Smith briskly takes a sledgehammer to any number of plaster saints
cluttering up the edifice of modern economics:
"assumptions that are patently ridiculous: that individuals are rational and
utility-maximizing (which has become such a slippery notion as to be meaningless), that buyers
and sellers have perfect information, that there are no transaction costs, that capital flows
And then...papers with cooked figures, economists oblivious to speculative factors
driving oil prices, travesty versions of Keynes's ideas that airbrush out its most characteristic
features in the name of mathematical tractability.
And then...any number of grand-sounding theoretical constructs: the Arrow-Debreu
theorem, the Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium model, the Black-Scholes option model, Value
at Risk, CAPM, the Gaussian copula, that only work under blatantly unrealistic assumptions that
go by high falutin' names - equilibrium, ergodicity, and so on.
The outcome of this pseudo-scientific botching is an imposing corpus of pretentious
quackery that somehow elevates unregulated "free markets" into the sole mechanism for distribution
of the spoils of economic activity. We are supposed to believe that by some alchemical process,
maximum indulgence of human greed results in maximum prosperity for all. That's unfair to alchemy:
compared with the threadbare scientific underpinnings of this economic dogma, alchemy is a model
How many others are being paid for punditry? Or has the culture of corruption
spread so far that the question is, Who isn't?
PAUL KRUGMAN, NYT, December 19, 2005
"MIT and Wharton and University of Chicago created the financial engineering instruments
which, like Samson and Delilah, blinded every CEO. They didn't realize the kind of leverage they
were doing and they didn't understand when they were really creating a real profit or a fictitious
Neoclassical economics as a universal door opener for financial oligarchy
There are many
good reviews of the book published already and I don't want to repeat them. But I think there
is one aspect of the book that was not well covered in the published reviews and which I think
is tremendously important and makes the book a class of its own: the use of neoclassical economics
as a universal door opener for financial oligarchy. I hope that the term "econned" will became
a new word in English language.
Neoclassical economics has become the modern religion with its own priests, sacred texts and
a scheme of salvation. It was a successful attempt to legitimize the unlimited rule of financial
oligarchy by using quasi-mathematical, oversimplified and detached for reality models. The net
result is a new brand of theology, which proved to be pretty powerful in influencing people and
capturing governments("cognitive regulatory capture"). Like Marxism, neoclassical economics is
a triumph of ideology over science. It was much more profitable though: those who were the most
successful in driving this Trojan horse into the gates were remunerated on the level of Wall Street
Economics is essentially a political science. And politics is about perception. Neo-classical
economics is all about manipulating the perception in such a way as to untie hands of banking
elite to plunder the country (and get some cramps from the table for themselves). Yves contributed
to our understanding how "These F#@king Guys" as Jon Steward defined them, economics professors
from Chicago, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton and some other places warmed by flow of money from
banks for specific services provided managed to serve as a fifth column helping Wall Street to
plunder the country. The rhetorical question that a special counsel to the U.S. Army, Joseph Welch,
asked Senator McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency?" applies.
The main effect of neoclassical economics is elevating unregulated ( "free" in neoclassic economics
speak) markets into the key mechanism for distribution of the results of economic activity with
banks as all-powerful middlemen and sedating any opposition with pseudo-mathematical mumbo-jumbo.
Complexity was used as a powerful smoke screen to conceal greed and incompetence. As a result
financial giants were able to loot almost all sectors of economics with impunity and without any
remorse, not unlike the brutal conquerors in Middle Ages.
The key to the success of this nationwide looting is that people should be brainwashed/indoctrinated
to believe that by some alchemical process, maximum level of greed results in maximum prosperity
for all. Collapse of the USSR helped in this respect driving the message home: look how the alternative
ended, when in reality the USSR was a neo-feudal society. But the exquisite irony here is that
Bolsheviks-style ideological brainwashing was applied very successfully to the large part of the
US population (especially student population) using neo-classical economics instead of Marxism
(which by-and-large was also a pseudo-religious economic theory with slightly different priests
and the plan of salvation ;-). The application of badly constructed mathematical models proved
to be a powerful tool for distorting reality in a certain, desirable for financial elite direction.
One of the many definitions of Ponzi Scheme is "transfer liabilities to unwilling others." The
use of detached from reality mathematical models fits this definition pretty well.
The key idea here is that neoclassical economists are not and never have been scientists: much
like Marxist economists they always were just high priests of a dangerous cult -- neoliberalism
-- and they are more then eager to stretch the truth for the benefit of the sect (and indirectly
to their own benefit). All-in-all this is not unlike Lysenkoism: state support was and still is
here, it is just working more subtly via ostracism, without open repressions. Look at Shiller
story on p.9.
I think that one of lasting insights provided by Econned is the demonstration how the US society
was taken hostage by the ideological views of the neoclassical economic school that has dominated
the field at least for 30 or may be even 50 years. And that this ideological coup d'état was initiated
and financed by banking establishment who was a puppeteer behind the curtain. This is not unlike
the capture of Russia by Bolsheviks supported by German intelligence services (and Bolshevics
rule lasted slightly longer -- 65 years). Bolsheviks were just adherents of similar wrapped in
the mantle of economic theory religious cult, abeit more dangerous and destructive for the people
of Russia then neoclassical economics is for the people of the USA. Quoting Marx we can say "History
repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce".
That also means that there is no easy way out of the current situation. Ideologies are sticky
and can lead to the collapse of society rather then peaceful evolution.
So it's no surprise that there is a strong evidence that neo-classical economics is not a science,
it's a political ideology of financial oligarchy masquerading as science. Or a religious cult,
if you wish.
So it's no surprise that there is a strong evidence that neo-classical economics is not
a science, it's a political ideology of financial oligarchy masquerading as science.
Or a religious cult, if you wish.
The cult which served as a Trojan horse for bankers to grab power and wealth by robbing fellow Americans.
In a way this is a classic story of a parasite killing the host. The powers that be in academia put
their imprimatur on economic ‘theory,’ select and indoctrinate its high priests to teach it, and with
a host of media players grinding out arguments pro and con this and that, provide legitimacy sufficient
for cover of bankers objectives. Which control the disposition and annuity streams of pension fund assets
and related financial services. In his new documentary
Inside Job, filmmaker
Charles Ferguson provides strong evidence of a systematic mass corruption of economic profession
Ferguson points to 20 years of deregulation, rampant greed (a
la Gordon Gekko) and cronyism. This cronyism is in large part due to a revolving door between
not only Wall Street and Washington, but also the incestuous relationship
between Wall Street, Washington and academia.
The conflicts of interest that arise when academics take on roles outside of education are largely
unspoken, but a very big problem. “The academic economics discipline has been very heavily penetrated
by the financial services industry,” Ferguson tells Aaron in the accompanying clip. “Many prominent
academics now actually make the majority of their money from the financial services industry, not
from teaching or research. [This fact] has definitely compromised the research work and the policy
advice that we get from academia.”
... ... ...
Feguson is astonished by the lack of regulation demanding financial disclosure of all academics
and is now pushing for it. “At a minimum, federal law should require
public disclosure of all outside income that is in any way related to professors’ publishing and
policy advocacy,” he writes. “It may be desirable to go
even further, and to limit the total size of outside income that potentially generates conflicts
The dismantling of economic schools that favor financial oligarchy interests over real research (and
prosecuting academic criminals -- many prominent professors in Chicago, Harvard, Columbia and other
prominent members of neo-classical economic church) require a new funding model. As neoliberalism itself,
the neoclassical economy is very sticky. Chances for success of any reform in the current environment
are slim to non existent.
Just like Mishkin analyzed Iceland for $120k? a huge proportion in US [are] on Fed payroll, or
beneficiaries of corporate thinktank cash; they are coverup lipstick and makeup;
hacks for hire.
Like truth-trashing mortgage pushers, credit raters, CDO CDS market manipulators and bribe-fueled
fraud enablers of all stripes -- they do it for the dough -- and because everybody else is doing
It's now a common understanding that "These F#@king Guys" as Jon Steward defined them, professors
of neoclassical economics from Chicago, Harvard and some other places are warmed by flow of money from
financial services industries for specific services provided managed to serve as a fifth column helping financial
oligarchy to destroy the country. This role of neo-classical economists as the fifth column of financial
oligarchy is an interesting research topic. Just don't expect any grants for it ;-).
As Reinhold Niebuhraptly noted in his classic Moral Man and Immoral Society
Since inequalities of privilege are greater than could possibly be defended rationally, the intelligence
of privileged groups is usually applied to the task of inventing specious proofs for the theory that
universal values spring from, and that general interests are served by, the special privileges which
I would like to stress it again: they are not and never have been scientists: they are just high
priests of dangerous cult -- neoliberalism -- and they are more then eager to stretch the truth for
the sect (and that means their own) benefits. Fifth column of financial oligarchy. All-in-all this is
not unlike Lysenkoism: at some point state support became obvious as financial oligarchy gained significant
share of government power (as Glass-Steagall
repealsignified). It is just more subtle working via ostracism and flow of funding, without
open repressions. See also
Politicization of science
and The Republican
War on Science
Like Russia with Bolsheviks, the US society was taken hostage by the ideological views of the Chicago
economic school that has dominated the field for approximately 50 years ( as minimum over 30 years).
Actually the situation not unlike the situation with Lysenkoism is the USSR. It's pretty notable that
the USA suffered 30 years of this farce, actually approximately the same amount of time the USSR scientific
community suffered from Lysenkoism (1934-1965)
"Over the past 30 years, the economics profession—in economics departments, and in business,
public policy, and law schools—has become so compromised by conflicts of interest that it now
functions almost as a support group for financial services and other industries whose profits
depend heavily on government policy.
The route to the 2008 financial crisis, and the economic problems that still plague us, runs
straight through the economics discipline. And it's due not just to ideology; it's also about
straightforward, old-fashioned money."
Peter Dormat noticed amazing similarity between
medical researchers taking money from drug companies and economists. In case of medical researchers
widespread corruption can at least be partially kept in check by rules of disclosure. Universities are
being called out for their failure to disclose to public agencies the other, private grants researchers
are pulling in. This is not perfect policing as the universities themselves get a cut of the proceeds,
so that the conflict of interest exists but at least this is theirs too.
But there is no corresponding policy for economics. So for them there are not even rules to be broken.
And this is not a bug, this is feature. In a sense corruption is officially institualized
and expected in economics. Being a paid shill is the typical career of many professional economists.
Some foundations require an acknowledgment in the published research they support, but that's all about
“thank you”, not disclaimer about the level of influence of those who pay for the music exert on the
selection of the tune. Any disclosure of other, privately-interested funding sources by economists is
strictly voluntary, and in practice seldom occurs. Trade researchers can be funded by foreign governments
or business associations and so on and so forth.
In this atmosphere pseudo-theories have currency and are attractive to economists who want to enrich
themselves. That situation is rarely reflected in mainstream press. For example, there some superficial
critiques of neo-classical economics as a new form of Lysenkoism (it enjoyed the support of the state)
but MSM usually frame the meltdown of neo-classical economic theory something like "To all you corrupt
jerks out there: shake off the old camouflage as it became too visible and find a new way misleading
the masses...". At the same time it's a real shocker, what a bunch of toxic theories and ideologies
starting from Reagan have done to the US economy.
That suggests that neo-economics such as Milton Friedman (and lower level patsies like
Fama ) were just paid propagandists of a superficial, uninformed, and simplistic view of the world
that was convenient to the ruling elite. While this is somewhat simplistic explanation, it's by-and-large
true and that was one of the factors led the USA very close to the cliff... Most of their theories is
not only just nonsense for any trained Ph.D level mathematician or computer scientist, they look like
nonsense to any person with a college degree, who looks at them with a fresh, unprejudiced mind. There
are several economic myths, popularized by well paid propagandists over the last thirty years, that
are falling hard in the recent series of financial crises: the efficient market hypothesis, the inherent
benefits of globalization from the natural equilibrium of national competitive advantages, and the infallibility
of unfettered greed as a ideal method of managing and organizing human social behavior and maximizing
I would suggest that and economic theory has a strong political-economic
dimension. The cult of markets, ideological subservience and manipulation, etc. certainly
are part of neo-classical economics that was influenced by underling political agenda this pseudo-theory
promotes. As pdavidsonutk
wrote: July 16, 2009 16:14
Keynes noted that "classical theorists resemble Euclidean geometers in a non Euclidean world who,
discovering that in experience straight lines apparently parallel often meet, rebuke the lines for
not keeping straight --as the only remedy for the unfortunate collisions. Yet in truth there is no
remedy except to throw over the axiom of parallels to work out a non-Euclidean geometry. SOMETHING
SIMILAR IS REQUIRED IN ECONOMICS TODAY. " [Emphasis added]
As I pointed out in my 2007 book JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES (Mentioned in this ECONOMIST article as a
biography "of the master") Keynes threw over three classical axioms: (1) the neutral money axiom
(2) the gross substitution axiom, and (3) the ergodic axiom.
The latter is most important for understanding why modern macroeconomics is dwelling in an Euclidean
economics world rather than the non-Euclidean economics Keynes set forth.
The Ergodic axiom asserts that the future is merely the statistical shadow of the past so that
if one develops a probability distribution using historical data, the same probability distribution
will govern all future events till the end of time!! Thus in this Euclidean economics there is no
uncertainty about the future only probabilistic risk that can reduce the future to actuarial certainty!
In such a world rational people and firms know (with actuarial certainty) their intertemporal budget
constrains and optimize -- so that there can never be an loan defaults, insolvencies, or bankruptcies.
Keynes argued that important economic decisions involved nonergodic processes, so
that the future could NOT be forecasted on the basis of past statistical
probability results -- and therefore certain human institutions had to be develop0ed
as part of the law of contracts to permit people to make crucial decisions regarding a future that
they "knew" they could not know and still sleep at night. When the future seems very uncertain, then
rational people in a nonergodic world would decide not to make any decisions to commit their real
resources -- but instead save via liquid assets so they could make decisions another day when the
future seemed to them less uncertain.
All this is developed and the policy implications derived in my JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES (2007) book.
Furthermore this nonergodic model is applied to the current financial and economic crisis and its
solution in my 2009 book THE KEYNES SOLUTION: THE PATH TO GLOBAL PROSPERITY (Palgrave/Macmillan)
where I tell the reader what Keynes would have written regarding today's domestic crisis in each
nation and its international aspects.
I think you could have written a shorter article to make your point about
the dismal state of economics theory and practice, and saved space to think more imaginatively
about ways to reform.
A bit like biology, economics must become econology - a study of real economic systems. It
must give up its physics-envy. This on its own will lead its practitioners closer to the truth.
Like biological systems, economic systems are complex, and often
exhibit emergent properties that cannot be predicted from the analysis of component parts.
The best way to deal with this is (as in biology) to start with the basic organizational unit
of analysis - the individual, and then study how the individual makes economic decisions in larger
and larger groups (family/community), and how groups take economic decisions within larger and
larger forms of economic organization. From this, econologists should determine whether there
are any enduring patterns in how aggregate economic decisions are taken. If there are no easily
discernable patterns, and aggregate decisions cannot be predicted from a knowledge of individual
decision-making preferences, then the theory must rely (as it does in biology) on computer simulations
with the economy replicated in as much detail as possible to limit the scope for modeling error.
This path will illuminate the "physiology" of different economies.
A second area of development must look into "anatomy" - the connections between actors within
the financial system, the connections between economic actors within the real economy, and the
connections between the real and financial economies. What are the precise links demand and supply
links between these groups, and how does money really flow through the economic system? A finer
knowledge of economic anatomy will make it easier to produce better computer simulations of the
economy, which will make it a bit easier to study economic physiology.
In her interview
What Exactly Is Neoliberalism Wendy Brown advanced some Professor Wolin ideas to a new level
and provide explanation why "neoclassical crooks" like Professor
Frederic Mishkin (of Financial Stability
in Iceland fame) still rule the economics departments of the USA. They are instrumental in
giving legitimacy to the neoliberal rule favoured by the financial oligarchy:
"... I treat neoliberalism as a governing rationality through which everything is "economized"
and in a very specific way: human beings become market actors and nothing but, every field of activity
is seen as a market, and every entity (whether public or private, whether person, business, or state)
is governed as a firm. Importantly, this is not simply a matter of extending commodification
and monetization everywhere-that's the old Marxist depiction of capital's transformation of everyday
life. Neoliberalism construes even non-wealth generating spheres-such as learning, dating, or exercising-in
market terms, submits them to market metrics, and governs them with market techniques and practices.
Above all, it casts people as human capital who must constantly tend to their own present and future
"... The most common criticisms of neoliberalism, regarded solely as economic policy rather than
as the broader phenomenon of a governing rationality, are that it generates and legitimates extreme
inequalities of wealth and life conditions; that it leads to increasingly precarious and disposable
populations; that it produces an unprecedented intimacy between capital (especially finance capital)
and states, and thus permits domination of political life by capital; that it generates crass and
even unethical commercialization of things rightly protected from markets, for example, babies, human
organs, or endangered species or wilderness; that it privatizes public goods and thus eliminates
shared and egalitarian access to them; and that it subjects states, societies, and individuals to
the volatility and havoc of unregulated financial markets. ..."
"... with the neoliberal revolution that homo politicus is finally vanquished as a fundamental
feature of being human and of democracy. Democracy requires that citizens be modestly oriented toward
self-rule, not simply value enhancement, and that we understand our freedom as resting in such self-rule,
not simply in market conduct. When this dimension of being human is extinguished, it takes with it
the necessary energies, practices, and culture of democracy, as well as its very intelligibility.
"... For most Marxists, neoliberalism emerges in the 1970s in response to capitalism's falling
rate of profit; the shift of global economic gravity to OPEC, Asia, and other sites outside the West;
and the dilution of class power generated by unions, redistributive welfare states, large and lazy
corporations, and the expectations generated by educated democracies. From this perspective, neoliberalism
is simply capitalism on steroids: a state and IMF-backed consolidation of class power aimed at releasing
capital from regulatory and national constraints, and defanging all forms of popular solidarities,
especially labor. ..."
"... The grains of truth in this analysis don't get at the fundamental transformation of social,
cultural, and individual life brought about by neoliberal reason. They don't get at the ways that
public institutions and services have not merely been outsourced but thoroughly recast as private
goods for individual investment or consumption. And they don't get at the wholesale remaking of workplaces,
schools, social life, and individuals. For that story, one has to track the dissemination of
neoliberal economization through neoliberalism as a governing form of reason, not just a power grab
by capital. There are many vehicles of this dissemination -- law, culture, and above all, the novel
political-administrative form we have come to call governance. It is through governance practices
that business models and metrics come to irrigate every crevice of society, circulating from investment
banks to schools, from corporations to universities, from public agencies to the individual. It is
through the replacement of democratic terms of law, participation, and justice with idioms of benchmarks,
objectives, and buy-ins that governance dismantles democratic life while appearing only to instill
it with "best practices." ..."
"... Progressives generally disparage Citizens United for having flooded the American electoral
process with corporate money on the basis of tortured First Amendment reasoning that treats corporations
as persons. However, a careful reading of the majority decision also reveals precisely the thoroughgoing
economization of the terms and practices of democracy we have been talking about. In the majority
opinion, electoral campaigns are cast as "political marketplaces," just as ideas are cast as freely
circulating in a market where the only potential interference arises from restrictions on producers
and consumers of ideas-who may speak and who may listen or judge. Thus, Justice Kennedy's insistence
on the fundamental neoliberal principle that these marketplaces should be unregulated paves the way
for overturning a century of campaign finance law aimed at modestly restricting the power of money
in politics. Moreover, in the decision, political speech itself is rendered as a kind of capital
right, functioning largely to advance the position of its bearer, whether that bearer is human capital,
corporate capital, or finance capital. This understanding of political speech replaces the idea of
democratic political speech as a vital (if potentially monopolizable and corruptible) medium for
public deliberation and persuasion. ..."
"... My point was that democracy is really reduced to a whisper in the Euro-Atlantic nations today.
Even Alan Greenspan says that elections don't much matter much because, "thanks to globalization
. . . the world is governed by market forces," not elected representatives. ..."
I find an attempt to elevate academic finance and economics to sciences by using
the word "scientism" to be bizarre. Finance models like CAPM, Black-Scholes and VAR all
rest on assumptions that are demonstrably false, such as rational investors and continuous
Tom Nairn coined the phrase "Ukania" to designate the confused and disorganized hotchpotch of an island-nation off the coast of
northern Europe, tottering on the nation-state equivalent of varicose-veined and arthritic legs, and further enfeebled by an unproductive
nostalgia for Empire (aka Empire 2.0).
... ... ...
"Dilapidation" is the word to describe the UK today. I was last there in November and will be there again in July. Frequent, indeed
daily, contact with family and friends confirms that the UK is indeed Nairn's "Ukania".
This week London overtook New York as a "murder capital". Brits were shocked, because this reversed their notion of the US as
a place where gun nuts can kill whenever they want.
I tried to reassure my Brit friends and family that the murder statistics for New York don't include police killings of unarmed
black men, and that inclusion of the latter statistic in the murder toll would probably tell a somewhat different story.
Ukania has stringent gun laws, but nearly all the killings in London are stabbings. Acid attacks have also become increasingly
The causes for this outbreak of knifings and acid-throwing are almost certainly multiple. A decaying social fabric caused by nearly
a decade of Tory austerity, high youth unemployment as well as employed youth who nonetheless dominate the precariat, and savage
cuts in police numbers (a result of deliberate Tory policy to hand over policing to private security firms, who in turn donate generously
to the Tories), are almost certainly key factors here.
The Tories however have "none of the above" on their list of causes for London's crime wave. For them and their allies in the
rightwing media, drugs, a form of rap known as UK drill, and social media are to blame!
This ignorance is obviously contrived -- absolutely unlike the social media-illiterate geriatric US senators who questioned Mark
Zuckerberg on the issue of Facebook's data leaks, and who in their genuine bafflement were unable to tell the difference between
Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp, among other things.
Unlike the technologically-senile US senators befuddled by contemporary social media and its associated technologies, the Tories
know damn well the underlying conditions for London's stabbing and acid-throwing epidemic.
Then there is of course the ongoing Brexit shambles. The inflexible Eurocrats have always only had one position on Brexit:
accept our terms for leaving the EU or you get nothing.
The Ukanians in response alternate hopelessly between faux bravado ("we're prepared to leave with nothing") and conciliatory placation
("please, oh please, can we come to a fresh understanding of what's on the table? ").
The Eurocrats see right through the phony bravado and dismiss it outright, while responding to pleas for a "fresh understanding"
with a bored shrug– in effect saying that it is "you deluded Brits who need to understand we are not having negotiations about the
terms of your departure, but only about such minutiae as the timetabling of this this or that move that (according to us) needs to
The intransigent Eurocrats thus insist that negotiations can only be about "process", while the Ukanian government persists in
thinking the door is somehow still open for negotiations about "substance".
Alas, those who insist on talking about "process" have held all the cards from the beginning. The Ukanians have not helped themselves
by sending absolute third-raters to deal with the meritocratic wolves in Brussels. The EU wolves make it to the top by speaking two
to three, or more, languages fluently, by graduating from Europe's top schools of international relations and public administration,
and by having decades of experience in international diplomacy.
Ukania's chief Brexit negotiator, David Davies, is a retired special-services commando who was given the job because he is
the Conservative's most dyed-in-the-wool anti-EU ideologue. Davies sits at the Brussels negotiating table without a piece of
paper in front of him, while his guileful and well-schooled EU counterparts consult bulky folders as they take the woefully underprepared
and intellectually underwhelming ex-commando to the woodshed. It is, in sporting terms, the equivalent of the lard-encased Donald
Trump presuming he can win an Olympic race against Usain Bolt.
Ukania's self-deceptions are not confined to its dealings with the wolves of Brussels. Most of the Brexiteers (not to be confused
with Lexiteers, of whom I've always been one) are gripped by nostalgic imperial fantasies. The neo-imperial fantasy of these Brexiteers
is that the former members of their Empire will fall in line, dutifully, in order to conclude trading agreements with their ex-imperial
master– the Brexiteer hope being that these Empire 2.0 "agreements" will somehow compensate economically for the cessation of trading
links with the EU countries. This is simply not going to happen, given the dynamos driving post-imperial economic development.
The EU exists for the purpose of extending and sustaining the European embodiment of the current neoliberal order, and in so doing
maintaining the very comfortable livelihoods of its Eurocratic elite. But that, or its equivalent, alas, is also the "mission" of
the members of the ex-Empire, who are supposed by the Brexiteers to salute and fall in line when asked to do so by their erstwhile
The raison d'etre of such countries as India, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc., is precisely to subserve the exigencies of
the forms of capitalist of accumulation prevailing in their countries, forms which in turn coincide more or less with the needs of
their national elites.
And this post-imperial raison d'etre is clearly not congruent with daydreamed requirements imposed by a post-Brexit Empire 2.0
nostalgia on the part of Ukania. Australia and New Zealand now have their economic systems attuned, profitably, to demand from China
and the rest of the Pacific Rim; Canada likewise with regard to the US; and India in relation to the economies of the Gulf States;
and so on.
Ukania will get nowhere with Empire 2.0 après Brexit unless it can provide terms of trade and revenues matching or surpassing
those now available to its former colonies.
... ... ...
On the other hand, this Empire 2.0 fantasy also serves a more sinister purpose. The Brexiteer dream is basically a fusion
of neo-imperial illusions with a no-holds-barred neoliberalism.
The EU at least insists on health and safety standards that are better than India's. But why shouldn't India's standards be good
enough for Ukania's pampered workers? The latter's ancestors worked in dark satanic mills, so surely these f*@#ers can work in factories
recycling toxic metals from discarded computers and mobile phones? The EU's food inspection standards are better than China's, but
why should Ukania hold itself to a standard higher than China's? Milk "supplemented" with de-icer fluid anyone? The EU has minimal
standards on bank operations and financial transactions – get rid of these and Ukania can be freed to become the world's premier
haven for tax-dodgers and money launderers. Okay, it already holds the latter title, but Ukania will be able to lower the bar even
more on money laundering once it gets rid of the EU's regulatory shackles.
The father of Imran Awan - a longtime IT aide from Pakistan who made "unauthorized access" to the
House computer network -
reportedly transferred a USB drive to the former head of a
Pakistani intelligence agency
, alleges the father's ex-business partner, Rashid Minhas.
Minhas told the
Daily Caller News Foundation
(DCNF) - which traveled to Pakistan to
interview those involved - that Haji Ashraf Awan, Imran Awan's father, had been giving information
to Rehman Malik - former head of Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and current senator.
Malik was appointed to Interior Minister in early 2008, only to step down in 2013 after he lost a
Supreme Court hearing over holding dual UK citizenship.
Minhas told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Imran Awan's father, Haji Ashraf Awan, was
giving data to Pakistani official Rehman Malik, and that Imran bragged he had the power to "
the U.S. president.
Asked for how he knew this, he said that on one occasion in 2008 when a
given to Rehman Malik by Imran's father, my brother Abdul Razzaq was with his father
"After Imran's father deliver (sic) USB to Rehman Malik, four Pakistani [government
intelligence] agents were with his father 24-hour on duty to protect him," he said - however Minhas
did not say what was on the USB.
The House watchdog, Inspector General Michael Ptasienski, charged in September 30, 2016 that
data was being
of the House Network by the Awans as recently as two months before the US
The Awan family had virtually unlimited access to Democratic House members' computers, including
Nearly Imran's entire immediate family was on the House payroll working as IT aides
to one-fifth of House Democrats
, and he began working for the House in 2004. The
inspector general, Michael Ptasienski, testified this month that "
hold the 'keys to the kingdom' meaning they can create accounts, grant access, view, download,
update, or delete almost any electronic information within an office. Because of this high-level
access, a rogue system administrator could inflict considerable damage
According to Minhas - "Imran Awan said to me directly these words: '
See how I control
White House on my fingertip
' He say he can fire the prime minister or change the U.S.
president," Minhas said. "
Why the claiming big stuff, I [didn't] understand 'till now
I was Imran father's partner in Pakistan,
" Minhas said, in two land deals
in Pakistan so big that they are often referred to as "towns."
In 2009, both men were
accused of fraud
Haji was arrested but then released after Imran flew to
, "allegedly exerting pressure on the local police through the ministry as
well as the department concerned," according to local news. Minhas and multiple alleged victims
in Pakistan also told TheDCNF
Imran exerted political influence in Pakistan to extricate
his father from the case
Minhas is currently sitting in US federal prison for fraud, and the
they can not confirm whether Minhas' claims about the USB is true. That said,
that neither the DOJ nor the FBI ever interviewed him about the Awans
, which is odd
considering that he's available and connected to Imran Awan.
He is also one of many people with past relationships with the Awans who have said
they believe they are aggressive opportunists who will do
anything for money
And parts of Minhas's story correlate with observations
elsewhere. Haji's wife, Samina Gilani -- Imran's stepmother -- said in
that Imran used his IT skills to wiretap her as a means of exerting pressure
Haji would frequently boast that Imran's position gave him political leverage, numerous
Pakistani residents told TheDCNF. "
My son own White House in D.C.
," he would
say, according to Minhas. "
I am kingmaker
Senator Malik has denied any relationship with the parties reportedly involved, saying "I am
hearing their names for the first time. I am in public and people always do name-dropping."
Imran Awan's attorney Chris Gowen says Minhas's claims are
"completely and totally
The Awans were banned from the congressional network on Feb 2, 2017 by House Seargant-At-Arms,
Paul Irving - after the IG report concluded that the Awans had been making "unauthorized access" to
House servers. The Awans
were logging in using Congressional members' personal usernames
as well as breaching servers for members they did not work for.
After several members fired
them, the Awans continued to access their data
, says the IG.
The behavior mirrored a "classic method for insiders to exfiltrate data from an
and "steps are being taken [by the Awans] to conceal their activity," reads
Shortly before the 2016 election, the House Democratic Caucus server was breached by Awan - who
authorities believe secretly moved
all the data
of over 12 House members' offices onto the caucus server.
The server may have been "
used for nefarious purposes and elevated the risk that
individuals could be reading and/or removing information,
" an IG presentation said.
The Awans logged into it 27 times a day, far more than any other computer they
Imran's most forceful advocate and longtime employer is Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie
Wasserman Schultz, who led the DNC until she resigned following a hack that exposed committee
emails. Wikileaks published those emails, and they show that
DNC staff summoned Imran
when they needed her password
Shortly after the IG report came out,
the House Democratic Caucus server - which the
Awans were funneling data onto,
was physically stolen
according to three
government officials. During the same period of time, the Awans were shedding assets at a rapid
In January 2017 they took out a loan intended for home improvement, falsely claimed a medical
emergency in order to cash out their House retirement account, and
, according to an FBI affidavit. -
The FBI arrested Imran Awan at Dulles Airport in July 2017 while trying to flee to Pakistan with
a wiped cell phone and a resume that listed a Queens, NY address. Imran and his wife, Hina Alvi,
were indicted last August on charges of bank fraud - which prosecutors contend was hastened
after the Awans had likely learned that authorities were closing in on them for various other
That said, neither Imran nor Hina have been charged over the unauthorized access
by the House's own Inspector General,
after reviewing server logs. Three other suspects,
Jamal and Abid Awan, and Rao Abbas, have faced no charges whatsoever.
Eleven GOP members of Congress led by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) have written a letter to Attorney
General Jeff Sessions, Attorney John Huber, and FBI Director Christopher Wray -
them to investigate former FBI Director James Comey, Hillary Clinton and others - including FBI
lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page
, for a laundry list of potential crimes surrounding
the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Recall that Sessions paired special prosecutor John Huber with DOJ Inspector General Michael
Horowitz - falling short of a second Special Counsel, but empowering Horowitz to fully investigate
allegations of FBI FISA abuse with subpoena power and other methods he was formerly unable to
The GOP letter's primary focus appears to be James Comey, while the charges for all include
obstruction, perjury, corruption, unauthorized removal of classified documents, contributions and
donations by foreign nationals and other allegations.
The letter also demands that Deputy Attorney General
Rod Rosenstein "be recused from any
examination of FISA abuse
," and recommends that "
neither U.S. Attorney John Huber
nor a special counsel (if appointed) should report to Rosenstein.
The letter refers the following individuals for the following conduct:
"Comey's decision not to seek charges against Clinton's misconduct s
, potentially motivated by a political agenda."
The letter calls Comey out for leaking his confidential memos to the press. "
light of the fact that four of the seven memos were classified, it would appear that former
Director Comey leaked classified information when sharing these memos...
Comey "circulated a draft statement" of the FBI's decision to exonerate Hillary Clinton for
mishandling classified information - a conclusion reached before the agency had interviewed key
witnesses. "At that point, 17 interviews with potential witnesses had not taken place, including
with Clinton and her chief of staff..."
The letter also seeks clarification on "material inconsistencies between the description of
the FBI's relationship with
that you [then FBI Director Comey] did
provide in your briefing and information contained in Justice Department documents made
available to the Committee only after the briefing."
Hillary Clinton - contributions and donations by foreign nationals
"A lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid
Washington firm Fusion GPS to conduct research that led to the Steele dossier..."
"Accordingly, for disguising payments to Fusion GPS on mandatory disclosures to the
Federal Election Commission, we refer Hillary Clinton to DOJ for potential violation(s) of 52
USC 30121 and 52 USC 30101"
Loretta Lynch - obstruction, corruption
"We raise concerns regarding her decision
to threaten with reprisal the former FBI
informant who tried to come forward in 2016 with insight into the Uranium One deal
Of note, this refers to longtime CIA and FBI undercover informant
William D. Campbell
, who came forward with evidence of bribery schemes
involving Russian nuclear officials, an American trucking company,
and efforts to route
money to the Clinton Global Initiative
Andrew McCabe - false statements, perjury, obstruction
"During the internal Hillary Clinton investigation, Mr. McCabe "lacked candor -- including
under oath -- on multiple occasions," the letter reads. "That is a fireable offense, and Mr.
Sessions said that career, apolotical employees at the F.B.I. and Justice Department agreed that
Mr. McCabe should be fired."
"The DOJ Office of the Inspector General recently released a February 2018 misconduct
report... confirming four instances of McCabe's lack of candor, including three instances under
oath, as well as the conclusion that McCabe's decision to confirm the existence of the Clinton
Foundation Investigation through an anonymously sourced quite violated the FBI's and DOJ's media
policy and constituted misconduct."
Peter Strzok and Lisa Page - obstruction, corruption,
"We raise concerns regarding their interference in the Hillary Clinton investigation
regarding her use of a personal email server."
Referring to a
Wall Street Journal
article from January 22, 2018 - "The report
provides the following alarming specifics, among others: "
Mr. Strzok texts Ms. Page to
tell her that, in fact, senior officials had decided to water down the reference to President
Obama to 'another senior government official
." By the time Mr. Comey gave his public
statement on July 5, both references - to Mr. Obama and to "another senior government official"
"Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI personnel connected to the compilation of documents
on alleged links between Russia and then-presidential candidate Donald Trump known as the "Steele
This section of the letter calls out Comey, McCabe, former acting AG Sally Yates, and former
acting Deputy AG Dana Boente regarding the Steele dossier.
we raise concerns regarding the presentation of false and/or unverified information
to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in connection with the former Trump aide Carter
"Former and current DOJ and FBI leadership have confirmed to the Committee that
unverified information from the Steele dossier comprised an essential part of the FISA
applications related to Carter Page"
we refer to DOJ all DOJ and FBI personnel responsible for signing the
Carter Page warrant application that contained unverified and/or false information"
The criminal referrals for the group allegedly responsible for FISA abuse include:
deprivation of rights
under color of law, corruption.
After Greeks and British, now Italians reject neoliberal EU. Not many ideas what to put
in its place. 06/03/2018 Italian election results: How the world's press reacted
Italy's governing centre-left Democratic Party has seen disappointing losses in the election
result, while the populist League and Five Star Movement have had remarkable gains. Here's how
the world's press reacted to the vote.
Italy in race to form majority government
Five Star Movement and the League vie to form a coalition, but ultimate decision is held by
President Sergio Mattarella
Mon 5 Mar 2018
The two populist parties that won major upsets in the Italian election – the
Movement (M5S) and the League (La Liga) – are in a race to be the first to try to
form a majority government after the election produced a hung parliament.
The decision will ultimately fall to Italy's president, Sergio Mattarella, who could take
weeks to determine whether the anti-establishment M5S, which took 32.6% of the vote, or a
fragile centre-right alliance led by the League's bombastic Matteo Salvini, with 35.7% of the
vote, are better equipped to create a majority government.
"... Prior to becoming the DNC's most wanted, Comey and his team notoriously let Hillary Clinton off the hook for her private server and mishandling of classified information - having begun drafting Clinton's exoneration before even interviewing her, something which appears to have been "forgotten" in his book. ..."
"... You left out the fact that he was instrumental in the formation of the Clinton Foundation. ..."
Current and former FBI agents are furious after former Director James Comey gave his first interview
since President Trump fired him last year to ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Sunday night, reports the
- which was privy to a play-by-play flurry of text messages and other
communications detailing their reactions.
Seven current or former FBI agents and officials spoke throughout and immediately after the
There was a lot of anger, frustration, and even more emojis -- featuring the
thumbs-down, frowny face, middle finger, and a whole lot of green vomit faces
One former FBI official sent a bourbon emoji as it began; another sent the beers cheers-ing
The responses became increasingly angry and despondent as the hourlong interview
Hoover is spinning in his grave
," said a former FBI official. "
money from total failure
," in reference to Comey plugging his book,
A Higher Loyalty
Jana Winter of
adds that when a promo aired between segments advertising Comey's
upcoming appearance with
, the official "grew angrier." "
Good lord, what a self-serving self-centered jackass
," the official said. "
to form he thinks he's the smartest guy around
... ... ...
Comey was fired by President Trump on May 9, 2017, after which he
leaked memos he claims
document conversations with Trump
New York Times,
kicking off the special
counsel investigation headed by Robert Mueller - whose team started out looking at Russian influence
in the 2016 election, and is now investigating the President's alleged decade-old extramarital affairs
with at least two women. Truly looking out for national security there Bob...
... ... ...
Prior to becoming the DNC's most wanted, Comey and his team notoriously let Hillary Clinton off the
hook for her private server and mishandling of classified information - having begun
drafting Clinton's exoneration
before even interviewing her, something which appears to have been
"forgotten" in his book.
I would rather have RP if he had the
charisma/gusto and also tactical genius of
DT. However, I worry that Ron, as a guy that
delivered babies and educated people on
nonagression, as opposed to running a
something-billion dollar cutthroat RE empire,
might be more at risk of A) being unable to
overcome political roadblocks and
destabilization, and B) something bad
happening to him.
Comey was always the most enigmatic figure to me in this
sad, troubling series of events involving the FBI.
GOOD NEWS: Everyone hates him now. The Rs hate him, the Ds
hate him. Who's Christmas party did he get invited to last
year? I'm guessing the invitations were few. His own ego
has turned him into plutonium. And he deserves even worse
Comey was the FBI Director when warrants
were issued to spy on Trump and his associates. Warrants
gained in part or in whole by, false evidence (the Steele
dossier) presented to a FISA court judge(s), gathered by,
a foreign national former spy (Steele) who was in contact
with his old Kremlin pals, who (Steele) was then paid by
the DNC, Fusion GPS via Perkins Coie to give Hillary
Rodham Clinton (affectionately known here as The Bitch of
Benghazi) some distance from the fake "evidence".
Now besides Comey knowing the source of "the dossier"
one of his deputies (McCabe) was at the same time
"colluding" with a couple FBI agents (Strzok & Page) in a
"counter-intel operation" (on the taxpayers dime) to
gather dirt on candidate Trump. McCabe's wife (we might
recall) got a sizable "donation" from Terry McAuliffe
(another Klinton sleezebag) for her political run in
And we haven't even touched on Comey's theft of
government documents or his turning over those documents
to his friend so the friend could turn them over to the
Alinsky NYT's for the purposes of...getting his mentor
Grand Inquisitor Mueller a gig as "special prosecutor"
(as he admitted to under oath).
There is only one thing keeping Comey out of Prison:
If we someday get a real AG, who is willing to man
up and appoint a second special prosecutor, Comey is
finished. But for the moment, Mr. Magoo is saving his ass.
Problem is that a sizable portion of the US population
view Comey's actions in the 'if you could go back in
time and kill baby Hitler...' perspective. Yes it's
illegal, yes it's unconstitutional...but was trying to
save the 'World' so it's justified.
I think you
framed it similar...this is the same as injecting
bleach into our veins in the hope in clears up a
pimple on our nose.
The Russian envoy to the chemical weapons watchdog group, OPCW, said that non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) funded by the UK and US carried out the April 7 chemical attack in the
Damascus, Syria suburb of Douma.
Russia's permanent representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical
Weapons (OPCW), Alexander Shulgin, said Russia has irrefutable evidence that there was no
chemical weapons incident in Douma .
"Therefore, we have not just a "high degree of confidence ," as our Western partners
claim, but we have incontrovertible evidence that there was no incident on April 7 in Douma
and that all this was a planned provocation by the British intelligence services, probably,
with the participation of their senior allies from Washington with the aim of misleading the
international community and justifying aggression against Syria," he stated. -
Shulgin added that the US, UK and France are not interested in conducting an objective
investigation of the attack site. " They put the blame on the Syrian authorities in advance,
without even waiting for the OPCW mission to begin to establish the possible facts of the use
of chemical weapons in Syria ," he said.
The nine-member OPCW mission people has yet to deploy to the city of Douma according to the
organization's Chief, citing pending security issues.
"The Team has not yet deployed to Douma. The Syrian and the Russian officials who
participated in the preparatory meetings in Damascus have informed the FFM Team that there
were still pending security issues to be worked out before any deployment could take place .
In the meantime the Team was offered by the Syrian authorities that they could interview 22
witnesses who could be brought to Damascus ," OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu said as
quoted by the organization.
The Russian Envoy says that the controversial "
White Helmets " were one of the anti-Assad "pseudo-humanitarian NGOs" which staged the
event. As Disobedient Media and others have reported, the White Helmets are funded in large
part by the United States.
"The Syrian Civil Defense Force (aka the White Helmets) is funded in part by United States
Agency for International Development (USAID) . Included here are two links showing contracts
awarded by USAID to Chemonics International Inc. (DBA Chemonics). The first award was in the sum of $111.2 million and has a Period of
Performance (POP) from January 2013 to June 2017. It states that the purpose of the award will
be to use the funds for managing a " quick-response mechanism supporting activities that pursue
a peaceful transition to a democratic and stable Syria ." The second was in the sum of $57.4 million and has a POP from
August 2015 to August 2020. This award was designated to be used in the " Syria Regional
Program II " which is a part of the Support Which Implements Fast Transitions IV (SWIFT IV)
Via Disobedient Media
Moscow says they have confirmed that " these structures [NGOs] on a fee-based basis
cooperate with the governments of the United States, the UK and some other countries ."
Russian experts who conducted the verification of reports on the use of chemical weapons
in the Syrian city of the Douma, found participants of video filming, presented as evidence
of the supposedly occurring chemotherapy, according to the Russian Envoy to OPCW . -
"Everything has been developing according to the script that was prepared in Washington.
There is no doubt that Americans are playing the 'first violin' in all of this . The United
States, the United Kingdom, France and some other countries after the "fake" addition from the
White Helmets and their ilk in Douma, immediately pounced upon the Syrian authorities with
accusations," Shulgin said.
Meanwhile, the U.S. has alerted the OPCW that Russia "may have tampered" with the chemical
attack site in Douma ...
"It is our understanding the Russians may have visited the attack site," U.S. Ambassador
Kenneth Ward said at a meeting of the OPCW in The Hague on Monday.
" It is our concern that they may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the
efforts of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission to conduct an effective investigation ," he said. His
comments at the closed-door meeting were
obtained by Reuters .
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shot back in a BBC interview, saying " I can
guarantee that Russia has not tampered with the site ."
Earlier, Britain's delegation to the OPCW accused Russia and the Syrian government of
preventing the international watchdog's inspectors from reaching Douma.
The inspectors aim to collect samples, interview witnesses and document evidence to
determine whether banned toxic munitions were used, although they are not permitted to assign
blame for the attack. -
"Unfettered access is essential," the British delegation said in a statement. "Russia and
Syria must cooperate."
Moscow says the OPCW delay is due to the Western air strikes. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry
Peskov said the British accusation that Russia was to blame for holding up the inspections was
"We called for an objective investigation. This was at the very beginning after this
information [of the attack] appeared. Therefore allegations of this towards Russia are
groundless ," Peskov said.
On Friday we reported that Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow has
"irrefutable evidence" that the attack - which allegedly killed over 40 people, was staged with
the help of a foreign secret service.
" We have irrefutable evidence that this was another staged event, and that the secret
services of a certain state that is now at the forefront of a Russophobic campaign was involved
in this staged event ," he said during a press conference according to AFP.
According to defense ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, the Kremlin has
evidence that Britain was behind the attack.
Reuters , he said: " We have... evidence that proves Britain was directly involved in
organising this provocation ."
further adds , the Russian Defense Ministry presented what it says is " proof that the
reported chemical weapons attack in Syria was staged." It also accused the British government
of pressuring the perpetrators to speed up the "provocation." During a briefing on Friday, the
ministry showed interviews with two people, who, it said, are medical professionals working in
the only hospital operating in Douma, a town near the Syrian capital, Damascus.
During a briefing on Friday, the ministry showed interviews with two people, who, it said,
are medical professionals working in the only hospital operating in Douma, a town near the
Syrian capital, Damascus.
During a briefing on Friday, the ministry showed interviews with two people, who, it said,
are medical professionals working in the only hospital operating in Douma, a town near the
Syrian capital, Damascus.
In the interviews released to the media, the two men reported how footage was shot of
people dousing each other with water and treating children, which was claimed to show the
aftermath of the April 7 chemical weapons attack. The patients shown in the video suffered
from smoke poisoning and the water was poured on them by their relatives after a false claim
that chemical weapons were used, the ministry said.
"Please, notice. These people do not hide their names. These are not some faceless claims on
the social media by anonymous activists. They took part in taking that footage," said
"The Russian Defense Ministry also has evidence that Britain had a direct involvement in
arranging this provocation in Eastern Ghouta," the general added, referring to the neighborhood
of which Douma is part. " We know for certain that between April 3 and April 6 the so-called
White Helmets were seriously pressured from London to speed up the provocation that they were
According to Konashenkov, the group, which was a primary source of photos and footage of the
purported chemical attack, was informed of a large-scale artillery attack on Damascus planned
by the Islamist group Army of Islam, which controlled Douma at the time. The White Helmets were
ordered to arrange the provocation after retaliatory strikes by the Syrian government forces,
which the shelling was certain to lead to, he said.
The UK rejected the accusations, with British UN Ambassador Karen Pierce calling them
"grotesque," "a blatant lie" and "the worst piece of fake news we've yet seen from the Russian
The blast area of just ONE cruise missile is 150ft/2 = 7000m/2
How many hit this target allegedly? You can even see the matrix caused by the layering of
the photo shopping software when you zoom right in (its not present on the first photo)
Fucking amateur hour LMAO
There really is not even a conspiracy theorist out there who would suggest it was a Syrian
government operation any way. Only batshit crazy raving lunatics have suggested it was the
Syrian government. This is clearly the stupidest thing Trump has done. It makes the USA look
like a bunch of circus freak losers. Very sad and shockingly insane. This is the stupidest
piece of propaganda in modern history. The USA looks very, very bad. It looks like, from any
reasonable perspective, that they are actively aiding terrorists on purpose. Wow. Interesting
cosmetics. Interesting optics.
Its almost as if the USA government hates itself and actually wants a nuclear war where
everyone dies. I think the only thing that should be considered is whether the nutty freaks
in charge are actually humans. Humans are a great disappointment, so likely, yes, human
beings really can be that mentally deficient. Trump really is such a level of mental retard
that he hates himself and wants to be nuked, so he bombs Syria knowing full well they have
nothing to do with it. He hates his career now and wants out.
chlorine gas is no big deal. Sarin is destroyed by fire.... There is a reason everyone
stores these away from People. Not saying Orange is right, by any means in fact the opposite,
but this story is a bit of a reach.
Not necessarily. There is no magic way to make this stuff go away. Incineration doesn't
solve the problems of the metal containers. All of this stuff would be making its way into
their environment, causing illness and death in the coming years. It takes decades to
properly neutralize this stuff. Lighting it up with Tomahawks definitely isn't the best way,
and without a doubt some of it would be immediately released into the surrounding area.
However small or not so small that amount is:
I used to manage a small apartment complex swimming pool. Dry Chlorine was mixed into a
40gal concentrated tank and a small squirt was pumped into the filter circulation all day
long. A newbee once lifted the top off the tank to have a look inside. Lucky I was there
(telling him, don't do thattttttt) I about had to carry him out of the room. There would be
reports all over that area if a few hundred gallons or more of Chlorine had been blasted into
I emailed the OPCW yesterday. I asked for the location of the Douma inspection
team at precisely the time the research center was attacked. I heard that they
were at the airport and only hours away from the site. I thought this would
give credence to the theory that the site was attacked just so it would
interfere with a proper inspection. They declined to release any info for the
protection of their workers and the integrity of their work. I guess we will
have to wait for the report.
The OPCW said there was no chlorine and sarin there.
Remember when....March 31, 2005 - The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the
United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction reports that the intelligence community
was "dead wrong" in its assessments of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities before
the US invasion.
And on the left here you'll see our chemistry lab cleverly disguised as an office
building. We have no need for any of the essential components such as reasonable delivery
methods, power supply, storage tanks, pipes, etc. We're cutting edge, unlike all those
What's going on?
"In late March, the U.S. State Department warned European corporations that
they will likely face penalties if they participate in the construction of
Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, on the grounds that "the project
undermines energy security in Europe"
The Nord Stream 2 project and the
denial of pipelines through Syria territory is what's eating at the zio-cons.
This is power politics and Russia / China are too much of a threat.
The Russian central bank opened its first overseas office in Beijing
on March 14, marking a step forward in forging a Beijing-Moscow alliance
to bypass the US dollar in the global monetary system, and to phase-in a
gold-backed standard of trade.
Apr 3 2017 - Europe approves Nordstream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to
April 6 2017 - need to attack Syria.
Coincidentally, with a new government a gas pipelin can be run from
Qatar to Europe and cut-off Russian gas revenue.
The petroyuan project is the key. It will smash the petrodollar zio-world.
Saddam Hussien thought of doing that in the 80's by consolidating
Arab oil into a basket of currencies backed by gold. The problem for
him was he was a disposable puppet and not able to defend that
project. China and Russia are a different matter. It's driving the
Great, I voted for Trump in the hopes he would not be a warmonger since Hillary certainly
was. Looks like I should not have bothered after all.
I can only imagine what Putin et al are thinking. They know they and Assad were not behind
that attack, and they know we know, or should know. What this means is that they will have to
come to view our government the same way America used to view the Communists. As dangerous,
Once you come to view someone not as a rational actor, but as deranged, the dynamics
change, and in very dangerous ways. You cannot appease or come to terms with a lunatic. All
reasonable options begin to disappear, leaving behind only the last resorts.
The reason we voted for Trump is because we are tired of this sanctimonious hypocritical horse shit. Instead we get more of
what we didn't vote for. All Russia did was kindly not sink any of our war ships when we attacked Syria on an assumption.
You got exactly what you voted for... because if you were dumb enough to think you could actually get an outsider maverick
anywhere near the white house I have to think you are too dumb to figure out how to turn on a computer.
Trump's in deep over his head. It was an open question whether he posed any genuine obstacle to the pathocracy, but it seems
more clear now that, one way or another, he has been brought more tightly under their control. THAT, much more than any individual
false-flags or other deceptions or wrongs, should be cause for the rational world to fear. The psychopaths are still on the march,
and Trump is at least paying lip service to their chicanery. The further out on a limb he goes, the more reluctant and then helpless
he will be to backtrack as pathology becomes more extreme and events escalate under their own momentum. With markets looking more
precarious than ever, how long will it be before the psychopaths commit more and bigger false flags?
Cornered animal; that sounds like Trumps modus operandi. Notice that
anyone who criticizes him gets lambasted with personal attacks
instead of a reasoned response.
We need a President who
understands freedom and who is a reasonable person, neither of which
traits are possessed by Trump. He didn't win the election on his own
qualification but on Hillary's lack of qualification. This speaks to
the point, "The lesser of two evils is still evil".
Russia knows that this diplomatic, economic, and military aggression will never stop. These military strikes and economic sanctions from the West represent the death throes of a dying empire. A dying empire is like a gravely wounded, cornered animal.
This is an extremely dangerous animal, because it is willing to arbitrarily kill anyone and anything before it dies.
I still believe that the USA and its European allies will be the
first to use nuclear weapons.
Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping no
doubt recognize the grave circumstances, and they are using the
utmost restraint to avoid the provision of a military pretext that
the West/USA is seeking in their effort to greatly escalate
The US will only use nukes to secure their dominance. The
people in change aren't beholden to any country or continent
being filthy rich and/or dual citizens. So the plan is to deny
the US an excuse to use nukes while cutting the empire off at
Otherwise, I agree it'll be a NATO country that
nukes first. That's part of the desire to make smaller nukes.
"Small" nukes are seen as a way to nuke but not start a global
exchange. Fucking insane people gambling with all higher life
Russia will tolerate it as long as possible. The delay only
weakens the US and allies. All have serious issues domestically
and even alliances are strained. Don't interrupt when your enemy
is making a mistake
True, but look around us. There is no need to nuke cities
and military targets in the US. Shut down the electrical
grid and the population would lose it in a matter of hours.
Within days it would be chaos on so many levels that it
would take a long time to recover. We really are our own
worst enemies because we are so fractured and polarized of
the stupidest shit.
Cornered animal; that sounds like Trumps modus operandi. Notice that
anyone who criticizes him gets lambasted with personal attacks
instead of a reasoned response.
We need a President who
understands freedom and who is a reasonable person, neither of which
traits are possessed by Trump. He didn't win the election on his own
qualification but on Hillary's lack of qualification. This speaks to
the point, "The lesser of two evils is still evil".
This is very clear path toward a confrontation with Russia. America is not
going to stop . Russia continues to be punished because does not leave
Syria and does not bow to America.
This recent American
Syria is just the opening overture.
In May we have the moving of American embassy to Jerusalem and the
unilateral withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal.
I think we will not reach the end of the year without a big war :
America is losing power and needs it.
The chemical weapons organisation in Damascus and elsewhere in Syria
found NO chemical weapons at the site the USA UK And FR bombed for that.
The only chemical weapons are those found in the tunnels in East Ghouta
after Syria bussed the militant occupiers away. The 40 tons of chemicals
have manufactuer names, serial numbers and addresses eg Porton Down
Cui Bono? Trump says he's going to pull out of Syria -- Things
never looked better for Assad -- and he gets the bright idea, to turn the world against him by gassing
gassing his own people? I'm not buying it. I-F-F (Israeli False Flag)
The west wants to destroy the world cup for Russia so that things will heat up before June
to the point of war. So much money was invested in the stadiums that Russia expects the
visitors to help pay. The US will deny this through false flags and lies. I am so ashamed of
this nation that has changed to the point that I do not recognize it from my childhood.
What happened right after the second direct U.S.-missiles invasion of Syria, which had
occurred on the night of April 13th, could turn out to have momentous implications - far bigger
than the attacks themselves...
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons headlined on April 14th, in the
wake of this U.S.-UK-France invasion of Syria that was allegedly punishing Syria's Government
for allegedly having used chemical weapons in its bombing in the town of Douma on April 7th,
Fact-Finding Mission Continues Deployment to Syria" , and reported that:
The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) team of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical
Weapons (OPCW) will continue its deployment to the Syrian Arab Republic to establish facts
around the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma.
The OPCW has been working in close collaboration with the United Nations Department of
Safety and Security to assess the situation and ensure the safety of the team.
The OPCW is not part of the U.N., nor of any country; it, instead (as introduced by
is an intergovernmental organisation and the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons
Convention, which entered into force on 29 April 1997. The OPCW, with its 192 member states,
has its seat in The Hague, Netherlands, and oversees the global endeavour for the permanent
and verifiable elimination of chemical weapons.
In conformity with the unchallenged international consensus that existed during the 1990s
that there was no longer any basis for war between the world's major powers, the Convention
sought and achieved a U.N. imprimatur, but this was only in order to increase its respect
throughout the world. The OPCW is based not on the U.N. Charter but on that specific treaty,
the Chemical Weapons Convention, which was formally approved by the U.N.'s
General Assembly on 30 November 1992 and was then opened for signatures in Paris on 13
January 1993. According to the Convention's terms, it would enter into effect 180 days after 65
nations signed it, which turned out to be on 29 April 1997.
So, although the treaty itself received U.N. approval, the recent Russian-sponsored
resolution at the U.N.'s Security Council to have the U.N. endorse the OPCW's investigation of
the 7 April 2018 Douma incident, did not receive U.N. approval. It was instead blocked
by the U.S. and its allies . Nonetheless, though without a U.N. endorsement, the OPCW
investigation into the incident will move forward, despite the invasion.
This fact is momentous, because a credible international inspection, by the world's top
investigatory agency for such matters, will continue to completion, notwithstanding the effort
by the U.S. and its allies on the U.N. Security Council, to block it altogether. This decision
was reached by the OPCW -- not by the U.N.
Among the 192
signers of the Chemical Weapons Convention are U.S., Russia, and Syria, as well as China,
Iran, and Iraq, but not Israel, nor North Korea and a very few other countries. So: all of the
major powers have already, in advance, approved whatever the findings by the OPCW turn out to
be. Those findings are expected to determine whether a chemical attack happened in Douma on 7
April 2018, and, if so, then perhaps what the specific banned chemical(s) was(were), but not
necessarily who was responsible for it if it existed. For example, if the 'rebels' had stored
some of their chemical weapons at that building and then Syria's Government bombed that
building, the OPCW might not be able to determine who is to blame, even if they do determine
that there was a chemical attack and the chemical composition of it. In other words: science
cannot necessarily answer all of the questions that might be legal-forensically necessary in
order to determine guilt, if a crime did, in fact, occur, there.
If the investigation does find that a banned chemical was used and did cause injuries or
fatalities, then there is the possibility that its findings will be consistent with the
assertions by the U.S. and its allies who participated in the April 13th invasion. That would
not necessarily justify the invasion, but it would prove the possibility that there had been no
lying intent on the part of the U.S.-and-allied invaders on April 13th.
However, if the investigation does not find that a banned chemical was used in the Syrian
Government's bombing of that building, then incontrovertibly the U.S.-and-allied invasion was a
criminal one under international laws, though there may be no international court that
possesses the authority to try the case .
So: what is at stake here from the OPCW investigation is not only the international
legitimacy of Syria's Government, but the international legitimacy of the Governments that
invaded it on April 13th. These are extremely high stakes, even if no court in the world will
possess the authority to adjudicate the guilt -- either if the U.S. and its allies lied, or if
the Syrian Government lied.
For us historians, this is very important. And, for the general public, the significance
goes much farther: to specific Governments, to their alleged news media, and to the question
of: What does it even mean to say that a government is a "democracy" or a "dictatorship"? The
findings from this investigation will reverberate far and wide, and long (if World War III
doesn't prevent any such findings at all).
These people are delusional and extremely dangerous. There's been zero proof of who
actually used the chemical weapons (if there were chemical weapons at all?) and they're
making statements about it as if it were a verified and universally recognized fact.
We are entering the psyops and propaganda phase of a war. In this phase we are ordered to
only say what they want us to, and this goes for both sides. They don't care about the truth,
just where and when the shooting will start.
Here we go again- the ever-plotting West trying to create reality on the fly- attempting to make the alleged chemical weapons
attack into a
, painting the tape of reality with the shadow-puppets of the operation
mockingbird-controlled, corporate (MIC) media!
Any good reason we shouldn't just start calling the 5(+1)-eyez media environment the Oceania State News Network (OSNN)
Folks, like some alien abductors, the Deep State has taken the Donald hostage, and with
ball-and-chain finality. Whatever pre-election predilection he had to challenge the Warfare
State has apparently been completely liquidated.
Trump's early AM tweet yesterrday, in fact, embodies the words of a man who had more than a
few screws loose when he took the oath, but under the relentless pounding of the Imperial
City's investigators, partisans, apparatchiks and lynch-mob media has now gone stark raving
mad. To wit:
"....Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia,
because they will be coming, nice and new and "smart!" You shouldn't be partners with a Gas
Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!
Yes, maybe Wall Street has figured out that the Donald is more bluster than bite. Yet when
you consider the broader context and what the Russian side is now saying, it is just plain
idiotic to own the S&P 500 at 24X. After all , earnings that have been going nowhere for
the past three years (earnings per share have inched-up from $106 in September 2014 to $109 in
December 2017), and now could be ambushed by a hot war accident in Syria that would rapidly
Indeed, did the robo-machines and boys and girls down in the casino not ponder the meaning
of this message from the Kremlin? It does not leave much to the imagination:
# Russian ambassador in beirut : "If there is a strike by the Americans on #Syria ,
then... the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired,"
Zasypkin told Hezbollah's al-Manar TV, speaking in Arabic.
Sure, the odds are quite high that the clever folks in the Pentagon will figure out how to
keep the pending attack reasonably antiseptic. That is, they will bomb a whole bunch of places
in Syria where the Russians and Iranians are not (after being warned); and also deploy
stand-off submarine platforms to launch cruise missiles and high-flying stealth aircraft to
drop smart bombs, thereby keeping American pilots and ships out of harm's way.
Then, after unleashing the Donald's version of "shock and awe" they will claim that Assad
has just received the spanking of his life and that the Russians and Iranians have been
messaged with malice aforethought.
But our point is not that Douma is Sarajevo, and, besides, this is still April, not August.
What should be scaring the daylights out of Wall Street is that we are even at the point where
the two tweets quoted above are happening.
For crying out loud, there is a brutal, bloody and barbaric civil war raging in Syria where
both sides are bedecked in black hats; both sides have committed unspeakable atrocities; and
where it is a documented fact that the rebels possess chemical weapons and have launched false
flag gas attacks in the past---even as 1,300 tons of Assad's inventory, which may or may not
have been the totality of it, was destroyed according to the certification of the Organization
for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
In that context, who can tell whether the alleged chlorine gas release last Saturday in
Douma originated in a bomb dropped by Assad's air force or came from a rebel stockpile that was
hit by a bomb? Or whether it was another deliberate false flag attack staged by the jihadists
or perhaps that it never happened at all.
The evidence comes mainly from rebel forces opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. One
of these was the Violations Documentation Center, a virulent anti-Russian organization funded
by George Soros. Another was the White Helmets, a completely comprised operation financed by
the US and UK and which has operated only in rebel held territories--- often check-by-jowl with
the al-Nusra Front and other terrorist elements.
Indeed, Washington's fabled spies in the sky and taps on every node of the worldwide web can
read your email and spot a rogue camel caravan anywhere in a Sahara sandstorm. But they can not
tell whether dead bodies are the victims of bullets, bombs, collapsing buildings or chlorine
gas. You need to be on the ground and perform chemical tests for that, and Washington just
plain isn't there.
Besides, even if a careful investigation--like the one proposed by Sweden and which the US
and UK vetoed at the UN---were actually completed, why is it Washington's prerogative to
administer a spanking to the culprit?
For one thing, if you are in the spanking business owing to bad behavior, then just within
the region you would also need to administer the rod to al-Sisi in Egypt and Erdogan in Turkey;
and also to Washington's on and off wards in Baghdad and to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia
for his genocidal attacks on Yemen. While you were at it, why would even Bibi Netanyahu be
spared the birch---given his periodic "lawn mowing" exercises on the Gaza strip?
The point is, Assad has never attacked, threatened or even looked cross-eyed at the United
States. So you would have thought that administering spankings to international malefactors is
the business of Washington's permanent War Party, not the leader of America First.
To be sure, the only evidence we have to date is the gruesome images posted on the internet
by the "Douma Revolution", which we don't credit because it is a tool of the good folks of
Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam), who were holding 3,200 pro-Assad hostages in cages when the
attack happened. But even if Assad is culpable, why is the Donald getting out the birch switch
if he doesn't mean to effectuate regime change?
Yes, inconstancy is his middle name. But how in god's name could even the Donald have
rearranged the modest amount of gray matter under his great Orange Comb-Over so quickly and
completely with regards to Syria?
As a reminder, this is what the Donald said just last week:
"We'll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon," Trump said on Thursday, "Let the other
people take care of it now. Very soon, very soon, we're coming out....We're going to get back
to our country, where we belong, where we want to be."
The fact is, it's way too late to drag Bashar Assad behind the Moammar Khadafy Memorial Jeep
to be ritually sodomized by his enemies. That's because he's already won the civil war (red
area in map below).
What's left is not remotely conducive to regime change because the majority Arab population
of Syria (regardless of Alawite, Shiite, Sunni, Christian, Druse etc. religious affiliation)
would never consent to be ruled by the small minority of Kurds (who control the yellow, largely
desert areas). And besides, a Kurdish Syrian state in part or whole would guarantee a Turkish
invasion and a blue (Turkish controlled areas surrounding Afrin in the northwest) versus yellow
war where Washington would be on both sides.
Indeed, the only thing that a regime change attempt at this late date would accomplish is a
resurrection of the remnants of ISIL (small black specs) or an upwelling of chaos from the
three or four islets (green areas) that warring gangs of rebels, jihadists, salafists and
blood-thirsty warlords now nominally control.
So the map below, in fact, tells you what is really going on. To wit, the neocons and deep
staters around Trump--with the Walrus Mouth (Bolton) now literally shouting in his ear----are
really about picking a fight with Iran and Russia. These are really Imperial Washington's
designated enemies, and the purpose of the impending attack on Syrian military installations is
to intimidate them into backing down----even as they issue hostile warnings and rhetorical
fulminations (especially the Iranians) against America.
Stated differently, the Orange Comb-Over is being lured not so much into an Assad spanking
exercise or regime change maneuver as into a Proxy War with Iran and Russia. The latter is
literally manna from heaven for the Warfare State.
Indeed, with the defense budget already cranked up to the absurd level of $720 billion , the
Deep State and its military/industrial/surveillance/congressional complex allies would like
nothing better than maximum rhetorical belligerence (and occasional provocative acts) from
Russia and Iran in order to keep the national security gravy train inflating toward the $1
trillion funding mark.
Needless to say, the contractual droppings from these staggering budget levels will keep the
beltway think tanks, NGOs and pro-war lobbying apparatus in clover for years to come, thereby
fueling the ugly secret of Imperial Washington.
Namely, since America lost its only real enemy in 1991, Washington has become an unhinged
war capital. It is now endangering the entire planet in a doom-loop of expanding military
muscle, multiplying foreign interventions and occupations, intensifying blowback from the
victims of Washington's aggression and an ever greater chorus of Empire justifying experts,
apparatchiks and politicians getting fat on the banks of the Potomac.
It is difficult to ignore the cross-cultural parallels prompted by the growth of
neoliberalism, an economic and moral philosophy in which sociologist Zygmunt Bauman notes, "the
responsibilities for resolving the quandaries generated by vexingly volatile and constantly
changing circumstances is shifted onto the shoulders of individuals -- who are now expected to
be 'free choosers' and to bear in full the consequences of their choices" (Bauman
2007:3–4). Bauman essentially argues that neoliberalism's deceptively seductive offer of
increased individual choice comes at a heavy price, rendering individuals more and more
Neoliberal economic policies have increasingly impacted individual lives throughout
the world through the unprecedented untethering of workers and the workplace so that those in
positions of power and privilege have less direct contact with or responsibility for those who
work at the lowest levels of the same industry. Such new labor practices are a constant
reminder to workers that they are expendable, easily replaced, and thus not in a position to
negotiate the terms and conditions under which their labor is carried out.
Such vulnerability is even more pronounced for those who already inhabit the margins of
social life because of their poverty or other forms of social exclusion. This is particularly
true for situations wherein particular types of state-endorsed socioeconomic inequalities
create a larger pool of feminized labor that is typically lower paid, less respected, and less
able to u
"... While market competitiveness is idealized as the engine to advancement for all, labor competition is circumscribed for particular groups (e.g., through a household registration system that prevent migrants from accessing certain jobs, rights, and benefits in China) and in specific ways (e.g., only certain sectors of the labor market are considered legitimate -- not sex work or surrogacy, for example). The discourse of national competitiveness and collective welfare pushes forward a conservative moral agenda in the face of these changes. ..."
The Scholar & Feminist Online is a webjournal published three times a year by the
Barnard Center for Research on Women I begin this article by reflecting on one of the biggest
professional mistakes I have ever made. I became a part of corporate humanitarianism in 2006,
when IOM Korea invited me to be part of a research project on trafficking of Korean women
overseas, sponsored by the Bom-bit Foundation, an NGO set up by the wife of the CEO of the
biggest insurance company in South Korea. She had been concerned about the barrage of news
reports that were circulating both in and out of Korea about the trafficking of Korean women
into forced prostitution overseas. She wanted a global research project, "Korean women victims
of sex trafficking in five global sites": South Korea, Japan, Australia, and the East and West
Coasts of the United States. The ultimate goal was to find solutions to end such outflow and to
save these women. The principal researcher, a male Korean academic, drafted a survey
questionnaire laden with assumptions about coercion, violence, and sexual abuse. Even though
the final reports from different sites came back with little evidence of trafficking, they did
not prevent the principal investigator from producing a final report about the "serious problem
of sex trafficking of Korean women into the global sex trade."
The first woman who I interviewed for this project was working in a massage parlor in
Queens, New York. She came to the United States after the Korean police cracked down on her in
her home, after they had obtained her address from her employer in Seoul in an antiprostitution
raid. She explained her work in the United States:
Jin: Some people only come in for table showers, massage, and chats. Interviewer: Are they the good clients? Jin: No, they are not. Interviewer: So who are the good clients? Jin: Those people who finish quickly, they are the good ones. Those who have shower
and then have sex and go. They are the best.
This response exploded the entire premise of the research and its assumptions about the
inherently victimizing nature of sexual labor for women. Those who demand sex rather than
conversations are the good clients -- if they finish quickly, get themselves cleaned before
having sex, and leave immediately after sex. Jin situated sex squarely within a repertoire of
labor performance, along with other physical and emotional work, and identified sex as more
efficient ("quick") in providing return to her labor. She made between $11,000 and $22,000 per
month. On that note, let me move on to some important points in the discussion about gender and
neoliberalism within the context of South Korea.
Neoliberalism is useful as a term only to the extent of understanding macro-historical
shifts and setting a framework for investigation. But its history, manifestation, and effects
can be so diverse in each location that it cannot be a useful analytical category without
empirical analysis. For example, contrary to the trend of de-democratization [
1 ] observed in the United States, in South Korea, neoliberal reforms coincided with
the democratization of civil society and the state in late 1990s, following four decades of
military and authoritarian rule. In 1997, just when the first civilian democratic leader Kim
Dae-jung became president, South Korea went through a major financial crisis and received the
largest IMF bailout. The president supported a new wave of civic/human-rights organizations,
set up the first National Human Rights Commission, and founded the Ministry of Gender Equality.
During the same period, structural readjustment also ensured the flexibilization of labor and
the weakening of trade unions, rendering many lives of more precarious as they became
underemployed or unemployed.
In my work, I am grappling with how individuals like Jin live and make sense of their lives
within a number of paradoxes/contradictions in neoliberalism:
1) The apparent amorality of neoliberalism and its facilitation of conservative moral
agenda. The deployment of market principles to reconfigure the relationship between
sovereignty and citizenship not only remakes economic, political, and cultural life, but also
remakes citizen-subjects as entrepreneurs and consumers. While market competitiveness is
idealized as the engine to advancement for all, labor competition is circumscribed for
particular groups (e.g., through a household registration system that prevent migrants from
accessing certain jobs, rights, and benefits in China) and in specific ways (e.g., only certain
sectors of the labor market are considered legitimate -- not sex work or surrogacy, for
example). The discourse of national competitiveness and collective welfare pushes forward a
conservative moral agenda in the face of these changes.
2) The depoliticization of social risks and the hyperpoliticization of national
security. The emergence of an ethics of self-management and risk-taking justifies some form
of retrenchment of the state in the social sphere. Yet this by no means suggests a weakening of
the state. What we witness in neoliberal transformations is the assertion of the state through
more hard-lined enforcement of criminal justice and border control. The consequence is an
uneven emphasis on and legitimation of the self-enterprising individual, invoking national
crisis, social danger, and self-harm to justify state intervention or exclusion. These measures
have significant gendered repercussions -- reshaping discourses on domesticity, sexuality, and
3) The concomitant and continuous ravaging of vulnerable populations and celebration of
humanitarianism/human rights responses from state and civil society. Neoliberal
developments create vulnerable populations by polarizing resources and wealth, and
concomitantly generate a set of humanitarian/human rights responses from the state and civil
society. Rather than being a set of problems that are being held back or eliminated by a set of
solutions, they seem to grow symbiotically together. In effect, many humanitarian/human-rights
interventions turn out to reiterate dominant interests, reproducing conservative gender,
racial, class, and national hierarchies and divides.
How are these contradictions lived? Maybe Jin has some answers for us -- not just from her
personal trajectory, but also in what she said:
I am working hard and making money for myself. I am saving money to start my own business
back home/to further study. I am not dependent on the government or my family. I am not
harming anyone, even though this is not a job to boast about. I don't understand these
women's human rights. These activists don't understand us. They are people from good
background. I am not saying the antiprostitution laws are wrong. But do they have to go so
My research since 1997 on sex work and migrant women in South Korea and the United States is
located right at the intersection of these paradoxes. As women who strategize their immigration
and labor strategies for self-advancement as sex workers, they embody the sexual limits of
neoliberalism. While they may personify the values of self-reliance, self-governance, and free
markets in a manner akin to homo economicus, they violate the neoliberal ideals of relational
sexuality and middle-class femininity. [
2 ] As many critics have attested to, even though the antitrafficking movement hails
women's human rights, gender justice, and state protection, its operation predominantly through
the crime frame reinforces gender, class, and racial inequalities. As such, antitrafficking
initiatives, as they have taken shape in the twenty-first century, are part of neoliberal
governance, and underlying the claims of equality and liberty are racial, gender, and sex
panics with nationalist overtones that justify the repression of those who step outside these
I think antitrafficking initiatives need to be situated within a broader set of political
and social transformations in order to analyze the undercurrents of gender and sexuality across
different sites. In South Korea, there was a strong gender and sexual ideology pervading the
expansion of social policies in the post-1997 era. While the government could claim credit for
addressing the needs of certain vulnerable populations (the unemployed, the homeless, migrant
wives, women leaving prostitution, etc.), public anxieties about the breakdown of the family
(runaway teenagers, old-age divorce, the fight for women's equality) that started during the
1997 crisis have continued into the new millennium (same-sex families, "multicultural
families," single women). As national boundaries seem to have weakened with the incorporation
of "multicultural families," the heteronormative nuclear family became more reified, and the
domestic sphere as the proper place for women was reinscribed in a range of social policies.
These include protection for "prostituted women," since 2004, and support provided to migrant
wives -- both policies designed to harness these women's reproductive powers for the future of
the Korean nation, and to reproduce their class location.
It is also important to be wary of claims to promote "women's human rights" and how these
claims are circumscribed within certain spheres -- only in sex work, and not in the gendered
layoffs during an economic crisis, or in relation to the homeless women who have been excluded
as legitimate recipients of government support. "Women's human rights" have been hurled around
to legitimize activism and policies that turned out to make lives more difficult for some
women, rendering them either as targets or instruments of criminal law.
We also need to ask why the law is resorted to so consistently for women activists to make
claims on the state. And why does the general public have so much faith in the law to enforce
I would like to see cultural struggles become a more important site to extend into, building
on a solid economic and political critique. As we witnessed i the Occupy movement, as well as
with the sex worker festivals in different global locations, creativity, humor, and
conviviality have a lot of power to draw attention, if not to incite solidarity. The new sex
workers' organization in South Korea calls itself the Giant Girls ("GG" also means "support" in
Korean), and organizes its own seminars, holds a sex work festival celebration, and produces
its own podcasts, in which everyday conversation and serious discussion take place in a
light-hearted manner, often with bursts of laughter. The fists-in-air protests are no longer
the main part of the movement, marking a significant departure from the victimhood discourse. I
am hopeful that this will appeal at least to a younger generation of potential coalition
partners in the LGBT community, labor movements (for women and migrants), and cultural
movements. This could be a refreshing -- and possibly transformational -- shift in feminist
politics and critique in South Korea, and in other sites in Asia.
Brown, Wendy (2006). "American Nightmare: Neoliberalism, Neoconservatism, and
De-Democratization." Political Theory 34(6): 690-714. [
Return to text ]
Bernstein, Elizabeth (2012). "Carceral Politics as Gender Justice? The 'Traffic in
Women' and Neoliberal Circuits of Crime, Sex, and Rights." Theory and Society
Return to text ]
Mattis said that the U.S. aim in Syria is to defeat Islamic State, not "to engage in the civil war itself." But referring to the
use of chemical weapons, Mattis said that " some things are simply inexcusable, beyond the pale " and require a response. -
The Wall St. Journal reports that Mattis "brought those concerns
directly to the White House on Thursday, where White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the national security team
didn't agree on a response."
Exactly two weeks ago Mattis met Bolton - telling the bemoustached bringer-of-death "I heard you're actually the devil incarnate,
and I wanted to meet you."
... ... ...
"If these strikes start, it could end very tragically and it's impossible to predict the outcome -- that's the nature of military
actions," said Russian Senator Frants Klintsevich in a phone interview, adding that there are "no madmen" among Trump's top military
advisors. " These are professionals who aren't populists and know what this could lead to. "
Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia issued a stark warning on Thursday that there was a danger the war
could escalate beyond Syria because of Russia's military presence.
"We cannot exclude any possibilities [of war between Russia and the U.S.] unfortunately because we saw messages that are coming
from Washington," Mr. Nebenzia said. " They were very bellicose. "
In an attempt to settle things diplomatically, Russia asked for an open Security Council emergency meeting on Friday morning,
calling for UN Secretary-General António Guterres to brief the council, according to the Wall St. Journal .
Meanwhile, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says they are sending a team of investigators to Syria
on Saturday to collect samples from the site of the alleged chemical attack last weekend.
while President Trump told reporters on Thursday "We're looking very, very seriously, very closely at that whole situation,
and we'll see what happens, folks, we'll see what happens. It's too bad that the world puts us in a position like that."
The lack of self awareness and the victim mentality in this cry-bully statement is breathtaking. Akin to projectile vomiting
on someone them blaming them for smelling disgusting. Extraordinary .
"It was very disconcerting when I saw that an attack is planned on Mosul, an attack is planned. ... Why do we have to talk
about it? Why? I never saw anything like this. Every time we are going to attack somebody, we explain. We're going to attack,
we'll be attacking at three, noon on March 25. I don't know, unless you disagree with me, wouldn't it be better if we were going
to go after Mosul to not say anything and do it, as opposed to announcing -- they're announcing all over television they're planning
to attack Mosul." -- Donald J. Trump
"... So, in a different way, were old American political operators, at least when it came to domestic politics, as they had to manage multitudes of groups who had diverse worldviews who didn't take kindly to moral lecturing by politicians. ..."
"... Nowadays, though, this seems a worldview that many in "western" societies are running low on. Too many people start their argument by asserting their beliefs, why they believe them, and, implicitly, even if not made explicit, why they are right and others should be "persuaded" to believe them (since the "others" are "obviously" irrational.) ..."
"... Condemning the other, who are "obviously wrong," I suppose, makes people feel better, all the more so if one's own worldview can be justified by the Scripture or "science." ..."
"... An important point, however, is that for action to be 'rational' in this sense, it has, in some manner, to be appropriately calculated to the purposes envisaged. A difficulty lies precisely in the ambiguity about purposes which is implicit in this whole tradition. ..."
I agree entirely with your view. In order to make sense of the "purpose" behind actions
taken by various political actors, it is necessary to take seriously their worldview and
value system. It is not necessary that one should "respect" them or believe them for oneself,
but recognize that these do actuate the choices that they do make.
I suppose this might sound
like a sort of backhanded compliment, but this is something that the old British were really
good at -- and lay behind successful management of the empire.
So, in a different way, were old
American political operators, at least when it came to domestic politics, as they had to
manage multitudes of groups who had diverse worldviews who didn't take kindly to moral
lecturing by politicians.
Nowadays, though, this seems a worldview that many in "western" societies are running low
on. Too many people start their argument by asserting their beliefs, why they believe them,
and, implicitly, even if not made explicit, why they are right and others should be
"persuaded" to believe them (since the "others" are "obviously" irrational.)
other, who are "obviously wrong," I suppose, makes people feel better, all the more so if
one's own worldview can be justified by the Scripture or "science." (not the science based on
logical deduction and empiricism, but something that is vaguely "right" because it "just
is.") But that certainly rules out actually dealing with the other side responsibly to
I still feel that the brand of "rationality" that too many people in the West subscribe to
is a brand of smug pseudoreligious fanaticism that is itself "irrational." It may be itself
"rational," given the context, as much as beliefs in witchcraft might be, but it is not what
its believers think it is. When such beliefs clash with other, comparable beliefs, nothing
good can come out of such encounters.
'One great irony is that, at least among "serious"
academics in economics and other social sciences, the only definition of "rational" that is
accepted is that there is some purpose behind it.'
This takes me into areas where I get out of my depth.
But the link of 'rationality' to purposive action is certainly very much in keeping with
the tradition which goes, through Collingwood, into areas of British anthropology (exmples
chosen from limited knowledge, Evans-Pritchard, Wendy James, Paul Dresch.)
An important point, however, is that for action to be 'rational' in this sense, it has, in
some manner, to be appropriately calculated to the purposes envisaged. A difficulty lies precisely in the ambiguity about purposes which is implicit in this
So if one of one's basic conception of human purposes is to keep a kind of social order
'on the road', then beliefs which may be 'irrational', in the sense of indefensible in terms
of canons of Western science which are, patently 'rational', may have a 'rationality' of
An example is the analysis by Evans-Pritchard of the witchcraft beliefs of the Azande.
Implicit in this is a nightmare possibility which is lurking in a manner which is often
hysterical, but not necessarily 'irrational' manner, in a tradition of conservative thought:
that what is 'rational' in terms of scientific enquiry may be subversive of what is
'rational' in terms of the need to maintain functioning societies.
One great irony is that, at least among "serious"
academics in economics and other social sciences, the only definition of "rational" that is
accepted is that there is some [market-related] purpose behind it.
Most people who rant about
what "social science" says about the universe and how it should be are sophomoric thinkers
who don't know what the "science" part of social science is. The tragedy is that they are
what the rest of society expects social science to be about, to rant about morality of this
or that mode of politics, and not engage in hard headed analysis based on logic and evidence.
The context of the entire Russia mania is ludicrous and the fake news is so ridiculous
that war must be close.
A) Congress votes unanimously to sanction Russia for tampering the election by hacking and
everybody in DC makes believe they've never heard of the dead staffer.
B) Putin decides to poison some guy right before their election using a special poison
only Russia has. Their involvement in the "investiagtion" is forbidden,
C) The maverick outsider says the US will be pulling out of Syria and ~ a week later Assad
decides to shoot chemicals at people like no one will ever find out. Trump calls Assad an
animal and blames Putin.
There are a few possibilities. Trump could truly be a dotard moron and believe this shit
or he's being strong-armed.
It's either that or some sort of wacko plan. Even the most ardent deplorables are having a
hard time with this.
"... U.S. government documents declassified in October 2017 admitted that a very high-level 1962 meeting of U.S. government officials – separate from the Joint Chiefs of Staff – also discussed: The possibility of U.S. manufacture or acquisition of Soviet aircraft . There is a possibility that such aircraft could be used in a deception operation designed to confuse enemy planes in the air, to launch a surprise attack against enemy installations or in a provocation operation in which Soviet aircraft would appear to attack U.S. or friendly installations in order to provide an excuse for U.S. intervention. ..."
Unless you've been living under a rock, by now you know that the British government falsely claimed
that irrefutable evidence proved that the Russian government was behind the poisoning of a former
Russian double agent and his daughter using a "Novichok" nerve agent.
In response, the UK and US
carried out the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats in history.
Now that the wheels have come off this farce, it is interesting to note previous examples of the
West falsely blaming Russia for bad acts.
Official German intelligence service documents show that, in 1994, the German intelligence
plutonium on an airplane coming from Russia, as a way to
Russia for exporting dangerous
radioactive materials which could end up in the hands of terrorists and criminals.
This frame-up job was so successful at
whipping up fear
got German Chancellor Kohl re-elected, and the U.S. used it as an excuse to "help" secure Russia's
nuclear facilities, as a way to get access to Russian nuclear secrets.
While everyone "knows" that the Kremlin poisoned Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko with
radioactive polonium, a very
French counterterrorism official, Paul Barril, alleges that French, US and UK intelligence worked
together to kill Litvinenko and to frame Russia:
U.S. government documents declassified in October 2017
a very high-level 1962 meeting of U.S. government officials – separate from the Joint Chiefs of
Staff – also discussed: The possibility of U.S. manufacture or acquisition of Soviet aircraft .
There is a possibility that such aircraft could be used in a deception operation designed to
confuse enemy planes in the air, to launch a surprise attack against enemy installations or in a
provocation operation in which Soviet aircraft would appear to attack U.S. or friendly
installations in order to provide an excuse for U.S. intervention.
an article headlined (all caps in original Newsweek title):
U.S. GOVERNMENT PLANNED FALSE FLAG ATTACKS TO START WAR WITH SOVIET UNION, JFK DOCUMENTS
The article notes:
The U.S. government once wanted to plan false flag attacks with Soviet aircraft to
justify war with the USSR or its allies, newly declassified documents surrounding the
assassination of President John F. Kennedy show.
False flag attacks are covert operations that make it look like an attack was carried out
by another group than the group that actually carried them out.
Indeed, falsely blaming other countries for terrorism or violence is
the oldest way
to create a "justification" for war.
The governments have certainly learned how to mess with the thinking gear of people.
I spent most of my life working with inanimate objects not spending much time
figuring out how people think. Most of the people that I did try to figure out were
personally known to me. It was only in the last few years of my career that I paid
any real attention to how people are manipulated. I knew people were easily
manipulate for years, just think about how the war in Iraq in 2003 was so popular
amoung most people.
Hi, I am from the government. I am here to lie to you. I have so many lies on
top of other lies that sometimes they are true. Even the government has lost
track. I am not sure if even MIC or Israel knows anymore.
Someone didn't RTFA: " President Trump recently announced his intention to pull US troops
out of Syria - although the neocons that now dominate the Trump national security team have
been aghast at such a suggestion, and have managed to convince the president to slow-roll
this. It remains unclear if they staged the false flag chemical attack in Syria with the help
of Israel, or on their own. "
Despite President Trump
adopting his harshest rhetoric yet
to condemn Russia and the government of Syrian leader Bashar
al-Assad for an alleged chemical attack in rebel-held eastern Ghouta, a missile strike carried out
overnight on a Syrian airfield was not the US's doing.
Instead, Russia and Syria have accused Israel of carrying out the strike on Syria's T-4 airfield,
situated about halfway between Homs (Syria's third-largest city) and Palmyra (famously the site of
two Israeli F-15 jets fired eight guided missiles at the airfield from Lebanese airspace. The jets never
Of these, Syrian air defenses intercepted five. The attack left roughly 14 people dead, including
Iranians and Syrians, the
Russia and the Syrian military blamed Israel for a pre-dawn missile attack Monday on a
major air base in central Syria
, saying Israeli fighter jets launched the missiles from
Lebanon's air space.
A war-monitoring group said the airstrikes killed 14 people, including
Iranians active in Syria.
Russia's Defense Ministry said two Israeli aircraft targeted the T4 air base in Homs province,
firing eight missiles. It said Syria shot down five of them while the other three landed in the
western part of the base. Syrian state TV quoted an unnamed military official as saying that Israeli
F-15 warplanes fired several missiles at T4. It gave no further details.
Israel's foreign ministry had no comment when asked about the accusations.
Israel has struck inside Syria more than 100 times,
suspected weapons' convoys destined for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which has been fighting
alongside Syrian government forces.
Israel hit the same T4 base in February, after it said an Iranian drone that
had violated Israeli airspace took off from the base.
The base, which was used as a launching
pad for counter offensive attacks against Islamic State militants who were at one point stationed
close by, is near the Shayrat air base, which was targeted by U.S. missiles last year in response to a
chemical weapons attack.
Monday's missile attack came hours after President Donald Trump warned there would be a "big price
to pay" after a suspected poison gas attack Saturday on the last remaining foothold for Syrian rebels
in the eastern suburbs of Damascus.
At least 40 people were killed in that assault, including
families found in their homes and shelters, opposition activists and local rescuers said.
Eight missiles were launched by two Israeli Air Force F-15 jets at the T-4 airfield located about
halfway between Homs and the ancient city of Palmyra. Israel previously launched a strike against the
base back in February after an Iranian drone ventured into Israeli airspace, provoking an alarmed
This isn't Israel's first unprovoked attack on a Syrian military installation: most recently,
Israel launched an attack
against a government installation near Damascus almost exactly two months
ago. Before that, the Israelis launched another unprovoked attack
back in September.
Lebanon's Al-Mayadeen reported Monday that Israeli reconnaissance aircraft had been spotted close to
the border with Syria during the attack. The missiles crossed Lebanese airspace over Keserwan and Bekaa
before heading toward Syria.
France, which we had initially suspected might be behind the attack, along with Israel...
While the US was quick to pin the chemical attack in Ghouta - the last rebel stronghold in what's
considered suburban Damascus - on Russia and Assad, the US jumped to a similar conclusion a year ago when
Trump authorized a fusillade of tomahawk missiles to strike a Syrian airbase. It was later learned that
the US had no proof to suggest that attack was orchestrated by Assad's government.
As for Israel's
desire to provoke another regional war, it is understandable in light of growing Iranian influence on its
border, while President Trump recently announced his intention to pull US troops out of Syria - although
the neocons that now dominate the Trump national security team have been aghast at such a suggestion, and
have managed to convince the president to slow-roll this. It remains unclear if they staged the false
flag chemical attack in Syria with the help of Israel, or on their own.
Meanwhile, the Guardian says the IDF views the chaos in the West Wing as the latest sign that it must
take matters into its own hands, and not wait for explicit US approval. However, with a UN Security
Council meeting scheduled for Monday over recent events in Syria, we now wait to see what kind of
response Russia and Assad will decide on, and how Moscow will respond to this provocation by Netanyahu,
who has been friendly - at least superficially - with Putin in recent months.