Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 01, 2020

Open Thread 78

News & views ...

Posted by b on October 1, 2020 at 14:05 UTC | Permalink

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Posted by: Jonny Law | Oct 1 2020 14:16 utc | 1

Just posted this also on the Sept 29 thread on Armenia.


An excellent analysis by Bhadrakumar that illuminates the Israeli factor in Transcaucasia. This, together with b’s analysis, provides a good understanding of the multidimensionality of the conflict.

This is the first part - more to come.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Oct 1 2020 14:22 utc | 2

To no one's surprise:

CIA working with Navalny, Kremlin spokesman says

The Russians already know Navalny wasn't poisoned (i.e. that the diagnosis of the Omsk doctor is correct). They are just toying with Germany now, the game is already over for the Germans.

What a monumental blunder by the BND. Decades serving as a CIA subsidiary certainly didn't do it any service.


China establishes countercyclical capital buffer mechanism to guard against risks

By countercyclical, read socialism. These policies are not feasible in the capitalist countries at all.



U.S. economy contracts 31.4 pct in Q2, recovery path uncertain

Chinese PMI keeps rising in sign economy in full recovery

British, other G7 investment rates are in a sorry state


The true green revolution is Red:

Xi calls for enhancing biodiversity conservation, global environmental governance

Environmentalists call for action plans to meet China's carbon neutral pledge by 2060


Western (liberal) Democracy eats itself, like the Ouroboros Snake:

G.O.P. Mobilizes Poll Watchers Amid Baseless Claims of Fraud

??? But weren't the fraud accusations initiated by the Democrats?

For the Sake of Democracy, Cancel the Trump-Biden Debates

Debates are harmful for democracy?

Posted by: vk | Oct 1 2020 14:42 utc | 3

National Health Care Fraud and Opioid Takedown Results in Charges Against 345 Defendants Responsible for More than $6 Billion in Alleged Fraud Losses
Largest Health Care Fraud and Opioid Enforcement Action in Department of Justice History

Telemedicine Fraud Cases

The largest amount of alleged fraud loss charged in connection with the cases announced today – $4.5 billion in allegedly false and fraudulent claims submitted by more than 86 criminal defendants in 19 judicial districts – relates to schemes involving telemedicine: the use of telecommunications technology to provide health care services remotely. According to court documents, certain defendant telemedicine executives allegedly paid doctors and nurse practitioners to order unnecessary durable medical equipment, genetic and other diagnostic testing, and pain medications, either without any patient interaction or with only a brief telephonic conversation with patients they had never met or seen. Durable medical equipment companies, genetic testing laboratories, and pharmacies then purchased those orders in exchange for illegal kickbacks and bribes and submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicare and other government insurers. In addition to the criminal charges announced today, CMS Center for Program Integrity separately announced that it has taken a record-breaking number of administrative actions related to telemedicine fraud, revoking the Medicare billing privileges of 256 additional medical professionals for their involvement in telemedicine schemes.

Now it seems all the more important to be watchful of industries we are supposed to trust with a response to pandemic.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | Oct 1 2020 14:47 utc | 4

vk | Oct 1 2020 14:42 utc | 3

I wouldn't call it a debate.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | Oct 1 2020 14:49 utc | 5

Interesting article by F William Engdahl

Posted by: Down South | Oct 1 2020 14:58 utc | 6

The debate was a disgrace not because of the animosity of the two contenders, I don’t think anyone was expecting a clean fight, but because of the disgraceful conduct of the moderator Chris Wallace.

That was no impartial moderator. He was so biased that eventually it seemed that it was a 2 vs 1 debate.

Who had the bright idea of getting a registered Democrat to moderate the debate ?

Posted by: Down South | Oct 1 2020 15:04 utc | 7

Two dogs growling at each other, guy walks up and throws a handful of dead meat between them.
Trump V. Biden

Posted by: Curmudgeon | Oct 1 2020 15:28 utc | 8

An interesting, 3-way discussion with Alastair Crooke, Pepe Escobar, and Seyed Mohammad Marandi on US, Iran, China and the global crisis.

I have to take care of my “honey-do list” first, but the first 30 minutes I have watched promise this to be an excellent discussion.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Oct 1 2020 15:41 utc | 9

Today, the Milestones of German-Soviet Relations discussion forum commences in Moscow, to which Sergei Lavrov provided the following greeting reminding all about the genuine nature of their endeavor:

"I am delighted to welcome the Russian and German academic community representatives who have gathered in Moscow for this expert discussion marking the 30th anniversary of the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany.

"It can be confidently stated today that the Two Plus Four Treaty made a significant contribution to ending the Cold War and demonstrated that Europe is not destined to remain the ground for bloc divisions. It is only natural that in 2011, the treaty was officially included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register."

Now be honest and tell us if you recall any of the happenings Lavrov related. As he continues, he reminds us and brings us to the present:

"Thirty years later, it should be recalled that it was our country that played the key and pivotal role in restoring Germany’s unity as expediently as was possible – something that certain allies of the Federal Republic of Germany were opposed to....

"Throughout all these years, our country has done its very best to secure positive trends and to create an area of peace, equal and indivisible security, extensive economic and humanitarian cooperation across the space from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Numerous Russian initiatives were aimed at achieving this goal, including the proposal on signing a European Security Treaty in 2008.

"Unfortunately, as a result of a short-sighted policy of NATO-centrism and geopolitical games in pursuit of unilateral advantages, Europe is currently going through a serious crisis of trust, while the large-scale and multidimensional potential of the Russian-German cooperation remains unfulfilled.

"Moreover, Berlin is currently setting a course for containing Russia. We hear groundless accusations, ultimatums and threats. Some German politicians have clearly forgotten about the historical purpose of our countries in European and global affairs. The tension can be overcome for the sake of Russia’s and Germany’s core interests, for the sake of building the foundation for cross-border communications aimed at cooperation and jointly confronting real challenges faced by the humankind. There are still chances to preserve these prospects. A lot will depend on the maturity of civil society representatives and their ability to carefully and honestly defend the truth and to pass their knowledge and experience to younger generations."

That's quite a rebuke for a welcoming address isn't it? If I were a German attending, I'd feel rather uncomfortable, particularly if I was optimistic at the outset.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 1 2020 16:12 utc | 10

@ Posted by: Curmudgeon | Oct 1 2020 14:49 utc | 5; Posted by: Down South | Oct 1 2020 15:04 utc | 7; Posted by: Curmudgeon | Oct 1 2020 15:28 utc | 8

At least with the televised debate, we got the information that Trump and Biden are as bad as we suspected. If we didn't have that, we wouldn't even know it for sure, beyond any suspicions. Debates are good even when they are bad, as they give us objective information on the candidates (wanting them or not).]

If we hadn't debates, we would just be fed on the images the MSM and their campaign managers created. We would have a Konstantin Chernenko situation, where the Soviet people only discovered he took office in terminal stage when he was already in his deathbed and then only by accident (when he had to vote, being carried in a wheelchair, almost in vegetative state, by a KGB agent).

Posted by: vk | Oct 1 2020 16:18 utc | 11

@ karlof1 | Oct 1 2020 16:12 utc | 10 with the quote

A lot will depend on the maturity of civil society representatives and their ability to carefully and honestly defend the truth and to pass their knowledge and experience to younger generations.

I think that the youth of the world are getting the best education possible about the differences in social organization around the world. They can see who the aggressors are. They can see that those aggressors don't just think themselves better than others but they don't want to share or play nice and only rule the roost. These aggressors of private financial evil in the world should have never been allowed to matriculate from grade school without learning how and to share.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 1 2020 16:28 utc | 12

Down South @Oct1 15:04 #7

That was no impartial moderator.

You're twisting Trump's bad behavior into a smear of Wallace. Wallace scolded Trump more often simply because Trump was the worst offender (by far).

In fact, Trump took advantage of Wallace's deference to authority in the early part of the debate. Wallace's weakness was a built-in advantage for Trump who sought to rattle Biden with his sniping. Trump succeeded to some extent but he over did it, making him look like a bully to many. Thus, Trump unwittingly gave credence to Biden's cutting remark: "It is what it is [the virus toll] because you are who you are."

Aside: I don't fully accept Biden's claim because Party and personality are used to divide and distract us.

With that said, it's important to remember that both Trump and Biden are Deep State/Duopoly candidates in a plutocratic political system that is inherently undemocratic. Instead of wasting your vote on either of them, everyone should consider voting for a third-party, 'defacing' your vote via a write-in (Assange, Putin, Snowden, etc.), or not voting.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 1 2020 16:31 utc | 13

vk | Oct 1 2020 16:18 utc | 11

Yes! :^)

I think the middlemen should stay the F out of it. Let them go head-on like a geriatric cage fight. It's entertainment.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | Oct 1 2020 16:36 utc | 14

Jakrabbit said

"Instead of wasting your vote on either of them, everyone should consider voting for a third-party, 'defacing' your vote via a write-in (Assange, Putin, Snowden, etc.), or not voting."

Yes, while symbolic and statistically insignificant, that is a means to combat the R&D voter suppression. It's like 'refuse the census' to combat racism. It makes no difference in the larger scope.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | Oct 1 2020 16:41 utc | 15

vk@3 seems to think the Xi government providing "countercyclical adjustment efforts to keep market liquidity at a reasonably ample level in order to keep economic growth stable, including providing relending funds and credit support" means something socialist. It means instead, setting up a bailout fund of its own, not just the Fed, to provide liquidity for Chinese capitalists. They are ruling out any increase in state planning of investments, any expropriation even of bankrupt capitalists and financiers, any reliance on state owned enterprises to meet social needs instead of merely following the profits. It is almost certain ever increasing divestment of state enterprises is at hand. This announcement basically says the Xi administration thinks capitalism is the future of China so long as the capitalists get enough money from the national government. This belief in the magic of the market would be touching, were it not so profitable for some. Coupled with the decision to recruit (en masses, apparently,) from business, the inevitable weakness in growth by the capitalist sector indissolubly tied to the sinking world capitalist system, means the crisis point, where the national government must defend capitalist property by savagely attacking the living standards of the majority of the population, creeps nearer and nearer. Xi is hitching his wagon to a falling star. The sane course would be to let the Chinese bourgeoisie, not just in China itself, but in Hong Kong and Taiwan and Singapore, go bankrupt. Schemes to fix the irrational capitalist system by being smarter are delusional.

Trump is the one who is discrediting the election by shrieking fraud, not the Democrats. So the question is either ham-fisted irony? Or a raving mad endosement of Trumpery.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Oct 1 2020 16:55 utc | 16

@2 Nathan Mulcahy
Interesting article. Most of these putative alliances in the article would be full of simultaneous rivalries, if not contradictions. Thinking especially of Iran-Turkey.

Similarly with the triangle of Azerbaijan-Turkey-Israel, with both countries apparently providing military support, yet Turkey and Israel are on opposite sides, as the Greece-Cyprus-Israel pipeline route competes with Turkey's maritime claims around Cyprus. Seems like a situation made for a bargain.

Posted by: ptb | Oct 1 2020 17:05 utc | 17

Nord Stream 2 gets final ok to finish project, while Navalny works with CIA and is no more than a pawn, which most here and within Russia already knew.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 1 2020 17:27 utc | 18

Trump did more for the Biden campaign in the first debate than Biden has done in more than a year of campaigning for himself. Trump is losing in the polls – yeah, yeah can't be trusted got it – and this is against Biden who is to politics what pabulum is to toothless babies. 2020 is not 2016. Trump's rejection of his first campaign's focus on trade and immigration with a pivot toward a hilarious caricature of the Red Scare candidate while groveling to the lowest common bigoted denominator, mixed with a denial of massive unemployment, a coming eviction crisis, and mile-long bread lines has his base watch its wet-dream of eternal white male privilege go up in the radioactive hot air of a deranged narcissist without a shred of moral conscience or ounce of humanity.

While the Democrats offer absolutely zero, zilch, nothing by way of policies to make people's lives better – the novelty of Trump is gone, and his 'act' seen as but a tiresome one trick pony. Chaos is highly overrated.

Posted by: gottlieb | Oct 1 2020 17:28 utc | 19

Trump did more for the Biden campaign in the first debate than Biden has done in more than a year of campaigning for himself. Trump is losing in the polls – yeah, yeah can't be trusted got it – and this is against Biden who is to politics what pabulum is to toothless babies. 2020 is not 2016. Trump's rejection of his first campaign's focus on trade and immigration with a pivot toward a hilarious caricature of the Red Scare candidate while groveling to the lowest common bigoted denominator, mixed with a denial of massive unemployment, a coming eviction crisis, and mile-long bread lines has his base watch its wet-dream of eternal white male privilege go up in the radioactive hot air of a deranged narcissist without a shred of moral conscience or ounce of humanity.

While the Democrats offer absolutely zero, zilch, nothing by way of policies to make people's lives better – the novelty of Trump is gone, and his 'act' seen as but a tiresome one trick pony. Chaos is highly overrated.

Posted by: gottlieb | Oct 1 2020 17:28 utc | 20

Posted by: Curmudgeon | Oct 1 2020 16:41 utc | 15

The act of voting is also an act of expressing consent and giving legitimacy to the system that organises the (s)electon. If you really have to vote, it might be wiser to do it with your wallet or your feet.

BDS the tyrants!

Posted by: LXV | Oct 1 2020 17:29 utc | 21

oops. sorry.

Posted by: gottlieb | Oct 1 2020 17:29 utc | 22

LXV | Oct 1 2020 17:29 utc | 21
Risking a 'Carlinism'
"If you vote, you have no right to complain..." I don't know, I think we could debate it either way. In terms of USian philosophy, we need an incentive to vote. The current selection lacks real incentive other than the sports mentality belief that we want to be on the 'right side of history'. People want to be on the winning team, it's a psychological boost. And that goes right along with the entertainment aspect, you know the geriatric cage fight Trump V. Biden. It's hard to respect this mentality, more easy to fear or try to distance oneself. Thus we become curmudgeons.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | Oct 1 2020 17:42 utc | 23

Curmudgeon @Oct1 17:42 #23

Thus we become curmudgeons.

No. We become curmudgeons when we abandon principles based on a moral and ethical grounding.

We do not become curmudgeons because we refuse to participate in a corrupt system. We become curmudgeons when we accept such a system, seek to harness the corruption for our own benefit, and urge others to join us.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 1 2020 17:55 utc | 24

Curmudgeon | Oct 1 2020 17:42 utc | 23

Speaking of 'Carlinisms' - "The table is tilted, folks. The game is rigged. And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care...!"

Only sheep, sleepwalking through life in a delta-wave cerebral state, are happily unaware of that fact. And you're basically right: seeing how pervasive this phenomenon is in most parts of the world today, distancing is about the right weapon of choice. Though not because I fear them, but bloody abhor them!

Posted by: LXV | Oct 1 2020 17:56 utc | 25

Jackrabbit | Oct 1 2020 17:55 utc | 24
Ok, I'll drink to that. But don't forget to provide incentive.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | Oct 1 2020 17:57 utc | 26

LXV | Oct 1 2020 17:56 utc | 25
I was social distancing prior to the pandemic. Nothing much changed since.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | Oct 1 2020 18:06 utc | 27

It looks like that we will have our great vaccine mandate debate throwdown sooner than later in the west, as many have predicted.

Not only in the U.S. but in Europe there will be a great backlash against our governments mandating a vaccine for all.

This will shine the spotlight on the whole vaccine debate, which will be excellent for awareness and, imo, will doom the vaccine mandate for all countries who still have their heart intact and err towards liberty.

As I have noted before, Big Pharma along with Big Gov will severely overplay their hand, underestimating the fight in the dog they are attempting to subdue with their antiscience and fearmongering mandates.

I can't help but think that anything that propels the debate forward into the realm of permanent public discourse is a good thing.

If you can not convince people to even wear a mask for covid, imagine trying to convince them about taking a vaccine! And yet these are the omnipotent overlords of the establishment who never misstep and know everything that is to be and will be down the road.

"All hail the great and powerful establishment!"

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Oct 1 2020 18:31 utc | 28

The candidate trailing in the polls claims the election is rigged and unfair, that ballots won't be counted. He calls on neo-fascist militias to "stand by". Sounds like the Ukraine or Georgia, a color revolution in the making. Just like b. told us the Dems were planning. But the candidate openly and explicitly calling the election fraudulent and promoting post-electoral violence is Trump. Now I'm really confused. I can't wait to read your next post.

Posted by: Tio Marko | Oct 1 2020 18:44 utc | 29

one again Denmark shows what little cunts they are, waiting all summer to finally give their OK for NSII to continue. They did the same thing last year too. Fukken cunts. And the Russians are dishonest too, they never said WHY NSII wasn't being worked on(or at least I couldn't find that info)
If Russia now claims Navalni is CIA agent, then they should strip him of Russian citizenship and forbid him from going back into Russia. There is a Bulgarian proverb: Why put a porcupine into your underwear? The Russains try to play nice, I guess they aren't aware of the US saying: Nice guys finish last. be as nasty and as asshole the West/NATO/USA is. You wont win being nice.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Oct 1 2020 18:53 utc | 30

"The Looming European banking Crisis" is Renegade Inc's focus this week as Ross interviews two economists who do a good job of describing the why and what parts but leave the aftermath issue up in the air, although the Finnish academic does mention the likelihood of "bail-ins" where money is taken from depositers against their will to recapitalize the bank. Then there's also the domino effect that causes the banking crisis to go global because of the depth of counterparty risk. The one big exception will be banks not connected as deeply to the Neoliberal Casino Economy, like China, Russia, and many Asian banks who learned their lesson during the 1980s & 90s, similar to the Nordic banks. There was a very short allusion to banks being nationalized or renationalized depending on EU membership, but no great discussion about rejection of the Private System in favor of a Public System.

Again, the Repo Crisis that hit the Outlaw US Empire in 2019 resulted from the slowing of QE as the first guest emphasizes. His view is QE must continue forever if the system is to be maintained. Clearly, if that's the case, then the system itself is grossly dysfunctional and in dire need of replacement. Ideally, replacement would occur prior to the next crisis, but that topic isn't being discussed anywhere important.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 1 2020 19:05 utc | 31

Herein follows what I wrote in response (with some additions) to a report on the latest inane Russophobic claptrap re - who else - Navalny:

"Here we go again - more "Novichok" poisonings that do not kill the target - NOR affect anyone in direct contact with either the target or nearby. Never mind that "Novichok" is supposed to be one of, if not THE, deadliest of nerve agents...Remarkable, ain't it.

What is not remarkable is that we, the hoi polloi, are supposed to accept the western fabrications as Fact.

The CIA-MI6-Nato are all together on this for two reasons, no, perhaps three:

1. End NS2 to open the European market to US LNG;

2. To reduce Russia, once again to the state the country was in post 1989 and under Yeltsin in order to allow the western Mammon worshipers to suck everything out of Russia into western pockets(that Navalny is willing and eager to assist in this demonstrates his absolute lack of concern for his compatriots);

3. To prevent Eurasian comity: Mackinder's fundamental fear and followed by the corporate-capitalist-imperialist west ever since. Prevent the largest continent on the planet from creating an economic and social/political comity which would, inevitably, be completely able to ignore the Anglo-American imperial dominance...

It is this latter factor that I believe to be the fundament of everything that is and has been going on since (and likely from before) the Skripal charade.

Navalny is a puppet - willing, clearly - in this whole western set up. He is simply: a truly despicable piece of work.

Posted by: AnneR | Oct 1 2020 19:07 utc | 32

public verses private banking.....

psycho and karlof1... you both like talking about this... michael hudson in what i have read of him, never really articulates the differences and how we go from private to public..... is there any book directly addressing this issue?? anyone know?? it seems to me it is a most important issue... canada continues to go into greater debt... why?? why are we beholden to private banking when we can print our own money?? why would we have to borrow canadian dollars off some international private bank?? i sure as hell hope we don't have to pay back in a different currency either!! oh, i get it that these private banks and investment consortium's want to get the resources that canada presently owns - water, land, minerals, forests and etc... same deal why they are so pissed off with russia for not getting an upper leg on them as well.. canada seems like a much easier target....

anyway - thoughts on a book that addresses this topic that can make it tangible for ordinary people would be most welcome.. thanks...

@ Jackrabbit | Oct 1 2020 16:31 utc | 13... wallace was bad as a moderator... he needs to be given the tools to turn off these 2 bozos microphones! i would have had more respect for any one of them if they had walked away from this gong show for a minute or something.. the whole thing was insane and wallace doesn't get out of it unscathed...

Posted by: james | Oct 1 2020 19:07 utc | 33

Hoyeru @ 30 - Porcupines, huh? Didn't know they existed in Bulgaria (or in Europe, for that matter, Hedgehogs - yep).

In my country of origin - used to be a sorta game (among males) in the local (pub): How long could you manage with a Ferret down inside yer pants (and underwear...)???? This really went on.

Just for a chuckle - much much needed nowadays.

Posted by: AnneR | Oct 1 2020 19:11 utc | 34

james | Oct 1 2020 19:07 utc | 33

Have you read "The creature from Jekyll Island"? It might be useful. I also read "House of Morgan" front to back, but it was a gag, I mean dry hacking gag. The creature is more palatable.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | Oct 1 2020 19:13 utc | 35

@nathan 9
that is a 'must view'. I watched it last night. Barflies will drink it up. Crooke used a quote from Yeats to describe the societal and economic collapse happening now in the usa: "anarchy above, anarchy below, the center will not hold!" Deep insights into US, British, Iranian, Chinese thoughts, plans, etc. They also detailed and opined on other "stan" nations, Israel, Latin America, Europe. Bottom line for us in the usa... we're goin' down.

Posted by: migueljose | Oct 1 2020 19:16 utc | 36

Off-topics -- for the weapons experts: In light of the deadly efficiency of the Turkish drones against artillery positions and tanks in Idlib and apparently in Nagorno-Karabakh, has there been some kind of technological breakthrough to account for their deadliness? What are the available defenses against them?

Posted by: chet380 | Oct 1 2020 19:22 utc | 37

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in a newspaper article summed up the results of the five-year presence of Russian troops in Syria (September 30, 2015 - September 30, 2020).

Btw, am I right that there are no more free materials on Elijah Magnier's website and to read his articles in full you need to subscribe for ~10€/month?

Posted by: alaff | Oct 1 2020 19:26 utc | 38

Jackrabbit @13

/Trump took advantage of Wallace's deference to authority in the early part of the debate. Wallace's weakness was a built-in advantage for Trump who sought to rattle Biden with his sniping./

What ? Deference to authority ?? You only have to watch Wallace’s one on one interview with Trump to know that is not true.

Wallace was a bad moderator because when Trump was making good points about things he has done in his presidency so far Wallace would interrupt him and say “moving on”. When Trump was landing heavy blows on Biden , Wallace would again intervene to save Biden.

A moderator must be impartial, not run interference for one of the participants in a debate. Wallace showed he is just another partisan activist hack.

When the moderator of a debate becomes the talking point of the debate then you know he was really bad.

Posted by: Down South | Oct 1 2020 19:34 utc | 39

chet380 | Oct 1 2020 19:22 utc | 37

Firetrucks. And to make it more interesting, load them up with polyurethane foam which sticks to everything.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | Oct 1 2020 19:37 utc | 40

On drone defense, check it out:

Posted by: Curmudgeon | Oct 1 2020 19:39 utc | 41

[Forgot to put this in my first comment.]

"Looks like one Shock Doctrine wasn't enough: Russia must have a second one in order to know its place":

Coronavirus pandemic’s hit to Russia’s economy should prompt structural reform

The pandemic didn't hit Russia as hard as the other Western Democracies (as the author himself admits);

Putinist Russia was the responsible for pulling the country out of its imminent collapse in 2001;

And the author wants another shock doctrine? Is he insane?

Oh wait: he's not insane. He actively wants to destroy Russia. A further research on the guy states that, albeit he is Russian by birth, he currently works in Toronto (Toronto University). He contributes to, among others, The Hill and the Carnegie Center. He's a liberal propagandist.

Posted by: vk | Oct 1 2020 19:41 utc | 42

@ Curmudgeon | Oct 1 2020 19:13 utc | 35.. thanks curmudgeon... i have read the first book you mention - a long time ago.. lets see if karlof1 or psyshohistorian have any say on this question!

@ jackrabbit.. i tend to see it like @ down south... wallace feel down and was out of his league at the debate, or a very different approach needs to be taken.. and there were a few times that i had the impression that wallace was siding with biden... i don't have a horse in the race...

Posted by: james | Oct 1 2020 19:56 utc | 43

Jackrabbit wrote “You're twisting Trump's bad behavior into a smear of Wallace.” Hell yes, Wallace was biased. I’ll give you just one example. He asked Trump to repudiate Proud Boys but he didn’t ask Biden to repudiate Antifa. I don’t know about you, but I hadn’t heard of Proud Boys until a few days ago while Antifa has burned the country over the past 6 months. If that is not bias, I don’t know what it is.

Posted by: BG | Oct 1 2020 19:58 utc | 44

The coronavirus is the Chernobyl of the West.

Posted by: passerby | Oct 1 2020 20:00 utc | 45

Navalny has been called out as working for the agenCIA, strong words coming from a presidential spokesperson, who also stated that any russian citizen can come and go as he or she wishes without being a hero for doing so, even though I would not be so sure if in Navalny’s shoes, he has openly accused of a crime a head of state, so he could be asked to corroborate his words before a judge.

Armenia recalls his ambassador in Israel, this in the middle of an open war, no need to comment on that.

Posted by: Paco | Oct 1 2020 20:35 utc | 46

@james | Oct 1 2020 19:07 utc | 33

From the little I've read of Michael Hudson's work, his solution would be to start forgiving debt, and create public banks, making them utilities that could out compete private banks, putting the latter out of business. He would also make the Fed publicly owned, and require it to stop subsidizing private investment banks.

I believe he does subscribe to MMT, but would distribute the money to where it would do the most good.

The effort to create State Public banks is underway in California, which could take advantage of the Fed's extremely low interest rates and pass low rates to local governments that may go bankrupt in this depression and would be forced to sell their assets to private entities.

Posted by: Michael | Oct 1 2020 20:35 utc | 47

RussiaGate was Killary’s plot = imho an open secret. The precise role played by Obama is obscure.

james on RussiaGate, previous thread:

How much of this is coming out now due the election and how much of it is coming out now, just because it happens to be coming out now?

Imho a lot is coming out now because of the slow sweep of history, these things take time… However what is certain is that Trump (probably knows everything that went down) and his backers prefer to delay explosive *hmm?* revelations to very close to the election.

The similarities with 2016 grow by the day. The Dems with a ‘sick’ candidate (remember Killary collapsing at a 9/11 memorial do) and mired in a scandal… Killary e-mails and private server, and the DNC e-mails. At present, the unravelling of RussiaGate.

Russia was picked as outside de facto guilty ‘enemy’ (traditional foe far away who won’t retaliate..) and Trump of course was the internal one. The Dem PTB could not admit that Wikileaks was ‘fed’ by someone close to / within the top Dem circle, so the leak(s) became hacks carried out by Russia. Trump won, he must have had secret support. From - Russia (one can’t invent 2 separate enemies.)

S. Rich was murdered, in July, and *imho* (see also William Gruff previous thread), this was a rather desperate and clumsy play, implemented because urgent. It was endlessly described as a ‘botched’ robbery (no phone, money, etc. taken - which makes absolutely no sense, in view of all the known facts of what went down on that crossing) but imho the assailants (2 men most likely ‘regular’ - not streeet ppl or such — and no strangers to violence) robbed Seth successfully, of another thumb drive or such, and possibly didn’t intend to kill him as first aim, because they didn’t. Or maybe they were supposed to kill him but botched it, and then somehow it had to be accomplished in the hospital. (What was Brazile doing there if that is a true?) Or maybe Seth walked. I don’t know.

All this also ties into the campaign against Assange, and the present mock-trial in England contesting Julian’s extradition to the USA (JA is the plaintiff.) Assange has of course been loathed by the US PTB ostensibly since 2010 (fitted up sex charge in Sweden), well before the Clinton e-mails.

Trump the campaigner literally said I love Wikileaks - naturally, they made life difficult for the Dems. There was in some quarters hope that Trump would pardon Assange, putting an end to that circus. From info coming out re. the trial, it appears now that Sheldon Adelson (a major Trump backer) is rabidly against Assange, and, I thus interpret, is preventing Trump from moving in that direction.

Craig Murray coverage Assange trial, for ex:

Twenty minutes sufficed for the reading of the “gist” of the astonishing testimony of two witnesses, their identity protected as their lives may be in danger, who stated that the CIA, operating through Sheldon Adelson, planned to kidnap or poison Assange, bugged not only him but his lawyers, and burgled the offices of his Spanish lawyers Baltazar Garzon. This evidence went unchallenged and untested.

A summary of actors in Seth Rich story in the USA.

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 1 2020 20:39 utc | 48

@ james | Oct 1 2020 19:07 utc | 33

One of the problems with political economics is fungibility of terms and meaning. Just what created the 'debt' of which you speak? Debt can only be created by contract where an asset is produced. This is often confounded with debit which is not created by contract but is an accounting term that balances a credit to an account. Governments credit accounts for obtaining their needs which must be balanced with a debit to their currency accounts. If you destroy debt, you also destroy the contract, the asset is lost to the possessor of that asset. What happens when you delete debit after it is created? Your accounting books no longer balance.

Much blather has been produced about private and public finance. Would you want to depend on Nancy Pelosi for your credit? That is what public financing is all about. Remember this is political economics you are dealing with. To legislate for effective 'due diligence' one would create a document some large fraction of the contents of the Library of Congress. Private finance solves that problem through self interest and self preservation (within set bounds). When small private banks were found on many street corners, local businesses thrived. Once the small private banks were removed, empty store fronts began appearing, the surviving larger banks had neither the local knowledge of their customers nor the interest of minor accounts; the phenomenon of 'red lining' became a problem that regulation was created to solve. Now four or five banks control a large fraction of all banking accounts, only the largest industrial concerns have enough weight to do business and even that has become questionable since that is only a small fraction of the banks financial income. Medium and small business have not a chance for financing from oligarchic, plutocratic financial banking. Some here seem destine to bark up empty trees. YMMV

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Oct 1 2020 21:04 utc | 49

Christmas will be interesting, would think that there needs to be some sort of event or something extra hyped to buggery in order to keep the OneState dream alive...

But then I wouldn’t have thought this weird sort of slow down where pretty much everything is ticking along like normal would have lasted so long already. It hurts my brain (and heart) that governments can say ‘you will not gather in groups’ without triggering any real resistance.

Posted by: Rae | Oct 1 2020 21:12 utc | 50

@james, Oct 1 19:07, 33

Have you read Ellen Brown "The Public Bank Solution"? There is also this lecture by Richard A Werner "Banking Industry Exposed and Solutions" from 2016

Posted by: cirsium | Oct 1 2020 21:18 utc | 51

If, as many believe, the question of Palestine is the great moral and political issue of the era it is not surprising that the outstanding journalist of the age is a commentator living in Nazareth and writing regularly about Palestine.
In this article Jonathan Cook deals with the idiotic notion that the Covid pandemic is a hoax fabricated by governments.
This piece in Covert Action magazine deals with the obvious links between the "Hoax" camp and the even further right, much of which also argued that the genocidal Nazi Concentration Camps were also a hoax.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 1 2020 21:42 utc | 52

Michael @46 & james @33--

As Hudson points out in several of his books, interviews and essays, when the Fed was created in 1913, it took over functions that were already being performed by the US Treasury--a public institution--and which is still capable of replacing the Fed. The transfer/creation was a Coup for private bankers who own stock in the private holding company that owns the Fed and its affiliated branches. The following recap is from an interview Hudson gave in 2012 I've linked to on several occasions:

"[Question] What is the place of the Federal Reserve System in the American financial and economic structure?

"Prior to the Federal Reserve’s founding in 1913, U.S. monetary policy was conducted by the Treasury. Like the Fed, it had district sub-treasuries that performed nearly all the financial functions that the Fed later took over: providing credit to move the crops in autumn, managing government debt, and so forth.

"But after the severe 1907 financial crisis, a National Monetary Commission was reformed. Under the then-Republican administration, it recognized a need for more active government intervention to prevent future financial crises. It also recognized the desirability of moving away from the Anglo-Dutch-American system of 'merchant banking' based on short-term lending against collateral in place, or for shipping of goods already produced. The National Monetary Commission’s longest volumes were on the great German industrial banks, and Republican policy aimed at bringing banking into the industrial era, to provide long-term funding after the model of German and other Central European banks.

"However, the leading bankers sought to use the crisis as an opportunity to grab power for Wall Street, away from the Treasury. In this sense, the Fed was founded in large part to take monetary control away from Washington’s elected officials and appointees, and privatize the supply of money and credit.

"So its place in the U.S. financial and economic structure is to allocate credit, primarily to serve Wall Street financial interests. That explains the insistence on the financial class here and abroad in insisting on an 'independent' central bank. It means that instead of serving the public interest, it serves the interests of the banking class. The hoped-for transformation of commercial banking into long-term industrial banking was not achieved." [My Emphasis]

Perhaps the key Q&A follows:

"Can we imagine the global economic system without Federal Reserve today? If yes/no, why?

As David Kinley’s book for the National Monetary Commission pointed out a century ago, nearly all the financial functions performed by the Fed already were performed by the national Treasury. In more recent times, Milton Friedman and his University of Chicago colleagues suggested that the entire Fed could be reduced to a single desk inside the Treasury. The 'Chicago Plan' of the 1930s urged Treasury control, as does Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s current bank reform.

"There is no inherent need for a monetary agency to exist outside of the national government, except to serve the interests of the financial class as distinct from those of government, industry and labor. And the banking sector’s business plan is to load down real estate, labor, industry and the government with as much interest-bearing debt as possible." [My Emphasis]

David Kinley's book can be freely downloaded via several different formats here. And there's much more to the interview. But as I've shown, the Republican plan to modify the US Treasury to make it better serve the needs of the nation as a whole was essentially hijacked by the incoming Wilson regime and gifted to the private bankers. As the following Legislative History shows, the Act wasn't just sitting on the shelf waiting to be voted on and signed like the infamous Patriot Act:

"Introduced in the House as H.R. 7837 by Carter Glass (D-VA) on August 29, 1913
Committee consideration by House Banking, Senate Banking
Passed the House on September 18, 1913 (287–85, 5 Present)
Passed the Senate on December 18, 1913 (54–34)
Reported by the joint conference committee on December 22, 1913; agreed to by the House on December 22, 1913 (298–60) and by the Senate on December 23, 1913 (43–25)
Signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson on December 23, 1913"

Doing further research as some have done would require reading the minutes of the relevant Congressional hearings and other related debate. It should be noted that the direct election of Senators wasn't yet in force, nor were women or most minorities allowed to vote, giving the Act a distinctly undemocratic nature.

Getting rid of the Fed and all the debt it's created would be a boon for the US and global economy but a massive bust for those whose "wealth" consists of that debt--the 1%. There are several websites that cover this all in detail: Wall Street on Parade; Publc Banking Institute; and Ellen Brown's Web of Debt Blog. Here's a link to Brown's book Web of Debt. And of course, there's Michael Hudson's website. And please take the 25 minutes to watch the video @31 above as like it or not we'll ALL be affected by the next financial crisis that promises to be far worse than 2008-9.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 1 2020 21:45 utc | 53

The US Congressional Repubs "China Task Force" Report is out, dumping all over China of course in 82 key findings and more than 400 recommendations. The basic problem is that China took a leaf out of Iran's book and hasn't kowtowed to US masters while attaining, or nearly attaining, world predominance.

this from the report intro:

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) more than 40 years ago, the United States has sought to draw the PRC into the community of nations as a responsible stakeholder. U.S. leaders pursued a strategy of engagement based on the assumption that expanding the bilateral economic relationship with the PRC would advance the U.S. national interest and lead the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to change. This engagement strategy often turned a blind eye to the CCP’s human rights violations, economic malfeasance, expansionist aggression, and empty promises, as well as the CCP’s deep commitment to a hostile Communist ideology that drives this malign behavior. This strategy has, simply put, failed. . .here

and this from the web:
Zachary Haver tweet--
>The record is clear: for the first 20 years of the post-Cold War era, American leaders sold engagement as fostering a democratic and responsible China.[clarification: US lackey]
>American Leaders Sold a Dream of Changing China
>Advocates of engagement are now downplaying the missionary impulse. That’s not what U.S. presidents said at the time.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 1 2020 21:52 utc | 54

Formerly T-Bear | Oct 1 2020 21:04 utc | 48

Thank you for that and clearing up what happens to the log jam created by debt jubilee so often touted here as our way out. That debit part was eye opening as I always wondered what's left of any economy once assets are destroyed by forgiving debt? Isn't that why bankruptcy exist?

Also, there is very little discussion about reserve requirements at commercial bank being reduce to zero March 20, while we were paying attention to pandemic escalation. I believe very few realize there are absolutely no reserves today for any of your bank deposits. And an institution can continue lending even if insolvent which many of them are. These implications are real and overlooked but in no way are not harmless.

Posted by: George | Oct 1 2020 22:13 utc | 55

Navalny who?

US intelligence sources discussed poisoning Julian Assange, court told

Posted by: vk | Oct 1 2020 22:23 utc | 56

Formerly T-Bear @48--

As House Majority Leader, Pelosi would have no bearing on the performance of the Treasury Department since it's an Executive Branch creature. Hudson never fails to point-out the accounting nature of credit/debit with bank/fed money creation--the debt generated when a loan is written becomes a credit thus an asset on the banks balance sheet, while in contrast the debtor while receiving an asset--the loan--also must enter the debit--the debt--onto its balance sheet. Thus with a debt forgiveness/writedown, the balance sheet of the bank loses its asset--the debt owed--while the debtor has its debit entry--the debt--removed. One should now easily see why Creditors have viciously attacked anyone promoting the idea of a debt jubilee or even a writedown since their balance sheets are the ones negatively affected.

An economy loaded with debt to the point where it can no longer expand dooms an expanding population to an ever lowering lifestyle since all income is used for debt servicing leaving nothing for new projects for bankers/creditors won't loan unless there's a possibility for it to be repaid. Asset price inflation combined with land scarcity forced Japan to adopt the 100 year mortgage several decades ago since it was recognized the young would be incapable of paying for their home within their lifetime.

What's now happening with so much commercial real estate being abandoned, a debt jubilee of a different sort is occurring as Wall Street looks to the Fed to cover its rapidly mounting losses in that sector. What's worse is there're no buyers even as those asset prices plummet. Today's Keiser Report touches that issue as it relates to the Queen of England--she gets bailed out while all others get to eat their losses.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 1 2020 22:26 utc | 57

George @54--

As some of the astute economic watchers have said, the Fed has removed the Risk aspect relative to placing a bet, so reserves no longer matter since QE will never end lest the Ponzi Scheme finally collapse. That almost happened last year when the Fed eased its QE and the REPO market--the market for overnight interbank loans--went into crisis and the Fed was forced to pump 600 Billion into it as fast as it could. Again, it recently let-up and Wall Street immediately dived 5% the next day. As many observers note and Greenspan himself has confessed, he began the crisis back in 1987 by not allowing the fraudulent bankers then to fail and get jailed. The only reason we haven't gone into Great Depression mode as in 1929-1941 is because today's Fed is providing trillions whereas Hoover's Fed didn't do anything of consequence.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 1 2020 22:42 utc | 58

@james #33
Public banking is the idea that a government - federal or state or even smaller - would conduct banking operations, but with an eye towards something besides profit.
As FTB notes - the banks we have today in the US aren't doing hardly any real banking, which is the provision of loans to businesses.
The banks in the US are increasingly a few big ones who loan all their money to big corporations to buy back their stock, instead.
I would note, however, that a public bank isn't clearly a panacea either. The 1st and 2nd Banks of the United States exceeded their mandates and became a danger in and of themselves.
But clearly, in the present, the biggest problem is that there just aren't loans/liquidity for small businesses to be established, which in turn create jobs and improve local communities.
The debt jubilee is a different issue. Jubilee is based on the concept that overall debt, due to interest, inevitably grows faster than the ability of an economy to pay said interest. Rulers in the ancient civilizations: Babylon, Sumeria etc recognized this and would regularly cancel non-merchant debt as acts of incoming new rulers because otherwise more and more of the population and economy - hence defense capability - would be sucked up by creditors.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 1 2020 22:50 utc | 59

karlof1 | Oct 1 2020 22:42 utc | 57
This is most of the time hard for me to understand so thank you for your input.

Posted by: George | Oct 1 2020 22:56 utc | 60

If the Americans based their neoliberal globalization strategy on an assumption, then they have no one to blame but themselves if the assumption turned out to be misplaced.

Posted by: jayc | Oct 1 2020 23:03 utc | 61

The American presidential election will hinge on the answers to the following:

1. Is the pandemic your main issue. Biden wins as unknown.

2. Is the AntiFa/BLM race riots your main issue. Trump wins.

3. Is the pandemic destroyed economy your main issue. I would write in Putin in this case.

Posted by: Erelis | Oct 1 2020 23:05 utc | 62

@james, 33

How does banking return to being a public utility? Richard Werner interviewed by Ross Ashcroft - a classic which is often cited.

Richard Werner's book "The Princes of the Yen" described how Japanese banking was transformed from a public utility to a finance curse. He has further developed his analysis in "The New Paradigm in Macroeconomics: Solving the Riddle of Japanese Macroeconomic Performance". Both books make for stimulating reading.

Posted by: cirsium | Oct 1 2020 23:14 utc | 63

@ karlof1 | Oct 1 2020 22:26 utc | 56

I was very very careful with my use of words in #48. I am not responsible for other's use of words or the recipient's misinterpretation or misunderstanding of those words. I stand by my presentation.

Since the House of Representatives initiates all appropriations financing the U.S. government, Nancy Pelosi is the political fount of all U.S. purchases introducing currency into the economy. Banks use currency (in various forms) to make contracts for the use of their access to currency, those contracts create debt that must be serviced to settle the contract. The currency the government creates is retired through taxation, the accounting/bookkeeping function. The difference between the accumulated appropriations and the accumulated taxation is the currency available for the economy, now not only for the national economy but the world economy as well - privilege of the economic hegemon's history that created the reserve currency. If Nancy Pelosi decides she wants 'sound currency', don't plan on being id debt when she does. If Nancy Pelosi likes the cut of your jib, she will appropriate whatever she wants to buy your product or service, the banking is only a remove or so away. The economy is overloaded with contracts with no way anymore to efficiently relieve those making the contracts, bankruptcy has effectively been abrogated since it requires a lender to have done 'due diligence' in making the loan and massive banks have lost that ability to know their client and as a consequence have through regulatory capture disabled the process of bankruptcy. Currency flow is the basis of financial activity, most assets are already possessed and most economic markets are either monopolistically or monopsonistic controlled, only small personal wealth still is independent but disappearing quickly as the dynamics of the economy are strangled. YMMV

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Oct 1 2020 23:18 utc | 64

Sorry karlof1, you are stuck with me tonight. The roof leaks and has dry rotted the velux and is now leaking inside with heavy rain. There are 41.6 mm forecast tonight, a little over 10 inches until morning and the leak has just started. I will be up to tend the disaster to keep it least damaging to floors and all. It will be nice to compare notes with you if you wish.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Oct 1 2020 23:36 utc | 65

Debates are harmful for democracy? <= by: vk @ 3

Trump is the one who is discrediting the election by shrieking fraud, not the Democrats. So the question is either ham-fisted irony? Or a raving mad endosement of Trumpery.<=by: steven t johnson @ 16

yes, USA eligible voters are not entitled to vote to select from candidates for who is to be the POTUS or the VP. The Duo (POTUS and VP) are article II and amendment 12 persons; meaning the electoral college elects these two clowns. .

Xi .. thinks capitalism is the future of China.. the inevitable weakness in growth by the capitalist sector indissolubly tied to the sinking world capitalist system, means the crisis point, where the national government must defend capitalist property by savagely attacking the living standards of the majority of the population, creeps nearer and nearer. Xi is hitching his wagon to a falling star. The sane course would be to let the Chinese bourgeoisie, not just in China itself, but in Hong Kong and Taiwan and Singapore, go bankrupt. Schemes to fix the irrational capitalist system by being smarter are delusional. by: steven t johnson@ 16

@james, Oct 1 19:07, 33 "The Public Bank Solution"? lecture by Richard A Werner "Banking Industry Exposed and Solutions" from 2016 by: cirsium @ 50

Vk@3 said ,, China establishes .. socialism <=to buffer the fall. But Xi is not making the same mistake the USA made, its capital assets (are not made from the hot thin air by rule of law) , the chinese balance sheet is invested in the one road one whatever which is global. and self supporting. read the following to see what I mean.

Posted by: snake | Oct 1 2020 23:39 utc | 66

Posted by: gottlieb | Oct 1 2020 17:28 utc | 19

Listened to Joe Lauria today who has been reporting on the modern-day Dreyfus/Assange hearing held at Old Bailey.

Joe mentioned Roy Cohen once said of his protégé, he who is "without a shred of moral conscience or ounce of humanity, he "pisses ice."

Posted by: suzan | Oct 1 2020 23:47 utc | 67

The Kiss of Death, John Bolton, insisted today on Wolf Blitzer's program he will NOT vote for Biden. He plans either not to vote or write in...Ronald Raygun?

I really believe it's because Biden plans to reinstate the JCPOA, and Bolton hates Iran so much, he is totally against the JCPOA and cannot stomach supporting Biden's incompatible views. Well, at least he has integrity.

So, I guess this means, Biden's gonna win.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 1 2020 23:48 utc | 68

@ james | Oct 1 2020 19:07 utc | 33

Nice to see you're back from your 'money for nothing and chicks for free' tour.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Oct 1 2020 23:49 utc | 69

Cynthia Chung has written an excellent essay dealing with important long buried history related to the end of WW2--history many here won't know--which IMO is salient given this years 75th anniversary of the UN and its Charter--an organization that wouldn't exist were it not for FDR's efforts--Churchill certainly didn't want it, nor did many Americans who have proved it by immediately violating the UN Charter form October 22, 1945 until today, which will continue tomorrow and beyond until it gets stopped by the rest of the world. Referenced in the essay is the last speech FDR wrote but was never to deliver as he died later that day; these three short paragraphs embodied his message to the nation:

"Today we are faced with the preeminent fact that, if civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships—the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together and work together, in the same world, at peace.

"Let me assure you that my hand is the steadier for the work that is to be done, that I move more firmly into the task, knowing that you—millions and millions of you—are joined with me in the resolve to make this work endure.

"The work, my friends, is peace. More than an end of this war—an end to the beginnings of all wars. Yes, an end, forever, to this impractical, unrealistic settlement of the differences between governments by the mass killing of peoples."

That Truman and his crew worked against FDR's vision has long been clear, but Chung has made it more so and puts the UNGA speeches by Putin and Xi into even better perspective as it's clear--at least to me--that they share FDR's vision while Trump and the Deep State don't.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 1 2020 23:51 utc | 70

@ Posted by: c1ue | Oct 1 2020 22:50 utc | 58

Jubilee doesn't work in the capitalist system because here it represents future wealth (i.e. future hours worked by the working class) in fictitious form. Not that it doesn't exist in capitalism (it happens), but it doesn't produce the result the average Joe thinks it produces: it results in an even greater fall of investments, generating an even greater vicious cycle.

Debt cancelling worked in the older economic systems because they really weren't value-based economies. Rather, they relied essentially on land ownership - money being of secondary importance. In fact, we can argue that the Roman Empire's almost ritualistic cancellation of debt owed to the Empire were a necessary accountancy correction, due to the fact that it arose from an excessive abuse of power by the landed aristocracy (Senate + Imperial Office).

The only way to healthily cancel debt in the capitalist system is through war. War not only destroys the juridic element of debt (because no one gives a damn to formalities anymore), but, most importantly, it literally destroys wealth - including the losing side capitalist class' claims over the bonds it owns, plus the infrastructure it owned. With the abrupt destruction of value, there's no more debt, and capitalism can properly reinitialize its cycle of accumulation with a newer technology (Kondratiev Cycle). That's what happened in WWI (result of the 1873-1893 Great Depression, which destroyed the British Empire) and what happened in WWII (1929 crisis).


@ Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 1 2020 21:45 utc | 52

Getting rid of the Fed and all the debt it's created would be a boon for the US and global economy but a massive bust for those whose "wealth" consists of that debt--the 1%.

If that's Mr. Hudson's conclusion, then he's completely wrong. The destruction of the Fed would be a disaster for the American Empire and its people. It would automatically bring an end to the American Empire. All the material wealth the American people still think (symbolized by the abundance in Walmart's shelves) they have would evaporate. The American people think USD 1.90 a gallon of gas is expensive - that would be kid's stuff if the USA suddenly gave up the Dollar Standard. There would be almost immediate starvation and famines in vast swathes of the American territory; food prices would suddenly spike up because the food producing States would suddenly stockpile grain and cattle in order to absorb coastal wealth.

There are few things we could say would for certain end the American Empire by itself; ending the Fed and thus the Dollar Standard would be one of them.

That said, it's important to say there are, nowadays, two main Imperialist Leftist "theories" in the USA.

The first one is MMT, which states the USA can live of with the present economic base and culture forever, by simply printing and redirecting this printed money (USD) where they should be, thus "covering for the imperfections of the free market".

The second one is David Harvey's American phase (that is, after he moved to the USA, to teach in a university there) theory of value realization. With a wrong interpretation of one paragraph of Marx's Capital book I, Harvey "realized" value can only take true form (materialize) during circulation - i.e. consumption. The USA can, therefore, live forever by just raising even more consumption by the masses (which he then advocates for better wages, better safety net etc. etc.).

Both of these "theories", in my opinion, are pitiful. They are a last, desperate, attempt of the American Left (and, by extension, the whole First World Left) to try to crate a rationale that can justify socialism without any painful transition for the First World countries. They want to convince the middle/upper middle classes of the First World to embrace socialism, because that won't hurt them a bit - they won't have to give up their elevated life standards at all. The truth, however, is completely the opposite: the First World ("Global North") will have to be destroyed if socialism is to really take hold in humanity, as it is the last bastion of capitalism.

Posted by: vk | Oct 1 2020 23:51 utc | 71

@ f t bear... i hope you get the leak around the skylight fixed.. i had to look up velux and it sounds like a skylight manufacturer... with a name like former t bear - i take it you were involved in the financial markets at some point.. is that true?? thanks for your comments either way... you seem informed, but in favour of the private banking system.. do i have that correct?

thanks everyone for the feedback on public verses private banking.... i live in canada, but the parallel with the usa is probably useful for the most part.. i don't believe private banking deserves our trust or support.. i would like to be convinced differently.. i generally don't trust people who wear suits - bankers and etc... i guess the facade works to a point, like wearing a uniform in the army...

@ cirsium | Oct 1 2020 23:14 utc | 62 and @52.. thanks for your posts on my question... i haven't read that ellen brown book you mention.. i happened to watch the youtube version of Princes of the Yen and recommend the video to others.. it was informative, but it would seem that some would like to argue with what this video implies.. i have ellen browns book 'web of debt' but have yet to read it... i am mostly looking for someone in the political area here in canada to address this... are any american politicians addressing this, other then ron paul perhaps??? i suspect he is viewed dimly for this very reason, or is it that he is also a gold bug??

@ karlof1 | Oct 1 2020 21:45 utc | 50... thanks for all your comments on this - past, present and future! why isn't this a bigger topic of interest and concern for more people in general? i will watch and read the links you have provided to learn more.. thank you...

@ c1ue | Oct 1 2020 22:50 utc | 58.. thanks c1ue! isn't the idea of debt jubilee a public banking concept?? i have never heard of any private bank suggesting it... maybe no one other then michael hudson is suggesting it at this point and that is based on the history of financing going back centuries... can we get their again?? if not, why not??

@ Michael | Oct 1 2020 20:35 utc | 46.. thanks michael.. i think it would be good if michael hudsons ideas were implemented and i was unaware of a public bank being attempted in california... i wonder how it can work surrounded by private banks... i hope it works.. i think some other alternative is needed.. here in canada i constantly here of how so much money is needed to service the debt... so much of the revenue coming into the gov'ts coffers goes right back out the door to the private banks... this doesn't make sense to me and seems like a rigged system at present..

Posted by: james | Oct 1 2020 23:54 utc | 72

@ 68 f t bear... lol! thanks!! it was a nice 1 week holiday and southwest saskatchewan is quite beautiful this time of year.. cypress hills has a lot of canadian history to it.. i was made aware of it reading wallace stegner books, specifically 'wolf willow'.. he grew up in the area when the border between canada and the usa was much more porous - early 1900's....

Posted by: james | Oct 1 2020 23:56 utc | 73

@ VK #70
The truth, however, is completely the opposite: the First World ("Global North") will have to be destroyed if socialism is to really take hold in humanity, as it is the last bastion of capitalism.
Yes, which is why the US is reacting so violently (and desperately) to socialistic China, as I touch on in my #53, seeing their own destruction.
As for me personally, it's change what I can (maybe) change, don't try to change what I can't change, and (try to) know the difference.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 2 2020 0:04 utc | 74

@ Noirette | Oct 1 2020 20:39 utc | 47.. thanks noirette! my quick take on russiagate is some in power felt the need to resurrect mccarthyism version 2... and it was a 2 for 1 as they managed to make like trump was a putin stooge and a whole whack of people feel for that.. trump is a kleptomaniac and will do anything he can to maintain the royal status he entertains in his head 24-7... who profits from this version 2 called 'russiagate'?? it keeps the american public and the political circus in constant turmoil.. biden tried to cement it further during the debate the other night... who profits? wall st and the military industrial complex as i see it.. so the stupid show must continue while they all slobber over the thought of accessing russias real assets.. they almost had it...

as for sheldon adelson, julian assange and etc... the deep crimes of our world are on full display..i suppose they think if they don't cover it, people are oblivious to it... i support craig murray and have been following some of his coverage on this.. it is interesting who partakes and supports it.. ordinary people seem so easily duped by the mainstream media...

i mostly think there were short term goals and long term goals to be had in pushing this russia gate nonsense... short term - make like trump is forced to behave a certain way and try to flip the election for the dems... long term - the reasons above - wall st and mil... it looks like to me the dems aren't that bright, or they are in cahoots with some in the intel community that want to push this agenda and get a dem elected... maybe i am not thinking it thru enough... i don't know the role seth rich played in it all , but it sounds as though assange and murray do, but just can't say... it is unfortunate we may not know for a long time, if ever... i mostly see all of this including russia gate as a huge distraction.... why can't the usa political spectrum focus on important topics and skip with this constant bullshite? i guess it is the way of the usa circa 2020, with no end in sight.. thanks for sharing your thoughts...

Posted by: james | Oct 2 2020 0:10 utc | 75

@ james | Oct 1 2020 23:54 utc | 71

Thanks for the reply. Heavens no, I worked for a meagre living as a stagehand, projectionist and behind camera tech for location work (set carpenter as well), retired now. Love reading, done so all my life and will continue to the end. Interest in economic history allows some insights not otherwise available anywhere else but no letters after the name yet so avoiding being an authoritarian. Could not carry a tune in a basket with both hands, but the music I listened to is now classic rock. Dates one.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Oct 2 2020 0:14 utc | 76

New Layoffs Add to Worries Over U.S. Economic Slowdown

So, MMT is already dead in the water and Congressmen and Fed are already considering a "social darwinist" option: cut all the government handouts to the people (the legendary USD 900.00 checks) and let capitalism do the rest.

Posted by: vk | Oct 2 2020 0:35 utc | 77

re: fed, banks etc etc

karlof1 .. citing Hudson about the Fed sounds right. Serves a purpose, could be done more transparently by treasury. Sadly we're a million miles from that. Even with central bank functions under the treasury, it requires government not captive to the same FIRE industry heavyweights.

vk .. "The only way to healthily cancel debt in the capitalist system is through war" - I would think a controlled inflation would actually be an alternative of sorts. Or does that just create more debt? Again in reality such a process gets gamed, so that the top strata would transfer into assets that escape erosion of financial value, while the middle strata (e.g. 401k stock holders in the US) get the haircut. And again, we are a million miles from a policy goal of large scale transfer of wealth or rent-seeking positions away from those who have the most.

Re: MMT and money printing fallacy- I think the point is that we're doing it anyway, at mega-giga-crazy scale, when the solvency of big financials is in question, so why not just throw in some financing for useful government functions in the same bucket? It's like if you look at the US Covid emergency legislation... 2 trillion to save the banks, maybe 500 billion to do something about the sick people? One of those is real, one isn't. If you're gonna print money, do it right.

Posted by: ptb | Oct 2 2020 0:38 utc | 78

Karlov1 thanks yr posts

re the claimed connection between credit and interest...years ago, there was frequent mention of the risks involved in loaning money as primary justification for the charging of interest.

In recent years, that justification seems to have disappeared from view, or hearing. Could be my faulty imagination, but that observation comes to mind because I always wondered about the apparent contradiction established by .gov-backed interest-bearing loans [just 1 example would be the early .gov-backed, student-loan program].

Seems to give the lie to concept that any loan-risk can only be handled by charging interest.

Oddly, I no longer hear mention of risk being the prime justification for loan interest.

On another subject...the establishment of FedResSys in USA was indeed a project of German and other European bankers incl Rothschilds, etc. I always found interesting the close connection of Warburg et al to Woodrow Wilson prior to his becoming President in 1913 and creation of Fed Res Act. Seems WW was under some effective control of Warburg et al and someday that story might be made public.

Posted by: chu teh | Oct 2 2020 0:44 utc | 79

@ Posted by: ptb | Oct 2 2020 0:38 utc | 77

The problem with inflation is that it also eats up the working class' purchase power, i.e. it hurts everybody, not just the financial sector. Besides, inflation also doesn't destroy old, inefficient infrastructure, nor get rid of the debt as a juridic entity. The nation will still have to exploit its own people to a degree to be able to service the debt. War destroys this old capital, while also destroying the debt juridically (both because the vanquished nation's government won't exist anymore and because the capitalist who owns the debt will be dead).

Yeah, looks like the American elite wants to go to social darwinism - i.e. guarantee only the survival of the essential for the survival of the system. The problem, as you correctly state, is that this "bare minimum" is already costing USD 2.2 trillion per year...

Posted by: vk | Oct 2 2020 1:05 utc | 80

@ Formerly T-Bear | Oct 2 2020 0:14 utc | 75.. thanks t bear.. i love reading too! check out the wallace stegner book if you are interested... here is a video that was shared to me just a few minutes ago of me playing with some folks on a gig this summer.. you might enjoy it.. he was visiting from toronto and took the video.. it is not bad..

Posted by: james | Oct 2 2020 1:18 utc | 81

On banks:
Make them public and they become toys of ruling party plus deep bureaucracy;
make them private and they become toys of self interest for CEOs.

* First all set a law that separates commercial banking from investment banking - like 1933's Glass-Steagall, so no mixing of savings and gambling.
* Oblige all decision makers to file income tax return publicly from 5 years before appointment till 10 years after exiting, including spouses and children.
* Keep all bigger loans public, including conditions.

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 2 2020 1:22 utc | 82

The Grayzone’s Aaron Maté testifies at UN on OPCW Syria cover-up

My hats off to Aaron Mate - unquestionably one of the best and, as I conclude from his testimony at UN, bravest journalists we have today.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Oct 2 2020 1:30 utc | 83


Trump was on Marine One and AF ONE with her and at the debate and recent rally.

Normally, everyone in contact must quarantine. 🤣🤣🤣😆😆😆

OH MY. Trump is fu*ked! 🍾🍾🍾🍾🍾

Posted by: Circe | Oct 2 2020 1:33 utc | 84

@ james | Oct 2 2020 1:18 utc | 80

Thanks for the link, unfortunately youtube and I have a thang, it wants me to sign up and when I don't it insists on cookies and I close the link. When my machine has a cookie monster to eat them all up, then I will agree. Until then, I am content to do without my information feeding some giant corporation in a foreign country. I rely on a decent conversation about things instead for forming my views. I worked in the industry and do not trust any representation they may give. Guess that makes me some sort of contrarian, it cannot be avoided. No twitter or facebook either and google is on the thinnest of ice. Intend to make as big a hole in their total information net as I am able for as long as I can. Just me.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Oct 2 2020 1:52 utc | 85

@ james with the question about easy to read books about economic/money things

I 2nd karlof1's suggestion about the Ellen Brown Web of Debt book. Her poetic license with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz works and makes the book more readable and the subject more understandable for the lay person.

On the same subject, below is a link to a Wall Street on Parade article and a take-away quote from it

The New York Fed, Pumping Out More than $9 Trillion in Bailouts Since September, Gets Market Advice from Giant Hedge Funds

The take-away quote

Since the Fed’s inception in 1913, the statutory role of the Federal Reserve has been to serve as lender of last resort to commercial banks – so that those commercial banks could help the overall economy by making sound business and consumer loans. The statutory role of the Fed has never been to be a lender of last resort to the trading houses on Wall Street or hedge funds. But beginning with the 2007 to 2010 financial crisis, the New York Fed has simply arbitrarily decided to provide an unlimited money spigot to Wall Street’s trading houses whenever they are at risk of blowing themselves up as a result of their own hubris.

And one needs to remember that these financial institutions are global so it is not just American organizations being bailed out but foreign banks and foreign subsidiaries. This speaks to the suggestion of allowing a mix of private/public banks. Since the public banks are, by definition, sovereign only and the private banks are international, how does society continue to try and manage such a stupid/anti-humanistic form of social organization?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 2 2020 2:17 utc | 86

Posted by: Circe | Oct 2 2020 1:33 utc | 83

Yep, it's Keep Hope Alive time. Trump says he and Melania are being tested. This could screw up everybodies plans. Trump did look a little fevered, you know high-strung, at the debate.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 2 2020 2:23 utc | 87

More interested in the Azeri-Amernia war than the back and forth debate.

Posted by: Smith | Oct 2 2020 2:25 utc | 88

Yeah, it's true; he did look pea ked and irritable at the debate; I was going to write that; you beat me to it. He has to quarantine for 14 days.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 2 2020 2:35 utc | 89

If Trump got the 15-minute test, then he should have the result already. If it's negative we would know by now. If it's negative; doesn't mean much. He'll have to be tested again.

Stephen Miller and Jared Kushner were also on Marine One in close proximity with Hope Hicks. The two nicest guys in the Administration. Ahhhhhahhhha! Unbelievable.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 2 2020 2:43 utc | 90

When I think of all those wonderful people who died an agonizing death all alone without loved ones while Trump was downplaying the virus and crowing at made my blood boil!

Posted by: Circe | Oct 2 2020 3:04 utc | 91

Formerly T-Bear | Oct 2 2020 1:52 utc | 84

Well, you're not alone; no google, firefox, facebook, twitter, or any other social media for this one either.
I use a Russian browser and e-mail as well...

Posted by: V | Oct 2 2020 3:09 utc | 92

@ 91 V

Yandex and Safari (out of habit mostly) are the ones I regularly use just so I can keep my regular used windows open.

I think anyone who has to use a crutch like youtube to convey their thoughts is lame, the art of carrying on a conversation is being destroyed and is a rare event at this point. It has gotten down to my youtube will answer your youtube. Pathetic.

Most products on youtube are high cost productions employing considerable professional staff to produce a product designed to emotionally influence and overwhelm the viewer.

Who pays the crew's wages? How much? have they been given credits (at the end) for their work (industry standard)? If not why? Loads of other questions too.

I could not get my Yandex mail to work but most of my mail goes to places the mail would cause problems so that is probably better.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Oct 2 2020 3:40 utc | 93

I think anyone who has to use a crutch like youtube to convey their thoughts is lame, the art of carrying on a conversation is being destroyed and is a rare event at this point.

Indeed, no argument there; genuine conversation is an artform; and a dying one at that...
I use a junk yahoo e-mail for general ID when needed...never had a problem with Yandex.
I don't comment much here at MoA and only a couple of other sites in total...

Posted by: V | Oct 2 2020 4:01 utc | 94

Trump is going into Covid isolation and has condemned the Proud Boys specifically...doubt if that will go over well.

What happens to the debates?

Is Trump going to start wearing a mask regularly?

And the worm turns....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 2 2020 4:03 utc | 95

Once I had another provider that triggered undelivered mail to one family on AOL and another on Comcast IIRC. One changed to Verizon, the other stayed AOL and lost two way communications. Yandex in some neighbourhoods is like having a red flag on communications I fear. In Europe not so much a problem other than GCHQ squirrels.

You should try commenting more, your views have value.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Oct 2 2020 4:25 utc | 96

Re Trump in Quarantine
Presumably Biden was also close to the infected?

Posted by: necromancer | Oct 2 2020 4:30 utc | 97

You should try commenting more, your views have value.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Oct 2 2020 4:25 utc | 95

Kind of you to say; but I rarely get a response when I comment...
Yeah, I kinda figured Yandex would garner negative reactions...
But I'm a contrarian at heart; damn the torpedoes... ;-)

Posted by: V | Oct 2 2020 4:33 utc | 98

@chet380 re drone defence
Usually electronic countermeasures plus electrically operated Gatling gun style cannons. But no big profits for MIC in the latter. Can also be sourced from Russia or Switzerland among others.

Posted by: necromancer | Oct 2 2020 4:37 utc | 99

@ V | Oct 2 2020 4:33 utc | 96

My luck more like "Damned torpedoes, we're sinking". My vintage had computers with ferric core strung on wires as memory. Does not get much older than that.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Oct 2 2020 4:47 utc | 100

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