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A much misunderstood aspect of information technology is its mythology. Like in ancient Greece many of dominant myth have pretty vague connection with reality, if at all. Another problem is that despite rate of technological advancement and the fact that both hardware and software prices are falling, but total IT costs are still growing pretty fast.
The development dynamics of information technology at have never been particularly clear. that gave a fertile grown to an intellectual haze that can be described as the mythology of information technology (IT). This mythology is nourished by an unusual set of economic and technical factors that often place the analysis of IT outside the comfort zone of not only technologists, but financial officers. One of the recent examples is the rise of IT obscurantism ( see IT does not matter fallacy).
In The Mythology of Information Overload Library Trends Find Articles at BNET.com the author describes the myth in the following way:
Studies of mythology and folklore recognize the importance of cultural context and alternative ways of knowing. Moreover, these areas of inquiry also acknowledge social processes involved in the origin and sustenance of enduring beliefs that promote shared understanding of, and response to, "superhuman" phenomena. This article first presents various interpretations of mythology and its relationship to folklore in order to build a composite frame of reference that demonstrates how myth operates today. Next, an examination of library and information science literature reveals an idea of the information society as a superhuman force to be reckoned with, defines what information is, and discusses how people use it. LIS literature, along with writing that circulates in popular culture, also shows how the concept of information overload functions as a modern-day myth that shapes comprehension and coping strategies in an era when information--whether as definitive of society, or as society's chief economic product--has taken center stage.
Viewing information overload as myth validates its existence without requiring proof. However, the occasion of developing arguments to focus this view, along with the absence of systematic cohesive library and information science study of information overload, indicates a need for documentation. The final section of this article reports on a pilot project intended to provide evidence and description of information overload as experienced by a particular folk group.(1) The opinions of this group are of special interest because its members are studying to become library and information science professionals. Because folk group membership affords shared context and meaning consistent with functions of myth, the pilot project also attempts to learn if a folk group can be considered an information resource that serves to reduce the effects of information overload.
MYTHOLOGY AND FOLKLORE
The language of myth, folklore, story, and fairytale is intertwined, and (except in technical folkloristic writing) these terms rarely seem clearly differentiated. Sometimes the terms are used interchangeably, which has made it difficult to uncover one concise and coherent definition of mythology and its cultural implications for use in this project. In general, myth, folklore, and story provide cultural continuity and structure, encompass or inspire ritual, and serve instructional purposes. Mythology can be considered a somewhat broader or more universal form than the folktale and is often linked to the sacred or divine. However, the word myth is also used to mean the opposite of fact. This discussion includes various views of myth(2) and its relationship to folkloristics in order to extract the nuance of meaning each offers for a description of the mythology of information overload.
Jun 26, 2021 | www.wsj.com
Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $230 million to the state of New York to resolve an opioid lawsuit slated to go to trial Tuesday, as negotiations intensify with the company and three drug distributors to clinch a $26 billion settlement of thousands of other lawsuits blaming the pharmaceutical industry for the opioid crisis.
Johnson & Johnson's New York deal removes it from a coming trial on Long Island but not from the rest of the cases it faces nationwide, including a continuing trial in California. The New York settlement includes an additional $33 million in attorney fees and costs and calls for the drugmaker to no longer sell opioids nationwide, something Johnson & Johnson said it already stopped doing.
States have been trying to re-create with the opioid litigation what they accomplished with tobacco companies in the 1990s, when $206 billion in settlements flowed into state coffers. More than 3,000 counties, cities and other local governments have also pursued lawsuits over the opioid crisis, complicating talks that have dragged on since late 2019 and that have been slowed down by the Covid-19 pandemic.
... ... ...
Jun 07, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com
Nicholas Megaw in London Sun, June 6, 2021, 8:00 PM
The UK's competition regulator has been accused of "putting foxes in charge of the henhouse" after asking the banking industry's own lobby group to design a supervisory body to combat the dominance of big banks. Dozens of organisations including fintech start-ups, established tech groups like Experian and Equifax, consumer representatives and a cross-party group of MPs have raised concerns over the Competition and Markets Authority's plan to use proposals drawn up by UK Finance as the basis for a consultation on the future of so-called open banking rules. Open banking forces banks to share valuable customer data with other financial services providers, allowing smaller firms to make faster lending decisions or offer new services such as budgeting tools.
May 26, 2021 | predatoryjournals.com
Stop Predatory Journals About Contribute Hijacked Journals Metrics Publishers List of Misleading and Fake Metrics
This is a list of possibly misleading metrics.
Metrics are judged to be misleading if they meet the following criteria:
- The website for the metric is nontransparent and provides little information about itself such as location, management team and its experience, other company information, and the like
- The company charges journals for inclusion in the list.
- The values (scores) for most or all of the journals on the list increase each year.
- The company uses Google Scholar as its database for calculating metrics (Google Scholar does not screen for quality and indexes predatory journals)
- The metric uses the term " impact factor " in its name.
- The methodology for calculating the value is contrived, unscientific, or unoriginal.
- The company exists solely for the purpose of earning money from questionable journals that use the gold open-access model. The company charges the journals and assigns them a value, and then the journals use the number to help increase article submissions and therefore revenue. Alternatively, the company exists as a front for an existing publisher and assigns values to that publisher's journals.
Oct 27, 2013 | www.latimes.com
In today's world, brimful as it is with opinion and falsehoods masquerading as facts, you'd think the one place you can depend on for verifiable facts is science. You'd be wrong. Many billions of dollars' worth of wrong.
A few years ago, scientists at the Thousand Oaks biotech firm Amgen set out to double-check the results of 53 landmark papers in their fields of cancer research and blood biology. The idea was to make sure that research on which Amgen was spending millions of development dollars still held up. They figured that a few of the studies would fail the test -- that the original results couldn't be reproduced because the findings were especially novel or described fresh therapeutic approaches. But what they found was startling: Of the 53 landmark papers, only six could be proved valid.
"Even knowing the limitations of preclinical research," observed C. Glenn Begley, then Amgen's head of global cancer research, "this was a shocking result."
Unfortunately, it wasn't unique. A group at Bayer HealthCare in Germany similarly found that only 25% of published papers on which it was basing R&D; projects could be validated, suggesting that projects in which the firm had sunk huge resources should be abandoned. Whole fields of research, including some in which patients were already participating in clinical trials, are based on science that hasn't been, and possibly can't be, validated.
"The thing that should scare people is that so many of these important published studies turn out to be wrong when they're investigated further,"
says Michael Eisen, a biologist at UC Berkeley and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The Economist recently estimated spending on biomedical R&D; in industrialized countries at $59 billion a year. That's how much could be at risk from faulty fundamental research.
Eisen says the more important flaw in the publication model is that the drive to land a paper in a top journal -- Nature and Science lead the list -- encourages researchers to hype their results, especially in the life sciences. Peer review, in which a paper is checked out by eminent scientists before publication, isn't a safeguard. Eisen says the unpaid reviewers seldom have the time or inclination to examine a study enough to unearth errors or flaws.
"The journals want the papers that make the sexiest claims," he says. "And scientists believe that the way you succeed is having splashy papers in Science or Nature -- it's not bad for them if a paper turns out to be wrong, if it's gotten a lot of attention."
Eisen is a pioneer in open-access scientific publishing, which aims to overturn the traditional model in which leading journals pay nothing for papers often based on publicly funded research, then charge enormous subscription fees to universities and researchers to read them.
But concern about what is emerging as a crisis in science extends beyond the open-access movement. It's reached the National Institutes of Health, which last week launched a project to remake its researchers' approach to publication. Its new PubMed Commons system allows qualified scientists to post ongoing comments about published papers. The goal is to wean scientists from the idea that a cursory, one-time peer review is enough to validate a research study, and substitute a process of continuing scrutiny, so that poor research can be identified quickly and good research can be picked out of the crowd and find a wider audience.
PubMed Commons is an effort to counteract the "perverse incentives" in scientific research and publishing, says David J. Lipman, director of NIH's National Center for Biotechnology Information, which is sponsoring the venture.
The Commons is currently in its pilot phase, during which only registered users among the cadre of researchers whose work appears in PubMed -- NCBI's clearinghouse for citations from biomedical journals and online sources -- can post comments and read them. Once the full system is launched, possibly within weeks, commenters still will have to be members of that select group, but the comments will be public.
Science and Nature both acknowledge that peer review is imperfect. Science's executive editor, Monica Bradford, told me by email that her journal, which is published by the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science, understands that for papers based on large volumes of statistical data -- where cherry-picking or flawed interpretation can contribute to erroneous conclusions -- "increased vigilance is required." Nature says that it now commissions expert statisticians to examine data in some papers.
But they both defend pre-publication peer review as an essential element in the scientific process -- a "reasonable and fair" process, Bradford says.
Yet there's been some push-back by the prestige journals against the idea that they're encouraging flawed work -- and that their business model amounts to profiteering. Earlier this month, Science published a piece by journalist John Bohannon about what happened when he sent a spoof paper with flaws that could have been noticed by a high school chemistry student to 304 open-access chemistry journals (those that charge researchers to publish their papers, but make them available for free). It was accepted by more than half of them.
One that didn't bite was PloS One, an online open-access journal sponsored by the Public Library of Science, which Eisen co-founded. In fact, PloS One was among the few journals that identified the fake paper's methodological and ethical flaws.
What was curious, however, was that although Bohannon asserted that his sting showed how the open-access movement was part of "an emerging Wild West in academic publishing," it was the traditionalist Science that published the most dubious recent academic paper of all.
This was a 2010 paper by then-NASA biochemist Felisa Wolfe-Simon and colleagues claiming that they had found bacteria growing in Mono Lake that were uniquely able to subsist on arsenic and even used arsenic to build the backbone of their DNA.
The publication in Science was accompanied by a breathless press release and press conference sponsored by NASA, which had an institutional interest in promoting the idea of alternative life forms. But almost immediately it was debunked by other scientists for spectacularly poor methodology and an invalid conclusion. Wolfe-Simon, who didn't respond to a request for comment last week, has defended her interpretation of her results as "viable." She hasn't withdrawn the paper, nor has Science, which has published numerous critiques of the work . Wolfe-Simon is now associated with the prestigious Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
To Eisen, the Wolfe-Simon affair represents the "perfect storm of scientists obsessed with making a big splash and issuing press releases" -- the natural outcome of a system in which there's no career gain in trying to replicate and validate previous work, as important as that process is for the advancement of science.
"A paper that actually shows a previous paper is true would never get published in an important journal," he says, "and it would be almost impossible to get that work funded."
However, the real threat to research and development doesn't come from one-time events like the arsenic study, but from the dissemination of findings that look plausible on the surface but don't stand up to scrutiny, as Begley and his Amgen colleagues found.
The demand for sexy results, combined with indifferent follow-up, means that billions of dollars in worldwide resources devoted to finding and developing remedies for the diseases that afflict us all is being thrown down a rathole. NIH and the rest of the scientific community are just now waking up to the realization that science has lost its way, and it may take years to get back on the right path.
Michael Hiltzik's column appears Sundays and Wednesdays. Read his new blog, The Economy Hub, at latimes.com/business/hiltzik, reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org , check out facebook.com/hiltzik and follow @hiltzikm on Twitter.
Jun 07, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com
Nicholas Megaw in London Sun, June 6, 2021, 8:00 PM
The UK's competition regulator has been accused of "putting foxes in charge of the henhouse" after asking the banking industry's own lobby group to design a supervisory body to combat the dominance of big banks. Dozens of organisations including fintech start-ups, established tech groups like Experian and Equifax, consumer representatives and a cross-party group of MPs have raised concerns over the Competition and Markets Authority's plan to use proposals drawn up by UK Finance as the basis for a consultation on the future of so-called open banking rules. Open banking forces banks to share valuable customer data with other financial services providers, allowing smaller firms to make faster lending decisions or offer new services such as budgeting tools.
May 20, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by J. Peder Zane via RealClearPolitics.com,
The Biden administration is vigorously pursuing key figures from the phony Trump/Russia collusion scandal that roiled the nation for four years. But instead of trying to punish the liars who perpetrated that fraud, it is targeting the truth-tellers who challenged and exposed the conspiracy to negate the 2016 election.
Working from the same playbook used to smear dozens of Trump associates, the administration and its allies are planting stories based on blind quotes in friendly media outlets to seek revenge.
On April 16, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius reported that the Justice Department is investigating Kash Patel – who had worked with Rep. Devin Nunes and later the Trump administration to reveal the Russiagate hoax – for the "possible improper disclosure of classified information." Ignatius said he received the tip from "two knowledgeable sources" who "wouldn't provide additional details."
Violating the bedrock principles of American justice and journalism, this article is an exercise in thuggery as the government uses a powerful media outlet to intimidate and besmirch a citizen without evidence. With nothing to respond to, how can Patel defend himself? If Patel is lucky, the federal government has only placed a sharp sword over his head that may not fall. If not, he might be dragged into a lengthy court battle that could drain his finances and also cost him his freedom.
We don't know if Patel broke the law, but note that the administration has shown no interest in pursuing former FBI leaders such as James Comey and Andrew McCabe , who improperly disclosed information regarding Russiagate.
Trump's former lawyer Rudolph Giuliani is also in the "cross hairs of a federal criminal investigation," according to an April 29 article in New York Times that relied on "people with knowledge of the matter."
At issue, those anonymous sources say, is whether Giuliani was serving two masters when he counseled Trump to remove Marie L. Yovanovitch as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in 2019. "Did Mr. Giuliani go after Ms. Yovanovitch solely on behalf of Mr. Trump, who was his client at the time?" the Times reports. "Or was he also doing so on behalf of the Ukrainian officials, who wanted her removed for their own reasons?"
I'll leave it to the lawyers to determine the wisdom of bringing a case based on the parsing of tangled motives. What is clear is that the FBI is taking a thumb-screws page from the playbook of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who deployed the little-used Foreign Agents Registration Act to pursue the white whale of collusion. As Lee Smith reported for RealClearInvestigations , just three people had pleaded guilty to FARA violations in the half-century before Mueller deployed it to pressure and punish Trump allies.
And note, the FBI's zeal to crack down on unregistered foreign agents does not extend to the president's son Hunter Biden, who, Paul Sperry reported for RCI, "failed to register as a foreign agent while promoting the interests of foreign business partners in Washington, including brokering meetings with his father and other government officials." It appears that we have two tiers of justice: one for Biden administration enemies, another for its family and friends.
The targeting of Giuliani looks especially suspect and politically motivated after three main news outlets that have driven much of the false Russiagate coverage – the New York Times, Washington Post and NBC News – were forced to correct a recent story , once again based on anonymous sources, claiming the FBI had warned Giuliani in 2019 "that he was a target of a Russian disinformation campaign during his efforts to dig up unflattering information about then-candidate Joe Biden in 2019." Giuliani was never given such a briefing.
Considering the numerous instances in which the press published bogus information from "informed sources" during Russiagate, one has to ask why they continue to serve as vehicles for falsehoods. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me a dozen times and you're not fooling me – we're acting in concert. As RCI editor Tom Kuntz has argued, journalistic integrity demands, at the very least, that these organizations tell their audience who exactly had misled them. Confidentiality agreements should not protect liars.
A third example of the Biden administration's effort to punish Russiagate figures is its renewed effort to put former Manafort associate Konstantin V. Kilimnik behind bars. In an extensive new article for RCI, Aaron Maté reports that the Treasury Department provided no evidence to support its recent claim that Kilimnik is a "known Russian Intelligence Services agent implementing influence operations on their behalf." It also refuses to explain how it was able to discover the truth of Kilimnik's identity, which the two most extensive Russiagate investigations – the 448-page Muller report and the 966-page Senate Intelligence report – failed to uncover.
This absence of evidence has not stopped the peddlers of the Trump/Russia conspiracy theory from claiming vindication. Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff casts Treasury's unsubstantiated claim as smoking-gun evidence of collusion. The New York Times reports that the claim demonstrates that "there had been numerous interactions between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence during the year before the  election."
Who needs proof when the government says it's so?
The FBI is also putting the screws to Kilimnik, offering $250,000 for information leading to his arrest on witness-tampering charges involving text messages he sent in 2018 to two people who have only been identified as "potential witnesses" involving Manafort's lobbying work for Ukraine, not Russiagate.
In an exclusive interview, Kilimnik told Maté, "I don't understand how two messages to our old partners who helped us get out the message about Ukraine's integration aspirations in [the] EU, and asking them to get in touch with Paul, can be interpreted as 'intimidation' or 'obstruction of justice.'"
Maté also reports that the $250,000 bounty on Kilimnik is more than double the amount the FBI is offering for information leading to the arrest of murder suspects.
The Biden administration's campaigns against Patel, Giuliani and Kilimnik suggest how the winners of the 2020 election are attempting to rewrite the history of Russiagate. Having been debunked and rebuked by their own investigators, the conspiracists are taking a second bite at the poisoned apple. Using anonymous sources to make unsubstantiated charges in the nation's most influential news outlets, they are seeking to punish people for the crime of exposing their malfeasance.
May 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Dinesh D'Souza, op-ed via The Epoch Times
For a long time, the FBI has stood as the admirable symbol of a police agency of government, implacably going after the bad guys and neutrally enforcing the laws. This is the FBI of the movie "The Untouchables," in which special agent Eliot Ness leads his devoted crew of armed agents in a heroic battle against the forces of organized crime.
Well, forget about the Untouchables. Today's FBI has quite obviously been corrupted from the top. This is a process that seems to have begun under President Barack Obama, endured during the Donald Trump years, and has now reached its unfortunate nadir under President Joe Biden. It's time for conservatives and Republicans to start thinking about getting rid of the FBI.
I want to highlight two sets of contrasting episodes that give us a window into how biased and partisan this once-respected agency has now become.
Contrast the treatment the FBI has given to Jan. 6 activists with that it has afforded to Antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters.
The FBI has unrelentingly hunted down Jan. 6 protesters, in many cases confronting Trump supporters who were merely in Washington at the time, or at the mall rally but not involved in entering the Capitol. Those who have been arrested have been treated like domestic terrorists, captured in raids involving drawn weapons, even though the charges against most of them amount to little more than trespassing or entering a government facility without proper permission. Nonviolent offenders have been given the same brutal treatment as violent ones. And to this day the FBI promulgates images "a grandma here, a teenager there" asking the public to help them track down still-at-large individuals who had something, anything, to do with the events of Jan. 6.
Contrast this concentrated effort with the lackadaisical, even disinterested, approach of the FBI to the Antifa and Black Lives Matter activists. Over a period of many months, those activists have proven far more violent. They have killed a number of people, in contrast to the Trump activists who killed nobody. (The only person killed on Jan. 6 was Ashli Babbitt, a Trump supporter shot in the neck by a Capitol police officer.) They have looted businesses, burned churches, assaulted police officers, attacked and harassed ordinary citizens eating in restaurants or going about their normal lives "and all with impunity." No FBI raids, no systematic arrests, no dissemination of "Wanted" images on social media.
Now I turn to my second contrast: the recent FBI raid on Rudy Giuliani's home and office, while there has been no raid on the home or office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo . Start with Giuliani: The ostensible justification for the raid was to look for evidence Giuliani violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Giuliani pointed out in a statement released by his lawyer, however, that he offered to sit down with the FBI and the Biden Department of Justice (DOJ) and show them to their satisfaction that there had been no violation of law. Moreover, Giuliani had for several months been offering the FBI clear evidence, corroborated by texts and emails, that Hunter Biden not only allegedly failed to register as a foreign agent, but also that he was allegedly involved in child pornography, money laundering, and an elaborate Biden family scheme to sell their political access in exchange for millions of dollars in personal gain.
Both the FBI and the DOJ showed no interest in any of that. Consequently, Giuliani seems warranted in concluding that the agency's conduct is a "clear example of a corrupt double standard": "One for high-level Democrats whose blatant crimes are ignored, such as Hillary Clinton, Hunter Biden, and Joe Biden" and quite another for "Republicans who are prominent supporters and defender of President Trump."
Giuliani further revealed that the FBI and DOJ had in late 2019 obtained access to his email database without notifying him. This means that while Giuliani was advising his client Donald Trump during the impeachment process""a relationship fully protected by attorney""client privilege""the FBI violated the law while supposedly investigating Giuliani and Trump's possible violations of law.
Here, again, the FBI's extreme diligence in going after Giuliani can be contrasted with the FBI's failure to act in the case of Gov. Cuomo. Cuomo is currently involved in two separate scandals, one involving multiple women who have accused him of sexual harassment, and another involving his direct involvement in a cover-up scheme to hide the magnitude of nursing home deaths caused by his own policies.
According to the New York Times , the Cuomo administration was far more culpable than previously known in deliberately undercounting nursing home deaths over a period of five months. Let's recall that these deaths need not have occurred. At the direction of the Trump administration, the U.S. Navy dispatched a hospital ship Comfort to New York to accept non-coronavirus patients and thus lessen the burden on New York hospitals.
Gov. Cuomo, however, turned the ship away to spite the Trump administration and instead ordered New York nursing homes to accept the overflow of COVID-19 patients, helping the virus to spread among vulnerable nursing home populations and thus causing thousands of unnecessary deaths.
Then, when the Trump administration inquired about the nursing home data in New York, Cuomo instructed his state health officials, including the health commissioner Howard Zucker, not to release the true death toll to the federal government, state officials, or the general public. Cuomo also suppressed a research paper that revealed the data and blocked two letters by Zucker's department from being sent to state legislators.
While Giuliani's offense remains unclear, Cuomo is guilty of obvious abuses of power ""actions that have not only put people in their graves but also amounted, in a statistical sense, to "hiding the bodies." Again, the FBI is nowhere to be found, and the reason for its absence appears to be that Cuomo is a Democratic governor who seemingly enjoys immunity as far as today's FBI and Biden's DOJ are concerned.
Enough is enough! When justice no longer involves the neutral or equal application of the laws, it ceases to be justice. I realize, of course, that there will be no FBI reform under Biden. Therefore, I strongly urge the Republican Party to make abolition of the FBI""shutting down the agency and then reconstructing it from the ground up""key provisions of its campaigns both in 2022 and 2024.
* * *
Dinesh D'Souza is an author, filmmaker, and daily host of the Dinesh D'Souza podcast.
May 07, 2021 | www.theatlantic.com
A real scientific advance, like a successful date, needs both preparation and serendipity. As a tired, single medical student, I used to feel lucky when I managed two good dates in a row. But career scientists must continually create this kind of magic. Universities judge their research faculty not so much by the quality of their discoveries as by the number of papers they've placed in scholarly journals, and how prestigious those journals happen to be. Scientists joke (and complain) that this relentless pressure to pad their résumés often leads to flawed or unoriginal publications. So when Randall Munroe, the creator of the long-running webcomic XKCD , laid out this problem in a perfect cartoon last week, it captured the attention of scientists -- and inspired many to create versions specific to their own disciplines. Together, these became a global, interdisciplinary conversation about the nature of modern research practices.
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The cartoon is, like most XKCD comics, a simple back-and-white line drawing with a nerdy punch line. It depicts a taxonomy of the 12 "Types of Scientific Paper," presented in a grid. "The immune system is at it again," one paper's title reads. "My colleague is wrong and I can finally prove it," declares another. The gag reveals how research literature, when stripped of its jargon, is just as susceptible to repetition, triviality, pandering, and pettiness as other forms of communication. The cartoon's childlike simplicity, though, seemed to offer cover for scientists to critique and celebrate their work at the same time.
- The Scientific Paper Is Obsolete JAMES SOMERS
- In Science, There Should Be a Prize for Second Place ED YONG
- A Conversation With Randall Munroe, the Creator of XKCD MEGAN GARBER
The concept was intuitive -- and infinitely remixable. Within a couple of days, the sociologist Kieran Healy had created a version of the grid for his field; its entries included "This seems very weird and bad but it's perfectly rational when you're poor," and "I take a SOCIOLOGICAL approach, unlike SOME people." Epidemiologists got on board too -- "We don't really have a clue what we're doing: but here are some models!" Statisticians , perhaps unsurprisingly, also geeked out: "A new robust variance estimator that nobody needs." (I don't get it either.) You couldn't keep the biologists away from the fun ("New microscope!! Yours is now obsolete"), and -- in their usual fashion -- the science journalists soon followed ("Readers love animals"). A doctoral student cobbled together a website to help users generate their own versions. We reached Peak Meme with the creation of a meta-meme outlining a taxonomy of academic-paper memes. At that point, the writer and internet activist Cory Doctorow lauded the collective project of producing these jokes as "an act of wry, insightful auto-ethnography -- self-criticism wrapped in humor that tells a story."
Put another way: The joke was on target. "The meme hits the right nerve," says Vinay Prasad, an associate epidemiology professor and a prominent critic of medical research . "Many papers serve no purpose, advance no agenda, may not be correct, make no sense, and are poorly read. But they are required for promotion." The scholarly literature in many fields is riddled with extraneous work; indeed, I've always been intrigued by the idea that this sorry outcome was more or less inevitable, given the incentives at play. Take a bunch of clever, ambitious people and tell them to get as many papers published as possible while still technically passing muster through peer review and what do you think is going to happen? Of course the system gets gamed: The results from one experiment get sliced up into a dozen papers, statistics are massaged to produce more interesting results, and conclusions become exaggerated . The most prolific authors have found a way to publish more than one scientific paper a week. Those who can't keep up might hire a paper mill to do (or fake) the work on their behalf.
In medicine, at least, the urgency of COVID-19 only made it easier to publish a lot of articles very quickly. The most prestigious journals -- The New England Journal of Medicine , the Journal of the American Medical Association , and The Lancet -- have traditionally reserved their limited space for large, expensive clinical trials. During the pandemic, though, they started rapidly accepting reports that described just a handful of patients. More than a few CVs were beefed up along the way. Scientists desperate to stay relevant began to shoehorn COVID-19 into otherwise unrelated research, says Saurabh Jha, an associate radiology professor and a deputy editor of the journal Academic Radiology .
A staggering 200,000 COVID-19 papers have already been published, of which just a tiny proportion will ever be read or put into practice. To be fair, it's hard to know in advance which data will prove most useful during an unprecedented health crisis. But pandemic publishing has only served to exacerbate some well-established bad habits, Michael Johansen, a family-medicine physician and researcher who has criticized many studies as being of minimal value, told me. "COVID publications appear to be representative of the literature at large: a few really important papers and a whole bunch of stuff that isn't or shouldn't be read," he said. Peer-reviewed results confirming that our vaccines really work, for example, could lead to millions of lives being saved. Data coming out of the United Kingdom's nationwide RECOVERY trial have provided strong evidence for now-standard treatments such as dexamethasone. But that weird case report? Another modeling study trying to predict the unpredictable? They're good for a news cycle, maybe, but not for real medical care. And some lousy studies have even undermined the treatment of COVID-19 patients ( hydroxychloroquine has entered the chat).
I should pause here to acknowledge that I'm a hypocrite. "Some thoughts on how everyone else is bad at research" is listed as one of the facetious article types in the original XKCD comic, yet here I am rehashing the same idea, with an internet-culture angle. Unfortunately, because The Atlantic isn't included in scientific databases, publishing this piece will do nothing to advance my academic career. "Everyone recognizes it's a hamster-in-a-wheel situation, and we are all hamsters," says Anirban Maitra, a physician and scientific director at MD Anderson Cancer Center. (He created a version of the "12 Types" meme for my own beloved field: "A random pathology paper with the phrase 'artificial intelligence' in the title.") Maitra has built a successful career by running in the publication wheel -- his own bibliography now includes more than 300 publications -- but he says he has no idea how to fix the system's flaws. In fact, none of the scientists I talked with could think of a realistic solution. If science has become a punch line, then we haven't yet figured out how to get rid of the setup.
While the XKCD comic can be read as critical of the scientific enterprise, part of its viral appeal is that it also conveys the joy that scientists feel in nerding out about their favorite topics. ("Hey, I found a trove of old records! They don't turn out to be particularly useful, but still, cool!") Publication metrics have become a sad stand-in for quality in academia, but maybe there's a lesson in the fact that even a webcomic can arouse so much passion and collaboration across the scientific community. Surely there's a better way to cultivate knowledge than today's endless grid of black-and-white papers.BENJAMIN MAZER is a physician specializing in laboratory medicine.
Jan 15, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Mao , Jan 15 2021 4:38 utc | 67
A major scandal is unfolding in the US naval community. It turned out that a whole class of ships, on which America had pinned great hopes a couple of decades ago, turned out to be utterly incapable of combat. What exactly are the problems with these ships? Why did they only show up now? What does the massive corruption in the United States have to do with what is happening?
Political events in the United States have overshadowed everything that happens in this country. Including one event related to the Navy, which would indeed have exploded.
We are talking about a whole type of warships, both already delivered to the US Navy, and those still under construction – the so-called Littoral combat ship (LCS) of the Freedom type. And it's not that they're useless. And not at the prohibitive cost. And not even that the gearboxes of the ship's main power plant (GEM) do not withstand the maximum stroke, and with the speed of 47 knots, which was the ridge of this project, he will never be able to walk – they also resigned themselves to this.
But at the end of 2020, it turned out that they generally cannot move faster than a dry cargo ship for more or less a long time. That is, it is not just scrapping metal; it is also almost stationary scrap metal.
Jan 10, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Mao , Jan 10 2021 14:55 utc | 3
Voice of America CEO Accused Of Fraud, Misuse Of Office All In One Week
Fresh crises and fresh challenges confront the Trump-appointed CEO of the parent of Voice of America, even with less than two weeks left of the Trump presidency.
To start, the Attorney General of the District of Columbia this week accused U.S. Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack of illegally funneling more than $4 million to his private documentary company through a not-for-profit that he also controls.
Dec 24, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
zero point module 6 hours ago
Top Contributors, federal election data for Joe Biden, 2020 cycle
totals include subsidiaries and affiliates. - https://www.zerohedge.com/political/top-owners-americas-president-elect-joe-biden - it's (((amish))) and Chinese both - (((amish))) opened the gates and let the Chinese in
Bloomberg LP [(((Michael Bloomberg)))] $56,796,137
Future Forward USA [largely (((Dustin Moskowitz)))] $29,917,229
Priorities USA/Priorities USA Action [Hillary backers] $25,841,199
Asana [(((Moskowitz & Rosenstein)))] $21,937,902
Sixteen Thirty Fund [dark money] $19,874,655
Democracy PAC [(((George Soros)))] $19,000,000
Senate Majority PAC [(((Democratic billionaires)))] $12,371,874
American Bridge 21st Century [largely (((Soros)))] $10,260,573
Paloma Partners [(((Donald Sussman)))] $9,016,248
Euclidean Capital [(((James Simons)))] $7,006,805
Dec 17, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Senator Rand Paul accused Georgia and other states of using the COVID-19 pandemic to steal the election in a move he says could have came from the playbook of Obama Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, who famously said, "you never want a serious crisis to go to waste."
Appearing on Fox News prior to the Wednesday Senate hearing on election irregularities, Senator Paul was asked how revelations, such as the one out of Georgia showing more than 1,700 voters illegally submitted two ballots during the Nov. 3 contest, would effect the upcoming runoff elections in the Empire State of the South.
Paul would respond, saying: "You'd think that all of this would be investigated and tried to be fixed before the election."
The Senator went on to run off a list of voter fraud examples in Georgia, including the 1,700 double votes , votes from commercial addresses , and dead voters casting ballots .
He also pointed to potential illegal voting activity in Nevada:
"We're going to hear testimony from Nevada where 15 hundred people were deceased and should not have voted, four thousand people were illegal aliens, and 15 thousand people voted from commercial address when you have to vote from a home address."
Echoing the case laid out by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in his recently dismissed Supreme Court lawsuit, Paul accused states of using the COVID-19 crisis to dodge state and federal election law, comparing the move to a play right out of the Obama, Rahm Emanuel playbook:
"It's sort of Obama, Rahm Emanuel's playbook. They took the crisis of COVID and then they changed election law not by changing law at the state legislature, they had secretaries of state and or governors simply by fiat change the law to say 'oh you can keep counting votes' when the law did say that. So, this election really was stolen in a way and it was stolen because people changed the law "
Shortly after his appointment as Obama's Chief of Staff, former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel famously uttered the words "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste" during a corporate panel sponsored by the Wall Street Journal .
"What I mean by that is never allow a good crisis to go to waste when it's an opportunity to do things that you had never considered, or that you didn't think were possible," Emanuel would explain at the time.
Trump Campaign Attorney, Jesse Binnall, would laid out similar accusations of voter fraud to those given by Senator Paul during the Wednesday Senate hearing.
See Binnall's opening statement below:
But, Senator Paul was not done, as Douglas Braff reports via SaraACarter.com , during today's Senate hearing examining irregularities during 2020 presidential election the Kentucky Republican claimed:
"The fraud happened. The election in many ways was stolen...And the only way it'll be fixed is by, in the future, reinforcing the laws."
"But I think [Kreb's] job was keeping the foreigners out of the election. It was the most secure election based on the security of the internet and technology, but he has never voiced an opinion [ ] on whether or not dead people voted -- I don't think he examined that," Paul said toward the end of his speaking time, then questioning if Krebs examined non-citizens' voting.
Many Republicans, in alleging that widespread election fraud occurred in the 2020 election, have often cited claims that a lot of dead people and non-citizens voted. The over 50 lawsuits challenging the results of the election in certain swing states alleging election fraud have overwhelmingly failed in the courts.
"So to say it was the safest election -- sure, I agree with your statement if you're referring to foreign intervention," Paul continued.
"But if you're saying it's the safest election based on no dead people voted, no non-citizens voted, no people broke the absentee [ballot] rules, I think that's false and I think that's what's upset a lot of people on our side is that they're taking your statement to mean 'Oh, there were no problems in the elections.'"
"I don't think you examined any of the problems that we've heard here," he added, "so really you're just referring to something differently, the way I look at it." ay_arrow 1
wee-weed up 6 hours ago (Edited)US Banana Republic 6 hours ago
Okay, Sen Rand Paul...
Now put your credibility where your mouth is...
And back up Mo Brooks on Jan 6th when he stands up to challenge the validity of the election.
This will call for congresscritters with balls enough to say, "This illegal voting that occurred threatens the Republic and will not stand!"EightyEight Mike 6 hours ago remove link
Do you know why Biden is telling everyone to stay home from his inauguration (which will never be anyway)?
Because NOBODY would have come. With or without COVID being a factor.
Fraudly Dementia Boy who is supposedly the most popular Democrat in history according to the vote, never would have gotten more than 12 people to show up to see him sworn in,.sgt_doom 5 hours ago remove link
"17 Intelligence Agencies confirmed that there was foreign interference in the presidential election."
Remember hearing that every day?Doom Porn Star 6 hours ago (Edited)
Even Matt Taibbi debunked that bullcrap --- a couple of guys at the CIA, friends of the Clapper/Brannan bromance, who later transferred to the NSA, to prattle the same bullcrap!
[ China (the CCP) owns UBS Securities Co LTD >> which owns Staple Street Capital >> which owns Dominion >> ergo, CCP owns Dominion --- this is the way it is done in int'l finance]PGR88 6 hours ago
Laws were NOT changed. The legal procedures for changing the voting laws were NOT followed.
The very laws about changing the election laws were not followed and thus laws were not changed.
For instance: in Pennsylvania the Legislature is the only authority that can change the state constitution and the laws governing elections within. The Legislature did NOT change the constitution of Pennsylvania.
Saying that laws were changed is not the same as actually going through the legal procedures required to change the laws and enacting new legally binding legislation.
Saying "We changed the laws."doesn't change anything no matter how many times you repeat the phrase.
They did NOT change the laws -which is why SCOTUS freaked out and refused to hear the case.
IF SCOTUS actually had been forced to admit that the laws were not actually changed , despite the repeated insistent rhetoric that they had been changed, Trump would easily have won the Electoral College.NoBigDeal 6 hours ago remove link
Let's look at California
This year, due to "COVID-19," California mailed out 25 million ballots to everyone on voter rolls. Remember also, their DMV automatically registers everyone to vote - including illegals, who are given drivers licenses. Mail-in-voting in CA has been a trend, but now Newsom wants this to be permanent.
There are no checks on non-citizens voting.
Voter rolls have not been purged of people who left the State or who changed addresses
In November 2020, approx, 7 million ballots were returned. Normally, in some districts, up to 10% of mail-in ballots may be rejected for problems. This year, due to the vast numbers, less than 0.01% were rejected.
It is absolutely impossible for state election workers to check voter rolls, signatures, addresses on 7 million ballots - so in effect, NO checks occur
California also allows "ballot harvesters." Any organized group my collect ballots from Voters, and turn them in. Some activist groups are even funded by the state to "harvest" ballots. That means political actors are collecting ballots, completely outside of any verification or chain-of-possession steps.
I dare anyone to tell me such a system is not full of manipulation and fraudNature_Boy_Wooooo 5 hours ago (Edited)
The GOP have to fight this in the court of public opinion because no court judge is prepared to listen to the case. They accuse them of telling lies without looking at the evidence. A cynical Catch 22 position.
As the administrators of justice this is a frightening heads up for anyone who thought there was any integrity and fairness in the legal system.
It's all bribes now..Onthebeach6 6 hours ago remove link
Imagine sitting in court for tax fraud and the prosecutor saying........ "we gotta make sure this doesn't happen in the future.".....but you get to walk and keep the money you stole.WatchOutForThatTree 2 hours ago
The Deep State actors are still trying to steal it by claiming no CCP interference in the election.
The report on foreign interference in the US election is due for release on Friday (18 th ) afternoon. This will be 45 days after it was requested by the President. It may be delayed.
The report is being prepared by the DNI (Department of National Intelligence) which is an umbrella organization over 16 intelligence agencies.
There is currently a massive ongoing fight between agencies in respect of those who wish to include the evidence of Chinese CCP involvement and those who wish to cover this up and blame Russia.
Director Ratcliffe of the DNI wants the CCP involvement included in the report and has stated that he will not sign the report unless this detailed CCP information is included.
It is important to understand that there is both evidence of CCP helping to fix the election and ongoing CCP pressure to ensure that their asset Biden is sworn in as President.
It is clear that CCP and deep state assets as well as the DNC and big tech worked together to steal the election and remove Trump in support of a globalist agenda that would enrich a small minority whilst impoverishing most Americans.Linguo 1 hour ago
Whether the "election" turned out the way you wanted or not, it's pretty damned obvious this bitch was rigged.
Can all the stupid trolls and mindless posters please go back into your caves? The quality(or lack thereof) of discourse here sucks nowadays...wimvincken 3 hours ago remove link
Rigged ? Corporate money by the billions, voter suppression, two parties whose sole allegiance is to Wall Street deliberately excluding third and fourth parties and gerrymandering to name a few, contributes to the democratic process ? What planet do you live on ? This country has never been a democracy. If the election was rigged, why did the republicans do well with the exception of the racist war criminal who is personally responsible for hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 deaths, King BS the 1st ? Idiot.Soloamber 3 hours ago
It's unbelievable what happened in the US. Many countries have simple ID driven elections. You show your ID and vote. Simple.
And in case the country has a computers, that computer can check if you're a citizen and if you already have voted in almost real-time. Simple.
I didn't know that the US doesn't have computers. Who would have thought that? /sarc
Sorry, but the incompetence is there running amok. Strategy is not one of the strongest thing there, because they could predict something like this to happen beforehand. The way how the Americans vote is simply asking for trouble like this. Now I'm curious if they want to fix it. I don't think so.Pdunne 2 hours ago (Edited) remove link
The winner of the USA elections is now who cheats best .
The Democrats did nothing for four years except the fraud impeachment and the coordinated effort to steal the election . It was their only chance with Dementia man .ronin12 PREMIUM 4 hours ago remove link
Elections are won or lost these days with influence and money.
It is time to go back to the days when only individuals can donate to a campaign, not more corporate money or dark funds for PAC's.
Candidates will always pander to the money and if it was coming from the people maybe the people would get a fairer government. play_arrowSoloamber 3 hours ago remove link
It's super fantastic to hear Rand Paul speak the truth.
So wtf is he actually going to DO about it?Babadook 4 hours ago remove link
Three full years of MSM Russia , Russia started by the Clinton's , CIA , Obama and the
biggest dip **** to run the FBI .
Mass election fraud ....cheating Trump out of an obvious win . NOTHING .
Move on because the gang rapists say so .
Voters one access to democracy stolen by the corrupt Democrat Party , negated by an algorithm, dead voters
, vote harvesting, billionaire globalist determined to destroy the USA and Chinese money .
Then people like sleeve bag Schumer unilaterally trying to bribe students with their own credit card .
Biden was right dark days .Don Storm 4 hours ago
Gullible. That is the only word that describes the fantasy of faith in using electronic voting machines. Pen, paper & observers work perfectly well in other developed countries.Bjorn2bebad PREMIUM 4 hours ago
Like someone posted earlier on ZH:
" In 2020 California mailed out 25 million ballots to everyone on voter rolls. Remember, the DMV automatically registers everyone to vote including illegals, who are given drivers licenses. Mail-in-voting in CA has been a trend, but now Newsom wants this to be permanent.
There are no checks on non-citizens voting. Voter rolls have not been purged of people who left the State or who changed addresses.
In 2020, approx. 7 million ballots were returned. Normally, up to 5% of mail-in ballots may be rejected for problems. This year, due to the vast numbers less than 0.01% were rejected.
It is absolutely impossible for state election workers to check voter rolls, signatures, addresses on 7 million ballots. So, NO checks occured whatsoever.
California allows "ballot harvesters." Any organized group may collect ballots from voters and turn them in. In fact, some activist groups are even funded by the state to "harvest" ballots.
I DARE anyone to show that such a system is NOT subject to total abuse and fraud on a massive scale. "
Here we have our answer, and California isn't the only state that allowed for such a weak mail-in ballot system.
Perhaps even more disturbing, why were mail-in ballots allowed on such a massive scale to begin with? And, we are not even talking about Dominion and other crap that took place.Nullifytodefy1835 6 hours ago remove link
I live in Japan and they sent me a ballot - to Tokyo! I have not lived in CA for 8 years!!!
Do you think that signature verification, the very thing that was touted, as being the very thing, that makes voting by mail safe, secure and fraud free, was thrown out the window for this election. Literally, the PA SOS told the election staff that ballots cannot be excluded because of signature mismatch, along with a host of other "irregularities" that would have the ballots, like the 26,000 that were tossed during the primary, excluded from being legal ballots that count. It concerns me that, the talking heads parrot the signature verification talking point everywhere you look, knowing that they had no plan on ever doing such. It really smacks of impropriety and corruption, if you only look at that, and that alone. When you then take account of the other issues, it looks like a stolen election. I am certainly not a Trump supporter, did not vote for him, but I have had an issue with election fraud for many years, as I have personally known of a migrant advocacy group that would bus the non citizens to the polling places and they would vote. I reported this many times, still it continued. Still it continues. When the only "proof" of citizenship you must provide, is a check in a box that you, "attest under penalty of perjury" that you are a citizen, blah, blah, blah, there is bound to be those that take advantage of the lack of oversight. Wherever there is an opportunity, a criminal, fraudster or corrupt actor, will take advantage, to the fullest extent possible. Human nature.
Nov 08, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
JM Gavin , 08 November 2020 at 09:32 AM
While many seem to prefer a multi-millionaire tycoon that inexplicably became a politician, you prefer a politician that inexplicably became a multi-millionaire. That's fine, but I don't recall hearing any consistent policy from Joe Biden other than his promises to not be Donald Trump.
The truth is that you don't like Trump, or perhaps you don't like his policies. Don't pretend you did an analysis and decided that Biden has better policies, as we haven't seen any of Biden's policies.
You are fine with ignoring Biden's threats to withhold aid from the Ukraine unless they do XYZ, but it's a "thug's approach" when Trump does it?
You have a very appropriate screen name.
Political Economist Oct 29
Oct 20, 2020 | yasha.substack.comWhat's truly scandalous about this whole Hunter thing is that it shows just how normalized elite corruption is in our imperial society and how little anyone at the top cares.
Last week I stepped away from the Internet for 24 hours and came back to find the most ridiculous thing took place: Twitter decided to just straight up censor a New York Post story that weaponized Hunter Biden's boring rich kid degenerate life and his corrupt dealings in Ukraine. This crude attempt at censorship only inflamed interest in this obvious h
Cypher Oct 29Reply
Glenn, was curious for your take on Yasha Levine's piece on the matter. As far as the censorship angle goes, I think you are both in agreement, but as far as just how big a story this really is, he seems to be a little more jaded. https://yasha.substack.com/p/yes-hunter-biden-is-corrupt-its-one
Reply Cypher Oct 29
It's unclear at this point how much Joe knew about what was going on. For my part, I suspect he knew but was not actually directing Hunter's activities. I actually also doubt that he has any idea that a piece of the China deal was being held for him, if indeed it was.
That said, I think it is clear that he knew that Hunter was throwing the Biden name around to gin up business deals and he didn't tell him to stop it.
I think it's also clear that the media in general is desperate to avoid any mention of the story...which is, in my mind at least, the best argument to vote for Trump. A lapdog media is no check on the crazy stuff that happens in DC
Reply SAH 8 hr
Here's Yasha's conclusion:
If you want a quick rundown of the Burisma op and Hunter's role in it, check out this 2019 report in the Wall Street Journal. This respectable news outlet might not have called what he did there as "corruption" or "graft," but that's exactly what it was: Hunter traded his dad's name and access for money.
So it's strange that people have been getting so worked up over this New York Post story. Even if the emails end up being fake or some details were fudged, it's doesn't change anything because they're riffing on something real. If Hunter hadn't sold his access to a Ukrainian oligarch, there would be no story here -- fake emails or no. And that's what's truly scandalous about this whole Hunter Biden thing: It shows just how normalized elite corruption is in our imperial society and how little anyone at the top cares about it.
Watching liberals deflect this reality by screaming about some devious foreign plot to subvert democracy well, it's hard to be shocked or outraged anymore. All you can do now is mock it and laugh.
-- Yasha Levine
PS: Aside from all the other problems, screaming about "the Russians" every time Hunter's corruption comes up is yet another example of the xenophobia and racism that's become totally normalized among our liberal elite.
Reply Cypher Oct 29
Each time I read about Hunter's scandal in Ukraine, I have to think of VP Joe Biden and his family! They all, in this way, traded in VP Biden's name and position! So the real question is, why is this behavior so widespread amongst these family members?! Honestly...without cooperation from the VP, would that have happened to the degree it did?!
Let's see...."If you don't fire the prosecutor, you're not getting the one billion dollars!"
Reply Candis 22 hr
Also, I see that you brushed on the fact that it might be corruption, but it's been legalized: "But they also raise real questions about whether Joe Biden knew about and even himself engaged in a form of legalized corruption."
So what Levine is saying is that - yeah it's bad, but it's not only legal - it's been going on for years and across both parties.
judd 21 hr
Yeah..the swamp..we know.
from a purely political standpoint, the reason once credible liberal/mainstream sources seek to suppress/malign right wing and conservative voices is simple: these voices would inform policy as most americans would embrace those voices. most people want to hear tucker carlson call looters...looters - especially when no one else is saying it. and want to see fair and impartial handling of media. so every viewpoint is ignored, or derided...this isnt to say that righwing voices are always correct - just that they appeal to a deep seated need that is missing on the left: simplicity. not everything has to be analyzed to death. not everything has shades of white supremacy. not everything reeks of...the list goes on and on. some things are just simple. we need safety. we need a good economy. the truth is multiplex and evolving, and not everything is just because a dark web of college educated journalist elitist say so. trump and his supporters exist because of msm. they enabled him, they created this massive nationwide gaslighting of simple straight forward policies and ideas that most people have held peacefully for decades (like the fact that censorship is indeed bad). and if he wins, it'll be because of the deeply corrupt media elites. and i hope he wins. they deserve it.
on this article, it looks like hunter did some shady stuff, but as for this story, it lacks real credibility, and as a consumer of news in america, i'd ask the question why msm ran with russiagate for 3 years with zero credible evidence but is silent now. the truth is simple. we don't need to go further.
Oct 30, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Bobulinski will sing tonight
"Former Biden insider Tony Bobulinski allegedly has a recording of Biden family operatives begging him to stay quiet , or he will "bury" the reputations of everyone involved in Hunter's overseas dealings.
According to The Federalist 's Sean Davis, Bobulinski will play the tape on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Tuesday , when Carlson will devote his show 'entirely' to an interview with the Biden whistleblower."
"According to a source familiar with the planning, Bobulinski will play recordings of Biden family operatives begging him to stay quiet and claiming Bobulinski's revelations will "bury" the reputations of everyone involved in Hunter's overseas deals."
As The Federalist notes:
The Federalist confirmed with sources familiar with the plans that Bobulinski, a retired Navy lieutenant and Biden associate, will be airing tapes of Biden operatives begging Bobulinski to remain quiet as former Vice President Joe Biden nears the finish line to the White House next week.
Bobulinski flipped on the Bidens following a Senate report which revealed that they received a $5 million interest-free loan from a now-bankrupt Chinese energy company .
According to the former Biden insider, he was introduced to Joe Biden by Hunter, and they had an hour-long meeting where they discussed the Biden's business plans with the Chinese, with which he says Joe was "plainly familiar at least at a high level." " Zerohedge
First of all, Bobulinski is NOT a "retired Navy lieutenant." He is a former Navy Lieutenant.
Well, folks, it's up to you to watch TC's show tonight if you want to learn about this. Tucker's show is the most watched news show in the history of cable television, so the pain should not be too great, pl
ked , 27 October 2020 at 11:31 AMDiana L Croissant , 27 October 2020 at 11:59 AM
I don't watch cable TV so I'll have to depend on the objectivity of observers. I'll be curious who / what is a "family operative"? are they traceable like a military chain-of-command?
in related news, we can get a fix on the play between private / public behaviors & the pace of Justice winding.
I am willing to predict that these examples will have equal impact on the election.Deap , 27 October 2020 at 01:23 PM
Tucker Carlson's show is my favorite news/commentary show. I try not to miss it. Because of the fact that he seems to try hard to verify his sources--and the people he interviews, I trust him. He also tries to provide guests from the left in an attempt to be fair.
He's definitely not a Hannity, who is the one who turns many off of FOX (though Hannity comes right after Tucker).Paco , 27 October 2020 at 03:37 PM
Hunter Biden is the modern equivalent of the pre-Reformation papacy selling indulgences. Cash in exchange for unfettered passage into the promised land .Fred , 27 October 2020 at 03:42 PM
If St. James day is on Sunday Indulgentia Plena.GEORGE CHAMBERLAIN , 27 October 2020 at 04:08 PM
Thank goodness the Federal Judge has allowed the lawsuit by the private citizen and writer, based on the 1990s allegation, to procede without government interference. I'm sure nobody will do that to democrats in the future. Meanwhile in the Flynn case the DOJ confirms that the govenment documents and discovery exhibits are ture and correct. I'm sure Judge Sullivan will procede expeditiously with granting the unopposed motion to dismiss that case.
https://twitter.com/Techno_Fog/status/1320935992329687040Norber M Salamon , 27 October 2020 at 04:18 PM
This story interests me because I believe he is the first to leave the sinking ship but not the last.
There would be no reason for this if he thought Joe would win and the investigation would be snuffed out.
If Trump wins there will most likely be a new version of "Let's Make A Deal" being aired on the nightly news.
I am down to one package of popcorn. I need to restock.Lyttennnburgh , 27 October 2020 at 04:30 PM
another interesting tid-bit:
https://www.zerohedge.com/political/hunter-biden-confesses-partnership-china-spy-chief-fumes-after-he-and-joe-named-criminalturcopolier , 27 October 2020 at 04:35 PM
Actually, indulgences were more akin to BitCoins. Especially after 1567, when His Holiness the Pope finally officially banned them... but they had been still produced and sold in large quantities. In France only Richeliue put a stop to this con.Fred , 27 October 2020 at 08:04 PM
Yes, the Catholic Church is so old that it has been corrupt and reformed many timesjames , 27 October 2020 at 08:28 PM
"version of "Let's Make A Deal""
The democrats turned that down a couple weeks ago, thus this is blowing up in their faces right now.GEORGE CHAMBERLAIN , 27 October 2020 at 08:34 PM
lol! you are filling in some of the many blanks in my musical knowledge... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbX2diR9b4UDiana L Croissant , 27 October 2020 at 09:20 PM
Serve me my plate a Crow. Maybe.
He is saying now that he is 2nd generation military and that they pissed him off claiming he was a Russian asset.
That is plausible.
Maybe it is both?
Regardless it seems he has a great deal of proof.elaine , 27 October 2020 at 09:22 PM
I was convinced during the interview. Bobulinsky seemed pretty convincing in his concern for his own reputation, having been associated with the Biden "Mafia" in the first place.
It was clear during the interview that he had provided Tucker verification for his claims.
I am more concerned that this revelation comes too late and that many, many people have voted early. He referenced some hearings that will be held in Congress. I doubt that will affect the election, given the slow pace of anything getting done in Congress. I voted early, but I am not personally concerned because I did NOT vote for Biden; however, I am concerned that those who voted early for Biden could not now change their votes.turcopolier , 27 October 2020 at 09:25 PM
ked, Tucker Carlson Tonight shows are usually on YouTube shortly
after they air on cableakaPatience , 27 October 2020 at 10:12 PM
Yes. You have to watch out for unannounced medical visits. "Guido, get in the wagon, you need a check up."Eric Newhill , 27 October 2020 at 10:12 PM
SO, if I understand the situation correctly, Bobulinski was essentially sought after, used and then screwed by the Bidens, which seems risky on the part of the clan. But I guess if Joe wins the election, they will have gotten away with it as I can't imagine, in spite of any damning evidence, the Bidens will suffer the same punishing rectal examination-like scrutiny and vilification the Trump family's been subjected to.turcopolier , 27 October 2020 at 10:22 PM
Hoping you write about your assessment of B and what he had to say.
I found him to be generally credible. All of his motives for singing largely make sense to me. I think he's a patriot. Some good supporting evidence. He's sharp. I liked him. He's the kind of guy I'd enjoy working with.
I don't know anything about the realm of international deal making and finance. I'm wondering how a Navy O3 works his way to enjoying yachts in Monaco while making $millions. Is he an Annapolis guy? Tight with the right classmates? Not a lot to be found on him via Google.turcopolier , 27 October 2020 at 10:24 PM
He was no longer in the navy when he was messing around with the Biden familia. He was probably in the Navy three or four years. He ought to lay off on that. I'll think it over tonight.Fred , 27 October 2020 at 10:37 PM
Yes, bend over for the Silver Stallion. "Ah, I see a polyp!"Deap , 28 October 2020 at 01:55 AM
Once Wray's FBI gets done with the Rusty Wallace Noose Case they'll have time to deep dive the laptop he's had for almost a year.
Bobulinski seemed awful polished during that interview. Almost too good to be true. Hunter being a druggy and Burisma payments being real certainly lend an air to credibility.Bobo , 28 October 2020 at 07:52 AM
Adam Schiff:........"Bobolinski is a Russian agent".
Executive summary of the interview.fakebot , 28 October 2020 at 09:25 AM
Turns out Patrick Ho Hunters partner in CEFC had a FISA warrant on him when he was nabbed in New York awhile back. His first call was to Hunter to seek legal advice and Hunter represented him. So them scumbags in the FBI have been sitting on this for awhile and will use it on Joe (if elected) when needed. Must be modus operandi at the FBI in gathering dirt on all politicians via FISA's, Hoover is still there.
As with all of us Bobulinski is not lily white but is making an effort to clean his act and those around him. Lily White always comes in degrees. Not much in the NY Times, Wash Post or WSJ this morning but the WSJ deserves a little credit with McBurn's editorial.
Bobulinski obviously comes from a military family thus his harping on his Navy creds. Guess when your in that much sunshine you fall back strongly on anything available.
I don't doubt his credibility and it's good that he at least got on Tucker Carlson to provide some much needed answers, but he's not a known quantity and I have hard time imagining his revelations will change minds.
I think the FBI sandbagging the whole affair is what holds back this story getting the attention it deserves from the public. The president I'm sorry to say has been badly served by Wray, Haspel, and company. I think he should have replaced them months ago and waiting until reelection to do it may have been a mistake.
Oct 28, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Jonathan Turley,
Yesterday, former Vice President Joe Biden was again insisting that the scandal involving Hunter Biden's laptop was Russian disinformation despite the direct refutation of that claim by the FBI .
No mainstream reporter bothered to ask the simple question of whether this was his son's laptop and emails , including emails clearly engaging in an influence peddling scheme and referring to Joe Biden's knowledge. Instead, media has maintained a consistent and narrow focus. Indeed, in her interview, Leslie Stahl immediately dismissed any "scandal" involving Hunter in an interview with the President on 60 Minutes. It was an open example of what I previously noted in a column: " After all, an allegation is a scandal only if it is damaging. No coverage, no damage, no scandal ."
In her interview with Joe Biden, CBS anchor Norah O'Donnell did not push Biden to simply confirm that the emails were fake or whether he did in fact meet with Hunter's associates (despite his prior denials). Instead O'Donnell asked: "Do you believe the recent leak of material allegedly from Hunter's computer is part of a Russian disinformation campaign?"
Biden responded with the same answer that has gone unchallenged dozens of times:
"From what I've read and know the intelligence community warned the president that Giuliani was being fed disinformation from the Russians. And we also know that Putin is trying very hard to spread disinformation about Joe Biden. And so when you put the combination of Russia, Giuliani– the president, together– it's just what it is. It's a smear campaign because he has nothing he wants to talk about. What is he running on? What is he running on?"
It did not matter that the answer omitted the key assertion that this was not Hunter's laptop or emails or that he did not leave the computer with this store.
Recently, Washington Post columnist Thomas Rid wrote said the quiet part out loud by telling the media:
"We must treat the Hunter Biden leaks as if they were a foreign intelligence operation -- even if they probably aren't."
Let that sink in for a second. It does not matter if these are real emails and not Russian disinformation. They probably are real but should be treated as disinformation even though American intelligence has repeatedly r ebutted that claim. It does not even matter that the computer has seized the computer as evidence in a criminal fraud investigation or that a Biden confidant is now giving his allegations to the FBI under threat of criminal charges if he lies to investigators.NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST
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It simply does not matter. It is disinformation because it is simply inconvenient to treat it as real information.
Bastiat , 3 hours agoCarbon Skidmark , 3 hours ago
I should have lost the capacity for shock in reaction to this Mockingbird crap but the sheer naked audacity of it still gets me.jin187 , 3 hours ago
I don't know what is worse. The concept that hiding crimes is no longer that important or the lack of response to the crimes by so many.Four chan , 25 minutes ago
I don't know what's worse. The fact that our supposed news networks do this, or the fact that in spite of the vast majority of Americans saying they distrust them, they still let them get away with it. They still watch, and read, and listen. TBH, I don't think the lack of MSM coverage is an issue with this particular story. I think the average Democrats and RINOs are just covering their eyes and ears with this one. They want Trump to lose so bad, they don't care if day one of the Biden administration is him handing suitcases of military hardware blueprints to the Chinese. Anyone with a (D), never Trump, keep the swamp churning. That's all they care about.UndergroundPost , 3 hours ago
the laptop and its contents are 100% verified with clean chain of control.SDShack , 3 hours ago
It's now clear the Democrat Party under the Biden / Clinton Dynasties is nothing more than a fully compromised, corrupt and criminal extension of the Communist Party of ChinaGoldmanSax , 1 hour ago
Absolutely! The timelines of everything line up perfect. These laptops were dropped off at the computer shop in early 2019. Work was done, but not paid for. The owner tried to get paid and have the laptops picked up for 3 months. No go, so abandoned property now belongs to the computer shop. All perfectly legal. It's now fall 2019 and the Impeachment Sham related to Ukraine is starting. Computer shop realizes that laptops belonged to Demorat VP son being caught up in the entire Impeachment Sham. Computer shop guy realizes he is holding dynamite with lit fuse so he contacts FBI. FBI does nothing, then gets involved, then sits on the story. This is all end of 2019.
Meanwhile, demorat primaries are starting and Bernie is the leader. DNC can't have Bernie win, so they try to game the system to stop him just like 2016. But no one early on can do it. Senile Joe fails first. Then Kamalho, who was the favorite, flames out. Then all the others. It's now early 2020 and the DNC is hemorrhaging money and in disarray. Then look what happens, the DNC miraculously unities around Senile Joe to stop the Angry Berd, with Kamalho being the fallback position as VP. It is clear that the CCP ordered the DNC to do this because they had the goods on Corrupt Joe, and the DNC needs the Chicom money. They all figured they had it all covered up. They never figured on the crazy cokehead son blowing it all up. The timelines all line up, and explain why Senile Joe rose from the dead in the primaries to be the anointed one, along with Kamalho. The CCP got the candidates they bought and paid for.Robert De Zero , 3 hours ago
100% true but the republican government refuses to prosecute their buddies. The US has 1 party and we ain't invited.GoldmanSax , 1 hour ago
It isn't real, we hope it isn't real, you can't prove it's real, 50 experts said it isn't real, Russia planted it, Russian disinformation, Rudy is compromised, Rudy might be a Russian agent, Rudy almost banged a 24 YO and he can't be trusted, It's not about Joe we don't care, Hunter isn't running, Bobulinski has a funny name so he can't be trusted...NOT ONCE ASKING IF THIS IS a MAJOR PHUCKING PROBLEM.
The problem isn't RUSSIA, it's you bastards in the Big Lies Media!tonye , 3 hours ago
Why hasn't the patriotic republicans arrested the evil democrats? Whats the hold up?Salsa Verde , 3 hours ago
At some point we are going to have to break up the corporate media conglomerates.
All of them.
And start racketeering prosecutions.Stable-Genius , 3 hours ago
Facts mean nothing in a country where emotional outbursts are now considered gospel.Zorch , 2 hours ago
I think we need to bring back the death penalty in every state and not keep housing these criminals for lifetimes.VisceralFat1 , 3 hours ago
Wait! What does Gretta say?jin187 , 3 hours ago
so... the hunter laptop is fake
and global warming is real
got itrwe2late , 3 hours ago
You just summed up the only thing 90% of students actually learn from 12 years of public school.Zerogenous_Zone , 3 hours ago
correct on both pointsCarbon Skidmark , 3 hours ago
the Feds have plenty of laptops that have incriminating evidence of our elected leaders (Wasserman Schultz, Iman Brothers, Weiner, DNC Servers, etc...), Dems and Repubs
at issue is if we REALLY knew the depths of treason from said leaders, we'd run out of rope and tall trees...
so...anyone who votes Democrat, is complicit in my eyes (and they don't need to vote Republican) and deserve the heat of the truth, strong enough to melt all the snowflake-SJW'sZerogenous_Zone , 3 hours ago
ban laptops...it's so simple...no laptops and bad things stop happening11b40 , 3 hours ago
banned public schools first...they're indoctrination centers of controlled deception
NO critical thinking...NO innovative strategies
ONLY State sponsors 'information' filtered by the snowflakes anti-social media platforms and e-encyclopedia (Schmoogle)CosmoJoe , 3 hours ago
Ban email & instant messages. Life would be immediately better.sunhu , 2 hours ago
Dorsey looks like a fvcking homeless person. What a clown. I'd love to rip that ring right out of his nose.chubbar , 3 hours ago
losers anger is always fun to watchsomewhere_north , 3 hours ago
The media is acting against the best interests of the USA. Think about it, "IF" the allegations are true, we need to find out BEFORE we elect someone who is selling out our country for personal gain, not after. WHY would the media think differently unless they don't care whether the allegations are true or not? Are they working for China? Is the DNC? These are appropriate lines of inquiry given the wholesale censoring the media has levied on the Biden corruption story. The FBI sat on this for months and it has Child ****, which means children remain at risk until the FBI goes in and stops it. WTF is wrong with Wray that he allows this to go on?Mr. Universe , 2 hours ago
Dude, if it was for real Hunter Biden would have been arrested by now. You can't seriously believe they're just holding back their damning evidence. The obvious conclusion is they don't have it.somewhere_north , 2 hours ago
...except those pictures of a naked Hunter with his niece and the emails of the family trying to keep a lid on Mom's protestations.
https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/10/breaking-exclusive-hunter-biden-pictures-half-naked-exposed-certain-minor-joe-biden-lying/hugin-o-munin , 2 hours ago
You see lots of pics of Hunter Biden with a blacked out bitch. No way of knowing who he's actually with.Im4truth4all , 2 hours ago
Yeah like duh really man, I mean come on man. Stop thinking so much man, hang ten and chill bruh.
8-(ebear , 1 hour ago
Has Comey, Clapper, Strozk and the list goes on ad infinitum, been arrested? No.Soloamber , 2 hours ago
"The obvious conclusion is they don't have it."
An inference, by itself, is not a conclusion.glasshour , 3 hours ago
Wray inherited a completely screwed up Comey FBI .
He is not a culture changer .WhatDoYouFightFor , 3 hours ago
Stop calling these people mainstream. There is nothing mainstream about them because nobody watches their crap.
Joe Rogan's show last night got more views than all of them combined.Zerogenous_Zone , 3 hours ago
Hunter is still walking around free, system is F'd. Nothing will right the United States at this point.randocalrissian , 3 hours ago
it's the Hillary conundrum, right?
IF they get Hunter, it's 'election interference'...
deceitful godless individuals...slightlyskeptical , 3 hours ago
But but but Her Emailsjin187 , 3 hours ago
he will always be free on these items as the evidence was all acquired illegally and likely doctored to all hell.Ghost of Porky , 3 hours ago
This is why I said the day Trump got elected that these people just need to disappear to a blacksite in Yemen. The best way to drain the swamp is waterboarding all the ones we know to find the ones we don't know.Stable-Genius , 3 hours ago
If Trump rescued 30 drowning children with his helicopter the CNN headline would read "Trump Increases Carbon Footprint to Risk Superspreader Event.pstpetrov , 3 hours ago
Exactly - so tired of MSM and their opinionated liesrandocalrissian , 3 hours ago
Yes Liberals are all about disinformation and Trump has the moral high ground.otschelnik , 3 hours ago
Best joke I've heard in October. Well played, sir!glasshour , 3 hours ago
How would the MSM react if Don Jr. flew into China on AF1 with his father, met with Chinese central committee members and intelligence officials, formed a Joint Venture with them and then got a 5 million dollar no interest loan from the head of a private oil company, who's chairman used to work in intelligence?
Imagine that. How would ABC MSNBC CNN NPR WaPo NYT PBS broadcast that?fanbeav , 3 hours ago
Better question, who cares. Nobody watches that junk anymore.randocalrissian , 3 hours ago
Liberal sheeple still do.slightlyskeptical , 3 hours ago
Let's get the case in a court of law so allegations and wild claims can be proven or disproven. But wait, this was timed so court isn't an option. So all we are left with is the sniff test. Smells like baby diaper needs changed.Iconoclast422 , 3 hours ago
How did they react when it was Kushner doing the traveling and getting the money for his business?11b40 , 3 hours ago
the computer has seized the computer as evidence
Why does every article have these little tidbits that make me think every writer has stroked out in 2020?Santiago de Mago , 3 hours ago
You see that, too? Something is wrong in the editing process. Sloppy, I guess, or foreign.jin187 , 3 hours ago
I noticed that in several articles today... almost like they are being written by AI bots.JasperEllings , 2 hours ago
It was written by this guy https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UYC1ASUbalz , 3 hours ago
You've found the treasure trove, my friend.
"My Macaroni And Cheese Is A Lesbian Also She Is My Lawyer"Shut. It. Down. , 2 hours ago
Every time you see someone saying they are a "journalist" at a MSM, don't forget to tell them they are wrong and their job-title is "propagandist".KayaCreate , 1 hour ago
Some of the emails have already been verified by the outside recipient or sender.
Next you'll tell me all the sex videos were photoshopped by Putin.Cephisus , 3 hours ago
I lost 5 mins of my life watching Hunters **** getting kicked around by a probable minor while smoking crack. You could tell it was him as his fake teeth glowed in the dark.Bill of Rights , 3 hours ago
The media are scum.American2 , 2 hours ago
Funny isn't it, every time the Globalist are exposed its " Disinformation " ..Hows that Russian Collusion evidence coming along? its only been four years.....CosmoJoe , 3 hours ago
The only question remaining to ask is simply this: Who is more enfeebled, Joe Biden; or the networks and ABC, NBC, CBS, NY Times, WaPo, LA Times?randocalrissian , 3 hours ago
I have been out of f*cks to give when it comes to the MSM for a decade now. What is so comical is that when the MSM so overtly covers for candidates, it backfires horribly. You can't hyperventilate over an anonymously sourced Trump tax return story and yet ignore the Biden laptop. People see right through that.IndicaTive , 3 hours ago
Trump's taxes were made public. Nobody knows where Biden's (or whoever's) laptop came from. Giuliani is already very late with the promised salacious details. How many people do you think are really changing their vote to the Domestic Terrorist in the WH?Invert This MM , 3 hours ago
I know of one personIndicaTive , 3 hours ago
You are a freaking Share Blue Clown. Nobody buys your monkey dungInvert This MM , 2 hours ago
You know me so well, after 3 months of trolling here.Invert This MM , 2 hours ago
You really are one stupid fuuk. You just outed one of your sockpuppets and I was purged in the Google crack down. I have been posting here for 12 years. You monkeys are really stupid.replaceme , 3 hours ago
Hey Monkey, I was purged during the Google shake dawn. Been here 14 years. Like a complete moron, you just outed one of your sockpuppets. Dumbassinvention13 , 3 hours ago
No serious Dem thinks the laptop isn't Hunter's - your supposed to ignore it, or pretend it has nothing to do with Joe. The Russians, booga boogahCosmoJoe , 3 hours ago
No, his taxes weren't made public. Claims about his taxes were made public - there is a difference which you seem happy to elide.jin187 , 3 hours ago
Trump's taxes as reported by the NY Times were NOT made public, what gives you that idea. The info was leaked to the Times.wearef_ckedwithnohope , 3 hours ago
This is what I want to know. How is it that the NYP is still banned from Twitter based on them obtaining information "illegally or illicitly", when we know for a fact now that they didn't? At the same time, I'm pretty sure that the NYT and their followers are still happily linking and chatting away about the story on how they illegally obtained Trump's tax returns.replaceme , 3 hours ago
Matt Taibbi has written a series of articles bemoaning the current state of journalism.invention13 , 3 hours ago
What's journalism?Shillelagh Pog , 2 hours ago
I'm beginning to think it is something that never really existed - just an ideal in some people's minds.slightlyskeptical , 3 hours ago
Journalism is putting down on paper your, or someone you like, or is paying you for, feelings, duh.starcraft22 , 1 hour ago
He has the same issues with his journalism.Stable-Genius , 3 hours ago
The laptop is real. The media is the foreign disinformation.Ar15ak47rpg7 , 2 hours ago
Just shocking how MSM is so quick to dismiss this shocking evidence. We know it's not part of their brainwashing echo chamber of lies for their low IQ and low informed voters but had this been one of Trump's sons laptops - this would be MAJOR HEADLINES for the next 12 months.
Remember the 4 year Russiangate investigation, 40 million to Robert Mueller all based on a bought and paid dossier paid for by the DNC/Clinton foundation, corrupt FBI, FISA warrants all to spy and setup Trump to incriminate him for the VERY same crimes they were in FACT committing.One of these is not like the others.. , 2 hours ago
Note to all Zero HEDGERS....there seems to be no difference between the scrubbing of comments on Twitter and Facebook and ZH. The free flow of ideas on ZH no longer exist. Just like the Drudge Report the Deep Stater's have gotten to the Tylers. Bewareebear , 1 hour ago
I concur, the more thoughtful the post, the more likely it seems to vanish.Urfa Man , 3 minutes ago
I must be an idiot then. As much as I'd like to add that badge to my collection, my stuff never seems to get scrubbed. Damn!unionbroker , 3 hours ago
Gulag and the shrews that run it are putting big financial pressure on ZH to censor us. This month I've twice tried to post a URL for the news article that details the censorship here, but go figure, those posts get scrubbed.
It's all because of you and me. The Bolsheviks at Gulag say this comment section hurts feelings and therefore must be dominated and controlled with an iron fist.
Gulag Bans ZeroHedge From Ad Platform
If you replace "Gulag" with the name of a major search engine and conduct a search using the words in italics above - via a search engine like duckduckgo - the results will probably point you to the news article that gives the details of this ZH censorship and why your comments disappear.
lacortenews com is the domain that carries the news report
Good luck. There's not much left of free speech or the original freedom of the internet.slightlyskeptical , 3 hours ago
A business associate of mine told me with a straight face that he didn't trust Bobulinski because he had a Russian sounding name. He is on Twitter a lot so maybe that explains it.Stable-Genius , 3 hours ago
I don't trust him either. He has already changed his story. he requested to meet Joe Biden and then later he didn't request it. . And he met him, but he didn't have a meeting with him. He confirmed that on Fox last night.jin187 , 2 hours ago
I trust him 100% #imwithhim
remember Dr Christine Ford and her fake as story against Kavanaugh - this is much more realistic than her fake as
Republicans can play dirty tooZerogenous_Zone , 3 hours ago
Yeah, this is what it's come to, so **** it. I hope Rudy is out there right now handing out suitcases of cash to anyone willing to come forward with any lies about Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, just like our side's Gloria Steinem.Stable-Genius , 3 hours ago
bring him in under oath and actually investigate...
BUT that would be 'election interference' (you know, the whole Hillary conundrum, right?)
rule of law is now changed to morality of feelings...if it makes me feel insignificant, it CAN'T be TRUE!!
WAAAHHHHHHrwe2late , 3 hours ago
he will testify under oath watch - and he won't be like pencil neck Schiff and those other cowards and plea the 5thsomewhere_north , 3 hours ago
you could watch the Tucker Carlson show interview instead of your imagined one.
https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/10/27/tucker_carlson_interviews_hunter_biden_business_partner_tony_bobulinski_about_joe_biden_involvement.htmlStable-Genius , 3 hours ago
Uh... did watch it. And yes, the story he tells there about meeting Biden is not the same as the one he told before. Riddle me this: if this is real, why would they hopelessly compromise their chain of evidence by dribbling it to the public like this?somewhere_north , 3 hours ago
because no one in the MSM would dummy - they are all in DEEP ****rwe2late , 3 hours ago
They don't have to use the MSM, or any media. They simply arrest Hunter Biden, then drop all the info at once instead of tantalizingly holding the smoking guns out of our view. All they are doing here, if they actually have anything, is risking the lives of their witnesses and giving the perps a lot of warning. That's to say nothing about compromising the evidence to the point of inadmissability. It's running a risk for no gain whatsoever.rwe2late , 3 hours ago
stuff is only out of your view if your eyes are closedRedNeckMother , 3 hours ago
"not the same" ?
missed your weblink (not that you could be making stuff up, cough, cough.)
also, how that would have any significant bearing on the whole matter,
including most MSM news censorship and Russia nonsense ?calculator , 2 hours ago
Who told you that bulls hit?SDShack , 3 hours ago
It's entirely possible he is military intelligence and was sent undercover to infiltrate the Bidens and discover their treachery. The CIA and FBI sure as hell don't appear to be doing it. Since we may very well be in a shooting war with the CCP at some point in the near future, it shouldn't surprise anyone that the military is actually doing their jobs to ensure we are not compromised.Amel , 3 hours ago
We must treat the Hunter Biden leaks as if they were a foreign intelligence operation -- even if they probably aren't."
Cmon Turley, parse these words> Why does the WaPo say 'WE MUST' treat these leaks this way? This implies that the WaPo is BEING ORDERED to treat these leaks this way! So WHO has power over the WaPo? Is that power direct, or financial, or BOTH? Also the assumption the WaPo is trying to propagate is that the Foreign Intelligence Operation is...THE RUSSIANS...but could it not actually be the CCP that is pulling the WaPo strings? Doesn't the CCP revelation go to the central heart of the entire Corrupt Joe matter, as well as the financial angle for the Bezo's Amazon WaPo? Even in their lies, the nuggets of hidden truth are exposed.invention13 , 3 hours ago
Asking yourself why the CIA control of the MSM favors a Manchurian candidate over Trump ? Because the CIA's own survival is valued above national security.LetThemEatRand , 3 hours ago
For they same reason they had to treat the Russian collusion allegations as though they were real.factorypreset , 3 hours ago
Same reason there was no outrage at the Obama child cages at the Mexico border. Or outrage at all of the wars Obama started. Or outrage at all of the drone killing under Obama.
Most Blue Team members are satisfied getting their news from MSM, leaving MSM able to shape the narrative almost completely. There are a handful of guys like Jimmy Dore on the left who call out the rest of the left on this. Pretty scary, actually.mtl4 , 3 hours ago
It sure seems like the press is helping to squash this whole thing by asking any questions in such a way that Joe doesn't perjure himself.
Yesterday, former Vice President Joe Biden was again insisting that the scandal involving Hunter Biden's laptop was Russian disinformation despite the direct refutation of that claim by the FBI.
All makes perfect sense in a time when you chose your gender in the morning while getting dressed, you only need to be accused of anything to completely ruin your reputation (unless your a politician in which case there are no laws). So why would anyone deal with reality at a time when we've gotten so good at simply ignoring it.
Oct 23, 2020 | www.baldingsworld.com
1. SUMMARY -3-
2. THE NEXUS OF CHINESE MONEY & INFLUENCE - 4 -
3. HUNTER RECEIVED CHINESE STATE MONEY - 7 -
2010 Hunter Courts Chinese State Money - 7 -
2012 Hunter's First China Deal - Wanxiang - 9 -
2012 - 2013 Hunter's Second China Deal - BHR -10 -
2013 Biden and Hunter visit China and meet BHR CEO LI -11 -
2015 Hunter's Third China Deal - Sino-Ocean -17 -
2012 Archer's China Deal - Sichuan Chemical -17 -
2019 Biden denies knowledge of Hunter's China Deals -18 -
4. HOW BIDEN WAS COMPROMISED BYTHE CPC -19-
Biden Family Compromised -19 -
The Approach -20-
The Intro - 22 -
Targeted by China's Foreign Influence Organizations - 24 -
Biden and Hunter Mix Business with Politics - 25 -
The Set-Up -26-
Lin Continues to Promote Chinese Culture - 28-
Hunter Cultivated by Chinese Intelligence (Updated) - 31 -
Biden Softens View on China - 32 -
5. THE PLAYERS -33-
HUNTER AND PARTNERS - 33 -
CHINA'S STATE CAPITAL - 34 -
US-CHINATOUCHPOINTS - 39 -
CHINA'S FOREIGN INFLUENCE ORGANIZATIONS - 40 -
6. DETAILED TIMELINE -44-
7. APPENDICES -57-
- 2 -
TYPHOON INVESTIGATIONS PROJECTTIME
l. Joe Biden's compromising partnership with the Communist Part}' of China runs
via Yang Jiechi (CPC's Central Foreign Affairs Commission). YANG met frequently
with BIDEN during his tenure at the Chinese embassy in Washington.
2. Hunter Biden's 2013 Bohai Harvest Rosemont investment partnership was set-up
by Ministry' of Foreign Affairs institutions designed to garner influence with foreign
leaders during YANG's tenure as Foreign Minister.
3. HUNTER has a direct line to the Politburo, according to SOURCE A, a senior
finance professional in China.
4. Michael Lin brokered the BHR partnership and partners with MOFA foreign
5. LIN is a POI for his work on behalf of China, as confirmed by SOURCE В and
SOURCE С (at two separate national intelligence agencies).
6. BHR is a state managed operation. Leading shareholder in BHR is a Bank of China
and BHR's partners are SOEs that funnel revenue/assets to BHR.
7. HUNTER continues to hold 10% in BHR. He visited China in 2010 and met with
major Chinese government financial companies that would later back BHR.
8. HUNTER's BHR stake (purchased for $400,000) is now likely be worth approx.
$50 million (fees and capital appreciation based on BHR's $6.5 billion AUM).
9. HUNTER also did business with Chinese tycoons linked with the Chinese military
and against the interests of US national security.
10. BIDEN's foreign policy stance towards China (formerly hawkish), has since turned
positive despite China's country's rising geopolitical assertiveness.
Oct 15, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
As the furor over Twitter and Facebook's attempts to censor Wednesday morning's New York Post bombshell intensifies, Rudy Giuliani, who was named as the source of the documents in the NY Post story, just dropped a new video on Twitter where he outlines some of the alleged transgressions of "the Biden Crime Family".
Earlier, the NYP exposed never-before-publicized emails suggesting that Joe Biden's involvement with his son's business endeavors was much more active than he led the world to believe.
In other words, if the emails are genuine (and nobody has offered any credible evidence yet to suggest that they aren't) then it's clear the Biden lied about having never discussed business with his son.
In a tweet, Giuliani confirmed that he has more material that has yet to see the light of day, and teased the public that it would soon be made available on his website , which he said he launched to stop big tech from censoring the story.
... Giuliani cited Iraq, what he said was the first example of this, outlining a scheme involving a $1.5 billion contract and Biden's brother, James Biden.
The former NYC mayor continues: "The question is, why did Joe Biden lie about it? The New York Post on its front page shows that Joe Biden has been lying about Burisma for 7 years," Giuliani added, again claiming that Biden "committed a crime".
Specifically, he named Hunter Biden, James Biden, Joe Biden and Sarah Biden, along with other unnamed family members, as "the Biden Crime Family."
The "crime family" framing of course harkens back to the "Clinton Crime family", as well as Giuliani's work as a prosecutor where he famously helped break the Mafia's stranglehold on the underworld, and much of the legitimate business happening in the territories they controlled.
Now, we can't help but wonder: will Giuliani drop the Hunter Biden sex tape
ZENDOG , 4 hours agoFiscal Reality , 2 hours ago
Wake me when someone goes to jail.OpenEyes , 2 hours ago
MSM: MIA and Covering up
Outcome? Nothing. A big, fat, dripping NOTHING.Md4 , 3 hours ago
It's all falling down. Crumbling right before their eyes three weeks before the election that they were plotting to steal. This is just like when a dam gives way, slowly and then suddenly. And, it involves more than just the corrupt Bidens. The chain is long and goes all the way to the top. They are in the process of losing the election, and their reputations, in the court of public opinion. Next comes the courts of law.
We haven't even gotten into the Durham investigation yet. Have you noticed how quiet things have been over there? Not a single leak. That tells me that they have a serious case and a tight team.
I am long popcorn, beer and orange jumpsuits.DaveClark5 , 3 hours ago
"The emails obtained from Hunter Biden's hard drive reveal Joe Biden lied about Burisma, and more. Tonight I react and share a private text message that describes the ongoing schemes by the Biden Crime Family."
And that's coming from Giuliani.
A former federal prosecutor of organized crime.
This guy... knows what he's talking about...Lyman54 , 1 hour ago
Crooks will be crooks. What is more disguising is the sheeple that vote for them. Our founders said that the voters must have some kind of moral compass for there experiment to work. It is now in the balance.Walter Melon , 3 hours ago
Well we are still waiting for the Weiner laptop contents to be exposed. I suppose the Biden laptop info will never see the light of day either.Stormtrooper , 4 hours ago
The old mafia prosecutors of the '70s and '80s would release a statement of something like, "We have a high level mobster admitting to crimes on an audio recording. If you know anything about this, please contact us."
And the rats would line up not knowing if it was them or someone else, to make their deal.
Giuliani remembers this.
Let's see what rats show up this week.freakscene , 3 hours ago
If the purpose of these releases is to influence the election, forget about it. Demon-rats aren't smart enough to put 2+2 together. The answer for them is 5. Or 10. Or 18. Whatever fantasy answer they want it to be. They won't be influenced by irrefutable proof that Joe Biden is dirty.PT , 2 hours ago
They're not targeting "Democrats".
They're targeting those in the middle that are somehow undecided.BaNNeD oN THe RuN , 4 hours ago
Everything revealed in October can be safely forgotten. PizzaGate came out one week before the election. Sure, I saw the spirit-cooking video, I saw the Podesta emails ... and then it all magically disappeared. How horrific was the Anthony Weiner lap top? Sooooooooo horrific that it could be forgotten for four years and counting.
January 2016, 147 FBI agents and then what happened? Looks like the year leading up to the election (one quarter of all time) can be safely ignored too.
If they were going to trial then they would go to trial and the media releases would be about the trial. No trial? Nothing is happening.ImTalkinfullCs , 1 hour ago
It's October... color me surprised.bobroonie , 1 hour ago
This is disqualifying......SmokeyBlonde , 43 minutes ago
Not in our Feudal society.Yog Soggoth , 1 hour ago
This is a resume-enhancer for all D's and establishment R's, aka The Uniparty.Saturn2001 , 1 hour ago
I have been extremely critical of Guliani in the past, mostly 9/11 related, but his common sense videos are just that, with excellent guests. NYC wishes they had Rudy back.Son of Loki , 1 hour ago
The problem is that the hardcore demonkrats and more importantly the press, will stifle this whole set of facts and defend these lying/thieving creatures. We've seen it before. We even have the likes of piggy noonan of the Wall Street Journal suggesting that electing Biden would be a return to normal. Normal thieving, destroying deep state skum. They have done so much harm to the United States and to the world.Yog Soggoth , 1 hour ago
Trump has a way with words:
Donald Trump: 'The Bidens Got Rich While Americans Got Robbed'
The president cited the bombshell New York Post story uncovering emails sent from Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to Ukrainian energy company Burisma, to Hunter Biden, thanking him for helping arrange a meeting with his father.
Hunter Biden received between $50,000 and $83,000 a month from Burisma to sit on the board.
"The Biden family treated the vice presidency as a for-profit corporation flying around the globe collecting millions of dollars from China and Ukraine and Russia and other countries," Trump said.philmannwright , 26 minutes ago
They threatened to not give the money to Ukraine. That money was USAID money allocated by vote from Congress taken from American taxpayers. Burisma got it's cut which laundered back to Bidens. Many laws were broken.chemcounter , 2 hours ago
The funny part is that whatever Joe did for his kids, is likely NOTHING compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars that Hillary took for access to herself, and that is only what we know about during the Clinton Family's federal reign of self-enrichment from 1992-2016... never mind whitewater.
Trump needs to execute prosecution on Hillary. You see, these people get away with enriching themselves and when they are caught, the opposition tries to hold it over their heads to keep them inactive politically. Instead, they lay low and then come out later executing well laid plans then use the reasoning that they must be innocent of all the accusations or someone would have prosecuted. The people are sick of the obvious dual class criminal justice system.
Sep 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
b , Sep 21 2020 18:21 utc | 6
Nothing new concerning the papers of reference, be it NYT in the USA, Spiegel -unfortunately I do not speak german and the Spiegel is the only one that I know of with a small weakly english section- Le Monde, The Guardian, El País, etc. They all belong to the infamous club of the presstitutes.
Ukraine is a zombie, remotely controlled to keep Russia off balance, not having enough with Ukraine the same tricks are being applied in Belarus but it seems that the plan did not go trough.
The work you do is commendable B, but I would appreciate a lot if you would focus your efforts in Germany since not a lot is known about the internal politics of a country that basically is the leading one in the EU.
The Navalny affair, Merkel calling for changes in the UN, Germany relations with Poland, the Treuhand and the liquidation of the DRG, and a lot of issues that someone living there -- I assume -- sure knows a lot better that the rest.
Ukraine is like an open oozing wound, and it could be a surprise in the coming election debates in the USA, the Biden Poroshenko tapes are not even mentioned by the presstitutes, and the level of theft and corruption is monumental, fumbling Biden will have a serious problem when these conversations come up in the debates.
Paco , Sep 22 2020 5:29 utc | 30
Sep 11, 2020 | www.youtube.com
September 11. 2020
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Massive wildfires continue to sweep across huge portions of the Pacific Northwest.
In Oregon, half a million residents have been forced to evacuate -- one out of every ten people in the state.
Dozens are dead tonight, including small children. But the fires still aren't close to contained. Watch this report from Fox's Jeff Paul:
And it continues as we speak, walls of flame consuming everything in their path: homes, animals, human beings. Tragedy on a massive scale.
When something this awful happens, decent people pause. They put aside their own interests for a moment. They consider how they can help. We've seen that kind of selflessness before.
This is, remember, the anniversary of 9-11. But there are others for whom altruism is an alien concept. Self-interest is all they know. These people never pause. They relentlessly press for any advantage, under any circumstances. They see human suffering as a means to increase their power.
These are the people who turn funerals into political rallies and feel no shame for doing it.
As Americans burned to death, people like this swung into action immediately. They went on television with a partisan talking point: Climate change caused these fires, they said. They didn't explain how that happened. They just kept saying it.
In the hands of Democratic politicians, climate change is like systemic racism in the sky: you can't see it, but it's everywhere, and it's deadly. And, like systemic racism, it's your fault: The American middle class did it. They ate too many hamburgers, drove too many SUVs, had too many children.
A lot of them wear T-shirts to work and didn't finish college. That causes climate change too. And, worst of all, some of them may vote for Donald Trump in November.
If there's anything that absolutely, definitively causes climate change -- and literally over a hundred percent of scientists agree with this established fact -- it's voting for Donald Trump. You might as well start a tire fire. You're destroying the ozone layer.
Joe Biden has checked the science, and he agrees. Yesterday, the people on Biden's staff who understand the internet tweeted out an image of the wildfires, along with the message, "Climate change is already here -- and we're witnessing its devastating effects every single day. We have to get President Trump out of the White House."
Again, by voting for Donald Trump, you've made hundreds of thousands of Oregonians homeless tonight. You've killed people.
Joe Biden's closest friend in the world, a prominent Martha's Vineyard kite-surfer called Barack Obama, echoed that message with his trademark restraint. Obama declawed that your "life" depends on voting for Joe Biden.
Hold on a minute, you might say. Doesn't this very same Barack Obama own a $12 million spread right on the ocean in Massachusetts?
At a time when sea levels are rising and we're about to see killer whales in the Rockies? Honestly, it doesn't seem like Obama is overly concerned about climate change? And by the way, didn't he go to law school? When he did become a climate expert?
Those seem like good questions. But lawyers pretending to be scientists are now everywhere in the Democratic Party.
Here's the governor of Washington, Jay Inslee, a proud graduate of Willamette University law school, explaining that he's already figured out the "cause" of the fires. Watch:
INSLEE: Fires are proof we need a stronger liberal agenda Sept 8 TRT: 18 Inslee: And these are conditions that are exacerbated by the changing climate that we are suffering. And I do not believe that we should surrender these subdivisions or these houses to climate change-exacerbated fires. We should fight the cause of these fires.
This is a crock. In fact, there is not a single scientist on earth who knows whether, or by how much, these fires may have been "exacerbated" by warmer temperatures caused by "climate change," whatever that means anymore.
All we have is conjecture from a handful of scientists, none of whom have reached any definitive conclusions.
Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA, for example, has admitted that it's, quote, "hard to determine whether climate change played a role in sparking the fires."
Meanwhile, investigators have determined that the massive El Dorado fire in California, which has torched nearly 14,000 acres, was caused by morons setting off some kind of fireworks. And then on Wednesday, police announced that a criminal investigation is underway into the massive Almeda fire in Ashland, Oregon.
The sheriff there said it's too early to say what caused the fire, but he's said human remains were found at the suspected origin point. Nothing is being ruled out, including arson.
The more you know, the more complicated it is, like everything. Serious people are just beginning to gather evidence to determine what happened to cause this disaster.
But at the same time, unserious people are now everywhere on the media right now, drowning out nuance. Don't worry about the facts, they say. Just trust us -- the sky orange is orange over San Francisco because households making $40,000 a year made the mistake of voting for a Republican.
Therefore you must hand us total control of the nation's economy. Watch amateur arson detective Nancy Pelosi explain:
PELOSI: Mother Earth is angry. She's telling us, whether she's telling us with hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, fires in the west, whatever it is, the climate crisis is real and has an impact.
Mother Nature is angry. Please. When was the last time Nancy Pelosi went outside? No one asked her. All we know is what she said: climate change caused this. Of course.
No matter the natural disaster -- hurricanes, tornadoes, whatever -- climate change did it. Keep in mind, Nancy Pelosi owns two sub-zero freezers. They cost $10,000 apiece.
We know because she showed them off on national television. Those use a lot of energy. Like Barack Obama, she constantly flies private between her multi-million dollar estates all over the country.
Obviously, she doesn't care about climate change. And neither do her supporters -- otherwise, they'd be trying to destroy the mansions she owns, not the hair salons that expose her hypocrisy.
For the left, this is really about blaming and ritually humiliating the middle-class for the election of Donald Trump. Joe Biden knows that the Pennsylvanians who would be financially ruined by his fracking ban are the same Pennsylvanians who flipped the state red in 2016 for the first time in a generation.
That's the whole point. One of the reasons Joe Biden is barely allowed outside is that he has no problem showing his contempt for the middle-class he supposedly cares so much about.
In 2019, he openly mocked coal miners and suggested they just get programming jobs once they're all fired. Watch:
BIDEN: I come from a family, an area where's coal mining – in Scranton. Anybody, that can go down 300 to 3,000 feet in a mine, sure as hell can learn how to program as well.
Learn to code! Hilarious. Joe Biden should try it. But there isn't time. The world is ending. Last summer, Sandy Cortez [AOC] did the math and calculated we only have 12 years left to live .
If that sounds bad, consider this -- Just four months after that warning, Sandy Cortez tweeted that we only have 10 years to "cut carbon emissions in half."
Think about the math here. We lost two years in just four months. At that rate, we could literally all die unless Joe Biden wins in November. Which is of course what they're saying.
On Tuesday, California Gavin Newsom pretty much said it Newsom abandoned science long ago. Science is too stringent, too western, too patriarchal.
Newsom is a man of faith now. He's decided climate change caused all of this , and that's final. He's not listening to any other arguments. Watch:
NEWSOM: I have no patience. And I say this lovingly, not as an ideologue, but as someone who prides himself on being open to argument, interested in evidence. But I quite literally have no patience for climate change deniers. It simply follows completely inconsistent, that point of view, with the reality on the ground.
People like Gavin Newsom don't want to listen to any "climate change deniers." What's a "climate change denier?" Anyone who thinks our ruling class has no idea how to run their states or protect their citizens.
Are we "climate change deniers" if we point out that California has failed to implement meaningful deforestation measures that would have dramatically slowed the spread of these wildfires?
In 2018, a state oversight agency in California found that years of poor or nonexistent forest management policies in the Sierra Nevada forests had contributed to wildfires.
One of the few Republicans who still hold elected office in California, state Assemblyman Heath Flora, last year called on using the state's $22 billion budget surplus to implement vegetation management.
Fires don't spread as well without huge connected forests functioning as kindling. It's obvious, which is why it's unthinkable to mention it in some Democratic circles."
Presumably, you're also a climate-change denier if you point out that six of the Oregon National Guard's wildfire-fighting helicopters are currently in Afghanistan.
Instead of dropping water to suppress blazes, the Chinook aircraft are busy supplying a war effort that's been going on for nearly 20 years. That seems significant. Has anyone asked Gavin Newsom or Jay Inslee about that? Do any of the Democrats who control these states even care?
The answer, of course, is probably not. It was just last week that Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti admitted on-the-record that his city has become completely third-world.
Of course, Garcetti didn't blame himself for this turn of events. He blamed you. Quote: "It's almost 3 p.m," Garcetti tweeted. "Time to turn off major appliances, set the thermostat to 78 degrees (or use a fan instead, turn off excess lights and unplug any appliances you're not using. We need every Californian to help conserve energy. Please do your part."
"Please do your part." Garcetti wants his constituents to suffer to try to solve a problem that Democrats in his state created. Even now, as residents in Northern California are facing sweeping power outages in addition to wildfires.
In the meantime, Gavin Newsom has vowed that 50 percent of California's energy grid will be based on quote "renewable" energy sources within a decade.
That means sources like wind and solar power -- which can't be dialed up to meet periods of extreme demand, like California is seeing right now during its heatwave.
Newsom was asked last month whether he would consider revising this stance given the blackouts that have left millions of Californians without power.
Newsom responded, quote, "We are going to radically change the way we produce and consume energy." In other words, The blackouts will continue until morale improves. So will the wildfires. Get used to it.
In the hands of Democratic politicians, climate change is like systemic racism in the sky: You can't see it, but it's everywhere and it's deadly. #FoxNews #Tucker SUBSCRIBE
tintin3366 , 1 week ago
The fires we had here in Australia were lit by humans. They tried to say it was climate change.
Jadyyn Starlight , 1 week ago
MAGA COUNTRY , 1 week ago (edited)
I think "Climate change" is exacerbated by the hot air coming out of these politicians
This is a direct result of Gavin Newsom eliminating forestation controls. Jerry Brown kept them in place, the only thing he did correctly. Democrats are to blame for all of this.
stelpa66 , 1 day ago
Quinten Belfor , 1 week ago (edited)
When environmentalists pushed through their "leave forests alone, allow nature to be undisturbed" bs, California and other states stopped clearing underbrush, also known as fire fuel and now we see a perfect example of cause and effect.
Don't get me wrong I am a conservatist , but with common sense , we can't conserve unless we protect and nurture nature to thrive. In fact extremism in environmentalism destroys as we see. People dead, animals dead, homes destroyed, forest destroyed because of extremism.
The narrative to leave forests alone happened long before Trump, believing otherwise makes you a useful idiot. Congratulations.
You could Google this old narrative but will you find it, well it's Google, you have to find the people who heard and lived the so called natural environmental push narrative, we remember and we remember the warnings. Congratulations, your ignorance has caused harm.
They were caused by "peaceful" arsonists
Lori Taylor , 2 days ago
Tucker most always speaks the truth. I say "most" bc no one is perfect 😉 Everything he said here was the truth! Thank you Tucker!! 👏🏼
Sep 21, 2020 | www.youtube.comBlazeTV 1.07M subscribers
Uncover the secret world of Joe Biden and his family's relationship to China and the sinister business deals that enriched them at America's expense.
T W 1 week ago
Never knew the Biden family has this many dirty secrets with communist China. They exchanged America's top secret for cash.
Pat K 6 days ago
Hunter Biden is just like his father & the Obamas - never had a legit job, never had a position he deserved, always had people bribed to get him positions and paid way more than he's worth. Obama & Biden have to be the two most corrupt US politicians ever. What's worse, they put our enemies' interests ahead of the US' & they aided our enemies. What I see are corrupt, greedy people getting rich at the expense of Americans, consequences be damned. After watching this documentary, why aren't Joe & Hunter & possibly Obama in jail?
Les Blat 2 weeks ago
Who needs nuclear weapons when you have so many demoncrats wanting to destroy America from within for cash.
Marjorie McDaniel 6 days ago
Personally, I think Joe Biden is faking his illness to get out of his evil doings. Biden is behind it along with Obama and others. Pray for our nation and its people. Wake up and get on your knees.
Allan Gregoire 2 weeks ago
A vote for Biden is a vote for China. Elections have consequences. Biden supporters learn Mandarin now, you're going to need it to communicate with your new overlords.
Sep 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
In the lead-up to the November election political investigator and author Peter Schweizer, who currently heads the Florida-based Government Accountability Institute, has unveiled a bombshell exposé presenting damning evidence of Hunter and his father Joe Biden's shady and hidden financial dealings with China.
Directed by Matthew Taylor, whose prior works include Clinton Cash and Creepy Line , the 41-minute film entitled "Riding the Dragon: The Bidens' Chinese Secrets," details a pile of corporate records, financial documents, legal briefings as well as court papers which tie Hunter's firm with a major Chinese defense contractor, namely Aviation Industry Corp. of China (AVIC), and multiple other PLA linked companies.
"It's a relationship that grew while Joe Biden was vice president of the United States and shortly after he was appointed the point person on U.S. policy towards China," Schweizer, who narratives the film, described upon the documentary's release earlier this month. "This new firm started making investment deals that would serve the strategic interests of the Chinese military."
"It's the story of the second most powerful man in the world at the time and how his family was striking deals with America's chief rival on the global stage, the People's Republic of China ," he added.
Watch the full length "Riding the Dragon" below:
American_Buffalo , 1 hour agoMake_Mine_A_Double , 12 minutes ago
I don't need to view a feature-length film to realize that Joe and his whole family are crooked as ****.2banana , 1 hour ago
Hence Trump's remark 'if Biden is elected China will OWN America'.
Clearly he knows all this and more. I watched the whole thing - nothing I didn't already know in bits and peices, but taken together in chronological order is devastating. The whole family should be executed.platyops , 1 hour ago
Will be ignored by the fake legacy new media.
Just like the the BLM supporter who, yesterday, walked into a bar in Kentucky and executed three people at point blank range.
Was smiling when the cops arrived.LEEPERMAX , 1 hour ago
We have Kamala the prostitute, Joe the smug cheat that handled "Corn Pop" so well and his Cocaine driven son Hunter. If politics and the democrat party don't get any more sleazy than this I don't know.
Joe Biden is asking you to vote for him for president. I for one say NO! As Judge Judy once said "Don't piss on my shoes and tell me it's raining"
Joe Biden and his HO assistant make me ashamed to be an American.
The rest of the world laughs at us because of the democrat party pick to be our leader!
Joe used to be a Catholic and hated abortion. But now he says sure kill all the babies you want because I will sell my soul to be president.
Someday he will have to explain to our Lord Jesus Christ his behavior and just what he thought selling his soul was worth. Not that many years away either dear Joe Biden.
Trust our Lord JesusKayhla the Prettiest , 1 hour ago
Rep Collins: Last three years, Democrats have repeatedly claimed that Russia must have something on Donald Trump. But the real question is: what does the Chinese Communist Party have on Joe Biden?FUBAR2014 , 1 hour ago
I tried watching this and ended up being like, yeah, politicians are corrupt and they help out their families and this goes on at the highest levels of all governments and it is really bad and we should do something about it.
And then I turned it off, because people that didn't already know that don't belong in the same room with the adults.Tom Green Swedish , 1 hour ago
In other words the whole Democratic party and anyone stupid enough to vote Biden.uhland62 , 1 hour ago
Yea, read his wikipedia. This guy is the definition of corrupt. In fact he gives new meanings to the word corrupt. What a bag of crap.Farmer Tink , 1 hour ago
Manafort is the same, just revealed in trillion Dollar money laundering schams. Touché - surprise - both parties learned from the same textbooks. One-party-rule, two-party-rule - all the same.hoytmonger , 1 hour ago
No one has ever thought that Manafort was anything other than a total sleaze. He was hired to get Trump through a contested convention with Ted Cruz because Manafort is the only guy around who's done it. He's responsible for Ford's successful convention fight against Reagan in '76. Trump dropped him light a hot potato when the information about Manafort's business in Ukraine came out.
Everyone thinks that Biden and Hunter are clean. You know, Uncle Joe. Now a lot of people everywhere on the planet are contemplating a war with China. It'll be hard to sweep this one under the rug like the one with Ukraine. Those deals were for dual-use technology and required a sign off from the top dogs in the Obama administration. Getting Hunter in on the action guaranteed smooth sailing.
I hope that Trump blasts Biden's *** with this and I don't even like Trump. Biden and his crew are a bunch of ******* traitors and they should be outed.American2 , 1 hour ago
Both Bush 41 and Clinton got a pass on the drugs-for-arms being run out of Arkansas.
Barry Seal had Bush's direct White House phone number in his wallet when he was murdered.
Then Bush became President.
Every single one of these politicians is dirty.Shut. It. Down. , 58 minutes ago
Bill Clinton certainly knew what was happening in Arkansas, and Bush wasn't even President when Barry Seale was running drugs into and out of Arkansas, but Bill Clinton was the Governor.What a mess_man , 23 minutes ago
Clinton was in on the skim to the tune of ten percent. Not to mention laundering the profits through Dan Lasater, Jackson Stephens and the ADFA.
Air Cocaine: Poppy Bush, the Contras and a Secret Airbase in the Backwoods of Arkansas
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/12/05/air-cocaine-poppy-bush-the-contras-and-a-secret-airbase-in-the-backwoods-of-arkansas/Eastern Whale , 1 hour ago
Yup. As corrupt as they come. And creepy. And apparently suffering from early onset dementia at the very least. And this, THIS MAN, is what the Democratic Party of the United States of America, is putting up as a supposedly legitimate candidate for POTUS?!? This is overly ridiculous, and proves TDS is a very real and very dangerous disease. Don't worry about the wu¥flu, worry about the TDS.pc_babe , 1 hour ago
All politicians is corrupt, lets get this straight. Naive to think Trump doesn't deal with China.
Look at Jared Kushner's property promotion in ChinaTahoeBilly2012 , 56 minutes ago
Squirrel!Reaper , 1 hour ago
Cabal profits from there transformations and wars. They know whats coming.Vivekwhu , 1 hour ago
Hunter Biden has his price. It's easily negotiated lower.
So, now the Rep-Dems are accusing Biden of being a CCP agent? This will go nicely with the Dem-Reps line that Trump is a Putin agent! Don't you love these farts while the US Plebs go down the debt financial hole??? The rot in the Imperial DC cesspit is too deep and the coup against Trump by the US Deep State will go kinetic very soon.
Sep 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Handful of Dust , 1 hour agoradio man , 1 hour ago
"Mommy, will China demand Daddy return the $1.5 Billion they gave him when they realize grandpa Joe is going to lose big time to Mr Trump?"
~ Little Hunter, aka, Juniorsteverino999 , 1 hour ago
No. Clinton Foundation never gave up a dime.
Speaking of Hunter Biden, I think he'll be a fine Secretary of Energy in January. He hasn't had a hit in three years, so he's good to go now.
Sep 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,
Damning details of purposeful malfeasance by Boeing executives emerged in a Congressional investigation.FAA, Boeing Blasted Over 737 MAX Failures
On Wednesday, the Transportation Committee Blasted FAA, Boeing Over 737 MAX FailuresBoeing Purposely Hid Design Flaws
The 238-page document, written by the majority staff of the House Transportation Committee, calls into question whether the plane maker or the Federal Aviation Administration has fully incorporated essential safety lessons, despite a global grounding of the MAX fleet since March 2019.
After an 18-month investigation, the report, released Wednesday, concludes that Boeing's travails stemmed partly from a reluctance to admit mistakes and "point to a company culture that is in serious need of a safety reset."
The report provides more specifics, in sometimes-blistering language, backing up preliminary findings the panel's Democrats released six months ago , which laid out a pattern of mistakes and missed opportunities to correct them.
In one section, the Democrats' report faults Boeing for what it calls "inconceivable and inexcusable" actions to withhold crucial information from airlines about one cockpit-warning system, related to but not part of MCAS, that didn't operate as required on 80% of MAX jets.
Other portions highlight instances when Boeing officials, acting in their capacity as designated FAA representatives, part of a widely used system of delegating oversight authority to company employees, failed to alert agency managers about various safety matters .
The Financial Times has an even more damning take in its report Boeing Hid Design Flaws in Max Jets from Pilots and Regulators .In Bed With the Regulators
Boeing concealed from regulators internal test data showing that if a pilot took longer than 10 seconds to recognise that the system had kicked in erroneously, the consequences would be "catastrophic" .
The report also detailed how an alert, which would have warned pilots of a potential problem with one of their anti-stall sensors, was not working on the vast majority of the Max fleet . It found that the company deliberately concealed this fact from both pilots and regulators as it continued to roll out the new aircraft around the world.
Boeing's defense is the FAA signed off on the reviews. Lovely. Boeing coerced or bribed the FAA to sign off on the reviews now tries to hide behind the FAA.
There is only one way to stop executive criminals like those at Boeing. Charge them with manslaughter, convict them, send them to prison for life, then take all of their stock and options and hand the money out for restitution.
adr , 1 hour agoSDShack , 21 minutes ago
Remember, Boeing spent enough on stock buybacks in the past ten years to fund the development of at least seven new airframes.
Instead of developing a new and better plane, they strapped engines that didn't belong on the 737 and called it safe.Tristan Ludlow , 1 hour ago
What is really sad is they already had a perfectly functional and safe 737Max. It was the 757. Look at the specs between the 2 planes. Almost same size, capacity, range, etc. Only difference was the 757 requires longer runways, but I would think they could have adjusted the design to improve that and make it very similar to the 737Max without starting from scratch. Instead Boeing bean counters killed the 757 and gave the world this flying coffin. Now the world bean counters will kill Boeing.MFL5591 , 1 hour ago
Boeing is a critical defense contractor. They will not be held accountable and they will be rewarded with additional bailouts and contract awards.RagaMuffin , 1 hour ago
Can you imagine a congress of Criminals Like Schiff, Pelosi and Schumer prosecuting someone else for fraud? What a joke. Next up will be Bill Clinton testifying against a person on trial for Pedophilia!Manthong , 1 hour ago
Mish is half right. The FAA should join Boeing in jail. If they are not held responsible for their role, why have an FAA?Elliott Eldrich , 43 minutes ago
"There is only one way to stop executive criminals like those at Boeing.
Charge them with manslaughter, convict them, send them to prison for life, then take all of their stock and options and hand the money out for restitution."
There is only one way to stop regulator criminals like those in government.
Charge them with manslaughter, convict them, send them to prison for life, then take all of their pensions and ill gotten wealth a nd hand the money out for restitution.Birdbob , 1 hour ago
"There is only one way to stop executive criminals like those at Boeing.
Charge them with manslaughter, convict them, send them to prison for life, then take all of their stock and options and hand the money out for restitution."
Ha ha ha HA HA HA HA HA! Silly rabbit, jail is for poors...Dash8 , 1 hour ago
Accountability of Elite Perps ended under Oblaba's reign of "Wall Street and Technocracy Architects" .White collar criminals were granted immunity from prosecution. This was put into play by Attorney Genital Eric Holder. This was the beginning of having an orificial Attorney Genital that facilitated the District of Criminals organized crime empire ending the 3 letter agencies' interference. https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/8310187817727287761/1843903631072834621canaanav , 1 hour ago
You don't seem to understand the basic principle of aircraft design...it must not require an extraordinary response for a KNOWN problem.
Think of it this way; Ford builds a car that works great most of the time, but occasionally a wheel will fall off at highway speeds...no problem, right? ....you just guide the car to the shoulder on the 3 remaining wheels and all good.
Now, put your wife and kids in that car, after a day at work and the kids screaming in the back.
Still feel good about your opinion?Dash8 , 1 hour ago
I wrote software on the 787. You are right. This was not a known problem and the Trim Runaway procedure was already established. The issue was that the MAX needed a larger horizontal stab and MCAS would have never been needed. The FAA doesnt have the knowledge to regulate things like this. Boeing lost talent too, and gets bailouts and tax breaks to the extent that they dont care.Argon1 , 41 minutes ago
But it was a known problem, Boeing admits this.gutta percha , 1 hour ago
LGBT & Ethnicity was a more important hiring criteria than Engineering talant.Dash8 , 1 hour ago
Why is it so difficult to design and maintain reliable Angle Of Attack sensors? The engineers put in layers and layers of complicated tech to sense and react to AOA sensor failures. Why not make the sensors _themselves_ more reliable? They aren't nearly as complex as all the layers of tech BS on top of them.Argon1 , 37 minutes ago
It's not, but it costs $$....and there you have it.canaanav , 1 hour ago
Its the Shuttle Rocketdyne problem, the upper management phones down to the safety committee and complains about the cost of the delay, take off your engineer hat and put on your management hat. All of a sudden your project launches on schedule and the board claps and cheers at their ability to defy physics and save $ millions by just shouting at someone for about 60 seconds..Winston Churchill , 43 minutes ago
Each AOA sensor is already redundant internally. They have multiple channels. I believe they were hit with a maintenance stand and jammed. That said, AOA has never been a control system component. It just runs the low-speed cue on the EFIS and the stick shaker. It's an advisory-level system. Boeing tied it to Flight Controls thru MCAS. The FAA likely dictated to Boeing how they wanted the System Safety Analysis (SSA) to look, Boeing wrote it that way, the FAA bought off on it.HardlyZero , 13 minutes ago
More fundamental is why an aerodynamically stable aircraft wasn't designed in the first place,love of money.DisorderlyConduct , 1 hour ago
Yes. In reality the changed CG (Center of Gravity) due to the larger fan engine really did setup as a "new" design, so the MAX should have been treated as "new" and completely evaluated and completely tested as a completly new design. As a new design it would probably double the development and test cost and schedule...so be it.Astroboy , 1 hour ago
"Lovely. Boeing coerced or bribed the FAA to sign off on the reviews now tries to hide behind the FAA."
No - what a shoddy analysis.
The FAA conceded many of their oversight responsibilities to Boeing - who was basically given the green light to self-monitor. The FAA is the one that is in the wrong here.
Well, how the **** else was that supposed to end up? This is like the IRS letting people self-audit...highwaytoserfdom , 1 hour ago
Just as the Boeing saga is unfolding, we should expect by the end of the year other similar situations, related to drug companies, pandemia and the rest.
play_arrowLoneStarHog , 1 hour ago
It is political economy...
8. The internet was invented by the US government, not Silicon Valley
Many people think that the US is ahead in the frontier technology sectors as a result of private sector entrepreneurship. It's not. The US federal government created all these sectors.
The Pentagon financed the development of the computer in the early days and the Internet came out of a Pentagon research project. The semiconductor - the foundation of the information economy - was initially developed with the funding of the US Navy. The US aircraft industry would not have become what it is today had the US Air Force not massively subsidized it indirectly by paying huge prices for its military aircraft, the profit of which was channeled into developing civilian aircraft.
People believe that corporate executives are immune from prosecution and protected by the fact that they are within the corporation. This is false security. If true purposeful and intended criminal activities are conducted by any corporate executive, the courts can do what is called "Piercing The Corporate Veil" . It is looking beyond the corporation as a virtual person and looking at the actual individuals making and conducting the criminal activities.
Jamie Dimon should be first on this list.
Aug 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by John Steppling via Off-Guardian.org,
"...a permanent modern scenario: apocalypse looms and it doesn't occur."
- Susan Sontag, AIDs and its Metaphors
"I should not misuse this opportunity to give you a lecture about, say, logic. I call this a misuse, for to explain a scientific matter to you it would need a course of lectures and not an hour's paper. Another alternative would have been to give you what's called a popular scientific lecture, that is a lecture intended to make you believe that you understand a thing which actually you don't understand, and to gratify what I believe to be one of the lowest desires of modern people, namely the superficial curiosity about the latest discoveries of science. I rejected these alternatives."
- Ludwig Wittgenstein, A Lecture on Ethics
If you're reading this, then you've probably been called a conspiracy theorist. Also you've been derided and shamed for questioning the "science" of the Covid debacle.
The idea of science is now a badly corrupted idea. In a nation, today, (the USA) which in educational terms ranks 25th globally in science skills and reading, and well below that in math; all one hears is a clarion call to science. In reading skills the US placed below Malta, Portugal, and right about the same as Kazakhstan.
But in a nation that no longer reads, and *can* no longer read, it is not surprising that knowledge is absorbed via the new hieroglyphics of gifs (interestingly the creator of gifs wanted it pronounced with a soft g the more to sound like a peanut butter brand) and memes.
So-called 'response memes' are the new version of conversation, and most register and communicate (sic) confusion. As beer ad marketers know, the state of your brain after consuming a six pack is pretty much the standard target ideal for advertising. And it relays a message that six pack confusion is actually a good and perhaps even sexy state in which to find oneself.
Education is for those with money, those who can afford the proper foundational skills to get into Harvard, MIT, Cal Tech and the Stanford. For everyone else science is Star Trek.
But I digress. The point is that most Americans imagine that they revere science, and they ridicule anyone they think of as unscientific. But they think of it in cult terms, really. Its a religion of sorts. The only people who don't are those 'real' religious zealots, Dominionist and Charismatic Christians (like Mike Pompeo, Mike Pence, Rick Perry, Betsy DeVos et al) who hold positions of enormous power in the US government under the least scientific president in history.
The Christian right doesn't like any science, ANY science. But for most of that target demographic (the educated mostly white 30%), the cry is to "trust the science" even the great Greta says to "trust the science".
The problem is, science is not neutral, its as politicized as media and news and the pronouncements of celebrities.
In May 2020, The Lancet published an article revisiting the 1957 and 1968 Influenza pandemics.
The 1957 outbreak was not caused by a coronavirus -- the first human coronavirus would not be discovered until 1965 -- but by an influenza virus. However, in 1957, no one could be sure that the virus that had been isolated in Hong Kong was a new pandemic strain or simply a descendant of the previous 1918–19 pandemic influenza virus.
The result was that as the UK's weekly death count mounted, peaking at about 600 in the week ending Oct 17, 1957, there were few hysterical tabloid newspaper headlines and no calls for social distancing. Instead, the news cycle was dominated by the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik and the aftermath of the fire at the Windscale nuclear reactor in the UK.
By the time this influenza pandemic -- known colloquially at the time as "Asian flu" -- had concluded the following April, an estimated 20 000 people in the UK and 80 000 citizens in the USA were dead. Worldwide, the pandemic, sparked by a new H2N2 influenza subtype, would result in more than 1 million deaths.
To date, Covid 19 has not reached the million death marker in the US, and yet we are seeing the most draconian lockdowns in modern history, the total suspension of democratic process and a level of hysteria (especially in the U.S. and UK) unprecedented. I wrote about some aspects of this on my blog here , mostly touching on the cultural effects
Allow me to quote The Lancet again.
The subsequent 1968 influenza pandemic -- or "Hong Kong flu" or "Mao flu" as some western tabloids dubbed it -- would have an even more dramatic impact, killing more than 30 000 individuals in the UK and 100 000 people in the USA, with half the deaths among individuals younger than 65 years -- the reverse of COVID-19 deaths in the current pandemic.
Yet, while at the height of the outbreak in December, 1968, The New York Times described the pandemic as "one of the worst in the nation's history", there were few school closures and businesses, for the most, continued to operate as normal.
I remember the 68 Hong Kong flu. I was in my last year of high school. The summer after was Woodstock, the 'summer of love'. Not a lot of social distancing going on. But we are past numbers and statistics having any real meaning. The Covid narrative is now in the realm of allegory.
The media perspective is utterly predictable. Liberal outlets that have the inside track to government are seen to be reinforcing the mainstream story (VOX, Slate, Huff Post, The Guardian and Washington Post). In a recent VOX article the message was only a sociopath would NOT wear a mask and that the 'science' was unanimous.
Of course its no such thing. But the message of sites like VOX, or Daily Beast, or Wa Po or the truly reprehensible Guardian, are always going to be to hammer away 'on message'. The same is true for what passes for moderate news organs like the NY Times, ABC News, The Hill, and BBC. There has been virtually no dissenting opinions expressed in these rags.
All these news outlets are given clear messages by the spin doctors in government, by the White House, and by contacts within the State Department and Pentagon. And by the advertising firms employed by the state (such as Ruder Finn).
"Ad agencies are not in the business of doing science."
- Dr. Arnold S. Relman (Madison Ave. Has Growing Role In the Business of Drug Research, NY Times 2002)
The WHO, the CDC, and most every other NGO or government agency of any size hires advertising firms. The WHO, which is tied to the United Nations, is a reasonably sinister organization, actually.
Just picking up a random publication from the WHO, on what they call 'the tobacco epidemic' and you find on page 33 the following chapter heading "Objective: Effective surveillance, monitoring and evaluation systems in place to monitor tobacco use."
Reading further and all this is really saying is that the populace of any country is best put under surveillance. It's for their own good, you see.
But back to the science. Here is a small trip down memory lane
Institutions of medicine, global and national possess no more integrity than your average NGO (Amnesty International, Médecins Sans Frontières, Oxfam et al). And that means not very much.
To understand the nature of institutional corruption one must understand Imperialism. The institutions of Imperialist nations are going to further Imperialist ideology. (see Antonio Gramsci, ideological hegemony). The US is not in the business of helping Americans .
Modern monopoly forms better reflect that scientific knowledge, and its advanced application to production, are concentrated, ultimately, not in physical objects but in human beings and human interaction with those objects. It is monopoly of the labour power of the most highly educated workers, by both imperialist states and Multi National Corporations, that forms the ultimate and most stable base of imperialist reproduction.
– Sam King (Lenin's theory of imperialism: a defence of its relevance in the 21st century, MLR)
The idea of super-exploitation needs to be conceptually generalised at the necessary level of abstraction and incorporated in the theory of imperialism. Super-exploitation is a specific condition within the capitalist mode of production [ ] the hidden common essence defining imperialism.
he working class of the oppressed nations/Third World/Global South is systematically paid below the value of labour power of the working class of the oppressor nations/First World/Global North. This is not because the Southern working class produces less value, but because it is more oppressed and more exploited.
– Andy Higginbottom (Structure and Essence in Capital 1, quoted by John Smith Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century)
The US jobless rate just hit 2.1 million. Officially. Making the total something over forty million. Its much higher in reality. Nobody has work. There is no work and we are at the start of a period of massive evictions, foreclosures, and delinquencies - and the homeless population will soon reach Biblical proportions (in some cities, such as Los Angeles, its already Biblical). Will be simply of a magnitude never before seen.
Hence the authoritarian policing of lockdowns in, for example, New Zealand, suggests something like a practice run. The ruling class in western nations knows full well this is coming. And one wonders if it's not, in fact, a part of the plan (oh here is where someone says conspiracy theory probably Louis Proyect).
Yes it's a fucking conspiracy theory. It is a theory based on evidence, however.
Why are the US and UK and a host of other countries deliberately ensuring a massive depression? Because they care about your health? They are worried we all might catch the flu? Has the US ever demonstrated a concern with your health and well being before?
Remember how many discretionary tax dollars go to health care and how much to defense. Conspiracies do occur. The denial of that fact seems to be a hallmark of the pseudo or false left. Does the suspension of democratic process not cause this soft left any problems at all? Look at Sweden, at Belarus no lockdown and no problem.
It should be noted that there are a great many terrific doctors in the US. Dedicated and brilliant, often. But they are not the system. The system is run for profit.
With about three-fourths of Americans under lockdown, the unintended consequences will be vast. There has been a notable decrease in the number of heart attack and stroke patients arriving at hospitals, presumably because they are afraid of catching the coronavirus or of not finding a hospital bed.
As the economy spirals downward, we can also expect an increase in mental health crises, domestic violence and suicides. While lockdown supporters say that to have a functioning economy, we must have good public health, the reverse is also true: To have good public health, we must have a functioning economy.
– Alex Berezow PhD (Geopolitical Futures, 2020)
Alfred Willener wrote an interesting book in 1970, analysing May 68 in France. He analyses the answers students gave to various questionnaires they responded to. The section regarding science is worth quoting.
'The scandalous fact is that, for all the means that science has put at our disposal, most people live not much better than in the Middle Ages'. The system benefits from science in the following way: through the atom bomb, through 'the power of statistical research', through computers, through the chemical industry being 'in the hands of the state', through space research.
'In the end, you realize', concludes one reasonably logical reply, 'that technological progress, which makes economic growth possible, does not satisfy the fundamental needs of man and is used above all to maintain and strengthen the system'.
Lastly, I should like to quote one quite unexpected reply, which forms the extreme point of pessimism: ' Everyone is oppressed by science.'
– Alfred Willener (The Action-Image of Society on Cultural Politicization)
I doubt seriously one would get such responses today in any European or North American country. The contemporary indoctrination regards science is acute. And the media abounds in junk science. Click bait science. And this is where most people have their opinions formed for them.
There is a paper put out by one of the founders of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, called The Great Reset. The conclusion of the book reads
...at a global level, if viewed in terms of the global population affected, the corona crisis is (so far) one of the least deadly pandemics the world has experienced over the last 2000 years."
In other words, a mortality of .06% is simply not commensurate with the extreme measures the governments of the world (the West in particular) are taking.
There is no question, none, that those measures, the lockdown, the masks, the distancing, and the attending *diseases of despair*, will kill more people by a factor of ten than the virus itself.
This is not even to begin discussing the psychological harm done, in particular to children. And not just harm to children, but severe harm to the most vulnerable .
What is being internalized by children is three fold. One, there is something inherently sick and contagious about ME. Two, everyone MIGHT be a threat to my health. And three, obey authority, because you don't want to end up like those smelly homeless people were are trying to hard to avoid.
Children take things personally. They tend to blame themselves. Even in the comparative sanity of Norway, where I reside, children are increasingly anxious about the world. How could they not be? All this for a health risk of .06%.
But it is more than just the decimation of the economy in the US and UK. It is a dismantling of the culture. One in three museums closed because of Covid will not re-open. Ever. Where does all that art go?
Just a guess but probably very wealthy collectors will gobble it up at wholesale prices.
The predictable outcome of these lockdowns, certainly in the US, is a guaranteed minimum income. Very minimum. Restrictions on travel, all freedom of movement in fact, will not soon return to normal. Various forms of surveillance and tracking, as well as health certifications, are the goal of the state.
Also, if this pandemic succeeded so well, with so little resistance, why not have another? And there is another aspect to the SWAT mask police, and that is that western society is becoming alarmingly hypochondriacal. Children are kept out of school for runny noses. If all kids with snotty noses were kept out of class, nobody would get an education.
There is a dire future of two or three generations now developing and maturing with very weak immune systems. So that if a natural mutation takes place one day, from a Corona virus or any other, a genuinely serious pandemic could kill tens of millions.
It is not a speculation that there are people who prosper and even benefit during an economic crisis -- as smaller business owners struggle, large corporations and banks benefit from huge government subsidies, giving them more power to buy failing small businesses, for example. And it is a fact that many of those people have enormous economic power to shape the policies that can benefit themselves.
It is not a speculation that they would appreciate having strict measures of control against the people by limiting their freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom to travel, or by installing means of surveillance, check points and official certifications for activities that might give freedom to the people beyond the capitalist framework.
It is not a speculation that they would benefit from moving our social interactions to the digital realm, which can commodify our activities as marketable data for the advertising industry, insurance industry and any other moneyed social institutions Including education, political institution, legal institution, and financial institution.
Such matters should be seen within the context of the western history being shaped by unelected capitalists with their enormous networks of social institutions.
– Hiroyuki Hamada (Wrong Kind of Green, April 2020)
The collapse of retail is accelerating. This is emerging as a monopolization of retail. Few shops will remain, in fact, except luxury stores in select gated areas. The rest will be online and probably rudimentary. The culture and the economy are being strip-mined and recreated for a select clientele. The collapse of the economy means the collapse of the bottom 90% or so.
The very richest men and corporations on the planet are making huge profits.
And yet, there are precious few voices of dissent to the master narrative in the US. In Norway, the lockdown was about five weeks. But its a sparsely populated country and one hardly noticed it save for the kids being home and not in school. But schools reopened and the Prime Minister actually made a speech apologizing, in effect, for an *unnecessary* lockdown. She had been frightened.
But now, with a mild uptick in positive cases the country is considering stricter limitations on travel. Why?
There is no uptick in deaths, only in positive test results. The fact remains the virus attacks the aged and the already sick. But this is very telling, I think. The Norwegian government doesn't want to be seen as disobedient. They don't want to not follow the grand plan provided by western agencies and experts. Even if they seemingly don't really believe it.
(The saddest aspect is the voice of Dr. Mads Gilbert, a known advocate for Palestinian rights, who has weighed in on the side of fear. Why? I have no idea. But it is worth noting his predictions from March 2020 were staggeringly wrong.)NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST
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But clearly the groupthink pressure is powerful and small nations do not want to be singled out for bucking the *science* . There are economic coercions threatened, tacitly, as well. The pressure to conform is huge and it takes a Herculean effort -- both individually and as a nation, to resist. And *experts* seem to have a hard time admitting they were wrong.
The science has been consistently wrong from day one.
As I say, this is now allegory. Or fable. There is nothing reasonable or rational in the lockdown measures of the US and UK and NZ. Or anywhere. And this is not even to touch upon the criminality of the Gates Foundation and Bill Gates buying public influence and visibility. Not trained in any medical discipline, Gates has somehow made himself one of the faces of the pandemic.
And to deconstruct Gates' language is to find a disturbing quality of authoritarian hubris. Gates utters declarations as if he were God speaking to his flock. All from a man who has done little save steal from his partners and exploit the poor of India and Africa. One of the most striking aspects of this whole last few months has been the enormous and coordinated effort the Gates machine has put into rehabilitating his image.
If you google "Crimes of the Gates Foundation" for example, you will get ten different fact-checkers officially denying any crimes and another half dozen articles ridiculing those who question Gates motives, his profit from vaccines, or even his alignment with eugenicists (depopulation adherents)– all are derided as, yes, conspiracy theorists.
If you dare to question the rushing of an untested vaccine you are called an anti-vaxxer.
My children are vaccinated. I just don't like the idea of a hurried untested vaccine produced for a virus that needs no vaccine. And one promoted by a creepy millionaire.
But clearly the Gates charm offensive is in overdrive. The pastel cardigan is everywhere. And yet, his favorable rating in recent surveys is around 56%. That is actually not very high given the amount of self-promotion involved. It's better than Mark Zuckerberg and Joe Biden, though. Gates is not likeable. No amount of spin can change that.
The final factor to note is the Trump effect. Many liberals would literally rather see dead in the street if it meant discrediting Trump. It is no longer quite a zero sum game, though. But overall the hatred of Trump is now at a religious level, too.
And behold, the opposition is Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. If you want a window in the black heart of Biden, watch and/or listen to his testimony around the Waco inferno. The inherent sadism and lack of humanity is glaringly apparent.
As for Kamala Harris:
As a San Francisco social worker, I sat on the school district committee that met with families of chronically truant students. Once, when we asked a student why he didn't go to school, he said there was too much police tape and shootings at his school bus stop.
Harris, as CA Attorney General, was putting parents/caregivers in jail if their child was chronically truant. Also as Attorney General, she denied a DNA test to Kevin Cooper, a very likely innocent man who came within hours of execution in 2004.
– Riva Enteen (Counterpunch Aug. 2020)
These are the servants of capital.
The left should be emphasising the economic aspect of lockdown because it is the working class who are the principal victims of lockdown."
- Phil Shannon (Lockdown Skeptics, June 2020)
A Downing street tweet today:
We're putting tougher measures in place to target serious breaches of coronavirus restrictions. Fines for not wearing a face-covering will double for repeat offences, up to £3,200."
This is a class-based assault. The wealthy will not be fined for not wearing a face-covering on their private beaches, or dinner parties at the yacht club.
Aug 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Steve Bannon, Former Senior Trump Advisor, Arrested For Defrauding Trump Voters Mark Thomason , Aug 20 2020 16:12 utc | 1
It is likely that U.S. President Donald Trump will soon says that he hardly knew his former campaign manager and senior advisor Steve Bannon and that he had always suspected that Bannon was a crook.Today the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of New York announced an indictment against Bannon and others:
Leaders Of 'We Build The Wall' Online Fundraising Campaign Charged With Defrauding Hundreds Of Thousands Of DonorsStarting in approximately December 2018, BRIAN KOLFAGE, STEPHEN BANNON, ANDREW BADOLATO, and TIMOTHY SHEA, and others, orchestrated a scheme to defraud hundreds of thousands of donors, including donors in the Southern District of New York, in connection with an online crowdfunding campaign ultimately known as "We Build The Wall" that raised more than $25 million to build a wall along the southern border of the United States. In particular, to induce donors to donate to the campaign, KOLFAGE repeatedly and falsely assured the public that he would "not take a penny in salary or compensation" and that "100% of the funds raised ... will be used in the execution of our mission and purpose" because, as BANNON publicly stated, "we're a volunteer organization."
Those representations were false.
The four indicted persons who ran the "We Build The Wall" campaign funneled donations into their own pockets:[STEVE] BANNON, through a non-profit organization under his control ("Non-Profit-1"), received over $1 million from We Build the Wall, at least some of which BANNON used to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in BANNON's personal expenses.
Bannon and the other three accused persons are now under arrest.
Interestingly the indictments come from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York which in June was involved in a spat with Trump :Geoffrey Berman, the powerful U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said late Friday that he had not resigned after Attorney General William Barr said he would be stepping down. Barr sent a letter to Berman on Saturday saying he had asked President Trump to fire Berman, and the president had done so.
"I was surprised and quite disappointed by the press statement you released last night," Barr said in a statement. "Because you have declared that you have no intention of resigning, I have asked the President to remove you as of today, and he has done so."
Berman's office had investigated some of President Trump's associates, including the president's former personal attorney Michael Cohen.
There were at that time several known cases in the Southern District that involved people somewhat associated with Trump. But it still is not known why exactly Trump intervened in that office.
Could it have been because of the case against Bannon which was not publicly known at that time?
Probably not. Bannon and the others defrauded people who want to build the wall and are thereby on Trump's side. Trump is not probably not stupid enough to intervene in such a case.
Then again ...
The advisory board of We Build The Wall includes several other pro-Trump figures including mercenary salesman Erik Prince.
CBS reports that Bannon was taken into custody by US Postal Inspection Service agents. In the announcement of the indictment Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, explicitly praises the USPIS for its support. In light of the recent dust up over alleged Trump moves against the Postal Service that deserves a chuckle.
Bannon had recently worked with the Chinese crook Guo Wengui to build up a media company. As we noted a year ago :Miles Kwok aka Guo Wengui is a disgruntled Chinese oligarch. He is one of the men who finances the Hong Kong protests. Here he appears with Steve Bannon Miles Kwok & Mr Bannon: The 5 principles on Hong Kong's matter (vid).
The Bennon-Guo media venture is also in trouble :
Cont. reading: Steve Bannon, Former Senior Trump Advisor, Arrested For Defrauding Trump VotersA non-profit that "did not pay him" actually paid for services that benefited him. There was just a nominal cut out between him and the payment by his non-profit.
Bannon said this was wrong when the Clinton's did it. That is how the money got from their non-profit Foundation to them, and in much larger amounts than what Bannon took.
Bannon said it was wrong then when the Clinton's did it. Democrats say it is wrong now when Bannon did it. They are both correct.
And they are all hopeless hypocrites.
Skeletor , Aug 20 2020 16:30 utc | 2Interestingly the indictments come from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York
The same office involved with Anthony Weiner.
Bannon is an odious prick and I hope he gets some sort of punishment.
Aug 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Non-profit activity lets super-elites broker political power tax-free, reshaping the world according to their designs.
America's super-wealthy have too much power. A republican regime based on the consent of the governed cannot survive when a few hands control too large a sum of money and too much human capital. A dominion of monopolists spells ruin for the common man.
The Federal Reserve calculates that, at present, America's total household wealth equals $104 trillion . Of that, $3.4 trillion belongs to America's 600 billionaires alone. Put another way, 3% of the nation's wealth belongs to 0.0002% of the population. Those 600 names control twice as much wealth as the least wealthy 170 million Americans combined . This is a problem. Economic power means political power. In an era of mass media, it has never been easier to manufacture public opinion and to manipulate the citizenry.
Look no further than the consensus view of Fortune 500 companies as to the virtues of Black Lives Matter. That movement's incredible cultural reach is, in large part, a function of its cachet among American elites. In 2016, the Ford Foundation began a Black-Led Movement Fund to funnel $100 million into racial and social justice causes. George Soros' Open Society Foundation immediately poured in $33 million in grants.
Soros and company received a massive return on investment. The shift leftward on issues of racial and social justice in the last four years has been nothing short of remarkable. Net public support for BLM , at minus 5 percent in 2018, has surged to plus 28 percent in 2020. The New York Times estimates that some 15 to 26 million Americans participated in recent protests over George Floyd's death.
And the money keeps flowing. In the last three months, hundreds of millions of dollars have poured into social and racial justice causes. Sony Music Group , the NFL , Warner Music Group , and Comcast all have promised gifts in excess of $100 million. MacKenzie Bezos has promised more than a billion dollars to Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as other racial and social justice organizations. Yet, as scholars like Heather MacDonald have pointed out -- America's justice system is not racist. Disquieting anecdotes and wrenching videos blasted across cyberspace are not the whole of, or even representative of, our reality. But well-heeled media and activism campaigns can change the perception. That's what matters.
The American tax code makes all of this possible. It greases the skids for the wealthy to use their fortunes to augment their political power. The 501(c)(3) designation makes all donations, of whatever size, to charitable nonprofits immune from taxation.
A man can only eat so much filet mignon in one lifetime. He can only drive so many Lamborghinis and vacation in so many French chalets. At a certain point, the longing for material pleasures gives way to a longing for honor and power. What a super-elite really wants is to be remembered for "changing the world." The tax code makes the purchasing of such honors even easier than buying fast cars and luxury homes.
For the super-wealthy, political power comes tax-free.
No one ever elected Bill Gates to anything. His wealth, and not the democratic process, is the only reason he has an outsized voice in shaping coronavirus policy. The man who couldn't keep viruses out of Windows now wants to vaccinate the planet. That isn't an unreasonable goal for a man of his wealth, either. Gates's foundation is the second largest donor to the World Health Organization, providing some 10 percent of its funds . That kind of influence over expert opinion is immense -- and it yields results. In April , Gates called for a nationwide total lockdown for 10 weeks. America didn't quite sink to that level of draconian control, but the shutdowns we did get absolutely crushed small businesses. Massive tech firms, however, made out like bandits. Microsoft stock is at an all-time high .
No one ever voted on those lockdowns, either. Like the mask-wearing mandates, they were instituted by executive fiat. The experts , many of them funded through donations given by tech billionaires like Gates , campaigned for policies that radically altered the basic structure of society. Here lies the danger of billionaire power. Without adequate checks and balances, the super-wealthy can skirt the normal political process, working behind the scenes to make policies that the people never even have a chance to debate or vote on.
A republic cannot be governed this way. America needs to bring its current crop of oligarchs to heel. That starts with constraining their ability to commandeer their massive personal fortunes to shape policy. Technically, the 501(c)(3) designation prevents political activities by tax-exempt charities. Those rules apply only to political campaigning and lobbying, however. They say nothing about funding legal battles or shaping specific policies indirectly through research and grants. America's universities, think tanks, and advocacy organizations are nearly universally considered tax-exempt nonprofits. Only a fool would believe they are not political.
One solution to the nonprofit problem to simply get rid of the charitable exemption all together. If there is no loophole, it can't be exploited by the mega-wealthy. Most Americans' charitable giving wouldn't be affected. The average American gives between $2,000 and $3,000 per year . That is well under the $24,800 standard tax deduction for married couples. Ninety percent of taxpayers have no reason to use a line-item deduction. Such a change likely wouldn't affect wealthy givers either. In 2014 , the average high-income American (defined as making more than $200,000 per year or having a million dollars in assets) gave an average of $68,000 to charity, and in 2018 93 percent said their giving had nothing to do with tax breaks.
Eliminating the tax exemption for charitable giving would make it simple to heavily tax the capital gains that drive the wealth of America's richest one thousand people. One could also leave the exemption in place for most Americans (those with a net worth under $100 million), while making larger gifts, especially those over a billion dollars, taxable at extremely high rates close to 100%. Bill Gates wants to give a billion dollars to his foundation? Great. But he should pay a steep fee to the American people to purchase that kind of power.
There is nothing socialist in these or similar tax proposals. We are not making an abstract commentary on whether having a billion dollars is "moral." These are simply prudential measures to put the people back in charge of their own country. Reining in billionaires and monopolists is a conservative free market strategy.
Incentives to make more money are generally good. The libertarians are mostly right -- people are usually better judges of how to spend and use their resources than the government.
But not always. The libertarian account does not adequately recognize man's political nature. We need law and order. We need a regime where elections matter and the opinions of the people actually shape policy. Contract law, borders, and taxes are all necessary to human flourishing, but all impede the total and unrestricted movement of labor and money. At the very top of the wealth pyramid, concentrated economic power always turns into political power. An economic policy that doesn't recognize that fact will create an untouchable class that controls both the market and the regime. There's nothing freeing about that outcome.
An America governed by Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and George Soros will be -- arguably, already is -- a disaster for the middle class and everyday Americans. Cracking down on their "selfless" philanthropy, combined with antitrust enforcement and higher progressive tax rates, is a key way for Americans to leverage the power of the ballot box against the power of the banker's vault.
Josiah Lippincott is a former Marine officer and current Master's student at the Van Andel School of Statesmanship at Hillsdale College.
Kent • 13 hours agoAlexanderHistory X • 12 hours ago
I'd like to thank the author for actually discussing policy proposals that actually make sense. That's a rarity on TAC. However, he needs to keep a couple of things in mind:
1. You can't just say something isn't socialist on a conservative website. Conservatives have been conditioned for decades to believe that anything the GOP considers to be bad is called by the name "socialism". And taxes are bad. Therefore socialist. To bring any nuance to that word will be devastating to long-term conservative ability to argue points.
2. This proposal won't just hurt the ability of left-leaning tech giants, but also right-leaning oil and defense industry barons. A double-edged sword.joeo • 12 hours ago
This is an interesting idea that might have had a shot, big maybe, 50 plus years ago. America is too far gone to fix with political changes, not that you could make any major changes like this in the current political environment.
The rotting edifice that is the United States is coming down one way or another. Just accept it.bumbershoot joeo • 10 hours ago
I would end tax exempt status for organizations. When everyone pays taxes we all become better stewards of how that money is used.Ted joeo • 10 hours ago
Certainly! Just so long as the word "organizations" encompasses churches as well, I think lots of people on all sides of the political spectrum would agree.YT14 joeo • 7 hours ago • edited
Starting with the Roman Catholic Church.YT14 • 12 hours ago • edited
Complicated argument. Basically, charitable people will always give charity, even from taxed income. However, if people give charity from taxed income, the state can no longer control what the institutions given money do with that money as long as salaries and surplus are taxed.Woland • 11 hours ago
Interesting proposal. Removing tax deduction should of course throw IRS out of monitoring charitable giving. So less power to Lois Lerner and colleagues.bumbershoot • 10 hours ago
To think both Mr. Dreher and Mr. Van Buren just recently posted about the superwealthy leaving the big cities, citing as the main reasons the Covid thing on the one hand, and "excessively high" income taxes on the other. Most comments that followed were in the line of "that's what happens when you let socialists run things" and "stop giving money to the poor, then they'll work and get rich." And here we have someone proposing more and higher taxes on the wealthy to bust their political nuts.
Note that the author carefully left out any mention of conservative megadonors shaping public policy. Must be the quiet part, to avoid tarring and feathering by his own side.AdmBenson • 10 hours agoReining in billionaires and monopolists is a conservative free market strategy.
It certainly never has been one before, but we on the left welcome this new appreciation of the perils of growing inequality.
Now all you have to do is convince the entire Republican Party that this isn't "socialism." Good luck!gnt • 8 hours ago • edited
Say you like the game of Monopoly so much that you want it to last longer than the few hours it takes for one player to dominate and beat the others. Well, you could replace $200 as you pass Go with progessive taxation on income, assets, or a combination thereof. If you do it right, you can make the game last into perpetuity by ensuring that the dominance of any one player is only temporary.YT14 gnt • 7 hours ago
It's an interesting proposal, but it seems that if you're worried about super-elites brokering political power tax-free, you might focus on direct brokering of political power. For example, we could pass a law requiring full disclosure of all sources of funding for any political advertising.
If we wanted to be aggressive, we could even pass a constitutional amendment to specify that corporations are not people. It seems odd to worry about the political power exercised by institutions with no direct control over politics, and ignore the institution whose purpose is politics.
Another approach to deal with the direct influence of the super-elite would be to make lobbying expenses no longer tax deductible. I'm sure you could find support for that.Pete Barbeaux • 4 hours ago
You are aware that this way IRS will lose control? Lois Lerner will be able no more to go after conservative non-profits?GeorgeMarshall65 • 3 hours ago
This is the 5th TAC article since May to take something word-for-word from a Bernie Sanders-esque Leftist platform and call it something "Conservatives" want. GTFOOH.L RNY • 2 hours ago
Mr. Lippincott: That kind of influence over expert opinion is immense -- and it yields results. In April, Gates called for a nationwide total lockdown for 10 weeks. America didn't quite sink to that level of draconian control, but the shutdowns we did get absolutely crushed small businesses. Massive tech firms, however, made out like bandits. Microsoft stock is at an all-time high.
So the argument here is that the experts were not going to call for a lockdown, but Mr. Gates' outsized influence made them do it? The experts weren't going to do it anyway? Did that outsized influence extend to every other country in the world which imposed lockdowns? Was there a secret communique between Mr. Gates and the NBA so they suspended their season in mid-March? In the US, CA, Clark Cty in NV, Illinois, Kansas City, MA, MI, NY, OR, and WI all began lockdowns in March. Around the world, 80 countries began lockdowns in March. No matter what Mr. Gates said, lockdowns were deemed to be appropriate. Plus, Mr. Lippincott admits that Mr. Gates' proposal was not followed. In terms of "massive tech firms making out like bandits" v small businesses, might that have anything to do with their value?
I very much agree with this article and I think we need another Teddy Roosevelt Monopoly (oligarchy) buster but much has changed in the 100 years since Teddy Roosevelt was President. The first thing that comes to mind is that the aristocracy was mostly protestant and the business class was mostly domestic with high tariffs keeping foreign competitors out so we could break up these companies without a foreign country purchasing them and possibly creating a national security risk.
Today's aristocracy is much more diverse. Its more Jewish and it has much more minority representation from African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, etc so that creates the first problem in breaking up a monopoly or an oligarchy which would be the accusation of targeting minorities for discrimination. The second problem is that many of the aristocratic class in the US consider themselves global citizens and have dual citizenship. They can live anywhere anytime they choose so if you target them the way say Cuomo and DiBlasio and Newsom do then they will leave. Third problem is our global society particularly the digital / virtual society. If you break that up without safeguards then you will only be inviting foreign ownership then you will have a national security issue and even less influence.
The biggest problem is the NGOs, nonprofits that the rich set up to usurp the government on various issues from immigration to gender identity to politics. These NGO nonprofits arent your harmless community soup kitchen doing good works. The anarchy, arson, looting, rioting in Portland, Seattle, Chicago, NYC, Baltimore these are paid for by NGO nonprofits and they have the money to threaten local government, state government and federal government. Trump was 100% correct when he started to tax college endowments but he didnt go far enough. The tax laws have to be rewritten with a very strict and narrow interpretation of what exactly constitutes the public good and is deserving on non-profit status. If you say education then I will say you are correct but endowments are an investment vehicle under the umbrella of an educational nonprofit. Thats like a nonprofit hospital buying a mutual fund company or a mine or a manufacturing plan and claiming its non-profit. For me its relatively simple unless someone has a some other way. If you look at the non-profit community good...what are the budgets for say hospitals, schools, orphanages, retirement homes, etc. Put monetary limits on nonprofits which can vary depending on industry and the rest is taxed at a high rate. We simply cannot have NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) using a nonprofit status to bring down a country's financial system, over-throwing a country, financing civil strife and civil war, usurping the government on things like immigration, etc.
Aug 03, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
How The Billionaires Control American Elections
by Tyler Durden Sun, 08/02/2020 - 23:40 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print
Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
The great investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald gave an hour-long lecture on how America's billionaires control the U.S. Government, and here is an edited summary of its opening twenty minutes, with key quotations and assertions from its opening -- and then its broader context will be discussed briefly:
"How Congress Maintains Endless War – System Update with Glenn Greenwald" - The Intercept, 9 July 2020
2:45 : There is "this huge cleavage between how members of Congress present themselves, their imagery and rhetoric and branding, what they present to the voters, on the one hand, and the reality of what they do in the bowels of Congress and the underbelly of Congressional proceedings, on the other. Most of the constituents back in their home districts have no idea what it is that the people they've voted for have been doing, and this gap between belief and reality is enormous."
Four crucial military-budget amendments were debated in the House just now, as follows:
to block Trump from withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.
to block Trump from withdrawing 10,000 troops from Germany
to limit U.S. assistance to the Sauds' bombing of Yemen
to require Trump to explain why he wants to withdraw from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty
On all four issues, the pro-imperialist position prevailed in nearly unanimous votes - overwhelming in both Parties. Dick Cheney's daughter, Republican Liz Cheney, dominated the debates, though the House of Representatives is now led by Democrats, not Republicans.
Greenwald (citing other investigators) documents that the U.S. news-media are in the business of deceiving the voters to believe that there are fundamental differences between the Parties. "The extent to which they clash is wildly exaggerated" by the press (in order to pump up the percentages of Americans who vote, so as to maintain, both domestically and internationally, the lie that America is a democracy -- actually represents the interests of the voters).
16:00 : The Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee -- which writes the nearly $750B annual Pentagon budget -- is the veteran (23 years) House Democrat Adam Smith of Boeing's Washington State.
"The majority of his district are people of color." He's "clearly a pro-war hawk" a consistent neoconservative, voted to invade Iraq and all the rest.
"This is whom Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats have chosen to head the House Armed Services Committee -- someone with this record."
He is "the single most influential member of Congress when it comes to shaping military spending."
He was primaried by a progressive Democrat, and the "defense industry opened up their coffers" and enabled Adam Smith to defeat the challenger.
That's the opening.
Greenwald went on, after that, to discuss other key appointees by Nancy Pelosi who are almost as important as Adam Smith is, in shaping the Government's military budget. They're all corrupt. And then he went, at further length, to describe the methods of deceiving the voters, such as how these very same Democrats who are actually agents of the billionaires who own the 'defense' contractors and the 'news' media etc., campaign for Democrats' votes by emphasizing how evil the Republican Party is on the issues that Democratic Party voters care far more about than they do about America's destructions of Iraq and Syria and Libya and Honduras and Ukraine, and imposing crushing economic blockades (sanctions) against the residents in Iran, Venezuela and many other lands. Democratic Party voters care lots about the injustices and the sufferings of American Blacks and other minorities, and of poor American women, etc., but are satisfied to vote for Senators and Representatives who actually represent 'defense' contractors and other profoundly corrupt corporations, instead of represent their own voters. This is how the most corrupt people in politics become re-elected, time and again -- by deceived voters. And -- as those nearly unanimous committee votes display -- almost every member of the U.S. Congress is profoundly corrupt.
Furthermore: Adam Smith's opponent in the 2018 Democratic Party primary was Sarah Smith (no relation) and she tried to argue against Adam Smith's neoconservative voting-record, but the press-coverage she received in her congressional district ignored that, in order to keep those voters in the dark about the key reality. Whereas Sarah Smith received some coverage from Greenwald and other reporters at The Intercept who mentioned that "Sarah Smith mounted her challenge largely in opposition to what she cast as his hawkish foreign policy approach," and that she "routinely brought up his hawkish foreign policy views and campaign donations from defense contractors as central issues in the campaign," only very few of the voters in that district followed such national news-media, far less knew that Adam Smith was in the pocket of 'defense' billionaires. And, so, the Pentagon's big weapons-making firms defeated a progressive who would, if elected, have helped to re-orient federal spending away from selling bombs to be used by the Sauds to destroy Yemen, and instead toward providing better education and employment-prospects to Black, brown and other people, and to the poor, and everybody, in that congressional district, and all others. Moreover, since Adam Smith had a fairly good voting-record on the types of issues that Blacks and other minorities consider more important and more relevant than such things as his having voted for Bush to invade Iraq, Sarah Smith really had no other practical option than to criticize him regarding his hawkish voting-record, which that district's voters barely even cared about. The billionaires actually had Sarah Smith trapped (just like, on a national level, they had Bernie Sanders trapped).
Of course, Greenwald's audience is clearly Democratic Party voters, in order to inform them of how deceitful their Party is. However, the Republican Party operates in exactly the same way, though using different deceptions, because Republican Party voters have very different priorities than Democratic Party voters do, and so they ignore other types of deceptions and atrocities.
Numerous polls (for examples, this and this ) show that American voters, except for the minority of them that are Republican, want "bipartisan" government; but the reality in America is that this country actually already does have that: the U.S. Government is actually bipartisanly corrupt, and bipartisan evil. In fact, it's almost unanimous, it is so bipartisan, in reality.
That's the way America's Government actually functions, especially in the congressional votes that the 'news'-media don't publicize. However, since it lies so much, and its media (controlled also by its billionaires) do likewise, and since they cover-up instead of expose the deepest rot, the public don't even know this. They don't know the reality. They don't know how corrupt and evil their Government actually is. They just vote and pay taxes. That's the extent to which they actually 'participate' in 'their' Government. They tragically don't know the reality. It's hidden from them. It is censored-out, by the editors, producers, and other management, of the billionaires' 'news'-media. These are the truths that can't pass through those executives' filters. These are the truths that get filtered-out, instead of reported. No democracy can function this way -- and, of course, none does.Patmos , 8 hours agoAlice-the-dog , 2 hours ago
Eisenhower originally called it the Military Industrial Congressional Complex.
Was probably still when Congress maybe had a few slivers of integrity though.
As McCain's wife said, they all knew about Epstein.Question_Mark , 1 hour ago
And now we suffer the Medical Industrial Complex on top of it.EngageTheRage , 9 hours ago
Klaus Schwab, UN/World Economic Forum - power plant "cyberattack" (advance video to 6:42 to skip intro):
please watch video at least from minute 6:42 at least for a few minutes to get context, consider its contents, and comment:
source for UN/WEF partnership:
https://www.weforum.org/press/2019/06/world-economic-forum-and-un-sign-strategic-partnership-framework/NewDarwin , 9 hours ago
How jewish billionaires control America.EndOfDayExit , 7 hours ago
Vot3 for trump but don't waste too much energy on the elections. All Trump can do is buy us time.
Their plan has been in the works for over a century.
1) financial collapse with central banking.
2) social collapse with cultural marxism
3) government collapse with corrupt pedophile politicians.JGResearch , 8 hours ago
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." -Thomas Jefferson
Humans are just not wired for eternal vigilance. Sheeple want to graze and don't want to think.KuriousKat , 8 hours ago
Money is just the tool, it goes much deeper:The Truth, when you finally chase it down, is almost always far
worse than your darkest visions and fears.'
– Hunter S. Thompson, Kingdom of Fear'The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes' *
- Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
This information helps understand the shift to the bias we are witnessing at The PBS Newshour and the MSM. PBS has always taken their marching orders from the Council on Foreign Relations.
Some of the mebers of the CFR:
Joe Biden (47th Vice President of the United States )
Judy Woodruff, and Jim Lehrer (journalist, former anchor for PBS ) is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. John McCain (United States Republican Senator from Arizona , 2008 Republican Party nominee for the Presidency), William F. Buckley, Jr (commentator, publisher, founder of the National Review ), Jeffery E Epstein (financier)
The Council on Foreign Relations has historical control both the Democratic establishment and the Republican establishment until President Trump came along.
Until then they did not care who won the presidency because they control both parties at the top.
FYI: Hardly one person in 1000 ever heard of the Council on Foreign Relations ( CFR ). Until Trump both Republicans and Democrats control by the Eastern Establishment.There operational front was the Council on Foreign Relations. Historically they did not care who one the election since they controlled both parties from the top.
The CFR has only 3000 members yet they control over three-quarters of the nation's wealth. The CFR runs the State Department and the CIA. The CFR has placed 100 CFR members in every Presidential Administration and cabinet since Woodrow Wilson. They work together to misinform the President to act in the best interest of the CFR not the best interest of the American People.
At least five Presidents (Eisenhower, Ford, Carter, Bush, and Clinton) have been members of the CFR. The CFR has packed every Supreme court with CFR insiders.
Three CFR members (Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Sandra Day O'Connor) sit on the supreme court. The CFR's British Counterpart is the Royal Institute of International Affairs. The members of these groups profit by creating tension and hate. Their targets include British and American citizens.
The CFR/RIIA method of operation is simple -- they control public opinion. They keep the identity of their group secret. They learn the likes and dislikes of influential people. They surround and manipulate them into acting in the best interest of the CFR/RIIA.jmNZ , 3 hours ago
there are 550 of them in the US..just boggles the mind they have us at each others throat instead of theirs.x_Maurizio , 2 hours ago
This is why America's only hope is to vote for Ron Paul.Voice-of-Reason , 6 hours ago
Let me understand how a system, which is already proven being disfunctional, should suddenly produce a positive result. That's craziness: to repeate the same action, with the conviction it will give a different result.
If you would say: "The only hope is NOT TO TAKE PART TO THE FARCE" (so not to vote) I'd understand.
But vot for that, instead of this.... what didn't you understand?Eastern Whale , 8 hours ago
The very fact that we have billionaires who amass so much wealth that they can own our Republic is the problem.MartinG , 5 hours ago
all the names mentioned in this article is rotten to the coreXena fobe , 4 hours ago
Tell me again how democracy is the greatest form of government. What other profession lets clueless idiots decide who runs the business.quikwit , 3 hours ago
It isn't the fault of democracy. It's more the fault of voters._triplesix_ , 8 hours ago
I'd pick the "clueless idiots" over an iron-fisted evil genius every time.BTCtroll , 7 hours ago
Am I the only one who noticed that Eric Zuesse capitalized the word "black" every time he used it?
F**k you, Eric, you Marxist trash.freedommusic , 4 hours ago
Confirmed. Blacks are apparently a proper noun despite being referred to as simply a color. In reality, no one cares. Ask anyone, they don't care expert black lies matter.
The very word secrecy is repugnant in a free and open society , and we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings .
And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.
Our way of life is under attack.
But we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding it's fear of influence, on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections , on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific, and political operations. It's preparations are concealed, not published. It's mistakes are buried, not headlined. It's dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned. No rumor is printed. No secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War in short with a wartime discipline, no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.
...I am asking the members of the newspaper profession and the industry in this country to re-examine their own responsibilities, to consider the degree and the nature of the present danger, and to heed the duty of self restraint, which that danger imposes upon us all.
It is the unprecedented nature of this challenge that also gives rise to your second obligation and obligation which I share, and that is our obligation to inform and alert the American people, to make certain that they possess all the facts that they need and understand them as well, the perils, the prospects, the purposes of our program, and the choices that we face.
I am not asking your newspapers to support an administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people, for I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens, whenever they are fully informed.
... that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment. The only business in America specifically protected by the constitution, not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply give the public what it wants, but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises, and our choices, to lead, mold, educate, and sometimes even anger, public opinion.
Jul 27, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca
For the last forty years, neo-liberalism has dominated economic thinking and the formulation of economic policies Worldwide.
But the corona virus crisis has exposed, in a dramatic way, its internal contradictions, its incapacity to deal with the corona crisis and its incompetence to restore the real economy ruined by the crisis.
In this article, we will focus on the relationship between Neoliberalism and the Corona Crisis:
- Neoliberalism has prevented the governments from controlling effectively the initial outbreak of the corona virus.
- Neoliberalism has made the wave of virus propagation higher and wider, especially in the U.S.
- Neoliberalism can shake the foundations of the U.S. economy.
- Neoliberalism may not survive the corona virus crisis in the U.S.
To save democracy and the global economy, We need a new economic model which supports the future of humanity, which sustains human livelihood Worldwide.
1. Neoliberalism and the initial Outbreak of the Corona Virus
The most important part of neoliberalism is the relation -often of a corrupt nature- between the government and large corporations. By corruption, we mean illegal or immoral human activities designed to maximize profit at the expense of people's welfare. In this relation, the government may not be able to control and govern the large corporations. In fact, in the present context, the corporations govern and oversee national governments.
Hence, when the corona virus broke out, it was difficult for the government to take immediate actions to control the virus break-out to save human lives; It was quite possible that the price of stocks and large corporations' profit had the priority.
The theory known as neoliberalism distinguishes itself from the old liberalism prevailing before the Great Depression.
It became widely accepted mainly because of its adoption, in the 1970s and 1980s, by Ronald Reagan , president of the U.S. and Margaret Thatcher , prime minister of Great Britain as an economic policy agenda applied nationally and internationally.
The justification of neoliberalism is the belief that the best way to ensure economic growth is to encourage "supply activities" of private sector enterprises.
Now, the proponents of neoliberalism argue that public goods (including health and education) can be produced with greater efficiency by private companies than by the State. Therefore, "it is better" to let the private enterprises produce public goods.
In other words, the production of public goods should be "privatized". Neoliberals put profit as the best measure of efficiency and success. And profit can be sustained with government support. In turn, the private companies' policy is that of reducing the labour costs of production.
Government assistance includes reduction of corporate taxes, subsidies and anti-labour policies such as the prohibition of labour unionization and the abolition of the minimum wage.
Reduction of labour cost can be obtained by the automation of the production of goods
Under such circumstances, close cooperation between the government and the private corporations is inevitable; even it may be necessary.
But, such cooperation is bound to lead to government-business collusion in which the business receives legal and illegal government support in exchange of illicit money such as kick-backs and bribes given to influential politicians and the people close to the power.
As the collusion becomes wider and deeper, an oligarchy is formed; it is composed of corporations, politicians and civil servants. This oligarchy's raison d'être is to make money even at the expense of the interests of the people.
Now, in order to protect its vested interests, the oligarchy expands its network and creates tight-knit political community which shares the wealth and privileges obtained.
In this way, the government-business cooperation can be evolved by stage to give birth to the corruption culture.
Some of the neoliberal countries may be at the stage of the collusion; some of them may find themselves at the stage of oligarchy; some of them may be at the stage of corruption culture.
When the progressive government of Moon Jae-in took over power in 2017, South Korea under the 60-year neo-liberal rule by the conservatives was at the stage of corruption culture.
The progressive government of Moon Jae-in has declared a total war against the corruption culture, but it is a very long way to go before eliminating corruption.
In South Korea, of six presidents of the conservative government, four presidents were or are in prison for corruption and abuse of power. This shows how deeply the corruption has penetrated into the fabrics of the Korea society
In Japan, since 1957, there were twenty-one prime ministers of whom 75% were one-year or two-year prime ministers despite the four-year term of prime ministers. The short life span of Japanese prime ministers is essentially due to the short term interest pursued by the corrupted golden triangle composed of big business, bureaucrats and politicians. Unless, Japan uproots the corruption culture, it will be difficult to save the Japanese economy from perpetual stagnation.
Lobbying and "Corruption Culture"
Many of the developed countries in the West are also the victims of corruption culture. In the U.K. the City (London's Wall Street) is the global center of money laundry.
In the U.S. the big companies are spending a year no less than $2.6 billion lobbying money for the promotion of their interests, while the Congress spends $ 2.9 billion and the Senate, $860 million for their respective annual operation. Some of the big companies deploy as many as 100 lobbyists.
It is unbelievable that the amount of lobbying is as much as 70% of the annual budget of the whole legislative of the U.S.
True, in the U.S., lobbying is not illegal, but it may not be morally justified. It is a system where the law makers give privileges to those who spend more money, which can be considered as bribes
Under such lobbying system, each group should deploy lobbyists to promote their interests. The immigrants, the native Indians, the Afro Americans, the alienated white people and other marginal groups cannot afford lobbyists and they are often excluded from fair treatment in the process of making laws and policies
Some of the developed European countries are also very corrupted. The international Transparency Index rank, in 2019, was 23 for France, 30 for Spain and 51 for Italy.
In the case of the U.S. its rank increased from 18 in 2016 to 22 in 2019. Thus in three years, the degree of corruption increase by 22.2%
What is alarming is that, in the corruption culture, national policies are liable to be dictated by big businesses.
In South Korea, under the conservative government, it was suspected that the national policies were determined by the Chaebols (large industrial conglomerates), not by the government.
As matter of fact, during the MERS crisis in 2015, the anti-virus policy was dictated by the Samsung Group. In order to save its profit, Samsung Hospital in Seoul hid the infected so that the number of non-MERS patients would not decrease.
In Japan, the Abe government made the declaration of public health emergency as late as April 6, 2020 despite the fact that the infections were detected as early as January, 2020.
This decision was, most likely, dictated by Keiretsu members (grouping of large enterprises) in order to save investments in the July Olympics. Nobody knows how many Japanese had been infected for more than three months.
Similarly, Trump was well aware of the sure propagation of the virus right form January, but he waited until March 13, 2020 before he declared the state of effective public health emergency. The obvious reason was the possible fear of free fall of stock price and the possible loss of big companies' profits.
The interesting question is: "The delayed declaration of public health emergency, was it Trump's decision or that of his corporate friends?" It doesn't matter whose decision it was, because the government under neoliberal system is controlled the big businesses.
So, as in Japan, Italy, Spain, France and especially, the U.K, Trump lost the golden time to save human lives to keep profit of enterprises.
God knows how many American lives were sacrificed to save stock price and company profit!
Thus, the neoliberal governments have lost the golden chance to prevent the initial outbreak of the dreadful virus.
2. Neo-liberalism and the Propagation of Corona-Virus
We saw that the initial outbreak of the virus was not properly controlled leading to the loss to golden time of saving human lives, most likely because of the priority given to business and political interests.
The initial outbreak of the virus was transformed into never-ending propagation and, even now, in many states in the U.S. the wave of the virus is getting higher and wider.
This tragic reality can be explained by four factors:
- people's mistrust in the government,
- unbounded competition,
- inequitable income distribution,
- the absence of public health system.
These four factors (above) are all the legacies of neoliberalism.
The people know well that the corrupted neoliberal government's concern is not the welfare of the people but the interest of a few powerful and the rich. The inevitable outcome is the loss of people's trust in the unreliable government.
This is demonstrated by Trump's indecision, his efforts of ignoring the warning of the professionals, his fabricates stories and above all, his perception of who should be given the right to receive life-saving medical care at the hospital.
Under such circumstances, Americans do not trust the government directives and guidelines, allegedly implemented to protect people from the virus.
The guideline of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) for self quarantine, social distancing and wearing face masks has little effect. There is another product of neoliberalism which is troublesome. I mean its credo of unbounded competition.
It is true that competition promotes efficiency and better quality of products. However, as competition continues, the number of winners decreases, while that of losers rises. The economy ends up being ruled by a handful of powerful winners. This leads to the segregation of losers and leads to the discrimination of people by income level, religion, race and colour of skin.
In the present context, largely as a result of government policy, there is little to no social solidarity; each individual has to solve his or her own problems. I was sad when I saw on TV a young lady in California saying:
"To be killed by the COVID-19 or starve to death is the same to me. I open my shop to eat!"
This shows how American citizens are left alone to fight the coronavirus. Furthermore, neoliberalism has another unhappy legacy; it is the widening and deepening income inequality.
The U.S. is the richest country in the world, but it is also a country where income inequality is the most pronounced. I will come back to this issue in the next section. In relation to the corona virus crisis, income inequality means an army of those who are most likely to be infected and who are unable to follow CDC guidelines of testing, self quarantine and social distancing. Finally, the privatization of public health services has made the whole country unprepared for the onslaught of the virus.
In fact, in the U.S. there is no public health system. For three months after the first breakout of the virus, the country lacked everything needed to fight the virus.
- There was shortage of testing kits and PPE (personal protective equipment);
- there were not enough rooms to accommodate the infected;
- there was shortage of qualified medical staff;
- there was lack of face masks.
Thus, neoliberalism has made the U.S not only to lose the golden time to prevent the initial breakout but also it has let the wave of virus to continue. Nobody knows when it will calm down. As a matter of fact, on July 4, there were 2.9 million infected and 132,000 deaths; this gives a death rate of 4.6%. Given U.S. population of 328 million, we have 402.44 deaths per million inhabitants which is one of highest among the developed countries. The trouble is that the wave of virus is still going higher and wider. On July 4, the confirmed cases increased by 50% in two weeks in 12 states and increased 10% to 50% in 22 states.
3. Neo-liberalism and the very Foundation of the U.S. Economy
The message of this section is this. The foundation of the American economy is the purchasing power of the consumers and the job creation by small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The consumer demand is 70% of the GDP, the SMEs create 66% of jobs. Unfortunately, because of neoliberalism, the consumers have become very poorer and the SMEs have been neglected in the pro-big-company government policies. The COVID-19 has destroyed the SMEs and impoverished the consumers. Nobody would deny the contribution of neo-liberalism to globalization of finance, the creation of the global value chain and, especially the free trade agreement.
All these activities have allowed GDP to grow in developed countries and some of new industrial countries. However, the wealth created by the growth of GDP has gone to countries already developed, some developing countries and a small number of multinational enterprises (MNE). The rich produced by GDP growth has led to the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few privileged. What is more serious is this. If the skewed income distribution in favour of a decreasing number of people continues for long, the GDP will stop growing and decades-long deflation is quite possible, as it has happened in Japan.
According to the OECD data, in the period, 1975-2011, the GDP share of labour income in OECD countries fell by 13.8% from 65% to 56%. In the case of the U.S., in the same period, 1970-2014, it fell by 11%. The falling labour-income share is necessarily translated into unequal household income distribution. There are two popular ways of measuring income distribution: the decile ratio and the Gini coefficient.
The decile ratio is obtained by dividing the income earned by the top 10% income earners by the income earned by the bottom 10% income earners . The decile ratio in 2019 was 18.5 in the U.S. as compared to 5.6 in Finland. The decile ratio of the U.S. was the highest among the developed countries. Thus, in the U.S. the top 10 % has an income 19 times more than the bottom 10%, while, in Finland, the corresponding ratio is only 6 times. This shows how serious the income gap is in the country of Uncle Sam.
The Gini coefficient varies from zero to 100. As the value of the Gini increases, the income distribution becomes favourable to the high-income households. Conversely, as the value of the Gini decreases, the income distribution becomes favourable to low-income households. There are two types of Gini: the gross Gini and the net Gini. The former refers to Gini before taxes and transfer payment, while the latter refers to Gini after taxes and transfer payment. The difference between the gross and the net Gini shows the government efforts to improve the equality and fairness of income distribution The gross U.S.- Gini coefficient in 2019 was 48.6, one of the highest among the developed countries.
Its net Gini was 38.0 so that the difference between the gross and the net Gini was 12.3%. In other words, the U.S. income distribution improved only by 12.3% by government efforts as against, for example, an improvement of 42.9% in the case of Germany, where the gross Gini was 49.9 while the net Gini was 28.5 The net Gini of the U.S. was the highest among the developed countries. The implication is clear. The income distribution in the U.S. was the most unequal. To make the matter worse, the government's effort to improve the unequal income distribution was the poorest among the developed countries. There are countless signs of unfortunate impacts of the inequitable income distribution in the country called the U.S. which Koreans used to admire describing it as "mi-gook- 美國미국 – Beautiful Country". Now, one wonders if it is still a "mi-gook".
The following data indicates the seriousness of poverty in the U.S. (data below prior to the Coronavirus crisis).
- In the U.S. the richest 1% of the population has 40% of all household wealth. (2017 data)
- More than 20% of the population cannot pay monthly bills.
- About 40% do not have savings.
- 31% of private sector worker do not have medical benefits.
- 57% of the workers in the service sector have no medical benefits.
- 30% have to get loans to pay unexpected expenditure of $ 400. (2019 data)
- 78% live from pay-check to pay-check. (2017)
These data give us an idea on how so many people have to suffer from poverty in a country where per capita GDP is $65,000 (2019 estimate), the richest country in the world. Most of the Americans work for small- and medium-sized companies (SMEs). In the U.S., there are 30 million SMEs. They create 66% of jobs in the private sector. The SMEs are more severely hit than big companies by the coronavirus.
In fact, 66% of SMEs are adversely affected by the virus against 40% for big firms. As much as 20% of SMEs may be shut down for good within three months, because of the virus. Under the forty years of neoliberal pro-big corporation policies, available financial resources and the best human resources have been allocated to big firms at the expense of the development of SMEs.
The most damaging by-product of neoliberalism is no doubt the widening and deepening unequal income distribution for the benefit of the big corporations and the uprooting of SMEs. This trend means the shrinking domestic demand and the disappearance of jobs for ordinary people.
The destruction of the domestic market caused by the shrinking consumer demand and the disappearance of SMEs can mean the uprooting of the very foundation of the economy.
The experience of Japan shows how this can happen. The economic depression after the bubble burst of 1989, Japan had to endure 30-year deflation. The government of Japan has flooded the country with money to restore the economy, but the money was used for the bail-out of big corporations neglecting the healthy development of the SMEs and impoverishing the ordinary Japanese people. South Korea could have experienced the Japanese-type economic stagnation, if the conservative government ruled the country ten more years.
The neoliberal pro-big company policy of Washington has greatly depleted consumer demand and SMEs even before the onslaught of the coronavirus. But, the COVID-19 has given a coup de grâce to consumer demand and SMEs To better understand the issue, let us go back to the ABC of economics. Looking at the national economy from the demand side, the economy consists of private consumer demand (C), the private investment demand (I), the government demand (G) and Foreign demand represented by exports of domestic products (X) minus domestic demand for imported foreign products (M).
GDP=C + I + G + (X-M)
In 2019, the consumer expenditure (C) in the U.S. was 70% of GDP, whereas the government's spending (G) was 17%. The investments demand (I) was 18%. The net exports demand (X-M) was -5%.
In 2019 the composition of Canadian GDP was: C=57%; I=23 %; G=21 %; X-M=-1%.
Thus, we see that the U.S. economy heavily depends on the private domestic consumption, which represents as much as 70% of GDP compared to 57% in Canada. The government's contribution to the national demand is 17% as against 21% in Canada. In the U.S. a small government is a virtue according to neoliberals. In the U.S. the private investments account for only 18% of GDP as compared to as much as 23% in Canada. In the U.S., off-shoring of manufacturing jobs and the global value chain under neo-liberalism have decreased the need for business investments at home. It is obvious then that to save the American economy, we have to boost the consumers' income. But, the consumer income comes mainly from SMEs. We must remember that the SMEs create 66% of all jobs in the U.S. Therefore, if consumer demand falls and if SMEs do not create jobs, the US economy may have to face the same destiny as the Japanese economy. This is happening in the U.S. The corona virus crisis is destroying SMEs and taking away the income of the people.
The coronavirus crisis is about to demolish the very foundation of the American economy.
4. Corona Virus Crisis and the Survival of Neoliberalism
The interesting question is this. Will neo-liberalism as economic system survive the corona virus crisis in the U.S.?
There are at least four indications suggesting that it will not survive.
- First, to overcome major crisis such as the corona virus invasion, we need strong central government and people-loving leader. One of the reasons for the successful anti-virus policy in South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore was the strong central government's role of determining and coordinating the anti-virus policies. As we saw, the gospel of neo-liberalism is the minimization of the central government's role. Having little role in economic policies, the U.S. federal government has proved itself as the most incompetent entity to fight the crisis. It is more than possible that the U.S. and all the neoliberal countries will try to get away from the traditional neoliberal governance in which the government is almost a simple errand boy of big business.
- Second, the people's trust in the neoliberal leaders has fallen on the ground. It will be difficult for the neoliberal leaders to be able to lead the country in the post-corona virus era.
- Third, the corona virus crisis has made the people aware of the abuse of power by the big companies; the people now know that these companies are interested only in making money. So, it may be more difficult for them to exploit the people in the era of post-COVID-19.
- Fourth, the U.S. economy is shaken up so much that the neoliberal regime will not able to recover the economy. Thus, the survival of neo-liberalism looks uncertain. But, if the coronavirus crisis continues and destroys SMEs and if only the big corporations survive owing to bailout money, neo-liberalism may survive and we may end up with authoritarian governance ruled by the business-politics oligarchy.
5. Search for a New Economic Regime: Just-Liberalism
One thing which the corona-virus crisis has demonstrated is the fact that the American neo-liberalism has failed as sustainable regime capable of stopping the virus crisis, restore the economy and save the democracy. Hence, we have to look for a new regime capable of saving the U.S. economy and democracy. We would call this new regime as "Just-liberalism " mission of which is the sustainable economic development and, at the same time, the just distribution of the benefits of economic development. Before we get into the discussion of the main feature of the new regime, there is one thing we should discuss. It is the popular perception of large corporation. Many believe that they make GDP grow and create jobs. It is also the popular view that the success of these large corporations is due to the innovative managing skills of their founders or their CEOs. Therefore, they deserve annual salary of millions of dollars. This is the popular perception of Chaebols in South Korea.
But, a great part of Chaebols income is attributable to the public goods such as national defence, police protection, social infrastructures, the education system, enormous sacrifice of workers and, especially tax allowances, subsidies and privileges. In other words, a great part of the Chaebols' income belongs to the society, not the Chaebols. Many believe that the Chaebols create jobs, but, in reality, they crate less than 10% of jobs in Korea. We may say the same thing about large corporations in the U.S. In other words, much of the company's income is due to public goods. Hence, the company should equitably share its income with the rest of the society. But do they?
The high ranking managers get astronomical salaries; some of them are hiding billions of dollars in tax haven islands.
We ask. Are large corporations sharing equitably their income with the society? Are the corporate tax allowances they get too much? Is the wage they pay too low? Is CEO's income is too high?
It is difficult to answer these questions.
But we should throw away the mysticism surrounding the merits of large corporations; we should closely watch them so that they do not misuse their power and wealth to dictate national policies for their own benefit at the expense of the welfare of the people. The new regime, just-liberalism, should have the following eight features.
First, we need a strong government which is autonomous from big businesses; there should be no business-politics collusion; there should be no self-interest oligarchy of corruption.
Second, it is the time we should reconsider the notion of human right violation. There are several types of human right violation in developed countries including the U.S. For example, the racial discrimination, the inequality before the law, the violation of the right of social security and the violation of the right of social service are some cases of violation of human rights defined by the U.N. The Western media have been criticizing human right violation in "non-democratic countries", but, in the future, they should pay more attention to human right violation in "democratic countries."
Third, the criterion of successful economy should not be limited to the GDP growth; the equitable distribution of the benefits of GDP growth should also be a criterion; proper balance between the growth and the distribution of growth fruits should be maintained.
Fourth, market should not be governed by "efficiency" alone; it must be also "equitable". Efficiency may lead to the concentration of resources and power in the hands of the few at the expense of social benefit; it must be also equitable. As an example, we may refer to the Chaebols (big Korean industrial conglomerates) which kill the traditional village markets which provide livelihood to a great number of poor people. The Chaebols may make the market efficient but not equitable. The Korean government has limited Chaebols' penetration into these markets to make them more equitable.
Fifth, we need a partial direct democracy. The legislative translates people's wish into laws and the executive makes policies on the basis of laws. But, in reality, the legislative and the executive may pass laws and policies for the benefit of big companies or specific group of individuals and institutions close to the power. Therefore, it is important to provide a mechanism through which the people – the real master of the country – should be allowed to intervene all times. In South Korea, if more than 200,000 people send a request to the Blue house (Korean White House) to intervene in matters judged unfair or unjust, the government must intervene.
Sixth, those goods and services which are essential for every citizen must be nationalized. For example, social infrastructure such as parks, roads, railways, harbours, supply of electricity should not be privatized. Education including higher education should be made public goods so that low income people should get higher education as do high income group.
This is the best way to maximize the mass of innovative minds and creative energy to develop the society. Above all, the health service should be nationalized. It is just unbelievable to see that, in a country where the per capita GDP is $63,000, more than 30 million citizens have no medical insurance, just because it is too expensive. Politicians know quite well that big companies related to insurance, pharmaceutical products and medical professions are preventing the nationalization of medical service in the U.S. But, the politicians don't seem to dare go over these vested interests groups and nationalize the public health system. Remember this. There are countries which are much poorer than the U.S. But, they have accessible universal health care insurance system.
Seventh, the economy should allow the system of multi- generational technologies in which not only high-level technologies but also mid-level technologies should be promoted in such a way that both high- tech large corporations and middle-tech SMEs can grow. This is perhaps only way to insure GDP growth and create jobs.
Eighth, in the area of international relations, it is about the time to stop wasteful ideological conflict. The difference among ideologies is narrowing; the number of countries which have abandoned the U.S. imposed democracy has been rising; the ideological basis of socialism is weakening. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, 48% of countries are democratic, while 52% are not. According to Freedom House, in 2005, 83 countries had net gain in democracy, while 52 countries had net loss in democracy.
But in 2019, only 37 countries had net gain while 64 countries had net loss. Between 2005 and 2018, the number of countries which were not free increased by 26%, while those which were free fell by 44%. On the other hand, it is becoming more and more difficult to find authentic socialism. For example, Chinese regime has lost its pure socialism long time ago. Thus, the world is becoming non-ideological; the world is embracing ideology-neutral pragmatism.
To conclude, the corona virus pandemic has given us the opportunity to look at ourselves; it has given us the opportunity to realize how vulnerable we are in front of the corona virus attack.
Many more pandemics will come and challenge us. We need a world better prepared to fight the coming pandemics. It is high time that we slow down our greedy pursuit for GDP growth; it is about the time to stop a wasteful international ideological conflict in support of multibillion dollar interests behind Big Money and the Military industrial complex.
It is therefore timely to find a system where we care for each other and where we share what we have .
Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.
Professor Joseph H. Chung is professor of economics and co- director of the Observatoire de l'Asie de l'Est (ODAE) of the Centre d'Études de l'Intégration et la Mondialisation (CEIM), Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). He is Research Associate of the Center of Research on Globalization (CRG). Growing Social and Wealth Inequality in America
Jun 29, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
On Monday, Gilead disclosed its pricing plan for Gilead as it prepares to begin charging for the drug at the beginning of next month (several international governments have already placed orders). Given the high demand, thanks in part due to the breathless media coverage despite the drug's still-questionable study data, Gilead apparently feels justified in charging $3,120 for a patient getting the shorter, more common, treatment course, and $5,720 for the longer course for more seriously ill patients. These are the prices for patients with commercial insurance in the US, according to Gilead's official pricing plan.
As per usual, the price charged to those on government plans will be lower, and hospitals will also receive a slight discount. Additionally, the US is the only developed country where Gilead will charge two prices, according to Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day. In much of Europe and Canada, governments negotiate drug prices directly with drugmakers (in the US, laws dictate that drug makers must "discount" their drugs for Medicare and Medicaid plans).
But according to O'Day, the drug is priced "far below the value it brings" to the health-care system.
However, we'd argue that this actually isn't true. Remdesivir was developed by Gilead to treat Ebola, but the drug was never approved by the FDA for this use, which caused Gilead to shelve the drug until COVID-19 presented another opportunity. Even before the first study had finished, the company was already pushing propaganda about the promising nature of the drug. Meanwhile, the CDC, WHO and other organizations were raising doubts about the effectiveness of steroid medications.
Months later, the only study on the steroid dexomethasone, a cheap steroid that costs less than $50 for a 100-dose regimen, has shown that dexomethasone is the only drug so far that has proven effective at lowering COVID-19 related mortality. Remdesivir, despite the fact that it has been tested in several high quality trials, has not.
So, why is the American government in partnership with Gilead still pushing this questionable, and staggeringly expensive, medication on the public?
Jun 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kim Sky , Jun 7 2020 15:27 utc | 6Another bombshell! The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine have been caught red-handed publishing completely fabricated, fraudulent data in a study that claims hydroxychloroquine was dangerous.
The data came from a fake company that's a front for fabricated data, run by a science fiction writer and an adult content person, none of whom have any experience in real science. The whole thing was made up!...
Apr 13, 2019 | www.unz.com
Daniel Rich , says: April 13, 2019 at 10:38 pm GMT@annamaria
Once one realizes 'justice' [under neoliberalism] is a monetized commodity, lawlessness becomes a viable [and justifiable] option.
May 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Norogene , May 29 2020 23:02 utc | 115
lysias @ 109
... Here is a fine quote from Wolin's book (page 264) which illustrates the point (please excuse the length of this quote):A twofold moral might be drawn from the experience of Athens: that it is self-subverting for democracy to subordinate its egalitarian convictions to the pursuit of expansive politics with its corollaries of conquest and domination and the power relationships they introduce. Few care to argue that, in political terms, democracy at home is advanced or improved by conquest abroad.
As Athens showed and the United States of the twenty-first century confirmed, imperialism undercuts democracy by furthering inequalities among its citizens. Resources that might be used to improve health care, education, and environmental protection are instead directed to defense spending, which, by far, con- sumes the largest percentage of the nation's annual budget. Moreover, the sheer size and complexity of imperial power and the expanded role of the military make it difficult to impose fiscal discipline and accountability. Corruption becomes endemic, not only abroad but at home. The most dangerous type of corruption for a democracy is measured not in monetary terms alone but in the kind of ruthless power relations it fosters in domestic politics. As many observers have noted, politics has become a blood sport with partisanship and ideological fidelity as the hallmarks. A partisan judiciary is openly declared to be a major priority of a political party; the efforts to consolidate executive power and to relegate Congress to a supporting role are to some important degree the retrojection inwards of the imperial thrust.
Second, if Athens was the first historical instance of a confrontation between democracy and elitism, that experience suggests that there is no simple recipe for resolving the tensions between them. Political elites were a persistent, if uneasy and contested, feature of Athenian democracy and a significant factor in both its expansion and its demise. In the eyes of contemporary observers, such as Thucydides, as well as later historians, the advancement of Athenian hegemony de- pended upon a public-spirited, able elite at the helm and a demos will- ing to accept leadership. Conversely, the downfall of Athens was attributed to the wiles and vainglory of leaders who managed to whip up popular support for ill-conceived adventures. As the war dragged on and frustration grew, domestic politics became more embittered and fractious: members of the elite competed to outbid each other by pro\posing ever wilder schemes of conquest.
In two attempts (411–410 and 404–403) elites, abetted by the Spartans, succeeded in temporarily abolishing democracy and installing rule by the Few.
...and while I am at it: lysias @ 106
Let's deconstruct what you've said. Even if he resisted arrest (by what degree was he resisting?) that is not cause for applying deadly force on someone. Clearly he was restrained and was going no where. Furthermore, the application of restraint should be one that ought not induce death in someone with a previous health condition. By your rationale, you have no business of walking the streets if you are not an able-bodied person and that death by restraint by a police officer is excusable if you happen to be in bad health.
Although you don't explicitly say it, somehow it feels like you are saying that he had it coming to him when you write "Floyd had a lengthy criminal record." Does that mean just because he had a lengthy record he deserved to be roughed up like that? This sounds like victim blaming, which is something commonly done in this country to continue to oppress people who have no power.
May 20, 2020 | www.bloomberg.com
Not long after Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, ordered the state's 40 million residents to stay home to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, Dr. Greg Morganroth called his team of doctors and said their dermatology group was staying open.
Morganroth is chief executive officer of the California Skin Institute , which he founded in 2007 as a single office in Mountain View. He's since expanded to more than 40 locations using a financing strategy that's become exceedingly common in American health care: private equity. In this case, he took out a loan from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. that could eventually convert to an equity stake. CSI is now the largest dermatology chain in California.
But the Covid-19 pandemic put Morganroth in a precarious position. Most medical procedures were characterized as nonessential by government officials and practitioners. Doctors were closing offices, and patients were staying away to limit their potential exposure to the virus.
CSI took a different approach. Morganroth explained his thinking on April 2 in a Zoom call with more than 170 dermatologists from around the country organized by the Cosmetic Surgery Forum, an industry conference. Contrary to what they might have heard, Morganroth told them, they should consider staying open during the pandemic. "Many of us are over-interpreting guidelines," he said.
For a moment there was an awkward silence. Doctors had thought they were signing up for advice on how to apply for government money that would help them meet payroll while they were shut down; they hadn't expected to be told not to shut down at all. Morganroth continued: "We are going to be in a two-year war, and we need to make strategic plans for our businesses that enable us to survive and to rebound."
Back at CSI, the company's front-office staff was working the phones, calling patients in some of the worst-hit areas and reminding them to show up for their appointments, even for cosmetic procedures such as Botox injections to treat wrinkles. During the videoconference, Morganroth argued that offering Botox in a pandemic wasn't so different from a grocery store allowing customers to buy candy alongside staples.
"If I had a food supply company and had to stay open, and I had meat, bread, and milk, would I stop making lime and strawberry licorice?" Morganroth asked. "I would make everything and go forward."
From a public-health point of view, some of the doctors believed, this was questionable. Common reasons for visiting a dermatologist's office -- skin screenings, mole removals, acne consultations -- aren't particularly time sensitive. Serious matters, such as suspected cancers and dangerous rashes, can be handled, at least initially, with telemedicine consultations . Then doctors can weigh the risks for their patients and determine who needs to come in. In a statement, CSI says that it followed local and state laws for staying open, while providing "necessary care" for patients, and that it had not required doctors to come to work.
"You can't serve two masters. You can't serve patients and investors"
Morganroth's defense of pandemic Botox might seem odd, but it made perfect sense within the logic of the U.S. health-care system, which has seen Wall Street investors invade its every corner, engineering medical practices and hospitals to maximize profits as if they were little different from grocery stores. At the center of this story are private equity firms, which saw the explosive growth of health-care spending and have been buying up physician staffing companies, surgery centers, and everything else in sight.
Over the past five years, the firms have invested more than $10 billion in medical practices, with a special focus on dermatology, which is seen as a hot industry because of the aging population. Baby boomers suffer from high rates of two potentially lucrative conditions: skin cancer and vanity. Some estimates suggest that private equity already owns more than 10% of the U.S dermatology market. And firms have started to expand into other specialties, including women's health, urology, and gastroenterology.
There's nothing inherently wrong with any of this. But some doctors say that the private equity playbook, which involves buying companies, drastically cutting costs, and then selling for a profit -- the goal is generally to make an annualized return of 20% to 30% within three to five years -- creates problems that are unique to health care. "I know private equity does this in other industries, but in medicine you're dealing with people's health and their lives," says Michael Rains, a doctor who worked at U.S. Dermatology Partners , a big private equity-backed chain. "You can't serve two masters. You can't serve patients and investors."
Investment firms, and the practices they fund, say these concerns are overblown. They point out that they're giving doctors a financial shelter from the rapidly changing medical environment, a particularly attractive prospect now, and that money from private equity firms has expanded care to more patients. But they've also made it next to impossible to track the industry's impact or reach. Firms rarely announce their investments and routinely subject doctors to nondisclosure agreements that make it difficult for them to speak publicly. Bloomberg Businessweek spoke to dozens of doctors at 10 large private equity-backed dermatology groups. Those interviews, along with information obtained from other employees, investors, lawyers, court filings, and company records, reveal how the firms operate, and why they sometimes fail patients.
The process is never exactly the same, but there are familiar patterns, which tend to play out in five steps.Step 1: Marriage
The strange thing about private equity money in medicine is that for-profit investors have long been prevented from buying doctor's offices. Corporate ownership goes against a doctrine set by the American Medical Association , the main trade group for doctors in the U.S., and is prohibited by law in many states, including Texas and New Jersey. For most of the past 100 years, if you wanted to make money on a medical practice, you needed to have a medical license.
Yet over the past decade, lawyers devised a structure that allows investors to buy a medical practice without technically owning it: the MSO, or management service organization. Today, when an investment firm buys a doctor's office, what it's actually buying are the office's "nonclinical" assets. In theory, physicians control all medical decisions and agree to pay a management fee to a newly created company, which handles administrative tasks such as billing and marketing.
In practice, though, investors expect some influence over medical decision-making, which, after all, is connected to profits. "When we partner with you, it's a marriage," said Matt Jameson, a managing director at BlueMountain Capital, a $17 billion firm that recently invested in a women's health company, while speaking at a conference in New York in September. "We have to believe it. You have to believe it. It's not going to be something where clinical is completely not touched." (When contacted by Businessweek , Jameson asked to clarify his comments. "Doctors and other qualified healthcare professionals at the providers we've invested in make medical decisions," he said in a statement.)
The typical buyout starts with the acquisition of a big, popular practice, often with multiple doctors and several locations, for as much as $100 million. (Investors typically pay between 9 and 12 times annual profit.) This practice functions as an anchor, like a name-brand department store at a shopping mall, attracting patients and doctors to the new group as it expands. Then comes the roll-up: The private equity firm purchases smaller offices and solo practices, giving the group a regional presence.
As part of the new structure, investors deal with paperwork and save money by buying medical supplies in bulk. Crucially they also negotiate higher insurance reimbursement rates. One dermatologist who sold her practice to the California Skin Institute says she was surprised to find out the bigger group's payouts from insurers were $25 to $125 more per visit.
When individual doctors sell, they generally receive $2 million to $7 million each, with 30% to 40% of that paid in equity in the group. After the acquisition, doctors get a lower salary and are asked to help recruit other doctors to sell their practices or to join as employees.
At first, doctors are generally thrilled by all of this. They have financial security and can focus on treating patients without the stress of running a business. Patients, for the most part, are in the dark. Unlike when your mortgage changes hands, you usually aren't notified when a big investment firm buys your doctor. Sometimes the sign on the door bearing the physician's name stays put, and subtle changes in operations or unfamiliar fees may be the only clues that anything has happened.
Step 2: Growth
The promise of more patients is a big draw for doctors. By sharing marketing costs and adding locations, the new companies can advertise more and attract customers. Private equity-owned practices have been diligent users of social media, announcing newly added doctors and posting coupons on Twitter and Instagram. But these practices can be aggressive in ways that make some doctors uncomfortable.
At Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery , the largest private equity-backed group in the field, with more than 150 locations across the U.S., that sense of discomfort came shortly after Audax Group bought a controlling stake in what was then a much smaller chain in 2011. The new management team introduced a scorecard that rewarded offices with cash if they met daily and monthly financial goals, according to a lawsuit filed in 2013 against the company by one of its dermatologists. The doctor alleged that the bonus program encouraged staff to do as many procedures as possible, rather than strictly addressing patients' medical needs.
In some of the company's Florida offices, the doctor alleged, medical assistants responded to the bonus structure by ticking extra boxes on exam reports, stating that doctors checked many more areas of the body than they actually had. That led to higher patient bills, defrauding the government under its Medicare program, according to the lawsuit. The federal government declined to join the case, and it was dismissed about a year after it was filed. Advanced and Audax declined to comment.
One-Stop Skin Care
By buying up labs and adding specialists, private equity-owned dermatology groups get paid at every step of a patient's treatment.
Data: Estimated Medicare reimbursement rates for the Miami area, Sensus Healthcare sales presentation
Private equity-backed practices also try to increase revenue by adding more-lucrative procedures, according to doctors interviewed by Businessweek . In dermatology, this means more cosmetics, laser treatments, radiation, and especially Mohs surgeries -- a specialized skin cancer procedure that removes growths from delicate areas like the face and neck one layer at a time, to limit scarring. The surgery involves expensive equipment and specialized doctors, so some large medical groups keep costs down by assembling traveling Mohs teams, who fly in from other states. Others create mobile labs in vans that set up in clinics' parking lots.
Most dermatologists use outside labs and pathologists, but private equity-owned groups buy up existing labs and hire their own pathologists. Then doctors are encouraged to refer patients within the group and send biopsy slides to the company-owned labs, keeping the entire chain of revenue in-house. This takes advantage of a regulatory quirk that has made dermatology, and a handful of other specialties, attractive to private equity. Under the 1989 Stark Law, doctors aren't allowed to make patient referrals for their own financial gain. An exception was made for some fields because it's more convenient for patients, explains Dr. Sailesh Konda, a Mohs surgeon and professor at the University of Florida. "But that can be abused."Step 3: Synergy
Now comes the cost-cutting. This is supposed to be the hallmark of private equity, and, done right, it can work to the benefit of doctors and patients. But there are pitfalls unique to medicine, where aggressive cuts can lead to problems, some of them merely inconvenient and some potentially dangerous.
A doctor at Advanced Dermatology says that waiting for corporate approvals means his office is routinely left without enough gauze, antiseptic solution, and toilet paper. Even before the great toilet paper shortage of 2020, he would travel with a few rolls in the trunk of his car, to spare patients when an office inevitably ran out. The company declined to comment.
At the country's second-biggest skin-care group, U.S. Dermatology Partners , a former doctor says a regional manager switched to a cheaper brand of needles and sutures without consulting the medical staff. The quality was so poor, she says, they would often break off in her patients' bodies. Mortified, she'd have to dig them out and start over. She complained to managers but couldn't get better supplies, she says. Paul Singh, U.S. Dermatology's CEO, says the company uses a "reputable, global vendor for medical supplies." "While our group may have standardized purchasing processes, individual providers have the autonomy to procure specific supplies that they need for a particular patient situation or patient population," he says in a statement.
Doctors who join a private equity-backed group generally sign contracts that state they'll never have to compromise their medical judgment, but some say that management began to intervene there, too. Dermatologists at most of the companies say they were pushed to see as many as twice the number of patients a day, which made them feel rushed and unable to provide the same quality of care. Others were forced to discuss their cases with managers or medical directors, who asked the doctors to explain why they weren't sending more patients for surgery. Multiple practices also encouraged doctors to send home Mohs surgery patients with open wounds and have them come back the next day for stitches -- or to have a different doctor do the closure the same day -- because that would allow the practice to collect more from insurers.
That's if doctors are performing the procedures at all. At Advanced Dermatology, several doctors say they were asked to claim that physician assistants, or PAs, were under their supervision when they weren't seeing patients in the same building, or even the same town. Because PAs are paid less than dermatologists, this allowed the company to keep costs low while growing the business. In a statement, Eric Hunt, Advanced's general counsel and chief compliance officer says that having PAs on staff enables the company to "provide access to quality dermatological care to more patients."Step 4. Rolling Up the Roll-Up
Advanced Dermatology was sold in 2016 by Audax to Harvest Partners LP , following a pattern that's typical in the industry. At some point, after costs have been cut and profits maximized, most private equity-owned medical groups will be sold, often to another private equity firm, which will then try to somehow make the company even more profitable.
Having reduced most of the obvious costs, Advanced Dermatology began skimping on more important supplies, including Hylenex, according to doctors and other employees. The drug is an expensive reversal agent used when cosmetic fillers, which are supposed to make skin look plumper, go wrong. Not having enough is dangerous: Patients who get an injection that inadvertently blocks a blood vessel can be left with dead sections of skin or even go blind if they don't get enough Hylenex in a matter of hours. The company says that it stocks Hylenex in every office that performs cosmetic procedures, and that it "has no records of any provider being denied an order for this medication."
Advanced Dermatology also started giving even more authority to PAs, according to doctors and staff. Without enough oversight some were missing deadly skin cancers, they say. Others were doing too many biopsies and cutting out much larger areas of skin than necessary, leaving patients with big scars. Doctors who complained about the bad behavior say they saw PAs moved to other locations rather than fired or given more supervision. Hunt, the company's lawyer, says that all PAs get six months of training and are supervised by experienced doctors.
The staff coined a new medical diagnosis, "pre- pre- pre-cancer"
Advanced Dermatology also put more pressure on doctors to send biopsies to in-house labs. The move made sense financially, but some of the doctors didn't trust the lab. One of its two pathologists in Delray Beach, Fla., Steven Glanz, had a history of misdiagnosing benign tumors, which led patients to undergo surgeries that were later found to be unnecessary, according to doctors who worked with him. Dermatologists who warned that Glanz was a danger to patients say that their complaints to Dr. Matt Leavitt, the group's founder and CEO, were ignored. More procedures, doctors knew, brought in more money.
Glanz, who had been with the practice since its early days, was known to read slides under a microscope with a pistol on his desk. After he was arrested with a handgun, a folding knife, and a vial of methamphetamine crystals, he was fired and Florida's state medical board fined him $10,000, requiring him to complete a five-hour course on ethics before he could resume practicing. But his former colleagues were unsettled; they knew Glanz's signature was on years of reports that determined treatment for patients. Some slides were reevaluated, and pathologists noticed mistakes. Managers told some doctors and their staff that patients, even those who'd been misdiagnosed and had unnecessary procedures, were not to be told. Glanz pleaded guilty to stalking and a firearms violation and was sentenced to probation. When a reporter called his office and identified herself, the receptionist hung up. Further attempts to reach Glanz were unsuccessful. Advanced's Hunt says that he was "formally released from employment three years ago," but did not comment further.
Of course, some doctors pushed ethical boundaries long before private equity came into the picture. But critics of the industry, including doctors and investors, say management teams put in place by private equity firms tend to look the other way as long as a medical practice is profitable. Of the dermatologists with the highest biopsy rates in the country (between 4 and 11 per patient, per year), almost 25% were affiliated with private equity-backed groups, according to Dr. Joseph Francis, a Mohs surgeon and data researcher at the University of Florida.
Medical providers may have also been blurring ethical lines at U.S. Dermatology Partners, which was until recently on its second private equity owner, Abry Partners LLC . At four of the company's offices in Texas, a doctor and his PAs were doing more biopsies than necessary, according to employees. These employees say the staff routinely called patients with benign lichenoid keratosis, small brownish blotches that usually go away on their own, and told them the growths should be removed. Under instruction from the doctor, the staff coined a new medical diagnosis, "pre- pre- pre-cancer," and then talked patients into coming in for removal, employees say. Singh, the U.S. Dermatology CEO, says that the company trusts doctors to make the right decisions and that it monitors them through routine audits.Step 5: Sell-Off
In some cases the cost-cutting either becomes impossible or leads to compromises in care too obvious to ignore. In 2016 a DermOne LLC office in Irving, Texas, had been using a faulty autoclave machine to sterilize surgical equipment -- the state and county health departments identified 137 patients that needed to get tested for blood-borne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. By 2018, DermOne's backer, Westwind Investors, wanted out.
Westwind had been one of the earliest firms to build a big dermatology business -- with practices in five states -- but others had grown larger. After the debacle in Irving, the Nevada-based firm sold DermOne's medical records and patient lists, as well as some of its offices, to other groups. It dissolved the remaining offices, leaving some patients abruptly without care. Westwind did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Two other private equity-backed groups, TruDerm and Select Dermatology LLC, have also gone out of business in the past two years.
The surviving chains have been saddled with large piles of debt they're now struggling to repay. In January, U.S. Dermatology Partners defaulted on a $377 million loan, meaning the private equity backer, Abry Partners, had to hand over the keys to its lenders, Golub Capital , Carlyle Group , and Ares Management , which will now oversee a chain with almost 100 locations, receiving 1 million visits from patients a year. Abry did not respond to requests for comment .
For the medical groups that make it, the game plan is to eventually sell to the largest players, such as KKR , Blackstone Group , and Apollo Global Management . Pioneering investors, including Audax, are now buying practices in other fields -- a concerning development to critics who note that the areas that are currently attracting investment, such as urology, generally involve more invasive procedures. Should doctors performing vasectomies be thinking about the dollar-rate returns for KKR -- or any private investor?
"It's ultimately going to backfire," says Dr. Jane Grant-Kels, a veteran dermatologist and professor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. "There's a limit to how much money you can make when you're sticking knives into human skin for profit."
One paradox of the Covid-19 pandemic has been that even as the virus has focused the entire country on health care, it's been a financial disaster for the industry. And so, while emergency room doctors and nurses care for the sick -- comforting those who would otherwise die alone, and in some cases dying themselves -- private equity-backed staffing companies and hospitals have been cutting pay for ER doctors. These hospitals, like the big medical practices, make a large portion of their money from elective procedures and have been forced into wrenching compromises.
For investors with capital, on the other hand, the economic fallout from the virus is a huge opportunity. Stay-at-home orders have left small practices more financially strained than they've ever been. That will likely accelerate sales to private equity firms, according to Marc Cabrera, an investment banker focused on health-care deals at Oppenheimer & Co. Independent doctors or groups that previously rebuffed offers from deep-pocketed backers "will reconsider their options," he says.
Many doctors may ultimately come to regret cashing out, but it's hard to get out once you're in. As part of an acquisition, the private equity groups typically require doctors to sign yearslong contracts, with noncompete clauses that prevent them from working in the surrounding area.
As governors throughout the nation ease restrictions on businesses, Advanced Dermatology is opening its most profitable offices first. The company received an undisclosed sum under the Cares Act, as part of the government relief package intended for health-care workers. Hunt, Advanced's chief compliance officer, told employees in an email earlier this month that the money would be used for protective gear, such as masks, and to replace "millions of dollars" in lost revenue.
The group had closed most of its offices since the stay-at-home orders were issued in March, cutting pay for doctors and furloughing staff. With cities and states beginning to consider reopening, doctors and PAs say they've been told they should be prepared for a full schedule. Hunt says the company is following the appropriate safety measures, but employees fear it will be nearly impossible to keep patients apart in waiting rooms. Opening in a reduced capacity, they understand, is not an option.
Read more: Private Equity Ate Finance, and Now It's Taking Over the World
May 07, 2020 | www.zerohedge.comFormer Trump attorney John Dowd says it's "staggering" that former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's "so-called Dream Team would put on such a fraud," after the Wednesday release of the investigation's "scope memo" revealed that Mueller was tasked with investigating accusations from Clinton-funded operative Christopher Steele which the DOJ already knew were debunked . "In the last few days, I have been going back through my files and we were badly misled by Mueller and his senior people , particularly in the meetings that we had," Dowd told Fox News Radio host Brian Kilmeade on Thursday.
The scope memo also revealed that Mueller's authority went significantly beyond what was previously known - including "allegations that Carter Page committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government's efforts to interfere with the 2016 election for President of the United States, in violation of United States law," yet as John Solomon of Just The News noted on Wednesday - the FBI had already:
- fired Steele as an informant for leaking;
- interviewed Steele's sub-source, who disputed information attributed to him;
- ascertained that allegations Steele had given the FBI specifically about Page were inaccurate and likely came from Russian intelligence sources as disinformation;
- been informed repeatedly by the CIA that Page was not a Russian stooge but, rather, a cooperating intelligence asset for the United States government.
" There's no question it's a fraud I think the whole report is just nonsense and it's staggering that the so-called 'Dream Team' would put on such a fraud ," Dowd said, according to Fox News .
Dowd also discussed Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham's investigation into the origins of the Russia probe , which is expected to be wrapped up by the end of the summer.
"Durham has really got a load on his hands tracking all this down," Dowd said.
Durham was appointed last year by Attorney General Bill Barr to review the events leading up to Trump's inauguration. However, Durham has since expanded his investigation to cover a post-election timeline spanning the spring of 2017, when Mueller was appointed as special counsel. - Fox News
Dowd also circled back to a claim by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff that there was "direct evidence" that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election, despite the fact that transcripts of House Intelligence Committee interviews proving otherwise .
"Schiff doesn't release these interviews because they're going to make him a liar," said Dowd, adding "They're going to expose him and he'll be run out of town."
"He lied for months in the impeachment inquiry. He's essentially Nancy [Pelosi]'s liar and he's now going to be exposed."
May 06, 2020 | www.zerohedge.comAuthored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
America isn't the only country which is so corrupt as to stand at or near the top of the global coronavirus-infection rankings , but, as the June 2020 issue of The Atlantic headlines, "We Are Living in a Failed State: The coronavirus didn't break America. It revealed what was already broken." Why did this happen?
Virtually all other industrialized countries have social-welfare systems in place, such as health-insurance covering 100% of the population; and, consequently, the residents there don't lose their health insurance if they lose their job -- they therefore aren't desperate to show up for work even when they are sick or can spread an epidemic.
Americans generally are desperate to go to work even if they might be spreading the coronavirus-19. They need the pay and the insurance coverage in order to be able to buy medical care. If they don't pay for it they won't get it. So: whomever does show up for work might reasonably be especially inclined to fear likely to catch the disease from a co-worker there. This is one of the many reasons why socializing the healthcare function is vastly more efficient than leaving it to market forces .
On April 23rd, Reuters reported that, "U.S. workers who refuse to return to their jobs because they are worried about catching the coronavirus should not count on getting unemployment benefits, state officials and labor law experts say."
In such states, the unemployment-benefits system is being used as a cudgel so as to force employees back to work, and therefore to increase the percentage of the population who will become infected by the coronavirus-19.
Furthermore, prisons are among the institutions that especially increase the spread of an epidemic such as Covid-19. And the United States has a higher percentage of its residents in prison than does any other country in the world . In fact, almost all of the Americans who are in prison are poor (since 100% of the poor cannot afford a lawyer), and the poorer a person is, the likelier that the individual is to get coronavirus-19.
This is yet another reason why prisons are a prime place for the spread of the disease. And on April 26th, the New York Times headlined "As Coronavirus Strikes Prisons, Hundreds of Thousands Are Released: The virus has spread rapidly in overcrowded prisons across the world, leading governments to release inmates en masse." Since America has more of its population in prison than any other country does (lots more: whereas "The world prison population rate, based on United Nations estimates of national population levels, is 145 per 100,000" , America has 655 per 100,000, or 4.5 prisoners for every 1.0 prisoner in the entire world), America has vastly more production of coronavirus-19 that's generated by its being a police-state than any other country does -- and this isn't even taking into consideration the rotten, overburdened, health-care system, and the billionaire-propagandized public contempt for the poor, that characterize America's culture, and that make those prisons, perhaps, the worst amongst industrialized nations.
Furthermore, in America, "Approximately 95 percent of criminal cases are plea-bargained, in part because public defenders are too overwhelmed to take them to trial. 'That means the state never even has to prove you did anything. They hold all the cards.'" So, the Constitutional protections, such as trial-by-jury and all of the other on-paper protections, don't even apply, in reality, to at least 95% of criminal defendants. And, in many U.S. states, convicts -- and even ex -convicts -- aren't allowed to vote. America's billionaires also use many other ways to keep down the percentage of the poor who vote.
Taken all together (and to list the other details would fill a book), America's systematized intense discrimination against the poor constitutes virtually an invitation to this country's having exceptional vulnerability to any epidemic. The fact that America now has 33.3% of the world's coronavirus-19 cases , though only 4.2% of the world's population, is actually systemic, and not merely particular to this moment in this country, and in the entire world. Donald Trump, and the current U.S. Congress, are part of a system of oppression, not really exceptions to it (such as the billionaires' media pretend -- with Democratic billionaires blaming "the Republicans," and Republican billionaires blaming "the Democrats"). The way this Government performs is actually somewhat normal for this country since at least 1980 .
In addition, prior to the coronavirus challenge, both America and UK have been reducing, instead of increasing, their social protections; and, therefore, they were the only industrialized nations where life-expectancies were declining even before the coronavirus-19 hit. The recognition and concern about this decline started in UK, but has now started to be published even in the U.S.
British healthcare scholar Danny Dorling headlined at his "Political Insight" blog on 16 July 2016, "Austerity, Rapidly Worsening Public Health across the UK" and reported that "the UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS) released its latest annual mortality figures – on schedule. An unprecedented rise in mortality was reported which was revealed to have risen across all the countries of the UK." Then, on 8 July 2018, London's Daily Express bannered "Britain is the ONLY European country with a declining life expectancy – inquiry launched" . Then, on 8 March 2019, the blog of the British Medical Journal headlined "The deepening health crisis in the UK requires society wide, political intervention" and reported that UK's life-expectancy had been plunging since 2014. The BMJ then issued an article on 27 March 2020, "Things Fall Apart: the British Health Crisis 2010–2020" .
In other words: coronavirus hit UK at a time when the Government was already moving away from socializing and into privatizing health care; and, as a consequence, the death-rates had already started increasing in 2015. Coronavirus kills mainly people who already have bad health; and, so, their population were maximally vulnerable to it at the time when this epidemic struck.
Meanwhile, the same shortening of life-spans was also occurring in the U.S. On 29 November 2018, London's Daily Mail bannered "American life expectancy DROPS as suicides and drug overdoses soar and progress against heart disease grinds to a halt, CDC data reveal" . A year later, the JAMA Network headlined on 26 November 2019, "Life Expectancy and Mortality Rates in the United States, 1959-2017" and reported that "Between 1959 and 2016, US life expectancy increased from 69.9 years to 78.9 years but declined for 3 consecutive years after 2014." So: both UK and U.S. life-spans peaked in 2014. Unlike virtually all other nations, these two were declining in health.
Even prior to 2015, the U.S. was wasting around half of its entire public-and-private spending for health care -- it was the most inefficient healthcare system on the planet -- and therefore had significantly lower life-expectancies than all other industrialized countries did. But, now, those remarkably low life-spans are actually getting even lower.
Political-science studies that are based upon decades of reliably reported data have established that ever since around 1980, the United States has been a dictatorship: what the public wants (and even needs ) is basically ignored, but what the super-rich (the country's actual dictators) simply want becomes reflected in governmental policies. That's the very definition of a "dictatorship." The U.S. national Government is responsive to the wants of its billionaires, not to the needs of the public (such as protecting their health, education, and welfare, even when the billionaires don't want it to).The findings in one of these studies are summarized well in a six-minute video, here .
Although the billionaires who fund America's liberal Party, the Democratic Party, oppose the billionaires who fund the Republican Party (the conservative Party -- the one that's overtly in favor of the existing wealth-inequality), this is purely for PR purposes. Whenever the issue becomes their own wealth versus improving the wealth and economic opportunity for the poor, they all go for expanding their own empire (sometimes by funding a tax-exempt 'charity' that will increase, even more, their personal control over the total empire -- by using that tax-exemption to leverage the operation, which will be controlled by themselves instead of by the public tax-funded government). Such 'charities' are mainly tax-dodges.
However, in all countries, the people who are the most vulnerable to epidemics are the poor. This also means that the infection-rates and spreading of the disease are the highest amongst the poorest. And, in this epidemic, the interests of the super-rich are opposite to the interests of everybody else . And, since the U.S. Government has, for decades now, been serving predominantly the super-rich, instead of the public , the people who are the most at risk are also the most ignored.
This is even proud policy ('fiscal responsibility', etc.) in the Republican Party. Bailing-out investors is 'necessary', but bailing out employees and consumers is 'fiscally irresponsible'. For example, on April 27th, the Democrat David Sirota headlined "Red States Owe Workers More Than $500 Billion -- The GOP Is Trying to Steal The Money: Trump is boosting a McConnell plan to help states renege on promised retirement and health benefits to millions of workers and retirees." And he is correct.
However, his Party is going to be compromising with that (instead of adamantly refuse to accept it and then go on the political hustings shaming the Republican President and Congress-members so as to break them on their blatantly scandalous whoring to the entire billionaire-class, who want their investments to be bailed out before the public is -- which might turn out to be never). It's a "good cop, bad cop," routine, to protect the super-rich. It accepts holding the public hostage to what the big political donors want, instead of focuses against that as being the central political issue of the moment, and of at least post-1980 America.
This is 'democracy'-as-political-scam. For example: some of the Democratic billionaires, who fund anti-Trump ads, pretend to be Republicans , in order to be able to peel off some of Trump's Republican voters, and so are blaming Trump alone for America's catastrophically bad performance in the coronavirus-crisis .
They're just trying to deceive their suckers into voting for Joe Biden, or else not voting at all; and, so, their ad doesn't even so much as just mention Biden. It's a Biden ad that makes no mention of Biden. It hides its true motive. That's typical.
This is the reason why America is designed so as to fail the coronavirus-19 challenge. The power of big-money (concentrated wealth) is destroying this country. It controls both Parties and their respective media, so the public don't know (and certainly cannot understand) the types of realities that are being reported (and linked-to) here.
It's also the reason why Joe Biden's "plan" for dealing with the coronavirus epidemic is just as bad a joke on the voters as Trump's is. This is a failing country, which is failing in a bipartisan (both Republican and Democratic Party) way.
A "good cop, bad cop" government is, in reality, all bad cop.
(I therefore proposed an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in order to rectify some of the reasons behind this structural failure of the U.S. Government. Perhaps the only alternative to that would be violent revolution, but it would probably make things even worse, not better.)
desertboy , 23 minutes agoReign in Fact, 28 minutes ago
The fact [the existence of ] corporate prisons exist is pretty much an open declaration that we're a kleptocracy, run by the uniparty.youshallnotkill , 15 minutes ago
" The power of big-money (concentrated wealth) is destroying this country... This is 'democracy'-as-political-scam... "
No the scam is democracy itself. We give an EQUAL vote to children, imbeciles, hostiles, and those who don't even speak the language, while allowing wholesale vote-buying bribery of public unions.
No such system has ever thrived anywhere in the animal kingdom - equality without merit, or rule by will of the laziest, weakest and dumbest - no matter how small the "society", team, family, gang, union, band, corporation, religion or nation.
It can't and won't end well.Deep In Vocal Euphoria , 30 minutes ago
Democracy is not about efficiency but to keep a check on those in power. It preventing the concentration of powers. It all about checks and balances to preserve the citizens freedoms.
The fact that you don't understand these where basics of why we have a republic is testament to our failed school system.AVmaster , 30 minutes ago
Demoracy...usa was a constitutional republic..........Dragonlord , 1 minute ago
This hasn't been the american "design" since 23DEC1913......
America's design to disable the freedom of state secession has ruined it. As a result, we are facing the possibility of another civil war.
May 03, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
This is just a fight of two mafias. Flynn is far from hero anyway.Authored by 'Zman' via TheZman.com,
The case of General Flynn, which has dragged on for years now, may finally be reaching a denouement. He was charged with and pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI during the Russian collusion hoax. For reasons that have not been clear, he was never sentenced. Now it appears he may never see jail and will instead see his case dropped and his guilty plea vacated. New evidence shows he was framed by members of the FBI and Department of Justice.
As is standard procedure in this age, state media has been silent on the matter, but alternative media sources are reporting on the release of classified documents hidden by the government from Flynn's defense team in violation of the law. Thousands of documents held by his former defense team and hidden from Flynn and his new attorney's until now have also been released in what appears to be a damage control operation by the law firm Covington & Burling.
What these new FBI documents reveal is the FBI and Department of Justice carefully planned to entrap General Flynn by tricking him into making inaccurate statements about his activities during the campaign. They did this because they wanted to remove him from his post in the White House and hoped he could be manipulated into making accusations against other administrative officials. Then they systematically lied about what Flynn said to them in his interview with the FBI.
Compounding this is the fact that the FBI and Departmental of Justice systematically withheld all documents that could be used by Flynn in his defense. One way they did this was to hide them in the special counsel operation. This prevented anyone, not just Flynn's defense team, from discovering the plot. The sudden release of long withheld documents by Covington & Burling suggest they may have been part of the plot to entrap Flynn and get him to plead guilty to a crime.
At this stage, only a partisan fanatic thinks the principals in this whole Russian collusion caper were operating in good faith. You could make the argument that their behavior was unethical, but not necessarily illegal. Even if their actions violated the law, you could argue they did so in the belief they were within the bounds of the law. With these new revelations, it is clear they knew they were breaking the law in an effort to frame General Flynn as part of a much larger conspiracy.
One thing that is now confirmed with these new revelations is that the Special Counsel was always just part of a larger effort to cover-up this conspiracy. In fact, that was the whole point of it. The FBI and DOJ officials involved in the conspiracy would hide all of the evidence inside the counsel's operation. This would make it impossible for the defense lawyers to access and very difficult for Congress to access. It would also prevent the administration from looking into it.
Another outrageous aspect to this case is that it appears that Flynn's original defense team, Covington & Burling, may have been in on the plot to frame him. It's not all that clear at this point, but the best that can be said of their actions on behalf of their client is they are the worst law firm in the country. They exist because they have resources and know how things work in Washington. Despite this, they made the sorts of errors TV writers would find too ridiculous for a legal drama.
There's also the fact that this sort of behavior by the FBI and DOJ is business as usual, which underscores the corruption. This is not a couple of renegades. This is just how things are done by the government. They frame people for crimes then work to prevent them from getting a proper defense. The FBI has a long history of framing the innocent, but it was always confined to the field offices. Now it is clear that the institution is rotten from the head to the tail. It is hopelessly corrupt.
It is also increasingly clear that the weaselly Rod Rosenstein was the man tasked with orchestrating the cover-up after the election. He manipulated Sessions and Trump into firing Comey and then agreeing to the Mueller charade. The only purpose to that operation was to cover up the illegal spying. Then there is Comey, who claimed under oath to be the guy who ordered the Flynn investigation. He may have arrogantly admitted to initiating multiple Federal crimes.
Of course, the big question in all of this is whether Washington is so hopelessly corrupt that none of this amounts to anything. In banana republics, the judge in the case would be assassinated or intimidated into ignoring the facts and sentencing Flynn to jail. We may not be there yet, but the lack of any substantive investigation into the FBI corruption suggests no one will be charged with anything. The principals in this scandal are now in high six figure positions in Washington, living the good life.
Now, it is possible that Bill Barr was not prepared for the scale of corruption that has been revealed in this case . He may have truly thought it was a few bad apples that went off on their own. Once the scale of the corruption was known, he had to change course and bring in outside help. It's just as possible that he is part of the problem. He is friends will most of these people. His role in this could simply be part of the how Washington is neutralizing Trump and preparing him for expulsion.
There is one puzzle that gets no attention. Why would the government keep delaying Flynn's sentencing after he agreed to the deal? They said he was cooperating, but he had nothing to offer them and they knew it. Perhaps he was just a prop to maintain the greater narrative of the Russian hoax. By dragging out his process they could feed fake news to state media, claiming it was from Flynn. That's seems to be a too cute by half, given the reality in Washington, but it is possible.
Ineptitude is always a possibility. There's also the fact that highly corrupt institutions tend to have lots of internal intrigue and conflict. The old line about thieves sticking together is a myth. The corrupt man has no honor. As a result, the last stage for the corrupt institution is when the people inside beginning to scheme against one another to the point where they undermined their mutual efforts. Maybe that's where things are in Washington now. It's just one big game of liar's poker.
xxx Radiant. 3 minutes ago
What did Flynn plead guilty to?
"Now, it is possible that Bill Barr was not prepared for the scale of corruption that has been revealed in this case."
Really? Anyone who has been in Washington awhile must realize how things are there.
Anyway, remove those people from their posts, allow them their benefits and pensions and let them keep their security clearance. That will teach them a lesson.
May 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
vk , Apr 30 2020 1:32 utc | 87@ Posted by: fairleft | Apr 30 2020 0:47 utc | 81/ @ Posted by: Russ | Apr 30 2020 0:50 utc | 82
You both lack critical thinking when analyzing sources.
First of all, we live in the age of the academia. Never before in the history of humanity, becoming a scientist was so easy. Most Americans, for example, can have a college degree. Many can pursue a Ph.D.
But that doesn't mean they are all high quality - or even real scientists. Science was somewhat democratized, but not because the capitalists are science-loving neoathenians. No, they democratized through massification, commodification: you pay to play and you pay to win.
Unless you have a chair in one of the top universities around the capitalist world, your average Ph.D. is probably a semi-unemployed peon who needs to publish periodically in order to receive a grant from the university and/or attract funds (generally, from big business). He/she will also probably not be working on his/her own research, but on a research of a local top dog. Frequently - because of publication quotas and the desperate need to attract sponsorships from the private sector - modern scientists resort to full-fledged absurd extrapolations and outright adulteration of their experiments (which often include lying).
The volume of published research nowadays is so big that universal consensus is all but impossible. You'll always be able to find some 50-100 Ph.D.s who'll be against any quarantine effort, or in favor of a half-baked quarantine. For example, I can find many legitimate Ph.D.s who obtained their degrees defending eugenics and the concept of race in Anthropology.
That's why finding an academic who goes against the tide is not definitive evidence against the enforced scientific consensus. That's why there is a concept of scientific consensus in the first place.
And what the scientific consensus about the measures against the COVID-19 tells us - what the doctors on the front line, who are putting their degrees on the line of fire, as millions of lives are in their hands - is that what happened in Wuhan is the gold standard. The more restrictive the quarantine, the better; no one in, no one out. The chief Italian doctor in charge of the whole mess in his country, when answering the reporter's question about what Italy should've done differently, was blunt: we should've imitated Wuhan, regardless of the petit-bourgeois crying and moaning about "the economy".
Pft , Apr 30 2020 3:21 utc | 103Vk
Many of you see the evils of Capitalism gone bad. For some reason you seem unable to fathom that Science has been captured by the worst sort of Capitalism, as is the Public Health agencies you rely on for statistics on diseases and health
Medicine is dominated by corporate interests -- physicians, academic institutions, and government agencies -- whose financial interests are intertwined with drug and vaccine manufacturers. Physicians, professional associations, medical institutions, and government agencies are collaborating partners in the business of medicine in Public-Private Partnerships
The government and industry have a cozy relationship and the public health arena offers no exception. One aspect of this: the revolving door. There are many examples. One is Julie Gerberding, the former head of the CDC, resigned from her government-appointed position in January 2009 and was named the president of Merck Vaccines in December 2009. Gerberding began her new job in January 2010, one year after leaving the CDC, which is the minimum amount of time she was legally required to wait before joining an industry that she previously regulated. It is clear that Dr. Gerberding received a professional reward for expanding universal immunization policies and, in effect, pharmaceutical company profits, for marginalizing the plight of victims of adverse reactions to vaccines. In January Julie sold off close to 10 million of her Merck Stock. Half of her holdings in Merck alone.
The National Science Foundation was established in 1950 and began disbursing grants for basic scientific research.
The government began throwing money at basic research and thus transformed it into a bureaucracy. Research became high-tech-and incredibly expensive.
In 1961 Eisenhower warned at the same time he warned of the MIC that this could result in the capture of the nation by a (pseudo) scientific-technocratic elite. Indeed this elite has become a branch of the MIC.
The first scientific journal... began publication in 1665. By 1800 there were 100 journals; by 1900, 10,000 journals. By 1986, an unreadable total of nearly 140,000 papers were being published each year just by U.S. scientists,about one-third of the world total. Today that number is 2.5 million, and a total of 50 million since 1665
Most of these journals depend on industry for advertising revenues to keep them alive. In Medicine Big Pharma provides most of their revenue. They are careful not to publish anything that might offend Big Pharma. This is true outside medicine as well.
Such overgrowth in scientific ranks produces regression to the
mean. Competition among large numbers of scientists for one or a few central sources of funding restricts freedom of thought and action to a mean that appeals to the majority. The scientist who is very productive, most able to sell research, and well liked for not offending his peers with new hypotheses and ideas is selected by
his peers for funding. These peers cannot afford a nonconformist, or unpredictable, thinker because every new, alternative hypothesis is a potential threat to their own line of research.
Consensus science not Science. Driven by vast infusions of federal and commercial money, it has grown into an enormous and powerful bureaucracy that greatly amplifies its successes and mistakes all the while stifling dissent. Such a process can no longer be called science, which by definition depends on self-correction by internal challenge and debate.
Albert Einstein would not get funded for his work by the peer review system, and Linus Pauling did not (for his work on vitamin C and cancer even though he received two Nobel Prizes). The only benefit of the numerous cascades of competitive tests and reviews set up by peer review is the elimination of unsophisticated charlatans and real incompetence. In sum, the review of too many by too many achieves but one result with certainty: regression to the mean. As these armies of new scientists flood the peer review system, they even act to suppress any remaining dissension by the few remaining thoughtful researchers.
Peer review can never check the accuracy of experimental data; it can only censor unacceptable interpretations. A scientist's grants, publications, positions, awards, and even invitations to conferences are entirely controlled by his competitors. As in any other profession, no scientist welcomes being out competed or
having his pet idea disproved by a colleague.
Few scientists are any longer willing to question, even privately, the consensus views in any field whatsoever.
NIH research grants not only fund some in-house labs, but they now provide the basic source of funding for universities and other institutes, including research
conducted in other nations. Half the total federal research spending on universities and colleges for all subjects combined is now provided by the NIH. NIH grants have now become a major source of income for the larger and increasingly dependent universities. According to a 1990 article in the Journal of NIH Research, "When NIH sneezes, it is the academic community that catches cold."
Academic science was not content with grants , so they sought profits and wealth. The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 was written to make it easier for federally funded academic research to receive patent protection that would allow the ready licensing of the of valuable R&D to private businesses. It has enabled university technology transfer offices all over the world to generate billions of dollars of licensing revenue - especially in the life sciences -- by licensing patents from federally funded university research to corporate partners. Bayh-Dole has effectively turned research into big business for many universities and transformed technology transfer offices into important profit centers at academic institutions all over the world.
Dave Eggers' gem of a book, "A Hologram for the King," is a parable about the decadence, fragility and heartlessness of late, decayed corporate capitalism. It is about the small, largely colorless men and women who serve as managers in our suicidal outsourcing of manufacturing jobs and the methodical breaking of labor unions. It is about the lie of globalization, a lie that impoverishes us all to increase corporate profits.
"A Hologram for the King" tells the story of Alan, a lackluster 54-year-old consultant who is desperately trying to snag one final big contract in Saudi Arabia for Reliant, a corporation that is "the largest I.T. supplier in the world," to save himself from financial ruin. Alan has come to realize that managers like him who made outsourcing possible will be discarded as human refuse now that the process is complete, left to wander like ghosts-or holograms-among the ruins. And Eggers' novel is a subtle, deft and poignant look at the horrendous toll this corporate process takes on self-esteem, on family, on health, on community and finally on the nation itself. It does so, like parables from Greek tragedy or George Orwell, by finding the perfect story to make a point that is universal.
Company lacks consistent leadership, 'cohesive strategy,' Yahoo exec writes Eric Auchard Today's Top Stories or
November 20, 2006 (Reuters) -- Yahoo Inc. needs a dramatic organizational shake-up and cuts in its workforce of up to 20%, according to an internal memo written last month by Senior Vice President Brad Garlinghouse.
Garlinghouse, a second-tier Yahoo executive who has taken increasingly powerful roles in the company since joining three and a half years ago, argued that Yahoo suffers from a lack of consistent leadership, business focus and a "single cohesive strategy."
"We lack a focused, cohesive vision for our company," Garlinghouse wrote. "We want to do everything and be everything -- to everyone."
The document was published in the Saturday edition of The Wall Street Journal. A Yahoo spokesman confirmed the authenticity of the memo, but declined to comment directly on details contained in the memo or in the newspaper story.
The Journal story also describes rumors that Chief Operating Officer Dan Rosensweig and Chief Financial Officer Sue Decker could be elevated to become co-presidents, in preparation for the retirement of Chairman and CEO Terry Semel, 64, who joined Yahoo five years ago.
The call for restructuring follows a series of embarrassments that have caused Yahoo shares to lose 31.5% of their value so far this year. It is struggling with a slowdown in parts of its advertising business while racing to keep pace with far-faster-growing rival Google Inc.
The memo -- known as "the peanut butter manifesto" because it compares Yahoo's investment strategy with spreading peanut butter too thinly on bread -- argues for a "radical reorganization" of the 12-year-old Internet media giant.
Job cuts urged
"I hate peanut butter," Garlinghouse wrote.
The executive said the company should cut its workforce by 15% to 20% as part of a plan to reshape its current business-unit structure and eliminate the bureaucratic duplication of functions that exist across Yahoo.
The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company has nearly 10,000 employees worldwide.
"There are so many people in charge (or believe that they are in charge) that it's not clear if anyone is in charge," Garlinghouse said.
"I believe we must embrace our problems and challenges and that we must take decisive action," the memo states bluntly.
Garlinghouse named a variety of duplicative groups that pit established business units against new initiatives, including music, photos, search, applications, social networks, global strategy and even who controls the Yahoo home page.
In a statement, Yahoo's leadership has defined three areas of focus for its business.
During the company's quarterly financial conference call last month, Semel described efforts to close the gap with Google in how much revenue it generates from its search business, increase its lead in brand advertising and get a jump on emerging markets like video, mobile and social networks.
"The memo itself highlights that we have an open, collaborative culture and a senior management team that is intensely committed to helping Yahoo fulfill its potential as an Internet leader," the statement said.
The Journal said the memo has received support from Yahoo senior management and that Garlinghouse had been asked to lead an internal committee to investigate the issues he raised.
"All is not well," Garlinghouse wrote. The memo itself was written in response to an Oct. 11 New York Times article that he described as "a painful public flogging."
"While it lacked accurate details, its conclusions rang true, and thus was a much needed wake-up call," the Yahoo executive wrote. "It's time for us to get back up." Philip Greenspun's site has the following quotation [greenspun.com]:
See Charles Ferguson's High Stakes, No Prisoners [amazon.com] (1999) for a longer explanation of how hired-gun CEOs manage to kill software products companies.
Since that page was written, there have been other examples.
Machiavelli - On Troops and Mercenaries (Score:5, Insightful)
by sun2day (jamespagetemp@@@yahoo...com) on Friday October 25, @07:21AM (#4528473)
(User #587146 Info)
This happened to me. What I would recommend anybody in a similar situation is to read Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince. The book is advice to Princes of small states in Italy in how they should keep control of their states. It was written 500 years ago – but equally applies to Software Start-ups. It is most famous for the quote the "The end justifies the means".
Any venture capital company should read the chapter "On Troops and Mercenaries" – substitute – Mercenary for Hired Gun Management. Machiavelli say's "Mercenaries and auxiliaries are useless and dangerous" – further on he says "they [Mercenaries] are brave among friends [read the board and head-hunters]; among enemies they are cowards ……… they keep no faith with men; and your downfall is deferred only so long as the attack is deferred; and in peace you are plundered by them, in war by your enemies."
Basically what Machiavelli goes on to say is that troops don't really fight for money, but for vision and belief in the Prince. If an employee does not believe that the CEO is in for the long haul why should he be?
I did OK money wise, but this did not stop me going into massive depression for about a year after I was replaced. It feels like somebody messing up your toys….
Ricochet (Metricom) (Score:2, Insightful)
by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, @08:19AM (#4528652)
Having worked at Metricom at the time of the "management change", I watched as the core founders and technologists (many of whom were still in engineering, some of whom were management but continued to provide expertise/experience) who developed the Ricochet get pushed out by the fast ripple of change brought on by Vulcan Ventures' appointments. I followed suit, watching the sh*t roll downhill and hoping to dodge it (which I did, successfully...although I left before the big MCI stock jump, wah. No options exercising for me!)
Then again, can't be as bad as a company I later worked for -- 22 VP's ran a ~100 person company (and multiple directors had no employees they directed.)
There are certainly examples of successful companies that ousted their founders (Cisco being probably one of the biggest successes.) The question is, what would Cisco have been if the founders were kept?
Generally, engineers (and scientists) make poor managers, but engineers and scientists can make senior researchers/architects/designers alongside the MBA's to make sure the books add up and the sales force brings in business. Most VC's, as the author pointed out, are looking for quick profit and bumping off the people with the $.25/share options and seniority is a quick way to make it.
Easier to fail than to succeed (Score:4, Interesting)
by salesgeek on Friday October 25, @08:34AM (#4528723)
(User #263995 Info)
I really like Cringley's article. That said there's something important that was left out:
The wealth of a business owner does not come from income but from the value of his or her stake in the business. Ultimately this wealth is "paper" wealth untill the company is sold.
That means if it is best for owners to sell, they'll "package" the company for sale (this often involves actually reducing the value of the company to a level that someone will buy it). What's more, a lot of the actions that appear shortsighted are acutally long term maneuvers to sell out. Closing down R&D to make your books look attractive is one way to do this. With businesses, "let the buyer beware" is the rule, not the exception.
One condition that universally sucks is when something happens that makes it appear that the owners of a company's wealth is at risk. Then owners pressure managers to make shortsighted decisions to protect their wealth and often attempt to prematurely sell the company. The results are often mass layoffs and the buyer gets a firm that is cancerous and consumes their company or personal wealth as well.
At present I own a company. I know my employees will not like it when I decide to sell it. I can't guarantee that they will all come out ahead, but I'll try my best. The reason I started this company was to build it up, and then sell it so that I and my fellow investors could get rich. My employees benefit by having great jobs and some, through ownership options, will be rewarded when the sale happens.
Much of this is because of the Stock Market (Score:5, Insightful)
by wowbagger on Friday October 25, @08:55AM (#4528828)
(User #69688 Info | http://slashdot.org/~wowbagger/journal/ | Last Journal: Monday October 21, @11:14AM)
Much of the management behaviors decried in Cringley's article are due to the way the Stock Market works today.
The original idea behind stock was as a way for the company to get money to grow. The stock buyer was counting on getting an annuity - the dividends of the stock. As a result, the upper bound on the current value of the stock was set by the interest rate and the dividends the company paid out - if the interest rate was 10%, and the stock paid $1 in dividends per year, then if the stock cost less than $10/share it was undervalued. If the stock cost more than $10/share, you would do better to invest your money in a bank.
Thus, stock holders were looking at the long term - what is the company doing to increase the dividends?
But then people noticed that if they could make a short-term change in the expected return on the stock, the current value would move. Thus, they began to change the short-term operations of the company, to change the estimated dividends (and thus the current price of the stock), then SELL and move on.
Thus stocks became trading cards, and the current era began. Buy into a company, manipulate the stock price, sell, repeat. (OK, PROFIT! there, I said it, you don't have to.)
Now, consider this - What if the capital gains tax worked like this:
If the gain is realized in less than 6 months, then the gain is taxed at 90%.
If the gain is realized in 6 months to 1 year, then the gain is taxed at 75%.
If the gain is realized in 1 year to 5 years, then the gain is taxed at 50%.
If the gain is realized in more than 5 years, then the gain is taxed at 0% (i.e. not taxed).
Now, consider these scenarios:
You buy into an IPO, sell when the stock peaks a month later, sell. You get nailed for 90%. Since that is the case, there would be MUCH less demand for the stock, and it wouldn't shoot up so much.
You buy into a company, manipulate the stock price by gutting it, and pop that golden parachute a year and a day later. You get nailed to the tune of 50%. You are STILL discouraged from these games.
You buy a house. Five years later, you move from Silly-con Valley to Wyoming, and from a $500,000 house to a $250,000 ranch. You pocket the $250,000, since it isn't taxed.
I was watching a show several years ago on PBS, wherein a representative of the Federal Reserve was debating a person who's position was "The Fed should just leave the damn interest rates alone and let the market correct itself." The Fed guy said "But we have all this information, and it would be wrong for us not to provide feedback to the system".
When he said "feedback to the system" I had an epiphany - I am an electrial engineer, control systems are something I've studied at length. Unlike an economist, engineers are trained in mathematical tools to examine systems for stability. One of the things that will make a system unstable is too much lag from stimulus to feedback response - it's called "phase margin". The economy has a very LARGE phase lag - making a change to interest rates today will not take effect tomorrow. Also, there is "gain margin" or frequency response - the higher the frequency response the faster the system will react, but too much will cause oscillation. Systems with a large phase lag need to have a very low bandwidth, or they will oscillate. What my proposed cap gains tax would do is reduce the bandwidth of the system by reducing the gain at high frequencies.
Now, you can apply a simple check to my proposal - who will it piss off? The Republicans won't like it, since it prevents the very sort of short-term market manipulation that makes money for fatcats. The Democrats won't like it, because it allows middle-class folks to make money long term (so they can retire without relying on the government for assistance).
And I assert that anything that pisses off both the Republicans and Democrats cannot be a bad thing.
Small company's fate (Score:5, Interesting)
by mikewas (email@example.com) on Friday October 25, @08:57AM (#4528840)
(User #119762 Info | http://slashdot.org/)
I signed on to a very small privately held company several years ago. It had survived a number of years, reinventing itself as necessary. A good place to work, interesting engineering, good relationship with customers & suppliers. It was fun.
Then we went public, lots of money burned, but the product didn't fly high, and the grey-haired managers showed up. The VCs & large institutional investors that now controlled the company brought in management to wring as much money out of the company as possible. Since we weren't a high flyer the large investors didn't care about keeping us alive anymore, they just wanted as much money as possible extracted from it.
By this point I had bailed, I didn't like the way things were going. As fate would have it, I jumped from the frying pan into the fire, but that's another story.
It survived for a few more years. Pieces of the company were spun off & sold off. The large investors had gotten a sweet deal on stock, but had to hold it for a several years. A few months after they could legally sell it I noticed the company's stock skyrocket -- then drop
.... for 3 days it rachetted up on low volume then dropped on high volume. Several times the outstanding share volume changed hands over those few days.
By the end of that year the company was dissolved
Maximising Shareholders Value (Score:2, Insightful)
by noelwelsh on Friday October 25, @09:28AM (#4529007)
(User #146318 Info)
One of the essential problems is that, by law the management are required to maximise shareholder's value. There are lots of things that management can do that will increase shareholder's value (i.e. the value of the stock) in the short-term but may be detrimental over the long-term. Acquiring other companies is a typical action. Alternatively they might try to boost profit in the short-term by slashing staff or research budgets and then angling for a buy-out by a big multinational. All these things are easily defensible. The stock goes up, the shareholder's see their "value" increase and everyone is happy.
On the other hand we have long-term actions such as basic research that are far harder to justify to shareholders used to the instant returns of recent years.
If the stock market has less speculators we'd probably see less of the fast money which in term might lead to shareholder's valuing long term actions more. However there will always be people who attempt to make short-term returns, and while this is the case there will always be the urge to cash-in as soon as possible.
Ars Digita a classic example of Cringley's point (Score:3, Interesting)
by aquarian on Friday October 25, @09:33AM (#4529034)
(User #134728 Info)
The Ars Digita story is a classic example of what Cringely is talking about- a company run into the ground by "professional" managers brought in by the VCs. Here's the story, as told by one of the company's founders:
Even though it's "just one side of the story," the consensus is that it's pretty close to what really happened.
In the end, the VCs cut a deal with Redhat, who hired a few of Ars' staff to make it look like the company was successfully sold. Fortunately, Ars' great products live on as open source software, OpenACS [openacs.org], and Redhat's CCM [arsdigita.com]. Though Ars' incompetent management pushed CCM as the next, great version of their software, it was never more than vaporware. Redhat has continued to develop it, but it's still not finished.
The New Feudalism (Score:5, Insightful)
by FeloniousPunk on Friday October 25, @05:35AM (#4528285)
(User #591389 Info)
Sometimes I have the feeling that the modern American workplace has regressed into a sort of feudal structure, where management is the aristocracy. The MBA is like a patent of nobility, and once you've got it, you're of the blood, and must never again really worry about your existence. If you toady to higher ranking nobility, you'll get a fief (management job) of your own complete with productive serfs (programmers, etc). If your fief is big enough, you can parcel out sub fiefs (lower tier management) to lower nobles (your business school/ frat chums) and be a liege lord.
And just like back in the day during feuds and other conflicts nobles who lost were almost always treated well by the victors and often were offered chances to switch allegience, today you can easily climb into a good job even if your company tanks (lacking a distinct skill set, managers are fungible; just look at the utterly disparate types of businesses that many CEOs have managed in their careers) and if that fails, there's always the golden parachute.
Back in the day, there were rarely serious consequences to the behavior of nobility as long as it didn't involve treachery towards those above you, and today this seems to be so with our manager class, at least as far as business decisions go. Being noble was enough.
Re:The New Feudalism (Score:5, Interesting)
by Yokaze on Friday October 25, @07:02AM (#4528443)
(User #70883 Info)
Are the world class managers actually MBAs? Does a MBA make you to some "liege lord"? This is the assumption most aspiring MBA seem to have.
Let's have a look at some world class companies.
The management board of Daimler-Chrysler:
1x Engineering and Economics
1x Engineering and MBA
John Palmisano, President of IBM, is has graduated with a Bachelor in social and behavioural sciences.
Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Chairman of the Board, has a bachelor in engineering and a MBA.
The first non-engineer CEO at Sony was Nobuyuki Idei, in 1995. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics.
The president of Sony from 1989 to 1995 was Norio Фga, graduate of Tфkyф National University of Fine Arts and Music.
The prime requisit of the best managers are very good social skills and a good judgement. A good knowledge of economics is plus, without doubt, but a good knowledge of the matter at hand, too.
Of course, this doesn't negate your quite correct observation, that there are several managers, which jump of the sinking ship, with their "golden parachute".
It makes me wonder, how many of those managers are MBAs.
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Re:The New Feudalism (Score:2)
by sql*kitten on Friday October 25, @08:19AM (#4528654)
(User #1359 Info | http://www.kitten.org.uk/)
The MBA is like a patent of nobility, and once you've got it, you're of the blood, and must never again really worry about your existence.
Ha ha ha. You're very funny. Banks and consulting firms are laying off MBAs left right and center. I don't know whether NYC or London has more unemployed MBA/sq km, but they're both pretty high. Lots of people are even leaving the MBA off their CVs now, leading to embarassing silences when you interview them and ask about the gap in their employment history.
This sort of nonsense might go over well with people who've already decided that they hate corporations and everything about the capitalist system, but it's not backed by a shred of truth. You might as well say that an MS in CS makes someone one of the tech nobility and these people make all the tech decisions - it simply isn't true.
The flip side (Score:5, Insightful)
by Savage-Rabbit on Friday October 25, @06:07AM (#4528338)
(User #308260 Info)
To be fair to managers, not all of them are complete gits. To for a technology company to suceed it is not enaugh for it to be run by a 24 carat geek with a high as it gets IQ and who loves to hakck code etc... I have seen a number of companies end up living of 2-3 projects, often all of these projects are financed by the same sposor and when that sponsor needs to downsize... Well what you get then is what the Germans are getting now, as Siemens, BMW, MBB and others cancel projects and we see 45000 bankrupcys happen in one year, which in Germany is a post WWII record. What is really needed is a bunch of geeks, marketing people and managers working together. Then and only then will a company do well. If you take a look at alot of those companies he cites as examples of companies who have not been managed to death it is either because their leadersip is well balaced in these three departments or because they happen to have a leader who has a flair for more than just the tecchnical side but also marketing and management.
Professionalism can be a barrier to entry, though (Score:5, Insightful)
by Interrobang on Friday October 25, @10:30AM (#4529551)
(User #245315 Info | Last Journal: Friday October 25, @03:23PM)
That's true, but it's always nice to get into a field on the ground floor. See, one of the problems with professionalism (in the sense of a field's "going professional" and creating, for instance, professional managers) is that it raises the bar for entry, sometimes far too high.
For instance, I'm pretty sure it was a lot easier to get started in business 100 years or so ago -- you had a trade, and you did it, and "managing" wasn't something that you did as a career, it was something that you did to enable yourself to do all that other stuff you wanted to do (say, in Walt Disney's case, making cartoons).
Now, with so many fields professionalizing so rapidly, it's very hard to get into them at all unless you've got the appropriate professional credentials and/or (usually and) experience. (Oh, yeah, having friends in high places helps too.) Woe betide you if you don't have these things, because you will suddenly find yourself having to be twice as good as the existing competition to even get into the field, which can be tough when you're competing against people with 20 years' experience.
And sometimes having your field taken over by august sages and avocationists is not a good thing, either. To use an example I'm most familiar with, look at how dynamic, prolific and vibrant SF publishing was in the 1960s and 1970s. Now that it's been professionalized and commoditized so much, all that dynamism, exuberance (and not necessarily even youthful exuberance), and prolificness (prolixity? although not in the strictest literary sense) has gone out, and it's damn near impossible for a newcomer (of any age) to get published.
All fields need newcomers, beginners, and dabblers, so professionalism is not necessarily a good thing 100% of the time, especially since the trend lately in technology (and other fields) has been to refine, as opposed to innovate. Where are the innovators going to come from, if we don't encourage people to start doing something? You'd be surprised what novel approaches the "beginner mind" can come up with. Ask me about it sometime...
Death imminent (Score:4, Informative)
by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, @05:24AM (#4528259)
I work for a major Dutch cable company, in the tech support department. About two years ago, we had about 10,000 customers, built up over a year or two, and were therefore relatively small. Service was fairly good (except for a bad choice in cable modem systems), and improving.
Then the mother company, French, decided that they wanted to sell us. So, they set a goal for 100,000 customers by the end of the year. That's a lot of growth. Somewhere down the line, they even hired to consulting managers (*expensive*!) to guide tech support and the like.
The result is obviously guessed: The company is now nearly bankrupt, though a buyer has been found ("Look! Over 100,000 customers!"), and the layoffs have begun to keep the company afloat long enough for fresh capital.
They destroyed a perfectly functioning company that could have handled quite a bit of painless expansion, simply to increase its value for a sale. Can someone explain to me why this sort of thing would be good for the economy?
The Case Against Professionalism
How We Have Managed Industry Almost to Death
By Robert X. Cringely
Two weeks ago in this column, we were lamenting the decline of industrial basic research, and last week, it was the decline of science at all in the absence of threats like Hitler and Stalin. But this week, in the culmination of our tragedies of the technical, we lay blame for both phenomena where it clearly and obviously belongs -- on the shriveled hearts and addled brains of professional management. We have managed our technical industries almost to death.
It is easy to forget that professionalism is the enemy of the high-tech startup. If these companies were operated by professionals, they would never have been founded. Nor would a professional tolerate the conditions necessary for startup survival. Michael Eisner never emptied a wastebasket at work, but I'll bet Walt Disney did.
Here is a scene that happens at some point in almost every young company. The founder/CEO/technical visionary meets with his board and finds him or herself out of a job. How could this happen? Well, the company has grown to the point where the board feels that "professional management" is required, so they are bringing in a new management team. The new team is composed of old friends and classmates of the board, and the new team costs five to 10 times as much, but that's okay because the company is "hiring for growth." This new team cuts staff, cuts costs and outsources everything that can be outsourced, with the result that earnings are improved and the stock goes up or the company makes itself look better for an Initial Public Offering. The professional managers get big bonuses, they exercise mountains of stock options, sell those option shares, then go on to some other, even bigger, job having "saved" the company, which then stagnates, goes into a slow decline, and is eventually acquired by a competitor.
In the PC industry, this is the path followed by almost every company. On the software side look at Borland, Broderbund, Personal Software, Lotus, WordPerfect and hundreds of others. The similarly afflicted hardware companies are so many that the names become a blur. All these companies, even though some of their names may remain, are effectively dead. Certainly, they bear no resemblance at all to what they once were. And every one of these companies had something else in common: At the time their management was displaced, they were profitable and had money in the bank.
So what happened? Well, in some cases the founders were at fault and should properly have been replaced, but in many cases it was something very different at work -- simple greed on the part of the financiers and venture capitalists. Here is the same scenario from the perspective of the typical VC member of the board. The founder is no longer doing exactly as he or she is told. The company is moving toward an IPO or the stock is not performing to the satisfaction of the larger shareholders. So the founder is forced out, then his or her shares are diluted to make room for the new managers, who are cronies of the financiers. This dilution eliminates the founder as a voice of opposition. The stock price is pushed up, the board sells out, the new management leaves, and nothing of the original company remains.
Sometimes the result of the ensuing crash can have effects beyond belief. The Learning Company, for example, pretty much destroyed the U.S. consumer software business in the 1990s, and then went on to destroy the U.S. toy industry as well by taking down mighty Mattel. Now THAT's professional managment.
This is all a trick promulgated by people who do not in any way care about the company or its people. But visit most any business school and what I just described is taught in case studies as examples of good management. It is maximizing shareholder value, they'll say.
Pity the poor MBAs, for they know not what they do, nor do they seem to care.
In the last two weeks, I've been hearing from people who spent decades at places like IBM and AT&T Bell Labs only to be laid off or have their division sold. Some saw it coming years before, like the IBMer who noticed in 1986 that the company was cutting back subscriptions to technical journals for its library. He immediately began looking for a new career. But most just felt an increasing ache as their company slowly changed into something they no longer liked.
This might not matter if it didn't also mean that our long-term competitiveness is threatened by such shortsighted action. Seeking short-term gains, we have sacrificed not just the futures of our enterprises, but also their characters. Often all that's left is the logo.
Here's one example from a jaded reader:
"In 1965, I went to work for Celanese Chemical Company as a Mechanical Engineer. In 1971, I was transferred to their research center in Corpus Christi."
"This center was never really noted for basic research. Instead, their forte was to really improve a process that had been licensed from some other company and also to figure out how to purify a chemical better than any other company could. As an example, Celanese licensed a process from Monsanto to make methanol. Over a span of many years, the process was drastically improved and the improvements were covered with patents. It got to the point where Monsanto almost couldn't recognize what we had and we greatly outperformed their own plant."
"Each of our chemists was given a little time each week to work on something that caught his/her fancy. One of them came up with a novel approach to the manufacture of acetominophine (Tylenol). This led to the extension of the basic chemistry and on to the most efficient and cost effective way to manufacture ibuprofen (Advil). Commercial plants were built for both and, at one time, the ibuprofen plant was supplying most, if not all, of the North American and European markets."
"Hoechst A.G., who owned Celanese at the time, decided in 1997 that the research center cost too much. They wanted to specialize in pharmaceuticals. A massive layoff followed. The center was kept open, but with a greatly reduced staff. Last year, it was announced that even the little remaining was too expensive and it would be totally shuttered by the end of 2002."
"There will be no further research for Celanese on process improvement, new markets, cheaper ways to run existing processes, etc. If I owned Celanese stock, I'd sell it because the company will be down the drain in 10 to 15 years."
Think about it. From the perspective of the Hoescht executive who decided to close the Corpus Christi plant AND FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF HIS OR HER CAREER, shutting down that research center was absolutely the right thing to do. It improved the appearance of corporate performance at a cost that won't be felt for years. And when that cost is felt, it won't felt by Hoechst at all, since Celanese has been spun-off and is on its own.
Does current Celanese management even know what they had in that Corpus Christi research center? Probably not, because any sense of corporate history has probably been lost.
We're lucky in the computer industry that the companies are young and many of them are still run by their founders. I may not always agree with what Scott McNealy does as CEO of Sun Microsystems, but I know McNealy understands what Sun is about because he was there at the beginning and built the first few Sun workstations by hand. Certainly, as long as Microsoft and Dell and Oracle and Adobe have been around, there has been a founder at the helm, and it shows. Love them or hate them, at least these companies have identifiable characters.
And sometimes, that combination of technical expertise and business success combines to create something even greater -- an organization that has a love of learning for its own sake. That's what appears to be happening at Research In Motion, makers of the Blackberry handheld e-mail appliance, where three of the top corporate officers have put $120 million of those shrunken Canadian dollars -- their own money, not the company's -- into the study of particle physics.
Maybe there is hope after all.
Nov 28, 2019 | 112.international
Trump's ex-Russia adviser received death threats after testifying in impeachment hearings, - The GuardianFiona Hill has been subjected to a campaign of harassment and intimidation 16:22, 9 November 2019 Open source
The former top Russia expert at the White House has said she has been subjected to a campaign of harassment and intimidation, including death threats, which reached a new peak after she agreed to testify in congressional impeachment hearings, The Guardian reports.
Fiona Hill, who was the senior director for Europe and Russia in the National Security Council (NSC) said other NSC staff had been "hounded out" by threats against them, including antisemitic smears linking them to the liberal financier and philanthropist, George Soros, a hate figure on the far right.
In her testimony to Congress, Hill described a climate of fear among administration staff.
The UK-born academic and biographer of Vladimir Putin said that the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was the target of a hate campaign, with the aim of driving her from her post in Kyiv, where she was seen as an obstacle to some corrupt business interests.
Yovanovitch was recalled from Ukraine in May on Trump's orders. In a 25 July conversation with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Trump described Yovanovitch as "bad news" and predicted she was "going to go through some things". The former ambassador has testified she felt threatened by the remarks.
Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, led calls for Yovanovitch's dismissal, as did two of Giuliani business associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. All three are under scrutiny in hearings being held by House committees looking at Trump's use of his office to put pressure on the Ukrainian government to investigate his political opponents.
"There was no basis for her removal," Hill testified. "The accusations against her had no merit whatsoever. This was a mishmash of conspiracy theories that I believe firmly to be baseless, an idea of an association between her and George Soros."
"I had had accusations similar to this being made against me as well," Hill testified. "My entire first year of my tenure at the National Security Council was filled with hateful calls, conspiracy theories, which has started again, frankly, as it's been announced that I've been giving this deposition, accusing me of being a Soros mole in the White House, of colluding with all kinds of enemies of the president, and of various improprieties."
She added that the former national security adviser, HR McMaster "and many other members of staff were targeted as well, and many people were hounded out of the National Security Council because they became frightened about their own security."
"I received, I just have to tell you, death threats, calls at my home. My neighbours reported somebody coming and hammering on my door," Hill said, adding that she had also been targeted by obscene phone calls. "Now, I'm not easily intimidated, but that made me mad."
"When I saw this happening to Ambassador Yovanovitch, I was furious," she said, pointing to "this whipping up of what is frankly an antisemitic conspiracy theory about George Soros to basically target nonpartisan career officials, and also some political appointees as well."
In Yovanovitch's case, Hill said: "the most obvious explanation [for the smear campaign] seemed to be business dealings of individuals who wanted to improve their investment positions inside of Ukraine itself, and also to deflect away from the findings of not just the Mueller report on Russian interference but what's also been confirmed by your own Senate report, and what I know myself to be true as a former intelligence analyst and somebody who has been working on Russia for more than 30 years."
Hill dismissed the suggestion that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election was a "conspiracy theory" intended to distract attention from Russia's well-documented role.
... ... ...
Nov 01, 2019 | politics.theonion.com
WASHINGTON -- After realizing there were still judicial appointments that needed to be filled during a meeting with the conservative think tank, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly pointed to a valet in the Heritage Foundation parking lot Thursday and asked him if he wanted to be a federal judge. "Hey, kid, how'd you like a lifetime appointment on the Ninth Circuit, huh?" asked McConnell, interrupting the 19-year-old temp worker's protests that he didn't know anything about the law to tell him that all he needed was "wipe that dumb look off your face" and he could be delivering rulings by the end of the week.
"You over 18? You got an ID? That'll do. Now just hop in this car with me and we'll head over to the Capitol right now.
Remember, abortion's bad, corporations are good, and as for everything else, you just shut the fuck up and do as your told. Got it?"
At press time, after the valet nervously informed McConnell that he was hungover and had illegal drugs in his system, the laughing Senate leader assured him that wouldn't be an issue.
Jul 27, 2019 | consortiumnews.com
Glennn , July 26, 2019 at 12:16
Russia interfered on a massive scale and is doing it again as we sit here! Just how massive? They spent $100,000 on clickbait ads from a company owned by a man who was in a photo with the evil mastermind!
How evil? Well do the math. $43,000 to $46,000 of that was spent during the election and of those ads 8.4 percent were political. That's $3,684 dollars.
But the political ads were aimed in both directions so that's roughly $1,932 spent "promoting" Trump.
And now Mueller tells us the evil mastermind is at it again -- as we sit here -- probably spending even more this time. Let us know when he's spent a full thousand dollars Bob and we'll start loading the bombs.
Oh, and we found all this out for around thirty million dollars.
stephen kelley , July 25, 2019 at 22:34
think about it! with the myriad of problems we must contend with: growing social inequality, huge tax breaks for the rich, government deregulation of private business, a climate catastrophe, unending wars, nuclear annihilation spurred on especially by u.s. imperialism, the gutting of what little social safety net we have left and so on and so so on. and we are supposed to be outraged at supposed foreign interference with our supposed democratic process? please, this is total insanity!!!
John Wolfe , July 25, 2019 at 18:29
Of course, relatively speaking, it’s a nothing. Every knowledgeable person knows that we in the US orchestrated both the financing and the strategy of the 1996 Yeltsin campaign -- a political rescue so efficiently carried out that our operatives bragged brazenly about it to Time Magazine, which made it the cover story for its July 14, 1996 edition (“Yanks to the Rescue”).
The Lamestream Corporate media always underplayed the fact that Yeltsin ordered the execution of 1,100 demonstrators who protested the IMF backed “reforms”, and that Clinton approved of his deadly and heavy hand in implementing a neoliberal economic order. Clinton never threatened to suspend aid to the Russian Federation despite its numerous abuses of human rights.
Also forgotten is that Yeltsin ordered the Russian Parliament (Duma) shelled before it could vote on Yeltsin’s economic “reforms”, which were implemented at the point of a gun. At various times between 1993 and 1997, it was Yeltsin who declared martial law, suspended the Duma, and declared himself possessed of dictatorial powers.
How many Americans ever knew this? 20%? How many remember it today? Maybe 5%? That means there is no context for gauging Muellers’ testimony.
But, it is, by MSNBC standards, Vladimir Putin who is Evil Incarnate. Has Maddow ever mentioned Yeltsin, a tyrant of the first order? No, because at GE, Comcast, and NBC, tyranny in the name of enforcing neoliberalism is perfectly acceptable.
This post is a bit off topic, and is a bit relativistic, as I know we should be concerned if it is really true that Manafort was giving internal polling data to a Russian Federation person so that the IRA could better target swing states in our Midwest.
Bob Van Noy , July 26, 2019 at 08:26
John Wolfe, your comment is not off topic at all, it’s crucial to further understanding of the totality of the Russia did it mentality, and That is well documented in a small but powerful book called “Manifest Destiny: Democracy as Cognitive Dissonance” by F. William Engdahl which I will link.
The American People have been propagandized so thoroughly that they can hardly recognize the truth any longer.
Too, I will link an article in Off Guardian this morning that is worth mentioning if one wants to see Real Reporting On MH-17.
Jul 11, 2019 | www.unz.com
nickels , says: July 10, 2019 at 7:50 pm GMTThat's funny because I always thought the New York Times was the ultimate symbol of plutocratic rot.
Apr 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Via Disobedient Media
On June 12, 2018 The Washington Post ran an overlooked story where they disclosed that National Security Advisor John Bolton had accepted money from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, Deutsche Bank and HSBC to return for his participation in speeches and panel discussions. These three entities have been linked to various kinds of corruption including sanctions evasion for Iran, money laundering on behalf of drug cartels, provision of banking services to backers of Islamic terror organizations and controversial donations to the Clinton Foundation.
The financial ties between Bolton and these institutions highlight serious ethical concerns about his suitability for the position of National Security Advisor.
I. Victor Pinchuk Foundation
John Bolton accepted $115,000 from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation to speak at multiple events hosted by the Foundation including one in September 2017 where Bolton assured his audience that President Donald Trump would not radically change US foreign policy despite his explicit campaign promises to do so.
The Victor Pinchuk Foundation was blasted in 2016 over their donation of $10 to $25 million to the Clinton Foundation between 1994 and 2005. The donations lead to accusations of influence peddling after it emerged that Victor Pinchuk had been invited to Hillary Clinton's home during the final year of her tenure as Secretary of State.
Even more damning was Victor Pinchuk's participation in activities that constituted evasions of sanctions levied against Iran by the American government. A 2015 exposé by Newsweek highlighted the fact that Pinchuk owned Interpipe Group, a Cyprus-incorporated manufacturer of seamless pipes used in oil and gas sectors. A now-removed statement on Interpipe's website showed that they were doing business in Iran despite US sanctions aimed to prevent this kind of activity.
Why John Bolton, a notorious war hawk who has called for a hardline approach to Iran, would take money from an entity who was evading sanctions against the country is not clear. It does however, raise serious questions about whether or not Bolton should be employed by Donald Trump, who made attacks on the Clinton Foundation's questionable donations a cornerstone of his 2016 campaign.
II. HSBC Group
British bank HSBC paid Bolton $46,500 in June and August 2017 to speak at two gatherings of hedge fund managers and investors.
HSBC is notorious for its extensive ties to criminal and terror organizations for whom it has provided illegal financial services. Clients that HSBC have laundered money for include Colombian drug traffickers and Mexican cartels who have terrorized the country and recently raised murder rates to the highest levels in Mexico's history . They have also offered banking services to Chinese individuals who sourced chemicals and other materials used by cartels to produce methamphetamine and heroin that is then sold in the United States. China's Triads have helped open financial markets in Asia to cartels seeking to launder their profits derived from the drug trade.
In 2012, HSBC was blasted by the US Senate for for allowing money from Russian and Latin American criminal networks as well as Middle Eastern terror groups to enter the US. The banking group ultimately agreed to pay a $1.9 billion fine for this misconduct as well as their involvement in processing sanctions-prohibited transactions on behalf of Iran, Libya, Sudan and Burma.
Some of the terror groups assisted by HSBC include the notorious Al Qaeda. During the 2012 scrutiny of HSBC, outlets such as Le Monde , Business Insider and the New York Times revealed that HSBC had maintained ties to Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Bank. Al Rajhi Bank was one of Osama Bin Ladin's "Golden Chain" of Al Qaeda's most important financiers. Even though HSBC's own internal compliance offices asked for the bank to terminate their relationship with Al Rajhi Bank, it continued until 2010.
More recently in 2018, reports have claimed that HSBC was used for illicit transactions between Iran and Chinese technology conglomerate Huawei. The US is currently seeking to extradite Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou after bringing charges against Huawei related to sanctions evasion and theft of intellectual property. The company has been described as a "backdoor" for elements of the Chinese government by certain US authorities.
Bolton's decision to accept money from HSBC given their well-known reputation is deeply hypocritical. HSBC's connection to terror organizations such as Al Qaeda in particular is damning for Bolton due to the fact that he formerly served as the chairman of the Gatestone Institute , a New York-based advocacy group that purports to oppose terrorism. These financial ties are absolutely improper for an individual acting as National Security Advisor.
III. Deutsche Bank
John Bolton accepted $72,000 from German Deutsche Bank to speak at an event in May 2017.
Deutsche Bank has for decades engaged in questionable behavior. During World War II, they provided financial services to the Nazi Gestapo and financed construction of the infamous Auschwitz as well as an adjacent plant for chemical company IG Farben.
Like HSBC, Deutsche Bank has provided illicit services to international criminal organizations. In 2014 court filings showed that Deutsche Bank, Citi and Bank of America had all acted as channels for drug money sent to Colombian security currency brokerages suspected of acting on behalf of traffickers. In 2017, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay a $630 million fine after working with a Danish bank in Estonia to launder over $10 billion through London and Moscow on behalf of Russian entities. The UK's financial regulatory watchdog has said that Deutsche Bank is failing to prevent its accounts from being used to launder money, circumvent sanctions and finance terrorism. In November 2018, Deutsche Bank's headquarters was raided by German authorities as part of an investigation sparked by 2016 revelations in the "Panama Papers" leak from Panama's Mossack Fonseca.
Two weeks after the 9/11 terror attacks, the Bush administration signed an executive order linking a company owned by German national Mamoun Darkazanli to Al Qaeda. In 1995, Darkazanli co-signed the opening of a Deutsche Bank account for Mamdouh Mahmud Salim. Salim was identified by the CIA as the chief of bin Laden's computer operations and weapons procurement. He was ultimately arrested in Munich, extradited to the United States and charged with participation in the 1998 US embassy bombings.
In 2017, the Office of the New York State Comptroller opened an investigation into accounts that Deutsche Bank was operating on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The PFLP is defined by both the United States and the European Union as a terrorist organization. It is ironic that Bolton, who is a past recipient of the "Guardian of Zion Award" would accept money from an entity who provided services to Palestinian groups that Israel considers to be terror related.
IV. Clinton-esque Financial Ties Unbecoming To Trump Administration
Bolton's engagement in paid speeches, in some cases with well-known donors to the Clinton Foundation, paints the Trump administration in a very bad light. Donald Trump criticized Hillary Clinton during his 2016 Presidential campaign for speeches she gave to Goldman Sachs that were labeled by her detractors as "pay to play" behavior. John Bolton's acceptance of money from similar entities, especially the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, are exactly the same kind of activity and are an embarrassment for a President who claims to be against corruption.
More broadly, John Bolton's work for the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, HSBC and Deutsche Bank shows that while he preaches hardline foreign policy approaches towards nations such as Iran and North Korea he has no issue tying himself to those who openly flaunt American sanctions and diplomatic attempts to pressure these states. For an individual who is the President's National Security Advisor to have taken money from banks who provide financial services to terror groups who have murdered thousands of Americans is totally unacceptable.
It is embarrassing enough that Donald Trump hired Bolton in the first place. The next best remedy is to let him go as soon as possible.
Jan 31, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Oh , , January 31, 2019 at 12:40 pm
Bushie used the term "rule of law" and fooled a lot of people.
Most people don't realize that the more money you have more you can exercise the "rule of law".
Nov 23, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Aug 13, 2018 | politics.theonion.comWASHINGTON -- Saying he just wants to fit in with his colleagues, shy Rep. Harold Olsen confided to reporters Wednesday that he often feels left out of all the illegal activities going on in Congress and wishes his fellow lawmakers would include him in their crimes. "I see everyone around me committing these...
Oct 24, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
AlaricBalth -> Creepy_Azz_Crackaah , Oct 24, 2017 1:03 PM
"Our justice system is represented by a blind-folded woman holding a set of scales. Those scales do not tip to the right or the left; they do not recognize wealth, power, or social status. The impartiality of our justice system is the bedrock of our republic..."
Spewed coffee after reading this quote.
E.F. Mutton -> Gerry Fletcher , Oct 24, 2017 12:57 PM
The Blind Justice Lady is real, she just has a .45 at the back of her head held by Hillary
And don't even ask where Bill's finger is
The Big PictureBubble Trouble: This week's Barron's cover story by Mike Santoli proclaims "Yes, its a bubble."
Before we delve into the article, recognize that 1) This is not your mainstream publication, so it has no validity as a contrary indicator; 2) the definition of social is rather stretched, including Pandora and Zillow, which are not really pure social plays.
That said, let's look at Barron's:
Depending on how you carve up the industry, eight leading companies that have either gone public, filed plans for an initial stock offering or are widely expected to do so by the end of next year are now estimated to be worth a combined $200 billion. Together, these eight companies-Facebook, Groupon, Zynga, LivingSocial, Twitter, LinkedIn (ticker: LNKD), Pandora Media (P) and Zillow (Z)-collected $3.5 billion in 2010 revenue. That's $1 billion less than, say, Washington Post (WPO), whose market value is $3.4 billion. Leaving aside Facebook, which seems to have the best shot at supporting its hypothetical $100 billion value through its market position, growth and profit margins, the rest have negligible profits at this point."
Financial TimesOutsourcing enables IT companies to increase flexibility, harness new skills and cut costs.
- Model that works even in turbulent times Paul Taylor introduces a focus on outsourcing – used for flexibility, to harness new skills and cut costs.
- Security: Internet is industry Achilles heel There is confusion between cloud computing providers and clients about who is responsible for security, says Maija Palmer.
- Industry trends: Standardisation is the way to save Providers look for work that is scalable and repeatable. They avoid complexity and systems that need customising, discovers Jane Bird.
- Business case: First, ask 'why are we doing this?' Only well run IT functions should be delegated, finds Charles Batchelor.
- Service location: Governments vie for work in offshoring beauty parade The leaders of large outsourcing companies are shopping for locations in a buyer's market, says Jessica Twentyman.
- Procurement: Innovation is an important part of the deal Wise customers will hammer out terms with providers, writes Jessica Twentyman
- The IT department: Keep your strategic decisions on IT in-house, say experts Organisations that slim skills down to the bare minimum can find it hard to respond to change, says Stephen Pritchard
- IT cycles: Retro styling, not revolution Jane Bird on the development of pay-as-you-go computing power
Preface: I have been using Linux since around 1998, when I installed Debian from scratch in my old Pentium II. I am more end-user than power user, but the computer I use most often (my netbook) has Linux in it by default. Also, my office computer is a Linux computer. And I am writing this in my MacBook. Which is not Linux, but at least it is Unix. What comes now is a personal rant, after a fight with my netbook. Probably not completely a Linux fault as an Acer one. But anyway, be warned this is a rant.
Linux is a time waster. It can come in two time-wasting fashion:
I have nothing against the good part. I even enjoy it, by learning to use gcal, or a2ps. I even wrote a (guest) post on why I think learning these side tools can be rewarding.
- Good: you find a new command/application and play with it.
- Bad: you try to configure something (or install a package from scratch).
But the bad part... this always gets on my nerves. I don't mean that Windows is better in the bad part... but Mac OS is. Mac OS just works, but they have the best thing to be that way: all Mac computers are Apple controlled. Thus they can test everything and say 'OK'. Every hardware part will work perfectly and smoothly with Mac OS version N.
Linux has to work in almost all strange configurations possible... And this means big hardware fuss. You have a winmodem? You can't use a dial-up connection (that happened in my Pentium II days). More recently, you have an internal SD card reader? You can't hotplug it.
All started with an upgrade from Ubuntu 9.10 to 10.04. I assumed dist-upgrade was a good option, I wanted to upgrade my distribution. Then I learned, and was advised that it was a bad idea... But how could I know it beforehand? It was the first time I had to upgrade, in my office this is automatic, and previously I had so little content that overwriting with a newer version was not a problem. It looked like the best tool for the job. The ~6 hours process began, and finally, ended.
Reports- IMF and Barofsky's SIGTARP
Broward Horne wrote on Tue, 4/21/2009 - 1:17 pmUsing the model of the railroad companies after the Civil War - there was a huge ramp-up in railroad infrastructure because the railroads derived a lot of their values by destroying local commodity monopolies. In the same sense, the IT infrastructure companies derive their value by destroying local information monopolies. But there's a finite value there.
The railroads grew along an S-curve, accelerating their investments into related industries - iron mining, steel production, etc, creating a lot of secondary economic activity until they reached the inflection point, the point at which a new track of railroad cost more than it could return. Railroad industry peaked and consolidated, profit margins shrank and eventually something like 25-30% of employment disappeared.
i expect the same thing to happen in IT. It has, to some degree and I was hoping that the initial crash of 2001 had blunted what would happen in the second crash. I may have been wrong, though. As near as I can tell from my dice, careerbuilder and monster listings, this is at least as bad as 2003 for IT jobs.
Amazon.com The Social Life of Information John Seely Brown,Paul Duguid Books
Amazon.com How many times has your PC crashed today? While Gordon Moore's now famous law projecting the doubling of computer power every 18 months has more than borne itself out, it's too bad that a similar trajectory projecting the reliability and usefulness of all that power didn't come to pass, as well. Advances in information technology are most often measured in the cool numbers of megahertz, throughput, and bandwidth--but, for many us, the experience of these advances may be better measured in hours of frustration.
The gap between the hype of the Information Age and its reality is often wide and deep, and it's into this gap that John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid plunge. Not that these guys are Luddites--far from it. Brown, the chief scientist at Xerox and the director of its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), and Duguid, a historian and social theorist who also works with PARC, measure how information technology interacts and meshes with the social fabric. They write, "Technology design often takes aim at the surface of life. There it undoubtedly scores lots of worthwhile hits. But such successes can make designers blind to the difficulty of more serious challenges--primarily the resourcefulness that helps embed certain ways of doing things deep in our lives."
The authors cast their gaze on the many trends and ideas proffered by infoenthusiasts over the years, such as software agents, "still a long way from the predicted insertion into the woof and warp of ordinary life"; the electronic cottage that Alvin Toffler wrote about 20 years ago and has yet to be fully realized; and the rise of knowledge management and the challenges it faces trying to manage how people actually work and learn in the workplace. Their aim is not to pass judgment but to help remedy the tunnel vision that prevents technologists from seeing larger the social context that their ideas must ultimately inhabit. The Social Life of Information is a thoughtful and challenging read that belongs on the bookshelf of anyone trying to invent or make sense of the new world of information. --Harry C. Edwards --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
From the chief scientist of Xerox Corporation and a research specialist in cultural studies at UC-Berkeley comes a treatise that casts a critical eye at all the hype surrounding the boom of the information age. The authors' central complaint is that narrowly focusing on new ways to provide information will not create the cyber-revolution so many technology designers have visualized. The problem (or joy) is that information acquires meaning only through social context. Brown and Duguid add a humanist spin to this idea by arguing, for example, that "trust" is a deep social relation among people and cannot be reduced to logic, and that a satisfying "conversation" cannot be held in an Internet chat room because too much social context is stripped away and cannot be replaced by just adding more information, such as pictures and biographies of the participants. From this standpoint, Brown and Duguid contemplate the future of digital agents, the home office, the paperless society, the virtual firm and the online university. Though they offer many insightful opinions, they have not produced an easy read. As they point out, theirs is "more a book of questions than answers" and they often reject "linear thinking." Like most futurists, they are fond of long neologisms, but they are given to particularly unpronounceable ones like "infoprefixification" (the tendency to put "info" in front of words). The result is an intellectual gem in which the authors have polished some facets and, annoyingly, left others uncut. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From The Industry Standard
In his 1996 book The Road Ahead,
Bill Gatesinvited business executives to take a ride with him into the gee-whiz techno-future. In the photo on the cover of his book, Gates stands on a two-lane road reminiscent of Route 66, which disappears into a clear, crisp horizon. Except for Gates and the road, there is nothing around.
John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid would decline the offer of a lift on this road. In their new book, The Social Life of Information, they say they prefer to slowly and steadily explore the road's surrounding terrain. They'd make a stop here and there to check out a tourist trap or converse with the locals at a dusty cafe.
As they note, "The way forward is paradoxically not to look ahead but to look around." They're concerned with the "practice" of knowledge rather than the "process" of information, making them more akin to information archeologists than information technologists.
To them, looking around means considering the context of information rather than simply its content. Marshall McLuhan argued much the same in the 1960s when he proclaimed that the medium (context) was really the message (content).
The authors' different specialties make them interesting tour guides. Brown is chief scientist at
Xeroxand director of its Palo Alto Research Center. Duguid is a history professor at the University of Californiaat Berkeley and a social theorist affiliated with PARC.
They see the modern world cluttered with institutions, media and structures that futurologists and technopromoters predicted would be extinct by now: the paperless office, the home office, the smaller entrepreneurial firms, to name a few in their long list.
The rise of the information age has likewise brought about a good deal of "endisms," among them the end of: the press, television and mass media; brokers and other infomediaries; firms, bureaucracies and universities; government, cities, regions and nation states.
THE MYTHOLOGY OF INFORMATION
One reason futurist predictions have been off target, according to Brown and Duguid, is the mythology that envelops information. As they note, this mythology "overpower[s] richer explanations" of the consequences of information and blinds us to the forces behind technological change.
Information mythology is the fuel for "infoenthusiasts" and futurists. This group, according to the authors, rages "against the illogic of humankind and the primitive preferences that lead it astray" while they "continue to tell us where we ought to go."
By "taking more account of people and a little less of information, they might instead tell us where we are going." The authors suggest it's one thing to argue that many of our old structures will not survive the onslaught of the new information economy, but it's another to argue that we don't need them in the new economy.
The most relevant chapter for the business world is "Practice Makes Process," which relates information mythology to the early 1990s re-engineering management fad. According to Brown and Duguid, re-engineering was based on the information-friendly process view of an organization rather than a contextual, social practice view. Information - without the context of a social life - fits well into process but has trouble when put into practice.
The authors' examples of how knowledge and learning is created informally in corporations (particularly Julian Orr's research at Xerox) merit the price of admission. Readers learn that collaboration, narration and improvisation are important (yet relatively hidden) methods that result in information that becomes corporate knowledge.
The university system is another key area where information mythology exists. Many people have predicted that virtual universities would replace brick-and-mortar institutions. This has not happened because universities do far more than deliver information to passive learners.
But the problems that information mythology has caused are minor compared with the ones that loom in the future as information becomes a more ubiquitous part of the Internet's "DNA infrastructure." The gap continues to narrow between smart "bots" and humans, with bots increasingly taking on human names like "personal assistants" and "agents." At the same time, human activities like "brokering" and "negotiating" sound robotic.
These agents perform "collaborative filtering," the familiar product-brokering activity: They match past activity with product suggestions. While the agents are supposed to represent buyers, they often act as double agents and represent sellers, too. For example, recall the publisher-paid endorsements on
Amazon.comor how American Airlines' Sabre reservation system was revealed to be weighted toward American.
It's increasingly difficult to determine whose interests agents represent. As Brown and Duguid note, "We might be able to use agents, but how many are able to understand their biases among the complex mathematics of dynamic preference matching?"
Confusion between knowledge and information underlies many of the problems information mythology causes. As Brown and Duguid note, knowledge entails a "knower," but people treat information as independent and self-sufficient. It sounds right to ask "Where is information?" but not right to ask "Where is knowledge?" The authors argue it's difficult to separate knowledge from information: It can't be picked up, passed around, found or compared.
THE PROFESSIONAL DEBUNKER
While Brown and Duguid make a compelling argument against information mythology, they can also be placed in a growing category of "information age debunkers." Witness books like
Lawrence Lessig's Code, Douglas Rushkoff's Coercion, John Willinsky's Technologies of Knowing, David Shenks' Data Smog and Clifford Stoll's Silicon Snake Oil.
Certainly the past few years have seen an abundance of "cyber-snake oil" promotion. In this sense, the information debunkers' criticisms give a welcome breath of fresh air. Yet one can argue criticism of information mythology often goes too far in promoting its own cause.
For example, while Web-based universities aren't exactly all they're cracked up to be, neither is brick-and-mortar academia, which Brown and Duguid idealize. For proof, look at the growing connection between universities and business. A recent story in the Atlantic Monthly, "The Kept University," describes how corporations are providing more and more of the money that supports academic research - especially at Duguid's UC Berkeley.
And the bare "content" of information is not always a bad thing. The subliminal context that surrounds brands - slick advertising images and packaging - often obscures the mediocre "content," the product itself. Information wrapped in context is a "hidden persuader" - the backbone of America's consumer culture - rather than the friendly communities of "practice" Brown and Duguid suggest.
Despite these minor criticisms, The Social Life of Information is an important book. Unlike many other "information age debunkers," Brown and Duguid wisely stand back from prescription. "We do not have solutions to offer," they note at the end. "We only know that solutions will be much harder to find if we drive at the problems with tunnel vision" and if "peripheries and margins, practices and communities, organizations and institutions are left out or swept out of consideration."
The authors face a formidable opponent in an age more entranced with information-based answers than context-based questions. If you have a problem, they note, redefine it in terms of information and you have an answer. "It allows people to slip quickly from questions to answers," they write.
This brings us back to Bill Gates on the cover of The Road Ahead.
Microsoftplays it both ways: It asks a question and simultaneously proffers an answer. Its advertisements ask "Where do you want to go today?" The images in these ads, however, are of people sitting eagerly at computers. The subtle suggestion is that digital information is enough. In a world of ready-made answers, it's refreshing that authors like Brown and Duguid are instead asking the important questions.
John Fraim is president of the GreatHouse, a publisher and consulting firm in Santa Rosa, Calif. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The Old Joel on Software Forum - UML
UML is one of the current "silver bullets" - Every application manager (not the people actually developing, but the people looking to herd the developers) talks about "looking to start using UML". I have talked to at least 6 of them making this observation. Worse still, it is the most inane diagrams that seem to get attention, like the worse than nothing "use case" diagrams (these things are such spectacular wastes of space that it boggles the mind).
Yet we all pull an anoop and nod our head in agreement.
This industry is such a fraud.
Yeah, the same everywhere. My point wasn't that I don't understand UML, but rather that it is an absolutely classic "cargo cult" technology - someone, somewhere used UML to great effect, so every anoop parrots how great and important it is.
Power of politics
... In many cases, that means political issues have direct consequences -- for example, the president's recent decision to have Dick Cheney read the riot act to Beijing is going to affect your technology job because it is part of a strategy to reduce the imbalance in the flow of technology and manufacturing jobs from the United States to China.
Don't kid yourself about this; the high-level management decisions that ultimately determine whether you keep your job or whether your favorite technology makes it in the market can be much more heavily dependent on politics than on technology.
Politics and Tech
That's usually easy to see at the operational level, where the personalities and preferences of individual players are known, but a kind of increased "nebulosity factor" manifests as you trace things upward in terms of both players and scale. As a result, it's generally not possible to know with any degree of certainty what the actual impact of national politics is on technology decisions; only that there is an impact.
Sometimes the impact is pretty clear. For example, I think you should be out there supporting any elected, or wannabe elected, representative who promises to support making it illegal to export personal data on Americans for processing outside the United States. That's fundamental to national economic security, important to national security in the military sense and valuable in terms of keeping your job.
On the other hand, much of the speculation on the impact politics has on technology sounds a lot like conspiracy theory. For example, I have a theory -- which I have no hope of confirming or disproving anytime soon -- that Novell's takeover of SuSE was motivated by IBM in a last-ditch effort to get a deal to have IBM Global Services support SuSE on every desktop and server owned by DaimlerCrysler past opponents in Detroit.
If so, what got in the way of what would have been a genuinely big deal for Linux was adroit manipulation of national economic agendas in Washington. So, did that happen? Maybe, maybe not. I not only don't know, I don't know how to find out. But I do know that taking discussion of technologies past reportage and how-tos means taking politics into account.
Software design and construction are highly contemplative, internal activities. A developer must be highly motivated to be able to do software development work at all. One of the most basic insights of motivation research is that when a person tries to apply external motivation to someone who is already highly internally motivated, internal motivation decreases. So, the net effect of "using the rod" is a reduction in internal motivation, and the effect on productivity is a net loss
...Some projects neglect to account for ancillary activities such as the effort needed to create setup programs, convert data from previous versions, perform cutover to new systems, perform compatibility testing, and other pesky kinds of work that take up more time than we would like to admit
...For software projects, actively avoiding failure is as important as emulating success. In many business contexts, the word "risk" isn't mentioned unless a project is already in deep trouble. In software, a project planner who isn't using the word "risk" every day and incorporating risk management into his plans probably isn't doing his job. As Tom Gilb says, "If you do not actively attack the risks on your project, they will actively attack you."
... A close cousin to Deadly Sin #3 is reusing a generic plan someone else created without applying your own critical thinking or considering your project's unique needs. "Someone else's plan" usually arrives in the form of a book or methodology that a project planner applies out of the box. Current examples include the Rational Unified Process, Extreme Programming...
...No outside expert can possibly understand a project's specific needs as well as the people directly involved. Project planners should always tailor the "expert's" plan to their specific circumstances. Fortunately, I've found that project planners who are aware enough of planning issues to read software engineering books usually also have enough common sense to be selective about the parts of the prepackaged plans that are likely to work for them.
...One common approach to planning is to create a plan early in the project, then put it on the shelf and let it gather dust for the remainder of the project. As project conditions change, the plan becomes increasingly irrelevant, so by mid-project the project runs free-form, with no real relationship between the unchanging plan and project reality.
...Since planners do not have crystal balls, attempting to plan distant activities in too much detail is an exercise in bureaucracy that is almost as bad as not planning at all.
...I think of good project planning like driving at night with my car's headlights on. I might have a road map that tells me how to get from City A to City B, but the distance I can see in detail in my headlights is limited. On a medium-size or large project, macro-level project plans should be mapped out end-to-end early in the project. Detailed, micro-level planning should generally be conducted only a few weeks at a time and "just in time."
4) Ethics? What's that?
Many dotmags were as ethically challenged as a Mexican policeman. They were going to the conferences, trying to hold them, sell the ad space and rarely raining on this parade of confluence. How could these companies cover people they were entering partnerships with? They couldn't.
Salon has been a prime example of the diminished standards of ethics online. Ruth Shalit was exiled for repeatedly plagiarizing while working for the New Republic. Not just fired, but forced to work in advertising. Yet Salon hired her to write about advertising. A reporter whose work is proveably plagiarized is covering her own industry, a clear and total conflict of interest. The editors at Salon can defend this however they like, but note that Ms. Shalit's work has never appeared in a major newspaper since her firing. A person with this kind of track record is probably best suited for advertising, where a respect for facts is not part of the job.
I don't know the woman, but it simply amazes me that she is allowed to have a byline anywhere. I don't see Janet Cooke or Patricia Smith doing articles for Vogue or Elle.
But if that were the only case, there would be no point in mentioning it. Salon repeatedly let interested parties write about subjects they were involved in. But that is really small change compared to other, grosser ethical breaches. It seems that tech publications regularly slant their coverage to appeal to advertisers, giving them amazingly favorable coverage despite every indication that these companies were grossly mismanaged.
For every decent story on a dotcom, like Wired's story on Razorfish, there were hundreds which should be collected and used as evidence. Not a negative word about so many companies was written until they started to crash and burn. How could a reporter walk into an office and look at 100 Aeron chairs, listen to bullshit and write a glowing piece on that company? They weren't profitable, they weren't going to be profitable and this was widely known. Yet, the happy talk stories continued.
We were among the first people to question the conventional wisdom with our story on APBNews and it was a revelation to the print press that you couldn't save a dotcom by working really hard. Except for Chris Byron, who predicted the fall of these unprofitable companies from day one, you never read a negative word about these people until the Seattle Weekly told tales from inside Amazon. But this well-desevered skepticism went unnoted in the daily press.
Because these were stories about their peers, about the rich. They dated dotcom people, their editors were willfully blind to the worst, most insane IPO ponzi schemes. No one wanted a bad news story. Things got so corrupted that Chris Nolan thought it would be OK to participate in a friends and family IPO because she was "friends" with the CEO and didn't cover the company. So would it be OK for Dan Rather to consult with the Labor Party because he isn't English? Or would people wonder that working with a political party might taint his opinions? Once you cross the line, how can anyone trust you?
Now the San Jose Mercury News (Nolan's former paper) is run by some of the most gutless people ever to call themselves journalists, abandoning their reporters when the heat is turned on them. A reporter while a graduate student at the University of Iowa got access to records normally sealed to the press, the SJ Merc ran the story and ran from the reporter. Needless to say, with such sterling support, the Merc is not exactly a paper going to challenge anything. If they had taken on Cisco or any of the major companies in the Valley, any reporter would have to look at Gary Webb, forced out for a controversial series on the CIA and drugs, and Chris Nolan and conclude that taking a risk at the Merc or making a mistake would get you tossed aside like fish bait.
How can a reporter work if their editors are spineless? Well, they can't. How could any Standard reporter go after the people who they relied upon for their conferences?
But then, you have Kara Swisher pimping for her girlfriend's website, Planet Out. The editors at the Wall Street Journal turned their backs as the reporters went to Page Six to air their grievances. Did the Journal do anything? No.
There were few ethical standards anyone took seriously online and when the collapse came, these publications were caught short and late.
5) Who do you serve?
It may seem like a sure thing to get your nose deep in the ass of your advertisers but in the end, you only serve one audience: your readers. Pimping your publication for ad sales makes you look like a whore. Now, if you want to be a whore for Microsoft or Doubleclick or whatever, that's fine. You should call yourself the Doubleclick Gazette or whatever. If you want to put your friends on the cover of your magazine and take their ad money, that's fine as well. Just don't expect anyone to ever trust you.
The one thing that a reader expects is for you to be honest. Placating advertisers to get sales is stupid. Because if you can't be truthful, no one, no one, will care to read you.
The one lesson that all these online rags never got is that if you are a pimp today, when things get shitty, people will turn on you. They will gut you like a catfish and eat you on a po' boy. People now laugh at Fast Company. They sneer at Red Herring. No one who is now freelancing or working at Home Depot and back in the basement cares what happens to those magazines, because those magazines didn't care about them. Crooked bosses, sham business plans, shitty working conditions, oops, sorry, had to get cut from that profile of the boy CEO, sorry. These rags wanted to be part of a "revolution" and they were. A revolution in theft. The grand heist didn't just steal from VC's, but average investors and employees as well.
Where was the serious reporting on Webvan, a company so doomed that any grocery store manager could have pointed out the flaws over a cup of coffee? Time and again, basic reporting was ignored for the hype. And who did this screw? The workers and the investors. Any glance at a company's public documents would have demonstrated options were a fraud.
Most of the people covering the dotcom boom failed in the basic duties of journalism by not reporting the truths about these companies. They refused to investigate, to ask hard questions and relied on PR and marketing to shape their coverage. Why in God's name should the public have trusted these publications to live up to the public trust that journalists should be held to. If PC Magazine wants to shill for every crappy Microsoft product and conform their coverage to Microsoft's marketing aims, that is their right. However, it doesn't' have anything to do with reality, fairness or the standards to which journalists should be held to.
We're not talking Noam Chomsky Manufacturing Consent type stuff either, but the reality of basic Journalism 101. All the people who tried to be players in tech journalism are jokes. Michael Wolff impotently snipes from the sidelines, Louis Rosetto is living somewhere, doing something, with a lot of money in his pocket. Now, John Battelle is closing shop and whining about no one investing in the money pit known as the Industry Standard. Salon is staggering. All these people wanted to be something other than reporters and for awhile, they got away with it. Because they wanted to be something they weren't while refusing to recognize that greatness lies in doing their jobs. Journalism is a noble profession when done right. And people get killed doing it every year.
All these failed sites and magazines tanked because they thought industry needed them. They were wrong, industry needed to use them. Think Mark Cuban is worried about the fate of these magazines now? He's got his billions.
If you don't serve the people who buy your magazine and read your pages, ads won't matter because no one will trust you and if they don't trust you, they will not need you. A lesson which is being learned painfully late.
This is my favorite time of year. It's not the holidays or the good cheer that come with the season. For me, it's the time of year when every journalist, pundit, analyst and anyone else with an opinion publishes a list of predictions for the new year. We've heard before of the Year of the LAN, the Year of the Network Computer and the Year of the Internet. While all these events actually occurred at some points, they never occurred in the years for which they were forecast. This year, we'll hear about the Year of Wireless or perhaps another prediction of the PC's demise. Again, the pundits will mostly be wrong.
So, rather than yield to the temptation of creating my own list, I'm going to explain why folks are consistently wrong and how you can test the validity of experts' predictions.
Imagine that you're standing in Kitty Hawk, N.C., in 1903. After many attempts, Orville and Wilbur Wright have finally succeeded in making the first manned flight. While their time aloft is short, their actions will change the course of history. It will change the way business is conducted. It will change human behavior into the 21st century.
Now, imagine that at the end of that historic flight, you were to go to Orville and Wilbur, clearly the aviation experts of their day, and ask their opinion of frequent-flier programs.
The problem with predicting the future is the nature of the method used. Most analysts and pundits who are good at what they do have excellent pattern-recognition skills.
The ability to observe early on the repetition of established rules of behavior - or what has already occurred - gives a good analyst an edge.
For example, want to impress your friends and family with the date the next upgrade of Windows will ship? That's easy. Take the beta release date and add at least one year. It's a pattern that has held true for every release, including Windows 2000.
Business users need to pay attention to this trend as well. Users are increasingly technology savvy (just check the number of issues of Computerworld that come into your mail room and where they go) but even more fashion savvy. The number of requests for new systems that match decor or dress is climbing in ever-increasing numbers. Information technology organizations must realize that fashionable technology is often unsuitable for business use. Systems that flaunt fashion over function often aren't network-tested or certified for business use. Consumer systems and gadgets often lack the component standardization and support that business users need and should be avoided. As for me, I'm off to order a new Corinthian leather case for my personal digital assistant.
Beware the self-aggrandizing, newly-script-gifted "security expert" who, because they can run a program that gets them root on your systems, suddenly become all-powerful and all-knowing. There are many frauds and charlatans in the computer security community -- and I'm not referring to reformed or "grey-hat" hackers; I'm referring to those people who have either the audacity or delusions of granduer to convince clueless ISPs, AOL-rejects, and the media that they are "computer security experts."
If you are talking to someone who claims to be a computer security expert, or who claims to know "alot" about computer security, ask them to prove it. If they're waving around some exploit script they dug up, ask them to explain to you how the program works, and how it can be fixed. (Granted, if you're not a technical person, you won't be able to distinguish fact from fiction. If this is the case, find someone who can.)
Ask them what they have contributed to the computer security community -- underground or aboveground. Ask for references. Ask for papers. Ask for URL's. Do a web or USENET search. If they've been around for any length of time, you should be able to find something.
Think about it: is an "expert" someone who is well-versed in a field of study, or are they someone who knows something that you don't?
What do billions of dollars, billions of useless books, and billions of prophetic statements have in common? If you guessed the infamous Y2K rollover, you are probably one of the millions of people who were informed of some global catastrophe set to take place the first of this year. There was not a paper in publication these last few years that didn't mention some sort of doomsday consequence related to our society's dependancy on computers.
If you are any kind of normal human being you would have expected something interesting out of this entire fiasco. I expected something self-fulfilling. Mobs of fanatics and drunks taking to the streets with automatic weapons shouting verses out of the Bible, siphoning gas and stealing stereo equipment. The most eventful happenings in Denver and Colorado Springs were a few kids begging the cops to beat them. It was worse than that when the Broncos won the Super Bowl.
Digitally, I was surprised to see the overall lack of systems compromised. I expected Attrition to be flooded up to their necks in defacements. The staff had informed me that they were planning on keeping a pretty good monitor on things. Their major concern was cross-continental defacements that represented some anti-government motives. Sadly, there was no largescale cyber-shootout. All was quiet in the land of the double-oh.
However, I don't think that we are out of the clear yet. A few issues still need to be addressed. Just because the infamous "Millenium Bug" turned out to be a farce[in a general sense] does not constitute a sigh of relief. Every threat that took place before the rollover is just as real. Every security issue unaddressed prior to the first is still something to reckon with. I would argue that we have introduced a whole breed of new problems that have absolutely nothing to do with something so trivial as a system date
An obvious issue is this recent obsession with the New Year. If another Melissa virus or Y2K-ish event emerges the media will overexpose it beyond its true threat. Many elements play into this exposure ranging from computers rapidly becoming a part of everyone's life to a reporter's burning urge to write a great story.
What can we attribute this obsession to? Ignorance. As aforementioned, the Internet is no longer occupied by a majority of intelligent and computer-literate individuals. It is very simple to just hop online as a casual user and be taken advantage of. It is also easy for a fairly casual user to land a job in charge of the systems that govern your use of the Internet. Entrusting this kind of information into incapable hands is unnerving but it happens everyday. Bad people are out there, you know.
...You can understand that kind of small-scale, inter-office frenzy, fed by rumor and hype. Just as it's easy to understand the frenzy building around the world as the Year 2000 approaches. Every millennium change produces some degree of hysteria. Throw a computer glitch into the fervor -- in a world increasingly dependent on technology -- and the frenzy erupts with new and potentially alarming implications. Pay attention to the forces stirring the frenzy:
- Y2K survivalists: These are the folks convincing otherwise sane families to pack up and head for the hills to avoid the Y2K ravages. Some warn of food riots and massive starvation in the cities. Click for more.
- Y2K profiteers: A Gartner Group report suggests financial fraud stemming from efforts to fix Y2K bugs could lead to financial losses in the billions. Theory is workers and consultants working on Y2K projects have the opportunity to plant software code that could be exploited at a later date to carry out thefts. Click for more.
- Y2K fear-mongers: If you've been in a bookstore lately, chances are you were dumbstruck by shelf after shelf of Y2K books fueling public paranoia. Click for more. Y2K headlines scream from print and online publications. And politicians are churning out press releases and sound bites in double-time. Just a few examples from recent weeks prove my point:
Y2K fixes could leave companies open to future electronic fraud, Gartner warns -- 'Significant theft is likely. By Maria Seminerio, ZDNN
July 16, 1999 12:49 PM PT Companies transferring funds electronically are increasingly vulnerable to financial fraud stemming from Year 2000 bug-fixing efforts, research firm Gartner Group Inc. said in an advisory Friday.
Such fraud could result in the largest financial losses ever to corporations in the United States and across the globe -- potentially into the billions of dollars, Gartner officials said. This is partly because global financial systems are largely electronically connected now, and the interconnection is only expected to increase.
"Y2K remediation, by definition, creates and increases the opportunity for theft and fraud," said Joe Pucciarelli, a Gartner analyst, in a statement on the advisory, which stemmed from a research report released in April.
"Given the enormity of the Y2K task, the vast number of people assigned to fix the problem, and the element of human foibles, at least one significant theft is likely to occur in the next five years," Pucciarelli said.
Employees under scrutiny
Corporations must keep a close eye on staffers and consultants working on Y2K projects, since such workers have the opportunity to plant software code that could later be exploited to carry out thefts, said Bob Mack, another Gartner analyst, in an interview.
"The point we're making is that there are things corporations can do to limit fraud," Mack said. All Y2K bug-fixing efforts should be audited by third parties if possible and detailed records should be kept on all Y2K projects, he said.
While Y2K remediation efforts have been going on for years, and will obviously intensify in the remaining portion of 1999, financial fraud traceable to those efforts could occur far into the future, Mack and other experts said.
'People are scrambling'
"This is something that security experts have been looking at for a while," said Richard Power, a spokesman for the Computer Security Institute, a San Francisco-based trade group for security professionals.
"People are scrambling to get the (Y2K) work done on time, so often the controls are loosened," Power said. "Someone could plant code now that would let them defraud the company a year from now."
Electronic Books - A Bad Idea (Alertbox July 1998) -- Even when electronic books gain the same reading speed as print, they will still be a bad idea. Electronic text should not mimic the old medium and its linear ways. Electronic text should be based on interaction, hypertext linking, navigation, search, and connections to online services and continuous updates. These new-media capabilities allow for much more powerful user experiences than a linear flow of text. Linear text may have ruled the world since the Egyptians learned to produce arbitrarily long scrolls of papyrus, but it's time to end this tradition. Nobody has time to read long reports any more: information must be dynamic and under direct control of the reader, not the author. Two types of electronic books do make sense:
In both cases, the key point is that the "electronic books" are not intended to be read on a screen: they are traditional paper books and linear audio readings, respectively, and are simply manufactured and distributed in a more efficient manner by using the Internet.
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I find it useful to draw a contrast between two different organizational development styles: "process-oriented" and "commitment-oriented" development. Process-oriented development achieves its effectiveness through skillful planning, use of carefully defined processes, efficient use of available time, and skillfull application of software engineering best practices. This style of development succeeds because the organization that uses it is constantly improving. Even if its early attempts are ineffective, steady attention to process means each successive attempt will work better than the previous attempt.
Commitment-oriented development goes by several names including "hero-oriented development" and "individual empowerment." Commitment-oriented organizations are characterized by hiring the best possible people, asking them for total commitment to their projects, empowering them with nearly complete autonomy, motivating them to an extreme degree, and then seeing that they work 60, 80, or 100 hours a week until the project is finished. Commitment-oriented development derives its potency from its tremendous motivational ability-study after study has found that individual motivation is by far the largest single contributor to productivity. Developers make voluntary, personal commitments to the projects they work on, and they often go to extraordinary lengths to make their projects succeed.
When used knowledgeably, either development style can produce high quality software economically and quickly. But both development styles have pathological lookalikes that don't work nearly as well, and that can be difficult to distinguish from the genuine articles.
The process-imposter organization bases its practices on a slavish devotion to process for process's sake. These organizations look at process-oriented organizations such as NASA's Software Engineering Laboratory and IBM's former Federal Systems Division. They observe that those organizations generate lots of documents and hold frequent meetings. They conclude that if they generate an equivalent number of documents and hold a comparable number of meetings they will be similarly successful. If they generate more documentation and hold more meetings, they will be even more successful! But they don't understand that the documentation and the meetings are not responsible for the success; they are the side effects of a few specific effective processes. We call these organizations bureaucratic because they put the form of software processes above the substance. Their misuse of process is demotivating, which hurts productivity. And they're not very enjoyable to work for.
The commitment-imposter organization focuses primarily on motivating people to work long hours. These organizations look at successful companies like Microsoft; observe that they generate very little documentation; offer stock options to their employees; and then require them to work mountains of overtime. They conclude that if they, too, minimize documentation, offer stock options, and require extensive overtime, they will be successful. The less documentation and the more overtime, the better! But these organizations miss the fact that Microsoft and other successful commitment-oriented companies don't require overtime. They hire people who love to create software. They team these people with other people who love to create software just as much as they do. They provide lavish organizational support and rewards for creating software. And then they turn them loose. The natural outcome is that software developers and managers choose to work long hours voluntarily. Imposter organizations confuse the effect (long hours) with the cause (high motivation). We call the imposter organizations sweatshops because they emphasize working hard rather than working smart, and they tend to be chaotic and ineffective. They're not very enjoyable to work for either.Cargo Cult Software Engineering
At first glance, these two kinds of imposter organizations appear to be exact opposites. One is incredibly bureaucratic, and the other is incredibly chaotic. But one key similarity is actually more important than their superficial differences. Neither is very effective, and the reason is that neither understands what really makes its projects succeed or fail. They go through the motions of looking like effective organizations that are stylistically similar. But without any real understanding of why the practices work, they are essentially just sticking pieces of bamboo in their ears and hoping their projects will land safely. Many of their projects end up crashing because these are just two different varieties of cargo cult software engineering, similar in their lack of understanding of what makes software projects work.
Cargo cult software engineering is easy to identify. Cargo cult software engineers justify their practices by saying, "We've always done it this way in the past," or "our company standards require us to do it this way"-even when those ways make no sense. They refuse to acknowledge the tradeoffs involved in either process-oriented or commitment-oriented development. Both have strengths and weaknesses. When presented with more effective, new practices, cargo cult software engineers prefer to stay in their wooden huts of familiar, comfortable and-not-necessarily-effective work habits. "Doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results is a sign of insanity," the old saying goes. It's also a sign of cargo cult software engineering.
FTC Cracks Down On Internet Health Scams
Skeptic News - The What's New Page for Skeptics
The Belief Engine
-- by James Alcock (Skeptical Inquirer, May/June 1995 vol. 19, no. 3) "Our brains
and nervous systems constitute a belief-generating machine, a system that evolved to assure not
truth, logic, and reason, but survival. The belief engine has seven major components ..."
Practical Unix and Internet Security by Simson Garfinkel, Gene Spafford
Learning Perl on Win32 Systems by Randal L. Schwartz, Erik Olson & Tom Christiansen
The Cuckoo's Egg by Cliff Stoll
An Overview of The Seventh International Virus Bulletin Conference (VB'97). v.2.01; Oct. 21, 1997
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols CyberCynic Corner. When Freeware Isn't Free. This is a pretty funny funny if you compare it with later columns of the same author.
The best things in life are free. What an absolute crock! Even your first breath was purchased with blood, sweat and tears. But don't take my word for it. Ask your mother, she'll tell you.
... Now, I know C++ well enough to not make a fool of myself, and I've programmed my way out of trouble with C many a time, but Netscape 5.0 is well beyond my scope. Unless you have already worked with large C++ projects, don't waste your disk space on it.
... The Mozilla project, while it may drape itself in the flag of freeware, just isn't the same. I may have been born at night, but I wasn't born last night. The real beneficiary of your efforts will be Netscape. After all, why pay costly programmers when you can have legions of good-hearted developers do your coding and testing for you?
... Now I'm not saying that the people at Mozilla have such a cynical attitude. They probably believe that what they're doing is really the same as creating a Linux or other freeware favorites like sendmail and bind. But the company that will get the lion's share of the intellectual capital from the Mozilla's free labor won't be yours.
"Information Wants to be Free."
To a person interested in political theory, one of the most striking things about the Net is the instability of the political cartography. We divide our world up into contiguous and opposing territories -- public and private, property and sovereignty, regulation and laissez-faire -- "solving" problems by inquiring as to their placement on this map. In the everyday world these divisions seem comparatively solid and lumpish to most people, even if clever academic critics may harp on their theoretical indeterminacy. On the Net, things are different. Concepts and political forces seem to be up for grabs. Nothing illustrates this point better than the debate over intellectual property on-line. In the digital environment, is intellectual property just property, the precondition to an unregulated market, just another example of the rights that libertarians believe the state was specifically created to protect? Or is intellectual property actually public regulation, artificial rather than natural, an invented monopoly imposed by a sovereign state, a distorting and liberty-reducing intervention in an otherwise free domain?
While it would be hard to find anyone who believes entirely in either of these two stereotypes, recognisable versions of both do exist in the debate over intellectual property and -- more interestingly -- can be found across the political spectrum. George Gilder of the conservative Manhattan Institute, a fervent booster of capitalism and laissez faire, shows considerable skepticism about intellectual property(7) -- Peter Huber, from the same conservative think tank, pronounces it the very acme of liberty, privacy and natural right.(8) The Clinton Administration attempts to extend intellectual property rights on-line(9) and is roundly criticised by both civil liberties groups and right wing intellectuals.(10) This isn't just a disagreement as to tactics among people who might be said to share the same ideology: it is a fundamental set of disputes over the very social construction and normative significance of a particular phenomenon -- as if the Libertarian party couldn't agree on whether its motto was to be "Taxation is theft" or "Property is theft."
Stewart Brand's phrase "information wants to be free" has now penetrated the culture sufficiently deeply that it is now actually parodied in advertisements. Yet its ubiquitous nature may work to conceal the claims that it makes.
John Perry Barlow begins his famous essay "Selling Wine Without Bottles: The Economy of Mind on the Global Net" with this quote from Jefferson.
If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.(11)
The quotation expresses perfectly the mixture of Enlightenment values and upbeat public goods theory that typifies Net analysis of information flows. Information is costless to copy, should be spread widely, and cannot be confined. Beyond the Jeffersonian credo lies a kind of Darwinian anthropomorphism. Information really does want to be free. John Perry Barlow credits Brand's phrase with
recognizing both the natural desire of secrets to be told and the fact that they might be capable of possessing something like a "desire" in the first place. English biologist and philosopher Richard Dawkins proposed the idea of "memes," self-replicating, patterns of information which propagate themselves across the ecologies of mind, saying they were like life forms. I believe they are life forms in every respect but a basis in the carbon atom. They self-reproduce, they interact with their surroundings and adapt to them, they mutate, they persist. Like any other life form they evolve to fill the possibility spaces of their local environments, which are, in this case the surrounding belief systems and cultures of their hosts, namely, us. Indeed, the sociobiologists like Dawkins make a plausible case that carbon-based life forms are information as well, that, as the chicken is an egg's way of making another egg, the entire biological spectacle is just the DNA molecule's means of copying out more information strings exactly like itself.(12)
Viewed through this lens, the Net is the ultimate natural environment for information and trying to regulate the Net is like trying to prohibit evolution.
Taken together the three quotations assert that the technology of the medium, the geographical distribution of its users and the nature of its content all make the Net it specially resistant to state regulation. The state is too big, too slow, too geographically and technically limited to regulate a global citizenry's fleeting interactions over a mercurial medium. Though I do not subscribe to the full-throated versions of any of these slogans, I have sympathy with each of them. It does excite me that the Net is highly resistant to externally imposed content filtration -- though I tend to worry about structural private filters as well as command-based public ones, and I recognise that speech and information can and will produce harm as well as good. I do think that the global nature of the Net is -- by and large -- a positive thing, though we need to pay more attention to things like the cost of the technology required to play the game, or the effects on workers of a networked economy in which companies can relocate around the world and find a new on-line workforce in an afternoon.(13) Finally, I am optimistic about the historical conjunction of technologies based on nearly costless copying and a political tradition that treats information in a more egalitarian way than other resources.(14) It is possible, of course, to conjure up a world in which rampant info-kleptocracy undermines scientific and artistic development. I have argued elsewhere that the main danger is not that information will be unduly free, but that intellectual property rights will become so extensive that they will actually stifle innovation, free speech and educational potential. In any event, I want to set aside my agreement or disagreement with the values behind the Net catechism, and focus instead on the factual and legal assumptions on which it relies. My argument is that info-libertarians should not be so quick to write off the state. In fact, I argue that the work of the distinctively non-digital philosopher, Michel Foucault, provides some suggestive insights into the ways in which power can be exercised on the Net and the reasons why much contemporary analysis is so dismissive of the power of law and the state.
Personally, I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught
Sir Winston Churchill
The fat cats of the American mass media have lost their taste for the mother's milk of normal free enterprise: real competition for a reasonable profit. Thanks to addictive doses of sympathetic governmental policies and two decades of a drive for power, a shrinking number of large media corporations now regard monopoly, oligopoly and historic levels of profit as not only normal, but as their earned right.
In the process, the usual democratic expectation for the media -- diversity of ownership and ideas -- has disappeared as the goal of official policy and, worse, as a daily experience of a generation of American readers and viewers.
In 1982, when I completed research for my book, The Media Monopoly, 50 corporations controlled half or more of the media business. By December 1986, when I finished a revision for a second edition, the 50 had shrunk to 29. The last time I counted, it was down to 26. [When the latest edition of The Media Monopoly was published in 1993, the number was down to 20. -ed.] A number of serious Wall Street media analysts are predicting that by the 1990s, a half-dozen giant firms will control most of our media.
Of the 1,700 daily papers, 98 percent are local monopolies and fewer than 15 corporations control most of the country's daily circulation. A handful of firms have most of the magazine business, with Time, Inc. alone accounting for about 40 percent of that industry's revenues.
The three networks, Capital Cities/ABC, CBS and GE/NBC, still have majority access to the television audience, and most of the book business is controlled by fewer than a dozen companies, with major categories like paperback and trade books dominated by still fewer firms.
The safest way to ensure diversity of opinion is diverse ownership. But this ideal has been sacrificed by government devotion to the mythical doctrine of free market economics. The myth rests on the bizarre assumption that the modern American corporate scene is actually like Adam Smith's rural country market, in which all the farmers came to town to compete for the business of sharp-eyed customers.
If there's any truly free market in modern corporate affairs, there is none in through-the-air broadcasting. According to the Federal Communications Act, the airwaves belong to the public (something the Reaganites have ignored). The airwaves are a limited resource, and there are a small number of available channels. The Federal Communications Commission, by law, is supposed to resist monopoly and concentrated ownership, and to grant licenses on the basis of "public interest, convenience and necessity."
During the 1980s, the FCC, under Mark Fowler, has used the country's broadcasting system as an experiment in so-called free market economics. The FCC has expanded the number of stations one corporation may own and suspended the demand that stations do any public service, like news and community issues programming. It has let big operators (Murdoch, Capital Cities, Cox, etc.) buy competitors. And it has made it almost impossible to challenge a license if the public doesn't like what it sees.
My own commentary
Many I/S organizations are embracing Java, but they should be aware of the
shortcomings of the still immature language
A Brief History of UNIX by Mike Loukides. A very interesting article which is somewhat skeptical about Linux ;-)
Oracle Breakable After All
The first Slashdot troll post investigation (Score:0, Offtopic)
by negativekarmanow tm on Wednesday January 16, @05:29PM (#2850660)
(User #518080 Info | http://slashdot.org/ | Last Journal: Wednesday January 16, @08:29PM)
The last few months I have been doing some research into the trolling phenomenon on slashdot.org. In order to do this as thoroughly as possible, I have written both normal and troll posts, 1st posts, etc., both logged in and anonymously, and I have found these rather shocking results:
- More moderator points are being used to mod posts down than up. Furthermore, when modding a post up, every moderator seems to follow previous moderators in their choices, even when it's not a particularly interesting or clever post [slashdot.org]. There are a LOT more +5 posts than +3 or +4.
- Logged in people are modded down faster than anonymous cowards. Presumably these Nazi Moderators think it's more important to burn a user's existing karma, to silence that individual for the future, than to use the moderation system for what it's meant for : identifying "good" and "bad" posts (Notice how nearly all oppressive governments in the past and present do the same thing : marking individuals as bad and untrustworthy because they have conflicting opinions, instead of engaging in a public discussion about these opinions)
- Once you have a karma of -4 or -5, your posts have a score of -1 by default. When this is the case, no-one bothers to mod you down anymore. This means a logged in user can keep on trolling as much as he (or she) likes, without risking a ban to post on slashdot. When trolling as an anonymous user, every post starts at score 0, and you will be modded down to -1 ON EVERY POST. When you are modded down a certain number of times in 24 hour, you cannot post anymore from your current IP for a day or so. So, for successful trolling, ALWAYS log in.
- A lot of the modded down posts are actually quite clever [slashdot.org], funny [slashdot.org], etc., and they are only modded down because they are offtopic. Now, on a news site like slashdot, where the number of different topics of discussion can be counted on 1 hand, I must say I quite like the distraction these posts offer. But no, when the topic is yet another minor version change of the Linux kernel [slashdot.org], they only expect ooohs and aaahs about this great feat of engineering. Look at the moderation done in this thread [slashdot.org] to see what I mean.
- Digging deep into the history of slashdot, I found this poll [slashdot.org], which clearly indicates the vast majority does NOT want the moderation we have here today. 'nuff said.
Feel free to use this information to your advantage. I thank you for your time.
Re:The first Slashdot troll post investigation (Score:-1, Offtopic)
by AnalogBoy on Wednesday January 16, @05:36PM (#2850723)
(User #51094 Info | http://slashdot.org/ | Last Journal: Thursday January 17, /font>
I just want to say.. Thank you.
I'm sure you'll be modded down as a troll, as /. doesn't like dissenters in the population. They try to keep you silent and impotent.
I firmly believe once a community reaches a certain size, it has certain duties to perform, to the truth, the absence of sensationalism, and most of all, equality.
Moderators: I have posted without my +1 bonus. This post is admittedly offtopic. Don't waste your moderation points on a reply. I suggest you use moderation points on parent posts. Its more economical. And remember - mod UP intelligent posts, mod DOWN klerckisms.
Just because you disagree with me does not make me a Troll, nor does it make my post Flamebait.
Re:The first Slashdot troll post investigation (Score:-1, Offtopic)
by Fitascious on Thursday January 17, @01:17AM (#2852776)
(User #127984 Info | http://slashzero.com/)
This whole -1 thing is screwed. I worked at Andover.net (now OSDN) back in January and Feburary of 2000. I was a contractor brough on board to help build the Slashdot cage at Exodus, in fact I wrote my name with a magic marker on the bottom of the Quad Zeon VALinux box that probably still runs the main Mysql DB. At the time I thought it was pretty cool to be involved with the whole open source scene...
You know what I learned? I learned that most of the "Famous" and "Big Names" in the linux scene are attention starved name dropping weenies.
It after my assigment at Andover.net ended that I realized the whole Open Source movement is over. Done with. There are way to many people with way to much ego. All of the linux people in charge of the project were too busy stroking their ego's and counting their stock options.
I thank CmdrTaco and all the rest for a good 2 or 3 years of entertaining reading, but times have changed, there is no energy left here. Time to move on, Open source has been assimilated by Corporate Practices. I sincerely feel that all that was good about Slashdot, and to an extent the Linux fenomenon is over. This Thread just ended any hope I had left. Time to bring on the next fad.
Re:The first Slashdot troll post investigation (Score:-1, Offtopic)
by AnalogBoy on Thursday January 17, @09:18AM (#2853749)
(User #51094 Info | http://slashdot.org/ | Last Journal: Thursday January 17, /font>
I do agree with you on the ego thing. I've met -so many- Linux zealots who can't back their claims of superiority with one fact, yet, they hate windows.. for no reason except the stereotypical "It crashes all the time!" and "Microsoft is a Fascist Monopoly bent on world domination!". I forgot who said it, but i like him or her: "Open Source; Closed Minds".
It was a good idea. The problem was the application - Stallmanism ruined the OpenSores image, in my mind. I will never recommend a linux solution where a "Established" solution could take its place. Partially because of technical reasons ; but mostly because i wouldn't want to risk having someone adminning them who's too busy keeping their thumb up their arse to care about the company.
Slashdot is flawed, fundimentally. Unfortunately, its kind of fun. Screaming 14 year olds, as is said, having pissing contests over l33tness when they wouldnt know the difference between ATDT and ATH0, or SysV and BSD if it got up and shoved a clue by four up their output port. Hey, its better than sitting at work staring at the birds frying in the satellite transmitters on a slow day!
Just because you disagree with me does not make me a Troll, nor does it make my post Flamebait.
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