Saturday, March 17, 2018

Jonathon Cook - Monbiot is not only a hypocrite, but a bully too

I read the Guardian for years and I loved the paper. When I was teenager I used to read the Daily Mirror but one day I found a Guardian discarded on a train and when I read it I could't believe what I was reading because I always thought that those big posh broadsheets were Tory papers. Anyway, after that I bought the guardian everyday and it was a badge of honour for me. When George Monbiot turned up I really looked forward to his articles but a colleague at work, the only person interested in politics there, said he was a phoney and didn't like him. I would defend George Monbiot but now I know my friend was right.

I email George Monbiot all the time giving him the real news but he never replies. He can no excuse for not knowing what is going on. I recently sent him the article, South East Asia ''Forgets'' about Western Terror, by Andre Vltchek, and another article on the scorched earth terror bombing of Korea and asked to write about it,  Of course, I knew he wouldn't, because at the moment the West is being portrayed as white, and everyone else as black and these articles would spoil the narrative. So George Monbiot is about as much use as a chocolate teapot. KV

Jonathon Cook

Undermining climate concerns

The many tens of thousands of leftists who defend Monbiot, or turn a blind eye to his hypocrisy, largely do so because of his record on the environment. But in practice they are enabling not only his increasingly overt incitement against critical thinkers, but also undermining the very cause his supporters believe he champions.
Climate breakdown is a global concern. Rewilding, bike-riding, protecting bees and polar bears, and developing new sustainable technologies are all vitally important. But such actions will amount to little if we fail to turn a highly sceptical eye on the activities of a western military-industrial complex ravaging the planet’s poorest regions.
These war industries fill their coffers by using weapons indiscriminately on “enemy” populations, spawning new and fiercer enemies – while often propping them up too – to generate endless wars. The consequences include massive displacements of these populations who then destabilise other regions, spreading the effect and creating new opportunities for the arms manufacturers, homeland security industries, and the financial industries that feed off them.
A true environmentalist has to look as critically at western policies in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela and many other areas of the globe as he does at UK policy in the Welsh hills and the Lake District.

All indications are that Monbiot lacks the experience, knowledge and skills to unravel the deceptions being perpetrated in the west’s proxy and not-so-proxy wars overseas. That is fair enough. What is not reasonable is that he should use his platforms to smear precisely those who can speak with a degree of authority and independence – and then conspire in denying them a platform to respond. That is the behaviour not only of a hypocrite, but of a bully too.
Jonathon Cook - Monbiot is not only a hypocrite, but a bully too

Friday, March 16, 2018

Zero Hedge — Syrian War For Dummies - Three Versions

Disney Version, High School Version, College Version.

Zero Hedge
Syrian War For Dummies - Three Versions
Tyler Durden

Mitchell Omoruyi — China's march towards a moderately well-off society

Outline of China's goals.

Ecns — China Daily
China's march towards a moderately well-off society
Mitchell Omoruyi | Executive Director of the Center for Nigerian Studies at the Institute of African Studies, Zhejiang Normal University

Sputnik International — US Senate Warns Russia of Sanctions if S-400 Sold to Any Foreign Nations

US running scared? Who provoked this arms race?
A group of US lawmakers led by Senator Bob Menendez told the State Department in a letter that any sale of Russian S-400 air defense system should lead to new punitive measures as stipulated in the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
Free PR for the Russian arms industry.

Zero Hedge — New Texts Reveal FBI's Peter Strzok Had Relationship With Recused Judge In Flynn Case

Recently discovered text messages - that were deliberately hidden from Congress - reveal that disgraced FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page conspired to meet with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) judge, Rudolph Contreras, who as we reported last December, "mysteriously recused" himself from handling the case against Michael Flynn, reports The Federalist, which has seen the text messages....
Zero Hedge
New Texts Reveal FBI's Peter Strzok Had Relationship With Recused Judge In Flynn Case

Zero Hedge — Widely Reported Haspel CIA Torture Claim Was Fake News; Retracted By ProPublica

The claims were retracted by ProPublica in an embarrassing correction.
On Feb. 22, 2017, ProPublica published a story that inaccurately described Gina Haspel’s role in the treatment of Abu Zubaydah, a suspected al-Qaida leader who was imprisoned by the CIA at a secret “black site” in Thailand in 2002.
The story said that Haspel, a career CIA officer who President Trump has nominated to be the next director of central intelligence, oversaw the clandestine base where Zubaydah was subjected to waterboarding and other coercive interrogation methods that are widely seen as torture. The story also said she mocked the prisoner’s suffering in a private conversation. Neither of these assertions is correct and we retract them. It is now clear that Haspel did not take charge of the base until after the interrogation of Zubaydah ended....
That said, the correction doesn't completely excuse Haspel from her involvement in the program, as she still reportedly ran the base at which "enhanced interrogations" occurred, and advised her boss to shred 92 tapes of Zubaydah's waterboarding, which he did. It also doesn't take away from arguments against enhanced interrogations in general.…
Zero Hedge
Widely Reported Haspel CIA Torture Claim Was Fake News; Retracted By ProPublica
Tyler Durden

Moon of Alabama — Governments Decree 'Truth' About Skripal - Dissenters Will Be Punished

Iraq WMD redux. Substitute "chemical weapons" for "mushroom-shaped clouds."

Oh, and did I forget MH17?
The Skripal incident is now, by chance or by design, part of a much larger campaign about 'western' dominance over 'the east'. Russia, which ended the unilateral moment of U.S. nuclear primacy, is currently the main target. The situation is extremely dangerous as any further escalation, in the Middle East, the Ukraine ore elsewhere, might lead to a war between nuclear armed powers.
The government decreed 'truth' about the Skripal case has many discrepancies. The connection of the case to Russia is much weaker than the propaganda claims. But doubt and dissent about it are not allowed to prevail.….
Only geostrategists realize at this point (and have for a long while) that taking down Russia is actually a key piece in taking down China. Kissinger's advice was to ally with Russia. But the Western elites have set upon the course of first taking out Russia, which would put NATO on the Western border of China and the Seventh Fleet on the Eastern border.

Of course, the Russian and Chinese militaries and intelligence services are well aware of this and preparing for it.

The West is well aware of MAD and has no intention of launching into an all-out war with nuclear-armed Russia that no one would win. The plan is to isolate Russia, grind it down economically, and force regime change by a population that has no other recourse than to put in a Western puppet government.

Unless one views what is happening globally in terms of the grand chessboard, it looks daft. But if one does, the geopolitics and geostrategy are actually very clear.

Moon of Alabama
Governments Decree 'Truth' About Skripal - Dissenters Will Be Punished
Tony Catalucci


Video and transcript.

Corbyn Calls for Evidence in Escalating Poison Row
Aaron Maté interviews Stephen F. Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Russian Studies, History, and Politics at New York University and Princeton University


This is the desired effect. The objective is to get the Russian leadership so infuriated that they loose it and overstep. Carefully designed but I doubt that Putin will fall for it. It's too transparent for someone with his background and experience.

The Western leaders are not only outclassed by the Russian (and Chinese) leaders, but the Russians and Chinese do know how to play 3 and 4 dimensional chess on the grand chessboard.

‘Nice young man seeks place in history but lacks upbringing’: Lavrov on Williamson ‘shut up’ remark

'Fishwife’s rhetoric' reveals 'intellectual impotence' of UK Defense Secretary – Russian MoD

Sputnik International
London Losing Its Nerve: How UK Violates All Rules of the Diplomatic Game
But the Western propaganda is working, the objective of which is to create fear of the "enemy" domestically.

33% answered affirmatively to the poll question, "Do you feel that recent news regarding Russia’s information cyber warfare is a precursor to its interest in initiating cyberattacks on the U.S. electric grid?" 48% answered, "don't know," and 19% said "no."

EE Online
Poll: Majority Believes U.S. Electric Grid is Vulnerable to Enemy Attack
McLaughlin and Brennan still maintain that the CIA never lied to policymakers about the information obtained from the use of torture. Thus, we have one of the biggest lies of all from a former deputy director of the CIA and a former director of the CIA, respectively, who regularly “inform” the American people on cable television.
Caveat Emptor: MSNBC and CNN Use CIA Apologists for False Commentary
Melvin A. Goodman | senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, professor of government at Johns Hopkins University, and a former CIA analyst,


Russian nuclear subs quietly reached US coast & left undetected – Navy officer

Sputnik International
Future Force? Chinese Shipmaker Leaks Aircraft Carrier, Nuclear Sub Plans

Lars P. Syll — Top 20 heterodox economics books

Good list. Anyone have suggestions to improve upon it, or a different list?

I would include Abba Lerner and, of course, at least one MMT book.

I would change the Galbraith entry to The Good Society.

I would drop Paul Sweezy and replace his entry with Fred Moseley's Money and Totality
A Macro-Monetary Interpretation of Marx’s Logic in Capital and the End of the ‘Transformation Problem’.

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Top 20 heterodox economics booksLars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

Dollars & Sense — New Issue! [MMT]

Dollars & SenseNew Issue! Plus: Regional economic disparities and Hillary Clinton’s Unfortunate Remarks

Incidentally, Stephanie Kelton announced on Twitter that she has a book deal and is also joining Bloomberg View as a columnist.

Craig Murray - Of A Type Developed By Liars

Theresa May is lying. 

I have now received confirmation from a well placed FCO source that Porton Down scientists are not able to identify the nerve gas as being of Russian manufacture, and have been resentful of the pressure being placed on them to do so. Porton Down would only sign up to the formulation “of a type developed by Russia” after a rather difficult meeting where this was agreed as a compromise formulation. The Russians were allegedly researching, in the “Novichok” programme a generation of nerve agents which could be produced from commercially available precursors such as insecticides and fertilisers. This substance is a “novichok” in that sense. It is of that type. Just as I am typing on a laptop of a type developed by the United States, though this one was made in China.

Craig Murray - Of A Type Developed By Liars

May’s “novichok” claim exposed as lies: what is the current reality of the Skripal case?


Lawrence Wilkerson — The Most Important Hearings of the Young Century

On MSNBC’s “All In” on March 13, I discussed how the removal of Rex Tillerson from the position of secretary of state was the final triumph of largely Republican efforts—but with complicit Democrats as well—to consolidate the making of foreign and security policy exclusively in the White House. Since the 1947 National Security Act, there has been institutional momentum for this shift. It is important to be aware of this institutional momentum because to reverse the shift will require much more than just a new president and administration. It will take statutory change by the Congress. Such change must be highly deliberative and thus will take time. Immediately, however, the damage to U.S. foreign and security policy—and the country in turn—could be so immense that temporary, non-statutory actions are essential....
Democracy or empire?

The Most Important Hearings of the Young Century
Lawrence Wilkerson, Col (ret.), US Army, former chief of staff for Gen. Colin Powell, former US Secretary of State and presently Distinguished Visiting Professor of Government and Public Policy at the College of William and Mary

William J. Astore — America’s Phony War — Blitzkrieg Overseas, Sitzkrieg in the Homeland

Overseas, the United States is engaged in real wars in which bombs are dropped, missiles are launched, and people (generally not Americans) are killed, wounded, uprooted, and displaced. Yet here at home, there’s nothing real about those wars. Here, it’s phony war all the way. In the last 17 years of “forever war,” this nation hasn’t for one second been mobilized. Taxes are being cut instead of raised. Wartime rationing is a faint memory from the World War II era. No one is being required to sacrifice a thing.

Now, ask yourself a simple question: What sort of war requires no sacrifice? What sort of war requires that almost no one in the country waging it take the slightest notice of it?
The subjects of an empire seldom are much concerned about wars on the periphery to maintain and extend territory unless it directly affects their interests and imperial propaganda glorifies the undertaking.  Same old, same old.

This takes place when contract military is used rather than conscript. Then citizens are not directly affected and take little interest.

But when ordinary people's interests are directly affected, ….

A professional military, especially one that also employs private contractors, is the death of democracy and the beginning of empire.

Tom Dispatch

Jon Schwartz — Washington Breaks Out The “Just Following Orders” Nazi Defense For Cia Director-Designate Gina Haspel

DURING THE NUREMBERG TRIALS after World War II, several Nazis, including top German generals Alfred Jodl and Wilhelm Keitel, claimed they were not guilty of the tribunal’s charges because they had been acting at the directive of their superiors.
Ever since, this justification has been popularly known as the “Nuremberg defense,” in which the accused states they were “only following orders.”
The Nuremberg judges rejected the Nuremberg defense, and both Jodl and Keitel were hanged. The United Nations International Law Commission later codified the underlying principle from Nuremberg as “the fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”
This is likely the most famous declaration in the history of international law and is as settled as anything possibly can be.
However, many members of the Washington, D.C. elite are now stating that it, in fact, is a legitimate defense for American officials who violate international law to claim they were just following orders....
American exceptionalism, you see. "If we do it, it's legal. If others do it, it's illegal." A variant was Nixon's, "If the president does it, it's legal."

The Intercept
Washington Breaks Out The “Just Following Orders” Nazi Defense For Cia Director-Designate Gina Haspel
Jon Schwartz

“Everyone at the CIA in the post-Sept. 11 era was simply doing what they were asked to do in the aftermath of a crisis.” —General Michael Hayden, former NSA and CIA Director
“The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.” — The United Nations International Law Commission
Intel Today

John Helmer — Gorilla Radio Warns That Beating Your Chest Can Be Bad For You If You Are Sergei Skripal, But Not So Bad If You Are Theresa May

Imagine an investigation for attempted homicide by gunshot without the gun, bullet, ballistics match, fingerprints, powder burns, witnesses, shooter, intention, motive. You can’t imagine? Neither could the French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian.
The kicker.
May’s version of the Skripal case is accepted by a significant majority of British voters polled this week, according to this report. May has also gained significantly in voter approval compared to Jeremy Corbyn, the Labor leader, whose political rating has been running ahead of May’s until now. Before the Skripal news, the British polls were indicating a slight improvement for May and the Conservative Party, but the percentage trends were small and within the margin for statistical error.
As conditions deteriorate in the West owing to bad policy and poor decisions, expect an increase in scapegoating and manufactured distractions to shape the narrative and deflect blame from those in charge.

Dances with Bears
Gorilla Radio Warns That Beating Your Chest Can Be Bad For You If You Are Sergei Skripal, But Not So Bad If You Are Theresa May
John Helmer


French ruling elite brays for war in Syria amid US-UK threats against Russia
Alex Lantier


Maidan icon Savchenko faces arrest after claiming top Ukraine official ‘led snipers to central Kiev’

See also A previous post here at MNE two days ago containg several links.

John Helmer — Fourteen and a Half Certainties About the Case of Sergei Skripal


From a comment at Naked Capitalism.
And from a London-based reader:
And one thing which is unbelievably anechoic. I’m actually in Salisbury today (part of a regular variant on my commute when I have to head west, the station is a large rail hub) and it’s less then 10 miles from where I live. So I know the area like the back of my hand. No-one, and I mean no-one has ever asked in the MSM just what the guy was doing living here. It’s about as unlikely a spot for anyone to end up living here as it’s possible to get. You get a few retirees, but very little influx from out the area.
But Salisbury is the epicentre for the U.K. military operations. There are at least half a dozen key installations of strategic importance (the Porton Down chemical weapons “research” facility, the army command HQ was there until 2010 when it moved to nearby Andover, the Salisbury plain training base, the Amesbury research operation, the large Warminster Garrison — and that’s just off the top of my head, there’s a lot more you drive past which are military facilities but not on the same scale as these.

He had no reason to live in the city and it is an unbelievable coincidence that it is so close to so many of the U.K. military high command’s sites. He was almost certainly here for a reason, and if I had to work in the area of helping the U.K. military/industrial complex, Salisbury is exactly where I’d live. No-one has mentioned in the press coverage how he supported himself, what he did in England since the spy swap and why he was swapped in the first place.
The whole thing absolutely stinks.

Pepe Escobar — It’s all Putin’s fault… but still he wins

Not just about the impending Russian election. It's a brief summary of most of what's important going on in Russia, none of which the Western media will touch.

Asia Times
It’s all Putin’s fault… but still he wins
Pepe Escobar

See also

The Myth of a Neo-Imperial China

Andrew Gelman — Gaydar and the fallacy of objective measurement

Stripping a phemenon of its social context, normalizing a base rate to 50%, and seeking an on-off decision: all of these can give the feel of scientific objectivity—but the very steps taken to ensure objectivity can remove social context and relevance.
Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science
Gaydar and the fallacy of objective measurement
Andrew Gelman | Professor of Statistics and Political Science and Director of the Applied Statistics Center, Columbia University

Michael Wade and Jialu Shan — How China is rebooting retail

Leapfrogging. The Chinese are starting to set the pace. "Innovation" is not just a Xin Jinping Thought slogan.

The Conversation
How China is rebooting retail
Michael Wade, Professor of Innovation and Strategy, Cisco Chair in Digital Business Transformation, IMD Business School, and Jialu Shan, Research Associate at Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, IMD Business School

See also

Scandinavia and Switzerland.

World Economic Forum
These are the happiest countries in the world
Briony Harris

Andrew Neil - Vladimir Putin is innocent until proven guilty in the Russian spy case

One sane voice.

Why should Putin, or anyone else in the Russian state, suddenly want him dead now for anything he did more than a decade ago? Or destroy the precedent that spy swaps should always be honoured? If Russian agents considered Skripal a great danger, they had plenty of opportunities to murder him earlier — or simply to keep him in jail. It would hardly be in Russia’s interest to be seen to renege on a spy swap, which would make co-operation with Britain — or any other country — less likely in future.

The Spectator

Andrew Neil - Vladimir Putin is innocent until proven guilty in the Russian spy case

Off-Guardian - WATCH: “No Russia, no world!” – World Order 2018

Russian film explaining what is happening in the West. Our dodgy capitalist system, the mass immigration we don't want, etc. English subtitles. I haven't watched it yet because I'm a bit upset about all this TBH, but I'm going to watch a bit now. It's banned on YouTube and is only available on Vimeo.

Off-Guardian - WATCH: “No Russia, no world!” – World Order 2018

“World Order 2018” is a new documentary movie by TV host, Vladimir Soloviev, in which he discusses with Russia’s President Putin all the major events of the past few years: the Syrian situation, the destruction of the Middle East, the expansion of NATO, the immigration crisis in Europe, the destabilisation of Eastern Ukraine and the situation in Crimea, US-Russian relations, and of course the nuclear arms race. They also touch on topics rarely answered by world leaders: the eradication of national identities, the re-writing of history, and the essence of the Holocaust.

The film is 1.5 hours long, so make sure you put some time aside, instead of your next Netflix doc!  If you’re specifically looking for the quote in the title – it’s at 1:22:00.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Fast Company — The FBI makes it official: Russia is attacking US energy, water, and critical systems

Pretty soon it's going to be "the Russians are causing cancer and Alzheimer's."

Fast Company
The FBI makes it official: Russia is attacking US energy, water, and critical systems


Haley: World Must Punish Russia Or They’ll Chemical Attack New York City Next
Jason Ditz

Jim Cramer sits down with FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia to hear his most pressing concerns in the cybersecurity arena.
If the US and Russia had a cyberwar, Russia would win: Top cybersecurity CEO




If the US and Russia had a cyberwar, Russia would win: Top cybersecurity...

Mark Boden — US and UK Trying to 'Iraq' Russia - What's Really Happening (Russian TV News)

What Russians are viewing on the news commentary.

Russia Insider
US and UK Trying to 'Iraq' Russia - What's Really Happening (Russian TV News)
Mark Boden


Craig Murray
The Novichok Story Is Indeed Another Iraqi WMD Scam

Bothered By Midgies


Sputnik International
Envoy to OSCE: Russia Never Created Nerve Agent Dubbed Novichok

Awara — Russia launched its own “LinkedIn”

Today, the Federal Service for Labour and Employment of Russia (Rostrud) opened access to – a Russian professional networking platform powered by Rabota v Rossii (Work in Russia) employment web portal.
The main idea is to develop to become the Russian alternative of the blocked LinkedIn. The new platform will host user profiles (with work experience, skills and achievements), professional groups, job opportunities for young talent and employer reviews....
Russia launched its own “LinkedIn”

Andrew Batson — Centralization and the crisis mindset

Focuses on economic challenges that China faces and downplays the military threat. I think that both are involved in consolidation of power. The Chinese leadership realizes that it is considered the primary adversary of the US and the chief competitor for global influence in the future. China also perceives America as preparing to act to preserve its global hegemony economic and politically. This is about trimming the ship for economic and possibly military war.

China also perceives the US doing its best to take Russia down and the Chinese leadership also realize that US control of Russia is a stepping stone to the Chinese Western border. So don't tell me there is no significant military component here.

Actually, the American leadership is so blinded by power it can't see the obvious, which Henry Kissinger undoubtedly explained to DJT:  It would be a strategic blunder to drive Russia toward China, generating a superpower capable of defeating the US economically and militarily in the near future if not presently. The obvious strategic solution is to reverse the Kissinger-Nixon move that split China off from the USSR, which was then the chief competitor of the US. Now that China is the chief competitor, the reverse strategy should be employed.

Andrew Batson's Blog
Centralization and the crisis mindset
Andrew Batson

See also

Project Syndicate
The Double Helix of Chinese History
Denise Y. Ho


LK gets his marching orders from DJT.
New top White House economic advisor says China has earned a ‘tough response’
Bears out the view that Kudlow was appointed more as a skilled communicator than an economic expert (in addition to having been an early supporter).

“A thought that I have is the United States could lead a coalition of large trading partners and allies against China, or to let China know that they’re breaking the rules left and right,” he said. “That’s the way I’d like to see. You call it a sort of a trade coalition of the willing,” an apparent reference to President George W Bush’s “coalition of the willing” in the war against Iraq.
That's exactly how the Chinese leadership will view it — economic warfare. The US going on the offensive not only against North Korea, Syria, Iran, and Russia but also China. 

Asia Times
Kudlow calls for ‘trade coalition of the willing’ against China


White House eyes limiting visas for Chinese studying in US: Report

Lars P. Syll — Abduction – the induction that constitutes the essence​ of scientific reasoning

Abduction in this sense is reasoning to the best explanation based on relevant information available. (The use of "abduction" by C. S. Peirce, the originator of the term, is somewhat different. See abductive reasoning)

Math is an instrument of deduction. Deductive reasoning proceeds logically from a stipulated starting point, e.g., axioms, postulates, using deductive logic or mathematics.

Abduction involves constructing conceptual or mathematical models based on what is given. To simplify, abduction begins as a "word problem" involving observation and conceptual understanding. From this a model as a candidate for providing best explanation is developed and then tested against that which is being modeled.

Abduction stand in contrast to the intuitive approach to stipulating axioms as the basis for a deductive system. Conventional economics based on assuming equilibrium and maximization is intuitively based rather than abductive.

Induction is reasoning based on observation of particulars and assuming that the past resembles the future, eg., path dependence, hysteresis ergodicity. Abduction may employ induction, usually thought of in terms of probability and statistics.

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Abduction — the induction that constitutes the essence​ of scientific reasoning
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

RT - ‘Fantasy politics’: France accuses May of punishing Russia prematurely over ex-spy poisoning

Trump has now said it looks like Russia was behind the Skripal and his daughter poisoning. He is a puppet and has given in to the Zionists. He knows perfectly well Russia didn't do it, but I guess the pressure was enormous. But President Emmanuel Macron says he wants more evidence. Let's hope other European leaders come to their senses and line up with Macron. 

I've been putting this out all morning on YouTube - 

Theresa May isn't telling truth when she says the that the “novichok” formula is a deep secret: it is in the book, State Secrets: An Insider's Chronicle of the Russian Chemical Weapons Program, by Vil S Mirzayanov, which was published in 2008 and is available on Amazon. Anyone can produce it. Read more here. The farcical reality behind Theresa May’s “novichok” story KV

France has undermined Theresa May’s attempts to garner support for punitive action against Russia, saying it wants more proof Moscow was behind the Salisbury poisoning. It accused the PM of engaging in “fantasy politics.”

 RT - ‘Fantasy politics’: France accuses May of punishing Russia prematurely over ex-spy poisoning

Bill Mitchell — Where do we get the funds from to pay our taxes and buy government debt?

Bill addresses a major objection to MMT.

Note: I am reading the post from the RSS feed. I am getting a database error message in trying to connect with Bill's site.
I have been (involuntarily) copied into a rather lengthy Twitter exchange in the last week or so where a person who says he is ‘all over MMT’ (meaning I presume, that he understands its basic principles and levels of abstraction and subtlety) has been arguing ad nauseum that Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) proponents are a laughing stock when they claim that taxes and debt-issuance do not fund the spending of a currency-issuing government. He points to the existing institutional structures in the US whereby tax receipts apparently go into a specific account at the central bank and governments are prevented from spending unless the account balance is positive. Also implicated, apparently, is the on-going sham about the ‘debt ceiling’, which according to the argument presented on Twitter is testament to the ‘fact’ that government deficits are funded by borrowings obtained from debt issuance. I received many E-mails about this issue in the last week from readers of my blog wondering what the veracity of these claims were – given they thought (in general) they sounded ‘convincing’. Were the original MMT proponents really overstating the matter and were these accounting arrangements evidence that in reality the government has to raise both tax revenue and funds from borrowing in order to deficit spend? Confusion reigns supreme it seems. Once one understands the underlying nature of the financial flows associated with government spending and taxation, it will become obvious that the argument presented above is superficial at best and fails to come to terms with the basic questions: where do the funds come from that we use to pay our taxes and buy government debt? Once we dig down to that level, the matter resolves quickly.
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Where do we get the funds from to pay our taxes and buy government debt?
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Senate voted 67 to 31 for Bank Reform

Now over to the House...

This from the article:
The bill would allow custody banks such as BNY Mellon and State Street Corp to exempt the customer deposits they place with central banks from a stringent capital calculation requirement.

Is this supposed to mean that it does not apply to banking firms such as JPM, C, BAC, etc?

Here is the language from the S.2155
Definition.—In this section, the term “custodial bank” means any depository institution holding company predominantly engaged in custody, safekeeping, and asset servicing activities, including any insured depository institution subsidiary of such a holding company.

I can't tell.... not being trained as a lawyer :p

I am assuming that the language of the bill would make it applicable to any banking firm that at least maintains custodial accounts in a subsidiary.

While imo the sentence from the article does not imply this.

The Real News - Debate: Syria, Ghouta, and the Left (2/2)

Rania Khalek wipes out Yasser Munif in a debate about Syria. See how Rania Khelek defends the head-chopping ISIS terrorists. KV

In a complex proxy war that has killed so many, where should leftists and people of conscience stand? In the second part of their discussion, independent journalist Rania Khalek and scholar Yasser Munif debate the ongoing siege of Eastern Ghouta and the wider Syrian war.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Back of the Rack at MNE

 A few oldies but goodies from MNE re Larry Kudlow:

Here's a doosy:

Larry Kudlow: Cut gov't spending by $750bln and the economy will surge!

And another beauty, looks like Newts wife has some splainin' to do:

Eric W. Dolan — Larry Kudlow wonders if Pope Francis understands freedom

Apologies to  Sec. Mnuchin in order (must have been at start of QE):

Larry Kudlow burns a dollar on TV

And last but not least Mike on with Larry Kudlow back in 2012! (S&P 1400)

Nat Parry — Torture-Tainted CIA and State Nominees Recall Failure to Prosecute Bush-Era Abuses

The declining human rights standards on display with the Haspel and Pompeo nominations are the latest in a long line of policy failures that include the Obama administration’s lack of prosecutions of Bush-era torture, Nat Parry notes.
If a person is OK with torture and assassination, that person is OK with anything. Is this an indication of psychopathology or more seriously, sociopathology?