“America Belongs to White Men,” Alt-Right Founder Says
If you believe in the concept, make a tax deductible charity contribution, pay people and you’re there.Modern Money Matters
Latest figures confirm inflation in Russia fell to an annualised rate of 5.8% at the end of November, with prices growing in that month by 0.4%.
As is now becoming tediously regular, this fall in inflation is reported to have “exceeded forecasters’ expectations”.The Duran
Although US President-elect Donald Trump has signaled willingness to establish a stable basis for US-Russian bilateral relations, the US establishment and NATO are likely to throw a wrench in the works, James W. Carden, former advisor to the US-Russia Presidential Commission at the US State Department, believes.
While observers are weighing up the possibilities of the US-Russian rapprochement under Donald Trump, James W. Carden, the executive editor for the American Committee for East-West Accord, believes that NATO is likely to come between Moscow and Washington....These people are not going to pay any attention to Donald Trump's orders and he is going to have fire some people to take charge. Even so, it is questionable as to how successful he can be. There's a lot of people on the other side — deep staters, neocons, war hawks, liberal interventionists, etc. Even if he does get the upper hand, they will be a fifth column waiting to return at the first opportunity, e.g., should Trump be a one-term president.
President-elect Donald Trump will nominate Iowa Governor Terry Branstad as the next U.S. ambassador to China, choosing a longstanding friend of Beijing after rattling the world's second largest economy with tough talk on trade and a telephone call with the leader of Taiwan.
The appointment may help to ease trade tensions between the two countries, the world's two biggest agricultural producers, diplomats and trade experts said. It also suggests that Trump may be ready to take a less combative stance towards China than many expected, they said.Trump adopts a soft line here that is pro-business. Branstad is a shoe-in for confirmation. Good choice.
One of most pernicious means underway to crush independent news sites is the release of software tools that brand them as unreliable. This means that hidden developers and the parties that fed them information are beyond any accountability, yet would serve as censors....The plot thickens. And under capitalism, the push will be on to monetize this.
The “fake news” hysteria has become the cover for the U.S. government and mainstream media to crack down on fact-based journalism that challenges Official Washington’s “group thinks,” writes Robert Parry....
A key reason why American foreign debacles have been particularly destructive mostly to the countries attacked but also to the United States is that these interventions are always accompanied by major U.S. government investments in propaganda. So, even when officials recognize a misjudgment has been made, the propaganda machinery continues to grind on to prevent a timely reversal.
In effect, Official Washington gets trapped by its own propaganda, which restricts the government’s ability to change direction even when the need for a shift becomes obvious.
After all, once a foreign leader is demonized, it’s hard for a U.S. official to explain that the leader may not be all that bad or is at least better than the likely alternative. So, it’s not just that officials start believing their own propaganda, it’s that the propaganda takes on a life of its own and keeps the failed policy churning forward....
Even if a President Trump decides that these tensions with Russia are absurd and that the two countries can work together in the fight against terrorism and other international concerns, the financing of the New Cold War propaganda will continue.
The well-funded drumbeat of anti-Russian propaganda will seek to limit Trump’s decision-making. After all, this latest New Cold War cash cow can be milked for years to come and nothing – not even the survival of the human species – is more important than that.Consortium News
- GILBERT DOCTOROW Gilbert Doctorow is a professional Russia watcher going back to 1965. He is a board member and European Coordinator of the American Committee for East-West Accord.
- UTE FINCKH-KRÄMER Ute Finckh-Krämer, Member of the German Bundestag, SPD, is Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Deputy Chairperson of the Subcommittee on Arms Control and Disarmament in the German Bundestag.
- LUDGER VOLMER Ludger Volmer was a member of the German Bundestag from 1985 to 1990 and 1994 to 2002. He was undersecretary of state from 1998 to 2002.
- ROLF EKÉUS Rolf Ekéus of Sweden was executive chairman of the UN Special Commission on Disarming Iraq from 1991 to 1997. He chaired the drafting of the principles of the Charter of Paris in 1990, a founding document of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
- NOAM CHOMSKY Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor emeritus at MIT, has written many books and articles on international affairs, in particular on Israel and Palestine. His latest book is Who Rules the World?
2017 conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by FNMA increased to $424,100 on 1-unit properties up to $636,150 in high-cost areas!!— Julia Huntsman (@juliahuntsman) November 28, 2016
My point is simple: fake news is nothing new. We have long lived in a post-truth society, with political propaganda dominating the “mainstream” news media, and contributing to disinformation campaigns aimed at manipulating public opinion. Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky documented the propagandistic elements of the news media in detail in their seminal Manufacturing Consent (MC) nearly three decades ago. Other works preceding MC – such as Herbert Schiller’s The Mind Managers – also emphasized the efforts of political, economic, and media elites to manipulate public preferences via propaganda.
I’ve devoted my academic career to spotlighting propaganda, writing numerous books on the subject. So it’s more than a little disturbing when I see references to “propaganda” in the corporate press that completely obscure the broader role that manipulation plays in reinforcing domestic political-economic elites’ agendas and in padding the pocketbooks of corporate media conglomerates. Empirical media studies have documented since the 1970s the overwhelming government dominance of the news. Government control of the news is uncontroversially labeled propaganda in dictatorships like North Korea and the old Soviet Union, but when journalists working for private media corporations willingly roll over for government interests, allowing them to monopolize newspapers and the airwaves in favor of their own agendas, we call it “objectivity.” So it is in an effort to add some sanity to our modern discussion of propaganda that I draw CounterPunch readers’ attention to the longstanding existence of fake news propaganda in U.S. media....Move along. Nothing to see here.
The University of Western Australia has published a new study offering evidence that plants are conscious entities who can make links between events to learn about their environment. It was previously thought that only organisms with brains (i.e. most animals) were capable of doing this....Depends on the definition of "conscious" and "consciousness."
Neoliberals have yet to find an answer to this worldwide sea change. As long as leftists dismiss the phenomenon as nothing more than sheer racism and stupidity, they will continue to evade potential answers. Working class people from Pennsylvania to Paris are hurting due to unprecedented upward wealth redistribution, shrinking jobs in both skilled and unskilled labor, soaring costs of living, college tuition, kabuki bureaucracy and collective trauma from the Wars on Drugs and Terror. Voters aren’t stupid; they’re getting tired of the platitudes, plundering and plutocracy of the Global Gilded Age. If the status quo doesn’t come up with any solutions, the populace will seek them elsewhere…
To reiterate, 'fake news' is said to refer to 'websites [that] publish hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation to drive web traffic'. A simple, table-top experiment can help us understand why this definition can be generalised to all corporate media, not just social media.
Place a square wooden framework on a flat surface and pour into it a stream of ball bearings, marbles, or other round objects. Some of the balls may bounce out, but many will form a layer within the wooden framework; others will then find a place atop this first layer. In this way, the flow of ball bearings steadily builds new layers that inevitably produce a pyramid-style shape.
This experiment is used to demonstrate how near-perfect crystalline structures such as snowflakes arise in nature without conscious design. We will use it here as a way of understanding Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky's 'propaganda model' of 'mainstream' performance.
Imagine now that the four sides of the wooden framework are labelled to indicate the framing conditions shaping the corporate media:
When facts, ideas, journalists and managers are poured into this framework, the result is a highly filtered, power-friendly 'pyramid' of media performance. Every aspect of corporate media output is shaped by these framing conditions.…
- Corporate nature, elite/parent company ownership and profit-maximising orientation
- Dependence on allied corporate advertisers for 50% or more of revenues
- Dependence on cheap, subsidised news supplied by state-corporate allies
- Political, economic, legal carrots and sticks rewarding corporate media conformity and punishing dissent
Put simply, it is not reasonable to expect corporate media to report honestly on a world dominated by corporations. With perfect irony, the latest focus on 'fake news' is itself fake news because the corporate media never have discussed and never will discuss the framing conditions that make it a leading purveyor of 'hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation'.…Media Lens — Editorial
"In should be first stated that, although most economists are now agreed that full employment may be achieved by government spending, this was by no means the case even in the recent past. Among the opposers of this doctrine there were (and still are) prominent so-called 'economic experts' closely connected with banking and industry. This suggests that there is a political background in the opposition to the full employment doctrine, even though the arguments advanced are economic. That is not to say that people who advance them do not believe in their economics, poor though this is. But obstinate ignorance is usually a manifestation of underlying political motives."
" The attitude is not easy to explain. Clearly, higher output and employment benefit not only workers but entrepreneurs as well, because the latter's profits rise. And the policy of full employment outlined above does not encroach upon profits because it does not involve any additional taxation. The entrepreneurs in the slump are longing for a boom; why do they not gladly accept the synthetic boom which the government is able to offer them? It is this difficult and fascinating question with which we intend to deal in this article.
The reasons for the opposition of the 'industrial leaders' to full employment achieved by government spending may be subdivided into three categories: (i) dislike of government interference in the problem of employment as such; (ii) dislike of the direction of government spending (public investment and subsidizing consumption); (iii) dislike of the social and political changes resulting from the maintenance of full employment. We shall examine each of these three categories of objections to the government expansion policy in detail."Here's 1:
"Under a laissez-faire system the level of employment depends to a great extent on the so-called state of confidence. If this deteriorates, private investment declines, which results in a fall of output and employment (both directly and through the secondary effect of the fall in incomes upon consumption and investment). This gives the capitalists a powerful indirect control over government policy: everything which may shake the state of confidence must be carefully avoided because it would cause an economic crisis"Here's 3 (The most important one in my view):
"We have considered the political reasons for the opposition to the policy of creating employment by government spending. But even if this opposition were overcome -- as it may well be under the pressure of the masses -- the maintenance of full employment would cause social and political changes which would give a new impetus to the opposition of the business leaders. Indeed, under a regime of permanent full employment, the 'sack' would cease to play its role as a 'disciplinary measure. The social position of the boss would be undermined, and the self-assurance and class-consciousness of the working class would grow. Strikes for wage increases and improvements in conditions of work would create political tension. It is true that profits would be higher under a regime of full employment than they are on the average under laissez-faire, and even the rise in wage rates resulting from the stronger bargaining power of the workers is less likely to reduce profits than to increase prices, and thus adversely affects only the rentier interests. But 'discipline in the factories' and 'political stability' are more appreciated than profits by business leaders. Their class instinct tells them that lasting full employment is unsound from their point of view, and that unemployment is an integral part of the 'normal' capitalist system."
The problem with this is obvious when you think about it. Even the greediest SOB in the world would have to agree with this. Its the scale. Just take your standard long term projection, something on the order of those 75 year doomsday forecast scenarios. Lets just set our goal as wanting to be the first nation to achieve a $100 trillion economy.
We undermine our survival if we continue to imagine economics as a ethics-free and care-free sphere.
The New York Observer, a newspaper owned by Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, published an opinion piece Friday calling for the FBI to launch a coordinated crackdown on nationwide anti-Trump protests, mobilizations and recount efforts.
Titled “Comey’s FBI Needs to Investigate Violent Democratic Tantrums,” the article was written by Austin Bay, a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel and adjunct professor at the University of Texas in Austin.
Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump, purchased a majority stake in the New York Observer in 2006 for roughly $10 million and currently operates as the outlet’s publisher.
Bay’s opinion piece appeals to FBI director James Comey to “conduct a detailed investigation into the violence and political thuggery that continue to mar the presidential election’s aftermath,” including a “thorough probe of the protests—to include possible ties to organizations demanding vote recounts.”
“The hard left’s violent reaction to Donald Trump’s election is vile and dangerous,” writes Bay. “Peaceful protests? No, the demonstrators vandalize and destroy. They have two goals: intimidating people and sustaining the mainstream media lie that Donald Trump is dangerous.”...
Jim Naureckas, editor of Extra!, the media watchdog magazine of Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, told AlterNet that Bay's op-ed is one of the most disturbing things he has seen since the election. “To have the incoming ruler’s son-in-law using his paper to call for the federal police to investigate protests against the ruler, that is pretty far gone,” he said. “It struck me as a ‘first they came for the communists’ moment.”
“He ties up this conspiracy of protesters, people seeking recounts and George Soros into one vast conspiracy that the FBI ought to get to the bottom of,” Naureckas continued. “It shows you the outlines of how you would justify a complete crackdown on dissent. It’s frightening.”…AlterNet
Many public discussions among progressives entirely miss the point of the JG. It’s normal, but at the same time, the lack of firm understanding is detrimental to the JG, and to progress. So, with that, let me try to clarify a few things.What the JG is and is not.
Given the generation-long stagnation of the pre-tax incomes among the bottom 50 percent of wage earners in the United States, we feel that the policy discussion at the federal, state, and local levels should focus on how to equalize the distribution of human capital, financial capital, and bargaining power rather than merely the redistribution of national income after taxes.WCEG
What does this tell us? People are just as unsure about inflation in the relatively recent past as they are about inflation in the near to medium-run future. And this says something important for monetary policymakers. A goal of the Federal Reserve is to anchor medium- to long-run inflation expectations at the 2% target. With strongly-anchored expectations, we should see most expectations near 2% with low uncertainty. If people are uncertain about longer-run inflation, it could either be that they are unaware of the Fed's inflation target, or aware but unconvinced that the Fed will actually achieve its target. It is difficult to say which is the case. The former would imply that we need more public informedness about economic concepts and the Fed, while the latter would imply that the Fed needs to improve its credibility among an already-informed public. Since perceptions are about as uncertain as expectations, this lends support to the idea that people are simply uninformed about inflation-- or that memory of economic statistics is relatively poor.Quantitative Ease
Uncertainty and ambiguity are what make financial markets interesting and possible. They generate feelings that manifest in exciting stories, problematic mental states and strange group processes. As long as we neglect emotion’s role in financial markets, and fail to understand and adapt to dimensions of human social and mental life that influence judgement, financial markets will be inherently unstable. They will also be likely to create poor outcomes for ordinary savers and significant distortions in capital allocation – exactly what we have been witnessing in the market today.This is a key insight that Mike Norman calls "the mental game." Mastery of the mental game is a sine qua non of successful trading. It's also a sine qua non in many other field, such as negotiation.
Conventional thinking about financial markets begins with the idea that security prices always accurately reflect all available information; it ends with the belief that price changes come about only when there is new information. Markets are supposed to reflect new information quickly and efficiently, albeit with a few anomalies.…
The Basic Income idea has some great marketing behind it and superficially appears to solve problems. Unfortunately the tricks used to promote it come straight out of the propaganda textbooks — attributing miracles to the policy when there are not justified.
The main trick is to compare an income guarantee to the broken system we have at the moment. The result is a miraculous increase in output. But that has nothing to do with the merits of Basic Income. It is just what would happen with any system of increased spending activity that knocks our monetary production systems out of the persistent slumps they always finds themselves in under ‘laissez faire’ conditions.
It’s only when you compare Basic Income with other managed economy schemes that the issues with it come to light….Modern Money Matters