The Curious Case of the English “Envenom” Meme about the Scots

By William K. Black
May 11, 2015

My intended series about the UK election is expanding because the material is just too good and too important. My “Kilkenomics” colleague Liam Halligan who is the lead economics writer for the Telegraph wrote a column dated May 10, 2015 about the election that sparked this column. The tag line for his column is: “Nigel Farage has opened a Pandora’s box that cannot now be closed.” Farage was the former (and likely future) leader of UKIP, the ultra-right party enraged by immigrants, particularly people of color.

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The New York Times’ Secret Rule Forbidding Its EU Writers from Reading Krugman

By William K. Black
Quito: May 10, 2015

I don’t know when the New York Times adopted the (obviously secret) rule that forbids its news staff that writes about the EU from reading Paul Krugman’s columns in that obscure newspaper named the New York Times. I can say that compliance with the rule appears to be nearly 100 percent. It is, of course, a mystery why the NYT would give Krugman, a Nobel Laureate in Economics; the most prominent position in the world to explain economics and then require its news staff covering Europe to ignore virtually everything he explains.

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The Economist’s Racist Headline Must be Retracted Immediately

By William K. Black
Quito: May 10, 2015

It took exactly one day for the Tory election victory in the UK to produce the confidence among the Conservatives only remaining media organ with even a semblance of journalistic professionalism to reveal its true racism against the Scots. The Economist felt empowered to headline its article about the other electoral triumph, by the Scots, as “Ajockalypse now.” Wow, that is such a clever title. One can only imagine the back-slapping among the staff in the magazine’s halls at the ability to go full-racist given the election results. (The English have historically treated the Celts as separate “races.”)

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US Treasuries auction: method and implications

The latest in a series of class project videos from Eric Tymoigne’s upper division Modern Money Theory class at Lewis and Clark College. Over the next several days, we will be posting  select videos created by his most recent class. Eric has created a YouTube channel to be the home of MMT videos created by L&C students. You can check it out here.

Prime Minister Cameron’s “Southern Strategy” Wins (and Loses)

By William K. Black
Quito: May 8, 2015

Paul Krugman has a good column today entitled “Triumph of the Unthinking” about the Tory electoral triumph in the UK. Krugman makes three central points. First, the Tories and the UK media have created a myth about austerity that is utterly false – and poison to Labour while falsely flattering to the Conservatives. Second, rather than fight the myth by explaining why austerity in response to the Great Recession was an insane policy that gratuitously forced the UK back into a severe recession, Labour has embraced austerity. Krugman opines that Labour felt that public support for austerity was so strong that the party’s leadership felt it was impossible to do the right thing.

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Three Proofs That UK Elections Even Weirder Than Here

By William K. Black
Quito: May 6, 2015

UK elections are ultra-quick, so tomorrow is Election Day. As the electorate prepares to go to the polls three acts of insanity have struck. The first answers the question: what do British bankers do when their ethical standards fall so low that they are unfit to serve as bankers even in the corrupt culture of banking that dominates the City? They run for Parliament as candidates for the racist UKIP. UKIP, of course, objects to the characterization, so let’s have Robert Blay explain the concept in his own words (but with the obscenities slightly masked). Blay was a Tory (Conservative Party) before joining UKIP. The context is that he is running for a seat against a Tory hotshot named Ranil Jayawardena. The Mirror describes Blay’s rage at Jayawardena, his former Tory colleague.

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TPP: The Fascism Issue

If the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement will, if implemented, and as I’ve argued elsewhere, result in the death of national and state sovereignty, constitutional separation of powers, and democracy, then what system and what principles will replace these things? Eric Zuesse answers that it will be Fascism. And implicitly, that we are going through an evolution from representative democracy to fascism and that trade deals like the TPP, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) mediate the transfer “. . . of democratic national sovereignty to international fascist bodies that represent global corporate management. . . . ”

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Fast/Track/TPP: The Death of National Sovereignty, State Sovereignty, Separation of Powers, and Democracy

Most of the critical attention given to the Fast Track Trade Agreement legislation and to the associated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Congressional – Executive Agreement on mainstream corporate media and by politicians and establishment interest groups interacting with them in the beltway echo chamber, has focused on the likely or possible economic impacts of these. But relatively little attention has focused on sovereignty, constitutional separation of powers, or democracy impacts, which however are being covered increasingly well in alternative social media. See here, here, here, and here.

In hopes of breaking through this fragmentation by type of media of the debate over the TPP, I’ll focus this post only on governance impacts and try to make the case, that this so-called trade agreement, if passed and implemented would create profound governance changes in the United States without benefit of the constitutional amendments that would normally be required to accomplish such changes. I’ll also make the case that the governance impacts destroy national sovereignty, state sovereignty, separation of powers, and democracy.

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America Is a Horror Show

This is from earlier this year. If you have not yet viewed this episode, it is worth taking the time to do so. (Description provided by Bill Moyers’ site).

David Simon, journalist and creator of the TV series The Wire and Treme, talks with Bill about the crisis of capitalism in America. After President Barack Obama’s annual State of the Union address, it’s a reality check from someone who artfully uses television drama to report on the state of America from an entirely different perspective — the bottom up.

“The horror show is we are going to be slaves to profit. Some of us are going to be higher on the pyramid and we’ll count ourselves lucky and many many more will be marginalized and destroyed,” Simon tells Moyers. He blames a “purchased” Congress for failing America’s citizens, leading many of them to give up on politics altogether.

Watch the episode here.

Ridiculing Concerns About TPP Tyranny

People who support the Administration’s efforts on the TPP have been known to reply to my posts on this subject by attempting to ridicule the scenarios I’ve presented as possible under the TPP Agreement as “out there” speculation of the tin foil variety that will never actually happen. For those who think that my examples of what is possible under the TPP are just this kind of speculation, please keep in mind that I don’t have the proposed draft agreements to work from.

This is due to the President’s decision to classify the drafts and seek Fast Track Authority before disclosing them more freely even to Congress for an up or down vote. However, there is no indication from anyone that the actual drafts of the agreement contain rules that would definitively prevent the possible very damaging consequences I’ve mentioned here for example. Continue reading