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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Talk Is Cheap

Usual Suspects,

Selected Democrats (Not Tulsi Gabbard) sorta' debated Thursday. Here are a few quotes:
–Cory Booker: “I’m the only person on this stage that finds (Justin) Trudeau’s hair very menacing”
–Joe Biden to Bernie Sanders: “For a socialist, you’ve got a lot more confidence in corporate America than I do.”

–Bernie Sanders: “It goes without saying that we must — and will — defeat Trump, the most dangerous president in the history of this country.”
–Kamala Harris: “But the bottom line is this, Donald Trump in office on trade policy, you know, he reminds me of that guy in “The Wizard of Oz,” you know, when you pull back the curtain, it’s a really small dude?”
–Amy Klobuchar: “What [Trump] has done here, has assessed these tariffs on our allies, he’s put us in the middle of the trade war and treating our farmers and workers like poker chips in one of his bankrupt casinos.”
–Pete Buttigieg: “Well, the president clearly has no strategy. You know, when I first got into this race, I remember president Trump scoffed and said he’d like to see me make a deal with Xi Jinping. I’d like to see him making a deal with XI Jinping. Is it just me or was that supposed to happen in like April?”
–Julian Castro to Joe Biden: “Barack Obama’s vision was not to leave 10 million people uncovered. He wanted every single person in this country covered. My plan would do that, your plan would not.”
–Elizabeth Warren: “I was in the United States Senate when 54 Senators said, ‘let’s do background checks, let’s get rid of assault weapons’ and with 54 Senators, it failed because of the filibuster. Until we attack the systemic problems, we can’t get gun reform in this country.”
–Beto O’Rourke: “We’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.”
–Andrew Yang: “My campaign will now give a freedom dividend of $1,000 a month for an entire year to 10 American families”


​Ed Snowden told the truth and lived to keep telling. He has a book now.
​ ​Meeting with both The Guardian and Spiegel Online in Moscow as part of its promotion​...​
​ ​While The Guardian interview is 'okay,' scroll down for the far more interesting Spiegel interview, where Snowden goes way deeper into his cloak-and-dagger life, including thoughts on getting suicided.
​ ​First, The Guardian:
​ ​Snowden describes in detail for the first time his background, and what led him to leak details of the secret programmes being run by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK’s secret communication headquarters, GCHQ.
​ ​He describes the 18 years since the September 11 attacks as “a litany of American destruction by way of American self-destruction, with the promulgation of secret policies, secret laws, secret courts and secret wars”.
​ ​Snowden also said: “The greatest danger still lies ahead, with the refinement of artificial intelligence capabilities, such as facial and pattern recognition.
​ ​“An AI-equipped surveillance camera would be not a mere recording device, but could be made into something closer to an automated police officer.”
 ​...

Snowden: Entering the world of espionage sounds so grand. I just saw an enormous landscape of opportunities because the government in its post-9/11 spending blitz was desperate to hire anybody who had high-level technical skills and a clearance. And I happened to have both. It was weird to be just a kid and be brought into CIA headquarters, put in charge of the entire Washington metropolitan area's network.
DER SPIEGEL: Was it not also fascinating to be able to invade pretty much everybody's life via state-sponsored hacking?
Snowden: You have to remember, in the beginning I didn't even know mass surveillance was a thing because I worked for the CIA, which is a human intelligence organization. But when I was sent back to NSA headquarters and my very last position to directly work with a tool of mass surveillance, there was a guy who was supposed to be teaching me. And sometimes he would spin around in his chair, showing me nudes of whatever target's wife he's looking at. And he's like: "Bonus!"
DER SPIEGEL: You became seriously ill and fell into depression. Have you ever had suicidal thoughts?
Snowden: No! This is important for the record. I am not now, nor have I ever been suicidal. I have a philosophical objection to the idea of suicide, and if I happen to fall out of a window, you can be sure I was pushed.

​Pepe Escobar presented 50 unanswered (officially) questions about 9/11 on 9/11/09, 10 years ago​. Thanks Eleni.

On the afternoon of 9/11/01, Real Estate Developer, Donald Trump was interviewed by Channel 9 in New York City:
Channel 9: “There is a great deal of questions about whether or not the damage and the ultimate destruction of the buildings was caused by the airplanes, by architectural defect or possibly by bombs, or after-shocks. Do you have any thoughts on that?”
 Donald Trump: “It wasn’t architectural defect. The World Trade Center was always known as a very, very strong building. Don’t forget that it took a big bomb in the basement [in 1993]. Now the basement is the most vulnerable place, because that is your foundation and it withstood that. And I got to see that area about 3 or 4 days after it took place, because one of my structural engineers actually took me for a tour because he did the building. And I said ‘I can’t believe it’. The building was standing solid and half of the columns were blown out. This was an unbelievably powerful building if you know anything about structure. It was one of the first buildings that was built from the outside. The steel, the reason the WTC had such narrow windows is that in between all the windows you had steel on the outside of the building. That’s why when I first looked at it you had big, heavy I-beams. When I first looked at it I couldn’t believe it because there was a hole in the steel. And this was steel that was … you remember the width of the windows of the World Trade Center, folks, I think that you know, if you were ever up there, they were quite narrow and in between was this heavy steel. I said: How could a plane, even a 767 or 747 or whatever it might have been, how could it possibly go through the steel? I happen to think that they had not only a plane, but they had bombs that exploded almost simultaneously. [italics mine]. Because I just can’t imagine anything being able to go through that wall. Most buildings are built with the steel on the inside around the elevator shafts. This one was built from the outside, which is the strongest structure you can have. And it was almost just like a can of soup.”
Channel 9: “You know…we were looking at pictures all morning long of that plane coming into Building #2. And when you see that approach the far side, then all of a sudden within another millisecond the explosion pops out the other side.”
Donald Trump: “Right. I just think that there was a plane with more than jet fuel.” 

​UN report says US forces may have committed war crimes in Syria. (Narrative control slipping...)

​ ​Houthi rebels in Yemen say they deployed 10 armed drones which hit two large Saudi Aramco oil facilities on Saturday morning, causing massive fires and huge clouds of smoke on the sites.
​ ​The attack was carried out by the Houthi Air Force, the spokesperson for the Yemeni rebel group, Brigadier Yahya Serai, said on Al Masirah TV, vowing to “expand the operations against the Saudi regime in the future.”
​ ​The drones targeted a refinery in the city of Abqaiq in the kingdom’s oil-rich Eastern Province, which state-run giant Aramco describes as the world’s largest oil processing plant, and a refinery at the vast Khurais oil field, around 150km from Riyadh.

https://www.rt.com/news/468796-saudi-aramco-fire-explosions/  


California bans private prisons. Good Move!

Trade war is part of everything-war, so there's plenty of room for enemies of the empire to do deals. Trump does want his own deal with Iran.
 In direct defiance of US sanctions against Iran, China has stepped into the breach, increasing its oil purchases from Iran while becoming Iran’s major energy trade and finance partner. Like Russia, it seems that Iran is moving towards a military alliance with China. If the west worries about China’s expansive moves in the South China Sea, along China’s own borders, what to make then of China moving in on Hormuz, where some 30% of world oil is transited each day?
​ ​If these are considered winning policies for the West, one has to ask what failure looks like.
​ ​The West is already slowly becoming aware of the blowback this disastrous policy has caused. Evidence for this can be found in Macron’s efforts to persuade Trump towards a peaceful resolution with Iran.
​ ​It is well known that the US has been in secret meetings with Iran representatives, much to the dismay of the Saudi Arabia and Israel. As Bloomberg reports, after the G7 meeting, Trump publicly and repeatedly stated he was ready to meet with Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani. Bloomberg also reported that in a meeting with his Cabinet, Trump announced that he was ready to ease sanctions as a possible way to open negotiations between the two countries. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin agreed with the President, while National Security Advisor Bolton voiced strong opposition, that only one day later, led to his firing. Secretary of State Pompeo stated that Trump may meet on the sidelines of the upcoming UN meeting with Iran’s President.
​ ​The firing of Bolton was immediately followed by a fall in the price of oil and gold. Allowing Iran to continue to increase supplies into already well supplied oil markets will add downward pressure on oil prices. For the Trump administration, this is not necessarily a bad thing… unhappy consumers at the gas pump make for unhappy voters.


​ ​Despite the media’s obsession on gender, race and sexual orientation, the real and determining divide in America and other advanced countries lies in the growing conflict between the ascendant upper class and the vast, and increasingly embattled, middle and working classes.
​ ​We’ve seen this fight before. The current conflict fundamentally reprises the end of the French feudal era, where the Third Estate, made up of the commoners, challenged the hegemony of the First Estate and Second, made up of the church and aristocracy...

 Today’s neo-feudalism recalls the social order that existed before the democratic revolutions of the 17th and 18th Century, with our two ascendant estates filling the roles of the former dominant classes. The First Estate, once the province of the Catholic Church, has morphed into what Samuel Coleridge in the 1830s called “the Clerisy,” a group that extends beyond organized religion to the universities, media, cultural tastemakers and upper echelons of the bureaucracy. The role of the Second Estate is now being played by a rising Oligarchy, notably in tech but also Wall Street, that is consolidating control of most of the economy...
 Together these two classes have waxed  while the Third Estate has declined. This essentially reversed the enormous gains made by the middle and even the working class over the past 50 years. The top 1% in America captured just 4.9 percent of total U.S. income growth in 1945-1973, but since then the country’s richest classes has gobbled up an astonishing 58.7% of all new wealth
in the U.S., and 41.8 percent of total income growth during 2009-2015 alone...
 The new feudalism, like the original, is not based simply around the force of arms, or in this case what Marx called “the cash nexus.” Like the church in Medieval times, the Clerisy sees itself as anointed to direct human society, a modern version of what historian Marc Bloch called the “oligarchy of priests and monks whose task it was to propitiate heaven.”  ...
 Like their predecessors, today’s Clerisy embraces an orthodoxy, albeit secular, on a host of issues from race and gender to the environment. Universities have become increasingly dogmatic in their worldview...
​ ​The new feudalism increasingly defines geography not only in America but across much of the world. The great bastion of both the Oligarchy and high reaches of the Clerisy lies in the great cities, notably New York, London, Paris, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle. These are all among the most expensive places to live in the world and play a dominant role in the global media...
 The impact of the rising Clerisy and Oligarchs poses a direct threat to the future of the Third Estate. On the economic side, relentless consolidation and financialization has devastated Main Street. In the great boom of the 1980s, small firms and start-ups powered the economy, but more recently the rates of entrepreneurship have dropped as mega-mergers, chains and on-line giants​ ​slowly reduced the scope of opportunities.
https://dailycaller.com/2019/09/11/middle-working-class-neo-estates-liberal/  


"Medicare For All would cut poverty by over 20%" ("but the jobs, the jobs lost!" :-o)

​Brexit mastermind Dominic Cummings has a mind of his own, and a widely ranging life history. 
"Brilliant" is not in question​, but he is seen in different lights by various friends and enemies. 
He is decisive, clear-headed and often impolite. He's hated and feared. 
He loves math and Russian literature, in Russian. 
He admires Otto Von Bismark, Richard Feynman and Sun Tzu.

There is near-mutiny over policy at the European Central Bank. Draghi just didn't let anybody vote on his recent QE action. He decreed unanimity.

5G goes live in Switzerland, with immediate and widespread onset of neurological symptoms.
 As soon as the antennas were installed, several residents and entire families in the heart of Geneva reported similar unusual symptoms of loud ringing in the ear, intense headaches, unbearable earaches, insomnia, chest pain, fatigue and not feeling well in the house. 29-year-old Geneva resident, Johan Perruchoud, called up Swisscom and was told that indeed the 5G cell towers were activated on the same day he began to feel the symptoms. When others called Swisscom they were told everything is legal and within guidelines.

Israel is accused (by those in the know) of setting up special cellphone towers near the White House, to intercept cellphone conversations and data and positions. Israel says, "We never spy in America". Trump says nothing at all.

Scientists race to save bananas from spreading killer fungus through genetic engineering. ("Roundup ready"?)

Vaping is causing weird diffuse lipoid pneumonia from inflammatory response in lungs, due to oil-vehicles in the vape mixture. 
Don't!
Stricken Speechless

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