Sunday, October 23, 2016

dance and music in these humans....,

frontiersin |  The functions of dance and music in human evolution are a mystery. Current research on the evolution of music has mainly focused on its melodic attribute which would have evolved alongside (proto-)language. Instead, we propose an alternative conceptual framework which focuses on the co-evolution of rhythm and dance (R&D) as intertwined aspects of a multimodal phenomenon characterized by the unity of action and perception. Reviewing the current literature from this viewpoint we propose the hypothesis that R&D have co-evolved long before other musical attributes and (proto-)language. Our view is supported by increasing experimental evidence particularly in infants and children: beat is perceived and anticipated already by newborns and rhythm perception depends on body movement. Infants and toddlers spontaneously move to a rhythm irrespective of their cultural background. The impulse to dance may have been prepared by the susceptibility of infants to be soothed by rocking. Conceivable evolutionary functions of R&D include sexual attraction and transmission of mating signals. Social functions include bonding, synchronization of many individuals, appeasement of hostile individuals, and pre- and extra-verbal communication enabling embodied individual and collective memorizing. In many cultures R&D are used for entering trance, a base for shamanism and early religions. Individual benefits of R&D include improvement of body coordination, as well as painkilling, anti-depressive, and anti-boredom effects. Rhythm most likely paved the way for human speech as supported by studies confirming the overlaps between cognitive and neural resources recruited for language and rhythm. In addition, dance encompasses visual and gestural communication. In future studies attention should be paid to which attribute of music is focused on and that the close mutual relation between R&D is taken into account. The possible evolutionary functions of dance deserve more attention.

consciousness and combinatorial complexity

physicsworld |  Consciousness appears to arise naturally as a result of a brain maximizing its information content. So says a group of scientists in Canada and France, which has studied how the electrical activity in people's brains varies according to individuals' conscious states. The researchers find that normal waking states are associated with maximum values of what they call a brain's "entropy". 

Statistical mechanics is very good at explaining the macroscopic thermodynamic properties of physical systems in terms of the behaviour of those systems' microscopic constituent particles. Emboldened by this success, physicists have increasingly been trying to do a similar thing with the brain: namely, using statistical mechanics to model networks of neurons. Key to this has been the study of synchronization – how the electrical activity of one set of neurons can oscillate in phase with that of another set. Synchronization in turn implies that those sets of neurons are physically tied to one another, just as oscillating physical systems, such as pendulums, become synchronized when they are connected together. 

The latest work stems from the observation that consciousness, or at least the proper functioning of brains, is associated not with high or even low degrees of synchronicity between neurons but by middling amounts. Jose Luis Perez Velazquez, a biochemist at the University of Toronto, and colleagues hypothesized that what is maximized during consciousness is not connectivity itself but the number of different ways that a certain degree of connectivity can be achieved.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Five Years After the Literal Extermination of Muamar Ghaddafi

collective-evolution |  Based on my research, the Bush and Obama administrations seem to be very real war mongering radical regimes, puppeteered, controlled and influenced by a higher power. Bottom line, the way western media has depicted various Middle Eastern figures over the past decade is partially twisted. We are and have been, I believe, spoon fed lies on a daily basis when it comes to this topic.

I am not going to get into the politics as to why he has been praised and hated by many from various parts of the world, as this would require a very long article.  I will instead stick to this short list of 10 things about Gaddafi that “they” don’t want you to know.

“They want to do to Libya what they did to Iraq and what they are itching to do to Iran. They want to take back the oil, which was nationalized by these country’s revolutions. They want to re-establish military bases that were shut down by the revolutions and to install client regimes that will subordinate the country’s wealth and labor to imperialist corporate interests. All else is lies and deception.” (source)(He also expressed these feelings in many of his speeches)

“Bad” human, “good” human, it doesn’t matter. All humans have held light in their heart, no matter what they have done, no matter how much “evil” they have shown, and no matter how much we judge them. There are thing that they have shared that we can learn from, regardless of actions that are considered to be radical and extreme. It would be foolish of us to ignore these other sides.

***Much of this information was obtained through Gaddafi’s Green Book, a document that outlines his political philosophy. You can access it here.

*** There are also articles floating around on the internet like this that claim some of these “facts” are lies. That could be the case, it’s hard to know what to believe and that’s why I encourage more to focus on the video below and take a look at some of Gaddafi’s interviews as well as read his political philosophy that’s linked in the sources.

Corporate Media's Attempted Extermination of Donald Trump

consortiumnews |  At the final presidential debate, Hillary Clinton was asked about her dream for “open borders” as disclosed in one of her paid speeches to financial special interests. Instead of giving a thorough answer, she pivoted into an attack on Russian “espionage” for allegedly giving the speech to Wikileaks to benefit Donald Trump’s campaign.

“This has come from the highest levels of the Russian government, clearly from Putin himself, in an effort, as 17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, to influence our election,” she charged. “Will Donald Trump admit and condemn that the Russians are doing this and make it clear that he will not have the help of [Vladimir] Putin in this election?”

Trump responded by saying Clinton had “no idea” if it was Russia, China or anyone else who had hacked into the account. Indeed, some former U.S. intelligence officials say the emails may have been leaked, rather than hacked. And the U.S. intelligence community has provided no public evidence to back up Clinton’s claim.

James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence (which apparently represented Clinton’s “17 agencies”), said the “hack” was “consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. … however, we are not now in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian Government.”

By contrast, Trump espoused the benefits of cooperation with Moscow. “I don’t know Putin,” Trump said “He said nice things about me. If we got along well, that would be good. If Russia and the United States got along well and went after ISIS, that would be good. [Putin] has no respect for [Clinton].”

“Well, that’s because [Putin would] rather have a puppet as president,” Clinton shot back.

“You’re the puppet,” Trump interjected.

“You are willing to spout the Putin line,” Clinton retorted, “sign up for his wish list, break up NATO, do whatever he wants to do, and that you continue to get help from him because he has a very clear favorite in this race.”

Yet, if Russia prefers Trump it’s probably because he wants dialogue with Moscow, while Clinton has called Putin “Hitler,” made bellicose statement towards the country and dismissed areas of possible cooperation.

Corporate Media's Extermination of Bernie Sanders

Harpers |  My project in the pages that follow is to review the media’s attitude toward yet a third politician, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination earlier this year. By examining this recent history, much of it already forgotten, I hope to rescue a number of worthwhile facts about the press’s attitude toward Sanders. Just as crucially, however, I intend to raise some larger questions about the politics of the media in this time of difficulty and transition (or, depending on your panic threshold, industry-wide apocalypse) for newspapers.

To refresh your memory, the Vermont senator is an independent who likes to call himself a “democratic socialist.” He ran for the nomination on a platform of New Deal–style economic interventions such as single-payer health insurance, a regulatory war on big banks, and free tuition at public universities. Sanders was well to the left of where modern Democratic presidential candidates ordinarily stand, and in most elections, he would have been dismissed as a marginal figure, more petrified wood than presidential timber. But 2016 was different. It was a volcanic year, with the middle class erupting over a recovery that didn’t include them and the obvious indifference of Washington, D.C., toward the economic suffering in vast reaches of the country.

For once, a politician like Sanders seemed to have a chance with the public. He won a stunning victory over Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary, and despite his advanced age and avuncular finger-wagging, he was wildly popular among young voters. Eventually he was flattened by the Clinton juggernaut, of course, but Sanders managed to stay competitive almost all the way to the California primary in June.

His chances with the prestige press were considerably more limited. Before we go into details here, let me confess: I was a Sanders voter, and even interviewed him back in 2014, so perhaps I am naturally inclined to find fault in others’ reporting on his candidacy. Perhaps it was the very particular media diet I was on in early 2016, which consisted of daily megadoses of the New York Times and the Washington Post and almost nothing else. Even so, I have never before seen the press take sides like they did this year, openly and even gleefully bad-mouthing candidates who did not meet with their approval.

This shocked me when I first noticed it. It felt like the news stories went out of their way to mock Sanders or to twist his words, while the op-ed pages, which of course don’t pretend to be balanced, seemed to be of one voice in denouncing my candidate. ANew York Times article greeted the Sanders campaign in December by announcing that the public had moved away from his signature issue of the crumbling middle class. “Americans are more anxious about terrorism than income inequality,” the paper declared—nice try, liberal, and thanks for playing. In March, the Times was caught making a number of post-publication tweaks to a news story about the senator, changing what had been a sunny tale of his legislative victories into a darker account of his outrageous proposals. When Sanders was finally defeated in June, the same paper waved him goodbye with a bedtime-for-Grandpa headline, hillary clinton made history, but bernie sanders stubbornly ignored it.

I propose that we look into this matter methodically, and that we do so by examining Sanders-related opinion columns in a single publication: the Washington Post, the conscience of the nation’s political class and one of America’s few remaining first-rate news organizations. I admire the Post’s investigative and beat reporting. What I will focus on here, however, are pieces published between January and May 2016 on the paper’s editorial and op-ed pages, as well as on its many blogs. Now, editorials and blog posts are obviously not the same thing as news stories: punditry is my subject here, and its practitioners have never aimed to be nonpartisan. They do not, therefore, show media bias in the traditional sense. But maybe the traditional definition needs to be updated. We live in an era of reflexive opinionating and quasi opinionating, and we derive much of our information about the world from websites that have themselves blurred the distinction between reporting and commentary, or obliterated it completely. For many of us, this ungainly hybrid is the news. What matters, in any case, is that all the pieces I review here, whether they appeared in pixels or in print, bear the imprimatur of the Washington Post, the publication that defines the limits of the permissible in the capital city.

Friday, October 21, 2016

If you don’t know the correct answer, you are too stupid to be alive

PCR |  Hillary is running against locker room talk and the Russians

Russia’s very able Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said that the US presidential campaign is “simply some sort of a global shame” unworthy of the American people. She certainly hit the nail on the head. 

Hitlery’s criminal record had to be suppressed by the Obama regime in order to move the oligarchs’ candidate in the direction of the White House. So here we are on the verge of nuclear war with Russia and China, and the important issue before the American people is Trump’s lewd comments with Billy Bush about sexually attractive women.

I mean really. Men’s talk about women is like their fish and hunting stories. It has to be taken with a grain of salt. But this aside, why is lewd talk about women more important than military conflict with Russia, which could mean nuclear war and the end of life on earth?

Trump has declared that he sees no point in conflict with Russia and that he sees no point in NATO a quarter century after the demise of the Soviet Union.

Is Trump’s lewd talk about women worse than Hitlery’s provocative talk about Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Hitlery calls “the new Hitler”? What kind of utter fool would throw gratuitous insults at the President of a country that can wipe the US and all of Western Europe off of the face of the earth in a few minutes?

Would you rather face a situation in which a few women were groped, or be vaporized in nuclear war? If you don’t know the correct answer, you are too stupid to be alive.

Sweet Current Example of a Limited Hangout

Hope you cats remember what a limited hangout is....,
electoralsystemincrisis |  In Electoral System in Crisis, is a 39-page independent in-depth examination of the accuracy and security of U.S. electronic voting equipment. This research has been invited for publication in the Journal of the International Association of Official Statistics (IAOS). Due to the unusual time constraints of the election cycle, and the right of the public to have access to this information, the authors are taking the unusual step of publishing ahead of time online. The full report is now available online at the website of the lead author; and will be posted in a number of locations including the forum of The American Association for Public Opinion Research, and the forum of Social Research Methods. Below is an exerpt of our findings. We encourage everyone to download and read the full report.

The majority of the data we examined suggests that the two candidates currently slated to accept their party’s nomination in the 2016 presidential primary races, received a different number of votes than what has been officially reported.

On the Republican side, statistical analysis indicates that Donald Trump probably received more votes than what has been reported and certified. Because he was able to overcome his opposition, even with the irregularities, his selection as the presumptive Republican nominee is supported by the data.

As we stated in the opening, this is not the case on the Democratic side. The overwhelming majority of the almost two dozen states that we analyzed, demonstrate irregularities. We found suspect statistical patterns in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. These irregularities were significant, as we demonstrate in Louisiana, sometimes as large as 36% and could change the outcome of the election.
In almost every instance the discrepancies favored Hillary Clinton. In all likelihood the current results have assigned her a greater percentage of the vote than she may have actually received, while simultaneously under-reporting Bernie Sanders’ legitimate vote share.

We intend to report on the percentage that the race may be off, based on a statistical analysis of as many states as possible.

Clickers Get Played: Flesh and Blood Skinnies Get Slaughtered....,

tomdispatch |  Slaughter is all too human. Killing fields or mass burial grounds are in the archeological record from the Neolithic period (6,000 to 7,000 years ago) on. Nonetheless, with the advent of modern weaponry and industrial processes, the killing fields of the world have grown to levels that can stagger the imagination. During World War II, when significant parts of the planet, including many of the globe’s great cities, were effectively reduced to ash, an estimated 60 million people, combatants and civilians alike, died (including six million Jews in the killing fields and ovens of Auschwitz, Belzec, Sobibor, and elsewhere).

America’s wars in our own time have been devastating: perhaps three to four million Koreans, half of them civilians (and 37,000 Americans), as well as possibly a million Chinese troops, died between 1950 and 1953 on a peninsula largely left in rubble. In the Indochina wars of the 1960s and 1970s, the toll was similarly mind-bending.  In Vietnam, 3.8 million civilians and combatants are estimated to have perished (along with 58,000 Americans); in Laos, perhaps one million people died; and in Cambodia, the U.S.-led part of that war resulted in an estimated 600,000-800,000 dead, while the rebel Khmer Rouge murdered another two to three million of their fellow countrymen in the autogenocide that followed. In all, we’re talking about perhaps, by the roughest of estimates, 12 million dead in Indochina in those years. 

And that’s just to begin to explore some of the numbers from World War II to the present. Nick Turse, who spent years retracing the slaughter that was the Vietnam War for his monumental, award-winning book on war crimes there, Kill Anything That Moves, has more recently turned to a set of killing fields that are anything but history. In the last three years, he’s paid three visits to South Sudan, the newest “country” on the planet, the one the U.S. midwifed into existence, producing a dramatic account of the ongoing internecine struggles there in his recent book Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead: War and Survival in South Sudan. It’s a land that has experienced Syrian-level death counts with almost no attention whatsoever from the rest of the world. Recently, he returned to its killing fields and offers a chilling account of a largely forgotten land in which slaughter is the essence of everyday life. Tom

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Order of Flesh and Blood Owns You Clickers

GQ |  In many ways, Trump has defeated journalism
When the Trump thing began to rise up at the start of this year, all these journalists, big butch journalists like New York Times reporters were saying, “We’re going to expose all his corruption and how he bribed and neutered the state with his father”. And they printed it all. And it had no effect. Zero. So, that shows that journalism has changed in how most people perceive it. In the old days it would be like, “Oh my God, have you seem that? He’s a criminal. You can’t vote for him.” But now it’s all – oh, it’s the mainstream media who are saying that. If someone like trump comes along and just lies all the time – allegedly – and a journalist says he’s lying and no-one bothers, and his popularity goes up, I’d say that journalism has lost of its main foundation.

And it’s only lurid tales about his personal behaviour that have broken through – because it’s about the self
What is catching him now is the shock about his sexual behaviour, allegedly, because that does play into the individualistic world, which is people feel vulnerable, yeah? It was only the recording that didn’t get put into “Your truth” – it was everyone’s, they all had to admit it. And the fact it was done in this relaxed manner, he’s not posing. There was a benchmark there. But it was also a benchmark of an individual’s behaviour. And that still does break through.

Is This Superficially Deep or Deeply Superficial?

Apokalips Character Assassinates Assange For Granny Goodness

This address was searched with the association of the business name of, but that isn't who actually resides there. Who really resides there is a company known as Premise Data Corporation, some sort of private intelligence corporation. I found this due to a Yahoo page after I Ducked(I use DuckDuckGo, I call searches Ducks). Curious, I went onto the Premise site, that lists a different address: 185 Berry Street, Suite 6850 San Fransisco CA, 94107. As you can see it is VERY close to the other address listed in the CA Business registry here(just search for the business name). Image of the record itself I was poking around the site itself and noticed a familiar name on their board of directors: Larry Summers, Lawrence Summers as he is known sometimes. This is the same Larry Summers that is part of the Center for American Progress where “loyal Soldier” Neera Tanden works. There was also a strange autoreply with the subject Larry Summers in the Podesta Leak 8-11-2015

Now this may be nothing but I find it quite strange that a website/company that is attacking Julian Assange just so happens to share an address of record with a corporation that happens to have 2 people that are connected w/ the Clinton Campaign, Larry Summers and Neera Tanden. Suspicious at a minimum but given recent events I am starting to think there may be more of a connection, maybe someone here can help out as well. 

Edit 2: Given this new information can some amazing people(Who don't have work early) look further into the companies that share this address, maybe compare them with the Guccifer 2.0 leaks, I think there were donation lists in there. I will be chomping at the bit and researching as much as possible at work tomorrow as well.
Edit 3(Oct 19 1149 GMT): Wikileaks tweeted our story!. Also I have been inundated with PM's giving new information for me to look into, I promise I read every PM and will look into everything possible and make a new post if I find more good info.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Lost in Information Anarchy: 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

snopes |  In October 2016, Project Veritas released a series of videos that they alleged demonstrated misconduct, impropriety, and vote "rigging" on the part of Hillary Clinton's campaign staff or other Democrats.

Project Veritas' YouTube channel displayed four "undercover" videos released in October 2016. The first video involved a surreptitiously recorded conversation between a covert operative for Project Veritas and Manhattan Board of Elections Commissioner Alan Schulkin at a December 2015 Christmas party. In the clip, Schulkin surmised voter ID would prevent voter fraud and discussed the possibility of "bussing" voters to polling places:

The videos are, as is typical of O'Keefe's, work somewhat of a gish gallop, comprising a constellation of allegations and assertions that is virtually impossible to fact check without complete clips of the involved conversations. Nearly all the videos used stitched-together, out-of-context remarks with no indication of what occurred or what was discussed just before and after the included portions.

The framing and style of videos created by James O'Keefe is well known due to his 2009 "sting" in which he and accomplice Hannah Giles visited ACORN offices and pretended to be seeking advice on how to run an illegal business that included the use of underage girls in the sex trade. The resulting videos — which were edited to create the impression that O'Keefe and Giles had spoken to ACORN representatives while dressed as a pimp and prostitute — dealt that organization a mortal blow before reports publicizing the deception in O'Keefe's videos came to light: 

The Phony in American Politics

energyskeptic |  History tells us that the skeptical American people are easily conned when confronted with the promises of politicians. In 2016, the hairstyles may have changed but the schtick remains the same

“To strike the broad pure vein of American credulity one need dig only a bit to turn up such gems as Wilbert Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel, of Fort Worth, Texas, a Depression-era salesman for the Burrus Mill and Elevator Company. In the early 30s, O’Daniel began hosting a radio show featuring the soon-to-be famous Bob Wills and the Light Crust Doughboys, though O’Daniel’s soothing, fatherly voice and easily digestible patter quickly became the real draw of the show. At 12.30 each weekday the broadcast opened with a country matron’s request to “please pass the biscuits, Pappy”. For the next 15 minutes, listeners – many of them housewives taking a midday break – were treated to twangy renditions of gospel and hillbilly tunes, interspersed with Pappy reading scripture, ad copy for Light Crust Flour, sentimental poems, and tributes to motherhood, Texas heroes, and good Christian living. His popularity grew to the point that he left Burrus Mill and started his own company, Hillbilly Flour, and began blasting his show over the 100,000 watts of XEPN, a pirate radio station across the border in Mexico.

Flour sales boomed, and Pappy himself was a star, the biggest mass-media celebrity in the south-west and a man with his eye on the next big thing. On the regular Hillbilly Flour program of 1 May 1938, he announced that as the result of a letter-writing campaign from thousands of listeners, he would bow to popular demand and run for governor. His platform consisted of the Ten Commandments, tax reform and a guaranteed pension of $30 a month to every Texan over the age of 65. His campaign theme was Pass the Biscuits, Pappy, his motto the Golden Rule. He avowed that his business experience would enable him to manage state government in a businesslike manner, and with his wife, three kids, and the Hillbilly Band (Wills had left years ago, disgusted with Pappy’s skinflint ways), the radio star began a barnstorming tour across Texas.

The effect was electric. O’Daniel had what would later be known as “name recognition”; everyone had heard, or at least heard of, Pappy. Crowds of 20,000 or more turned out for his rallies, and more than once mobs of fans forced his caravan to an unscheduled stop so they could hear the “common citizen’s candidate” rail on professional politicians, recite scripture, and plug Hillbilly Flour. An evangelical fervor was present from the start, fanned by the candidate’s Christian oratory and old-timey gospel music. The prominent Baptist minister J Frank Norris compared Pappy to Moses, predicting he would lead the country back to its Christian roots. As one historian wrote:
The O’Daniel rallies appealed to the same deep human instinct and provided the same emotional outlets which the camp meeting formerly offered. Here again was the chance to enjoy the thrill and glory of a martial movement without risking any physical bloodshed. Christ was still the hero and Satan still the enemy, but … Christ’s good, which had previously radiated from the camp-meeting preacher, was now represented by the flour-salesman. Satan’s evil, previously attached to that abhorred aristocracy which had been the pioneer’s European superior, was now found to reside in the professional politician.
When attacked by establishment candidates, O’Daniel responded with scripture: “Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and shall say all manner of evil falsely against you for My sake.” He countered objections to his Yankee origins (he was born in Ohio, reared in Kansas) with a touching story about his name: one of his uncles, a Union soldier in the civil war, had been mortally wounded, but was nursed so tenderly on his deathbed by a southern family that he sent word to his sister saying if she should ever have a son, he should be named after the great Confederate general Robert E Lee. In answer to charges of being secretly backed by big business, he replied: “How can you say I’m against the working man when I buried my daddy in overalls?”

If you’re looking for the phony in American politics, you could do worse than follow the money. In fact O’Daniel was being backed by a cabal of Texas’s richest oilmen and bankers, ultraconservatives all, and his campaign was directed by a sharp PR man out of Dallas. O’Daniel himself had grown wealthy in business and real estate, which didn’t keep him from sending his pretty daughter out at rallies with a small barrel labeled “Flour Not Pork”, appealing for desperately needed campaign funds. Sales of Hillbilly Flour doubled over the course of the campaign, and O’Daniel swept the election with more than twice the number of votes of his nearest competitor. Once in office, he began broadcasting directly from the Governor’s Mansion, pledging: “This administration is going to be me, God, and the people, thanks to the radio.”

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Working Mirror

Vox |  Russia’s strategy is even more dangerous that it appears. Not only does it undermine democracy using the press but it actually gets the press to undermine itself. And there’s not much we can reasonably do about it, either.
Every cybersecurity researcher I spoke to warned that the next step in Russia’s strategy is forgeries: that the Russians will give WikiLeaks a lot of hacked information and include in it some fake emails with seemingly damning information. Because this is private correspondence, it’s very difficult for reporters to identify as being false. The people who are hacked can deny it, but WikiLeaks will insist it’s genuine, creating a kind of “he said, she said” situation where you can’t really know who’s telling the truth.
There’s no evidence Russia has done this in any of the election dumps — yet. But it has before: Foreign Policy’s Elias Groll has a good write-up of how documents stolen from philanthropist George Soros’s foundation included one note showing Soros’s group shoveling hundreds of thousands of dollars to Russian dissident Alexei Navalny. The email was a fake, one designed to discredit Navalny by making him look like a foreign plant.
The Soros email was a poor forgery and was easily caught. But there’s no guarantee the Kremlin remains this incompetent in the future.
That’s what’s so scary for the press. If future docu-dumps contain potentially falsified information, which can’t well be verified, we end up in a post-truth world where it’s impossible to trust information online. The press may end up unintentionally propagating false information, even if it reports denials by the targets alongside the fake revelations. That undermines its role as societal truth teller and thus the public’s already damaged faith in the press’s honesty.
“Hacking and misinformation are the death knell,” Isabel, the journalism professor, says. “If we’re just constantly following and repeating information we get, then our credibility goes even lower.”
The worst part, though, is that there’s almost no way for the press to stop this. Reporters, for reasons we’ve discussed, have every reason to report on hacked disclosures. We can’t hold back on newsworthy information because of the hypothetical fear that one day Russia will end up spinning us into undermining ourselves.
There are checks the press can put up, of course: Be skeptical, don’t report things that seem mundane or too outlandish, verify with independent information whenever you can, and publish other pieces on Russia’s information warfare strategy. But it’s not at all clear that these tactics can counteract the damage hacking and misinformation can do to the credibility of both democracy and the press itself.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Trump Not Alone - Labor Leader Jeremy Corbyn Also Accused of Anti-Semitism

Times |  Jeremy Corbyn has allowed “institutional anti-semitism” to thrive in the Labour movement and has made his party a “safe space for those with vile attitudes towards Jewish people”, a damning report by an all-party committee of MPs has concluded.

In a withering judgment on the Labour leader, MPs on the home affairs select committee concluded that Corbyn has shown a “lack of consistent leadership” in tackling anti-semitic abuse within the Labour ranks.

The report — signed off by the Labour MPs Chuka Umunna and David Winnick — questioned whether Corbyn “fully appreciates” the nature of anti-semitism and said the party was guilty of “incompetence” over its handling of high-profile allegations of anti-semitism.

It also delivered a damning verdict on a report by the Labour peer Baroness Chakrabarti, saying her conclusions exonerating Labour in her investigation of anti-semitism in the party were “clearly lacking” and saying her decision to take a peerage from Corbyn had “completely undermined” her report.

The MPs said of Corbyn: “We believe that his lack of consistent leadership on this issue and his reluctance to separate anti- semitism from other forms of racism has created what some have referred to as a ‘safe space’ for those with vile attitudes towards Jewish people.

“The failure of the Labour Party to deal consistently and effectively with anti-semitic incidents in recent years risks lending force to allegations that elements of the Labour movement are institutionally anti-semitic.”

In the damning report the MPs: 
  • Say comments by Malia Bouattia, president of the National Union of Students, attacking Zionists “smack of outright racism” and accuse her of a “worrying disregard for her duty to represent all sections of the student population” 
  • Demand that Twitter “devote more resources and employ more staff” to identify and ban “hateful and abusive” users of the social media platform 
  • Quote figures showing the number of people in Britain with anti-semitic attitudes rose by 50% from 2014 to 2015 
  • Found that one in 20 adults in Britain can be characterised as “clearly anti-semitic” 
  • Expressed concerns that police forces in large parts of the country are doing little to record and tackle incidences of anti-semitism. Corbyn gave evidence to the committee but the MPs questioned his understanding of the issue. 
The report reserves its most damning judgments, though, for the flourishing of anti-semitic abuse in Labour under Corbyn’s leadership.

“While the Labour leader has a proud record of campaigning against many types of racism, based on the evidence we have received we are not persuaded that he fully appreciates the distinct nature of post-Second World War anti-semitism,” it said.

A Means of Control

jayhanson |  A feeling arose in the Renaissance -- and crystallized by the seventeenth century -- that moralizing and preaching religious doctrine could no longer be trusted to restrain the destructive passions of men. [[2]]  A new means of control had to be found:

"Peasant rebellions were not exceptional events.  They erupted so frequently in the course of these four centuries that they may be said to have been as common in this agrarian society as factory strikes would be in the industrial world.  In southwestern France alone, some 450 rebellions occurred between 1590 and 1715.  No region of Western Europe was exempted from this pattern of chronic violence.  The fear of sedition was always present in the minds of those who ruled.  It was a corrective, a salutary fear -- since only the threat of insurrection could act as a check against unlimited exactions." [[3]]

Bernard Mandeville (1670?-1733) suggested that a society based on the deadliest of the seven deadly sins [[4]] -- "avarice" -- would create common Machiavellian interests and suppress irrational passions.  Mandeville’s ideal society was one where the unwitting cooperation of individuals, each working for his or her own interest, would result in the greatest benefit to society at large.  Mandeville anticipated laissez-faire economic theory, which promoted self-interest, competition, and little government interference in the workings of the economy.
The utopian agenda of economic liberalism to set up a self-regulating market system was fully realized in the American political model -- one dollar, one vote:
"In 1884, one of the wealthiest men of his time, Henry B. Payne, wanted to become the next United States senator from Ohio. Payne's son Oliver, the treasurer of Standard Oil, did his best to help.  Just before the election for Ohio’s seat, son Oliver "sat at a desk in a Columbus hotel with a stack of bills in front of him, paying for the votes of the state legislators," who then elected U.S. senators." [[5]]

The most important function of a market system is its political function. [[6]]  The market system serves as a stealth political system to foster rational thought, universal values based on calculation, and world peace based on self-interest.  Great idea!  But despite good intentions, inherently defective economic methodology has led to two world wars with millions killed:
"By the end of the seventies the free trade episode (1846-79) was at an end; the actual use of the gold standard by Germany marked the beginnings of an era of protectionism and colonial expansion…  the symptoms of the dissolution of the existing forms of world economy -- colonial rivalry and competition for exotic markets -- became acute.  The ability of haute finance to avert the spread of wars was diminishing rapidly…  For another seven years peace dragged on but it was only a question of time before the dissolution of nineteenth century economic organization would bring the Hundred Years' Peace to a close." [p. 19]
"The origins of the cataclysm lay in the utopian endeavor of economic liberalism to set up a self-regulating market system." [p. 29] [[7]]

Today, this same flawed economic methodology is being taught to students all over the world and is leading to a new generation of world wars with billions killed.

Financial Oigarchy Replaces Democracy

All this contradicts what the 18th, 19th and most of the 20th century fought for in their drive to free economies from landlords, monopolists and “coupon clippers” living off bonds, stocks and real estate (largely inherited). Their income was a technologically and economically unnecessary vestige of past conquests – privileges bequeathed to subsequent generations.

When parliamentary reform dislodged the landed aristocracy’s control of government, the hope was that extending the vote to the population at large would lead to policies that would manage land, natural resources and natural monopolies in the long-term public interest. Yet what Thorstein Veblen called the vested interests have rebuilt their political dominance, led by the financial sector which used its wealth to gain control of the election process to create a neo-rentier society imposing austerity.

A cultural counter-revolution has taken place. If few people have noticed, it is because the financial sector has rewritten history and re-defined the public’s idea of what economic progress and a fair society is all about. The financial alternative to classical economics calls itself “neoliberalism,” but it is the opposite of what the Enlightenment’s original liberal reformers called themselves. Land rent has not ended up in government hands, and more and more public services have been privatized to squeeze out monopoly rent. Banks have gained control of government and their central banks to create money only to bail out creditor losses, not to finance public spending.

The next few chapters review the classical analysis of value, price and rent theory to show how “free lunch” economic rent has been taken away from the public domain by the financial sector. Instead of creating the anticipated symbiosis with industry, as was hoped a century ago, finance has backed the rent-extracting sectors. And instead of central banks creating money to finance their budget deficits, governments are now forced to rely on bondholders, leaving it up to commercial banks and other creditors to provide the credit that economies need to grow.

The result is that today’s society is indeed moving toward the central planning that financial lobbyists have long denounced. But the planning has been shifted to financial centers (Wall Street, the City of London or Frankfurt). And its plan is to create a neo-rentier society. Instead of helping the host economy grow, banking, bond markets and even the stock market have become part of a predatory, extractive dynamic.

This destructive scenario would not have been possible if memory of the classical critique of rentiers had remained at the center of political discussion. Chapter 2 therefore reviews how three centuries of Enlightenment reform sought to free industrial capitalism from the rentier overhead bequeathed by feudalism. Only by understanding this legacy can we see how today’s financial counter-Enlightenment is leading us back to a neo-feudal economy.

Hudson, Michael. Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy CounterPunch