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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Invisible For Halloween

Carnal Beings,

This news compilation has probably not come to your inbox when I hit "send" to the bcc list of 188 regular recipients. This news is being censored.
This internet censorship previously happened to the newsletter in the lead up to the 2016 election. 
That is why I set up Johnday's Blog as a separate communication venue. 
The blog got a big increase of hits after I got the notice out that the newsmail had been blocked. 
That kind of notice is also blocked, as of yesterday and this morning. I will persist in trying.  
It seems that contesting the official narrative is not to be permitted with  elections looming. (There may be a little power left in a vote.)
Alternative news may not be permitted in the future. Censorship is really overt this time, not subtle at all.
Look at johndayblog.com while it exists. 
Please do the personal work of human transition to a future of less energy of all kinds; bicycling, growing vegetables, and knowing that water and friends are precious. 
I pray for guidance.

Thank Eleni: There is a whole lot of relevant historical perspective of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East relationships in this article. It is clearly presented, like this tidbit.
Jamal Khashoggi was the grandson of the personal doctor of King Abdul Aziz. He was nephew of the arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, who equipped the Saudi Air Force, and then, on behalf of the Pentagon, supplied Chiite Iran against Sunni Iraq. His aunt Samira Khashoggi is the mother of arms dealer Dodi Al-Fayed (eliminated with his companion, British Princess Lady Diana [5]).  

The MI6 had warned their Saudi counterparts to cancel the mission.
“On October 1 we became aware of the movement of a group, which included members of Ri’āsat Al-Istikhbārāt Al-‘Āmah (GID) to Istanbul, and it was pretty clear what their aim was.
“Through channels, we warned that this was not a good idea. Subsequent events show that our warning was ignored.”
Sunday Express also obtained an anonymous interview from a close friend of Khashoggi’s who revealed that the journalist was about to obtain “documentary evidence” of Saudi Arabia’s use of chemical weapon in its proxy war in Yemen.​..
Iran has previously claimed that the kingdom had been supplying ingredients that can be used to make the nerve agent Sarin in Yemen but Khashoggi was possibly referring to phosphorus which can be used to burn bones. Last month it was claimed that Saudi Arabia had been using U.S.-supplied white phosphorus munitions against troops and even civilians in Yemen.​..According to the latest updates, the European Union is considering a ban on arms sale to Saudi Arabia and other sanctions. The EU will make a joint decision on how to punish the kingdom, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday in Istanbul after Russia-Turkey-France-Germany summit on Syria. A similar sentiment was expressed by France’s Emmanuel Macron.

​Rumor is that MbS got Khashoggi's head and fingers...​
“We know the orders came from a member of the royal circle but have no direct information to link them to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman… Whether this meant he was not the original issuer we cannot say,” the intelligence source was cited as saying.
An earlier report said Khashoggi, who was recently murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, intended to disclose details of Saudi Arabia’s use of banned chemical weapons in Yemen.

​Eleni sends this perspective piece also. "Harmonizing" National Interests...
Since the Russo-US agreement of Helsinki last July, President Donald Trump has been trying to withdraw his troops from Syria, while the Pentagon insists on leaving them where they are in order to prevent Russia from being the only power to decide on the future of that country. However, the allies of Washington refuse to admit defeat.
The quadrilateral summit in Istanbul was intended to harmonise the points of view of Russia, Turkey, France and Germany. If we read the final communiqué [1], the entente seems perfect, but if we compare it with the Press of the countries concerned, nothing is so sure.
http://www.voltairenet.org/article203671.html#nb3

​European glue dissolver...
Germany under Merkel’s bland but firm hand has been the only thing holding the European Union and eurozone together. If Germany descends into internal turmoil without a coherent government to push the Italys and Hungarys around, European populists/nationalists will fill the resulting vacuum.Borders will be re-imposed within and without the EU, national government budgets – already above EU deficit limits in many cases – will explode. Already-debilitating debts will keep rising, and the ECB will be forced to bail out Italy for sure and probably several other member states after that.
Since an ECB bailout of the Italian banking system means, in effect, moving Italy’s debt onto Germany’s balance sheet, the world’s one remaining rock-solid credit will join the ranks of politically unstable, increasingly indebted countries that may or may not be able to avoid financial collapse.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-30/after-germanys-merkel-comes-chaos

​When war is the only way our owners know how to do an economic reset. How big of a war do "we" need to do this next one?​ Any debate within the death-cult?
Trump announced last this week that the US was finally pulling out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a move confirmed by Bolton on a follow-up trip to Moscow. That treaty was signed in 1987 by former President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. It was a landmark achievement of cooperation and trust between the nuclear superpowers. Both sides removed short and medium-range nuclear missiles from Europe.​..
 When the INF Treaty was implemented three decades ago, the US and Russian nuclear arsenals were seriously dialed back to the strategic level of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) confined on respective landmasses separated by thousands of kilometers. As Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of Natsionalnaya Oborona, told Russia’s Vesti news channel, the ICBMs typically have a flight time of 30 minutes from launch. That time gap would give Russian defense systems time to respond effectively to an incoming strike from the US, and vice versa.​..
It also presents the Americans with the temptation to exercise their “first-strike doctrine”. In US military planning, it reserves the “right” to use a pre-emptive attack. By contrast, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated again last week that Russia will never use a first-strike option, that it would only use nuclear weapons as a defensive action.
Recall that earlier this month, the US envoy to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchison, said that American forces would “take out” Russian missiles if they are deemed to be violating the INF. 
(Invisible) ​US rulers have a death wish on the planet.  


​Putin and Trump, who do not seem like death-cult members, may discuss the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty​ in a on 11/11 (I read that the illuminati numerologists really dig the number 11, but you read all kinds of things, don'tcha?)

Cellphones kill us. Every day. Nobody can stop, not even after almost being killed. Don't walk off a cliff on Christmas Day.
Texting while driving is now the leading cause of teenage deaths in this country.  

​This methane is massively bubbling up from the ocean floor, and it was not there 3 years ago... Point-already-tipped.
MOSCOW, October 29. /TASS/. Russian scientists during an expedition on board the Akademik Keldysh research vessel found new sources of methane emissions in the Arctic, the Ministry of Education and Science’s press service said on Friday.
Experts say thawing of the Arctic Ocean’s underwater and coastal permafrost causes massive emissions of greenhouse gases - methane and carbon dioxide. The growing emissions may affect the planet’s climate system​.​

​There will be a protest in London, to obstruct city traffic to protest the destruction of life on earth, starting 11/12/18 (if world lasts that long), until 11/17/18.   Extinction Rebellion is the group promoting the protest. (Greenpeace says they don't know enough about their backers to support this action.)
Gail Bradbrook, scientist and veteran of tax justice campaigns and the Occupy movement
“For years I have engaged with this ecological crisis on an intellectual level, the mounting evidence, the science … but now I have engaged with the potential destruction of this world on an emotional level and there is a fundamental difference. There is huge feeling of grief, of loss. I found myself bursting into tears, of feeling distant with longstanding friends … but as with other forms of grief, as the poets say, you start to come through that initial shock and feeling of loss and there is a renewed appreciation of the beauty of the world, a renewed realisation that we are connected.

Looks like Extinction Rebellion got an early start today, Happy Halloween!

Whitey Bulger, a notoriously murderous mobster and FBI informant, suddenly got moved to a new prison, into the general area, and was immediately wheeled to a corner by 3 prisoners and beaten to death with a lock in a sock. They keep having this murder problem at that prison. You'd think'd learn. Whitey was making rumblings about ratting out some of his FBI contacts in a new criminal investigation of the FBI.

Whispering Ghost

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

In Your Face

Blowing Up,

Cat sends some perspective from Sister Caitlin in Oz.
It is good that Barack Obama was never sent anything resembling the 26,171 bombs that his administration dropped in the final year of his presidency...
President Trump, whose administration has been dropping even more bombs than its predecessor after expanding the use of drone strikes and peeling back regulations on air strikes designed to protect civilians, was quick to condemn the headline-grabbing pipe bomb campaign which did not hurt anyone whatsoever.  


​For Real? This is the guy who moved the US Embassy to illegally-occupied  Al-Quds/Jerusalem..
As President Trump plans to visit Pittsburgh and the Squirrel Hill neighborhood that was the cite of Saturday's horrific shooting, a group of 11 rabbis have published an open letter condemning the president, saying he wouldn't be welcome in Pittsburgh unless he "denounces white nationalism" and stops targeting minority groups, migrants and refugees - effectively laying the blame for the shooting at Trump's feet.  

Israelis are blowing up the rightful heirs of the land they have stolen, and another hospital, but it's not racist or anything.
Gazans reported explosions so massive they seemed to turn night into day overnight Friday as Israeli aircraft began pounding the Gaza Strip since the evening in response to Hamas reportedly firing some 30 rockets toward the Israeli city of Sderot.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said it destroyed 80 Hamas targets in the operation, which had been somewhat expected since a week ago the began staging an unprecedented build-up of forces along the Israeli-Gaza border fence. Sporadic bombings continued through Saturday morning.
A terrorist group operating in Gaza which often acts independently of Hamas called Islamic Jihad implicitly claimed responsibility for the rocket fire, issuing a statement saying it "can no longer stand idle before the continued killing of innocents and bloodshed by the Israeli occupation".


Jim Kunstler describes the situation in America well.
One of the strange side effects of an epic American political hysteria is this strange ADD-like inability of the public to focus on anything for more than a few moments, even the most arresting atrocities. The hysteria itself is too compelling, like the actions of a human limbic system driving the collective public psyche from fight to flight on the wild horses of pure emotion. Reason has been discarded by the wayside just as a super-drunk person will shed his clothing even on a freezing night. Total culture war now beats a path toward all-out civil war, with the looming mid-term election as a fulcrum of history.  

Paging James Mattis...​
The Kremlin now says, based on new intelligence provided by the Russian defense ministry that a major attack on Khmeimim last January was coordinated by a US spy plane. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov presented statements confirming Russian intelligence has produced "undoubtedly a very alarming report" which finds a US P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane was behind the nighttime January 8th attack which involved 13 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in total — 10 approached Khmeimim while 3 attempted an attack on the naval facility in Tartus.  Russian Deputy Defense Minister Colonel General Alexander Fomin went public with details of the Russian intelligence report at a plenary session of the Beijing Xiangshan Forum on security on Thursday: "Thirteen drones moved according to common combat battle deployment, operated by a single crew. During all this time the American Poseidon-8 reconnaissance plane patrolled the Mediterranean Sea area for eight hours."
He said that the moment Russia switched on its electronic countermeasures, the drones switched to manual mode while still operating in a sophisticated and highly coordinated fashion. The deputy defense minister noted: "Manual guidance is carried out not by some villagers, but by the Poseidon-8, which has modern equipment. It undertook manual control," he said. 
"When these 13 drones faced our electronic warfare screen, they moved away to some distance, received the corresponding orders and began to be operated out of space and receiving help in finding the so-called holes through which they started penetrating. Then they were destroyed," Col. Fomin continued. 
Most of the drones during the January attack were intercepted by Russian air defense systems, but six drones were landed by Russian forces after successfully taking control through electronic countermeasures.

​Khashoggi, Erdogan and The Truth, Craig Murray, via Eleni. Very good find! Inside information from US sources confirms my suspicions, so I like it.
(I used to know a lot of people who had the kinds of "nose problems" that MbS has as he makes this important public statement with so much confidence, heh, heh, heh...)​

The CIA officially dumps MbS as their favorite heir to the Saudi throne.

Don't forget that MbS pissed off some big financial interests that call the shots.
Will MBS be replaced? It certainly remains to be seen, as strong public pressure and political threats may yet guide the crown prince back to the neoliberal fold. Yet, what is clear is that MBS’ rise to power was backed by the international elite and the Trump administration based on the promise of these neoliberal reforms and the mass sale of U.S. weapons to Saudi Arabia. However, in the months before Khashoggi’s disappearance, MBS gravely endangered both of these deals, angering those that had backed his consolidation of power. Such a cadre of powerful interests will not prove easy to placate.  While it may certainly seem ironic and perhaps amusing to some that a tyrant like MBS has come under such strong pressure from the international elite, there is reason for concern. Indeed, if Vision 2030 is fully implemented — whether by MBS or his successor — forcing neoliberalism on the Saudi population is likely to make the country very unstable, as nearly occurred when MBS tried to implement it early this year.

One reason that the King of Saudi Arabia is important to the Western Empire is the Petro-Dollar arrangement, which rebuilt the global reserve currency after Nixon had to default on the gold standard, after the Vietnam War used up America's gold. The Chinese are buying physical gold and taking possession of it. All of them. Every one of them. When the "paper gold" markets fail to control the price of the metal with their sly manipulations, there will be a dramatic regime change in global currency perceptions, a paradigm shift.
https://kingworldnews.com/greyerz-china-just-took-delivery-of-a-massive-amount-of-gold-from-london-new-york/

The French Finance Minister says the Eurozone is not prepared to face another crisis (like Italeave)

Angela Merkel is forced to announce that she is stepping down after 18 years as German Chancellor, and will not run for re-election to the Bundestag. "We are expecting some turbulence". Merkel was forced to announce her retirement. The situation has already changed...

Charles Hugh Smith: 
Shadow banning and outright banning are only the tip of the iceberg: everyone who posts content on the web or social media is subject to much more subtle and completely opaque controls on how much of your digital presence has been ghosted--not just in social media communities but in searches and how links to your site/content and re-posts of your content are handled by the tech cartel that controls what's visible and "found" on the web and social media.
This cartel is dominated by Google and Facebook. Google controls over 90% of all search: what search results are displayed, the weight given to links (the page-rank assigned to websites) and a variety of other factors that can be depreciated, removed, omitted or blocked by algorithms and/or human censors (a.k.a. administrators) without recourse and without the site or user being informed...
We are all digital ghosts now, and how much of your digital shadow is visible to the world is secret / opaque. If you violate company policies or applicable censorship laws (as interpreted by the company attorneys), the corporation will notify you that your account has been frozen or banned...
But this visible part of web / social media censorship is only the tip of the iceberg. Most of the censorship is invisible and undetectable.  

How the government uses it's giant facial recognition database.

TSA confirms that facial recognition and biometrics will be used, as a precondition, on all people wishing to travel by air within the US. Gulp!

Face in the Crowd

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Economics Of Decline

Caught in History,

This is brief. We are caught in history, and not a steady part, but a point where narratives are about to rupture and be replaced with new narratives, which are hotly disputed at all levels. Societal narratives are what guide and control us. They can't be left to chance. they have to be put in place for the crisis, but they are not yet agreed. It looks like the narratives of reality may still be contested when the crisis hits. There might not be a clear scapegoat. Blame might fall on some of the ruling elites. They can't really let the crisis happen when they remain unprotected. How long can this can be kicked down the road?

I sent this out on 10/17/18, but now I see Nordhaus has some history, as below.
Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism looks at how not to get a "Nobel Prize in Economics" for evaluation of the relationships between business and environmental degradation. Specifically; do not do the rigorous science that proves what bankers don't want to hear. What will win the prize is a little softball work with wide margins of error that endorses a very modest carbon tax and waiting to see what happens after we die. (Wake up, yourself!)
The Nordhaus/Romer combo is so artificial and unconvincing it’s hard to avoid the impression that the prize not given to Weitzman is as important as the one given to Nordhaus.  This is a clear political statement about how to deal with climate change and how not to deal with it.  The Riksbank has spoken: it wants a gradual approach to carbon, one that makes as few economic demands as possible.  

Professor Ugo Bardi looks at the past and present of William Nordhaus, who can clearly not be made to understand what he gets paid well to not-understand, the complexities of the growth of human industrial society on planet Earth. Nordhaus has been getting big party favors for making unfounded accusations and arguments about the limits to growth and climate change since 1973. It's like his side-career. Good cash tips from his benefactors...

Eleni sends this background article on some of the reasons why we might be hearing so much about the Khashoggi murder, as opposed to the usual quiet about the crimes of the House of Saud. Some powerful neoliberal financial interests have just been stiffed.
Will MBS be replaced? It certainly remains to be seen, as strong public pressure and political threats may yet guide the crown prince back to the neoliberal fold. Yet, what is clear is that MBS’ rise to power was backed by the international elite and the Trump administration based on the promise of these neoliberal reforms and the mass sale of U.S. weapons to Saudi Arabia. However, in the months before Khashoggi’s disappearance, MBS gravely endangered both of these deals, angering those that had backed his consolidation of power. Such a cadre of powerful interests will not prove easy to placate.  While it may certainly seem ironic and perhaps amusing to some that a tyrant like MBS has come under such strong pressure from the international elite, there is reason for concern. Indeed, if Vision 2030 is fully implemented — whether by MBS or his successor — forcing neoliberalism on the Saudi population is likely to make the country very unstable, as nearly occurred when MBS tried to implement it early this year.

Peter Schiff says the US economy is about to collapse, bringing down the dollar and the American standard of living (But when, please? China and the EU are in that same line.)

Waiting Patiently

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Under Every Rock

Turning Over,

There is a report from Sky News that Jamal Khashoggi's parts have been found in the garden of the Saudi Consul General in Turkey.

"Worst coverup ever" opines President Trump. Saudi evil-doer-suspects get visas revoked. (That'll teach 'em!)

Pat Buchanan opines that it is time for President Trump to decisively break from Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, repudiate him, and repudiate the Saudi war upon Yemen at the same time.

Erdogan is stringing this story out for as long as it is in his favor, which it clearly still is. No we sure don't get "everything"" yet.
Turkish President Erdogan's didn't quite deliver on his promise to reveal "the naked truth" in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a speech on Tuesday before the Turkish parliament, though he did raise important questions while providing the most detailed public statement yet on the killing, which corroborated several anonymously sourced reports that surfaced in recent days.  
"We have significant signs that this was not something that happened instantaneously, spontaneously," Mr Erdogan said in speech to members of his parliamentary party. "Khashoggi was murdered in a ferocious manner."  

“Losing? We’re not only losing,” he said, “we’re on the wrong side.” ...
We’re losing in the Middle East because we’re on the wrong side, a side that is represented by leaders like Mohammed bin Salman. Khashoggi knew this better than anyone...
Khashoggi’s critique was both eloquent and controversial. It’s why he was murdered. “The United States’s aversion to the Muslim Brotherhood,” he wrote “. . . is the root of a predicament across the entire Arab world. The eradication of the Muslim Brotherhood is nothing less than an abolition of democracy and a guarantee that Arabs will continue living under authoritarian and corrupt regimes.”
  

Appearing alongside the Crown Prince of Bahrain and Prime Minister of Lebanon (who, ironically, the Saudis once kidnapped), MbS briefly addressed the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, calling it a "heinous crime that cannot be justified", before focusing on his economic plans for the kingdom during his first public appearance since the diplomatic crisis sparked by Khashoggi's killing began.  

Erdogan has this possum up a tree and will not walk away...
In a sign that the tension between former middle eastern allies turned enemies may be ending, on Wednesday Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman spoke on the phone with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (after a request by the Saudi) according to statement from Erdogan’s office...  The phone all took place just one day after Erdogan accused MbS of orchestrating the murder of Khashoggi, and one of Erdogan's aides said that the Crown Prince has blood on his hands.
It is unclear what was really said on the call, and if the bad blood between the two rulers is now gone, or if Erdogan will keep pushing at a time when his political influence and leverage over his Saudi peer is at an all time high.  According to Bloomberg, the phone call "would suggest a desire on the part of MBS to negotiate Erdogan into a softer position. But we have very few details, including any promises MBS may have put on the table."

Nope, no choice but to slaughter the rest of the people whose land we stole... (They may be trying to draw Iran in to justify nuking Tehran.)
It now appears Israel is ready to act, as on Monday Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Israeli parliament that he's been left with "no choice" but to launch military action against Hamas militants. Last week rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip, with one landing dangerously near the densely populated city of Tel Aviv, and unrest along the border fence has continued largely unabated for months.  

This went to press before the pipe bomb to Trump got reported, I guess... (Weird looking dude!)
In what must be one of the most rapidly written, edited, and published op-eds in New York Times history, Alexander Soros, son of billionaire globalist puppet-master George Soros, has penned a blame-scaping piece pointing directly at president Trump's "politics of demonizing opponents" as responsible for the bombing of his father, The Clintons, The Obamas, and well anyone else who has received a suspicious package in the last few days and is not in any way right-leaning. The article, with a title so ironic it has to be farce, "The Hate That Is Consuming Us" runs the gamut from 'saintly' McCain defending Obama's virtue in 2008 to President Trump and Prime Minister Orban's "extremist fringes" to "the poison of anti-semitism" (which given many of the stories about his father's behavior is somewhat surprising).

"Get your money out of Italy" says Mish Shedlock. The big money is out. Italians are trying hard to get into Swiss Francs in Switzerland. This cannot be fixed by the ECB. He gives clear details.

No Moss

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Deep Adaptation

Duly Notified,

Deep Adaptation, A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy, Jem Bendell Ph.D.
  Disruptive impacts from climate change are now inevitable. Geoengineering is likely to be ineffective or counter-productive. Therefore, the mainstream climate policy community now recognises the need to work much more on adaptation to the effects of climate change. That must now rapidly permeate the broader field of people engaged in sustainable development as practitioners, researchers and educators. In assessing how our approaches could evolve, we need to appreciate what kind of adaptation is possible. Recent research suggests that human societies will experience disruptions to their basic functioning within less than ten years due to climate stress. Such disruptions include increased levels of malnutrition, starvation, disease, civil conflict and war – and will not avoid affluent nations. This situation makes redundant the reformist approach to sustainable development and related fields of corporate sustainability that has underpinned the approach of many professionals (Bendell et al, 2017). Instead, a new approach which explores how to reduce harm and not make matters worse is important to develop. In support of that challenging, and ultimately personal process, understanding a deep adaptation agenda may be useful. 
 http://www.lifeworth.com/deepadaptation.pdf

The pdf above is 23 well organized pages, followed by references and a letter to the editor of the journal, whose peer-reviewers said it had to be cheered-up before they could publish it. That would negate it. 
Charles sent this, and it looks at not just the science, but the science of the human reactions to news that the world we are very well adapted to will soon rapidly change and be far less supportive to our lives. Many of us will die from starvation, disease, lack of medicines, lack of electricity and clean water, those things we rely upon. The thrust of the longer article above is summarized and excerpted here, though I found the article itself to be more transformative to read and digest. This timeline is about what my study has led me to, also. 

Large scale farmers, who use diesel and combines to harvest endless waves of grain, are noticing the damage from climate change, but media and politicians are not noticing it. Thanks Ray.

Climate Change is the context within which our human population over-growth, fed and fueled by coal, oil and gas, is now presented to us in the media and political discourse. It is the most vague, nebulous and unthreatening lens, through which to look at our Malthusian predicament/
Please allow me to direct you back to MIT 1972, where the third iteration of the most advanced systems-analysis computer model, World-3, produced the projected graphs below, of what our species would achieve on our planet, if we kept doing things about the same, without a concerted and global redirection of our efforts, "Business as Usual". 
Notice the red line on this graph, marking peak industrial output and food per person. It looks like it falls right about 2015. This was not a "prediction", as the authors explained many times, but a forward projection of historical trends, with the interactions of the trends correlated into each other, rather than being projected in isolation. 
World-1 and World-2 programs had been tested and retested, then further refined to develop World-3. Running the data with a start date of 1900 predicted the 20th century pretty well, including the part that had not yet happened. 
Societal limits to growth was a hot topic in 1971, the year that US oil production peaked, just as M. King Hubbert had predicted in the 1950s. We were feeling a lot of change then. I remember. We were surprised, and didn't want to be surprised again. Remember? 
Move your gaze past the red line, toward the marker for 2020, down on the x-axis. that's where we are. That's where Wile-E-Coyote looks down.
China's Deng Xiaopeng was strongly influenced by this book. Remember China's one-child-policy? Ronald Reagan made a point of scorning this book in public speeches, saying there were "no limits". Peak oil was discredited in 2006, the year oil was to peak, by re-defining "oil". Look, no peak! (except the archaic definition of "oil" peaked that year) Saved by innovation! 
Inline image 1

In 2010, the University of Melbourne rigorously analyzed the 1972 projections, overlaying best data from the intervening years to create these graphs. this 2014 article presents the data well. The graphs all show very impressive correlations.
Inline image 2

Professor of Physical Chemistry, Ugo Bardi, at University of Florence, explains The Seneca Effect, or "Seneca's Cliff". Seneca observed 2000 years ago that natural systems grew slowly and collapsed rapidly. That is what we face in our human-centric ecosystem now. That curve of collapse is shown above in the industrial output per capita, and other inflection points of the Limits to Growth graph.

What we do in our current setting is to keep doing what we usually do each day, our trained responses within the context we have mastered. We stay focused. Responding to environmental cues and stimuli is most of what adult humans do, but we can also explore new options, where we have time and money and interest. I have lately been seeking to explore lower energy options and growing vegetables. I don't think we will actually have options in any crisis, for which we have not prepared in advance.

Passing the Time

Monday, October 22, 2018

To The Edge

Standing,

It’s not that Putin’s stance was any different than in the past. Russia will strike back at an aggressor under any circumstance where the future of Russia is at stake.  It was his assurance that in doing so 1) it would be just and righteous “dying like martyrs” and 2) so swift and brutal the aggressors would “die like dogs” bereft of the chance to ask for salvation...
 It is really no different than the attitude of Secretary of State James Mattis who said, “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f$*k with me, I’ll kill you all.”
Men like this are not to be tested too hard.  And Putin’s response to the shooting down of the IL-20 plane and its crew was to cross a bunch of diplomatic lines by handing out S-300s to Syria and erecting a de facto no-fly zone over Western Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean... Putin sees himself, quite rightly, as the custodian of the Russian people and, as such, the Russian state as the reflection of Russian culture.  If you are going to have a state and someone is going to be the head of it, this is the attitude that you want from that person...
Putin knows where Trump is.  He was there himself seventeen years ago, except an order of magnitude worse.  The problems Trump is facing are the same problems Putin faced, corruption, venality, treason all contributing to a collapse in societal and cultural institutions.
Putin knows the U.S. is at a crossroads, and he’s made his peace with whatever comes next.  The question is have we?

The INF treaty signed in 1987 between the USSR and the United States eliminated nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. The historic accord marked the first time the superpowers had agreed to eliminate an entire category of nuclear arms and introduce on-site inspections for verification. The deal brought much-needed detente to an atmosphere of tense Cold War stand-off, and allowed Europe, which housed much of the American arsenal, to breathe a sigh of relief.
The deal didn’t affect aircraft- and sea-based missiles, an area where the US had a clear strategic advantage at the time, so it was widely seen as a gesture of good will by the USSR at a cost to its own national security. Another significant problem with the INF treaty was that other nuclear-armed nations were never party to it – including US allies France and the UK, as well as China.​..​
Russia has vowed to observe the INF treaty as long as the US does. However, should Washington choose to pull out like it did from the ABM deal, President Vladimir Putin said:
“Russia’s response would be immediate and mirror-like.”

A no-fly zone on both sides of the Korean DMZ is suggested as a confidence building measure. [It mainly improves the security of North Korea, which is threatened again and again by American bombers flying close, especially nuclear-capable bombers.]

US and South Korean militaries announce that they will not carry out December war games, to "give peace a chance".

​Can we hear the tapes now, guys? This is a whole lot of specific information already, and some people say Turkey is making it up.​ 
(Erdogan wants the Ottoman Empire reconstituted, and for that, he will have to be "Guardian of Mecca and Medina". 
He is proving the House of Saud unworthy to guard "the two holy places"..)
In the latest bombshell report involving the Khashoggi murder, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly spoke on the phone with journalist Jamal Khashoggi moments before he was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish pro-government daily Yeni Safak disclosed the new alleged details of the case in a report on Sunday, contradicting claims by Saudi authorities that Prince Mohammed played no part in Khashoggi's murde​ ​r.
"Khashoggi was detained by the Saudi team inside the consulate building. Then Prince Mohammed contacted Khashoggi by phone and tried to convince him to return to Riyadh," the report said.
"Khashoggi refused Prince Mohammed's offer out of fear he would be arrested and killed if he returned. The assassination team then killed Khashoggi after the conversation ended," it added.

In a phone call with President Donald Trump, the Turkish leader emphasized the need to disclose all circumstances of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death. Earlier Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to make an “important statement” soon.
“We seek justice and this will be revealed in all its naked truth, not through some ordinary steps but in all its naked truth. This is not an ordinary case. I will make statements on Tuesday at the AK Party parliamentary group meeting,”Erdogan said on Sunday afternoon, as cited by the Sabah newspaper.
“The incident will be revealed entirely,” he emphasized.  
[Well, ok, if you say so. We can wait a couple more days.]
https://www.rt.com/news/441889-erdogan-trump-khashoggi-justice/

​MbS doesn't let any of the other princes talk to his dad, King Salman. None of them. They're scheming to stab him in the back, after all.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been appointed to head a ministerial committee tasked with restructuring the General Intelligence Agency, after its deputy director was sacked amid the Khashoggi death scandal.
The decision to appoint MbS to head the restructuring process came after King Salman issued a decree firing the agency's vice president, Ahmed bin Hassan bin Mohammed Asiri. The King has also issued orders to terminate some officers and appoint new ones within the primary intelligence agency of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

​​Jordan announced a bombshell on Sunday in relation to its peace treaty with Israel, stating it would not renew a 25-year lease of two tracts of territory along its border which is set for renewal on Thursday.
Under the 1994 historic treaty brokered under Bill Clinton, Israel retained private land ownership and special travel rights in Baquora — called Naharayim by the Israelis — in the northwestern part of the kingdom, and Ghumar — or Zofar in Hebrew — in the south. Part of the agreement signed at the White House in which Jordan became only the second Arab country after Egypt to make peace with Israel was that Jordan would lease sovereign Jordanian land to Israel.
But after sizable protests last Friday in Amman involving marchers demanding that Jordan reclaim full sovereignty over the territory, King Abdullah announced the cancellation of this part of the treaty, saying an official message has been relayed to Israel on the matter.
“Baqoura and Ghumar were at the top of our priorities,” King Abdullah tweeted via his official account. “Our decision is to terminate the Baquoura and Ghamar annexes from the peace treaty out of our keenness to take all decisions that would serve Jordan and Jordanians."
Both sites, which Israel had leased and utilized primarily for agriculture and considers key strategic security points, are located on the Jordan-Israel border. Israel is expected to attempt to retain lease rights to the land as strategic locations essential to its border security...
Currently, there are dozens of Israeli farmers and their families living on the strips of land Jordan has said it will repossess when the treaty fails to be renewed on Thursday...  
The Israeli official further called in "inconceivable" that the territories would be given up by Israel: "The agricultural areas in the Zofar enclave are very significant for the security of the region, the state, for livelihoods and agriculture in the central Arava. It is inconceivable that after so many years, the world order will change. I call upon the prime minister of Israel to solve this crisis immediately," he said.  

​Italy and the ECB are ramping up into war. The Euro, as constituted, cannot last, but Any country that fights the ECB can be made to suffer.
Since the ECB is the only marginal buyer of Italian debt, which has been the case for more than a year now, any sharp rise in bond yields is a result of the ECB simply backing off that buying and market forces taking over.
This is the ECB’s biggest weapon. It will try to scare everyone by allowing Italy’s fiscal position to erode quickly making it impossible for them to issue debt at sustainable yields. But, it does so at the expense of the value of the bonds it and other European banks already hold. Because they are dropping in value, undercutting the solvency of those banks.
If the Italian leadership holds the line and refuse to back down, then they call the ECB’s bluff on allowing rates to rise. The ECB has to come back in, begin buying to support the price, and the regroup for the next battle.

This week in a CNBC interview Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the former Dutch minister of finance who served as the President of the Eurogroup, declared war on the Italian government. The European financial establishment is prepared to destroy the banking system and cause the Italian economy to implode. Like a Mafia boss, Dijsselbloem warned that Italy could run into trouble if it does not comply with Brussels’ directives. Of course, his statement was cloaked in diplomatic language:
“If the Italian crisis becomes a major crisis, it will mainly implode into the Italian economy … as opposed to spreading around Europe,” he said. “Because of the way that the Italian economy and the Italian banks are financed, it’s going to be an implosion rather than an explosion.”​  
[Yeah, sure, just Italy. will get hurt.]​

​"Sears didn't die. Vulture Capitalists killed it." 
Actually, that is exactly the case. Standard business model since Michael Milken worked out how to do "leveraged buy outs" of a company, sell all it's stuff, then rent the stuff back to it, while lending it a lot of money, until it chokes in debt, and the vultures have all the nice money and assets that it earned and saved it's whole life.​
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-sears-bankruptcy-hedge-funds_us_5bc4b346e4b0bd9ed55c8a58

Electricity is the power source that is most critical for industrial civilization. Vanadium based flow batteries may be what can buffer the production of wind and solar electricity enough to support industrial civilization. The oil will be needed for other things, and the coal to make cement...

Think, as I did, about why we do not change as a species, or as groups at various levels of size and complexity. Whoever uses less resources and fuel right now, gets buried by whoever uses more right now. That is the current growth based system, until it collapses. Short term defeats long term, then dies.
If we were indeed paying attention, what would we do differently? We would make sustainability—real sustainability, not just eco-groovy gestures—our first priority. Conserve and reuse non-renewable resources. Use renewable resources only up to their regrowth rates. Protect natural systems from pollution. Conserve biodiversity. We would aim for a truly circular and regenerative economy. If it turned out that the economy were just too big to operate within those guidelines, we would shrink it (taking some time to identify ways that cause the least harm and create the greatest benefit, and ensuring that those who have gained least from our centuries-long growth bonanza get an equitable share of our reduced budget). And if the human population were too big, we would shrink that too (again, taking time to minimize bads and maximize goods).  

​Cooperating With Weasels​

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Divided House Of Saud

Fatalities,

The first Khashoggi-murder fall guy, the rude one, who threatened the Saudi Consul, is dead in a car accident. Some say the Consul is next. 
MbS says nothing, nothing at all.

Trump's Alliance with Body Choppers, Death Squads and Child killers, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Israel (The title is overt, but looks at the necessity of raw and widespread power to be brutal, in order to keep controlling and extracting wealth.)

Why Israel Gets Away With Murder In Occupied Palestine (still, same as ever)

There is fear and embarrassment inside Saudi Arabia, and dissension, and insecurity at all levels, and tattling, and billionaires in "confinement". There was royal family consensus-rule in the past, but now tyranny from MbS. MbS spends more time out at sea on his yaght, lately, they say...

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchen cancels his attendance at Saudi Investment Summit. Trump told him to.
In a succinct tweet, just minutes after SecState Pompeo suggested President Trump give the Saudis more time to come up with an excuse for killing WaPo journalist Khashoggi, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has announced that he will pull out of the Saudi investment conference...  

The White House gives the House of Saud a few more days to come up with an adequate deal/lie. (It may be that Washington has had enough of MbS)

Saudis transfer $100 million to State Department, which is way to small to be anything close to a deal.

Escalating Bribe

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Crashing Down

Observing Reality,

It turns out that among the Saudi "interrogation team" that flew in to interrogate Jamal Khashoggi there was a Medical Professor in forensic pathology, and 3 close associates of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. That doesn't sound like rogue-interrogators-gone-wild to me. It sounds like a murder and cover-up premeditated at the highest level. That will cost more to ignore, lots more...

Oh ... "They cut him up while he was still alive" ... Oh ...  
Dr. Salah Muhammad al-Tubaigy, who was identified by the Times and other media outlets as an "autopsy expert" whose presence cuts against Saudis' suggestions that the killing wasn't premeditated, started cutting Khashoggi's body into pieces while the journalist was unconscious, but still breathing. 
  After Khashoggi had been knocked unconscious (never to awaken again), al-Tubaigy put on his headphones and started the grim process of dismembering the body with a bone saw...
As he started to dismember the body, Tubaigy put on earphones and listened to music. He advised other members of the squad to do the same.
"When I do this job, I listen to music. You should do [that] too," Tubaigy was recorded as sayin​g...
The United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has called for the lifting of diplomatic immunity for any facilities and persons tied to the killing, which means that, even if Saudi Arabia gives its nominal "rogue operatives" a pass, extradition requests from Turkey or another UN member would greatly increase their chances of arrest.

Those on the list handed over to MBS by Kushner were all subjects of NSA and CIA communications intercepts of phone calls, video conferences, and emails. Kushner is said to have had a phone conversation with MBS a day before Khashoggi was murdered.  
​(That would have been October 1, the day Kashoggi went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and asked for his divorce papers, and was told to return the next day.)​
Reports from U.S. intelligence sources report that the NSA had intercepted high-level communications between the Saudi government in Riyadh and the Saudi consulate-general in Istanbul indicating that there was a plot afoot to either kidnap Khashoggi and fly him back to Riyadh or murder him on the spot.  

Turkey changes the name of the street that will host the new US Embassy to "Malcolm-X." Malcolm-X was a black Muslim political activist, who is almost universally believed to have been assassinated by the US Government, probably under FBI auspices. "We know who you are, America." Thanks Eleni.

Pepe Escobar looks at the chaotic power struggles across the globe, heading into the G-20 summit next month. He does a good and detailed job, without losing the big picture of relationships. There is no summation to excerpt. Each paragraph is valuable. It's concise.

Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism looks at how not to get a "Nobel Prize in Economics" for evaluation of the relationships between business and environmental degradation. Specifically; do not do the rigorous science that proves what bankers don't want to hear. What will win the prize is a little softball work with wide margins of error that endorses a very modest carbon tax and waiting to see what happens after we die. (Wake up, yourself!)
The Nordhaus/Romer combo is so artificial and unconvincing it’s hard to avoid the impression that the prize not given to Weitzman is as important as the one given to Nordhaus.  This is a clear political statement about how to deal with climate change and how not to deal with it.  The Riksbank has spoken: it wants a gradual approach to carbon, one that makes as few economic demands as possible.  

​Here is another interesting take on how capitalism can't stop global warming. Recently I have seen that Baby-Boomers can't be trusted with decisions, because we will all die before things get really bad, though I think they will be really bad before 10 years pass, myself.
The think is that climate change is only one part, the least threatening part, of the global human overgrowth and environmental devastation, which is now finally about to hit the economy really hard. That's why all of the urgency in the centers of global power. Reset is about to happen. It can't be pulled out like 2008. Everything that can be done is being done to forestall the next, final collapse of the current world order.
Fascism is capitalism with a gun and $1 billion per vote.​ I don't agree that fascists see this as a "solution", but billions of people dying is ok for them.
My friends, catastrophic climate change is not a problem for fascists — it is a solution. History’s most perfect, lethal, and efficient one means of genocide, ever, period. Who needs to build a camp or a gas chamber when the flood and hurricane will do the dirty work for free? Please don’t mistake this for conspiracism: climate change accords perfectly with the foundational fascist belief that only the strong should survive, and the weak — the dirty, the impure, the foul — should perish. That is why neo-fascists do not lift a finger to stop climate change — but do everything they can to in fact accelerate it, and prevent every effort to reverse or mitigate it.​..
 Things like climate change and inequality and fascism are not really “problems” — they are emergent processes, which join up, in great tendrils of ruin, each piling on the next, which result from decades of neglect, inaction, folly, blindness. We did not plant the seeds, or tend to our societies, economies, democracies, or planet carefully enough — and now we are harvesting bitter ruin instead.

North and South Korea continue to work to decrease the risks of Korean War-II by demilitarizing the DMZ, and getting rail and road connections built.

Taking Initiative

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Mousetrap World

Building Better,

DARPA's work on cyborg warriors who never tire, and may have any mechanical body imaginable, controlled by an "unrestricted" human brain, grown around little network interface wires, and trained in that brave new world, is underway. The poster project is more lifelike prosthetic arms for soldiers with amputations. 
It's going quite well, if you talk to the folks who only do the soldier-rehabilitation work. 
The other part of the project is silent and invisible to us. It might be upsetting.

The US Army regularly produces deadly viruses, bacteria and toxins in direct violation of the UN Convention on the prohibition of Biological Weapons. Hundreds of thousands of unwitting people are systematically exposed to dangerous pathogens and other incurable diseases. Bio warfare scientists using diplomatic cover test man-made viruses at Pentagon bio laboratories in 25 countries across the world. These US bio-laboratories are funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) under a $ 2.1 billion military program - Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) - and are located in former Soviet Union countries such as Georgia and Ukraine, the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa. 
Look: Anthrax, Ebola, Tularemia, Botulism, Cholera, Swine Flu, Hemorrhagic Fever, bats, mosquitoes, biting flies, ticks, spray nozzles, rockets, bombs, artillery, Georgia, Ukraine, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia, Sierra Leone, USA!

Look! Nothing! (Didn't there use to be something there last week?) Caitlin Johnstone (temporarily reinstated, after deletion for "abusing John McCain")
It is now clear that there is either (A) some degree of communication/coordination between Twitter and Facebook about their respective censorship practices, or (B) information being given to both Twitter and Facebook by another party regarding targets for censorship. Either way, it means that there is now some some mechanism in place linking the censorship of dissident voices across multiple platforms. We are beginning to see smaller anti-establishment alternative media outlets cut off from their audiences by the same sort of coordinated cross-platform silencing we first witnessed with Alex Jones in August.​..
 Any time you try to talk about how internet censorship threatens our ability to get the jackboot of oligarchy off our necks you’ll always get some guy in your face who’s read one Ayn Rand book and thinks he knows everything, saying things like “Facebook is a private company! It can do whatever it wants!” Is it now? Has not Facebook been inviting US government-funded groups to help regulate its operations, vowing on the Senate floor to do more to facilitate the interests of the US government, deleting accounts at the direction of the US and Israeli governments, and handing the guidance of its censorship behavior over to the Atlantic Council, which receives funding from the US government, the EU, NATO and Gulf states? How “private” is that? Facebook is a deeply government-entrenched corporation, and Facebook censorship is just what government censorship looks like in a corporatist system of government.

​Google finally acknowledges censored Chinese search engine project.​ (Huh? It's been a secret? Some secret!)
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-16/google-finally-acknowledges-chinese-search-engine-project

The bonds holding Julian Assange so tightly are loosened a bit. Why? What deal will he be offered? Who in the shadow world anticipates benefit?
The Wikileaks founder has been cut off from internet and phone communication since March 2018.
The Ecuadorian government has partially restored communications for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, an ITV report claimed Sunday.
“Ecuador has told WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange that it will remove the isolation regime imposed on him following meetings between two senior UN officials and Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno on Friday," a Wikileaks statement noted.
“Mr Assange was informed of Ecuador’s decision hours after Mr Grandi and Mr Kaye met with President Moreno," the statement added.
According to Wikileaks, the decision to restore Assange's communication was made after UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression David Kaye met with the president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno.  

​Tom Luongo noticed the change in Assange's status, and had these thoughts. Trump considered pardoning Assange in 2016. Remember?
The pressure on Ecuador’s new President to keep Assange silent must have lifted otherwise he’d still be in effective solitary confinement.   And why would that pressure lift all of a sudden?
Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS ‘took the Fifth’ in Congressional testimony.  Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein ignored the summons from Congress.
Everyone knows Julian Assange can put the finger on Hillary for what happened in 2016 (and so many other things).
So, putting the last piece to this puzzle together, it should be getting clearer here that some very important people are about to be indicted and/or arrested.
Containment around Hillary’s crimes has been breached and all that’s left now is for the people close to her to start turning on each other.  The mid-terms were their last, best hope for a stay of execution.
https://tomluongo.me/2018/10/15/polls-tighten-signs-point-hillary/

​Secretary of State Pompeo flew to Saudi Arabia and back to talk with King Salman for 15 minutes.​ The deal is presumably outlined.
Update: After this morning's mini-meeting, Pompeo said that King Salman had agreed to a "timely" investigation. Meanwhile, Turkish officials have told Western media inside the Saudi consulate to suggest that Khashoggi was killed there.  

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday said that Turkey was the only country that could lead the Muslim world.
“Turkey, with its cultural wealth, accretion of history and geographical location, has hosted diverse faiths in peace for centuries, and is the only country that can lead the Muslim world,” he said in a meeting with religious officials.
The "Custodian of the two Holy Mosques" (in Mecca and Medina) is the official title of the Saudi king. It implies leadership within the Muslim word. Since Saladin the title was used by many Islamic rulers, including the Ottoman Sultans. Erdogan wants it back. His aspirations pose an open challenge to the Saudi rulers.
But when a deal has to be made, a deal will happen. Even it it takes some time.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has urged the US to come to terms with the North’s demand for a formal declaration of an end to the Korean war, amid growing differences between the two major allies...
 South Korea’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told the nation’s legislators earlier this week that Seoul was reconsidering its own sanctions relief against Pyongyang. However, reports said she later backtracked, with her ministry announcing that no active review of its North Korea policy was in the works.
Reacting to Kang's remarks however, US President Donald Trump stated, "They won't do it without our approval. They do nothing without our approval," referring to the South Korean government...
The US has refused to declare an end to the 1950-53 Korean war – when hostilities halted with a ceasefire instead of a peace treaty – insisting that the North must first take more steps towards giving up its nuclear arsenal.
However, Pyongyang -- which has long maintained that it needed nuclear arms as an only viable counter-measure against a potential US military invasion -- has vowed only to work towards denuclearization "of the Korean peninsula," demanding simultaneous, reciprocal efforts by Washington, pointing to a peace declaration as its first priority.

TOKYO (Sputnik) - North and South Korean authorities have agreed to hold a ceremony for the launch of work on interconnecting roads and railways through the buffer zone that separates the countries in late November – early December, Yonhap news agency reported on Monday...
Earlier, North Korean Railways Ministry's Department of the External Affairs Deputy Director Kim Chang Sik noted that North Korea would develop the project on connecting the railways jointly with Russia and South Korea, noting that the countries of the Korean peninsula should become "owners" of the project.
The North and South Korean authorities have also agreed to hold general-level military talks as soon as possible, the joint statement released on Monday said.

​"No Way Out"​ Into the Brexit Labyrinth lays out all of the paths tried so far, and all of the potential paths, including walking back out, sitting down at the entrance, and burning down the labyrinth. Personally, I see the only flaw of this excellent essay as being the assumption that the labyrinth does not change.
Call it the Brexit Impossibility Maze. Prime Minister Theresa May marched boldly through the main entrance on March 29, 2017, when she triggered Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon. She has been wandering through a political and logistical labyrinth ever since.  
https://www.project-syndicate.org/onpoint/into-the-brexit-labyrinth-by-jacek-rostowski-2018-10

Ignoring warnings from the European Commission, the ECB and the European Commission (as well as practically every other supranational organization in Europe), the populist-led Italian government managed to submit their draft budget to the Commission before a midnight deadline - an outcome that was cheered by BTP traders, who bought back into Italian bonds, once again compressing the spread to bunds, which has blown out in recent months.
But rather than representing a deescalation of tensions between Italy and Brussels, the game of fiscal chicken in which both sides are presently engaged is instead entering its most acute phase, as Brussels now has two weeks to review the budget proposal before it can either accept the plan, or send it back with requests for revisions. And anybody who has been paying even passing attention to the populist government's denigration of EU budgetary guidelines over the past few months should already understand that Brussels won't just sit back and accept the budget for what it is.​..
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is set to address EU leaders at a summit in Brussels on Thursday, despite fears that he might hijack the summit's agenda, which leaders have hoped would focus on finalizing a draft Brexit deal. But while some EU leaders have pushed to give Italy a pass, fearful of provoking an EU "showdown," Juncker has continued to insist that the EU must abide by its rules.​..
"Europe needs Italy and Italy needs Europe," Juncker said, answering "No" when asked if Europe could survive an Italian exit.

​Searching for Cheese​