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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Changes Underway

Surviving Together,

US-made "crisis" in Venezuela seems to be coming up short at street level. Meat is short, but there are beans, rice and vegetables.
CG: During blackouts, people told stories, played music, or went out and talked on the streets. It was a paradise, no TVs, smartphones, but real human contact. People cook together. During the day they’re playing board games, dominoes, and kids are having fun. People with kids are possibly more stressed, especially if you live in a tower block, as if you’ve no electricity, you’ve no water. That is why the US hit the electricity grid as it means no water in Caracas – a city of 10 million people. Luckily there are wells with clean water around the city, so people queue up to get it.
PC: So there was a real discrepancy between the image you were given of Venezuela and the reality?
AG: Sure, there are queues for oil, but people are not dying of starvation and, as I said, poverty is no where near what it is like in Brazil. I wouldn’t say a harsh dictatorship, people were open, and criticized the government, and the US, but also Chavez and Maduro. The Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV) have admitted they had made bad economic decisions. I thought it would be more repressive, and it wasn’t. People were not fearful about speaking out. I think Venezuelans blame the Americans for the situation more than Maduro.

​I wonder what will come of this meeting. Trump should be able to quell any dissent, but won't get army boots in Venezuela from these guys.​
"President Donald J. Trump will welcome the leaders of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, the Republic of Haiti, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia on Friday, March 22, 2019, for a meeting at Mar-a-Lago," Sanders said on Tuesday. "The President looks forward to working with countries in the region to strengthen our security cooperation and counter China’s predatory economic practices. The President will use this meeting as an opportunity to thank these countries for their support for peace and democracy in Venezuela."  

​Analysis here favors Hard-Brexit, though others say Theresa May needs to revoke Article 50​ and stay in the EU. City of London bankers would not get hit hard in this analysis.
In conclusion the effect of a "hard Brexit" on Britain itself should be overwhelmingly positive, especially if Britain does in fact remove all tariffs and conclude free trade pacts with the rest of the world fairly quickly. Naturally my advice to Britain is to unilaterally remove all tariffs on all goods, including "sensitive industries." Free trade deals then become irrelevant. Britain could lead the way in showing the world the benefits of unilateral free trade, just as it did in the nineteenth century with the abolition of the Corn Laws. Perhaps this outcome is what the EU fears the most, because it would call into question the benefit of belonging to a closed customs union and would spell the end of the EU itself.  

​Charles Hugh Smith looks at what characteristics will help some societies and countries survive the global economic reset. Groups may get redefined smaller.​
 By the time the populace awakens to the precariousness of the entire status quo, it will be too late to effect meaningful change via removing the parasitic elites from power. Just as Rome was too hollowed out to survive by the end, the status quo structures will be too enfeebled to adapt quickly enough to survive.
 Centralization of wealth, power and control has been the "solution" for hundreds or even thousands of years. We're approaching Peak Centralization and the systemic failure of centralization as the "solution" to anything.
 The only sustainable solution going forward is radical decentralization of capital, political power and control of resources. The parasitic elites rule solely because wealth and power are so highly concentrated in the hands of the few. As the financial and political systems unravel and fail, solutions that are completely outside these centralized hierarchies will arise--if the populace is free to embrace them.
 Solutions will obsolete the existing centralized financial and political structures. Reforms will all fail, as the parasitic elites will never relinquish their control or power. The "solution" will be the total collapse of the centralized financial and political structures and the parasitic elites that control them.
 Adaptability and flexibility will be the core survival traits going forward. The only structures adaptable and flexible enough to respond quickly and effectively enough to survive are decentralized networks-- non-hierarchical, distributed rather than centralized, self-organizing rather than top-down.

In the first significant check on the Trump administration’s “energy-first” agenda, a US judge has temporarily halted hundreds of drilling projects for failing to take climate change into account.
Drilling had been stalled on more than 300,000 acres of public land in Wyoming after it was ruled the Trump administration violated environmental laws by failing to consider greenhouse gas emissions. The federal judge has ordered the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which manages US public lands and issues leases to the energy industry, to redo its analysis.  

​OK, why does North America keep being cooler than the rest of the planet, compared to historical averages? Could it be those chemtrails in our skies?

​I'm not sure why we have not seen more about this story.
A lot of us have been watching Mt. Popocatepetl for a very long time.  Could it be possible that we are now on the verge of the most destructive volcanic eruption in the modern history of North America?  On Monday night at precisely 9:38 PM, a massive explosion at Mt. Popocatepetl sent a column of volcanic ash nearly a mile into the sky.  A “yellow alert warning” has been issued by the authorities, and they are ordering everyone to stay at least 12 kilometers away from the crater.  They are stressing that the threat has not passed, and as you will see below, an evacuation plan is in place in case an even larger eruption follows.  And if a much larger eruption does follow, the devastation could be off the charts.  Mexico City is only 43 miles away from Mt. Popocatepetl, and approximately 25 million people live within a 60 mile radius of the crater.

​Rigging the trial into 2 parts was supposed to protect Monsanto. Oops, too much damning evidence. The floodgates will open. 
All the dirty dealings will come out in phase 2 , then comes the awarding of damages. 
What I read lately is that glyphosate in RoundUp is actually an antibiotic that also has herbicidal features. It is sterilizing the soils.​
In the first phase of Edward Hardeman v. Monsanto Company, the jury sided with arguments and scientific evidence presented by the attorneys for Edward Hardeman that glyphosate was the cause of his non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
“Today’s verdict reinforces what another jury found last year, and what scientists with the state of California and the World Health Organization have concluded: Glyphosate causes cancer in people,” said Cook. “As similar lawsuits mount, the evidence will grow that Roundup is not safe, and that the company has tried to cover it up.”
Bayer AG bought Monsanto last year for $63 billion and is now liable for claims against it. Bayer faces more than 11,000 U.S. lawsuits alleging that glyphosate causes cancer.
Now the case before the federal district court in San Francisco will enter the second phase of the trial. Hardeman’s lawyers will present evidence to the jury, including internal Monsanto documents, that could show the company knew the dangers of Roundup and glyphosate and attempted to cover them up.

​Lonely people die 15 years younger. Our societal business model makes us sick and sells us solutions that don't work.
Thanks to remarkable new technologies and the widespread use of social media, we are more “connected” than ever before. Yet as a nation, we are also more lonely. In fact, a recent study found that a staggering 47 percent of Americans often feel alone, left out and lacking meaningful connection with others. This is true for all ages, from teenagers to older adults.
The number of people who perceive themselves to be alone, isolated or distant from others has reached epidemic levels both in the United States and in other parts of the world.

​Your Friend​

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

No New Deal

Principled Citizens,

We are at another cusp in history where the economic arrangement is on it's last legs, failing around the edges and in pockets, without any reliability going forward. 
This now applies to a truly global economy, mostly controlled by global capitalists, through global multinational corporations, and political "contributions" and the deep state..
Human perceptions have not kept up with that business model. We are social animals, who work in groups of a size where we can know all of the other members, and not just by name, but from experience.
We have limits to what and who we can know, and limits to how clearly we can think about our world, and limits to how clearly we can consider future scenarios.
The ruling elites who own us have about the same human limits, but very different power at their disposal. 
Their interests are at odds with our interests. Their role is to manipulate us to serve their interests.
The first prerogative of the power elites is to own what people need to live. They ration food, water and fuel.
We can see the utility in that, but their ownership is presented as an absolute, not a social utility.
In order to maintain ownership and rationing of wealth, the owners need to have a monopoly, or near monopoly on the use of violence. 
They need to kill threats to their authority sometimes.
Periodically the end of a financial/economic regime leads to the necessity of a reset, the development of a new form of economy, which efficiently suits the current needs of people and availability of resources, and has what looks like a few generations of stability, going forward.
This change of financial/economic regime is really hard, because it only happens when there is not enough to go around, and making the adjustments means dismantling parts of the process of provision of food, water and fuel, so there is even less.
Members of a society, or a nation have agreed rights to their life-supporting rations of food, water and fuel. 
The owner-class have the vast rights, which are threatened by the pressing needs of so very many other people who are acutely shorted of what they need to live.
Desperate  people are willing to kill for their basic needs at that point. 
We reach a point where we are ready to mass and mass-murder to be assured of what we need.
This is no secret to the intelligent owners, and the very bright people they hire to think for them and control the rest of us (think Dick Cheney).
Throughout history the owners/rulers have faced the difficult decision of how to maintain their own position, and survive, when the people they own and rule are at the point of desperate need, and ready to murder for what they need.
It has been straightforward. Find somebody who has some food water and fuel, and convince your slaves/people that it is rightfully theirs, and they need to kill the current holders to reclaim their birthright.
Alternatively, the people do the French Revolution on the king and nobles.
That second alternative, revolution against the power elites is gradually gaining favor in France.
The ruling elites tried ignoring the masses, tossing them a little bone, waiting through the winter weather, and have been ramping up the violence against the protesters, while claiming that the protesters are violent, and a threat to society.
They need help to make that case, like the "black bloc" agents provocateur, who come into the peaceful Yellow Vest protests and destroy and burn.
The police then shoot rubber bullets and rubber grenades to maim and blind, at the Yellow Vests, not the black bloc.
The European working class knows this. The more affluent professional class does not know this and does not want to know this.
None of these usual measures seems to be working much these days.
The French can't really go to war with the Germans or Italians. 
They destroyed Libya (oil) and helped with destroying Iraq (oil) and are helping in the faltering destruction of Syria (gas pipeline, oil, location).
Push will come to shove when the global economic can can't be kicked down the road one more time.
People everywhere feel the tension. 
Some people in some places have guns. "Ooops" for owners.
"Controlling the narrative" is critical for the owners going forward, and they do tests of narrative changes, measure the responses on social media, tailor those responses as much as they can, and try again if it doesn't look good enough. They have tried a lot by now.
The needs of the narrative are internally conflicted.
In the status quo, the people need to be divided against each other, so the rulers can feed and mediate the tension and exercise control.
In the US this was South vs North, black vs white, and so on, but it really wore out after WW-2, the last time that the whole country had to be united to fight an external enemy. 
America is pretty big. It's really not natural for us to go fight external enemies and die on foreign shores and stuff.
Really, and demonstrably in America and the world, it is the military which is using up so much of the resources people need to live, and slaughtering millions of brown people in oil places, to gain control of the oil we all need to eat to live.
We do basically eat oil, with our vast mechanized farming system running on diesel, chemical fertilizers, and V-8 powered water pumps draining fossil water reservoirs which are starting to run dry.
The vast mechanized food growing system is not strictly necessary for anybody to survive. It is a military tool of the owner class, along with Reaper drones and F-35s. The purpose of the vast field of cheaply produced corn and wheat is to bankrupt farmers of the vassal countries, so those countries rely upon grain from the United States to feed their people. 
Kissinger, Nixon and Secretary of Agriculture ("get big or get out") Earl Butz came up with that plan. 
It bankrupted most American farmers, but Cargill is doing fine.
The problem that the globalist elite owners face is that their holdings are the only big bunch of fuel, food and water for the desperate people of the world to expropriate. 
Their holdings do not save and rationally distribute the wealth of the world in good times and bad, as did the Great Inca.
The current global elite squander the oil, water and mineral resources of the world for murder and destruction, just to maintain their position as owners, and protect it from projected rivals in their same league.
What the elites do need to maintain their ownership status is the loyalty of the top 10% to 20% of the population, the professional and managerial class.
It is really hard to come up with any narrative which presents a rational case for the current level of military and industrial-agricultural support for the globalist elites and their servants in politics and industry. They are still trying.
We, the humans of this fair planet, need to work together for the common good, and not cut each other's throats for the owners.
We do currently have communication networks which allow for the living creation of other narratives, based on somewhat more truth than the "New World Order" narrative.
The most difficult and critical step is for the top 20%, the professional and managerial classes, to look for systemic efficiencies, which will reduce their absolute wealth in the short term, to create a more stable social order for their kids and grandkids.
The elites seem to be effectively blocking this kind of meeting of the minds with identity politics and squabbles about virtue signaling among the mid-wealthy, selfish grasping.
Individuals an take their own steps towards a future of burning less fuel, using less plastic, and growing more vegetables at home. 
I am bike commuting and growing vegetables at home, and at work, where people can see that it is possible and normal. 
I'm also starting it up in the smaller town of Yoakum, where there is good soil and climate. 
Grow more vegetables in the good places, especially.
I am currently fortunate to be able to take these steps, right now. It is my responsibility. 
I am just passing through this world. I am a transient life form. I don't really "own" pieces of this world, to defend by violence.
Minor narrative battles are also being fought. This is necessary to keep destroying potential threats to the elite power structure.
People in the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada have guns. 
The elites needed that 200 to 300 years ago, but it now poses a threat to their power going forward, when the people with guns see who stole the stuff they need to live.
We keep getting stories about how all the people need to relinquish their guns, so that a few people will not shoot innocents in post offices and places of worship.
I am not a violent revolutionary, have no use for a gun, and no interest in owning them. I was raised on military bases, and went to the rifle range with Dad every Tuesday, and have the hearing damage to prove it. I did hunt deer for food as a teenager on my Grandfather's ranch, and did all that a responsible hunter does, field dressing the fresh kills, and so on.
As a doctor, I have sometimes been in the struggle for life against death when people have been shot with guns, including high powered rifles.
People shot with high powered rifles mostly bleed to death, but might drop unconscious in 10 seconds if their heart is shot. 
I always killed with a heart lung shot. The deer would sprint 10 seconds and drop still. 
Head shots are harder to be sure of, but they happen, and I killed a deer this way once, when it was injured jumping a fence on the neighbor's property, sold to him by my Grandfather. Morgan came over Thanksgiving morning at dawn to ask us to deal with a spike buck who had crippled himself trying to jump a fence in the night.
I went over and saw the right rear leg dislocation. He could not stand, and scrambled with his front legs trying.
I sat with the deer and looked in his gentle brown eyes, and talked, and cared that he was in this predicament.
I brought him water to drink, and went back to be with the family until after Thanksgiving dinner, having made a good friend.
When I returned after midday dinner, with a small automatic pistol of Dad's, I was resolute in my mission, and compassionate. I had killed many lab rats compassionately in med school research. Our eyes met with warmth about 25 feet away, and he turned his head away from me and held still.
I carefully shot him at the base of his skull, to destroy his brainstem and centers of perception, to immediately end his life of suffering.
The body of the young deer flipped and flopped around on the ground violently. I waited half a minute. It still flopped. 
I shot him in the head again. Flopping changed some. I had to wait over a minute for it to stop.
I still feel the soul of that young deer and see his warm brown eyes. I had already stopped eating mammals years before we met. We were friends.

At this point, I would like to comment on my one time, careful viewing, without audio, of the 16 minute New Zealand Mosque shooting video.
About 6 minutes is shooting, with the first and last parts being driving around and getting guns in and out of the car.
I do not see convincing evidence, from just the shooting part of the video, that it is real. I am not stating that it is false, but it has lots of aspects which suggest that it might be staged.
Firstly, every single body is face down. You cannot see any single face, which could be identified by facial recognition software, in the many people who are lying still, perfectly still on the floor. The shooter revisits them several times for a closer look. All face down; all still.
People fall in impossible positions when shot with a high powered rifle. 
They need to be re-positioned to administer first aid. I have done this.
A lot of them will be face up, trying to breathe.
Some will flip and flop if shot in the head or neck.
There will be gaping exit wounds where the bullet tore out the other side of the body.
I saw none of those features in the video. It appeared that all of the bodies had chosen their positions, or had been laid neatly face down.
If you choose to look, that is what you will see. I turned off the sound before starting. the video is choppy, and has the look of way more bullets being fired than the clips we see would possibly hold. All of the shooting is at enough of a distance to obscure details.

Oh well; it worked last night. The link has gone dead. That's what I saw.

Vegetarian Gardener

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Repression Justified

Criminally Knowledgeable,

You may be sentenced to 14 years in prison in New Zealand for sharing the video of the mosque attack, made by the shooter. You can be imprisoned for 10 years for "possessing" it in any way. In England, a young man has been arrested for speaking favorably (we presume) of it on social media.
This is a big jump in the level of punishment to enforce censorship. These things tend to get used more and more liberally as ruling regimes lose their grip on power.

NZ police want all information on any internet user who makes any comment about the Christchurch mosque shooting. 
They "ask" website hosts to "save it for them".
Responding to the preservation request, Kiwi Farms owner Joshua Moon - a US citizen living abroad, asked "Is this a joke? I'm not turning over information about my users. The person responsible for posting the video and manifesto PDF is myself."
Tell your superiors they're going to make the entire country and its government look like clowns by trying to censor the Internet. You're a small, irrelevant island nation barely more recognizable than any other nameless pacific sovereignty. You do not have the clout to eradicate a video from the Internet and you do not have the legal reach to imprison everyone whose posted it. If anyone turns over to you the information they're asking for they're not only cowards, but they're fucking idiots.

W​hat is the next phase for humanity? Thanks Charles.
Transitions are social transformation processes that cover at least one generation. In this article I will use one such transition to demonstrate that humanity is at a crossroads: up to a third world war or will humanity create new heaven on earth.
When we consider the characteristics of the phases of a social transformation we may find ourselves at the end of what might be called the third industrial revolution. Transitions are social transformation processes that cover at least one generation (= 25 years). 
A transition has the following characteristics:
​-​It involves a structural change of civilization or a complex subsystem of our civilization
​-I​t shows technological, economical, ecological, socio cultural and institutional changes at different levels that influence and enhance each other
​-I​t is the result of slow changes (changes in supplies) and fast dynamics (flows) ..
Transitions are initiated by inventions and discoveries, new knowledge of mankind. New knowledge influences the other four components in a society. At the moment there are few new inventions or discoveries. So the chance of a new industrial revolution is not very high...
The five pillars for a stable society: Food, Security, Health, Prosperity, Knowledge.
At the end of every transition the pillar Prosperity is threatened. We have seen this effect after every industrial revolution.
The pillar Prosperity of a society is about to fall again. History has shown that the fall of the pillar Prosperity always results in a revolution. 
Because of the high level of unemployment after the second industrial revolution many societies initiated a new transition, the creation of a war economy. This type of economy flourished especially in the period 1940 – 1945.
​(​I​ vote for One Straw Revolution​ )

"As the U.S. and the EU struggle to iron out their differences on trade, Trump said, “they are willing to talk to us and if they don’t talk to us, we’re going to do something that’s going to be pretty severe economically. We’re going to tariff a lot of their products.”  ...
Trump wants a trade deal that includes agriculture. The EU says no.
Trump wants Germany to increase military spending, Germany has plans to cut military spending according to Eurointelligence. I do not know if Trump is aware of this yet. Discussion below.
Trump wants Germany to scrap Nord Stream 2, a gas pipeline between Russia and the EU underneath the Baltic Sea. The EU sided with Germany.
Trump wants the EU to buy US Liquid Natural Gas, but the EU instead will buy from Russia because its cheaper. This is part of the Nord Stream 2 issue.
Trump wants the EU to abide by his sanctions on Iran. Instead, the EU created a mechanism in which European suppliers can trade with Iran in euros rather than dollars as a means to get around US sanctions. The mechanism is little used, if at all, but the idea infuriates Trump.
EU tariffs on US cars are higher than US tariffs on EU cars. US tariffs on EU SUVs and Trucks are way higher than EU tariffs on US trucks and SUVs but that doesn't matter.
Trump does not want Germany to use 5G technology from China's Huawei. Germany said it will go ahead. It is almost forced to. The reason is Germany is far behind the US. Its 4G technology is made by Huawei. My understanding is that there is compatibility between 4G and 5G if the vendor is the same. Thus, Trump's demand could set back Germany a couple of years.​..
One of the reasons Trump is anxious to close a deal with China is so he can blast the EU with a massive dose of Tariffs. I do not think he wants two simultaneous trade wars.

Next week’s visit to Italy by Chinese Premier Xi Jinping has nearly everyone jittery. The recent announcement by Five Star Movement Leader Luigi Di Maio that his country is prepared to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with China to be a part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative has set off a firestorm of response from Donald Trump to Angela Merkel to Di Maio’s own coalition partner, Lega leader Matteo Salvini...
This is a strong statement of independence by Italy as they join Hungary, Poland, Greece and Portugal, who all have MOU’s with China. And it’s not like Hungary and Poland are high on Merkel’s Christmas card list. Both are dealing with Article 7 proceedings to strip them of their EU voting rights. 

France has ended two months of citizen debates in which Yellow Vest supporters were invited to air their grievances. Parisians who spoke with RT said the meetings were a stunt used by Emmanuel Macron and won’t lead to real change.
“It would surprise me if he takes any measures, but I don’t expect anything,” one Yellow Vest supporter told RT.
“Macron has a habit of just talking, but with no results in the end,” another activist said. “In my opinion, nothing will come of it.”

Paris Luxury Stores Looted, Burned In "Yellow Vest" Riots​  [The Mainstream media take invites harsh state repression]
President Emmanuel Macron cut short a skiing trip in the Pyrenees to return to Paris for a crisis meeting, as hooded protesters went on the rampage in Paris, leaving a trail of destruction in the touristic heart of the city.
The police appeared overrun as protesters swarmed the Champs-Elysees, vandalising and later setting fire to Fouquet's brasserie, a favourite hangout of the rich and famous for the past century -- as well as luxury handbag store Longchamp, a bank, another restaurant and several news stands.

​RT has some good video footage and an injured team member in Paris, not injured by Yellow Vests.​ 
There was a lot of Black Block (usually Agents Provocateur) presence. Balaclavas and French flags identify "bad people".
Saturday’s rally saw thousands of people flooding the streets of downtown Paris, with many wearing black balaclavas and holding French flags.   

G​ardening While Rome Burns

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Words Of War

Speaking Freely​

This week the Senate voted to cease and desist US military cooperation with allies Saudi Arabia and UAE in waging the war in Yemen, which according to the United Nations has created one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent history. The Wednesday vote was was 54 to 46, including seven Republicans voting with the Democrats.
The “war powers” legislation has been widely seen as a direct rebuke of Trump's foreign policy amid broader pushback over his defense of Saudi Arabia in the wake of last year's Jamal Khashoggi killing at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul. The invocation of the War Powers Act of 1973 expressly prohibits US military action not previously approved by Congress.
A House vote is expected soon, which would require President Trump to immediately withdraw American military support from the Saudi-led coalition. Trump said in December he would veto the Senate resolution if it ever reached his desk, which now appears likely.
Meanwhile Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday heaped criticism on Congress for seeking to end Washington support for military efforts in Yemen, saying that if US lawmakers "truly care about Yemeni lives", they would back Riyadh.
Speaking in response to the Senate resolution, Pompeo said further: 
We all want this conflict to end. We all want to improve the dire humanitarian situation. But the Trump administration fundamentally disagrees that curbing our assistance to the Saudi-led coalition is the way to achieve these goals.
Predictably, Pompeo framed US involvement in Yemen in terms of preventing Iranian expansion in the broader Middle East.

Colbert Smears Tulsi Gabbard To Her Face While Telling Zero Jokes​, sister Caitlin in Oz, 
Tulsi is running for President, against "our" humanitarian wars that create Hell.​ 
She's a big problem...

In order to appease the internet censors, today’s Caitlin Johnstone article has been replaced with a breaking report from the National News Conglomerate. NNC: Obey.
Washington, D.C. (NNC) — Following the publication of the results of a groundbreaking new study this week, experts are now reporting that every single person who questions western military interventionism is both an antisemitic bigot and a Russian national.​..
“Take Tulsi Gabbard, a longtime critic of US interventionism,” Overton said while explaining how ASPCD reached its conclusions. “Her affection for Syria’s Bashar al-Assad is well-documented, and Assad, being an ally of Putin, is effectively Russian. This makes Tulsi Gabbard a Russian by proxy, which probably explains why Putin loves her so much.”

The US State Department announced on Friday that it would be joining the European Union and Canada to impose new sanctions against Russia in response to the Kremlin's "continued aggression in Ukraine."   

In the latest bizarre story to come out of the US "endless war" in Afghanistan, American warplanes obliterated an allied Afghan military post in an act of "self defense" on Wednesday.
The incident took place in the tribal Uruzgan province of south-central Afghanistan and reportedly began when a joint convoy of US troops and Afghan Special Forces came under fire by another unit of Afghan ground troops in what appears a major instance of accidental friendly fire resulting in a devastating two dozen total casualties on the Afghan side.

DARPA is so concerned about the possibility of a cyberattack taking down our power grid that they held an extended exercise recreating such a scenario late last year.  And even though scientists tell us that it is inevitable that a “solar tsunami” will absolutely devastate our power grid at some point, our leaders on the federal level refuse to spend the money that it would take to protect our basic electrical infrastructure.  In addition, Russia, China, North Korea and others have developed extremely advanced EMP weapons, and we have absolutely no protection against them.  One way or another, an extended blackout will eventually happen in the United States, and so we should try to learn some lessons from what is going on in Venezuela right now.

Venezuela's large-scale military exercises are set to begin this weekend in order to secure the national electric power grids and water supply systems.
"This coming weekend, the military drills dubbed Ana Karina Rote are being resumed at their second stage," Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said Wednesday as reported by Sputnik International.
The move came amid reported sabotage at the country's major Guri hydroelectric power plant. Earlier this week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro stated that two people were detained on suspicion of attempted wrecking of the country's power system. Maduro earlier accused the U.S. of the attack, saying that it was committed by using "high-tech" weapons that "only the U.S. government has in the world."
Power has been "100-percent" restored across Venezuela, the government announced late Wednesday, while supplies of running water had been 80 percent restored.

​Who put oil in the drinking water? How?
While the power outage in the country which holds the world’s largest oil reserves has shut down oil production and processing operations as well as the main oil export terminal, the blackout has caused massive shortages of running water.
Residents in the town of San Diego in the Carabobo state woke up to see black stuff running from their taps on Wednesday in what appeared to be water contaminated with crude oil.

Moon of Alabama
The CIA is the main suspect in the military style raid on the North Korean embassy in Madrid. It now launched a somewhat hapless effort to deflect from it. The Spanish report in which Spanish government sources accuse the CIA said:
At least two of the 10 assailants who broke into the embassy and interrogated diplomatic staff have been identified and have connections to the US intelligence agency. The CIA has denied any involvement but government sources say their response was “unconvincing.”
That the CIA is the main suspect in the assault was reported on Wednesday in the Spanish mainstream paper El Pais. The paper made the extra effort to publish an abbreviated English language version. It was widely picked up by other international outlets. Some of the assailants were Asian and spoke Korean language. They were probably from the South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS), a subsidiary of the CIA know for its extremely hawkish politics. It often rigs elections in South Korea in support of hawkish conservatives candidates.
Attacking a foreign embassy in a third country is far out of bounce of international law and diplomatic decency. After the El Pais report something had to be done to direct the attention away from the CIA and to find some other culprit.
A story was thought up and pushed to the favorite CIA outlet, the Washington Post. It wasn't the CIA which did it, writes the Post's national security reporter, it was a CIA controlled 'regime change' organization.

​Hurricane forecasting was ok in the 1970s, right?​ 5G wireless has to go forward. It's our future...
The FCC, which want to proceed with a 5G auction, is at odds with the commerce department, the defense department, and NASA.
The dispute regards wavelength frequencies currently used by public and private weather satellites, weather balloons, and ocean buoys to predict the weather.
NASA and the Commerce department have serious concerns.
Please consider Critical weather data threatened by FCC ‘spectrum’ proposal, Commerce Dept. and NASA say.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine urged the FCC to remove a policy paper [bandwidth] proposal that “would have a significant negative impact on the transmission of critical Earth science data supporting public safety, natural disaster and weather forecasting."

​Will 5G be the new cigarettes?​ Do you remember how cigarette smoke used to be everywhere? Why don't we hear more about this cancer research?
In northern California, parents are fighting like mad to have a cell phone tower removed after a fourth child at a single elementary school was diagnosed with cancer…  

​EU (unelected) President​ Donald Tusk advises EU 27 to be favorable to a nice long Brexit delay, while the Brits think things over again...

​Today is supposed to be a big Saturday for the Yellow Vests:
The fundamental problem with media coverage regarding regarding the Yellow Vests is that it fails to see it as an already-permanent movement, or even a possibly-permanent one: each week must be either the biggest one yet, or the very last one...
The Yellow Vests are like the Vietcong: it’s not that they are so innately tough, it’s that they have nowhere else to go. Ask a protesting Yellow Vester and they’ll tell you: they have no money to pay their bills, much less do anything fun on the weekends… so why not go protest and enjoy what you can’t buy – camaraderie? ...
Other polls show that while a majority wants the marches to stop, a majority still supports the Yellow Vests – these are two different things, and the latter is more significant in the long (and short!) term...
 It’s long, hard work, and it’s in the cold. (The fact that France has a winter protest movement is truly unprecedented, and should have immediately put our gauges into the red.)  ...
Yellow Vests absolutely do not care what anyone thinks, except their fellow Yellow Vests, and so they are not going to quit the field just because polls show a majority wants them to stay home. “These polls are all politically manipulated,” a Vester told me...
 March 16 is indeed an “Ultimatum” because it has been expressly designed to give the Yellow Vests’ verdict on Macron’s two-month “National Debate”, which was the biggest and most attention-getting concession he made to the movement.
The National Debate, LOL.… Fidel Castro-sized speeches from Macron, minus a Fidel Castro-sized heart for his nation and for international solidarity...
Macron has gone back to business-as-usual – being Mack the Knife: He announced that he will rewrite the unemployment system by himself, ending 30+ years of collaborative efforts between unions and bosses...
Yes, the Vesters have caused a four-month stop in the onslaught of “reforms”, but Macron’s return to his usual modus operandi means that we will soon be talking about unions during the week, Yellow Vests on the weekend.


Thursday, March 14, 2019

One More Step

Cliff Standing,

Moon of Alabama asks:
Did John Bolton, President Trump's national security advisor, order an assault on the North Korean embassy in Spain to get an advantage in the nuclear talks?
On February 22 the embassy of the DPRK in Madrid was raided by a gang of thugs:
A group of men entered North Korea's embassy in Madrid, bound and gagged staff, before driving off with stolen mobile phones and computers, Spanish media has reported.
...Spanish police are investigating after El Confidencial reported a woman escaped the embassy last Friday screaming in Korean, prompting residents nearby to call police.
After she reportedly revealed staff were tied up and gagged, officers knocked on the door to investigate, but were met by a man who told them everything was fine.
Soon after, two cars left the compound at high speed, one of them carrying the man who had answered the door. Police did not enter the building, but staff walked out soon after the incident.e might be missing.
...Kim Hyok Chol was ambassador to Spain until September 2017, when the Spanish government expelled him and another diplomat following Pyongyang's round of nuclear tests and missile launches over neighbouring Japan.
The name Kim Hyok Chol sounds familiar. He recently was in the news when he led the North Korean delegation in the nuclear talks​...

​How many dollars of medical repair does it take to fix one dollar of knife-in-the-back? How much has been secretly spent already?
At his Monday press conference, Mike Pompeo said “we’ve asked (Congress to appropriate) up to $500 million…to restore the economy of the Venezuelan nation (sic) (and) help Juan Guaido.”
He failed to explain the ongoing Trump regime coup plot, nor that it’s all about replacing Bolivarian social democracy with US-controlled tyranny – DLT and hardliners surrounding him wanting control over Venezuelan oil, gas, gold, and other valued resources.
It’s what the scourge of imperialism is all about, Guaido an illegitimate US designated puppet, usurper in waiting, traitor to Venezuela and its people, belonging in prison longterm for his highest of high political crimes.
What the Trump regime calls “democratic transition” in the Bolivarian Republic and other targeted countries is all about gaining imperial trophies – intolerant of democracy everywhere, notably at home.

​Charles Hugh Smith:
How States/Empires Collapse in Four Easy Steps
The promises cannot be met, and so society decays into warring elites and competing constituencies.
There is a grand, majestic tragedy in the inevitable collapse of once-thriving states and empires: it all seemed so permanent at its peak, so godlike in its power, and then slowly but surely, too many grandiose, unrealistic promises were made to too many elites and constituencies, and then as growth decays to stagnation, the only way to maintain the status quo is to appear to meet all the promises by creating money out of thin air, i.e. debauching the currency.

​The British Parliament is poised to vote on whether it will accept No-Deal Brexit as an option 15 days from now.​
EU on no-deal Brexit motion: 'like Titanic voting for iceberg to move'
European commission makes clear no deal remains on table unless agreement is reached

​"Zugwang" is a German word for a situation in chess play, where to make the only possible move, assures defeat on the move after that. (Always the plan?)
Well there is a way out of ‘Zugzwang Brexit’ – but it is the political equivalent of forfeiting the game.
The UK could revoke Article 50 and simply accept that the country has failed to reach political accord.
 May has twice failed to get her deal through the House of Commons and it seems likely that any further version, negotiated by any of her successors would meet a similar fate.
By revoking the mechanism by which a member state leaves the EU – dignity and sanity could momentarily be restored and the country could dampen the fuse of the ticking time bomb which Theresa May so recklessly and foolishly lit.

​Can't have THAT!
While a disorderly Brexit would hurt the EU, several top European officials warned that no delay would be granted unless Britain comes up with a clear and substantial plan, which it would try to achieve if given more time. But European bureaucrats may have more reasons not to tolerate Britain dragging its feet, MEP from Scotland David Coburn told RT.
If we end up staying beyond a certain period, we have to take part in the European elections. Then what you are going to see is 73 Nigel Farages returned to the European Parliament. It would make the government of the EU impossible. They would probably want to throw us out, I should think.

A simple but important study by Luciano Celi shows what is the real energy return that oil companies manage to attain. Much smaller than you would have believed, in several cases it is today well below 10. Which means that renewable energies already produce a larger EROI than oil and gas. No more excuses for not switching to renewables as fast as possible! And we have to do it fast because, as Celi shows, we are on the edge of the Net Energy Cliff of fossil fuels...
 The industrial society experiences Net Energy, not EROI (energy return on energy invested), decline. As shown in the graph above, there is a strong non-linear relation between Net Energy and EROI. For a long range of EROI values, say from 100 to 10, the Net Energy is declining very slowly. Presently although the EROI decline is quite clear the Net Energy is still well above 90%. The society feels pretty safe. The problem is that we are walking along a cliff and it is increasingly urgent to make an energy transition, before finally ending up in the abyss.

​(The US military uses the most.)
Resource extraction responsible for half world’s carbon emissions
Extraction also causes 80% of biodiversity loss, according to comprehensive UN study

Coca-Cola has revealed for the first time it produces 3m tonnes of plastic packaging a year – equivalent to 200,000 bottles a minute – as a report calls on other global companies to end the secrecy over their plastic footprint.  

​First, review scientific data supplied by Bayer/Monsanto about whether this is carcinogenic enough to do it. 
If not, then no need to look at whether they are criminals producing said data.​ 
"Unpoisoning" a thoroughly poisoned well?
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A trial in which a California man alleged his use of Bayer AG’s glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused his cancer went to a federal U.S. jury after lawyers for both sides delivered their closing arguments on Tuesday...
Hardeman’s case has proceeded differently from the earlier trial, with an initial phase exclusively focused on scientific facts while omitting evidence of alleged corporate misconduct by company representatives.
Following the first phase, the six jurors in San Francisco federal court were asked by U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria to decide whether Roundup was a “substantial factor” in causing Hardeman’s cancer.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Losing War Games

Blue Team,

US forces repeatedly lose WW-3 war games, just can't win WW-3 war games against Russia and China. 
So spend more?

The U.S. National Security Council issued a direct warning to Italy last weekend for its coziness with China. The country has been considering participating in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), where one segment of the global economic effort aims to unite Europe with China.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte believes otherwise. Conte has overruled the foreign ministry and joined right-wing Eurosceptics in his push for closer cooperation with China.
“With all the necessary precautions, Italy’s accession to a new silk route represents an opportunity for our country,” Conte said Friday.
President Xi Jinping is expected to travel to Italy from March 22-24, and Conte said Rome and Beijing are expected to agree to a framework deal during the state visit. Conte also announced his plan to attend an upcoming BRI summit in China.
The Italian leader’s plan to attend a BRI summit in Beijing next month has caused panic in Brussels and Washington, as Italy is on course to become the first G7 country to gravitate to China’s trade initiative that US and EU officials have intensely criticized.  

Pepe Escobar says Chinese love Italy and nice Italian stuff.
Geraci states the obvious; the BRI link will allow more of Made in Italy to be exported to China. As someone who lives between Europe and Asia, and always discusses BRI while in Italy, I see that all the time. The appeal of Made in Italy for the Chinese consumer – food, fashion, art, interior design, not to mention all those Ferraris and Lamborghinis – is unrivaled, even by France. Chinese tourists just can’t get enough of Venice, Florence, Rome – and shopping in Milan.  

Detailed report from Chinese perspective.

Theresa the Traitor?
Cast your mind back to summer last year. The Cabinet gathered at the Prime Minister’s country retreat of Chequers, on the sylvan Chiltern downs. There was very important business: Theresa May, flanked by senior civil servant Olly Robbins, presented the draft agreement for Britain’s departure from the EU...
 For Leavers in the Cabinet, it was a shocker.  Scarcely anything appropriate for a renewed sovereign nation could be found in this document, which seemed an abject surrender to Messrs Barnier and Juncker. For Brexit voters, it was hard to believe that their government would consider such punitive clauses; their faith in Theresa May, until then buoyant, was shattered. And this document, we were told, was only the initial negotiating stance – it could get worse...
It was widely reported that Theresa May paid a visit to Angela Merkel in Berlin shortly before the Chequers meeting. What did they discuss?  We weren’t told at the time...
According to a confidential source who has seen a complete transcript of the meeting, the two leaders agreed to a plan that Mrs May allegedly told the Chancellor would “appease” Brexit voters while nonetheless enabling her to get rid of those Tories who were (in her words) “against progress and unity in the EU.” According to the transcript, Mrs May is also reported to have agreed “to keep as many EU laws and institutions in effect as she could despite the current groundswell of anti-EU hysteria in Britain” (again, apparently her words). It is claimed that both leaders agreed that the only realistic future for the UK was as a member of the EU, and that in the likely course of events Britain would re-join the EU in full at some time after the next general election.
The transcript also indicated that the Withdrawal Agreement was essentially a German production, with the original draft completed in May 2018 in Berlin. It was then sent to the Cabinet Office marked “Secret”. After much to-ing and fro-ing in the subsequent few weeks, including several telephone calls between Mrs May and the Chancellor the final draft was completed late in June, with the Chancellor telling Mrs May that she was happy with it. However, a few more small concessions by the UK would be needed later on, just to keep the EU happy.

Tom Luongo:
The Brits voted to leave the EU because of this. Euroskeptic parties are rising across Europe. The latest rebuke of the EU came in Austria’s Salzburg, a traditional center-left stronghold just voted for a Lega-style nationalist/populist majority.
Now people like Theresa May, who never supported Brexit, are using this negotiating period to hand to the EU everything it wants in the Withdrawal Agreement to blackmail the British people to accept an even worse arrangement than had they not voted to leave in the first place.
This point cannot be understated.
Because it is the model for how the EU will fight the rising opposition to its rule.

Parliament really has to vote that it is OK with no-deal-Brexit, or Britain will have conditions forced upon it. That was never the intent of voters.
Donald Tusk has warned after the second big defeat of Theresa May’s deal​ ​that he expects a credible reason for any delay to Brexit.
Moments after the prime minister announced that the House of Commons would vote on an extension to the article 50 negotiating period beyond 29 March, the European council president issued an EU red line.
“Should there be a UK reasoned request for an extension, the EU27 will consider it and decide by unanimity,” a spokesman for Tusk said. “The EU27 will expect a credible justification for a possible extension and its duration. The smooth functioning of the EU institutions will need to be ensured.”​...
After losing by 149 votes, the fourth largest defeat ever on a government motion, May nevertheless told the Commons she would allow a free vote in her party on an article 50 extension. She said such an extension would be short, and that it risked a new cliff-edge in June, suggesting the British government is looking at a three-month delay.

George Galloway predicts...
What happens next in the short term is easy to predict. A "No deal" Brexit will be rejected Wednesday evening but only thanks to opposition votes. She released her own MPs from party discipline by announcing a "free-vote" because she could not countenance at least half of her own side voting for No Deal (not least because they were all elected on precisely that platform). But the government's own members – the so-called "payroll vote" of a hundred plus, together with almost all of the opposition members will comfortably (for now) bury the "zero-option" of No-Deal.
The next night the House will vote again comfortably in favour of seeking an extension of Article 50 thereby abandoning the pledge repeated like a mantra so often that Britain would leave the EU on March 29th. Assuming the EU agrees Britain then sails not just into uncharted waters but an uncharted raging torrent of bitterness, confusion, currency tumult, uncertainty and certain political change.​..​
I have said all along that no negotiator in any form of life, the law, trade unions, a troubled marriage EVER goes into a negotiation telling the other side that whether the other side makes concessions or not that they will NOT walk away under any circumstances. That's what Mrs May has been doing with the EU right from the start. Because her heart was never in it.  

Hey, LOOK, Mexico has a Good President! ("Me canso ganso")
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s first 100 days in office have combined a compulsive shedding of presidential trappings with a dizzying array of policy initiatives, and a series of missteps haven’t even dented his soaring approval ratings.
Lopez Obrador has answered more questions from the press, flown in more economy-class flights, posed for more selfies with admiring citizens and visited more genuinely risky areas with little or no security than several combined decades of his predecessors. He’s also surprised many by maintaining a cordial relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump, helping contain Central American migrant caravans while resisting U.S. efforts to oust the leftist government of Venezuela.

Venezuela is getting electricity back to places little by little.
President Nicolas Maduro gave a televised address on Tuesday evening, offering more details about the alleged attack against the country’s electrical infrastructure. According to Maduro, both the computerized system in the Guri Dam, on Thursday afternoon, and the central electrical “brain” in Caracas, on Saturday morning, suffered cyber attacks, while recovery was delayed by physical attacks against transmission lines and electrical substations.​..
  Self-proclaimed “Interim President” Juan Guaido has blamed the electricity crisis on government mismanagement and corruption, dismissing the government’s cyber attack thesis on the grounds that the system is analog, and attributing the national outage to a lack of qualified personnel needed to reactivate the grid. However, these claims have been called into questionby people with knowledge of the system.

China says it is ready to help Venezuela to restore its power grid. The South American country suffered a five-day blackout, with Caracas accusing Washington of cyber “sabotage.”
Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Beijing had noted reports that the power grid had gone down due to a hacking attack.
“China is deeply concerned about this,” Lu said, adding that Beijing “hopes that the Venezuelan side can discover the reason for this issue as soon as possible and resume normal power supply and social order.

She has advanced Media Gladiator Skills already. Where will she go in the power structure? Where will the power structure go?
On the issue of Wells Fargo's relationship with the private prison industry and the Trump administration's child detention policy, Ocasio-Cortez asked sharply: "Mr. Sloan, why was the bank involved in the caging of children?"

Facebook bans links to Zero Hedge. So Facebook wins?

Elizabeth Warren ads are also banned from Facebook. Weird...
It seems that Senator Warren said Facebook had become too powerful and was abusing that power. 
Update: Politico's Cristiano Lima reports that Facebook will restore the ads "in the interest of allowing robust debate."  .
Nice that Facebook has decided to "allow" the Senator to criticize their abuse of censorship power...

It looks like Zero Hedge won after a few days; "friends in high-enough places..."
While we were in the dark about what had triggered Facebook, or what was the company's motive, we were humbled and delighted not only with the media coverage this event received, but far more so with the outpouring of support we received from readers and across social media, where Zero Hedge had not been yet banned, like Twitter, where figures from various industries and across the political spectrum voiced support and came to our defense, with many condemning what we felt was an arbitrary decision.
Among those who spoke up were President Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., Nigel Farage, Peter Thiel's liberal foil at Thiel Capital, Eric Weinstein, Infowars' Paul Joseph Watson and many others.

"The House That Spied On Me" is a detailed study of what it is like to set up and live in a house where the bed and toothbrush, coffee-maker and vacuum cleaner are all smart, and the sound activated surveillance camera sends out movies of you, not just burglars (Don't Forget!) 
The human experience is well related, and instead of being easier, it turns out to be incessantly annoying. All those little brains need your attention. All of the activity of the smart devices was routed through a special interface, an internet service provider for the house, so all of the data going out about the house and occupants was monitored. 
This is fine investigative journalism.

Never Alone