MCViewPoint

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Posts Tagged ‘Corruption’

Biden’s Incompetent Presidency – A Feature, Not a Bug

Posted by M. C. on November 22, 2021

That is the hardest red pill to swallow in the end for too many at this point. The incompetence of the Biden Administration is itself a lie. These people have an agenda and a goal and they have moved with assiduous speed and deftness to implement that agenda.

They are not incompetent, but rather hyper-competent… at being vandals.

and it tells you who is in charge when the CIA is sent in to mop up the state department’s mess.

https://tomluongo.me/2021/11/19/bidens-incompetent-presidency-a-feature-not-a-bug/

Author: Tom Luongo

I won’t blame anyone if they are confused by the actions of the Biden Administration. To any rational person they beggar belief. If these people are supposed to work for the betterment of all Americans how can they act in such openly hypocritical ways?

The first of many executive orders Biden signed on day one of his Presidency was cancel the Keystone XL pipeline. We can argue all day about whether we need Keystone or not. But the market is telling you that we do.

When Biden signed that EO oil closed at $53.13 per barrel. Natural Gas was $2.49 per million BTU and the national averages for gasoline and diesel fuel were $2.379 and $2.696 per gallon.

Today those numbers are $76.10, $5.109, $3.399 and $3.734. In the case of crude oil and natural gas, those numbers are 20% below their peak at the beginning of the month.

Instead of improving the domestic production environment or working with international leaders to improve the global supply and demand mismatch, Biden and company doubled down trying to get the Enbridge No. 5 pipeline from Canada shut down to starve the Great Lakes region of energy this winter.

Now, having stayed the course on Trump’s ridiculous treatment of Venezuela and further deteriorating our relationship with Russia we are now not only more dependent on foreign oil than we’ve been in years but we’re actually more dependent on Russian oilthan we’ve ever been.

As a fleet of Russian ships steam their way across the Atlantic, not full of hard-assed, stone-faced Russian marines and Spetsnaz troops, but millions of barrels of Urals grade medium sour to feed those Gulf Coast refineries Venezuela used to keep filled.

I wonder if we pay for that oil with petrorubles. If I were President Putin, I would demand that just for the lulz.

After four years of President Trump’s overly belligerent foreign policy towards China Biden’s team of ‘diplomats’ committed gaffe after gaffe with our biggest trade partner and rival. First at the summit in Anchorage and then multiple times over handling the sensitive issue of Taiwan.

Now, after a series of terrible phone calls, cables and visits by U.S. officials to the Pacific region we are treated to this:

A U.S. effort to show unity between two of its closest allies backfired, after Japanese and South Korean officials walked out and left the No. 2 American diplomat to face reporters on her own https://t.co/EuAiRu43jM— Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) November 18, 2021

When the protocol-obsessed Japanese and Koreans, whose safety you are supposed to guarantee, refuse to share a stage with you, you basically suck the sweat off a dead man’s balls (H/T Lt. Garlic!).

On relations with Russia, one day they are sending Arch Neocon Victoria Nuland to Moscow who then declares for the first time by a U.S. official that the Minsk agreements the only way forward for Ukraine. The next Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is in Kiev vowing to assist Ukraine in bringing the breakaway republics of the Donbass back under Kiev’s control.

A position reaffirmed by top brass in NATO and the European Union.

Only to have CIA Director William Burns rush back over to try and smooth the Kremlin’s ruffled feathers, mostly to no avail.

See the rest here

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Corruption at the Fed: Are America’s Money Masters Engaged in Self-Dealing? | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on September 29, 2021

Documents revealed that Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan and Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren made several trades of individual stocks, in some cases worth $1 million or more, in markets where Fed actions have impacted financial performance.

Additionally, several Fed officials personally held the same type of assets the Fed itself was buying.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/corruption-at-the-fed-are-americas-money-masters-engaged-in-self-dealing/

by Jp Cortez

America’s central bankers are tasked with impartial oversight over aspects of the American economy. But could these individuals be making decisions on interest rates and bailout operations based on what is best for their own personal investment portfolios?

After some embarrassing revelations regarding the trading activities of two senior officials, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell abruptly ordered a comprehensive examination last week into internal compliance with an ethics rule directing Fed employees to avoid “actual and apparent conflicts of interest.”

According to the Fed’s official code of conduct, Fed officials are “prohibited from participating personally and substantially in an official capacity in any particular matter in which, to the employee’s knowledge, the employee has a financial interest if the particular matter will have a direct and predictable effect on that interest.”

Documents revealed that Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan and Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren made several trades of individual stocks, in some cases worth $1 million or more, in markets where Fed actions have impacted financial performance.

Additionally, several Fed officials personally held the same type of assets the Fed itself was buying.

According to CNBC, Chairman Powell held between $1.25 and $2.5 million of municipal bonds. The bonds were purchased in 2019 but they were in Chairman Powell’s control while the Fed bought more than $5 billion in municipal bonds to support that market.

Fed President Rosengren held between $151,000 and $800,000 worth of real-estate investment trusts that owned mortgage-backed securities – all while the Fed was active in that market.

More specifically, Rosengren made as many as 37 separate trades in four investment trusts contemporaneous to the Fed’s own purchase of almost $700 billion in mortgage-backed securities.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve announced last year that it would open a corporate bond-buying facility and purchased almost $47 billion of corporate bonds.

Rosengren wasn’t the only Fed official making money on corporate bonds. CNBC noted that Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin held $1.35 million to $3 million in individual corporate bonds of Pepsi, Home Depot, and Eli Lilly purchased before 2020.

And according to Reuters, Fed President Kaplan’s financial disclosure included several sales or purchases of at least $1 million in individual company shares or investment funds, including Apple Inc. (a stock that’s almost doubled since COVID-relief efforts began in March 2020). In July 2020, the Federal Reserve bought $25.5 million in Apple’s corporate bonds.

So far it’s undetermined whether the above trades violated Fed ethics rules. But to outside observers, it certainly stinks.

America’s central bank exists, ostensibly, to foster price stability and maximum sustainable employment.

In their often misguided and even harmful attempts to monkey with financial asset prices, Fed officials constantly pull different levers of monetary policy and wield an inordinate amount of power over markets and financial institutions.

The potential for conflicts of interest when concentrating such financial power in the hands of a few individuals has always been obvious. Indeed, central bank senior officials may have exercised their power, in part, to increase their personal wealth.

Following disclosures of their trading and the subsequent public backlash, Fed Presidents Kaplan and Rosengren both agreed to divest any holdings of individual stocks by Sept. 30.

However, this half measure hasn’t assuaged the critics, who point out the ongoing market interventions by the Federal Reserve have disproportionately benefited owners of assets while the Fed’s resulting price inflation in foodhousing, and medicine have especially hurt savers, wage earners, and pensioners.

Far from achieving their supposed goal of creating price stability, Fed officials seem to have deliberately engineered widespread price increases and inflated potentially dangerous bubbles in asset markets.

Turning to sound money would ensure the purchasing power of Americans isn’t sapped away by bureaucrat bankers with ulterior motives.

Unlike the central bankers’ depreciating fiat currencies, physical gold and silver are incorruptible, free-market forms of money that retain their purchasing power over time.

This article was originally featured at Money Metals

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Regulatory Capture in the Age of COVID-19 – Liam’s Blog

Posted by M. C. on September 1, 2021

https://williamcosgroveblog.wordpress.com/2021/08/28/regulatory-capture-in-the-age-of-covid-19/

By Liam Cosgrove (https://twitter.com/cosgrove_iv)

Our healthcare system is broken, a fact nobody would have disputed in pre-COVID days. Regulatory capture is a reality, and the pharmaceutical industry is fraught with examples. Yet we trusted private-public partnerships to find an optimal solution to a global pandemic, assuming a crisis would bring out the best in historically corrupt institutions.

Here is a brief list of less-than-savory behavior demonstrated by our titans of healthcare: 

  • Pfizer and J&J plead guilty to “misbranding with the intent to defraud or mislead” and paying “kickbacks to health care providers to induce them to prescribe [their] drugs”, resulting in fines of $2.3 billion in 2009 and $2.2 billion in 2013, respectively. 
  • Pfizer settled another lawsuit for “manipulating studies” and “suppressing negative findings” just a few years later. 
  • Moderna has never developed an approved drug yet one of their board members was placed in charge of Operation Warp Speed. This certainly is unrelated to the fact that they received the most federal vaccine R&D funding and have received over $6 billion from our government since the start of the pandemic.
  • Gilead Sciences paid $97 million in fines because it “illegally used a non-profit foundation as a conduit to pay the Medicare co-pays for its own drug”.
  • In 2005, AstraZeneca’s drug Crestor was shown to be linked to a life-threatening muscle disease while the company withheld evidence of this and two dozen other effects from the public.
  • In 2012, GlaxoSmithKline paid $3 billion in fines as it “failed to include certain safety data” relating to their drug, since labeled to be connected to heart failure and attacks.

Thankfully our public health guardians are in place to protect us from the greed and deceit of the private sector, right? Wrong. Enjoy another brief list:

  • FDA worked behind the scenes with company Biogen to alter previously conducted trials of their $56,000 per year Alzheimer’s treatment, and “by removing the subset of people for whom the drug didn’t work, they found a slight statistical effect in favor of the drug.” Even after doing this, an advisory committee voted 10-0 against approving the drug. The FDA approved the drug anyways, causing three committee members to resign.
  • In that case, the third-party advisors did the right thing. This is not always the case… A study by Science Magazinetracking 107 FDA advisors for four years, found that 62% received money from related drug makers with 25% receiving over $100k and 6% receiving over $1 million. It only takes a few corrupt advisors to fix a panel and feign medical consensus.
  • The WHO has come to be dominated by China over the last 17 years by bribing poor nations and altering the organization’s voting structure to ensure their candidates obtain high positions (most notablydirector-general). The WHO parroted false claims made by the CCP in Jan 2020 that COVID-19 had “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission” (still on Twitter!), despite receiving contrary evidence from Taiwanese health monitors in December 2019 and during which time Chinese hospitals were overrun, requiring mass disinfections across villages:

See the rest here

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‘Kabul Has Fallen – But Don’t Blame Biden’ – Ron Paul’s 16 August Column

Posted by M. C. on August 18, 2021

https://mailchi.mp/ronpaulinstitute/kabul-115602?e=ff526b933a

Ron Paul

Kabul Has Fallen – But Don’t Blame Biden

Aug 16 – This weekend the US experienced another “Saigon moment,” this time in Afghanistan. After a 20 year war that drained trillions from Americans’ pockets, the capital of Afghanistan fell without a fight. The corrupt Potemkin regime that the US had been propping up for two decades and the Afghan military that we had spent billions training just melted away.

The rush is on now to find somebody to blame for the chaos in Afghanistan. Many of the “experts” doing the finger-pointing are the ones most to blame. Politicians and pundits who played cheerleader for this war for two decades are now rushing to blame President Biden for finally getting the US out. Where were they when succeeding presidents continued to add troops and expand the mission in Afghanistan?

The US war on Afghanistan was not lost yesterday in Kabul. It was lost the moment it shifted from a limited mission to apprehend those who planned the attack on 9/11 to an exercise in regime change and nation-building.

Immediately after the 9/11 attacks I proposed that we issue letters of marque and reprisal to bring those responsible to justice. But such a limited and targeted response to the attack was ridiculed at the time. How could the US war machine and all its allied profiteers make their billions if we didn’t put on a massive war?

So who is to blame for the scenes from Afghanistan this weekend? There is plenty to go around.

Congress has kicked the can down the road for 20 years, continuing to fund the Afghan war long after even they understood that there was no point to the US occupation. There were some efforts by some Members to end the war, but most, on a bipartisan basis, just went along to get along.

The generals and other high-ranking military officers lied to their commander-in-chief and to the American people for years about progress in Afghanistan. The same is true for the US intelligence agencies. Unless there is a major purge of those who lied and misled, we can count on these disasters to continue until the last US dollar goes up in smoke.

The military industrial complex spent 20 years on the gravy train with the Afghanistan war. They built missiles, they built tanks, they built aircraft and helicopters. They hired armies of lobbyists and think tank writers to continue the lie that was making them rich. They wrapped their graft up in the American flag, but they are the opposite of patriots.

The mainstream media has uncritically repeated the propaganda of the military and political leaders about Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and all the other pointless US interventions. Many of these outlets are owned by defense industry-connected companies. The corruption is deep.

American citizens must also share some blame. Until more Americans rise up and demand a pro-America, non-interventionist foreign policy they will continue to get fleeced by war profiteers.

Political control in Afghanistan has returned to the people who fought against those they viewed as occupiers and for what they viewed as their homeland. That is the real lesson, but don’t expect it to be understood in Washington. War is too profitable and political leaders are too cowardly to go against the tide. But the lesson is clear for anyone wishing to see it: the US global military empire is a grave threat to the United States and its future.



Read more great articles on the Ron Paul Institute website.
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Copyright © 2021 by Ron Paul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

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COVID v Flu & Very Dangerous People | Armstrong Economics

Posted by M. C. on October 16, 2020

I am warning right now, Europe is risking a violent uprising if it keeps this Great Reset agenda of Klaus Schwab and Bill Gates. From February onward there is a risk of civil unrest against this absurd agenda. Schwab with his vision of the Fourth Industrial Revolution all built of green energy is the fantasy of a typical academic. Nobody created the industrial revolution. No government invented the steam engine which set it in motion and they NEVER designed or managed it.

https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/world-news/corruption/covid-v-flu-very-dangerous-people/

Posted Oct 11, 2020 by Martin Armstrong

What is becoming increasingly clear is that those in strategic power countries have been bribed to impose lockdowns etc, and other countries have followed their lead assuming they are correct. The Flu deaths and real COVID are about the same. Governments have NEVER shut down the world economy for the Flu. It is obvious that there has been a covert operation behind bribing politicians most likely in Germany, Britain, Canada, and Australia for starters. We would NEVER have closed the world economy for the upcoming flu season. The number of doctors coming out against COIVID keeps growing. The more doctors who come out, the more others are encouraged to speak the truth. Video Player00:0001:02

The press is corrupt and is working very hard to destroy our culture and society. You do not find it in the mainstream press in Germany. They keep trying to pretend these protests do not exist. They are the imagination of “conspiracy theorists” so there is nothing to report. This time, the Berlin protest was well organized and everyone kept the social distance so the police had no justification to attack the people ruthlessly as they have been doing.

I am warning right now, Europe is risking a violent uprising if it keeps this Great Reset agenda of Klaus Schwab and Bill Gates. From February onward there is a risk of civil unrest against this absurd agenda. Schwab with his vision of the Fourth Industrial Revolution all built of green energy is the fantasy of a typical academic. Nobody created the industrial revolution. No government invented the steam engine which set it in motion and they NEVER designed or managed it.

In fact, the government ALWAYS interferes and suppresses economic innovation. Britain imposed a law that anyone driving a new-fangled automobile had to have a man walk before it with a horn and a flag to warn people one of these machines was coming. By 1890, the mergers of all these small railroad companies led to the Marxist intervention known as the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Sherman saw that mergers reduced jobs in the light of Marxism. The internet has been created in the very same way. Small startups are bought out and further the advancement of the whole.

Schwab is so wrong it is laughable. It demonstrates that academics cannot learn everything without experience. Communism collapsed for the very same reason that a planned society cannot replace human ingenuity because bureaucrats, like academics, lack the experience to actually see how the economy evolves.

These people are HIGHLY dangerous for they are fulfilling what our computer has been forecasting – the collapse of Western Civilization and the shift to China of the financial capital of the world. We DESPERATELY need to stop these people. They are destroying our future and that of our children because of their arrogance and lack of experience. If they remove Trump, they win for he is the ONLY person who would dare to prosecute any of these people.

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Corruption At All Levels: A $52 Million COVID-19 Hospital Treated 79 Patients Corruption At All Levels

Posted by M. C. on July 26, 2020

Finally…getting back to normal

This is probably not going to stop until everyone agrees to get the vaccine. And if you don’t get the “non-mandatory” vaccine, those in power will make sure your life is inconvenient as possible (no going to the grocery store or traveling) unless you have it.

https://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/corruption-at-all-levels-a-52-million-covid-19-hospital-treated-79-patients_07232020

Mac Slavo

New York City spent $52 million on a hospital for patients with the coronavirus. The hospital treated only 79 patients and say unused even as nearby hospitals were overwhelmed with coronavirus patients.

According to a report Tuesday by The New York Times, the temporary hospital set up at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center treated just 79 patients in the month it was in operation, while staff reported being paid to do nothing all day amid the height of the city’s coronavirus outbreak. “I basically got paid $2,000 a day to sit on my phone and look at Facebook,” Katie Capano, a nurse practitioner from Baltimore who worked at the center, told the Times. “We all felt guilty. I felt really ashamed, to be honest.”

While regular Americans were forced to give up their livelihoods, destroy their ability to provide for themselves and their families and be on house arrest for months, others got paid to do nothing just to push the coronavirus plandemic propaganda and official narrative. This is corruption and it’s at all levels of the government of the USSA.

Red tape and poor communication between city, state, and federal officials led to the field hospital as well as the Navy’s deployed hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, sitting largely empty while public hospitals in the city reported crowded conditions and overwhelmed staff. Workers at the Billie Jean King facility who spoke to the Times confirmed that they largely spent their time completing repetitive paperwork.

“The conditions in the emergency room during this crisis were unacceptable and dangerous,” Timothy Tan, director of clinical operations at Queens Hospital Center’s emergency department, told the Times. “Knowing what our patients had to endure in an overcrowded emergency department, it’s frustrating how few patients were treated at facilities such as Billie Jean King.” –The Hill

New York’s COVID-19 Field Hospital Dismantled After Treating ZERO Patients

Trump Pushes Mask Wearing Propaganda: It’s “Patriotic”

The constant pushing of the coronavirus narrative in spite of facts or any real evidence should be alarming to everyone.  Many people know something is wrong even if they can’t pinpoint what it is, and yet, we still have the mainstream media trying to panic the public into wearing the muzzle face mask and living in fear.

This is probably not going to stop until everyone agrees to get the vaccine. And if you don’t get the “non-mandatory” vaccine, those in power will make sure your life is inconvenient as possible (no going to the grocery store or traveling) unless you have it.

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Is the West Repeating India’s Mistakes? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 24, 2020

This toxic effect is even more apparent in government. This “reservation” policy offers the majority of government jobs to those from the lower caste, with accelerated promotions. The lower caste people, once in power, turn their back to their communities and merely show off their influence in expectation of reverence. They have no skill to feel proud of anyway, so all they feel proud of is their position and their perceived status, which is effectively monetized through rampant corruption. This has been a significant factor in rapidly degrading Indian institutions.

All these affirmative action policies have been an unmitigated disaster for the country. They were designed by populist politicians who care not a bit for the citizens, certainly not for those in the lower caste. The caste system, and more importantly, the general tribalism of Indians is oppressive, but these simplistic, nonsensical laws have made the situation far worse.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/07/claudio-grass/is-the-west-repeating-indias-mistakes/

By

ClaudioGrass.ch

Interview with Jayant Bhandari: Part I

Following the publication of our last conversation with Jayant Bhandari, I received a lot of interesting feedback and remarks. The common denominator of all those comments was the astonishment of many Western readers at the real conditions and dynamics on the ground in India. In fact, I was surprised myself by how little we actually know and understand about a country so vast, so populous and so potentially influential on the world’s geopolitical stage. The coverage we receive by Western media is often so superficial, ahistorical and frequently biased, that it deceives us into believing we roughly understand the politics and social problems there, when in reality we are entirely clueless. This dangerous illusion of knowledge in turn comes to shape our beliefs and opinions, leads us to false conclusions and causes us to make erroneous generalizations.

Overall, the recent tensions and the riots that started in the US and spread throughout the West, all seemed to have the notion of inequality and social injustice at their core. Groups were pitted against other groups and all kinds of deep divisions in society came to the surface. In search of a parallel in modern history, to examine and to learn from, I thought of India and its caste system. From an outsider’s perspective, it seemed to me that a lot of the same issues and problems arose there too and a lot of the same solutions were already tried, albeit in a massively larger scale. So, I decided to turn to Jayant again, to understand that system more clearly and more objectively, to see if that parallel really holds up and if so, what are the lessons that the West can learn from India’s policies and their results? Having lived and worked in both worlds, he is far better equipped than most to assess these issues and even though he has strong views that go well beyond and very often contradict mainstream narratives, his insights, based on direct, first-hand experiences, certainly challenge commonly held beliefs and can set the stage for deeper debates. After all, different perspectives, dissenting views and free dialogue are the prerequisites and the main ingredients for an enlightened civilization.

Jayant is a globetrotting institutional investment consultant, who has amassed extensive international experience in the mining and natural resource sector. Apart from his investment insights, he has published numerous interesting analyses on political, cultural and social issues, while he also runs a yearly seminar in Vancouver, “Capitalism & Morality”.

Claudio Grass (CG): India has been routinely making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Its citizens’ poor quality of life, lack of public services and infrastructure and violent incidents in the streets often feature in international media coverage, prompting many Indians to criticize what they see as unfair reporting. Do you think there really is a negative bias against the country in the West?

Jayant Bhandari (JB): In just about every human development metric, India is worse than sub-Saharan Africa. The conditions in India are a lot worse and far more backward than what you see in the media and what you imagine when you’re reading these headlines. The reports and images that reach you cannot convey the ever-present smell of human waste, the unceasing noise, the feeling of people constantly violating your space and the daily reality of dysfunction and failure at every conceivable level. For the majority of Indians, life is no better today than what it was in medieval times. Perhaps it is even worse now, with pollution, over-population, and the alien lifestyle of “modern living” added to the mix.

Corruption, tribalism, and “might-is-right” are the governing principles in society. The police, the politicians, the courts, and the criminals are all in bed together. The bureaucrat will humiliate you, extract bribes, and expect god-like reverence from you. The work ethic and lack of integrity are so bad that if you give away bribes too early, your work won’t get done. Citizens must grovel, prostrate, and bow down with folded hands. Every time I have to deal with those in the government, I use an agent to avoid the degradation that every citizen must face.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the citizens—men or women—are not innocent. While the government gets most of the blame, it is merely a symptom of the underlying cultural disease. The real problem is Indian tribal ways, superstitious, irrational and circular thinking, and the absence of moral and rational mental anchors. This is the root of all of India’s problems and why it is not and will not be a functioning civilization.

People with the slightest bit of power will exploit it and become predatory. If you need a taxi, be assured that the driver will overcharge you and exploit you to the extent he can. The more power the individual has, the worse his conduct becomes. And this is not a case of a “few bad apples”, but the reality of day to day life in India. As men and those from the higher castes tend to get all the blame, I should hastily add that women also have a solid track record as aggressors and they often commit the worst atrocities on other women, especially those from the lower castes, who routinely engage in caste-related violence.

The dystopia is far broader, deeper, more entangled, and complex than what most people can ever imagine from the outside. And I haven’t seen any positive change since the IT and the educational revolution started. If anything, the cultural situation is even worse now.

So, why do Indians see any honest reporting of the problems in the country as unfair? Well, it’s because they’re deeply tribal. Their sense of identity is hinged to your perception about their caste, religion, sect, language, or the country as a whole. Fairness, justice, and the suffering of their fellow citizens are of no interest to them. All they care about is what others, especially the outsiders, think of them. If you feel that this thinking is no different from that which exists behind honor killings, you are on track to understanding the Indian mind. And they take this mentality with them when they leave, as this defensiveness only intensifies once they have moved to the West.

CG: Very frequently, the reports in Western media identify India’s caste system as the source of all these evils. Inequality, extreme poverty and lack of opportunity is blamed on the social and economic isolation that the lower castes seem to suffer from those “higher-born”. However, there have been important changes and government interventions to this system over the last decades, so how accurate is this narrative in 2020?

JB: Whining, complaining, playing the victim card, and a grievance-based culture is the most comfortable option for those who cannot make it in life. It helps them extract unearned resources and hope for an easy life. It enables them to pass the blame onto others, so that they can enjoy some emotional comfort, believing their failures are not their own and that they could not have done well in life anyway. But this attitude also disempowers them, perpetuates their misery and eventually worsens their feeling of impotence, low self-esteem, and psychological subservience.

Of course, the media, the shallow-thinking intellectuals, journalists, and social activists play along, for siding with the weaker party is not only politically correct, but can also be quite profitable. Intellectuals, who lack a real-life experience and are ridden with envy and bile against any semblance of actual success, agitate the underclass. Nowhere in the world are the underprivileged so prone to blaming their situation on those who are successful. It is this intellectual “Middle Class” that is the prime agitator.

The caste system exists, but it is a part of a much bigger problem. Indians are tribal and are constantly positioning themselves in the pecking order. The lower you go in the food chain, the worse it becomes. The lower caste people are the worst perpetrators of the caste system.

Most media presentations of caste issues in India, especially those aimed at foreign audiences, follow a passive narrative, leaving you to assume that it must be the higher caste that is the oppressor, and thus responsible for all that is wrong in Indian society. However, this view is as ahistorical and as it is factually groundless. The statistics speak for themselves. Most caste problems arise out nothing else but a lower-caste group subjugating another lower-caste group to show who among them is higher. As for all those horrific reports you see in Western media about caste-related violence, the vast majority of these atrocities are committed strictly within the lower castes, not by the imagined “oppressor” class.

Also, you might have heard of the Hindu-fanatic Prime Minister of India. Both he and the President are from the lower caste. One would have expected this to have made a dent in the oppressor-oppressed narrative, but, of course, it didn’t and oppression has only increased under their regime.

The real reasons for the chronic backwardness of India are much more mundane and “pedestrian” and as such, they don’t really support that timeless, romantic fairytale of rich and privileged villains against poor but noble underdogs. What is really to blame is the utter lack of skills, lack of work ethic, absence of integrity and honesty in work and social relations, tribalism, belief in might-is-right, and a lack of reason and moral values. In all this, the caste system is only one of the symptoms, which, as I said, gets worse among those in the lower castes. For this reason, any caste-based solution to India’s problems is simplistic and makes the problem worse by adding fuel to the fire.

CG: The reforms and legislative measures that the state has enforced over the years in order to break down caste barriers have been quite drastic. There has been a massive effort to lift the lower castes socioeconomically, including subsidies, quotas, reserved seats in parliament and places in universities. How do you assess the results of these policies? Have they achieved their stated aims in promoting social harmony and economic prosperity for all?

JB: In a tribal society, where no one trusts anyone, social harmony will always be an illusion. Subsidies, quotas, and the like, have enabled a massive grievance-based culture to emerge in the country. You cannot make a community proud and honorable by giving them free stuff. The affirmative action policies have trapped those of the lower castes in low-level thinking: being beggars and servile, being lazy, and expecting free stuff.

I went to a catholic school in India. Until I got to university, I did not know much about the caste system. It simply never was, per se, a dominant issue in urban areas and it still isn’t. I went to one of the top engineering colleges in India. The affirmative action policy, called the “reservation system” in India, allocates a majority of seats to the lower castes. Compare the 78% entrance marks that I had to attain to be admitted with the close-to-zero scores that those who joined from the lower caste had. As can be expected, the net effect of this was to make their self-esteem worse and to render any professional relationship between us impossible.

Predictably, they kept on failing, and many of them stayed in the college for a decade or more. I personally knew of a student who had been there for thirty-five years. They had been artificially placed in a position with challenges that they were not prepared for and were not equipped to handle. In effect, they’d been set up for failure. Eventually, after being stuck for many years, unable to pass exams and finish their degrees, the administration simply did it for them. They graduated them and waived them through, in order to get them out and clear the bottleneck for the next batch to enter. The situation is the same in medical colleges, rendering those degrees basically meaningless. Knowing these practices have been going on for so long, producing dangerously unqualified professionals, what hope does a lower-caste doctor have of being trusted by a patient? How confident would you be if you had to go under the knife in a public hospital in India?

But it goes even deeper than that. Very early in my university days, I realized that if, for whatever reason, someone from a lower caste filed a police report against me, on his word alone, the laws would have required the police to arrest me without a warrant or possibility of bail. In a country where simple cases drag on for decades, I would have been barred from getting a passport or a job. Why should I take such a risk by befriending or even interacting with someone from a lower caste, when I could avoid the risk altogether by keeping my distance? So you see, the very laws that were supposed to erase caste barriers actually ensured that the distance between groups would grow wider.

This toxic effect is even more apparent in government. This “reservation” policy offers the majority of government jobs to those from the lower caste, with accelerated promotions. The lower caste people, once in power, turn their back to their communities and merely show off their influence in expectation of reverence. They have no skill to feel proud of anyway, so all they feel proud of is their position and their perceived status, which is effectively monetized through rampant corruption. This has been a significant factor in rapidly degrading Indian institutions.

All these affirmative action policies have been an unmitigated disaster for the country. They were designed by populist politicians who care not a bit for the citizens, certainly not for those in the lower caste. The caste system, and more importantly, the general tribalism of Indians is oppressive, but these simplistic, nonsensical laws have made the situation far worse.

Of course the caste system is ugly and unjust. But it is only one of many destructive forces and problems, and it is merely symptomatic of a chronic disease that runs way deeper. As for its actual role in today’s society, it is ridiculously overstated. Although it can be a hindrance, it is no longer a decisive factor, certainly not in cities. India is wretched, miserable, and backward because the society wallows in regressive thinking, of which, as I said, the caste system is only one factor.

In the upcoming second part, we explore the similarities between India’s experience with policies that promised social change and equality and the debates we’re having in the West, as well as their wider implications for the economy and for society at large.

————-

This article has been published in the Newsroom of pro aurum, the leading precious metals company in Europe with an independent subsidiary in Switzerland.

Claudio Grass is an independent precious metals advisory based out in Switzerland.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Selling the war: I helped craft the official lies in Afghanistan – StarTribune.com

Posted by M. C. on December 20, 2019

Whether the interactions they depicted had been frustrating, troublesome or downright hostile, my messages as an information officer were always rosy.

Corruption littered our daily interactions, and a few months into our deployment, my PRT launched an investigation that ultimately uncovered a scheme that wound its way through upper-level government officials, including Paktia’s then-governor and chief of police

http://www.startribune.com/selling-the-war-i-helped-craft-the-official-lies-in-afghanistan/566323522/

By Lauren Kay Johnson

Recently, Washington Post reporting showed that the conflict in Afghanistan has been an operation of deception, as the war’s architects knowingly misled the public about its objectives and progress. The “Afghanistan Papers” were not a revelation to me. I was one of the deceivers.

From July 2009 to March 2010, I served as one of the U.S. Air Force’s designees for a nation-building mission, and I witnessed the disconnect between what happened on the ground and the messages the public heard about it. As my team’s information operations officer, I played a direct role in crafting those messages. I employed “strategic communication” during events like the 2009 Afghan presidential election and directed embedded reporters to only the sunniest stories, keeping them away from disgruntled troops who might not stick to tidy talking points. But my job wasn’t only to mislead the American public: Our information campaign extended to the Afghan people and to higher-ups within the American military itself.

I arrived in Paktia province in July 2009, as part of a provincial reconstruction team (PRT). At 25, I embodied the kind of idealistic fervor that the military depends on. I wanted to make a difference by building support for the government, eroding support for the insurgency, increasing access to basic services and enhancing the rule of law. These initiatives seemed worthy, noble even, and each required local buy-in. If we were to win the war, we would do so with hearts and minds. And we would win hearts and minds with information.

With low literacy rates and minimal access to electricity, information in Afghanistan flows largely over the airwaves. We relied on hand-crank radios disseminated to Afghans by coalition forces, tuned to stations owned and operated by coalition forces. I wrote broadcast news copy for the team’s interpreters to translate and thought of it as a persuasive tool, rather than strictly fact-sharing. Local listeners were, in military lingo, the subjects of “nonlethal targeting.” As one of my military supervisors constantly repeated, “We control the message!” Read the rest of this entry »

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Dems want to impeach a president for trying to expose a crime, then elect the person who actually committed the crime – NaturalNews.com

Posted by M. C. on October 1, 2019

https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-09-30-dems-want-impeach-president-exposing-crime-elect-the-criminal.html

Dems want to impeach a president for trying to expose a crime, then elect the person who actually committed the crime

Image: Dems want to impeach a president for trying to expose a crime, then elect the person who actually committed the crime

(Natural News) For the first two years of President Trump’s administration, Democrats and their sycophant allies in the fake news media and the Deep State hamstrung him with a phony “Russian collusion” scandal.

On top of that, the Trump White House was also beset by an ongoing coup attempt known as “Spygate.” Launched by the Obama regime, Spygate involved some of the highest-ranking officials in the FBI, intelligence community, and Justice Department who, together with their Dear Leader, weaponized and politicized one government institution after another to throw a duly-elected president out of office.

Spygate has since been exposed and those who were involved in it are being scrutinized by Attorney General William Barr, U.S. Attorney John Durham, and others within the Trump administration who are attempting to bring some semblance of trust and respect back to these institutions.

But the coup attempt continues and unless Barr and Co. get off their duffs and start indicting guilty parties, the deep state is going to succeed.

The conspirators have shifted away from Spygate and Russian collusion to UkraineGate, accusing President Trump last week of doing something improper in attempting to enlist the Kiev government in his administration’s efforts to get to the bottom of the greatest political scandal ever committed in America.

You may have read that Democrats are once again beating the impeachment drum — as if they ever stopped from the moment Trump won the presidency — because they say Trump engaged in a quid pro quo with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Specifically, they claim Trump threatened to withhold military aid from Ukraine unless Zelensky agreed to help expose corruption involving former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

According to a transcript of the phone call between Trump and Zelensky released by the White House, the president did no such thing. In fact, Zelensky himself has said publicly that Trump never pressured him to do anything.

In reality, it was Joe Biden who threatened to withhold aid from a previous Ukrainian president. And by every indication, it appears he did it to protect his son…

Except the current occupant of the White House didn’t do anything wrong. Biden, on the hand, admitted he intervened on behalf of his son.

The former VP can be seen on video at an event sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations last year admitting he threatened to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko unless the latter fired the government’s prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating corruption tied to a gas firm called Burisma. (Related: UNCOVERED: Ukraine ‘whistleblower’ is an anti-Trump Deep State CIA employee who used fake news reports to lodge complaint.)

The company just so happened to have had Hunter Biden as one of its board members — at $50,000 per month.

Biden has, of course, claimed that he never did anything to help protect his son — though, again, he’s on video admitting what he did.

Democrats know this. They’ve not only seen the video, they know Joe Biden.

The Democrat-aligned “Mainstream” media knows this. They know Biden and they, too, have seen the video. All the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders know too, but they’re political partisans so they refuse to criticize Biden.

And yet, Democrats want to impeach President Trump, who was actually trying to get to the bottom of corruption and criminal behavior while trying to elect a guy president who is guilty of corruption and abuse of power.

Only in America is something like this even remotely possible. You just can’t make this up.

 

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Brazen Acts of Corruption – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on September 26, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/09/andrew-p-napolitano/brazen-acts-of-corruption/

By

Last week, media outlets reported the existence of a whistleblower complaint filed with the inspector general of the intelligence community against President Donald Trump. The IC encompasses all civilian and military employees and contractors who work for the federal government gathering domestic and foreign intelligence.

The inspector general — a position appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate — exists in all parts of the executive branch of the government, except for the White House, to examine and determine if officials are following the law.

A whistleblower refers to a person who works for the government and who believes that her or his colleagues and bosses are engaged in unconstitutional or unlawful or dangerous behavior. A federal statute expressly provides procedures for federal employees to follow in order to make known to an inspector general the potentially unlawful or dangerous behavior.

In the case of the IC, since the subject of a whistleblower complaint can be so serious — often involving classified materials that affect national security — the rules provide for an immediate review of the complaint.

The complaint against Trump alleged that he offered a “promise” to a foreign head of state that was unlawful or threatening to national security. The IC inspector general — a Trump appointee — evaluated the complaint, interviewed the whistleblower, examined documents that the whistleblower provided and concluded that the complaint was “urgent and credible.”

The complaint related that Trump held up the sale of $250 million worth of military equipment and the delivery of $140 million in congressionally mandated foreign aid until the government of Ukraine opened a criminal investigation against the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, the leading Democratic contender to oppose Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

Can the president of the United States legally ask a foreign government to provide assistance to his reelection? In a word: No…

Yet, as if to flaunt the Mueller findings, Trump apparently personally and directly committed the crime for which he claimed Mueller exonerated him.

What was that crime? It was the attempt to solicit foreign assistance for his campaign. It was the manipulation of American foreign and military policy for a corrupt purpose. A corrupt purpose puts the president personally above the needs of the nation.

In short, the whistleblower alleges that Trump offered a bribe to his Ukrainian counterpart: Go after my likely opponent’s son and you will get the $390 million in goods and cash that we are holding up.

If demonstrable, this behavior is far worse than anything alleged or uncovered by Mueller. The acts of obstruction that Mueller found arguably constitute impeachable offenses. That’s because the constitutional language of “high crimes and misdemeanors” as one of the three bases for impeachment has been found by the House of Representatives, in three different generations, to include obstruction. Yet there is still wiggle room as to how much personal presidential obstruction and underlying criminality is needed to constitute an impeachable offense.

There is no such wiggle room for bribery. The Constitution is quite clear that “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” shall constitute a basis for impeachment.

Was Trump offering to bribe the Ukrainian president? The circumstantial evidence is: Yes. The transcript of Trump’s critical conversation with the Ukrainian president shows he asked his counterpart to coordinate with American authorities to prosecute the son of his likely political opponent in 2020. That is the solicitation of something of value from a foreign government — a felony.

Within a week of that conversation, Trump put his hold on the $390 million in aid. That’s when the Ukrainian president got the message.

Where does this leave us? We are at the precipice of a constitutional crisis. We have a president whose apparent corruption is palpable. We have a Constitution that prescribes a remedy. We have an attorney general who acts as if he were the president’s personal lawyer. We have Republicans in Congress who see and hear no evil from this president. And we have congressional Democrats hesitant to do their constitutional duty.

We have a mess.

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