Thursday, November 16, 2017

Turning Slowly

Turning Inward,

For those within spitting-distance of Austin, there is a Tibetan Buddhist teaching Friday night at 7:00 PM at Trinity Church 40001 Speedway, by Anam Thubten. Donations accepted, not required. (Practical insight and advice)
Anam Thubten: 

The Unbearable Slowness of fourth Turning, Part 2 (The details of how history rakes us over the coals if we've not studied and prepared, and even if we have...)

Israel is ready to share intelligence information with Saudi Arabia ahead of war against Iran. (The enemy of my enemy is rich and stupid. Ha-ha-hahahahaaa!)

Brndon Smith calls NWO Reset and Mideast war, with proxy battles, which is an easy call at this point. Then what?
(Gosh Christine LeGarde looks uncomfortable, sitting next to Mohammed Bin Salman, who looks supremely comfortable.) 

Tulsi Gabbard update: "One of these things is not like the others..."  She keeps telling the truth, and the truths from last year keep getting confirmed. Democracy is broken, not just the Democratic and Republican parties. She does interviews and refuses to take bait, or PAC contributions.

A few thousand years of history of economy in the Greek and Italian city states is presented here. Thanks Eleni, who points out that this is only news in English language media.

"Franken-Furter, It's all over"... Former Playboy bunny says comedian-cum-Senator, Al Franken kissed , fondled and groped her without her consent in 2006 (Was that the "Lies and Lying Liars" book tour?).

Turning the other Cheek

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Capsizing Boat

Shifting the Weigh,

The top 1% of families and individuals in the world own a little over half of the wealth, The bottom 50% of people own less than 1% of the wealth. That's 2500 times less for half of us. The top 0.01% really make the decisions for all of us. Is that OK?

Here is a 13 minute interview with Julian Rose, an working environmentalist in England, also working to save small family farms in Poland, about transitioning out of the self-image of being a "consumer" and into being an individual agent for change, by growing vegetables. (I like the guy's approach, of course. Thanks to Eleni for letting me know about him.)

Here is Sir Julian's estate, which he manages for the good of life and humanity. Nice pictures.
(Are the rest of y'all 1% watching? ... didn't think so...)

John Mauldin, The Distribution of Pain. Finance hurts people. (Financial resets spread the hurt to people who are not used to it. Misbehavior often happens in the reset process. Start early.)

The Unbearable Slowness of Fourth Turnings: The generational model of economics, based on the Kondratiev Wave Model, says that every fourth generation goes through a crisis, as the lessons from the last crisis have been well forgotten by everybody who worked through it, and the economy has been divided and hollowed out by selfishness and lack of cooperation. The successes of the economy also take their tolls, as resource use gets so efficient as to consume the resource base the economy uses. We are there, in the Fourth Turning, which began with the 2008 financial crisis, has not been worked out, and now the work is about to be upon us. American Revolution, Civil War, Depression/WW-2 were previous Fourth Turnings for America. Get to work. Don't rush. Do it right.

Palace Coup in Riyadh, from Voltairenet. Thanks Eleni. Lots of important context and background.

Saudi purge as prelude to greater Mideast war. Thanks Eleni.

Trump's Pivot to Asia, Selling weapons on Anti-Peace Tour...

Will America Survive Washington? US preparations for nuclear first strike upon Russia, maybe biological back-up, too. Paul Craig Roberts:

Those lying Russians say the US directly supports ISIS troops in Syria. 
(Oh, they got it from the BBC; all confirmed? oh... Thanks Ray.)

The Imperial project to destroy Syria (now in it's sixth successful year and somewhat over budget)

Playing Well With Others

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

We'll Die From This


 "The Empire of Chaos" is one description of the strategy of (American? Western? Transnational?) elites to rule the world, by keeping key areas, rich in resources, in a constantly devolved state of war and desperation, extracting their oil and uranium, and supplying enough weapons and advisers to keep it smoldering. It's the most cost effective way, like raising 100,000 pigs in cages and feces and antibiotics is efficient. Right now, most of us who read this are in the steerage class of the good boat. Won't last long... 
Thanks Eleni, in Athens, not on the good boat.
"The US military is confident of the need for looting and plundering all existing major states and dividing the world into two parts. To achieve this, they began the destruction of the entire Middle East. We saw this happening in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia. And this is not a side effect, this Is the goal. The point is to destroy all major state institutions so that nothing could compete with the United States, " says Thierry Meyssan.

Yemeni civilians are in one of those zones of horrific destruction, between Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf.  "Starving children never smile."
“We are weak, our children are weak and we have nothing left to give. We can’t even feed our animals anymore” said Nor Rashid as she cradled her daughter. 

Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia says some regional Arab states have spent $130 billion to obliterate Syria, Libya and Yemen. That's: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (increasingly in control of Saudis, through "MBS"), apparently Qatar, which almost got invaded recently, and who else, Bahrain?

Saudi Royals tortured and beaten in purge, not merely robbed, get medical attention. Chaos, anyone?

French President, Emmanuel Macron, gets deeply humiliated in UAE and Saudi Arabia (but is not beaten, waterboarded, sodomized, nor electrocuted).

Suddenly Saudi Arabia is sending a lot less oil to the Texas gulf coast (Hurricane Harvey is not mentioned, but is bound to be a factor). The House of Saud is cashing in some treasuries to buy guns and butter. That's presumably ok for now. Where is this going? What is the implied negotiation? Is the petrobuck over?

US and Russia (Trump and Putin, quickly) agree to Iran-Free Zone in Syria, near Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, which is Syrian territory. Israel continues to routinely attack Syrian government positions, with and without flimsy pretexts. What's next? Then what?

Trump’s China visit was characterized by putting his “America First!” campaign principles on ice in favor of the globalist agenda of his economic advisers and subordination of trade to the geopolitical concerns of the military Junta that runs his administration for him.
(Whatever may have been discussed about North Korea is inherently limited by Trump's lack of any real negotiation authority.)

The American empire is spending vast resources across the planet, to look incompetent. Fomenting endless wars in Afghanistan and the Mideast, just costs other people's lives, except when Americans die in accidents, but we really have to keep those wars going, or we'll lose "control".

“The idea that the administration has—and particularly President Trump—that escalating threats is going to make the North Koreans be more flexible, is wrong. Escalating threats only make North Koreans more inflexible,” Wit said. “Being gratuitously tough, “ he added later, “is a big mistake, because the North Koreans can be tough as nails themselves, and for them, being weak is like committing suicide.” (Let's assume that Trump, Mattis, are completely aware of this dynamic. So who can possibly be the good-cop in negotiations for the Korean Peninsula? I can't think of any Americans, and Koreans can't fully trust Chinese, due to their history as vassal and resented master. Gosh, who does that leave?)

Perfectly-sane George H.W. Bush is pictured here in 2003, at age of 70, grabbing the buttock of a surprised 16 year old girl, not her mom, on his other side...
Roslyn Corrigan and her mother Sari Young at the 2003 event with Bush

Monsanto released it's new Dicamba-Ready soybeans, with much fanfare that the new-approved Dicamba would be ready to kill the pigweed as the soybeans grew. It wasn't approved. Farmers of thousands of acres could not hire thousands of workers to pull and hoe pigweed, so they illegally used the old-unapproved Dicamba, which they knew would kill many tens of thousands of acres of their neighbors crops, and it did. Now farmers are killing farmers again. Monsanto isn't to blame. "Unforeseeable regulatory delay"

Why Americans are going to love single payer insurance:

I got "high blood pressure" yesterday. You probably did, too. This definition change has been debated for years. It won't improve overall health, but it's good for bidness.

Targeted Demographic

Monday, November 13, 2017

Howzat Work

Taking Things Apart,

Who Killed President Kennedy and Why? (This topic continues to be most important in understanding the context of how things actually work in our current world.)

1986 letter from Prince Charles seems pretty reasonable. Let the name-screaming begin!

US Mideast Policy's Fork in the Road (look, a fork!)
"The status quo in Saudi Arabia is over.  It’s bin Salman’s country now... The old alliances between it and Israel are now out in the open, creating cognitive dissonance in a whole new class of people... Hundreds of billions in assets frozen.  Dozens of family members jailed, many major donors to the corrupt-to-the-bone Democratic National Committee...

Chris Martenson: A dramatic geo-political realignment by Saudi Arabia is in full swing this month. It’s upending many decades of established strategic relationships among the world's superpowers and, in particular, is throwing the Middle East into turmoil... That it's receiving too little attention in the US press given the implications, is a tip off as to just how big a deal this is -- as we're all familiar by now with how the greater the actual relevance and importance of a development, the less press coverage it receives.

The Arab League is set to hold an emergency meeting on Iran at Saudi Arabia's request, this according to Reuters and various regional sources, at a moment when Saudi fighter jets may be mobilizing for war in an attempted show of force. Egypt-based Ahram Online also reports further that the meeting will discuss "Iranian interference" in the region at League headquarters in Cairo, and other early unconfirmed reports indicate the meeting could come as early as next Sunday... Meanwhile, The Daily Star, citing the Baghdad Post, claims that Saudi Arabia has scrambled its air force for strikes in Lebanon: "Reports now state the Royal Saudi Air Force has placed its warplanes on alert to launch strikes as the region sits on a knife edge." The report accompanies undated footage of Saudi F-15's in aerial maneuvers over what is presumably a Saudi airfield.

Oops ("Hoppla", auf Deutsch.) 
"It’s long been suspected that Berlin was backing the anti-government movement in Poland, and the country’s media has reported on this for nearly two years already, but the German Defense Minister’s sloppy statement on TV seemed to present the strongest confirmation yet that this is indeed truly the case... Warsaw is now more motivated than ever before to continue strengthening its relations with its “Three Seas” partners, particularly Hungary but potentially even Austria under the coming premiership of Sebastian Kurz."

Paradise for Billionaires: "Think of all the young people saddled with catastrophic student-loan debt: we should have – could have – made that unnecessary. Think of all the decayed small towns, and the dying rust belt cities, and the drug-addicted hopeless: all of them should have – could have – been helped. But no. Instead America chose a different project. Our leaders raised up a tiny class of otherworldly individuals and built a paradise for them, made their lives supremely delicious. Today they hold unimaginable and unaccountable power... This is their democracy today. We just happen to live in it."

How Economics Failed the Economy (It's WHAT you count...) 
"Today, something very curious has taken place. If we do what Kuznets originally suggested, and subtract finance and advertising from GDP, what does that picture — a picture of the economy as it actually is — reveal? Well, since the lion’s share of growth, more than 50% every year, comes from finance and advertising — whether via Facebook or Google or Wall St and hedge funds and so on — we would immediately see that the economic “growth” that the US has chased so desperately, so furiously, never actually existed at all."

A good history of taxation in America is presented here. (The title advertises a solution, but does not begin to provide it. Read below, for that.)

Here's What Real Tax Reform Would Look Like, Charles Hugh Smith (Now, we're getting somewhere!) 
Transaction tax on every financial transaction, and tax on assets over $10 milion. "These two taxes would eliminate income and payroll taxes and all the enormous costs of compliance, and wipe out offshore tax havens. Since both transaction and asset taxes would be low, the motivation to sell all U.S. assets and execute no transactions involving U.S. based assets or entities would be low. Would it really be worth giving up all the enormous income streams flowing from U.S. assets to evade a 3% tax?"

"Facebook and Alphabet have behaved irresponsibly in the pursuit of massive profits. They have consciously combined persuasive techniques developed by propagandists and the gambling industry with technology in ways that threaten public health and democracy."

"Tragically, the agricultural revolution gave humans the power to ensure the survival and reproduction of domesticated animals while ignoring their subjective needs. In consequence, domesticated animals are collectively the most successful animals in the world, and at the same time they are individually the most miserable animals that have ever existed." (The solutions for resource-efficient raising of millions of pigs and chickens need only be elaborated a little bit more to manage hundreds of millions of humans.) "Altogether, the domesticated animals of the world weigh about 700m tonnes, compared with 300m tonnes for humans, and fewer than 100m tonnes for large wild animals. This is why the fate of farm animals is not an ethical side issue. It concerns the majority of Earth’s large creatures: tens of billions of sentient beings, each with a complex world of sensations and emotions, but which live and die on an industrial production line. "

Julian Rose is an English thespian and long-term green-agronomist, by virtue of inheriting a 10000 acre Barocy in england when he was fairly young, helping his mum run it, and gradually returning it to it's ancient patterns of life, instead of exploiting it. Thanks Eleni.
The way to retain your sanity, your joie de vivre, your sensitive soul and your resistance to that which wishes to ensnare you, is to re find your connection with nature: the natural environment. Preferably a largely uncontaminated nature; a nature that still breathes, that still lives out its predilection for diversity, beauty and rugged self-expression.

Going to Plant Garlic

Thursday, November 9, 2017

To Be Or Not

Thinking Again,

Founding President of Facebook, Sean Parker, says that they worked hard to do whatever it took to make Facebook and related platforms "consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible"... "It literally changes your relationship with society, with each other ... It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains"

Hezbollah has done a lot in the past 30 years, has become something like a well functioning nation, due to constantly pressing necessities of the people of Southern Lebanon. Hezbollah has become a military actor capable of successful urban combat, after being formed to resist and degrade Israeli tank invasions. Hezbollah is highly respected and appreciated for broad, high quality schools, hospitals and social support services, and tolerance to other religions. Hezbollah has a whole lot of rockets and tunnels and combat experience. Israel will lose many inexperienced soldiers in any attack against Hezbollah. Hezbollah is prepared to counter-attack israel, including invasion of cities and other territory. They don't want to.

Saudi Arabia orders all citizens to leave Lebanon immediately.

Saudi King Salman may transfer the throne to his son, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman today or tomorrow (we hear).

UK has more than quadrupled sales of munitions to Saudi Arabia since the start of it's war on Yemen. Most deaths have been civilians in schools, hospitals, cities, etc. (US moreso, i presume.)

This excellent article looks at the internationalization of finance, which has hollowed out national industrial economies and let infrastructure go to waste, as the tax base hid in the Caymans, London and Amsterdam. this has been enabled by politicians at the top, who shackled regulators and cut their budgets every step of the way. (What are the consequences of rule-by-parasite?)

Here is a German article on where the big money is going, how it gets tax-exempted through certain special reltionships, and how that could be stopped. Amsterdam tax-shelters a lot of American money, which was meant to be much better supervised. Internationalization of finance has led to a "race to the bottom", when it comes to following the rules. Lax standards are most profitable, at the expense of national economies, and actual financial stability. these corrupted standards of oversight may be more pervasive and more corrupt than in 2008 and the Savings and Loan crisis. (Very hard to be sure, isn't it?)

Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffet command more wealth than the poorer 161 million (50%) Americans combined. (At the current rate two of them will pull it off in a year or two.)

The UK will now (finally) back the EU ban on bee-killing neonicotinid pesticides.

Not to Bee

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Prerequisites Of Life

Mature Adults,

The growing neural networks in the brains of small children, some not yet walking, are being manipulated for profit, largely by computer p. The mind is formed by it's influences. It develops around them. It is not automatic and it is not assured. Miss an opportunity and it is over. That's the nature of critical stages of development. Take a peek.
"YouTube and Google are complicit in that system. The architecture they have built to extract the maximum revenue from online video is being hacked by persons unknown, to abuse children, perhaps not even deliberately, but at a massive scale...We have built a world which operates at scale, where human oversight is simply impossible, and no manner of inhuman oversight will counter most of the examples I’ve used in this essay. "  Thanks Dan

Phil Murphy is Governor Elect of New Jersey. He is a Goldman Sachs Alum, former US Ambassador to Germany and ran DNC finances under Howard Dean, "the good-old-days". 
Importantly, he advocates a State Bank for New Jersey, along the lines of the Bank of North Dakota. (He's Goldman, though. They cover their bases.) See here.

Tax avoidance (not tax-evasion, that's illegal) and global political and financial elites. It's what's for dinner. Let's start in Delaware. Cooperate to change laws and stop this?

Eleni sends this article from the Corbett Report about what we see in the latest little drip of JFK files. Nothing about LBJ, Gerald Ford or GHW Bush...
"2% of the documents that were previously withheld-in-full were released, along with less than 10% of the redacted documents. (Is there really anyone left who doesn't realize that Trump is fighting to save the deep state?)

Mohammad  Bin Salman, Saudi Crown Prince, holds $800 billion in seized assets from the other princes and players being held-without-sheets in the Ritz Carlton. That's 2 years of national budget for the kingdom. Wonder if it will be permanently confiscated?

Lebanon is the next front in The Great Gas War, Golem XIV (Ahhh, that makes more sense...)
"Lebanon is the next link in any gas pipeline that could potentially bring Iranian Gas to Europe. That was the reason the West decided to “liberate” the Syrian people and it will be why they decide to enforce the same salvation upon the people of Lebanon... For Saudi it is the basis of its struggle for regional supremacy with Qatar. For America it is the regional marker for its proxy struggle with Russia for political dominance and for control over gas supplies to Europe...For Israel it will mean war and troops on the ground. America will certainly help in the air but Israel will shed blood on the ground."

Shell gears up for (post) Peak Gasoline (No,no, no; don't be silly, it'll never run out. People are just all going to drive electric cars in the future. :-)

More on working in Silicon Valley and living in a camper van with your family. "Move along, now!"

Harvey Weinstein's Army of Spies (Ex Mossad agents? No wonder, nobody reported him. I'm glad nobody else is like this!)

Human Resource Warrior

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Masters Of Chaos

Unsanctified Speakers,

Bernie Sanders has warned that the world is rapidly becoming an “international oligarchy” controlled by a tiny number of billionaires, highlighted by the revelations in the Paradise Papers. (Would President Sanders have been able to say this? No.)

Mike Kreiger on Donna Brazile's revelations about some particular elites, who are not remarkable, but typical in the world governance system which owns and rules us.
"The cat's out of the bag. In a world where we're talking to each other across the world and we've got billions of people that can communicate and say, 'what is wrong with these elitists? They're complete lunatics, and we don't need them.' They can't win… and so the only question for me is what comes next? I think the next five years will be the most chaotic five years that any of us alive will ever live."

The Nationless elites control the world. Money is power, and they have protected their power from nations, which they can manipulate and destroy as they see fit. If the nations cannot find common ground to stop this, the nations, and the peoples, and the environment, and the lovely elites will rapidly perish.
"Tax avoidance is now so systemic that the Queen’s own wealth managers apparently see nothing wrong with her receiving £82m a year from taxpayers while shunting £10m into the Caymans and elsewhere. Shuttling between tax havens is so commonplace that economist Gabriel Zucman describes it as an “elite sport”.

Jim Kunstler: "What Could Go Wrong?"
The economy isn’t growing and can’t grow. The economy is a remnant of something that used to exist, an industrial economy that has rolled over and died and come back as a moldy ghoul feeding on the ghostly memories of itself. Stocks go up because the unprecedented low interest rates established by the Fed allow company CEOs to “lever-up” issuing bonds (i.e. borrow “money” from, cough cough, “investors”) and then use the borrowed “money” to buy back their own stock to raise the share value, so they can justify their companies’ boards-of-directors jacking up their salaries and bonuses — based on the ghost of the idea that higher stock prices represent the creation of more actual things of value (front-end-loaders, pepperoni sticks, oil drilling rigs).

Stephen Hawking is worried about the intent of the people who control Artificial Intelligence, and the natural consequences of their success with it.
"Unless we learn how to prepare for, and avoid, the potential risks, AI could be the worst event in the history of our civilization. It brings dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many. It could bring great disruption to our economy."

Caitlin Johnstone on the church shooter in Sutherland Springs:
The mass media’s job is not to tell you what is happening in the world. The mass media’s job is to tell you that the country that is invading sovereign nations and dropping bombs on civilians are the good guys, while selling you Mountain Dew... There’s no way this doesn’t have an effect on the American psyche. Something so horrific, so abnormal, being normalized so aggressively day in and day out both overtly and subtly will necessarily warp people’s minds... The more time we spend bickering over how arbitrary words like “terrorism” should be used the less time we’re spending addressing this crucial component of the US war machine directly... America is in a state of endless war because the nationless plutocracy which has centralized itself there uses the US military as its personal mafia to bully potential rivals into compliance. This same plutocracy owns the mass media and uses it to manufacture public support for the behavior of its armed goon squad, because if Americans stop consenting to their money and resources being squandered on bombs, the civil unrest would cause major damage to their investments in the US... They need your consent. They wouldn’t work so hard to manufacture it if they didn’t.

Washington Stomps on Civil liberty, Paul Craig Roberts:  "Are you amazed that it is the executives of Facebook, Twitter, and Google, and not the members of Congress who have sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States, who point out to US Representatives and Senators that their demands for censorship and spying are unconstitutional?" (And these organizations are already deeply enmeshed with the CIA and NSA.)

According to a new report from The Hillearly drafts of former FBI Director James Comey's statement on Hillary Clinton's email case accused the former Secretary of State of "gross negligence" in her handling of classified information as opposed to the "extremely careless" phrase that made its way into the final statement. As The Hill further points out, the change in language is significant since federal law states that "gross negligence" in handling the nation’s intelligence can be punished criminally with prison time or fines whereas "extreme carelessness" has no such legal definition and/or ramifications.

Secretary of State Tillerson pushes hard to fulfill his commitment to finishing 10 year backlog of Freedom-of-Information requests by the end of the year. Supporters of former Secretary of State Clinton cry, "Politics!" (Tillerson needs to cut staff. Upper-echelon Clintonistas resigning when saddled with the distatesteful chores of their subordinates might be just right.)

Donna Brazile dedicates her book to Seth Rich:

"I've got economically zero unemployment in my city, and I've got thousands of homeless people that actually are working and just can't afford housing," said Seattle City Councilman Mike O'Brien. "There's nowhere for these folks to move to." (The new working-homelessness model of American democracy, where votes cost $1 billion each.)

The Public Bank Option: Safer, Local and Half the Cost:
Phil Murphy, a former banker with a double-digit lead in New Jersey’s race for governor, has made a state-owned bank a centerpiece of his platform. If he wins on November 7, the nation’s second state-owned bank in a century could follow.  (Bank of North Dakota model vs Federal Reserve model...)

Early this morning, Israeli Channel 10 news published a leaked diplomatic cable which had been sent to all Israeli ambassadors throughout the world concerning the chaotic events that unfolded over the weekend in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, which began with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's unexpected resignation after he was summoned to Riyadh by his Saudi-backers, and led to the Saudis announcing that Lebanon had "declared war" against the kingdom. The classified embassy cable, written in Hebrew, constitutes the first formal evidence proving that the Saudis and Israelis are deliberately coordinating to escalate the situation in the Middle East. 

Eleni sends this article examining the ongoing Israeli war against Lebanon, thwarted by Hezbollah, and currently being fought in Syria, as it goes into another phase.
The Israeli approach to a “good neighbor” policy, by providing aid and air support to Syrian armed groups in return for a security belt as the first line of defense, is neither effective nor sustainable. The Syrian regime shares control of the area surrounding the Golan Heights with armed opposition groups and extremist militants, which could lead to unintended escalation. As the Syrian war is winding down, a permanent agreement on who will ultimately control the Quneitra area will become necessary.

When Saudi Arabia says: "'Lebanon is hijacked by Hezbollah and Iran, Saudi will treat Lebanese gov as an enemy of its state" it means that KSA is at war.
But Saudi Arabia is presenting Hezbollah as a kind of" superpower" and/or a "state" to stand against, magnifying it.
The same style is usually used by Israel before taking action against #Hezbollah: Saudi Arabia is copying the rhetoric.

The new absolute monarch of Saudi Arabia is Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman (MBS acronym is weirdly recycled). He has purged rival factions of the royal family, with a couple of princely deaths and a whole lot of patronage payments now suddenly ended. This was an anti-corruption purge limited to his rivals. The young prince is brash, strong willed, appears devoutly religious, and is unhesitating to blitzkrieg. It says here that the is an asset of the UAE.

1200 Saudi bank accounts are frozen in that anti-corruption purge. (MBS seizes assets of rivals.)

Pepe Escobar casts more light:
The House of Saud’s King Salman devises an high-powered “anti-corruption” commission and appoints his son, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, a.k.a. MBS, as chairman.  Right on cue, the commission detains 11 House of Saud princes, four current ministers and dozens of former princes/cabinet secretaries – all charged with corruption. Hefty bank accounts are frozen, private jets are grounded. The high-profile accused lot is “jailed” at the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton.
War breaks out within the House of Saud, as Asia Times had anticipated back in July. Rumors have been swirling for months about a coup against MBS in the making. Instead, what just happened is yet another MBS pre-emptive coup.
A top Middle East business/investment source who has been doing deals for decades with the opaque House of Saud offers much-needed perspective: “This is more serious than it appears. The arrest of the two sons of previous King Abdullah, Princes Miteb and Turki, was a fatal mistake. This now endangers the King himself. It was only the regard for the King that protected MBS. There are many left in the army against MBS and they are enraged at the arrest of their commanders.”

Donald Trump, on his whirlwind tour of Asia, expresses hope that Vladimir Putin will help him with North Korea (China's Xi disappointed him.):

"I think we're making progress", Trump turns the volume down from 11 on North Korean standoff.

Lowering Expectations