Asian share markets are bouncing back, with Japan’s Nikkei index up more than 6%, after a sharp sell-off on Wednesday following Donald Trump’s US election victory.
Although 32.5% of the Cambodia uses the internet, only 8% of Cambodians use the internet to shop – on par with Ghana, Egypt, and Myanmar, according to TNS Global’s Connected Life report. It means Cambodians also miss out on many deals like “Singles’ Day” on November 11.
In a move that surprised many, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a speech on Tuesday evening announced that Rs 500 ($7.5) and Rs 1000 ($15) notes were abolished. Fintech companies, not surprisingly, are rejoicing.
Net neutrality will likely go the way of the dinosaur in the U.S.
There is a saw that comes from Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” that “the truth will out.” But not if government has its way.
That’s because truth is the enemy of the state. The state, meaning the apparatus of government, is “the system” that controls the American people.
Most people believe they control the political system through elections. Little do they know that the government and the corporate state own and control the state and the people. In other words, the system is rigged, as Donald Trump says. The system must keep this information invisible and it does so through constant conditioning of the public mind.
Now consider what has happened and is happening to Julian Assange. Consider Edward Snowden.
Assange created WikiLeaks in 2006, exposing, among other things, malfeasance in the conduct of Bush the Lesser’s “War on Terror.” Progressive Democrats loved Assange then.
But by 2010, with George W. Bush out of power and Barack Obama continuing old wars and starting new ones, the truths that were being outed by WikiLeaks were hitting too close to home. WikiLeaks got its hands on a treasure trove of State Department and Pentagon emails and documents being dispatched across the globe.
I wrote at the time in “A war on the truth,” that what WikiLeaks was revealing was:
…the result of a secretive, unaccountable and over-powerful government; a perfidious empire that seeks to rule the world by guile, cunning or force, if necessary. And the response by the United States government and by authorities in some of the U.S.’s puppet states — like Great Britain, which arrested Assange, and Sweden, which brought spurious charges of rape against him — demonstrate the length the ruling elites will go to suppress the truth.
Truth is the enemy of a totalitarian regime. Fooling, lying, spying: That is the way of the totalitarian regime. Fooling, lying to and spying on friends and enemies, and even worse, its own citizens.
Just before I wrote that, we now know, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was contemplating various ways to shut WikiLeaks down. During a November meeting, sources say, Clinton suddenly blurted out, “Can’t we just drone this guy?”
According to sources present at the meeting:
The statement drew laughter from the room which quickly died off when the Secretary kept talking in a terse manner, sources said. Clinton said Assange, after all, was a relatively soft target, “walking around” freely and thumbing his nose without any fear of reprisals from the United States. Clinton was upset about Assange’s previous 2010 records releases, divulging secret U.S. documents about the war in Afghanistan in July and the war in Iraq just a month earlier in October, sources said. At that time in 2010, Assange was relatively free and not living cloistered in in the embassy of Ecuador in London. Prior to 2010, Assange focused Wikileaks’ efforts on countries outside the United States but now under Clinton and Obama, Assange was hammering America with an unparalleled third sweeping Wikileaks document dump in five months. Clinton was fuming, sources said, as each State Department cable dispatched during the Obama administration was signed by her.
Clinton and other top administration officials knew the compromising materials warehoused in the CableGate stash would provide critics and foreign enemies with a treasure trove of counterintelligence. Bureaucratic fears about the CableGate release ultimately proved to be well founded by Clinton, her inner circle and her boss in the White House.
Efforts to shut down WikiLeaks included an American intelligence-initiated operation to entrap Assange in a phony rape charge. The U.S. government also pressured PayPal, VISA and MasterCard to shut down donations to WikiLeaks. The Swedish bank handling Assange’s legal defense fund was pressured by the U.S. government to freeze the account. The firm hosting WikiLeaks’ website was pressured to shut the site the down.
Now WikiLeaks is revealing widespread corruption, vote rigging, media manipulation and other damning evidence against the Democrat Party, Hillary Clinton and her minions. WikiLeaks and Assange are prying the lid off the propaganda machine and exposing the corrupt system.
In response, U.S. intelligence (an oxymoron) initiated another effort to entrap Assange in a sex-related scandal; this time by connecting him with a phony “dating site” and alleging he solicited sex with an 8-year-old girl.
John Kerry’s State Department pressured Ecuador to cut off Assange’s internet connection. There is a new move afoot to figure a way to pry him out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and turn him over to U.S. authorities, where he will no doubt disappear into the bowels of indefinite detention.
Only the power of propaganda keeps the people from overthrowing the U.S. government by force. So truth is the enemy of the state and the state will do everything it can to suppress it.
That’s not surprising. What is surprising is the vast number of people on both “sides” of the political spectrum outside of government who see truth seekers and truth disseminators like Assange, Snowden and Bradley Manning as enemies rather than friends of liberty.
Following an afternoon and evening of protests decrying the election of Donald Trump as America’s next president, The Seattle Times reports, police are responding to reports that at least four people were shot downtown Wednesday night.
Officers were converging on the area of Third and Pike.
An anti-Trump rally, which started at Westlake Mall, turned into a march and was proceeding down nearby streets at the time of the shootings, according to witnesses.
Video from Seattle…
seattle rn pic.twitter.com/sCe3UPsZtg
— _ (@thricedotted) November 10, 2016
— Jamie Tompkins (@JamieQ13FOX) November 10, 2016
Very large police response in downtown Seattle following report of shooting with several injured; at least 2 seen transported pic.twitter.com/2i3BITijai
— Jimmy Lovaas (@jimmylovaas) November 10, 2016
More details to follow…
Seattle Fire Dept confirm 5 short, 2 life-threatening injuries…
Seattle Fire crews treating 5 patients with gunshot wounds. 2 of the 5 with life-threatening injuries. Medics transporting to HMC. pic.twitter.com/HTtHejkTpc
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) November 10, 2016
Anarchists entered the US Consulate in Thessaloniki, Northern Greece and threw flyers opposing the upcoming visit of Barack Obama to Greece. As KeepTalkingGreece.com reports, a group of some 15 people reportedly entered the building where the Consulate is located on the 7th floor on Tuesday morning. They chanted slogans, threw flyers in the corridors and attempted to open banners.
Police rushed to the area and detained six of the protesters.
According to Athens News Agency, the “Anarchist Collective of Rubicon” and the “Libertarian Thessaloniki Initiative” uploaded a text in a website of the Greek anti-authoritarian movement. They stated that “the visit of the outgoing US President, Barack Obama in Greece on the eve of the anniversary of the [Students’] Polytechnic uprising (and thus under a left government) is anything but a courtesy visit. The content of the visit could be summed up as “business as usual” and it is known that such “jobs are dirty with the blood of the people.”
The group Rubicon is known for raiding and entering even public buildings and public transport stations to protest the state mechanisms.
ELECTION NOTE: As I write this Tuesday evening, it appears Donald Trump may win the presidency. For those who cannot understand how anyone could possibly vote for Trump, please read the above essay again and ponder what people were voting against by voting for Trump.
They may well have been voting against the corrupt, self-serving status quo rather than voting for the individual Donald Trump.
There are very few opportunities for powerless non-elites to register their disapproval of the nation's Ruling Elite and the corrupt status quo. Voting for an outsider in a national election is one such rare opportunity.
As I noted in October, The Ruling Elite Has Lost the Consent of the Governed (October 20, 2016).
If you still don't understand how Trump could win, please read the below essay as many times as is necessary for you to get it: the status quo of corrupt self-serving insiders generates injustice and inequality as its only possible output.
There are many sources of rage: injustice, the destruction of truth, powerlessness. But if we had to identify the one key source of non-elite rage that cuts across all age, ethnicity, gender and regional boundaries, it is this: The Ruling Elite is protected from the destructive consequences of its predatory dominance.
We see this reality across the entire political, social and economic landscape.
If I had to pick one chart that illustrates the widening divide between the Ruling Elite and the non-elites, it is this chart of wages as a share of the nation's output (GDP): 46 years of relentless decline, interrupted by gushing fountains of credit and asset bubbles that enriched the few while leaving the economic landscape of the many in ruins.
The Ruling Elite once had an obligation to uphold the social contract as a responsibility that came with their vast privilege, power and wealth (i.e. noblesse oblige).
America's Ruling Elite has transmogrified into an incestuous self-serving few unapologetically plundering the many. In their hubris-soaked arrogance, their right to rule is unquestioningly based on their moral and intellectual superiority to "the little people" they loot with abandon.
Rather than feel a responsibility to the nation, America's Elite views the status quo as a free pass to self-aggrandizement.
Much has changed in America in the past 46 years. Not only have wages and salaries declined as a share of "economic growth," but the wealth that has been generated has flowed to the top of the wealth/power pyramid (see chart below).
Social mobility has also declined drastically: Restoring America’s Economic Mobility, as has trust in government and key institutions.
As Frank Buckley, the author of The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America observed:
"In a corrupt country, trust is a rare commodity. That’s America today. Only 19 percent of Americans say they trust the government most of the time, down from 73 percent in 1958 according to the Pew Research Center."
The top .01% has seen its share of the household wealth triple from 7% to 22% in the past four decades, while the share of the nation's wealth owned by the bottom 90% has plummeted from 36% to 23%.
As I described in America's Ruling Elite Has Failed and Deserves to Be Fired and Now That the Presidential-Election Side Show Is Finally Ending…., the economy is rapidly undergoing structural changes that tend to reward the top 5% class of technocrats and managers and the top .1% with millions in mobile capital, while leaving the bottom 95% in the dust.
Rather than address this rising inequality directly and honestly, the Ruling Elite has parroted propaganda and policies that protect their gains while obfuscating the reality that most American households have been losing ground for decades, a decline that has been masked by replacing real income with rising debt.
The ceaseless parroting of the Ruling Elite and the Mainstream Media that prosperity has been rising for everyone is nothing less than the destruction of truth. This propaganda has one purpose: to mask the inequality and injustice built into the American status quo.
The rapid concentration of wealth has also concentrated political power in the hands of a few who seamlessly combine public and private modes of power.
This wealth and power protects the Ruling Elite from the perverse consequences of their dominance. Their precious offspring rarely serve at the point of the American military's spear, they never lose their jobs or income when corporations shift production (and R&D, etc.) overseas, and they are never replaced with illegal immigrants paid under the table.
Rather, the Ruling Elite is pleased to pay immigrants a pittance to care for their children, clean their luxe homes, walk their dogs, etc.
This is why we're enraged: we bear the consequences of the Ruling Elite's dominance. The system is rigged to benefit the few, who use their wealth and power to protect themselves from the destructive consequences of their self-serving dominance.
This rage is as yet inchoate, sensed but not yet understood as the inevitable result of a broken system and a predatory Elite that exploits the system to maximize their private gain by any means available.
Trump has barely been president elect for one day, and he is already fixing the foreign policy mistake of his predecessor.
What a difference a presidential election makes: after lashing out on an almost daily basis at outgoing American president Barack Obama, calling him “son of a whore” and telling him he can “go to hell”, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte joined Vladimir Putin in congratulating Donald Trump on his election success, and said on Wednesday he now wishes to stop quarrelling with the United States, recalling his anger at the Obama administration for criticising him.
The maverick leader, incidentally known as “Trump of the East” for his unrestrained rants and lewd remarks, has repeatedly hit out at Washington in recent months, threatening to cut defense pacts and end military joint drills. “I would like to congratulate Mr. Donald Trump. Long live,” Duterte said in a speech to the Filipino community during a visit to Malaysia.
“We are both making curses. Even with trivial matters we curse. I was supposed to stop because Trump is there. I don’t want to quarrel anymore, because Trump has won” he said cited by Reuters.
Duterte, who as profiled previously won a May election by a huge margin and is often compared with Trump, having himself been the alternative candidate from outside of national politics, campaigned on a populist, anti-establishment platform and struck a chord among ordinary Filipinos with his promises to fix what he called a broken country.
But the biggest fixture of Duterte’s presidency so far has been his hostility toward the Obama White House, expressed in near-daily eruptions of anger over its concerns about human rights abuses during his deadly war on drugs.
He also threatened on numerous occasions to sever a military relationship that has been a key element of Washington’s “pivot” to Asia.
Duterte on Wednesday told Filipinos how angry he had been at Washington, saying it had threatened to cut off aid and had treated the Philippines like a dog tied to a post. “They talk as if we are still the colonies,” he said. “You do not give us the aid, shit, to hell with you,” he said, recalling comments he had directed at Obama. In retrospect, we can partially commiserate with the outgoing administration: it is not exactly clear what the proper response to such daily verbal diarrhea is.
Ironically, with the Obama administration having effectively lost the Philippines as a core strategic ally in the Pacific Rim, it was Trump who told Reuters that the Philippines was a very important strategic location and that Duterte’s comments about removing foreign troops showed “a lack of respect for our country.”
Judging by Duterte’s sudden change of heart, it wasn’t lack of respect for the country, just the individual in charge of it.
On the other hand, for some reason we get the feeling that once the US Trump and the “Trump of the East”, the outcome will be quite volatile, if extremely entertaining.