Monday, September 30, 2019

That study about the health risks of red meat: An excellent news report — Andrew Gelman

Most interesting for the analysis of the process relative to statistical reasoning and news reporting, which happens to be the bedrock of economics and the narratives based on conventional economics. Short and not wonkish.

Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science
That study about the health risks of red meat: An excellent news report
Andrew Gelman | Professor of Statistics and Political Science and Director of the Applied Statistics Center, Columbia University

Links — 30 Sep 2105

Occasional Links & Commentary
“Maybe we should change the system”
David F. Ruccio | Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame

Zero Hedge
Why The US "Decoupling" Miracle Ends In 72 Hours
Tyler Durden

Yahoo News
Saudi prince says war with Iran would gut world economy

Russia Rolls Out The Red Carpet For Huawei Over 5G

Naked Capitalism
The Knock-On Consequences of the US-China Trade Tariffs on Global Value Chains
Yves Smith

Strategic Culture Foundation
Culture Wars, Foreign Policy Wars – When They Meet, They Clash
Alastair Crooke | founder and director of the Conflicts Forum, and former British diplomat and senior figure in British intelligence and in European Union diplomacy

London School of Economics
Current economic theory can't deal with our socio-ecological situation. But governments can draw on heterodox tools to lead an 'ecological reconstruction'.
Paavo Jรคrvensivu

Calculated Risk
Chicago PMI "Drifts to 47.1 in September", Lowest Quarter since 2009
Bill McBride

The Unz Review
Impeachment…or CIA Coup?
Ron Paul

The New Dark Age
China News Links 29-30 September 2019
William Bowles

India Punchline
Iran nuclear issue at inflection point
M. K. Bhadrakumar | retired diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service

Mint Press News
The White Helmets, Hala Systems and the Grotesque Militarization of “Humanitarianism” in Syria
Vanessa Beeley

Moon of Alabama
Senior Twitter Executive Joined British Army Troll Brigade

Kremlin says Trump-Putin phone calls can only be disclosed with Russian consent

Ukraine's president says Kiev unlikely to publish Trump call transcript

Sputnik International
Ex-White House Aide Bolton Calls for Toppling North Korea Militarily

Sputnik International
US Blacklist Backfires as Huawei Starts Building 5G Base Stations Without American-Made Parts


Roger Waters - Assange: Wish You Were Here

'not a single newspaper or television station reported the fact that I made a public performance of that song ["Wish You Were Here"] for Julian Assange.' 

Roger Waters 

Renegade Inc: The Licence To Be Bad

This Is really good, where Dr Jonathan Alfred says everything I have always said here.

Neoliberalism simply is not working, he says, and yet our politicians and the economic profession say that more neoliberalism is the answer. For instance, free markets are driving climate change, so the neoliberals say more markets are the solution, not tackling the cause.

What he says about scientific economics is the best, though: The profession attracts a lot of mathematicians and people qualified in system analysis, but they know nothing about economic history, political economics, and nothing about economics either. Their equations leave out ethics, humanity, morality, friendship, community, politics, kinship, says, Jonathan Alfred.

 It's one of the best articles I've posted.

Warren Buffet’s sidekick Charlie Munger once said “Show me the incentives and I’ll show you the results”. His logic is simple - when the incentives are misaligned, so too are the outcomes. Banking is a sector that proves his point - where so many people are rewarded for exploiting society. So how have our overall economic incentives become so skewed? Host Ross Ashcroft is joined by fellow and director of studies in economics at Cambridge, Dr Jonathan Aldred to discuss why economics has evolved to now punish those who want to do what’s right and reward those who do wrong.


All the media and Western politicians are interested in is how bad China or Russia are, but Indonesia is in the Western camp and so its atrocities in West Papua are ignored.

An American mining company is making billions stripping a West Papuan gold mine. West Papua was annexed by Indonesia and the rights of its gold mine was given to an American company. The West Papuans are some of poorest people in the world, while their gold mine is one of the largest in the world.

West Papua is home to one of the world’s largest gold mines (and third largest copper mine), known as the Grasberg Mine. Grasberg is majority-owned by the American mining firm Freeport McMoRan. It has reserves worth an estimated $100 billion, and the company is Indonesia’s biggest taxpayer.
Money and geopolitics usually beat out human rights. Since the Suharto dictatorship of Indonesia annexed West Papua in a 1969 U.N. referendum – largely viewed as a land grab – an estimated 500,000 West Papuans have been killed fighting to achieve independence.
Freeport McMoRan was given rights to Grasberg when the Indonesian government signed the right to extract mineral wealth from the site in 1967. In order to preserve this quite literal gold mine, the Indonesian military uses brute force against the local indigenous population. Benny Wenda, a native Papuan who has campaigned his whole life for independence, details the kinds of experiences the local population has endured at the hands of the Indonesian military:

The Last Vagabond


Going Underground - Child Poverty Rate

Child poverty rate:


Good thing the US is tackling this with a $700+ billion military budget ๐Ÿ™ƒ

Wong Chun Wai - Have HK people lost their mind?

Malaysia's The Star Online takes a different view from the Western media of the Hong Kong protest, in that it isn't very sympathetic to them.

Wong Chun Wai says half the protesters can't even articulate what they are protesting about, and many others are just there for the fun and the looting. He says the Chinese government won't crack down hard because the Hong Kong people themselves are fed up with the protests, but at the moment they are too scared to speak up in case they get beaten up by yobs with metal bars.

The rioters have destroyed Hong Kong’s economy and its tourist industry is in ruins, and not even business travellers want to go there anymore if they can help it.

Then there is also a demand to investigate purported police brutality. Most of us who have been following the weekly protests must be left shaking our heads.

Yes, HK isn’t Malaysia or Singapore, where there are enough laws to put a stop to these. Even in the United States or United Kingdom, the protesters wouldn’t be allowed to continue this week after week.And no one, including my media friends, has been able to tell me why the Western media is calling Joshua Wong a student leader when he is not an elected one, he is not in any university and at 22 years old, he is not even in any school.

Wong Chun Wai - Have HK people lost their mind?

  • South China Morning Post

Hong Kong’s crippling protests are the price it pays for being the world’s most free economy

  • The ‘economic freedom’ Hong Kong has championed gave us stark inequality, no social mobility and unaffordable housing. The result has been fatalism
  • The protests were decades in the making and won’t be solved without tackling deep-seated issues

Karishma Vaswani - ‘I don’t have any hope for my future in Hong Kong’

An interesting report from the BBC about China. If you read between the lines you will see that it is the Hong Kong's capitalist system itself that has brought so much misery to the people of Hong Kong. But the report does blame the Chinese government, as you would expect from the BBC, by saying that it hasn't done enough to counter the influence of big business and the wealthy elite in Hong Kong.

Yep, it's China's fault for keeping to the agreement of One Country, Two Systems, exactly what the Hong Kong people said they wanted, and exactly what the Western world wanted too.

Everyone in China has their own home and debt is low. The Hong Kong government proposed to build a home for everyone, but 51% of the residents in Hong Kong own their own home, so they got together and stopped the council from building new properties because they thought it would lower house prices. Now, one of the reasons the young people of Hong Kong are rioting is because houses are too expensive, and this is said to be the Chinese government's fault, for some reason.

Hong Kong was once the West's gate-way to China and the East, but other Chinese cities are closer to production and have taken over. Didn't anyone ever tell the pro-capitalist, pro-western HK students this is how capitalism works, and that most western economists would tell them to leave their friends and families behind and go to find work where the jobs are. Capitalism is tough!

Remember BBC, One Country, Two Systems.

Lack of political will

Hong Kong has one of the lowest tax rates in the world , which has helped it become a major financial hub.
Those low tax rates though have meant that the government has had to find other ways to fund education, housing and health programmes.
Traditionally it has relied on revenue from land sales to developers for commercial projects - but that means there's little incentive for the government to free up land for public housing.
The other issue is the complicated makeup of Hong Kong's legislative council, the 70-member body that votes on how public money should be spent. It's dominated by business groups who have typically voted in their own interests.
Hong Kong was a city built for business. But while businesses thrived, others were left out.
A lack of government planning has contributed to the highest inequality rate in Hong Kong in 45 years.
The government now recognises it needs to fix things - but it may be too little, too late.
The BBC 

Karishma Vaswani - ‘I don’t have any hope for my future in Hong Kong’

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Links — 29 Sep 2019

Beat the Press
China's Economy Is Already More Than 25 Percent Larger Than the U.S. Economy
Dean Baker | Co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C

Bill Mitchell — Japan about to walk the plank – again

Japan is about to walk the plank again when it follows through on a previous government decision to increase the consumption tax by a further 2 per cent on October 1, 2019. That means it rises from 8 per cent to 10 per cent. The latest fiscal documents suggest the government is hyper-sensitive to the historical experience, which tells us that each time they have fallen prey to the deficit terrorists who have bullied them into believing that their fiscal position is about to collapse, consumption expenditure falls sharply and the government has to respond by increasing the deficit even further to compensate. But, notwithstanding their caution (as evidenced by some permanent and temporary spending measures to offset the significant loss of non-government purchasing power that will follow the consumption tax hike, the fact remains that the policy shift will be undermine non-government spending and growth and is totally unnecessary. Moreover, the main problem in Japan at present is the lack of spending overall – non-government consumption expenditure has not yet recovered from the last consumption tax hike in April 2014. So far from raising taxes, the data on the ground is telling us that they should be increasing the fiscal deficit. This is another example of a few conservative politicians, being told by unaccountable mainstream economists to introduce policies that will damage the material prosperity of the ordinary Japanese worker and their families. And when we consider that the time is approaching when the debt-servicing burden for the government is approaching negative territory, then the consumption tax hike looks even more ridiculous.
So much for Japan being an MMT test case. MMT is more than deficit spending.

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

John McPhillip Inman - Donnell is right: a service economy needn’t be a servant economy

John McDonnell is right: a service economy needn’t be a servant economy

At work we never got much training in the end, despite all the new technology that was coming in. This technology was overwhelming, and so I would go home at night and search the internet downloading loads of PDF manuals for free. I would then spend hours at home studying them and making them into hard-copy manuals.

A little while later I found out online that many companies didn't train their staff anymore because they knew they would do what I was doing - that is, train themselves.

I was working far too many hours to keep up, and then I would go home and search the net for more information. Sometimes I even found slide-shows for training courses. I thought it would be temporary but it seemed to go on forever.

I was absolutely worn out in the end, but the pressure was enormous. I would sometimes work for free because I felt I had taken too long to finish a job. I would feel bad about it, but then one day I found out other people at work were doing the same thing, and they were tough people.

The management always complained that I was doing too much overtime and they made me feel incompetent. Then they brought in this young Eastern European guy to help me and my hours went down from 60 to 50 hours a week, but he ended up doing 60 hours plus a week himself - more than me - and we were still overloaded.

He had the stamina of a horse and was very good at his job - the best I had seen, other than me. I left in the end due to ill-health and they never replaced me. Every Christmas he emails me to say he how hates it there, that no one appreciates his effort, that he's lonely, that he can't find another job with sufficient pay because he has a family to feed.

A few months after I left a colleague who worked in another division doing the same job as me got made redundant for incompetence. He had been with the company over 40 years. The new technology was difficult. I used to think he was quite good and I would often ring him up for advice.

This was the era of 'Tough Management' - noliberalism! I'm glad I got out.

That is the view of the economics professor and biographer of John Maynard Keynes, Lord Skidelsky. He worries our attitude to work has hardened to a point where a cadre of managers and professionals is charged with bossing around an increasingly casualised workforce – one that is forced to contort domestic lives to suit the whims of those in charge and the profit motive.

These workers must be prepared to work late and arrive early. They must work weekends when needs must and switch from task to task when it suits the manager. Worst of all, they must learn on the job through a method that can be likened to osmosis, with all the attendant stress and anxiety that goes with the absence of rigorous training or clear instruction.

In his report How to Achieve Shorter Working Hours, Skidelsky proposes that the government take on a new role as an “employer of last resort” – not just supporting people out of work to find a job, but giving them a job where no others exist.
Never before has a government provided such a guarantee. If it happened, workers would have the power to bid up wages and extract higher benefits, though the report recommends everyone focus on shorter working weeks as the goal.

The Guardian 

You can google it


Larry Elliott - There is nothing revolutionary about McDonnell's economic plan

Before Thatcher, capital and labour had an even share – Labour merely plans to rebalance a skewed relationship

Another good article in the Guardian today. The British Labour Party is set to reverse Thatcherism.

The first was that the state must be prepared to invest if the private sector is unable or reluctant to do so. Capital is plentiful, interest rates are at historic lows, Britain’s infrastructure is badly in need of modernisation. Yet, businesses would rather sit on piles of cash or use profits to buy back shares rather than seize the plentiful investment opportunities. The fact that this tendency long predates Brexit suggests a need for the state to take the initiative in the hope that public investment will encourage private investment. 

McDonnell’s second theme was the need to raise labour’s share of national income in a variety of ways: by raising the national living wage to a minimum of £10 an hour, a shorter working week with no loss of pay, and by rolling back the trade union legislation introduced by the Conservatives since Margaret Thatcher’s election in 1979.

The Guardian

Larry Elliott - There is nothing revolutionary about McDonnell's economic plan

Hans van de Ven - Change will come to China, but not through following western ways

An interesting look at China from a different perspective. China may become more free and open, but will be nothing like the failed democracies of the West.

The west is no longer the great example for what China might become and the yardstick to measure progress. It is not surprising that a newly confident China has rediscovered its history and finds value in it. Change will come, but in ways that will build on principles that have underpinned Chinese politics for centuries. They include a distrust of adversarial debate. Throughout Chinese history, the written word, reflecting considered opinion, free from passions of the moment, has been highly regarded. Another is the idea that political authority must restrain private business.

Hans van de Ven - Change will come to China, but not through following western ways

Blair Fix - An Evolutionary Theory of Resource Distribution (Part 2)

In the perfect neoclassical world everyone gets what they produce, or deserve, as some people say, but it's a fantasy world that can never exist. Distribution is unfairly lopsided all over the place. For instance, if you have the right accent and went to a public (private) school in Britain, climbing
up the ladder is much easier. That means less work for more gain. 

Neoclassical Robinson Crusoe

When it comes to explaining resource distribution, neoclassical theory is missing something obvious. To see what’s missing, we’ll tell another joke.
A neoclassical version of Robinson Crusoe gets stranded on a desert island. How much does his standard of living decrease from before he was stranded?
None. Crusoe took his human capital with him!
Again, this punchline isn’t very funny. But it’s a true representation of human capital theory, which assumes that people carry there income-earning potential around with them. All that matters for workers’ income is their stock of human capital.
Maybe it’s just me, but human capital theory seems to be missing something big. Hmmm .. what is it? Oh, just the rest of society!
Neoclassical theory assumes, quite literally, that the rest of society is irrelevant for determining one’s income. In a competitive market, the theory says that we all get what we produce [1]. If some people produce more than others, it’s because they have more human capital, or own more physical capital. The social context, in other words, is irrelevant to one’s income. Put Robinson Crusoe in London or strand him on an island … it doesn’t matter. His skills stay the same, so his income stays the same.

PCR - Sworn Statement of Ukraine Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin that He Was Forced out of Office by US VP Joe Biden

Here is total proof that it was the utterly corrpt Biden, a gangster that the crazed Democrats want to elect as President of the United States, who threatened the President of Ukraine, Poroshenko, and released one billion dollars to Poroshenko  when he did Biden’s will and stopped the investigation of a firm in which Biden’s son had substantial interests.  
It should scare every American that the presstitutes bury the real story and shrilly proclaim a false one.  Our country, what little remains of it, is being stolen in front of our eyes.
Here is the sworn statement:
The Alt World

Saturday, September 28, 2019

David Prosser - Why Small Businesses Should Not Fear Jeremy Corbyn

The British Labour Party would be good for small businesses.

Should the UK’s small businesses be terrified of a Labour government? Maybe not so much: if they look through the increasing hysteria around Jeremy Corbyn’s supposedly hard left agenda, entrepreneurs may be surprised by what they find.


David Prosser - Why Small Businesses Should Not Fear Jeremy Corbyn

Fed Assets as % GDP

I've posted this chart before here... if these moron people are getting ready to reverse this trend from the recent multi-year reduction in CB assets as % GDP over to an increase in CB assets as a % of GDP then all I can say is ....  you better buckle up...

Mike tracking Reserves vs. S&Ps

Mike charting Reserves at Depositories vs. risk asset prices in the form of an equity share price index in time domain... revealing...

Reserve projections from 2014

Revealing paper from 5 years ago from these two authors who seem to be providing advice again recently.

Their chart shows Depository system reserves ideally being reduced to zero in a few years from now; I'd like to know how that could happen if there is a Depository reserve requirement of 10% of deposits and system deposits are $13T right now? 

Algebra anybody???  anybody????

BTW you can also see the big spike up they did in Sept. 2008 flipping the leverage ratio and caused the GFC but I digress.. lets just get back to reserves for now ... because they might be getting ready to do the same type thing again:

If  you were reducing Depository reserves down towards 1.3T like they just did (never mind system to ZERO as the paper suggests ????)  there wouldn't be enough reserves at Depositories to meet the system level reserve regulatory requirement of about 10% and the FF market would trip off like you just saw... there simply wouldn't be enough reserves in the system .... much less any for lending... you're simply putting your whole system into regulatory violation..

So you can see what happened here with these people it seems as though perhaps the Fed people followed the path indicated in this paper and were merrily they roll along reducing the reserve balances towards zero like Mr. Magoo and inevitably hit the threshold 2 weeks ago at around this $1.3T level... now they are all scratching their heads like "wuh happan???".

So now this week these same two authors are going all around advising to increase system reserves by $250B over 26 weeks. 

Which if they do that then we're just gonna end up at the same problem in about 2 or maybe 3 years when Deposits rise to $15.5T.

Algebra anybody???  anybody????

And as always while the Reserve Assets at the Depositories are being increased you're gonna be acting to reduce the bank regulatory leverage ratios retarding credit creation and yielding even more economic under performance and immediate lower risk asset prices which may cause other problems...

So you haven't really fixed anything; at least not imo...  and maybe getting ready to cause even more problems and chaos ... SCARE-EEEEEEEY!!!!

We just don't have the right kind of people working on any of this stuff... we need to get better people in there...

Jonathan Rowe - Why Economics Is Really Psychology on Steroids

Why economists are so often wrong

Friendship, kinship, loyalty, family, community, commitment, spirituality, passion for art, passion for life, etc, can't be put into the economist's equations. To them, we are just maximising utilty machines - which is how most economists relate to the world, so they think we are all like it.

What is called “economics” is really psychology on steroids. It starts with a model of human nature and extrapolates an entire scenario for how the world works from that. The model is homo economicus,the myopic protoganist of the economics texts. This hypothetical person has no social affinities, no lapses of judgment or hang-ups, no capacity even for thinking about anyone besides him or herself. He goes through life with an unfailing and relentless calculus of personal loss and gain.
As I explained in The Tragedy of Economics this portrayal of our basic nature did not arise from actual inquiry. Homo economicus was from the beginning a polemical construct, devised to serve political ends. At first this was to help undermine the secular authority of the Roman Church, and then the divine right of kings. More recently it has served to justify a fundamentalism of what is called “the market.” Along the way, it has provided economists with the semblance of a predictable atom of economic activity. This has enabled them to declaim under the banner of “science,” and has given them a hook on which to hang their arcane math.
Today, psychologists can only roll their eyes at this naรฏve portrayal. People who have to deal with actual humans in market settings – such as advertisers and corporate managers – find it borderline irrelevant. A new field called “behavioral economics” (which ought to be redundant but revealingly is not) is picking apart homo economicus within the temple of the profession itself.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Laura Ungar and Trudy Lieberman - Starving Seniors: How America Fails To Feed Its Aging

Some people say economics should only about science, and that other economic theories lack scientific credence or vigour, but people are not machines, and so we need a humane, more people friendly, economic system.

Hungry people would get fed if we had a Job Guarantee, as there are plenty of people who want more work who could help the needy, and there is plenty of food being wasted in our society that could be salvaged for them.

What I like about the Job Guarantee is that it can help bring the community back. People needn't be alone. 

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Army veteran Eugene Milligan is 75 years old and blind. He uses a wheelchair since losing half his right leg to diabetes and gets dialysis for kidney failure.
And he has struggled to get enough to eat.
Earlier this year, he ended up in the hospital after burning himself while boiling water for oatmeal. The long stay caused the Memphis vet to fall off a charity’s rolls for home-delivered Meals on Wheels, so he had to rely on others, such as his son, a generous off-duty nurse and a local church to bring him food.
“Many times, I’ve felt like I was starving,” he said. “There’s neighbors that need food too. There’s people at dialysis that need food. There’s hunger everywhere."

Andrew Yang - How Universal Basic Income Would Work

It is not too good to be true.’ — Andrew Yang, 2020 election candidate, wants to give you and every other American adult $1,000 a month. Here’s how that would work.

Mouhcine Guettabi - Can a Universal Basic Income Reduce Childhood Obesity?

Alaska’s experience suggests it can

It seems only middle income groups benefited. I might speculate and say this is because high income groups already have sufficient money, and low income groups didn't benefit because the Basic Income wasn't enough to mitigate the effects of poverty.

The article says childhood obesity greatly increased after 1980, when Reagan implemented neoliberalism, after that middle income groups started to suffer, it seems. 

The article says how the Basic Income has saved Alaskan society a lot of money in health-care costs. 

The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD), the yearly distribution of unconditional cash to all Alaska residents, is providing researchers with a one-of-a-kind source of information on the effect of a universal basic income (UBI) on socioeconomic well-being. The latest study shows that a $1,000 PFD reduces the probability of an Alaskan child being obese by the age of three by as much as 4.5 percentage points. That translates to about a 22 percent reduction in obesity.

American Scientific 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Philip Oltermann - ‘The men who plundered Europe’: bankers on trial for defrauding €447m

Martin Shields and Nick Diable are accused of tax fraud in ‘cum-ex’ scandal worth €60bn that exposes City’s pursuit of profit

Martin Shields regrets it now, he says the money could have been used for roads and schools, but everyone was doing it, he adds. 

Some European countries are glad to get shot of Britain. 

Philip Oltermann - ‘The men who plundered Europe’: bankers on trial for defrauding €447m

They have been called “the men who plundered Europe”: a group of cowboy traders, seasoned tax lawyers and mathematical whizz kids who are alleged to have conspired in the heart of the City of London to siphon at least €60bn in taxpayers’ money from the state coffers of several EU countries.

Shields said cum-ex trades were practised on an “industrial scale” in the first decade of the 21st century, and involved a vast network of banks, companies, brokers, lawyers and financial advisers. Even the most basic cum-ex deal involves at least 12 transactions.

The Guardian

Philip Oltermann - ‘The men who plundered Europe’: bankers on trial for defrauding €447me

LOUIS YAKO - Working in America: Paychecks for Silence

Is being at work like being in a type of dictatorship? Some say if you don't like it you're free to move on, but what if nearly all bosses are the same, so the disruption and risk is pointless.

I worked at my old company for years and I had bought a house nearby. As I had been there so long I was on top whack, especially as wage rises were much better in the old days. My job was very specialised and so finding a job nearby wouldn't have been easy. If I lost my job, I might of had to travel for 2 to 3 hours a day and be on much lower wages, and I might even have to do agency work. I would also probably have to give up my house as well. This meant my bosses had enormous power over me and I ended up working far too hard, which wasn't good for my health.

Louis Yako says how 70% of employees check you out on social media before giving you promotion or offering you a job. Imagine if they saw mine, or what I write about here? And some employers demand that you have a social media page they can check out.

Let us begin with just a few recent and disturbing statistics about working in America. First, most Americans (nearly 78%) live paycheck to paycheck, which makes them vulnerable to abuse and bullying by employers. Second, a 2018 Harris Poll found that “seven in ten employers (70 percent) use social networking sites to research job candidates during hiring process,” and another seven percent was planning to do so as of 2018. This means that on top of working under inhumanely precarious and insecure conditions, average American employees are also being watched online and offline by authoritarian employers to make sure they are conforming to their demands. Based on more than 12 years of work experience, observation, and collecting insights from many friends, colleagues, and total strangers, I find that most American workplaces operate in ways that makes it almost impossible for anyone to speak truth to power or challenge the status quo and be able to thrive or advance in their career. “If you dare to open your mouth, you basically ruin your career,” is one of the most common lines I hear from people when I ask them about what usually stops them from saying or doing what they see as the right thing to do. Here, we must ask, is there a dictatorship worse than this reality? Is there any difference between being ruled by authoritarian leaders and authoritarian employers? A bigger concern is that America goes around the world toppling “authoritarian” or “dictator” regimes, while most American corporations and institutions act as dictatorships squeezing life out of their employees/citizens. It is important at this time to start connecting between countries ruled by single dictators and others ruled by dictators who own and manipulate the job market.


LOUIS YAKO - Working in America: Paychecks for Silence

Ilana Novick - Bernie Sanders: There Should Be No Billionaires

Some tough talk from Bernie!

Even as Sen. Bernie Sanders’ progressive platform polls well among Democratic voters, consistently ranking second after Joe Biden, and even as he draws large crowds at rallies and lands 1 million donors (according to the Sanders campaign), his opponents respond with the same refrain: H0.ow is he going to pay for his plans like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal?
On Tuesday, Sanders answered, with “a tax on extreme wealth,” which CNN called “a hefty tax on the ultra-rich” which would cover many of the social welfare programs the Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont senator has proposed, including part of Medicare for All.
“I don’t think that billionaires should exist,” Sanders told The New York Times, adding that “This proposal does not eliminate billionaires, but it eliminates a lot of the wealth that billionaires have, and I think that’s exactly what we should be doing.” 

Ben Norton Tweet - Putin

Hahahaha US politics is as stupid as it gets. 19 Republican congressmembers just signed this open letter saying they're against impeachment because Putin wants it.

Dems claim Putin installed Trump; the GOP claims Putin wants him out. They're all infantile

This insane letter signed by 19 Republican members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee says, "Democrats are literally following the Russian president’s playbook"

Everyone in US politics blames everything on Putin. The world is laughing at the stupidity


Impeachment Is What Vladimir Putin Wants

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Greyzone - The Syria you won’t see: Max Blumenthal on visiting Damascus after the proxy war

The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal discusses his reporting trip to Damascus in the aftermath of Syria's proxy war. He interviewed residents who were caught between Western and Gulf-backed extremist insurgents and the Syrian government’s war to retake territory, and who now struggle to recover under a US-led economic blockade. "They want to attack and intimidate people from the West who want to have cultural and personal contact with Syrians in the area where most Syrians live," Blumenthal says. "I went there and I took that opportunity to have contact with them because I’ll take any reasonable opportunity to break the media blockade in countries targeted with regime change, and to show my fellow citizens what’s on the other side of the corporate media and the US national security state’s information war." Guest: Max Blumenthal, Editor of The Grayzone and author of "The Management of Savagery

Mike explains the FFR chaos

Best (in fact the ONLY accurate) explanation out there:

Serah Bosley - Labour pledges to break patents and offer latest drugs on NHS

Jeremy Corbyn says party will create company to make cheap versions of drugs like Orkambi

The British people will be told Labour can't work, and millions will vote Tory to remain being exploited and living in misery. They think the Tory Party is the party of the noble establishment, the Lords, the civility, the people who defend Britain to keep us safe and bring law and order, but nothing could be further from the truth. All they protect is their privileges and aquired wealth, even if it risks killing us all. 

 Labour has pledged to create a publicly-owned company to make cheap versions of medicines the NHS needs but cannot afford, such as Orkambi, which is denied to thousands of children and young people with life-shortening cystic fibrosis.

Jeremy Corbyn told the Labour party conference that he had met nine-year-old Luis Walker, who suffers from the disease which clogs his lungs and makes breathing a struggle. “Every day he needs four hours of treatment and is often in hospital, which keeps him from school and his friends,” said Corbyn.

The Guardian 

21st Century Wire - Saudi vs the Houthis: Why U.S. Patriot Missiles Are Useless

The Patriots failed again, it seems.

Missile strikes that shut down a half of Saudi oil production not only marked a new round of escalation in the Persian Gulf, but also revealed the limitations of the Kingdom’s air defense. Over the past years, Saudi Arabia, the state with the third largest military budget in the world ($82.9bn), has spent billions of dollars building up six battalions of US-made Patriot surface-to-air missiles and associated radars. However, these seemingly sophisticated air-defense systems appeared to be not enough to protect key infrastructure objects.

21st Century Wire - Saudi vs the Houthis: Why U.S. Patriot Missiles Are Useless

Standard University - Researchers find lead in turmeric

Tumeric is an amazing herb with enormous health properties. In fact, it may be the most powerful health tonic you can take.

It's a powerful antidepressant too, which is as good as SSRI's in some studies where inflammation was the cause of depression.

Turmeric can also protect against all sorts of other diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and arthritis.

But there's a problem, some of it has been found to contain too much lead. So it's best to buy organic, or buy  turmeric that is tested to be lead free, although they are very expensive. Bangladesh seems to be the source of the problem, where manufacturers put a lead based dye in not having any idea how dangerous it is.

It's a shame, because turmeric is more poweful, better absorbed, and far cheaper than its active ingredient, curcumin.

It's billed as a health booster and healing agent, but it may be the source of cognitive defects and other severe ailments. A new Stanford-led study reveals that turmeric—a commonly used spice throughout South Asia—is sometimes adulterated with a lead-laced chemical compound in Bangladesh, one of the world's predominant turmeric-growing regions.

Researchers find lead in turmeric

Dr Greger video. 

Curcumin was considered to be the active ingredient in turmeric, but researchers found out that tumeric without curcumin was even better. The other weaker antioxidants in turmeric work together in synergy to become much more potent.

Dr Greger :Turmeric or Curcumin: Plants vs. Pills

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Nathan Tankus - The Green New Deal will be tremendously expensive. Every penny should go on the government's tab.

Only the government can afford to fund the New Green Deal,  according to Nathan Tankus. He adds, forget about PPI, because it just wouldn't cut it. Some things are too important to be left to the market, where the competition between companies would hinder progress.

We contend that decarbonization technology is too important to humanity to hide it behind US patents and trade secrets. To confront the crisis equitably and efficiently, we should publicly fund  development and share the research with the world free. The GND should usher in a global ecological commons, not more profit-centric competitions over "scarce resources."


The Green New Deal will be tremendously expensive. Every penny should go on the government's tab.

A Case for Conventional Military Power in Modern Strategy Discourse

A bit wonkish...

Trump Troll

Can it get any better? I don't see how...

China pollution

Bad China!!!

U.N. Report Condemns BDS for Antisemitism

"Food for thought!"

Sarah Abdullah Tweet - Reply to the Economist Magazine

The Economist :

America and its allies need to show Iran that it cannot use violence to get its way. 

Sarah Abdullah

Um. It was the US government, not #Iran, that used violence to get its way in:

El Salvador
& many other places

Got it, Economist?

Larry Elliott - John McDonnell pledges shorter working week and no loss of pay

Shadow chancellor sets out plan to end in-work poverty and cut working week to 32 hours

Larry Elliott is one of the few people at the Guardian who's still on the left. He was always anti the EURO and now we know he was right.

Productivity has greatly gone up over the years, but pay and hours worked hasn't changed, says John McDonnell. All the gains have gone to the wealthy.

The Confederation of British Businesses say we can't afford a cut in the working week, and I guess they will cite that's because the competition is so fierce, which means globalisation is useless at creating prosperity for the the majority of the people. As more automation takes over, they will still be saying the same thing: cut your working week or increase your pay and someone else will take your job. That means the elite will always make all the gains. We need to rethink the system; in this one the game is rigged and the tables are tilted.

Workers will enjoy longer holidays under a future Labour government as part of a 10-year plan to see the length of the average full-time working week drop by five hours, the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, has announced.

Speaking at the party’s conference in Brighton, McDonnell said he wanted to see a marked cut in the average working week from 37 to 32 hours within a decade, with no loss of pay.

Ben Norton - Bomb-plotting extremist American soldier tried to join US-backed neo-Nazi militia in Ukraine

A far-right US soldier arrested by the FBI for plotting domestic bomb attacks sought to join Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, which was directly armed and advised by the American government

A far-right soldier in the United States Army has been arrested by the FBI for plotting bomb attacks targeting American media outlets and Democratic politicians.
The shocking arrest of the US soldier is the latest example in a long list of cases of what intelligence agencies refer to as “blowback,” when US government support for extremist foreign proxies fuels violent terrorism back at home.
The Greyzone