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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Not Extinct Yet

Pondering ​Human ​Existence,

Were Other Humans the First Victims of the Sixth Mass Extinction?
 This article opens the paradigmatic question of the essential natural characteristics of social groups of Homo Sapiens. It looks at the genetic and fossil history of our engagements with Denisovans Neanderthal and other human races. We shared genes, then exacted genocide upon them. It was a fairly quick progression, even in ancient times, something like a thousand years. Later, with ships, bankers, guns and smallpox, the Americas would be conquered much faster.
 To my mind, the essential competitive edge described here is sociopathy, the ability to kill without hesitation or reluctance, and to do so at any scale. Perhaps those other human races lacked sociopathy. We can imagine ourselves completely without it in our society, but questions arise about how things happen in wars and finance, and power relations. 
 Sociopaths seem to have been essential to our human tendency to overgrow our systems of food production. Sociopaths lead us to population reduction when this happens. It's brutal, but having sociopaths in a group is a competitive advantage to lacking sociopaths in a group.
 We are at a difficult juncture in history, massively overgrown on the long term support system of agriculture and nature, by the one-time pulse of fossil fuels, fossil water, and the discovery of iron, copper, rare-earth metals and uranium.
 We have the intellectual and cognitive ability to meet our global needs as humans and as parts of nature, differently, but our nature is to be ruled by our sociopathic members in times of crisis. 
 We see it around us, wherever there is mass killing and expropriation of wealth. Our sociopaths get ignored or whitewashed. Their sociopaths, and even citizens, get tarred. 
 The best I can come up with is that the sociopathic rulers are now as threatened as ordinary citizens, by the vast destructive power they wield. Self-preservation dictates that they condone non-destructive methods going forward, but they are human and they panic, too. Meanwhile, they experiment with new forms of war, with their mass control of other humans, through finance and media, as well as armies.
 It's up to us to keep the pressure down and derive day to day solutions which do not involve execution, expropriation and genocide. 
 This will be a long, slow process, subject to immediate catastrophic failure, but what else is there to do?

The UN General Assembly yesterday officially asked Israel to leave the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
​ ​The request was made after the resolution was adopted after 91 UN member states voted in favour, nine rejected and 65 abstained.
​ ​The resolution stipulates that Israel leaves all the Syrian Golan Heights occupied in June 1967, stating this is an implementation of the UN Security Council’s resolution.

​ ​In what's already being hailed as a defining and explosive "Pentagon papers" moment, a cache of previously classified documents obtained by The Washington Post show top Pentagon leaders continuously lied to the public about the "progress" of the now eighteen-year long Afghan war.
​ ​The some 2,000 pages of notes from interviews of senior officials who have shaped US strategy in Afghanistan confirm that “senior US officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false... hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable​.​"​ 
("Winning" could not even be defined before the US ​launched the war​ on Afghanistan.) 

​Turkey is at the crossroads, and moves again to ​dominate flows from East to West, like oil and refugees from Libya.
 Turkey and Libya have signed an expanded maritime, security and military cooperation agreement which gives Turkey the right to deploy troops there if requested by authorities in Tripoli, President Erdogan has told state-run TRT television in an interview on Monday.
​ ​"In the event of such a call coming, it is Turkey's decision what kind of initiative it will take here." Erdogan said, as reported by Reuters. "We will not seek the permission of anyone on this," he underscored.
Turkey has been the most aggressive backer of Tripoli, offering military equipment and even air power, while the UAE has provided most weaponry for Haftar's 'rebel' army in the developing proxy war. While Washington officially recognizes the GNA, the Trump administration has for months verbalized support for Haftar, long seen as the 'CIA's man in Libya'. ​​ "Haftar is nothing but a pirate," Erdogan said earlier this year after six Turkish sailors were briefly detained by pro-Haftar forces...
"With this new agreement between Turkey and Libya, we can hold joint exploration operations in these exclusive economic zones that we determined. There is no problem," Erdogan said.
​ ​"Other international actors cannot carry out exploration operations in these areas Turkey drew (up) with this accord without getting permission. Greek Cyprus, Egypt, Greece and Israel cannot establish a gas transmission line without first getting permission from Turkey," he warned.

The Power of Siberia Pipeline is a massive game changer, which almost did not happen. Russia was forced into alliance with China by the takeover in Ukraine. Kiev is historically a core part of Russia, an ancient capital.​
Ironically, we can title this the ‘Biden Memorial Pipeline.’ Had the Obama Administration not launched their coup d’etat in 2013 at Maidan Square in Kiev, with the subsequent ouster of the elected president in February 2014 in favor of literal neo-nazi parties and corrupt oligarchs under a US puppet regime, the completion of the Power of Siberia pipeline to China would likely not exist today. Negotiations with Beijing for the pipeline had been dragging on for more than ten years when the Ukraine coup took place. After that coup a final agreement was secured by Moscow with Beijing in a matter of weeks as Putin engineered a geopolitical pivot to the East away from NATO.  

​Tom Luongo:​
​ ​Ukraine was supposed to fall into the EU’s lap, including Crimea, bottling Russia up permanently. Then they could slowly strangle the Russian economy through monopsony leverage over the gas pipelines into Europe.
​ ​So, if anything, Putin will hold out for everything at this point, since he knows Merkel and Macron deal from weak hands. Zelensky is simply a pawn trapped between them and the U.S. inside his own country.
​ ​The EU has made it exceedingly difficult for Russia to build the pipelines Europe wants, consistently changing the rules of their Gas Directives to make the projects less and less profitable. Some of that is because of U.S. pressure and some of that is the EU’s own arrogance and hubris...

​ ​This meeting, after the disastrous NATO summit last week, should have been a place for Merkel and Macron to push Zelensky into a solid position on something.
​ ​The gas transit contract should have been that thing. It’s something that even the nationalists wouldn’t complain about since it would bring money into the state coffers and shore up European investors that energy supplies into Europe in 2020 wouldn’t be interrupted.​..
​ Putin and Gazprom went into the meeting having made reasonable opening offers. But even with that low-hanging fruit in front of them Merkel and Macron betrayed their political impotence ultimately.
​ ​And so did Zelensky because he can’t agree to anything of substance lest he be gutted politically by the nationalists who are threatening civil war if he bows to Russia...
​ ​Merkel and Macron came into this meeting to burnish their resumes. Macron let slip what his real agenda was when he referred to Ukraine as an ‘open wound’ which needed to be closed. This was him admitting that the war in the Donbass is a manufactured conflict that benefits no one at the table but which they are powerless to affect.
​ ​So, in the end, it was Putin who coached Zelensky through the basics of diplomacy, getting agreement on things like prisoner swaps, ceasefire areas (which never seemed to hold under Poroshenko) and offering a discounted gas price for residential consumers in Ukraine.​..
​ Merkel wants the gas transit deal in place to help right the failed state in Kiev and stop the migration out of the country. And Putin will happily oblige her but only if the EU stands by it as a partner and not treat Gazprom as ‘the help.’
In the end, Ukraine is only important to the U.S. as a pressure point on Russia and its destruction is okay as well since a failed state on Russia’s border is its own reward for the Empire of Chaos.​..
​ So this means, in the end, that Zelensky went to Paris only to find out he still has no friends except the one person he’s not allowed to be friends with, Putin. And that means this situation will grind on without significant movement until the next meeting in March.

​ ​Little has been revealed in terms of precise statements or any potential diplomatic breakthroughs following Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's closed-door, no press admitted meeting with President Trump on Tuesday.
​ ​But the predictable outraged frenzy given the timing didn't disappoint, with CNN pointing out "the extraordinary spectacle of President Donald Trump consulting with Moscow on the day House Democrats unveiled articles of impeachment underpinned partly by Trump's unusual relationship with Russia."
​ ​On that note, Lavrov did punch back on the 'Russiagate' narrative in general as well as the notion that a mere diplomatic meeting would suggest a 'compromised' White House, saying in a joint press conference with Secretary of State Pompeo that his county's alleged election interference is "baseless" and any level of proof "simply does not exist".
This after Rep. Adam Schiff slammed the high level meeting as "a success of the Russian propaganda" while lamenting that supposedly "adversaries" were "invited in" but with "allies locked out."
​ ​“There was no press at our meeting, American or Russian. If Schiff can describe the ministerial-level contacts normal to any country and my meeting with the president in such a way, then I believe that they will soon accuse our diplomats, just as they have our athletes, of doping and call for criminal punishment,” Lavrov said mockingly.
​ ​In a tweet President Trump said he had a "very good" meeting with the top Russian diplomat and listed items discussed as including trade, Iran, North Korea, the INF Treaty, Nuclear Arms Control, and election meddling (on this last topic, Lavrov denied receiving a "warning" from Trump regarding interference).
​ ​A White House statement indicated the potential for greater trade with Russia was also a focus on the meeting.
​ ​Speaking of trade and ongoing sanctions Lavrov boasted before reporters that trade between the two countries has actually grown during the Trump administration.​ 
(See body language in images.)  

​Negotiating from strength...​
​ ​Following the collapse of the arms control regime that for decades aided the US's tenuous grip on power in the region, the US, Russia and China are now engaged in a winner-takes-all struggle for control of territory north of the Arctic Circle.
 And as Russia moves to defend its territory (Russia and Canada have the most territory inside the Arctic Circle), the Russian army is reportedly preparing to upgrade the equipment on the anti-aircraft regiment of its Northern Fleet with its new state-of-the-art S-400 missile defense systems.
​ ​The upgrades will create what RT described as a "missile defense dome" able to stop a flurry of NATO missiles.
​ ​And that's not all: Russian anti-aircraft troops and members of the radio corp. are in the Arctic undergoing what has been described as a "radical retraining" regimen. Ultimately, all military units will be equipped with Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft missiles.

​What is the reasoning behind Chinese government "graduation" of the Uighurs from closed re-education campuses?​
This article presents it as a simple power-challenge. It may be more complex and multi-faceted. This may be revealed over time. This is a point of attack, now removed.
​ ​In response to global outpouring of anger as well as last week's House Bill sanctioning Chinese officials,the regional governor of China’s infamous Xinjiang region said the people held in camps have now “graduated” and new trainees will have the freedom to come and go, Reuters reported. Commenting on the striking development, Channel News reporter Wei Du said that "under pressure, China appears to be ending concentration camps in Xinjiang. Provincial governor says all those in “training centers” have now "graduated into gainful employment."  

​Why "This Sucker is going down". Trillions of dollars of borrowing from our future did nothing good. Charles Hugh Smith
​ What actually happens is banks "invest" the new money in faster High Frequency Trading (HFT) computers so they can skim even more profit from the rigged "markets." Productivity increase: zero. Social benefits: zero. Economic benefits to the nation at large: zero.
 Virtually all the loose money created by the Fed is socially useless financial activity, enriching the few at the top of the wealth-power pyramid who own the financial machinery of repo's, derivatives, FX swaps, leverage, and all the other tricks of the financial trade that has completely disconnected from the real-world economy.
 The conventional media constantly hypes the fantasy that trade deals matter, holiday sales matter, employment numbers matter--none of that matters. The big money is made by gaming the financial system, buying regulatory approval, i.e. legalized looting, funneling a few measly millions to craven politicos who have zero understanding of how the nation's financial system actually works, and then running a monstrous skimming operation behind the complexity thickets of "modern" finance, which all boil down to the same toxic concoction that's destroyed economies throughout history...
​ ​The banks and financiers have used the Fed's trillions to enrich themselves for eleven years, and nothing will stop their legalized looting except a collapse of the entire machine. The great karmic irony is they've rigged and gamed the system so rapaciously, absolutely confident there's no end to the loose money, that they've overlooked the increasing fragility of the entire system they've ruthlessly exploited.  
​More of Charles, The Taxonomy of Collapse:
​ ​These triggers of collapse can overlap, of course, accelerating the final decline. All complex hierarchical systems are intrinsically fragile and prone to disruption; we don't see the fragility or vulnerabilities until the decline has reached the terminal phase. The higher up the wealth-power pyramid the observer is, the more prone they are to a magical-thinking belief that the empire is forever, even as it is crumbling around them.

​Rabbit in Hat​

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Destination Unknown

Traveling Sick,

I am opening with an unusual sort of article, because it represents massive damage already done to children already in school in all developed countries. Is bisphenol-A related to autism, gender confusion, childhood diabetes, dull-children? How vast is this damage, already? What effects are adults having? Obesity and suicide? 
I'm just asking. This is pervasive.
Humans are probably being exposed to far more of a widely used dangerous chemical – found in plastics, canned goods and receipt paper – than previously understood, according to a new study.
The analysis, in the peer-reviewed scientific journal the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, uses a new method for evaluating exposure to BPA, or bisphenol-A.
BPA disrupts hormones critical to many body functions and is linked with obesity and other diseases. Pregnant women who are exposed to it are more likely to have children who have problems with growth, behavior and fertility, as well as a higher cancer risk...  
The new research examined levels of BPA in urine but also counted the metabolites of BPA. Metabolites are formed when the body breaks down and eliminates a chemical.
Using the new method, the scientists analyzed the urine of 29 pregnant women in their second trimester and found their BPA exposure levels to be an average of 44 times higher than what was measured with the traditional method...
Patricia Hunt, a co-author of the study who is a molecular biosciences professor at Washington State University, said she was “horrified” by the high levels her group found in the pregnant women.  

While we are talking about things that enter through our guts, Tom found this article, similarly well researched, saying that people who had the Vagus Nerve surgically removed (a treatment for stomach ulcers in decades past) had a 50% decrease in Parkinson's Disease 20 years down the line. The cause of Parkinson's is not clearly understood, after all this time, but whatever it is may travel from the gut to the brain via the Vagus Nerve. (Is it a prion illness like Mad Cow Disease and Kuru? Just askin'.)

Israel Conducted Nuclear Missile Test "Aimed At Iran": FM Zarif
And he further complained that the West looks the other way when it comes to “about the only nuclear arsenal in West Asia,” but that it “has fits of apoplexy over our conventional defensive [rockets].”
The mystery Israeli test was significant enough to require the temporary diversion of all inbound flights to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport.
Israeli media publications also considered the possibility that it was a ballistic missile test, likely nuclear warhead capable surface-to-surface Jericho system, an intercontinental ballistic missile which according to foreign reports can support a nuclear payload.

Epstein Was a Mossad Agent Used to Blackmail American Politicians, Says Former Israeli Spy
“They were agents of the Israeli Intelligence Services.”​ 
(I think ​Epstein​'s still alive. The dead guy was somebody else.)  

A proposed US-Israeli defense treaty is gaining steam after a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (currently representing an 'interim' government) and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Lisbon this week.
​ ​Speaking of the controversial defense pact, Netanyahu told reporters of the Wednesday discussion: “The meeting with Pompeo was critical for Israeli security,” and added, “We agreed to promote a defense pact.”
​ ​However, such a controversial pact wold have a long way to go in the domestic politics of both nations, considering it would commit the United States to war to defend Israel. This also at a time when Israel has frequently attacked what it deems 'Iranian targets' inside Syria and Iraq in what both countries have condemned as acts of brazen aggression.

 Just two days after North Korea resumed its "dotard" insults at President Trump, North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations said on Saturday morning that further denuclearization talks are no longer needed with the Trump administration as it appears negotiations have stalled, reported Reuters.
In a statement to Reuters, NoKo ambassador, Kim Song, said: "We do not need to have lengthy talks with the US now and denuclearization is already gone out of the negotiating table."
He added that "sustained and substantial dialogue" sought by the Trump administration was a "time-saving trick" to accommodate its domestic political agenda, likely referring to the upcoming election year where President Trump is trying to get as many wins as possible to fulfill talking points of first-term success...
As Kim and President Trump are back at flinging insults at one another amid a breakdown in talks, North Korea said it's preparing a "Christmas gift" for the US, likely in the form of a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch.

​The US is trying to make another Chernobyl in Ukraine. Lots of fires and failures so far, but no mushroom cloud, yet.​
​ ​The third power unit of the Southern Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant was one of the first to be loaded with American fuel. During the testing phase, the station failed. It was triggered by Westinghouse fuel, which was not compatible with the Soviet type of reactor. “Energoatom” suffered losses of $175 million. Russian specialists had to restore production. They loaded the reactors again with “TVEL” fuel, and work resumed. Kiev refused to use American fuel, but in 2016 returned to this idea.
​ ​Today, 6 Ukrainian power units at the Zaporozhye and Southern Ukrainian nuclear power plants operate on Westinghouse fuel. The remaining reactors are still loaded with TVEL products. At the same time, American fuel is much more expensive than Russian fuel. Thus, for the first quarter of this year alone, “Energoatom” paid Westinghouse $51.23 million. Russian fuel cost the country’s budget $17.5 million over the same period. However, the high cost does not stop Kiev.

​ ​AN AMERICAN DOCTOR and Naval reserve officer who has done extensive medical evaluation of a high-profile prisoner who was tortured under the supervision of Gina Haspel privately urged Sen. Mark Warner, the vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to oppose Haspel’s confirmation as CIA director, according to an email obtained by The Intercept.
“I have evaluated Mr. Abdal Rahim al-Nashiri, as well as close to 20 other men who were tortured” in U.S. custody, including several who were tortured “as part of the CIA’s RDI [Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation] program. I am one of the only health professionals he has ever talked to about his torture, its effects, and his ongoing suffering,” Dr. Sondra Crosby, a professor of public health at Boston University, wrote to Warner’s legislative director on Monday. “He is irreversibly damaged by torture that was unusually cruel and designed to break him. In my over 20 years of experience treating torture victims from around the world, including Syria, Iraq, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr. al-Nashiri presents as one of the most severely traumatized individuals I have ever seen.”  

The Spanish High Court is investigating the invasion of privacy of Julian Assange, while in the Ecuadoran embassy in London, by a Spanish security contractor, which purchased cameras and listening devices in Spain, and routed the information to an internet server in Spain. This was a crime under Spanish jurisdiction. They have gotten some foot dragging to say the least, from UK authorities, as the Spanish court seeks to interview the victim of this crime, Julian Assange. It's agreed now, though. There was a videoconference and they get to talk to him in person December 20 (if he lives). This privacy invasion was ordered by the government of Venezuela, as a favor to the American deep-state.

Julian Assange’s pathetic tale of persecution has just taken a tawdry turn. He is rotting away in a London jail but he will testify via camera to Spain’s National Court in two weeks that a Spanish security company spied on him relentlessly and illegally for several years at the Ecuadoran embassy in London. According to prosecutors in the case, the company, employed by the Ecuadoran government, deployed cameras and microphones in bathrooms, live streaming his every move and conversation with lawyers and officials, and then hand delivered the surveillance to the CIA in the States on a regular basis...
So where does billionaire kingmaker Adelson and his Las Vegas Sands casino come in? (yes, the same GOP mega-donor who helped to elect Trump in 2016 and who many suspect was behind the appointment of John Bolton to National Security Advisor, and Trump’s incredible policy genuflections to Israel’s rightwing, including moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and blessing Israel’s annex of the Golan Heights).
Turns out, like Kansas City under-boss Artie Piscano in Scorsese’s Casino, Morales liked to talk about his trips and it would be his undoing. First, according to El Pais and NYT, he told his staff that UC Global was going to work “for the dark side,” and “another league,” after returning from a trip to Las Vegas. According to court documents filed by the prosecution, he signed a contract with Adelson’s casino. Former employees who have been granted witness protection have testified that Morales traveled to the U.S. once or twice a month, carrying with him hard disks containing the recordings from inside the Ecuadoran embassy. According to these former employees, he repeatedly told them not to talk to Ecuadoran officials about the trips. Prosecutors, according to the NYT, contend that Morales passed the disks to security officials at Adelson’s casino, which served as a go-between for the CIA.  

Eric Ciaramella is "the secret whistle blower", who looks like just another criminal co-conspirator, trying to save his bacon, along with Biden's.(bacon and money).
 Vice President Joseph Biden traveled to Ukraine to announce, on December 7th, a $190 million program to “fight corruption in law enforcement and reform the justice sector,” but behind the scenes explicitly linked a $1 billion loan guarantee to the firing of Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who had been investigating the energy company Burisma, which employed Biden’s son Hunter.
 On December 9, 2015, the reported whistleblower Eric Ciaramella held a meeting in Room 236 of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with Daria Kaleniuk, executive director of the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Action Center, which was 59%-funded by Barack Obama’s State Department and the International Renaissance Foundation, a George Soros organization...
 According to White House visitor logs, on January 19, 2016, Eric Ciaramella chaired a meeting of FBI, Department of Justice and Department of State personnel, which had two main objectives:
      To coerce the Ukrainians to drop the Burisma probe, which involved Vice President Joseph Biden’s son Hunter, and allow the FBI to take over the investigation.   

(Squelching this investigation again must have taken a BIG payoff, this late in the game.)
Ukraine has fired the prosecutor investigating cases involving Hunter Biden and Burisma and has transferred responsibility to the Soros-controlled ‘National Anti-Corruption Bureau’ (NABU) for disposal. This is the same NABU led by Artem Sytnyk who was caught on tape bragging about helping the Clinton campaign in its effort to discredit Donald Trump during the 2016 election.

​ ​House Democrats have struggled to define Trump’s alleged offense. Initially, they described it as “quid pro quo.” Then they employed the term “bribery.” The legally correct designation is “self-dealing.” Self-dealing is betraying your employer’s interests to enrich yourself. It’s a violation of the fiduciary duty of loyalty. We can assume the president might benefit from a Ukrainian investigation, but that doesn’t mean asking for an investigation was self-dealing as defined by fiduciary, and therefore by impeachment, law. There’s nothing unusual or improper about a president asking a recipient of U.S. foreign aid to address corruption. As for seeking political advantage: If we punished every politician who did that, they would all be swinging from the yardarm.  

Oh, yuck...
EU leaders will spell out their plans for potentially years more Brexit talks on the day after the general election, a leaked internal documents seen by The Independent shows.
Far from "getting Brexit done", as Boris Johnson's campaign slogan would have it, the leaders are set to warn of a new ticking clock with a fresh round of negotiations strongly resembling the last three years.
In a striking deja vu, the leak shows the leaders are to confirm that Michel Barnier will reprise his role as chief negotiator, that there would be no side deals with individual member states, and that the issue would come to a head at a string of make-or-break EU summits.  
​Keep in mind that Emanuel Macron is a piece played on the global chessboard by Rothschild banking interests.
​ Two and a half years after demolishing the French establishment to sweep into the Elysee Palace, the 41-year-old president is seeking to cement his position as the EU’s pre-eminent leader. Frustrated in his efforts to coax German Chancellor Angela Merkel into action, he’s striking out alone and part of the grand plan is to break things along the way.
 “He thinks we need urgency,” said Martin Quencez, deputy director of the Paris office of policy group the German Marshall Fund. “Macron thinks we’re witnessing the beginnings of a bipolar world and he wants Europe (psst: house of Rothschild) to be a player, not an object in that game.” ...
(Macron can do what "he" wants really fast, if you just let "him".) Macron’s team argues that the EU can no longer afford to work with its traditional habits of consensus building and incremental change. The challenges facing the bloc — from technological change, to migration, climate change and an increasingly hostile world — are too great for its leaders to continue moving at the pace of the slowest member on every issue.

Emmanuel Macron’s Year of Cracking Heads
France’s past year offers a possible preview of the West's future: growing protests against liberalism—and growing brutality against the protests.

 Photos show hundreds of thousands of people protesting in France in the biggest strikes against Macron yet
Trains and buses all stopped Wednesday at midnight and 800,000 people flooded the streets​ Thursday​. 
Macron is threatening French pensions, everybody's pensions. ​The ​French know whose interests Macron serves, not pensioners. ​Pension arrangements​ need to be simplified, but by somebody France can trust.

​Photo essay about riding the slower rural "green trains" in China
A train from Guizhou to Yunnan Province in February 2014. The seats were removed to facilitate the transport of vegetables.

​Going Back​

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

World Of Equals

Reviewing Options,

 Eleni has sent this extensively informative article about all of the trade organizations, trade routes, pipelines, information exchanges, financial exchanges and the geography they cover, which are outside the US Dollar, NATO, SWIFT, etc.
It is vast, and a lot of decisions are being made whether to use these networks more or less, compared to the currently dominant, dollar-based, western financial empire. 
 I think the weaponization of the dollar reveals that it is a waning asset now, to be exploited for short term objectives, until it is replaced.
 One thing I have gained from all of this detailed information is the view that it is possible to have a world of peaceful trade, and that is being offered as an alternative to the militarily backed petro-dollar, which is so coercive these days.
 Importantly, a multipolar world, backing way off on bombings and invasions, false-flags and choke-holds, can potentially be much more efficient, and might work on large-scale cooperative projects, like not killing us all.

Is there any global power which approaches the ideals propounded in this quote?

 According to Chinese philosopher Xunzi, there were three types of leadership: humane authority, hegemony and tyranny. Humane authority begins by creating a desirable model at home that inspires people abroad. Xunzi[2], proposed that, though hegemons know how to win wars, “The ruler who makes his own state act correctly will attain international primacy.” The domestic determines the international and, since humane authority based on morality rather than power, is superior to hegemony it is more important to win over people than territory. States wishing to exercise humane authority must be the first to respect the norms they advocate and leaders of high ethical reputation and great administrative ability will attract other states. 

OOPS! Meeting adjourned. Press conference canceled...
​ ​The leak by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation of a clip showing Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson caught on a hot mic appearing to ridicule President Trump at the NATO 70 year anniversary summit, appears to have made an already tense diplomatic situation, downright unbearable​...
​ ​This was a really unusual trip for Trump, who abided by Boris Johnson's wishes to not interfere in UK elections, got an earful from Macron, woke up to footage of close allies mocking him, and, on top of it all, decided not to get the final say with a presser.  

Bloomberg says he is “Running for president to stop Donald Trump and rebuild America.” In reality he is running to stop Bernie Sanders because he knows that given a level playing field Sanders would emerge triumphant. Bloomberg’s strategy is to skip the early states and focus on Super Tuesday in March. This plan is a sign that he is more interested in being a spoiler than in actually being president himself.
​ ​Bloomberg’s impact on New York will be felt for years to come. He described New York as “a luxury product” and he acted accordingly by accelerating the displacement of black people through gentrification. In order to make sure that black New Yorkers got the memo and quickly left town he instituted the notorious stop and frisk police program.

Charles Hugh Smith
Could America Survive a Truth Commission?
​ ​A nation that's no longer capable of naming names and reporting what actually happened richly deserves an economic and political collapse to match its moral collapse.
​ ​You've probably heard of the Truth Commissions held in disastrously corrupt and oppressive regimes after the sociopath/kleptocrat Oligarchs are deposed. The goal is not revenge, as well-deserved as that might be; the goal is national reconciliation via the only possible path to healing: name names and tell the plain, unadorned truth, stripped of self-serving artifice, spin, propaganda and PR.
​ ​Is such a stripped-of-spin truthful account of names and events even possible in the U.S.? 
​ ​Sadly, there is precious little evidence that a Truth Commission in the U.S. would be anything more than a travesty of a mockery of a sham, a parade of half-truths, misdirections, falsehoods and fabrications, all aimed at one goal: protecting the powerful from the consequences of their decisions and actions.

Hunter Biden's Lawyer Abruptly Quits After 'Father-Of-The-Year' Blows Off Child Support Hearing 
​ ​Hunter Biden's lawyer abruptly quit on Monday after the former Vice President's son and Ukraine energy expert failed to show up for a child support hearing regarding his out-of-wedlock child with a D.C. stripper from Arkansas...
​​Biden has requested that his financial records be sealed to avoid public 'embarrassment' over claims of 'significant debts'
 ​(and massive Ukrainian bribes and laundered money...)​

The Clintons regularly stayed at Jeffrey Epstein's weird New Mexico ranch where the deceased pedophile had grand plans to seed the human race with his DNA, according to his estate manager.  

Lobbyist known for Trump ties charged with steering illegal contributions to Clinton
​ ​A lobbyist known for his ties to the inner circle of President Donald Trump has been indicted on campaign finance charges for allegedly using straw donors to conceal contributions to Trump’s 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, the Justice Department revealed on Tuesday...
​ ​In July, Nader pleaded not guilty to unrelated charges of importing child pornography and traveling with a minor to engage in sexual activity. Nader pleaded guilty to other federal child pornography charges in 1991

 The U.S. Government Has Been Run as a Criminal Enterprise: Financial Fraud, Criminal Cash Flows
Interview with Catherine Austin Fitts​  
(12/10/17, still pertinent)
​ ​The U.S. economy is deeply dependent on criminal cash flows.  We’re the global leader in money laundering.  If we stopped doing that, the economy would be in for a major, major change. . . . The preference for most Americans is to keep that system going as long as it works for them.  So, it you are a public official, you are between a rock and a hard place.  If you press the red button and stop the illegal cash flows, then all hell breaks loose. . . . The U.S. Government has been run as a criminal enterprise, and I have documented and proved that on multiple occasions.  The swamp that exists in Washington is from sea to shining sea.  It’s not just in Washington.  It’s in every county and every state house in the country.  If we are going to change and clean ourselves of enormous financial dependencies on criminal activities, we are talking about a very big change, and it’s not just in Washington.”
 ​ ​Why are so many top people in politics and Hollywood being taken down?
Fitts says,
“These people are expensive.  This is a fundamental re-engineering. . . . We are watching purges, but these purges are knocking out the expensive people, people we no longer need from the financial coup d’├ętat period, and you are bringing in a new wave of people or you are just downsizing.  So, we see sex purges in Hollywood and in various forms of media and entertainment. . . . You have various purges going on because the reality is the world needs to move on.  This money needs to be reinvested, and you can’t afford a bunch of egotistical maniacs who were good at stealing money.  You can’t use them to build the future, and you can’t afford them. . . . There is a huge amount of money that is floating around in fixed income and derivative markets, and now you’ve got to bring it down into the hard economy and hard assets.  How do you do that?  You need to switch the caliber of the people for management and reinvestment of the money.  You have to do it in a way that doesn’t kick off hyperinflation.”
​ ​So, what are the rich doing with their money?   
Fitts says,
​ ​“Gold is what it has always been and that is a real store of value.  I am a gold girl.  
If you look at the smart money and central banks around the world . . . the smart money is buying gold, and the smart money is buying land.  If you read the land report, that’s the top holders of land in the United States.  Their holdings have doubled since 2008.  I see tremendous amounts of money moving into hard assets.”

​Enterprising Criminal​

Monday, December 2, 2019

Degrees Of Freedom

​Dropping By For Dinner,​

The Military Times has a late, neutral, and probably official read on Trumps Afghan Thanksgiving. It spills no beans.
(My read is that he Public-Relations outmaneuvered the deep state again, after being sabotaged in September.)
​ ​President Donald Trump paid a surprise Thanksgiving visit to Afghanistan, where he announced the U.S. and the Taliban have been engaged in ongoing peace talks and said he believes the Taliban want a cease-fire.
​ ​Trump arrived at Bagram Air Field shortly after 8:30 p.m. local time Thursday and spent 3½ hours on the ground during his first trip to the site of America’s longest war. He served turkey and thanked the troops, delivered a speech and sat down with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani before leaving just after midnight...​ ​
​ ​Trump appeared in good spirits as he was escorted around the base by heavily armed soldiers, as the smell of burning fuel and garbage wafted through the chilly air. Unlike last year’s post-Christmas visit to Iraq — his first to an active combat zone — first lady Melania Trump did not make the trip.
​ ​Trump’s first stop was a dining hall, where the crowd erupted into cheers when he arrived. There, he served turkey to soldiers dressed in fatigues and sat down for a meal. But he said he only tasted the mashed potatoes before he was pulled away for photos.​.. ​
​ ​Trump announced that the U.S. and Taliban have been engaged in peace talks and insisted the Taliban want to make a deal after heavy U.S. fire in recent months.
​ ​“We’re meeting with them,” he said. “And we’re saying it has to be a cease-fire. And they don’t want to do a cease-fire, but now they do want to do a cease-fire, I believe ... and we’ll see what happens.”
​ ​The trip came after Trump abruptly broke off peace talks with the Taliban in September, canceling a secret meeting with Taliban and Afghan leaders at the Camp David presidential retreat after a particularly deadly spate of violence, capped by a bombing in Kabul that killed 12 people, including an American soldier...​ ​
​ ​Trump ran his 2016 campaign promising to end the nation’s “endless wars” and has been pushing to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and in the Middle East despite protests from top U.S. officials, Trump’s Republican allies in Washington and many U.S. allies abroad... ​ ​
​ ​The U.S. and the Taliban in September had been close to an agreement that might have enabled a U.S. troop withdrawal... 
​ ​Trump made the announcement as he met with Ghani, the Afghan president. Ghani thanked the Americans who have made the “ultimate sacrifice” in Afghanistan and assured the president that Afghan security forces are increasingly leading the fight.
“In the next three months, it’s going to be all Afghanistan!”
Ghani said. 
The trip came a week after the Taliban freed an American and an Australian who had been held hostage since 2016 in exchange for three top Taliban figures, a move that has been widely seen as a possible entree to rekindling peace talks.
The White House took pains to keep the trip a secret after Trump’s cover was blown last year when Air Force One was spotted en route to Iraq by an amateur British flight watcher...
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said plans for the visit had been in the works for weeks.
“It’s a dangerous area and he wants to support the troops,” Grisham told reporters before Trump landed. “He and Mrs. Trump recognize that there’s a lot of people who are away from their families during the holidays, and we thought it’d be a nice surprise.”
The president told the troops he was honored to spend part of his holiday with them.
“There is nowhere I’d rather celebrate this Thanksgiving than right here with the toughest, strongest, best and bravest warriors on the face of the earth,”
Trump said.

​ ​Rep. Tulsi Gabbard once again defended supporters of President Donald Trump, as well as her appearances on Fox News, during an interview with Joe Rogan on Tuesday night.
​ ​The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate said that you can’t lead Americans as president if you’re going to throw “half of them away.”
“It’s one thing to say you’re gonna go on Fox News and tussle with Sean Hannity about things you disagree on, but what they see as more dangerous is finding areas where you actually do agree,” Gabbard proclaimed. “I have a platform to be able to speak to millions of people across the country about the kind of leadership I bring in the area of foreign policy. What I would do here in this country, what I would do there in that country if I were president today. And I have the opportunity to deliver that message directly to people’s living rooms or offices or wherever they are.”
​ ​Rep. Gabbard was attacked by Sen. Kamala Harris during the November Democratic Primary debate for her willingness to appear on Fox News.

The BBC et. al. have lied very hard about Jeremy Corbyn for a long time. He must threaten vested interests.
The BBC broke accuracy and impartiality rules in a News at Six report about Jeremy Corbyn's view on shoot-to-kill, the BBC's governing body has said.
The item, by BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, was shown three days after the Paris attacks in November 2015...
In the News at Six report, Kuenssberg said she had asked Mr Corbyn "if he were the resident here at Number 10 whether or not he would be happy for British officers to pull the trigger in the event of a Paris-style attack".
He was seen to reply: "I am not happy with a shoot to kill policy in general. I think that is quite dangerous and I think can often be counter-productive."
The actual question Kuenssberg had asked during the interview was: "If you were prime minister, would you be happy to order people - police or military - to shoot to kill on Britain's streets?"
The previous question in the interview, in a section that was not used on the News At Six, he had been asked specifically about his response to a Paris-style attack if he was prime minister and whether he would "order security services onto the street to stop people being killed".
In answer to that question, Mr Corbyn had replied: "Of course you'd bring people onto the streets to prevent and ensure there is safety within our society."
The BBC Trust said the BBC "was wrong in this case to present an answer Mr Corbyn had given to a question about 'shoot to kill' as though it were his answer to a question he had not in fact been asked".

Vested interests may torture you to death in public, if you have opposed them, right, Jesus?
It’s extremely important to draw attention to the founder of the WikiLeaks website, because "we are about to set a precedent," warned Nils Melzer, a United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture.
If Assange gets extradited to the United States and if he gets punished for exposing the truth, then essentially what’s happening is that telling the truth becomes a crime.

​Different in degree, but coming soon to warmly bathing frogs like us...
​ ​A video out of China shows a man being called in and interrogated by authorities for the crime of criticizing the police on social media.
​ ​The clip shows the man handcuffed to a metal chair as he is asked personal questions.
“Why did you complain about police on QQ and WeChat?” police ask the man.

​Eric Zeuss calls for execution of fascists to end their killing for the imperial deep state. (What's plan-B?)​
On November 11th, the very disturbing but clearly true “Lessons To Learn From The Coup In Bolivia” was posted to the Web. That anonymous author (a German intelligence analyst) documented the evilness of the overthrow of Evo Morales in Bolivia, and the threat now clearly posed to the world by the US regime — a spreading cancer of expansionist fascism, led from Washington. But, even more than this, he indicated that unless the individuals who are responsible for the advancing fascism are executed, there won’t be any real hope for democracy anywhere in the world. Either this impunity will stop, or else the spread of the US international dictatorship — not only by CIA coups such as this, but by illegal international invasions such as of Iraq 2003, Libya 2011, Syria 2012-, and Yemen 2015-, —  will continue and will engulf in misery ultimately the entire world. He makes clear the complicity of US ‘news’-media in the lies that ‘justify’ this coup (and ‘justified’ those invasions). It’s, by now, clearly the way the US regime functions. Of course, none of those media will publish any such truth; they all cover-up constantly for the regime, because they actually are an essential part of it.

The question, "What is freedom", has already been asked and addressed constitutionally in the US. Why didn't I know?
​  ​In 1867, Congress expressly recognized that it was possible to agree to work and still be enslaved. With its Anti-Peonage Act, Congress outlawed debt peonage—contracts that force someone to labor in order to pay off a debt, whether it is “voluntary” or not.
​ ​This and other laws reveal how the Reconstruction Congress saw the labor part of freedom as “not just the right to participate in the market, but the right to participate in a way that frees you from undue coercion,” says Rebecca Zietlow, a founder of the Thirteenth Amendment Project, a group of scholars exploring the history and “untapped potential” of the amendment.
“It’s not much of a stretch,” she says, to argue that this vision of freedom protects against usurious debt contracts, just as it protects against traditional debt peonage.

Freed Slave​

Thursday, November 28, 2019


Baby Stepping,

I am in the habit of looking at what history demands of us going forward, and also what history has provided at similar junctures in the past.
Right now, at the Wile-E-Coyote moment of global economy, with the cheap and easy resources all in terminal decline, and toxic waste products already a big problem for a long time, we need to steer out of exploitive  economic and military competition, and into cooperative stewardship of life on earth. 
We will need an efficient economy, in terms of meeting human and ecological needs.
What history has provided in the past is massive war, but there was always resource to exploit somewhere to pay for the war after it ended.
Not this time.
Therefore massive war is clearly against global elite interests, though some rigid nationalist elites may speculate a gain for themselves (see Israeli politics).
Cooperative resource stewardship is clearly against power elite goals, but not dangerously so. It won't kill half of them.
As long as there is a path of little, incremental steps, going forward, then massive war will be the riskier step each time. 
If we can make not-WW-3 the obvious step for every power-lizard, every day, then we may keep living to work on this very complicated problem.
Trump threatening war for the media, and not pushing the big red button, is par for the course, as far as I can tell.
What comes next?

North Korea launched a couple of missiles in the general direction of Japan, with high trajectories, which plunked down in Korean waters, far from Japan. Just showing that they can...

China responds to Trump signing Hong Kong Rights legislation, in unanimity with Congress.
 The United States signed the so-called "Hong Kong Bill of Rights and Democracy" into law. This move seriously interfered with Hong Kong affairs, seriously interfered with China's internal affairs, and seriously violated international law and basic norms of international relations. It was a naked hegemonic act, and the Chinese government and people firmly opposed it.
 Since the return of Hong Kong to the motherland, "one country, two systems" has achieved universally recognized success, and Hong Kong residents enjoy unprecedented democratic rights in accordance with the law. The United States ignored the facts, turned black and white, and blatantly supported the violent criminals who smashed and burned innocent people, trampled against the rule of law, and endangered social order. They are extremely bad in nature and very dangerous. Their fundamental purpose is to undermine Hong Kong ’s prosperity and stability, The great practice of "one country, two systems" undermines the historical process of the Chinese nation's great rejuvenation.

Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, Stay Home!
 Global Times editor-in-chief and notorious twitter troll, Hu Xijin ,tweeted Thursday that China is considering adding those who drafted the Hong Kong Bill of Rights and Democracy Act into law on a no-entry list, banning them from traveling to China's mainland, Hong Kong, and Macau.

 WSJ summarized, for all its huffing and puffing, "China’s leadership still wants a deal to help alleviate pressure on its fast-weakening economy", which incidentally coincides with Trump's own interest as he hopes to clinch a deal to boost his re-election bid.
 Indeed, as the WSJ's Lingling Wei also notes, Trump "Trump also chose the evening before Thanksgiving to sign the measure, a time guaranteed to get little attention in the U.S. While his signature still makes the bill law, his timing suggests he was trying to play down the political impact at home.

 The cat is out of the bag: Boris Johnson is dancing to Donald Trump’s tune, regardless of the damage this might cause to Britain. His promises to maintain Britain’s ‘high standards’ after Brexit are not worth the paper they’re written on.
 That’s the only conclusion that can be drawn from a set of leaked papers detailing trade talks between US and UK officials over the last 3 years. The minutes, redacted versions of which Jeremy Corbyn held up at last Tuesday’s leaders debate, were posted by an anonymous source on the discussion website, Reddit. They show how the US administration has already successfully bullied Britain into taking a harder Brexit position, which is good for Trump’s geopolitical games and US big business, but bad for Britain’s economy and British welfare...
​ ​Papers from the time of Theresa May’s ‘Chequers plan’ are illuminating because the administration is clearly furious at May’s promise of long-term alignment with EU standards which would prevent the dilution of British food regulations which US agribusiness hopes to benefit from.​..
   US officials explicitly mention the infamous chlorine-washed chickens, promising to help the British government sell the concept to a sceptical British public. They attack attempts to reduce sugar in food, the protection of regional products (like Stilton cheese and Cornish pasties) and even nutritional labelling, which they say is more harmful than it is useful.​..
 ... They call the European Parliament’s decision to temporarily ban the Monsanto-owned chemical glyphosate “unhelpful”.​..
...​US seems interested in introducing a ‘corporate court system’ in a US-UK deal, formally known as ‘investor state dispute settlement’ or ISDS, a mechanism regularly used in other trade deals to make government action on climate change more difficult. ISDS would allow thousands of US multinationals access to secretive tribunals, for the first time, where they can sue the British government for treating them ‘unfairly’.​..
 Both the British and American sides agree that these talks should be secret – exempt from freedom of information rules – and it’s clear to see why.  

French farmers drive tractors through Paris to protest plans for further beatings with globalist sticks. 
It has been a long time since farmers got a carrot.

Thanksgiving Meditations

Let's Get Together, Jefferson Airplane (band of Dino Valenti, the songwriter)

Before The Deluge, Jackson Browne

Wednesday, November 27, 2019


More Equal.

George Galloway: 
​ ​The grand old Duke of York sleeps tonight on a feather pillow in a royal palace. Julian Assange, the publisher of the century sleeps in the hell of Belmarsh Prison, Britain’s own Guantanamo Bay.
​ ​The Duke of York lied about the length duration and nature of his relationship with the presumed deceased child-sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. Julian Assange told the truth about the high crimes and misdemeanours of the rich and powerful during times of war and peace.
​ ​The FBI need to speak to the Queen’s favorite son, but no power on earth will be deployed to make him testify about what he might have seen, or even have participated in, at the townhouse in Manhattan, a Sodom and Gomorrah of our times.​  ​
Justice blind or blinded by titles? A tale of Prince Andrew and Julian Assange

Today, almost every Democratic presidential campaign starts with what one close adviser to Barack Obama calls “The Pilgrimage”: the journey to the West End to meet the former president. 
It's like kissing The Pope's Ring. Barkie never had Tulsi over for a luau. Where's the Aloha?

Barkie Hates Bernie: 
Word is out that Obama would have come out to publicly detest Sanders, if he got too high in early primary polling. 

Progressive journalist: MSNBC doesn't try to hide 'contempt' towards Gabbard
​ ​Progressive journalist Michael Tracey claimed Tuesday that MSNBC is has dropped all pretenses for their “contempt” towards Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).
​ ​The political news contributor said the left-leaning network has treated her fellow 2020 Democratic candidates, including businessman Andrew Yang and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) unfairly, but he argued that with Gabbard it, “crosses a certain threshold.”
​ ​“Fundamentally they’re beholden to whatever the market incentives are and right now it’s within their market interests to depict Tulsi as an infiltrator, as a Trojan horse in the Democratic Party and not deal on the substance with what she’s saying which is why over and over again they tar her as a Russian plant essentially​.​

Our Girl, Helen of DesTroy​ via Russia Today, a journalistic niche she found:​
​ ​Professional journalists are losing touch with the moral code that once galvanized the profession, a new study shows. But what truth-slinger wouldn’t be having an existential crisis in an industry where facts no longer matter?  ​...​
 ​ ​Punishing good work while reporting bad has drained journalism not just of morality but credibility. While some might be tempted to blame the industry’s fall from ethical grace on President Donald Trump’s voluble scorn for the press as the “enemy of the people,” the disintegration of the profession’s moral center has been underway for years. The constant “disruption” of the journalism industry over just the last 13 years saw online media kill off newspapers, the 24-hour news cycle take over TV, and ad sales vanish, sucked up by the Google-Facebook industrial complex.
​ ​To survive this shifting landscape, as the morality study explains, journalists have had to adapt, leaving their identities in flux. A well-developed sense of professional ethics can be a liability in a newsroom where writers are pressured to deliver clicks by any means necessary. In upside-down-world “news” where speed, novelty and ideological fealty are more important than truth, morality all but disqualifies one to be a journalist.  

Caitlin Johnstone has a couple of stories about the fake-chlorine attack in Syria being leaked. (Truthy Tucker, too.)
​ ​So you know that Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons scandal we've been talking a lot about lately? The one where evidence keeps piling up that the US, UK and France launched airstrikes against the Syrian government last year in retaliation for a poison gas attack which never took place, and then manipulated an ostensibly independent and international chemical weapons watchdog organization into covering it up?
​ ​Well, it turns out that bigtime news media outlets haven't been all that interested for some strange and mysterious reason. But just today they broke the silence with a new report that mentioned the scandal, and they've totally spun it in a way that makes the US and its allies look good! Can you believe that?

​Moon of Alabama figures the Democratic Party has way too much to lose if it votes to impeach Trump in the House, win or lose. Discovery in the Senate will reveal vast criminality, not just Biden and Ukraine scams. Can't have that. 
What if they LOSE a vote to impeach?​ That road also leads to a Trump windfall.
The House Democrats can safely vote to say "BAD PRESIDENT" and it will be over, without further downside risks. 

​China and Russia have interests in getting the stalled Iranian gas pipeline to Pakistan project back in play and finished soon.​ It looks like China has passed legislation to get that project back on track. (Washington shouts at Karachi.)

Politics of plutonium. Let the bidding begin!
​ ​In the time it will take for South Carolina’s stockpile of weapons-grade plutonium to decay, you could repeat most of human history, starting back in the Stone Age.
​ ​By the time its byproducts lose the explosive potential to be used in nuclear weapons, some 7 billion years will have passed. The Earth itself will have doubled in age, and then some.
​ ​The U.S. government will officially decide in the next few years where the plutonium — the metal used to trigger nuclear weapons — will spend that eternity. And when it does, it will ask another part of the country to bear a profound burden: to house thousands of barrels filled with scraps of the Cold War and America’s nuclear arms race, a legacy that may well outlast our civilization.
​ ​That question will soon be posed to New Mexico, where the U.S. Department of Energy has excavated cavernous vaults deep below the ruddy soil in the state’s southeastern corner.

Even ideal electric vehicles contribute more CO2 per mile than diesel, and that does not appear, in this German study, to include the sunk environmental degradation of mining rare-earth metals for the motors and lithium for the batteries, nor the fact that you can't recycle a Tesla.

No disrespect to NATO or the New York Fed, but...
The Bundesbank (the German central bank) published a book last year named Germany’s Gold. In the introduction, written by the President of the Bundesbank Jens Weidmann, the view of this bank leaves no room for interpretation. Weidmann writes (emphasis mine):
​ ​Ask anyone in Germany what they associate with gold and, more often than not, they will say that it is synonymous with enduring value and economic prosperity.
Ask us at the Bundesbank what our gold holdings mean for us and we will tell you that, first and foremost, they make up a very large share of Germany’s reserve assets ... [and they] are a major anchor underpinning confidence in the intrinsic value of the Bundesbank’s balance sheet.
​ ​The Bundesbank produced this publication to give a detailed account, the first of its kind, of how gold has grown in importance over the course of history, first as medium of payment, later as the bedrock of stability for the international monetary system.

​Trusting in God​

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Chinese People

Squeezed Tightly,

Whether residents of Hong Kong want to retain special freedoms compared to the rest of China is no longer a question since Sunday's votes were cast (hand counted paper ballots).
​I​n a statement on Monday, city leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor promised to reflect on the voters’ message.
“There are various analyses and interpretations in the community in relation to the results, and quite a few are of the view that the results reflect people’s dissatisfaction with the current situation and the deep-seated problems in society,” the statement read.
It added that the government would “listen to the opinions of members of the public humbly and seriously reflect”.
Youthful, fresh-faced candidates, many active in the anti-government protests roiling the city over the past six months, were among prominent winners of the historic district council elections which had a record turnout of 2.94 million voters, representing 71.2 per cent of registered electors, up from the previous figure of 47 per cent in 2015.

​The rest of China has these massive and growing re-education camps (satellite photos). All of China has electronic micro-surveillance with AI embedded in all communications devices, facial recognition street-cameras, and so on.
​ ​A series of classified Chinese government documents were leaked by a group of journalists describe the secret operations of detention camps in Xinjiang, reported Reuters.
​ ​Published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) Sunday, the documents offer a rare look into the massive internment camp for Muslim-majority Uyghur in the troubled western region of China.
​ ​The 2017 documents reveal a list of guidelines "that effectively serves as a manual for operating the camps now holding hundreds of thousands of Muslim Uighurs and other minorities," said ICIJ.
​ ​The leak shows intelligence briefings of "how Chinese police are guided by a massive data collection and analysis system that uses artificial intelligence to select entire categories of Xinjiang residents for detention," said ICIJ.

​I hear most transactions in China are paid by smartphone now. 
Chinese rulers are historically autocratic. Chinese peasants occasionally revolt.
China's 'Official' Virtual Currency Could Be Arriving "Quite Soon" To "Challenge The U.S."

​The US deep state is feeding anti-authoritarian movements in China, and brutal dictatorship in Saudi Arabia.​ Why?
 Reuters notes in a series of headlines on Tuesday, China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi criticized US lawmakers for supporting protestors in Hong Kong.

Alistair Crooke asks, "Is Trump a covert ally to the multipolar order?" (I think that's called "realism".)
​ ​We are led to understand that the unipolar ‘moment’ of US ascendency is giving way – grudgingly – to a multipolar world: a reversion perhaps to a more nineteenth century ‘concert’ of powers (or, of significant ‘poles’ – since size is not always the prime determinant). And that Trump is trying simply to prolong that hegemonic, US moment – albeit through different means, which is to say, adopting seemingly bizarre, and sometimes counterproductive, acts and language, that infuriate the American foreign policy establishment.​..
(This part is fun.) ​ ​ In practical terms, Obama can be viewed, as some in Moscow suggest, as the Gorbachev of the American regime, (i.e. the man who began the retrenchment out from certain of the Empire’s more extended nodes); and Trump then, in this analogy, is the Yeltsin of this regime: (i.e. the president who has re-focused on the internal arena, and on reducing the burdens of the republics that used to constitute parts of the Soviet Union).​..
 Wherever you look around the globe, America’s policies have strengthened the sovereigntists: i.e. Iran, Russia and China. Is this simply paradoxical – or deliberate? As one Russian thinker has noted, “Trump’s conservative tendencies and his deep isolationist predisposition, are placing him in the position of being an objective ally of ours (i.e. Russia and China). One who is facilitating the realisation of our project.”​...
 And, as a final speculation: Is this somewhat similar to what has been going on between Trump and Xi (i.e. a play analogous to that with Iran)? Is Trump ramping up the max-pressures, and threats of Cold War against China, to substitute for the military war that some of his deep state might love him to fight, but which Trump has no intention of doing?

What's the world coming to?! Nice story of practical community action at the right time...​
When a deep red town’s only grocery closed, city hall opened its own store. Just don’t call it ‘socialism.’

Home Grown