Thursday, July 19, 2018

Differing Viewpoints

Entertaining Perspectives,

Member of House of Commons almost 30 years, truthy George Galloway reflects on the #treasonsummit "liberal" outcry in the US, as Trump's bad manners are seen to be worse than nuclear annihilation.

Sister Caitlin in Oz:
The last few days have been truly amazing. I didn’t even write an article yesterday; I’ve just been staring transfixed by my social media feeds watching liberal Americans completely lose their minds. I can’t look away. It’s like watching a slow motion train wreck, and everyone on the train is being really homophobic.
I’ve been writing about Russiagate since it started, and I can honestly say this is the worst it’s ever been, by far. The most hysterical, the most shrill, the most emotional, the most cartoonishly over-the-top and hyperbolic.
The fact that Trump met with Putin in private and then publicly expressed doubt about the establishment Russia narrative has sent some political factions of America into an emotional state that is indistinguishable from what you’d expect if Russia had bombed New York City.
https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/russiagate-is-like-9-11-except-its-made-of-pure-narrative-ab96fa38ee48

​Mueller Reveals Russia Investigation Just Elaborate Sting To Nail Clinton Child-Sex-Slavery Ring (The Onion speaks the unspeakable)​
https://politics.theonion.com/mueller-reveals-russia-investigation-just-elaborate-sti-1827696431

FBI Chief Christopher Wray dismissed Russian President Vladimir Putin's offer for US law enforcement agents to travel to Russia and interview the subjects of last week's DOJ indictment, saying "that's not high on our list of investigative techniques"during a Q&A with CNN's Lester Holt at the Aspen Security Forum.
He also threatened to quit if President Trump were to override him and insist on indulging Putin's request to have Russian agents interview Michael McFaul, the ambassador to Russia during the Obama administration - after Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the administration was open to the request.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-19/fbi-chief-threatens-quit-if-trump-invites-russian-agents-us

It's not Putin who "owns" Trump; never was. Putin just has things the US really needs right now.
On Tuesday an Israeli television channel aired leaked video footage it obtained exclusively showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasting that he had personally convinced President Trump to abandon the Iran nuclear deal. The statements were made at a small dinner event where he addressed senior members of his Likud party. The video, aired by Israel's Kan News shows Netanyahu enthusiastically praising his and Likud leadership's efforts, saying “We convinced the US president [to exit the deal] and I had to stand up against the whole world and come out against this agreement." He added, "And we didn't give up."

​The Israeli Knesset officially declares Israel to be an Apartheid State.
The Knesset passed early Thursday a controversial bill that officially defines Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and asserts that "the realization of the right to national self-determination in Israel is unique to the Jewish people," with 62 lawmakers voting in favor of the legislation and 55 opposing it.

Washington "will consider waivers" on (illegal, unilaterally imposed) Iran sanctions, Treasury Secretary Mnuchen.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gets jumped on for correctly referring to Israeli  (illegal, military) occupation of Palestinian territory (which all but 2 countries in the world agree upon, and it used to be all but one).

"Uncle Joe" Lieberman says Joe Crowley, trounced by Ocasio-Cortez in the primary, is still a viable candidate and people should vote for him. Through a New York election fluke, he will remain on the ballot as candidate of a third party. No Democrat (or Republican) dares speak the truth about Israel. That's going too far!

The American media are “almost unanimously endorsing the idea that we have to have an enemy,” declares International peace and trade advocate Ron Paul, warning that "at this point, especially for the last 20 years, they’ve been working very hard to make Russia the enemy, and I think this is wrong." 
​Charles Hugh Smith looks at the egalitarian societal-organizing caacity of distributed ledgers, without the massive computational (electrical  waste) workload of blockchain technology. We will have to organize somehow, and paying less for more and not supporting parasitic classes, is a recipe for success.

Keeping Track

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Deal With Vlad

Artful Dealers,

Eleni sends this about Putin's meeting with Netanyahu, before his meeting with Trump
Sources within the Syrian leadership said the Russian President "was clear with the Israeli Prime Minister that discussion of his concerns are postponed until the dossier related to terrorism is closed". "If terrorists hide in an Israeli controlled area (the occupied Golan Heights) we (Russia and its allies) will eliminate them one by one", said the source. 
Putin reminded Netanyahu that "allied forces are fighting side by side with the Russian forces spread over the entire Syrian territory. Therefore, Moscow is not in a position to ask Damascus's allies to fulfil Israel's demands and look after its concerns, particularly when it is common knowledge that Tel Aviv helped al-Qaeda and other jihadists, and supported the 'regime change' but failed to achieve it"... 
President Bashar al-Assad didn't limit his provocation to ask from Hezbollah to increase its military formation in the south of Syria, but he gave it a substantial gift: two full containers carrying US 60,000$/each TOW's anti-tank guided missiles, Milan French anti-tank guided missile, and other "spoils of war" collected in the south of Syria battle as a token of gratitude to his allies who had shared the same fate during the long years of the war. The west and the Gulf countries supplied significant quantities of weapons to jihadists and rebels throughout the years of the war. These have changed hands from al-Qaeda, to ISIS, and now to Hezbollah.
Putin, on the same day, received at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow the Iranian special envoy of the Leader of the Revolution Ali Akbar Velayati who announced a $50 billion investment in oil and gas. A real slap in the face to Trump, who had revoked the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran's Nuclear Deal (JCPOA). It shows how solid is the Russian commitment to Iran and the fact that its presence in Syria represents a strategic relationship. It is a clear message to Netanyahu that he is not Putin's "Golden Boy" even though he understands the close US-Israeli ties and how important Israel is to the United States.  

Netanyahu thanks Trump and Putin "for discussing Israel's security", whatever that means...

Russia dumped US treasuries for TWO months, going from $96 billion holdings in March, down to $9 billion by end of May. (Russia is very conservative and just fired off all of that gunpowder. Something new is happening.)

Donald Trump had to reverse himself and say that Russians "did interfere in the 2016 election" so that Democrats (neocons?) could claim that was an act of war, and that cyber-warfare against Russian banks is what the US must now press to teach them varmints a lesson! (Closing barn door after...)

Here’s the Trump process: 1) Identify a big goal (tax cuts, balanced trade, the wall, etc.). 2) Identify your leverage points versus anyone who stands in your way (elections, tariffs, jobs, etc.). 3) Announce some extreme threat against your opponent that uses your leverage. 4) If the opponent backs down, mitigate the threat, declare victory and go home with a win. 5) If the opponent fires back, double down. If Trump declares tariffs on $50 billion of good from China,and China shoots back with tariffs on $50 billion of goods from the U.S., Trump doubles down with tariffs on $100 billion of goods, etc. Trump will keep escalating until he wins. 6) Eventually, the escalation process can lead to negotiations with at least the perception of a victory for Trump (North Korea)

The Vlad and Donald show, A Glorious Blow for Peace! David Stockman; fun and informative. Thanks Wigs.

Another Reagan-veteran, Paul Craig Roberts points out the half-assed coup attempt underway ("Treason").
To be clear, the Democratic Minority Leader of the US House of Representatives has accused Donald Trump of high treason against the United States. There is no outcry against this blatantly false accusation, totally devoid of evidence. The presstitute media instead of protesting this attempt at a coup against the President of the United States, trumpet the accusation as self-evident truth. Trump is a traitor because he wants peace with Russia. 

Smooothe... Putin strikes back at Democratic witch-hunters' glass-jaw.
After offering to allow special counsel Robert Mueller's team to come to Russia for their investigation - as long as there was a reciprocal arrangement for Russian intelligence to investigate in the U.S., Putin said this:
"For instance, we can bring up Mr. Browder, in this particular case.  Business associates of Mr. Browder have earned over $1.5 billion in Russia and never paid any taxes neither in Russia or the United States and yet the money escaped the country. They were transferred to the United States. They sent [a] huge amount of money, $400,000,000, as a contribution to the campaign of Hillary Clinton.  Well that’s their personal case.  It might have been legal, the contribution itself but the way the money was earned was illegal.  So we have solid reason to believe that some [US] intelligence officers accompanied and guided these transactions.  So we have an interest in questioning them." (What's good for the goose...)

Jim Kunstler summarizes some American partisan warfare, what we can see of the deeper power struggle:
Mr. Trump’s visit to confer with Russian President Putin in Helsinki seems to have provoked a kind of last-gasp effort to keep the increasingly idiotic Russian election meddling story alive — with Robert Mueller’s ballyhooed indictment of twelve “Russian intel agents” alleged to have “hacked” emails and computer files of the DNC and Hillary’s campaign chairman John Podesta. The gaping holes in that part of the tale have long been unearthed so I’ll summarize as briefly as possible: 
1) the bandwidth required to transfer the files has been proven to be greater than an internet hack might have conceivably managed in the time allowed and points rather to a direct download into a flash drive device. 2) the DNC computer hard drives, said to be the source of the alleged hacking, disappeared while in the custody of the US Intel Community (including the FBI). 3) the authenticity of the purloined emails by Mr. Podesta and others has never been disputed, and they revealed a lot of potentially criminal behavior by them. 4) Mr. Mueller must know he will never get twelve Russian intel agents into a US courtroom, so the entire exercise is a joke and a fraud. In effect, he’s indicted twelve ham sandwiches with Russian dressing. 

James Comey: "Anybody voting Republican (psst, "russian") this fall is UN-AMERICAN".

Certainly NOT a model for the UK, due to City of London Banking Interests:
The deal eliminates about 99 percent of the tariffs on Japanese goods sold to the EU. About 94 percent of the tariffs on European exports to Japan will be lifted, rising to 99 percent in the future. The difference reflects exceptions on such products as rice, which enjoys strong political protection from imports in Japan.
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/17/japan-eu-sign-trade-deal-to-eliminate-nearly-all-tariffs.html

5G wireless internet is coming to Austin! The short wavelengths don't pass through solid object (like human cells) well, dumping their energy into the solid stuff, so "towers" have to be close, every few houses, but that can probably be worked out by making the "internet of things", present in every appliance, in every house, do double duty as towers. There will be a whole environment bathed in this millimeter band radiation, all hard at work for your convenience!
The immense expansion of radiation emissions from the current wireless EMF frequency band and 5G about to be perpetrated on an unsuspecting American public should be criminal.  Developed by the US military as non lethal perimeter and crowd control, the Active Denial System emits a high density, high frequency wireless radiation comparable to 5G and emits radiation in the neighborhood of 90 GHz.   The current Pre 5G, frequency band emissions used in today’s commercial wireless range is from 300 Mhz to 3 GHZ as 5G will become the first wireless system to utilize millimeter waves with frequencies ranging from 30 to 300 GHz. One example of the differential is that a current LANS (local area network system) uses 2.4 GHz.

M
​onitoring Events​

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Trump Terminated

Watching the Circus,

Former California Governator has these words for current POTUS, emoted fervently in 30 second video clip that went semi-viral...
"I mean, you stood there like a little wet noodle, like a little fan boy, I mean… I was asking myself when are you going to ask him for an autograph or a selfie or something like that? I mean, you literally sold out to this press conference our intelligence community, our justice system and worst of all our country."
"You’re the President of the United States you shouldn’t do that. What’s the matter with you?’ Whatever happened to the strong words or to the strength of Ronald Reagan, when he stood there at the Berlin wall and said: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall? What happened to all that?"

Mish Shedlock: ​ The mass hysteria following Trump's meeting with Putin is likely to last for days. Most are outraged. Few see the light.
​The Voice of (t)Reason:
​ "As for who to believe and who you can't believe... can you believe at all - you can't believe anyone."  Vladimir Putin

(Feel threatened much, John?)
Former Obama-era CIA Director - and ubiquitous tweeter of anti-Trump rhetoric - John Brennan just unleashed the most aggressive comment yet on the Trump-Putin Summit, claiming it was an act of treason.
"Why did Trump meet 1 on 1 with Putin? What might he be hiding from Bolton, Pompeo, Kelly, & the American public?How will Putin use whatever Trump could be hiding to advantage Russia & hurt America? Trump’s total lack of credibility renders spurious whatever explanation he gives."
"Donald Trump's press performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes and misdemeanors,'" Brennan tweeted. "It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???"

​Peace Talk Between Nuclear Superpowers Offends America's Assholes and Morons​, Caitlin Johnstone:
When I was a little girl I used to end all my nightly prayers with the words, “And please no nuclear war, and peace on earth. Amen.”
Beginning his joint press conference with Vladimir Putin, President Trump declared that U.S. relations with Russia have “never been worse.”
He then added pointedly, that just changed “about four hours ago.”
He has rejected the fundamental premises of American foreign policy since the end of the Cold War and blamed our wretched relations with Russia, not on Vladimir Putin, but squar
ely on the U.S. establishment... On Syria, Trump indicated that he and Putin are working with Bibi Netanyahu, who wants all Iranian forces and Iran-backed militias kept far from the Golan Heights. As for U.S. troops in Syria, says Trump, they will be coming out after ISIS is crushed, and we are 98 percent there..  Pat Buchanan

Moon of Alabama lays out the basic equation that Trump and Putin are working with, as fading #1 and recently-stabilized #3, and looking at fast-rising #2, China... 
There are three great geographic power-centers in the world. The Anglo-American transatlantic one which is often called 'the west'. Mackinder's heartland, which is essentially Russia as the core of the Eurasian landmass, and China, which historically rules over Asia. Any alliance of two of those power-centerscan determine the fate of the world. These imbeciles do not understand the realism behind Trump's grand policy. Trump knows the heartland theory of Halford John Mackinder.  He understands that Russia is the core of the Eurasian landmass. That landmass, when politically united, can rule the world. A naval power, the U.S. now as the UK before it, can never defeat it. Trump's opponents do not get what Zbigniew Brzezinski, the National Security Advisor of President Carter, explained in his book The Grant Chessboard (pdf). They do not understand why Henry Kissinger advised
​ ​Trump to let go of Crimea...  Kissinger's and Nixon's biggest political success was to separate China from the Soviet Union. That did not make China an ally of the United States, but it broke the Chinese-Soviet alliance. It put the U.S. into a premier position, a first among equals. But even then Kissinger already foresaw the need to balance back to Russia.
On Feb. 14, 1972, President Richard Nixon and his national security adviser Henry Kissinger met to discuss Nixon’s upcoming trip to China. Kissinger, who had already taken his secret trip to China to begin Nixon’s historic opening to Beijing, expressed the view that compared with the Russians, the Chinese were “just as dangerous. In fact, they’re more dangerous over a historical period.”
Kissinger then observed that “in 20 years your successor, if he’s as wise as you, will wind up leaning towards the Russians against the Chinese.” He argued that the United States, as it sought to profit from the enmity between Moscow and Beijing, needed “to play this balance-of-power game totally unemotionally. Right now, we need the Chinese to correct the Russians and to discipline the Russians.” But in the future, it would be the other way around.
It took 45 years, not 20 as Kissinger foresaw, to rebalance the U.S. position.

​Reviewing History​

Monday, July 16, 2018

Plotting Peace

​Speaking Russian,​

There has been some back channel communication between the US and Syria recently:​
According to the source involved in overseeing the entire military operation for the last years of war in Syria, “President Assad was very clear in his answer to the US establishment. Syria – said Assad – is determined to liberate the entire Syrian territory regardless of the consequences. There is of course a price to be paid to obtain the liberation of north Syria which is occupied by both the US and Turkey, neither of whom were invited by the Syrian government: this price is worth it”.
The American message is clear: ”The US will leave al-Tanf crossing and abandon north-east Syria in al-Hasaka and Deirezzour as soon as possible. The only condition is for Russia and Syria to guarantee a total withdrawal of all Iranian forces from the Levant. The US is ready to leave the Kurds and let these continue their negotiation with Damascus. The US establishment will recognize Assad’s authority over Syria but Iran must leave”.
Assad responded: “Iranian forces and their allies came to Syria under an official request by the central government and will leave when this government asks the allied forces to leave, and only when all terrorists have been eradicated from the Levant”.

​Bibi Netanyahu has very recently met with both Putin and Trump ahead of summit.

The announced meeting between Trump and Putin has already produced a good result by revealing the hypocrisy of the media and politicians. The meeting has been branded as the greatest danger to humanity, according to the Western globalist elite, because of the danger that "peace could break out between Russia and the United States".
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/07/13/globalist-elite-fears-peace-wants-war.html

​More desperate blaming of Russia for Democratic party and Hillary Clinton's perfidy breaks just ahead of Trump-Putin summit. (Amazingly, the same rubes are still swallowing this dreck.)

After a brief delay reportedly caused by President Putin, Trump and his Russian counterpart have gathered for a brief press conference before the start of their 90-minute summit meeting, during which the two men will be left alone to discuss a range of issues.
*PUTIN: THE TIME HAS COME FOR SUBSTANTIVE BILATERAL TALKS
*PUTIN SAYS HE'S BEEN IN REGULAR CONTACT WITH TRUMP
*TRUMP CONGRATULATES PUTIN ON HOSTING WORLD CUP
*TRUMP: WILL DISCUSS TRADE, NUCLEAR ISSUES AND CHINA WITH PUTIN
*TRUMP SAYS AGAIN THAT GETTING ALONG WITH RUSSIA `A GOOD THING
The two men shared a handshake, as Trump said "I really think the world wants to see us get along."
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-16/trump-putin-arrive-helsinki-ahead-historic-summit

Here is a reminder of who leaked the DNC emails to Wikileaks, after uploading them to a thumb drive , many times faster than possible with the internet, so ruling that out...
Seth Rich, who is pictured here a couple of days before he was murdered after partying with other DNC staffers and one of those Alawi brothers in a bar.

Sic Semper Tyrrannis:
Trump has no policy in Syria.  He has been drifting along following donor pressure to accept Israeli policy that is driven by unreasonable tribal fears.  He is a pragmatist and deal maker.  The R+6 has pretty much won the the war against Israeli/American/Saudi backed jihadis and the ever elusive unicorn semi-jihadis of the FSA.  Trump knows when it is time to cut your losses.  "You gotta know when to hold'em.  Know when to fold'em.  Know when to walk away.  Know when to run ..."  He knows.

A pragmatic approach...  The American shake down of its allies continues as President Trump and his Defence Minister, James Mattis attend the NATO summit in Brussels on July 11. The Americans are once again complaining that their allies in the NATO war machine don’t contribute enough to NATO, meaning the US, to fight America’s wars. Trump is really saying in so many words, “Pay us tribute or face the consequences.”

China has been preparing for a trade war for more than a decade. The light cast from this angle makes sense of Chinese monetary and financial policies which had seemed naive and ill advised in the light of their usual presentation. I wonder what (if any) analysis is correct.
http://www.alt-market.com/articles/3470-china-has-been-preparing-for-a-trade-war-for-over-a-decade

Yeah, bacon is a carcinogen. Hello breast cancer and colon cancer...

Pig n a Poke

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Humanity First

Appreciating Family,

John Pilger tells something of the story of his great great grandmother, Mary Palmer.
Mary was the youngest member of a gang of wild young women, mostly Irish, who operated in the East End of London.  Known as “The Ruffians”, they kept poverty at bay with the proceeds of prostitution and petty theft. The Ruffians were eventually arrested and tried, and hanged — except Mary, who was spared because she was pregnant. She was just 16 years old when she was manacled in the hold of a ship under sail, the Lord Sidmouth, bound for New South Wales “for the term of her natural life”, said the judge. The voyage took five months, a purgatory of sickness and despair. I know what she looked like because, some years ago, I discovered an extraordinary ritual in St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney. Every Thursday, in a vestry, a nun would turn the pages of a register of Irish Catholic convicts — and there was Mary, described as “not more than 4ft in height, emaciated and pitted with the ravages of small pox”...  Francis McCarthy had been transported from Ireland for the crime of “uttering unlawful oaths” against his English landlord. That was the charge leveled at the Tolpuddle Martyrs...  Mary and Francis were married at St Mary’s Church, later St Mary’s Cathedral, on November 9th, 1823, with four other convict couples.  Eight years later, they were granted their “ticket of leave” and Mary her “conditional pardon” by one Colonel Snodgrass, the Captain General of New South Wales — the condition being she could never leave the colony.
Mary bore 10 children and they lived out hard lives, loved and respected by all accounts, to their ninetieth year...

​Jim Kunstler, When Collpse Goes Kinetic:
​ The collapse of our techno-industrial set-up has actually been going on for some time, insidiously and corrosively, without shattering the scaffolds of seeming normality, just stealthily undermining them. I’d date the onset of it to about 2005 when the world unknowingly crossed an invisible border into the terra incognito of peak oil, by which, of course, I mean oil that societies could no longer afford to pull out of the ground. It’s one thing to have an abundance of really cheap energy, like oil was in 1955. But when the supply starts to get sketchy, and what’s left can only be obtained at an economic loss, the system goes quietly insane... The next debt blowup will be the end of Mr. Trump’s improbable credibility. It may also be the beginning of serious difficulty in being able to get many of the goods of daily life, because the producers of things will be very unsure of getting paid on delivery of just about anything. A freeze up of short-term lending would quickly lead to empty WalMart shelves and “no gas” signs at the filing stations. That’s when collapse finally goes kinetic, and becomes something more than just bad feeling inane ideas.

Major Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, asks the Israeli government to please stop arming neo Nazis in Ukraine. (Putin may be making the same request of Bibi.)

Tom Luongo on the "Grand Bargain taking shape" and US getting out of al-Tanf , Syria. He remains focused upon Syria negotiations for the Trump-Putin Summit.

David Stockman points out President Trump's redeeming virtue, that he is an existential threat to the deep-state, which is the foremost existential threat to vertebrate life on earth.
Clearly he means to withdraw America’s 29,000 military hostages now stationed in South Korea in return for some sort of peace treaty, economic normalization and denuclearization arrangement with Kim Jong-un...  We also now know – owing to the sullen reporting of the Washington Post – that Trump has been hounding the national security bureaucracy about another utterly ridiculous artifact of the Empire. Namely, the fact that 73 years after Hitler descended into Hades from his bunker and 27 years after the Soviet Union slithered off the pages of history, there are still 35,000 US troops in Germany...  But now comes the piece de resistance. The Donald is going to Helsinki to make peace with Vlad Putin, and just in the nick of time.
Hopefully, in one-fell swoop they can reach an agreement to get the US military out of Syria; normalize the return of Crimea and Moscow’s historic naval base at Sevastopol to the Russian motherland; stop the civil war in Ukraine via a mutually agreed de facto partition; stand-down from the incipient military clashes from the Baltic to the Black Sea; and pave the way for lifting of the absurd sanctions on Russian businessmen and citizens...  So, much is riding in the balance at Helsinki – including the possibility that a strong success could open the door to a real, far more systematic and intellectually cogent America First Policy over the longer haul...  In the first place it needs be observed that lurking not far below the surface of the Donald’s "America First" slogan is the ghost of Senator Robert Taft’s profoundly correct case for nonintervention...  he reasoned that in the nuclear age a US-based bomber and missile force of unquestioned striking capacity would more than adequately protect the homeland from foreign military aggression; and that it could do so at a fraction of the cost of what amounted to permanent imperial legions assigned to patrolling the better part of the planet.

This article looks at more things Trump and Putin can negotiate, like global security and...
The window of chances is on the issues of digital security. Russia is a major player in this field. At the level of bilateral relations, there are serious developments, although the dialogue remains frozen. The presidents’ meeting can give impetus for its defrosting. Moreover, dialogue on cyber security provides an opportunity to mitigate the issue of the notorious “Russian interference.” There is hardly a topic that is so destructive for bilateral relations on the one hand, and difficult to verify and opaque on the other. New technological realities raise the question of the clear rules of the game. It is difficult to expect emergence of some formal agreements on mutual “non-interference” (claims about this come not only from Washington, but also from Moscow). Moreover, Donald Trump himself is under constant attacks on the topic of “Russian interference” and he will be rather cautious in discussing it. However, the issue requires a solution or at least positive dynamics. Dialogue about the rules of the game in digital space gives such an opportunity.

Moon of Alabama looks at the deep-state machinations to get war with North Korea back on track:
Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton has a long history of destroying talks with North Korea. It was likely John Bolton who organized the recent intelligence leaks about North Korea's continuing work on its missile programs. In March, before joining the Trump administration, Bolton went on Foxnews and talked about the already agreed upon Trump-Kim summit. He opined (@4:10m) that the purpose of the meeting was, in his view, to  ".. foreshorten the amount of time that we’re going to waste in negotiations that will never produce the result we want, which is Kim giving up his nuclear program.”...
In June Kim Jong-un met U.S. President Trump in Singapore. A "freeze for freeze" - the stop of nuclear and missile testing in exchange for a stop of military maneuvers - was agreed upon. A Joint Statement was signed with a list of future tasks in similar chronological order as in the Panmunjeom Declaration (numbering added):
President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to [1] the establishment of new US-DPRK relations and [2] the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed [3a] to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un [3b] reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The program detailed in that paragraph is repeated in an itemized and numbered list:
President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:
The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
The United States and DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula
Denuclearization of the north AND south is again described as an aspirational goal and as the last item of the longer list.

Egypt hosts millions of refugees from war and deprivation in Africa and the Mideast, and does not get paid a penny, and gives them all the same modest benefits as Egyptians, and rejects the EU plan to pay for concentration camps for these folks in Egypt. These people live free in Egypt. These people are not the "problem".
“The solution to the problem will be to resettle these refugees in their countries,” said Youssef al-Metany, a refugee lawyer at local NGO Egyptian Network for International Law. “This can only happen when the conflicts raging in these countries are settled.”

​A "Parallel Currency" for Italy is completely feasible within current EU law. Here is how it works.

Supreme Court Nominee , Brett Kavanaugh seems to be actually highly qualified and experienced and well regarded as a consistent judge, not always falling on the same side of an issue, but on the same careful and literal interpretation of law and original intent of the lawmakers. Those are good traits in a judge, or at least used to be... Here is a tidbit that makes him poison to Clintonistas, though:
He followed a one-year fellowship in the office of U.S. Solicitor General Kenneth Starr with a clerkship for Justice Anthony Kennedy during October Term 1993. Kavanaugh went on to join Starr at the Office of the Independent Counsel, where Kavanaugh led the investigation into the death of Vince Foster, an aide to President Bill Clinton, and helped write the 1998 Starr Report to Congress, which outlined 11 grounds for Clinton’s impeachment.

As Trial Opens, man dying of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma blames the Monsanto RoundUp he kept getting drenched in for a couple of years before he got diagnosed. It was, he was told, "safe enough to drink", not "cause of cancer in lab animals".

Groundskeeper

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Talk Is Cheaper

Critters of Earth,

Eagle and Bear Meeting, Pepe Escobar looks at deals to be made in the .Syria Neocons are seething and chomping at the bits, but...
What will be negotiated in the Trump-Putin summit, as Asia Times has learned, is something completely different. This negotiation, incidentally, will happen after the NATO summit in Brussels and before the next Astana format meeting in Sochi on July 30, as confirmed by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin.
​.. 
Once again, the holy of the holies concerns al-Qaeda. Actually, Jabhat al-Nusra, as in al-Qaeda in Syria, is now rebranded as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, and their allied collection of 54 takfiri militias, trained and weaponized in a base in Jordan, for years, by the CIA and British Special Forces.
​.. 
Al Tanf is absolutely key to the whole plot, because that’s where US advisers have been for all practical purposes rebranding takfiris into something called Maghawhir al Thawra (Commandos of the Revolution).
​.. ​ 
Across the chessboard, what’s really significant, as Magnier notes, is how “the presence of Takfiri Wahhabi jihadists on the Israeli-Syrian borders represents – in Tel Aviv’s view – a security factor to the Israeli Army. And Israel would rather not see the Syrian state recovering and eliminating all terrorists and jihadists.”
​... “The US, Israel and their allies cannot win this southern fight. They can only prolong the insecurity for a while before the SAA decides to launch a military campaign against the 54-plus-militias-Nusra occupying the south of Syria.” So there’s got to be a deal. And this is what Putin and Trump may be able to negotiate in Helsinki.
http://www.atimes.com/article/eagle-meets-bear-and-the-syria-tug-of-war/

Syrian government forces on Friday took control over the major crossing point on the border with Jordan, raising a Syrian flag there, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the site.
​..
The Russian center for Syrian reconciliation stated earlier that over the week, 27 settlements had voluntarily joined the ceasefire regime in the southern part of the country.
A senior Kremlin official tells Bloomberg that Vladimir Putin is preparing to offer significant concessions to President Trump at their July 16 summit in Helsinki, Finland in the hopes of beginning to repair strained relations between Russia and the United States. 

"The United States of Terror", includes a map of countries bombed since the end of WW-2. (The rest of the world has been paying for this for the last 46 years or so through the Petrodollar that Nixon/Kissinger worked out with King Faud of Saudi Arabia. The rest of the world, led by Russia and China, are putting together the mechanisms to bypass the $US in global trade. that will probably happen in this crisis we are edging in to now. "Trade war" means getting in the first punch in the global reset. Trump is seemingly in a position to negotiate this military empire away while declaring "victory". Can he?)

"No Nukes-No THAAD" Koreans don't want all these weapons on their peninsula...
The United States had a hard time placing its Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems on South Korean soil. The only apparent reason Washington had was the notorious North Korean nuclear threat. Now that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has indicated his willingness to get rid of his country's nuclear weapons program, South Koreans have renewed their pressure on the unwanted US military presence.

​I predict that Putin can help Trump with the whole grand negotiating scheme, including a breakthrough for the once-and-future Korea. This grand dealmaking has to include lots of parts of our planet at once, to really work for everybody. The neocons and globalists do not want it to work for everybody, because that does not work for them...
​ In the statement released hours after Pompeo departed Tokyo after meeting with Kim Yong Chol, a senior aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman accused the US is trying to unilaterally pressure Pyongyang into abandoning its nuclear weapons by insisting on unilateral complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation (CVID), and said trust between countries is in a "dangerous stage", while adding that North Korea still trusts President Donald Trump.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-07/north-korea-slams-extremely-troubling-us-attitude-says-resolve-denuclearization-may

We are All Hostages of Corporate Profits, Charles Hugh Smith (I don't feel safe at all in this arrangement. All I know is on that chopping block.)
We're in the endgame of financialization and globalization, and it won't be pretty for all the hostages of corporate profits. Giving Amazon et al. more tax breaks won't fix what's broken, and neither will lavishing subsidies or taxpayer giveaways on global corporations that maintain the useful illusion of being based in America.
Economies dependent on bubbles for their survival self-destruct.

http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2018/07/we-are-all-hostages-of-corporate-profits.html

"Survival of the Psychopaths, They are Plotting to Leave Us Behind", is a catchy article I was trying to find without a paywall last night, and Bill sent it to me without my even telling him. This article is simple enough, a renowned "futurist" sits down with some really rich guys who ask him questions pertaining to their perceived futures. It's a straightforward look at their projections and plans. We are not serving them in their bunkers, and they give a lot of thought to how to maintain control over the armed men who do serve them in their bunkers. It will be nice if they will stay in their bunkers for awhile, but maybe this is just a false lead we are getting thrown at us...

Asgardia-Open Recruitment for a Breakaway Civilization Begins (OK, this really reminds me of the big spaceship that they filled with hairdressers and such in Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, to colonize some far distant world with those subject to the flattery of being told they were "the best and the brightest", but were really incompetent dead weight being lifted from an overburdened world.) I have heard for years that the $21 trillion the Pentagram can't find went into a parallel-universe kind of economic thing that ain't for us, but has all of the wealth we are expecting in retirement, and stuff like that. Who knows who owns all that stuff held everywhere by multinational corporations? Who knows what the "owners" plan to do with "their property"? 

"Testosterone Causes Men To Desire Luxury Goods" , Straight from the mouth of science to your ears. You would never suspect that men given testosterone skin cream would light up to status symbols they could display in public, and men given plain skin cream would not be so inclined.
You can walk down the street snickering about this for the rest of the week! ("Nothing comes between me and my Calvins")

Ancient Urging

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Perspective

Seeing Clearly,

Charles Mann is a scientific writer, much awarded, and rightly so, who has released a book, The Wizard and The Prophet, this year, about 2 approaches to human starvation. The Green Revolution was a revolution in choosing parts of the plant genome to work 4 times as effectively to feed us. On the other hand, we realize that we have limits to embrace on this finite planet, and we have a moment in time to do that work, before we all die suddenly of success. Mann talks for 55 minutes, and there are 35 minutes of selected questions he answers after that. 
Mann presents as high a flow rate of information, and as well organized, as I can get from reading, which is rare and deeply satisfying. This is really good and insightful information, no matter how much you may already know. I watched it all. Thanks for the tip, Jeanine.

Charles Hugh Smith looks at our current situation in the US and Western economic system. What now? (All i can find as an entry to the path forward is replacing TV with vegetable gardening, and bike commuting. these change my perceptions and the kinds of thoughts which enter my mind. Meditation arises more readily on a bike than in a car, too.)
In other words, the social crises, the constitutional crises, the financial crises--all of these are to some degree mere manifestations of the failure of centralized systems that arose to benefit from conditions that no longer exist. Our centralized institutions and systems are failing, and shuffling the management and tweaking the parameters cannot stave off collapse.What nobody gorging at the trough of the status quo dares admit is the system is failing most of its participants, and this is the source of populism and other manifestations of social disorder.

Paul Craig Roberts let USMC General Smedley Butler speak on July 4, the words as true as ever...
“WAR is a racket. It always has been. “It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. “A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes. “A few profit — and the many pay. But there is a way to stop it. You can’t end it by disarmament conferences. You can’t eliminate it by peace parleys at Geneva. Well-meaning but impractical groups can’t wipe it out by resolutions. It can be smashed effectively only by taking the profit out of war. “The only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and labor before the nation’s manhood can be conscripted. One month before the Government can conscript the young men of the nation — it must conscript capital and industry and labor. Let the officers and the directors and the high-powered executives of our armament factories and our munitions makers and our shipbuilders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all the other things that provide profit in war time as well as the bankers and the speculators, be conscripted — to get $30 a month, the same wage as the lads in the trenches get.” https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.pdf

​Developing Alternatives​