Saturday, 8 March 2014

George Washington on xenophilia, 1796

"So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils. Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter."

Friday, 7 March 2014

Nymphomaniac volume 2, fucked up ending

The film's ending is absolute rubbish. It makes no sense and it totally destroys the main character as a human being possessing a human soul. It annihilates all empathy that the story brought to the viewer. I'm not sure what the maker's intention was, either to establish an implausible ending for the story or the movie itself - to enrage people without any particular reason, outside commercial ones. Or to utterly render Joe as a clear homicidal nut-job out of some other reason which I cannot fathom. Of course, I suspect the ending was motivated out of commercial reasons. Make Joe do something totally outrageous and insane, something that NO ONE expects her to do - and then we'll sell big time. Well, congrats... the ending absolutely destroyed all worth Nymphomaniac had managed to instill inside my brain in regard to its message/story.
To me, this stunt pulled at the end is pure bullshit, and it's insulting to me as a viewer - if the film author's intent was to transmit any serious message worth "taking home" with this artistic movie... he failed spectacularly at the end of it.
The end's gratuitous violence and implausible choices DESTROY the whole movie, the whole story, and especially the character.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

MMT 101: A Reply to Critics Part 1

By  Eric Tymoigne and L. Randall Wray

This is Part 1 of a six part series in which we deal with critics of MMT. As readers of this blog know, our critics continually raise the same old tired critiques of MMT. They scapegoat MMT by attributing to us claims we’ve never made. They take our words out of context to build up a strawman that they attempt to destroy. No matter how many times we respond to a particular critique, another critic tries to use it again. Warren Mosler used to use the analogy of the “Bop a Gopher” game at the arcades: you bop one and another pops up.

Critiques of MMT can be classified according to five categories: views about origins of money and the role of taxes in the acceptance of government currency, views about fiscal policy, views about monetary policy, the relevance of MMT conclusions for developing economies, and the validity of the policy recommendations of MMT.
Read part 1 in full, then all the others up to part 7. Of course, there's always the modern money and public purpose seminars on youtube.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

The West has Installed a Neo-Nazi Government in Ukraine

by Prof Michel Chossudovsky

The forbidden truth is that the West has engineered –through a carefully staged covert operation– the formation of a proxy regime integrated by Neo-Nazis.

Confirmed by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, key organizations in the Ukraine including the Neo-Nazi party Svoboda were generously supported by Washington: “We have invested more than 5 billion dollars to help Ukraine to achieve these and other goals. … We will continue to promote Ukraine to the future it deserves.”

The Western media has casually avoided to analyze the composition and ideological underpinnings of the government coalition. The word “Neo-Nazi” is a taboo. It has been excluded from the dictionary of mainstream media commentary. It will not appear in the pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post or The Independent. Journalists have been instructed not to use the term “Neo-Nazi” to designate Svoboda and the Right Sector.

Composition of the Coalition Government

We are not dealing with a transitional government in which Neo-Nazi elements integrate the fringe of the coalition, formally led by the Fatherland party.

The Cabinet is not only integrated by the Svoboda and Right Sector (not to mention former members of defunct fascist UNA-UNSO), the two main Neo-Nazi entities have been entrusted with key positions which grant them de facto control over the Armed Forces, Police and National Security.

While Yatsenuyk’s Fatherland Party controls the majority of portfolios and Svoboda Neo-Nazi leader Oleh Tyahnybok was not granted a major cabinet post (apparently at the request of assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland), members of Svoboda and the Right Sector occupy key positions in the areas of Defense, Law Enforcement, Education, Justice and Economic Affairs.

Read more here

PS: I am in no way making an apology for the former president's policies or his corrupt regime. This is not a football match, this is about acknowledging actual facts. Seldom in life things are in white and black.