By James F. Tracy

In October a debate ensued on Memory Hole and at Project Censored regarding Alex Jones and Infowars’ legitimacy and trustworthiness as news sources. The exchange began when Nolan Higdon presented various predictions made by Jones that were not borne out by subsequent events.

Yet it looks as if the gloom and doom-style Jones has been taken to task for is being appropriated and given a “liberal” spin by Thom Hartmann–also a longtime proponent of anthropogenic global warming theory. The progressive-left author and talk show host has begun touting his new conspiracy-flavored book, The Great Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America–and What We Can Do to Stop It.

Hartmann and Jones are well-acquainted, having on occasion simulcast their weekday radio programs where they once expressed mutual appreciation of each others’ views and work. For example, on April 15, 2009 the two personalities co-hosted a remarkable hour-length segment in which they generally found common ground on numerous issues–civil liberties, the financial industry’s gigantic influence over federal governance, the growing militarized police state, and even local militias.

Indeed, at one point during the above referenced broadcast Hartmann remarked, “I think that actually as Americans, Alex, who believe in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, there’s more that unites [libertarians and progressives] than divides us” (Alex Jones and Thom Hartmann 3/4 at 8:55).

Yet in subsequent years, the two personalities drifted apart. As the reality of Obama’s presidency and shifting political winds set in Hartmann went on to host a program at RT where he increasingly disparaged Jones and the Truth movement, and from this perch even seemed to vie for a post at MSNBC.

Unlike Jones’ hillbilly-meets-DARPA-whistleblower rants, Hartmann consciously plays the bespectacled scholarly-type, appealing to his self-styled dispassionate and rational progressive audience. Appearing on Democracy Now! this week, the liberal talker’s sturm und drang economic forecast at first glance resembles not only Jones, but also Texas Congressman Ron Paul, libertarian talk show host Peter Schiff and “Father of Reaganomics” Paul Craig Roberts. Among others, these economic analysts argue that the private Federal Reserve bank’s incessant and fervent money printing will inevitably lead to and intensify the coming economic cataclysm.

Hartmann appears to “borrow” from these observers by arguing that such a crash is indeed unavoidable. Yet in a clear sleight of hand the pedantic doomsayer completely evades the problem of monetary profligacy by suggesting how the Obama administration and Fed are earnestly staving off the final reckoning. Is this White House-inspired (or perhaps sponsored) propaganda? Here are some outtakes and reinterpretations from the recent interview below (beginning at about 2:05).

“Obama was successful in the first few months of his administration by putting enough of a band aid on it that they’re holding this back with bailing wire and bubble gum.”

[Translation: The Federal Reserve (US Taxpayer) shoveled untold trillions to the bankers and corporatists to temporarily prop up the economy with another gigantic stock market bubble, yet the Fed can’t print forever.]

Hartmann: “But, Bush had hoped—he saw this coming, the Bush administration—had hoped [sic] that he could wait until November 2008 so that it would be after the election so that it wouldn’t hurt the Republican candidate. He was unsuccessful.”

[Translation: The two party system is continuously at odds and competing to represent the popular will. There’s absolutely no chance that such a crash was engineered by Wall Street financiers to ensure an Obama-Biden victory. Or, “free markets capitalism” inevitably leads to dire crises.]

Hartmann: “The Obama administration is now—because they’re not doing the real structural changes necessary—they’re hoping they can push it off until 2016 and that’s why we chose that date [in the book’s title]. Now there’s an enormous amount of effort in our government and in the Fed to try to hold this off ‘til after the election of 2016. Whether they’re successful or not I don’t know [sic]. This literally could happen overnight.”

[Translation: We are doomed! Again, any conflict worthy of public attention takes place directly on the political stage. The good guys—you know, the Democratic Party, the Federal Reserve, and the prevailing economic scheme controlled by central banking–aren’t fleecing taxpayers and the economic system but rather saving them.]

Some representatives of the “fanatical right wing” that progressives so readily point to in arguments about the deficit and economy argue that such a crash is in fact being intensified by the careless monetary policies of the Fed, which continue and intensify with the tacit approval of the US Congress and Obama administration. In fact, the federal debt has grown seventy percent under Obama–from $10 to $17 trillion. Such a reckless monetary policy is tailor-made for politicians who cannot resist a money-printing press that allows them to “kick the can down the road,” while leaving Americans with the ever-expanding tab.

Hartmann attempts to commandeer the economic thesis long-articulated by libertarians and their advocacy for “sound money,” while tempering it for those who hang on every word uttered by Paul Krugman. The upshot of Hartmann’s (and the overall Keynesian) version, however, is that profligate monetary policy is not the cause of the present problem, but remains to a large degree its solution. Nevermind the fact that America’s industrial base has been thoroughly gutted.

For example, Hartmann argues how the buildup to the next disaster is a replay of the prelude to the 1929 crash and, moreover, how both are rooted in “conspiracies” and “plots” developed by “economic royalists,” “banksters,” and “globalism,” against which the federal bureaucracy (FDR and his postwar successors) wages a valiant struggle.

Yet Hartmann’s sensationalism doesn’t end there. He goes on to reference his previous anthropogenic  climate change propaganda, describing the deathly carbon-based greenhouse gases destined to do us all in should they be allowed to increase even minutely over the next several decades. But wait! The scenario is even more dire. According to Hartmann (at around 12:35 in the DN! interview video above), such apocalyptic climate change could take place almost overnight, and is something the (some would argue fraudulant) United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “is not talking about.”

“It’s a very significant stressor,” Hartmann somberly informs Goodman in the November 12 interview. “Scientists [and] people are hysterical or very concerned” about the imminent release of

trillions of tons of methane hydrate–methane frozen up in ice, in the arctic and around continental shelves. If that melts, then there will be a sudden global warming. And when you look at the five past extinctions on planet earth every single one was triggered by one of these methane releases.

This will come to pass unless, of course, we can drastically reform our behavior and energy consumption … and assuming the forthcoming economic crash doesn’t get us first, or both don’t hit simultaneously.

But, hey, whoever said that a talk show host should be held accountable for making extravagant claims and suggesting that the modern situation is almost completely hopeless? Further, is the promotion of unfounded conspiracy theories and historical revisionism really all that bad? If you’re championing the “correct” political stances then negativity appears to become prophetic, shadowy plots constitute accurate economic and historical analysis and projections, and UN-distilled interpretations of climate science and “green” advocacy literature are embraced as genuine climatological research. Taken as a whole, Thom Hartmann delivers the entire package in an absolute war on your mind that is without parallel.

Leave a Reply

72 thought on “Thom Hartmann’s War on Your Mind”
  1. Vladimir Putin himself recently admitted in the NYT that the purpose of the UN is to limit the US, and by gosh that open conspiracy seems to be working pretty well.
    Perhaps the Federal Reserve is in on it, working on the inside to bring down the US.
    After all, the citizens of the US are merely the escaped serfs of Europe. It’s time to reign them back in.

      1. I’m not sure of what you are saying. the demons who hijacked our country with privately issued currency through the privately owned central bank turned on us long before ever issuing a single dollar. now they own everything. what is left to sell besides the residual remains of your freedom?

        1. That’s just it. The Fed was a conspiracy to steal the productive miracle that was America for the biggest banks, which is to say, the power elite, who are parasites, calculated a way to absorb all of American wealth. They are parasites who rob the host of everything it has of value, and kill it in the process; it’s taken a mere 100 years. They can’t, by definition, “turn on” the host. They targeted the host for destruction form the start.

        2. First we identify them.
          Then we build a case.
          Then we charge them.
          Then we try them.
          Then we hang them.
          Clawback will then get us out of debt.

  2. If global warming is a hoax and Thom Hartmann is promoting it then is Thom Hartmann a hoaxter? If he is a hoaxter, is he being paid to be a hoaxter? Is he being paid by the globalists who we might assume created the hoax? Or is he simply exploiting an imaginary threat to enthrall his audience? Or is Hartman simply duped by the hoax like a lot of people? If global warming is a globalist hoax designed to justify UN Agenda 21, for example, which includes forced urbanization of rural populations then is Hartman’s job to get people geared up for compliance with forced urbanization?

    Global warming like chem-trails is something I know nothing about and I hope and expect never to have to know about them.

    1. Hartmann could be in on the hoax. Or, he may just know how his bread is buttered. Sort of like Alex Jones knows that his bread is buttered by hyping up the founding fathers and playing the revelator. Neither take serious criticism seriously. I don’t think you could convince Hartmann of chemtrails anymore than you could convince Jones that Ron Paul is a con-man.

  3. The deceptions are coming at us so fast and furious any more. I have little hope that any of it can be stopped by man alone. It is mind boggling that man alone, in two hundred years could do so much harm. Oceans of plastic bits, drowning polar bears, money that no longer works, super storms, governing bodies that can do nothing except throw money that no longer works at everything, imminent EMP disaster, Iranian nukes?(these people had to fake an air superiority fighter jet to make themselves look technologically advanced by the way). There is no way to solve all this without one world government… The next deception. They will show us video of the millions begging for it. Enter the six million dollar man! History has shown us men working together cannot solve problems. Only the tyrant can get true results.

  4. ‘What a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive….’

    This James Tracy guy. Other than the fact that he is a perfect grammarian and speler. (and a professor), I rather like him (and his website, what is it called, The Memory Hole?).

    Hint: He’s not wearing a shirt.


    Ned Lud

  5. There’s no way I can say anything about a person’s motives… However, I find Hartmann’s position to be extremely dangerous. When the inevitable “crash” of the economy occurs…whenever it does…folks who have listened to Hartmann will be mis-directed into believing that we need MORE government regulation.
    He does NOT have the slightest grasp of what Austrian economics (true Free Market thinking) is all about, but all the sources he relies on are of that school of thought. (Peter Schiff, Ron Paul, etc.) Therefore, his conclusions are all skewed and distorted. (Intentional?)
    His History is also distorted… he said that Hoover “did nothing”, which is factually false. FDR’s policies painfully prolonged the Great Depression.
    His statements endorse the Marxist “Rich” against “Poor” argument, which is a back-handed slap against the beauty of TRUE Free Market Capitalism…. which we do NOT have in this modern worldwide Crony Capitalistic system. It is not a sin to be a very large, very profitable business UNLESS YOU GOT THAT WAY BY MAKING DEALS WITH GOVERNMENT POWERS.
    And, underneath every single unsubstantiated economic statement he makes, the biggest, most glaring omission is his lack of referral to the Central Banking System…the absolute culprit in our economic demise.

    I know folks seldom have 1/2 hour to spend on watching a video, BUT… if anyone watches this and does not come away with a clearer grasp of the total INSANITY of our doomed monetary system might be being willfully ignorant:

    1. Thanks for the link, Martha, I watched and really enjoyed it. It fails to mention that the American revolution was fought over the right of the colonies to print their own currency independent of the Bank of England or that later England flooded the colonies with counterfeit continental currency, to cause inflation. Mike Maloney and Bill Still agree the FED must end. The controversy over the solution hinges on whether currency should be fiat (backed by faith in the promise of goods and services) or precious metal backed. Bill Still advocates strongly against gold and silver backed currency. Here is his film, The Secrets of Oz, explaining why: It is 1:56:25 long.

      1. I will attempt to insert some info into these issues on economics, which I am trying to bone up on in the wake of our current debacles. Some are advocating libertarianism as a foil against creeping collectivism, aka Communism or Socialism. In this state of affairs, labels are becomming more blurred, when philosophies seem to merge. To me, libertarianism is conservatism on steroids. Warning against the gold or silver standard is a perennial debate in some circles. The Ludwig von Mises Institute (Austrian school now seeded in Auburn, AL, USA), to my thinking, is embedded in Globalization as those precepts are tackfully proffered as solutions. But there is a back story ignored by all who pontificate and practice the art of deception. I found this interesting:

        For a deeper understanding, visit

        Cast a wide net for better fishing…

        1. Marilyn, you bring up questions far larger than this forum is designed to address. But I will say a few things.

          First, Krugman is the foremost Keynesian of our time. He hates the idea of thrift. He thinks it is a good thing for the state to make unpayable promises to future old people, and he hates the idea that the Germans know that he’s nuts. They are saving money, so that they can keep the promises they are making to old people. Krugman thinks that’s icky. That’s ’cause he’s a fool.

          Next, if libertarianism is “conservatism on steroids,” we have to define “conservatism.” Libertarianism is the idea that the state should be minimized to the point of vanishing. I can’t think of many people today who are called “conservatives” whose ideas, expressed to their maximum philosophical implications, would agree with that. Most of them like the idea that America should police the world, for instance, and have no interest in eliminating the EPA, OSHA, the FDA, the TSA and maybe 20 other outrages. So to say that libertarianism is an extreme form of conservatism is pretty hard to do.

          Mises, and since his death the Mises Institute, are dedicated to libertarianism, which is the polar opposite of globalism. A little ways down (NOVEMBER 18, 2013 AT 4:32 PM) I addressed this issue those who gather around the Mises Institute think there should be no Union, as it currently exists, that it’s too big. Globalism thinks it should be bigger.

          Krugman, the Keynesian, is the globalist. Mises, the libertarian, is the embodiment of the idea that the best government is that which governs least, or as Jefferson answered when asked the best size of a government, “a mile square.”

        2. ‘Economics’ works best for those with the largest amount of money; it doesn’t work at all for the ones at the bottom. Call the muddle by what you will and deny the obvious; the Germans have used their advantage to ruin the EU; that was probably the strategy from the European Common Market’s post-war beginnings.

          Germans are calling the shots in Europe and that cagey philosophy has filtered across the planet. Krugman is no fool, at least no moreso than any other economist who proselytizes and opines based on personal political views. I’d rather a populist thinker than those selling unadulterated snake oil calling it a curative. When the last word has been said on our times, the consensus will be: “the bad guys won.”

          Truth will be lost in the babble of forked-tongue gibberish. Babylon full circle.

      2. Sorry Peter… But I think if you re-examine what you have just written, you’ll see that you may have your historical facts a little skewed….
        The colonies themselves printed the Continental to fund the Revolutionary war… and the Constitution declares that only gold or silver can be “money” (not currency)…. And Bill Still (and Ellen Brown) are known as ‘Greenbackers’, folks who believe in paper currency, the history of which has ALWAYS, 100% of the time in recorded history, ended in a return to its intrinsic worth…. which is a piece of paper.

        1. Gold prices can be altered too – they are not intrinsic. Gold or paper, the real value of money is trust.

          “After the American Revolutionary War began in 1775, the Continental Congress began issuing paper money known as Continental currency, or Continentals. Continental currency was denominated in dollars from 1/6 of a dollar to $80, including many odd denominations in between. During the Revolution, Congress issued $241,552,780 in Continental currency.

          Continental currency depreciated badly during the war, giving rise to the famous phrase “not worth a continental”. A primary problem was that monetary policy was not coordinated between Congress and the states, which continued to issue bills of credit. “Some think that the rebel bills depreciated because people lost confidence in them or because they were not backed by tangible assets,” writes financial historian Robert E. Wright. “Not so. There were simply too many of them.” Congress and the states lacked the will or the means to retire the bills from circulation through taxation or the sale of bonds.
          Another problem was that the British successfully waged economic warfare by counterfeiting Continentals on a large scale. Benjamin Franklin later wrote:

          The artists they employed performed so well that immense quantities of these counterfeits which issued from the British government in New York, were circulated among the inhabitants of all the states, before the fraud was detected. This operated significantly in depreciating the whole mass….”


        2. There is a difference between a paper fiat currency that has no backing, and a paper currency that is backed by a commodity, usually gold and silver. All unbacked paper fiat currency has and will become worthless, but a paper currency that has written on it “redeemable in gold”, for instance, or silver, has the metal for the actual currency. It just makes it convenient to not have to carry around with you a very heavy pile of metal when you are going to do a large transaction. If I am not mistaken, the greenback was redeemable in gold and/or silver, as was most of the U. S. Paper money issued up to about 1933 or so. In those days, the metal was the actual currency. Actual gold and silver coins were issued for your everyday small transactions, which were widely used. This same system could be used today if you consider that 5 one ounce silver dollars could get you thru the average small grocery trip to the supermarket. Two silver dimes could buy a gallon of gas, roughly speaking. The only trouble is that there is not enough silver and gold to go around to cover all the paper fiat currency that the world is awash in. Unless of course, they raise the monetary value of the metals to cover the fiat. And that would make holders of the metals very rich almost overnight.

  6. DHS has warned our biggest threat is cyber security. My niece just posted an article that she indicated that she believes is true that declares right wingers are hacking into the healthcare website in order to stop the whole program. We and many of our friends have received a 5 page letter from the DOE that all our personal information has been hacked. We never worked for them directly, but on a ‘secure’ work site they are in charge of.

  7. Maybe Mr. Hartman, and others, should be grateful that some of Alex Jones’s “predictions” did not come true. Imagine if a man overhears some crooks talking about their plans to attack a children’s hospital, and kill all the kids, doctors, nurses, and anyone else who happens by. So this eavesdropper tells the police who make a public announcement to setae clear of that area of town, and they also evacuate everyone. So now the crooks are alerted to the fact that the cops are on to their plans and decide not to go with the actions which would fulfil the “prediction” made by the man who overheard the crooks original plan. What, do they now blame that man because the prediction didn’t come true ? This sounds like convoluted thinking by people from the Pepsi generation, with FIZZ for brains.

  8. While I think the Banksters have gotten bolder than ever in recent years in ripping off the American public, it’s not new or different, just more “in your face”. It’s all about this totalitarianism regime we are now under, this “Big Brother” who is slowly stealing our privacy, even our rights to our own opinions and points of view. I think all this recent emphasis on “bullying” is just a clever way to be ever more “politically correct” and not say the wrong thing to the wrong person. Pretty soon you’ll find your opinions, if they are not of the norm, are considered improper speech. This never ending threat of global economic meltdown is in the same fairy-tale vein as the never-ending wars against oppression. All something to keep the normal person in a state of anxiety and depression. What a sick bunch of F#*@Ks…don’t fall for it. Look for the good, it’s out there and must be nurtured.

  9. For my money (no pun intended), any of these discussions that center on political parties are not worth having. The premise is that somebody is “right” and is trying to correct a wrong. They’re not.

    These are side shows. Both “parties” work for the same group and that’s not us. The rest is largely “piffle”. There is no mystery as to the “why” of these problems. There is no “minor correction” that will fix them.

    There is certainly a plan. All the rest is an effort to implement it. There is no cure for it so long as people cooperate. This is not confined to the United States. The problem with these “discussions” are that it is implied that those involved are simply “wrong” or making bad choices. They are indeed doing what they have been order to do.

    The game is control. If all ability for self-determination is dependent on fiat money controlled by others, you have not self-determination. Giving power to the creators of the problem and asking them to “fix” it is childish.

    Whether delivered in Alex’ bombastic style or “thoughtfully” presented in Mr. Hartmann’s version, the net result is the same, zero. Unless and until people refuse to play by the controller’s rules it is a pointless exercise to discuss it. They are working their script, period.

  10. Hartmann is one of the panoply of “leftist” or “liberal” talking heads. They are the opposing voices to the “right-wing,” “conservative” chatterers who populate the airwaves. He, by admission, suffers from the inability to slow down and relax. Writes a book on the average of one or two per year and it seems–listening to his spiel–covers the same territory for the most part. He is indeed easy to listen to, has a calming demeanor, is always neat in dress and presentation. I stopped listening to him when he endorsed Obama. Goodness how could anyone with half a brain fall for the Barack pose? (I can forgive the first vote but when Kissinger said Obama was a ‘transcendant figure’ on the world scene, that should have raised red flags along with BO’s amateur performance for four long years.) Caught Thom’s show first on Air America. Many were taken in by the “Yes we can” slogan. No we didn’t…

    I love to watch Amy Goodman when she interviews a guest with whom she is in complete sync. She fairly blossoms with pride. She doesn’t have to ask the tough questions; why spoil the illusion? James Tracy should interview Thom on global warming. Ask him if he has read, “Behind the Green Mask.”

    Once, when Amy set up a discussion between Norm Finkelstein and an Israeli official, she was chastized for tipping her hand. Norman went on one of his classic signature rants and the Israeli was not amused; he told her abuptly that he was there to debate but would countenance no trashing, intimating that Goodman had set the scene in motion. She never misses an opportunity to display Israel in the worst possible light. She has been called a leftist ‘gatekeeper.’

    1. Goodman is no doubt a war criminal. Many stood by and watched the war drums beat for the destruction of Libya. Goodman actually helped beat the drums (she does the same for Syria). This woman had the potential to slow down or stop what was happening, using her show and media access. She did the opposite. Though she may look like she’s in knitting clubs and naps half the day away, she has blood on her hands and lips. She’s a vampire: She has no reflection. I look at her and see only the monstrosities of Libya reflected.

    2. One of the main reasons Goodman has been called a “leftist ‘gatekeeper’” is her refusal to talk about the influence of the Jewish/Israel/Zionist lobby on U.S. foreign policy. This goes along with her deference to people like Chomsky and Finkelstein, who are willing to criticize blatantly outrageous Israeli behavior, but defend the continued existence of an ethnic-exclusivist Jewish state on at least 78% of the land of post-Ottoman Palestine, and to this end oppose the Palestinian-led BDS movement.

      BTW, the people who, despite their propagandistic intentions, never miss “an opportunity to display Israel in the worst possible light” are called “Israelis”.

      1. Aaron, you sound very ‘leftist’ in this post. Several of your points are definitively, if not anti-Israeli, trending toward a Palestinian bias. Wish there could be a resolution between the two warring camps. However, to say give, give to the Islamists (and that is the term that fits most Arab Palestinians) is scuicidal, IMO. Horrors of war mark a relationship for generations which cannot be expunged by diplomatic overtures; The Oslo Accords proved that, as well as the ceding of Gaza.

        But I am not Jewish, not Israeli, and can only speak from a far distant vantage, colored by my own interpretation of history and personal attitudes. Many Israelis are willing to take the risk of a peace pact in the belief it will solve all grievances. Good luck with that when Palestinian maps show no state of Israel. I am not willing to cede US sovereignty in the belief it will solve global warming or end poverty.

        This leftist nonsense is sweeping the planet. A fusion of German-style Socialism and rampant corporate greed is cloaked as progress.

    1. Let’s not forget Sweet Dreams My LAX.

      What are the odds on the drill being played out and the actual event happening three weeks later, with the exact same scenario? Astronomical I’d say. Billions, or even trillions to one. It’s like you or I winning the lottery one week, then winning it again a couple of weeks later. It just doesn’t happen.

      “We played out this today”.

      As you may or may not know I’m from the U.K, and we’ve only had Woolwich to contend with on our shores. What’s happening in America is on a whole new level, completely blurring the lines between the real and the fake.

    2. Excellent job Max! As I noted in the Smallstorm video, the roof has been whitewashed, bet they were hoping for snow to cover up their shoddy work! Here’s what I see in less than a minute of this new footage. The officers on the roof are not rushing, but moving gingerly as if they were already cautioned only this spot is safe to walk on. The windows are broken at the bottom casings or totally covered. The courtyard is trashed with a huge pile covered with a tarp, some of the white scraps used for covering up are there, oilly looking spills are everywhere. There are questionable shrubbery and plywood? hiding the outside wall of the school as we see a mangled mess of a playground remains along with another pile of trash covered by a tarp.

  11. Yes, as Makky noted, the U.S. is accelerating the “Blurring the lines between the real and the fake.”

    How does one cope? I keep coming back to this snippet:

    “In Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, Jacques Ellul discusses psychological warfare as a common peace policy practice between nations as a form of indirect aggression in place of military aggression. This type of propaganda drains the public opinion of an opposing regime by stripping away its power on public opinion.”

    The U.S. is obviously under attack via psychological warfare. For me, the “bad guys” are the liars who engineered Sandy Hook… whom I took to be our legislators that were leading the charge for new gun legislation.

    Pretty much the political leaders who are seeking more control over our lives (Obamacare, DHS, NSA), are the ones that do not have good intentions toward the average Joe.

  12. Professor, we finally disagree about something. Your outtakes of Hartman’s statements see to me to not deserve the responses you have provided. From my point of view you’ve misunderstood him entirely. E.g. I read his statement about the Dems pushing off the financial collapse to 2016, not as any kind of justification or glorification of what they are doing, but rather a statement of ‘because they can get away with it, they’re shoving the problem down the road to make Obama’s Republican successor look bad’.

    Sorry sir, but at this point I think you’ve got too much emotional investment in fighting this guy and you’re making errors of judgement in your listening. Or something like that. To me he sounds entirely critical of the current administration and its monetary policy – and he says in unequivocal terms that they are pushing the problem down the road to the next election.

    1. Both major political parties support the same monetary policy and international central banking system. The differences we perceive between the parties are largely cosmetic and yet is what passes for “democracy” in our decrepit political system. As Peter Schiff pointed out last month, the US is going to default not because it won’t raise the debt ceiling, but rather because it will–and the ceiling will likely be wholly eradicated in early 2014, as the NY Times recently editorialized in favor of.

      This will eventually lead to a point where the US won’t be able to borrow any longer and it will have to cutback social services because the debt will be serviced at all costs. And unlike the 1930s, the US has almost no industrial base–a problem that will take decades to address, if there is any national will in this regard. To suggest that either party has any degree of control over these meta-factors, and that they are rooted in the establishment’s political kabuki theatre, is at the very least misleading.

      1. “And unlike the 1930s, the US has almost no industrial base–a problem that will take decades to address, if there is any national will in this regard.”

        This is one of the most important considerations in our time. Paul Craig Roberts writes about this a lot, and he concludes that the answer is no. (His expertise quite outpaces mine, and I absolutely agree with him.) For this reason, he does not believe America can be saved.

  13. Thom Hartman irritates the shit out of me. He is either an establishment shill of some sort or not nearly as intelligent as he and many others are convinced he is. Aside from being obnoxious in all the ways mentioned above, I also find him to often be intellectually dishonest, self-important and highly dismissive of viewpoints different than his own. My biggest problems with him concern selective application of the constitution use of fallacious arguments and faulty logic. Not only does commit fallacies regularly when attacking the opposition but in general faulty logic infects his whole “political position”(dogma). He complains all day about government corruption but then always offers nothing but government as the solution. Can anyone say circles…..?

    1. Thank You, Emily! You said it a lot more succinctly than I could. (I was trying to be ‘polite’….ha.)
      Whatever other commenters say, like Bman, below, I challenge them to provide any ‘facts’ Harmann puts out… Yet ‘facts’ from Jones are suspect?

      1. Emily, why would you have any doubt about Hartman being a shill? Just look at the nonsense he and Lamar Waldron published on the JFK assassination. Pure disinformation (The Mob Did It) so why would you expect any different on other issues of import? He and his ilk are far more dangerous than those whom we can clearly identify as cheerleaders and co-conspirators for the criminal gangs that run the show–.the MSM.

    1. I say listen and make your own decisions. Some truth here or there, some hyperbole there and here. Since there is no real difference in political parties, i.e., political policy, why fret? Look beyond the 2nd dimension (hat tip to Smallstorm). All pundits speak change but they offer only stale rhetoric. Do Jones or Hartmann make a dint in the prevailing cacophony? The place to start is with our Congress and they are an immovable force, unfortunately. While we talk, the government is gearing up for war against our republic. Globalism marches on unimpeded.

    2. I don’t know who to believe anymore… I really don’t.
      Maybe Mike Malloy… he doesn’t make any money and not many people know of him. So, maybe he’s honest.

      1. I used to listen to Mike Malloy on Air America. He was bounced from the station and had to scramble for a new home. I found him often a little too over-the-top but he did introduce me to some interesting anti-establishment ideas. Where is he now? Can’t stomach anyone who is tuned into the Party line and is still supporting Obama. Feel the same way about the far-right with their irrational devotion to Bush, Inc. And I don’t find Ron and Rand Paul the solution to our economic woes.

  14. Martha’s comment that ‘it’s not a sin to be a very large, very profitable corporation…’ is a major reason why libertarians are so loony. It may not be a sin in that secular religion, but mega-corporations are powerful authoritarian organs who serve the interests of their owners and managers. White owners, traditionally, in the USA. That is why libertarians are so racist, and pols like Ron and Rand Paul are against the Civil Rights Act.

    This huge corporations have to be constrained by government to serve the interests of the people, rather than their owners and managers. But what has happened in the USA is that the billionaire plutocracy, instead, has seized control of the government, which under Bush-Obama, serves their interests against the people. The power system consists of both corporations and government, largely controlled by the owners of the corporations.

    So what has occurred in the USA is a monstrous power inequality which can only be maintained by imposing a terrorist state under the guise of fighting Terrorism. And the big corporations, with government assistance, take their factories elsewhere, impoverishing the American people. The libertarian notion that we need still more Free Enterrprise and less government constraining it serves the interests of the pluts, who control the corporate media and other truth organs. It is why it has gained currency now in the USA, where the pluts are in the saddle and ride mankind.

    1. Follow the sad tale of what is happening in Europe to get a grasp on the world economy. Americans have asked, “Why are people in the streets across Europe”? Europeans are asking why we aren’t in the streets.

      We haven’t reached that level of austerity levied on the EU nations–yet.
      When the pinch hits Main Street and suburbia, expect a reaction. Pray that it won’t be too late.

    2. You are flat out wrong, Mark. I do not claim to be a libertarian yet I do understand the libertarian reasoning. To be ignorant, and then claim others are loony about what you are ignorant about makes you a special kind of ignorant. The Paul’s are against the Civil Rights Act because it forces people to behave a certain way. I am not saying the behavior is right or wrong – you have to understand the principle and precedent of the matter. Mega-corps are out of control, but it is because they have been allowed to buy the federal government’s monopoly of force through crony-capitalism. Following your line of thinking, the government would need to continue to grow, and always be bigger than the biggest mega-corp, in order to constrain them. What you do not understand is that a singular centralized government is incapable of doing that. The size and scope of government needs to be reduced, for one reason, to reduce it’s monopoly of force (which in turn could not be bought by the mega-corps). If the power of the people were localized to the area where they lived and the law allowed for the little guy to be protected from the mega-corp without mega-corp influence, you would, in theory, be safe from the mega-corp. However, the law must be changed so the mega-corp’s money and influence can not be a factor in transgressing against you (easier said than done, I know).

      1. Rick… I VERY much appreciate your comments…I believe I am on your same page. It is for ‘others’ that I want to point out that it is a Private Property rights issue behind the Rands disagreeing with the Civil Rights Act.
        If I own my business, the land it’s on, etc. and I do not want to serve, say, Redheads, that is my Private Property rights issue. If my ideas on this issue are controlled by Government mandate, my Private Property is not actually mine.
        If the people whom I serve in my business think that’s a Bad idea, I will soon go out of business.
        James Madison: “Without private property there is no Liberty”

    3. I endorse, and agree with everything Rick says, excluding this:

      “However, the law must be changed so the mega-corp’s money and influence can not be a factor in transgressing against you (easier said than done, I know).”

      …because it contradicts the whole argument he made.

      Mark, you said this:

      “The libertarian notion that we need still more Free Enterrprise and less government constraining it serves the interests of the pluts, who control the corporate media and other truth organs. It is why it has gained currency now in the USA, where the pluts are in the saddle and ride mankind.”

      Martha’s comment about corporations, that you quote, has nothing to do with libertarianism.

      At issue here is the core debate from the founding of this country: statism versus freedom. America was a libertarian paradise for three centuries; the most recent, the fourth, was a steady decline into statism. The debate, most clearly seen between Jefferson and Hamilton, and later, Clay and Calhoun, is between those who believe the state should rule us, or that we should rule ourselves. Lincoln put a stake through the heart of that debate. By 1913, the statists were trampling on the graves of Jefferson and Calhoun.

      Many months ago, I wrote here about the seminal history book Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America, by David Hackett Fischer. It is about the four waves of immigration that created this country. Each had a separate culture, and they endure to this day.

      I will not repeat all that.

      The four different groups settled in different regions of America. Each of them, after the Constitution was ratified, contemplated breaking away from the union. All of them should have done it.

      I argue, strenuously, that the Constitution should never have been ratified. But even after it had come to rule, the four British folkways regions should have exited the union.

      America is too big. It was too big in 1787. The only reason these corporations we are discussing today are so big, and so impossibly powerful, is that the American state became so large, and so powerful. It should never have been so. The federal government, in the aftermath of the War to Prevent Southern Independence, became a huge rent seeking enterprise for hangers-on. The South, up to the election of dishonest Abe, prevented that from happening. From Grant on, the casino was open for business. The wrong side won that war.

      Ideally, this continent should today have many English speaking countries, and many Indian countries, as well. If this had been allowed to happen, these monstrous corporations would never have emerged. And lovers of freedom would not today be tempted to defend them as expressions if freedom, or free enterprise, which they are not.

      That is, we have been forced, by our history, to argue points that are based on false premises.

      The unitary state is Orwell’s nightmare. A decentralized world, locally administered, mostly by families, churches, and private charitable organizations, is the only good vision for society.

      There would be no “mega-corps”, to use Rick’s term, in such a world, to fight against.

      What should we fight for? The break-up of the unitary state. Will the powers controlling us allow that? Ask the American South.

      1. I think our thoughts are closely related, Patrick. I don’t see any contradiction in my statements, though. I might have left out pertinent information that may have made it more difficult to connect the dots, but no contradiction. It might help me to better understand that claim if you explained it a bit. To expand on my thoughts, I would say the mega-corporations are allowed, even encouraged, to grow to mega status due to the laws as they are. Current laws favor those with more money to pursue, be less fearful of, and survive litigation more easily than those with less money, allowing them to continue to grow despite transgressions such as violating property rights and producing products with harmful side-effects. If we could flip that process somehow, it would either discourage harmful corporations from growing to mega status or make their practice safe for public exposure. For instance, if I wanted to sue a huge soft-drink company for using ingredients that harm me and they had to pay for all legal proceedings regardless of the outcome and were unable to counter-sue me for anything, it might discourage that company from putting themselves in that situation. They would either have to remain small and localized to reduce the amount of possible litigation against them or grow without harming anyone. If you try to determine limits for growth, it will fail. Who gets to determine the limits? In addition, de-centralization of government is critical. A singular central government is too easily corrupted and abused by monopolies and the elites.

        1. Forgive me for stating my problem with your last sentence so glibly, Rick.

          While I understand your concern here, I still think you are too, shall we say, idealistic about the potential to actually do what you are saying. The vast corporations have captured the federal government–both the Congress and the bureaucracy; Monsanto and Goldman Sachs, for instance stock the FDA and the CFTC with their own people. Barney Frank and his ilk ended Glass Steagall, which forbad commercial banks from becoming investment banks, and created the world financial crisis we still endure (and will not be able to fix); their people stock the SEC and CFTC, so no real regulation hobbles them. The vaccine makers got Congress to give them immunity–you can’t sue them if their product destroys your child’s life. The list of examples goes on.

          These corporations own the federal government, so hoping the federal government will hobble them is to dream the impossible dream.

          There is a recent book about the Dulles brothers. I haven’t read it yet, but heard the interview on NPR’s Fresh Air–a great source for me to learn about books I would not otherwise know about. It seems that both men were corporate lawyers, whose core principle was that the federal government’s job was to make the world safe for American corporations. When pesky South American countries elected representatives who had the loony idea that their country is their own, and that their resources are for their own people, the Dulles brothers put a stop to that nonsense. Allan, the CIA director, would meet with Foster, the Secretary of State, and decide what to do. The visible government, State, would run interference for the invisible government, CIA, as CIA interfered with the internal affairs of what Allan considered piss-ant countries who were proposing to hinder the activities of American corporations there. These conspirators murdered many heads of state, and replaced them with compliant lackeys. They did the same in Iran. Thus, they changed the course of the 20th century for the worse.

          My point in outlining the Dulles brothers’ corruption is that because they did what they did, both the state and the corporations were allowed to grow so powerful that nothing can at this point stop the catastrophe that is unfolding. We are on a runaway train, going down hill, and we won’t make the bend at the bottom; we are going to crash into the mountain. There is no way to stop it.

        2. Hi, Patrick,

          I do believe that your prognosis of what lies ahead isn’t too far off the mark. (And a most excellent summary of recent history, by the way!)

          The situation is already a colossal catastrophe, and it continues to unfold at an accelerating pace, if not for the plutocrats themselves, then for the overwhelming majority.

          Still, if people just roll over on account of the hopelessness of the actual context, the way forward will be that much more foreclosed and foregone. Our situation is akin to that of the patient who has been diagnosed with an advanced state of cancer. If the doctor does nothing, the patient will certainly expire. If something is attempted that has never been attempted before, there is a chance, however slight, that the patient survives.

          Our choice is to continue hoping and struggling against the odds or giving up. By telling Rick that he is ‘too’ idealistic’ in what he is hoping for, you are asking him to simply roll over. Your advice may be both rational and proportionate to the likelihood of a successful outcome, and I grant you as much. But giving up guarantees the outcome. We need to be idealistic, to set before ourselves ‘ideals’ toward which to strive, to set before ourselves an appraisal of where we are and where we would like to be, as unlikely as we are to ever get there. Because sometimes, however unlikely, we manage to pull it off.

        3. Thank you, Norm, for your kind assessment of my thought.

          You write: “By telling Rick that he is ‘too’ idealistic’ in what he is hoping for, you are asking him to simply roll over.”

          Not necessarily.

          It is my opinion that what we are doing here, those of us who find the Memory Hole Blog to be a very important place to think and learn about the actual reality of the current state of the world, are doing very valuable work. I don’t call that “simply rolling over.” If all is lost, and one decides to give up hope, heroin addiction is the ticket to ride; at least you’ll go out with a smile on your face.

          What I argue is to make a vigorous, all consuming effort to understand reality; if the forces aligned against us are in fact too powerful to stop, we retain one thing: our minds. For now, in most cases (forced medication is the exception), they can’t take that away from us. Giving up would entail reading People magazine and keeping up with all the reality television shows. Or heroin. Both sounds good.

          I am a Christian; I believe the Bible. I try to understand it better all the time. I believe we are in the last period, immediately before Christ’s return. This means that things must necessarily get very bad before things are turned around. I advise people to prepare for the worst. Think of Germany in the 30s: smart Jews made arrangements to leave the country early, because they didn’t think Hitler was joking when he wrote Mein Kampf.

          In our time it is mostly intellectual and spiritual preparation that is available to us; few can find a physical place of escape. If we are unable to relocate to a less tyrannical country, there are political goals worth striving for in the place we must live, obviously, and I heartily endorse doing that as well. But I am not Pollyanna. I am Cassandra.

        4. BTW, Patrick,

          You write: What should we fight for? The break-up of the unitary state. Will the powers controlling us allow that? Ask the American South.

          I am in complete agreement. This is the task. And it will not happen without a fight if it ever happens.

        5. Hi, Patrick,

          If you are a Christian and believe in the Bible, at the end of your story, all will end rather well, as divinely ordained.

          That is a species of optimism of which I myself am incapable.

          But for what I deem essential to my reality, I think we generally perceive and configure injustice in similar outlines if on different grounds.

          I am deeply pessimistic about the future. But a stubborn refusal to accept things as they are is all that drives me. I am foolish enough to believe that things could be different and should be different. All of what ‘we’ need, in terms of talent and resources, to create a world vastly more equitable and satisfying for all is at hand. But it eludes ‘our’ democratic grasp on account of the illegitimate power that currently strangles it. On this, this last sentence, we agree.

        6. I like you, Norm.

          You write:

          ” All of what ‘we’ need, in terms of talent and resources, to create a world vastly more equitable and satisfying for all is at hand.”

          I believe that Tesla technology–free energy, antigravity, faster than light travel–is currently in use by the secret government. I am completely in agreement with Judy Wood that 911 was an intentional demonstration of that fact (weaponized, obviously; but it was also a demonstration of the absolute control they have over the media). I believe that most UFO evidence is testimony to that fact, as well. I watched the movie Gravity and felt a bit ashamed at how much I loved it; there is a REAL space program we are not allowed to be told about.

          What would the world be like if the powers that rule us allowed us to have free energy? All the powers of the world as it is today would lose their source of power.

          All of it, “what we need…to create a world vastly more equitable and satisfying for all” is indeed at hand. We’re just not allowed to access it. People who invent free energy devices are either payed off or killed. There is no reason for poverty, except for this.

          Now, about your phrase “divinely ordained,” I might quibble. It is theological nuance, though, and this is not a theological place, so I won’t go there. Let me say, though, that it is a very painful kind of optimism my theology inspires. No one would sign up for it, on a purely rational basis. It is optimism that only can be held if one is utterly pessimistic, and can’t expect to see the silver lining in his own lifetime. I hope to see it, but expect the agony.

      2. “America was a libertarian paradise for three centuries;”

        Indeed, how true! At least till the time of Lincoln, the colonial, and then State and Federal, governments mostly engaged, and only when they were needed, in their rightful task of protecting property, at a time when the main threat to a man’s property was from that property walking away! What liberty! What a paradise!

        1. Hi, Aaron Aarons,

          No, I don’t agree with every detail of Patrick’s disquisition. The past was not a paradise. Nor will the future ever be such. But Patrick does get it right, I think, when he demonstrates in historical terms the manner in which government has been and continues to be ‘of, by, and for the corporations.’

          Whereas Patrick is enamored of the concept of ‘property,’ not making much of a distinction between ‘means of collective production’ in contrast to what one might deem strictly ‘personal forms of private property,’ I am not. I believe in the idea of ‘collective property’ and consequently also the idea of the possibility of managing some resources in behalf of ‘everyone.’ Government of, by, and for the people would be a good thing. Government of, by, and for the corporations needs to be euthanized.

          And although slavery was never a good thing, I somehow doubt that bringing ‘liberty’ to the black man was foremost in the minds of the Northern capitalists in waging war against those of the South. It was a pretext much in the same way that the victims of gas attacks in Syria are today another pretext for waging another war.

          But I agree with you. Sometimes Patrick writes the darndest things, as I know he likewise thinks about much that I commit to my posts, here. On the other hand, I can’t say that I’m not now and again actually enlightened by things that he brings here as well.

        2. ” I believe in the idea of ‘collective property’ and consequently also the idea of the possibility of managing some resources in behalf of ‘everyone.’ Government of, by, and for the people would be a good thing.”

          The question, Norm, is how to do it?

          “Government of, by, and for the corporations needs to be euthanized.”

          Sure, but again, how can that be done?

          I, as you know, hold out no hope that these things can be done. So what I do is identify the ideal, and compare it to the condition we must endure. I am very grateful for Aaron’s comment. It would not have been perfect to live in America in our first three centuries, but people had almost no contact with government, which is far closer to perfect than anyone today can imagine. We were as close to free as anyone in history has been (so far as I know). I long for the possibility that we could live that way again. Alas, I hold out no hope of that.

  15. I just saw an article stating that Chinese troops have landed In Hawaii. No date on the article and no mention of how many troops there were. Just a mention that they are there to train for helping out with disasters. Makes me wonder why they aren’t helping out in the Philippines. Maybe they are expecting another Hurricane, or an earthquake. Those people better hurry up and sign the TPP, which is the latest scheme by the international Gangster banksters to enslave the world.

  16. Nice term, Rich, mega-corps. But your argument is too legalistic. The pluts who control the mega-corps make the laws, which is why the American legal system is so vicious.

    Patrick, I agree to some extent with a tendency of one of your arguments; I must be getting sick. The nation-state is losing its historical legitimacy and function, and we are heading historically toward a world of trans-national and sub-national governance. World coordination and, perhaps, city-states, along with regions like the European Union, and East Asian bloc.

  17. Anyone heard this story: “Mother Agnes and the ‘liberal’ hawks out to silence her”? ( The article details how left intelligence operative/democracy now affiliate Jeremy Scahill pulled out of a conference that included Mother Agnes, a Syrian nun attempting to bring a halt to the country’s destruction. Apparently, Scahill bowed to pressure from cannibal monsters who, (perhaps) just having finished a snuff film with some children they abducted, urged him not to share a stage with anyone who might get in the way of their monster’s ball.

    My blood boils when I see these anti-war phonies cheer-leading mass murder. How can we not say that Scahill works for cannibals? How serious has any of his work been? He talks about Blackwater without ever mentioning military intelligence. Big deal. He’s got dead Syrian babies on his hands . . . and dead Iraqi ones too because he intentionally makes counter-productive arguments.

    1. When I think of the crimes that have been and are being committed, especially those involving children, and calculated for ‘effect’ — honestly, I look forward to being dead so as never again to have to recall or face that particular fact of our reality.

      It is incomprehensible to me how people can be so callous and brutal.

      And yet there you have it.

      And for what?

      And the people most responsible for these atrocities are the most shielded from the consequences of their acts. And they actually know what they do.

      Already, they possess all of the world’s power and treasure, and yet feel impelled to murder for ‘more.’

      Where is the necessary retribution? Where are the limits?

  18. Absolutely, Sittingdown. Scahill wrote a book on the horrors of Vietnam, called something like SHOOT ANYTHING THAT MOVES, which served a useful purpose. But here’s a woman, Mother Agnes, who supplies evidence of a false flag operation conducted by American foreign policy with its “Rebel” minions devastating Syria, who is essentially blacklisted by Scahill. And the Stop The War group capitulates to this censorship to avoid offending the liberals. It’s enough to make you puke.

    I’m afraid it’s a foretaste of what we can expect under Omidyar and Greenwald in this new media effort. Childish-foolish naïve me, I had hoped something good could come of it.

    1. Scahill’s opposition to Blackwater is almost cosmetic. It’s like he opposes them for wearing black and driving SUVs or something. If they had just wore ww2 circa camouflage and called themselves freedom fighters he’d pull out his cheerleader outfit and pom poms.

  19. Norm, the people have been indoctrinated by power historically to identify with power against the people ruled by power, most of the earth’s people. It is a product of the competition of states or power systems in the world power arena, including homicidal competition, each against all. This anti-people indoctrination to legitimate anti-people power is both a cause and reflection of the nightmare of history.

    Until we respect a person simply because he is a person of the earth, a creature like us, and until we sanctify the children of the future instead of our ancestors of the past, this anti-person ideology will endure. All we can do, as Henrich Heine wished to be remembered, is to become good soldiers in humanity’s long and continuing war for human liberation.

Leave a Reply