Thursday, January 17, 2019

Pick New Teams

Draft Choices,

Charles Hugh Smith looks at the change in Western political dynamics since 1968, when French workers and French students united in a strike, that came a hair short of revolution, and the government changed, in response. The students, and employed graduates of higher education, have since been split from actual workers, and unions have been co-opted at the top, by power elites. They are hip, and sensitive, and get paid more.
I don't see the yellow vest uprising as idealistically fueled; it's fueled by desperation and what Francis Fukuyama termed the working classes' "perception of invisibility" in a recent essay (Against Identity Politics (Foreign Affairs, Sept/Oct. 2018), a view echoed by French geographer / author Christophe Guilluy who said that "the French people are using the gilets jaunes to say we exist." ...
 One illustration of this cultural divide is that most modern, progressive social movements and protests are quickly endorsed by celebrities, actors, the media and the intellectuals. But none of them approve of the gilets jaunes. Their emergence has caused a kind of psychological shock to the cultural establishment. It is exactly the same shock that the British elites experienced with the Brexit vote and that they are still experiencing now, three years later."

This is USA Today, really, USA Today...
What’s happening in America is an echo of what’s happening in democracies around the world, and it’s not happening because of Trump.To understand events around the world today, one must think in terms of the class struggle.

"A New Cold War Has Begun"
In June 2005, I published a cover story in the Atlantic, “How We Would Fight China.” I wrote that, “The American military contest with China … will define the twenty-first century. And China will be a more formidable adversary than Russia ever was.” I went on to explain that the wars of the future would be naval, with all of their abstract battle systems, even though dirty counterinsurgency fights were all the rage 14 years ago.
That future has arrived, and it is nothing less than a new cold war: The constant, interminable Chinese computer hacks of American warships’ maintenance records, Pentagon personnel records, and so forth constitute war by other means. This situation will last decades and will only get worse, whatever this or that trade deal is struck between smiling Chinese and American presidents in a photo-op that sends financial markets momentarily skyward. The new cold war is permanent because of a host of factors that generals and strategists understand but that many, especially those in the business and financial community who populate Davos, still prefer to deny.

​Moon of Alabama has Syria update:​
Turkey moved enough troops to its border to launch an invasion but the risk for its economy is high. There are local elections in March and the Turkish President Erdogan does not want to upset them by jumping into a quagmire. Erdogan will soon visit Russia again and discuss the issue with President Putin. Most likely Erdogan will be convinced that Syrian government control over the Kurdish areas, and Russian guarantees for a mostly quiet border, are a better solution than a costly Turkish occupation of a hostile population.
Earlier today a suicide bomber killed 4 U.S. soldiers and wounded at least three in an attack in Manbij city (video). A number of YPK/PKK fighters and bystanders were also killed or wounded. The incident happened in front of a restaurant where the U.S. troops presumably were meeting someone.​..
The Islamic State took credit through its regular outlets and even named the suicide bomber.
The killed and wounded U.S. troops were evacuated in a Sikorsky S-92 helicopter. The S-92 is not flown by U.S., French or British forces in Syria. The armed helicopter is likely owned and operated​ ​by a private military company hired by the U.S. military for MedEvac services. This again proves that official U.S. numbers of 2,000 soldiers in northeast Syria do not paint the full picture. There are surely several thousands more, including more than 1,000 French troops, 200 British SAS and several hundreds if not thousands of U.S. contractors who are also involved in combat missions​...
Those U.S. politicians who want to continue the U.S. occupation in Syria will use the Manbij incident to argue for an unlimited U.S. stay. ISIS would have won. Those who, like Trump, want the U.S. out will use the incident to argue for an urgent retreat from the area.
Trump is likely to win that argument.

Syria’s government has never stopped dialogue with the Kurds who are full-fledged citizens of the country and an integral part of the nation, Syrian Assistant Foreign and Expatriates Minister Ayman Sousan said on Sunday.
He said that contacts with the Kurds have intensified in the recent time "in the face of aggressive and expansionist threats from Turkey."
"The current situation requires consolidation of all Syrians to defend national sovereignty. That is why dialogue with the Kurds is necessary and useful," he stressed, adding that the Kurdish statements are positive concerning their support to Syria’s unity.

​Israel continues military attacks against Syria, careful to stand off and avoid Israeli pilots getting shot down. Israel states that this will continue.

This is the kind of political negotiation that is holding up the federal budget, not the wall. Elite power factions are poised to go into full legal battle mode against each other. So far it a been one-sided against the Trump side, with little ammunition, but lots of soldiers. The Trump side has lots of ammunition...
In what Judicial Watch describes as a "major victory for accountability," a federal judge ruled Tuesday that former national security adviser Susan Rice and former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes must answer written questions about the State Department's response to the deadly 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya, as part of an ongoing legal battle over whether Hillary Clinton sought to deliberately evade public record laws by using a private email server while secretary of state.  As Fox News' Samuel Chamberlain reports, the judge's order amounts to approval of a discovery plan he ordered last month. In that ruling, Lamberth wrote that Clinton's use of a private email account was "one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency" and said the response of the State and Justice Departments "smacks of outrageous misconduct."​  ​Judicial Watch announced last night that United States District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled that discovery can begin in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides will now be deposed under oath. Senior officials - including Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, Jacob Sullivan, and FBI official E.W. Priestap - will now have to answer Judicial Watch’s written questions under oath.

The Justice Department was fully aware that the notorious Steele Dossier was connected to Hillary Clinton and might be biased - a crucial detail which was omitted just weeks later from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant used to spy on the Trump campaign, reports John Solomon of The Hill.   According to Solomon's sources - which have proven impeccable, the former #4 Department of Justice (DOJ) official, Bruce Ohr - who had extensive contact with Steele, briefed "both senior FBI and DOJ officials in summer 2016 about Christopher Steele's Russia dossier, explicitly cautioning that the British intelligence operative's work was opposition research connected to Hillary Clinton's campaign and might be biased."
Ohr’s activities, chronicled in handwritten notes and congressional testimony I gleaned from sources, provide the most damning evidence to date that FBI and DOJ officials may have misled federal judges in October 2016 in their zeal to obtain the warrant targeting Trump adviser Carter Page just weeks before Election Day. -The Hill

​The New York Times posts a piece by a couple of rookies, taking the position that US Presidents can't talk to Russians, because it is against "our" foreign policy. They leave out mention of all the presidents in my lifetime who did, and got good results. David Stockman has the story.
At the end of the day, there is no other way to say it. The Goldman/Schmidt/Fandos types of the present era are not journalists at all; they are lazy, intellectually corrupted, mendacious stenographers of Imperial Washington's oppressive group think.​..
 In the old days, journalists often had the integrity and summoned the courage to speak truth to power. By contrast, the trio of sanctimonious brats pictured above were too lazy, stupid or mendacious to even connect the dots. That is, this ballyhooed counter-intelligence investigation was launched the very next day after Comey was fired by two of the most compromised people in the entire Obama Administration posse of anti-Trump election meddlers--if not criminals—led by former CIA director John Brennan.

This essay looks at the migration of neocons to the left, the not-Trump side, which is now the pro-war-left. Congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard is in a position without political support outside of her home state, Hawaii. This American Conservative article is actually the most even handed reporting I've found.
In the meantime, as the hawks have migrated to the Left, the doves have migrated to the Right. According to that same Politico/Morning Consult poll, 73 percent of Republicans support getting out of Syria: that’s a whopping 44 points more than the Democrats. And 76 percent of Republicans endorse reducing our footprint in Afghanistan.​..
  In the meantime, Gabbard is undeniably progressive on most issues. For instance, in 2017, long before Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal was a thing, Gabbard introduced legislation to eliminate fossil fuels by 2035.
In these times, of course, nobody’s crystal ball is working well. And yet it does seem fair to say this much: if Gabbard could somehow win the 2020 Democratic nomination, she’d likely be formidable in the November election. That is, she’s a woman, she’s “diverse”—she was the first Hindu elected to Congress—and she’s a combat veteran with a no-nonsense attitude toward terrorism. And yes, she’s pro-peace. These days, among Americans overall, that’s a winning hand.

​Rather than picking sides on these "fightin' words", look at the fact that the US Constitution has been effectively annulled and bypassed, allowing the running of the "Empire" which O'Rourke describes.​ 
 O’Rourke boomeranged between a bright-eyed hope that the United States will soon dramatically change its approach to a whole host of issues and a dismal suspicion that the country is now incapable of implementing sweeping change.
When asked which it is, O’Rourke paused.
“I’m hesitant to answer it because I really feel like it deserves its due, and I don’t want to give you a — actually, just selfishly, I don’t want a sound bite of it reported, but, yeah, I think that’s the question of the moment: Does this still work?” O’Rourke said. “Can an empire like ours with military presence in over 170 countries around the globe, with trading relationships…and security agreements in every continent, can it still be managed by the same principles that were set down 230-plus years ago?”

​The already faded British empire has not got a clear course on Brexit yet. EU countries have invested in their no-deal contingencies, and it is expensive, and they will expect to extract the costs from the UK...

With (almost) 10 weeks until the end of March, and no-confidence in the worse-than-nothing deal Theresa May negotiated with the EU, it seems that the 2 real options are: 1) Indefinite delay of Brexit, and 2) No-Deal crash-out Brexit. There is gridlock in London. No way out for Theresa May.
Jeremy Corbyn has said he will not hold talks with Theresa May until the prime minister agrees to remove the threat of a no-deal Brexit, ruling out any meeting with the prime minister in the immediate aftermath of the no-confidence vote.
Responding to May’s offer of swift talks to break the Brexit impasse, the Labour leader told MPs that before he would entertain “positive discussions about the way forward” she had to agree to his precondition.
“The government must remove clearly once and for all the catastrophe of a no-deal exit from the European Union and all the chaos that would result from that,” Corbyn said minutes after the opposition party was defeated in the confidence vote.
Minutes after the exchanges in the Commons, with Downing Street refusing to take no deal off the table, Corbyn’s spokesman said that as things stood, the Labour leader would not take up May’s offer of an evening Brexit meeting.

​California's largest Utility just filed for Bankruptcy, Hello Climate Change!​ 
(It seems that PG&Es lines got overheated by excessive electrical demand overloading the lines, and they caught a lot of forests on fire, that had gotten too overgrown in recent years, since nobody could agree on how to prevent that.)

​The WHO investigation found glyphosate to be a dangerous carcinogen. 
The EU study found that it was just fine. It turns out that they used different sources.​ 
The EU investigators just copied and pasted some papers they got from Monsanto.
The study found plagiarism in 50.1% of the chapters assessing published studies on health risks – including whole paragraphs and entire pages of text.
The European Food Safety Authority (Efsa), based its recommendation that glyphosate was safe for public use on the BfR’s assessment.

​No birds, because no bugs. Why worry?
“We knew that something was amiss in the first couple days,” said Brad Lister. “We were driving into the forest and at the same time both Andres and I said: ‘Where are all the birds?’ There was nothing.”
His return to the Luquillo rainforest in Puerto Rico after 35 years was to reveal an appalling discovery. The insect population that once provided plentiful food for birds throughout the mountainous national park had collapsed. On the ground, 98% had gone. Up in the leafy canopy, 80% had vanished.

​This is actually a big deal, this many humans coordinating in action, and for good, not destruction. Thanks Cat.
On Jan. 1, 5.5 million women in the Indian state of Kerala (population 35 million) built a 386-mile wall with their bodies. They stood from one end to the other of this long state in southwestern India. The women gathered at 4 p.m. and took a vow to defend the renaissance traditions of their state and to work towards women’s empowerment.​.. 5.5 million women in Kerala — one in three women in the state — took to the streets to champion the emancipation of women. What brought them to join the Women’s Wall was that the Left Democratic Front government took a clear position, a principled position: that menstruation should not be used as a penalty against women’s full participation in society. Clarity defines the struggle. It is a lesson worth learning around the world.


No comments:

Post a Comment