[From various comments posted in Naked Capitalism]

Debt or Death? –  “As large financial burdens have been found to adversely affect access to care and outcomes, the active development of approaches to mitigate these effects among already vulnerable groups remains of key importance.”

A “key importance” to whom may I ask? This “organism” i.e., capitalism controlled by the “iron heel.” is functioning at optimal performance. But, it does not simply discard the “husks” it re-cycles them into prisons, mental institutions, leaving the ones with a heartbeat of life to the churches and other institutions that minister to the discarded.

When those pompous Senator’s were officiating over the SCOTUS hearing, I don’t think you saw in their false face the capacity for seeing/feeling any sense of “key importance” over this issue; their myopic, self-interested, self-aggrandizing consciousness is limited to getting and maintaining power.


Refer: Affluent Cities “The economic divide between affluent U.S. cities and suburbs and the ailing, often rural, areas where blue collar and middle-tier service jobs are the norm grew wider after the onset of the Great Recession…”

Well, this is an analogue to the increasing divide between the Oligarchs (been using this word a lot since reading Iron Heel by Jack London) and the rest in benefiting from the rise in productivity in recent decades.

The content of oppression varies from year to year but the forms persist, as is seen in the kaleidoscope of news from the paradise/panama papers to the recent NYT article on Trump’s Tax evasion.There is no meaningful change or upheaval in who controls the government on the horizon – the content keeps churning while our churches are burning…


“The Department of Justice stood on the side of the 9/11 Families and publicly committed to finally releasing three large tranches of formerly secret documents that we believe connect the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the 9/11 attacks. This is the biggest development we have had in our over 16 years of litigation.”

For those who are puzzled by the perfect free-fall of WTC7 and have inquired into the empirical evidence of the government’s official 9/11 narrative, this is not “the biggest development.”

There are many organizations of architects,engineers, firefighters who have documented the inconsistency of what was told to us about 9/11. What puzzles me is how people whose opinion you respect glibly dismiss these inconsistencies.

The “public” responds almost like a victim who exorcises or compartmentalizes that which the psyche can not deal or process without disrupting its operating schema. The imperial voices of the “public,”  the MSM,  have assiduously avoided all the studies and findings done in the past 16 years. Intellectuals/gatekeepers of the “Left,” like Chomsky, who dismiss these studies do a real disservice.

What is a person who lives in a world of dancing shadows on a wall who suddenly turns around and sees that these are images being projected from a nefarious source to do?


Refer: Joseph Stiglitz article

“The basic perquisites of a middle-class life, including a secure old age, are no longer attainable for most Americans. We need to guarantee access to health care. We need to strengthen and reform retirement programs…”

Excellent article with many charts and statistical data. The problem is the “We,” that Stiglitz constantly refers to.The Oligarchs have an iron grip on what the “We” can and cannot do. That grip has become a death grip since the advent of new technologies and since the days of FDR’s “New Deal.”

Opinion published on From NC 07/13/2018Ref: https://thebaffler.com/salvos/looks-like-debt-to-me-miller

“Sharing the burden of my debt with my spouse instead of my parents was a small, depressing victory, a milestone perhaps unique to members of my generation, one that must have carried a similar significance that purchasing a home and having a mortgage had to my parents.”

So here is an adumbration of the dystopic future that awaits millions in the U.S. Instead of entering a productive life of building a future by working to buy a house and raise a family, young folk will by yoked to a never ending debt treadmill. Rather than stimulating the economy with purchases of washers, furniture, etc..they will paying off their interest.

You add this to healthcare insurance cost and it’s easy to predicate where all this is heading…this article is detailed look,a personal POV, of what is really happening out there and not shadows dancing on the wall broadcast by MSM.

Refer: The Church Left is Proving My Point” [Benjamin Studebaker]. “A couple days ago, I wrote a piece about the tendency for left wing organizations to behave like church communities rather than strategic political organizations.”I think that the use of “left wing organization” is a shibboleth the church communities I know react to as void of what matters and designed to front-load reaction/response.Should the U.S. have Medicare-for-all? That is the question that I have faith in and those unbelievers who are heretics should be burned at the polling booth. Give me another “Great Awaking” over some public policy wonk looking to see what words are better “Single-Payer,”, “Universal Coverage,” ACA, etc.., so they won’t have to stop sucking on their corporate whore’s teat…

What often happens is those who stray too far from the finely crafted parameters of what is punitively “politically possible” are seen as somehow “fanatical” or even “religious” as in Studebaker’s framing.


Refer: Intercept on MSNBCWhen someone like Greenwald decides to write a piece about the mendacity of the Media he must have an audience in mind that doesn’t include me and those who have looked at the murder of JFK/RFK/MLK and are conversant with the U.S.’s too numerous to list coups.The complicity of the CIA (viz. operation Mockingbird) and infiltration of all the organs of MSM is well known; as is their infiltration of Academia. That’s why I come here, to NC, in hopes of finding something I don’t know…

It’s almost as if there are two realities out there in the public ether. That which is grounded in knowledge and that which is shaped by opinion, opinion carefully constructed by the ruling elites.

A look at Plato’s “Divided Line,” which examines the difference between knowledge and opinion and doxa, or a look at Plato’s Gorgias on the functions of rhetoric and its relation to justice, would be more useful than revelations of how the Media is biased.

Refer: Social Demand.“In countries governed by consent, there are at least five broad classes of institutions involved in the delivery of social services: (a) The governments themselves. In social democracies the governments represent the people, and one of their primary concerns must be to administer these institutions in the public interest.”I got hung on (a) above so I never made it to (e). Our good author/philosopher is not taking into account in his analysis recent studies studies such as that of Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page or older analysis such as that of Marx that sees governments functioning as the “executive committee of the ruling elites.”Enjoy political theory, but it has to be grounded in the concrete specific reality.

[Zagonostra – Comments post on NakedCapitalism -07/03/2018]
You can note that AOC has hit a national nerve, so yeah they’ll go after her in any trivial, insignificant , misleading way they can. Now you would expect this from the jackal and the hyena, Alex Jones and Shawn Hannity, but what is most revealing is that she is being attacked by the corporate Democrats.In an recent interview with Chris Hayes, he said that he was from Queens and that he had been following her campaign closely. Odd, I never heard him cover her campaign or even mention her on his program until she became a sensation…all the interviews reveal more about the interviewers than interviewee; they gloss over substantive issues like the popularity of Medicare-for-all and zoom right in on personality.
[Zagonostra – Comments posted on NakedCaptialism – 07/02/2018] 
Refer: Trump and truth: Why the media are losing the battle :“For that reason, many reporters aren’t willing to use the L-word – lying – when characterizing Trump statements that are false. Lying implies an intent to deceive, and only he knows his intent.”I would submit that intent is at the heart of the MSM’s collusion with the “Deep State,” anyone familiar with “Mocking Bird” and the ongoing process of keeping certain facts out of public consciousness knows that the intent is to misled, dissemble, and yes LIE.When people have access to Y-Tube and watch a JFK/RFK/MLK assassination documentary, or view countless historical narratives that run counter to what is being promulgated they are not going to believe what the corporate media are telling us.You build credibility/trust by starting with the admission that you have done wrong. The fact they still bury documents surrounding the JFK assassination tells you all you need to know. there was a coup in the 60’s that persist to the present.What I can’t figure out is why they haven’t pulled the plug on Y-Tube and other “subversive” Internet sites. Is it that what is in plain site is the most invisible? I don’t know…

[Comment posted on NakedCaptialism]
Re: Thomas Frank.This weekend I came across a book I had read years ago by Kevin Philips written in 2005, American Theocracy. He has a chapter on financialization which is/was prophetic.When I was re-reading it, I was thinking about Thomas Frank’s critique of the Democratic Party. Philips worked for Richard Nixon, and his critique of the Republican Party was scathing. If you combine Philips with Frank, you see how hopelessly lost this country is in the world of party politics and how far we have traveled on the road that is the demise of democracy.

What happened to Philips?

[Zagonostra – Comment mad on Truthdig on 06/20/2018]

There is also an internal war, not of bombs but of debt and impoverishment. The internal war may not be as bloody or happen with the rapidity of a bomb, but it is happening nonetheless and the Media is not reporting much on that war either.

This internal war is not being waged on the gelato-indulged but on a population that is dependent on food stamps. Until we free this internal population, there isn’t much hope for the external ones subject to the depravity of the murderous ruling elite/regime.

[Zagonostra – Comment on Naked Capitalism]


Refer: Krugman, Fall of the American Empire“The U.S. government is, as a matter of policy, literally ripping children from the arms of their parents and putting them in fenced enclosures …He has been insulting democratic allies while praising murderous dictators. And a global trade war seems increasingly likely….What do these stories have in common? Obviously they’re all tied to the character of the man occupying the White House…What we’re witnessing is a systematic rejection of longstanding American values — the values that actually made America great.”So the internment of Japanese during WWII, dropping of bombs on Hiroshima/Nagasaki, training death squads in Latin America, bombings in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, invading countries on false pretenses, and on, and on…should be also looked upon as “tied to the character of the man occupying the White House” instead of in a social/political/economic and systemic way. Please!, my God, what patronizing hogwash. Krugman is so “obviously” playing on his reader’s dislike of Trump.Such cheap and shoddy journalism from the NYT.What “these stories have in common,” Russiagate, Stormy Daniels, and now Trump “ripping children from the arms of their parents” (remember Obama was responsible for ramping up deportations) is that the establishment is trying to throw as much mud on the sitting President to see if anything sticks.Maybe the NYT and their columnist like Blow and Krugman shouldn’t have written all that malarkey about Bernie and avoided the deep flaws/corruption of HRC. They bear as much responsibility for “ripping children” from the arms of parents as Trump…At least I’m glad to see Krugman use the word “Empire”…funny when Michael Parenti started using that word to describe the U.S. decades ago, few were willing to listen. 

The corporate Media is an extension/tool of the ruling elite. The article’s reference to “Americans” should be more clearly denoted as ruling regime. The vast majority of the population has been and continues to be a victim of propaganda. The U.S. is composed of large sections of its population that are no more than internal colonies exploited by ruthless oligarchs bearing little if any culpability for the evils these masters perpetuate on external colonies – though they are in a better position to rise up in revolt.

Chomsky’s characterization of thousands of architects questioning 9/11 as a handful of experts who claim expertise in engineering after watching a couple of hours of Y-tube video has greatly diminished his stature (although undeniably still a towering figure among the intelligentsia).

Nevertheless, Paul Street does a service in calling for a wider perspective, one that includes the perspective of those victimized.

[Zagonostra – comments made on NakedCapitalism on  06/15/2018]

Refer: Class warfare

I saw somewhere that healthcare insurance cost around 28K a year and that half the population earn somewhere in the neighborhood of 30K. If you include rent and education cost , let alone the basics like food, you can see how hopeless it is for a lot of people (It think Michael Hudson laid out the numbers somewhere).

The U.S. has created a permanent underclass that lives a life of economic anxiety, one bereft of leisure and hope of a better future. And yes, there always has been an an underclass, it’s just now it threatens to swallow everybody except the privileged up.

I would venture that most of those reading NC are not in that demographic, those people who are, for the most part, are to torn up agonizing about how they’ll make it through to the next day. The luxury of venting disgust/opinions on the deplorable ruling elites is something they can’t afford anymore than they can afford to save for retirement.

But lets go ahead and keep talking about the futile sick game being played out by the corrupt corporate elites/policy makers instead of focusing on radical political/economic restructuring of society and figuring out how to convince people to stop voting for either the Democratic or Republican party.

[Below from NakedCapitalism 06/07/2018]


How do you convince people to stop voting for either of the two corrupt corporate Parties that have mis-manged the political economy for the past 50 years, that have presided over the demise of the middle class, indebted a whole generation of young people to debt peonage for simply trying to get an education, made affordable healthcare impossible, conduct endless wars, and on and on…

Can’t they see that nothing will improve/change, that all their promises and statements are lies and that by voting for them they legitimize their corruption? I don’t understand…are they all these voters mindless proles?

Reply ↓
  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef
    Not just the two parties.And not even progressives can do much about the demise of the middle class and perhaps endless wars, unless we can show that it’s possible to prevent and reverse that demise while still being the issuer of the global reserve currency.Perhaps it’s possible, but we first need to discuss that, and then show whether that is possible.I’m not sure we are talking about that yetI know European countries and say Japan are doing better when it comes to the Middle Class, but they run trade surpluses.
    Reply ↓
  2. Oregoncharles
    Following an article I saw years ago, I think the biggest factor sustaining the Two Party System is blind habit. I don’t know if you had civics in school, but I was certainly taught that it was one of the secrets of the US’s success. And from here, multi-party democracies like France or Italy look very unstable – although they seem to get by as well as we do.The chief LEGAL factor is plurality (“first-past-the-post”) voting, which creates the “spoiler” effect. People who think about politics seem to actually worry about it. And the “major” parties are very attached to it, so they think it helps suppress the competition. Others are barriers to ballot access. And the other most important factor is a probably-conscious effort by the MSM to pretend other options don’t exist, which of course reinforces the habitual mindset.Frankly, I think it will take a crisis of some sort to break all that down. The ballot access barriers would be insignificant if people were mad enough, as would the spoiler effect. “Affiliation” (basically, the percentage of people who will admit to a pollster that they belong to one party or the other) has fallen drastically, so people evidently are getting antsier.Do we hear those jungle drums off in the distance? (An old movie reference that may be lost on young people; it means “the natives are restless.”)
    Reply ↓
    1. zagonostra

      Blind habit is part of it, as is the voting legal structure/process, But I remember that just about every magazine and newspaper including the Rolling Stones, New Yorker, The Nation, all the major MSM newspapers and the vast, vast majority of media outlets endorsing HRC and resigning themselves to a rotten and evil system. They bear responsibility as well and will never be trusted in the same way again…

      I regretfully am coming to the same conclusion as you, that a “crisis of some sort” has to occur in order to dislodge diseased fingers holding on to political power.

      The drums beating are those of the oligarchs and their minions, they’ve managed to silence the primal sound of Johnny Weissmuller howl reverberating through the jungle, Jane is screwed and will be stewed along with the rest of us…

[Zagonostra: 05/15/2018. A comment I posted on TD today]

If you control money you control people’s behavior – to a a large extent. When people have had enough you control the counting of the votes or the choices of who or what to vote for; it’s an old story, money is a legal creation and the minority will always seek to maintain their privileged position.

The complete and utter idiotic notion of voting for either of the two political Parties that have “governed” the nation under this 21 Trillion dollar theft can only be explained in terms of some hidden systematic form of psychological/ideological mind warp, one in which, in my youth, I was governed by myself…need to help our fellow inhabitants of this country break free of this sick gravitational force.

Thanks for publishing Lee Camp.

[Zagonostra: Below is a post I made in Truthdig on 05/02/2018, don’t bother reading the link, it’s just a rehash of what every educated reader should already know]

To the ” Democratic Party hierarchy, democracy within the party sounds truly scary.” Ah, yeah! No kidding! Maybe I missed it Mr. Solomon but did you mention the audio recording made of Steny Hoyer letting the cat out of the bag, there is no democracy in the Democratic Party.

You really are just spinning your wheels, anyone whose has read Thomas Frank and has been paying attention knows that you would foolish or cowed by fear into voting for either of the two Political Parties, both have the same owner, Wall Street, or, if you like, the power elite.

So stop it already with this redundant analysis, and get down to brass tacks (always wondered what that literally means), this country is doomed, if it isn’t already, unless it breaks out of this strangle hold the corporate owners have over political process.



[Zagonostra: Another of my rants today (4/11/2018) on a Krugman opinion piece on healthcare. I notice I’m using F&^% more and more…]

“Obama’s very stable Genius?”…I was so incensed I went over to the NYT to vent but it was closed to new comments…You just want to tell Krugman to shut the F^&% up.

He was wrong -headed in his column leading up to the election of Trump and he shows his fealty to the monied-class over and against the working class consistently in his opinions issued from his oracular podium.

Medicare for all should be the the sin qua non of support for any politician, all casuistry from the mendacious ivory tower of the NYT notwithstanding.

[Zagonostra: Below is a rant I posted on TruthDig today 4/10/2018 in response to an article by E.J. Dionne, Jr. – a darling of the establishment liberals]

A fifth of the population this, and third that and polling shows xyz.. F%$* all that. If the “Progressives” had any integrity they would forget Trump and focus on the Democrats. They are the ones who sold out the values of the New Deal.

You want to write about Progressives, well talk about Healthcare for All, talk about student debt, talk about, endless war emptying the treasury and don’t stop talking about these items until your dead or they come into being or are alleviated.

“Trump is a demagogue who relies on the angry energy of his supporters.”

No, Trump is a turning point that reveals those liberals that Thomas Frank writes about for what they are, sell-outs, sell-outs whose fealty (a nice sounding word I picked up from Mr. Hedges) is to power and money and not the well-being of the masses. But E.J. is a Mr. Jones:

You walk into the room
With your pencil in your hand
You see somebody naked
And you say, “Who is that man?”
You try so hard

But you don’t understand
Just what you’ll say
When you get home

Because something is happening here
But you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

[Zagonostra: A good critique on the recent Bernie Sander’s “Town Hall” podcast on inequality.]

[Zagonostra: with “Bloody Gina” in charge at the CIA and Neil Gorsuch at the Supreme Court, it doesn’t look too good for “liberty and justice for all”]

I’m sure that’s true for some. But many of the rest of us who knew and worked with Haspel at the CIA called her “Bloody Gina.”

The CIA will not let me repeat her résumé or the widely reported specifics of how her work fit into the agency’s torture program, calling such details “currently and properly classified.” But I can say that Haspel was a protege of and chief of staff for Jose Rodriguez, the CIA’s notorious former deputy director for operations and former director of the Counterterrorism Center. And that Rodriguez eventually assigned Haspel to order the destruction of videotaped evidence of the torture of Abu Zubaida. The Justice Department investigated, but no one was ever charged in connection with the incident.


[Zagonostra: in response to https://www.truthdig.com/articles/getting-from-profits-for-a-few-to-health-care-for-all/]

“We are many, they are few” has a nice ring but ignores the fundamental elemental law of politics, whether it’s communist, democratic, oligarchic, it doesn’t matter. That law, as detailed in Gaetano Mosca’s “Elements of a Science of Politics,” is that the few well organized control the defuse many.

I like Tucker’s article and agree with it whole hardheartedly, and Medicare for all should be the litmus test for voting for any politician. However, the reality of this techno-propaganda mediated world we live needs a better strategy for tipping the scales to the side of the many.

It’s as if we are waiting for a Moses to lead us to the promised land, or a spontaneous coalescence of like-minded people.. The slow methodical building of coalitions is so easily subject to the conservative ruling class counter measures that Fu#ks with the mind of the majority.”

It is a constant battle to get through to people and dispel the “false consciousness” or breaking those “mind-forged manacles.

[Zagonostra: reading an excellent book written in 1943 by Erich Kahler]

In Man The Measure: A new Approach to History  Kahler lists as one of the causes of the rise of the Nazi the following:

“The German Industrialist, as well as the capitalist the world over, did, in fact, have a considerable share in this movement (Nazis), through their besetting fear of bolshevism (communism). They financed it, and actually established it through their middlemen…They used it to lure the unemployed into a trap with the slogans of a pretended socialism, but, in reality, to thwart the development of true social democracy in the entire world.”

This should temper people’s receptivity to the Russiagate narrative being spewed endlessly by MSM through millionaire personalities such as Rachel Madow

“logic divorced from ethics…”

[Zagonostra: I’m going through my emails to friends and found this quote from some member of the EEC talking about the Greek financial crisis, unfortunately the link is broken, bold is mine]

“I can feel, maybe not a revolutionary mood, but something like widespread impatience. When impatience becomes not an individual but a social experience of feeling, this is the introduction for revolutions.”

[Zagonostra: I know I’m going overboard on this Russiaphobia thing but I think it’s emblematic of the mass delusional condition that reigns in this country]

“Please note eight things you will not hear from the Russia-mad Democrats and their many media allies at places like the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, and MSDNC:

1There is No Real Democracy to Subvert in the United States.

2. Interference Made Obvious Sense for Russia

3. The Rest of the World Has a Frankly Legitimate Interest in U.S. Politics.

4. Russian Interference Was Nothing Compared to that of the Superpower’s Homegrown Oligarchy

6. Republican Vote Suppression was a Much Bigger Deal.

7. Other Noxious but Officially U.S.-Allied States Invest in U.S. Politics and Policy.

7. The Russians Did Not Make the Deplorable, Dollar-Drenched Democratic Party Establishment Rig the Primaries against Bernie Sanders

8. “We” (the U.S.) Interfere(s) in Elections Around the World for “Our” Own Authoritarian Purposes.



[Zagonostra: Another good summary from Jesse’s Cafe’}

“As to the present, American professionals are preoccupied in addressing the great emptiness of their lives through the fevered acquisition and retention of power and money for its own sake. Our hypocrisy knows no bounds. And our estimation of ourselves and expectations for the future are excessive to say the least. Well, this is how it is at the tail end of almost any anomalous era, when a select group of men would be as the gods of their adulterous generations. And because of the increase in wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.”


Now Trump, he’s a Russian spy,
Lincoln, Jefferson Clinton and his wife Hillary.
To my knowledge there’s just one man
That’s really a true American:
That’s Robert Swan Mueller III
I know for a fact he hates Commies cus he picketed the movie Exodus.

Bob Dylan

Talkin’ Jon Birch Paranoid Blues

[Zagonostra: I hadn’t thought about creating an opinion page, seeing as there are so many  places you can go to read an opinion piece, however, after seeing how many stories  are on the cover of the NYT about Russians taking over the U.S. I could not hold back…so “welcome to the machine…ya know your nobody’s fool”]

New York Times  Online 02/20/2018 front cover:

  1. After Florida School shooting, Russian ‘Bot’ Army Pounced
  2. How Russian Trolls Deceived Americans in 2016 elections
  3. Who Still thinks Russia Didn’t Meddle in the Elections
  4. States Say They Are told too Little About Election Threats
  5. Russian fans at Olympics Are Loud, Proud and Angry
  6. Trump’s Evolution From Relief to Fury Over the Russia Indictment
  7. Whatever Trump Is Hiding Is Hurting All of Us Now (from Thomas Friedman no less, God help us…)
  8. How Unwitting Americans Encountered Russian Operatives Online

Reminds me of the 16 articles the WaPo published leading up to the rigged 2016 DNC convention. Speaking of rigged DNC conventions, I’m just getting up-to-speed on how the 1944 DNC convention inserted Truman over Wallace as vice president even though the vast majority of the electors were for Wallace, and Truman was a hack controlled by the Pendergast machine in Kansas.

The grand total for all political ad spending in the 2016 election cycle, according to Advertising Age, was $9.8bn. The ads allegedly produced by inmates of a Russian troll farm, which have made up this week’s ration of horror and panic in the halls of the American punditburo, cost about $100,000 to place on Facebook.