Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Trust The Death Star

Previously Burned,

  Charles Hugh Smith sets the tone, as faith in institutions has been strip-mined for profit, and the cookie-jar is full of IOUs. Widespread trust in monetary transactions with strangers allowed modern industrial economy to become real.
  How to Navigate Our Low-Trust, Increasingly Dysfunctional Society and Economy
Politicians and corporate managers have an enviable record of self-enrichment but very little to show in terms of putting the long-term interests of the citizenry above their own.
  What happens when high-trust decays to low-trust is the circle of reliable, trustworthy sources and people shrinks to the local, decentralized level? Rather than trust Big Ag, Big Fast-Food and supply chains of highly processed glop to feed us, we start turning to local sources of real food.
  In the same way, we rediscover the value of thinking for ourselves rather than accepting self-serving memes-of-the-day.

  Samo Burja analyzes the sincere efforts to record and preserve the elements of Chinese civilization which contributed to a stable 800 years of social order, as it broke down.
  How Late Zhou China Reverse-Engineered a Civilization
The knowledge and practices needed for civilization to flourish are commonly lost. Thinkers in the Late Zhou dynasty of ancient China recognized the decline of their era and attempted to overcome it.
  All three of these great schools would play central roles in Chinese thought and practice after the Zhou dynasty’s fall. But in each case, they evolved beyond the original intents of their founders. The Legalist and Taoist focus on learning from nature and observance let their adherents bootstrap entire states by doing what worked and abandoning what did not. Moreover, the Legalist appropriation of Taoism made its concepts amenable to state power in a way that its more extreme expressions could not be. But depending on each individual or generation to re-learn the basics could never be a sustainable task. Legalism’s total focus on strategy and power could become a liability if it undermined the regime’s continuity. Confucianism was not able to fully learn and re-establish the social technology of China’s golden ages. However, its insight that such knowledge had to be maintained in order for a civilization to last secured its ascendancy in regimes which its rivals established, but could not maintain themselves.
  Each school was able to identify and re-engineer admirable and possibly unique features of epistemic health, stability, and prosperity of later Chinese civilization. These were features the early Zhou displayed in great abundance. This collective fruit provides the greatest lesson for those studying social technology: the loss of this knowledge is common, but a permanent loss is rare.

  WSJ Editor-in-Chief Admits To Davos Elites 'We No Longer Own The News'   [My personal impression is that only verifiable-truth is this strong, not propaganda.]
  Wall St. Journal EIC Emma Tucker lamented this loss of control over 'the facts'.
"I think there’s a very specific challenge for the legacy brands, like the New York Times and like the Wall Street Journal," Tucker said, adding "If you go back really not that long ago, as I say, we owned the news. We were the gatekeepers, and we very much owned the facts as well."
  "If it said it in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, then that was a fact," she continued, adding "Nowadays, people can go to all sorts of different sources for the news and they’re much more questioning about what we’re saying."...
..European Commission VP Věra Jourová also piped up during the same discussion, calling the rise of "disinformation" a "security threat," and suggesting that "It was part of the Russian military doctrine that they will start information war, and we are in it now."...
.."Disinformation is a very powerful tool," Jourová continued, adding that "In the EU we are focusing on improving of the system where the people will get the facts right. We don’t speak about opinions. We are not correcting anyone’s opinions or language. This is about the facts."

  Simplicius , Year of Troubles: The Hatchets Come Out for Substack and Simplicius
  As of several weeks back, Substack has been under a massive seemingly coordinated attack from subversive forces seeking to create a viral exodus from the site by reputationally damaging it. Unfortunately, it seems the program is of such wide scope as to even target individual high volume accounts, of which I appear to be one—as I too have now come under the hatchetmen’s blade of deplatformization...
..Substack, as most people know, is a fairly young business. Though the company opened doors in 2017, it didn’t really begin gaining widespread appeal until around 2020, when a host of dissident voices found it to be the only non-censorial pulpit from which to shout the truth surrounding the unprecedented fraud of the 2020 election...
..It’s very clear to see why this is happening now, of all times. Just as Substack may have owed its initial popularity to the trench-war surrounding the 2020 election, J6, and Covid, Substack likewise stands to be at the center of what is certainly going to be an unprecedented, controversial, and dangerous historical firestorm later this year, and early next.

  Jessica Rose Ph.D.   Focused take-down of the bad guys
  All countries need to withdraw from the WHO, I think, and establish their own sovereign techniques to keep populations healthy. It’s what we did before the WHO.
  The concern in of all us is the ‘declaration of a new pandemic’, even for those who don’t believe there was one by any definition. This is one of the things that the WEF members are scheming about in Davos right now. Their primary agenda talking point (if you don’t know) is ‘how to regain public trust’. Yeah, good luck with that, assholes. When they ‘declare a new pandemic’, this word ‘pandemic’ should make everyone’s eyebrow go up. Just one. As in, re-hee-hee-hee-heee-lly. Now, this is not to say that they’re not GOFing the next take-down pathogen, but more likely is that they will be symptom-laundering the shot effects using the guise of some ‘normal pathogen’ for which people ‘aren’t getting vaccinated against anymore’. The blame will always be shifted to us.

  Ellen Brown: Casino Capitalism and the Derivatives Market: Time for Another ‘Lehman Moment’?  (A premonition that the 2008 financial crash will resume in 2024.)
  On Dec. 24, 2023, Catherine Herridge, a senior investigative correspondent for CBS News covering national security and intelligence, said on “Face the Nation,” “I just feel a lot of concern that 2024 may be the year of a black swan event. This is a national security event with high impact that’s very hard to predict.”  
  What sort of event she didn’t say, but speculations have included a major cyberattack; a banking crisis due to a wave of defaults from high interest rates, particularly in commercial real estate; an oil embargo due to war. Any major black swan could prick the massive derivatives bubble, which the Bank for International Settlements put at over one quadrillion (1,000 trillion) dollars as far back as 2008. With global GDP at only $100 trillion, there is not enough money in the world to satisfy all these derivative claims. A derivative crisis helped trigger the 2008 banking collapse, and that could happen again...
..Derivatives are basically just bets, which are sold as “insurance” — protection against changes in interest rates or exchange rates, defaults on loans and the like...
..The collateral grabbed to close out derivative claims may be your stocks and bonds...
..In the United States, publicly traded stock does not exist in private hands.
  It is not owned by the ostensible owners, who, by virtue of having purchased shares in this or that company, are led to believe they actually own the shares. Technically, all they own are IOUs. The true ownership lies elsewhere... Nearly all publicly traded equities and a majority of bonds are owned by a little-known partnership, Cede & Co...
..In a 2023 book called The Great Taking (available for free online), Wall Street veteran David Rogers Webb traces the legislative history of these developments...
..The DTCC is a central clearing counterparty (CCP) sitting at the top of a pyramid of banks, brokers and exchanges. All have agreed to hold their customers’ assets in “street name,” collect those assets in a fungible pool, and forward that pool to the DTCC, which then trades pooled blocks of stock and bonds between brokers and banks in the name of its nominee Cede & Co. The DTCC, a private corporation, owns them all...
..You, the investor, have only a contractual claim against your broker, who no longer holds title to your stock either, since title has been transferred up the chain to the DTCC. Your contractual claim is only to a pro rata share of a pool of the stock designated in street name, title to which is held by Cede & Co...
..[T]he shadow banking system’s lifeblood is collateral, and the issue is that market players re-use that same collateral over, and over, and over again, multiple times a day, to create credit. The process is called “rehypothecation.” Multiple parties’ financial statements therefore report that they own the very same asset at the same time. They have IOUs from each other to pay back that asset—hence, a chain of counterparty exposure that’s hard to track...
..It is this reuse of the collateral to back multiple speculative bets that has facilitated the explosion of the derivatives bubble to ten times the GDP of the world. It should be the collateral of the actual purchaser, but you, the purchaser, are at the bottom of the collateral chain. Derivative claims have super priority in bankruptcy, ostensibly because the derivative edifice is so risky that their bets need to be cleared.

  Why Did HHS "Partner" with DOD?Review of Article by Debbie Lerman for Brownstone Institute . Sasha Latypova
  It appears that one of the main reasons this “partnering” needed to happen was the use of Other Transaction Authority (OTA). It turns out, quite reasonably, different federal agencies have different scope of the OTAs. The scope of HHS’s OTA did not permit manufacturing pharmaceuticals at scale, especially not before satisfying regulatory requirements for safety...
..OTA was written and codified as a way for the military to acquire weapons and other necessary systems and equipment without a lot of bureaucratic red tape. It covers research and development, prototypes, and subsequent manufacturing.
  The only OTA for a public health agency is for the HHS and it only covers Research & Development, not prototypes or manufacturing.

NATO is putting 90,000 troops near the Ukrainian border (with how many days of gas and ammo?)  "just in case".
Scale of Steadfast Defender Drills Marks Return of NATO to Cold War-Era Patterns - Moscow

  Eleni sends this unique insight from M.K. Bhadrakumar.  Decoding Iran’s missile, drone strikes
  The stunning missile and drone strikes on three countries — Syria, Iraq and Pakistan — over a period of 24 hours and Tehran taking the extraordinary step of announcing its responsibility for the attacks conveyed a very big message to Washington that its stratagem to create a coalition of terror groups in the region surrounding Iran will be resolutely countered.
  That the US strategy against Iran was taking new forms began emerging after the October 7 attack on Israel and the consequent erosion of its standing as the regional supremo...
..There were signs already by the latter half of 2023 that the US with Israeli axis was planning to use terrorism as the only viable means to weaken Iran and restore the regional balance back in favour of Tel Aviv...
..Future historians are sure to study, analyse and arrive at sober conclusions as regards the attacks on Israel by Palestinian resistance groups on October 7. In classic military doctrine, they were quintessentially a pre-emptive strike by resistance groups before the US-Israeli juggernaut of terrorist groups — such as ISIS and Mujahideen-e-Khalq  — turned into a rival platform matching the Axis of Resistance...
..Tehran has been pressing Moscow to expedite a bilateral strategic pact but Russians, unsurprisingly, took time over it...
..On Monday, finally, the Russian Defence Ministry disclosed in a rare statement that Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu called his Iranian counterpart Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani to convey that Moscow has agreed to sign the pact...
..According to Iranian news agency IRNA, Shoigu conveyed that Russia’s commitment to Iran’s sovereignty and territorial integrity will be explicitly stated in the pact. The report added that “the two ministers also pointed out the importance of issues related to regional security and emphasised that Moscow and Tehran will continue their joint efforts in establishing a multipolar world order and negating the unilateralism of the United States.”...
..“This document is not just timely, but also overdue,” said Zakharova. “Since the signing of the current treaty, the international context has changed and relations between the two countries are experiencing an unprecedented upswing,” she took note...
..Suffice to say, Iran’s missile and drone strikes against terrorist targets on Wednesday are a vivid demonstration of its assertiveness to act in self-defence in the new regional and international milieu. Iran’s so-called “proxies” — be it Hezbollah or Houthis — have reached adulthood with a mind of their own, who would decide their own strategic positioning within the Axis of Resistance. They don’t require a life-support system from Tehran...
..With regard to the strike on Baluchistan, interestingly, it took place within a month of COAS Gen. Asim Munir’s weeklong trip to Washington in mid-December.
  Munir met senior US officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, US Forces Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Charles Q Brown, and US Deputy National Security Adviser Jonathan Finer — and, of course, the redoubtable Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland, the driving force behind the Biden administration’s neocon policies.
  An official statement in Islamabad December 15 on Munir’s high-flying tour stated that Pakistan and the US “intend to increase interactions” for “mutually beneficial” engagements...
..Pakistan has an entire history of serving American interests in the region and the GHQ in Rawalpindi has been the charioteer of such collaboration. What is on evidence today is that the forthcoming elections in Pakistan did not discourage the Biden administration from rolling out the red carpet for Munir. But the good part is that both Iran and Pakistan are smart enough to know each other’s red lines.
  The US intentions are clear: outflank Tehran in the west and east with failing states that are easy to manipulate...
..In a nutshell, [US National Security Advisor Jake] Sullivan has voiced the US’ intention to strengthen its presence in Iraq — and it has similar objectives to pursue in Pakistan too. Washington trusts Munir to ensure that Imran Khan languishes in jail no matter the outcome of the Pakistani elections.
  This strategic realignment comes at a time when Afghanistan has conclusively slipped out of the Anglo-American orbit and Saudi Arabia shows no interest to be a cog in the American wheel or dabble with the forces of extremism and terrorism.

  US Navy Gives Major Update On Missing Seals After Searching 21,000 Square Miles Of Ocean
  US Central Command (CENTCOM) has belatedly announced the death of the two Seals. "We regret to announce that after a 10-day exhaustive search, our two missing U.S. Navy SEALs have not been located and their status has been changed to deceased," a statement issued Sunday indicated. "Out of respect for the families, no further information will be released at this time."

Yemen Hits ANOTHER U.S. Ship with Ballistic Missiles , Unconfirmed report that "military carrier" Ocean Jazz has been sunk. Pictures don't match.

European Union Agrees to Military Use against Yemen, 27 EU Member States agree on Military action in the Red Sea.
European Union states have reached an agreement in principle to launch a military operation to secure merchant shipping in the Red Sea - EU top diplomat

Nasrallah will not be provoked or intimidated.  Israeli Strike Targets Hassan Nasrallah - Hezbollah Leader! Kills one of Personal Security Team

  Israeli occupation government’s members reject establishment of Palestinian state
  Ministers in the Israeli occupation government said on Saturday that they would not allow the establishment of the State of Palestine in accordance with American and international demands.
  This comes hours after statements made by US President Joe Biden in which he claimed that Israeli entity’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed him that he did not mind implementing the two-state solution and establishing the State of Palestine.
  The Minister of Finance of the occupying entity, Smotrich, said: “There is a broad consensus in Israel to reject the Palestinian state and the division of lands.” He added: “The White House must be freed from the illusions of the concepts that led to the disaster in Israel,” according to his claim.
  Smotrich continued: “Friends of Israel must understand that pushing towards the establishment of a Palestinian state is pushing towards the next massacre and an existential threat to Israel.”

  Alastair Crooke (Thanks F.S.), Netanyahu’s Shape-shifting ‘Endgame’ – It Is No Ploy, but a Reversion to Earlier Zionist Strategy
..The late Ariel Sharon, a long-time Israeli military and political leader, once confided to his close friend Uri Dan that, “the Arabs had never genuinely accepted the presence of Israel … and so, a two-state solution was not possible – nor even desirable”.
  In the minds of these two – as well as for most Israelis today – is the ‘Gordian Knot’ that sits at the heart of Zionism: How to maintain differential rights over a physical terrain that includes a large Palestinian population.
  Israeli leaders believed that in Sharon’s unconventional approach of ‘spatial ambiguity’, Israel was close to evolving a solution to the conundrum of managing differential rights within a Zionist majority state, which includes substantial minorities...

..U.S. journalist Steve Inskeep’s recent piece – Israel’s Lack of Strategy is the Strategy – brings into focus the seeming paradox: That whilst Netanyahu is very clear about that which he does not want, he at the same time remains obstinately opaque about what he does want as a future for Palestinians living on a shared terrain...
..Sharon’s military experience from the 1973 War effectively has shaped the entire Palestinian paradigm...  Sharon’s notion of Palestinian Permanent Ambiguity was – and has been – the Zionists’ principle answer to how to bypass the paradox inherent within Zionism... In 2008, Foreign Minister (and lawyer), Tzipi Livni, was spelling out why “Israel’s only answer (to the issue of how to maintain Zionism) was to keep the State’s borders undefined – whilst holding on to scarce water and land resources – leaving Palestinians in a state of permanent uncertainty, dependent on Israeli goodwill”...
.“Livni was saying that she wanted Israel to be a Zionist state – based on the Law of Return and open to any Jew. However, to secure such a state in a country with very limited territory – means that land and water must be kept under Jewish control, with differential rights for Jews and non-Jews – rights that affect everything, from housing and access to land, to jobs, subsidies, marriages and migration”.
  A two-state solution inherently therefore, did not solve the problem of how to maintain Zionism; rather, it compounded it. The inevitable demand for full equal rights for Palestinians would bring the end of Jewish ‘special rights’, and of Zionism itself, Livni argued – a threat with which most Zionists concur...
..Sharon had an alternative plan for managing a large non-Jewish ‘out-group’, physically present within a Zionist State of differentiated rights. Sharon’s alternative amounted to frustrating a two-state solution within fixed borders...
..The roots to Sharon’s ‘alternative’ lay with his radically unorthodox military thinking on how to defend the then-occupied Sinai from the Egyptian Army during the war with Egypt in 1973.
  The 1973 Israeli-Arab war outcome thoroughly vindicated Sharon’s doctrine of a network defence based on a matrix of elevated strong points spread throughout the depth of the Sinai – a framework that acted as an extended spatial ‘trap’ providing Israelis with a high level of mobility, whilst paralyzing the enemy caught within its matrix of interlocking strong points. (If the reader notices the similarity of approach to the Israeli strategic locii of settlement ‘strong points’ spread across the West Bank today, it is no coincidence!).
  Sharon envisaged the depth of the West Bank in its entirety as one extensive, permeable and temporary ‘frontier’. This approach could thus disregard any thin-nibbed pencil line, drawn to denote some political border. This framework was intended to leave Palestinians in a state of permanent uncertainty, caught within a matrix of interlocking settlements, and subject to Israeli military intervention at Israel’s sole discretion.
  In 1982, Sharon drew up his “H” plan matrix of strong-point settlements for the West Bank that would mirror the Sinai strategy. This defensive strategy, however, also had the effect of imbuing ‘settler Zionism’ with new purpose and legitimacy.
  The success of this strategy thus saw it transposed from being an essentially military defensive structure (to paralyse the Palestinians within a matrix of IDF strongpoints) to become subsequently the basis for managing the Palestinians more broadly. It was, over the years, to become more repressive, more iniquitous and resented. And ultimately, it seeded the apartheid two-state solution...
..It has permitted the fashioning of a two-layered space, subjecting Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs each to different matrices of mobility and administrative treatment.
  Differentiated legal and administrative space thus solidified the Zionist political principle of differential political rights too. This two-tier system provides for Palestinian political exclusion, but maintains Palestinian dependency and legal inclusion under the Israeli apparatus of control...
..Once you make explicit that the overriding objective is that of maintaining Zionism, everything that Netanyahu is doing then makes sense. The crux of the problem is unchanged: The inherent contradiction of an exceptionalist Zionist state incorporating a substantial non-Jewish out-group without rights – whether it be held in the fenced ghetto of Gaza, or in a West Bank ‘settler stronghold matrix’ – has become untenable...
..Put plainly, Zionism will need to be re-thought – or abandoned.
  So too, the West’s policy responses will need re-visiting. Well-intentioned platitudes about a two-state ‘solution’ are years too late. Too much water has flowed under the bridge. Rather, the West might begin to consider the implications of defeat for those who have embraced a side to this conflict. It is more than just Israel in Gaza that is in the dock at the Hague, much else is too (from the perspective of the Global South)...
..“Israel is the state of the Jewish people”, Livni underlined in 2008 – stressing the Zionist ‘bottom line’ – “and I would like to emphasise the meaning of “its people” is the Jewish people, with Jerusalem the united and undivided capital of Israel and of the Jewish people for 3007 years”.

  The Israeli occupation is largely conflicted among itself amid reports of infighting and an overall sense of defeat among the soldiers.
  In reality, ministers revealed there were discrepancies in what was being heard from the military apparatus and from what was going on the ground, the Israeli broadcaster said.
  There was a notable lack of respect in this session, escalating to shouting between the Minister for Advancement of the Status of Women May Golan and Chikli.
A new indication of a major division in "Israel's" war leadership has surfaced, following the former Israeli chief Gadi Eisenkot's call for elections within months.

Israeli Commanders Believe Diplomacy Is the Only Way to Free Israeli Hostages
Four Israeli military leaders told NYT that the goal of decimating Hamas is incompatible with rescuing the hostages

Israel Offers Substantial 2-Month Gaza Ceasefire For Release Of All Hostages

‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 108: Israel is systematically obliterating Gaza, section by section
As Israeli forces surround yet another hospital in Gaza, Hamas releases a letter clarifying its motives behind the October 7 attack, reiterating the Palestinian demand for the right to self-determination.

  The world has reached a point of no return. The fraud of Western powers is spectacularly exposed and has become untenable.
  Washington, London, and Brussels have pointedly refused to demand a ceasefire in Gaza under the guise of cynical excuses that recycle odious Israeli propaganda lies, such as the Palestinian militant group Hamas allegedly using human shields or hospitals as bases.
  Yet these Western powers turn around and suddenly bomb Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab region because it has taken the principled action of blocking Red Sea shipping as a leverage point to force a ceasefire in Gaza. The Yemenis are invoking their right under the 1948 Genocide Convention to act in solidarity to prevent the genocide of Palestinian people.
  Thus the Western powers are not only arming, enabling, and justifying the Israeli crimes in Gaza. When another party, Yemen, takes action to help the Palestinians, the Western powers double down on their criminality by assaulting Yemen.
  The Red Sea shipping crisis could be easily averted by calling a ceasefire in Gaza, as the Yemenis are contending. So, why don’t the Western powers comply? The conclusion is that they are unwilling to stop the genocide in Gaza. The Israeli regime is a bastion of U.S. and Western imperialism in the geo-strategically important Middle East.

  Red Sea ships declare lack of ties to Israel online to avert Houthi attacks
  Shipping operators are reportedly posting statements on marine monitoring websites declaring that they have no connection to Israel before entering the Red Sea to avoid their vessels being targeted by the Houthi militia in Yemen.
  The Houthis have said that they will not target ships passing through the Red Sea, Ban Al-Bandab, or the Gulf of Aden so long as they provide early notice of their destinations or indicate on maritime traffic monitoring sites that they have no relation with Israel.

  Lawmakers Push Funding To Replace The Ultra-Expensive Weapons Used In Yemen
  Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said fighting in Yemen means Congress needs to add further spending for munitions to a supplemental military funding package. "As I’ve warned for weeks, using million-dollar missiles to defend against thousand-dollar drones strains an already insufficient inventory of long-range capabilities," he added. "The supplemental is our chance to expand our capacity to meet the national security challenges we face."

  Senate blocks measure proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders to FREEZE Israel aid and probe Gaza war crimes
  Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has proposed a resolution to potentially freeze U.S. military aid to Israel and mandate the Biden administration to investigate war crimes in the Gaza Strip – a measure that was unfortunately set aside.
  Under the resolution, all U.S. security aid would be frozen unless the U.S. Department of State produces a report examining whether Israel had committed human rights violations in its wartime conduct. The resolution gave the State Department 30 days to produce this report.
  Earlier this month, Sanders – who is Jewish himself – decried the Gaza offensive as an "illegal and immoral war against the Palestinian people." In turn, pro-Israel lobbyists campaigned aggressively against Sanders' resolution, calling it poorly timed and unnecessary.

  Mexico and Chile call on International Criminal Court to investigate crimes in Gaza
Mexico and Chile have joined South Africa, Bolivia, Djibouti, Bangladesh, and the Comoros in calling on the ICC to investigate Israel for its crimes in Gaza, including war crimes and genocide.

  Journalist Who Attacked Top Tennis Player For Refusing COVID Vaccine Dies Suddenly
  One of the lead instigators of this attempt at cancellation was Mike Dickson, a prominent British sports journalist working for the Daily Mail.  Dickson is noted as being relentless in his criticism of Djokovic, calling the player "arrogant and deplorable" for refusing to submit.
  This week, Mike Dickson is reported to have collapsed and “died suddenly” at the age of 59 while covering the Australian Open.  The cause of death has been kept confidential.

Big Kid On Bike (pictured wheeling out early wearing Palestine jersey from China) 

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