Sunday, June 25, 2017

Paul Robinson — Not so intelligent


Anonymous sources. Real, or …...
The distinct lack of concern about the disclosure of a source allegedly so stunningly valuable that their information is restricted to just four people, is extraordinary. There can be only two explanations:
  • People in Washington don’t give a damn about protecting the CIA’s sources, no matter how valuable they are, and are quite happy to throw them under the bus if it gives them some political advantage. That includes both the people who leak such stories to the press, the press itself, and also the wider political establishment, which doesn’t seem to be too upset by such stuff. That in turn would suggest that these people are utterly untrustworthy, so we should take what they say with the largest pinch of salt; or
  • People aren’t concerned by the ‘leak’ for the simple reason that the source ‘deep in the Russian government’ doesn’t actually exist. The story is straightforward BS, pure and simple.
Personally, I tend toward option b.
Count me in.

Irrussianality
Not so intelligent
Paul Robinson | Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa

A Baseless Justification for War in Syria — Dennis J. Bernstein interviews Francis Boyle

U.S. government officials, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., claim the current U.S. authority to mount military operations in Iraq and Syria is legally based on the Authorization for the Use of Military Force [AUMF] declaration to go after Al Qaeda and related terror groups after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. But how does that cover the recent U.S. attacks on Syrian government forces that have been battling both Al Qaeda and its spinoff, Islamic State?
Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, asserts that the recent U.S. shoot-down of a Syrian government jet inside Syria on June 18 was not only illegal under international law but amounts to an impeachable act by President Trump.
In an interview with Flashpoints’ Dennis J. Bernstein, Professor Boyle said, “What the U.S. government is getting away with here is incredible.” Boyle also talked to Bernstein about the questionable Russia-gate investigation and the darker history behind Special Prosecutor Robert Swan Mueller III, the former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Dennis Bernstein: Will Syria’s hot war and the recent U.S. bombings there lead us into a hot war with Russia? Well, the generals are saying this shoot-down in Syria is legal. You want to jump into this?
Francis Boyle: You know Dunford doesn’t have a law degree that I’m aware of. But, of course, still the Pentagon is going to try to justify whatever war crimes it can. They always do.
Clearly the U.S. invasion, which we have done, and now repeated military attacks against Syria constitutes a Nuremberg crime against peace, and in violation of the Nuremberg charter, judgment and principles, and, of course, a violation of the United Nations’ charter. [It is] an act of aggression as defined by, oh even the new element of the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court that is not yet in force. But it has a definition based upon the 1974 definition of aggression which the World Court found to be customary international law in the very famous Nicaraguan case when it applied it against Nicaragua....
Quite an interview. Professor Boyle unloads.

Dennis J. Bernstein interviews Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law

Ray McGovern — Intel Behind Trump’s Syria Attack Questioned

Legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh is challenging the Trump administration’s version of events surrounding the April 4 “chemical weapons attack” on the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun – though Hersh had to find a publisher in Germany to get his information out.
In the Sunday edition of Die Welt, Hersh reports that his national security sources offered a distinctly different account, revealing President Trump rashly deciding to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles against a Syrian airbase on April 6 despite the absence of intelligence supporting his conclusion that the Syrian military was guilty.
Hersh draws on the kind of inside sources from whom he has earned longstanding trust to dispute that there ever was a “chemical weapons attack” and to assert that Trump was told that no evidence existed against the Syrian government but ordered “his generals” to “retaliate” anyway.
Marine General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and former Marine General, now Defense Secretary James “Mad-Dog” Mattis ordered the attacks apparently knowing that the reason given was what one of Hersh’s sources called a “fairy tale.”
They then left it to Trump’s national security adviser Army General H. R. McMaster to further the deceit with the help of a compliant mainstream media, which broke from its current tradition of distrusting whatever Trump says in favor of its older tradition of favoring “regime change” in Syria and trusting pretty much whatever the “rebels” claim.
Another tale of perfidy.
As of this writing, there is no sign in “mainstream media” of any reporting on Hersh’s groundbreaking piece. It is a commentary on the conformist nature of today’s Western media that an alternative analysis challenging the conventional wisdom – even when produced by a prominent journalist like Sy Hersh – faces such trouble finding a place to publish.
The mainstream hatred of Assad and Putin has reached such extraordinary levels that pretty much anything can be said or written about them with few if any politicians or journalists daring to express doubts regardless of how shaky the evidence is.
Even the London Review of Books, which published Hersh’s earlier debunking of the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin-gas incident, wouldn’t go off onto the limb this time despite having paid for his investigation....
Consortium News
Intel Behind Trump’s Syria Attack Questioned
Ray McGovern | veteran CIA analyst, Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch; prepared the President’s Daily Brief, and conducted the early morning briefings of President Reagan’s top national security advisers

Sandwichman — Marshall's Magic Confidence-Wand


Alfred Marshall quote.

EconoSpeak
Marshall's Magic Confidence-Wand
Sandwichman

Warren Mosler — Credit Check


US domestic private credit continues to be weak.

The Center of the Universe
Credit Check
Warren Mosler

Lars Syll — Keynes & MMT


Keynes quote.

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Keynes & MMT
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

See also

Mainstream monetary theory — neat, plausible, and utterly wrong

Bill McBride — Goldman on the Next Recession

CR note: Some day there will be another recession, but I don't see signs of a recession in the next year or more.
Calculated Risk
Goldman on the Next Recession
Bill McBride

Seymour Hersh — Trump‘s Red Line


How Trump overreacted at the time of the putative (faked) sarin attack in Syria.
President Donald Trump ignored important intelligence reports when he decided to attack Syria after he saw pictures of dying children. Seymour M. Hersh investigated the case of the alleged Sarin gas attack.
Trump is a loose cannon on deck in a storm. Scary when the captain is the loose cannon.

Welt
Trump‘s Red Line
Seymour M. Hersh
ht Jesse at Jesse's Café Américan

Moon of Alabama — Locked Into Al-Tanf U.S. Military Concedes It Lost The Race To Occupy South-East Syria

NEWSFLASH: The Pentagon and, even more important, the U.S. commanders in the Middle East, have finally recognized the basic facts of life.
There is no way the Syrian government and its allies will let the U.S. have south-east Syria or let it occupy the country including the Syrian army garrison in Deir Ezzor which is currently surrounded by Islamic State forces. The Syrian army and its allies will liberate Deir Ezzor and the whole Euphrates valley. The U.S. military has now conceded that.
There will be some huffing and puffing from the neoconservative corners but I doubt very much that this that this decision will be overturned or that this is a ruse. There is simply no strategic value for the U.S. in occupying south-east Syria and no will to defend it against determined resistance of capable opposing forces.
My congratulations to Syria and its allies. This battle is, for now, won.
Game (almost) over. But no doubt John McCain and various neocons won't be taking Sunday off after this news abut their plans being foiled.

Lesson: You can't bluff an invasion when Russia is in the game. 

But apparently it's all the military had in its toolbox, since for more direct action that might have led to direct conflict with Russia, the generals would have had to get permission from the politicians and president, and that would either have been a dead-end or else taken so much time as to scuttle the operation.

Moon of Alabama
Locked Into Al-Tanf U.S. Military Concedes It Lost The Race To Occupy South-East Syria
b

The CIA, Khomeini, & Secrets of the Islamic Revolution Exposed with Margot White


I thought it was a conspiracy theory that the CIA put Ayatollah Khomeini in charge but I did a search and came across this 2015 video about a book written by Margot White called Waking Up in Tehran. I also came across that in 2016 the CIA has released documents about how they put Khomeini in power.

The Shah was deeply unpopular and people wanted a change and were demonstrating in the streets so the CIA brought in the right wing, anti communist, anti socialist, Khomeini to take control. Khomeini wasn't very well known in Iran at the time as he hadn't lived in the country for 16 years because the Shah had banished him. The media gave him loads of coverage which only pop stars like the Beatles would normally get and he promised them democracy and equal rights for women. After the Shah left Iran Khomeini then became leader taking control but things did not turn out as the Iranians expected. When Khomeini took power he brought in a brutal, fascist, theocratic regime which turned on the people. Khomeini and his mullahs receives hundreds of millions from the CIA. The ultra right wing Khomeini wanted Reagan to win because Carter had cut off the millions that the US had been paying him

Soon after Khomeini took power and before he turned on the people Iranian students seized the American Embassy because they believed that they would find loads of documents there about how the CIA had organised the 1953 coup and what the CIA were up to now which they hoped this would help Khomeini, but the students hadn't realised that Khomeini was also a CIA asset who had promised to keep the oil flowing cheaply to the US. They only intended to stay there a for a few days but Khomeini saw how popular they were and so he encouraged then to stay longer boosting his own popularity. Morgan-Chase hoped the students would stay there a month because the Shah had put his billions into their bank accounts and under American law they were allowed to allowed to seize the money because if an American asset has been taken. Iran never got the money back.

One of the deals the Shah made with the US was that he would buy their weapons if they helped him stay in power, but this led up to massive build up of arms. Khomeini found a use for these weapons in the Iran-Iraq war which helped to keep demand for them as they were losing value.

This is another story of G.O.D, as Margot White says, guns, oil, and drugs. Margot White says there is nothing in this story about the morality that the West proclaims, it just about the money that wars, guns, and control of the oil can bring in just as it is in the ME today. The right wing Islamic mullahs have no problem with capitalism and imperialism as they hated the communists, but loved corruption and money. The British had used the Muslim Brotherhood for the same reason.

So we can see how the ME has been torn up to seize the oil, start wars to sell lots of weapons, and gain control the opium poppy fields which has made western bankers trillions. This is the morality of the West, and Putin is said to be the 'bad guy' because he is stopping them, but he is dealing with Satan.

As we have learnt here recently, the war with Russia is not intended to become hot, it is intended to be a tepid mini war moving beyond the cold war to strengthen NATO and to frighten Europe to buy €billions of new weapons. And the US has started a bogus cold war with China to get American taxpayers to pay for $billions of new weapons. Will it ever stop?

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Zero Hedge — CIA Director Mike Pompeo: Trump's "An Avid Consumer" Of Intel, Will "Punish Leakers"


Apparently President Trump is learning the ropes. Which doesn't bode well for peace. America First is likely to remain a campaign promise that DJT will report that he "doing great" on, as in war to end wars.

Much more in the post than the title implies. Of course, Israel is not mentioned but Iran happens to the the arch-enemy of both Israel and Saudi Arabia, which is mentioned. Syria is to be portioned or turned into a Sunni puppet state of Saudi Arabia, and Hezbollah is the only Arab organization to have beaten Israel (in 2006). Go figure.

 They really have it for Iran, and Wikileaks too. Israel and Saudi ArabiaIsrael and Saudi ArabiaIsrael and Saudi Arabia! USA! USA! USA!

The problem is that Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and leakers such as Wikileaks are not threatening US national security in any substantial way. Their sin is getting in the way of the US elite. 

Why is that a problem. Because then TPTB react in a way that is not completely rational and that means losing touch with reality. When one losses touch, with reality it seldom ends well. And the real problem is that this will affect all living American and Americans for generations to come.

Zero Hedge
CIA Director Mike Pompeo: Trump's "An Avid Consumer" Of Intel, Will "Punish Leakers"
Tyler Durden


Taylor Link — Jill Stein denies being a puppet of Russia, blames Democrats for scapegoating election loss

WTF?  How long will take for the Democratic Party to erase the blot of McCarthyism in smearing Donald Trump and Jill Stein, and conspiring to deny Bernie Sanders a fair shot at the nomination?

Unless candidates for office in upcoming elections denounce it. And start critiquing themselves in earnest for their mistakes rather than trying to foist the blame on others by smearing them.

Democratic losses in special elections recently are sending a signal that is apparently not be received, or being interpreted badly.

And it is not only the Democratic Establishment that is caught up in this folly. A lot of so-called Progressive Democrats aka Bernie Democrats are too.

Losers.

Salon
Jill Stein denies being a puppet of Russia, blames Democrats for scapegoating election loss
Taylor Link

Publius Tacitus — Our Grand American Delusion

City on a Hill? Leader of the Free World? Defender of Freedom? How about a mass of delusional crazies?
See? It's not just us saying this.

Publius Tacitus gets the economics wrong about borrowing by the currency issuer in its own currency and public debt, but his background is either military or intel, or both, so it is not in his realm of expertise.

Sic Semper Tyrannis 
Our Grand American Delusion
Publius Tacitus

RT — Long-range missile that can fit in shipping container test-fired at sea by Israeli contractor


The merchant marine is now a legitimate military target. Brilliant "innovation."
An Israeli defense contractor has successfully test-fired a missile with a 400-kilometer range that can fit into a standard shipping container. Launched from a ship, it joins the trend of weaponizing civilian freighters.

The missile that was fired on Tuesday, dubbed LORA or Long-Range Artillery weapon system, is produced by state-owned defense giant Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). According to company specifications, the solid-propellant ground-to-ground 1,600-kilogram projectile has a range of 400 kilometers and can be fired at a target in just 10 minutes.
First revealed in 2006, the missiles were originally designed to be secretly deployed. To protect them from detection, the missiles are stored in dedicated sealed canisters that can fit inside a standard shipping container and have a shelf life of seven years without maintenance....
RT
Long-range missile that can fit in shipping container test-fired at sea by Israeli contractor

Potpourri


Potpourri. I have not attempted to verify these posts, but they are interesting owing to the events and people they cover and they would be significant even if only partially true.

Investigative reporters act very much like the analytical sections of intelligence agencies.

Analysts working for intel comb published information, correlated it, and assess it. From this they draw inferences and assign a probability index in term of "confidence."

Investigative reporters are often less disciplined and either draw conclusions based on inference that exceeds the evidence and present them as fact, or else have sources that they cannot even allude to in order to protect not only the sources but also continued access to them.

Readers have to act as their own analysts and use critical thinking in assessing information, distinguishing fact from inference and closely scrutinizing inference.

NEO
Ted Turner, CNN, Putin, and the Amazing Oligarchs Drama Unfolding
Phil Butler

Geopolitica

RT
White Helmets member caught on camera disposing of Syrian soldiers’ mutilated bodies (GRAPHIC VIDEO)

Sputnik International
Intel Agent Reveals How NATO Planned to Tear Russia Apart
25 Sputnik International

Moon of Alabama — Israel's Fire Support For Its Al-Qaeda Mercenaries Started Three Years Ago

Al-Qaeda attacked a Syrian Arab Army position in Madinat al-Baath (map) next to the Israel occupied Golan heights. Al-Qaeda requested Israeli fire-support by launching some mortars towards empty space in the Israel occupied area. The Israeli Defense Force accepted the request and destroyed two Syrian Arab Army tanks. Two Syrian soldiers were killed. The SAA held steady and the al-Qaeda attack on its position failed.
This was very easy to predict. Israel has supported al-Qaeda in the area since at least 2014. The al-Qaeda fire-request-by-mortar scheme has been in place for at least three years. In October 2014 the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which back then still covered the area, reported to the UN Security Council:

On 23 June [2014], Israel targeted nine Syrian army positions with tank fire and air strikes after mortar fire from the Syrian side the previous day killed an Israeli civilian. Israel’s assessment is that most of these incidents are due to errant fire resulting from fighting in Syria. Israel said that armed opposition groups were probably responsiblebut that its forces fired on Syrian military positions to stress that Syria was responsible for security on its side of the ceasefire line.
The UN observers mentioned the "black flags" the "rebels" were using. The "rebels" in that area are al-Qaeda forces. This "fire support request by mortar" scheme has been repeated again and again. The Israeli argument is an insult to logic: "The Syrian army is responsible for keeping al-Qaeda out of the area so we respond to "errant" al-Qaeda fire by destroying the Syrian army."
But "western" and Israeli media did and do not report or analyzed the obvious scheme. This even as this theater act gets repeated over and over again. They lie and simply report the "errant fire" nonsense even when it is clear that this is coordinated military support for al-Qaeda. For years they have hidden Israeli support for al-Qaeda and its deep involvement in the Syrian war. Witness Haaretz which only today(!) headlines: Analysis - Israel’s Slow Creep Into the Syrian Civil War. That "slow creep", which Haaretz describes and analyzes as a new phenomenon, started at least three years ago and was neither slow nor a creep. It is full fledged support for terrorism and has been such since its beginning....
Moon of Alabama
Israel's Fire Support For Its Al-Qaeda Mercenaries Started Three Years Ago
b

See also

SouthFront
Isreali Air Force Strikes Syrian Army Artillery Pieces And Battle Tanks In Quneitra Province
ikb22

Jake Tapper Calls Out DNC’s B.S. On Russia Hacking


The whole Russiangate business is based on a pack of lies. The Clinton's won't let anyone near their server which they say was hacked, not even the FBI. They won't even let the Department of Homeland Security look at the server who wanted to help them to make more secure. If we had a true independent media this DNC hacking business would go anywhere because no evidence has been presented. A proper independent media would ask why hasn't the FBI or the Homeland Security been allowed to look at the server?


Michael Scheuer drops truth about Trump Russia story and BBC cut him off


Michael Scheuer disputes the evidence that Russia hacked the DNC. He say's all we have a private company hired by Hilary who say the DNC was hacked but they have not presented any evidence. The interview then gets promptly stopped.

Merkel Is Angry with America over Russia Sanctions but Will Do Nothing

There’s no doubt that S. 722 – which passed the Senate by a vote of 98-2, with only Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders voting No – is a terrible piece of legislation. Its fundamental purpose is to tie President Trump’s hands so that he cannot exercise his constitutional authority to conduct relations with foreign states. Specifically, Senators of both parties want to ensure that he doesn’t have the ability to reach out and normalize ties with Moscow. To do that, a super-majority of Senators is willing to violate every principle of international law and comity, as well as damaging relationships with our top security and trade partners.

Even the broad authority for the president to waive sanctions when he deems it in the national interest, a standard feature in U.S. sanctions legislation, is denied Trump in this bill without Congressional permission. Whether this defect may be remedied in the House of Representatives is unclear. (Meanwhile, the power of Congress to decide upon war continues to be usurped by the Executive Branch without a murmur of protest. As the late Joseph Sobran once observed, the nice thing about the U.S. Constitution is that it poses no serious threat to our form of government

The sanctions bill, if it becomes law, will be just another illustration that Germany and all other members of NATO and the EU are vassal states of Washington.

What sense does any of this make in terms of U.S. national interests? The key is Rapoza’s observation that «Trump has been beat up so severely on Russia that defending any sort of detente with the Kremlin seems futile.» As with the worsening danger of U.S.-Russian confrontation in Syria, American policy on Europe, Ukraine, and Russia, along with related energy issues, is still in the hands of the Swamp Creatures. Nothing good can come of it unless and until Trump manages to gain effective control of the government of which he is the constitutionally elected head.

Robert Parry — Policing ‘Truth’ to Restore ‘Trust’


De facto censorship on the way? If the Establishment gets its way, and they own the media channels.

"Truth algorithms" would get the propaganda machine control of the media including the Internet. This would potentially drive alternative accounts back to the alternative media like the "free press" and "underground press" of the Sixties and Seventies in the US, and samizdat (самизда́т) in the days of the USSR by excluding from the Internet alternative views that question or contradict the official view, after the manner of China.
There’s been a lot of self-righteous talk about “truth” recently, especially from the people at The New York Times, The Washington Post and the rest of the mainstream news media. They understandably criticize President Trump for his casual relationship with reality and happily dream about how nice it would be if they could develop algorithms to purge the Internet of what they call “fake news.”
But these “truth-loving” pundits, the likes of star Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman, never seem to reflect on their own responsibility for disseminating devastating “fake news,” such as the falsehoods about Iraq’s WMD, lies that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands of American soldiers and spread horrific chaos across the Mideast and into Europe.
Nor does that Iraq experience ever cause Friedman and his fellow pundits to question other Official Narratives, including those relating to the proxy war in Syria or the civil war in Ukraine or the New Cold War with Russia. Meanwhile those of us who ask for substantiating facts or observe that some official claims don’t make sense are subjected to insults as fill-in-the-blank “apologists” or “stooges.”
It seems that any deviation from Officialdom’s pronouncements makes you an enemy of “truth” because “truth” is what the Establishment says is “truth.” And, if you don’t believe me, I refer you to Friedman’s Wednesday’s column.…
However, if you keep reading Friedman’s column, you learn that the real problem is not that “cyberhacking” is generating “fake news,” but rather that it has let Americans see too many ugly truths about their leadership, as happened when WikiLeaks published emails showing how the Democratic National Committee unethically tilted the playing field against Sen. Bernie Sanders; how Hillary Clinton pandered to Goldman Sachs in return for lucrative speaking fees; and how the Clinton Foundation engaged in pay-to-play with rich foreigners.
Friedman’s column acknowledges as much, again citing Seidman: “Social networks and hacking also ‘have enabled us to see, in full color, into the innermost workings of every institution and into the attitudes of those who run them,’ noted Seidman, ‘and that has eroded trust in virtually every institution, and the authority of many leaders, because people don’t like what they see’.”
In other words, the answer to restoring “trust” and to respecting “truth” is to hide ugly realities from the unwashed public. If the people are shielded from the facts, the Establishment will regain its control over “truth” and thus win back the people’s “trust.”
If all this seems upside-down to you – if you think that the real answer is for America’s leaders to behave more responsibly, to let the public in on the real “truth,” and thus to make the people’s “trust” mean something – you must be a “Kremlin stooge.”...
Good post. It's the weekend. Take a couple of minutes and read the whole thing. It is really important that people understand what the Establishment has in mind for them.
The Times and the Post, in particular, have consistently conflated any deviation from their preferred groupthinks with “fake news” and “propaganda.” That is why it is particularly troubling when they and other self-proclaimed arbiters of truth, including the pro-NATO propaganda site Bellingcat, sit on Google’s First Draft Coalition and salivate over the prospects of unleashing high-tech algorithms to hunt down and eliminate information that runs counter to what they call the “truth.”
The real truth about truth is that it is almost always complex and often hidden by powerful interests. It requires skepticism, hard work and even courage to reveal it.
Sure, there are occasions when creeps and crazy people purposely make up stuff or ignore reality in pursuit of some nutty conspiracy theory – and that deserves hearty condemnation – but there are many other times when the conventional wisdom is wrong and the people demanding inconvenient facts and asking probing questions turn out to be right....
Consortium News
Policing ‘Truth’ to Restore ‘Trust’
Robert Parry

Lars P. Syll — What is a statistical model?


Best explanation or best guess?
As Bertrand Russell put it at the end of his long life devoted to philosophy, “Roughly speaking, what we know is science and what we don’t know is philosophy.” In the scientific context, but perhaps not in the applied area, I fear statistical modeling today belongs to the realm of philosophy. — Rudolf Kalman
This is important. Since the scientific revolution the progress of knowledge has been moving information from best guess using reasoning (philosophy) to best explanation based on testing hypotheses of a theory against data obtained from observations (science).

Science is true explanation where truth is based on criteria and comparison with criteria. 

Philosophy asks why, that is, for reasons. Science asks how, that is, for mechanisms. 

Philosophical accounts are based chiefly on reasoning from assumptions and it is therefore speculative. 

Scientific explanations are based on how things stand and move in terms of observable relationships, ideally able to be expressed formally. Therefore, science is, well, scientific.

See Richard Feynman, Cargo Cult Science. Engineering and Science, Volume 37:7, June 1974. (pdf) (This is a seminal article in philosophy of science, and as a bonus for reading it, it's funny, too.)

A lot of economic, social science and political science fits Feynman's description of cargo cult science. 

A lot of putative scientific knowledge is actually philosophy, that is, speculation, because it rests on speculation based on assumptions rather than explanation based on rigorous observation. However, some it is even flawed formally because the reasoning process is invalid.

Doing good philosophy is difficult because it is easy to fool oneself by falling into logical traps, as Ludwig Wittgenstein spent the later par to his live exploring. 
Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of our language. — Philosophical Investigations, § 109
Thus, philosophy in Wittgenstein's sense is a prerequisite to critical thinking.

Doing real science is harder because it requires careful attention not only to logical but also to data collection and processing data into information, keeping the signal to noise ratio within tight boundaries. As Feynman points out, a lot of putative science is mostly just noise.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself--and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you've not fooled yourself, it's easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.
I would like to add something that's not essential to the science, but something I kind of believe, which is that you should not fool the layman when you're talking as a scientist. I am not trying to tell you what to do about cheating on your wife, or fooling your girlfriend, or something like that, when you're not trying to be a scientist, but just trying to be an ordinary human being. We'll leave those problems up to you and your rabbi. I'm talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you are maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen. Feynman, "Cargo Cult Science," cited above.
Lars P. Syll’s Blog
What is a statistical model?
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

Friday, June 23, 2017

Ricky Twisdale — BOMBSHELL: Trump told Saudis to stop funding terror


Game-changer?
The real purpose of my being there, was to make sure these countries do not fund terror any longer.….
Earlier in his address, Trump had strongly reiterated his campaign rhetoric decrying the havoc caused by decades of US military intervention:
Our country has spent $6 trillion in the middle east – wasted. And the lives, the lives…thousands and thousands and thousands of lives. We started 16 years ago, and it’s in far worse shape than it was 16 years ago. So we spent all of this money, all of these lives…and let me tell you, I came in and took over a very, very difficult hand. But we’re going to get it fixed – that’s what you put me here for.
Needless to say, Trump’s rhetoric is at odds with Pentagon policy, which seems to have changed little since the turnover in administrations. There is clearly a discrepency between the US president’s views and the deep state’s demands....
The Duran
BOMBSHELL: Trump told Saudis to stop funding terror
Ricky Twisdale

Darius Shahtahmasebi — Everything You’re Not Being Told About the US War Against ISIS in Syria


The battlefield as the endgame approaches.

AntiMedia
Everything You’re Not Being Told About the US War Against ISIS in Syria
Darius Shahtahmasebi

Pepe Escobar — Fear and Loathing on the Afghan Silk Road

It is a categorical imperative for Beijing to expand BRI [Belt and Road Initiative] across the Levant, linking China to the Mediterranean overland just like the Ancient Silk Road did. And yet that clashes frontally with the crucial fact admitted on record by Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn himself: that the Obama administration made a “willful decision” to let Islamic State fester, with the objective of arriving at a “Sunnistan” across “Syraq” as a means to accelerate regime change in Damascus. Translation: let ISIS break up the BRI in the Levant.
Counterpunch
Fear and Loathing on the Afghan Silk Road
Pepe Escobar

TASS — Deutsche Welle sees Russian international broadcasters as threat to European ideas


Of course, no awareness that international broadcast of "European" ideas might be viewed the negative way in traditional societies.  Germany doesn't seem to be modified its superiority complex anymore than the US or the UK, or France, all of whom believe that German, American, British and French ideas  are respectively superior. American's even have names for it — "American exceptionalism" and "the indispensable nation." 

Edward Harrison — Baumol’s cost disease, aging societies and inflation expectations

I have been banging on about lowflation, repeatedly suggesting it is here to stay. The Fed, on the other hand begs to differ and is pre-emptively normalizing rates, as a result. No matter how you look at this, there’s a rub though: We all consume different products, so we each experience a different individual inflation rate.

Even as the statistics say inflation is dropping for you and me, it’s not dropping for everybody….

Jacob Pramuk — Obama reportedly approved 'cyberweapons' against Russian infrastructure before leaving office


Is anyone else's crap detector going off?

CNBC
Obama reportedly approved 'cyberweapons' against Russian infrastructure before leaving office

So let me get this straight. President Obama and 17 intelligence agencies knew that Russia was mucking with the election and did nothing about it beforehand and waited until after HRC had lost ignominiously to do anything about it. Right.

Alice Sales — Only 2% of US Politicians Actually Want to Stop Arming Terrorists — Here’s Why


Ka-ching.

Anti-War
Only 2% of US Politicians Actually Want to Stop Arming Terrorists — Here’s Why
Alice Sales

The Saker — The Latest Escalation in Syria – What Is Really Going On?

By now most of you have heard the latest bad news of out Syria: on June 18th a US F/A-18E Super Hornet (1999) used a AIM-120 AMRAAM (1991) to shoot down a Syrian Air Force Su-22 (1970). Two days later, June 20th, a US F-15E Strike Eagle shot down an Iranian IRGC Shahed 129 drone. The excuse used each time was that there was a threat to US and US supported forces. The reality is, of course, that the US are simply trying to stop the advance of the Syrian army. This was thus a typical American “show of force”. Except that, of course, shooting a 47 year old Soviet era Su-22 fighter-bomber is hardly an impressive feat. Neither is shooting a unmanned drone. There is a pattern here, however, and that pattern is that all US actions so far have been solely for show: the basically failed bombing of the Syria military airbase, the bombing of the Syrian army column, the shooting down of the Syrian fighter-bomber and of the Iranian drone – all these actions have no real military value. They do, however, have a provocative value as each time all the eyes turn to Russia to see if the Russians will respond or not.
Russia did respond this time again, but in a very ambiguous and misunderstood manner. The Russians announced, amongst other measure that from now on “any airborne objects, including aircraft and unmanned vehicles of the [US-led] international coalition, located to the west of the Euphrates River, will be tracked by Russian ground and air defense forces as air targets” which I reported as “Russian MoD declares it will shoot down any aircraft flying west of the Euphrates river”. While I gave the exact Russian quote, I did not explain why I paraphrased the Russian words the way I did. Now is a good time to explain this....
The first step towards understanding how the Russians function is to stop expecting that they would act just like Americans would.

Brett Heino — The Great Leveler: Capitalism and Competition in the Court of Law

There are few components of a capitalist society that penetrate as deeply and pro-foundly into the lives of the people as law. Whole swathes of social life, ranging from the labour–capital relationship, the make-up of the family, the regulation of crime and the relationship of citizens to one another and the state (to name a few) are structured and governed by the legal form. Capitalism is, in short, legalized to a degree that is historically unprecedented. Given this reality, it is both surprising and disappointing that sophisticated Marxist analyses of law are uncommon. Many attempts fall apart in the always-difficult exercise of articulating theoretical rigour with empirical sensitivity. Against this backdrop, Brett Christophers’ The Great Leveler: Capitalism and Competition in the Court of Law stands out as a fine example of both the method and the fruits of a successful effort at such an articulation....
As world capitalism continues to change and evolve, we must understand the roles played in this process by the full gamut of economic, political and cultural institutions, including the law. The Great Leveler stands as a beacon for those of us who have been arguing for law to be taken to the heart of political-economic study.
Neoliberalism, which promotes privatization and deregulation, is very much engaged with law and law-making as a political theory based chiefly on economic liberalism and political conservatism. Economic liberalism holes that property relations should be free of government intrusion, and political conservatism holds that ownership of property is evidence of the ability to govern, which President Trump just affirmed in his appointing billionaires to cabinet level positions. Also strong features of this are lobbying and the revolving door.

Progress in Political Economy
Brett Heino