Sunday, September 29, 2019

Eternally Vigilant


 Sun Yat Sen was one of the great historical figures of the 20th century, but we Americans never heard much about him. 
His acolytes were lesser and more egotistical, Mao and Chiang Kai-shek.
Eleni sent this article with some quotes from Master Sun about the British Empire, considering it as a whole entity, not considering where the core will-to-power might lie, which directed that empire. 
Where does that will-to-power reside now? 
It seems mobile and transnational, like money, come to think of it...
​ ​“The British are as cunning as the fox and as changeable as the weather and they are not ashamed of themselves… Britain seeks friendship only with those which can render her services, and when her friends are too weak to be of any use to her, they must be sacrificed in her interests. Britain’s tender regard for her friends is like the delicate care usually shown by farmers in the rearing of silkworms; after all the silk has been drawn from the cocoons, they are destroyed by fire or used as food for fish. The present friends of Britain are no more than silkworms.”
​ ​“The key policy of England is to attack the strongest enemy with the help of the weaker countries and join the weakened enemy in checking the growth of a 3rd country. The British foreign policy has remained basically unchanged for two centuries.”
​ ​“When England befriends another country, the purpose is not to maintain a cordial friendship for the sake of friendship but to utilize that country as a tool to fight a third country. When an enemy has been shorn of his power, he is turned into a friend, and the friend who has become strong, into an enemy. England always remains in a commanding position; she makes other countries fight her wars and she herself reaps the fruits of victory.”  

​Yemeni Houthis claim to have killed 500 Saudi (mostly mercenary) troops and captured 2000, along with Saudi officers (Those will include lower royal family, most likely.) This operation was an ambush inside Saudi Arabia, letting the Saudi forces run into an ambush, cutting them off, then hammering them from all sides. This is a reported majority of the Saudi army.
The House of Saud has had nothing to say yet about these claims...

​ ​A massive fire broke out Sunday at the the Haramain high-speed rail station in Saudi Arabia’s coastal city of Jeddah, and upon early reports the cause is as yet unknown.
​ ​Social media videos showed giant plumes of black smoke rising high above the train station and city in what's clearly a very significant incident...
​ ​The high speed rail is also seen as central to crown prince Mohammed bin Salman's efforts at drastically modernizing Saudi infrastructure to boost tourism, in order to eventually wean the economy off oil revenue dependency, in preparation for a post-oil future.  

Rapes and bombings have become a daily and pervasive problem in hospitable Sweden, after foreign men from foreign wars flooded in.
Now what? The Swedish press won't publicize it, but everybody knows anyway.

​ ​Vasily Prozorov was an Ukrainian security service (SBU) staffer from 1999 to 2018. Since 2014, he was an expert consultant in the SBU's main anti-terror unit. In 2018, he fled to Russia. The Ukrainians now call him a traitor. Writing on his blog Ukraine Leaks, he says that in 2016, the Ukrainian government openly supported Hillary Clinton and tried to help her defeat Donald Trump.
​ ​"Former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko was terribly afraid of a Republican victory, believing Donald Trump would change Russia policy and lift sanctions, reducing support for Ukraine and robbing Poroshenko of his Western power base. Ukrainegate is a criminal conspiracy of representatives of Hillary Clinton's campaign and the leadership of Ukraine in the person of Poroshenko, aimed at preventing Donald Trump from winning.
"At that time, I worked at SBU HQ in Kiev. I remember the panic that gripped the power structures in Ukraine after Donald Trump's victory. They expected immediate retaliation from Washington for Ukraine's participation in the attacks on Trump. Many politicians deleted their social media posts criticizing Trump. However, as it turned out, the phony Russiagate witch hunt kept the Trump campaign from doing anything that could look like "collusion" or "obstruction" abroad. Now, however, the Ukrainegate conspiracy is starting to unravel."​   
(Thanks, Eleni)

​Moon of Alabama has a good summary On the Motives Behind Whistleblower-Gate
There is so much to keep up with on this, every day, new twists.
​ ​The second attempt is a simpler construct than Russiagate. A CIA operative who was temporarily delegated to the White House constructed a 'whistleblower complain' that is completely based on hearsay and public sources. It is also about issues that are outside of the CIA's immediate business.  

Today's new twists are contained here:
Zelensky might fear that if he complies with Trump’s request, then his own major benefactor, Kolomoysky, could end up in prison somewhere; and Trump might fear that if he presses Zelensky on that (as he did not do but Democrats say he did), then the entire Deep State — not only Democratic Party billionaires, but also now Republican ones — will become Trump’s enemies, and his 2020 re-election chances will therefore go to zero. Consequently: Trump will probably abandon the matter, and the till-now-unsupported and maybe unsupportable mere assumption, that Hunter Biden’s Ukrainian benefactor was Zlochevsky instead of Kolomoysky, will continue to be asserted virtually everywhere throughout the U.S. empire, for as long a time as the matter continues to remain in the ‘news’. Of course, if that turns out to be the case, then Joe Biden will continue to be portrayed in this matter as having been a crusader against corruption in Ukraine, instead of as having been the aspiring founder of yet another billionaire American dynasty.  
​ ​Basically, the new Russiagate charges to replace Trump by Pence, Ukrainegate (as those charges were presented by the CIA ‘whistleblower’ on August 12th and published on September 26th), represent all of the Democratic Party’s billionaires, and many of the Republican Party’s ones, as well. It’s the pinnacle of the Obama-versus-Trump feud, because it represents the Democratic Party’s position on what was Obama’s top international achievement — his conquest (via a coup) against Ukraine.  

Caitlin Johnstone's view:
Take off the revolutionary’s mask, and it’s the CIA.
Take off the terrorist’s mask, and it’s the CIA.
Take off the news man’s mask, and it’s the CIA.
Take off the filmmaker’s mask, and it’s the CIA.
Take off the professor’s mask, and it’s the CIA.
Take off the billionaire’s mask, and it’s the CIA.
Take off the whistleblower’s mask, and it’s the motherfucking CIA.
These monsters are raping our sensemaking faculties.
 Never call anyone from the CIA a “whistleblower” unless they are actually whistleblowing on the CIA, without the CIA’s permission, in a way that inconveniences the CIA.

Trump is enjoying some schadenfreude, as the Democratic thought-broadcasting-machine bites off more than it can chew while starting to vomit Joe Biden. Russia Today has the story...
​ ​US President Donald Trump is blasting Democrats and “their media lapdogs” in a new campaign ad, claiming they seek to impeach him for wanting to investigate corruption in Ukraine involving former Vice President Joe Biden.
​ ​The 30-second ad that Trump tweeted out Friday afternoon opens with Biden boasting about getting a Ukrainian prosecutor fired after he threatened to withhold $1 billion from Kiev. The footage is from the former vice-president’s January 2018 appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations.

​Tulsi Gabbard has an interview here, with "friendly" reporters for a change, and says that Elizabeth Warren has not laid out her foreign policy vision, "the most important role of a Commander in Chief". 
Tulsi is kind of sloppy on some "facts", which I resent. Be Perfect! 
She says that the US backing out of the Iranian nuclear deal has put Iran back to working on nuclear weapons every day. 
That is not supported by facts, and is at odds with all of the non-Israeli intelligence assessments I have seen. 
Iran has not been working on a nuclear weapon for over 15 years.​ 
They really let her go a few times that I wanted a follow-up question, but her answers were basically on-target, while avoiding risky misfires.

Are We Approaching the End of Super-Imperialism?
This is a good historical overview of the post WW-2 global financial epoch, long on life support, and with some really spooky stuff on the monitors. Look at CNN over there, not that heart monitor!

Want To Save The Environment? De-Fund The Pentagon.​ Caitlin Johnstone​
​ ​There is no single, unified entity that is a larger polluter than America’s dishonestly labeled “Department of Defense”. Its yearly carbon output alone dwarfs that of entire first-world nations like Sweden and Portugal; if the US military were its own country it would rank 47th among emitters of greenhouse gasses, meaning it’s a worse polluter than over 140 entire nations. That’s completely separate from the pollution already produced by the US itself. None of the sociopathic corporations whose environmental impact is being rightly criticized today come anywhere remotely close to that of the Pentagon. They are going under the radar.  

​Mom's with higher fluoride levels in their urine gave birth to baby boys with significantly lower measured intelligence in life.
In reference to a study, entitled “Association Between Maternal Fluoride Exposure During Pregnancy and IQ Scores in Offsprings in Canada”[1], published in JAMA Pediatrics, the journal editors were stunned by a finding that fluoridated water exposure in mothers during pregnancy reduces the IQ of their sons.

​Watchful Friend​

(Image of hoot owl calmly gazing eye to eye in peach tree between kitchen and garden this morning. Spent the day)

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Sudden Reversals

Not Currying Favor,

Rothschild owned Financial Times comes out for curative surgery on Rentier Capitalism, which is killing the host again. Reset near, I guess.
​ ​The reality is that the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few privileged rentiers is not a deviation from capitalist competition, but a logical and regular outcome. In theory, we can distinguish between an unproductive rentier and a productive capitalist. But there is nothing to stop the productive, supposedly responsible businessperson becoming an absentee landlord or a remote shareholder, and this is often what happens. The rentier class is not an aberration but a common recurrence, one which tends to accompany periods of protracted economic decline.
​ ​It is a shift that tends to occur after economic crises, when less profit is to be had in productive enterprise and money is more effectively spent seeking monopoly rents or moved into speculative assets. Take, for example, the Medici family in Renaissance Florence, when they transformed themselves from textile traders into bankers after the crisis of the 14th century. The wealthy merchants of Amsterdam, too, became “periwig” rentiers as the Dutch Republic declined in the 18th century.
​ ​The French historian Fernand Braudel called this regular shift “a sign of autumn” – a symptom of the final phase of a long expansion, which is inevitably followed by a period of disorder and reorganisation.
​ ​The same process has been unfolding once more, albeit on a much larger scale, since the economic crisis of the 1970s. Having picked up steam after 2008, it has given rise to a new crop of rentier capitalists and platform monopolists – from Amazon to Facebook, Goldman Sachs to GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer – that exert not just immense market power, but also great political influence.

​Pepe Escobar Interviews a Yemeni military commander about Yemen's strike capability against Saudi petroleum infrastructure:. (Where now, petrodollar?_
“There is no other plausible explanation” translates as the occultation of Yemen. Yemen only features as the pounding ground of a vicious Saudi war, de facto supported by Washington and London and conducted with US and UK weapons, which has generated a horrendous humanitarian crisis.
So Iran is the culprit, no evidence provided, end of story, even if the “investigation continues.”
​ ​Hassan Ali Al-Emad, Yemeni scholar and the son of a prominent tribal leader with ascendance over ten clans, begs to differ. “From a military perspective, nobody ever took our forces in Yemen seriously. Perhaps they started understanding it when our missiles hit Aramco.”...
​ ​Al-Emad breaks down Houthi weaponry into three categories: the old missile stock; cannibalized missiles using different spare parts (“transformation made in Yemen”); and those with new technology that use reverse engineering. He stressed: “We accept help from everybody,” which suggests that not only Tehran and Hezbollah are pitching in.
​ ​Al-Emad’s key demand is actually humanitarian: “We request that Sana’a airport be reopened for help to the Yemeni people.” And he has a message for global public opinion that the EU-3 are obviously not aware of: “Saudi is collapsing and America is embracing it in its fall.”  
(Whazzat s'posta mean?)

​ ​On the morning of 14 September, 18 drones and seven cruise missiles – all cheap and unsophisticated compared to modern military aircraft – disabled half of Saudi Arabia’s crude oil production and raised the world price of oil by 20 per cent...
... over-focus on responsibility diverts attention from a much more important development: a middle ranking power like Iran, under sanctions and with limited resources and expertise, acting alone or through allies, has inflicted crippling damage on theoretically much better-armed Saudi Arabia which is supposedly defended by the US, the world’s greatest military super-power.
​ ​If the US and Saudi Arabia are particularly hesitant to retaliate against Iran it is because they know now, contrary to what they might have believed a year ago, that a counter-attack will not be a cost-free exercise. What happened before can happen again: not for nothing has Iran been called a “drone superpower”...
​ ​Anthony Cordesman, a military expert at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, succinctly sums up the importance of this change, writing that “the strikes on Saudi Arabia provide a clear strategic warning that the US era of air supremacy in the Gulf, and the near US monopoly on precision strike capability, is rapidly fading.”​   

​If only Trump wanted to negotiate a deal with Iran...​
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran is willing to give reassurances on not seeking nuclear arms and accept changes to its 2015 nuclear accord with world power if the United States returns to the deal and lifts sanctions, a government spokesman said on Wednesday.
“If the sanctions are ended and there is a return to the (nuclear) accord, there is room for giving reassurances toward breaking the deadlock and the President (Hassan Rouhani) has even a proposal for small changes in the accord,” the spokesman, Ali Rabiei, said on state TV.

​Natural gas prices are way too low (1970s bottom in adjusted dollars) in the US to support the high cost of fracking. Converting to LNG raises prices too high at distant European and Asian ports. So what can happen when producers are losing money on production and buyers can't afford the cost where they burn it?​ [Don't put yourself at risk by depending on cheap Russian gas pipelines! Oh, No!]

​ ​The transcript of the call from President Trump to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is enough to make Edwin Edwards, the infamous Louisiana governor, blush. Edwards once bragged, “The only way I can lose this election is if I’m caught in bed with either a dead girl or live boy.”​ ​
​ ​Yet for those hoping to find a dead promise or a live Russian in the transcript, they will be disappointed again. The transcript lacks a critical element needed for impeachment, which is evidence of a quid pro quo. Trump never connects the investigation with the roughly $400 million in military aid...
​ ​Despite efforts of critics to downplay the underlying allegations, the Biden affair would be relevant to the merits of such a trial. If Trump simply picked up the phone and asked a foreign leader to investigate Elizabeth Warren without any outstanding allegations of corruption, it would be impossible to defend. The problem here is that the Biden contracts do appear to involve corruption, precisely the type that Biden lambasted when he bragged about getting the Ukrainian prosecutor fired.
​ ​If one agrees that the windfall contracts secured by Hunter Biden were obvious influence peddling, then Trump pushing for an investigation into that possible crime becomes more defensible. It does not, however, make it right.

​Moon of Alabama:
​ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday announced that she was opening an impeachment process against President Donald Trump:
 Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday that the House would initiate a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump, charging him with betraying his oath of office and the nation’s security by seeking to enlist a foreign power to tarnish a rival for his own political gain.
 Instead of running on policy issues the Democrats will (again) try to find vague dirt with which they can tarnish Trump. This is a huge political mistake. It will help Trump to win his reelection.
 After two years of falsely accusing Trump of having colluded with Russia they now allege that he colludes with Ukraine. That will make it much more difficult for the Democrats to hide the dirty hands they had in creating Russiagate. Their currently preferred candidate Joe Biden will get damaged 

​More Moon:
​ During the then still ongoing Mueller investigation Rudi Giuliani, as a private lawyer for President Trump, tried to find exculpating information which he hoped would debunk the allegations of collusion between Trump and Russia.
 It was known that there had been involvement of Ukraine related people as well as of Ukrainian officials in Russiagate and the election campaigns:
 Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.
 How deep where these involvements? Are there Ukrainian sources in the debunked Steele dossier about Trump?
 There was also the mysterious fact that just three weeks after the U.S. managed 2014 coup in Ukraine, in which Joe Biden as then U.S. vice-president was heavily involved, Joe Biden's son Hunter started to receive more that $50,000 per month for being on the board of a Ukrainian gas company even though he had no knowledge of the gas business or the Ukraine...
​ ​Biden had publicly bragged to have blackmailed the then Ukrainian President Poroshenko into firing the then Prosecutor General of the Ukraine Shokin. Shokin had at that time an open case against the owner of the Ukrainian company Biden's son worked for.

​ ​A new report claiming thousands of Kashmiri children have been incarcerated has cast doubt on claims life is returning to normal in the state. After visiting Kashmir, activists found around 13,000 boys have been detained since its autonomous status was revoked on Aug 5.
​ ​The report, led by the National Federation of Indian Women, detailed claims that boys - some as young as 14 - had been imprisoned for up to 45 days...
​ ​The activists visited Kashmir between September 17 and 21 and interviewed members of the Jammu and Kashmir police, doctors and professors.
​ ​Their report claims the authorities used excessive force when arresting the boys, and that some have been tortured while imprisoned.
​ ​Domestic and international media has detailed the use of torture against Kashmiris, including beatings and electric shocks.
​ ​On Saturday, a 15-year-old boy committed suicide in Srinagar after allegedly being assaulted by the army.
​ ​“It is [an] Indian variant of genocide,” said Annie Raja, the General Secretary of the National Federation of Indian Women. Ms Raja's organisation has called on the India to release all children detained in Kashmir since August 5.

​If you take Turmeric for your health, find a way to make sure it is lead-free. 
​ ​The first study, available online in Environmental Research, involves a range of analyses, including interviews with farmers and spice processors in several Bangladesh's districts, which together produce nearly half of the nation's turmeric. Many traced the issue to the 1980s when a massive flood left turmeric crops wet and relatively dull in color. Demand for bright yellow curry led turmeric processors to add lead chromate—an industrial yellow pigment commonly used to color toys and furniture—to their product. The practice continued as a cheap, fast way to produce a desirable color.  

Not Favoring Curry

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Greta And Tulsi

History Students,

 How do historical agents of change get past the formidable defenses of elite vested interests?
Really; how does it possibly ever happen?
What odd creatures, who are not thought to be threats, are allowed to address the public, and BECOME threats to the system?
Donald Trump seems to be that kind of historical agent of change. 
He was mocked and derided until a little after that quite working, then attacked by all means short of assassination, which continues.
I have never particularly liked him, which matters not at all. 
He is not dead yet in a fight with what has been the ruling globalist cabal, and he has divided them some.
 I see Greta Thunberg as such an agent of change
She graduated to THREAT Monday at the UN.
Look at the responses! 
They are from the whole spectrum of elites and pundit class, really impressive. 
Trump and Macron personally belittled her, and so does SOTT (Sign Of The Times) blog, all with a sneer.
What Greta does is wrest control of the elite narrative away from the elites, by defining their EVIL (if they know and don't act responsibly, due to profit motive) , but stopping short of declaring them that, saying she chooses not to.
This invites the audience to judge them, an effective move.
 Many attack her as "emotional" or "irrational" or "naive", which only defends the internal cognitive process of the name-caller from cognitive dissonance. Greta considers her analytical capabilities to be her "Special Power".
Calling Greta derisive names may reveal inner cognitive vulnerability.
 I'll state my own cognitive model of planetary ecosystem, which is that fossil fuels, mines, and nitrogen from Haber-Bosch process have allowed our species to dominate about 95% of mammalian biomass with our own bodies and the bodies of domesticated animals. 
Our species has done what any species has always done with available resources, which is to convert them into members of the species.
 Historically, when our species has exceeded local carrying capacity, specialized species members have taken control of reducing the species through killing some members off, until the others could exist on the carrying capacity. 
These are what we call "kings", "nobles", "sociopaths",and  "ruling elites". 
They are wired without compassion, which allows them to perform their specialized task without distraction. 
We have a lot of them, now. They are especially well supported in the current economic model.
As the "deciders", they are using their special powers, focused only on selfish gain and power (their wiring) to destroy the mine-to-baby machine faster than it would otherwise be destroyed, as it ran out of oil and copper, etc.
 As Caitlin Johnstone points out repeatedly, the elites need to control the narrative that guides us, the herd, in the directions of their choosing.
I believe that Global Warming is the least threatening aspect of Limits To Growth, and it has been selected initially to direct behaviors of the herd in the direction of herd-austerity, not elite austerity.
Traditionally, the elites have turned to massive war and slaughter, but the threat to all life, especially their lives, is too high from that now. Their impulses are thwarted at every turn towards massive war, by their own rational fear of death.
They really need to maintain control of the current system, which is their life support system, just as it is our life support system (readers). All of their interests are fairly short term, not past their own lives.
 The current system is doomed by it's own constructs, especially the financial constructs, which depend upon exponential growth for steady state existence, the Red Queen problem (faster to stay still).
The financial system, global financial capitalism, must fail first, and that is some kind of blessing, because it will force structural change upon all of human society, including those now insulated from change by their positions of power.
Many of the insulated are not sociopaths at all, but competent worker-bees. 
We are mostly a competent-worker-bee cohort, as I see it.
Revolutions succeed when the competent workers and the enforcers, together, change sides to the replacement social structure.
 Resource redistribution will require multiple steps, I believe. The first step will be redefining what claims on actual, physical wealth, are considered valid, and within what context. That is a political decision, picking who loses what.
There are probably 4 times the claims upon current wealth (retirement accounts, investments, savings) as there is real wealth now, but that's ok as long as there is no run on the assets, and enough blood is drawn to feed expectations of the holders of that bubble-wealth.
The run-on-the-bank is being forestalled with more and more promises and lies. How long will it work. "Global recession" has apparently just been admitted, and money is flowing to US markets, deemed more protected. 
This "money" is promises of future real wealth. 
Real productive capacity to create wealth, like beef, soybeans, gasoline, electricity, houses, etc, is declining as the cost of getting oil out of the ground increases, because oil is the critical energy drive of so many parts of the economy. Shale-oil is mostly a money-loser, but losses are deferred, just as profits are deferred, so the Ponzi-scheme is still operational, and looks ok on the surface today.
The crossover of Ponzi-wealth vs actual production tried to occur in 2008-2009, but got papered over with more promises, trillions of dollars of promises of future wealth and comfort. There is a wide perception that the next reset will be the actual (first real) reset, and it is feared by all knowledgeable economic participants, certainly including myself.
 Let me return to Greta-the-Threat
 Greta walked into the UN and pulled back the curtain, showing the man working the levers, and said, 
"You appear to be lying to us and killing our whole planet for short-sighted selfish reasons, which is immature".
This did threaten the elite narrative, pushing herd-austerity through carbon-pricing, wage arbitrage and other "market-mechanisms".
It also threatens a lot of personal narratives, because it demands immediate, "radical" change, and implies a threat.
 Greta clearly implied a future threat to all vested interests, certainly including us, dear readers.
This is the seething, angry threat of the young-and-robbed, the threat of pitchforks and mass killings. 
French Revolution, Bolsheviks, Krystallnacht, Cultural Revolution, and Killing Fields come to mind. 
 Greta is the first to raise this threat in America, and in the Imperial city of New York, at the United Nations.
I think belittling her and trying to put her in her place won't work, because she embodies the core archetypal threat message.
I also do not think that counter-offers will be made soon, though many must be in consideration at various elite levels.
The black flag threat of class violence against the elite rulers has been planted on a small hill in new York. 
There it flies.

Tulsi Gabbard may become a historical agent of change. 
She's against the wars of empire, and with first-hand knowledge of war. 
She's sure. That's necessary.
Tulsi has shown up with over 2% support in so many polls, that another one was finally in the list the DNC had to accept for qualifying..
She will be in the October Democratic debate(s). Will she be in the same debate with Warren and/or Sanders, if there are two?
Will Joe Biden give up his spot?

The DNC announces tougher inclusion criteria for November debate. Who will get weeded? Who won't get weeded? Now taking bets.

 Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is certainly the most interesting and 'outside-the-establishment-box' candidate on the Democrat side running for president — a "Ron Paul of the Left" of sorts given her outspoken criticism of US regime change wars and standing against foreign policy adventurism as her central message.
 She even once met in 2016 with then President-elect Trump to discuss Syria policy and non-interventionism at a private meeting at Trump Tower just ahead of his being sworn into office, after which she said both agreed to resist "the drumbeats of war [on Syria] that neocons have been beating to drag us into an escalation...".
 And now she's resisting calls for Trump to be impeached, saying it would be "terribly divisive". She told "Fox & Friends" on Tuesday that she'll remain consistent to her message that the road to 2020 can only be found in a clear victory and mandate, saying it's for "the American people... making that decision" of who is in the White House, not impeachment.

The White House will release "whistleblower" complaint, legal analysis, and Ukrainian presidential phone transcript by tomorrow, Thursday.

Rudy Giuliani went on TV this morning and fired a broadside at Biden and Obama.
He also called out the Obama administration for being "in the tank," asking "Why didn't Obama say - when he saw the first Ukraine article that said there was a serious conflict of interest. Why didn't Obama call his Vice President and say 'Joe, you can't give this kid a job ... Joe, did you get your kid a job with the crookedest oligarch in Ukraine? Just four months after we had to toss him out of the military for drug addiction? Do you know how that's gonna look Joe?"  

Ukraine Likely to Reopen Probe of Hunter Biden Firm
President Zelensky came to office vowing to fight corruption, and it looks like he’ll open a lot of cases shut by shady prosecutors. But the focus is on Ukraine, not the U.S.

 Following the release of a transcript betwen President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky - which does not rev​e​al a 'quid pro quo' or other attempts to pressure Ukraine into investigating Trump's 2020 Democratic rival Joe Biden, the Wall Street Journal's Kimberly Strassel took to Twitter to dissect yet 'another internal attempt to take out a president.'

IG Says Trump-Ukraine Whistleblower Had 'Bias' In Favor Of 'Rival Candidate'

 The Supermassive Black Hole at the Center of Our Galaxy Just Got Extremely Hungry
"We have never seen anything like this in the 24 years we have studied the supermassive black hole."

R​ude Interruption​

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Rich People Naked


This Jinni won't go back into the bottle.
Greta Thunberg was invited by global elites to speak as the honored guest within the UN holy-of-holys and she decreed that they are evil liars, but she just doesn't want to believe it. 
She has taken the role of the kid in the crowd who says "The Emperor is Naked".
She just spoke to the world that the whole ruling class is lying, deceptive, and taking no necessary action, while knowing that is killing life on earth.
They have put her in a position to be Grand Inquisitor, and she has judged them harshly.

The elites are also common criminals. Look at Joe Biden and son (fruit-not-far-from-tree) Hunter.
Fancy the overlay of broadening the application of legal statutes to apply to Air Force 2 fliers, then Air Force 1, Bibi Netantahu,the House of Saud,  and so on, in the context of Greta Thunburg's declaration that the whole class is evil, by definition.
There has been massive commentary backlash against her UN speech by those elites who actually watched it, after thinking she was a nice sincere, mildly-autistic girl who they could use for their PR purposes.

Here is the core of her speech Monday:
"My message is that we'll be watching you."   ...
"For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you're doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.
 "You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that. Because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And that I refuse to believe.
 "The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5 degrees [Celsius], and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control." ...
​ ​"How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just 'business as usual' and some technical solutions? With today's emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less than 8 1/2 years.
​ ​"There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures here today, because these numbers are too uncomfortable. And you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.
​ ​"You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.
"We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.
"Thank you."

​Awaiting Sentencing​

Monday, September 23, 2019

Over The Cliff

Still Following Clowns,

Tom Luongo ponders implications and repercussions of Tulsi Gabbard's tweet last week about "President Trump making America Saudi Arabia's Bitch Again", or something to that effect.
​ ​Rep. and Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) brought the hammer and the house down on Twitter for calling out President Trump on subordinating the US military to a foreign power’s prerogative.
 She was completely right to take this tack with Trump here. And Trump was completely right, for once, to ignore a challenge to his authority and persona. Because had he done so, he would have boosted Gabbard as a real challenger to him in 2020. Trump knows that in politics you neve r attack down unless there is no down side.
​ ​Gabbard’s uncompromising honesty and principles on these important foreign policy positions give her the moral high ground.
​ ​Trump can’t respond to that without betraying his entire Presidential aura...
​ ​To Trump’s credit he seems to have realized that this incident was another like the events which led up to the US Global Hawk drone getting shot down in June. It was designed to get him to over-commit to a policy which would engulf the world in a war that only a very few powerful and highly placed want.

​Luongo also argues that Trump has stepped into a trap by sending American soldiers to Saudi Arabia, to get killed protecting the ARAMCO IPO. 
I’m sure Tulsi Gabbard is overjoyed at her ‘brothers and sisters’ being sold to the highest bidder.​ ​This​ (Saudi ARAMCO IPO)​ is a $400 billion deal that Wall St. punters have choked on for three years trying to drum up support for. Now that they finally have it lined up, after Trump subordinating U.S. foreign policy to it and Israel for his entire term in office, a few well-placed drones threatens to bring the entire thing crumbling down.
​ ​But this is a trap. Iran had to see this as a potential outcome of the attack and committing U.S. troops looks like a ‘check’ move to Iran’s pushing the pawn.
​ ​But it’s not. Because the U.S. can’t actually engage here without enmeshing Trump in a quagmire that is deeply unpopular back home and likely more damaging to the markets than if Trump didn’t move troops in.
​ ​Because now, with troops on the peninsula, there’s greater potential for conflict.
​ ​What are the U.S. troops going to do, actually? In the end, we’re now using them as human shields to protect a country which invaded their neighbor, is on the brink of financial breakdown, and can’t effectively fight the chaos it’s unleashed.  

I've been following this​ story, Today it reached critical mass. The Clintons ​and Bushes ​are bigger​ mobsters​ , but  ​​investigating Joe ​​Biden is a start.​
Rudy Giuliani leveled serious new claims at the Bidens in a series of Monday morning tweets. Chief among them is a claim that $3 million was laundered to former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, via a "Ukraine-Latvia-Cyprus-US" route - a revelation he claims was "kept from you by Swamp Media."  
Trump's personal attorney then mentioned China - where journalist Peter Schweizer reported Joe and Hunter Biden flew in 2013 on Air Force Two. Two weeks later, Hunter's firm inked a private equity deal for $1 billion with a subsidiary of the Chinese government's Bank of China, which expanded to $1.5 billion, according to an article by Schweizer's in the New York Post.  
On Saturday, Joe Biden said he "never" spoke with Hunter about the Ukrainian energy company that Hunter sat on the board of while being paid $50,000 per month. As you're doubtless aware by now, the elder Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in US loan guarantees from Ukraine if they didn't fire the investigator probing the company, Burisma.  
Hunter, however, admitted in July that the two did speak about his Ukraine business "just once," telling the New Yorker "Dad said, ‘I hope you know what you are doing,’ and I said, ‘I do'"
Rudy Giuliani: "[Biden's] family has been taking money from his public office for years, $1.5 billion from China, when our VP is supposed to be impartially and independently negotiating for us? He takes [his son] on Air Force Two to China and the kid ... is a drug addict"
Rudy then lashed out at the Democratic party, which he said would "own" Biden's scandals if hey don't "call for investigation of Bidens' millions from Ukraine and billions from China."  ...
 Amazing how so many countries would scramble to do business with Hunter - a guy with virtually no experience who was discharged from the Navy after testing positive for cocaine - who just happened to be the Vice President's son.

​Jim Kunstler has more on the story, including video of Jokin'-Joe profanely bragging about getting the Ukrainian prosecutor fired for investigating Hunter Biden's business.​ (Joe's mouth appears to run unmonitored by Joe's intermittently-functioning frontal cortex.)  

​Still the best ex-president ever...​
 The truth is emerging four decades after the fact: the Carter administration knew of a clandestine Israeli nuclear test in the 1970s, but turned a blind eye, Foreign Policy reported this weekend, based on new analysis of declassified government documents.
 The report strongly suggests the administration was worried about Carter's reelection should the Israeli test be revealed, and also about negative impact on the Israel-Egypt peace treaty, only a year old at the time. The FP report begins dramatically:
 Shortly before sunrise on Sept. 22, 1979, a U.S. surveillance satellite known as Vela 6911 recorded an unusual double flash as it orbited the earth above the South Atlantic. At Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, where it was still nighttime on Sept. 21, the staff in charge of monitoring the satellite’s transmissions saw the unmistakable pattern produced by a nuclear explosion — something U.S. satellites had detected on dozens of previous occasions in the wake of nuclear tests. The Air Force base issued an alert overnight, and President Jimmy Carter quickly called a meeting in the White House Situation Room the next day.
 Carter wrote in his diary of the September 22, 1979 event: “There was an indication of a nuclear explosion in the region of South Africa – either South Africa, Israel using a ship at sea, or nothing,” according to the report.
 Problem was that under the 1977 Glenn Amendment to the Arms Export Control Act, the United States would have to cease all arms assistance to any nation not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty should they conduct a nuclear test.
 So to deflect the potential for a scandal and forced cessation of US aid to Israel's military, the administration convened a panel of 'experts' and scientists whose job it was to publicly dismiss the possibility that Israel detonated a nuke. This would be the official line of the administration within the DoD: to essentially cover-up the satellite findings and to proclaim is wasn't a nuclear flash at all detected on that day...
​ ​The Foreign Policy report revealed, shockingly: “The Carter administration was so afraid to enforce the Partial Test Ban Treaty against Israel’s 1979 violation that it did what it could to erase or keep hidden evidence of its detection of a test.” Thus the hard science and evidence survived in the classified records, while the lie and cover-up attempt did also.
From there it became an entrenched lie. All future administrations would use it as a smokescreen to shield public attention from what top officials well understood — that close US ally Israel has long been a nuclear power, despite its public stance to the world that it is not.  

Greta Thunberg has been thrust into history, a serious and analytical-minded young woman, disarming due to her relative youth.
​ ​Video of Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg crossing paths with President Trump following her forceful speech at the United Nations on Monday quickly went viral across social media.
​ ​The encounter between the two came after Thunberg accused leaders of failing her generation during a blistering speech at the U.N. General Assembly climate summit...
 ​Thunberg has gained a high profile over the past year for her consistent efforts to address the problems that climate change pose for future generations. She began her advocacy last year by handing out leaflets outside Swedish Parliament saying, “I am doing this because you adults are shitting on my future.”
​ ​In an emotional speech Monday, she railed against world leaders for forcing children to take the lead in the global fight against global warming.
​ ​“My message is that we will be watching you,” Thunberg said. “This is all wrong. I shouldn't be up here, I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean, yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you.”
​ ​"People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of the mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you,” she added later.

​We need to do this work. Young Greta does not have the knowledge or experience to plan this out. 
The initial steps are easy. Buy less, drive less, bike more, and grow vegetables.​
​ ​The global protest culminated in New York which was anticipating one of the largest climate strikes. Education chiefs in the city gave every one of the 1.1 million children in its schools permission to attend the climate strike and hear Thunberg speak at a rally at the United Nations headquarters.
“Greta! Greta! Greta!” the crowd chanted as she took to the stage.
The 16-year-old directed her speech to the students in the crowd, though she acknowledged that adults also skipped worked to strike.
​ ​“We will do everything in our power to stop this crisis from getting worse, even if it means skipping school or work, because this is more important,” she said. “Why should we study for a future that is being taken away from us?”
​ ​She sparked laughter when she described all the politicians she had met who asked for selfies and “tell us they really, really admire what we do” yet have done nothing to address the climate crisis. “We demand a safe future. Is that really to much to ask?”
​ ​It was estimated that more than 250,000 people turned out for the protests in New York, with thousands more demonstrating in Boston, Miami and San Francisco.

​Th UN also welcomed the Houthi offer to stop attacking Saudi oil infrastructure. :-) What's not to like. 
MBS, you play nice, too, now!​

We're not supposed to know this. We're nowhere near smart enough to even comprehend it. 
​ ​Google’s new quantum computer reportedly spends mere minutes on the tasks the world’s top supercomputers would need several millennia to perform. The media found out about this after NASA “accidentally” shared the firm’s research.
​ ​The software engineers at Google have built the world’s most powerful computer, the Financial Times and Fortune magazine reported on Friday, citing the company’s now-removed research paper. The paper is said to have been posted on a website hosted by NASA, which partners with Google, but later quietly taken down, without explanation.
​ ​Google and NASA have refused to comment on the matter. A source within the IT giant, however, told Fortune that NASA had “accidentally” published the paper before its team could verify its findings.
​ ​In the research, Google reportedly claimed that it takes their new quantum processor just around 200 seconds to make calculations that existing supercomputers would require around 10,000 years to perform. They also said the processor requires mere 30 seconds to complete a task the Google Cloud server would need 50 trillion hours to do.  

​Oh, somebody is making this all scary for us. 
Am I supposed to be more scared of Google than of China, Russia, Israel, and Donald Trump?
Well, Google does have deals with the first 3 and the CIA and NSA already, I guess...
Google’s “Quantum Supremacy” to Render All Cryptocurrency & Military Secrets Breakable
Supercomputer breakthrough will allow Big Tech giant to control the world.

Considering Future Consequences

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Green Work Deal

Not In Workforce,

 Any actual sustainable human economy will involve small-holder subsistence farming as it's foundation. It is really efficient at meeting human needs for food, activity, meaningful livelihood, social engagement and cooperation, and it is how we all got here over the past several thousand years. Fossil fuel fired industrialization is a blip. Anybody can learn to do things easier, but it's a one way street, and we're near the end.
 That's my thesis. 
 We are deeply ill-at-ease because we sense that things are unstable, won't last, and we can't see how to prepare for what is next.
We can see, actually, but we know we can't do the work needed to live like Chinese farmers did for thousands of years, on the same little family farms.
 It is reassuring to be told that trillions of dollars will be spent on a Green New Deal, allowing us to have a better and eco-friendly standard of living.
"You can't get there from here" might be the best answer, because all of those projections omit what it takes to accomplish them, and overlook our recent past performance, as well. 
We just added solar and wind power onto everything else. It's actually really hard to replace natural gas fired power plants with anything, except hydroelectric, and that has all been spoken for.
It requires fossil fuels and mines to make solar panels, wind turbines and batteries. All the minerals to make batteries will run out way before we get enough batteries, and we already have a problem with used batteries, which will become huge.
Did you grow up in a world where not every family had a car, and nobody had air conditioning yet? I started there, and wonder how I could cope without the AC in Texas these days, though we all did in those days. It was hard to sleep at night in the summer. Those box fans only do so much. School classrooms had really big fans and open windows, and let out for the summer.
 Less, a whole lot less, less than any of us remember, unless we have traveled to "poor countries"; that's what we will have to work with.
We can make preparations now, prepare ourselves, prepare our gardens, repair our bicycles and ride them for at least a few hours per week, maybe figure out how to get groceries home... 
That's not making the jump, but it is getting into a position to understand it better. It's possible.
Look for the Green New Deal to start advertising "Green Job Guaranty" instead of "universal income". That will be the marker for something real.
 A further thought came to me this morning in the okra rows: Rulers don't really need the consent of ALL of the ruled. 
Rulers do need full cooperation from the productive workers, though. 
What will be the necessary productive work in 2029? 
Okra will be part of it, I think. I've got lots of okra right now.

Randy sent me this (better) review of Naomi Klein's new book by Bob Jensen:
The Danger of Inspiration: A Review of On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal
Naomi Klein's new book is essential reading, but does it go far enough in confronting the grim realities we truly face?

​ At the conclusion of these 18 essays that bluntly outline the crises and explain a Green New Deal response, Klein bolsters readers searching for hope: “[W]hen the future of life is at stake, there is nothing we cannot achieve.” 
It is tempting to embrace that claim, especially after nearly 300 pages of Klein’s eloquent writing that weaves insightful analysis together with honest personal reflection.
The problem, of course, is that the statement is not even close to being true. With nearly 8 billion people living within a severely degraded ecosphere, there are many things we cannot, and will not, achieve. A decent human future—perhaps any human future at all—depends on our ability to come to terms with these limits.

​You can't buy what doesn't exist on the planet. Not even Daddy Warbucks can.
​ Most scientists, politicians, and business leaders tend to put their hope in technological progress. Regardless of ideology, there is a widespread expectation that new technologies will replace fossil fuels by harnessing renewable energy such as solar and wind. Many also trust that there will be technologies for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and for “geoengineering” the Earth’s climate. The common denominator in these visions is the faith that we can save modern civilisation if we shift to new technologies. But “technology” is not a magic wand. It requires a lot of money, which means claims on labour and resources from other areas. We tend to forget this crucial fact.
 I would argue that the way we take conventional “all-purpose” money for granted is the main reason why we have not understood how advanced technologies are dependent on the appropriation of labour and resources from elsewhere. In making it possible to exchange almost anything – human time, gadgets, ecosystems, whatever – for anything else on the market, people are constantly looking for the best deals, which ultimately means promoting the lowest wages and the cheapest resources in the global South.
 It is the logic of money that has created the utterly unsustainable and growth-hungry global society that exists today. To get our globalised economy to respect natural limits, we must set limits to what can be exchanged. Unfortunately, it seems increasingly probable that we shall have to experience something closer to disaster – such as a semi-global harvest failure – before we are prepared to seriously question how money and markets are currently designed...
​ ​This dependence of technology on global social relations is not just a matter of money. In quite a physical sense, the viability of the steam engine relied on the flows of human labour energy and other resources that had been invested in cotton fibre from South Carolina, in the US, coal from Wales and iron from Sweden. Modern technology, then, is a product of the metabolism of world society, not simply the result of uncovering “facts” of nature.

​ ​Consciousness of selfhood, of our place in the universe, and of our relationship with all living things, comes at a cost: the certainty of our demise and, what is often worse, the demise of others. This uniquely human grasp of the inevitability of death, and of the fact it can occur without warning, embodies the potential for immense psychological distress – we share with all animals, after all, the drive for self-preservation – but it also carries the potential for a richly meaningful and purposeful life, and research appears to support this.
​ ​A growing body of experimental evidence derived from Terror Management Theory, an approach that emerged from within existential social psychology, suggests increased awareness of mortality leads, correspondingly, to increased investment in those resources that provide meaning – social and cultural structures such as family, community and social identities – and that this in turn reduces the fear of death.

 The New Orthodoxy: Blasphemy, Heresy and the New Inquisition, Charles Hugh Smith​
​ ​ A corrupt Orthodoxy devoid of new ideas, an Orthodoxy devoted to maintaining the wealth, status and power of insiders regardless of cost, is a brittle, fragile, unstable system.
​ ​When the ruling Elites sense their control of the populace is waning, they seek to regain full control via the imposition of a strict Orthodoxy, enforced by an Inquisition. We are living in just such an era. Everywhere we turn, a New Orthodoxy reigns. Dissent is blasphemy, and any narratives outside the approved Orthodoxy are heretical and subject to suppression and punishment.
​ ​New Orthodoxies abound, and woe to those who fail to signal their virtue publicly. One New Orthodoxy is that one's sexual and ethnic characteristics are all-important signifiers of identity. This orthodoxy is critically important to the ruling Elites, as this fragments the populace into tribes warring over their relative degree of victimhood and indignation.
​ ​This orthodoxy insures the populace can never gain class consciousness, i.e. an awareness that the ruling Elites and their apparatchiks (the Federal Reserve, Big Tech, the security agencies, et al.) are their class enemies, as the Elites rule at the expense of everyone beneath them.
​ ​Questioning the ruling rentier "solution" to climate change--carbon credits that trade like CDOs, securities, etc.--marks one as a dangerous heretic. Anyone questioning the rentier skim of carbon credits is labeled a climate-change denier, and run through the media/social media Inquisition.

​ ​BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT JAIR Bolsonaro is planning to push industrialization and development in the interior of the country’s Amazon basin. It is far from a new project. For more than a century, a series of Brazilian governments have sought to move into the country’s interior, developing — or, to be more precise, colonizing — the Amazon. From the populist president-turned-dictator who made one of the early industrial pushes into the forest in the 1930s to the military dictatorship that ruled the country for two decades from 1964 until 1985, the justifications have largely been the same — economic gain and geopolitical paranoia​.

​George Monbiot advocates limits on individual (and corporate) "wealth". Within what context does "wealth" exist? Is it a healthy context?
What if Bill Gates owned the whole Amazon, despite all the humans, animals and plants composing the lungs-of-the-Earth ecosystem?​
​ ​A series of research papers shows that income is by far the most important determinant of environmental impact. It doesn’t matter how green you think you are; if you have surplus money, you spend it. The only form of consumption that’s clearly and positively correlated with good environmental intentions is diet: people who see themselves as green tend to eat less meat and more organic vegetables. But attitudes have little bearing on the amount of transport fuel, home energy and other materials you consume. Money conquers all.  

​Moon of Alabama: ​
The Crisis Over The Attack On Saudi Oil Infrastructure Is Over - We Now Wait For the Next One
The crisis about the Yemeni drone and cruise missile attack on two Saudi oil installations is for now over.
​ ​The Saudis and the U.S. accuse Iran of being behind the "act of war" as Secretary of State Pompeo called it. 
The Saudis have bombed Yemen with U.S. made bombs since 2015. One wonders how Pompeo is calling that.
​ ​The Yemeni forces aligned with the Houthi Ansarallah do not deny that their drones and cruise missiles are copies of Iranian designs. But they insist that they are built in Yemen and fired from there.
​ ​President Trump will not launch a military attack against Iran. Neither will the Saudis or anyone else. Iran has deterred them by explaining that any attack on Iran will be responded to by waging all out war against the U.S. and its 'allies' around the Persian Gulf.

​ ​Yemen's Houthis have announced at the end of a dramatic week following the early Saturday aerial attacks on two Saudi Aramco facilities which knocked out up to half of the kingdom's daily oil production their intent to cease targeting Saudi territories.
​ ​Pro-Houthi Al Masirah TV announced the news Friday, citing president of the rebels’ ruling council Mahdi al-Mashat, who said the group "will halt all attacks on Saudi territories with ballistic missiles and drones," as translated by Bloomberg.
However, the statement said it was conditioned on the Saudi coalition halting its own devastating airstrikes over Yemen as well, which have been a constant since Yemen's civil war brought Saudi military intervention in 2015. Houthi forces have "the right to respond to any aggression" the statement added.  

​ ​Benny Gantz, whose centrist bloc narrowly defeated Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party in a snap election, says he is forming a government that will exclude the current prime minister – signaling the end of Bibi’s era may be near.
​ ​The ex-IDF chief said on Thursday that he would not accept Netanyahu’s offer to discuss a unity government, keeping good on his campaign pledge to create a ruling coalition that does not include Bibi.

CNN has viciously attacked US Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson for discussing the 9/11 false flag operation on a radio show hosted by Dr. Kevin Barrett...
  In the 2012 appearance, Williamson agreed with host Dr. Barrett and said that questioning the factual history of the September 11, 2001, attacks was acceptable and no different than questioning the government account of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy...
  "Yeah, I couldn't agree with you more," Williamson responded. "And I think listen, to have questions about 9/11, to me, is no different than having questions about the Warren Commission. And I don't believe in the single bullet theory of the Kennedy assassination either."  

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Completely Different

Fresh Eyes,

 Naomi Klein ("Shock Doctrine") has a new book out about the need for a new and sustainable social and environmental contract, since we have outgrown the nature-is-limitless model. 
 She lays out the species-wide agreement which must be made. Industrial and financial capitalism are extractive of resources, a one-way trip to less than when you started.Economy must become broadly regenerative, which life can do. 
Life must be the basis of the "Green New Deal", not Mine-to-Landfill. Billions and billions of epiphanies need to happen. 
 Why is there not already a Green New Deal? 
We were approaching it when Reagan got elected. My own answer is that the deal is what Chinese farmers with bicycles had 40 years ago. Really good farmers, by the way... Grow vegetables!
​ ​On Fire’: In New Book, Naomi Klein Makes the Case for a Green New Deal to Save the Planet” (interview) [Democracy Now]. This part two of a multipart series (one, three, four, and five)
[KLEIN:] But it isn’t a single carbon-based policy, like a tax, you know, or cap and trade. It’s really about transforming the economy and making it fairer. Right? So, it’s battling poverty, it’s battling racism, it’s battling all forms of inequality and exclusion, at the same time as we radically lower our emissions, because we do know that if we are going to lower our emissions in time, it is going to take transformations of how we live in cities, how we move ourselves around, how we grow our food, where we get our energy from. So, essentially what the Green new Deal is saying: If we’re going to do all that, why wouldn’t we tackle all of these systemic economic and social crises at the same time? Because we live in a time of multiple, overlapping crises.​..

​(It’s not enough to know that you have a house on fire, or even that you desperately wish to extinguish it. Is the cause of the fire electrical, or not? Should we use water, or not? For our home, the earth, is the fire caused by bad ideas? White supremacy? Income disparity? Capital? And if combined, how? Surely our answer as to why there is no GND, and what we should do to get one, will vary, according to our theory of the cause of the fire? Given a theory of the fire, what is to be done? “Furious activity is no substitute for understanding,” as programmer H.H. Williams once said.​  Lambert​​)​

​This kind of thinking within the same box is never going to accomplish the human transformation into stewards of life on Earth, which is what we need to become.  
"Scientists​ Set Out How to Halve Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2030" fails to address the extractive economic model, and suggests that Google and Facebook should adjust people's thinking more effectively, so that they will embrace this necessary austerity for their own good. "Here, here's the list of what you have to do and what you have to give up to be worthy of your own life.You'll do fine." 
Nothing is said about applying this to the owners and managers first.

T​his is the third day that the Federal Reserve is coming up short with quick-pawn-cash for secure assets, like US Treasuries (and maybe some crap assets, too)​. Despite trying to get back ahead of the action, this morning's $75 billion repo auction was oversubscribed. The pawn shop did not have enough cash to satisfy the pressured supplicants.

Asymmetric-warfare-changes-everything update: 
​ ​We are the Houthis and we’re coming to town. With the spectacular attack on Abqaiq, Yemen’s Houthis have overturned the geopolitical chessboard in Southwest Asia – going as far as introducing a whole new dimension: the distinct possibility of investing in a push to drive the House of Saud out of power...
​ ​The only missile parts shown by the Saudis so far come from a Yemeni Quds 1 cruise missile. According to Brigadier General Yahya Saree, spokesman for the Sana’a-based Yemeni Armed Forces, “the Quds system proved its great ability to hit its targets and to bypass enemy interceptor systems.” ...
​ ​My conversations with sources in Tehran over the past two years have ascertained that the Houthis’ new drones and missiles are essentially copies of Iranian designs assembled in Yemen itself with crucial help from Hezbollah engineers.
 Professor Mohammad Marandi from the University of Tehran, who has very close relations with the Foreign Ministry, is adamant: “It didn’t come from Iran. If it did, it would be very embarrassing for the Americans, showing they are unable to detect a large number of Iranian drones and missiles. That doesn’t make sense.”...
​ ​Now we are entering a whole new dimension in asymmetric hybrid war.
​ ​In the – horrendous – event that Washington would decide to attack Iran, egged on by the usual neocon suspects, the Pentagon could never hope to hit and disable all the Iranian and/or Yemeni drones. The US could expect, for sure, all-out war. And then no ships would sail through the Strait of Hormuz. We all know the consequences of that.
​ ​Which brings us to The Big Surprise. The real reason there would be no ships traversing the Strait of Hormuz is that there would be no oil in the Gulf left to pump. The oil fields, having been bombed, would be burning.

 ​ ​In comments to reporters on Wednesday, President Trump is continuing to reject the idea of starting a war with Iran. After dismissing Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) calls, saying not starting a war was a sign of strength, he continued to roast Graham, citing Graham’s support for the Iraqi War, and saying reporters should ask “how did going into Iraq work out?“

 Russian President Vladimir Putin has during talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman called for an unbiased investigation to be carried out into the recent attack on Saudi oil facilities on 14 September, the president's press service reported.
​ ​"The issue of the attack on Saudi oil refineries has been discussed [during talks]. Vladimir Putin expressed his concern with regard to the situation and has called for conducting a thorough and unbiased investigation of the incident", the statement said.

​ ​The UN has sent its experts to Saudi Arabia to investigate the attacks on the Saudi Aramco oil refineries, AFP news agency informed, citing diplomatic sources.
Earlier, Riyadh informed that Saudi officials aim to invite international experts and UN specialists to investigate the attacks.

​Looks like foreign policy is Bolton's show and O'Brien is a worker-bee.
​ According to media reports, the US President Previously had planned to give the seat of the National Security Advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
 Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Robert O'Brien will join his administration as a new National Security Advisor. The Californian lawyer will replace John Bolton, who left the White House last week due to disagreements with the US President and members of his team.

Starting Over

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Killer Drone Pacifism

Glass House Dwellers,

The House of Saud has ruthlessly bombed and starved poor Yemenis for the last 5 years, without fear of consequences, let alone retaliation. 
The world is hurriedly recalculating the financial implications of that Yemeni brick through the west wall of the Glass House of Saud.
​ ​The devastating blitz on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry has led to a flurry of accusations from US officials blaming Iran. The reason for the finger-pointing is simple: Washington’s spectacular failure to protect its Saudi ally.
The Trump administration needs to scapegoat Iran for the latest military assault on Saudi Arabia because to acknowledge that the Houthi rebels mounted such an audacious assault on the oil kingdom’s heartland would be an admission of American inadequacy.
​ ​Saudi Arabia has spent billions of dollars in recent years purchasing US Patriot missile defense systems and supposedly cutting-edge radar technology from the Pentagon. If the Yemeni rebels can fly combat drones up to 1,000 kilometers into Saudi territory and knock out the linchpin production sites in the kingdom’s oil industry, then that should be a matter of huge embarrassment for US “protectors.”
​ ​American defense of Saudi Arabia is germane to their historical relationship. Saudi oil exports nominated in dollars for trade – the biggest on the planet – are vital for maintaining the petrodollar global market, which is in turn crucial for American economic power. In return, the US is obligated to be a protector of the Saudi monarchy, which comes with the lucrative added benefit of selling the kingdom weapons worth billions of dollars every year.
​ ​According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Saudi Arabia has the world’s third biggest military budget, behind the US and China.

​This is just going to get more embarrassing with each passing day...
​ ​Saudi Arabia revealed yesterday that, contrary to its initial estimates, Aramco should be able to restore oil production to 100% capacity by the end of the month. And on Wednesday morning, the kingdom's Defense Ministry said it was planning a press conference to present "material evidence" purportedly linking Tehran to the unprecedented attack on the Kingdom's oil infrastructure.
​ ​The country's defense ministry will hold a news conference later in the day laying out new evidence. This follows reports from the US claiming that the roughly 20 missiles and drones used in the attack had been traced back to a 'launch site' in southern Iran.

​Japan says they don't know of any evidence that Iran attacked Saudi Arabia, and believe that the Yemenis did it, like they said. 
(It could be more than one attack, and Israel could have done the second one. Yemen made 10 holes. Who made the other 7 holes?)​

  ​Iran tells Saudi Arabia it should see missile strike on its oil facilities as a WARNING and end its war with Yemen  
​Sounds like reasonable advice. The House of Saud should pay for some food, medicine, electricity, water, sewer, and hospitals, too.  

​There is a sudden desperate rush for $US right away, and nobody can seem to say why. There may be panic in covering some kind of speculation, which we might presume has flipped negative from the successful cheap-Yemeni-drone attacks on the big Saudi refinery. 
What cascading repercussions are underway now?

Trump talks big to move financial markets (and Israeli elections?), then quietly moves to reduce actual risk.
​ ​It appears oil markets just heard that one - since the early Saturday attacks on Saudi Aramco facilities talk of war has been on the table, especially given President Trump's initial "locked and loaded" threat - however it now seems certain there will be no war, given the president has announced new sanctions.
"I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!" Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.

​Trump names Mormon Hostage Negotiator, Robert O'Brien to National Security Adviser post. (whazzat gonna mean?)​
It looks like he has a lot of experience negotiating settlements for blowback-damage mitigation. Negotiate with Iran?

​We are members of nature, participants in the web of life on Earth, not separate owners/managers of lifeless property. Grow vegetables.
​ In the Anthropocene, we are seeing more and more how the fates of humanity and nature are intertwined. Governments and corporations have developed such control over the natural systems they exploit that they are destabilising the fundamental chemistry of the global climate system. As a result, inhospitable heat, rising seas, and increasingly frequent and extreme weather events will render millions of humans and animals refugees.

What actual steps need to be taken to consider Green New Deal concepts as the basis for a long term, sustainable economy, that will support global life forms and healthy ecosystems? What is the next step after Sparkle-Pony?
 But here is the problem. Increases in the scale of economic activity (as conventionally measured in terms of GDP) are associated with increases in the throughput of energy and materials, and these increases have involved increased emissions of greenhouse gases, resulting primarily from the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels. Green growth, requires that this association between GDP and GHG emissions must cease to exist: this is known as ‘decoupling’. It is doubtful whether any developed country has achieved this at the scale and permanence required (Burton and Somerville 2019, pp. 99–101), especially when international shipping and aviation plus embodied carbon in imports are taken into account (Anderson 2019)...
  So the desired, clean, growth of the economy has undesirable implications in terms of additional resource and energy use. Clean begets dirty...
  So far, increases in renewable energy deployment have not led to a reduction in fossil fuel usage globally. Overall their deployment has been to add to the global energy mix rather than replacing fossil fuels. Moreover, it is doubtful whether renewables can provide the scale of concentrated energy used by the current global economy: the constraints are less in the power that could theoretically be generated from natural flows than in the minerals needed to deploy them: minerals used in generators and motors, in batteries and in electronics, as well as copper for transmission of power (García-Olivares 2015). These are finite and with limited substitutability. The revolution will be low powered, so the Green Deal has to factor in a plan for energy descent...
...You can’t create minerals from sunlight. These economic consequences of the increasing scarcity and inaccessibility of most minerals and metals need to be addressed in any credible Green Deal, yet there is almost no discussion of this crucial reality in any of the proposals, nor of the ‘hidden’ resource intensive demands of new technology...
 “Four of nine planetary boundaries have now been crossed as a result of human activity:
Two of these, climate change and biosphere integrity, are what the scientists call ‘core boundaries’. Significantly altering either of these “core boundaries” would “drive the Earth System into a new state”...
  Some advocates suggest that the GND be funded through money created by government especially for this purpose – by electronically printing money.
​ ​In all these cases, the advance of money for investment ultimately requires ongoing expansion of capital, the modus operandi of the capitalist system, founded on the expropriation of surplus value in the labour process, which we know as economic growth. Without expansion, there is no, or insufficient, return on the outlay.
Despite the claims of some GND advocates, Green Deals are predicated on the expansion of GDP and as we saw, we can’t rely on that to decouple from material impacts.
​ ​That is, unless another way can be found. There are some indications that this might be possible.
Resource and energy caps.
Review evidence that credit needn’t imply growth.
Take production out of private ownership.
Redirect unnecessary expenditure.​ 
Substitute material production with social & environmental stewardship / “dépense”.

​Hostage For Life​