Atta Boy Republicans

Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing is the cherry atop Congress’s infernal sundae. We the people don’t dare ask what’s inside those lumpy scoops of ice cream and that oily chocolate sauce, but there is no doubt that the cherry is the most loathsome part of it.

Unfortunately, no one in Congress will bat an eye at my analysis. Anything I might say will roll off their backs just as long as they’re getting what they want. And if they are somehow forced to respond they’ll just look demurely at the floor like Jeff Flake, who recently pulled out all the stops with his long-suffering, hang-dog look. Hey, it’s the best he could do at short notice. He thought he could escape into the elevator but when the door failed to block his constituents he was forced to listen to their outrage. Still, that is a small price to pay for the freedom to ignore voters’ demands while living on a government salary. Now he claims to be in favor of an FBI investigation but I’m not holding my breath. The Republicans probably hope an investigation will improve their chances in the midterm election, but the Kavanaugh appointment will go through just the same.

Flake reminds me of my black Lab. She has a trick of acting like she wants to go outside, and then half-way to the door she gets a sly look on her face and goes back to her kennel. She does this because I taught her to expect a biscuit when she goes to her kennel. To state the obvious, Flake’s pre-vote soul-searching is the fake-out and his vote is the kennel.

More on the Progressive International with Yanis Varoufakis and Jeremy Corbyn

The world’s bankers are already united, and now Steve Bannon is busy building a neofascist international. In this conversation, Yanis Varoufakis invites Jeremy Corbyn to join Bernie Sanders in creating a Progressive International and sending a hopeful message to people all over the world.

More on the Spider’s Web Documentary

At first I thought the previous post contradicted my other articles on monetary policy in which I emphasized the connection between the value of a currency and capital flight, with deindustrialization resulting from differences in foreign exchange rates. However, I don’t think it’s a contradiction. It answers some questions that I had about those other articles.

Analyses of the disintegration of Bretton Woods mention briefly that at some point it became impossible to control the flow of capital. My question was, how did this happen? The mystery is solved when the City of London is included in the analysis. Basically, the Eurodollar market, or offshore banking, provided a way for capital to escape the limits of regulation.

Another part of this seeming contradiction has to do with the relationship between financialization and deregulation. Do policymakers choose between the two, or does one naturally follow the other? Is it a response to the market or is it a conspiracy? Since posting the first article about this documentary I have found that these questions are still under debate. The most extreme interpretation, and in my view the least interesting, is the assumption that economic crises are the result of class warfare. However, this documentary illustrates that without an awareness of the class interests represented by the City of London it would be impossible to understand current economics.

In this interview about The Spider’s Web more detail is provided on the underlying theories and debates.

The Siege of the Tax Havens

The following information is from a new documentary, The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire.

As the British Empire’s 300-year reign was coming to an end, the British elites saw their wealth evaporating as countries began to declare their independence. Bankers, lawyers and accountants responded by setting up a financial spider’s web to capture the world’s capital. This led to a restoration of revenue for the elite. This is Britain’s second empire.

Beginning in the 1960s there was an unintended consequence of this spider’s web. Great Britain and its partner in crime, the United States were de-industrialized (financialized). However, the developing countries suffer from this system more than wealthy countries. Today, Africa is wrongly said to be a net debtor. Africa’s foreign debt is $177 billion, but the wealth that has been moved offshore is $944 billion. Africa is actually a net creditor. Britain’s second empire starves developing nations of their wealth and tax revenues.

With each new revelation about offshore tax havens, politicians announce a crackdown on corruption, but they have no intention of following through. Today the offshore market is the world’s dominant financial market and it has penetrated the state’s apparatus to the point where politicians are its spokespersons. They are either lobbying congress or parliament to protect their racket, or they’re thinking of new ways to deny social programs to the public.

This video recommends five steps for addressing this problem:

Stop public councils from issuing public contracts to companies operating out of tax havens

Create public registers of beneficial owners of companies, trusts, and foundations

Introduce full transparency of deals and secret agreements between companies and governments

Introduce public country-by-country reporting by multinational companies

Introduce automatic information exchange between all countries

Here is an interview from this documentary:

Silence on the Progressive Front

In the past it would have been risky for an American politician to propose an international progressive front, but today it seems like a logical response to big money aggression.  It is a measure of the seriousness of our present circumstances that someone like Bernie would propose it, yet an eerie silence reigns on both the Left and the Right. September 15, 2018:  I missed this article published on September 13 by Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister and cofounder of DiEM25, whose New Deal for Europe will be put to European voters in the May 2019 European Parliament elections.  

A Proposal From Senator Sanders

Today the Guardian published a new proposal from Bernie Sanders.  Sanders’ basic argument is summed up in the title: A new authoritarian axis demands an interntional progressive front.   The most surprising part of this article, in my opinion, is his statement that it is not enough to defend the post-second world war global order as it exists now.
“We must look honestly at how that order has failed to deliver on many of its promises, and how authoritarians have adeptly exploited those failures in order to build support for their agenda.  We must take the opportunity to reconceptualize a genuinely progressive global order based on human solidarity, an order that recognizes that every person on this planet shares a common humanity, that we all want our children to grow up healthy, to have a good education, have decent jobs, drink clean water, breathe clean air and live in peace. Our job is to reach out to those in every corner of the world who share these values, and who are fighting for a better world. In a time of exploding wealth and technology, we have the potential to create a decent life for all people.  Our job is to build on our common humanity and do everything that we can to oppose all of the forces, whether unaccountable government power or unaccountable corporate power, who try to divide us up and set us against each other.  We know that those forces work together across borders.  We must do the same.”
I agree, and look forward to the ensuing discussion and debate.

UN Report Accuses Assad of War Crimes

Fox News has reported that a United Nations commission has accused the Assad regime and affiliated militias of war crimes.  A mountain of evidence is claimed as the basis for these accusations, but sources are not provided.
“The 24-page document by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic focuses on happenings inside Syria between January and July of this year. It is based on hundreds of interviews, satellite images, videos, medical records and government communications during that time period, among other sources.”
All of the incidents are said to have happened between January and July of this year, including an alleged chlorine payload delivered by helicopter on April 7.  Strangely, the report also cites the presence of Syrian government forces on the edge of Idlib and acknowledges it is in preparation for an offensive on the last major terrorist stronghold in Syria. It doesn’t mention that  the Syrians and Russians informed the United States of their  plans and warned its personnel to get out of the area.  The U.S. responded by sending in 500 additional troops. The article ends with the standard warning to the Syrians about using chemical weapons.
The White House warned Assad last week that if he chooses to use chemical weapons in the offensive against Idlib, the U.S. and its allies “will respond swiftly and appropriately.”
It is common knowledge that the Syrian government has no chemical weapons.  If the United States and its allies attack the Syrians, they will be committing a criminal act.

Defending a Friend and Ally

I recently deleted two articles.  In the first one I condemned the Mormon Church for the way it handled a sex abuse scandal.  I realized later that this might seem to contradict my defense of the Catholic Church, so I wrote another article urging the Mormon Church to make amends.  However, I realize now that I wrote them the way I did because I don’t see the two scandals as the same. Now it seems that the difference between the two churches is greater than I imagined.  The Mormon Church isn’t interested in making amends.  It is excommunicating members who demand new policies and procedures to guard against sex abuse.  And yet it’s the Catholic Church, the church who has tried and is trying to make amends, that is under attack.

Sex Abuse Scandal or Free-Market Coup?

When Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò decided to publish his letter, he went to the conservative Catholic network, with sites such as LifeSiteNews.com and National Catholic Register (owned by EWTN). In Italy he went to conservative bloggers like Aldo Maria Valli and Marco Tosatti. It was Valli and Viganò who timed the letter’s release during Francis’s trip to Ireland.

Timothy Busch, a ‘Koch Brothers-like’ conservative Catholic sits on the board of EWTN. Viganò also discussed his plan with Busch. Busch claims the Register personally assured him that Pope Benedict had confirmed Viganò’s account. (This has been denied by Benedict’s secretary.) Busch is not only on the board of EWTN and many other Catholic organizations, he’s the namesake for the business school at Catholic University, a graduate school known for working to reconcile free markets and capitalism with Catholic teaching. This brings us to the Koch brothers, who have been making large contributions to this business school.

The Koch’s have made good use of the pro-life movement, even though they are pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. The Tea-Party, the Chamber of Commerce, and the pro-life movement have been important tools for the destruction of democracy in Kansas.

And then of course we have liberal corporate Democrat Josh Shapiro and his Pennsylvania grand jury. Shapiro would seem to be disconnected from the conservative Catholic media, but what they all have in common is support for free market capitalism, which would probably explain the efforts to implicate Francis in the scandal.

By the way, it can be argued that it’s not the investigation itself that’s a problem. It’s the United States’ use of grand juries, and Pennsylvania’s grand jury in particular.

Israel Bombs Damascus

According to the YouTube channel of Syriana Analysis, Israel is bombing Syria. Of course this doesn’t necessarily mean that a major conflict is going to take place but the numbers for the current date in Syria, September 2, 2018, might look good to these people. The value for September is 1. If you add 1+2+2+0+1+8…

According to the YouTube channel of Syriana Analysis, Israel is bombing Syria. Of course this doesn’t necessarily mean that a major conflict is going to take place but the numbers for the current date in Syria, September 2, 2018 (Syria is 10 hours ahead of us), might look good to these people.

The value for September is 1. If you add 1+2+2+0+1+8 you get 14 or 5. Based on Christine Lagardes  emphasis on the number 7 I didn’t consider this a likely date for a war, but if you add 11, the value for Syria, to the number 5, you do get 7. Also, September 2 is the 245th day of the year, which adds up to 11. Eleven plus 7 is 18, or 9.

We knew they were crazy. I just pray they’re not that crazy.