Dec 272016
 December 27, 2016  Posted by at 10:01 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Joan Miró Caballo, Pipa y Flor Roja (Horse Pipe and Red Flower) 1920


I was surprised to see how surprised I was, like I’m sure millions of people were, to see the term ‘fake news’ pop up in what are still called ‘respectable’ (which is by now really just another word for ‘old’) news outlets.

Because a huge part of what they have been feeding their readers and viewers for years is that very thing: fake news. Who needs a bunch of bored highschool kids in small town Montenegro when you have the offices of America’s ‘official’ news sources at your disposal?

That there are still people trying to make a serious point by quoting anything at all published in the Washington Post -and to an only slightly lesser extent the New York Times- is beyond me. And not a little bit beyond. Well, that people still read these sheets is just as incredible, I grant you that.

I haven’t kept count of the number of ‘articles’ the WaPo has published over the past year or so -the election campaign- that referred to unsubstantiated reports emanating from anonymous US intelligence sources about Russian involvement in everything bad under the sun, but I’m dead certain that put together they would add up to a Christmas bestseller of respectable size. A chance missed there, gents. You could have had your own garbage lead your own bestseller lists. Snake, tail.

And it’s not as if it was a new thing for them either, what’s new is the sheer volume and the concerted campaign we’re talking about. We of course had a similar thing in 2003 with the Weapons of Mass Destruction ‘fantasy’. Now that I mention it, how is it possible that Colin Powell is still walking around free, and Cheney and W.?

When did it become de rigueur to lie to the people, let alone Congress and the UN? What have we become? When did that happen? Remember Ukraine, and the stories you were told about that, less than 3 years ago? Crimea? G-d I hope Trump will get rid of Victoria Nuland.

Trump called the UN a sad club for people to “get together, talk and have a good time”. Is he wrong? Really? If so, do tell, how wrong is he? Perhaps wrong in the same way that the IMF is wrong for letting Christine Lagarde keep her plush tax-free seat after being convicted for handing €400 million in French taxpayer money to a crony? That kind of wrong?

I’m thinking there are still awfully few people who understand what’s happening in the world. What’s changing. And I don’t hold out much hope that they will until it hits them smack upside the backs of their heads.

Why there’s Trump and Brexit, and why many more changes are in the offing. Well, it’s precisely because the UN and EU and IMF and Capitol Hill are self-serving ‘clubs’ filled with unaccountable and overpaid people who have turned the world into a godawful mess.

Not for themselves, they’re fine, thank you very much, they all have pensions from here to Rome and back again for the rest of their lives, but for everyone else. G-d I hope Trump will come through on his pre-election promise to limit the terms of American Congressmen and Senators. And that this is subsequently applied to all these ‘clubs’. Because if anything, it’s them who are the bane of this world. Public service…

There may be fine individuals among them, that’s not even -the worst of- the point, it’s the dilapidated, decayed, rotten to the core institutions that they ‘serve’ which are the problem. They serve themselves and they serve the institutions, the one thing they sure don’t serve is the people. You know who’s given (‘voted’) them those lavish pensions and benefits? They themselves did, and their predecessors.

The UN is supposed to keep the peace in the world. Well, works like a charm, doesn’t it? The IMF is tasked with keeping 200 or so nations in reasonably balanced economic conditions. Got it down. The US Congress was set up as a pillar of democracy, but it’s occupied by guys and gals who spend so much more time raising funds for their next campaign than representing those who voted them in, that they need lobbyists to tell them which way to vote.

As for the EU, is it even possible they’re the worst of the bunch? Europe is falling apart before all of our eyes, and they’re all in full tard denial about it. They are turning Greece into a third world country, they’re alienating Britain to the point where the English will, once they wake up to what’s going on, want to set Brussels on fire. And why? There’s no point left to any of it at all.

Italy’s a goner, once enough Italians realize what the ECB wants to do to their banks. France is such a key member nobody wants to even imagine it falling, so its broke banks are ignored. Holland will come very close to voting in Wilders, which means Nexit. Germany is destabilizing rapidly. Spain has been a hornets’ nest for years. Etc.

And again: why? Well, because the Obama/Merkel model has so dramatically failed. All these places where left and right work together to produce a shapeless blob somewhere in the center that has no identity and doesn’t speak out for anyone.

You just wouldn’t know it from reading the Washington Post. Or any comparable old and respected medium in any of these European countries. It’s not just the politics that have failed, it’s its propaganda machine too.

This is something that manifests itself differently in different places, but it shouldn’t be that hard to see the ties that bind it all together. For one thing, because, not even touched on so far, the amount of fake financial news that has been forced down our throats for decades, and increasingly so: the worse things get, the bigger the lie…

There is no economic recovery. Never was. Not in the US, not in Europe anywhere. It’s a fairy tale. There are plates shifting, sure. You can cherry pick a region stateside that does well if only you select the ‘right’ stats. Like you can say employment is on a roll, if you’re willing to discard the number of ‘newly created’ jobs that are part time.

And yes, if you just completely ignore that 94 million Americans are not counted at all in unemployment numbers, Obama has been a big success. It’s just that those 94 million have a vote, too. We will see that exact same dynamic, and we have already started, play out all across Europe.

It’ll be much messier, for instance because in Holland last time I looked 81 different political parties were vying to take part in the upcoming elections, but the end result will be the same. That is, the existing order will be voted out. Not everywhere, and it won’t be replaced by radically different parties and people in all places, but do please understand that it doesn’t have to.

In Europe, it’s not and/and, it’s if/or. As in, if either Italy or France or Holland vote in a party that wants to leave the EU or the Euro, it’s game over. The endgame will be almighty messed up because of all the laws and regulations the EU has invented, but eventually the walls of Brussels will crumble. Good riddance too.

I’ve said it a hundred times before, all the institutions mentioned before, EU, IMF, UN and yes, even Congress, exist by the grace of growth. People accept them only as long as they can show reasonable proof that they bring economic benefits. As soon as that’s gone (or I should say as soon as people figure it out), so are they.

People are going to vote for someone close to their own lives, their own world, to lead them in times of contraction. That is inevitable. It’s why Trump won, and it’s also why he’s set to fail. Isn’t that a lovely paradox? We’re going to split up into smaller entities, economic contraction guarantees it.

And while everyone tries to talk you into thinking that’s terrible, there’s no reason why it should be. We can work together in many different ways. All these supranational institutions have merely become straight jackets that serve only the people who work inside them and those outside who benefit from keeping up appearances and clinging to power.

That of course gets us back to the Washington Post and its comatose brethren. The US press has been a full accomplice with Washington in reporting fake news about the recovery, and it’s not there. Never has been. The Dow Jones says one thing, the votes for Trump say another. In the end, democracy is that simple. Same goes for Britain, same goes for continental Europe.

And there’s no doubt that Trump is an iceberg-sized gamble, but a change had to come. A change from the monsoon of fake news we have all been fed, but also initially a change that won’t be able to help itself from being replete with more fake news, from all sides.

Put it this way: in 2016, the engine of change got cranked up. In the new year, it will accelerate. That is 2017. That is what the new year will bring.

Home Forums 2017: Where The Truth Lies

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    Joan Miró Caballo, Pipa y Flor Roja (Horse Pipe and Red Flower) 1920   I was surprised to see how surprised I was, like I’m sure millions of peop
    [See the full post at: 2017: Where The Truth Lies]


    I have to take issue here. The NY Times 4 stories a week the last 4 years saying in essence that Putin is the devil is not fake news, it’s slanted news or even propaganda. Fake news was the story of a child sexual abuse club in the basement a DC pizzeria managed or attended by Hillary Clinton. It’s the ‘news’ that Trump won the popular vote by several million because of the millions of fraudulent votes for Hillary. I suppose some here might believe it but since 2000 a trillion votes have been cast in the US and there have been 30 or so cases of vote fraud prosecuted, and not for lack of trying to find them. Texas, Kansas and other states have relentlessly been investigating voter fraud and don’t forget voting in the US is a state and county run affair and now famously, 80% of US counties are GOP country.

    The mainstream media comes from the neoliberal and neoconservative viewpoints of the most powerful entrenched elites and their stock and trade is news based upon the narrow confines of their views. Their views defining the limits of ‘serious’ and acceptable discourse. Call it propagandize or slanted but don’t call it fake news.

    Let’s get our semantics straight. The entire ‘fake news’ thing has within one month become a meaningless buzz word. When entire US ‘conservative’ media, purveyors of the news that climate change is a hoax, a fallacy or a lie, you know you’ve gone down the rabbit hole when they start using fake news in every other paragraph. When the Washington Post starts publishing stories saying Trump is a Lizard person from the planet X then I’ll buy the mainstream is doing fake news.


    Agreed. This is a crucial distinction. There is no doubt that the New York Times re-edited a front page article this summer to ensure that it was slanted more toward Hillary than Bernie, but that’s not the same as saying Britney Spears is dead when she’s not. Saying climate change is a hoax is an interesting in-between: it’s not demonstrably false in the same way that wheeling Britney Spears onstage can prove that articles claiming her demise are grossly exaggerated. But it’s a deliberate obfuscation that exploits the small degree of uncertainty that all scientists worth their salt have to admit. So kind of a third category: not fake, not slanted, but deliberately deceptive news. This shit’s getting complicated.


    The Washington Post is fake by their own standards in that they are less accurate than many of the outlets they included in the list of “fake news” they themselves published.

    Sir George Knibbs

    I agree with rapier that some definitional precision is preferred, despite (or because of) these outrageous times. There has been more than a century of study of phenomena such as white propaganda, black propaganda, disinformation, misinformation, ideology, and bias in news. There are important nuances here. It is a big step backwards in critical thought, to just lump everything together as ‘fake news’. As far as the Russian involvement in the US election goes, methinks that many on the left have a knee-jerk rejection of this possibility — with no credible evidence presented for this rejection, unless someone has a direct connection to the situation room in the Kremlin?

    More correctly the possibility of Russian involvement is matter of dispute or contestation. That I accept. But it has not yet been demonstrated to be fake.

    Illargi I have a lot of time for your commentary in general, but is there a tone of exasperation creeping in, because the ‘collapse’ is not coming fast enough?


    Fake news is just another sign that anything goes and nothing matters. Society has reached a point where it’s imploding on itself, inviting a madman into the white house for the sole purpose of providing political entertainment because tabloid magazines are only interesting while waiting for your groceries to be tallied up. People have become addicted to their IPhones, glued to them everywhere they go. Why do they bother to have children if they don’t interact with them? I read somewhere there are seven stages to civilization and the last one, #7; the point when it is breaking down.

    The internet is great at providing information and opportunity for like minded people to connect, but the fact all those people can communicate with one another has also led to an explosion of hatred against people that are not like minded. It’s as if the internet as a Global Brain, is feverishly nipping away at one another in a desperate attempt to balance out in a middle ground that will never form.


    Nice pun in the headline. Journalism with a slant is a feature, not a bug. Determining the voice or slant of a publication is important to getting work if you are freelance or seek employment.

    The “Obama/Merkel model” that “has so dramatically failed” has deep roots, as we have been learning since the 2008 financial crisis. Earlier failures were covered over by creative distraction at many levels by “experts”.

    To support the status quo of whatever viewpoint one prefers enables “True Lies”.

    The Donald’s campaign did begin with statement of some clear truths: illegal immigration was allowed because it served employers; the Iraq war and others were bad because they were un-winnable; and bad trade deals had led to a loss of jobs. None of the other candidates had any notion of how to deal with these problems; solutions of the last 30 years only made things worse. Further, it made no sense to make Russia an enemy.

    Will the global economic ponzi scheme crash? Will Trump Faulty Towers be the new Hoover-villes? If the global connections fail, will city-regions be able to get along and sustain themselves as a lightly connected network? Michel Bauwens and the P2P (Peer to Peer) foundation are working on a commons based economy. Elsewhere, new models for economic organization are being tested, but true necessity has not yet appeared.

    Yesterday’s article: “China Bank Calls Documents ‘Fake’ After Bond Default Linked To Alibaba” caused my mind to go to the Bob Dylan song Highlands from the album Time Out Of Mind which includes the lines: “I don’t want nothing from anyone, ain’t that much to take; Wouldn’t know the difference between a real blonde and a fake”.

    The Chinese couldn’t tell the difference between a “real BOND and a fake”. Discernment gets more and more difficult as the world’s information society is more and more filled with the spin of professional liars. Who is the troll in any given discussion? “Fake it til you make it”. Pop psych as opposed to Boy/Girl Scout Laws where being Trustworthy and Honest are the highest values.

    Modern problems appear to be questions of the right political/economic policy, innovation/STEM education, etc., rather than the historic challenge of morality. That correction is a spiritual challenge rather than the tweak of a formulas is not easily accepted, yet it is the only solution with historic legs.

    V. Arnold

    I agree with Ilargi; fake news is, in fact, infecting all of the MSM. If not printing outright lies, they are slanting the news towards an anti-Russian bias not backed by facts.
    Russia’s hack of the U.S. election is proven, proven, to be wrong but the lies continue. Tell the public something often enough and they’ll believe anything.
    I have long stopped reading all U.S. MSM and now even Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now is compromised.
    Her coverage of Syria is abysmal and mis-informed. An Example is her coverage of the White Helmets; she has reported them as legit; tacitly, they are not. They are a paid propaganda ploy by the U.S., the UK, and France to the tune of $100 million.
    Eva Bartlett, Vanessa Beeley, and Lizzie Phelen (all, on the ground in Syria’s east Aleppo)) have totally exposed the MSM’s lies regarding Russia, the White Helmets, and Aleppo’s “bombed” hospitals and civilians.
    As Julian Assange (and others) have said; “If you read American MSM for news; you’re mis-informed.
    The last news source I know of, which, is pretty good is Paul Jay’s TRNN (The Real News Network).
    In the almost 14 years I’ve been gone; I’ve had a ringside seat to the utter rot infecting the U.S. government and its propaganda arm the MSM/CCM. Those of you still there are so screwed and I think most do not even see it, sad..


    It’s lovely that people try to define what fake news is, and what is not in their view, in the light of a few specific recent examples, but I don’t see how that makes the WMD story any less fake. Anyone who reports a lie as truth while knowing it’s a lie writes fake news. Why limit the term? So we have to invent a second one? I don’t see the use. If someone unwittingly reports or repeats a lie, we can question whether that should be called fake news. But otherwise, no distinctions seem especially helpful.

    Sir George Knibbs

    Illargi, I agree WMD is a good candidate for ‘fake news’. Or in old parlance, disinformation.

    The recent stories about Russian ‘active measures’ against the US, it is still unclear to me whether this is disinformation or is based on genuine intelligence. A lot of people these days seem to want to rush to judgement.

    Sir George Knibbs

    Sorry, misspelled Ilargi ……

    V. Arnold

    Once again Ilargi; I agree. Lies reported as truth are fake news.
    Anyone defending the U.S. MSM are highly suspect and not to be trusted.
    The Guardian (UK) has also lost all credibility.
    Usian’s have lost all critical thinking skills (if, in fact, they ever possessed them).
    They just cannot think for themselves for the most part. A nation of sheep being led over the cliff…


    “ 2016, the engine of change got cranked up. In the new year, it will accelerate. That is 2017.”

    One can only hope. And as for “fake news” definitional splitting blah blah blah my eyes glaze over…there are lumpers and there are splitters but the goal is to reach some functional actionable conclusion and in this regard Ilargi is correct. rapier’s posts always seem designed to confuse and I’ve long thought that he/she is a Zioglobalist troll.

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