Monthly Archives: September 2016

Owen Jones meets Ha-Joon Chang | The economic argument against neoliberalism

The Guardian has the interview clip Owen Jones talks to Ha-Joon Chang: ‘austerity is based on lies’ – video interview.

The full interview is on YouTube Owen Jones meets Ha-Joon Chang | The economic argument against neoliberalism. That full addition is embedded below.

Ha-Joon Chang is a professor of economics at Cambridge University and a best-selling international author. I asked him to provide an argument against much of today’s prevailing economic thought. Isn’t austerity necessary? Do we have capitalism for the rich and socialism for the poor? Is taxation theft? Does welfare encourage laziness and fecklessness? What’s wrong with inequality? And can we defeat neoliberlism?

The more ways you hear this explained the more likely you are to get it. The accent may get in the way for some of you to understand as well as you might otherwise. Ha-Joon Chang also has a web site. He has also written very understandable books.

‘Quantum teleportation’ breakthrough by DARPA-funded physicists

Ironically it is RT that has published this article ‘Quantum teleportation’ breakthrough by DARPA-funded physicists

I have read books on quantum entanglement, but I have always had the nagging doubt that there was something about this that was escaping me.

Explanation of the use of quantum entanglement for teleportation

This is the best explanation I have seen. The explanation that accompanies the cartoon is necessary to complete the understanding. It is not until the Alice tells Bob what the state of his photon will be that any real information is passed at a distance. So the secret that Alice tells the Bob is the state of the Bob’s photon. The fact that Bob can verify that what Alice said is true, is the accomplishment in this experiment. Of course, since there were only two choices, the Alice had a 50% chance of being right even if she had not known the correct answer. It would take a significant string of right answers before the level of trust could be established with enough confidence.

By the way, I think some of the details in the cartoon explanation are a little off, but the gist of it is correct.

The Charade That Deters the Use of “Direct Spending” to Fund Federal Operations

Naked Capitalism has the article The Charade That Deters the Use of “Direct Spending” to Fund Federal Operations.

In the article the author imagines a speech that Bernie Sanders could have given.

 I, Bernie Sanders, believe the primary purpose of the state, the strategic mission of the federal government, is to empower the basic units of our social fabric: our households, communities, and local economies. Big businesses and corporations can take care of themselves, and have much to offer and contribute—but it is only by nurturing the health and vigor of the basic units of our society that we can, in fact, create a more perfect union. And this is not a task that big business, pursuing corporate profits, is disposed or interested in undertaking.

In another part of the article, the author provides an interesting take on historically remembered era of great inflation.  The crudest definition of inflation is too many dollars (or whatever currency applies) chasing too few goods.

… historical analysis demonstrates that the root causes of hyper-inflation—the infamous Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe, for example—have not been caused by “money printing” but, instead, by the collapse of the production capabilities creating things for the money to buy.

In other words too few goods to supply the demand of too many dollars.  In fact it was Republicans, I believe,  who coined the term of supply side economics as a way of stopping the inflation that this country saw in the 1970s.  In other words fix the shortage of goods instead of controlling the excess of  dollars.  Of course, that is not actually how they stopped inflation.  They did it by bringing on the worst economic decline of consumer demand, up until then,  since the great depression.  That did in fact control the “excess” money.

Lessons Learned From the 2016 Presidential Campaign

Now that I am working to promote the Jill Stein/Ajamu Baraka campaign for the Presidency, I think I see some lessons to be learned.

I started on the Bernie Sanders campaign before May, 2015. I know that date, because that is when I started to go to meetings of the “We Want Bernie – Worcester” group.

The Jill Stein campaign, with less than two months to go until the election, is at about the same place as the Sanders’ campaign was 15 months ago. How did this happen?

My conjecture is that there was not such a tough primary contest in the Green Party to cause Jill Stein to gear up back then the way Bernie Sanders did. Moreover, Bernie was getting so much attention, that he sucked all the air out of whatever efforts the Green Party and Jill Stein could have mustered.

Of course, had Bernie not run, there wouldn’t have been 13 million votes cast for him and his platform. So, without Bernie, there would not be any where near as much interest in the platform as there is now.

Here is where we can see some strategic flaws in what Bernie Sanders did. In order to get credibility with Democratic Party voters, he made a promise that he would support the nominee of the party in November no matter who that turned out to be. Without that promise, he undoubtedly felt that he could not be trusted to be an actual Democrat after his years of being an independent who caucused with the Democrats.

Was there another strategy he could have chosen, and how do we know it would have been successful had he chosen it? Donald Trump showed that there was a better strategy, although you could not have known that in advance. Donald Trump made threats of going the third party route if the Republican party did not treat him well. There were efforts from high ranking party members to thwart him, but not the rampant vote rigging, voter suppression, and other shenanigans deployed against Bernie Sanders by the Democratic Party. We now know that Donald Trump actually became the Republican nominee whereas Bernie Sanders failed to get the Democratic nomination. Maybe the Democratic Party “leaders” would have shown some restraint with respect to Bernie Sanders if there were a threat of a third party run hanging over them.

OK, so we see that there probably was a better strategy for Bernie Sanders to have chosen at the outset. However, given that he made the choices that he did, we need to look at the ramifications.

Since Bernie Sanders did not create an escape hatch for himself, and being a man of his word, he has no other choice but to strongly support the Hillary Clinton candidacy. His initial promise prevents him from even hinting that he is not enthusiastic or suggesting his former backers should be switching their support to Jill Stein.

Had Bernie been able to switch his support to a Jill Stein ticket, or perhaps even joined the ticket, or perhaps even headed that ticket (all of which were opportunities that were presented to him), the effort to build a Progressive movement would be light-years ahead of where it is today.

Jill Stein has just announced that she thinks that upping her ground game is very important. She has just hired three people for the entire country to “explode” the size of her ground game less than two months before the election. We former Bernie supporters can see how far behind the curve that this effort is. We can see what the campaign should have been doing for the last 15 months which we were doing when we were on the other team. We can see why this effort didn’t happen.

Some of us were warned by Green Party supporters of past years how hopeless the effort would be when we switched over. I felt there was a certain amount of irony in that these people were deserting the party just at the moment when it had its greatest chance of success.

The lesson is not that they were right, and we were wrong. The lesson to be learned is what we have to continue to do up to November and beyond. We need to infuse the Green Party with the experience of what it takes to attract huge numbers of voters. We need to build the size of the party as much as we can for this election, so that we have some momentum going forward to future elections. We have to try to make sure that this wasn’t the greatest opportunity the party ever had that was muffed because of certain decisions that seemed right under the circumstances.

Bill Moyers: We, the Plutocrats vs. We, the People: Saving the Soul of Democracy

Naked Capitalism has reposted Bill Moyers: We, the Plutocrats vs. We, the People: Saving the Soul of Democracy.

Taking a cue from what Moyers wrote, the ideas are best summed up by quoting the preamble to our constitution.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

There seems to be very little of that idealism in what passes for our political system of today. Bill Moyers explores where it went and why we need it back.

Sen. Bob Graham: FBI Covered Up Role of Bandar and Saudis in 9/11 Attacks

The Real News Network has a recent interview Sen. Bob Graham: FBI Covered Up Role of Bandar and Saudis in 9/11 Attacks.

If there was such a cover up as described above, and there is continuing effort to get this information ouf of the FBI, CIA, and other agencies, then it must be that under Obama’s direction this cover up continues. If Obama vetoes the legislation that has passed Congress to let Americans sue Saudi Arabia over 9/11, then he must know reasons for this that the Congress does not know. In other words, continuing obstruction of information being given to the American public. If Obama knows, you can bet Hillary Clinton knows. And we are expected to vote for a continuation of the cover-up.

Think Progress has the article Obama Expected To Veto 9/11 Bill Because It Sets A Dangerous Precedent.

Obama said in April he would veto the bill. The White House says that the bill’s enactment could put American officials overseas in danger.

By opening up the prospect of victims suing governments (or states), the United States could be opening itself up to law suits from individuals who feel that the country has committed crimes in their nation — like victims of drones in Pakistan, or civilians killed by the U.S.-backed Saudi coalition in Yemen.

I think the above video hints at much more likely reasons why Obama wants to veto that bill.

The article goes on further to state:

The bill passed on Friday despite the release of the notorious 28 pages — a missing section of the congressional 9/11 report. The 28 pages that were released in July did not provide the evidence that some suspected would tie the financing of the 9/11 attacks to the Saudi royal family.

From the video we know what utter hogwash it is for even Think Progress to publish claims tof such failure to make links.

Vote for Jill Stein to get the to bottom of the cover up.

Beautiful Math

Just got an update to the Jetpack software in WordPress for use on this web site.

One of the features is called Beautiful Math. Here is an example of what it can do.

$latex i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial t}\left|\Psi(t)\right>=H\left|\Psi(t)\right>$

I am sure this will come in handy whenever I want to discuss the politics of physics. 🙂