Sunday, September 21, 2014

Age Demographics of the Scottish Secessionist Referendum - Old Folks and Fear Killed Liberty

An astounding 73% of Scots 65 years of age and older voted NO and 57% of the 55-64 age group voted NO on Scotland's secessionist referendum.

All other age group hit YES at 51% to 59%, with the lions share of YES votes (59%) coming from the 25-34 age group.

What does this tell us?  It tells us that old folks don't give a shit about their children and progeny, and are so tethered to Britain's welfare state, its empire and its tyranny that they gladly would sacrifice anything for the privilege of compliant subservience.

In many ways, the Scottish vote demographics reminds me of America's Republican Party that is dominated by old, white folks who control Republican primaries; they consistently vote for establishment statist candidates.  Like their Scottish counterparts, these folks tend to worship the welfare state, empire, wars, fascism, the military and the wholesale slaughter of civil liberties.  Turns out the Greatest Generation isn't so great after all.

Michael Krieger who blogs at offered some astute observations on the Scottish vote including why the vote can accurately be interpreted as HOPE.

Fear and Loathing in Scotland – Why the NO’s Won and Lessons Learned from the Vote
In the wake of the results, I have witnessed a great deal of bitterness and anger about the vote. While I can relate to such sentiments, I try to take a much more constructive and optimistic approach to the future. First and foremost, we should all be proud that the vote happened at all. So many people within the so-called “liberty movement” are discouragingly extreme pessimists. While proclaiming to fight for liberty, many of them seem to think we are powerless in the face of the powerful. To them, the independence referendum is proof that nothing can ever be changed. I completely disagree with this perspective.

Yes, I believe there are many important takeaways, several of which are instructive going forward.

First, there’s the fact that fear was a driving force behind the NO voters.

Recall that the older lady yesterday (I would guess she was in her 70s) stated that her friends were all voting NO because they were “afraid.”

The NO vote was entirely secured by overwhelming support from those aged above 55. In fact, the “better together” camp failed to win any of the age groups below 55 years of age. For the 65+ crowd it was simply a blowout. 73% of them voted NO. So in a nutshell, old people filled with fear blocked independence. Similarly, fearful old people bailed out the banks in the U.S. several years ago, putting a nail in the coffin of the middle class and the youth generally. See what I am getting at here?

What we now know for certain is that old people in positions of wealth and power, and the ability to frighten others of their generation, is proving to be the most significant obstacle to global change. For those of us who wish to see paradigm shifting changes, this is a very positive realization. For starters, the older generation will gradually fade away, and the promises made to them via pensions will not be on the table for younger generations. Pensions were a huge issue for the 65+ crowd when it came down to their voting decisions....

As a result of the horrific and self-interested choices of older generations, the youth will be left with a much more difficult and uncertain future. This is already happening, but it will worsen considerably following the next severe economic decline, likely to start in late 2015. 
Of course, any rational and informed individual who follows monetary and fiscal issues fully comprehends that western style central banking and its accompanying 'cradle to the grave' entitlement state are on the cusp of imploding and that there is no money to fund these programs (there never was).

In the US, the Social Security Trust Fund is empty and has always been empty simply because Congress immediately stole the money and spent it on wars and other slop while leaving a worthless pile of IOU (US Treasuries) that can never be repaid.  When SS was created, there were 41 workers supporting every beneficiary but that ratio has plunged to 2.9 workers supporting every beneficiary.

Western nations have piled on mountains of debt and taxes in various vote buying schemes over the decades.  The day of reckoning is starting to arrive.  Interest on debt service will continue to rise and eat up larger and larger percentages of government revenues and there will be far less entitlement money to dole out.  Printing 'magical money' out of thin air will only result in massive inflation and currency depredation.

The game is up.  What is left is hope and fear and right now fear is winning.

The young understand that there is nothing for them in a once prosperous western economic system that was totally destroyed by the ravages western elites, statism, corporatism and unfunded entitlement promises, and they seek a glimmer of hope for an otherwise desolate future.  The old cling to fear and a prayer that the bankrupt system will somehow last at least until they exit this earthly paradise.

It's an economic lose-lose for everybody as well as a blueprint for future generational warfare in a statist society where nobody will have much of a future, young or old.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Whys Behind the Ukraine Crisis by Robert Parry

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Investigative journalist Robert Parry at Consortium News has an excellent article on the situation in Ukraine, America's motivations, huge natural gas reserves ripe for fracking, oligarchs, Joe Biden's son and John Kerry engineering war for Rosemont Capital (a private equity company founded by his son-in-law Christopher Heinz).  Hunter Biden and Christopher Heinz are business partners.

The Whys Behind the Ukraine Crisis

Exclusive: Given the very high stakes of a nuclear confrontation with Russia, some analysts wonder what’s the real motive for taking this extraordinary risk over Ukraine. Is it about natural gas, protection of the U.S. dollar’s dominance, or an outgrowth of neocon extremism, asks Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

A senior U.S. diplomat told me recently that if Russia were to occupy all of Ukraine and even neighboring Belarus that there would be zero impact on U.S. national interests. The diplomat wasn’t advocating that, of course, but was noting the curious reality that Official Washington’s current war hysteria over Ukraine doesn’t connect to genuine security concerns.

So why has so much of the Washington Establishment – from prominent government officials to all the major media pundits – devoted so much time this past year to pounding their chests over the need to confront Russia regarding Ukraine? Who is benefiting from this eminently avoidable – yet extremely dangerous – crisis? What’s driving the madness?

Of course, Washington’s conventional wisdom is that America only wants “democracy” for the people of Ukraine and that Russian President Vladimir Putin provoked this confrontation as part of an imperialist design to reclaim Russian territory lost during the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. But that “group think” doesn’t withstand examination. [See’s “Who’s Telling the Big Lie on Ukraine?”]

The Ukraine crisis was provoked not by Putin but by a combination of the European Union’s reckless move to expand its influence eastward and the machinations of U.S. neoconservatives who were angered by Putin’s collaboration with President Barack Obama to tamp down confrontations in Syria and Iran, two neocon targets for “regime change.”

Plus, if “democracy promotion” were the real motive, there were obviously better ways to achieve it. Democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych pledged on Feb. 21 – in an agreement guaranteed by three European nations – to surrender much of his power and hold early elections so he could be voted out of office if the people wanted.

However, on Feb. 22, the agreement was brushed aside as neo-Nazi militias stormed presidential buildings and forced Yanukovych and other officials to flee for their lives. Rather than stand behind the Feb. 21 arrangement, the U.S. State Department quickly endorsed the coup regime that emerged as “legitimate” and the mainstream U.S. press dutifully demonized Yanukovych by noting, for instance, that a house being built for him had a pricy sauna.

The key role of the neo-Nazis, who were given several ministries in recognition of their importance to the putsch, was studiously ignored or immediately forgotten by all the big U.S. news outlets. [See’s “Ukraine’s ‘Dr. Strangelove’ Reality.”]

So, it’s hard for any rational person to swallow the official line that the U.S. interest in the spiraling catastrophe of Ukraine, now including thousands of ethnic Russians killed by the coup regime’s brutal “anti-terrorist operation,” was either to stop Putin’s imperial designs or to bring “democracy” to the Ukrainians.

That skepticism – combined with the extraordinary danger of stoking a hot war on the border of nuclear-armed Russia – has caused many observers to search for more strategic explanations behind the crisis, such as the West’s desires to “frack” eastern Ukraine for shale gas or the American determination to protect the dollar as the world’s currency.

Thermo-Nuclear War Anyone?

The thinking is that when the potential cost of such an adventure, i.e. thermo-nuclear warfare that could end all life on the planet, is so high, the motivation must be commensurate. And there is logic behind that thinking although it’s hard to conceive what financial payoff is big enough to risk wiping out all humanity including the people on Wall Street.

But sometimes gambles are made with the assumption that lots of money can be pocketed before cooler heads intervene to prevent total devastation — or even the more immediate risk that the Ukraine crisis will pitch Europe into a triple-dip recession that could destabilize the fragile U.S. economy, too.

In the Ukraine case, the temptation has been to think that Moscow – hit with escalating economic sanctions – will back down even as the EU and U.S. energy interests seize control of eastern Ukraine’s energy reserves. The fracking could mean both a financial bonanza to investors and an end to Russia’s dominance of the natural gas supplies feeding central and eastern Europe. So the economic and geopolitical payoff could be substantial.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Ukraine has Europe’s third-largest shale gas reserves at 42 trillion cubic feet, an inviting target especially since other European nations, such as Britain, Poland, France and Bulgaria, have resisted fracking technology because of environmental concerns. An economically supine Ukraine would presumably be less able to say no. [See’s “Beneath the Ukraine Crisis: Shale Gas.”]

Further supporting the “natural gas motive” is the fact that it was Vice President Joe Biden who demanded that President Yanukovych pull back his police on Feb. 21, a move that opened the way for the neo-Nazi militias and the U.S.-backed coup. Then, just three months later, Ukraine’s largest private gas firm, Burisma Holdings, appointed Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to its board of directors.

While that might strike some of you as a serious conflict of interest, even vocal advocates for ethics in government lost their voices amid Washington’s near-universal applause for the ouster of Yanukovych and warm affection for the coup regime in Kiev.

For instance, Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, dismissed the idea that Hunter Biden’s new job should raise eyebrows, telling Reuters: “It can’t be that because your dad is the vice president, you can’t do anything,”

Who Is Behind Burisma?

Soon, Burisma – a shadowy Cyprus-based company – was lining up well-connected lobbyists, some with ties to Secretary of State John Kerry, including Kerry’s former Senate chief of staff David Leiter, according to lobbying disclosures.

As Time magazine reported, “Leiter’s involvement in the firm rounds out a power-packed team of politically-connected Americans that also includes a second new board member, Devon Archer, a Democratic bundler and former adviser to John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. Both Archer and Hunter Biden have worked as business partners with Kerry’s son-in-law, Christopher Heinz, the founding partner of Rosemont Capital, a private-equity company.”

According to investigative journalism in Ukraine, the ownership of Burisma has been traced to Privat Bank, which is controlled by the thuggish billionaire oligarch Ihor Kolomoysky, who was appointed by the coup regime to be governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, a south-central province of Ukraine. Kolomoysky also has been associated with the financing of brutal paramilitary forces killing ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.

Also, regarding this energy motive, it shouldn’t be forgotten that on Dec. 13, 2013, when neocon Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland reminded Ukrainian business leaders that the United States had invested $5 billion in their “European aspirations,” she was at a conference sponsored by Chevron. She even stood next to the company’s logo.

So, clearly energy resources and the billions of dollars that go with them should be factored in when trying to solve the mystery of why Official Washington has gone so berserk about a confrontation with Russia that boils down to whether ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine should be allowed some measure of autonomy or be put firmly under the thumb of U.S.-friendly authorities in Kiev.

There’s also the issue of Russia’s interest in exploring with China and other emerging economies the possibility of escaping the financial hegemony of the U.S. dollar, a move that could seriously threaten American economic dominance. According to this line of thinking, the U.S. and its close allies need to bring Moscow to its geopolitical knees – where it was under the late Boris Yeltsin – to stop any experimentation with other currencies for global trade.

Again, the advocates for this theory have a point. Protecting the Mighty Dollar is of utmost importance to Wall Street. The financial cataclysm of a potential ouster of the U.S. dollar as the world’s benchmark currency might understandably prompt some powerful people to play a dangerous game of chicken with nuclear-armed Russia.

Of course, there’s also the budgetary interest of NATO and the U.S. “military-industrial complex” (which helps fund many of Washington’s “think tanks”) to hype every propaganda opportunity to scare the American people about the “Russian threat.”

And, it’s a truism that every major international confrontation has multiple drivers. Think back on the motives behind the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Among a variety of factors were Vice President Dick Cheney’s lust for oil, President George W. Bush’s psychological rivalry with his father, and the neocons’ interest in orchestrating “regime change” in countries considered hostile to Israel. [See’s “The Mysterious Why of the Iraq War.”]

There are also other reasons to disdain Putin, from his bare-chested horseback riding to his retrograde policies on gay rights. But he is no Stalin and surely no Hitler.

The Neocons’ ‘Samson Option’

So, while it’s reasonable to see multiple motives behind the brinksmanship with Russia over Ukraine, the sheer recklessness of the confrontation has, to me, the feel of an ideology or an “ism,” where people are ready to risk it all for some larger vision that is central to their being.

That is why I have long considered the Ukraine crisis to be an outgrowth of the neoconservative obsession with Israel’s interests in the Middle East.

Not only did key neocons – the likes of Assistant Secretary Nuland and Sen. John McCain – put themselves at the center of the coup plotting last winter but the neocons had an overriding motive: they wanted to destroy the behind-the-scenes collaboration between President Obama and President Putin who had worked together to avert a U.S. bombing campaign against the Syrian government a year ago and then advanced negotiations with Iran over limiting but not eliminating its nuclear program.

Those Obama-Putin diplomatic initiatives frustrated the desires of Israeli officials and the neocons to engineer “regime change” in those two countries. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even believed that bombing Iran’s nuclear plants was an “existential” necessity.

Further, there was the possibility that an expansion of the Obama-Putin cooperation could have supplanted Israel’s powerful position as a key arbiter of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Thus, the Obama-Putin relationship had to be blown up – and the Ukraine crisis was the perfect explosive for the destruction. [See’s “Why Neocons Seek to Destabilize Russia.”]

Though I’m told that Obama now understands how the neocons and other hardliners outmaneuvered him over Ukraine, he has felt compelled to join in Official Washington’s endless Putin-bashing, causing a furious Putin to make clear that he cannot be counted on to assist Obama on tricky foreign policy predicaments like Syria and Iran.

As I wrote last April, “There is a ‘little-old-lady-who-swallowed-the-fly’ quality to neocon thinking. When one of their schemes goes bad, they simply move to a bigger, more dangerous scheme. If the Palestinians and Lebanon’s Hezbollah persist in annoying you and troubling Israel, you target their sponsors with ‘regime change’ – in Iraq, Syria and Iran. If your ‘regime change’ in Iraq goes badly, you escalate the subversion of Syria and the bankrupting of Iran. “Just when you think you’ve cornered President Barack Obama into a massive bombing campaign against Syria – with a possible follow-on war against Iran – Putin steps in to give Obama a peaceful path out, getting Syria to surrender its chemical weapons and Iran to agree to constraints on its nuclear program. So, this Obama-Putin collaboration has become your new threat. That means you take aim at Ukraine, knowing its sensitivity to Russia.

“You support an uprising against elected President Viktor Yanukovych, even though neo-Nazi militias are needed to accomplish the actual coup. You get the U.S. State Department to immediately recognize the coup regime although it disenfranchises many people of eastern and southern Ukraine, where Yanukovych had his political base.

“When Putin steps in to protect the interests of those ethnic Russian populations and supports the secession of Crimea (endorsed by 96 percent of voters in a hastily called referendum), your target shifts again. Though you’ve succeeded in your plan to drive a wedge between Obama and Putin, Putin’s resistance to your Ukraine plans makes him the next focus of ‘regime change.’

Your many friends in the mainstream U.S. news media begin to relentlessly demonize Putin with a propaganda barrage that would do a totalitarian state proud. The anti-Putin ‘group think’ is near total and any accusation – regardless of the absence of facts – is fine.”

Yet, by risking a potential nuclear confrontation with Russia — the equivalent of the old lady swallowing a horse – the neocons have moved beyond what can be described in a children’s ditty. It has become more like a global version of Israel’s “Samson Option,” the readiness to use nuclear weapons in a self-destructive commitment to eliminate your enemies whatever the cost to yourself.

But what is particularly shocking in this case is how virtually everyone in U.S. officialdom – and across the mainstream media spectrum – has bought into this madness.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

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