Thursday, January 30, 2020

Fatal Mechanisms

Threatened by Contagion,

The Lancet has a case series, which leaves questions open, like what the effect of antiviral drugs, used on 3/4 of patients, might have been. Vitamin-D levels and treatment are not mentioned. 
(Don't be an older male smoker with chronic disease.)
 Of the 99 patients with 2019-nCoV pneumonia, 49 (49%) had a history of exposure to the Huanan seafood market. The average age of the patients was 55·5 years (SD 13·1), including 67 men and 32 women. 2019-nCoV was detected in all patients by real-time RT-PCR. 50 (51%) patients had chronic diseases. Patients had clinical manifestations of fever (82 [83%] patients), cough (81 [82%] patients), shortness of breath (31 [31%] patients)...  74 (75%) patients showed bilateral pneumonia...  17 (17%) patients developed acute respiratory distress syndrome and, among them, 11 (11%) patients worsened in a short period of time and died of multiple organ failure...
 The 2019-nCoV infection was of clustering onset, is more likely to affect older males with comorbidities, and can result in severe and even fatal respiratory diseases such as acute respiratory distress syndrome.  

Clif O. MD in Hawaii sent this very nice NIH paper on antiviral application of cheap, safe vitamin-D ("sunshine vitamin"). 
If you have not been taking it, and are not a surf lifeguard or outdoorsy nudist, then you may safely start taking 10,000 units per day for 1-3 months, then 5000 units per day after that. Vitamin D3 in 5000 unit dose, is available cheaply, over the counter. Buy it now, while supplies last!
​ ​Vitamin D has long been recognized as essential to the skeletal system. Newer evidence suggests that it also plays a major role regulating the immune system, perhaps including immune responses to viral infection. Interventional and observational epidemiological studies provide evidence that vitamin D deficiency may confer increased risk of influenza and respiratory tract infection. Vitamin D deficiency is also prevalent among patients with HIV infection. Cell culture experiments support the thesis that vitamin D has direct anti-viral effects particularly against enveloped viruses. Though vitamin D’s anti-viral mechanism has not been fully established, it may be linked to vitamin D’s ability to up-regulate the anti-microbial peptides LL-37 and human beta defensin 2  

​Switching to poison as a purported cause of death, I am grateful to Tom for sending​ this essay explaining Joe Stalin's belief that FDR was poisoned to death by "the Churchill gang", as he explained to FDR's son, who he had met previously at a high level negotiation in Iran, during the war. My Grandmother Day was always of the belief that FDR was murdered, and may have seen this same interview summary.
​ ​Stalin took a few steps around the office, and almost in a rage roared, "They poisoned your father, of course, just as they have tried repeatedly to poison me."
"They, who are they," Elliot asked
"The Churchill gang!" Stalin roared, "They poisoned your father, and they continue to try to poison me…the Churchill gang!"  

Cat sends this whimsical essay by CJ Hopkins, where he paints Trump as a ​"​Dead President Walking"​:
​ Relax, folks. I’m just kidding, of course. The Intelligence Community would never dream of doing anything … you know, illegal. The Community doesn’t assassinate people, and commit all sorts of other atrocities. That’s just a thing they do in the movies. In reality, they would never assassinate a president, especially not one they had been telling everyone is a “Russian asset,” and “literally Hitler,” and a “traitor,” and a “dictator,” for over three years.
​ ​OK, those are pretty harsh words, but they probably don’t really mean all that stuff. Odds are, they’re just horsing around. They’re a notorious bunch of jokesters, those CIA guys.

​Craig Murray:  ​A persistent American lawyer has uncovered the undeniable fact that the FBI has been continuously lying, including giving false testimony in court, in response to Freedom of Information requests for its records on Seth Rich. The FBI has previously given affidavits that it has no records regarding Seth Rich.
 A Freedom of Information request to the FBI which did not mention Seth Rich, but asked for all email correspondence between FBI Head of Counterterrorism Peter Strzok, who headed the investigation into the DNC leaks and Wikileaks, and FBI attorney Lisa Page, has revealed two pages of emails which do not merely mention Seth Rich but have “Seth Rich” as their heading.

Eleni sent a book review:
The book being reviewed was Rise and Kill First by New York Times reporter Ronen Bergman, a weighty study of the Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence service, together with its sister agencies. The author devoted six years of research to the project, which was based upon a thousand personal interviews and access to an enormous number of official documents previously unavailable. As suggested by the title, his primary focus was Israel’s long history of assassinations, and across his 750 pages and thousand-odd source references he recounts the details of an enormous number of such incidents.
 That sort of topic is obviously fraught with controversy, but Bergman’s volume carries glowing cover-blurbs from Pulitzer Prize-winning authors on espionage matters, and the official cooperation he received is indicated by similar endorsements from both a former Mossad chief and Ehud Barak, a past Prime Minister of Israel who himself had once led assassination squads. Over the last couple of decades, former CIA officer Robert Baer has become one of our most prominent authors in this same field, and he praises the book as “hands down” the best he has ever read on intelligence, Israel, or the Middle East.​.. ​

...some major gaps in his coverage are quite apparent to anyone who has even somewhat investigated the topic, and these begin in the early chapters of his volume, which include coverage of the Zionist prehistory in Palestine prior to the establishment of the Jewish state  

Less than a week after millions of Iraqis took to the streets demanding the U.S. military leave for good, the United States announced that is planning to build three new military bases in Iraq, according to military news service Breaking Defense. The three sites chosen – Erbin, Sulimania and Halabja – are all extremely close to Iran, with Halabja (the site of the 1988 chemical weapons attack) just eight miles from the border.

​Turkey is trying to rob French Oil & Gas giant, Total.
France to send warships to support Greece in Turkish standoff
Greek PM welcomes move as row with Ankara over energy reserves intensifies

French Riot Police wage street war against uniformed French Firefighters. RT has video. 
This is new. One uniformed branch has broken from another branch of government service. 
How long before Police change sides? 
Police got a better deal from the government, for sure, to buy their loyalty... 

This elite betrayal is what is contested by French workers.
A new type of conflict: France’s ongoing struggle for pensions
Over 60% of French people support the strike that has lasted longer than any other such protest since May 1968
. Why have we scarcely heard of it ?

​More information on recent story. How effective is the reverse osmolarity filtering in those machines I fill water jugs from?
Virtually All Major US Drinking Water Sources Likely Contaminated With PFAS

​Slowly Poisoned​

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Predicting Interesting 2020

Engaging History,

 Larry,from Medina Texas, traveling between homesteads in Southwest Australia and Thailand, where wife Timi originates, has coronavirus protections in place for ride and arrival, including masks, wipes and vitamin-D.
"Bu-Hao" is the Chinese word-of-the-day, according to Larry. 
Hao is "good" or working properly, and Bu is a negation, so not good, or not right. 
The translation he provided was profane. 
Disgust or disapproval appears to be implied.

 Mel sends this Johns Hopkins continuously-updated map of Wuhan Coronavirus cases.

 The Wuhan coronavirus cluster in Starnberg, Germany grows to 4. (Nice town in Bavaria, not big. Hi Annette.)

 I did not see many projection pieces for 2020 or even the 2020s, last month. Maybe I wasn't looking.
The 2020s is a crunch-decade. Everything has to change, no matter how you look at it, whatever your worldview, whatever your value-system. We can't continue exponential growth on a finite planet, and our biomass, humans and domestic livestock, is already some bizarre statistic like 97% of surface mammal & bird biomass. "Conventional oil" production still peaked in 2004-2005. They always knew the tight-oil and gas existed, but were not economically recoverable. Still true-ish. Shale oil is a government supported Ponzi-scheme, that gives the empire an oil-weapon to wield for awhile. "Investors" just have to keep getting dividend checks. 

Pollution and weather-weirding are never out of the news. Those chemtrails we've been seeing for 30 years are about to become official government policy. Calcium carbonate (bone-meal) haze will be the new-normal. Good sunsets...

The globalized economy will have to change drastically, but it can only make tiny little changes, as it has already maxed out, not only the present, but the next 30 years, with promises of dividends to investors and retirees. 
Those promises have been magically monetized into the present day to keep the system spinning, but once the spinning stops, and the dividends stop, the cookie jar will be seen empty. 
The future is empty of your-money-working-for-you. 

That is the task before us, creating an economy that meets the physical needs of young people, who have to work productively, children, who need love, socialization, and preparation to work productively, middle aged people who have to work productively, not retire to luxury, and old people, who should grow vegetable gardens.

This radical systemic transformation has not been worked out yet. This stuff never gets worked out from the top down, because the interests at the top diverge from the pressing needs of the bottom, and the interests at the top are willing to sacrifice at least the bottom 40% of humans to maintain continuity of control, "ownership". (See "deplorables")

 Fortunately (?) there are divergent interest groups at the top of the financial heap, too, and they will happily sacrifice each other, but have to work out a way to do it, without sacrificing their own interests, and "it's all one big exclusive club and you ain't in it", as George Carlin said. 
In the US, we have Democratic corrupt elites, trying to do deals with Republican corrupt elites, and all they can agree on is Pentagon and CIA budgets, and aid to Israel. Print money!

 At least the rest of the world still needs dollars as the global reserve/oil-trading currency. Look how hard it is on countries that get cut off from dollar-banking, like Iran, Venezuela, Syria, Lebanon, Libya and Iraq. Russia has had the noose tightened, but is somehow still breathing fine, and China is chafing at the noose being on her neck. Fortunately for Americans, there is no possible alternative to the $US backed by Saudi oil. 
None, today, January 29, 2020.

 Is the Wuhan coronavirus Goldilocks just-right to disrupt the global financial regime? Just askin'.
I don't know if it's military (Hi, Ft. Detrich, Maryland!), but it's a form of "war by fire", as classified by Sun Tzu, if it is.
Anyway, the virus is spreading globally, but China has a 3 month lead from a calculated origin in October.
China is hit hard and will be hit hardest, no matter what. Spread within China is assured.

This Chinese research into bat immune systems and SARS, and EBOLA host-tolerance is very interesting, and they were recently hiring new research assistants to work long hours...
Recall, RNA mutation regression analysis says this virus started spreading from an original October 2019 case.
Can China be attacked AND blamed? Is this a Chinese "own-goal"?
 In light of growing speculation, most of it within less than official circles, that the official theory for the spread of the Coronavirus epidemic, namely because someone ate bat soup at a Wuhan seafood and animal market  is a fabricated farce, and that the real reason behind the viral spread is because a weaponized version of the coronavirus (one which may have originally been obtained from Canada), was released by Wuhan's Institute of Virology (accidentally or not), a top, level-4 biohazard lab which was studying "the world's most dangerous pathogens", perhaps it would be a good idea for the same Wuhan Institute of Virology to remove the following "help wanted" notice, posted on November 18, 2019, according to which the institute is seeking to hire one or two post-doc fellows, who will use "bats to research the molecular mechanism that allows Ebola and SARS-associated coronaviruses to lie dormant for a long time without causing diseases."
Trade with China is hit at a critical time, as the world considers global supply and manufacturing chains, in the context of a permanent trade war. Chinese international business trips, both outward and inward, are severely curtailed until further notice.
 China has been the global-growth-engine for the past 12 years. That was already fading fast. 
Bye, bye growth model.
 China sort of gets blamed, but it's not China's fault, so Chinese elites are not really threatened, and all other elites can be cool with this.
 Donald Trump has long been the designated blamee in American politics for what is already dripping on the whirring fan blades, but boy is he a moving-target, huh? 
Trump can say his trade war limited American health risks, and can say the global-financial-crisis-permanent is China's fault. The $US will remain the cleanest-dirty-shirt (in 2020).
 Trump's election was already a sign of massive American societal discontent, which is no less. Bernie Sanders represents left-populism, not just an alliance between some of the elites and the f...-you deplorables. If Bernie Sanders is the Democratic nominee, it means neoliberal Democratic elites have thrown in the towel or jumped Schiff, or something.
 For Sanders to get the Democratic nomination, which he was denied last time (it WAS Hillary's turn) it will have to be on the first ballot. Recent adjustments in the DNC take a harder line against left-populism, much harder. The negative ads against Bernie have begun. He's the main threat. 
Tulsi Gabbard remains invisible, not invited to Town Hall by CNN, despite qualifying, based on a (laugh track) CNN poll.

 What would push Sanders forward in the primaries, other than the historical moment? Wuhan coronavirus biting in America, and overwhelming the health system might be good for Sanders, the main proponent of socialized medicine.
Financial crisis would sure be good for Sanders, but delaying that past the Democratic convention is like military spending, something ALL the elites can agree on.

 What would push Tulsi Gabbard (suing Hillary Clinton for $50 million) forward in the primaries is a fresh disgust for global war among American voters. I believe the strongest possible ticked for constructive change on our (once) fair planet would be Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard, because the elite war party would have to capitulate for young, healthy, resolutely idealistic and principled Tulsi Gabbard to be the back-up if Bernie gets sick and dies.

Here is why you won't see this analysis on CNN, or anywhere that has big funding. Thanks Professor Hall.
Donie O’Sullivan and the ‘Garbage State’ of Media
The Disinfo Reporter at the CNN Disinfo Network Strikes out at American Herald Tribune

​ Let's get back to that distaste for war, with some stories Professor Hall (aka "Tony") sent this morning. Iran's first payment in the retribution for General Soleimani's assassination was the missile attacks on the bases that are most important to American dominance in Iraq, and launched the drones that did it. The injuries were worse than the "headaches" our negotiator-in-chief alluded to. We don't know how worse. It's getting dribbled out slowly, and can be made to look like it happened elsewhere. There was no American missile defense against these attacks, even though the US was warned an hour earlier through the Swiss embassy that they were coming. 
Why no defense? Did some US military faction want more American casualties? 
Patriot missiles suck. We all know that, but they were purposely turned off.​
The Iranian targeting was pinpoint, targeting military assets, not bomb-shelters. Iran tried to avoid US casualties.
​ ​Some have speculated that the US government will instead opt for a safer approach in drip-feeding unrelated fatalities and injuries over an extended period.
​ ​As with the information war and propaganda, the truth is likely somewhere in the middle between Iranian and American narratives. Hinting towards further discoveries, the US Central Command said in a statement on Tuesday that “it is possible additional injuries may be identified in the future.”

White Pawn Takes Black Knight. Thanks Tony
​ ​Russian intelligence sources have claimed that Michael D’Andrea, head of CIA operations in Iran and who orchestrated the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, was killed in a US spy plane downed yesterday in Ghazni, Afghanistan.
​ ​The plane with US Air Force markings reportedly served as the CIA’s mobile command for D’Andrea, who earnt several nicknames including: Ayatollah Mike, the Dark Prince, and the Undertaker. He is one of the most prominent CIA figures in the region, appointed head of the agency’s Iran Mission Centre in 2017. Under his leadership, the agency was perceived to take a more “aggressive stance toward Iran”.

​Video of downed mobile CIA Afghan command and control center:
The downed plane was the mobile CIA command for Michael D’ Andrea, head of operations against Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, America’s most advanced spy platform and mobile command center with all equipment and documents now in enemy hands

Charles Hugh Smith says the "Titanic" global financial system has already been breached by the Wuhan coronavirus iceberg, has stabilized, feels ok, has released a few half-full lifeboats, steams on, and is doomed.

Topsoil Investor

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Viral Valentine

Viral Culture Media,

It's good to understand what is going on with the novel Wuhan coronavirus, since you may very well contract it.
This virus likely originated somewhere around October 1, 2019, based on regression analysis of mutations from the studied cases, and the known rate of mutation. The cluster described in the Wuhan seafood and live-animal market came fairly late in that process. It could have stated anywhere, including there. 

The biggest factor facilitating global spread of the virus is asymptomatic infection, or very mild symptoms, which do not curtail the activity or travel of a carrier. Screening by checking for fever is in place, but it is already apparent that this virus has a long incubation period before symptoms, when people can travel, and it really seems that some people without fever or significant illness are spreading the virus. Since there is no known effective treatment, quarantine of cases is the main approach to limit spread. It may be expected that many cases will be missed and spread will go on. I have been keeping up with this and have looked at all I could again today. The incubation period looks like 7 to 14 days, a long one. We just don't know how many people in the world are carrying this virus, or where they are, or who they will pass it to. A case has been confirmed in Germany in a young man who has not been to China. How many cases have not been diagnosed in Germany? We sure don't have access to the test kits in Austin yet. We will not know how many people have the virus today until they get symptoms in 1-2 weeks, and we still won't know then, because many will have mild symptoms. 
The Ro ("R naught") of this virus is not really known, but it is seeming to spread faster than SARS, so estimates of 2.5 to 3.5 new cases per introduced case are the most common estimates. Let's say the Ro is 2.5, and half of those cases don't have a fever, so can't be isolated. If there is perfect isolation of people with a fever, some will already have spread it, and the half without fever will be spreading it, so Ro will still be 1.5 or greater. Spread will continue.

Coronavirus family is a rapidly mutating RNA-virus family, so particular features of the virus will change as it spreads from host to host and mutates. Some mutations may increase fatalities; others decrease them. Some mutations may make quarantine easier, and others may make it more difficult. 

As it is today, this virus is global, with a moderately high Ro, and is unusually hard to impose quarantine upon, due to long incubation period, and spread by those with little to no subjective illness. 

Infectious coronavirus particles can persist on a surface for 4 days. Washing hands and surfaces is an important control measure once the virus gains entry to an area.

Take 5000 units per day of vitamin D3, available for cheap where vitamins are sold. Get plenty of sleep, regular activity, and eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Don't smoke stuff.
You are likely to be exposed to this virus before summer, unless something changes fundamentally, which it could.

Public Health Doctor

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Year Of The Rat Fink

Judged By Company,

 Belmarsh Prison inmates repeatedly protest solitary confinement torture of Julian Assange, resulting in his transfer to a regular cell-block with other dangerous criminals. 
(Something of a victory for Julian. As an Australian, he'll have no freedom of speech or press in USA, USA, USA.)
Belmarsh is a notoriously harsh maximum-security prison full of violent offenders and prisoners convicted under anti-terrorism laws, one of many reasons that Assange supporters have so vigorously opposed his confinement there. What does it tell you about the society you are living in that this population has a superior moral compass to the people who are actually running things?  
Thanks Eleni. How could such a terrible oversight have happened? What an embarrassment!
A French publisher has apologised after a history textbook that appeared in bookshops in recent weeks suggested the 11 September 2001 attacks were probably "orchestrated by the CIA"...
 ​ ​The textbook is described as a complete course on the last century in French, European and world history. It was written by Jean-Pierre Rocher, a teacher of history and geography and a graduate of the Sciences Po university in Paris, and aimed at Sciences Po undergraduates as well as students preparing for France's elite "grandes écoles".
​ ​Although the book came out in November, it was not until the daughter of one of the secondary school teachers bought a copy that one of them spotted the reference to the CIA.
​ ​On page 204 the author explains the context of the creation of the jihadist group, al-Qaeda and the "quadruple terrorist attack of 11/9 2001 on New York and Washington". He then makes the following statement.
​ ​"This global event - no doubt orchestrated by the CIA (secret services) to impose American influence on the Middle East? - hit the symbols of American power on its own territory."

​Michael sends this story about vast Iraqi street protests against American occupation.
​ Hashimi added that while U.S. forces are not welcome in the country, the American people in Iraq—most of them there on business—were.
 "We don't want Americans to leave, we want the troops to leave," said Hashimi. "We want America to support our country but with contracts, not troops."

Moon of Alabama politely points out to the Associated Press that Millions of Iraqis marched in the streets against American occupation, not "hundreds".
​Eleni sends this article from Eric Margolis, How The US Runs Iraq:
​ ​What ever happened to Iraq? Is it not an independent country with a democratic government thanks to the 2003 US invasion? So says Washington.
​ ​The murder of senior Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani suddenly shone a strobe light on ‘independent’ Iraq, and what we saw was not pretty.
Welcome to the new Imperialism 101...
​ ​Combined with Saudi Arabia – also controlled by the US – Iraq gives Washington control of the bulk of Mideast oil. The US no longer relies on oil from the Mideast, being self-sufficient – at least for now. But dominating the Mideast gives the US huge influence over China, Japan, India, and Europe, all of whom import oil from there. This is the main pillar of US world power and the supremacy of the dollar.

​This is also important, in that same context. Thanks again, Eleni (in Athens).
​ Turkey may have stolen technical data that enabled it to send drill ship Yavuz at a specific location south of Cyprus that energy companies Eni and Total had pre-selected to carry out their own exploratory drilling, Cypriot officials said Wednesday.
 The Cyprus government essentially confirmed a media report suggesting Turkey had somehow obtained studies carried out by Italian energy firm ENI prior to drilling for natural gas in an offshore field, block 8, off Cyprus’ south coast and in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus.

The western financial and military empire will be replaced, by what? Vladimir Putin has a general suggestion. 
(Absolutely CAN'T let Trump do business with this megalomaniac! :-o)
​ ​Culturally, the disconnection from the traditional values that gave western civilization it’s moral fitness to survive and grow has resulted in a post-truth age now spanning over three generations (from the baby boomers to today’s young adults) who have become the most confused class of people in modern history losing all discrimination of “needs” vs “wants”, “right” vs “wrong”, “beauty” vs “ugliness” or even “male” and “female”.
​ ​Without ranting on anymore, it suffices to say that this thing is not sustainable.
​ ​So the question is not “will we get a new system?” but rather “whom will this new system serve?”
​ ​Will this new system serve an oligarchical agenda at the expense of the nations and people of the earth or will it serve the interests of the nations and people of the earth at the expense of the oligarchy?

​ ​Calling for Russia, the USA, UK, China and France to organize a new architecture that goes far beyond merely military affairs, Putin stated:
“The founding countries of the United Nations should set an example. It is the five nuclear powers that bear a special responsibility for the conservation and sustainable development of humankind. These five nations should first of all start with measures to remove the prerequisites for a global war and develop updated approaches to ensuring stability on the planet that would fully take into account the political, economic and military aspects of modern international relations.”​...
​  Although the world devolved into an Anglo-American alliance with FDR’s death in 1945, the other Bretton Woods Institutions which were meant to provide international productive credit to those large scale infrastructure projects to end colonialism were taken over by FDR’s enemies who purged the IMF and World Bank of all loyalists to FDR’s international New Deal vision throughout the years of the red scare.​..
​ Putin (just like FDR before him) knows that neither Britain nor Britain’s Deep State loyalists in America can trusted. Yet, in spite of their mistrust, they both knew that a durable world order could only be accomplished if these forces were reined in under a higher law imposed by the authority of truly sovereign nations, and this is why FDR’s post-war plans involved a USA-Russia-China-UK partnership to provide the impetus to global development initiatives and achieve the goals of the Atlantic Charter.

​They Killed King For The Same Reason They Killed Kennedy ("National Security" can't afford peace breaking out.)
​ ​There is no doubt what both John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. would have thought about a type of totalitarian-like governmental structure that has led our nation in the direction of state-sponsored assassinations, torture, invasions, occupations, wars of aggression, coups, alliances with dictatorial regimes, sanctions, embargoes, regime-change operations, and massive death, suffering, and destruction, not to mention the loss of liberty and privacy here at home.  

Bernie Sanders has 7 point lead in latest Iowa poll of Democratic voters.
"The Horror, The Horror" 
No wonder it's become open season on The Bern. He is presenting a credible threat to the Democratic party power machine, which is banking on a brokered convention, where they will choose a champion, as they did with Hillary Clinton in 2016. All those "superdelegates" know where their bread is buttered, and it ain't by Bernie. 
Sanders could win on the first ballot, and all the bread and butter would immediately vanish.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) on Tuesday criticized former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for saying “no one likes” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), with Gabbard seeking to defend her fellow Democratic presidential hopeful.
“It’s time to grow up. This isn’t high school,” Gabbard said in an interview with WMUR News 9. “We’re talking about real challenges that our country needs to address and the need for real leadership to focus on them​.​

​Charles Hugh Smith, on The Future of "Capitalism":
The psychotic instability will resolve itself when the illusory officially sanctioned "capitalism" implodes.
Whatever definition of capitalism you use, the current system isn't it so let's call it "capitalism"
in quotes to indicate it's called "capitalism" but isn't actually classical capitalism.

Charles also points out, and oil markets are pricing it in, the potential disruption to global economy from the latest coronavirus at Chinese New Year. It's not highly fatal to healthy people. That's not the threat. 
The potential threat is a high infectivity rate in global crowds and travel. The infectivity rate of SARS was high. 
The Chinese government rates this medium. You can't check their work. It's questioned. 2 weeks will tell.
​ ​Don't be too sure that the coronavirus will blow over and have no effect on global growth.
If there is anything that characterizes this moment in history, it's complacency: everyone's so sure that current trend lines will continue, onward and upward, and risk has been tamed for the foreseeable future.

​What about the Wuhan coronavirus, the uncommonly bad cold? It seems to have jumped species,  ​perhaps from bats, in a market selling live animals of various provenance to cook as delicacies.
The current fatality rate is around 4%, weighted heavily towards older, and sicker hosts. It seems to reach peak infectivity around day #10. It attacks the lungs more deeply, with less upper airway irritation, which might make it fly under the radar until it is bad, a viral pneumonia. Antibiotics don't work. There could be a vaccine by the end of the year, but...
It has spread in Chinese hospitals, and some are now turning people away with those symptoms. It's on the US east and west coasts, and I assume it's in Houston, too.

Ro is the number of additional cases , in a susceptible population, caused by one case of an infectious disease. This current Wuhan coronavirus could be between 1.5(ish) influenza, and 3.5(ish) SARS. Measles and chicken pox are more like 15.

They've known about this stuff for 20 years, but it's really hard to get out of drinking water, so why measure it?
​ ​The contamination of U.S. drinking water with man-made “forever chemicals” is far worse than previously estimated with some of the highest levels found in Miami, Philadelphia and New Orleans, said a report on Wednesday by an environmental watchdog group.  

​ ​F​rank​ took exception with the article I sent about burning plastics for municipal electricity generation, due to toxic byproducts in the smoke. That's clearly a problem with incinerating municipal waste on the east coast.
Mercury release from coal-fired electrical generation is a known poison. 
Burning plastics at the high heat used to generate electricity is "cleaner" than coal. 
It could be cleaner still, if there were a deposit on plastics at the point of creation, to pay for collecting and sorting them. Once collected and sorted, which is too expensive to do, they can be dealt with by burning or recycling. Doubling the cost of raw plastics up front would also reduce their use everywhere we look.
Other schemes for dealing with the plastics problem abound. Cement kilns—which power cement manufacture and burn at more than 1,400 °C—might offer the quickest fix, SWANA’s O’Brien says. “Cement kilns are always needing energy resources,” he says. “If I had to get rid of a million tons of nonmarketable recyclables this next year, they would be the first on my list.”  

​Reusing Waste​
Rat Fink T Bucket Decal image 0

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Further Examination

Looking Back,​

Ron Paul​ stops short of saying that Hoover's FBI assassinated Martin Luther King​:​ ​
​ ​The FBI has a long history of targeting Americans whose political beliefs and activities threaten the FBI’s power or the power of influential politicians. The then-named Bureau of Investigation participated in the crackdown on people suspected of being communists in the post-World War I “Red Scare.” The anti-communist crackdown was headed by a young agent named J. Edgar Hoover who went on to become FBI director, a position he held until his death. Hoover kept and expanded his power by using the FBI to collect blackmail material on people including politicians.
​ ​In the 1930s and 1940s, the FBI spied on supporters of the America First movement, including several Congress members. Two of the most famous examples of FBI targeting individuals based on their political activities are the harassment of Martin Luther King Jr. and the COINTELPRO program. COINTELPRO was an organized effort to spy on and actively disrupt “subversive” organizations, including antiwar groups
​ ​COINTELPRO officially ended in the 1970s. However, the FBI still targets individuals and organizations it considers “subversive,” including antiwar groups and citizen militias.  

 The more aggressive the U.S. becomes, the more it reveals its tactical, operational and strategic limits, which in turn only serves to accelerate its loss of hegemony.
​ ​If the U.S. could deliver a nuclear first strike without having to worry about a retaliatory second strike thanks to its ABM systems, then its quest for perpetual unipolarity could possibly be realistic. But Washington’s peer competitors have shown that they have the means to defend themselves against a nuclear first strike by being able to deliver an unstoppable second strike, thereby communicating that the doctrine of mutually assured destruction (MAD) is here to stay. With that, Washington’s efforts to maintain its status as uncontested global hegemon are futile.

​Tom Luongo explains how "Putin Has Purged The West From The Kremlin"​, while adjusting the governance system better for Russia.
​ ​The end result of this move to devolve the cabinet appointments to the whole of the Duma is to ensure that a strong President which Putin believes is best for Russia is tempered by a cabinet drawn from the whole of the electorate, including the Prime Minister.
​ ​That neither opens the door to dysfunctional European parliamentary systems nor closes it from a strong President leading Russia during crisis periods.
​ ​Once the amendments to the constitution are finalized Putin will put the whole package to a public vote.

 By having Iranian General Qassem Soleimani assassinated in Iraq, President Trump nearly provoked the Third World War. At least that is the version of the US opposition and the international press. For Thierry Meyssan, what happens behind the scenes is very different from the show on stage. According to him, there is a move towards a coordinated military withdrawal of the United States and Iran from the Middle East.​ Alternative insight from France. Thanks Eleni

​Eleni also sends this article about the real Mideast Nuclear Threat:
​ The Israëli arsenal, shielded by a dense cloak of secrecy and omertà, is estimated at between 80 and 400 nuclear warheads, plus sufficient plutonium to build hundreds of others. Israël certainly also produces tritium, a radioactive gas with which it is building new generation nuclear weapons. Among these are mini-nukes and neutron bombs which, since they cause minimal radioactive contamination, would be more adapted to targets close to Israël. The Israëli nuclear warheads are ready for launching on ballistic missiles which, with the Jericho 3, have a range of 8 to 9,000 kilometres. Germany supplied Israël (in the form of a gift or for knock-down prices) with four Dolphin submarines modified for launching Popeye Turbo nuclear missiles, with a range of approximately 1,500 kilometres. Silent, and with the capacity to remain under water for a week, the Dolphins are cruising in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, ready on twenty-four hour alert for a nuclear attack.

Who Targeted Ukraine Airlines Flight 752? Iran Shot It Down but There May be More to the StoryPhilip Giraldi, former CIA counter-terrorism expert has lots of thought provoking details and context.

French Intellectual Sentenced to 2 Months in Prison For Calling Mass Immigration an “Invasion”
Forced to pay 1800 euros to anti-racism organizations for his crime of opinion.

​Good thing these guys waited until after the trial of that dastardly French intellectual!
Syrian fighters abandon Libyan War, flee towards Italy: report

Thanks Ray:  (Reuters Health) - U.S. insurers and providers spent more than $800 billion in 2017 on administration, or nearly $2,500 per person - more than four times the per-capita administrative costs in Canada’s single-payer system, a new study finds.

Thanks Charles:
 “The effort of collecting, transporting and cleaning plastics for possible recycling has largely failed, created much more pollution and contributed massively to climate change. The idea of burning plastics and using the energy to heat our homes was proposed by the plastics company Dow more than 30 years ago: it suggested treating all plastics as “borrowed oil”. At that time, ordinary domestic waste had a calorific value of low-grade coal, so the suggestion was that this waste should be burned in efficient plants with heat recovery and treatment of the gases produced, perhaps even trapping the carbon dioxide produced, rather than trying to recycle the complex (and dirty) mix of plastics.  Today, with higher use of more complex plastics, this makes even more sense. Mixed plastics cannot really be recycled: they are long-chain molecules, like spaghetti, so if you reheat and reprocess them, you inevitably end up with something of lower performance; it’s called down-cycling.”
​ ​While this could be polluting if not done right, people will certainly turn to burning plastic and anything else they can get their hands on at some point of energy decline. Better to do it correctly now in an incinerator than in backyards in the future as well as to protect our land and waterways from plastic pollution right now.

​The internet is responsible for about 10% of global CO2 production, headed for 20% in this decade. Most of that is due to pop-up ads and streaming video. Unfortunately, nothing at all can ever be done... well, uh...​ Thanks Charles.


Thursday, January 16, 2020

Walking A Path

Considering Proposals,

Putin's address to the Russian nation is here: 
Some comments about comments in the news about proposed changes in the Russian constitution are here: 
I've read both the article and the speech in entirety. (Thanks Eleni)
The speech is the main thing.
Putin suggested in his December press conference that constitutional changes were being called for and considered, fairly widely.
The dramatic statements about this being a move to enhance an imperial presidency are clearly false, completely at odds with his proposal to limit successive presidential terms.
Also, the imperial presidency, similar to that of France, was intended to serve the purpose of rapid change after the fall of the USSR. We know it was intended to serve the interests of global capitalism, but somehow, Russia got her DeGaulle in Vladimir Putin.
France now has Macron, the Rothschild puppet, with DeGaulle's powerful office.
Putin and his government see that they have accomplished the core task of rebuilding a robust Russian society and economy, and the work still to be done.
He addresses this first, supporting the needs of people, families with kids, kids, schools, hospitals, and so on.
The new constitutional proposal is designed to increase the power of elected officials, so a PM is appointed by the Douma, not the president, but is subject to dismissal by the president. Judges are independent, but will be subject to dismissal for cause, under the constitution. There are more degrees of freedom, more transparency is requested, and there are shorter loops of control, more mechanisms to prevent cronyism from taking hold. I see mechanisms to prevent establishment of a permanent deep-state, as the President, who will not be a permanent fixture, but will keep changing, will appoint security agency heads and fire them. This will avoid what Trump faces, or attempts to avoid it.
Russia has survived the life-or-death crisis, is thriving, and undergoing self directed therapy beyond rehabilitation, now.
This is very forward-looking to support healthy Russian society in the longer term after current leaders have passed on.

The BBC has some higher quality worried speculations here:

This looks to me more like protection from transnationals in treaty enforced arbitration between corporations and nations.
A summary via TASS:
 Putin has suggested a putting up a package of constitutional amendments for a plebiscite. At the same time, the Russian president stated that he sees no grounds to adopt new constitution in Russia.
 Putin also suggest stipulating the supremacy of the Russian Constitution over international norms in Russia.
 “The time has come to make some changes to the nation’s fundamental law that would directly guarantee the priority of the Russian Constitution in our legal space. What does this mean? It means that requirements of international law and decisions of international bodies can only be enforced in Russia to such an extent that does not violate human and civil rights and freedoms and does not violate our Constitution,” Putin emphasized.

Eleni sends this from Whitney Webb:  
How an Israeli Spy-linked Tech Firm Gained Access to the US Government's Most Classified Networks
(First we gave it away to them, then we rented it back with spyware installed. Foreign aid to Israel is the BEST.)
Cybereason’s main investors turned partners have integrated Cybereason’s software into their product offerings. This means that the clients of these Cybereason partner companies, the U.S. intelligence community and military among them, are now part of Cybereason’s network of more than 6 million endpoints that this private company constantly monitors using a combination of staff comprised largely of former intelligence operatives and an AI algorithm first developed by Israeli military intelligence.  
​ ​"Look guys, we set up a war game of what happens if somebody hacks the 2020 election and it has to be invalidated and martial law imposed. Interested?"

 The mystery of what presidential rivals Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders said to each other in a heated exchange after Tuesday night’s Democratic debate has been solved, with debate host CNN revealing that Warren accused Sanders of calling her a liar on national television.
​ ​In an exchange caught on camera after the debate but unable to be heard by the television audience, Sanders responded to Warren that it was she who had called him a liar. Moments earlier Warren had refused to shake Sanders’ hand.
​ ​The two U.S. senators and liberal standard bearers in the Democrats’ nominating contest to pick a candidate to take on Republican President Donald Trump in November had been locked in a dispute before and during the debate over an allegation by Warren that Sanders had told her in a private 2018 meeting that a woman could not be elected president.
​ ​Sanders disputed that claim before and during the debate but Warren insists it’s true.

Remember how Iran landed a US drone in one piece a few years ago by spoofing it's GPS coordinates into a landing?
This appears to be somewhat similar of a claim. It is possible that a Ukrainian passenger jet was sending signals to Iranian air defense systems to spoof some kind of incoming attack. There's a lot to consider, still.
​ ​Iran Guardian Council chairman Ahmad Jannati stated Wednesday that “enemy sabotage” cannot be ruled out, while Brigadier General Ali Abdollahi directly suggested that US military forces hacked Iran’s radar systems to make it appear that the airliner, containing 176 people, was an incoming missile.  

Trump Secretly Threatened Europe With Auto Tariffs If It Didn't Declare Iran In Breach Of Nuclear Deal

​The US is in a "Freight Recession". How well can the "real economy" be when transport of stuff has been down so long?

Going Nowhere

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Rejecting Both Sides


CNN tried again to discredit Bernie Sanders, who now leads the Democratic pack in California polling, by painting him sexist. Caitlin Johnstone has the story:
 Sanders explicitly denied ever saying any such thing. He said there’s Youtube footage people can look up of him saying a woman could become president many decades ago, adding that he only ran for president in 2016 because Warren refused grassroots efforts to persuade her to run (efforts which he’d supported).
 “So Senator Sanders, I do want to be clear here, you’re saying that you never told Senator Warren that a woman could not win the election?” asked Phillip.
 “That is correct,” Sanders replied.
 “Senator Warren,” Phillip then asked without missing a beat. “What did you think when Senator Sanders told you that a woman could not win the election?”...
​ ​The belief that a woman cannot be elected president in 2020 is not a thing. Nobody believes that, and anyone who pretends to believe that anyone believes that is simply telling you that they are an unprincipled liar who would rather take a nonsense stand on a nonsense issue than promote actual policies and changes. The heavy favorite to win the 2016 election was a woman, and were she not literally in the middle of an FBI investigation during that election she would have overcome the narrow margins she lost by.  

Eleni sent 2 articles from the Saker blog about Vietnam's political position in a tough neighborhood, which are informative. I read them both entirely, and nothing is without bias, but these were useful information for me.
The comments following the 2015 "Conical Hat" historical perspective piece served to round it out a little better, but it's still Vietnamese history from a Vietnamese perspective. Vietnam is the only regional country which has fought the Chinese army to a standstill (which both claim as victory), fairly recently, and without air-superiority.

The second article, from 2020, by a Vietnamese writer whose analysis vastly exceeds English language skills, and awareness of diplomatic subtleties, concludes like this:
​ ​This is my own craziest theory: US, and Israel want Vietnam become A WATCHDOG on China and Russia helps Vietnam in order to give a hidden warning to China. From my own knowledge, I will explain with each country:
​ ​US wants to turn Vietnam into their new factory that can make US products to them. Vietnamese today trust US so blindly, and they always think that US will protect Vietnam from China. I am not surprised that Vietnamese want their own country become a vassal state of US due to the myth “US’s vassal state always rich and have happy life than anti-imperialist countries.” US need to weak China first so they can destroy China because China will be weakness in both economic and military after the war with Vietnam even if they win Vietnam. US also does not want to lose their new cheap labors, and a new place that willing import trashed every year for money, of course.
​ ​I think Russia help Vietnam because they want to give a warning sign to China: WE ARE WATCHING YOU AND DON’T TRUST YOU ENTIRELY, CHINA. China is just best ally to China because they have strong border to each other not friendship. I theorize that Putin will never forget China betrayal on Soviet Union when China Invaded Soviet Union in 1969 (they accused Soviet invaded China but I believe that China invaded Soviet), China funded Mujahideen during 1980s. I mean how can Russian military officers can forget China crime against Russia. I believe Russian will not forget China betrayal and they must being skeptical on China. China may possible so some potential in South China Sea so they entrust Vietnam more than China. Helping Vietnam is also message to China from Russia that China should know how to behave and Russia is not fool.
Israel secretly considers Vietnam a useful animal that need to be feed and train to die for their master due to their Talmudist Ideology. Jewish Elites is considering Chinese Elite a thorn in their eyes. China and Israel are playing double faces to each other right now so they need a slave or animal that has experiences to fight China: Vietnam. This is reason why Israel secret help Vietnam like Soviet helped Vietnam, seduced Vietnam in emotional way so Vietnamese will become good Goys that will die for their new Jewish Master.
​ ​I also (try to) believe that Vietnam right now try to maintain their neutral position as much as they can like what they have done before 2013. With the neutral position, Vietnam don’t give US, Russia, and Israel other reasons to hate, but cannot tell the country trust Vietnam entirely, of course. Vietnam can use the relationship with three countries above to pressure China to know how to behave in South China Sea (I hope I’m right this time).
​ ​I hope my analysis help you guys understand about Vietnam relationship with the superpower country and I hope you guys can give me feedback as much as you can.

Here is what is in the China-US trade deal, still insufficiently detailed, and always subject to evolving-reality:

Economics must examine underlying assumptions and change when they change. Energy inputs are critical.
​ ​How do economic analyses account for the roles and impacts of both the cost and quantity of natural resource consumption?
​ ​This question has been debated perhaps as long as there has been the profession of economics.  Before the use of fossil fuels, early “classical” economists knew that most products of interest, such as food and building materials, came from the land as it harnesses the energy from the sun. Thus, land as a natural resource was front-and-center to economic thinking.
​ ​With industrialization and the use of fossil fuels (that provide energy independent of current sunlight) economic analyses became less focused on the role of natural resources as an input into economic production such that in the 1900s most mainstream (i.e., Neoclassical) growth models do not directly account for energy and natural resources.

The Fed Can't Reverse the Decline of Financialization and Globalization, Charles Hugh Smith​
​ ​The global economy and financial system are both running on the last toxic fumes of financialization and globalization.
​ ​For two generations, globalization and financialization have been the two engines of global growth and soaring assets. Globalization can mean many things, but its beating heart is the arbitraging of the labor of the powerless, and commodity, environmental and tax costs by the powerful to increase their profits and wealth.
​ ​In other words, globalization is the result of those at the top of the wealth-power pyramid shifting capital around the world to exploit lower costs of labor, commodities, environmental regulations and taxes.
​ ​This manifests as offshoring of jobs, the stripmining of forests, minerals, etc., the degradation of local ecosystems, the decline of tax revenues derived from capital and the explosive rise in stock market valuations as wages stagnate or decline.
A key element in globalization is the transfer of risk from the owners of capital to the workers and public resources.


Monday, January 13, 2020

People Get Hurt

Mourning Again,

 Over the weekend we heard, from Iran, that Iran shot down a civilian flight, taking off from Tehran, shortly after the Iranian military responded to US assassination of of General Suleimani, on a diplomatic peace mission to Baghdad, as requested by President Trump. 
It took a few days, but Iran admitted to it. 
Missile defenses were on hair trigger for US retaliation, and People Got Hurt. 
Flashing back...
On July 3, 1988, in the late days of the Iran-Iraq war, the USS Vincennes mistakenly shot down Iran Air Flight 655 over Iranian waters and killed 290 people.
 In the days immediately following the incident, US President Ronald Reagan issued a written diplomatic note to the Iranian government, expressing deep regret.[15] However, the United States continued to insist that Vincennes was acting in self-defense in international waters.
​ ​In 1996, the governments of the United States and Iran reached a settlement at the International Court of Justice which included the statement "...the United States recognized the aerial incident of 3 July 1988 as a terrible human tragedy and expressed deep regret over the loss of lives caused by the incident..."[16] As part of the settlement, even though the U.S. government did not admit legal liability or formally apologize to Iran, it still agreed to pay US$61.8 million on an ex gratia basis in compensation to the families of the Iranian victims.

 Yet another video of Democratic primary front runner Joe Biden passionately defending the 2003 Iraq invasion and occupation has resurfaced and is going viral. In it he even sings George W. Bush's praises at a moment which came a mere few months after the now infamous "Mission Accomplished" stunt aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.
 This comes in a campaign where he's lied repeatedly about his leading role in pushing the war authorization through the Senate five months before the March 2003 invasion, seeking to distance himself and methodically conceal the facts now that public opinion has long shifted. It also has resurfaced at a moment John Kerry is currently making the rounds on major networks defending Biden against Bernie Sanders’ criticism of Biden's clear pro-war record.
 At a crucial moment Biden's speech, delivered at the Hawkish DC Brookings Institution in July 2003 actually slammed anti-war Democrats and simultaneously upheld Bush and his disastrous war as "bold and popular" and promised further support to the neocon administration.

Evidence portrays the plot to assassinate General Suleimani originating with John Bolton, then National Security Advisor, and being canned by Trump as being excessive to the shoot down of a drone last June. "No American was killed". That became to loaded plan, awaiting a trigger, and a means to execute.
 For the past 18 months, officials said, there had been discussions about whether to target General Suleimani. Figuring that it would be too difficult to hit him in Iran, officials contemplated going after him during one of his frequent visits to Syria or Iraq and focused on developing agents in seven different entities to report on his movements — the Syrian Army, the Quds Force in Damascus, Hezbollah in Damascus, the Damascus and Baghdad airports and the Kataib Hezbollah and Popular Mobilization forces in Iraq...
​ ​Defense Secretary Mark Esper presented a series of response options to the president two weeks ago, including killing Soleimani. Esper presented the pros and cons of such an operation but made it clear that he was in favor of taking out Soleimani, officials said.
​ ​Trump signed off and it further developed from there.

​Under the US-backed Shah, the only places the Savak Secret Police did not closely monitor were the mosques, so ...​
 ..Anti-government protests over Iran's mistaken shoot-down of UIA Flight 752 continued on Monday for a third straight day, following the regime's admission of responsibility on Saturday.
 During the protests, which erupted out of anger over the regime's initial lies about Flight 752 (it initially insisted that a "mechanical error" was responsible despite video evidence suggesting a missile strike), Iranian security forces fired both live ammunition and tear gas into crowds of angry demonstrators.  
 Videos posted to social media on Sunday recorded gunshots in the vicinity of protests in Tehran’s Azadi Square. The wounded could be seen being carried off on stretchers as riot police fired what looked like rubber bullets. Other videos showed riot police beating protesters with batons, while others nearby screamed "Don’t beat them!"
 Moreover, shouts of "Death to the dictator" could be heard in footage circulating on social media. It showed protesters shouting, directing their fury at Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the system of clerical rule.

But wait, there's more. The Iranian General helping Yemenis fight Saudi Arabia survived.
 On very day of the US drone strike on Baghdad International Airport which took out Soleimani and his convoy, which included Iraq's top paramilitary commander Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, a separate but parallel operation was taking place in Yemen at the same time against a "top financier and key commander in Iran’s elite Quds Force who has been active in Yemen," per the Post's description.
 US officials now say they also attempted to kill Islamic Revolutionary Guard commander Gen. Abdul Reza Shahlai on the same day (Jan.2), but failed.

Military "head-fake" or "wardrobe-malfunction"? 
Is this what Trumpian-de-escalation looks like?
 Just like that, it was over. General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff called it ‘a kerfuffle’. A letter was sent to their Iraqi peers that the U.S was repositioning troops out of Iraq in accordance with legislation from Iraq ending the U.S military presence in the war-torn country, and suddenly then it was retracted by higher-ups. Running interference, Mark Esper backed Milley and said it was ‘an honest mistake’. It all went down within a day of the irrational assassination of Iran’s Soleimani.

In what states is it legal to "smoke Biden" these days?
"He Needs To Stop": Democrats Freaking Out After Sanders Says Trump Will Smoke Biden
​ ​According to those complaining, the 78-year-old Sanders will make it harder for Democrats to unify around a nominee after months of taking flack from their own side of the aisle - despite the fact that a Friday poll has him in the lead, and that his no-holds-barred approach may earn him the nomination.
​ ​"He needs to stop," said one Democratic strategist who is unaffiliated with any candidates. "It's not helpful and it actually hurts the party. It’s like he didn't learn his lesson the last time. It’s incredibly short-sighted and terrible."

​Maybe John Bolton will run for president on the American Cannibals ticket. 
Peace-Negotiations must be stopped!
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told the visiting emir of Qatar that de-escalation is the "only solution" to the regional crisis sparked by the US killing of Iran's top general, Qasem Soleimani, according to AFP citing the emirate's ruler.
​ ​"This visit comes at a critical time in the region," said Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, adding "We agreed... that the only solution to these crises is de-escalation from everyone and dialogue."
​Other than being made a lesson to scare everybody else again, it's a really good deal. 
Let's give it a try!
Is Iraq About To Become A Chinese Client State?

​Drilling For Dollars​

Thursday, January 9, 2020


Diplomatically Inclined,

This is a quick encapsulation:
​ ​Days after the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, new and important information is coming to light from a speech given by the Iraqi prime minister. The story behind Soleimani’s assassination seems to go much deeper than what has thus far been reported, involving Saudi Arabia and China as well the U.S. dollar’s role as the global reserve currency.
​ ​The Iraqi prime minister, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, has revealed details of his interactions with Trump in the weeks leading up to Soleimani’s assassination in a speech to the Iraqi parliament. He tried to explain several times on live television how Washington had been browbeating him and other Iraqi members of parliament to toe the American line, even threatening to engage in false-flag sniper shootings of both protesters and security personnel in order to inflame the situation, recalling similar modi operandi seen in Cairo in 2009, Libya in 2011, and Maidan in 2014. The purpose of such cynicism was to throw Iraq into chaos.​..

​ Abdul-Mehdi spoke angrily about how the Americans had ruined the country and now refused to complete infrastructure and electricity grid projects unless they were promised 50% of oil revenues, which Abdul-Mehdi refused.
​ ​This is why I visited China and signed an important agreement with them to undertake the construction instead. Upon my return, Trump called me to ask me to reject this agreement. When I refused, he threatened to unleash huge demonstrations against me that would end my premiership.
​ ​Huge demonstrations against me duly materialized and Trump called again to threaten that if I did not comply with his demands, then he would have Marine snipers on tall buildings target protesters and security personnel alike in order to pressure me.
​ ​I refused again and handed in my resignation. To this day the Americans insist on us rescinding our deal with the Chinese.
​ ​After this, when our Minister of Defense publicly stated that a third party was targeting both protestors and security personnel alike (just as Trump had threatened he would do), I received a new call from Trump threatening to kill both me and the Minister of Defense if we kept on talking about this “third party”.​..
​[​The House of Saud ​openly ​folds it's hand​]​
​ "The kingdom of Saudi Arabia was not consulted regarding the U.S. strike. In light of the rapid developments, the Kingdom stresses the importance of exercising restraint to guard against all acts that may lead to escalation, with severe consequences.​"​...
​ ​What clearly emerges is that the success of the operation against Soleimani had nothing to do with the intelligence gathering of the U.S. or Israel. It was known to all and sundry that Soleimani was heading to Baghdad in a diplomatic capacity that acknowledged Iraq’s efforts to mediate a solution to the regional crisis with Saudi Arabia.​..
 The petrodollar is what ensures that the U.S. dollar retains its status as the global reserve currency, granting the U.S. a monopolistic position from which it derives enormous benefits from playing the role of regional hegemon.
​ ​This privileged position of holding the global reserve currency also ensures that the U.S. can easily fund its war machine by virtue of the fact that much of the world is obliged to buy its treasury bonds that it is simply able to conjure out of thin air. To threaten this comfortable arrangement is to threaten Washington’s global power.​..​
​ ​Washington would like to prevent any Eurasian integration by unleashing chaos and destruction in the region, and killing Soleimani served this purpose.  The U.S. cannot contemplate the idea of the dollar losing its status as the global reserve currency. Trump is engaging in a desperate gamble that could have disastrous consequences​..​
​ ​The assassination of Soleimani is the U.S. lashing out at its steady loss of influence in the region. The Iraqi attempt to mediate a lasting peace between Iran and Saudi Arabia has been scuppered by the U.S. and Israel’s determination to prevent peace in the region and instead increase chaos and instability.  

​Original translated tweet thread, Thanks Helen of DesTroy.
A translation of the below thread by Ahmad Khazraji on Iraqi caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, in which he reveals the reasons he held his silence and resigned. (Most significantly, he reveals that US Marine snipers fired at Iraqi protestors.)  

Moon of Alabama (1/7/20, updated) has good details and further context on this story.
 The chicken-hawks of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, who have all lobbied the U.S. for war on Iran, now fear the consequences:
 Gulf Arab states, potential targets for retaliation after the U.S. assassinated Iran’s top general, are working on multiple tracks to try to keep tensions between Tehran and Washington from building into a military confrontation.
 Earlier today Russia's President Vladimir Putin arrived in Damascus for talks with the Syria's President Assad. Could there also be a meeting between Putin and Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah? Putin will next go to Turkey to inaugurate the gas pipeline between Russia and Turkey.

Eleni sends this translated report about the highly accurate Iranian strike on US weapons, an hour after warning the Swiss Embassy , so as to avoid injury to Americans, who went to bomb shelters. 
NO DEFENSIVE AMERICAN MISSILES! Where were the surface to air missiles defending the bases?
 Iran has bombed the largest US military base in Iraq, Ayn al-Assad, where for the past two days the American command has concentrated most of its forces. Many US bases, particularly in areas under Shiite control and around Baghdad, have been evacuated in recent days to Ayn al-Assad, where anti-nuclear shelters are located, for security reasons. Ayn al-Assad is located in the Anbar Desert, near the Iraqi-Syrian border. It is from this base that the drones that murdered Sardar Soleimani and his companions at Baghdad airport took off. Iran also bombed another US base in Erbil, Kurdistan​.
​ Another message was addressed to Israel. The new commander appointed to head the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' al-Quds brigade, Ismail Qaani, met with representatives of all Palestinian groups in Tehran. According to an informed source, Iran has pledged "its unrestricted support for all Palestinian groups until they reach their goal." Iran also announced that "Israel participated with the United States in the assassination of Sardar Soleimani".

M​oon of Alabama has more updated information:
Trump confirmed that there were no U.S. casualties. The situation is thereby de-escalating as the U.S. will now stand down. Trump called the damage on the base "minimal" even while several airplane/drone hangers were obviously hit and completely destroyed with everything they contained. Iran must have had very good intelligence about the site. Trump also lauded an early warning system that, he said, prevented casualties. The Swiss embassy in Tehran will have a good laugh at that comment.
​ ​Higher quality daylight pictures of the crashed Ukrainian plane show that at least some of the "shrapnel impact holes" are not holes at all but are debris or dirt lying on top of the aircraft pieces. Additional pictures also show no evidence of an externally induced event.

​This is exactly the circumstance, passenger jetliner at take-off, where a shoulder fired manpad missile​ can reliably shoot down a big jet. Of course, sabotage of a US made Ukrainian airliner would have been easy for US/Ukraine. 
Who benefits?
​ ​Kiev will establish if its airliner, which crashed near Tehran with 176 on board, was hit by a ‘Russian-made’ missile, collided with a drone, or was targeted by terrorists, a Ukrainian security council official has said.
​ ​Ukraine has sent dozens of investigators to Iran to look into possible causes of the crash, including “an explosion inside the plane following a terrorist attack,” collision with an unmanned aerial vehicle, or a direct hit by “a surface-to-air missile,” Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the security council, told Censor news outlet.
​ ​Kiev is now in talks with Tehran regarding access to the crash site, the official added. They said investigators will search it for any “wreckage of a Russian-[made] Tor missile,” referring to allegations that popped up on social media.

​(massive) Tor Missile System

Nice little manpad, which litters the Mideast these days after all the wars and CIA gifting to "moderate-rebels".
 Infrared homing missiles are designed to home-in on a heat source on an aircraft, typically the engine exhaust plume, and detonate a warhead in or near the heat source to disable the aircraft. These missiles use passive guidance, meaning that they do not emit signals to detect a heat source, which makes them difficult to detect by targeted aircraft employing countermeasure systems.  

"Freedom of Speech", You probably already noticed. Of course it violates US treaty with UN to do this. Thanks Colleen.
Trump Administration Blocks Iran’s Top Diplomat From Addressing the U.N. Security Council
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had sought to give a speech condemning the U.S. assassination of Qassem Suleimani.

​Note to Self: 
"Don't Carry Sign ​Saying Americans Die for Israeli Controlled Mideast Policy at Antiwar Rally"
I've got to wonder if the heroic guy who keeps asking for an explanation is Palestinian American. "NAZI, NAZI, NAZI, NAZI, NAZI..." Thanks Eleni
​Dude, Where's my brain-slice?
Working with slices of human brain tissue, the team found unexpectedly complex electrical activity in the dendrites of human pyramidal neurons. Modeling this activity then showed that single neurons were capable of solving computational problems which were thought to need a lot more brain power.

 Somewhat Impaired