I know, I promised a post about the latest news concerning Iraq, but Ukraine isn’t quite on the back burner yet as Q. Shtik suggests, or if it is, someone forgot to tell Colonel Mustard at Sic Semper Tyrannis, b at Moon of Alabama (congratulations to Martin Kaymer, a German, for winning the U.S. Open much to the chagrin of American golf fans) and The Saker at The Barnyard of the Forsaken. If we were to judge by these three blogs alone, Ukraine is not only on the front burner, but that burner’s caught the whole house on fire and thus the feigned Ukraine Crisis is Burning Down The House. So, since according to these blogs the topic of Ukraine is still very much relevant and worthy of headline news, I feel it would be negligent to abandon it, hence yet another post about Ukraine, but I’ll try to expand it to touch on Iraq since the two are not mutually exclusive, and in fact are crucially related.
What’s the significance of the title White Trash, you ask? Well, it just so happens that in b’s latest post here at Moon of Alabama blog a FSB commentator referred to the ruling elite of Ukraine in Kiev as White Trash. It’s not surprising, but it is rather ironic. The FSB cyber socks have to be the most serendipitously and satirically ironic characters I’ve ever run across in my extensive internet travels. These provocateurs and their paymasters are precisely everything they decry and more, and yet they haven’t a clue they are, or they’re some of the most deceitful liars to walk the face of the Earth, and I’m not discounting the latter — I truly think these amoral creeps are pathological liars, yet their lying is amateurish and transparent. If you’re going to lie, and we all do to some extent, some more than others, then lie well and for all the right reasons. The FSB socks fail on both counts, but they are persistent in their failure, I’ll give them that. They’re tenacious like badgers, even though badgers aren’t really all that tenacious as legend would have it — except for the honey badger, of course.
Isn’t Honey Badger great! Anyhow, back to White Trash. We all, or most of us, have heard or seen this term used before. What’s ironic about its use in the comments to the Moon of Alabama post linked to above is the topic of the post — the denigration of a class of people based on biological criteria. Here’s b’s post quoted in its entirety for illustration:
Ukraine: Echoes Of The Third Reich – Yatsenyuk’s “Subhumans”
Wikipedia – Untermensch:
Untermensch (German for under man, sub-man, sub-human; plural: Untermenschen) is a term that became infamous when the Nazis used it to describe “inferior people” often referred to as “the masses from the East,” that is Jews, Gypsies, and Slavs; including Poles, Serbs, Belarusians, Russians, and Rusyns. The term was also applied to black people and Mulattos. Jewish people were to be exterminated in the Holocaust, just as Slavs in Generalplan Ost, who were destined to be removed from European territory under German control through murder and ethnic cleansing.
Embassy of Ukraine in the United States of America – Ukraine’s Prime Minister Yatsenyuk: We will commemorate the heroes by cleaning our land from the evil:
“They lost their lives because they defended men and women, children and the elderly who found themselves in a situation facing a threat to be killed by invaders and sponsored by them subhumans. First, we will commemorate the heroes by wiping out those who killed them and then by cleaning our land from the evil”, – he said.
From b’s evidence, it wasn’t clear to me to whom Yatsenyuk was referring as subhumans. Of course, considering the bias and prejudice of that space, it’s clear the commentators would automatically assume Yatsenyuk was referring to all Russians, but from my reading of it, I inferred he was possibly referring to Russian mercenaries who had crossed the border as part of a proxy invasion of Eastern Ukraine by Putin’s Russia. I could be wrong, but it’s certainly a plausible explanation. Pursuant to that, I commented as follows to b’s post:
Referring to all Russians as “subhumans” is certainly bigotry in the sentiment of the Third Reich, but if he’s only referring to the Russian mercenaries using Eastern Ukrainian non-combatants as foils to sow chaos and discord, then I agree with him. Mercenaries are subhumans, and should be treated as such, regardless of affiliation with The West or The East. Death, vicious death, to all mercenaries of every stripe, and the same for those who support and enable their cowardly tactics.
What I find interesting about your link is the following:
Let’s face it, Ukraine has been, since its so-called independence, a criminal state still under the thumb, to varying degrees, of the criminal state of Russia. Crimea and East Ukraine in general are some of the worst areas of corruption. That corruption includes sex trafficking. Mercenaries are scum who would sell their mothers and sisters for the right price. They are not noble rebels or freedom fighters. They are cowardly trash who use non-combatants as cover in asymmetrical guerrilla warfare. Their purpose is to sow chaos and discord. They live for conflict. It is their stock in trade. It’s their end goal — not some contrived political cover. They get paid to do what they do best — snipe from behind human, non-combatant shields. So it’s not a stretch to believe they would cherry-pick some of the finer female specimens from Eastern Ukraine (the ones who haven’t already been plucked) and deliver them to pimps for a life of sexual slavery as is the wont of the Ukrainian and/or Russian mafia — the two of which are joined at the hip.
On June 12, 2014, in the city of Snizhne of Donetsk region, armed persons representing the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic abducted a group of 28 citizens of Ukraine, including 25 orphan children and tutors of family-type children’s homes who were headed for rehabilitation in Dnipropetrovsk region.
The perpetrators forced the bus at gunpoint to change the course and under the escort of armed persons directed the vehicle together with its passengers to Dolzhansky border checkpoint in Lugansk region in order to take them to the Russian Federation.
Later on, one of the accompanying persons with 9 children got off the bus at the crossing of the Ukrainian-Russian border; the other 18 were moved to Russia and currently are in Rostov region of the Russian Federation. As it became known, on Friday, June 13, 2014, the abductors are planning to move the children to Crimea, which continues to be illegally occupied by Russia.
These actions constitute a gross violation of international obligations by the Russian Federation with respect to the rights of children, as well as of international conventions, in particular, Articles 11 and 35 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Taking into account the absence of any permits for removal of children abroad, this allows qualifying the actions as an international kidnapping and illegal movement of children, with appropriate legal consequences for those who perpetrated, aided and abetted in this crime.
The position of the Russian Federation, which makes the Ukrainian children hostage to their political games, must receive an appropriate reaction of the international community.
Ukraine strongly condemns the unscrupulous acts violating the rights of children.
In America, there is a system called the Amber Alert for such kidnappings. People take it very seriously, and when one of these alerts is issued, the perps are apprehended and brought to justice. I’m issuing an Amber Alert for these abducted Eastern Ukrainian children. Vladimir Putin is the kidnapper. He’s short and bald with a noticeable Napoleon Complex and was last seen stalking the halls of The Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Citizen arrests are highly encouraged in apprehending this child kidnapper.
Needless to say, my evocative comment wasn’t well-received. Imagine that! What I hoped my comment would elicit, as my comments often do, are the True Colors of the Moon of Alabama commentariat for those who are colorblind or otherwise have difficulty distinguishing. True to form, the bigoted responses were flying fast and furious. The following, which inspired this post and its title, stood out above all the rest:
The ukrainian regime is a desperate group of white trash facists. They had all the chance to make use of their power and then they do this? Calling people subhumans and bombing civilians. If anyone they are the people that are on the bottom. Filth.
Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 15, 2014 9:07:18 AM | 4
Nice. Nicely ironic. What’s not to love about accidental satire? It’s like shitting gold bricks and flushing them down the toilet because you’re ignorant of your unintentional talent. I’m happy to salvage some of this Fool’s Gold before it makes its way to the sewer.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t care one wit for this Yatsenyuk character. I don’t know much about him and don’t care to know much about him. He’s nothing to me, so I would never get his back, but that won’t prevent the commentariat at Moon of Alabama from setting me up as a strawman Nuland/Yatsenyuk supporter and spokesman because I criticize Putin’s Russia for its part in this faux Ukrainian crisis.
Before we proceed to the term White Trash, its current meaning and historical significance and how it ironically relates to b’s post, let me clear the air about calling mercenaries subhuman. I base that distinction not upon biology, but rather on the embrace of the unprincipled behavior mercenaries engage in. Their murderous behavior for profit subordinates the potential of humanity from its higher calling — dragging humanity regressively backwards into the primordial soup from which it evolved, or so the Theory of Evolution goes. Mercenaries, via their cowardly murderous connivance, subhumanize humanity, and therefore are subhuman. Those who enable, at least directly, these scumbag mercenaries are equally subhuman. And yes, enabling includes apologizing for them and cheering them as rebels and freedom fighters in the comment sections of Western blogs. I’ve quoted the following in the comments to an earlier post, but I’ll quote it again for posterity. Machiavelli says it best about mercenaries, and who am I, or who are you, to disagree?
I say, therefore, that the arms with which a prince defends his state are either his own, or they are mercenaries, auxiliaries, or mixed. Mercenaries and auxiliaries are useless and dangerous; and if one holds his state based on these arms, he will stand neither firm nor safe; for they are disunited, ambitious and without discipline, unfaithful, valiant before friends, cowardly before enemies; they have neither the fear of God nor fidelity to men, and destruction is deferred only so long as the attack is; for in peace one is robbed by them, and in war by the enemy. The fact is, they have no other attraction or reason for keeping the field than a trifle of stipend, which is not sufficient to make them willing to die for you. They are ready enough to be your soldiers whilst you do not make war, but if war comes they take themselves off or run from the foe; which I should have little trouble to prove, for the ruin of Italy has been caused by nothing else than by resting all her hopes for many years on mercenaries, and although they formerly made some display and appeared valiant amongst themselves, yet when the foreigners came they showed what they were. Thus it was that Charles, King of France, was allowed to seize Italy with chalk in hand; 1 and he who told us that our sins were the cause of it told the truth, but they were not the sins he imagined, but those which I have related. And as they were the sins of princes, it is the princes who have also suffered the penalty.
I wish to demonstrate further the infelicity of these arms. The mercenary captains are either capable men or they are not; if they are, you cannot trust them, because they always aspire to their own greatness, either by oppressing you, who are their master, or others contrary to your intentions; but if the captain is not skilful, you are ruined in the usual way.
And if it be urged that whoever is armed will act in the same way, whether mercenary or not, I reply that when arms have to be resorted to, either by a prince or a republic, then the prince ought to go in person and perform the duty of captain; the republic has to send its citizens, and when one is sent who does not turn out satisfactorily, it ought to recall him, and when one is worthy, to hold him by the laws so that he does not leave the command. And experience has shown princes and republics, single-handed, making the greatest progress, and mercenaries doing nothing except damage; and it is more difficult to bring a republic, armed with its own arms, under the sway of one of its citizens than it is to bring one armed with foreign arms. Rome and Sparta stood for many ages armed and free. The Switzers are completely armed and quite free.
I’m glad I could clear that up for you. With that aside, let’s turn our attention to the label White Trash. It’s an interesting description “Anonymous” (what a clever and imaginative screen name) provided for the Kiev “junta” — and yes, these FSB socks will always call it the “junta” until their “junta” is successfully complete. It’s usually an insult we seen bandied about in America since it’s the historical origin of the derogatory characterization, but here we have a FSB sock using it to euphemistically describe Ukrainians as subhuman in relation to a blog post that decries labeling people subhuman based on biological parameters — a blog post that goes so far as to compare such bigotry to the eugenicist Third Reich.
This is not surprising when you’ve observed these FSB creeps over time. Like the historical White Trash, not the current crop, they have an uncanny inability for self-reflection and introspection. If they possessed the aforementioned ability, they’d have quit long ago referring to others as their own reflection.
But what of this term White Trash? What did it once mean and what does it mean now? Like everything else these days, old-fashioned insults are in fashion — meaning people like to self-style after old-fashioned bigoted stereotypes as a form of self-deprecating promotion. I know, that seems oxymoronic, but oxymoronic is also fashionable these days as is Cutting (When Teens Cut Themselves – yet another 1st World problem). Think of something weird (like Collapse), and it’s sure to become fashionable if you have the temerity to “put it out there.” This article (White Trash: The Social Origins of a Stigmatype) is an excellent analysis of the term White Trash and underscores and elaborates on much of what I’ve already alluded to about it. For example, per the linked article:
White trash. For many, the name evokes images of trailer parks, meth labs, beat-up Camaros on cinder blocks, and poor rural folks with too many kids and not enough government cheese. It’s a put-down, the name given to those whites who don’t make it, either because they’re too lazy or too stupid. Or maybe it’s because something’s wrong with their inbred genes. Whatever the reason, it’s their own damn fault they live like that.
On the other hand, there are plenty of people now willing to wear “white trash” as a badge of honor. Much as African American youth turned the despised word nigger into an expression of pride and solidarity (usually as the abbreviated nigga) or the way that LGBT activists have reclaimed queer, some white people now identify as “white trash” to signal rebelliousness and cultural difference—their refusal of a bland, mainstream white society that oppresses and stifles.
And there is a third popular use of the term: to denigrate and punish the rich and famous when they act badly. Despite her millions, Paris Hilton can be called out for a “trashy” lifestyle, and George Clooney can tell us, in his self-mocking kind of way, that beneath a dapper exterior, he’s really just white trash. And, as comedian and actor Tom Arnold said of his marriage to comedian, actress, and sometime political aspirant Roseanne Barr, “We’re America’s worst nightmare—white trash with money!”
So, is “white trash,” as campy director John Waters once said, “the last racist thing you can say and get away with”? Or has it become a symbol of something like ethnic pride? Or is it just a comical phrase used to condemn, excuse, or celebrate bad behavior, like too much drinking, cussing, fighting, and general screwing around?
Did “Anonymous” intend the insult as one of the three popular current uses of the term outlined in that quote, or did he/she/it have more malicious intent. I believe it’s the latter as the linked article clarifies. Keep in mind, there are not a few Jews as prominent members of the so-called Kiev “Junta.”
Whether they say “white trash” or not, most Americans are unaware of its long and ugly history. Pressed to venture a guess, you’d probably say that the term arose in the Deep South, sometime in the middle of last century, as a term that whites coined to demean other whites less fortunate than themselves. Try again.
The term white trash dates back not to the 1950s but to the 1820s. It arises not in Mississippi or Alabama, but in and around Baltimore, Maryland. The best guess is that it was invented not by whites, but by African Americans (both free and enslaved) as a term of abuse—to disparage local poor whites. Some would have been newly arrived Irish immigrants, others semi-skilled workers drawn to jobs in the post-Revolution building boom. Still other trashy types may have been white servants, waged or indentured, working in the homes and estates of area elites. As it does today, the term registered contempt and disgust, and it suggests sharp hostilities between social groups essentially competing for the same resources—the same jobs, the same opportunities, and even the same marriage partners.
But if white trash originated in African American slang, it was middle-class and elite whites who found the term most compelling and useful—and ultimately, this is the crowd that made it part of popular American speech.
Over the next 40 years, the phrase began to appear more and more frequently in the printed materials of more privileged white readers. In 1854 Harriet Beecher Stowe, in her bestselling Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, devoted an entire chapter to “Poor White Trash,” explaining that the slave system produced “not only heathenish, degraded, miserable slaves, but it produces a class of white people who are, by universal admission, more heathenish, degraded, and miserable.” The degradation was due, Stowe argued, to the way plantation slavery locked up productive soil in the hands of a few large planters, leaving ordinary white people to struggle for subsistence. But there were other factors as well: “Without schools or churches, these miserable families grow up heathen on a Christian soil, in idleness, vice, dirt, and discomfort of all sorts. They are the pest of the neighborhood, the scoff and contempt or pity even of the slaves. The expressive phrase, so common in the mouths of the negroes, of ’poor white trash,’ says all for this luckless race of beings that can be said.”
Southern secessionists and proslavery apologists countered that it wasn’t the lack of access to good farmland, compulsory education, or religious influence that made poor white trash so worthy of contempt. In their view, the depravity of white trash sprung from the “tainted blood” that ran through their veins. As one educated southerner averred on the eve of the Civil War, “every where, North and South, in Maine or Texas, in Virginia or New-York, they are one and the same; and have undoubtedly had one and the same origin, namely, the poor-houses and prison-cells of Great Britain. Hence we again affirm… that there is a great deal more in blood than people in the United States are generally inclined to believe.” Poor white depravity wasn’t attributable to any economic or social system—it was inherited, a pre-Revolutionary legacy.
By the 1890s, America’s burgeoning eugenics movement got hold of this idea and never let go. Most Americans are well aware of the horrors of Nazi eugenics—the early- and mid-nineteenth century idea that through proper breeding techniques and controlling the fertility of the “unfit,” one could produce a superior race. But few care to remember that Nazi eugenicists were taking their cues from American predecessors, who, beginning in the early decades of the twentieth century, had successfully lobbied for laws permitting states to involuntarily sterilize people considered unsuited for sexual reproduction.
While many American eugenicists railed about the threats posed by hordes of “dysgenic” immigrants (non-white, often, but also people from “undesirable” countries and bloodlines of all sorts), the core of eugenical science was based in field studies of poor rural whites. These studies of poor white families and kinship networks were carried out all over the East and Midwest, from upstate New York to Virginia to Ohio. Authors gave their subjects colorful names like the Jukes, the Kallikaks, the Happy Hickories, and the Smoky Pilgrims. They documented a high incidence of criminality and violence among the men and increased promiscuity and fecundity among the women.
White trash was a threat, in other words, because these people were both unfit for reproduction and spectacular at it.
Field researchers often produced evidence they claimed demonstrated the deplorable effects of “defective germ plasm” (what we would today consider genetic material) passed from one generation to the next, sometimes through the immorality of interracial sex, the sexual predations of fathers on their own daughters, or reproduction between close cousins. The last two categories of illicit sexual behavior, grouped under the term consanguinity, were put forth again and again, in study after study, as evidence of the need to control the fertility of poor whites, whose incestuous, cacogenic (rather than eugenic) influence, combined with their promiscuity and fecundity, threatened to overwhelm and pollute the purer white racial stock. It was a classic example of moral panic: Eugenicists whipped up widespread anxieties about sex, class, gender, and race to mobilize politicians and civic leaders.
By 1921, American eugenicists had so firmly implanted fears of racial pollution that 15 states had passed laws permitting involuntary sterilization. Between 1907 and 1927, over 8,000 such operations were performed. Many were carried out on “feebleminded” men and women—those we would today regard as severely developmentally disabled. But an untold number were carried out on men and women whose only apparent fault was belonging to the class popularly labeled white trash.
Such was the charge leveled in the most infamous court trial involving eugenics-based involuntary sterilization in the United States, the 1927 Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell. In the case, Buck protested her involuntary 1924 commitment to the Virginia Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded. She had given birth out of wedlock and been sent away. The director of the colony, judging both Buck and her newborn feeble-minded, and believing that Buck was herself the daughter of a feeble-minded woman, wished to sterilize her immediately. Buck’s presumed sexual promiscuity, the director argued, might lead to a line of children who would become burdens of the state. H.H. Laughlin, the nation’s leading advocate for eugenical legislation, took up the case and, without ever meeting Buck, testified that, in his expert opinion, she was “part of the shiftless, ignorant, and worthless class of anti-social whites of the South.” In May 1927, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the eugenicists. Buck was soon sterilized. The shameful decision opened the door to forced sterilization across the nation. An estimated 60,000 Americans, most of them poor and indigent women, have since been sterilized without their consent and, in some cases, without their knowledge.
We now know more of the facts in this historic case: Buck and her daughter were probably not feebleminded, even by the standard measures of her day. She had become pregnant not because of any sexual immorality but because her adoptive father had raped her. Her institutionalization was a way to hide his crime. Most involuntary sterilizations ended in the mid-1950s, although they continued into the 1980s. In 2002, 75 years after the Supreme Court’s decision, the state of Virginia offered a formal apology to Buck’s family and to all other families whose relatives had been forcibly sterilized. Since then, four other states have followed suit, with signs that North Carolina will be the next. California—where the largest number of eugenical sterilizations (over 20,000) occurred—formally apologized in 2003. While many states repealed or overturned involuntary sterilization laws, other states still fail to acknowledge this troubled past.
Sociologists such as Troy Duster have cautioned that the rise of genetic science in recent decades has opened a “backdoor” to eugenical thought, ushering in a new era of biological explanations for racial inequality. The dangers he warns of are real, but eugenics was never just about race or ethnic differences: It focused, first, on differences within whiteness. Eugenicists sought to establish some whites as superior elites and to assign others to the trash heap of history. Such efforts continue today: Charles Murray’s recent bestseller Coming Apart: The State of White America is a case in point. He shamelessly recycles stigmatypes—ones he first wrote about and stirred controversy with in a 1986 article titled “White Welfare, White Families, ‘White Trash.’”
The long and disturbing history behind the term white trash rings with meaning today. We still see stigmatizing images of oversexed trailer trash, hear tasteless jokes about incest, and find a widely shared belief that all poor whites are dumber than “the rest of us.” The stigma of white trash remains an active part of our fevered cultural imagination, even as some try to reclaim the phrase as a badge of rebellious honor. But few who use the term today—either proudly or as a shaming slur—seem to know about its deep historical entanglements with the politics of sex, race, and class.
About the bolded part — I think “Anonymous” knew quite well how he/she/it was using the term. Let’s face it, Russia has taken a Fascist turn and it’s always been noted for its rabid anti-Semitism, so it’s not a stretch that Russian cyber provocateurs get their kicks using their license to engage in all manner of bigotry. In the least, they could thank b for allowing them to use his blog as a platform for their propaganda, but instead all they do is complain to, and insult, him. Like the good guy he is, he overlooks their lack of grace and graciousness, providing an open and free space to pander their propaganda to Western rubes and dolts who crave the weird in all its gnarly manifest forms.
No, I haven’t forgotten Iraq. I suppose I should mention it since Kunstler did in his weekly blog post here. Of course, as is to be expected if you’ve been following along, he, in never failing fashion, tells us we can expect ever higher oil prices as a result of the unrest. Don’t we have high oil prices already? Yes, we do. How much higher can they go without decimating the global economy entirely? Well, they’ve been testing the waters for the right level to set it for over a decade now. They’re in the ballpark for now, but since demand is somewhat waning with the exorbitant price, they have to justify the artificial premium with conflict. See, Kunstler gets it backwards. The conflict is because of the high price, not the other way around as Unca Jimma unwaveringly contends. I mentioned this over at Ian Welsh’s place as a comment to this blog post. Ian said the following:
Only by immense application of power and money can the West keep people like the Taliban or ISIS in check.
To which I replied:
Only by immense profit (taxpayer expense) can it inculcate the existence of such and pretend to keep it in check. If you’re in the money, return on investment opportunities are like taking candy from babies. That’s a universal rule that applies to all Oligarchs everywhere, not just Americans and The Jews. Artificially high-priced oil provides tremendous ROI for those who have the money to invest. It’s a backdoor tax on the plebes. To justify the artificially set high price of oil, a strategy of tension and conflict must be established and that strategy in tactical terms provides immense profit to those who invest in supplying the MIC responsible for implementing this perpetual strategy of tension and conflict. If you’re not in the money, you’re a Mark. Perhaps we should all change our screen names to Mark, considering. And it doesn’t even matter if you know — in fact, it’s better not to know so maybe it’s why so many otherwise intelligent people refuse to accept they’re Marks in this game that goes on and on and on.
What came first, the chicken or the egg? Did the escalation of the price of oil precede the escalation of conflict in the ME and elsewhere after a couple decades of relative peace and calm, or was it the other way around? Was there any mitigating legislation that affected the trajectory of both, regardless of which came first? The answer to both questions is an emphatic yes. The legislation that affected the escalation of both the price of oil and the magnitude and intensity of conflict is The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act enacted November 12, 1999. Considering the financial windfall that came in its wake, one has to wonder whether Prince wrote 1999 for the vested interests that pushed that legislation through in the dead of night.
Let’s take a look at a historical oil price chart for purposes of illustration in the chicken or egg debate.
Nice chart, isn’t it? I like the inclusion of gold for a useful juxtaposition. Notice how the chart author indicates the manipulation of the gold price, but there’s no such indication for the manipulation of the oil price. Funny that. I mentioned this in my very first blog post. Kunstler does the same thing. Even though he’s allergic to conspiracy theories, he consistently implies commodities other than oil are manipulated. But never oil. No, for some miraculous reason, those who would endeavor to fix and/or manipulate the price of all other commodities, would never dare mess with oil. Sure. Yeah, right. Whatever. Get a clue. You manipulate everything you can manipulate, and since these crumb bum lush creeps can manipulate everything with the passage of The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, they do. So let’s not pretend oil’s sacred. It’s not. In fact, since it’s the most widely used commodity on the face of the earth besides air, water and sunlight (all of which will eventually be owned and controlled by commodity regimes by the end of this century), the leverage it provides for immense profit, via price hikes just for the hell of it, is tremendous. And don’t forget how the price of oil is set. Per this link, that I’ve linked to before at this blog, we know it’s rigged. Yet intelligent people will read that link and still believe, even though they’ll accept other commodity prices are manipulated, that the price of oil is predicated upon supply and demand. Sometimes, you just want to give up. Not me. Not anymore. I may not care, but I’ll never give up — it’s too much fun pointing out the contradictions. Per the link:
They were a band of outsiders unable to get jobs with New York’s gilded financial establishment. They would go on to corner the world’s multitrillion-dollar oil market, reaping unimaginable riches while bringing the economy to its knees.
Meet the self-anointed kings of the New York Mercantile Exchange. In some ways, they are everything you would expect them to be: a secretive, members-only club of men and women who live lavish lifestyles; cavort with politicians, strippers, and celebrities; and blissfully jacked up oil prices to nearly $150 a barrel while profiting off the misery of the working class. In other ways, they are nothing you can imagine: many come from working-class families themselves. The progeny of Jewish, Irish, and Italian immigrants who escaped war-torn Europe, they take pride in flagrantly spurning Wall Street.
Under the thumb of an all-powerful international oil cartel, the energy market had long eluded the grasp of America’s hungry capitalists. Neither the oil royalty of Houston nor the titans of Wall Street had ever succeeded in fully wresting away control. But facing extinction, the rough-and-tumble traders of Nymex—led by the reluctant son of a producemerchant—went after this Goliath and won, creating the world’s first free oil market and minting billions in the process. Their stunning journey from poverty to prosperity belies the brutal and violent history that is their legacy.
For the first time, The Asylum unmasks the oil market’s self-described “inmates” in all their unscripted and dysfunctional glory: the happily married father from Long Island whose lust for money and power was exceeded only by his taste for cruel pranks; the Italian kung fu–fighting gasoline trader whose ferocity in the trading pits earned him countless millions; the cheerful Nazi hunter who traded quietly by day Irish-born femme fatale who outsmarted all but one of the exchange’s chairmen—the Hungarian émigré who, try as he might, could do nothing to rein in the oil market’s unruly inhabitants.
From the treacherous boardroom schemes to the hookers and blow of the trading pits; from the repeat terrorist attacks and FBI stings to the grand alliances and outrageous fortunes that brought the global economy to the brink, The Asylum ventures deep into the belly of the beast, revealing how raw ambition and the endless quest for wealth can change the very nature of both man and market.
Showcasing seven years of research and hundreds of hours of interviews, Leah McGrath Goodman reveals what really happened behind the scenes as oil prices topped out and what choice the traders ultimately made when forced to choose between their longtime brotherhood and their precious oil monopoly.
There is one screen name over at Clusterfuck Nation that seems to have a semblance of a notion as to the game that’s being played. All the rest continually lament and whine on dead-end trails or purposely spread disinformation as cover for this price-setting ruse. The Oligarchs don’t even thank them for their service if, and when, it’s the latter. They do it because that’s what Golden Retrievers do — for a pat and some kibble. Good for them. Who are we to deprive them of happiness? Anyway, what this guy from CFN said:
June 16, 2014 at 10:32 am #
What’s all the fuss? They (the complex) made a load of dough in Iraq Take 1 and Take 2. Why not some more in Take 3? So we lost a few in the first two Takes. Hey, the veterans get discounts at Home Depot don’t they? What? You CFNers don’t “Support the Troops?” You a bunch of Commies? This is Capitalism, Baby! Nothing but good news coming out Iraq. I envision military spending ramping up big time. This’ll be peachy for the economy. Didn’t I see an article in the NYT the other day about how war is good for the economy and that the current downturn is the result of too few wars?
I like that — Take 3. Perfect description. I said something similar over at Ian Welsh’s blog as follows:
So the 500,000 fleeing Mosul is a lie then? If not, why would they flee if these ISIS Altar Boys are just there to help serve Holy Communion?
Social Media can be, and often is, deceiving. I’ll wait for further information. I never pay attention to tweets regardless of who’s tweeting.
I will say this. Those who rightfully opposed the Iraq invasion and occupation but later harangued for a hasty withdrawal regardless of consequences have egg on their face and have no business pointing fingers now unless they’re prepared to point it at themselves as well.
I said at the time of withdrawal, “We’ll Be Back.” It looks like sooner than I thought. I was laughed at by everyone when I said it. Who’s laughing now?
Since Russia and China have increasingly been the recipients of the spoils of Iraq, I think they’re the ones who should set it straight. This, I would love to see. America can sit this one out and let Lord Putin and his friend Emperor Xi Jinping work their new-found imperial magic. Pass the popcorn.
My comment made a big splash like one of Letterman’s watermelons from the ten story building onto the pavement below. One commentator told me I had a small penis. How would he/she/it even know if I did? Hidden microchip cameras in my shorts? Shower cam? Worse yet, toilet cam? Enough. I don’t want to give such a notion too much thought. I might get paranoid, and we can’t have that.
Of course, the proverbial Koran thumper made its way to Welsh’s blog and started spouting on and on about how Islam is a religion of peace and all that jazz. I couldn’t take it — I had to say something which is unlike me, I know, but sometimes I’ll surprise you like that. Here’s what the Koran thumper, abubaqar (nice touch — it sure beats “Anonymous”), had to say and for the record I know this commentator is a sock and its posts are a joke, and if I had to guess, I’d say it’s the same sock that operates BRH over at CFN. But nonetheless, it’s good conversation. It’s not like we have anyhting better to do.
June 13, 2014
most of the problems in the muslim world are caused by western nations as evidenced by the policy guidelines of the RAND corporation which are run by zionist jews,your masters in government.
It is in they interest to keep wars going between christian and muslims so that whatever your forefathers fought against Hitler(which i believe was wrong) they are doing to the Palestinians totally against international law,human rights,and international criminal court applications,and of course that nonsense called the united nations security council !
I wish to ask any christian here,will jesus christ on his second coming have to adhere to the resolutions of the security council on his return???
or will he enforce the law of god from the bible which states clearly that perversion is to be punished and that christians should beware of the of synagogues of satan and his children in JOHN 8–44?
the real issue is that everytime a muslim country or people wish to live by the law of the koran ,you christians war on it, because you are so peace loving and kind people,meek as lambs but really wolves in sheeps clothing!
you steal resources and impose dictators not just on muslims but all over the worlds countrys and then you call it democracy,why is this? who gave you this right?
you want to impose justice on the worlds people but you do want to be judged by the same criteria and brought to trial,is that normal thinking?
justice you say comes from inside a court room, but your leaders kill by drones innocents and suspected people on no evidence or legal authority!
should the world just accept this? because you think its legal?
take your heads out of your posteriors and let some sun shine in, the real evildoers are not muslims but those who sit in tel aviv and they minions in your countrys, who are totally to the zionist jews but not the countrys they are elected to serve!
this is what your holy book tells you and the actions of your leaders in the west!
I replied as follows:
I wish to ask any christian here,will jesus christ on his second coming have to adhere to the resolutions of the security council on his return???
Jesus Christ has “come again” millions of times since the initial visit and each time he’s been sent packing. In fact, every other visit since the first wasn’t even recognized. People can’t even see the hand in front of their face let alone the second, third, fourth……millionth coming of Jesus Christ.
South Korea’s done pretty damn well for itself with the help of The West, and yet there was no employment of the Koran. You employ the Koran in the ME, and look what it’s gotten you. We could be driving Jihadis right now as well as Kias, but instead, because of the Koran, we arm Jihadis rather than hopping in one to pick up some milk at the local grocery
Alright, I know I’m leaning heavy on the sarcasm and satire. It’s not all that simple — but it’s close — close enough for government work. I recently ran across an excellent analysis concerning this ISIS organization — yes, if MOVE can call itself an organization, so too can ISIS. Fair is fair, right? At Moon of Alabama, I said the following about groups such as Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hezbollah — you name it and they do:
Winning and losing wars in the conventional sense is no longer applicable because war itself has changed. Iraq was and is a resounding success and it will be a success again when the time comes for it to be bombed down to its bare bones.
It’s not a coincidence this manifests as soon as Iraq begins to ramp up oil production again. OPEC has a vested interest in rationalizing artificially high oil prices. One such rationalization is to keep Iraq’s immense oil reserves off the market indefinitely. Yes, of course, when moths dance too close to the flame — but when have moths ever listened to that sage advice.
Iran officially send help? Why would it? It’d be redundant. Everything’s by proxy these days, haven’t you heard? Iran’s in the mix by proxy but the problem is, as an analyst from the outside looking in with incomplete information, these proxies are taking on a life of their own to the point it’s difficult to tell where their allegiances reside. It’s as though they’re joint ventures and all interested parties own a piece.
No need to send official armies — they’re archaic and merely for show. Everyone’s gone Potemkin.
Here’s a quote, and this link, from/to the excellent analysis I mentioned above that supports my contention that groups like ISIS are joint ventures in which all the major powers have a stake to include Iran, Russia, The West, Turkey, Syria, Israel and a slew of others depending on which group and which theater.
Clearly chaos in the region offers Russia opportunities to expand its leverage with both Baghdad and Erbil.
Though Russia has previously expressed its support for a unified Iraq, its behavior shows it to be more interested in securing a lasting place in the Middle East where it can exploit its regional connections to force the US to take it seriously.
Its great power game is more focused on obstructing Washington then it is on stabilizing the Middle East as it clearly intends to be entirely independent and support either or both sides as its perceived interests at any given moment incline it to do.
It will hunt with the Iraqi dogs and run with the Kurdish hare at the same time while also trying try to prevent Turkey from reducing its excessive dependence on Russian energy. Russia’s main interests are status, influence, profits, and prevention of a truly stable conflict-free regional situation where it cannot then insert itself as a supposed equal to Washington. Moscow may be trying to organize a counter-hegemonic bloc composed of Iran, Iraq, and Syria s it did in 1978-79 to thwart US policy but ultimately it is committed to its own interests and perceptions of them to such a degree that it can only be what this writer previously called a spirit of eternal negation, like Goethe’s Mephistopheles.[liii]
These wheels within wheels also highlight the never-ending complexity of energy and arms policies in the Middle East because they clearly intersect with the local rivalries among peoples and states that provide opportunities and pretexts for great power intervention and subsequent great power manipulation of these fissures within the Middle Eastern state system.
It also is clear that every conceivable player is taking part in these convoluted energy and arms sales deals. And those deals do not represent the hidden or submerged running of guns for Eastern Europe and potentially other venues to the Middle East.[liv]
Also, concerning ISIS and who can and will draw from its well, there’s this quote from this article:
Both Assad and ISIS launched a war on the Syrian people, because both want the same for themselves — that is as much ground on Syrian soil as possible, populated by enough fearful Syrian slaves to keep the oppressor’s farm business running and prospering.
The ideology (Baathism in the case of Assad, versus a weird so-called ‘religion’ partly based on a totally messed-up misunderstanding of medieval Islam in the case of ISIS) is different, of course — but the goals and methods applied are identical.
Both the Assad family and ISIS are mafia gangs, both act as such, and both are led by ruthless bosses who don’t give a flying rat’s fart about religion or ideology, which they see as just a tool to please and unite their followers and foot-soldiers, and a cheap way to gain international support from misled private donors and fascist states like Russia or Iran (in case of the latter geopolitics play an important role too, that’s a different but similarly disgusting topic we won’t go into here).
So these are the similarities. Simplified, but significant — in fact there’s not much more to add without writing a book on criminal intent.
Now let’s take a closer look at arguments that “ISIS is run by Assad” crowd shove down our throats on a daily basis, with an increasing cadence recently in preparation for the useless Geneva II diplomatic circus that doesn’t serve any other purpose than prolonging Assad’s “mandate” to kill and oppress scores of Syrians eternally.
Here’s their claim: The Assad regime doesn’t attack ISIS with air strikes, in some cases Assad’s artillery and air force provides battlefield support for ISIS units attacking Syrian insurgents.
Well, both observations are true, obviously. However, the conclusions are wrong. In fact the Assad regime does that just because it fits their interests, not because they are protecting their “own forces”.
The Assad regime leaves ISIS alone, and sometimes even supports their military operations, because Assad considers ISIS thugs to be helpful for various reasons. For example, in insurgent-controlled areas ISIS establishes a terror regime, replacing Assad’s oppression with their reign, by making use of an even crueller modus operandi.
This serves two purposes for the Assad regime.
First, ordinary Syrians under the ISIS regime can no longer be bothered with opposition activities, or even regime-unfriendly thoughts any more, because they’re far too busy surviving the indiscriminate ISIS oppression on a daily basis.
Second, the brutality of the ISIS regime sets an example that’s even worse than some visible elements of the Assad regime. Under Assad, killings of dissidents happened in secret detention facilities and mukhabarat dungeons, not in the village market place in front of a large audience, including children, who are all forced to attend events like public beheadings.
The logic behind this approach is simple. If Assad can no longer rule a town or village, he prefers ISIS terror above troublesome local coordination committees, which establish grass-roots democracy, breeding ideas and making positive experiences that make Syrians even more rebellious against the Assad regime than they were previously.
Assad’s calculus is ruthless, but it does work to some extent.
Of course, there is some cooperation between Assad and ISIS on lower levels.
For example, where ISIS units more or less openly work hand-in-hand with regime forces for pragmatic reasons, since ISIS is in Syria to establish their terror state, and not to fight Assad in the first place (of course they do that when Assad’s forces get in their way, but that’s rare).
Also, in some cases ISIS did join in battles against the regime, to obtain spoils of war and/or territory, not for the freedom and dignity of the Syrian people. Those ISIS units always were small, and came late to the theater, but their tactics made headlines like in the battle for Menagh Air Base last August.
For this reason, ISIS’s propaganda machine was able to sell the rebel victories as ISIS-led, partly due to the non-existent PR work of the real Syrian revolutionary forces (one can’t assign ISIS to the rebels, not even as a ‘faction’, they’re aliens to the Syrian people — including the Syrian rebels and the few foreigners fighting in their ranks).
The handful of battles ISIS fought against the Assad regime is the sole argument used when Syrian rebels and activists criticize ISIS for their atrocities, brutal oppression of civilians, theft of (Western-supplied) humanitarian aid, attacks on ‘fellow’ rebels, and so on.
“We’re your brothers, so many of us died for you, we left everything at home to help you out, so don’t spread fitnah” — these propaganda lies are disgusting to the well-informed observer — they served ISIS well for a long time, as did their brutality that they used to spread fear, and which prevented opposition even in areas where only a few ISIS thugs were stationed.
Of course does Assad still fund ISIS, as Al Qa’eda in Iraq/ the Islamic State of Iraq, since 2003, (nowadays through middlemen), but it’s highly unlikely that the central ISIS command level, which are all Iraqis, has been infiltrated. It surely looks to be the case, but just because both make use of the same methods to oppress the same people in Syria, that doesn’t mean they’re working for the same boss.
As for ISIS’ activities in Iraq — a close Assad ally — that scenario makes even less sense, although there’s no such thing as loyalty or friendship under thugs like Assad and Maliki. Go figure.
To understand this complexity, you must alter your perspective substantially. You must neutralize your biases and partiality. Control your predilections and ideological tendencies, and most important of all, and many thanks to PailiP for this admonition, you must update your memes — at least quarterly. Use an electronic mail program calendar to remind you in case you forget. It’s imperative you stay up, or else you’ll increasingly be forcing squares into circles and circles into triangles in trying to figure it all out. Also, you’ll keep providing me endless fodder for blog posts — so much so I can’t keep up and I need an excuse to quit. No more material would be the perfect out, but alas, there’s a seemingly endless supply, so I must do what I must do.
That’s it for now. Remember, lie well and for all the right reasons — unlike the FSB goobs who lie terribly and for all the wrong reasons.