China Says It’s “Now the Biggest Market” for GM Cars & Trucks.

Eric Zuesse

The Chinese Government’s Global Times newspaper headlined on August 25th, “Quitting Chinese market will be suicide for US firms”, and reported that,

China is now the biggest market for some US-based enterprises, such as US automaker General Motors (GM). The automaker’s China sales came to 3.65 million cars in 2018, exceeding its total sales in the US market, where GM delivered nearly 3 million vehicles.

The vast majority of those vehicles are being manufactured in China, and sold in China. China’s Government would have no problem with increasing vehicle-imports from Japan, Germany, and other countries, or else ramping up its own domestic brands, within China, so as to replace Chinese workers at GM, and terminate GM’s income-flow from China — GM’s largest market in the entire world — if Trump’s trade-war against China proceeds as he has promised. Could GM survive, if it loses its largest market?

That example might sound extreme, but there actually is nothing unique about it. Lots of U.S. manufacturers will be hard-hit if Trump’s trade-war continues. Until now, his policies thus far have been much better for America’s billionaires than for the American people; but, now, he is posing an enormous threat against America’s billionaires (including some of his donors), perhaps even more than against all other Americans. Those laid-off Chinese GM workers wouldn’t be Americans (only few GM vehicles that are sold in China come from the United States), but the corporate profits that would be lost would be to the owners of GM stock. The only big threat to GM’s American workforce would be the danger that is posed to any corporation when its profits turn into losses and the corporation’s workers are therefore forced to accept cuts from their pay or benefits, in order to keep the corporation afloat instead of going bankrupt. However, any corporation which loses its biggest market is severely jeopardized, and therefore the job-impacts within the United States itself could turn out to be significant, and could become enormous especially if this trade-war goes on for a long time.

The German intelligence analyst who blogs anonymously as “Moon of Alabama” headlined on August 24th, “U.S. Decoupling From China Forces Others To Decouple From U.S.” and he argued that “The U.S. is decoupling itself from China. The effects of that process hurt all global economies. To avoid damage, other countries have no choice but to decouple themselves from the U.S.” His view is that “Trump does not want a new trade deal with China. He wants to decouple the U.S. economy from the future enemy,” because Trump, in his estimation, has determined that only if there is an actual military war between the United States and China, can the U.S. prevent China from becoming the world’s biggest economy and leading nation. His hypothesis is that Trump’s chief objective is to avoid the U.S. becoming, on his watch (after having campaigned on “Make America Great Again”), the world’s second-most-powerful country. The only field on which the U.S still dwarfs China now is military; and, therefore, Trump is using this trade-war in order to generate, at home, enough anti-China sentiment (a hate-China campaign), so as for Americans to support launching military action (starting perhaps in the South China Sea) against China. It’s a war that Trump, apparently, feels confident that the U.S. would win.

Presumably, Trump expects that in the face of America’s world-leading position in nuclear forces, and having, by far, the world’s largest number (over 800) of foreign military bases, surrounding any country (including China), China will ultimately cave, and accept Trump’s terms for a settlement. Trump wants to “decouple” America’s economy from China because doing that “decouple” would be an essential pre-requisite to going militarily to war against China. This is the way that Trump intends to propose to China’s Government “an offer it cannot refuse” — or, at least this intelligence-analyst interprets Trump’s actions via this theory. (His track-record of correct predictions is pretty awesome. I wouldn’t even cite him, otherwise.)

According to this blogger, “Trump is afraid that a downturn in the U.S. [economy] could lower his re-election chances. That is why he wants to use the Federal Reserve Bank to douse the economy with more money without regard for the long term consequences. That is the reason why the first part of his tweet storm yesterday was directed at Fed chief Jay Powell,” to open up the money-spigots, in order to keep in check the economic conflagration that otherwise could quickly take over in the United States and terminate Trump’s chances of re-election. He needs to postpone the costs to the American people until November 2020.

Certainly, Trump is taking a high-risk path for the United States, and for the entire world; but, what other type of options are open for him, in order to be able to fulfill on his “America First” campaign-promises? At this stage, those options are few, if any. The likelihood is therefore that whomever the Democrats will nominate as their candidate will become America’s President, on 20 January 2021, unless Trump can rally Americans around the flag, and wrap himself in it, against China. What we’re now seeing is probably his Hail Mary pass. And it might work, until Election Day of 2020. Anyway, it’s a feasible campaign-strategy, to make his electoral opponents appear to be unpatriotic.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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Is the U.S. Becoming a Third World Nation?

Back in the day, nations that didn’t qualify as either developed (First World) or developing (Second World) were by default Third World, impoverished, corrupt and what we now refer to as failed states–governments that were incapable of improving the lives of their people and the machinery of governance, generally as a result of corruption and self-serving elites, i.e. kleptocracies.

Is the U.S. slipping into Third World status? While many scoff at the very question, others citing the rise of homelessness, entrenched pockets of abject poverty and the decaying state of infrastructure might nod “yes.”

These are not uniquely Third World problems, they’re symptoms of a status quo that’s fast losing First World capabilities. What characterizes Third World/Failing States isn’t just poverty, crumbling infrastructure and endemic corruption; at a systems level these are the key dynamics in Third World/Failing States:

1. The status quo protects insiders at the expense of everyone else.

2. There is no real accountability; failure has no consequences, bureaucrats are never fired for incompetence, reforms are watered down or neutered by institutional sclerosis.

3. Pay-to-play is the most cost-effective way to influence policy or evade consequences.

4. The status quo is incapable of differentiating between complexity that serves the legitimate purposes of transparency and accountability and complexity that serves no purpose beyond guaranteeing insiders’ paper-shuffling jobs. As a consequence, complexity that adds no value chokes the economy and the government.

5. There are two sets of laws: one for insiders and the super-wealthy, and another harsher set for everyone else.

6. The super-wealthy fear nothing because the system functions to serve their interests.

7. The super-wealthy and state insiders control the media’s narratives and the machinery of governance to serve their interests. Reforms are in name only; the faces of elected officials change but nothing changes structurally.

8. Insiders, well-paid pundits and the technocrats serving the corporate and state elites believe the status quo is just fine because they’re doing fine; they are blind to the soaring inequality, systemic corruption, stupendous waste and the impossibility of real reform.

Does America’s status quo protect insiders at the expense of everyone else? Yes. As for the other seven characteristics: yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and yes.

And lets’ not forget #9: the vast majority of the economic gains flow to the elite at the very top of the wealth-power pyramid: is this true in the U.S.? Definitively yes. Just look at this chart: this is a chart of an informal kleptocracy which cloaks itself in the faux finery of democracy and a (rigged) “market” economy.

That’s the very definition of a Third World failed state.

My recent discussion on the Keiser Report with Max and Stacy:

Keiser Report: ‘Human tragedy’ in San Francisco (25:40) 

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($6.95 ebook, $12 print, $13.08 audiobook): Read the first section for free in PDF format.

My new mystery The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake is a ridiculously affordable $1.29 (Kindle) or $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

My book Money and Work Unchained is now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition. Read the first section for free in PDF format. 

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Jeff Bezos’s Politics

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org

Jeff Bezos is the owner of the daily newspaper in Washington DC, the Washington Post, which leads America’s news-media and their almost 100% support of (and promotions for) neoconservatism — American imperialism, or wars. This includes sanctions, coups, and military invasions, against countries that America’s billionaires want to control but don’t yet control — such as Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Russia, Libya, and China. These are aggressive wars, against countries which had never aggressed against the United States. It’s not, at all, defensive, but the exact opposite. It’s not necessarily endless war (even Hitler hadn’t been intending that), but it is war until the entire planet has become controlled by the U.S. Government, which Government is itself  controlled by America’s billionaires, the funders of neoconservatism — U.S. imperialism — in both of America’s political Parties, via think tanks, newspapers, TV networks, etcetera. Bezos is a crucial part of that, neoconservatism, ever since, at the 6-9 June 2013 Bilderberg meeting, he arranged with Donald Graham the Washington Post’s owner, to buy that newspaper, for $250 million, after he had already negotiated, in March of that same year, with the neoconservative CIA Director, John Brennan, a gigantic government-contract. This $600 million ten-year cloud computing contract transformed Amazon corporation, from being a reliable money-loser, into a reliably profitable firm, and therefore caused Bezos’s net worth to soar even more (and at a sharper rate of rising) than it had been doing while it had been losing money. He was now the most influential salesman not only for books, etc., but for the CIA, and for such mega-corporations as Lockheed Martin. U.S. imperialism has supercharged his wealth, but didn’t alone cause his wealth. Jeff Bezos might be the most ferociously gifted business-person on the planet.

Some of America’s billionaires don’t care about international conquest as much as he does, but all of them at least accept neoconservatism; none of them, for example, establishes and donates large sums to, anti-imperialistic organizations; none of America’s billionaires is determined to end the reign of neoconservatism, nor even to help the fight to end it, or at least to end its grip over the U.S. Government. None. Not even a single one of them does. But many of them establish, and donate large sums to, neoconservative organizations, or run neoconservative organs such as Bezos’s Washington Post, which is simultaneously a neoconservative and a neoliberal organ; i.e., it’s a Democratic Party type of neoconservative organ. That’s the way billionaires are, at least in the United States. All of them are imperialists. They sponsor it; they promote it and hire people who do, and demote or get rid of people who don’t. Expanding an empire is extremely profitable for its aristocrats, and always has been, even before the Roman Empire.

Bezos also wants to privatize everything around the world that can become privatized, such as education, highways, health care, and pensions. The more that billionaires control those, the less that everyone else does; and preventing control by the public helps to protect billionaires against democracy that would increase their taxes, and against governmental regulations that would reduce their profits by increasing their corporations’ expenses. So, billionaires control the government in order to increase their takings from the public.

He, through his Washington Post, is one of the world’s top personal sellers to the U.S. military-industrial complex, because he controls and is the biggest investor in Amazon corporation, whose Web Services division supplies all cloud-computing services to the Pentagon, CIA and NSA. And in April there was a headline “CIA Considering Cloud Contract Worth ‘Tens of Billions’,” which contract could soar Bezos’s personal wealth even higher into the stratosphere, especially if he wins all of it (as he previously did).

He also globally dominates, and is constantly increasing his control over, the promotion and sale of books and films, because his Amazon is the world’s largest retailer (and now also one of the largest publishers, producers and distributors) of those. That, too, can be a huge impact upon politics and government, indirectly, through promoting the most neocon works, and thus helping to shape intellectual discourse (and voters’ votes) in the country.

He also is crushing millions of retailers, by his unmatched brilliance at controlling one market after another, and is retailing, either as Amazon or else as an essential middleman for — and often even as a controller of — Amazon’s retail competitors.

He is a strong believer in ‘the free market’, which he has mastered perhaps better than anyone. This means that he supports the unencumbered ability of billionaires, by means of their money, to control and eventually absorb all who are less powerful than themselves. That’s called “libertarianism” (or “neoliberalism”); and, because he is so enormously gifted himself at amassing wealth, he has thus-far been able to rise to the global top, as being one of the world’s most powerful individuals. The wealthiest of all is King Saud — the owner of Saudi Arabia, whose Aramco (the world’s largest oil company) is, alone, worth over a trillion dollars. (Forbes and Bloomberg exclude monarchs from their wealth-rankings. In fact, Bloomberg is even so fraudulent about it as to have headlined on 10 August 2019 “The 25 wealthiest dynasties on the planet control $1.4 trillion” and violated their tradition by including on their list one monarch, King Saud, whom they ranked at #4 as owning only $100 million, a ludicrously low ‘estimate’, which brazenly excluded not just Aramco but any of the net worth of Saudi Arabia; and they didn’t even try to justify their wacky methodology, but merely presumed the gullibility of their readers for its acceptance.) That King, therefore, is at least seven times as rich as Bezos is. He might possibly be as powerful as Bezos is. The supreme heir is lots wealthier even than the supreme self-made billionaire or “entrepreneur” is. Certainly, both men are among the giants who bestride the world in our era. And both men are libertarians — champions of the belief that property rights (of which, billionaires have so much) are the basis of all rights, and so they believe that the wealthiest people possess the most rights of all, and that the poorest people have the least, and that all persons whose net worths are negative (having more debts than assets) possess no rights except what richer people might donate to or otherwise grant to them, out of kindness or otherwise (such as familial connections). This — privatization of everything — is what libertarianism is: a person’s worth is his or her “net worth” — nothing else. That belief is pure libertarianism. It’s a belief that many if not most billionaires hold, and most who don’t are simply less pure in it: partial libertarians. Billionaires are imperialistic libertarians. They seek to maximize the freedom of the super-rich, regardless of whether this means increasing their takings from, or ultimately impoverishing, everyone who isn’t super-rich. They have a coherent ideology. It’s based on wealth. The public don’t, but instead believe in myths that billionaires enable to be published and otherwise promulgated, because those ideologies pose little or no threat to their continued control over society.

Like any billionaire, Bezos hires and retains only employees and other agents who do what he/she wants them to do; and this is their direct power, but also they possess enormous indirect power, by means of their interdependencies upon one-another, as each large corporation is contractually involved with other corporations, especially with large ones such as they; and, so, whatever power any particular billionaire possesses is actually a shared power, along with those others. (An example was the deal that Bezos made with Donald Graham.) Collectively, they network together, even with ones they might never even have met personally, but only through their representatives, and even with their own major economic competitors. This collective power which billionaires possess is in addition to their individual power as hirers of employees and other agents.

Whereas Winston Smith, in the prophetic allegorical novel 1984, asked his superior and torturer “Does Big Brother exist?” —

——

‘Next question,’ he [O’Brien] said. [And Smith replied] ‘Does Big Brother exist?’ ‘Of course he exists. The Party exists. Big Brother is the embodiment of the Party.’ ‘Does he exist in the same way as I exist?’ ‘You do not exist,’ said O’Brien.

——

— this power is a collective of the billionaires and associated super-rich, and Bezos “embodies” it, as well as anyone yet does. He fully and unquestionably exists, as being part of the actual (not merely the formal) power-structure. Perhaps a few other billionaires embody it as well, or as much, as he does — such as, for examples, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett, and Larry Ellison, and Mark Zuckerberg, and Charles Koch, and Sergey Brin, amd Michael Bloomberg, and George Soros, and  Jack Dorsey — and they compete against each other, and therefore they have different priorities for the U.S. Government to embody; but, all of them agree much more than they disagree, in regards to what the Government ’should’ do (especially that the U.S. military should be expanded — at taxpayer’s expense, of course, not of their own). Basically, Big Brother, in the real  world, is remarkably coherent and unified — far more so than the public are — and this is one of the reasons why they control the Government, whereas the public don’t.

Here is how all of this plays out, in terms of what Bezos’s agents have been doing to governments (other than, perhaps, taking them over):

His Amazon pays low to no federal taxes because the federal Government has written the tax-laws in order to encourage companies to do the types of things that Jeff Bezos has always wanted Amazon to do anyway. Amazon’s competitors can’t do those things — or at least not so much. So: the larger a corporation is, the more that it fits what the billionaires’ politicians have legislated. The U.S. Government consequently encourages megacorporations such as this, and thereby helps them to crush the small firms, which therefore makes it much harder for the small ones to grow — and that, in its turn, somewhat locks-in the existing aristocracy, to become more hereditary and less self-made (as Bezos himself was, but his children won’t be). Elected politicians overwhelmingly support this, because most of their campaign funds were donated by super-rich individuals and their employees and other agents. It’s all a self-reinforcing system. Super-wealth controls the government, which (along with the super-wealthy and their corporations etc.) controls the public, which reduces economic opportunity for the public. The end-result is institutionally reinforced extreme wealth-inequality, becoming more extreme over the decades — the super-rich as constituting wealth-siphons from everyone else (taking their cut from everyone including their smaller competitors). That’s the real  Big Brother.

Among the many unfavorable news stories about Amazon (none, of course, in the Washington Post), this one is typical:

https://www.newsweek.com/amazon-drivers-warehouse-conditions-workers-complains-jeff-bezos-bernie-1118849

AMAZON WORKING CONDITIONS: URINATING IN TRASH CANS, SHAMED TO WORK INJURED, LIST OF EMPLOYEE COMPLAINTS

BY NINA GODLEWSKI ON 9 December 2018 9/12/18 AT 4:42 PM

Rumors about the working conditions at Amazon warehouses and on the delivery routes have circulated for years. Time off around the holidays, adequate breaks on shift and appropriate wages are all reportedly missing from the lives of some Amazon employees.

Some workers for the company are allegedly on food stamps and receive other federal assistance, but Amazon, like other large companies, doesn’t cover the cost of that assistance, and Senator Bernie Sanders wants that to change.

Sanders introduced a bill on September 5 that would tax employers, like Amazon, when their employees need federal benefits, like Medicaid and food stamps, to help cover the cost of those services. The bill is called the “Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act” or the “Stop  BEZOS Act,” just like the Amazon CEO’s last name.

The lack of a living wage—the multibillion-dollar company pays some employees as little as $11 an hour Sanders said—is just one of the working conditions employees have revealed about the company. …

However, for consumers, Amazon is terrific: low prices and unexcelled customer service.

So: what does Bezos aspire to do with his soon-to-be hundreds of billions of dollars? Does he intend to fund a way to avoid global burnout (euphemistically called ‘global warming’)? Does he intend to fund a way to make this a better planet, with a brighter future for the people and other animals to whom it is and will be home? Does he intend to alleviate suffering, and to promote lowered wealth-inequality? Does he intend to reduce, instead of  to increase, wealth-inequality? None of the above, and nothing like it. They all (regardless of what they say) represent the opposite of that.

He is so much of an imperialist so that he wants to become the founder of an interplanetary empire, bigger than just the Earth can support (even if global burnout — or else nuclear war — wouldn’t destroy the Earth). On 2 May 2018, Axel Springer’s U.S. subsidiary, Business Insider, headlined “Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world, thinks it’s possible to blow through his entire $131 billion fortune — and he has one big purchase he plans to spend it on”, and reported:

“The only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel,” Bezos said. “I am going to use my financial lottery winnings from Amazon to fund that.”

Bezos plans to spend his fortune — the largest wealth in the world — on space travel through Blue Origin, which he called his most important project.

“I get increasing conviction with every passing year, that Blue Origin, the space company, is the most important work that I’m doing. And so there is a whole plan for Blue Origin,” Bezos said in Berlin after winning the Axel Springer Award 2018.

While it may be unfathomable to spend over $100 billion on any venture, Bezos is confident that space travel can lighten his purse.

“That is basically it. Blue Origin is expensive enough to be able to use that fortune. …

“The solar system can easily support a trillion humans. And if we had a trillion humans, we would have a thousand Einsteins and a thousand Mozarts and unlimited, for all practical purposes, resources and solar power unlimited for all practical purposes.” Bezos said “that’s the world that I want my great-grandchildren’s great-grandchildren to live in.”

It is clear what Bezos thinks is the next step for Blue Origin and space travel. “We may put humans in it at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year. We are very close,” to human flight on Blue Origin shuttles, according to Bezos.

The company is also working on a large orbital vehicle that “will fly for the first time in 2020.” He plans on “having millions of people and then billions of people and then finally a trillion people in space.”

The 14 November 2017 youtube, “Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and brother Mark give a rare interview about growing up and secrets to success”, presents Jeff Bezos, at 33:30-34:50, saying, “Our children and grandchildren will live in a much better world if they can continue to advance and develop and use more energy. … I don’t even think that liberty is consistent with [restrictions] … all kinds of things that just aren’t consistent with liberty and freedom. So, in space, you have, for all practical purposes, unlimited resources. You could have trillions of humans in the solar system, and still it wouldn’t be crowded. …The most important work that I am doing is Blue Origin, and, you know, getting humanity established in the solar system.

Jeff Bezos is the archetypal billionaire — they “have been of immense value to the rest of us,” according to their agents. Billionaires actually believe that they should be our rulers. Not a single billionaire supports Bernie Sanders for President — that’s the ONLY American Presidential candidate whom NO billionaire supports. And isn’t this what any knowledgeable and rational person would expect?  It’s what would happen to any U.S. Presidential candidate who is sincerely committed to transforming the American system more into line with the democratic socialism that exists in the Scandinavian countries, and terminating the quest to produce an all-encompassing U.S. empire. Such a candidate as Sanders threatens the system that America’s billionaires have created — threatens the real  Big Brother — and will therefore not be supported by any of them. People such as billionaires, and their supporters, don’t support candidates who oppose the billionaires’ system, which is supremacism, contempt against the public and against rule by the public — against democracy itself. Where wealth rules, the public do not — cannot. It’s either the one, or else the other, that will rule, in any country. Either there will be more of Big Brother; or else there will be ending it, and establishing and expanding democracy — rule “of the people, by the people, for the people”, instead of  rule of the people, by the billionaires, for the billionaires (which latter is  Big Brother’s system). Any granting of more freedom to the public, will reduce the freedom of the billionaires — and billionaires are united  in opposing that. This is the basic fact, about politics.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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The Media-Responses to Bernie Sanders’s Climate-Plan

Eric Zuesse, originally published at Washington’s Blog

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, a U.S. Presidential candidate in the Democratic Party primaries, presented on August 22nd the most-detailed climate-plan that has ever been presented by any U.S. Presidential candidate — 14,000 words, or the equivalent of a normal 55-page booklet.

One of the billionaires-controlled news-media, the New York Times, promptly headlined its news-story about it, “Bernie Sanders’s ‘Green New Deal’: A $16 Trillion Climate Plan”, and said little else about it than its total expense-side, no mention at all about its income side (and virtually nothing at all about its benefits, which were detailed in those 14,000 words). The report also said that the Democratic National Committee had just banned CNN’s planned and unofficial Democratic Presidential candidates debate about the climate, which had been scheduled by CNN for September 4th. The NYT reported that the DNC would permit the candidates to appear only one-after-another — without any interaction with each other, regarding climate-issues. The news-site Vice then promptly headlined “The DNC’s Climate Debate Is As Good As Dead”, and reported that, “Democratic voters want to talk about climate. Three quarters of respondents to a June CNN poll said that they wouldn’t vote for a candidate who didn’t recognize climate change as humanity’s greatest existential threat.” Of course, if Democratic Party voters are really serious about that, they’ll follow through on it. But, evidently, the DNC is quite convinced that they won’t be.

Another billionaires-controlled news-medium, Mother Jones, issued online its official blogger, Kevin Drum, bannering “Bernie Sanders Gets a D- for His Climate Plan” and he opened:

Bernie Sanders released his climate change plan today, and Bernie being Bernie it was naturally the biggest, leftiest, most socialist plan out there. And that was the good part. The bad part is that it’s practically designed to fail.

If you’re going to propose a massive, $16 trillion plan, the first thing you should do is get as many people on board as possible. Instead, Sanders practically revels in pissing off as many stakeholders as possible.

Mr. Drum wanted Sanders to be proposing things that the billionaires who fund political campaigns find acceptable.

However, The Intercept, a site that’s owned by Pierre Omidyar, a Democratic Party billionaire from Silicon Valley (and who is not committed to fossil fuels himself), has been remarkably honest about “climate change” or “global warming” (which are the accepted euphemisms that are pumped for global burnout — the actual  threat). In fact, back on 3 July 2019 it had bannered “WILL BERNIE SANDERS STICK WITH A CARBON TAX IN HIS PUSH FOR A GREEN NEW DEAL?” and it honestly presented the reason why that ought to be included in a plan but also mentioned that all pollings show that the public don’t and almost certainly won’t understand that, and so any commitment to a carbon tax would probably sink any candidate who would specifically include it. (Sanders’s new plan does not.) And, then, on 22 August 2019, The Intercept headlined “BERNIE SANDERS’S CLIMATE PLAN IS MORE RADICAL THAN HIS OPPONENTS’ — AND MORE LIKELY TO SUCCEED”. That was the nitty-gritty truth about the matter: All of the other candidates are so afraid of going up against the billionaires (including not up against the Republican ones), but Sanders is doing it nonetheless, and his new plan shows that he really means it when he says, “We must take action to ensure a habitable planet for ourselves, for our children, and for our grandchildren.” He is now putting his entire candidacy on the line for this.

Sanders is the only candidate who is still in the race who has zero billionaires backing him. He has already committed himself: zero dependency upon any of the billionaires. You can agree with him, or disagree with him, but that’s a fact about him. Obviously, the DNC is just as much against him now as it was in 2016. Practically nothing has changed in the Democratic Party since then.

Part of his climate plan even mentions: “Trade deals have been written in secret by billion-dollar companies to give polluters special handouts and protections, as well as the right to sue governments that pursue stronger environmental protections. Under a Sanders Administration, this will end. Trade deals will be renegotiated to ensure strong and binding climate standards, labor rights, and human rights with swift enforcement.” That’s a slam against not only both Bushes and both Clintons, but against the lionized-by-Democratic-voters Barack Obama, whose biggest effort, of all, was to pass his mammoth proposed TPP, TTIP and TISA trade-deals, all of which were even worse in that regard than any of its predecessors such as NAFTA were. And Sanders had led the fight in Congress against all of them. (None of them became passed, though Hillary Clinton would have resumed Obama’s push to pass them if she had become President. Trump isn’t worse in every respect than she was.)

Also, here are some of the passages in the plan that I find particularly striking:

Instead of accepting that the world’s countries will spend $1.5 trillion annually on weapons of destruction, Bernie will convene global leaders to redirect our priorities to confront our shared enemy: climate change. …

we will support less industrialized nations in the Global South, excluding China, to help them reduce emissions by 36 percent from 2017 levels by 2030, consistent with meeting our fair share of emissions reductions under the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recommendations. …

Bernie recognizes that the Pentagon is the largest institutional emitter of greenhouse gases in the world and that the United States spends $81 billion annually to protect oil supplies and transport routes. We are uniquely positioned to lead the planet in a wholesale shift away from militarism. …

When we are in the White House, we will create millions of union, family-wage jobs through the Green New Deal in steel and auto manufacturing, construction, energy efficiency retrofitting, coding and server farms, and renewable power plants. We will spend $1.3 trillion to ensure that workers in the fossil fuel and other carbon intensive industries receive strong benefits, a living wage, training, and job placement. We will protect the right of all workers to form a union without threats or intimidation from management. …

End overseas fossil fuel financing. The federal government currently supports investments in fossil fuels through the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, OPIC, the Export-Import Bank, and other multilateral institutions. 

Bernie will make fossil fuel corporations pay for the irreparable damage they have done to our communities and our planet, and he will ensure that all fossil fuel workers affected by the transition are entitled to new jobs, health care, pensions, and wage support. He will not allow fossil fuel executives to reap massive profits while endangering the future of humanity. He will not leave it to the market to determine the fate of the planet. …

Prosecute and sue the fossil fuel industry for the damage it has caused. …

Scientists have been clear that in order to solve the climate crisis, we must leave fossil fuels in the ground. …

The last two of those are the most important. For example: to “leave fossil fuels in the ground” means to lay off a large percentage of fossil-fuels corporations’ workforces, especially all who are involved in exploring, and negotiating for the exploitation of, new wells and mines; and, furthermore, the stock-market values of all of those corporations will crash, because the vast majority of their market-value is their assets-in-the-ground, their “Reserves”. As the leading study of this matter phrased it in 2013:

If CAPEX continues at the same level over the next decade it would see up to $6.74 trillion in wasted capital developing reserves that is likely to become unburnable. This would drive an even greater divergence between a 2DS and the position of the financial markets. This has profound implications for asset owners with significant holdings in fossil fuel stocks. It is particularly acute for those companies with large CAPEX plans that continue to sink shareholder funds into the development of additional new reserves that are incompatible with a low-carbon pathway.

Furthermore: “Oil, gas and coal mining companies spent $674billion of capital expenditure in the last year seeking to develop more reserves.” This at a time when 100% of such expenditures is actually waste — unburnable excess upon the already-existing excess of unburnable carbon reserves, which those corporations already own and are already producing from.

This is the way capitalism is. Democratic socialism (such as in the Scandinavian countries) isn’t, at all, like Karl Marx’s communism, but billionaires equate those two — democratic socialism and dictatorial socialism — in order to discredit democratic socialism (progressivism), by lies, because billionaires are the only people who really benefit from capitalism.

Especially the owners of fossil-fuels corporations will lose their entire investments in those corporations, because not only of the inevitable crash in their stock-values but also because whatever value still remains in those corporations will then — under the Sanders plan — become transferred to the government, as a partial payment for the massive criminality of those corporations during the many decades in which they were bringing to the precipice the very continuance of life on Earth.

So: it is clear why this nation’s media — which are controlled (even when not outright owned) by billionaires — will do everything possible in order to prevent Sanders from becoming its President. For them, the choice is stark, and it is between either him, or else any of the other candidates. They will congeal around whichever of the other candidates is the likeliest one to defeat Sanders. That’s the reality, about the Democratic Presidential primaries. The Sanders climate plan makes this absolutely clear.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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U.S.-UK Deep State Tries to Grab Hong Kong

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at The Saker

What can explain these recent instances, proven by Agence France-Press, in which outright frauds — lies (in the form of faked photos and videos) — are being spread online to support the agenda of breaking off, from China, Hong Kong (which has historically always a part of China), so as to make Hong Kong an ‘independent’ nation?:

——

https://factcheck.afp.com/video-actually-shows-chinese-tanks-hong-kong-june-2012

This video actually shows Chinese tanks in Hong Kong in June 2012

26 July 2019

https://factcheck.afp.com/old-video-training-exercise-south-korean-riot-police

This is an old video of a training exercise by South Korean riot police

29 July 2019

https://factcheck.afp.com/press-pass-doctored-photo-apple-dailys-taiwan-bureau-not-hong-kong

The press pass in this doctored photo is from Apple Daily’s Taiwan bureau, not Hong Kong

30 July 2019

https://factcheck.afp.com/all-crime-legal-hong-kong-12-hours-no-emergency-broadcast-fictional

All crime legal in Hong Kong for 12 hours? No, the ’emergency broadcast’ is fictional

5 August 2019

https://factcheck.afp.com/photo-shows-different-cat-owner-hong-kongs-brother-cream-says-he-unharmed

This photo shows a different cat — the owner of Hong Kong’s Brother Cream says he is unharmed

8 August 2019

https://factcheck.afp.com/its-old-photo-actor-hong-kong-tv-show

It’s an old photo of an actor on a Hong Kong TV show

9 August 2019

https://factcheck.afp.com/video-shows-hong-kong-police-firing-tear-gas-kwai-fong-station-august-2019

This video shows Hong Kong police firing tear gas at Kwai Fong station in August 2019

14 August 2019

https://factcheck.afp.com/video-was-actually-filmed-taiwan-2018-and-shows-man-being-attacked-over-debts

Gangsters beat up Hong Kong protester? The video was actually filmed in Taiwan in 2018 and shows a man being attacked over debts

16 August 2019

https://factcheck.afp.com/hong-kong-airport-has-said-all-lighting-operated-normal

Hong Kong airport has said ‘all lighting operated as normal’

20 August 2019

https://factcheck.afp.com/these-pictures-are-protests-france-and-spain-not-recent-demonstrations-hong-kong

These pictures are from protests in France and Spain, not recent demonstrations in Hong Kong

21 August 2019

——

The context might explain it:

On August 14th, Toronto lawyer Christopher Black, who is an expert on U.S.-UK Deep State efforts to grab back Hong Kong for the British Empire, headlined at Global Research “America’s ‘Hybrid War’ against China has Entered a New Phase”, and he described a six-phase “hybrid war” by the U.S.-UK Deep State against China in Hong Kong:

The first stage involved the massive shift of US air and naval forces to the Pacific. …

The second stage was the creation of disinformation about China’s treatment of minority groups, especially in Tibet and west China. …

[The third stage is] the propaganda was extended to China’s economic development, its international trade, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, its Silk and Belt Road Initiative, its development bank, and other facilities and trade initiatives, through which China is accused of trying to control the world. …

The fourth phase is the US attempt to degrade the Chinese economy with punitive “tariffs,” …

A fifth phase [is] the kidnapping and illegal detention of Meng Wanzhou, the Chief Financial Officer of China’s leading technology company Huawei, …

[The sixth phase] in this hybrid warfare is the insurrection being provoked by the US, UK, Canada and the rest in Hong Kong, …

Also on August 14th, the anonymous “Moon of Alabama” blogger (a German intelligence-analyst), headlined “Violent Protests In Hong Kong Reach Their Last Stage”, and he opened:

The riots in Hong Kong are about to end.

The protests, as originally started in June, were against a law that would have allowed criminal extraditions to Taiwan, Macao and mainland China. The law was retracted and the large protests have since died down. What is left are a few thousand students who, as advertised in a New York Times op-ed, intentionally seek to provoke the police with “marginal violence”:

“Such actions are a way to make noise and gain attention. And if they prompt the police to respond with unnecessary force, as happened on June 12, then the public will feel disapproval and disgust for the authorities. The protesters should thoughtfully escalate nonviolence, maybe even resort to mild force, to push the government to the edge. That was the goal of many people who surrounded and barricaded police headquarters for hours on June 21.”

The protesters now use the same violent methods that were used in the Maidan protests in the Ukraine. The U.S. seems to hope that China will intervene and create a second Tianamen scene. That U.S. color revolution attempt failed but was an excellent instrument to demonize China. A repeat in Hong Kong would allow to declare a “clash of civilization” and increase ‘western’ hostility against China. But while China is prepared to intervene it is unlikely to do the U.S. that favor. Its government expressed its confidence that the local authorities will be able to handle the issue.

There are rumors that some Hong Kong oligarchs were originally behind the protests to prevent their extradition for shady deals they made in China. There may be some truth to that. China’s president Xi Jingpin is waging a fierce campaign against corruption and Hong Kong is a target-rich environment for fighting that crime.

The former British colony is ruled by a handful of oligarchs who have monopolies in the housing, electricity, trade and transport markets:

Then there was this from him, after the Sunday, August 18th, Hong Kong demonstration:

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https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/08/which-hong-kong-protest-size-estimate-is-right.html

August 19, 2019

Which Hong Kong Protest Size Estimate is Right?

The New York Times further promotes the protests in Hong Kong by quoting an extravagant crowd size estimate of yesterday’s march.

… So what is it? 128,000 or the 13 times bigger 1.7 million? With the mood set in the first paragraphs the Times is clearly promoting the larger estimate.

But that estimate is definitely false. (As was my own early estimate of 15-20,000 based on early pictures of the event.) It is impossible that 1.7 million people took part in the gathering and march. There is no way that the 1.7 million people would physically fit in or near the protest venue.

——

He demonstrated there, beyond question, that the NYT’s allegation that the crowd was 1,700,000 was at least 13 times too large.

Consequently, since all of those matters are documented facts — not mere conjectures — the rational conclusion would be that the same Deep State that overthrew Iran’s democracy in 1954, and that overthrew Guatemala’s democracy in 1954, and that overthrew Chile’s democracy in 1973, and that overthrew Ukraine’s democracy in 2014, and that installed brutal military regimes in each one of those places, and that also in many other instances has installed dictatorial U.S.-controlled vassal-states, and that has been trying to do similar things to Libya, and to Syria, and to Venezuela, and to Russia (“color revolutions” they are called) is trying to do that also in Hong Kong. And, as has always been the case in the past, the U.S.-and-allied Deep State regime’s propaganda is that this is being done for ‘human rights’ and ‘democracy’. This would explain those hoaxes that AFP has been documenting against Hong Kong’s government.

The lying continues on, at all U.S. mainstream (and most of its non-mainstream) ‘news’-media, such as:

——

https://www.npr.org/2019/08/20/752368384/a-guide-to-whats-happening-in-hong-kong

A Guide To What’s Happening In Hong Kong

August 20, 2019 12:38 PM ET COLIN DWYER

Organizers say more than a million demonstrators gathered Sunday in Hong Kong … carrying umbrellas that have come to signify resistance.

Janis Mackey Frayer@janisfrayer

Pouring rain in #HongKong but tens of thousands still protesting today… chanting ‘Hong Kong people, keep going’. The rally is seen as a measure of public support for the protest movement, after 11 consecutive weekends and increasingly violence. @NBCNews @NBCNightlyNews @MSNBC

5:26 AM – Sun. Aug 18, 2019 …

“We demand that the bill be formally withdrawn now,” said Alvin Yeung, a member of the region’s Legislative Council and leader of the pro-democracy Civic Party. He also told All Things Considered that protesters are demanding “an independent inquiry to look into police misconduct and brutality.”

“That is something so simple that any open and civil society would do,” he added. “But then this government has been refusing to set up a commission to look into that. And more importantly, of course, is a democratic system.” …

https://www.npr.org/2019/08/20/752882615/twitter-and-facebook-shut-down-fake-propaganda-accounts-run-by-chinese-governmen

Twitter And Facebook Shut Down Fake Propaganda Accounts Run By Chinese Government

August 20, 20194:23 PM ET

Heard on All Things Considered

NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Adam Segal, at the Council on Foreign Relations, about Facebook and Twitter shutting down hundreds of fake accounts run by the Chinese government.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

We have heard a lot about Russia creating fake social media accounts to influence political discourse in other countries. Now Facebook and Twitter say they have shut down hundreds of fake accounts created and run by the Chinese government. These pages are mainly spreading messages against the Hong Kong protests.

Adam Segal is the director of digital and cyberspace policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has studied China’s use of disinformation, and he joins us now. Hi, there.

ADAM SEGAL: Thanks for having me.

KELLY: So help us understand what exactly China stands accused of doing. Give me an example of one of these fake accounts and what it’s been tweeting or posting.

SEGAL: Twitter and Facebook have said that the Chinese have created fake accounts or inauthentic accounts and that they’ve spread disinformation about the protests in Hong Kong. Some of the accounts have compared the protesters to cockroaches or to ISIS and have suggested that they’ve taken money from either foreigners or what one of the accounts called bad guys.

KELLY: What is the scope of this operation, as far as we can tell? …

——

The basic U.S. lie is that the U.S. Government has a right to participate in affecting Hong Kong’s future. Hong Kong has been part of China ever since 214 BCE when the Qin Dynasty conquered the loca tribe, the Yue. The British Empire took it over in 1841, when the infamous British East India Company “began to grow opium in Bengal, present day Bangladesh, and smuggled it into China illegally. The influx of narcotics reversed the Chinese trade surplus, drained the economy of silver, and increased the numbers of opium addicts inside the country, outcomes that seriously worried Chinese officials,” who tried to resist the British Empire but were conquered by it so that in January 1841, the Qing dynasty’s Hong Kong official, Qishan, ‘ceded Hong Kong’ to Britain’s Admiral Sir Charles Elliot, who then promptly became the British King’s first Administrator of Hong Kong. Hong Kong was finally “handed back” to China on 1 July 1997, as the last of the British Empire’s colonies to be let go; and, at that time, China agreed with Britain’s ruler to treat it as being one of China’s “Special Administrative Regions”. The United States is simply grabbing for it now, but has no right there of its own, and is consequently pretending to support the rights of Hong Kong’s residents, who are actually none of America’s business, but are simply pawns in American billionaires’ “great game”, who are trying to take over the world as Britain’s aristocracy had previously tried to do. Furthermore, some indications suggest that this ‘revolution’ in Hong Kong might possibly be, like the U.S. regime’s operation in Iran was in 1953, a joint U.S.-UK operation or coup.

The amazing thing is that America’s leading ‘reporters’ of ‘news’ continue on with their lying, even after it has been conclusively exposed in the few honest non-mainstream news-sites online (such as here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and hereall 25 of those are great  news-sites, reliable news-sites, news-sites that are punctilious about truth, and careful to avoid lies). (The continued existence of each one of them is jeopardized because no billionaire, or even centi-millionaire, is backing even a single one of them.) America’s leading ‘reporters’ just ignore truth (since that doesn’t pay), and they continue to pump the regime’s lies, being stenographers for its lies, trusting and never challenging such ‘authorities’ (billionaire fronts) as the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Brookings Institution, and the U.S. Government, and the New York Times, and the Washington Post, and U.S. TV and radio, etc. — all of the same fraudsters who had been pumping for the invasion of Iraq, up to and including the U.S. regime’s criminal invasion of that land in 2003. Americans haven’t learned a thing, except lies, since at least  2003. There seems to be an endless market for lies, in the U.S. And this market consists of billionaires, who fund them — not really of the audiences, who get fooled by them.

Inside Hong Kong itself, the profusion of U.S.-UK-backed lying ‘news’, along with some instances of sloppy news-reporting by pro-China media, cause many Hong Kongers to distrust all reporting, or else to trust only reporting that confirms their existing beliefs.   

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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