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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

My Bonnie

Over the Ocean,

Tory Prime Minister, Teresa May, called for upcoming snap-elections to cement a Tory lead in Parliament, going into Brexit negotiations with The EU. She has portrayed herself as a tough negotiator, not merely autocratic and impulsive. The debate a few nights ago was known to be a format in which she performs poorly, so it was not actually a debate, but one guy asking her questions, and asking Jeremy Corbyn questions, in separate meetings. The audience reacted, though, and May really had a lot to explain, which she never did. Corbyn maintained his position better, and it was a better position, and was vigorously attacked and interrupted. A couple of video snippets convey the highlights.

Social media gave Teresa May very low points for that performance. Corbyn ate her lunch as perceived by all sides.

It's hard for pre-election polls to keep up with shifting public opinion, but Tories continue to falter with Teresa May leading the charge.

Jeremy Corbyn urges (challenges) Teresa May to actually debate him tonight, as latest poll suggests hung-parliament as a possibility.

Teresa May urges Britons to imagine Jeremy Corbyn "naked and alone" in a room with EU negotiators in Brussels... 
In all fairness, she was attempting a cutting historical irony with that, but most people seem to have missed it and just got grossed-out. Corbyn is not a porn-star candidate.

Painstaking Detail of Brexit Process Revealed in EU Documents (Uh, being bitchy and strident might not be enough...)

Salman Abedi, the "Manchester bomber" is dead, with his body at the coroner's office, we are told, but we were also told there were pictures of him inside the stadium, and here is stark evidence to the contrary. 
There are absolutely no pictures of him in the stadium, and what blaced-out-background pictures we were shown are heavily retouched, as revealed here. Photoshop leaves fingerprints. Thanks Tom.

Topsy Turvy 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

From The Mouths Of Babes

Noticing Nudity,

Syrian President Basher al Assad: "The American President has no policies. There are policies drawn by the American institutions which control the American regime which are the intelligence agencies, the Pentagon, the big arms and oil companies, and financial institutions, in addition to some other lobbies which influence American decision-making. The American President merely implements these policies, and the evidence is that when Trump tried to move on a different track, during and after his election campaign, he couldn’t. He came under a ferocious attack. As we have seen in the past few week, he changed his rhetoric completely and subjected himself to the terms of the deep American state, or the deep American regime. That’s why it is unrealistic and a complete waste of time to make an assessment of the American President’s foreign policy, for he might say something; but he ultimately does what these institutions dictate to him. This is not new. This has been ongoing American policy for decades."
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47138.htm

Here is the speech John Kennedy was prepared to give November 22. 1963 in Dallas, given by the actor who played him in a movie about Jackie. Thanks Tom.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8fCIw7t9Jc

"Though the term moral injury is fairly new, especially outside military circles, the idea is as old as war. When people sent into conflict find their sense of right and wrong tested, when they violate deeply held convictions by doing something (such as killing a civilian in error) or failing to do something (such as not reporting a war crime), they suffer an injury to their core being." 
"I think having both PTSD and moral injury are the normal things for us," Ling says of those in the drone program. Moral injury, however, takes place at the intersection of psychology and spirituality... Thanks Tom.
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/05/whistleblowers-moral-injury-endless-war-iraq

The noose is tightening around the old-city in Mosul, Iraq. Non-ISIS allies have surrounded the core 9 square kilometer area, 130,000 civilian hostages, and the very well dug-in ISIS warriors, making their last long stand. Thanks Tom.
https://nsnbc.me/2017/05/29/murderous-mayhem-in-mosul-isis/

Who is paying the Libyan Coast Guard to shoot at refugees getting rescued in the Mediterranean? These guys work for pay.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/05/libyan-coastguard-opens-fire-migrant-boats-ngos-170525100451559.html

"A shadowy international mercenary and security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures, collaborating closely with police in at least five states, according to internal documents obtained by The Intercept... The leaked materials not only highlight TigerSwan’s militaristic approach to protecting its client’s interests but also the company’s profit-driven imperative to portray the nonviolent water protector movement as unpredictable and menacing enough to justify the continued need for extraordinary security measures."
https://theintercept.com/2017/05/27/leaked-documents-reveal-security-firms-counterterrorism-tactics-at-standing-rock-to-defeat-pipeline-insurgencies/

Russia's President Putin and Rothschild's French-poodle, Macron meet at Versailles, share a 7 second handshake, "tell each other everything" (Macron) and find much common ground for cooperation. Fighting ISIS in Syria does not now appear to necessitate the ouster of the Assad government.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-29/we-have-told-each-other-everything-highlights-macrons-first-meeting-putin

The Guardian UK is England's "leftist" newspaper, but is doing everything it can to support Teresa May of the right-wing Tory party in the upcoming snap election, the one the Tories are supposed to win overwhelmingly. 
Why is churchmouse Corbyn, who refuses to support extending the nuclear sub program, and suggests that the Manchester bombing might partly be a result of Britain's wars in Libya, Iraq and Syria, suddenly rising in public opinion polls? Read your PAPER, lefties! (Is Teresa May the new Hillary Clinton? Corbyn bike commutes. Not Trump. Dissimilar...)
http://truepublica.org.uk/contributor-news/jonathan-cook-guardian-mourns-corbyns-polling-surge/

Speaking of Hillary Clinton,... An FBI leak now reveals that Seth Rich's laptop, which was confiscated just before he took that awful turn-for-the-worse, surrounded by police protection, contained DNC emails! He must have gotten them from Putin, right? Too bad he suddenly died and can't explain anything...
http://dailywesterner.com/news/2017-05-29/leaked-classified-fbi-memo-shows-sethrich-had-dnc-emails-on-his-laptop/

Medicare "Advantage" is "advantageous" for whom? Thanks Charles.
“I came to the point where I just couldn’t participate in what they were asking me to do anymore,” he (whistle-blower) said.
In 2014 the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit research group, analyzed the only available Medicare Advantage data and reported that insurers had reaped about $70 billion in overpayments from 2008 to 2013.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/15/business/dealbook/a-whistle-blower-tells-of-health-insurers-bilking-medicare.html?_r=0

Google is about to start tracking all your credit card purchases, not just online, everywhere you shop. Google wants to know everything, to track, er serve-you-better, to anticipate your every need...
http://theantimedia.org/google-tracking-offline-behavior/

45% of Americans spend about half their income paying on credit cards.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/15/business/dealbook/a-whistle-blower-tells-of-health-insurers-bilking-medicare.html?_r=0

Will the crazy global debt bubble ever end? Charles Hugh Smith 
(It looks like a perpetual motion machine They all have fatal flaws. Flaws are detailed here.)
http://www.oftwominds.com/blogmay17/debt-bubble5-17.html

The Fallacy of Endless Economic Growth, very good journalism by Kristopher Ketcham:
https://psmag.com/magazine/fallacy-of-endless-growth

Professor of Economics, Steve Keene explains in detail why economists must use complexity theory in order to get models that actually make applicable predictions, for the same reasons that weathermen had to begin developing and using these models 50 years ago. Weather forecasting has gotten much better with the use of a few critical variables, but with all of their interactions and the resulting cycles which emerge from those interactions. Keene composed a computer model in 1992 and ran it.
"The dynamics of rising inequality are more obvious in the next stage in the model’s development, which introduces prices and variable nominal interest rates. As debt rises over a number of cycles, a rising share going to bankers is offset by a smaller share going to workers, so that the capitalists share fluctuates but remains relatively constant over time. However, as wages and inflation are driven down, the compounding of debt ultimately overwhelms falling wages, and profit share collapses. Before this crisis ensues, the rising amount going to bankers in debt service is precisely offset by the declining share going to workers, so that profit share becomes effectively constant and the world appears utterly tranquil to capitalists—just before the system fails." (That turned out to be Greenspan's "great moderation", followed by the 2008 financial crisis.)
.http://evonomics.com/why-economists-have-to-embrace-complexity-steve-keen/

Economic Meteorologist 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Birthday, Jack

Memorializing,

JFK at 100,  Paul Craig Roberts:   This Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, 2017, is the 100th birthday of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States. JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963, as he approached the end of his third year in office. Researchers who spent years studying the evidence have concluded that President Kennedy was assassinated by a conspiracy between the CIA, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secret Service. (See, for example, JFK and the Unspeakable by James W. Douglass) Kennedy entered office as a cold warrior, but he learned from his interaction with the CIA and Joint Chiefs that the military/security complex had an agenda that was self-interested and a danger to humanity. He began working to defuse tensions with the Soviet Union. His rejections of plans to invade Cuba, of the Northwoods project, of a preemptive nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, and his intention to withdraw from Vietnam after his reelection, together with some of his speeches signaling a new approach to foreign policy in the nuclear age (see for example, https://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/BWC7I4C9QUmLG9J6I8oy8w.aspx ), convinced the military/security complex that he was a threat to their interests. Cold War conservatives regarded him as naive about the Soviet Threat and a liability to US national security. These were the reasons for his assassination. These views were set in stone when Kennedy announced on June 10, 1963, negotiations with the Soviets toward a nuclear test ban treaty and a halt to US atmospheric nuclear tests. The Oswald coverup story never made any sense and was contradicted by all evidence including tourist films of the assassination. President Johnson had to cover up the assassination, not because he was part of it or because he willfully wanted to deceive the American people, but because to give Americans the true story would have shaken their confidence in their government at a critical time in US-Soviet relations. To make the coverup succeed, Johnson needed the credibility of the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, Earl Warren, to chair the commission that covered up the assassination. Warren understood the devastating impact the true story would have on the public and their confidence in the military and national security leadership and on America’s allies. As I previously reported, Lance deHaven-Smith in his book, Conspiracy Theory in America, shows that the CIA introduced “conspiracy theory” into the political lexicon as a technique to discredit skepticism of the Warren Commission’s coverup report. He provides the CIA document that describes how the agency used its media friends to control the explanation. The term “conspiracy theory” has been used ever since to validate false explanations by discrediting true explanations. President Kennedy was also determined to require the Israel Lobby to register as a foreign agent and to block Israel’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. His assassination removed the constraints on Israel’s illegal activities. http://www.voltairenet.org/article178401.html Memorial Day is when Americans honor those in the armed services who died serving the country. JFK fell while serving the causes of peace and nuclear disarmament. In a 1961 address to the United Nations, President Kennedy said: “Today, every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day when this planet may no longer be habitable. Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us. It is therefore our intention to challenge the Soviet Union, not to an arms race, but to a peace race – to advance together step by step, stage by stage, until general and complete disarmament has been achieved.” Kennedy’s address was well received at home and abroad and received a favorable and supportive response from Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, but it caused consternation among the warhawks in the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The US led in terms of the number of nuclear warheads and delivery systems, and this lead was the basis for US military plans for a surprise nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. http://prospect.org/article/did-us-military-plan-nuclear-first-strike-1963 Also, Many believed that nuclear disarmament would remove the obstacle to the Soviet Army overrunning Western Europe. Warhawks considered this a greater threat than nuclear armageddon. Many in high military circles regarded President Kennedy as weakening the US viv-a-vis the Soviet Union. The assassination of President Kennedy was an enormous cost to the world. Kennedy and Khrushchev would have followed up their collaboration in defusing the Cuban Missile Crisis by ending the Cold War long before the military/security complex achieved its iron grip on the US government. Israel would have been denied nuclear weapons, and the designation of the Israel Lobby as a foreign agent would have prevented Israel’s strong grip on the US government. In his second term, JFK would have broken the CIA into a thousand pieces, an intention he expressed to his brother, Robert, and the Deep State would have been terminated before it became more powerful than the President. But the military/security complex struck first, and pulled off a coup that voided all these promises and terminated American democracy.  (Thanks Eleni)  

Seth Rich Is (was) A Whistleblower, Thanks Tom, Even Barack Obama said explicitly in his last presidential address, that DNC emails were leaked-not-hacked. There is nothing but propaganda to support hacking. Totally implausible.

There are more details of the night of Seth Rich's death here than any article I have otherwise seen, and they accord with the other information I have been seeing, though some of this is new detail. Seth Rich was not fatally shot. He got shot twice with a .22, and the guys ran away. He was cordoned off by a special police unit in the hospital, doing well until then, and died out of sight of any of the medical personnel who had been attending him and chatting with him. Chatting... (I think the title detracts from the contents. It puts a lot of emphasis on one possible motive for murder.) Thanks again, Tom.

Ilargi, at The Automatic Earth, has this (excerpted) to say about the Manchester suicide bombing, by a deeply scarred, suicidal, nice young man, torn between two worlds:
"There are times when you have to talk about things when it appears most inopportune to do so, because they’re the only times people might listen. Times when people will argue that ‘this is not the right moment’, while in reality it’s the only moment... It is easy to see that parents crying for missing children, and children killed in infancy, is what connects Manchester, and the UK, and Europe, to parents in Syria, Libya, Iraq. What’s different between these places is not the suffering or the outrage, the mourning or the despair, what’s different is only the location on the map. That and the frequency with which terror is unleashed upon a given population. But just because it happens all the time in other places doesn’t make it more normal or acceptable... Imagine that our papers and TV channels would tell us, preferably repeatedly, in their reports in the wake of an attack like the one in Manchester how eerily similar the emotions must be to those felt in Aleppo, Homs and many other cities. That would change our perception enormously. But the media choose not to make the connection, and the people apparently are not capable of doing it themselves... 99.9% of people everywhere in the world are innocent, especially when they are children, but their governments and their societies are not. That doesn’t justify the Manchester attack in any shape or form, it simply lays equal blame and condemnation for western terror attacks in the Middle East and North Africa, perpetrated by the people we elect into power... Our media with great enthusiasm pave the way for our collective ignorance, by calling some other group of people ‘terrorists’, which while they’re at it is supposed to justify killing some other mother’s child... There’s another thing that is also different: they didn’t start. We did. The British and French terrorized the region for many decades, since the 19th century, even way before the Americans joined in. The presence of oil, and its rising role in our economies, caused them to double down on that terror... Those mothers in Syria and Libya, who have been through the same hellhole as those in Manchester, are a lot closer to you than the politicians who send out jet fighters to bomb cities in the desert, or sell arms to individuals and organizations to control these cities for their own narrow personal gain, such as the governments of Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The traumatized mothers in the desert are not your enemies; your enemies are much closer to home... They keep saying they don’t target civilians, but to put it mildly they don’t appear to go out of their way not to hit them. For instance, a single attack on Mosul, Iraq in March killed over 105 civilians. ‘Collateral damage’ in these cases, and there are hundreds by now, is a very disrespectful term. Moreover, the files released by Chelsea Manning show US soldiers killing people ‘with impunity’."

"David Cameron’s intervention in Libya was carried out with no proper intelligence analysis, drifted into an unannounced goal of regime change and shirked its moral responsibility to help reconstruct the country following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, according to a scathing report by the foreign affairs select committee... 
It concurs with Barack Obama’s assessment that the intervention was “a shitshow”, and repeats the US president’s claim that France and Britain lost interest in Libya after Gaddafi was overthrown."


"Salman Abedi, 22, the British-born son of exiled dissidents who returned to Libya as the revolution against Gaddafi gathered momentum, is also understood to have spent time in the North African country in 2011 and to have returned there on several subsequent occasions. Sources spoken to by MEE suggest that the government facilitated the travel of Libyan exiles and British-Libyan residents and citizens keen to fight against Gaddafi including some who it deemed to pose a potential security threat."  http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/sorted-mi5-how-uk-government-sent-british-libyans-fight-gaddafi-1219906488
In 1992, Ramadan Abedi [Salman’s father] was sent back to Libya by Britain’s MI6 and was involved in a British-devised plot to assassinate Muammar Gaddafi... 
In 1994, Ramadan Abedi returned again to Libya under MI6’s direction. In late 1995 he is involved in the creation of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), a local branch of Al-Qaeda, in conjunction with Abdelhakim Belhadj... 
Nobody pays attention to the fact that Ramadan Abedi has linked LIFG members to the formation of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and, in 2011, he takes part in MI6’s ‘Arab Spring’ operations, and in LIFG’s role on the ground in support of NATO.

On May 28, 1453 (a Tuesday) the capitol of the Byzantine Roman Empire, Constantinople, fell to the Ottoman Turks, after a 63 day siege. Her exemplary fortifications had stood for many centuries. Constantinople had been repeatedly attacked. Finally the trusted ramparts fell to a new weapon of war, heavy cannons with gunpowder. Thanks Eleni.

Iran signed an agreement with Russia under which it has broken free from the petrodollar, and will "sell", or rather barter crude oil to Russia in exchange for products. The announcement was made by Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh, as reported by Russia’s RIA and TASS news agencies.

Faced with a western alliance divided by Brexit and Donald Trump's presidency, Merkel said "die zeiten, in denen wir uns auf andere völlig verlassen konnten, sind ein Stück vorbei", or loosely translated "the times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out" and added that "I've experienced that in the last few days." Merkel then said that while Germany and Europe would strive to remain on good terms with America and Britain, "we have to fight for our own destiny" and she also said that special emphasis was needed on warm relations between Berlin and newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron. (Team-Rothschild, it is, then... What about talking to Vlad again, Angela?)

More Paul Craig Roberts: 
"Trump tried to connect the suffering American people to their government, an act of treason against the oligarchy, who are making an example of Trump that will dissuade politicians in the future from making populist appeals to the people." 
"The US military/security complex sits on a budget extracted from very hard-pressed American taxpayers of $1,000 billion dollars annually. By threatening to normalize relations with the enemy which was created in order to justify this vast budget, Trump presented as the major threat to the American National Security State’s power and profit. This is why Trump will be broken and/or removed as President of the United States."

Repeating History

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Getting The real Story

Staying Tuned,

Getting Julian Assange: The Untold Story, John Pilger
"Had Assange not sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, he would have been on his way to the kind of American torture pit Chelsea Manning had to endure."
 "In 2008, a secret Pentagon document prepared by the "Cyber Counterintelligence Assessments Branch" foretold a detailed plan to discredit WikiLeaks and smear Assange personally. The "mission" was to destroy the "trust" that was WikiLeaks' "centre of gravity". This would be achieved with threats of "exposure [and] criminal prosecution". Silencing and criminalising such an unpredictable source of truth-telling was the aim." 
"WikiLeaks has exposed the way America dominates much of human affairs, including its epic crimes, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq: the wholesale, often homicidal killing of civilians and the contempt for sovereignty and international law."
"In 2012, the Obama campaign boasted on its website that Obama had prosecuted more whistleblowers in his first term than all other US presidents combined. Before Chelsea Manning had even received a trial, Obama had publicly pronounced her guilty."
"Hillary Clinton, the destroyer of Libya and, as WikiLeaks revealed last year, the secret supporter and personal beneficiary of forces underwriting ISIS, proposed her own expedient solution: "Can't we just drone this guy."
"According to Australian diplomatic cables, Washington's bid to get Assange is "unprecedented in scale and nature".
"The US Justice Department has contrived charges of "espionage", "conspiracy to commit espionage", "conversion" (theft of government property), "computer fraud and abuse" (computer hacking) and general "conspiracy". The favoured Espionage Act, which was meant to deter pacifists and conscientious objectors during World War One, has provisions for life imprisonment and the death penalty."

"The Media Blackout on the DNC Lawsuit Proves it is Nuclear" 
"It is evident by the mass media’s refusal to cover the DNC lawsuit that it poses an existential threat to that same unelected power establishment. Remember, the motion-to-dismiss on the grounds that the DNC is under no obligation to provide real party primaries was the DNC’s first line of defense. That politically disastrous public position was their Plan A."

Multiple Democratic Members of Congress hired two Pakistani brothers and some shadow employees to manage their computer systems. There appears to hav been breach of security, but these men are being stauchly defended and still paid by the likes of Debbie Wasserman Schultz. 
What do they have as insurance? Seth Rich's murder? More?
"A House IT employee who requested anonymity said tech workers who have taken over some of those offices found that computers in some — but not all — offices were “thin clients” that sent all data to an offsite server in violation of House policies. Additionally, staffers’ iPhones were all linked to a single non-government iTunes account. Awan began working for Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida in 2005, and his wife, his brother’s wife, and two of his brothers all appeared on the payrolls of various House Democrats soon after, payroll records show. They have collected $4 million since 2010. For years, it was widely known that Awan, and eventually his 20-year-old brother Jamal, did the bulk of the work for various offices, while no-show employees were listed on members’ staffs in order to collect additional $165,000 salaries, workers said. This circumvented a rule that prevents any one staffer from making more than members of Congress. "There was one staffer whose computer was broken and said, ‘I’m not going to pay my invoices until you fix my computer,’ and Imran went to the member, and they fired [the staffer who complained] that day. Imran has that power.”

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz threatens police chief, investigating digital security violations in Congress, specifically investigating those Pakistani brothers. He won't return a computer, which she says is "her property", because it is evidence in an active investigation. 
"As one of eight members of the Committee on Appropriations’ Legislative Branch subcommittee, Wasserman Schultz is in charge of the budget of the police force that is investigating her staffer and how he managed to extract so much money and information from members." "I think you’re violating the rules when you conduct your business that way and you should expect that there will be consequences,” Wasserman Schultz said.

M
​oney talks, and silence can be DEAFENING.
According to Philly.com
​Fox Anchor, Sean ​
Hannity is taking "
a couple days off amid a growing advertiser boycott" over Hannity's pursuit of the Seth Rich story - an parallel to Bill O'Reilly's final days - and so far, seven advertisers are said to have pulled out of Hannity’s show.

$
​3.6 trillion in cuts to Federal Spending programs are proposed. What would that look like? Gotta' increase military spending, of course...

O
​bamacare rate hikes are here, and I am seeing a sudden severity of refusal to pay for anything that isn't cheap by insurance companies. "Not medically necessary" "Conditions not met" It seems that the government money IV to insurance companies is falling into question... More companies are bailing out of Obamacare. More risk than profit...

In describing the violations, the FISA court said the illegal searches conducted by the NSA under Obama were "widespread" and created a "very serious Fourth Amendment issue."
​ ​
These new discoveries come from a recently unsealed FISA court document dated April 26, 2017 and center around a hearing dated October 26, 2017, just days before the 2016 election, in which the FISA court apparently learned for the first time of "widespread" and illegal spying on American citizens by the NSA under the Obama administration.

W
​atch global cyber-warfare in real time​. The majority of it centers around the US, but not the vast majority. The internet is everywhere, and attacks can be spoofed. 
There is really a lot of this. This is a battlefield. It's infected...

 ​"D
ays before Salman Abedi blew himself up and killed 22 people outside a Manchester concert on Monday, he told his parents he was leaving their home in Libya to go on a pilgrimage to the Muslim holy city of Mecca, despite having other plans. "Abedi grew up in a world that straddled middle-class Britain and the Libya of his parents, both before and after the chaotic collapse of strongman Moammar Gadhafi’s regime"
​. ​
In 2011 the teenage Abedi had fought in a western-funded and supplied rebel army, against the government of the most prosperous and egalitarian country in Africa. In 2014 he and his mother returned to England, where he attended business school in Manchester, before dropping out. 
​"​
Abedi suffered a personal tragey in May 2016 when an 18-year-old friend of Salman’s, Abdul Wahab Hafidah, also a Briton of Libyan descent, died after being run down by a car and then stabbed in Manchester.
​"​

​"​
Few were as surprised by Abedi's transformation from a troubled youth to a deadly monster as Abedi’s sister, Jomana Abedi, who said her brother was kind and loving and that she was surprised by what he did this week. She said she thought he was driven by what he saw as injustices.
​​
​ 
“I think he saw children—Muslim children—dying everywhere, and wanted revenge. He saw the explosives America drops on children in Syria, and he wanted revenge,” she said. “Whether he got that is between him and God.

W
​ill Venezuela be the battlefield for the next petro-war? It has the largest proven oil reserves (tarlike, heavy stuff)​, owes a LOT of money to Russia, with Citgo and oil as collateral, and is in the US "sphere of influence". Who will control Venezuela's oil?

The European Food Safety Authority dismissed a study linking a Monsanto weedkiller to cancer after counsel from a US Environmental Protection Agency officer allegedly linked to the company. Jess Rowlands, the former head of the EPA’s cancer assessment review committee (CARC), who figures in more than 20 lawsuits and had previously told Monsanto he would try to block a US government inquiry into the issue, according to court documents. ​ ​
“If I can kill this, I should get a medal,” Rowlands allegedly told a Monsanto official, Dan Jenkins, in an email about a US government inquiry into glyphosate in April 2015. In a separate internal email of that time, Jenkins, a regulatory affairs manager, said that Rowlands was about to retire and “could be useful as we move forward with [the] ongoing glyphosate defense”.

"Fossils from Greece and Bulgaria of an ape-like creature that lived 7.2 million years ago may fundamentally alter the understanding of human origins, casting doubt on the view that the evolutionary lineage that led to people arose in Africa.
​"
"Our species evolved in Africa. Our lineage may not have," said paleoanthropologist Madelaine Böhme of Germany's University of Tübingen, adding that the findings "may change radically our understanding of early human/hominin origin."

​Recently Unearthed​

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Garden Economics

Cross-Pollinating,

My Friend Jada sent me some articles, with the question (I simplify greatly): "As a gardener, what do you think of the model of economy as a garden?" 

This article by Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer describes human political economy as the complex ecosystem of a garden, not a factory assembly line. It sure fits more with our actual experience. (I'm not sure to what degree the authors grow vegetables, but the article is not primarily directed at the kitchen-gardening audience.)
"Markets are a type of ecosystem that is complex, adaptive, and subject to the same evolutionary forces as nature."

Jada: "Here's how I'm thinking. If a gardener buys hybridized seed, as opposed to saving seed from "open pollinators" (OP), it seems to me that his function is to alter the environment to make it fit the design of the seed -- which is exactly opposite of how natural selection usually functions. Thus a gardener acts as a evolutionary roadblock. But if he saves seed from the best producing OPs, while keeping the growing environment constant, then he is encouraging plant evolution."
The Hybrid vs. open-pollinated seed article he sends starts out with the basic differences, and proceeds well into the blur of reality which actually occurs in the garden. I like it for that. This is mostly for vegetable-growers.

Jada: "Liu and Hanauer cite Erick Beinhocker's "The Origin of Wealth." Although I had seen the name, I was not familiar with Beinhocker. Much of what he says forms a big part of Gail Tverberg's conception of what she calls "self-organizing" ("dissipative" structures). Here's Beinhocker's slide presentation outlining his ideas."

Thanks Jada,

Unfortunately I'm "a bear of very little brain". 
You've demanded of me that I compose a complex cognitive framework.
I've now read the articles, reacted, and digested the information through enzymic and complex microbial action.
You get what you get...

Any cognitive framework comes from somewhere and serves some purpose. Mine comes from me and my purpose, as I see it, is to maximize well-being in our world of complex life. 
That's open to interpretation. Of course I am human-centric, but I've seen that the reductio-ad-absurdum of using the whole planet for human economy is global death. We're already getting buildup of waste products and destruction of ecosystems we need to survive, and we're just past the halfway point of using up all the mineral wealth.
Point to Malthus there.
Darwin is as misused as Marx, I think. Evolution is not continuous. It consists of periods of growth and dieback, "selection events". Any winning strategy that wins too much will use up the substrate it runs on, and also, shit-happens. We get resets. T-rex loses to the little mole-things when shit happens. 
"Fitness" keeps getting suddenly redefined and new selections keep getting made.
I like Gail Tverberg's "dissipative structure" model, because it is more general and inclusive. It leads to another understanding of "fit", which is fitting-the-most-into-the-dissipative-structure in the energy flow.
Now we are at complex-self-organizing-systems. We can pick our subsets within their energy flows, which they are dissipating. There are similarities, differences and energy flows, and all the energy flows depend on other factors and are either recurrently threatened or ultimately doomed. We underestimate the risk when things are going well. We have to capitalize on things going well, have kids, make profits, log forests... We would be replaced if we didn't surge to consume energy and resources, by those who did. 
When the energy and resources suddenly decrease, and are unable to support the systemic load, the system can completely die or reorganize to capture and dissipate the much-reduced-flow. The reorganized system has to be much simpler, with fewer dissipative layers, much more locally adequate, like a small farming community of 100 people, good soil, water and sun.
I think our species has repeatedly died back to this unit of 20 to 200 people. I think that's why our programming works at this unit size.
All economies larger than this are less efficient, because we can't self-organize, due to biological limitations.
Bigger is better when there is more energy flow available than is being dissipated. That could be Japan's forests. Society overgrew those forests, and was threatened with massive die-off. The Japanese were able to maintain their complex structure through widespread adherence to austerity, which they made into an art form, elegant simplicity, an organizing social principle. That is as impressive a reset as I know of, in terms of maintaining layers of complexity. Japanese forests have grown steadily for over 300 years, as I recall, though they now have imports... 
The forester was a local fellow, with great responsibility and local accountability, a manager of complexity, one hell of a gardener of the complex ecosystem of humans, forests, farms, rivers, and living creatures.
The global economy we now have is based on massive flows of energy from oil, coal and natural gas, which will not be replaced as such, and will run out. It's also based on oxygen to combust them, and based on copper, iron ore, rare earths, lithium, and all kinds of things that are well into depletion, and more expensive to dig up and refine. We are destroying our own habitat, too.
Within this massive dissipation of fossil wealth, the most aggressive dissipaters of energy have the advantage, and grow fastest, and capture more resources, and capture legislators, and armies, and oilfields, and sea-lanes. Those that destroy our world the biggest and fastest must be at the top of the current heap. The predators are consuming the prey and the entire ecosystem. People are being replaced by machines, which can dissipate energy and resources faster for the peak-predators, global multinational corporations.
Replacing all the workers with machines burns oil and mines iron and copper fastest, which leads to fastest reset of the system, when those substrates suddenly become limited, as through getting very hard and expensive to get out of the ground, slowing the flow to a trickle, while demanding all the energy of the system to get the trickle.
Before that resource-exhaustion can become the limiting factor, our current financial system, based on exponential growth of debt as the coin-of-the-realm, will collapse, saving us. Whew!
What we've seen of financial collapses and economic resets is that the first reflex is to save the top layers, so the bottom and middle layers are cannibalized. People at all the necessary levels of skill and talent are fired from the system, and have to make their own little systems to survive. These are really small survival networks, within the realm of everybody-knows-everybody.
Russia and China went through their reset-collapses in recent history, and in multiple stages, with slaughter and starvation.
Russia always had harsher overall conditions, more natural resources, and fewer people, so their resets were different. China got the Cultural Revolution, and population loss. China has been hovering around carrying capacity for a really long time.
It's better not to be in a city when carrying capacity is exceeded, or not to be completely dependent upon the city system for food, water and fuel. 
Cities will be spared in early rounds, though. It is hard to know if any specific strategic balance will work for a person, family or small group.
America is not homogeneous and is not Russia and is not China. 
Texas is probably not bad, as things go. It has lowish population density, a variety of climates, some good agriculture, oil wells, natural gas, shipping, it's own power grid, with some wind power and growing solar, and some nukes, and lots of military, and a space program.
Water is abundant in some areas, and gone in other areas. There are lots of possibilities and not really an overwhelming limit to kill the system. Society is (mostly) not cannibalizing itself as a lifestyle, except in a few pockets of chronic poverty and frustration.
Growing up dysfunctional is a huge danger. 
Dysfunctional groups will eat each other before functional groups even get to the end of their adaptive fallback positions.
So their is selection for group success, whether genetic or societal, and that selection is already well-advanced in areas of "deaths of despair". 
The apex predators have cut off the economy to some groups and some places for so long, that most of the functional people got out and are functioning elsewhere.
Really, really, really focus on the adaptive health of your children, extended family, and near communities. 
Working together to accomplish goals, grow food, build things, and so on brings out our best adaptive patterns and nourishes them.
Right now, we are mostly captured in an economy ruled by distant hierarchy, with which we must comply. All of our communications pass through centrally-controlled and monitored electronics, which are controlled by the apex predators which have shaped our human ecosystem.
What are our resources outside of that? We are able to plant vegetables, though not economically. We have to spend money and time to do it, but we develop our adaptive capacity. Gardens, little gardens, provided more than half of Russia's fresh vegetables for the decade of the 1990s collapse. Russians were already used to doing with less. We have farther to fall, but we have better weather, too.
It takes time to learn to garden, upfront investment, soil-building, learning to grow and use and store food. The garden ecosystem develops and adapts from year to year and season to season, and the gardener learns from it and guides it and helps it be healthy.
In hard times the English can take all your wheat and leave you to starve from potato-blight, but they can't really take all your potatoes, or sweet potatoes. they have to be dug up, and they don't store and transport calories in a compact and durable way. In hard times, I'd grow sweet potatoes and just work all the time to dig them up and cook them. Nobody steals cucumbers either.
As for the hybrid-vs-open-pollinated seed controversy, the farther you read in the article, the more you realize that it is mostly a matter of perspective. If you are looking at growing your own food, and saving your own seed, you will ultimately be using open-pollinated plants, but you will be selecting for success in your own ecosystem, too, and your own palate. "Stabilizing" hybrids into a new open-pollinated variety is what happens in the normal course of growing-your-own. 
I think we are all about to reorganize our garden again in America. It's already being forced on Greeks, and so many other countries have just had their gardens destroyed by our bombs and depleted-uranium.
To continue this analogy, which is a good one, since we are gardening-animals, we need to plant our physical gardens, and see what pollinators they attract, other busy-bees, the like-minded workers. 
That's probably enough. You get it. We don't develop the ecosystem until we work the ecosystem. It develops as we work together.
We work together best when we use our natural patterns, especially when we perform the essential functions of life together, like growing and cooking and storing food, building our homes, raising our children, caring for our sick and elderly and dying.
We have been "alienated" from the fruits of our labor by the financial-economy machine. 
It takes all of our work, and gives us all that we require to survive. 
Some of us have the resources and insight to start our own gardens outside the machine. Whatever size they may be, we, ourselves, grow and develop from the process. 
Gardens do have to be big enough to grow more than the critters can eat. One tomato plant, watered when you think of it, gets nothing past the squirrels. 
Also, you have to have a good fence to keep deer out, nice as they are...

Growing Beans