Monday, February 03, 2014

echo of past world war from davos...,


ex-skf |  In comparing the current Sino-Japan relationship to the British-German relationship right before the World War I.

Disconcerting remarks that seem to have freaked out many who attended the events (two separate events at Davos - confab of the rich and the powerful in the world), but there is hardly a peep about them in Japan. I don't think either remarks were reported by the Japanese media.

First, about the incredible Chinese professional, from Business Insider's Henry Blodget, who was at a dinner at Davos where he heard the following (1/22/2014; emphasis is mine):

I went to one of those fancy private dinners last night in Davos, Switzerland.

Like most of the events here at the 2014 World Economic Forum, the dinner was conducted under what are known as "Chatham House Rules," which means that I can't tell you who was there.

I can tell you what was said, though. And one thing that was said rattled a lot of people at the table.

During the dinner, the hosts passed a microphone around the table and asked guests to speak briefly about something that they thought would interest the group.

One of the guests, an influential Chinese professional, talked about the simmering conflict between China and Japan over a group of tiny islands in the Pacific.

China and Japan, you may recall, each claim ownership of these islands, which are little more than a handful of uninhabited rocks between Japan and Taiwan. Recently, the Japan-China tension around the islands has increased, and has led many analysts, including Ian Bremmer of the Eurasia Group, to worry aloud about the potential for a military conflict.

The Chinese professional at dinner last night did not seem so much worried about a military conflict as convinced that one was inevitable. And not because of any strategic value of the islands themselves (they're basically worthless), but because China and Japan increasingly hate each other.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Synarchism: The Root of Fascism and Fascist Root of __________________?

Synarchism - the fascist roots of the Wolfowitz cabal

wikipedia |  The most substantial early use of the word "synarchy" comes from the writings of Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre (1842–1909), who used the term in his book La France vraie to describe what he believed was the ideal form of government.[3] In reaction to the emergence of anarchist ideologies and movements, Saint-Yves elaborated a political formula which he believed would lead to a harmonious society. He defended social differentiation and hierarchy with collaboration between social classes, transcending conflict between social and economic groups: synarchy, as opposed to anarchy. Specifically, Saint-Yves envisioned a Federal Europe (as well as all the states it has integrated) with a corporatist government composed of three councils, one for academia, one for the judiciary, and one for commerce.

Rule by a secret elite Some conspiracy theorists use the word "synarchy" to describe a shadow government, a form of government where political power effectively rests with a secret elite, in contrast to an "oligarchy" where the elite is or could be known by the public.[5]

Occultism Some authors[who?] have claimed that Saint-Yves was a "theocratic occultist" who used "synarchy" to describe a form of government where political power effectively rests with secret societies or, more precisely, esoteric societies, which are composed of oracles. Furthermore he is supposed to have associated "synarchy" with the rule of "ascended masters" who lived in the subterranean caverns of Agartha and supposedly communicated with him telepathically.[6] However, other authors[who?] have described these claims about Saint-Yves as false and originating in occult conspiracy theories.[citation needed]

In Vichy France According to former OSS officer William Langer (Our Vichy Gamble, Alfred A Knopf, New York, 1947), there were French industrial and banking interests who "even before the war, had turned to Nazi Germany and had looked to Hitler as the savior of Europe from Communism. These people were as good fascists as any in Europe. Many of them had extensive and intimate business relations with German interests and were still dreaming of a new system of 'synarchy', which meant government of Europe on fascist principles by an international brotherhood of financiers and industrialists."

This theory allegedly originated with the discovery of a document called Pacte Synarchique following the death of Jean Coutrot, former member of Groupe X-Crise, on May 15, 1941. According to this document, a Mouvement Synarchique d'Empire had been founded in 1922, with the aim of abolishing parliamentarianism and replacing it with synarchy. This led to the belief that La Cagoule, a far-right organisation, was the armed branch of French synarchism, and that some important members of the Vichy Regime were synarchists. An investigation was in fact ordered by the Vichy government, leading to the Rapport Chavin[7] but no evidence for the existence of the Mouvement Synarchiste d'Empire was found. Most of the presumed synarchists were either associated with the Banque Worms or with Groupe X-Crise and were close to Admiral François Darlan, and this has led to the belief that synarchists had engineered the military defeat of France for the profit of Banque Worms.[8]

This belief system has been dismissed as a "work of a paranoid imagination which wove together the histories of three disparate groups of activists, creating a conspiracy among them where none existed".[9] In fact, some historians suspect that the Pacte Synarchique was a hoax created by some members of La Cagoule to weaken Darlan and his technocrats.[10]

Propaganda Due The Propaganda Due lodge (P2) was a "textbook example" of an attempt to establish a synarchy, as it united politicians, the Catholic Church, and the Mafia-controlled drug economy.[11]

LaRouche Lyndon LaRouche, leader of a controversial movement on the political fringe,[12][13] describes a wide-ranging historical phenomenon, starting with Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre and the Martinist Order followed by important individuals, organizations, movements and regimes that are alleged to have been synarchist, including the government of Nazi Germany.[14] He claims that during the Great Depression an international coalition of financial institutions, raw materials cartels, and intelligence operatives, installed fascist regimes throughout Europe (and tried to do so in Mexico) to maintain world order and prevent the repudiation of international debts.[15] LaRouche identifies the former U.S. Vice President and former PNAC member Dick Cheney as a modern "synarchist", and claims that "synarchists" have "a scheme for replacing regular military forces of nations, by private armies in the footsteps of a privately financed international Waffen-SS-like scheme, a force deployed by leading financier institutions, such as the multi-billions funding by the U.S. Treasury, of Cheney's Halliburton gang."[16]

Saturday, February 01, 2014

The Meaning Of Dieudonné


gilad |  Since the 1968 Student Revolution, the European and American Left, together with a herd of Jewish progressive intellectuals, have invested enormous effort in attempting to break society down into multiple segments of identities. 

The Left adopted this peculiar approach because it could never cope with its own failure to bond with working people. 

The Jewish intellectuals, who led the campaign, realized that fragmented and divided nations are far less dangerous for Jews. As we know, Jews are threatened by cohesive, patriotic nationalism, and for a good reason. After all, they were amongst the prime victims of such an ideology. 

Bizarrely enough, dazzled by the emerging false prophecy of post-68 ‘identity politics,’ the Left was quick to drop its universal ethos. While in the past it aimed to cross the divide and unite the working people, the post-68 Left actually split and ghettoized the Western subjects by means of identification.

Instead of being and celebrating who and what we are, we’ve learned to identify with ready-made soundbites. Rather than simply being Jill, Joseph, Abe or Youssef, we are now identified ‘as a woman’, ‘as a gay’, ‘as a Jew’, ‘as a Muslim’, and so on. In practice, the New Left has been erecting walls around us in an attempt to separate us into infinitesimally small, marginal identity groups. 

Peculiarly, it is the post-68 Left, rather than the capitalists, that drove us into segregation, isolation and political paralysis. 

But then, pretty much out of the blue, Dieudonné, a black French comedian, has managed to re-unite the working people: the migrant communities, the Black, the Muslim, the North African as well as the White proletarian and at the same time, to deliver a universal message.

Dieudonné has reminded us what the Left stood for in the first place, before it was conquered by Marcuse and his Frankfurt Yeshiva’s pals.  It is the French entertainer who brings to light the most instinctive Left insight -- we are actually united and identified in opposition to our oppressors, namely, the establishment.  

Alexandre Saint-Yves Alveydre

wikipedia | Alexandre Saint-Yves, Marquess of Alveydre (26 March 1842, Paris – 5 February 1909, Pau) was a French occultist who adapted the works of Fabre d'Olivet (1767–1825) and, in turn, had his ideas adapted by Papus. He developed the term Synarchy—the association of everyone with everyone else—into a political philosophy, and his ideas about this type of government proved influential in politics and the occult.

Saint-Yves used the term Synarchy in his book La France vraie to describe what he believed was the ideal form of government.[1] In reaction to the emergence of anarchist ideologies and movements, Saint-Yves had elaborated a more conservative political-theological formula over a series of 4 books from 1882 onwards which he believed would result in a harmonious society by considering it as an organic unity. This ideal was based partially on his idealised view of life in medieval Europe and also on his ideas about successful government in India, Atlantis and Ancient Egypt. He defended social differentiation and hierarchy with co-operation between social classes, transcending conflict between social and economic groups: Synarchy, as opposed to anarchy. Specifically, Saint-Yves envisioned a European society with a government composed of three councils, representing economic power, judicial power, and scientific community, of which the metaphysical chamber bound the whole structure together.[2] These ideas were also influenced by works such as Plato's The Republic and by Martinism.

As part of this concept of government Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre, gave an important role to secret societies or, more precisely, esoteric societies, which are composed of oracles and who safeguarded the government from behind the scenes. He saw the Rosicrucians as having fulfilled this role in medieval Europe and was involved with a number of Freemason and other groups who claimed descent from the Knights Templars.

Saint-Yves's main disciple was the prominent occultist Papus who established a number of societies based on Synarchist ideas. Other notable followers included Victor Blanchard (1878–1953), Nizier Anthelme Philippe, René A. Schwaller de Lubicz and Emile Dantinne. Saint-Yves' works were also utilised in the development of Theosophy and Rudolf Steiner used Synarchy as a major influence in developing his political thought.

Saint-Yves's ideas influenced the turbulent French politics of the early twentieth century where they served as a model for a number of right-wing groups and also in Mexico where synarchist groups have had a major political role. Theories concerning Synarchcist groups also have become a key element in a number of conspiracy theories.

Friday, January 31, 2014

SADM: special atomic demolition munitions


foreignpolicy |  Documents from the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) show that America's nuclear weapons developers were happy to support the Army's quest for tactical nukes. In 1957, according to an AEC history, Sandia Corporation President James McRae lamented that "indiscriminate use of high-yield nuclear weapons inevitably created adverse public opinion." Since the future of war lay in an "unending succession of brushfire wars, rather than large-scale conflicts," McRae recommended that "greater emphasis should be placed on small atomic weapons," which could be used in "local ground combat."

McRae's urgings paved the way for the development of the Davy Crockett, a sub-kiloton-yield nuclear rocket that could fit on the back of a jeep. In 1958, when the Army came knocking for an atomic demolition munition that could be carried by a single soldier, the AEC looked to the Crockett's lightweight Mark 54 warhead for its solution. The resulting weapon would be a smaller, more mobile version of the ADMs. The Army, though, would have to share the device with the Navy and Marine Corps.

The AEC's final product -- the B-54 Special Atomic Demolition Munition -- entered the U.S. arsenal in 1964. It stood 18 inches tall, encased in an aluminum and fiberglass frame. It rounded to a bullet shape on one end and had a 12-inch-diameter control panel on the other. According to an Army manual, the weapon's maximum explosive yield was less than 1 kiloton -- that is, the equivalent of a thousand tons of TNT. To protect the bomb from unauthorized use, the SADM's control panel was sealed by a cover plate secured by a combination lock. Glow-in-the-dark paint applied to the lock allowed troops to unlock the bomb at night.

As Soviet forces advanced into such countries as West Germany, the SADM would allow Special Forces units (dubbed "Green Light" teams) to deploy behind enemy lines to destroy infrastructure and matériel. But their mission wouldn't have been limited to NATO countries alone. What many nuclear historians don't realize is that Special Forces Green Light teams were also prepared to use SADMs on territory of the Warsaw Pact itself in order to thwart an invasion. The teams prepared to destroy enemy airfields, tank depots, nodes in the anti-aircraft grid, and any potentially useful transportation infrastructure in order to mitigate the flood of enemy armor and to allow allied air power to punch through. According to an internal report, the Army also considered burying SADMs next to enemy bunkers "to destroy critical field command and communications installations."

Navy SEALs and Army Special Forces were trained to reach their targets by air, land, and sea. They could parachute behind enemy lines from cargo planes or helicopters. Teams specializing in scuba missions could swim the bomb to its destination if necessary. (The AEC built an airtight, pressurized case that allowed divers to submerge the bomb to depths of up to 200 feet.) One Special Forces team even trained to ski with the weapon in the Bavarian Alps, though not without some difficulty. "It skied down the mountain; you did not," said Bill Flavin, who commanded a Special Forces SADM team. "If it shifted just a little bit, that was it. You were out of control on the slopes with that thing."

Special Forces thus turned to teams trained in special high-altitude parachute jumps and scuba diving to deliver the weapon. Team leaders were allowed to choose which of their men would receive training on the weapon in order to make sure their units could pass the Army's periodic, demanding nuclear surety inspections. "The people with the best records, the people with the most experience, usually ended up on the SADM team because they had to pass the surety inspection," said Flavin. To receive SADM qualification, soldiers also had to be screened through the Defense Department's personnel reliability program to make sure they were trustworthy and mentally stable.

Some men approached for the mission were gung-ho; others were less so. "Of course everybody would volunteer. That wasn't a problem," said Capt. Davis. "We did it because, hey, it was gee-whiz. It was a neat thing to do, and I wanted to learn about it." But when Green Light team member Ken Richter began interviewing potential candidates, he said, not everyone was as enthusiastic: "I had a lot of people that I interviewed for our team. Once they found out what the mission was, they said, 'No, thanks. I'd rather go back to Vietnam.'"

having served their purpose, disinfo operations finally get digested and excreted through the larouchian sphincter whale.to...,


terrorism-illuminati | The so-called experts of the History Channel’s ludicrous Ancient Aliens series are actually crackpot researchers who, with the assistance of certain covert government agencies, are communicating Masonic interpretations of history based on the legends of the Kabbalah, to present the devil and his legions, also known as the Fallen Angels, as having been the secret guardians of humanity over the centuries, and who will soon disclose their existence, to lead a one world government and herald the coming a of New Age.

Since the earliest times, mysticism centered around the worship of the stars and planets, who were revered as living gods, the most important ones being Venus or the star Sirius. This tradition was preserved in the West through astrology and alchemy, and reinterpreted in the late nineteenth century during the Occult Revival. The era derived from the perception that Western society had become overly skeptical, and attracted audience by promising contact with “supernatural” phenomena.
Séances then become very popular. The being contacted were typically interpreted as being souls of the dead, or human beings who had advanced to higher dimensions, and other times, as beings from other planets. And it is from these practices that so-called contact with “extra-terrestrials” evolved.

As the highly-respected UFO researcher Jacques Vallée demonstrated, there is very strong evidence the contactees have experienced contact with something, but those experience do not follow the typical science-fiction scenario popularized by the media, but rather, the same experiences described over the centuries with beings called demons, fairies, ghosts and genies, or what are called Jinn in Islam. And many so-called cover-up documents, like the MJ-12 papers, have been proven to be government-assisted hoaxes. As Brenda Denzler noted, in The Lure of the Edge: Scientific Passions, Religious Beliefs, and the Pursuit of UFOs, “the contactee movement was, in effect, a conduit through which established spiritualist and Theosophical ideas and practices moved into the UFO community.”[1]

The leading personality behind this trend was H. P. Blavatsky, a British and Russian agent, and founder of the Theosophical society, who is regarded as the godmother of the New Age movement, and whose books are considered “scriptures” for Freemasonry.

The Ancient Astronauts hypothesis, also known as Ancient Aliens, is related to the “White Gods” theories, developed from the Aryan racism of Theosophy, that was later adopted by the Nazis. Basically, the theory purports that ancient cultures like those of the Egyptians and the Maya, were visited by Caucasian civilizers who were ignorantly worshipped by primitive peoples as “gods.”
These ideas are derived from Kabbalistic interpretations of the Book of Genesis, which recounts the story of the Nephilim. Translated into English as “sons of God,” they refer to Lucifer and his legions who were cast out of Heaven, the so-called Fallen Angels, who descended to earth and interbred with the female descendants of Cain, to whom they taught magic. Thus they supposedly created a superior race, the Aryans, who have been preserving the “Ancient Wisdom” ever since.

The veneration of ancient Egypt derived from Rosicrucian traditions of Scottish Rite and Egyptian Rite Freemasonry, which claimed to follow a Christian Gnostic tradition inherited from the Ancient Mysteries of Egypt, founded on the worship of the dying-gods, Osiris and Sirius.

but it had some strange twists and turns and was ongoing in the u.k. as well as the u.s...,


wikipedia |  The extraterrestrial spacecraft can readily cross the vast distances between their planet and Earth at many times the speed of light, but are too small to carry more than one or two crew members. Their time on station is limited: UFOs can only survive for a couple of days in Earth's atmosphere before they heat up, deteriorate and finally explode. The alien craft can survive for far longer underwater; one episode, "Reflections in the Water", deals with the discovery of a secret undersea alien base, which shows one UFO flying straight out of an extinct volcano, which Straker describes as "a back door to the Atlantic". A special underwater version of the standard UFO design is seen in "Sub Smash". In flight they are surrounded by horizontally spinning vanes and emit a distinctive pulsing electronic whine that sounds like a Shoooe-Wheeeh![1] (This was produced by series composer Barry Gray, on an Ondes Martenot.) The craft is armed with a laser-type weapon, and conventional explosive warheads can destroy it. The personal arms of the aliens resemble shiny metal submachine guns; these have a lower rate of fire than those used by SHADO. Later episodes such as "The Cat with Ten Lives" show the aliens using other weapons, such as a small device that paralyses victims.

The show's concept was unusually dark for its time: the basic premise was that Earth had not simply been visited by extraterrestrial visitors, but indeed was under brutal alien attack, and that alien invaders were abducting humans to use as involuntary organ transplant donors. A later episode, "The Cat With Ten Lives," contains a sinister plot point which suggests that the UFO pilots are not humanoid aliens at all, but are in fact human abductees under the control of the alien intelligences, suggesting that, as in Captain Scarlet, the aliens, in the dialogue of Dr. Jackson, "may have no physical being at all and therefore need a container, a vehicle – our bodies".

The show also featured realistic, believable relationships between the human characters to a far greater extent than usual in a typical science fiction series, showing the clear influence of American programmes like The Twilight Zone and Star Trek and British action series such as Danger Man. One early episode, "Computer Affair," suggested an interracial romance between two continuing characters – something that was uncommon in British TV of the period – while others showed the heroes making mistakes with sometimes fatal consequences. Furthermore, relatively few episodes of the series actually had happy or (for the characters) satisfying endings.

The episode "Confetti Check A-OK" is almost entirely devoted to the breakdown of Straker's marriage under the strain of maintaining the secrecy of the classified nature of his duties. "A Question Of Priorities" takes this exploration further, and hinges on Straker having to make the life-or-death choice of whether to divert a SHADO aircraft to deliver life-saving medical supplies to his critically injured son, or allow the aircraft to continue on its mission to attempt a last-chance intercept against an incoming UFO. Two key images from "A Question Of Priorities" – Straker's son being struck down and his ex-wife declaring she never wants to see him again – are repeated in flashback in two subsequent episodes, "Sub Smash" and "Mindbender," suggesting that Straker remains haunted by these unresolved emotional issues.

Another episode, "The Square Triangle," centres on a woman and her lover who plan to murder her husband. When they accidentally kill an alien from a downed UFO instead, SHADO intervenes and doses the guilty pair with amnesia drugs. (This was decades ahead of a similar story device in Men in Black, and it was one that was deployed for similar reasons.) Straker realises, however, that the drugs will not affect their basic motivation and, worse, he cannot reveal the truth to local legal authorities. The end credits of this episode run over a scene set in the near future, showing the woman visiting her husband's grave and then walking away to meet her lover.

not sure what they were working on that prompted them to renew the disinfo program from the 50's...,


wikipedia | The series was produced by Quinn Martin, who was looking for a show to replace the immensely popular The Fugitive, which was ending its run in 1967. Larry Cohen, the show's creator, had conceived two earlier series with similarities to The Invaders. Chuck Connors starred in Branded (1965) as a soldier court-martialed for cowardice, who traveled the West searching for witnesses and proof that he had acted valiantly, and Coronet Blue (1967) about Michael Alden, a man suffering from amnesia who was being pursued by a powerful group of people. All he could remember were the words "Coronet Blue".

Another inspiration was the wave of "alien doppelgänger" films which had come ten years before in the 1950s, typified by Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and the British film Quatermass 2 (1957), known in America as Enemy from Space. While these paranoid tales of extraterrestrials who lived among us, posing as humans while planning a takeover, are usually linked with a Red Scare subtext, Martin simply wanted a premise that would keep the hero moving around and that would explain why he could not go to the authorities (i.e. not only had some aliens infiltrated human institutions already, but most humans would dismiss a claim of alien invasion as a paranoid delusion), however as the series unfolded the various 'disappearances' of people in episodes (killed by The Invaders, such as Vincent's partner - James Daly - in the pilot, etc.), those installed alien figures revealed to be aliens by Vincent thus having to withdraw (such as Edward Andrews' character in 'The Mutation' etc.) plus the surviving one or two key human witnesses in most episodes (from the third episode onwards) did rather alter the basic premise of the show to something deeper and more thought provoking early on.

The basic idea of just ONE man standing between Earth being invaded by an entire alien force with advanced technology, rather stretched viewer credibility (and hardly made the aliens themselves look very impressive as Vincent consistently turned up everywhere and defeated them each week), the episodes do however have curious undercurrents both re the political overtones and quite subtle hints that more was going on than at first appeared, making it a far more compelling show than it first seems, anticipating later such shows as' The X Files' and 'Dark Skies' etc., which were clearly influenced to a degree by 'The Invaders'.

The flying saucer design was influenced by two famous UFO photographs. The first case happened in 1965 in Santa Ana, California. On August 3, the highway traffic engineer Rex Heflin took several pictures of a flying craft, while working near the Santa Ana freeway. Heflin did not report his sighting, but the photographs were published by the Santa Ana Register on September 20, 1965. The second is the Adamski case. On December 13, 1952 in Palomar Gardens, California, USA, the contactee George Adamski took a series of photographs through his telescope, of a bell-shaped craft, today well known as the Adamski Scout Ship. The upper hull, and flat top from the Heflin case were combined with the bell-shaped outer flange and three rings of the Adamski case. The five hemispheres in the bottom of the craft seem to emulate the three semispheres in the Adamski Scout Ship.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

stop listening to the rich and stupid


slate | Concurrently with the publication of the Perkins letter, a fair swathe of the world’s elite was gathered in Davos, Switzerland, for a conference based on the presumption that a Tom Perkins would never write a stupid letter. The presumption of the annual World Economic Forum meeting is that leading policymakers and scholars ought to mingle with very, very, very rich businessmen (and, yes, it’s overwhelmingly men) to talk about the leading issues of the day. The idea, in other words, is that CEOs and major investors have unique and important insights on pressing public policy issues. After all, they’re so rich! How could they not be smart?

Well, ask Tom Perkins. Or ask Michael Jordan how he could be so good at playing basketball and yet so bad at owning and managing the Charlotte Bobcats.

Outside the business world, we tend to take it for granted that just because you’re good at one thing doesn’t automatically make you a mastermind at other things. Nobody expects Taylor Swift to make important contributions to a panel on sustainable growth in Africa or rethinking global food security. But the Davos panels on such topics always include a rich executive from the business world.

Because who better to solve the world’s problems than the people who benefit from the status quo?
Of course, if there were just one somewhat obnoxious conference like Davos, it wouldn’t be a big deal. But the Davos mentality—the assumption that managing a for-profit enterprise gives you special insight into social ills—is all around us, from the Aspen Ideas Festival on down. It has also infested more formalized policymaking settings. Rich businesspeople wield disproportionate interest in the political system simply through their ability to make campaign contributions and hire lobbyists. But over and beyond that, they are regularly invited to enter policymaking circles.

In the early months of his administration, President Obama held a summit with bank CEOs to discuss the state of the financial system. He did a big roundtable with tech CEOs in December. Back in 2011, he made a big deal out of creating a council on jobs and competitiveness headed by General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt and largely composed of other business titans. And yet a staple of Republican criticism of Obama during his first term was that he didn’t do enough of this kind of thing and his administration lacked firsthand business experience. Finance whiz kid Mitt Romney was supposed to turn things around with his business savvy.

microbial market theory...,


wustl | The idea that people make calculated decisions that allow them to obtain the most goods with the smallest amount of effort — a complex hypothesis called ‘economic man’ for short — often has been challenged. People sometimes make irrational decisions, they rarely possess sufficient information to make the best decision, and they sometimes act against their own economic self-interest, critics say.

But none of these critiques is as radical as the one advanced in the Jan. 13 online issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Written by an international team of researchers, it was inspired by a workshop on biological markets (transactions in which partners, typically animals, exchange commodities for their mutual benefit) held at the Lorentz Center of the University of Leiden in The Netherlands in January. (Visit here for the agenda.)

The scientists asked themselves how far biological market theory, which has been used successfully to explain cooperative behavior in many species, could be extended. Could it be used to describe, for example, the exchange of commodities between organisms without any cognitive ability, such as microbes? 

They could think of instances where single-celled organisms had been shown to avoid bad trading partners, build local business ties, diversify or specialize in a particular commodity, save for a rainy day, eliminate the competition and otherwise behave in ways that seem to follow market-based principles.

They concluded not only that microbes are economic actors, but also that microbial markets can be useful systems for testing questions about biological markets in general, such as the evolution of partner choice, responses to price fluctuations and the identification of market conditions that drive diversification or specialization.

They even foresee practical applications of the work. It might be possible, for example, to manipulate ‘market conditions’ in crop fields to drive nitrogen-fixing bacteria to trade more of their commodity (a biologically available form of nitrogen) with crop plants.

“Creative insights are often easier when theories from one field are explored in a different system as we do here, applying economic concepts to microbial interactions,” said Joan Strassmann, PhD, the Charles Rebstock Professor of Biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, who participated in the workshop and helped write the PNAS paper.

“The microscopic nature of microbial systems means it is easy to misunderstand their interactions; an economic framework helps us focus on what is important,” said David Queller, PhD, the Spencer T. Olin Professor of Biology, another of the brainstorming scientists.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

interwebs the greatest legal facilitator of inequality in human history?


theatlantic | In the past, the most efficient businesses created lots of middle class jobs. In 1914, Henry Ford shocked the industrial world by doubling the pay of assembly line workers to $5 a day. Ford wasn’t merely being generous. He helped to create the middle class, by reasoning that a higher paid workforce would be able them to buy more cars and thus would grow his business.

Ford’s success trickled down, as other companies followed his lead. Automotive companies not only employed numerous well paid workers but they created a large demand for other product and services that employed millions more—steel, glass, machine tools, auto dealers and dealerships, gas stations, mechanics, bridges, roads, and construction equipment. The workers in those industries purchased homes, appliances, and clothes creating still more jobs.

One reason we are failing to create a vibrant middle class is that the Internet affects the economy differently than the new businesses of the past did., forcing businesses and their workers to face increased global competition. It reduces the barriers for moving jobs overseas. It has a smaller economic trickle-down effect.

Doing some of the obvious things like raising the minimum wage to fight the effects of the Internet will probably worsen the problem. For example, it will make it more difficult for bricks-and-mortar retailers to compete with online retailers.

Surprisingly, the much-vilified Walmart probably does more to help middle class families raise their median income than the more productive Amazon. Walmart hires about one employee for every $200,000 in sales, which translates to roughly three times more jobs per dollar of sales than Amazon. Raising the minimum wage will also make it more difficult to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. The Internet is not the sole force driving income inequality in the U.S. Our languishing education system is a major contributor to the problem. But two things are certain: the Internet is creating many of those in the ultra-wealthy 1%; and it forces businesses to compete with capable international competitors while providing the tools so that businessmen can squeeze inefficiency out of the system in order to remain competitive.

If the government is going to be in the business of redistributing wealth, a better approach would be to raise the earned income tax credit and increase taxes to pay for it. Not only would this raise the income of low paid workers, but also it would subsidize businesses so they would be more competitive in world markets and encourage them to create jobs. Since the minimum wage would not go up, moving jobs overseas would be a less attractive alternative.

If policy makers want to attack income inequality, they must pay more attention to the ways in which the Internet is affecting their businesses. If we ignore the power of the Internet when making policy decisions, we are in danger of allowing it to become the greatest legal facilitator of income inequality in the history of the planet.

worsening inequality is the inevitable outcome of free market capitalism


NYTimes | Thomas Piketty’s new book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” described by one French newspaper as a “a political and theoretical bulldozer,” defies left and right orthodoxy by arguing that worsening inequality is an inevitable outcome of free market capitalism.

Piketty, a professor at the Paris School of Economics, does not stop there. He contends that capitalism’s inherent dynamic propels powerful forces that threaten democratic societies.
Capitalism, according to Piketty, confronts both modern and modernizing countries with a dilemma: entrepreneurs become increasingly dominant over those who own only their own labor. In Piketty’s view, while emerging economies can defeat this logic in the near term, in the long run, “when pay setters set their own pay, there’s no limit,” unless “confiscatory tax rates” are imposed.

Piketty’s book — published four months ago in France and due out in English this March — suggests that traditional liberal government policies on spending, taxation and regulation will fail to diminish inequality. Piketty has also delivered and posted a series of lectures in French and English outlining his argument.

Conservative readers will find that Piketty’s book disputes the view that the free market, liberated from the distorting effects of government intervention, “distributes,” as Milton Friedman famously put it, “the fruits of economic progress among all people. That’s the secret of the enormous improvements in the conditions of the working person over the past two centuries.”

Piketty proposes instead that the rise in inequality reflects markets working precisely as they should: “This has nothing to do with a market imperfection: the more perfect the capital market, the higher” the rate of return on capital is in comparison to the rate of growth of the economy. The higher this ratio is, the greater inequality is.

In a 20-page review for the June issue of the Journal of Economic Literature that has already caused a stir, Branko Milanovic, an economist in the World Bank’s research department, declared:

“I am hesitant to call Thomas Piketty’s new book Capital in the 21st Century one of the best books in economics written in the past several decades. Not that I do not believe it is, but I am careful because of the inflation of positive book reviews and because contemporaries are often poor judges of what may ultimately prove to be influential. With these two caveats, let me state that we are in the presence of one of the watershed books in economic thinking.”

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

what drives success?


NYTimes | A SEEMINGLY un-American fact about America today is that for some groups, much more than others, upward mobility and the American dream are alive and well. It may be taboo to say it, but certain ethnic, religious and national-origin groups are doing strikingly better than Americans overall.

Indian-Americans earn almost double the national figure (roughly $90,000 per year in median household income versus $50,000). Iranian-, Lebanese- and Chinese-Americans are also top-earners. In the last 30 years, Mormons have become leaders of corporate America, holding top positions in many of America’s most recognizable companies. These facts don’t make some groups “better” than others, and material success cannot be equated with a well-lived life. But willful blindness to facts is never a good policy.

Jewish success is the most historically fraught and the most broad-based. Although Jews make up only about 2 percent of the United States’ adult population, they account for a third of the current Supreme Court; over two-thirds of Tony Award-winning lyricists and composers; and about a third of American Nobel laureates.

The most comforting explanation of these facts is that they are mere artifacts of class — rich parents passing on advantages to their children — or of immigrants arriving in this country with high skill and education levels. Important as these factors are, they explain only a small part of the picture.

Today’s wealthy Mormon businessmen often started from humble origins. Although India and China send the most immigrants to the United States through employment-based channels, almost half of all Indian immigrants and over half of Chinese immigrants do not enter the country under those criteria. Many are poor and poorly educated. Comprehensive data published by the Russell Sage Foundation in 2013 showed that the children of Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese immigrants experienced exceptional upward mobility regardless of their parents’ socioeconomic or educational background.

Take New York City’s selective public high schools like Stuyvesant and Bronx Science, which are major Ivy League feeders. For the 2013 school year, Stuyvesant High School offered admission, based solely on a standardized entrance exam, to nine black students, 24 Hispanics, 177 whites and 620 Asians. Among the Asians of Chinese origin, many are the children of restaurant workers and other working-class immigrants.

Merely stating the fact that certain groups do better than others — as measured by income, test scores and so on — is enough to provoke a firestorm in America today, and even charges of racism. The irony is that the facts actually debunk racial stereotypes.

There are some black and Hispanic groups in America that far outperform some white and Asian groups. Immigrants from many West Indian and African countries, such as Jamaica, Ghana, and Haiti, are climbing America’s higher education ladder, but perhaps the most prominent are Nigerians. Nigerians make up less than 1 percent of the black population in the United States, yet in 2013 nearly one-quarter of the black students at Harvard Business School were of Nigerian ancestry; over a fourth of Nigerian-Americans have a graduate or professional degree, as compared with only about 11 percent of whites.

Cuban-Americans in Miami rose in one generation from widespread penury to relative affluence. By 1990, United States-born Cuban children — whose parents had arrived as exiles, many with practically nothing — were twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to earn over $50,000 a year. All three Hispanic United States senators are Cuban-Americans.

Meanwhile, some Asian-American groups — Cambodian- and Hmong-Americans, for example — are among the poorest in the country, as are some predominantly white communities in central Appalachia.

MOST fundamentally, groups rise and fall over time. The fortunes of WASP elites have been declining for decades. In 1960, second-generation Greek-Americans reportedly had the second-highest income of any census-tracked group. Group success in America often tends to dissipate after two generations. Thus while Asian-American kids overall had SAT scores 143 points above average in 2012 — including a 63-point edge over whites — a 2005 study of over 20,000 adolescents found that third-generation Asian-American students performed no better academically than white students.

The fact that groups rise and fall this way punctures the whole idea of “model minorities” or that groups succeed because of innate, biological differences. Rather, there are cultural forces at work.
It turns out that for all their diversity, the strikingly successful groups in America today share three traits that, together, propel success. The first is a superiority complex — a deep-seated belief in their exceptionality. The second appears to be the opposite — insecurity, a feeling that you or what you’ve done is not good enough. The third is impulse control.

the burglary that exposed the fbi's domestic surveillance and war on black folks...,


npr |  An Agency Revealed
Medsger's new book, The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI, covers the history of that episode, and the revelations those documents helped bring to light.

For one, the FBI had been opening files on so-called subversives — including people who simply wrote letters to the editor objecting to the war in Vietnam. The papers also showed the FBI was encouraging agents to infiltrate schools and churches in the black community using secret informants, turning people against each other.

"I think most striking in the Media files at first was a statement that had to do with the philosophy, the policy of the FBI," Medsger says. "And it was a document that instructed agents to enhance paranoia, to make people feel there's an FBI agent behind every mailbox."

Powerful stuff for people like John Raines, who had traveled south as a Freedom Rider and marched in Selma, Ala., on Bloody Sunday.

"The distinction between being a criminal and breaking laws is very important," he says. "When the law, or when the institutions that enforce laws [and] interpret laws, become the crime as happened in J. Edgar Hoover's FBI, then the only way to stop that crime from happening is to expose what's going on."

Before long, the purloined files from that tiny FBI office published by Medsger and other reporters began to attract wide attention. It took years and revelations by other reporters and a congressional investigation led by Sen. Frank Church, but eventually lawmakers did rein in the FBI and the CIA.
Medsger's new book about the FBI investigation fills in some details. Hundreds of agents were dispatched to find the burglars. The FBI narrowed its search, building profiles of seven prime suspects. But they got almost all of the suspects wrong.

The burglars had been meticulous. They left no fingerprints, and they surreptitiously photocopied the files at the colleges where they taught. FBI agents did visit Raines, but he deflected their inquiries.
"With no physical evidence left from the burglary itself, they were faced with having to sort through a thousand or 2,000 suspects, and that was an overwhelming job, which of course did overwhelm them," John Raines says. "They never found us."

The burglars went about their lives, vowing never again to talk or meet to protect their secret. John Raines started writing the first of many books. His wife, Bonnie, a child and family advocate, describes carrying on this way: "In my case, it was working and pursuing a degree and driving carpool."

paranoia of the plutocrats


NYTimes | But every group finds itself facing criticism, and ends up on the losing side of policy disputes, somewhere along the way; that’s democracy. The question is what happens next. Normal people take it in stride; even if they’re angry and bitter over political setbacks, they don’t cry persecution, compare their critics to Nazis and insist that the world revolves around their hurt feelings. But the rich are different from you and me.

And yes, that’s partly because they have more money, and the power that goes with it. They can and all too often do surround themselves with courtiers who tell them what they want to hear and never, ever, tell them they’re being foolish. They’re accustomed to being treated with deference, not just by the people they hire but by politicians who want their campaign contributions. And so they are shocked to discover that money can’t buy everything, can’t insulate them from all adversity.

I also suspect that today’s Masters of the Universe are insecure about the nature of their success. We’re not talking captains of industry here, men who make stuff. We are, instead, talking about wheeler-dealers, men who push money around and get rich by skimming some off the top as it sloshes by. They may boast that they are job creators, the people who make the economy work, but are they really adding value? Many of us doubt it — and so, I suspect, do some of the wealthy themselves, a form of self-doubt that causes them to lash out even more furiously at their critics.

Anyway, we’ve been here before. It’s impossible to read screeds like those of Mr. Perkins or Mr. Schwarzman without thinking of F.D.R.’s famous 1936 Madison Square Garden speech, in which he spoke of the hatred he faced from the forces of “organized money,” and declared, “I welcome their hatred.”

President Obama has not, unfortunately, done nearly as much as F.D.R. to earn the hatred of the undeserving rich. But he has done more than many progressives give him credit for — and like F.D.R., both he and progressives in general should welcome that hatred, because it’s a sign that they’re doing something right.

Monday, January 27, 2014

1% tryna play that Godwin's Law card...,

wsj |  Regarding your editorial "Censors on Campus" (Jan. 18): Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its "one percent," namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the "rich."

From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent. 

There is outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them. We have outrage over the rising real-estate prices which these "techno geeks" can pay. We have, for example, libelous and cruel attacks in the Chronicle on our number-one celebrity, the author Danielle Steel, alleging that she is a "snob" despite the millions she has spent on our city's homeless and mentally ill over the past decades.

This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent "progressive" radicalism unthinkable now? 

San Francisco
Mr. Perkins is a founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

bond villains pretending to be "good guys"...,


motherjones |  In his new book, Windfall, journalist McKenzie Funk visits five continents to bring back stories of the movers and shakers at the forefront of the emerging business of global warming. He introduces us to land and water speculators, Greenland secessionists hoping to bankroll their cause with newly thawed mineral wealth, Israeli snow makers, Dutch seawall developers, wannabe geoengineers, private firefighters, mosquito scientists, and others who stand to benefit (at least in the short term) from climate change. (See this short excerpt, in which he writes about a guy who launched the world's first water rights hedge fund.)

Windfall is fascinating, entertaining, and ultimately troubling as the author uncovers more and more evidence of what he calls the implicit "unevenness" of global warming, and the futility and/or unfairness of our approaches to dealing with it. I reached Funk at his home in Seattle to chat about California's impending drought, why man-made volcanoes won't save us, and how Hurricane Sandy (figuratively) blew him away.

Mother Jones: How do you supposed your water hedge fund guy, John Dickerson, feels about California facing its worst drought in 40 years?

McKenzie Funk: He doesn't consider himself a bad guy. He thinks that he plays a necessary role in moving water from where it is to where it needs to be for things to happen, and I respect that. He told me that California is a bit of a harder market to enter, mostly because there are a few others doing this, and a lot of his plays have been farther upstream in the Colorado system, so I don't think it'll have a huge effect on his bottom line immediately.

MJ: But drought in California will affect water futures in other states, right?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I'll be intentionally biting my own tongue....,

umkc | The Division of Diversity and Inclusion at theUniversity of Missouri-Kansas City will bring an advocate for social justice to its campus later this month as part of the university’s annual tribute to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Melissa V. Harris-Perry, host of MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry,” will serve as the keynote speaker at the Martin Luther King Lecture Program at 6 p.m. on Jan. 27 at the UMKC Swinney Recreation Center. The “Melissa Harris-Perry” show airs on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon.
A book signing will take place from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m., prior to the lecture.
Harris-Perry is author of the well-received book, “Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America” (Yale 2011). The book argues that stereotypes – invisible to many but painfully familiar to black women – profoundly shape black women’s politics, contribute to policies that treat them unfairly, and make it difficult for black women to assert their rights in the political arena.
She is a professor of political science at Tulane University and the founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race and Politics in the South. Harris-Perry is known for her in-depth knowledge of politics regarding African Americans, gender and religion; U.S. public opinion and elections; and political psychology.
Professor Harris-Perry is a columnist for The Nation magazine where she also writes a monthly column, also titled Sister Citizen.

is this the accidental end of marriage, family, religion, and capitalism?


HuffPo | What if the next big thing really isn't a thing at all? What if it's a way? And what if this way doesn't bring neatly folded answers but rather a basket of disheveled questions? Often what moves our world goes unnoticed because we are looking somewhere else for something else.

I am ever amazed at what I accidentally learn on the way to seemingly more important things. I was recently part of a blue-ribbon panel on the future viability of retirement. The primary topic of conversation was the impending specter of a maddening throng of boomers using the political process to tip the scales of economic fortune in their favor to the detriment of all others. Prevailing logic has it that my generation will use its strength in numbers at the voting booth to maintain the status quo. This assumes that the generations that follow us will naturally carry the burden of our age. Yet, what has been lost in the conversation is the possibility that Millennials -- our semi-adult 20-something children -- might just opt out of our plan and more importantly our world view.

Many young people are now taking the opposite track of their parents' and eschewing social and economic convention to challenge what we take to be civil society. On our way to developing innovative solutions to our imminent retirement debacle I learned from some of the most credible researchers on the planet that our children aren't marrying; they have become the refuseniks of our competitive corporate culture and have effectively eschewed organized religion and even a belief in the almighty.

It is indeed difficult to imagine a world absent of marriage, capitalism and religion. For many of us these are the reliable struts that keep us upright and brace us when our world is akilter. But try as we might to hold firm to our ways the turn and churn of it all leaves us spinning. True innovation is born out in the very places where there is no solid ground.

Perhaps we should start with perfunctory look at some facts that suggest such an outrageous teaser:

sleepwalking to a global energy crisis...,


guardian | A conference sponsored by a US military official convened experts in Washington DC and London warning that continued dependence on fossil fuels puts the world at risk of an unprecedented energy crunch that could inflame financial crisis and exacerbate dangerous climate change

The 'Transatlantic Energy Security Dialogue', which took place on 10th December last year, was co-organised by a US Army official, Lieutenant Colonel Daniel L. Davis, operating in a private capacity, in association with former petroleum geologist Jeremy Leggett, covener of the UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security. 

Participants, who addressed one another via video link, consisted of retired military officers, security experts, senior industry executives, and politicians from the main parties - including two former UK ministers. According to US Army colonel Daniel Davis, a veteran of four tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, and regular contributor to the Armed Forces Journal:
"We put the event together because the prevailing idea that we have a bright future of increasing oil and gas production that can sustain our current way of life indefinitely is based on a selective appraisal of the data. We brought together experts from across the spectrum, and with a wide range of opinions, to have a comprehensive look at all the relevant data. When you only look at certain things, like the very real resurgence of US oil and gas production, the picture looks fine. But when you dig deeper into the data, it becomes clear that this is only part of the picture. And the big picture proves that our current course cannot continue without significant risks."
The dialogue opened with a presentation by Mark C. Lewis, former head of energy research at Deutsche Bank's commodities unit, who highlighted three interlinked problems facing the global energy system: "very high decline rates" in global production; "soaring" investment requirements "to find new oil"; and since 2005, "falling exports of crude oil globally."