Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Not Extinct Yet

Pondering ​Human ​Existence,

Were Other Humans the First Victims of the Sixth Mass Extinction?
 This article opens the paradigmatic question of the essential natural characteristics of social groups of Homo Sapiens. It looks at the genetic and fossil history of our engagements with Denisovans Neanderthal and other human races. We shared genes, then exacted genocide upon them. It was a fairly quick progression, even in ancient times, something like a thousand years. Later, with ships, bankers, guns and smallpox, the Americas would be conquered much faster.
 To my mind, the essential competitive edge described here is sociopathy, the ability to kill without hesitation or reluctance, and to do so at any scale. Perhaps those other human races lacked sociopathy. We can imagine ourselves completely without it in our society, but questions arise about how things happen in wars and finance, and power relations. 
 Sociopaths seem to have been essential to our human tendency to overgrow our systems of food production. Sociopaths lead us to population reduction when this happens. It's brutal, but having sociopaths in a group is a competitive advantage to lacking sociopaths in a group.
 We are at a difficult juncture in history, massively overgrown on the long term support system of agriculture and nature, by the one-time pulse of fossil fuels, fossil water, and the discovery of iron, copper, rare-earth metals and uranium.
 We have the intellectual and cognitive ability to meet our global needs as humans and as parts of nature, differently, but our nature is to be ruled by our sociopathic members in times of crisis. 
 We see it around us, wherever there is mass killing and expropriation of wealth. Our sociopaths get ignored or whitewashed. Their sociopaths, and even citizens, get tarred. 
 The best I can come up with is that the sociopathic rulers are now as threatened as ordinary citizens, by the vast destructive power they wield. Self-preservation dictates that they condone non-destructive methods going forward, but they are human and they panic, too. Meanwhile, they experiment with new forms of war, with their mass control of other humans, through finance and media, as well as armies.
 It's up to us to keep the pressure down and derive day to day solutions which do not involve execution, expropriation and genocide. 
 This will be a long, slow process, subject to immediate catastrophic failure, but what else is there to do?

The UN General Assembly yesterday officially asked Israel to leave the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
​ ​The request was made after the resolution was adopted after 91 UN member states voted in favour, nine rejected and 65 abstained.
​ ​The resolution stipulates that Israel leaves all the Syrian Golan Heights occupied in June 1967, stating this is an implementation of the UN Security Council’s resolution.

​ ​In what's already being hailed as a defining and explosive "Pentagon papers" moment, a cache of previously classified documents obtained by The Washington Post show top Pentagon leaders continuously lied to the public about the "progress" of the now eighteen-year long Afghan war.
​ ​The some 2,000 pages of notes from interviews of senior officials who have shaped US strategy in Afghanistan confirm that “senior US officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false... hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable​.​"​ 
("Winning" could not even be defined before the US ​launched the war​ on Afghanistan.) 

​Turkey is at the crossroads, and moves again to ​dominate flows from East to West, like oil and refugees from Libya.
 Turkey and Libya have signed an expanded maritime, security and military cooperation agreement which gives Turkey the right to deploy troops there if requested by authorities in Tripoli, President Erdogan has told state-run TRT television in an interview on Monday.
​ ​"In the event of such a call coming, it is Turkey's decision what kind of initiative it will take here." Erdogan said, as reported by Reuters. "We will not seek the permission of anyone on this," he underscored.
Turkey has been the most aggressive backer of Tripoli, offering military equipment and even air power, while the UAE has provided most weaponry for Haftar's 'rebel' army in the developing proxy war. While Washington officially recognizes the GNA, the Trump administration has for months verbalized support for Haftar, long seen as the 'CIA's man in Libya'. ​​ "Haftar is nothing but a pirate," Erdogan said earlier this year after six Turkish sailors were briefly detained by pro-Haftar forces...
"With this new agreement between Turkey and Libya, we can hold joint exploration operations in these exclusive economic zones that we determined. There is no problem," Erdogan said.
​ ​"Other international actors cannot carry out exploration operations in these areas Turkey drew (up) with this accord without getting permission. Greek Cyprus, Egypt, Greece and Israel cannot establish a gas transmission line without first getting permission from Turkey," he warned.

The Power of Siberia Pipeline is a massive game changer, which almost did not happen. Russia was forced into alliance with China by the takeover in Ukraine. Kiev is historically a core part of Russia, an ancient capital.​
Ironically, we can title this the ‘Biden Memorial Pipeline.’ Had the Obama Administration not launched their coup d’etat in 2013 at Maidan Square in Kiev, with the subsequent ouster of the elected president in February 2014 in favor of literal neo-nazi parties and corrupt oligarchs under a US puppet regime, the completion of the Power of Siberia pipeline to China would likely not exist today. Negotiations with Beijing for the pipeline had been dragging on for more than ten years when the Ukraine coup took place. After that coup a final agreement was secured by Moscow with Beijing in a matter of weeks as Putin engineered a geopolitical pivot to the East away from NATO.  

​Tom Luongo:​
​ ​Ukraine was supposed to fall into the EU’s lap, including Crimea, bottling Russia up permanently. Then they could slowly strangle the Russian economy through monopsony leverage over the gas pipelines into Europe.
​ ​So, if anything, Putin will hold out for everything at this point, since he knows Merkel and Macron deal from weak hands. Zelensky is simply a pawn trapped between them and the U.S. inside his own country.
​ ​The EU has made it exceedingly difficult for Russia to build the pipelines Europe wants, consistently changing the rules of their Gas Directives to make the projects less and less profitable. Some of that is because of U.S. pressure and some of that is the EU’s own arrogance and hubris...

​ ​This meeting, after the disastrous NATO summit last week, should have been a place for Merkel and Macron to push Zelensky into a solid position on something.
​ ​The gas transit contract should have been that thing. It’s something that even the nationalists wouldn’t complain about since it would bring money into the state coffers and shore up European investors that energy supplies into Europe in 2020 wouldn’t be interrupted.​..
​ Putin and Gazprom went into the meeting having made reasonable opening offers. But even with that low-hanging fruit in front of them Merkel and Macron betrayed their political impotence ultimately.
​ ​And so did Zelensky because he can’t agree to anything of substance lest he be gutted politically by the nationalists who are threatening civil war if he bows to Russia...
​ ​Merkel and Macron came into this meeting to burnish their resumes. Macron let slip what his real agenda was when he referred to Ukraine as an ‘open wound’ which needed to be closed. This was him admitting that the war in the Donbass is a manufactured conflict that benefits no one at the table but which they are powerless to affect.
​ ​So, in the end, it was Putin who coached Zelensky through the basics of diplomacy, getting agreement on things like prisoner swaps, ceasefire areas (which never seemed to hold under Poroshenko) and offering a discounted gas price for residential consumers in Ukraine.​..
​ Merkel wants the gas transit deal in place to help right the failed state in Kiev and stop the migration out of the country. And Putin will happily oblige her but only if the EU stands by it as a partner and not treat Gazprom as ‘the help.’
In the end, Ukraine is only important to the U.S. as a pressure point on Russia and its destruction is okay as well since a failed state on Russia’s border is its own reward for the Empire of Chaos.​..
​ So this means, in the end, that Zelensky went to Paris only to find out he still has no friends except the one person he’s not allowed to be friends with, Putin. And that means this situation will grind on without significant movement until the next meeting in March.

​ ​Little has been revealed in terms of precise statements or any potential diplomatic breakthroughs following Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's closed-door, no press admitted meeting with President Trump on Tuesday.
​ ​But the predictable outraged frenzy given the timing didn't disappoint, with CNN pointing out "the extraordinary spectacle of President Donald Trump consulting with Moscow on the day House Democrats unveiled articles of impeachment underpinned partly by Trump's unusual relationship with Russia."
​ ​On that note, Lavrov did punch back on the 'Russiagate' narrative in general as well as the notion that a mere diplomatic meeting would suggest a 'compromised' White House, saying in a joint press conference with Secretary of State Pompeo that his county's alleged election interference is "baseless" and any level of proof "simply does not exist".
This after Rep. Adam Schiff slammed the high level meeting as "a success of the Russian propaganda" while lamenting that supposedly "adversaries" were "invited in" but with "allies locked out."
​ ​“There was no press at our meeting, American or Russian. If Schiff can describe the ministerial-level contacts normal to any country and my meeting with the president in such a way, then I believe that they will soon accuse our diplomats, just as they have our athletes, of doping and call for criminal punishment,” Lavrov said mockingly.
​ ​In a tweet President Trump said he had a "very good" meeting with the top Russian diplomat and listed items discussed as including trade, Iran, North Korea, the INF Treaty, Nuclear Arms Control, and election meddling (on this last topic, Lavrov denied receiving a "warning" from Trump regarding interference).
​ ​A White House statement indicated the potential for greater trade with Russia was also a focus on the meeting.
​ ​Speaking of trade and ongoing sanctions Lavrov boasted before reporters that trade between the two countries has actually grown during the Trump administration.​ 
(See body language in images.)  

​Negotiating from strength...​
​ ​Following the collapse of the arms control regime that for decades aided the US's tenuous grip on power in the region, the US, Russia and China are now engaged in a winner-takes-all struggle for control of territory north of the Arctic Circle.
 And as Russia moves to defend its territory (Russia and Canada have the most territory inside the Arctic Circle), the Russian army is reportedly preparing to upgrade the equipment on the anti-aircraft regiment of its Northern Fleet with its new state-of-the-art S-400 missile defense systems.
​ ​The upgrades will create what RT described as a "missile defense dome" able to stop a flurry of NATO missiles.
​ ​And that's not all: Russian anti-aircraft troops and members of the radio corp. are in the Arctic undergoing what has been described as a "radical retraining" regimen. Ultimately, all military units will be equipped with Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft missiles.

​What is the reasoning behind Chinese government "graduation" of the Uighurs from closed re-education campuses?​
This article presents it as a simple power-challenge. It may be more complex and multi-faceted. This may be revealed over time. This is a point of attack, now removed.
​ ​In response to global outpouring of anger as well as last week's House Bill sanctioning Chinese officials,the regional governor of China’s infamous Xinjiang region said the people held in camps have now “graduated” and new trainees will have the freedom to come and go, Reuters reported. Commenting on the striking development, Channel News reporter Wei Du said that "under pressure, China appears to be ending concentration camps in Xinjiang. Provincial governor says all those in “training centers” have now "graduated into gainful employment."  

​Why "This Sucker is going down". Trillions of dollars of borrowing from our future did nothing good. Charles Hugh Smith
​ What actually happens is banks "invest" the new money in faster High Frequency Trading (HFT) computers so they can skim even more profit from the rigged "markets." Productivity increase: zero. Social benefits: zero. Economic benefits to the nation at large: zero.
 Virtually all the loose money created by the Fed is socially useless financial activity, enriching the few at the top of the wealth-power pyramid who own the financial machinery of repo's, derivatives, FX swaps, leverage, and all the other tricks of the financial trade that has completely disconnected from the real-world economy.
 The conventional media constantly hypes the fantasy that trade deals matter, holiday sales matter, employment numbers matter--none of that matters. The big money is made by gaming the financial system, buying regulatory approval, i.e. legalized looting, funneling a few measly millions to craven politicos who have zero understanding of how the nation's financial system actually works, and then running a monstrous skimming operation behind the complexity thickets of "modern" finance, which all boil down to the same toxic concoction that's destroyed economies throughout history...
​ ​The banks and financiers have used the Fed's trillions to enrich themselves for eleven years, and nothing will stop their legalized looting except a collapse of the entire machine. The great karmic irony is they've rigged and gamed the system so rapaciously, absolutely confident there's no end to the loose money, that they've overlooked the increasing fragility of the entire system they've ruthlessly exploited.  
​More of Charles, The Taxonomy of Collapse:
​ ​These triggers of collapse can overlap, of course, accelerating the final decline. All complex hierarchical systems are intrinsically fragile and prone to disruption; we don't see the fragility or vulnerabilities until the decline has reached the terminal phase. The higher up the wealth-power pyramid the observer is, the more prone they are to a magical-thinking belief that the empire is forever, even as it is crumbling around them.

​Rabbit in Hat​

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