Sunday, December 4, 2016

Does Putin really intend to restore the Soviet Union? — Interview with Richard Sakwa

RD Interview: Professor Richard Sakwa from the University of Kent talks about Russia’s foreign policy and explains why Russia is creating alternative regional institutions such as the Eurasian Economic Union.
Short and important.

Paul Rosenberg — The moral foundations of fascism: Warring psychological theories struggle to make sense of Hitler, Mussolini and you-know-who

Comparison and contrast of Jonathan Haidt's Moral Foundations Theory (MFT) and Jeffrey S. Sinn and Matthew W. Hayes's Evolutionary-Coalitional Theory (ECT).

Interesting from the POV of exploring the conservative and liberal mindsets. Lots of fancy words and acronyms.


Press conference Trump style

Press conference Trump style.

The Hill
Trump slams China on Twitter
Mallory Shelbourne

Crooks & Liars
Ministry Of Propaganda: Dick Cheney Tells CNN 'We Don't Need You Guys Anymore' Because Trump Has Twitter
By David

Albert R. Hunt — Republicans Prepare Extravaganza of Tax and Spending Cuts

Republican congress versus Donald Trump. Who wins?

Bloomberg View
Republicans Prepare Extravaganza of Tax and Spending Cuts
Albert R. Hunt

Vitor Mello — Using Minsky to Better Understand Economic Development – Part 1 & 2

This year the global system has seen two major shocks: Brexit and Trump. What these events have in common is their populist rhetoric that promised to bring back jobs, while also making xenophobic statements. These elections have tapped into growing anxiety over job security, which has not been addressed by most governments and has given room for demagogues to tap into the anger of the people. They reflect a problem that transcends the boundaries of any single nation: the global economy has been in a slump for almost a decade. Governments need to create jobs, and public fiscal stimulus is the way to do so. To allow it, we must rethink that system.
The Minsky's

Tim Duy — Desperately Searching For A New Strategy

Interesting analysis. Tim Duy concludes with:
The dry statistics on trade aren’t working to counter Trump. They make for good policy at one level and terrible policy (and politics) at another. The aggregate gains are irrelevant to someone suffering a personal loss. Critics need to find an effective response to Trump. I don’t think we have it yet. And here is the hardest part: My sense is that Democrats will respond by offering a bigger safety net. But people don’t want a welfare check. They want a job. And this is what Trump, wrongly or rightly, offers.
Trump has at least correctly diagnosed the issues. Now comes the test of whether he can address them successfully. Krugman and the Democrats have lost the plot.

Tim Duy's Fed Watch
Desperately Searching For A New Strategy
Tim Duy

Pat Lang — The WaPo thought Mattis was a retired BG

Ha ha. Washington Post commits yet another "crime against truth," this one just a moronic gaffe that underlines just how unprofessional their operation is.

Sic Semper Tyrannis
The WaPo thought Mattis was a retired BG
Col. W. Patrick Lang, US Army (ret.), former military intelligence officer at the US Defense Intelligence Agency

Oscar Platt— Rohrabacher Still in Running for Sec of State - To Meet Trump This Week

Good news. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher is a virulent anti-neocon.

Russia Insider
BREAKING: Rohrabacher Still in Running for Sec of State - To Meet Trump This Week
Oscar Platt

Gwyyn Guilford — Harvard research suggests that an entire global generation has lost faith in democracy

Provocative research. I have several thought about this.

First, was the meaning of "democracy" presumed or specified. If "democracy" is defined as "government of the people, by the people and for the people," then no nation today is living under democracy. Most liberal democracies are republics, which have been controlled by elites historically and this remains true today. Patricians are seldom much concerned about the interests of the plebeians other than with respect to getting their votes periodically in elections.

Secondly, if "democracy" is taken to mean "majority rule," then the United States is not a democracy, for several reasons. Most importantly, minorities are protected from the tyranny of the majority by constitutional rights and a judiciary as a check and balance on the legislative and executive powers. 

In the US, the senate is comprised of two senators from each state regardless of size or population. This protects state sovereignty in a federation. 

Less important — usually — is the role of the electoral college in balancing the interests of different demographic areas, chiefly the state with large urban populations and the states with large rural populations. But this becomes very important when the winner of most electoral votes does not carry a majority.

These aspects of liberal democracy result in some of the paradoxes of liberalism that result in dissatisfaction with political liberalism.

In addition, political liberalism must be harmonized with social and economic liberalism, which engenders further paradoxes of liberalism.

While the study suggests the rise of illiberalism, the obvious question is why this change in attitude has occurred, what it pretends, and how it can be addressed in liberal democracies.

Harvard research suggests that an entire global generation has lost faith in democracy
Gwyyn Guilford
ht Jerry Lynn Scofield at Naked Capitalism

Jack Shafer — Who’s Afraid of a Little Russian Propaganda?

Where the Washington Post see propaganda, Politico sees elite alarmism.
I wonder if Russian propaganda would be Topic A had Hillary Clinton beaten Donald Trump.
Who’s Afraid of a Little Russian Propaganda?
Jack Shafer
ht Jerri-Lynn Scofield at Naked Capitalism
Thanks to input from an emergency meeting of members the Shafer Media Brain Trust: Stephen Bates, Mark Feldstein, Michael Socolow, Nikki Usher, W. Joseph Campbell and David Greenberg, none of whom are Russian disinformation agents.

The Zombie Manifesto

Interesting  post relating modern zombie-lore with Marxist theory.

In the mid–1800s, Karl Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto within the context of the Industrial Revolution. The epic struggle of zombies versus humans in The Walking Dead can help illustrate the principles of each orientation. Capitalism, according to Marx, reached into the far corners of the globe to dominate markets, exploit workers, and destroy local culture. The zombies in The Walking Dead have completely overtaken urban Atlanta, and it’s not long before hoards of walkers begin pillaging the surrounding small towns and countryside as well. The zombies symbolize capitalism’s insatiable need to constantly expand, exploiting (or feeding on, more appropriately) people to reach its end goal, which is merely to sustain itself.

Now ironically the China commies are the biggest USD zombies on the planet... go figure.

Its going to be interesting to see how these zombies react to being deprived of their USDs if Trump is able to pull it off.  Might become very unpredictable.

The Zombie Manifesto
Sociology in Focus

Jay W. Forrester — The beginning of system dynamics

In the last few years, ideas from a field of engineering instrumental to advances in radar, aircraft simulators, and defense systems have increasingly been applied to management problems. Both managers and consultants have used system dynamics and its principles of feedback and secondary effects to think through how a strategy might or might not work, depending on how competitors react, how organizational changes are received, and what kinds of consequences—intended and unintended—emerge. Many believe that system dynamics has helped them become skilled at inventing the future, either by sketching out causal loops on the back of an envelope, or by assembling equations of cause and effect in a computer model. Both approaches work.
Adapted from a speech given in 1989 by the inventor of system dynamics, Jay Forrester, the following article is both a short history and a helpful primer. Forrester describes how the ideas he used to uncover the real causes of cyclicality in industry could be adopted to explain why low-cost housing has failed to renew inner-city neighborhoods. At the end of the article, a postscript sums up developments that have taken place in system dynamics in the past six years.
Many managers who went to business school fifty or even ten years ago suspected that much of what was being taught about strategy and organization was essentially static in its perspective: the world stood still while we analyzed and fixed it. It is hardly surprising that these managers, having had their suspicions confirmed by their experience in complex, dynamic markets, are now quick to see the relevance of the ideas of Jay Forrester and his colleagues.
Two threads run through the story of how I came to develop the field of system dynamics. First, everything I have ever done has converged on system dynamics. Second, at many critical moments, when opportunity knocked, I was willing to walk through the open door to what was on the other side....
McKinsey Quarterly — November 1995
The beginning of system dynamics
Jay W. Forrester

Dumbing it down

This is probably a true statement from this guy but you aren't doing anybody any favors by dumbing it down for them.

This is where these dumb rote phrasings originate that eventually are shown to be false and our teaching credibility is lost.

Material systems are not best understood via dumbed down rote methodology; they are best understood thru active learning methodology; and sometimes it is not easy to learn this way but you have to suck it up, get tough and grind it out... the left doesn't understand this.

Accounting 101 at Wharton

Link to syllabus from Accounting 101 at Mike's and Trump's alma mater.

Here is the nugget:

The course adopts a decision-maker perspective of accounting by emphasizing the relation between accounting data and the underlying economic events that generated them. 
The course focuses initially on how to record economic events in the accounting records (i.e., bookkeeping and accrual accounting) and how to prepare and interpret the primary financial statements that summarize a firm's economic transactions (i.e., the balance sheet, the income statement, and the statement of cash flows).

No one without this type of training should be allowed anywhere near a public policy position at any time.

Trump on how trade is going to work

Lesson for the materially unqualified lefties (now keep the time domain in mind here I know that is hard for the incompetent left who have never been trained in this but try to get it thru your thick heads anyway...):

If the company doesnt take the deal and leaves, THEEEEEENNNNNN we go to war and put the tariffs on... like, govt spends first THEEEEEENNNNNNN collects the taxes... etc... get it?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

AP — Huntsman among secretary of State possibilities

Former ambassador to China. Speaks Mandarin. Not a flaming hawk.

Jesse — A Very Concise Explanation Of Why The Democrats Lost (And Will Keep Losing)

Sums it up eloquently.

Zero Hedge
A Very Concise Explanation Of Why The Democrats Lost (And Will Keep Losing)
Via Jesse's Cafe Americain blog

David Henderson — Reflections on my Latest RT Appearance

As I noted in yesterday's post, there's always an issue of the bias of the news network on which one appears, and one is right to be skeptical. The fact that RT is funded by the Russian government ought to make one, all else equal, even more skeptical.... 
Reflections on my Latest RT Appearance
David Henderson | co-editor at EconLon, Associate Professor of Economics at the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy, Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and a Research Fellow with the Hoover Institution, as well as former Senior Economist for Health Policy and Energy Policy with President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers

Washington's Blog — American Experts: PropOrNot Is Propaganda

We asked a former top NSA official and computer expert – Thomas Drake – to look at the diagram.
Drake is a decorated Air Force and Navy veteran, who has been awarded numerous medals including:
  • Meritorious Service Medal
  • Air Medal
  • Air Force Commendation Medal
Drake was a member of the Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service.
With a strong technical background in surveillance and computers, Drake was one of the top NSA executives, and was Senior Change Leader within the NSA.
Drake was also one America’s top government experts on Stasi Germany … so he knows a thing or two about propaganda....
Washington’s Blog asked Drake about PropOrNot and its diagram. Drake told us:
My take?
It’s a prop for a disinfo op in order to serve a manufactured narrative....
Now the question is, whose disinformation op? Cui bono?

Washington's Blog
American Experts: PropOrNot Is Propaganda

Europe Turns Towards Russia in Major Foreign Policy Change

Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, believes that Europe does not need to dependent on US foreign policy regarding its relationship with Russia.
In his interview with Euronews, the EU Commission President said that he «would like to have an agreement with Russia that goes beyond the ordinary framework, bearing in mind that without Russia, there is no security architecture in Europe». Mr. Juncker noted that «Russia must be treated as one big entity, as a proud nation». The president emphasized that he «would like to have discussions on a level footing with Russia». He thinks that President Obama was wrong saying that Russia was only a regional power.

But the European far right would like to create much stronger ties with Moscow too.

This is also the time the so-called «pro-Russian» politicians gaining more clout in the Old Continent. Actually, they are not exactly pro-Moscow but rather pro-national, putting national interests at the top spots of their priority lists. For them, the interests of their countries are more important than the priorities of the US or the EU. They believe that normalizing the relations with Moscow is what meets the national interests to make it part of foreign policy plans.

Two weeks ago, such leaders came to power in Bulgaria and Moldova. The EU’s image has been damaged in both countries, where the public perceives economic progress as too slow and sees a failure to tackle corruption by nominally pro-EU leaders.

Fran├žois Fillon - a politician advocating rapprochement between Russia and the EU - won the center-right nomination for French presidency on November 27. His victory means that two «pro-Russia» candidates - Fran├žois Fillon and Marine Le Pen – will probably face each other off at the presidential election in April 2017.

A presidential election will take place in Austria on December 4. Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party has a good chance to win. According to what he has said during the election campaign, Mr. Hofer will consider pulling out of the EU and visit Moscow, if elected president. He promised «to show my strong commitment to the withdrawal of sanctions against Russia because I am firmly convinced that sanctions hinder communication.

If the Italian referendum on December 4 says «no» to the major government overhaul plans, then a snap election will become a possibility to benefit the Italy's Northern League party, which advocates the improvement of relations with Russia. Its leader, Matteo Salvini, has visited Moscow and Crimea a number of times and called for lifting the EU-imposed sanctions.

German Economist & Politician: ‘Stop Copying America’s Decline! Leave NATO!’

I was beginning to despair that only the far right would take Europe us out of NATO.

Sahra Wagenknecht, Vice President of the German parliament’s Leftist Party, said in Parliament on Wednesday November 23rd, that Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, could very possibly become replaced by a politician similar to U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump or even farther to the right (something dreaded by many in Germany and especially abroad), unless Germany quickly stops copying America and ultimately leaves NATO, which she says is far more of a danger to Germans than it’s any real protection of the German people. 

Dr. Wagenknecht is also a major economist, whose study of the economic conditions that lead consumers either to save or to go into debt has been published in both Germany and America

Robert Parry — Clinton’s ‘Russia Did It’ Cop-out

The Clinton machine – running on fumes after Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential bid – is pulling out all remaining stops to block Donald Trump’s inauguration, even sinking into a new McCarthyism.
In joining a recount effort with slim hopes of reversing the election results, Clinton campaign counsel Marc Elias cited a scurrilous Washington Post article that relied on a shadowy anonymous group, called PropOrNot, that issued a “black list” against 200 or so Internet sites, including some of the most respected sources of independent journalism, claiming they are part of some Russian propaganda network.
In classic McCarthyistic fashion, no evidence was supplied, simply an anonymous smear....
But the Democrats risk a bleak political future if they don’t break away from the corporatist model that Bill and Hillary Clinton have personified over the past quarter century. Or maybe the Democrats can just keep on blaming the Russians.
Consortium News
Clinton’s ‘Russia Did It’ Cop-out
Robert Parry

Peter Dorman — The Identity-Equals-Causation Fallacy, Yet Again

Informal fallacy of false cause.

The Identity-Equals-Causation Fallacy, Yet Again
Peter Dorman | Professor of Political Economy, The Evergreen State College

30% of food wasted

In reality 10 dogs, 13 bones. Its been that way since the flood: "I will never again curse the ground on account of man" Gen 8:21

But of course "we're out of money!!!"

John Pilger — The Coming War on China

The real fake news about China and the "threat" it poses to America— US global hegemony, that is.

Scary stuff.

The Coming War on China
John Pilger

Neil Wilson — Job Guarantee — Jobs For the People

10 dogs, 9 bones.

Modern Money Matters
Job Guarantee — Jobs For the People
Neil Wilson

Trump Will Be a 'Severe Disappointment To Millions' — Holger Stark interviews New Yorker Editor David Remnick

SPIEGEL speaks to the editor of the New Yorker about the dangers of fascism under Donald Trump, international leaders' reactions to the election and the role of the press in reporting on the next administration. 
Says more about the perspective of the mainstream media than about affairs.

Spiegel International
Trump Will Be a 'Severe Disappointment To Millions'
Holger Stark interviews David Remnick

Henry Kissinger — “Trump Turned The American System Around”

Henry Kissinger: “Trump Turned The American System Around”
Appeared in Bulgarian at A-specto, translated by Valentina Tzoneva exclusively for SouthFront
Posted by lkb22

Dave Lefcourt — Why did it have to be this way?

Deve Lefcourt reviews some of US history and concludes:
We have a free press in name only. It's become an unofficial complicit enabler of the government, accepting the government's version of events so the people get from the MSM only what the government provides as its version of events. 
Only the alternative press, mostly internet sites like this one-named as one of the 200 providing "fake news"- can people get a broader version of events, many times questioning the "official" government version. 
If somehow alternative news sites are banned or as been suggested that Google or Facebook act as censors determining what is "fake news" then the Constitution will have been stood on its head, completely subverted and we will have become the dystopian world George Orwell wrote about in his novel, 1984. 
The US will have descended into absolute tyranny.

As to the question why did it have to be this way? Well we weren't vigilant. We took our freedoms for granted. We let it happen. The next question may very well be can the damage be corrected?

I suggest re-reading the Declaration of Independence. 
Why did it have to be this way?
Dave Lefcourt

Steve Roth — Why Economists Don’t Know How to Think about Wealth (or Profits) Evonomics

What's wrong with economics? "It's a dumpster fire."

Why Economists Don’t Know How to Think about Wealth (or Profits)
Steve Roth