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NATO Reaffirms Its Bogus Russia Narrative

"In other words, it is entirely all right for NATO and its members to invade countries at will, including Iraq, Libya and Syria, and subvert others as happened in Ukraine and is still happening in Syria. But it is impermissible for any government outside of NATO to respond or even defend itself. To do so amounts to a provocation against NATO – and such hypocrisy is accepted by the West’s mainstream news media as the way that the world was meant to be. 

And those of us who dare point out the lies and double standards must be “Moscow stooges,” just as those of us who dared question the Iraq WMD tales were dismissed as “Saddam apologists” in 2003."
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Counter-Propaganda, Russian style

Counter-Propaganda, Russian style | Critical Economy | Scoop.it

"The Kremlin and the clearly pro-Putin journalists go out of their way to give as much air time to the most rabid anti-Kremlin critiques as possible, especially on Russian TV talkshows… …These groups are literally the “bread and butter” of Russian talkshows. Why? Because they utter the exact same nonsense which they proclaim in their own countries and it sounds so outlandish to the Russian audience that these guests get verbally eviscerated.”

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More Confessions of an Economic Hitman: This Time They're Coming for Your Democracy

More Confessions of an Economic Hitman: This Time They're Coming for Your Democracy | Critical Economy | Scoop.it
Perkins has just reissued his book with major updates. The basic premise of the book remains the same, but the update shows how the economic hit man approach has evolved in the last 12 years. Among other things, U.S. cities are now on the target list. The combination of debt, enforced austerity, underinvestment, privatization, and the undermining of democratically elected governments is now happening here.
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Subprime Auto Loans: the Next Shoe to Drop?

Subprime Auto Loans: the Next Shoe to Drop? | Critical Economy | Scoop.it
Booming auto sales have more to do with low rates and easy financing than they do with the urge to buy a new vehicle. In the last few years, car buyers have borrowed nearly $1 trillion to finance new and used autos. Unfortunately, much of that money was lent to borrowers who have less-than-perfect credit and who might not be able to repay the debt. Recently there has been a surge in delinquencies among subprime borrowers whose loans were packaged into bonds and sold to investors.

The situation is similar to the trouble that preceded the Crash of 2008 when prices on subprime mortgage-backed securities (MBS) suddenly collapsed sending the global financial system off a cliff. No one expects that to happen with auto bonds, but story does help to illustrate that the regulatory problems still haven’t been fixed.
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Legalizing Weed Has Done What 1 Trillion Dollars and a 40 Year War Couldn't

Legalizing Weed Has Done What 1 Trillion Dollars and a 40 Year War Couldn't | Critical Economy | Scoop.it
A massive problem created by the drug war is now being solved by legalizing weed.
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The Two-Party Illusion

The Two-Party Illusion | Critical Economy | Scoop.it
No longer is it necessary that the two dogmas are polar opposites. They can only be five degrees apart from each other, yet each team of supporters fully believes his team is morally right and the other team is morally wrong. Meanwhile, they’re both headed toward the same warfare/welfare end.
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NATO’s Syria War Footing Under Cover of Migrant Crisis

NATO’s Syria War Footing Under Cover of Migrant Crisis | Critical Economy | Scoop.it

 Last year, more than 3,000 people perished in Mediterranean crossings and up to one million entered the EU. So, why is NATO suddenly finding a sense of urgency now in allegedly tackling Europe’s refugee problem? It doesn’t add up."

gregmhagar's insight:

"The notion that heavy-duty warships are sent to tackle human trafficking gangs is also not plausible.  The Standing Maritime Group 2 is a war operation, not a coastguard formation."

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  Privatization Is the Atlanticist Strategy to Attack Russia  

Very interesting quote from this article:

 

"Selling public assets in exchange for a one-time payment is what the city of Chicago government did when it sold the 75 year revenue stream of its parking meters for a one-time payment. The Chicago government got money for one year by giving up 75 years of revenues. By sacrificing public revenues, the Chicago government saved real estate and private wealth from being taxed and also allowed Wall Street investment banks to make a fortune.

It also created a public outcry against the giveaway. The new buyers sharply raised street parking fees, and sued Chicago’s government for damages when the city closed the street for public parades or holidays, thereby “interfering” with the rentiers’ parking-meter business. Instead of helping Chicago, it helped push the city toward bankruptcy"

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William Rivers Pitt | The Poisoning of Flint Was Not an Accident - It Was a Crime

William Rivers Pitt | The Poisoning of Flint Was Not an Accident - It Was a Crime | Critical Economy | Scoop.it
The people of Flint, Michigan, have been drinking, cooking with and bathing in lead-poisoned water for two years. More than 8,000 children have been exposed. This was not an accident.
gregmhagar's insight:

"The story in short: In order to "save money," Governor Snyder's hand-picked emergency manager (read: hatchetman) decided to change Flint's water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River. That "save money" claim, however, has been brought into serious question by reports that Flint would have actually saved money if they stayed on the Huron line. There have been allegations that Governor Snyder made the switch in order to undermine the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department so he could ultimately privatize it. Others suggest his motivation was founded in a desire to open up new areas for fracking. The governor has made no comment on these allegations. One thing seems clear: This decision appears to have little to do with "saving money.""

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Stock Buybacks and the Wall Street Sharktank: “A Whole Lotta Stealin’ Goin’ On”

Stock Buybacks and the Wall Street Sharktank: “A Whole Lotta Stealin’ Goin’ On” | Critical Economy | Scoop.it
Let’s say you lend your brother-in-law, Pauli, 5,000-bucks so he can get his fledgling construction business off-the-ground.  Then, you find out a week later that ‘good-old Pauli’ has shot the wad playing the horses at Long-acres and buying cocktails for his loafer-friends at Matt’s Mad Dog tavern?  Would you feel like you’d been ripped off?

Sure you would. But when some slick corporate fraudster pulls the same scam, no one even raises an eyebrow.

What am I talking about?

I’m talking about the way that corporate bosses are allowed to take the hard-earned money from Mom and Pop investors and divide it among their freeloading shareholder friends via stock buybacks
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Can the Davos Rich Do More than Talk? | Inequality.org

Can the Davos Rich Do More than Talk? | Inequality.org | Critical Economy | Scoop.it
The crowd that’s assembling this week in Davos could, with a snap of a few fingers, end this staggeringly stark inequality in a relative matter of minutes. Wealth, after all, isn’t concentrating at such a ferocious rate because the rich are “innovating” at some spectacular level. Wealth is concentrating so ferociously in good part because the rich have become incredibly adept at concealing — from tax collectors — a huge chunk of their fortunes.
gregmhagar's insight:

"The crowd that’s assembling this week in Davos could, with a snap of a few fingers, end this staggeringly stark inequality in a relative matter of minutes. Wealth, after all, isn’t concentrating at such a ferocious rate because the rich are “innovating” at some spectacular level. Wealth is concentrating so ferociously in good part because the rich have become incredibly adept at concealing — from tax collectors — a huge chunk of their fortunes.f"

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World faces wave of epic debt defaults, fears central bank veteran

World faces wave of epic debt defaults, fears central bank veteran | Critical Economy | Scoop.it

"The global financial system has become dangerously unstable and faces an avalanche of bankruptcies that will test social and political stability, a leading monetary theorist has warned.

 

"The situation is worse than it was in 2007. Our macroeconomic ammunition to fight downturns is essentially all used up," said William White, the Swiss-based chairman of the OECD's review committee and former chief economist of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS)."

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Let Them Eat Diversity | Jacobin

For me the distinction is that “left neoliberals” are people who don’t understand themselves as neoliberals. They think that their commitments to anti-racism, to anti-sexism, to anti-homophobia constitute a critique of neoliberalism. But if you look at the history of the idea of neoliberalism you can see fairly quickly that neoliberalism arises as a kind of commitment precisely to those things.
gregmhagar's insight:
"You get a different vision of what postmodernism, for example, is when you begin to see postmodernism as the official ideology of neoliberalism and that’s a vision you can’t have until you have a kind of sense of what neoliberalism is."
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Why Saudi Arabia Is Suddenly in Serious Trouble

Why Saudi Arabia Is Suddenly in Serious Trouble | Critical Economy | Scoop.it
The report calls for a cut in Saudi Arabia’s public-sector employment and a cut in its three million low-wage foreign workers. But the entire political economy of Saudi Arabia and the culture of its Saudi subjects are reliant upon state employment for the subjects and low-wage subservience from the guest workers. To change these two pillars calls into question the survival of the monarchy. A Saudi Arabia without oil, McKinsey should have honestly said, is a Saudi Arabia without a monarchy.
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The Rutherford Institute :: Censored, Surveilled, Watch Listed and Jailed: The Absurdity of Being a Citizen in the American Police State

The Rutherford Institute :: Censored, Surveilled, Watch Listed and Jailed: The Absurdity of Being a Citizen in the American Police State | Critical Economy | Scoop.it
In past ages, those who dared to speak out against tyranny—viewed as an act of treason—were blinded, castrated, disfigured, mutilated, rendered mute by having their tongues cut out of their heads, and ultimately crucified. Censored, Surveilled, Watch Listed and Jailed: The Absurdity of Being a Citizen in the American Police StateIn the American police state, the price to be paid for speaking truth to power (also increasingly viewed as an act of treason) is surveillance, censorship, jail and ultimately death.
gregmhagar's insight:
The following activities are guaranteed to get you censored, surveilled, eventually placed on a (US) government watch list, possibly detained and potentially killed. Laugh at your own peril. 
* Use ‘trigger words’ like cloud, pork, or pirates 
* Use a cell phone
* Drive a car
* Attend a political rally
* Express yourself on social media
* Serve in the military
* Disagree with a law enforcement official
* Call in sick to work
* Limp or stutter
* Appear confused or nervous, fidget, whistle, or smell bad
* Be seen in public with a toy gun, water nozzle, or remote control
* Attend public school
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   The Financial System Is A Larger Threat Than Terrorism 

"The purpose off zero interest rates is to support the prices of the over-leveraged and fraudulent financial instruments that unregulated financial systems always create. If inflation was properly measured, these zero rates would be negative rates, which means not only that retirees have no income from their retirement savings but also that saving itself is a losing proposition.

Central banks, neoliberal economists, and financial media advocate negative interest rates in order to force people to spend instead of save. The notion is that the economy’s poor economic performance is not due to the failure of economic policy, but to ordinary people hoarding their money."

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Bernie Sanders’ Phantom Movement: Chris Hedges

Bernie Sanders’ Phantom Movement: Chris Hedges | Critical Economy | Scoop.it

"Sanders is, in all but title, a Democrat. He is a member of the Democratic caucus. He votes 98 percent of the time with the Democrats. He routinely backs appropriations for imperial wars, the corporate scam of Obamacare, wholesale surveillance and bloated defense budgets. He campaigned for Bill Clinton after Clinton had rammed through NAFTA, vastly expanded the system of mass incarceration and destroyed welfare. He called on Ralph Nader in 2004 to abandon his presidential campaign. The Democrats recognize his value. They have long rewarded Sanders for his role as a sheepherder."

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  Trump, Dog Whistles, and the Republican Full Monty

A Party of blatant 1% rule, whose whole object is to enable and defend money privilege, no matter how vile and criminal, only exists by grand hoax.  When its cover is blown and it presents the Full Monty to a gaping world, it’s done.
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The NSA’s SKYNET program may be killing thousands of innocent people

The NSA’s SKYNET program may be killing thousands of innocent people | Critical Economy | Scoop.it
"Ridiculously optimistic" machine learning algorithm is "completely bullshit," says expert.
gregmhagar's insight:

This is terrifying. Apparently, the algorithm also considers that anyone who turns their phone off is attempting to "avoid surveillance".  But hey no worries, right?

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Unless It Changes, Capitalism Will Starve Humanity By 2050 - Forbes

Unless It Changes, Capitalism Will Starve Humanity By 2050 - Forbes | Critical Economy | Scoop.it
We need to build a new system: one that will balance economic growth with sustainability and human flourishing.
gregmhagar's insight:

Lest you think this is just socialist hyperbole, take a look at the source.

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  The Vampire Squid Tells Americans How to Vote 

gregmhagar's insight:

 Lloyd Blankfein, Chief Executive Cephalopod of Goldman Sachs, issued a warning about the Bernie Sanders campaign this week. 


He ranted about how frightening it is that a candidate like Sanders, who seems to have no interest in "compromising" with Wall Street, could become so popular.


One can assume that his model of a "compromising" politician is Hillary Clinton, who took $675,000 to give three speeches to his company.

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How the US Supreme Court Could Legalize Direct Bribery

How does one even get convicted of bribery in a system that has legalized it to the extent that ours has? Look at Congress members' and other federal office holders' actions and their sources of funding. There is debate only over whether they are bribed to act or rewarded for having acted, but the correlation between action and funding is undisputed, and the sources of funding unrestricted.
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Your Choice: Thirteen-Billion-Dollar Aircraft Carrier vs. Cure for Cancer

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gregmhagar's insight:

"When a nation turns itself into a military state and has a military empire of 900 bases around the world, and spends 610 billion on the military every year, something has to give. What gives? In your state it is bridges, roads, infrastructure, schools, aid to the needy, and health care, all of which have been cut due to the lack of available money, as all money goes to our top priority, the military. It has not occurred to citizens, that feeding a growing military monster is at the expense of failing infrastructure, failing schools, failing health care, failing everyone, except for the Lockheed Martins of the world, who sold $45 billion worth of weapons last year. Cancer would be wiped out if the National Cancer Institute were given just a fraction of the military budget, but that is not our national priority. War and the greatest military the world has ever seen, is our priority. Curing the sick and saving lives is not. "

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A Bleak Unemployment Report and even Bleaker Projections | Peter Koeni

This crisis is not ‘just happening’ – it is directed, fabricated and maintained by a globalized elite, led by Washington and supported by the Pentagon and NATO, fuelling wars and conflicts throughout the world. 

Wars are highly profitable for the military industrial complex; and they are highly destructive, leaving entire countries without infrastructure and productive capacity – like Syria – hence unemployment becomes astronomical.

The worldwide economic crisis is manipulated by the very purpose of ‘Globalization’ – where rich industrialized countries transfer their manufacturing to cheap labor countries, where vulnerable and precarious jobs are created – no social insurances, no job security – minimal and barely living wages."

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