Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 22, 2018

The MoA Week In Review And Open Thread 2018-19

The U.S. is currently attempting Color Revolutions by Force in Nicaragua and Armenia. This form of 'regime change' uses the typical 'peaceful demonstrators' schemes and media push but adds an armed element that is supposed to shoot at both sides - the protesters as well as government forces - to create marketable victims and chaos. The war on Syria was started this way as was the war in Libya and the violent regime change in Ukraine.

Telesur TV has a good write up on the situation in Nicaragua. Earlier today a journalist was shot in Bluefields, Nicaragua, during live reporting, probably by the opposition which now accuses the government.

AFP has an overview of the conflict in Armenia. It is sympathetic to the 'western' sponsored opposition. Just an hour ago the opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan was arrested after a short talk with the Prime Minister. He demanded total surrender of the government. I expect that further demonstrations will be shut down.

Last week's posts on MoA:

Yesterday, a week after arriving in Damascus, the OPCW fact finding mission finally reached one of the sites and took some probes to be analyzed elsewhere. It will take several weeks before the results are in.

I reported that the ISIS Takfiris in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp had given up and were ready to be transported into the eastern desert. But, as happened before in Douma, some hardliners killed the lead negotiator of the Takfiris and the fighting resumed. Artillery fire and aerial bombing continued today. The Syrian army has now plenty of capacities and, unless they give up, will turn all the Takfiris into fertilizer without taking many losses.

The Bolivian actress Carla Ortiz is back from Syria where she produced a new documentary. Jimmy Dore interviews her (vid, 40 min) and shows some of her footage. It is excellent and I recommend it.

(This was the longest piece I have ever written for this site and, I believe, it is quite important. Please spread it.)

The war on dissenting opinions described therein continues with the Sunday Times smearing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn because one or two of the 2,444 people he follows on Twitter once wrote something the Sunday Times dislikes:


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Posted by b on April 22, 2018 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

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There is a massively important establishment-owned (it would seem) faction of the 'left' which can be relied upon to not only echo establishment narratives on these hegemonically sponsored uprisings but to savage anyone on the left who does not fall in line.

Posted by: paul | Apr 22, 2018 11:04:13 AM | 1

If there were a positive aspect of Syrian war, it is the complete exposure of fake left organs of the empire that had to expose themselves for all of us to see: human rights watch, amnesty international, etc. plus supposedly humanitarian Unicef, and Guardian which leaks sewer on its pages.

The one about guardian has been heart breaking for me. I knew that it had hired guns that write (like despicable Simon Tisdall) opinion pieces, but watching the complete editorial board going this low is very sad for me personally.

Posted by: kemerd | Apr 22, 2018 11:19:47 AM | 2

This is where I land for the real deal; no bullshit!

Posted by: V. Arnold | Apr 22, 2018 11:30:36 AM | 3

Vanessa Beeley as of today attacked in a Huffpost propaganda campaign attack,

"How An Obscure British Blogger Became Russia's Key witness"

I am not gonna link to that desinformation paper.

Posted by: Anonymous2 | Apr 22, 2018 11:50:54 AM | 4

I have to admit a slight admiration at the effectiveness of the vile CIA trap engineered before the 2016 election that many democrats and left walked right into after the election. They are now trapped along with most on the right. The two party face of the US Deep State is now orientated together in a holy crusade toward war.

All the struggle, hope, and openings of the end of the Cold War have come to nothing in the West. That potential has been lost. The West is driven by envy, greed, and hatred for what it cannot totally control. How does the blood in its veins move since it has no heart.

The only hope for the future that I see is in the coalescing multifarious East. The US and its Anglosphere and EU vassals fear it as they cannot control it. The West cannot stop pushing forward to control it while the East is drawing red lines saying to the West "do you think we are kidding?".

I see a high probability of great disaster ahead. What is left except to pray for divine intervention in the West to wake to sanity the button pushers before they push the last button.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Apr 22, 2018 12:01:46 PM | 5

The problem, as always, is with Israel. The very UN resolution which recognised the artificial construction of their state has willfully not been followed up by a fair and just settlement for the people who were kicked out to form that state. Bill 44, previous thread.

Fairly typical, yes OK. The duplicity the W. and the Arab States has to be grasped in order to understand the role Israel plays in, for ex., the Syria “war.”

Blaming Isr. and its soi-disant take-over of the US Gvmt. (etc.) for the USA’s many misdeeds, malfunctions, horrors, etc. is common. Yet, the relationship is an intertwined symbiotic one, the two parties embrace, there isn’t a dominant partner, on the surface. Rather, one should ask: why is the USA so vulnerable? Or: if that isn’t the right question, what is? (The US is in charge..)

Back to the Palestinians (= P.) Two UN agencies care for refugees: UNRWA, charged with taking care of P refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. The UNHCR, for the ROW. .. (they actually publish some usefuls stats. etc.)

UNRWA has about 30,000 employees. A large proportion of all UN + agency employees are Ps. as UNRWA hires locals, pays them salaries as doctors, teachers, etc. (UNHCR *in principle* is forbidden from hiring locals.) When you read “Yarmouk camp for Ps.” in Syria, it’s a territory within Syria that is another country, they do things differently there. Administered, paid for, by UNRWA.

The identity of P. refug. is transmitted patri-linearly, so the community grows: now grand-children, +, they are all…P. refugees! (Are they being kept hostage..err?) No other refugee group has such a status. Ps. thus re. this aspect offer a distorted mirror image of Jews-Israel.

.. 2012 .. an estimated 4,950,000 registered patrilineal descendants of the original "Palestine refugees”, based on the UNRWA registration requirements, of which an estimated 1.5 million lived in UNRWA camps. The number of original refugees "who meet UNRWA's Palestine Refugee criteria" was 711,000 in 1950.

wiki P. refug.

P. refug. rights are severely limited…Rules /intl. agreements are not spelled out clearly, application is dodgy, etc. personally I have no knowledge

wiki P. in Syria.

PDF, NGO…(the front photo is photo-shopped but comes from the UN. I have written 2x to denounce these fake pix, no reply.) Some interesting titles:

Majdal - NGO

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 22, 2018 12:28:24 PM | 6

The Carla Ortiz and Jimmy Dore exchange is fascinating. Each in her/his own way is superb. The Guardian has become boulevard press = tabloid. Nearly every day before and even after the US election Mrs. Clinton gloated on the front page. Bernie Sanders was no where to be seen nearly until the election. Now the Guardian is priming its readers for the stomach-churning royal wedding coming up. No, no more Guardian for me. And they have the gall to ask for money to turn out articles praising the White Helemts. No!

Posted by: Quentin | Apr 22, 2018 12:29:41 PM | 7

Anonymous 4
BBC took on Vannessa Beeley recently, too. Will NYT and WaPo be next? The anti-Russia agenda continues along with the anti-truth-in-Syria agenda.

AriusAmerican 5
During the Bush II fiasco, there were anti-war protests. The protests disappeared after Obama took office. And he was given a Nobel Peace Prize for talking about peace. But everyone went along with Obama's wars. No protests. And that's how they like it. They want support and tend to get it from the MSM and party lackeys. And if they don't get support, the one thing they don't want are massive protests, calls to congress, etc. As long as there's little to no resistance their war agenda continues.

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 22, 2018 12:32:23 PM | 8

PS
The HuffPoUK article tears into Beeley but at the bottom has a Russian submission to the Security Council of a report she did of the White Helmets. That report negates the article/story! HuffPoUK claims this is part two of a series and that part three will "look at evidence presented against the White Helmets." That should be interesting.

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 22, 2018 12:49:24 PM | 9

Philip May, husband of Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May happens to be a senior executive of Capital Group which is a major holder of both Lockheed Martin and British Aerospace (BAE).

Theresa May’s husband’s Investment Firm made a financial killing from the bombing of Syria

According to Investopedia, Philip May’s Capital Group owned around 7.09% of Lockheed Martin in March 2018 – a stake said to be worth more than £7Bn at this time.

...


Every single JASSM used in the recent bombing of Syria costs more than $1,000,000, and as a result of their widespread use during the recent bombing of Syria by Western forces, the share price of Lockheed Martin soared.

https://evolvepolitics.com/theresa-mays-husbands-investment-firm-made-a-financial-killing-from-the-bombing-of-syria/

And here for the story:

https://theswamp.media/how-philip-may-s-company-benefits-from-the-syria-strikes-lockheed-martin-the-jassm-and-the-capital-group

Posted by: Allen | Apr 22, 2018 1:17:13 PM | 10

Just back from a road trip in America where I uncharacteristically watched TV in the evenings. My main impression = appalled at the intellectual decline and I kept saying to myself, "If anyone wants to know why we're stupid, here (TV) is the reason."

Interestingly, what I formerly could not stand, FOX news, showed some dignity and intelligence over what appears to be unraveling in the cover-up of what is now "FBI-gate" versus the old and worn-out Russia-gate stuff. I was amused at FOX news' presentation of the latest DNC lawsuit as more hopeless apologizing for Clinton's loss, and a development which could backfire into disclosure finally, and much more focus on what Clinton was up to with the DNC maligning of Sanders, plus the politicizing of the intelligence agencies, as with Comey, Brennan, and Clapper.

As to Americans generally, a lot of good people, nice and helpful if they can just relax into ordinary relating as with services and restaurants. In meeting with relatives, obvious MSM propaganda layering their opinions. I was struck for example that the homeless problem could be dismissed because some homeless didn't want to take advantage of housing help offered (the specifics of that not offered, nor am I aware of what's meant here). The tendency is to dismiss the troubling into simplification, and get back to what feels good as soon as possible. But this is completely normal human behavior in my 5 decades or so of watching political developments.

Overall, my impression is that a huge amount of the American populace is entirely disengaged from what's going on because all of it is too upsetting of the accustomed comfortable lifestyle. There's no sense of how random and stupid (and increasing) violence connects to neocon policies over the past 20 plus years or so. The problems leading potentially to very serious war conflict are demonized away in terms of black vs. white terms, America always the righteous.

I do feel, however, that alternative media, such as via MoA here, are very helpful to growing awareness, particularly among young people. I am eager to see new independent political parties, committed to serving the people, but not yet aware of any of these coming about. I would also echo pyschohistorian and others from the previous thread to ask b to be the leader/organizer via emails, should there come a time when this site is attacked and taken out somehow.

Thank you, b, and commenters here for this energetic and hopeful community.

Posted by: Sid2 | Apr 22, 2018 1:34:57 PM | 11

Curtis

"The anti-Russia agenda continues along with the anti-truth-in-Syria agenda."

I dont get it why these journalists are against finding out what happend (since we dont know that yet)?
Most of these morons have no idea about the conflict at all, and all of a sudden start writing like they are veteran journalists and have profound knowledge about Syria.
Why is there such a hatred? Is it brainwashing?

Posted by: Anonymous2 | Apr 22, 2018 1:50:23 PM | 12

Orban and Hungary also face renewed efforts through Regime Change protests, much of which is focused on derailing what's known as the Stop Soros Act: "Under the new law, NGOs which advance illegal immigration policies will be required to pay a 25% tax on foreign donations and report their activities to the Hungarian government." Clearly, Soros and his NGO Empire must be destroyed to remove the CIA's main lever over Central/Eastern European nations, which would gain greater independence for the EU.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 22, 2018 1:50:48 PM | 13

Beeley and others are getting the same sort of treatment that Alan Winnington and Wilfred Burchett- both of whom had their passports revoked, by respectively the British and Australian government.
Winnington told the truth about the Korean war in the Communist Daily Worker while Burchett, beginning with his reports of Hiroshima, which told the truth about nuclear bombs, later repeated the offence in Korea and Vietnam.
Their names will be remembered long after the last bits of jewelry and expensive furnishings have been auctioned off from the homes of the whores who work for the bourgeoisie.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 22, 2018 2:04:47 PM | 14

4 - Ah, Huffy Post. A site that restricts comments to FB users only, and who a few years ago gave the Great American Public "side boobs"

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Apr 22, 2018 2:17:02 PM | 15

The White Helmets tried to recruit Roger Waters

The October 2016 dinner invite was delivered to Waters by a representative for the Corniche Group, an international holding company belonging to the family of the London-based Saudi billionaire Hani Farsi. Farsi was seeking Waters’ presence at a fundraising dinner he had organized on behalf of The Syria Campaign.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 22, 2018 2:23:31 PM | 16

Sid2 @11--

Seems like a typical observation of people who only get "informed" via TV, who don't seek out additional information through other sources--particularly online. They fit into my comment as those no longer thinking that wisdom is something important to gain--that remaining ignorant is more comforting as you observed. Furthermore, becoming informed to gain wisdom takes a goodly amount of effort--several hours daily at minimum--and there's little "candy" to be had as a reward for one's efforts other than satisfaction that you "know" versus the various feel good hormones one gets from watching the TV entertainment pablum that gets discussed the next day with co-workers. It's for excellent reasons why the device was long ago called The Idiot Box--it cultivates idiots, not critical thinkers willing to question authority.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 22, 2018 2:26:33 PM | 17

@ kemerd | 2

If there were a positive aspect of Syrian war, it is the complete exposure of fake left organs of the empire that had to expose themselves for all of us to see: human rights watch, amnesty international, etc. plus supposedly humanitarian Unicef, and Guardian which leaks sewer on its pages.
___________________________________________

FWIW, I just belatedly posted a similar thought on the previous post.

I'm not religious, but "Ye shall know them by their fruits" is a sound and useful standard. Of course, the problem is that far too many people are still fooled by shiny, attractive packaging and wrapping that conceals the rotten, putrid fruit within.

Posted by: Ort | Apr 22, 2018 2:26:59 PM | 18

The Investigative Committee of Russia has published a video covering the information it has collected so far while investigating the Skripal case: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7D6Z_yGEFSY (in Russian). Three interesting tidbits stand out:

1:40–2:10 Yulia's movements have been traced from the moment she got into a Moscow taxi to the moment she boarded the plane to London. Taxi driver's identity has been established, as well as the identities of all passengers who traveled on the same flight as Yulia; none of them have experienced any health issues. The video shows CCTV footage of Yulia going through the airport.

4:20–5:10 The British claimed that Skripals had no relatives to represent their interests. This claim allowed the authorities to obtain the court permission to take blood samples from unconscious Skripals. However, it was found that Skripals had two relatives living in Yaroslavl oblast: 89-year old mother of Sergei Skripal, Elena Skripal, and his niece, Viktoria Skripal. We already know that. Here's what's new: on April 5, Elena Skripal has granted a power of attorney to Viktoria Skripal allowing her to represent Elena's interests in Russia and the UK (shown in the video at 4:43). That means that the UK government is not allowing a legal representative of Sergei's mother to visit him.

7:29–8:21 According to Viktor Holstov, the head of the Center for Analytical Research on Conventions for the Prohibition of Chemical and Biological Weapons at the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, a 2009 US patent evaluating possible antidotes to organophosphorous agents states that the antidotes to nerve agents such as sarin and VX are ineffective against Novichok-class agents. To arrive at such a conclusion, obviously, Novichok-class agents had to be synthesized in the U.S.

Posted by: S | Apr 22, 2018 2:44:33 PM | 19

Now that ppl have become somewhat informed about ‘fake’ chem attack vids, watch this one, from Douma, Aug. 9, 2013.

Look at - confusion - noise - color filter to distract - much rushing about (signals panic but does not happen in a proper hospital or even outpost) - hands / masks /sweaters held in front of faces (would not happen in hosp. or actually anywhere…)

Totally healthy handsome quasi-naked men looking about smiling sneakily (chem attack porn - we also see many children being manhandled, another story..) lying on med. exam couches…more green panic confusion… then to the standard, man in daylight (previous we were at night) going aay eek and rolling his eyes theatrically while he is is being hosed down with a crappy garden hose and tapping his chest! And all thru, multiple props signalling docs (e.g stethoscope) and patients, etc. etc. I mean it was in your face then, hopefully today perception is more savvy?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgyE4AIES8A\

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 22, 2018 2:50:44 PM | 20

@11

Thanks for that snapshot description. One of the signs of an empire that is failing is the increasing disconnect (and cynicism) between the rulers and the ruled - no matter what the system of government may be. Your description provides a graphic picture of that disconnection.

In another vein, Media again posits the SAA as going against the rebel controlled areas in the south. I believe that the SAA will instead consolidate areas around Homs and southern Hama then focus on Deir Ezzour and the cross-river attacks from the US protected eastern shore of the Euphrates.. This action will take us through to mid-June. At that point I anticipate some kind of incidents having to do with the Idlib pocket.

Posted by: les7 | Apr 22, 2018 2:59:15 PM | 21

b if you may, can you address the recent DNS errors here at MoA? Should we be concerned considering your last post? Lord knows If MoA goes down, I'm going to flip..

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 22, 2018 3:03:08 PM | 22

@Allen 10
Every single JASSM used in the recent bombing of Syria costs more than $1,000,000, and as a result of their widespread use during the recent bombing of Syria by Western forces, the share price of Lockheed Martin soared.

No. Go here, click on 1 month, and you'll see that LMT went from 342.6 USD on April 13 to 351.99 on Apr 20, less than 5% gain which is significant but not soaring. And that was on speculation (such as yours) and could very well find its earlier level.

Why? Because the "widespread use" of Lockheed's JASSM missile was 19 costing $26 million which is roughly one-sixth the cost of one useless F-35 fighter, and Lockheed is procuring 70 of them this fiscal year. The strike was called a "one-off" and the $26 million is a miniscule part of the annual revenue of Lockheed Martin, circa $50 billion.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 22, 2018 3:20:52 PM | 23

@22 correction
Lockheed is producing not procuring F-35.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 22, 2018 3:22:30 PM | 24

S @18--

Thanks for that info, particularly the last bit regarding antidotes.

Don't know what happened to my response to Sid2 @11 as it didn't contain any links, just commentary. Must agree with many about the great values MoA has as a vital information source and discussion site.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 22, 2018 3:24:44 PM | 25

@Sid2 11
a huge amount of the American populace is entirely disengaged from what's going on

The American populace was certainly involved when against all odds, against nearly every "expert," Donald Trump not only bested a dozen politicians in his own party primaries but then beat the odds-on favorite by far in the general election.

But that's an exception. The people get involved (of course) only when they have the opportunity to do so. Generally speaking that's an opportunity to vote for one schmuck or another periodically, and that's about it, in the so-called US "democracy." Citizens have no opportunity for input otherwise on any matter of governance, so their lack of engagement is imposed upon them, it's not their choice. It differs little in every country.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 22, 2018 3:37:51 PM | 26

@ 24
Same thing happened to my response to Sid2, and I didn't copy it. I doubt that Sid2 is doing it, and I'm to lazy to do the comment over again. It's too bad, it was really profound in a simple sort of way.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 22, 2018 3:41:18 PM | 27

Oh there it is!

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 22, 2018 3:41:43 PM | 28

@sid2 & DB.

Correction, Earth's populace is entirely disengaged from what's going on. With pockets of engagement occupying less and less space in each nation/country/protectorate etc etc.....

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Apr 22, 2018 4:19:49 PM | 29

I must have missed the day in high school civics class when it was explained the best way to resolve political differences in a democracy was to form an angry mob and engage in widespread vandalism and arson.

I had seen an MSM piece on the disruptions in Nicaragua, which did mention that Social Security reform was motivating the demonstrators - without mentioning that the protesters were angry that the proposed reforms were not sufficiently cruel. In this way the Nicaraguan protesters join those in Venezuela, who are angry that health and literacy programs exist, and the Ukrainians who sparked a "revolution" so they could have a harsh austerity program imposed on them.

Posted by: jayc | Apr 22, 2018 4:31:27 PM | 30

thanks b.. you are doing excellent work.. i hope more see it...

that carla ortiz via jim dore video is excellent... thanks.

i have been away and haven't read your april 21st article, but will do so now..

@4 anonymous2... huffpost is a propaganda rag, thru and thru...

@12 anonymous2... see the carla ortiz / jimmy dore video linked.. there are 2 people doing the work most journalists are unable to...

@21 lozion.. ditto your comment/ question...

Posted by: james | Apr 22, 2018 5:04:51 PM | 31

Hello everybody,

has anyone come across this here, from the British Mirror:

Is this the Salisbury poisonings hitman? Former KGB captain codenamed 'Gordon' is Russian assassin suspect

A lot to wonder about I'm sure, but this bit in particular made me chuckle:
"Britain’s intelligence services have ­compiled a list of key suspects"

Compiled, right.

~

@ S | 18

Thank you for that! It's good to know that the Russians are indeed investigating.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Apr 22, 2018 5:05:15 PM | 32

I just listened to Lavrov's interview with the BBC. Early on, when asked how he responds to waking up to a tweet that tells Russia to get ready for those nice new cruise missiles, Lavrov responds by distinguishing between the tweets and the dialogue between military leaders. Lavrov makes clear they only treat the dialogue with the military leadership seriously.

To me, while stated very subtly, this marks a profound shift in how Russia will interact with the US. They have virtually given up on the political channels even through intermediaries like the EU). The only relationship left is that of military balance/confrontation.

May those who have ears to hear, listen.

Posted by: les7 | Apr 22, 2018 5:12:23 PM | 33

https://www.rt.com/uk/424830-intel-powers-terrorism-radicalization/

MI5 has new powers to identify, infiltrate, and act against "communities vulnerable to radicalization".

Just a heads up for all you Brritish Mooners out there--they'll be coming for you, for your own protection.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 22, 2018 5:22:01 PM | 34

You basically suggest that any peoples demanding the resignation of state officials is a CIA coup. That is ridiculous. Do you know anything about Armenia or you make shit up as you go, without any facts or proofs. This guy and his cronies have taken over the country and all it’s indistries. They control the imports of high value items. I sent a $270 laptop computer to Armenia and they charge $450 custom tax, because they want to force people to buy their laptops that they import. There is massive flows of people from the country. And it is impossible to do business there as the fucking state apparatus is always on your throat. What are you bumbling about ?

Posted by: Ara | Apr 22, 2018 6:49:45 PM | 35

kemerd @ 2 I know the feeling, i watched Democracy Now over my morning coffee for a long time...Amy has spun with the neo-libs in foreign policy...its just sad...are the shekels so very shiny Amy?

Ort @ 17 very much agree...with Trumpty, he lies so much and lies on both sides of an issue, you have to ignore everything he says and judge by what he does...

I also like: for them who have ears to hear,...let them hear

regards

OY

Posted by: oldenyoung | Apr 22, 2018 7:30:32 PM | 36

Free Julian.

Posted by: miss lacy | Apr 22, 2018 7:51:26 PM | 37

@34 this attitude is not helpful; try to explain more calmly, or if it's fighting you want go somewhere else.

Posted by: Sid2 | Apr 22, 2018 8:02:05 PM | 38

@DB not to quibble I hope but at least half of the population did not vote in the 2016 election . . . one of our problems, I submit, is assessing the strength of critical response to current mainstream policies. How minor is MoA as not to be bothered with? I'm not running down anything with that comment--my question really is focused on how sizeable the progressive opposition is. From many comment columns here and there it seems massive. But is it?

Posted by: Sid2 | Apr 22, 2018 8:07:04 PM | 39

@Ara | 34

Importation of goods through official channels provides taxes that help finance pensions, healthcare, etc., which is important for a poor country like Armenia.

If you overthrow the current "guy and his cronies", you will get a new "guy and his cronies", only this new guy will worsen relations with Russia, kick off their military bases and invite NATO, and exit the Eurasian Economic Union — all under the pretense of "eurointegration". What little income Armenia now has by selling to EAEU countries without tariffs will be lost. The claim that an increase in trade with EU will make up for this loss is a lie — look at what happened to Ukraine. The ability to work freely in EAEU countries that Armenians currently enjoy will be lost. The "massive flow of people from the country" you're speaking of will only increase, while it will be even harder to find a job abroad.

People like you demand the impossible: the Western standard of living, delivered today. You are unable to understand that most of the problems in your country are a consequence of a simple fact that Armenia is very poor. It felt better during Soviet times because of huge transfers made by the Soviet government; those times are gone. Destabilizing the political situation will only make the investment climate, and hence the economy, worse.

Nobody here is claiming that each and every protester on the streets of Yerevan is a CIA agent. However, the leaders probably are. An opposition journalist? Yeah, we know how that works. And if they're not, then they're most likely very naive people without any understanding of economy and trade issues who will be easily manipulated towards serving NATO's goals.

Posted by: S | Apr 22, 2018 8:08:32 PM | 40

forgot I wanted to recommend Matt Taibi's review of Comey's new book--Matt does it a little salty as usual.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/james-comey-j-edgar-hoover-w519214

Posted by: Sid2 | Apr 22, 2018 8:14:29 PM | 41

39. There are not only American agents there but also Turkish, Iranian, Georgian and definitely Russian. So what? We are talking about the current leaders and their close relatives. How they get so much income that they buy whole apartment buildings in Los Angeles. These are not regular incomes but extortions and controlling whole economies. And the former president wants to shift his nominal position in the state and still have the man made authority to control the economic lifelines. This situation is true in almost all of former soviet countries, that is why it is so easy for outside forces to come and give it a kick and their whole system crumbles down in revolutions. These revolutions mostly happen when people eventually get convinced that things can’t get any worse than their current situation and they have nothing else to lose. The only people that have normal lives in Armenia are those who have a relative in the West who is sending them money on a regular basis. The rest live like homeless bums. And people come here and say it is CIA ran operation, without considering human miseries of a decade. This is really insulting.

Posted by: Ara | Apr 22, 2018 8:31:13 PM | 42

I like some materials on these sites but sometimes I feel these sites serve as unpaid trolls of Eastern despots. They could spend some time investigating these corrupt states and their apparatuses, but it looks like talking about western deep state and shadow gov and corporate media an military industrial complex is easier and more popular. And perhaps they get a kick out of it, like a form of intellectual mental masturbation.

Posted by: Ara | Apr 22, 2018 8:42:55 PM | 43

Telesur claims the violent provocateurs are 'right-wing'. How does it establish that? What does 'right-wing' mean in a Nicaraguan context? It also claims those right-wing groups are extensively using social media to coordinate or converse. But not a link or screen shot for the reader?

I want to believe. Help me my unbelief.

Posted by: Charles R | Apr 22, 2018 8:50:51 PM | 44

Ara @ 34: If the laptop you were selling to the Armenian buyer had to go through Georgia, Turkey, Iran or Azerbaijan, or the airspace of any one or two of those countries, it would have attracted transit fees and those fees are added to the customs tax charged.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 22, 2018 8:50:54 PM | 45

ara, we'e been investigating the corrupt states and their apparatuses of the west which b articulates very well.. if one opts to ignore this, then as s mentions - armenia can go the way of ukraine which isn't all that pretty either but the result of the same game applied.. is that what you would prefer?

Posted by: james | Apr 22, 2018 8:54:20 PM | 46

Where is Tucker Carlson, who has bravely broken the spell of our corporate media with his seeking of real evidence regarding
the Syrian situation?

I do hope he is OK, but...

Posted by: Carey | Apr 22, 2018 9:01:10 PM | 47

craig murray has an article up today articulating similar observations to b's here.. perhaps he was inspired by b's post here from yesterday?

Posted by: james | Apr 22, 2018 9:03:07 PM | 48

44. I wasn’t selling it. I sent it to my cousin as a Gift and declared it as such. I know many others who sent such gifts to their relatives and get stuffed like that. It is a form of bribe. I live in the west and sometimes get disgusted at what I see here, but going thru such experiences in eastern countries at the hands of corrupt states, the Western countries are like Paradise. These are heavily statist countries that are condemned to have hellish lives. This is why Russia has been seemingly independent country for 28 years and has so many resources and wealth yet has the stupidest economy, their GDP is lower than that of the American state of Texas. The state doesn’t allow people to prosper independent of the state as they fear they could one day turn against the state. LOL. Each state agency in these countries act like private enterprises. The customs agency in Armenia charges random fees(%200 to %460) for anything going into the country. And yes you are right, they charge it so they can pay themselves. That is extortion. Try to import agricultural or other business equipment so you can open factories and create workplaces. The import duties make it absolutely impossible for individuals to breath. The state officials and their extortions come first and foremost, everyone else is second.

Posted by: Ara | Apr 22, 2018 9:05:41 PM | 49

Ara, good luck sending a computer to someone in France or in Germany, or even Canada by post. It will be stolen by someone working for the post office. That's what the West has become. So, your story about custom duties doesn't look so bad considering.

Posted by: Mischi | Apr 22, 2018 9:32:47 PM | 50

I don't quite know how to say this without sounding like a fool wallowing in his own
foolishness, but here it goes. Shortly after Mueller was charged with the investigation
of Russia colluding with Russia, I opined at another blog that \][poiuytrewq

Posted by: FSFF | Apr 22, 2018 9:33:04 PM | 51

Armenia is operating under the Russian (really post-Soviet) model of the oligarchs and mafia directly owning/looting the government, as opposed to the Western model where looting is outsourced to foundations and multinationals, which then compensate the oligarchs.

A lot of folks here are very aware of the coercion and mass media brainwashing that goes on in the West, but choose to ignore the same (or worse) brutal practices that occur in the corrupt kleptocracies that make up the "Axis of Resistance" and their allies for political reasons.

Posted by: Almand | Apr 22, 2018 9:40:24 PM | 52

49. Maybe true. I did send a computer to Germany to a friend many years ago as a gift, no problem there. I also was selling shoes online and the only euro countries I had problems were (super high taxes) Scandinavians, Italy, Spain and occasionally France. Incidentally, countries that were heavily socialist or catholic. Don’t remember ever had a single package lost out of over 5000 packages sent over 10 years. For a $45 women’s shoes Sweden was charging $220. I eventually refused to sell anything from my website to people in these countries, even though I was getting numerous emails from people from these countries Begging me to make an exception as they had been looking for that shoe for months.

Posted by: Ara | Apr 22, 2018 9:45:16 PM | 53

I just posted a link to a Vesti clip at the end of the previous thread, because it seems so relevant to b's message about the western crackdown on free speech in this information war. This open thread is coming so close on the heels of that wonderful article, that I want to double-post here as well as there.

Margarita Simonyan of RT says how she's trying to talk, not to power but to common people, because there are those among the common people who do speak up and who really do shape public opinion - not governments. She cited Roger Waters as an example, who was speaking at a concert and telling the truth about the White Helmets.

She said, someone has to read in order to speak. And someone has to write so someone can read:
The Tony Blair Rule: The Truth Takes 15 Years to Come Out, Skripal Countdown Starts Now - Simonyan

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 22, 2018 9:53:58 PM | 54

Posted by: Ara | Apr 22, 2018 9:05:41 PM | 48

The state doesn’t allow people to prosper independent of the state as they fear they could one day turn against the state.

I do not know any western state which allows people to prosper that way neither.
Here is the example of the last week.
Supreme Court upholds law prohibiting Canadians, wherever they live, from buying beer wherever they want

All nine judges sided with the New Brunswick government against Gerard Comeau, a man stopped by police after he brought 14 cases of beer and three bottles of liquor in Quebec and sought to bring them back to his home in New Brunswick.

Yup, he got stopped by police. For buying beer across the bridge. All within Canada.
Oh, Canada, my home and native land...
You mentioned Texas, do you know that in Austin you are not allowed to walk on the street with a can of beer in your hand, even if the can is empty? Guess how I know that. The land of the free my ass.
Yes, the west is like a paradise if you have good job and serious money. If you don't, it is not much fun.


Posted by: hopehely | Apr 22, 2018 10:04:07 PM | 55

@Almand 51
Armenia is operating under the Russian (really post-Soviet) model of the oligarchs and mafia directly owning/looting the government, as opposed to the Western model where looting is outsourced to foundations and multinationals, which then compensate the oligarchs.

I'm no expert on the forms of corruption, but there's plenty to think about in your statement. Your "Western model" surely seems correct. The US system of "corporate personhood" makes the oligarchs just like us, only more so of course. . .George Orwell — 'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 22, 2018 10:14:55 PM | 56

Posted by: Almand | Apr 22, 2018 9:40:24 PM | 51
We criticize our governments.
If you happen to live in some of those corrupt Eastern cleptocracies, or you are familiar with the issues there, feel free to criticize, nobody is stopping you.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 22, 2018 10:16:51 PM | 57

I guess my laptop didn't like where I was going and posted
what I wrote when I went into the kitchen.

Well, a word, or a sign, to the wise is not wasted on me.

I'll return to this topic at a later date.

Stay out of my computer, turdin.

Posted by: FSFF | Apr 22, 2018 10:21:20 PM | 58

Tucker Carlson MIA for 3 Days, anyone care to comments?

Posted by: OJS | Apr 22, 2018 10:23:09 PM | 59

I wanted to share one of the best short summaries I've ever heard of the war of the rich against the poor. It came to me from sharing here - I followed james's link to Craig Murray's latest, and one of the first comments over there offered the link.

Scottish economist Mark Blyth talks about Brexit, but in four minutes nails the sham of democracy and the civil freedom allowed by the powerful, the privileged, the rich - whatever word you prefer - and illustrates how austerity, and the theft by the rich of the substance of the poor, works. And he speaks of the politics associated with this:

Mark Blyth on the Brexit vote

He ends with one of the best observations I've ever heard:
"The Hamptons are not a defensible position. The Hamptons are on a low-lying beach. Eventually the people will come for you."

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 22, 2018 10:23:26 PM | 60

Posted by: OJS | Apr 22, 2018 10:23:09 PM | 58
Keep calm and wait till tomorrow. He will be back.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 22, 2018 10:29:46 PM | 61

@hopehely 54

You got me thinking and googling (a thinking substitute) abut US situations.

>Arizona respects the right of law abiding citizens to openly carry a handgun. Any person 21 years of age or older, who is not prohibited possessor, may carry a weapon openly or concealed without the need for a license
>Arizonians are not generally allowed to bring their own alcoholic beverages for consumption to venues without a liquor license.

So if you're packin' it better be a gun and not a bottle.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 22, 2018 10:30:07 PM | 62

Here is a link to a posting at Telesur

To 'Protect' Workers, World Bank Calls for Eliminating Minimum Wage, Giving Employers More Power


The article does provide more context but even then competition from robots is not defensible. The article does end by asking for a discussion about inequality which would sure be a start......and likely a quick ending....grin

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 22, 2018 10:44:38 PM | 63

on Korea
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site. This is very good news for North Korea and the World - big progress! Look forward to our Summit.//

DPRK says it is suspending testing because it has a nuclear weapon. That's the "big progress" that Trump brags about. Trump is getting suckered (again). Kim Jong Un is showing the great negotiator The Art Of The Deal.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 22, 2018 10:50:05 PM | 64

@ 62
The IMF and The World Bank (always headed by an American) -- bastions of neoliberalism.
Robert McChesney:

Neoliberalism “refers to the policies and processes whereby a relative handful of private interests are permitted to control as much as possible of social life in order to maximize their personal profit.” The major beneficiaries of neoliberalism are large trans-national corporations and wealthy investors. The implementation of neoliberal policies came into full force during the eighties under Thatcher and Reagan. Today, the principles of neoliberalism are widely held with near-religious fervor by most major political parties in the US and Britain and are gaining acceptance by those holding power elsewhere.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 22, 2018 11:04:16 PM | 65

I would like to give my sincere thanks to Mr. b for his great reporting and for creating this site, which provides a rich source of commentary and also many links to other news sources.

Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 22, 2018 11:15:54 PM | 66

@ Don Bacon

Neoliberalism is not just an economic policy, it is a project of "full spectrum dominance" of the human psyche. It is an indoctrination that tells people to be more efficient, to schedule and micromanage their lives as to increase productivity. One must become a widget whose sole function is to make money and whose value as a person is determined by their economic status. Even a lot of so called liberal Democrats share these capitalist extremist beliefs because they are actively trying to integrate the "talented tenth" of minority communities into the ruling class.

Posted by: Almand | Apr 22, 2018 11:21:50 PM | 67

@ Almand with the comment about the Western "ism"

If you have read comments here long you will know I refer to it as the God of Mammon religion....the one ring to rule them all.

Heck of a description of our species, eh? Something to be really proud of.....

Gimmee some evolution please!!!! Make global finance a public utility!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 22, 2018 11:54:43 PM | 68

Here is an article that I have not seen elsewhere

China Focus: Xi, Modi to meet in central China on April 27-28

The take away quote for me:
"
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the announcement Sunday, after talks with visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Xi and Modi will have strategic communication on the world's profound changes, and exchange, in an in-depth manner, views on overall, long-term and strategic issues regarding China-India relations, Wang told a joint press briefing with Swaraj.

The last meeting between Xi and Modi took place in China's southeastern city of Xiamen last September after the ninth BRICS summit.

Wang said socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, while India is at a critical period for its development and rejuvenation.

On this background, Xi and Modi decided to hold this informal meeting, which will help deepen mutual trust between the two leaders, make strategic judgement on the world pattern and China-India relations, and guide the two countries to set new goals and open up new prospects for the the bilateral ties, Wang said.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 23, 2018 12:06:15 AM | 69

@51 hopehely & #64 Don Bacon - American situations.

Just up the highway from Austin, Texas, is a smaller town where you can drink beer and wine on the street in the downtown area around the historic courthouse. The police drive by and you fall into various instinctive reactions even as you remember that this is legal. The city wants people to have a pleasant time on its destination "Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas". All it took was a city ordinance to make it legal.

In Austin, the downtown is more densely populous, with more street crawl, many open-door music bars and a heady "nothing but party" vibe. For the city, downtown has become a mistake in urban planning, so their ordinance says no beer on the street. The city is trying to correct its course. Downtown parties too hard, and it gets in the way of gentrifying the property values.

I don't mean any snark in what I'm saying here, by the way. This is straight dope, and I know the firm that created the Downtown Design Guidelines for both Austin (which ignored them), and small but rapidly growing Georgetown (which followed them with passionate engagement), to the north.

All of this is local ordinance. Of course there is subservience to state law, and of course in turn there is subservience to US law and ultimately the Constitution. My point is that there is still law, and system, and protocol. And after the collapse, these will also remain.

So there are stories, and there are stories, of America.

The great hegemonic collapse has revealed the horrifying and probably irredeemable rottenness at the core of the US system. But the people mostly haven't heard about this yet. At the local level, they still fight city hall.

And many times in those local fights, people force the city to back down. This is a fight they see. They can only fight battles they see. But when they see them, they appear in great dignity and with artless eloquence. Sanity walks into the room, and gathers in number.

I can't draw any conclusions from this. But since we were offering vignettes from the US in this open thread, there's one to chew on, if you wish.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 23, 2018 12:10:57 AM | 70

I live in America, came to this country 20 years ago, I have hundreds of relatives that also came here 20 or less years ago. Almost all of my relatives came here with debt. Nowadays ALL of them live in million dollar paid off houses and have extra houses they are renting out, and those of us who drive a car that has a value of less than $100,000, is considered as poor. A bunch of my cousins work in NASA, others are doctors and nurses and the rest have trucking companies or jewelry stores or other businesses. Back in the Soviet Union almost none of us even had a cheap car and none of us owned our houses. I also see some people around me who always complaint about not finding a job and have nothing of value and complaint about America and lack of opportunities and life being unfair. I had a business that Amazon.com destroyed, I was mad at oligarch Jeff Bezos, but I didn’t start whining, I closed the business and moved on to open another business. Big deal. Of course there are many pessimists who always cower and don’t take risks and are stuck in their own personal reality and always complain about the West and the collapse of western civilization. If you listen to them you are most likely a person who has no life or who has shitty life or is about to have shitty life.

Posted by: Ara | Apr 23, 2018 12:14:55 AM | 71

@69

Transposed the numbers.
Of course, I meant #54 hopehely and #61 Don Bacon

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 23, 2018 12:25:26 AM | 72

So here are 3 links to the latest political cartoons from Mr. Fish who I find cuttingly insightful

Drawing a lie in the sand

King of the world

Why did the chicken cross itself

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 23, 2018 12:38:57 AM | 73

@ Ara with hundreds of relatives who almost all have paid off million dollar houses and other rentals and expensive cars

I think you stumbled into the wrong bar and would encourage your exit before you have your definition of being human challenged.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 23, 2018 12:47:10 AM | 74

MoA got a positive heads up over at Peter Lavelle's Cross Talk.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Apr 23, 2018 12:54:20 AM | 75

Very, very, very touching video of a child's testimony on the atrocities of ISIS in Deir Ezzor. He is one brave boy. Syria I am sure is full of brave children by now.

The interviewer does a great job with the child, as well. Unlike White Helmets that goad and egg on rehearsed responses, when they are not forcibly picking up children and moving them to point B where they douse them with water from a hose and then are quickly lifted into the arms of another man and taken to point C where they are promptly left alone and afraid as the camera man films their tears of confusion.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Apr 23, 2018 12:57:52 AM | 76

The condition of Murray's UK institutions differs little from those at the Federal and many State levels, as well as at similar large institutions like MIT, Duke, UCLA, U of Chicago, NY Times, WaPost, CNN, NBC, etc. Grieved notes that it sometimes differs at the local level, and we ought to point at the several ongoing teacher and student strikes too. However, the main reason we have so much corruption within the Outlaw US Empire is that the Rule of Law has been corrupted at its head, the door to that occurrence was opened mostly at the very beginning with the undemocratic adoption of the 1787 Constitution. Some would be correct to argue that the nascent United States was immoral from the outset with genocide and slavery as set National Policies, and that's where most of the corruption began. And the UK was no different really--just read the Declaration of Independence. So, the corrupted, immoral nation grew into an Empire with those same qualities, unsurprisingly. Great propaganda: I cannot tell a lie; Honest Abe; Johnny Appleseed; and oh so many more from the outset--Go West Young Man!

The fish's head is rotten and most of the flesh rancid. Just the place for a genuine Zombie Apocalypse. At about 320 million, just a drop in the bucket of humanity. Given the damage wrought by the Outlaw US Empire, what other humans on the planet would really grieve for our passing?

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 23, 2018 1:02:18 AM | 77

Posted by: Ara | Apr 23, 2018 12:14:55 AM | 70

, and those of us who drive a car that has a value of less than $100,000, is considered as poor.

LOL, don't feel bad, only snobbish idiots drive cars with price tag > 100k.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 23, 2018 1:21:38 AM | 78

@ james #45

Armenia can never go the way of Ukraine.

It doesn't have a big border with the EU

and, it doesn't have a Crimea for Russia

to have to choose between.

Posted by: FSFF | Apr 23, 2018 1:49:49 AM | 79

@psychohistorian You know, I was reading Spengler's The Decline of the West, but then I realized he was a loser who had no life… the dude should have bought a Ferrari and picked up some hot chicks at the beach!

Posted by: S | Apr 23, 2018 1:54:39 AM | 80

@ S with comments about people with "no life"

Having never played a musical instrument until I was 64 I am the proud owner of three yazuchkovuy barabans from Russia.

I am also going back to college to study astronomy that was suggested in my PSAT results 50 some years ago.

There is a line in a Bob Dylan tune that I live, "Those not busy being born are busy dying" (sic "Its Alright Ma")

I hope your life is everything you want it to be....I am a late starter in some ways and over the top in others....YMMV like mine

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 23, 2018 2:21:14 AM | 81

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 23, 2018 12:47:10 AM | 73

"I think you stumbled into the wrong bar and would encourage your exit before you have your definition of being human challenged.“
I dislike such type of ad hominem remarks here. Cool down! Anybody who exits to finish a dialogue looks wrong.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Apr 23, 2018 2:33:27 AM | 82

@psychohistorian Oh, come on. That was an obvious joke at the expense of a certain visitor of this thread. Perhaps, I should have laid my sarcasm thicker.

Posted by: S | Apr 23, 2018 2:38:59 AM | 83

I still miss some obvious things and have been told, "If I am so smart, why am I not rich?"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 23, 2018 3:03:54 AM | 84

And at this time of night I can't get my pronouns correct...."If you are so smart, why aren't you rich?"

They just don't understand what rich is, do they?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 23, 2018 3:08:55 AM | 85

@psychohistorian No, they don't. Good night.

Posted by: S | Apr 23, 2018 3:22:43 AM | 86

Wouldn't be surprised to discover it was an Aussie 'fixer' behind the hold up of the OPCW inspection team, Australia has been pretty much 100% compliant since being regime changed in 1974.

...

Your greatest friend, most staunch ally tells you the truth despite what may come. Sergey Lavrov analogising from Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland in order to describe the new western 'weird logic' of 'Sentence First, Verdict After' has to be watched repeatedly by all...what a masterful HardTalk show...exposing the new bench mark in western international discourse.

The logic of 'highly likely.' No proof required.

Such honesty, what a friend... and the correct book to quote too...given the current ocean of media backed fantasy.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Apr 23, 2018 5:23:56 AM | 87

MadMax2 @87

Indeed.

Lavrov is truly a class act. Intelligent, well read, humorous. He, and a very few like him, are all that's standing between us and oblivion.

Posted by: cdvision | Apr 23, 2018 6:02:44 AM | 88

@Madmax2 87

I agree that Australia with Turnbull and Bishop - especially the latter - in control is 100% onboard with the Deep State narrative - one just has to listen to the ABC to know that.

But since 1974? For all his faults, Fraser would have been opposed to what the US is doing. As Gough said, long after Fraser left office, "Malcolm is a much improved person." Fraser did much to assist in dismantling apartheid in South Africa and wrote a book espousing an independent foreign policy for Australia.

Posted by: dynkyd | Apr 23, 2018 6:11:19 AM | 89

Thank you b and commentators for the Jimmy Dore - Carla Ortiz interview and videos. It is a great introduction to Dore *and* Syrian reality for any family and friends you may have who, like several of mine, are vaguely skeptical of CNN and Fox but have little wherewithal or time to hunt down legit alternatives. There are very many of these people in the US. Send one you know a link to the Dore-Ortiz debate, or, if they are "conservative", to The American Conservative, or to both. The CIA is after these people and hopes to channel them toward Democracy Now! The Intercept, TruthDig, AlterNet, or any of a handful of other clearly Mockingbirded "left-liberal" [gag] outlets.

Speaking of which, it seems to me we need a well-researched reconstruction and analysis of the process whereby once apparently reputable sources of independent media--DemocracyNow, etc.--have been won over to the dark side of neoliberal "humanitarian" interventionism. I am betting that it is a simple case of following the money in most cases. But it would be helpful to see if there are any patterns in the timeline and whether there was a clear "beginning" of this operation. I would bet (again) that it began in the second term of the Obama Presidency and was accelerated in the run-up to the 2015-2016 primary season.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 23, 2018 7:14:55 AM | 90

Ara @ 71: Your family and other relatives may well be lucky that they came to the US when they did 20 years ago and not earlier or later, and were able to buy houses with loans issued by solvent banks that (once upon a time) considered borrowers' ability to pay and their sources of income in deciding whether to lend or not. Since then, in many Western countries, property investment and speculation have become the major driver in the economy; companies offshoring work overseas to take advantage of cheaper labour, wage growth unable to keep up with rises in the cost of living, privatisation of public utilities like electricity, gas and water, and (in some countries) economic austerity policies have combined to shrink business activity and the only money and job-creating activity left is property investment. Banks have become lax in checking borrowers' ability to pay back their debt and are selling packages of dodgy mortgages to investors again. No-one seems to have learned anything from the Global Financial Crisis of ten years ago.

The issue though with the emphasis on property speculation is that it often drives house and apartment prices beyond the ability of most families to afford. In some cities of Australia, mortgage repayments and rent can eat up over 30% of a family's income. So while some people may be doing well with the price of their major asset having doubled or tripled in value, and they can afford to buy more property to rent out to others, this situation may not last long.

Depending on where your relations live, the employment situation at the time may well have benefited them as well. There has been a worldwide shortage of medical workers (doctors and nurses) in English-speaking countries for a long time; university is often too expensive for many young people who might have the aptitude for medical and nursing work. Our societies are short of people with technical and engineering qualifications as well; too many young people in the Anglosphere are dissuaded from pursuing engineering or other technical studies. They can be expensive courses to undertake too. In one local government place where I used to work (I live in Sydney), nearly all the civil and traffic engineers were Indians or Sri Lankans with qualifications obtained overseas.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 23, 2018 7:42:42 AM | 91

Posted by: WJ | Apr 23, 2018 7:14:55 AM | 90

I think it started with the non existent media business model in the times of the internet and new internet advertising models.

Media used to be paid by - a) readers b) advertisment.

So a paper used to be dependent on a) readership b) companies/political parties trying to target this readership.
Plus there was not that much of competition as the costs of producing and distributing a paper were prohibitive.

Today media is almost exclusively dependent on sponsors. And competitive costs are the costs of running a website and the spare time of a pensioner.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 23, 2018 7:45:26 AM | 92

You want a perfect false flag setup, here it is.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-22/european-parliament-urges-boycott-soccer-world-cup-russia

Posted by: Bakerpete | Apr 23, 2018 7:48:38 AM | 93

@APR 91,

and anyone buying a home is taking advantage of an indirect government tax subsidy in the form of the mortgage interest deduction, which basically favors people who take on as much debt as they can possibly afford.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Apr 23, 2018 7:50:29 AM | 94

91. One of my closest relatives paid $950,000 in cash and bought a house, 2 years ago. Another one last year paid $820,000, same city. All of my relatives live in Los Angeles. The first relative also bought another property for $900,000 in the same city last year. These 2 particular relatives actually have no college degrees. First ones are in construction and medical sector, second relative makes custom cakes. Both of these speak limited English. I also know some Chinese guys who import shoes and maybe know 12 English words, zero education, and they are similarly successful. I also have 2 younger cousins who work for Google and 6 others who work for JPL/NASA. There are those who aren’t afraid of failures and go and try until they find their Niche, and those for whom the world is ending soon and “oligarchs control everything”. I myself had massive failures, some business went bankrupt others I had disagreement with partners, a total of 6 massive failures over 12 years, until I succeeded thanks to God. And I am not saying everyone eventually succeeds. I have met an 85 year old who had tried his luck in multi level marketing for 60 years and he died as a broken man. That is just life.

Posted by: Ara | Apr 23, 2018 7:59:28 AM | 95

On the other hand :-)
https://sputniknews.com/news/201804231063820475-russia-uk-skripal-poisoning-novichok/

Posted by: Bakerpete | Apr 23, 2018 8:03:27 AM | 96

https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/317991/string-theories-tucker-carlson-and-the-unspeakabl.html
We’re nearing apocalypse if I’m out here carrying water for Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, who is hopefully not being water-boarded as I type this.

Last week, after a series of controversial prime-time episodes of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” which questioned whether it is in America’s best national security interest to overthrow Bashar al-Assad in Syria; what the ultimate end-game looks like, considering the post-coup mess America’s made of Libya and Iraq; and if the recent alleged chemical warfare assault on children was actually the work of Assad or even if it happened —Tucker Carlson was M.I.A. from his own show Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights.

Posted by: vbo | Apr 23, 2018 9:26:58 AM | 98

@20 Noirette The 'acting' in that video you linked to was quite good compared to the BBC effort on 'Saving Syria's Children'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jch0qsHRqRE

The film reminds me of a very poor version of a living dead parody.

Posted by: duplicitousdemocracy | Apr 23, 2018 9:46:29 AM | 99

Ara do not make me started about nonsense you are talking.All your so called "wealth" is made on so called "equity" that you and your relatives supposedly have in those houses,so you get loans for expensive cars and endless credit cards etc. and all that on easy credit that those banksters are giving people left and right. We have seen all those shiny big and brand new houses bulldozed i 2008 in shiny USA. But for those who want to see it is very visible that except few big cities the rest of USA is as poor as some God forgotten African country...
You do not live in Armenia so let them choose how they want to live.Enough of Soros and USA color revolutions. USA should concentrate on their own army of homeless , hungry and drug addicted people and ruined infrastructure. It was a real joke for anything made in USA when their brand new bridge collapsed not long ago. Great add for what ever nowadays is made in USA.Maybe Armenians visited Moscow and just maybe they were impressed with what they have seen.LOL

Posted by: vbo | Apr 23, 2018 9:55:08 AM | 100

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