Daily Archives: July 1, 2014

NYT Revamps Its False Ukraine Narrative

Consortium News has the article NYT Revamps Its False Ukraine Narrative.

The Ukraine crisis really emerged from the European Union’s offer of an association agreement that President Yanukovych was initially inclined to accept. But it was accompanied by harsh austerity demands from the International Monetary Fund, which would have made the hard life for the average Ukrainian even harder.

Because of those IMF demands and a more generous $15 billion loan offer from Russia, Yanukovych backed away from the EU association, angering many western Ukrainians and creating an opening for U.S. neocons, such as Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and Sen. John McCain, to urge on protests to unseat Yanukovych

I know I have posted this type of story innumerable times on this blog.  I thought it might be good to refressh your memory so that you can appreciate the recent post EU Association Agreement with Ukraine Is a Gift to Kleptocrats.

I wonder how many times The New York Times has to blatantly lie to you before you believe that the NYT may very well be up to its usual tricks. See for example The Source of the Trouble.

Pulitzer Prize winner Judith Miller’s series of exclusives about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq—courtesy of the now-notorious Ahmad Chalabi—helped the New York Times keep up with the competition and the Bush administration bolster the case for war. How the very same talents that caused her to get the story also caused her to get it wrong.

It really makes no difference why The New York Times published such erroneous stories, the fact is that they did publish them, and they may very well be doing it again.

Andy Haldane: Preparing For The Next Financial Crisis

The Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) has the interview Andy Haldane: Preparing For The Next Financial Crisis.

This interview is about how the international financial system needs to be changed to prepare for the next financial crisis. The interview does not touch on how an individual person should prepare.

I find this kind of interview to be valuable to me because it introduces me to new ideas and new thinking about the crisis and how to resolve it. Part of that introduction helps me understand the limitations of what I knew before in trying to prepare for the next crisis. One example of this is the discussion of why the old Glass-Steagall legislation, which helped get us out of the depression, cannot just be reinstated to prepare for the next crisis. The idea of such legislation to prepare for the next crisis must comprehend the irreversible changes to circumstances that has occurred since the Glass-Steagall era.

I make no claim that this interview makes me an expert in any of the areas discussed. That would be far too much to expect from an introduction to new ideas. It is, however, a catalyst to start thinking about things that I had not thought about before and may not even have had a prior inkling about. This is a big enough pay-off for listening to these types of interviews.

Simon Head: Innovation And Its Potential To Damage Society

The Institute For New Economic Thinking (INET) has the interview Simon Head: Innovation And Its Potential To Damage Society.

The benefits of innovation are seldom questioned. Virtually every single growth initiative formulated by governments around the world to deal with today’s challenging economic conditions invariably circles back to the need to promote innovation as a panacea.

But what if innovation is not an unalloyed good for society? What if it simply adds to our current dystopian dysfunction?

It is rather depressing to think that I have been part of the problem all along. What is ultimately questioned is the tendency in macro economics whether of the neo-liberal (conservative) kind or the progressive kind to think that more knowledge and control of the mechanics of the economy will lead to a better world.

More concern with the social impacts on individuals needs to get much more focus from the field of economics.

One of the things that struck me was the discussion about SAP. For one reason or the other, I am quite aware of the world wide dominance of this German company in the field of software for managing large corporations. In a thoroughly scientific, 100% sample of people sitting in my home office with me, I find, as expected, that the general population has no awareness of what SAP is nor of its dominance in the world of corporate management software. I fear that people hearing the interview might think the interviewee is some wild eyed academic who is fretting over some irrelevant, unknown company.

EU Association Agreement with Ukraine Is a Gift to Kleptocrats

The Real News Network has the interview EU Association Agreement with Ukraine Is a Gift to Kleptocrats.

You’ll have to watch the interview to understand how the kleptocrats got what they have so that they can sell lit to the EU. The excerpt I chose to feature below only tells you about the great deal that the citizens of the Ukraine are not going to get.

WORONCZUK: So, then, what would a progressive trade policy between Ukraine and the E.U. look like?

HUDSON: Well, it would have been one that marked the very beginning of the common market and the beginning of the agreements with Poland. Western Europe would say, okay, Ukraine, we realize that your economy has not been modernized, unlike Poland and Czechoslovakia and the other areas, so now that we’ve agreed to sort of plan to take you in, we’re going to put a lot of investment in. We’re going to build roads and infrastructure and schools, and we’re going to make sure that what the kleptocrats have taken, we’re going to apply European-type progressive taxation. We’re going to tax, we’re going to put an economic rent tax in, and we’re going to recapture what has been privatized so that all of these natural resources–your land and your agriculture and your mining–can be the fiscal base. And we’re going to make sure that you the Ukrainian government can tax the wealthy like we do in Europe. But instead the Europeans are saying, don’t tax the wealthy, tax labor even more, squeeze labor by raising gas prices, by removing the subsidies of gas, so that your labor is going to be squeezed and we can grab what you have more easily. So the Europeans are treating the Ukrainians not like they’re treating themselves, not like they’re treating the former Soviet countries brought in, but really like a defeated enemy to be burdened with reparations, and especially to rule through their sort of proconsuls as the kleptocratz that have been assigned as governors by the military junta that took over in Kiev.

Have you gotten this kind of understanding of what this is all about from anything you have read in the Lame Stream Press? If you had, would you think that it makes sense for the Ukrainian population to be clamoring for such a deal?

The Forces Behind SCOTUS Anti-Union Ruling

The Real News Network has the video The Forces Behind SCOTUS Anti-Union Ruling.

DESVARIEUX: The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is the non-profit arm of the National Right to Work Committee, a lobbying group that has gotten so-called “right to work” legislation passed in 24 states across the country. It’s even gotten a right-to-work law passed in former union strongholds like Michigan. On their website, they explain that “Right to Work law guarantees that no person can be compelled, as a condition of employment, to join or not to join, nor to pay dues to a labor union.”

But after an investigation by Center for Media and Democracy, they found out who exactly is behind what they call an anti-union crusade. According to the report, in 2012, billionaire energy tycoons the Koch brothers funneled $1 million to the National Right to Work Committee. Right-to-work organizations have also received significant funding from the owners of Walmart, the Walter Family Foundation, and the beer corporation Coors family’s Castle Rock Foundation; also Wisconsin’s Bradley Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, and the Searle Freedom Trust.

I guess you might call this the usual suspects. What are the chances that they have the interests of workers at heart?

Jessica Desvarieux mentions the FSRN. This is Free Speech Radio Network.