Thursday, June 15, 2023

Nobody Else Will


Charles Hugh Smith writes This Is Why Nobody Will Do Anything Until It's Too Late
​  ​To really reduce one's consumption of the planet's resources, we would have to grow our own food, get around on our own feet or zero-fuel transport (motorless bicycle or skateboard or boat) and not buy / own / use large resource-consuming devices such as vehicles, aircraft, etc.
​ ​The system as currently configured makes it nearly impossible to do this. Even growing much of your own food requires delivery of fertilizers (organic or chemical, they still weigh a lot). Very few places are bike-skateboard friendly. The world is set up for large, mass-produced fueled vehicles. Outside of a few cities, public transport is incapable of getting people where they need to go in any sort of time-efficient manner...
​..​The only incentive that counts in our stripmined world is maximizing profits and the private gains of the entrenched and powerful. To cloak this reality, the Powers That Be promote public-relations propaganda that depicts their pillage, looting, fraud and destruction as a Hollywood story we can all consume and love, just as we love our servitude once it's been properly packaged into a Hero / Heroine's Journey or a Love Story.
​  ​This is why nobody will do anything until it's too late. It's only when we run out of essential inputs and/or essential processes decay and collapse that we'll awaken to the fact that since the global system's inputs and processes materially changed, the outputs we need and love all went away.​..
​..Systems work by their own implacable rules. There are inputs and processes that generate outputs. The only way to change the outputs in a consequential fashion is to change the inputs and/or processes in a consequential fashion. Little face-saving PR tweaks are too small in scale to materially change either inputs or processes, and so the outputs won't change and indeed, can't possibly change, because that's how systems work.​..
​..I like a rousing story as much as anyone else, but systems aren't stories, and confusing the two won't actually fix what's not sustainable in the current system's configuration.[Charles grows vegetables and drove 3000 miles in an old Honda Civic last year. He makes his own bed and sleeps in it.]​

  However, to somewhat refute, or at least modify that analysis by intervening to modify some systems a bit, Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO)​ fights the good fight against neoliberal capture of the Mexican government, its purse, and the resources owned collectively by the citizens of Mexico.​
  Christine sends this,written by an American attorney married to a Mexican AMLO supporter. It's not all glowing. There is a lot of political mess in this slow move to replace neoliberal crony-welfare and privatisation of state-services with "nationalist developmentalist" ("Fordist") capitalism. The path to this is to stripaway the "public-private-partnership" skims. (One naturally wonders when such a process might begin in one's own country...)
​  ​The AMLO Project​  ..​As a general rule, transitions from neoliberalism must take place in a structural setting shaped by neoliberalism itself: the erosion of the working class as a political agent and the dismantling of state capacity. It follows that the basic historical task of the contemporary left is the reignition of class politics and the relegitimation of the state as a social actor. We can therefore assess AMLO’s administration based on three fundamental criteria: the reinstatement of class cleavage as a primary organizer of the political field; the effort to reconcentrate the power of a state apparatus hollowed out by decades of neoliberal governance; and the break with an economic paradigm based on institutionalized corruption.​..
​..The notion of neoliberalism as a political economy of corruption has informed AMLO’s public spending objectives. The flagship concept of his government is a counterintuitive one: austeridad republicana, or ‘republican austerity’. In practice, this means the ongoing reorganization and recentralization of public spending with the aim of ‘cutting from the top’. Since Mexican neoliberalism forged extensive links between the state and private enterprise, austerity is seen as a means of breaking such connectionscasting off parasitic companies whose profits rely on government largesse.
​  ​In the long term, strict adherence to austeridad republicana may make it difficult if not impossible to create a robust welfare system. Yet, for the moment, it has succeeded in relegitimizing the state after decades of cronyism and clientelism. Fears that it would result in mass layoffs have dissipated.  

​Michael Hudson has a new interview out, wherein he is more unbridled in some of his frank remarks about the corrupt neo-liberal/conservative world-order​. Thanks Christine. He has reason to believe the damin Ukraine was attacked with an underwater explosive device, for instance. Hudson closes with this:
​  ​The West has sunk back into a kind of feudalism, financialized feudalism, neo-feudalism. You want an economy that doesn’t have a feudal rentier society, and you do this by preventing families and companies from getting rich by rent-seeking, getting rich without producing anything, but simply by exploitative means.
​  ​You want to make economic statistics that distinguish predatory exploitation from actually making a profit. You don’t want to consider what an absentee landlord gets is adding to the national product, because that’s really just siphoning off income from the renters away. You want everyone to be able to have their own property, ultimately without running into debt.
​  ​The best way to do that, instead of financing property with mortgage credit, you need a tax on rent-yielding resources. You need a land tax, a monopoly tax, a natural-resource tax and a financial tax. The tax system is absolutely critical to creating a really ‘free market’ such as the classical economists sought to create. It’s the opposite of the kind of free market that the United States and Europe talk about – that is a market free for Wall Street to do whatever it wants with the rest of the economy, free for monopolists to charge whatever they want, free for creditors to foreclose on the property of their debtors. You have a whole different concept of what a free market is, a different concept of what freedom is, a different concept of what human rights are and natural rights, and a different concept of what should be public infrastructure.
​  ​All of this is a different way of thinking about how the world evolves, and you need to develop that alternative and to share it so that other countries can realize, ‘yes, there is an alternative to the America’s bank-run economy’. This is the outline of an alternative and our governments are going to create administrative agencies and regulating principles that promote overall welfare, not simply financial welfare. The real economy, not the financial claims on the real economy.

​Gilbert Doctorow reports on Vladimir Putin's recent meeting with Russian war correspondents, who asked unfiltered questions, and got informed answers.​

Pepe Escobar, How the BRI train took the road to Shangri-La   [If you can't beat 'em, join 'em?]
In less than a decade, China's BRI has fundamentally transformed global geopolitics. It is already far too late for the west to compete.
​  ​The Chinese delegation at the Shangri-La totally dismissed the “so-called ‘Indo-Pacific strategy’” as a tawdry Hegemon rant.
​  ​What Shangri-La unveiled was, in fact, Beijing’s clear, concise response to all those dismissals of BRI, all that carping about “debt trap” and “economic coercion,” all that “de-risking” rhetoric, and all those mounting intimations of false flags in Taiwan leading to the “real” war that the neocons in charge of US foreign policy dream about.
​  ​Obviously, intellectually shallow Beltway types won’t get the message. Especially because Li Shangfu was as polished as a jade tiger – elegantly pouncing over an avalanche of lies. You wanna mess with us? We’re ready. The barbarians predictably will keep rattling at the gate. The jade tiger awaits.

Eleni sent this view from Indian Diplomat Bhadrakumar, focusing on the stresses of integrating a remilitarized Japan into "NATO".
Asia-Pacific is where China-Russia “no limits” partnership will be put to test 
  ​Arguably, in his zest to integrate Japan into the US-led “collective West”, Prime Minister Kishida overreached himself. He behaves as if he is obliged to be more loyal than the king himself. Thus, on the same day that President Xi Jinping visited Moscow in March, Kishida landed in Kiev from where he went to attend a NATO Summit and openly began lobbying for establishment of a NATO office in Tokyo.
​  ​Kishida followed up by hosting NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Tokyo and giving him a platform to berate China publicly from its doorstep. There is no easy explanation for such excessive behaviour. Is it a matter of impetuous behaviour alone or is it a calculated strategy to gain legitimacy for the ascendance of revanchist elements whom Kishida represents in the Japanese power structure?
​  ​To be sure, Northeast Asia is a priority now for China and Russia, given their overlapping interests in the region. NATO expansion to Asia and the sharp rise in the US force projection bring home to the defence strategists in Beijing and Moscow that the Sea of Japan is a “communal backyard” for the two countries where their “no limits” strategic partnership ought to be optimal. The Chinese commentators no longer downplay that the Russian-Chinese military ties “serve as a powerful counterbalance to the US’ hegemonic actions.”
​  ​It is entirely conceivable that at some point in a near future, China and Russia may begin to view North Korea as a protagonist in their regional alignment. They may no longer  feel committed to observe the US-led sanctions against North Korea. Indeed, if that were to happen, a host of possibilities will arise. The Russian-Iranian military ties set the precedent.

  This next article suggested to me that the current stresses between Japan, China, Russia,Taiwan, Okinawa and the intervening small islands date back to Japanese imperial expansion in the late 1800s, when both Taiwan/Formosa, Okinawa and the rest of the Ryukyu Island Kingdom, were subsumed into the Japanese Empire, having been independent, or nominally subservient to China, which ceded Formosa to Japan in 1895. The Ryukuy kingdom finally fell to Japanin 1879. The Taiwanese and Ryukyu peoples are different from Chinese and Japanese peoples, and have suffered greatly under those imperial machines, due to their vulnerability. Japan and China, now the US, are constantly pushing for power projection, and threatening each other. The demilitarization of Taiwan, o/kinawa and all of the Ryukyu islands offers a scenario where all threats can be reduced, and commerce can flourish, with much local autonomy, and token Chinese or Japanese nationality. Just my thoughts...

​  ​Japan’s Drive for Military Greatness in the Lengthening Shadow of US-China Confrontation
​  ​Significant US military presence—approximately 26,000 US personnel, or half the total stationed in Japan—is positioned on Okinawa Island, where most attention has been focused on the hugely unpopular and still hotly contested Henoko base being built there by Japan for the US Marine Corps to replace the obsolescent Futenma. Meanwhile, Japan over the past decade has steadily expanded its own military (Self-Defence Force) presence on its lesser known islands. Under strong US pressure, it has deployed, or is in the process of deploying, missile and counter-missile units in a series of new or under-construction bases, decisively changing the character of the Ryukyu island chain that stretches from Kagoshima to Taiwan, via
​  ​Mage, area 8.5 kms2, population zero
​ ​ Amami, area 306 kms2, population 73,000
​  Okinawa, area 1,206 kms2, population 1.4 million
​ ​ Miyako, area 204 kms2, population 46,000
​  ​Ishigaki, area 239 kms2, population 48,000
​  ​Yonaguni, area 28 kms2, population 1,669
​  ​In geographical terms, a line drawn from Kagoshima City in western Japan to the northern shores of Taiwan passes through these islands, and Japan and the US believe that, when or if the need arises, they can “bottle up” and deny China access or egress to or from the Pacific Ocean that lies beyond it. Japan’s southwestern frontier islands serve as a key component in this US-Japan “first island chain” China containment strategy.

​  ​In the latest shot fired in the growing rebellion against US dollar dominance, the nine-nation Asian Clearing Union (ACU) has agreed to use Iran's financial messaging system as an alternative to the dollar-denominated SWIFT system that has long served as the globe's financial nervous system.
​  ​"The secretary general of the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) says Iran’s financial messaging system SEPAM will replace SWIFT, a dollar-based international system, in trade exchanges between ACU members beginning next month," Iran's IRNA News Agency reported.
​  ​At a Tehran summit in May, ACU members agreed to establish a SWIFT alternative within a month. The adoption of Iran's SEPAM will be an interim measure, as the ACU will develop its own messaging system over the next several months.

​  ​According to sources close to The Federalist, the Bidens allegedly 'coerced' a foreign national - identified by individuals with knowledge of the matter as Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky - to pay them $10 million in bribes.​  (Shortly before he died-funny.)​ The Federalist has now learned the FD-1023 reported the CHS saying the Bidens “coerced” Zlochevsky to pay the bribes. Sources familiar with the investigation also explained the context of Zlochevsky’s statements, and that context further bolsters the CHS’s reporting.​.. Zlochevsky then mentioned the 17 audio recordings of conversations with the Bidens that he kept for insurance.

 ​On Saturday America’s Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Rita Cosby on Newsmax that he has a high-level witness who is the former chief accountant at Burisma who is willing to testify on the Biden crimes. She even has the Biden bank account transactions. She has the receipts! ...
​..​Rudy Giuliani: There was one very extraordinary piece of evidence. We had a woman in Ukraine who was the chief accountant for Burisma, the wife of the former partner of Mycola Zlochevsky who owned Burisma and is the major crook who was paying off the Bidens. And she wanted to turn she wanted to testify, but to testify she wanted to be in the Witness Protection program. And she had four colleagues of hers who were willing to testify and support her. She claimed that over an eight year period she supervised all of the offshore illegal bank accounts. All the money laundering went through her.

​  Monday 6/12/23 update: ​ Burisma Energy Accountant, Who Blew Whistle on Biden Bribery Scheme, Found Dead   She wanted Witness Protection
​  ​The Burisma whistleblower, who has been identified as the wife of the former Burisma owner Mykola Lisin, who also died in suspicious circumstances during the years of the Obama administration when vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter were active in Ukraine.

Jury Orders Starbucks to Pay $25 Million to Manager They Fired for Being White​  (​It's n​asty commercial coffee with artificial crap​ in it​, too.)
​  ​In April 2018, two Black men entered a Starbucks shop in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood of Philadelphia for a business meeting with a white man who had not yet arrived. While they waited, and before ordering, one of the two asked to use the bathroom. He was refused. Eventually, they were asked to leave. When they did not, an employee called the police.
​  ​The subsequent arrests, captured in videos viewed millions of times online, prompted accusations of racism, protests and boycott threats...
​..Ms. Phillips said in the suit that Starbucks, as part of its damage-control effort after the arrests, had sought to punish her and other white employees in and around Philadelphia even if they had not been involved in the events that led to the police being called.
​  ​Ms. Phillips said she had thrown herself into the company's efforts to restore its credibility and had sought to support hourly workers, organizing managers to staff stores and cover for employees who were scared to run a gantlet of protesters.
​  ​Amid the image-burnishing campaign, Ms. Phillips said one of her superiors, a Black woman, told her to suspend a white manager who oversaw stores in Philadelphia, though not the one in Rittenhouse Square, because of allegations that he had engaged in discriminatory conduct — allegations that Ms. Phillips said she knew to be untrue.
​  ​In contrast, Ms. Phillips said, no action was taken against the manager who oversaw the Rittenhouse Square store, a Black man who Ms. Phillips said had promoted the employee who called the police.
​  ​Ms. Phillips said she was fired not long after balking at the order to suspend the white manager. She said that she had not been previously told that she was doing a bad job and that the only explanation she was given for the firing was that "the situation is not recoverable."
​  ​Starbucks denied in court filings that Ms. Phillips had been fired because she was white and said she was let go because she performed poorly in response to the episode that led to the arrests.

​(Schellenberger doesn't mention prior cases of SARS-CoV2 later identified from stored blood in the US, France and Italy from September 2019 onward.​)
First People Sickened By COVID-19 Were Chinese Scientists At Wuhan Institute Of Virology, Say US Government Sources 
  ​Sources within the US government say that three of the earliest people to become infected with SARS-CoV-2 were Ben Hu, Yu Ping, and Yan Zhu. All were members of the Wuhan lab suspected to have leaked the pandemic virus.
​  ​As such, not only do we know there were WIV scientists who had developed COVID-19-like illnesses in November 2019, but also that they were working with the closest relatives of SARS-CoV-2, and inserting gain-of-function features unique to it.
​  ​When a source was asked how certain they were that these were the identities of the three WIV scientists who developed symptoms consistent with COVID-19 in the fall of 2019, we were told, “100%”

​A lot of us were catching on well before August of 2022.,but Pfizer already had definitive reasons to stop in December 2019 before "release" of the products.
Horowitz: Confidential Pfizer document shows the company observed 1.6 million adverse events covering nearly every organ system

Widely Used Artificial Sweetener Linked to Leukemia, Obesity, Liver Problems​ (Even Stevia is worse than table sugar. Give up all sweet drinks.)
Sucralose, a chemical sweetener sold under the brand name Splenda, is found in more than 6,000 food products, including many “diet” sodas.

​Naturally Sweetened (pictured burning fossil fuel and vegetable calories recently)​

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