There Is No Nobel Prize in Economics
By Yasha Levine
Posted March 27, 2017
It’s Nobel Prize season again. News reports are coming out each day sharing the name of the illustrious winner of the various categories — Science, Literature, etc. But there’s one of the prizes that’s a little different. Well, that’s putting it lightly… you see, the Nobel Prize in Economics is not a real Nobel. It wasn’t created by Alfred Nobel. It’s not even called a “Nobel Prize,” no matter what the press reports say.
The five real Nobel Prizes—physics, chemistry, literature, peace, and medicine/physiology—were set up in the will left by the dynamite magnate when he died in 1895. The economics prize is a bit different. It was created by Sweden’s Central Bank in 1969, nearly 75 years later. The award’s real name is the “Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.” It was not established by Nobel, but supposedly in memory of Nobel. It’s a ruse and a PR trick, and I mean that literally. And it was done completely against the wishes of the Nobel family.
Sweden’s Central Bank quietly snuck it in with all the other Nobel Prizes to give free-market economics for the 1% credibility. More…
Dear Family and Friends: it’s Time to Wake Up
by Phillip J. Watt
Posted March 26, 2017
I know you’ve struggled to deal with many of the harsh truths of the world, yet there’s also so much brilliance to this reality that I don’t want you to miss out on as well. But to feel that side of the coin, it’s necessary to face how it all works on the systemic and material levels.
It’s no surprise to anyone that greed and vanity has spread like wildfire across our modern minds. So much so that our collective heart has been suffocating under their toxic weight. Yet there’s no need to despair; there are many people who have stepped into the authenticity of their heart and are working towards bringing some sanity, honor and justice to our mad world.
War. Poverty. Rape. Hatred. The list goes on. These realities might be ‘normal’ in the context of humanity’s history, but it doesn’t always need to be this way. We literally have the technology, know-how and spirit to finally create an existence where the basic needs of humanity are met, especially that deep sense of communion and comradery with our fellow-man which most of us are missing. More…
Surging to Failure
by Danny Sjursen
Posted March 25, 2017
Every now and then, I think back to the millions of people who turned out in this country and across the globe in early 2003 to protest the coming invasion of Iraq. Until the recent Women’s March against Donald Trump, that may have been the largest set of demonstrations in American history or, at the very least, the largest against a war that had yet to be launched.
Those who participated will remember that the protests were also a sea of homemade signs, some sardonic (“Remember when presidents were smart and bombs were dumb?”), some blunt (“Contain Saddam — and Bush”), some pointed indeed (“Pre-emptive war is terrorism”). There was even one humorous sign I noted then that seems relevant to our Dystrumpian moment and the president’s stated wishes to “keep” Iraqi oil: “How did USA’s oil get under Iraq’s sand?”
But here’s the essential thing: the invasion to come had disaster written all over it and millions of people saw that perfectly clearly. They were, of course, the ones who weren’t consulted then and would never be remembered when what they feared actually occurred and played out so catastrophically. Unlike those who got us into the Iraq nightmare, one of the great blunders of modern times, or those who later prosecuted the ongoing war there, they would never be asked for their reflections on it. More…
The Simple Healthcare Plan for all that Ought to Please Everyone
By Scott Baker
Posted March 25, 2017
On the eve of the great Obamacare repeal, or not, if conservative Republicans get their way, ironically, I thought I would offer my plan to replace Obamacare with something much better than Trumpcare (and it deserves to be called Trumpcare, because without President Trump, this repeal would have gone the way of the several dozen other repeal plans offered by Republicans during the last 8 years, and been vetoed by the president).
Liberals generally want some form of national health insurance that covers most, or all, medical expenses for all Americans. Conservatives want the government to tax and spend less and let Americans choose their own coverage, or even do without if they “choose” to (I put “choose” in quotes because it is never sufficiently explained, to me at least, what the conservative option is for someone who is inadequately covered who gets sick and can’t afford health care. Do we let them “die on the street” as president Trump famously said he would not do?). The Koch Brothers promise to fund an opposition candidate to Trump who opposes the current Ryan-Trump endorsed bill to be voted on today (which is changing dramatically even as I write this). They think it doesn’t go far enough, and indeed, the Ryan-Trump plan has been called Obamacare 0.5 for its reduction in support but not complete elimination. More…
WikiLeaks Dump Shows CIA Could Turn Smart TVs into Listening Devices
by Sam Biddle
Posted March 24, 2017
It’s difficult to buy a new TV that doesn’t come with a suite of (generally mediocre) “smart” software, giving your home theater some of the functions typically found in phones and tablets. But bringing these extra features into your living room means bringing a microphone, too — a fact the CIA is exploiting, according to a new trove of documents released today by WikiLeaks.
According to documents inside the cache, a CIA program named “Weeping Angel” provided the agency’s hackers with access to Samsung Smart TVs, allowing a television’s built-in voice control microphone to be remotely enabled while keeping the appearance that the TV itself was switched off, called “Fake-Off mode.” Although the display would be switched off, and LED indicator lights would be suppressed, the hardware inside the television would continue to operate, unbeknownst to the owner.
The method, co-developed with British intelligence, required implanting a given TV with malware—it’s unclear if this attack could be executed remotely, but the documentation includes reference to in-person infection via a tainted USB drive. Once the malware was inside the TV, it could relay recorded audio data to a third party (presumably a server controlled by the CIA) through the included network connection. More…
David Rockefeller: A Dark Legacy in Brazil, A Critical Obituary
By Brasil Wire
Posted March 24, 2017
On March 20, David Rockefeller died at the age of 101. As the obituaries for one of the world’s richest men gush over his philanthropy, it needs to be pointed out that he was a major player in several Latin American coups, supported extremely corrupt military dictatorships, post-dictatorship neoliberal policies that greatly exacerbated income stratification and poverty and that his dark legacy will continue to influence the region long after his death.
Countless academics have written about economic sabotage, often in cooperation with US business elites such as the Rockefeller family, as a component of US-backed coups in Latin America. From the ITT orchestrated Chilean copper boycott of 1972 to the Reagan administration’s economic destabilization of Nicaragua, to US efforts to sabotage the Venezuelan economy, progressive populism is to this day frequently met with US aggression, including media propaganda. More…
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