Friday, January 22, 2021

Newly declassified documents, the British saw Trump as their "main opponent"

Donald Trump’s presidency would do unmitigated damage to the U.S./U.K 'special relationship,' would be absolutely hostile to British interests, and had to be defeated through Steele’s participation in the Russiagate disinformation campaign."


Heisenberger Report — Here’s An Idea: Put People To Work & Print Money To Pay Them

Job guarantee, but no mention of sources.

Heisenberger Report
Here’s An Idea: Put People To Work & Print Money To Pay Them 

Fauci says it's 'liberating' working under Biden — Jonathan Easley

I can tell you I take no pleasure at all in being in a situation of contradicting the president, so it was really something that you didn’t feel you could actually say something and there wouldn’t be any repercussions about it,” he said. “The idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know, what the evidence and science is, and know that’s it — let the science speak — it is somewhat of a liberating feeling.”...
The Hill
Fauci says it's 'liberating' working under Biden
Jonathan Easley

McConnell, Heavily Funded by Wall Street, Is Blocking Seating of Democrats as Senate Committee Chairs — Pam and Russ Martens

Finance capital rules!

Wall Street On Parade
McConnell, Heavily Funded by Wall Street, Is Blocking Seating of Democrats as Senate Committee Chairs
Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Australians could soon be deprived of Google’s ubiquitous search engine, with the web behemoth threatening to cut off service should lawmakers pass a hot-button measure forcing tech firms to cough up revenue to media outlets.

As Australian legislators continue to debate the controversial law – which would compel internet platforms to hand over a cut of revenues to press agencies for sharing their content – Google stepped into the fray on Friday, insisting the move would make its operations unfeasible in the country.
Internet growing pains.

Realizing the Dream of Communal Cities: A Conversation with Jennifer Lemus and José Luis Sifontes Cira Pascual Marquina

Spokespeople from one of Venezuela’s flagship communes discuss the building of a communal city and the path towards Chávez’s communal state.…

I believe that it is very important to understand that Bolivarian socialism is built from below, from the bases. It is not imposed by decree, and that is why it must express itself as a government that responds to the interests of the people.

The communal government – constituted by the people, by the pueblo, by the spokespeople of the communal councils and the communes – will create communal cities with an even wider horizon: the new communal state.

In other words, the communal city cannot be understood as an end in itself. The communal city is part of a progressive process. After that comes the grouping of various communal cities, the confederation of communes... and all this will give birth to the new communal state, which is the strategic objective! ...
Realizing the Dream of Communal Cities: A Conversation with Jennifer Lemus and José Luis Sifontes
Cira Pascual Marquina

The Next Neoliberal President… — Thomas Neuburger

Before you go wild celebrating the new administration (unless you are among the 1%). The Swamp and the Borg won.

Naked Capitalism
The Next Neoliberal President…
Thomas Neuburger
Originally published at DownWithTyranny!

See also

MR Online (maybe not as obnoxious as Mike Pompeo, but cut of the same cloth)
Biden’s ‘Secretary of State for regime change’ indicates no change in U.S. foreign policy
Originally published: The Morning Star (January 20, 2021)


Strategic Culture Foundation
President Biden’s New Administration, Old Aggression


Johnston' Russia List
Biden Administration Set to Challenge Russia Across the Southern Caucasus, Sitnikov Says


Reminiscence of the Future
Andrei Martyanov


Russiagate Ain’t Over
Joe Lauria

Lars P. Syll — How Richard Posner became a Keynesian

 Judge Richard Posner used to be a hard-nosed Chicago School jurist and legal theorist. Until he actually read the General Theory. While this is old news, it is worth rereading and if you haven't seen it yet, reading for the first time.

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
How Richard Posner became a Keynesian
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

Ding Zhen and the Myth of the True Khampa Man — Xu Jun

While this is a human-interest story about Tibet, it is also significant for two other related reason.

The first is that the Chinese are learning to capitalize their rich cultures, for example, through adventure tourism.

The second is that they have their own "cowboy" myths, which some of the subcultures fit very well. This post is about one of them.

Most Westerns are likely familiar with this through martial arts films, the Samurai films of Japan, and the Kung Fu films of China (mostly Hong Kong). This is a similar but different dimension.

Sixth Tone
Ding Zhen and the Myth of the True Khampa Man
Xu Jun | professor at the Center for Tibetan Studies of Sichuan University

Covid cases rolling over


Good sign here... and that this is happening in middle of winter.... maybe mRNA vax on top of antibodies finally disrupting transmission...  I’m assuming this is opposite of what is happening in Europe...

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Galileo’s Dialogue


Galileo’s stuff apparently was presented as dialogue in 1632....  nothing changed for centuries.... still riding horses for centuries.... slave labor..., .. obviously didn’t work... dialogic method still doesn’t work today... but Art Degree people keep trying to employ it expecting a different result...


Why Russia & Belarus Are Not Irrational to Fear Another ‘Operation Barbarossa’ — Eric Zuesse

Balance of power is based on parity. US policy is dominance. Dominance is about submission. 

The quest for dominance is leading to an arms race involving Russia and China. While neither Russia nor China wants to engage in an arms race, the economic incentive for the US to do so is strong owing to the MIC and military Keynesianism.

Strategic Culture Foundation
Why Russia & Belarus Are Not Irrational to Fear Another ‘Operation Barbarossa’
Eric Zuesse

SouthFront — After 12 Years Of Deliberations, ECHR Concludes Georgia Began Hostilities Against Russia In August 2008

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has declared unfounded the accusations of Georgia against Russia in connection with the events of August 2008 in South Ossetia, the press service of the Russian Ministry of Justice reported.

It is noted that on January 21st, the decision of the Grand Chamber of the ECHR on the interstate complaint “Georgia against Russia (II)” was published, the subject of which is the events of August 2008 in South Ossetia and their consequences.

The Court asserted that since August 12, 2008, “strong Russian presence and the South Ossetian and Abkhazian authorities’ dependency on the Russian Federation indicated that there had been continued “effective control” over South Ossetia and Abkhazia.”

After almost 12 years of trial, the ECHR ruled that Russia should not be held accountable under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms for incidents that occurred when Russian servicemen repulsed an attack by the Georgian army on the peacekeeping contingent and local civilian population during the events in South Ossetia.

The court also did not support Tbilisi’s statements about the alleged invasion of the Russian army into the territory of South Ossetia on August 7, 2008, that is, the day before the start of the Georgian aggression.

As Russian Deputy Minister of Justice Mikhail Halperin noted, Georgia tried to prove that the European Convention on Human Rights is applied not only in peacetime, but also during hostilities, which contradicts the foundations of international humanitarian law.…

The ECHR has also established numerous violations of the Convention by Russia and ruled: …
As such, despite years of accusations by the US and Co., it was established that Georgia was actually the side that began the hostilities that led to the two-day war of 2008 between Tbilisi and Moscow.

After 12 Years Of Deliberations, ECHR Concludes Georgia Began Hostilities Against Russia In August 2008

Moon of Alabama — The Number Of Uyghurs Has Trippled - The U.S. Calls It A Genocide - Propaganda Fails To Explain It

A different story.

Moon of Alabama
The Number Of Uyghurs Has Trippled - The U.S. Calls It A Genocide - Propaganda Fails To Explain It

Book Review: The Making of US Empire at the Dawning of Its End — Pepe Escobar

As the Exceptional Empire gets ready to brave a destructive – and self-destructive – new cycle, with dire, unforeseen consequences bound to reverberate across the world, now more than ever it is absolutely essential to go back to the imperial roots.

The task is fully accomplished by Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy , by Stephen Wertheim, Deputy Director of Research and Policy at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and a research scholar at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University.

Here, in painstaking detail, we can find when, why and especially who shaped the contours of US “internationalism” in a roomful of mirrors always disguising the real, ultimate aim: Empire.

Wertheim’s book was superbly reviewed by Prof. Paul Kennedy. Here we will concentrate on the crucial plot twists taking place throughout 1940. Wertheim’s main thesis is that the fall of France in 1940 – and not Pearl Harbor – was the catalyzing event that led to the full Imperial Hegemony design.

This is not a book about the U.S. industrial-military complex or the inner workings of American capitalism and finance capitalism. It is extremely helpful as it sets up the preamble to the Cold War era. But most of all, it is gripping intellectual history, revealing how American foreign policy was manufactured by the real flesh and blood actors that count: the economic and political planners congregated by the arch-influential Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the conceptual core of the imperial matrix....
The Unz Review
The Making of US Empire at the Dawning of Its End
Pepe Escobar

See also

Strategic Culture Foundation
Pompeo’s Last Stand
Strategic Culture Foundation
Philip Giraldi, former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer, now Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest and founding member of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity


New on Venezuelanalysis
Venezuela: Biden to Endorse Guaido After Trump Issues Parting Sanctions
Ricardo Vaz

A Reminder from Berlin — Peter Radford

 I would not lay the issues entirely at the feet of economics, but Peter Radford has a point worth considering.

As I have been saying, it is impossible to approach most interesting and important issues in life with without a systems view, which necessitates improving this view with feedback as the natural sciences do. 

Conventional economics pretends to be a natural science but has no comprehensive systems view of a subject matter that is social and political as well as economic. The result is as Peter Radford asserts. Disaster.

BTW, the MMT approach doesn't fix this either since it is analysis of a narrow subject matter. It lays a foundation but a superstructure needs to be built on that foundation of institutional analysis of monetary production societies (note: not "economies").

The Radford Free Press
See also
The dominance of Big Tech and other ‘superstar’ firms’ has put market power back on the agenda of politicians, as well as in research. But although oligopoly markets have been introduced in macroeconomic and trade models, this is mostly in the context of a very large ‘continuum’ of sectors such that a firm has market power in its sector but no influence on the wider economy. This column argues that it is high time that oligopoly is integrated fully into the macroeconomics toolbox.
Xavier Vives must have tenure.
Xavier Vives, Professor of Economics and Finance and Academic Director of the Public-Private Sector Research Center at IESE Business School.
Originally published at VoxEU


Tech Companies Worry About Becoming Targets
Ashley Gold

More violence scheduled


Hey left morons there are new assaults imminent!  Better get on it!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Macho Man threatens the Hulkster


Hey you idiot left guys here better warn the Hulkster that Macho Man is threatening his safety here!  Get on it looks serious!

The Day of Reckoning

Oh, my! American politics.

Trump leaves QAnon and the online MAGA world crushed and confused
Tina Nguyen and Mark Scott

QAnon Faithful Believed Biden Would Never Be President. Now They’re Shocked, Heartbroken, And Angry.
Paul McLeod

The Guardian — World
QAnon's 'Great Awakening' failed to materialize. What's next could be worse
Julia Carrie Wong


The Vineyard of the Saker
Zone B exists, thus there is hope, I promise you!
The Saker


Sic Semper Tyrannis
Larry Johnson: Why Doesn't the Republican Establishment Understand the Meaning of Betrayal


The Hill
McConnell faces conservative backlash over Trump criticism
Jordain Carney

My new podcast is out.

Links — 20 Jan 2021

Sixth Tone (the reformed CCP)
The Decades-Old Move That Got the CCP Through the COVID-19 Crisis
Zhou Kai

Navalny is a power-hungry, unpopular politician: not Russia's Mandela
Johanna Ross, journalist based in Edinburgh, Scotland

Paul Robinson | Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa

Western Companies Abandon Russia-Led Nord Stream 2 Project
Tsvetana Paraskova

Progress in Political Economy (long)
Revisiting Neoliberalism and Democracy in a Time of Crisis
David Primrose

economic intersect
An Open Letter to President Biden
Frank Li | Chinese ex-pat, Founder and President of W.E.I. (West-East International), a Chicago-based import & export company, B.E. from Zhejiang University (China) in 1982, M.E. from the University of Tokyo in 1985, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1988, all in Electrical Engineering

Full text: Joe Biden inauguration speech transcript

The Week
Biden's inaugural poet wants to run for president in 2036
Jeva Lange

The Internet Versus Democracy — Stephen S. Roach

More paradoxes of liberalism. What happens when freedom is not balanced by responsibility and rights with duties? It's increasingly on display in the US.

Project Syndicate
The Internet Versus Democracy
Stephen S. Roach, a faculty member at Yale University and former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia

See also at PS

Without realizing it, Jeffrey Sachs pits a particular view of liberalism against various traditionalisms, assuming that liberalism is a quasi-religious dogma*, whereas many traditionalisms are based on actual religious dogma. For example, he speaks critically of Vladimir Putin's support of the Russian Orthodox Church. Moreover, a significant portion of Donald Trump's most focal supporters were Christian Evangelicals that also support Israel's hard-right government.

It doesn't take a genius to see where this is heading. These are red lines.

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, is Director of Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Development and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

* Liberalism was fashioned in Europe as a secular replacement for Christendom, when the latter fell from political power subsequent to the Protestant Reformation and the religious wars that shook Europe thereafter. At the time, thought, liberalism was not yet secular humanism in that many if not most liberals were at least Deists if not members of a normative institutional religion. They just wanted religion out of governance.

Marxism was similarly fashioned as a secular replacement of the religious-based political system in Europe, which was then transferred to Russia, where the Russian Orthodox Church held sway, and also to China, where Confucianism was predominant. Since then Putin has made peace with the Russian Orthodox Church and Xi with Confucianism.
See also
The events at the US Capitol earlier this month echo important moments in history where rioters protesting the state include former veterans and political heroes. This column uses novel evidence on extreme right-wing supporters and Nazi collaborators in France to show how democratic values can be undermined by exogenous networks of influential individuals, including military heroes. Heroes are specially positioned to widen the ‘Overton window’ and legitimise views previously considered deeply repugnant. Social networks of individuals sharing such an identity can transmit and reinforce this influence, leading to escalating commitments that entrench political positions and make debiasing more difficult.
The good old Overton window.

Heroes and villains: How networks of influential individuals helped destroy one of the world’s most durable democracies and legitimise a racist, authoritarian stateJulia Cagé, Anna Dagorret, Pauline Grosjean, Saumitra Jha

Same-o, same-o. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Biden will recognize Guaido as Venezuela’s leader, top diplomat

RT — Alibaba’s Jack Ma issues video message, ending nearly 3-month ‘disappearance’ after a run-in with Chinese regulators

Chinese businessman Jack Ma has appeared via video link, delivering a speech at an awards event for rural teachers, weeks after the Alibaba co-founder disappeared from public view, following a dispute with regulators.

The high-profile entrepreneur delivered a virtual address during the Jack Ma Rural Teachers Award ceremony on Wednesday morning.

China’s entrepreneurs must help to promote “rural revitalization and common prosperity,” Ma told the group of educators, adding: “We'll meet again when the [Covid-19] epidemic is over.” The state-run Global Times published a 50-second clip of his remarks. The Jack Ma Foundation confirmed that the businessman had taken part in the ceremony, an annual event started in 2015 that honors educators in rural areas.
Looks like Jack Ma went through some "re-education." Maybe other countries should adopt this "program" for their billionaires.

Actually, Ja Ma is a member of the CCP, which is an elite organization that demands actual performance, and he has been socially responsible in general in addition to being a wildly successful entrepreneur and innovator. So this is not a significant change for him. He as long been committed to improving the lot of ordinary Chinese and is looked upon favorably by most people.

But he stepped over a line in calling financial regulators fuddy-duddies for resisting his financialization scheme that would have popularized easy credit. What could go wrong with that? As the regulators were no doubt thinking, "lots." Of course, Jack Ma is being paraded as a victim in the West. 

Alibaba’s Jack Ma issues video message, ending nearly 3-month ‘disappearance’ after a run-in with Chinese regulators

Sputnik International Welcoming New Co-Host — John Kiriakou

Sputnik bulks up.

Sputnik International
Welcoming New Co-Host John Kiriakou

First Asian-American VP

 First Asian-American, in addition to being the first Black and female, American vide-president.

 "Kamala" means "lotus-flower" in Sanskrit and Prakrit (derivative) languages.

Sputnik International
Kamala Harris' Ancestral Village in India Decks Out in Festive Colours Ahead of Her Swearing-in

Al Jazeera
Indian village cheers for Kamala Harris before US inauguration

Photos: Indians root for Kamala Harris, next US vice president

Blinken’s diplomatic cart will have a bumpy ride — M.K. Bhadrakumar

Blinken acknowledged that the US must set an example at home on what it preaches abroad. He also stressed the need for “humility”. But he insisted nonetheless that the US’ global leadership “still matters” since the world is incapable of organising itself “when we’re not leading,” as some other country may usurp America’s lead role impacting “our interests and values”, or, simply, chaos may follow!

Now, that’s an extraordinary boast so soon after the Capitol Riots whose leitmotif was Chaos in capital “C”. Blinken made a laughable claim. But it also betrays delusional thinking. At any rate, Blinken has pledged to “revitalise American diplomacy” and address the challenges of “rising nationalism, reseeding democracy, growing rivalry from China, and Russia and other authoritarian states, mounting threats to a stable and open international system and a technological revolution that is reshaping every aspect of our lives, especially in cyberspace.”
Got that? "Delusional." His word, not mine.

India Punchline
Blinken’s diplomatic cart will have a bumpy ride
M.K. Bhadrakumar | retired diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service.
India Punchline

So, what is MMT? — Richard Murphy

Joe Weisenthal at Bloomberg has been spearheading understanding of MMT. You will need a Bloomberg account to click through to see the whole thing.

Tax Research UK
So, what is MMT?
Richard Murphy | Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City University, London; Director of Tax Research UK; non-executive director of Cambridge Econometrics, and a member of the Progressive Economy Forum

Bill Mitchell — The pandemic is demonstrating that we can resist neoliberalism

Good read on neoliberal, the scourge of our time, as the state is directed to the furtherance of the interests of capital over public purpose, disadvantaging people and the environment. It is a reminder that capitalism as a socio-economic system is based on the state favoring capital (accumulation of real and financial private property) over labor (the vast majority of people) and land (the environment and ecology). The consequences are now leading to disaster.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The pandemic is demonstrating that we can resist neoliberalism
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

See also

This post reviews Ntina Tzouvala’s recently published Capitalism as Civilisation: A History of International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020).

Also at MR

Largest protests on record globally have resulted from farmer resistance to this policy of the Indian government.
We are witnessing a bizarre situation. One comes across instances where consumers want growing of food crops for supplying to the public distribution system, while producers, lured by the apparent gains of shifting to cash crops, are reluctant to do so. The government has to mediate between these conflicting interests. But in India at present, the farmers have no desire to shift from food crops, even as consumers want food crops to be supplied through the public distribution system. There is no conflict of interest among them that the government has to mediate between. And, yet, it is imposing a shift on farmers from food to cash crops that would destroy the public distribution system.

Such a shift is precisely what the agricultural legislations aim to bring about. Government economists defending the laws have been emphasizing the benefits of such a shift. The government here is not mediating in a conflict of interests among the people; it has, apparently, its own interest, which it is imposing on the people, on farmers and consumers alike, against which the farmers are agitating in the bitter cold of Delhi. It is a bizarre case of government versus the people at large, not people versus people.

Likewise, the farmers are unanimous in rejecting contract farming; and, yet, the government is pushing contract farming through these bills, ostensibly in the farmers’ interest. Again, it is a case not of the government responding to the demand from any section of the people; it has apparently its own interest which it is imposing on the people.
But what could be its own interest?...

While it is obvious that its own interest coincides with the interest of corporates and international agribusiness, the government’s answer would be that it is upholding the ‘national interest’. Corporate interest is thus identified with ‘national interest’. This has been the hallmark of the Narendra Modi regime, and it is symptomatic of the Corporate-Hindutva alliance of which Modi is the architect and which keeps him in power....

The patriots
Prabhat Patnaik | Indian Marxist economist and political commentator, Professor (retired) at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning in the School of Social Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi (1974-2010) and formerly vice-chairman of Kerala State Planning Board (2006-2011)Originally published: Telegraph India (January 13, 2021)


Peoples Dispatch
“Women will continue to lead the struggle against farm laws”

How American Bankrupted its Cities - The Growth Ponzi Scheme

 This is the 3rd video in the Strong Towns series, and is probably the most important core topic: the fact that American car-dependant cities are financially insolvent, and function like a Ponzi scheme. This is the reason most American cities are bankrupt.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

You Can’t ‘Just Build Your Own Twitter’ — Robert Mariani

We’re seeing the beginnings of what unambiguous power looks like. Corporate donors are dropping the GOP, throwing away an intimate, decades-long DD/lg relationship. But perhaps more important is the wave of unprecedented internet censorship that included the digital death penalty for Trump and his allies, and also for any users who continue to make claims of election fraud. This was seemingly coordinated among the entire now-private public square, and private companies are of course allowed to do whatever they want.

Average Joe might feel like he’s living on the edge of a knife. Don’t like it? Why not just create your own social media website that competes with Twitter in moderation policies? This is America, right?

But to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. Here are the interconnecting layers of the internet that you’ll need to recreate yourself....
The American Conservative
You Can’t ‘Just Build Your Own Twitter’
Robert Mariani

Links — 19 Jan 2021

The Hill (Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey released on Tuesday)
Two-thirds say the election was fair: poll
Julia Manchester

Sputnik International (Let's see how Biden does.)
Trump's Farewell Address: 'Especially Proud' to Be 1st President 'in Decades' With 'No New Wars'

The Last Refuge
President Donald J Trump Delivers a Farewell Address – Video and Transcript

Zero Hedge (~30% of Republicans are die-hard Trump supporters)
McConnell Sparks GOP-Split Talk, Claims "Mob Was Fed Lies...Provoked By Trump"
Tyler Durden

"The mob was fed lies": McConnell says Trump "provoked" Capitol mob
Ursula Perano

Trump's 'dereliction of duty' on January 6 underscores his 'insurrectionist intentions': conservatives
Alex Henderson

The American Conservative (picking up Trump's mantle)
Tucker Carlson Makes His First Post-Trump Play
Tal Axelred

The Week (white supremacist?)
Mike Pompeo claims 'multiculturalism' is anti-American
Tim O'Donnell


Axios (the consequences of leaving a trail)
The FBI is tracing a digital trail to Capitol rioters
Sara Fischer 

The Hill (Only 12? That's encouraging, actually)
FBI Vetting Leads to Removal of 12 National Guard Members From Inauguration Duty

The Hill
Virginia police accused of seizing only Black protesters' firearms at pro-gun event
Zack Budryk

Politico (first woman and first African American to head force)
The acting Capitol Police chief’s tough task
Maya King

American Thinker (the non-loyal opposition)
Stop the Steal
Rick Fuentes

The Hill
Trump seeks to box-in Biden with executive actions
Brett Samuels

Joe Biden is about to inherit a Trump-style 'deep state': reporters
Alex Henderson 

The Hill
GOP Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene referred to Parkland school shooting as 'false flag' event on Facebook
Lexi Lonas

PPE (Piketty called attention to use of literature in economics)
Marx As A Reader Of Dickens
Gavin Edwards

Political Posturing [and Inflation] — Brian Romanchuk

I am in awkward position with respect to political economy. I believe it is important, but do not like writing about it. (This can be explained that my unusual political biases probably only make a handful of people happy, which is not a great marketing strategy.) However, if we want to talk about the multi-year prospects for inflation, we need to dip into politics....
Bond Economics
Political Posturing
Brian Romanchuk

The "China threat" to US global dominance in the Biden Adminstration

Although [incoming Secretary of State Antony] Blinken acknowledged US President Donald Trump was "right in taking a tougher approach to China," he stressed that he "very much" disagreed with the manner in which the president went about the matter.

"The basic principal was the right one," he remarked.

The nominee also informed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that there is a strong enough foundation in place that could help to build a bipartisan policy on China....
Sputnik International
There Is 'No Doubt' China Poses Most Significant Challenge to US, Blinken Says

See also
The Joe Biden administration has already made its intentions clear about reversing, through a series of executive orders, some of the policies of the Trump administration. The new regime is well poised to reverse the over-all course of the previous regime. This includes not only domestic policies, but foreign relations as well. During the Trump era, China was the main focus of Washington’s global “trade war.” While the Democrats did criticize this war, their disagreement was only over war tactics and not the war itself. They agreed in principal that the US does need to counter China. It is, therefore, logical to see the Biden administration returning with a new strategy to tackle the rise of China. The new strategy, however, is not really ‘new’; it is only a return to the Obama era “Asia Pivot” policy, an idea that involved a major shift in the way the US would previously position itself in the Indo-Pacific region. It involved an enhanced military and naval deployment in this region and proposed to counter China militarily. “Asia Pivot” was to serve as the linchpin of US presence in the region. It was as much about countering the ‘China threat’ as about maintaining US supremacy....
What is wrong with these people, off on another fools errand that will further weaken the US position in the world. No one is fooled by selective faux outrage over "human rights," or "American exceptionalism", or the "superiority of Western civilization" as anything but subterfuge for projection of power and world domination.

NEO — A Journal of Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Joe Biden’s “Asia Pivot 2.0” is Already Here
Salman Rafi Sheikh, research scholar at the National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan

Baghdad on the Potomac: Welcome to the Blue Zone — Pepe Escobar

The season opening of the Joe and Kammy Regime Change Show could not be a more appropriate roomful of mirrors reflecting the self-described US “political elite”.

During the 2000s, I came face to face with Baghdad’s Green Zone multiple times. I always stayed, and worked, in the hyper-volatile Red Zone – as you may check in my 2007 book Red Zone Blues.

We knew then that blowback would be inevitable.

But still, we could never have imagined such a graphic simulacrum: the Green Zone fully replicated in the heart of imperial D.C. – complete with walls, barbed wire, multiple checkpoints, heavily armed guards.

That is even more significant because it ends a full “new world order” geopolitical cycle: the empire started bombing – and cluster bombing – Iraq 30 years ago...
In short, karma is a bitch.

Momentum: A Week in China, by Godfree Roberts — Godfree Roberts

I edit a newsletter for the 22,000 US companies doing business in China, covering the economy, trade, society, governance, geopolitics, health, BRI, defense, and current events. Opinion pieces provide perspectives usually absent from our media. In the process of assembling each issue, it dawned on me that the Chinese accomplish more in an average week than do we in a year. Let me show you what I mean:
China rising. The dragon flexs its wings. 

See also

China's 2020 per capita disposable income doubles from 2010 level

See also

No limits for Russian-Chinese cooperation, says Beijing

The National Interest
Joe Biden’s Pick of Victoria Nuland Means Relations with Russia Could Get Worse
Mark Episkopos, a national security reporter for the National Interest

Bill Mitchell — Comical claims by mainstream economists that the facts have changed

Last week, I wrote this blog post – OECD is apparently now anti austerity – warning, the leopard hasn’t changed its spots (January 12, 2021) – which warned against accepting the idea the growing number of mainstream economists, who were now advocating fiscal dominance, was evidence of a fundamental shift in New Keynesian thinking about macroeconomics. The reality is that they haven’t really shifted much at all and Max Planck’s postulate that paradigms shift one funeral at a time remains true. There are very few cases where the senior members of a dominant paradigm, voluntarily abandon their views when the evidence becomes overwhelmingly against them. They iterate, they declare ad hoc anomalies, they try to voice ideas that a new rival paradigm is articulating which resonate better with the data. This sort of strategy is common across academic disciplines which are under assault from a combination of poor predictive performance (data incongruity) and the arrival of a more convincing alternative paradigm. It is in full swing in macroeconomics now. But don’t believe these characters are suddenly accepting Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and realising their previous belief system was never a sound way of characterising our fiat monetary systems. If you dig you discover these characters remain charlatans and will do almost anything to maintain their status as the dominant economists....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Comical claims by mainstream economists that the facts have changed
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

The Core Significance of Taxation and Currency Sovereignty in a Nutshell — Peter Cooper

A government with the authority to tax can ensure acceptance of a particular currency. By nominating a currency in which income and wealth are to be assessed, and imposing taxes that can only be paid in the nominated currency, the government establishes a demand for the currency.

This is true whether the government issues its own currency or instead adopts a currency issued by some other entity.

But a government that adopts somebody else’s currency is reduced to the status of mere currency user and, as a consequence, faces financial constraints similar to those that bind private households and firms....

Succinct statement of fiscal power arising from currency user holding currency monopoly and exercising it for public purpose. As long as government stays within the bounds of available real resources and doesn't generate price pressure, price stability would not become an issue.

This understanding could be the basis for national policy such the American School developed by Alexander Hamilton and later Friedrich List, for example. However, the world no longer being on a metals standard, the need for tariffs would be simply for protection of national assets, e.g, national self-sufficiency in vital areas or developing sectors. 

The US could undertake a managed industrial policy explicitly, although it already does to an extent, for example, through military spending that flows to private firms and then on into the economy. Then, there is also DARPA.

For example, the US could take advantage of the economic truism that imports are real benefits at full employment by picking up the slack in employment owing to importing embedded labor through employment creation programs including a universal employment guarantee to mop up residual unemployment and provide work during transition.

China is now using a modification of this economic policy that America used during its developmental stage. However, China does not let its currency float freely but rather manages its value relative to the dollar, which limits Chinese economic policy to some extent.

Russia, on the other hand, floated the ruble when it initially came under attack by the US to influence its behavior. As a result, US economic warfare was not effective in changing Russian behavior.

Alex Herne - Is Bitcoin a Scam?

 The experienced trader might be able to hedge his bets against inflation, but for everyone else, it's too risky, says, Alex Herne. 

In 2013 James Howells threw out a computer hard drive containing bitcoin. Last week he again asked his local council for permission to dig for it at his local dump as he believes it is now worth about £200m. The Guardian’s UK technology editor, Alex Hern, looks at the rise of bitcoin and whether it should be banned

The Guardian Podcast 

Alex Herne - Is Bitcoin a Scam?

Monday, January 18, 2021

Links — 18 Jan 2021

RT — Question More (Doh)
Despair, depression, and the inevitable rise of Trump 2.0
Chris Hedges interviews Glenn Greenwald

Slate (Russia!)
FBI Investigating if Capitol Rioter Stole Laptop From Pelosi’s Office to Sell to Russia
Daniel Politi

MintPress News (Speading freedom and democracy? No way)
By ‘Force and Fraud’: Is This the End of the US Democracy Doctrine?
Ramzy Baroud

Sputnik International
Lavrov: West's Reaction to Navalny Detention Meant to Distract Attention From Crisis of Liberalism

Slate (The color revolution begins. Let's see how far it gets.)

Top Iranian commander mocks Washington as US armed forces on alert for American attackers during Biden’s inauguration

Dostoevsky warned of the strain of nihilism that infects Donald Trump and his movement
Ani Kokobobo

Off the rails: Trump mainlines election conspiracies as Oval Office descends into madness
Jonathan Swan

Crooks and Liars
Bill Barr To Trump: Your 'Clownish' Legal Team Is Lying And Your Voter Fraud Claims Are 'Bullsh*t'
John Amato

Members of House and Senate fear for their safety away from a hardened Capitol
Kadia Goba

Zero Hedge
Fox News Ratings Plummet After Abandoning MAGA Viewership
Tyler Durden

AlterNet (addressing social collapse. failed state?)
Joe Biden unveils 2 big surprises sending a powerful signal he's pivoting to the left

Politico (not the national guard. bad sign.)
Pentagon deploys hundreds of active-duty troops for inauguration security
Lara Seligman

Defend Democracy Press
Les Français nuls en mathématiques
Philippe Lacoude

Sputnik International
Telegram Blocked Hundreds of Public Calls for Violence Last Week, CEO Says

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell
Ursula Perano

Off the rails: Inside Trump’s aborted plan to control the CIA
Jonathan Swan

In Defense of Justice in Denver (Full Documentary)

 The only people charged over the brutal police murder of Elijah McClain are community activists who organized mass peaceful demonstrations calling for justice. They are facing up to 48 years in prison - among the highest charges for peaceful political protest in recent history.

Iran blames bitcoin miners for blackouts

Iran has launched a crackdown on cryptocurrency miners who it claims are responsible for power blackouts that are blighting the country.

Parts of Tehran, the capital, and the cities of Mashhad and Tabriz have been repeatedly plunged into darkness in recent weeks, causing production lines in industrial areas to grind to a halt.

Tavanir, the state electricity company, has temporarily closed all known cryptocurrency mines, including a huge Chinese-Iranian operation in the city of Rafsanjan that is reported to have been using 175 megawatt hours of electricity, enough to power an average western home for 17 years.

The Times

Iran blames bitcoin miners for blackouts

Capitol put on lockdown after fire reported several blocks away — Morgan Gestalter

What the US has come to.
A law enforcement official told NBC News that what turned out to be a fire at a homeless encampment prompted the security alert....
The Hill
Capitol put on lockdown after fire reported several blocks away 
Morgan Gestalter

US makes aggressive opening move on Russian chessboard — M.K. Bhadrakumar

US and allies make move to destabilize Russia using Navalny affair. Move to destabilize China already underway with HK, Uighurs, and Taiwan.
A regime change project in Russia was launched on Sunday with the return of political activist Alexei Navalny to Moscow. It was a highly symbolic event — except that Navalny was travelling by an aeroplane from Germany and not in a sealed train [as Germany sent Lenin to Russia]....
Top Kremlin officials had alleged in September that Moscow had definite information that CIA operatives were working with Navalny in Germany. If so, Navalny is a strategic asset that the CIA will not give up easily.... be sure, the CIA is all set to make a hyper-aggressive opening move on the Russian chessboard — the Danish Gambit! In the game of chess, the Danish opening usually lasts less than 20 moves as white will either breakthrough and checkmate the king early on or white will fail miserably and be left in shambles. This is not for the faint of heart.
  Russia is addressing this as a distraction from the revolution at home in the US. It is that but much more than that, too, as MKB observes. The press against the "illiberal" powers is on in an effort to secure permanent global hegemony for the West, planned from before the end of WWII, when it was clear that the Allies would win. (Actually, this all began well before WWI.) Now it is coming to a head as Western adversaries gain economic and military power that threatens Western (US) "dominance" (the US uses that term to characterize policy).

"May you live in interesting times."

India Punchline
US makes aggressive opening move on Russian chessboard
M.K. Bhadrakumar | retired diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service

See also

Alexander Dugin picks sides in the US kerfuffle.

Great Awakening: the future starts now
Alexander Dugin

See also

Dances with Bears
John Helmer


Sputnik International
Russia Did Not Receive Results of Navalny's Toxicological Study From Germany, Prosecution Says


Navalny incident artificially acquired foreign policy dimension — foreign minister


Russia Is Serious About Chances Of Nuclear War

The Unwelcome Return of the Real Purveyors of Violence — Ron Paul

No fan of Ron Paul's economics here, but often his political analysis is worth pondering.

The post about foreign policy is anti-Wilsonian and pro-Jacksonian.

The Unz Review
The Unwelcome Return of the Real Purveyors of Violence
Ron Paul

China's fourth quarter GDP grows 6.5% year-on-year, beats expectations as recovery gains momentum

China’s economic recovery beat analyst expectations in the fourth quarter, expanding 6.5% from a year earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday.


Rebekah Jones - Whistle-blower

 ‘Censored By The State Of Florida’: Fired COVID-19 Data Scientist Rebekah Jones Tweets On Day She Is Set To Turn Self In To Face New Charge

Florida Department of Law Enforcement officials said Rebekah Jones has been under investigation since early November after someone illegally accessed the state’s emergency alert health system, warning employees “to speak up before another 17,000 people are dead. You know this is wrong. You don’t have to be a part of this. Be a hero.”

Rebecca Jones Tweets. 

The agent told my lawyer there would be only one charge, but emphasized that speaking out or going to the media may result in police "stacking" additional charges.  All of this just to silence a critic of a governor who failed to do his job and got thousands killed as a result.

Saying goodbye to my family just now is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.

I'll tweet #ScienceIsBack when American scientists no longer face jail for sharing information and for criticizing dangerous, anti-science policies and politicians. When doctors aren't being fired for saying their ICUs are filled. When threats against us are taken seriously.

CBS Miami

‘Censored By The State Of Florida’: Fired COVID-19 Data Scientist Rebekah Jones Tweets On Day She Is Set To Turn Self In To Face New Charge

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Bill Mitchell — US labour market – things are getting worse again as the virus spreads

US Department of Labor’s latest unemployment claimant data is worrying with the claimants in the week to January 9, 2021 rising to 1,151,051 a shift of 231,335. This is the highest level since the week ending July 25, 2020 and confirms what we now know – that unless a nation deals with the health crisis and gets the virus infections under control (preferably to the point of zero community transmission), it cannot hope for a sustainable economic recovery. The data is the result of lockdowns leading to layoffs in the hospitality and recreation sectors which has pushed the US economy back into contraction. The rise in new claimants follows the payroll data that revealed that employment had fallen by 140,000 (net) – see this blog post for analysis of that data release – US labour market recovery has ended as health problem intensifies (January 11, 2021). And given the nature of the employment most impacted, you can be sure that socio-economic inequalities will have risen. I will write about that last issue another day....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
US labour market – things are getting worse again as the virus spreads
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia


The truth about the early days of COVID-19 in Wuhan. According to Maitreya Bhakal there was no cover-up, and Dr. Li Wenliang was not a whistle-blower. But the MSM used the COVID-19 incident as a way to spread anti-China propaganda.

Mango Press


Information War and Color Revolution

While staying in Germany, he promoted his wife, in fact introducing her into active politics. For example, in one of his interviews, he said that his wife has even more radical point of view on the internal political situation in Russia and actively took part in political discussion.

Highly likely, Russia may face the implementation of the scenario that took place in Belarus, where the opposition leader Sergei Tikhanovsky was replaced by his wife Yulia. The nomination of a female for the role of opposition leader in so-called “totalitarian” countries is part of a neo-liberal trend that is gaining momentum in the West...
Navalny Detained In Moscow. Belarus-Like Scenario Started?

See also

Following the January 6th storming of the Capitol building in Washington, DC, the FBI have initiated an investigation to see if whether a foreign government played any part of what transpired.

This was reported by NBC, citing two unnamed FBI officials – one current, one former.

The FBI is examining payments of $500,000 in bitcoin, apparently by a French national, “to key figures and groups in the alt-right before the riot”, the unnamed sources said.

On December 8, 2020, a donor sent 28.15 BTC — worth approximately $522,000 at the time of transfer — to 22 separate addresses in a single transaction. Many of those addresses belong to far-right activists and internet personalities.

Nick Fuentes received 13.5 BTC — worth approximately $250,000 at the time of the transfer — making him by far the biggest beneficiary of the donation. However, several others received significant funds as well, including anti-immigration organization VDARE, alt-right streamer Ethan Ralph, and several addresses whose owners are as yet unidentified.…

See also
The agency [FBI] is investigating whether foreign governments, organizations or individuals provided funding to those that helped plan the riot, according to the news outlet. As part of the probe, the agency is reportedly examining payments of $500,000 in bitcoin by a French computer programmer before the riot.

The French computer programmer died by suicide shortly after transferring the cryptocurrency, according to french media, NBC News reports.

Yahoo News first highlighted the bitcoin payments on Thursday, which was reported by analysis company Chainanalysis.

On Dec. 8, 28.15 BTC, which was worth $522,000 at the time of transfer, was sent to 22 different virtual wallets, many of which belonged to far-right activists, according to the report....
The Hill
FBI investigating if foreign actors funded Capitol rioters: report
Jordan Williams

China Newsbrief and Sitrep — Godfree Roberts

Godfree Robert's new book. China is taking off.
To put the World in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the Family in order; to put the Family in order, we must first cultivate our personal lives by setting our hearts right. — Confucius
The Vineyard of the Saker

Sputnik — 'Hinduphobic': Netizens & Hindus Outraged Over New 'Tandav' Web Series, Complaint Filed

As I have been saying, liberalism is engaged in a historical dialectic with traditionalism. Here is another instance of it. This is a big deal in India day to day, but the West seldom hears about it, since it is a "family fight."

This is important since the historical dialectic is foundational to the world system, and the world system is now in transition, e.g., from liberal-traditional to ?, from analog to digital,  from unipolar to multipolar, from Western-centric to global-centric, from predominantly neoliberal to ?, etc.

The rate of flux is accelerating, and this is increasing uncertainty, which is unsettling. One result in increasing conflict.

BTW, Kenneth Boulding, a forerunner of MMT, transitioned from economics to systems theory and world systems, and focused on conflict and conflict resolution. His work is worth revisiting. MMT economists Randy Wray and Mathew Forstater have written about him. His work is prescient. John Kenneth Galbraith also deserves mention in this regard as an economist. These were "big picture" thinkers. Warren Mosler and MMT economists often speak of "public purpose." That's lifted from JKG's Economics and the Public Purpose (1976). Galbraith was in a position to do something about it too. And they were not game theorists.

Sputnik International
'Hinduphobic': Netizens & Hindus Outraged Over New 'Tandav' Web Series, Complaint Filed

See also

Sputnik International
Police Reportedly Deploy Water Cannons Against Unauthorised Protest in Amsterdam

IRS working to redirect millions of stimulus payments sent to unused bank accounts


Nice job....yeah let’s get these same people to administer a JG or a UBI... real good idea...

Many Americans are still waiting for their $600 stimulus payments and your tax preparer could be part of the problem. According to Jackson Hewitt, the IRS blindly sent the stimulus payments to over 13 million bank accounts that are no longer open or valid. Leaving many still asking, where is my stimulus?

Las Vegas 3 News.

Prospect of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein: Potential role in vaccine and therapeutic development


Paper at NIH here.

28 proteins, including ofc the Spike:

The viral genome of the coronavirus encodes four structural proteins named spike (S), envelope (E), membrane (M), and nucleocapsid (N), 16 non-structural proteins (nsp1–16), and 8 accessory proteins. The S protein plays the most critical role in viral attachment, fusion, and entry into the target cell

mRNA gets a mention but not much else... this is it:

mRNA has been used as a template for endogenous expression of proteins selected as a vaccine candidate. An mRNA vaccine is a promising alternative because of its high potency, short production cycle, and low manufacturing cost. (Pardi et al., 2018; Yun et al., 2020). Currently, there is no mRNA vaccine in the market, so it will be challenging to pass the quality control and safety evaluation. Currently, mRNA-1273, a potential vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 based on encoding for a prefusion stabilized form of the S protein, has been selected for evaluation by Moderna in collaboration with investigators at the NIAID Vaccine Research Center (VRC). This vaccine is currently the focus of a Phase 1 clinical trial (NCT04283461). Several other companies are also developing mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 (Table 5 ).

mRNA vaccines are now current the only type of vaccines being administered in the US...

Tubular Bells - The Mike Oldfield Story

 A superb video about Mike Oldfield and the making of his classic, The Tubular Bells.

 When Mike Oldfield was about 14 years old his sister, Sally Oldfield, who played a bit of folk guitar, taught him three chords on the guitar, but two weeks later she went into his room and he was running his fingers all over the fretboard. She said he learned how to play the guitar at striking speed. Within a year Mike Oldfield was an accomplished musician - a virtuoso.

At 16 years old Mike Oldfield played bass for Kevin Ayers, a musician who had moderate fame in Britain during the 1970's. Mike Oldfield says that he didn't just want to put the bass notes in at the right places, and so he put in little melodies in-between the notes. 

When Mike was 17 years old Kevin Ayers disbanded his band, and Mike Oldfield became a session musician at Richard Branson's Virgin Records, Manor House recording studio.  

But one day Mike Old field took LSD at a party and it caused him a lot of distress, resulting in him feeling very uncomfortable when being with people after that, and so he ended up becoming a recluse. It took him a lifetime to recover, but today he's quite fine. 

When Kevin Ayers broke up his band he gave Mike Oldfield a two track recorder, which he eventually used to record the demo versions on of Tubular Bells on. Richard Branson couldn't afford to record his album, but let him use the studio in-between recording sessions of other bands. 

Mike Oldfield ended up using ten instruments on the album, which worried Richard Branson as he could not afford it. It's amazing how Mike Oldfield learnt how to play so many instruments in such a short space of time and how to use a 16 track studio too. 

One day John Cale had finished doing a recording, and when the roadies were taking the instruments out of the studio Mike Oldfield noticed some tubular bells and asked to borrow them.

 Mike Oldfiel was making a rock album but the tubular bells turned out to be far too quiet, so the engineers tried to record the bells in various different ways to make them louder, but in the end they told him to just go for it and use ball hammer. 

Richard Branson was never certain whether the album was going to be a hit or not as it had only one track on it, with no singing, and no drums. In fact, no one else knew either, but in the end it did so well it set Richard Branson up for all his later adventures. 

Shortened version - extracts

Scott Bicheno: US blacklists Xiaomi because reasons

 Chinese gadget giant Xiaomi has been belatedly added to one of the US lists of companies its citizens aren’t allowed to interact with.

But the tech guys aren't fooled!

The US government is, of course, obliged to protect its citizens from foreign threats, but the nature of the threats addressed by these last-minute measures is very vague. Is Xiaomi actually accused of anything? If not, then surely this just amounts to collective punishment for the crime of being Chinese. 

Why America Should Look To China To Contain COVID-19, by William A. Haseltine

 Since the earliest days of the Covid-19 pandemic, American news media has been rife with stories about how China handled – or according to many of the reports, mishandled – the initial outbreak. The most recent is a story in the New York Times, A Year After Wuhan, China Tells a Tale of Triumph (and No Mistakes). On the surface, it is the story of China’s “whitewashing” of the early days of the pandemic. But simmering just below is an unmistakable sentiment of anti-Chinese propaganda.

There is some truth to the picture the Times story paints, as there is to other stories that point out missteps by the Chinese government in the early days. But beyond the grains of truth the story serves as an attack on how the Chinese handled the Covid-19 pandemic and avoids the ultimate reality: Despite experiencing the world’s first major epidemic, China has controlled Covid-19 since mid-spring better than almost any other country, snuffing out sporadic outbreaks that enter from a Covid-19 riddled world.


Why America Should Look To China To Contain COVID-19, by William A. Haseltine

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Links — 16 Jan 2021

The Unz Review (falling into the Thucydides trap?) 
Trump’s Not-So-secret Art of Containing China
Pepe Escobar

The Vineyard of the Saker (analysis)
Joe Biden’s War
J. Hawk, SouthFront

Voltaire Network (the enemy of my enemy is my friend)
The Iran-Al-Qaida Axis according the USA
Mike Pompeo

Moscow Times (Putin's successor?)
A Year After Shock Appointment, Russian Prime Minister Mishustin’s Star is Rising
Felix Light

Andrew Batson's Blog (defense)
What makes China want growth

Visual Capitalist (loaded words)
How News Media is Describing the Incident at the U.S. Capitol
Govind Bhutada

Sputnik International (Not over yet)
US Capitol Police Reportedly Arrest Armed Man Using 'Fake Credentials' to Enter Checkpoint

RT — Germany’s ruling party picks centrist Armin Laschet as its new leader

The first-ever digital election was held by CDU on Saturday, with Laschet defeating his main contender, hardliner conservative Friedrich Merz, in a runoff ballot.

The centrist politician and self-styled Angela Merkel continuity candidate, Laschet, narrowly won the election scoring 521 to 466 votes. The digital election’s results will be further confirmed by a postal vote with final, legally binding results expected next week.Runner-up Merz congratulated Laschet, wishing him “success” as the leader of the party.... 
Germany’s ruling party picks centrist Armin Laschet as its new leader

The approach of the World Socialist Web Site to science — Bryan Dyne

Somethings to think about now that the US is at the point of change and faces emergent challenges requiring science — the pandemic and climate change. Is "the market knows all" the way to go, or something else.

The problem with so-called natural approaches is that when "nature takes its course" the "weak" get culled. And on the way, immiseration increases and along with it social unrest and systemic dysfunction.

The approach of the World Socialist Web Site to science
Bryan Dyne

mRNA vaccine explainer


Help! Anyone remember my bitcoin password?

Some stores of value are clearly overdoing the storing part

Accidents do happen, especially to bitcoin investors. An estimated 20 per cent of the digital currency is stranded — owned, for example, by people who can’t remember how to access it. I thought these guys were against the right to be forgotten?

A Financial Times colleague wisely wrote down the passphrase to his bitcoin, now worth a few thousand pounds. Sadly he wrote it down wrong. As long as he doesn’t write things down wrong in the FT, he’ll be fine. But other forgetful bitcoiners will bang their heads against their Tesla prospectuses, because the dollar value of their currency has more than tripled in the past year. A Welsh IT worker claims he binned a laptop with £230m of bitcoin, and has spent eight years asking the council for permission to search its landfill.

Financial Times 

Why You should Dump Your Apple and Google Phone - Top 5 Reasons

 Life is complicated enough already. Gee!

Friday, January 15, 2021

In China’s New Age Communes, Burned-Out Millennials Go Back to Nature — Wang Xuandi

The more things change, the more things remain the same. Surprised no one has figured out how to capitalize this yet. Oh, wait. Americans already did in the countercultural revolution, and they were followed by others around the world. I suspect the Chinese will figure it out, too. It's more difficult being a purist though, but some have managed it.

Sixth Tone
In China’s New Age Communes, Burned-Out Millennials Go Back to Nature
Wang Xuandi

China’s consumers are turning against the homegrown Big Tech giants they once revered — Grady McGregor

Actually, it's more about unregulated capitalism falling from favor than big tech. Big tech happens to be the firms involved. Chinese people seem to expect more regulation of business in the public interest.

Expect to see the Chinese government get more involved between firms and consumers. For example, it's looking like Jack Ma got slapped down for '"getting too big for his britches" about financialization.

China’s consumers are turning against the homegrown Big Tech giants they once revered
Grady McGregor

James Murdoch predicts 'a reckoning' for media after Capitol riot — Celine Castronuovo

Rupert's son James had already resigned from the board of News Corp. in protest of policy.
“The damage is profound," Murdoch said. “The sacking of the Capitol is proof positive that what we thought was dangerous is indeed very, very much so. Those outlets that propagate lies to their audience have unleashed insidious and uncontrollable forces that will be with us for years.”
Unfortunately, he is right. The media bears a lot of responsibility, chiefly owing to its business model pioneered by Rupert Murdoch. That model needs to change instead of imposing censorship.

The Hill
James Murdoch predicts 'a reckoning' for media after Capitol riot
Celine Castronuovo

See also

Crooks and Liars
WATCH What Happens When 2 White Guys Go Undercover At The Sedition MAGA Riot
Karoli Kuns

American Thinker apologizes to Dominion after getting letter from defamation attorneys — Celine Castronuovo

The climbdown.
"It was wrong for us to publish these false statements,” Lifson continued. “We apologize to Dominion for all of the harm this caused them and their employees,” the statement added, along with an apology to readers for what it called a “grave error.” 
Nothing short of amazing what a letter from a law firm will do.

The move comes just months after New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.
Fingers in the till?

NRA files for bankruptcy, says it will reincorporate in Texas

FBI charges Florida veteran with plotting armed confrontation of state Capitol protesters — Bruce Ritchie

 Violence begets violence. Nutters on both sides.

FBI charges Florida veteran with plotting armed confrontation of state Capitol protesters
Bruce Ritchie

Washington can expect a "new normal" — even after Biden's inauguration — Ursula Perano

Americans are about to experience a higher level of security, surveillance and censorship, and a Patriot Act 2.0 can also be expected in reaction to violence on both left and right.

As I have said previously, the three functions of governance are security, order, and welfare in that order. Now the political emphasis is shifting away from welfare toward security and order.

If Democrats don't respond appropriately, they will lose control in the midterms (likely in any but the best case anyway) and the presidency in the next general.

This is dicey, since the majority preference is for security and order ("law and order") but with a light touch. Not simple to implement.

Washington can expect a "new normal" — even after Biden's inauguration
Ursula Perano

China Tech Ban Mirrors 1980s Attempts To Destroy Japanese Competition — Alan Macleod

Not just China. Russia is arguing that economic sanctions like those against Nordstream 2 are anti-competitive by intent and design.

MintPress News
China Tech Ban Mirrors 1980s Attempts To Destroy Japanese Competition
Alan Macleod