Thursday, February 22, 2018

Troll Farm Hobby

Underpaid Talent,

David Stockman has the inside scoop on how one Russian food-service oligarch, who started selling brautwurst when he got out of prison, and leveraged that into a floating restaurant where Vladimir Putin wined and dined George Bush, hijacked the American electoral process for nano-pennies on the dollar! $4/hr buys you a whole lot of blogging talent in Russia... "Grass roots" demonstrations in America were synthesized, subverting American patriotism to elect Siberian-Candidate, Donald Trump. I'm joking. All the details are here; the most complete compilation of facts I've seen on this weird story.

Moon of Alabama has a complimentary story on the Russian-Bot-Takeover, looking at the algorithms that track headlines for everybody, and the homogeneous output, which somehow subverts "American Democracy", again, for nano-pennies on the dollar.

Untold billions of dollars and prodigious manpower of the FBI and CIA failed to stabilize the capsizing Titanic of American democracy against the Russian underwear-bombers down in the steerage compartment. A sad day indeed. We are too embarrassed to look. Shuddup!

A Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student was approached by CNN to ask a question at Wednesday night’s town hall, but declined after the network gave him a “scripted question” in
stead of allowing him to ask his own question. 

How the Roman Empire Can Explain the Dramatic Rise in State Violence, Ugo Bardi (You have to scare the slaves enough to keep them from revolting. What about our declining energy-slaves, and our proliferating debt-slaves? What about all of those prisoners?)

The Syrian Arab Army is moving militias into the Syrian province of Afrin, where Turkish troops have invaded, to kill Syrian Kurds, who used to be cooperative with the Syrian government, until they got offered a statelet-with-oil by the CIA. What's going to happen? Brinksmanship. (Afrin is not where the oil is. We can assume that the other American surrogates east of the Euphrates are securing the oilfields.)

A close Netanyahu associate, under investigation, flips to State's-evidence. (Et tu, Schlomo Filber?)

What was the most-documented UFO ever, October 25, 2017, over Oregon and Northern California. The FAA only has a few redactions and a few bits cut out of the tapes of pilots and ground controllers watching this big, fast, maneuverable white aircraft up at 37,000 ft, after it flipped to invisibility on radar.

WASHINGTON—In a new study published Tuesday that surveyed U.S. residents about their attitudes toward current events, the Pew Research Center found that approximately 90 percent of Americans described themselves as strongly opposed to each other. “In the questionnaire we administered, nine out of 10 participants indicated they fundamentally disapproved of the actions currently being taken by their fellow citizens.”...   Randolph went on to note that the 10 percent of survey participants who indicated otherwise did so because they didn’t consider those they disagreed with to actually be Americans.  (Yeah, this one IS from The Onion  :-)

Sowing Division

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Awakening Ghosts

Ghosts in the Machine,

Chrles Hugh Smith: Fifty years on, the ghosts of 1968 are still with us. With the advantage of hindsight, 1968 was the culmination of the belief that it was still possible for the common people to change the political and social order in a positive fashion-- to remake the status quo power structure into something more humane, accessible, just and fair...  Mario Savio's extemporaneous speech to the Free Speech Movement's sit-in on December 3, 1964, on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley. "There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!"... The system needs us as raw material, as "product," as consumers of the output of the machine. That we are consumed by the process--that awareness has faded into the shadows inhabited by the ghosts of 1968. (Grow vegetables. Be a friend. Help family. Anything.)

Remember how cutting taxes on global multinational corporations was going to get them to "repatriate" those funds to America, investing in American business, building the American economy. Actually, it just did the first thing. It electronically came "back to america" and got spent on stock-buybacks, not business investments. The stock market got the money, and the CEOs got bonuses, and shareholders, AKA "the wealthy" have more value in their stock portfolios, which gets taxed as capital-gains some day, maybe. Still, corporations getting a tax cut and the rich getting richer, and no jobs created in America should be no surprise.

The US is executing a global war plan (I'd put "contingency" before "plan", myself) Finian Cunningham:

A view from Russia, seeing WW-1 preparing to enter a third phase, bound to be against Russia, the preliminaries now underway, and what is delaying full blown WW-3. Thanks Eleni.

Washington’s primary objective of bombing the pro-government troops on February 7 - that led to dozens of Russian casualties - was to create divisions between the US-backed Kurds and Russia-backed Syrian government. Clearly, one can’t negotiate and reach a defensive accord with a party whose backers are bombing you at the same time. But Russia has sagaciously downplayed the brazen atrocity and moved on with its efforts to reconcile the divergent interests of competing forces in the Syrian proxy war. 

And then...  "YPG Kurdish fighters in north-western Syria - who are backed by the US - had struck a deal with the Russia-backed Assad regime for Syrian forces to enter the Afrin region and repel a Turkish offensive which began last month...  We didn't have long to wait for this escalation to unfold, and moments ago a convoy of fighters waving Syrian flags entered the northern Kurdish-held region of Afrin, which Turkey is targeting in a cross-border operation, according to footage on Syrian state TV shows... We didn't have long to wait for this escalation to unfold, and moments ago a convoy of fighters waving Syrian flags entered the northern Kurdish-held region of Afrin, which Turkey is targeting in a cross-border operation, according to footage on Syrian state TV shows."  (Syrian Kurds are again coordinating with Syrian government and military, as they had done until 2014 when the US paid them, armed them, gave them air support and promised them a country and oil wells of their own.)

Remind me who benefits if Turkey goes to war with NATO "ally", Greece, over some Greek islands that nobody lives on...

The UK has a secret plan to not pay it's EU bills if it does not get a trade deal. (Who would ever suspect?)

Kim Dotcom" "Let me assure you, the DNC hack was not even a hack." Kim Dotcom has evidence that Seth Rich downloaded all that damning evidence onto a memory stick. His lawyer keeps trying to contact Robert Mueller to deliver the evidence, and Dotcom to testify. Stony silence, of course. (This is war, after all.)

Here's a reminder of how a team of Clinton political operatives went to Russia to win the 1996 election for Boris Yeltsin. Your tax dollars proudly at work destroying Russia. Yeltsin had an 8% approval rating, and deserved less than that for betraying Russia to gangsters and foreign vultures. (Thanks Eleni. Only good thing tired, alcoholicYeltsin ever did was to hand operations to this reliable administrative guy named "Putin".)  [Then Jim Kunstler's take on this comparison, "Thirteen Russians and a ham sandwich", Hilarious.]

Former CIA Director James Woolsey, in a friendly interview, comments on American manipulation of political process in the rest of the world since it was created, makes joke, laughs. Everybody laughs; moves on...  The US government’s own data shows that it has deliberately meddled in the elections of 81 foreign governments between 1946 and 2000, including Russia in the nineties. That isn’t even counting the coups and regime changes it facilitated, including right here in my home Australia in the seventies.

Israel wants all the gas and oil, and is willing to make and carry out threats, because anti-semitism, and holocaust, and only-mideast-democracy and stuff... 
Israel has aggressively pushed for major sectors of the field to be internationally recognized as lying within its rightful territorial waters, going so far as to warn "respectable" companies from participating in the tender, which would be a "major mistake". 
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah once again warned Israel to back off its claims over disputed oil and gas field just off the southern Lebanese coast, threatening that Hezbollah could "disable [Israel’s offshore oil installations] within hours." 
"If you prevent us, we prevent you; if you open fire at us, we will open fire." 

Germany is building (free?) missile ships for Israel to expand their missile shield further into their waters, and those of Lebanon, and certainly Gaza... Thanks Eleni.
The sea-based Iron Dome went live last November. Together with three US-built ships already in service, the four corvettes will protect the Jewish state’s gas rigs and shipping lanes from rocket attacks, according to the Times of Israel newspaper. 

Is Angela Merkel unpopular for giving Israel the capacity to hit Germany with nuclear cruise missiles? 
Chancellor Angela Merkel  took the unilateral decision to supply Israel’s navy with a fleet of German-subsidised, Dolphin-class submarines built by a Thyssen Krupp shipyard, which were subsequently retrofitted by the Israelis with nuclear cruise missiles, having a range of over 1500kms. (The distance from, say, off-shore Marseilles in the Mediterranean to Potsdamer Platz in Berlin City Centre).

Global sea ice for January was another record low...

Listening to Spirits

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Wide World Of Putin

3-D Chess Players,

The US is carrying out "Plan-C" in Syria, still trying to drive an imperial wedge into the region with a Kurdish statelet to carve oil and gas fields out of Syria, to keep Syria weak, desperate, and Turkey engaged in fighting Kurds. This is at the bidding of Israel, of course. 
  • The imposition of a de-facto partition of Syria by taking under control the Syrian territory east of the Euphrates river (we could call that “plan C version 3.0”)
  • The theft of the gas fields located in northeastern Syria
  • The creation of a US-controlled staging area from which Kurdish, good terrorist and bad terrorist operations can be planned and executed
  • The sabotaging of any Russian-backed peace negotiations
  • The support for Israeli operations against Iranian and Hezbollah forces in Lebanon and Syria
  • Engaging in regular attacks against Syrian forces attempting to liberate their country from foreign invaders
  • Presenting the invasion and occupation of Syria as one of the “victories” promised by Trump to the MIC and the Israel lobby
  • So far the Russian response to this developing strategy has been a rather a passive one and the current escalation strongly suggests that a new approach might be needed. The shooting down of the Israeli F-16 is a good first step, but much more needs to be done to dramatically increase the costs the Empire will have to pay for is policies towards Syria.

Syria shot down 13 Israeli Air Launched Cruise Missiles on February 10 (They missed some, too, but they took out the majority, and that Israeli F-16.) Thanks Eleni.

Turkish forces use chemical weapons, some kind of gas (mustard?) on US-backed Kurds inside Syria.

On the heels of a visit by Secretary of State Tillerson to Turkey, the US dismisses as "extremely unlikely" that Turkish forces gassed American Kurdish surrogate-pawns in Syria.
The standard Washington logic is as follows: should NATO ally Turkey or US-backed rebels commit chemical attacks or other atrocities, these will be immediately dismissed as "extremely unlikely" - in the White House's own words; while at the same time any American friendly group on the ground such as anti-Assad insurgents will be taken at their word and on the flimsiest of evidence should claims be made that Assad is using gas - no matter how much evidence stacks up against such claims 

Russia is Taking Over Syria's Oil and Gas (by exclusive invitation) that makes the fields Northeast of the Euphrates, promised to gullible Kurdish pawns, a "Russian interest".

Oil/Gas majors, in  consortium, with Russian and French membership, are set to drill in undisputed waters off the Lebanese coast (not quite where Israel claims ownership), while Israel makes threats. Israel does not want the weak an deeply indebted Lebanese economy to recover, ever, or get regular 24 hour electricity. Israel is prepared for a third war against Lebanon to prevent that, but would it succeed or fail?
Engdahl: "With the Trump Administration declaring its growing hostility to Iran as well as its highly-provocative unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, the preconditions for an Israeli third Lebanon war, this one backed from behind by Washington and up front by Saudi economic sanctions, using the pretext of territorial claims to Lebanese offshore waters, would have the potential to escalate into a far broader war across the Middle East. By inserting its formidable military presence as well as energy presence into Lebanon at this point, Russia at this point may be the only barrier to that new Middle East conflagration."

Can Israel stomach the Russian Grand Bargain?
This is Putin’s Grand Bargain: Russia will assume a certain defined responsibility for Israel’s security, but not if Israel undertakes wars of choice against Iran and Hizbullah, or if it deliberately disrupts stability in the North (including Iraq). And no more gratuitous bombing raids in the north, intended to disrupt stability. But if Israel wants a war with Iran, then Russia will stand aloof.  Israel has now had a taste of President Putin’s ‘stick’: Your air superiority in the North has just been punctured by the Syrian air defences. You, Israel, will lose it completely were our Russian S400s air defences to be enabled: ‘Think it over’.  Thanks Eleni.

US buys more 33,000 pound bunker-buster bombs, useful against North Korean, Iranian and Chinese deeply-buried targets. Cheers! (Pilots report it's fun to fly a B-1 bomber when it drops one of these babies, and suddenly shoots up 100 feet in the air. Yee-HAW!)
Global Debt Crisis II Cometh...

Our Approaching Winter of Discontent, Charles Hugh Smith
That chill you feel in the financial weather presages an unprecedented--and for most people, unexpectedly severe--winter of discontent. Rather than sugarcoat what's coming, let's speak plainly for a change: none of the promises that have been made to you will be kept. 

President Trump castigates Obama-holdover FBI-chief for failing to identify Nikolas Cruz in a social media post where he bragged he would become "a professional school shooter", slyly using his real name to confound the investigation. This could also have been linked better to the tip-off from a friend of Cruz that he might be preparing to do this. Trump also castigates HR McMaster for claiming Russian influence over the last election (which is not actually how things went down; no evidence that anything was influenced...)
Is there, possibly, a common thread here?

Nobody wants to admit the real reason behind American mass-shootings. (Violent culture; always has been. Lotta' inequality and nobodys yearning to be somebody, too.)

One imagines Nikolas sitting alone, watching coverage of the Las Vegas shooting, and thinking, “Why not? What have I got to lose? If this life is so miserable and unlikely to get better, why not go out, spectacularly, like that? If I did, they would remember who I was and what I did for the rest of their lives.” 

"Sudden Stratospheric Warming Event Fractures Polar Vortex In Two" (Wow, that's weird. Putin's fault; bound to be...)

Siberian-Candidate

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Robot Density

Hive Members,

Nate Hagens, Energy, Money and Technology: From the Lens of the Superorganism 
A lecture that Professor Hagens recently gave at a Science and Engineering University in Saudi Arabia, January 2018. 
(I don't do videos, but Nate packs this as tightly as anything in print. He has had a unique path to qualify him for this overview of Reality 101)

Is it Possible for Everyone to Live a Good Life Within our Planet's Limits? (An honest look)

Future US oil production will collapse just as quickly as it increased. (Regular version and Kunstler's version :-)

Yes, its true. The stock, equity and bond markets are rigged. It's pretty much all insider trading in the long run. Insiders vs "Muppets".
The Economist, owned by the Rothschild family, spells it out.

Stocks dive after retail price index goes up, meaning the Fed will keep increasing interest rates, tightening money supply, turning down the faucet. 
(The short-volatility funds that blew up last week were the tip of the short-volatility iceberg. This is not over. that was just the crackers with cream cheese and canapes.)

The Education of Kim Jong-Un. This is a fascinating character study by a Senior Fellow at the Brookings institute, a Korean woman, who was a CIA analyst. It came out a little before the recent Olympic Diplomatic Coup. It does not predict it in any way. Knowing young Kim does not make him predictable, and that is acknowledged fairly early on. He appears to be way more like his grandfather, Kim Il-Sung, in both appearance and manner, than he is like his dad, Kim Jong-Il.

Winter Olympics Gold: Kim Jong-Un Calls for Further Reconciliation (This ball is now in play.)

Israeli police recommend that Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted for bribery. ("I was only doing what's good for the country, Police have no role in this democracy", he responds.)

How many Russian soldiers-of-furtune did American airstrikes in Syria just kill? Apparently, hundreds. What's next?

Lebanon to Open its Ports to Russian Warships: 
(Remember that Syria's port of Tartus is a Russian base, and Russia got the contract to develop oil and gas off the Lebanese coast. Israel can't safely attack Russia.)

Russia asks BRICS group to invest in rebuilding Syria, which happens to be a hub on China's Belt and Road Initiative. There's a lot of rebuilding to do; might as well build the Chinese trade initiative into it, huh?

President Trumps' Belt-and-Road infrastructure plan for America isn't really for most Americans, or even mostly for Americans...
The plan, which the White House bills as a $1.5-trillion program, only provides $100 billion in federal funds over 10 years for major federal-state projects — and those funds are mostly, at this moment, mythical. The plan bristles with incentives to allow private investors to profiteer, to expand tolls and other user fees on crucial roads and bridges, and to despoil public lands with pipelines. It aims to fast-track the most environmentally hazardous projects, the better to keep experts and local communities from weighing in. And it increases obligations on state and local governments just at the moment when their ability to raise funds has been hamstrung by Congress.

Robot-Density in Manufacturing: How many robots per 10,000 humans, is a useful metric to compare industries in different countries and different regions. 
Look who is #1, and by how much. I didn't guess that.

Sweden hasn't wanted Julian Assange since 2013, but London made them keep the warrant out for him, to keep him in his little prison in the Ecuadoran embassy. Cat's out of the bag, now. Some official correspondence has surfaced:
Ny wrote to the CPS: “We have found us to be obliged to lift the detention order … and to withdraw the European arrest warrant. If so this should be done in a couple of weeks. This would affect not only us but you too in a significant way.” Three days later, suggesting that legal concerns were far from anyone’s mind, she emailed the CPS again: “I am sorry this came as a [bad] surprise… I hope I didn’t ruin your weekend.” In a similar vein, proving that this was about politics, not the law, the chief CPS lawyer handling the case in the UK, had earlier written to the Swedish prosecutors: “Don’t you dare get cold feet!!!” 

Donald Trump's lawyer paid porn star, Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep her mouth shut; his own money, never asked, never reimbursed, goodness of his heart... So THERE!

How Antibiotics Created the Chicken Industry. (It's more than you may think. This is a good historical presentation.)

Chicken Crossing Road

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Self(ish)

Less Entitled,

Israel has openly attacked Syria over 100 times in the past year, and Syria has stopped accepting the attacks. Putin phoned Netanyahu and asked him not to escalate this further...
"A major battle broke out on Saturday between the Israeli Air Force and Syrian Air Defence Force over the occupied Golan Region, south Lebanon and the west Damascus region. During the confrontation that lasted for hours, Israeli warplanes and Syrian anti-aircraft systems traded missile fire – literally dozens of such munitions were fired – as the latter launched a general attack against ‘Iranian and regime’ bases west of Damascus. 
And in a major escalation, one which has the potential to escalate into all out war, at the beginning of the battle,  a Syrian surface-to-air missile downed an Israeli F-16 fighter jet over the occupied Golan Heights (described as ‘northern Israel’ by Israeli sources)."

Strategic postures of Israel, Syria, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah (2/8/18, before this action began).

The area Northeast of the Euphrates river in Syria is where Syria's best oil wells lie. The US has attacked Syrian government troops there and killed around 100, to prevent them from retaking Syrian oil. It looks like American artillery and airstrikes killed some Russians, too. This is more open and illegal war against Syria, by the US, on behalf of... "Your freedom" and stuff.

Caitlin Johnstone: " Believe it or not, it appears very likely that the US military’s latest act of butchery waged upon Middle Easterners on their own land was not about self-defense at all, but about oil."

Lebanon's offshore gas and oilfields, which Israel intends to prevent Lebanon from accessing ("My Preciousss") may be developed in Joint Russian-Lebanese venture.
"We work for broad engagement of Russian partners in large-scale and promising projects in Lebanon," Shaaban said. "This topic was discussed in detail during talks in Sochi between Prime Minister Saad Hariri and President Vladimir Putin last September," Shaaban said.
http://tass.com/economy/989354

Al Jazeera sent a mole to Washington DC to infiltrate the Israeli lobby and get some audio and video. This went well, similarly to a prior project in London. There is now a Qatari documentary about the AIPAC control of Washington DC. Informal negotiations between Alan Dershowitz and friends, and the Emir of Qatar, worried about war upon his regime from Saudi/Israeli coalition, have been interpreted favorably by AIPAC lobby as blocking release of the documentary. Latest word from Qatar confounds that, but does not say when it will air.

Kim Jong Un sends his sister to Korean winter Olympics as an emissary. Undiplomatic diplomats call names.

Sister Kim Yo Jong gives South Korean President Moon a nice letter inviting him to talks in North Korea, at his convenience.

Korean unification flag marches into Winter Olympics, ahead of unified North-South Korean Ice Hockey Team (Kim Yo Jong sits close to Mike Pence, too  :-) Awkward?)

Pence skips dinner to avoid sitting at table with North Koreans (Wow, he showed them!)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/09/kim-jong-uns-sister-arrives-in-south-korea-for-winter-olympics
Kim Yo-jong and Mike Pence

Why the Trump administration can't hire an ambassador to South Korea (The job description disqualifies all capable applicants. Catch-22)

Douglas Wilson writes about the big issue with the FISA memo, and other related memos, now, is the pervasiveness of the "so what? It's nothing" response, which means the actual totality of the corruption needs to sink in. The totality of corruption is the message. The actual governance is through the deep state and almost all the politicians in full cooperation. Thanks Eleni. Colorfully written, as well.

The State of the American Debt Slave, by Wolf Richter. 3 bar-graphs, mainly. (What will be demanded of the debt slaves, as payment?)

Cancel Student Debt for the good of all of us.

Here is a good description of how volatility investment "products", being traded rationally and professionally, created a 3PM market volatility event that went into full collapse after hours, and is not over yet. It is pointed out that this was the little problem that was certain to happen soon. There are much bigger ones, involving all of the big banks and financial firms.

David Stockman is not actually taking a pot shot at Janet Yellen here (though he does), but examining the last 30 years of fed financial policy and it's direct and indirect consequences, including the actual gutting of the real economy. That is toward the end. Real investment went away about a decade ago. Yeah, you noticed too?

OK, this really is Stockman attacking Yellen, as the easy-money-heroin-dealer that got America (hey, the world!) hooked, but not sparing Bernanke and Greenspan, either. It is still factual and informative as to mechanisms.

Scientists studying psilocybin discover that the "self" is an illusion. (Buddha:1, Freud:0, Timothy Leary: Dead)
Still, the hallucination of consciousness is one we’re all having in tandem. When we agree about our hallucinations, we call it “reality.”  

Universal Mind

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Volatile World

Prematurely Relieved,

You may recall that incoming Fed Chair, Jerome Powell let this slip (in December), about the Fed needing to unload it's short-volatility position. 
"It is about $1.2 trillion in sales; you take 60 months, you get about $20 billion a month. That is a very doable thing, it sounds like, in a market where the norm by the middle of next year is $80 billion a month. Another way to look at it, though, is that it’s not so much the sale, the duration; it’s also unloading our short volatility position." 
[Monday, the VIX Explosion Day, was Powel's first day as Fed Chair. He had given fair warning, hadn't he?]
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-05/fed-chair-makes-striking-admission-we-have-short-volatility-position

Betting a lot of money against the usual odds, that the stock market would just placidly rise and rise, was making "investors" some steady little returns over the last year or so. That game has suddenly closed up shop.

The big shift in volatility bets happened after the 4:00 PM market close Monday, and it was the biggest "purchase of volatility" ever, to close out those shortt-volatility bets, all at once. The market for volatility just broke, and it's not clear if it will "exist" any more.

Not only is the 116% surge in the VIX from yesterday accelerating, it is now up another 35%, above 50 - the highest level since March 2009 - extending its record surge as the vol eruption continues, and crushing the world's vol-sellers, assuring that all those who were collecting pennies in front of a steamroller, end up, well, fully steamrolled...

XIV, the short-volatility fund, is closed. Settlement with "investors" will be made February 21, at about a 96% one day loss. Still, that's 4 cents back on the dollar...

This spike in the Volatility Index "should" correspond to a 15% drop in stock market valuations (but who can tell with everything so manipulated? This is just the weakest layer of manipulation vaporizing.)

This article from 5 days ago is about the Fed's "QE unwind", or slowly selling back into the "markets", all of that rotten zombie flesh it has been buying for the last 9 years. That process just really started to have effects in January.

The American military is still fighting, and winning the Vietnam war, for well over 60 years now...
Thanks Eleni. Very instructive piece about our brightest military minds.
The hearts and minders and Clausewitzians atop the military establishment since 9/11 are never likely to stop citing their versions of the Vietnam War as the key to victory today; that is, they will never stop focusing on a war that was always unwinnable and never worth fighting. None of today’s acclaimed military personalities seems willing to consider that Washington couldn’t have won in Vietnam because, as former Air Force Chief of Staff Merrill McPeak (who flew 269 combat missions over that country) noted in the recent Ken Burns documentary series, “we were fighting on the wrong side.” 

Ron Paul on the "FISA memo":
First, the memo demonstrates that there is a “deep state” that does not want things like elections to threaten its existence. Candidate Trump’s repeated promises to get along with Russia and to re-assess NATO so many years after the end of the Cold War were threatening to a Washington that depends on creating enemies to sustain the fear needed to justify a trillion dollar yearly military budget. 

Jim Kunstler fleshes out Congressman Paul's insights with a funny bone and some bits of meat.
It is the super-duper quandary of the moment: choose between the oafish, charmless, and possibly not-so-stable-genius Leader-of-the-Free-World… and a security state that will do whatever it takes to get rid of him, for instance, engineering a nationwide hysteria over Russia.

It matters little whether you believe an individual candidate is a ‘good’ person, or a ‘bad’ person. Once in office he or she becomes a tool for the maintenance of the status quo – evidently. Why is this? Because the system is not run for your benefit. Its primary function is the concentration of power and wealth within the system itself, to serve the vested interests of a relatively tiny group of people. 

Caitlin Johnstone on nuclear Armageddon:  I see us as facing an immediate existential crisis as a species that needs to be dealt with right now, and people say I should be more worried about this or that conservative figure saying rude things on Twitter. We are facing the very real possibility of near-term human extinction; I don’t know how to care about the petty sectarian squabbles in America’s various political factions. It really is time for us to all get over ourselves and grow up.

Here is an article from The Saker, about Russia's rebuilding of Arctic ports and early-warning systems. Russia has a huge Arctic border to protect from attack, and more icebreakers than everybody else put together, and work to do.

There are 2 vacant investor-owned homes for every homeless person in America. (Wow! So many? Not here...)

"80% of care for elderly in Japan will come from robots by 2020."     
He added: “On the side of those who receive care, of course initially there will be psychological resistance.” 
Rescued by Progress