Hillary Clinton is urging President Trump to speak out against the surge of anti-Semitic threats and attacks around the country.
“JCC threats, cemetery desecration & online attacks are troubling & they need to be stopped. Everyone must speak out, starting w/ @POTUS,” Clinton tweeted early Tuesday.
Vandals over the weekend destroyed about 100 headstones at a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis. Meanwhile, Jewish Community Centers, including centers in Chicago, Houston and Tampa, received an influx of bomb threats later determined to be hoaxes.
The White House released a statement on the bomb threats Monday, saying “hatred and hate-motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the promise of individual freedom.”
The comment, like the White House statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day, has been criticized by some for not specifically mentioning the Jewish community.
Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, denounced the threats against the Jewish Community Centers in a tweet Monday evening.
“America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance,” Trump tweeted Monday. “We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers. #JCC.”
The Wall Street Journal has an important new story, The End of Employees, on how the big company love of outsourcing means that traditional employment has declined and is expected to fall further.
Some key sections of the article:
Never before have American companies tried so hard to employ so few people. The outsourcing wave that moved apparel-making jobs to China and call-center operations to India is now just as likely to happen inside companies across the U.S. and in almost every industry.
The men and women who unload shipping containers at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. warehouses are provided by trucking company Schneider National Inc.’s logistics operation, which in turn subcontracts with temporary-staffing agencies. Pfizer Inc. used contractors to perform the majority of its clinical drug trials last year….
The shift is radically altering what it means to be a company and a worker. More flexibility for companies to shrink the size of their employee base, pay and benefits means less job security for workers. Rising from the mailroom to a corner office is harder now that outsourced jobs are no longer part of the workforce from which star performers are promoted…
For workers, the changes often lead to lower pay and make it surprisingly hard to answer the simple question “Where do you work?” Some economists say the parallel workforce created by the rise of contracting is helping to fuel income inequality between people who do the same jobs.
No one knows how many Americans work as contractors, because they don’t fit neatly into the job categories tracked by government agencies. Rough estimates by economists range from 3% to 14% of the nation’s workforce, or as many as 20 million people.
As you can see, the story projects this as an unstoppable trend. The article is mainly full of success stories, which naturally is what companies would want to talk about. The alleged benefits are two-fold: that specialist contractors can do a better job of managing non-core activities because they are specialists and have higher skills and that using outside help keeps companies lean and allows them to be more “agile”.
The idea that companies who use contractors are more flexible is largely a myth. The difficulty of entering into outsourcing relationships gives you an idea of how complex they are. While some services, like cleaning, are likely to be fairly simple to hand off, the larger ones are not. For instance, for IT outsourcing, a major corporation will need to hire a specialist consultant to help define the requirements for the request for proposal and write the document that will be the basis for bidding and negotiation. That takes about six months. The process of getting initial responses, vetting the possible providers in depth, getting to a short list of 2-3 finalists, negotiating finer points with them to see who has the best all-in offer, and then negotiating the final agreement typically takes a year. Oh, and the lawyers often fight with the consultant as to what counts in the deal.
On the one hand, the old saw of “a contract is only as good at the person who signed it” still holds true. But if a vendor doesn’t perform up to the standards required, or the company’s requirements change in some way not contemplated in the agreement, it is vasty more difficult to address than if you were handling it internally. And given how complicated contracting is, it’s not as if you can fire them.
So as we’ve stressed again and again, these arrangements increase risks and rigidity. And companies can mis-identify what is core or not recognize that there are key lower-level skills they’ve mis-identified. For instance, Pratt & Whitney decided to contract out coordination of deliveries to UPS. Here is the critical part:
For years, suppliers delivered parts directly to Pratt’s two factories, where materials handlers unpacked the parts and distributed them to production teams. Earl Exum, vice president of global materials and logistics, says Pratt had “a couple hundred” logistics specialists. Some handlers were 20- or 30-year veterans who could “look at a part and know exactly what it is,” he adds….
Most of the UPS employees had no experience in the field, and assembly kits arrived at factories with damaged or missing parts. Pratt and UPS bosses struggled to get the companies’ computers in sync, including warehouse-management software outsourced by UPS to another firm, according to Pratt..
The result was $500 million in lost sales in a quarter. Pratt & Whitney tried putting a positive spin on the tale, that all the bugs were worked out by the next quarter. But how long will it take Pratt & Whitney to recover all the deal costs plus the lost profits?
There’s even more risk when the company using contractor doesn’t have much leverage over them. As a Wall Street Journal reader, Scott Riney, said in comments:
Well managed companies make decisions based on sound data and analysis. Badly managed companies follow the trends because they’re the trends. A caveat regarding outsourcing is that, as always, you get what you pay for. Also, the vendor relationship needs to be competently managed. There was the time a certain, now bankrupt technology company outsourced production of PBX components to a manufacturer who produced components with duplicate MAC addresses. The contract manufacturer’s expertise obviously didn’t extend to knowing jack about hardware addressing, and the management of the vendor relationship was incompetent. And what do you do, in a situation like that, if your firm isn’t big enough that your phone calls get the vendor’s undivided attention? Or if you’re on different continents, and nothing can get done quickly?
We’ve discussed other outsourcing bombs in past posts, such as when British Airways lost “tens of millions of dollars” when its contractor, Gate Gourmet, fired employees. Baggage handlers and ground crew struck in sympathy, shutting down Heathrow for 24 hours. Like many outsourced operations, Gate Gourmet had once been part of British Airways. And passengers blamed the airline, not the wprkers.
Now admittedly, there are low-risk, low complexity activities that are being outsourced more, such as medical transcription, where 25% of all medical transcriptionists now work for agencies, up by 1/3 since 2009. The article attributes the change to more hospitals and large practices sending the work outside. But even at its 2009 level, the use of agencies was well established. And you can see that it is the sort of service that smaller doctor’s offices would already be hiring on a temp basis, whether through an agency or not, because they would not have enough activity to support having a full-time employee. The story also describes how SAP has all its receptionists as contractors, apparently because someone looked at receptionist pay and concluded some managers were paying too much. So low level clerical jobs are more and more subject to this fad. But managing your own receptionists is hardly going to make a company less flexible.
Contracting, like other gig economy jobs, increase insecurity and lower growth. I hate to belabor the obvious, but people who don’t have a steady paycheck are less likely to make major financial commitments, like getting married and setting up a new household, having kids, or even buying consumer durables. However, one industry likely makes out handsomely: Big Pharma, which no doubt winds up selling more brain-chemistry-altering products for the resulting situationally-induced anxiety and/or depression. The short-sightedness of this development on a societal level is breath-taking, yet overwhelmingly pundits celebrate it and political leaders stay mum.
With this sort of rot in our collective foundation, the rise of Trump and other “populist” candidates should not come as a surprise.
Today, the Jewish Chronicle (JC) reported that the number of antisemitic incidents in Britain in 2016 were the highest on record. The CST’s statistics show that there were 1,309 incidents of ‘Jew hatred’ last year — a 36 per cent increase on the previous 12 months.
Of course, the CST is not a reliable source and its‘antisemitism figures’ have been debunked numerous times before. However, if these statistics are accurate, they suggest only that the more the British government invests in fighting anti-Semitism…. the more antisemitic Britain becomes.
This is easy enough to explain. The fight against antisemitism is now a profitable industry. Every day, we learn of some new Jewish organisation dedicated to fighting antisemitism and to hunt down the Jew haters, and all at the expense of the British tax payer*.
And, as always in the case of Israel and Zionism, these organisations are financially sustained by the very Jewish hatred they seek to oppose. And, when there is no Jew hatred to be found, they will either induce, or even invent some.
For instance, we learned in the last few weeks that Stephen Silverman of the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) launched a war against popular cult figure David Icke. The same Stephen Silverman who launched this war also launched a war against musician Alison Chabloz for expressing her thoughts on Holocaust religion by means of a cabaret performance.
These ugly campaigns against British truth-seekers are unlikely to make UK Jewry popular. Quite the opposite. Both these campaigns immediately backfired – Alison’s work went viral and the campaign against Icke proved only that Icke’s investigation into Rothschild Zionism is not only legitimate, it is actually essential. These campaigns clearly are not going to silence Icke or Chabloz but they will confirm that Jewish institutions here in Britain do not subscribe to the notion of freedom of thought and elementary human rights.
Dave Rich, Deputy Director of Communications at the CST told the JC : “I think there is an overall climate rather than one specific thing that is responsible for the rise in (antisemitic) incidents.”
Rich is wrong. There is one crucial factor in the rise in opposition to Jews and their politics: Jewish power has lost all its subtlety. It is now crude and vulgar and manifested right out in the open: whether it is the campaign against Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour party or the Israeli embassy crudely interfering with British party politics or the constant hunting of critics of Israel or even the impunity of suspected child molester Lord Janner – more and more Brits are now reading between the lines. They have had enough.
If the British government is really concerned about antisemitism, it could eliminate it in no time at all. It must immediately strip Jewish organisations of any special treatment and funds and must stop spending millions on the CST and all the other Jews-only paramilitary organisations operating in the kingdom.
We all agree that racism is a bad thing, so let’s fight it in a universal manner rather than following the whims of one particular tribe.
* Theresa May vowed recently to allocate more than 13.4 million pounds annually to Jewish security matters.
You can never please these people. You really can’t.
“Holocaust denial is alive and well in the highest offices of the United States. It is being spread by those in President Trump’s innermost circle. It may have all started as a mistake by a new administration that is loath to admit it’s wrong. Conversely, it may be a conscious attempt by people with anti-Semitic sympathies to rewrite history. Either way it is deeply disturbing.
For me these developments are intensely personal—not because I have immediate family members who died in the Holocaust. I don’t. But I have spent a good number of years fighting something which the White House now seems to be fostering.
Last Friday, I was in Amsterdam attending a screening of the movie Denial. …
The de-Judaization of the Holocaust, as exemplified by the White House statement, is what I term softcore Holocaust denial …”
Who knew it was politically incorrect now to acknowledge the suffering of non-Jews during the Second World War? If there hadn’t been such an uproar about it, I would have never noticed.
Update: The US Holocaust Memorial Museum is condemning President Trump.
Hundreds of native Hawaiians are preparing to gather at Mark Zuckerberg’s large Kauai estate to protest a six-foot wall erected to keep them out from their ancestral land.
“People are furious down here with him,” said protest organizer Joe Hart, as quoted by Business Insider.
Hart, a farmer who lives close to the billionaire’s estate, is reportedly encouraging people to blow conch shells and bang drums.
The Facebook founder purchased 700 acres of beachfront land for a reported cost of $100 million two years ago.
However, a tiny part – eight acres – of Zuckerberg’s property still belongs to several Hawaiian families in accordance with the Kuleana Act of 1850, which allows native people to own the land they once lived on.
Local residents have been reportedly prevented from entering the areas that are legally theirs. Hawaiians say they are confronted by security guards while walking along a public beach adjacent to the billionaire’s property.
“We were walking along, and they tried to say that this was private. I’ve been walking on this since I was a little kid,” said Hart.
According to Hart, the security team is using intimidation tactics to keep people off the public beaches and trails that intertwine with the mostly undeveloped estate.
“They told me I was on private property. They were threatening to take my picture and have me arrested. They were aggressive, rude and disrespectful,” Naoshi Grady told the local newspaper.
Last summer, the owner of the world’s largest social network erected a six-foot wall along part of his property.
Six months later, Zuckerberg filed eight lawsuits against families who collectively inherited 14 parcels of land through the Kuleana Act. The move had been widely criticized and the billionaire said he would ‘reconsider’ taking legal action, offering excuses via posts on his Facebook page.
“We want to make sure we are following a process that protects the interests of property owners, respects the traditions of native Hawaiians, and preserves the environment,” he said in a statement.
The locals plan to protest at the wall every weekend until Mark Zuckerberg drops the lawsuits and meets them in person.
“We just want to bring this light to issue. He’s made his money stealing everyone’s information, which we’ve let him do, but to come down here and start suing everyone, that’s not going to fly down here,” said Hart.
Meanwhile, back in reality, household income for the bottom 95% has declined while the owners of capital and their privileged, protected servants in the Establishment have gorged themselves on private wealth.
As noted yesterday in The Collapse of the Left, the working class has finally awakened to the Left’s betrayal and abandonment of labor in favor of the protected privileges of the elitist Establishment. I also described the Left’s Great Con:
To mask the collapse of the Left’s economic defense of labor, the Left has substituted social justice movements for economic opportunities and security.This has succeeded brilliantly, as tens of millions of self-described “progressives” now parrot the Great Con that “social justice” campaigns on behalf of marginalized social groups are now the defining feature of Progressive Social Democratic movements.
This diversionary sleight-of-hand embrace of economically neutered “social justice” campaigns masked the fact that social democratic parties everywhere have thrown labor into the churning propellers of globalization, open immigration and neoliberal financial policies–all of which benefit mobile capital, which has engorged itself on the abandonment of labor by the Left.
Meanwhile, the fat-cats of the Left have engorged themselves on capital’s largesse in exchange for their treachery. Bill and Hillary Clinton’s $200 million in “earnings” come to mind, as do countless other examples of personal aggrandizement by self-proclaimed “defenders” of labor.
But it isn’t just the Left’s fat-cats who have feathered their own nests while denigrating the Working Class with arrogantly contemptuous scorn: the entire protected, privileged “liberal” elitist Establishment has responded with a very illiberal outrage that their protected, privileged skims and scams might be endangered by an uprising of the loathed and ridiculed Working Class that they reckoned would remain safely cowed and conned.
As noted yesterday, the only moment in recent history in which the Wall Street-cartel-state strongholds of privilege, wealth and power (i.e. owners of capital) felt threatened by political insurrection by disenfranchised labor was The Great Depression of the 1930s.
With the first iteration of global debt-based capitalism in near-collapse (systemic bad debt was not written off, lest the big banks’ insolvency be recognized), owners of capital and the political class reluctantly swallowed modest social-democratic reforms that gave labor enough of the pie to stave off revolt / revolution (as noted by Arshad A. on my Facebook thread).
Just as Marx had predicted, this crisis of global-debt-cartel-state capitalism was the result of internal contradictions built into all forms capitalism dominated by capital and the state that protects and serves capital.
Now we face another crisis of the current iteration of global-debt-cartel-state capitalism, also the result of internal contradictions–not just financial, but cultural, energy-based and political contradictions.
The privileged, protected elitist Establishment reckoned the social-welfare programs of the 1930s and the Left’s Great Cons would keep the disenfranchised Working Class permanently cowed and conned. If welfare (now called “disability,” “crazy money”, etc.) and the distractions of “social justice” campaigns didn’t keep the Working Class fragmented and powerless, then the ceaseless drumbeat of arrogant dismissal and disdain aimed at any Working Class resistance would do the trick.
Any Working Class individual who recognized that globalization, open immigration and neoliberal financial policies were the propellers dismembering the Working Class economically and disenfranchising the Working Class politically was immediately labeled with the worst that “liberal” privileged, protected elites could spew: you’re racist, Luddite, backward, etc.–in other words, you’re not a rootless Cosmopolitan who loves your servitude to capital and the state like us.
Since the Left has masked its abandonment and betrayal of the Working Class with “social justice” speech acts, the worst insults the Left can dish out are those that suggest opposition to the Left’s social justice campaigns.
Self-identified “Progressives” are fine with the destruction and disenfranchisement of the Working Class, as long as the politically correct speech acts praising the Left’s Great Con are being uttered.
The self-serving, privileged, protected “liberal” Establishment is enraged that the Working Class is no longer following the script, i.e. remaining cowed, conned and fragmented. Like every other disenfranchised group, the Working Class has essentially zero choice of representational leadership, as the machinery of governance, finance and the mainstream media are all controlled by the privileged, protected elites of the Establishment.
So it boiled down to: choose more disenfranchisement and cowed servitude to “liberal” Elites, or vote for Trump. There was no other choice, so the Working Class voted for Trump as their only option other than surrender and servitude.
This rejection of their “betters” script has enraged their “betters,” who now demand the destruction of their proxy voice (Trump) and their rebellion. The Establishment’s war on Trump is beneath the surface also a war against a Working Class that has finally had enough of its arrogant, hubris-soaked, self-serving, privileged, elitist “betters” of the Establishment.
If the Establishment had deigned to offer a radical-Left leader who correctly called out the American carnage that is the Working Class experience of the globalized, open-immigration neoliberalism that has so enriched the owners of capital and their “liberal” apparatchiks, then the Working Class may well have voted for the radical-Left truth-teller.
Alas, the Left ground down any opposition to “we ‘earned’ $200 million” Hillary Clinton and her corrupt coterie of self-serving elites. Having beaten down, stripmined, insulted, denigrated, scorned and exploited the Working Class (whose “proper role” is to provide cannon fodder for the Elites’ neocon Permanent War), the privileged, protected Establishment (like every other elite that suddenly finds its entitled dominance challenged) is in a full-blown fury: how dare the Working Class not accept our self-serving rule! We are entitled to rule! How dare they!
Meanwhile, back in reality, household income for the bottom 95% has declined while the owners of capital and their privileged, protected servants in the Establishment have gorged themselves on private wealth.
Here’s what’s happened as the Left and its armies of privileged fake-Progressives threw the Working Class overboard in favor of serving capital on the First Class deck:
What will it take to shift the balance of power decisively in favor of labor? My guess is the downward mobility of another 10 or 20 million people who currently reckon themselves “middle class” into the unprotected, disenfranchised ranks of the Working Class will do it.
I get it. You don’t like Trump.
I’ve wanted to say that to Facebook Friends who’ve spent the past several months hate-posting against Trump. Most posts aren’t funny, creative, or informative. When not merely petulant, they’re raw unfiltered anger. People might as well post videos of themselves screaming.
Turns out someone sort of did. A viral video shows a woman at the Inauguration sitting cross-legged on the ground, with her hands in the air in front of her, emitting a loud, guttural, primal scream at the precise moment Trump was sworn in:
NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!
At least it was honest, right? Well, actually, it looks staged. The camera was on her, waiting. Nine seconds in, she looks up briefly, as if to make sure the camera crew was ready for “the scream.”
Afterward, the Screamer looked exhausted. The ITV news crew descended, and the Screamer was incoherent:
ITV: Can you explain your emotions to me? Explain your emotions to me.
SCREAMER: There’s just no way, there’s like just no — no way to even comprehend what this means, like. This very – for me, this very moment, is like, like within a cell. It’s like, the dark and the light are so tight right now at this moment. It’s, there’s so much potential, um, for beauty and for devastation, in this one moment it’s just almost incomprehensible that they can exist right now, so, so close!
ITV: How big – how seismic – a day is this for your country?
SCREAMER: I am so sorry to my world. I am so sorry to my world, this is not what we want. I love you people, I love people, and I. This is so alien, this is so false and broken, and…
Self-immolation would have been more articulate.
Even worse was a video many people posted with approval: a black-clad, masked protester silently attacking Richard Spencer, an alt-right leader. It looked like attempted murder, as the assailant came by quickly and hit Spencer in the side of the head with his elbow or forearm.
So much for the reverence paid earlier in the week for the nonviolence of Martin Luther King.
So much for Michelle Obama’s “When they go low, we go high.”
Some Trump-haters have said that, since the election, they no longer “feel safe.” After all, their quiet neighbors, or the guy behind the counter at the DMV, or that little old lady at Rite Aid, MIGHT HAVE VOTED FOR TRUMP. Any one of them might be the racist sexist alt-right Nazi bastard who spray-painted the Swastika on that softball dugout…
It seems that, even more than these people hate Trump, they hate the people who voted for Trump – those racist sexist homophobic uneducated stupid evil people who are so stupid and racist and sexist and evil they voted for him, what a bunch of fools they’re just Putin’s useful idiots!!!!
“I don’t see how anyone could vote for Trump,” many liberals, especially those living in comfort, said before and after the election, with more smugness than curiosity. I mean, how could anyone who’s NOT racist xenophobic bigoted stupid sexist homophobic vote for Trump?
If you voted for Hillary Clinton, maybe I don’t feel safe around YOU.
Trump said bad, even deplorable, things about Muslims. But Clinton used her power as a Senator to enable Bush-Cheney’s unnecessary bombing of defenseless Muslims and others (including women and children) in Iraq. As Secretary of State, she was a key player in the unnecessary destruction of Libya, which also killed defenseless Muslims and others (including women and children). She has blood on her hands, not virtual Twitter blood, but REAL blood.
Trump may like offending people, but Clinton apparently likes killing them. Remember how she exulted in the gory, brutal murder of Gaddafi? That’s sicker than any Trump tweet. Clinton also supports the death penalty. She doesn’t much care for live people either. She voted for the USA PATRIOT ACT and its renewal in 2006. She opposed the right of gay people to marry each other all the way up until 2013.
What kind of sick, twisted, anti-human, anti-Muslim, racist, homophobic, LGBTQ-hating, vengeful, disdainful-of-constitutional rights people voted for her? If you voted for Hillary Clinton, you voted for all that.
Oh, wait. You didn’t vote for THAT? You’ve always supported LGBTQ rights? Opposed the death penalty as racist? Long thought the Iraq War was immoral? I see. You voted for Hillary Clinton not because you love her bigotry or her warmongering, but because you thought it would be progressive to have a woman in the White House! A DEMOCRAT!
I believe you. (And I’m not saying that just because I fear you might throw an elbow at my head.)
But look what you’ve done. You’ve given yourself space between your candidate’s positions and your own. Because, well, you’re a good person and you don’t agree with everything Clinton stands for. I get it. I’ve known you for years, and in all that time you’ve never blown up my house, tapped my phone, or sentenced me to death.
But why do you deny Trump voters that space, that distance you allow YOURSELF between your candidate’s positions and your own views? Some women and minorities voted for Trump. They can’t have supported all of his positions. Not every Trump voter is racist or sexist. Even if they were, though, all their candidate did was tweet and say racist and sexist things. Your candidate actually supported and helped perpetrate violence against Muslims. I didn’t see you wearing a safety pin back then.
Have you forgotten what (Democrat) political strategist James Carville said about elections? “It’s the economy, stupid!” Maybe, just maybe, many if not most people who voted for Trump voted for him…because of his economic platform. Trump may not help the economy, but his promise to do so was more conspicuous than Clinton’s.
If you stop and think, if you stop “othering” people who voted for Trump (yes, that’s what you’re doing), if you stop screaming, you might hear that many of these voters just want to earn a decent living, and that they’re keenly, painfully aware that the Democrat Party and its nominee ignored them – except to scold them as “deplorables.” That the Democrat Party decided it didn’t need to court them, as Chuck Schumer announced in July:
For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.”
There’s nothing wrong with wanting an economy that works for workers. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to provide for one’s family – one’s children. Maybe, like decent people who voted for Clinton, many Trump voters decided to overlook the worst aspects of their candidate.
If you want to engage in “resistance,” resist your own hatred. Your beloved Democrat Party won’t help you do that. Its leaders won’t admit they lost the election because of their party’s embrace of capital and abandonment of labor. Democrat leaders want you to keep hating and screaming at Trump to “delegitimize” him, to usher themselves (not you) back into power.
Anyway, don’t blame me. I voted for Jill Stein, because I’m anti-vaccine.
Oxford Trinity College High Table. I doubt these professors have anything to fear from a food tax. By Winky from Oxford, UK (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
A group of researchers in Oxford University, England have suggested that imposing a massive tax on carbon intensive foods – specifically protein rich foods like meat and dairy – could help combat climate change.
Pricing food according to its climate impacts could save half a million lives and one billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions
Taxing greenhouse gas emissions from food production could save more emissions than are currently generated by global aviation, and lead to half a million fewer deaths from chronic diseases, according to a new study published in Nature Climate Change.
The study, conducted by a team of researchers from the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food at the University of Oxford and the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington DC, is the first global analysis to estimate the impacts that levying emissions prices on food could have on greenhouse gas emissions and human health.
The findings show that about one billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions could be avoided in the year 2020 if emissions pricing of foods were to be implemented, more than the total current emissions from global aviation. However, the authors stress that due consideration would need to be given to ensuring such policies did not impact negatively on low income populations.
“Emissions pricing of foods would generate a much needed contribution of the food system to reducing the impacts of global climate change,” said Dr Marco Springmann of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, who led the study. “We hope that’s something policymakers gathering this week at the Marrakech climate conference will take note of.”
Much of the emissions reduction would stem from higher prices and lower consumption of animal products, as their emissions are particularly high. The researchers found that beef would have to be 40% more expensive globally to pay for the climate damage caused by its production. The price of milk and other meats would need to increase by up to 20%, and the price of vegetable oils would also increase significantly. The researchers estimate that such price increases would result in around 10% lower consumption of food items that are high in emissions. “If you’d have to pay 40% more for your steak, you might choose to have it once a week instead of twice,” said Dr Springmann.
The results indicate that the emissions pricing of foods could, if appropriately designed, be a health-promoting climate-change mitigation policy in high-income, middle-income, and most low-income countries. Special policy attention would be needed in those low-income countries where a high fraction of the population is underweight, and possibly for low-income segments within countries.
The abstract of the study;
Mitigation potential and global health impacts from emissions pricing of food commodities
Marco Springmann, Daniel Mason-D’Croz, Sherman Robinson, Keith Wiebe, H. Charles J. Godfray, Mike Rayner & Peter Scarborough
The projected rise in food-related greenhouse gas emissions could seriously impede efforts to limit global warming to acceptable levels. Despite that, food production and consumption have long been excluded from climate policies, in part due to concerns about the potential impact on food security. Using a coupled agriculture and health modelling framework, we show that the global climate change mitigation potential of emissions pricing of food commodities could be substantial, and that levying greenhouse gas taxes on food commodities could, if appropriately designed, be a health-promoting climate policy in high-income countries, as well as in most low- and middle-income countries. Sparing food groups known to be beneficial for health from taxation, selectively compensating for income losses associated with tax-related price increases, and using a portion of tax revenues for health promotion are potential policy options that could help avert most of the negative health impacts experienced by vulnerable groups, whilst still promoting changes towards diets which are more environmentally sustainable.
This proposal, from a group of people who have probably never missed a meal in their lives, is totally obscene. High income countries often have a lot of poor people who would be hard hit by increases in the price of food.
Needlessly exacerbating the risk poor people don’t get enough to eat, especially children and pregnant mothers, who are especially vulnerable to adverse health impacts from lack of protein in their diet – if this ghastly proposal is ever implemented, future generations will look upon it as a crime against humanity.
Eight years of legislative constipation suddenly ends when it comes to Congress’ preferred constituency
Apparently American Jews, although they comprise only about 2% of the American population, send so many shekels to Congress that when a bill benefiting them comes up, Congress drops everything else to pass the bill immediately. And the reason I say it is that I am stunned at how after eight years of Congressional do-nothing grid-lock, the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act was introduced into the Senate last Thursday, December 01, and passed the very same day. Unanimously, without amendment.
And what is even more impressive is the way American Jews pushing this bill — we’re talking the usual suspects: AIPAC, Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Federations of North America, Simon Wiesenthal Center, according to co-sponsor Bob Casey (D, PA) — were able to get the Senate to sign off on it in spite of it being a pernicious thought-control bill. But you really have to wade through the wording carefully to see that, which is what makes it so pernicious.
The bottom (and very ironic) line is that this “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act” is an example of the many reasons antisemitism is becoming such a problem in America, and it is an example of why Americans mistrust of Congress is more justified now than at any time in history. The Act actually promotes the very perception of Jews that it punishes.
So let me unpack this IED very carefully because, first, it is contorted, and, second, it presages the fetid dystopia that America is fast becoming.
“Antisemitism” defined as including “the definition of antisemitism”
I am looking at the Senate version of the Act that was passed on December 01. It’s bill S.10 as shown by its style, above.
Section 4 – the directive of the bill, requires that when investigating a Title VI violation, the Department of Education “. . . shall take into consideration the definition of anti-Semitism.” Hold on . . . what definition???
Well, Section 3, titled “DEFINITIONS,” seems like a good place to look. It says:
“For the purposes of this Act, the term ‘definition of anti-Semitism’ —”
and then it doesn’t give a definition at all, but, rather, provides two paragraphs that say what the definition of anti-Semitism “includes.” You don’t have to be the brightest bird on the branch to see that defining a word is a different process from articulating a couple of concepts that a definition includes. And, as a result, there is no actual definition in this law for “antisemitism,” only an opinion of what the definition of “antisemitism” includes.
As an analogy, if you asked me for a definition of “baseball” and all I gave you in response was “Baseball includes three strikes,” you would not be that much closer to the definition than before you asked. You would, in fact, have been jerked around. It seems to me to be axiomatic that Congress has an ethical and moral obligation not to jerk Americans around like this. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Casey (D-PA), who introduced this feculent bill, I’m looking at you.
Be that as it may, let’s look at what the Act says the definition of “antisemitism” includes to see where Scott and Casey are going with this.
Paragraph (1) of Section 3 says the “. . . definition of antisemitism. . . (1) includes the definition of anti-Semitism set forth by the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism of the Department of State in the Fact Sheet issued on June 8, 2010 . . .”
OK, so . . . the definition of “antisemitism” includes the definition of “antisemitism.” IOW, the word as used in this Act “includes” the definition of same word as set forth in a Fact Sheet. The Act provides no link to this “Fact Sheet” but you can find the thing on the Department of State website here.
Here comes the mind-control part
Here is that Fact Sheet’s definition of “antisemitism” (bold added):
“Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which [sic] may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” — Working Definition of Anti-Semitism by the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia
(In addition, Paragraph (2) of Section 3 says the definition of antisemitism also “includes” the rest of the content of the Fact Sheet, which includes “Contemporary Examples of Anti-Semitism” and additional material that is relevant to comments and criticisms directed at Israel.)
The legal/constitutional problem is that by this sleight of hand the Act defines antisemitism to include “a certain perception of Jews.” And so what is being made illegal is a mental process or thought process. (Experts may disagree on the semantics of whether perception itself is a “thought process,” but not on whether it is a “mental process.” In my view it is safest to consider perception to be a mental process that includes thought. Not all thought includes perception, but all perception includes some degree of thought.)
And note that the prohibited mental process is described not by any harm it does and not by the way the mental process is expressed, but by the way in which the mental process MAY BE EXPRESSED. In other words, according to this Act, merely having a certain perception about Jews is prohibited or punished so long as it is possible to express that perception as hatred toward the Jews — and, “Jews” includes Israel, pursuant to Paragraph (2).
More specifically, according to this Act, if one engages in the mental activity of perceiving Jews and/or Israel in any way that could be expressed as hatred, then that mere perception, regardless of whether or not it is actually expressed as hatred, gives rise to a complaint under Title VI.
The Act, in other words, is an example of the government making a certain class or category of purely mental activity illegal and punishable under (here comes the irony) the Civil Rights Act. This is an attempt at governmental thought-control, or, more precisely, perception-control under the rubric of “civil rights.” But then a lot of political correctness is really a warped manifestation of “civil rights.”
I admit that I don’t know the 52 titles of the U.S. Code word for word; after all there are nearly 5,000 criminal statutes alone. Nevertheless, I am not aware of any other federal statute, or act, or bill, or regulation in which Congress or an agency assumes to itself the authority and power to punish, control, or in any way sanction a mental process. We’re breaking new ground here, with the assistance and for the benefit of our Jewish friends at AIPAC and ADL.
You have, no doubt noticed by now an edge in this post. It’s there because as a neuroscientist and lawyer, when the government begins passing legislation that controls or in any way attempts to affect individuals’ mental processes, it frightens me. And as an ex-Marine with a Purple Heart it pisses me off.
As a society we need to think and talk about the way politically-privileged Jews in America and Israel are given special consideration by, and access to, Congress. More importantly, we need to think and talk about the way politically-privileged Jews are using their special access to Congress to turn the country into a mind-control police state, as is clearly indicated by the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act.
- Anthony L. Fisher, Reason, Proposed ‘Anti-Semitism Awareness Act’ is an Unconstitutional Mess
- Alex Emmons, The Intercept, Senate Response to Trump-Inspired Anti-Semitism By Targeting Students Who Criticize Israel
- Stephen Lendman, SteveLendmanBlog, Disgraceful US Anti-Semitism Awareness Act.
Denis O’Brien has been a member of the Virginia State Bar and registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office since 1998. His PhD (University of Virginia,1980) and his post-doc (Havard Biolabs) were in the field of neurosciences, primarily neuropharmacology. Denis is the author of Murder in the SunMorgue, available online, a pharmacological investigation of the 2013 Ghouta massacre.
December 10, 2016 Posted by aletho | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Supremacism, Social Darwinism, Timeless or most popular | AIPAC, Anti-Defamation League, Bob Casey, Human rights, Jewish Federations of North America, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Tim Scott, United States | 4 Comments
We all know that people differ mentally in a great many ways: some are reflective, others impulsive; some are sympathetic, others are sociopathic; some are creative, others seem never to have a witty or imaginative thought; some are sensible, others are flighty, fanatical, or prone to panic; and some are smart, whereas others cannot do a simple arithmetical calculation in their head or solve an elementary logical puzzle.
So how do we measure the human intellect? Among educators and psychologists, the most common procedure is to conduct a test of reasoning ability that yields a result called an intelligence quotient, or IQ.
Some people think IQ’s are terrifically important and that people can be ranked from dumb to brilliant according to their IQ. Moreover, it is widely believed that one’s IQ is largely genetically determined at birth.
Thus to many, IQ is a mark of inherent social rank.
A problem with this idea is that IQ’s seem to vary according to experience and culture. Sub-Saharan Africans, for example, are widely said to have IQ’s averaging 20 to 30 points lower than the average of about 100, which is typical of most European populations. Trouble is, when Africans migrate to Europe, their IQ’s rise. Same with country folk versus city folk. The former seem to have lower IQ’s until they migrate to the city, then they, or their children, match the IQ’s of the city-born.
There’s also the effect known as test sophistication, which means that the more IQ tests you take the better you get at them. So IQ is not quite so firmly fixed by the genes as many people seem to believe. Moreover, there are generational differences in IQ, with IQ’s of most populations rising by five to as much as 30 points per generation since the beginning of the 20th Century, this phenomenon being known as the Flynn Effect.
But if people differ in intellect in ways other than reasoning capacity, what value is there in judging intellect by IQ?
For example, does IQ measure creativity, judgement, diligence, responsibility, or empathy?
Obviously not. Moreover, very little is knows about the effect of environment, diet, or culture on the many facets of human intelligence.
So why is so much attention given to the measurement of IQ?
Such a narrow view of human mentality seems not very intelligent, really.
Almost anyone with adequate schooling can learn to observe carefully, perform basic logical processes, make comparisons, draw more or less obvious logical inferences, and perform all the other operations that underlie appropriate responses to IQ test questions.
But not everyone is creative, sound in judgement, socially responsible, mentally vigorous, or possessed of the power of empathy.
And without those other qualities of mind, how useful is an abnormally high IQ?
In most circumstances, not very.
In fact, the idea of rating intellect on a single linear scale seems neither sensible nor useful, whereas it is almost certainly seriously misleading and, therefore, harmful.
Hillary Clinton called half of Trump voters “a basket of deplorables”. In all the discussions I have had with American “liberals”, they explained to me that Trump supporters were mostly uneducated white men.
However, I am old enough to remember an era when the all the leftwing parties, socialist or communist, and even American Democrats, were based on the workers or the “working class” or the “common man”. Nobody thought to inquire whether they had university degrees or to investigate whether or not their opinions were politically correct on issues such as racism, sexism or homophobia.
What defined the workers as progressive subjects was their economically exploited condition and not some ideological orthodoxy or moral purity.
At the end of the 1970s a great change took place within leftwing parties. They were increasingly dominated by academics and their ideology changed radically from that of the classical left.
Far from aiming to establish some form of socialism, or merely of social justice, the left turned into the champion of the fight for equal opportunity, against discrimination and prejudice, and – with the rise of globalization – the opening of markets.
The more or less mythical hero of the left was no longer the proletarian but the marginal, the migrant, the foreigner, the dissident, or the rebel – even if he happened to be a religious fanatic that no leftist intellectual would have anything to do with. One recalls how Jean-Jacques Rousseau made fun of those who pretend to love the Tartars in order to avoid loving their neighbors.
Little by little a new class alliance formed: the one percent as it is called, or more realistically the richest ten percent who benefit from globalization are allied with the middle class intelligentsia to sell us globalization in the name of “openness to others” and which flaunt the specter of racism or sexism to attract minorities and certain feminists (for although women are not a minority, certain feminist demands are similar to those of minorities).
But that alliance was extremely unnatural in socio-economic terms, because the main victims of globalization are the least qualified workers, often women or members of minorities.
The left’s pro-globalization bias led it astray step by step. First it gave up all effort at regulating the economy, satisfying itself with claiming to share the fruits of growth fairly by ensuring “equal opportunity”. But in the real world, inequalities grew far more than the economy.
They also imagined that international law could be abolished and that a certain “international community” – in practice the United States and its allies – would maintain world order by military means. Again, in the real world that only created chaos, refugees and resistance to that American order. In fact, in the long term, the American population itself came down with a strange disorder, “war fatigue”. Except for a minority of ideologues, hardly anyone in the United States wants to bear the costs of an empire (see the Boston Globe for a lucid analysis of those costs).
The protests of the victims of globalization had to be dealt with. The trick was to use the ideology of tolerance: any objection to globalization was labeled racism, xenophobia. Intellectuals took up the “fight against racism” with enthusiasm, with an eye to preserving their own privileged social position, sheltered from the economic storms of globalization.
In the United States, it was enough to stigmatize bad thoughts; in Europe, they were taken to court.
All that had to explode sooner or later, just as the Berlin Wall came down and the USSR collapsed, and for the same reasons: a self-satisfied but fairly incompetent elite, isolated from social realities, which claims to do what is best for the people without consulting them, and which finally doesn’t even deliver the promised benefits, ends up provoking rebellion against itself.
First the Brexit, then Trump. Whatever one may think of that individual, the worse the things said about him by American “liberals”, the more they expose the enormity of their defeat. After years of political correctness and sermons on feminism and antiracism, what can be more humiliating than the election of someone as demonized by feminists and antiracists as Trump?
For ardent supporters of the European Union, globalization and humanitarian wars, the victory of Trump has an effect comparable to that of the Polish worker strikes on the ruling Communist Party; they exposed the discontent even in the proletariat that theoretically exercised its dictatorship. The election of Trump shows the revolt of the American population in the very citadel of free markets and imperialism.
It remains to be seen whether Trump will carry out the progressive aspects of his program; protectionism and peace with Russia. Those are the aspects that most infuriate the oligarchy, much more than his rude remarks and contradictions. Those are thus the aspects that will require the most intelligence and determination if they are to be realized.
A left which dares take a close look at its past errors should do all it can to push Trump in that direction, rather than to alienate the population still more by once again mounting its high horse of moral superiority and selling its soul to the leaders of the Democratic Party responsible for their own defeat.
A french version of this article was previously published.
 Sanders seems to go in that direction : « To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him » http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/sanders-statement-on-trump
So, there it is: Brexit, as I had earlier suggested, was no extraneous “flash in the pan,” but a manifestation of wider and deeper discontents in Western society. Let us be clear: not only did 60 million Americans vote for Donald Trump, but a further 13 million, who voted for Bernie Sanders (in the primaries) similarly voted for strategic change – albeit from within a different political orientation.
I do not intend, here, to attempt any post-mortem on the U.S. election, but rather to try to see what may stand hidden behind the Brexit and Trump events – obscured for now by their overly prominent presence on the forestage of the media and politics.
The first concerns Donald Trump: Unsurprisingly, his personal foibles and his billionaire background have become the focus of a hostile media who question whether he has the ability to bring about strategic change, or not. This is an important question, but still it misses the point. The point here is that there are few – very few – opportunities for elected officials to challenge the status quo – especially when Western centrist parties have patently conspired to offer voters mere nuanced variants of the same “progressive,” liberal, globalized agenda.
In short, there evidently has been a constituency building up, so exasperated at the imperviousness of the elites to the true situation of this constituency, that they want the status quo gone, by whomsoever’s hand is there. Whomsoever: that is the point. It was never some sort of chief executive beauty contest: Would Bernie Sanders have been an ideal President? Would Nigel Farage have been one? Will Trump be able to deliver a new era? — we do not know (but should not foreclose on that possibility). The Whomsoever aspect rather speaks to the depth of alienation that lay latent in American society.
But the message that is in danger of being obscured by the outsize focus on the outsize personality of Mr. Trump is precisely that the “discontents” at democracy, at cultural “identity” politics, at globalization and its sufferings, will not simply disappear now. Mr. Trump will succeed or fail, but the uprising will persist in one form or another – and is likely to spread to other parts of Europe, leaving the latter in turmoil and politically incapacitated.
It represents a profound alienation. We should not expect any early return of the liberal world, should Mr. Trump somehow fail.
Nor should Mr. Trump be viewed as some sort of outlandish political freak. In fact, he fits quite closely to one of the mainstream orientations of American conservatism. It is an orientation that is, by instinct, doubtful of grandiose schemes of political or social re-engineering, preferring to take human nature as it is; it is more inclined to focus on domestic needs, rather than uncertain foreign adventures; is financially conservative; is not economically determinist; and tends to see the family as the indispensable building-block of society. It is a Zeitgeist that sees other countries (say Russia or China) as normal countries with whom one should talk, and to pursue common interests.
That Trump should be regarded as some bizarre oddity, rather than as being in the line of Burke and thrice Presidential contender Pat Buchanan (who admits to a certain paternity, as it were) – speaks more to the success of the neoconservative hijack of American conservatism beginning in the 1960s than reflects the historic spectrum of this intellectual current.
One might say that the neoconservatives were never Conservative, in the sense that neoliberals were never Liberal, in the traditional understanding of these terms. What is new is that the President-elect seems to have put together a new Republican constituency of half the American electorate. And this new constituency is not just one of “red-necks” (white, blue-collar workers). It has cut across social classes and ethnic divisions. Even Wall Street traders (supposedly aligned with the Clintons) reportedly were enthusiastically yelling “lock her up” during Mrs. Clinton’s concession speech – and college-educated women only gave Mrs. Clinton a 6 percent edge over those who voted Trump.
It is possible “that this election [originally] was intended to facilitate the triumphant return of the neoconservative-neoliberal paradigm all wrapped up in ‘new packaging.’ For various reasons, the decision was made to assign this role to Hillary Clinton,” according to the Oriental Review.
Perhaps this was because she was viewed as well placed to fuse the liberal-interventionist and the neoconservative trends to the Clintonite “cultural identity politics” base – or possibly, simply because it was “her turn” at the Presidency. If so, it has failed spectacularly.
The Clinton Failure
Why did it fail? One aspect of the discontent (as I have outlined before – see here) relates to the slow demise of our financialized, neoliberal, debt-driven growth model. For many in America and Europe, the reality has not been one of economic prosperity, but one of anxiety – and for the first time in the post-World War II era – a sense that the next generations’ prospects will be much tougher, and worse, than ours were.
Here (no friend to Trump) is Naomi Klein’s assessment: “They will blame James Comey and the FBI. They will blame voter suppression and racism. They will blame ‘Bernie or bust’ and misogyny. They will blame third parties and independent candidates. They will blame the corporate media for giving him the platform, social media for being a bullhorn, and WikiLeaks for airing the laundry.
“But this leaves out the force most responsible for creating the nightmare in which we now find ourselves … [financialized] neoliberalism. Here is what we need to understand: a hell of a lot of people are in pain. Under neoliberal policies of deregulation, privatization, austerity and corporate trade, their living standards have declined precipitously. They have lost jobs. They have lost pensions. They have lost much of the safety net that used to make these losses less frightening. They see a future for their kids even worse than their precarious present.
“At the same time, they have witnessed the rise of the Davos class, a hyper-connected network of banking and tech billionaires, elected leaders who are awfully cozy with those interests, and Hollywood celebrities who make the whole thing seem unbearably glamorous. Success is a party to which they were not invited, and they know in their hearts that this rising wealth and power is somehow directly connected to their growing debts and powerlessness.
“For the people who saw security and status as their birthright – and that means white men most of all – these losses are unbearable. Donald Trump speaks directly to that pain. The Brexit campaign spoke to that pain.”
Here it is represented visually:
Of course, this was not the case for the urban élites:
The second aspect to the present discontent has been cultural oppression (or, in the rhetoric of the Democratic Party, “identity politics” – one of the mainstays of the Clintonite electoral base). Its roots are complex, and lie with philosophic currents emerging out of Germany during WWII that somehow fused with American Trotskyist intellectual thinking (which then migrated to the Right). But, in gist, this current of political thought borrowed from the emerging discipline of psychology the concept of clearing the human mind – shocking it, or forcing it into becoming the “clean slate” on which a new mental program could be written by the psychiatric (or political) therapist respectively.
The political aim here was to eliminate totalitarian thinking, and fascist mental “programming,” and to replace it with a liberal-democracy circuit board.
Indeed, the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 was promoted by this intellectual group precisely in furtherance of the notion that concepts such as “national culture” would become meaningless as a result of immigrant cultural dilution. By the 1970s and 1980s, the objective had evolved to implant the idea that there was really no politics to modernity (Fukuyama’s End of History) since all governance somehow had boiled down to technocracy: ensuring effective liberal market functioning — a matter best left to experts.
In political terms, the “clearing” of the mind’s inherited cultural clutter was to be achieved by cultural wars of political correctness. The class war had become discredited, but there were other “victims” on whose behalf war could be waged: the war on gender discrimination, on racism, on denial of gay rights and sexual orientation stereotyping, on verbal micro-aggressions, on sexist language, or any ideas or language which disturbed the individual’s sense of “safe space” were used as tools to clear away old cultural “brush” of inherited national culture, and open the way for an American-led, globalized world.
The ostensible factor linking all these notions of victim “wars” was that their antonym amounted either to fascism or authoritarianism. The problem with this has been that any white American blue-collar worker who attended church, who believed in family life, and was patriotic, became potentially a fascist, a racist, a sexist or a bigot.
Many ordinary Americans (and Europeans) disdain this “cultural” war which places him or her (according to Hillary Clinton), in the “‘basket of deplorables’ Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, islamophobic, you name it,” and who looked upon his or her community as representing nothing more than a “fly-over” state in the view of the U.S. coastal élites.
The deplorables have now risen up. Donald Trump’s salty language was no liability – it was an electoral asset by thumbing his nose at this correctness, and at so-called ”snowflake” sensibilities. Trump’s ‘incorrectness’ touched on a deep vein of resentment within American traditional society.
Not only does “flyover America” resent being termed “deplorables,” they feel too clearly the disdain in which the American and European elites hold them – and dislike their arrogance in suggesting that there is only one rational, sensible way of doing things, and that they – the elites, being the experts and a part of the Davos set – should tell the rest of us what it is: (despite their decades of failures).
Emotions are high on both sides. To gain a sense of how bitterly the cultural war will be fought, listen to this from the partly-Soros-funded populist mobilization movement Azaaz (linked to America’s Move On organization): “Dear Mr. Trump: This is not what greatness looks like. The world rejects your fear, hate-mongering, and bigotry. We reject your support for torture, your calls for murdering civilians, and your general encouragement of violence. We reject your denigration of women, Muslims, Mexicans, and millions of others who don’t look like you, talk like you, or pray to the same god as you. Facing your fear we choose compassion. Hearing your despair we choose hope. Seeing your ignorance we choose understanding. As citizens of the world, we stand united against your brand of division.”
In short, with Brexit and the Trump victory, we are witnessing an historic point of inflexion. As I noted in mid-October (quoting British political philosopher John Gray): “If the tension between [the globalization project on one hand] and the [sovereign] nation state, [on the other] was one of the contradictions of Thatcherism … From Bill Clinton and Tony Blair onward, the center-left embraced the project of a global free market with an enthusiasm as ardent as any on the right. If globalization was at odds with social cohesion, society had to be re-engineered to become an adjunct of the market. The result was that large sections of the population were left to moulder in stagnation or poverty, some without any prospect of finding a productive place in society.”
“If Gray is correct that when globalized economics strikes trouble, people will demand that the state must pay attention to their own parochial, national economic situation (and not to the utopian concerns of the centralizing elite), it suggests that just as globalization is over – so too is centralization (in all its many manifestations).”
Well, the global trend does not seem to be going in the Avaaz direction. It seems rather to be heading toward prioritizing the recovery of the state, of state sovereignty, and of state engagement in the pursuit of economic policies appropriate to the particular circumstances of the state, and in the state’s ultimate responsibility for the welfare of the community as a whole.
The question is what does this mean geo-strategically? And, secondly, can and will, Trump be able to deliver the new era? The short answer is that this new era seems to presage a period of political volatility, financial volatility and in Europe and the Middle East, the prospect of continued political “shock.”
It is clear that Mr. Trump is not a globalist. It is also clear that he is aware of some of the dangers of the present global monetarist policy. He has spoken of the U.S. Federal Reserve creating “big ugly bubbles” and that the next economic and financial crisis has been “kicked down the road” by Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen – and clearly awaits whomsoever becomes U.S. President on Jan. 20, 2017.
Painted into a Corner
But three decades of debt-led, financialized “growth policies” leave the President-elect effectively painted into a corner: global debt has spiraled; the bubbles are there still (kept afloat by Central Bank coordinated intervention), and bubbles are infamously difficult to deflate gently; zero or negative interest rates are undermining many a business model, but cannot easily be foregone, without crashing the bond market; and QE (printing money) is systematically eating away at consumer purchasing power through the dilution of its newly created purchasing power, and the latter’s re-direction from “main street” into the financial sector – lifting nominal asset values – but creating no tangible wealth.
America and Europe effectively are in debt-deflation. How then to grow incomes so that producers of goods and services can also afford then subsequently to purchase these goods and services? Trump’s answer is to spend on domestic infrastructure projects. This may help a bit, but is unlikely – in itself – to lift and float the entire U.S. economy.
The reality is that there is no obvious global engine of growth (now that China’s “industrial revolution” has stalled at best). Every nation now is in search of new engines of growth. And it is not easy to imagine that Europe or America will succeed in retrieving all those jobs lost through globalization. Indeed, the attempt so to do – in, and of itself – might just precipitate a further deceleration of world trade, and a consequent decline in output.
In brief, the global economy may see a brief “honeymoon period” thanks to a likely spurt of U.S. fiscal indulgence and a concomitant psychological lift, stemming from – at least – the U.S. construction sector enjoying something of a boom. But ultimately the very economic crisis which Mr. Trump anticipates may prove to be the only way to cut the Gordian knot in which three decades of unprecedented debt and money printing have fettered us.
And if he is to steer through the expected crisis, Mr. Trump will have to eschew the Siren voices of the present elites telling him “TINA” (there is no alternative, but to continue as before).
Where Mr Trump might look for an early (and relatively easy) success however, may be in foreign policy. As “Nixon went to China,” so Trump can go to Russia and China, and begin to treat them as normal nations with whom it is possible to find an intersection of interests (as well as areas of disagreement).
This would be revolutionary. It could change the geo-strategical map. And as President Putin keeps repeating … the door is open (at least for now). Nothing is forever in politics.
Alastair Crooke is a former British diplomat who was a senior figure in British intelligence and in European Union diplomacy. He is the founder and director of the Conflicts Forum, which advocates for engagement between political Islam and the West.
or go to
From the Archives
Far from the expected development, forestry plantations and other carbon market initiatives in Uganda have severely compromised ecologies and livelihoods of the local people.
By Kristen Lyons and Peter Westoby · The Conversation · September 19, 2015
In recent years there has been significant movement toward land acquisition in developing countries to establish forestry plantations for offsetting carbon pollution elsewhere in the world. This is often referred to as land grabbing.
These carbon trading initiatives work on the basis that forestry plantations absorb carbon dioxide and other polluting greenhouse gases. This helps to undo the environmental damage associated with modern western lifestyles.
Carbon markets are championed as offering solutions to climate change while delivering positive development outcomes to local communities. Heavy polluters, among them the airline and energy sectors, buy carbon credits and thereby pay local communities, companies and governments to protect forests and establish plantations.
But are carbon markets – and the feel good stories that have sprung up around them – all just a bit too good to be true?
There is mounting evidence that forestry plantations and other carbon market initiatives severely compromise livelihoods and ecologies at a local level. The corporate land grabs they rely on also tend to affect the world’s most vulnerable people – those living in rural areas. … continue
Aletho News Original Content
By Aletho News | January 9, 2012
This article will examine some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. … continue
Also by Aletho News:
March 8, 2011
February 25, 2010
February 7, 2010
December 26, 2009
December 4, 2009
May 9, 2009
Visits Since December 2009
- 2,843,212 hits
Follow Aletho News on TwitterMy Tweets
Brian Harry, Austral… on White House Cautioned Against… Brian Harry, Austral… on US Ambassador to UN Nikki Hale… Brian Harry, Austral… on Netanyahu calls for internatio… GUZE` SPITERI on Netanyahu calls for internatio… roberthstiver on Netanyahu calls for internatio… roberthstiver on White House Cautioned Against… traducteur on Palestinian children attend cl… roberthstiver on London mayor backtracks after… traducteur on Palestinians face intense onli… donnamccoy628 on Israel to build touristic park… donnamccoy628 on Israel to build touristic park… Brian Harry, Austral… on British Foreign Policy and the… rediscover911com on Castigated by the Southern Pov… Brian Harry, Austral… on Perfidious Albion… Anthony Clifton on Venezuelan VP Releases Open Le…
- No Amount of Propaganda Qualifies as Humanitarian Aid February 26, 2017
- What’s wrong with ‘alternative facts’? February 26, 2017
- Netanyahu calls for international forces in Gaza February 26, 2017
- Palestinian children attend class in the street after Israel shuts down school February 26, 2017
- Elor Azaria verdict: a personal view February 26, 2017
- London mayor backtracks after sparking row by likening Scottish nationalism to racism February 26, 2017
- White House Cautioned Against Designating Iran’s IRGC a Terrorist Organization February 26, 2017
- Human Rights Watch Cites Al Qaeda and Collaborators in Latest Syria Report February 26, 2017
- Milo Djukanovic’s Claims of Russian Assassination Plot Are a Desperate Ploy to Further NATO Bid February 26, 2017
- US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley: We Must Sanction Assad Over Chemical Weapons! February 26, 2017
- Trump’s Embattled ‘Revolution’ February 26, 2017
- How ‘New Cold Warriors’ Cornered Trump February 25, 2017
- Palestinians face intense online hate from Israelis, say campaigners February 25, 2017
- Israel to build touristic park on Mount of Azzeitun in Jerusalem February 25, 2017
- British Foreign Policy and the UK Weapons Trade February 24, 2017
- Playing with fire: Dozens of nuclear alerts underreported by British MoD, study reveals February 24, 2017
- Castigated by the Southern Poverty Law Center February 24, 2017
- Venezuelan VP Releases Open Letter to US Treasury as Parliament Demands Resignation February 24, 2017
- Free speech, censorship & the right to be wrong… February 26, 2017
- (ENG SUBS)DPR: Ukraine attacks & takes control of water filtration plant Donetsk February 26, 2017
- A thought on Culture as an Integral Part of the Conditions of Existence February 26, 2017
- Propaganda paradox: Putin’s and Russia’s popularity grows in US February 24, 2017
- Elor Azaria verdict: a personal view February 26, 2017
- Remembering the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre February 25, 2017
- Awareness campaign to boycotting the Israeli occupation February 23, 2017
- Artificial Intelligence: ‘Frankenstein’ or Capitalist Money Machine February 21, 2017
Looking for something?
CategoriesAletho News Civil Liberties Corruption Deception Economics Environmentalism Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism Fake News False Flag Terrorism Full Spectrum Dominance Illegal Occupation Islamophobia Mainstream Media, Warmongering Militarism Nuclear Power Progressive Hypocrite Science and Pseudo-Science Solidarity and Activism Subjugation - Torture Supremacism, Social Darwinism Timeless or most popular Video War Crimes Wars for Israel
Tags9/11 Afghanistan Africa AIPAC al-Qaeda Argentina BBC Benjamin Netanyahu Brazil Canada Central Intelligence Agency China CIA Colombia Cuba Da’esh Donald Trump Egypt EU European Union FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation France Gaza Germany Hamas Hebron Hezbollah Hillary Clinton Honduras Human rights India International Atomic Energy Agency International Solidarity Movement Iran Iraq Iraq War ISIL ISIS Israel Israeli settlement Japan Jerusalem John Kerry Latin America Lebanon Libya Mexico Middle East Military National Security Agency NATO New York Times NSA Obama Pakistan Palestine Press TV Qatar Russia Sanctions against Iran Saudi Arabia Syria The Guardian Turkey UK Ukraine United Nations United States USA Venezuela Washington Post West Bank Yemen Zionism
Contact:atheonews (at) gmail.com
This site is provided as a research and reference tool. Although we make every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and data provided at this site are useful, accurate, and current, we cannot guarantee that the information and data provided here will be error-free. By using this site, you assume all responsibility for and risk arising from your use of and reliance upon the contents of this site.
This site and the information available through it do not, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Should you require legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.
Nothing within this site or linked to by this site constitutes investment advice or medical advice.
Materials accessible from or added to this site by third parties, such as comments posted, are strictly the responsibility of the third party who added such materials or made them accessible and we neither endorse nor undertake to control, monitor, edit or assume responsibility for any such third-party material.
The posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such posted material or parts therein.
The word "alleged" is deemed to occur before the word "fraud." Since the rule of law still applies. To peasants, at least.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
This is information for anyone that wishes to challenge our “fair use” of copyrighted material.
If you are a legal copyright holder or a designated agent for such and you believe that content residing on or accessible through our website infringes a copyright and falls outside the boundaries of “Fair Use”, please send a notice of infringement by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will respond and take necessary action immediately.
If notice is given of an alleged copyright violation we will act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material(s) in question.
All 3rd party material posted on this website is copyright the respective owners / authors. Aletho News makes no claim of copyright on such material.
Site infoAletho News
Blog at WordPress.com.