Wednesday, July 31, 2019

"Left Wing Trump"

Tired of Reruns,
​ You missed my post last evening, just before the Democratic debate started, in which I made some predictions. I know you missed it. Filter algorithms completely blocked it. Nobody got it, unless they looked at the blog. Bloggy says nobody looked. 
I opined that Warren and Sanders would not attack each other, as some were predicting, and that Marianne Williamson would be the big "left-wing-Trump" disruptor. 
Here is the post from last night, mainly about Marianne Williamson.​

​ ​I’m not so much advocating for Marianne Williamson’s candidacy, and I know I don’t matter, but I observe that she is surfing the Zeitgeeist and historical trend-waves and she’s a righteous surfer.
If you look at her, she knows the waters intimately and comfortably, and is on a third page, her own page not the Sanders/Warren page, nor the Bush/Clinton/Bush/Obama page that the other candidates seem to be wandering upon.
Marianne Williamson got the most Google searches in 49 states, not Wyoming.

Hollywood Reporter also notes that, but notes that Elizabeth Warren led in tweet activity. Hollywood Reporter used the goofiest screenshot of Williamson they could get, worth a thousand words as to their opinion. Register that, please.

Colbert likes Sanders and Warren, who were righteous, and had each other’s backs, Sanders as left-elder-statesman and Warren as inadequately-chained-junkyard-dog-attacking-thieves.
Stephen Colbert went after those long-shot candidates at the edges of the stage for inadvertently helping President Trump and Republicans make the case against the frontrunners who actually have a shot at winning the Democratic presidential nomination for 2020.
“It’s hard to sum up what happened tonight,” the Late Show host began. “But most of it was a bunch of guys with no chance to win the Democratic nomination yelling Republican talking points at the people who can. It was like watching the seven dwarves offering Snow White a poison apple.”

The Guardian/US likes the sanders/Warren chained-together fight team, but fails to notice Williamson.

​Caitlin Johnstone:
​ Night one of the CNN Democratic debates has come and gone, and if you missed it you didn’t miss much. Basically the entire thing can be summed up as Jake Tapper asking the progressives on stage, “So explain why Americans would vote for your policies when we here at CNN have been telling them for years that they’re not allowed to support those policies?” Then for balance they ask one of the boring centrist candidates to explain why Bernie Sanders is crazy. Repeat for two and a half hours...
 This debate also saw Montana Governor Steve Bullock extolling the merits of keeping a nuclear first strike policy on the table for the United States. This man sincerely argued that it is good and right for the United States to be prepared to use nuclear weapons even when not attacked with nuclear force, and for other nuclear-armed nations to see this and know this. This is clearly an omnicidal, psychopathic position which threatens every organism on our planet, but today everyone’s talking about Marianne Williamson and energy crystals.
 These people are freaks. If someone came into our world from a parallel universe where humanity is healthy, the least of their concerns on that stage would be the lady talking about love and slavery reparations.
If people could really see what’s happening in their nation and their world with fresh eyes, they’d scream in horror. But that’s the exact status quo that all these sane, normal, serious politicians have dedicated their lives to upholding. One where people are deliberately kept poor by a plutocratic class which understands that money is power and power is relative. One where the most powerful military force in history circles the globe and wages endless wars upon disobedient populations. One where we rip apart the flesh of our planet and dump poison into our air and our water in facilitation of a new mass extinction event which will someday claim our own species if not reversed. One where we point weapons at each other that can wipe out cities, cover the earth’s surface in nuclear radiation, and fill the sky with black soot blocking out the sun for decades, and we play with escalations toward the deployment of such weapons like it’s a game.
 The only reason any of this seems normal to anyone is because the propagandists have normalized it. The only reason the politicians who help support this system seem normal to anyone is because the propagandists have normalized them. 

If I may add my assessment (yeah, I just did…) the main thing I looked for was comfort zone.
Sanders was comfortable, fully assured as elder-statesman-lefty.
Elizabeth Warren was as itching to eat-the-livers-of-global-capitalist-lackeys as anybody I have ever seen. She got a big smile on her face when they started talking, then relished the carnage of eating their flesh alive. (graphic?)
Buttigieg did better than I expected.
Others did not. They were either stressed out and showing it, on better drugs than you should take every day, or living in the Reagan era.
Williamson clearly enjoyed what she was doing, and never ​hesitated​ for a moment to clearly elucidate her vision, nor did she blather ​or​ run over.
She was the most-not-like-the-others, a BETTER disruptor than Trump, in my humble(ish) opinion.

​The debate tonight is supposed to be between Biden and Harris, but Tulsi Gabbard (suing Google for political-speech-blocking) is in it and Biden is long dead, a zombie. 
Kamala Harris is the cut-your-beating-heart-out-before-you-finish-your-sentence debater, but Gabbard was an idealist who went to war in Iraq after 9/11, and saw reality, and knows that truth deeply and completely. I'd like for Harris to say "Assad apologist"​ and see Tulsi shine the coronal mass ejection of truth on the Indian-Jamaican-American-elite-neoliberal-prosecutor for a moment.

This could be FUN!

Making Popcorn

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Democrats Bust Loose

Ready for a Change,

I don't have much for you. I think Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders respect each other and will be respectful, not divisive. Buttigieg may try to come up with something new. He's pretty much a Ken Doll. Beto is an expired Ken Doll. Marianne Williamson is described in the second story as a potential left-wing Trump. I like that. I looked at about 15 minutes of her candidacy announcement. Not bad at all, but I don't have a lot of time for videos. Anyway, I'm rooting for Williamson, who has a lot of snap in front of crowds, and has had the ability to impress and mentor a lot of rich, smart people, to do the Trump-of-Love thing and shake up the proceedings tonight.

The line-up"

Closer zoom on Williamson and Love candidacy. 

Caitlin Johnstone took a closer look at Williamson, since anybody who gets that much snide press must be worth hearing out.

Here is her announcement of candidacy for the presidency, all 43 minutes, of which the first 15 is ok by me,

Love Child

Monday, July 29, 2019

Cross Purposes

Crediting Actors,

At the Center of U.S. Iran policies is an Israel-born Treasury official named Sigal Mandelker. The Atlantic writes that her ‘hand is on the lever’ of crippling economic sanctions meant to force Iran’s ‘capitulation or demise’… meanwhile the Treasury Department refuses to divulge whether Mandelker is still an Israeli citizen… (Iran has long been in Israeli crosshairs)  By Alison Weir   (Thanks Cat. Totally overt...)

History is weird. Oliver Cromwell was an "end days" religious zealot, and then...
Here is a summary of 4 centuries of history of Christian sects jockeying for position for seats to the end of the world. 
Thanks Eleni.

 Reports that the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) is seeking legislation that will expand government ability to declare it a crime to reveal the identities of undercover intelligence agents will inevitably lead to major abuse when some clever bureaucrat realizes that the new rule can also be used to hide people and cover up malfeasance.
A law to protect intelligence officers already exists. It was passed in 1982 and is referred to as the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (I.I.P.A.). It criminalizes the naming of any C.I.A. officer under cover who has served overseas in the past five years. The new legislation would make the ban on exposure perpetual and would also include Agency sources or agents whose work is classified as well as actual C.I.A. staff employees who exclusively or predominantly work in the United States rather than overseas...
Kiriakou also explains how the “…implementation of this law is a joke. The C.I.A. doesn’t care when an operative’s identity is revealed — unless they don’t like the politics of the person making the revelation. If they cared, half of the C.I.A. leadership would be in prison. What they do care about, though, is protecting those employees who commit crimes at the behest of the White House or the C.I.A. leadership.” He goes on to describe how some of those involved in the Agency torture program were placed under cover precisely for that reason, to protect them from prosecution for war crimes...
The new legislation is an intelligence agency dream, a get out of jail card that has no expiry date. And if one wants to know how dangerous it is, consider for a moment that if it turns out that serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was indeed a C.I.A. covert source, which is quite possible, he would be covered and would be able to walk away free on procedural grounds. 
Thanks Eleni

Ron Paul (Story by Helen of DesTroy) :
"I think we should never use the word 'Russiagate' again. I think we ought to use the 'FBIgate' because there was a conspiracy to try to frame Trump."

Tom Luongo:
 The true third rail of U.S. politics is empire. Any candidate that is publicly against the empire is the enemy of not only the state, it’s quislings in the media, the corporations who profit from it and the party machines of both the GOP and the DNC.
That is Gabbard’s crime. And it’s the only crime that matters.
For that crime Google acted to blunt interest in her campaign in the critical hours after the first democratic debate. So, Gabbard, rightly, sued them.
The two main points of her lawsuit are: 1) suspending her Google Ad account for six hours while search traffic for her was spiking and 2) Gmail disproportionately junked her campaign emails.
This represents an intervention into her ability to speak to voters and, as such, is a violation of not only her First Amendment rights but also, more critically, campaign finance law.

Inverting The Time Value Of Money Business Model , Eleni sent this piece, which I like for the elegance of the analysis it presents. By this analysis, the drop in interest rates, such as home mortgage rates, has not actually lowered effective interest rates, considered from production costs, proceeding to total payments, but raised them to the +10% range, moved their payoff way forward in time, eliminating bank risk, and setting the stage for the mess to blow up in the future, while getting something like a taxpayer bailout or buyout to save the system. The key was the tripling of assessed "value" while cutting rates on that assessment, then "taking profits" right away. "Subprime" systemic fraud. Thanks Eleni.

Erdogan had a long overt and covert relationship with Israel, which was already souring some before that coup attempt, which Russia saved him from at the last moment. He's generally open to negotiation, though, if he wants something, and he always does.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed a recent wave of terror and bloodshed waged by Israel against the Palestinians, saying Ankara will oppose anyone who supports the Tel Aviv regime.
“Whoever is on the side of Israel, let everyone know that we are against them,” said Erdogan while addressing senior provincial officials from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara on Saturday.
The remarks came amid a new wave of Israeli crackdown in the occupied Palestinian territories as regime forces continue with demolition of the Palestinian houses in occupied areas in the West Bank and in the Jerusalem al-Quds.

Siri ‘regularly’ records sex encounters, sends ‘countless’ private moments to Apple contractors   Thanks again, Helen.
 It is illegal, under federal law, to possess the confidential medical information Apple obtains this way. 
That opens Apple to lawsuits if they don't destroy it upon recognition.

Limey expat. in France, long time journalist, John Ward,  demoted to the blogosphere for his honesty, has a good take on nuevo UK Prime Minister BoJo. "The Slog" has wit, as usual, and also a lot of insight. (John is not so different in his conclusions from Ambrose Evans Pritchard, in a piece, paywalled, that somebody slipped me for free. Good company, that.)
 Few people have a lower estimation than me when it comes to the ethics, innate corruption and auto-mendacity of Boris Johnson. But when you need a new weapon to terrorise the overwhelming forces of even more depraved enemies, the bastard will always make for a better and bigger blast. I discern signs in the behaviour of the Boris Cabinet (and the tone of Ms Symonds’ spin on its behalf) that the Prime Minister’s gamble is even more audacious – and far more cunning – than most commentators realise.  
Reading Tea Leaves

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Pedophile Economics

Outside The Loop,

I've been reading for the last few years that Hollywood pedophiles have an economic barter system that trades in children. 
Those folks fly places, New York, Florida, Pedo-Island, planet Earth.
The big secret in the Epstein case is where the money came from. Now we see one source.
Accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's Gratitude America Ltd. foundation somehow kept getting stock allocations in more than 40 underwritten offerings by Morgan Stanley, according to Barron's.  
"Gratitude America" is a cute name for this kind of arrangement, isn't it? 
There are spots in the flow of money that are sure things. Who gets the sure things? Why?

Lawyer to indicted power-elites, such as former friend, Jeffrey Epstein, Alan Dershowitz, has clearly and officially changed sides. 
Here is an excerpt from his essay advocating elimination of the office of special counsel. 
Dershowitz doesn't want to lose this time. He "has skin in this game".
​ ​The night before Mueller's testimony, I was asked on a TV show whether it was a Hail Mary pass thrown by the Democrats. I predicted that it would be an intercepted pass. I was right. Even many Democratic stalwarts viewed the Mueller testimony as harmful to their cause. As a liberal Democrat, I share that view and it doesn't please me. But as a patriotic American, I care far more about the implications of the Mueller testimony for all Americans and for the rule of law.  

​Helen of DesTroy has this article about Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard suing Google. 
Google can't explain why it took her campaign website offline for a few hours when searches for her name were peaking during the first Democratic debate. 
The searches took people to the many news stories about Gabbard being an "Aassad apologist" and "Russian puppet", instead. Good enough.​

Politics and Algorithms, ilargi, The Automatic Earth  
Yeah, "Take Back Control", right. (heh, heh, heh...)
The next sequences show Cummings outlining the core strategy on a whiteboard of narrow disciplined messaging delivered via algorithmic database-driven micro-targeting tools.  

 From Vineyard of the Saker, sad... Israel is the anti-Aloha.
What Tulsi Gabbard’s caving in to the Israel Lobby really shows
A very wise friend of mine wrote this about why Gabbard had to cave in:
​ I told you she is a single issue politician. It’s about wars without end. Everything else is Realpolitik and nothing is more real than Zionists controlling the politics and legislation in Washington.  She would have no hope of surviving the next round of laws. They are going to make anything “anti-Israel” equal “anti-Semitic” and that will be a crime like it is in France. She has high ideals on only a single issue. It’s a great issue. But you cannot count on a politician to be a noble warrior. Forget anyone doing the right thing all the time.  She shines bright on one issue. If she was really wise or clever, she would have abstained. So, she is neither.

 Pepe Escobar
 All bets are off in the geopolitical insanity stakes when we have the President of the United States (POTUS) glibly announcing he could launch a nuclear first strike to end the war in Afghanistan and wipe it “off the face of the earth” in one week. But he’d rather not, so he doesn’t have to kill 10 million people.
 Apart from the fact that not even a nuclear strike would subdue the legendary fighting spirit of Afghan Pashtuns, the same warped logic – ordering a nuclear first strike as one orders a cheeseburger – could apply to Iran instead of Afghanistan.
 Trump once again flip-flopped by declaring that the prospect of a potential war in the Persian Gulf “could go either way, and I’m OK either way it goes,” much to the delight of Beltway-related psychopaths who peddle the notion that Iran is begging to be bombed...
 At least Trump’s impotence facing such a determined adversary as Iran is now clear: “It’s getting harder for me to want to make a deal with Iran.” What remains are empty clich├ęs, such as Iran “behaving very badly” and “the number one state of terror in the world” – the marching order mantra emanating from Tel Aviv...
 And that brings us to the alarming expansion of the sanctions dementia, represented by two Iranian ships loaded with corn stranded off the coast of southern Brazil because energy giant Petrobras, afraid of U.S. sanctions, refuses to refuel them...
  Beltway sources confirmed that the highest level of the U.S. government gave the order for Brasilia to stop this food shipment.
​​Tehran knows it well – as this is part of the “maximum pressure” campaign, whose goal is ultimately to starve the Iranian population to death in a harrowing game of chicken.

John Helmer writes about another fading "justification" for war against Russia, Thanks Eleni
Ukraine shot down flight MH-17 and tried to blame it on Russia, as instructed by US/NATO. "Investigation" went where it HAD to go. Nowhere.

Tom Luongo with Ukraine update. "Time is running out", again. 
It's ok for the US to let Ukraine collapse, but not so much for the people who live there. 
The last Russian gas flows can stop completely this winter. A sit-com comedian is now at the helm after recent elections, a Russian speaker.
Volodmyr Zelensky is in power along with Zelensky’s political party which won close to a clear majority in Verkovna Rada elections recently.
Zelensky’s Servent of the People party won 253 seats out of 450, giving him not only the presidency but no need to build a coalition government​.​

This is the most salient read I have seen of this odd occurrence, and China was part of it, not just Russia, South Korea and Japan. Who knew?
On July 23, a group of Russian and Chinese warplanes, including strategic bombers, conducted a joint patrol mission near South Korea’s territory under the annual cooperation plan, the Chinese Defense Ministry’s official spokesman Col. Wu Qian said on July 24.  

​Something like WW-3 is underway, but it's confusing. Michael Hudson clarifies. Hudson was the unintentional architect of the petrodollar system, which saaved the western financial regime when the US ran out of gold and Nixon had to default on the gold standard. He knows how things work. You may want to scroll down to his summary. I include some critical excerpts  of his essay here.:
​ Today’s world is at war on many fronts. The rules of international law and order put in place toward the end of World War II are being broken by U.S. foreign policy escalating its confrontation with countries that refrain from giving its companies control of their economic surpluses. Countries that do not give the United States control of their oil and financial sectors or privatize their key sectors are being isolated by the United States imposing trade sanctions and unilateral tariffs giving special advantages to U.S. producers in violation of free trade agreements with European, Asian and other countries.
 This global fracture has an increasingly military cast. U.S. officials justify tariffs and import quotas illegal under WTO rules on “national security” grounds, claiming that the United States can do whatever it wants as the world’s “exceptional” nation...
​ ​Deterioration of international diplomacy into a more nakedly explicit pro-U.S. financial, trade and military aggression was implicit in the way in which economic diplomacy was shaped when the United Nations, IMF and World Bank were shaped mainly by U.S. economic strategists. Their economic belligerence is driving countries to withdraw from the global financial and trade order that has been turned into a New Cold War vehicle to impose unilateral U.S. hegemony. Nationalistic reactions are consolidating into new economic and political alliances from Europe to Asia.
​ ​We are still mired in the Oil War that escalated in 2003 with the invasion of Iraq, which quickly spread to Libya and Syria. American foreign policy has long been based largely on control of oil.​..
​ U.S. officials bear a special hatred for countries that they have injured, ranging from Guatemala in 1954 to Iran, whose regime it overthrew to install the Shah as military dictator. Claiming to promote “democracy,” U.S. diplomacy has redefined the word to mean pro-American, and opposing land reform, national ownership of raw materials and public subsidy of foreign agriculture or industry as an “undemocratic” attack on “free markets,” meaning markets controlled by U.S. financial interests and absentee owners of land, natural resources and banks​.
​ A major byproduct of warfare has always been refugees, and today’s wave fleeing ISIS, Al Qaeda and other U.S.-backed Near Eastern proxies is flooding Europe. A similar wave is fleeing the dictatorial regimes backed by the United States from Honduras, Ecuador, Colombia and neighboring countries. The refugee crisis has become a major factor leading to the resurgence of nationalist parties throughout Europe and for the white nationalism of Donald Trump in the United States​...
​ ​The United States is the only nation that can run sustained balance-of-payments deficits without having to sell off its assets or raise interest rates to borrow foreign money. No other national economy in the world can could afford foreign military expenditures on any major scale without losing its exchange value. Without the Treasury-bill standard, the United States would be in this same position along with other nations. That is why Russia, China and other powers that U.S. strategists deem to be strategic rivals and enemies are looking to restore gold’s role as the preferred asset to settle payments imbalances.
​ ​The U.S. response is to impose regime change on countries that prefer gold or other foreign currencies to dollars for their exchange reserves.​..​  
​ ​Trump’s infrastructure ideology is a Public-Private Partnership characterized by high-cost financialization demanding high monopoly rents to cover its interest charges, stock dividends and management fees. This neoliberal policy raises the cost of living for the U.S. labor force, making it uncompetitive. The United States is unable to produce more at any price right now, because its has spent the past half-century dismantling its infrastructure, closing down its part suppliers and outsourcing its industrial technology.  
​ ​The United States has privatized and financialized infrastructure and basic needs such as public health and medical care, education and transportation that other countries have kept in their public domain to make their economies more cost-efficient by providing essential services at subsidized prices or freely.​..
 ​...What also is ironic in President Trump’s accusation of China and other countries of artificially manipulating their exchange rate against the dollar (by recycling their trade and payments surpluses into Treasury securities to hold down their currency’s dollar valuation) involves dismantling the Treasury-bill standard.​..
 Dedollarization will require creation of multilateral alternatives to U.S. “front” institutions such as the World Bank, IMF and other agencies in which the United States holds veto power to block any alternative policies deemed not to let it “win.” U.S. trade policy through the World Bank and U.S. foreign aid agencies aims at promoting dependency on U.S. food exports and other key commodities, while hiring U.S. engineering firms to build up export infrastructure to subsidize U.S. and other natural-resource investors.​..
  The resulting commercial and financial “interdependency” has led to a situation in which a sudden interruption of supply would disrupt foreign economies by causing a breakdown in their chain of payments and production. The effect is to lock client countries into dependency on the U.S. economy and its diplomacy, euphemized as “promoting growth and development.”  ​...
 The alternative to such dollarized holdings is to create a mutual use of national currencies, and a domestic bank-clearing payments system as an alternative to SWIFT. Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela already are said to be developing a crypto-currency payments to circumvent U.S. sanctions and hence financial control.​..
 To save debt-strapped economies suffering Greek-style austerity, the world needs to replace neoliberal economic theory with an analytic logic for debt writedowns based on the ability to pay. The guiding principle of the needed development-oriented logic of international law should be that no nation should be obliged to pay foreign creditors by having to sell of the public domain and rent-extraction rights to foreign creditors. The defining character of nationhood should be the fiscal right to tax natural resource rents and financial returns, and to create its own monetary system.  

Thursday, July 25, 2019



i feel the stress more acutely, which comes in waves these days. I'm sensitive, and I don't ignore or deny what I feel. I see signs that people all around are stressed, in how they drive, in how they walk on the streets, in how some of them bicycle. You are probably seeing people at work and family showing signs of stress. 
How many are getting better? I don't see much of that.
I believe that a big part of the problem is that the post-WW-2 global economy is terminally ill, due to massive untreated parasitism and a bad diet. The good food got eaten long ago. here is the GDP graph from Shadowstats, which uses the "old" measure of GDP, instead of the revision (which looks much better).
How does one person adapt to this, whether only feeling it, or feeling and seeing it, as we do?
The most common form of adaptation to stress in mammals is to work harder and faster at the same things as before, until exhaustion.
I think we are seeing that in the strident polarized politics, with so many positions being intellectually dishonest in one way or another, but "rallying the troops to the call". 
Social Justice Warriors vs Climate Denying Racists...
Everybody has to eat, and that's where I see problems arising. 
In America, people need to drive places, because that's what has been built for 75 years, roadways. People need a safe place to live, electricity, clean water, working sewers and some gas for the stove and water heater.
Rents and taxes are high, so people camp under overpasses and pan-handle. 
Bonded debt, voted for and spent for our lifetimes presents cities and states with high and growing fixed costs, which raise rents on everybody except the urban-hunter-gatherers, who also have a hard and stressful life. Rapes, beatings and robberies make it hard to sleep, say my patients.
Everything we were promised, and borrowed from, for so long, was predicated upon perpetual growth on what seemed like a really huge world in the 1960s. 
We are approaching the limits, which shows as real economy stagnating (GDP graph above), air and water pollution, necessities of life more expensive, good coal being gone, fracking losing money, and polluting wildly...
There is the feeling of wanting to push it away, to erect some defenses, to rise above the suffering, because WE deserve better. 
WE are not the culprits.
I and you still have to adapt ahead of the crunch. WE who have studied this a bit will be called upon to serve those who have not.
I get to try to serve people daily. Some people fall through all of the cracks, as medical and social welfare bureaucracies put up walls against them. This sounds harsh, and it is. Bureaucracies get squeezed tighter and tighter, but they cannot shrink with shrinking resources, because compliance demands need to be met. Services must be cut. Bureaucrats cannot really attempt much in the way of actual solutions, because experiments draw responsibility and risk. That's how to lose your job. Nobody can risk that these days.
Some of us are old enough to remember work teams and personal responsibility and the satisfaction of success being a reward.
Failed attempts were less threatening, too.
Currently, i am spending many hours each day in meditation, compassion meditation, with, not "for" one of my patients, who is a massive fountain of anguish, for so many reasons. She is panicked, needs oxygen constantly due to years of smoking, has PTSD and probably bipolar disorder, lives alone and cannot keep care attendants, who don't get much pay, and have their own problems and disabilities, personality disorders and criminality. EMS and the police usually want to help, but some are bullies, and she is a harsh and personally threatened judge. Meals on Wheels volunteers can't handle her, so that stopped, but she can't drive anywhere, has very little money, and no family...
You may have skipped down a little in self-defense, and that is my point. 
Each of us, and our systems, churches and bureaucracies want to "solve problems". We feel the resources shrinking and the wolf at the door, even if we don't see it in our country yet. We don't have to worry about Iraq, Venezuela, Iran, Greece, Turkey, Ukraine, etc. Right?
It isn't going to happen here.
Except, it is so far along here, already, that denial is really hard to sustain any more.
It's not America at work, or middle-class-America under threat. There is no "America" as we grew up knowing.
The middle class was defined by job security and open participation, even more than income level. there was a comfort to the roles.
That's gone, even for the folks between 85% and 95% of income, who are living the externalities of what was "middle class".
I'm there. I feel the stress before the snap. When will it snap?
If everybody reflexively pushes away from the zombie approaching, isn't the path to a solution embracing the zombie?
Well, it is hard, thankless and feels endless. 
Also, nobody else even wants to try to understand, so it is lonely and merely tolerated if you do all your other work and stay late, and so on.
I'm fortunate, and this starts to be whining (How I detest that!).
 We are now used to having information and guidance from the internet. We can look things up, but we can't look up the solution to going forward with less, in a system predicated on exponential growth forever, which has long ago failed.
The solution that I see is the same as in a dream, where something inescapable is about to kill you, like hitting the ground after a long fall.
I wake up, then. Can we wake up together? 
Is "Universal Mind" a spiritual internet to provide us with the answers we need, without parasitic-selfish-interest pop-up ads?

Just Askin'

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Moral Terpitude

Rubbed Wrong,

Our Ruling Elites Have No Idea How Much We Want to See Them All in Prison Jumpsuits​ 
, Charles Hugh Smith (maybe they do know)
​ ​Let's posit that America will confront a Great Crisis in the next decade. This is the presumption of The Fourth Turning, a 4-generational cycle of 80 years that correlates rather neatly with the Great Crises of the past: 1781 (Revolutionary War, constitutional crisis); 1861 (Civil War) and 1941 (World War II, global war).
​ ​What will be the next Great Crisis? Some anticipate another great-power war, others foresee another civil war, still others reckon a military coup is likely, and some view a collapse of the economy and U.S. dollar as inevitable.
​ ​While anything's possible, I propose a novel crisis unlike any in the past, a Moral Crisis in which the people challenge the power of the nation's corrupt Ruling Elites: not just elected officials, but the technocrats of the Deep State, the vested interests pillaging the nation, the New Overlords of Big Tech, the financier New Nobility, the Corporate Media and the self-serving state/corporate technocrat Nomenklatura who do the dirty work of the Ruling Elites.
​ ​Divide-and-Conquer has been the absurdly easy strategy of the Ruling Elites to fragment and disempower the citizenry. It's child's play for the Ruling Elites to ceaselessly promote a baker's dozen of divisive issues via the corporate media..  The one issue that could unite the fragmented citizenry is moral revulsion: As the Epstein case promises to reveal, there is literally no limit on the excesses and exploitations of the privileged few in America, no limit on what our Ruling Elites can do with absolute impunity.  

​ P​erhaps, at long last, a serial rapist and pedophile may be brought to justice, more than a dozen years after he was first charged with crimes that have brutalized countless girls and women. But what won’t change is this: the cesspool of elites, many of them in New York, who allowed Jeffrey Epstein to flourish with impunity. For decades, important, influential, “serious” people attended Epstein’s dinner parties, rode his private jet, and furthered the fiction that he was some kind of genius hedge-fund billionaire. How do we explain why they looked the other way, or flattered Epstein, even as they must have noticed he was often in the company of a young harem?  ​...
 Though some observers have likened Epstein’s enigmatic rise as a glamorous social magnet to that of Jay Gatsby, a more appropriate archetype may be the fixer, sexual hedonist, and (ultimately disbarred) lawyer Roy Cohn. In the 1970s and early ’80s, Cohn was a favor broker for boldface chums as various as the top Democratic-machine politicians, the mobster Carmine “Lilo” Galante, Nancy Reagan, the proprietors of Studio 54, the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, Andy Warhol, the publishers Rupert Murdoch and Si Newhouse, Dershowitz, and the ambitious young real-estate developer Donald Trump.
​Names from "Black Book" are here, A to Z, with details. Man, that's a long scroll!​

​Follow The money:
Deutsche Bank has notified U.S. financial watchdogs about suspicious transactions by accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein —  a customer of the bank — according to a new report.
The transactions, which involved Epstein moving money out of the United States, were flagged after Deutsche Bank began looking for indications that the wealthy financier was using his money for sex trafficking, The New York Times reported.

​Thanks for this, Eleni, from Eric Margolis:
​ ​I’ve had many strange experiences in my decades of covering intelligence affairs. These run from being invited to KGB HQ in Moscow, Chinese intelligence in Beijing, US intelligence in Virginia, Libyan intelligence in Tripoli, South African intelligence, and even Albanian intelligence in Tirana.
​ ​But none was odder than the day I was invited to lunch in New York City with the by now notorious figure Jeffrey Epstein.​..​
​ ​Soon after I walked into the entrance of Epstein’s mansion on E 71st Street, said to be the city’s largest private home, a butler asked me, ‘would you like an intimate massage, sir, by a pretty young girl?’ This offer seemed so out of place and weird to me that I swiftly declined.
​ ​More important than indelicacy, as an old observer of intelligence affairs, to me this offer reeked of ye old honey trap, a tactic to ensnare and blackmail people that was old when Babylon was young.​..
 Also present was the self-promoting lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, who had saved the accused murderer Claus von Bulow, as well as a titan of the New York real estate industry (not Trump) and assorted bigwigs of the city’s elite Jewish society. All sang the praises of Israel.

​Here is a video montage of all of the Democratic candidates who would answer some questions about their views for the press. Biden would not. The questions excerpted are about the human rights violations of Israel. To speak against Israel in American national politics means you are excluded. Everybody knows that. (What about "The Squad"? All seem to have gross failings, soon to be used to discredit whatever they espouse, as is beginning to happen with Ilhan Omar. This kind of deeply flawed opposition is good for Israeli-Zionist PR objectives.)​ Thanks Eleni.
"Israel is the one essential country on the planet."  

Caitlin Johnstone: The Just World Fallacy: Why People Bash Assange And Defend Power
 If you don’t cultivate a healthy respect for just how advanced modern propaganda has become, you won’t be able to understand what the propagandists are doing when observing the behaviors of the political/media class, and you’ll almost certainly wind up being fooled by the propaganda machine in various ways yourself...
 For example, have you ever wondered why ordinary people you know in real life often harbor highly negative opinions about Julian Assange, seemingly to no benefit for themselves, even while he’s being viciously persecuted for his truthful publications by some of the most corrupt political forces on the planet? ...
 The reason is partly because of a glitch in human cognition known as the just world hypothesis or just world fallacy, which causes us to assume that if bad things are happening to someone, it’s because that person deserves it. Blaming the victim is more psychologically comfortable than seeing that we live in an unjust world where we could very easily become victim ourselves someday, and we select for that comfort over rational analysis. 

Thanks Eleni, Ray McGovern reviews the download (almost certainly by Seth Rich) which was blamed on impossible Russian hacking.
 July 22, 2019 "Information Clearing House" -  Three years ago Monday WikiLeaks published a trove of highly embarrassing emails that had been leaked from inside the Democratic National Committee. As has been the case with every leak revealed by WikiLeaks, the emails were authentic. These particular ones, however, could not have come at a worse time for top Democratic Party officials.
 The emails made it unmistakably clear that the DNC had tipped the scales sharply against Democratic insurgent Bernie Sanders, giving him a snowball’s chance in hell for the nomination. The posting of the DNC emails is also widely seen as having harmed the the electoral prospects of Hillary Clinton, who could not escape responsibility completely, while a handful of the very top DNC officials were forced to immediately resign.
 Relatively few Americans read the actual emails, their attention diverted to the incessant media-fostered question: Why Did the Russians Hack the DNC to Hurt Hillary? For the millions of once enthusiastic Democrats who favored Sanders, however, the disclosure that the nomination process had been fixed came as a bitter pill, leaving a sour taste in their mouths and a passive-aggressive reluctance to promote the candidacy of one they considered a usurper. Having had a huge stake in Bernie’s candidacy, they had little trouble seeing through the diversion of attention from the content of the emails.

Pat Buchanan on America divided and manipulated by identity politics. ("Workers of the World, Unite!", he does not quite say.)
 But what is racism? …Republicans and conservatives believe “racist” is a term the left employs to stigmatize, smear and silence adversaries. As one wag put it, a racist is a conservative who is winning an argument with a liberal.

​Ukrainian Parliamentary ele​ction votes have been counted. TV sitcom star, Zelensky,replaced Poroshenko already.
 Zelensky wants to end the war in the east. He plans to work for better relations with Russia. His main domestic promise is to end the corruption throughout the government. But the parliament, still under control of the Maidan fascists, opposed him. Zelensky relieved the parliament and called for early elections. They were held yesterday and the results are now in.
 Zelensky's party, named after his former TV show 'The Servant of the People', put forward mostly fresh, untainted candidates. It won by a large margin. It will have more than 50% of the 450 parliament seats. The prominent fascists lost...
 Zelensky will likely try to move the country back to a balanced positions between the 'west' and Russia. With the large mandate he got and a secure majority in parliament he should have all the necessary means to achieve that.
 But the 'west' is unlikely to let him do that. The U.S. wants to designate the Ukraine as a "major non-NATO ally" and use it against Russia.  

​This is a critical and pivotal arena. Control of fossil fuel supplies to advanced nations is global power.
In recent weeks a dramatic escalation of tension around Turkish oil drilling rig presence in the disputed Exclusive Enterprise Zone surrounding EU member state Cyprus is taking place. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is claiming that Turkey has the right to drill not only in the waters off of Northern Cyprus, but also in waters far from there where Greek Cyprus has claimed rights. The actions, moving Turkish oil and gas drilling platforms into the waters, is creating a dramatic new clash in the energy-rich Eastern Mediterranean.

​ ​The Islamic Republic's top military adviser further warned Iran and its regional allies will target all American bases in the region should the US launch war plans, while reiterating Iran's ability to block the vital Strait of Hormuz to global oil transit. Everyone must be able to freely transit the Persian Gulf waterway or no one at all, Dehghan warned.
 Yesterday, Iranian vice-president, Eshaq Jahangiri, said that Iran rejects UK-led attempts to establish a "joint European task force" to monitor and patrol the Persian Gulf in order to protect international shipping, countering that it would only bring "insecurity".
“There is no need to form a coalition because these kinds of coalitions and the presence of foreigners in the region by itself creates insecurity,” he said. And added, “And other than increasing insecurity it will not achieve anything else.”  

Us Shale is Doomed, No Matter What (Yeah, but not quite yet. Shale oil and gas continue to be powerful weapons in global energy wars, allowing military actions to cut off supplies from Iran, Venezuela and maybe even Saudi Arabia, to be viable options open to the empire.)​

Satellite photos show huge swaths of the Arctic on fire. 
Wow, that's yet another tipping point we now know about. 
Can't put out peat fires, I hear. They burn for decades. Indonesia is doing that.

Getting Burned

Monday, July 22, 2019

Same Boat

Titanic Passengers,

Rugged Individualism cannot save us. Only Enlightened Collectivism can.​ ​ Caitlin Johnstone
 Individualism cannot save humanity from the crises it faces. It’s not the right tool...
 ...Collectivism by itself is worthless. What we need is not just our healthy impulse to collaborate, but to collaborate in a wise and intuitive way that is not manipulated by the propaganda narratives of the powerful. We need an enlightened collectivism in which we all collaborate toward the good of the whole, not because we’ve been manipulated into it, nor even just because we’ve been convinced to by compelling arguments, but because we’ve become wise and compassionate enough to understand that that’s what’s best for everyone. This means fundamentally changing how our minds operate. It means a collective evolution into a wildly new relationship with thought...
 The belief that humanity can and must undergo a profound psychological transformation if we’re to survive isn’t flaky “out there” spiritualism, nor is it in fact “spiritual” at all; it’s a political position just as mundane and valid as the belief that the working class can and must rise up against the plutocracy. There isn’t actually any mechanism in place preventing us from doing this; the only thing stopping it is our not wanting it badly enough yet.
 Humans were never meant to operate as individuals. We’re not descended from solo creatures like tigers or polar bears, we’re descended from monkeys, group-oriented throughout our DNA. We need each other. It’s how our brains and nervous systems are wired. There’s no getting out of this. We’re going to wake up together or not at all. We’re going to evolve together or die together.

 This is the fantasy: we can rebuild our entire global industrial society every generation or two forever.​..​  Charles Hugh Smith
​ ​The revelation that strikes me is the insanity of pursuing eternal economic growth, not as an option but as the only possible path: there is literally no alternative to extracting ever greater quantities of the planet's resources to enable ever greater consumption by the planet's 7.7 billion humans.
​ ​Stripped to its essence, this mad drive is about profit and power. The necessity is sold as the only path to prosperity for humanity, but it's really about securing wealth and power for the few.

​Dmitry Orlov has some good news. (It might just be disinformation to mislead Russia and China, but the US military has one big huge punch for the world, ONE...)
​ Within the vast bureaucratic sprawl of the Pentagon there is a group in charge of monitoring the general state of the military-industrial complex and its continued ability to fulfill the requirements of the national defense strategy. Office for acquisition and sustainment and office for industrial policy spends some $100,000 a year producing an Annual Report to Congress. It is available to the general public..
 What knocked Russian analysis over with a feather is the fact that these INDPOL experts (who, like the rest of the US DOD, love acronyms) evaluate the US military-industrial complex from a… market-based perspective!  ...
 By this standard, it is doing well: for 2017 the gross margin (EBITDA) for US defense contractors ranged from 15 to 17%, and some subcontractors—Transdigm, for example—managed to deliver no less than 42-45%. “Ah!” cry the Russian experts, “We’ve found the problem! The Americans have legalized war profiteering!” 
 ​ ​
​ ​The insistence on market-based methods and the requirement of maximizing profitability turns out to be incompatible with defense spending on a very basic level: defense spending is intermittent and cyclical, with long fallow intervals between major orders. This has forced even the Big Six to make cuts to their defense-directed departments in favor of expanding civilian production.​..​  
...Theoretically the Pentagon is still capable of doing small production runs of weapons to compensate for ongoing losses in localized, low-intensity conflicts during a general time of peace, but even today this is at the extreme end of its capabilities.
 There are lots of specific problems in each area described in the report, but the main one is loss of competence among technical and engineering staff caused by a low level of orders for replacements or for new product development. The situation is such that promising new theoretical developments coming out of research centers such as DARPA cannot be realized given the present set of technical competencies. For a number of key specializations there are fewer than three dozen trained, experienced specialists.
 This situation is expected to continue to deteriorate, with the number of personnel employed in the defense sector declining 11-16% over the next decade, mainly due to a shortage of young candidates qualified to replace those who are retiring. A specific example: development work on the F-35 is nearing completion and there won’t be a need to develop a new jet fighter until 2035-2040; in the meantime, the personnel who were involved in its development will be idled and their level of competence will deteriorate.
 Although at the moment the US still leads the world in defense spending ($610 billion of $1.7 trillion in 2017, which is roughly 36% of all the military spending on the planet) the US economy is no longer able to support the entire technology pyramid even in a time of relative peace and prosperity.  

 I can't find much at all about Senator Rand Paul (and other Senators?) meeting with the Iranian Foreign Minister Thursday.
 “I think diplomacy is a good idea, and I think that if sanctions are to work, you also have to talk about removing them,” Paul said. “So I think the discussion now, since we have maximum pressure on and maximum sanctions on Iran, now we have to say what would we be willing to remove them for.”
 Zarif, speaking to reporters in New York Thursday, proposed that Iran could move up ratification of the Additional Protocol, ensuring lifelong extensive International Atomic Energy Agency inspections and verification to ensure Iran’s nuclear program is strictly for civilian purposes, in exchange for the United States moving up its lifting of sanctions.
 “If Trump wants more for more, we can ratify the Additional Protocol and he can lift the sanctions he set,” Zarif told the journalists Thursday, The Guardian reported. “He has said that he will take any measure to Congress — fine. Lift the sanctions and you’ll have the Additional Protocol sooner than 2023.”  

Iranian oil tankers keep going to China and storing oil there. This hasn't slowed down. China isn't "buying" Iranian oil, because it is in bonded-storage-purgatory. Still, Iran seems to be fulfilling it's oil-for-investment deals with China in this format. China is holding the oil locally, and seems to have developed a lot of storage capacity, somehow. This increases Chinese energy security, in case the US blocks oil. Clever Chinese and Persians, huh?

Tom Luongo has a lot of good insights into the shifting Persian Gulf balance of power as UAE pulls troops out of Yemen and negotiates with Iran, realizing that if a major war breaks out UAE will be clobbered. Saudi Arabian troops, bogged down in Yemen, are lonely and considering despair. Iran upped the ante of retaliation with shooting down the Global Hawk drone. Bolton blinked. The rest of the world against Israel/US/Saudi Arabia is looking stronger. Look at this point, too.  The main reason why Trump and Netanyahu are so angry about the JCPOA is the mutual outsourcing of the nuclear ballistic missile program by Iran and North Korea. North Korea was working on the warhead while Iran worked on the ballistic missile. Trump tweeted about this nearly two years ago, confirming this link....  Trump can’t, at this point, back down directly with Iran. Yemen is deeply unpopular here and ending our support of it would be a boon to Trump politically. Trading that for some sanctions relief would be a good first step to solving the mess he’s in and build some trust. 
Tulsi Gabbard talked to Tucker Carlson a few nights ago, from Puerto Rico, where she was standing with protesters against the endemic governmental and corporate corruption which bleeds everything from them and "their" island. Corrupt local government taking the last skim to allow outside interests to take all of the major resources is the core of the colonial model. 

Hidden in Plain Sight: The Shocking Origins of the Jeffrey Epstein Case  Thanks, Tom.
(The mob, FBI and CIA have had common purpose in arranging girls and boys for powerful men and women of the world , then insisting on their ongoing cooperation, since before WW-2. Hi Mr Hoover. Hi, Mr Lansky. Hi. Mr Cohen. Hi, Mr McCarthy.)
 Epstein is only the latest incarnation of a much older, more extensive and sophisticated operation that offers a frightening window into how deeply tied the U.S. government is to the modern-day equivalents of organized crime.
 by Whitney Webb

The Harvard Crimson ​(2003) ​ran an article telling its readers what a good guy Jeff was.​..​
​ ​In addition to linking Epstein to a number of notables, including then Harvard president and future US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, the article notes Epstein was at the time a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission.
​ ​Described as “one of the most pleasant philanthropists” by professor Martin A. Nowak of Harvard’s mathematical biology and evolutionary dynamics program, Epstein was said to have a “bevy of eminent friends that includes princes, presidents and Nobel Prize winners.”

​Massaging Elites​

Friday, July 19, 2019

Rolling Over

Off Guard,

"SMILE, you're on Candid Camera"! 
Hi Ehud  :-) We see you at Jeffrey's house.
Israeli Gangster Bibi Netanyahu is really chowing down on rival Ehud Barak for this. (Pot, you're black.)

I've had the weird feeling that Israeli electoral politics is wagging the dog of American electoral politics lately, but how could that possibly be?

Oh, my. There are a lot of names I recognize already listed here. More to come, and details.
 As the Jeffrey Epstein case continues to unfold, a laundry list of celebrities, business magnates and socialites who have flown anywhere near the registered sex offender's orbit are now tainted with pedo-polonium. Many of them, such as Bill Clinton, Ehud Barak, and Victoria's Secret boss Les Wexner have sought to distance themselves from Epstein and his activities - however their attempts have fallen on deaf ears considering their extensive ties to the pedophile.  

Who knew Rand Paul could be such an effective negotiator.
One day after the Republican senator and son of Ron Paul was reported to be Trump's liaison to negotiate with Iran in hopes of easing tensions, sending the price of oil tumbling, the Guardian report that Iran has offered a deal with the US in which it would "formally and permanently" accept enhanced inspections of its nuclear program, in return for the permanent lifting of US sanctions.

 Neocons in high places can't let peace happen. They will shrivel and die.
 Update: In response to President Trump's announcement earlier in the day that a U.S. Navy ship had “destroyed” an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he was not aware of any downing, according to Reuters:
 “We have no information about losing a drone today,” Zarif told reporters at the United Nations before a meeting with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.  

Turkey knows how to open a negotiation. they don't want the expensive and does-nothing-well F-35 "Turkey".
​ ​As expected, Turkey blasted the White House's prior day announcement that it has killed Turkey's involvement in the F-35 joint strike fighter program after Ankara received a first batch of S-400 Russian-made air defense components starting last week. Turkey's foreign ministry called on the US to rectify its "mistake".
​ ​This unilateral step is incompatible with the spirit of alliance and does not rely on any legitimate justification,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a strong-worded statement immediately following the White House press release. “We call on the United States to come back from this mistake that will cause irreparable wounds in our strategic relations,” it said.​  (heh, heh, heh...)​

​Eleni sends this about a lot of things, including analysis of once vaunted American military aircraft.
Turkey Trolls Trump

That's escalating quickly!
"Russia is ready to sell its super-maneuverable Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets to Turkey, the head of the Russian state conglomerate Rostec said Thursday," according to Turkey's English language Daily Sabah.
"If our Turkish colleagues express a desire, we are ready to work out the deliveries of the Su-35," Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov said.

Three weeks after a meeting between the countries who singed the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was ditched by US, French, British and German officials said the trade mechanism which was proposed last summer - designed to circumvent both SWIFT as well as US sanctions banning trade with Iran - called Instex, is now operational.
​ ​And while we await for the White House to threaten Europe with even greater tariffs unless it ends this special purpose vehicle - it already did once back in May when it warned that anyone associated with the SPV could be barred from the U.S. financial system if it goes into effect - a response from the US is now assured, because in the biggest attack on the dollar as a reserve currency to date, on Thursday, Russia signaled its willingness to join the controversial payments channel, and has called on Brussels to expand the new mechanism to cover oil exports, the FT reported.