The Weekly Watch

Tales of the Oligarchs
and other horror stories

The oligarchs have been working toward this moment for a while now. They have patience and almost unlimited resources. The Koch brothers provide an excellent example of the way we are controlled by corporate interests. Then there's the Mercers and their insidious manipulation of the system for their personal profit. Can't forget Eric Prince and Betsy DeVos and their efforts privatizing schools and the military. Oh yeah what about Jeff Bezos and his corporate empire? …and on and on. These are our rulers. Let's learn a little about them and their strategies as we explore the weeks happenings.

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The Koch brothers empire
is staggering. Not just their corporate entities...but wide and deep layers of their effective manipulation machine.
https://hightowerlowdown.org/article/patience-and-secrecy-cloak-the-koch...

The entire article is worth a read, but just take a gander at some of the layers of their organizations and the extent of their reach -

Higher education
The nearly $145 million the Charles Koch Foundation gave to colleges between 2005 and 2015 often came with strings, as when a 2008 agreement with Florida State University’s econ department gave the foundation a say in the school’s curriculum and hiring. One part of the FSU contract established a program to develop “common sense” (read Koch-friendly) workshops for teachers and course materials down through the grade school level.
George Mason University has been particularly blessed. “[G]round zero for deregulation policy in Washington,” according to one Democratic strategist, GMU’s Mercatus Center was founded and is funded with Koch money. Since the ’60s Charles Koch has also funded GMU’s Institute for Humane Studies, which functions as a recruitment firm for libertarian academic talent. But wait, there’s more! In April 2016, after receiving a cool $10 million from the Charles Koch Foundation, GMU renamed its law school for Antonin Scalia.

High schools
Youth Entrepreneurs targets high schoolers from “fragile communities” around the country with a “free market and liberty-based” curriculum. In 2014 the Koch-funded Bill of Rights Institute received a contract to develop materials for North Carolina teachers to use in a required course on “founding principles.” The Koch-funded Freedom Center at the University of Arizona developed a course in “Ethics, Economy, and Entrepreneurship,” now being taught in Arizona high schools. We could go on

Astroturf (the cashroots) organizations
Americans for Prosperity–which opposes unions, health insurance mandates, federal spending generally, and efforts to fight climate change–receives massive funding from Freedom Partners, American Encore, and Donors Trust. With 2014 revenues of $83 million, AFP spends millions on TV ads during election cycles and, with paid organizers in 36 states, provides “boots on the ground” for the State Policy Network agenda (see Think Tanks).
National Federation of Independent Business has taken millions from operations linked to the Kochs and lobbies for the interests of large corporations over those of the small businesses it purports to protect.

The Bill Mill Law Generator
American Legislative Exchange Council Koch-funded ALEC hands state legislators “model bills” that benefit corporate bottom lines.

Campaign strategy and assistance
Aegis Strategic The Koch-created political consulting firm seeks out “electable advocates of the freedom and opportunity agenda” and helps them run effective campaigns and gain access to the Koch donor network. (Spotted by Aegis, Iowa pol Joni Ernst publicly thanked Freedom Partners for her rise from little-known state senator to right-wing US senator.)

Data analytics (ie psyops propoganda)
i360 and Themis With the i360 database topping 250 million US adults, including 190 million registered voters, the Kochs’ data operation is bigger than the Republican party’s. i360 and its nonprofit arm Themis provide the data analysis that Koch-sponsored groups and politicians use for sophisticated targeting.

Legal assaults
Through its many legal fronts–including the Institute for Free Speech, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Center for individual Rights, and Liberty Justice Center–the Kochs and their network have backed hundreds of court challenges to laws that they find inconvenient. Dispersing almost $300 million, they have backed campaign finance deregulation and chipped away at pro-union laws.

Media
The Franklin Center is “an ambitious, right-leaning investigative nonprofit focused on state and regional issues,” according to the Columbia Journalism Review. The center’s website notes that Koch funds “help fill the void created as the nation’s newspapers cut back on their statehouse news coverage.”
Watchdog.org Most active in political swing states, this project of the Franklin Center is an online hub for reporting on state and local governments. Talent development and administrative support Freedom Partners Shared Services provides administrative support, human resources, and recruitment for Koch-funded entities, and, Politico says, “assist[s] with everything from scouting office space to accounting to furniture and security.”

Think tanks
American Enterprise Institute, Cato Institute, The Heritage Foundation, and Manhattan Institute are among the well-known Koch-funded idea and propaganda machines, but more obscure entities such as the State Policy Network are far more insidious. SPN is an umbrella organization for some 60 “pro-freedom” state-level think tanks that aim to cut state government employees’ pay, oppose public sector collective bargaining, reduce services in education and health-care, promote school vouchers, oppose efforts to combat greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce or eliminate income and sales taxes.

Issues these groups address
Union bashing and busting: National Right to Work Committee
No limits on guns: NRA Institute for Legislative Action
Climate change denial: 84 denier organizations have received over $100 million from the Kochs since 1997, Greenpeace has calculated.
Public funding for private and charter schools: The Libre Initiative is organizing in 11 states. (Charles has a deep history of hostility toward the very idea of public schools, which his Daddy Fred charged were commie infiltrated.)
Attacking anti-corruption campaign laws; pushing for privatization of our roads, public lands, and virtually anything else; attacking laws that protect our water and air; etc.

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How did they devise such a evil plan? Meet the little known economist that created the road map to oligarchy (h/t joe) https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/meet-the-economist-behin...

Bill Moyers helped me to learn of the Koch influence. Once they succeeded with the Citizen's United case, they became more visible because Katy bar the door unlimited cash started the ball rolling in a real way.
https://www.thenation.com/article/how-wall-street-occupied-america/
...and his documentary “The United States of ALEC” (1 hour with text)
https://billmoyers.com/episode/united-states-of-alec/

Brave New Films hour documentary “Koch Brothers Exposed” 2014 edition
https://www.thenation.com/article/koch-brothers-exposed/

Here's an current web based expose.
https://www.prwatch.org/topics/koch-exposed
How much did they contribute to your state candidates?
https://www.prwatch.org/news/2018/05/13355/who-are-2018-koch-candidates

Look what they've accomplished. Some of their successful campaigns include -
legally equating money (property) with speech (Citizens United)
gerrymandering
vote suppression
killing unions
deconstruction of social programs
replacing legal suits with binding arbitration
stacking the courts
environmental deregulation
climate change denial
https://therealnews.com/stories/trump-the-koch-brothers-and-their-war-on... (32 min or text)

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Mercer's right there with the Koch brothers promoting those fossil fuels.
https://therealnews.com/columns/how-donald-trump-kingmaker-billionaires-...

from wiki entries on Mercer, Cambridge Analytica, and SCL group....
Robert Leroy Mercer is an American computer scientist, who was a developer in early artificial intelligence and co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund.

Mercer played a key role in the Brexit campaign by donating data analytics services to Nigel Farage. He is also a major funder of organizations supporting right-wing political causes in the United States, such as Breitbart News and Donald Trump's 2016 campaign for president. He is the principal benefactor of the Make America Number 1 super PAC. In November 2017, Mercer announced he would step down from Renaissance Technologies and sell his stake in Breitbart News to his daughters.

Cambridge Analytica was founded by conservative businessmen Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer. A minimum of 15 million dollars has been invested into the company by Mercer, according to The New York Times. Bannon's stake in the company was estimated at 1 to 5 million dollars, but he divested his holdings in April 2017 as required by his role as White House Chief Strategist.

Cambridge Analytica (SCL USA) was incorporated in January 2015 with its registered office in Westferry Circus, London and just one staff member, its director and CEO Alexander James Ashburner Nix (also appointed in January 2015). Nix is also the director of nine similar companies sharing the same registered offices in London, including Firecrest technologies, Emerdata and six SCL Group companies including "SCL elections limited". Nigel Oakes founded SCL Group, which is the parent company of Cambridge Analytica. In March 2018, Jennifer Mercer and Rebekah Anne Mercer became directors of Emerdata limited.

Publicly, SCL Group called itself a "global election management agency", Politico reported it was known for involvement "in military disinformation campaigns to social media branding and voter targeting". SCL's involvement in the political world has been primarily in the developing world where it has been used by the military and politicians to study and manipulate public opinion and political will. Slate writer Sharon Weinberger compared one of SCL's hypothetical test scenarios to fomenting a coup.

According to the Swiss Das Magazin, the methods of data analysis of CA were to a large degree based on the academic work of Michal Kosinski. In 2008, Kosinski had joined the Psychometrics Centre of Cambridge University where he then developed with his colleagues a profiling system using general online data, Facebook-likes, and smartphone data. He showed that with a limited number of "likes", people can be analysed better than friends or relatives can do and that individual psychological targeting is a powerful tool to influence people.

Can you say brainwashing?

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Max Blumenthal explains the way in which these companies collect and use data. It isn't just the US but a world wide propaganda production.
“...looking at these SCL documents, I learned about this entire wider web of covert influence operations. And we really have to see Cambridge Analytica as just the tip of the massive iceberg that might represent the greatest threat to whatever’s left of democracy. “
https://therealnews.com/stories/max-blumenthal-reveals-surveillance-prog...

Guess we're all psyops victims of the oligarchs....

Jeremy Scahill does a great job weaving the threads together between countries and oligarchs using Eric Price, the mercenary, and his role in provoking war and conflict.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2FlQHwi300 (12 min)

Here's an ice 5 min summary on how the oligarchy works
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXDKNH9PctU

Here's an excellent 30 min documentary for your Uncle Bill or Aunt Betsy that has no understanding we've become an oligarchy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUBcbSELX64

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Jimmy does a great job showing us how out of touch billionaires become using Starbucks owner's clueless remarks (20 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHpN7X9iK3o
Is it wealth or greed that leads to a lack of empathy? Probably both.

The oligarchs are too numerous to examine them all, but in passing here's some other overlords to contemplate...

Jeff Bezos Last year he became the world's wealthiest person when his estimated net worth increased to just over $90 billion. His wealth surpassed $100 billion for the first time on November 24 after Amazon's share price increased by more than 2.5%. On March 6, 2018, Forbes formally designated Bezos the wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of $112 billion, making him the first centi-billionaire on the wealth index.

He owns the WaPo, contracts with the CIA for cloud storage, and is the major retailer in the US. Consider his newest device Fire TV Cube - https://www.cnet.com/products/amazon-fire-tv-cube/preview/ They don't need to implant a chip in your brain, they can just use this sort of technology to control us and our desires.

The Bezos empire is eclipsing the Walton families. To understand their business model check out this Al Jazeera documentary on the rise of the oligarchy (45 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cN8esxNb1t0

George Soros is another meddling oligarch. He's behind the problems in Ukraine
https://journal-neo.org/2015/06/12/an-american-oligarch-s-dirty-tale-of-...

Betsy DeVos, education profiteer, and public school destroyer. Uneducated people are easier to control.
http://gothamist.com/2016/11/24/meet_the_nations_new_school_privati.php

I was glad to read a teacher stood up to her...on one of those rare occasions where she talked with education professionals...
DeVos later repeated her criticism of teachers who walked out in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona and Colorado. Hazell said she told Arizona Teacher of the Year Josh Meibos, whose colleagues had shut down schools for a third day to protest for more education funding: “I hope the teachers would not work out our grievances at the expense of the kids.”
http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/education/oklahoma-teacher-of-the-year-sh...

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I've dropped this link around in a couple of spots. If you missed the 11 min summary of America's monopolies, it is worth your time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLfO-2t1qPQ

And so many others like...
Mark Zuckerberg Time magazine has named Zuckerberg among the 100 wealthiest and most influential people in the world as a part of its Person of the Year award. In December 2016, Zuckerberg was ranked 10th on Forbes list of The World's Most Powerful People.

Warren Buffet He is considered one of the most successful investors in the world and has a net worth of US$84 billion as of June 3, 2018, making him the fourth wealthiest person in the world

Bill Gates who along with Buffet created The Giving Pledge, whereby they and other billionaires pledge to give at least half of their wealth to philanthropy. Appearing to be charitable is a PR stunt of the oligarchs. Look who brings you the PBS science show NOVA and sits on the board of the Smithsonian (David Koch).

Some are not as well known in the US like...
Carlos Slim, a Mexican business magnate, engineer, investor and philanthropist.[2][3] From 2010 to 2013, Slim was ranked as the richest person in the world by the Forbes business magazine. He derived his fortune from his extensive holdings in a considerable number of Mexican companies through his conglomerate, Grupo Carso. As of March 2018, he is the seventh-richest person in the world according to Forbes' listing of The World's Billionaires with a net worth estimated at $70.5 billion. His conglomerate includes education, health care, industrial manufacturing, transportation, real estate, media, energy, hospitality, entertainment, high-technology, retail, sports and financial services. He accounts for 40% of the listings on the Mexican Stock Exchange, while his net worth is equivalent to about 6 percent of Mexico’s gross domestic product.
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim became the largest individual shareholder in New York Times Co. after exercising warrants that more than doubled his stake in the media company to 16.8%. https://www.wsj.com/articles/carlos-slim-exercises-new-york-times-warran...

I wonder how the Mexican oligarchs are handling the rise of a populous presidential candidate. Well they pull out all the stops, and if that doesn't work they assassinate.
Here's more in video or text on the election...
https://therealnews.com/stories/mexicos-presidential-race-lopez-obrador-...

But it isn't individuals...it is the networks (3 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J45HnSwjPxo

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Richard Wolff and his view on the rise of the oligarchy (7 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flR2_1cXT8I

Basic income is a scam of the oligarchs...Guaranteed well paying fulfilling jobs would be much better, Chris Hedges and Mr Fish
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-oligarchs-guaranteed-basic-income-...

More from Chris Hedges, “ Oligarchs care nothing for competency, intelligence, honesty, rationality, self-sacrifice or the common good. They pervert, deform and dismantle systems of power to serve their immediate interests, squandering the future for short-term personal gain”
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/deadly-rule-oligarchs/

In an oligarchy, democracy is an illusion...

What democracy? I voted this week, but I followed instructions...

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Nick Branna sent an email with his take...

In California, the state Democratic Party broke its own rules to secure yet another term for two of the most disliked and reprehensible corporate politicians, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Nancy Pelosi. Both have been in office for about 30 years and enriched themselves to the tune of $100 million dollars in the course of their “public service.”

In Iowa, Bernie pulled out all the stops for Pete D’Alessandro. He endorsed him personally, led a rally, raised money and narrated a TV ad, but Pete still came in a distant third. Our Revolution’s Cathy Glasson also lost to establishment Democrat Fred Hubbell in Iowa’s race for Governor.

In New Jersey, Our Revolution and Justice Democrat candidates Peter Jacob and Jim Keady lost their congressional races to establishment candidates. As did progressives in Alabama, New Mexico and Montana.

The Democratic Party doesn’t even pretend to abide by its impartiality rules anymore. It openly floods races in corporate money, feeds opposition research to the media, forces progressives to spend three quarters of their fundraising on consultants and ads, changes the rules required to get party support, knocks progressives off the ballot, denies access to crucial voter data, endorses establishment Democrats, and even gives hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates. 

Jimmy Dore had this take on Pelosi and the Californication primary...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ1i_BM_qTE (16 min)

Jimmy Carter told us the truth a while back https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDsPWmioSHg (1.5 min)

This nice 5.5 min story of the corruption of the USA has been posted on c99 many times.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tu32CCA_Ig

Before we go let's have at look at the real world as in nature...
Fascinating study of the biomass (weight) of various species on Earth.
https://therealnews.com/stories/study-humans-0-01-of-worlds-biomass-caus...

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I feel like this is a superficial swipe covering the nature of the US oligarchy. It would take volumes not just an essay to do justice to the subject. There is no doubt there is a concerted effort to subvert the will of the people. The goal is the rule of property (owners) rather than citizens. You know the golden rule...those that have the gold make the rules. The plan is incredibly successful and is occurring at the local, state, national, and global level. Do you see a way out of this?

I look forward to your comments and stories below. Sorry I won't be around today. I'm going to see my sister from Texas in Birmingham today. Here's wishing you all an nice day in our oligarchy.

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Comments

Thanks Lookout, this was online yesterday but I posted "I Love You, California" in OT instead.
Keiser Report: The myth of 'Golden State' (E1238)
https://youtu.be/ZGl2OeO-Yw0

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy discuss the reasons why that, despite the myth pushed by themselves, California is not, in fact, the most progressive state in America. In the second half, Max interviews Jeff Berwick of Anarchapulco.com about the reasons for EOS and what the free market might determine as a new protocol is introduced to the cryptocurrency space.

"Do you see a way out of this?" Not through anarcho-capitalism I don't, but some do.

Happy Sunday
Peace & Love

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Lookout's picture

@eyo

as verbage

"Do you see a way out of this?" Not through anarcho-capitalism I don't, but some do.

I agree with you. As I suggested last week we just have to not play their game....at whatever level people can. Kinda like the idea we grew up with...what if the gave a war and nobody came?

You worked in a coop. Was that a good viable alternative?

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

QMS's picture

Since the system is rigged, we have been working to figure out how the establishment maintains their grip on power. At the state level, cracks have been found. Using secretive measures and their own gerrymandered districts to our advantage, quiet challenges are in the works. There will be surprises come primary time. Running unopposed may be a thing of the past by slipping some thru under the radar. Will fill in the blanks as the fruits ripen. Cheers.

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Lookout's picture

@QMS

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

QMS's picture

@Lookout upheavals within

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

I'm moving slow this morning. Might be a two-pot morning. I think I'm gonna need a second cup.

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

altering people's voter registration data so that they can't vote in the primaries.

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Lookout's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Florida is renown for it!

Just back home from the PPC rally in montgomery. more on that later.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Azazello's picture

and thanks Lookout for another batch of good links.
Here's a couple more:
js linked this one in the Evening Blues on Friday, but for those who missed it
it's a good discussion of what's going on in Venezuela.
Leftist Debunks John Oliver's Venezuela Episode, YouTube, 46 min.
This one's good too, Aaron Mate on Russiagate After One Year, YouTube, 45 min.
Have a nice day.

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@Azazello A bit surprised by the Matte interview.TYT has been in full Maddow mode when it comes to anything Russia. I watch only watch now and then after Cenk went just was apolipetic using homophobic slurs to describe Putin and Trump's relationship. I think that the main people at TYT unconsciously
understand that not taking an extreme anti-Russia stance would cost they viewership.

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Lookout's picture

@Azazello

in Montgomery. She agreed it was good that the OAS didn't kick them out.

Thanks for the links. I enjoyed this piece...video or text-
https://therealnews.com/stories/embarrassing-defeat-for-the-u-s-in-its-e...

hope all is well in your corner of the world

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

ggersh's picture

I knew right then how fucked we are as a country

9 days before his inauguration, 9 fucking days

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“We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy”

Chris Hedges

detroitmechworks's picture

How he compared a philosophically aware state to stepping out of the cave and trying to explain to those who are within that all they have to do is step out of the cave to experience reality.

In my mind the cave is American Propaganda. Stepping outside reveals an entire world of experiences and thought. Smile

Or it could be the weed. Either way, I'm happy.

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You can't expect to wield Supreme Military power, just cause some corporate tosser lobbed a contract at you!

ggersh's picture

@detroitmechworks https://crooksandliars.com/2018/06/fox-friends-host-abby-huntsman-north-...

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“We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy”

Chris Hedges

Lookout's picture

@detroitmechworks

Complete with echo chamber...

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

every time someone says "Koch Brothers" to them, even though the Kochs put vastly larger sums into their bullshit factories and even though Soros does give to pro-democracy causes. People have been brainwashed into being unable to focus on the most immediate threats to our freedom.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

@Timmethy2.0 I think Soros is a huge part of the problem.

Just because the Kochs have more money doesn't mean Soros is less evil.

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dfarrah

@dfarrah @dfarrah
I can name a shitload of specifics for the Koch brothers that are all very evil, manipulative and oligarchic. What specifics can you name for Soros. The Koch's wealth, together, ranks pretty close to number 1, according to a Forbes list or similar that I've seen, at around $100 billion. Soros is at something like 4 billion. It's a false equivalency by a mile and it's intentional that so many people are convinced of it. There's too much damn ignorant certainty, from all over, left and right, for us to learn and solve our problems.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

Lookout's picture

@Timmethy2.0

working to create conflict in various places around the world including Ukraine
here's the article sited...
https://journal-neo.org/2015/06/12/an-american-oligarch-s-dirty-tale-of-...

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Timmethy2.0 Look up how he manipulated currency in England and how he funds efforts to destabilize governments.

The guy supposedly made his wealth off of hedge funds - you can't get much lower than that - a completely unproductive parasite.

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dfarrah

mimi's picture

lookout posted today. This may be the most important collection for me.

Thank you so much, lookout. I try to keep my calm and cool and balance, but admit that all the signs I observe are headed towards a future in brutal chaos.

I made it so up to the Buchanan article
Meet the Economist Behind the One Percent’s Stealth Takeover of America
and read the first 1/3 of that article. Decided to take an effort to really read all of it. Looks to me it is extremely revealing and I plan to read the book by MacLean "Democracy in Chains".

I wonder if next Sunday I was able to digest all of the links.

So, did dear Mr First behave again badly? Seems to be the case. I won't link, because the articles about it are in the hundreds. There is now a small but new populist movement in support of a united EU to protect against divisions inside the EU caused by the US, more or less. I just heard it in passing by a TV here in Germany and thought I have to look out what it is.

Eeery feelings in my guts. Here just for fun images ... Photo of Angela Merkel Staring Down Donald Trump at G-7 Summit Fuels Captions and Memes

Crap all of it. Or not, or may be.... wtf.
Peace. Try to not be manipulated. Thanks.

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“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” -- Mark Twain

Azazello's picture

@mimi
The "West" is Past

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mimi's picture

@mimi @mimi
politicians about the debacle at the G7 summit in Canada. Google translation with small edits by myself. From "Der Spiegel" Trump ist ein Chaot (Trump is a slob)

German reactions to G7 fiasco "Trump is a chaot/slob"

Government and opposition representatives in Germany are in sharp opposition to Donald Trump's behavior at the G7 summit. SPD leader Nahles says: "The answer to 'America first' can only be 'Europe united'.

SPD party and faction leader Andrea Nahles has called the G7 summit in Canada a "disaster". US President Donald Trump has left behind his international responsibility per Tweet, sagte Nahles. "President Trump is a chaot /slob, so a sensible and reliable politics is not possible."

The SPD chairman urged the European states to greater unity. "The answer to 'America first' can only be 'Europe united'," demanded Nahles. "Europeans, together with Canada and Japan, are now called upon to ensure that international cooperation in peace, arms control, climate and trade policy is not completely overrun."

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD - Social Democratic Party of Germany) said Trump destroyed trust in seconds with his tweet. Rebuilding this lost trust will take much longer, according to the SPD politician. However, the behavior of the US President is not a surprise - Trump behaved similarly with the termination of the climate agreement and the Iran deal

Heiko Maas

@HeikoMaas

With a tweet, a lot of trust can be destroyed very quickly. It is all the more important that Europe stands together and represents its interests even more aggressively. #EuropeUnited is the answer to #AmericaFirst. # G7 https://twitter.com/tagesschau/status/1005729237523935232 ...
3:11 PM - Jun 10, 2018

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264 people are talking about this

The CDU / CSU parliamentary group has also sharply criticized Trump's debacle at the G7 summit. Group leader Volker Kauder called Trump's subsequent refusal to support the final declaration of the G7 summit an "unprecedented scandal". Thus the US-president put on to "a value-based co-operation of the leading economic nations a serious blow", said the CDU (Christian Democratic Union)politician.

Nevertheless, it is now important to "keep cool", emphasized Kauder. "The EU and Germany will have to continue talking to the US government, including the US president."

Similarly expressed the foreign policy spokesman of the group, Jürgen Hardt. "His move to withdraw approval for the final statement after the meeting is an affront," said Hardt. Such behavior is unacceptable.

The other G7 states should now tighten even closer, "to maintain the guardian of a rational world politics," demanded Hardt. But also with the US, the conversation must be continued.

Union faction vice-president Johann Wadephul said: "If there was a need for a wake-up call that Europe must become 'capable of world politics', then it has now sounded." The CDU politician added: "We must finally take our fate in terms of trade and security policy in their own hands."

Economics Minister Peter Altmaier said more calmly. "The West does not break so easily: we are all the West if we live & defend its values, especially when it's hard," the CDU politician tweeted.

Green Party leader Anton Hofreiter called Trump's actions a "destructive defiance reaction". Even minimal solutions are no longer possible on G7 summits, said Hofreiter in Berlin. "We have to fill the enormous gap that exists in the international system with a trade alliance of democratic states in which economic exchange goes hand in hand with climate protection, labor standards and human rights."

The deputy leader of the left-wing group, Fabio De Masi, described Trump's behavior as a "rampage". The United States is the greatest threat to world peace.

Well, I listen to the German politicians and am deflated of any enthusiasm, the same way as I am listening to US politicians and talking heads.

It's a mess around here.

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6 users have voted.

“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” -- Mark Twain

@mimi I have not paid attention to what politicans been saying in American, but the amorphours mass of liberal pundits and democratic party partisan. The general consensus seems to be that Trump is an idiot to alienate allies, and that in fact in some and many ways Trump was doing this for Putin to undermine the Western democratic alliance.

Whoops just saw Senator Schumer's take. Yup, Russia.

Of course, instead of dealing with trade deficits and issues, the discussion gets divert to Pution.

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7 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@MrWebster @MrWebster @snoopydawg

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1 user has voted.

“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” -- Mark Twain

@mimi about Trump gets so tedious.

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2 users have voted.

dfarrah

mimi's picture

@dfarrah
behavior, at least for some European politicians. YMMV.

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1 user has voted.

“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” -- Mark Twain

Lookout's picture

@mimi

At least that is the source of the tao..

river flow.jpg

Here's a comment I posted in soe Thursday OT...
I find the relationship of Chinese philosophy and rivers quite interesting.

The Daoists observed Nature and the elements which constitute Nature, defining their characteristics in proto-scientific ways. Fascinated by the nature of water and rivers, they applied these observations to a code of life guiding their own conduct and advocating it to others. 'Going with the flow (of Nature)' could be said to define the essence of their philosophy.

http://www.sacu.org/waterways.html

The article goes on...

According to the Huai Nan Tzu, again quoted by Needham (SCC. Vol. 2, p. 51):

He who conforms to the course of the Tao (Dao), following the natural processes of Heaven and Earth, finds it easy to manage the whole world. Thus it was that Yu the Great was able to engineer the canals following the nature of water and using it as his guide.

Applied to the force of flowing water, the Dao De Jing explains:

Nothing under Heaven is softer or more yielding than water, but when it attacks things hard and resistant, there is not one of them that can prevail. (Waley, The Way and its Power, p. 238).

Daoist thinking actually influenced the way hydraulic engineers dealt with problems concerning water control and construction works. In ancient China there were two rival schools of thought relating to hydraulic engineering: one believed in building high dykes to control rivers and the other in digging deep channels. The Daoists believed that to build high dykes was to confine Nature instead of letting rivers take their natural course. Instead, they argued, digging deep channels accorded with the principles of Nature, the 'Valley Spirit' and the 'Feminine' characteristic of concavity and receptivity.

Thus the legendary water control engineer Li Ping (Li Bing - 3rd century BC,) is recorded to have instructed:

Dig the channels deep and keep dykes low. Where the channel runs straight, dredge it in the middle.

Another Daoist-inclined hydraulic engineer in the Han Dynasty, Chia Jang, produced a wonderful analogy, advocating the free-flow of rivers in a memorial to the Emperor in 6 BC:

Rivers are like the mouths of infants - if one tries to stop them up they only yell the louder or else are suffocated.

In another analogy based on wu wei (in action), Chia Jang stated:

Those who are good at controlling water give it the best opportunities to flow away;
Those who are good at controlling the people give them plenty of chance to talk.
(Needham, SCC, Vol. 4, Part 3, pp. 234-51)

Li Bing's river engineering project, Dujiangyan, is still in use over 2000 years since it's construction. It is still celebrated...
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/asia/china/water-...

Predating Li Bing is Yu the Great a figure wrapped in myth and legend as are most 4000 year old stories.

Collaborating with Houji, a semi-mythical agricultural master about whom little is concretely known, Yu successfully devised a system of flood controls that were crucial in establishing the prosperity of the Chinese heartland. Instead of directly damming the rivers' flow, Yu made a system of irrigation canals which relieved floodwater into fields, as well as spending great effort dredging the riverbeds.[9] Yu is said to have eaten and slept with the common workers and spent most of his time personally assisting the work of dredging the silty beds of the rivers for the thirteen years the projects took to complete

There's a world of difference in the Yellow River (China's sorrow) and the Yangtze as a result.

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2 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

GreyWolf's picture

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10 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

@GreyWolf

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4 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Lookout's picture

@GreyWolf @divineorder

I appreciate people reading and and finding it useful. Thanks for coming by!

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0 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

snoopydawg's picture

threat to our democracy? Good grief, what the Kochs have done to this country on top of gerrymandering and other instruments of voter depression pales in comparison to anything Russia is accused of doing. Especially those $100,000 worth of FB adds that I saw mention to again this morning.

Thanks LO for your weekly roundup.

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10 users have voted.

Sessions would have taken Jesus away from his homeless refugee parents

ggersh's picture

@snoopydawg http://www.azquotes.com/quotes/topics/enemy-within.html

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

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12 users have voted.

“We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy”

Chris Hedges

@snoopydawg This theme that Putin controls the power leversin America is a pretty strong theme now. Which of course switches the conversation and focus off the oligarchs like the Kochs and other critical issues. Tariffs? Turmp deliberately helping divide the free world in the service of Putin.

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5 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@snoopydawg @ggersh @MrWebster

They buy it every time. Wasn't it twain...it's easier to fool folks, than to convince them they've been fooled...?

You have choices. You want your shit sandwich on wheat or rye?

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0 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

he will appreciate this set of links

thanks

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5 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@DonMidwest

Azazello gave me this link recently "Coups r US"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Slyq81CFdY4 30 min Guatemala
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3sW1y_Y9Ds 50 min version with Libya and Hawaii

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0 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

divineorder's picture

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3 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

First, great set of links. Doing a lot of bookmarking. Thanks in particular to the linke to Nancy MacLean. I heard part of a talk she gave on car radio, but did not get her name. Stunning history. Great quote from article which goes to my next main point " While Americans grapple with Donald Trump’s chaotic presidency, we may be missing the key to changes that are taking place far beyond the level of mere politics.

I have noticed lately in a number of sites the repetition and re-appearance of the "Trump is Putin's puppet" theme implying some current form of deliberate collusion. This one comes and goes with some regularity.

So the question--do people really believe this or is it just cheap and cynical propaganda.

But as I read the accusations, pundits and the democratic party base seem to really believe the active collusion and that Trump's actions are meant to favor Russian interests. Gone of course in this narrative are the corporate and oligarchical American masters of the system. Putin is calling the proverbial shots, and not for example, the energy industry with Pruitt and the EPA. Or really, that is simply ignored. Putin is in control.

Greenwald has good twitter response here:

This vulgar revisionist fairy tale - that the west was a thriving, vibrant model of stable, fair democracy and freedom-loving foreign policy, until PUTIN & his dog Trump came along and ruined it - serves the interests of only one group: those who ran the status quo before Trump.

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8 users have voted.
QMS's picture

@MrWebster I would swear this is a choreographed diversion designed to keep us off balance. We need to focus like a laser on the real needs of the people and the planet. A broad based awakening is happening around the world. Empire is turning up the heat to obscure this coalition. The dangerously foolish game they play with our future is at stake. Think 7 billion to 400 are pretty good odds.

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5 users have voted.

@QMS dump all things Trump?

Why not dump all things democratic party?

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1 user has voted.

dfarrah

QMS's picture

@dfarrah Perhaps there is still an historical memory of a peoples party, a shade more blue than red. Working on a plan to collapse the center of what has hijacked that fading memory. An implosion opens the gate to another avenue. Have to do something.

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2 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

So the question--do people really believe this or is it just cheap and cynical propaganda.

Unfortunately the answer to your question is yes. And not only do they believe that Trump is Putin's puppet they also believe that so are the republicans. Something to do with the NRA laundering Russian oligarchs money for the GOP to not step in between Trump and his puppet master.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen this graphic.

IMG_2002_0.JPG

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4 users have voted.

Sessions would have taken Jesus away from his homeless refugee parents