Friday, August 17, 2018

Past It's Prime

Workers of the World,

Andrew Dobbs lays out the layers of reality in Nationalist and Socialist movements in America. The real Socialists were Occupy. they got hammered right away. What is being offered by our owners is relative position within society, with the boundaries defined by the owner class, and the poor people cut out of everything. Middle managers and up can play some role, for now...
These sorts of mistakes will keep popping up as long as these “socialists” refuse to actually pursue a socialist line. We need clear truth on this too. Socialism is the demand that production be brought under the control of the working class, seizing the value chain as a whole. Simply demanding that capitalists give workers more isn’t socialism, and it will — again — confuse that primary question of all politics: who are our enemies, and who are our friends?

Senator Elizabeth Warren demands in writing that the Pentagon explain it's role in the bombings of civilians in Yemen. The military is caught lying. It has been running the show for the Saudis all along. "No we don't know what they do with what we sell them."
China has reduced the ability for speculative gambling on the Yuan/Renminbi. This stabilized both the fall in the Yuan, and has led to a fairly level field of combat for the Yuan+gold vs $US. The Yuan+Gold seems to be the challenger to what has become the currency of global bullying and looting. Which would you want to borrow in , next time around? Again, today would be a good day to hedge your currency exposure with gold, a long term decision.

America The Punitive (how to lose friends and influence people against you)

Pepe Escobar: The long-awaited deal on the legal status of the Caspian Sea signed on Sunday in the Kazakh port of Aktau is a defining moment in the ongoing, massive drive towards Eurasia integration.  Up to the early 19th century, the quintessentially Eurasian body of water – a connectivity corridor between Asia and Europe over a wealth of oil and gas – was exclusive Persian property. Imperial Russia then took over the northern margin. After the break up of the USSR, the Caspian ended up being shared by five states; Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.

There is glyphosate/RoundUp in kid's foods. The Germans found it in their beer last year. It causes cancer. We all eat it.

Jadav Payen planted a tree every day since 1979 on a sandbar/island in India. He's a regular guy who hated to see the snakes baking to death in the sun. It's forest now. He's still going. Thanks Jeff.

Helping Hand

Jenny with okra and black-eyed peas this morning at dawn

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Gold Standard

Watching Waves,

My hypothesis, which time and tide are now testing, is that the world is transitioning off a petrodollar standard and back onto a gold standard for international trade and finance. 
It looks to me like the skirmishes are currently being fought around the line of 8200 Chinese Yuan/Renminbi per Troy oz of gold.
The People's Bank of China can certainly defend this peg, and the more it is contested, the more established it becomes in global consciousness. Western banking/governments can drive gold lower, which they do from time to time to make people feel gold is unreliable, but they will also drive the CNY/Renminbi lower, and just emphasize the peg to gold, by so doing. It looks like letting things settle close to where they are now is where the truce should be called. 1 Troy oz. Gold = 8200 CNY = $US 1200.

Historically finance can rule in good times, but politic/military rules in bad times. We have become ruled by transnational financial elites in recent decades. There is a novel proposal to strip transnational corporations of assets, to pay for the rebuilding of Syria. The war upon Syria was in the service of transnational elites, after all... Thanks Eleni;
The United States, which had been planning the war against Syria since 2004, does not want to part with a penny. According to the Trump administration, this war was created by the Bush Jr. administration and led by the Obama administration. However, these two administrations were not serving the interests of the US people, but those of a transnational financial class. Not only did they destroy Syria, but also the US economy. Thus it is not for Washington to pay, but these people and the transnational corporations directly implicated in the war. For example, the United States investment fund and rival of the Carlyle Group, Henry Kravis’ KKR (market value 150 billion dollars). It employs General David Petraeus and transferred funds and weapons to Al-Qaeda and Daesh...  Making the multinationals pay does not exclude obtaining damages from certain states like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar or Turkey, which financed, or certain of whose citizens publicly financed the jihadists... If the Syrian Arab Republic can gather the proof of their role during the war, it will be legally entitled to demand seizure before the tribunals of the country accommodating their headquarters. In the light of President Trump’s arguments, it should be possible for them to count on the support of the new US administration... Àt the end of all wars which called for the payment of damages, national companies were seized. The novelty this time will be drawing the conclusions of economic globalisation and seizing the transnationals.

Russell Napier: The Solid Ground has long forecast a major debt default in Turkey. More specifically, the forecast remains that the country will impose capital controls enforcing a near total loss of US$500bn of credit assets held by the global financial system. That is a large financial hole in a still highly leveraged system. That scale of loss will surpass the scale of loss suffered by the creditors of Bear Stearns and while Lehman’s did have liabilities of US$619bn, it has paid more than US$100bn to its unsecured creditors alone since its bankruptcy.

Who can Turkey rely upon for financial help, among the Arab neighbors? Qatar, maybe, within narrow limits, since Turkey protected them (somewhat) from Saudi invasion a couple of years ago. (That's not a game changer. What if the House of Saud falls? Turkey, Syria, Qatar and Iran could do pipeline business over the Pars gas field pipeline to Europe.)

Qatar "pledges" $15 billion in Turkish investment.
The Turkish Lira, which has been rising all day after an earlier attempt to crush shorts by reducing the amount of swap transactions to just 25% of bank capital, down from 50%, got another boost moments ago when Anadolu news agency reported that Qatar has pledged $15 billion in direct investment in Turkey.

Turkey extends an olive branch to Greece, releasing 2 Greek soldiers, held prisoner since March, for straying into Turkey in bad weather.
This is more symbolically strong, happening on a Greek Orthodox Holy Day.
Defense Minister Panos Kammenos said he phoned his Turkish counterpart to express his satisfaction with the soldiers’ release and invite him to visit Greece. “This is a great day for our motherland, the day of Our Lady, the day of Tinos in 1940,” Kammenos told reporters, referring to the Feast of the Dormation, which falls on August 15 and to the Italian torpedoing on a Greek warship on this day in 1940. “I hope that their release … will herald a new day in Greek-Turkish relations. We can live together peacefully, for the benefit of both our peoples.”

Pastor Brunson is still in the klink...

But...   Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said on Wednesday he expected problems with the United States, which helped drive the lira to record lows, to be resolved but Washington must stop trying to influence Turkey’s judiciary.

Since November 2017 the U.S. largely stopped the fight against ISIS in north-east Syria. It gave ISIS the chance to regain power. A new report to the UN Security Council now confirms that ISIS in north-east Syria recuperated. It again profits from oil extraction under the nose of U.S. forces.
​ (Who's yer Daddy?)​

​ussia is stabilizing the (again) UN monitored DMZ between the Israeli-occupied Golan heights and the rest of Syria. This means that Israel accepts that status quo and will no longer support ISIS in that area to destabilize the Syrian government and society. It also means that Syria/Hezbollah/Iran will not soon take back the Golan into Syria. 
"The Russian military police will create eight outposts near the demilitarized zone at the Golan Heights on the Syrian-Israeli border, a deputy commander of the Russian forces in Syria in charge of of military police, Viktor Zaytsev, said.
“I would like to stress that there will be no Russian military police posts in the demilitarized zone,” he said."

Eleni also sends this about the Caspian Sea agreement. Russia's protected pond, with mutual benefit of gas and pipelines for all. Iran gives up some military buffer from Russia, but Russia is not the current threat. No NATO in this lake...
After more than 20 years of fraught diplomatic efforts, the five littoral Caspian nations agreed upon a legal framework for sharing the world’s largest inland body of water.

​More Caspian Agreement details here. European gas pipeline implications are included. Not all details are finalized.
Censorship Is What Happens When Powerful People Get Scared (and after that comes...)
​Taibbi: Censorship Does Not End Well (How America Learned to Stop Worrying and Put Mark Zuckerberg In Charge of Everything)

Sister Caitlin on the political wars being fought upon the battlefield of censorship:
“The world’s dumbest and/or most deceitful people have always been those who equate ‘I defend X’s right to speak’ with ‘I defend X and their ideas,’” wrote Greenwald. “It’s the scummiest tactic there is. They did it to Chomsky when he opposed prosecuting a Holocaust denier.”
These few principled leftists brave enough to take a strong stand on the issue have been attacked and smeared with amazing viciousness by leftists who are blinded by their hatred of Jones, and by Democrats who know that censorship will never hurt their power-enabling faction. The position that the left is always the real target of censorship was ignored and replaced with the absurd straw man argument that anyone objecting to the coordinated de-platforming is defending Alex Jones because they love him and think Infowars is awesome.

​The western obesity epidemic began after 1976. Westerners ate more calories in 1976, but not much at all in sweet drinks. that has changed. Our bodies don't see" the calories in sweet drinks. There is a lot of psychological research into marketing, and what taste combinations are most prone to addicting us.
"We" are to blame, of course. Nobody is making us eat potato chips and Cokes. George Monbiot has the story.

Confused Hypothalamus 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Shifting Alliances

​Odd Men Out,​
Eric Zuesse on why Trump canceled the Iran deal.​

The bottom-line difference between Donald Trump and Barack Obama, regarding US national security policies, turns out to be their different respective estimations of the biggest danger threatening the maintenance of the US dollar as the world’s leading or reserve currency. This has been the overriding foreign-policy concern for both Presidents.
America’s political class now have two competing ideas to deal with this danger, Obama’s versus Trump’s, both being about how to preserve the dollar in a way that best serves the needs of ‘defense’ contractors, extractive firms, and Wall Street. Obama chose Europe (America’s largest market) as America’s chief ally (he was Euro-centric against Russia); Trump chose the owner of Saudi Arabia (he’s Saudi-Israeli centric against Iran) — that’s the world’s largest weapons-purchaser, as well as the world’s largest producer of oil (as well as the largest lobbies)
It’s not the ‘threat’ that perhaps, some day, Iran will have nuclear warheads, that is actually driving Trump’s concern here (despite what Israel’s concerns are about that matter), but instead, it is his concerns about Iran’s missiles, which constitute the delivery-system for any Iranian warheads: that their flight-range be short enough so that the Sauds will be outside their range. (The main way Iran intends to respond to an invasion backed by the US, is to attack Saudi Arabia — Iran’s leaders know that the US Government is more dependent upon the Sauds than upon Israel — so, Iran’s top targets would be Saudi capital Riyadh, and also the Ghawar oil field, which holds over half of Saudi oil.
With Trump now in the White House, overwhelmingly by money from the Israel lobbies (proxies also for the Sauds) — and with no equivalently organized Jewish opposition to the pro-Israel lobbies (and so in the United States, for a person to be anti-Israel is viewed as being anti-Semitic, which is not at all true, but Israel’s lies say it’s true and many Americans unfortunately believe it) — Trump has not only the Sauds and their allies requiring him to be against Iran and its allies, but he has also got this pressure coming from Israel: both the Big-Oil and the Jewish lobbies drive him. Unlike Obama, who wasn’t as indebted to the Jewish lobbies, Trump needs to walk the plank for both the Sauds and Israel.
To satisfy the Sauds, despite the EU, Trump has dumped the Iran deal. And he did it also to satisfy Israel, the main US lobbyists for the Sauds. (Americans are far more sympathetic to Jews than to Arabs; the Sauds are aware of this; Israel handles their front-office.) For Trump, the Sauds are higher priority than Europe; even Israel (who are an expense instead of a moneybag for the US Government) are higher priority than Europe. Both the Sauds and Israel together are vastly higher. 
Trump is doing what he thinks he has to be doing, for his own safety. He’s just a figurehead for a different faction of the US aristocracy, than Obama was. He’s doing what he thinks he needs to be doing, for his survival. Political leadership is an extremely dangerous business. Trump is playing a slightly different game of it than Obama did, because he represents a different faction than Obama did. These two factions of the US aristocracy are also now battling each other for political control over Europe.

​Turkey is ready to trade with other countries bilaterally, outside of the $US, due to undergoing currency=punishment from American allies these days. Turkey is a strategic crossroads, with a big military, and political connections throughout the Mideast and southern Europe.​ Turkey controls the choke point of some contested gas pipeline routes.
​Ilargi at The Automatic Earth looks at Turkey's massive dollar denominated debt, which is no surprise to anybody, and is why Turkey is going down first among debtor nations, as the dollar is strengthened, and dollar supply gets scarce to roll over loans. (I wonder where Turkey will get the dollars, or if it will declare war on somebody. The dollars could be channeled through Saudi Arabia, if Turkey would abandon Qatar, and ally against Iran.)
Recep Tayyip has long seen this coming. His economy is collapsing, his currency is collapsing, so he’ll focus on what’s left: Turkey’s strategic position on the map, its NATO membership, the negotiations for EU membership, and most of all the support of the Muslim contingent in Turkey that solidifies his power.

​Turkish Lira has "relief rally" upward bounce this morning. Where is the support coming from? Has Turkey made a deal with a partner with bailout money? Who?​

​Thierry Meyssan presents The Twilight ​of the War. Thanks Eleni.
The Third World War began in Yugoslavia, continued in Afghanistan, Iraq, Georgia, Libya and Yemen, and ended in Syria. Its battle-grounds were confined to the Balkans, the Caucasus and what we now call the « Greater Middle East ». It has cost the lives of countless Muslim and Orthodox Christian populations, without spilling over too much into the Western world. It is in the process of drawing to a close since the Putin-Trump Summit in Helsinki.

The Chinese Yuan/Renmenbi is down on economic news, and still seems unofficially pegged to gold. Gold is under $1200/oz. Buy (physical) any time for long term reduction of risk to fiat currencies.

Russia and China block the US from instituting more sanctions against North Korea at the UN. (It happens that the US wants to sanction Russian and Chinese persons and banks and companies... Of course, they are vulnerable, because they need to use $US.)

​David Graeber on the bullshitization of work, and how it comes to be like this.​ We live in a "compliance economy" here, not really a "production economy".
Well it’s fairly straightforward: shit jobs are just bad jobs. Ones you’d never want to have. Back-breaking, underpaid, unappreciated, people who are treated without dignity and respect… The thing is for the most part, shit jobs aren’t bullshit, in the sense of pointless, nonsensical, because actually they usually involve doing something that genuinely needs to be done: driving people around, building things, taking care of people, cleaning up after them…
Bullshit jobs are most often paid quite well, involve nice benefit packages, you’re treated like you’re important and actually are doing something that needs to be done — but in fact, you know you’re not. So in that way they’re typically opposites.
Well, nowadays the vast majority of corporate profits don’t come from making or selling things but from “finance”, which is a euphemism for other peoples’ debts — charging rents and fees and interest and whatnot. It’s feudalism in the classic definition, “direct juro-political extraction” as they sometimes put it.
The Obama quote felt like a smoking gun in that regard — basically he said “well everyone says single payer health care would be so much more efficient, sure, maybe it would, but think about it, we have millions of people working in jobs in all these competing private health firms because of all that redundancy and inefficiency. What are we going to do with those people?” So he admitted the free market was less efficient, in health at least, and that’s precisely why he preferred it — it maintained bullshit jobs.
In the case of Obama, it’s pretty clear why: as Tom Frank recently noted, the Democratic Party made a strategic decision starting in the ‘80s to basically drop the working class as their core constituency and take up the professional managerial classes instead. That’s now their base. But of course that’s exactly the area the bullshit jobs are concentrated.
Right now nurses in New Zealand are on strike and one of their major issues is exactly that: on the one hand, their real wages have been declining, but on the other, they also find they are spending so much time filling out forms they can’t take care of their patients. It’s over 50 percent for many nurses.

​The Clinton foundation tax returns reveal,,, Ta-Da!
It took 486 people who are paid $34.8 million and $91.3 million in fees and expenses, to give away $5.1 MILLION WHICH IS LESS THAN 3% OF TOTAL REVENUES!

​Ray McGovern: ​
Newly released official documents show CIA head Gina Haspel directly supervised waterboarding at “Black Site” in Thailand.  Sen. Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr and Vice Chair Mark Warner hid that, demonstrating once again that today’s Senate “oversight” means “overlook.” Hold your nose and read:

​heepish Wolf​

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Gold Peg War

Students of History,

China has the longest recorded economic history, and the Chinese study Chinese history for mastery. Thousands of years of paper money cycles all ended with degradation of the currency and return to gold. The link i posted last night, was economist  Michael Hudson telling his life story to a rapt audience of elite Chinese college students, with the point being to avoid the pitfalls now bringing western finance toward inevitable economic-collapse. Nobody interrupted.
In the past dozen years we have seen political arguments about where China should peg the Yuan/Renmenbi compared to the $US. The official story is now that China is letting it float lower to counter Trump-tariffs. That's not untrue... It's also a partial story.
China is a country with plenty of financially savvy and recently wealthy people, who have been buying real estate in western cities, and other foreign assets, to reduce their exposure to risks of downward fluctuation of value of Yuan/Renmenbi. Every time the Yuan would face further devaluation, there would be a peak in property sales in Canada.
The Chinese government has labored mightily to curtail these capital outflows, yet with only partial success. No fence was tight enough. What would induce Chinese millionaires to keep their money in China? They need a guaranty against loss of value. They already buy gold, and there is now that exchange in Hong Kong doing so much of the actual physical gold trade in the world...
What if the Yuan/Renmenbi were pegged to gold within China, so that Chinese would not lose monetary value against gold, but would see it fluctuate against foreign fiat currencies?
The problem for the "Masters of the Universe" in western banking is that they have had to keep the price of gold suppressed to keep the dollar dominant, even though the dollar is now poisonous for global trade, being used as a weapon against Russia and Iran, and hurting Europe, Brazil and Turkey in the process. They have to keep gold looking risky in the west. Gold short positions remain near all time highs. This means that China can peg to gold and still devalue against the dollar in the trade war. Quietly establishing this relationship hints openly at what the post-dollar global reserve regime will be. Gold again. Who can argue with that?
David Brady says "There will be no bottom in gold until trade war ends" Maybe, but when does it "end", and how?

Take a look at 5 years of gold priced in dollars and gold priced in Yuan. Gold in dollars remains volatile. Gold in Yuan is stabilizing. The messages are very different in the 2 currencies. One says "risk". The other says "stability".
Price of Gold
Price of Gold

Europe, China and Russia defy Trump on Iran Sanctions ("King Dollar will beat you all to a pulp!")

(sphinxlike) Lord Jacob Rothschild:   "In 9/11 and in the 2008 financial crisis, the powers of the world worked together with a common approach. Co-operation today is proving much more difficult. This puts at risk the post-war economic and security order."

(plainspoken)  David Stockman warns that the global economy has reached an "epochal pivot", a moment when the false prosperity created from $trillions in printed money by the world's central banks lurches violently into reverse.

​(​Russia has the highest ratio of physical gold reserves to GDP of any country, and very low national debt:GDP, something like 23%)
As diplomatic tensions again escalate between the US and Russia following the announcement of new sanctions against Moscow earlier this week by the Trump administration, Russia's prime minister Dmitry Medvedev warned the United States on Friday that Russia would regard any U.S. move to curb the activities of its banks as a declaration of economic war which it would retaliate against. 

"Understanding Russia, Undemonizing Putin" is something I sent out in February, and bears posting again. Understanding is better than being emotionally manipulate, no?

​T​he U.S. and Russia are the first and second largest energy producers in the world. Saudi Arabia is the third largest energy producer in the world. If you put the U.S., Russia, and Saudi Arabia in a loose alliance, they dominate the energy markets. They can cut you off, they can supply, they can set prices.Who needs energy the most? China.
China has very little oil or natural gas. It does have coal, but if you’ve been to Beijing lately, you know it looks black at noon because the air is so bad and you can’t breathe it. Pulmonary disease is becoming fairly common. They’re literally choking themselves to death. So, Russia, the U.S., and Saudi Arabia acting jointly have China completely at their mercy.
But the U.S. presently has no relationship with Russia to help back up our position against China. It’s two-against-one, and the U.S. is the odd man out — thanks to U.S. political dysfunction and the media.
In a three-handed poker game, if you don’t know who the sucker is, you’re the sucker. Trump will try to make China the odd man out. Very few people seem to get this.

​Take one look at this story, from Moon of Alabama, about the US providing Saudi Arabia with their targeting information, as they bomb Yemen. One look.

Al Jazeera has more specifics, plenty of specifics. (Can we ally with Iran, instead of Saudi Arabia after the petro-dollar crashes into oblivion?)

How the high-tech US military strategy of bombing people you don't know leads to repeated failures. Example: Afghanistan.

The Crisis in Corbyn's Labor Party is over Israel, not anti-Semitism (Whats in a name?)

Koch brothers survey finds that most Americans like $15 minimum wage, free college and universal health care.

Charles Hugh Smith:
Here's the uncomfortable reality: the means to pay all these future obligations-- the real-world economy, and the wealth and income of the vast majority of the populace-- are far too modest to fund the fast-expanding obligations,which include interest due on the ever-increasing mountain of public and private debt.
The current "everything" asset bubbles have temporarily boosted the wealth and income of corporations and the wealthy, but all bubbles eventually pop as the marginal elements that are propping up the expansion weaken and implode.

Currently, I am living in Russia, where the difference between Russians and Americans when it comes to preparing for the ‘unknown’ could not be greater. While Americans spend untold hours per week mowing their lawns, pulling weeds and trimming the hedges, Russians are toiling at their ‘dachas’ (in Russia, it is common for people to own an apartment in the city and a piece of land in the countryside), growing fruit and vegetables in greenhouses, and collecting mushrooms in the forest (picking mushrooms is a veritable art form, where it can literally mean the difference between life and death to choose the correct variety among dozens of species). Every Russian I have met in the countryside also have their own private source of water from painstakingly dug wells on their land. This is no small consideration when it is remembered that corporations are gradually buying up, in addition to our food supplies, the rights to our water supplies as well.
The entire notion of ‘prepping’ in Russia is completely nonexistent since the knowledge of working the land, which became absolutely critical during the severe food shortages of the communist years, has been a traditional part of Russian life since the country’s inception. Although Russians, like any other people, would suffer grave hardships in the event of a severe economic downturn, many of them would still be able to feed themselves due to their time-tested ‘survival’ skills. I am not sure the same could be said of their American and European counterparts.

A San Francisco Jury awarded $289 million in damages to a former school groundskeeper, Dewayne Johnson, who said Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller gave him terminal cancer. The award consists of $40 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages.
Johnson's trial was fast-tracked due to the severe state of his non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system he says was triggered by Roundup and Ranger Pro, a similar glyphosate herbicide that he applied up to 30 times per year. His doctors didn't think he'd live to live to see the verdict.
Johnson testified that he had been involved in two accidents during his work in which he was doused with the product, the first of which happened in 2012. Two years later, the 46-year-old father of two was diagnosed with lymphoma - which has covered as much as 80% of his body in lesions.

​Realizing Too Late​

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Life Of Michael


Michael Hudson is probably the most brilliant economist of our era. I like reading his work in small doses. When you read a whole book of his, he makes every sentece and every paragraph, and every chapter be a whole, self-standing, quotable unit. Redundant redundancy is the result. Still, you get a lot of repitition leading to a lot of retention for your persistence. Here in an interview, Michael Hudson tells his whole economic life and experiences in one hour, without repitition. Oh, man, was he in the middle of so much history. Why did he live to be old? Accident? Guardian angel?
I break somewhat with my pattern. Here is one link, with transcript, but I actually watched Michael Hudson tell it for an hour. He was only slightly slower than my reading, and conveyed more in speech than is conveyed in the transcript. [Jada, especially. Watch and enjoy!]

Satoshi Nakamoto

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Robotic Censorship

Protected F​rom S​peech: 

​Ilargi @ Automatic Earth:

This morning I woke up, looked around me, and saw a world sinking into a quagmire of voluntary censorship, a world willing to let someone far away choose what it can and cannot see of itself, and about itself. A world that no longer appears to recognize, or care, that this goes directly against its founding principles of liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of the press.
I can think of many reasons why someone would want to ban Infowars and Alex Jones, and I don’t even know them other than from incidental tweets and comments. But I also acknowledge that that is not the point. Just because you would like to ban a person or organization, just because you don’t agree with them, doesn’t mean you can, or should be able to.
And if Facebook, Google, Apple, Spotify and Pinterest -all within hours of each other-, think it’s a good idea to ban Jones regardless, they had better do a lot better than saying something about violating their ‘community standards’. They should identify specific instances where these alleged violations take place, and identify them publicly.
What is most important here is not who Alex Jones is, or what he’s done and said. What’s most important is that he stands up for Julian Assange as the media, across the board, is either silent or actively smearing Assange with impunity. So for once, go to Infowars and sign the petition to Trump to Free Assange.. If anyone can get through to Trump, it’s Alex Jones, and they’re trying to prevent him from doing just that.

More twitter accounts are unplugged for "violating algorithms", including the director of the Ron Paul Institute. Libertarians are the new entitled-white-men to be shunned by the social media cartel.

America's Kristallnacht? 
We’ll never know what “average” Germans thought on November 11, 1938, the day after Kristallnacht. Perhaps a few recognized it for what it was: a turning point, an acceleration of Germany’s descent into hell. America’s Crystal Night looms, and if it occurs, only a few will recognize it for what it is.
The fate of Julian Assange is the fate of one man, but it is also the fate of one of our most important freedoms. There won’t be shattered plate glass from vandalized businesses littering the streets, synagogues smashed, graves unearthed, or people herded onto trains. But his prosecution by the US government would destroy an inestimable value, one enshrined in the First Amendment, for which generations of Americans have fought and died: the right of the people and its press to inform the people and to hold their government to account.

Pompeo argued that “we have to recognize that we can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us.” This is straight from Orwell: you are free to say what you want, as long as you don’t say anything against the government. He claimed that WikiLeaks “pretended that America’s First Amendment freedoms shield them from justice,” and, “they may have believed that, but they are wrong.”

Amid desperate attempts by the neocons and their media lapdogs to disparage President Trump's agreements with North Korea's leader, claiming Kim is violating the terms, 38North has confirmed that not only is progress being made on dismantling its nuclear missile launch facilities, but "activity at the launch pad appears to go beyond that commitment."...   Commercial satellite imagery from August 3 indicates additional dismantlement activities are ongoing at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station since last observed. At the vertical engine test stand, used for testing and development of engines for ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles, the North Koreans have continued to tear down the steel base structure and appear to be removing fuel and oxidizer tanks from dismantled bunkers...    While dismantlement of the vertical engine test stand represents a fulfillment of Chairman Kim’s agreement with President Trump conveyed publicly during the post-Singapore Summit press conference, activity at the launch pad appears to go beyond that commitment. These activities, however, must be viewed cautiously as “first steps” since neither are presently permanent or irreversible. The demolition of the test stand’s concrete foundations, launch pad’s gantry tower, pad foundation and exhaust deflector, etc., would represent more permanent and irreversible actions as there is no known facility with equivalent capabilities elsewhere in the country. The coming months should provide more firm indications whether these are indeed the “first steps” in reducing the North Korean ballistic missile threat.

​Look, the price of gold appears to be relatively fixed in  Chinese Yuan/Renmenbi, not dollars. (What say ye, Masters of the Universe?)

Chris Smaje, from Small Farm Future, starts to look at the forms of social order which characterize stable agrarian societies. They tend to be role-based, rather than rule based, which is more energy efficient. What are the roles, and how have they played out in Europe, Japan, India and China? This is just a (We are going into a future with less total energy to spend on all aspects of existence, especially bureaucracy.)


Monday, August 6, 2018

Russian Ambassador Tulku

Enlightened Actors,

There is a video here of Russian President Vladimir Putin, with a kindness and twinkling in his eyes as he presents the Russian Passport to Russia's new goodwill ambassador to the United States. This man has been recognized as a "Tulku", a reincarnation of Tibetan Lama, Chungdrag Dorje, a bodhisattva, by  Penoir Rinpoche, leader of the Tibetan Nyingma tradition of Buddhism.   This Bodhisattva has returned to human incarnation for the good of all sentient beings, and will do so until all sentient beings in this earth-realm come to know the truth. What are the implications of this for Russian-Chinese relations? This is a subtle gesture. This man is an American, who has worked for goodwill between the US and Russia for a decade. That is being recognized. Most Americans will not see the subtlety here. 
Do Not get a big drink of coffee in your mouth before you look at who this is!

This gentleman is recognized as a reincrnation Tulku, but is not a lama, not having undergone that long and rigorous training...
Seagal has seven children from four relationships, and two grandchildren by his eldest son, Kentaro.[55] In addition to his biological offspring, Seagal is the guardian of Yabshi Pan Rinzinwangmo,[56] the only child of the 10th Panchen Lama of Tibet. When she studied in the United States, Seagal was her minder and bodyguard.[57]
In May 1991 (during the filming of Out for Justice), Warner Bros. employees Raenne Malone, Nicole Selinger, and Christine Keeve accused Seagal of sexual harassment.[58] In return for remaining silent, Malone and another woman received around $50,000 each in an out of court settlement.[58][59] Around the same time, at least four actresses claimed that Seagal had made sexual advances, typically during late-night "casting sessions".[60]

The EU just blocked European companies from complying with unilateral American sanctions against Iran. Whew! Just in time...

"The Trump Administration intends to fully enforce the sanctions reimposed against Iran, and those who fail to wind down activities with Iran risk severe consequences."

Iran learned the lessons of Hezbollah’s ongoing conflict with Israel, and in particular that of the 2006 war, all too well. To win the war, Hezbollah did not need to defeat Israel; it had only to make sure Israel did not defeat it. This is an ambition Iran readily aspires to—it can shut down the Strait of Hormuz, cripple the global economy and ride out any American military response. In the end, the United States will succumb to international pressure and search for a negotiated settlement, and Iran will emerge victorious simply because it survived.

The Saker looks at the western imperial drives to bomb-Iran-into-the-stone-age, and what the costs would be:
The real problem of Iran is very simple.  Iran is the only country in the world which is:
Islamic and leads the struggle against the Saudi/Daesh/ISIS/al-Qaeda/etc. ideology of takfirism and the terrorism they promote
Openly anti-Zionist and anti-Imperialist and combines conservative religious values with progressive social policies
Successful politically, economically and militarily and thereby threatens the monopoly of power of Israel in the region

Former Mossad head Meir Dagan was fully correct when he stated that a military attack on Iran was “the stupidest thing I have ever heard”.  Alas, the Neocons have never been too bright, and stupid stuff is what they mostly do.  All we can hope for is that somebody in the USA will find a way to stop them and avert another immoral, bloody, useless and potentially very dangerous war.

About the Israeli atmospheric nuclear test, off the coastof South Africa, in 1979:  
In 1979, neither India nor Pakistan nor South Africa had nuclear development and logistics capabilities at a stage where a nuclear test of that kind in that area was feasible for them. Israel was the only country that had the technical ability and policy motivation to carry out such a clandestine test, which, according to some sources, was the last of several and was detected by the Vela satellite because of a sudden change in cloud cover...  While a comprehensive nuclear test ban is yet to be achieved, the nations of the world did manage to put in place an extremely important arms control, non-proliferation, and environmental protection measure called The Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT). This treaty, which went into force in 1963, bans nuclear explosions in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water, thus rendering legal only those nuclear tests performed underground. Israel signed the treaty in 1963 and ratified it in 1964. The Israeli nuclear test puts Israel in violation of the LTBT, which has been signed by 108 countries, including all the officially recognized nuclear weapon states plus India, Pakistan, and Iran. Israel would also be in violation of the Glenn Amendment to the Arms Export Control Act, a US law passed in 1977, requiring the cutoff of military assistance to any country setting off a nuclear explosion.

Who did finally get rid of Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, a man with long dealings with Qatar, from his years as CEO of Exxon?
The Intercept has learned of a previously unreported episode that stoked the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s anger at Tillerson and that may have played a key role in his removal. In the summer of 2017, several months before the Gulf allies started pushing for his ouster, Tillerson intervened to stop a secret Saudi-led, UAE-backed plan to invade and essentially conquer Qatar, according to one current member of the U.S. intelligence community and two former State Department officials, all of whom declined to be named, citing the sensitivity of the matter.

Yemen: The Saudi-US-Al-Qaeda Alliance is now Official News, Moon of Alabama:
The U.S. has allied with the Saudi created al-Qaeda since 1979. It was used to further U.S. interests against the Soviets in Afghanistan, in Chechnya, Bosnia, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere.
Why is this involvement of al-Qaeda in the war on Yemen now official news? For years it was an open secret. This blog covered it in about each of its dozens of posts about Yemen. But it was only rarely reported on in mainstream news. When such 'conspiracy theories' become official 'news' it is often only because it is useful to the powers that be. So why is AP publishing this now?
Is someone in the U.S. Defense Department upset with the U.S.-Saudi war on Yemen? Is this supposed to stop the attack on Hodeidah? Or is the White House miffed about Clown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, who is in charge of the war? Is this meant as a warning to 'behave'?

Tom sends this article by Ellen Brown, about the positive and negative aspects of President Trump directing the actions of the Independent (to serve Goldman Sachs) Federal Reserve. There are mechanisms to actually nationalize the Fed under the Secretary of the Treasury. It was set up with that option, long ago. Of great interest to me is what Richard Nixon was working on before he got deposed. It bears resemblance to what JFK was working on before his accident in Dallas.
Willing says Nixon was preparing the Federal Home Loan Bank Board to change the traditional role of American savings and loan associations, giving them money creation powers like the big Wall Street banks had, providing a full-service nationwide banking system. The national money supply would thus be regulated according to needs at the local level rather than dictated from the top by the central bank. The proposed legislation provided for a separate central bank to backstop local credit unions and a much greater degree of competition for a wide array of financial services.
But Nixon’s plan for national finance, along with his plan for healthcare and a guaranteed income, alarmed the Wall Street/Federal Reserve power block, which willing says was about to be challenged like never before. Nixon was obviously not blameless in the Watergate scandal, but Willing contends it was pushed by “the Wall Street Great Merchants as owners of the Senate,” who “were making certain that the money dreams of ‘Tricky Dick’ and his vision for the Republic protected with a network of converted Savings and Loan associations was doomed.”        

American adults spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media, according to a new study by market-research group Nielsen.

Sleep deprivation is an increasing problem in many developed countries, which can result in impaired cognition and a number of serious individual and societal consequences. Lack of sleep has been linked to billions of dollars in lost revenue, up to one sixth of all traffic accidents in the US, and increased risk of chronic disease. The reason for this chronic sleep shortage is due to a combination of factors. Longer work hours, stress, and interpersonal relationships have all been blamed for the widespread insomnia. Now a new study claims that high speed internet access is at least partly at fault.

Matt Taibbi says to "Beware the Slippery Slope of Facebook Censorship", even though he detests Alex Jones. He's worried about what is driving this, that it has no constitutional controls, and that Facebook and Google are where most Americans get most of their information.

Update: According to Bloomberg, the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the InfoWars Page and the Infowars Nightly News Page “have been unpublished for repeated violations of community standards and accumulating too many strikes,” Facebook says in statement.

Bitcoin uses as much electricity as Austria (more by next week), which is all coming from the cheapest rural communities with hydroelectric, and Iceland's geothermal. This is really messing with the rural folks who live there, raising their bills a lot, and contributing nothing to their local economies. Adjustments have begun. This trend is being reined-in, and will probably be curtailed. Bitcoin mining only makes money where rates are very cheap. 
Don't buy Bitcoin, y'all.  

​Pulling the Plug​