Ghosts in the Machine,
Chrles Hugh Smith: Fifty years on, the ghosts of 1968 are still with us. With the advantage of hindsight, 1968 was the culmination of the belief that it was still possible for the common people to change the political and social order in a positive fashion-- to remake the status quo power structure into something more humane, accessible, just and fair... Mario Savio's extemporaneous speech to the Free Speech Movement's sit-in on December 3, 1964, on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley. "There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!"... The system needs us as raw material, as "product," as consumers of the output of the machine. That we are consumed by the process--that awareness has faded into the shadows inhabited by the ghosts of 1968. (Grow vegetables. Be a friend. Help family. Anything.)
Remember how cutting taxes on global multinational corporations was going to get them to "repatriate" those funds to America, investing in American business, building the American economy. Actually, it just did the first thing. It electronically came "back to america" and got spent on stock-buybacks, not business investments. The stock market got the money, and the CEOs got bonuses, and shareholders, AKA "the wealthy" have more value in their stock portfolios, which gets taxed as capital-gains some day, maybe. Still, corporations getting a tax cut and the rich getting richer, and no jobs created in America should be no surprise.
The US is executing a global war plan (I'd put "contingency" before "plan", myself) Finian Cunningham:
A view from Russia, seeing WW-1 preparing to enter a third phase, bound to be against Russia, the preliminaries now underway, and what is delaying full blown WW-3. Thanks Eleni.
Washington’s primary objective of bombing the pro-government troops on February 7 - that led to dozens of Russian casualties - was to create divisions between the US-backed Kurds and Russia-backed Syrian government. Clearly, one can’t negotiate and reach a defensive accord with a party whose backers are bombing you at the same time. But Russia has sagaciously downplayed the brazen atrocity and moved on with its efforts to reconcile the divergent interests of competing forces in the Syrian proxy war.
And then... "YPG Kurdish fighters in north-western Syria - who are backed by the US - had struck a deal with the Russia-backed Assad regime for Syrian forces to enter the Afrin region and repel a Turkish offensive which began last month... We didn't have long to wait for this escalation to unfold, and moments ago a convoy of fighters waving Syrian flags entered the northern Kurdish-held region of Afrin, which Turkey is targeting in a cross-border operation, according to footage on Syrian state TV shows... We didn't have long to wait for this escalation to unfold, and moments ago a convoy of fighters waving Syrian flags entered the northern Kurdish-held region of Afrin, which Turkey is targeting in a cross-border operation, according to footage on Syrian state TV shows." (Syrian Kurds are again coordinating with Syrian government and military, as they had done until 2014 when the US paid them, armed them, gave them air support and promised them a country and oil wells of their own.)
Remind me who benefits if Turkey goes to war with NATO "ally", Greece, over some Greek islands that nobody lives on...
The UK has a secret plan to not pay it's EU bills if it does not get a trade deal. (Who would ever suspect?)
Kim Dotcom" "Let me assure you, the DNC hack was not even a hack." Kim Dotcom has evidence that Seth Rich downloaded all that damning evidence onto a memory stick. His lawyer keeps trying to contact Robert Mueller to deliver the evidence, and Dotcom to testify. Stony silence, of course. (This is war, after all.)
Here's a reminder of how a team of Clinton political operatives went to Russia to win the 1996 election for Boris Yeltsin. Your tax dollars proudly at work destroying Russia. Yeltsin had an 8% approval rating, and deserved less than that for betraying Russia to gangsters and foreign vultures. (Thanks Eleni. Only good thing tired, alcoholicYeltsin ever did was to hand operations to this reliable administrative guy named "Putin".) [Then Jim Kunstler's take on this comparison, "Thirteen Russians and a ham sandwich", Hilarious.]
Former CIA Director James Woolsey, in a friendly interview, comments on American manipulation of political process in the rest of the world since it was created, makes joke, laughs. Everybody laughs; moves on... The US government’s own data shows that it has deliberately meddled in the elections of 81 foreign governments between 1946 and 2000, including Russia in the nineties. That isn’t even counting the coups and regime changes it facilitated, including right here in my home Australia in the seventies.
Israel wants all the gas and oil, and is willing to make and carry out threats, because anti-semitism, and holocaust, and only-mideast-democracy and stuff...
Israel has aggressively pushed for major sectors of the field to be internationally recognized as lying within its rightful territorial waters, going so far as to warn "respectable" companies from participating in the tender, which would be a "major mistake".
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah once again warned Israel to back off its claims over disputed oil and gas field just off the southern Lebanese coast, threatening that Hezbollah could "disable [Israel’s offshore oil installations] within hours."
"If you prevent us, we prevent you; if you open fire at us, we will open fire."
Germany is building (free?) missile ships for Israel to expand their missile shield further into their waters, and those of Lebanon, and certainly Gaza... Thanks Eleni.
The sea-based Iron Dome went live last November. Together with three US-built ships already in service, the four corvettes will protect the Jewish state’s gas rigs and shipping lanes from rocket attacks, according to the Times of Israel newspaper.
Is Angela Merkel unpopular for giving Israel the capacity to hit Germany with nuclear cruise missiles?
Chancellor Angela Merkel took the unilateral decision to supply Israel’s navy with a fleet of German-subsidised, Dolphin-class submarines built by a Thyssen Krupp shipyard, which were subsequently retrofitted by the Israelis with nuclear cruise missiles, having a range of over 1500kms. (The distance from, say, off-shore Marseilles in the Mediterranean to Potsdamer Platz in Berlin City Centre).
Global sea ice for January was another record low...
Listening to Spirits