Sunday, September 23, 2018

Rotten Fake News

Patching Reality Leaks,

Moon of Alabama: In consequence of the alleged manipulation of new and opinions during the 2016 election, Congress threatened to regulate social media. It demanded testimony by the owners of social media companies - Facebook, Twitter and Google - about their plans to weed out so called "fake news" distributed through their systems. Instead of defending the freedom of individuals and organizations to publish opinions deviating from the mainstream, the companies promised to increase their censorship capabilities. To avoid to make judgments themselves, they decided to outsource these to 'independent' fact checking organizations. Anything those deem "fake news" will then be censored.
Facebook Inc just gave such powers to two well known U.S. government regime change operators. These will now have the capabilities to censor content in foreign countries:
Facebook Inc on Wednesday said it would team with two U.S. non-profits to slow the global spread of misinformation that could influence elections,
...The largest social network, under intense pressure to combat propaganda, said it would work abroad with the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute, created in the 1980s and funded by the U.S. government to promote democratic processes.
The IRI and the NDI are sub-organizations of the infamous National Endowment for Democracy. They "promote democratic processes" to achieve regime change of governments the U.S. dislikes. The NED is an offshoot of the CIA:

PayPal bans Alex Jones, a financial blockade to choke of his still-somewhat-independent voice. He's not pro-empire, and hammered away at 9/11 lies by the Bush-II regime.
Will the PayPal ban hurt InfoWars? According to WaPo, "last month, roughly 1.15 million visitors logged onto Jones’s online storefront,, Jonathan Albright, the Tow Center’s research director, told The Post’s Craig Timberg in a recent interview. Of those, more than 60 percent went to PayPal after visiting his digital shop, implying that Jones is effective at converting visitors into paying customers."

NEVER admitting lies and criminal actions is the MOST IMPORTANT thing for NATIONAL SECURITY!
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said in a Thursday interview that the information contained in the Russia documents withheld by the Department of Justice (DOJ) pose no risk to national security, and would be embarrassing to former CIA Director John Brennan, the DOJ and the FBI. "I’ve read it. Some of it’s embarrassing for the Department of Justice — some of it’s embarrassing for the FBI. Embarrassment is not a reason to classify something," said Gowdy. "A lot of it should be embarrassing to John Brennan, and maybe therein lies why he is so adamant that this information not be released."
Journalist Sara Carter told Sean Hannity during his Wednesday radio show that the FBI has two sets of records in the Russia investigation, and that "certain people above Peter Strzok and above Lisa Page" were aware of it - implicating former FBI Director James Comey and his #2, Andrew McCabe.

In a shocking report citing a bevy of anonymous DOJ officials, the NYT recounted on Friday an aborted mutiny attempt organized by Rosenstein, who allegedly tried to organize members of Trump's cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment to oust Trump from office. In an attempt to persuade the clearly reluctant members of Trump's cabinet, Rosenstein suggested that he or other officials should secretly tape Trump "to expose the chaos" he said was engulfing the West Wing.

​Jim Kunstler, "Ding Dong":
​ On the other flank of the news this week is the much more perilous showdown between the Department of Justice (and the FBI), and Mr. Trump, the cis-hetero-white Golem who happens to be president. He has ordered these agencies to produce a set of un-redacted documents pertaining to the long-running Russia investigation, set into motion by personnel at these very places. It’s his prerogative under the constitution to do that. In turn, these agencies are being egged on by possibly culpable characters in this melodrama, such as former CIA Director John Brennan and Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Cal), to stonewall the Golem. If I were president — and I may get there yet — I’d send federal marshals into Rod Rosenstein’s office to seize these documents before they are mysteriously “lost.” A tremendous tension hangs over this transaction. Imagine the awful possibility that Mr. Trump may have to declare some kind of martial law to roust out these seditious rascals and clean up their departments. There’s your Fourth Turning horror show with whipped cream and a cherry on top.

The negotiations with Pyongyang (on behalf of the Trump administration) are led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who is accused by the DPRK of carrying out “gangster like tactics”.
The Trump administration has no intention of reaching a peace agreement which would annul the Armistice Agreement of 1953. Under this agreement the US and the DPRK are still at war.
It is therefore essential for the DPRK and ROK within the framework of the inter-Korean dialogue to reach a bilateral agreement which would render the 1953 armistice (US, DPRK, China) null and void.
How to achieve this objective?
A workable ROK-DPRK Peace Agreement requires the prior annulment of OPCON (Operational Control) and the Repeal of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command (CFC) which puts all ROK military forces “in times of war” under the command of a U.S. General appointed by the Pentagon. This procedure is a preamble to the de facto repeal of the 1953 armistice.
In 2014, the government of  (impeached) President Park Geun-hye was pressured by Washington to extend the OPCON (Operational Control) agreement “until the mid-2020s”. As a result of a decision by an impeached president who violated her oath of office, all ROK forces were to remain under the command of a US General rather than under that of the command of the ROK President and Commander in Chief. At present the US has more than 600,000 active South Korean Forces under its command. (i.e. the Commander of United States Forces Korea, (USFK) is also Commander of the ROK-U.S. CFC).​..
​ We are dealing with a diabolical military agenda formulated in Washington: The US seeks under the Combined Forces Command to mobilize the forces of South Korea against the Korean Nation. If a war were to be carried out by the US, all ROK forces under US command would be used against the Korean people. The annulment of the CDC is therefore crucial. A prerequisite to the implementation of the April 27 agreement is that the ROK government of president Moon Jae-in have full jurisdiction over its armed forces.

The ultimate goal, says Bannon - is not just to force China to give up its "unfair trade practices," but to "re-industrialize America" since manufacturing used to be the core of the nation's power. Bannon also criticized the "Made in China 2025" plan for Beijing to catch up with the West in 10 key tech sectors - saying that Chinese firms were relying in generous government support to reduce future technological reliance on the West.
Bannon, who claimed to have helped Trump draw up the trade war plan, said that in the past, tariffs had been limited to imports of between roughly US$10 billion and US$30 billion but the sheer magnitude of the more than US$500 billion in question this time had “caught Beijing off guard”.
“It’s not just any tariff. It’s tariffs on a scale and depth that is previously inconceivable in US history,” Bannon said.
He said Beijing had relied on “round after round of talks” to take the momentum out of the US punitive measures, but the delaying tactics would not work.
“They always want to have a strategic dialogue to tap things along. They never envisioned that somebody would actually do this.”​...
"The elites and the media are trying to convince you that this inexpiable leaving of the factories and jobs is but a law of physics. The opposite is actually true – it is the human action which did it. It can be reversed and it will be reversed," he said, adding "[The] tariff is about human dignity and human pride ... Not everyone wants to work for an insurance company."

TEL AVIV – A new report from the Emirati news website Al-Khaleej Online has revealed that many of the mercenaries leading the assault against the Yemeni port city of Hodeida were trained in Israel by Israeli soldiers, shedding light on Israel’s covert role in the war in Yemen.
According to U.S. officials close to the House Intelligence Committee with knowledge of the operation, hundreds of mercenaries from various nationalities that fight on behalf of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Yemen had recently received “instance combat training” at training camps in the Negev desert that were created through a secret agreement was reached between the UAE and Israel. Mercenaries at the camp were trained under the “personal supervision” of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).​... ​While Israeli involvement in the war in Yemen has thus far been covert, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated last month that he would consider sending Israeli troops to Yemen to fight on behalf of the Saudi-led coalition if the Yemeni resistance gained control over the strategic Bab al-Mandab strait, which serves as a chokepoint on Saudi oil exports and other important Red Sea commerce.

According to the Center for Public Safety, two security experts from the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory drove to San Antonio, Texas, in March 2017 with a sensitive mission: to retrieve dangerous nuclear materials from a nonprofit research lab there and transport them safely back to their state without allowing the materials to fall into the wrong hands. The materials — plutonium and cesium — as well as equipment were stolen on that trip and have never been found. They were simply left unattended in a car! The incident was concealed from the public, but the information was obtained by the Center for Public Safety under the Freedom of Information Act. That source reports that this was just a part of a much larger quantity of plutonium that over the years has gone quietly missing from stockpiles owned by the US military.​ (Weapons and weapons grade plutonium and uranium have been diverted to Israel repeatedly since LBJ jump-started the process, the opposite of JFK's drive to undo Israeli nuclear weapons development.)

A little-known unit in the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is conducting a covert surveillance, espionage and blackmail campaign against American citizens on a large scale.  Not since the arrest of Jonathan Jay Pollard and the 1992 expose of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith's espionage against civil rights activists has the Israeli government been so actively involved in clandestine influence and espionage against American targets...
The existence and mission of the Ministry first came to prominence in a four-part documentary produced by Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based international news organization.  In 2016, Al Jazeera successfully infiltrated the American Zionist apparatus via James Anthony Kleinfeld, a British Jew who graduated from Oxford, spoke six languages and was well-versed in Middle East affairs.  Kleinfeld infiltrated The Israel Project and other pro-Israel US organizations to such an extent that the leadership welcomed him with open arms and let down their guard about their collusion with the Israeli government, in targeting pro-Palestine organizations and other Israel critics.Armed with a hidden video recorder, Kleinfeld obtained large amounts of material on the inner workings of TIP, AIPAC, the Israeli-American Council, the Maccabee Task Force and the Zionist Organization of America.  He got "straight from the horse's mouth" that the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies is a spy agency working as an unregistered agent of the Israeli government.  One TIP official confided to Kleinfeld that they had to be very careful, because they were "a different government working on foreign soil."
Earlier this year, Al Jazeera was scheduled to air four 50-minute documentary segments on Kleinfeld's findings.  But, Al Jazeera was required to first inform the organizations that were to be featured in the documentary about the pending airing of the series.  At that point, the full weight of the US Zionist apparatus along with the Israeli government came down on the Qatar government to press for censorship of the documentary.  Suddenly, the US Zionist lobby, which had allied with Saudi Arabia and the UAE in denouncing Qatar as a terrorist state, backing Hamas and other jihadist organizations, reversed positions and gave their support to Qatar.  The documentary has never aired.

​Censored documentary link and more about Israeli Facebook fake-news-to-influence-elections is here, thanks to Electronic Intifada.
And a posting in October 2016, soon after the Cup of Jane page was launched, attempted to portray Israeli militarism as cute and empowering for women.
“The Israeli Airforce has painted fighters pink in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. How cool is that?” the post states, accompanied by a photo of an Israeli fighter jet. “This is fierce. Women, by the way, need an air force all their own,” Cup of Jane adds, along with a smiley face.
​Tom sends this chilling article on the US bioweapons (super-disease) program in Georgia. Diplomatic "pouches" carry blood and infected blood around without searches. Some Filipino guys get sick and die, and covered up.​ 
According to these documents, Pentagon scientists have been deployed to the Republic of Georgia and have been given diplomatic immunity to research deadly diseases and biting insects at the Lugar Center – the Pentagon biolaboratory in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi.
This military facility is just one of the many Pentagon biolaboratories in 25 countries across the world. They are funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) under a $ 2.1 billion military program – Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP), and are located in former Soviet Union countries such as Georgia and Ukraine, the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa​...
. “There is a smoke – black, red, green at night or especially early in the morning at around 3, 4 a.m. Even the hens have died. They put a big pipe underground and connected it to the drains. This smell comes from there. It smells like rotten eggs and decaying hay. The smell is so bad and is spread in different directions by the wind”, says Eteri Gogitidze who lives in a block of flats next to the laboratory.

​Examining the difference between guided-self-organizing-systems and master-planned grand-schemes lies in the integration of information into the process of creation at the local level, either doing or not doing stupid little things every step of the way.​ Intelligent/adaptive action at all levels works! 
The significance of generated structure lies in the concept of mistakes. Fabricated plans always have many mistakes — not just a few mistakes but tens of thousands, even millions of mistakes. It is the mistake-ridden character of the plans which marks them as fabricated — and that comes from the way they are actually generated, or made, in time. Generated plans have few mistakes
If an [human] embryo were built from a blueprint of a design, not generated by an adaptive process, there would inevitably be one thousand trillion mistakes. Because of its history as a generated structure, there are virtually none.

​Acting Locally​

Saturday, September 22, 2018



"Leaders of the South and the North have in fact announced the end of the war on the Korean Peninsula by their agreements," the spokesperson said.Also, the agreement in military sphere was signed by South Korean Defense Minister, Song Young-moo, and North Korean Defense Minister of People's Armed Forces, No Kwang Chol in the presence of the two states' leaders.
According to the joint statement by the leaders, North Korea decided to fully dismantle its rocket testing field in Tonchkhan-ni and will let international observers visit the field.
The statement also said that North Korea was going to dismantle its nuclear reactor in Yonbyon within the framework of agreements with the United States.

​North Korea, bombed to rubble by the US, has struggled to gain a nuclear deterrent to reduce the risk of the US doing that next week, or in the spring, or whatever. North Korea will negotiate with the US to remove the nuclear reprisal threat, as the US removes the threat of sudden attack on North Korea. That will take more than "maximum pressure". That will take cooperation, signing a peace treaty, and removal of American military from Korea. Fair and reasonable...​

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea’s Kim Jong Un wants a second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump soon to hasten denuclearization, but a key goal is declaring an end this year to the 1950-53 Korean War, the South’s President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday.

I​t is now up to the US to back down the threats and sanctions, and start negotiating the end of America's wartime status in Korea. Finian Cunningham
This is not going to be a unilateral process in which the North gives up its nuclear arsenal without something major in return from Washington. Kim did not specify what US reciprocation would entail. But it is believed to involve security guarantees from the US in the form of a peace treaty to finally end the Korean War.
North Korea would also want a permanent end to the annual US military maneuvers with its South Korean ally, which Pyongyang has always viewed as a provocation to its security. Additionally, if the two Koreas normalize ties and begin a reunification process, then American forces – currently numbering some 28,000 troops – would be obliged to withdraw from South Korean territory.

Let me know how this works out, please. China can't accept this national insult.
It has been barely two weeks since China joined Russia in the "Vostok" war games, the largest display of Eurasian military might since 1981 when the Soviet Union was still a global superpower, and already the US has found an opening to try and drive a wedge between China and Russia, or at least express its displeasure with their increasingly close relationship.
Amid a simmering trade dispute between the US and China, the US has imposed sanctions on a branch of the Chinese military in retaliation for China's recent purchase of Russian combat aircraft and anti-air surface to air missiles.
The sanctions are more of a nuisance than anything else, blocking China's Equipment Development Department from participating in the dollar-based financial system and from doing business with US businesses, while also blocking the agency and its head, Li Shangfu, from applying for US export licenses.

Beijing has threatened that Washington will face “consequences” if it doesn’t withdraw the recent batch of sanctions against China over military cooperation with Russia.
China’s Foreign Ministry did not mince words, saying Washington should immediately correct its “mistakes” before it’s too late or face the consequences for the decision.
“We strongly call on the US to remedy the mistake and cancel the sanctions. Otherwise, the US has to bear the consequences,” spokesperson Geng Shuang said as cited by Chinese media.

​China cancels trade talks at last minute:​
Chinese officials have said such pressure tactics wouldn’t induce them to cooperate.
By declining to participate in the talks, the people said, Beijing is following up on its pledge to avoid negotiating under threat.
“Everything the U.S. does hasn’t given any impression of sincerity and goodwill,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a press briefing Friday.
“We hope that the U.S. side will take measures to correct its mistakes.”

Professor Michael Hudson:
Today’s financial malaise for pension funds, state and local budgets and underemployment is largely a result of the 2008 bailout, not the crash. What was saved was not only the banks – or more to the point, as Sheila Bair pointed out, their bondholders – but the financial overhead that continues to burden today’s economy.​..​
Trying to save the financial overgrowth of debt service by borrowing one’s way out of debt, or by monetary Quantitative Easing re-inflating real estate, stock and bond prices, enables the creditor One Percent to gain, not the indebted 99 Percent in the economy at large. Therefore, from the economy’s vantage point, instead of asking how the banks are to be saved “next time,” the question should be, how should we best let them go under – along with their stockholders, bondholders and uninsured depositors whose hubris imagined that their loans (other peoples’ debts) could go on rising without impoverishing society​...
An over-indebted economy cannot be saved unless the banks fail. That means writing down the financial claims by the One to Ten Percent – in other words, the net debts owed by the 99 to 90 Percent. Wiping out bad debts involves writing down the “bad savings” that are the counterpart to these debts on the asset side of the balance sheet. Otherwise the economy will suffer debt deflation and austerity.​..
Quantitative Easing saved creditors and the largest stockholders and bondholders by lowering the interest rates by enough to make it profitable for new loans to inflate asset prices on credit. This revived the value of collateral backing bank loans and bondholdings. “Saving” the economy in this way actually sacrificed it. That is why our “recovery” is only “on paper,” a result of calculating GDP to include bank earnings and hypothetical homeowner windfalls as rents are soaring.​..
What is celebrated as growth of the GDP since 2008 has been mainly the growth in financial extraction, along with the health-insurance sector profiting from Obamacare.​..
Banks have ceased to be an “engine of growth.” They are not making loans to create new means of production. They are lending to asset strippers, not asset creators.​..​

Charles Hugh Smith presents that data in graphic form We are nearing the edge of a "super-cycle" reset.

What happened to the Journalists? Where did they go? Pulitzer Prize winner, John Pilger (who is getting older...)
The death of Robert Parry earlier this year felt like a farewell to the age of the reporter. Parry was “a trailblazer for independent journalism”, wrote Seymour Hersh, with whom he shared much in common.
Hersh revealed the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the secret bombing of Cambodia, Parry exposed Iran-Contra, a drugs and gun-running conspiracy that led to the White House. In 2016, they separately produced compelling evidence that the Assad government in Syria had not used chemical weapons. They were not forgiven.
Driven from the “mainstream”, Hersh must publish his work outside the United States. Parry set up his own independent news website Consortium News, where, in a final piece following a stroke, he referred to journalism’s veneration of “approved opinions” while “unapproved evidence is brushed aside or disparaged regardless of its quality.”
Although journalism was always a loose extension of establishment power, something has changed in recent years. Dissent tolerated when I joined a national newspaper in Britain in the 1960s has regressed to a metaphoric underground as liberal capitalism moves towards a form of corporate dictatorship. This is a seismic shift, with journalists policing the new “groupthink”, as Parry called it, dispensing its myths and distractions, pursuing its enemies.​..
Journalism students should study this to understand that the source of “fake news” is not only trollism, or the likes of Fox News, or Donald Trump, but a journalism self-anointed with a false respectability: a liberal journalism that claims to challenge corrupt state power but, in reality, courts and protects it, and colludes with it.​..
When he was U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus declared what he called “a war of perception… conducted continuously using the news media.” What really mattered was not the facts but the way the story played in the United States. The undeclared enemy was, as always, an informed and critical public at home.​..
 In the 1970s, I met Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler’s film-maker, whose propaganda mesmerized the German public.
She told me the “messages” of her films were dependent not on “orders from above”, but on the “submissive void” of an uninformed public.
“Did that include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie?” I asked.
“Everyone,” she said. “Propaganda always wins, if you allow it.”

Ilargi, at The Automatic Earth:
And that’s the thing all along, isn’t it? That people, both readers and journalists, all 200 million Americans of them, think they have acquired the right to judge any person, any situation they read a few lines about, just because they have purchased a smartphone. A faulty notion fed on a daily basis by the fact there are millions who think just like them.​..​
Meanwhile, there are two people (there are many more, of course) who were banned from the platforms so many others use to draw baseless conclusions and spout empty accusations. And we miss them both, or we should: Alex Jones and Julian Assange. Have they really used ‘social’ media in worse ways than those 200 million Americans? Or were they banned because millions of Americans were following and reading their non-mainstream views?

Teba Island, "Tebajima", Shikoku Japan, a "Slow Utopia". (no gas station, no under-65s) Thanks Jeanine; not a bad future, for those whose home it is.

Tebajima Guest House: $53/night  :-)

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Keeping Score

Parsing Out Truth,

Quoth Ron Paul:
The US government’s antagonism toward efforts by the Syria government, aided by allied nations, to take back control of Idlib, makes more sense when US foreign policy toward Syria is understood in the context Paul provides in the interview. Paul explains that, while the US has used opposition to al-Qaeda “as the excuse” for US intervention in Syria, he believes instead “we’re there for other reasons.” Those reasons, Paul says, include opposition to Iran and Russia that are supporting Syrian military forces, as well as that “we think al-Quaeda will help our position — the United States position — to get rid of [Syria President Bashar al-Assad].”
Many Americans tolerate the US “trying to maintain a modern-day empire” via interventions including in Syria because they are not well informed about the matter, suggests Paul. To help cure this problem, Paul says he is trying with the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, which he founded after leaving the House of Representatives, “to alert people to the danger that is involved with our foreign policy.”
So what should the US do in Syria? “Leave as soon as possible,” advises Paul.

​Moon of Alabama thinks revenge will be served cold:
A peaceful solution of the Idleb situation is unsatisfying for Israel. The successful Syrian defeat of the Jihadi enemy inside the country would allow Syria and its allies to concentrate their forces against Israel. Israel wants the Syrian government destroyed and the country in chaos.
On Sunday September 16 Israel tried to hit an Iranian Boeing 747 freight plane at Damascus airport. The plane allegedly carried an Iranian copy of the Russian S-300 long range air defense System for the Syrian army.
On Monday around 10:00pm local time 4 F-16 jets of the Israeli airforce, coming from the sea, launched missiles against at least three targets on Syria's coast. The strike came only hours after Israel released satellite images of what it called "strategic targets" in Syria. The integrated Syrian and Russian air-defenses responded.
The Israeli air force had warned the Russian forces in Syria only one minute before the strike. A Russian IL-20 electronic warfare airplane (red line) was preparing to land at the Russian airport near Latakia just as the Israeli attack (blue) happened...
The Russian military spokesman also accused Israel of "hostile action" against Russian forces:
"We see these provocative actions of Israel as hostile," Konashenkov said, adding that 15 Russian servicemen were killed as a result of the "irresponsible actions" of Israel's Defense Forces, which violated "the spirit of the Israeli-Russian partnership."
According to the spokesman, the Russian Defense Ministry reserves the right to an "adequate response" following the Israeli attack.
Israel (and France?) are deliberately provoking the Syrian and Russian forces. It hopes for a response that allows it to play the victim and to call on U.S. President Trump for help and protection. The help would come in the form of a U.S., British and French attack on the Syrian government and Syrian military targets.
Russia will certainly take revenge for the Israeli provocation, but will likely do so in the political arena. On Netanyahoo's personal request Russia had stopped the delivery of original Russian S-300 long range air-defense missiles to the Syrian military. These would have been less likely to veer off towards the wrong target. In consequence an Iranian 747 was damaged and 15 Russian soldiers were killed. Netanyahoo can forget about any further such 'favors' from Moscow.

More useful perspective on thwarted western military objectives in Syria.
If there was any doubt that some factions in the West were unhappy with the agreement between Turkey and Russia, it was enough to wait a few hours after Putin and Erdogan met to see the West’s reckless war machine in action. Four Israeli F-16 jets and a French frigate (possibly also a US presence) launched a missile attack on Syria. This time, unlike previous times, there was no justifying reason offered, such as an alleged use of chemical weapons. They were in reality protesting implicitly against the agreement just reached between Turkey and Russia that should guarantee Assad control over the whole territory of Syria, something unacceptable to all of Syria’s enemies.
It is also possible that under the direction of the US, France and Israel hoped that by attacking a Russian aircraft, a disjointed reaction from Moscow would have been provoked, escalating the conflict and providing the US and her allies the opportunity to enter the Syrian conflict directly. The downing of the Russian II-20 would therefore have been a planned provocation. Fortunately for the rest of the world, Moscow maintained a calm attitude at that moment, and together with Syrian systems, virtually knocked down or diverted all the missiles fired. Israel used the larger radar cross-section of the Russian Il-20 to screen its F16s, thus deceiving the Syrian S-200 defense systems and causing the downing. As TASS reported, Israel did not respect the agreements reached with Moscow regarding the rules of engagement.

​American shrapnel kills and disfigures Yemeni children.

Eleni, currently with family on the Island of Lesvos, sends these two articles, about the horrific conditions humans are subjected to in the squalid pressure-cooker concentration camps (Lesvos in this article), and an NGO that charged every smuggled refugee 2000 Euros for the thrip, then charged the Greek government 5000 Euros a year to help settle them in to Greece.

Also from Eleni, "Disobedient Hungary" by (venerable) Diana Johnstone:
Like the Soviet Union, the European Union is not merely an undemocratic institutional framework promoting a specific economic system; it is also the vehicle of an ideology and a planetary project. Both are based on a dogma as to what is good for the world: communism for the first, “openness” for the second. Both in varying ways demand of people virtues they may not share: a forced equality, a forced generosity. All this can sound good, but such ideals become methods of manipulation. Forcing ideals on people eventually runs up against stubborn resistance.

​The Office of the Inspector General has been doing some government audits this year, about which we have heard silence. Even some gold got audited. Thanks Eleni.

Following the Money

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

War Weary


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

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

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

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

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

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

​40 members of Congress have sent a letter to President Trump pointing out that Congress declares war and he should seek congressional approval before carrying out any act of war upon Syria (It's late for that, but good-show, mates!)​

​The BUK missile that is reported to have shot down Flight MH-17 over Ukraine had enough of nose and tail section parts pieced back together to get it's serial number. It was made in 1986. Shipped by rail to Ukraine in 1986, and never left Ukrainian possession.​

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

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

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

Monday, September 17, 2018

Breaking Up

Dance Partners,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Touche' Tulsi

Front and Center,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

​Passing Kidney Stone​

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Narrative Control Problems


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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