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The Mafia State

  • What comes next, history has shown, will not be pleasant. A cruel and morally bankrupt elite, backed by the organs of state security and law enforcement, will, as the Eupatridae did in sixth-century-B.C. Athens, bankrupt the citizenry through state-sponsored theft, war, austerity and debt peonage. They are barbarians. We will remove them from power or enter a new dark age.
  • Related: The CIA’s Cult of Death

Chris HedgesTruthdig / OpEdNews

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12/5/2016| Systems of governance that are seized by a tiny cabal become mafia states. The early years -- Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton in the United States -- are marked by promises that the pillage will benefit everyone. The later years -- George W. Bush and Barack Obama -- are marked by declarations that things are getting better even though they are getting worse. The final years -- Donald Trump -- see the lunatic trolls, hedge fund parasites, con artists, conspiracy theorists and criminals drop all pretense and carry out an orgy of looting and corruption.

The rich never have enough. The more they get, the more they want. It is a disease. CEOs demand and receive pay that is 200 times what their workers earn. And even when corporate executives commit massive fraud, such as the billing of hundreds of thousands of Wells Fargo customers for accounts they never opened, they elude punishment and personally profit. Disgraced CEO John Stumpf left Wells Fargo with a pay package that averages nearly $15 million a year. Richard Fuld received nearly half a billion dollars from 1993 to 2007, a time in which he was bankrupting Lehman Brothers.

Chris Hedges, a weekly columnist for Truthdig, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has reported from more than 50 countries, specializing in American politics and society. 

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The CIA’s Cult of Death, Kim Petersen, Dissident Voice

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  • Review of Douglas Valentine’s The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World
  • Related: 2016: How Truth Was Destroyed So You’d Buy The Government’s Propaganda

 

The CIA’s Cult of Death

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  • Review of Douglas Valentine’s The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World
  • Related: 2016: How Truth Was Destroyed So You’d Buy The Government’s Propaganda
  • Related: The Mafia State

Kim Petersen, Dissident Voice

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http://dissidentvoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/valentinecover-400x600-200x300.jpgDecember 23rd, 2016 | Do you desire intellectually stimulating, need-to-be-aware-of information as a stocking stuffer in the time crunch just before Christmas? Look no further. Douglas Valentine’s The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World fits the bill splendidly.

Taking on the CIA as a subject is a monumental task, as its tentacles delve into myriad facets of empire and society. The CIA operates as a mafioso on a grand scale, an imperial scale. Valentine’s depth of knowledge on the subject is very apparent. The CIA is known as a surveillance and information gathering apparatus of the USA that engages in various international intrigues. That view of the CIA is superficial. The CIA as Organized Crime presents the CIA as much more and in decidedly more sinister shades. Among these shades, the CIA is a war criminal, torturer, assassin, arms smuggler, drug smuggling kingpin, media network, business empire, and more. The CIA is steeped in capitalism, girded in racism, masterminds and carries out “regime change,” has hands on the control of information and its communication, is creepily immersed in law enforcement and justice, and has a deeply corruptive influence on foreign governments, the DEA, NSA, military, and Justice Department, as well as on US members of Congress.

Kim Petersen is a former co-editor of Dissident Voice.

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Related:

http://www.activistpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/truth.jpg 2016: How Truth Was Destroyed So You’d Buy The Government’s Propaganda, Claire Bernish, Activist Post

In the very near future — without hawk-like vigilance — dissenting opinion and reports accurately depicting corruption endemic in government may become a thing purely of the past.

Full story ... 

 

 

The Mafia State, Chris Hedges Truthdig / OpEdNews 

  • What comes next, history has shown, will not be pleasant. A cruel and morally bankrupt elite, backed by the organs of state security and law enforcement, will, as the Eupatridae did in sixth-century-B.C. Athens, bankrupt the citizenry through state-sponsored theft, war, austerity and debt peonage. They are barbarians. We will remove them from power or enter a new dark age.
  • Related: The CIA’s Cult of Death

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Why the United States is at War With Itself

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America has never been more divided.

The End of History is Just the Beginning

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http://upliftconnect.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/states-of-America-fighting.jpgWednesday January 4th, 2017

Nafeez Ahmed, Uplift 

The heads of the CIA and FBI have both come on the record to say that America’s traditional enemy, Russia, covertly interfered in the elections by hacking the Democrat Party. Whether you believe this story or not is irrelevant to a far more important point: that the American establishment is now at war with itself. By leaking information on what it says is evidence of a Russian information influence operation, the US intelligence community is conducting its own influence operation against an incoming president.

Trump is preparing his team to take over the White House in January 2017. Yet make no mistake: Trump is the establishment. His proposed appointees are hardly unfamiliar with the corridors of power in the US, many of them having held long careers in US military and intelligence agencies, or in the House and Senate, or as billionaire entrepreneurs. And yet, he finds himself at loggerheads with the incumbent establishment. So the establishment is fracturing, as a powerful fringe comes to fore.

Nafeez Ahmeds new book, Failing States, Collapsing Systems: BioPhysical Triggers of Political Violence (Springer, 2017) is a scientific study of how climate, energy, food and economic crises are driving state failures around the world. Nafeez is an award-winning 15-year investigative journalist and creator of INSURGE intelligence, a crowdfunded public interest investigative journalism project. 

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Barack Obama’s Neoliberal Legacy: How Democrats Killed Their Populist Soul

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  • Part 1: Part 1: Barack Obama’s Neoliberal Legacy- Rightward Drift and Donald Trump
  • ‘Inauthentic Hope’
  • Part 2: How Democrats Killed Their Populist Soul
  • In the 1970s, a new wave of post-Watergate liberals stopped fighting monopoly power. The result is an increasingly dangerous political system.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest <http://evergreenedigest.org>

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Part 1: Barack Obama’s Neoliberal Legacy- Rightward Drift and Donald Trump

‘Inauthentic Hope’

Paul Street, Truthdig

http://thebrokenelbow.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/obama.jpg?w=500&h=330Jan 3, 2017 | In a parting shot near the end of his depressing, center-right presidency, Barack Obama wants the world to know that he would have defeated Donald Trump if the U.S. Constitution didn’t prevent him from running for a third term. It was a stab at Hillary Clinton as well as the president-elect.

I suspect Obama is right. Like Bill Clinton, Obama is a much better fake-progressive, populism-manipulating campaigner than Hillary. Also like Bill, he has more outward charm, wit, charisma, and common touch than Mrs. Clinton. Plus, he’s a male in a still-sexist nation, and he would have had some very sharp election strategists on his side.

Truthdig Contributor Paul Street is the author of numerous books, including “Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis” (2007), “The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power” (2010), and “They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy” (2014), and a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Z Magazine/ZNet, Black Agenda Report and teleSUR English. 

Full story … 



Part 2: How Democrats Killed Their Populist Soul

In the 1970s, a new wave of post-Watergate liberals stopped fighting monopoly power. The result is an increasingly dangerous political system.

Matt Stoller, the Atlantic

https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/2016/10/19/Atlantic_Hippies_Final2_revised/1920.jpg?1476902655Oct 24, 2016 | It was January 1975, and the Watergate Babies had arrived in Washington looking for blood. The Watergate Babies—as the recently elected Democratic congressmen were known—were young, idealistic liberals who had been swept into office on a promise to clean up government, end the war in Vietnam, and rid the nation’s capital of the kind of corruption and dirty politics the Nixon White House had wrought. Richard Nixon himself had resigned just a few months earlier in August. But the Watergate Babies didn’t just campaign against Nixon; they took on the Democratic establishment, too. Newly elected Representative George Miller of California, then just 29 years old, announced, “We came here to take the Bastille.”

 

One of their first targets was an old man from Texarkana: a former cotton tenant farmer named Wright Patman who had served in Congress since 1929. He was also the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Banking and Currency and had been for more than a decade. Antiwar liberal reformers realized that the key to power in Congress was through the committee system; being the chairman of a powerful committee meant having control over the flow of legislation. The problem was: Chairmen were selected based on their length of service. So liberal reformers already in office, buttressed by the Watergate Babies’ votes, demanded that the committee chairmen be picked by a full Democratic-caucus vote instead.

Matt Stoller is a budget analyst on the Senate Budget Committee.

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Snowden: Stop Putting So Much Faith (and Fear) in Presidents

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  • He said if people want to change the world, they should look to themselves instead of putting their hopes or fears in a single person. “This can only be the work of the people,” Snowden said. “If we want to have a better world we can’t hope for an Obama, and we should not fear a Donald Trump; rather. we should build it ourselves.”
  • Related: 'Keep Calm and Carry On' is clichéd. It's also missing two-thirds of the original message.

Jon Miltimore, Intellectual Takeout

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/ito/files/edward_snowden.png Edward Snowden

November 15, 2016 | Whistleblower  and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden remains a fugitive at large, but that didn’t stop him from popping up and chiming in on the recent presidential election.

Snowden, who in 2013 blew the lid on the NSA’s massive covert surveillance program, recently appeared on camera via livestream to talk about privacy in an event hosted by StartPage.

Jon Miltimore is senior editor of Intellectual Takeout.

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'Keep Calm and Carry On' is clichéd. It's also missing two-thirds of the original message, Amanda Pell, Upworthy 

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“Keep Calm and Carry On” wasn't originally designed to be a novelty. It was actually an urgent plea — one of three slogans the British government released to rally the spirits of the people against the threat of Naziism during World War II.

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Tef Poe | Trump and World Order / scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net

  • Ron Thibodeau 'Diapers and politicians. Both need to be changed for the same reason.' Mark Twain
  • This Norwegian cartoon was banned on Twitter. Feel free to like it and repost.

 

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TomDispatch | Rebecca Gordon, No "New Normal"

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  • Life Under Trump
  • Night Terrors and Daytime Hopes

Rebecca Gordon, TomDispatch

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Rebecca%20Gordon%20%7C%20American%20Nuremberg.jpgNovember 20, 2016 | At 72, I experienced election night with a 103-degree temperature, so it was literally a fever-dream for me.  And in a certain sense, it’s remained so ever since.  Now that a white supremacist has just been made the next president’s closest White House adviser, and the president-elect has called conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of Infowars to thank him and his followers for their part in his election victory, we have reasonable confirmation that we are indeed in a fever-dream America. 

Hate incidents are on the rise.  It’s easy enough to imagine the Bundy brothers being let loose in the West.  A climate change denier is running the Trump environmental policy transition.  The candidate himself will arrive in Washington with an enemies list already in formation (beating Dick Nixon to the punch by years).  The mainstream media have tied themselves in apologetic knots for believing the pollsters on Hillary’s “victory” and not bothering to talk enough to the white working class voters who came out for Trump (and whom Clinton abandoned for white millionaires and billionaires).  And the new president is being normalized by the old one, who previously excoriated him in the name of democracy, while mainstream pundits and journalists desperately look for signs that Donald Trump will be a pragmatic, recognizable American president once he takes the mantle of power. 

Rebecca Gordon, a TomDispatch regular, teaches in the philosophy department at the University of San Francisco. She is the author of American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes. Her previous books include Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States and Letters from Nicaragua.

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Class: Social Dynamite for Trump's Gang

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  • Part 1: Trump era confronts organized labor with gravest crisis in decades
  • The crisis for unions is a combination of direct threats from Trump's agenda and the knowledge that many rank-and-file workers are sympathetic to his populist message.
  • Part 2: Western PA Labor Leader Offended By Trump Attack On Steelworkers
  • "I don't have a Twitter account but, if I did, I'd give him my number and address," (Tony) Tepsic (president of the United Steelworkers Local 1212 in Midland, PA) said. "If he wants to boast about saving jobs, I got a plant in Midland we can talk about."

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: Trump era confronts organized labor with gravest crisis in decades

The crisis for unions is a combination of direct threats from Trump's agenda and the knowledge that many rank-and-file workers are sympathetic to his populist message.

Steven Mufson, Washington (DC) PostLeftLinks

http://media.philly.com/images/800*533/3+x+2+richard+trumka.jpg Richard Trumpka, President of the AFL-CIO

Dec 8, 2016 - President-elect Donald Trump's Twitter attack this week on a union official, followed by his choice of a labor secretary who has criticized new worker protections, has rattled leaders of the American labor movement, who fear unions may be facing their gravest crisis in decades.

On Thursday, Trump announced that he would nominate as his labor secretary Andrew Puzder, a fast-food executive who has opposed additional overtime pay for workers and expressed skepticism about increasing the minimum wage. That followed a pair of Twitter messages Wednesday evening in which Trump attacked an Indiana union leader who had criticized him, saying the official had done a "terrible job representing workers."

Steven Mufson covers energy and other financial matters for the Washington (DC) Post. Since joining the Post, he has covered the White House, China, economic policy and diplomacy. 

Full story … 



Part 2: Western PA Labor Leader Offended By Trump Attack On Steelworkers

"I don't have a Twitter account but, if I did, I'd give him my number and address," (Tony) Tepsic (president of the United Steelworkers Local 1212 in Midland, PA) said. "If he wants to boast about saving jobs, I got a plant in Midland we can talk about."

Jared Stonesifer, Beaver County (PA) Times / LeftLinks

http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/timesonline.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/a6/ea61e1a4-4510-11e5-9737-4fc0ab84fca7/55d22df884303.image.jpg?resize=1200%2C803 Tony Tepsic, president of the United Steelworkers Local 1212 in Midland, PA, speaking to strikers outside ATI plant in Midland, PA

 

Dec 9, 2016 - MIDLAND, PA -- Tony Tepsic doesn't have a Twitter account but, if he did, he would tell Donald Trump just when and where to find him.

Tepsic, president of the United Steelworkers Local 1212 in Midland, PA, took offense to the fact that the president-elect earlier this week attacked a fellow United Steelworkers local president in Indiana.

The feud started when Trump claimed he helped save 1,100 jobs from leaving Indiana. Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999 based in Indianapolis, called Trump a liar and said the real number of jobs saved was around 800.

Jared Stonesifer: Energy, business and transportation reporter for the Beaver County (PA) Times.

Full story … 

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