Friday, December 30, 2016

The Empire Strikes Out

Maintaining Appearances,

Eleni sends this article by James Petras, The Coup Against Trump. (This is one way of presenting the elite power struggle for the reins of empire, between the Neocons and a faction I've been referring to as the "Rationalists". My read is that Zbigniew Brzezinski withdrew the intellectual foundation for the "unipolar world" model this spring when he published his paper that the time had already passed, and declared the idea no-longer-possible. Kissinger is still on Kissinger's side, and quite comfortable with Trump, Russia, and China... "Bye bye, Hillary, dear.")

President Obama keeps the "Big Lie" alive, by kicking Russia out of a couple of vacation compounds they own in New York and Maryland, and expelling 35 Russian "Diplomats" (All "diplomats" are "spies", everywhere, some more than others.) The Russians had been monitoring the NSA (which monitors the Russians monitoring them, and everybody else, of course.) 
Pay no attention to Hillary Clinton stealing the Democratic Primary, as revealed in the leaked-not-hacked emails from the DNC. 
Russia Stole The Election!

Russian sources say that this behavior by the Obama administration is irrational, meant to permanently break US/Russia relations, just ahead of an administration that sees the value in repairing them. This parting-shot will be answered, appropriately, in due time, and with respect to the identities and intentions of the actual instigators. (Vladimir Putin is no fool, and is competent in Judo, as well as Chess. These aggressive acts against Russia, without any proof to support US allegations, reflect very poorly on the current US administration. They appear desperate and petty.)

Vladimir Putin: "We will not expel anyone. We refuse to sink to Obama's level."
Russia has the right to respond in tit-for-tat manner, but it will not engage in irresponsible diplomacy.
"It is regrettable that the Obama administration, which started out by restoring our ties, is ending its term in an anti-Russia death throes. RIP," Dmitri Medvedev, who served as president in 2009 when Obama tried to improve Russia-U.S. relations, wrote on his official Facebook page.

There has been speculation that an electronic jamming cyber attack was the cause of the Christmas crash of Russian Tu-154 passenger plane, taking an orchestra and dignitaries to Syria to cheer up the troops. (Hard to know...)
"Noteworthy, disabled transponders and communication systems can be explained as follows. French reconnaissance ship Dupuy de Lome had entered the Black Sea on the eve of the tragedy. The ship can send a strong impulse to deactivate all electronic equipment on board the aircraft. Israel resorts to this practice against Russian airplanes in Syria. It was reported that the bodies of the victims of the Tu-154 crash were wearing life jackets. Therefore, the crew had time to warn the passengers, but not the flight control officers. In this is the case, then this is a war against NATO, rather than an act of terrorism." -

Mass graves of tortured civilians are unearthed in "fallen" East Aleppo. 
Syrian and Russian troops reportedly moved forward with all due haste, since they knew this was being done by moderate-90%-foreign-mercenary-democratic-freedom-fighter-good-guys.

In the latest snub to the Obama administration, a nationwide Syrian cease-fire brokered by Russia and Turkey - one which explicitly avoided US participation - went into effect at midnight and was holding steady on Friday despite minor violations, marking what Bloomberg said is "a potential breakthrough in a conflict that has been shredding high-level peace initiatives for over five years."

Oliver Stone has insights into the "Fake News" propaganda we are all getting from the Washington Post, New York Times and other "mainstream media". 
Who needs "facts" when you've got "authority"? 
Stone demonstrates that he remains fixated on reality, how 20th Century!

A federal judge declares that the security-breech investigation against former Secretary of State Clinton must proceed. There are limited legal circumstances in which it might be concluded, and those conditions do not currently apply.

Wikileaks is dying to say who leaked the DNC files, which opened Pizzagate and revealed the DNC/Clintonistas stole the primary from Bernie Sanders. 
Their informant may already have died. Seth Rich was mysteriously murdered as he walked down a street one night, following the leaks. 
Julian Assange discussed this death in an interview, without specifically saying that Seth Rich had been in any contact at all with Wikileaks. 
There are ways to discover if Rich was in the same place at the same time as Wikileaks envoy and former UK Ambassador, Craig Murray. (Of course team Clinton would have known that kind of thing long ago...)

A Federal Judge has ordered the full 7,000 page Senate "Torture Report" research paper to be preserved. It looked into CIA torture and rendition of people they called "suspects", without any due process and outside of the laws of all nations involved. It's still secret, of course...


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Current Historical Perspective

Co-Creators of History,

Historian, Jada Thacker, sums up our current life-support situation quite elegantly. (I'm cutting and pasting his summation, here.)
"There is no need to sound the alarm that planet Earth will soon go "beyond the point of no return." The Earth is not going beyond anything. The Earth – which ancient texts and tribal lore agree endures forever – is merely returning humanity to the carrying capacity from whence it came."
"Lack of affordable, horrible GHG-emitting energy resources is going to kill most of us who depend upon an industrialized food supply – and very much sooner than their destruction of an otherwise convenient climate. While humanity could conceivably adapt to global warming, we cannot conceivably adapt to unaffordable industrial liquid energy resources."
"And while the development of alternative, so-called sustainable electric energy extraction such as wind and solar may be desirable, it is not sufficient to maintain industrialized agriculture. Human food supply is not critically dependent upon the availability of expensive clean energy, but upon cheap dirty energy – and a lot of it."

Russia and Turkey agree on Syrian cease-fire outline, without US involvement (moderate-hostage-decapitator factions have not all agreed) 

Turkish President Erdogan wants Saudi Arabia and Qatar to join peace talks regarding Syria, "since they have shown so much good will". 
No Kurds Need Apply, though, even though they live there and fight best of all.

Who is supporting ISIS in Syria? Is it Erdogan, Obama, BOTH, neither? What is happening?  
(Russia seems to have made a strategic deal to pay-off Qatar, whose tap on the Pars gas field is the competitor to Iran's tap on the same field, and who also wants a pipeline through Syria to supply Europe. Syria favored the Iranian pipeline, so US/Saudi-Arabia made war on Syria to change regime. Turkey gets profit from all pipelines, but wants to finish Kurdish genocide first and foremost.)
"As planned by the Russian forces the liberation of east-Aleppo was completed before Christmas. There are no longer beheadings by Takfiris in East-Aleppo."
"Shortly before Christmas the U.S. president signed a new directive that allows the distribution of air-defense MANPADs to "moderate rebels" in Syria. Like with the TOWs the CIA distributed to "moderate rebels" some of these MANPADs will inevitably end up with ISIS and may well be used against civilian airliners outside of Syria. The Kurdish YPG/SDF also wants these weapons though their only potential enemy with an air forces is the Turkish NATO army. The Russians understand the distribution of MANPADs to their enemies in Syria as a "hostile act" and will likely response in kind."
"The first choice of the migrating Takfiris will be Turkey where they have a support base and many followers of their ideology. With the pursuit of the war on Syria and support for radical Islamists Erdogan has put his country in the same position Pakistan had put itself when Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq supported the CIA supplied Mujahedin in Afghanistan against the progressive Afghan government in 1978. The result in Pakistan has been a slow boiling, deadly insurgency ever since. It will probably take decades for Turkey to rid the formerly secular country of such deadly cancer."

Here is the transcript of an interview with a Syrian Physician who stayed in Aleppo through all of the recent war, in order to serve his fellow Syrians, a trustworthy source, who addresses fundamentals of the wartime life in the city, as experienced, and of the relief now. (Syria was "the cradle of Christianity". He is a Syrian Christian.)

Kissinger reportedly advises Trump to consider Crimean reunification with Russia to be a fait accompli .

Paul Craig Roberts considers strategic aspects, which may underlie the Kissinger-pivot:
"American capitalism and the social safety net would function much better without the drain on the budget of the military/security complex.  It is more correct to say that the military/security complex wants a major threat, not an actual arms race. Stateless Muslim terrorists are not a sufficient threat for such a massive US military, and the trouble with an actual arms race as opposed to a threat is that the US armaments corporations would have to produce weapons that work instead of cost overruns that boost profits. The latest US missile ship has twice broken down and had to be towed into port.  The F-35 has cost endless money, has a variety of problems and is already outclassed. The Russian missiles are hypersonic.  The Russian tanks are superior. The explosive power of the Russian Satan II ICBM is terrifying.  The morale of the Russian forces is high.  They have not been exhausted from 15 years of fighting without much success pointless wars against women and children."
Who is keeping Russian gas flowing to Europe through Ukraine, when Ukrainian transport capacity is now redundant? Why? It costs Europe more...

Something dramatic is afooot with the (watered-down-and-toothless) UN Security Council Resolution 2334 , which calls on Israel to stop building illegal settlements on land stolen from Palestinians through military force, land which is illegally occupied as an act of war. All prior resolutions, most recently in 1980, have included withdrawal to pre-Naqba boundaries (1947). 
This flurry of accusations and threats from Israeli PM Netanyahu appears contrived to give legitimacy to this very bland retreat from principles of international law. 
Netanyahu threatens New Zealand, blames Obama and Kerry, withdraws Ambassador from France, and meanwhile the UK has been arranging events behind the scenes. 
What is the intended end-point of this drama? What is the world about to get sold? (The Palestinians will be robbed further, whatever it is.)

Here is a clue. A document has been leaked, of a meeting with Secretary of State Kerry and Palestinian and Arab leaders, pressuring them to accept his 2014 peace-plan.
"John Kerry and national security advisor Susan Rice told a Palestinian delegation headed by Saeb Erekat and intelligence chief Majed Faraj in Washington that the Obama administration would abstain on SC Res. 2334 if its wording was balanced – 10 days before last Friday’s vote."  
"In 2014, Israel accepted Kerry’s plan with objections. Palestinians didn’t respond either way. A same day article explained it one-sidedly favored Israel, Palestinian rights ignored like always. The leaked document called Trump hostile to Palestinian interests." 

How political dissent is being made "unthinkable", really, successfully. All media, including Facebook, Google and Twitter just eliminates information with algorithms.
The Overton window, also known as the window of discourse, is the range of ideas the public will accept. It is used by media pundits. The term is derived from its originator, Joseph P. Overton (1960–2003), a former vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, who in his description of his window claimed that an idea’s political viability depends mainly on whether it falls within the window, rather than on politicians’ individual preferences. According to Overton’s description, his window includes a range of policies considered politically acceptable in the current climate of public opinion, which a politician can recommend without being considered too extreme to gain or keep public office.
Because the public perceives that it has been offered multiple choices, individual members of the public take stake in whichever view – confined within that acceptable window – best fits theirs.
Because it all works on algorithms, the “window” effect becomes literal, rather than just figurative. News and information that falls outside of the acceptable range of view is simply not seen by the public – it is hidden from view, and omitted from search results.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Redefining Stuff

Stating Explicitly,

Jimmy Carter is the only former US President to RSVP for the Trump inauguration. (Maybe the others have been too busy with Christmas shopping until now.)

President Obama lets a toothless UN Security Council Resolution pass, which tells Israel to stop building "settlements" on illegally-occupied Palestinian property. Prior resolutions had called for return to pre-1947 borders, and right-of-return of all Palestinians who were militarily dispossessed as their family members were killed. Everybody is acting like this is a big affront to the Israeli-Genocide-Machine, a slap in the face to the elite "Zionists" (not "all Jews", as propaganda would claim). This UNSC Resolution just seems to move the goalposts to another field, entirely, which is a very comfortable position for the "master-race".

The co-creator of the Marine Corps Intelligence Center, Robert David Steele, has a lot of "drain-the-swamp" advice for President-Elect Trump here, but what sticks out most to me is his advice to eliminate all taxes except a financial transaction tax, the tax most detested by our financial elite owners. (This is what Goldman Sachs grads in the new cabinet just can't allow. "Loyalty test".) Thanks Colleen.

Charles Hugh Smith looks at another form of tax, the taxation of immobile assets, Property Tax. Greeks are getting hit hard with this, and are losing claim to their family land and homes if they cannot pay the higher and higher taxes. This is property-stripping by the financial elites. They will take everything, if permitted to, and who can stop them?

The Dakota Access Pipeline is a huge financial transfer scheme, based on 2014 contracts, assuming $100/bbl oil and lots of demand. There are big losers if Energy Transfer PArtners gets their way. Nobody needs this pipeline in 2017, but ETP investors want all that money from the other investors on the other side of the contracts. Those contracts turn into pumpkins on New Year's Day.
Let 'em.

Russian Special Forces infiltrated mercenary/rebel forces in Aleppo and had hollowed out their defenses, marked targets, marked critical leaders airstrikes, and determined the best routes for Syrian Army forces to come into the occupied city, including tunnels. Aleppo mercenaries fell faster than Turkey/US/Saudi-Arabia expected.

 Russia explains that giving anti-aircraft-shoulder-fired-rockets to moderate-terrorists in Syria would be a "hostile act", since they would be used against Russian and Syrian armed forces. (Probably civilians, too. Those things are so hard to keep from traveling.)
"In the administration of B. Obama they must understand that any weapons handed over will quickly end up in the hands of jihadists with whom the sham 'moderate' opposition have long acted jointly,"Zakharova said in a statement. "Such a decision is a direct threat to the Russian air force, to other Russian military personnel, and to our embassy in Syria, which has come under fire more than once. We therefore view the step as a hostile one." Cited by ReutersZakharova accused the Obama administration of trying to "put a mine" under the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump by attempting to get it to continue what she called Washington's "anti-Russian line."
Further Clarifying

Friday, December 23, 2016

Not As They Seem

Automatically Replayed, 

There is a lot to suggest that the assassination of the Russian Ambassador in Turkey was a staged event. The natural assumption of anyone (outside the US) would be that the US sponsored this hit, since the US and Israel do so much of this kind of attack, and because it is OBVIOUSLY against Turkish interests (are they shifting?)
The first link has the most good pictures of the immaculate, bloodless crime scene.
The second link has the face-on video of the ambassador speaking and "being shot". You can quickly click between play and pause for stop-action.
Note that it takes 9 seconds for the brain to become unconscious after the blood stops going to it.
The actor on this stage is the 22 y/o Turkish police officer, who fires off all his shots then struts and makes pronouncements for the cameras, then successfully disappears for hours. (Then what really happened? We hear he was killed.)
The bloodless ambassador falls flat on his back immediately and never moves. 
I have seen people and animals die from various causes, including gunshot wounds. It is not simple. It is complex. There are agonal struggles and convulsions of the dying body.

Israel lashed out at the Obama administration  "friends don't act that way" after Ambassador Power abstained (refusing to veto) as The United Nations passed a resolution demanding Israel to stop settlement building on occupied Palestinian territory. As NYTimes notes, the administration’s decision not to veto the measure broke a longstanding American tradition of serving as Israel’s sturdiest diplomatic shield, and defied extraordinary pressure from President-elect Trump.  :-)   

Berlin truck-terrorist suspect is stopped on street in Milan Italy, shoots cop, and is shot dead by partner cop.

The call goes out in Europe to "Circle The Wagons!"   Merkel and the German response will be probed and questioned for weeks to come, another target of Eurosceptics has emerged: Europe's passport-free travel, the Schengen Area, which allowed Amri to cross two international borders without as much as a question. As a result, leading Eurosceptics have blamed the Schengen agreement, which allows passport-free travel between many European Union states, for Anis Amri's easy journey across Europe. Marine Le Pen, who leads France's far-right National Front party, said: "This escapade in at least two or three countries is symptomatic of the total security catastrophe that is the Schengen agreement." Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage said on Twitter: "If the man shot in Milan is the Berlin killer, then the Schengen Area is proven to be a risk to public safety. It must go."
Charles Hugh Smith: "People were poor by today's standards, so why do people remember the plantation life fondly? The answer is simple: community, purpose, sacrifice and meaning. I attended high school in a classic plantation town in 1969-70, Lanai City, owned by Dole Pineapple, my summer employer. Housing was cheap, work was plentiful and secure, and any married couple with plantation jobs could save enough to send their kids to college: my classmates are living proof of this. The plantation town was not just a work place--it was a community. In the old days, bathrooms and showers were communal in sugar camps. You didn't just wave to your neighbor from your car--you shared the communal bath house." (This is the usual condition of working together to grow crops, into which our species evolved, folks.)
War on Cash Update: "If this looks like a catch-22 situation, that’s because that’s exactly what it is. Governments cannot press too hard on decommissioning physical cash (unless they’re willing to throw their economies under a bus, like India) unless and until the demonetisation has been delivered by “the market”. But “the market” isn’t remotely interested in making the necessary investment while it is “threatened” by the competition from the established market player, namely physical cash."
Uber ships self-driving cars to Arizona, after registrations revoked in California. “Our cars departed for Arizona this morning by truck,” Uber said Thursday in an e-mail. “We’ll be expanding our self-driving pilot there in the next few weeks, and we’re excited to have the support of Governor Ducey.”
Changing Times?  According to a 2015 United Nations World Drug Report (pdf), Colombia’s drug cartels make $1 to $1.5 billion a year in wholesale proceeds from both heroin and cocaine, whereas illegally mined gold earned smugglers in the country between $1.9 and $2.6 billion a year. The story is similar in Peru: the value of illegal gold exports, approximately $2.6 billion a year (pdf), now exceeds the value of cocaine trade—$1 to 1.5 billion annually—by a wide margin.
Air Pollution Contributes to 1/3 of Deaths in China (Holy Shit!)  Smog is related to nearly one-third of deaths in China, putting it on a par with smoking as a threat to health, according to an academic paper based on the study of air pollution and mortality data in 74 cities and published in an international journal... An academic paper co-authored by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US, Tsinghua University and Peking University in China, plus the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2013 concluded that bad air has cut life expectancy by an average of 5.5 years in the north of the country.
For the second year in a row, the Arctic is facing a late December heat wave (at least by Arctic winter standards). Temperatures are forecast to soar about 50°F above normal, which would bring them near the freezing point at the North Pole.
Donald Trump opens the arena of nuclear weapons negotiations: 
"The United States must greatly strengthen and expand it's nuclear capability, until such time as the world comes to it's senses regarding nukes." 
"Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass, and outlast them all." (This seems like Trump code for "let's talk".)

Putin addressed Trump's comments about the need to boost the U.S. nuclear arsenal, saying they were perfectly normal. Trump's comments, made in a tweet on Thursday, seemingly in response to Putin's own comments earlier in the day. But Putin said he was surprised by the fuss Trump's tweet had caused and how it had been linked to his own statements about Russia's plans to modernize its own nuclear arsenal. Putin said on Thursday Russia's military was "stronger than any potential aggressor". He made clear on Friday he did not regard the United States as a potential aggressor. "I was a bit surprised by the statements from some representatives of the current U.S. administration who for some reason started to prove that the U.S. military was the most powerful in the world," said Putin. "Nobody is arguing with that."
Donald Trump has received, "A very nice letter from Vladimir Putin; his thoughts are so correct. I hope both sides are able to live up to these thoughts, and we do not have to travel an alternate path."  Excerpt: "I hope that after you assume the position of the President of the United States of America we will be able – by acting in a constructive and pragmatic manner - to take real steps to restore the framework of bilateral cooperation in different areas as well as bring our level of collaboration on the international scene to a qualitatively new level," the Russian leader wrote. The letter comes following comments by both Putin and Trump over a build up of nuclear weapons, and speculation of a new arms race with Russia. Trump tweeted on Thursday that he supported strengthening the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Those comments came on the same day that Putin made similar statements about his own country's arsenal.
Global Survival Conspiracist

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Becoming Human

Planetary Gardeners,

"The true Anthropocene – what we might call the ‘mature Anthropocene’ – is just getting started. All of these earlier stages that have been suggested as start dates were a kind of preamble, an unconscious rather than conscious human remaking of Earth. The mature Anthropocene begins when we acquire the ability to live sustainably, and become a lasting presence on this world."

The Arctic ice melting is already affecting your weather and my weather, and has been doing so for a couple of years. Here are the mechanisms, and some of the dramatic events we recall.

Solar was the top addition to US electrical grid capacity in 2016. (It's still early enough to integrate solar easily, without changing the grid support, which gets harder and costlier after solar exceeds about 12% of capacity.)

Solar photovoltaics are a mature technology now. The EROI (energy return on energy invested) is about 8-9, by this analysis. It could be worse, or even better, if you changed some of the costs. (This does include mining costs and manufacturing costs, but excludes labor costs of installation, and integration into the grid or other usage structure. The costs of integration to use are massive. My assessment is that integration into the grid, or with battery banks, cuts the EROI by 2/3 or more. If you personally use solar to pump irrigation water when the sun shines you get full benefit.)

Small electric vehicles, costing $4,000-$5,000 are "big" in China, big enough to license now. That will narrow the market to big manufacturers who can comply with the regulations, and prices will rise. Regulations and complexity have long ago removed the cheap and practical new car from the US. (Europe, especially Amsterdam, like this kind of vehicle, too)

Uber admits that the self-driving cars it is testing in San Francisco don't understand bike lanes, and tend to do a "right hook", sharp turn across bike lanes, whether cyclists are there or not. Uber won't stop it's current self-driving-beta-testing, though... That would hurt corporate "sharing-econmy".

OUCH! California DMV forces Uber self-driving cars off the streets, revoking registrations. They ran red lights too. (How can we "share" now?  :-)

Uber keeps massively losing money. Can it ever turn a profit? 
"Prob'ly not", according to this analysis. (Good riddance to bad rubbish.)

Paul Craig Roberts: "Trump’s peaceful approach to Russia aligns him with oligarchs, whose wealth benefits from business deals with Russia, and puts Trump at odds with the military/security oligarchs, who benefit from the one trillion dollar annual military/security budget. The latter group have been in control since President Eisenhower warned us about them and can muster deep state forces against a Trump presidency."

The final and massive release of government documents and unredacted versions of prior releases is about to take place in 2017.
In 1991, Oliver Stone’s film “JFK” renewed public interest in a probable conspiracy surrounding the events leading to the November 22, 1963 assassination.
The massive surge in interest lead to the passage of the 1992 JFK Records Act, which gave the government 25 years to release all documents relating to what happened in Dealey Plaza on that day.

It was the US military, under Ashton Carter, which clearly sabotaged and destroyed negotiations between the President and Secretary of State, regarding foreign policy in Syria.
The US is now excluded from any meaningful negotiations regarding Syria, since becoming unreliable.
“Unfortunately we had divisions within our own ranks that made the implementation of that extremely hard to accomplish,” Kerry said. “But I believe in it, I think it can work, could have worked." 
It is clear that the responsible U.S. officer for the attack and its consequences is one Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian who had earlier publicly spoken out against a deal that his Commander in Chief had agreed to. He likely had cover from Defense Secretary Ash Carter.
With the attack on Deir Ezzor the Pentagon has:
  • enabled ISIS to win the siege in Deir Ezzor where 100,000+ civilians and soldiers are under threat of being brutally killed
  • cleared the grounds for the establishment of an ISIS ruled "Salafist principality" in east-Syria
  • deceived a European NATO ally and lost its active cooperation over Syria and Iraq
  • ruined Kerry's deal with Russia about a coordinated fight against UN designated terrorists in Syria
  • kicked the U.S. out of further international negotiations about Syria  
Ron Paul: "Power can oftentimes be an illusion, and in any case it doesn’t last forever. We can be sure that the example we set while we are the most powerful country will be followed by those who may one day take our place. The hypocrisy of our political leaders who say one thing and do another does not go unnoticed.
We should end that hypocrisy starting with Syria. That government, along with its allies, seems to be on track to take their country back from ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other terrorist groups. The only sensible Syria policy is for the US to stop trying to overthrow their government, to treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves.​"​

Colleen sends this Pepe Escobar piece. looking at who profits from the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey by a young Turkish police officer, recently suspected (who wasn't?) of being a Gulenist.​ It didn't really do anything good for anybody. It is not obstructing Turkish integration into Eurasia, or the meeting with Russia and Iran. Turkey has geopolitical advantage from tapping Eurasian trade, not obstructing it. US/NATO/Neocon/Saudi/Qatari pipeline plans are a bust. Syria has not been crushed and is resurgent. The Eurasian pipelines to transit Turkey are all backed by Russia, China, Iran and Syria.
"President Putin for his part made it very clear he wants to be informed on who “directed” the killer. That’s something that could be interpreted as subtle code for Russian intel already very much in the know.

Leaked Trump Transition Team Memo, which outlines military threats to the US/NATO, doesn't seem to include Russia. (FREAK-OUT!)

Accepting the Obvious

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Solstice Garden Rebirthing

Cultivators of Life,

Winter is the time to rebuild the garden in central Texas. 
I've gotten the beds revised, and with wider and more stable paths between the beds, to help me work the rest of the year. 
The 5 main bed and 3 small beds system is changing to 4 main beds, 2 half beds and 3 small beds. 
The 2 half beds are the summer sprawl beds for the watermelons and sweet potatoes, and will alternate years.
The melons and sweet potato vines make vast seas of green to cover the walkways in the summer. 
The lateral short bed, front right in the garden, is one of those. The other is hard to see at it's opposite corner.
I've deeply dug and amended the sweet potato bed, but the others just get some nice composted top dressing this winter.
Cabbages, collards, kale and broccoli are in the green bed, and mustard greens in the small bed. Sugar snap peas are not showing so well. Onions, salads and carrots are sprouting up in other rows. 
The summer garden stayed late this year. 
Jenny got this picture of me in the garden this morning as the sun rose enough to give us some light.
Since we are food-growing critters, our bodies and minds naturally engage much of life in the same terms as the seasonal cycle of life in a garden. 
I think all of the world has winter preparation to do, especially America.
Inline image 1

Vegetable Traffic Planner

Monday, December 19, 2016

Hibernate To Health

Beauty Sleepers,

Why do we weigh so much these days? People didn't use to be this obese. (I'm 50 pounds up from college.)
We didn't live healthier in the 1970s or 1960s. I remember. 
Eleni found this absolute gem article by Bill Sardi, on Lew Rockwell's site. 
Bill graduated in Journalism, and has been reporting a pretty good health-beat for a couple of decades, by the looks of it. 
We are so fat from screwed up sleep, and there is a cheap, simple remedy, which has been tested in a human clinical trial, and worked nicely. 
It may already be sitting around at your house. (I checked all the references. They all say what he says they say. Good journalism. You should still take 5000 units of vitamin-D per day, unless you are a surf-lifeguard or test with a normal level on Valentine's Day.)

"Toward a New World Order, Part 3": Trump is an anti-globalist phenomenon, odd a match as he may seem. Anti-globalism is as global as globalism (somehow unifying?)
One of the most primal driving forces in humans is the belief in a brighter future. What matters for the positive development of the human spirit is an expectation that next year will be better than the current one. If that belief is taken from them, they will most certainly force real change on the system as they feel there is little to lose. 

“Every debt collapse in history has had a combination of debt forgiveness and inflation. That is how debt problems are dealt with historically.”
What are the pathway options within a reset. How much of the parasitic rent-extraction on unserviceable debt can be cut out of a system in a crisis?
Who gets saved from death or slavery, and who takes big losses? Is there enough wealth to hold a system together, keep everybody fed and warm, and do the work of restructuring? Will a consensus actually form to follow that track? Big question.

The EIA end-of-year 2015 report is released today, with major revisions to proven reserve estimates, which imply massive write-downs. "Proved oil and gas reserves down 11.8 percent and 16.6 percent, respectively, from year-end 2014."

The Striking Audacity of the Coup in Process, Paul Craig Roberts
"Trump and his announced Secretary of State want the business deals that result from normal relations with Russia. The military/security oligarchs want the immense budgets and power that comes from positioning Russia as a dire threat. 
Whatever the outcome tomorrow and January 20th, the fight is ongoing."

Moon of Alabama also discusses the "Elite Coup" strategies against Trump.

The first "faithless elector" didn't become apparent until after lunch, and was sort of like the Wisconsin recount. "Muhammad Abdurrahman, a former Bernie Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention, attempted to vote for no candidate, according to The Associated Press's Kyle Potter. Abdurrahman's vote was declared invalid and an alternate elector was appointed, allowing the state to go ahead and deliver its 10 electoral votes for Hillary Clinton." 

More faithless electors change their "Clinton" votes, three for Colin Powell and one for Faith Spotted Eagle. Some other Democratic electors voted not-Clinton, too, but their votes were changed to Clinton votes to reflect the votes cast in their states.

As Texas electors vote, Donald Trump is elected 45th US President (despite a couple of Republican turncoats, which was expected).

Neocons Panic (a really dangerous thing for human life)
"What is taking place now is what always happens when the Neocons run into major trouble: they double down, again. And again. And again. That is one of the key characteristics of their psychological make-up: they cannot accept defeat or, even less so, that they were wrong, so each time reality catches up to their ideological delusions, they automatically double-down."  Thanks Eleni.

This analysis assumes business-as-usual, which I think is not going to be the case, but it is still well considered and informative:
In the first half of 2017, Trump is likely to achieve both détente with Russia and a new, better trade deal with China. If so, his pre-election stance, that the American establishment was failing the people, will have been amply proven. Trump will likely be riding high in the opinion polls.

Who Planned the Terrorist (insurgent, moderate rebel, mercenary, jihadi, takfiri, etc.) Operation in Palmyra? Thanks Eleni.
The unexpected militant attack on Palmyra on Dec. 10 was an unpleasant revelation for everyone who expected IS/Daesh to quickly succumb after its stinging defeat in Aleppo.  Around 5,000 terrorists overcame the resistance of smaller SAA contingent who were forced to withdraw toward the T4 airbase.  

Sabotage of East Aleppo Evacuation analysis from Moon of Alabama (update) Thanks Eleni.
It was forces backed by CIA and Turkey (and Saudis, Israel, Qatar, etc.) Evacuation seems to be starting up again, even though drivers were murdered.

Negotiations between Russia and Turkey, regarding the ongoing warfare in, and status of Syria, will proceed on schedule, despite the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey by 22 year old off-duty Turkish police officer, shouting "remember Aleppo". The shots in the back were at a photographic exhibition presenting Turkey as seen by Russians. The assassin was killed, of course. He had declared, "only death can take me now".
"Altıntaş, who managed to enter the gallery using a police ID, was wearing a suit and tie – a “police bodyguard uniform” — before drawing his pistol and shooting Karlov at least five times in the back." 

In a televized statement on state TV, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the "blackguard" assassination on Russia's ambassador to Turkey, who was killed by a gunman on Monday in what Russia dubbed a terrorist act, "is obviously a provocation aimed at disrupting the normalization of Russian-Turkish relations and the failure of the peace process in Syria." He added that "the answer to this can only be strengthening the fight against terror; bandits will feel it."

Cat sends this comprehensive update on Standing Rock from 12/16/16. It's very far from over.

Sleep of the Righteous