Tuesday, September 18, 2018

War Weary

​​Investigators,

Recent statements from the Trump administration suggest that the United States is now preparing to go to war against the International Criminal Court (ICC) itself, motivated largely by an effort to silence investigations into alleged American war crimes committed in Afghanistan, as well as alleged crimes committed by Israel during the 2014 war in the Gaza Strip. In a speech at a D.C. event held by the Federalist Society on Monday, Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton denounced the ICC as “illegitimate” and expressed his intentions toward the institution in no uncertain terms. “We will not cooperate with the ICC,” Bolton said. “We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us.”
In addition to this death wish against the court, Bolton said that the United States would retaliate against any ICC investigations into U.S. activities by sanctioning the travel and finances of ICC officials, even threatening to prosecute them in American courts.  Thanks Eleni.

Keep watching. An information-war for America's "hearts and minds" is about to take place, leading into November elections.
The House Intelligence Committee will release transcripts and documents for approximately 70 witness interviews conducted during their investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.
"We believe that the depositions that we took, I think for nearly about 70 people those need to be published, and they need to be published I think before the election," Nunes told Fox News's "Sunday Morning Futures."
"By published I mean put out for the American people to review, so that they can see the work that we did and they can see all of the people that were interviewed by us, and there are answers to those questions. I think full transparency is in order here so I expect to make those available from our committee to the American public here in the next few weeks," Nunes continued.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-17/nunes-house-intel-release-70-transcripts-trump-russia-probe

Moon of Alabama explains the rationale behind the delay of the liberation of Idlib provence. This is where all of the problems that were not sorted out were moved, then parked with 2 million civilians. It is also an area critical to the transport of gas by pipeline from the Pars Gas Fields to Europe. Whose pipeline?
Here are some limited excerpts from an extensive analysis of Turkish strategy and actions in Syria, and the bordering provinces within Turkey.
When the Syrian conflict began, Turkey turned its own territory, particularly the border zone, into infrastructure used to this day by armed formations for training, rest, and medical support. The Istanbul-Gaziantep route, unofficially dubbed the “jihad-express”, was the main stream of jihadists heading for Syria in 2014-16. The Kilis-Azaz border crossing was also a major logistical hub for militants moving to Syria. Moreover, many Turkish border settlements were de-facto bases where militants were assembled and prepared for crossing the border...
It’s also telling that since the start of the conflict, Turkey has sharply increased the intake of water from the Euphrates, which soon caused many Syrian cities and villages to suffer from serious shortages. As soon as the SDF took control of northeastern Syria, the intake of water reached its maximum levels. However, when ISIS was in control of this area, Turkey was keeping the water and electricity supply...
In 2012-2016, the main source of financing was aid from foreign sponsors. Ankara was not too shy to use funds from the US, Persian Gulf monarchies, domestic or foreign volunteers supporting these or other groups. One should also include the CIA program worth $500 million to train “Syrian insurgents”. The 2015-16 migration crisis led to EU-Turkey negotiations on financial aid to Ankara, in return for which Turkey housed the refugees. Turkey asked for €30 billion up front, to be followed by annual payments of €3 billion, but it’s not known how much Turkey actually received, though there was an agreement on €3 billion in 2016 and another €3 by 2018. Considering the numerous world media reports on the terrible conditions for refugees in Turkey, it’s likely the money is mostly being used to finance groups fighting Assad, while refugees are given the lowest priority...
Ankara de-facto controls part of Syria, with the fight against Kurdish armed groups and the expansion of own influence in the war-torn country being the motives. Turkey also lacks a UNSC mandate or a permission from Damascus to deploy forces in the country. These are undoubtedly violations of Ankara’s commitments to the Astana agreements and of Syria’s sovereignty...
 Neo-Ottomanism is the most appropriate term to describe Turkey’s foreign policy ideology and actions. Ankara seeks to become a world power, and that goal drives its activities, particularly concerning the Arab Spring and the war in Syria...
There are many potential clashes of interests between Turkey and Syria, including the Kurdish issue, mutual territorial claims, and ideological and political incompatibility. Since the very start of the protests in Syria, Turkey has rendered and continues to render help to the armed groups and political opposition. Moreover, the bilateral relations are made more complicated by the Euphrates river (nearly half the water is taken by Turkey which deprives countries downstream of water), the looting of industrial enterprises of the manufacturing center of Syria – Aleppo (equipment from nearly 1,000 factories were transported to Turkey). Ankara still believes Assad ought to leave his post, although in the last year its rhetoric concerning Assad’s legitimacy has softened...
Turkey has already transformed the agglomeration of its proxies into something like a unified opposition, with whom Ankara imagines Assad will discuss the future of Syria, thus giving it a place in the war-destroyed country and thus ensuring Turkey’s interests are safeguarded.
In the contemporary military and diplomatic reality surrounding the Syrian crisis, Ankara is pursuing the following tactical goals:
-To eliminate or at least disarm and limit influence of US-backed Kurdish armed groups in northern Syria;
-To strengthen a united pro-Turkish opposition Idlib and to eliminate any resistance to it, including in some scenarios the elimination of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies;
-To facilitate return of refugees from Turkey to Syrian areas under its own control;
If these goals are achieved, Ankara will significantly increase its influence on the diplomatic settlement of the crisis and on the future of the post-war Syria. The returned refugees and supporters of militant groups in the Turkish-controlled part of Syria will become an electoral base of pro-Turkish political figures and parties in case of the implementation of the peaceful scenario. If no wide-scale diplomatic deal on the conflict is reached, one must consider the possibility of a pro-Turkish quasi-state in northern Syria, confirming the thesis that Erdogan is seeking to build a neo-Ottoman empire.

Russia and Turkey have agreed a “demilitarized zone” between militants and government troops in Syria’s Idlib, President Vladimir Putin said after hours-long talks with Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan focused on solving the crisis.
“We’ve focused on the situation in the province of Idlib, considering presence of large militant groups and their infrastructure there,” Putin said at a press conference after the talks.
“We’ve agreed to create a demilitarized zone between the government troops and militants before October 15. The zone will be 15-20km wide, with full withdrawal of hardline militants from there, including the Jabhat Al-Nusra.”
As part of solving the deadlock, all heavy weaponry, including tanks and artillery, will be withdrawn from the zone before October 10, Putin said. The zone will be patrolled by Turkish and Russian military units.
The agreement has received “general support” from the Syrian government, according to Putin.

​A​ Russian il-20 turboprop aircraft, with crew of 15, was carrying out a routine nighttime surveillance mission over the Syrian border, near Latakia, when Israeli F-16s rushed it's airspace to carry out a missile attack on Syria. Defensive antiaircraft missiles fixed on it's larger radar image and shot it down. 
Israel says "it's Syria's fault". The Russian Ministry of Defense holds Israel responsible for 15 Russian deaths:  “The Israeli pilots used the Russian plane as cover and set it up to be targeted by the Syrian air defense forces. As a consequence, the Il-20, which has radar cross-section much larger than the F-16, was shot down by an S-200 system missile,” the statement said, adding that 15 Russian military service members have died as a result.

On Tuesday evening, Putin spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by phone. He urged Israel to avoid such incidents in the future and said that Tel Aviv’s military endeavors in Syria violate the country’s sovereignty.

​40 members of Congress have sent a letter to President Trump pointing out that Congress declares war and he should seek congressional approval before carrying out any act of war upon Syria (It's late for that, but good-show, mates!)​
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-18/over-40-congress-members-send-letter-white-house-demanding-trump-seek-approval

​The BUK missile that is reported to have shot down Flight MH-17 over Ukraine had enough of nose and tail section parts pieced back together to get it's serial number. It was made in 1986. Shipped by rail to Ukraine in 1986, and never left Ukrainian possession.​
http://www.atimes.com/article/russia-reveals-the-mh17-smoking-gun/

​North Korea seems to be circumventing (costly, no doubt) at least some of the sanctions/embargo/blockade, set up against it, back when it was testing nuclear devices and missiles. It stopped. Most people noticed that.
​More about the Chinese deal to manage the port of Haifa, a really good, deep water port, starting in 2021.​ Belt-and-Road.
Haifa is actually the natural port of export for the oil of the Middle East, and only due to the political situation that this potential is not actualized.

The "Everything Bubble" threatens $400 trillion in "assets". (Real things don't go "POOF", but most of these "assets" will.)

The EU needs a stability and wellbeing pact, not more growth.
238 academics call on the European Union and its member states to plan for a post-growth future in which human and ecological wellbeing is prioritised over GDP
​Making Plowshares​

Monday, September 17, 2018

Breaking Up

Dance Partners,

Israel is turning over operations of it's largest port, Haifa, to China. 
Israel appears to be hedging bets ahead of a power shift in the world order. I also think Israel assumes American military and financial support, no matter what.
“When China acquires ports,” Horev said, “it does so under the guise of maintaining a trade route from the Indian Ocean via the Suez Canal to Europe, such as the port of Piraeus in Greece. Does an economic horizon like this have a security impact? We are not weighing that possibility sufficiently. One of the senior American figures at the conference raised the question of whether the U.S. Sixth Fleet can see Haifa as a home port. In light of the Chinese takeover, the question is no longer on the agenda.”

​Nations step back from NATO absolutism, in the face of American lies and brutishness (nothing new about American actions, just their overwhelmingly bad fit and finish lately.)
The Netherland​s​ just announced that it is ending its support for al-Qaeda's propaganda gang, the "White Helmets". It also ends its support for the so called Free Syrian Police. Last week the Netherlands shut down its "non lethal" support for the Free Syrian Army after Dutch news organizations found that members of these groups were accused of terrorism by their General Prosecutor.

C​harles Hugh Smith makes the point that free-money from deficit spending is mainly treated as a windfall, and squandered, since there is no inducement to deploy it wisely. As this carries on through decades in an economy, it is no longer efficient in deployment of labor, energy, and material resources, nor does it plan for a future of being efficient, because that's not how things work any more. 
What future does this lead to? 
​Remember 2008? That was it.​
There is no such thing as free to me money: the cost is simply being hidden in the deep, pervasive structural rot of our economy, politics and society. 

​Ilargi has a good look at the subsequent post-future...
​ Yes, it is hard to believe, but still happening: 10 years after Lehman the very same people who either directly caused the financial crisis of 2008 or made things much much worse in its aftermath, are not only ALL walking around freely and enjoying even better paid jobs than 10 years ago, they are even asked by the media to share their wisdom, comment on what they did to prevent much much worse, and advise present day politicians and bankers on what THEY should do...
They threw their out-of-thin-air trillions at making the asset markets look good, especially stock markets. Knowing that’s what people look at, and knowing foreclosures are of fleeting interest and can be blamed on borrowers, not lenders, anyway when necessary.
And obviously they knew and know they are and were simply blowing yet another bubble, just this time the biggest one ever, but the wealth transfer that has taken place under the guise of saving the economy has made the rich so much money they can’t and won’t complain for a while. They actually WILL eat cake.
Everyone else, sorry, we ran out of money, got to cut pensions and wages and everything else now. Healthcare? Nice idea, but sorry. Housing, foodstamps? Hey, what part of ‘the government is broke’ don’t you understand? You’re on your own, buddy. Remember the America Dream? Let that be your Yellow Brick Road...
Central bankers haven’t merely NOT saved the economy, they have used the financial crisis to feed additional insane amounts of money to those whose interests they represent, and who already made similarly insane amounts, which caused the crisis to begin with. They have not let a good crisis go to waste.
https://www.theautomaticearth.com/2018/09/ben-bernankes-waffle-house/#post-42922

What is "QAnon"?
The Wikipedia article appears to have been written by several authors, completely sure of themselves and their facts, and in complete disagreement, with each other. "Q" is purportedly a human or composite persona with high level nuclear  "Q" security clearance, a patriot, with the interest of "draining the swamp" of the deep state which controls America. Veracity of the predictions of "Q" and "Anon" is hotly contested in this Wikipedia entry.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QAnon 
I am bringing this up because Marc sent me something a week ago, about coming arrests of high level deep state actors, like John and Tony Podesta, coupled with a nationwide Trump message to every cellphone in America. The timing was soon-but-indeterminate. I'm seeing some things over the weekend, which may or may not feed into this scenario. 

The House will be holding hearings shortly after the DOJ IG Michael Horowitz’s report on the intentionally botched Hillary investigation is released shortly.​..​
John Giacalone, who led the investigation actually resigned because the case was going “sideways”; that’s law enforcement jargon for “nowhere by design.” In other words, the powers that be decided they did not want a fair and impartial investigation. They wanted to bury it before the election.​..​
The fact that such a high ranking official would quit his job over it gives it instant credibility. But it gets worse for the Deep State. No less than 28 special agents of the FBI are asking to be subpoenaed in order to testify about how rigged the investigation was and what information they have about the suppression of the evidence in the case.

FBI Botched Clinton Investigation: Never Disclosed Hillary, Aides Used Covert Google Server to Hide Benghazi Emails
It’s like a bad spy movie involving a third-world government. Or perhaps a slap stick comedy. The Secretary of State of the United States reading, sending, receiving sensitive emails with national security secrets, threats and classified or top secret intelligence over Google’s public Gmail.
But it gets even worse. The FBI either never discovered this blatant and clandestine violation of federal laws or did and simply covered it up.
Following the Benghazi consulate attack in 2012, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton secretly worked with Google to reroute email traffic away from her private computer server and use public Google Gmail servers instead. That clandestine move served to cloak her inner circle’s communications from lawmakers, public scrutiny and would-be criminal investigators, according to intelligence sources who provided documents to True Pundit.
These bombshell revelations shatter Clinton’s repeated claims and testimony that she solely used her private server in her Chappaqua NY home to conduct government business at State. But it also reveals that previously undisclosed computer servers were employed by Clinton and her aides for conducting official government business. Lawmakers have been on a dogged and often frustrated quest to secure all of Clinton’s emails during her tenure as Secretary of State. She has maintained in interviews and testimony that all emails were warehoused on a single home home brew server during her four years in office.

Investigative Journalist James O’Keefe is set to make public a new investigation that will “unmask” and “put a face to the individuals who seek to disturb the fabric of our Republic.”
The investigation was teased in a 30-second trailer released on Friday under O’Keefe’s non-profit organization, Project Veritas.
Turn Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, who was also able to preview the investigation, says that the information will “change the midterms and the entire conversation about the deep state.”
“He has multiple deep state high ranking government officials explaining how they undercut @realDonaldTrump from within,” Kirk tweeted.
According to O’Keefe, the investigation will be viewable for the public sometime next week.
“What we’re releasing next week… we must expose them in their own words. We’re going to make the hidden deep state individuals internet famous,” he said Saturday.
http://planetfreewill.com/james-okeefe-set-to-unmask-deep-state-with-new-investigation/

P​resident Trump will send a special message to our cellphones, all of them, Thursday​, 9/20/18.

Included here is a link that Eleni sent, under "What do you think?" This is the theme that continues to run deeply, that of the masters of wealth secretly manipulating the political discourse in recent centuries, and murdering those who did not play nicely with them. It is naturally very difficult or impossible to verify or refute. It is a plausible explanation for a lot of the workings of our world in the past few hundred years. As a conceptual model, it fits well for a lot longer, maybe as much as 3000 years. 
Focus here is on murdering American Presidents as a rite of passage to 33rd Degree Masonry. 
The sound of it, and the look of the website put me off, but considering this very durable theory, even without appealing presentation, seems important.

Investment advisor and former Assistant Secretary of Housing, Catherine Austin Fitts, predicts the global financial system “will take some big hits before the end of the year.” Fitts explains, “Right now, economists say the dollar is ‘dangerous and dominant.’ It’s still, if you look at the market shares around the world, it’s still very, very significant portion of total reserves. So, it’s still very important. At the same time, the U.S. dollar hegemony is probably not going to last forever . . . So, I think the long term dollar looks very weak. Short term, it doesn’t look like it’s coming apart anytime soon, as far as I can see. What that means is when you have something that is dangerous and dominant, you have the possibility of extreme volatility events. That’s the new code word for the ‘you know what’ hits the, you know what. Whether it’s different countries exploding economically, or we whether are pressuring people that makes them very uncomfortable, these kinds of fights over shrinking pies are very dangerous because they mean covert wars. They mean overt wars, and the more we steal pies from each other instead of make new pies, the worse the situation gets. That’s what you are seeing. The system is not stable.”​ ... The U.S. government is “missing” $21 trillion between the DOD and HUD. This fact was uncovered by Fitts and economist Dr. Mark Skidmore last year. What was the government’s answer to this gigantic accounting fraud that is the size of the federal deficit? Give the government’s budgets basically classified national security status...  As a matter of policy, they are saying you have to give them, for the IRS, for the Census and all these other things, complete financial disclosure and honest financial disclosure by pain of law or you go to prison, but they can make up whatever they want. They can publish financial statements that are complete fiction with no accountability to you and call it national security. What this is doing is engineering complete financial insecurity for every American citizen. This is the end of financial security.”

​Mexico's criminal cartels are increasingly more into stealing and controlling oil, from bleeding cash cow Pemex, though they have not given up drugs, kidnapping and prostitution. The horrors of living in a criminal war zone are depicted here, by Seth Harp. Thanks Dan (Talk about "stealing shrinking pies"!)​
In his white sweatshirt and hot-pink Nikes, the man sitting on a park bench in front of the cathedral in Orizaba looks like an ordinary 32-year-old, but he’s talking about murdering people. He tells me he’s done it eight times and explains the sort of thing that, in his line of work, gets a person killed. “Being a wiseguy,” he says. “Acting tough. Going around like a badass. That obligates you to break them.” He details his methods: “First, you give them an ass-kicking,” he says. “Then, you finish them with a head shot. Or you torture them, so they sing what they know, who they’ve been talking to. You use knives, an ax, whatever you have at hand. A machete. This business we’re in obligates you to do that. That’s the life we live.”
​Simple Simon​

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Touche' Tulsi

Front and Center,

In a rare and unprecedented speech delivered on the House floor just two days after the nation memorialized 9/11, Democratic Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard on Thursday slammed Washington's longtime support to anti-Assad jihadists in Syria, while also sounding the alarm over the current build-up of tensions between the US and Russia over the Syria crisis.
She called on Congress to condemn what she called the Trump Administration’s protection of al-Qaeda in Idlib and slammed Washington's policies in Syria as "a betrayal of the American people" — especially the victims and families that perished on 9/11.
Considering that Congresswoman Gabbard herself is an Iraq war veteran and current Army reserve officer who served in the aftermath of 9/11, it's all the more power and rare that a sitting Congress member would make such forceful comments exposing the hypocrisy and contradictions of US policy.

​The owners of American power are who Congresswoman Gabbard is up against. She is brave. She knows. Hawaii supports her. 
Cat sends this article about America's smug ruling elite​.

Cat also sends this article about rapidly escalating censorship of ideas and history, in this case, Amazon's new policy. 
Since it is "not government", there is no explanation and no recourse. Anything distasteful to the owners just disappears. 
It's never been about Alex Jones. It's invisible book burning. This is what happens in wartime, but starts just before the conflagration...

Trump administration comes down hard on criticizing Israel. "Antisemitic", hate speech. 
Calling Isreal "racist" is hate speech. Palestinians are haters. Boycotting Israei products is illegal. 
Get back in line! Bad College Students!

The latest threat to our fragile minds is here. Please protect us!
Thanks to modern technology, the U.S. government ruling class now has another scary fear-mongering problem they are dubbing “deep fakes.” Technology has reached a point where people can now create near-perfect faked videos of people saying things they never actually said, reported Tech Crunch. “Deep fakes” use existing footage mixed with artificial intelligence and machine learning to be made to look like, or at least come close to, the real thing​..​.
“Deep fakes could become a potent tool for hostile powers seeking to spread misinformation,” wrote Representative Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, in a letter to Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence. “As deep fake technology becomes more advanced and more accessible, it could pose a threat to United States public discourse and national security, with broad and concerning implications for offensive active measures campaigns targeting the United States,” said the letter, co-signed by Representatives Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL).  If you guessed that the government is more likely than not going to use this as an excuse to continue to kill free speech, you’d most likely be correct.

This is what WW-3 has to be about, the restructuring of global economy out of the capitalist mold, which depends on cheap fuel and resources and cheap labor, and broad markets. All of that is exhausting... There will be survivors and losers.
Capitalism as we know it is over. So suggests a new report commissioned by a group of scientists appointed by the UN secretary general. The main reason? We’re transitioning rapidly to a radically different global economy, due to our increasingly unsustainable exploitation of the planet’s environmental resources and the shift to less efficient energy sources.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/capitalism-un-scientists-preparing-end-fossil-fuels-warning-demise-a8523856.html

Charles Hugh Smith explains the tightly interlinked global financial system, where each part of the system depends upon the stability of the whole system, which is fine until it suddenly collapses. All that happened with "nonlinear dynamics" in 2008, just got more and more that way.

The massive wealth redistribution that happened in 2008 can't happen again. there just aren't enough resources. What's Plan-B?
The response to the financial crisis was about reorganizing property rights. If you were close to power, you enjoyed unlimited rights and no responsibilities, and if you were far from power, you got screwed. This shaped the world into what it is today.​..​
One of the first things Roosevelt did, even before he took office, was to embarrass powerful financiers. He did this by encouraging the Senate Banking Committee to continue its probe, under investigator Ferdinand Pecora, of the most powerful institutions on Wall Street, which were National City (now Citibank) and JP Morgan. Pecora exposed these institutions as nests of corruption. The Senate Banking Committee made public Morgan’s "preferred list," which was the group of powerful and famous people who essentially got bribes from Morgan. It included the most important men in the country, like former Republican President Calvin Coolidge, a Supreme Court Justice, important CEOs and military leaders, and important Democrats, too.

​Matt Taibbi, with Rolling Stone gets the perspective clear on the 2008-2009 bank bailout. this will "unwind" this next time. Who will be in power?
The public to this day has no understanding of the scale of the intervention.
T​o put it in perspective, the War on Terror has cost America about $5.6 trillion since 9/11, or about $32 million an hour.
The bailouts probably dwarf that effort. Most studies suggest it was a world-war-level mobilization of cash, a generation of savings used to plug a single hole.
The Special Inspector General of the TARP put the gross government outlay at $4.6 trillion, with over $16 trillion in guarantees. Bloomberg concluded the rescue expenditure was $12.8 trillion. Fortune (which saluted the investment as hugely profitable for America in the end) put the number at $14 trillion. The Levy Institute at Bard College did probably the most extensive study, and put the number at $29 trillion.

The EU prepares to do a Greek-colonization on Hungary, which land locked country has the gall to refuse refugees from wars perpetrated by former colonialists and NATO members. 
Poland says it will vote in Hungary's favor, to prevent Hungary's vote being revoked. (Hungarians got particularly screwed by financial capitalism as they exited the soviet sphere and were deeply and ruthlessly exploited, which is not yet over.)

Hungary's Fighting-Vic Orban goes into the ring with George Soros funded European Parliament, with only Poland in his corner, but plenty of resolve.
"A few months ago ... there was an election in Hungary. The Hungarian people decided what should happen, and during the election campaign we discussed all of the issues — including CEU, the NGOs, and all of the important political issues. And the people decided on these issues. And now the European Parliament is taking upon itself the task of overruling the decision made by the people of Hungary and forcing the Hungarian government to implement what they are attempting to impose on us in place of the people's decision."

Palm oil destroys massive swathes of forest every year, until... The forest can never come back. 
"Sustainable biofuel" is a scam. Use less fuel.
The biosphere is going away forever, as far as life forms like us are concerned. Somebody, somewhere has to stop it, right?

Two leading scientists have issued a call for massive swathes of the planet’s land and sea to be protected from human interference in order to avert mass extinction.
Current levels of protection “do not even come close to required levels”, they said, urging world leaders to come to a new arrangement by which at least 30 per cent of the planet’s surface is formally protected by 2030.
Chief scientist of the National Geographic Society Jonathan Baillie and Chinese Academy of Sciences biologist Ya-Ping Zhang made their views clear in an editorial published in the journal Science.

Ig Nobel Prizes have been awarded again:
Japanese gastroenterologist Akira Horiuchi won the medical education prize for an experiment in which he reviewed the comfort and efficiency of self-colonoscopy in the sitting position by performing a colonoscopy on himself while seated. He reported only “mild discomfort.”
Other winners included a team that demonstrated that most people who use complicated products do not read the instruction manual (Literature Prize); researchers who surveyed Spanish drivers to determine the frequency, motivation, and effects of shouting and cursing while in a car (Peace Prize); a group that investigated whether using Voodoo dolls to retaliate against abusive bossesmakes employees feel better (Economics Prize); and a team that tested the effectiveness of a “spit shine” by cleaning 18th century sculptures with saliva and several alcohol-based cleaners(Chemistry Prize). Spit won.

​Passing Kidney Stone​

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Narrative Control Problems

News-Biting,

2 minutes of truth about Syria by Jeffrey Sachs. 
(Notice the defensive postural reaction of the female news anchor when this starts to get real. Deer in headlights look and grabbing arms of chair.)

Professor Paul Craig Roberts:  
For some time I have pointed out the paradox of the American liberal/progressive/left being allied with the CIA, FBI, military/security complex and deep state. Now leftist Ann Garrison has noticed the paradox of this alliance. She concludes that the left has lost its mind...
I have explained that the leftwing lost its bearings when the Soviet Union collapsed and socialism gave way to neoliberal privatizations. The moral fury of the leftwing movement had to go somewhere, and it found its home in Identity Politics in which the white heterosexual male takes the place of the capitalist, and his victim groups—blacks, women, homosexuals, illegal immigrants—take the place of the working class.
The consequences of the leftwing’s alliance with warmongers and liars is the leftwing’s loss of veracity. The left has endorsed a CIA orchestration—“Russiagate”—for which there is no known evidence, but which the left supports as proven truth.​..
At one time, Congress—both parties—would have been all over the invalid Mueller appointment. However, after 16 years of Cheney/Bush and Obama regime lawlessness, even Republicans accept that the Constitution’s restraints on executive branch power, along with the laws and regulations Congress has established specifying the exercise of these powers, have been rendered meaningless by the “war on terror,” a hoax designed to further Israel’s interests in the Middle East and the neoonservative doctrine of US hegemony, while making billions of dollars for the military/security complex.

Moon of Alabama has "a few items related to Syria" (European colonialist powers are experiencing various mild to moderate difficulties coordinating the planned massive attacks, in retaliation for the Assad chlorine gas attacks on Syrian civilians that Nikki Haley said he gave the orders for.)
The U.S. asked the Merkel administration to participate in "retaliatory" regime change strikes on the Syrian government forces when, likely soon, another faked 'chemical' incident will be blamed on it. Several high ranking members of Chancellor Merkel's party want to follow that call. But now the Scientific Services of the German Bundestag, the equivalent of the U.S. Congressional Research Service, released an authoritative legal opinion (pdf, in German) on the issue. Such an attack would be illegal under international law and it would also violate the German constitution. There will be no official German support for such a wider attack on Syria. (In an earlier opinion the Scientific Service found that the continued U.S. presence in Syria is illegal.)

Tom Luongo: The way out of Syria for the U.S. with its face-saved is to thunder and bluster, threaten fire and brimstone just like Trump did with Kim Jong-un and use that to explain why Assad showed restraint and didn’t use chemical weapons this time.

​Turkey wants Idleb province in Syria, and is making Ottoman Empire ownership claims on this internationally recognized part of Syria.
Turkey is massively supplying the Idleb terrorists they were supposed to get rid of over the past year, but continue to support.
Russian and Syrian airstrikes are on hold, so the US can't stage that chlorine-barrel-bomb false-flag and have an excuse for massive air assaults on Syria.
Civilians in Idleb are getting picked up and tortured to death by terroristsmercenaries while Syrian Army forces are in holding pattern for politics.
Stress between US and Russian forces remains. US should really not go to conventional war against current Russian technology, nor nuclear...

YouTube bans media presenting Syrian National viewpoints. Only Western media views of Syria are "real news".

Vladimir Putin sends telegram to Kim Jong Un on 70th anniversary of North Korea (sad birthday) expressing confidence for future, and pleasure with friendly relations.

​Russia pushes to relax sanctions on North Korea, since they are moving in the agreed direction toward denuclearization.
Moscow will propose to the UN Security Council to reward North Korea with a gradual relaxing of sanctions if it takes the necessary steps towards denuclearization, Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said.
“As North Korea takes steps on denuclearization, we believe that the UN Security Council has the authority and should address the issue of adequate easing of the sanctions against North Korea. We will raise this issue with the understanding that North Korea will also take the required steps,” Morgulov said on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.

R​ussian President Putin points out that $20 trillion of American government debt (accelerating growth of debt, too) ​makes the $US a risky financial asset.
(It is backed by the full faith and destruction of the US military, for the moment, but that may be slipping.  How about some gold?)

Ilargi, at The Automatic Earth:
In the wake of a number of the Lehman and 9/11 commemorations in America, and as a monster storm is once again threatening to cause outsize damage, we find ourselves at a pivotal point in time, which will decide how the country interacts with its own laws, its legal system, its Constitution, its freedom of speech, and indeed if it has sufficient willpower left to adhere to the Constitution as its no. 1 guiding principle.
The main problem is that it all seems to slip slide straight by the people, who are -kept- busy with completely different issues. That is convenient for those who would like less focus on the Constitution, but it’s also very dangerous for everyone else. Americans should today stand up for freedom of speech, or it will be gone, likely forever.
The way it works is that president Trump is portrayed as the major threat to ‘the rule of law’, which allows other people, as well as companies and organizations, to drop below the radar and devise and work on plans and schemes that threaten the country itself, and its future as a nation ruled y its laws.
Bob Woodward’s book “Fear: Trump in the White House” and the anonymous op-ed published in the NYT a day later serve as a good reminder of these dynamics. If you succeed in confirming people’s idea that Trump is such an unhinged idiot that an unelected cabal inside the White House is needed to save the nation from the president it elected, you’re well on your way.
Well on your way to separate the country from its own laws, that is. Not on your way to saving it. You can’t save America by suspending its Constitution just because that suits your particular political goals or points of view.

According to a State Department email from Sid Blumenthal to Hillary Clinton Bob Woodward has been an FBI asset ever since his Deep Throat days.

​Democratic Party Dept. of Loose and Locked Lips:  
More ​general infidelity pops up as additional Strzok-Page emails are made public.
A December 15, 2016 email appears to discuss a "political" leaking operation, in which others were "leaking like mad" amid the Trump-Russia probe.
“Oh, remind me to tell you tomorrow about the times doing a story about the rnc hacks,” Page texted Strzok.
“And more than they already did? I told you Quinn told me they pulling out all the stops on some story…” Strzok replied.
A source told Fox News “Quinn” could be referring to Richard Quinn, who served as the chief of the Media and Investigative Publicity Section in the Office of Public Affairs. Quinn could not be reached for comment.
Strzok again replied: “Think our sisters have begun leaking like mad. Scorned and worried, and political, they’re kicking into overdrive.”

​Kenneth Starr, Clinton Special Prosecutor, finally speaks/publishes after 20 years, figuring the Clinton Dynasty is safely over. ​
Bill was politely evasive. Hillary just rattled off "I don't recall" for hours, making no pretense of honesty. 
Starr says Hillary actively enabled President Bill's sexual escapades. (If Starr figures the Clinton game is over, he's likely right, don'tcha think?)

Tom sends video and transcript of Google General Staff meeting, the day after Google's best and sincerest efforts to help candidate Clinton win were dashed against the rocks. There was no joy in Mudville; bigwigs or worker-bees. 
There was lots of interest in making the milieu of online political education more hyper-local, consistent, and personalized. 
The uneducated voters just don't understand. sigh... 
It is very good that these beneficent and intelligent people are always vigilant in defense of what is best for those of us who don't understand.

Google responds to leaked video: "Will investigate":
​Study shows that American teens now prefer text chats to face-to-face meetings (less risky, of course...)
Some 35 percent of kids aged 13 to 17 years old said they would rather send a text than meet up with people, which received 32 percent.
The last time the media and technology-focused nonprofit conducted such a survey in 2012, meeting face-to-face hit 49 percent, far ahead of texting's 33 percent.
More than two-thirds of American teens choose remote communication -- including texting, social media, video conversation and phone conversation -- when they can, according to the study.

​Do you think it is unethical for Ph.D.s in Experimental Psychology to work for software companies to increase addiction ("success") rates of internet apps targeting children? 
It's not illegal. That's not the question. Should it be?​
​Forming Preferences​

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Attention Deficit Democracy

​Paying Attention,​

Cat sends this assessment of 9/11 conspiracy theories, by Ron Unz, who was counting on his reading commentariat to contribute, and they did. Comments are excellent, and archived clips of TV footage and reporters from that day are staggering in their revelations. Some excerpts:
William Christison had spent 29 years at the CIA, rising to become one of its senior figures as Director of its Office of Regional and Political Analysis, with 200 research analysts serving under him. In August 2006, he published a remarkable 2,700 word article explaining why he no longer believed the official 9/11 story and felt sure that the 9/11 Commission Report constituted a cover-up, with the truth being quite different. The following year, he provided a forceful endorsement to one of Griffin’s books, writing that “[There's] a strong body of evidence showing the official U.S. Government story of what happened on September 11, 2001 to be almost certainly a monstrous series of lies.” And Christison’s extreme 9/11 skepticism was seconded by that of many other highly-regarded former US intelligence officers​..​.
Let us now suppose that the overwhelming weight of evidence is correct, and concur with high-ranking former CIA intelligence analysts, distinguished academics, and experienced professionals that the 9/11 attacks were not what they appeared to be. We recognize the extreme implausibility that three huge skyscrapers in New York City suddenly collapsed at free-fall velocity into their own footprints after just two of them were hit by airplanes, and also that a large civilian jetliner probably did not strike the Pentagon leaving absolutely no wreckage and only a small hole. What actually did happen, and more importantly, who was behind it?​...
The most typical approach, as generally followed in the numerous Griffin books, is to avoid the issue entirely and focus solely on the gaping flaws in the official narrative. This is a perfectly acceptable position but leaves all sorts of serious doubts. What organized group would have been sufficiently powerful and daring to carry off an attack of such vast scale against the central heart of the world’s sole superpower? And how were they then able to orchestrate such a massively effective media and political cover-up, even enlisting the participation of the American government itself?​...
​ Effective intelligence operations are concealed in a hall of mirrors, often extremely difficult for outsiders to discern, and false-flag terrorist attacks certainly fall into this category. But applying a different metaphor, the complexities of such events may be seen as a Gordian Knot, almost impossible to disentangle, but which may sometimes easily be cut by asking the simple question “Who benefited?”​...
​ I find it difficult to think of any country in the world that clearly gained as a result of the 9/11 attacks and America’s military reaction, with one single, solitary exception...
General Wesley Clark reported that soon after the 9/11 attacks he was informed that a secret military plan had somehow come into being under which America would attack and destroy seven major Muslim countries over the next few years, including Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Libya, which coincidentally were all of Israel’s strongest regional adversaries and the leading supporters of the Palestinians...
The history of military and terrorist attacks is even more striking. One of history’s largest terrorist attacks prior to 9/11 was the 1946 bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem by Zionist militants dressed as Arabs, which killed 91 people and largely destroyed the structure. In the famous Lavon Affair of 1954, Israeli agents launched a wave of terrorist attacks against Western targets in Egypt, intending to have them blamed on anti-Western Arab groups. In 1950, there are strong claims that Israeli Mossad agents launched a wave of false-flag terrorist bombings against Jewish targets in Baghdad, successfully using those violent methods to help persuade Iraq’s large thousand-year Jewish community to emigrate to the Jewish state. In 1967, Israel launched a deliberate air and sea attack against the U.S.S. Liberty, intending to leave no survivors, and ultimately killing or wounding over 200 American servicemen before word of the attack got out and it was called off​..​.
This unfortunate conspiracy of silence finally ended in 2009 when Dr. Alan Sabrosky, former Director of Studies at the US Army War College, stepped forward and publicly declared that the Israeli Mossad had very likely been responsible for the 9/11 attacks, writing a series of columns on the subject, and eventually presenting his views in a number of media interviews, along with additional analyses.

"According to the information received from inhabitants of Idlib province, militants are now filming a staged provocation in the city of Jisr al-Shugur, where "chemical weapons" are depicted as being used by the Syrian army against civilians. The film crews of several Middle Eastern TV channels arrived in Jisr al-Shugur in the morning, as well as the regional affiliate of one of the main American television news networks," the Reconciliation Center said. "The plot envisages staged scenes showing 'activists' from the Civil Defense ("White Helmets") 'helping' the residents of Jisr al-Shughur after the Syrian army allegedly used the so-called barrel bombs with poisonous substances," the center said.
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201809111067930808-idlib-footage-alleged-chemical-attacks/

“That has to be, in the history of propaganda in the 20th and 21st centuries, one of the most outrageous claim s that I can think of,” John Bolton stated in response to Moscow's charge that anti-Assad insurgents in Idlib are preparing a chemical false flag in order to hasten a US attack on​​ Damascus,​ ​according to a new Wall Street Journal report.
“Along with the United States and France, we have been clear that we will respond swiftly and appropriately if the Assad regime repeats its appalling use of chemical weapons,” he vowed, echoing statements the national security advisor began making weeks ago during a trip to Jerusalem.
The WSJ has revealed the White House is now in direct talks with the U.K. and France over plans for a possible third round of coordinated strikes on Syria should the Syrian Army use chemical weapons during its Idlib assault.


​National Security Adviser, Joshua Bolton says who said what in secret negotiations, and whether the president will be allowed to negotiate again some day, and that the US won't do anything, even sign a peace treaty, until North Korea completes making itself defenseless.​
On the same day that The White House said it has begun coordinating a second meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un after the North Korean leader sent a "very warm, very positive letter" requesting a follow-up summit to their earlier sit-down in Singapore on June 12, John Bolton revealed key details of previously undisclosed exchanges with the North ahead of the talks.
Bolton revealed that Kim Jong Un offered to dismantle his nuclear weapons program within two years when he met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in during their first meeting last April. But when pressed by the South Korean side, he quickly caved and reluctantly agreed to one year, according to Bolton's account.​..​
"Now the possibility of another meeting between the two presidents obviously exists, but President Trump can't make the North Koreans walk through the door he's holding open," Bolton added.
He followed with, "They're the ones that have to take the steps to denuclearize and that's what we're waiting for."
Bolton later told reporters the two leaders could meet "sometime this year," but that such a scenario remains "entirely...hypothetical," 
according to The Hill.

​Pepe Escobar: ​The current Deep Throat War is more like the case of a fractioned Deep State out for revenge on Trump via its media arm. The one-two tie-in – Woodward’s book and the “resistance” Op-Ed – looks increasingly like a sophisticated psy-ops – a prelude for a Deep State white coup.

​"US Efforts to Halt Eurasian Integration Are Failing Miserably"​ (It's not really America that is against Eurasian integration, is it? It's imperial global financiers.)
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/09/11/us-efforts-halt-eurasian-integration-failing-miserably.html

​Helpful Russian, Vladimir Putin has located the two guys in the security camera video (with exactly the same time stamp for both men separately walking down the same hall)​. He says they are civilians and he is urging them to fully cooperate with the investigation of the Skripal poisonings.
"I want to address them [the suspects]... [I hope] they contact the media. I hope they appear and tell everything about themselves," he said before the audience.


​Briefly Distracted​

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Dead Man Speaks

Living Witnesses,

On 9/28/2001 Osama Bin Laden gave an nterview with a Karachi newspaper. Thanks for the link, Wigs. Osama said this:

I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. Neither I had any knowledge of these attacks nor I consider the killing of innocent women, children, and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children, and other people. Such a practice is forbidden ever in the course of a battle. It is the United States, which is perpetrating every maltreatment on women, children, and common people of other faiths, particularly the followers of Islam. All that is going on in Palestine for the last 11 months is sufficient to call the wrath of God upon the United States and Israel. There is also a warning for those Muslim countries, which witnessed all these as a silent spectator. What had earlier been done to the innocent people of Iraq, Chechnya, and Bosnia? Only one conclusion could be derived from the indifference of the United States and the West to these acts of terror and the patronage of the tyrants by these powers that America is an anti-Islamic power and it is patronizing the anti-Islamic forces. Its friendship with the Muslim countries is just a show, rather deceit. By enticing or intimidating these countries, the United States is forcing them to play a role of its choice. Put a glance all around and you will see that the slaves of the United States are either rulers or enemies [of Muslims]. The US has no friends, nor it wants to keep one because the prerequisite of friendship is to come to the level of the friend or consider him at par with you. America does not want to see anyone equal to it. It expects slavery from others. Therefore, other countries are either its slaves or subordinates[...]Whoever committed the act of 11 September are not the friends of the American people. I have already said that we are against the American system, not against its people, whereas in these attacks, the common American people have been killed[...]The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; the people who are a part of the US system, but are dissenting against it. Or those who are working for some other system; persons who want to make the present century as a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity so that their own civilization, nation, country, or ideology could survive[...]Then there are intelligence agencies in the US, which require billions of dollars worth of funds from the Congress and the government every year. This [funding issue] was not a big problem till the existence of the former Soviet Union but after that the budget of these agencies has been in danger. They needed an enemy. So, they first started propaganda against Usama and Taliban and then this incident happened. You see, the Bush administration approved a budget of $40 billion. Where will this huge amount go? It will be provided to the same agencies, which need huge funds and want to exert their importance. Now they will spend the money for their expansion and for increasing their importance. I will give you an example. Drug smugglers from all over the world are in contact with the US secret agencies. These agencies do not want to eradicate narcotics cultivation and trafficking because their importance will be diminished. The people in the US Drug Enforcement Department are encouraging drug trade so that they could show performance and get millions of dollars worth of budget. General Noriega was made a drug baron by the CIA and, in need, he was made a scapegoat. In the same way, whether it is President Bush or any other US President, they cannot bring Israel to justice for its human rights abuses or to hold it accountable for such crimes. What is this? Is it not that there exists a government within the government in the United Sates? That secret government must be asked as to who made the attacks[...]

​Still Asking​

Monday, September 10, 2018

Foreseeing The Future

Prescient,

Psychic Nikki Haley: "If there is a future chemical weapons attack, Assad did it" Caitlin Johnstone  
“If they want to continue to go the route of taking over Syria, they can do that,” said Nikki Haley at a UN press conference today, without explaining how a nation’s only recognized government can ‘take over’ the country it governs. “But they cannot do it with chemical weapons. They can’t do it assaulting their people. And we’re not gonna fall for it. If there are chemical weapons that are used, we know exactly who’s gonna use them.”
[I guess that makes it all clear enough.]

US says it has intelligence to the effect that Basher Assad MD will gas some of his own people, as soon as the Syrian army starts to win decisively in the province of Idlib, which has been taken over by moderate renamed terrorists, employed by the CIA.
The Wall Street Journal has just published a bombshell on Sunday evening as Russian and Syrian warplanes continue bombing raids over al-Qaeda held Idlib, citing unnamed US officials who claim "President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has approved the use of chlorine gas in an offensive against the country’s last major rebel stronghold."
"Project Underpants", US plans for permanent bases in Syria to extract oil, money and favors.
Syria and its allies Russia and Iran should proceed with their plans to cleanse Idleb of terrorist. The U.S. is bluffing. It has no realistic means to prevent the operation. Any U.S. attack on Syrian and Russian forces involved in it would likely escalate into a conflict between nuclear powers. That is a risk the U.S. military is unwilling to take. It knows that the forces it planted into Syria are vulnerable to attacks.

​US jets attack Syrian town with banned white phosphorous bombs (which burn skin and lungs horribly when the aerosol seeks out flesh to react with chemically) Nobody wants to die like this. The world agreed long ago to never use this stuff again. Chemical weapon of mass destruction. War Crime.
The use of any incendiary munitions in populated civilian areas was banned by the 1980 Protocol III of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. The US signed the protocol back in 2009.
White phosphorus, however, is also used for smoke screens and signals, which are not banned under the Convention. The loophole allows several nations, including the US, to keep the white-phosphorus based weapons in their arsenal.

America as Diabolical False Flag Empire (nothing particularly new for over 150 years), a book review and summary.
The attacks of 11 September 2001 are the false flag fulcrum upon which his two books pivot. Their importance cannot be overestimated, not just for their inherent cruelty that resulted in thousands of innocent American deaths, but since they became the justification for the United States’ ongoing murderous campaigns termed “the war on terror” that have brought death to millions of people around the world.  An international array of expendable people.  Terrifying as they were, and were meant to be, they have many precedents, although much of this history is hidden in the shadows.  Griffin shines a bright light on them, with most of his analysis focused on the years 1850-2018.

Exhausted Venezuelans have more to protest about in the streets, with the revelation that the US was trying to stage a coup in their country, which has weakened with a decade and a half of covert warfare, economic, political, criminal, etc.

American farmers can't actually live and farm any more. It's final. They are debt slaves with double the suicide rate of Iraq War veterans. They have to strictly do precisely as they are told, but have no right to pay or benefits, being wholly-owned-debt-slave-independent-contractors. Kansas is vacant.
You’ll have to get off the land. The plows’ll go through the dooryard. …It’s not us, it’s the bank. A bank isn’t like a man. Or an owner with fifty thousand acres, he isn’t like a man either. That’s the monster.

​North Korean Military Parade has Floats and Flowers, not Missiles (Style Points!)​
“North Korea upholds the consensus of the Singapore meeting between the leaders of North Korea and the United States and has taken steps for it and hopes the United States takes corresponding steps, to jointly promote the political resolution process for the peninsula issue,” the report paraphrased Kim as saying.

Africa is not really getting bad deals from China, and some outright aid, and no regime-change pressure. Pepe Escobar has the story.
As Nick Turse extensively documented in his must-read book Tomorrow’s Battlefield, there are at least 50 US military bases Africa-wide – ranging from what AFRICOM designates as “forward operating sites” to fuzzy “cooperative security locations” or “non-enduring contingency locations.” Not to mention 36 AFRICOM bases in 24 African nations that have not previously made it to official reports.
What this spells out, once again, is further evidence of the ever-replicating Empire of Bases. And that brings us to Africa’s stark “contingency location” choice. In the ultra-high-stakes development game, who’re you gonna call? FOCAC and the New Silk Roads, or Ghostbusters AFRICOM?
http://www.atimes.com/article/its-africas-choice-africom-or-the-new-silk-roads/?utm_source=The+Daily+Report&utm_campaign=eeb97e1c24-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_09_04_01_51&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1f8bca137f-eeb97e1c24-31606405
Paul Craig Roberts
I know who wrote the anonymous “senior Trump official” op-ed in the New York Times. The New York Times wrote it.
The op-ed (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50194.htm) is an obvious forgery. As a former senior official in a presidential administration, I can state with certainty that no senior official would express disagreement anonymously. Anonymous dissent has no credibility. Moreover, the dishonor of it undermines the character of the writer. A real dissenter would use his reputation and the status of his high position to lend weight to his dissent.


​Sideways Glancing​