Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Paul Craig Roberts: Washington Has Initiated Military Conflict With Russia

If only the MSM would report on this, but the MSM is owned by the elite who own the Military-Industrial complex. Once upon a time there were a few radical reporters in the MSM but now they are gone.

Russia has provided evidence that Washington is collaborating with ISIS in attacks on Russian forces. 


In one Washington-directed attack, ISIS tried to capture 29 Russian military policemen. However, Russian special forces entered the fray, and the result was spectular losses for ISIS.


In another attack Washington-directed attack, Russian General Valery Asapov and two Russian colonels were killed in an attack that violated agreements. 


Sooner or later it will dawn on the Russian government that Washington is not a rational government with which diplomacy can be practiced, peace pursued, and agreements reached. Sooner or later it will dawn on the Russian government that far from being rational, Washington is a criminally insane collection of psychopaths in thrall to the military/security complex which, in turn, is in thrawl to its massive profits.

In other words, for the powerful interest groups that control the US government, war is a profit center. No amount of Russian diplomacy can do anything about this fact.

Paul Craig Roberts: Washington Has Initiated Military Conflict With Russia

Monday, September 25, 2017

Brian Romanchuk — Conference Presentation

I should write something up soon, but as a spoiler, I think the outlook for MMT is good. The new textbook (April 2018 was the projected publication date) will greatly help to build up MMT's credibility amongst those (like myself) who lack access to a research library and journal publications.
Bond Economics
Conference Presentation
Brian Romanchuk

Zero Hedge — Leaked Descriptions Of Infamous "Russia Ads" Derail Collusion Narrative "They Showed Support For Clinton"

That was quick.
Less than a week after Facebook agreed to turn over to Congressional investigators copies of the 3,000-odd political advertisements that the company said it had inadvertently sold to a Russia-linked group intent on meddling in the 2016 presidential election, the contents of the ads have – unsurprisingly – leaked, just as we had expected them to.
No smoking gun.

Zero Hedge
Leaked Descriptions Of Infamous "Russia Ads" Derail Collusion Narrative "They Showed Support For Clinton"
Tyler Durden
The 2016 election outcome was unpredictable not only because of Donald Trump's presidential victory, but in terms where the money went. According to a new report from media tracker Borrell Associates, the final tally of political campaign ad spending in the 2016 election cycle came in lower than anticipated -- at $9.8 billion. And, while broadcast TV retained its dominance, the mass media mainstay of political advertising took a big blow from more targetable and data-driven ad options such as cable TV and digital.
The premise that $100,000 to $150,000 spent on FaceBook ads exerted much of an influence at all on the presidential election is simply absurd, let alone a dominant influence. This is not reaching for straws. It is jumping the shark.


Kate Kaye

Censorship in the works.

Another paradox of liberalism.

How Facebook, Google Handle Political Ads Will Inevitably Change, Marketers Say

Ukraine’s Chief Military Psychiatrist Fired After Uncovering Horrifying Secret

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry has sacked chief military psychiatrist Oleh Druz, who told lawmakers that 93% of veterans from the conflict in the country’s east need treatment for mental health issues. Radio Sputnik contributor Vladimir Filippov says Druz’s remarks, and Kiev’s reaction, are a testament to the senselessness of the country’s civil war.

Filippov suggested that as far as Kiev is concerned, the only problem posed by the vets is the political danger they pose to the government – “to their soft chairs and their wealth. They have no plans to share with the veterans, hence the need to drive their problems deep out of sight and out of mind. No one needs them. They are cannon fodder, spent material.''

Moon of Alabama — Syria - U.S. CentCom Declares War On Russia

The U.S. Central Command in the Middle East wants the oil fields in east-Syria under control of its proxy forces to set up and control a U.S. aligned Kurdish mini-state in the area. The Syrian government, allied with Russia, needs the revenues of the oil fields to rebuild the country....
Curiously, Moon doesn't mention the well-known fact that a Kurdistan and Sunnistan separating Syria and Israel from Iran is of the highest priority on the agenda of the Netanyahu government.

Russia, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey are opposed to an independent Kurdistan as a Kurdish state. This is a red line for Turkey, and if there is to be a Sunnistan Turkey wants to be in control it instead of Saudi Arabia. Adding to the complication, Turkey is a nuclear-armed NATO member with national interests diametrically opposed to the US on this matter.

The snake pit has morphed into a powder keg.

Moon of Alabama
Syria - U.S. CentCom Declares War On Russia

See also

The Vineyard of the Saker
Very dangerous escalation in Syria
The Saker

Pam and Russ Martens — Technological Incompetence Appears to be Intentional at Wall Street’s Top Cop

When we created the website for Wall Street On Parade, it took us about 30 minutes to add a free plug-in function so that our readers could search the text of every article we have ever written. (See Search box in upper right-hand corner of our menu at the top of this website.) But at Wall Street’s top cop, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), if one wants to search corporate filings, one is limited to a four-year text search. This bizarre restriction inhibits investigative journalists from capably doing their job and connecting dots. 
This might sound like a small complaint were it not part of a larger pattern of technological failures by the SEC which have allowed Wall Street firms to run amok for decades.
The biggest technological failure, of course, is the SEC’s inability to launch a Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) over the 83 years of the SEC’s existence in order to spot manipulative or illegal trades by some of the most highly sophisticated trading houses in the world. While JPMorgan brags about having “more software developers than Google, and more technologists than Microsoft,” and Goldman Sachs is hiring the best Russian coders, Wall Street’s top cop is still driving a horse and buggy.…
In April of 2014, Kidney spoke with NPR on the demoralization of public servants at the SEC. Kidney said: “Washington has become — and I think everybody knows it — a bathtub full of cash. As long as you just go in the bathtub you’re going to come out with cash stuck on you – if you’re at least a certain, have certain jobs and have certain roles. And that’s why the revolving door is such a problem. It’s cultural, it’s the culture of Washington, it’s the culture of Wall Street and it hollows out the civil service…”...
Watching the U.S. devolve into a third-world-level of corruption and cronyism is deeply painful for those who love their country. It’s time for those collective voices to demand a formal, independent Federal investigation of the SEC. No other industry in America has done more to bankrupt the U.S. than Wall Street and no other cop on the beat has done less to stop it....
Wall Street On Parade
Technological Incompetence Appears to be Intentional at Wall Street’s Top Cop
Pam Martens and Russ Martens

Ian Greenhalgh: The Unknown Truth About Korea

Another dodgy writer from Veterans Today, but I thought this article was very informative and gives some idea of why the North Koreans are so terrified and behave the way they do.

 [Editor’s note: As Trump continues to ratchet up the tensions with North Korea, it is worth reminding ourselves of why the North Koreans are so scared of the US and why they have such a burning hatred for the Americans and their South Korean collaborators. Hundreds of thousands of Koreans were slaughtered by the brutal and cruel Nationalist regime that the US installed in Seoul after the Japanese occupation ended post WW2, millions more were killed, wounded or made homeless in the four years of war from 1950 to 54 that pitted the North against South, backed by the Soviet Union and United Nations respectively. That war has never officially ended, there is no peace treaty, just an uneasy ceasefire standoff.

According to estimates by South Korea’s Truth Commission, up to 100,000 unarmed South Korean civilians became victims of massacres committed during the Korean War (1950-1953) by the South Korean armed forces and police. Most of the estimated 1,222 massacres took place during the first few months of the war.
The Korean People’s Republic officially formed just two days prior to the first arrival of U.S. forces was almost immediately shunned by the U.S. who decided its preference was to stand behind conservative politicians representing the traditional land-owning elite. The U.S. helped in the formation on September 16 of the conservative Korean Democratic Party (KDP), and brought Syngman Rhee to Korea on General MacArthur’s plane on October 16 to head up the new party. Rhee, a Korean possessing a Ph.D. from Princeton (1910) and an Austrian wife, had lived in the United States for more than 40 years.
To his credit he had detested the Japanese occupation of his native country, but he hated the communists even more. Just before Rhee arrived to begin efforts to consolidate his power in the south, long-time resistance fighter Kim Il Sung returned from exile to begin his leadership in the Russian occupied north. As a guerrilla leader Kim had been fighting the Japanese occupation of China and Korea since the early 1930s.
Rhee and his U.S. advisers quickly concluded that in order to build their kind of Korea through the KDP they must definitively defeat the broad-based KPR. While Kim, with the support of the Russian forces in the north, was purging that territory of former Japanese administrators and their Korean collaborators, the USAMG was actively recruiting them in the south.
In November the U.S. Military Governor outlawed all strikes and in December declared the KPR and all its activities illegal. In effect the U.S. had declared war on the popular movement of Korea south of the 38th Parallel and set in motion a repressive campaign that later became excessively brutal, dismantling the Peoples’ Committees and their supporters throughout the south.
In December 1945 General John R. Hodge, commander of the U.S. occupation forces, created the Korean Constabulary, led exclusively by officers who had served the Japanese. Along with the revived Japanese colonial police force, the Korean National Police (KNP), comprised of many former Korean collaborators, and powerful right-wing paramilitary groups like the Korean National Youth and the Northwest Youth League, the U.S.Military Government and their puppet Syngman Rhee possessed the armed instruments of a police state more than able to assure a political system that was determined to protect the old landlord class made up of rigid reactionaries and enthusiastic capitalists.

G.A. Barnard: The “catch-all” factor: probability vs likelihood — Debate between G. A. Barnard and Leonard Jimmie Savage

Similar to there Bayesian versus frequentist debate in statistical reasoning.

Likelihood Principle

My epistemological view on this is that the border between them is fuzzy and needs to be approached on a case by case basis, along with acknowledging a cognitive bias toward greater certainty than is attainable from the given and the reasoning about it.

Humans don't like uncertainty and have a strong bias toward minimizing it at the risk of fooling themselves. Even statisticians.

Error Statistics
G.A. Barnard: The “catch-all” factor: probability vs likelihood
Debate between G. A. Barnard and Leonard Jimmie Savage
Posted by Deborah Mayo, professor in the Department of Philosophy at Virginia Tech and visiting professor at the Center for the Philosophy of Natural and Social Science of the London School of Economics.

Cecchetti & Schoenholtz — Moral Hazard: A Primer

The term moral hazard originated in the insurance business. It was a reference to the need for insurers to assess the integrity of their customers. When modern economists got ahold of the term, the meaning changed. Instead of making judgments about a person’s character, the focus shifted to incentives. For example, a fire insurance policy might limit the motivation to install sprinklers while a generous automobile insurance policy might encourage reckless driving. Then there is Kenneth Arrow’s original example of moral hazard: health insurance fosters overtreatment by doctors. Employment arrangements suffer from moral hazard, too: will you shirk unpleasant tasks at work if you’re sure to receive your paycheck anyway?
Moral hazard arises when we cannot costlessly observe people’s actions and so cannot judge (without costly monitoring) whether a poor outcome reflects poor fortune or poor effort. Like its close relative, adverse selection, moral hazard arises because two parties to a transaction have different information. This information asymmetry manifests itself in two ways. Where adverse selection is about hidden attributes, affecting a transaction before it occurs, moral hazard is about hidden actions that have an impact after making an arrangement.
In this post, we provide a brief introduction to the concept of moral hazard, focusing on how various aspects of the financial system are designed to mitigate the challenges it causes....
Money and Banking
Moral Hazard: A Primer
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.

Gordon Duff: We Have Met the Evil Empire and It is Us

I know some of you will view Gordon Duff as a conspiracy theorist but this article is very good. I gave up on Veteran's Today for years because it seemed mad and offbeat and I preferred instead reporters like Chris Hedges who were more measured and less forthright, but now, as the US has become more openly pro war and terrifying with its mask more revealed - to those of us who care to look - I find Veteran's frankness quite appropriate and to the point. It's full of horrible adverts, though, and it still remains a somewhat trying experience while trying to find the good stuff.

Here Gordon Duff describes here how poor many Americans were even in the so called good years of the 60's. He also points out that America has never been fully democratic.

When I told my father, back in 1968, that I was joining the United States Marine Corps he responded: “I hope you aren’t going to claim you are doing this to defend your country. Nobody attacked us, look around, no Viet Cong here, this is Wall Street’s war like the last one and the one before it and the one before that.”
Everything my father predicted has come to pass, America as a deindustrialized police state with a clown in the White House, nothing new there. Anyone unware that Eisenhower was a useless puppet as was Ford and Reagan and Bush 43 and the monstrosity we have now, deserves the America we have earned. His generation, those who grew up before the First World War, those who experienced the Great Depression with eyes open, they knew it was coming.
Life in America was pure injustice, the lash and the iron boot, despite the version of history we have been given by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations who “re-invented” America and its history through taking control of public education in the late 1940s. You see, the multi-generational ignorance we bask in today is not unplanned. The threat represented by advances in communications and other technology was recognized and dealt with, utterly quashed at birth.
I recommend just a look at the Constitution itself. Why the “electoral college?” Few Americans know that the Senate was chosen, not elected, until the 20th century. Why two senators for states with no people? Why a Supreme Court? Those unaware that these unique aspects of America’s governmental organization need to read Charles Beard’s An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution (Columbia University Press, 1935).
There is nothing “democratic” about America and its government, the whole thing is a con. Election after election, every time Americans think they are voting to “drain the sewer” that Washington represents, only find themselves deeper in it. That was planned from the first also, but we are getting ahead of ourselves a bit.
  Today Americans are “defending democracy” in 6 dozen nations and, as predicted, invariably siding with tyrants, pushing a colonial agenda, there as bullies and thugs in uniform and doing so hiding behind the flag and the “honored dead.” I know this well because I was part of it.
For those of us who were born during the “post war baby boom,” the absurdity of patriotic rhetoric in response to the “red menace” poisoned our lives, polluted our educational experience, sickened our souls.
Even then, the reality of a government controlled by Wall Street was there to be seen. Higher education was unaffordable for all but the few, cities were dung heaps of filth and crime and America’s South was a land of starvation and poverty. Nearly half of all Americans lived in poverty, while the industrial workers of the North worked under conditions that made survival to retirement a pipe dream.
Every day my father would return from the Ford factory, describing 120-degree heat and air steeped in carcinogenic solvents. His friends and coworkers died in their 50s. By age 55, he had suffered half a dozen heart attacks and was on disability of $60 a month to support a family of 4. This is a common story, not an exception, this is how my generation grew up, mowing lawns, shoveling snow for money for shoes, working to support a family as early as 10. This is the American generation that went to Vietnam and it was the generation that taught the Pentagon that their games would not continue unopposed.
New Eastern Outlook:


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Zero Hedge — Russia Releases Photos Showing US Special Ops At ISIS Positions In Syria

I guess Zero Hedge is another of those Russkie sites like Drudge.

Zero Hedge

TheRealNews: Neocons and Hollywood Liberals Go to 'War' on Russia

The promotional video of the Committee to Investigate Russia features actor Morgan Freeman in what is 'probably his worst role since Driving Miss Daisy,' says AlterNet's Max Blumenthal

This is chilling, the producer Robe Reiner has made this short film about the 'Russian Hack' and it's a complete load of rubbish from start to finish, just total propaganda with no facts.

David Graeber — Accounting error spells chaos for global economy

The title may be alarmist but the post is worth reading. David Graeber points out that the sectoral balances don't actually balance and asks why, since it is an accounting identity.
When I first saw this diagram I was startled and confused. Was I missing something? Was there something about the math I didn’t understand? I passed the image on to two different economists and asked just that: isn’t there something wrong with the numbers here?
You’ll notice that towards the end of the graph, after 2014, the figures above and below the line are no longer equal. It’s easy to miss, but this glaring error has significant consequences for the global economy.
Both instantly got back to me, rather surprised they had not noticed it themselves, and confirmed that yes, indeed, there was something very funny going on here. One even wrote to the OBR himself, asking why the two sides didn’t match up, only to be informed it was a standard “residual error” that always occurs at first but is duly patched up later. (This clearly isn’t true: no previous OBR report contains such an imbalance; when this was pointed out to them they simply dodged the question). Here’s the link to the latest report.

This is what led to my piece in the New Statesman, calling for a public inquiry. I also asked my friend who made up the original diagram to adjust it to what it might look like corrected. This has to involve a certain amount of guess-work as we don’t actually know which part of the numbers are inaccurate. He provided me two possibilities; both extremely sobering.…
Accounting error spells chaos for global economy
David Graeber

Robert Locke — Economics as science in the world of great power politics (1800-present)

The major trends in the development of economics summarized. How the profession lost the plot and also its way.

Real-World Economics Review Blog
Economics as science in the world of great power politics (1800-present)
Robert Locke

Zero Hedge — Obamacare Repeal Officially Dead After Cruz Says No

In a sudden change of heart that kills senate Republicans’ effort to pass a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare before a rule allowing Republicans to circumvent a Democratic filibuster expires at the end of the month, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is now saying he won’t support the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal bill.
Cruz, who revealed his position during a panel discussion at a Texas Tribune conference in Austin, suggested that the proposal also lacks the vote of Sen. Mike Lee, according to Politico. The Texas Republican said he and Lee offered amendments to the Graham-Cassidy proposal last week that would go further in bringing down Obamacare premiums but that the changes weren’t included in the latest draft of the bill.
Governing is harder than opposing.

Patrick Fleming — Clinton Attack Group: 2nd Largest US News Site (Drudge) is Kremlin Stooge

Hey, if "POTUS is a Kremlin stooge" is working for you, why not claim everyone that disagrees with you is, too?

Russia Insider
Clinton Attack Group: 2nd Largest US News Site (Drudge) is Kremlin Stooge
Patrick Fleming

Oh, wait. Just when you thought it couldn't get any more bizarre.

Zero Hedge
Former Congressman [Tancredo] Warns That Foreign Countries Could Bribe The Feds To "Regulate Drudge"
Tyler Durden

Mohamed A. El-Erian — Risks of a new economic non-order as nations turn inward

Western leaders have still not gotten the message that the post-WWII unipolar order dominated by the West is now winding down and is coming to an end, possibly an ignominious one resulting in war.

The resulting interim order not necessarily a "non-order," but rather a rising multi-polar one. 

Western elite thinking broadcast by propaganda is that someone must be dominant; if it is not the West under the leadership of the US it will be some other country, meaning China.

Asia Times
Risks of a new economic non-order as nations turn inward
Mohamed A. El-Erian

Mike Whitney: Uncle Sam vs. Russia in Eastern Syria: The Nightmare Scenario

The impending collapse of ISIS has touched off a race for territory in the oil-rich eastern part of Syria pitting US-backed forces against the Russian-led coalition of Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. This is the nightmare scenario that everyone wanted to avoid. Washington and Moscow’s armies are now converging on the same area at the same time greatly increasing the probability of a conflagration between the two nuclear-armed superpowers. The only way a clash can be avoided is if one party backs down, which seems increasingly unlikely.

The situation can be easily explained. The vast swath of territory captured by ISIS is steadily shrinking due to the dogged perseverance of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) which has liberated most of the countryside west of the Euphrates River including the former ISIS stronghold at Deir Ezzor, a critical garrison at the center of the fighting. ISIS is also getting pressure from the north where the US-backed SDF is pounding their capital at Raqqa while deploying troops and tanks southward to the oil fields in Deir Ezzor province.

Washington has made it clear that it wants its proxy-army to control the area east of the Euphrates establishing a soft partition between east and west. The US also wants to control Deir Ezzor’s vast oil resources in order to provide a reliable revenue stream for the emergent Kurdish statelet.

Syrian President Bashar al Assad has said many times that he will never agree to the partitioning of the country. But the decision will not be made by Assad alone. His coalition partners in Moscow, Beirut and Tehran will also help shape the final settlement. As far as Putin is concerned, it seems extremely unlikely that he’d risk a protracted and bloody war with the United States simply to recapture every square inch of Syrian territory. The Russian president will probably allow the US to keep its bases in the northeast provided that critical areas are conceded to the regime. But where will the line be drawn, that’s the question?

Bill Mitchell — When intra-governmental relations became absurd – the US-Fed Accord – Part 3

I am writing this while waiting for a train at Victoria Station (London), which will take me to Brighton for tomorrow’s presentation at the British Labour Party Conference. 
The last several days I was in Kansas City for the inaugural International Modern Monetary Theory Conference, which attracted more than 200 participants and was going well when I left it on Saturday. A great step forward. I believe there will be video for all sessions available soon just in case you were unable to watch the live stream.
Today’s blog completes my little history of the US Treasury Federal Reserve Accord, which really marked a turning point (for the worse) in the way macroeconomic policy was conducted in the US.

In Part 1, I explained how from the inception (1913), the newly created Federal Reserve Bank, America’s central bank, was required by the US Treasury Department to purchase Treasury bonds in such volumes that would ensure the yields on long-term bonds were stable and low. There was growing unease with this arrangement among the conservative central bankers and, in 1935, the arrangement was altered somewhat to require the bank to only purchase debt in the secondary markets. But the change had little effective impact. The yields stayed low as was the intent. Further, all the prognistications that the conservatives raised about inflation and other maladies also did not emerge (which anyone who knew anything would have expected anyway).
In Part 2, I traced the increased tensions between the central bank FOMC and the Treasury, which in part was exacerbated by the slight spike in inflation that accompanied the spending associated with the prosecution of the Korean War in the early 1950s. The tension manifested into open disagreement about the FOMC’s desire to raise interest rates and end the pegged yield arrangement with the Treasury. In
Part 3, we discuss the culmination of that tension and disagreement and examine some of the less known and underlying forces that were fermenting the central bank desire for rebellion.…
Paragraphing added.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
When intra-governmental relations became absurd – the US-Fed Accord – Part 3
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Philip Giraldi: Neocons Are Driving America's Wars

Philip Giraldi is an ex CIA agent, Conservative, reads Antiwar.com every day, and has a good article about how torture does not work I might put out. He seems quite a reasonable guy.

I spoke recently at a conference on America’s war party where afterwards an elderly gentleman came up to me and asked, “Why doesn’t anyone ever speak honestly about the six-hundred-pound gorilla in the room? Nobody has mentioned Israel in this conference and we all know it’s American Jews with all their money and power who are supporting every war in the Middle East for Netanyahu? Shouldn’t we start calling them out and not letting them get away with it?”

It was a question combined with a comment that I have heard many times before and my answer is always the same: any organization that aspires to be heard on foreign policy knows that to touch the live wire of Israel and American Jews guarantees a quick trip to obscurity. Jewish groups and deep pocket individual donors not only control the politicians, they own and run the media and entertainment industries, meaning that no one will hear about or from the offending party ever again. They are particularly sensitive on the issue of so-called “dual loyalty,” particularly as the expression itself is a bit of a sham since it is pretty clear that some of them only have real loyalty to Israel.

Most recently, some pundits, including myself, have been warning of an impending war with Iran. To be sure, the urging to strike Iran comes from many quarters, to include generals in the Administration who always think first in terms of settling problems through force, from a Saudi government obsessed with fear over Iranian hegemony, and, of course, from Israel itself. But what makes the war engine run is provided by American Jews who have taken upon themselves the onerous task of starting a war with a country that does not conceivably threaten the United States. They have been very successful at faking the Iranian threat, so much so that nearly all Republican and most Democratic congressmen as well as much of the media seem to be convinced that Iran needs to be dealt with firmly, most definitely by using the U.S. military, and the sooner the better.

And while they are doing it, the issue that nearly all the Iran haters are Jewish has somehow fallen out of sight, as if it does not matter. But it should matter. A recent article in the New Yorker on stopping the impending war with Iran strangely suggests that the current generation “Iran hawks” might be a force of moderation regarding policy options given the lessons learned from Iraq. The article cites as hardliners on Iran David Frum, Max Boot, Bill Kristol and Bret Stephens.

Daniel Larison over at The American Conservative has a good review of the New Yorker piece entitled “Yes, Iran Hawks Want Conflict with Iran,” which identifies the four above cited hawks by name before describing them as “…a Who’s Who of consistently lousy foreign policy thinking. If they have been right about any major foreign policy issue in the last twenty years, it would be news to the entire world. Every single one of them hates the nuclear deal with Iran with a passion, and they have argued in favor of military action against Iran at one point or another. There is zero evidence that any of them would oppose attacking Iran.”

And I would add a few more names, Mark Dubowitz, Michael Ledeen and Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum; John Podhoretz of Commentary magazine; Elliot Abrams of the Council on Foreign Relations; Meyrav Wurmser of the Middle East Media Research Institute; Kimberly Kagan of the Institute for the Study of War; and Frederick Kagan, Danielle Pletka and David Wurmser of the American Enterprise Institute. And you can also throw into the hopper entire organizations like The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) and the Hudson Institute. And yep, they’re all Jewish, plus most of them would self-describe as neo-conservatives. And I might add that only one of the named individuals has ever served in any branch of the American military – David Wurmser was once in the Navy reserve. These individuals largely constitute a cabal of sanctimonious chairborne warriors who prefer to do the heavy thinking while they let others do the fighting and dying.

Neocons are Driving American Wars: Philip Giraldi

Saturday, September 23, 2017

China comes to aid of Cuba

New kid on the block.

Chinese aircraft delivers humanitarian aid in Cuba after Hurricane Irma
Latin America is an important region with a concentration of developing countries, said Wang. The development and revitalization of the region is an important part of the endeavors to revitalize the emerging markets and developing countries as a whole.
China-Latin America comprehensive cooperation is facing new opportunities, he noted.
China, Cuba vow to enhance cooperation

Bryan Logan — JAMES CLAPPER: US intelligence assessment of Russia's election interference 'cast doubt on the legitimacy' of Trump's victory

  • The former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said an assessment by the US intelligence community on Russia's US election interference "cast doubt" on President Donald Trump's legitimacy.
  • Clapper's comments follow an avalanche of recent news about Russia's efforts to sway American voters in 2016.
  • The Russia investigation has gained significant momentum in recent weeks, with several current and former Trump insiders under scrutiny for their ties to, and contacts with Russian operatives.
Whoa! US Civil War 2.0?

Looks like the deep state is digging in for a fight to the finish.

HRC piles on.

Business Insider
JAMES CLAPPER: US intelligence assessment of Russia's election interference 'cast doubt on the legitimacy' of Trump's victory
Bryan Logan


Crooks and Liars
Clinton: Americans Should Be 'Terrified' Over Russian Interference
Susie Madrak

Michael Roberts — Capital.150 part two: the economic reason for madness

Critique of David Harvey's reading of Das Kapital.

Michael Roberts Blog
Capital.150 part two: the economic reason for madness
Michael Roberts

Lars P. Syll — Seven sins of economics

Pramit Bhattacharya quote. 

Double significant since it is a signal of rising criticism of the profession coming from outside the Anglo-American world that is presently dominant. Hopefully, this is a sign that this domination of ideas and methods will not spread and will be balanced soon.

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Seven sins of economics
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

Douglas Valentine – Lars Schall: The CIA: 70 Years of Organized Crime

The quite a lot of different related topics covered in this article about the CIA drug running operations which they used to gain control of corrupt politicians and their countries. The CIA has its tentacles throughout the world working through the drugs trade and organised crime to build the American empire. The CIA agents get paid extremely well and live in luxury flying in private jets and staying in the best hotels. They advise the military, governments, and the generals. They don't see themselves as criminals, though, despite their criminal activity, they see themselves as patriarchs making America great, but for who?

It is also described here how the CIA helped to pump drugs into black communities to keep black youth from working hard and becoming middleclass and to keep them in and out of prison, in other words, we can blame the CIA for rap and hip hop gun culture.

Here's a few extracts from the article:

LS: Can you tell us please what’s behind a term you like to use, the “Universal Brotherhood of Officers”?

DV: The ruling class in any state views the people it rules as lesser beings to be manipulated, coerced, and exploited. The rulers institute all manner of systems – which function as protection rackets – to assure their class prerogatives. The military is the real power in any state, and the military in every state has a chain of command in which blind obedience to superiors is sacred and inviolable. Officers don’t fraternize with enlisted men because they will at some point send them to their deaths. There is an officer corps in every military, as well as in every bureaucracy and every ruling class in every state, which has more in common with military officers, top bureaucrats, and rulers in other states, than it does with the expendable, exploitable riff raff in its own state.
LS: How important is mainstream media for the public perception of the CIA?

DV: There are two facets to the CIA’s management and control of international drug trafficking, on behalf of the corporate interests that rule America. It’s important to note that the US government’s involvement in drug trafficking began before the CIA existed, as a means of controlling states, as well as the political and social movements within them, including America. Direct involvement started in the 1920s when the US helped Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist regime in China support itself through the narcotics trade.

During World War II, the CIA’ predecessor, the OSS, provided opium to Kachin guerrillas fighting the Japanese. The OSS and the US military also forged ties with the American criminal underworld during the Second World War, and would thereafter secretly provide protection to American drug traffickers whom it hired to do its dirty work at home and abroad.

DV: It’s the most critical feature. Guy Debord said that secrecy dominates the world, foremost as secret of domination. The media prevents you from knowing how you’re being dominated, by keeping the CIA’s secrets. The media and the CIA are same thing.

What FOX and MSNBC have in common is that, in a free-wheeling capitalist society, news is a commodity. News outlets target demographic audience to sell a product. It’s all fake news, in so far as each media outlet skews its presentation of the news to satisfy its customers. But when it comes to the CIA, it’s not just fake, it’s poison. It subverts democratic institutions.

Any domestic Phoenix-style organization or operation depends on double-speak and deniability, as well as official secrecy and media self-censorship. The CIA’s overarching need for total control of information requires media complicity. This was one of the great lesson defeat in Vietnam taught our leaders. The highly indoctrinated and well rewarded managers who run the government and media will never again allow the public to see the carnage they inflict upon foreign civilians. Americans never will see the mutilated Iraqi, Afghani, Libyan, and Syrian children killed by marauding US mercenary forces and cluster bombs.

On the other hand, falsified portrayals of CIA kidnappings, torture, and assassinations are glorified on TV and in movies. Telling the proper story is the key. Thanks to media complicity, Phoenix has already become the template for providing internal political security for America’s leaders.

LS: Is the CIA an enemy of the American people?

DV: Yes. It’s an instrument of the rich political elite, it does their dirty business.
Cops are members of the Universal Brotherhood of Officers. They exist above the law. CIA officers exist near the pinnacle of the Brotherhood. Blessed with fake identities and bodyguards, they fly around in private planes, live in villas, and kill with state-of-the-art technology. They tell army generals what to do. They direct Congressional committees. They assassinate heads of state and murder innocent children with impunity and with indifference. Everyone to them, but their bosses, is expendable.


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Friday, September 22, 2017

Pepe Escobar — Brute isolation: Trump and the art of unraveling the Iran deal

What has happened is that the Trump administration has changed the narrative from being about a technical, nuclear-centered agreement, to one that encompasses Iran’s geopolitical reach in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, as well as its missile program and cyber operations – all non-nuclear issues that Mogherini herself stressed were “outside the scope” of the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action)....

So for all practical purposes, the Trump administration wants a completely different deal, or it will unilaterally pull out. Technically, that means going against a UNSC resolution supported by international law.
More importantly, if the US withdraws from the agreement, it sends a strong signal to the international community that US agreements are worthless and US diplomacy is meaningless.

Asia Times
Brute isolation: Trump and the art of unraveling the Iran deal
Pepe Escobar

Pepe Escobar recommends
International corporate media and governments hostile to Venezuela take up the “humanitarian crisis” fable to consolidate the portrayal of military intervention as an exercise in humanitarian relief rather than as military aggression. But very clearly, every “humanitarian intervention” by Western powers involves territorial occupation and reorganization to serve their geopolitical interests, similar to what happened in Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake.
More Bases, Military Exercises: The (Para)Military Option Against Venezuela in Action

Doug Tsruruoka — ‘N. Korean missiles can reach Chicago, would not be stopped’

US arms control expert: Hwasong-14 could even reach East Coast, but US anti-missile defenses probably couldn't shoot it down. Pyongyang likely has warhead that fits, he adds.
Does NK have a nuclear deterrent?

Asia Times
‘N. Korean missiles can reach Chicago, would not be stopped’
Doug Tsruruoka

Ian Welsh' — Review of “Descartes' Error” by Antonio Damasio

Short summary of the main thrust of cognitive scientist Antonio Damasio's work about the interplay of reason and feeling.

See also

Antonio Damasio: INET Keynote Address entitled Human Decisions

Jeremiah Jones — ‘Whites Only’ Stickers Falsely Attributed To #BLM Appear At St. Louis Restaurants

Don't believe everything you see.
St. Louis restaurant owners were upset when “Whites Only” stickers with the hashtag #BLM began appearing at their businesses. It turns out that BLM had nothing to do with it. A group of young white males was caught on security cameras doing the deed to try to cause problems for BLM.
BLM is apparently Black Lives Matter, not Bureau of Land Management, although that is a right bogeyman, too.