Thursday, February 28, 2019

Looking For A Friend

Falling Out,

Can't get something for nothing. Kim Jong Un saw what happened to Gaddafi.
President Trump had apparently hoped that the pomp and circumstance of another historic summit would soften Kim Jong Un up. But despite all the talk about North Korea being "ready to denuclearize" and both leaders hyping up the possibility that a deal would be struck, alas, no deal was forthcoming, and Trump is now headed back to Washington empty handed.
Talks between the two world leaders broke down Thursday afternoon as President Trump abruptly walked away from the table and canceled a planned lunch and signing ceremony (it's still not clear what the two leaders had hoped to sign, though scheduling the ceremony before a deal had been struck did seem risky). With the talks in disarray, Trump moved up a news conference where he and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took questions from the press.
Trump told reporters that the talks collapsed after the North refused to yield from its demand that the US completely remove all of the U.S.-led international sanctions - including the sanctions approved by the UN security council -  in exchange for the shuttering of the North's Yongbyon nuclear facility. Trump and Pompeo refused to make a deal without the North committing to giving up its secretive nuclear facilities outside Yongbyon, as well as its missile and warheads.
According to Trump, the talks ended amicably enough, with a commitment to keep the talks alive, and Kim also promised that he would not resume nuclear and missile tests - the basis for the detente between the two countries - and Trump said he would take Kim at his word

​Moon of Alabama:
The U.S. demanded the destruction of Yongbyon and of other complexes before any change in the sanction regime. North Korea insisted on following the sequencingthat was agreed upon during the first summit. The joint statement by the two leaders signed in June 2018 defined four clearly sequenced steps:
President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:
The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
The United States and DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula
The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.
Eight month later new relations in form of the opening of embassies or a lifting of sanctions were not established. No peace treaty was signed. North Korea destroyed nuclear testing tunnels and a missile test stand. Some POW/MIA remains have been repatriated. But the U.S. side has taken no steps that could be seen as fulfilling its commitments.
Since the first summit Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. media have done their best to ignore the sequencing. North Korea on the other side has insisted on it again and again. It made absolutely clear that it would not budge on the issue. In his New Year speech the chairman emphasized:
If the US responds to our proactive, prior efforts with trustworthy measures and corresponding practical actions, bilateral relations will develop wonderfully at a fast pace through the process of taking more definite and epochal measures.
We have no intention to be obsessed with and keep up the unsavoury past relationship between the two countries, but are ready to fix it as early as possible and work to forge a new relationship in line with the aspirations of the two peoples and the requirements of the developing times.
I am ready to meet the US president again anytime, and will make efforts to obtain without fail results which can be welcomed by the international community.
But if the United States does not keep the promise it made in the eyes of the world, and out of miscalculation of our people’s patience, it attempts to unilaterally enforce something upon us and persists in imposing sanctions and pressure against our Republic, we may be compelled to find a new way for defending the sovereignty of the country and the supreme interests of the state and for achieving peace and stability of the Korean peninsula.
The "corresponding measures" the U.S. promised will have to come first before North Korea gives up more of its nuclear infrastructure.

W​hoa! This is recent history of SOUTH KOREA.
Nobody knows how many innocent Koreans were accused as “Reds” and killed, imprisoned and tortured by the conservative governments. But several millions could have been the victimUnder the government of Rhee Syngnman, more than 200,000 innocent Koreans were killed in the areas of Jeju, Yosu and Soonchon. The government accused these poor victims for being “communists”, “Reds”, “PPal- gaing-ie” Among the victims were children and old people who had nothing to do with ideology.
General Chun Doo-hwan had his share of killing the people. In 18th of May, 1980, the citizens of Gwang-ju organized a street demonstration to protest the Chun’s dictatorship. Chun mobilized highly trained air-born battalion and killed at least 1,000 citizens with tanks and helicopters. A great number of citizens were wounded. Moreover, Chun set up, during his presidency (1980-1987), a massive killing field in the Sancheong Education School; about 100,000 young people were massacred for not supporting Chun’s government policies and some other dubious reasons.
The true reason behind these massacres was to silence the voice of opposition against the corruption and the violation of human rights committed by the conservatives. These people were falsely condemned as “Reds” or “being friendly with North Korea” (Chin-book). In other words, the existence of North-South tension provided a good reason to oppress the people.

Finian Cunningham on this weekend's failed Venezuelan false-flag border incident and the Imperial need to get a puppet government installed there right away. Getting UN approval for bloody war would help. What's the best false-flag operation to stage next?
The desperation for regime change in Venezuela by Washington has only become more frenzied as its machinations appear to be coming unstuck.
Therefore, it can be anticipated, Washington needs a game-changing event – badly – in order to shift its lackey Lima Group, the EU and the United N
ations to accepting its agenda for a military option.​..
Voice of America quotes Dany Bahar, a Venezuela expert at the DC think-tank the Brookings Institution, as saying that the next steps for Washington in its pressure campaign on the “Maduro regime” is “to try to get the United Nations on board, which has not happened yet.”
Ominously, the Lima Group has issued a statement claiming to have credible evidence that Juan Guaido’s life is seriously threatened by Venezuelan state securityPence also warned that Maduro would be held responsible for Guaido and his family’s safety. Last month, Guaido made claims that his wife’s family was menaced by state agents who allegedly visited their home.​..
As easily as they are lionized, US puppets can be just as easily disposed of. Guaido playing the dirty game of regime change with the most criminal organization in the world – the US government – is a very dangerous game. He’d better watch his back.  

Moon of Alabama updates the India-Pakistan border war around Kashmir. Modi's corrupt fighter-jet kickback scheme may bite him hard.
On February 14 a suicide car bomb hit a police convoy in Pulwama in the Indian controlled part of Kashmir. The suicide bomber was a local man. The Pakistan based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility and uploaded a video of the attacker.
General elections in India are due in May and the Hindu-fascist Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is under pressure. The incident in Kashmir led to violence of Modi followers against Kashmiri people. Pakistan denied any involvement in the incident and called for a joint investigation.
After the suicide attack Modi immediately threatened to retaliate against Pakistan. He did so yesterday. In an elaborate operation Indian fighter jets released stand-off weapons, purchased from Israel, against an alleged JeM training camp near Balakot. India made explicit that it hit a "non-military" target...
Two rather antique Indian MIG-21 jets scrambled to chase the Pakistani fighter jets away. They were lured into the Pakistan controlled air space and both were shot down. Pakistan published pictures of one of the downed jets and claimed that the other one fell into an Indian controlled area. An Indian pilot ejected from his plane and was captured by Pakistani troops who had trouble (vid) to keep the locals from lynching him. The captured pilot was blindfolded and interrogated (vid). He identified as Wing Commander Abhi Nandan, Service No: 27981, and did not respond to further questions. His father is said to be a retried Air Marshal of the Indian air force. The pilot now seems to be fine (vid). He thanked the Pakistani military for rescuing him from the mob​..​.  
That the Indian air force uses the antique MIG-21, which first flew in 1956, against state of the art Pakistani-Chinese F-17 again opens questions about Modi's corrupt deal to buy Rafale jets from France. As we discussed last September. 

​Germany is a critical Imperial power center in Europe. Thanks Eleni.
More than four-fifths of the respondents (84.6 percent) rate the German-American relationship as negative or very negative. Only 10.4 percent find it very positive or rather positive. A clear majority (57.6 percent) argues for a greater distance between Germany and the United States. Only 13.1 percent want a closer approach; 26 percent want to keep the current arrangement. …
Almost half of respondents (42.3 percent) consider China a better partner for Germany than the US. Conversely, only 23.1 percent believe that the US is a more reliable partner than China. …
[Concerning Germany’s current foreign policies,] only 18.6 percent see a positive impact, 34 percent a negative. …Asked about the currently most dangerous global trouble spots, only 1.9 percent of the respondents named the expansion of the Russian zone of influence. The growing influence of China is seen by 2.2 percent as the biggest threat. …

​ Russia’s state-run energy major Gazprom said its share of sales of natural gas in the European Union has increased to 36.7 percent last year, rising over two percent against 34.2 percent in 2017.
“In 2018, according to preliminary data, the share of gas supplies to the EU countries and Turkey has reached an all-time high and totaled 36.7 percent,” the director general of Gazprom Export Elena Burmistrova said at Gazprom’s Investor Day event, taking place in Singapore.

​Charles Hugh Smith looks at housing (bubble) price trends in the US.
Housing Bubble #1 wasn't allowed to fully retrace the bubble, as the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to near-zero in 2009 and bought $1+ trillion in sketchy mortgage-backed securities (MBS), essentially turning America's mortgage market into a branch of the central bank and federal agency guarantors of mortgages (Fannie and Freddie, VA, FHA).
These unprecedented measures stopped the bubble decline by instantly making millions of people who previously could not qualify for a privately originated mortgage qualified buyers. This vast expansion of the pool of buyers (expanded by a flood of buyers from China and other hot-money locales) drove sales and prices higher for six years (2012-2018).
As noted on the chart below, this suggests the bubble burst will likely run from 2019-2025, give or take a few quarters.

Quanta Magazine, writing about a new Nature Geoscience study on warming and clouds, described the temperature spike known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, when a sharp increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide led to an even sharper increase in temperature—along with “mass extinctions” of ocean life, immense dislocations of land animals, and “flash floods and protracted droughts.” How did the temperature jump out of normal boundaries into a lethal range? 
Clouds currently cover about two-thirds of the planet at any moment. But computer simulations of clouds have begun to suggest that as the Earth warms, clouds become scarcer. With fewer white surfaces reflecting sunlight back to space, the Earth gets even warmer, leading to more cloud loss. This feedback loop causes warming to spiral out of control.
In computer simulations, researchers found that at 1,200 parts per million of carbon dioxide, the level at which temperatures would be expected to be 4 degrees Celsius above the historical baseline, the atmosphere would become too warm and too turbulent to allow sheets of stratocumulus clouds to form. If the clouds fell apart, the extra sunlight could bring on an extra 8 degrees of warming—for a total increase of 12 degrees Celsius, or more than 21 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Like the methane-spilling permafrost or the fracturing Antarctic ice sheet, the clouds can’t come back if they’re broken; the runaway heating effect would linger even after carbon dioxide levels dropped​..
One climate scientist in the Quanta story optimistically predicted that, as solar energy becomes cheaper than fossil fuels, “there will be an exponential transformation of entire industries.” Another, however, “noted that possible economic collapse caused by nearer-term effects of climate change might also curtail carbon emissions before the stratocumulus tipping point is reached.”

​What should we make our houses from? (No, I don't think a cement tax will save us.)
Because of the heat needed to decompose rock and the natural chemical processes involved in making cement, every tonne made releases one tonne of C02, the main greenhouse warming gas.
It also magnifies the extreme weather it shelters us from. Taking in all stages of production, concrete is said to be responsible for 4-8% of the world’s CO2. Among materials, only coal, oil and gas are a greater source of greenhouse gases. Half of concrete’s CO2 emissions are created during the manufacture of clinker, the most-energy intensive part of the cement-making process.
But other environmental impacts are far less well understood. Concrete is a thirsty behemoth, sucking up almost a 10th of the world’s industrial water use. This often strains supplies for drinking and irrigation, because 75% of this consumption is in drought and water-stressed regions. In cities, concrete also adds to the heat-island effect by absorbing the warmth of the sun and trapping gases from car exhausts and air-conditioner units – though it is, at least, better than darker asphalt.

​Monsanto got a favorable Federal Judge. I wonder how...
Monsanto is facing its first federal trial over allegations that its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer, but a US judge has blocked attorneys from discussing the corporation’s alleged manipulation of science.
​I​n an extraordinary move in a packed San Francisco courtroom on Monday, US judge Vince Chhabria threatened to sanction and “shut down” a cancer patient’s attorney for violating his ban on talking about Monsanto’s influence on government regulators and cancer research.
“You’ve completely disregarded the limitations that were set upon you,” the visibly angry judge said to attorney Aimee Wagstaff, threatening to prevent her from continuing. “If you cross the line one more time … your opening statement will be over … If I see a single inappropriate thing on those slides, I’m shutting you down.”

​It's really just a little bit, a "trace". What was that one beer that didn't have any?
A new study has shown that traces of a commonly-used and possibly cancerous weed killer can be found in the majority of wine and beer.
Researches tested five wines and 15 beers from the US, Asia and Europe for traces of pesticide glyphosate.
Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Roundup, a common weed killermanufactured by Monsanto.
The research found that of the 20 samples, 19 (95 per cent) contained particles of the chemical, including products labelled as organic.

​Still Looking​

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