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Why the Political Class Freaked Out

[Politics]
Why the Political Class Freaked Out
by Robert E. Wright
Posted May 27, 2020

game theoryIt’s unsurprising that governments around the world have reacted so strongly to COVID-19. I think the game-theoretic model below explains the first round nicely. It also provides insight into what round two might look like.

If politicians act and the outcome is good, they can take credit and campaign on it for re-election, as many former military officers on both sides did by “waving the bloody shirt” of the Civil War for decades afterwards. A big win in other words.

If they act and the outcome is bad (i.e. if lots of people die) and again this is round one of the way politicians think, they can always portray it as a (comparatively) good come out with the refrain that “it’s a good thing we did something or this would have been much worse.” Some people will accept, while others reject, the validity of the statement—probably along party lines, so the expected outcome is better than in either of the two inaction squares. More…

Why Humanity Should Look To Its Roots As We Revillage Our Towns And Cities

[Community]
Why Humanity Should Look To Its Roots As We Revillage Our Towns And Cities
By April M. Short
Posted May 26, 2020

rebuilding communitiesOur current ways of living are life-threatening and unsustainable. Our increasingly individualized society is contributing to epidemic levels of loneliness and isolation, depression, anxiety and other mental health crises. There is a serious need for people to reconnect with community—and also with the planet as there is perhaps an inextricable link between our anxiety and depression epidemics, and the existential threat of climate change (which has very real physical, mental and emotional impacts).

Faced with this dire need for something to change, there is a growing movement of communities and individuals looking to new ways of living—and old ones.

The potential solution to all of the above issues could be as simple as looking back in time at the structures and cultural dynamics of our villager ancestors, explains Mark Lakeman, an urban architect, permaculture pioneer and national leader in the development of sustainable communities and public spaces. More…

David Stockman on the Destruction of the Financial Markets and What it Means for You

[Economic]
David Stockman on the Destruction of the Financial Markets and What it Means for You
by David Stockman
Posted May 25, 2020

the bailouts did not reform the systemOverwhelmingly, 90% of the households in America have been told that they’re the Energizer spending bunny of American economics, and if you don’t have enough wages this week, borrow some money on your credit card and just keep on spending.

This has created a hand-to-mouth economy that has no immunities—if you want to use that metaphor in an economic sense. It cannot cope, and it has no antibodies to fight back against the interruption of paychecks and cash flow.

There is going to be broken furniture everywhere as it filters through an economy that is sitting with $74 trillion of public and private debt on its back. That’s how much we have today.

People need to focus on this fact, that we thought we had a warning back when the great financial crisis occurred in 2008 when Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, the Great Recession, all that. More…

[Economic]
Jeff Bezos, World’s Richest Man, Wants Your Donations To Help Amazon Employees
by Alan Macleod
Posted May 24, 2020

richest man in the world wants your donations for his workersAmazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the world’s first centibillionaire, a man who vies with Bill Gates for the title of the planet’s richest individual, is asking the public for donations to provide basic support to his 800,000 employees who are suffering in poverty in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A man worth over $100 billion, who makes, on average, $230,000 per minute calling on the public to help his own impoverished employees was not met well by many. Amazon itself is worth over $1 trillion, and some felt Bezos himself was in a better position than others, especially members of the public also economically hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, to help his own staff. Furthermore, the company is notorious as a bad employer. Forced to forego bathroom breaks, many company warehouse workers are effectively compelled to wear diapers during their shifts. Other employees report working in unsafe environments and being punished for injuries sustained on the job. The company also does not provide its employees with regular access to clean water.

Amazon workers are poor. Really poor. In Arizona, for example, the company’s own data suggests that one in three employees depend upon food stamps to put food on the table. It is the twenty-eighth largest employer in the state. However, it ranked fifth on the list for most employees enrolled in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). More…

Genetically Modified Seeds: Conceived as a Weapon Part III

[Social]
Genetically Modified Seeds: Conceived as a Weapon Part III
By Larry Romanoff
Posted May 23, 2020

sprayinh gmo fieldGM seed is neither more productive nor healthier than traditional heritage crops, and is far more expensive and destructive, but it presents almost irresistible military advantages against any nation that becomes dependent on this source of food grains. One is that the US can use it as a political weapon, refusing to supply seed to a disfavored nation, perhaps causing widespread famine and dislocation. The other is more sinister, in that many groups have experimented with gene-splicing technology, inserting unrelated DNA into various seeds.

The US Defense Department has invested huge sums in research directed to splicing lethal genes into these GM crop seeds, including smallpox, bird and swine flu viruses, coronaviruses, the plague, AIDS, and more. As a military weapon, such science is priceless. Why begin a shooting war when Monsanto or Cargill can sell rice, corn and soybeans that contain smallpox, H5N1, or a coronavirus? When the seed is harvested and passes into the nation’s food supply it could, within weeks, exterminate 50% or more of the population without firing a single shot.

And this was precisely the reason GM seed was conceived and developed by the Americans. It is a weapon of war, designed and meant to deliver to a nation’s entire population a lethal virus or other disease, to literally exterminate an enemy with no risk to the aggressor. More…

America’s Super-Rich See Their Wealth Rise by $282 Billion in Three Weeks of Pandemic

[Social]
America’s Super-Rich See Their Wealth Rise by $282 Billion in Three Weeks of Pandemic
by Alan Macleod
Posted May 22, 2020

extreme wealthAmerica’s billionaires have accrued more wealth in the past three weeks alone than they made in total prior to 1980.

A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies found that, while tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, America’s ultra-wealthy elite have seen their net worth surge by $282 billion in just 23 days. This is despite the fact that the economy is expected to contract by 40 percent this quarter. The report also noted that between 1980 and 2020 the tax obligations of America’s billionaires, measured as a percentage of their wealth, decreased by 79 percent.

In the last 30 years, U.S. billionaire wealth soared by over 1100 percent while median household wealth increased by barely five percent. In 1990, the total wealth held by America’s billionaire class was $240 billion; today that number stands at $2.95 trillion. Thus, America’s billionaires accrued more wealth in just the past three weeks than they made in total prior to 1980. As a result, just three people ­– Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffet – own as much wealth as the bottom half of all U.S. households combined. More…

The Russians And The Chinese Are Your Enemy

[Politics][Social]
The Russians And The Chinese Are Your Enemy
by Caitlin Johnstone
Posted May 21, 2020

stop thinking
The Russians and the Chinese are your enemy.
Not the oligarchic class in your own country that has been exploiting, propagandizing, deceiving, oppressing and robbing you every moment of your life since you were born.
The Russians and the Chinese.

The Russians and the Chinese are your enemy.
Not the people who have been engineering and advancing endless bloodbaths around the world at no benefit to you using your money and your resources and your political energy.
The Russians and the Chinese.

The Russians and the Chinese are your enemy.
Not the sociopathic manipulators who give you two thieving, warmongering, power-worshipping sock puppets to choose from in fake election after fake election to give you the illusion of control.
The Russians and the Chinese.
 More…

 

The Will to Doubt: Bertrand Russell on Free Thought and Our Only Effective Self-Defense Against Propaganda

[Social]
The Will to Doubt: Bertrand Russell on Free Thought and Our Only Effective Self-Defense Against Propaganda
By Maria Popova
Posted May 20, 2020

propagandaThought is not “free” when legal penalties are incurred by the holding or not holding of certain opinions, or by giving expression to one’s belief or lack of belief on certain matters… The most elementary condition, if thought is to be free, is the absence of legal penalties for the expression of opinions.

Too much fuss is sometimes made about the fact that propaganda appeals to emotion rather than reason. The line between emotion and reason is not so sharp as some people think.

The objection to propaganda is not only its appeal to unreason, but still more the unfair advantage which it gives to the rich and powerful. Equality of opportunity among opinions is essential if there is to be real freedom of thought; and equality of opportunity among opinions can only be secured by elaborate laws directed to that end, which there is no reason to expect to see enacted. The cure is not to be sought primarily in such laws, but in better education and a more sceptical public opinion. More…

What is Behind the Push for a Cashless Society?

[Social]
What Is Behind the Push for a Cashless Society?
By John W. Whitehead
Posted May 19, 2020

cashless society is the ultimate surveillance systemDigital currency provides the government and its corporate partners with the ultimate method to track, control you and punish you.

In recent years, just the mere possession of significant amounts of cash could implicate you in suspicious activity and label you a criminal. The rationale (by police) is that cash is the currency for illegal transactions given that it’s harder to track, can be used to pay illegal immigrants, and denies the government its share of the “take,” so doing away with paper money will help law enforcement fight crime and help the government realize more revenue.

we’re already witnessing how easy it will be for government agents to manipulate digital wallets for their own gain. For example, civil asset forfeiture schemes are becoming even more profitable for police agencies thanks to ERAD (Electronic Recovery and Access to Data) devices supplied by the Department of Homeland Security that allow police to not only determine the balance of any magnetic-stripe card (i.e., debit, credit and gift cards) but also freeze and seize any funds on pre-paid money cards. In fact, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it does not violate the Fourth Amendment for police to scan or swipe your credit card. More…

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Quotable Sayings

billionaires don't EARN money, they MAKE money

You do not become a billionaire through labor. You become a billionaire through inheritance, corruption or economic rents – or, in most cases, some mixture of all three.

Grace Blakeley

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same puppet master pulling strings on both sides

Mainstream American liberals think they’re clear-eyed because they can see the propaganda strings being pulled by Fox and Donald Trump, and mainstream American conservatives think they’re clear-eyed because they can see the propaganda strings being pulled by MSNBC and the Democrats, but the propaganda strings on both trace back to the same puppet master. And seeing that is just the beginning.

Caitlin Johnstone

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discover your infinite worth

You alone are the judge of your worth and your goal is to discover infinite worth in yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks.

Deepak Chopra

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main stream media propaganda

It is obvious that the US government is destroying Assange to signal to journalists the consequences of publishing information. It is therefore also obvious that any journalist who fails to use whatever platform they have to speak out against Assange’s persecution has no intention of ever publishing anything that the US government doesn’t want published. Their silence on or support for what is being done to this man can and should be taken as an admission that they are nothing other than state propagandists.

Caitlin Johnstone

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truth is treason in an empire of lies

It’s quite fitting that the – imperially pre-determined – judicial fate of Julian Assange is being played out in Britain, the home of George Orwell.

Pepe Escobar

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More Quotable Sayings

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The Shocking Truth about Our Money System and How We Can Break Free!

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Great story on why we need to remove ALL of our elected government representatives
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