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Monday, October 14, 2019

I Had A Dream

Seen a Lot,

Tom at INN World Report sent this clip of President Trump talking to a large crowd in Iowa this past week. 
He cued it up to the part where Trump talks about the worst thing he has to do, which is to sign all the letters to the families of dead servicemen and women. 
He reads the letters.
He greets the planes and the families sometimes.
He describes his first time greeting families of dead soldiers on the tarmac. 
I wish you would watch these three minutes. 
He wants them to come home alive, now. He seems to genuinely mean it.

Trump can't be a sociopath, having made that unscripted speech to those people. 
He also can't be a complete narcissist, though he sure has some narcissistic traits.
He's human.
He's "The Gray Champion" of this country, for this particular systemic-reset-round as history deploys.

I had a dream early Sunday (yesterday) morning, that I was (sort of) Donald Trump, and I started speaking truth, correcting history, apologizing for nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and explaining why, and explaining FDR's trick to get Japan to attack Pearl Harbor, to get the US into the war, and assure that so many Americans died that day and then more and more, and about JFK and 9/11, and how this is our real world.

It was a good dream. It felt good.

Just a dream, right?


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Coupa Cola

Un-Cola Nuts,

Matt Taibbi
I’ve lived through a few coups. They’re insane, random, and terrifying, like watching sports, except your political future depends on the score.
​ ​The kickoff begins when a key official decides to buck the executive. From that moment, government becomes a high-speed head-counting exercise. Who’s got the power plant, the airport, the police in the capital? How many department chiefs are answering their phones? Who’s writing tonight’s newscast?
​ ​When the KGB in 1991 tried to reassume control of the crumbling Soviet Union by placing Mikhail Gorbachev under arrest and attempting to seize Moscow, logistics ruled. Boris Yeltsin’s crew drove to the Russian White House in ordinary cars, beating KGB coup plotters who were trying to reach the seat of Russian government in armored vehicles. A key moment came when one of Yeltsin’s men, Alexander Rutskoi – who two years later would himself lead a coup against Yeltsin – prevailed upon a Major in a tank unit to defy KGB orders and turn on the “criminals.”
​ ​We have long been spared this madness in America. Our head-counting ceremony was Election Day. We did it once every four years.
​ ​That’s all over, in the Trump era.
​ ​On Thursday, news broke that two businessmen said to have “peddled supposedly explosive information about corruption involving Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden” were arrested at Dulles airport on “campaign finance violations.” The two figures are alleged to be bagmen bearing “dirt” on Democrats, solicited by Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
​ ​Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman will be asked to give depositions to impeachment investigators. They’re reportedly going to refuse. Their lawyer John Dowd also says they will “refuse to appear before House Committees investigating President Donald Trump.” Fruman and Parnas meanwhile claim they had real derogatory information about Biden and other politicians, but “the U.S. government had shown little interest in receiving it through official channels.”
​ ​For Americans not familiar with the language of the Third World, that’s two contrasting denials of political legitimacy.
​ ​The men who are the proxies for Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani in this story are asserting that “official channels” have been corrupted. The forces backing impeachment, meanwhile, are telling us those same defendants are obstructing a lawful impeachment inquiry.
​ ​This latest incident, set against the impeachment mania and the reportedly “expanding” Russiagate investigation of U.S. Attorney John Durham, accelerates our timeline to chaos. We are speeding toward a situation when someone in one of these camps refuses to obey a major decree, arrest order, or court decision, at which point Americans will get to experience the joys of their political futures being decided by phone calls to generals and police chiefs.
​ ​My discomfort in the last few years, first with Russiagate and now with Ukrainegate and impeachment, stems from the belief that the people pushing hardest for Trump’s early removal are more dangerous than Trump. Many Americans don’t see this because they’re not used to waking up in a country where you’re not sure who the president will be by nightfall. They don’t understand that this predicament is worse than having a bad president.
​ ​The Trump presidency is the first to reveal a full-blown schism between the intelligence community and the White House. Senior figures in the CIA, NSA, FBI and other agencies made an open break from their would-be boss before Trump’s inauguration, commencing a public war of leaks that has not stopped​..​.  
​ ​It was also a bold new foray into domestic politics by intelligence agencies that in recent decades began asserting all sorts of frightening new authority. They were kidnapping foreigners, assassinating by drone, conducting paramilitary operations without congressional notice, building an international archipelago of secret prisons, and engaging in mass warrantless surveillance of Americans. We found out in a court case just last week how extensive the illegal domestic surveillance has been, with the FBI engaging in tens of thousands of warrantless searches involving American emails and phone numbers under the guise of combating foreign subversion.
​  ​The agencies’ new trick is inserting themselves into domestic politics using leaks and media pressure. The “intel chiefs” meeting was just the first in a series of similar stories, many following the pattern in which a document was created, passed from department from department, and leaked.​..
 I don’t believe most Americans have thought through what a successful campaign to oust Donald Trump would look like. Most casual news consumers can only think of it in terms of Mike Pence becoming president. The real problem would be the precedent of a de facto intelligence community veto over elections, using the lunatic spookworld brand of politics that has dominated the last three years of anti-Trump agitation.

​But I thought the US was pulling soldiers out of the Mideast!
​ ​The Pentagon has increased the number of US forces in the Central Command (CENTCOM) area of operations by about 14,000 since May this year, as it continues to lock horns with Tehran. Not all of those went to Saudi Arabia, however, as CENTCOM’s area of operations covers the entire Middle East, including Afghanistan and Syria.

Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach revealed on Wednesday that former Vice President Joe Biden received $900,000 from Burisma Group for lobbying activities, citing materials related to an investigation. 

Ukrainian Government Will 'Happily" Investigate Pro-Hillary Election Interference, President Says​ 

​Real whistle-blowers get treated like this:
Julian Assange to remain locked up in UK prison following brief court appearance ahead of US extradition hearing

 Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water someone poked a couple of holes in an oil tanker belonging to Iran. This sent oil prices up briefly in the vain hope of stabilizing them. But, strangely, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was silent.
This was a warning to Iran from someone on the Saudi/Israeli/U.S. side, “You won’t win without costs.”
Well, of course, that’s true. The big question everyone is asking is, of course, “Who did this?”​...
​ If the neocons and Israeli Firsters in Congress (and formerly in his cabinet) have turned on Trump to the point of starting impeachment proceedings against him for not going to war with Iran, then Trump is free to finally just blow it all wide open.
​ ​Which is exactly what he is doing. The Kurds were simply mercenaries to help us defeat ISIS. Job’s done, your beef with Turkey is your problem.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper told "Face the Nation" in a Sunday interview that the Trump administration is "preparing to evacuate" about 1,000 U.S. troops from northern Syria "as safely and quickly as possible," CBS reports...
This also comes after a week ago Trump ordered the withdrawal of US troops from northern border posts ahead of a Turkish military incursion to establish a so-called 'safe zone'. That decision has been met with fierce push back among Congressional leaders and pundits, angry at the US "betrayal" of its Syrian Kurdish partners, namely the US-funded and trained Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

​ ​Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unleashed a verbal attack against the Saudi and Egyptian governments on Thursday after the latter two states criticized Ankara’s new military incursion in Syria.
​ ​“Saudi Arabia has to look in the mirror before it criticizes the peace process,” Erdogan said in a speech during an expanded meeting of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), as quoted by the Anatolia news agency .
​ ​“Who brought Yemen to this situation, except Saudi Arabia, and the Egyptian president in particular, has no right to speak at all, he is a killer of democracy in his country​.​”  

​China was never a signatory to the intermediate range ballistic missile treaty, and has been advancing missile technology rapidly, so the US needed out of that treaty and blamed Russia for cheating. I have been saying that. Vladimir Putin says it , now.​  

​Before or after he confiscates all the AK-47s in Texas? (Sorry, Fox News, but reflects anti-reality bias.)
​ Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke says he'd strip churches of tax-exempt status if they don't support same-sex marriage.
 When the former Texas congressman was asked if religious institutions -- "colleges, churches, charities" -- should be stripped of tax-exempt status Thursday night by CNN anchor Don Lemon during the LGBTQ town hall, he immediately responded, "Yes."  

​Worthy of note...​
An article published by the De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), or Dutch Central Bank, has shocked many with its claim that "if the entire system collapses, the gold stock provides a collateral to start over."  

​Nuts for Winter​

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Checks And Imbalances


Tom Luongo thinks/is-hopeful that Trumps tweets about getting out of Syria indicate that he has gained enough power within the security-state to take some actions of his choosing. Luongo also says that Trump appears to have nothing to lose by acting-as-president, with quasi-impeachment-hearings proceeding without a vote. All or nothing.

​ ​President Donald J. Trump spoke with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey by telephone. Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria. The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial “Caliphate,” will no longer be in the immediate area.
​ ​Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years in the wake of the defeat of the territorial “Caliphate” by the United States.
​ ​This actually is not a surprise. Trump had tried several times to remove the U.S. from Syria and was only held back by the borg. Last December then Secretary of Defense James Mattis resigned when Trump ordered the troops to leave Syria. I do not expect anything similar to happen now.
​ ​Turkey long wanted to move into the Syrian border area east of the Euphrates. It sees the YPG resistance group, with whom the U.S. allied to go after ISIS, as a threat to its country. That view is justified.
​ ​Erdogan wants to take a 30 kilometer deep strip including the M4 highway which runs west to east in that area.
​ ​But the border area Erdogan marked is quite populated with some 850,000 people living there. Most of them are Kurds.
​ ​Turkey wants to replace those Kurds with the Syrian mob that it armed and supported against the Syrian government troops. These people and their families currently live in Turkey. To move them into north Syria would be one of the largest ethnic cleansing operation the world has seen in recent times.
​ ​A saying goes "The Kurds have no friends but the mountains." But there are no mountains in Syria's north east. While the YPG might want to fight off a Turkish invasion they have little chance to succeed. The land is flat and the YPG forces only have light arms.
​ ​There is only one solution for them. They will have to call up the Syrian government and ask it to come back into the north east. That would remove the Turkish concerns and would likely prevent further Turkish moves.

​The Deep State walks Trump back again. "Just moving some of our guys out of Turkey's way".
A SENIOR ADMINISTRATION official on an organized call with reporters appeared to contradict President Donald Trump about Syria policy late Monday, refuting interpretations of his statements from earlier in the day that prompted broad outrage from supporters and opponents alike.  

​The illegal weapons rat-line into Syria, to arm the ISIS caliphate and assorted "good terrorists" is laid out again in detail. It is US and UK covert operations, as usual.
​ Arms Watch published emails exposing how British shell companies were used as cover for a US government program to arm militants in Syria, called in internal memos 'Task Force Smoking Gun'.
 Years after the height of the CIA billion dollar program 'Timber Sycamore', and after the US Department of Defense 'Train and Equip' program, more and more details of the nuts and bolts of covert aid to jihadists in the Levant are falling into place.

Is the second CIA "whistleblower" John Bolton?

Israeli politics has been jammed recently. This article has good detail on those political processes. Johnathan Cook
​ ​The reality is that there is strong unity in Israel – over shared, deeply ugly attitudes towards Palestinians, whether citizens or those under occupation. Paradoxically, the only obstacle to realising that unity is Netanyahu’s efforts to cling to power.  

A few days old, but useful information. Israel has been attacking Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, frustrated by the formation of a "Shia Crescent" of political solidarity from Iran to Syria.
 During the last five days there have been protest all over the south of Iraq where the majority of the people are Shia. The protest escalated within a few days into shootings with over a hundred killed. In several cities party and government offices were burned and various groups hustle to take a position in the "leaderless" movement.
 There are legitimate reasons for protests. The majority of the people in Iraq is younger than 20 years. The people have little chance of finding a job. The state is weak and many of its actors are corrupt. Services the state is supposed to provide don't get delivered. Electricity and water supply is often sparse.
 But those are not the reasons why the protests immediately escalated into violence:
Liz Sly @LizSly - 22:19 UTC · Oct 4, 2019
Many Iraqi protesters are complaining of unknown snipers targeting them from rooftops, and it's possible they are aiming at both the demonstrators & the security forces.
Quote: Reporting Iraq @TFPOI · Oct 4
Protestors are confirming the use of snipers from buildings, targeting protesters approaching Tahrir Square.
A young man was killed by the use of snipers.
Evidence in the form of a photo can be seen.
#iraq #baghdad #save_the_iraqi_people
During the 2014 U.S. coup in Ukraine the same method was used to inflame the country.
Turkey Joins Russia's Ruble-Based Alternative To SWIFT

​ ​Brexit talks have come to an abrupt halt in Brussels days after the British government demanded intensive negotiations on Boris Johnson’s proposals.
​ ​Sources on both sides confirmed that no meetings between the negotiating teams were scheduled. There are 22 days to go before the UK is due to leave the EU.
​ ​Discussions between EU and UK officials had been held almost daily since the prime minister and the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, met for lunch in Luxembourg in mid-September.

MPs will be called to Parliament for a special Saturday sitting in a decisive day for the future of Brexit.
​ ​Parliament will meet on 19 October after a crunch EU summit - seen as the last chance for the UK and EU to agree a deal ahead of 31 October deadline.
​ ​If a deal is agreed, Boris Johnson will ask MPs to approve it - but if not, a range of options could be presented.
​​The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg says these could include leaving without a deal, and halting Brexit altogether.

​Jim Kunstler:
​ The political disorder spooling out is the political expression of the long emergency that the nation faces as it finally encounters the limits to growth we were warned about decades ago. The techno-industrial phase of history is ending, and we are left only with inadequate fantasies for coming to terms with it and moving forward. The dynamic relationship between affordable energy supplies and the operations of money roils at the core of this predicament. They are undoing each other and the result will be a contraction of human activity. The big question we refuse to face is how to cope with  contraction.  

​Denying Reality​

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Innocent Until Charged


Democracy is the coat of paint applied for PR purposes to the Imperial State.​ 
Charles Hugh Smith
​ ​If we step back from the histrionics of impeachment and indeed, the past four years of political circus, we have to wonder if America's democracy is little more than an elaborate simulation, a counterfeit democracy that matches our counterfeit capitalism (Matt Stoller's term).
​ ​If we review the mechanics of our "democracy," we find that swapping which party controls Congress doesn't really change the policies of The Imperial State, the central state that oversees America's global commercial and geopolitical empire...
​ ​Bush I was the ideal Imperial State president because he understood the need for the velvet glove of diplomacy, the most important element of which is an orchestrated demonstration of Imperial restraint. This also includes healthy dollops of PR about the sanctity of our alliances, which are heavily promoted as the acme of win-win cooperation, etc. He also understood the essential role of America's commercial Empire: the US dollar, US banking and US corporate interests around the world.
​ ​Imperial State handlers cannot tolerate loose-cannon presidents, those who keep their own council and who act outside the "recommended guidelines," for example, trying to make peace with rivals and enemies that the Imperial State cultivates as "enemies" for its own purposes.
​ ​John F. Kennedy appeared to be the ideal Imperial State president: wealthy Eastern Establishment, Harvard, combat military service, informal diplomatic experience via his father's connections, an enthusiastic supporter of the Imperial State's Cold War and a youthful politician with superb communication skills who the mass media fell for hook, line and sinker.
​ ​Once Kennedy soured on the CIA, things got dicey. The ideal president quickly became less ideal as his independence grew.
​ ​The Imperial State and mass media always feared and hated Richard Nixon, a poker player who kept his cards hidden and who surrounded himself with loyalists and outsiders, a rogue politician who could upstage the Imperial State's agenda by private diplomacy (opening relations with China) or expanding wars of choice (the invasion of Cambodia).
​ ​Nixon's cabinet was well-stocked with Establishment pros, but they were largely figureheads when it came to the bold private diplomatic moves Nixon favored. In other words, Nixon was the Imperial State's nightmare president.
​ ​Just to show that the Imperial State plays no favorites in party affiliations, the State and its media organs also hated Jimmy Carter, another independent who wandered outside the "recommended guidelines" and had to be destroyed via endless mockery and the undermining of his initiatives...
​ ​Bush II was no Bush I, but he followed orders and never strayed from the "recommended guidelines." The same can be said of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, telegenic communicators in the Kennedy mold.
​ ​Needless to say, the Imperial State and its media organs loathe Trump, the loosest cannon imaginable. Hillary Clinton had proven herself a reliable water carrier for the Imperial State, and so her election was elaborately planned and staged: potentially loose cannon Bernie Sanders was shivved in the primaries by the Democratic Party, and the champagne was chilled for Hillary's victory.
​ ​Democracy is the coat of paint applied for PR purposes to the Imperial State. "Democracy" is only tolerated if it follows the approved script. The Republic is good PR, but the Empire makes the rules and the scripts that elected officials follow, and woe to anyone who wins an election they were supposed to lose or who strays too far from the "recommended guidelines." (Imperial enemies must remain enemies until the Empire decides otherwise.)  

Former CIA Chief Brennan Unblinkingly Rewrites Entire Basis Of US Judicial System In One Short Sentence​:​
In an interview on MSNBC, Brennan, unblinkingly states that "people are innocent, you know, until alleged to be involved in some kind of criminal activity."  

This historical case for an inflationary depression is from Gold Money, so it supports investment in gold. Depression can go either way, as Germany had inflationary depression while the US had deflationary depression.
​ ​An economic depression does not require deflation, if by that term is meant a contraction of the money in circulation. More correctly, it is the collective impoverishment of the people, which is most easily achieved by debasement of the currency: in other words, monetary inflation. Fundamental to the myth that an inflation of the money supply is the path to economic recovery are the forecasts by the economic establishment that the world, or its smaller national units, will suffer no more than a mild recession before economic growth resumes. It is not only complacent central bank and government economists that say this, but their followers in the private sector as well.  

Moon of Alabama has a wide ranging article about global power structure reorganization, hearkening back to the period before WW-1 in Europe, and the concert of the great European powers, which made well orchestrated music for some generations. Vladimir Putin bears similarity to Germany's Chancellor Bismark. 
Russia agrees to help China with missile defense. which will help to further stalemate the big powers, removing America's first-strike option.
Russia and China and Iran move more oil business out of US dollars.

Pepe Escobar looks at Saudi Arabia's new imperatives, needing to end the war with Yemen, for selfish reasons.
Nobody loves or respects the House of Saud...
​ ​Never underestimate the power of blowback. Right now, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS), the de facto ruler of the House of Saud, is staring at it, an ominous abyss opened by the Houthis in Yemen.
​ ​This past weekend, Yemeni Armed Forces spokesman Brigadier Yahya al-Sari clinically described how Ansarallah, also known as the Houthi rebel movement, aided by what Yemenis describe as “popular committees,” captured three Saudi brigades of 2,400 – ragged – soldiers, plus Yemeni and Sudanese mercenaries as well as several hundred battle vehicles. At least 500 Saudi soldiers were killed, Ansarallah said. (A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition denied the claim).
​ ​This was part of the significantly named Operation Nasrallah in Najran province, Saudi Arabia. The Houthis, who did learn a lot, tactically and strategically, from Hezbollah, duly praised mujahideen and ‘popular committees’ involved in Operation Nasrallah.
 ​Col. Pat Lang, in his blog, offers a particularly useful observation on the captured Saudi vehicles. Some belonged to the Saudi National Guard (SANG): “I suppose these troops were from the modernized SANG that the US has worked hard to train and equip for fifty years or more. The easy surrender of these Bedouins is very bad news for the Saudi monarchy.”

Helen of DesTroy via RT:
 An assassination attempt on the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force has been foiled and several of its “Hebrew-Arab” plotters captured, Tehran claims as cited by local media. The assault was meant to trigger sectarian violence...
 Saudi Arabia was reportedly considering hiring private contractors to assassinate Soleimani in 2017, according to the New York Times, which reported Saudi intelligence officials close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meeting with a small group of businessmen to discuss the use of private-sector operators to sabotage both Iran’s military – by killing Soleimani – and its economy.

North Korea successfully tested a submarine launched ballistic missile, so a nuked North Korea would still be able to nuke US forces, allies or interests somewhere, maybe even the US mainland.  

North Korea stopped nuclear negotiations on Saturday after a day and a half, because the "US came empty handed".

Russia has just made the first floating nuclear power plant, good to power a city of about 100,000, wherever there is water. The nuclear-icebreaker platform was used, so this baby can cover Africa to Alaska. 
It has to go home to change uranium every dozen years or so.
Need to rent one?

​Paging Bernie Sanders...​ ​ ​Kaja Robinson can’t forget the hold music at her former debt collection agency’s phone line.
“Oh my God, it's awful,” the 53-year-old said. “I hear it in my head all the time. It's kind of screechy and eerie like a sci-fi movie.”..
​ ​It’s just one of the stress triggers Robinson has developed in her decades-long dispute over loans she took out as a college student in the late 1980s.
​ ​She borrowed about $17,000 to attend the University of Minnesota and has paid off $15,000 of the amount — according to a trove of records, including scans of checks, she’s kept in two large bankers boxes and shown to MPR News.
​ ​But according to the Department of Education, Robinson still owes some $49,000. That’s due to missing records of her payments and accrued interest, she said...
​ ​“Knowing that the government believes that I owe this much money to them and knowing that I don't,” she said, “It's bizarre and surreal ... It seems like a big black dark empty hole and that there's just no way to get through it.”
​ ​This isn’t the first time a company has lost track of student loans. In 2017, a student loan trust lost paperwork for at least $5 billion in student loans.

​Criminally Overcharged​

Saturday, October 5, 2019

What Future History


 ​Historical transitions are completely insecure. No assurances exist. No comfort zone. Root hog or die.
How much daily insecurity are we used to? 
One of our main goals in life is to be more secure, to save resources for times of need, to be well liked socially, to have good clothes, a good roof over our heads, and a warm hearth, surrounded by loving family.​
 Nonetheless, economic resets must periodically be worked out by all the economic participants, in all of the critical classes: Production and Transport, Management/Organization, Politics, Resource-Allocation and Enforcement. (That's just my own quick division of economic segments. I'd lump religion with politics, for instance.)
 All of us could be more conversant with production, especially kitchen-gardening, the intimate scale. 
Below is a picture of me before work, October 1, at one end of the long break-patio at People's Community Clinic, It shows about half of the vegetable garden I grow there for my coworkers. My purpose growing vegetables at work, is to create familiarity with that core human activity, to provide a chance to get some vegetables in season, and to understand how a garden progresses through the seasons and years.
 Vegetable gardening provides the kind of security that comes from knowing the context intimately. It's well aware of all of the limitations and weaknesses that inherently exist. It is not like the blind faith that "we" can transition to "completely renewable energy" by 2050, for instance.
 One of the classes of people which is still being supported by global financial capitalism is the managerial class, that I include second in the list, those who provide structure and order to the fundamental processes of our economy, roughly the top 10% of wealth, minus the 1-2% at the tip. 
I'm in that demographic, as you likely are. We can't feel too easy; at least I do not. I'm in the business of understanding humans, their problems, diagnosing what is wrong, and finding inroads to improve and heal what is failing.
I believe that American and global economies broke away from the paradigm of sustainable economy in the early 1980s, started lying about the future, which was well-received, and started a Ponzi scheme for all forms of retirement plans, keeping up payments from current receipts, while gutting the productive assets, and protecting them from the future claims of society, under private ownership. 
The problems inherent in that are myriad. "Ownership" exists within the context of a pervasive social-contract. The "owners" assume this will always exist for them, despite their covert embezzlement of all the cookies from the jar. 
They pay the enforcers and managers and transport people, don't they? 
They are the masters of resource-allocation, are they not?
They have lots of product saved up for bad times, and protected in bunkers, right?
 The problem is that the economy still needs productive workers, even though automation is so vast and pervasive. Workers and managers who are directly engaged in production have a working bond, that does not extend to bankers.
 Which side do the police and army take? 
Historically, they side with the bankers until they change sides and the revolution succeeds. 
They are never the banker's kids, after all...
  At this point, we are forced to accept that there is actually an important societal role for Politicians. (Consider a writhing mass of earthworms in a manure bucket, which we don't really want to reach in and grab with both hands.) 
All of our lives, the main paid-job of politicians has been to deliver the workers, managers and enforcers to the resource-allocators. 
 That's ending. It's entering transition. 
 The successful politicians in the next decade will convince the resource-allocators to allocate a lot less to themselves, in trade for some security, which will be gained from creating a new societal contract. 
The new social contract will be viable under conditions of more expensive and scarce energy and natural resources, and the fouling of our nest, which we finally have to address

2020 is for all the marbles. The global capitalist ruling classes either crush this ongoing populist insurgency or … God knows where we go from here. Try to see it through their eyes for a moment. Picture four more years of Trump … second-term Trump … Trump unleashed. Do you really believe they’re going to let that happen, that they are going to permit this populist insurgency to continue for another four years?
​ ​They are not. What they are going to do is use all their power to destroy the monster … not Trump the man, but Trump the symbol. They are going to drown us in impeachment minutiae, drip, drip, drip, for the next twelve months. The liberal corporate media are going to go full-Goebbels. They are going to whip up so much mass hysteria that people won’t be able to think. They are going to pit us one against the other, and force us onto one or the other side of a simulated conflict (Democracy versus the Putin-Nazis) to keep us from perceiving the actual conflict (Global Capitalism versus Populism). They are going to bring us to the brink of civil war in order to prevent civil war. And, if that doesn’t work, and Trump gets reelected (or if it looks like he’s going to get reelected), they’ll probably have to just go ahead and kill him.
​ ​One way or another, this is it. This is the part where the global capitalist ruling classes teach us all a lesson. The lesson they intend to teach us is the same old lesson that masters have been teaching slaves since the dawn of slavery. The lesson is, “abandon hope.” The lesson is, “resistance is futile.” The lesson is, “shut up, eat your tofu, get back to work at your three gig jobs, service your school loans and your credit card debt, vote for who and what we tell you, and be grateful we don’t fucking kill you.  

Former Israeli Intel Official Claims Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell Worked for Israel

​ ​A recent interview given by a former high-ranking official in Israeli military intelligence has claimed that Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual blackmail enterprise was an Israel intelligence operation run for the purpose of entrapping powerful individuals and politicians in the United States and abroad.​   ​by Whitney Webb​   (Thanks for the link, Cat)​

​How Bill Clinton and American Financiers Armed China, Matt Stoller 
Really clear and informative article about selling the future for immediate personal gain, which has been the gravy train for politicians. China has been a huge client with deep pockets.​
​Crash Course, How Boeing's Managerial Revolution Created the 737 Max Disaster 
(The safety-first engineers got taken out of management in the 1990s, replaced by value-extraction-for-shareholders managers with no real comprehension of killing people by accident. Thanks Dan)
​Another "Carrington Event" is going to destroy the power grid and internet, and all radio transmissions. I just don't know when. Nobody does. These solar-electrical-storm events are not rare compared to the length of a human life or two.​

Handling Worms 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Two Borders

Siamese Twins,

"Two Borders for Four Years" is BoJos Brexit offer. "Take it or leave it", quoth he. 
It proposes that Northern Ireland will remain aligned with EU regulations on manufactured and agricultural goods for 4 years. He apparently has just enough support in Northern Ireland for this, and does not have support in Ireland. The trajectory is toward no-deal-Brexit, unless the EU capitulates from their hard line stance. 
Boris will certainly go to court, and could conceivably go to prison, but...

Boris speaks to Tory Party Congress in Manchester, saying this is his best deal, it is a compromise on the part of the UK and that the EU must compromise in it's turn, or there will certainly be no-deal-Brexit. 
He will not extend article 50 again.
The European Commission said "they will examine the proposal objectively".

John Ward is dubious that anything will actually happen for Brexit until the EU breaks up. The high-eurocrats are bound to be worried about the same thing. It should be clear that crash-out-Brexit is a huge threat to the EU power elites.

Kiev has agreed, in an odd multilateral signing process, to the 2015 Steinmeier Formula for devolution of Eastern Ukraine, Donetsk and Lugansk, into a separate autonomous entity, but with Ukraine formally controlling the border of that entity with Russia. This is unpopular among Uko-Nazis, who call for blood. Zelinsky is trying, and risking his life.

Chinese Communist Party 70th anniversary military parade prompts a look at global military spending changes in the past decade.
Infographic: How Military Spending Has Changed Since 2009 | Statista

 Helen of DesTroy, writing for RT, tells of a war that has already made many of us POWs.
Humans have shorter attention spans than goldfish, according to a study from 2015 - meaning the 8 seconds found among those study subjects has probably shortened still further in the intervening years. In that study, 77 percent of 18-to-24 year olds answered “yes” to whether they reached for their phone if nothing was occupying their attention. This is perhaps the most ominous accomplishment of technology - it has rendered us incapable of being alone with ourselves..  
​ ​The internet began as a surveillance technology, and it’s important to remember this whenever we cede control of some aspect of our lives to it. A government looking to implement a technological control grid would be wise to convince those who are to be controlled that they need it, want it, can’t live without it - and this process is even easier if they truly can’t live without it. The unquestioning embrace of technology will ultimately rob us of our humanity - a feature, not a bug, according to those AI evangelists eager to “merge” with the machines. Is this a tradeoff we want to make?  

Confined to Solitary

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Equally Dead

Done In,

King Salman's long time bodyguard, the man who protected him 24:7 for decades has been murdered 3 days after somebody fired him. The murderer is dead too. Faithful bodyguard knew too much and was too faithful? 
JFKs Marine security detail got sent to new Zealand when JFK went to Dallas. 
MBS might need to be king sooner than planned, after massive embarrassment by the Yemeni army, killing or capturing half the Saudi army, without having any air-support, and inside Saudi Arabia. 
MBS is Defense Minister. It's his war. Moon of Alabama has the story.

Saudi rout update:
 On Saturday 29 the Houthis and the Yemeni army conducted an incredible conventional attack lasting three days that began from within Yemen’s borders. The operation would have involved months of intelligence gathering and operational planning. It was a far more complex attack than that conducted against Aramco’s oil facilities. Initial reports indicate that the forces of the Saudi-led coalition were lured into vulnerable positions and then, through a pincer movement conducted quickly within Saudi territory, the Houthis surrounded the town of Najran and its outskirts and got the better of three Saudi brigades numbering in the thousands and including dozens of senior officers as well as numerous combat vehicles. This event is a game changer, leaving the US, Mike Pompeo and the Israelis and Saudis unable to lay the blame on Iran as all this took place a long way from Iran.
​ ​The large-scale operation was preceded by Yemeni rocket artillery targeting Jizan airport, with 10 missiles paralyzing any movements to and from the airport, including denying the possibility of air support for the encircled troops. The Houthis also hit the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh in a key operation that targeted Apache helicopters, forcing them to leave the area. Nearby military bases were also targeted so as to cut off any reinforcements and disrupt the chain of command. This led to the Saudi forces fleeing in disorganization.

​CCTV video of missiles/drone blowing up Saudi Aramco facility. (Great Balls of Fire!)​
​ ​MbS during the 60 Minutes interview also named Iran as the culprit, which the show host seemed willing to accept without much scrutiny, despite elsewhere essentially charging the crown prince with personally overseeing the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year.
​ ​Meanwhile, Yemen's Houthis have promised to unleash more such attacks crippling the kingdom's oil infrastructure should the Saudi-led war on Yemen continue.

Ron Paul:
You don’t need to be a supporter of President Trump to be concerned about the efforts to remove him from office. Last week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced impeachment proceedings against the President over a phone call made to the President of Ukraine. According to the White House record of the call, the President asked his Ukrainian counterpart to look into whether there is any evidence of Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election and then mentioned that a lot of people were talking about how former US Vice President Joe Biden stopped the prosecution of his son who was under investigation for corruption in Ukraine.​..
It may appear that the Democratic Party, furious over Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss, is the driving force behind this ongoing attempt to remove Donald Trump from office, but at every turn we see the fingerprints of the CIA and its allies in the US deep state.

​The EU might be afraid to keep bluffing and might be​ offering Boris Johnson a fig leaf of negotiation on the Irish Backstop​,​ roadblock to Brexit.​ The Eurocrats have not been prevented from doing what they want by "rules" before.

This analysis says that China is going on the offensive in the trade war, because it does not have time to be patient, that the target is the US economy, and that the near term objective is to get somebody other than Donald Trump in the position to negotiate a deal favorable to China. (China liked the Clintons, and often sent them little gifts to their foundation.)

Chinese President Xi says "no force can shake us" as he reviews passing jumbo-size hypersonic nuclear intercontinental missiles on parade. 30 minutes to the US, they say. "Unstoppable".

Moon of Alabama has a more extensive look at Chinese forces on parade, and concludes that the US really can't effectively project force against these missiles and other systems, which have longer range than US attack aircraft, and can take out aircraft carriers and Guam, for instance. The US is a paper tiger, relying upon not actually going to war with Russia or China, or even Iran, it appears. The House of Saud is beginning to act accordingly.

The US and North Korea will meet again this Saturday to resume nuclear talks.

Doing No Harm