Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 18, 2018

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2018-61

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama:

We were first to point out that the NYT's characterization of an old North Korean missile site as "deception" was pure nonsense. Newsweek, 38north.org, NKNews.org, The Nation and others now also condemned the neo-conned NYT propaganda.

The war let to the loss of Netanyahoo's majority in the Knesset. He is now trying to stall new elections in which he could lose his job.

Trump's Middle East policy is in total disarray. Nothing is working as planned. Netanyahoo will probebaly fall. Saudi Arabia will not make nice with Qatar. There will be no Arab NATO or anti-Iran alliance. MbS is despised but will stay on the job. Yemen is starving. The U.S. is at odds with Turkey over support for the Kurds. Trumps knows and hates this:

The adviser who talks to Trump said: “If the president had his way, he would stay entirely out of the Middle East and all of the problems."

The piece was the first to point out the difference between the Saudi investigation, which put blame on Major General Ahmed al-Asiri, and the names on the U.S. sanction list published at the same time. The Treasury declaration blamed MbS advisor Saud al-Qahtani as mastermind behind the Khashoggi murder, while the Saudis carefully avoided that. We now learn that the person in the U.S. National Security Council who put al-Qahtani on the list was fired:

On Friday evening, Kirsten Fontenrose, the National Security Council official in charge of U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia, resigned, administration officials said. The circumstances of her departure weren’t clear. But Fontenrose had previously been placed on administrative leave, according to people familiar with the matter.

Fontenrose had played a key role in the administration’s decision about which Saudis to sanction in response to Khashoggi’s killing, these people said.

I suspect that MbS tried, via Trump's son-in-law Kushner, to save al-Qahtani (and himself). Trump clearly wanted to do that, but Fontenrose blew the plan by pushing for al-Qahtani to be sanctioned. The CIA also sabotaged the planned exculpation of MbS by 'leaking' its judgment about MbS' personal responsibility to the press. (WaPo published the CIA conclusion in Arabic, another point the Saudis will hate.) Trump is furious that the CIA (again) sabotaged his policy:

Asked about reports that the CIA had assessed involvement by Mohammed, the president said: “They haven’t assessed anything yet. It’s too early.”

 

Other stuff:

Naked Capitalism with a review of Michael Hudson’s new book, And Forgive Them Their Debts: Lending, Foreclosure, and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year. It digs into the ancient history of debt and forgiveness which is, for obvious reasons, not taught in the neo-liberal 'west':

Nowhere, Hudson shows, is it more evident that we are blinded by a deracinated, by a decontextualized understanding of our history than in our ignorance of the career of Jesus. Hence the title of the book: And Forgive Them Their Debts and the cover illustration of Jesus flogging the moneylenders — the creditors who do not forgive debts — in the Temple. For centuries English-speakers have recited the Lord’s Prayer with the assumption that they were merely asking for the forgiveness of their trespasses, their theological sins: “… and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us….” is the translation presented in the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. What is lost in translation is the fact that Jesus came “to preach the gospel to the poor … to preach the acceptable Year of the Lord”: He came, that is, to proclaim a Jubilee Year, a restoration of deror for debtors: He came to institute a Clean Slate Amnesty (which is what Hebrew דְּרוֹר connotes in this context).
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Back in July I wrote that there is no Jewish race or Jewish people. There are only followers of the Jewish religion strewn all over the world. Prof. Shlomo Sand makes a similar point and also debunks some other religious fairytales:

The Twisted Logic of the Jewish ‘Historic Right’ to Israel

Our political culture insists on seeing the Jews as the direct descendants of the ancient Hebrews. But the Jews never existed as a ‘people’ – still less as a nation

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The UAE/Saudi alliance stopped their latest attempt to conquer Hodeidah port in Yemen. They try to sell that as a humanitarian step. But the attack was failing when their mercenaries ran into a wall of mines and missile attacks. They took a large number of casualties. Videos: 1, 2.

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bigger

Masha is "Putinesque" and You-know-who uses her to control our children's minds, say British neo-cons and Baltic Russophobes. I say #JeSuisMasha and promise to watch her even more.


Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on November 18, 2018 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

Comments
next page »

I just want to thank you, b. This site is an island of sanity in an ocean of madness and deception.

Posted by: PhilK | Nov 18, 2018 10:36:42 AM | 1

I just wanted to say thank you so much for your work here b. I want to say its a breath of fresh air but that sounds trite considering the content. What I mean is that most of the time I am so disturbed by the sheer ignorance and complacency as to what is unfolding around us it almost makes me sick. Then I come here and read, your posts and the comments and somehow I am ...calmed...or...rationalised... or something. Its just good to know I', not the only one I guess.

Cheers!
Jef

Posted by: Jef | Nov 18, 2018 10:39:24 AM | 2

thanks b.. that is interesting about Kirsten Fontenrose... good thing this didn't happen when she was living in ksa, or she would have had her head chopped off.. i do find it interesting the clear conflict with cia and trump...

regarding the review of hudsons book, i want to thank karlof1 for making michael hudsons work a focus and for the continued position of psychohistorian on finance more generally.. i think it's a central topic to everything in the world today and needs to be examined much more closely then it has been..


shlomo sand wrote the book the invention of the jewish people.. i am half way thru the book.. it is quite good.. i believe many in the more conversative jewish community completely disown him.. i think he is bang on... this is another topic, like finance, that requires a closer look and i appreciate your position and interest in continuing to shine a light on this as well.. too much of the world seems caught up in materialism and a literal view of everything.. as i see it the bible was not meant to be taken literally and no where is this more evident then in the parables that jesus shared.. for those capable of understanding it, there is a message, but it is not to be taken literally..

thanks for all the great work you do b!


Posted by: james | Nov 18, 2018 10:40:39 AM | 3

A Broken Heart Laments


Yulia, o Yulia wherefore art thou?
I thought I'd have heard from you by now
In verdant spring you stole my heart
Now on winter's eve we are still apart
It's been so long since you've been sighted
Leaving me pale, bereft and unrequited
I remember so well your flaxen hair
That you tossed aside without a care
With your coy smile and Slavic charm
You raptured me with with love's sweet balm
Yet as soon as our eyes met across the screen
Suddenly, cruelly, you're nowhere to be seen
I scoured the news desperate to find
Some solace for my turmoiled mind
No matter how fervently I persisted
It's almost as though you'd never existed
It seems the worst I could have feared
That you have indeed been disappeared
My aching soul cries in anguish and pain
As my heart tells me I'll never see you again
Time drifts by and our memories fade
But I'll never forget you, my fair Salisbury maid.


Posted by: Willie Wobblestick | Nov 18, 2018 11:44:27 AM | 4

Hey yes, Masha forever! I love bears.

Posted by: Pnyx | Nov 18, 2018 11:45:08 AM | 5

What puzzles me, James @ 3, is Professor Hudson's insistence on the message of Jesus as being totally an economical one, when all he has to go on really, as all we all have to go on, is the evangelical texts, which don't insist on that. To say we have misunderstood the Lord's Prayer is bad logic, since many versions have kept 'debts' in the translation, but there is not only Matthew's account of it, there is also Luke's. And right there he advances the understanding of 'trespasses' which enlarges (not diminishes, in my view) the message Christ is giving in answer to the disciples' question "How should we pray?" Christ is indeed saying we should pray to God the father to be forgiven, not just for our outstanding student loans and such - that's silly!

At the same time, I love Professor Hudson and have followed his economic investigations with great admiration. He deserves to be listened to, and his words about a needed debt jubilee are sound.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 18, 2018 11:46:58 AM | 6

Posted by: Willie Wobblestick | Nov 18, 2018 11:44:27 AM | 4
(Yulia)

Excellent ode to Yulia.
The Debussian reference to flaxen hair was a nice touch...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 18, 2018 11:59:07 AM | 7

Juliana -

One possibility is Jesus represented a longing for redemption of an oppressed people which longing in a materialistic sense begins with the desire to overcome poverty.

It could well be the subsequent editors of Jesus's message substituted spritualism for materialism in the texts.

Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 18, 2018 12:03:40 PM | 8

@6 juliania,

i can't answer for hudson, and i have never read one of his books.. i think he is hitting on a shred of truth, but just whether he is presenting it to folks who read the bible, in a way that they would appreciate - i can't say..

i remember learning the lords prayer and the word was trespasses, not debts.. again, depending on how literal one wants to be, is it trespassing to demand interest on a loan into eternity? personally i think it is! so, i suppose it depends on who is doing the interpretation, which is the problem with all the religious texts that create much of the religious and other types of conflict we see in the world today..

bring in the lawyers, lol... but first you have to take out a loan to pay for them, so you have to bring out the bankers first! personally i would prefer someone bring out dh, or a comedian to make this all easier on all of us!

Posted by: james | Nov 18, 2018 12:29:29 PM | 9

I am copying my comment from the last open thread about the Hudson interview to below

@ karlof1 with the Michael Hudson book review

A quote from the review of the book
"
This innate tendency to social polarization arising from debt unforgiveness is the original and incurable curse on our post-eighth-century-B.C. Western Civilization, the lurid birthmark that cannot be washed away or excised.
"
I will write again that the problem I have with Michael Hudson is that he does everything BUT question why the existence of private finance still.

Debt unforgiveness is only one symptom of the systemic cancer humanity of the West faces. That systemic cancer is private finance/God of Mammon mentality. The incentives are all wrong. Paradise California is the latest example. God Of Mammon greed compelled PG&E to not maintain their infrastructure properly and they kept the equipment running when they should have shut it down. PG&E has admitted complicity and also said that they didn't have enough insurance to cover this tragedy and would go under. Someone representing California government oversight of power providers have stated basically that PG&E is too big to fail and they will be backstopped by taxpayers.

So how is debt forgiveness of any sort going to fix the underlying problem? It is not and unless you have government managing any debt forgiveness instead of private folks, you will have some form of genocide by the rich.

Until and unless Michael Hudson calls out private finance as the systemic problem Western society has I will consider him an economic Sheep Dog like Bernie Sanders is a political one

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 18, 2018 12:30:34 PM | 10

Thanks to b for the coverage of Syria on the ground.

The US has lost in Ukraine (US + ‘allies’ - Germany in first place), and lost in Syria ( + Israel, KSA, Turkey crossed purposes..)

Syria. When Foreign Policy publishes The Syrian War is over and America has lost in July 2018, it is kinda official...(don’t recommend the article) and/or a warning to change tack or up the game..

https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/07/23/the-syrian-war-is-over-and-america-lost/

The upshot of the defeats. Internal groups, manipulated grass-roots-stuff (paid) - so-called rebels (paid) / despots, dictators, corporations, on a rapacious bent, looking for support and pie sharing - ‘mafia’ types who have their own code of profit-sharing - + others.. in X country, will be very wary or will not enter into a partnership with the US as it is not successful.

As the losses can’t be acknowledged, the US will create as much hysterical clamor and obfuscation as possible.

Exs. the Assad must go red-line demand has been seriously degraded now muted. The emphasis at present seems to be on a ‘new constitution’ for Syria, i.e. the very lowest form of law-warfare which will not succeed. As if a bunch of foreignors can draft the thing.. De Mistura has quit.

Aljazz.

Re. Ukraine, while financial support is apparently unwavering, the Nazi characteristic of the incumbents is getting some MSM think tank press.

Atlantic Council


Posted by: Noirette | Nov 18, 2018 12:34:53 PM | 11

@9 Can't help you with a definitive ruling on the Lord's Prayer james sorry. I'm a devout agnostic.

As for @10 I'll thank you to keep out of my private finances. It's hard enough keeping up with the Fed and Trump's trade wars.

Posted by: dh | Nov 18, 2018 12:39:02 PM | 12

The problem is that money is a voucher system and as such, the social contract enabling mass society to function, yet we assume it to be a commodity to be mined from society. Which goes to the western view of society as emergent from autonomous individuals, rather than individuals as expressions of the organic network.
There was a time when government was private as well. It was called monarchy and eventually the kings had to understand they served a function to society, not just be served by it. We are at the "Let them eat cake." moment with the financial system. The problems and conceptual flaws go much deeper than how money functions. If we want to cure the surface social issues, we will need to get into those issues. If you want to turn off a stove, you don't just put your hand on it, you turn off what powers it.

Posted by: John Merryman | Nov 18, 2018 12:41:19 PM | 13

To psychohistoriian (#10) Thank you for the analysis of Michael Hudson. I have studied his work and came to the same
conclusion. He seems to walk around the core issue, which happens a disappointing number of times. Viz. the now
17 year old "wah on Terra" Core issue: what is the real truth about nine-eleven - and how the hell does it relate to Iraq?
Core issue: The private server emails of Hillary Clinton and her cabal break numerous laws. No one has EVER disputed the
veracity of the emails; the pay to play; the subverting of Saunders, etc etc. Instead they scapegoat Julian Assange.

It's shocking - and I'm amazing that I still have the capacity to be shocked.
Pax.

Posted by: miss lacy | Nov 18, 2018 12:48:48 PM | 14

Here is an essay I posted some months ago, trying to dig into some of the deeper issues;
https://medium.com/@johnbrodixmerrymanjr/a-dissenting-view-on-basically-everything-11bd6eb67f0c

Posted by: John Merryman | Nov 18, 2018 12:51:26 PM | 15

3
Bible Israel were Hebrews. Hebrews were virtually extinguished by Roman seige of Holy Land in 70 AD. All present day Jews are the descendants of Khazarins who were Hun/Turkic converted to a Babylonian Talmud relgion in the Middle Ages. These people dispersed around the world and falsely call themselves Hebrew Diaspora, which never happened. Thank you and best wishes.

Posted by: gordon | Nov 18, 2018 12:52:23 PM | 16

@10 psyshohistorian.. help me out here.. i am trying to follow your thinking, but finding it difficult with the part about private finance... i think it is this.. you are suggesting all finance be public, but private.. how would that work? kind of like the idea all land is public, as opposed to private.. who controls it then and who gets to decide who does what or not with it? who is going to look after that?

@11 noirette..thanks for the overview.. that link on the bottom is pretty good coming from the atlantic council..

@12 dh - devout agnostic.. that's not bad for a small laugh!

Posted by: james | Nov 18, 2018 12:59:39 PM | 17

@16 gordon.. i believe you.. well, i tend to see shlomo sands comments as particularly fascinating and riveting too... how does zionism justify itself? it's like some hollywood fabrication..

Posted by: james | Nov 18, 2018 1:03:43 PM | 18

@ juliania | Nov 18, 2018 11:46:58 AM | 6

For a better understanding of the scripture, its origin and historical context I'd like to recommend to you reading the book 'The Bible Unearthed' by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silverman, two Israeli archaeologists and biblical scholars.

This book makes for some very interesting reading and provides lots of information on the subject.

Warning: Not suitable for folks that take the scripture at face value, that is as historical accurate information. They'd be in for a surprise.

Posted by: Hmpf | Nov 18, 2018 1:09:30 PM | 19

"Trump's Middle East policy is in total disarray."

That has been my thought the last week or so. Trump's first Trip abroad as president was first to KSA and then on to Israel.
Trump's MAGA and Kissinger's 'American importance in the world', I think hinged around the Trump admin middle east policy.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 18, 2018 1:10:46 PM | 20

@15 john... thanks for sharing the article you wrote 1/2 year ago.. i found it quite fascinating and enjoyed reading it.. i would be curious to know what psychohistorian thinks of it? i think you are correct in your statement @13 " We are at the "Let them eat cake." moment with the financial system." where to next?

Posted by: james | Nov 18, 2018 1:16:52 PM | 21

@ 4 Willie Wobblestick
Not bad at all Willie, it is very good. I missed the Debussy part though.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Nov 18, 2018 1:21:12 PM | 22

hey that masha the bear cartoon.. i haven't been following it, but i see peter has written up on it today at irrusianality as well..

https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2018/11/18/get-them-while-theyre-young/

Posted by: james | Nov 18, 2018 1:21:20 PM | 23

paul robinson - not peter.. sorry..

Posted by: james | Nov 18, 2018 1:21:47 PM | 24

German capitalist class prepares back-up plan in case EU collapses.


A terrorist network inside the German Army, by Peter Schwarz <https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/11/17/germ-n17.html>

Conspiracy within the German Military Uncovered: Armed Groups Pose Threat to Europe, by Alex Gorka <https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/11/14/conspiracy-within-german-military-uncovered-armed-groups-pose-threat-europe.html>

I doubt this is a fringe, rogue group. In the age of the internet, these kind of undergroud groups pretty much don't exist anymore. Germany is preparing for the fall of the European project. That European Army will happen, in one way or another.

Posted by: vk | Nov 18, 2018 1:32:14 PM | 25

Hudson

“”As economies polarize between debtors and creditors, planning is shifting out of public hands into those of bankers. The easiest way for them to keep this power is to block a true central bank or strong public sector from interfering with their monopoly of credit creation. The counter is for central banks and governments to act as they were intended to, by providing a public option for credit creation””

Michael Hudson is actually a pretty strong proponent of public finance.

He is more in the ‘positive money’ camp than most MMTers but that mostly reflects his disgust at the abuses of private credit creation.

Posted by: financial matters | Nov 18, 2018 1:34:52 PM | 26

This article in The Intercept provides incontrovertible proof that Zionists wanted Trump to win the election and that Chuck Schumer, their representative in Congress used the DNC and Facebook to help him. It also demonstrates how Chuck Schumer supports Republican Presidents and policies denying the will of many in his party even a Democratic President and betraying millions of voters on the Left to forward the Zionist agenda in each and every case. I would call this collusion and subversion of Democracy. Everything else Schumer does not to lose his choice position as Senate minority leader is window dressing, lip service and a charade.

Chuck Schumer supports Trump

Posted by: Circe | Nov 18, 2018 1:42:23 PM | 27

@juliana - Please read the review of Hudson's book I linked.

The issue of periodic debt forgiveness has a much longer history in the middle eastern society and Jesus words can only be understand within that historic context.

The view of Jesus as a Jewish revolutionary is not new at all. Reza Aslan wrote a whole book about it: Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth as did many others. In the end the local aristocracy would no longer condone that he was firing up the plebs with his commie talk against the money changer and they told the imperial Roman overlords to off him ... or else.

The Christian religions defused the revolutionary aspect when they changed the target of his teaching from real life issues towards a more spiritual perspective. The real meaning of "forgive our debt" was turned from a real money thing into a the forgiveness of sins by some heavily figure. (The Churches/priests also made billions from selling of indulgences due to this transferred teaching.)

Posted by: b | Nov 18, 2018 1:45:54 PM | 28

I'm very busy today, so I lack time to properly respond/contribute aside from highlighting this item UN Vote on Crimea: Some Thoughts on the Issue, which I think important for people to know.

Great thanks to b! for providing Hudson's new work more exposure as it's potentially revolutionary with the information it provides.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 18, 2018 1:58:33 PM | 29

Trolling…

“Our Dadio,
with digs in paradise,
we we root for you big time,
bring
it
on
down.

High-five to your moniker
your scheme be good,
on this Rock as well as in ultra Shangri-La.

Lay on us our daily bread,
and chill our screw-ups
as we chill on the screw-ups of others.

Don’t give us too much,
don’t give us too little,
don’t do us any favors,
except kick superstition’s ass.

Yours is the random power,
get your kicks,
tra-la-la, amen.”

(not entirely goofball)

Posted by: A. Person | Nov 18, 2018 2:14:48 PM | 30

Hundreds of millions are spent on “intelligence” and this is the best they can come up with? Stating that a cartoon with a mischievous human and a bear are planning to twists the minds of children to be pro Putin? The stupidity is breathtaking!

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Nov 18, 2018 2:20:59 PM | 31


Had to laugh at weekend edition of the Sydney Morning Herald . On opposite pages, these juxtaposed images met the viewers gaze - the first was a young girl in navy uniform presenting Japan's Abe with a memorial wreath on his visit to Darwin; the second , taking a whole page face was a poster of the Chin emperor's tomb warriors marching , timelessly , inexorably towards the viewer.

In the context of Xi Jing Pings four day visit to New Guinea and the RETURN of Chinese power to the southern Pacific very witty , rueful comment from the page set at the paper.

Australia is divided on policies towards the Anglo-sphere and China .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Nov 18, 2018 2:23:10 PM | 32

b --

Thanks for highlighting Michael Hudson's work. Those who wish to understand Hudson himself can find his autobiography at his web site --
http://michael-hudson.com/2018/08/life-thought-an-autobiography/
You will find that his primary mission in his economic life (though there are several) is to untangle the mysterious processes by which the oligarchs maintain their power and by which they continually strip the working class of everything they own.

I have been reading his articles for years, and once had the honor of being asked to edit a chapter in one of his recent books, which I did.

If from time to time you have the choice of doing anything else in the world or reading some of Hudson's works, choose Hudson every time. You will be very glad that you did.

//

A few years ago, while I was searching the interwebs for some appropriate children's videos for the small daughter of some friends of mine, I came across the "Masha and the Bear" videos.

I have to confess that I was utterly entranced, and ended up watching all that were available at the time. Utterly charming! The contention that they are Putin propaganda is possibly the single most absurd assertion that I have ever encountered.

//

Thanks for all this, and all the other work that you do in bringing us probably the single most enlightening site on the web -- at least as far as international relations and the outrages of the ruling classes are concerned.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Nov 18, 2018 3:27:57 PM | 33

There is a renegade school of thought according to which Jesus did not exist. There are multiple variations. A common idea is that there were one or more Hellenistic cults in the region of Judea around or even before the 1st century CE that believed that Christ, son of God the Father, in something like a cosmic practical joke was sent down in disguise from the 7th Heaven by God the Father into the lower realms because the demons/angels/lesser gods running things there/here were screwing up and needed to be put in their place. This Christ got crucified in disguise, probably in a lesser heaven rather than on Earth, and then ascended triumphant in full glory. Later the various Christian stories -- were written and rewritten by various factions, getting their final form to include a Jesus on Earth in the 2nd to 4th century CE. Some Christian works are presented by this school of thought as novel-like allegories or even at times parodies. This sort of thinking was presented at least as early as about 1930 (Couchoud). Mainstream divinity school scholars, even the atheists, hate it. Prominent proponents include RG Price and Richard Carrier, whose works I haven't read. I do not know it well. I read about it for entertainment on vridar.org which may or may not be the best place to go to to read about it.

A related concept is that Judaism may be best seen as a Hellenistic cult as well; that it may be far more recent than commonly thought (not much older than Christianity); and that it may not have become distinct from Christianity until several centuries CE. Again, I just skim this stuff for entertainment and don't know so don't rely on me. (A current post at vridar.org I haven't read I think is one of many that notes similarities of Old Testament contents to Plato.)

Posted by: temporary-11/3 | Nov 18, 2018 3:28:14 PM | 34

Different denominations use "debts" vs "trespasses" in the US for the Lord's Prayer. I believe translators have put a lot of work into which word to use dating back to circa 1600. I do not know whether there was a difference in the original Greek texts. I once read about it but am not going to look it up now.

Posted by: temporary-11/3 | Nov 18, 2018 3:29:25 PM | 35

Australia totally blew its respect and relationship with south pacific nations under John Howard. He coerced, blackmailed and then bluntly stole the oil reserves from East Timor in the years following their liberation. EVERYBODY was watching this hideous theft of natural resources from the smallest, poorest, and suffering nation on earth. Just like the yankee carpetbaggers.

Nowadays Australia continues to totally screw up its relations with most Pacific Island neighboring states. It can't even get the independence referendum underway as Papua New Guinea just ignores it. China would no doubt be absolutely focussed on that opportunity.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 18, 2018 3:41:47 PM | 36

hey, we have people chopping off dissidents heads in ksa.. i have no problem imaging some barbaric people from a few thousand years ago nailing someone to a cross... not saying i know anything for sure, but reality as practiced in ksa is more strange then anything i would like to have to witness directly... speaking of which - trump doesn't want to listen to the suffering tape, yet he wants to continue his support for this headchopper cult.. interesting dude trump... or, strange what money will do to a persons brain..

Posted by: james | Nov 18, 2018 3:43:42 PM | 37

Trump often refers to his "leverage" in approaching geopolitics as a business negotiation, and yet he is effectively hamstrung with two countries (Israel and KSA) where US leverage should be overwhelming due to security guarantees. The complex web of influence and court politics will prevent coherent decisive moves, which presumably he refers to when stating he would rather "stay out" of the Middle East. It's a teachable moment, an opportunity for the sort of truth-telling necessary to promote a draining of the swamp - the chance to publicly acknowledge that nothing can be done because the interests of power blocs within the two countries are embedded directly in the US political system itself.

Obama had the opportunity for truth-telling early in his administration when he could have acknowledged that a single-payer health care system is not possible in America at this time - not because it isn't rational and effective but because powerful domestic interests will not allow it.

Posted by: jayc | Nov 18, 2018 4:04:40 PM | 38

@ 19

...'The Bible Unearthed' by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silverman, two Israeli archaeologists and biblical scholars

I found that to be fantastically good read. As you say, lots of others will be disturbed by what they see there.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Nov 18, 2018 4:13:19 PM | 39

Circe @27:

Zionists wanted Trump to win the election ... betraying millions of voters on the Left to forward the Zionist agenda

Thanks for the link. The Schumer info is important. But the contextualization of Schumer's craven, complicit behavior is all wrong. To bemoan Schumer, Obama, or Hillary's betrayal of the left is to accept the ruse that they actually represent the left.

It should be clear by now that the Democratic Party's primary mission is to protect the establishment. They drip-feed just enough small changes - like bathroom rights - to keep their claim to be "left" alive. Just look at tax cuts: Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump have all cut taxes.

Likewise, to say that "Zionists" wanted to elect Trump is confusing and counterproductive as most people (wrongly) see Zionism as being only about Israel and associate "Zionism" with Jews (only). It should be clear by now that most of the American establishment (aka the 'people that matter') is 'Zionist' and that these 'Zionists' are not only pro-Israel but pro-MIC and pro-oligarchy too.

It was the US establishment that wanted Trump despite pretending to hate him. MAGA is not a Trump invention but a POLICY RESPONSE to the challenge from Russia and China. Trump was selected as the best person to lead that response.

I've been saying for some time now that the 2016 Presidential election was a complete set-up. Most people reject that 'conspiracy theory' out of hand until they are reminded that Hillary: ran against two old friends (Sanders and Trump); she snubbed the progressives by bringing DWS into her campaign and selecting Tim Kaine as her running mate while also including moderate whites with her "deplorables" comment, -AND- she didn't campaign in the three crucial states that would decide the election. Meanwhile, new-comer Trump did everything right: the only Republican to run as a populist, the only republican to champion veterans, etc.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 18, 2018 4:14:25 PM | 40

Up around #34 in discussing the "mythicist" school of thought about Jesus (ie, did not exist--Christianity based on myth even deliberate fiction-writing later reworked back and forth by various factions into its current form) I neglected the name of a 3d major author whose works I have not read interested people might go to: Earl Doherty. I do not know this stuff other than as a curious passerby, but it does seem erudite and well-argued to my naive mind.

Posted by: temporary-11/3 | Nov 18, 2018 4:22:03 PM | 41

That Jesus was a rebel in conflict with authority is obvious to any child who can read.

Flipping the tables of merchants in church is pretty hard to misinterpret right?! It blows my mind they weren't more creative with some of the rewrites, the 'bad guys' of the story are priests...

Posted by: tony | Nov 18, 2018 4:24:16 PM | 42

My grand-daughter loves Masha. I watch it regularly with her.

As far as I can see, if there is a central message, it is in favor of independent thinking and initiative.

I have no doubt that the Brithish neo-cons feel threatened by such radical ideas.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Nov 18, 2018 4:34:14 PM | 43

I'll post this piece again for those new to Hudson -

http://michael-hudson.com/2017/01/the-land-belongs-to-god/

A good thumbnail look at the scope of his research, especially on deror, or debt.

And, how many people who read the Lord's Prayer understand the historical meaning of trespass?

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Nov 18, 2018 4:52:38 PM | 44

@ 40

Correct. But just for those who still don't get it, you should add that even though Trump campaigned as a populist; he's really a faux populist who in fact cares squat about Veterans; he prefers not to get his hair wet than honor them. What he likes to do is pretend that because he invested close to a billion U.S. funds in the MIC, that constitutes honoring Veterans when we all know what is driving that investment, bases, proxy civil wars and invasions on behalf of regime change, especially in Iran, for now, and the Empire's expansion.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 18, 2018 5:09:41 PM | 45

Jesus was the Jewish Martin Luther. That goes to the underlaying dynamic of renewal. Which was the original source of the Trinity, the Greek Year Gods. Father, Son, Holy Ghost = Past, Present, Future.
Read Gilbert Murray's; The Five Stages of Greek Religion: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/30250/30250-h/30250-h.htm

James,
We live in interesting times. The powers that be are throwing everything on the fire to keep the status quo going. So when it does totally blow up, the system will be that much more vulnerable. Then the question will be, what changes are possible?
The most profound would be understanding time is not a real dimension, from past to future, but change turning future to past. More like temperature, pressure, color, etc, than space. This dissolves the idea of history as singular and that everyone has to conform to the dominant narrative.
The Eastern view of time is the past is in front of the observer and the future behind, as what is in front and past are known and the future and what is behind are unknown. Which conforms to the Eastern philosophy of the individual as part of its context, given we do see events after they occur. The Western view is of the future in front and past behind, because we see ourselves as autonomously moving through our context. Both are effectively true, as we are moving in and part of our context.
Which then gets to the idea of God, as "all-knowing absolute," in the words of Pope John Paul 2. A spiritual absolute(source of consciousness), would be an essence of sentience, from which we rise, not an ideal of wisdom, from which we fell. Analogous to the raw awareness of the new born, rather than the wisdom of the old man. The religious deity is a political construct; The father figure ruler. Yet in the wrong hands, it becomes treating one's cultural assumptions as absolute and that results in extremism. Which the various monotheisms seem quite adept at.
If those two dominos could be tipped over, than resetting money as a social contract, rather than a commodity, would be almost be easy. We would own money like we own the section of road we are driving on. Neither entirely public or private, as our notion of public and private has been networked into a larger dynamic. Two sides of a larger coin. Node and network.
So that is how I see the coming explosion; Both destruction of the old, but opening up the possible.

Posted by: John Merryman | Nov 18, 2018 5:59:37 PM | 46

The Outlaw US Empire's inability to coerce other nations to adopt its lie-filled draft declaration for the APEC-CEO Conference caused it to accuse China of being the stuck-up nation; so, unlike the ASEAN and Asia-Summit Conferences which didn't include the Outlaw Empire and had no difficulty reaching consensus on their Declarations, no APEC Declaration was agreed upon for publication. We do have an idea of what was discussed thanks to Medvedev's attendance. Here's his speech with his primary pitch excerpted so readers will understand what the Outlaw US Empire opposes:

"First of all, the global economy needs clear and transparent rules of trade. Therefore, a key goal is to combine efforts to improve the effectiveness of the World Trade Organisation and its regulatory role.

"Like many countries, we recognise that the organisation needs to be modernised, but without weakening its influence or undermining the fundamental principles of its work, let alone its dismantling, which would mean a collapse of civilised trade.

"The institutional foundations of international trade formed by the WTO also need to be preserved to condition further deepening of regional economic integration. Russia strongly believes that transparent WTO rules incorporating the specifics of each Asia-Pacific, each APEC economy, are essential for creating an Asia-Pacific free trade zone, making it a truly open market, rather than a narrow-format system of collective protectionism.

"I would suggest the Eurasian Economic Union as an example of such an integration platform, an alliance which Russia and its partners are developing in strict accordance with the WTO principles. It is one of the largest regional associations in terms of market capacity and a single market with uniform rules for doing business.

"We are cooperating with other integration projects and are now working on aligning it with the well-known Chinese Belt and Road initiative. We are working in close contact as part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. We also have strong ties with ASEAN. President of Russia Vladimir Putin has launched an initiative to create the Greater Eurasian Partnership, based on openness and mutual trust between states, and uniform rules of the game.

"Asia-Pacific countries joining this format would help harmonise the multi-level integration architecture that is being formed on the continent. We invite our colleagues and stakeholders to collectively develop the landscape for such work.

"We believe that a similar principle could underlie the Asia-Pacific free trade zone concept. This would promote truly comprehensive and indivisible economic growth in Eurasia and the Asia-Pacific region."

Much more follows, and it's easy to see why the Empire's on the defensive as it's now exposed as the Reactionary Power it's always been while hiding its true nature behind self-laudatory rhetoric and propaganda.

About the only thing to admire about Trump is his ability to stand naked before the world without a hint of embarrassment. The future lies in Eurasia and Asia-Pacific as does the rediscovery of the past and its actual history, not the contrived, distorted narrative fed to most everyone over the past 2K+ years to service the power of the money-lenders--The Living-Breathing Satans.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 18, 2018 6:34:20 PM | 47

Masha the Bear -- Putin propaganda, LOL. The lunatics propagating this pathetic drivel have probably raised their children, and were probably raised themselves on pure, innocent and surely non-propagandistic cartoons from Walt Disney!

From the wiki article on Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart's How to Read Donald Duck:

According to [Sophia A.] McClennen, the Disney comics are insidious, masquerading themselves as innocent and light-hearted entertainment. How to Read Donald Duck set out to reveal the ideological message of the comics, their support of capitalism and imperialism.[9] The writers questioned why there are no parents in Disney comics, only uncles and cousins. This means the concept of the family is destroyed within their context. There is no potential dialectic between a father and his son, a mother and her daughter.[9] The children of the stories never grow up to become parents in their own right. Consequently, social authority is depicted as ever-lasting and never challenged.[9] There is both a lack of parents and absence of any hint of sexual reproduction within the stories. This is connected to another element missing from them, the depiction of material production. All characters apparently work in the service sector of the economy. There is no real workforce.[9] Characters who gain wealth, have only managed to do so through treasure hunting and looting.[9] The only depictions of an exchange of commodities, involve crafty imperialists who take advantage of ignorant savages. When Donald and his family travel to foreign lands, they fool the locals into trading precious resources for useless items.[9] There is a depiction of both wealthy and poor nations. But the poverty of the latter is attributed to the ignorance of the barbarians who inhabit them.[9] There is no labor, and no real leisure either. Donald Duck is frequently depicted as bored with his life and dreaming of his next adventure. His adventures invariably depict him using deception against other characters. Donald's antics are depicted as innocent fun.[9]

Posted by: PhilK | Nov 18, 2018 6:54:40 PM | 48

sir charles drake talked here about schlomo sand and the inventions
talked of douglas reeds problem with zion
talked of the book the 13th tribe by ashkanazi author talked of eutace mullins.
it is nice too know that even after all the deletions and forum memory holing
history will absolve this great man.
he may be a bot program but he is a lover of the children of jesus the semites of gaza and west bank.
charles believes ask a nazi should go home and rebuild khazaria in mongolia deserta

Posted by: charles | Nov 18, 2018 6:54:50 PM | 49

@ VK #25:

I wonder how much meat there be on them thar bones. I am inclined to assume F all.
Both the UK and Germany have the nasty habit of infiltrating organisations that show
any modicum of abillity to put words into action that may affect the supremacy
of the state. Same goes for the other NATO members.
So these efforts are either permitted to proceed until they are not,
or cancelled continuation of new/renewed Gladio cells.
Strategy Of Tension part infinity.

Posted by: Mishko | Nov 18, 2018 7:10:13 PM | 50

James @ 17: One way in which finance becomes public is for the banking system (or whatever replaces it) to become public. Instead of privately owned banks lending to individuals, families or small businesses, community-owned banks or banks controlled by local councils, trade unions, student unions or grassroots organisations would lend money. These banks would draw their funds from savings and day-to-day business accounts operated by the same groups of people they lend to. They could also be funded by national governments.

You ask if all land is public, then who controls it? Answer must be that some kind of government (national, regional, local) must control it on behalf of the people who support that government. One presumes young couples (newly married perhaps or with documents to support their having been together for a defined period) get first preference in applying for (let's say) a 50-year lease on a dwelling which can be renewed once, maybe twice. If the couple divorces or one of them dies, the lease would return to the government. Perhaps the divorcee or the widowed survivor must show evidence that the lease should be renewed.

Similarly all businesses must lease land from the government and be able to renew the lease once, maybe twice.

Major infrastructure projects would only take place if governments controlling the land where these projects take place agree to cooperate or transfer / sell the land to the national government. The national government "pays" for the land by offering jobs in the project to the people living or working in the areas of the projects.

Incidentally the world's largest irrigation project was funded entirely by a government and its banking system, without any financial help from the World Bank.
http://www.great-man-made-river.algaddafi.org/great-man-made-river-gmmr--english

Posted by: Jen | Nov 18, 2018 7:22:32 PM | 51

Problem with Hudsons book is it cost 30 bucks (not including international shipping) for 336 pages of paperback and is already out of stock and NOT available on kindle. Not going to be widely read I don’t think unless something changes.

Anyways, Christianity was a split in Judaism designed by elites and executed by their agents. Christians were then allowed to be fair game for the money lenders who could charge interest and not forgive them their debts (unlike with fellow Jews). Christians forbid charging usury to all. However, they also did not forgive debts to appease the ruling class that allowed them to exist. An uneasy truce in the early years before Christianity was formally adopted by Rome. This required a rewrite of the bible, which was easy to do before the printing press as few copies were in circulation and most of the flock illiterate. After Rome fell the non church elite (nobles and such) used Jews to collect taxes and when in need of a loan borrowed money at interest from them. To pay the interest they had to raise taxes. Another reason for their unpopularity.


The church (thanks to a rogue Pope) eventually succumbed to borrowing at interest, although somewhat constrained, but the indulgences sold to pay the interest led to the Reformation which was backed by the money lenders. This split the church and opened the flood gates for heavenly usury and debt, and spilled much blood in wars that required debt to be fought . This also enriched the money lenders ( Christians and Jews) who loaned to both sides of the wars, and led them to eventually seize control of money creation, and thus control over government.

Free of the church leaders who enforced “Gods” law , which could not be amended by men outside the church (Reformation gave states control of the religion and allowed reinterpretation), man was liberated and free to create his own laws. That made it possible to legally break Gods laws (as Hitler and Stalin both said, everything they did was legal under their laws) . Thus slavery, war, drugs, usury and debt were free to expand (we know it as Free Trade).


Posted by: Pft | Nov 18, 2018 7:49:21 PM | 52

@ b | Nov 18, 2018 1:45:54 PM | 28

Re: The Christian religions defused the revolutionary aspect when they changed the target of his teaching from real life issues towards a more spiritual perspective.
_____________________________________________

I know someone in the religious life, a theologian who generally shares my high regard for Hudson, and also shares my penchant for "alternative" news and analysis. I am well aware that, despite his leftist politics, my friend is actually a conservative, traditional-minded Roman Catholic.

Anyway, my friend was horrified some months ago, when we discussed a short video we'd both seen of Hudson outlining the topic of this book. My friend was more sorrowful than angry, but emphatically deplored Hudson's perspective as a tragic case of a worthy scholar making a fool of himself by-- well, pontificating-- outside of his area of expertise.

My friend knows that I am always attracted to contrarian research and iconoclastic theories that challenge settled narratives. When I protested that Hudson's interpretation of the Lord's Prayer had the ring of truth, he strenuously demurred.

He could understand why a "non-believer", especially a cynic like me, would be intrigued by the idea that the Fathers of the institutional church "tweaked" Jesus's words and meanings to suit their theological purposes. But he insisted that of course Jesus was speaking metaphorically about spiritual matters, and wasn't trying to be a secular economics "revolutionary".

I'm not sure how generally well-known Hudson is, but I wonder if he'll be subjected to vicious criticism and even harassment for daring to even suggest that Jesus might've been, at least in part, preaching a gospel of economic or financial salvation. I presume that devout Christian critics-- especially clergy and theologians-- will, you should pardon the expression, crucify him.

Posted by: Ort | Nov 18, 2018 7:49:59 PM | 53

karlof1,
Yet would that integration of the Eurasian continent have happened, without the threat and pressure of the Empire?
The Empire has peaked and the integration of the Old World will continue, for survival, so the question will be the future of the Americas. That is the real blank slate.

Jen,
Government is the central nervous system of the community. It is the Chief and the council of elders, mutated to the king and lords, to presidents and legislatures. Finance, on the other hand, is the circulation system of the economy. Banks and money are the arteries and blood. Yet we have become parasites and mine value out of this medium, with those most obsessive in the practice able to create feedback loops and take more and more. It would be as if the head and heart told the hands and feet they don't need so much blood and should work harder for what they do get.
Necessarily though, the nervous system and the circulation system are distinct and serve different functions, even though they both serve the entire body. Politicians succeed by how much hope they give the community and we experience money as quantified hope, so there is a natural tendency to inflate the money supply, when other promises cannot be fulfilled. The dawn of modern capitalism was when the Rothschild's took over control of the royal treasury, from Charles 1 and created the Bank of England. For better or worse, it worked magnificently. Now bankers are just running their own ponzi scheme and have no vision beyond it.
The two poles of social control are hope and fear. Money is quantified hope and when the system fails, the pendulum will swing to fear and the police and military will be in control. Likely quite a few bankers will be used as pinatas, to appease the masses. How do we really get beyond that, is the real question.

Posted by: John Merryman | Nov 18, 2018 8:03:09 PM | 54

@ 44: Bart Hansen

And, how many people who read the Lord's Prayer understand the historical meaning of trespass?

I sure didn't! And nobody has ever made a point of drawing my attention to the issue. Just made a search for the "official" Lord's Prayer at the Vatican site and found this:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

To me it's an odd coincidence Michael Hudson is talking about the "Prayer" at the same time the current Pope is speaking of plans to modify one of the lines. NOT the one about "trespass", but rather the one speaking of "temptation".

Catholic Church Poised to Correct 'Flaws' in Historic Lord's Prayer

If I was a betting man, I'd wager the Vatical won't be messing with the "tresspass" language. Vague and misleading for ages, and just the way that one ought stay.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Nov 18, 2018 8:06:43 PM | 55

@ 10

Michael Hudson calls out private finance as the systemic problem Western society has I will consider him an economic Sheep Dog like Bernie Sanders is a political one..

I see the systemic problem as private anything (ownership, finance, asset, property ownership, private monopoly of products of the human mind [copyright, patents], privatization of governmental duties and services into private hands, things like a water system going private is a problem) because it raises prices and removes cost and reduces quality decisions from political to private domain. Once state power or state duty transfers to private hands, the capitalist uses the monopoly power to exploit the masses. Profits are wasted resources, because profit by definition represents "revenues in excess of costs" and to achieve revenues in excess of cost it is necessary to drain the pockets of the many for the benefit(profit) of the few.

The history of pre enclosure act law, shows that land ownership is not necessary or even desirable people who need the land should be able to use it on a first come first served basis, but title to the land does not pass to heirs or extend to a user beyond his productive use, etc. Patents and copyright are highly anti competitive as they prohibit a nation from building on the discoveries of its citizens, once a patent or copyright issues, only the person or company that owns the patent or copyright can efficiently continue its use and fund advances in the technology or usefulness of the patented or copyrighted thing unless that patent or copyright requires that all persons can use the technology or inventor or copyright and that any new thing that builds on the open source patent, copyright must be made available to all, if the new thing is to be used in commerce.
Read the several open source license types to get a feel for just how wonder open source is.

Posted by: snake | Nov 18, 2018 8:13:24 PM | 56

Don't know who said it, but, "Religion is the greatest fomenter of hatred the world has ever known", has much truth to it.

Why not just make up your own, they did.

I've always thought the "golden rule" was cool.

"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you".

That sounds reasonable, unless you happen to be a masochist

Thanks for the therapy b...

Posted by: ben | Nov 18, 2018 8:39:20 PM | 57

John Merryman @ 54: Thanks for your biological analogy. May I suggest though that the analogy may not be entirely apt and one problem with it is that it would too easy for people to think of society entirely in biological terms such as you describe, with the result that to think of society as something other than in biological metaphors becomes a barrier to thinking of creative solutions in dealing with particular problems?

Your metaphor seems to take for granted that government is centralised and the finance industry is also centralised (whether in parallel centralised networks or joined together).

I would suggest that we need to have decentralised systems of finance, each centred on particular communities perhaps, with their own currencies and institutions, all linked in a network. Rather like the Internet, I suppose. Yes, redundancy will be built into the network but is that necessarily a bad thing?

Likewise we would have decentralised politics and governments, with the flatter hierarchies and greater public participation in political decision-making that such decentralisation might suggest.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 18, 2018 8:51:53 PM | 58

@54

The banking system in England was never magnificent for industrialists and mid/small businesses which were starved of cash and generally looked down upon by bankers who got much better returns from overseas investment. Part of the success of Germany and Japan post WWII was due to a recognition of the importance of engineers to economic success and the ease with which companies could obtain loans from commercial, not investment banks. A ten or twenty year loan by a local commercial bank ties the firm's fortunes into the bank's own interests. Capital in these countries thus thinks or thought more in the mid-to-long term.

The key for me is the joint stock or public company which is totally at the mercy of investment bankers. Private firms not listed on the stock market like IKEA or Mars or even Trump's own business are not under the slightest obligation to the stock market. According to Time magazine 84% of the stocks in the US are owned by the top 10% of the population, so the stock exchange exists to make rich people richer and subject public (which are most of the largest) companies to continual blackmail to produce outsize profits at the expense of the workforce or else executives can find themselves having to land, albeit with their golden parachutes, on the street.

Posted by: Lochearn | Nov 18, 2018 8:53:43 PM | 59

Evidence of sad decline in what was once a reputable newspaper of record - blatant line-pushing in the Times:
https://ssscsgsfsdg.wordpress.com/2018/11/13/syria-is-the-times-feeding-us-regime-propaganda/comment-page-1/#comment-235

Hilariously, the repeated attempts to bludgeon their readers into accepting the government line is couched as a reprimand to some UK fact-seekers (who were actually prepared to travel to find facts) for being stooges for Syrian propaganda!

Posted by: Hope | Nov 18, 2018 8:56:41 PM | 60

i see some other responses to john and jens posts have happened since i wrote this!

@46 john merryman.. thanks for articulating a fascinating view on time and history in an innovative way that i hadn't seen before! you're right that we can't see the future, so in a sense it is behind us out of view... the past is staring us in the face, but could be interpreted countless ways, and could have spun a number of different ways too, depending on many factors, some of which we can know of, and others that we can't.. regardless - we will have to wait and see, as i am prone to saying.. i really enjoy the way you articulate your ideas..

@ 51 jen.. thanks for your response! i see i made a small typo in my post - 'but' instead of 'not'... i think it is possible - public finance, and i know examples abound as you show.. who would control the release of it is where i get anxious.. perhaps it is my own paranoia... it seems if one knows someone on the inside, they have a better chance.. our dream of an egalitarian system where fairness rules, is subject to human nature with all it's foibles.. granted, public finance, as opposed to private is worth going for, as the system we have at present is clearly broken for 99% of the world today..

here where i live in b.c. - what land the gov't didn't hand over to corporations, they let them use in such a way that doesn't spread the wealth to the locals... and the locals aren't given the same opportunities to use the land either.. so, public land use is in the hands of the gov't... i suppose in theory, the idea is good, but as it presently stands - the corporations have the favour of gov'ts.. perhaps this also goes into the private, verses public finance issue.. if the gov't wasn't beholden to private finance - it might change all this..

finally - caitlin johnstones latest on assange and usa "resistance"..

Posted by: james | Nov 18, 2018 9:00:14 PM | 61

@43 john.. regarding your comments to jen- again, i am drawn to your perspective and agree with the importance of the question you end with.. i personally don't know..

@57 jen.. i agree that decentralization is necessary.. anything that is big, is usually out of touch with local needs - federal, verses local is how this works..

it would appear we have to wait for everything to collapse.. have we evolved beyond the darwinian concept of the survival of the strongest to where we are interested in sharing with others in some type of egalitarian way? would be nice... presently the financial world is stacked in the usa's favour, but this appears to be changing... it seems conflicts with power - who has it and who wants more of it - are a fertile ground for war.. that seems to be where we are at present with the usa threatening china and russia more regularly today... how much of that is power wanting to retain it's position? it seems like a lot to me.. public finance would be very different and is worth pursuing, but it will have to be pursued by gov'ts and leaders that are not beholden to corporations.. we have a ways to go..

Posted by: james | Nov 18, 2018 9:11:00 PM | 62

My favorite economist Richard D. Wolff

https://www.rdwolff.com/

Posted by: ben | Nov 18, 2018 9:38:21 PM | 63

There are lots of comments to respond to so let me just expand on my public finance concept.

I am advocating for totally public finance and no private banking.
I am also advocating, as others have commented, for a limit on the “ownership” of private property. I like the 50 year lease proposed earlier and have read that China has 99 year leases.
I also would advocate for limits on inheritance to inhibit future concentration of “wealth”.

And, yes, I am advocating for government to manage debt reconciliation and not the God of Mammon owners.

It is time for humanity to grow up beyond the feudal insanity that has lived way beyond its cultural imperative. The myth we are living is that these global historical elite are moving the levers of power behind the curtain of Capitalism to provide most with war and slavery. I am saying very clearly that I prefer the socialism with a Chinese face approach over the Western private finance motivated one.

China has created and executed 13 5-year plans. Somewhere within the bowels of that huge government is a group of people charged with managing China’s finances. Given what I have seen of the way China is handling corruption I can only expect that the folks making macro economic/finance decisions put the pluralist goals of the country ahead of any oligarch bribes or pressure. In the Western world, global finance is a profit center for the elite and the rest of us be dammed.

Back to more components of a new social contract

New evolving definition of responsibility to and benefits from government (mandatory voting and regular participation in government operation/management, free education/balanced with social payback, ongoing evolution of mix of sharing/competition in provision of goods and services as well as regulation to insure safety and advertised value).

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 18, 2018 9:59:11 PM | 64

@ Jen 51 – 7:22 p.m.

”the world's largest irrigation project was funded entirely by a government and its banking system, without any financial help from the World Bank.
http://www.great-man-made-river.algaddafi.org/great-man-made-river-gmmr--english

And it was deliberately destroyed by Hillary Clinton. In fact, she wanted so desperately to make sure that she got full credit for the complete destruction of Libya (she thought it would help her win her presidential campaign) and the slaughter of 40,000 Libyans, that she kept riding her staff for assurances and evidences that could be put in front of the world that, yes indeed, it had been all her doing.

One document – “Tick Tock on Lybia” – tells the whole story. Read it here –
https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/23898

Posted by: AntiSpin | Nov 18, 2018 10:09:38 PM | 65

If we are pointing out the mendacity of englander fishwraps, the Grauniad which has once again albeit in a new way covered itself in the slimy patina of hypocrisy by enjoining it's shrinking readership to 'get behind' May's abortion of a brexit strategy wins the prize of scummiest journalism of the decade.

A bit like the obese and useless cat my neighbor claims to 'own' now he has vivisected it to his taste, May's brexit is neither Arthur nor Martha.
May's plan gets england outta the EU but leaves it shackled to that organisation forced to obey the rules but without the right to advocate or take part in changes as only members of the EU can do that.

If May doesn't get her mess through parliament she will lose her gig and a general election will inevitably follow, one which despite what the dodgy polls claim the Tories will inevitably lose, meaning Mr Corbyn will be PM. That is a fate worse than death for zionists, mega capitalists and the theiving banks, consequently the graun's editors are in panic mode as they praise their former nemesis and repeat her lies about "Getting back control of our borders". Playing the race card straight off the top of the deck.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Nov 18, 2018 10:11:43 PM | 66

Shlomo Sand is a fact-challenged idiot. His entire thesis depends on genetic evidence not showing consistent Levantine ancestry among widely scattered Jewish populations. When evidence came out showing exactly that, he had no response other than to be petulant and say that 'Hitler would love your conclusions'. Maybe he would, but that has no bearing on if it's true or not. The DNA evidence is clear: Jews the world over maintain a remarkable degree of genetic continuity with their ancient ancestors.

None of this justifies building modern Israel on Palestinian land however. To even engage in arguments over DNA is to implicitly concede to Zionists that a right to return based on Jewish ancestry exists in the first place.

You don't get to steal someone's land and demolish their home just because some distant ancestor of yours lived there. And even if you did, the DNA evidence also shows that the 'Arab' Palestinians are closely related to Israeli Jews. That's because they're the descendants of Levantine Jews who never left in the first place, later adopting the religion and culture of Arabs. They're in fact close cousins of Israelis, not interlopers from outside.

Posted by: Merasmus | Nov 18, 2018 10:45:36 PM | 67

I think the problem that Jesus faced was much greater than debt jubilee.

Throughout history, those with wealth and power have conflated their position or success with God's blessing. Those without that blessing are suspect and often powerless.

In Jesus' time, the more one suffered, the more they were outcast. It seems to me that Jesus may have prevented the development of a caste system in the West. India's caste system - which lingers on and has caused much misery.

Today we are subject to much the same damnation via neo-liberal theology. Neoliberals believe that society is a mirage, God is dead, and government's role should be restricted to providing "equal opportunity". But the wealth already accumulated is off-limits and low tax rates on the wealthy and off-shore tax havens mean that the 'God of Mammon' will bless wealthy families for generations to come.

The dumbass public has been contented with fake news and cheap entertainment but they may be praying for a new Christ once robots start to take their jobs in large number (already begun) and the false promise of "equal opportunity" becomes crystal clear. A debt jubilee will not be enough, and the neoliberal establishment will resist any demands for change.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 18, 2018 10:59:27 PM | 68

@66 merasmus, i guess that's why sand is still working for tel aviv university! some evidence, is not the same as conclusive evidence...i doubt you have a copy of his book handy, or you could reference page 273-279 for a response to some of the (so called evidence) you are probably referencing with an unspecified reference, i might add..

Posted by: james | Nov 18, 2018 10:59:29 PM | 69

@b - your preamble to this open thread has more substance than most commentator's essays, so I commend you for it, with much gratitude.

And it's a lovely thread, I wish I could have been part of it.

Michael Hudson has spent 40 years developing the theme of jubilee expressed in his latest book. I am awed by his bravery to publish such a thing. Perhaps it took this long to grow old enough to be willing to end life if necessary, or to develop strong enough credentials to survive any attacks. Either way, the critical thinker is in his debt - the one kind of debt that need never be repaid nor forgiven.

As Hudson has made abundantly clear, ancient debt was owed to the sovereign as tax, and thus was forgiven with no loss of economic balance. Debt that is unforgivable is an invention purely from the greed of non-sovereign players. It seems natural, then, that the sovereign power is both the first to be bought off by the private creditor, and also the only power that can oppose such a force. So let's not throw out government with the bathwater of compound interest, fractional reserve loans, and the non-government creation of the national currency.

As to the concept of government "ownership", I repeat my view that, as an invention, government is the supreme achievement of the poor and unprivileged, and the struggle is purely one of getting government to work honestly, to level the playing field and prevent the rich from stealing all the wealth of the poor. With such an end achieved, the people would be in charge of their lives.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 18, 2018 11:46:50 PM | 70

@69 more...

Perhaps there is a reason that we the people cannot get our government to work. Maybe we're being as selfish, in thinking only of humans, as some humans are being selfish, in thinking only of themselves.

Government itself exists as the trustee and steward of natural Earth that humans inhabit and lay claim to, solely by right of conquest over the animals and all other forms of life. And so, who "owns" the product of a creation that we humans cannot explain or replicate?

If we follow this thinking through, we are forced to establish a mechanism that acts to distribute the bounty of the Earth - unearned by its inhabitants, and gifted by the unknown force of creation - to all of the inhabitants of the planet. We would have to start with the rudimentary socialism we know today, and once established to human satisfaction, continue and allow this system to grow in ways that it promises but that have never yet existed.

In the same way that Linux evolved as a more nimble form of Unix, so too the systems of socialism currently evolving would continue to seek better ways to distribute the material bounty of the planet.

We would act to preserve habitat for all, and naturally existing food for all, and protection from encroachment for all. We would have to deal with the morality of natural attrition, natural catastrophe, natural life and death. We would be forced to establish a doctrine of economics based on an acknowledgement of the sacred nature of the world.

There is a suggestion in the anthropological record that such a view prevailed in ancient, pre-historical, neolithic times. But those people didn't have to cope with 7 billion people in their tribe, and it's possible that population growth itself was a prime cause of the coming of today's covetous, violent and non-sacred system.

Perhaps population growth caused competitive acquisition, perhaps competitive acquisition caused population growth. Either way, every being who was non-human lost badly in the deal, and one could suggest that most of the humans did too.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 19, 2018 12:05:54 AM | 71

Might the Masha and bear issue that gives NATO sleepless nights be episodes such as this (Малоросійською)?

Posted by: Johan Meyer | Nov 19, 2018 12:24:16 AM | 72

PhilK--agreed about the ridiculous charge upon Masha the Bear. And I agree with that ridiculous take on Donald the Duck. But I would like to point out that Carl Barks is (imo and nearly all comic book scholars) the number one, or top 3, comics people of all time. Not only for his great art and writing, but also for his subtle and not so subtle iconoclasty, liberalism, and as opposed to that article, criticism of capitalism, consumerism, and material wealth. Despite even Uncle Scrooge. And not that he was a communist or socialist. His books told many sides, many takes, and also at times even imagined fantasy engineering projects (such as floating a boat with ping pong balls), that were later used.

Anyway, sure Barks wrote it in sometimes, but his best tales are rather incredibly deep and thought-provoking. Per comic and in meta.

Posted by: Soft Asylum | Nov 19, 2018 1:14:42 AM | 73

When asked by Fox's Wallace if he listened to the Khssoggi tape, Trump said he doesn't want to listen to it because he can't stomach what he's been told is on it. Yet, he's willing to protect the man who planned and ordered the hit.

This is but a miniscule reason why I hate Trump to the point I do. He's a hypocrite, a coward and depraved in every way.

Regarding what Jesus meant or didn't mean, I wonder what he would think of people today who are in debt up to their eyeballs because they're so materialistic and live way beyond their means. Maybe he'd say bring back debtors' prison!

That was then and this is now. I don't think Jesus' forgiveness applies to present-day consumerism. Jesus also said: render to Caesar what is due to Caesar.

Let's just leave it at: he was concerned for the poor, the vulnerable and the afflicted and with preaching the formula for peace and love. Everyone not in those categories has to pay their debt and taxes.

Without some form of discipline, man is corrupt by nature, but never more so than today.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 19, 2018 2:31:24 AM | 74

@68

Sand's idea had no historical or genetic support when he published his book in 2008, and it has even less now.

https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol_preprints/41/

Posted by: Merasmus | Nov 19, 2018 2:50:02 AM | 75

Posted by: Circe | Nov 19, 2018 2:31:24 AM | 72

Without some form of discipline, man is corrupt by nature, but never more so than today.

That's false, unless one refers to the discipline of the ecology itself. Otherwise, primal, natural peoples were by far the least corrupt and required the least artificial "discipline."

On the contrary, corruption is one of the typical artificial manifestations of civilization, and it's only the civilized hominid which requires the reins and the whip. Although Hobbes coined the term "state of nature" for literary effect, his entire book is a discussion of what happens when civilized, domesticated humans go feral. That's the monster whose advent the Leviathan is supposed to prevent. It has zero to do with humans who actually live in the primal state of nature. It's impossible for these to be corrupt, since they live the way this social primate was evolved to live.

Somalia isn't "anarchy", let alone "nature", but on the contrary the typical result of the collapse of capitalist civilization.

Posted by: Russ | Nov 19, 2018 3:00:53 AM | 76

@73

This article points to a study that suggests otherwise.

https://academic.oup.com/gbe/article/5/1/75/730630

Obviously the science is not settled on this issue but like so many other issues it has become politicized so there are those who claim it is

I suppose we all have a common an ancestor in Africa but I am not prepared to claim Africa as my home.

Posted by: Pft | Nov 19, 2018 3:06:42 AM | 77

Not listening to that tape is one of the few things agent orange has said/done this year which I can get behind.

Apart from the disquieting reminder of our mortality when listening or viewing real incidents of people dying, the worse perception that one is a voyeur, watching and/or listening to some human's last moment of life, exploiting their pain, I just cannot shake.
I found the 2nd of b's vid links horrible disturbing today. yeah, yeah I know that they are 'headchoppers' & one should loathe headchoppers especially those wreaking so much destruction in Yemen but we don't know how any of those kids ended up there, I doubt any of 'em were royalty, as soon as I saw that line of young men sneaking through the yard with a row of red digital arrows inserted above their heads, I realised what I was about to see but was too slow reaching for the stop button. That image of those young blokes, one moment sneaking along, charged with nervous excitement, the next a pink mist above a line of boots, has been with me all day. All day I've been thinking "those poor bastids really got sucked in there' and trying to tell myself I didn't know that was gonna be in the link. Houthi vids generally focus more on the equipment they destroy rather than the humans. Headchoppers getting their heads chopped isn't karmic, it is just unutterably sad.
Trump had access to transcriptions of the murder tape, I dunno why this is, but reading a verbatim copy of a death just doesn't disturb the same way the real sight and sound of someone meeting a violent death does.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Nov 19, 2018 3:25:32 AM | 78

Since this topic has arisen again, I think I should drag out my old "boilerplate" proposition. So here it is once again in all its glory:

Rich people and private corporations should not be allowed to own nuclear weapons and automated production facilities.

Pure tyranny is when the rich own everything. The rich tyrants solemnly address the masses about "regrettable necessities" and "shared sacrifices," then launch more drones and cut school lunch programs yet again. Why merely react to what they are perpetrating?

The very concept of rich people (and even of modestly affluent people) would be bleached into meaninglessness if the poor ones ceased to exist. That is, the rich need the poor and oppressed for the sake of their own self-definition. So therefor they "launch more drones and cut school lunch programs yet again." (Really only a neocon subset of the rich and powerful actively promote these pogroms; the others just jet-set and so on.)

No one should be allowed to own more that 20 times what they need to make a living and live comfortably. People should be required to register their substantial holdings, and if they exceed the 20 times limit, a random jury should force them to sell off the excess, and reduce their holdings to 15 times what they need. The proceeds should go to the commonwealth. Anything they fail to register should be confiscated, and those who willfully avoid registering assets should be punished. That is the only way to control economic royalism and protect freedom and human rights.

Most of our industry has been sold by the rich for profit and shipped down the river to other nations, and there is perhaps only one way to rebuild it. All large industry should be owned and completely controlled by democratic communities and towns. Each community would own an industry, which could only be sold to another community. Some communities would have to be larger than others. For example, an ironmaking operation would require a large community, or consortium of communities. There could be government sponsored research and development communities too. Employees would have to live in the communities, and thus there would be a powerful incentive to minimize pollution. Small businesses would be operated by ordinary companies.

There will be no more rich political parties. No more rich to be protected by vicious policing. No more rich capitalists selling our industrial facilities down the river to China. There must be some regulation, unless we want to be utterly ruled by ultra-rich tyrants. Wealth control would bring freedom and prosperity at last!

I have known about half a dozen billionaire's kids, due to my unusual background. About 2/3rds of them seem like nice people; they seemed friendly and decent. About 1/3rd seemed like exploitative creeps. Most of their family names appear on products that may be found in an average person's home. They were already rich. To me, rich today is having about $250,000,000.00 of relatively expendable money.

I think maybe 30% just live on trust funds and party. Maybe 60% have jobs of some sort, such as sitting in boardrooms from perhaps 10 to 50 hours a week. And maybe about 10% participate in fascistic political "foundations" which do vast harm to our nation and its people. So all in all, the rich screw us over, and thus bestow toxic negative benefits.

Average people do not envy these rich ones. "Envy" is universally defined as "resentful desire of something possessed by another or others." Ordinary folks, and activists also, do not possess energy to waste contemplating resentful desires — they are too preoccupied with dealing the latest toxic negative benefits being foisted on them by the fascistic elements among the rich.

We would all be happier and safer if the rich went away. For example, if no one was allowed to own more than 20 times what they need to live comfortably and to have a good income.

Posted by: blues | Nov 19, 2018 3:29:16 AM | 79

Lochearn @ 58: Joint stock companies and publicly traded companies are not by nature vehicles for corruption. Without share markets, the only other option businesses and ventures would have to obtain money for expansion (and sometimes avoid being taken over by other businesses and companies) would be to borrow money from banks, with all the future financial consequences thus implied. Share markets give companies a funding option that does not require them to make interest payments: money that could be ploughed back into the business.

Indeed companies listed on stock exchanges are obliged to comply with corporate laws and regulations that make their operations and financial transactions transparent to their shareholders. Boards of directors in these companies are also compelled by law to be accountable to shareholders in various ways, depending on the law of the land where the sharemarkets are based in which the company's shares are traded.

The Trump Organisation is different in that its wealth has depended on property speculation. It's possible that outside buying and selling real estate to rich people, Donald Trump has little understanding of how most businesses based on producing and selling actual goods and services really operate.

The real issue is that investment banks and investment funds have usurped the function of commercial banks and are treating sharemarkets like casinos. Typically, an investment fund buys a company and takes those company's profits for itself (and its own investors) but leave that company to pay the interest charges the investment fund has incurred in borrowing money to buy it in the first place. The company is then forced to lay off workers, sell assets and progressively wind down its operations to pay off the interest. I believe former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's company Bain Capital made millions doing just that.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bain_Capital#Appraisals_and_critiques

Posted by: Jen | Nov 19, 2018 5:13:03 AM | 80

james,
Thanks. Usually I just irritate people.

Jen,

Well, I could use the analogy of cars, in that roads are the medium and parking lots are the store, similar to blood is the medium and fat is the store. You don't want to mix either up too much, or the systems shut down. Yet econ 101 tells us money is a medium of exchange, store of value and setting of prices. So we try to mine all value out of everything, in order to store as abstractions in the financial system, for our future, meanwhile destroying the actual value in the environment and society. It is a social contract, essentially a voucher system.
Consider Volcker is credited with bringing inflation under control, by raising interest rates, as that slowed the introduction of fresh money into an economy with too much in it. Yet it was those willing to borrow money who were affected, which is what grows the economy and the need for money. Meanwhile those with more than they knew what to do with were rewarded with higher interest rates on their savings. Logically it was Reaganomics that sucked much of that excess out of the system. Which necessitated finding ways to spend this surplus savings and I would imagine that was a significant driver of military spending.

Posted by: John Merryman | Nov 19, 2018 6:20:57 AM | 81

To conclude that thought, if the government were to threaten to tax excess savings and not just borrow it, people would be forced to store value in other ways. As we all borrow for much the same reasons, from raising children to retirement, if we invested in these as community efforts, rather than saving for them individually, we would go back to economics as a reciprocal effort, rather than an atomized society, with our bank accounts as our economic umbilical cord and the banks our master.

Posted by: John Merryman | Nov 19, 2018 6:27:52 AM | 82

Keep in mind much of what we "invest" in, in order to store the money, is inflated asset values, like housing in the crash.
The price of a loaf of bread goes up and we think we are poorer, but the price of the stock in the bread company goes up and we think we are richer.

Posted by: John Merryman | Nov 19, 2018 6:33:24 AM | 83

In the end the local aristocracy would no longer condone that he was firing up the plebs with his commie talk against the money changer and they told the imperial Roman overlords to off him ... or else

like a motherless child he wandered from Nazareth, through the hills and villages, the Levantine hills already aching from antiquity, no doubt through the hemp-clad slopes of the Beqaa valley, the shadows of majestic Baalbek, its legion, out on the fringe of Empire. (d)riven by his Father's directive, giving pause and solace to the downtrodden, the voices in his head, ¿ his head full of hemp ¿, his kingdom come, screaming at the sky his oh so radical message...of peace and brotherly love.

the poor fellow, he never stood a chance.

Posted by: john | Nov 19, 2018 6:42:55 AM | 84

While our attention is focused on Syria, the Israel-Gaza spat, and the ongoing Khashoggi affair, geopolitical developments in the eastern Mediterranean and Balkans, centred on energy and trade routes apart from military condiderations, are moving at a great pace, and I would appreciate a few words from b on the subject. Let me remind your readers of the following: a few months ago, the NSS report failed to mention Turkey as either friend or foe. Since then Erdogan released Pastor Brunson, but this did nothing to restore "ally status" with Turkey, other to relieve tensions slightly. The different aims in Syria which have culminated with a stand-off in the Manbij area, the fallout over the Syrian Kurds, the close relations with Russia and Turkey's insistence (thus far) to procure the S-400 systems, Erdogan's continuing defiance of US-Israeli anti-Iran measures and his support of Hamas, his rhetoric which has fueled the greatest anti-American sentiments in the country's history, all show us that Turkey is determined to redefine it's regional role and alignment, even going so far as to antagonize the US on issues which the US considers vital. The study published yesterday by the Council of Foreign Relations paints this deteriorating relationship in a new light, effectively showing that Turkey will now not be considered a'friend' although still a NATO member.

In the meantime, the US has downgraded its presence at Incirlik airbase, upgraded its strategic relationship with the Republic of Cyprus, continues to arm and train the Kurdish militia in Syria, established radar stations and airfields in northern Syria, and relocated personnel and resources in new and older bases stretching from the Balkans through to the Aegean, east Med, and beyond, through Syria and Iraq to the Iranian border. The US and NATO naval assets in the east Med are at an almost unprecedented level (now with the USS Truman too), all giving me the distinct impression that Turkey is being encircled.

A few days ago, Exxon Mobil began drilling operations in the Cyprus EEZ, something Turkey had warned against in a last-ditch attempt to refute the right of this small country, still plagued by Turkey's ongoing illegal occupation of the northern part, to exploit its natural resources. Turkey denies the demarcation lines of the EEZ of the countries in the region according to international law and precedent, publishing arbitrary maps whereby it claims huge swathes of ocean, denying that even islands like Cyprus, Crete, and Rhodes have rights to economic exploitation outside of territorial waters. In fact they have threatened Greece with 'casus belli' if Greece extends territorial waters to 12 miles as ordained by international law!

The energy alliance between Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Egypt, and the plans to complete explorations within their EEZ, and then construct an underwater pipeline to connect with Europe through Italy, has the support of the US and EU, with the strategic aim of lessening Europe's dependence on Russian gas. This project effectively negates many pipelines planned or under construction, that would have made Turkey a main energy hub and transit nation of gas and oil to Europe. The economic and geopolitical stakes are very high, and Erdogan, with his back to the wall in Syria, and his country under intense economic pressure, could prove once again how unpredictable and dangerous for peace his neo-Ottoman ambitions can be. The region is a flashpoint with tensions running high, and the next months could see a greater escalation. Any thoughts b on what may soon occur, and what will be the Russian response?

Posted by: SPYRIDON POLITIS | Nov 19, 2018 7:13:10 AM | 85

Three times in the last week I have tried to post comments on MoA, but without success. I am not tech-savvy, and I get a notice saying my session has expired. Even after refreshing and re-posting, my post never appears! Am I doing something incorrectly, or am I blocked from posting on this site?

Posted by: SPYRIDON POLITIS | Nov 19, 2018 7:30:24 AM | 86

@ 80 Jen

What you have written is typical of propaganda one encounters on MBA courses and is full of myths. Unfortunately, I have to work today and do not have time to respond but will do so in the open section next Sunday.

Posted by: Lochearn | Nov 19, 2018 7:33:04 AM | 87

Think I managed it!

Posted by: SPYRIDON POLITIS | Nov 19, 2018 7:33:44 AM | 88

Re: Posted by: ashley albanese | Nov 18, 2018 2:23:10 PM | 32

In the context of Xi Jing Pings four day visit to New Guinea and the RETURN of Chinese power to the southern Pacific very witty , rueful comment from the page set at the paper.

When was there ever Chinese power in the southern Pacific Mr. Fake alternative Opposition Leader?

Posted by: Julian | Nov 19, 2018 7:51:31 AM | 89

Oil glut reduces price of gasoline for US auto worshippers in time for the midterms, er I mean, the Holidays. Voters ignore the economy anyway and vote a referendum on Trump. Federal Reserve provides a new forecast of slowing worldwide economic growth, which will bode ill for Trump is the economy weakens into 2020.

Trump gets no credit for the strong US economy, will be hammered when demand weakens on his watch.

OPEC has lost what control of the oil market it ever had. The actions (or tweets) of three men — Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman — will determine the course of oil prices in 2019 and beyond. But of course they each want different things.

While OPEC struggles to find common purpose, the U.S., Russia and Saudi Arabia dominate global supply. Together they produce more oil than the 15 members of OPEC. All three are pumping at record rates and each could raise output again next year, although they may not all choose to do so.

It was Saudi Arabia and Russia that led the push in June for the OPEC+ group to relax output restraints that had been in place since the start of 2017. Both subsequently jacked up production to record, or near record, levels. U.S. output soared unexpectedly at the same time, as companies pumping from the Permian Basin in Texas overcame pipeline bottlenecks to move their oil to the Gulf coast.

These increases, alongside smaller downward revisions to demand growth forecasts and President Trump’s decision to grant sanctions waivers to buyers of Iranian oil, have flipped market sentiment from fears of a supply shortage to concerns about a glut in the space of three months. Oil stockpiles in the developed nations of the OECD, which had been falling since early 2017, are rising again and are likely to exceed their five-year average level when October data are finalized, according to the International Energy Agency

Source: Bloomberg

Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 19, 2018 8:08:14 AM | 90

Of course, the United States practices sepearatiion of church and state.

The US government provides for "debt forgiveness": Bankruptcy Court.

Our Deal Leader has availed himself of debt forgiveness four times so far...these proceedings ruined his credit to the extent he was forced to search for alternative funding mechanisms. He came upon his Russian benefactors to the extent his son has admitted a few years before the election of his father "Russians are a large cross section of our assets."

Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 19, 2018 8:24:25 AM | 91

@57 Ben | Nov 18, 2018 8:39:20 PM | 57

"Don't know who said it, but, "Religion is the greatest fomenter of hatred the world has ever known", has much truth to it.

Why not just make up your own, they did.".


@57 Ben | Nov 18, 2018 8:39:20 PM | 57

"Don't know who said it, but, "Religion is the greatest fomenter of hatred the world has ever known", has much truth to it.

Why not just make up your own, they did.".


Hey Ben,

In the United States, anyone can become an ordained minister. It is perfectly legal. (There are also tax advantages, (starve the machine) if you want to fill out the paperwork.)

Religion one of the tools used by greedy people, (aka bankers) to manipulate and regulate a population. Contrary to popular belief, greedy people come in all flavors, but some have been doing it longer. They are all ruthless.

b4real

Posted by: b4real | Nov 19, 2018 9:01:32 AM | 92

donkeytale

Wrong donkey. It was his companies that went bankrupt. He avoided personal bankruptcy so his credit was just fine.

Furthermore, the companies that have gone bankrupt were not in his core real estate business where he takes pains to protect the Trump brand so he was wasn't forced into some "arrangement" with Russian benefactors.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 19, 2018 9:45:39 AM | 93

@76

Even primal, natural people have to hunt, fish, chop wood to stay warm in other words do everything they must do every day to survive and also protect themselves from Mother Nature and she is a universal disciplinarian. If primal humans don't exercise discipline they won't live very long. Yes, in that state there is very little or no corruption, but then again I'm reminded of the premise of Animal Farm. Corruption through power and greed always seems to get the better of innocent, good intentions. But in today's reality what I'm saying is that you can forgo and escape discipline, there is greater ease and temptation to exploit, game fix and abuse, therefore corruption is rampant.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 19, 2018 9:49:02 AM | 94

@91

I'll believe it when I see his tax returns! Trump is the quintessential gamer and credit exploiter I'm referring to as in: uber corrupt.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 19, 2018 9:55:52 AM | 95

@ 92

I mentioned what I called "the discipline of the ecology itself". But your context makes clear that you're referring to the corruption of civilization and the Hobbesian discipline needed to keep Homo domesticus in line, which is the exact opposite of "man is corrupt by nature." Actually it takes an extraordinary daily amount of indoctrination, propaganda, threat, violence, and material inducement to get enough people to go against their nature and submit to the artificial corruptions.

Posted by: Russ | Nov 19, 2018 10:19:00 AM | 96

Is something brewing in Haiti?

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1063975021553434628.html

Posted by: Arioch | Nov 19, 2018 10:38:46 AM | 97

@75 merasmus... the magic bullet the aionists were hoping genetics was going to be has not turned out as such.. the myths that sustain zionism, are just that - myths with no foundation in reality.. see @77 pft link for more, or read shlomo sands book for greater insight.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Nov 19, 2018 11:24:13 AM | 98

@97 Arioch
The US, Canada and France have been occupying Haiti since their coup and kidnapping of Aristide on February 29 2004. See e.g. Kevin Pina's Haiti we must kill the bandits. If you look at your source's on link (described as graphic, Haiti Info Pro), you will see a link to the guardian (UK), about Guy Phillipe winning a Senate seat in Haiti. He is described as wanted by the DEA. That source comments on the fraudulence of Haiti's elections that Phillipe allegedly won that seat.

Canada ran Haiti's fraudulent elections for a long time, although the US took over running fraudulent elections in Haiti in the last part of Obama's rule. A simple measure of fraudulence is whether or not the majority political party, Famni Lavalas, won, or was even allowed to participate. When Famni Lavalas was not allowed, they initially backed a former ally of Aristide. Elections Canada was caught burning dumpsters of signed ballots, leading to mass protests.

Guy Phillipe and the DEA have a long and funny relationship. Phillipe was an integral part of the US, Canadian and French coup on February 29, 2004. In Kevin Pina's Haiti The Untold Story, he starts by showing footage of the UN press meeting following the coup (the UN was and is a co-conspirator). At the press meeting, Guy Phillipe is present, and calls Aristide a dictator and thief.

Guy Phillipe used to be the police chief of Gonaives. He fled Gonaives, to Mexico (iirc), and started showing up on cocaine trafficking radars, and was soon accused. When Canada (Hon. Dr. Paul Martin) initiated the coup, they used Guy Phillipe---see the confession of November 9, 2004, in the Canadian parliament, by the Canadian ambassador, Hon. Dr. Claude Boucher.

Phillipe's role in the coup was to return to Gonaives, and stir up gang trouble. The government of Haiti had been under a US-instigated firearm importation ban, nominally directed against the 1991-1993 pedo (sic) Cedras junta, but not enforced (as shown by an oil industry journal), until Aristide's return. Consequently the gangs were better armed than the police.

The government thus had to negotiate (i.e. long prior to the coup) with the gangs. The US financial press in particular (with other media following their lead) referred to gangs that agreed not to attack the police as Aristide supporters, rather than gangs, and to gangs that did not agree, as political opposition.

Phillipe's opportunity came when one gang that agreed not to attack the police, killed the leader of another gang (Cannibal Army) that agreed not to attack the police. Phillipe took over the Cannibal Army gang, renamed it several times (settling on National Front for the Liberation of Haiti), accused Aristide of killing the former leader, and started shooting the police in Gonaives.

The police, despite being more poorly armed, started fighting back. At the point that it became obvious that the police would win, despite being more poorly armed, US, Canadian and French special forces entered Haiti, kidnapped Aristide, holding him hostage in the Central African Republic, then a US puppet state.

The Canadians started training Haitian Army officials from the pedo regime as police officers, as was initially demonstrated by the Catholic Institute for international relations (the organization disappeared shortly thereafter, reappeared as "progressio," sans reference to Haiti), and later by Manning in CableGate.

The initial plan of the coup was to make Phillipe president, and to that end, Yvon Neptune, who was either vice president or prime minister under Aristide, was arrested and charged with genocide (sic), for the gang shootout that lead to the death of the former Cannibal Army leader. The far end dragged on for two years (iirc) before being dismissed.

Because any even semi-legitimate election would result in a landslide for Aristide's Famni Lavalas party, the occupiers started a two year massacre of Famni Lavalas party organisers. That massacre is the subject of Kevin Pina's documentaries, Haiti The Untold Story, and Haiti We Must Kill The Bandits.

By the time enough of the party had been massacred to allow risking an election (still requiring massive fraud), Guy Phillipe had gained the attention of the DEA for his cocaine running, and he did not run in the election. In 2007, the DEA raided his Haiti residence, and Reuters had (since 2011, no longer has) an article on the matter. In the article, it was mentioned that Phillipe was listed as wanted on the DEA website. If so, he was removed very quickly, as it did not show up on the Internet archive captured at the time.

In 2011, Phillipe started to appear in DEA website captures as wanted (around the same time that the article disappeared off Reuters), under the section for fugitives from Miami Florida, although he disappeared again from the list some years later.

It is telling that the US would run a fraudulent election to again give Guy Phillipe the opportunity to run for a state position.

Due to the destructive nature of the invasion and coup, the occupiers felt it necessary to legitimate their actions by conducting a census, and blaming the result on Aristide. The census was conducted in 2006, and showed that primary school enrollment was below 40 percent. To blame Aristide, they called the census "the first in 24 years" (this description may be found on the UN website in the press release for the census).

The previous census was in 2003 (the year before the coup), and showed 60 percent primary school enrollment. The UN/occupier notion that 2006 is somehow 24 years after 2003 is representative of colonial apologetics---it is a species of pedo arithmetic /sarc.

It is telling that people who point out that Haiti is a shit hole, insist that Haiti is primarily at fault in that regard; such comments constitute abetting after the fact.

Posted by: Johan Meyer | Nov 19, 2018 11:51:46 AM | 99

@70/71 grieved.. thanks... i agree with you and am glad you said all that..

@78 debs.. i agree with you too!

@79 blues.. thanks... i have thought that people who own more then one property are pushing it.. obviously i come from lower middle income bracket.. now with problems around even finding a place to live, people are exploited even more.. housing, real estate and land ownership are out of hand.. either people live where they own, or it is exploitative and i would like to see regulation to change it all... but regulation is the threat of bigger gov't, something political parties have made a big deal about and been successful in focusing on in the negative for a very long time in the usa.. not so here in canada... i agree with you - more regulation would be a good thing.. thanks for your post!

@81 john merryman.. i enjoy your posts and hope you continue to post more frequently!

@84 john.. lolol!

@86 SPYRIDON POLITIS.. i enjoyed your post.. i noticed today that the pipeline from russia to turkey has been completed.. not sure how long before it is up and running, but i agree with your line of thinking and questions on this.. it is a big deal that the other group are hoping to run a line into italy from the med... we'll see how it develops, but b could write an article on it as it would be interesting to read.. https://www.rt.com/business/444344-russia-turkish-stream-opening/

Posted by: james | Nov 19, 2018 11:52:43 AM | 100

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