Monday, September 26, 2016

Up For Grabs

Refusing to Drink Poison,

Here is an assessment of the shifting fortunes of Clinton and Trump in this election, and the limits of demonizing Russia and Putin, and associating them with Trump. Quoting the final paragraph:
"But the Democrats still have one more option up their sleeve, which some experts have been discussing from the very beginning: pulling Hillary Clinton off the ballot "for health reasons" and nominating a new candidate to be determined by the leaders of the Democratic Party. However, there is a difficulty there as well: many within the Democratic establishment are adamantly opposed to the "socialist" Bernie Sanders, and there is not enough time left to crank up the publicity machines for Vice President Joe Biden or Secretary of State John Kerry, whose names have been mentioned more often than any others in this regard. Nor would it be a simple matter to coax the former first lady, who is already envisioning herself as the mistress of the Oval Office, to quit the game."

"Clown Show" is one expectation of the presidential debate. I expect high visual drama, myself. 
If the many persuadable people who tune in see a more palatable Trump, the Democratic power-elites will have to rapidly jettison Clinton. I presume they have several contingency plans for that. (90 commercial-free minutes. Highest viewer participation ever. What will America be "surprised" with?)

Did the media representation of the Charlotte shooting of a black man, by a black police officer, misrepresent the officer's race to increase the impact?  

The video footage released by the Charlotte police department has been edited. 
The seconds where the two police officers go up to the fatally wounded man are missing from the dash-cam video, though the sound keeps going. (Throw down weapon?)   It looks like other images/video may also have been witheld (selfie-stick images?)

The Natural Gas War Burning Under Syria, really just gets to the facts of the matter, why this war was started and why it continues with such vast outside funding. Control of the European natural gas market.

US-backed anti-Assad forces in Aleppo cut off water for 1.5 million civilians, which is expected to lead to spread of disease from being forced to drink filthy water. Aleppo was just recently Syria's largest city and economic center. It is very close to being under full control of government forces.

American soldiers are now holding 7 locations in northern Syria, against international law, an invasion. They are making at least 2 airfields operational. Where's the Congressional debate?

“When the humanitarian convoy was hit [outside Aleppo], we demanded that an investigation be conducted. [US Secretary of State] John Kerry, a good partner of mine, behaved the way he never has done previously. He claimed that the investigation might take place, but they know who did it, namely the Syrian Army or Russia, and that it was Russia's fault in any case,” he saidquoted by RT. Kerry appeared to be “pinned down by stark criticism from the American military apparatus,” Lavrov noted, which may indicate that the US military does not comply with its commander-in-chief’s orders. “[President] Barack Obama always supported, as I was told, cooperation with Russia, and he confirmed it himself during the meeting with [President] Vladimir Putin in China. It seems to me that the military may not be obeying their supreme commander too much.”

Over 300 people die in a Mediterranean shipwreck, off the coast of Egypt.These humans are not merely trying to live in Paris, London or Berlin. Their world has been made into hell by war, which none of them ever wanted, war to control oil and gas and markets. More will die this year than last year. They are spending everything they have and can borrow from those who love them to risk a cold, watery death with smugglers.

Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected Labour Party leader, with an even larger margin than before, after "coup attempt" this summer failed miserably. Labour has attracted enough new members to have more than doubled. It is now Europe's largest political party (until it is no longer part of Europe, of course.)

UK PM Theresa May (Tory) visits new York, to be informed by Goldman Sachs and friends that if they do not get assurances that London will remain a European financial hub, they will move their offices somewhere that is (Paris, Frankfurt, Brussels, etc.) Such assurances would require goodwill from all 27 EU members. They're mostly in quite bad moods about this, and London's loss is potentially their gain.

Smaller Chinese banks are all lending to each other. They are booking the loans to each other as assets. This can go on until it suddenly collapses. The assets are "bad", but supportable as long as the music keeps playing. The scale of this is vast, bigger by far than 2008.

Former employees file $2.6 billion class-action lawsuit against Wells Fargo. (That may get the attention of extractive-shareholders and parasitic management.)
"Wells Fargo fired or demoted employees who failed to meet unrealistic quotas while at the same time providing promotions to employees who met these quotas by opening fraudulent accounts." 

"The things which are most essential to life and basic material security also happen to be the things which capitalists, in alliance with the state, have been most successful at enclosing with artificial property rights and extracting rents from. The landlord monopoly — by which vacant land is engrossed and enclosed and then either held out of use altogether, or opened to use only in exchange for tribute — is the obvious example."

Why Cuba? Environmentalists in the United States swim upstream in a consumerist, oil-saturated society fueled by an extractive-economy worldview. Conversely, there is no clearer example of what a postcarbon, fossil-fuel-free future actually looks like than Cuba. Due to a US-imposed trade embargo and the political collapse of their Soviet trade partners, Cubans had no choice but to return to organic, decentralized food production. When Soviet oil-based fertilizer, pesticide, and herbicide imports stopped coming and Cuba had no way to obtain substitute chemicals, Cuban agronomists dove into agroecology to feed the people. (Ask Cubans. It's very hard, not glamorous, but growing food shifted back to small family farmers when massive mechanical farming co-ops ran out of diesel, fertilizer and pesticides.)

Growing Cabbage

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