Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Plausible Deniability: How we'll be attacked, unable to retaliate

== Using a tantrum toddler to do your dirty work ==

Okay, bear with me, because there are a couple of vital matters of international security that may be ill-considered. Let's start with the elephant in the room -- the clear fact that is likely to lead to major war:

The brutal North Korean regime is subsidized and propped up by its neighbors to the north and west. But consider...

(1) Vladimir Putin’s carefully crafted anti-western alliance now stretches from Ankara to Manilla, combining Islamist regimes with mafia-oligarchies, with Orthodox-church/czarist-nostalgists, with a few communist politburos. The common thread is not socialism or religion. It is a fear-driven hatred of the West’s positive-sum dynamism and the rule of law. The common themes are 'traditionalism' and absolute power. (See below where this is verified in a report by the Defense Intelligence Agency.)

(2) War drums may seem to have shifted toward North Korea, but I would still bet on Iran. The confluence of forces who want a U.S.-Iran war is still huge: The whole alt-right community, the Saudis, some Israelis, Trumpists seeking a foreign distraction that won’t involve nukes… plus the Iranian mullahs, who would shrug off a few hundred pippety Tomahawk hits, but use them as an excuse to crack down on Tehran’s millions of modernist youths. The biggest winner would be Vladimir Putin, who would profit from rocketing oil prices and also extend his protective umbrella and thus get the Persian satrapy sought by Russian despots since Catherine the Great. With so many winners, eager for this “war,” can it be avoided?

Note that U.S. military leaders, who would have to do the fighting, want no part of this!

(3) Meanwhile turning back to North Korea, the mad Pyongyang regime offers a way for this axis to stab hard at the West, someday, while the real players are protected by a cloak of plausible deniability

What does that mean? Consider how some EMP attack over North America, or a virus/plague might be attributed to the Kim regime, damaging us severely, but with the potemkin mask of North Korean culpability taking all the retaliatory heat.

The state next-door has already proclaimed that they will 'defend NK from hostile actions,' unless the violence is initiated by Pyongyang, in which case they will be “neutral.” 

Ponder that carefully. How can this be anything other than a set up for plausible deniability? Meanwhile, Putin’s U.S. “asset” is busy breaking up the western alliance, while bringing us down to Kim’s level of kindergarten tantrums.

Okay, dismiss this as a crackpot theory (it's my job to explore under-appraised concepts.) But here's possible confirmation to watch out for. Our intel services should be tracking CRINK spy ships in the Pacific.  If such vessels are ever seen converging toward some stretch of international water - or possibly Hawaii or Guam - then we might expect an NK H-bomb to be tested in the center. While the CRI nations denounce it, the test will give them all the data they need, in order to fine-tune the EMP we should have spent 20 years preparing-for.

== The Putin Doctrine ==

David Ignatius lays bare the underlying focus of Vladimir Putin's alliance, discussing the potential scope of Russia’s cyber-operations, as highlighted in a report by the Defense Intelligence Agency, “Russia Military Power: Building a Military to Support Great Power Aspirations.” Its conclusion: “Russia views the information sphere as a key domain for modern military conflict ... critically important to control its domestic populace and influence adversary states.”

Among the major themes of Russian propaganda, the DIA says, is this message: 

“The West’s liberal world order is bankrupt and should be replaced by a Eurasian neo-conservative post-liberal world order, which defends tradition, conservative values, and true liberty.”

Note that the behavior of Putin's Czar-worshipping, Russian Orthodox + mafia oligarchy state is little different than the old Soviet Union, proving that national character - in this case feudalism and paranoia - matter far more than superficialities of dogma. Yet, our confederate right adores this Kremlin, because it has befriended our own feudal lords.

Make no mistake, this Kremlin wants to end us, no less than Khrushchev intended to "bury" the Western Enlightenment Experiment.

== Second topic: cyber security ==

Since 1995, I’ve said our emphasis is all wrong. There is no such thing as a secure system that’s connected to the world. All declarations of cyber-safety later prove false. Witness recently Equifax losing 140 million identifiers and Yahoo losing security for 23 million accounts. 

Stop expecting the next security method to work! It will fail. They will fail. All of them, because it is inherently impossible to dam-up something that is duplicable at zero cost.

Yes, some things merit careful protection, over short terms. Password/ID systems. Industrial methods and core IP. Intelligence sources. These crown jewels would be more secure if we stop trying to defend impossible boundaries. 

Example: Most of the information about 140 million Americans that was stolen from Equifax is not inherently harmful: names, birthdates, social security numbers, mortgage numbers and amounts… most of these data are public and open record in Estonia and Scandinavian countries.  Because they cannot be changed, they are inherently IDENTIFIERS  and not PASSWORDS. As I explain in The Transparent Society, identification pointers can only harm you if they weren’t being used properly, in the first place.

Passwords are vastly more important, but even they are obsolete. The banking industry has been almost criminally lazy and late in realizing what their true, 21st Century role will be - using biometrics to verify customer identity. (One bank hired me as a consultant and they will leave the others in a cloud of dust.)

== What is fundamental ==

Every time I speak at a security agency I emphasize one fundamental. That all enemies of the Western Enlightenment Experiment (WEE) are lethally allergic to light. 

Hostile states, criminal gangs, market cheaters… all of them would suffer in a more open world.  In contrast, the Snowden/Assange/Wikileaks events—  and this leaky White House — show us that light will at-worst only irk or inconvenience the WEE. 

More generally - (and I allow for tactical exceptions) - light only makes us and our systems work better. 

Ponder that again. The WEE nations finds light bracing and improving. All of our enemies find light lethally toxic! Is it possible you don't see what this means?

It means that our one and only victory condition is a more open world

We need some secrets! Some cyber security, and tactical shadows for military, intel etc professionals to use, in daily struggles. Citizens deserve privacy, while knowing the inevitable leaks won't do them palpable harm. Nevertheless, any overall trend toward worldwide transparency favors our side in this clash of civilizations. 

If we give in to the temptation of shadows, they’ll be better at it! And we’ll lose.

== About drone warfare ==

Much has been said about how the use of drones in warfare has reduced killing to a video game. And sure, that's a danger we should always watch for and science fiction does warn us, repeatedly. But we are not there. 

Skip to near the end of this article to see that it’s in fact the very opposite situation for the men and women operating drones from their base near Las Vegas.  Unlike jet pilots, they linger and observe whole villages for sometimes weeks.  They know it’s people – even when it’s a deadly enemy who must be taken out. The sci fi expectation of dehumanization was diametrically wrong.

== Hidden Wealth ==

Do they actually think this won’t end badly for them? Here is an example of what the insatiable, would-be New Lords of the world are doing. Using their wealth to turn Zurich airport into a non-national zone where they can store vast wealth, like 100,000 art works, without ever having to show any of the items or account for the trades even to Swiss authorities. Not. even. to. SWISS. authorities.  Think about that one.

To be clear, the billionaires who earned their wealth – by either inventing/creating or helping others to invent/create wondrous new goods and services – generally want no part of such shenanigans. They are the living arguments for incentivized-competitive and relatively flat-fair-competitive enterprise. (Actual, AdamSmithian 'capitalism' is one of the foremost victims of conspiratorial oligarchy.) I would bet plenty that most of those trading purloined art in this Zurich-airport palace of greed never created a damned thing. They let sycophants tell them they are geniuses and inherently superior, as feudalists have always done. Read EARTH to see where this ends.

Or else, in Existence, see a chapter describing what smart New Lords might do, to avoid the almost universally stupidity of past feudalisms.

Oh, but one of you points out: “Geneva Freeport sounds like the perfect setting for a classic heist movie! Billions in assets, much of it easily tradable like gold and jewels, stored in a single handy location.”

Great idea. Only, all you have to do is steal it from one part of the structure and put the items in another part of the same building! Hey, get my agent on phone.

And some good news...Fascinating how cleverly and well poor people in Kenya are using the cash that they save, especially in the villages where charities are experimenting with direct giving.  Elsewhere I have written about how Kenya’s M-pesa cell phone payment system works, as neighboring country officials are bribed by big banks to prevent it getting a foothold outside of Kenya.

== The crux? ==

 It would be one thing if the neo-feudalists preparing for war against the West were actually as smart as they think they are.  

They aren't. And that... more than any scullduggery... should scare us.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Calling on sages and elder statesmen to help save us

Apologies for this late weekend posting. we took a break to attend "Of Mice & Men" and then a parade of antique steam engines...

First an announcement. My Questionnaire on Ideology has been updated and made more clear. These socratic queries may reveal assumptions that lie deep below, helping you see many things in a fresh way! Among those who have had their thoughts prodded for 15 years, not one has denied that assertion! Take the quiz and shake things up! Expand… your… horizons….

== Calling up the old guys ==

Talk about ingratitude. George W. Bush has been saved by Donald Trump… from being labeled the worst president of the 21st Century. Saved, by miles. (His father was by-far the worst of the 20th Century.) Yet what does he do? Bush's speech a week or so ago details our ‘democratic collapse,’ with obvious references to Trump — though, like Obama on the same stage, a while back, he did not utter the current president's name. W's speech called on a renewal of American spirit and institutions – which, of course, he undermined as president.

“Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication,” Bush warned three days after Sen. John McCain delivered a similar attack on “spurious nationalism” harkening to American ideals and democracy "We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil," McCain said in a blatant swipe at Steve Bannon and the confederate fascists. "We will not thrive in a world where our leadership and ideals are absent. We wouldn't deserve to."

And where have you been, during the Rupert Murdoch era?

Okay, let’s take a deep breath. Better late than never. Indeed, this is the perfect segue to…

== Calling on the ‘sages’ ==

My cousin, former FCC chair and PBS chair Newton Minow, has put out an appeal for our five living ex-presidents to step up when we need them.  His call is brief and — well — vague.  I mean, there are no legal frameworks for such a conclave… nor would they strictly need one. (Let me be clear that I deem two of these men to have been leading candidates for the title of “worst president in 100 years,” that is, till the title was seized overwhelmingly.)  

In fact, I have a trio of tasks for any ad-hoc conclave of senior American sages, that could start with a nucleus of ex-presidents. I’d add all former vice presidents, though that would let in a cipher and one genuine monster. Also invite former Supreme Court Justices like Sandra Day O’Conner. And top retired officers, like David Petraeus. Heck, add all American Nobel Prize winners? 

What role could such a commission of American elder statesmen play? 

1. Such an ad-hoc conclave might jawbone-intervene with the present  oval office occupant, or speak to the nation, reminding us by counterexample what presidents sound like.

2. They could help us get past the Fact Crisis, by overseeing creation of a fact-checking service -- one immune to the “partisan!” howls that get hurled when one political faction sees a favorite rumor or urban legend debunked. 

We don’t want a single “Ministry of Truth,” so set up several – a couple headed by reputable conservative thinkers -- to reciprocally critique each other! At least we’d see the worst crap washed away.  And with their arm-twisting, Congress might even re-establish the treasonously-killed Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). (Well, one can dream.)

Not one of the issues that you cry out about  is more urgent than this. For, if we restore the primacy of fact in our discourse, most of our current manias would vanish.

3. Elsewhere I describe how the Constitution’s 25th Amendment allows Congress to establish an “other body” — separate from the Cabinet -- that can respond quickly, if the Vice-President declares the President temporarily unfit to serve. Evidently, this “other body” can be set up in advance! 

It would have to be bi-partisan, in order to get enough votes to overcome Donald Trump’s veto. Hence, this Other Body could be the same council of American sages discussed above, standing ready, if needed, to act on an hour’s notice. See where I go into details: Exit Strategies and the 25th Amendment.

Alas, there are bright fools out there – like the LA Times’s Doyle McManus and Chris Reed of the San Diego Union – who croon that the 25th Amendment is a futile hope, because it officially sets a higher bar – 2/3 majorities in both chambers of Congress – than does impeachment and removal. But that is lazy thinking. 

First, GOP members of Congress will be far more likely to vote for a removal that’s temporary and calming than one that's permanent and traumatic. 

More importantly, if such an “other body” were set up in advance, it would give our military and intelligence officers someplace to go, if ever they were given an intolerable or crazy order by an unbalanced commander-in-chief. With a little comms infrastructure, such a council could give temporary control to the Vice President in less than an hour. 

Just knowing the Council of Sages existed would let our senior officers sleep better. And thus it would help us sleep, too.

So, yes, Newton Minow’s proposal for the ex-presidents to step up and speak is valid and important. I just fleshed out two additional, very specific tasks. 

And there's a fourth task that could be aided by some former presidents, and others. One that could end this wretched phase of the American Civil War.  It would call for courage and patriotism from at least fifty men and women who are true citizens.

Senators Bob Corker, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and other adults - and sure, throw in Mitt Romney, Robert Dole and so on - can, should, and must finally hear the call of duty… and announce that this is not about just Donald Trump. Rather... to paraphrase Ronald Reagan … “The Republican Party has left us.”  If they find a critical mass, it could serve as a nucleus for a Sane American Conservative Party. And that could be the salvation of the Republic.

(This is not unprecedented! See elsewhere, how I describe the Democrats' own "Miracle of 1947" -- a crucial and fateful meeting that saved their party and liberalism in America. Conservatives could do the same thing -- that is, the sane and loyal and grownup ones could.)

One who is unabashedly calling for this? Jennifer Rubin, the longtime conservative columnist who had championed Mitt Romney and made excuses for the Bushes, has had the moral fiber to declare “enough.” And although she called Trump “evil incarnate,” she has the wit that’s lacking in most democrats… to see that Donald is a symptom of a disease that runs much deeper. 

“What’s a fit punishment for the Murdochs?” she writes, about those who predated Vladimir Putin and even the Saudis, at deliberately warping American institutions and destroying our national genius at genial pragmatism and negotiation. Gee, what punishment is appropriate for outright and deliberate treason? 

And of course this is why Corker and McCain etc. hesitate. They would be declaring open war on the Murdoch family, owners of today's undead GOP.
== Know the alternative ==

Fools who are so eager for impeachment… read about Donald Trump’s impeachment insurance policy.  From: The New Yorker: The Danger of President Pence. 
Seriously, the GOP lords know that Trump is a liability and are looking for ways to get rid of him in favor of their wholly-owned yes-massa puppet.  If Trump resigns or is removed, ownership of the White House will shift from a consortium of Putin-Pennywise over to Murdoch-Koch-Mercer and Goldman-Sachs. We can survive a few years with the shortsighted oligarchy running roughshod over us. They’ll regret it, the way the French aristocracy did.

No. The real danger from Mike Pence is far worse than depicted even in this fretful article. It comes from the fact that his version of Christianity is very different than that of Jimmy Carter. 

Carter focuses on the words of Jesus. Pence joins the fundamentalist fixation on the most noxious and vile book in the Bible – the Book of Revelation – a monstrosity of volcanic hate that is the opposite of Jesus in every conceivable way. (See how Patrick Farley both explains and satirizes that wretched tome here.)

They want the world to end. They pray for it to happen, and soon -- a bloodbath of spectacular sadism that will bring an end to all neighborliness or cooperation. An end to all ambition and fair competition. An end to almost all life on Earth. An end to all exploration, discovery or curiosity, and everything else that makes us human. An end to democracy and an end to the United States of America.

Make no mistake, this is what they have openly said that they pray for, daily -- for 99% of their own neighbors and fellow citizens to get the “deserved” torture and then eternal damnation that we (you and I) deserve. 

There is a mythology that we should ignore religion in making political decisions, but this is a clear exception.  Those who yearn for this psychotic thing are likely to bend all their powers to make it happen.

Moreover, Pence is smoother than the current POTUS. Trump’s Oval Office leaks! The Officer Corps is alerted to his craziness. But a Pence White House would be filled with tightly disciplined Dominionists. Hell yes, I am more scared of him.

Now comes the irony atop it all! “Hey Brin, didn’t you just say you want the Vice president to have, on-call, a Council of American Sages  (the ‘other body’ provided for in the 25th Amendment) able to quickly take an erratically dangerous president out of the chain of command? But wouldn’t that put ArmageddonBoy in charge?”

Yes, and make no mistake, we are in a delicate mine field between an unstable, impulsive, clown-car narcissist dancing to Kremlin strings on the one-hand and a devoted servant of the New Aristocracy who will be keeping an eye open for any excuse to bring apocalypse. 

But there is a path through the mine-field! Because the 25th Amendment only sets aside the president temporarily! (It would take 2/3 majorities in both houses to keep even a temporary set-aside going.) Pence would preside over a Trump-appointed White House.  That would delay him getting anything done for quite some time.  Perhaps long enough to give us a Congress loyal to America.

Note also this. It can be argued before the Court that the Council of Sages would then be empowered to respond if Paul Ryan, as Speaker of the House and next in line is effectively then 'vice-president' under terms of the 25th. Imagine if he made the same declaration about Pence!  (And Ryan has horror-baggage of his own.)

Oh, the mess that would ensue is beyond anything we ever, ever saw. Nothing written by Simon Pegg would even compare!  So why am I even going here?

Because someone has to. It’s my job.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Saving democracy - why the Democrats are failing

First, some support for my proposal to remove at least one motive from mass shooters. 

The “Erastratos Effect” – which I’ve described after most mass shootings and most recently here -- is where villains - often heinous criminal-creeps - are often motivated by a desperate need for infamy, seeking immortality through destruction. I’ve elsewhere described how the ancients dealt with this driver of heinous crimes.

Now parents of one of the Aurora victims are pushing this concept. Through No Notoriety, they advocate for members of the media to only use the killer’s name once; don’t publish aggrandizing photos of the shooter. The FBI, in 2014, launched a tentative Don’t Name Them campaign.   

== Calling the colonels? Why I am finally in despair ==

I've been shouting for years that both moderate conservatives and pragmatic Democrats should be seeking out military retirees. I've seen rock-ribbed NRA types - who have never listened to a Democrat in their lives - stop and hear-out a retired colonel who appeals to them to heed actual facts. Anyway, defending all those seats will bankrupt the Kochs and Murdoch and the Mercers. (See details here: A Time for Colonels.)

And hence… I am devastated. According to this article, Democrats have recruited 20 retired military officers to run for office, as if that's a lot. It should be 2000!  Enough to contest every "red-safe" state assembly district, even in deep-red Alabama. If this is all there is, then we are royally screwed. The confederates may survive and kill America.

Praying that article mis-stated the number by an order of magnitude, shall I see the following as sign for hope?  Is there an insidious political side to this sudden recall to active duty of thousands of retired military officers? I have no clear facts. Hence we must take the services at their word, that they're doing this because of urgent staffing shortages. Still, look carefully, folks out there! Might the call-ups lean hard on retired officers who were thinking about running for office? Perhaps as Republicans in primaries? Or as Democrats, challenging confederates in "safe" GOP districts?

And hence I have to ask: has anyone else connected these two dots? If the call-ups have any bias to them, that political-cheating "straw" could break this camel's back.

A scary alternative hypothesis, that I deem plausible, alas. These officers are being called up in preparation for war. 

== Attacking (and saving) democracy at its roots ==

Reacting in large part to Russian efforts to hack the presidential election last year, a growing number of states are upgrading electoral databases and voting machines. The plans — from both Democrats and Republicans — amount to the largest overhaul of the nation’s voting infrastructure since 2000. Example: Delaware is moving its voter-registration list off the state’s aging mainframe computer and preparing to replace a 21-year-old electronic voting system that does not leave a paper record of votes to be audited. Federal intelligence and security officials were so shaken by Russian attempts to compromise the vote that the Department of Homeland Security designated election systems a critical national infrastructure, like banking and the electrical grid, that merit special protection. 

The scope of the threat was underscored on Tuesday when a new report concluded not only that widely used voting systems can be breached by hackers — sometimes with almost trivial ease — but that they contain components manufactured in nations like China with a clear interest in undermining American democracy.”

The new guidelines for manufacturers of voting equipment — reduced to five pages from more than 200 — include for the first time principles as basic as a requirement that voting devices produce written records that can be verified, and that software or hardware errors cannot lead to undetectable changes in tallies.”  Virginia scrapped thousands of paperless voting machines in 2015 after discovering that even an amateur hacker could easily and secretly change vote tallies.

Oh but we know they are cheaters. They cannot win except by cheats that range from treasonous-foul gerrymandering to "losing thousands of voter registrations always a week or two before an election, to rigged voting machines, to voter suppression... and now this: "A computer server crucial to a lawsuit against Georgia election officials was quietly wiped clean by its custodians just after the suit was filed, The Associated Press has learned. The server’s data was destroyed July 7 by technicians at the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University, which runs the state’s election system."

Hey cheaters, be proud... but where do you think this will all lead, when we finally get fed up?

But read about the one political office that is most filled with outright traitors, in the U.S. In most states, the Secretary of State is responsible for managing elections and voter rolls. One of our political parties has given top priority to filling this one office with skilled and relentless cheaters. 

And I reiterate... this solution to gerrymandering avoids all the excuses offered by Anthony Kennedy, last time that he wriggled out of helping to end gerrymandering. It preserves state and legislature sovereignty. It is clear, enforceable, palliative and not at all onerous. And I promise you'll have seen it nowhere else!

== Stop yammering “impeachment” impatient fools ==

In a previous blog, I dissected why dealing with a president and VP who are both mad, in different ways, will require finesse.  Finesse that I see nowhere among Democrats, liberals and so on.

For example, what stunning foolishness, mistaking the symptom for the disease, Larry Flynt offers $10 million for whomever can provide dirt sufficient to impeach Donald Trump. Argh. Alas, this would just replace an emasculated buffoon, whose every action is transparent and whose administration leaks like a sieve, with a Pence White House that will be filled with fervent apocalypse-seekers and iron discipline.

Seriously, study Mike Pence. I earlier called him Trump’s impeachment insurance for a reason.

Look, I am in favor of accumulating evidence to discredit the madness, but focus on the Murdoch-Mercer-Breitbart-Fox- disease! Not the gyrating but self-limiting Trump symptom!  See where I eviscerate the "impeach" idiocy.

Mind you, Mr. Flynt, I am in favor of rich folks offering whistle-blower rewards!  See The Transparent Society where I touted this 20 years ago and yearly, since. But try having the patience of a homo sapiens, instead of an angry tree shrew.

== Criminal betrayal of market enterprise… even capitalism… by its supposed defenders ==

I have very mixed feelings about Ralph Nader, who bears partial responsibility for the catastrophes that have wrecked American politics since the 2000 election. But he is also a very sharp critic. And he is right to focus (at the Evonomics site) on the biggest monster of economic waste, far exceeding all the inefficiencies of government — over $7 trillion of dictated stock buybacks since 2003 by the self-enriching CEOs of large corporations. 

A crime and cheat as blatant as gerrymandering, stock buybacks let CEOs trivially meet the milestones for their stock price based vampire compensation packages given them by other CEO golf buddies, who they select for their own company’s board. This incestuously self-serving cartel “picks winners and losers” far more secretively and corruptly than any of the civil servants who are maligned by right wing propaganda.

As Nader puts it, “due to the malicious, toady SEC “business judgment” rule, CEOs can take trillions of dollars away from productive pursuits without even having to ask the companies’ owners—the shareholders—for approval.”  And note that it is one more example where the “supply side” caste has proved that they have zero interest in investing in productive capacity, R&D, new products or any other aspect of “supply.”

“Companies with excessive stock buybacks experience a declining market value. IBM, since 2005 has spent $125 billion on buybacks while laying off large numbers of workers and investing only $69.9 billion in R&D. IBM is widely viewed as a declining company…. General Electric, in the same period spent $114.6 billion on its own stock only to see its stock price steadily decline in a bull market. JC Penny and Macy’s spent more in stock buybacks than their businesses are currently worth in market value.”

Those who bucked this trend have done far better. Interestingly, the listed corporations are known for tech innovation.  And most of their CEOs are known to be either libertarians or democrats.  Almost no republicans among them. Nader adds:  “The corporate giants are also demanding that Congress allow the repatriation of about $2.5 trillion stashed abroad without paying more than 5% tax. They say the money would be used to grow the economy and create jobs. Last time CEOs promised this result in 2004, Congress approved, and then was double-crossed. The companies spent the bulk on stock buybacks, their own pay raises and some dividend increases.”

Mind you, were the GOP to insist that all repatriated funds be spent directly on R&D or jobs, the resulting boom could save the Republican Party from what’s coming, otherwise.  It won’t happen. Because the vampire urge is far stronger than long term self-interest.

Read this. Only then remember. Nader’s often right… and has proved himself not to always be our friend.

For someone more consistently on target, see billionaire Nick Hanauer eviscerate the CEO caste for using the stock buy-back cheat to wreck our future and line their own pockets. 

Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has been hammering on a devastating critique of the role that lack of enforcement of anti-monopoly laws have had on the poor performance of the American economy and the declining share of income to labor that is also a critical piece of how the neo-feudalists are seeking to entrench their power over our society while sapping innovation and vitality out of our economy.