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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

American Gorbachev

Subjects of Empire,

Eleni sends this entertaining and insightful article, which presents Donald Trump as being in the uncomfortable position of Mikhail Gorbachev, presiding over the bankruptcy/reorganization of an empire. There is some good historical insight into the machinations in the US, following the USSR dissolution, which set us on the path we have trodden since then. It has gone way beyond ridiculous, and Americans are the last to see it. Trump seems to see it.
http://www.voltairenet.org/article199471.html

The Mueller probe into Trump's "Russian collusion" keeps finding gold for Trump, and only lead for the Clintonista regulars from the last administration. The FBI/DOJ have taken Andrew McCabe out of his FBI position, with an immediate forced resignation, because it is now public that he suppressed evidence from Anthony Weiner's laptop, which was damning to have been there at all, whatever the content. Huma Abedeen should not have had this on a personal laptop, let alone her husband's teen-sexting-laptop. (I remember the NYPD griping loudly about this suppression of evidence until after the election. They already knew what was in the laptop they found, but the FBI was sequestering it. Even Gorbachev had to consolidate power before closing down the show.)

How the European Union became divided on Russia. (First, there's  such "union" in reality. These countries have all been invaded and subjugated repeatedly throughout their histories, need fuel, need security and must act accordingly.)

Vladimir Putin, at Sochi, declares clearly that only the Syrian people may decide Syria's future. US, Israel, France and others are no-shows.

China is ready to participate in Syrian reconstruction.

Palestinian Chief Negotiator reveals (most) details of Trump Peace Plan (Wait, this is a shit sandwich with an IOU inside!) Thanks Eleni.

The Pentagon still carries out the biological warfare research that led to Anthrax bombing of Tokyo in WW-2. It's just quiet, and in countries that can keep a secret. Thanks Eleni.
Pentagon's Biolabs

US General says that North Korea doesn't really have complete ICBMs, capable of nuking America, because they have not completely proven that they do. For instance, they have not demonstrated successful atmospheric re-entry by something like a warhead. Things burn-up, ya'know? (This is a straw-man, since the most effective North Korean attack would be an EMP device in the ionosphere, to knock out the US electric grid, maybe one for the east coast and one for the west coast.)

UN announces sanctions against North Korea are successfully starving children to death this winter. (It's like all those Iraqi kids who never grew up to hate our freedom, isn't it?)

Brother-in-law-Steve peripherally sends this accounting of US military budget information in recent decades, from Catherine Austin Fitts. Hundreds of billions some years, trillions other years, and lots and lots of blanks. US Constitution, quoted at outset, doesn't allow for this kind of secret spending without public accounting. Well, "dead-letter", right?

Donald Trump, Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos and Jamie Dimon will fix the health care system in America. You can bet on these guys! (oh, my...)

Comrade Peasant

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Duel At Davos

Jet Setters,

"Oligarchs say the darndest things" might be the opening theme today, but just to underline the point that the call to battle-stations is about to go out. 
Here is the briefing from George Soros, speaking to the generals and other field officers of his branch of the supranational neoliberal elite. 
"Open society" means open to the free flow of Soros finance, leapfrogging slow moving governments and physical trade and industry, to the benefit of George Soros (and associates). These extractive flows of "financial capital" are solvents, leaching value from the "real economy" to the benefit of those controlling those flows. 
"Open" is not absolute. The financial-capitalists need walls to others, while they exploit concentration gradients of wealth, labor, raw materials, pollution, water and fuel across the world, "owning" the difference. Their "funds" to do this are created wholly by mutual agreement by banks and central banks. It's a good gig, but it kills the host.
Google and Facebook are doing with information, what Soros & Co. are doing with financial capital. He's not in the deal. He's threatened. "Financial capital" is just information, after all.
Soros may be the brightest star remaining from the WW-2 generation. He is intelligent, articulate (though voice wavers reading script without glasses), and not afraid to speak the truth, to attack his rivals, then turn the solution subtly to one that benefits the business model of George Soros. Here he speaks of the dangers of almost all information being controlled by Google and Facebook. This technology could not be foreseen by George Orwell. It is supra-Orwellian. It is a threat. George Soros does not adequately control it, so he says it should be nationalized and regulated, through channels that he does have pretty good control over.
There is a link to transcript of the entire address Soros gave. He did not have much time left for questions. He had a lot to say, defining the battle stations and objectives. 
Trump represents a competing elite faction. That much is clear. This is all very instructive.
http://theantimedia.org/orwell-huxley-facebook-google/

David Stockwell, Reagan's Office of Management and Budget star, excoriates Donald Trump for lack of an actual visible economic plan, while ejaculating platitudes and self congratulations. It's easy to do. The elite faction Trump fronts for is not actually making their objectives known. They do not seem to be "open" in any way. (I'm sure they will take actions to assign losses to competing factions when the moment comes.) Stockman points out the impossibility of Trump's statements, and that the fake economy only holds on through multiple trillions of imaginary gains in the stock market and a Christmas rush of credit card buying by "consumers" who are increasingly defaulting on all those cards and car payments. (Don't look down!)

Jim Kunstler: "The blow-off orgy in the stock markets is supposedly America’s consolation prize for what many regard as the electoral bad acid trip of the Trump presidency. Sorry to tell you, it’s just another hallucination, something you’re going to have to come down from. Happy landings!"

"All the market indicators right now look very similar to what we saw before the Lehman crisis, but the lesson has somehow been forgotten," said William White, the Swiss-based head of the OECD's review board and ex-chief economist for the Bank for International Settlements. Professor White said disturbing evidence of credit degradation is emerging almost daily... "Central banks have been pouring more fuel on the fire," he told The Telegraph, speaking before the World Economic Forum in Davos... Nobody knows what is going to happen when they unwind QE. The markets had better be very careful because there are a lot of fracture points out there."... "Everything could now go into reverse: the baby boomers are gone; China's working age population is falling; and zombie companies are going to be forced out of business at last as borrowing costs rise." ... "We are running out of ammunition. I am afraid that at some point this is going to be resolved with a lot of debt defaults. And what did we do with the demographic dividend? We wasted it."

The Western military-financial-empire is not doing well in the war to channel natural gas supplies to energy-hungry Europe, via "friends", and exclude shorter, much cheaper and more bountiful gas pipelines from Russia. (Non-war obstructions to Russian gas now appear futile, so what's next?)
https://tomluongo.me/2018/01/28/pipeline-wars-realpolitik-meets-geography/

The US releases a hit-list of 210 top Russian government officials and oligarchs, but no hit is ordered. Vladimir Putin thinks it's a pity he was not included on the list, and says "It's an unfriendly act", designed to keep President Trump from improving relations with Russia. Russia won't retaliate in this round of veiled-threats.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-30/putin-responds-kremlin-list-its-unfriendly-act

The House Intelligence Committee votes to make the "shocking-FISA-memeo" public. (This rates a point for Trump and 0 points for "deep state", but I think the deep state is divided. This is a peripheral skirmish ahead of the civil war.)

The Deep State faction fronted by President Trump is advancing a successful attack against rival deep state assets in the FBI now.
FBI Director Christopher Wray was allegedly "shocked to his core" after viewing the four-page FISA memo Sunday night - hours before asking Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe to step down, according to journalist Sara Carter. "FBI Director Christopher Wray went Sunday and reviewed the four-page FISA memo. The very next day, Andrew McCabe was asked to resign. Remember Sean, he was planning on resigning in March - that already came out in December. This time they asked him to go right away. You're not coming into the office. I've heard rep[orts he didn't even come in for the morning meeting - that he didn't show up."

The Saker: Erdogn has made his choice. Turkey is in a unique position to defend (fairly wide) regional interests against the US, which is spending money to spill Kurdish blood, but won't actually spill any American blood to defend Kurdish nationalists.

Two days after we reported that Turkey valiantly demanded that US forces vacate military bases in the Syrian district of Manbij, when Turkey's foreign minister Melet Cavusoglu also said that Ankara is calling upon the US to cease any and all support to Syrian Kurdish forces and militias, not surprisingly the US refused, and on Monday a top American general said that US troops will not pull out from the northern Syrian city of Manbij, rebuffing Ankara demands to withdraw from the city and risking a potential confrontation between the two NATO allies.
“With the Olive Branch operation, we have once again thwarted the game of those sneaky forces whose interests in the region are different,” Erdogan said in a speech to provincial leaders in Ankara last week. “Starting in Manbij, we will continue to thwart their game.”
But not if the US is still there, unless for the first time in history we are about to witness war between two NATO members. And the US has no intention of moving.

Moon of Alabama has a different angle on the American power struggles, external and internal. Neocons need more and bigger war in Syria; lots of American blood. Here is the Kagan family position:
"The U.S. must face reality in Syria. It must recognize the threat Russia poses. It must acknowledge the limits of its current partners on the ground. It cannot put faith in a diplomatic charade. It must implement a real strategy against al Qaeda and Iran. And it must recognize the value of American action over American rhetoric. It will take a long time and a hard struggle to achieve any outcome in Syria that the U.S. should be willing to live with. It is time to focus on it, devote resources to it, and prepare to do so for a long time."... 
The neoconservative writers and their op-eds should be ignored. But the war on Iraq has shown that there is some serious political power behind them. Now someone in the White House will have to pick up those arguments and try to convince Trump with them. Who will that be and will s/he be successful? 

2017's Greatest Hits in Population Genetics. We are an older species than we had been led to believe, and were getting a lot of things done at least 100,000 years sooner on this timeline. Lots of interesting, paradigm-shifting information came out last year.

Overflown

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Give And Take

Quietly Conferring,

"A whistleblower has revealed to Congress that clandestine, offsite meetings between high ranking FBI and DOJ took place in which officials discussed ways to undermine President Trump after the 2016 election, Rep. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told Fox News on Tuesday."

"These are some of the big questions that a nation not 100 percent distracted and misdirected will want some answers to. The even greater question is whether the USA’s institutional justice system remains sturdy enough to fairly inquire into all these things. It probably can’t happen without a deep house-cleaning at the Department of Justice and the FBI. For the moment, Trump is just observing the scene like the Cheshire Cat in his tree. Considering what a dope he is, it is one of the many miracles of his long and (so far) lucky life to have his enemies look even dumber."

Italy can't keep it's head above water in the EU. The ECB has extended vast credit (from where?) and bought ITalian government bonds like they were gold. Italy is not Greece, though Italians are feeling more like Greeks in recent years. What is Berlusconi's game?

Five maps and charts to look into 2018. Good visuals. A picture is worth 100 words.

Trumps tariffs (Coulda' been worse. Solar panels and washing machines is not "war".)

Rising interest payments on consumer debt are going to kill "consumers". Credit card defaults are rising. This is what all retirement accounts are invested in. Mine. Yours. Whatever. That's not going to work. Is it?

Could/Should Jubilee Debt Cancellations be Reintroduced Today? Michael Hudson (How about next week? Hudson is always brilliant and clear.)

Forgiven

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Risks Explained

Beamed Up,

5G wireless is explained here. It didn't "get it" until Eleni sent this article. The very high frequencies which will be used to carry a whole lot of data don't penetrate walls well. The power has to be jacked up very, very high, which violates power density safety standards. Too much power density cooks a person, as radar-workers discovered in WW-2, by getting cooked. The work-around is very high energy within tight beams, with local towers and cellphones having the ability to focus these high energy beams at each other. The average energy radiated conforms, and the high energy in the beams performs. The beams will never cross a human body because... oh... huh? Shit. This sounds bad. 
The author relates a personal experience with phased array radar causing him chest pain every evening at 9:00 sharp, which helped him figure it out. Too late for his medical career, though. He had to drop out of med school already. He happened to live twice in the beam of American phased array military radar. The first time incapacitated him. The second time clued him in.

Martin Luther King was finished off in the hospital by a prominent doctor who pulled his breathing tube and smothered him with a pillow says this book review. The man who most likely shot him was interviewed, too. Interesting retelling of history. Sickeningly believable.

Former Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa has warned that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's days are numbered at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. He said that he believes President Lenin Moreno is likely “take away the support” previously afforded to the anti-secrecy activist. “It will only take pressure from the United States to” withdraw protection for Assange and “surely it's already being done, and maybe they await the results of the Feb. 4 (referendum) to make a decision.”

Chelsea Manning, running for Senate in Maryland against a "centrist" Clintonista Democrat, courts not just the left, but the harder right, attending a Pizzagate Paty and Mike Cernovich's recent soiree. A calling-bullshit-coalition. Good idea.

This article in The American Conservative likens Chelsea Manning to Barry Goldwater, by way of Ron Paul, and pulls it off rather well, I think.

Chelsea Manning's campaign video does not advocate fixing the system, but acting individually to make it irrelevant. Strong stuff. Credible from the source.

Hmmm, Chelsea Manning is technically still active duty military while appealing conviction; not supposed to carry out political activity.

Unintimidated

Monday, January 22, 2018

Context

Smiling for the Camera,

"Because they put a smiley face on it, with well-trained politicians reciting 20-second sound bytes and millionaire pundits spinning everything that happens in a positive light, the screaming red reality of what’s actually happening fails to register. Americans are crushed to death under the exploitative prison system and Walmart economy, trillions of dollars are poured into killing strangers on the other side of the planet while communities all over America have no clean drinking water, but if you turn on the TV you’d think the worst thing happening in the world is that some Muslim people get violent once in a while and Donald Trump had sex with a porn star." Thanks Colleen.

"The big money was not in acute pain, which goes away, or cancer pain, where patients die quickly, but in chronic pain, which is endless."

Trump and Berlusconi, an interesting view, not long. There is no more political center, and..."Human rights have a cost and that this cost was paid, so far, by fossil fuels. Now that fossil fuels are on their way out, who's going to pay? The Left has nothing to propose but empty promises and people are starting to understand that. That's the reason for the rise of the political Right everywhere in the world. It is a political phase transition that's wrenching us away from the familiar fossil-powered world and catapulting us to a different world."

Kunstler: The hubris around this delusional state of affairs seeped over the swampy Washington landscape this week like one of those malaria-laden miasmas of old. The president crowed about the lowest unemployment in decades and the lobotomized media just swallowed it like a wad of masticated pepperoni. Nobody notices the roughly 100 million adults out of the work-force. Do they even figure into the statistical picture? Lowest black and Hispanic unemployment ever. You’re kidding, right? Well, we make our own reality. Karl Rove and Oprah agree on that.

The FBI loses 5 months of email evidence against servants of the servants of our unseen oligarchs. It's not just the NSA.

This year marks the centenary of Spanish flu, the most deadly pandemic in human history. It is estimated that five hundred million people contracted it – a third of the global population in 1918 – and that between fifty and a hundred million of them died. Asians were thirty times more likely to die than Europeans. The pandemic had some influence on the lives of everyone alive today....
The virus is currently held in a high-security facility in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2016, around 1.7 million people died from tuberculosis, around a million from HIV/Aids, and around half a million from malaria. Computer modelling suggests that if the 1918 H1N1 virus were to break out of the facility in Atlanta it would cause around thirty million deaths.

The weekend government shutdown is over.

Still Ticking

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sincere Regrets

Offered the Irrefusble,

The US offered the Kurds of Northern Syria their own country, with oil wells. Syria has been through too much to give up at this point, especially it's best oilfields. Turkey won't stand the US creating a Kurdish state, armed-to-the-teeth, on Turkey's border. Russia worked to get a cooperative deal, but the Kurdish group remains fatally attracted to the American offer. Turkey is attacking with tanks and aircraft, as well as artillery. Syrian forces move to take certain positions, and will fight hard for the oilfields east of the Euphrates. America sends weapons, so more people can die.

US Secretary of State Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov spoke by phone about Syria Saturday. (I wonder what was said.)

The Whole World is sick and tired of US foreign policy (yes, not shocking) Thanks Eleni:
Here is yet another story about Tulsi Gabbard telling the truth about America killing people who it convinces to give up nuclear programs for a promise of safety, and how North Korea saying "we got slaughtered once already, not going for twice".

Orwell is BACK:   
“Olympic d├ętente upends US strategy on North Korea”... In other words, peace is sold here as war... NY Times: “This latest gesture of unity, the most dramatic in a decade, could add to fears in Washington that Pyongyang is making progress on a more far-reaching agenda.” And what, one wonders, would that “far-reaching agenda” entail? Again the NY Times elaborates: “White House officials warn that the ultimate goal of [North Korean leader] Mr Kim is to evict American troops from the Korean Peninsula and to reunify the two Koreas under a single flag… For the United States, the fear has been that North Korea’s gestures will drive a wedge between it and its ally, South Korea.”

The NSA (every single human member of this vast organization, in unison) "sincerely regrets" deleting all of the Bush era wiretap/surveillance data it was ordered to save. (Aww, I bet they have it SOMEWHERE.)

Julian Assange again warns about artificial intelligence providing invisible, seamlessly-melding-into-reality internet censorship. (90% of chatbots are AI with a little human tending per flock to keep them looking viable.)

Google already has in place and functioning, a secret speech-police unit.

"What the hell is going on with stocks?" Here is actually a good answer, a good part of the answer, at any rate.

You may recall that incoming Fed Chair, Jerome Powell let this slip, about the Fed needing to unload it's short-volatility position. 
"It is about $1.2 trillion in sales; you take 60 months, you get about $20 billion a month. That is a very doable thing, it sounds like, in a market where the norm by the middle of next year is $80 billion a month. Another way to look at it, though, is that it’s not so much the sale, the duration; it’s also unloading our short volatility position." 
(That test-of-unload may be another thing happening recently with stocks)

The Bubble That Could Break The World (Financial regimes go through resets when the construct becomes too far divorced from the real world. Something does it...)

Jeanine sends this NASA video showing hurricane/weather patterns of 2017, tracked through sea salt aerosols, forest fire smoke, and airborne sand/dust. Each of these substances is color marked and easily apparent. What is not shown here is the tracking of chemtrails of aluminum oxide and barium oxide that we all see crisscrossing the skies most days. I think those must give the best weather data of all.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Temporary Death Sentence

Commuted,

How it felt for a half hour in Honolulu:
Once we felt like we were in the best place in the building, we frantically checked our phones again as we continued to envision the apocalypse that was going to occur any second.  I then saw that Hawaiian representative Tulsi Gabbard had just announced on Twitter that she had been calling authorities, and had confirmed it was a false alarm.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard: "We know that North Korea has these nuclear weapons because they see how the United States in Libya for example guaranteed Gadaffi - 'we're not going to go after you, you should get rid of your nuclear weapons.' He did, then we went and led an attack that toppled Gaddafi, launching Libya into chaos that we are still seeing the results of today. North Korea sees what we did in Iraq with Saddam Hussein, with those false reports of weapons of mass destruction. And now seeing in Iran how President Trump is decertifying a nuclear deal that prevented Iran from developing their nuclear weapons, threatening the very existence and the agreement that was made. At this point an incredulous Stephanopoulos stopped the Congresswoman and asked, "Was it a mistake for the United States to take out Gaddafi and Hussein?" Gabbard responded firmly with, "It was, absolutely."  Apparently this was enough to end the interview...

This story from Russia Today: 
Anti-Russia conspiracy theorists have developed another outlandish claim, stating that Moscow is behind Chelsea Manning’s Senate bid, since she’s taking on an incumbent who is against so-called “Russian aggression.” Manning says she’s running because “we need someone willing to fight... we need to stop expecting that our systems will somehow fix themselves.” ... Foreign policy and strategy consultant Molly McKew called Manning’s decision to run “a little too convenient,” noting that she is running against Senator Ben Cardin, who is “one of [the] most active senators on foreign policy and [a] leader in making policy/legislation to respond to Russian aggression.”  In a separate tweet, she referenced Manning’s whistleblowing and the apparent motive behind it. “The agent of a foreign power coerced this individual, leveraging their emotional distress, into breaking their oath to the country and disclosing classified secrets.” 

Your smartphone is making you stupid (and worse stuff than that, but you can forget it, a goldfish has a longer attention span)

50% of people always tell the truth, convenient or otherwise. 15% of people always say whatever gets them the most money (lies, usually) and the rest of folks lie when it is of the most benefit, at least in this one study, YMMV.

Over 100 murders, suicides, mysterious deaths – the strange fate of those who saw Kennedy shot.

"Let's Wrench Power Back From the Billionaires", Bernie Sanders (Senator Sanders is a little old to be killed in action, himself...)

Charles Hugh Smith points out that stocks are in a "Blowoff Top" right now. It is what it is. Proof here. Looks, walks and quacks like it...

Russia really wants to know more about who programmed those swarming drones with bomblets to attack their planes at their Syrian airbase. Pictures here. Chainsaw motors and propellers. They had perfect coordinates for each plane they targeted; sophisticated, pinpoint intelligence and guidance. Where did that come from?

Cat sends this essay comparing Donald Trump and Muhammad Ali, a pretty good comparison, engagingly presented.  

Violent crime rates go down where marijuana gets legalized. It seems that having gangs run a business in your city is linked to all kinds of violent crime. Catch-22? No solution?

Non-victim

Monday, January 15, 2018

Test Missile Alert

Unprepared,

Around 8:05 a.m., the Hawaii emergency employee initiated the internal test, according to a timeline released by the state. From a drop-down menu on a computer program, he saw two options: “Test missile alert” and “Missile alert.” He was supposed to choose the former; as much of the world now knows, he chose the latter, an initiation of a real-life missile alert. (There could have been value to the military to see what people actually did in the face of such a warning. There could have been intent to do this as a large scale experiment.)

Centuries of shitting in Haiti by France, then America, have made it particularly insulting to refer to Haiti as a "shithole". 
Please keep looking the other way politely while the exploitation of this slave colony continues. 
Please do not try to fix anything. Just donate to the Clinton foundation.

Charles sent this article about the Cuban Missile Crisis. "Everything you know is wrong" 
I had studied this in college in early 1982, and this is pretty close to what I learned then. The big deal was Khrushchev's offer to remove missiles from Cuba, if the US removed missiles from Turkey, was perfectly reasonable, which was agreed strategically. The political position Kennedy was in was the real problem. It was untenable. The US was no more at risk with missiles in Cuba than without. It was just an opening for some sensible trading. The rest of the world was aghast at the American brinksmanship.
(What is not said here is that Kennedy was considered a traitor by many in the military industrial complex for making the secret deal with the Russians, to do exactly the trade Khrushchev offered. What is also not said in this story is that it was a really good deal for Kennedy to make, because the decision had already been made to remove US nuclear missiles from Turkey. It had not been announced. Kennedy secretly traded away the destabilizing missiles in Turkey that the top strategists were going to get rid of quickly, already.)

Charles Hugh Smith: The nation is fragmenting because the Status Quo is failing the majority of the citizenry (The social contract made under FDR has been broken, will soon be in complete default, and must be renegotiated. This keeps happening in history.)

Chelsea Manning is running for Senate in Maryland. (I'd trust Chelsea to renegotiate the social-contract on my behalf.)

2 major Apple shareholders push the company to study iPhone addiction in children. (This is important, like toddlers smoking cigarettes.)

Damage Done