Showing posts from July 8, 2016

Desperately Trying to Salvage Canada-EU Trade Pact after Brexit, EU Escalates Assault on Democracy

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[Anti-democracy and the EU. On having learned absolutely ZERO from Brexit. See also Quijones' Is the EU Preparing for Another Stealth Coup? and Can the EU Survive as a Prison? Who Has the Keys? *RON*]
by Don Quijones, Wolf Street, 2 July 2016

The European Commission, it seems, will never learn. Despite the existential crisis caused by Britain’s decision to leave the EU and the serious questions being raised about the EU’s gaping lack of democratic legitimacy, the European Commission just escalated its assault on European democracy. This week the Commission announced that it would ratify CETA, the controversial trade deal between Canada and the EU, as a unilateral EU agreement, not as a so-called mixed agreement.

What that means is that the national parliaments of the 27 remaining EU member states will have no influence whatsoever over the approval process, even though (or more likely because) the trade agreement will have huge, sweeping effec…

Despite epidemic, Russia cracks down on HIV activists

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[Via my friend Harry. No "dog whistles" needed in Russia. The Putin government hard at work being its usual charming self. *RON*]

Maxime Popov, / Yahoo! News, 6 July 2016

Moscow (AFP) - Despite a rising HIV epidemic in Russia, officials appear to be clamping down on the few organisations trying to fight the spread of the virus.

In recent weeks, authorities added two leading HIV-prevention groups to a "foreign agents" blacklist, as a broader crackdown on independent civil society hits the battle against HIV.

Officials have already targeted dozens of other NGOs in fields from human rights to environmental protection.

Yet last month, the label was slapped on Esvero, an umbrella group for organisations fighting the spread of HIV in Russia, and the Andrey Rylkov Foundation, which runs Moscow's only programme offering clean needles and advice to drug addicts.

"What sort of foreign agents are we?" asked Maxim Ma…

American and British Leaders Were Warned that Iraq War Would INCREASE Terrorism

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[See also: ‘Monster of delusion’ Blair defends Iraq war, and, in a Mission Accomplished For False Consciousness moment, New Poll Reveals That Americans’ Anti-Immigrant Attitudes Are Fueled By Racism. *RON*]
Washingtons Blog, 6 July 2016

The alternative media has reported for more than a decade that the Iraq war has increased terrorism.

For example:
The U.S. has undertaken regime change against Arab leaders we don’t like for six decades. We overthrew the leader of Syria in 1949, Iran in 1953, Iraq twice, Afghanistan twice, Turkey, Libya … and other oil-rich countries. Neoconservatives planned regime change throughout the Middle East and North Africa yet again in 1991. Top American politicians admit that the Iraq war was about oil, not stopping terrorism(documents from Britain show the same thing). Much of the war on terror is really afight for natural gas. Or to force the last few hold-outs into dollars and private central banking. And the U.S. …

Five police officers killed in Dallas, seven others wounded during shooting at protest

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[See also: Murderers With Badges, Licensed to Kill: Nation Reels from Alton Sterling's Death at Hands of Police, and "You Shot Four Bullets Into Him, Sir": Girlfriend Livestreams Philando Castile's Death by Police. The problem now is to fight a false dichotomy: the belief that if you are pro-Black Lives you are anti-police, and vice versa. Seems like no one is even bothering to bring up the issue of gun control. *RON*]

Tim Madigan, Michael E. MillerTravis M. Andrews & Mark Berman, Washington Post, 8 July 2016

Here’s what we know so far about the Dallas shooting

At least five Dallas police officers were killed and seven wounded July 7, after a peaceful protest over recent police shootings. Here's what we know so far. (Deirdra O'Regan/The Washington Post)

DALLAS — At least five Dallas police officers were killed and seven others wounded Thursday evening in an attack by snipers in downtown city streets that followed a p…

The 1% are recovering from 2008 recession while 99% are still waiting

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[In 2015, the income of the 1% grew by 7.7%. The result is the same issue discussed in the previous article: "Economy remains a top concern for US voters... The uneven recovery is one of the reasons that experts say this presidential election cycle has seen the rise of Donald Trump and a contentious race for the Democratic nomination." *RON*]

Jana Kasperkevic, The Guardian, 6 July 2016 The top 1% of Americans are finally recovering from the great recession. A new analysis of IRS data revealed that the average income of the top 1% of income earners grew by 7.7% in 2015, reaching $1.36m.

Report author Emmanuel Saez, an economics professor at the University of California-Berkeley, calculated earlier this year that the top 1% had an average income of $1.26m in 2014. And though the world’s wealthiest were able to raise that income to $1.36m within one year, they are still not making as much as they were just before the 2008 recession.

Saez r…

Why Anger at Elites Was Channelled Towards Voting for Brexit

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[How behavioral economics and false consciousness explain voting for Brexit. *RON*]
By Chris Dillow, Evonomics, 8 July 2016

We economists – especially those of us who are on the left – have got a problem: voters don’t agree with us.

Events a few days ago demonstrated this. But it is in fact a longstanding issue. For years, and around the world, voters have had attitudes opposed to ours. They have been more hostile to immigrants and benefit claimants and more supportive of austerity and inequality than we would like. (This isn’t just an issue for the left: voters also have anti-free market attitudes.)

Why is this? I want to suggest that it is because Marxists were right all along. It’s because capitalism generates an ideology which opposes sensible radical reform. The idea of false consciousness should be taken a lot more seriously.

I came to this view via an apparently circuitous route. In my brief and ignominious career in finance, I learned ab…