Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Robert Strand — How CEOs Decided Trump Is a Bad Investment


One way of looking at it.

Fortune
How CEOs Decided Trump Is a Bad Investment
Robert Strand | Executive Director of the Center for Responsible Business at the University of California-Berkeley Haas School of Business and Associate Professor at the Copenhagen Business School Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility

Laura Santhanam — New poll: Majority of Americans unhappy with Trump’s response to Charlottesville

A majority of Americans are dissatisfied with President Donald Trump’s response to the violence that erupted last Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, according to a new poll conducted by the PBS NewsHour, NPR and Marist Poll....
PBS
New poll: Majority of Americans unhappy with Trump’s response to Charlottesville
Laura Santhanam

Sarah Kliff — An astonishing change in how Americans think about government-run health care


Vox
An astonishing change in how Americans think about government-run health care
Sarah Kliff

John Harwood — Donald Trump has a very clear attitude about morality: He doesn't believe in it

  • President Trump, in a raucous press conference, again blamed "both sides" for deadly violence in Charlottesville
  • He attacked business leaders who quit a White House panel over Trump's message on the weekend incident
  • Trump combines indifference to conventional notions of morality or propriety with disbelief that others would be motivated by them
It will interesting to watch the polling on how Americans relate to this. The US establishment might get a surprise. That would be a surprise for the world, too.

This has the potential for being a game changer. We'll see. I don't see this ending soon.

CNBC — The Harwood File
Donald Trump has a very clear attitude about morality: He doesn't believe in it
John Harwood

Stratfor — The Apocalyptic Vision of Stephen K. Bannon


Useful short summary of Strauss & Howe's generational theory, chiefly The Fourth Turning, and Steve Bannon's interpretation of its implications for America and the world.

Tom Luongo — Russia Turns to Cryptocurrencies to Counter US Sanctions

In essence, by the end of 2018, cryptos will be trading on the Moscow Exchange and integrated into the banking system to stand beside stocks, bonds and other derivative assets.

Brian Resnick — Psychologists surveyed hundreds of alt-right supporters. The results are unsettling.


This view is what enabled slave holder and slave breeder Thomas Jefferson to write, 
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed….
In Jefferson's day in the US, many assumed (believed) that only white men were fully human, so there was no contradiction between the belief that all men are created equal and slavery. 

The rest were accordingly not enfranchised in the US Constitution.

Non-white males were franchised subsequent to the Civil War, but women did not get the vote until the Constitution was amended in 1920, and this came only after a long fight by the women suffrage movement.

Vox
Psychologists surveyed hundreds of alt-right supporters. The results are unsettling.
Brian Resnick

Putting an End to the Rent Economy — Vlado Plaga interviews Michael Hudson

Interview with Vlado Plaga in the German magazine FAIRCONOMY, September 2017.

VP: You are advocating a revival of classical economics. What did the classical economists understand by a free economy?
MH: They all defined a free economy as one that is free from land rent, free from unearned income. Many also said that a free economy had to be free from private banking. They advocated full taxation of economic rent. Today’s idea of free market economics is the diametric opposite. In an Orwellian doublethink language, a free market now means an economy free for rent extractors, free for predators to make money, and essentially free for financial and corporate crime.
Good one.

Counterpunch
Putting an End to the Rent Economy
Vlado Plaga interviews Michael Hudson, President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and Guest Professor at Peking University

Sandwichman — Deep Structures of the Cultural Marxism Myth

Jeet Heer has posted a timely and excellent essay at New Republic titled "Trump's Racism and the Cultural Marxism Myth." In his essay, Heer recounts much of the background to the Higgins memo that I have documented here, here and here. Heer credits William S. Lind as the major popularizer of the myth, as have I in my blog posts. What I'm posting here extends the analysis and reveals significant background about personnel and timelines to the story....
There is a subtext to this that one needs to know and many American that were born later than 1980 and most non-Americans probably don't know much about it. A key element of the history is the influence of Herbert Marcuse on the countercultural revolution of the Sixties and Seventies that carried dynamcially by the antiwar movement against the Vietnam War. The participants in this were characterized by the opposition as "dirty fucking hippies" (acronym DFHs).

I am only too well aware this since I was one of the DFHs. After I left active duty in the US Naval Reserve as an officer serving in the Western Pacific (yes, I am therefore a Vietnam vet) I joined the antiwar movement based on what I had learned from my experience, as did John Kerry and other Vietnam vets. We were the butt of a great deal of vituperation from people that did not serve and sought deferments to keep from serving.

The DFHs became the enemy along with totalitarian communism. The right characterized the DFHs as at least pink if not red, indicating an overlap between antiwar Americans and the commies. Jane Fonda was the poster child. We adopted the term "DFH" proudly for ourselves to counter the insult, but actually called ourselves "freaks" since our task as countercultural revolutionaries was to freak out the squares. We dressed and acted accordingly, as in "sex, drugs and rock and roll." Good times.

When the US lost the Vietnam War by withdrawing rather ignomineously, the narrative on the right was that the antiwar left had "stabbed America in the back." This was reminiscent of Hitler and the Nazis scapegoating "the Jews" for stabbing Germany in the back, purported resulting Germany's loss in WWI. I don't want to overemphasize this parallel, but it is there, and it should not be ignored, especially in light of present politics.

Since that time, US politics has been characterized by the attempt of the more extreme right to characterize the left as a whole in this light in its narrative. This is the origin of the term "cultural Marxism."
At last we have a doctrine, a vanguard organization, and a timeline. But most importantly, courtesy of the Larouche cult, we now have a suitably unitary devil-function. The "basic Nazi trick," as Kenneth Burke labeled "the 'curative' unification by a fictitious devil-function, gradually made convincing by the sloganizing repetitiousness of standard advertising technique." Helpfully, in a 1988 address to the Heritage Foundation,William F. Campbell explained why conservatives need such a devil-function: 
But as first and second generation conservatives have always known, and had to live with as an unpleasant skeleton in the family closet, there is sharp tension, if not contradiction, between the traditionalist and the libertarian wings of the conservative movement. They have been held together primarily because of their common enemies, modern egalitarianism and totalitarian collectivism, which they both abhor.
In 1988, when Campbell made those remarks, the Soviet Union still existed and could serve the primary role of common enemy, symbolizing the alien totalitarian destiny of domestic egalitarianism. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, a new enemy had to be conjured. The Higgins memo is testament to the contortions that must be endured to conjure that devil.
BTW, I was sitting that the center of the left at the time as a grad student in philosophy. I can say from experience that Herbert Marcuse's influence on the antiwar movement and DFHs was marginal. So most of the cultural Marxism myth based on his supposed influence is simply nonsense. This may have been true, to some degree at least, in the youth movements in France and Germany at the time. But Americans are not much interested in philosophy and tend to be action-oriented. They don't need elaborate justifications for action.

EconoSpeak
Deep Structures of the Cultural Marxism Myth
Sandwichman

Brian Romanchuk — Primer: Money Neutrality


Short simple summary of the meaning of "money neutrality." 

Money neutrality is a key piece of conventional (neoclassical) economics. Keynes rejected money neutrality in a modern monetary production economy. Money neutrality is also foundational to monetarism based on the quantity theory of money.

Bond Economics
Primer: Money Neutrality
Brian Romanchuk

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Quartz — The best city to live in the world is Melbourne in Australia

CountryCityRank
AustraliaMelbourne1
AustriaVienna2
CanadaVancouver3
CanadaToronto4
CanadaCalgary5
AustraliaAdelaide6
AustraliaPerth7
New ZealandAuckland8
FinlandHelsinki9
GermanyHamburg10


Quartz
The best city to live in the world is Melbourne in Australia
Lianna Brinded

Leonid Bershidsky — Piketty Zeroes In on Putin's Pain Point


Russian ex-pat Leonid Bershidsky is blowing holes through Western narratives that are out of touch with Russian reality and heavily influenced by Western russophobia.
This raises the question of whether the current Western sanctions against Russia strike at the heart of the Russian system or merely pretend to do so. Since the sanctions were introduced, no Western government has made a meaningful effort to investigate the provenance of hundreds of billions of dollars in Russian offshore assets. No significant asset freezes have taken place. The money is still out there, to be invested inside or outside Russia, in the service of its "perceived national interest" or otherwise (Putin would like to get his hands on some of it, too, but it doesn't belong to his cronies).
A Western effort to track down that money and make it available to a post-Putin, democratic Russia could potentially be a game-changer. But it would require far more work, and probably a lot of uncomfortable revelations about Western business and politics. The current sanctions regime is simply not intended to open that can of worms.
Bloomberg View
Piketty Zeroes In on Putin's Pain Point
Leonid Bershidsky

Pam Martens and Russ Martens — Corporate Media Continues to Pump Out Fake News on Wall Street Crash of 2008

When there is an epic financial crash in the U.S. that collapses century old Wall Street institutions and brings about the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression, one would think that the root causes would be chiseled in stone by now. But when it comes to the 2008 crash, expensive corporate media real estate is happy to allow bogus theories to go unchallenged by editors.
What is happening ever so subtly over time is that the unprecedented greed, corruption and unrestrained manufacture of fraudulent securities by iconic brands on Wall Street that actually caused the crash are getting a gentle rewrite. The insidious danger of this is that Wall Street is never reformed or adequately regulated – that it remains a skulking financial monster with its unseen tentacles wrapped tightly around every economic artery of American life, retaining its ever present strangulation potential....
This is what public relations and advertising are about. There is no accountability for putting out false narratives. In fact, "consumer capitalism" is based on duping the rubes.

Wall Street On Parade
Corporate Media Continues to Pump Out Fake News on Wall Street Crash of 2008
Pam Martens and Russ Martens

Peter Cooper — Short & Simple 16 – The Expenditure Multiplier and Income Determination

Spending out of income is called induced spending. Equivalently, it is known as ‘endogenous’ spending.
This kind of spending rises and falls roughly in line with income. When income rises, households consume more. When income falls, they consume less.
Because some spending is induced, an initial act of autonomous spending will cause a multiplied increase in new spending and new income. This is known as the expenditure-multiplier effect....
heteconomist
Short & Simple 16 – The Expenditure Multiplier and Income Determination
Peter Cooper

Timothy Taylor — Adam Smith: The Plight of the Impartial Spectator in Times of Faction


Quote from The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759).

Conversable Economist
Adam Smith: The Plight of the Impartial Spectator in Times of Faction
Timothy Taylor | Managing editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, based at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota

Thomas Graham — The problem isn’t Putin, it’s Russia

As relations worsen, US must realize Russia will not soon, if ever, become a liberal democracy.…
Carried away by ahistorical reasoning, the U.S. believed its victory in the Cold War meant that Russia, like all other countries, had little choice but to adopt the liberal democratic free-market order that had brought prosperity and peace to the West....
The real problem is viewing this as problem. Probably no non-Western state will become a liberal democracy because it is not in accord with the culture and temperament of the people. This is not a problem; it is a fact of history. Wanting it to be otherwise results in wishful thinking and, worse, magical thinking.

The problem is assuming that Western liberalism, and worse, Anglo-American liberalism, are based on eternal truth. This is the kind of dogmatism that liberalism was born in opposition to, and it is the basis of justifying tyranny, for example, as the divine right of kings.

The obvious solution to the pseudo problem is multilateralism and multiculturalism, which is actually more faithful to the principles of liberalism than dogmatic liberalism, which is an oxymoron.

Note that the problem with Graham's policy analysis is that while encouraging pragmatism, it ignores Russia's bottom line and is therefore unrealistic from the outset and will not work. Graham is therefore guilty of what he argues against. 

Politico
The problem isn’t Putin, it’s Russia
Thomas Graham, managing director at Kissinger Associates, was the senior director for Russia on the U.S. National Security Council staff from 2004-2007

Bill Mitchell — Japan is different, right? Wrong! Fiscal policy works

Japan is different, right? Japan has a different culture, right? Japan has sustained low unemployment, low inflation, low interest rates, high public deficits and high gross public debt for 25 years, but that is cultural, right? Even the mainstream media is starting to see through the Japan is different narrative as we will see. Yesterday (August 14, 2017), the Cabinet Office in Japan published the preliminary – Quarterly Estimates of GDP – which showed that the Japanese economy is growing strongly and has just posted the 9th quarter of positive annual real GDP growth. Private consumption and investment is strong, the public sector continues to underpin growth with fiscal deficits and real wages are growing. The Eurozone should send a delegation to Tokyo but then all they would learn is that a currency-issuing government that doesn’t fall into the austerity obsession promoted by many economists (including those in the European Commission) can oversee strong growth and low unemployment. Simple really. The Japan experience is interesting because it demonstrates how the reversal in fiscal policy can have significant negative and positive effects in a fairly short time span, whereas monetary policy is much less effective in influencing expenditure....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Japan is different, right? Wrong! Fiscal policy works
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

See also

Japanese sectoral balances.

Seeking Alpha (Aug. 8, 2017)
Good News: Japanese Current Account ¥935B Surplus In July 2017
Alan Longbon

Chris McGreal: Don't blame addicts for America's opioid crisis. Here are the real culprits

America’s opioid crisis was caused by rapacious pharma companies, politicians who colluded with them and regulators who approved one opioid pill after another


Of all the people Donald Trump could blame for the opioid epidemic, he chose the victims. After his own commission on the opioid crisis issued an interim report this week, Trump said young people should be told drugs are “No good, really bad for you in every way.”
The president’s exhortation to follow Nancy Reagan’s miserably inadequate advice and Just Say No to drugs is far from useful. The then first lady made not a jot of difference to the crack epidemic in the 1980s. But Trump’s characterisation of the source of the opioid crisis was more disturbing. “The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place,” he said.
That is straight out of the opioid manufacturers’ playbook. Facing a raft of lawsuits and a threat to their profits, pharmaceutical companies are pushing the line that the epidemic stems not from the wholesale prescribing of powerful painkillers - essentially heroin in pill form - but their misuse by some of those who then become addicted.


In court filings, drug companies are smearing the estimated two million people hooked on their products as criminals to blame for their own addiction. Some of those in its grip break the law by buying drugs on the black market or switch to heroin. But too often that addiction began by following the advice of a doctor who, in turn, was following the drug manufacturers instructions.
Trump made no mention of this or reining in the mass prescribing underpinning the epidemic. Instead he played to the abuse narrative when he painted the crisis as a law and order issue, and criticised Barack Obama for scaling back drug prosecutions and lowering sentences.
But as the president’s own commission noted, this is not an epidemic caused by those caught in its grasp. “We have an enormous problem that is often not beginning on street corners; it is starting in doctor’s offices and hospitals in every state in our nation,” it said.
The Guardian: Don't blame addicts for America's opioid crisis. Here are the real culprits

From Naked Capitalism which Andrew Anderson pointed out:

Dr GABOR MATÉ  

We have to look at what is the pain that people are trying to escape from. For that, there are two major causes. One cause is childhood trauma. We talk about how childhood trauma actually affects the brain in such a way as to make it more susceptible to addictions later on. Childhood trauma is one source of deep pain and all the addicts I worked with have been traumatized significantly so. That’s what the large scale studies in the US shows about it, the more trauma in childhood, exponentially the greater the risk of addiction. Childhood trauma is a huge problem in our society and in American society.

The other question is, what’s going on right now? That’s stress. What we also know is that stress makes the brain more susceptible to addiction and stress also makes people more desires of escape from the stress. If you look at what’s happening socially, economically, politically, culturally, is increasing insecurity, increasing stress, increasing uncertainty, increasing difficulty for people. Therefore, people will turn to short-term measures to escape those difficulties, or at least the awareness of them, by escaping into addictions, including drug use. What we’re looking at is, A, childhood trauma, and B, severe social stress. It’s not surprising that the areas where Trump got the greatest support are areas of great social stress.

Marilyn Wedge Ph.D.: Why French Kids Don't Have ADHD

French children don't need medications to control their behavior.


In the United States, at least 9 percent of school-aged children have been diagnosed with ADHD, and are taking pharmaceutical medications. In France, the percentage of kids diagnosed and medicated for ADHD is less than .5 percent. How has the epidemic of ADHD—firmly established in the U.S.—almost completely passed over children in France?

Is ADHD a biological-neurological disorder? Surprisingly, the answer to this question depends on whether you live in France or in the U.S. In the United States, child psychiatrists consider ADHD to be a biological disorder with biological causes. The preferred treatment is also biological—psycho stimulant medications such as Ritalin and Adderall.

French child psychiatrists, on the other hand, view ADHD as a medical condition that has psycho-social and situational causes. Instead of treating children's focusing and behavioral problems with drugs, French doctors prefer to look for the underlying issue that is causing the child distress—not in the child's brain but in the child's social context. They then choose to treat the underlying social context problem with psychotherapy or family counseling. This is a very different way of seeing things from the American tendency to attribute all symptoms to a biological dysfunction such as a chemical imbalance in the child's brain.

Psychology Today: Why French Kids Don't Have ADHD

Biological psychiatry reigns supreme and all behavior was once linked to quirks in our genes, but the human genome project failed to point to any genetic traits that led to mental illness (apart from a minor gene recently found for schizophrenia, but most people with the gene do not have any problems) . What you will get in the media is news of research linking some gene to this or that psychological illness but when later research overturns the results the media ignores it. The short serotonin gene was not shown to be linked to depression in further research but the public still believes that low serotonin causes depression. Then the drug companies and the geneticists said instead that the the short serotonin gene predisposed people to depression if their upbringing was traumatic but later research overturned that theory too.

The French drug Tianeptine (Stablon) came out at the same time as Prozac but it works completely in the opposite way to SSRI's by lowering serotonin instead and is known as a serotonin re-update enhancer, SSRE, but it is just an effective as the SSRI's and a lot safer with hardly any side effects. Instead of bashing the brain into a stupor destroying passion and libido Tianeptine is neuroprtective allowing the hippocampus to regrow and this helps people overcome depression. Anglo-Saxon corporations ignored the French research and pushed their theories onto the public anyway and now millions of people are addicted to pills that stop working after a while making things worse in the long run, but this is good news for drug companies as the dosage needs to be needs to be constantly increased. I do believe their is a role to play for modern psychiatric medicine, though, when things get really bad, but the drugs are over prescribed and their dangers underestimated.

I'm not that keen on  Micheal Adams but I thought his song SSRILies was very good. Very populist, I know, and things are not black and white, but the right again are on the ball with this one.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Graham T. Allison — America and Russia: Back to Basics


Short lesson in strategy.
Current discussions of “punishing” Russia for interference in the 2016 presidential election, or “sanctioning” Russia for destabilizing eastern Ukraine, or “countering” Russian military deployments by stationing additional U.S. and NATO troops in the Baltics, fail to ask an elementary question from strategy 101: and then what? What will Russia do in response? And at the end of the sequence of actions and reactions, will Americans be safer than before? Bismarck warned against playing chess one move at a time.
The National Interest
America and Russia: Back to Basics
Graham T. Allison, former director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center and the author of Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?

Warren Mosler — Credit check

This kind of deceleration has always been associated with recession....
The Center of the Universe
Credit check
Warren Mosler

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists — North Korea’s “not quite” ICBM can’t hit the lower 48 states


You can rest easy. The nuclear threat narrative was a hoax according to these scientists.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
North Korea’s “not quite” ICBM can’t hit the lower 48 states
Theodore A. Postol, professor of science, technology, and national security policy at MIT, and Markus Schiller, Robert Schmucker, engineers

Pat Lang — Large numbers of Syrians are returning home


Putting Assad's alleged Aleppo massacre aided by Russia to bed. It was disinformation.

Sic Semper Tyrannis
Large numbers of Syrians are returning home
Col. W. Patrick Lang, US Army (ret.), former military intelligence officer at the US Defense Intelligence Agency

Moon of Alabama — Hyping North Korea To Relaunch Reagan's Star Wars?


As usual Moon is critical.

Moon of Alabama
Hyping North Korea To Relaunch Reagan's Star Wars?
b

Thomas Goodrich: Hellstorm - The Death of Nazi Germany 1944 to 1947

Thomas Goodrich is an historian and very right wing, but he is complex, he's a tree-hugger, an animal rights activist, and a vegetarian. He has written a book called Hellstorm, The Death of Nazi Germany 1944 to 1947 and it is terrifying.

Paul Craig Roberts got me thinking about this again because he is reading David Irvin's book Nuremberg (1996), and like me, he is discovering that the world is not as it seems. I was your typical liberal and fully absorbed the narrative of WW2, yep, there was nothing was more evil than the Nazis. But I'm inquisitive and I started reading stuff, and then seeing stuff on the internet which startled me. Could the Allies have been as equally evil as the Nazis? As you all know from the stuff I put out here and what Tom Hickey puts out, my world view has been up-side-down and I don't feel safe anymore - the good guys are Dr No too.

Paul Craig Roberts is a complex guy as well, but we seem to have quite a lot in common. I sent him some Mercy for animals YouTube films and a few months later he posted a similar thing on his site. I sent him a link to the film Hellstorm yesterday which a number of other people sent too and he posted it on his site today. I told PCR that Hitler and his right wing regime was so evil that the liberals would not criticize Churchill for his war crimes, so this only leaves some sections of the right.

From PCR's site:

Not much of this documentary has to be true in order to reach the conclusion that what the Americans, British, and above all the Soviets did to Germans during the war and in the war’s final days and, worse, after the war, dwarfs in its inhumanity and illegality everything the Nazis did. More Germans died during the two years after the war than died in fighting the Americans and British during the war. Mass exterminations of Germans and systematic rape of German females as young as eight years old were going on during the Nuremberg trials. What happened to Germans fit the program for the genocide of Germany advocated by the Jewish US Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morganthau.

Now the thing is, as the atrocities are so bad I started to doubt if it was true too and so I did a search on Thomas Goodrich to see if he was considered to be a conspiracy theorist before posting anything here and I came upon a BBC documentary about what the allies did to the Germans after the WW2 - and so it is true.  I have posted a link to the BBC documentary below.

Hellstorm is made by Kyle Hunt who seems to be very right wing and so you have to hold your nose at the occasionally conspiracy stuff so typical of the of the some of the right. But forget about the way it is dramatized, just look at the content.

Also, I have posted an interview of Thomas Goodrich by Jim  Rizoli the two seem almost liberal. I'm going to write to Thomas Goodrich about his book.

In Hellstorm you will see how depraved and evil mankind can be, and apparently what the US did to North Korea was even worse. Thomas Goodrich wrote the book to inform people because he wanted to help make sure nothing like this ever happens again.


                                                                    Hellstorm


                                              Jim Kyle interviews Thomas Goodrich


                                                          The BBC Documentary

Bloomberg — U.S. Default? Unlikely, But Bond Traders Are Taking No Chances

While Republican leaders are confident their party can set aside its differences to resolve the latest debt-limit impasse before the clock runs out sometime between late September and mid-October, investors are shying away from Treasury bills earlier than they have in the past....
Bloomberg
U.S. Default? Unlikely, But Bond Traders Are Taking No Chances
Brian Chappatta and Alex Harris

Jon Schwarz — We Can Stop North Korea From Attacking Us. All We Have to Do Is Not Attack Them.

North Korea is not going to launch a first strike on America or its allies with nuclear weapons.
To understand this, you don’t need to know anything about the history of U.S.-North Korea relations, or the throw weight of intercontinental ballistic missiles, or even where North Korea is. All you need to know is human history. And history says that small, poor, weak countries tend not to start wars with gigantic, wealthy, powerful countries — especially when doing so will obviously result in their obliteration.
So what exactly is the “crisis” involving North Korea?
The answer is simple: We’re not worried that we can’t deter North Korea. We’re worried because a North Korea that can plausibly strike the U.S. with nuclear weapons will likely be able to deter us from doing whatever we want. For example, we might not be able to invade North Korea.…
One lucid example can be found in “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” a well-known paper by the Project for a New American Century. The U.S., it explained, “must counteract the effects of the proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction that may soon allow lesser states to deter U.S. military action. … In the post-Cold War era, America and its allies, rather than the Soviet Union, have become the primary objects of deterrence and it is states like Iraq, Iran and North Korea who most wish to develop deterrent capabilities.”... 
The Intercept

Tim Duy — Don't Add To The Fire

I have had plenty of criticisms of the Fed over the years. I am concerned that their model of inflation isn't working, and that their estimate of the natural rate of interest is too high. But that type of criticism is a far cry from describing the institution as the "deep state." We have seen time and time again that fomenting that kind of thought only leads to bloodshed....
Tim Duy's Fed Watch
Don't Add To The Fire
Tim Duy

Reporter and Press Freedom Advocate James Risen to Join The Intercept and First Look Media

James Risen, who, as a best-selling author and New York Times reporter, has broken some of the biggest stories of the post-9/11 period, is joining The Intercept as our senior national security correspondent, based in Washington, D.C. Risen will write a reported column on national security and other national issues, as well as help to lead The Intercept’s investigative reporting efforts.
Risen will have a unique dual leadership position at First Look Media, because in addition to his editorial role at The Intercept, he will also serve as director of the Press Freedom Defense Fund, which is dedicated to supporting news organizations, journalists, and whistleblowers in legal fights where a substantial public interest, freedom of the press, or related human or civil right is at stake. Recently, the Press Freedom Defense Fund announced its support for the legal defense of Reality Winner, who is accused of leaking a top-secret NSA document on Russian election hacking to The Intercept.
Risen was himself a target of the U.S. government’s crackdown on journalists and whistleblowers. He waged a seven-year battle, risking jail after the Bush administration and later the Obama administration sought to force him to testify and reveal his confidential sources in a leak investigation. Risen never gave in, and the government finally backed down.... 

Chris Dillow — The Social Mobility Lie


Class again. It affects everything.

Stumbling and Mumbling
Chris Dillow | Investors Chronicle

Cecchetti & Schoenholtz — Adverse Selection: A Primer

Information is the basis for our economic and financial decisions. As buyers, we collect information about products before entering into a transaction. As investors, the same goes for information about firms seeking our funds. This is information that sellers and fund-seeking firms typically have. But, when it is too difficult or too costly to collect information, markets function poorly or not at all.
This form of asymmetric information―where two parties to a potential transaction have unequal knowledge―is a particularly serious hindrance to the operation of financial markets. If, for some reason, conditions suddenly make the information asymmetry worse, the consequences can be catastrophic. In a recent post, we described how in August 2007, a sequence of events led financial intermediaries to suddenly question the quality of some securities that many of their counterparties already owned. Not being able to tell safe from unsafe, investors and institutions withdrew from lending. As credit evaporated, many potential transactions stopped taking place all at once.
Economists use the term adverse selection to describe the problem of distinguishing a good feature from a bad feature when one party to a transaction has more information than the other party. The degree of adverse selection depends on how costly it is for the uninformed actor to observe the hidden attributes of a product or counterparty. When key characteristics are sufficiently expensive to discern, adverse selection can make an otherwise healthy market disappear.
The term “adverse selection” comes from the fact that, when the hidden attributes are costly to observe, the quality of the products on offer or of the potential parties to a transaction deteriorates; that is, the pool becomes adverse relative to the full universe of goods (or counterparties) available.
In this primer, we examine three examples of adverse selection: (1) used cars; (2) health insurance; and (3) private finance. We use these examples to highlight mechanisms for addressing the problem....
Money and Banking
Adverse Selection: A Primer
Money and Banking
Stephen G. Cecchetti, Professor of International Economics at the Brandeis International Business School, and Kermit L. Schoenholtz, Professor of Management Practice in the Department of Economics of New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Cecchetti & Schoenholtz are the authors of Money, Banking and Financial Markets.

ProMarket — The Rise of Market Power and the Decline of Labor’s Share

The two standard explanations for why labor’s share of output has fallen by 10 percent over the past 30 years are globalization (American workers are losing out to their counterparts in places like China and India) and automation (American workers are losing out to robots). Last year, however, a highly-cited Stigler Center paper by Simcha Barkai offered another explanation: an increase in markups. The capital share of GDP, which includes what companies spend on equipment like robots, is also declining, he found. What has gone up, significantly, is the profit share, with profits rising more than sixfold: from 2.2 percent of GDP in 1984 to 15.7 percent in 2014. This, Barkai argued, is the result of higher markups, with the trend being more pronounced in industries that experienced large increases in concentration.

A new paper by Jan De Loecker (of KU Leuven and Princeton University) and Jan Eeckhout (of the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics UPF and University College London) echoes these results, arguing that the decline of both the labor and capital shares, as well as the decline in low-skilled wages and other economic trends, have been aided by a significant increase in markups and market power....
ProMarket — The blog of the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business
The Rise of Market Power and the Decline of Labor’s Share
Asher Schechter

Ramanan — Alex Izurieta On UN Global Policy Model


Policy models and their implications — not just economic.

The Case for Concerted Action
Alex Izurieta On UN Global Policy Model
V. Ramanan

Sandwichman on the Higgins Memo


Now that the US Civil War 2.0 has broken out in violence, it is good to be aware of this. The background is given in the links Sandwichman provides at the beginning of the first post. The AltRight is livid that Gen. McMaster is cleaning house, and it seems that Gen. Kelley is too, having sidelined Steve Bannon.

Econospeak
The Higgins Memo, Anders Breivik and the Lyndon LaRouche Cult

The “Narratives” of Higgins’s “Warfare”
Sandwichman

The full text of the memo that Sandwichman links to at FP is behind a pay wall. The full text is not widely available. Here is a link to the full text of the Higgins Memo that Mike Cernovich obtained.

Here is a link to Kenneth Burke's "The Rhetoric of Hitler's 'Battle'." Note: "Hitler's Battle" signifies Mein Kampf, which Burke is critiquing.

See also

Angry Bear
In light of Charlottesville, I noticed…
Dan Crawford

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Zero Hedge — Japan GDP Surges 4%, Most In Two Years, On Jump In Government Stimulus Spending

The unexpectedly strong GDP print was driven by a 9.9% jump in private non-residential investment as well as an striking 21.9% annualized surge in public investment as some of the public works spending included in last year’s economic stimulus package starting to emerge; meanwhile exports declined....
Zero Hedge
Japan GDP Surges 4%, Most In Two Years, On Jump In Government Stimulus Spending
Tyler Durden

Adam Garrie — Julian Assange asks why the US said nothing when Obama supported Ukrainian neo-Nazis

In the above Tweet, Assange has juxtaposed a neo-Nazi torch march in Kiev with the far-right torch march in Charlottesville. Apart from the torches, it is clear that the Ukrainian fascists were far more equipped for violence as they were wearing bullet-proof combat gear and facial coverings.
The Duran
Julian Assange asks why the US said nothing when Obama supported Ukrainian neo-Nazis
Adam Garrie

Bill Mitchell — Jacques Delors – a failed leader not a champion of a prosperous Europe

It is amazing how history is revised when it is convenient. It is also amazing how the same events, that from my perspective are rather clear, can be diametrically interpreted by others, who want to run a different agenda. A good example of these phenomena can be found in a recent UK Guardian article (August 11, 2017) – Jacques Delors foresaw the perils of austerity. How we need his wisdom now. When I saw the headline I thought it must have been an article seeking to elicit some sort of deep irony. Jacques Delors – perils of austerity – wisdom – all in the same title. Ridiculous. Through the lens I view the work of Jacques Delors I can only see the abandonment of a progressive social vision, the unnecessary surrender to neoliberalism, and then, a bit later, as an inevitable consequence of these shifts – the disastrous and dysfunctional creation of the Eurozone with all its embedded and destructive austerity biases. The unfortunate fact is that the UK Guardian article was deadly serious. Oh dear!
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Jacques Delors – a failed leader not a champion of a prosperous Europe
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

John Quiggin — What’s left of libertarianism?


Cato Institute vs Niskanen Center Libertarianism.

John Quiggin's Blog
What’s left of libertarianism?
John Quiggin | Professor and an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow at the University of Queensland, and a member of the Board of the Climate Change Authority of the Australian Government

Robert C. Hockett & Saule T. Omarova — The Finance Franchise

The dominant view of banks and other financial institutions is that they function primarily as intermediaries, managing flows of scarce funds from those who have accumulated them to those who have need of them and can pay for their use. This understanding pervades textbooks, scholarly writings, and policy discussions – yet it is fundamentally false as a description of how a modern financial system works. Finance today is no more primarily “intermediated” than it is pre-accumulated or scarce.
This Article challenges the outdated narrative of finance as intermediated scarce private capital and maps the basic structure and dynamics of the financial system as it actually operates. We begin by developing a three-part taxonomy of ways to model financial flows – what we call the “credit-intermediation,” “credit-multiplication,” and “credit-generation” models of finance. We show that only the last model captures the core dynamic of a complex modern financial system, and that the ultimate source of credit-generation in any such system is the sovereign public, acting primarily through its central bank and treasury. We then trace the operation of this dynamic throughout the financial system, from the banking sector, through the capital and “shadow banking” markets, all the way out to the “disruptive” frontier of peer-to-peer digital finance.
What emerges from this retracing of the financial system’s operative logic is a comprehensive view of modern finance as a public-private franchise arrangement. On this view, the sovereign public acts effectively as franchisor, licensing private financial institutions to earn rents as franchisees in dispensing a vital public resource: the public’s monetized full faith and credit. We conclude the Article by drawing out some of the potentially transformative analytic and normative implications of a paradigmatic shift from the orthodox theory of financial intermediation to the franchise view of finance.
To read the complete article, click “VIEW PDF” below.
:: VIEW PDF
Cornell Law Review
The Finance Franchise
Robert C. Hockett & Saule T. Omarova

Ed Walker — The Dialectical Imagination by Martin Jay: Economics in Critical Theory

In The Dialectical Imagination, Martin Jay says that economics was not a central part of Critical Theory, but that several scholars of the Frankfurt School worked in the area. One of the leading economists was Friedrich Pollock, especially after the Institute moved to New York. Like the other scholars of the Institute for Social Research, Pollock was trained in Marxist economics. This school mosttly followed Marx in thinking that capitalism would collapse under the weight of its own contradictions. One of those contradictions was that the aggressive accumulation of capital would impoverish the working class, which would then rise up and lead the revolution. 
By the early 1900s, it was obvious that the problem of pauperization of the proletariat was at least partially solved, and capitalism didn’t collapse. The leading Marxist explanation was the rise of what Marxists call “monopoly capitalism”, as taught by the Austrian economist Rudolf Hilferding, discussed here. Classical economics treated the economy as made up of many firms (or, as Marx called them, capitals) each too small to affect prices, and all responding to the demands of buyers....

Dean Baker — Why Is It So Hard for Intellectuals to Envision Alternative Forms of Globalization

When it comes to critics of globalization with standing in the mainstream of the economics profession, few are better than Dani Rodrik. Nonetheless when it comes to laying out the indictment of the path pursued over the last three decades in a Washington Post interview, even he largely accepts the story that the basic story that “globalization” has some specific direction attached to it.
The point here is that globalization, meaning the greater integration of economies across the world, could have been designed an infinite number of ways. The way it was designed was intended to redistribute income upward, with those at the top of the income distribution using their political power to make changes that enhanced their wealth and power. The upward redistribution was not an accidental outcome of a process of economic integration: it was the purpose of this process.…
The is is short definition of neoliberal globalization — using political power to impose economic liberalism where it favors capital with free cross-border competition, one hand, and, on the other hand, to use policy, law and regulation also to favor capital by erecting and enforcing cross-border property rights that restrict competition. Classical liberalism was based on the first, laissez-faire, while neoliberalism adds government intervention to favor capital.

Dean Baker points out this was a choice. It did not have to be this way.

Beat the Press
Why Is It So Hard for Intellectuals to Envision Alternative Forms of Globalization
Dean Baker | Co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C

Lars P. Syll — Keynes vs. Wicksell — the loanable funds theory


Quote from Giancarlo Bertocco, "Some Observations About The Loanable Funds Theory"

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Keynes vs. Wicksell — the loanable funds theory
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

Empire Files: Peter Joseph & Abby Martin on Abolishing Capitalism

I like Peter Joseph; he's real nice guy.  He was once a trader and he made a small profit out of it but it didn't suit him. He's incredibly idealistic and I wonder if human nature would ever allow such a system system that he advocates. He's brave and never falters in his believe which is the complete opposite of our present capitalist system.

Years ago lots of people did things for the common good, and penicillin was freely given away to the world saving millions of lives, but nowadays companies would charge the maximum they could get for it. There seems to be a very nasty greed in neoliberalism.

 The pharmacist Sir Alexander Fleming is revered not just because of his discovery of penicillin – the antibiotic that has saved millions of lives – but also due to his efforts to ensure that it was freely available to as much of the world’s population as possible. Fleming could have become a hugely wealthy man if he had decided to control and license the substance, but he understood that penicillin’s potential to overcome diseases such as syphilis, gangrene and tuberculosis meant it had to be released into the world to serve the greater good. On the eve of World War II, he transferred the patents to the US and UK governments, which were able to mass-produce penicillin in time to treat many of the wounded in that war. It has saved many millions of lives since.

A group of young people who were up and coming film makers called themselves, 'American Empire', and they put out some good videos. They stopped making videos as it took up too much of their time and so finding their videos is hard with a name like 'American Empire' as a whole ton of stuff comes up. They said in their videos that it was too late to save the world and capitalism would eventually destroy it, and then after that those that survive will never allow capitalism to reign again.




Olivia Goldhill — A philosopher who studies life changes says our biggest decisions can never be rational

At some point, everyone reaches a crossroads in life: Do you decide to take that job and move to a new country, or stay put? Should you become a parent, or continue your life unencumbered by the needs of children?
Instinctively, we try to make these decisions by projecting ourselves into the future, trying to imagine which choice will make us happier. Perhaps we seek counsel or weigh up evidence. We might write out a pro/con list. What we are doing, ultimately, is trying to figure out whether or not we will be better off working for a new boss and living in Morocco, say, or raising three beautiful children.
This is fundamentally impossible, though, says philosopher L.A. Paul at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a pioneer in the philosophical study of transformative experiences. Certain life choices are so significant that they change who we are. Before undertaking those choices, we are unable to evaluate them from the perspective and values of our future, changed selves. In other words, your present self cannot know whether your future self will enjoy being a parent or not....
Having established the epistemological significance of transformative life choices, there still remains the question of how, exactly, we should make such decisions. Paul is still figuring this out. So far, her best proposal is that, while you can’t know which choice you’ll prefer, you can at least decide whether you want to experience a transformation.
Perennial wisdom suggests the principle, It is always reasonable to go beyond reason to love. The transformational power of love is the strongest force in human life.

From a systems perspective, this transformation involves emergence, and emergence involves uncertainty.

New Deal democrat — "The Changing of the Guard:" the prescient 1980 book that foretold neoliberalism


Backgrounder on the Democratic Party abandoning of the New Deal and trying to capture the center by moving right. The post doesn't mention it but this began under Jimmy Carter.

The Bonddad Blog
"The Changing of the Guard:" the prescient 1980 book that foretold neoliberalism
New Deal democrat

Bob Bryan — Congress has 12 working days to avoid an economic disaster — and there's good reason to panic

  • Congress has 12 working days to raise the nation's debt ceiling when it returns in September.
  • Failure ot raise the debt limit would cause severe economic and political consequences.
  • Negotiations have been sluggish, with one Democratic aide saying there are currently "no talks" ongoing.
Tidbit:
"With President Trump, debt ceiling options like the Platinum Coin and the 14th Amendment — while unlikely — are now at least a possibility," said Chris Kruger, an analyst at Cowen Washington Research Group wrote ina recent note to clients.
Business Insider
Congress has 12 working days to avoid an economic disaster — and there's good reason to panic
Bob Bryan

Jimmy Dore: Defense Department Brags About Killing 1 Million Koreans

North Korea was so devastated by the 1950 war that it now has a nuclear weapon and a crazed leader because the North Koreans had been driven mad by the US mass bombing. Jimmy Dore really nails home the brutality of the West (as the ruling class of the West are all complicit).

The US is on a rampage, or Trump's team is, going after every country that isn't part of the US hegemony while the vassal states of Europe cheer on.

General Douglas McArthur had this to say about the Korean War (from the Washington Post):


Having just been fired as commander of allied forces in Korea, a defiant Douglas MacArthur appeared before Congress and spoke of human suffering so horrifying that his parting glimpse of it caused him to vomit.
“I have never seen such devastation,” the general told members of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees. At that time, in May 1951, the Korean War was less than a year old. Casualties, he estimated, were already north of 1 million. 
“I have seen, I guess, as much blood and disaster as any living man,” he added, “and it just curdled my stomach.”

It was a remarkable statement. At that time, the general was not yet six years removed from having presided over the atomic bomb strikes that compelled Japan’s surrender in World War II.


I shrink with a horror that I cannot express in words, at this continuous slaughter of men in Korea. The battle casualties in Korea today probably have passed the million-man mark: Our own casualties, American casualties, have passed 65,000. The Koreans have lost about 140,000. Our losses, on our side, are a quarter of a million men. 
I am not talking of the civilian populations who must have lost many, many, many times that. The enemy probably has lost 750,000 casualties. There are 145,000 of them that are now in our prison bullpens, prisoners, so they might be excepted from that figure because they live; but a million men in less than 11 months of fighting, in less than 11 months of this conflict, have already gone, and it grows more savage every day. 
I just cannot brush that off as a Korean skirmish. I believe that is something of such tremendous importance that it must be solved, and it cannot be solved by the nebulous process of saying ‘give us time, and we will be prepared; or we will be in better shape two years from now,’ which is argumentative. I don’t know whether we will or not; and neither do you. … 
But I say there is no chance in Korea, because it is a fact — you have lost a million men now. You will lose more than a million if you go on another year; if you go on until 1953, you will lose another million. What are you trying to protect? The war in Korea has already almost destroyed the nation of 20,000,000 people.
The Korean War ended more than two years later. An estimated 2.9 million people were left dead, wounded or missing.



Saturday, August 12, 2017

Daniel Little — Moral progress and critical realism

Critical realists share a rejection of the fact-value distinction as a fundamental criterion of scientific rationality -- and rightly so (link). They believe that social research and theorizing involve value commitments all the way down. Further, they commonly believe that good social science should lead to improvement in the world and in our system of moral judgments.
So far, so good. But some critical realists think that this points to "moral realism" as well as scientific realism. Moral realism maintains that there are objective and timeless answers to the questions, what is justice? what should we do? what rights do people have? Moral realists hold that the moral facts are out there and waiting for discovery; there is a domain of "moral facts" that ultimately goes beyond the limits of rational disagreement.
This impulse towards moral realism is a problem. Moral realism and scientific realism are not analogous. There is no philosophical or theological method that will resolve moral questions into an unquestionable foundation or set of universal moral truths. Neither Kantianism, nor Aristotelianism, nor utilitarianism, nor traditional religious systems have the capacity to establish universal and unquestionable moral conclusions. The impulse towards moral realism has the perilous possibility of morphing into a dogmatic view of morality that substitutes one's own convictions for eternal moral truths. In my view, this is farfetched and ultimately implies an unreflective dogmatism about values. Fortunately there is a better and more modest position available that drives from the same pragmatist origins that are inspiring other advances in critical realism....
Understanding Society
Moral progress and critical realism
Daniel Little | Chancellor of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Professor of Philosophy at UM-Dearborn and Professor of Sociology at UM-Ann Arbor

Jehu — Rethinking Marx’s Grand Strategy


Comparison and contrast of  Ferdinand Lassalle, Mikhail Bakunin, and Karl Marx stated simply.

The Real Movement
Rethinking Marx’s Grand Strategy
Jehu

Assad Abu Khalil — This is the vision of Muhammad bin Salman (those posts are not funded by Gulf embassies in DC)


Our guy.

Angry Arab News Service
This is the vision of Muhammad bin Salman (those posts are not funded by Gulf embassies in DC)
Assad Abu Khalil | Professor of Political Science, California State University, Stanislaus

also


This view is rarely represented in reports by Western correspondents in Beirut
"“Israel caricatures Hizbullah as a terrorist organisation,” says Rifaat Nasrallah, the Christian militia’s leader (and no relation of Hassan). “But the resistance is not some external force that comes to terrorise us. They are part of our society. They attend our weddings and funerals. They take care of me and I take care of them.” Alliances forged in the furnace of Syria’s war may be hard to break."  None of the Western media published about the reception of returning Hizbullah fighters (hostages) into a Christian town in Lebanon last week.




Sputnik International — Dalai Lama Teams Up With Russian Scientists to Find Recipe of Global Happiness

The Dalai Lama and a group of neuroscientists from Russia have agreed to put their heads together in the study of human conscience, the impact of meditation, neurobiology and cognitive psychology for the sake of peace and happiness for all.
Sputnik International
Dalai Lama Teams Up With Russian Scientists to Find Recipe of Global Happiness

The Battle for Venezuela and Its Oil — Jeremy Scahill interviews Eva Golinger


Backgrounder.
EG: Because while there is a state reaction taking place, there is repression with tear gas and rubber bullets, you’re not seeing the other side of it, which is that those are not exactly peaceful democratic protests. There are smaller factions. I mean, there are parts of the opposition in Venezuela that act within a democratic framework, but there is a very violent faction that’s gotten out of control. It’s anarchical. I mean, they where they’re using Molotov cocktails, homemade bombs and weapons, and they’re using them against the state security forces.
So I mean, I always think about it is, if this were happening in Washington D.C. or even here in the in the streets of New York where I am, I mean, it wouldn’t last more than an hour....
The Intercept
The Battle for Venezuela and Its Oil
Jeremy Scahill interviews Eva Golinger

See also
Ironically, Trump has been hammering his generals on losing in Afghanistan and suggested an interest in a total pullout. Yet, he then said that he was considering an intervention in Venezuela — a move that could unite the country behind Maduro and hand him the very victory that has eluded him.
Maduro can now take that statement to Venezuela’s new Constituent Assembly as he demands unchecked powers.
Jonathan Turley
Trump Declares That Military Options Are Being Considered in Venezuela
Jonathan Turley | Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University

Andre Damon — Defense Secretary “Mad Dog” Mattis visits Google and Amazon

The censorship algorithms rolled out by Google no doubt figured prominently in Mattis’ discussions with tech executives. The nominal purpose of his visit, however, was to integrate Silicon Valley firms even more closely into the booming and lucrative business of waging war.
On Thursday, Mattis met with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the tech giant’s headquarters in Seattle.
On Friday, he spoke at the headquarters of Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DUIX), a Defense Department unit located two miles from the Google campus in Mountain View, California. Among the unit’s advisors is Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet.
Mattis said the Pentagon’s partnership with Silicon Valley via DUIX would make the US military “more lethal and more effective” than ever before. DUIX awards military technology contracts to US hi-tech firms.
The operation has already awarded more than $100 million in contracts for 45 pilot projects in areas such as artificial intelligence, autonomous machines and outer space. Its web page encourages technology firms to “tap into a $100+ billion market.”
The entrepreneurial state at work.

Here's on project:
Even more important to the Pentagon than the utility of the tech giants in waging war abroad is the use of their communication infrastructure to shape public opinion and block the expression of antiwar and oppositional sentiment. A major player in this sphere is a think tank called Jigsaw, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. Jigsaw is headed by Jared Cohen, a former State Department advisor to both Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton.
Jigsaw’s most prominent project is a web commenting censorship system called “Perspective API,” which it calls “a new tool for web publishers to identify toxic comments that can undermine a civil exchange of ideas.”
Developed in cooperation with major US newspapers, Jigsaw has already been implemented to flag comments for deletion in the New York Timescomments section. This week, WikiLeaks noted that a comment containing the language “The CIA armed Islamists in Syria, killing thousands” would be flagged as 66 percent “toxic” by Perspective API. A comment declaring that “the US government is wonderful” is labeled zero percent “toxic,” while “the US government is corrupt” is flagged as 71 percent “toxic.”…
The goal: Control of the population through control of the narrative.
In a study titled “Social media, the vital ground: Can we hold it?” published in April, the Army War College noted, “The impact of social media on the media environment has been widely recognized, as has the ability of extremist and adversarial organizations to exploit the media to publicize their cause, spread their propaganda, and recruit vulnerable individuals.”
It went on to conclude that “Social media will increasingly have a direct impact on virtually all aspects of military operations in the 21st century,” and that the military had to expand its control over social media, “in particular, its use in deception and Psychological Operations (PSYOPS).”
Control over online communication will become increasingly significant amid what one Defense Department report published last month warned was an “increasing chasm between governments and their governed over the basic right to rule.”
That report concluded, “Today, all states are experiencing a precipitous decline in their authority, influence, reach and common attraction,” as populations are presented with “myriad alternative sources of political alignment or allegiance.”
Yet another report, published last year, warned that growing international antagonisms were leading to an intensifying crisis of “social order.”
It concluded that states “now all wrestle with one another over competing interests while standing on quicksand—threatened” not only by national rivals, but by “the fragile and restive social order they themselves rest on.”
As the danger of a major new war mounts, free and unfettered access to information becomes increasingly vital to the mobilization of the working class in opposition to the war plans of the capitalist ruling elite. We call on all our readers to share WSWS articles on social media and sign up to join the fight against Google’s censorship of the Internet.
WSWS
Defense Secretary “Mad Dog” Mattis visits Google and Amazon
Andre Damon

See also

Insurge Intelligence
How the CIA made Google

Why Google made the NSA
Nafeez Ahmed
Jan 22, 2015

Business Insider
14 cutting edge firms funded by the CIA

Paul Szoldra
Sep. 21, 2016