Obama’s climate hypocrisy

Donald Trump has reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for US president. There are now global concerns that his campaign could succeed. President Barack Obama said foreign leaders were unsure how seriously to take his pronouncements. He said Trump displays either ignorance of world affairs or a cavalier attitude or an interest in getting tweets and headlines. He suggested more useful proposals would thoughtfully address what’s required to keep the US safe and prosperous and “to keep the world on an even keel.”

But Obama himself disregards what might keep the world on an even keel. For example, regarding climate change:

The debate is settled. Climate change is a fact. And when our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say yes, we did.

Those uncertain whether dangerous anthropogenic global warming (DAGW) is a reality, but who would still disapprove of silencing dissent by saying the debate (any scientific debate) is “settled”, are persuaded by mention of the children not to raise objections. Which is a fact-free, sentimental argument, full of a cynical disregard of the democratic principle of free inquiry.

If it’s climate change, we caused it

This is not some distant problem of the future. This is a problem that is affecting Americans right now. Whether it means increased flooding, greater vulnerability to drought, more severe wildfires — all these things are having an impact on Americans as we speak.

Obama obviously accepts that specific evidence of a human cause is not required when there is evidence of climate change. Nowhere have the climate events he refers to increased in frequency or severity—and wildfires aren’t really a climate event.

Part of what’s unique about climate change, though, is the nature of some of the opposition to action. It’s pretty rare that you’ll encounter somebody who says the problem you’re trying to solve simply doesn’t exist. When President Kennedy set us on a course for the moon, there were a number of people who made a serious case that it wouldn’t be worth it; it was going to be too expensive, it was going to be too hard, it would take too long. But nobody ignored the science. I don’t remember anybody saying that the moon wasn’t there or that it was made of cheese.

He refuses to acknowledge that valid objections exist and slanders sceptics by saying they think the moon is made of cheese. A bit childish, really.

CO2 is not pollution

Today, about 40 percent of America’s carbon pollution comes from our power plants. There are no federal limits to the amount those plants can pump into the air. None. We limit the amount of toxic chemicals like mercury, and sulfur, and arsenic in our air and water, but power plants can dump as much carbon pollution into our atmosphere as they want. It’s not smart, it’s not right, it’s not safe, and I determined it needs to stop.

It was a clever move by the greens, to call carbon dioxide “carbon” and then to call carbon “pollution”. They gave it a dirty name so people forget that plants need carbon to keep them alive. Plants get their carbon from airborne CO2, underwater plants from dissolved CO2.

There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.

This talking point appeared recently, with an air of desperation about it. It’s patently untrue that climate change poses a greater threat to our safety than, for example, Islamic terrorists, earthquakes, China’s bellicose ambitions in the China Sea, emerging diseases, hurricanes, aircraft accidents or landslips. Climate change won’t be a danger for many decades to come, while these other things threaten us right now.

Tweets and headlines

Obama knows all about an interest in getting tweets and headlines, since he does it so much. For example:

Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.

Just for a moment, let’s assume this is true. Now consider the 3% of those scientific experts who don’t agree. Unless they have lost their ability to read and to reason, then they have legitimate, scientific grounds to question the consensus. Do we call them deniers? In truth, the claim that 97% of scientists or climate scientists agree on global warming is the most notorious untruth in modern science, with no evidence to support it and comprehensively debunked long ago.

Gravity exists. The Earth is round. Climate change is happening. #ScienceSaysSo

After the UN defined climate change as being caused by humanity, activists could make statements like this with impunity—they couldn’t be wrong. At first hearing, you think we’re all talking at cross purposes but then you realise these opponents are winning some kind of argument against you. It takes a while to work out what’s happening but by then you’re forking out for a carbon tax, wondering why the traffic has slowed to a crawl because of all the bus lanes and why you can’t buy normal light bulbs any more.

The worst Obama does is resort to the “denier” label when people disagree with him about climate change. For example, he allowed his website to feature Ted Cruz under this hostile headline:

Ted Cruz is a Climate Change Denier

All because Ted Cruz stated:

There remains considerable uncertainty about the effect of the many factors that influence climate: the sun, the oceans, clouds, the behavior of water vapor (the main greenhouse gas), volcanic activity, and human activity. Nonetheless, climate-change proponents based their models on assumptions about those factors, and now we know that many of those assumptions were wrong.

But in denying questioners the right to voice their scepticism, President Obama is the denier in chief.

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25 Thoughts on “Obama’s climate hypocrisy

  1. Andy on 28/05/2016 at 3:39 pm said:

    Obama lives on another planet, called Planet Obama, where he is Emperor. He recently came to the UK to advise the Brits that staying in the EU would be better for them and the entire world

    He, apparently, is the answer to world peace, having enabled the Islamic Republic of Iran to go full steam to build nuclear weapons within the next 10 years, and fulfil their dream of annihilating Israel and completing The Final Solution.
    Nuclear weapons are bad, as he recently said in Hiroshima, but weapons in the hands of Iran or North Korea are OK.

    Climate change is the biggest existential threat to humanity, he says, bigger than ISIS and global Jihad.
    Who are we to argue, when even the Pope agrees? Popey says that ISIS are like Jesus’ disciples, by which he means, presumably, rampaging around the middle east raping women, burning children to death, dissolving prisoners in vats of nitric acid, is just like the disciples. Oh I missed that in Bible studies, I must have been asleep

    Popey, who kisses the feet of Muslims, but leaves Christian refugees behind and ignores their letters asking for help, seems to have other priorities

    Never mind, Obama has done great things. JFK said he would put man of the moon, and this happened.
    Obama said he would put men in women’s toilets, and this is now a thing that you can’t even criticise without fear of prosecution.

    Never mind, the man with small hands and an orange face will save humanity from this madness (well, we haven’t many other options left have we)

  2. Andy on 28/05/2016 at 6:04 pm said:

    Anyway, it looks like God Emperor Trump is going to rip up the Paris Climate Agreement


  3. Andy on 29/05/2016 at 9:23 am said:

    Here is an article on sea levels that demonstrates how out of touch with reality Mr Obama is


  4. Richard C (NZ) on 29/05/2016 at 5:07 pm said:

    Always amazes me how many of the US populace swallow Obama’s tripe. Their minds must be mush.

    I think we have witnessed the rise and fall of USA, there’s no more up that I can see. From time to time a while back I would pick up a tome at the local library of great speeches mainly American. Uplifting stuff but from a bygone era. I read all of Obama’s speeches around the time of his inauguation (written by his speech writer), communitarian rants none of which will ever make it into an updated edition.

    The Obama examples given just show the new low level to which US public discourse has fallen. The presidential race seems to be plunbing new lows but at least there’s a push back against Obamaism.

    Unfortunately I think USA is going to wake up with a very severe economic headache in the near future, now that Obama’s debt-fueled QE party is over, Whichever candidate wins the race will inherit a monster recession in due course. Clinton or Sanders wont have a clue, Trump might, either way it will be nasty.

  5. Andy on 29/05/2016 at 5:34 pm said:

    There is a little glimmer of hope in the pushback against Social Justice Warriors in the online world

    There are the people I refer to as “principled conservatives” who base their view on the US constitution and its values enshrined therein.

    The last time the US has one as a president was Ronald Reagan

    On the other hand, we have the “Alt Right”, who seem to embrace a lot of distasteful racists and anti-semites, though some of them might be OK.

    At the moment, the Alt Right seem to have the momentum. maybe Trump can find conservatism and the principles of the US constitution

    On the other hand, we have “crooked Hillary” and the socialist from Vermont

    It’s all too depressing. I might join this guy and self-identify as a goat in the Swiss Alps


  6. Richard C (NZ) on 29/05/2016 at 6:01 pm said:

    Trump protesters appear to rally behind the Mexican flag. I’ve been to USA. If you want to ingratiate yourself there the appropriate flag would be — as I witnessed in solemn ceremonies — the stars and stripes, I would have thought.

  7. Andy on 29/05/2016 at 6:14 pm said:

    I’m quite amazed at the anti-Trump propaganda in NZ media.
    Obviously, if you are a “constitutional conservative” then Trump is a worry, but the one eyed reporting is quite a sight to behold

    Saturday’s Press editorial page had Trump presented as a fire-breathing dragon

  8. Richard C (NZ) on 29/05/2016 at 6:23 pm said:

    More than 7,000 attend Trump speech

    NICK SMITH Bismarck Tribune May 26, 2016

    Republican Party presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump electrified a crowd of more than 7,000 Thursday afternoon in the Bismarck Event Center, delivering his first major address on energy policy at the conclusion of this year’s Williston Basin Petroleum Conference.

    Trump, whose support from North Dakota national convention delegates put him over the top for securing the party’s nomination earlier in the day, told the crowd he’d eliminate regulation he says is killing the fossil fuel industry as well as be favorable to additional pipeline projects and exports of American oil.

    Thunderous applause greeted Trump’s declaration that in his administration there’d be an “America-first energy plan.”

    “We will accomplish a complete American energy independence,” Trump said. “We’re going to turn everything around. We are going to make it right.”

    He thanked the North Dakota delegates for putting him over the top.

    “I will always remember that,” Trump said.

    For those hoping to witness a dose of the sharp rhetoric that’s been a staple of his unconventional and eyebrow-raising campaign, he didn’t disappoint.

    Trump vowed to reverse the energy policy of President Barack Obama’s administration, which he said has been devastating to industry and inflicted pain on states such as North Dakota that rely heavily on the energy sector.

    “If President Obama wanted to weaken America, he couldn’t have done a better job,” Trump said.

    Among the policies he’d push to undo is the Environmental Protection Agency’s emissions rules targeting coal-fired power plants. The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year voted 5-4 to halt implementation of the rules governing new and existing power plants for now.

    “How stupid is that?” Trump said of the emissions rules.

    He also slammed the Environment Protection Agency’s Waters of the United State rule, which he said would cause significant damage to American energy production and kill jobs.

    Trump had the crowd in the palm of his hand, a sea of people dotted with Trump hats and shirts with his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” He drew wave after wave of raucous applause when outlining how optimistic he is at the prospect of North Dakota and the country’s energy future.

    “You’re at the forefront of a new energy revolution,” said Trump, adding that the country has unlocked energy reserves previously unimaginable with new technologies, such as hydraulic fracturing. “We’re loaded. We had no idea how rich we are.”

    The first 100 days of a potential Trump administration also riled up the crowd: He said he’d rescind executive orders by Obama that he believes are job killers as well as work to eliminate the emissions and water rules.

    When considering any federal regulations, Trump said his litmus test would be simple.

    “Is this regulation good for the American worker?” Trump said.

    Those who heard Trump speak gave his speech an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

    “I think from what we see on TV he had a much more detailed presentation. He was really well-informed on the issues,” Whitney Bell, of New Town, said.

    Bell said the crowd was fantastic and responded well to Trump’s message, which he reiterated was more detailed than mere sound-bites.

    Jason Bohrer, president of the Lignite Energy Council, said he was impressed with Trump’s focus on deregulation.

    “I heard what I wanted to hear and more. Trump is a different kind of politician; he communicates in a way that a lot of other people don’t,” Bohrer said.

    North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness said he was thrilled by how the speech went as well as the overwhelming reaction from the crowd.

    “I’ve been to a lot of Class B state championships in this building; this was equal to that,” Ness said. “The energy just rolled in.”

    Ness said his America-first message resonated with people and he expects it to become a staple of his campaign.

    “That speech was loaded with specifics. He backed that up with a lot of numbers. I didn’t hear anything that isn’t achievable,” Ness said.


    # # #

    Can’t find a transcript but it’s on Youtube. Offers a different insight than the inpression gained by say, watching NZ TV news coverage of the US election.

    >“Make America Great Again.”

    Good luck with that Donald. “Great” is a matter of perspective of course, many around the world might disagree (think Panama for example), and not forgetting………

    The Ugly American [1958]

    That was the book that lifted the US veneer for me in my formative years and provoked a more jandiced view of US “greatness” ever since.

  9. Richard C (NZ) on 29/05/2016 at 6:54 pm said:

    >”I’m quite amazed at the anti-Trump propaganda in NZ media.”

    I’m not.

    “Go Bammy” – Jack Tame, ONE News US Correspondent cheer-leading for Obama on ONE News long before this election round.

    He looks a bit shell-shocked trying to get his head around the fact that, surprise, Obama isn’t the last word or the end and pinnacle of US politics, neither has Obama umified the US in any way and quite the contrary i.e. not the raging success he was made out to be (he will leave an economic mess as his legacy although Tame probably can’t see that). It’s all moved on in a rather different vein that Tame obviously wasn’t prepared for.

    I think it will take a while for all the media dupes who thought Obama’s “Hope and Change” was the ultimate vision for everythig to turn out rosy for everyone, to figure out what’s actually happened.

  10. Richard C (NZ) on 29/05/2016 at 7:38 pm said:

    A juxtaposition of floundering “agreements”:

    1) Greens Blame Donald Trump for Crumbling Paris Climate Accord

    Eric Worrall / May 28, 2016

    Everyone knows the Paris agreement was dead on arrival. President Obama’s desperation to get China on board, by granting a joke size concession, the Chinese “commitment” not to do anything about CO2 emissions until 2030, created an intolerable structural economic advantage. Add the ongoing split with Russia about the implementation of the Paris Accord, it was only a matter of time before the agreement collapsed.

    In my opinion, Greens are well aware that the agreement was doomed from the outset. Now they’re just trying to save face, by trying to pin the blame on someone else, for their own political blunders.


    2) G7 Leaders: Boost the Global Economy

    The Mainichi Shimbun reports:

    “The Group of Seven (G-7) leaders agreed at their annual summit on May 26 that their countries will use monetary policy, fiscal stimulus measures and structural reform to lead the world economy out of its current slump.

    “This will be incorporated in the leaders’ “Ise-Shima Economic Initiative” joint declaration to be issued at the end of the summit on May 27.

    “However, the timing of stimulus spending will be left to the discretion of each member country.


    # # #

    Oddly, the second will solve the first. The effect of “stimulus spending” has run its course, there’s no more boost to be had, just the opposite. China is proving that right now. Why G7 wants to carry on with it is bizarre, it’s a failed boom-bust scenario.

    The bust being what will do what the Paris Accord never would.

  11. Richard C (NZ) on 29/05/2016 at 8:01 pm said:

    Trump sees a whole other world than Yellen does.

    US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen – “The economy is continuing to improve”

    Trump: Only ‘dummies’ believe Fed’s unemployment figure

    By John Crudele May 25, 2016

    Donald Trump, if elected president, will investigate the veracity of US economic statistics produced by Washington — including “the way they are reported.”

    I caught up with Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, by phone Tuesday morning, and we had a frank talk about the economy and what is making his campaign tick.

    “When you look at some of these [economic] numbers they give out and then you go out and see people dying to get a job all over the country, I mean, it’s not jibing with what’s really going on,” Trump said.

    “The economy is not doing well,” Trump said. “You know, John, I’m getting 20,000 to 25,000 people every time I make a speech, and they are not there just because of the border,” he added, referring to his vow to build a wall between the US and Mexico.

    “They are there because — and you know — if you put out a job notice, you’ll get thousands of people showing up to pick up a job,” Trump said.

    As I’ve mentioned before, I first met Trump decades ago and we used to talk once in a while, but haven’t for many years.

    Trump says he thinks the US unemployment rate is close to 20 percent and not the 5 percent reported by the Labor Department.

    Anyone who believes the 5 percent is a “dummy,” he said.

    The Federal Reserve, of course, always quotes the 5 percent figure………


    # # #

    >Donald Trump, if elected president, will investigate the veracity of US economic statistics produced by Washington — including “the way they are reported.”

    Should sent shivers up spines in the climate sector too.

  12. Richard C (NZ) on 29/05/2016 at 8:48 pm said:

    The Ugly American, nothing’s changed.

    ‘Silencing the United States as It Prepares for War’

    John Pilger takes apart the liberal commentariat and points to the need for a genuinely anti-imperialist analysis of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and yes — Bernie Sanders.

    By John Pilger May 27, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – “teleSur”

    Returning to the United States in an election year, I am struck by the silence. I have covered four presidential campaigns, starting with 1968; I was with Robert Kennedy when he was shot and I saw his assassin, preparing to kill him. It was a baptism in the American way, along with the salivating violence of the Chicago police at the Democratic Party’s rigged convention. The great counter revolution had begun.

    The first to be assassinated that year, Martin Luther King, had dared link the suffering of African-Americans and the people of Vietnam. When Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”, she spoke perhaps unconsciously for millions of America’s victims in faraway places.

    “We lost 58,000 young soldiers in Vietnam, and they died defending your freedom. Now don’t you forget it.” So said a National Parks Service guide as I filmed last week at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. He was addressing a school party of young teenagers in bright orange T-shirts. As if by rote, he inverted the truth about Vietnam into an unchallenged lie.

    The millions of Vietnamese who died and were maimed and poisoned and dispossessed by the American invasion have no historical place in young minds, not to mention the estimated 60,000 veterans who took their own lives. A friend of mine, a marine who became a paraplegic in Vietnam, was often asked, “Which side did you fight on?”

    A few years ago, I attended a popular exhibition called “The Price of Freedom” at the venerable Smithsonian Institution in Washington. The lines of ordinary people, mostly children shuffling through a Santa’s grotto of revisionism, were dispensed a variety of lies: the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved “a million lives”; Iraq was “liberated [by] air strikes of unprecedented precision”. The theme was unerringly heroic: only Americans pay the price of freedom.

    The 2016 election campaign is remarkable not only for the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders but also for the resilience of an enduring silence about a murderous self-bestowed divinity. A third of the members of the United Nations have felt Washington’s boot, overturning governments, subverting democracy, imposing blockades and boycotts. Most of the presidents responsible have been liberal – Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama.

    The breathtaking record of perfidy is so mutated in the public mind, wrote the late Harold Pinter, that it “never happened …Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. It didn’t matter … “. Pinter expressed a mock admiration for what he called “a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”

    Take Obama. As he prepares to leave office, the fawning has begun all over again. He is “cool”. One of the more violent presidents, Obama gave full reign to the Pentagon war-making apparatus of his discredited predecessor. He prosecuted more whistleblowers – truth-tellers – than any president. He pronounced Chelsea Manning guilty before she was tried. Today, Obama runs an unprecedented worldwide campaign of terrorism and murder by drone.

    In 2009, Obama promised to help “rid the world of nuclear weapons” and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. No American president has built more nuclear warheads than Obama. He is “modernising” America’s doomsday arsenal, including a new “mini” nuclear weapon, whose size and “smart” technology, says a leading general, ensure its use is “no longer unthinkable”.

    James Bradley, the best-selling author of Flags of Our Fathers and son of one of the US marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima, said, “[One] great myth we’re seeing play out is that of Obama as some kind of peaceful guy who’s trying to get rid of nuclear weapons. He’s the biggest nuclear warrior there is. He’s committed us to a ruinous course of spending a trillion dollars on more nuclear weapons. Somehow, people live in this fantasy that because he gives vague news conferences and speeches and feel-good photo-ops that somehow that’s attached to actual policy. It isn’t.”

    On Obama’s watch, a second cold war is under way. The Russian president is a pantomime villain; the Chinese are not yet back to their sinister pig-tailed caricature – when all Chinese were banned from the United States – but the media warriors are working on it.

    Neither Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders has mentioned any of this. There is no risk and no danger for the United States and all of us. For them, the greatest military build-up on the borders of Russia since World War Two has not happened. On May 11, Romania went “live” with a Nato “missile defence” base that aims its first-strike American missiles at the heart of Russia, the world’s second nuclear power.

    In Asia, the Pentagon is sending ships, planes and special forces to the Philippines to threaten China. The US already encircles China with hundreds of military bases that curve in an arc up from Australia, to Asia and across to Afghanistan. Obama calls this a “pivot”.

    As a direct consequence, China reportedly has changed its nuclear weapons policy from no-first-use to high alert and put to sea submarines with nuclear weapons. The escalator is quickening.

    It was Hillary Clinton who, as Secretary of State in 2010, elevated the competing territorial claims for rocks and reef in the South China Sea to an international issue; CNN and BBC hysteria followed; China was building airstrips on the disputed islands. In its mammoth war game in 2015, Operation Talisman Sabre, the US practiced “choking” the Straits of Malacca through which pass most of China’s oil and trade. This was not news.

    Clinton declared that America had a “national interest” in these Asian waters. The Philippines and Vietnam were encouraged and bribed to pursue their claims and old enmities against China. In America, people are being primed to see any Chinese defensive position as offensive, and so the ground is laid for rapid escalation. A similar strategy of provocation and propaganda is applied to Russia.

    Clinton, the “women’s candidate”, leaves a trail of bloody coups: in Honduras, in Libya (plus the murder of the Libyan president) and Ukraine. The latter is now a CIA theme park swarming with Nazis and the frontline of a beckoning war with Russia. It was through Ukraine – literally, borderland — that Hitler’s Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, which lost 27 million people. This epic catastrophe remains a presence in Russia. Clinton’s presidential campaign has received money from all but one of the world’s ten biggest arms companies. No other candidate comes close.

    Sanders, the hope of many young Americans, is not very different from Clinton in his proprietorial view of the world beyond the United States. He backed Bill Clinton’s illegal bombing of Serbia. He supports Obama’s terrorism by drone, the provocation of Russia and the return of special forces (death squads) to Iraq. He has nothing to say on the drumbeat of threats to China and the accelerating risk of nuclear war. He agrees that Edward Snowden should stand trial and he calls Hugo Chavez – like him, a social democrat – “a dead communist dictator”. He promises to support Clinton if she is nominated.

    The election of Trump or Clinton is the old illusion of choice that is no choice: two sides of the same coin. In scapegoating minorities and promising to “make America great again”, Trump is a far right-wing domestic populist; yet the danger of Clinton may be more lethal for the world.

    “Only Donald Trump has said anything meaningful and critical of US foreign policy,” wrote Stephen Cohen, emeritus professor of Russian History at Princeton and NYU, one of the few Russia experts in the United States to speak out about the risk of war.

    In a radio broadcast, Cohen referred to critical questions Trump alone had raised. Among them: why is the United States “everywhere on the globe”? What is NATO’s true mission? Why does the US always pursue regime change in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine? Why does Washington treat Russia and Vladimir Putin as an enemy?

    The hysteria in the liberal media over Trump serves an illusion of “free and open debate” and “democracy at work”. His views on immigrants and Muslims are grotesque, yet the deporter-in-chief of vulnerable people from America is not Trump but Obama, whose betrayal of people of colour is his legacy: such as the warehousing of a mostly black prison population, now more numerous than Stalin’s gulag.

    This presidential campaign may not be about populism but American liberalism, an ideology that sees itself as modern and therefore superior and the one true way. Those on its right wing bear a likeness to 19th century Christian imperialists, with a God-given duty to convert or co-opt or conquer.

    In Britain, this is Blairism. The Christian war criminal Tony Blair got away with his secret preparation for the invasion of Iraq largely because the liberal political class and media fell for his “cool Britannia”. In the Guardian, the applause was deafening; he was called “mystical”. A distraction known as identity politics, imported from the United States, rested easily in his care.

    History was declared over, class was abolished and gender promoted as feminism; lots of women became New Labour MPs. They voted on the first day of Parliament to cut the benefits of single parents, mostly women, as instructed. A majority voted for an invasion that produced 700,000 Iraqi widows.

    The equivalent in the US are the politically correct warmongers on the New York Times, Washington Post, and network TV who dominate political debate. I watched a furious debate on CNN about Trump’s infidelities. It was clear, they said, a man like that could not be trusted in the White House. No issues were raised. Nothing on the 80 per cent of Americans whose income has collapsed to 1970s levels. Nothing on the drift to war. The received wisdom seems to be “hold your nose” and vote for Clinton: anyone but Trump. That way, you stop the monster and preserve a system gagging for another war.


    # # #

    I\m not with Pilger on a number of items e.g. Trump’s views on immigrants and Muslims are “grotesque” and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved “a million lives” being a “lie”. Questionable yes. I would have preferred the Yanks took out the Emperor first to see what happened rather than preserve him for post-war rehabilition efforts but Japan had to be stopped somehow.

    Apart from that Pilger gets it mostly right I think.

  13. Mike Jowsey on 29/05/2016 at 11:40 pm said:

    You guys are way onto it. I picked the Trump would be POTUS about 5 months ago. Now he has the strength of constituents he is pulling no punches regards climate change and energy policies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNkYgdXPL7U

  14. Richard C (NZ) on 30/05/2016 at 9:46 am said:

    Text of Trump’s first major address on energy policy at the conclusion of this year’s Williston Basin Petroleum Conference, Bismarck Event Center, North Dakota.

    An America First Energy Plan – May 26, 2016 –



    A Trump Administration will develop an America First energy plan. Here is how this plan will make America Wealthy Again:

    # American energy dominance will be declared a strategic economic and foreign policy goal of the United States.
    # America has 1.5 times as much oil as the combined proven resources of all OPEC countries; we have more Natural Gas than Russia, Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia Combined; we have three times more coal than Russia. Our total untapped oil and gas reserves on federal lands equal an estimated $50 trillion.
    # We will become, and stay, totally independent of any need to import energy from the OPEC cartel or any nations hostile to our interests.
    # At the same time, we will work with our Gulf allies to develop a positive energy relationship as part of our anti-terrorism strategy.
    # We will use the revenues from energy production to rebuild our roads, schools, bridges and public infrastructure. Cheaper energy will also boost American agriculture.
    # We will get the bureaucracy out of the way of innovation, so we can pursue all forms of energy. This includes renewable energies and the technologies of the future. It includes nuclear, wind and solar energy – but not to the exclusion of other energy. The government should not pick winners and losers. Instead, it should remove obstacles to exploration. Any market has ups and downs, but lifting these draconian barriers will ensure that we are no longer at the mercy of global markets.

    A Trump Administration will focus on real environmental challenges, not phony ones:

    # We will reject Hillary Clinton’s poverty-expansion agenda that enriches her friends and makes everyone else poor.
    # We’ll solve real environmental problems in our communities like the need for clean and safe drinking water. President Obama actually tried to cut the funding for our drinking water infrastructure – even as he pushed to increase funding for his EPA bureaucrats.
    # American workers will be the ones building this new infrastructure.

    Here is my 100-day action plan:

    # We’re going to rescind all the job-destroying Obama executive actions including the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule.
    # We’re going to save the coal industry and other industries threatened by Hillary Clinton’s extremist agenda.
    I’m going to ask Trans Canada to renew its permit application for the Keystone Pipeline.
    # We’re going to lift moratoriums on energy production in federal areas
    # We’re going to revoke policies that impose unwarranted restrictions on new drilling technologies. These technologies create millions of jobs with a smaller footprint than ever before.
    # We’re going to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.
    # Any regulation that is outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers, or contrary to the national interest will be scrapped. We will also eliminate duplication, provide regulatory certainty, and trust local officials and local residents.
    # Any future regulation will go through a simple test: is this regulation good for the American worker? If it doesn’t pass this test, the rule will not be approved.

  15. Richard C (NZ) on 30/05/2016 at 9:53 am said:

    Some counter-points to Trump’s energy speech:

    ‘6 things we learned from Donald Trump’s first big energy speech’

    by Brad Plumer on May 26, 2016


    1) Trump simply doesn’t care about climate change
    2) The US produces more oil and gas than anyone else — but Trump wants more
    3) Trump called for “energy independence,” a popular but meaningless concept
    4) Trump wants to bring back US coal mining — but it’s doubtful he actually can
    5) Trump isn’t a huge fan of wind and solar
    6) Trump wants clean air and clean water — but (apparently) not through regulations

  16. Richard C (NZ) on 30/05/2016 at 10:03 am said:

    >”5) Trump isn’t a huge fan of wind and solar”

    On wind, not just Trump. Booker on RSPB and WWF:

    ‘The founding members of some of Britain’s greatest charities must be spinning in their graves’

    Christopher Booker 28 May 2016

    It is intriguing to contrast the current agendas of some of our more celebrated environmental charities with the aims of those who first set them up. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), for instance, originated in 1889 with some Victorian ladies wanting “to discourage the wanton destruction of birds” – which for decades was what the RSPB very laudably did.

    Yet its latest publication – a report headed “The RSPB’s 2050 Energy Vision” – says little about birds. Not only does it call for Britain’s target for cutting CO2 emissions to be raised from an improbable 80 per cent to an impossible 100 per cent, it also says “our research shows the UK could have six times the current level of onshore wind turbines”. Since we already have 5,500 of them, the RSPB would thus be happy to see 25,000 more littering our countryside.

    Yet studies show that the prime victims of turbine blades are birds and bats, notably birds of prey that like to hunt over just the kind of landscapes that are most profitable for wind-farm owners. The Spanish Society for Ornithology found that Spain’s 18,000 turbines kill up to six million birds a year, averaging as many as 300 birds per turbine. This confirmed the findings of a scientific paper 20 years ago, which discovered that each German turbine killed on average 309 birds a year. More recently, a German government ornithologist estimated that every year they kill between 200 and 300 red kites alone. One vast Californian wind farm killed so many birds, including many rare eagles, it was shut down.


  17. Richard C (NZ) on 30/05/2016 at 1:01 pm said:

    From Trump’s energy speech:

    The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against seven North Dakota oil companies for the deaths of 28 birds while the Administration fast-tracked wind projects that kill more than 1 million birds a year.

    Still, those 28 birds got justice.

  18. Alexander K on 01/06/2016 at 2:39 pm said:

    It has taken some time for us to be given a clear view of what Donald Trump has REALLY said and what he actually intends for America, without it being modified by the Leftist filter of juvenile egoists and watermelons such as Jack Tame, whose performance on-air and on-screen reduces me to incoherent shouting, which my wife says is bad for me and totally unproductive (I will never forget Tame being incredibly insulting to a scientist of impeccable pedigree during an interview when the scientist would not agree with Tame’s Idiotic Warmist beliefs).
    Sometimes I despair for the Western World when Obama is lauded; he has been nothing less than an unmitigated disaster in everything he has meddled in.
    When I consider how vile and corrupt Hillary Clinton is, it makes me wonder how the sensible, kind, intelligent Americans I have known over the years can tolerate her.
    With some views that are now emerging from the USA, I am hoping the Mr Trump may just be the right man at the right time.

  19. Richard C (NZ) on 08/06/2016 at 10:10 pm said:

    I hear from Bernie Sanders – “social justice”, “equality justice”, “economic justice”, “racial justice”, “environmental justice” etc.

    Problematic as even Salon points out:

    ‘Bernie Sanders’ inequality blind spot: Why social issues and economic justice can’t be siloed’

    Sanders’ record on both choice and inequality is strong. But to insist that they’re separate issues is fallacy
    by Gary Legum

    […Context – Bernie Sanders’ speech at Liberty University on Monday…..]

    I questioned whether it was worth the time and effort for a leftist like Sanders to speak to an audience that likely leaned so far to the right it was in danger of tipping over the starboard rail. What possible common ground could a politician of the left find with a crowd at ground zero of the conservative evangelical movement, a university founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell that teaches creationism in its biology classes?

    As others have noted, Sanders took a very smart approach. He acknowledged at the outset that he and the crowd would not see eye to eye on issues such as gay marriage and abortion rights. Then he challenged the crowd of Liberty students and faculty to look at the issue dearest to him, economic equality, through a more progressive lens. He asked them to imagine a world in which Americans, no matter their religion, see combating poverty and the inequality of the New Gilded Age as a moral necessity.

    It was a good speech and Sanders is to be commended for giving it in a place that most liberals wouldn’t go near. It also highlights one of the weaknesses of Sanders as a candidate so far, which is his predilection for bringing every issue back around to his populist views of economic justice. But he glides past issues he cannot fit easily into this frame, even when doing so should be a snap. We saw this in his initial responses to the Black Lives Matter protesters who showed up to disrupt his speeches at Netroots Nation and other places this summer.

    This shortcoming jumped out when Sanders sat for a post-speech Q&A session with David Nasser, Liberty’s senior vice president for spiritual development.


    >”…….highlights one of the weaknesses of Sanders as a candidate so far, which is his predilection for bringing every issue back around to his populist views of economic justice”

    Which seems to be (I may have this wrong) to REDUCE every wealthy or even moderately wealthy person to a lower “common” or “equal” level irrespective of abilities and acumen or whatever. Therefore, there could be no leaders of society for example. The office of POTUS, that Bernie is pitching for, would be redundant in an “equal” society which contradicts his penchant for political power.

    What Bernie-type politics can never change however, is that real economic “justice” is harsh. For example , if you make an error of financial judgment (your choice), economic forces (the judgement) will find you out and penalize you without sentiment (University of Hard Knocks).

    I know this from experience – twice ($10 oil 1990s, GFC 2000s). What did I learn (at considerable cost, more than any of my academic quals)? I learned the following principle the hard way although I was getting there mathematically (but too late), actually I arrived at it via betting (big) on US major league baseball (MLB) and a financial trading book titled ‘Way of the Turtle’:

    Risk of ruin

    Risk of ruin is a concept in gambling, insurance, and finance relating to the likelihood of losing all one’s capital[1] or impacting one’s bankroll to the point that it cannot be recovered.

    Financial trading
    The term “risk of ruin” is sometimes used with a relatively narrow technical meaning by financial traders, to refer to the risk of a trading account becoming “ruined” in the sense that it’s not allowed to make further trades. Sometimes its possible to precisely calculate the risk of ruin for a given number of trades. For example, assume one has $1000 spare in an account which one can afford to draw down before the broker will start issuing margin calls. And say each trade can either win or lose, with a 50% chance of a loss, capped at $200. Then for four trades or less, the risk of ruin is zero. For five trades, the risk of ruin is about 3%, as all five trades would have to go bad for the account to be ruined. For additional trades, the risk of ruin slowly increases. The calculations required to evaluate the risk become much more complex with realistic conditions. To see a set of formulae to cover simple related scenarios, see Gambler’s ruin [hotlink – see below]. Opinions among traders about the importance of the “Risk of ruin” calculations are mixed – some advice that for practical purposes it is a close to worthless statistic, while other say it is of the utmost importance for an active trader to be aware of it.[3]


    Gambler’s ruin

    The term gambler’s ruin is used for a number of related statistical ideas:…………..


    Socialists, like Bernie Sanders, know nothing of wealth and economc endeavour in terms of risk-return (the upside) or risk-of-ruin (the downside), and the forces of economic “justice” that decide.

    In recent decades debt has been the massive economic leverage to illusory shortcut wealth (think China). Also a recipe for risk-of-ruin. I’m already witnessing economic justice finding out nations and corporates. The next tranche will be huge numbers of individuals.

    In other words, harsh economic “justice” will achieve what Bernie Sanders wants without any human intervention, he just doesn’t understant how that works, or what the aftermath will be (it wont be utopia). It will also achieve, perversely. “climate justice” without any need for any UN inspired regulation..

  20. Richard C (NZ) on 08/06/2016 at 10:50 pm said:

    >”In recent decades debt has been the massive economic leverage to illusory shortcut wealth (think China).”

    Or New Zealand:

    ‘Nation of Debt: New Zealand sitting on half-trillion-dollar debt bomb’

    Tamsyn Parker. Money Editor for NZ Herald. Tuesday Jun 7, 2016

    New Zealand now owes almost half a trillion dollars in debt – and a growing chunk of it belongs to ordinary households, mainly borrowing to buy property. In the start of a week-long series Tamsyn Parker spells out the problem.

    “Households are now carrying a debt level that is equivalent to 162 per cent of their annual disposable income – higher than the level reached before the global financial crisis.”

    “Jeffrey Stangl, a chartered financial analyst (CFA) and economics lecturer at Massey University, said people were getting caught up in the euphoria without considering the risk of an economic shock which could be caused by an event outside of New Zealand.”


  21. Andy on 09/06/2016 at 12:48 pm said:

    Just for giggles, if you are on Facebook, the Donald Trump Action Figure video is funny

  22. Richard C (NZ) on 09/06/2016 at 3:37 pm said:

    ‘The Only Thing That Grows Is Debt’

    Posted by Raúl Ilargi Meijer, June 8, 2016 [Debt Rattle]


    All this is a mere introduction for what is a ‘western world wide’ trend that hardly anybody is able to interpret correctly. It what seems to many to be a sudden development, votes like the Dutch one are ‘events’ where people vote down incumbents and elites. But these are not political occurrences, or at least politics doesn’t explain them.

    In the US, there’s Trump and Bernie Sanders. In Britain, the Brexit referendum shows a people that are inclined not to vote FOR something, but AGAINST current political powers. In Italy, a Five-Star candidate is set to become mayor of Rome, something two Podemos affiliated -former- activists have already achieved in Barcelona and Madrid.

    All across Europe, ‘traditional’ parties are at record lows in the polls. As is evident when it comes to Brexit, but what when you look closer is a common theme, anything incumbents say can and will be used against them. (A major part of this is that the ’propaganda power’ of traditional media is fast coming undone.)

    The collapse of the system doesn’t mean people swing to the right, as is often claimed, though that is one option. It means people swing outside of the established channels, and whoever can credibly claim to be on that outside has a shot at sympathy, votes, power, be they left or right. Whatever else it is they may have in common, first and foremost they’re anti-establishment.

    To understand the reason all this is happening, we must turn our heads and face economics. Or rather, the collapse of the economy. Especially in the western world – the formerly rich world-, there is no such thing as separate political and economic systems anymore (if there ever were). There is more truth in Hazel Henderson’s quote than we should like: “economics [..] has always been nothing more than politics in disguise”.

    What we have is a politico-economic system, with the former media establishment clinging to (or inside?!) its body like some sort of embedded parasite. A diseased triumvirate.

    With the economy in irreversible collapse, the politico part of the Siamese twin/triplet can no longer hold. That is what is happening. That is why all traditional political parties are either already out or soon will be. Because they, more than anything else, stand for the economic system that people see crumbling before their eyes. They represent that system, they are it, they can’t survive without it.

    Of course the triumvirate tries as hard as it can to keep the illusion alive that sometime soon growth will return, but in reality this is not just another recession in some cycle of recessions. Or, at the very minimum this is a very long term cycle, Kondratieff style, . And even that sounds optimistic. The system is broken, irreparably. A new system will have to appear, eventually. But…

    ‘Associations’ like the EU, and perhaps even the US, with all the supranational and global entities they have given birth to, NATO, IMF, World Bank, you name them, depend for their existence on an economy that grows. The entire drive towards globalization does, as do any and all drives toward centralization. But the economy has collapsed. So all this will of necessity go into reverse, even if there are very powerful forces that will resist such a development.

    Despite what the media try to tell you, as do the close to 100% manipulated economic data emanating from various -tightly controlled- sources, the economy is not growing, and it hasn’t for years; the only thing that grows is debt. And you can’t borrow growth.

    You can argue in fascinating philosophical debates about when this started, arguments can be made for Nixon’s 1971 abolishment of the -last vestiges of- the gold standard anywhere up to Clinton’s 1998 repeal of Glass-Steagall, or anything in between -or even after.

    It doesn’t matter much anymore, the specifics are already gathering dust as research material for historians. The single best thing to do for all of us not in positions of politico/economic power is to recognize the irreversible collapse of the system. Since we all grew up in it and have never known anything else, that is hard enough in itself. But we don’t have all that much time to lose anymore.

    The whole shebang is broke. This can easily be displayed in a US nominal debt vs nominal GDP graph:

    [See graph]

    That’s really all you need to know. That’s what broke the shebang. It is easy. And even if a bit more of the ‘surplus’ debt had been allowed to go towards the common man, it wouldn’t have made much difference. We’ve replaced growth with debt, because that is the only way to keep the -illusion of- the politico-economic system going, and thereby the only way for the incumbent powers to cling on to that power.

    And that is where the danger lies. It’s not just that the vast majority of westerners will become much poorer than they are now, they will be forced to face powers-that-be that face the threat of seeing their powers -both political and economic- slip sliding away and themselves heading towards some sort of Marie-Antoinette model.

    The elites-that-be are not going to take that lying down. They will cling to their statuses for -literally- dear life. That right there is the biggest threat we all face (including them). It would be wise to recognize all these things for what they really are, not for what all these people try to make you believe they are. Dead seriously: playtime is over. The elites-that-be are ready and willing to ritually sacrifice you and your children. Because it’s the only way they can cling on to their positions. And their own very lives.

    It may take a long time still for people to understand the above, but it’s also possible that markets crash tomorrow morning and bring the facades of Jericho down with them. Waiting for that to happen is not your best option.


  23. Richard C (NZ) on 09/06/2016 at 4:02 pm said:

    >” ‘Associations’ like the EU, and perhaps even the US, with all the supranational and global entities they have given birth to, NATO, IMF, World Bank, you name them, depend for their existence on an economy that grows”

    And the UN, and the UNFCCC. Obama diverted $500m from a budget category that would have funded, say, the fight against the Zika vitrus, to the UN’s Green Climate Fund.

    This because Congress did not allocate any of the budget to the Green Climate Fund. Obama had to find a workaround, and he did. Similarly with EPA regulations stemming from UNFCC/IPCC climate “assessments”.

    U.S. Funding of the United Nations Reaches All-Time High

    By Brett D. Schaefer. August 13, 2010

    The source and amounts of all U.S. funding to the myriad number of organizations affiliated with the United Nations are difficult to track accurately. This difficulty prompted Congress to pass legislation requiring the Administration to report annually on U.S. contributions to the U.N. A recent report to Congress by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on all U.S. funding to the U.N. system revealed that U.S. contributions to the U.N. system reached record levels in fiscal year (FY) 2009.[1]

    Considering budget trends, U.S. contributions will continue to rise. Having an accurate account of U.S. contributions to the U.N. is valuable, particularly considering recent revelations about institutional weaknesses in U.N. oversight. Congress should take action to make the current OMB reporting requirement permanent.

    U.S. Funding of the U.N. System

    The U.S. has been the largest financial supporter of the U.N. since the organization’s founding in 1945. The U.S. is currently assessed 22 percent of the U.N. regular budget and more than 27 percent of the U.N. peacekeeping budget. In dollar terms, the Administration’s budget for FY 2011 requested $516.3 million for the U.N. regular budget and more than $2.182 billion for the peacekeeping budget.[2]

    However, the U.S. also provides assessed financial contributions to other U.N. organizations and voluntary contributions to many more U.N. organizations. According to OMB, total U.S. contributions to the U.N. system were more than $6.347 billion in FY 2009.[3] This is more than $1 billion more than total contributions as compiled by OMB for FY 2005,[4] and it is indicative of the rising budgetary trends in the U.N. and the consequential demand on U.S. financial support.

    The reporting requirement was instigated by the expansion of the U.N. system. The creation of new U.N.-affiliated bodies over the years that received independent financial support from the U.S. government made it increasingly difficult to calculate how much the U.S. provided to the U.N. system on an annual basis. Past estimates were based on contributions from the State Department to the U.N. system, but this was not comprehensive. Although the State Department is the largest source of U.S. funding to the U.N. system, it is not the sole source.

    For instance, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides funding to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the Department of Energy provides funds to the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the Department of Health and Human Services provides funds to UNICEF. The State Department had no authority to require other departments to report these funding activities; therefore, estimates by the State Department on U.S. funding of the U.N. system generally failed to take them into account.

    In an effort to get an authoritative figure for total U.S. contributions to the U.N., Senator Tom Coburn (R–OK) sent a letter in 2006 to former OMB director Rob Portman requesting a comprehensive report on total U.S. contributions to the U.N. system for fiscal years 2001–2005.[5] Because OMB is in charge of overseeing the preparation of the President’s budget, it was in a position to require all parts of the U.S. government to report the requested information.

    The results of the first report were eye-opening. The State Department inexactly estimated that the U.S. contributed “well over $3 billion” to the U.N. in 2004.[6] In its 2006 report, OMB calculated that U.S. contributions to the entire U.N. system actually totaled $4.115 billion in 2004 and $5.327 billion in 2005.[7] Thus, the State Department estimate for 2004 was only about 75 percent of the actual U.S. contribution for that year as calculated by OMB.


    # # #

    >”The reporting requirement was instigated by the expansion of the U.N. system”

    A contracting US economy will mean a conytraction of the UN system because the US will have enough problems funding its own existence, let alone the UN.

    ‘Obama’s contracting economy’

  24. Richard C (NZ) on 12/06/2016 at 9:43 am said:

    ‘Epic Correction of the Decade’

    Posted on June 8, 2016 by Steven Hayward

    Hoo-wee, the New York Times will really have to extend itself to top the boner and mother-of-all-corrections at the American Journal of Political Science. This is the journal that published a finding much beloved of liberals a few years back that purported to find scientific evidence that conservatives are more likely to exhibit traits associated with psychoticism, such as authoritarianism and tough-mindedness, and that the supposed “authoritarian” personality of conservatives might even have a genetic basis (and therefore be treatable someday?). Settle in with a cup or glass of your favorite beverage, and get ready to enjoy one of the most epic academic face plants ever.

    The original article was called “Correlation not causation: the relationship between personality traits and political ideologies,” [hotlink] and was written by three academics at Virginia Commonwealth University.


    …..take in the opening of this very long correction:

    “The authors regret that there is an error in the published version of “Correlation not Causation: The Relationship between Personality Traits and Political Ideologies” American Journal of Political Science 56 (1), 34–51. The interpretation of the coding of the political attitude items in the descriptive and preliminary analyses portion of the manuscript was exactly reversed.


    Thus, where we indicated that higher scores in Table 1 (page 40) reflect a more conservative response, they actually reflect a more liberal response. Specifically, in the original manuscript, the descriptive analyses report that those higher in Eysenck’s psychoticism are more conservative, but they are actually more liberal; and where the original manuscript reports those higher in neuroticism and social desirability are more liberal, they are, in fact, more conservative.


    If you go back to the excerpts above and swap out the ideological categories you will have to suppress a horselaugh. Liberals are more prone to “psychoticism” (which the authors hasten to explain doesn’t meant “psychotic,” but what the hell. . .), and hence authoritarianism, which would come as no surprise to any conservative who pays attention to authoritarian liberalism. And people higher in Social Desirability will turn out to be conservatives, which is also congruent with the many simpler survey findings that conservatives are happier than liberals.


    # # #

    Too much fun, especially given how much this paper was pushed in-your-face at the time whenever a view contrary to the Liberal Left was expressed.

  25. Richard C (NZ) on 14/06/2016 at 5:50 pm said:

    ‘Who’s Really The Fascist?’

    June 13, 2016 Posted by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

    Like most of you, I too see an increase in the use of the term ‘fascism’ in the media, and it is -almost- always linked to the rise of Donald Trump in the US and various politicians and parties in Europe, Le Pen in France, Wilders in Holland, Erdogan in Turkey, plus a pretty bewildering and motley crew of ‘groups’ in Eastern Europe (Hungary’s Orban) and Scandinavia. I guess you could throw in Nigel Farage and UKIP in Britain as well.


    But what I’m really trying to get at is that if you look closer at these definitions and interpretations, you can made a solid case that it’s not Trump and Le Pen who are the fascists, but instead the present incumbents in our governments, as well as those belonging to the same political class and parties as them, and who aspire to one day fill their seats and shoes.


    ‘Politico-economics’ (a.k.a corporatism) is our present form of government, even of organizing our entire societies, and it’s the very thing people protest against when they vote for Trump and Le Pen (and against Cameron when they vote for Brexit). This would seem to put the claim that Trump is a fascist on its head. Trump is the reaction to fascism as defined by Mussolini, as are le Pen and Orban and Wilders and the others, even as they are accused of being fascists themselves.

    Corporations, the elite, govern our societies, no matter that there is still a thin veneer of democratic rights -barely- visible. It makes no difference in the States whether you vote Democratic or Republican, they are the same thing – except for a few intentionally well-conserved minor details.


    The former differences between parties don’t matter anymore because on major issues politicians have no decision-making voice, they simply do what they are told. And if they do that well, they get handsomely compensated for it. The ultimate paragons of this development are not Trump and le Pen, but Obama, Cameron, both Clintons, Hollande, Merkel, the list is endless because the corporatist takeover is well-nigh complete across the board.

    These ‘leaders’ represent a society in which there is no dividing line between politics and economics. They, and their paymasters, have achieved Mussolini’s ideal, something he himself -ironically- never accomplished.

    And we could take this argument a step further: even if you would want to talk about the ‘Hitler brand of fascism’, the violence, the large-scale murder, you still have Trump and Le Pen with zero kills to their name, while Obama, Cameron, both Clintons, Hollande, Merkel et al are responsible for hundreds of thousands of lives lost. Just watch what’s coming in the next batch of Clinton emails Wikileaks is set to publish.

    In a next step, while we’re at it, we could hold up Mussolini’s fascism ideals and look at what they have in common with trade deals such as TPP and TTiP. Plenty, obviously. Though they are not in sync with the nationalist component of his definition, they do represent a much larger drive than anything that has preceded them in human history, to hand over -the last vestiges of- political power to the corporate sector.

    And who’s in favor of these deals? The incumbent politico-economic classes that have taken over our governments. Even as resistance to the deals is surging, they are undoubtedly as we speak scrambling to find ways, legal or not, democratic or not, to push them through. Trump, Le Pen, Wilders want nothing to do with them.

    So when I read things like a recent Salon headline:“Fascism is rising in the US and Europe – and Donald Trump is the face of this disturbing new reality”, it makes me think that this is at the very least a little one-sided, if not blind-sided, and for more reasons than one.


    # # #

    “Blind-sided”, but predictable.

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