Monday, July 29, 2019

Cross Purposes

Crediting Actors,

At the Center of U.S. Iran policies is an Israel-born Treasury official named Sigal Mandelker. The Atlantic writes that her ‘hand is on the lever’ of crippling economic sanctions meant to force Iran’s ‘capitulation or demise’… meanwhile the Treasury Department refuses to divulge whether Mandelker is still an Israeli citizen… (Iran has long been in Israeli crosshairs)  By Alison Weir   (Thanks Cat. Totally overt...)

History is weird. Oliver Cromwell was an "end days" religious zealot, and then...
Here is a summary of 4 centuries of history of Christian sects jockeying for position for seats to the end of the world. 
Thanks Eleni.

 Reports that the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) is seeking legislation that will expand government ability to declare it a crime to reveal the identities of undercover intelligence agents will inevitably lead to major abuse when some clever bureaucrat realizes that the new rule can also be used to hide people and cover up malfeasance.
A law to protect intelligence officers already exists. It was passed in 1982 and is referred to as the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (I.I.P.A.). It criminalizes the naming of any C.I.A. officer under cover who has served overseas in the past five years. The new legislation would make the ban on exposure perpetual and would also include Agency sources or agents whose work is classified as well as actual C.I.A. staff employees who exclusively or predominantly work in the United States rather than overseas...
Kiriakou also explains how the “…implementation of this law is a joke. The C.I.A. doesn’t care when an operative’s identity is revealed — unless they don’t like the politics of the person making the revelation. If they cared, half of the C.I.A. leadership would be in prison. What they do care about, though, is protecting those employees who commit crimes at the behest of the White House or the C.I.A. leadership.” He goes on to describe how some of those involved in the Agency torture program were placed under cover precisely for that reason, to protect them from prosecution for war crimes...
The new legislation is an intelligence agency dream, a get out of jail card that has no expiry date. And if one wants to know how dangerous it is, consider for a moment that if it turns out that serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was indeed a C.I.A. covert source, which is quite possible, he would be covered and would be able to walk away free on procedural grounds. 
Thanks Eleni

Ron Paul (Story by Helen of DesTroy) :
"I think we should never use the word 'Russiagate' again. I think we ought to use the 'FBIgate' because there was a conspiracy to try to frame Trump."

Tom Luongo:
 The true third rail of U.S. politics is empire. Any candidate that is publicly against the empire is the enemy of not only the state, it’s quislings in the media, the corporations who profit from it and the party machines of both the GOP and the DNC.
That is Gabbard’s crime. And it’s the only crime that matters.
For that crime Google acted to blunt interest in her campaign in the critical hours after the first democratic debate. So, Gabbard, rightly, sued them.
The two main points of her lawsuit are: 1) suspending her Google Ad account for six hours while search traffic for her was spiking and 2) Gmail disproportionately junked her campaign emails.
This represents an intervention into her ability to speak to voters and, as such, is a violation of not only her First Amendment rights but also, more critically, campaign finance law.

Inverting The Time Value Of Money Business Model , Eleni sent this piece, which I like for the elegance of the analysis it presents. By this analysis, the drop in interest rates, such as home mortgage rates, has not actually lowered effective interest rates, considered from production costs, proceeding to total payments, but raised them to the +10% range, moved their payoff way forward in time, eliminating bank risk, and setting the stage for the mess to blow up in the future, while getting something like a taxpayer bailout or buyout to save the system. The key was the tripling of assessed "value" while cutting rates on that assessment, then "taking profits" right away. "Subprime" systemic fraud. Thanks Eleni.

Erdogan had a long overt and covert relationship with Israel, which was already souring some before that coup attempt, which Russia saved him from at the last moment. He's generally open to negotiation, though, if he wants something, and he always does.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed a recent wave of terror and bloodshed waged by Israel against the Palestinians, saying Ankara will oppose anyone who supports the Tel Aviv regime.
“Whoever is on the side of Israel, let everyone know that we are against them,” said Erdogan while addressing senior provincial officials from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara on Saturday.
The remarks came amid a new wave of Israeli crackdown in the occupied Palestinian territories as regime forces continue with demolition of the Palestinian houses in occupied areas in the West Bank and in the Jerusalem al-Quds.

Siri ‘regularly’ records sex encounters, sends ‘countless’ private moments to Apple contractors   Thanks again, Helen.
 It is illegal, under federal law, to possess the confidential medical information Apple obtains this way. 
That opens Apple to lawsuits if they don't destroy it upon recognition.

Limey expat. in France, long time journalist, John Ward,  demoted to the blogosphere for his honesty, has a good take on nuevo UK Prime Minister BoJo. "The Slog" has wit, as usual, and also a lot of insight. (John is not so different in his conclusions from Ambrose Evans Pritchard, in a piece, paywalled, that somebody slipped me for free. Good company, that.)
 Few people have a lower estimation than me when it comes to the ethics, innate corruption and auto-mendacity of Boris Johnson. But when you need a new weapon to terrorise the overwhelming forces of even more depraved enemies, the bastard will always make for a better and bigger blast. I discern signs in the behaviour of the Boris Cabinet (and the tone of Ms Symonds’ spin on its behalf) that the Prime Minister’s gamble is even more audacious – and far more cunning – than most commentators realise.  
Reading Tea Leaves

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