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The Imperial Collapse Clock Ticks Closer To Midnight

August 23, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

As I noted in last Friday’s piece, Donald Trump Finally Comes Out of the Closet, the firing of Steve Bannon represents the most significant event to occur during the Trump administration thus far. For the purposes of this piece, it’s important to review some of what I wrote:

Irrespective of what you think of Bannon, him being out means Wall Street and the military-industrial complex is now 100% in control of the Trump administration. Prepare for an escalation of imperial war around the world and an expansion of brutal oligarchy.

 

The removal of Bannon is the end of even a facade of populism. This is now the Goldman Sachs Presidency with a thin-skinned, unthinking authoritarian as a figurehead. Meanwhile, guess who’s still there in addition to the Goldman executives? Weed obsessed, civil asset forfeiture supporting Jefferson Sessions. The Trump administration just bacame ten times more dangerous than it was before. With the coup successful, Trump no longer needs to be impeached.

 

Here’s another prediction. Watch the corporate media start to lay off Trump a bit more going forward. Rather than hysterically demonize him for every little thing, corporate media will increasingly give him more of the benefit of the doubt. After all, a Presidency run by Goldman Sachs and generals is exactly what they like. Trump finally came out of the closet as the anti-populist oligarch he is, and the results won’t be pretty.

Of course, his cheerleaders will remain enthusiastically in denial about what’s happened to their hero, but Trump has been totally brought to heel, a fact that’ll become increasingly crystal clear in the months ahead. This is now your standard Wall Street and military-industrial complex run Presidency.

Last night’s announcement of a recommitment to the Afghanistan war is the earliest evidence that Trump has been completely castrated and will now play by status quo rules with little to no friction. This Presidency will very quickly begin to look like the fifth George W. Bush term (Obama was three and four), on every single issue of genuine importance to oligarchs. Wedge cultural issues will continue to be hyped up hysterically by the corporate media since people can’t help themselves from taking the bait. It’s the perfect way to divide and conquer the populace, while pushing through what they really want. Oligarchs could care less about the outcomes of social issues, which is why they intentionally and incessantly hype them up. They’ll do anything to prevent the public from coming together in opposition to war, Wall Street bailouts and elite criminality generally, and the public is very easy to manipulate. The quicker smart Trump voters wise up to what’s happened, the better.

If you haven’t watched Trump’s Afghanistan speech by now you really should. It’s not good enough to read anyone else’s summary, you need to hear it for yourselves. It’s only 25 minutes long.

As I started listening, I sensed myself getting angry. It was the same empty, bullshit propaganda I’ve been hearing from U.S. Presidents my entire life. This broken record of disingenuousness has become simply unbearable, and even worse, I know it’s going to work on millions upon millions of Americans. We refuse to think for ourselves, and we refuse to admit the obvious. There will be hell to pay for this ignorance and denial.

Trump begins by explaining to the American public why he made a flip-flop that would make Barack Obama blush. He claims there are three conclusions he came to as a result of his grand introspection and wisdom. Let’s tackle the absurdity of each of them one by one.

First, he says he doesn’t think the U.S. should pull out because “our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome.” Let’s revisit a few facts. First, at 16 years old, this is already the longest war in American history. It was a war started after the most deadly terrorist attack on American soil, and near the height the U.S. imperial power. Nevertheless, the war’s been a complete and total failure. It was a failure under Bush, it was a failure under Obama and it will be a failure under Trump. To believe that Trump will usher in an “honorable and enduring outcome” in Afghanistan is to say he will succeed where his predecessors failed merely because…he’s Trump. Not gonna happen.

His second conclusion is that he doesn’t want to repeat what he deems to have been the big mistake made in Iraq; namely, that the U.S. left too soon. This is extremely telling. He doesn’t talk about how the war was based on a gigantic lie pushed by neocons and the “liberal” corporate press from The Washington Post to The New York Times. The biggest mistake in Iraq was starting the war in the first place. If we can’t admit such an obvious lesson from Iraq, of course all the solutions we come up will prove to be failures. The American empire is running on empty, fueled by never-ending insanity and a drive to vacuum in billions exporting weapons. There’s no vision, no wisdom and absolutely no exit strategy.

His third point revolves around how Pakistan has become a growing problem due to its harboring terrorists. He demands a change of course and increased cooperation. Guess which country he didn’t mention? The greatest sponsor of Islamic radicalization the world has ever seen: Saudi Arabia. This once again proves that Trump represents the same old tired thinking that’s been running the U.S. economy and society into the ground for decades. This is now a 100% establishment Presidency, which will be completely defined by establishment thinking. In other words, imperial collapse is coming.

Then towards the end of the speech, Trump says the following:

In every generation we have faced down evil, and we have always prevailed. We prevailed because we know who we are and what we are fighting for.

Unfortunately, here’s the cold hard truth: We have no idea who we are, and we have no idea what we are fighting for. We’ve become the very evil he claims to be fighting against as the nation morphed into a pernicious, destructive, and immoral empire. This is the heart of the problem — we are constantly lying to ourselves. Of course, we’ll never set things on the right track if we can’t diagnose the disease in the first place.

We’ve torched our national treasure and goodwill by running around the world trying to push everybody around, and simultaneously institutionalized a corrupt and predatory neo-feudal society at home. We’ve ignored our own people in a foolish and self-destructive quest to maintain and grow empire and the results will not be pretty.

Finally, let’s end with a little something to contemplate.

Guess who’s winning the war on terror. pic.twitter.com/QbGEMJIBcS

— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) August 22, 2017

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Justin Trudeau To Refugees: There’s “No Advantage” To Entering Canada Illegally

August 23, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Eight months.

That’s how long it took for Canadian Prime Minister and liberal hero Justin Trudeau to realize his promise to welcome all immigrants and refugees to Canada may have been a little short-sighted. After the prime minister proudly proclaimed on Twitter back in January that Canada would welcome all those fleeing “persecution and war,” the prime minister changed his tone this week when he warned refugees crossing into Canada from the US that sneaking into the country illegally wouldn’t fast-track the process of granting asylum.

To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 28, 2017

In the months that have passed since Trudeau made his famous promise, the number of refugees streaming over the border into the Canadian province of Quebec surged dramatically, straining local resources available to process their claims of asylum and provide necessities like food and shelter. The asylum seekers are primarily Haitians who fear that the Trump administration might revoke a special protected status implemented after the 2010 earthquake.

Here’s Trudeau, who was speaking at – of all places – a news conference before Montreal’s Pride parade:  

“If I could directly speak to people seeking asylum, I’d like to remind them there’s no advantage,” Trudeau said at a news conference Sunday in Montreal.

 

“Our rules, our principles and our laws apply to everyone.”

 

Trudeau also stressed that anyone seeking refugee status will have to go through Canada’s “rigorous” screening process.

The surge of migrants has overwhelmed both the Canadian legal system and the capabilities of local agencies tasked with aiding refugees. We reported earlier this month that Canada sent soldiers to a popular crossing site in upstate New York to help build a small encampment for newly arriving refugees. But beads have quickly filled up. According to CBC News, more than 3,800 people walked over the border into the province during the first two weeks of August, compared to the 2,996 who crossed throughout all of July.

As CBC notes, Unlike in the United States, Haitians have no special status in Canada, and about half of Haitians seeking refugee status in Canada have already been denied during the past couple of years.

Trudeau critic Michelle Rempel said the Canadian government too willingly ignored the brewing refugee crisis on its doorstep, and continues to play down the need to deal with the problem.  

“Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel said Trudeau is downplaying the urgent need to deal with the surge in people crossing the border.

 

“They knew it was going to be a problem this summer. And their response has been building tent cities on the U.S./Canada border,” she said in an interview with CBC News.”

Too help alleviate the problem, Rempel says the federal government should increase funding for the IRB, the board that evaluates all asylum claims. Even before the surge at the border, the IRB was hopelessly backlogged, ensuring that claimants could remain in the country in a legal limbo while they waited for their hearing.

Allowing the department to process claims more quickly would remove this incentive for asylum seekers to cross illegally.

Still, given his professed love for immigration and multiculturalism, we wonder just how far Trudeau will go to stanch the tide of refugees. Will there be more soldiers and more camps? Or will Trudeau hire an army of claims processers to start kicking people out of the country – or at least ensure that those allowed to remain deserve to do so?

One thing’s for sure: He’s going to need to do something.
 

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Sentiment Lifted by Revived Hopes of Tax Reforms

August 23, 2017 Oil N' Gold 0

The US appears to be breaking the tax reform deadlock. House Speaker Paul Ryan reiterated that tax reform is different from healthcare reform. The former is “far easier” to pass as Republicans, which is control of both the House and the Senate, have bu…

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ECB president Draghi speaks today (0700GMT)

August 23, 2017 Eamonn Sheridan 0

European Central Bank President Draghi to speak at the Opening Ceremony of the 6th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences 
– Giving the keynote opening speech
Just a heads up. Draghi is also speaking later in the week at the Jackson Hole symposium
Th…

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Freedom For The Speech We Hate: The Legal Ins & Outs Of The Right To Protest

August 23, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other, it is the principle of free thought — not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.”

 

– Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

James Madison, the father of the Constitution, was very clear about the fact that he wrote the First Amendment to protect the minority against the majority.

What Madison meant by minority is “offensive speech.”

Unfortunately, we don’t honor that principle as much as we should today. In fact, we seem to be witnessing a politically correct philosophy at play, one shared by both the extreme left and the extreme right, which aims to stifle all expression that doesn’t fit within their parameters of what they consider to be “acceptable” speech.

As a result, we have seen the caging of free speech in recent years, through the use of so-called “free speech zones” on college campuses and at political events, the requirement of speech permits in parks and community gatherings, and the policing of online forums.

Instead of encouraging people to debate issues and air their views, by muzzling free speech, we are contributing to a growing underclass of Americans who are being told that they can’t take part in American public life unless they “fit in.”

This attempt to stifle certain forms of speech is where we go wrong.

As always, knowledge is key.

The following Constitutional Q&A, available in more detail at The Rutherford Institute (www.rutherford.org), is a good starting point.

Q:        PROTEST?

A:         The First Amendment prohibits the government from “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Protesting is an exercise of these constitutional rights because it involves speaking out, by individual people or those assembled in groups, about matters of public interest and concern.

 

Q:        WHERE AM I ALLOWED TO PROTEST?

A:         The right to protest generally extends to public places that are owned and controlled by the government, although not all government-owned property is available for exercising speech and assembly rights. Places historically associated with the free exercise of expressive activities, such as streets, sidewalks and parks, are traditional public forums and the government’s power to limit speech and assembly in those places is very limited. However, expression and assembly in traditional public forums may be limited by reasonable time, place and manner regulations. Examples of reasonable regulations include restrictions on the volume of sound produced by the activity or a prohibition on impeding vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

 

Q:        CAN MY FREE SPEECH BE RESTRICTED BECAUSE OF WHAT I SAY, EVEN IF IT IS CONTROVERSIAL?

A:         No, the First Amendment protects speech even if most people would find it offensive, hurtful or hateful. Speech generally cannot be banned based upon its content or viewpoint because it is not up to the government to determine what can and cannot be said. A bedrock principle of the First Amendment is that the government may not prohibit expression of an idea because society finds it offensive or disagreeable. Also, protest speech also cannot be banned because of a fear that others may react violently to the speech.  Demonstrators cannot be punished or forbidden from speaking because they might offend a hostile mob. The Supreme Court has held that a “heckler’s veto” has no place in First Amendment law.

 

Q:        DO I NEED A PERMIT IN ORDER TO CONDUCT A PROTEST?

A:         As a general rule, no. The government cannot require that individuals or small groups obtain a permit in order to speak or protest in a public forum. However, if persons or organizations want to hold larger rallies and demonstrations, they may be required by local laws to obtain a permit.

 

Q:        WHAT CAN’T I DO IN EXERCISING MY RIGHTS TO PROTEST?

A:         The First Amendment protects the right to conduct a peaceful public assembly. The First Amendment does not provide the right to conduct a gathering at which there is a clear and present danger of riot, disorder, interference with traffic on public streets or other immediate threat to public safety.

 

Q:      AM I ALLOWED TO CARRY A WEAPON OR FIREARM AT DEMONSTRATION OR PROTEST?

A:         Your right to have a weapon at a protest largely depends state law and is unlikely to be protected by the First Amendment. Not all conduct can be considered “speech” protected by the First Amendment even if the person engaging in the conduct intends to express an idea. Most courts have held that the act of openly carrying a weapon or firearm is not expression protected by the First Amendment. That said, even if possession of weapons is allowed, their presence at demonstrations and rallies can be intimidating and provocative and does not help in achieving a civil and peaceful discourse on issues of public interest and concern.

 

Q:        WHAT CAN’T THE POLICE DO IN RESPONDING TO PROTESTERS?

A:         In recent history, challenges to the right to protest have come in many forms. In some cases, police have cracked down on demonstrations by declaring them “unlawful assemblies” or through mass arrests, illegal use of force or curfews. Elsewhere, expression is limited by corralling protesters into so-called “free-speech zones.” New surveillance technologies are increasingly turned on innocent people, collecting information on their activities by virtue of their association with or proximity to a given protest. Even without active obstruction of the right to protest, police-inspired intimidation and fear can chill expressive activity and result in self-censorship. All of these things violate the First Amendment and are things the police cannot do to censor free speech. Unless the assembly is violent or violence is clearly imminent, the police have limited authority under the law to shut down protesters.

Clearly, as evidenced by the recent tensions in Charlottesville, Va., we’re at a crossroads concerning the constitutional right to free speech.

Yet as Benjamin Franklin warned, “Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.”

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, ensuring freedom for those in the unpopular minority constitutes the ultimate tolerance in a free society.

If ever there were a time for us to stand up for the right to speak freely, even if it’s freedom for speech we hate, the time is now.

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