Seymour Hersh Blasts Media for Uncritically Promoting Russian Hacking Story   Recently updated !

The Intercept has the article and video clip Seymour Hersh Blasts Media for Uncritically Promoting Russian Hacking Story.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh said in an interview that he does not believe the U.S. intelligence community proved its case that President Vladimir Putin directed a hacking campaign aimed at securing the election of Donald Trump. He blasted news organizations for lazily broadcasting the assertions of U.S. intelligence officials as established facts.


The material above is the main point of the article, but I also wanted to give you the following excerpt which has some wisdom on what we could hope for.

While expressing fears about Trump’s agenda, Hersh also called Trump a potential “circuit breaker” of the two-party political system in the U.S. “The idea of somebody breaking things away, and raising grave doubts about the viability of the party system, particularly the Democratic Party, is not a bad idea,” Hersh said. “That’s something we could build on in the future. But we have to figure out what to do in the next few years.” He added: “I don’t think the notion of democracy is ever going to be as tested as it’s going to be now.”


Establishing The Validity Of The Modern Money Model   Recently updated !

At this time what I am calling the Modern Money Model goes by the name of Modern Money Theory as far as its other proponents are concerned. I think that MMM or MMT is a good model of the reality of how money works. The acceptance of the part that applies to the sovereign money of a country like the United States of America is meeting fierce resistance in some quarters.

To put it very briefly, in a country that creates its own money, uses only its own money to transact business, and has idle resources in labor and capital, then the entity that creates the money needs to put more of that money into the hands of the people who can put the idle resources to productive use.

I think a fair amount of resistance of this idea is the fear that people have that when we run out of idle resources we will have inflation, even hyper-inflation. We proponents tend to have a standard response, “That’s not the problem we have now. Let’s take appropriate actions for the situation we have now.”

I think it is only reasonable for skeptics to have their doubts if that is our only answer. MMT proponents like L. Randall Wray and Stephanie Kelton, to name a few, do have better answers to the question, but I think this topic needs to be discussed in more detail in public forums.

My understanding of the answer is that we use taxes to take excess money out of the economy when we start to have more money than we need to employ the actual resources that we have. We faced this situation in WW II. Besides rationing and prices controls, there was another technique that was used. The government sold war bonds to the people. The purpose was not to finance the war, since creating money was not problem. The purpose was to temporarily take the money out of the hands of the people who wanted to buy things that we did not have the resources to produce. After the war was over, and the economy could return to producing consumer goods, people would be able to redeem their war bonds to start buying this new output from our economy.

When we start to discuss these solutions in detail, we must face up to the political and human nature resistance to the solutions that will occur when we try to implement these solutions.

Back in the 1970s we had high inflation that was exacerbated by the OPEC oil embargo. Many people and I felt that the solution to the problem was to raise the taxes on gasoline, for one. This would make it even more expensive to buy the product that was in short supply, and therefore reduce the demand for it even faster than was happening already. Most people used the exact opposite logic to resist the tax increase. They said that the price of gasoline was already too high. Why make things worse? The resisters won out, and we had inflation until Ronald Reagan came along and put the country into a near economic depression to rein in consumer demand that was fueling the inflation. Reagan’s solution was much more painful for more of the population that a gasoline tax hike would have been.

I think this example is a great demonstration of why MMT (MMM) proponents need to talk about these issues now, before we are in the type of crisis we faced in the 1970s. If people are educated when not facing the crisis as to what will have to be done should we face a crisis like that, then they will be more prepared to take the actions that need to be taken. If we wait for the crisis to happen, and then spring it on people that taxes need to be raised, then there will be stiff opposition.


Big Oil Whistle Blower John Bolenbaugh FREE FILM

YouTube has the video Big Oil Whistle Blower John Bolenbaugh FREE FILM

This is truly sickening. This is the definition of cover-up literally and figuratively. This is not conspiracy theory, this is conspiracy fact.


I am afraid to look into what one of my investments, Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (EPD), has been doing. If they are involved in anything like this, I would have to sell it. If I refuse to buy stock in tobacco companies, it is hard to justify to myself an investment in a company that could do this.


Reminder: WikiLeaks Revealed The Deliberate Construction Of A Neo-Liberal ‘Echo Chamber’

Newslogue has the article Reminder: WikiLeaks Revealed The Deliberate Construction Of A Liberal ‘Echo Chamber’. This article is mistitled. It should have used the term Neo-Liberal the correct spelling of which is Not-Liberal.

So to recap, an elite insider of the Democratic party met with a group of powerful neoliberal oligarchs to discuss how they would use their footholds in the media, the internet, academia, faith-based groups and think tanks to create “a group situation where information, ideas, and beliefs are uncritically bounced from insider to insider and amplified, while dissenting views are censored and/or ignored,” exactly like the idiocy-generating manipulation machine that conservative think tanks were inflicting upon Americans of the political right. They planned this, and they succeeded, which is why Democrats have been acting like raving lunatics lately.

If you are going to promote George Soros conspiracy theories, you might as well go with one that is probably true.

The trouble with Democrats using plans like this is that there are a sufficient number of (ex) Democrats who rebel at tactics like this. We refused to echo what we were told to echo. That’s why, although right-wing radio has lots of viewers, “mainstream” left-wing radio never seems to last very long.

The only thing that keeps these left-wing things going seems to be RT. Even Air America, MSNBC, and Al Jazeera couldn’t last. Well, I suppose maybe the George Soros crowd is trying to pump a little life support into MSNBC.


What is bipolar disorder?

TED Ed has the 5 minute video What is bipolar disorder?.

If you have, or know someone who has bipolar disorder, you might find this interesting. I don’t claim to be an authority who can attest to the medical accuracy of the video, so just use your own best judgment with what you learn.


The Right Has No Answer For Automation Job Loss, But The Left Does

Newslogue has the very perceptive article The Right Has No Answer For Automation Job Loss, But The Left Does.

If I woke up one morning to find that I had suddenly turned into a kangaroo in some happy version of Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis, I’d probably spend my first day hopping around like a knucklehead. I’d hop over fences, hop over people, I’d sneak into one of those trampoline houses for kids and freak everyone out with sick backflips and stuff; it’d be awesome.

But if you look at how kangaroos behave in the wild, that’s not what they’re doing at all. They eat as much food as they need, then they lounge around like sunbathers on the beach. You’ve never seen such high-level chill as a kangaroo with a full belly. And there’s a very good reason for this: being able to consume more calories than you burn is a foundational evolutionary hurdle that a species must overcome if it’s to escape extinction. An animal that doesn’t have to expend more caloric energy than it consumes is a successful organism.



And that’s precisely the idea, because the human animal has the same ultimate goal as the kangaroo: to be able to work less and relax more. We’re such successful animals in this sense that some of us are even having trouble finding work at all, because we’ve invented machines to do a lot of it automatically. And we’ve just seen the very beginning of it. Great minds like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking are saying that not only will robots soon replace most lower-class jobs, but that artificial intelligence will shortly be replacing most middle class jobs as well.

And humans are so crazy right now that we’re somehow turning this into a problem.

There is an alternate proposal of a federal government job guarantee. I see no reason why the job guarantee couldn’t be a step toward a basic income. Also one might find the need to have a job guarantee program and a basic income program coexisting. Both of these proposals seem to be proposing possibly great solutions to a problem that ought to be a boon if we can figure out how. We should be giving serious consideration, and stating experiments on this as soon as we can. We might be surprised at what we find, which is why it is wise to start with small scale experiments and gradually growing them into larger programs once we get the bugs worked out, and they prove to be good ideas. The chances of success if we try the engineering approach rather that depending on having a political argument and then massively implementing the winner of the argument.


MODERN MONEY: the way a sovereign currency “works”

YouTube has the video L. Randall Wray — MODERN MONEY: the way a sovereign currency “works”. Notice that this title says nothing about a theory nor about what government or anyone ought to do. It is just explaining what is. I don’t know why the word “works” is in quotes. This is really the way it works. Ask any qualified accountant to go through the steps with you to see if there is any flaw in the accounting.

Later in the video, he explicitly tells you when he shifts from telling you what is, to when he is considering (just considering) what ought to happen with this knowledge.


For further reading, I will explain how I came to view this 5 year old video.

Steven B. Grumbine posted a link to an article on his Facebook page. In his post he explains the main take-aways from the article. My comment on Steven B. Grumbine’s post was as follows:

The L. Randall Wray video in this article is just fabulous. I have never seen this video before although it is almost 5 years old. Steven D. Grumbine, you serve a very important function of reminding us in how many ways and in how many places this has all been explained in very simple terms that anyone can understand.

One YouTube commenter bemoaned the fact that the video had only been seen 11,000 times at the time the comment had been made. Since then it has been seen another 5,000 times. This is not nearly enough. The power to spread the word is in our hands. We must use that power if we are going to change anything.

The article Grumbine references is from 16 September 2013 on Heteconomist is What Everyone Should Know About Budget Deficits and Public Debt. The article has the above video embedded in it.


Is Bernie Thinking Of Creating A NEW Political Party?

YouTube has the video Is Bernie Thinking Of Creating A NEW Political Party?

With about 14 million Democrats leaving their party since Election 2016, Nick Brana has a chance to capitalize on an electorate looking for progressive change. Brana, the former national political outreach coordinator for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, talks with Lee Camp about his effort to draft Sanders to lead a new independent political party: The People’s Party.


The video mentions the web site Draft Bernie For A People;s Party.

Now this is an idea I could get behind. If it has to be Bernie, then I would accept that. Perhaps he can have Tulsi Gabbard as his VP. Or Nina Turner.


What We Knew in 1938 That We Have Forgotten

The St. Louis Fed has posted an Address by Former Fed Chair Marriner Eccles, 1938, Responding to Criticisms Leveled by Orval Adams.

Now, just what is it that has been lost that we must save? Have we lost something? I agree that we have, but I doubt that Orval would agree with me as to just what it is. He seems to think that all we have lost is the money the Government has spent in the effort to bring this country out of the deepest depression we ever experienced. What I think we have lost is something different. Rather, I would say, that we have wasted our human and material resources to the extent of far more billions of dollars than are represented in our Government deficits in recent years. And I contend that we cannot afford to go on wasting these resources or failing to put them to better use tha nwe have in the past. Let’s look at the substance and not the shadow. The substance of our wealth is the production of our mines and factories. The shadow is our money. As a nation what we cannot afford is the idleness of millions of able-bodied workers and of the facilities which they should be using to produce the substance.

Now here is something that he said, that does give me pause.

Isn’t it about tiae that we learned this simple truth? Is it so hard to understand that ehen an individual owes money he generally owes it to another individual, but when a nation owes money it owes it to itself? When an individual pays a debt, he pays It to someone else. When a nation pays a debt, it pays it to its own people.

We now know that it isn’t the point that it owes it to its own people so much as it owes in the money that it creates from nothing. If it pays its debts, it can always create more money for other uses, if there are things available to use it for. This gets back to the point that “The substance of our wealth is the production of our mines and factories. The shadow is our money.”


What Debt Are We Passing On To Our Children?

In the free book Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy Warren Mosler discusses fraud # 2.

Deadly Innocent Fraud #2:

With government deficits, we are leaving our debt burden to our children.

Fact:

Collectively, in real terms, there is no such burden possible. Debt or no debt, our children get to consume whatever they can produce.

One of the things he points out in the discussion of this fraud is the following:

When we operate at less than our potential – at less than full employment – then we are depriving our children of the real goods and services we could be producing on their behalf. Likewise, when we cut back on our support of higher education, we are depriving our children of the knowledge they’ll need to be the very best they can be in their future. So also, when we cut back on basic research and space exploration, we are depriving our children of all the fruits of that labor that instead we are transferring to the unemployment lines.

So yes, those alive get to consume this year’s output, and also get to decide to use some of the output as “investment goods and services,” which should increase future output. And yes, Congress has a big say in who consumes this year’s output. Potential distributional issues due to previous federal deficits can be readily addressed by Congress and distribution can be legally altered to their satisfaction.

So, if we are passing on any debt to our children it is the diminished economic capacity of our nation because we refused to use the tools at hand to get full employment. Ironically, a further debt is that we will leave our children inadequately educated to make the best out of that future economy because we refused to use the resources we had to invest in their education.