Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Patrick Armstrong — Yes, Putin Once Dreamed the American Dream

Must-read. as govern

Take-Away: Some Russian leaders, including Vladimir Putin, want Russia to be a democracy and they do not think that America is one. They want a real democracy as governance of, by and for the people.
Patrick Armstrong

Paul Antonopoulos — China SPEAKS OUT: NATO Aggression on Syria is War against Russia

Jinri Toutiao, one of China’s largest media agencies, has unveiled an article arguing that while the conflict in Syria might seem like a civil war between government and opposition forces, it is in reality “a deadly battle between Russia and NATO countries.”... 
In other words, the Chinese media giant has a firm grasp on the geopolitics of the Syrian conflict and Russia-NATO confrontation. This is an important indication of China’s orientation. What’s more, other analysts, in addition to the Chinese agency, have added to the discussion, pointing out that although NATO leaders assure that their actions are not directed against Russia, their operations demonstrate the opposite reality.…
Fort Russ
China SPEAKS OUT: NATO Aggression on Syria is War against Russia
Paul Antonopoulos

Bill Mitchell — Real resource constraints and fiscal policy design

There is an interesting dilemma currently emerging in Australia, which provides an excellent case study on how governments can use fiscal policy effectively and the problems that are likely to arise in that application. At present, the Australian states are engaging in an infrastructure building boom with several large (mostly public sector) projects underway involving improvements to road, ports, water supply, railways, airports and more. I travel a lot and in each of the major cities you see major areas sectioned off as tunnels are being dug and buildings erected. Not all of the projects are desirable (for example, the West Connex freeway project in Sydney has trampled on peoples’ rights) and several prioritise the motor car over public transport. But many of the projects will deliver much better public transport options in the future. On a national accounts level, these projects have helped GDP growth continue as household consumption has moderated and private investment has been consistently weak to negative. But, and this is the point, there have been sporadic reports recounting how Australia is running out of cement, hard rock and concrete and other building materials, which is pushing up costs. This is the real resource constraint that Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) emphasises as the limits to government spending, rather than any concocted financial constraints. If there are indeed shortages of real resources that are essential to infrastructure development then that places a limit on how fast governments can build these public goods. The other point is that as these shortages are emerging, there is still over 15 per cent of our available labour resources that are being unused in one way or another – 714,600 are unemployed, 1,123.9 thousand are underemployed, and participation rates are down so hidden unemployment has risen. So that indicates there is a need for higher deficits while the infrastructure bottlenecks suggest spending constraints are emerging. That is the challenge. Come in policies like the Job Guarantee.

Practical MMT. MMT is made up of an operational analysis of monetary systems, macroeconomic theory, and policy guidance. They are complementary.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Real resource constraints and fiscal policy design
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Sputnik International — Tariffs? Meh: China Has Other Ways to Answer On Trump’s Trade War

The Chinese economy has plenty of ways to counter US President Donald Trump's import tariffs apart from simply imposing parallel measures, writes Politico's authors Adam Behsudi and Doug Palmer, that have been used in the past and proven to be very effective.
One misapprehension in the article, perhaps since the authors are American and influenced by American views of how China functions, is that the Chinese government can suggest a boycott of US imports that would be effective. The reality is that Chinese citizens are extremely patriotic and the government would not need to say anything for a boycott to arise spontaneously.  The US is already risking this.

Sputnik International
Tariffs? Meh: China Has Other Ways to Answer On Trump’s Trade War

See also
The American government is the initiator of evil.
Taking off the gloves, and preparing the Chinese people for the global economic chaos that may be coming.

Global Times
Trump's trade war will disrupt world economic order
Editor : Li Yan

Katrina vanden Heuvel — Americans are drowning in student-loan debt. The U.S. should forgive all of it.

I'll break a self-imposed rule and link to the WaPo for this.
The debt burdens not only the debtors but also the entire economy by dampening consumer demand. The federal government guarantees more than 90 percent of all outstanding student debt. A recent paper by Scott Fullwiler, Stephanie Kelton, Catherine Ruetschlin and Marshall Steinbaum of the Levy Economics Institute found that if the government canceled the debt it owns and bought out the remaining private creditors, it would increase gross domestic product by between $86 billion and $108 billion per year over the next decade, adding between 1.2 million and 1.5 million jobs.

More importantly, if combined with making all public universities tuition-free, this country would ensure that no young person is condemned to debt for pursuing the higher education or technical training that virtually everyone agrees is vital to this nation’s future....
The Washington Post
Americans are drowning in student-loan debt. The U.S. should forgive all of it.
Katrina vanden Heuvel | editor and publisher of The Nation

Toni Airaksine — Prof blames mathematics for 'global disparities in wealth

First, Ernest asserts that “the nature of pure of mathematics itself leads to styles of thinking that can be damaging when applied beyond mathematics to social and human issues,” since math facilitates “detached” and “calculative” reasoning....
Second, he argues that the “applications of mathematics in society can be deleterious to our humanity unless very carefully monitored and checked,” worrying particularly about how math facilitates transactions of money and finance....
Finally, Ernest worries of the personal impact math has on “less-successful students,” especially women, since math is often perceived as a “masculine” and “difficult” subject....
Of course, the problem is not math per se but rather the mindset and application involved in its teaching and application in life. With overemphasis on quantitative thinking, taking qualitative thinking can suffer. The "morality" of math and science are philosophical and psychological issues having to do with quality that need to be taken into account in teaching and applying quantitative methods.

There are many more issue around the math and science and women's issues that just teaching. Women didn't suddenly get liberate when the got the vote. Cultural attitudes change slowly.

Campus Reform
Prof blames mathematics for 'global disparities in wealth'Toni Airaksinen, New York Senior Campus Correspondent

CJ Hopkins — Confession of a Putin-Nazi Denialist

Sticking the dagger in and twisting it.

Confession of a Putin-Nazi Denialist
CJ Hopkins, author and playwright

Pam and Russ Martens — Removal of GE from the Dow Looks Suspiciously Like Citigroup’s Exit

General Electric Co. (GE) will be unceremoniously sacked from the Dow Jones Industrial Average on June 26, it was announced yesterday by the S&P Dow Jones Indices folks. GE was one of the original 12 companies in the index when it was created in 1896. The Dow now consists of 30 companies and GE has been in the index continuously since 1907.
Curiously, GE – an industrial giant that makes highly sophisticated commercial jet engines for Boeing and turbines for power plants among numerous other lines of business – will be replaced in the Dow by a retail drugstore chain, Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)....
Wall Street On Parade
Removal of GE from the Dow Looks Suspiciously Like Citigroup’s Exit
Pam Martens and Russ Martens

Michael Emmett Brady — J M Keynes on the Enemies of Capitalism: The Internal, Endogenous Threat to the Macro Economy from Wall Street Stock Market Speculators and Rentiers

J M Keynes carefully read Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations (1776) before he was 28. Of extreme importance to Keynes was Smith’s categorization of a group of upper income class citizens, whose speculative and financial interactions with the private banking industry created a very severe danger to the society as a whole, as being projectors, imprudent risk takers, and prodigals. Keynes’s description of Smith’s projectors, imprudent risk takers, and prodigals in the General Theory, as well as Keynes’s extremely important, early 1937 papers in the Eugenics Review and Quarterly Journal of Economics, is that Smith’s projectors, imprudent risk takers, and prodigals are Keynes’s Wall Street speculators and rentiers. It is the speculators and rentiers who are mainly responsible for the problems of inflation and deflation in the macro economy. Keynes realized that this destructive, casino-gambling type behavior that is so damaging to the macro economy is facilitated and financed by the “…forces of banking and finance”.
Keynes’s Chapter Twelve analysis on pages 147-162 in the General Theory of the speculative dangers resulting from the financial behavior of Wall Street speculators and rentiers is identical to Smith’s pages 114-115, 279-341 discussions in the Wealth of Nations of the dangers from projectors, imprudent risk takers, and prodigals.
Both Smith’s and Keynes’s analysis complements each other. Both Smith and Keynes could have given the exact, same, vastly superior analysis and policy advice to government officials facing the 2007-2009 Great Recession that would have been greatly superior to the type of very poor policy analysis provided by DSGE macroeconomists in the period 2006-2010.
Both Smith and Keynes explicitly point out and analyze the malign impacts(see Kennedy, 2008) on the macro economy perpetrated by either Smithian projectors, imprudent risk takers, or prodigals or Keynesian speculators and rentiers. The role of government is to impose constraints on these categories of upper income class members so as to prevent them from harming the sober people by proactive laws, rules, and regulations.
The obvious reason that DSGE macro models failed so egregiously is that there are no variables in their models representing the impacts of these types of decision makers on the macro economy over time. The reason for this misspecification modeling error by DSGE proponents is that they accept Bentham’s critique of Smith that there are no such individuals in the economy as Smith’s projectors, imprudent risk takers, or prodigals.
J M Keynes on the Enemies of Capitalism: The Internal, Endogenous Threat to the Macro Economy from Wall Street Stock Market Speculators and Rentiers
Michael Emmett Brady, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Written: May 18, 2018

sfc models — New working paper

Modeling economic forces, power relations, and stock-flow consistency:a general constrained dynamics approach

by Oliver Richters and Erhard Gloetzl

Abstract: In monetary Stock-Flow Consistent (SFC) models, accountingidentities reduce the number of behavioral functions to avoid anoverdetermined system of equations. We relax this restriction using adifferential algebraic equation framework of constrained dynamics.Agents exert forces on the variables according to their desire, forinstance to gradually improve their utility. The parameter ‘economicpower’ corresponds to their ability to assert their interest. Inanalogy to Lagrangian mechanics, system constraints generate additionalconstraint forces that lead to unintended dynamics. We exemplify theprocedure using a simple SFC model and reveal its implicit assumptionsabout power relations and agents’ preferences.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

RT ‘Way to disaster’: Moscow warns US against deploying WMDs in space, threatens with ‘tough response’

Russia draws a red line for the new US "Space Force" that the President established to ensure US dominance of space. Escalation.

Another treaty about to bite the dust? (Outer Space Treaty of 1967.)

‘Way to disaster’: Moscow warns US against deploying WMDs in space, threatens with ‘tough response’

David William Pear — Why North Korea Can Never Trust the U.S.

It's not so much that the US is "agreement incapable" as that the US has no intention of keeping its agreements, as the historical record shows. They are just a matter of temporary convenience subject to overall national policy, strategy and tactics.

Pear relates a sad story that starts with treaties with Native Americans, leading to the expression, "White man speaks with forked tongue."

Naked Capitalism
Why North Korea Can Never Trust the U.S.
David William Pear

See also

It’s Time To Start Getting Enraged At What Western Imperialists Have Done To Syria
Caitlin Johnstone | Rogue journalist. Bogan socialist. Anarcho-psychonaut. Guerilla poet. Utopia prepper

See also
The US president's opponents in the the upper chamber aim to overturn his carefully constructed compromise with Beijing over the Chinese telecom giant ZTE
China is undoubtedly livid over this instance of the US being agreement-incapable, even before the ink was dry. Why bother negotiating?

Asia Times
A neocon Senate coup against Trump’s foreign policy?

See also

When you don't get your way. I won't be surprised if the US eventually withdraws from the UN entirely.

U.S. to pull out of U.N. human rights body: source
Lesley Wroughton, Steve Holland

John Helmer — Global News Hour Radio, Canada — Little Miss Ukraine Is Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Canada has endorsed US trade warfare against China, Russia, the European Union states, Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela, but registers its dismay when the Trump Administration refuses to give Ottawa an indemnity pass so that it can benefit from the damage inflicted on the others.
Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has accepted a “Diplomat of the Year Award” from Foreign Policy Magazine, a subsidiary of the Washington Post and the Jeffrey Bezos media conglomerate which is sworn to topple President Donald Trump. Freeland’s supporters in the Liberal Party claim she has been exceptionally effective lobbying for Canadian interests in the US. After her lobbying has failed, Freeland claims it is unfair, absurd and illegal for the White House to threaten Canada with penalty duties on steel, aluminium, and cars.
In all common sense what can Canadians expect from the Americans if this is how Canada’s leaders behave?
What was Justin Trudeau thinking when he appointed Chrystia Freeland as foreign minister?

Dances with Bears
John Helmer

Paul Robinson — Strategy Or Improvisation? Predictability Or Unpredictability?

If I had to recommend a single article for foreign policy decision makers to read, it would be Robert Jervis’s 1968 essay ‘Hypotheses on Misperception.’ As I’ve written before, many of the tensions between states derive from misperceptions. People misperceive others; misperceive themselves; and misperceive how they are seen by others. In his article, Jervis hypothesizes 14 misperceptions which are commonly encountered in international politics. Hypothesis number 9 is the following: ‘actors tend to see the behavior of others as more centralized, disciplined, and coordinated than it is.’ Jervis adds that, ‘Further, actors see others as more internally united than they in fact are and generally overestimate the degree to which others are following a coherent policy.’ In my opinion, this is absolutely correct, and we can see a lot of this going on in contemporary analyses of Russia.…
Explaining the "Putin did it" syndrome.

While I think Paul Robinson is correct here, I also think that there is more to it than misperception. There is also the persuasion factor, a key tool in which is creating a focus by demonizing a person or an ideology.

This is much more persuasive that nuanced analysis, since emotion always trumps reason in mass persuasion. So the rhetorical targets are "Putin," "Russia," and "authoritarianism" in whipping up Russophobia.

Strategy Or Improvisation? Predictability Or Unpredictability?
Paul Robinson | Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa

Here is an example of this type of thinking applied to China to "explain" why Trump is right that the US will win a trade war with China, so it is not a big gamble.


Michael Roberts — Brazil: austerity, debt and trade

Michael Roberts reports from Brazil. The emerging economies are under the gun (of the the US).

Michael Roberts Blog
Brazil: austerity, debt and trade
Michael Roberts

Bill Black — Bitcoin Frauds Keep Growing

One of the prime myths that white-collar criminologists have to refute repeatedly is that blockchain makes fraud impossible. Blockchain, in some settings, is a costly means of making some frauds much more difficult. Blockchain is useless against the most important frauds. The primitive worship of blockchain as a supposed garlic capable of warding off evil breeds complacency, and complacency produces increased fraud and greatly extends the life of fraud.…
Sheriff Bill is on the case.

New Economic Perspectives
Bitcoin Frauds Keep Growing
William K. Black | Associate Professor of Economics and Law, UMKC

Ramanan — Pankaj Mishra – The Mask That It Wears

"It" is the so-called liberal world order that anything but.

The Case for Concerted Action
Pankaj Mishra – The Mask That It Wears
V. Ramanan

Bill Mitchell — The ‘truth sandwich’ and the impacts of neoliberalism

On June 15, 2018, the OECD released their report – A Broken Social Elevator? How to Promote Social Mobility – which provided “new evidence on social mobility in the context of increased inequalities of income and opportunities in OECD and selected emerging economies”. If you are still wondering why the mainstream progressive political parties have lost ground in recent years, or why the Italian political landscape has shifted from a struggle between ‘progressive’ and conservative to one between anti-establishment and establishment (the latter including both the traditional progressive and conservative forces which are now virtually indistinguishable) then this evidence will help. It shows categorically that neoliberalism has failed to deliver prosperity for all. While the full employment era unambiguously created a dynamic environment where upward social mobility and declining inequalities in income, wealth, opportunity were the norm, the more recent neoliberal era has deliberately stifled those processes. It is no longer true that ‘all boats rise on a high tide’. The point is that this is a situation that our governments have allowed to arise and which they can alter if they so choose. We should be forcing them to restore the processes that deliver upward mobility. And that is where the “truth sandwich” comes in. Progressive politicians that bang on about ‘taxing the rich to deliver services to the poor’ or who ask ‘where is the money going to come from’ or who claim the ‘bond markets will rebel’ and all the rest of the neoliberal lying drivel should familiarise themselves with the way the sandwich works. It is a very tasty treat if you assemble it properly.
Progressive strategy.

Satyameva Jayate meaning, "Truth alone triumphs" (Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.6). is the national motto of India. It is similar to John 8:32 (NSRV), "and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The ‘truth sandwich’ and the impacts of neoliberalism
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Monday, June 18, 2018

Bill Mitchell – European-wide unemployment insurance proposals – more bunk!

The Europhiles have been tweeting their heads off in the last week or so thinking that the corner has been turned – by which they mean that Germany is about to get all cuddly with France and agree to fundamental shifts in thinking which will make the dysfunctional Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) finally workable, without the need for the ECB to break Treaty law by propping up the private bond markets. The most recent incarnation of the ‘saviour’ is a few words that the new German Finance Minister, Olaf ‘Wolfgang Schäuble’” Scholz said during an interview with Der Spiegel (June 8, 2018) – ‘Germany Has a Special Responsibility’ – about his support for a new unemployment insurance scheme for the Eurozone. It seems even the smallest things excite those who remain in denial about the long-term viability of the common currency. The proposal that Scholz was advancing has been out in the public debate for some years and is nothing like an effective solution to the terminal design flaws in the EMU. It is just an application of the same thinking that led to the creation of that flawed architecture in the first place and reinforces the conclusion that the main players in Eurozone policy setting have no intention of creating an effective federated monetary system. Just more of the same. Tomorrow, the tweets will be extolling the virtues of some other erroneous plan that some Europhile has come up with to save the system. And so it goes.…
The German solution? Create more debt for the South. How magnanimous. Another round of BS in the making.
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Charles Pierson — The Day the US Became an Empire

One could argue that the US has always been an empire. Thomas Jefferson called the US an empire, but an “empire of liberty” dedicated to spreading freedom around the globe. Tell that to the Native Americans killed and dispossessed by White Settlers. Tell that to the Mexicans. The US seized a third of their country through war. Still, it wasn’t until 1898 that the US acquired its first overseas colony.
Hawaii had been an independent nation. In 1887, American planters in the islands had forced a change to the Hawaiian constitution which largely disenfranchised ethnic Hawaiians to the benefit of wealthy Whites. By 1893, with US support, American and European businessmen on the islands had staged a coup d’êtat, overthrowing the monarchy,[1] and establishing a Republic of Hawai’i; from there, they maneuvered for Hawaii’s annexation in 1898. That same year, Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam would be gathered into the fledgling American Empire, fruits of the US victory in the Spanish-American War....
"Thomas Jefferson called the US an empire, but an 'empire of liberty' dedicated to spreading freedom around the globe." This is the basis of liberal internationalism, liberal interventionism, and neoliberal globalization under American "leadership."

The Day the US Became an Empire
Charles Pierson

Michael Snyder - The Real Economic Numbers: 21.5 Percent Unemployment, 10 Percent Inflation and Negative Economic Growth

Maybe socialism in the 1970's wasn't so bad after all. KV 

In the USA, "the percentage of the population that is employed has barely budged since the depths of the last recession."
"According to John Williams, if honest numbers were being used the unemployment rate would actually be 21.5 percent today.

"The government has simply been moving people from the 'officially unemployed' category to the 'not in the labor force' category for many, many years.

"If we use the government's own numbers, there are nearly 102 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now.

"That is higher than it was at any point during the last recession."

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Caitlin Johnstone — Mattis: Putin Is Trying To “Undermine America’s Moral Authority”

Hear, hear!

America needs no help in destroying its soft power and moral standing in the world. It's doing that just great all on its own.

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
Mattis: Putin Is Trying To “Undermine America’s Moral Authority”
Caitlin Johnstone

Publius Tacitus — DOJ IG, Horowitz, Fails to Admit What He Proves

IG Horowitz is adopting a very narrow legal interpretation while opting to give DOJ and FBI officials the benefit of the doubt. In other words, unless he was presented with "documents" or "testimony" that political bias was influencing decisions, Horowitz decided to assume that everyone was acting in good faith. I suspect this was introduced into his draft by DOJ and FBI reviewers who were alarmed at the obvious conclusion an objective reader would reach if they only read the facts-the DOJ and FBI were crooked…
When I worked with the CIA we used to call this No Shit Analysis. Thank you Captain Obvious. Why in the world would you assign the same people who were working on the Hillary Clinton investigation on the Trump/Russia Collusion investigation when both cases were still active? This is more than a problem of appearance. This is circumstantial evidence of an attempted political coup. I give Horowitz credit for at least putting this fact on the record. But his refusal to call this out for what it is can be attributed to his caution of not appearing to be partisan....
Sic Semper Tyrannis
DOJ IG, Horowitz, Fails to Admit What He Proves
Publius Tacitus

Anthony Patt — How Changing My Economic Model Made Me a Climate Change Optimist

Neo-classical economics doesn’t offer useful insights for disruption.
How Changing My Economic Model Made Me a Climate Change Optimist
Anthony Patt | Professor of Climate Policy at ETH Zurich, the author of Transforming Energy: Solving Climate Change with Technology Policy (Cambridge Univ. Press 2015), and a Coordinating Lead Author for Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Brian Romanchuk — Money Demand Has Very Little To Do With Recessions

One often encounters assertions that recessions are the result of an excess demand for money (or some variant), based on various equilibrium arguments. Although one could superficially interpret recessions in such a fashion, the issue is that this interpretation does not help analyse the business cycle. In other words, it is a non-falsifiable statement that offers no useful information. In my view, discussions involving "money" or "safe assets" provide us an example regarding the limited usefulness of mainstream economic theory for business cycle analysis.
Bond Economics
Money Demand Has Very Little To Do With Recessions
Brian Romanchuk

Matthew A. Benton — Revitalizing the Epistemology of Religion [or Economics]

Read this as though it were about economics rather than religion.

OUP Blog
Revitalizing the Epistemology of Religion
Matthew A. Benton |  Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Seattle Pacific University

FBI biased against Job Guaranty

Bias against guaranteed employment plainly evidenced in the report.  This from the IG report out this week where FBI Attorney tries to comfort FBI Attorney 2:

Trump's supporters are all poor to middle class, uneducated, lazy POS that think he will magically grant them jobs for doing nothing. 

Don't be looking for any political support for the JG from the Deep State...

Friday, June 15, 2018

Pepe Escobar — The key word in the Trump-Kim show

Pepe gets this absolutely correct. Most US-centric analysts have missed the obvious. 

As I wrote previously, this is about the the US getting out of the way while North and South Korea work on a peace agreement and North Korea opens up to the world economy as China did under Deng. 

Kim has been wanting to do this for some time, but the US establishment and hardliners in South Korea have been obstacles. Those obstacles are receding under Moon and Trump. Peace in the area is actually in sight as long as hardliners in the US and South Korea don't manage to disrupt the process.

While the Kim-Trump summit did not produce a binding agreement, I would say that the outcome is somewhat similar to a letter of intent in business. It is an intent to begin a process of escalation on all sides. In it North Korea and the US affirm the Panmunjom Declaration that Kim and Moon signed on to previously. 

Hopefully, this will lead to formal agreements that will likely involve treaties, most importantly a peace treaty between the North and South that brings the Korean War to a close.

This was not actually negotiated by Kim and Trump at their summit. The negotiations had already taken place in the preceding weeks and the summit was just the political theater to "sell" it. 

It was important for Kim and Trump to meet, however, since they will have to work together with each other, as well as Moon, Xi, Abe and Putin since South Korea, China, Japan and Russia are interested parties in the outcome on the Korean Peninsula.

Asia Times
The key word in the Trump-Kim show
Pepe Escobar

Editorial — The Guardian view on the NHS cash boost: pay for it with deficit spending

Stephanie Kelton figures prominently. Short read.

The Guardian — Editorial
The Guardian view on the NHS cash boost: pay for it with deficit spending

Links — 15 June 2018

Not too much new going on in geopolitics, political economy or economics that is relevant or commentary worth citing.

So here are some links of interest for weekend reading and some listening, too.

It has successfully predicted many particles, including the Higgs Boson, and has led to 55 Nobels so far, but there’s plenty it still can’t account for….
Could the answers to those questions lie in extra dimensions, or string theory, or some other theory that hasn’t even been conceived yet? It’s possible, but without experimental proof, it’s easy to get carried away.…
… the 50th birthday party for the Standard Model was one not to miss. It made me wonder what sort of party will be organized for its 100th. Will the speakers lecture on the solution to dark energy, or laugh at our current ideas, or still be puzzling over the answer? Will gravity be brought into the Standard Model family, or remain an outcast? It will be interesting to see if even “the most successful theory ever conceived” will stand firm over the coming years, or whether physicists will find themselves modifying it in the future.
Scientific American
The Standard Model (of Physics) at 50
Yvette Cendes | astronomer at the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto


It you are not already aware of Open Culture, it is a great resource.

I did not realize that Hildegard of Bingen was the first composer in the modern sense. 

She was world class in several other fields in addition to being a mystic. 

Hildegard was given the title of Doctor of the Church in 2012, joining Teresa of Avila (1970), Catherine of Siena (1970),  and Thérèse_of_Lisieux (1997)  among females thus honored, although the honor was conferred rather late.

Music was a sideline for her. Pretty amazing woman.

Open Culture
Experience the Mystical Music of Hildegard Von Bingen: The First Known Composer in History (1098 – 1179)
Josh Jones

A British elite challenged by large parts of the British population is rallying around trumped-up fear of Russia as a means of protecting its interests, as Alexander Mercouris explains.
Long and detailed. Could serve as an outline for a book.

It's also downloadable as a PDF. Scroll down to the bottom.

Consortium News
Letter From Britain: An Establishment Blinded By Russophobia
Alexander Mercouris