It’s The Ideas For Using The Capital Rather Than Capital Itself

Against Capitalism?

Deirdre Nansen McCloskey from the January 2018 issue of Reason Magazine

Capitalism is what the Dutch call a geuzennaam—a word assigned by one’s sneering enemies, such as Quaker or Tory or Whig, but later adopted proudly by the victims themselves.

The word is a Marxist coinage. Karl Marx himself never used the word capitalism, but let’s not get pedantic: He freely tossed around capitalist to describe the bosses who were busily reinvesting surplus value on top of their original accumulations of capital.

Like economists and others before and after, Marx claimed that the accumulation of capital was the watchspring of wealthy modernity. The Marxian sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein, for example, wrote in 1983 that “the word capitalism is derived from capital. It would be legitimate therefore to presume that capital is a key element in capitalism.”

Actually, it wouldn’t. That we insist on ruminating on something called “capital” does not prove that its accumulation was in fact unique to modernity. And it is not. Romans and Chinese and human beings back to the caves have always accumulated capital, abstaining from consumption to get it. What made us rich were new ideas for investing it, not the investments themselves, necessary though they were.

I frequently find myself defending my peculiar form of anti-capitalism to my libertarian friends. Mark Skousen, who hosts the FreedomFest conference every year in Las Vegas, voices typical objections: “You must have capital to advance the economy,” he wrote to me in an email recently. “Entrepreneurs have plenty of great ideas and budding technology to change the world, but unless they get financing, they will remain unfulfilled.”

That’s right, but as Skousen admitted, the financing is merely a necessary condition, not a sufficient one. The explosion of human ingenuity after the turn of the 19th century, by contrast, was sufficient. The ideas were so good that financing was seldom a problem. Necessary conditions are endless, and mostly not pertinent—”having liquid water at the usual temperatures” and “the absence of an active civil war” are necessary too, but nobody wants to call it waterism or peaceism.

The necessary conditions were shared by a great many societies. Those nonetheless did not have anything approaching the Great Enrichment that started in northwestern Europe in 1800, bringing with it a 3,000 percent increase in the living standard of the poorest among us.

Consider China in 1492, which had long peace, excellent property rights, enforcement of law, absence of crushing intrastate tariffs (a contrast to Europe), and plenty of capital. China built the Great Wall and the Grand Canal with ease, putting even Roman capital projects into the shade. Yet it did not see the explosion of ingenuity that would ultimately enrich northwestern Europe, which was little more than an appalling, quarrelsome backwater in 1492.

What China lacked was not capital or institutions or science or coal, but Adam Smith’s “liberal plan of equality, liberty, and justice.” Liberating ordinary people inspired them to extraordinary ideas, which in turn redirected the capital, the labor, the liquid water, and all the other necessaries.

Skousen told me that “the scarcity of investment capital has kept us from advancing as fast we could.” No, it hasn’t. Such a notion was popular at the World Bank during the long reign of what the New York University development economist Bill Easterly calls “capital fundamentalism.” Yet the historical and economic evidence tells against this thinking. Pour capital into Ghana, yet it fails. Don’t give China a cent, yet it succeeds. The liberating ingenuity in human minds is what mattered, as in the Chinese economy after 1978 and the Indian after 1991. Give people liberty and you give them life.

Capitalism is a scientific mistake compressed into a single word: a dramatically misleading coinage of our enemies, and of the sadly misguided among our friends.

Deirdre McCloskey is emerita professor of economics, history, English, and communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the author most recently of Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World


Is The Vatican Flirting With Communism?

Dwight Longenecker■Culture■Religion

Dwight Longenecker writing on the website The Imaginative Conservative

Vatican diplomats are on the verge of a new relationship with China, and, moreover, about to make a deal with the communist state. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Rome is capitulating to an avowed atheistic enemy of religion…

Taking advice from his boss, who encouraged everyone to “go out and make a mess!”, the highly decorated and accomplished Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo—the chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences— stated after a recent visit to China that the communist state is exercising global moral leadership in the principles of Catholic social teaching and defense of human dignity.

EWTN reports that bishop Sorondo, from the Pope’s own Argentina, has said the Chinese “seek the common good… subordinate things to the common good.” He said of China, “You do not have shantytowns, you do not have drugs, young people do not have drugs. There is a positive national consciousness, they want to show that they have changed, they already accept private property.” He continued praising the Peoples’ Republic of China saying they have “defended the dignity of the human person, and in the area of climate change are assuming a moral leadership that others have abandoned.*

However, as recently as October 2017 the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China criticized the country’s human-rights practices, condemning the Chinese Communist government’s continued efforts to silence dissent, criminalize activities of human-rights lawyers, control civil society, suppress religious activity, and restrict the operations of foreign media outlets, businesses, and non-governmental organizations.

The timing of Bishop Sorondo’s comments should not come as a surprise to Vatican watchers. Last week the news broke that the Vatican diplomats were on the verge of a new relationship with China, and, moreover, about to make a deal with the communist state.

For a bit of background, after the communist revolution, the Chinese Communists adopted a different policy than did the Russians. The Russian Communists were determined to eradicate religion completely. They imposed atheism on the people of Russia, ruthlessly persecuting Christians, closing monasteries, seminaries, and church schools, dynamiting cathedrals and doing everything they could forcibly to establish an atheistic state.

The Chinese Communists took a different tactic, taking a leaf out of Comrade King Henry VIII’s little red book. In 1957 they established The Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. This was, in effect, the Catholic Church of China. Like the Church of England, the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association is a pretend Catholic Church rejecting the authority of the pope and appointing its own bishops.

In 1988, a Vatican document barred Catholics from receiving the sacraments in the Catholic Patriotic Association, and since its establishment, there has always been an underground Catholic Church in China that has remained loyal to Rome.

After decades of loyal resistance, persecution, imprisonment, torture and even martyrdom, the reports are that the Vatican is about to submit to the Communists. Allegedly, the Vatican has approved seven bishops put forward by the atheist regime and asked two bishops of the underground church to step aside to make way for the appointments.

The Washington Post reported earlier this month on what has happened:

Last month, a delegation from the Vatican traveled to China and met Bishop Peter Zhuang Jianjian, eighty-eight, who presides over the church in Shantou in the southern province of Guangdong.

In a meeting in Beijing, they asked Zhuang to retire in favor of a bishop appointed by the Chinese government, Huang Bingzhang, who is also a member of China’s rubber-stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress, and was excommunicated by the Vatican in 2011.

Zhuang was in tears at this demand, the website reported.

Another Vatican-appointed bishop, Joseph Guo Xijin in eastern Fujian province, was also asked to downgrade himself and become assistant to a CCPA bishop, Vincent Zhan Silu, the website reported.

Rather than the Vatican approving the Catholic Patriotic Association completely, this seems to be an acceptance that the Chinese government may appoint bishops to govern the underground church. Assurances are given that the Vatican will still “have a say” in the appointment of bishops. However, given the power of a Catholic bishop in his diocese, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Rome is capitulating.

If you read the history of the Church, the interplay between the civil authorities and the pope in clerical appointments has never been far from the surface. In the Middle Ages, kings and emperors were enthusiastic about the right of appointing bishops, priests, and abbots to influential positions, and often the church made compromises, accepting the appointments made by monarchs in order to make gains elsewhere.

However, the relationship was perpetually tense, and furthermore, there is a large difference here. In the circumstances of medieval Europe, the church was accepting the appointments of a Christian ruler, and despite human frailty and failures, one could argue that the appointment was made within a Christian context with the common good of Christendom and the Church in mind.

Can this be said when the authority appointing Church officials is an avowed atheistic enemy of religion? In a recent essay for National Review, George Weigel outlined the disastrous history of the Vatican’s diplomacy with modern European totalitarian states. Utilitarian agreements with Mussolini, Hitler, and the Soviets all caved in on the Catholics. They trusted liars and atheists and thereby only played into their hands. Why should it be any different with Communist-appointed bishops in the Chinese Catholic Church?

Cardinal Zen of Hong Kong has been the most outspoken critic of the proposed concordat:

Zen has become the most vocal opponent of rapprochement between the Vatican and the Communist Party, and he reiterated those concerns in a blog post Monday.

“Is it not good to try to find mutual ground to bridge the decades-long divide between the Vatican and China?” he asked. “But can there be anything really ‘mutual’ with a totalitarian regime? Either you surrender or you accept persecution, but remaining faithful to yourself.”

Zen compared it to making a deal between Saint Joseph, husband of Jesus’ mother, Mary, and King Herod, who in the Bible ordered the execution of young male children.

“So, do I think that the Vatican is selling out the Catholic Church in China? Yes, definitely, if they go in the direction which is obvious from all what they are doing in recent years and months,” Zen wrote.

It should come as no surprise, therefore, that just at this time Bishop Sorondo has returned from China buoyant with the news that the Communists are now the world leaders in living out the social teaching of the Catholic Church.

He may be a dupe, but does he really expect everyone else to be taken in by his Chinese tour guides?

This is reminiscent of two events in European history: the American and English intelligentsia coming back from their stage-managed tours of Stalinist Russia in the 1930s, all starry-eyed about the communist utopia, and Neville Chamberlain stepping off the plane from his visit to Nazi Germany, waving that piece of paper and declaring “Peace in our time!”


It wasn’t worth the piece of paper it was printed on.

Great Barrier Reef And Fake Science

Delingpole: Australian Professor Sues His Own University for Right to Tell the Truth about the ‘Dying’ Great Barrier Reef

by JAMES DELINGPOLE13 Feb 2018655

An Australian Professor of Physics is suing his university, which is trying to gag him from telling the truth about the “dying” Great Barrier Reef.
The truth, of course, is that the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) isn’t dying at all. (As we’ve written here and here)

In fact it’s doing just fine and the gagged professor – Peter Ridd of James Cook University – has plenty of solid scientific evidence to prove it.

Ridd has been studying the GBR for 30 years and believes that the oft-heard claims that it is seriously threatened by climate change or pollution are just environmentalist scaremongering. He is also highly critical of those supposedly reputable institutions which have been promoting this alarmist myth, among them the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

But when Ridd pointed this out in a published essay and a radio interview last year his university accused him of serious misconduct. It claimed that his criticisms were “not collegial” (the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies is actually part of James Cook University) and threatened him with dismissal. Furthermore, the university ordered him not to mention to anyone the existence of its allegations, let alone any detail. Ridd ignored this order and went public.

Now he is fighting not just for his job and his academic credibility but also for the integrity of science itself.

As he recently wrote at Fox News:

The problems I am facing are part of a “replication crisis” that is sweeping through science and is now a serious topic in major science journals. In major scientific trials that attempt to reproduce the results of scientific observations and measurements, it seems that around 50 percent of recently published science is wrong, because the results can’t be replicated by others.

And if observations and measurements can’t be replicated, it isn’t really science – it is still, at best, hypothesis, or even just opinion. This is not a controversial topic anymore – science, or at least the system of checking the science we are using, is failing us.

The crisis started in biomedical areas, where pharmaceutical companies in the past decade found that up to 80 percent of university and institutional science results that they tested were wrong. It is now recognized that the problem is much more widespread than the biomedical sciences. And that is where I got into big trouble.

According to an editorial published in The Lancet, one of the world’s leading medical journals, this problem is endemic across science.

Its editor Richard Horton wrote:

The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. As one participant put it, “poor methods get results”.

Such a pity that Horton hasn’t learned his own lesson by reining in some of the articles The Lancet so frequently publishes endorsing all the latest junk science nonsense about climate change. Still, his broader point is well made: a lot of what passes for science these days simply cannot be trusted.

This is especially the case with pretty much anything to do with the environment, because the alarmist narrative – “more must be done and it’s all our fault” – too often takes precedence over scientific fact.

The Great Barrier Reef is especially vulnerable to this political activism masquerading as science because, being so big (133,000 square miles), famous, and photogenic, it has become one of green lobby’s poster children of man-made environmental degradation and climate doom.

You’ll get an idea about the self-righteous passion the reef arouses in greenies from this angry piece published by the Guardian last year:

It takes a very special person to label the photographed, documented, filmed and studied phenomenon of mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef“fake news”.

You need lashings of chutzpah, blinkers the size of Donald Trump’s hairspray bill and more hubris than you can shake a branch of dead coral at.

It also helps if you can hide inside the bubble of the hyper-partisan Breitbart media outlet, whose former boss is the US president’s chief strategist.

So our special person is the British journalist James Delingpole who, when he’s not denying the impacts of coral bleaching, is denying the science of human-caused climate change, which he says is “the biggest scam in the history of the world”.

Delingpole was offended this week by an editorial in the Washington Post that read: “Humans are killing the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, and there’s nothing Australians on their own can do about it. We are all responsible.”

Whatever. But if you read carefully, you’ll have noticed the trick played by the author in that first sentence: he’s conflating the very real, natural, often observed problem of “coral bleaching” (which no one denies) with the completely imaginary problem of total, man-made-climate-change-induced reef apocalypse.

This is the kind of trick greenies often play. What’s disgraceful is the degree to which major scientific institutions – like the ones called out above by Peter Ridd – play along with them.

But surely there’s no smoke without fire? Surely there must be something to the claims made by these top institutions that the Great Barrier Reef is in trouble?

Nope, as Peter Ridd patiently explains here:

‘I have published numerous scientific papers showing that much of the “science” claiming damage to the reef is either plain wrong or greatly exaggerated. As just one example, coral growth rates that have supposedly collapsed along the reef have, if anything, increased slightly.

Reefs that are supposedly smothered by dredging sediment actually contain great coral. And mass bleaching events along the reef that supposedly serve as evidence of permanent human-caused devastation are almost certainly completely natural and even cyclical.

These allegedly major catastrophic effects that recent science says were almost unknown before the 1980s are mainly the result of a simple fact: large-scale marine science did not get started on the reef until the 1970s.

By a decade later, studies of the reef had exploded, along with the number of marine biologists doing them. What all these scientists lacked, however, was historical perspective. There are almost no records of earlier eras to compare with current conditions. Thus, for many scientists studying reef problems, the results are unprecedented, and almost always seen as catastrophic and even world-threatening.

The only problem is that it isn’t so. The Great Barrier Reef is in fact in excellent condition. It certainly goes through periods of destruction where huge areas of coral are killed from hurricanes, starfish plagues and coral bleaching. However, it largely regrows within a decade to its former glory. Some parts of the southern reef, for example, have seen a tripling of coral in six years after they were devastated by a particularly severe cyclone.

Reefs have similarities to Australian forests, which require periodic bushfires. It looks terrible after the bushfire, but the forests always regrow. The ecosystem has evolved with these cycles of death and regrowth.’

The good news is that Ridd is being supported in his law suit by Australia’s Institute of Public Affairs and has successfully crowdfunded the $95,000 he needs to fight his case.

The bad news is that even if he wins – as surely he must for the facts are so clearly on his side – it will be a drop in the ocean. For James Cook University, see also: pretty much every academic institution in the world. They’ve all bought into the climate change narrative; they all persecute or silence academics who don’t toe the line. It’s just that most of them aren’t lucky enough to have professors as brave and principled as Peter Ridd…

North Korea —Olympics —South Picks Up The Tab! Taken Again !

So it’s all just a bad dream, isn’t it?

North Korea gets all the publicity and the South Koreans pay. So what’s else is new ?

This has happened before —but no one wants to learn the truth or face it.

Remember when trickster Bill Clinton had it all worked out with North Korea?

Which , of course, among other stupid missteps, was long before the North was close to nuclear weapons but which has enabled it to happen.

And CNN and other western media fawned all over the Dictator’s sister this time round ! For what, pray tell? To get exercised again about the fantasy world of appeasement ?

It is all a sad joke —playing out again on the world stage—-North Korea, Iran and Turkey —-taking the West for a ride of monumental proportions!

Here is the Wall Street Journals’s most recent account of Nort Korea and the Olympics.

Read and weep!

‘North Korea Leaves the South to Pick Up Its Olympics Tab

From international loans to hotel bills, Pyongyang has earned a reputation as a debtor that rarely pays

By John Lyons

Feb. 14, 2018 11:37 a.m. ET


At the Winter Olympics, North Korea’s athletes, cheerleaders and performers are trying to score charm points for a regime seeking to improve its image. They are also racking up hotel bills they don’t plan to pay.

On Wednesday, South Korea approved a $2.7 million fund to cover North Korean costs such as the bill at the Grand Walkerhill Seoul, the five-star hotel in the capital where North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister and a 137-member orchestra spent a few nights. The tab could change depending on a final accounting, a South Korean Ministry of Unification official said.

South Korea agreed to pay Pyongyang’s bills during talks about its participation in the Games, South Korean officials said. From international loans to hotel bills, North Korea has earned a reputation as a country that rarely pays.

The North Korean delegation to the Winter Games is 500-strong, including a 230-plus member cheerleading squad.

These Winter Games are no different. While South Korea is picking up most of the tab for North Korea’s performers, the International Olympic Committee—which cleared the way for the North’s participation—is meeting the costs of North Korean athletes’ stays in the Olympic Village, officials said.

In the early 1970s, Kim Il Sung, the current leader’s grandfather and founder of the totalitarian regime, took shipment of 1,000 green Volvo sedans from Sweden but never paid for them. Swedish export-finance officials have continued to calculate the debt over the years: as of 2014 it was more than $300 million, including interest.

North Korea is a poor nation whose access to hard currency is squeezed by international sanctions intended to force it to the negotiating table.

At the same time, it is investing in nuclear-weapons and missile programs and its leaders live lavishly.

Despite a display of improved relations between North and South Korea at the Winter Olympics, many South Koreans see the rapprochement as opportunistic propaganda. WSJ spoke to South Koreans who remain skeptical of the North’s intentions.

In January, when Mr. Kim reached a last-minute deal with Seoul to participate in the Games, there was little question that the South would pay. South Korea paid when the North participated in other sports events it hosted, such as the Asian Games in 2002 and 2014. Representatives of North Korea couldn’t be contacted for comment.

The bill will be bigger this time. North Korea sent a 500-member delegation, with around 20 times the number of performers as athletes. Its 230-plus member cheerleading squad stayed at the Inje Speedium, a resort near the Games that advertises itself as a “healing place” at around $330 a night.

Cheerleaders slept two to a room in suites—but not necessarily for cost savings: North Korean authorities expect their emissaries to spy on each other while abroad, observers of the regime say.

Soon after the North Korean cargo ferry, the Man Gyong Bong 92, docked in South Korea on Feb. 6 with the 130-plus members of the Samjiyon Orchestra aboard, North Korea authorities quickly asked for donations of fuel oil so the ship could get back.

But such assistance could have violated United Nations sanctions against oil exports to the nuclear-armed regime. The Man Gyong Bong 92 had been in the news in the early 2000s, when a defector told the U.S. Senate that the vessel had been used to smuggle missile parts.

Amid the Olympic controversy, North Korean officials withdrew their request for fuel, to avoid “causing inconvenience” for their hosts, according to the South’s Ministry of Unification.

President Moon Jae-in for months had been urging the North to join the Games—in part because South Korea judged they would be safer with North Korea participating.

Before Seoul hosted the Olympic Games in 1988, North Korea blew up a South Korean airliner, killing everyone aboard.

In 2002, as South Korea hosted soccer’s World Cup, North Korea staged a naval attack that killed six South Korean sailors.

Mr. Moon, who favors engagement with the North, may also be willing to foot the bill to show that South Korea is willing to use its economic wealth as a bargaining chip in future negotiations over Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

What’s more, some South Koreans say, making the North Koreans pay would be rude.

“When guests come, the host pays,” said Seok Seung-hyeop, a 32-year-old Seoul restaurant manager. “At some point, there is either going to be unification or war, and so paying now is a worthy investment in the positive direction.”’

—Min Sun Lee contributed to this article.

Conservatism —A Tiny Excerpt

From Roger Scruton’s Book ‘How To Be A Conservative ‘

‘The Truth in Conservatism

Conservatism is not in the business of correcting human nature or shaping it according to some conception of the ideal rational chooser. It attempts to understand how societies work, and to make the space required for them to work successfully.

Its starting point is the deep psychology of the human person. Its fundamental philosophy has never been better captured than by Hegel in the Phenomenology of Spirit , which shows how self-consciousness and freedom emerge through the venture out from the self towards the other; how relations of conflict and domination are overcome by the recognition of mutual rights and duties, and how, in the course of this, the individual achieves not only freedom of action but also a sense of his own and others’ value.

The process whereby human beings acquire their freedom also builds their attachments, and the institutions of law, education and politics are part of this –not things that we freely choose from a position of detachment, but things through which we acquire our freedom, and without which we could not exist as fully self-conscious agents. I leave it to the interested reader to decipher Hegel’s argument in detail.

What emerges from it is the view of human beings as accountable to each other, bound in associations of mutual responsibility and finding fulfilment in the family and the life of civil society. Our existence as citizens, freely participating in the polis , is made possible by our enduring attachments to the things we hold dear. Our condition is not that of Homo oeconomicus , searching in everything to satisfy his private desires.

We are home-building creatures, cooperating in the search for intrinsic values, and what matters to us are the ends, not the means, of our existence.’

Uber Vs Google—Big Legal Match!

Waymo-Uber Trial Exposes the Nasty Underbelly of Silicon Valley

BY PHIL BAKER FEBRUARY 6, 2018 —-P J Media Website

One of the most anticipated trials in technology began this week between two powerhouse Silicon Valley companies. Uber and Google met in San Francisco’s District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday to begin the long-awaited trial in which Uber is being charged with appropriating trade secrets from Waymo, Google’s self-driving car division. Waymo is asking for $1.9 billion in damages in the civil trial.

Uber has always been very open about the need to develop self-driving cars, calling it existential to their survival. They believe these vehicles are needed to reduce their costs and be competitive, and they want to be first. That’s a good motive. The question is how far they would go to win.

Uber is being accused of using trade secrets it obtained illegally from Waymo to advance its development work. Waymo claims that its former lead engineer, Anthony Levandowski, who was hired by Uber in 2016, brought with him more than 14,000 confidential files that he downloaded in December 2015 while still at Waymo.

After Mr. Levandowski left Waymo, he founded a self-driving truck company, Otto, that was then quickly bought by Uber for $562 million. Waymo’s lawyers say this was a scheme for Uber to get access to Waymo’s proprietary technology.

Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber during this time, noted that his company was behind in a laser sensor technology called LIDAR, which is critical to self-driving cars. “We wanted to hire Anthony,” and “wanted somebody to build a team to make lasers,” Kalanick said.

The court heard opening arguments on Monday from Uber’s attorney, Bill Carmody. Addressing the 10-person jury, he said, “Waymo wants you to believe that Anthony Levandowski got together with Uber as part of some grand conspiracy to cheat and take trade secrets, but like most conspiracy stories it just doesn’t make sense when you get the whole story.”

Waymo’s chief executive officer, John Krafcik, asked why he was suing. “We believe in fair competition. We believe in accelerating the technology that is going to save a lot of lives in this world. What we came to find is aspects of our technology were taken from us in an unfair fashion and it was important for us to correct that.”

Levandowski, a pioneering engineer in self-driving technology and central character in this drama, is not a defendant and will not testify. He was fired from Uber in May 2017 after failing to cooperate with Uber’s own internal investigation and pleading the Fifth.

What makes this case so fascinating is that Kalanick has a history of breaking and flouting laws and regulations around the world, and being ethically challenged in the way he ran the company and treated his employees, as Uber catapulted to become one of the most valuable startup companies ever.

His numerous ethical lapses and unsavory behavior eventually forced him out of his job, but he still remains director of the company. Based on his past behavior, many see these latest charges as just more of the same and fitting his pattern.

Kalanick was one of the first witnesses to testify. Other notable witnesses expected to join him on the stand include the founders of Google — Larry Page and Sergey Brin — and some of Uber’s early investors.

In his testimony on Tuesday, Waymo lawyers pressed Kalanick on the theft of trade issue, pointing out how he and Levandowski met several times while Levandowski was still a Google employee.

Waymo lawyers presented an Uber visitor pass and notes from the meeting, while Kalanick claimed he had no recollection of such a meeting. Based on Tuesday’s proceeding, this is expected to be a highly contentious trial that will lay bare the nastier side of Silicon Valley.

For Waymo to win, it needs to prove that not only did Uber get access to the 14,000 documents, but the technology was used it in its development efforts.

Google , A Bully Boy?

From Britbart News

Exclusive: Leftist Google Employees Conspire To Undermine Breitbart’s Ad Revenue

Google is increasingly similar to Big Brother’s Oceania in 1984

by ALLUM BOKHARI 13 Feb 2018

Left-wingers at Google are engaged in a relentless effort to demonetize Breitbart News from its AdSense platform and are linking advertising clients to the anti-Breitbart, far-left pressure group Sleeping Giants.
Previously, Google employees have contacted Breitbart News to reveal an atmosphere of indoctrination and intimidation, driven by leftist zealots at the company.

Current and former employees at Google now tell us that those same zealots are trying to use the company’s immense power against Breitbart News. In addition to placing pressure on management to take action against the site, they are also working to undermine Breitbart’s reputation with advertisers.

Breitbart News has obtained a screenshot (withheld to protect our source) that shows Google ad account manager Aidan Wilks advising another company – a client of Google’s – that advertising on Breitbart may impact their “brand safety.”

In the screenshot, Wilks can be seen linking Google’s client to the website of Sleeping Giants, a far-left organization that has repeatedly targeted Breitbart and other conservative-leaning news sites with false claims of racism and bigotry.

The screenshot also shows Matthew Rivard, another employee at Google, advising colleagues that Wilks’ message was a “nice template” for those who wished to “call out” the issue to clients. Rivard recommends that the message should be repeated for “other key accounts.”

Until April 2017, Rivard held the position of head of industry for performance advertising at Google. This made Rivard one of the go-to people for Google’s advertising clients. Rivard’s Linkedin page currently lists him as head of industry for branded apparel and e-commerce.

Harmeet Dhillon, the Republican national committeewoman for the California GOP and attorney for James Damore, who has also seen the screenshot, said that other Google AdSense users should be concerned about secret blacklisting.

“This communication from Google’s advertising department raises troubling questions about whether the company’s ideological bias extends beyond the employment claims covered in our lawsuit, to Google’s business practices toward AdWords publisher users as well,” said Dhillon.

“If there are indeed concerted efforts at Google to undermine the advertising revenue of disfavored publishers (an allegation YouTube is already facing in court through its abrupt demonetization of Prager University videos), then this conduct may give rise to additional legal claims. At a minimum, AdSense users may question whether they are being targeted for secret blacklisting as described here.”

Open Letter

According to multiple sources, leftist employees sent an open letter to Google’s management calling on them to demonetize Breitbart, which amassed over seven hundred supporters across the company. Conservatives at Google launched a counter-petition, which attracted over two hundred supporters.

Breitbart News has seen a copy of the anti-Breitbart letter, confirming its existence. The letter called for the removal of Breitbart from AdSense, and for the “blocking of all Google-served ads” on

The open letter accuses Breitbart of “hate speech”:

Googlers hold a diverse set of political, social, and economic perspectives, but respect and openness bind us together. The hate & bullying Breitbart incites toward Muslims , LGBTQ people , and women is incompatible with those shared values.

Among the authors of the open letter was Google employee Jeff Lakusta, who runs the technical support team behind the company’s ad buying platform.

The other authors were comms employee William Fitzgerald, senior software engineer Pierre Fite-Georgel, and the now-former employee Tim Chevalier, who Breitbart News exposed as a supporter of political violence and the “Antifa” domestic terrorist organization. Support for Antifa is widespread at Google, who have so far refused to issue a statement to us condemning political violence.

Although Google’s management did not cave in to the open letter, leftists have reportedly not stopped their efforts to demonetize Breitbart. According to one source, anti-Breitbart employees at the company are “literally keeping a spreadsheet” about the site.

“They have people trawling each article on the site [Breitbart] to see if they can find comments that might violate their policies in order to justify not trafficking ads.”

Fake News Panic

Another former Google employee spoke of an all-hands meeting at Google’s Mountain View headquarters in May, in which senior management stated that “for the last 6 months” they had been “committed to solving the fake news problem.”

This insider found the poorly-concealed political bias amusing.

“Hmmm, what happened 6 months [from May] to cause Google to suddenly become focused on fake news?”

May, of course, was exactly 6 months from the election of Donald Trump.

The people who are running Google’s “fake news” detection algorithms are “strongly biased,” claims one other source.

This bias revealed itself recently, in Google’s botched attempt to place “fact-check” messages next to “disputed” stories from news outlets.

The feature was abruptly canceled after a Daily Caller report revealed that it almost exclusively targeted conservative news sites, including Breitbart News, often by incorrectly attributing claims to their stories.

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