Hello everyone, let’s jump to a quick programming note and a milestone of sorts for the Ghion Journal before proceeding to dispense the rest of your Daily Ghion Water. Last evening, around 10:15 PM, there was an article published by Teodrose Fikre about Oprah Winfrey’s speech and the fawning coverage her speech was given by our ever duplicitous mainstream media. That article, in less than a half a day, has already rocketed up the charts to become the most widely read article of the week and at present trajectory will end up becoming one of the most widely read articles of all time here at the Ghion Journal.
So we will start off the Daily Ghion Water with an excerpt from that article and then move on to other news and notes from the pens and minds of independent journalists and non-corporate voices around the world. One last note, we encourage everyone who reads our articles to use the comment section below so that discussions can be had among our readers and conversations can be started between our new and existing readership. Now, let’s get to the water.
This is the media that Oprah was shielding from criticism as she placed blame at the feet of Donald Trump without mentioning his name. What absolute truth were the hacks at the Washington Post and New York Times covering? The same mainstream media that lied us into wars in Iraq and Syria are the ones who gave cover to Harvey and his band of rapey men. Listening to Oprah’s speech last night would lead you to believe that all the ills of the world started on January 20th, 2017. I realized at that exact moment that Oprah was not giving a speech of reconciliation, she was laying out the foundation for a 2020 run at the White House. You know, because the best way to overcome the cult of personality that is Trump Inc is to have another cult of personality of our O.W.N. [from Ghion Journal]
Hurling into the Abyss
Our capitalist elites have used propaganda, money and the marginalizing of their critics to erase the first three of philosopher John Locke’s elements of the perfect state: liberty, equality and freedom. They exclusively empower the fourth, property. Liberty and freedom in the corporate state mean the liberty and freedom of corporations and the rich to exploit and pillage without government interference or regulatory oversight. And the single most important characteristic of government is its willingness to use force, at home and abroad, to protect the interests of the property classes. This abject surrender of the state to the rich is expressed at this moment in the United States in the new tax code and the dismantling of environmental regulations. This degradation of basic democratic ideals—evidenced when the Supreme Court refuses to curb wholesale government surveillance of the public or defines pouring unlimited dark money into political campaigns as a form of free speech and the right to petition the government—means the society defines itself by virtues that are dead. The longer this illusion is perpetuated, the more an enraged public turns to demagogues who promise a new utopia and then, once in power, accelerate the assault. [from Truthdig]
While we have chronicled many examples of CalPERS’ disregard for regulations, laws, and its beneficiaries over the years, ranging from lying to board members and the public about its ability to get fee information and its own costs, to running a non-secret election that violated the California constitution, to running a kangaroo court to try to silence its lone board member who dared challenge bad practices, the stakes and dollars involved here are far greater than in any past abuse. This course of action is not merely reckless. CalPERS has a history of criminal conduct with private equity managers. Its CEO is now serving a four and half year sentence in Federal prison for taking bribes and four current and former board members were implicated in a private equity pay to play scandal involving Apollo and four other fund managers. Instead of making sure it observes the law punctiliously in dealing with private equity managers, CalPERS is about to make its biggest private deal in history its dirtiest. [from Naked Capitalism]
Neocon and Neoliberal Watch (they are the same thing)
According to a report published Sunday by the New York Times, Kushner’s real estate firm received a $30 million investment from Menora Mivtachim—one of Israel’s largest financial institutions—just before he accompanied Trump on his first diplomatic trip to Israel last year. “The deal, which was not made public, pumped significant new equity into 10 Maryland apartment complexes controlled by Mr. Kushner’s firm,” the Timesnotes. “While Mr. Kushner has sold parts of his business since taking a White House job last year, he still has stakes in most of the family empire—including the apartment buildings in and around Baltimore.” [from Common Dreams]
Planning for Armageddon
The communications director for the Public Health Grand Rounds, however, confirmed that the CDC’s nuclear safety meeting is not related to the recent rhetoric and was planned well in advance. However, notice of the safety hearing follows Guam’s Homeland Security and Office of Civil Defenserelease of a two-page fact sheet describing what to do if a nuclear war begins. In December, Hawaii reinstated a monthly nuclear warning siren system test that hadn’t been used since the end of the Cold War. The announcement of the CDC’s nuclear fallout safety meeting came with a photograph of a nuclear bomb blast. [from Anti-Media]
A Tale of Two Cities
For decades, political economists have struggled to understand why inequality has remained uncontested all this time. Their workhorse game theoretic model, developedin the early 1980s by Allan Meltzer and Scott Richard, predicts that democracies respond to an increase in inequality with an increase in top-rate taxation—a rational response of the so-called ‘median voter.’ And yet, the relationship simply does not hold in the real world. On the contrary, in the United States, we find its literal inverse: amid record high inequality, one of the largest tax cuts in history. This inverted relationship is known as the Robin Hood Paradox. [from Current Affairs]
From the YouTubes
This Day in History
On this day in 1493, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, sailing near the Dominican Republic, sees three “mermaids”–in reality manatees–and describes them as “not half as beautiful as they are painted.” Six months earlier, Columbus (1451-1506) set off from Spain across the Atlantic Ocean with the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria, hoping to find a western trade route to Asia. Instead, his voyage, the first of four he would make, led him to the Americas, or “New World.”
Quote of the Day
“When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.” ~ Voltaire
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