Open Letter From Steve Forbes To Mark Zuckerberg Reply

by Steve Forbes

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg:

Your company made big headlines when it announced it would be launching a cryptocurrency called the Libra in 2020. Not surprisingly, given the nature of the times, the project has been greeted with intense criticism and skepticism. Don’t lose heart. In one sense, the idea of a company creating its own kind of money is an old one. The airlines’ frequent-flier miles are really a form of money that customers can earn and use to buy trips and various other things. Credit card companies, hotels and numerous retailers have all sorts of loyalty programs in which people earn points that will let them buy all manner of goodies.

But if you play your cards right with the Libra, you could be to money and finance what Henry Ford was to automobiles. Your new currency could take its place alongside the inventions of coins and paper money many centuries ago. It could replace the U.S. dollar as the global currency. More…

The Gap Between Rich and Poor Americans’ Health Is Widening Reply

NPR
by Susie Neilson

Researchers compared Americans’ health status today with that of 25 years ago and found that health is worsening among lower-income Americans.

Orbon Alija/Getty Images

 

Income inequality in the U.S. has grown over the past several decades. And as the gap between rich and poor yawns, so does the gap in their health, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open Friday. More…

Rising US Inequality: How We Got Here, Where We’re Going 1

Stanford Business
Shana Lynch

An economist and a business advisor discuss what might happen if the gap between rich and poor continues to grow.

A tent is seen next to Echo Park Lake in Los Angeles, California. Credit: Reuters/Lucy NicholsonInequality is on the rise in the United States. Stanford experts discuss possible solutions. | Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

The U.S. economy hit a historic high in 2018, and today unemployment is at its lowest rate in five decades. Yet wage growth for the vast majority of Americans has stalled, and more people are struggling to afford housing, health care, education, and other basics.

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The Long, Slow Death of Venice 1

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The local population is at its lowest since the 1950s, with no turnaround in sight, as tourists continue to chase locals out.

by Chiara Albanese, Giovonni Salzano, and Federico Vespignani

If you’ve been to Venice, you get it. Even the most jaded globetrotter can’t help but do a double-take at the sheer originality—and beauty—of the centuries-old city built entirely on water.

Yet even the quickest visit reveals that Venice is no longer a living city, with scores more tourists than actual Venetians crowding its lagoon, bridges and walkways. The numbers bear that out. The city’s population basically peaked in the 1500s, and though it rallied again to near 16th century levels in the 1970s, today there are just one third as many Venetians as 50 years ago. More…

Tucker Carlson Tells Trump in Private: No War With Iran 4

Interesting if true.

The Daily Beast

In the upper echelons of the Trump administration, hawkish voices on Iran predominate—most notably Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton. But as tensions between the U.S. and Iran have escalated over the last few weeks, there’s been another, far different voice in the president’s ear: that of Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

A source familiar with the conversations told The Daily Beast that, in recent weeks, the Fox News host has privately advised Trump against taking military action against Iran. And a senior administration official said that during the president’s recent conversations with the Fox primetime host, Carlson has bashed the more “hawkish members” of his administration.

While some Fox News hosts have argued that a conflict with Iran would be justified, Carlson has consistently criticized U.S. military intervention abroad, particularly in the Middle East. In recent weeks, he has questioned whether war with Iran would be “in anyone’s interest.” Last month, he publicly chided Bolton, saying he was intentionally escalating tensions, and that a potential conflict would “be like Christmas, Thanksgiving, his birthday wrapped into one.”

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Libertarian presidential candidate looks to get rid of the federal government 2

Watch here. Adam Kokesh is running for the Libertarian Party nomination on a platform of ending the federal government for real. Not “enforcing the Tenth Amendment, ” not “going back to the Constitution,” not “reducing the size and scope of the federal government,” not “tax cuts and deregulation” or any other mainstream conservative/neoliberal-libertarian bullshit.

Adam has the right idea, but I’m not sure he’s the right kind of leader given his failed, over the top, armed march on Washington from a few years ago, and his much publicized domestic abuse issues. The ideal revolutionary leader would have a clean image and one that exhibits uber-competence, and not have a personal history of instability (mental illness, alcoholism/drug addiction, domestic violence, financial corruption, etc). I don’t really care about any of those things myself. It’s more about marketing.

I like what Adam says in the video, and I think he’s on the right track. But he brings too much personal baggage, and the LP is not the right forum for this. Fringe parties don’t reach a large audience. For a range of tactical and propagandistic reasons, what we need is an American version of someone like Carne Ross running as a Democrat on the same platform that Adam is suggesting, and a Ron Paul-type running as a Republican on a parallel platform (thereby covering the left and right wing bases simultaneously).

This is not to say that electoralism/reformism is the means by which the state will be abolished per se, only that Adam’s idea applied in a competently and strategically executed way would be an excellent marketing/propaganda/strategic effort.

Pretenses for US troop deployment dubious Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

The pretenses under which the US is sending troops to the Middle East are dubious, according to an American political analyst. 

Media reports said that the US was sending 1,000 more troops to Middle East for ‘defensive purposes’ amid tensions with Iran.

PressTV-US sending 1,000 more troops to Mideast

PressTV-US sending 1,000 more troops to MideastThe United States has approved deployment of some 1,000 more soldiers to the Middle East amid escalating tensions with Iran.

Speaking to Press TV from Virginia on Tuesday, director of Attackthesystem.com Keith Preston, questioned the claims behind the move and said the troops deployment was under false pretenses. 

“Supposedly, this is a response to the attacks on the oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman,“ he said, while pointing out that it had not been established yet who carried out the attack.  

“It has not been established as to who was actually responsible for those attacks,” he said.

Preston said the administration in the United States had very recklessly tried to blame Iran for the attacks. 

However, Preston reminded, any involvement of Iran had “not been demonstrated by any kind of evidence.” He noted, “In fact, all of the evidence points away from the idea that Iran would be responsible for the two attacks.”

He said the truth of the matter was that sending additional American troops to the Middle East was an anti-Iran effort aimed at exerting pressure on the Islamic Republic.

US President Donald Trump’s increasingly aggressive anti-Iran stance has been the result of false reports to him by White House National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who were pushing the United States into a military confrontation with Iran, according to the American analyst.

Preston said Bolton, who is notorious for his decades-long animosity towards the Islamic Republic, was pigheadedly pursuing “regime change” in Iran.

The analyst noted that regime change in Iran was part of the wider neoconservatives’ agenda that had been implemented in the region for some years now. “This is the latest chapter in the unfolding of that drama.”

“The important issue at present is to recognize that the pretext for sending the troops is a false one,” Preston said, concluding the interview by saying, “It is based on claims that have not been demonstrated.”

“The Gulf of Credibility“ Reply

By Craig Murray

I really cannot begin to fathom how stupid you would have to be to believe that Iran would attack a Japanese oil tanker at the very moment that the Japanese Prime Minister was sitting down to friendly, US-disapproved talks in Tehran on economic cooperation that can help Iran survive the effects of US economic sanctions.

The Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous was holed above the water line. That rules out a torpedo attack, which is the explanation being touted by the neo-cons.

The second vessel, the Front Altair, is Norwegian owned and 50% Russian crewed (the others being Filipinos). It is owned by Frontline, a massive tanker leasing company that also has a specific record of being helpful to Iran in continuing to ship oil despite sanctions.

It was Iran that rescued the crews and helped bring the damaged vessels under control.

That Iran would target a Japanese ship and a friendly Russian crewed ship is a ludicrous allegation. They are however very much the targets that the USA allies in the region – the Saudis, their Gulf Cooperation Council colleagues, and Israel – would target for a false flag. It is worth noting that John Bolton was meeting with United Arab Emirates ministers two weeks ago – both ships had just left the UAE.

The USA and their UK stooges have both immediately leapt in to blame Iran. The media is amplifying this with almost none of the scepticism which is required. I cannot think of a single reason why anybody would believe this particular false flag. It is notable that neither Norway nor Japan has joined in with this ridiculous assertion.

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War with Iran is not what Trump wants 1

Press TV. Listen here.

War with Iran is not what US President Donald Trump wants, says an American author and political analyst in Virginia.

Keith Preston told Press TV in an interview on Thursday that Trump was not in favor of war with Iran.

The author of Attack the System said despite his bellicose language, Trump, who is a businessman, is against war with Iran. “The instincts that I have is that Trump really does not want to have a war with Iran.” 

“But I think that he is also basing his opinion on a lot of false information that has been fed to him by various sources within the intelligence services, within his own administration,” he added. 

“Something similar happened to President George W. Bush back in the early 2000 where George W. Bush also had limited knowledge or experience with foreign policy issues and international relations, and was simply led to war in Iraq by the people in his administration by Donald Rumsfeld, the former secretary of defense, and by Dick Cheney, the former vice president, ” he stated. 

Preston also said that “Trump has zero experience when it comes to foreign policy.” 

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US aims to ease conflict with Iran? Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent announcement is an effort to ease rising tensions that have sparked fears of a conflict, American author and political commentator Keith Preston says. 

In past months, Pompeo was said to be setting the stage for war with Iran.

PressTV-Pompeo preparing for war with Iran: Bush-era official

PressTV-Pompeo preparing for war with Iran: Bush-era officialMike Pompeo is “setting the stage for a war with Iran,” says a Bush-era official, claiming he sees the same pattern that developed ahead of the 2003 war on Iraq.

However, Pompeo seems to be moving in another direction now. He said on Sunday that Washington was now ready for unconditional talks with Iran.

The author of Attack the System believes that some of the Trump administration’s anti-Iran comments, mainly those by Pompeo and the hawkish National Security Adviser John Bolton, have been very extreme and “Trump may be trying to rein those guys in a bit.”    

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Trump most pro-Israel US president, can’t broker peace in Mideast Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

Donald Trump is America’s most pro-Israel president and as such, his administration is not capable of mediating peace in the Middle East, argues an American analyst.

Keith Preston, the Virginia-based director of Attackthesystem.com, made the remarks after Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser, traveled to the Middle East to promote Washington’s so-called “deal of the century,” which seeks to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Keith Preston: US cannot force Iraq out of Iran ties Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

The United States cannot force Iraq out of Iran ties, says an analyst, adding that Tehran offer of military assistance to Baghdad indicates the depth of the relationship between the two countries.

The comments came after a senior Iranian military commander said Iran is prepared to offer various types of assistance to reinforce Iraq’s defensive capabilities, including the sharing of experience.

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On the Victory and Cooptation of the Liberal-Left by Global Capitalism 1

A lot of people on the liberal/left end of the spectrum have to psychologically assume the role of the “permanent victim” because their whole worldview involves fighting “oppression” or “social injustice” so there always has to be oppression or social injustice for them to fight. Therefore, 11 white nationalists in the army suddenly means the Fourth Reich is just around the corner.

Actually, liberals have won virtually every social or cultural issue of the last 50 years: civil rights, feminism, gay rights, abortion rights, abolishing the draft, 18-year-olds voting. The demography of the US is becoming more diverse. Institutions are becoming more integrated (the military is the most integrated institution of all except maybe prison). Organized religion is losing its influence. The transgender movement is growing. Weed is being legalized in more and more places. Support for social democratic economic policies is rising. Environmentalism is popular. Overt racism is socially unacceptable. The sexual revolution has become the norm. Republicans have lost the popular vote in every election in the past quarter century except 2004. Antiwar sentiment is high. The political left has taken over universities. Most of the media trends left of center.

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Boredom and Suffering and Safety and Liberty 2

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

I’m not going to lie to you, dearest motherfuckers. My life is kind of a dumpster fire right now. In fact, it’s been kind of a dumpster fire for the last few years. Even aside from my clinical crosses to bare: anxiety, depression, OCD, ADD, IBS, Lyme disease, dysphoria, bubonic plague, etc: The last few years have felt like a Macy’s Day Parade of Ballardian car crashes. My grandmother gets dementia and has to be moved through fifty different fucking homes because none of them can be bothered to treat her like a goddamn human being unless their paid in speed boats. My cat and loyal companion of nearly twenty years loses both thyroids, shits everywhere and slowly dies on me. Then my best humanoid friend since high school up and moves to a different goddamn continent. Then my father gets run over by a sleep deprived paper-man and finds out he has cancer in the emergency room. Then some sick fuck shoots a geezer and blows his brains out next door to my loony Nana’s latest nursing home. Then the cops murder another friend in cold blood for being autistic while black. And then and then and then and then….
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Truth Time: Marxism is Stagnating Reply

A great takedown of the old guard Communist parties AND the First World Left by Unruhe. The one thing I disagree with Unruhe on is that I don’t consider the old guard Commies to be moving toward fascism, much less “third positionism,” but toward bourgeois nationalism (in fact, they’ve already been there for a long time, with Putin and Xi being the most obvious examples). And the critique of the embrace of academic leftists gender studies ideology by Western Maoists is spot on as well.