Monday, July 16, 2018

Plotting Peace

​Speaking Russian,​

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

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

The announced meeting between Trump and Putin has already produced a good result by revealing the hypocrisy of the media and politicians. The meeting has been branded as the greatest danger to humanity, according to the Western globalist elite, because of the danger that "peace could break out between Russia and the United States".

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

After a brief delay reportedly caused by President Putin, Trump and his Russian counterpart have gathered for a brief press conference before the start of their 90-minute summit meeting, during which the two men will be left alone to discuss a range of issues.
The two men shared a handshake, as Trump said "I really think the world wants to see us get along."

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

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

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

China has been preparing for a trade war for more than a decade. The light cast from this angle makes sense of Chinese monetary and financial policies which had seemed naive and ill advised in the light of their usual presentation. I wonder what (if any) analysis is correct.

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

Pig n a Poke

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Humanity First

Appreciating Family,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Saturday, July 7, 2018

Talk Is Cheaper

Critters of Earth,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ancient Urging

Thursday, July 5, 2018


Seeing Clearly,

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

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

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

​Developing Alternatives​

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Next Logical Step


Chris Hedges talks about The Coming Collapse:
As a foreign correspondent I covered collapsed societies, including the former Yugoslavia. It is impossible for any doomed population to grasp how fragile the decayed financial, social and political system is on the eve of implosion. All the harbingers of collapse are visible: crumbling infrastructure; chronic underemployment and unemployment; the indiscriminate use of lethal force by police; political paralysis and stagnation; an economy built on the scaffolding of debt; nihilistic mass shootings in schools, universities, workplaces, malls, concert venues and movie theaters; opioid overdoses that kill some 64,000 people a year; an epidemic of suicides; unsustainable military expansion; gambling as a desperate tool of economic development and government revenue; the capture of power by a tiny, corrupt clique; censorship; the physical diminishing of public institutions ranging from schools and libraries to courts and medical facilities; the incessant bombardment by electronic hallucinations to divert us from the depressing sight that has become America and keep us trapped in illusions. We suffer the usual pathologies of impending death. I would be happy to be wrong. But I have seen this before. I know the warning signs. All I can say is get ready.

The only comprehensive and scientific study which has ever been done of whether the US is a democracy or instead a dictatorship, was published in 2014. It studied the period during 1981 through 2002, and it found that, “In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule — at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes.”

​What will Trump and Putin and Lavrov and Bolton talk about July 16?
Trump also suggested that scrapping sanctions on Russia depended on its actions, including in Syria. Asked about potentially lifting sanctions on Russia, Trump told reporters, "We'll see what Russia does. We're going to be talking to Russia about a lot of things. We're going to be talking to them about Syria."

Lavrov says Edward Snowden is a free-agent, not a bargaining chip. Lavrov very carefully chooses and keeps his words. 
He says the Western order is pretty late in it's process of corruption; well past it's sell-by date.
“I do not know why people would start asking this particular question in relation to the summit. Edward Snowden is the master of his own destiny,” Lavrov reiterated. 

The risks of peace breaking out when Putin and Trump talk are mind-boggling. Nobody really gets how catastrophic this could be! Just shoot me now...
In the context of the impending US-Russia presidential talks, not a single Western media outlet mentioned that, as detailed in the 2018 World Report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), “In 2017 the USA spent more on its military [$610 billion] than the next seven highest-spending countries combined... at $66.3 billion, Russia’s military spending in 2017 was 20 per cent lower than in 2016.”
​ ...
US Senator Ben Sasse grouched that “Putin is not our friend and he is not the president’s buddy. He is a thug using Soviet-style aggression to wage a shadow war against America, and our leaders should act like it.”

​These guys have to talk about Israel, don't they?
Israeli planes have been bombing Syria and, less publicly, the Houthi regions of Yemen, using “roundabout” routes to evade air defenses. This, in itself, is not controversial. However, what is controversial is reports that Israel has been operating out of bases inside both Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
Sources not only confirm these reports but military analysis of Israel’s missions, as they announce them publicly, prove use of particularly Saudi bases is mandatory.
Questions then arise regarding the degree of inter-cooperation between these nations and the Gulf States, against Syria, against Yemen, against certainly Iran and to a lesser known extent, in support of ISIS operations across the region.
Of course, none of this would be possible without logistical support, mission planning and AWAC services supplied by the United States.
Thus, we are confronted with a leading question; how will Russian policy in the region address this threat to their own interests?

Angela Merkel says the refugee situation is sorted out, agreed in principle. Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic say they didn't get that memo.
“There are no any new agreements regarding the reception of asylum seekers from EU countries, we confirm (that), like the Czech Republic and Hungary,” Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Artur Lompart said. 

CIA trained, equipped and paid good-terrorists are working hard to bring regime change to Iran. 
It seems more likely to just make Iranians more tired and pissed-off.

Rudy Giulliani says the end is near for Iran's rulers, as he cheerleads at a conference in France for said good-terrorists.
VILLEPINTE, France (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump will suffocate Iran’s “dictatorial ayatollahs”, his close ally Rudy Giuliani said on Saturday, suggesting his move to re-impose sanctions was aimed squarely at regime change. 

Indefinite Detention of Central American families fleeing the war-on-them is the new Federal policy. 
They can sleep in the same tent behind the concertina wire in the desert forever.
The executive order Trump signed June 20, which he claimed would end family separation, was in fact an instruction for the executive branch to start finding as much space as possible for family detention. It also told the Department of Justice to ask US District Judge Dolly Gee to reverse her own 2015 Flores settlement ruling that prevented the government from keeping children in immigration detention longer than necessary even when they were being held with their parents. 

Oh, Man the amount of this stuff is vast! The tiny little parts in it are inseparable and have bits of toxic poison lightly and evenly salted through them. There is no way out, once the machines are set in motion to make billions of iPhones, and laptops, and TVs, and so on. 
Until the beginning of this year, China was a willing recipient of the world’s electronic waste, which it recycled in vast factories. According to the UN, 70% of all electronic waste was ending up in China.
​ ​
But in January, having calculated that the environmental impact far outweighed the short-term profit, China closed its gates to virtually all foreign rubbish. It has prompted something of a global crisis, not just for e-waste but plastic waste as well.

​Keynesian Economics is an artifact of Cheap Energy (and it isn't working like it used to in 1970), Charles Hugh Smith

The hypothesis of how successful toolmaking, and the conveyance of that benefit through teaching other humans, led to a unique form of conceptual ability in humans.
Kolodny points out what might seem like a contradiction in this notion: Many species of ape use tools in sequence-dependent ways and also have highly developed levels of communication. But the order in which those apes produce their utterances doesn’t make much difference to their meaning, Kolodny explains. “The question becomes not ‘How did language arise only in humans?’but ‘Why did it not arise in other apes as well?’ And the answer is, the qualitative difference between us and other apes is they don’t have the communication system coupled to those temporal sequencing structural capabilities.”

​Chipping Flint​

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Look In The Corner

Updating Citizenship,

I rode my bike down to the Capitol and back yesterday and stood there with many other people, from all walks of life, many from my clinic, also my Buddhist practice group, and at least one person I know from the UT dormitory in 1976. 
Some of my friends protested the Vietnam War there. I got to chant "No Bombs, No War; US out of El Salvador!" in my day... 
Yesterday we protested the injury to children caused by separating them from their families at our border, as they flee here to safety.
Nobody was shooting at us; not like Kent State at all, ever. There was no tension at all. That was already defused last week. 
Still, it is important for us to stand together for our moral values. It's a good habit. We need to do things together. Sometimes we need to vote for somebody, but that whole process is pretty well controlled by the military-industrial-congressional-banking-media-complex. (mostly...)
We don't know what totalitarianism we may eventually get in the US, and it may be different regional forms of totalitarianism. One size may not fit all in North America. The current federal bureaucracy is vast, ineffective, but makes lots of "jobs" that keep lots of intelligent people focused upon "compliance". That is not an economy that actually provides for the needs of people and society without vast outside inputs. That is the zombie of the American postwar production economy.
Reset will have to be in places that CAN reset, with people who CAN reset. Once a place has something that works, others will go there and be assimilated.
These different centers of recovery will have different characteristics, I think.
Ride a bike. Grow vegetables. This takes a few years to become natural; really... Nobody will change for us.
"Become the change that you would see in the world!"

The big issue that we are not addressing is that the Empire (no name is accepted) continues to keep a war festering in El Savador, Honduras and Guatemala. "War-on-drug-dealers-who-don't-work-for-the-CIA" is one fitting name. 
Manuel Noriega found out how that works. Don't be in a gang that rivals the CIA gangs! Venezuelan refugees from the economic warfare the Empire is executing there should start arriving soon. Ilargi, at The Automatic Earth looks in the shadowy corner...  Boomeranging
You could see them coming from miles away. You created them. You literally built the space they occupy. What is happening is that the chaos we created in all these places is now boomeranging right back at us, on our own borders. And we’re not getting out of that chaos until we stop creating it in places where we don’t live. Until we allow people a future where they are born. 

Important buried Korean War history from Wigs. The US employed all the tested-on-humans germ warfare secrets it got from Japan, who used germ warfare for genocide in Manchuria, then brutally murdered a prominent whistle-blower (as an example for others) to keep it hushed up..:​
Canadian scholars Stephen Endicott and Edward Hagerman produced a thoroughly researched indictment of US germ warfare use in Korea, The United States and Biological Warfare. The book exposes how the CIA and US Air Force began a lengthy and complex secret deployment of germ bomb attacks over North Korea and China for many months in 1951-52. The lessons gained by Japan’s Unit 731 in mass murder warfare were applied by the US military in the Korean theater. President Truman, the CIA, the Army, Air Force and Joint Chiefs of Staff were all complicit in the secrecy of this operation....  The hidden history of the Korean War — the 4 million dead Koreans, the carpet bombing, firebombing, germ bombing, the entire built infrastructure of North Korea reduced to rubble, the prisoner torture, civilian massacres, suppression of war crime evidence, the lies and the silent forgetting — all this is now coming into the sunshine. Going forward toward Korean unification, nobody should agree to bury these truths again.

"Officials" somewhere in the US government, who don't like the Korean Peace Process, leak that North Korea has not given everything up yet to NBC.
The result of the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore was a "freeze for freeze" deal. North Korea stopped its nuclear and missile testing while the U.S. stopped the large maneuvers it regularity held with South Korea's army. Both sides agreed to further talks. North Korea made some aspirational statements about denuclearization which have the same time frame as similar aspirational statements made by the U.S. in Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). There is no time frame to reach a certain state. There is no commitment towards declaring nuclear sites nor is there a commitment to stop the production of nuclear stuff.
Trump declaration that there is "no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea" is correct in the sense that there is certainly no North Korean intent to launch a nuclear attack.
Kim Jong Un will not only "try to hide" the North Korean nuclear facilities. He will surely keep them secret as long as he can. The security of his country depend on them.
​The British Parliament is battening down the hatches to keep any specific criminal actions of government officials from being identified. That is a lot of hatches. No questions permitted. American torture in Yemen is not their concern, however, so some of that is revealed.
The CIA, MI6 and the myriad of "special forces" under this or that name continue to use these illegal practices.
The United Arab Emirates were just found to torture random Yemenis in its prisons in south Yemen. U.S. special forces and CIA interrogators are present:
Hundreds of men swept up in the hunt for al-Qaida militants have disappeared into a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen where abuse is routine and torture extreme — including the “grill,” in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire, an Associated Press investigation has found.
Several U.S. defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the topic, told AP that American forces do participate in interrogations of detainee.
Prisoners get isolated, threatened with dogs, waterboarded and more:
They raped detainees while other guards filmed the assaults. They electrocuted prisoners' genitals or hung rocks from their testicles. They sexually violated others with wooden and steel poles.
"They strip you naked, then tie your hands to a steel pole from the right and the left so you are spread open in front of them. Then the sodomizing starts," said one father of four.
The U.S. defense establishment claims that none of its soldiers are "present" when actual torture happens. It also put bridges on sale. The CIA declined to comment to AP.
​"Walk or Die", Algeria Strands 13,000 migrants in the Sahara in 118 degree heat. Many "disappear in the sand." 
This is part of the solution the EU is working out. Thanks Eleni.

More details of the complex political solution being worked out for immigration from military and economic war zones...
The crew of a Spanish rescue ship have said that Italian officials told them to let the Libyan coastguard respond to a distress call from a smuggling boat carrying migrants – only to hear shortly afterward that 100 migrants were missing and feared dead in the same area.

Israel Shamir: thanks Eleni...
When I see a crying child on my screen, I know somebody is trying to take advantage of me. The same is true about every appeal to my basic human instincts, whether it is a naked female body or a dead baby. Instead of convincing me, such a cheap trick calls for immediate rejection...  Picture pushers are dishonest and they do not care a fig about kids: Madeleine Albright famously thought it is worth while to kill half a million of Iraqi children. Hillary Clinton unleashed hell on Libyan and Syrian soil, killing and dispossessing hundreds of thousands of children. All the US Presidents have been hugging and kissing Israeli rulers, who habitually detain, torture and kill Palestinian kids... 
Diana Johnstone wrote recently that the immigration issue splits the German left. Indeed support for free immigration is suicide for the Left. But this issue does split the whole Western world. On one side, believers in the world without borders, in the free movement of people. It sounds great, until you understand that this is a way to destroy the native working class, abolish the welfare state, ruin social structures and at the same time undermine donor countries, in short, to destroy the world as we know it. On the other side, people who want to preserve the world they live in work to keep the walls up.
What we need is some sincerity and honesty, as opposed to manipulation. If you think mass immigration will return us to new Dark Ages, say so. If you think it would be better to remove borders and to unleash a new Volkswanderung, just say so, but please do not show us baby pictures.
The man captured in a video with a whip in the hands, the leader of the brutal gang of slavers is a former rebel against the ‘bloody dictator’ Muammar al-Gaddafi, a friend of democracy and European values, Abd al-Rahman al-Milad, a commander in the Coast Guard. The boats, in which he sends Africans to Europe, are bought with European money... The European NGO’s pick up rubber boats with migrants sent by Milad, take the migrants on board and deliver them to Europe, making a very decent profit. These “rescuers” directly cooperate with Milad and other slavers, they receive exact instructions from the “senders” where to pick up the boats, and they take a considerable share of the profit. They earn grants and donations of the compassionate Europeans, who do not understand that they are being manipulated by slavers.

​What if you were warned, just in time, that you were about to be "regime-changed" by the Empire? Erdogan survived the coup attempt in Turkey, thanks to Putin. Lukashenko in Belarus just had a few days of intense and private talks with Putin, states that he doesn't like the looks of the color revolution the Empire did in Ukraine, and that Belarus "might have to join another country". Hopefully it would be a country that shares a common language and culture, and so on...
Thanks for the heads-up, Eleni.

The border between Ireland and Northern Ireland may sink the EU
​, as Brexit creates a hole below waterline, which cannot be sealed off.​

At face value, it seems straightforward -- the EU’s land frontier with Britain would need to be policed to uphold the rules of the single market. Yet, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar seems to take a different view. Speaking in Brussels on Thursday, he told reporters there are no preparations to install checks, and has consistently said Ireland won’t build a border.
“The U.K. has said they won’t do it,” Varadkar said in an interview with broadcaster TV3 this month. “And I’ve made it very clear to other European prime ministers and presidents that’s something Ireland will never do.”

​Oil runs the global economy, and higher oil prices choke it into recession. It can't afford recession. The buffers are all used up...
​The bottom line is that despite the agreement in Vienna, the price of oil, in the short-term, is bound to go up. Analyses by BNP Paribas, among others, are adamant that supply problems with Venezuela and Libya, plus the proverbial “uncertainty” about the sanctions on Iran, lead to “oil fundamentals still…favorable for oil prices to rise over the next six months despite the OPEC+ decision.”

Paul Craig Roberts looks at the upcoming Putin-Trump Summit. What kinds of ongoing deals can be made  that will simultaneously benefit each side in their continuation. The US is "agreement-challenged", because it won't keep it's side of the bargain, once it gets some pay-off. the world knows this. The sides of the deal will need to stay parallel in real time for it to work.

​Tom Luongo thinks Trump is giving away what he can't stop, anyway, going into the summit with Putin.
With Sweden issuing the last necessary permit for the construction of Nordstream 2 there is little way to stop the pipeline from being built.  Most of the pipe has been produced along with the infrastructure.  All that’s left is the actual putting the pieces together.
​ ​
I think this is another pre-summit diplomatic offering by Trump ahead of his meeting with Putin.  The other was cutting the Al-Qaeda-linked groups free in Dara’a while the Russians and Syrian Arab Army retake the territory up to the Golan Heights... So, at the end of the day the First Rule of Trump applies, react to what he does not what he says.  Speech is a negotiating tactic for him.  And right now, he has not moved further on sanctions to stop Nordstream 2. With his long-desired summit with Putin now on the table it makes zero sense to throw down the gauntlet over it now.

​It is really not humanly possible to comprehend anything like the $21 trillion that the military has spent on an alternate universe that you can't be told about.
The picture below is $20 trillion, if each of those greenbacks is a $20 bill. Where is the CIA-Disneyworld? What are the attractions and rides?

We are just now hitting the arctic tipping point where the ice melts, the brown soil absorbs warm sunlight and massive waves of methane are released into our vast greenhouse. The buffer is exhausting as you read this. This is the last of the normal weather,
"Temperature rise has exceeded 1.2 degrees Celsius above 1880 temperatures...
Apart from sharp reduction in carbon emissions, there appears to be only one chance to save the biosphere as we know it, namely CO2 down-draw using every available method (cf. basalt rock dust farming[xxx], biochar, air streaming through basalt, extensive sea weed farms, “sodium trees”) which would require funds on the $trillions-scale currently allocated for the military and for wars."

Our Natural World is Disappearing before Our Eyes, George Monbiot

Hiding and Seeking

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Pat Tillman Lives

Living Archetypes,

Spenser Rapone, "The Commie Cadet", who graduated West Point with a history degree, including studies in economics, after being an Army Ranger in Afghanistan, is somehow alive, somehow able to tell us what he saw in these travels. He accepted an Army commission and was fairly quickly discharged other than honorably. Chris Hedges ha this story after interviewing our hero.
“When you get to RASP [the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program], you’re told you not only have to understand Ranger culture and history, you have to adopt what’s called an airborne Ranger in the sky,” he said. “They make you go online and look at Rangers who were killed in action. You have to learn about this person and print out a copy of their obituary. It’s really unsettling, the whole process. This was a class leader acting on behalf of the cadre, he said something to the effect of ‘I’ll give you a hint, don’t pick Pat Tillman.’ ”   Rapone began to read about Pat Tillman, the professional football player who joined the Rangers and was killed in 2004 in Afghanistan by friendly fire, a fact that senior military officials, including Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who at the time was the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, covered up and replaced with a fictitious Hollywood version of death in combat with the enemy. Rapone watched the 2010 documentary “The Tillman Story” and would later read the 2006 Truthdig essay “After Pat’s Birthday,” written by Pat’s brother Kevin, who was in the Rangers with Pat. Pat Tillman, who had been in contact with Noam Chomsky, had become a critic of the war. In addition to lying to the Tillman family about Pat’s death, the Army did not return, and probably destroyed, Pat’s papers and diary.

Ralph Nader still lives, too.
"Would be nice if Laura Bush and Michelle Obama had expressed similar heartfelt concern for the tens of thousands of children killed or seriously maimed by the wars of their husbands in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere," he tweeted.
Eleni sends this, and I can see that this is actually what occurs in institutional invluntary psychiatric commitments in the US. I can testify that these procedures are routinely used. The courts watch for lots of little points, like hourly notes, constant visual monitoring, and so on, but the courts may not watch the illegal kids...   Court documents made public in Virginia and Texas give a glimpse of the systematic brutality being meted out to immigrant children in both public and private jails. Children are strapped down, hooded and beaten, or drugged by force, as part of the everyday procedure in what can only be called the American Gulag.

Mish Shedlock lays out the 5 points that make the EU immigration crisis politically insoluble in the current context.

Putin and Lavrov have something that Bolton wants, but what?

Trump-Putin summit will be July 16 in Helsinki, Finland. Deals will be made.

It looks like Americans will vote on issues, if given a chance...
Establishment Democrat Joe Crowley's nearly two-decade career in Congress came to an end Tuesday night in a shocking primary loss to 28-year-old Democratic Socialist and former Bernie Sanders organizer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - a harsh critic of Israel and immigration enforcement. 

Here is a review of a historical assessment, or two, of the history of fossil energy to expand human population, and the tchnological adaptations that it subsidized and enegized, and what is next as oil, gas and coal peter out...
If, following Rhodes’ thinking, we give science the whole credit for making a population explosion possible, we should also credit science with blowing through millions of years of accumulated energy resources in just a few hundred years. We should give science credit for the fact that billions of people live in areas already being severely impacted by climate change caused by fossil fuel emissions (even though those people typically have used minimal quantities of fossil fuel themselves.) And we should ask, why can’t science come up with a cost- and time-effective way of replacing all those fossil fuels, so that all 7 billion of us plus our more numerous descendants can keep on living the high-energy lifestyle to which (some of) us are accustomed?

​A Medical Case for a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet, Ankush Bansal MD

Eating Solar Energy