Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Offensive News

Somewhat Fragile,

We, all of us who can read this, have a vast vulnerability, which is that we depend upon the internet and electric grid for our life support, to such a degree that we would soon die in droves if they went away.
That is fairly dramatic, but also inevitable. It is something like 0.7% per decade, they say here:
The probability of occurrence on the next decade of an extreme event of a magnitude comparable or larger than the well-known Carrington event of 1859 is explored, and estimated to be between 0.46% and 1.88% (with a 95% confidence)  

What was the probability of a couple of 20-somethings from Romania hijacking most of the street cameras in Washington DC before the Trump inauguration and holding them for Bitcoin ransom? Impossible to calculate?

What is the probability of North Korea, China, Russia or Israel, perhaps setting off  nuclear warhead 30 miles above Kansas?
It would do about the same thing. (2-3 more would help cover the coastal areas better.)

A point I would like to make is that the Department of "Defense" should stop sending the imperial armies and secret assassins around the world to do the bidding of supra-national power elites.
Instead the Department should defend the continuity of the lives of all of the people who live in America, by developing back up supports for food supplies, transportation, fuel and electricity. 
That would put America back to work, because we would have to build a 1950s back-up-America. Vegetable gardens and bicycles still work, though the speedometers on them won't.
My suggestion re-employs Americans to re-create a resilient local economy. This will be necessary, I believe, in the next economic reset, and it would be a positive plan to rebuild America off the war-economy it has had since Pearl Harbor.

Russian Defense minister Publishes Evidence of US Oil Smuggling From Syria, with photographs. This is theft from Syrian citizens to fund US wars of empire. It's what's always for dinner.

Here is how it gets packaged for us:
U.S. military envisions broad defense of Syrian oilfields
This means American soldiers defend oil-smuggling mercenary armies from the Syrian owners of the oil, as it gets trucked to turkey for refining and transport to market, which happens to be Israel.

This whole thing may or may not be as-advertised. The body has been dumped at sea already. More dead kids:
“He died like a dog.” President Trump could not have scripted a better one-liner as he got ready for his Obama bin Laden close-up in front of the whole world.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, fake caliph, ISIS/Daesh leader, the most wanted man on the planet, was “brought to justice” under Trump’s watch. The dead dog caliph is now positioned as the ultimate foreign policy winning trophy ahead of 2020 reelection.
The climatic scenes of the inevitable-as-death-and-taxes movie or Netflix series to come are already written. (Trump: I “watched it like a movie.”) Cowardly uber-terrorist cornered in a dead-end tunnel, eight helicopter gunships hovering above, dogs barking in the darkness, three terrified children taken as hostages, coward detonates a suicide vest, tunnel collapses over himself and the children.

Eleni provides this first-hand whistle-blower account of the US-Ukraine-Burisma-gas-company-scam. It's huge.
A talk with Oleg Tsarev reveals the alleged identity of the "Trump/Ukraine Whistleblower"   
Oleg, you followed Biden story from its very inception. Biden is not the only Dem politician involved in the Ukrainian corruption schemes, is he?
Indeed, John Kerry, the Secretary of State in Obama’s administration, was his partner-in-crime. But Joe Biden was number one. During the Obama presidency, Biden was the US proconsul for Ukraine, and he was involved in many corruption schemesHe authorised transfer of three billion dollars of the US taxpayers’ money to the post-coup government of the Ukraine; the money was stolen, and Biden took a big share of the spoils.
It is a story of ripping the US taxpayer and the Ukrainian customer off for the benefit of a few corruptioners, American and Ukrainian. And it is a story of Kiev regime and its dependence on the US and IMF. The Ukraine has a few midsize deposits of natural gas, sufficient for domestic household consumption. The cost of its production was quite low; and the Ukrainians got used to pay pennies for their gas. Actually, it was so cheap to produce that the Ukraine could provide all its households with free gas for heating and cooking, just like Libya did. Despite low consumer price, the gas companies (like Burisma) had very high profits and very little expenditure.
After the 2014 coup, IMF demanded to raise the price of gas for the domestic consumer to European levels, and the new president Petro Poroshenko obliged them. The prices went sky-high. The Ukrainians were forced to pay many times more for their cooking and heating; and huge profits went to coffers of the gas companies. Instead of raising taxes or lowering prices, President Poroshenko demanded the gas companies to pay him or subsidise his projects...
 At that time Biden the father entered the fray. He called Poroshenko and gave him six hours to close the case against his son. Otherwise, one billion dollars of the US taxpayers’ funds won’t pass to the Ukrainian corruptioners. Zlochevsky, the Burisma owner, paid Biden well for this conversation: he received between three and ten million dollars, according to different sources...
 Sam Kislin was involved in this investigation. He is a good friend and associate of Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer and an ex-mayor of New York. Kislin is well known in Kiev, and I have many friends who are Sam’s friends [said Tsarev]. I learned of his progress, because some of my friends were detained in the United States, or interrogated in Ukraine. They briefed me about this. It appears that Burisma is just the tip of the scandal, the tip of the iceberg. If Trump will carry on, and use what was already initiated and investigated, the whole headquarters of the Democratic party will come down. They will not be able to hold elections. I have no right to name names, but believe me, leading functionaries of the Democratic party are involved...
And President Zelensky? Is he free from Clintonite Democrats’ influence?
If he were, there would not be the scandal of Trump phone call. How the Democrats learned of this call and its alleged content? The official version says there was a CIA man, a whistle-blower, who reported to the Democrats. What the version does not clarify, where this whistle-blower was located during the call. I tell you, he was located in Kiev, and he was present at the conversation, at the Ukrainian President Zelensky’s side. This man was (perhaps) a CIA asset, but he also was a close associate of George Soros, and a Ukrainian high-ranking official. His name is Mr Alexander Daniluk. 
 He is also the man the investigation of Sam Kislin and of the DoJ had led to, the Finance Minister of Ukraine at the time, the man who was responsible for the embezzlement of three billion US taxpayer’s best dollars. The DoJ issued an order for his arrest. Naturally he is devoted to Biden personally, and to the Dems in general. I would not trust his version of the phone call at all...  (and so, so much more...)

NYC Secretly Shipping Homeless People To Over 350 Cities Including Honolulu, Houston 
Under Mayor Bill de Blasio's "Special One-Time Assistance Program," (SOTA) local homeless families are given a full year's worth of rent - which has cost NYC taxpayers $89 million on rent alone since August 2017 - before exporting some 5,074 homeless families (12,482 individuals) to cities as far as the South Pacific.

Flying Somewhere

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Tulsi Stands With 9/11 Families


Tulsi Gabbard stands with 9/11 families as she remembers 9/11 and her decision to join the US Army, in response to what was done that day.
She is introduced as "Our Champion" by Tim Frolich, who was injured when the south tower collapsed.  

I have never seen Tulsi Gabbard as tense as when she makes her opening remarks to the families and press.
This is subtle, and she speaks more freely when she talks about her own decision to join the Army. She unhesitatingly goes after the Saudi connection to 9/11.
She sounds certain calling for release of records.
She calls for "truth" at least 3 times.
She closes her initial statement by, "calling on our government to bring everyone responsible for this attack to justice".
This is a dangerous line for her to tread, and she seems to know it.. 

 While technically within the Overton Window of acceptable political discourse, Major Gabbard appears to be pushing that envelope by what she is demanding, as she stands with those families.
Later in the conference, when she gets back to the podium, she says "we couldn't believe our eyes, when we saw those images over and over", on 9/11. 
She also quotes another attendee in agreement, "This is the Pearl Harbor of our generation". 
That may allude to the "New Pearl Harbor", in the Project For A New American Century.
It is ambiguous.

The close of the news conference is good.
Tulsi gives hugs.
She appears reserved in her statements in the close, as if she is restraining herself from saying something she knows.
She does say she will do everything in her power to get all of those who were responsible brought to justice.

Watch and listen to her with the daughter, who was 4 years old when she lost her father.
Tulsi really listens and hugs the young woman, and her mother. 
She appears to feel a load of responsibility to them.

She is the only presidential candidate standing with these families. 
She says they should all be there.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard throws down the gauntlet, in a way that implies she knows the gravity of her actions.

Thanks to Professor Anthony Hall for this video. I watched it all and took these notes. 
Other speakers also make important statements.

(I wonder if Tulsi would accept a nomination to Secretary Of Defense, even from "Cheeto". They won't let her be nominated for President, will they?)

Wondering Out Loud

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Iconoclastic Messengers

Damned If We Do,

Charles Hugh Smith:
​ ​The unraveling of everything that actually matters is quickening. While every "news" outlet cheerleads the stock market ("The Dow soared today as investor optimism rose... blah blah blah"), our "leadership" and our media don't even attempt to measure what's unraveling, much less address the underlying causes.
​ ​The hope is that if we ignore what's unraveling, it will magically go away. But that's not how reality works...
​ ​Note that the only group that benefited from the past 20 years of speculative bubbles is the top 1%. The whole idea that inflating bubbles creates a "wealth effect" that "trickles down" is preposterous, as evidenced by the decline of the middle 60% of households while the speculators and owners of bubble-assets skimmed the vast majority of income gains...
 The only way forward with any chance of success is to start by acknowledging the decay of our economy due to rampant financialization, legalized looting, the pathologies of "winner take most" speculation and the realities of a two-tiered system in which entrenched elites are "more equal" than the rest of us, economically, socially and politically. We have to accept the limits of technology to reverse the unraveling and assess the damage that's already been done to our shared capital.
​ ​Acting as if the system is working just fine and the problem is perception/optics is accelerating the unraveling.

​Finian Cunningham:
​ ​No wonder Democratic Party bosses and mainstream media are trying to bury presidential contender Tulsi Gabbard. She is the only candidate, perhaps the only politician in the US, who is telling the American public exactly what they need to know about what their government and military are really up to: fighting illegal regime-change wars, and to boot, sponsoring terrorists for that purpose...
​ ​“Donald Trump has blood of the Kurds on his hands, but so do many of the politicians in our country from both parties who have supported this ongoing regime-change war in Syria that started in 2011… along with many in the mainstream media who have been championing and cheer-leading this regime-change war.”
​ ​The 38-year-old military veteran went on to denounce how the US has sponsored Al Qaeda terrorists for its objective of overthrowing the government in Damascus.
It was a remarkably damning assessment of US policy in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East. And it was by no means the first time that Gabbard has leveled with the American people on the brutality and criminality of Washington’s so-called “interventions”.
​ ​The other 11 Democratic candidates on the stage during the TV debate looked agog after Gabbard’s devastating and calmly delivered statement. All the others have proffered the false narrative that US forces are in Syria to “fight terrorism”.

​Helen of DesTroy, via RT (Then her email comment about the real reason Tulsi is not running for re-election to a fourth congressional term):
​ ​Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard has abandoned her race for re-election in Hawaii to focus on securing her party’s presidential nomination, kicking the ‘Russian asset’ conspiracy theorizing into high gear.
​ ​Gabbard announced on Friday that she would not seek re-election to Congress, declaring she would focus instead on the presidential race. Promising to “end our interventionist foreign policy of being the world’s police, toppling dictators and governments we don’t like, and redirect our precious resources towards serving the needs of the people here at home,” she “humbly” asked her Hawaii constituents to support her candidacy, sending social media into a frenzy of speculation.

Helen: ​"From what I've heard, her Hillary troubles have led the DCCC to throw a big pile of cash behind her rival in Hawaii, Kai Kahele - supposedly a progressive, but if you've ever seen him speak the dude is the biggest stick-up-the-ass corporate centrist this side of Mazie Hirono... Anyway, Tulsi, lacking a massive warchest & having been effectively abandoned by her party, can only afford to do one race, according to people working for her campaign. I don't know what she's going to do when she loses the nomination."

​ ​The truth is that in addition to Turkey, the US, the UK, France, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have armed, financed and trained about 250 thousand jihadis from all around the world since 2010 for the purposes of attacking Syria, precipitating a disaster in the region, with repercussions felt in Europe, and committing crimes against humanity.
​ ​The Syrian Arab Army, with the assistance of its Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah allies, has managed to overcome the depredations of al-Qaeda and ISIS, confining them to the Idlib region, creating in the process some problems for the countries that armed and supported these monsters.

 ​ ​A (real)​ ​whistleblower with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), responsible for conducting an independent investigation into the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7, 2018, has presented WikiLeaks with a body of evidence suggesting the chemical weapons watchdog agency manipulated and suppressed evidence...
“We became convinced by the testimony that key information about chemical analyses, toxicology consultations, ballistics studies, and witness testimonies was suppressed, ostensibly to favor a preordained conclusion.”
​ ​The testimony further revealed “disquieting efforts to exclude some inspectors from the investigation whilst thwarting their attempts to raise legitimate concerns, highlight irregular practices or even to express their differing observations and assessments.”

Attorneys ​for ​John Bolton, President Trump's former National Security Adviser, are in discussions with House committees about the possibility of giving a deposition in their impeachment investigations, according to CNN.
Bolton, who some speculated was the original "first-hand" source of the whistleblower complaint which launched the impeachment inquiries, was fired after President Trump says he "disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions." ...
 According to sources, while Trump had been growing displeased with Bolton's belligerent recommendations and overall demeanor (recall "Bolton 'Deep in His Heart' Believes Trump Is a 'Moron,' Former Aide Claims"), the tipping point happened when Bolton expressed his displeasure with Trump's impromptu invitation of the Taliban to Camp David on the week of the Sept 11 anniversary, a peace overture which as we reported over the weekend, collapsed in the last moment.

 Is a humane softening of US sanctions on Iran currently in the works? A new US Treasury announcement suggests this is the case, as it is "taking steps to ease sales of food and medicine to Iran amid stringent sanctions imposed on the country by the Trump administration," according to the AP. 
​ ​Critics of Trump's far reaching sanctions after the May 2018 US pullout of the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), which especially hit the energy, banking, aviation, and auto sectors, have long argued the economic punitive measures have only served to make life miserable for the common populace, depriving people of outside food and medicine shipments, as well as safety-related technology, similar to the humanitarian crisis that unfolded in sanctioned Iraq under Saddam in the 1990's.

​I hear nothing good about "freedom of speech" these days. Howzabout you? 
(If we don't have to hear things that trigger us, we'll be fine. Got that, you grammar-racist Nazi?!​)
Helen again: 
 Some Americans are having second thoughts about the First Amendment, a new survey has found. Over half are calling for it to be rewritten, and some 61 percent believe there should be limits on freedom of speech.
 The First Amendment, which guarantees Americans freedom of speech, should be overhauled to reflect current cultural norms, according to 51 percent of the respondents to a survey published on Wednesday by the Campaign for Free Speech. The campaign is hoping to call attention to the dire state of Americans' preeminent civil right with the poll, which breaks down opposition along gender, race, class, and educational lines. 

Moon of Alabama on Dirty Uncle Joe:
Biden's Intervention In Ukraine And Ukraine's 2016 Election Meddling Are Matters of Fact
Several mainstream media have made claims that Joe Biden's intervention in the Ukraine and the Ukrainian interference in the U.S. election are "conspiracy theories" and "debunked". The public record proves them wrong. By ignoring or even contradicting the facts the media create an opening for Trump to rightfully accuse them of providing "fake news".

​All across the industrialized world retirees are poised to swamp workers in competition for the goods and services which will exist​. Not enough servants to go around and provide what retirees are entitled to. Central banks can't fix it.
​Plenty of easy to read graphs, country by country. Take care of yourself, cheaply...​ Thanks Charles.
 Over the coming decade, the current growth based system and paradigms will fall by the wayside.  The global trickle-down mantra is already failing, and will entirely come apart.  The impact will be bad for wealthy nations but even worse for poor nations.  The real question is what will replace the current faulty system...and will it be any better?

​Guy  McPherson, at Nature Bats Last summarizes how the sudden end of industrial civilization, and disappearance of it's lovely smokestack particles, could immediately accelerate global heating, by failing to reflect sunlight back out into space. Sulfur dioxide and clouds reflect solar energy away..​ (Chemtrails that cover the sky in similar haze will also presumably go away with the Pentagon budget cuts) Thanks Guy.

​Damned If We Don't​

Friday, October 25, 2019

War Zone Living

Taking Cover,

Eva Bartlett from Canada has been traveling in Donetsk, and has a story here of the people who hosted her and explained their lives, being shelled in their homes for 5 years by western-backed Ukrainian neo-nazis. Children lost, schools shelled, ordinary people captured and sent to torture camps, humans rushing out to get the wounded into their cars, to get to a hospital. They want their lives back. They are not invading, just holding their homes and dying in them.
Thanks Eleni.

Pepe Escobar has a truly informative article about the fires of strife burning in South and Central America, where neoliberalism has accellerated the rate of bleeding of native peoples, in order to further advance the wealth of colonial elite classes and foreign multinational corporations. This is presented country by country, comparing and contrasting, and providing historical context for these long-term wealth extraction processes. Bolivian election last...
​ ​Bolivia is now the most dynamic economy in Latin America, as stressed by top Argentine analyst Atilio Boron.
​ ​The campaign to discredit Morales, which is bound to become even more vicious, is part of imperial 5G war, ​of ​which, Boron writes,  “the chronic poverty that the absolute majority of the population suffered for centuries”, a state that always “maintained the population under total lack of institutional protection” and the “pillaging of natural wealth and the common good”.

Moon of Alabama: (What will happen over the Syrian oilfields? They must not remain foreign-occupied, after all.)
When Trump Ignored Bad Advice He Enabled Progress In Syria
 When bureaucrats and officials, also known as the Borg, contradict the foreign policy of the president they inevitably create chaos. We yesterday explained how that happens:
 Since Donald Trump became president many of his subordinates have tried to subvert his policies. Instead of implementing Trump's idea and preferences they have tried to implement their own. Some have done so because they believed that it is the "right thing to do" while others have ignored Trump's wishes to play their own game.
 Trump was smart enough to circumvent the Borg with regards to northeast Syria. This led to the removal of U.S. troops and the Turkish-Russian agreement which is an excellent outcome for all sides.

More Moon: 
 When President Trump ignored bad advice he enabled progress in Syria. Unfortunately Trump is back at listening to the bad advice some State Department people are giving him:
 President Donald Trump says he wants to “end endless wars.” But the counter-Iran, counter-Russia hawks on his national security team are planning to sneak in a long-term U.S. military presence in southeast Syria. And their plans may have been in the works for a while.
 With U.S. forces opening the gates for Turkey to take over northeast Syria, Trump administration officials are now drawing up plans to keep several hundred U.S. troops alongside Arab rebel groups in the country’s oil-rich southeast. Trump has said, “we have secured the oil.” And Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) diplomats have said they’re willing to work with such a plan.
 The National Interest has learned that the Trump administration’s anti-ISIS team, led by Ambassador James Jeffrey, has floated the idea of a counter-Iran presence in Deir ez-Zor for some time now.

All of these little side deals are hard to keep up with. Gotta' preserve CIA "assets". White Helmet terrorist-propaganda-specialists get funded again. Trump tried to unfund them last year. They sell conflict-kidneys on the side...
​ ​Washington pledged $5 million in aid to the group at a conference back in March. Last May, the Trump administration had announced it would stop funding the White Helmets, only to backtrack a month later and send the group $6.8 million.
​ ​The group’s name is highly misleading, as the White Helmets have operated solely in areas controlled by anti-government militants, such as the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, now called HTS. The actual Syrian civil defense is part of the government, and has been subjected to US sanctions as such.

​ ​Though it's as yet uncertain whether the Pentagon is actually going to execute the plan, Trump is mulling keeping a ​ ​small US troop contingency in Syria in order to "secure the oil".
​ ​The president said at a cabinet meeting Monday: “I always said if you’re going in, keep the oil,” the WSJ reported. “We’ll work something out with the Kurds so that they have some money, so that they have some cash flow. Maybe we’ll get one of our big oil companies to go in and do it properly.”
​ ​In response, former special presidential anti-ISIL envoy Brett McGurk, who served under both the Obama and Trump administrations, stated the obvious: “Oil, like it or not, is owned by the Syrian state,” he said Monday. “Maybe there are new lawyers, but it was just illegal for an American company to go and seize and exploit these assets."

​"4D chess", my ass!​
​ ​Not too long ago, the U.S. announced a portion of troops will remain in Syria to protect the oil fields. While some commentators have made it clear that unless the United States wants to become a globally renowned pirate outfit, it would not be able to exploit these resources as the oil belongs to the Assad government.
​ ​However, that didn’t stop the U.S. from occupying these areas with the view of giving control of these resources to the Kurdish elements it had backed to defeat ISIS. People who think that the U.S. invades countries to take their oil are therefore somewhat naïve, as this cannot be the case. The U.S. war machine is not concerned with owning and using natural resources (the U.S. is pumping out oil in record numbers), it is actually concerned with controlling these resources.

Russia-Turkey deal establishes ‘safe zone’ along Turkish border and there will be joint Russia-Turkey military patrols  
​ ​The Russia-Turkey deal establishes a safe zone along the Syrian-Turkish border – something Erdogan had been gunning for since 2014. There will be joint Russia-Turkey military patrols. The Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units), part of the rebranded, US-aligned Syrian Democratic Forces, will need to retreat and even disband, especially in the stretch between Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn, and they will have to abandon their much-cherished urban areas such as Kobane and Manbij.  The Syrian Arab Army will be back in the whole northeast. And Syrian territorial integrity – a Putin imperative – will be preserved.​..
​ As I have argued for years, Syria to a large extent has been a key ‘Pipelineistan’ war – not only in terms of pipelines inside Syria, and the US preventing Damascus from commercializing its own natural resources, but most of all around the fate of the Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline which was agreed in a memorandum of understanding signed in 2012.

What began as an administrative review by the Justice Department into the origins of Russiagate has "shifted" to a criminal inquiry, according to the New York Times, citing two people familiar with the matter.
The move will allow prosecutor John H Durham the power to subpoena documents and witnesses, to impanel a grand jury, and to file criminal charges.  

EU set to put Brexit delay on hold after Johnson's ultimatum
The EU’s plan to offer the UK an extension until 31 January on Friday is expected to be put on hold after Boris Johnson threatened to pull the Brexit deal if Jeremy Corbyn rejects a general election.  

 ​ ​A top official for the country's federal student-loan program has resigned and is endorsing canceling most of the country's outstanding student debt.
​ ​Calling the system "fundamentally broken," A. Wayne Johnson - appointed in 2017 by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, says that repayment trends suggest most student loan debt will never be repaid, according to the Wall Street Journal.

​Bailing Out​

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Hive Mind

Worker Bees,

A hive of lesser evils , a little tidbit from Helen of DesTroy's Democratic Party Zombification story
 Even if Clinton does not run, her influence permeates the party. “I’ve talked to most of them,” she revealed on ABC’s The View earlier this month, slyly hinting that previous contests’ frontrunners a year before the election had failed to secure the nomination. Instead of Sanders and Gabbard, the Democratic National Committee is propping up Biden and grooming as his second Elizabeth Warren, the neoliberal wolf in sheep’s clothing trying to steal Sanders’ thunder by insisting she’s all he represents plus a pair of X chromosomes. Decked out in borrowed rhetoric and forged identity politics credentials, she earnestly presents herself as a leftist, hoping no one remembers she was registered as a Republican until her 40s.

 Lest anyone be fooled by Warren’s “radical” act, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently gushed “I know she’s pragmatic, just wait.” Such an endorsement should be a death knell for her progressive support, especially after the revelation that she has been in constant contact with Clinton. Warren emphasizes in communications with donors that she doesn’t actually intend to upend the status quo, and has flip-flopped repeatedly on accepting big-dollar donors and PACs, only rejecting them once she’d stockpiled a healthy war chest from those very donors.

Matt Taibbi on "Everyone is a Russian Asset" (Does being wrong make it wrong?)

Former UK Ambassador, Craig Murray probably carried the DNC e-mail downloads from Seth Rich to Julian Assange...
 I was deeply shaken while witnessing yesterday’s events in Westminster Magistrates Court. Every decision was railroaded through over the scarcely heard arguments and objections of Assange’s legal team, by a magistrate who barely pretended to be listening.
​ ​Before I get on to the blatant lack of fair process, the first thing I must note was Julian’s condition. I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated ageing. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before. Since his arrest he has lost over 15 kg in weight.
​ ​But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both. I will come to the important content of his statement at the end of proceedings in due course, but his difficulty in making it was very evident; it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought.

​Important information must be buried and shouted down if ignoring won't work.
CD Media Releasing Information On Poroshenko Money Laundering/Biden Cover Up, In Series Of Articles, With Sourcing
​ CD Media has personally seen and obtained an immense amount of data on the story we broke last week regarding former Ukrainian Petro Poroshenko’s laundering of hundreds of millions of dollars of IMF aid money and the attempts by the Democratic Party and the Obama Administration to cover up the scandal and go after now President Trump, along with involvement by then Vice President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden...
Our source has seen the data from within the Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s Office. CD Media can confirm the prosecutor’s office is ready to cooperate with the FBI and the information has been recently provided to FBI agents. 
​ ​Leaving mature old growth forests alone is best. They sequester carbon better than anything. Replanitng trees is good, but don't think it is good enough to fell a tropical forest for a "renewable" palm oil plantation. "Renewable" damage.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Understanding Reality

Seeking Accurate Models,

Ilargi at The Automatic Earth looks at "the fourth law of thermodynamics", which states that living ecosystems are tuned to make as much DNA as possible out of any energy locally available. For most ecosystems, like the Amazon rainforest, that means tightly and vastly interconnected networks of worms, insects, flies, fruit bats, bacteria, fungi, slime molds, trees, birds and so on. Each life form has some little niche to dissipate a little of the energy that comes from sunlight, while creating DNA copies of how to do that again the next generation, maybe slightly differently...
Thermal vents at the pitch black bottom of the ocean grow life forms that dissipate heat, instead of light, to create DNA. We are an amazingly versatile life form which has discovered how to turn coal, oil, natural gas, forests, sunlight, wave energy and wind energy into our DNA.  
We overturned the whole chessboard, but we also started killing off all the other DNA, and that is completely against the rules of The Game Of Life.
 Call me nuts, and I have no reason to believe you haven’t already, but the no.1 thing that has to vanish from US Ag is not pollution or emissions but the chemicals used to kill all other life so that your lettuce can grow. And don’t get me started on antibiotics or the creatures they are used on.

​Tulsi Gabbard gives the DNC both barrels after being slandered as a "Russian asset" by Hillary Clinton.
This short video is as right-on as it gets. 
Tulsi may die-funny for this open calling-out of the corrupt elites.
"If you stand up to the rich and powerful elite and the war machine, they will destroy you and discredit your message...," says Gabbard, who said she's suffered smears "from day one of this campaign."
​ ​In a Sunday tweet accompanied by a video which has nearly 450,000 views on Twitter (and 18,000 on YouTube) as of this writing, Gabbard writes "Hillary & her gang of rich, powerful elite are going after me to send a msg to YOU: “Shut up, toe the line, or be destroyed.” But we, the people, will NOT be silenced."

Will the Democratic Party Exist After the 2020 Election? (Real question, CIA owned and operated.)
 As a result of  the corrupt foundation of the Russiagate allegations, Attorney General Bob Barr and Special Investigator John Durham appear hot on the trail with law enforcement in Italy as they have apparently scared the bejesus out of what little common sense remains among the Democratic hierarchy as if Barr/Durham might be headed for Obama’s Oval Office.
 Barr’s earlier comment before the Senate that “spying did occur’ and that ‘it’s a big deal’ when an incumbent administration (ie the Obama Administration) authorizes a counter-Intelligence operation on an opposing candidate (ie Donald Trump) has the Dems in panic-stricken overdrive – and that is what is driving the current Impeachment Inquiry.

Pepe Escobar has Syria update, and historical context. Important context.
​ ​What is happening in Syria, following yet another Russia-brokered deal, is a massive geopolitical game-changer. I’ve tried to summarize it in a single paragraph this way:
​ ​“It’s a quadruple win. The U.S. performs a face saving withdrawal, which Trump can sell as avoiding a conflict with NATO ally Turkey. Turkey has the guarantee – by the Russians – that the Syrian Army will be in control of the Turkish-Syrian border. Russia prevents a war escalation and keeps the Russia-Iran-Turkey peace process alive.  And Syria will eventually regain control of the entire northeast.”
​ ​Syria may be the biggest defeat for the CIA since Vietnam.
​ ​Yet that hardly begins to tell the whole story.​.. 
(see history lesson)
​ The reconstruction of Syria may cost as much as $200 billion. Damascus has already made it very clear that the U.S. and the EU are not welcome. China will be in the forefront, along with Russia and Iran; this will be a project strictly following the Eurasia integration playbook — with the Chinese aiming to revive Syria’s strategic positioning in the Ancient Silk Road.
​ ​As for Erdogan, distrusted by virtually everyone, and a tad less neo-Ottoman than in the recent past, he now seems to have finally understood that Bashar al-Assad “won’t go,” and he must live with it.  

​"​Agreement to pause Turkey’s campaign in Syria destroys US credibility​"​, top Democrats say, despite demanding it​. Helen of DesTroy

​Turkey threatens to kill all the Kurds who are not out of the area of north Syria that borders Turkey (How deep?) by tomorrow, Tuesday 10/11/19. That's when talks with Russia and Syria about how wide the temporary strip will be resume. 
Believable? How much?

Helen of DesTroy also has this story on RT​
A Navy “doomsday” aircraft designed to be used as a command center in a nuclear war was knocked out of commission – by a bird, which caused over $2 million in damages when it was sucked into an engine during a test flight.
​ ​The E-6B Mercury plane was grounded after an unidentified species of bird was sucked into one of its four engines during a test flight at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland earlier this month. The plane was conducting a touch-and-go landing when the “Class A” accident occurred, causing over $2 million in damages and requiring the replacement of the entire engine. The bird was the only casualty.

​Paris zoo unveils ideal modern citizen, lacking a brain, but having 720 sexes. 

Adjusting Preconceptions

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Yoakum Avocado Orchard Planting, Dawn October 18, 2019

Guacamole Fans,

Saturday morning at 6:00 AM, having made coffee and had my first mug, I went out to start the final prep for getting the 12 Mexican avocado trees that I have been raising in pots this summer, into their permanent environment.
Yetti the dog came out around dawn to check on my progress, and went back to wag at Holly and Tommy that something was afoot outside that they should go check out.
They started planting avocados in the holes I had prepped, while I got another mug of coffee and Yetti stood guard.
Then we all engaged the planting together, and I watered the babies in for an hour.
Jenny composed these documentary images to share with you.

Green Genes

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Planetary Life Is Russian Asset

Good Company,

Hillary Clinton Pitches Conspiracy Theory That Tulsi Gabbard​;​ Jill Stein Are Russian Assets  
Speaking with former Obama 2008 campaign manager David Plouffe on his podcast, "Campaign HQ with David Plouffe," Clinton said - without mentioning Gabbard by name: "I'm not making any predictions but I think they've got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She's the favorite of the Russians."
Of course, that's "assuming Jill Stein will give it up - because she's also a Russian asset,"
Clinton continued.

​Tulsi Gabbard:
Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a​ ​concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know — it was always you, through your proxies and  powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose.
It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.

Jill Stein Challenges Hillary Clinton to Debate After 'Russian Asset' Smear
"It's past time to give the American people the real debate they deserved in 2016."

​Sister Caitlin in Oz:
​ Establishment narrative managers have been performing this obnoxious trick for years; this is just the most publicly it’s been brought into the spotlight. They claim someone is a Russian asset, then when asked to provide proof that the person is working for Russia, they say they might be an “unwitting” Russian asset, or a “useful idiot”, who does the Kremlin’s bidding without realizing it by sharing ideas and information which the Russian government agrees with. Which is just another way of saying that they hold positions which diverge from the microscopic Overton window of establishment-authorized opinion.
  Such positions typically consist of some form of opposition to longstanding US military agendas, such as America’s failed policy of regime change interventionism. Both Jill Stein and Tulsi Gabbard have inserted skepticism of US military policy into mainstream political discourse.

Moon of Alabama:
 The Streisand effect of Clinton's shoddy remark will help Tulsi Gabbard with regards to name recognition. It will increase her poll results. With Joe Biden faltering and Elizabeth Warren increasingly exposed as a phony Clinton copy, Bernie Sanders could become the Democrats leading candidate. Then the “favorite of the Russians” smear will be applied to him.
 Clinton should be suspended from the Democratic Party for damaging it's chances to regain the White House. But the Democratic establishment would rather sabotage the election than to let one of the more progressive candidates take the lead.

Did Something Just Snap? US Policy Uncertainty Unexpectedly Soars Above Lehman, Sept 11 Levels  
 According to The Baker, Bloom and Davis daily news-based Economic Policy Uncertainty Index (based on newspaper archives from Access World New's NewsBank service), US economic policy uncertainty has never, ever been higher than it is currently...

We Need an Ecological Civilization Before It’s Too Late
​ ​In the face of climate breakdown and ecological overshoot, alluring promises of “green growth” are no more than magical thinking. We need to restructure the fundamentals of our global cultural/economic system to cultivate an “ecological civilization”: one that prioritizes the health of living systems over short-term wealth production.​..​
​ ​In practice, transitioning to an ecological civilization would mean restructuring some of the fundamental institutions driving our current civilization to destruction. In place of an economy based on perpetual growth in GDP, it would institute one that emphasized quality of life, using alternative measures such as a Genuine Progress Indicator to gauge success. Economic systems would be based on respect for individual dignity and fairly rewarding each person’s contribution to the greater good, while ensuring that nutritional, housing, healthcare, and educational needs were fully met for everyone. Transnational corporations would be fundamentally reorganized and made accountable to the communities they purportedly serve, to optimize human and environmental wellbeing rather than shareholder profits. Locally owned cooperatives would become the default organizational structure. Food systems would be designed to emphasize local production using state-of-the-art agroecology practices in place of fossil fuel-based fertilizer and pesticides, while manufacturing would prioritize circular flows where efficient re-use of waste products is built into the process from the outset.
​ ​In an ecological civilization, the local community would be the basic building block of society. Face-to-face interaction would regain ascendance as a crucial part of human flourishing, and each community’s relationship with others would be based on principles of mutual respect, learning, and reciprocity. Technological innovation would still be encouraged, but would be prized for its effectiveness in enhancing the vitality of living systems rather than minting billionaires. The driving principle of enterprise would be that we are all interconnected in the web of life—and long-term human prosperity is therefore founded on a healthy Earth.

​Earthly Life​

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Third Grade Politicians

Political Historians,

Professor Anthony Hall has a lot of insight gained from his attendance at the New Horizon Conference in Lebanon. The Yemeni victories within Saudi Arabia have been particularly hushed up in the west, as has the weakness and instability of the ruling Saudi royal clan.
​ ​In recent years the Saudi assault on Yemen has been widely recognized as the basis of the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. The invasion has directly affected about 80% of Yemen’s 24 million people where starvation in running rife. As a high-level UNICEF official put it, “Yemen has become today a living hell for children…. with 400,000 children suffering acute malnutrition.”
​ ​Those engaged in the Yemeni resistance to Saudi Arabia’s assault on their country began in the summer of 2019 to demonstrate increasingly sophisticated forms of self-defense especially through the deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles including drones. In mid-September this strategy of targeting Saudi installations in the cause of undermining the strength of the imperial predator extended to hitting oil-producing and oil-refining installations of the Saudi corporate giant, Aramco.
​ ​As the New Horizon delegates learned in Beirut, the Yemeni resistance forces followed up this action in late September by capturing about 2,000 Saudi officers and their mercenary soldiers who hail from many locations including Sudan, Pakistan, and Iraq. The Yemeni resistance also captured hundreds of Saudi military vehicles including some light armored vehicles made in Ontario by a Canadian-based unit of General Dynamics.
​ ​The turnaround in the military balance of power in the Arabian Peninsula in September of 2019 has many global implications. There is no doubt this turnaround is a game-changer with many far-reaching implications. The Yemeni resistance demonstrates that the world’s biggest importer of armaments emanating mostly from the United States cannot repel a concerted attack on the Saudi Arabian Armed Forces within Saudi territory. The attack comes from highly-skilled fighting units hailing mostly from one of the poorest and most aggressively assaulted countries in the world.
​ ​In 1945 Saudi Arabia was effectively taken over by the United States and its oil and gas sector. The USA claimed the lion’s share of Arabia’s fossil fuel wealth as one of the main fruits of victory for intervening to help shift the balance of power towards the allies in the Second World War. The family of Ibn Saud was entrusted to play the role of custodian of the massive Saudi oil fields largely on behalf of the emerging US superpower with its imperial headquarters in the Pentagon.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was again, most-Googled during the Democratic debates Tuesday. 
Why does that always happen? White suit?
Here is 6 minutes of Tulsi.

Moon of Alabama Syria update:
​ ​The mainstream borg is up in arms that Turkey uses Jihadis to attack their beloved anarcho-marxist PKK terrorists group. They have conveniently forgotten the history of the U.S. war on Syria, its arming of those Jihadis and its pampering of al-Qaeda.
​ ​The U.S. did not betray the Kurds any more than it betrayed Turkey and the Jihadis which the Obama administration armed throughout the war. Those were also U.S. 'allies' that were left hanging. Raina Khalek made a good video narrative that debunks much of the false Syria narrative the main stream media is now using.
​ ​To prevent Congress from putting harsh sanctions on Turkey, President Trump issued his own milder ones that will not do any harm to Turkey's economy. He has also sent Vice President Pence to talk with President Erdogan. It is just a bit of show to limit the fall out from the Turkish operation.
​ ​Everyone involved recognizes that this is a win-win-win-win situation. Erdogan could show that he was fighting against the PKK terrorists and prevented their attempts to become a proto-state. Trump could hold his campaign promise of removing U.S. troops from useless foreign interventions. Syria regained its northeast and the important economic resources of that area. Russia gained global prestige and additional influence in the Middle East.
​ ​Everyone is happy but the PKK Kurds. They are the biggest losers of this game but only in the sense that they are back to where they started. They had entered into a cooperation with the U.S. to eliminate ISIS. When that was done they got greedy and tried to rule over Arab land. It was always an unsustainable situation. After the defeat of ISIS the U.S. had no strategic reason to further pamper them. Only some wannabe imperialists in Washington DC and in Israel were urging to continue the relation.
​ ​There are signs that the series of events was preplanned and somewhat coordinated. There were intensive talks between Russia and Turkey and many phone calls between Trump and Erdogan. There were also talks we do not know about. Syrian and Russian troops were ready to enter the northeast.
​ ​It is likely that the plans of these actors extend beyond the northeast and include a solution for the Jihadi controlled Idleb governorate. It will be the next area where some surprising co-operations are likely to happen.

Pepe Escobar, who was also at that New Horizon conference in Beirut with Professor Hall (lead article) has a complimentary update on Syria, discord in US politics, and the Iraqi rumor that the snipers were US/Israeli actors.
​ ​In the annals of bombastic Trump tweets, this one is simply astonishing: here we have a President of the United States, on the record, unmasking the whole $8-trillion intervention in the Middle East as an endless war based on a “false premise.” No wonder the Pentagon is not amused.​..​
​ ​
 What’s happening is a quadruple win. The US performs a face saving withdrawal, which Trump can sell as avoiding a conflict with NATO alley Turkey. Turkey has the guarantee – by the Russians – that the Syrian Army will be in control of the Turkish-Syrian border. Russia prevents a war escalation and keeps the Russia-Iran-Turkey peace process alive.  And Syria will eventually regain control of its oilfields and the entire northeast.

​More of that: The Russian Masterpiece in Syria: Everyone Wins​
​ ​The agreement between the Kurds (SDF) and Damascus is the only natural conclusion to events that are heavily orchestrated by Moscow.  The deployment of Syrian and Russian troops on the border with Turkey is the prelude to the reconquest of the entirety of Syrian territory — the outcome the Kremlin was wishing for at the beginning of this diplomatic masterpiece.
​  ​Washington and Ankara have never had any opportunities to prevent Damascus from reunifying the country. It was assumed by Moscow that Washington and Ankara would sooner or later seek the correct exit strategy, even as they proclaimed victory to their respective bases in the face of defeat in Syria. This is exactly what Putin and Lavrov came up with over the last few weeks, offering Trump and Erdogan the solution to their Syrian problems​.
​ An agreement that rewards Damascus and Moscow saves the Kurds while leaving Erdogan and Trump with a semblance of dignity in a situation that is difficult to explain to a domestic or international audience.
​ ​Moscow has started joint patrols with the Syrian Arab Army on the borders with Turkey for the purposes of preventing any military clashes between Ankara and Damascus. If Ankara halts its military operation in the coming days, Damascus will regain control of the oil fields.

​Unproductive White House meeting over Syria policy results in mutual name-calling and Democratic walk-out. Republicans stayed to do some stuff, but they didn't say what.​
Later, in remarks to reporters on Capitol Hill, Pelosi said that Trump actually called her a “third-grade” politician.  

In a secret interview, Rep. Adam Schiff, leader of the House Democratic effort to impeach President Trump, pressed former United States special representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker to testify that Ukrainian officials felt pressured to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter as a result of Trump withholding U.S. military aid to Ukraine.
​ ​Volker denied that was the case
, noting that Ukrainian leaders did not even know the aid was being withheld and that they believed their relationship with the U.S. was moving along satisfactorily, without them having done anything Trump mentioned in his notorious July 25 phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

​ ​When Volker repeatedly declined to agree to Schiff's characterization of events, Schiff said, "Ambassador, you're making this much more complicated than it has to be."

​In Ukraine, President Zelinskii is up against a wall, as Ukronazi enforcers assemble.
​ ​Zelenskii’s problem can be summed up in a simple sentence: the non-existing Nazis.  Well, at least in the past all the Neo-Nazis cum Jew-haters were constantly trying to convince us that there are no Nazis in the Ukraine; apparently, my use of the term Ukronazi really set them off.  Then came the election in which an absolute majority of Ukrainians rejected Poroshenko’s drive for war and voted for Zelenskii.  If the Ukrainian people voted en masse to elect an anti-war/pro-peace Jew, surely the Ukronazis were just a small minority of fringe individuals, right?
​ ​Wrong!  Very very wrong!​...
 You could say that there is a “Nazi deep state” in the Ukraine which, just like the other deep states out there, can weather any elected president and quickly reassert its control over whomever the people elected.
 We see exactly that scenario unfolding before our eyes.  Zelenskii took not one, but three very real, if small, steps.  First, he ordered a pullback of some regular Ukrainian armed forces from a few important segments of the line of contact, then he agreed to a relatively minor prisoner exchange and, finally, he ordered the Ukrainian delegation to sign the Steinmeier formula.  The prisoner exchange went okay for both sides.  The Ukronazis soon categorically rejected any withdrawal and they publicly promised to immediately re-occupy any village vacated by the regular army and they rejected what they call the “Russian” or “Putin” formula.  So far there were a few attempts to block the thugs of the Azov battalion, but after a few minor clashes, the Azov people passed the police line.  And now, the Nazi organized mass protests in 300 Ukrainian cities.  I could post lots of videos here, but that would take a lot of space.  If you want to get a feel for what took place today, go to YouTube and copy-paste the following search query “протесты в украине” into the search bar, and then use the filter option and chose “this week”: you will easily get many hours of video and you don’t even need to understand a word of Ukrainian to immediately get it.
​ ​There is another very important factor which you will almost never see on these videos or on any public statements and that is that there are a number of civil and even criminal cases currently being brought to trial in the Ukraine against a host of officials of the ancient régime including even against Poroshenko (11-14 separate investigations just for him already!)  These men (Poroshenko, Parubii, Turchinov, etc.) now have absolutely no choice but to try to overthrow Zelenskii.
​ ​Just like the US Dems need a coup against Trump (in the form of an impeachment or something else) because the Clinton-Biden gang now risks real, hard, jail time, so do the former Ukronazi leaders now need a coup against Zelenskii or they go to jail.
​ ​Simply put: there is no way that the Ukronazis will just stand by and let those investigations proceed.  And while it is true that numerically the Ukronazis are a small minority in the Ukraine, there is plenty enough of them to terrify Zelenskii and his handlers, especially considering that they are 1) well armed 2) many have frontline combat experience and 3) that they are willing not only to engage in “regular” violence, but also to commit atrocities and engage in terrorism (they did plenty of both in the Donbass).  

​Brexit deal is on between​ UK and EU this morning, but may not have enough votes to pass in House of Commons.
​ ​Mr. Johnson’s minority government will face a significant challenge in persuading a cluster of euroskeptic lawmakers in his own Conservative Party and political allies in Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party to back his deal. Both groups voted three times against Mrs. May’s deal.
​ ​The DUP said in a statement that it would oppose the new Brexit deal when it comes before Parliament for a vote, saying the agreement would weaken the bonds between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K.

Update 2: The DUP's letter rejecting the deal has been released in full...even though Northern Ireland will remain part of the UK customs territory under the deal, the DUP supposedly chafe at being "subject to the rules of the European Union Customs Union".
...Does Johnson need the DUP votes to pass his deal? Not exactly, though passing it without them might be tricky.
Update: Now that Johnson has won the EU leadership's backing for his deal, he's seeking their approval for another measure that his team believe will be essential to passing it through Parliament.  
Johnson now wants EU leaders to offer the UK two options: Either this deal, or the UK leaves the EU on Oct. 31 without a deal. By law, Johnson is only required to ask the EU for an extension on Oct. 19 if Parliament hasn't approved a deal. The EU is not obligated to grant the extension.


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Weakest Link

Systemic Analysts,

Charles Hugh Smith  (It's cheap capacitors designed to fail in these circuit-boards, especially with heat-stress.)
Technology can't fix what's broken, because what's broken is our entire system..
​ ​The ultimate heresy in today's world isn't religious or political: it's refusing to believe that technology can not only solve all our problems, it will do so painlessly and without any sacrifice. Anyone who dares to question this orthodoxy is instantly declared an anti-progress (gasp!) Luddite, i.e. a heretic in league with the Devil.
​ ​Even worse, if that's possible, is declaring that technology is making our lives worse rather than better...
​ ​A clothes dryer is basically a metal box containing a heating element and a drum that spins. An electronic board with a digital display operates the machine​'​s cycles and controls. A dryer is thus far less complex than a robot, especially a robot that is capable of navigating the real world.
​ ​The dryer control board is relatively simple: a handful of low-cost commodity computer chips and a few circuit boards. Despite the relative simplicity, these boards fail with alarming regularity. This is also true of the electronics in ranges, washing machines and other appliances. The replacement board for the dryer is one-third the cost of a new dryer. Labor adds another third, so replacing the board is two-thirds the cost of a new dryer.
​ ​This reliance on cheap commodity electronic components results in the lifespan of modern appliances being measured in years rather than the decades of use formerly expected of purely mechanical appliances.

​UK Government paper, "Yellowhammer" details what to expect socially and economically from a no-deal Brexit
​ The – largely unmentioned – benefit of a no-deal Brexit is that since the neoliberal global economy is declining, Britain might as well get its collapse in early to avoid the rush.  That is, as the net energy available to the economy declines because of the remorseless rise in the energy cost of energy, so maintaining the complex network of supply chains that keeps the system going is going to have to break down.  Like it or not, the future will be less material and far more localised.  The only question concerns the speed at which it happens and the way in which the impacts are felt.
 Despite its proponents claims to the contrary, Brexit obliges the UK economy to re-localise and de-materialise in a way that it will ultimately have to anyway.  It is, of course, not the ideal means by which de-growth could occur.  But – let’s be honest here – no government on earth is going to voluntarily de-grow; so the longer we leave it, the more catastrophic it is going to be.  Moreover, a “managed de-growth” may turn out to be as fanciful in its way as the techno-utopian belief that we can continue to grow the global economy by replacing fossil fuels with wind turbines and solar panels.

Moon of Alabama:
 The U.S. had more than 1,000 troops in northeast Syria. There were also several hundred French and British special forces and some 2,000 U.S. contractors. They, and a huge amount of equipment, are now moving out. They have nothing to fear from the Syrian forces. Syria is happy to see them leave. (Reports that the U.S.yesterday bombed Syrian troops are false.)
​ ​The strategic plan behind last week's development must have come from Moscow. Russia has tried for some time to get Turkey into its camp. Russia, Iran and Syria allowed Turkey a limited invasion of Syria to scare the U.S. out. Russia largely supported the Turkish move but it will also set its limits.

​ ​Trump has been looking for a chance to move the U.S. troops out of Syria since December 2018. The borg made that politically unfeasible. The Turkish (Russian) move gave him the excuse he needed.
​ ​It is possible that the whole arrangement was made for exactly that purpose.

​Global Research:
​ ​The Syrian President Bashar al-Assad agreed to guarantee the safety of the Kurds as long as these become part of the National Security Forces. No other conditions were put forward by the Kurds, who have lost momentum with the sudden US withdrawal. Damascus promised there will be no revenge or resentment measures towards the Kurds who have, for years, acted as human shields to protect the US occupation forces which remained in Syria notwithstanding the defeat of ISIS.  
​ The Russian-Kurdish deal consists of the deployment of the Syrian army on all borders with Turkey and the return of all sources of energy (gas and oil) to the Syrian government-controlled forces. These sources of energy are vital to the Syrian government, which has been suffering under heavy US-EU sanctions. Any delivery of oil was blocked, except the crude oil from Iran, whose supertanker managed to breach the siege.
 The initial agreement between the Kurds and Damascus (via Russia) consists in the ending of the self-administration of NES, the integration of the Syrian Kurds under the command of the Syrian Army, and the pursuit and destruction of all ISIS forces.  

​Ilargi, at the Automatic Earth
​ If you ask me, this is brilliant, but I know you’re not asking me. Still, what I’m reading today is genius. That is, Donald Trump and his people have found a way to communicate with Vladimir Putin and his people while the entire crew that’s listening in to his talks with foreign leaders were doing something else, whatever that may be.
 The overall impression of Trump’s order to redeploy an entire 50 US soldiers within Syria is that he opened the floodgates to mayhem and genocide, but perhaps that picture is not entirely accurate. Perhaps Trump did not act on some whiff of the moment instinct. Perhaps he’s not as shallow and stupid as the press makes him out to be. I know, big challenge and all, but let’s look at what actually happened.
 Me, I’m sure Trump talked to Putin before he withdrew the 49 or 50 troops , just to make sure all-out disaster wouldn’t ensue. This is from Newsweek, not exactly a pro-Trump outlet:
US Cedes Syrian City To Russia In Battlefield ‘Handover’ As Turkey Tries To Take It

There is a lot of bloviating by Trump and Erdogan, but I don't get the feeling they are actually mad at each other. 
They'll have to stay-together-for-the-children, anyway...
Erdogan Holding 50 US Tactical Nukes 'Hostage' As Trump Authorizes Sanctions

​It's not looking like the House is going to formally vote on whether to begin impeachment proceedings against President-Orange-Republican.
Schiff: Public Has No Right To Observe Impeachment Inquiry...Then Kicks GOP Lawmaker Out  

​ ​House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday that there would be no vote to launch formal impeachment proceedings against President Trump for the time being.
"There's no requirement that we have a vote, and so at this time we will not be having a vote," Pelosi said.
"We're not here to call bluffs -- we're here to find the truth, to uphold the Constitution of the United States. This is not a game for us. This is deadly serious," said Pelosi after discussing with the House Democratic caucus.
​ ​A formal vote would allow Republicans to subpoena their own documents and witnesses, something the minority party was allowed in both the Nixon and Clinton impeachment inquiry resolutions - which is why the Trump administration won't cooperate until a vote is held.
Pelosi has called pressure to do so a "Republican talking point."

 Elizabeth Warren comported herself deftly and "won"​ the debate last night​, I think. 
Bernie Sanders ​is​ setting the ​popular agenda​, and AOC will endorse him.​ 
Tulsi Gabbard is not noticed in the American media. She was there.​ Nobody really agreed with her. Sanders, sorta'.
 “The slaughter of the Kurds being done by Turkey is yet another negative consequence of the regime-change war that we’ve been waging in Syria. Donald Trump has the blood of the Kurds on his hand — but so do many of the politicians in our country from both parties who have supported this ongoing regime-change war in Syria that started in 2011, along with many in the mainstream media, who have been championing and cheerleading this regime-change war,” she said.  

The CIA has had a heart-attack gun since the 1960s...
B​ernie Sanders released a proposal today that would gradually shift 20 percent of corporate equity into funds owned and controlled by the workers in each company. The plan, which would apply to all publicly-traded companies and large closely-held companies, would move 2 percent of corporate stock into worker funds each year for a decade. Once the shares are transferred into the funds, workers would begin receiving dividends and have the ability to exercise the voting rights of the shares, including the right to vote on corporate board elections and on shareholder resolutions.
​ ​Sanders’s plan is by far the most radical worker ownership proposal put forward by a presidential candidate in recent memory.

​The only thing keeping Bernie alive is having been robbed by the DNC...
Billionaires could be slapped with an effective tax rate of 97.5% if Bernie Sanders wins the 2020 presidential elections, reported Bloomberg, who spoke with two economists advising both the Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Presidential Campaigns.
Sanders' effective tax rate of 97.5%, includes an income tax, but also a wealth tax that is aimed at breaking up family fortunes over time.
"With the wealth tax, you get directly at the stock instead of hitting the flow of income, making it a much more powerful de-concentration tool than income taxes," University of California, Berkeley professor Emmanuel Saez wrote in an email.
Saez said Sanders' wealth tax would slash the number of billionaires in the country by at least half by 2030.

Allocating Losses