Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Billionaires Agree

All Cozy Now,

I think both of these guys are smart and realistic, and sense that a change in tack is needed now, to better serve their​ oligarchic​ interests, as global winds change. 
This is tactical. They are not different from last week. The unipolar​ "New American Century"​ moment passed away, and they realize that the globalist financial/military/intelligence empire is in the process of restructuring. 
They are declaring "Swiss ​Bank ​Neutrality".
​ ​A new Boston Globe article titled “In an astonishing turn, George Soros and Charles Koch team up to end US ‘forever war’ policy” reports that the two influential billionaires have chipped in a half a million dollars apiece to start a new DC think tank with the goal of doing the exact opposite of the sort of thing that billionaire-funded DC think tanks normally do...
​ ​“In concrete terms, this means the Quincy Institute will likely advocate a withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and Syria; a return to the nuclear deal with Iran; less confrontational approaches to Russia and China; an end to regime-change campaigns against Venezuela and Cuba; and sharp reductions in the defense budget,” the article reads...
​ ​The term “think tank” almost always refers to a group of academics hired by plutocrats to come up with reasons why it is very good and smart to do something very evil and stupid, and then to market those reasons at key points of influence. They are key tools of narrative management for the billionaire class, and the interests of the billionaire class are rarely in alignment with those of ordinary people. This is especially true when said billionaires are operating in a bipartisan manner.  

​The real work must be between the "Koreas". Trump's step and handshake may be more effective outside the US.​
SEOUL, July 2 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday that North Korea and the United States have effectively declared an end to their hostile relations with the symbolic weekend meeting between their leaders at the inter-Korean border.  
​ ​Although they did not sign any document, their action was tantamount to a "de facto declaration of an end to hostile relations and the beginning of a full-fledged peace era," Moon stressed, speaking at a Cabinet meeting.
​ ​He was referring to a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on Sunday.
​ ​Trump even stepped over into North Korea, together with Kim, becoming the first sitting American president to set foot in the communist nation. The U.S. and North Korea fought fiercely against each other during the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in an armistice. The two Koreas remain technically at war, as a formal peace treaty has yet to be signed.
​ ​Moon had a brief three-way meeting with Kim and Trump at Panmunjom, although he stayed away from their talks
, which lasted for nearly an hour.

​Tom Luongo
Trump presumably had a good meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin which likely set the stage for his meeting with Chairman Kim Jong-un. Remember Kim met with Putin earlier this year and designated him as his go-between with Trump after the talks in Hanoi fell apart. This event should not be downplayed. Trump showed great humility and generosity towards Kim at the moment of truth. We should be cheering this regardless of what we think of him personally. Diplomacy is not groveling. It is the acknowledgment of the other person’s basic humanity, a fundamental point lost in the political cesspit that is D.C. Because of his previous mistakes and belligerence, only Trump could have made the walk across the DMZ to meet Kim on his territory.

​Ray McGovern
​ ​Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who met individually with President Trump at the G20 in Osaka, have been singing from the same sheet of Korea music — particularly in the wake of Xi’s visit to North Korea on June 20-21. Putin’s remarks are the most illuminating.
​ ​In an interview with The Financial Times, Putin pointed to “the tragedies of Libya and Iraq” — meaning, of course, what happened to each of them as they lacked a nuclear deterrent. Applying that lesson to North Korea, Putin said,
​ ​“What we should be talking about is not how to make North Korea disarm, but how to ensure the unconditional security of North Korea and how to make any country, including North Korea, feel safe and protected by international law. …”
​Who gained and who lost from the Democratic Party debates? 
Polls of likely Democratic voters leaned heavily to Kamala Harris (who gut stabbed "front-runner" Joe Biden to demonstrate her dominance). 
The Google-search results of the 2 nights had Tulsi (Is she a Democrat?) Gabbard leading as the debate proceeded the first night, and beautiful-power-lizard Kamala wearing the necklace of shrunken heads after the second night.
 Consequently, as of now, the likeliest winner of the Democratic nomination is Kamala Harris, who would then become a second Barack Obama, not merely in the sense that she is a light-skinned Black, but that she is an enormously gifted politician who is in the pockets of that Party’s billionaires. Pete Buttigieg had been trying to be that, but his style isn’t even nearly as effective as hers is... 
​  What is particularly striking there is that in these results, one candiate, Harris, is also the likeliest to win the Party’s nomination, but the other, Tulsi Gabbard, scores dismally low in the (voting Democrats) polled figures:
Gabbard before debates 0.7%, after 1st debate 0.6%, after second debate 0.7%
 What all this suggests is that, whereas possibly the strongest general-election candidate against Trump would be Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, who is one of the billionaires’ candidates, also might be. A voter in the Democratic Party primaries who is mainly concerned about beating Trump should be supporting either of those two candidates to become that Party’s nominee. As regards what criteria that person would be applying, no intelligent voter any longer trusts a candidate’s mere words, but instead votes on the basis of that person’s existing record of actual actions as a public official. And, of course, a part of that record is the politician’s current policy regarding acceptance of PAC money, and the politician’s record of largest donors, especially in the latest campaign.
Russia, India and China had a private meeting at the G-20:
​ Russia-China, via Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and head of the People’s Bank of China, Yi Gang, have signed an agreement to switch to rubles and yuan in bilateral trade, starting with energy and agriculture, and increase cross-currency settlements by 50% in the next few years.
 There will be a concerted effort to increasingly bypass SWIFT, using the Russian System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS) and the Chinese Cross-Border Inter-Bank Payments System (CIPS).
 Sooner or later Russia-China will entice India to join
. Moscow has excellent bilateral relations with both Beijing and New Delhi, and is decisively playing the role of privileged messenger.
 The mini-trade war against New Delhi launched by the Trump administration – including the loss of India’s special trade status and punishment for buying Russian S-400 missile systems – is quickening the pace of the process. India, by the way, will pay for the S-400s in euros.
 There were no leaks whatsoever from Russia-India-China about Iran. But diplomats say that was a key theme of the discussion.  

Ouch! Andrew Korybko takes a very harsh view of Russia as an "ally" here, but he neglects to mention that Russia is exquisitely aware of how far Israel can and will go if not appeased. They are a greater nuclear power than France or the UK, on a par with China, with 200 - 300 "devices".
 Security Summit in Jerusalem between Russia, “Israel”, and the US was a success than the self-professed “Jewish State’s” latest anti-Iranian strikes in Syria, which were more than likely approved — if not coordinated — by Moscow in advance as part of its regional “balancing” strategy in pursuit of a “New Detente”.

The Real Threat From From Facebook's Libra Coin (money is a form of "data", too):
 This brings me to my real concern about the Libra project. Facebook’s business model since its inception has been to harvest and monetize data. I see no reason to assume that this has changed. So when I find, buried in Libra’s whitepaper, two sentences that imply Facebook’s real aim in creating Libra is to set the standard for global digital identities, my hair stands on end. As Dave Birch, director of Consult Hyperion and an expert on digital identity, puts it:
 There are no throwaway remarks in a Facebook white paper that has taken a year to put together. It’s in there for a reason. [Facebook] are actually going to try and fix the identity problem.
 Dave seems fairly sanguine about Facebook’s intention. But I am not. We now know just how damaging Facebook’s data harvesting can be. If Facebook became the standard setter for digital identities, it could gain access to all personal data. And that is what it wants.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday ordered the U.S. Department of Financial Services to investigate reports that state-regulated advertisers were using Facebook Inc’s advertising platform in a discriminatory manner. This is the second investigation that the state governor has ordered into the social media company this year. In February, Cuomo ordered two state agencies to investigate a report that Facebook may be accessing far more personal information from smartphone users, including health and other sensitive data, than had previously been known.  
Basil, Switzerland Bank for International Settlements is the central banker's central bank, the inner sanctum...
From 'Ponzi' to 'We're Working on It’ — BIS Chief Reverses Stance on Crypto
More recently, the BIS has come out critical about Facebook’s new Libra cryptocurrency protocol, similarly due to the fact it resembles money beyond the control of a government.  (Beyond BIS control, too, I notice...)

​ ​The UN rapporteur on torture
 told RT about the fanciful excuses Western media used to avoid publishing his damning op-ed on the extreme pressure Julian Assange was exposed to – despite covering every wild allegation against him.
​ ​ A host of reputed Western media outlets turned a deaf ear to Nils Melzer and his op-ed in which he said Julian Assange was exposed to enormous psychological trauma and isolation while in the Ecuadorian Embassy, and afterwards in the UK high-security prison. 
​ ​Some of them said it wasn’t high enough on their news agenda, some of them said it wasn’t within their core area of interest.
​ ​The explanations seem awkward given that the same newspapers – the Guardian, the Times, the Washington Post, the Telegraph, and others – have been running news stories about Assange “when it was about his cat and his skateboard and… allegations that he smeared excrement on the walls.”

​A LOT more narrative control is brought to bear upon Assange and that UN torture-investigation guy...
​ ​I am a survivor of rape, gang rape and the abusive police process I was subjected to when I reported it and I am fed up with watching sexual violence being used as a cover for political attacks on Julian Assange, his colleagues and his supporters. I am not alone. Numerous other survivors have reached out to me tonight expressing the same sentiment and we deserve to be heard. Today, members of what is supposedly a women’s advocacy group published an open letter addressed to UN top brass, from the Secretary-General on down, complaining about an article written by UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer and attempting to call into question his suitability for his role.
​ ​Melzer has recently transformed the debate around 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Julian Assange’s situation by formally finding that Assange is a victim of state-sponsored (and publicly perpetuated) psychological torture. The content of the open letter undermining Melzer is founded on a premise of advocating for and protecting the rights of women and of survivors of sexual violence. Yet when I self-identified as a survivor in tweets to the organisers of the open letter and dissented against their opinions, they belittled me and were dismissive of my arguments.

​LA is set to put in a solar panel installation which will presumably provide electricity at about 2 cents per kilowatt-hour. It includes batteries, which won't store more than 4 hours of average load, but which can cover brief periods of high demand or passing thunderclouds that reduce power production. This is remarkable, but it does not discuss the limited global supply of rare-earths, needed in the production of solar panels, or other critical elements, nor the need for an advanced hydrocarbon-fueled global economy to produce them. 
This is an investment towards future electricity supply, not the whole future. 
There's just not enough stuff to make that many solar cells and lithium batteries.

Spike In Autism May Be Linked To Preservative In Processed Foods, Study Suggests
​ ​The study serves as an example of the importance of the food pregnant women eat, and how it may potentially affect development of the fetal brain.
​ ​The study describes how elevated levels of the preservative, propionic acid (PPA)--used to extend shelf life and reduce mold in packaged foods, breads and cheeses—can adversely affect the development and differentiation of neurons in fetal brains in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
​ ​The research was published June 19 in the journal, Scientific Reports.

​Insect apocalypse is bird apocalypse, and toads, and so on, and humans...​
​ ​In February, they published the first synthesis of 73 studies on entomological fauna around the world over the past 40 years, listing places from Costa Rica to southern France.
 They calculated that over 40 percent of insect species are threatened with extinction, and each year about one percent is added to the list.
This is equivalent, they noted, to "the most massive extinction episode" since the dinosaurs disappeared.
​ ​The main drivers appeared to be habitat loss and land conversion to intensive agriculture and urbanisation, followed by pollution, mainly from pesticides and fertilisers, invasive species and climate change.
​ ​"The conclusion is clear," they wrote. "Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades."

​Ant Man​

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