The FBI's Secret Rules
The interesting question to me is this: How do we know whether President Trump is doing a good job or a bad one? What standard do we use for comparison? If you are not comparing Trump’s performance to some objective standard, you’re not saying anything at all.
Does it make sense to compare President Trump’s performance to an imaginary president who didn’t get elected? I don’t think science recognizes your imagination as the base case for an experiment. It just feels like it should be. That’s an illusion.…
There are two basic styles of management. One is the cautious style of Fortune 500 companies. The other is the rapid-iteration and A/B testing style of entrepreneurs. Trump is bringing the latter style to the office.…Scott Adams' Blog
Neil McGill Gorsuch (born August 29, 1967) is a United States Supreme Court Judge . On January 31, 2017, Gorsuch was nominated for a position as an associate justice on the Supreme Court of the United States.
Gorsuch is a proponent of originalism and of textualism in interpreting the constitution.DJT delivers on nominating a legal fundamentalist to fill Scalia's SCOTUS seat.
When a complex adaptive system is particularly challenged by its environmental conditions, it enters a stage of crisis. The crisis challenges the existing structures, the existing relationships and patterns of behaviour in a system. If the crisis intensifies, it can reach a threshold that undermines the integrity of the whole system. Eventually, either the system adapts by re-structuring, leading to a ‘phase shift’ to a new system, a new equilibrium — or it regresses.
In a civilisational context, the capacity to process information in such a way that it is distributed effectively across the system to contribute to resilient relationships is crucial to the system’s ability to survive, and adapt. The media institutions and processes that drive our behaviour are, in this sense, an interesting barometer of the health of the ‘DNA’ of our civilization.
The state of information overload and polarisation we are now experiencing therefore speaks to the fact that we are rapidly approaching a crisis threshold. The crisis has overwhelmed the existing structures of the global system. Our prevailing institutions and systems of power are in informational disarray as they struggle to make sense of what appears to be an overload of information signalling this systemic crisis.
At this point of threshold, the system faces a crisis of information overload, and an inability to meaningfully process the information available into actionable knowledge that can advance an adaptive response. Hence, for instance, the increasingly toxic polarisation of all political discourse....
Rather than an adaptive response based on a whole systems understanding, information overload — along with a deeply inadequate approach to understanding global systemic crises — allows short-sighted reactionary thinking to take the lead. Thus, the blame falls on particular groups of people identified as ‘the problem’, rather than diagnosing the structures of the system itself.
Rather than a transformative systemic response into a new adaptive ‘phase-shift’, we see a powerful cross-sector political economic faction with vested interests in the current structure of the global system engaged in efforts at systemic consolidation.
Their reaction is based on the erroneous view that the ‘crises’ now escalating are external to the system in question — in this case, these externalities are constructed simply as problematic group identities, perceived as having a parasitical impact on an otherwise optimal system.
In reality, this narrow reaction, by reinforcing the very deep structures that are escalating the processes of global system failure described, escalates the threshold of crisis. This maladaptive response represents a serious systemic regression, that heightens the risk of crisis and collapse....INSURGE intelligence - Medium
While the first weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency have brought plenty of chaos, some underlying themes are emerging. I think of the economic policy so far -- call it Trumponomics -- as a new approach to the redistribution of wealth, working through jobs and regions rather than income transfers. To be sure, I don’t see any single architect of Trumponomics, not even Trump himself, but even without a master plan, there are some common threads.
It’s easy to underrate Trumponomics, because so often it sounds, frankly, stupid or misinformed. In a wide variety of areas, including health-care reform and the border tax adjustment, experts struggle to describe the plans, much less evaluate them. Still, Trumponomics, though highly flawed, will probably not crash the economy, and might steal a lot of the left’s thunder....Bloomberg View
As RGBS prepares to go dark (T minus 5 hours), here’s the address of our new twitter account, which will feature regular links to our new posts as well as anything else worth highlighting:
The troika refers to the European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF, traditionally, was the greatest proponent of any international entity of inflicting extreme austerity on nations suffering economic crises. The IMF’s economists have increasingly reviewed the evidence and concluded that austerity reduces growth and that putting nations into inescapable debt traps is stupid and harmful. The EU and the ECB, however, have been impervious to these economic studies and intent on hammering the Greeks. The purported EU “bailout” of Greece is an exercise in EU propaganda. Overwhelmingly, EU aid involving Greece goes to Greek banks – and the bank bailout bails out the creditors of Greek banks. Those creditors, overwhelmingly, are EU banks.
The EU and the ECB have forbidden Greece to use stimulus and locked Greece into a debt trap that will crush the Greek economy for over a half-century....The troika is the EC, the ECB and the IMF. Should be "European Commission" instead of EU?
Milton Friedman and his gang at Chicago, including the ‘boys’ that went back and put their ‘free market’ wrecking ball through Chile under the butcher Pinochet, have really left a mess of confusion and lies behind in the hallowed halls of the academy, which in the 1970s seeped out, like slime, into the central banks and the treasury departments of the world. The overall intent of the literature they developed was to force governments to abandon so-called fiscal activism (the discretionary use of government spending and taxation policy to fine-tune total spending so as to achieve full employment), and, instead, empower central banks to disregard mass unemployment and fight inflation first. Several strands of their work – the Monetarist claim that aggregate policy should be reduced to a focus on the central bank controlling the money supply to control inflation (the market would deliver the rest (high employment and economic growth, etc); the promotion of a ‘natural rate of unemployment’ such that governments who tried to reduce the unemployment rate would only accelerate inflation; and the so-called Permanent Income Hypothesis (households ignored short-term movements in income when determining consumption spending), and others – were woven together to form a anti-government phalanx. Later, absurd notions such as rational expectations and real business cycles were added to the litany of Monetarist myths, which indoctrinated graduate students (who became policy makers) even further in the cause. Over time, his damaging legacy has been eroded by researchers and empirical facts but like all tight Groupthink communities the inner sanctum remain faithful and so the research findings haven’t permeated into major shifts in the academy. It will come – but these paradigm shifts take time.Arguably, "Friedmanism" led to the Global Financial Crisis (system failure) that is still unfolding around the world, resulting in a discrediting of conventional economics, the unwinding of the post-WWII liberal order, and the inception of a new world order that is now in the making, unfortunately led by the right since the left is absorbed in navel-gazing and blaming.
The latest research effort to wipe Friedman’s theoretical legacy off the map was presented to the ASSA Annual Meetings (in Chicago, this year) at a session on January 8, 2017 by two young Harvard economists.…
"Navarro said trade priority was unwinding/repatriating int'l supply chains on which many US multinationals rely" https://t.co/92XwdDNePS— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) January 31, 2017
President Donald Trump and the monarch of the repressive Saudi regime spoke on the phone for more than an hour on Sunday. According to a White House statement, "The two leaders reaffirmed the longstanding friendship and strategic partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia."
The official Saudi Press Agency reported that Trump and Saudi King Salman stressed the "depth and strength of the strategic relations between the two countries."
The two agreed to greater military intervention in the Middle East, and the creation of so-called safe zones in Syria and Yemen. The details of how such zones would be created are not clear, but if they were instituted, it would likely take direct U.S. military involvement.Looking like DJT is headed down the slippery slope that leads straight to the snake pit.
The Research Institute of Anthropology of the East China Normal University offers full scholarships for an all-English language Master’s program in Anthropology. The program is two years long, and can be extended one more year. All courses are in English, taught by Chinese and international faculty....The Memory Bank
Felony riot charges against three journalists arrested while covering the Inauguration Day protests in Washington DC, were dropped by the US Attorney’s office on Monday.
Among those who were cleared was Alexander Rubinstein of RT whose charges included “incitement of riots,” independent journalist Matthew Hopard, and documentary producer John Keller....
This is HUGE. Don't miss our exclusive interview with President Trump Sunday, Jan 29th at 11PM ET on Freeform https://t.co/z8gtippBp8 pic.twitter.com/q6PoXnzBVd— CBN News (@CBNNews) January 28, 2017
First, Kellyanne whined to Fox that no one in the media has been fired yet for being mean to Donald Trump.https://t.co/wMXMkbPEGO— MC Miller (@M_C_Miller) January 30, 2017
Summary: Tens of millions of Americans have heard, read, or watched those on the Left misrepresent what Trump said in his inaugural speech. Here are the opening paragraphs. They are pure populism, with populism’s usual overlap with the progressives’ agenda. The one percent cannot let you see that overlap, which might lead to recreation of the New Deal alliance — the only possible threat to their power.
Read the opening of Donald Trump’s inaugural speech. This is pure populism. This might be, as Paul Krugman said (which I also believe) “Trump plays a populist on TV”. But the Left’s commentators and journalists misrepresented what he said. For an obvious reason: they cannot admit that much of what Trump said is true — and worse, that they agree with him. (See another analysis below, by an anthropologist). Trump could become a great president if he follows through on his inaugural speech....Populism versus progressivism in America.
When Rachel Maddow finished a 26-minute monologue that spanned two segments on her MSNBC program last Thursday night, her grave tones indicated that she thought she’d just delivered a whale of a story. But actually it was more like a minnow — and a specious one at that.
Convoluted and labored, Maddow’s narrative tried to make major hay out of a report from Moscow that a high-ranking Russian intelligence official had been dragged out of a meeting, arrested and charged with treason. Weirdly, Maddow kept presenting that barebones story as verification that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin had directly ordered the hacking and release of Democratic campaign emails in order to get Donald Trump elected president.
It was a free-associating performance worthy of Glenn Beck at a whiteboard. Maddow swirled together an array of facts, possible facts, dubious assertions and pure speculation to arrive at conclusions that were based on little more than her zeal to portray Trump as a tool of the Kremlin. Even when sober, Joe McCarthy never did it better.
We might dismiss her performance as just another bit of stagecraft on “MSDNC,” but Maddow was in sync with widespread fear-mongering by pundits and Democratic Party loyalists who think they’re picking some low-hanging fruit to throw at Trump. But what they’re doing is poisonous — and extremely dangerous....
My latest report - Abolish Money (From Economics)! - has been released in ebook format. (The paperback edition will be published within a few weeks.) The ebook is available at the same online booksellers as my previous books.A big problem with conventional economics lies in integrating economics, which is concerned with the real or actual, that is, production, distribution and consumption of real goods, with finance, which is concerned with the nominal — money, cost, price, accounting, and financial assets.
This distinguishes money as the nominal unit of account from tokens that represent it. Randy Wray call this money versus the money thing."Money" we call a chartal means of payment which is also a means of exchange. An organization will be called a "means of exchange," "means of payment," or "money" group insofar as it effectively imposes within the sphere of authority of its orders the conventional or legal (tormol) validity of a means of exchange, of payment, or money; these will be termed "internal", means of exchange, etc. Means used in transactions with non-members will be called "external" means of exchange.Means of exchange or of payment which are not chartal are "natural", means. They may be differentiated (a) in technical terms, according to their physical characteristic— they may be ornaments, clothing, useful objects of various sorts — or according to whether their utilization occurs in terms of weight or not. They may also (b) be distinguished economically according to whether they are used primarily as means of exchange or for purposes of social prestige, the prestige of possession. They may also be distinguished according to whether they are used as means of ex- change and payment in internal or in external transactions.Money, means of exchange or of payment are "tokens" so far as they do not or no longer possess a value independent of their use as means of exchange and of payment. They are, on the other hand, "material" means so far as their value as such is influenced by their possible use for other purposes, or may be so influenced.
Consumers flocked to auto dealerships last month to top off a record year for the industry. Sales of cars and light trucks jumped to a 18.3 million annualized rate in December, pushing the year’s total purchases to a record 17.55 million,
This is an ideal time for Chinese leaders to move the country’s growth model focus from exports and investment to qualitative internal development. It is also the time for the Chinese government to build institutional checks on state authority and boost accountability.
If China can complete this transition on both fronts, the China model will stand. But a sustained economic downturn or a lost decade or two could mark the end of the China model....
Now you have literally millions of citizens in the United States who were either right about Trump being the next Hitler, and we will see that behavior emerge from him soon, or they are complete morons. That’s a trigger for cognitive dissonance. The science says these frightened folks will start interpreting all they see as Hitler behavior no matter how ridiculous it might seem to the objective observer. And sure enough, we are seeing that…
But lately I get the feeling that Trump’s critics have evolved from expecting Trump to be Hitler to preferring it. Obviously they don’t prefer it in a conscious way. But the alternative to Trump becoming Hitler is that they have to live out the rest of their lives as confirmed morons. No one wants to be a confirmed moron.…
I can think of dozens of ways the protesters could cause the thing they are trying to prevent. In other words, they can wish it into reality even though it is the very thing they are protesting.
In the 3rd dimension of persuasion, the protesters need to be proven right, and they will do whatever it takes to make that happen. So you might see the protesters inadvertently create the police state they fear....
President Trump has issued temporary immigration orders that ban citizens from several Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. This is a good opportunity to test the Persuasion Filter against what you might call the Hitler Filter....How Trump negotiates.
For new readers of this blog, my starting point is the understanding that human brains did not evolve to show us reality. We aren’t that smart. Instead, our brains create little movies in our heads, and yours can be completely different from mine.This is very important as a verification of the relativity of human experience and knowledge based on it. Humans are programmed to survive and reproduce, not to explain reality objectively (scientifically). Science was developed as means of doing this, but the overwhelming tendency is to construct narratives that favor survival and evolution rather than furthering understanding as a goal.
A U.S. commando died and three others were wounded a deadly dawn raid on the al Qaeda militant group in southern Yemen on Sunday, which was the first military operation authorized by U.S. President Donald Trump.
The U.S. military said 14 militants died in the attack on a powerful al Qaeda branch that has been a frequent target of U.S. drone strikes. Medics at the scene, however, said around 30 people, including 10 women and children, were killed....Reuters
Employment is about buying the former and generating the latter. How does that relate to the Job Guarantee?Modern Money Matters
For almost my entire adult life–since I was a sophomore, IIRC–I have thought that the key social theorist for our age is neither Marx nor Mill nor Toqueville nor Weber nor Durkheim, but rather John Maynard Keynes. Now I think, I am slowly swinging around to thinking that the key social theorist is Karl Polanyi. The problem is that Polanyi writes so damnably badly–a fault he shares with, among others, Hyman Minsky. Just as Charlie Kindleberger is a much better Minsky than Minsky is, we need a much better Polanyi than Polanyi…
I tried my hand, with some but not adequate success:Grasping Reality
A Sermon On The Day Of The Commencement Of The Constitution, Boston, 1780, by Samuel Cooper (1725-1783).This is really a good sermon setting forth the foundational principles of social and political philosophy for people of the Book. Definitely a keeper.
Their Congregation shall be established before me: and their Nobles shall be of themselves, and their Governor shall proceed from the midst of them. XXXth Jeremiah, 20, 21 Ver.
In addition to the strong bias towards Neoclassical Economics, the editors also identify Eurocentric and Anglophone biases in the field.…
The volume also takes historical development processes seriously and has devoted the first part of the book to the study of historical development, including Chinese, Indian, Muslim, Ottoman, Nordic, and African perspectives. Finally, seminal development economists such as Giovanni Botero, Friedrich List, Karl Marx, Albert Hirchman and Michal Kalecki are discussed in depth, as well as broader traditions such as feminist approaches, Schumpeterian and Keynesian approaches, the dependency school, regulation theory, classical economists, and evolutionary economists. This book will be interesting for anyone seeking to expand and deepen their understanding of economic development beyond what is taught in mainstream courses....Developing Economics — A Critical Perspective on Development Economics
One of the main strands of destructive criticism of Donald Trump’s newly launched presidency is that the President is volatile, inconsistent and rambling all over the place. Since the mainstream media are indeed the Opposition, as presidential strategist Stephen Bannon has correctly if indiscreetly called out, The New York Times or The Washington Post are not concerned about the truth of such allegations when they insert them in front page coverage of most any word or action coming from the Trump White House.
However, the reality is great coherency in Donald Trump’s vision of both the domestic and foreign policies he has begun to implement, as well as clear understanding of how both fit together....
Conceptually this all makes great sense. It throws out entirely the wrongheaded ideological preoccupations with democracy promotion and regime change abroad that both Democratic and Republican administrations have pursued these past 25 years to the detriment of the homeland. Trump rejects the American Empire and is seeking to revive the American Republic. Hoorah, indeed....
In a word, the enactment of the foreign policy revolution that Donald Trump has invited will require the intellectual inputs from a great many thinkers who have been on the outs and who hold different viewpoints among themselves. Only such a free and public exchange of ideas can ensure high quality foreign….and domestic policies from what promises to be a much needed recalibration of national interest.Doctrow makes some good points with which I am in basic agreement.
The term “regulation” is framed from the viewpoint of corporations and other businesses. From their viewpoint, “regulations” are limitations on their freedom to do whatever they want no matter who it harms. But from the public’s viewpoint, a regulation is a protection against harm done by unscrupulous corporations seeking to maximize profit at the cost of harm to the public....It's all in the framing. Don't let them frame you.
President Donald Trump on Saturday put restrictions on the kind of lucrative lobbying gigs his White House aides and other administration officials can accept after they leave government....
Trump's order also requires his officials to agree to a lifetime ban on working on behalf of foreign governments or foreign political parties....Good move toward draining the swamp.
According to his site, Mr. Mosler is credited for creating what has been dubbed “Mosler’s Law”, which states, “There is no financial crisis so deep that a sufficiently large fiscal adjustment cannot deal with it.”The Virgin Islands Consortium
In an eagerly awaited phone call, the first since Trump's inauguration, the two men stressed the importance of restoring economic ties between the two countries and of stabilizing relations, the Kremlin said.…So far, so good.
As one who advised President Reagan on how to end the Cold War, I welcome your plans to discuss US-Russian relations tomorrow, January 28. Relations have reached a state that is dangerous for both our countries and, in fact, the entire world. One brief conversation cannot resolve the contentions issues, but it can reject the widespread but false assumption that the fundamental interests of our two countries are in conflict.
Details of the conversation should remain confidential, but I would hope that, after the call, both presidents or their spokespersons could make comments along these lines:
1. The presidents agreed that there is no good reason to consider their countries enemies and there are compelling reasons for the United States and Russia to cooperate in solving common problems.
2. The presidents recognize that a nuclear war would be catastrophic for humanity, must never be fought, and that their countries bear a special responsibility to cooperate to reduce the nuclear danger and prevent further proliferation.
3. Regarding specific issues, they agree to begin, on an urgent basis, consultations with each other and with allies and neighbors regarding ways in which current confrontations could be replaced by cooperation.
One question that will inevitably arise regards the continuation of U.S. sanctions on Russia. In my view, these sanctions are now doing more harm than good, but I would hope that decisions regarding them would be made in concert with U.S. allies, who have been pressed by the United States to adopt them. Perhaps President Trump could state that he agrees that sanctions are incompatible with the sort of relationship he seeks with Russia, and he intends to explore ways to create conditions that make them unnecessary.
Jack F. Matlock, Jr.Special Assistant to President Reagan, 1983-86U.S. Ambassador to the USSR, 1987-91January 27, 2017Also
In a 45-minutes phone call on Jan. 28, the Presidents of Russia and the United States, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, agreed to maintain regular contact and charged their teams with organizing their meeting in person, the Kremlin press service said....Russia Beneath the Headlines
Trump’s order also bars legal permanent residents of the U.S. from returning home if they are now abroad, even though they already went through intense vetting procedures to get their green cards.…
According to Trita Parsi, founder of the National Iranian American Council, border agents appeared unsure how to enforce the new regulations, detaining green-card holders in handcuffs and even questioning them on their views on Trump and social media posts.The Intercept
Obviously, the world is a messy place. But what stresses American policymakers? It’s not the problem of defending America. In fact, that’s rather easy and doesn’t require either constant war or pervasive stress.
No other country has a conventional capability to reach America. The United States enjoys the protection of large oceans in the east and west that are buttressed by overwhelming maritime superiority. America also benefits from Pacific neighbors north and south and is backed by air superiority. Thus, the United States will not be invaded. It will not be blockaded or bombarded. In this way, the national security adviser—along with the president, secretary of state and other U.S. officials—need not worry about the sort of potential threats facing virtually every other nation on earth. That includes America’s chief rivals, China and Russia.
Only the latter two countries possess nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles, with the theoretical will to use their arsenals against America. Both would be destroyed in return, which makes such a conflict unthinkable....In other words, the US has no national defense issues other than domestic terrorist attack. National security issues are virtually all in excess of national defense and are based on projecting power internationally.
Haley told reporters, "Our goal with the administration is to show value at the UN, and the way to show value is to show our strength, show our full voice. Have the backs of our allies and make sure our allies have our backs as well."
She then added, "For those who don't have our backs, we're taking names, and we will make points to respond to that accordingly."
The US, UK, France and Australia will run a war games drill in the Persian Gulf that will simulate a confrontation with Iran.
A Russian joke goes like this: “Question: why can there be no color revolution in the United States? Answer: because there are no US Embassies in the United States.”
Funny, maybe, but factually wrong: I believe that a color revolution is being attempted in the USA right now....And Killary was dissing the Donald during the campaign for suggesting that he might not immediately accept the reported results of the election. What irony — or hypocrisy.
The door is indeed “open,” and it is possible that the two leaders may indeed conjure up a détente. But it is no “slam dunk” (certainty). And Moscow certainly does not regard it to be “slam dunk” – at all. On the contrary, they are aware that whereas there are areas of common approach, there are also areas of obvious difference – and possible disagreement – between the new U.S. administration and Moscow. The hope for détente ultimately may prove to lie just beyond reach. We shall have to see.Insightful.
Mother do you think they'll drop the bomb?
Mother do you think they'll like the song?
Mother do you think they'll try to break my balls?
Oooh, ahh Mother should I build the wall?
Mother should I run for President?
Mother should I trust the government?
Mother will they put me in the firing line?
Oooh ahh, Is it just a waste of time?
Hush now baby, baby, don't you cry.
Mama's gonna make all of your nightmares come true.
Mama's gonna put all her fears into you.
Mama's gonna keep you right here under her wing.
She won't let you fly, but she might let you sing.
Mama's gonna keep baby cosy and warm.
Ooooh baby, ooooh baby, oooooh baby,
Of course mama's gonna help build the wall.
Mother, did it need to be so high?
Oh my gosh, who cannot possibly tell from looking at these photos that Trump’s audience was minuscule? The Obama crowd has packed the place, but Trump’s audience looks like everyone is huddling for mutual support. Both photos are completely true. Both were taken at essentially the same time.
There is no photoshopping. So, clearly the dozens, if not hundreds, of mainstream media outlets that ran the comparison photos or other photos very much like them, were telling the truth! The new presidents audience is practically nonexistent.
Oh, but wait a minute …
As it turns out, the only thing the mainstream media’s comparison photos actually reveal is whose audience — Trump’s or Obama’s — arrived first!
The comparison photos were each taken about an hour before the inauguration speech began. The third photo of the huge Trump audience was taken at the time of the inauguration. It was all a matter of timing. To explain why Obama’s crowd surged into the mall an hour or so earlier than Trump’s, consider the following likely explanations:
Obama’s crowd gathered on a bright and sunny day. Trump’s crowd attended on a rainy day. People don’t like to stand in the rain, so perhaps Trump’s supporters have enough sense come in out of the rain for as long as they can until the event is ready to begin.
Obama’s audience had more reason to arrive early. They were attending a unique historic event — the inauguration of America’s first Black president — in which position of the audience on the lawns of the mall is on a first-come-first-serve basis. People wanting to attend might reasonably think they would not even find standing room at a first-of-its-kind event and so would go extra early to make sure they reserved a space for themselves.
Nearly a hundred protest groups, made up largely of Democrats who said they refused to accept the election results (after castigating Donald Trump for not being willing to say before the election that he would accept the results no matter what) said they were coming with the intentions of diminishing the event. Many of those groups said they would do all they could to block streets and block access points to try to make sure the inauguration couldn’t even happen. With such determination and planning, might they have actually managed to slow down people’s ability to get to the mall … just a little?With so many protests going on, Trump’s supporters might have lallygagged in route to watch some of the action.
This is the essence of it. More, including pictures for comparison at the link. Looks like the media has been caught out.Because of the numerous threats of violence, the security fences set up around the mall had fewer access points onto the mall, through which everyone had to be screened. Couldn’t fewer access points have caused it to take longer for the crowds to get through?…
When their Anointed One lost the election, big television news networks and primary newspapers coined the term “fake news” because they were angry at alternative media for eroding deep into their domain. It was time to expose these fakers because audiences were fleeing to alternatives to establishment media as certainly as they fled to alternatives to establishment politicians.
Without a doubt there is a ton of fake news on alternative media sites, which often publish what works for them without much fact checking. So, to launch a war on their competition, the mainstream media employed their standard sound-byte strategy that has worked well for them in the past. They simultaneously started circulating the new talking point “fake news” to try to stop the migration of audiences toward alternative news sites. It was time to point out how they, the mainstream media, do a superior job of editing out the baloney for you.
Everybody else’s news became fake news, but the mainstream media’s own exaggerated and highly spun stories, which they ran day after day … that was just bedrock reality. Following Fox’s years of example, the MSM dropped even the pretense of separating their own commentary from news stories, and much of their news became commentary about alternative media; but the “fake news” mantra all backfired this time....Fake News: The Fake-Stream Media Devours Itself
They’re going to get beat to a pulp unless they get it together and stop running around with their hair on fire yelling, “The Russians are coming” instead of rebuilding the party on a commitment to basic progressive values; civil liberties, non intervention, and economic fairness. The Democratic Party has to be more than a membership register attached to a donor’s list. It needs to reconnect with its base and try to understand why working people are either leaving the party altogether or so disenchanted they won’t even vote.
How about a little self-examination, eh? How about clearing out the deadwood starting with crooked Hillary and her sleazy handler, Podesta? How about committing to a vision for change that’s more than a public relations scam aimed at hoodwinking your base? How about ending the buck passing bullshit and pushing legislation that offers some relief for rampant economic insecurity, student debt, dwindling retirements, universal health care, and environmental devastation.
The Democratic party doesn’t have to be a place where progressive ideas go to die. But they’d better get it together fast or it’s going to be Game over.
As a point of social logic, if economic outcomes differ by race and gender but the entities doing the hiring aren’t racist or sexist, the fault must lie with jobseekers. Enter the bourgeois storyline of racism and sexism as misplaced blame from ‘losers’ for their own failures.
An obvious problem with this explanation is the systemic nature of institutional racism and sexism. The White / Black employment rate (below) is one of many measures that demonstrate systematic differences in economic outcomes by race across time. Unless one wants to posit bottom-up causality, that corporate hiring, compensation and wealth distribution are decided along racial lines by working class ‘deplorables,’ blame belongs with those who control the institutions that produce it....
The practice of blaming down in an increasingly hierarchical and anti-democratic society produces an obvious benefit for the economic powers-that-be and their servants in the political class. It blames the powerless for social dysfunction over which they have little to no control. And the self-serving tautology at work, that social power is distributed through a natural distribution of virtues— qualifications in the language of corporate apologists, provides faux meritocratic cover for the social violence of economic exclusion.
The issue here is not racism per se, but rather the division of the working class along racial and gender lines for the benefit of plutocrats and their servants. In what configuration of the world does it make sense that a working class that has been systematically disempowered for the last half-century is responsible for the social disintegration currently unfolding across the West?...
The fear-mongering storyline of White backlash used to explain Donald Trump’s election perpetuates the myth of democratic rule in a plutocracy. It assumes that the political class is led from below when all evidence has it that wealth = political power. The political class does the bidding of the rich and the institutions they control. Race and gender bias are evidence of the mal-distribution of social resources, not the cause.
What anti-establishment voters, and those who consciously withheld their votes, got right in the recent election is that the illusion of choice provided by the major Parties is anti-politics. Liberals, as guardians of the status quo, are class warriors on the side of economic mal-distribution and the immiseration of the laboring classes and poor for the benefit of the rich. The ease with which the misdirection of ‘deplorables’ was sold illustrates the conundrum confronting any actual Left political movement.Bourgeois liberalism.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has recently returned from an “under-wraps” fact finding mission to Syria where she met with Syrian people across a wide spectrum of Syrian society, including those recently liberated from Nusra Front-led terrorist occupation in East Aleppo. What she found, confirmed that the corporate media, NATO-aligned NGOs and the US interventionist coalition have been misrepresenting the facts on the ground in Syria for the last six years, funding terrorism and fanfaring an illegal regime-change programme....Strategic Culture Foundation
A final issue: Trump’s “America First” trade policy will inevitably mean that the Trump administration will push trade deals on other countries and even some of the more odious US corporate vulture-style capitalism, such as opening up, or pushing privatisation, of nationalised industries and the public sector in other nations, with predatory US capitalism.The first paragraph is clearly correct since it is the American modus operandi and fundamental to US foreign policy. The second paragraph is therefore problematic, since it is merely a matter of resisting but having the power to do so.
The answer to this: the rest of the world – particularly the Western world – must learn its own protectionism, guard public sectors, and rebuilt its own gutted manufacturing. The rest of the world needs to grow some balls and learn some economic nationalism of its own.
Trump’s ‘Buy American and Hire American’ Follies: New at Reason https://t.co/IWs0erI73V— reason (@reason) January 27, 2017
Without directly referencing the new president, China wrote that democracy has reached its limits, and deterioration is the inevitable future of capitalism, according to the People’s Daily, the flagship paper of China’s Communist Party. It devoted an entire page on Sunday to critiquing Western democracies, quoting former Chairman Mao Zedong’s 1949 poem asking people to "range far your eyes over long vistas" and saying the ultimate defeat of capitalism would enable Communism to emerge victorious.
"The emergence of capitalism’s social crisis is the most updated evidence to show the superiority of socialism and Marxism," said one of the People’s Daily articles.
"Western style democracy used to be a recognized power in history to drive social development. But now it has reached its limits," said another article on the same page. "Democracy is already kidnapped by the capitals and has become the weapon for capitalists to chase profits."Called throwing down the gauntlet.
The Left is not just in disarray- - it is in complete collapse because the working class has awakened to the Left's betrayal and abandonment of the working class in favor of building personal wealth and power.Bill and Hillary Clinton became the epitome of that syndrome.
A senior US military official has accused Russia of covertly running various programs to enhance its anti-satellite capabilities, including designing laser weapons to use in space, the Department of Defense press service said.
Speaking at the Stanford University in California, Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, who heads the U.S. Strategic Command, accused Russia and China of building weapons in the low earth orbit and in the geosynchronous orbit, as well as systems to manage them from the ground.
"In the not-too-distant future, they (Russia and China) will be able to use that capability to threaten every spacecraft we have in space. We have to prevent that, and the best way to prevent war is to be prepared for war. So the United States is going to do that, and we're going to make sure that everybody knows we're prepared for war," he said.
Both Russia and China have repeatedly declared their commitment to the peaceful use of outer space and are members of the relevant United Nations Committee, COPUOS. The official said that Russia, which has had an anti-satellite capability since the 1980s, is now exploring significant anti-satellite capabilities, including lasers for use in space and other "capabilities that would threaten our satellites, and many of which would create debris" that could hinder access to space.
"We have to deter bad behavior in space and we have to deter conflict in space," the head of the Strategic Command said.So let me get this straight. Russia and China are violating the no weaponization of space agreement by developing weapons to attack existing US weapons systems in space when it well known that US advanced weapons systems are dependent on satellites.
After Trump administration Press Secretary Sean Spicer rebuked the media for accurately reporting the relatively small crowds at President Donald Trump’s inauguration, senior White House aide Kellyanne Conway told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Spicer wasn’t lying; he was simply using “alternative facts.”"Alternative facts" = bullshit.
Listed below are the 8 billionaires along with their estimated wealth, which combined equals $426.2 billion.
But no Rothschild appears on the richest list because the family's wealth is dispersed among the members. Moreover, the actual figures are not public since the bulk of the wealth is privately held and doesn't have to be disclosed publicly.
- Bill Gates – $75 b
- Amancio Ortega – $67 b
- Warren Buffett – $60.8 b
- Carlos Slim Helu – $50 b
- Jeff Bezos – $45.2 b
- Mark Zuckerberg – $44.6 b
- Larry Ellison – $43.6 b
- Michael Bllomberg – $40 b
At $2 trillion plus [estimated], the family’s reported wealth is closing in on five times as much as the combined wealth of the world’s top 8 individual billionaires, meaning that the Rothschild family alone controls more wealth than perhaps three-fourths or more of the world’s total population.…
Pulitzer Prize-Winning journalist Seymour Hersh said in an interview that he does not believe the U.S. intelligence community proved its case that President Vladimir Putin directed a hacking campaign aimed at securing the election of Donald Trump. He blasted news organizations for lazily broadcasting the assertions of U.S. intelligence officials as established facts.
Hersh denounced news organizations as “crazy town” for their uncritical promotion of the pronouncements of the director of national intelligence and the CIA, given their track records of lying and misleading the public.
“The way they behaved on the Russia stuff was outrageous,” Hersh said when I sat down with him at his home in Washington, D.C., two days after Trump was inaugurated. “They were just so willing to believe stuff. And when the heads of intelligence give them that summary of the allegations, instead of attacking the CIA for doing that, which is what I would have done,” they reported it as fact. Hersh said most news organizations missed an important component of the story: “the extent to which the White House was going and permitting the agency to go public with the assessment.”….
“It’s high camp stuff,” Hersh told The Intercept. “What does an assessment mean? It’s not a national intelligence estimate. If you had a real estimate, you would have five or six dissents. One time they said 17 agencies all agreed. Oh really? The Coast Guard and the Air Force — they all agreed on it? And it was outrageous and nobody did that story. An assessment is simply an opinion. If they had a fact, they’d give it to you. An assessment is just that. It’s a belief. And they’ve done it many times.”Should add, "through anonymous sources without attribution." Sure sign of fixing the policy.