Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to all the zombies out there!!!!  Enjoy your day!!!!

Paul Jay - Why Did Turkey Go Public With Murder Accusation Against Saudis Royals?

The British intelligence knew the Saudis were going to murder Khahiggi and did not warn him. The Saudis thought they would get away with it and probably knew it was being recorded but Erdogan surprised them.

Both Col. Wilson Pilkington and Paul Jay mention how the Saudis may have been behind 9/11 and that Bush and Cheney probably knew of the attacks in advance.

So, why is Lindsey Graham, a war hawk and a spokesmen for the military-Industrial-Congress, speaking out about this, well, probably because it's taking attention and resources away from the war Washington wants with Iran. The US. seems to want to get MBS and his government out of power. 

Dean Baker — Does China's 2.5 Percent Inflation Rate Really Explain the Decline in the Value of Its Currency Against the Dollar?

The vast majority of economists believe that the Fed's asset holdings keep down U.S. interest rates. It is inconsistent to believe that the Fed's holdings of U.S. assets keep down interest rates here, but China's holding of foreign assets does not keep down the value of its currency.
Beat the Press
Does China's 2.5 Percent Inflation Rate Really Explain the Decline in the Value of Its Currency Against the Dollar?
Dean Baker | Co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C

Jean Pisani-Ferry — The Global Economy’s Three Games

Three major players – the United States, China, and a loose coalition formed by the other members of the G7 – are shaping the future of the international economic and geopolitical order. And they are all engaged in three contests simultaneously, without knowing which one is the most important.
This is about international relations, geopolitics and geo-strategy, and these fields are generally analyzed in terms of game theory.

The only one that can know which game the US is currently playing is Donald Trump and he is not saying. My money is on the third scenario, and I suspect that China and Russia see it that way, too.

Project Syndicate
The Global Economy’s Three Games
Jean Pisani-Ferry | Professor at the Hertie School of Governance (Berlin) and Sciences Po (Paris), the Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa chair at the European University Institute and senior fellow at Bruegel, a Brussels-based think tank

Alastair Crooke — A Rules-Based Global Order or Rule-less US Global ‘Order’?

President Putin sees this plainly: “The Americans keep on indulging in these games as the actual goal of such games is not to catch Russia in violations, and compel it to abide by the treaty; but to invent a pretext to ruin that treaty – part of its belligerent imperial strategy”. Or, in short, to impose a ‘rule-less, US, global order’.
What is happening is that Bolton and Pompeo seem to be precisely taking Trump back to the old 1992 Defence Policy Guidance document, authored by Paul Wolfowitz, which established the doctrine that the US would not allow any competition to its hegemony to emerge. Indeed, Assistant Secretary of State, Wess Mitchell, made this return to Bush era policy, absolutely clear, when in a statement to the US Senate he said:

The starting point of the National Security Strategy is the recognition that America has entered a period of big-power competition, and that past US policies have neither sufficiently grasped the scope of this emerging trend nor adequately equipped our nation to succeed in it. Contrary to the hopeful assumptions of previous administrations, Russia and China are serious competitors that are building up the material and ideological wherewithal to contest US primacy and leadership in the 21st Century. It continues to be among the foremost national security interests of the United States to prevent the domination of the Eurasian landmass by hostile powers.
And at the Atlantic Council on 18 October, the Secretary made it very plain that Europe will be whipped into line on this neo-Wolfowitz doctrine….
Amplifying the arms race and imposing Cold War 2.0 in the interest of empire. What could go wrong when both Russia and China are nuclear powers?
But, the principal difficulty with a neo-Wolfowitzian imperialism, lashed to Trump’s radical, transactional, leveraging of the dollar jurisdiction, of US energy and of the US hold on technology standards and norms, is that by its very nature, it precludes any ‘grand strategic bargain’ from emerging – except in the unlikely event of a wholesale capitulation to the US. And as the US bludgeons non-compliant states, one-by-one, they do react collectively, and asymmetrically, to counter these pressures. The counter current presently is advancing rapidly....
The downside to this post is that Alastair Crooke doesn't understand government finance.
Strategic Culture Foundation
A Rules-Based Global Order or Rule-less US Global ‘Order’?
Alastair Crooke | founder and director of the Conflicts Forum, and former British diplomat and senior figure in British intelligence and in European Union diplomacy

The Week — Jon Stewart expertly explains how Trump punks the media

POTUS as troll-in-chief.

The Week
Jon Stewart expertly explains how Trump punks the media

Frank Li — What is really going on in China?

I was in China October 20-28, throughout which I experienced and carefully observed China first hand. Here is a summary: China is doing very well, as usual, and the trade war between the U.S. and China has zero effect on average Chinese citizens, so far. Specifically, let me highlight four points:
  1. The opening of the HK-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.
  2. China's Import Expo.
  3. Japanese PM Abe visited China.
  4. China in the large.
What is really going on in China?
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

Bill Mitchell — The Twitter echo chamber

It is Wednesday so just a few things to report and discuss. I have noted in recent weeks an upsurge in the Twitter noise about Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and various statements along the lines that MMT economists are male chauvinists, mindlessly attack other heterodox economists because we are a religious cult, that we thrive on conflict, that only the US has a sovereign government and more. Quite amazing stuff. And these attacks are coming mostly from the so-called heterodox side of the economics debate although not exclusively. It is quite an interesting exercise to try to understand the motivations that are driving this social media behaviour. Things that would never be said face-to-face are unleashed with regularity these days. There appears to be a sort of self-reinforcing ‘echo chamber’ that this squad operate within and it seems to lead to all sorts of bravado that would be absent in face-to-face communication. None of the attacks seem to have any substance or foundation. They just reflect an insecurity with the way that MMT is creating awareness and challenging progressives to be progressive. And, they just make the Tweeters look stupid. I thought I would document some of the recent trail of nonsense to let you know what is going on in case you haven’t been following it. It is a very interesting sociological phenomena.
I concluded some time ago that following social media is a waste of time. I can't figure out why on earth anyone with any intelligence would be bothered with paying attention to it other than as an interesting historical, sociological and anthropological phenomenon of the so-called information age. Looks like noise to me. I'd characterize social media as the drivel chamber, good mostly for disseminating fake news, conspiracy theory, and propaganda.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The Twitter echo chamber
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia


I have read that the reason there will never be a libertarian society is that libertarian are so individualistic that they can't agree on anything - it's like herding cats.  Libertarians are a querrelsome lot, but hey, come to think of it, that might apply to us here too?

Jerry Taylor is a left leaning libertarian who was once a member of the Cato Institute and in his interesting article he points out some of the faults, in his opinion, in libertarianism thinking. He believes that a strong, but limited, government which he says will give people the most freedom. One thing I like about this article is that he says that many libertarians would give up on libertarianism if it did not create the better society for everyone they had hoped for.

Those of us on the left also argue that a fair, benign, and truly democratic government will give us the most freedom. State healthcare frees people from a lot of worry, and there's no need to spend hours going over the small print when choosing health insurance only to find that there is still lots of get out clauses when you go to claim. In a state system a panel of experts will spend weeks, if not months, reading the small print and negotiating the best deal.

Employment rights give the majority of people more freedom too, and so on.

By the time you have got a society that balances the maximum freedom for people  while ensuring that businesses can work at their best too, Jerry Taylor's libertarian state might not be much different to Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party run state.


Some of my old colleagues maintained that their ideological commitments were anchored in moral principle regarding how society ought to be ordered (for libertarians, “freedom, for good or ill!”). When pressed, however, they usually conceded that they thought their ideological commitments would produce better social outcomes, and that if that turned out to be false, they would have to reassess their beliefs. This is an important concession in that it qualifies the ideologue’s commitment to principle: the principle must have good outcomes. As John Rawls once argued, any ideology that does not concern itself with the real-world impact of its ideas on society is a thing of madness.
That madness, however, often arises in ideological communities because their attachment to principle is so powerful that it becomes an end unto itself. For instance, in my old circles, libertarians will argue passionately against the state but marshal little evidence about what sort of society might actually arise in the modern world were the state to largely disappear. Perhaps the most impressive intellectual ever to take up the libertarian cause — Robert Nozick — had absolutely nothing to say about that in Anarchy, State, and Utopia (my bible for most of my adult life).
There is a good reason for this omission. Wherever we look around the world, when we see inconsequential governments with limited power, as libertarians would prefer, we see “failed states.” How much liberty and human dignity can be found there? Very little.
That, in fact, is the main point of one of the best contemporary rejoinders to libertarianism — Mark Weiner’s The Rule of the Clan. Weiner’s argument is that without government, we don’t usually have unconstrained freedom and autonomy. We have instead the rule of family, caste, church, criminal syndicates, or any number of nongovernmental agents. Historically speaking, those nongovernmental agents have done far more violence to individual liberty and autonomy than have modern welfare states. The modern welfare state, Weiner argues, has tended to expand liberty by using its power to free people from the oppression and deprivation that so often followed from the rule of nongovernmental actors.
How much liberty and human dignity can be found in the world where state power breaks down and is overcome by private power? Very little. That point was well made in episode 23 of HBO’s The Sopranos, wherein a man comes forward as a witness to a crime without knowing that it was committed by New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano. He sits in his living room reading Anarchy, State, and Utopia when his lawyer calls to tell him that he has inadvertently put himself in the crosshairs of the mafia. Our concerned citizen turns white, puts the book down, and frantically calls the police to retract his statement. The message, echoed by political scientist Bo Rothstein, is clear: “In a ‘stateless’ Robert Nozick type of society, where everything should be arranged by individual, freely entered contracts, markets will deteriorate into organized crime and corruption.”
For ideologues, adequate concern about the real-world implications of their visions moving from (beautiful) theory to (messy) practice is rare indeed.

Niskanen Centre


Methods of Scripture Memorization by the Early Jews – Mnemonics

All of this intense mental activity in direct competition with a cognitive ability to abstract; perhaps leaving these ancient people deficient in or maybe even without any ability to abstract (scary!!!):

The Jews used mnemonic devices, or memory aids to help them memorize Scripture.
With such a demand on memory, there were ingenious memory devices and aids invented to aid in the memorization of the Torah and oral law. One such aid was involving the whole body in learning – it was thought that movement, or swaying, was a mechanical aid to memorizing.
In the Palestinian Talmud, there are two stories that help students remember the Aleph-Bet and incorporate moral teaching into learning the Hebrew consonant, “The shape of the letters, wherever possible, is used as a mnemonic device to help the children retain the appearance and order of the letters as well as to remind them of the moral message.” This technique will reappear in Medieval memory treatises which they called ‘visual alphabets’. 
One method utilized by teachers was a system of chanting or intonation to help the students remember their verses called ‘Pisuk Ta’amim’, “The origin of this system is reported to go back to very early times and its knowledge was transmitted orally…The employment of melody…served a twofold purpose – it appealed to the esthetic sense, making for a greater appreciation of the Bible and it impressed more effectively the content upon the memory of the learner and listener. 
The Rabbis also attempted to arouse interest in the subject and favored having students learn and study texts that they were interested in – an interest in any subject helps memory retention as will be discussed under heading VII of this essay. 
 “People were advised that in studying the Torah they should choose those topics that had a special interest for them, ‘that their heart desired.’  
It is significant that the heart is mentioned, for the Jews believed, as did Aristotle, that memory resided in the heart. 
 Such an idea was itself taken from Scripture. To reiterate Morris, comments, “‘Remembering’ or ‘recalling’, is in the Bible frequently synonymous with ‘coming up to’ or ‘putting into’ the heart. And conversely, to ‘forget’ or ‘be forgotten’ is equivalent to ‘departing’ or ‘removing’ from the heart.”

This "heart" thesis is rejected today as the memory is viewed as being in the brain in the head...

In any case, a lot of effort here in developing techniques to achieve rote memorization perhaps at the expense of the person's ability of abstraction...

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Hans Gersbach — Sovereign money: A challenge for science

There has been an intense academic and policy debate on what monetary architecture is the most appropriate recently, but many issues are still unresolved. This column looks at the circumstances under which the current system and the sovereign money system yield the same outcomes, the core arguments in favour of the current system, and what advantages a sovereign money architecture might offer....
Sovereign money: A challenge for science
Hans Gersbach | Professor at CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich and CEPR Research Fellow

William Hogeland — What Did the Founders Mean by “Democracy”?

The thing that almost all of the framers really agreed on is that a broad franchise for electing representatives makes things too responsive to the popular will; and that even where the franchise is appropriately, in their view, restricted to white men with sufficient property, with even more property required for standing for office, a legislature unchecked by a more elite upper house still makes things too responsive. New ideas were out there. They urged not direct democracy but access to the representative franchise for unpropertied men, as well as the establishment of representative legislatures unchecked by upper houses. The framers disparaged those ideas as “democracy,” along with the state legislatures in which those ideas found expression and the people pushing for them.
Hogeland posts here
What Did the Founders Mean by “Democracy”?
William Hogeland

Steve Randy Waldman — Continuous elections

SRW come up with a conclusion similar to Aristotle's. Democracy can only work if it has stochastic basis that can't be gamed.

Continuous electionsSteve Randy Waldman

Branko Milanovic — Globalists: Neoliberals in search of terrestrial empire [Book Review]

The recently published “Globalists:The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism” by Quinn Slobodian charts the history of neoliberalism from its rather humble origins (in terms of intellectual importance, not in terms of income level of its main participants) in Vienna and Geneva to its ascent to a very important if not dominant position in economics, both in theory and economic policy. It is a very well researched book that, I believe, brings even to those who know the essentials of the Mont Pèlerin society, ordoliberalism and Hayekiana lots of new factual information and fresh insights into opinions and, at times, unusual political positions or unexpected bed-fellows of various neoliberal luminaries....
Global Inequality
Globalists: Neoliberals in search of terrestrial empire
Branko Milanovic | Visiting Presidential Professor at City University of New York Graduate Center and senior scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), and formerly lead economist in the World Bank's research department and senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

David Pozen — Authoritarian Constitutionalism in Facebookland

Some issues involved in "content moderation" on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
Perhaps Facebook’s content moderation regime is less like a common law system than like a system of authoritarian or absolutist constitutionalism. Authoritarian constitutionalism, as Alexander Somek describes it, accepts many governance features of constitutional democracy “with the noteworthy exception of … democracy itself.” The absence of meaningful democratic accountability is justified “by pointing to a goal—the goal of social integration”—whose attainment would allegedly “be seriously undermined if co-operation were sought with [the legislature] or civil society.” Absolutist constitutionalism, in Mark Tushnet’s formulation, occurs when “a single decisionmaker motivated by an interest in the nation’s well-being consults widely and protects civil liberties generally, but in the end, decides on a course of action in the decisionmaker’s sole discretion, unchecked by any other institutions.”

The analogy to authoritarian/absolutist constitutionalism calls attention to the high stakes of Facebook’s regulatory choices and to the awesome power the company wields over its digital subjects as a “sovereign” of cyberspace. It also foregrounds the tension between Facebook’s seemingly sincere concern for free speech values and its explicit aspiration to make users feel socially safe and “connected” (and hence to maximize the time they spend on the site), a tension that is shaped by market forces but ultimately resolved by benevolent leader and controlling shareholder Zuckerberg....
Authoritarian Constitutionalism in Facebookland
David Pozen | Professor of Law at Columbia Law School

Yu Yongding — How Trump Is Helping China

China's leaders have long known that the economy has outgrown the world market, and is desperately in need of rebalancing. But, thanks to Donald Trump’s trade war, they are now pursuing that goal with a new sense of urgency, suggesting that US pressure may well end up being a blessing in disguise for China.
Project Syndicate
How Trump Is Helping China
Yu Yongding | formerly president of the China Society of World Economics and director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, member the Monetary Policy Committee of the People’s Bank of China from 2004 to 2006 and member of the Advisory Committee of National Planning of the Commission of National Development and Reform of the PRC

Adam Kotsko — “Reasonable people disagree.”

About normalization. Donald Trump, who campaigned against Barack Obama's "government by executive order," now wants to use his own executive order to change the US Constitution as if that were "normal."
I’m old enough to remember when we suddenly had a “national conversation” about torture. As soon as the idea of the legitimacy of torture had the slightest toehold in the national discourse, every staged “debate” was oriented toward extorting torture opponents into admitting that there were some circumstances where it was warranted. Hence the infamous “ticking time bomb” scenarios. You see, absolute opposition to torture was an extreme position that couldn’t possibly be right — the truth had to be “somewhere in the middle.” And when the American people repudiated Bush and the Republicans to a degree unprecedented in the last forty years, Mr. Moderation himself decided that it was time to look forward and not backward and didn’t prosecute any of those well-intentioned patriots who let themselves get carried away and wound up doing a few regrettable things. And you have to admit, don’t you, that they kept us safe!

And I’m worried the same thing will happen here — that birthright citizenship will be permanently damaged by the very existence of this sham debate between the constitutional status quo ante of the last century and a half and this new idea that just popped into Trump’s head, both of which are equally legitimate “sides” in the brilliant “debate” that the media will be so proud of themselves for covering so even-handedly.
I am much more concerned about normalizing the view that the President can change the US Constitution unilaterally by executive order. That would, in effect, be the end of the legitimacy of the constitutional and constitutional process, making it what the president says it is. If that is not dictatorship, I don't know what is.

An und für sich
Adam Kotsko

See also
Now, I do think that the birthright citizenship thing may be a stunt that won’t go anywhere. And I agree with those who say it’s a trap: Trump is trying to get us to debate the idea in order to legitimize it. Even if he can’t actually do it, by introducing the notion, he makes it more viable in people’s minds, thereby increasing the chances that it will someday happen. By entering into an argument about it, we give Trump exactly what he wants….
Current Affairs
Be Careful About Relying On The Constitution
Nathan J. Robinson | Editor of Current Affairs

See also

Trump citizenship plan may not conflict with constitution: Pence

U.S. senator [Lindsey Graham] says will offer bill to back Trump birthright citizenship plan

See also

The Invalidity of the Proposed Executive Order on Statutory Grounds
Gerard N. Magliocca | Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law


Trump Falsely Claims Power to End Birthright Citizenship
Jacob Sugarman

See also

The Invisible Caravans
Stephanie Leutert | Director of the Mexico Security Initiative at the University of Texas at Austin

Pepe Escobar — Welcome to the Jungle

[Jair Bolsonaro's] first speech as president exuded the feeling of a trashy jihad by a fundamentalist sect laced with omnipresent vulgarity and the exhortation of a God-given dictatorship as the path towards a new Brazilian Golden Age.

French-Brazilian sociologist Michael Lowy has described the Bolsonaro phenomenon as “pathological politics on a large scale”.

His ascension was facilitated by an unprecedented conjunction of toxic factors such as the massive social impact of crime in Brazil, leading to a widespread belief in violent repression as the only solution; the concerted rejection of the Workers’ Party, catalyzed by financial capital, rentiers, agribusiness and oligarchic interests; an evangelical tsunami; a “justice” system historically favoring the upper classes and embedded in State Department-funded “training” of judges and prosecutors, including the notorious Sergio Moro, whose single-minded goal during the alleged anti-corruption Car Wash investigation was to send Lula to prison; and the absolute aversion to democracy by vast sectors of the Brazilian ruling classes.

That is about to coalesce into a radically anti-popular, God-given, rolling neoliberal shock; paraphrasing Lenin, a case of fascism as the highest stage of neoliberalism. After all, when a fascist sells a “free market” agenda, all his sins are forgiven....
Pepe Escobar is Brazilian.

Consortium News
Pepe Escobar


Anatoly Karlin (Russian and alt-right) has a different take.

The Unz Review
Is Bolsonaro an American Stooge?

See also Escobar on the snake pit.

Bill Mitchell — British fiscal statement – no end to austerity as the Left face plants

Last night in Britain (October 29, 2018), the British Chancellor released the – Budget 2018 – aka the 2018 fiscal statement (my terminology, to avoid triggering the flawed household budget analogy). The detailed analysis is being done by others and I haven’t had enough time to read all the documents produced by the Government and others yet anyway. But of the hundreds of pages of data and documentation I have been able to consult, the Government is trying to win back votes while not particularly changing its austerity bias. That is fairly clear once you dig a little into the outlook statement produced by the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR). The Government’s strategy is also unsustainable because it continues the reliance on debt accumulation in the non-government sector, which will eventually hit a brick wall as the balance sheet of that sector becomes overly precarious. Nothing much has been learned from the GFC in that respect. The Government can only cut its debt by piling more onto the non-government sector. Second, the response of the Left has been pathetic. The Fabians, for example, has put out a document that uses all sorts of neoliberal frames and language, making it indistinguishable from something the mainstream macroeconomists would pump out – the anathema of the constructs and language that the Left should be using. There is a reason the political Left has fallen by the wayside over the last 3 or so decades. And their penchant to write and speak like neoliberals is part of the story....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
British fiscal statement – no end to austerity as the Left face plants
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Monday, October 29, 2018

Peter Koenig - Khashoggi versus 50,000 Slaughtered Yemeni Children

Peter Koenig writes another polemic piece about the lack off Western morality and it's horrible money grabbing, people aren't important (unless you're in the 0.01%) system.

MBS got to have dinner with the Queen a little while back, a guest of honour. I bet they were very nice and polite to each other as they drank tea in the best china.

Europe has no morals, no ethics no nothing. Europe, represented by Brussels, and in Brussels by the non-elected European Commission (EC), for all practical purposes is a mere nest of worms, or translated into humans, a nest of white-collar criminals, politicians, business people and largely a brainwashed populace of nearly 500 million. There are some exceptions within the population and fortunately their pool of ‘awakened’ is gently growing.

The European, along with the US, have been more than complicit in this crime against humanity – in these horrendous war crimes. Imagine one day a Nuremberg-type Court against war crimes committed in the last 70 years, not one of the western leaders, still alive, would be spared. That’s what we – in the west – have become. A nest of war criminals – war criminals for sheer greed. They invented a neoliberal, everything goes market doctrine system, where no rules no ethics no morals count – just money, profit and more profit. Any method of maximizing profit – war and war industry – is good and accepted. And the  west with its fiat money made of hot air, is imposing this nefarious, destructive system everywhere, by force and regime change if voluntary acceptance is not in the cards.

Global Research

Khashoggi versus 50,000 Slaughtered Yemeni Children - Global Research 110 14 11

Eric Schliesser — On the Crisis of Liberalism

Regular readers know (recall) that I believe the second wave of liberalism+ has ended and that it may not survive the present darkness. (In brief: first long wave: 1776-1914; second wave: 1945-2009. Some readers will say, good riddance, and to you I say, I hope you do better.) The present crisis is much visible in our daily politics (and headlines), shifting public norms, and the rising confidence of regimes and thinkers who, again, openly espouse hierarchical, ethnic, zero-sum, eugenic, and violent solutions to present conflicts.* While there is much urgent, practical work to be done to salvage institutions that may be at the core of a renewal, some reflection away from daily politics is also required. This also requires attention not just because we need polities that make minimal decency possible,** but also because we need (or so I assume today) properly functioning liberal institutions to meet humanity's great challenges -- environmental disaster, genetic engineering, ethnic conflict, -- ahead. To reflect one our shortcomings is a means of being liberal as well as a path toward its possible renewal. This is the second post (recall) in an open-ended series (see also here, here, and here).
What follows, then is the start of an attempt to display the existential challenges to liberalism that arise from within. I do not offer solutions to these challenges and so invite readers to chime in....
My thoughts: Modern liberalism is the result of the 18th century Enlightenment attempt to forge a new world order after the breakdown of the interregnum during which feudal Christendom had dominate the West since the fall of the Roman Empire and the remnants of eastern empire had gone its own way. The aim was to provide a naturalistic basis for the world order that had been organized around the great chain of being.

This gave rise to two challenges. The first was the presented by the issues around formulating a new order based on the rise of science and the antagonism between science and religion. The second challenge was presented by the dominant mode of production, industrial capital, that was replacing the dominance of agriculture under feudalism.

The result was bourgeois liberalism disguised in the garb of "democracy," even though bourgeois liberalism was largely a resurrection of the Roman republic that was dominated by the patricians as the ownership class. The feudal lords were replaced by industrial capitalists.

Political economy was organized around the idea that capital formation leads to growth and a rising tide lifts all boats ("trickle down"). Thus, the program of political economy was based on favoring capital over land (the environment) and labor (workers, who comprised the majority of the population).

This resulted in numerous paradoxes of liberalism as "internal contradictions"in the bourgeois liberal order when a rising tide didn't lift all boats and many people left left out. In addition, environmental degradation greatly increased with increased population coupled with economic growth.

The consequence is the present crisis of liberalism.

On the Crisis of Liberalism (I)

On the Crisis of Liberalism (II)
Eric Schliesser | Professor of Political Science, University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

See also

On The Mont Pelerin Society at 70; or the Transmission of the Ideals Political Freedom

Robert Paul Wolff — SOCIALISM?

One of the Anonymati [Anonymouses? Anonymice?] asks that I write a critique of the oh so sober, serious analysis of socialism, complete with charts and graphs, produced by the President’s Council of Economic Advisors....

I have read the Executive Summary of the report and scanned through the report itself, but I do not intend to take issue with it, and my reason for not doing so is the real subject of this post. Let me begin by reminding you that Karl Marx, who wrote 5000 pages, more or less, on the history, anatomy, laws of motion, and mystified ideology of capitalism, wrote maybe 50 or 60 pages, if that, about socialism. It was not a lapse in memory on his part. He had a reason for not writing about how socialism would work, and that reason is the very heart of his economic and historiographical theory.

Marx believed that just as capitalism had developed slowly, organically, within the existing socio-economic system of feudalism, so too the social relationships of production appropriate to socialism would develop within the structure of capitalism until the contradiction, as he called it, between the two would produce a revolutionary transition. Socialism would not come about as a result of manifestos, or theoretical analyses, or counter-cultural utopian experimental communities. Rather, the inner development of capitalism itself would create the new social relations of production out of which socialism would emerge. In effect, capitalists themselves would be the gravediggers of capitalism....
The Philosopher's Stone
Robert Paul Wolff | Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts Amherst

See also
In what follows, I propose to take as my text a famous statement from Marx’s A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy1—a sort of preliminary sketch of Das Kapital2—and see what it can tell us about the capitalism of our day. I shall try to show you that Marx was fundamentally right about the direction in which capitalism would devel- op, but that because of his failure to anticipate three important features of the mature capitalist world, his optimism concerning the outcome of that development was misplaced. Along the way, I shall take a fruitful detour through the arid desert of financial accounting theory.
Here is the famous passage, from the preface of the Contribution, published in 1859:
No social order ever disappears before all the productive forces for which there is room in it have been developed, and new, higher re- lations of production never appear before the material conditions of their existence have matured in the womb of the old society.3
Robert Paul Wolff, "The Future of Socialism"35 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 1403 (2012)

See also
In a slender volume edited by Heinrich Geisenberger “The Great Regression”, fifteen, among the most important left-wing social thinkers of today, ask the following question: what is the future of social-democracy now when global neoliberalism is crumbling and the forces of nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise? I would not be letting you in on a big secret, nor do I think I would undermine the book’s appeal, if I say that they do not have an answer; neither individually, not collectively. The reason is simple: the answer, as of now, is elusive, and it might even seem that it does not exist....
Global Inequality
What is to be done? Fifteen authors in search of a solution.
Branko Milanovic | Visiting Presidential Professor at City University of New York Graduate Center and senior scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), and formerly lead economist in the World Bank's research department and senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

See also
When we launched the Niskanen Center in January 2015, we happily identified ourselves as libertarians. Sure, we were heterodox libertarians, but there are many schools of libertarianism beyond those promoted by Charles Koch’s political operations. The school we identified with was a left-libertarianism concerned with social justice (a libertarian perspective that I’ve defended in debates with more orthodox libertarians here and here). That worldview lacked an institutional voice in 2015. Our ambition was to create a space for it and, in so doing, redefine what it meant to be libertarian in the 21st century.
 I have abandoned that libertarian project, however, because I have come to abandon ideology. This essay is an invitation for you to do likewise — to walk out of the “clean and well-lit prison of one idea.” Ideology encourages dodgy reasoning due to what psychologists call “motivated cognition,” which is the act of deciding what you want to believe and using your reasoning power, with all its might, to get you there. Worse, it encourages fanaticism, disregard for social outcomes, and invites irresolvable philosophical disputes. It also threatens social pluralism — which is to say, it threatens freedom.
The better alternative is not moral relativism. The better alternative is moderation, a commodity that is rapidly disappearing in political life, with dangerous consequences for the American republic.

My hope is that I might best convince you to leave ideology behind by holding up a mirror to an ideological culture that is likely not your own — the world of libertarianism — and discussing the reasons why I left it behind. I suspect that, for those who hold to an “–ism,” the ideological culture of my old world doesn’t look too terribly different from your own.
I do not aim here to settle old scores or to criticize friends and former colleagues. After all, the beliefs that I find wanting today are the very beliefs that I myself held for most of my adult life. I simply mean to put in stark relief the pitfalls of ideological thinking, to illustrate those pitfalls in the world I know best, and to make the case for something better...
Niskanen Center
Jerry Taylor

See also

What happens when the rising tide doesn't lift all boats.

Conversable Economist
Remembering Albert Hirschman's Tunnel Effect
Timothy Taylor | Managing editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, based at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Michael Vlahos — We Were Made for Civil War

Backgrounder. A historical view dissension, divisiveness and civil war in the US.

The American Conservative
We Were Made for Civil War
Michael Vlahos | professor in the Strategy and Policy Department at the US Naval War College, adjunct faculty member, Global Security Studies program at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Arts and Sciences , former Director of the Security Studies Program at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies, and formerly with Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, the Center for Naval Analyses, the Department of State and the Central Intelligence Agency

Bill Mitchell — US growth robust but doubts remain

By way of falsehood, the WSJ said that:

It’s clear that the Republican policy mix of tax reform, deregulation and general encouragement for risk-taking rescued an expansion that was fading fast and almost fell into recession in the last six quarters of the Obama Administration. The nearby chart tells the story that Mr. Obama and his economists won’t admit. Soaring business and consumer confidence have been central to this rebound.
The ‘Chart’ in question was just the Quarterly percent change in GDP from Q3 in 2015 to Q3 this year (see below for my version of the graph).
As you will see below, the data does not support the claim that business has rebounded because of a “mix of tax reform, deregulation and general encouragement for risk-taking”.
Most of the growth came from household consumption expenditure with solid contributions from the government sector. While the contribution from private capital formation was strong, it was mostly due to unsold goods (inventories) with fixed investment and residential investment dragging down growth.
This is contrary to the narrative that the WSJ is trying to confect....

By way of truth, the WSJ said that:

All the more so because Mr. Trump may soon face an economic challenge from a Democratic House, if not Senate. A tax increase would be near the top of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s policy list, and she might use the need to raise the federal debt limit in 2019 to force Mr. Trump’s hand.
The Democratic obsession with ‘sound finance’ and its continual railing against the fiscal deficit and public debt is a massive danger to US growth, especially when one considers the point I noted before that the growth is being driven by the rising debt in an environment of flat business investment.
Seriously, the Democrats need to really rethink their approach....

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

Laurie Macfarlane — Why Wealth Is Determined More by Power Than Productivity

To the early classical economists, this kind of wealth – attained by simply extracting value created by others ­­– was deemed to be unearned, and referred to it as ‘economic rent’. However, ever since neoclassical economics replaced classical economics as the dominant school of thinking in the late 19th century, economic rent has been increasingly marginalised from economic discourse. To the extent that it is acknowledged, it is usually viewed as being peripheral to the story of wealth accumulation, resulting from ‘market frictions’, such as monopsony and asymmetric information, which give rise to certain instances of ‘market power’. For the most part, economists have tended to focus on the acts of saving and investment which drive the real production process. But on closer inspection, it is clear that economic rent is far from peripheral. Indeed, in many countries it has been the main story of changing wealth patterns….

All statistics tell a story, but stories can be told from different perspectives. Embedded in the definitions of all economic statistics are value judgements about what is desirable and what is undesirable, which in turn shape the way we think about the economy. At the moment, the way we measure the wealth of nations mainly reflects the fortunes of capitalists and landowners rather than workers and tenants. Britain looks wealthier than Germany on paper, but this does not reflect the lived reality for most people. While it’s important not to overstate the extent to which statistics can influence the real world, this is important for at least three reasons.

Firstly, it illustrates how seemingly objective metrics often have ideological assumptions baked into them. While there is already a well-established literature on alternatives to GDP, many economic metrics are used in economic analysis and policy appraisal without any critical appraisal of their underlying ideological assumptions. This needs to change.

Second, it highlights how paper wealth has in many places become decoupled from productive capacity, and how conflating the two can be highly misleading. This is particularly the case where zero sum rentier activity is widespread, as in the case of Britain. Such discrepancies raise the question of whether the way that we currently measure wealth is really the most sensible.

But most importantly, it illustrates that the distribution of wealth has little to do with contribution or productivity, and everything to do with politics and power. As J.W. Mason states: “It’s bargaining power, it’s politics, all the way down.”

For economists who see their discipline as a ‘value free’ science which is separate from politics, this is uncomfortable territory. But if the aim is to understand the economy as it really exists, then analysing power beyond the narrow concept of ‘market power’ is essential. Among other things, this means grappling with the power dynamics that underpin ownership and property relations, as well as those that that drive inequalities between different social groups and identities....
Why Wealth Is Determined More by Power Than Productivity
Laurie Macfarlane | Economics Editor at openDemocracy, Associate Fellow at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at University College London and former Senior Economist at the New Economics Foundation

Owen Jones - Britain has sold its soul to the House of Saud. Shame on us

                               Uroplatus phantasticus and Chlamydosaurus kingii 

Owen Jones has written a pretty good article in the Guardian today about Saudi Arabia exposing the BS us a Western morality: just check the colour of the money? 

The West is starting WW3 with Russia because it was said they 'annexed' Crimea, where no one died, no shots were fired, no armies marched, no tanks rolled, and no one resisted. The Ukrainians seem to be quite happy to be part of Russia and not part of civil war torn Ukraine, but the Western press inform us that the Crimeans are scared to protest in case the Russia secret police shoot them. But when hundred of thousands of people, including women and children, die in Yemen, they're not too fussed. 

Saudi Arabia is a tyranny that threatens all of us. It was central to the rise of the Taliban, al-Qaida and Isis. It subjects women to monstrous oppression, maintains the death penalty for gay people and “witches”, bans all political parties and free media, and uses British and US weapons to butcher civilians in Yemen. Britain’s alliance with the House of Saud exposes our ruling elite’s talk of “human rights” abroad as a crock of lies. Foreign regimes are arranged into a hierarchy of villains; but the order is not decided on the basis of how villainous they are, rather how hostile they are deemed to be to western interests. There are many reasons why our country’s crumbling social order has lost any legitimacy. This blood-soaked pact is as striking as any.

Take our political elite. When he was prime minister, Tony Blair piled pressure on the attorney general to end a massive corruption scandal involving a Saudi arms deal. Since the Saudi-led onslaught on Yemen began, the British government has licensed £4.7bn of arms exports. British military advisers have even worked in Saudi war rooms. Germany has now halted arms exports to the Saudi regime; but even if more western bombs are dropped on school buses, there is no chance the Tory government will follow the German lead.
The Saudi regime spends hundreds of thousands on British MPs – mostly Tory, but some Labour: from foreign trips to gifts. On one such trip, in April this year, Labour’s Paul Williams cooed that his “previous notions have been blown out of the water”; that he had “seen a modern, progressive Saudi Arabia that has totally changed my view of this country”. His Saudi funders must have been delighted: the rate of beheadings has doubled under the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman; women’s rights activists and the country’s most prominent dissident have been arrested; and thousands have been butchered by the Saudis in Yemen. Shipping over gullible British parliamentarians on stage-managed trips to project a false image of reform is a good investment. Williams protests that he can see “the absolutely atrocious things the regime does”, but stresses the “economic and social reforms taking place”, unable to accept that he was used.
The Guardian

Britain has sold its soul to the House of Saud. Shame on us

Peter Cooper — Job Guarantee as Nominal Price Anchor

I’ve been thinking about the job guarantee as it is envisaged by proponents of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). My focus has been on various quantity effects of the policy that can be considered using the standard income-expenditure model as a base (for preliminary posts along these lines, see here and here.) Since the income-expenditure model takes the general price level as given, it does not directly shed light on the aspects of a job guarantee that would pertain to price stability. To provide some context for a possible future discussion of quantity effects, it is perhaps worth summarizing how the job guarantee would moderate price pressures. Clear statements of the MMT position on the topic can be found in a billy blog post (here) and closely related academic articles by Bill Mitchell (here) and Warren Mosler (here).…
Job Guarantee as Nominal Price Anchor
Peter Cooper

Eric Lonergan — MMT and fiscal rules (part I) – a prologue

Finally, a useful MMT critique.

Philosophy of Money
MMT and fiscal rules (part I) – a prologue
Eric Lonergan

'Idiots think in labels'

Taleb can see the idiocy of the results yes; but as of yet hasn't expressed a view or interest in the methodologies that lead to these distinctions... might make sense for a stochastic person like himself (vice a deterministic person)...

2018 Price Volatility

You can see in this graph the spike early in the year due to the Trump tax increase (you know, the Trump action morons label "tax cuts for the rich!"); and then this month's spike due to China's monetary policy which is going to probably cost another 3 months of our time...

PBoC policy statement

Here's a translation of the statement from the PBoC announcing the start of the monetarist policy that created the current round of global asset price instability:

2. What are the main considerations for the central bank to replace the medium-term lending facilities through RRR cuts? 
A: The main purpose of this RRR reduction is to optimize the liquidity structure and enhance the financial ability of financial services. Currently, with the increase in credit supply, the medium and long-term liquidity demand of financial institutions is also growing. At this time, appropriately reducing the statutory deposit reserve ratio and replacing some central bank borrowing funds can further increase the stability of the banking system funds, optimize the liquidity structure of commercial banks and financial markets, reduce the bank capital costs, and thus reduce corporate financing costs. At the same time, the release of about 750 billion yuan of incremental funds can increase the financial institutions' support for small and micro enterprises, private enterprises and innovative enterprises, promote the vitality and resilience of economic innovation, enhance the growth of endogenous economic growth, and promote the healthy development of the real economy. .

They, in monetarist fashion, created an additional 750B yuan of reserve assets at the depositories to "lend out"...

People's Bank of China
Statement from Monetary Policy Division

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Michael Roberts — Socialism and the White House

The Trump White House research team have issued a very strange report. It’s called “The Opportunity Costs of Socialism,”. It purports to prove that ‘socialism’ and ‘socialist’ policies would be damaging to Americans because the ‘opportunity costs’ of socialism compared to capitalism are so much higher.
What is strange and rather amusing is that the White House advisers to Trump deem it necessary to explain to Americans the failures of ‘socialism’ in 2018. But when you delve into the report, it becomes clear that what is worrying the Trumpists is not ‘socialism’, but the policies of left Democrat Bernie Sanders for higher taxes on the rich 1% and the increased popularity of a ‘single-payer’ national health service for all. The popularity of these policies threatens the Republican majority in Congress and also the wealth and income of big pharma corporations and Trump’s billionaire supporters....
Michael Roberts Blog
Socialism and the White House
Michael Roberts

See also

People's World
Socialism under attack from scared White House
Ian Goodrum

Friday, October 26, 2018

PCR - The Triumph of Evil

I said here a couple of times that I quite like Putin, but I bind of had the hunch be might let me down one day. I didn't want to believe this so I remained hopeful, but now he might have finally let me down if the RT report that PCR mentions is true, which states that he has agreed to sell the Saudis the S-400 air defense system, which will no doubt be used to pound the starving Yemeni even more. The U.S. and the Russians are all in on the make. The people of the world have no friends. Let's hope it turns out not to true.

Putin might be giving Washington tit for tat by horning in on Washington’s armaments customers, but the decision to sell the Saudis the S-400 is a strategic blunder. Saudi Arabia is a sponsor of the war against Syria, in whose defense Russian lives and treasure have been spent. Moreover, Saudi Arabia is an enemy of Iran. Iran is an ally of Russia in the defense of Syria, and a country whose stability is essential to Russia’s stability. Perhaps even more important, the minute the Saudis get their hands on the S-400 they will hand it over to Washington, and experts will figure out how to defeat it, thus negating Russia’s investment in the weapon and its advantage. The decision to sell the S-400 to the Saudis convinces Washington that Putin and his government are clueless, babes in the woods to be easily run over.

In my opinion, the worst aspect of the S-400 sale is that it erases the moral edge that Putin has gained for Russia over the murderous and ever-threatening West. Now we have Russia putting profits above the Russian government’s professed respect for the rule of law and moral behavior.
Paul Craig Roberts

The Triumph of Evil

James Petras — Big Business Strikes Back: The Class Struggle from Above


Bankers, agro-business elites, commercial mega owners, manufacturing, real estate and insurance bosses and their financial advisers, elite members of the ‘ruling class’, have launched a full-scale attack on private and public wage and salary workers,and small and medium size entrepreneurs (the members of the ‘popular classes’). The attack has targeted income ,pensions, medical plans, workplace conditions, job security, rents, mortgages, educational costs, taxation,undermining family and household cohesion. 
Big business has weakened or abolished political and social organizations which challenge the distribution of income and profits and influence the rates of workplace output. In brief the ruling classes have intensified exploitation and oppression through the ‘class struggle’ from above.
We will proceed by identifying the means, methods and socio-political conditions which have advanced the class struggle from above and, conversely, reversed and weakened the class struggle from below....
Big Business Strikes Back: The Class Struggle from Above
James Petras | Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York and adjunct professor at Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

See also

Eric Schliesser — On Presidents

On Alexander Hamilton's argument for dictatorship in a republic.

On Presidents
Eric Schliesser | Professor of Political Science, University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Zero Hedge — Twitter Bans Former Asst. Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts—NOT


False alarm!
Dear Readers:
It is all over the internet and international media that Twitter has suspended my account.
This is not the case.
I do not use social media.

I discovered that a Twitter account was operating in my name.

I requested that the account be taken down.
Paul Craig Roberts
“My” Suspended Twitter Account
I just checked — Account suspended (10:30 AM CST, 26 Oct).

"It can't happen here."

"Back in the USSR."

Zero Hedge
Twitter Bans Former Asst. Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts
Tyler Durden

Michael Calderbank — Costas Lapavitsas: Socialism starts at home

Michael Calderbank speaks to Marxist economist Costas Lapavitsas ahead of the publication of his provocative new book The Left Case Against the EU

Costas Lapavitsas  The book is obviously a critique of the EU as it stands. It’s an assessment of where the union is, what it has become, and its likely direction. It is an attempt to say that the left should have nothing to do with defending this set of institutions. It should assume a critical, rejectionist position. I am asserting that this is the only way you can develop radical politics in Europe, a radical and internationalist economic and social programme....
Red Pepper
Costas Lapavitsas: Socialism starts at home
Michael Calderbank | Red Pepper co-editor and parliamentary researcher for trade unions

Jon N. Hall — The 'Limitless' Capacity of Government to Create Money

"Weimar," "Zimbabwe" get replaced by "Venezuela in this puerile pseudo-criticism of MMT.

What Jon Hall does get, is that a nation's currency is "the people's money." Unfortunately, he doesn't understand the implications of that for accomplishing public purpose through the political process in a democratic republic. Worse, he doesn't seem to care about understanding it other than superficially in terms of his cognitive-affective bias.

The American Thinker
The 'Limitless' Capacity of Government to Create Money
Jon N. Hall

George Galloway: "Erdogan's doing dance of 7's Macbeth on steroids"

George Galloway says it's curtains for the Saudi Regime, and maybe for Trump too as his family has so many connections to MBS. Anyway, it's quite gruesome, as Erdogan says he definitely has the tape of Jamal Khashoggi's horrific murder.

Erdogan's doing the dance of the 7 veils..Shakespeare couldn't have written this, it's Macbeth on steriods" says George Galloway who talks to In Question's Anya Parampil about Jamal Khashoggi.

Sucker Punch

Recent viral video here where the well-trained guy palms a sucker punch (with his LEFT hand) and doesn't respond by kicking the living shit out of the un-trained non-libertarian "initiator of violence!"... interesting...

The surprising science of alpha males | Frans de Waal

In this fascinating look at the "alpha male," primatologist Frans de Waal explores the privileges and costs of power while drawing surprising parallels between how humans and primates choose their leaders. His research reveals some of the unexpected capacities of alpha males -- generosity, empathy, even peacekeeping -- and sheds light on the power struggles of human politicians. "Someone who is big and strong and intimidates and insults everyone is not necessarily an alpha male," de Waal says.

What makes a successful alpha male is not what you think it is. In chimp groups alpha males are generous, kind, considerate, and they like to share food equally, and break up disputes.

The chimp group plays a role in the decision about who becomes the alpha male, and as the alpha male position is much prised, the alpha males sure everyone in happy to ensure he keeps his advantageous position. The troop will do everything they can to keep the more aggressive alpha males out of power, because they prefer the friendlier ones.

When it comes to election time, when it's time to select the alpha male, the male chimps, who normally take no notice of infants, will suddenly start kissing babies to win over the female vote.

When an alpha make gets old, he will often choose a small male to take over. This is good for him, because it keeps a nasty competitor out, but the troop prefer this too.

It's an interesting Tedx talk.

                                                                     An Alpha Male

Richard Wolff takes on Jordan B. Peterson

Richard Wolff is clearly very angry here, but he is very articulate. Would the 'mighty ' and big mouthed Jordan Peterson have the guts to take up Richard Wolff 's challenge for a debate. I doubt it, because he has too much to lose as his rhetoric is built on hot air,  do it's easy to disassemble Jordan Peterson 's arguments.

What annoys me, is that Jordan Peterson says his position is not political, as if he is stating some universal truth, but his arguments are clearly old fashioned right wing rhetoric. Nothing new here.

For instance, he comes up with a load of nonsense about how men should be men and woman should be women, and he runs Jungian psychology therapy groups for men to discover their true manhood. But Jungian therapy is proven rubbish and is not very affective. Jung 's insight might be interesting, but his therapy is bad.

I can remember the Buddhists near me running mens retreats where only men were allowed so they could talk about men's issues, they said, and I used to think, how boring, I like having the women around. So, I never went on one of these retreats, I stayed behind instead and chatted up the lovely Buddhist women that they had abandoned. I was in tune with my manly nature, or instinct, it seemed, as I knew where I preferred to be.

Prof. Wolff responds to Jordan Peterson's assertions about Marxism.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Links — 25 October 2018

Open Secrets
Saudi foreign agents’ political donations top $1.6 million in 2018 elections
Anna Massoglia

Sputnik International
MSNBC's Chuck Todd Fears Russia May Be Behind Bomb Scare (VIDEO)

Information Transfer Economics

Europe Will Become a Battlefield: Putin Bluntly Explains What Discarding INF Treaty Means

Is this just about more profits for the military-industrial- complex? I have read that the U.S. is hoping to bankrupt Russia by getting it into a new nuclear arms race.

President Putin: "Of course, there are certain issues concerning the development of missile technology in the world and the restrictions which only the US and the USSR, then the Russian Federation undertook. But what are we concerned about? We are concerned that the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was terminated. Now we are talking about the treaty on intermediate-range and short-range missiles."