The Re-enserfment of Western Peoples

by Paul Craig Roberts, Sputnik International

The re-enserfment of Western peoples is taking place on several levels. One about which I have been writing for more than a decade comes from the offshoring of jobs. Americans, for example, have a shrinking participation in the production of the goods and services that are marketed to them.

On another level we are experiencing the financialization of the Western economy about which Michael Hudson is the leading expert (Killing The Host). Financialization is the process of removing any public presence in the economy and converting the economic surplus into interest payments to the financial sector.

These so called “trade partnerships” have nothing to do with trade. These agreements negotiated in secrecy grant immunity to corporations from the laws of the countries in which they do business. This is achieved by declaring any interference by existing and prospective laws and regulations on corporate profits as restraints on trade for which corporations can sue and fine “sovereign” governments. For example, the ban in France and other counries on GMO products would be negated by the Trans-Atlantic Partnership. Democracy is simply replaced by corporate rule.

I have been meaning to write about this at length. However, others, such as Chris Hedges, are doing a good job of explaining the power grab that eliminates representative government.

The corporations are buying power cheaply. They bought the entire US House of Representatives for just under $200 million. This is what the corporations paid Congress to go along with “Fast Track,” which permits the corporations’ agent, the US Trade Representative, to negotiate in secret without congressional input or oversight.

[read more here]

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Central Banks Have Become a Corrupting Force

by Paul Craig Roberts, from Sputnik International

Are we witnessing the corruption of central banks? Are we observing the money-creating powers of central banks being used to drive up prices in the stock market for the benefit of the mega-rich?

These questions came to mind when we learned that the central bank of Switzerland, the Swiss National Bank, purchased 3,300,000 shares of Apple stock in the first quarter of this year, adding 500,000 shares in the second quarter. Smart money would have been selling, not buying.

It turns out that the Swiss central bank, in addition to its Apple stock, holds very large equity positions, ranging from $250,000,000 to $637,000,000, in numerous US corporations — Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, Google, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, Procter & Gamble, Verizon, AT&T, Pfizer, Chevron, Merck, Facebook, Pepsico, Coca Cola, Disney, Valeant, IBM, Gilead, Amazon.

Among this list of the Swiss central bank’s holdings are stocks which are responsible for more than 100% of the year-to-date rise in the S&P 500 prior to the latest sell-off.

What is going on here?

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FBI Evidence Proves Innocence of Accused Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

by Paul Craig Roberts

I have been contacted by attorney John Remington Graham, a member in good standing of the bar of the Minnesota Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court. He informs me that acting in behalf of Maret Tsanaeva, the aunt of the accused Tsamaev brothers and a citizen of the Kyrgyz Republic where she is qualified to practice law, he has assisted her in filing with the US District Court in Boston a pro se motion, including an argument of amicus curiae, and an affidavit of Maret Tsarnaeva. The presiding judge has ordered that these documents be included in the formal record of the case so they will be publicly accessible. The documents are reproduced below.

The documents argue that on the basis of the evidence provided by the FBI, there is no basis for the indictment of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The FBI’s evidence clearly concludes that the bomb was in a black knapsack, but the photographs used to establish Dzhokhar’s presence at the marathon show him with a white knapsack. Moreover, the knapsack lacks the heavy bulging appearance that a knapsack containing a bomb would have.

Appendix Tsarnaeva Exhibit 3

backpack containing bomb supposedly planed by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

 

Appendix Tsarnaeva Exhibit 4

As readers know, I have been suspicious of the Boston Marathon Bombing from the beginning. It seems obvious that both Tsamaev brothers were intended to be killed in the alleged firefight with police, like the alleged perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo affair in Paris. Convenient deaths in firefights are accepted as indications of guilt and solve the problem of trying innocent patsies.

In Dzhokhar’s case, his guilt was established not by evidence but by accusations, by the betrayal of his government-appointed public defender Judy Clarke who declared Dzhokhar’s guilt in her opening statement of her “defense,” by an alleged confession, evidence of which was never provided, written by Dzhokhar on a boat under which the badly wounded youth lay dying until discovered by the boat owner and hospitalized in critical condition. Following his conviction by his defense attorney, Dzhokhar allegedly confessed again in jihadist terms. As legal scholars have known for centuries, confessions are worthless as indicators of guilt.

Dzhokhar was not convicted on the basis of evidence.

[read more here]

The Social Cost of Capitalism

(Yeah, it’s called neoliberal fascism, folks. And unfortunately, Mr. Roberts helped design it when he crafted Reagan’s “trickle down” economic theory (i.e. neoliberal, Free Market economics). Well, maybe he’s had a bit of a change of heart since then. Who knows.)

by Paul Craig Roberts, Sputnik International

Few, if any, corporations absorb the full cost of their operations. Corporations shove many of their costs onto the environment, the public sector, and distant third parties. For example, currently 3 million gallons of toxic waste water from a Colorado mine has escaped and is working its way down two rivers into Utah and Lake Powell.

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