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/leftpol/ - Left Politics

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May 2019 - 8chan Transparency Report
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US sending B-52s to Middle East as part of Iran response

U.S. Central Command confirmed Tuesday that bombers headed to the Middle East will be B-52s as it sought to clarify plans to deploy a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the region days after national security advisor John Bolton announced the move.



Venezuelan Top Court Orders Prosecution of 7 Lawmakers over Participation in Coup

The Supreme Court of Justice of Venezuela, found guilty seven opposition lawmakers of the Venezuelan National Assembly, which has been in contampt oif that very court since 2016, for illicit activity linked to treason, conspiracy, instigation for civil rebellion, conspiracy to commit a crime, usurpation of functions, and public instigation for disobedience of the laws.


Radical opposition party advocating seizure of white-owned farms set to surge in South Africa's election

When South Africa goes to the polls on Wednesday, only one party looks certain to increase its share of the vote.The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) advocates the seizure of all white-owned farms and the nationalisation of much of the economy.


‘Portuguese pilot’ shot down in Mirage jet by General Haftar’s forces in Libya

The pilot of a fighter jet shot down south of Tripoli by the Libyan National Army is allegedly a Portuguese fighting in Libya as a “mercenary,” Haftar’s forces claim, as photos of the captured pilot covered in blood emerge online.


UK: Renewed Brexit talks deepen splits in both Conservatives and Labour

Talks between the Conservative government and Labour opposition on an alternative Brexit deal resume today, with a meeting between Prime Minister Theresa May’s deputy, David Lidington, and Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer.


Myanmar Releases Pulitzer Prize-Winning Reuters Journalists

After more than 500 days in prison, two Reuters journalists convicted of breaking Myanmar's Official Secrets Act have been released from prison.


French authorities granted access to psychiatric records to ‘prevent terrorist radicalization’

Authorities in France will now be notified by psychiatric healthcare professionals if they feel a patient is in danger of “terrorist radicalization,” sparking renewed concerns over the future of doctor-patient confidentiality.


Suits Filed Against Carnival Cruises, Cuban Firms Over Seized Property In Cuba

"They had told them that the Castro regime was taking his property and that he had to leave the country," says Behn from his home in Miami. His grandfather grabbed his wife and children and flew straight to New York. The family lost everything, he says.


The night the US bombed a Chinese embassy

Nato, the world's most powerful military alliance, had been pummelling Yugoslavia from the skies since late March to try to bring a halt to atrocities committed by President Slobodan Milosevic's forces against ethnic Albanians in the province of Kosovo. It was now 7 May 1999 and the US-dominated air campaign was only growing more intense.


US lifts sanctions on general who broke ranks

The US has lifted sanctions on a Venezuelan general who broke ranks from the Nicolás Maduro regime, saying it hoped it would push others to follow.



Once Defiant, All Four White Supremacists Charged in Charlottesville Violence Plead Guilty

Guilty pleas last week by two prominent members of the Rise Above Movement came after pledges to fight federal charges and claims that those jailed were political prisoners punished for their controversial views.


After nearly two months in jail, Chelsea Manning submits powerful appeal for release

Manning has been held in the Alexandria City Jail since March 8. She was detained for contempt of court after she refused to testify before a grand jury impaneled to bring frame-up charges against WikiLeaks publisher and journalist Julian Assange.“She is convinced that to cooperate with this grand jury would be a betrayal of her beliefs about the grand jury process, and this grand jury process in particular,” Manning’s attorneys told the court in a written statement on Monday. “She is prepared to suffer the consequences for her beliefs, and it should surprise nobody to find that she has the courage of her convictions.”


F.B.I. Director Defends Bureau Against Spying Accusations: ‘That’s Not the Term I Would Use’

The F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, defended the bureau on Tuesday amid another round of accusations that agents abused their powers in investigating the Trump campaign, saying he was unaware of any illegal surveillance and refusing to call their work “spying.”



US pregnancy deaths up, and report says most are preventable

More U.S. women are dying from pregnancy-related causes, and more than half of those deaths are preventable, government health officials said in a report Tuesday.


Boeing Knew About 737 Max Sensor Problem Before Plane Crash In Indonesia

Boeing knew that there was a problem with one of the safety features on its 737 Max planes back in 2017 – well before the Lion Air crash in October 2018 and the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March. But it did not disclose the issue to airlines or safety regulators until after the Lion Air plane crashed off the Indonesian coast, killing all 189 aboard.


Amazon's latest store proves the cashless dream is dead

Amazon's latest Go store accepts cash, and it emphasized that upon its opening on Tuesday.It's the latest news to indicate that cashless stores are not the future and that the dream of a cashless society is already experiencing some serious hiccups.


Former Purdue Pharma CEO called opioid addicts 'victimizers' in 2001 email

Former chief executive officer of opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma Richard Sackler wrote an email to a friend in 2001 calling opioid abusers "victimizers" and "criminals" and complained that "calling drug addicts 'scum of the earth' will guarantee that I become the poster child for liberals who want to distribute the blame to someone else," according to previously-undisclosed documents attached to a lawsuit against Purdue from the state of Connecticut.



H&R Block, TurboTax Accused Of Obstructing Access To Free Tax Filing

Los Angeles' city attorney is suing tax-preparation software companies H&R Block and TurboTax-maker Intuit, alleging that they "defrauded the lowest earning 70 percent of American taxpayers" by impeding public access to an IRS program. The IRS Free File program is intended to help people who make less than $66,000 a year file their taxes free using commercial services.




Will the U.S. Start a War Against Iran?

On Sunday, May 5, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton announced that the USS Abraham LincolnCarrier Strike Group and a bomber task force had begun to make their way from the Mediterranean Sea toward the coastline of Iran. Iran, Bolton said, had made “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.” He was, characteristically, not specific. It was enough that Bolton—who has a history of making hazardous statements—had made these comments from the perch of the White House in Washington, D.C. “The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime,” he said rather incredulously. After all, what is the arrival of a massive war fleet on the coastline of a country but a declaration of war?


Sanctions Are Murder

CNN correspondent Frida Ghitis had some advice for the Trump administration on Venezuela as she stated her agreement with the president’s policy in the country: “The United States should refrain from intervening militarily,” she affirmed, “but should continue providing decisive diplomatic, and even logistical, support.” Who can argue with that?Well, for one, the many Venezuelans who have already died from such “diplomatic support.” What Ghitis doesn’t say out loud is that she, like the rest of the political and media establishment, is backing the administration’s economic sanctions, that time-honored tool of diplomacy viewed in the political circles of DC as a “limited,” non-violent alternative to war.Except as a new study reveals, the sanctions against Venezuela have been devastating for the very people Ghitis claims to “root for,” causing the deaths of tens of thousands while plunging millions into precarity. Unfortunately, Venezuela is no aberration: far from being the kind of non-violent method of diplomacy they’re portrayed as, the sanctions programs launched by Western policymakers can crush humanity as viciously as a bombing campaign.



It‘s Globalization, Stupid!

The coming presidential election is not about Trump. It‘s about the nation state vs globalization.If the democrats don‘t get that; they will surely loose no matter who becomes their eventual candidate.The recent rise of populist leaders and their nationalist agendas are surely the inevitable political reaction to the Neoliberalism of the last thirty years.Globalization for globalization’s sake was an ideological vision of perfect markets and the alleged growth of individual freedoms mutually supporting each other.It didn’t turn out that way.Global flows of capital, technology, and to some extent, labor proved far more destabilizing for the majority of the planet who were less wealthy, less educated, and less willing to let go of regional, national, and local ties and traditions.Global elites, whether in the shadows or upfront in the limelight, were for far too long oblivious to the disconnect between economic and, yes, cultural liberalization and deregulation as opposed to the growing disquiet about these global trends among the traditionally situated citizenry of the nation-state.The global financial crises of the 90’s were, as it turned out, but a foretaste of what was to come. The “Great Recession” however was the ultimate comeuppance for detrimental ideological bullying versus more realistic assessments arguing for a more tempered globalization, one that would not exacerbate the living conditions of people necessarily tied to the boundaries of the nation-state.



>The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) advocates the seizure of all white-owned farms and the nationalisation of much of the economy.

So are there neoliberals, or… ?


>US sending B-52s to Middle East as part of Iran response

>Will the U.S. Start a War Against Iran?

If Bolton were ejected from the administration, would he simply be replaced with someone at least as psychotically bellicose?

>UK: Renewed Brexit talks deepen splits in both Conservatives and Labour

Good, good, let the hate flow through you!

>US lifts sanctions on general who broke ranks

So he was a porky, of course.

>Amazon's latest store proves the cashless dream is dead

It's a shame electronic money is split between corporate botnet panopticon overlords on one side, and neo-goldbuggerer Ponzi schemers on the other, or we could have an anonymous, decentralized, USD pegged, true digital cash replacement.

>It‘s Globalization, Stupid!

Nice enough article, but some of that rhetoric…

<It‘s about the nation state vs globalization

<the majority of the planet who were less wealthy, less educated, and less willing to let go of regional, national, and local ties and traditions.

<cultural liberalization and deregulation

<the traditionally situated citizenry of the nation-state.

SpOoOoOoKy. We need to harp emphatically on the difference between neolib globalization, versus leftist alter-globalism, with a firmly economic focus.



>we could have an anonymous, decentralized, USD pegged, true digital cash replacement.

Would that really work? A state's ability to tax is what gives currencies legitimacy in the first place.



I'm thinking just a sane alternative to the likes of Paypal or Bitcoin, so people wouldn't have to worry about being monitored and suppressed by some central authority, nor take part in some wasteful deflationary franchise fraud investment scam. Just something you could convert USD into, use, and convert back as needed, much like the traditional function of physical cash, not an entire new currency.



>Just something you could convert USD into, use, and convert back as needed

If a commodity must express its value in terms of another money-commodity then it itself cannot be money but is instead merely a regular commodity. One of the fundamental flaws in crypto-"currency" is that every such proposed currency must individually express its value in terms of a fiat currency. Thus it never stands in direct opposition to the commodity for which a buyer would exchange it. Instead it must be mentally converted into fiat currency before being exchanged for another commodity. For example:

The price of .1 bitcoin is $25. The price of 20 yards of linen is $25. I should like to purchase 20 yards of linen with my .1 bitcoin, but the weaver will not sell me the 20 yards of linen unless he believes that he can get $25 for the .1 bitcoin afterward. When I present my crypto-currency to the weaver, he gives me the linen precisely because he would use that fake money to obtain real money. As you can see, the exchange value of the bitcoin never stands in direct opposition to that of the linen. The exchange value of each commodity is instead expressed in dollars, the real money.

At first blush, it may appear that the weaver has sold his commodity (linen) for money (bitcoin) which he will then use to purchase a commodity that he needs (fiat currency) thus completing a C-M-C circuit. However, the terms of the exchange of the bitcoin for the linen were not set by the relative values of the respective commodities. Before the exchange, each commodity had to be mentally equated to dollars thereby determining their individual prices in terms of the value of a third commodity, the money commodity. So, when the bitcoin miner exchanges his bitcoin withthe weaver's linen what we have is not a C-M-C circuit but rather direct barter: C-C.

You may have noticed a glaring absurdity in the above example which is at the heart of why crypto-currency does not function as actual currency, namely that the weaver has absolutely no reason to make that exchange in the first place. His linen is to him not a use-value but rather merely the repository of exchange value which he may, by way of money, obtain something which will fulfill a want or need of his. Likewise, my bitcoin is of no use to him except as a repository for the very same exchange value that his linen contained. Once he possesses my bitcoin, the weaver is no closer to fulfiling his wants than he had been before. He still needs to exchange a commodity for money with which he may in turn obtain an object of utility. The weaver would be better served by telling me to go off and trade my bitcoin for actual money before returning to buy his linen. Indeed, that is just what the sellers of commodities have done, which is why bitcoin has never been able to break out of its status as a mere speculative asset.




Correction: neither the linen nor the bitcoin functions as a commodity in the above scenario.


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What better than Vietnam?

Two Vietnams



Hahaha, this very much so. We were listening to the news this morning and my father said:

>Looks like we're going to invade Venezuela.

I said:

>Well we'll have to decide which we're going to invade first, Venezuela or Iran and besides Trump only has a year and a half til the election and a year or less til full campaign mode.

Side note: We already had the dual Vietnams with the Iraq/Aghanistan wars. At least those were a little more convenient logistically and the government was a little better able to shoehorn them into being a single conflict based on a single cause of: fighting terrorism or some shit.

They really fucked themselves this time by chasing two birds in the bush and I believe it's certain they will end up with neither.


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>If a commodity must express its value in terms of another money-commodity then it itself cannot be money but is instead merely a regular commodity.

Indeed, the same is in many ways true of physical cash (M0) more convenient to some consumers, in comparison to electronic money more convenient to some businesses (M1 & up). And wholly true of various forms of non-currency credit, such as deposit accounts, checks, credit cards, debit cards, and services such as PayPal or Stripe, all of which aren't just means of transferring money like a bank wire, but can hold (fleeting, due to the pressure of inflation) reserves separate from actual currency at a fixed 1:1 exchange rate (minus fees) with currency.

The problem with all such non-cash services at present, is that they lack the anonymity of cash, and that the extreme centralization of their infrastructure allows authoritarian suppression to be done in ways that are difficult or impossible with cash.

>which is why bitcoin has never been able to break out of its status as a mere speculative asset.

No, the reason why Bitcoin and its ilk are speculative assets, is because they are not pegged to an actual currency as a form of deflationary credit, but float freely against it, intended by their Autistrian "economics"-addled fans to deflate through the (supposedly) perpetual recruitment of rubes. When they do deflate, that incentivizes holders to hold or acquire more, rather than spending it into circulation. And when their deflation slows or reverses, that merely causes the Ponzi scammers to make yet more altcoins.

Such perverse incentives are also, IMHO, largely responsible for the lack of progress in solving technical challenges that are mostly relevant for something used as a practical medium of exchange rather than a Ponzi scheme, such as high transaction fees, slow transactions, and a fondness for pointless "mining".



They advocate seizure of all land; Zulus hate them for this reason.



Before crypto-currency even gets to the macro level it fails at the micro level. There is absolutely no reason for any seller to accept it. The only advantage that it offers over fiat currency is that it is difficult to trace, and for most transactions cash functions just as well in that regard. Sure, being untaxable is advantageous, but as soon as a company tries to incorporate a tax dodge into their business model Elliot Ness will show up at the door. The banks are not having that shit.



>for most transactions cash functions just as well in that regard

Except for the inconvenient need to carry around and transfer physical tokens, as opposed to using a simple card (which in addition to convenience, has theft disincentives cash doesn't), or carry out transactions at a distance without the need to mail physical cash, such as online.

Cash needs a feature update, but so far all it's gotten in that regard is replacement by more oppressive instruments.



Carrying money is the most minor of inconveniences. Even people who do not carry cash need a wallet, so there is no great advantage in terms of weight or encumberance. The only way that an electronic currency would be more convenient would be if a person did not need a wallet at all, and then it would have to be like the subdermal microchips from Demolition Man. As for theft-deterance, I would argue that cash absolutely pwns cards in that regard. To steal cash from a person, a thief has to actually mug a guy. To steal from a guy's debit card all he needs is a scanner, and there is little more than zero chance of him ever getting caught. Also, when the thief gets money from a card he does not just get the victim's spending money. He gets access to everything that is in the victim's bank account and his identity. Stealing card information is an entire industry while mugging was just the decentralized activity of individuals.



>then it would have to be like the subdermal microchips from Demolition Man.

Turned out not to be necessary, most people are happy to carry around a certain type of device that's even worse.

>To steal from a guy's debit card all he needs is a scanner

And the matching PIN or signature

>Also, when the thief gets money from a card he does not just get the victim's spending money. He gets access to everything that is in the victim's bank account and his identity.

That depends on what kind of card we're talking about, since many do not transfer funds immediately and/or are linked to their own account with their own balance. Also, some (for instance prepaid cards) are not linked to the holder's identity. Not to mention that many cards can be remotely stopped in the event of theft and/or are insured.



>And the matching PIN or signature

Which isn't nearly as difficult as you may think. Personal information gets collated from various sources and sold in batches.

Fucking lel! My wife actually just screamed that someone stole a hundred and fifty dollars from our bank account with her card. Yeah, fuck the cashless future. At least credit unions catch that stuff right away.

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