Category Archives: Europe

Major Attack at the Instanbul Airport

Here.

28 dead, 60 wounded. Unsure who is behind it right now. Brussels style attack with three suicide bombers with AK-47’s who shot the place up and then blew themselves up. Sounds like ISIS but why does ISIS attack the Istanbul Airport. Color me confused.

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Filed under Europe, Regional, Terrorism, Turkey

The Anglo Anti-Immigrant Right Are Awful People, But So Are Their Enemies

Ed writes:

To comment on Raja Hindustani’s (great fake name!) comment, one thing I am increasingly amazed by is the repeated insistence by self-identified “left wingers” that supporting more immigration is not only a left wing cause, it is THE left wing cause, if you don’t support more immigration you are not on the left and every other left wing position has to be sacrificed in favor of more immigration. There is a coup ongoing against the leader of the Labour Party in the UK because he is not sufficiently vocal in favor of immigration and in favor of the (anti-democratic and pro-capitalist) EU.

Its pretty obvious that immigrants are being brought into countries which have had strong labor movements, in order to drive down wages and weaken working class solidarity. Many of the immigrants are basically peasants from backwards countries -actually backwards parts of developing countries- that can be relied on for a few generations not to cause too much trouble for the upper classes. And historically the left used to recognize (eg Cesar Chavez) that this was a strategy to break the left.

The only explanation I can come up is that the left in the developed world and its institutions has been thoroughly infiltrated by moles, but that project seems to be so successful that you wind up hardly needing the immigrants.

This is about it. Everyone on the Left, I mean everyone, has to support “the immigrants.” You have to. If you don’t, you are not on the Left. So the problem then with us anti-immigrant Lefties is really we have nowhere to go. The anti-immigrant crowd is 100% rightwing, White, racist, sexist, backwards, you name it. Abd they’re all for rightwing economics, all of them. We go over there, and well, that’s not for us.

And everyone who takes any sort of a strong antiracist stance automatically turns into an “I love the immigrants” type. Because, you know, if you hate the racists, then you have to love the immigrants! But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can be like me instead. You can hate the racists and hate the immigrants! How bout that?

Also when people turn anti-racist, liberal/Left and pro-immigrant, they almost always turn anti-White and they usually start bashing White workers, especially working class White workers. Because it is working class White workers who are getting screwed by the immigrants. So if you are for the immigrants, then you have to hate the working class Whites. And this is exactly what you see. The liberal/Left “we love the immigrants” absolutely hate the White working class. Of course it doesn’t help that working class Whites can be somewhat backwards on race, gender and other identity issues.

So we see a lot of liberal/Lefties going on and on about how all working class Whites are just lazy worthless bums anyway who won’t “go out and get an education” and better themselves.

And of course this same mindset is seen on the Right. A writer for the National Review said the same thing recently. As Trump rose, he penned a piece contemptuous of working class Whites. When told that working class White towns like Muskogee, Oklahoma were crumbling in chaos, he wrote an article in which he said that working class White towns and cities needed to die, and the sooner the better.

Of course, the Republican Party is a plutocratic party, and they have never supported the interests of working class Whites even though these Whites have been voting Republican for decades now. In fact, I would say that Republicans are contemptuous of working class Whites.

And we saw something very similar in the UK. As it become obvious that working class White areas of the UK were falling apart, we only heard sleazy, oily comments about “class mobility.” Supposedly the Tories were creating a society in which people could be class mobile! Actually they were creating the exact opposite of that, but never mind. But the unspoken idea here was that being a working class White was the worst thing on Earth and that we should thank the Tories for making it possible for the white working class to move up the class ladder.

But that’s not the way it should be.

The idea is to make it so working class job pays well in the first place! To make it so working class towns are nice places to live! To make it so being working class is not seen as the last thing anyone wants to be!

And we see the same sickening thing on the Left. I have long heard Leftists shower contempt on working class Whites who resent illegal immigration. “Those Whites are just lazy, that’s all. The Mexicans work harder than those lazy Whites, and that’s why employers hire the Mexicans.” This was the old “White workers are lazy” line that the Reaganites started back in the 1980’s. To hear a Leftie talk like about the working class of his own country this is utterly repulsive.

We also hear liberal/Left types saying that any job taken by an illegal is a worthless, crappy job anyway, and any White person who would work at such a job is nothing but a loser. A Mexican standup comedian made a joke out of this by saying that the most pitiful thing that any White person could say was, “I lost my job to an illegal.”

Then we hear the “Well, the working class jobs are all gone anyway, and they are not coming back. The future is in high-tech, high-skilled jobs.” So in other words, let the immigrants flood in and take all the crap jobs anyway, who cares. Sure, but have you ever considered that not everyone is cut out to be a high-tech,  high-skilled worker?

We have created something truly bizarre here in the US, and possibly elsewhere in the West. We have a Left which actually hates their own native born working class! Isn’t that incredible?

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Filed under Anti-Racism, Britain, Conservatism, Economics, Europe, Illegal, Immigration, Labor, Left, Liberalism, Political Science, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Republicans, Social Problems, Sociology, US Politics, USA, Useless Western Left, Whites

Burn in Hell, Globalization

That’s the message of Brexit.

Death to globalization, neoliberalism, corporate rule, horrific free trade agreements, races to the bottom, Triangulation, neoconservatism, invade the world/invite the world, trickle-down economics, austerity, financial conservatism, privatization, vouchers, wild inequality and the whole ball of dung.

Death to it all!

The people have spoken. They hate it. They don’t quite understand what they hate, of course, but the idiots are finally waking up and realizing that they’ve been getting screwed from 35 years of Reaganism/Thatcherism, a project which included the rightwing drift of leftwing parties in the West such as the Democratic Party and the Labour Party. Both parties are now corporatized but milder versions of the Republican and Tory Parties. That is correct: Clintonism and Blairism are part of the same neoliberal/globalization process as Reagan and Thatcher. In some ways, Obama is too, and Hillary is just Obama Part 2, except somewhat worse.

The idiots who run our countries don’t get it. Or maybe they are not that stupid. Anyway they either cannot read public opinion, or they do not want to, but elites in both countries are not going to change much of anything after the Brexit vote. The UK looks to become much more rightwing, which is odd as what caused the Brexit rage in the first place was British working class rage over 35 years of Thatcherite neoliberalism which has eviscerated their living standards.

The people know they are getting screwed, but they don’t quite know who is doing it to them. So they are lashing out, and this time many of them are heading to the Far Right. Of course this is typical, as whenever you have a serious crisis in capitalism, people either move to the Hard Left or to the Hard Right, as these are the only people offering solutions. Everyone in the Center is offering the status quo, which was what caused the crisis in the first place.

Problem is that the Hard Right isn’t going to do them much good. Donald Trump is very much a Hard rightwing Republican. His policies are not that different from those that got us in this mess in the first place. It’s still neoliberalism but without the globalization. It’s not going to work. The Right in the UK offers nothing at all. The Leave wing of the Tories is much more rightwing and economically conservative than the Remain faction.

It was rightwing economics that got us in this mess in the first place. That’s what these working classes all over the world are reacting against – righting economics, globalization, neoliberalism. It hardly makes sense that the solution to a problem caused by rightwing economics is more economics, this time, harder, faster.

You would think our leaders would be idiots to propose such a “solution,” but they are not as dumb as you think. These lowlifes who have been running our countries have been making out like bandits from this neoliberalism-globalization charade.

They are not going to quit doing it just because public opinion has swung against it.

They don’t care about public opinion anyway.

They do whatever they want, and the Hell with whatever the people think. We are nothing to them. They do not represent us at all. They represent only themselves and their class, and that’s it. Partly this is our own damn fault because we do not punish politicians who give us the finger and go ahead and do things that we are dead set against. We scream and yell that we are opposed to some issue, then they go ahead and do it anyway and when the election comes around, we march right off and vote for the very people who gave us the finger and did the opposite of what we demanded. We don’t hold politicians’ feet to the fire. Politicians do the opposite of what we want, and we go and vote for them anyway.

After that’s been going on for a while, politicians figure out that it doesn’t even matter what they do, as even though they go against popular opinion, they won’t be held accountable for it anyway, and the people they went against will just elect them again anyway. Get it? They get to do whatever they want to. Why? Because we are such a bunch of retarded monkeys that we let them, that’s why.

If these people are getting rich off the present system, they are obviously going to keep on doing until we force them to stop. This is the way these people think.

They don’t stop and say, “Hey look! The people are against neoliberalism and globalization! Let’s stop doing it!”

Instead they say, “Oh look. The people are against this. Let’s keep doing it anyway and hope we can somehow stay in office. Meanwhile let’s ramp up the lying, the propaganda and the tail-waging and all rest to distract the people and fool them.”

Or they will lie to themselves as the Republicans do and say, “No the people are not against neoliberalism and globalization. They are really against Obama and Obamacare and BLM and OWS and tranny bathrooms and gay marriage.”

Or they will say, “Oh look. The people re turning against neoliberalism and globalization. We need to do a better job of reaching out to the people on this issue (lying about it) and selling it to them (lying about it).” So they enlist the 100% controlled media to sell their snake oil for them with a fancy new ad campaign.

The take-home point here is that most politicians are ideologues. They don’t represent the people or serve the people or any of that. They represent their ideology, which is typically tied directly in with their class interests. In other words, their ideology is often all wrapped up in their money. Rich people don’t go against their class interests. They just don’t. They will pursue their class interests all the way to their own deaths, if it takes that.

Serving the people or representing the people would mean throwing out your ideology and supporting what your constituents want, not what you want. Capitalist minded politicians won’t do that because they never get rid of their ideology, or even modify it one inch. In fact, they will fight to the death for it. This is because going against their ideology means going against their money. You can hardly expect a rich man to go against his monetary interests.

As with so many things in human existence, this all boils down to follow the money.

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Filed under Britain, Capitalism, Conservatism, Democrats, Economics, Europe, Neoconservatism, Neoliberalism, Obama, Political Science, Politics, Regional, Republicans, US Politics

Mexicans and South Americans and the Influence of Spain

I had an Argentine girlfriend for a while. While she was disappointed that I was not a machista, she really liked the fact that I was an intellectual. She said I was “un hombre de letres,” or “a man of letters.” It is a really cool phrase to describe a writer, but it is seldom used anymore. It seemed that Argentine women liked intellectuals. I also knew a Peruvian woman and she was really jazzed that I was an intellectual too. She really respected an intellectual man, but then she was also a university student.

Whereas Mexicans seem to delight in ignorance and contempt of education, on the other hand, South Americans seem to really respect an intellectual man. I am guessing it is due to more Spanish influence down in Latin America.

I have always felt that South America had much more influence of Spain in their culture. A respect for intellectual men would be a byproduct of Spanish influence since intellectual men are highly respected in Spain.

I knew a woman from Colombia, and she and her associates had strong influence from Spain. She was a member of the upper class, and she spent about half her time in Spain! She had a very Castillian accent, but it was also very sexy and sounded sort of French or Catalan. But a lot of Colombian women have crazy sexy accents. I think it is a rather sensual culture.

She and her family and friends were extremely polite almost to the point of being a parody of politeness. Colombians seem like the nicest, most hyper-polite people on Earth. What I don’t get is how the nicest people on Earth spend so much of their time slaughtering each other.

They were all very much into intellectual culture and arty circles. Her brother was a well known artist, and she was his agent. She hated the FARC and other Colombian guerrillas, but she also implied that there were guerrilla sympathizers in the art circles in which she ran.

I also met a Peruvian upper class woman who also told me that she spent a lot of her time in Spain. It’s almost as if Spain is a 2nd home to a lot of these upper class South Americans.

On the contrary, I do not think the influence of Spain is great in Mexican culture today, but perhaps I am wrong. They seem to have washed a lot of that away in preference for some sort of genuine homegrown Mexican culture.

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Filed under Americas, Argentina, Colombia, Culture, Europe, Latin America, Mexico, Peru, Regional, South America, Spain

Regime Change in Libya: Follow the Money

Here.

I have always thought that all of these wars were all about the money.

I remember in the run-up to that stupid Gulf War in 1991, I was arguing with my mechanic.

“It’s all about the money!” I said. “And the oil!”

My mechanic winked at me. “They all are.”

I checked him. “All wars are all about money?”

He shrugged his shoulders cynically. “Of course they are.”

That’s pretty sickening, isn’t it? You guys wonder why we socialists hate capitalism. Maybe now you are starting to get it.

So the French went to war to:

  1. Stop Ghaddafi’s Gold Dinar project, which was a threat France’s franc, which is used as reserve currency of choice (fiat currency) in Africa.
  2. Obtain (steal) Libya’s oil.
  3. Assert French domination over the region (French imperialism)
  4. Gain support for Sarkozy domestically (Bill Clinton wag to dog move).
  5. Assert French military power (by menacing Africa via French imperialism).
  6. Prevent Ghaddafi from gaining influence in what the French see as Francophone Africa.

Though the French-proposed U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 claimed the no-fly zone implemented over Libya was to protect civilians, an April 2011 email [archived here] sent to Hillary with the subject line “France’s client and Qaddafi’s gold” tells of less noble ambitions.

The email identifies French President Nicholas Sarkozy as leading the attack on Libya with five specific purposes in mind: to obtain Libyan oil, ensure French influence in the region, increase Sarkozy’s reputation domestically, assert French military power, and to prevent Gaddafi’s influence in what is considered “Francophone Africa.”

Most astounding is the lengthy section delineating the huge threat that Gaddafi’s gold and silver reserves, estimated at “143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver,” posed to the French franc (CFA) circulating as a prime African currency. In place of the noble sounding “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine fed to the public, there is this “confidential” explanation of what was really driving the war [emphasis mine]:

This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA).

(Source Comment: According to knowledgeable individuals this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7 billion. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya.)

Though this internal email aims to summarize the motivating factors driving France’s (and by implication NATO’s) intervention in Libya, it is interesting to note that saving civilian lives is conspicuously absent from the briefing.

Instead, the great fear reported is that Libya might lead North Africa into a high degree of economic independence with a new pan-African currency.

French intelligence “discovered” a Libyan initiative to freely compete with European currency through a local alternative, and this had to be subverted through military aggression.

British, French and Egyptian special forces were on the ground almost immediately after the protests started (just like in Syria) training the Libyan rebels, already packed with fighters from Al Qaeda, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) – basically Libyan Al Qaeda – and other Salafist jihadis. US emails show that we knew full well that the Libyan rebels we were supporting and arming with a seemingly endless supply of small arms flowing across the Egyptian border had strong Al Qaeda links, but we kept supporting them and supplying them anyway.

The same intelligence email from Sydney Blumenthal also confirms what has become a well-known theme of Western supported insurgencies in the Middle East: the contradiction of special forces training militias that are simultaneously suspected of links to Al Qaeda.

Blumenthal relates that “an extremely sensitive source” confirmed that British, French, and Egyptian special operations units were training Libyan militants along the Egyptian-Libyan border, as well as in Benghazi suburbs.

While analysts have long speculated as to the “when and where” of Western ground troop presence in the Libyan War, this email serves as definitive proof that special forces were on the ground only within a month of the earliest protests which broke out in the middle to end of February 2011 in Benghazi.

By March 27 of what was commonly assumed a simple “popular uprising” external special operatives were already “overseeing the transfer of weapons and supplies to the rebels” including “a seemingly endless supply of AK47 assault rifles and ammunition.”

Yet only a few paragraphs after this admission, caution is voiced about the very militias these Western special forces were training because of concern that, “radical/terrorist groups such as the Libyan Fighting Groups and Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are infiltrating the NLC and its military command.”

Of course, the war propaganda lies started up almost immediately, and the American people fell for all of them, just like they always do. Suckers!

The first lie was that Ghaddafi was supplying his troops with huge supplies of Viagra so they could go on a mass rape campaign against enemy civilians (that he was using rape as a weapon of war). This lie, started by the Libyan rebels, was quickly debunked, but the mass media and the US government continued promoting it for a long time. The origin of the mas rape lie appears to have been with DNC sleazeball Sidney Blumenthal, Hillary’s intelligence aide at the time.

An equally weird charge was that Ghaddafi was places dead bodies in civilian areas in as a staged PR hoax to accuse the Coalition of killing Libyan civilians. Robert Gates, US Secretary of Defense, quickly said that the Pentagon had verified the hoaxed bodies story was true. No evidence has ever surfaced that the staged body hoax story was true. The ridiculous mass rape lie was soon parroted by Hillary’s henchwoman Samantha “humanitarian bomber” Power. Incredibly, Susan Rice, another Hillary acolyte, stood up in front of the UN Security Council and charged Libya with war crimes based on the mass rape lie.

Early in the Libyan conflict Secretary of State Clinton formally accused Gaddafi and his army of using mass rape as a tool of war. Though numerous international organizations, like Amnesty International, quickly debunked these claims, the charges were uncritically echoed by Western politicians and major media.

It seemed no matter how bizarre the conspiracy theory, as long as it painted Gaddafi and his supporters as monsters, and so long as it served the cause of prolonged military action in Libya, it was deemed credible by network news.

Two foremost examples are referenced in the latest batch of emails: the sensational claim that Gaddafi issued Viagra to his troops for mass rape, and the claim that bodies were “staged” by the Libyan government at NATO bombing sites to give the appearance of the Western coalition bombing civilians.

In a late March 2011 email, Blumenthal confesses to Hillary that,

I communicated more than a week ago on this story—Qaddafi placing bodies to create PR stunts about supposed civilian casualties as a result of Allied bombing—though underlining it was a rumor. But now, as you know, Robert gates gives credence to it. (See story below.)

Sources now say, again rumor (that is, this information comes from the rebel side and is unconfirmed independently by Western intelligence), that Qaddafi has adopted a rape policy and has even distributed Viagra to troops. The incident at the Tripoli press conference involving a woman claiming to be raped is likely to be part of a much larger outrage. Will seek further confirmation.

Not only did Defense Secretary Robert Gates promote his bizarre “staged bodies” theory on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” but the even stranger Viagra rape fiction made international headlines as U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice made a formal charge against Libya in front of the UN Security Council.

What this new email confirms is that not only was the State Department aware of the spurious nature of what Blumenthal calls “rumors” originating solely with the rebels, but did nothing to stop false information from rising to top officials who then gave them “credence.”

It appears, furthermore, that the Viagra mass rape hoax likely originated with Sidney Blumenthal himself.

Note

[1] The most comprehensive and well-documented study of the plight of black Libyans is contained in Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO’s War on Libya and Africa (publ. 2012, Baraka Books) by Maximilian Forte, Professor Anthropology and Sociology at Concordia University in Montréal, Québec.

This article was originally published at the Levant Report.

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Filed under Africa, Blacks, Capitalism, Democrats, Economics, Egypt, Europe, France, Geopolitics, Government, Imperialism, Islam, Journalism, Libya, Middle East, North Africa, Political Science, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, US Politics, War

Hillary Clinton, Neoconservative Dream Candidate

Here.

Good God, she’s a nightmare. This election is going to be about who we despise least. I hate Trump, but I definitely despise Killary/Hitlery Clinton, neocon warmonger maniac.

Trump is truly catastrophic and must be stopped by all means. But Hillary is a nightmare. Hillary’s a turd, and Trump is 24 hour diarrhea. I really hate both of them, but I hate Hillary less. But that ain’t saying much, because there are few humans I hate more than Donald Trump.

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Filed under Asia, Britain, Conservatism, Democrats, Economics, Eurasia, Europe, Iran, Iraq War, Islam, Middle East, Nationalism, Neoconservatism, Neoliberalism, Political Science, Politics, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Republicans, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sunnism, Syria, US Politics, US War in Afghanistan, Vietnam War, War

ISIS: Made in America

Here.

I have probably read hundreds of pages on this matter recently, and I still do not know what to make of it. I think this whole “War on ISIS:” is fake.

ISIS is armed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. The US shovels weapons to those three countries and then they give them to ISIS. ISIS is also supported by the UAE. The weapons are stockpiled in Turkey and then driven across the border to ISIS. Also I believe a lot of weapons are shipped to ISIS via Jordan.

The US knows full well that its own allies are supplying ISIS with weapons and that its ally Turkey is the main stockpile for the weapons. It knows that Turkey ships the weapons and supplies across the border to ISIS. Erdogan’s brother was the man running the ISIS oil smuggling out of Eastern Syria. The oil was smuggled out of East Syria to Turkey where it was then shipped to Israel. The Turkish government was neck deep in this. Erdogan’s sister was running a hospital that took care of wounded ISIS fighters.

If the US is fighting a war against ISIS, then why isn’t it stopping Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkey from supplying ISIS? Why aren’t we bombing the ISIS training camps and supply depots in Turkey. Last November, a German photojournalist shot video of a column of 100 trucks heading over the Turkish border carrying men, supplies, weapons, etc. going directly into ISIS territory.

Conclusion? We are not even fighting a war on ISIS at all! If we are, why are we not targeting their supply chain? The whole war against them is fake.

We must be keeping ISIS around for some reason. Probably we are keeping them around as a noose around the neck of Assad. ISIS is a great way to bleed Assad on the battlefield and threaten his regime. At the same time, if you hit Syria, you also hit Iran and Hezbollah. Iran and Hezbollah are also getting bloodied on the battlefield in Syria. So ISIS is a great way to bloody, weaken and threaten Assad and to bloody and weaken Hezbollah while possibly threatening them in the future (Al Nusra is already fighting battles with the Lebanese military and Hezbollah in Northern Lebanon.) ISIS is also useful to bleed and weaken Iran and its allies like the Yemeni Houthis.

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Filed under Europe, Geopolitics, Iran, Islam, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Middle East, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, USA

“Western Moral Decline or Capitalist Decadence?,” by John Kovas

This is a good piece. You can find it at Kofas’ website, or I got it off of Academia.edu. Looking at his website, it appears that the rest of his stuff is pretty good too. I need to read this guy more.

I actually think he is onto something here, and you need to be hip to this argument because the Right is always trotting out this “moral decline” argument that I think needs to be countered.

Western Moral Decline or Capitalist Decadence?

by John Kofas

Historically, during periods of economic contraction, the intelligentsia, politicians, business, academic, community and church leaders invariably try to steer the debate away from what has gone wrong with the political economy to the subject of values.

This was certainly the case during the 19th century when the depressions of the 1840’s, 1870’s and 1890’s took place. Well-meaning individuals as well as opportunistic propagandists questioned society’s values, despite the fact that structural causes in the political economy accounted for the economic contraction and social ills.

A somewhat similar situation existed during the Great Depression of the 1930’s when novelists, philosophers, politicians and others decried the values of the 1920’s. There are similarities between those historical periods and the economic contraction and diminishing of the Western middle class that started during the Reagan-Thatcher era and continues to the present.

The universal topic of values served its purpose when the Industrial Revolution was causing socioeconomic problems, and it serves its purpose today when Western Civilization is captive to banks and corporate capital that are concentrating capital while weakening the social fabric and democratic institutions.

The very elites suggesting to the masses redirection toward reexamination of values are the same ones that:

1. do not practice the values that they preach;

2. are responsible for the widening socioeconomic gap and sociopolitical instability that ensues;

3. benefit by deflecting the focus of the masses from the essential problem in the systemic flaws of the political economy to values.

Naturally, there is the salient question of the vast differences in value systems between societies and individuals; differences between religious and secular values within a pluralistic society, or the differences/nuances of values within a community whether it is predominantly religious or secular.

That scholars, politicians, businesspeople, priests, and the laity have been concerned about western civilization’s decline is a story as old as Oswald Spengler who wrote about the topic after the German Empire lost the First World War, and Europe as the world’s global power center began to give ground to the US and USSR.

But are the values of Bismarck and his generation of imperialist politicians and business titans the ones that Spengler’s generation lamented against the background of the Bolshevik Revolution and its global impact? Is it the Western values of imperialism, nationalism and militarism that led to global war in 1914 that were lost along with the decline of Western Europe?

Spengler focused on Western decadence, but the question is one of the underlying assumptions of what constituted decadence and what constituted ascendancy, the degree to which humane and communitarian principles rested behind assumptions. Was it dreadful that imperialist Europe of the old elites began to decline as a result of militarist confrontation, or was it tragic that millions of people died, injured, displaced, impoverished as a result? If one values power, then one laments the decline of Europe’s power. But what if the value system is human-centered, instead of power-based?

When the Great Depression erupted to cripple societies across most of the planet, why was there a sharp turn to a discussion of values, whether by US President Roosevelt who favored a quasi-communitarian orientation that mirrored the New Deal or ultra-nationalist one that Hitler advocated who was interested in ethnic cleansing as a means of restoring the purity of the mythological Aryan race as Alfred Rosenberg conceived it and the NAZI party practiced it.

In a very strange way, the NAZI regime’s populist ethnic collectivist approach intended to achieve the same goal as that of FDR and for that matter Josef Stalin who advocated superimposed collectivism.

The Third Reich manufactured a value system that a large percentage of Germans and Austrians, accepted and lived under with the hope that it would propel them to greatness as the NAZI party defined the concept. Why did millions of people accept an utterly barbaric and inhumane and racist value system under Hitler, and why did they not retain humane principles based on the wider philosophical framework of the Enlightenment that revolutionized European culture in the 18th century?

Is it merely a question of brainwashing – no matter how good German propaganda was – or one that a large segment of the population actually embraced values because they perceived benefits accruing to them – everything from keeping their jobs to feeling great that the ruling party told them they were ‘superior’ to other races.

From the end of World War II that marked the end of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and militarist-imperial Japan until the end of the Vietnam War, Western and non-Western (Communist regime) societies operated on broader values – in theory and certainly not in practice – of communitarian principles as part of an ideological mix.

Certainly in Western societies, led by the US, the value system of individualism, business progress, consumerism, commercialism of culture, and hedonism were prevalent, but the existence of the welfare state entailed tangible evidence that communitarian values mattered. The beginning of the breakdown of that value system comes when the US and the West in general begin to gradually eliminate the communitarian aspect in the societal mix because it interferes with finance capitalism and the neoliberal model of capital accumulation.

More than political trends, material conditions influence evolving value systems, something that is evident in the consumerist values (to which we must add hedonist and atomistic) of much of the world in the last fifty years. After all, values too are class-based. The relative decline of compassion for humanity, and a rise of alienation which many try to cure by going to therapy and with legal and illegal drugs, has been sharply on the increase in the last half century to the degree that we now have a Western culture of therapism thriving.

Ethical ambiguity naturally translates into ambiguity of values, thus reflecting cultural relativism. In a recent public opinion poll, the vast majority of the people in Finland agreed that if their close friend committed murder, they would notify the authorities. In the same poll, the vast majority of Greeks agreed they would not turn in their friend. Not surprisingly, Greek elites, including academics, praised the virtue of honoring friendship, while the people of Finland stressed the virtue of social conscience.

What accounts for the absence of convergence in the values of the two societies? History, tradition, religion, culture, etc., and what does this example teach us about the values of ambiguity? How could any human being with an once of moral fiber not report a case of murder? How could someone betray their friend, even in case of murder?

Beyond values of ambiguity, there is a much clearer case regarding basic values that are time-tested and transcend time and place.

1. Lying is clearly immoral. Not the kind of lying involving little lies that cause no harm but big lies that bring about great harm to a great many people. Yet, lying is at the core of both business and politics, but it is passed on as public relations. Lying to an entire nation about the reason for going to war is acceptable because it is a matter of national security. Lying to consumers about a product is acceptable because it is in the name of peddling a product or service.

2. Stealing is clearly immoral. I was hardly surprised to read stories about people across southern Europe actually stealing food because of the current hard times. However, stealing in the framework of institutionalized ‘appropriation’ of government subsidies to make banks stronger, is morally acceptable. Yet this is a process that forces people to steal food. Are we back in the era of Victor Hugo’s Jean Val Jean?

3. Killing is clearly immoral. However, mass killings of collateral damage victims in time of war is just fine. Why do human beings categorically reject the individual who kills her husband that abuses her but accept mass killings in wars? What does this tell us about our values and how they are molded?

How does a politician, a journalist, an academic, or much less a leading businessperson tell the masses to reexamine their values against the background of austerity economics that benefit those preaching reexamination of values?

For more than half a century, the same elites now preaching reexamination of values were advocating consumerism, commercialization of culture, hedonism, and atomistic proclivities, all in the name of an open society when in reality the only interest was the thriving of the market economy.

Having conditioned citizens as consumers steeped in that frame of mind and value system, how do elites now try to tell them that embracing everything from nature to God, everything from family values to community values, filter down, and even if it did, what exactly does that do for the high structural unemployment and underemployment, low wage structure, lack of opportunities for college graduates, and lack of job security?

When Ronald Reagan was beginning to dismantle the welfare state and strengthen the corporate welfare state, his administration, various think tanks, journalists, academics, clergy and business leaders began to speak of values, namely ‘family values’.

One odd thing about many of the people advocating ‘family values’ is that they themselves were not practicing them. Another odd thing was that these values advocates were interested in pushing society in the direction of conformity to the changing status quo, so value discussion was one tool they used.

Of course, there was a contradiction between ‘family values’ rhetoric and policies – government and business – that were contributing to undermining the family by forcing both parents to work, in some cases at second jobs to make ends meet.

At the same time, reorientation to values discussion did not mean that workers must stop shopping, given that the population remained under the spell of increasingly intrusive advertising that helped shape consumerist and atomistic values. Are we witnessing a Western moral decline or merely a decline of the capitalist system and its apologists trying desperately to distract the masses by shifting the focus to values?

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Negative Rates, Plunging Yields and a “Fix” for the Economy, by Mike Whitney

Very interesting article by Mike Whitney, an acquaintance of mine. I do not understand economics very well, but some of you may understand it better than I do. Anyway, I think the diagnosis, etiology and treatment are correct.

Negative Rates, Plunging Yields and a “Fix” for the Economy

By Mike Whitney
Global Research, June 17, 2016
CounterPunch

On Tuesday, the 10-year German bund slipped into the bizarro-world of negative rates where lenders actually pay the government to borrow their money. Aside from turning capitalism on its head, negative rates illustrate the muddled thinking of central bankers who continue to believe they can spur growth by reducing the cost of cash. Regrettably, the evidence suggests otherwise.

At present, there is more than $10 trillion of government sovereign debt with negative rates,  but no sign of a credit expansion anywhere. Also, global GDP has slowed to a crawl indicating that negative rates are not having any meaningful impact on growth. So if negative rates are really as great as central bankers seem to think, it certainly doesn’t show up in the data.  Here’s how the editors of the Wall Street Journal summed it up:

“Negative interest rates reflect a lack of confidence in options for private investment. They also discourage savings that can be invested in profitable ventures. A negative 10-year bond is less a sign of monetary wizardry than of economic policy failure.”

(“Money for Nothing,” Wall Street Journal)

Bingo. Negative rates merely underscore the fact that policymakers are clueless when it comes to fixing the economy. They’re a sign of desperation.

In the last two weeks, long-term bond yields have been falling at a record pace. The looming prospect of a “Brexit”  (that the UK will vote to leave the EU in an upcoming June 23 referendum) has investors piling into risk-free government debt like mad. The downward pressure on  yields has pushed the price of US Treasuries and German bund through the roof while signs of stress have lifted the “fear gauge” (VIX)  back into the red zone. Here’s brief recap from Bloomberg:

Today’s bond market is defying just about every comparison known to man.

Never before have traders paid so much to own trillions of dollars in debt and gotten so little in return. Jack Malvey, one of the most-respected figures in the bond market, went back as far as 1871 and couldn’t find a time when global yields were even close to today’s lows. Bill Gross went even further, tweeting that they’re now the lowest in “500 years of recorded history.”

Lackluster global growth, negative interest rates and extraordinary buying from central banks have all kept government debt in demand, even as yields on more than $8 trillion of the bonds dip below zero.”….

The odds of the U.S. entering a recession over the next year is now the highest since the current expansion began seven years ago, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development also warned this month the global economy is slipping into a self-fulfilling “low-growth trap.” What’s more, Britain’s vote on whether to leave the European Union this month has been a major source of market jitters.”

“Most Expensive Bond Market in History Has Come Unhinged. Or Not,” Bloomberg

There are a number of factors effecting bond yields:

Fear, that a Brexit could lead to more market turbulence and perhaps another financial crisis.

Pessimism, that the outlook for growth will stay dim for the foreseeable future keeping the demand for credit weak..

And lack of confidence, that policymakers will be able to reach their target inflation rate of 2 percent as long as wages and personal consumption remain flat.

All of these have fueled the flight to safety that has put pressure on yields. But the primary cause of the droopy yields is central bank meddling,  particularly QE, which has dramatically distorted prices by reducing the supply of UST’s by more than $2.5 trillion in the US alone. David Stockman gives a good rundown of what’s really going on in an incendiary post titled Bubble News From The Nosebleed Section.  Here’s a clip:

…One of the enduring myths of Bubble Finance is that bond yields have plunged to the zero bound and below because of “lowflation” and  slumping global growth. Supposedly, the market is “pricing-in” the specter of deflation. No it isn’t. Their insuperable arrogance to the contrary notwithstanding, the central banks have not abolished the law of supply and demand.

What they have done instead is jam their big fat thumbs on the market’s pricing equation, thereby adding massive girth to the demand side of the ledger by sheer dint of running their printing pressers white hot. Indeed, what got “priced-in” to the great global bond bubble is $19 trillion worth of central bank bond purchases since the mid-1990s that were funded with cash conjured from thin air.”

Bubble News from the Nosebleed Section,” David Stockman’s Contra Corner

Central banks have never intervened in the operation of the markets to the extent they have in the last seven years. The amount of liquidity they’ve poured into the system has so thoroughly distorted prices that its no longer possible to make reasonable judgments based on past performance or outdated models. It’s a brave new world, and even the Fed is uncertain of how to proceed.

Take for example the Fed’s stated goal of “normalizing” rates. Think about what that means. It is a tacit admission that the that the Fed’s seven-year intervention has screwed things up so badly that it will take a monumental effort to restore the markets to their original condition. Needless to say, whenever Yellen mentions “normalization,” stocks fall off a cliff as traders wisely figure the Fed is thinking about raising rates. Here’s Bloomberg again:

Last year, inflation in developed economies slowed to 0.4 percent and is forecast to reach just 1 percent in 2016 — half the 2 percent rate most major central banks target, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

So what Bloomberg and the other elitist media would like us to believe is that these highly-educated economists and financial gurus at the central banks still can’t figure out how to generate simple inflation. Is that what we’re supposed to believe?

Nonsense.

If Obama rehired the 500,000 public sector employees who got their pink slips during the recession, then we’d have positive inflation in no-time-flat. But the bigwigs don’t want that. They don’t want full employment or higher wages or workers to a bigger share in the gains in production. What they want, is a permanently-hobbled economy that barely grows at 2 percent, so they can continue to borrow cheaply in the bond market and use the proceeds to buy back their own shares or issue dividends with the money they just stole from Mom and Pop investors. That’s what they really want.

And that’s why Krugman and Summers and the other Ivy League toadies concocted their wacko “Secular Stagnation” theory. It’s an attempt to create an economic justification for continuing the same policies into perpetuity.

So what can be done? Is there a way to turn this train around and put the economy back on the road to recovery?

Sure. While the political issues are pretty thorny, the economic ones are fairly straightforward. What’s needed is more bigger deficits, more fiscal stimulus and more government spending. That’s the ticket. Here’s a clip from an article in VOX that sums it up perfectly:

But if the exact cause of the bond boom is a little unclear, the right course of action is really pretty obvious: If the international financial community wants to lend money this cheaply, governments should borrow money and put it to good use. Ideally that would mean spending it on infrastructure projects that are large, expensive, and useful — the kind of thing that will pay dividends for decades to come but that under ordinary times you might shy away from taking on…

The opportunity to borrow this cheaply (probably) won’t last forever, and countries that boost their deficits will (probably) have to reverse course, but while it lasts everyone could be enjoying a better life instead of pointless austerity.

Financial markets are begging the US, Europe, and Japan to run bigger deficits,” VOX.

That’s great advice, and there’s no reason not to follow up on it. The author is right, these rates aren’t going to last forever. We might as well put them to good use by putting people back to work, raising wages,  shoring up the defunct welfare system, rebuilding dilapidated bridges and roads, expanding green energy programs, increasing funding for education,  health care, retirement etc. These are all programs that get money circulating through the system fast. They boost growth, raise living standards, and build a better society.

Fixing the economy is the easy part. It’s the politics that are tough.

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Every Race Is a New Race

From here.

This is so perfect.

Problem is that ancient Caucasoids look anything but Caucasoid, and ancient Northern Eurasians look anything but Northern Eurasian. Both ancient Caucasoids and ancient Northern Eurasians looked like Australoids or Paleomongoloids phenotypically.

It is important to note that phenotypically, all races are modern.

The Aborigines showed up ~15,000 YBP (13-17,000 YBP). Much more archaic types are known before then, including some that look like Homo Erectus.

Even the Khoisan are only known from 12,000 YBP.

Modern Europeans do not show up until 11,000 YBP. Before that, Europeans genetically and phenotypically resemble Arabs. The “White race” is very new. Sorry Alt Reichers.

The modern Negroid race does not show up until 6-12,000 YBP.

Modern Amerindians only show up 8,000 YBP. Before that, they look first Australoid (Lacondon Woman) and then Australoid-Paleomongoloid transitional or Ainuid (Kennebunk Man).

Polynesians and Micronesians only show up 3,000 YBP. Before that, no one lived on those islands.

SE Asians are quite new and have only appeared in the last 5,000 years. Before that, they looked like Aborigines, Negritos, Veddoids or Melanesians (Australoids).

Modern Thais only show up 900 YBP. Before that, they were Paleomongoloids.

Modern South Indians only appear 8,000 YBP. Before that, they looked like Veddoids types or Aborigines (Australoids).

All skulls from Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia from 2,500-25,000 YBP appear Australoid. They look like either Aborigines, Veddoids or Melanesians. Vietnamese anthropologists have studied Vietnamese skulls from 21,000 YBP to present, and the unmistakable conclusion is that the originally Australoid Melanesian skulls slowly from 21,000 YBP become more gracile and finally evolve into full Neomongoloid only 2,300 YBP.

Early Northern Eurasians may have looked like Australoids.

One of the oldest Proto-Caucasoid skulls from 35,000 YBP in the Caucasus has been classed as Australoid.

At the archeological digs in Northern China, skulls prior to 9,000 YBP look like Aborigines (probably Ainuid Australoids). At 9,000 YBP, they transition into Mongoloids, maybe with Caucasoid input.

Anyway, ancient Caucasoids look anything but. 22,000 YBP Caucasoids from Central Europe look more like the Makah Indians of NW Washington State than anyone else. So Europeans at this time looked like Paleomongoloids.

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