Thursday, August 29, 2019

Elite Desperation Mounts

Unable To Sleep,

Jim Kunstler is in good form today.  
("I'll beat you on my bike, as soon as you run out of gas", is one of my recurring thoughts. What will the next money be, after the dollar?)
​ ​The next economic bust is going to amount to the crack-up of the oil age, and the “global economy” that emerged in its late stage. It was all about moving fantastic quantities of things around the planet. The movements were exquisitely tuned, along with the money flows that circulated freely, like blood carrying oxygen to each organ. All of that is coming to an end. The nations of the world must be feeling desperate, despite the appearance of good manners at meetings like the G-7. What’s at stake for everybody in the dark background is the ability to maintain high standards of living only recently attained. And the fear behind that is not knowing just how far backward these high standards of living may have to slide.
​ ​A lot of people still alive in China must remember a daily existence on par with the 12th century. In the USA, where democracy is mostly represented by low-order thinking skills, the memory of life before electricity and running water is long gone. We’ve been living in Futurama since the end of the last world war. That war, by the way, is not entirely forgotten in Europe, despite all the charm currently on display and the tourists swarming with their selfie sticks. The place was a charnel house for centuries and the Euro folk will do about anything to suppress conflict. Lately, it looks like they’re willing to give up on Western Civilization itself to keep the peace.
​ ​Lord knows what Mr. Trump’s strategy is with these so-called “trade talks.” He has explicitly enough pushed for the re-industrialization of America, and that implies — among other things — decoupling from the China’s torrential merchandise supply lines, cutting off its revenues. Closing off China’s access to US markets itself might be enough to finally blow up China’s deeply fraudulent banking system.

​"Elites going rogue" looks at the power struggle going on within western elites, in the US and UK, particularly, where somewhat subtle mutiny is whispered aloud by prominent officials and ex-officials, and repeated, in the papers.​ This is a moment in history, well underway, which will require a dramatic shift in the power structure, to something which actually works for a lot of the people of the countries in question. 
Usually, people have a hard time uniting decisively behind things like transgender bathrooms, when things get hard. 
Really; it's about survival. The people who benefit from the status quo don't get that, and feel increasing fear and uncertainty about what they see brewing, the dark forces infecting the underclasses. Everybody feels things deeply wrong, but nobody has found a soultion which is widely agreeable, because the people now in control have to give up most of their stuff and prerogatives for everybody else to get healthier and survive a few generations.
This article says to "pick a side and place your bets". It's for investors. They assume the continuity of the western financial system, which I expect to be an early casualty, along with Chinese banking, and global trade. 
Half of the dispossessed people in a country usually get behind a single, strong personality, with a plan to make their lives work for them, and stop their getting bled to death. FDR was one of those guys, as was Adolf Hitler, as were Mao and Stalin. 
You've read about that reset, but the thrust of history is always that the losers were evil and the winners were good. 
That's never how it really goes down. 
Hitler got more desperate after a few years on meth, and massive German losses on all fronts of the war. 
He started off really reasonable, if you read his early stuff. 
Hitler was quite well thought of in the world before Churchill started bombing German cities, to force Germany to return suite.
My read of history is that you need to really be helping enough people before things break down, that everybody naturally considers you to be part of the solution, and you have to keep being part of the solution as the solution is derived from your hard work, along with all of the other problem-solvers. 
Serve others. Look for human efficiencies more than technological solutions. Grow vegetables. Bike commute.  

​There was a vote for Brexit just before there was a vote for Trump in 2016. It is going to be ugly. There is no pretty alternative. 
Nobody wants a no-deal-Brexit, but nobody can agree on a deal, because nobody can share the pain. 
All the pain has to be on the other side, and the other side won't agree, so no deal. 
A lot of people in the UK still want to remain part of the EU. Some know how bad that will get. Others don't. 
Since there is no agreement possible and something must be done about the vote, it comes down to an act of power. 
Boris, his hidden backers, and the (not dead yet) Queen of England have seemingly arranged that. 
Everyone else is off the hook and can be vehemently against it until Halloween, then say "I told you so", for years to come.
​ ​The British Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson wants to lead Britain to an exit from the European Union without a specific agreement that would regulate the various details. A majority in Parliament is against leaving the EU without a deal.
​ ​Parliament will convene again in early September. The Brexit date is October 31. The opposition planned to seek legislation to stop Brexit and/or to hold a vote of no confidence in the Boris government. This would install a new government with the sole task of preventing Brexit without a deal.
​ ​The problem is that the process takes time and Parliament days are limited. The government has several means to prevent Parliament from having enough time to discuss the issue and to vote on it. Today it used a quite effective one.
​ ​The Johnson government, only inaugurated weeks ago, asked the Queen to announce its legislative program, a ceremonial event known as the Queen's Speech. Custom demands that Parliament is shut down for several weeks before the Queen's Speech is held. Parliament will thus have little chance to prevent a no-deal Brexit

​Former UK ambassador and whistle-blower, Craig Murray, a good, clear voice, takes the opposition view. He omits the absence of any good alternative to this power-play.​  (*The UK has no "constitution", only precedent and tradition.) "The Queen staged a right wing coup".
​ ​Our obsequious media is actively perpetuating the myth that the monarch can do no wrong, and is apolitical. In fact the monarchy has been active and absolutely central to the seizure of power from the Westminster parliament in a right wing coup. Yesterday’s collaboration at Balmoral between the Queen and Jacob Rees Mogg is only the latest phase.
​ ​The monarch appoints the UK Prime Minister. The convention is that this must be the person who can command the support of the majority in the House of Commons. That does not necessarily have to be from a single party, it can be via a coalition or pact with other parties, but the essential point, established since Hanoverian times, is that the individual must have a majority in the Commons.
​ ​The very appointment of Boris Johnson by Elizabeth Saxe Coburg Gotha was a ​*​constitutional outrage. Johnson may have been selected by Conservative Party members, but that is not the qualification to be PM. Johnson very plainly did not command a majority in the House of Commons, proven by the fact that still at no stage has he demonstrated that he does.

​Trump wanting buy Greenland makes sense in this light. 
What a great place to put nuclear weapons and defensive interceptor missiles, so as to control China and Russia!​ 
It's not just anticipating mining opportunities after the permafrost melts.

Russia is 2/3 permafrost. Russians really, deeply understand permafrost. 
What happens when permafrost melts? What's it smell like?

Can swarms of micro-drones overwhelm Russian S-400 and S-500 missile defense systems? ("Not quite the right question", according to Russian General.)
 The West gave Russia great learning experience in Syria.
 The initial Pantsir systems did had some troubles with drones. The current upgraded ones don't have issues with it, in particular when the system is manned by well trained Russian soldiers.
 Anyways, the Russian already proposed other approaches for countering drone and cruise missile “saturation” attacks.
 The answer was extremely sophisticated electronic warfare.
 One system was successfully tested in the second retaliation attack (for supposed chemical attacks).
 French cruise missiles dropped into the Mediterranean Sea, tomahawks very essentially “switched off” skidded along the desert and are now taken apart by Russian specialists after the were presented intact.
 In another incident 30 small drones heading for the air base coming from Idlib dropped literally out of the sky. Others got hijacked and re-directed.
 The big benefit with those designated electronic warfare measures is that it does not matter if you Deal with 5 cruise missiles or 1000 mini or micro drones.
 So against pretty much everybody except Russia and potentially China (which also has technical advisors in Syria) a swarm saturation attack might work.

Cheaper and cheaper and cheaper long range attack capabilities are disrupting the power structure, as poor Yemenis can now accurately hit prime Saudi military and oil assets far away. This story from Iran's Press TV.
Yemeni forces strike Saudi army positions in Najran with new missile

​ ​Gunfire has erupted over southern Lebanon amid soaring tensions after Lebanon accused Israel of launching aggression tantamount to "a declaration of war" - in the words of President Michel Aoun, in reference to the twin Israeli drone attack on Hezbollah offices in south Beirut the past weekend.
​ ​Specifically on Wednesday the Lebanese army is reported to have opened fire on up to three "Israeli reconnaissance drones" for violating the country's airspace, according to the official National News Agency.
​ ​Reuters also reports that troops initially opened fire on the unmanned vehicles with M16 assault rifles, forcing the drones to return to Israeli airspace.
​ ​The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) appear to have confirmed the incident, but didn't specify whether the drones violated Lebanese airspace.

​Unprotected Anywhere​

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Waking Up Alive

Dreaming Together,

Caitlin Johnstone presents the case that humans are waking up, as one might do in a dream, when just about to hit the ground from a long fall. (I'm trying.)

Tulsi Gabbard, the anti-war soldier, Congresswoman from Hawaii, and forbidden candidate for POTUS:
​ ​She strongly opposes “US regime change war policy because it has been completely counterproductive to US interests and has caused immense human suffering around the world.”
​ ​She called for ending “genocidal war in Yemen” and breaking off longstanding US relations with Saudi Arabia, a despotic crime family masquerading as a nation-state, true as well about other despotic Gulf states.
​ ​The US should stay out of Venezuela, she said, adding: It’s all “about the oil.”
“Let the Venezuelan people determine their future. We don’t want other countries to choose our leaders, so we have to stop trying to choose theirs.”
​ ​Asked if she opposes (US-designated puppet) Guaido, US sanctions on Venezuela, and military intervention, she said “all of the above.”
Despite voting for a nonbinding congressional resolution, condemning the right to boycott Israel in support of Palestinian rights, she pledged to oppose legislation that “restrict(s) freedom of speech by imposing legal penalties against those who participate in the BDS movement.”
​ ​On Afghanistan, the longest US war in modern times with no end of it in prospect, she said she’ll “bring our troops home within the first year in office because they shouldn’t have been there this long.”
​(​They shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Osama bin Laden and the Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11 — the mother of all US state-sponsored false flags.​)​
Gabbard joined the army national guard “after the al-Qaeda terror attacks on 9/11 so I could go after those who attacked us on that day,” she said.

​I've not been able to find anything good and informative about Bernie Sanders' Green New Deal proposal, supposedly the most detailed yet.
Here is something from a few days ago. This is mostly political gobbledygook, but there are some key features.
 I see them within the framework of both Climate Change and Resource Depletion, which are linked. Oil and coal have been the forms of energy which drove the global economy to the point where it is over the past 300 years. Iron and copper mining have played huge parts.​ 
Natural resources like forests, farmland and mineral ores have been converted to toxic waste. 
We are at immediate risk of losing our support system, and we are also being poisoned by it. 
The world is being poisoned, too, but only we face losing the industrial economy which feeds and supports us.
Sanders proposes putting people to work with green jobs. 
Good idea. What will that mean? I don't know many people who do manual labor like small scale farming, tree work, and landscaping. 
How do you introduce sedentary adults to physical labor, labor that will also lose-money for the foreseeable future? 
I have some rudimentary ideas. 
Changes in education of our little children are critical, and also need to stop being so big-brotherish. 
Kids can grow vegetables and raise chickens at school. We can have trade-tracks in schools, like Germany does.
Sanders proposes getting off fossil fuels for electricity and transportation by 2030. I think that is an opening bid.
I think 2030 is a good time marker to have begun massive economic restructuring. 
It looks like the bottom is about to fall out of the global financialized-industrial-economy. 
We will need to be more than a financial reset. The power structure that saps productivity to feed parasites really has to be broken up. 
This happens periodically. This time it's big, because growth is over and we need to focus on personal survival, family survival, and community survival. Planetary ecology needs to survive enough to regrow in time.
 We need to become loving stewards in that time.
We need to become loving stewards of life on Earth. 
That needs to be an economy. Discuss...

Charles Hugh Smith:
​ ​But alas, there is no self-sustaining, self-reinforcing expansion of growth; there are only massive, increasingly fragile asset bubbles, stagnant wages and a New Gilded Age as the handful of bankers, financiers and corporations that were handed unlimited nearly free moneyenriched themselves at the expense of everyone else.
​ ​Central banks' near-zero interest rates and trillions in new credit destroyed discipline and price discovery, the bedrock of any economy, capitalist or socialist.

Sanders talks about nationalizing the power grid. Big risk. Public utilities, though, are appropriate. Rentier capitalism needs to quite sucking the life from the economy at every level.
​ ​“You can’t nibble around the edges any more,” says Sanders in explaining his plan to essentially nationalize electricity production in the U.S. The full interview is here.
​ ​Bernie Sanders recently released his plan for implementing the Green New Deal. These include such comprehensive goals as transitioning to 100% renewable energy for electricity and transportation by 2030 and decarbonizing the entire economy by 2050 (full details here).

Globalization Transferred the American Economy to China. Paul Craig Roberts. 
Yeah, we need a working, productive economy, composed of lots of little local productive economies.​ 

Sanders says he is the candidate to take down Trump. He might be. The DNC still does not want him, but they have had some years to consider things. Their major donors don't want him, but do they see what is coming toward them? Sanders has always cut good deals with capitalists. Always. He's nothing for elites to fear existentially. They know this. He's old, and they can look at what he did as mayor of Burlington. Deals.

Here is a meticulous report from Joe Biden's 8/23/19 town hall talk, by a long term contributor to Naked Capitalism blog. 
Joe is looking older than his years, thin, frail, and is wandering in his talks, not staying on task. Well described.

There is always the very real possibility that the DNC desperately wants to lose the presidency to Trump next year, scapegoat him and sweep to power on the ugly rebound. They are paralyzed.
Senate battleground Dems shun 'Medicare for All'
Republican strategists are already working relentlessly to tie vulnerable Democratic incumbents to 'Medicare for All.'

Agriculture can integrate carbon into the soil, or with diesel, machines and chemicals, release it into the atmosphere, for the cheapest food ever.
​ A​ll plants absorb carbon as they photosynthesize, including corn, soybeans, wheat and the other commodity crops that now blanket huge swaths of the planet. And just like the trees in a forest, crops interact with microbes in the soil to produce organic matter, a stable form of underground carbon storage that outlasts the growth and decay of aboveground vegetation. Farmland is—potentially—a vast, inexpensive way to sequester carbon and store it long-term.
​ ​The problem is that modern agricultural practices emit far more carbon than they sequester. In addition to emissions from tractor fuel, cow burps and petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides, common practices such as slash-and-burn, and even old-fashioned tillage, release carbon stored in plants and soils into the atmosphere.  

What is Israel doing blowing up an Iraqi weapons depot with drones based in Iraq, on a US airstrip? Thanks Eleni.
Israel is proving that it can hit Iran anywhere, at far remove, on Israel's timing, and is seeking to provoke Iran into action that would justify a massive US attack. Draining Iran of scarce financial resources is an obvious goal. Blocking cooperation through roads and pipelines, between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon is also a major goal. The "axis of resistance" is playing very conservatively against Israel/US.

 Hoping To Get Along

Monday, August 26, 2019

Guess What I'm Thinking

For The Umpteenth,

Speaking at the close of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France on Monday, President Trump said he's "open" to meeting with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani.
This was in response to French President Emmanuel Macron stating he hopes to arrange a meeting with the US and Iranian leaders in the "coming weeks". Trump qualified during his surprise remarks regarding a potential meeting, "If the circumstances were correct or right, I would certainly agree with that." Trump cited "good feelings" about Iran and its desire to escape currently escalating tensions.
"In the meantime they have to be good players," he added. Otherwise, he asserted, Iran will be met with “violent force.” Trump said the Iranians "have no choice"

Iraqi Officials Say Israeli Strikes Are "Declaration Of War" - Demand US Forces Exit  
One of the obvious and expected consequences or instances of 'blowback' from Israel's unprecedented decision to extend its "anti-Iran" campaign into Iraq, with three airstrikes widely blamed on either Israeli drones or possibly F-35s in the last five weeks, is that it will force a deepening conflict between Iraq's military and US coalition forces.  

Lebanon's President Announces Israeli Attacks Are "Declaration Of War"
After pro-Iran allies in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq were all hit in suspected Israeli strikes in the space of less than 24 hours, signalling a new aggression out of Tel Aviv and willingness to risk yet another major Middle East war, Arab capitals are now alerting their armed forces to be on a war footing.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Monday condemned the "Israeli assault on the southern suburbs of Beirut" and told the country's United Nations Special Coordinator, that the recent spate of drone strikes on Lebanon amount to a 
"declaration of war".

​ ​ As the previously detained Grace 1 tanker, since renamed the Adrian Darya 1, continues its voyage toward a port in southern Turkey, there's been a significant development regarding the 2.1 million barrels of Iranian crude aboard which the US has sought to capture, claiming the ship is engaged in illegal sanctions busting.
​ ​On Monday an Iranian government spokesman announced the 2.1 million barrels have been sold to an unnamed buyer while en route across the Mediterranean.
​ ​In statements made to reporters in Tehran, spokesman Ali Rabiei, said of the oil's as yet unmentioned unloading point, “The buyer of the oil decides where its destination is.”  

Dow futures slumped 200 points early this morning after China denied a call had taken place with Trump's team, which as pointed out earlier, juiced US equity futures 700 Dow points off overnight lows.
 Trump and Mnuchin quickly sprang into action to try to talk the market back up:
 Reporter: "Did you mean to say that there was also a call last night [with China] or was there not actually a call?"
Steve Mnuchin: "There were discussions that went back and forth, and let's just leave it at that."
Trump [interrupting]: "Last night. And before last night."
But one glimpse at Mnuchin's face (the worst poker player ever) tells you all you need to know about what really happened...
We give the last word to Jim Cramer, who waltzed onto CNBC's set this morning and proclaimed:
"You can claim that the president's a liar, but the futures are up, so I don't care..."

  "I want to be clear, I’m not going nuts," Biden insisted on Friday, after he forgot where he was speaking from - praising Vermont when asked about his impression of Keene, NH.  

The DNC wants what it wants, not something else.​ On track to re-elect Trump in 2020.
 ​Tulsi Gabbard’s presidential campaign has called on the DNC to ensure fairness by updating its approved debate-qualifying polls, raising concerns about a lack of transparency and the consistency of the required criteria.
​ ​In order to qualify for the next round of Democratic presidential debates in September, the Democratic National Committee’s rules require all candidates to have 130,000 unique donors and to have reached 2 percent in four approved polls. Representative Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has surpassed 2 percent in 26 national and state polls – including two polls by the biggest newspapers in the early primary states of New Hampshire and South Carolina – but only two of these are DNC-certified.  Strangely, the DNC has not released the criteria it used to select the sixteen polling organizations they have certified.
​ ​“Without these exclusions, Gabbard would have already qualified,” her campaign says. Gabbard’s team also point out that there have only been four certified polls released since the second round of Democratic debates.
The Benefits of a Profoundly Shattering Recession​ , Charles Hugh Smith​ ("Always look on the Bright Side of Life!")​
​ ​What do I mean by a profoundly shattering recession? I mean, a systemic, crushing recession that can't be reversed with central bank magic, a recession that only deepens with time. The last real recession was roughly two generations ago in 1981; younger generations have no experience of a profound recession, and perhaps older folks have forgotten the shock, angst and bitterness.
​ ​A profoundly shattering recession leaves tremendous damage and pain in its wake. Millions of people who reckoned their position was secure get laid off, businesses that looked solid melt into air, large corporations flip from hiring thousands to firing thousands, and everyone on the edge of insolvency gets a hard push over the cliff.
​ ​Profoundly shattering recessions feed on themselves in a self-reinforcing dynamic: the first domino could be a supply-shock, or a decline in demand due to credit exhaustion. Since businesses have cut everything to the bone in the past decade, there are no buffers left...
​ ​Clearly, there is no benefit to households or enterprises to this self-reinforcing recession. The benefits are structural: financialization, the parasite that has eaten our economy from the inside, will collapse along with the mountains of debt that fueled it. 
​ ​Zombie corporations and local governments that have been insolvent in all but name will finally go bankrupt, clearing the system of their dead weight. Economies supporting zombie entities are sacrificing their capital to keep insiders afloat, which leaves less capital to invest in increasing productivity, which is the only way to increase broad-based wealth...
  ​All the cartels and monopolies that depend on debt will implode: banking, higher education, and ultimately national defense and sickcare, which depend on federal borrowing to fund their predatory pricing...
A profoundly shattering recession requires patience, fortitude and an awareness that the sacrifices demanded will be worth the pain if we rid our society of at least the top layer of financial and political parasites and predators that have corrupted our economy, our governance and our society.

Brazilian Farmers Believe They Have the Right to Burn the Amazon
“The people in the big cities of Sao Paulo and Rio, they want us to live on picking Brazil nuts,” a farmer says. “That doesn’t put anyone’s kid in college”

Amazon fires: Fines for environmental crimes drop under Bolsonaro
The only carrot is out there in the rainforest. This is a set-up.

​Home Economist​

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Under The Hood

Diagnosing Problems,

Several friends flagged this story, the fourth in a series about our corrupt globalist owners/rulers, by Whitney Webb:
 Following the controversial conclusion by the New York Medical Examiner that Epstein’s death was a suicide — a conclusion contested by Epstein’s attornies as well as by independent forensic pathologists, given the apparent evidence pointing towards strangulation — corporate media coverage of the Epstein case has slowed to a trickle, save for sensationalist stories about his alleged co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell and new salacious details of his past. Gone from corporate media are any hints of the larger scandal, revolving around the admission that Epstein had “belonged to intelligence.” ...
 The Clintons’ own involvement in Iran-Contra revolved around the covert activities at Arkansas’ Mena Airport, which involved the CIA front company Southern Air Transport and occurred while Clinton was governor. Just a few years into the Clinton presidential administration, Leslie Wexner and Jeffrey Epstein would play a major role in Southern Air Transport’s relocation to Columbus, Ohio, leading to concerns among top Ohio officials that both men were not only working with the CIA, but that Wexner’s company, The Limited, sought to use the CIA-linked airline for smuggling...
 Of particular importance are Epstein’s relationship to the Clinton Foundation and the alleged role of Epstein’s Virgin Islands-based hedge fund and the Clinton Foundation in money laundering activity, a relationship still under investigation by MintPress.
  It is this tale of intrigue that fully reveals the extent to which this decades-old alliance between organized crime, the CIA, and Israeli intelligence has corrupted and influenced politicians of both political parties, both through the use of sexual blackmail and through other means of coercion.
 Far from being the work of a single intelligence agency or a single country, the power structure revealed by this network connected to Epstein is nothing less than a criminal enterprise that transcends nationality and is willing to use and abuse children in the pursuit of ever more power, wealth and control. Existing for decades and willing to use any means necessary to cover its tracks, this criminal racket has become so integrated into the levers of power, in the United States and well beyond, that it is truly too big to fail.

​This has gone on a very long time, monitored at the highest levels of government intelligence, and used for control.British  MI-5 and MI-6 have been tagged repeatedly.
​ ​Another U.K. scandal included allegations that Sir Peter Hayman,  a British diplomat and deputy director of MI6, was a member of the Pedophile Information Exchange (PIE).
​ ​Police discovered that two of the roughly dozen pedophiles in his circle had been writing to each other about their interest in “the extreme sexual torture and murder of children,” according to the The Daily Mail.
​ ​In 2015, The Guardian reported that former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had been “adamant that officials should not publicly name” Hayman, “even after she had been fully briefed on his activities​.

​ ​More weirdness from "Creepy Uncle Joe" just days after it was revealed that Obama himself once in a fit of anger said "how many times is Biden gonna say something stupid!"...
​ ​Well Mr. Obama, here's the latest per CNN: "During a town hall Friday afternoon, former Vice President Joe Biden asked a New Hampshire audience to imagine what it would have been like if Barack Obama had been assassinated...".

​Congresswoman and US Army Reserve Major , Tulsi Gabbard is getting the Bernie-Sanders-exclusion from the DNC this time around. She's worse of a threat to the system than Sanders, because she is against the wars of empire. She joined up after 9/11. She knows the real score.​
Gabbard has a unique foreign-policy-centric message that is distinct from every other candidate, and she has managed to convert a shoestring campaign operation into a sizable public profile. (She is currently in Indonesia on a two-week National Guard training mission, therefore missing a crucial juncture of the campaign.)  

​Act, based upon what you know to be true and false and inevitable, Now!
​ ​Eventually the reality catches up.  Private knowledge becomes common knowledge and then everything changes very suddenly.
​ ​All of which brings me to my conclusions:  Think for yourself.  Make up your own mind.  Be secure in your ability to think for yourself. And act now, before things get materially worse and your options become much more limited.

​This is disgustingly true. 
Why do I keep doing this anyway, constantly being told that I am "not productive enough", constantly an hour or more "behind schedule"?​
Soon, I will be kicked out, and I'm just waiting. 
For now, I still get paid to provide medical care to poor people.
 I just was rounding at the hospital today with the team -- fantastic new medical students and residents -- a real team all trying to do the right thing for patients. This is what I saw in rounds today.
 I saw people trying to figure out how to get data into and out of Epic for a ... I don't know; 50% of the rounds was, "Wait, how do I open it?" "Wait, your notes are already open and that means I can't do a billing code. Then you're doing the ..." 50%. I asked the residents how much of your day is actually spent in direct patient care and how much is treating the computer and the administrative tasks you have to do? They didn't disagree about this number. They said, "Oh, it's 90% computer and 10% patient care."


Saturday, August 24, 2019

Already in Progress

Fighting For Survival,

They say that no battle plan survives the first contact with the enemy. 
 The struggle to define the next structure for global trade and finance is underway. China is both in ascendancy, and infected with parasites, while the western financial and military empire has long been ruled by parasites, and is pervasively diseased, as are all of the surviving tributary states. The tributary states that tried to break away, like Iraq, Libya, Venezuela and Syria got gut-shot, but are still in some kind of existence, never to willfully comply again. 
 Their crime was against the Petro-Dollar, the extractive agent of the Petrobuck empire. The mutiny against the Petro-$US is spreading, quietly, with Russia, China and Iran trading outside the $US constructs, forming new trade mechanisms in other currencies.
 We know that China and Russia have massive holdings of physical gold, that Venezuela mines it, and that Iran and Turkey have done gold for oil deals in the past decade to get around US sanctions.
 The US is now using both the global military forces and the $US trade and finance structure as billy clubs, instead of just the military. It takes time to develop alternative trade structures, pricing, and market formats, but that is underway, with China, Russia and Iran being fully invested.
 This is an open secret, and it seems to be why Trump can use the $US as a billy club, now, knowing that it is still possible, and will soon be impossible, whether used now or not. 
 Trump can be pretty unconstrained in his short-term actions with the global reserve currency. His battlefield tactics are quite different from the calm that global banking tries to portray, and their ends are not quite the same. 
 Trump seems to be fronting for nationalist-invested power elites, not globalist-financial-elites. 
Are there other sides? Can we get another quarterback in the game for the nationalist team, in the second half, maybe?

Peace might break out in the Mideast under Chinese/Russian tutelage. 
 I'm suspicious about what looks like so much good free-information from What false information might be in here? Their story about Iran letting the Russians have a naval base seems to have been untrue. A detuned version is in this story. I appreciate so much detail and context. I'll be glad to post corrections from those with good sources.
​ ​The handling by the Trump White House of the Iranian shootdown of the US RQ-4A/BAMS-D Global Hawk drone on June 20, 2019, only exacerbated further the anguish of both MBS and MBZ. Both of them, along with other Arab leaders, urged the Trump White House to strike hard at Iran in retaliation. Both MBS and MBZ communicated in person with the most senior individuals at the White House. They were stunned to learn that Trump communicated directly with Tehran on the possibility of a largely symbolic retaliatory strike, and the prospects of bilateral negotiations.
​ ​Both MBS and MBZ consider the last-minute cancellation of the US retaliatory strike a personal affront and humiliation because Trump did not accept and follow their positions and demands for action. Both MBS and MBZ are now convinced that not only the US demonstrated weakness and lack of resolve, but that Pres. Trump was personally not committed to fighting Iran on behalf of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf sheikhdoms.
​ ​Furthermore, there is growing trepidation in Saudi Arabia about the viability of the Pakistani guarantees to the Kingdom, particularly concerning nuclear deterrence.
​ ​In the past, Islamabad mediated the Saudi purchase of ballistic missiles from the PRC (procurements which are supported by Pakistani military technicians and security personnel) and had allocated two nuclear warheads for launch from Saudi Arabia in case of an Iranian attack, all in return for lavish Saudi funding of Pakistan’s nuclear and strategic weapons programs.
​ ​However, there has been a profound turnaround in Pakistani policies starting in the Summer of 2019.
First, Pakistan reached a comprehensive military agreement with Turkey with the latter providing weapons and other military systems, as well as training, in order to replace US and Western systems which were no longer available. In the first area of active cooperation, Turkey mediated modalities for trilateral cooperation (Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan) in fighting Baluchi jihadists and insurgents. Second, Pakistan is expediting the shipping of huge quantities of Iranian gas to western China by mainly using existing pipelines, from the Fars fields to Chabahar, then via the Iran-Pakistan pipeline to Gwadar, and then via the CPEC (the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) pipeline to Xinjiang. As well, Iran and Pakistan cooperate closely in negotiations with various Afghan factions to ameliorate any US achievements in the Doha negotiations with the Taliban.
​ ​Hence, both MBS and MBZ wonder, can Saudi Arabia trust Pakistan to deter and confront Iran and its allies on behalf of Saudi Arabia?​ ...

“The UAE and China are moving towards a promising future,” MBZ said in his concluding meeting with Xi Jinping. His visit aimed at “developing co-operation and a comprehensive strategic partnership, as well as opening new horizons for joint action in various sectors,” MBZ explained. Xi Jinping responded by stressing “the profound significance of China-Arab relations”. The PRC and the UAE would now work closely together to transform the Persian Gulf into “a security oasis” rather than a new “source of turmoil”.​..
​ According to PRC senior officials in Beijing: “China continues oil imports from Iran to show independence from US sanctions.” The PRC also agreed to purchase oil with yuans, euros, and other currencies in order to reduce their vulnerability to US financial sanctions. The PRC would continue to import its Iranian crude via at least a dozen Iranian tankers also in order to demonstrate to all that “China [is] a country powerful enough to bust US sanctions”.  ​...
 For the first time, an official PRC defense document acknowledged the rivalry with the US military and clearly articulated China’s long-term goal to confront and challenge “US dominance”. These goals would be attained through, among other things, the expansion of the PRC “power projection capabilities”, particularly the Navy’s. The White Paper heralded a significant shift in maritime strategy from “near seas defense” to “the combination of near seas defense and far seas protection”. Adopting the “far seas” strategy, the White Paper stated, would enable the PRC to “build itself into a maritime power”.  

​ ​At a moment that Iran and the US/UK are effectively already at war on the open seas in an ongoing "tanker war," Tehran is set to unveil a new Iran-manufactured long range air-defense missile system which could rival Russia's S-300 system.
​ ​Citing state media, the Associated Press described "the Bavar-373 is a long-range surface-to-air missile system able to recognize up to 100 targets at a same time and confront them with six different weapons." ...
​ ​Russian aviation publication Avia.Pro claimed early this week that the Iranian system is “superior” to the S-300. It's reportedly been undergoing testing since 2017, but it's unclear how quickly it will actually be deployed into operation.
​ ​“The Iranian Bavar-373 radars can detect air targets at distances of up to 300 kilometers, and, in addition to aircraft, the radar is able to detect cruise and ballistic missiles, as well as small drones,” the publication stated, according to a translation.
​ ​“According to unconfirmed data, the radar is also capable of detecting stealth aircraft, which makes it an effective means of combating F-22 and F-35 fighters​."​

​ ​The US military is no longer the primary force in Asia, and missiles from China's rapidly improving military could overwhelm its bases in hours, according to a new report.
​ ​The study by the United States Study Center, at the University of Sydney, in Australia, warned that America's defense strategy in the Indo-Pacific region "is in the throes of an unprecedented crisis" and could struggle to defend its allies against China...
"China has deployed a formidable array of precision missiles and other counter-intervention systems to undercut America's military primacy," the report states. Those missiles number in the thousands, the report says.
 ​Almost all US military installations in the Western Pacific, as well as those of its key partners and allies, "could be rendered useless by precision strikes in the opening hours of a conflict," according to the report.

​Trade war is on, one of the lesser forms of war, that often leads to the greater forms of war, but "it might be different this time".
​ Trump "wants to keep bullying China and China wants to keep telling the rest of the world that they are the good guy here," Reinsch said.
At the same time, picking up on what we said in "Mr. President, This Is How To Get The Fed To Launch Quantitative Easing", Eurasia Group's Ian Bremmer said that “Trump really doesn’t want the economy to tank... but if he’s headed for confrontation with China anyway (and he is), he’d rather take the hit way before elections. Implies escalation from US soon."
 More importantly, it also means that the Fed will be under increased pressure to not only cut rates, but launch "some quantitative easing" as Trump demanded on August 19. As a reminder, at the end of the day, Trump sees the Fed's actions - or lack thereof - as far more important to the US economy than the outcome of the trade war, which explains his question "who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?"
 To answer, and provoke Powell into conceding, Trump is now willing to take the US, and global, economy to the edge of recession. It's a big gamble, although Trump's position got an unexpected supporter late on Friday, when none other than BOE head Mark Carney effectively endorsed Trump's destabilizing policies by saying that the time of the US Dollar as the world's reserve currency is now over.

Cryptocurrency is really, truly and only ideal as global trade currency, because each transaction is so very costly, but every node in the whole trade system has to recognize each and every transaction. Transparent and universally-agreed. (Can it be backed by gold, too?)
​ ​After Jerome Powell's neutral-to-slightly-dovish-but-mostly-boring speech on Friday morning, investors could be forgiven for suspecting that this year's Fed-sponsored gathering in Jackson Hole might be disappointingly dull (especially with all that's going on in Trump's twitter feed, the escalating trade war and escalating geopolitical unrest).
​ ​Then along came former Goldman banker and current (outgoing) BOE governor, Mark Carney, who in his​ ​lunchtime address laid out a shocking, radical proposal - perhaps the most stunning thing to ever be unveiled at Jackson Hole - urging to replace the US Dollar with a "Libra-like" reserve currency in a dramatic revamp of the global monetary, financial and economic order.

 Brandon Smith often has some good points, and always has stuff he's pushing that I disagree with, so here's the snippet I like.
 Anyone who has read my work for the past few years knows I have been warning about Trump as a false prophet for the liberty movement and conservatives in general. And everyone knows my primary concern has been that the globalists will crash the Everything Bubble on Trump's watch, and then blame all conservatives for the consequences.
 To be clear, Trump is not the cause of the Everything Bubble, nor is he the cause of its current implosion. No president has the power to trigger a collapse of this magnitude, only central banks have that power. When Trump argues that the Fed is causing a downturn, he is telling the truth, but when he claims that recession fears are exaggerated, or "inappropriate", he is lying.   What he is not telling the public is that his job is to HELP the Fed in this process of controlled economic demolition.

​ ​Climate is economy. We now sort of see that. 
Fossil fuel burn and "economy"continue to be as tightly linked as any 2 things, despite attempts to pretend the US economy is de-carbonizing by moving manufacturing to co​al-​powered China.​ 
 Debate about massive adaptation to climate change appears to be different from debate about structures of global trade and finance.
It's all the same thing, the global economic restructuring.​ 
 The ideal is to do it without massive destruction of things we can't really rebuild, that were built with the abundant energy, steel, concrete and copper of decades past.
​ The party of anti-Trump needs to stand for something, but it is mostly afraid to...​ The members who are not afraid must be destroyed, of course.
Bernie Sanders isn't particularly afraid. His opening-bid version of "Green New Deal" was just released on his tour of Northern California.
​ ​The plan would “launch a decade of the Green New Deal”, a 10-year federal “mobilization” that would factor climate change into every policy action from immigration to foreign policy while promising to create 20 million jobs in the process.
The U.S. would generate 100% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and achieve “full decarbonization” by 2050, according to the plan.
​ ​“We are going to invest massively in wind, solar and other sustainable energies,” 
Sanders told a cheering crowd that had braved near triple digit temperatures to see him in a downtown Sacramento park.
​ ​Addressing about 5,000 people inside and outside the park, Sanders accused fossil fuel companies of being willing to destroy the planet for short-term profits.​ (Duh...)​

Racism might not be quite a galvanizing enough issue next year, y'all...
 As activists sustain pressure on the DNC Saturday to vote on favor of a climate debate, advocacy group Progressive Democrats of America said that three presidential candidates added their names to an open letter to the committee demanding such a single-focused debate.
​ ​Welcoming the signatures from Tom Steyer, Tulsi Gabbard, and Marianne Williamson, PDA executive director Alan Minsky said, "The Democratic Party needs to show it is ready to respond to the existential climate threat by delivering the American people a televised climate debate."

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

About The Children

Following The Money,

​ ​Jeffrey Epstein used his tangled web of shell companies as a "brazen and powerful organization" to operate a sex-trafficking ring, according to three new civil lawsuits filed against his $578 million estate.  
​ ​The new litigation was filed against the estate, its executors and the shell companies themselves, asking for unspecified damages for medical and psychological expenses, trauma, humiliation and other injuries suffered as recently as 2017, according to Bloomberg.
​ ​Among the companies named in all three suits are one that owned Epstein’s Manhattan mansion until 2011; his money-management firm, Financial Trust Co.; and HBRK Associates Inc., which allegedly helped arrange travel for Epstein’s accusers between New York and Florida. A Richard Kahn was listed as the registered agent for HBRK in New York state corporate filings in 2008.
​ ​Two of the complaints name as a defendant the company that once owned Little St. James, the smaller of Epstein’s private islands in the Caribbean. Little St. James was one of the locations from which Epstein ran a “complex commercial sex trafficking and abuse ring,” according to the lawsuits.

​Travis sends this article from last year, putting forth that children are traded at the highest levels of the dark world of the CIA, for information from "bonafide sources". This is an alternate global currency, which assures secrecy for all transactions, because all parties are complicit.​
​ ​A veteran agent has blown the whistle on the CIA, claiming that they are involved in “running a child trafficking network” in order to provide children to “the elite pedophiles that run the world.”
​ ​John Kiriakou was an agent for the CIA for 14 years before he left in 2004. He is also associated with Hollywood, having worked as an advisor in the film and entertainment industry. Speaking at a recent World Beyond War event, the former CIA agent blew the whistle on how the Intelligence Agency provides child sex slaves to powerful oligarchs in both showbiz and politics, including Washington D.C.
​ ​According to Kiriakou, the CIA provides these rich and powerful “sources” with a constant stream of “child prostitutes” in exchange for information. These children are usually raped and killed, and likely to be never seen again.

​Ghislaine Maxwell staged her "recent" appearance at an In And Out Burger​ in LA with a friend as photographer, the friend's dog as a prop and photoshop manipulation of a background advertising sign, to something that was never on that bus stop. The date is completely in question. The book she had is again unidentified. Her location is unknown. Thanks Helen of DesTroy!

Jihadis in northern Syria are cut off from supplies. Turkish convoy to them is blocked. Syrian army advances in pincer move around M5 highway.
 This morning Turkey sent (vid) a 29 truck convoy with five tanks, two infantry fighting vehicles, ammunition and additional personnel toward the observation post in Morek, south of Khan Shaykhun.
 Before the convoy passed through Maarat al-Numan, 20 kilometers north of Khan Shaykhun, the Russian airforce bombed its path (vid). The leader of Faylq al-Sham, a 'Syrian rebel' group controlled by the Turkish intelligence service, was escorting the Turkish army convoy in a technical. He was killed. No Turkish soldiers were harmed. The convoy stopped and will have to return to Turkey. The tanks and the ammunition will not reach the jihadis in Khan Shaykhun.

Fluoride may be as big as lead. A good study, published in JAMA, after agonizing by editorial staff. 
Can we look at thiomersol in baby vaccines again?
​ ​“When we started in this field, we were told that fluoride is safe and effective in pregnancy,” said study co-author Christine Till of York University in Toronto. “But when we looked for the evidence to suggest that it’s safe, we didn’t find any studies done on pregnant women.”
​ ​They recruited 512 pregnant women from six Canadian cities and measured their exposure several ways: analyzing the amount of fluoride in their urine; looking at how much tap water and tea they drank; and comparing the fluoride concentration in the community drinking water.
 Then, when the women’s children were 3 or 4, the researchers gave them IQ tests and crunched the numbers to see if they could find any trends.
​ ​“We saw an association between prenatal fluoride exposure and lower IQ scores in children,” study author Rivky Green said.
Specifically, they found a 1 mg per liter increase in concentration of fluoride in urine was associated with a 4.5 point decrease in IQ among boys—though not girls. Another translation: The boys of mothers with the most fluoride in the urine had IQs about 3 points lower than the boys of mothers with the least amount.
Although critics of the study pointed to the different results by gender as a red flag, when the researchers measured fluoride exposure by examining the women’s fluid intake, they found lower IQs in boys and​ ​girls. A 1 mg increase per day was associated with a 3.7-point  IQ deficit among both.

Dumbed Down

Monday, August 19, 2019

Another Fix


There is No Normal, Jim Kunstler
Imagine living through the very start of all that, the blinding, fantastic newness of modernity! Look back at the stories and images around Teddy Roosevelt and his times, and the confidence of that era just astonishes you, An emergent cavalcade of wonders: electricity, telephones, railroads, subways, skyscrapers! And in a few more years movies, cars, airplanes, radio. Even the backstage wonders of the day were astonishments: household plumbing for all, running hot water, municipal water and sewer systems, refrigeration, tractors! It’s hard to conceive how much these developments changed the human experience of daily life.
Even the traumas of the 20th century’s world wars did not crush that sense of amazing progress, at least not in North America, spared the wars’ mighty wreckage. The post-war confidence of American society achieved a level of in-your-face laughable hubris — see the USA in your Chevrolet! — until John Kennedy was shot down, and after that the delirious moonshot euphoria steadily gave way to corrosive skepticism, anxiety, acrimony, and enmity. My generation, booming into adulthood, naively thought they could fix all that with Earth Day, tofu, and computers, and keep the great wheel rolling down into an even more glorious cybernetic nirvana.
Fakeout. That’s not where the wheel is going. We borrowed all we possibly could from the future to pretend that the system was still working, and now the future is at the door like a re-po man come to take away both the car and the house. The financial scene is an excellent analog to our collective psychology. Its workings depend on the simple faith that its workings work. So, it is easy to imagine what happens when that faith wavers.

Tom Luongo discusses the rapidly evolving power relationships in the Persian Gulf:
  Iran knows where the fulcrums are. They know which of Trump’s buttons to push. And the Houthis just pushed a big one.
The Saudis have money and the ear of the U.S. political elite and not much else. They are living on borrowed time as they still run big budget deficits thanks to low oil prices, which will continue to go lower, because of this attack.
Why? Because, the markets will again trade on the lack of response from the U.S. not the incident itself. It will further hasten the collapse in the global oil price as the end of the Yemeni war will take that threat of war with Iran further off the table in the long run.
This is especially true as we approach the end of the grace period Iran gave the European Union to get back into compliance with the JCPOA. Because once they are done legally withdrawing from the agreement per its terms, then Iran will be free to pursue Russia’s offer to buy and resell up to 1 million barrels of Iranian oil per day, stabilizing exports.
Trump has already proven he’s unwilling to blow up the oil markets, and, by extension, the larger financial markets to bring Iran to heel. Everyone has their price. And the price of these low-tech drones from from Iran create the ultimate in asymmetric warfare. A few thousand bucks to paralyze trillions in capital.

More on Gulf power relationships from Alastair Crooke, who also points out that this is part of the process global regime change, to something...
 But suddenly, the Gulf chimaera of Trump retarding a resurgent Iran through inflicting a couple of generations worth of missile damage on its infrastructure faded under the desert heat. When Iran took the initiative with its counter-pressures, the US finally did not react, either to Hormuz, or to the loss of its high-spec drone.
 It’s not over yet: Iran remains a grave flash-point, but in the region it is understood that the US neither has the political will, nor the capacity, for protracted military action (as opposed to a quick ‘one and done’, to which Iran has promised substantial retaliation). This sense of a ‘shift’ has been reinforced by Trump’s repeat last month of his call for withdrawal from Syria, and by his almost indecent haste in trying to exit Afghanistan. The omens are plain: America is on its way out from the Middle East.
 Gulf States need to re-position – and they are. They are repositioning into the security architecture being led by China and Russia. Ten days ago, via a document officially approved by the United Nations, the Russian Foreign Ministry advanced a new concept of collective security for the Persian Gulf. The Russian initiative should be interpreted as a sort of counterpart of, and mostly a complement to, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Zach seems like a good and principled man of conscience, who feels relief to be outcast and harrassed by Google, taking steps to "ruin his life", because he was true to his conscience, and he can live with himself.
(Impressive video of his "wellness check", being handcuffed on the sidewalk at the point of multiple guns.)
 On Wednesday, former Google employee Zachary Vorhies went public as the whistleblower who spoke with Project Veritas in June, revealing the political bias in Google's "Machine Learning Fairness" program. He also told the story of police storming his home to perform a "wellness check" after he was outed as a "leaker" and after Google had sent him a demand letter.  

"Putin did it"...
All but four of the 30,490 emails from Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized email server were forwarded to a private Google email address featuring a name similar to a Chinese company, according to documents released by a Senate committee on Aug. 15.
Virtually every email that was sent to and from the Clinton-email server was forwarded to “,” which raised concerns that a foreign actor gained access to Clinton’s emails after an intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) investigator searched Google for “Carter Heavy Industries” and came up with a result for Shandong Carter Heavy Industry Co., Ltd, according to the documents (pdf).
 Shandong Carter Heavy Industry is a Chinese manufacturer of excavators and heavy machinery.  

 Former CIA Officer and whistleblower Kevin Shipp says the Russian hoax and attempted coup of President Trump and the sex trafficking case against Jeffery Epstein are linked together by the same Deep State players...
 So, there is a lot of damning information the FBI has now on certain people. At the top of the list, and the one who flew the most, was Bill Clinton. Then he lied about it. They are intertwined in that regard and with the Clinton Foundation that we know is a fraud. It is known around the world, and you’ve got these two intersections with Bill and Hillary Clinton. Of course, Hillary Clinton is tied to the dossier in an attempt to get rid of Donald Trump. So, these webs interlocked with each other, and these people interlock with each other. Welcome to the global elite. Welcome to human trafficking. These things are connected, and with Epstein dead, there are a lot of prominent people breathing a sigh of relief—for now.  

Advertisers Blacklisting News, Other Stories with “Controversial” Words Like “Trump”
"Trump" falls between "suicide" and "crash" on the list, well below "murder", "gun" and "rape".

AG Barr Fires Prisons Chief After Epstein Case Leaves Country Hanging

(It looks like we'll just get "heads rolling", no answers, no video, nada.)  

 Real cost-of-living inflation in 10 big US cities over the past 5 years has averaged 8.0% to 13.2%.
Would somebody please tell Social Security that, so they can adjust their inflation index for retirees?

Here is an interesting story about our widespread physiologic maladaptions to chronic stress, by an Ophthalmologist.
It starts with an ophthalmologist going partly blind in the O.R. under a grueling surgical schedule, and the changes found were only "in his head" to the degree that they were in his retina.
Of course it talks about how to think right so your frontal lobes don't shrink, because we can't really do more than that, can we?  

Fracking boom has been jacking up measured levels of atmospheric methane, a very potent greenhouse gas.

Fixing Things Wrong