Interesting & Important News & Analysis, November 12, 2019

‘ATFuzzer’ Android Baseband Security Threat Exploits Malicious Bluetooth, USB Accessories: Researchers

I am no Bernie Sanders hater, as a reading of this entire blog clearly shows. That said, I take exception to some of Bernie’s positions. The following is an example:

How to Fight Antisemitism

The founding of Israel is understood by another people in the land of Palestine as the cause of their painful displacement. And just as Palestinians should recognize the just claims of Israeli Jews, supporters of Israel must understand why Palestinians view Israel’s creation as they do. Acknowledging these realities does not “delegitimize” Israel any more than acknowledging the sober facts of America’s own founding delegitimizes the United States. It is a necessary step of truth and reconciliation in order to address the inequalities that continue to exist in our respective societies.

It is true that some criticism of Israel can cross the line into antisemitism, especially when it denies the right of self-determination to Jews, or when it plays into conspiracy theories about outsized Jewish power.

I’ll start with the last part first. Bernie knows full well that as little as 10 years ago, he would have been hounded out of the US legislature for claiming that it is okay to disagree with the Israeli government. That fact shows that there was literally outsized Jewish power at least amongst some Jews. Bernie didn’t have it. His power has grown as the power of those others, such as Netanyahu, has diminished. The issue should never have been whether a certain ilk of Jews gained outsized power. The issue should only have been about why those particular Jews had gained that power. I won’t go into that here. Rather, I’ll turn to his other error.

Bernie the ethnocrat

The supposed right to ethnocracy is a major problem. Bernie opposes it in the US because it is wrong, not because it would simply be wrong in the US but right elsewhere. Why does Bernie have a double standard about ethnocracy?

He’s a Jew. I am not. I’m a WASP (white Anglo-Saxon Protestant). If Bernie is elected President on the merits, if he is open, honest, and direct and is elected in a free and fair election, he’ll be President. It won’t matter to me at all that he’s a Jew. He would hate it were I to claim that the United States was founded primarily by WASP’s and, therefore, legitimately those WASP’s have a right to self-determination in exactly the sense Bernie claims it for the Netanyahu’s over in Palestine/Israel.

Remember, many WASP’s came to America to escape deadly religious persecution. Many wars were fought on account of it. Huge numbers died. Bernie is wrong to be making a special carve-out for Jews in Palestine.

Let there be one state with equal rights for Arabs and Jews and all other ethnicities. To be calling for anything else is anti-democratic.

Heineken becomes latest brewer in UK to replace plastic six-pack rings with environmentally-friendly alternative

Heineken is not the first brewer to introduce environmentally friendly alternatives to the six pack ring. In 2018, Danish brewer Carlsberg announced it would replace six-pack rings with recyclable glue and one Florida beer company developed can holders that marine animals could eat.

First of all, I’m not for a UBI (Universal Basic Income). I’m for a ULI (Universal Living Income); for a government guaranteed job for all who want one; opposed to doing away with other public benefits needed by those for whom a ULI would be unfairly less for them in terms of discretionary-spending power; and for the ULI, the wages for the government guaranteed job, and other benefits all being indexed to inflation. Also, as automation will surely ramp up, the ULI would ramp up with it while guaranteed jobs would ramp down (be phased out as redundant and unneeded). Think about that while reading the following to see why I take the position I do.

UBI versus the Job Guarantee: The New Political Divide?

… the job guarantee is a short-cut to becoming wage slaves of the state, argues one party; UBI is a neoliberal pretext for dismantling all forms of welfare, claims the other.

Good Economics for Hard Times by Abhijit V Banerjee and Esther Duflo review – methodical deconstruction of fake facts

To provide a persuasive progressive policy agenda at a time when the usual fixes (quantitative easing, taxation) no longer work, the roots of capitalism’s stagnation and flirtation with climate catastrophe must come to the surface.

It is a remarkable sign of the times that, as my friend the philosopher Slavoj Žižek once said, even the brightest minds would rather fathom the end of the world than plan for the demise of capitalism. Perhaps the greatest contribution of Good Economics… is precisely this: it demonstrates both the brilliant insights that mainstream economics can make available to us and its limits, which a progressive internationalism has a duty to transcend.

By capitalism, he means the anti-democratic “free market.”

As I’ve been preaching for decades, the libertarian-capitalists have driven us into an anti-democratic deregulatory race to the bottom.

Democracy doesn’t matter to the defenders of ‘economic freedom’

Their “economic freedom” is the impoverishment of everyone else, and they’ve always known it.

The moderator made a mistake when he said that only after the OAS said there were problems did Evo say he was for new elections. Evo made clear well before the OAS even began looking at the elections saying they, the OAS, were investigating whether there were problems, that he was for new elections if any improprieties were found.

The Grayzone’s Anya Parampil debunks Bolivian coup myths in Al Jazeera rant

The Grayzone’s Anya Parampil took over an Al Jazeera interview to provide a point-by-point rebuttal of major myths surrounding the coup in Bolivia and placed the ouster of Evo Morales in proper historical context.

I resign so persecution of socialist leaders stops – Morales

Bolivian President #EvoMorales resigned shortly after the military urged him to do so. Two officials next in line to take over the government also stepped down following weeks of protests.

“I resign from my position as president so that (Carlos) #Mesa and (Luis Fernando) #Camacho do not continue to persecute socialist leaders,” Morales said during a televised address, mentioning the leaders of the opposition.

The risk to the economy of another crash due to the excesses of mortgage-backed securities?:

Author EXPOSES Kamala Harris’ troubling record on banks in California

Author Aaron Glantz describes how the wealthy profited off the 2008 foreclosure crisis.

This is actually the best commentary concerning Elizabeth Warren I’ve heard or read.

Krystal Ball: New Elizabeth Warren comments reveal her greatest weakness

Krystal Ball explains Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s latest disingenuous answers on wealth and the primary process.

The reason I relate to what Krystal says there is not because I was willing to lie to make A’s (I wasn’t and “paid the price” for it) but because what I write here on this blog is not aimed at making sales but telling the truth to the best of my ability to discern it and letting the chips fall where they may. I’m optimistic that doing so will end up being appreciated enough to more than make up for the delay.

Amateur Builder Turns School Bus into GORGEOUS Tiny House: 18 Month TIME LAPSE

Interesting & Important News & Analysis, November 11, 2019

Bolivian president Evo Morales resigns after voting manipulation found

First of all, Evo Morales said right from the start that if the OAS were to find anything suspicious, he, Evo, would be all for a new election. As for the reasons for the suspicion, we’ll have to wait for more details. It’s also important to note that Evo is such a thorn in the side of US imperialists that one should reserve judgment as to who was behind any suspicious activities.

There is the issue of term limits, though. However, it is disputed due to, again, US imperialism.

“The manipulations to the computer systems are of such magnitude that they must be deeply investigated by the Bolivian state to get to the bottom of and assign responsibility in this serious case,” the preliminary OAS report said.

“The first round of the elections held on October 20 must be annulled and the electoral process must begin again,” the OAS added in a separate statement.

Bolivia’s president calls new election after police abandon posts to join pro-democracy protesters in street

I’m all for this.

No more fire in the kitchen: Cities are banning natural gas in homes to save the planet

Better safe than sorry, so I’m with Thailand on this one.

Thailand wants to ban these three pesticides. The US government says no

You know it’s a dark day for America when foreign leaders have to lecture US officials about the importance of prioritizing public health over corporate profits.

Yet that is what is happening now, as the Trump administration pressures Thailand not to ban three pesticides that scientific research has shown to be particularly dangerous to children and other vulnerable populations.

Thailand’s leaders have said that as of 1 December, a ban will take effect on the use of the following farming chemicals: chlorpyrifos, an insecticide made popular by Dow Chemical that is known to damage babies’ brains; Syngenta’s paraquat, a herbicide scientists say causes the nervous system disease known as Parkinson’s that has been banned in Europe since 2007; and Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide, which is linked to cancer and other health problems.

With this next one, we can read such things with the view that it’s all true, it’s all false, or something in between. How do we determine whether she’s telling the truth or lying?

Inside China’s ‘re-education’ camps

Richest 1% of Americans Close to Surpassing Wealth of Middle Class