Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart
* US TOTALITARIAN STATE WINS AFTER ALL: OBAMA REINSTATES NDAA MILITARY DETENTION PROVISION
By Tyler Durden, zerohedge
Just over a week ago, we wrote of the challenge to Obama’s NDAA totalitarian bill. Hope remained that Chris Hedges’ view of the indefinite detention as “unforgivable, unconstitutional, and exceedingly dangerous” would bolster judgment. However, as Russia Today reports, a lone appeals judge bowed down to the Obama administration late Monday and reauthorized the White House’s ability to indefinitely detain American citizens without charge or due process. On Monday, the US Justice Department asked for an emergency stay on the previous Chris Hedges’-driven order, and hours later US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Judge Raymond Lohier agreed to intervene and place a hold on the injunction. The stay will remain in effect until at least September 28, when a three-judge appeals court panel is expected to begin addressing the issue. It would appear the total fascist takeover of Amerika is drawing nearer by the day.
What is ironic, is that in the ongoing absolute farce that is the theatrical presidential debate, there hasn’t been one word uttered discussing precisely the kind of creeping totalitarian control, and Orwellian loss of constitutional rights, that the biparty-supported NDAA would have demanded out of the US republic. Why? Chris Hedges said it best:
The oddest part of this legislation is that the FBI, the CIA, the director of national intelligence, the Pentagon and the attorney general didn’t support it. FBI Director Robert Mueller said he feared the bill would actually impede the bureau’s ability to investigate terrorism because it would be harder to win cooperation from suspects held by the military. “The possibility looms that we will lose opportunities to obtain cooperation from the persons in the past that we’ve been fairly successful in gaining,” he told Congress.
But it passed anyway. And I suspect it passed because the corporations, seeing the unrest in the streets, knowing that things are about to get much worse, worrying that the Occupy movement will expand, do not trust the police to protect them. They want to be able to call in the Army. And now they can.
Fear is the psychological weapon of choice for totalitarian systems of power. Make the people afraid. Get them to surrender their rights in the name of national security. And then finish off the few who aren’t afraid enough. If this law is not revoked we will be no different from any sordid military dictatorship. Its implementation will be a huge leap forward for the corporate oligarchs who plan to continue to plunder the nation and use state and military security to cow the population into submission.
* MICHAEL HUDSON ON HOW FINANCE CAPITAL LEADS TO DEBT SERVITUDE
By Yves Smith, NakedCaptialism
This edited transcript is expanded from a live phone interview with Michael Hudson by Dimitris Yannopoulos for Athens News. It summarizes some of the major themes from Hudson’s new book, The Bubble and Beyond: Fictitious Capital, Debt Deflation and Global Crisis, which is available on Amazon.
[…] Q: Hasn’t this system collapsed since 2008?
A: Just the opposite. The 2008 aftermath was used by Wall Street as an opportunity to panic Congress into taking the losses of big banks onto the public balance sheet, incurring $13 trillion of added debt. In effect the Obama administration told the real economy to drop dead. The crisis became an opportunity to turn democracy into an oligarchy. The same thing happened in Ireland. After its banks made enormous insider loans, reckless loans and fraudulent loans, the government pledged to make the gamblers whole. The non-financial economy must now pay the bad bank debts, because the European Central Bank (ECB) now rules the eurozone economies.
Q: Isn’t the ECB taking over the function of bailing out EU governments, having done so with eurozone banks?
A: The ECB is not bailing out the existing status quo as much as acting to change it. The aim is aggressive, not passive. It is to replace democratically elected governments in Greece and Italy (and ultimately, everywhere) with oligarchy. German Chancellor Merkel and other neoliberals claim that democracy would put the interest of people first. And there’s not enough to maintain their living standards and sustain a growth in wealth at the top at existing rates. So something has to give – and it is living standards, not the debt overhead. This is the social revolution in which Europe and the entire Western world is in today.
The ECB puts commercial banks first. That’s what central banks do. That’s why the Federal Reserve Bank was made independent from the U.S. Treasury in 1913. They are there to promote bank interests, increasingly at odds with the rest of the economy. The first ploy is to place technocrats (a scientific sounding euphemism for bank lobbyists) in place of elected governments in Greece and Italy.
The anti-democratic transformation occurring in Europe today resembles what occurred in Rome in 133 BC to inaugurate a century of financial war, which historians called a Social War. It was waged by the creditor oligarchy (which had enriched itself largely by privatizing public land after the Punic Wars with Carthage, much as today’s financial oligarchy has grown rich by privatization and corrupt public-private financial “cooperation”). At issue was whether the economy should be run to enforce creditor “rights” by depriving the population of its liberty from debt servitude, or should help the citizenry prosper. […]
* A RARE LOOK AT WHY THE GOVERNMENT WON’T FIGHT WALL STREET
By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
[…] What’s fascinating about Connaughton’s book is that we now get to hear a behind-the-scenes account of who exactly was knocking down simple reform ideas, how they were knocked down, and in some cases we even find out why good ideas were rejected, although some element of mystery certainly remains here.
There are some damning revelations in this book, and overall it’s not a flattering portrait of key Obama administration officials like SEC enforcement chief Robert Khuzami, Department of Justice honchos Eric Holder (who once worked at the same law firm, Covington and Burling, as Connaughton) and Lanny Breuer, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
Most damningly, Connaughton writes about something he calls “The Blob,” a kind of catchall term describing an oozy pile of Hill insiders who are all incestuously interconnected, sometimes by financial or political ties, sometimes by marriage, sometimes by all three. And what Connaughton and Kaufman found is that taking on Wall Street even with the aim of imposing simple, logical fixes often inspired immediate hostile responses from The Blob; you’d never know where it was coming from.
In one amazing example described in the book, Kaufman decided he wanted to try to re-instate the so-called “uptick rule,” which had existed for seventy years before being rescinded by the SEC in 2007. The rule prevents investors from shorting a stock until the stock had ticked up in price. “Forcing short sellers to wait for the price to tick up before they sell more shares gives a breather to a stock in decline and helps prevent bear raids,” Connaughton writes. […]
* FASCISTS ARE THE TOOLS OF THE STATE
By Peter Gelderloos, eagainst
1. Fascism is widespread in many industrial and postcolonial countries, existing as extreme nationalism, neo-Nazism, or some other extreme authoritarianism. In nearly all cases, the rank-and-file of the fascist movements tend to be dispossessed members of a privileged group in society (e.g. poor whites). In pre-WWII Germany, most working-class Germans were impoverished by the Depression, in contrast to their self-image as a wealthy, powerful nation. In modern Germany, neo-Nazi political parties win the most votes, often more than 10% of the total, in states where unemployment is highest. In the US, poor southern whites who do not enjoy the wealth promised to white people of the richest nation on earth often join the Ku Klux Klan. In Rwanda the Hutus, impoverished and in great need of land, expressed their desire for more wealth and power by identifying with the majority ethnicity, joining the fascist Hutu parties responsible for the genocide. There has been a similar fascist movement among Hindus in India, asserting their power as the majority ethnicity. Thus, fascism can be seen as a response to disempowerment and broken promises of privilege.
Fascism can also be seen as an elite phenomenon, a gentleman’s movement. The German Nazi party included many of the richest industrialists, the Spanish fascists behind Franco were an alliance of generals, landowning aristocracy, and church leaders, while Mussolini said fascism should better be called “corporatism” because it is the blending of state and corporate power. In the US, the KKK was originally a gentleman’s club, and before WWII, the richest industrialists (Hearst, Rockefeller, Ford, DuPont, Morgan) supported the fascists in Europe. Currently in the US, many elite conservatives support the anti-immigrant group Minutemen and other crypto-fascist groups. Fascism is especially connected to conservative segments of the elite who are afraid the expansive strategies of the progressive elite will backfire and destabilize the whole system. In these manifestations, fascism is a way the elite preserve traditional morality, strengthen social hierarchy, and defend against revolutionary activity among the lower classes.
The basic ideas common to fascism (a: anti-immigration, b: racial purity, c: white supremacy, d: political empowerment through nationalism, e: the social Darwinist ideas of “survival of the fittest,” f: anti-Semitism) are all empty and incorrect. […]