Archive for October, 2014

Club Orlov

I am going to have to put this guy in my Blogroll (bottom right).

Wow, this guy knows how to hit the nail on the head, and writes very well also.

I have just read his post: Peak Empire, take two.

Highly recommended read.

Here are [a couple of] excerpts.

Based on the lessons of history, all empires collapse eventually; thus, the probability that the US empire will collapse can be set at 100% with a great deal of confidence. The question is, When? (Everyone keeps asking that annoying question.)

Just to review, as the brilliant analyst Chalmers Johnson explained, the US is an “empire of bases,” not an empire of colonies. It is not considered politically correct to annex other countries anymore.

there are quite a few US “territories” (read “colonies”) listed in the Pentagon Base Structure report… We should probably include Hawaii, since in 1993 the US Congress “apologized” to Hawaii for kidnapping the Queen and illegally annexing the territory. They are not giving it back, mind you, but they don’t mind saying ‘we’re sorry’, because they stole it fair and square.

Much of the military is outsourced, so there is no need for consent of the governed any more—just their tax money.  Secretary of State Alexander Haig remarked during a peace march in the 1980’s: “Let them protest all they want as long as they pay their taxes”; Kissinger explained that “Soldiers are dumb, stupid animals for the conduct of foreign policy”; and CIA director William Casey made sure the US public remains completely in the dark with his famous dictum, “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” (This is from his first staff meeting in 1981; it’s not a secret.) The US is completely open about its desire to subjugate the entire world—if this weren’t already obvious from its behavior.

Trends require that data from year to year be reported consistently, and the Pentagon appears to be very consistent in what it reports and what it keeps secret from one year to the next. So this is a very good source by which to measure trends.

Since the US public is completely in the dark, zombified and terrified by the mass media, and traumatized by psy-ops like 9/11, the empire will have to collapse on its own, without their help.

The important point is, according to total acreage the US empire has already peaked and is in decline. Note that global conventional crude oil production peaked at around the same time; you may consider that a pure coincidence if you wish.

Perhaps the people to whom we are bringing “freedom and democracy” are getting sick of being occupied and murdered?

In their prime, empires are massively profitable ventures. But when the returns on government spending, debt and military spending all turn negative—that is when we enter the realm of diminishing returns on empire—that, according to Tainter’s theory, sets them on a trajectory that leads directly to collapse.

And just like Rome, the empire is busy spending billions on defending its fringes while allowing everything on the home front to fall apart from malign neglect.

There are two ways out of this situation: quick and painful, or slow and even more painful.  The quick one is for the US to recognize the situation, cut its losses and abandon the project of empire, like the USSR did in 1989/90.  The other option is the more likely one, since it doesn’t require making any large course adjustments, which are unlikely in any case.  This option is to simply keep smiling and waving and borrowing and spending until the empire is all gone. This will take no more than two decades at the current rate.

further money-printing will trigger hyperinflation, the financial house of cards on which the spending ability of the US government now rests will promptly pancake, and the US economy will shut down, just like in the USSR in the early 1990s.

But a moment may arrive well before empire is all gone when the suspension of disbelief that is required to keep US government finances from cratering ceases to be achievable—regardless of the level of propaganda, market distortion, or US officials smiling, waving and lying in front of television cameras.

Based on these estimates, you can be as objective or subjective as you like; but if you are “long empire,” holding dollar-denominated assets etc, and if your horizon extends beyond 2034, then there is a reasonably high likelihood that you are just being silly.






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Ohh… Look…

Right after I do a piece on the “News Media”,  look what comes along…

20-Year CBS News Veteran Details Massive Censorship And Propaganda In Mainstream Media

Serendipity I guess…


Ohhh… and this…

Martin Armstrong: “At What Point Does Revolution Take Place?”



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Normally that’s written – news media.

But there is precious little News, and Media is just another name for delivery vector.

As I was in the formulation process for this Post, serendipitously this article also popped up on my radar.

The myth of the free press.  [Zero Hedge]

So I am going to take some quotes from it as I go.

However just as a quick point as we start – once you start examining the concept of “new media” – or News.. and Media…

It is amazing how quickly you fall down a rabbit hole.



(when the language you use as a medium/media is suspect… where do you go from there… ?)

But I digress, lets stick with my thesis for a while.

Which is pretty simple really:

What is served up as News, is not News, it is pretty much exclusively Anti-News.

Because it is served up by the “Media”.

Media is the short form name for – organised large scale distribution system.

And you cannot have an organised large scale organisation, without serious money and intent.

In other words it is owned and directed by people with serious money and a serious agenda.

It is a vehicle for them to push their point of view.

And if you let that system run its course for a couple of hundred years, you end up with an integral part of the command and control system.

Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

And of course the medium they had for shaping the will of the people was perfected by Jospeh Goebbels: Reichs Ministry of “Public Enlightenment and Propaganda“.

You think it is any different here… ???

“the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy.”

Have a look at my recent post [Book Of The Week] where I was talking about how the same shit has been going on forever.  One of the points that the author made was that the press has been controlled by vested interests from the start as a political tool.


The medium is “owned”.

And the “News” is whatever they say it is – on so many levels.

Are the Kardashians’ news?  Of course not, they couldn’t be more irrelevant.  So why are they ever covered?

Because in the absence of a propaganda message to be sold, you have to fill the column inches and broadcast minutes with some suitable pablum.

Like that other staple of mass media – Advertisments – they need to get you to watch the paid for messages, so they throw in sugary confectionary to get you to imbibe.  They know you love the sweet sticky stuff, so they sell you lots of that stuff to help their “medicine” go down.

They have to keep you coming back for more (opiate of the masses), and they need you thinking their way.

Which is to say, not really thinking at all.

Education is dangerous – every educated person is a future enemy.  ~Hermann Goering

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”  ~ Joseph Goebbels.

You think it is different here… ???

We have been sold the big lie for so long we can’t even discern the edges of truth any more.

And now some quotes from my originally referenced article:

The mass media blindly support the ideology of corporate capitalism.  [Well… they ARE owned by it] They laud and promote the myth of democracy – even as we are stripped of civil liberties and money replaces the vote. They pay deference to the leaders , no matter how perfidious their crimes. They slavishly venerate the military and law enforcement in the name of patriotism. They select the specialists and experts, almost always drawn from the centers of power, to interpret reality and explain policy. They usually rely on press releases, written by corporations, for their news.

Ohh, that last is SO true – how often does the “News” devolve into the press commenting on something said by other press.  A spectacular circle jerk.

And they fill most of their news holes with celebrity gossip, lifestyle stories, sports and trivia. The role of the mass media is to entertain or to parrot official propaganda to the masses.

The corporations, which own the press, hire journalists willing to be courtiers to the elites, and they promote them as celebrities. These journalistic courtiers, who can earn millions of dollars, are invited into the inner circles of power. They are, as John Ralston Saul writes, hedonists of power.

the mass media mask[s] the collaboration between themselves and the power elite. The mass media seek to wrap themselves in the moral veneer of the fearless pursuit of truth and justice. But to maintain this myth they have to destroy the credibility of journalists who shine a light on the sinister and murderous inner workings of empire, who care more about truth than news.

The country’s major news outlets … [are] craven handmaidens of power.

The mass media are plagued by the same mediocrity, corporatism and careerism as the academy, labor unions, the arts, and religious institutions.  The press writes and speaks—unlike academics that chatter among themselves in arcane jargon like medieval theologians—to be heard and understood by the public. And for this reason the press is more powerful and more closely controlled by the state. It plays an essential role in the dissemination of official propaganda. But to effectively disseminate state propaganda the press must maintain the fiction of independence and integrity. It must hide its true intentions.

The mass media, are essential tools for conformity. They impart to readers and viewers their sense of themselves, [it] tell[s] them who they are.  They use language and images to manipulate and form opinions.  We are transformed into passive spectators of power by the mass media, which decide for us what is true and what is untrue, what is legitimate and what is not. Truth is not something we discover. It is decreed by the organs of mass communication.

“The divorce of truth from discourse and action has not merely increased the incidence of propaganda; it has disrupted the very notion of truth, and therefore the sense by which we take our bearings in the world is destroyed,”   ~ James W. Carey:  “Communication as Culture.”

The mass media allow us to escape into the enticing world of entertainment and spectacle. News is filtered into the mix, but it is not the primary concern of the mass media. No more than 15 percent of the space in any newspaper is devoted to news.

“the basic psychological formula of the mass media today… is a formula of a pseudo-world which the media invent and sustain.”

At the core of this pseudo-world is the myth that our national institutions, including those of government, the military and finance, are efficient and virtuous, that we can trust them and that their intentions are good. These institutions can be criticized for excesses and abuses, but they cannot be assailed as being hostile to democracy and the common good. They cannot be exposed as criminal enterprises, at least if one hopes to retain a voice in the mass media.  Those who work in the mass media, as I did for two decades, are acutely aware of the collaboration with power and the cynical manipulation of the public by the power elites.

the internal pressures, hidden from public view, make great journalism and great scholarship very, very difficult. Such work, especially if it is sustained, is usually a career killer…  journalists who step outside the acceptable parameters of debate and challenge the mythic narrative of power, who question the motives and virtues of established institutions and who name the crimes of empire, are always cast out.

The press will attack groups within the power elite only when one faction within the circle of power goes to war with another. “History has been kind enough to contrive for us a ‘controlled experiment’ to determine just what was at stake … The answer is clear and precise: powerful groups are capable of defending themselves, not surprisingly; and by media standards, it is a scandal when their position and rights are threatened,” Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky wrote in “Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media.” “By contrast, as long as illegalities and violations of democratic substance are confined to marginal groups or dissident victims, or result in a diffused cost imposed on the general population, media opposition is muted and absent altogether. The watchdog only bark[s] when [things] began to threaten the privileged.”

freedom of the press is as empty a cliché as democracy itself.

Well, so nothing new there then…

But I did want to comment on one thing – NEWS.

What constitutes NEWS ?

I am not sure we can even tell anymore – we are so mired in spin, propaganda and adverts we perceive that as normal.

It is perversion is what it is.

Gossip, celebrity culture, lifestyles of the rich and famous, sex scandals, and murder trials are NOT news – they are voyeurism.

Foreign correspondent reports are NOT news – they are propaganda, and agenda driven public opinion forming/shaping.  Once you stop believing in any “essential neutrality” of the press, it isn’t even subtle of clever any more.

The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.  ~ Joseph Goebbels

Just because some-one is despicable, doesn’t mean they can’t be right about you.  The outsider looking in can most easily see the beam in our eye.

I can’t even watch the TV news anymore without wanting to throw something at the screen.  The hypocritical, venal, lies and manipulation turn my stomach.  There is no RISK of looking ridiculous – it is outright ridiculous, fatuous, and bordering on criminal.

I will say bordering, because they may actually believe the crap they say.  Which makes them fools rather then villians.

So it is a toss up whether a cell or a bullet is the right remedy for them.

On the other hand, I don’t actually have to watch the “News Media” either, and perhaps that is the saving grace of our age, the new “Social Media” has the potential to remake the “media” and the social narrative and construct we live within.  It can short-circuit the propaganda vehicles of the power elites.  One can but hope…

But there is a big hill to climb, and a lot of people who are part of the problem…  they love their chains, servitude and obeisance to the beast.


Substitute useful fool for authoritarian, and that is equally as valid.  They are what sustains, supports and cheers our criminal overlords.


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Class Warfare

What is “Class” ?

What is “Class Warfare” ?

Hmmm… well “Class” is a bit tricky, it tends to mean whatever you want it to mean.  It is one of those – self identifying things in large part.  Although, not entirely either.

“Class warfare” is a form of civil war – in large part, although not entirely either…

The thing about civil wars is they tend to be the most angry, bitter, vindictive and bloody wars.

But really, so they should be too.

If a “foreigner” lies to and cheats you, that’s one thing.

But when you are lied to and cheated by one of your own tribe, that is altogether different – that is a stab in the back.

The enemy-within, is far more hated than an enemy from without.

When the enemy-within has injured you with malice-afforethough, then you are really talking all the ingredients for a bloodbath.  Particularly when all the legal means of remedy are stymied.


Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable.  ~ JF Kennedy.

If there is any good to be had from the coming economic turbulence, it is that the hardships that we will face will (hopefully) steel the working class and prepare the proletariat for renewed class conflict.

That is a quote from one of my Title pages.

Well, if the turbulence and hardships are sufficient, it may stir the proletariat enough that they self identify as a CLASS.


Hopefully… ?

They are certainly being stabbed-in-the-back sufficiently – one would have thought…

BUT – first you have to self-identify – as a (sufficiently)  injured party.

Then you need to identify the enemy.

Then you need to be organised sufficiently to be able to act effectively.

If the block self-identifying is large enough, then they can simply with-hold consent, and the old system falls.

But that really rather is the whole point of established power and politics. It maintains the status quo.

The Master Class continue on their merry way – and we the Serving Class, simply don’t identify in sufficient numbers and with sufficient vigour to effect anything.


So what will it take… ?????

Good question.

The example of our latest national elections here are not encouraging for budding revolutionaries.

The ruling class party was returned handily.

And the opposition class (Labour) were even more degraded.

Obviously the “working-class” can’t get their shit together, and/or don’t care about their situation sufficiently.

Whatever their injuries, they certainly aren’t self-identifying either themselves – or their enemies.

Maybe they need the “right” encouragement, education, and media propaganda.

At least, that’s how it has always been done in the past.

Then, with sufficient mass and resolve, a new power block can force a decision/change/revolution.


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With a Hat-Tip to Karl Denninger for this one. [extracted and edited from one of his articles]


Lets keep this short and sweet shall we.


By estimating that zero stimulus would be consistent with a 10 percent quarterly drop in equities, they calculate it takes around $200 billion from central banks each quarter to keep markets from selling off..   (link to quote – Bloomberg)

What does that mean… ?


Let’s say there are exactly two things in the world of economic value — $100 and 100 bottles of milk.

What’s the likely clearing price — that is, what you would exchange one bottle of milk for?

$1, right?

(Remember, other than time preference[forward contract etc] – there is nothing else in the economy to express value through, other than Milk and Money [dollars].)

OK – so now the Central Banks simply double the number of dollars.  That is, there now exists $200.

What is now the likely clearing price for one Bottle of Milk ?


So, back to our first quote: the “price” of the Markets “not selling off“,  is the theft of that $200 billion a quarter, or $800 billion a year, from you in the form of your purchasing power.  In other words that $800 billion a year is stolen from you.

If you were taxed to the tune of a few thousand dollars a year – so people with stocks would not see the price of their stock decline…

…And it was literally given to those people who owned stock, you’d be outraged.

The lower-income people who can’t afford to, and don’t own any stock, would likely revolt – and quite-possibly violently so.

So let’s now have a full and fair discussion about your silent consent to this now-admitted theft……

~  KD  [edited]



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I am currently reading a book called:

Englanders and Huns – How Five Decades of Enmity Led to the First World War.

~ James Hawes

If you are one of those odd people who find reading History and academic analysis interesting, then you might enjoy this too.

However, for the sake of brevity, I will just pass along my edited highlights.

Which basically are that there is nothing new under the sun.

The exact same shit we are faced with now was happening 100, and 150 years ago.

(And one would have to assume 1000 years ago as well – humans haven’t changed)

The contemporary quotes from the newspapers of the time, would slot right into our current situation almost verbatim, and no one would know the difference.  For instance:

The habitual timidity of the Germans makes them very much afraid of anything of which they are afraid at all.  They live in an atmosphere of panic as to what the Court will do, as to when Prince Bismarck will retire from the scene, as to what the Pope will order, as to what France and Russia may be plotting.  It is extraordinary how the slightest adverse rumour will flutter a people which ten years ago performed some of the greatest military feats recorded in history, which is armed to the teeth, and is supposed to be without a rival in the arts of war.

Change some of the names – and it could be said of the USA today.  The failings and foibles of humanity are universal apparently.

But this example is the least of it.  James goes on to quote article after article from the period which equally cover all our current problems and dilemmas.  Political infighting and protectionism, crony capitalism, excessive debt, boom and bust economics, bubble valuations of assets, fraud and deceit…

And – the persistence of the aristocracy via one method or another to continue to be the ruling class, over the hoi-polloi / peasants / lumpen proletariat (in other words, the “Scum”, and don’t imagine for an instant that YOU aren’t thought of in exactly those terms by your overlords).

One class is concerned with putting bread on their table and peacefully getting on with their lives.

The other class is concerned with the assimilation and retention of power (and by extension Wealth), by any means possible.

But the sad fact is that the “any means possible”, have been exactly the same means (under different camouflage codes words) forever.  And they still continue to produce the same result.  The sheeple are still sheep, and the lords are still our masters.  And I don’t mean that in some sort of metaphysical way either.  Literally, the same surnames, family trees, Toff organisations, social structures, and attitudes keep popping up again and again and again.

Because they work – duh.

The persistence of many of these things is amazing really.

James’ book highlighted one thing I found fascinating.  During the lead up to the first world war, there were two major currents of German politics.  The “Vons” and the “non-Vons”.  The Vons were the archetypal Junkers and Prussian militaristic aristocrat class, the non-Vons were more or less the new middle class or proletariat. Nominally this “new” class considered itself “Liberal”, but ‘Nationalists’ would probably be a better description.  But labels are pretty meaningless.  The reality was that there were common attitudes that ran through the whole of German society.  It was just a question of who got to be the one on top in the bed.

In the first instance, led by Bismarck, the Vons ruled the roost and their world view led pretty inevitably to the first world war.

After that fiasco, the old aristocracy was forced out and the new boys moved in as top dogs, with their own agenda.  Except that their agenda looked remarkable similar to the old one.  And it was no great leap at all from ‘Nationalists’, to ‘National Socialists’ – that’s Nazi’s to those of you that don’t know.  At which point they leapt with alacrity right into the same fiasco their predecessors did – and brought us World War Two.  For pretty much exactly the same reasons.

Read James’ book for more insight into the continuity of social trends and attitudes through the various evolutions of the German polity – right up until today.  One of which is the German obsession with titles.  These days it is manifest, as often as not, with having a PhD.  You are nothing without one apparently.

German obsession with order and efficiency are watchwords of course.  That though is the tip of the iceberg.  While some political forms died in the maelstrom of the killing-fields of two world wars (literally), there is much that didn’t, and persists to this day.

But the real take-home from this isn’t the foibles of the Germans – it is the foibles of us all.  Every country and culture has it’s own version of these things.  Read the book to get a good appreciation of just how profoundly universal this all is.  Frankly, how depressingly universal it is…

Chauvinism and prejudice abound.  As do arrogance, hypocrisy, fraud, wilful blindness, stupidity and avarice.  I could go on and on with nouns and adjectives.  I guess some things are never going to change.

On the other hand…

Kill enough of a certain class of people, and their culture can essentially die too.

The Prussian office class died on the battlefields of the Western front – their political and economic power died with them.

And the Nazi’s a generation later also died en-masse.

Germany is a very different place than it was one hundred years ago – even as it continues to be remarkably the same in many other ways.

Perhaps the Anglo-saxon world could do with a red-raw purging of our elites.  Unfortunately “we” won, so that just entrenched them here.

Let the mongrel classes triumph for once, and wipe out some (most/all?) of their dynastic Overlords.

it would be a mighty reset and upheaval.  Likely to plunge society into convulsions, and even torments, for a time.

It would survive.

But keep this in mind – the purpose of politics (and bureaucracies) as they exist at any point in time, is not to facilitate change, but to prevent it, and preserve the status quo.  To keep the aristocracy in power.

Where-as, the tree of liberty needs from time to time to be watered with blood.

That’s not a cute aphorism – that’s the literal truth.


The only way to get “that” class of scum out of power, is to shoot them out.

What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure..
~ Thomas Jefferson.

I can think of several attitudes and classes I would be happy to see die.


Just as an observation – and something I have commented on previously:

During the French Revolution, the aristocracy were Guillotined in large numbers… except actually – the numbers were really not that large.

During and after the Paris Commune, the peasants/rabble/communists were executed – in huge numbers.

The aristocracy are certainly not shy of spilling the blood of the cattle class in volume.  And are not the least shy about being vindictive about it either.  “a moral code that glorifies it…”

To beat them would take more than wishful thinking.  I have always had something of a fondness for Oliver Cromwell.



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Will Our Private Savings Be Sacrificed To Pay Down The Public Debt?

by Adam Taggart via Peak Prosperity,

[edited and abridged section of the article.  ~R]

To understand financial repression, we have to understand that we’ve been there before. Many nations have gone through periods in the past where they’ve had very high levels of government debt.

And there are four traditional ways of dealing with that.

  • One of them is austerity.

Everyone understands that. You raise the tax rates. You lower the government spending.

This is a painful choice. It can last for decades – And voters don’t like it.

  •  There is the Argentina option. And that’s defaulting on government debts.

It’s radical. Everybody understands it – and voters don’t like it either.

There is a third option is rapidly destroying the value of currency.

  • Creating high rates of inflation that very quickly wipe out the true value of a national debt.

But that also wipes out the true value of everyone else’s savings and salaries and assets. It is such an obvious process you can’t really hide it – unsurprisingly, voters don’t like it…

Those first three – they all work. They’ve all been done before. But they’re all very painful and make voters very angry.

But there is a fourth way.  There’s nothing controversial about its existence;

it’s not the slightest bit controversial for professional economists or people who have studied economics extensively.

  • It’s financial repression. And it works.

It’s what the advanced western nations did after World War II.

It was a process that took 25 to 30 years, depending on the country.

The West went from an average debt (as a percentage of national economy) from over 90% to under 30%.

So we know it works in practice.

This fourth alternative is where governments like to go – as that there are no political repercussions.

It’s actually just as painful for the population as a whole. You’ve got to get the money one way or another. But financial repression is, for most people, just complex enough that the average voter never gets it.

And because they don’t get it, they’re paying the penalty, but they don’t realise it. And they don’t see anyone to blame.

That’s really good if you want to stay in office.

The key is a concept called negative real interest rates.

If the rate of inflation is higher than the interest payments you are taking in, savers are losing purchasing power every year. Remember, this is a zero sum game between the borrower and the saver — with the saver funding the borrower.

Every dollar in purchasing power that the savers (which are you and I) are losing every year — that goes to the benefit of the borrower, which in this case is the Government [and their crony bankers].



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