Monday, March 19, 2018

Edward Harrison — Hyman Minsky And Asset Price Inflation Versus Consumer Price Inflation

Hyman Minsky’s financial theory of investment rests on a bifurcation of an economy’s price systems. On the one hand, there’s the price system for goods and services. And inflation here is what central banks look to hold in check. But at the same time, there is a wholly separate price system for assets. And it’s here where stability leads to asset price inflation, a build up in debt, instability, and, eventually, crisis.
Economics professor Randall Wray is a real Minsky scholar. He studied under Minsky at Washington University in St. Louis. And last year, he wrote a book “Why Minsky Matters: An Introduction to the Work of a Maverick Economist“. Here’s what Wray says about Minsky’s two price systems:
Credit Writedowns
Hyman Minsky And Asset Price Inflation Versus Consumer Price Inflation
Edward Harrison

Dean Baker — China as Number One: The Relative Size of the U.S. and Chinese Economies

PPP rather than GDP.
Purchasing power parity calculations of GDP attempt to measure all the goods and services produced by a country with a common set of prices. This means we add up all the cars, tables, haircuts, knee surgeries etc. produced in both the U.S. and China, and assume that each item costs the same in both countries.
According to the projections from the I.M.F. China's GDP is already 25 percent larger by this measure and will be almost 50 percent larger by the end of the projection period in 2022….
Beat the Press
China as Number One: The Relative Size of the U.S. and Chinese Economies
Dean Baker | Co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C.

What the media won't tell you about Eastern Ghouta by Treka

A young Syrian man telling the truth about Syria exposing Western lies. A really nice guy; see how easy going, friendly, and modern he is, just like most young people in the West? But his secular society is surrounded by the some of most evil people on the planet backed by even more of the most evil people on the planet, the criminals that run the US, Europe, and Israel.

And what's so strange is that hardly anyone in in the West knows the truth, or that our media is Orwellian spewing out 100% pure propaganda for a psychopathic, brutal ruling elite who just want money and glory, and that the nice middle class broadcasters and journalists on our TV's are complicit in some of the most evil crimes being done in their name.

Blogger can't find the video, so here's the link. Check it out, highly recommended!

And here's his Facebook page.

Robert Inlakesh - EXPOSED: Eastern Ghouta (Syria) dis-information and other lies...

I thought this is good. I like this guy, it's a shame that more ordinary people don't take an interest because if they did we could stop these wars. 

Robert Inlakesh says that Assad is not bombing his own people as our leaders and the media are saying, and that the video footage that is being shown is of Israel bombing Gaza. 

Robert Inlakesh has been receiving death threats.

This world is far more wicked than I ever realised. I thought there was at least good guys as well as bad guys, and that bad the really guys, like Hitler, only turned up occasionally, but it seems that the good guys are rare. Our leaders, including Theresa May and Boris Jonson, must be psychopaths because no one in their right mind would start WW3 unless they lacked all humanity, love, and compassion. These freaks of nature are in control of our governments.

Richie Allen - "Not A Single MP Had The Guts To Stand Up & Cry Bullshit Over Russia Poisoning Claims!"

Richie Allen, like me, was outraged at the UK Parliament Prime Minister Questions Time where Theresa May and Boris Johnson accused Russia of the Salisbury poisoning. Richie Allen says that the British parliament is full of traitors as 80% of them are Zionists and their allegiance is to Israel, not the British people. This broadcast is only 20 minutes wrong.

This is what I wrote in the comments section.

To see all these lies makes me feel sick. The British public must be stupid to think that if Russia wanted to get rid of a Russian double agent living in Britain they would use a nerve gas that was originally designed in Russia, and then spray two people sitting on a park bench with it just like something out of a James Bond movie, or a spy thriller. So, what's the first thing Theresa May and Boris Johnson do, accuse Russia, of course? So, why would Russian intelligence do such a stupid thing knowing full well they would get the blame, especially when the US has been blaming them for everything else? Well, because they didn't do it, that's why, it's a set up by a Western intelligence agency to blame Russia. 

Ginger Gibson — Large U.S. retailers urge Trump not to hit China with tariffs

“At the same time, we are concerned about the negative impact as you consider remedial actions under Section 301 of the Trade Act could have on America’s working families,” the letter stated. “Applying any additional broad-based tariff as part of a Section 301 action would worsen this inequity and punish American working families with higher prices on household basics like clothing, shoes, electronics, and home goods.”...
Large U.S. retailers urge Trump not to hit China with tariffs
Ginger Gibson

Claire Connelly — Neoliberal v Neoclassical economics – what’s the difference?

Bad title, which the author corrects in the article. Neoliberalism is a political theory rather than an economic theory. Neoclassical economics is an economic theory. The tile contains a category error.
The most important thing to understand is that neoliberalism is a post-war political movement that grew out of the Mont Pelerin Society, a thought collective that formed a consensus not to put the market at the centre of the state, but to take it over completely. Its entire objective is to co-opt economics and subvert the public interest to suit the needs of powerful capitalist institutions and the politicians, economists, financiers, philosophers, bankers, think-tanks and media organisations that support them.
Neoliberalism is associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism and was pioneered by economist Milton Friedman & Friedrich Hayeck, but as the economic historian, Philip Mirowski points out, this is a deliberate deception to trick people into thinking it is concerned about market equilibrium...
Renegade Inc
Neoliberal v Neoclassical economics – what’s the difference?
Claire Connelly | editor-in-chief of Renegade Inc.

Peter Van Buren — Gina Haspel: As If Nuremberg Never Happened

Nothing will say more about who we've become as a nation than if a torturer is allowed to head the CIA.
Sums it up. It's bad now, and her nomination makes it worse. But her confirmation and occupying office would be the icing on the cake.

Kills US soft power. It's a gift to enemies of America, too.

The American Conservative
Gina Haspel: As If Nuremberg Never Happened
Peter Van Buren, 24-year State Department veteran

Ray McGovern — Former CIA Chief Brennan Running Scared

In the crosshairs? Not just Brennan either.
None of the leaking, unmasking, surveillance, or other activities directed against the Trump campaign can be properly understood, if one does not bear in mind that it was considered a sure thing that Secretary Clinton would become President, at which point illegal and extralegal activities undertaken to help her win would garner praise, not prison.
But she lost.
The "perfect crime" that wasn't. Now "the gang that couldn't shoot straight" is running scared.

The lame street media is doing all it can to create the impression that it's Trump that is at fault.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post is dutifully playing its part in the deep-state game of intimidation. The following excerpt from Sunday’s lead article conveys the intended message: “Some Trump allies say they worry he is playing with fire by taunting the FBI. ‘This is open, all-out war. And guess what? The FBI’s going to win,’ said one ally, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. ‘You can’t fight the FBI. They’re going to torch him.’” [sic]
The Post, incidentally, waited until paragraph 41 of 44 to inform readers that it was the FBI’s own Office of Professional Responsibility and the Inspector General of the Department of Justice that found McCabe guilty, and that the charge was against McCabe, not the FBI. A quite different impression was conveyed by the large headline “Trump escalates attacks on FBI” as well as the first 40 paragraphs of Sunday’s lead article....
Most people don't realize it yet, but the US is in the midst of a constitutional crisis as the result of an attempted soft coup.

Consortium News
Former CIA Chief Brennan Running Scared
Ray McGovern, CIA analyst under seven Presidents and nine CIA directors and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

Ousmène Jacques Mandeng and Piroska Nagy-Mohacsi — Cryptocurrencies challenge the status quo

Cryptocurrencies have been the subject of recent attacks by official sector representatives, and the G20 finance ministers will consider regulatory proposals at their next meeting in Buenos Aires. This column argues that while cryptocurrencies present certain risks, they also represent an important innovation that promises to enhance choice and efficiency in monetary transactions. A proportionate, risk-based regulatory approach is required to accommodate differential attitudes and experiences and to avoid stifling innovation and competition. This implies having an open debate before sweeping regulatory action.... — CEPR's Policy Portal
Cryptocurrencies challenge the status quo
Ousmène Jacques Mandeng, Visiting Fellow, LSE Institute of Global Affairs, and Piroska Nagy-Mohacsi, Programme Director, Institute For Global Affairs, London School of Economics

Washington tax authorities are treating crypto-currencies as properties and not money and this means US investors are starting to receive some unexpected and large tax demands.
"Prosecution futures." (ht Yves Smith)
Money laundering. Tick. Ponzi frauds and market manipulation. Tick. Terrorist financing and drug dealing. Tick. Tax evasion? Yes, that too can now get a tick on the checklist of supposed crypto crimes.

David F. Ruccio — Buyback this!

I have been arguing, since 2016 (e.g., here, here, and here), that one of the likely outcomes of the kind of corporate tax cuts Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans have supported—and, as we saw, eventually rammed through—would be an increase in inequality. That’s because corporations would likely use a portion of their higher profits to engage in stock buybacks, leading to an increase in stock prices. And stock ownership in the United States is already grotesquely unequal. Therefore, the rise in equity prices would disproportionately benefit the small group at the top of the wealth pyramid.
And that’s exactly what is happening. As CNN Money reports, U.S. corporations have showered Wall Street with $214 billion of stock buyback announcements so far this year....
Occasional Links & Commentary
Buyback this!
David F. Ruccio | Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame

Bill Mitchell — Eurozone policy failures laid bare

On March 13, 2018, the OECD released its latest Economic Outlook with accompanying “Interim projections” as at March 2018) suggesting that the current growth phase will continue through to next year as consumer and business confidence improves and translates in higher investment rates. The OECD, however, forecasts that growth in the Eurozone will decline over the next two years. The major Eurozone nations (France, Germany and Italy) are not witnessing the growing investment expenditure. The Eurozone might be seeing a little sunshine creeping out from the very dark clouds. But it is far from recovered and the future is ominously black. Key cyclical indicators remain at depressed levels, which means that when the next cycle hits, the Eurozone will be in a much worse position than before. And the reason: the fundamentally flawed design of the monetary system with its accompanying austerity bias. The reform required is root-and-branch rather than a prune here and there....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Eurozone policy failures laid bare
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Saker — The outcome of the election in Russia explained in simple, plain, English

Here are the preliminary results with only 76% of the votes counted (but the outcome is already obvious) explained in simple, plain English:
1) Putin easily wins by a landslide and is *more* popular than ever2) The Russian Communists and Zhirinovsky have reached terminal irrelevancy3) Only 2.6% of Russians are pro-USA and generally pro-West (Sobchak+Yavlinsky)4) The entire AngloZionist anti-Putin campaign has miserably failed5) The Empire has two choices left: go to war or fold6) If the Empire choses to to go war it will face a completely united Russia
The Vineyard of the Saker
The outcome of the election in Russia explained in simple, plain, English
The Saker

Speaking at his campaign headquarters, Putin discussed preliminary elections results, in which he leads with a huge margin, and disclosed views on key issues and his plans for the future.
Sputnik International
'We Need a Leap Forward': Putin Adresses Rally Amid Projected Landslide Win

From Soviet comparisons to accusations of authoritarianism, mainstream coverage of Russia’s presidential election has barely changed since 2004, though mentions of the UK spy poisoning scandal did add a fresh layer of insinuation.
Western media continue sounding like Pravda and Izvestia at the time of the Cold War.

‘Dictator’ Putin wins ‘fraud-tainted’ vote: Western media sticks to narrative on Russian election

Sputnik spoke to Vladimir Golstein, an associate professor of Slavic Studies, on challenges facing Russia economically and politically.
Sputnik International
Russians Agree with Putin Foreign Policy, Question Domestic Policy - Expert

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman says attempts to influence the outcome of the Russian presidential vote were obvious and unprecedented
Diplomat calls West’s attempts to influence presidential election 'obvious'

Greg Palast — 3 Dangers In The Blow-Up Over Cambridge Analytica, Trump’s Computer Gurus

First, this is not a "bad apple" story. The dark art of dynamic psychometric manipulation in politics was not pioneered by Cambridge Analytica for Trump, but by i360 Themis, the operation founded by the Koch brothers.…
The second danger is to forget that the GOP has been using computer power to wipe away voting rights of Black and Hispanic voters for years — by "caging," "Crosscheck," citizenship challenges based on last name (Garcia? Not American!?!) and more — a far more effective use of cyberpower than unconsciously manipulating your behavior through Facebook ads.
The third danger is to overplay the importance of cyberwar techniques in elections. Cambridge Analytica worked for Ted Cruz in the GOP primary AGAINST Trump — and what happened. That Hillary Clinton arrogantly defended NAFTA in Michigan, did not deign to visit Wisconsin once during the campaign, never visited or met with jobless auto workers at a closed plant in Ohio, as Trump did — this had more to do with her loss than computer geeks playing mad scientist in Britain.…
Greg Palast
3 Dangers In The Blow-Up Over Cambridge Analytica, Trump’s Computer Gurus

See also

Zero Hedge
Edward Snowden: Facebook Is A Surveillance Company Rebranded As "Social Media"
Tyler Durden 

Jason Del Ray — Amazon is creating a health care company with the help of Warren Buffett and JPMorgan Chase

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase are working with the e-commerce giant.

ht Brad DeLong at Grasping Reality

See also
The e-commerce giant is muscling its way into a number of businesses that banks have long dominated.
American Banker
How Amazon is shaking up financial services
Keven Wack

Coleen Rowley — McCabe: A War on (or in) the FBI?

Andrew McCabe’s claim that his firing amounts to a “war on the FBI” doesn’t make sense considering it was the FBI’s own internal affairs office that recommended he be fired, as FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley explains....
About more than just McCabe.
The real problem that most of the mainstream media don’t want to even mention is how unprecedented it was to have both Presidential campaigns under serious criminal investigation in the weeks before the 2016 election! In all fairness, even if these now-fired FBI Directors were trying to do the right thing – which would not be in line with their rather sordid track records – it wouldn’t really be possible to walk that political mine field without a faux pas one way or the other. Seen in that light, it’s possible to even sympathize a little with any FBI Director when the public corruption at the highest levels in Washington DC has become so bad (and fully bipartisan), that it’s hard to know where to start.
Consortium News
McCabe: A War on (or in) the FBI?
Coleen Rowley, retired FBI special agent, division legal counsel and law enforcement ethics instructor who testified in connection with the 9-11 Joint Intelligence Committee’s Inquiry, the Senate Judiciary Committee investigation and Department of Justice Inspector General’s investigation, exposing some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures

Todd Gitlin — The youngsters school the college kids: Last week’s gun protests were powerfully effective — older students should take notes

Young people getting up off their butts en masse, taking their eyeballs off their phone, and striking to protest gun violence in schools. 60's redux? Is activism on the rise again after Occupy?

New York Daily News — Opinion
The youngsters school the college kids: Last week’s gun protests were powerfully effective — older students should take notes
Todd Gitlin | professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University and the author of "Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street."

OAN — China To Appoint Yi Gang As New Central Bank Governor: WSJ

China has selected American-trained economist Yi Gang to become the country’s new central bank governor, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Sunday, citing unnamed people with knowledge of the matter.
"American-trained." Oh oh. Hope he is not as clueless as the US Fed and conventional US academics.

Linda Ramsey — The US spends twice as much on healthcare as other developed nations and gets worse outcomes — and the reasons why show what it’s going to take to reform healthcare

  • At the same time, the health outcomes, or how well people fare with their health, aren't any better and are often worse than countries that spend half as much on healthcare as the US does.
  • The study's authors concluded that the main reason the US spends so much has to do with the prices of labor, goods (like pharmaceuticals), and administrative costs — not how often Americans get certain procedures, which was no more than any other country. 
Explains the higher cost but not poorer outcomes.

Business Insider
The US spends twice as much on healthcare as other developed nations and gets worse outcomes — and the reasons why show what it’s going to take to reform healthcare
Lydia Ramsey

John Helmer — The Blood Libel Of The British Government (Sic)

Prime Minister Theresa May committed a blood libel against Russians in the House of Commons last week. This was the allegation that the Russian state and all Russians are murderers.
May has subsequently asked the Foreign Secretary and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to correct the record by charging that only one Russian, President Vladimir Putin, is a murderer.
The Canadian Government was also requested by the British to urgently correct the record May has been making in refusing to allow the international rules of the Chemical Weapons Convention to decide what happened in the poison attack in Salisbury on March 4. 
According to the new Canadian statement, coordinated with the British, the international convention can be suspended by Prime Minister May in order to make her blood libel stick.
If this is reminding you of Adolph Hitler’s blood libel against the Jews, followed by Austrian support after the Anschluss (union) with Germany of 1938, it should.
A blood libel is an allegation of murder against a race of people. Its history is ancient; it’s most familiar today as the charge of ritual murder against Jews. Hitler and the Nazis followed many others over a thousand years of European history....
Russophobia gone mad (sociopathic).

The UK has a long history of this and Winston Churchill was a poster child for it.

Blood libel has indeed a long history and the US has not escaped it in its history either, beginning with Native American, resulting in genocide, and continuing with non-whites to the present. It would not be exaggeration to say that many of the most serious issues that the US faces today result from this sociopathy.

Dances with Bears
The Blood Libel Of The British Government (Sic)
John Helmer

See also

"Last" means "final," not "previous."

Defend Democracy Press
Sergei Glazyev

See also
I met Anastasia Barannikova this last December when I visited the Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Russia. I was there to participate in discussions with eight of the university’s regional security experts about the situation in Korea, only a few hundred kilometers distant from where we sat. In my notes I circled Anastasia Barannikova’s name. Her colleagues mentioned that she had the best set of contacts with North Koreans.
After I returned to my home in Boston, I contacted Barannikova and was able to arrange an interview. She is Russian, but her perspective should not be equated with that of the Kremlin. Rather it is an assessment from an informed young academic living 9,000 kilometers east of Moscow, active in international non-proliferation circles, and benefiting as a researcher from her hard-won independent relationships with North Koreans as primary sources.
We conducted the interview on February 18, and since then there have been many new and important developments in Korea. Nonetheless, what she has to say remains highly relevant to understanding and assessing the statements of officials and the reporting by the press regarding both diplomacy and war posturing in the coming months....
A Russian Perspective On Korean Denuclearization
Charles Knight, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy interviews Anastasia Barannikova, research fellow and doctoral candidate at the Center for Maritime International Studies, Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University, Vladivostok, Russia

See also


Craig Murray Blog
Boris Johnson Attempt to Refute My Sources on Porton Down the Most Hilarious Fail
Craig Murray, formerly British ambassador to Uzbekistan and Rector of the University of Dundee

With the kind of post-imperial arrogance befitting of a nation state that lacks an independent foreign policy, Theresa May demanded that Russia explain the deaths of Mr Skripal and his daughter to her satisfaction. But amid all of the media hyperbole over the last week, what the corporate media omitted to report to the public was the fact that under the terms of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to which the UK is a signatory, the UK government was obliged to provide Russia with a sample of the nerve agent used, along with all related evidence uncovered in the course of the investigation.…
Suspicions that the UK’s role in the crisis is not that of the honest broker were further heightened after it was revealed that on March 14, the country blocked a Russia-drafted UN Security Council statement calling for an urgent inquiry into the incident....
A significant Middle East ally and regional player is, of course, Israel which has major undeclared stocks of chemical weapons but has refused to ratify the CWC. It is perfectly reasonable under these circumstances to point the finger for the poisoning of Mr Skripal and his daughter at either Mossad, the CIA or M15....
Renegade, Inc.
Is the ‘Novichok’ story the UKs latest WMD scam?
Daniel Margrain

In short, we should be extremely sceptical of this sudden new information that Boris Johnson has produced out of a hat. If the UK was in possession of intelligence about a secret Russian chemical weapons programme, it was not under a legal obligation to tell Andrew Marr, but it was under a legal obligation to tell the OPCW. Not only did the UK fail to do that, the UK Ambassador Sir Geoffrey Adams was last year fulsomely congratulating the OPCW on the completion of the destruction of Russia’s chemical weapons stocks, without a single hint or reservation entered that Russia may have undeclared or secret stocks.
On the Andrew Marr programme, Boris Johnson appeared to say for the first time that the nerve agent in Salisbury was actually made in Russia. But this is a major divergence from the published FCO statement, which very markedly does not say this. Boris Johnson was therefore almost certainly reverting to his reflex lying.…
It does not need me to point out, that if Porton Down had identified the nerve agent as made in Russia, the FCO would not have added that paragraph. Plainly they cannot say it was made in Russia.

The Soviet Chemical Weapons programme was based in Nukus in Uzbekistan. It was the Americans who dismantled and studied it and destroyed and removed the equipment. I visited it as Ambassador to Uzbekistan shortly after they had finished – I recall it as desolate, tiled and very cold, nothing to look at really. The above paragraph seeks to hold the Russians responsible for anything that came out of Nukus, when it was the Americans who actually took it....
Either the UK leadership is lying or violating it's treaty obligation. Take your pick. I would bet on lying given past behavior.

Craig Murray Blog
Boris Johnson Issues Completely New Story on “Russian Novichoks”Craig Murray, formerly British ambassador to Uzbekistan and Rector of the University of Dundee

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had a moment of clarity once. He famously said, “When things get serious, you have to lie.”
Given the state of affairs in his beloved European Union right now Mr. Juncker and company are doing a lot of lying....
Russia Insider
Things Must Be Serious, Everyone’s Lying
Tom Luongo

Brian Romanchuk — Understanding Fiscal Sustainability Debates

I have encountered a number of discussions of fiscal sustainability over the past weeks. In particular, there have been debates between proponents of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and mainstream economists. This article does not attempt to settle the debate (although I am in the MMT camp, and obviously biased), rather frame the discussion. One of the problems with the debate is that the sides tend to talk past each other, as they have a quite different theoretical views, and this article explains why....
Bond Economics
Understanding Fiscal Sustainability Debates
Brian Romanchuk

Ian Greenhalgh - Operation Beluga – The Plot to Demonise Putin

This is a really good and is three articles in one. KV

You would have to have been in a coma or otherwise unconscious to not have heard the one about the two poisoned Russians on an English park bench and how those evil Russians did it, the news media has talked of little else in the past week.

Despite giving this story immense amounts of air time, the media have completely failed to apply even the most rudimentary standards of journalism, they have done a shockingly bad job of reporting on this case.

They have utterly failed to do their job and ask the relevant questions such as: Who was this Russian? Why was he poisoned? Who was he associated with? Who might want him dead? Who has he upset? etc; the sort of basic questions that should be asked right at the beginning, the moment the story broke.

Instead, all we have been given, in lieu of actual journalistic reporting, is a bunch of talking heads, many of them members of the UK government, all of them bleating about how reckless and downright murderous the Russians are to have brazenly attacked someone on English soil.
Where is the evidence? Where is the investigative reporting? The media has simply accepted whole and unquestioning the ‘Russia did it’ claim of Theresa May, obediently following the government’s narrative, not once allowing a dissenting voice to be heard lest it asks even the simplest question or expresses even a glimmer of doubt.

What happened to that most proudly held tradition of English law – that one is innocent until proven guilty? Instead of applying that standard of English justice to Vladimir Putin, we have simply accepted he is guilty because Theresa May and Boris Johnson said so.

This is not the first time this has happened, a little over a decade ago, the death of Russian Alexander Litvinenko in London was also blamed on Putin. Litvinenko was not murdered on Putin’s orders, there was never even a single shred of evidence to support that claim; furthermore, there was a mass of evidence to point to a completely different group of people.

However, the British government and media steadfastly ignored all the inconvenient facts and simply blamed Putin, exactly the same as they are today over Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
Litvinenko’s death was most likely accidental, the result of mishandling of the Polonium-210 he was engaged in smuggling. Litvinenko was an ex-FSB officer who, like many of his former comrades, was now in the employ of the Khazarian mafia. He worked for Boris Berezevsky as a mule, transporting nuclear materials back and forth to Israel.

This is made obvious by the places that traces of Polonium-210 were found: on the British Airways planes that flew Litvinenko back and forth to Israel, in Boris Berezovsky’s house, in the offices of businesses owned by Berezovsky…

Were Berezovsky and his Khazarian mafia associates investigated, did the media look into the background to this story? Nope, they simply piled the blame on Putin, regardless of the complete lack of evidence, just as they have done this week in the Skripal case.

There have been a great deal of similar cases of ‘blame Putin’ in recent years, the Litvinenko and Skripal cases are simply the most well known. When so many accusations are aimed at one man and so little evidence is presented to support those accusations, one has to wonder if there is some kind of plot to demonise Putin.

Well, wonder no more for there is clear evidence that such a plot exists in the form of a long-running operation by the intelligence services of the West, primarily the US and Britain, but no doubt aided by the Mossad and others.

In 2014, a highly credible source – a high ranking French security expert by the name of Paul Barril exposed the existence of a plot to demonise Putin and thus destabilise and weaken Russia; it is called Operation Beluga.

This bombshell was reported by one reporter for one online publication and thus went unnoticed, certainly no-one in the mainstream media made any mention of it, lest their ‘Putin did it’ narrative was holed beneath the waterline and sunk with all hands by this bombshell.
You can read the article that exposed the existence of Operation Beluga below; precious little else is known about this operation, but VT is investigating and will report what we learn in the near future.

Ian Greenhalgh - Operation Beluga – The Plot to Demonise Putin

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Paul Craig Roberts — War Is On The Horizon

Good analysis.

Paul Craig Roberts
Yaniv Kubovich


Lies and shifting goal posts. The US leadership never intended to deliver.

National Security Archives
NATO Expansion: What Yeltsin Heard

We’ve reached the point where the US will have to either confront Russia militarily or accept that their vicious project in Syria has failed. My gut feeling is that the foreign policy establishment is not ready to throw in the towel just yet. They are going do something very risky and very stupid. They’re going to roll the dice and hope they don’t come up snake-eyes.
Unz Review
Will Washington launch a “false flag” on Russia’s Election Day?
Ron Unz

Craig Murray — First Recorded Successful Novichok Synthesis was in 2017 – By Iran, in Cooperation with the OPCW

The line that novichoks can only be produced by Russia is now proven to be a complete lie. As I previously proved by referencing their publications, in 2013 the OPCW scientific advisory committee note the evidence was sparse that novichoks had ever been successfully produced, and in 2016 that was still the line being published by Porton Down in 2016. You can find the hard evidence of all that here.
I have now been sent the vital information that in 2017, Iranian scientists set out to study whether novichoks really could be produced from commercially available ingredients. Iran succeeded in synthesising a number of novichoks. Iran did this in full cooperation with the OPCW and immediately reported the results to the OPCW so they could be added to the chemical weapons database.
This makes complete nonsense of the Theresa May’s “of a type developed by Russia” line, used to parliament and the UN Security Council. This explains why Porton Down have refused to cave in to governmental pressure to say the nerve agent was Russian. If Iran can make a novichok, so can a significant number of states.

While Iran acted absolutely responsibly in cooperating with the OPCW, there are a handful of rogue states operating outwith the rule of international law, like Israel and North Korea, which refuse to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention, join the OPCW or destroy their chemical weapons stocks. Russia has cooperated in the OPCW destruction of all its chemical weapons stocks, completed last year, which included regular OPCW inspection of all the sites alleged to have been in the original “novichok” programme. Why nobody is even looking at the rogue states outwith the OPCW is a genuine puzzle.…
If others, which others and cui bono?

Israel/Mossad immediately comes to mind. Israel has stated that it is preparing for hostilities with Iran and soliciting the West for support, while Russia is standing in the way. The means and motive are clear, and Mossad has a long record of such operations.

Craig Murray
First Recorded Successful Novichok Synthesis was in 2017 – By Iran, in Cooperation with the OPCW

The Duran
Maria Zakharova blows apart poisoning hoax: US should “be put under question 
Alex Christoforou


21st Century Wire
OPCW: ‘Soviet Toxins Were Smuggled Out and Continued in Other countries, Including US’


UK reluctance to file request to Russia under OPCW indicates their case is weak – Lavrov


Paul Craig Roberts
War Is On The Horizon

CGTN — China to restrict people with poor social credit when using trains and flights

Sort of like taking away one's driver's license in the US for offense like reckless driving, accumulating too many citations in a period, or driving while intoxicated. It's unclear in the US why persons are put the no-fly list since the government does not have to divulge the reason.
The two statements published on NDRC's website elaborate on cases which would garner a bad rating.
One statement says that restrictions on train travel apply to people who've engaged in wrongdoing, as defined by the country's railway corporation or police. Offenders could be barred from riding trains for up to a year. So far, the statement enumerates several cases that could be considered a disruption of railway transit, including smoking on trains, using expired tickets and scalping tickets....
For flight restrictions, the development and reform authority will get negative marks and be forbidden from flying for a year if they are found inventing and spreading false information; causing disruptions during check-ins, security checks and boarding; posing threats to flight safety; or smoking....
The country's Supreme People's Court, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, and Administration of Taxation and Securities Regulatory Commission also helped build the social credit system by sharing information with civil aviation and railway authorities. Consequently, those who have earned a demerit in other fields, like those who fail to pay fines or who fail to pay certain debts, may also face these restrictions….

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers — US Doubles Down As Empire Declines

US empire is in decline. Reports of the end of the US being the unitary power in world affairs are common, as are predictions of the end of US empire. China surpassed the United States as the world economic leader, according to Purchasing Power Parity Gross National Product, and Russia announced new weapons that can overcome the US’ defense systems.
What is happening in the United States, in response, is to do more of what has been causing the decline....
Too many wars on the periphery of the empire, and failure to decisively win any of them.
Military spending will now consume 57% of federal discretionary spending....
Popular Resistance
US Doubles Down As Empire Declines
Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers

Paul Robinson — Three doses of drivel

More example of "Putin derangement syndrome."

Textbook cases in the use of propaganda — all form Canada. Canadian views seem to be firmly in the grip of Ukrainian nationalists.

Three doses of drivel
Paul Robinson | Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa

Putative cyberattacks were already debunked in late 2016.
Recycling propaganda, on the principle that a lie told often enough becomes "truth"?
Jason Ditz


U.S. Deploys Naval Strike Groups For Attacks On Syria, Trains Militants For False Flag Chemical Attacks


Russia Insider
Tread on Russia at Your Peril
 The Saker


The Vineyard of the Saker
Russian MoD warn: US is preparing a chemical false flag attack in Syria to justify US attack

Russia’s Long Road Toward Resurgence (MUST WATCH documentary)The Saker

Lars P. Syll — Scientific realism and inference​ to the best explanation

On the basis of scientific method.

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Scientific realism and inference​ to the best explanation

The poverty of deductivismLars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

See also

Stumbling and Mumbling
The illusion of knowledge
Chris Dillow | Investors Chronicle

Jonathon Cook - Monbiot is not only a hypocrite, but a bully too

I read the Guardian for years and I loved the paper. When I was teenager I used to read the Daily Mirror but one day I found a Guardian discarded on a train and when I read it I could't believe what I was reading because I always thought that those big posh broadsheets were Tory papers. Anyway, after that I bought the guardian everyday and it was a badge of honour for me. When George Monbiot turned up I really looked forward to his articles but a colleague at work, the only person interested in politics there, said he was a phoney and didn't like him. I would defend George Monbiot but now I know my friend was right.

I email George Monbiot all the time giving him the real news but he never replies. He can no excuse for not knowing what is going on. I recently sent him the article, South East Asia ''Forgets'' about Western Terror, by Andre Vltchek, and another article on the scorched earth terror bombing of Korea and asked to write about it,  Of course, I knew he wouldn't, because at the moment the West is being portrayed as white, and everyone else as black and these articles would spoil the narrative. So George Monbiot is about as much use as a chocolate teapot. KV

Jonathon Cook

Undermining climate concerns

The many tens of thousands of leftists who defend Monbiot, or turn a blind eye to his hypocrisy, largely do so because of his record on the environment. But in practice they are enabling not only his increasingly overt incitement against critical thinkers, but also undermining the very cause his supporters believe he champions.
Climate breakdown is a global concern. Rewilding, bike-riding, protecting bees and polar bears, and developing new sustainable technologies are all vitally important. But such actions will amount to little if we fail to turn a highly sceptical eye on the activities of a western military-industrial complex ravaging the planet’s poorest regions.
These war industries fill their coffers by using weapons indiscriminately on “enemy” populations, spawning new and fiercer enemies – while often propping them up too – to generate endless wars. The consequences include massive displacements of these populations who then destabilise other regions, spreading the effect and creating new opportunities for the arms manufacturers, homeland security industries, and the financial industries that feed off them.
A true environmentalist has to look as critically at western policies in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela and many other areas of the globe as he does at UK policy in the Welsh hills and the Lake District.

All indications are that Monbiot lacks the experience, knowledge and skills to unravel the deceptions being perpetrated in the west’s proxy and not-so-proxy wars overseas. That is fair enough. What is not reasonable is that he should use his platforms to smear precisely those who can speak with a degree of authority and independence – and then conspire in denying them a platform to respond. That is the behaviour not only of a hypocrite, but of a bully too.
Jonathon Cook - Monbiot is not only a hypocrite, but a bully too