China Tests Nuclear ICBMs, US Analyst Warns "Arms Control Is Failing To Increase American Security"
There is a military term of art that has deep significance in our fight against ISIS. It captures the idea that there is an identifiable source of enemy power that, if successfully attacked, will lead to our enemy's strategic defeat. That enemy strength (and potential vulnerability) is called their "center of gravity."
In my judgment, ISIS can be contained and then destroyed, but that goal will not be achieved by brute military power. ISIS' center of gravity exists far beyond the battlefield. It exists in the hearts, minds and aspirations of the young men and women who are drawn to the cause of violent Islamic extremism. Killing ISIS fighters at the front end of the combatant pipeline has value - but closing the pipeline of ISIS recruiting is the real center of gravity.
Throughout U.S. history, our men and women in uniform have fought and died for a noble cause: the unwavering defense of individual freedom. They understood - often when our politicians did not - that there was something at stake that transcended self-interest. Yes, to be effective, military forces need to be well-trained and equipped. And they need to be well-led. But most important, they need to believe that they are fighting for something worthy of their blood and sacrifice.…This is the mindset I had when I entered the US military. I was disabused of it while in the military and came to realize that I was being betrayed by this line of propaganda to motivate the troops. The idea that the US was fighting for individual liberty in a far away place like Vietnam, which had little to do with the national interest was simply not believable on reflection, and on inspection it became obvious that this was not about freedom, ours or theirs, but about empire and those who control it.
Paul McHale is a former member of Congress (1993-99), assistant secretary of defense (2003-09) and a retired Marine colonel with 33 years of active and reserve service.Unfortunately, he is also clueless. He is taking about convincing Islamic youth to adopt American values, when these value are clearly against everything in which they believe. It's like trying to convince Christian fundamentalists to accept liberal values like abortion on demand and same sex marriage because indivdual freedom.
The plunge of the Russian currency this week is the drastic outcome of policies implemented by the major imperialist powers to force Russia to submit to American and European imperialism’s neo-colonial restructuring of Eurasia. Punishing the Putin regime’s interference with their plans for regime change in countries such as Ukraine and Syria, the NATO powers are financially strangling Russia.
I don't see why we should insist that any theory be testable. After all, most of the things people are doing in math departments aren't testable, and no one complains about those, do they? I don't see why it should matter if people are doing math in a math department, a physics department, or an econ department.
I think testability starts to matter when you start thinking about applying theories to the real world. This is why I get annoyed when people ignore the evidence in business cycle theory, but not when they do it in pure theory.
Suppose you're studying the properties of repeated games. Who cares if those games represent anything that really exists today?…
But when you start making models that claim to be about some specific real thing (e.g. monetary policy), you're implying that you think those models should be applied. And then, it seems important to me to have some connection to real data, to tell if the theory is a good one to use, or a crappy one to use. That's testability.Exactly.
Anyway, this sort of seems very college-freshman-dorm-discussion-level when I write it out like this, but I think there are a surprising number of people who don't seem to agree with it...
The collapse of the demand for the Ruble in the face of falling oil prices concretely confirms the central premise of modern monetary theory; that the real constraint on a state’s ability to move real resources are its productive capacity and its ability to put its resources into motion.
That is to say that the basic equation is that, in both the short run and “the long run”, public expenditure is constrained by the real resources and real productive capacity of a given macroeconomy.…Overlapping Consensus
A person like [Strobe] Talbott is very much "plugging in" the US deep state and if he says that next year there will be an insurgency in Chechnia, we can be darn sure that the US will try to create one.The Vineyard of the Saker
In short, the idea that under the gold standard the industrial nations “generated the greatest increase in prosperity in history” at any time before or since is untrue, and is nothing but a libertarian myth.Social Democracy For The 21St Century: A Post Keynesian Perspective
There has been an ongoing debate about how monetary policy interacts with the zero bound on interest rates. Paul Krugman has recently posted an article,"The Simple Analytics of Monetary Impotence (Wonkish)", in which he gives a simplified Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) model which he says demonstrates something about monetary policy when at the zero bound. When I look at the model, it appears that there are internal contradictions to his suggested solution. Instead, it appears that the model solution is determined by the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level (FTPL). When it comes to DSGE models, it appears that all roads lead to the FTPL….Bond Economics
Published on Dec 20, 2014
Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert are joined by Liam Halligan of BNE.eu. They talk rubles, sanctions and diversifying the economy with some technology investments. In the second half, Max interviews Konstantin Gurdgiev about the ruble, the Russian budget and David Cameron’s take on the causes and consequences of the crisis and sanctions. They also discuss the ruble’s ‘baptism by fire’ as it only just joined the five trillion dollar per day forex markets.
Listening to Obama's speech about Cuba I was stunned by the following statements:After all, these 50 years have shown that isolation has not worked. It’s time for a new approach. (...) I do not believe we can keep doing the same thing for over five decades and expect a different result. Moreover, it does not serve America’s interests, or the Cuban people, to try to push Cuba toward collapse. Even if that worked -– and it hasn’t for 50 years –- we know from hard-earned experience that countries are more likely to enjoy lasting transformation if their people are not subjected to chaos.
You get that? Obama admits that 50 years of sanctions and attempts to isolate a small island right off the coast of Florida has not worked. And then he announces that he will impose more sanctions on Russia, the biggest country on the planet, and that he will isolate Russia, even though Russia now has full access to the biggest economy on the planet?!
Is that not the height of stupidity and self-delusion?The Vineyard of the Saker
In his recent opinion piece in The New York Times – Notes on Russian Debt - Paul Krugman admitted that he had difficulties in understanding the Russian debt situation. Nevertheless, he gave it a try. But failed. Let’s see how.Russia Insider
New @BW cover: Cars of the future? Toyota wants to kill gas guzzlers with fuel-cells http://t.co/0Rmp3cAVmz pic.twitter.com/8GDLKkXTWT
— Businessweek (@BW) December 18, 2014
Lars Syll seems to have started a perpetual conversation when he posted a comment about Tony Lawson’s longstanding complaints about realism in economics. I don’t want to get dragged into what appears to be an endless, and pointless, debate … but.The Radford Free Press
MMT provides an organising framework for understanding the possibilities available to a currency-issuing government and the limitations that a currency-using government (such as a Member State of the Eurozone) faces. It allows us to understand in a deeply-grained way, the relationships between the treasury and the central bank and the relationship between the government sector in aggregate and the non-government sector.
No ‘Keynesian’ literature up until the 1990s (or beyond for that matter) provides the level of granularity that the MMT literature that we have developed over the last 20 years provides.…
A common misconception seen in the derivative literature on MMT (which is dominated these days by blogs, social media pages and tweets) seems to think that MMT says that currency-issuing governments are omnipotent and can solve any crisis just by spending. None of the main proponents of MMT over the last 2 decades has ever made statements to justify such a view.…
A nation with limited real resources has limited prospects for material welfare. That is the fact. The constraint is real and the infinite financial capacity the government might have in its own currency cannot alter that.
Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) provides no further understanding than that in these sorts of cases.…
It's obvious that economists aren't paying much attention to the obvious ...... (even now, not just for the past 200 years, or even all the way back to before Alexander the Great & Hannibal formally glorified the dynamic power of organization; not that it hadn't been documented before, for those with the wit & experience to discern it).
What could be more obvious?
“The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality. He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
Most people have probably wondered, at one time or another, why national currencies gain wide acceptance. Why, for instance, do so many Americans choose to hold and transact in dollars rather than some other currency?...Heteconomist
I just came across a very interesting bit of research, A Guide to Paradigmatic Self-Marginalization: Lessons for Post-Keynesian Economists by Leonhard Dobusch and Jakob Kapeller; you can find it here.
I realize this is not going to be of interest to many of our readers, as it is a sort of “inside the halls of academia” analysis. What the authors do is to look at the strategies of editors running the top orthodox and the top heterodox journals in economics. Actually it might be a bit unfair to label these strategies, as the authors do not mean to imply that editorial policy knowingly pursues the strategies. Instead, the article looks at the ex post results.
In a nutshell, what they find is that the articles published in orthodox journals do not cite the research published in heterodox journals. NO SURPRISE THERE! But they also find some startling self-defeating practices pursued by heterodox journals....New Economic Perspecives
Economists admit "humans are .. a social species with interaction patterns that shape their behaviors."Well duh! Talk about what is obvious to everyone else!
That is the most sweepingly damning condemnation of the economics field ever heard on planet earth.Weepin' Buddha on a decline! That's a pathetic admission by economists, but at least they finally admit it, and that they've blithely ignored the near totality of other human knowledge for hundreds of years, and actually for far longer.
The plunging ruble is a signal for the Russian economy to adapt to new conditions, Russia’s Central Bank Chair Elvira Nabiullina said, following the surprise midnight decision to hike the key interest rate to 17 percent.…
“We must learn to live in a new reality, to focus more on our own resources to finance projects and give import substitution a chance,” the bank chief said in a televised address Tuesday.…
Nabiullina said that the Central Bank has special tools not to restrict development and growth within Russia, citing finance of investment projects, and small and medium-sized business and commodity exports as target industries.RT
Here's something I didn't know, from Jane Mayer's piece this week in the New Yorker:
There was a way to address the matter that might have avoided much of the partisan trivialization. In a White House meeting in early 2009, Greg Craig, President Obama’s White House Counsel, recommended the formation of an independent commission. Nearly every adviser in the room endorsed the idea, including such national-security hawks as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, and the President’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. Leon Panetta, the C.I.A. director at the time, also supported it. Obama, however, said that he didn’t want to seem to be taking punitive measures against his predecessor, apparently because he still hoped to reach bipartisan agreement on issues such as closing Guantánamo.
We can't know what was going through his mind. But if this is true, it was one of his biggest errors in judgement. We are now living in a country that endorses torture and, at best, sees it as a political issue. And the world knows that if the US Government continues to use it, the people will back it. That has made us far more vulnerable and far less safe. We are an extremely powerful rogue nation that openly says we don't care about the rule of law or international norms of behavior.…
Back in the day people used to rhetorically ask: "Why do they hate us?" and people would either shrug their shoulders or sputter about how we are misunderstood. Today if someone asks the question, the ready answer is: Because the US is a barbaric superpower that will stop at nothing, not even torture. I can't argue against that.Hullabaloo
Hillary Clinton thinks our problem as a culture is that we don't tell the good stories about ourselves anymore. Since more than half the people in this country are torture advocates, I'm not sure how you make any case for our "goodness" anymore. Good luck with trying to paper this over.