media. For earlier articles in this series see: ...
    1 day ago
  • “Lord, give us Democratic Socialism – but not yet!”
    Not Now, Not Ever, Never! The problem with Labour's leading activists is that there is never a good time for democratic socialism. Never. They are like Saint Augustine who prayed to the Almighty: “Lord, give me chastity and self-control – but not yet.” In the case of Labour "junior officers", however, ...
    1 day ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #14, 2020
    1 day ago
  • The Few are on the run, again, it still won’t stop reality catching up…
    We are seeing what has been termed “a greater challenge than the crash of 2008” by a growing number of economists and more rational, sane commentators, because whilst that was a shocking exposure of the levels to which hubris had sunk, right down to the blank cheque given those who ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Locked down in Jersey City
    I am a Kiwi living in Jersey City, New Jersey. Jersey City is the second-largest city in the state and is located directly across the Hudson River from downtown Manhattan. Locals call it New York’s sixth borough. More than 350,000 New Jersey citizens, including myself, commute to New York daily ...
    2 days ago
  • Expanding houses
    It’s  a beautiful autumn afternoon, we need to get out of the house, and so our bubble sets off on a bike ride around our local neighbourhood, Cambridge Park. The bikes come out of the garage, and, being really certain we have a front door key, close the garage door ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 13
    . . April 7: Day 13 of living in lock-down… and unlucky for those who are superstitious. A day when there was a ray of sunshine from an otherwise bleak day of worrying signs. Today, as RNZ reported; Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield reported 54 new confirmed and probable cases ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A UBI in Spain
    So far, universal basic income policies, which see people given a regular income without any conditions, have been trailed only on a small scale. But now, Spain is introducing one nationwide as a response to the pandemic: Spain is to roll out a universal basic income (UBI) “as soon as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 4: Till et al (2020)
    Paul Connet, head of the anti-fluoride propaganda group, Fluoride Action Network, claims that the IQ of children bottle-fed in fluoridated areas drops by 9 points. But he misrepresented the research. There is no observable effect. For earlier articles in this series see: Part 1: Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only ...
    2 days ago
  • The Role of Government
    The Queen’s coronavirus broadcast, with its overtones of Winston Churchill and Vera Lynn, prompted me to reflect on the tribulations my parents’ generation suffered during the Second World War – and I imagine that those parallels, given her own wartime experience, were very much in the Queen’s mind as she ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • The irreversible emissions of a permafrost ‘tipping point’
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr Christina Schädel Across vast swaths of the northern hemisphere’s higher reaches, frozen ground holds billions of tonnes of carbon.  As global temperatures rise, this “permafrost” land is at increasing risk of thawing out, potentially releasing its long-held carbon into the atmosphere. Abrupt permafrost ...
    2 days ago
  • How to complain about MDC’s unreasonable LGOIMA charging regime
    Back in February, the Marlborough District Council increased the mount it charges for LGOIMA requests. I used the LGOIMA to poke into this, and it seems the case for increased charges is unjustified: the supposed increase in request volumes it rests on is an artefact of the Council suddenly deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 12
    . . April 6: Day 12 of living in lock-down… Another day of a near-empty Park N Ride carpark; . . And another day of near-empty Wellington streets; . . . Light traffic on the motorway. No apparent increase in volume. Commercial vehicles sighted; a gravel-hauling truck; McAuley’s Transport; a ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • A Lamentable Failure of Imagination.
    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    3 days ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    3 days ago
  • Could the Atlantic Overturning Circulation ‘shut down’?
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr. Richard Wood and Dr. Laura Jackson Generally, we think of climate change as a gradual process: the more greenhouse gases that humans emit, the more the climate will change. But are there any “points of no return” that commit us to irreversible ...
    3 days ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    4 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    4 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    4 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    6 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    1 week ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
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  • Statement from David Clark
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    7 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
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  • State of National Emergency extended
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