Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tom Hickey — Calling the election

Now that Donald Trump is the official candidate for the GOP and Hillary Clinton for the Dems, I am calling the election for Trump for the simple reason that entertainment value will be the deciding favor and Trump is just a lot more interesting than Clinton. Who wants to watch a four year reality show starring Hillary Clinton when you can watch Trump instead.

Zero Hedge — Maybe Putin Did It After All: Trail Emerges Linking DNC Email Hack To Russia

To be sure all of the above is circumstantial and while we have no independent insight into any of the above, we are confident that now that the trail has grown "warm", the FBI - which yesterday said that Russia is a prime suspect - will use this as a foundation upon which to build a case blaming the Kremlin for interfering in US politics.…
Hillary is famous for "getting even." Should she win the presidency, count on her trying to get even with Putin.

Zero Hedge
Maybe Putin Did It After All: Trail Emerges Linking DNC Email Hack To Russia

Why Hillary Is Nervous: "More Leaks May Be Coming"

Economic Surprise Index no surprise

David Einhorn's back talking "jelly donuts." Who gives this idiot money to manage?

Remember David Einhorn? I showed you back in Feburary how he was going short commodities and industrial stocks. The Dow Jones INDUSTRIALS was at 15,500. Now it's 18,500.

Now he says get ready for more "jelly donuts." That's how these little boy Wall Street idiots who think they know something, talk. Jelly donuts, as in, more rate cuts. Or, as they call it, "stimulus."

Meanwhile, companies are beating earnings left and right, home sales are at an 8-year high. Wholesale inflation is picking up. There's wage pressures growing. Government spending is on track to set a new record this year.

And he's talking rate cuts.

That's your signal to sell Treasuries.

Who the hell gives these guys money to play with? Crazy!

Surprised by the Economic Surprise Index? I wasn't. I called it all along.

Everyone is all shocked that Citi's Economic Surprise Index is showing a massive amount of upside surprises.

Who was calling this for months, even when all the "experts" were gloomy and pessimistic as hell?


Was no surprise to anyone reading this blog or who is a subscriber to my report, MMT Trader.

Alexander Mercouris — Why the US Almost Certainly Was Not Involved in the Turkish Coup

All the indications suggest the US had no part in the coup. However Erdogan and the Turkish government think otherwise and it is their opinion which matters.…
Before discussing the question it is important to say that the answer so far as Turkey itself is concerned may no longer matter. The conviction appears to be taking hold in Turkey – including amongst some members of its government and with Erdogan himself – that the US was in some way behind the coup. That in itself will be enough to cause relations between the US and Turkey to become strained. In international politics very often it is what people believe rather than what is true that most matters.
The first thing to say is that at this stage we simply do not know. The information that would enable us to say for sure is simply not there. The investigation of the coup is still at a very early stage. Coup plotters are still being rounded up and questioned, and paper and electronic trails are still being followed up. It will take months or even years before trials follow – if they ever do – and before we start to get definite answers to the questions like the one about the extent, if any, of US involvement in the coup. 
The second thing to say is that when people talk about a coup or a coup being US backed they are using a blanket term that covers different things. There are coups in which the US is not initially involved but which it backs after they succeed (eg. the coup which overthrew the Argentinian dictator Juan Peron in 1955). There are coups of which the US has foreknowledge and to which it gives the green light (eg. the Vietnamese coup against President Diem of 1963, the Brazilian coup of 1964 and the Turkish coup of 1980); and lastly there are the coups which the US actively orders and organises (eg. the coup in Iran in 1953 and – despite continued US denials – the coup against President Allende of Chile in 1973). All these coups are in a sense “US backed” but they clearly fall into different categories. 
There is no doubt that if the coup against Erdogan had succeeded the US would have backed it after the event, just as in 1955 it backed after the event the coup that overthrew Peron, and to that extent it is legitimate to say that if the coup had succeeded it would have been US backed.…
Before leaving this subject there are two further points I do however want to make.
The first is that my whole case obviously depends on the assumption of at least a measure of rationality on the part of Obama and his officials. Against that I have to accept that US policy in recent years has become increasingly detached from reality. Indeed I have written about this at length. However if US policy makers really are now so detached from reality that they took the frankly crazy step of instigating or colluding in a coup against Erdogan in Turkey, then they are much crazier and more dangerous, and the situation in the world is far worse and far more dangerous, than up to now I or I suspect anyone else has suspected. It really would be a case in that case of us needing to reach for our fallout shelters. Fortunately everything we know about the coup suggests otherwise.
The Duran
Why the US Almost Certainly Was Not Involved in the Turkish Coup
Alexander Mercouris

Adam Garrie — Putin, Trump and the New Normalcy

Interesting comparison between Putin and Trump in terms of history.

The Duran
Putin, Trump and the New Normalcy
Adam Garrie

South Front — Al Nusra Launches Rebranding Campaign To Depict Itself “Moderate Opposition” And Avoid Air Strikes

More disinformation, as Al Qaeda affiliated Al Nusra rebrands itself as Jabhat Fateh Al Sham, or Sham Liberation Front. Well chosen name, since it is indeed a sham that is reminiscent of Blackwater rebranding itself as XE (209) and then Academie (2011), after becoming infamous. This is looking like a shell game or three card monte — where are the bad guys?

Scott Adams — The Dark and Rotten Election

Godzilla, meet King Kong.
Scott Adams' Blog
The Dark and Rotten Election
Scott Adams

Hillary, Putin and Faith-based evidence

Stage magic operates on distraction. The audience knows that the magician is trying to fool them and everyone is on the lookout for it, but almost no one but other magicians can penetrate the ruse. 

Persuasion is very much like this and persuasion techniques are used extensively in public relations, politics and advertising.

Disinformation is on of the tactics. It extends from a swarm of "evidence," testimony, allegations and the like to the Big Lie.

Russia Insider
Hillary Clinton's Bizarre Disinformation Strategy Against Russia and Donald Trump - Dominic Basalt

Zero Hedge
Russia Foreign Minister Responds To Allegation It Is Behind DNC Hack: "I Don't Want To Use Four-Letter Words"

Will Putin Get a Pulitzer?
Patrick J. Buchanan

Press News Greece — Croatian president Kalinda Grabar-Kitarović at the beach

Croatian president Kalinda Grabar-Kitarović at the beach — really. Why can't US politics be like this?

Press News Greece
Χάλασε κόσμο στην παραλία η Πρόεδρος της Κροατίας! (Φωτογραφίες)

(You don't need to know Greek.)

Monday, July 25, 2016

RT — Former NATO commander ‘behind failed coup against Erdogan’ – Turkish daily

Washington calls the charge "unsubstantiated."

Former NATO commander ‘behind failed coup against Erdogan’ – Turkish daily

David Bromwich — The Hawks’ Election Strategy: Pushing a New Cold War

Banking on the gullibility of the public.
The truth is that the charge of fascism against Trump was a stopgap measure. Now it has been replaced by a charge that he is soft on the Communist menace, or the next worst thing—which they are betting the American mind will translate into the same thing—he is soft on the Russian menace. Fascism was never a ripe choice of terms. It gets hardly any play and commands little attention in America. For the neoconservatives, Red-baiting is a more familiar tactic and in the absence of a Red, a Russian will do. They have good reason to suppose that Hillary Clinton will take the hint and adopt the convenient amalgam in order to sow confusion. The Russian menace resembles the Communist menace in the same way that the word “Iran” resembles the word “Iraq.”…
The two branches of the war party, now united in CNAS, have agreed it would be good thing for American prestige, power and force-projection to renew the Cold War, and to do it with the best available target, Putin, as a ready-made scapegoat. Nothing in Mrs. Clinton’s history should lead us to believe that she will resist this demagogic appeal.

 We may deplore Donald Trump for his abridgment of the protocols of honest debate, his pandering to racial and religious prejudice, his contempt for plain facts and his lack of acquaintance with facts. But to picture Trump as an agent or enabler of Vladimir Putin—and to insinuate that anyone who seeks diplomatic arrangements with Moscow in preference to a new Cold War must be “soft”—does nothing to elevate the political discourse of the moment. It takes us out of the sewer and leads us into the cesspool.
Do you rationally prefer the sewer or the cesspool?

The National Interest
The Hawks’ Election Strategy: Pushing a New Cold War
David Bromwich | Sterling Professor of English at Yale University

Robert Hackett — Bitcoin Is Not Money, Miami Judge Rules

Money is what the law says it is. This judge ruled that Bitcoin is property.
Michell Esponiza, the defendant, had sold $1,500 worth of the virtual currency to undercover police officers who said they intended to buy stolen credit card numbers with it, as the Miami Herald reports. The cops then brought a case against him, alleging that Espinoza had illegally engaged in money laundering.
The court’s decision? Where there’s no money, there’s no money laundering.

“This Court is not an expert in economics, however, it is very clear, even to someone with limited knowledge in the area, that Bitcoin has a long way to go before it is the equivalent of money,” the Miami-Dade Circuit judge Teresa Mary Pooler said in her ruling, which the Miami Herald published.

“This court is unwilling to punish a man for selling his property to another, when his actions fall under a statute that is so vaguely written that even legal professionals have difficulty finding a singular meaning,” she added.…
Bitcoin Is Not Money, Miami Judge Rules
Robert Hackett

Brad DeLong — What Thinkers Will Define Our Future?

Brad DeLong cuts to the chase and asks some key questions that involve updating the enduring issue of social and political thought, first raised in the West by the ancient Greeks, and then the subject of much of the Western intellectual tradition:  What does it mean to live a good life in a good society and what does this involve contemporaneously in light of lessons learned historically, present conditions, and future opportunities and challenges?

Another question is what non-Western traditions have thought about this. This is important as the world shrinks and different culture influence each other. One tradition trying to impose its methods, history and ideas on other will inevitably meet with resistance.

Finally, is there some overarching paradigm that allows for the peaceful resolution of different points of view and the testing of different alternatives.

Grasping Reality
What Thinkers Will Define Our Future?: No Longer Fresh at Project Syndicate
Brad DeLong | Professor of Economics, UCAL Berkeley

Andrew Korybko — The US-Saudi Plan To Prompt An Iranian Pullback From Syria

The US and Saudi Arabia have been conspiring with one another to engineer a series of crises that could prompt Iran to pull back its troops in Syria and redeploy them back to the homeland. The modus operandi has been to encourage peripheral insurgencies inside the Islamic Republic’s borderland regions concurrent with a terrorist threat to the interior, all while stirring up Color Revolution commotion. In short, Washington and Riyadh are working hard to wage a multidimensional Hybrid War on Iran, and all indications point to each respective component of this campaign intensifying in the coming months as the US turns up the heat against its decades-long Mideast rival.…
Destabilization as a favorite US strategy. Using Wahhabi and Salafi proxies is an integral part of it.

The US-Saudi Plan To Prompt An Iranian Pullback From Syria
Andrew Korybko

Marilyn Tolle — Central bank digital currency: the end of monetary policy as we know it?

Central banks (CBs) have long issued paper currency. The development of Bitcoin and other private digital currencies has provided them with the technological means to issue their own digital currency. But should they?
Addressing this question is part of the Bank’s Research Agenda. In this post I sketch out how a CB digital currency – call it CBcoin – might affect the monetary and banking systems – setting aside other important and complex systemic implications that range from prudential regulation and financial stability to technology, operational and financial conduct
I argue that taken to its most extreme conclusion, CBcoin issuance could have far-reaching consequences for commercial and central banking – divorcing payments from private bank deposits and even putting an end to banks’ ability to create money. By redefining the architecture of payment systems, CBcoin could thus challenge fractional reserve banking and reshape the conduct of monetary policy.…
Bank of England — Bank Underground
Central bank digital currency: the end of monetary policy as we know it?
Marilyne Tolle

Alex Tabarrok — What Was Gary Becker’s Biggest Mistake?

Gary Becker on rational choice theory applied to crime and punishment.

Marginal Revolution
What Was Gary Becker’s Biggest Mistake?
Alex Tabarrok | Bartley J. Madden Chair in Economics at the Mercatus Center and am a professor of economics at George Mason University. I am also a research fellow with the Mercatus Center

See also

Publisher's blurb:
It is widely believed today that the free market is the best mechanism ever invented to efficiently allocate resources in society. Just as fundamental as faith in the free market is the belief that government has a legitimate and competent role in policing and the punishment arena. This curious incendiary combination of free market efficiency and the Big Brother state has become seemingly obvious, but it hinges on the illusion of a supposedly natural order in the economic realm. The Illusion of Free Markets argues that our faith in “free markets” has severely distorted American politics and punishment practices.

Bernard Harcourt traces the birth of the idea of natural order to eighteenth-century economic thought and reveals its gradual evolution through the Chicago School of economics and ultimately into today’s myth of the free market. The modern category of “liberty” emerged in reaction to an earlier, integrated vision of punishment and public economy, known in the eighteenth century as “police.” This development shaped the dominant belief today that competitive markets are inherently efficient and should be sharply demarcated from a government-run penal sphere.
This modern vision rests on a simple but devastating illusion. Superimposing the political categories of “freedom” or “discipline” on forms of market organization has the unfortunate effect of obscuring rather than enlightening. It obscures by making both the free market and the prison system seem natural and necessary. In the process, it facilitated the birth of the penitentiary system in the nineteenth century and its ultimate culmination into mass incarceration today.
The Illusion of Free Markets: Punishment and the Myth of Natural Order
Bernard E. Harcourt

NATO’s Warsaw Communiqué: Planning the Crime of Aggression

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto, he is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and he is known for a number of high-profile cases involving human rights and war crimes, especially for the online magazine. 

This is an interesting article. 



I have been a defence lawyer most of my working life and am not used to gathering evidence for a prosecution, but circumstances impelled me to open a file for the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, or perhaps some future citizen’s tribunal, in which is contained the evidence that the NATO leaders are guilty of the gravest crime against mankind, the crime of aggression. I would like to share with you some brief notes of interest from that file, for your consideration.
Article 8bis of the Rome Statute, the governing statue of the International Criminal Court states:
For the purpose of this Statute, “crime of aggression” means the planning, preparation, initiation or execution, by a person in a position effectively to exercise control over or to direct the political or military action of a State, of an act of aggression which by its character, gravity and scale, constitutes a manifest violation of the Charter on the United Nations.
The NATO communiqué issued from Warsaw on July 9th is direct evidence of such planning and preparation and therefore of a conspiracy by the NATO leaders to commit acts of aggression against Russia, and would be the subject of an indictment of the International Criminal Court against the leaders of the NATO military alliance, if the prosecutor of the ICC was in fact independent, which she is not, and of course, if the articles relating to crimes of aggression were in effect which will not take place until January 1, 2017, if at all, under the articles of the Rome Statute.

Nevertheless, the technical issue of jurisdiction that prevents the issuance of an indictment against the NATO leaders at this time does not legitimate the planning and preparation of acts of aggression as are contained in the NATO communiqué nor reduce the moral weight of the crime of aggression set out in the Statute and the Nuremberg Principles, for the crime of aggression is the supreme crime of war.

On their own words, set out in black and white, in their communiqué of July 9th, the NATO leaders, each and every one, and the entire general staffs of the armed forces of each and every NATO country, are guilty of the crime of aggression. The fact that there is no effective body to which they can be brought for trial is irrelevant to the fact of the crime being committed. They are the enemies of mankind and charged or not, tried or not, they are international outlaws who must be identified as such and called to account by their own peoples.

The evidence of their crimes of course predates this communiqué and consists in years of actions by the NATO powers, since the Soviet Union dissolved itself and the Warsaw Pact, under the agreement with NATO, the 1997 NATO–Russia Founding Act, that NATO would not expand into any of the countries formally members of the Warsaw Pact or the USSR, nor place nuclear weapons there. NATO has broken that agreement continuously since and has, as an organisation, or through groups of its member states, committed acts of aggression against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Russia (during the Georgian attack on South Ossetia and through support of Chechen terrorist groups inside Russia itself), Ukraine and Syria with each act of aggression supported by massive propaganda campaigns to attempt to justify these crimes as legitimate. The western mass media are all complicit in these crimes by distributing this propaganda to the people they are meant to inform.

How ‘Competitiveness’ Became One of the Great Unquestioned Virtues of Contemporary Culture

A little bit of competition is a good thing. I have some great sounding Hi-Fi in my house designed by very clever people form different companies. But can we have too much of competition? In our society everything is about competition and all the time. We hear of competitive markets, how monopolies are bad and need to be broken up to become more competitive (which is true), how children are made to compete and get graded all through school often making their lives a misery. We are told that unless we play dirty we will won't win, how we have always keep ahead of the game. Well, it's just so fucking boring. 

I liked this story below:

I read about a group of mothers all boasting about their toddlers saying how clever they were. How one boy learnt to talk at a early age, how another started reading early, how one started to walk before other toddlers did, and so on. But the mothers noticed that one mother never said anything, so they asked her about her child, and she told them that her child was just a regular little boy and she loved him to bits. After that all the mothers stated competing with each other saying how regular their children were too.

The problem with excessive competition is that there are not many winners, so most people slide down the greasy pole to various degrees and work becomes a treadmill. 

Will Davies wrote this interesting article recently in Evonomics. 

How ‘Competitiveness’ Became One of the Great Unquestioned Virtues of Contemporary Culture, How did mounting inequality succeed in proving culturally and politically attractive for as long as it did?


Widening economic inequality is the academic topic du jour, but the trend of growing wealth and income disparity has been underway for several decades. How did mounting inequality succeed in proving culturally and politically attractive for as long as it did?

The years since the banking meltdown of 2008 have witnessed a dawning awareness, that our model of capitalism is not simply producing widening inequality, but is apparently governed by the interests of a tiny minority of the population. The post-crisis period has spawned its own sociological category – ‘the 1%’ – and recently delivered its first work of grand economic theory, in Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-first Century, a book dedicated to understanding why inequality keeps on growing.

What seems to be provoking the most outrage right now is not inequality as such, which has, after all, been rising in the UK (give or take Tony Blair’s second term) since 1979, but the sense that the economic game is now being rigged. If we can put our outrage to one side for a second, this poses a couple of questions, for those interested in the sociology of legitimation. Firstly, how did mounting inequality succeed in proving culturally and politically attractive for as long as it did? And secondly, how and why has that model of justification now broken down?

It struck me, when I began my Sociology PhD on which the book is based, that competitiveness had become one of the great unquestioned virtues of contemporary culture, especially in the UK. We celebrate London because it is a competitive world city; we worship sportsmen for having won; we turn on our televisions and watch contestants competitively cooking against each other. In TV shows such as the Dragons Den or sporting contests such as the Premier League, the division between competitive entertainment and capitalism dissolves altogether. Why would it be remotely surprising, to discover that a society in which competitiveness was a supreme moral and cultural virtue, should also be one which generates increasing levels of inequality?

The outrage with the ‘1%’ (and, more accurately, with the 0.1%), the sense that even the rich are scarcely benefiting, is to be welcomed. It is also overdue. For several years, we have operated with a cultural and moral worldview which finds value only in ‘winners’. Our cities must be ‘world-leading’ to matter. Universities must be ‘excellent’, or else they dwindle. This is a philosophy which condemns the majority of spaces, people and organizations to the status of ‘losers’. It also seems entirely unable to live up to its own meritocratic ideal any longer. The discovery that, if you cut a ‘winner’ enough slack, eventually they’ll try to close down the game once and for all, should throw our obsession with competitiveness into question. And then we can consider how else to find value in things, other than their being ‘better’ than something else

Cenk Uygur and Alex Jones Confrontation at the RNC

I really like Cenk Uygur. He a liberal who scores hitting home at the Conservatives and so the Tea Party Right really hate him. One problem with the left is that they tend too be polite much of the time. Think Democracy now vs Fox News, or Thom Hartman vs Glenn Beck. Now I'm not saying that the liberal left should become bruisers but we do need a few people that can stand up to the loud mouths on the Right. This is why I enjoyed Mike Norman's videos so much bashing that big mouthed Peter Schiff. I also like Max Keiser because he doesn't mince his words either.

In the video below Alex Jones storms onto the The Young Turks set to wind up Cent Uygur at the RNC convention. It is obviously a prank by Alex Jones, where he says that he was invited on but that is a bold faced lie. There was no seat for him on the set and Cenk and his team were already in deep discussion being filmed for a broadcast when Alex Jones just barged on. And Alex Jones keeps giggling like a small kid obviously really enjoying himself. Cenk shows his anger, and what a great guy he is. Alex Jones needed one on the chin.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Why Corbyn so terrifies the Guardian

Jonathon Cook used to write for the Guardian but when it went neoliberal he left the newspaper. This is from his blog:



Political developments in Britain appear more than a little confusing at the moment.

The parliamentary Labour party is in open revolt against a leader recently elected with the biggest mandate in the party’s history. Most Labour MPs call Jeremy Corbyn “unelectable”, even though they have worked tirelessly to undermine him from the moment he became leader, never giving him a chance to prove whether he could win over the wider British public.

Corbyn and his supporters threaten a paradigm shift. The old elites, whether in the Labour parliamentary party or the Guardian editorial offices, sense the danger, even if they lack the necessary awareness to appreciate Corbyn’s significance. They will fight tooth and nail to protect what they have. They will do so even if their efforts create so much anger and resentment they risk unleashing darker political forces.

Corbyn’s style of socialism draws on enduring traditions and values – of compassion, community and solidarity – that the young have never really known except in history books. Those values seem very appealing to a generation trapped in the dying days of a deeply atomised, materialist, hyper-competitive world. They want change and Corbyn offers them a path to it.

But whatever his critics claim, Corbyn isn’t just a relic of past politics. Despite his age, he is also a very modern figure. He exudes a Zen-like calm, a self-awareness and a self-effacement that inspires those who have been raised in a world of 24-hour narcissism.

In these increasingly desperate times, Cobyn’s message is reaching well beyond the young, of course. A paradigm shift doesn’t occur just because the young replace the old. It involves the old coming to accept – however reluctantly – that the young may have found an answer to a question they had forgotten needed answering. Many in the older generation know about solidarity and community. They may have been dazzled by promises of an aspirational lifestyle and the baubles of rampant consumption, but it is slowly dawning on them too that this model has a rapidly approaching sell-by date.

Those most wedded to the neoliberal model – the political, economic and media elites – will be the last to be weaned off a system that has so richly rewarded them. They would rather bring the whole house crashing down than give Corbyn and his supporters the chance to repair it.

Putin to Western elites: Play-time is over

I don't know what the Western ruling elites think they're up to just because they are so powerful that they reckon they can get away with anything or push anyone about. They have their air raid shelters designed to last years after a nuclear strike, so they think that when they emerge there will be enough planet left for them so they can have it all for themselves. But when the banks go under because of their war and the nuclear winter that follows their £trillions will just go up in smoke.



The Russian blogger chipstone summarized the most salient points from Putin speech as follows:

1. Russia will no longer play games and engage in back-room negotiations over trifles. But Russia is prepared for serious conversations and agreements, if these are conducive to collective security, are based on fairness and take into account the interests of each side.

2. All systems of global collective security now lie in ruins. There are no longer any international security guarantees at all. And the entity that destroyed them has a name: The United States of America.

3. The builders of the New World Order have failed, having built a sand castle. Whether or not a new world order of any sort is to be built is not just Russia's decision, but it is a decision that will not be made without Russia.

4. Russia favors a conservative approach to introducing innovations into the social order, but is not opposed to investigating and discussing such innovations, to see if introducing any of them might be justified.

5. Russia has no intention of going fishing in the murky waters created by America's ever-expanding “empire of chaos,” and has no interest in building a new empire of her own (this is unnecessary; Russia's challenges lie in developing her already vast territory). Neither is Russia willing to act as a savior of the world, as she had in the past.

6. Russia will not attempt to reformat the world in her own image, but neither will she allow anyone to reformat her in their image. Russia will not close herself off from the world, but anyone who tries to close her off from the world will be sure to reap a whirlwind.

7. Russia does not wish for the chaos to spread, does not want war, and has no intention of starting one. However, today Russia sees the outbreak of global war as almost inevitable, is prepared for it, and is continuing to prepare for it. Russia does not want war—nor does she fear it.

8. Russia does not intend to take an active role in thwarting those who are still attempting to construct their New World Order—until their efforts start to impinge on Russia's key interests. Russia would prefer to stand by and watch them give themselves as many lumps as their poor heads can take. But those who manage to drag Russia into this process, through disregard for her interests, will be taught the true meaning of pain.

9. In her external, and, even more so, internal politics, Russia's power will rely not on the elites and their back-room dealing, but on the will of the people.

To these nine points I would like to add a tenth:

10. There is still a chance to construct a new world order that will avoid a world war. This new world order must of necessity include the United States—but can only do so on the same terms as everyone else: subject to international law and international agreements; refraining from all unilateral action; in full respect of the sovereignty of other nations.

To sum it all up: play-time is over. Children, put away your toys. Now is the time for the adults to make decisions. Russia is ready for this; is the world?


Moon of Alabama — Clinton Asserts Putin Influence On Trump - After Taking Russian Bribes

You knew this was going to turn into a can of worms. Get out the popcorn.

Although Moon of Alabama doesn't need it, it was not just Russian money either.

Happy (money) trails.

Moon of Alabama
Clinton Asserts Putin Influence On Trump - After Taking Russian Bribes

Some insight on Turmp

A long but good read from McKay Coppins at Buzzfeed. Gives good insight into some of what might drive The Donald. Personally, I found the writing hilarious, in a Matt Taibbi-like sarcastic style. I have to say that even though I would never vote for Trump myself, and I dont think he has the temperament to do well as USA Inc CEO.  His decades long drive to stick it to the snobby elite that look down on him is something I can relate to and respect. And what the fuck do I know about what makes a good president anyway? And who can really know how he might do on the job? We're all just guessing.  At least he doesnt seem to have a rigid ideology like slick professional ideologues Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan, who are far more dangerous IMHO. Anyways, hope some of you all enjoy the article as I did.

"From political power brokers to the entire island of Manhattan, a varied cast of taunting insiders has inadvertently driven Donald Trump’s lifelong revenge march toward the White House. This is what it’s like to be one of them."

Miles Kimball — Peter Conti-Brown on Marriner Eccles and the Refounding of the Fed

New book on Marriner Eccles. How Eccles anticipated Keynes, as had Hjalmar Schacht in running the Reichsbank. Conventional economists still have not caught up with what savvy bankers knew then, even though Keynes explained it to them, Post Keynesians elaborated on it, and MMT economists delineated the operations.

Confessions of a Supply Side Liberal
Miles Kimball | Professor of Economics and Survey Research at the University of Michigan

Economics Is Broken. How Evolution, Ecology, and Collective Behavior Can Help Us Avoid Catastrophe After the crash, can biologists fix economics?

Mainstream economics uses advanced mathematics to calculate wide averages. The utility of an apple can be measured they say. When I was young I would go scrumptying (nicking apples and pears from orchards) and not only would I eat a belly load of apples before I got home, my family would be eating tons of apples all through the summer too. And at the end of summer the woods would be full of blackberries and me and my friends would go out and pick loads of them. So we had apple and blackberry pies, baked apples, plain old apple pies, apple and blackberry crumble, stewed apple with custard, you name it, all with cloves and cinnamon, etc, and none of us ever got fed up with it.

So mainstream economics takes all these averages and then over whole populations they believe that these averages even out, but I still can't see how utility can ever be accurately measured in the way that weight, or speed and light can be. So the advanced maths used in economics can still only ever give us more averages, but the mainstream economists then takes only the values that leads to an economic system  that suites the One percent. Eric Zuesse describes very well in in his book, Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics (https://rwer.wordpress.com/2015/03/15/feudalism-fascism-libertarianism-and-economics/) how the One Percent - the aristocracy as Eric Zuesse describes them - paid for this, so now we have an economic system based on right-wing propaganda.

Neoclassical economics, and libertarians for that matter, view people as being entirely selfish, and that we only do good deeds because it pleases us. But they get it entirely the wrong way around. A Selfless act can give a lot pleasure, and so it is being selfless first that brings the pleasure after. Only by being entirely selfless can we get the pleasure. Over the centuries many people have given their lives to save others, and we have all heard of people who have shielded bombs to save others, where often many of these people were strangers too. Teachers have lost their lives shielding children from mad gunmen. Where's the selfishness in that?

Is Broken. How Evolution, Ecology, and Collective Behavior Can Help Us Avoid Catastrophe   After the crash, can biologists fix economics?, By Kate Douglas


The global financial crisis of 2008 took the world by surprise. Few mainstream economists saw it coming. Most were blind even to the possibility of such a catastrophic collapse. Since then, they have failed to agree on the interventions required to fix it. But it’s not just the crash: there is a growing feeling that orthodox economics can’t provide the answers to our most pressing problems, such as why inequality is spiralling. No wonder there’s talk of revolution.

Earlier this year, several dozen quiet radicals met in a boxy red building on the outskirts of Frankfurt, Germany, to plot just that. The stated aim of this Ernst Strüngmann Forum at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies was to create “a new synthesis for economics”. But the most zealous of the participants – an unlikely alliance of economists, anthropologists, ecologists and evolutionary biologists – really do want to overthrow the old regime. They hope their ideas will mark the beginning of a new movement to rework economics using tools from more successful scientific disciplines.

Drill down, and it’s not difficult to see where mainstream “neoclassical” economics has gone wrong. Since the 19th century, economies have essentially been described with mathematical formulae. This elevated economics above most social sciences and allowed forecasting. But it comes at the price of ignoring the complexities of human beings and their interactions – the things that actually make economic systems tick.

The problems start with Homo economicus, a species of fantasy beings who stand at the centre of orthodox economics. All members of H. economicus think rationally and act in their own self-interest at all times, never learning from or considering others.

Nigel Farage destroys Hillary Clinton

I'm on the left but I quite like Nigel Farage. I reckon if he was a neighbor I would get on swell with him, and I would enjoy a pint down the pub with him too.  He recently said that he liked Jeremy Corbyn because at least he was a proper socialist, not a career politian. I joined the British Labour Party because of Corbyn.

This clip is called, Nigel Farage destroys Hillary Clinton, but its much more than that. Nigel Farage is right on the ball about Western foreign policy yet again. 


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Dani Rodrik — Is Fethullah Gülen behind Turkey's coup?

Dani Rodrik is Turkish and well acquainted with Turkish politics. The origin of the coup is still murky. It is pretty clear that it was not a false flag engineered by Erdogan to seize more power, but unfolding events reveal that he is not letting the crisis go to waste in that regard either.

The aftermath of the coup has seen the rapprochement of Turkey, Russia and Iran, all of whom have an interest in keeping Syria in one piece, where it is in the interest of the US and the Kurds to partition Syria. 

Dani Rodrik's weblog
Is Fethullah Gülen behind Turkey's coup?
Dani Rodrik


The Duran
Alexander Mercouris: Report of a Russian Tip-Off to Erdogan is True

The Entirely Fake Owen Smith (The British Labour Party Leadership Contest)

Owen Smith is the main challenger to Jeremy Corbyn in the British Labour Party contest. He say's that he is a socialist and wants to bring in a land tax and re-nationalize the railways. I'm a Corbyn supporter and I joined the Labour Party because of him, but for a moment I thought Owen Smith sounded interesting, so I did some research on him.

Owen Smith looks very smart and is articulate, but he seemed like a career politician to me who I felt would just renegade on everything he says once he gets in power. I then found this informative article about Owen Smith by Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan. I have reprinted it in full.

The Entirely Fake Owen Smith, by Craig Murray,

Even the mainstream media feel compelled to drop hints that Owen Smith is not what he is being promoted as. The Guardian’s words yesterday were unintentionally revealing;
the former shadow work and pensions secretary plans to pitch himself as the soft-left option
Note “to pitch himself”. For PR professional Smith, political stance is nothing to do with personal belief, it is to do with brand positioning. On Channel 4 News last night, an incredulous Michael Crick pointed out that the “soft left” Smith had previously given interviews supporting PFI and privatisation in the health service. He also strongly supported Blair’s city academies.
As chief lobbyist for Pfizer, Smith actively pushed for privatisation of NHS services. This is not something Pfizer did very openly, and you have to search the evidence carefully. Footnotes often tell you what is really happening, as in this press release in which Owen Smith says of a Pfizer funded “focus group” study:
We believe that choice is a good thing and that patients and healthcare professionals should be at the heart of developing the agenda.
You have to look at the footnotes to see what kind of choice Owen Smith is actually talking about. Note to Editors 3 includes
“The focus groups also explored areas of choice that do not yet exist in the UK – most specifically the use of direct payments and the ability to choose to go directly to a specialist without first having to see the GP.”
Well, at least it is clear – direct payments from the public to doctors replacing current NHS services. Smith was promoting straight privatisation. As Head of Policy and Government Relations for Pfizer, Owen Smith was also directly involved in Pfizer’s funding of Blairite right wing entryist group Progress. Pfizer gave Progress £53,000. Progress has actively pursued the agenda of PFI and privatisation of NHS services.

Owen Smith went to Pfizer from a Labour Party job, while Labour were in government, and there is no doubt that his hiring was an example of the corrupt relationship between New Labour and big business which is why the Blairites are so hated by the public. It is also beyond any argument that if Pfizer had any doubts about Owen Smith’s willingness to promote the Big Pharma and NHS Privatisation agenda, they would never have hired him.

Owen Smith is a strong supporter of Trident and assiduously courts the arms industry. He is a regular at defence industry events.

Perhaps most crucially of all, Owen Smith joined his fellow Red Tories in abstaining on the Tory welfare benefit cuts.

I do not doubt Owen Smith’s expertise in brand positioning. I expect that there are indeed a large number of Labour Party members who might vote for a left wing alternative to Corbyn. But I also suspect that Smith has adopted the PR man’s typical contempt for the public, who are not as stupid as he seems to think. There is no evidence whatsoever that Smith is a left winger. There is every evidence that he is another New Labour unprincipled and immoral careerist, adopting a left wing pose that he thinks will win him votes.

People will notice, Owen. They really are not that stupid.