A Better Mousetrap

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Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.

Americans believe in better mousetraps. That’s because they used to build the best ones in the world. Nowadays things are changing and they build mainly military products, which are great for killing people and enriching arms peddlers but not so great for making friends. Nor are all their military projects successful. Take the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter project, for example, the fattest military procurement operation in history. That atypical multi-purpose fighter plane, known among insiders as “the plane that sunk the Pentagon,” is a lemon in all of its unwieldy versions. According to one qualified critic, Pierre Sprey, “Its only purpose is to channel billions of dollars to Lockheed Martin.” 

In 1953, Charles E. Wilson, then the president of General Motors, told a congressional committee, “What is good for General Motors is good for the country,” and he was essentially right. GM was then the leading automobile manufacturer in the greatest manufacturing country the world had ever seen. Detroit was the undisputed industrial capital of the world in the first six decades of the 20th century. In the 1930s Gary, Indiana, the world’s leading steel producer, was actually cloned on the Russian steppes as Magnitogorsk, Russia’s steel city. Magnitogorsk aspired to be a model of industrial greatness and is still making steel today, though it has become a world-class showplace for contamination and dysfunctional industrialism. Think Flint, Michigan.

Here’s today’s automobile production reality (2017 figures from ceoworld.biz):

  1. China: 24.81 million units
  2. Japan: 8.35 million units
  3. Germany: 5.65 million units
  4. India: 3.95 million units
  5. South Korea: 3.74 million units
  6. United States: 3.03 million units
  7. Spain: 2.29 million units

What Happened to America’s Mousetrap Dominance?

Times change. The United States’s industrial dominance was consolidated during World War II with her prodigious production of tanks, planes, liberty ships and all the materiel that goes with winning a war. Post-war America, rich in Texas oil and floating in near-obscene abundance, saw no reason for varying the formula that put them on top. So they continued to build massive cars run on cheap gasoline, with no regard for what the Germans and the Japanese were doing. The Americans had already conquered them once and had nothing to fear. That’s why they took an inordinately long time to notice that the Germans and the Japanese were building better mousetraps. They took so long, in fact, that there was no catching up and their once all-powerful auto industry turned to the Great American Rust Belt. Today it exists solely thanks to government bailouts, and no one knows for how long.

Not to worry, though, as a select group of brilliant American businessmen had already discovered and were exploiting the new dream business, and it wasn’t manufacturing.  It was a money-spinner that was quicker, easier and more profitable than manufacturing grommets. It was financial services, 21st-century capitalism’s answer to alchemy. As academic, Christopher Witko, explains in an article in The Washington Post (March 29, 2016): 

… many observers believe that this expansion of the financial sector comes at a high cost. Scholars and politicians alike point to the “financialization” of the economy — and an increased reliance on the financial sector to create growth — as the root cause of many of our economic problems. The list includes income inequality, growing household debt, slow growth and the instability manifested in the 2008 global economic crisis.

Is this to suggest that financial operators are highly motivated to influence politics and policy in favor of their sector’s growth? It seems obvious and goes a long way to explain the meteoric rise of Washington’s financial-sector lobbyists. The more “adjustments” they can achieve for their bank and hedge-fund clients the more money everybody (except the American taxpayer) makes. And plowing some of that money back into ever-more-sophisticated lobbying efforts further oils the machine and keeps it spinning.

Who’s Doing the Great Mousetraps These Days?

Two countries are very much in the news in this respect lately, China and Russia, the former for their world-beating Huawei G5 fifth-generation high-speed communications kit and the latter for the S-400 anti-aircraft missile. Both new products touch raw nerve ends in the United States, and for obvious reasons. The Trump administration actually banned Huawei in the States–and in the process left Huawei’s founder’s daughter floundering under house arrest in Canada for allegedly violating American commercial sanctions, leaving the poor Canadians holding the ball.

The irony here is that the Chinese G5 system is at least two years ahead of its American competitors in development, and they have no hope of catching up any time soon. So urgent is their need for the Huawei equipment in order to deploy their own G5 services that they pressured President Trump into lifting the ban. How did the Chinese get so far ahead? As they weren’t busy running consecutive wars around the world, they had the time and resources to devote to technological development. So they built a better mousetrap.

Looked at from the outside–and it’s difficult to observe these highly-secret military matters from the inside–it seems the Russians stole a march on the Americans with the S-400, an anti-aircraft missile that will shoot down anything from the size of a football, at any speed, at any altitude and from a long way off. Not only that, but after American stalling for years on the sales of the–admittedly inferior–Patriot missiles to their allies, the Russians are merrily peddling the S-400 around the world, including to US Middle East partner, Turkey, a bitter pill for Uncle Sam. The Russians were helped greatly in this by the fact that the S-400 is not only superior to its American counterpart. It’s also less than half the price.

What Will the Americans Counter With?

That’s not quite clear yet. Their research-and-development and industrial resources having been relegated in recent years in favor of military adventures and tax cuts, they’re reduced to using their once-reliable strategies of smoke and mirrors. “Once-reliable” because President Trump, with his bold frankness and naive bravado, has drawn the curtain back on United States geopolitical objectives and strategies, and the Americans now have trouble taking the world by surprise. Broken treaties and repeated lies have convinced the world that they can no longer be trusted. It’s unlikely they will win this race with their usual black-ops public-relations campaigns,  patriotism, bluster, threats, false-flag operations or their new favorite recourse: sanctions. None of these ploys looks promising anymore. Nothing works like a better mousetrap.

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Is the US Democracy on the Critical List?–3/3

SchooloftheAmericas

Jefferson’s “Den of  Vipers and Thieves”

Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the US, saw the central bank as an unnecessary consolidation of power. He argued that it benefited investors, banks and businesses above the wider population. President Andrew Jackson, who opposed renewing the charter of the second US central bank, famously referred to it as “a den of vipers and thieves.”

Flash forward almost a century from the Fed’s founding. According to Allan Meltzer, author of The History of the Federal Reserve, “… the Fed’s decision to bail out the banks in 2008 has shaped many Americans’ current distrust of the central banking system more than the prolonged period of low interest rates. ” The public doesn’t think the government should be in the business of bailing out banks,” he says. Mike Collins, writing in Forbes.com in 2015, says: Continue reading “Is the US Democracy on the Critical List?–3/3”

Ford Foundation/CIA: Two-Headed Philanthropy – 3/3

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American academic, Joan Roelofs, in Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism (State University of New York Press, 2003) argues that Ford and similar foundations play a key role in co-opting opposition movements:

While dissent from ruling class ideas is labeled ‘extremism’ and is isolated, individual dissenters may be welcomed and transformed. Indeed, ruling class hegemony is more durable if it is not rigid and narrow, but is able dynamically to incorporate emergent trends. Roelofs reports that John J. McCloy, while chairman of the Foundation’s board of trustees, ‘…thought of the Foundation as a quasi-extension of the U.S. government. It was his habit, for instance, to drop by the National Security Council (NSC) in Washington every couple of months and casually ask whether there were any overseas projects the NSC would like to see funded.’ Roelofs also charges that the Ford Foundation financed counter-insurgency programs in Indonesia and other countries.

Bob Feldman’s long article, Alternative Media Censorship: Sponsored by CIA’s Ford Foundation? offers more spine-chilling details of how these two “philanthropic institutions” work together to advance the gringo agenda in the alternative news media. Feldman’s article explains in part why haven’t we read about this FF-CIA collusion before, even in the freak press. He writes on the Questions Questions website:

The multi-billion dollar Ford Foundation’s historic relationship to the Central Intelligence Agency is rarely mentioned on Pacifica’s Democracy Now / Deep Dish TV show, on Fair’s Counterspin show, on the Working Assets radio show, on The Nation Institute’s Radio Nation show, on David Barsamian’s Alternative Radio show or in the pages of Progressive, Mother Jones and Z Magazine. One reason may be because the Ford Foundation and other establishment philanthropic organizations subsidize the Establishment Left’s alternative media gatekeepers/censors.

See a fascinating diagram of this insidious “gatekeepers” phenomenon at the bottom of this page.

It’s a Pleasure and a Privilege to See Through You, Ford Foundation/CIA

Back to OF and SAG: Is it even remotely possible that SAG, an ongoing recipient of Ford Foundation funds for his human-rights work around the world, is unaware of the half-century-long carnal relationship between FF and CIA? If he is aware of it, why does he deny it so emphatically? If he isn’t, what’s wrong with him? Is he one of the individual dissenters who was welcomed and transformed, in Roelofs’ words, by the Ford Foundation and the CIA?

In any case, it has been a privilege to observe even marginally the machinations of the formidable Ford Foundation-CIA two-headed Orthrus, the philanthropic dog, and to confirm my suspicions regarding OF’s true colors, which explain, at least in part, his rapturous ascension to a high position in a septic think tank, to sit at the right hand of Power.

.Read more rant in my ebook, The Turncoat Chronicles.

Thanks for commenting and sharing.

Continue reading “Ford Foundation/CIA: Two-Headed Philanthropy – 3/3”

Ford Foundation/CIA: Two-Headed Philanthropy – 1/3

orthrus

The Sin, Not the Sinner

A few years ago I received an email from a South American gentleman I had never met. He said that he and his wife were coming to Spain on vacation and that an old friend of mine had recommended that they stop by Granada to visit us. I was bemused because more than 30 years ago we decided that this “old friend,” admittedly a guy I had grown up and gone to college with, was probably a CIA agent, and we haven’t had any contact with him since. I won’t tell you the names of the South American gentleman (SAG) nor the old friend (OF), as I’m not so much interested in discrediting them personally as describing the intricately devious world they operate in. The Spanish say, “You name the sin, not the sinner…” (“Se dice el pecado, no el pecador…”) Continue reading “Ford Foundation/CIA: Two-Headed Philanthropy – 1/3”

What America Learned from the Germans — 2/2

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(Continued from Part 1)

More on the Propaganda Techniques Employed by the Nazis

  • Glittering Generalities, which Yourman characterizes as “the use of “virtue words” to appeal to emotions of love, generosity and brotherhood. This phenomenon extends to references to German traditions dating back to the Middle Ages, especially the word “volk,” pronounced “folk.” German farmers were seduced to back the Third Reich with constant associations with “Blut und Boden,” (Blood and Soil) and bound by oaths of “Bauer honor” to tie them to the land and prevent them from changing their occupation or residence. The Nazis needed every sector of their economy dominated and running smoothly if they were going to win the upcoming war.
    .

Every country has its own benevolent myths regarding their own folks but the Nazis milked them dry. The Americans did something similar after the war. The myths of the “self-made man,” the “hardy frontiersman” and other old saws were elevated to such heights of nincompoopery that they gave rise to a full-blown axiomatic truth called “American Exeptionalism,” a truth just as true as “Manifest Destiny” and The Tooth Fairy. Continue reading “What America Learned from the Germans — 2/2”

The Godzilla Flag Is Loosed on the U.S.A.–2/2

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The Pledge of Allegiance is a Socialist Invention

The Wikipedia has an excellent article on the Pledge of Allegiance and I want to cite a couple of  quotes from it. I’m sure they won’t mind:

“The Pledge of Allegiance, as it exists in its current form, was composed in August 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855–1931), who was a Baptist minister, a Christian socialist, and the cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy (1850–1898).

“In 1892, Francis Bellamy created what was known as the Bellamy salute. It started with the hand outstretched toward the flag, palm down, and ended with the palm up. Because of the similarity between the Bellamy salute and the Nazi salute, which was adopted in Germany later, the US Congress stipulated that the hand-over-the-heart gesture as the salute to be rendered by civilians during the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem in the US would be the salute to replace the Bellamy salute. Removal of the Bellamy salute occurred on December 22, 1942, when Congress amended the Flag Code language first passed into law on June 22, 1942.”

Continue reading “The Godzilla Flag Is Loosed on the U.S.A.–2/2”

Who Are the Bad Guys?

bad-guysby Mike Booth

What If We Got It All Backwards?

The most illustrious, most powerful men and women of the U.S. political classes have always been fond of telling us who the Bad Guys were. According to them we’re surrounded by them, have been for a long time. In the 50’s and 60’s it was the Russians. Remember them? They had recently contributed 20 million dead to help us win the Second World War, but we immediately felt we had to be their enemies. Churchill, who was miffed for being sidelined by Roosevelt and Stalin at Yalta, actually advocated “neutralizing” the Russians as soon as the war was over.

The Russian Communists were our pretext for a lot of vile and truculent shenanigans in the name of national security: the cold war, the McCarthy witch hunt, the nuclear arms race, and the tragic destruction of a minuscule South Asian country which was about to push over the first piece in a series of deadly “dominoes” which would take the Red Menace to the American heartland via the port of San Francisco. Continue reading “Who Are the Bad Guys?”