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Thu, 09 Feb 2023
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Mainstream Economics is a Cult

trojan horse
© n/a
Neoclassical Economics Is Based on Myth

Neoclassical economics is a cult which ignores reality in favor of shared myths.

Economics professor Michael Hudson writes: [One Nobel prize winning economist stated,] "In pointing out the consequences of a set of abstract assumptions, one need not be committed unduly as to the relation between reality and these assumptions."

This attitude did not deter him from drawing policy conclusions affecting the material world in which real people live....

Typical of this now widespread attitude is the textbook Microeconomics by William Vickery, winner of the 1997 Nobel Economics Prize:
"Economic theory proper, indeed, is nothing more than a system of logical relations between certain sets of assumptions and the conclusions derived from them... The validity of a theory proper does not depend on the correspondence or lack of it between the assumptions of the theory or its conclusions and observations in the real world. A theory as an internally consistent system is valid if the conclusions follow logically from its premises, and the fact that neither the premises nor the conclusions correspond to reality may show that the theory is not very useful, but does not invalidate it. In any pure theory, all propositions are essentially tautological, in the sense that the results are implicit in the assumptions made."
Such disdain for empirical verification is not found in the physical sciences.

Pistol

Gunman in Afghan Police Uniform Kills Three Nato Troops

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© Reuters
Foreign forces are training their Afghan counterparts ahead of a full handover in 2014
A gunman wearing an Afghan police uniform has killed three Nato staff in the south of the country, the coalition has said.

The gunman was injured and later detained, Nato said.

Officials did not confirm the nationalities of the killed service members, or any other details of the incident.

More than 20 foreign personnel have been killed in so-called rogue shootings this year.

Observers say this has eroded morale among foreign forces.

Rocket

Iran to Fire Missiles in Desert War Games in Warning to U.S. and Israel Threats

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© Al Arabiya File Photo
Although Iran frequently holds war games, the upcoming exercises appeared to underline Tehran’s threat to strike U.S. military bases in neighboring countries.
Tehran - Iran's Revolutionary Guards announced they are to fire ballistic and other missiles at desert targets during three days of war games starting Monday in a warning to threats of military action by Israel and the United States.

"Long-, medium- and short-range surface-to-surface missiles will be fired from different locations in Iran... at replica airbases like those used by out-of-region military forces," the head of the Guards aerospace division in charge of missile systems, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said.

"These maneuvers send a message to the adventurous nations that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps is standing up to bullies alongside the determined and unified Iranian nation, and will decisively respond to any trouble they cause," he was quoted as saying by the Guards' official Sepah news website.

Although Iran frequently holds war games, these exercises appeared to underline Tehran's threat to strike U.S. military bases in neighboring countries -- in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia -- if it comes under attack by Israel or the United States.

Propaganda

Propaganda Alert! Al-Qaida planning to crash U.S. airline during London Olympics

Royal Marines
© AP
Royal Marines exercise on the river Thames in London.
According to the Sunday Times, a Norwegian who was trained in Yemen plans to crash the plane on a suicide mission; British authorities say there is a shortage of personnel to carry out proper security screenings.

The al-Qaida branch in the Arabian Peninsula is believed to be planning a terror attack during the Olympic Games in London, scheduled to begin at the end of the month. According to a report in today's Sunday Times, quoting intelligence services, the organization has recruited a Norwegian Muslim convert who was supposed to hijack a U.S. passenger plane and crash it on a suicide mission. It is not clear though that the attack targeted one of the Olympic venues, despite the timing.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has been involved in a number of attempts to carry out high-profile attacks on Western targets.

Comment: The usual ridiculous fiction from 'unnamed' sources we've come to expect from the Murdoch empire. Continuing the 'everyone is a terrorist' illusion to justify civil liberty clampdowns and scaremongering to make the public believe their leaders will protect them by shooting down passenger air planes. Sadly predictable to see the Haaretz article end with Iran's nuclear program.

It becomes obvious this is complete propaganda when one considers the feasibility of hijacking a U.S air plane to fly it all the way over the Atlantic to crash into a table tennis match or archery competition. Complete nonsense designed to spread fear on both sides of the pond.


Bad Guys

Turkey Scrambles F-16 Jets on Syria Border

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© Reuters
Continuing violence in Syria has prompted fears of a wider regional conflict
Turkey has scrambled six F-16 fighter jets near its border with Syria after Syrian helicopters came close to the border, the country's army says.

Six jets were sent to the area in response to three such incidents on Saturday, the statement said, adding that there was no violation of Turkish airspace.

Last month, Syrian forces shot down a Turkish jet in the border area.

The incident further strained already tense relations between former allies.

Turkey's government has been outspoken in its condemnation of Syria's response to the 16-month anti-government uprising, which has seen more than 30,000 Syrian refugees enter Turkey.


Stormtrooper

No-fly zone enforced over Wimbledon for first time in 10 years to help prevent 'knock on' Olympics security threat

Wimbledon Security
© The Independent
There has been an increase in the number of security officers in Wimbledon this year
A no-fly zone has been imposed over Wimbledon for the first time in nearly ten years, police revealed today, as part of one of the biggest security operations in the Championship's 126 year history.

With the Olympics only three weeks away security bosses said they would be watching for any threats that might have "a knock on effect" on the policing of the Games, which is expected to be the biggest peace time security operation in British history.

The number of officers on the ground at the All England Club has been noticeably increased at this year's Championships and the Civil Aviation Authority has imposed a ban on low-flying aircraft within a mile perimeter of the Championship grounds, on police advice.

Comment: What used to be sporting events where people go to enjoy themselves are becoming security playgrounds, conditioning the public to accept unnessesary and invasive security procedures.


Star of David

Former Israeli PM and terrorist Yitzhak Shamir dies at 96

Yitzhak Shamir, who has died aged 96, was a former terrorist who, a little to his own surprise, found himself Prime Minister of Israel in 1983.

shamir
© AFP/GETTY
Yitzhak Shamir in 1991
He only entered the Knesset in 1973, when he was nearly 60, as a member of Menachem Begin's Herut party (which was later to merge with other right wing groups to form Likud). In 1977 he was elected Speaker and three years later he became Foreign Minister.

It was a curious appointment, not only because had he never held any ministerial office before, but also because he differed profoundly from Begin on perhaps the key element in his foreign policy, the 1978 Camp David Accords which led to peace, the following year, between Israel and Egypt.

Moreover, Shamir was a virtually unknown quantity, for his past was shrouded in mystery, but that, if anything, helped, for it gave him something he otherwise lacked, a certain amount of glamour.

The Foreign Ministry seemed to make him heir apparent to Begin, although they were almost exact contemporaries and Begin had no immediate or even distant plans to retire. But then, in August 1983, about a year after the invasion of Lebanon, Begin suffered a nervous collapse and resigned. David Levy, who was Deputy Prime Minister, made a bid to succeed him, but was easily beaten by Shamir. He had got to the top in a mere 10 years without any apparent effort to get there, and his whole career suggests that advancement is dependent less on ability than on being in the right place at the right time.

Comment: The fact that psychopaths like Shamir have determined the history of the 20th century goes a long way in explaining the disastrous state of the world.
"We made progress, and I hope we will again, but never by concessions, never by submission".
Indeed, only psychopaths understand genuine efforts to make peace with their victimized neighbors as "submission".


USA

Jimmy Carter Attacks Barack Obama Over Assassinations and Drone Attacks

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© Former president Jimmy Carter
Former president Jimmy Carter has blasted the United States for anti-terror strategies such as targeting individuals for assassination and using unmanned drones to bomb suspected targets, saying they directly flout the basic tenets of universal human rights and foment anti-US sentiment.

In an article written for the New York Times headlined "A Cruel and Unusual Record", Mr Carter, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his work trying to resolve conflicts around the globe, suggested that the US is in violation of 10 of the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is a rare attack by a former commander-in-chief on a sitting President - especially of the same party.

Dominoes

Scientology's Summer of Hell

Scientology headquarters
© n/a
With the Cruise marriage split, the 60th anniversary of L Ron Hubbard's cult movement is going from bad to worse

Suddenly, being called a "cult" seems the least of Scientology's worries. The movement is already facing a summer of high-profile court cases, bitter defections, blockbuster exposés and members bringing the so-called religion into disrepute. Now its 60th-anniversary year has brought the divorce of its two most high-profile proponents.

Worse, there were reports yesterday that Katie Holmes's decision to walk out on Tom Cruise was linked to her actor husband's involvement with Scientology. According to the celebrity website TMZ, she was concerned Cruise would drag their six-year-old daughter, Suri, deep into the movement. The reports throw the spotlight once again on the belief system that promises members "spiritual rehabilitation" through counselling sessions described as "auditing".

Holmes, who was brought up a Catholic and enrolled Suri in a Catholic pre-school in 2009, is reportedly filing for sole legal custody, specifically to avoid Cruise having control over religious decisions.

At a conference in Dublin yesterday former members were due to add to the chorus of condemnation. The conference organiser, Pete Griffiths, who turned his back on Scientology, said: "They're looking for people who've got a lot of money [and] a lot of time."

Comment:



Binoculars

US exempts China from Iran sanctions

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© Reuters
Iran is belived to be storing oil aboard its tankers, suggesting that international sanctions are taking effect.
With Thursday's decision to grant exceptions to China, which buys up to a fifth of Iran's oil exports, and Singapore, which buys Iranian fuel oil, the Obama administration has now spared all 20 of Iran's major oil buyers from its unilateral sanctions.

The sanctions themselves are designed to pressure Iran to curb its nuclear program, which the West believes aims to develop nuclear weapons but which Tehran says is for peaceful purposes such as generating electricity and medical isotopes.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said both China and Singapore earned the reprieve by cutting imports of Iranian crude and argued the reductions by all 20 countries showed that Iran was paying a high price for its nuclear program.