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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Worth Working For

Cooperative Workers,

Gathering in Groups as Society Falls Apart (harder than it may sound)
“Everyone wants community. Unfortunately, it involves other people.” I used that line in lectures on frugal living when talking of the loneliness of consumerism and the benefits of sharing resources. We idealize the good old days of people helping people out. But can we live them, given who we have become?
Individualism is one of the many privileges of ‘the privileged’ in Western society. We have options and choices about where we live, with whom, of what genders, ages or races, whether we are child-free or have a brood, what we eat, what we believe, jobs we’ll accept, and on and on and on. As people look at civilizational breakdown in detail, though, they realize that to survive, other people might not be optional – joining a group, a farm, a small town might be necessary.
Survival is not a solo sport. If it happens, it will happen in community – intentional, multi-generational family, accidental – where we can share the work, grow food, trade, defend ourselves, socialize, learn, teach, repair. Civilization, it turns out, has a lot of services built in that will need to be maintained as long as possible or created anew… or done without.


 The technical starting point of any major war is, in fact, incidental. Most any excuse will suffice. What’s necessary is two opponents, each of whom accuses the other of attempting to foment aggression. At that point, all that’s needed to light the spark is a young soldier or agitator with an itchy trigger finger, or a politician with a show of bravado, or a military leader who chooses to break from his orders to stand down.
In many cases, if the war does not start spontaneously, a false-flag incident suffices.
 One country creates an event which it purports is an act of aggression by its opponent. (The recent events in the Strait of Hormuz have a distinct false-flag odour about them.)
Again, the actual catalyst matters little. Once the rattling of sabres begins, as it has, presently, in the Middle East, all that’s required to create a major war is a slipup or a nudge.


From 9/11/2018, not outdated, not for "Coincidence Theorists"... Thanks Cat.
“‘ISRAEL’ DID 9/11, NOT MUSLIMS, AND ANYONE WHO THINKS OTHERWISE 17 YEARS ON IS AN IDIOT”  

Helen of DesTroy has an op-ed, looking at the ancient 1960s roots of the CIA-manufactured moniker, "Conspiracy Theorist".
 The tradition of labeling ideas conspiracy theories to discredit them is itself a conspiracy - a documented one. The term was weaponized in 1967 in a CIA memo about how to quash criticism of the Warren Report, the product of the government investigation into President John F. Kennedy's murder. The memo laments that some 46 percent of Americans did not believe the assassin acted alone, and details how the agency might "counter and discredit the claims of the conspiracy theorists" suggesting others were involved. It recommends "employ[ing] propaganda assets to refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose." The agency had infiltrated mainstream media through its Operation Mockingbird, paying or even planting journalists to push favorable viewpoints, and a flood of articles denouncing ‘conspiracy theorists’ followed, pushing the term into the popular lexicon.  

Ousted Bolivian President Evo Morales has accused the US-headquartered Organization of American States of making a political decision in backing the right-wing opposition, saying the coup continues to wreak havoc after his exile.
Speaking from Mexico a day after he fled Bolivia, Morales said: "The OAS is in the service of the North American empire."
Morales said he “could not understand” how his military commanders could show such “disloyalty.”
“That confirms that my great crime is to be indigenous. It’s a class problem,” 
he said.
The exiled president said that after freeing itself from the International Monetary Fund, the Bolivian economy was doing better.
We had big plans in the field of exports.
Yet, the coup plotters “do not accept the nationalization of natural resources,” Morales said.
Morales also claimed that a mechanical failure on a helicopter he was traveling on in early November was “not accidental” and said he wants the incident to be investigated. The helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing just after takeoff due to a “mechanical fault in the tail rotor.”  


 According to Max Keiser, there could be “a catastrophic trapdoor opening underneath the US economy.”
When China announces as a surprise its 20,000 tons of gold and a gold-backed cryptocurrency that “will kill the US dollar deader than a doornail,” it will be a “Pearl Harbor-type event and it’s coming in the next six to nine months,” he predicts.

Dan sends a long and well fleshed out article about Israeli/US Mideast policy, currently in awkward transition, but still with the basic objective of "You're either with us or you're with the terrorists", as George Bush eloquently explained.
 In Lebanon, the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia (the main financial patron of the Hariri family and the Sunni elite) are determined to destroy Hezbollah—because Hezbollah is allied with Iran, because it has proved itself as an effective fighting force against both jihadis in Syria and against the Israeli Army, and because it has built great political legitimacy for itself in Lebanon across sectarian lines. It will be impossible to sideline or break the power of Hezbollah without igniting a new civil war.
 And that is exactly what the US/Israel/KSA are willing to do. Do not forget: For them, chaos is preferable to tolerating any resistance to Zionism, US imperialism, or Saudi control of Sunni Lebanon (and the greater Middle East).

Pipelines to Europe are a major physical asset under contention in global power games. 
Europe is quickly becoming one of the most important export destinations for gas exporters. Production is decreasing quickly due to political and technical developments. The next few decades are promising for exporters. Nord Stream 2 is arguably one of the most contentious projects currently under development. Denmark recently granted the last necessary permit to start construction activities in its EEZ and analysts now agree that the project’s completion is only a matter of time. In reality, the pipeline’s future was decided long before construction even started due to external factors such as Poland’s decision to diversify away from Russian gas and Western Europe’s determination to turn away from nuclear and fossil fuel production.  

Coincidence Theorist

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Sociopaths At War

Citizens,

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales was overthrown in a military coup on November 10. He is now in Mexico
. Before he left office, Morales had been involved in a long project to bring economic and social democracy to his long-exploited country. It is important to recall that Bolivia has suffered a series of coups, often conducted by the military and the oligarchy on behalf of transnational mining companies. Initially, these were tin firms, but tin is no longer the main target in Bolivia. The main target is its massive deposits of lithium, crucial for the electric car.
Over the past 13 years, Morales has tried to build a different relationship between his country and its resources. He has not wanted the resources to benefit the transnational mining firms, but rather to benefit his own population. Part of that promise was met as Bolivia’s poverty rate has declined, and as Bolivia’s population was able to improve its social indicators. Nationalization of resources combined with the use of its income to fund social development has played a role. The attitude of the Morales government toward the transnational firms produced a harsh response from them, many of them taking Bolivia to court.
Over the course of the past few years, Bolivia has struggled to raise investment to develop the lithium reserves in a way that brings the wealth back into the country for its people. Morales’ Vice President Álvaro García Linera had said that lithium is the “fuel that will feed the world.” Bolivia was unable to make deals with Western transnational firms; it decided to partner with Chinese firms. This made the Morales government vulnerable. It had walked into the new Cold War between the West and China. The coup against Morales cannot be understood without a glance at this clash...
China’s Tianqi Lithium Group, which operates in Argentina, was going to make a deal with YLB. Both Chinese investment and the Bolivian lithium company were experimenting with new ways to both mine the lithium and to share the profits of the lithium. The idea that there might be a new social compact for the lithium was unacceptable to the main transnational mining companies.
Tesla (United States) and Pure Energy Minerals (Canada) both showed great interest in having a direct stake in Bolivian lithium. But they could not make a deal that would take into consideration the parameters set by the Morales government. 
Morales himself was a direct impediment to the takeover of the lithium fields by the non-Chinese transnational firms. He had to go.
After the coup, Tesla’s stock rose astronomically.

​Moon of Alabama has more analysis:
Evo Morales found asylum in Mexico. Bolivia will now turn into a neoliberal hell and a quasi-dictatorship
It will take time, a lot of effort and probably a civil war to regain what was lost through this coup.
What can one learn from this?
​ ​As one person remarked to me: "When one wants to win and keep a socialist revolution one has to bring guillotines."
Socialist movements who come into power must neutralize their biggest local enemies. They need to build their own defenses. They can not rely on those institutions, like the military and police, they inherit from previous regimes.
Such movements must never rely on U.S. affiliated organizations like the OAS or on military and police personal that had come under U.S. indoctrination.
A movement needs a public voice. It must build its own media locally and internationally.
​ ​Hugo Chavez knew this all this. As soon as he won the presidential election in Venezuela he built the necessary forces to defend the state. It is the only reason why his successor Nicolás Maduro defeated the coup attempt against him and is still in power.

Death by Oligarchy:
​ Oligarchs, freed from outside oversight and regulation, wantonly pillage the political and economic institutions that sustain them. They run up huge government deficits by slashing taxes on the rich. This forces an underfunded government to borrow from the banks, further enriching the oligarchs, and impose punishing austerity programs on the public. They privatize traditional government services, including utilities, intelligence gathering, large parts of the military, the police, the prison system and schools to make billions in profits. They create complex financial mechanisms that ensure usurious interest rates on mortgages, personal and student loans. They legalize accounting fraud and suppress wages to keep the public trapped in a crippling debt peonage. They loot trillions in taxpayer money when their speculative bubbles burst.
They are no longer capitalists, if we define capitalists as those who make money from the means of production. They are a criminal class of financial speculators that rewrite the laws to steal from everyone, including their own shareholders. They are parasites that feed off the carcass of industrial capitalism. They produce nothing. They make nothing. They manipulate money. And this gaming of the system and seizure of political power by finance capital is why the wealthiest 1% of America’s families control 40% of the nation’s wealth.
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/death-by-oligarchy/ 

​Charles Hugh Smith looks at government of the sociopaths, by the sociopaths and for the sociopaths:
​ As long as central banks create and distribute trillions in conscience-free credit to conscience-free financiers and corporations, the incentives for sociopathy only increase.
 "Sociopath" is a word we now encounter regularly in the mainstream media, but what does it mean? Here is a list of 16 traits, many of which are visible in lionized corporate and political leaders and entrepreneurs.
 One key trait is a lack of moral responsibility or conscience; the sociopath feels no remorse if he/she takes advantage of people or exploits them.
 Sociopaths are masters of superficial charm, intelligence and confidence, and adept at massaging or misrepresenting reality up to and including outright lying to persuade others or get their way.

​What happens AFTER bankers "own" everything?​ Things break. Then what?
​ ​The bubbles of the 1920s were unleashed with the early death of President William Harding in 1923 and grew under the careful guidance of JP Morgan’s President Coolidge and financier Andrew Mellon (Treasury Secretary) who de-regulated the banks, imposed austerity onto the country, and cooked up a scheme for Broker loans allowing speculators to borrow 90% on their stock. Wall Street was deregulated, investments into the real economy were halted during the 1920s and insanity became the norm. In 1925 broker loans totalled $1.5 billion and grew to $2.6 billion in 1926 and hit $5.7 billion by the end of 1927. By 1928, the stock market was overvalued fourfold!
 When the bubble was sufficiently inflated, a moment was decided upon to coordinate a mass “calling in” of the broker loans. Predictably, no one could pay them resulting in a collapse of the markets. Those “in the know” cleaned up with JP Morgan’s “preferred clients”, and other financial behemoths selling before the crash and then buying up the physical assets of America for pennies on the dollar. One notable person who made his fortune in this manner was Prescott Bush of Brown Brothers Harriman, who went onto bailout a bankrupt Nazi party in 1932. These financiers had a tight allegiance with the City of London and coordinated their operations through the private central banking system of America’s Federal Reserve and Bank of International Settlements.​..​
​...​In the midst of the crisis, the City of London removed itself from the gold standard in 1931 which was a crippling blow to the USA, as it resulted in a flight of gold from America causing a deeper contraction of the money supply and thus inability to respond to the depression. British goods simultaneously swamped the USA crushing what little production was left.
It was in this atmosphere that one of the least understood battles unfolded in 1933​...
​​...​The ​City of London announced that a new global system controlled by Central Banks had to be created post haste. Their objective was to use the economic crisis as an excuse to remove from nation states any power over monetary policy, while enhancing the power of Independent Central Banks as enforcers of “balanced global budgets”.
​...(German)  Chancellor Schleicher’s resistance to a bankers’ dictatorship was resolved by a “soft coup” ousting the patriotic leader in favor of Adolph Hitler (under the control of a Bank of England toy named Hjalmar Schacht) in January 1933 with Schleicher assassinated the following year. 
​ ​In America, an assassination attempt on Roosevelt was thwarted on February 15, 1933 when a woman knocked the gun out of the hand of an anarchist-freemason in Miami resulting in the death of Chicago’s Mayor Cermak (1).
​ ​Without FDR’s dead body, the London conference met an insurmountable barrier, as FDR refused to permit any American cooperation.​ ​ Roosevelt recognized the necessity for a new international system, but he also knew that it had to be organized by sovereign nation states subservient to the general welfare of the people and not central banks dedicated to the welfare of the oligarchy.​..
 ​The new president laid down the gauntlet in his inaugural speech on March 4th saying: “The money-changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit”.
​ ​ FDR declared a war on Wall Street on several levels, beginning with his support of the Pecorra Commission which sent thousands of bankers to prison, and exposed the criminal activities of the top tier of Wall Street’s power structure who manipulated the depression, buying political offices and pushing fascism. Ferdinand Pecorra who ran the commission called out the deep state when he said “this small group of highly placed financiers, controlling the very springs of economic activity, holds more real power than any similar group in the United States.”  
​ ​ Pecorra’s highly publicized success empowered FDR to impose sweeping regulation in the form of 1) Glass-Steagall bank separation, 2) bankruptcy re-organization and 3) the creation of the Security Exchange Commission to oversee Wall Street. Most importantly, FDR disempowered the London-controlled Federal Reserve by installing his own man as Chair (Industrialist Mariner Eccles) who forced it to obey national commands for the first time since 1913, while creating an “alternative” lending mechanism outside of Fed control called the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) which became the number one lender to infrastructure in America throughout the 1930s​...
...​ From 1933-1939, 45 000 infrastructure projects were built. The many “local” projects were governed, like China’s Belt and Road Initiative today, under a “grand design” which FDR termed the “Four Quarters” featuring zones of megaprojects such as the Tennessee Valley Authority area in the south east, the Columbia River Treaty zone on the northwest, the St Laurence Seaway zone on the North east, and Hoover Dam/Colorado zone on the Southwest. These projects were transformative in ways money could never measure as the Tennessee area’s literacy rose from 20% in 1932 to 80% in 1950​...​  
... Those who criticize the New Deal today ignore the fact that its failures have more to do with Wall Street sabotage than anything intrinsic to the program...... Wall Street did everything it could to choke the economy at every turn...
.​..​When, in 1937, FDR’s Treasury Secretary persuaded him to cancel public works to see if the economy “could stand on its own two feet”, Wall Street pulled credit out of the economy collapsing the Industrial production index from 110 to 85 erasing seven years’ worth of gain, while steel fell from 80% capacity back to depression levels of 19%. Two million jobs were lost and the Dow Jones lost 39% of its value. This was no different from kicking the crutches out from a patient in rehabilitation and it was not lost on anyone that those doing the kicking were openly supporting Fascism in Europe. Bush patriarch Prescott Bush, then representing Brown Brothers Harriman was found guilty for trading with the enemy in 1942!
​ ​The bankers didn’t limit themselves to financial sabotage during this time, but also attempted a fascist military coup which was exposed by Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler in his congressional testimony of November 20, 1934. Butler had testified that the plan was begun in the Summer of 1933 and organized by Wall Street financiers who tried to use him as a puppet dictator leading 500 000 American Legion members to storm the White House. As Butler spoke, those same financiers had just set up an anti-New Deal organization called the American Liberty League which fought to keep America out of the war in defense of an Anglo-Nazi fascist global government which they wished to partner with.
The American Liberty league only changed tune when it became evident that Hitler had become a disobedient Frankenstein monster who wasn’t content in a subservient position to Britain’s idea of a New World Order. In response to the Liberty League’s agenda, FDR said “some speak of a New World Order, but it is not new and it is not order”​.
 While FDR’s struggle did change the course of history, his early death during the first months of his fourth term resulted in a fascist perversion of his post-war vision.
​ ​Rather than see the IMF, World Bank or UN used as instruments for the internationalization of the New Deal principles to promote long term, low interest loans for the industrial development of former colonies, FDR’s allies were ousted from power over his dead body, and they were recaptured by the same forces who attempted to steer the world towards a Central Banking Dictatorship in 1933.
​ ​The American Liberty League spawned into various “patriotic” anti-communist organizations which took power with the FBI and McCarthyism under the fog of the Cold War. This is the structure that Eisenhower warned about when he called out “the Military Industrial Complex” in 1960 and which John Kennedy did battle with during his 900 days as president.
​ ​ This is the structure which is out to destroy President Donald Trump out of fear that a new FDR impulse is beginning to be revived in America... 
​ ​ The Bank of England-authored Green New Deal and Synthetic Hegemonic Currency which promise to impose draconian constraints on humanity’s carrying capacity in defense of saving nature from humanity have nothing to do with Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and they have less to do with the Bretton Woods conference of 1944. These are merely central bankers’ wet dreams for depopulation and fascism “with a democratic face” which their 1933 conference failed to achieve and can only be imposed if people remain blind to their own recent history.  
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/11/08/how-to-crush-bankers-dictatorship-lesson-from-1933/?fbclid=IwAR2lf0LTf_1M6NT_6g8WwNzQFvkm7X3I2elOu3cWV_HQEX_GUFbxcdQgNGQ  

The Wall Street Journal has found that Turkish-backed Syrian forces currently fighting US-backed Kurdish groups as part of 'Operation Peace Spring' are guilty of war crimes, including summary executions of Kurdish civilians.
​ ​"U.S. military officials watched live drone feeds last month that appeared to show Turkish-backed Arab gunmen targeting civilians during their assault on Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria, attacks the Americans reported to their commanders as possible war crimes, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the incidents," reports the WSJ.
​ ​What the report fails to mention, however, is the blatantly obvious and relevant recent history that the Islamist militants carrying out such atrocities are the very same militants which were a few short years ago funded, armed and trained by the CIA and Pentagon.
 ​Erdogan's proxy ground invasion force known as the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (TFSA), more commonly called the Syrian National Army, has even recently been filmed deploying CIA-supplied TOW missiles against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as we previously detailed.
​ ​It's also been well-documented that the Turkey invasion forces of Syrian National Army are stacked with former ISIS, Nusrah, and FSA jihadists... who clearly brought their CIA toys with them.
​ ​And oh the Pentagon now wants you to know that US officials have suddenly become aware of their war crimes, despite the very same groups having carried out similar crimes against Syrian civilians for years as they fought pro-Assad forces.​..
​ ​Among the drone footage includes a “clear-cut case of prisoners with tied hands being shot”, and another includes the assassination of a Kurdish politician on a highway.
​ ​The very groups currently committing war crimes have been seen with CIA-supplied anti-tank weapons in recent weeks​.

Civilian

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Workings

Violently Ejected,

MSM Adamantly Avoids The Word “Coup” In Bolivia Reporting​, ​by Caitlin Johnstone  ​ ​
​ ​There has been a military coup in Bolivia backed by violent right-wing  rioters and the US government, but you'd hardly know this from any of the mainstream media headlines...
 ​ ​The indigenous leader of a socialist South American government which has successfully lifted masses of people out of crushing poverty, which happens to control the world's largest reserves of lithium (which may one day replace oil as a crucial energy resource due to its use in powering smartphones, laptops, hybrid and electric cars), which has an extensive and well-documented history of being targeted for regime change by the US government, simply stepped down due to some sort of scandal involving a "disputed election". Nothing to do with the fact that right-wing mobs had been terrorizing this leader's family, or the fact that the nation's military literally commanded him to step down and are now currently searching for him to arrest him, leading to ousted government officials being rounded up and held captive by soldiers wearing masks.  

​ ​Two days before Bolivian president Evo Morales was pushed out by the country’s military, Mark Weisbot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research penned a warning about what was happening, and what might unfold, in a Nation article titled, The Trump Administration Is Undercutting Democracy in Bolivia.
He noted:
​ ​Multilateral organizations like the Organization of American States (OAS) have a certain perceived impartiality because they are, in theory, controlled by a diverse group of nations. But sometimes a great power can wield a disproportionate influence. It could theoretically be a coincidence that both the Trump administration and the OAS have tried—without offering any evidence—to discredit Bolivia’s national election in the past couple of weeks. But it’s more likely that this dangerous, ugly, and destabilizing operation is being pushed by Washington.
​ ​This “destabilizing operation” came to a head yesterday when Morales resigned under pressure from the military amidst a wave of protests and violence. The situation is Bolivia is complicated, but one thing you can be sure of is anything you hear or read in U.S. mass media will be a heaping pile of lies and propaganda...
​ ​Morales was barred by the constitution from running for another term, but he attempted to override this with a referendum which he lost 51% to 49%. The Bolivian Supreme Court later ruled that term limits were unconstitutional, so he decided to run again. He then won this new election in the first round by the 10% spread required, but the Organization of American States (OAS) immediately called into question the validity of the result. This sparked weeks of protests and culminated in yesterday’s military coup. According to Mark Weisbot, the OAS has provided zero evidence of election fraud, and also notes that approximately 60% of the OAS budget comes from the U.S. government.


Bolivian Coup Comes Less Than a Week After Morales Stopped Multinational Firm's Lithium Deal
"Bolivia's lithium belongs to the Bolivian people. Not to multinational corporate cabals."

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/11/11/bolivian-coup-comes-less-week-after-morales-stopped-multinational-firms-lithium-deal  

​The Many Ways Sanders and Warren are Different, and Why It Matters:

​Moon of Alabama:
Hong Kong - "Marginal Violence" Fails To Win More Protest Support
​ ​After nearly six months of violent "protest" the U.S. supported anti-Chinese rioters in Hong Kong are switching into overdrive.
Today there were more than 16 hours of continuous violent rioting by small groups of black clad "protesters"...
​ ​Violence against the  government was supposed to create a violent response which would then increase the support for the protests. That theory seems not to work in Hong Kong. Legit demonstrations are now reduced to a few hundreds of people. The hundred thousands who attended the first demonstrations no longer come. They have recognized that the core protesters' "mild force" is just senseless violence and that these rioters are completely unreasonable.
Today they intentionally burned a man who was verbally opposing them:
​ ​By Monday evening, Leung Chi-cheung, a 57-year-old father of two daughters, was fighting for his life in hospital with severe burns to his body as well as head trauma.
​ ​The video footage then showed Leung returning to confront the protesters, whereupon a dispute ensued.
“During the dispute, he was doused with flammable liquid and set alight,” a police source said.
Another source described the attack as ruthless.
“The victim stood up bravely after the sabotage, but the rioters tried to burn him alive,” the source said. “Such an attack is inhumane.”

​ ​Over the weekend multiple Bradley infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) were filmed leading convoys in around the northern cities of Tal Tamir and Kobani, escorting other armored vehicles along with infantry crew members. Syrian Kurdish and local media are mistakenly describing the armored Bradley M2 infantry fighting vehicles rumbling across the highways as "tanks"...
​ ​One Pentagon official was pressed during a briefing last Thursday over how a country's sovereign resources could be legally stripped away on its own soil, to which a US commander responded: "U.S. troops have the... authorization to shoot if a representative of the Syrian government comes to the.. oil fields and says, 'I am here to take property of these oil fields.'"

​Iran announces new oil field find with 53 billion barrels, increasing "proven reserves" by over 30%​.
https://apnews.com/a6adb7b30adb444998541b1b5aca4332  

Shrink the military, shrink injustice​, ​The US Green New Deal must be anti-imperialist

​As UK snap elections lean towards a hung Parliament, UKIP's Nigel Farage announces he will not contest the Tories in 317 local elections. He wants Brexit, actually wants it. What's his strategy?
​ Farage listed two main points that he could work with that speaks directly to Labour voters who voted Leave:
Johnson has promised no extension to the Transition Period beyond 2020, keeping No Deal on the table.
Johnson would negotiate based on a Canada+ Trade Deal.
 Both of these things were part of Farage’s “Big Ask” in the first place. By conceding he got most of what he wanted, something to campaign against Johnson on, since Johnson wasn’t about to give Farage anything official publicly.
 The Tories cannot form an alliance with an outsider like Farage. That would be damning to them, conceding they are the past.
https://tomluongo.me/2019/11/11/farage-saves-brexit-johnson-big-ask/  

 No Recession Ever Again? The Yellowstone Analogy​, Charles Hugh Smith​
 ​Just ​as forestry management's policy of suppressing forest fires insured uncontrollable conflagrations, so central banks' attempts to eliminate recessions insure a financial conflagration that will burn down the entire global financial system.
​ ​The first task of those at the levers of neoliberal global capitalism is to deny that global capitalism is in crisis.
https://www.oftwominds.com/blognov19/recession-conflagration11-19.html  

​ ​Amber Dykshorn stood at her kitchen window and watched the storm come in.
​ ​It was a very dark Saturday night in the middle of the summer in the middle of a year that is on track to be the wettest in more than a century. The wind blew over the farm, the rain came down and she heard the ominous pings on her roof – pea-sized hail, striking the still-fragile stalks of the only corn her husband, Chris Dykshorn, was able to plant before he took his own life in June.
​ ​Chris had lost all hope.
​ ​The couple was absolutely drowning in debt, and they desperately needed a good year just to keep the farm going.
​ ​But then the rain just kept on coming, and now Amber has to deal with three young kids and $300,000 in farm debt all by herself
​ ​Did their crop insurance cover hail damage? She had no idea. That was something Chris would have taken care of, if he were here. Instead she was alone, with nearly $300,000 in farm debt, three kids ages 5 to 13 and a host of grief-fueled questions. Why hadn’t she been able to save him? What would happen to them now?  

​Beaten​

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Relating Ideas

Understanding Relationships,

The conclusion is obvious. The details are important to understand our human context.
​ ​In terms of population numbers, few species can compare to the success of humans. Though much attention on population size focuses on the past 200 years, humans were incredibly successful even before the industrial revolution, populating all of the world's environments with more than a billion people. Kramer uses her research on Maya agriculturalists of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and the Savanna Pumé hunter-gatherers of Venezuela to illustrate how cooperative childrearing increases the number of children that mothers can successfully raise and—in environments where beneficial—even speed up maturation and childbearing. Kramer argues that intergenerational cooperation, meaning that adults help support children, but children also share food and many other resources with their parents and other siblings, is at the center of humans' demographic success. "Together our diet and life history, coupled with an ability to cooperate, made us really good at getting food on the table, reproducing, and surviving," Kramer writes.
​ ​During her time with the Maya, Kramer constructed a demographic model that considered how much household members consume, as the family grows and matures across a mother's reproductive career, balanced against how much a mother, father, and their children contribute. She found that Maya children contributed a substantial amount of work to the family's survival, with those aged 7-14 spending on average 2 to 5 hours working each day, and children aged 15-18 spending as much as their parents, about 6.5 hours a day. Labor type varied, with younger children doing much of the childcare, older children and fathers fill in much of the day-today cost of growing and processing food and running the household. "If mothers and juveniles did not cooperate, mothers could support far fewer children over their reproductive careers," Kramer writes. "It is the strength of intergenerational cooperation that allows parents to raise more children than they would otherwise be able to on their efforts alone."  

https://phys.org/news/2019-11-human-population-ability-cooperate.html 

I’m Watching My Students Become Soldiers in Our Endless Wars

At West Point, Graduation Day felt more like a tragedy than a triumph. 

 My greatest fear, I said, was that their budding young lives might closely track my own journey of disillusionment, emotional trauma, divorce, and moral injury. The thought that they would soon serve in the same pointless, horrifying wars, I told them, made me “want to puke in a trash bin.” The clock struck 1600 (4 pm), class time was up, yet not a single one of those stunned cadets—unsure undoubtedly of what to make of a superior officer’s streaming tears—moved for the door. I assured them that it was okay to leave, hugged each of them as they finally exited, and soon found myself disconcertingly alone. So I erased my chalkboards and also left.  
https://www.thenation.com/article/afghanistan-army-west-point/ 

​"It can't happen here"...​
​ ​Where did all the time go? Thirty years ago this week the Berlin Wall fell. Then Soviet chairman Mikhail Gorbachev freed the Baltic states and allowed divided Germany to reunite. It was a geopolitical earthquake of historic proportions – and a major miracle of our times.
​ ​The once mighty Soviet Union had become exhausted by its long military/economic/political struggle to keep up with the much wealthier United States and its rich allies. Moscow had 40,000 tanks, but its economic infrastructure, crippled by Marxist ideology, was an empty shell.
​ ​A senior KGB general in Moscow told me that, a decade earlier, the renowned Soviet physicist Andrei Sakharov had warned the Politburo that failure by Soviet industry to account for deprecation to modernize and replace outdated equipment would provoke a major crisis by 1990. This is exactly what happened.
​ ​By 1990, Soviet industry was broken down, outdated or rusted away. The Kremlin could no longer maintain the Soviet welfare state with its free medicine and education, long holidays, vacation spas, early pensions and unaffordable military spending. Arms alone may have accounted for over 40% of Moscow’s budget.


​America's Gorbachev?
International Man: Last year, President Trump took the unusual step of bypassing his advisors to announce his intention to withdraw all US troops from Syria quickly. The decision rattled Washington and the mainstream media. It caused former Defense Secretary Mattis to resign. Almost a year later, the US has withdrawn only a token number of soldiers. It still has thousands of troops occupying the part of the country where oil fields are located. What is going on here?
David Stockman: Well, that’s the Deep State at work.
Donald Trump is all by his lonesome. He’s home alone in the Oval Office. Now, half of it, he can blame himself. If he hires someone, a known idiot like John Bolton, what does he expect is going to happen except that everything he wanted to do is going to be undermined...
​ ​When you have a regime change policy—and this was the one real positive thing Trump brought to the table. He said regime change has failed; we’re not going to do it under my policy.
​ ​Why do you think the North Koreans are quasi-starving? And I know the Communist elite and Kim’s family and so forth live a pretty fat life, but nevertheless they’re in dire straits economically.
​ ​Why do they invest all this money in developing nuclear capability and missile capability? Because they don’t want to be regime changed. Kim is a young man, he’s in his mid-30s, and he doesn’t want to be another Muammar Gaddafi or Saddam Hussein.​..
...I think the stock market is in its last days of bubble excess. I think the economy is slouching toward recession within a matter of a few quarters or months. If that happens, Trump is toast. Elizabeth Warren becomes president, and then that’ll be a whole new ball game that is hard to figure.​..
...Foreign policy has been totally taken over by the Democratic paranoia about Russia and Putin and meddling in our elections.
​ ​Now it’s extended to the whole impeachment inquiry and Ukraine-gate. That’s what the whole debate is going to be about. The debate is going to be about a sideshow.​..
​ ...​It’s not even mentioned because, as I say, the Warfare State machinery essentially squelches any kind of debate, suffocates any kind of thought that at all deviates from the status quo.
​ ​The big issue in the world today is war and peace, and we’re facing a campaign in 2020 where it won’t even be mentioned. 

https://internationalman.com/articles/david-stockman-on-how-the-deep-state-really-works/  

A United Nations expert in torture diagnosis has in the past week issued a stark warning that Australian whistleblower Julian Assange is in danger of dying from extreme prison conditions in Britain.
It is testimony to the rank hypocrisy of British and American governments who lecture others around the world about democracy, human rights and international law...
The appalling assessment corroborates what Assange’s father told Strategic Culture Foundation in an interview published on September 24. John Shipton warned then that he feared his son was being killed extrajudicially by the British and American authorities.
Despite Assange’s award-winning journalism and truth-telling, the Western mainstream media have shown utter disregard for his plight. Indeed, such media have tended to bolster the vilification and character assassination piled on Assange by the American and British governments.
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/11/08/un-envoys-grim-warning-over-assanges-life/


S​peech becomes less and less and less "free". 
Mostly, speech disappears if it is not the-right-stuff, within the shrinking  "Overton Window".
"This judgment has major implications for online freedom of expression around the world.... The ruling also means that a court in one EU member state will be able to order the removal of social media posts in other countries, even if they are not considered unlawful there.  

​Last Words​

Looking at avocado seedlings with Tyler this morning

Friday, November 8, 2019

Narratives

Narrators,

Caitlin Johnstone, Life Minus Narrative 
(I can't access her site or comments, due to clever artificial intelligence filtering, but I'm on her email list. You might be able to access this link, though.)
​ ​Humanity's movement into full psychological health, if we ever get there, will look very much the same: as a collective we'll stop buying into the narratives we're being fed, and we'll start seeing things as they are without the narrative overlay. And from there we can use the power of our numbers to force a change into a wholesome relationship with each other and our environment.
​ ​You can catch a glimpse of what this will look like for yourself right now. Ignore all the narratives about why things need to be as they are, and you simply see things as they are: resources disappearing from the hands of the many into the hands of the few, weapons of war being spread around the globe, journalists locked in cages for telling the truth, increasing surveillance, increasing police militarization, increasing imprisonment, increasing censorship. That's world minus narrative. That's what's real.


​Eleni sends this Kunstler piece from Russia!​ 
He says those dedicated public servants at the CIA and FBI are afraid for their very well being under the evil, sexist, racist Trumpian regime.
The CIA and the FBI are in a fight for their lives now. The evidence shows pretty clearly that these rogue agencies conducted all the election “meddling” of 2016 and that the RussiaGate hysteria was an engineered smokescreen to hide their tracks and cover their asses when the certainty of a Hillary election triumph nauseatingly resolved unfavorably in the cold, gray dawn of 11/8/16. Despite the chatter about an “insurance policy,” they were quite unprepared for the exposure that loomed.​..
​ ​It’s not an overstatement to say that many of the figures behind this gigantic web of lies and deceit ought to answer charges up to and including treason. The question is whether Messers Barr & Durham have the cojones to cater the banquet of consequences that this huge cast of characters should be made to feast from. Another question is whether these desperate characters and the agencies they represent will go all the way now and attempt to enlist the military brass in an outright overthrow of the executive. There are already intimations of this. It would be answered by the kind of civil violence that has broken out in other parts of world where other Deep States have worn out their welcome — and their legitimacy.

​Forget this. Don't notice, please. Move along, now...
"CBS Sided With A Pedophile": Network Fires Staffer Who Had Access To Robach-Epstein Rant
CBS has fired a female staffer believed to have had access to a candid tape of ABC host Amy Robach complaining that in 2016, the network shelved her scoop on Jeffrey Epstein's sex crimes  

​Elizabeth Vos reviews lessons from 2016, in a world where nothing has actually changed.
​ The Democratic Party’s bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential nomination, followed by the DNC defense counsel doubling down on its right to rig the race during the fraud lawsuit brought against the DNC, as well as the irregularities in the races between former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova, indicate a fatal breakdown of the U.S. democratic process spearheaded by the Democratic Party establishment. Influences transcending the DNC add to concerns regarding the integrity of the democratic process that have nothing to do with Russia, but which will also likely impact outcomes in 2020.
 The content of the DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks demonstrated that the DNC acted in favor of Hillary Clinton in the lead up to the 2016 Democratic primary. The emails also revealed corporate media reporters acting as surrogates of the DNC and its pro-Clinton agenda, going so far as to promote Donald Trump during the GOP primary process as a preferred “pied-piper candidate.” One cannot assume that similar evidence will be presented to the public in 2020, making it more important than ever to take stock of the unique lessons handed down to us by the 2016 race.

Another Billionaire White Knight, saddling up to joust for the honor of the DNC?
 Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, after saying in March that he wouldn't run for president, is backtracking and preparing a potential run for a 2020 bid, a spokesman for the billionaire tells CNN.
Bloomberg is expected to file the necessary paperwork to get on the Democratic primary ballot in Alabama this week, the spokesman said, the clearest sign to date that the former mayor is seriously considering following through with something he has been weighing for weeks.


​Don Quixote​

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Life Support Systems

Exotherms,

Economy must be fueled by energy sources. Natural gas runs manufacturing, electrical generation and some synthetic chemistry. It is critical. Europe goes nowhere without natural gas. Liquified gas from the US costs way too much.
​ ​Simply put, Europe’s addiction to Russian gas remains a fact of life and with the continent’s own gas production on the decline, Europe needs to import much bigger volumes of gas and lots of it is going to come from Russia.
​ ​The amazing part has been the dogged resistance by Germany to the US pressure tactic to abandon Nord Stream 2. The US even threatened to sanction German companies; US Congress passed resolutions calling for an end to construction of the pipeline. Germany’s manufacturing economy is dependent on imports for 98% of its oil and 92% of its gas supply, and cheap gas is the lifeblood of its export-based economy.


​Eurasian integration threatens American power dominance. 
We don't really need to fight and destroy everything, do we?
  Russia’s comparative advantage derives from its geographical expanse by developing an East-West corridor connecting Northeast Asia with Europe, and a North-South Corridor that links India, Iran and Russia. Moscow sees itself as a stabilising factor in Eurasia by bringing together the entire continent with economic connectivity to ensure that it becomes multipolar and no one state or region can dominate....
 Halford Mackinder[1] said we don’t think of Asia and Europe as a single continent because sailors couldn’t voyage around it. Today the Northeast Passage, NEP, along Russia’s northern coast, links the Pacific and Atlantic coasts while a network of pipelines and air, rail, road and fiber routes are knitting Mackinder’s World Island into ‘Eurasia’ despite Kissinger’s warning, “Domination by a single power of either of Eurasia’s two principal spheres–Europe or Asia–remains a good definition of strategic danger for America. For such a grouping would have the capacity to outstrip America economically and, in the end, militarily.”


​The Argument for a Neo-Nixonian Foreign Policy, to limit China's rise to global dominance, is presented here. 
This article presumes that the nature of "national interests" will not be redefined in a more cooperative way. 
I believe it must be, for life on Earth to persist recognizably.​
​ ​Japan is a critical element of the “Iron Quadrilateral.” Under no circumstances can it be hung out to dry. Nor can it be merely assumed that the Japanese can then take care of themselves if the U.S. pulls out of its long-term relations. This is an area where Trump, or his successor, needs to consider our alliance structure in East Asia with greater care.
​ ​Japan, along with India and Russia, will form part of a critical potential counterbalance to China over the next few decades. The U.S. should consummate the “Asian Pivot,” started under Obama but under-resourced. It should also shift the lion’s share of our defense investment in Europe towards East Asia. In a nutshell, if Trump wants savings from reducing our overseas posture, it should come from NATO and Europe, not East Asia.
​ ​President Trump, or his successor, should not view the U.S.-Indian relationship primarily through the lens of trade. While India will certainly seek to retain its options and geopolitical independence, the U.S. should do nothing to undermine what should be a budding friendship. Even at the risk of allowing India greater latitude on trade than most other nations, America should continue to try to develop economic relations while also seeking to facilitate India’s military cooperation with other Asian-based powers. This would include not just Japan, but Australia as well. In essence, the U.S. should cultivate the so-called “Quad.”
​ ​Without a dramatic change from the status quo of foreign policymaking in Washington, America’s strategic position will further decay and facilitate the rise of a Sino-centric world order inimical to U.S. interests and values. But by referring back to one of our greatest strategists, America can create a long-term policy that effectively confronts what is likely to be the greatest geopolitical challenge this country has ever faced.


​This article looks at the vulnerability to "Omniviolence" in the modern world, as technology is able to leapfrog the monopoly-on-violence, which characterizes the State, as we know it. The State decides who will be imprisoned and executed, or roughed up by the police force. The State defends peasants from gangs and foreign powers​.
The internet opens people up to blackmail, asset theft and coercion. 
This essay looks at the possibility of wiping out all the people in a city like New York, using a few shipping containers full of tiny drones with thimble-sized shaped explosive charges to target things that look like heads.
How would the State protect from this attack (or use it)?
What is presumed here is the continued spread of mass produced industrial technology for cheap, and the concentration of humans in vast mega-cities. 
I personally think we need to spread out to where we can grow vegetables and ride bikes places, to decentralize.

How Private Equity Vampires Are Killing Everything
Hostile takeovers by vulture capitalists use leveraged loans to buy companies like Sears, sell off long-accumulated assets, borrow massively, buy back stock to raise the price of the stock the vultures hold, so they can sell it, let the company die, and find another to bleed to death. 
This is killing the host. The parasites are running the business. This can be prevented with different financial laws.

Auto Industry Recession is Tanking Global Economy
This may not be a "problem".  7 year payments on a $65,000 pick up truck are "normal" around here. 

Democratic politicians have a blind-spot for cars and excessive driving.
​ ​Sanders’ plan aims to speed up this process by offering a “cash for clunkers”-style grant program that would purchase electric vehicles for low- and medium-income drivers. Over 10 years, the plan would cost $2.1 trillion, enough for roughly 54 million EVs at today’s average price of $36,600 each. It is the largest single expenditure in Sanders’ $16.3 billion climate plan.
​ ​Matthew Lewis, a climate and urban policy consultant in Berkeley, said Sanders’ plan is an inefficient way to spend such a large outlay. “Even as a symbolic victory, it’s not much of a victory,” Lewis said. “It’s like, ‘Congratulations, you just threw away enough money to build a great public transit system in every city in the country.’”...
​ ​“Depending on how much you drive, a car that’s 10 to 12 years old might actually be better for the environment than replacing it with an electric vehicle,” Lewis said.


​America's food-chain map. 
Truck everything thousands of miles in multiple steps, irrespective of distance, invisibly to the grocery shopper. "Sustainable"?

US Embassy pressures Thailand not to outlaw Round-Up. Thailand seeks to limit medical risks.

Traditional Chinese Agriculture, 9000 years of empirical wisdom is not destroyed yet. 
Deeply informative, though dryly written. 

Cat sends this good analysis of identity-politics-warfare from Taki. (Look at Taki's picture for perspective.)
"Transmenstrual cyclists" are genetic males, who identify as dominant-female-bicycle-racers. The size and musculature are winning advantages in bicycle racing. 
This effectively crushes feminism, and gags feminist voices who object. Extremely clever, sort of...
Transgendered people are grossly misused in politics. The vast majority of my transgender patients have sought to lead normal lives without publicity.
​  Conservatives sometimes speak of trannyism as a cult, but they get it backwards. They write as if it’s the trannies who are in the cult. 
No, the trannies are a tool to put us in a cult, a process that starts by changing our names. As cult guru Tim Conway (not the Dorf guy) writes in his manual for successful culting, name changes “help effect a psychological ‘death’ to the old ego-persona.”
​ ​A good cult leader always begins by assigning initiates a new name.
​ ​So, now we’re all named “cis.” We’re no longer “normal,” we’re “cis.” We’ve been renamed. Why? Because to the left it’s all about seeing how much we’re willing to take. If they can make us accept a new name, they can pretty much make us do anything.

​Redefining Victory​

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Live And Let Live

Internet Hunter Gatherers,

My bcc news sends did not get through the last 2 times, so I have given the internet a couple of days to forget me, without trying again to send them every day. 
Here are the links to the blog posts:

Tulsi Gabbard stands with 9/11 families is really informative to watch. They repeatedly call her "their champion".

Offensive News has gotten enough hits that I presume some folks have looked at it when it did not come to their inbox. The theme of sudden turmoil and change carries on today, but this one focuses on the precarious situation we live in, on ICU life support systems, that can't last forever.

Caitlin Johnstone says "Things are only going to get weirder", and I completely agree. 
Hunter S. Thompson said, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." 
I often hear people in my line of work saying “Man, we’re going to look back on all this crazy shit and think about how absolutely weird it was!”
No we won’t. Because it’s only going to get weirder.
It’s only going to get weirder, because that’s what it looks like when old patterns start to fall away.


Pepe Escobar says: South America, Again Leads the Fight Against Neoliberalism
The presidential election in Argentina pitted the people against neoliberalism and the people won. What happens next will have a tremendous impact all over Latin America and serve as a blueprint for assorted Global South struggles.  

Paul Craig Roberts, who served in the Reagan administration, makes the well reasoned argument that the risk of accidental nuclear war between the US and Russia is higher than it was through most of the cold war. He gives numerous examples where it almost-happened, except for some individual deciding to go against orders and not push the button. Pre-emptive US attack on Russia is now a plausible scenario, so mistaken counter-attack is more likely.
 Former CIA official Ray McGovern reminds us that on October 27, 1962, during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a single Soviet Navy submarine captain, Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov, prevented the outbreak of nuclear war. Arkhipov was one of two captains on Soviet submarine B-59. After hours of B-59 being battered by depth charges from US warships, the other captain, Valentin Grigorievich Savitsky readied a 10-kiloton nuclear weapon capable of wiping out the entire USS Randolph carrier task force, to be readied for launch. It didn’t happen only because Arkhipov was present and countermanded the order and brought the Soviet submarine to the surface. Ray McGovern tells the story here: https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/most-dangerous-moment-human-history and you can read it in Daniel Ellsberg’s book, The Doomsday Machine. The really scary part of the story is that US intelligence was so incompetent that Washington had no idea that Soviet nuclear weapons were in the combat area on a submarine undergoing debt-charging by the US Navy. The brass thought they could teach the Soviets a lesson by sinking a submarine and came close to getting the United States destroyed.

Brother Randy gave me the heads-up on Tulsi Gabbard calling for a RoundUp ban, and I found it on a nicer site than Newsweek...
  Presidential candidate, Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, has renewed her criticism of the agro-chemical industry’s use of toxic pesticides, calling for Monsanto’s Roundup to be banned.
“I’ve said it before, I’ll keep saying it: ban roundup!” Gabbard said in a tweet on Friday. “It’s long past time we stopped relying on corrupt corporations with a profit incentive to fund science telling us their chemicals are ‘safe.’ Victims shouldn’t have to go to trial to get the truth.”
In February she tweeted: “We need to ban all products containing glyphosate, including Roundup. It’s poisoning our people, butterflies and other insects, the land and the water.”


Tom sends this Fox News story: 
Tulsi Gabbard wants findings of probe into possible Saudi 9/11 involvement declassified

The Saker presents very good analysis of how and why "The Axis of Kindness" is losing narrative control in the lands of sand and oil. Instant fallback to the nuclear-option shows actual weakness.
  It is now time to try to make sense of all this and try answer the question of why one group of relatively strong actors had so much bad luck as to become weaker and weaker, while the weaker became stronger and stronger.
The first thing we need to agree upon is that irrespective of the public posturing, everybody is, and has been, talking to everybody else.  This “conversation” could be official and public, or behind closed doors, or even by means of intermediaries and, last but not least, a state version of “body language”: by means of actions which send a message to the other party or parties.  Still, while this is certainly true, it is the quality of the communications between the various parties which made all the difference.  When, say, Netanyahu or Trump publicly proclaim they they don’t give a damn about anything at all (including international law) and that they reserve the right to threaten or even attack anybody, at any time, for any reason whatsoever, this is a very clear message to, say, the Iranians.  But what is that message, really?  It says a couple of things:
Resistance is futile because we are so much stronger than you and therefore
We don’t give a damn about you or your national interests and therefore
We are not interested in negotiating with you (or anybody else for that matter).  Your only solution is to submit to us
This is really crucial.  The USA and Israel have proclaimed their total superiority over the entire planet and, specifically, over every single actor in the Middle-East.  Furthermore, their entire worldview and ideology is predicated on this very strong sense of military superiority.   Ask any Israeli or US American what their countries will do if some coalition of local powers is successful in attacking them: they will reply something along the lines of “we will simply nuke all the friggin’ ragheads and sand-niggers – f**k them!”.  This line is always delivered with a tone of absolute finality, a total certitude and the mental equivalent of “’nuff said!”.


How Controlling Syria's Oil Serves Washington's Strategic Objectives
I'm going to insert my thoughts here. The US can deny Syria something which is it's property, and which it desperately needs, and can retake militarily, only so long. 
It is a bargaining chip. 
Trump needs to look like he gets some little wins on the way out. He declares "We are keeping their oil", and it gets some good reviews in the US/Israel. He will need more good press when he makes his great-deal and sends the last 1000 troops in Syria to Saudi Arabia. 
The US also has a strategic outpost near Israel and Jordan. Perhaps Trump needs some cover to vacate that. 
Syria and Russia do want to help Trump save face on the way out, so they will. 
Israeli interests hate this, because they incrementally lose their big-dumb "ally" in the neighborhood. 
What is good press for Trump "We took their oil", is bad PR for the empire,

US Loses More Than Just The Battle Over Nordstream 2, Tom Luongo
Never once did I think this day wouldn’t come where the U.S. would eventually (fail to) shut the pipeline down. The reason is simple. Europe, and specifically Germany, need the gas and there is no compelling reason for Germany to cave in the end if it wants to survive the 21st century a first world economy.
Russian piped gas is simply too cheap for any LNG to compete with.
In a sense, this pipeline is Germany’s declaration of independence from seventy-plus years of U.S. policy setting. Never forget that Germany is occupied territory with more than 50,000 U.S. troops stationed there.
So it is supremely rich of President Trump call Nordstream 2 something that could make Germany a “hostage of Russia” when it’s been a hostage of the U.S. sinced 1945.


Don't buy a Tesla or a Prius, just drive less, bike more and be more human, less an economic entity.
 “Brands are allowing people to pat themselves on the back without them personally having to sacrifice anything,” Will Fowler, creative director for Headspace, told the Guardian in 2017, describing the bull market in corporate virtue-signaling. And this is the essence of green consumerism – reassuring people used to a high-consumption standard of living that they need not change their lifestyle in order to reduce their carbon footprint.
 In reality, consuming less is always better than consuming a “green” product. But there’s no way for companies to monetize non-consumption, and no way to grow a nation’s economy through not spending money. For all the ink wasted in touting “compassionate capitalism,” unrestrained economic growth is not compatible with reducing humanity’s environmental impact. No country can buy its way to zero emissions (though that won’t stop governments from trying with constructs like carbon offsets and cap-and-trade that reek of magical thinking).

Peace , Or The Fight Against CO2, by Thierry Meyssan, is an odd article, which is really good on historical perspective, but somehow loses something completely in translation (perhaps). The fight to control fossil-fuel access is the strategic military objective, not the existence of the fossil fuels. 
To my mind, the one rational path is to take the destructive and fuel-gluttonous military machine out of this, step back from futile war, and negotiate rational use of dwindling fuel supplies, while we all come up with more holistic and human adaptations. 
Lets live and let live, ok? Thanks Eleni.

Following the Seasons