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February 1, 2017
by Alexandra Ares

After a crazy week when hearts battled minds, and compassion for certain immigrants cried louder than responsibility toward all citizens; after a crazy week when the mainstream media has been frothing over the temporary travel ban from the seven terrorism prone Muslim countries, (where, by the way, the US had made a lot of 'friends' during the Obama and Bush administrations by bombing millions of Muslims, some of whom might want to repay the 'favor'); after a crazy week when Senator Schumer of New York cried over the 109 travelers from those countries inconvenienced at the airports the previous day, yes, the same Senator Chuck Schumer who had presided over the Wall Street Crash in 2009 (along with Hillary Rodham Clinton) and never shed a tear although he bankrupt millions of Americans, the same Senator of New York who sheds no tears at the obscene rise in the cost of living of the city he supposedly represents, I was ready to give up on the news media. I was appalled by the hysteria jumping out of all its pores. I was unwilling to write one more column about doom and gloom and further pollute the world’s psyche.  

Then yesterday, while perusing  Zerohedge, I came across a lone buried story that gave me a glimmer of hope; a lone story that could give hope to every American - Republican, Democrat, or, like me, Independent:

So Trump keeps one of his earliest and trickiest campaign promises. It's a nice surprise. Especially since it was made long before Bannon, Priebus, and Conway came on board. Especially since it was scratched from the Trump’s website a few months after he’d declared his candidacy. Especially since I worried that either his pal, Governor Christie of New Jersey, or some special interests in the Republican Party had convinced Trump to drop this thorny issue. Especially since I wrote a column about this worried that Trump might do like Obama and forget many of his promises once elected! I was happy to be wrong.

Don’t worry: mainstream media buried this piece of good news, afraid that it might disrupt their narrative about Trump’s badness.

If you ever wonder about US media’s manipulation, a simple analysis of how this story was placed and headlined yesterday will show you how it is done:

Bloomberg headlined the meeting between Trump and the CEO of drug companies, highlighting the FEARS of the (legal) drug makers, to stay consistent with the narrative that everything about the new president Trump is fear inducing.

Trump Meets with Drug Makers as Industry Fears Price Controls

Today Bloomberg changed the headline and its emphasis, giving due notice to Trump's calling drug prices astronomical. But how many people read yesterday's news?

The New York Times buried this piece of news that might improve the lives of ALL 330+ million Americans in the Health Section, offering the entire real estate of its first page to concerns for the 109 visitors of from the temporarily banned terror prone countries, and the dismissal of the Obama’s Attorney General who was supposed to be out by now anyway.

Trump Vows To Ease Rules For Drug Makers But Prices Remain A Focus. 

Here the emphasis of the headline is on Trump’s effort to help the rich drug makers, he is their friend, while his clear demand to bring down the price is phrased vaguely.

The New York Times has learned better since Trump slammed Boeing for lowering prices, a story that they’d put on the first page and helped Trump score points with the voters.

Should I go on?

Surprisingly, Huffington Post served the news straight up, without trying to pick a headline or a placement that would diminish it.

Trump Meets Drug Makers, Demands Lower Prices

I asked media expert Anthony Damato to comment on media bias and bury. “When forced to choose between a narrative  framing enforcement of existing laws, national security and a take charge Administration or your example, reigning in big Pharma, run with a cynically, intellectually dishonest appraisal of the former, and bury the later. Front page center of course is reserved to emphasize the plight of the relative handful detained as an affront to common human decency and a crying Lady Liberty.” 

If Donald Trump manages only this one thing - to remove the ban on Government to negotiate prices for Medicare and Medicaid, to lower drug prices and all other prices in healthcare and break up the various cartels (AMA, Insurance, Hospitals & Drugs) by opening them up to real competition - and then spends the rest of his Presidency playing golf, he will still go down history books as the greatest American President since Kennedy.     

Oh, the heresy!

For this to happen he needs the help of his own party, which is now forced to come up fast with a better replacement for the Affordable Healthcare Act after years of criticizing it. Are they going to be able to pull it off?

By now, Trump’s Art of the Deal is clear: he goes to the heart of the matter and fixes it unconcerned that he will ruffle some feathers, while giving the party at the “losing end” something they need, like less tax and regulation, to heal the sting. A win-win.


January 21, 2017



January 21, 2017
by Alexandra Ares

The former President left this week with high approval ratings and an impressive list of accomplishments: Obama's administration rescued the economy from the 2008 depression, kept the oil at $50 a barrel, caught Osama Bin Laden, restored the prestige of the United States after the Iraq war, brought the stock market from 6000 to 20000; opened an embassy in Cuba; banned torture; managed 82 months of straight jobs growth; put a Rover on Mars; passed a credit card reform; allowed gay marriage; decreased the dependence on foreign oil; reduced the deficit from 9.8 of GDP to 3.2 of GDP; passed the Volker rule; ended the solitary confinement for juveniles; regulated tobacco;; allowed gays, women, and transgenders to serve in the military; saved the US auto industry; passed the affordable care act which expanded coverage to 20 million people and banned insurers from banning coverage because of preexisting conditions, despite its man flaws, etc.

On the other hand, in many ways Obama outBushed Bush. Under his tenure, US expanded fracking, supported TPP, increased deportations, had a cabinet appointed by CitiBank (as per Wikileaks), doubled the military personnel stationed in the Middle East and Afghanistan, doubled the national debt. Most of all, Obama failed to fix what many feel it’s wrong at the core of the country:

Per the New York Times, the middle class has been shrinking since Obama took office:

Per the New York Times, race relationships were at their worst in nearly 24 years under Obama:

Per the New York Times, infrastructure decay is a dire threat:

Truth be told, American manufacturing has been disappearing to satisfy Wall Street and executive chasing quarterly earnings, well before Obama, and continued unhindered under his administration. The manufacturing wealth that was formerly shared with the US middle class wasn’t shifted only overseas. It was also shifted upward to financial industry compensation. 

Obama's supporters might loathe the messenger, but it is truth to President Trump’s message. It remains to be seen if the new administration will manage to shift the power back to the American people as promised in Trump's Inaugural Address. Two of his cabinet nominees, Tom  Price for Health and billionaire Betty DeVos for Education, seem rather unlikely to help with this, and more likely to provide standard Republican positions. The new President will deal, just like the former President and any other President, with a Congress where, as per "60 Minutes", every Congressman spends hours every day dialing various special interests for dollars, and with partisan politics where opposition (be it Democrat or Republican) would rather see the President fail than help him do anything good for the American people (and take the credit for it!).

January 15, 2017
by Alexandra Ares

Trump Wows Insurance for Everyone (Washington Post) But He Is Against Single Payer

In addition to his replacement plan for the ACA, also known as Obamacare, Trump said he will target pharmaceutical companies over drug prices.

“They’re politically protected, but not anymore,” he said of pharmaceutical companies.

"We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump said. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.” People covered under the law “can expect to have great health care. It will be in a much simplified form. Much less expensive and much better.”

"I don’t want single-payer. What I do want is to be able to take care of people,” he said Saturday.

Trump waved away the suggestion that such activity could lead to market volatility on Wall Street. “Stock drops and America goes up,” he said. “I don’t care. I want to do it right or not at all.” He added that drug companies “should produce” more products in the United States.


La La Land Takes 7 Golden Globes (NYT) and Emerges as Top Oscar Contender - Go see this wonderful movie!

January, 2017 
by Bill Benton
I first encountered Barack Obama in a junior high school gymnasium in a blue collar suburb of Minneapolis, the same one where the moviemaking Coen brothers and the column-writing Tom Friedman came from.  

This was several years before Obama became a national figure.  He was there to help promote a local prosecutor named Klobuchar who was running for Senator. The popular governor was there too. The gym was crowded and Obama’s half hour talk was well received. He was relaxed, friendly, and charming - mostly on the topic of how much people liked him. I remember thinking at the end of the talk, This guy is a political genius - he has talked for half an hour without actually saying anything at all.  I did not join the mob seeking to shake his hand, despite the fact that we were both Columbia grads.

Here we are ten years later and it is possible to evaluate Obama’s eight years in the White House.  My impressions are good, bad and ugly. (Read more...)


December, 2016 
by Alexandra Ares

Will Trump Deliver or Become the Next Obama?

The two Presidents hate each other and couldn’t be more different: from the color of their skin and the color of their hair, to their speech style and political affiliation. Yet, as heads of state, the test is how to reconcile the opposite needs of American people and the needs of various special interests that run both the US Congress and Government?

Here are some examples:

Americans are sick of war vs. Defense Factories Need more War

[The country has been depleted by years of financing war and can’t offer its citizens man of the services provided by countries with a low defense budget.]    

Americans need good jobs with benefits vs 94% of the jobs created under Obama were part time or have no benefits because of 1) Big Business vicious cost-cutting to please Wall Street 2) High healthcare costs bring ruin to employers.

Americana need an economy that works for them vs. the FED, Big Business and WS who want an economy that works for big capital.

Americans need affordable drugs vs. Big Pharma, which charges the biggest prices in the world, thwarts competition, and increases costs more than inflation, year after year.    

Americans want to end predatory healthcare practices, need affordable hospital care and transparent pricing vs Hospitals who try to extract as much money from each patient as humanely possible, charging the highest prices in the world for subpar healthcare.   

American people want single payer like in Canada, UK, or Germany, or at least the Public Option vs. a For-profit health Insurance system which auctions life and health to the highest bidder.

And the list goes on to include Education, which has become a heavy, burdensome tax on opportunity, the Internet and cable bundling/monopolies, which have become another burden on every household, and charge the highest prices in the world (about 15 times higher than in Romania for instance for lesser quality), Property Taxes, Rents, Cost of Living, Apparel, etc.

It will take genius to reconcile these staggering differences. The reason is: (Read more...)


November, 2016 
by Alexandra Ares
After a two-year brutal presidential campaign that felt like an exhausting civil war between the "Deplorables" and "the Respectables," or the Dispossessed and the Elites, Donald Trump was elected President by most of the states in a stunning upset for the entire world who was banking on Hillary's win. Like him or hate him, Donald Trump's achievement is an underdog story of epic proportions, beating insurmountable odds like a gladiator who kills a non-stop barrage of beasts unleashed in the arena to kill him:    
  • 19 Republicans Presidential Candidates
  • The Bush dynasty 
  • The powerful Clinton dynasty
  • The current Political Establishment: President Obama and  First Lady Michelle Obama who campaigned vigorously for Clinton and against Trump  
  • The Financial Establishment: From Wall Street to Billionaires like Rockefeller, Soros,  Gates, Murdoch, Bloomberg, and Buffet who funded a savage national and international opposition.
  • The Business Establishment: Corporations and multinationals
  • The Silicon Valley establishment, including Google and FaceBook.
  • The New York Times and Washington Post which published a barrage of daily negative op-eds and news items against Trump and enforced a strict censorship of all voices supporting him,  from op-eds and most readers comments.
  • The Literary Establishment, who wrote an open letter against him signed by 400 of the most respected writers and editors, including people in the Pulitzer's Board and Jury. 
  • Much of the international political establishment 
  • The Hollywood establishment,  from the influential Lady Gaga to the Executive Producer of his own show, the Apprentice, Mark Burnett, 
  • The most popular now late night talk-show hosts: Stephen Colbert, James Oliver, Bill Mahar, Seth Mayers, Trevor Noah etc.  
  • Saturday Night Live comedians.
  • CNN, MSNBC, and part of Fox News,
  • The Democrats who outspent him 2-1, and out-staffed him 10 to 1.
  • A haircut everyone ridiculed,
  • Attacks against his family,
  • His business track record, from bankruptcies, to huge tax deductions, and the Trump University lawsuits.
  • A leaked-tape where he bragged about his sexual contests while also engaged with his third wife, the beautiful and much younger Melania, which had been played non stop by all the networks, and would have sunk any other candidate. 
  • A gaggle of women who claimed sexual harassment. 
  • Daily 'expert polls' that assure everyone of his loss.
Last year, early in the campaign, I noted in Manhattan Chronicles that the only people who had a real shot of winning the elections were Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, the only contenders who were truly authentic and addressed with courage the real, huge problems of the United States. Sanders, a self-proclaimed Socialist and a class act, achieved the impossible task of gaining the respect of everyone, including that of his political enemies (like Fox News, Republicans and even Donald Trump), but lost the primaries because the DNC colluded with the media and the political establishment to sideline him, as it was long suspected and finally reveled by WikiLeaks. It would have been very interesting to witness the debates between Trump and Sanders, because both men would have talked strictly business, instead of a national hysteria of Wikileaks Vs Gropes and other nasty shouts.     
The win of Trump, beyond his larger than life personal merit and stamina to carry such an endeavor, is also a repudiation of Obama's, Bush's and Clinton legacies, each of which had been touted in their hey day as pro-growth and pro-people, but instead marginalized both the needs and the voices of the silent majority, while enriching Wall Street, Big Business, and the globalists. It is also a repudiation of a political correctness gone too far for too long, a repudiation of the divisive identity politics conduced by the Democratic party, which went well-beyond equal rights for everyone to become openly hostile and insensitive to straight white, Judeo-Christian's people and values. Finally a repudiation of a politics of placing the rights of illegal immigrants and refugees beyond the security and economic interests of all Americans, and a repudiation of America's neglect of its own middle class and infrastructure to afford perpetual wars abroad.     


October 9, 2016 
by Alexandra Ares

Trump won the second debate, although Clinton did her best; will it be enough for him to win though?

Oh, the comedy! A supposedly populist townhall, in which Anderson Cooper, a trust fund baby of the super rich Vanderbilt family, who makes 11 million a year from CNN, clumsily questioned Trump, a billionaire, and Clinton, owner of a billionaire foundation, about their plans to respond to the economic worries of the average Joe and Jane. Do they really remember them?  

Trump did win the second debate in a do or die night. It was a surprising come back after a week from hell with the recording of his sexual bravado, (while newly married with gorgeous Melania in 2005) that gave everyone pause. He was composed, sober, lethally on point, no longer mangled his sentences, displayed some humor, and he even looked presidential: His hair had a new sheen of distinguished silver. Will it be enough for him to win? With all the media piled up against him it, like wild beasts cornering a gladiator, and his own words coming back to bite him, it would be nothing short of a miracle.

Hillary Clinton was very good, at her best, but there is something about the way she talks that prevents one from being engaged: Is it her lawyerly avoidance of straight, binding words? Her competent sounding platitudes and generic promises conveying exactly nothing? Because of all of this, it is hard to remember most of the things she says.

The Townhall was supposed to be a “what can you do for us, brother” job interview for each candidate. This is what voters want to find out. We don’t care if you are a womanizer with a potty mouth and an equal opportunity basher, or a cold woman with many secrets and conflicts of interest in your bleached private servers, lost laptops, or hammered iPhones, we don't even care if both of you have used the same loophole to write off your real or imaginary loses from taxes, we don't care if, at least, you can get us something we need. How can you make healthcare and education cheaper, what special interests are you going to cut exactly, how are you going to create jobs, how are you going to make saving profitable again? And finally do you want us to continue financing various regime change coups and wars in the Middle East against all non compliant presidents, and use our federal taxes to silently and covertly continue of American Project for the 21st Century? If yes, what's in it for us, or for who?

Instead, courtesy of the moderators Copper and Raddatz, the townhall turned into yet another combined effort to magnify Trump’s sins, and gloss over Clinton’s; in other words, another effort to magnify non substantive issues and gloss over real problems that affect our quality of life. For instance, I believe the tactics of how to wage the war/conflict in Syria should be left to generals and kept secret. What should be discussed/asked instead is the general direction: Do you both (Trump/Clinton) want to continue the post War War II politics of arming rebels and changing regimes to expand the power of American empire abroad? Or do you want to focus those resources on building up the inland to catch up with the progress in Europe and Asia? Or are you going to cut the obscene, artificial profits in healthcare or are you going to continue to subsidize its excesses with tax payer money? If yes, how exactly? 

Oh, the comedy! When they entered the race last year, Trump said that he was for the Public Option because it worked well in Canada; Clinton was against the Public Option, hotly wanted by Sanders. At the second debate, Trump borrowed his moronic party talking points that Public Option is bad because Canadians come to the US for all the special surgeries, and Clinton borrowed Sander’s humanitarian position on the public option. Neither was genuine. So now we have a closeted Democrat, Trump, who tries to appeal to his Republican base, and a closeted Republican, Hillary, who is trying to lure the progressives, just to get their votes, and then what?

If I had any certainty that Hillary will push for a Public Option, I would vote for her on this alone, but I don’t. Experience has shown that greedy Hillary is always pushing for the biggest donor and then she will dress up the favor as something good for all of us. (As a New York, Senator Hillary brought Tata Industries, the biggest outsourcer in India, at the time a client of McKinsey Consulting, which employed Chelsea; the move was presented as somehow good for creating jobs (for who, for Indians?), while Upstate New York became a no-jobs- no-factories-ghost-land.)    

If I had any certainty that Trump will push a public option and relieve people of a mandatory and predatory private insurance, I would vote for him on this position alone, but again, I don’t, because he needs his party support, and his party is against it.   

Actually both parties are against the Public Option and the elimination of a morally and financially bankrupt for-profit model in medicine. Any real reform in healthcare means that certain actors will make less money, the stocks will drop, and with everyone owing these stocks, the healthcare "mafia" is too big to fail; just another Ponzi scheme, like Wall Street, and almost everything else at this point. More than that, the “medical and drug complex” are the biggest advertiser for the media, and a top donor in all the Congressional races.

If I had any certainty that Hillary will indeed push for the end of Citizen’s United, I will vote for her, but so far she has benefited from Super Pac money more than Trump. Once elected she’ll need those funds to get re-elected, because in her case only money can buy  love.  

With forces so great against real change, we are all led to vote based on fear, not hope.

September 27, 2016
by Alexandra Ares

Clinton Brought Her A Game in the First Debate, But Didn't Play Fair; Trump Fought Hard, But Didn't Do His Best  

So they finally appeared together on the same stage: Hillary Clinton, dressed in imperial red from head to toe, to amp-up her recently sickly stamina and look more presidential, if not royal; Donald Trump, with a boring blue tie that seemed borrowed from Bernie Sanders to dial down his flamboyant persona, and look more humble, if not presidential. She seemed radiant, well-rehearsed, and in her element; he seemed flustered like a high-school boy who came there to impress a date; not his usual devil-may-care: "I am here to slay my rivals." He addressed her (like Sanders before him) with Madam Secretary, she called him back dismissively Donald. Big mistake to play - out of chivalry - by the rules of a female opponent who is known for skirting them. Trump's strength in the primaries was to be irreverent and mention all the elephants in the room. This is why he survived 17 opponents, while Bernie Sanders and his kid gloves vanished into the sunset. Without his irreverence, Trump was like Sampson tricked to offer his hair to Delilah.  

The debate started with an easy question from the moderator Lester Holt who ashed Clinton why is she better equipped to create jobs. From there followed an intellectual wasteland of 90 minutes full of generic ideas that any fan of the two candidates could have answered easily and often times even better; nothing new or inconvenient of any significance was asked or discussed. The moderator strategy for the debate seemed to be to 1) play it safe and keep his job, 2) avoid Matt Lauer’s criticism, and 3) avoid upsetting the members of the Presidential Debates Committee, who reportedly all but one had donated to Hillary Clinton.  

Hillary Clinton brought her A game, reversing the collapsing trend started by her fainting spell at the 9/11 ceremony and her other recent health problems. She came much better prepared than her opponent, both in front and behind the camera. Nothing was left to chance: from the previously intimidated moderator, who never interrupted her like he interrupted Trump, and who never dared to ask her about her iffy record (the  the many documented conflicts of interest (with the Clinton foundation,  the controversial FBI investigation, the negative IG report,  the 30,000+ deleted emails after they were suponaed, the laptop with classified data lost in the mail, the documented DNC rigging of the primaries, as shown in WikiLeaks; the recent proof of intent found by Paul Gambetta work ticket labeled “Hillary cover-up” and his forays on Reddit to learn how to delete sensitive data from Hillary’s emails, etc.).; to the split screen that cut a few inches of Trump’s left side of the head, making him look awkward, smaller and cornered, while Hillary’s camera framing was 100% flattering; to the defective mic that made Trump sniff uncharacteristically; to the content of the debate questions and answers.         

Clinton delivered not a single solution to improve race relations or anything in particular, only sound bites that sounded good and knowledgeable and compassionate, but amounted to nothing concrete; no real ideas or clear proposals. Donald Trump spoke with intensity and conviction but he was winging it, speaking on top of Hillary to defend himself but with mangled sentences, and he jumped from one idea to the next, often before finishing his thoughts, too rushed and aggravated to properly word his arguments.   

In conclusion, the first debate offered us a stark choice between a polished politician who represents the status quo and who exudes a queenly arrogance and is a master of scripted platitudes that never translate into action; and an undisciplined businessman who is relatable and has good judgement, but is rough around the edges, improvisational, and easily taunted. While watching it, I wished Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein were on stage to bring their eloquent proposals regarding education, healthcare and military restraint (Sanders) or roll-back (Stein) to the 100 million of people in the audience, and lead both Trump and Hillary, as well as Lester Holt, to more meaningful subjects for our everyday life. 

Trump was  like a singer constrained to sing in the wrong key, a Trump-lite key suggested by his advisers. By trying too hard to be nice and presidential, he lost the chance of framing the conversation from the get go, and had to act defensively most of the debate.

The unfair bit came when Clinton accused Trump of calling a former Ms. Universe winner Ms. Piggy after she gained weight, and when Hillary accused Trump of wanting equal pay for men and women if they do an equally good job. Here Trump lost it; perhaps because he was attacked under his belt. I don't know if the first assertion was true, but Clinton has ran adds with it for two months and he shoud have been prepared. He should have said that if a woman voluntarily enrolls in the world's top beauty pageant than she is expected to look in a certain way and, if she wins, maintain her looks and weight for one year  as per her contract. It's about  being professional. If the same woman wants to be judged for her intellect she could enroll in a chess tournament or in the Olympics for Math or in a piano-playing contest. People are judged by the rules of the game they want to win and voluntarily submit themselves to. It goes the same for equal pay for men and women as long as their job is equally good. You can't use feminism as a weapon to gain preferential treatment, and cry victim when you don't get it.   

The real "Trump" from the first Republican debate, who talked like someone with nothing to lose, had been more effective. This time he made some good point, but he forgot to mention that the country needs no more Clinton and Bushes. He occasionally lost himself in meaningless details that made Clinton smile, instead of framing his case in broad, bold strokes. 

Hillary came across as the smooth talker between the two, the real politician; but still not someone who could inspire people or bring change to the millions who need it. Will it be enough for her  to win?  

It remains to be seen how Trump will up his game at the next debate. It  remains to be seen if Hillary’s polished debate skills will be enough to counteract people's mistrust and her tainted track record.       


September 26, 2016
by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse Blog and Zerohedge

Clinton brought her A game in the first debate

Trump fought hard, but could have done much better  

Hillary Clinton was dressed in imperial red from head to toe to amp-up her stamina and look more presidential, if not royal, while Donald Trump had a boring blue tie that seemed borrowed from Bernie Sanders to dial down his and look more presidential, if not humble.

The debate started with an easy question from the moderator Lester Holt to Hillary Clinton and from there followed an intellectual wasteland where nothing new or inconvenient ore revealing was asked. The moderator strategy for the debate seemed to be to 1) keep his job, 2) avoid Matt Lauer’s criticism, and 3) avoid upsetting the members of the Presidential Debates Committee, who reportedly all but one had donated to Hillary Clinton.  

Hillary Clinton brought her A Game, reversing the collapsing trend started by her fainting spell at the 9/11 ceremony and her other recent health problems. She came much better prepared than her opponent, both in front and behind the camera. Nothing was left to chance:  from the previously frightened moderator who never interrupted her like he interrupted Trump and who never dared to ask her about  the many documented conflicts of interest with the Clinton foundation,  the controversial FBI investigation, the negative IG report,  the 30,000+ deleted emails after they were suponaed, the laptop with classified data lost in the mail, the documented DNC rigging of the primaries, as shown in WikiLeaks; the recent proof of intent found by Paul Gambetta work ticket labeled “Hillary cover-up” and his forays on Reddit to learn how to delete sensitive data from Hillary’s emails, etc.; to the split screen that cut a few inches of Trump’s left side of the head, making him look awkward, smaller and cornered, while Hillary’s camera framing was 100% flattering; to the defective mic that made Trump sniff uncharacteristically; to the content of the debate itself.        

Clinton delivered not a single solution to improving race relations or anything, just sound bites and talking points that sounded good and knowledgeable and compassionate, but amounted to nothing concrete, no real ideas or proposals. Donald Trump spoke with intensity and conviction, often on top of her but mangled his sentences, and jumped from one idea to the next, often before finishing his thoughts.  

Watching this debate I wished Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein were on stage to bring their eloquent proposals regarding education, healthcare and military expansion to the 100 million of people in the audience, and force Trump and Hillary to address more meaningful subjects in their first public “job interview”.  

Trump seemed uneasy throughout, like a singer constrained to sing in the wrong key's, suggested by his aides. Trump tried at first to play nice and by doing so he lost the chance of framing the conversation, and had to act defensively most of the debate.  

Trump from the first Republican debate who talked like someone with nothing to lose had been more effective. This time he forgot to mention that the country needs not more Clinton and Bushes, and he seemed to lose himself in meaningless details that made Clinton smile.

Hillary put him Trump on the defensive in much of the debate. She came across as the smooth talker between the two, the snotty class president who would do great at a White House dinner with other officials.  But still not someone who could inspire people or bring change to the millions who need it. 

It remains to be seen how Trump will up his game at the next debate, and if Hillary’s polished debate skills are enough to counteract her tainted political track record.       

rs in debt. Today, the U.S. government is 19.5 trillion dollars in debt, and Obama still has several months to go until the end of his second term.  That means that an average of more than 1.1 trillion dollars will be added to the national debt during his presidency.  We are stealing a tremendous amount of consumption from the future to make the economy look much, much better than it otherwise would be, and we are systematically destroying the future in the process.

#2 As Obama prepares to leave office, the rate at which we are adding to the national debt is actually increasing.  During the fiscal year that is just ending, the U.S. government has added another 1.36 trillion dollars to the national debt.

#3 It isn’t just the federal government that is on a massive debt binge.  Total U.S. corporate debt has nearly doubled since the end of 2007.

#4 Default rates on U.S. corporate debt are the highest that they have been since the last financial crisis.

#5 Corporate profits have fallen for five quarters in a row, and it is being projected that it will be six in a row once the final numbers for the third quarter come in.

#6 During the month of August, commercial bankruptcy filings were up 29 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

#7 The rate of new business formation in the United States dropped dramatically during the last recession and has hovered at that new lower level ever since.

#8 The Wall Street Journal says that this is the weakest “economic recovery” since 1949.

#9 Barack Obama is on track to be the only president in all of U.S. historyto never have a single year when the U.S. economy grew by at least 3 percent.

#10 In August, the Cass Freight Index dipped to the lowest level that we have seen for that month since 2010.  What this means is that the total amount of stuff being shipped around the country by air, by rail and by truck is really dropping, and this is a clear sign that real economic activity is slowing down in a major way.

#11 Capital expenditure growth has turned negative, and history has shown that this is almost always followed by a new recession.

#12 The percentage of Americans with a full-time job has been sitting at about 48 percent since 2010.  You have to go back to 1983 to find a time when full-time employment in this country was so low.

#13 The labor force participation rate peaked back in 1997 and has been steadily falling ever since.

#14 The “inactivity rate” for men in their prime working years is actually higher today than it was during the last recession.

#15 The United States has lost more than five million manufacturing jobs since the year 2000 even though our population has become much larger over that time frame.

#16 If you can believe it, the total number of government employees now outnumbers the total number of manufacturing employees in the United States by almost 10 million.

#17 One study found that median incomes have fallen in more than 80 percent of the major metropolitan areas in this country since the year 2000.

#18 According to the Social Security Administration, 51 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.

#19 The rate of homeownership in the U.S. has fallen every single year while Barack Obama has been in the White House.

#20 Approximately one out of every five young adults are currently living with their parents.

#21 The auto loan debt bubble recently surpassed the one trillion dollar mark for the first time ever.

#22 Auto loan delinquencies are at the highest level that we have seensince the last recession.

#23 In 1971, 61 percent of all Americans were considered to be “middle class”, but now middle class Americans have actually become a minority in this nation.

#24 One recent survey discovered that 62 percent of all Americans have less than $1,000 in savings.

#25 According to the Federal Reserve, 47 percent of all Americans could not even pay an unexpected $400 emergency room bill without borrowing the money from somewhere or selling something.

#26 The number of New Yorkers sleeping in homeless shelters just set a brand new record high, and the number of families permanently living in homeless shelters is up a whopping 60 percent over the past five years.

Despite all of the facts that you just read, the truth is that there is one particular group of people that have been doing quite well during the Obama years.  I really like how Charles Hugh Smith made this point in one of his recent articles

The top 5% of households that dominate government, Corporate America, finance, the Deep State and the media have been doing extraordinarily well during the past eight years of stock market bubble (oops, I mean boom) and “recovery,” and so they report that the economy is doing splendidly because they’ve done splendidly.

By recklessly creating money out of thin air and pumping it into the financial markets, the Federal Reserve has greatly enriched the elite, but they have also dramatically increased the gap between the very wealthy and the rest of us.  Since he has been in the White House during this time, Barack Obama has gotten the credit for this temporary stock market bubble, and most of the elite love Obama anyway.

But in the process the stage has been set for the greatest economic and financial implosion in U.S. history, and the pain that is coming is going to affect every man, woman and child in this country.

During the debate, Trump and Clinton will talk a lot about tinkering with tax rates and regulations, but those measures are essentially going to be meaningless when compared to the massive economic tsunami that is coming.  The next president is going to inherit the biggest economic problems that this nation has ever faced, and it is going to take a miracle of Biblical proportions to turn the U.S. economy in the right direction.

September 11, 2016
by Alexandra Ares
The Clinton Campaign in dire need of a Fibs Supervisor 


Is there an officer embedded in the Clinton campaign who keeps track of all the fibs being told, in a tidy excel spreadsheet?

If not, they need to hurry up and hire one.

The hardest part of a liar is to remember all the lies. In the case of the Clinton campaign the list of fake excuses has spun out of control. Just like a film production crew has a script supervisor to make sure that a watch worn in one scene, appeared in the next, the Clintons need a "continuity supervisor" for all their fibs.   

After 90 minutes of radio silence after Hillary fell ill at the 9/11 ceremony, the Clinton Campaign issued a statement saying that Hillary Clinton left because she had been overheated and dehydrated.

It was a rather cool morning, 79F at 9 am, with low humidity, and I was in the city, enjoying it.  

Soon after the public statement, a video leaked to the press and on the internet and I watched how Hillary collapsed like a rag doll before entering her black limo, although she was well propped up by an eight people detail to help her cross a mere three feet (one meter) to the car door. By an odd coincidence, her collapse happened almost at the same time with the collapse of the first World Trade Center fifteen years ago when she was a senator of New York. That collapse didn’t look healthy, and certainly didn't look Presidential. It looked pretty damn scary.  I felt bad for the poor woman to force herself to campaign in such a dire state.  

The paper of record, New York Times, gingerly reduced Hillary's loss of motion control and collapse to a “stumble.”

I wish Hillary Clinton speedy recovery and I admire her hard work campaigning at an age when 99% of lesser privileged and ambitious grandmothers would have long retired. Also, as a crowd hater myself, I can understand feeling overheated among too many people. However, any overheated woman’s first gesture would have been to remove her suit jacket. Hillary didn’t do this, although she had a light white blouse underneath. She arrived at the car with the jacket on. A fibs supervisor would have caught this and removed the jacket to ensure compliance with the "overheating" excuse.

Regarding dehydration, Hillary did not collapse alone in Sahara’s desert or in the field, after a double shift of hard labor without a lunch break. It was morning, she had been chauffeured to the site, and, if thirsty, she had a team around to service her. Especially since they've claimed that she’d fainted before because of this reason. Her personal doctor was also there.  Still nobody was carrying bottles of water, used or unused. Again, a fibs supervisor would have carried a bottle or just suggested a new excuse. The only thing I saw falling on the curb as Hillary was helped into the car was something like an EpiPen or a syringe. 

Later, after the video of Hillary’s collapsed surfaced, the story shifted and we were told that the culprit had been instead “pneumonia, but there are no other health problems.”

Everything begins to look like the Email Gate sequence of denials and adjustments – there were no classified emails - as new evidence is surfacing to contradict each of Hillary’s health claims.

Does Hillary or her campaign think we are all stupid?   

Most people are kind and feel supportive toward an ill woman.

But people don’t like to be lied to.

People hate to be treated as idiots.

By now Hillary Clinton announced that she divides Trump’s supporters in a basket of deplorables and one of left-behinds. Now her patronizing disrespect ballooned to comprise everyone; we’re supposed to either be her blind fans (1) or plain idiots (2) and eat up the most illogical lies. At the Commander-in-Chief Forum, Clinton said that she’s learned from her mistakes in Iraq, Libya, and with her private server. But did she? Everyone but her blind fans can see how she stubbornly repeats her mistakes beyond the point of no repair: She lies and obfuscates and shifts the blame on someone or something else, each time she has to deal with some new inconvenient truth.  

Americans are hungry for truth and decency. This is why Bernie Sanders built an amazing reputation and won over millions of hearts over the same one year when Hillary has compromised hers. And other than Bernie’s own DNC, there has been no right wing conspiracy to attack him, no internet alt right or alt left to fault him, no need to cover things up and shift the blame of his mistakes on anyone. Bernie supporters believed all along that Hillary Clinton won her candidacy in an underhand fashion - just watch the Humanist Report, A.H. Goodman, David Seams, the Same Progressive, and many other podcasts on YouTube - with the help of a corrupt president of the DNC, whom she hired right after she had been fired for misconduct. 

Sunday’s collapse in such a public and symbolic setting can be seen as divine intervention, or a case of bad karma.   

September 1, 2016
by Alexandra Ares
Like it or not: 

1.      Change

In recent history, voters have picked the “fresh face,” the new kid on the politics block over the status quo: In 2008 Obama was the candidate of change over Mitt Romney, who was seen as someone who would continue Bush’s policies; in 2000 G.W. was the fresh face against Gore, in 1992, Bill Clinton was the fresh–face against Bush senior.

2.      Perceived Fair Play  

Hillary Clinton's campaign emerged from the primaries with a bad rap: she won against only one candidate, Sanders, with unfair help from the DNC (as shown by the WikiLeaks) and the mainstream media who, as shown in Politico, had almost all donated to the Clinton Foundation. Like it or not, Trump beat 17 candidates fairly, against a RNC and Republican establishment who had spent huge amounts of money to defeat him, and a liberal media that has relentlessly attacked him. 

3.      Hillary’s Record   

Hillary Clinton left both her official jobs as a senator of NYC and as a Secretary of State with a bad rap; as a Senator of New York she voted for the war in Iraq against the will of the people who had elected her. She also the banking sector’s senator and presided over the Wall Street crash, which took place at the end of her tenure. As a Secretary of State she resigned over the Benghazi scandal, citing a timely concussion; later Gucciffer 1 and 2 revealed that she had conducted all her business as a Secretary of State (and years before, as a Senator) from a private server set up in her own home. By doing so she knowingly deflected theFreedom of Information Act, in order to protect her private activity for the Clinton Foundation and its donors.

4.       Bill Clinton’s Record

Hillary Clinton brings a husband who is both an asset— as a talented, popular politician —and a liability, as an impeached president and a disbarred lawyer.

 5.      The Clintons’ Art of the Loophole

Unlike Sanders, who has a sterling reputation and a clear message, Hillary and Bill Clinton have built a reputation ofrelying on legal loopholes to circumvent rules or defend questionable behavior.

Some examples are illustrative: funneling state DNC money into Hillary Victory Fund, using Former President Act to subsidize Clinton Foundation’s expenses;   the set-up  of a private server while at State; having senior State Department aids also on the payroll of the Clinton Foundation, and have Clinton Foundation’s Doug Band requesting them favors forthe donors (as shown in recent emails made public by the State Department). Lastly, receiving millions of dollars in donations and speeches from companies and individuals with business before the State Government; the most glaring example being the sale of one fifth of US’s uranium to a Russian company.

6.      Trump Dominates the News Cycle

While Hillary Clinton has avoided press conferences to avoid inconvenient questions, in the last year Donald Trump has, for good or for (mostly) worse, dominated the news cycle. This entire election has become a referendum on him, a non-politician running against politicians, his unpredictable character, and the changes he wants to accomplish: build theWall, repeal or negotiate NAFTA, law and order, Americans first, removal of special interests from politics, a more efficient government, less regulations, more transparency and flexibility in the healthcare industry.

 7.      The NAFTA Effect in Swing States

Donald Trump will have the votes of the people in the Rust Belt States, and of many of the workers displaced by NAFTA,the treaty signed by Bill Clinton and supported by Hillary, who wants to expand it with TPP.

8.      War Fatigue and Globalism Apprehension

Despite Trump’s bluster, people fear less war from him, and more from Hillary Clinton. It goes the same when it comes to globalism versus pressing national interests at home. 

9.      The Enthusiasm Gap

While Trump’s (and Sanders’s) supporters filled huge arenas in the primaries, Hillary supporters filled mostly small venues. Her most ardent supporters are elderly professional women from her generation and some of their daughters and husbands; the majority of her supporters though, will vote for her as a lesser evil, without enthusiasm, in order to be consistent to their party affiliation, or because they are among the lucky few who benefit from the status quo.

 10.  The Celebrity Factor

Many people secretly want to disrupt the status quo, and are prone to voting a relatable celebrity in public office (see Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura or Ronald Reagan).
August 24, 2016
by Alexandra Ares
Many people are afraid. Surprisingly (or not) even some key people at The New York Times. 

The New York Times Political and Opinion-Piece Units seem to be run by the political “sister” and “brother” of Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Carolyn Ryan and James Dao. The "grandfather" of the happy family is the distinguished Andrew Rosenthal, and the "Godfather" is, of course, the powerful executive editor Dean Baquet. No wonder that the former Public Editor left, and the new one, after a brave debut seems to have been called to tone it down.  (More...)


August 19, 2016
by Alexandra Ares

Everybody has noticed that this is the strangest US general election on record, where everything has changed, reversed roles, and defied expectations.

Once upon a time, the viciousness and corruption of today’s US general elections was something I would have expected in my native Romania. Today, US’s standards of fairness and freedom of speech have visibly regressed, while the ones in my old country seem strangely healthier.

Anyone who might want to make sense of the 2016 US election– despite what the media has been reporting; despite their own personal liberal or conservative leanings, and despite their own knee-jerk like or dislike of each candidate–must start by reading the book “The New Confessions of an Economic Hitman” by John Perkins; continue by listening to Bernie Sanders Urging Congress to Say No to TPP. And finish by watching the documentary “Requiem for the American Dream” with Noam Chomksy.

What we are seeing now in the entire world, and in the US election and in the US corporate media in particular, is a proxy struggle between Globalism vs. Nation States, or in Perkins’s terms between  the “Global Empire” and The Republic. To sell it to the masses, the proponents of the “Global Empire” push for so called progressive goals: the first Black President, the first Woman President, and shroud their agenda under the veil of a fight against racism, discrimination, bigotry, and other pristine democratic values. In it, the war against terrorism, the exaggerated threat of China and Russia are a mere distraction to keep us too busy to notice how countries and people are being robbed. (Read More...)


Archive May 2015

"The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a disastrous trade agreement designed to protect the interests of the largest multi-national corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, the environment and the foundations of American democracy. It will also negatively impact some of the poorest people in the world. The TPP is a treaty that has been written behind closed doors by the corporate world. Incredibly, while Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry and major media companies have full knowledge as to what is in this treaty, the American people and members of Congress do not. They have been locked out of the process. " Bernie Sanders

August 18, 2016
Noam Chomsky and the 10 Principles of OLIGARCHY 

"During the Great Depression it was bad but it was an expectations that things were going to be better. It isn't today."

The 75 minutes teach-in by Noam Chomksy, the MIT linguistic professor and author, is a must watch for anyone who may try to understand the stakes of US elections. Here he focuses on financial inequality and its corrosive effect on democracy and identifies 10 principles employed by oligarchy.

1. Reduce Democracy. Chomsky finds this acted on by the very "founding fathers" of the United States, in the creation of the U.S. Senate, and in James Madison's statement during debate over the U.S. Constitution that the new government would need to protect the wealthy from too much democracy. Chomsky finds the same theme in Aristotle but with Aristotle proposing to reduce inequality, while Madison proposed to reduce democracy. The burst of activism and democracy in the United States in the 1960s scared the protectors of wealth and privilege, and Chomsky admits that he did not anticipate the strength of the backlash through which we have been suffering since.

2. Shape Ideology. The Powell Memo from the corporate right, and the Trilateral Commission's first ever report, called "The Crisis of Democracy," are cited by Chomsky as roadmaps for the backlash. That report referred to an "excess of democracy," the over engagement of young people with civic life, and the view that young people were just not receiving proper "indoctrination." Well, there's a problem that's been fixed, huh?

3. Redesign the Economy. Since the 1970s the United States has been moved toward an ever larger role for financial institutions. By 2007 they "earned" 40% of corporate profits. Deregulation has produced wealth concentration and economic crashes, followed by anti-capitalist bailouts making for more wealth concentration. Offshore production has reduced workers' pay. Alan Greenspan testified to Congress about the benefits of promoting "job insecurity" -- something those Europeans in Michael Moore's film don't know about and might find it hard to appreciate.

4. Shift the Burden. The American Dream in the 1950s and 60s was partly real. Both the rich and the poor got richer. Since then, we've seen the steady advance of what Chomsky calls the plutonomy and the precariat, that is the wealthy few who run the show and get all the new wealth, and the precarious proletariat. Back then, taxes were quite high on corporations, dividends, and wealth. Not anymore.

5. Attack Solidarity. To go after Social Security and public education, Chomsky says, you have to drive the normal emotion of caring about others out of people's heads. The U.S. of the 1950s was able to make college essentially free with the G.I. Bill and other public funding. Now a much wealthier United States is full of "serious" experts who claim that such a thing is impossible (and who must strictly avoid watching Michael Moore).

6. Run the Regulators. The 1970s saw enormous growth in lobbying. It is now routine for the interests being regulated to control the regulators, which makes things much easier on the regulated.

7. Engineer Elections. Thus we've seen the creation of corporate personhood, the equation of money with speech, and the lifting of all limits under Citizens United.

8. Keep the Rabble in Line. Here Chomsky focuses on attacks on organized labor, including the Taft Hartley Act, but one could imagine further expansions on the theme.

9. Manufacture Consent. Obsessive consumers are not born, they're molded by advertising. The goal of directing people to superficial consumption as a means of keeping people in their place was explicit and has been reached. In a market economy, Chomsky says, informative advertisements would result in rational decisions. But actual advertisements provide no information and promote irrational choices. Here Chomsky is talking about, not just ads for automobiles and soap, but also election campaigns for candidates.

10. Marginalize the Population. This seems as much a result as a tactic, but it certainly has been achieved. What the public wants does not typically impact what the U.S. government does. 

Unless the trends described above are reversed, Chomsky says, things are going to get very ugly.
Read more on Alternet.
August 18, 2016

"Economic hit men  (EHMs) are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. They funnel money from World Banl, the US Agency for Development, and other foreign 'aid" organizations into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet 's natural resources. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections. payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and terrifying dimensions during the time of globalization. I should know this, I was an EHM." John Perkins  

"I am haunted every day by what I did as an EHM. I'm haunted by the lies I told back then about the World Bank. I am haunted by the ways in in which that bank its sister organizations, and I empowered corporations to spread their cancerous tentacles across the planet. I am haunted by the payoffs to the leaders of poor countries, the blackmail, and the threats if they resisted, if they refused to accept loans that would enslave their countries to debt, the CIA's jackals would overthrow or assassinate them."

"All the EHM and jackall tools - false economics, false promises, threats, bribes. extortion, deception, coups, assassinations, unbridled military power - are used around the world today, even more than the era I was exposed, more than a decade ago. Although this cancer has spread widely most people are still not aware of it; yet all of us are impacted by the collapse it has caused. It has become the dominant system of economics, government, and society today.

Fear and debt drive this system. We are hammered with messages that terrify us into believing that we must pay any price, assume any debt, to step enemies  who, we are told, lurk at our doorsteps. The problem comes from somewhere else. Insurgents. Terrorists, "Them." And its solution required spending massive amounts of money on goods and services produced by what I call the corporatocracy - vast networks of corporations, banks,colluding governments, and the rich and the powerful tied to them.We go deeply into debt; our country and its financial institutions coerce other countries to go deeply into debt; debt enslaves us and it enslaves those countries." 

"The statistics were highly biased; they were skewed to the fortunes of the families that owned the industries, banks, shopping malls, hotels, and a variety of other business that prospered from the infrastructure we built. They prospered. Everyone else suffered. Money that had been budgeted f:or healthcare, education, and other social services were diverted to pay interest on the loans. In the end the principal was never paid down; the country was shackled by debt. Then International Monetary Fund (IMF) hit men arrived and demanded the government offer its oil or other resources at cut-rate prices, and the country privatized its electric, water, sewer, and other public institutions and sell them to the corporatocracy. Big business was always the big winner. In every case, a key condition of such loans was that the projects would be built by our engineering and construction companies. Most of the money never left the United States.,,,if the EHM was successful, the loans were so large that the debtor was forced to default on its payments after a few years. When this happened, we EHMs, like the Mafia, demanded our pound of flesh. This often included one or more of the following: control over UN votes; the installation of military bases; or access to precious resources such as oil. Of course, the country still owed us the money and the country was added to our global empire."     

"Back in the 1970s, economically developing countries were looked upon as nests of corruption...The United States, on the other hand, was considered to be - and for the most part was - above such massive corruption.

"That has totally changed. Drastically. Activities that would have been viewed as immoral , unacceptable, and illegal in the United States in my EHM days are now standard practice. They may be covered in a patina of oblique rhetoric, but beneath, the same old tools - including a combination of threats, bribes, falsified reports, extortion, sex and sometimes violence-- are applied at the highest levels of business and government."  John Perkins. 

More about the book on


August 8, 2016
J.P. Sottile & Anti-Media
Bill Kristol is downright despondent after his failed search for an alternative to Donald Trump. Max Boot is indignant about his “stupid” party’s willingness to ride a bragging bull into a delicate China policy shop. And the leading light of the first family of military interventionism — Robert Kagan — is actually lining up Neoconservatives behind the Dem

At the same time, the Democrats have become the party of bare-knuckled, full-throated American Exceptionalism. That transformation was announced with a vein-popping zeal by retired general and wannabe motivation screamer John Allen at the Democratic convention in the City of Brotherly Love. During his “speech,” a few plaintive protests of “no more war” were actually drowned-out by Democrats chanting “USA-USA-USA!”

This is the same Democratic Party often criticized by Kagan & Co. as the purveyors of timidity, flaccidity, and moral perfidy.  It’s not that Democrats haven’t dropped bombs, dealt arms, and overturned regimes. They have. And they’ve even got the Peace Prize-winning Obama-dropper to prove it.  But unlike enthusiastically belligerent Republicans, the Dems are supposed to be the party that does it, but doesn’t really like to do it.

But now, they’ve got Hillary Clinton. And she’s weaponized the State Department. She really likes regime change. And her nominating convention not only embraced the military, but it sanctified the very Gold Star families that Neocon-style interventionism creates. It certainly created the pain of the Khan family who lost their son in the illegal war in Iraq. But the Dems didn’t mention that sad fact as they grabbed the flag away from the Republicans.

Now that’s truly Neo-confusing.

It kinda feels like reality has slipped off its axis and we’ve landed on a Bizarro World version of America. Democrats are acting like Republicans. Pat Buchanan is championing the GOP’s “Peace Candidate.” And the Neocons are fleeing from a party they’ve used like a geopolitical cudgel for the better part of three decades. (Read More...)

August 7, 2106
In an election season when we can no longer trust the mainstream media to investigate and tell the truth, there's a trove of information in the alternative media and blogosphere.
The ABEL DANGER blog presents the notes leaked by an FBI analyst who has been involved in the Clinton investigation.

The Situation Is So Intense, It Involves the Entire US Government | FBI Insider
A thread on 4chan with an FBI insider confirms everyone's worst suspicions. The Hillary Clinton email server was merely a distraction from the Clinton Foundation and most of DC is in up to their necks in what could be the biggest scandal of all times. 

This inside info from someone claiming to be a high level FBI analyst whose job was to look at the records, with NOTES added to clarify some of the responses. 

The smoking gun is about to arrive and there are "a lot of people involved". To save everyone time, here are the choice bits with the link to the entire archive, where you can decide for yourself if this is for real or not. Looks like Trump and Putin hold some of the cards. This could be the most interesting election ever.  

This level of corruption is something expected in a developing country or a place like China, where they openly persecute good people and have industrial scale organ harvesting of Falun Gong and others. The Clinton Foundation is up to their neck with Jiang's vile regime in China, but there is so much to see here…
Why Hillary was Not Indicted

>>79480356 (OP)  

{NOTE: This thread was from BEFORE the announcement by Comey that there would not be any indictment} 

There is intense pressure for us not to do so. I am posting from a position of near anonymity and enough plausible deniability to evade prosecution, as we have all been given gag orders. 

There is enough for her and the entire government to be brought down. People do not realize how enormous this whole situation actually is. Whether she will be or not depends on how much info about others involved gets out, and there are a lot of people involved. 

The real point of interest is the Clinton Foundation, not the e-mail server. We received the server from Benghazi, then from the server we found data on the CF. Then we realized the situation is much worse than previously thought. 
(Read More...)     
July 26, 2016 
Op-Ed by Alexandra Ares

 The media is selling us now Hillary Clinton like they sold us the war in Iraq: There is no viable alternative.This time the weapons of mass destruction belong to the next supposedly dangerous dictator, Donald Trump— the builder and entertainer. Buried deep within his politically insurgent views and his defying populist chutzpah.  
  Gone is the enthusiasm inspired by Obama in 2008. Gone is the trust that the Democrats are better than Republicans and they have people’s interest at heart. Gone is the trust that basic decency will prevent the puppeteer from re-hiring its red-handed puppet, who’d compromised ethics and the democratic primary process to deliver its due.
 This time each DNC speech and each grand word in it about democracy and ideals sound hollow. Anyone who can rub fact and fiction and two neurons together will cringe.
  In only eight years and a few inexcusable and felonious WikiLeaks the Democrats managed the once unthinkable: to look and be worse than the Republicans. (More...)
July 23, 2016
The RNC Convention ended yesterday and the propaganda media told us it had been all but a failure. Charles Blow at the New York Times called it a "calamity", though CNN reported that Trump's polls surged 6 digits after the convention, taking a 3 point lead over Clinton.
Three strong speeches in the closing night by Peter Thiel, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump made the case for a new America First policy, Americanism Above Globalism and an end to the current inneficiency widespread corruption.   

July 20, 2016

Last night, a star was born in the GOP. After 3 days of mixed speeches at the Republican National Convention (with a very strong one by Governor Chris Christie who’d slammed Hillary Clinton with his prosecutor's method), Mike Pence’s first solo performance at the RNC exceeded all expectations with a class act. It had the right balance of self-deprecating humor and decency, style and substance, efficiency and kindness, framing the Trump/Pence sales pitch as a choice between the candidate of change (Trump) and the “Secretary of the Status Quo: Hillary Clinton.” You have to give it to Trump that he had a great “casting” eye in picking Pence as a running mate, even if his V.P. came from way beyond his usual ballpark. And one might wonder where Pence had been during a primary season full of candidates who, after last night speech, all seem lesser than him, either too strident and lacking mainstream appeal (Cruz), or out of their league (Kasich, Rubio, etc.). 

During last night’s speech, it became clear that a Trump/Pence ticket will be a Chairman (Trump)/CEO (Pence) kind of deal. Trump will be the flamboyant man with the vision and the pizzas and the ego bursts and marketing genius and rough edges (like Steve Jobs), while Pence will be the smooth manager of America Inc. Both men have charisma though, each in his own way. After last night, I can totally see Mike Pence not only as a VP, but even as a Presidential candidate, four or eight years from now; his speech was his first audition for such post, passed with brio. And I say this as someone who also likes Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein, and have never dreamed of considering voting for a Conservative Republican.

Another thing that Trump and Pence have in common is that they are Reagan democrats, which can only broaden their mainstream appeal. Mike Pence raised the bar high for Donald Trump’s speech tonight, which will be preceded, in another genius casting move, by Peter Thiel, the gay Silicone Valley stellar entrepreneur and venture capitalist, a Bildenberg Steering committee member, with degrees in philosophy and law from Stanford, a boundless thirst for innovation-- in short, a true Fountainhead of our times, and a follower of Ayn Rand. Stay tuned for RNC’s closing night.          

July 18, 2016 

Donald Trump and Mike Pence gave their first joint interview to 60 Minutes, aired yesterday, before today's start of the Republican Convention in Cleveland. They seemed to be the perfect odd couple - big town flamboyant Republican tycoon, small town religious conservative -  unlikely friends, uneasy with each other, uncomfortable with the abrasive drilling of Leslie Stahl (will she be equally bold to ask Hillary if she was a liar and then force her own proven lies back on her, or ask her future VP what he thinks of her many scandals and lies, and then proceed to name each of them?), mashed together to unite the party, and to each gain something from the other. Today The New York Times's Charles Blow and other pundits wondered whether the VP pic and the RNC show will re-boot the Trump’s candidacy and make it look more presidential?
Like anybody new on the job, after one year of unconventional campaigning and media scrutiny, Trump is becoming better, though still not optimal. His selection of Pence as his running mate was wise, however odd and disappointing for people like me who wished he picked more of an independent; it was similar, if you will, to his selection of a seasoned writer, Tony Schwartz, to ghostwrite his mega best seller “The Art of The Deal” in 1987; together they had the hit; alone, neither of them would have had it. Schwartz, who told the New Yorker that he’d done it just for the money, got what he wanted; Trump, who’d done it to save time and delegate the work of actually writing the memoir, also got what he wanted. In the end though, Trump is Trump, the mage brand, love it or hate it; while Tony Schwartz has remained a reputable, non-name, discreet writer.  Will Pence run for or even become a President someday? 

Mike Pence, as seen last night on 60 Minutes, has the complementary qualities and experience that Trump lacks; normally you wouldn't notice him in a room, but next to Trump the entire country discovered him, and he seemed smooth, diplomatic and experienced (in Washington, state level job creation, and foreign affairs, as he'd served on the House Foreign Affairs committee) though he had been iffy on gay rights, funding for charter schools at the expense of public schools, and his vote for the war in Iraq – but as Trump's VP, he'd have to bow to Trump's political instincts, which may be crude, but are always accurate (see Brexit, immigration, trade, Iraq war, ISIS etc). Besides Pence's strong conservative views, all but opposite to Trump’s, he has the know-how to help sell Trump’s agenda to Congress. Reality meets Frank Underwood in House of Cards, season 1. 

Like Donald Trump's former liberal ghostwriter, his brand new far-right conservative low-key VP, will get the job done via a mutual Faustian bargain. Leslie Stahl kept pounding Trump on how exactly he’ll fight ISIS - are there going to be boots on the ground, and how many - without understanding that this is not how Trump operates. Trump makes the judgment call – he’ll write the memoir, defeat ISIS, etc – then gather all the parties who can actually solve the problem and make sure they do it in the most cost effective way.  

How more presidential can Trump become, pundits ask?  That depends if he’ll spend the money to hire a bona fide communication consultant (or several) as last night’s interview at 60 Minutes showed that he hadn’t been coached on Pence; his snappy candor seemed, at times, unprepared and juvenile (Leslie Stahl: Pence voted for the War in Iraq while you were against it; doesn’t it bother you? ”Trump: I don’t really care!)”

One thing we ought to remember: each person is presidential in his own way:  Obama, W, Bill Clinton, Reagan, etc., each had their own different style. There's no one size fit all. Trump will never be the smooth and eloquent and elegant type like Obama; he is streets smart, not intellectual. 

There’s a long time till November and this promises to be a heated summer. I hope that the TV presidential debates will also include Jill Stein, the Green Party’s candidate, who, in my view is the best equipped to become the first woman president. We don’t know who her husband is, she has no trail of lies and scandals, she hasn't been investigated and severely admonished by the FBI for extreme carelessness, and she is a hell of a debater. I wish Jill Stein had the real chance she deserves in this race.  


June 18, 2016 

Story submitted by Claire Bernish - The Anti-Media

(ANTIMEDIA) United States — While Bernie Sanders’ supporters and independent media outlets have exhaustively pointed out that corporate media’s fatuous prattling over Hillary Clinton likely tipped the elections in her favor, we now have solid proof — leaked emails show the DNC colluded with mainstream outlets to heavily favor Clinton.

“Our goals in the coming months will be to frame the Republican field and the eventual nominee early and to provide a contrast between the GOP field and HRC,” reads an email dated May 26, 2015, referencing the former secretary of state by her initials, posted by “Guccifer 2.0” — after the Romanian hacker who allegedly accessed Clinton’s private email server multiple times. 

One of the strategies listed for “positioning and public messaging” states,“Use specific hits to muddy the waters around ethics, transparency and campaign finance attacks on HRC.”

(Read full article...)

  June 10, 2016 

 After owning her private server at the State Department, her "own" President who endorsed her amid an FBI criminal investigation, her "own" newspaper, The New York Times, her "own" cable network, CNN, her "own" DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, it turns out that Hillary Clinton also "owns" her private search engine.
 The alternative news media reports how Google jiggered its algorithm search results to favor Hillary Clinton. Initially the company denied, but after a viral video showed how Google purges all the negative and unflattering autocomplete on Clinton from their autocomplete function, compared to other search engines, Google admitted to changing its autocomplete function. What is worse, Google works for Hillary Clinton through its subsidiary company Groundwork, an under the radar startup funded by Eric Schmidt.  
 Please drop everything and click here to WATCH THIS VIRAL VIDEO that shows how Google changed their autocomplete algorithm. 
 This is huge breaking news and you'd expect the mainstream media to clamor around it. Instead, the New York Times editorial publishes another daily political obituary for Sanders and Trump. The Clinton machine seems to have successfully hijacked most of the top players in American civil society, much like in an oligarchic regime, and the two candidates who talk about this must be politically "assassinated."  
  June 10, 2016 

 Yesterday's beloved hero has become today's cringing opportunist. It takes years to build a sterling reputation, and seconds to lose it. Elizabeth Warren lost much of it last night, when she sold out in a TV appearance on NBC where she fully endorsed Hillary Clinton without a word of caution regarding the ongoing criminal FBI investigation -- of which the entire Democratic party and mainstream media are silent -- or their difference of opinion on bank reform. It appeared to be a staged "money-laundering" or, if you will, "image-laundering" transaction: She lent her squeaky clean name and hand to bleach Hillary's reputation, so soiled by the recent Inspector General report and the FBI criminal investigation, as well as by her cozy relations with Special Interests Money and Wall Street and Clinton Foundation donations, in exchange for a VP post or who knows what else. The internet and social media promptly exploded with cries from her disappointed fans from Facebook, to Twitter, to the independent website Mother Jones, to the YouTube alternative media contributors the Sane Progressive and H.A. Goodman, to the New York Times comments section:

 “Juan from Queens: She just lost a lot of my respect. She is just such an opportunist.”

 “Thomas Gynn, Santa Rosa, CA: “So, Elizabeth Warren, the firebrand who was elected because of her principles stand against Big Money in Politics, has now endorsed the candidate who has benefited the most from this kind of money.  She was neutral in the campaign, never speaking about the financial excesses of either party. Perhaps, if she had the courage of her convictions, she would have endorsed Bernie, who made the only argument against Big Money in politics. She has demonstrated that her allegiance is to the Democratic Party rather than the American People. Another one bites the dust.”

 The Sane Progressive has a riveting rant: Obama's and Warren's Endorsements of Clinton are Unacceptable, while H.A. Goodman, a Bernie supporter who sounds increasingly like the last American Resistance fighter, argues passionately how Warren's Endorsement Hurt America.   

 Warren is now locks, stocks and barrel available to front the Democratic ticket, only that by accepting the role of Crooked Hillary's newest cheerleader, her credibility and stock value plummeted.  (Read More...)     

  June 7, 2016 

Hours after the AP declared Hillary Clinton the Democratic nominee, Sanders supporters erupted on social media. Journalist Paul Gottinger noted on Twitter that the email sent by the Clinton campaign as spontaneous breaking news from the AP had been dated 3 days before it was sent out, on the eve of the last 7 primaries, which may indicate a calculated move to discourage voter turnout. 

If this were true, the prospect of a global wire like SP as a clog in the Clinton machine is alarming. Why is everything related to the Clintons always sketchy? More about this new debacle on Mashable. 

The Sane Progressive rants about Massive Voting Fraud in California. Mainstream media is largely silent. 


  June 7, 2016 
  Byline Alexandra Ares


  and Bernie Won't Rock the Boat at the Convention 

 Columnist H.A Goodman, a passionate Sanders supporter,  made yesterday a very informed legal argument in the HuffPost on why he thought Hillary Clinton will face indictments and how this will make Bernie Sanders the nominee. Events in the evening made me conclude that it is unlikely that any of this will happen. 
 The first news reported yesterday by the New York Times was that President Obama will start campaigning for Hillary Clinton this week. Normally, President Obama should have waited until the July Convention will appoint the official nominee, and he should have also waited for the result of the FBI criminal investigation in Hillary Clinton use of her private server. By not waiting, he sends a strong message that he is backing Hillary 100% both to the FBI Chief and the Justice Department, but also to all the wavering super delegates who might have changed gears at the convention in view of impending indictments. How is the FBI chief going to issue any indictments against Hillary when his boss, the President of the United States, is campaigning for her? 
  No wonder, a few hours after this news had been announced, the New York Times broke the second interesting news that 20 extra super delegates, who otherwise might have preferred to wait until the FBI will issue the report but must have been informed by President's position, declared their support for Hillary Clinton and with this she clinched the nomination, before the last 6 states had a chance to vote. 
 These two moves seemed calculated to avoid any potential upset caused by a Sanders win in California or by the wait of the FBI report. A desperate last minute move, but a winning move. To the general population it enforces the perception that the game is rigged and their votes don't count. To the super delegates it is a message to trust the President and fall in line. No doubt, the Clintons cut some backroom deal with Obama. The President is personally indebted to Former President Bill Clinton for his wonderful speech at his convention in 2008, a graceful move by the Clintons, which paid off. Obama also has skin in the game against Trump, for all his impudent inquiries on the sketchy birth certificate of the President (only a newspaper ad initially, as opposed to a proper certificate), and against a GOP, which fought him fiercely to prevent Obama Care.  
 With no indictments pending, at least not until Obama leaves office, Bernie Sanders has little leverage left at the convention. Bernie, however, brought a very important message in this election and has undone most, if not all, of the stigma attached to the word socialism by decades of cold war paranoia. Will he run in November with Jill Stein for the Green party? As an Independent? I fear not, as he's now like an off-off Broadway star who graduated to Broadway politics. If so, who is he going to pass on the torch to in four years, at the next US election? 
  June 6, 2016 
  Byline Alexandra Ares


  And it Smells like Mean Spirit



 Along the years I’ve met a few people who kept saying that all is fair in love and war. I never agreed with that principle. Later, it turned out that all these people lacked morals and that dear sentence was a shield against their own conscience. In recent months, all has been fair in love and war for Hillary & Co. We saw Clinton and her camp pair and plant the idea of “President Trump” with nuclear disaster, racism, Hitler, the Holocaust, legal armaghedons, and whatever else makes you tremble in fear. 
 The New York Times alone has been producing a large number of pro Clinton hidden advertorials, posing as op-eds, branding Trump as such, from all the possible angles. The readers community billed them as "Stump the Trump" daily hit pieces series. The latest one, today, raises a yet another faux pundit conundrum "No, he's not Hitler. And yet..."
  No, he isn't! Hitler wrote a book about how Germans are an aerian superior race and all the others should be decimated. Trump wrote The Art of the Deal, which I read and shows a man quite prudent in business, with no claims of superiority, racial or otherwise, except the bluster that he is the best negotiator. He never suggested that lesser negotiators be gased, just fired. He never suggested that Mexicans or Muslims (other than ISIS fighters) be decimated. Trump wants the existing laws to be obeyed (immigration) or clarified (vetting of Muslims from ISIS countries), and treaties that didn't work for America, or no longer work, to be changed. (I believe that his policies plus Sanders's would fix most of America's ills. Too bad they can't run on the same ticket.)  He is the guy who talks about the mess we usually hide under the carpet and says, let's fix it. Then he brainstorms various ideas on national television. He takes the risk to be genuine, thus vulnerable, while Hillary always speaks like a lawyer. 
   So stop talking about the damn Hitler, if you have an ounce of shame and sense. Because....(More...

   29 May 2016 
   Byline Alexandra Ares




  After reading and watching everything I could about Hillary Clinton’s email, server, and the roll of flat-out-lies, including the tortured declaration of her spokesperson Brian Fallon to Wolf Blizzard on CNN; after re-watching her own previous televised lawyerly admissions that “I was as truthful as I know to be” on the subject  (which, to be snarky, logically implies Hillary’s self-admitted inability to tell the truth)  I can only surmise the following: President Barack Obama, her direct boss when Secretary of State, must have known about her separate server, since he’d received regular emails from Secretary Clinton for four years, all from the "" email address, not the standard "". The President cavalierly allowed it. Most likely, it’s been an implicit okay for Hillary to continue, or even a verbal one, after some brief exchange where she might have requested or just mentioned the use of her own server. The fact that President Obama granted Secretary Clinton such special treatment, only shows the power of the Clinton machine in the Democratic Party, due, no doubt to the Clintons’ skill to raise money. 
  Hillary Clinton’s calculation must have been that, given the President tacit involvement, the Justice Department's Investigation and even the FBI's investigation would be slowed down, or even stalled, at the highest level, until she had the nomination, and then the election, in the bag, repay the favor, and later mitigate the fallout. The internal audit of the State Department watch dog must have come as a surprise, which put her in a tight spot: She didn’t want to mention the President’s tacit approval and drag him into a scandal at the end of his mandate, when she dearly needs his support for her own presidential campaign. So she stonewalled the IG request to cooperate and hunkered down to buy time. 
  In the meantime, President Obama must have found out a few things about Hillary Clinton since she'd left office, or rather since she'd been kindly asked to retire for "health reasons." Perhaps Mr. Obama was informed or even read the book “Clinton Cash” (I would hope), and learned about the various brazen conflicts of interest between the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton’s speeches and fundraising for the Clinton Foundation, about the sloppy work of the Ethics Office, and wisely decided to step back and let the Inspector General pay due diligence. 
  I imagine Hillary feels betrayed. She's in a hot seat. However, if she loses to Trump in November, just before leaving office, President Obama will, most likely, issue some sort of pardon for Hillary or create a deux-ex-machine solution that will exonerate Clinton last minute; provided, of course, some sort of quid-pro-quo will be arranged. The Clintons are very transactional and President Obama showed that he, too, knows how to play “the game.”  
  In times like these, having the media and the opposition Republican party turn on the heat and pressure various Governmental entities to do their job and investigate everything that has to be looked into is a plus (and I say this as a liberal Independent) for our otherwise pay-for-play democracy. One might ask however, how come none of the televised democratic debate moderators asked any questions about the ample documented conflicts of interest between Secretary Clinton and The Clinton Foundation? But this explains Clinton's refusal to debate on Fox News Channel.  Stay tuned.    
  25 May 2016 
  Byline Alexandra Ares



The recent report of the State Department Inspector General (appointed by President Obama) on per personal Email & Server Gate just killed Hillary Clinton's candidacy. It is very serious. It is not some cheap scandal concocted by the Republicans. The only question begged to be asked is why didn't they release these findings 35 primaries ago so voters could know the truth? Who and why stalled the inquiry? 
   Is Hillary going to be accused by FBI of espionage like Snowden and obstructing justice? What are the super-delegates going to do in view of these revelations? Is everything going to be buried by the friendly media and the Clinton campaign like a dead corpse in the Nevada Desert under three feet of additional lies? 
   The NYT digital Home page reaction was strange: As the Clinton story accumulated about 2000 comments, instead of going into breaking news mode NYT kept the Clinton story in the left corner with the smallest headlines possible, while running as top homepage story with a large headline and photo of Asian actors and than one of cooking stakes. I repeat: The cooking stakes story was more important than the story of their endorsed candidate who had broken the rules, had lied about it, had acted above the law, had obstructed the underlings who'd tried to enforce the State Department security protocol, and had gotten away with it unlike other former State Department officials, fired for similar conduct and lesser crimes. Incredible news judgement, or should I call it complicity, at the paper of record. Of all news sites, Politico had the most comprehensive coverage, while LA Times had the worst article, leaving out half of the inconvenient findings and minimizing it as much as possible in view of the California Primary on June 7. At the night cable news shows, the pundits and anchors where either struck by inertia or bending over backwards to minimize the blow and to distract viewers by attacking Trump instead, the perennial, by now, pinata of blows.  
  While we are all waiting to hear what are the legal penalties of the findings, we hope that the Democrats will do the right thing and find one honest man or woman to run as president and vice-president, in a country of 330 million people. They actually have that man, but they don't like him because he doesn't take special interest money and doesn't raise money for the Democratic Party selling influence. 
  People's comments on Washington Post and the New York Times range from blind denial to anger to humor. 
  ScottW, NC - in the New York Times

  For 1420 days Clinton intentionally violated State Dept. rules by maintaining a server in her basement to handle ALL her email. Her aids blew off, 2 State Dept. officials concerned she was using a private email, telling them to never bring it up again. Those aids lied to the State Department officials stating the lawyers had approved it. 
  After leaving the office she failed to turn the records to the State Dept. (as required by law) but hid them with a private company. She only disclosed the fact of the server when a hacker (Romanian Guccifer) broke Sydney Blumenthal's email server disclosed the strange email address of Secretary Clinton ( Even when caught, she had a private attorney decide what was public and what was private email. An attorney with no security clearance and no training in FOIA.
   Clinton had years to right the wrongs while in office, but she did exactly what she wanted t do. She lied when she said she complied with all State Department regulations. She refused to cooperate with Inspector General-unlike other Secretaries of State.
   Her actions were intentional and reckless. She must lose her security clearance, as would any other government official.
   If you think it's not big deal, you have your head in the sand. Pull it out and take a look at what Clinton did. No-everyone else did not do it. No--she did have thousand of classified emails and 22 top secret documents on her server. No, she is not qualified to be President.            

  Here are two interesting ones from the Washington Post:
   Melsulli  4:05 PM EDT
  The FBI is still investigating. She should be held accountable and charged with espionage. Snowden was charge with espionage for "unauthorized communication of national defense information" and "willful communication of classified intelligence with an unauthorized person". 
   Hillary did both by using an unsecure server which she knew got hacked several times, she also was emailing classified information with Blumenthal who was not authorized to view classified information, she corresponded with international diplomats on an unsecure server which is a violation of US law, she deleted over half her emails which is against the law established in 2009 that says all state department employees must save and secure any documents, she lied about having approval to use it, lied about how long she had been using it and lied about turning over all her emails.
   wilderp71 3:50 PM EDT
  A secretary of state with non-government staff being paid by a personal foundation largely funded with money from foreign countries. Her husband is an ex-president with a scandalous history of extra-marital relations and an expired pass on the Lolita Express. A private email server used to control access to the communications of the secretary and her inner circle. Wiped hard drives. A Romanian hacker. The FBI. A presidential election between the former secretary and a bombastic unhinged billionaire with a smoking hot wife and daughter if she can shake the demented looking old socialist for the nomination. 
   If you pitched it as a movie you'd be laughed off the set. Good work America, we are a parody of a 70's 007 Bond movie.
  No comment. 
  May 2016 
  Byline Alexandra Ares


   We are almost one year into the primaries, Hillary Clinton almost got the nomination, and it is still unclear. 
   So why is Hillary actually running for President? She self-admitted that she is not a natural politician and she lacks sweeping clear ideas. Then why? Only to become the first woman president? It’s not enough.
   From the "voters' bench" it is clear that Bernie runs for president because he wants to take special interest money out of politics, he wants single payer for all, and he wants free public education - fixing three deep sores in the increasingly unaffordable American life. Trump wants to stop illegal immigration, build a wall at the south border and filter very carefully who gets in the country, he wants to re-negotiate former bad trade deals, take USA out of military quagmires, and make the military allies pay more; all sore points at macro level that affect everyone. 
   So far, Hillary has come across as running for President like a career executive for whom the position of CEO is the next dearly desired career step. Trump and Sanders run for president as outsiders who want to restructure America Inc. so it will work better for all the workers. Hillary can’t fully restructure America Inc. for the workers because she received contributions from all the stakeholders. 
    So, I ask this question again: Why is Hillary running? She has a host of small policies for various voting groups, but we can't see why she is running, other than, to paraphrase Bill (when he was asked why had he had sex with Monica Lewinsky) because she can. 
    The Democrats need more than that in the fall if they want to convince independents and Bernie supporters.
    As a corollary, we all know why Bill Clinton is running for the post of First Gentleman and Job Czar. He must look at the big budget deficit knowing that he left a surplus, and he would love a restoration so he can work his political genius again. It would also be a boon for the Clinton Family Foundation business of monetizing political access for (gasp!) 2 billion dollars in the last 15 years. However tempting, a Bill Clinton's restoration and governance by proxy would be all too painfully similar with Putin's run as a Prime Minister under a puppet president after he'd completed his two terms. Many would recoil at the prospect.   

   February 2016 
   Op-Ed | Alexandra Ares


    The wind of spring finally blows over the USA. Freedom from special interests, freedom from what the establishment wants us to think, like, and vote for. Freedom from stiffening political correctness. 
    I am what pundits would call an independent undecided voter. What an exciting election for the first time since I became a citizen over a decade ago! Many people in both the Democratic and Republican camps, I mean everyone but the establishment, have rallied around two brand new candidates, Sanders and Trump, who until not long ago weren’t even members of those parties, and who joined the fray in a last minute effort to save their country and party from special interests. This sends a clear message to the DNC and RNC and their entourage of simpatico media outfits and special interests: normal people want change. Exactly what change? 
   Just read the zillions of people comments in all the online editions of newspapers.
  Many Republican leaning voters want the establishment to slow down on all the madness of policing women uteruses. Sure, being pro-life is a noble thing as a principle, but in the practical life of the 21st century the strong-willed-freedom-loving American women don’t want to return to back-alley abortions. The normal Republican leaning voters want a strong military but no more wars and regime change interventions. They could all use cheaper healthcare, cheaper drugs, cheaper college tuition, cheaper cable and Internet, more on par with what the rest of the world is paying and with what America used to offer its citizens before 1970s. They are tired of illegal immigration and the drug highway at the south border. They want less regulation for daily activities, less political correctness, less corruption and more jobs and efficiency. The normal Republicans still love their rich 1% and hope to join the club. 
   November 2015 
   Op-Ed | Alexandra Ares


   For Halloween, which happens to coincide with my birthday, I flew from New York to Bucharest to celebrate with my family. On the same night, the capital of Romania was shook by the deadly nightclub fire that so far has killed 32 people and injured 180, many of whom are still fighting for their lives. It all happened at a free concert for the new album of a gloomy rock band, faithfully called “Goodbye to Gravity.” The fire started due to gross negligence of all the parties involved, from the band members who had lit indoor fireworks with no concern to the fire hazard, to its owners who had skimped on fireproof isolation, to the Sector 4’s Bucharest City Hall and Fire Department staff who had lightly rubber stamped dubious permits. The only one door, makeshift nightclub called “The Collective” is located in the basement of the Pioneer factory, which used to produce the most coveted Adidas shoes during communism. A place only five minutes away from where I stayed. Had some old friend invited me to attend the free concert, I could have been one of the victims. 
   Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis declared three days of national mourning for this unprecedented tragedy. The Mayor of Sector’s 4 City Hall promised to build a memorial for the victims, and all the government’s units took swift action. Too late. A cry of revolt and desperation coagulated via Facebook, which has ten million members in Romania, resulting in a huge march of protest against the entire government. As a Romanian-American who travels to Bucharest every year, this march of protest had a strange deja vue quality. From the early 90s, when Bucharest was first rattled by riots against the government, each year I’ve seen a new riot and a new march aimed to topple either the incumbent President or government—that is with street pressure not votes. It’s a case of, “here we go again,” and I stay glued to the television watching how legitimate revolt is always timely tied to the (often petulant) interests of whatever party happens to be in opposition. And yet, nothing never really changes. The same act will play out again and again, only with new actors. Read More...  
   September 2016 
   Op-Ed | Alexandra Ares



Vox populi, vox dei? Not so much for the New York Times, not so much for many movers and shakers in the United States. After so many years living here, I often  find myself questioning whether this is a democracy, or just a "fair" painted plutocracy.  
  For starters, the voice of the people hardly matters for whoever makes both the political and news and propaganda agenda. While everyone is trying hard to be as politically correct as possible, no one is actually listening to the people as long, of course, as said people happen to have different points of view— regardless how well argued, how wide  spread, how passionate, and how numerous. 
  That people— the hoi polloi— might be right, it’s not a sexy idea. We live in a culture where a select few— the media. the lobbyists, the insiders, the establishment— always know better and try to shove it down the throat of everyone else. This dichotomy gets blurred outside the country where foreigners wrongly see America, all of us, as an arrogant bunch, out of touch with reality, with what people wantCase in point: After the summer of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, this has been the September of the Muslim Invasion of Europe, the US Open, and the new Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert. What all these events had in common? The outliers proved, once again, the establishment wrong.   
  Like many people, I‘ve been particularly worried about the out of control influx of migrants from the Middle East and North Africa into Europe, with nothing being done to shut off the spigot. As thousands of New York Times readers have noted over the summer, the coverage of the media in general, and the New York Times in particular, has been astonishingly one-sided and in flagrant disagreement with its ultra liberal readers. Read More...

May , 2014
Book Expo America 2014 Kicks off Tomorrow

Book Expo America (BEA) the biggest North American Book Fair starts tomorrow (May 29-May 31s) at the Javitz Center in New York. With hundreds of new books and authors from across the world and across America, BEA is a busy and exciting place to be if you are a book lover. 
Click here to find out what is NEW AT BEA
BEA is open for public on Saturday, May 31st until 3 pm.   
Short Story, Spring 2014  
by Daniela Albu

Somewhere in Transylvania – small town haunted by an apparition

What a wonderful person my grandmother was! In no way could age hamper her beauty. It seemed untouchable. It would not alter under any circumstances. Not even when she was angry. My parents were young and lively and they would dance for the whole night spending the New Years' Eve in the mountains with noisy grown ups. There was no place for me amongst them. So there I was, by the fire, listening to my grandmother's stories together with my two other cousins. My grumpy grandfather pretended not to notice us, but I always felt that he loved us with all his heart. I never knew, at that time, why he would give us such strange and inquisitive looks. Now I know that he saw his past childhood and lost youth in us.  More...

Movie Review 
by Alexandra Ares 
This very enjoyable movie is a glossy fairy tale of India's coming of ge in the last century and of a rich boy and poor boy who swap destinies because of an overzealous revolutionary nurse who delivers them at midnight, when India regained its independence from Great Britain. More... 

 by Alexandra Ares  

Each time I pass the supermarket isle in the soup section, I glance at the tiny Campbell soup cans, and I see with the eyes of my mind the iconic Andy Warhol art, followed by flashes of TV images with wholesome, handsome and healthy American families around the kitchen table.  I’ve always wanted to buy a can of tomato Campbell soup out of curiosity, but somehow I always said to myself, some other day. Being raised by a European mother who always cooked soup from scratch, I always recoiled a little at the idea of canned soup. Until today...And all hell broke loose. (More...)


PEN American Center's New Trustees and Officers

New York City, March 6, 2013—PEN American Center, the largest branch of the world’s oldest literary and human rights organization, announced yesterday at its Annual Members’ Meeting the newly-elected and reelected officer trustees of the Board, including John Troubh, Executive Vice President, and Jeri Laber, Vice President. Other newly-elected or reelected trustees of PEN’s Board are Jennifer Egan, Nathan Englander, Wendy Gimbel, Erroll McDonald, Elisabeth Sifton, and Andrew Solomon.  More...  
Winter-Spring 2013 Issue, Byline  
Killing me softly with your SUGAR
 by Alexandra Ares

You might think that at least savvy Manhattan is a safe place, but nobody is protecting us against unwanted added-sugar. It’s everywhere and especially where we don’t want it to be. Sugar is the new nicotine, and FDA is doing nothing to regulate it.  

he other day I was watching an old boxing match on TV, when I noticed how thin athletes were only a couple of generations ago -- compared to how buffed they are now. It’s not only the steroids, and not only the athletes, a large part of America is bigger or obese, carrying around the extra weight of the food industry’s corporate profits. And while the media cries wolf, the health care industry cries wolf, and some politicians cry wolf, my questions is who is protecting all of us, consumers from all the added sugar that the food industry is injecting in most of the foods on sale today? 

For sure, the FDA is asleep at the wheel, the same way SEC was conveniently asleep at the wheel before the financial meltdown, and I wonder if they’re all waiting for an even bigger ‘fat-ocalypse’ than having 60% of the country’s population obese, before they’ll start implementing small, common sense restrictions on adding sugar in all processed foods and beverages. Read More....


 Fall 2012 Issue, Short Story
Green EYES

A short story included in the new debut short story collection Four Doors and Other Stories by young Romanian writer A.G. Billig, recently released worldwide as an E-book by the UK based  MP Publishing.

The hard soles of his shoes were leaving marks in the cobblestone, melted down by the heat. The narrow asphalt strip went by the steep barren lakeside for a while, when suddenly it turned right and followed the highway,leaving behind a whitish dusty path. It was this path he chose daily as a short cut to his home. His shirt was glued to the skin of his chest and back because he hated wearing an under-vest. The man’s strides were heavy and rhythmic. He looked straight ahead, with a frowned set gaze. It might have been the daylight, as heavy as it was, making his wedding ring glow. He was tired. Tired from all the dust, tired from the scorching heat, tired with this forsaken place where he has been living for the past two years. He felt trapped. 
      He had settled down here right after being betrothed to Mary. He had met her at the movies. They were total strangers and yet  Read More....     

Fall 2012 Issue, True Story
The Dead Sea Scrolls Controversy Part 2: A NIGHT AND A DAY AT RYKERS ISLAND
By Raphael Golb

Read the moving story of a man who goes through hell because he defended his father's scholarly work using parody. The author, a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard, was arrested in March, 2009, and  prosecuted the following year for allegedly criminal conduct in connection with his anonymous campaign of blogs and emails concerning the Dead Sea Scrolls controversy. After seven delays requested by prosecutors, the trial verdict is still awaiting appellate review on First Amendment grounds. If Raphael Golb’s conviction and sentence are upheld, he will be spending six months at Rikers Island. For documentation concerning his appeal, see:

Things went smoothly at the court. The judge — Carol Berkman, who had presided over the trial at the prosecutor’s request — pronounced the sentence. “Your criminal intent,” she explained, “brought your parody over the line… Accordingly, there needs to be a clear message as to the consequences of continuing in such behavior.” When it was over, I was immediately handcuffed and taken into a little cage behind the door. There they removed the cuffs, searched my bag and shoes, then let me put the shoes back on. Read more...

Summer-Fall Issue
These Heads are not just Masks
by Marek Bartelik

The exhibition of Dumitru Gorzo’s paintings in the urban environment of Red Bank, New Jersey, constitutes an unorthodox public art project. Read More...
The Age of Savage Reviews 
Opinion by Alexandra Ares
Yes, we're all guilty of it! 
Many of today’s reviews are like savage beasts stomping and feasting on common sense. The Internet has made publishing so easy that everyone,including myself, is posting reviews and commentaries everywhere. In this ever growing heard,the wild animals face off the tamed, often biting off the wrong bones.  Read More...
Poetry Review  
Caroline Hagood's
Lunatic Speaks 
by Hansel Castro 

I , too, dislike it. Usually. “Ignore it,” would be far more accurate. Sure, a neat poetic image might fly on my face every now and then. A nice phrase may try to nestle in my thinning hair. But when the poems come in a hopeful, feathered flock, I react like the average American male ages 18 to 64. “Not my thing,” I demur. It’s not antagonism. I don’t kick at them in a prosaic fit. I simply retreat politely.There are thick novels to deal with, bone-cracking football games on TV, superheroes exploding on three or more dimensions at the movies. “Things important beyond all this fiddle.”
                Which SHOULD mean I have no business reviewing Caroline Hagood’s new collection, “Lunatic Speaks.” But how could I stop myself? Here is poetry that grabbed me by the imaginary tie, smacked me around, and did NOT forgive my indolent ignorance. Poetry that dragged me through streets where everyday life was newly revealed. Poetry that made me CARE for all this fiddle. More...  

Summer 2012
A man carries the past in a heavy bag on his back
Stuffed inside little dirty acts that breed more little dirty acts
Heavy stuff 
His shoulders droop
His spirits droop
He gets angry and mean
Argues, fights,
Wants this
and the opposite of that.
The man could just leave the weight on the ground and sprint forward 
light like a feather
his shoulders would soar 
his spirits would soar
his life would open like the wings of a  bird  
by Dan Bell
Mysterious woman, who are you
an unfolding enigma
or a silky soft giggle box
You stare into me with confident eyes
as candles light heavens porcelain
is this how it feels when souls touch; or
are you a mirage, oasis, or reprieve
Oh delicious woman please
keep kissing me with your luscious lips
surely I must pay for such foolishness
your arms feel like home
Spring 2012 
Courtney Love Stars in "And She's Not Even Pretty"
Her Debut Drawings Exhibition
Closes June 14  2012                            
Her drawings are like her music, her acting, and her stage persona: both edgy and exciting, a combination of grindcore and raspberry type pop.  The definite must see in Chelsea. 
In 1991 a young and beautiful Courtney Love deemed herself only 'Pretty on the inside' when her band Hole issued the debut album with the same name. Today the artist self-mockingly titled her first exhibition comprised of 45 of drawings created in the last 20 years “And she’s not even pretty.”  The star laughed when I asked her if the new title reflects tongue in cheek her current state of mind.
The flamboyant punk rock femme, who was once labeled by the Rolling Stones the most controversial female figure of rock and roll, with a troubled childhood and a wild singing, acting and drug abuse history, showed up looking low key and professional, almost a little shy and overwhelmed by her exposure to the art world. She was wearing no make-up, librarian style blacked rimmed eye glasses and was dressed in skinny black trousers assorted with a short sleeve black blouse with a pretty - yes, pretty- old fashioned white collar. Only her tattoos, especially a big one (spread on her toned arm) that read a loud let it bleed, hinted to her tormented past.
These, and the large framed drawings sprawling on the walls, featuring her signature kinderwhore fashion style, doll-like women in smeared lipstick, consumed or shattered by sexual passion, ridden with  self- doubt or lamenting the devastation of romantic rejection. And among all these women stood out one that looked like an alter-ego or shall we call it self portrait of the artist. Love, who acted  in the 1996 biopic of Basquiat, adorns her drawings, like Basquiat, with fraught writing, excerpts of poetry or song lyrics and journal entries that exorcise her anxiety. One of these entries...(Read more...)
Spring 2012

The Whitney Biennial 2012: An American Embarrassment

According to the latest Whitney Biennial, the American art in the last two years ---from painting to sculpture and performance--- is DEAD. Not only dead, but also BRAIN DEAD.  The only monumental splash in this year's show is the lack of taste and direction of its curators, Elisabeth Sussman, Sondra Gilman and Jay Sanders, who would be better off starting a more rewarding career in knitting where taste, brains and guts are not an absolute requirement.
The big media struggled to put some polite epithets on this year’s garbage & student like minor collection: Time Out calls it "Tepid," New York Magazine, a "Quiet, Incomplete Manifesto," The Times calls it  “Deceptively Unassuming,” Bloomberg’s Lance Esplund has the common sense to tell it like it is and find the show
“Certainly not great or even very good overall” and “relatively small, scattered and incoherent–almost scrappy.” Only The New Yorker found it ‘Enchanting’ posting a review that read like a press release, which shows how gutless this formerly giant has become. Roberta Smith from the New York Times found  Werner Herzog's Hearsay of the Soul, "a ravishing five-screen digital projection, to his first-ever art show" that will make us cry.  Apart from its illustrious signature and the fact that it was one of the few things that made sense there, I found it utterly banal. 
More to the point are the readers' comments on the NY Times review page. Terry Sanders in New York writes: "The show is insulting to anyone with minimal sensibilities and education. What it's a show of how 'cultural institutions' are as detached from everyday reality as the finance industry of which they are a part. The avatars of 'the 1%' lack any taste as do their patrons."
One of the NY Times readers picks, "David in New York" wonders: "What ever happened to being amazed by the forward surge created by true originality?"  And someone else rants beautifully that "Art is not dead, it's just in hiding. This Whitney-approved stuff is Madoff-style emptiness. It's capitalism run amok. "
Art has been hijacked by the establishment and replaced with mediocre place holders for concepts, the process is declared more important than the finished artwork, and people's reaction are a solid manifesto against this trend, or should we call it a never bursting bubble? If almost nobody likes it, then who is this pseudo art for? Too bad America's artists didn't organize themselves in a parallel 'salon' --- like the French impressionists did over a hundred years ago --- to present us with a better alternative. (Perhaps the Gagosian Gallery across the street from the Whitney Museum should offer them a forum? I've often seen much better contemporary art there then at the Whitney's Biennial). The bourgeois mediocrity has been mostly replaced by the freak & fringe mediocrity, but the process of glorifying mediocrity and neglecting true skill, mastery and originality by a select few is the same.   
The artist friend who invited me to see the show told me that “she’s been in New York since 1987 and each year the biennial has been worse.” I’ve been in New York since 1998 and I can say the same. Someone is obviously asleep at the wheel at the Whitney’s leadership because the Whitney Biennial has been turned into the most embarrassing one in the world. If I were one of its corporate sponsors, I'd want my money back.
Fortunately I didn’t pay for the ticket, and I still felt it was a big waste of my time. Upon exiting, I had to fight the urge to tell incoming hopeful visitors to spin on their heels and run away.
                                                                                                                                                                                           The Whitney Museum's 2012 Biennial runs until May 27 
Spring 2012  
SHORT STORY by Daniela Albu
A Weekend at Golden Hills
I decided to sell the Golden Hills country house...Read More  
Spring 2012
London Calling: A Master of Fashion and Portrait Photography
ULI WEBER Exhibits at the Ten43 Gallery in New York
Left: Portrait of Daniel Radcliffe (a.k.a.Harry Potter) for his West End debut:  Equus - Photo courtesy of Uli Weber, on sale at Ten43 Gallery
Too Good to Pass Unnoticed 
ULI WEBER may have become one of the world’s most acclaimed photographers with fashion photography in Vogue, Elle, Style and Mary Claire, but these days, it is his stunning collection of celebrity portraits that New Yorkers can admire and buy at the Ten43 Gallery in New York.

One of the top advantages in living in a place like New York is tremendous, easy access to great art and wonderful artists, like German born Uli, which comes embedded with one the top disadvantages: the insane level of competition -- due precisely to this huge amount of talent-- that doesn’t make it easy for newcomers to stand out.

Case in point: The other day I was strolling down Madison Avenue, when I happened to enter Ten43Gallery which was buzzing with people. As soon as I saw the first large two color prints hung on the white walls by the entrance -- a heart stopping portrait of Boy George dressed as a Red Devil, and a lyrical composition of Daniel Radcliffe with a white horse --I knew, instinctively, that a major artist was exhibiting there, and probably was there. Great art, as opposed to mediocre art, is not only a delight to look at, but also haunting and unforgettable.

Uli Weber, a striking tall man with curly hair spiked with gray, was sitting on the bench giving an interview to a blond young lady from Vogue magazine, while a cast of New York smartly dressed ‘real characters’ were sipping champagne, admiring his stunning portraits of Daniel Radcliffe (for the opening of Equus in London), Boy George (for the cover of his biography), Samantha Morten, Bruce Willis, Hugh Grant, Denis Van Outen, Kate Moss, Kylie Minogue and others. Ivan Shaw, the director of photography for Vogue, and a long-time admirer of Uli Weber, c0-hosted the event with Laurie Sanderson the director of Ten43 Gallery.  

MC: You were born in Germany, studied in Italy, live in London and often come to New York. Do you consider yourself at once a good German and a great British artist?

Oh definitely more European with lots and lots of London in my blood. And of course my second calling is Italy, a place I live for good parts of the year and I do work there very regularly. However I do like the idea of Berlin...Read more

Winter 2012
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
I've never thought that I will live the day when I won’t like a David Fincher movie because I am one of his most ardent fans. But, after watching his version of the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo based on the Swedish best seller, this day has come. His pride was his downfall in this case. I imagine Fincher and his screenwriter (Steven Zaillian) wanted to make the movie a lot different from the one directed by his Swedish counterpart Niels Arden Oplev. And, by doing so, they removed the chief things that worked in the previous version.
Don’t get me wrong, the Fincher rendition is very competent - well done and fast paced - and if you’ve never read the book or seen the Swedish movie you’ll greatly enjoy this thriller. But if you’ve seen the Swedish version (see photo below), it will feel like a thriller like any other. Out of respect for this incredibly talented and accomplished director, Roger Ebert gave him three and a half stars; but faring against the Swedish movie the accurate score would be half.
Okay, so what went wrong?

First off the movie’s lead roles are awfully cast. In Stieg Larsson's book and in the Swedish film, Mikael Blumkist and Lisbeth Salander are like Yin and Yang, except that the man is the Yin and the girl is the Yang. Daniel Craig, the newest James Bond, is a strong Yang, coming with exactly the opposite image of the character he’s supposed to play.  Too tough, too ‘action hero who makes the girls swoon’ type, too comfortable with danger, like Ebert greatly put it. Fincher could have had Craig try a composition role -- make him gain a few pounds, grow longer hair, look more physically weak, more affectionate and emotionally vulnerable; in short give him an anti-James Bond demeanor, and the warmth and normalcy that Lisbeth, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, lacks. But this would have been too much like the Swedish version directed by Niels Arden Oplev, and Fincher ditched the idea. As for Rooney Mara, she has all the tattoos, black leather outfits and nose piercing in the right places, but she lacks the fascination and bitch power of Naomi Rapace. She comes across as shy, not shut down, with moments of madness, the washed out eyebrows seem to wash out also her personality, and she warms up too quickly to Daniel Craig, who seems more indifferent than intrigued.  That is because the screenwriter wants them to meet only at the middle of the film so there's less time to develop a nuanced rapport.  Her entire story line is less developed besides the hacking part, relegated to playing distant second fiddle to Daniel Craig.

Secondly, the movie is too grimly lit. And we all know Fincher is a genius when it comes to movie lighting, so it is obviously done on purpose. In this film he tries to resolve his incapacity to convey mood and depth of emotion by directing the actors (or by having the best screenplay), with lighting solutions. Much of the film is drowned in either cold, grey light, or in sloppy, new dogma kind of  'non light', making many scenes rather tiring to watch, and too blatant attempts at manipulating mood.   

Thirdly, and finally, for the sake of Hollywood style fast pacing, David Fincher kills the delivery of the most suspenseful scenes which are rushed, chopped, intercut, undeveloped, and, in comparison with the Swedish original, too busy and less engrossing.         

I watched the movie in Europe, shortly after I had a conversation with a film professor who was telling me that the chief difference between American and European movies (and books) is that American movies (and books) are all about plot and fast pace, whereas the European movies are mostly conveyors of inner worlds and states of mind. 
The best works of art achieve both, but it happens all too rarely mainly because the 'market' pulls into two different directions. My friend was so much on the mark though, if even one of my top three favorite American directors alive (the other two are Woody Allen and Oliver Stone) couldn’t strike the right balance in his rendition of the Swedish blockbuster psychological thriller.  

I am certain that David Fincher’s movie will do great at the box office because it has all the ingredients to draw people in.  But in my view this movie is a sign that it is time for Fincher to try to shed some artistic skin and renew himself as a director; or maybe just ask his Hollywood producers to give him more freedom, and stop breathing big budget action flick formulas down his neck.  

Alexandra Ares is a journalist and the award winning author of My Life on Craigslist , Dream Junkies , and The Other Girl .  She has a Ph.D. in performing arts.  

Winter 2011 (December 1st)
In Observance of December 1st, the National Day of Romania , the country where I was born,  take a look at a FUNNY VIDEO part of an international campaign called Romanians Are Smart, ran by McCann Erickson in Romania, winner of the 2011 Grand Prix for Advertising at the International Cannes Festival, the world's most coveted communications awards.  Romania was the big winner at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity as the local branch of creative agency McCann Erickson won two Grands Prixes in the promo/activation and direct categories for its American Rom campaign for client Kandia Dulce. This is Romania’s first Grand Prix, though it has won a few Lions in the past.  The creative team of the agency, headed by Adrian Botan, also received two Gold Lions. This is a quite  convincing proof that indeed Romanians are Smart

T he modern American has gone a long way... astray, hasn't he?
    I am in the New York City subway greatly enjoying The American by Henry James. Written in 1877, it describes a self-made millionaire American visiting Paris in search of a wife. Although the snobbish highborn Parisian families for whom work is a shameful endeavor look at him with disdain as a vulgar example of the nouveau riche, by today’s standards there isn’t an ounce of vulgarity in the person of Christopher Newman, Henry James’s American. There’s an enchanting integrity and thoughtful eloquence about this character. Meeting and falling in love with a young widower Madame Du Cintre, he asks her to marry him after five or six innocent morning visits, and when she asks him not to mention marriage and anything too personal for six months, he complies, keeps seeing her a few times a week, while also befriending her family. The book portrays a wholesome American innocence and practical intelligence, in contrast with a corrupted and snobbish old Europe populated by a good for nothing top 1 percent of nobility. Now fast forward 144 years to today’s date...Read More  
Short Story and Translation
by Daniela Albu
Grandmother, do you like my new orange dress that mother bought me for the ball?" 
       Ana could not answer her. She hated that color...Read More  
by Alexandra Ares

THE Wall Street Protest AND THE BELATED, MEEK American Spring

Manhattan Chronicles supports the OWS Movement and thanks the protestors for camping on the asphalt jungle, enduring rain, snow, storm, cold, lack of comfort, dirt, police, and so much unwarranted scorn. This is not to say that we have anything against the people who work on Wall Street, and who are in most cases highly educated, super bright overachievers, and even Wall Street itself which is a New York staple, like the Empire State Building, Central Park, or the famous hotdogs and bagels. We're against a greedy, short sighted current business model that hurts the long term interests of 99% of Americans. Wall Street is a genius yet blind machinery of making big money, and something should be done to help make a more sensible correlation between certain fast and furious big profit  schemes and their long term effect on the prosperity of the American citizens, who are otherwise getting bankrupt.  
      Just one small case in point: all the medical procedures in the US, from dental fillings and crowns to cat scans or surgeries cost tens and hundred of times more than in other countries, although they employ identical equipment, materials, and facilities. Why? And how come 'the free markets' drive all the prices not down but up? From where normal people stand, the free market system is bloated and rigged. Who should fix it and doesn't? The doctors make more money, the hospitals make more money, the insurers make more money, 'the medical system' and its underwriters make more money, Wall Street is happy, while everyone else in the country who needs them is bankrupt. American folks are forced to have insurance in order to pay these astronomical and artificially inflated medical bills, if not they get into grotesque levels of debt. The result are national health affordability and indicators lower than in Cuba! I grew up in a poor European country and yet I've never heard of a single person to go bankrupt because they needed college education or medical care. This stuff was quite affordable even if one did not have medical insurance or financial aid, as most people didn't. The costs were correlated with the wages normal and poor people made.  Nothing so sensible here, and why not? What does this say about a country so rich like the USA?    
Crossing Park Avenue in the 90s the other day, on my way to a book store on Madison in the 90s,  I finally ran into the (in) famous Wall Street protesters. They were a meager, quiet bunch, painfully small and irrelevant against the backdrop of majestic Park Avenue buildings. So far off from reaching the critical mass needed to accomplish a REVOLUTION, and, as it usually happens, the police comically outnumbered them.

However, it was interesting to notice that everyone, from passers-by to the numerous police forces, smiled at them, with this facial expression that seem to say: Thank you for doing what we don’t have the courage to do. We admire you for this and wish you the best of luck. We don’t do what you do only because we feel helpless, we don’t think it will make any difference and because we are a bit lazy to interrupt our lives and unsettle our comfort. Yet we all agree with you: This country’s problem is not Big Government, but Small Minded Congress, we all live under the velvet dictatorship of a Congress (latest approval rates hovering between 10- 14%) that stopped representing the interest of the majority of people long ago; and we are all either desperately  or numbingly incapable of doing anything about it.

I returned home thinking how I don’t care about changing the world anymore. All because it seems so darn difficult. And how I thank all these people for doing what they do and enduring what they endure while sleeping night after night on the asphalt foregoing basic hygiene. Many years ago I was out in the streets of Bucharest rioting against the communist dictatorship. Have I gotten too old and jaded about fighting for social justice? And for even believing in it? Perhaps the next Congress and the next US Presidents should all be under the age of 35, not above it, an age where people are still foolish and daring enough to stir the status quo and do great things.  

People's Corner
People's Corner features poignant commentaries on the issues of the day made by readers of major newspapers, opinions which we believe are often more interesting and on the mark than paid opinion piece journalism. When most of the normal folks can come up with common sense solutions more sensible and comprehensive than any acts passed by the Legislature and the Executive, who are supposedly the smartest guys in the room, we all know it is time for an American Spring.  
POLL: Only 12% of Americans are happy with the way Congress is doing its job, tying the all-time lowest approval rating set back in 10/08 at the height of the economic crisis. 8 in 10 of those polled do not plan to vote for their incumbent in the next election 
"Congress is out of touch with the American people and continues to give them the exact opposite of what they want. Poll after poll shows support for raising taxes on the wealthy, eliminating loopholes and subsidies for corporations, significantly reducing military spending, protecting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and putting America back to work by investing in education, infrastructure and job training. How can we have a sound economy when manufacturing accounts for only 10 percent of the economy while the financial industry takes 40 percent of profits? (Read more...)  
An Imaginary Dialog  
by Alexandra Ares

T oday New York City commemorates 10 years since the tragedy of 9/11. Ten years since the U.S. economy started to go down in the dumps, and roughly 10 years since the White House and the Congress started the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which killed more people than the terrorists, and inflicted massive economic damage and debt upon all of us.

Since I am by no means a war specialist, I turned to the greatest warrior-philosopher of all times, Sun Tzu , who, two thousand years ago in China,  compiled THE ART OF WAR , still regarded as the bible of military and conflict strategy. So I conducted an imaginary interview with Master Sun and the generals who subsequently commented on the Art of War, to see what they think about our decade long war in Afghanistan.  

MC: Master Sun what do you think about USA's decade long war in Afghanistan? 

MASTER SUN (544-496 B.C.):  I have heard of military operations that were clumsy but swift, but I never seen one that was skilful and lasted a long time. It is never beneficial to a nation to have a military operation continue for a long time.  

MC: Why?

MASTER SUN :  When you do battle, even if you are winning, if you continue for a long time it will dull your forces and blunt your edge.  

General JIA LIN (618-906) :  Allow me to chip in.  Even if you prevail others in battle, if you go on too long there will be no profit... If you dull your forces and blunt your edge, sustaining casualties and battle fatigue, then you will be exhausted. 

General ZHANG  YU (960-1278) :  When you are spending a great deal of money on a military operation, if the army is in the field for too long, your budget will not be enough to cover the expense.

MC: No kidding! You guys are very wise.  So what do you think our government should do?

General LIU QUAN : A large scale operation involves enormous expense, which not only breaks you down in the field, but also exhausts you at home. Therefore a wise government does not keep its army in the field for long.

MC:  Do you have anything to add Master Sun?

MASTER SUN: When a country is impoverished by military operations, it is because of transporting supplies a distant place. Transport supplies a distant place and the populace will be impoverished.

MC:  Would you please comment further on this Generals?

General CAO CAO (155-200 C.E.) : Only transportations of provisions itself consumes twenty times the amount transported. 

MASTER SUN : And those who are near the army sell as high prices. Because of high prices, the wealth of the common people is exhausted.

General JIA LIN: Wherever the troops gather, the prices of goods all soar. Since people are greedy for exceptional profits.

MASTER SUN:  So when power and resources are exhausted, then the  homeland is drained. The common people are deprived of seventy percent of their budget, while the governments expenses for equipment amount to sixty percent of the budget.

MC: This is all very interesting generals, but we are running out of timespan. In conclusion? 

General WANG XI (early eleventh century): Therefore long military campaigns are a plague to the nations. 

MC: Master Sun do you have one last piece of advice for American foreign policy? 

MASTER SUN : To overcome others armies without fighting is the best of skills.

MC: Thank you all.  
Spring-Summer 2011 Issue 
DARKO LUNGUNOV, Winner of Tribeca Film Festival
Director of HERE AND THERE
S erbian born first time director Director Darko Lungulov and Producer George Lekovic generated significant buzz about the film through a guerilla marketing campaign that included everything from pioneering crowd funding to a surprise event in Union Square, featuring  The Balkan Brass Band, Zlatne Uste, which played its unique brand of music in Union Square Park as Lungulov spoke with onlookers about his film, which Eric Hynes of The Village Voice called “Unexpectedly sublime, like the odd intimacy of wearing gifted pajamas and a friendship forged over a two-liter of beer.  Watch the event  here.
Spurned on by this campaign, the New York run at the Quad was completely sold out.
Manhattan Chornicles talked to Darko Lungunov about what happened after winning the Tribeca Film festival in 2009. Read More...
Excerpt from the novel
Adriana Ichim is the first Romanian supermodel who left Romania during the communist regime and became famous in Italy as a model, actress, business woman and lover of celebrities and bilionaires. This frag-ment of her best selling memoir published in Europe describes her first trip to Italy, which unravelled both her life as a model behind the Iron Curtain and her first marriage. It is not a tell-all-memoir, but a captivating novel of certain, although slightly uneven,  literary merit.   
Rome, 1979< div>

I got off the plane and immediately felt dizzy because of the multitude of people; seemingly millions of hurrying people who knew exactly where they were going. I... well, I searched through the crowds for something or someone to help me get out of that place . ...Read All

                                                           What Craigslist Tells Us About Sex and America
E ver wondered what Craigslist tells as about sex and the real America?  I had to write a novel about it in order to find out.  It’s wild.  How did we get here? 
      It used to be that religion was the safeguard of ethics or, at the very least, an inspiration for people to seek the angel within, and not just give in to the always-lurking animal side; then, a growing number of people outgrew the idea of organized religion and said that one could lead a moral life without being religious.  So far, so good.  But slowly, our messy democracy Obama talked about in his last State of the Union Address, and the free speech that made Larry Flint a free man, took over our sex lives and changed everything.  It made the wildest degree of promiscuity socially acceptable in America.  It is non-judgmentally called exploration or experimentation. People holding on to old-fashioned values are billed as square.  The media hypes the sex, lies, and all the dirty digital tapes.  Is this something good? Is it bad? Where are we going to draw the line? Is there going to be any line?    ...Read All

I t began one morning. He had woken up very early. He was sipping his coffee. A book, still closed, lay beside him. A strange and powerful feeling he had not experienced before took possession of him. It seemed that an imperious, confused, but dictatorial voice was barking orders in brain. Open the book and read!  He began to perspire. His head began to ache, and a shiver went down his spine, all the way to his slippers. He felt as if he was being pushed by something he couldn’t identify. Read! He could neither understand, nor oppose whatever was happening to him. He took the book, opened it, and tried to read. But, far from fading away, the anxiety amplified. Words became garbled and began to eat each other. A sort of anxiety was clutching at his soul like a claw. His fingers were shaking, holding the book. The text became an amorphous mass of letters. He closed the book and stared at the wall in front of him. He was feeling alone and endangered, powerless and vulnerable. ... Read All 

The Dead Sea Scrolls Scandal Part I
                                                         Gatekeeping the Net 
        O n March 5, 2009, Raphael Golb was arrested and charged with "identity theft" and with engaging in a "fraudulent scheme to influence a debate."  Thus began one of the most hallucinatory criminal prosecutions of recent years. The government's action came as a response to an email and blogging campaign that Raphael undertook four years ago, in which he criticized the conduct of various influential individuals and institutions involved in an ongoing controversy over the manner in which the Dead Sea Scrolls are being presented to the public. After a two-week trial in September, 2010, Raphael was found guilty and sentenced to spend six months at Rikers Island, on the grounds that he used pseudonyms and satire to mock his adversaries and to "influence a debate." Raphael's personal account of his trial and its background makes for a compelling read and introduces us to the darker side of the academy .  Read All...  
Translations by Corneliu M.Popescu and Peter Grimm  

Days go past and days come still 
All is old and all is new, 
What is well and what is ill, 
You imagine and construe; 
Do not hope and do not fear, 
Waves that leap like waves must fall; 
Should they praise or should they jeer, 
Look but coldly on it all .  ... Read All 

That I'm doomed to die I believed it never; 
Always young and clad in my mantle I wandered, 
Dreaming eyes uplifted for ever fixed on   
      Solitude's starlight. ...Read All   
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a touch-tone application on our computer screen for voting for or against all the local, state and federal matters that affect us? Stuff like real estate taxes, other taxes, how our tax money is being used, disadvantaged kids, streets clean-up, wine in supermarkets,  signal in the subway, war and peace or the latest debate on the Ground Zero mosque?
I was very, very excited and happy to become a US citizen years ago. I was under the impression    that once a citizen my voice was going to matter...Read All  
Most men over a certain age are like peaceful COWS, many are like scared RABBITS, a few are like unlikely PEACOCKS and only one-in-a-million are still pure breed MUSTANGS…Read All
Don't WAIT
for anyone to 
ANOINT you...
Pulitzer finalist playwright,  controversial young adult novelist, high-energy musician, screenwriter and filmmaker speaks to Manhattan Chronicles...Read All  
       When I came to America I felt like Columbus. I was conquered and I was conquering...
         ... Read All 
CULINARY Successes
     What’s wrong with cookbooks: the recipees. No matter how perfect they are or how much asidousness goes into them they will never be anything except a small part of the culture they come from...Read All
       The dress was gorgeous and absolutely how she'd imagined it to be: absolutely flawless ... Read All
            I left the country in 1990. To paraphrase Vladimir Mayakovsky, I could say: read this and envy – I too was once a citizen of the Soviet Union ...  Read All

          In the circus of words

           Open non stop---

           Of beasts ---

           The music is suave


           The bald,


           (from Milano) 

A surreal atmosphere

Of a ball,

A carnival,

Sensational! ...Read All

FICTION              FLESH OF WORDS (Firan)
POETRY:             MIHAI EMINESCU- A European Romantic 
ESSAY:                          THE NEED FOR CATASTROPHE (Firan)   
GLIMPSE:                      CULINARY SUCCESSES IN AMERICA (Codrescu)  
SATIRE:                 MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE (Ares)
ESSAY:                   FLESH OF WORDS (Firan)
GLIMPSE:              FIVE-MINUTE EGGS  (Codrescu)  
STORY:                  MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE (Albu)
POETRY:                THE BONE SYSTEM (Grigorescu)
STORY              THE KICKBACK (DiDonato)  
GLIMPSE         SATURDAY NIGHT (Parkin)   
                       MAY I BUY YOU DINNER?   (Ares)
                     THE BADGER   (Albu)
                       HAMLET WITH JUDE LAW  (Ares)