Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 17, 2018

Helsinki Talks - How Trump Tries To Rebalance The Global Triangle

The reactions of the U.S. polite to yesterday's press conference of Pgresident Trump and President Putin are highly amusing. The media are losing their mind. Apparently it was Pearl Harbor, Gulf of Tonkin and 9/11 all in one day. War will commence tomorrow. But against whom?

Behind the panic lie competing views of Grand Strategy.

Rereading the transcript of the 45 minutes long press conference (vid) I find it rather boring. Trump did not say anything that he had not said before. There was little mention of what the two presidents had really talked about and what they agreed upon. Later on Putin said that the meeting was more substantive than he expected. As the two spoke alone there will be few if any leaks. To understand what happened we will have to wait and see how the situations in the various conflict areas, in Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere, will now develop.

The 'liberal' side of the U.S. did its best to prevent the summit. The recent Mueller indictment was timed to sabotage the talks. Before the meeting in Helsinki the New York Times retweeted its three weeks old homophobic comic flick that shows Trump and Putin as lovers. It is truly a disgrace for the Grey Lady to publish such trash, but it set the tone others would follow. After the press conference the usual anti-Trump operatives went ballistic:

John O. Brennan @JohnBrennan - 15:52 UTC - 16 Jul 2018

Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???

Senator John McCain released a scathing statement:

... “No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant. Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are—a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad. ...

These imbeciles do not understand the realism behind Trump's grand policy. Trump knows the heartland theory of Halford John Mackinder.  He understands that Russia is the core of the Eurasian landmass. That landmass, when politically united, can rule the world. A naval power, the U.S. now as the UK before it, can never defeat it. Trump's opponents do not get what Zbigniew Brzezinski, the National Security Advisor of President Carter, said in his book The Grand Chessboard (pdf) about a Chinese-Russian alliance. They do not understand why Henry Kissinger advised Trump to let go of Crimea.

Trump himself professed his view (vid) of the big picture and of relations with Russia in a 2015 press conference:

"...  Putin has no respect for President Obama. Big Problem, big problem. And you know Russia has been driven - you know I always heard, for years I have heard - one of the worst things that can happen to our country, is when Russia ever gets driven to China. We have driven them together - with the big oil deals that are being made. We have driven them together. That's a horrible thing for this country. We have made them friends because of incompetent leadership. I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin- okay? And I mean where we have the strength. I don't think we need the sanctions. I think that we would get along very, very well. I really believe that. I think we would get along with a lot of countries that we don't get along with today. And that we would be a lot richer for it than we are today.

There are three great geographic power-centers in the world. The Anglo-American/transatlantic one which is often called 'the west'. Mackinder's heartland, which is essentially Russia as the core of the Eurasian landmass, and China, which historically rules over Asia. Any alliance of two of those power-centers can determine the fate of the world.

Kissinger's and Nixon's biggest political success was to separate China from the Soviet Union. That did not make China an ally of the United States, but it broke the Chinese-Soviet alliance. It put the U.S. into a premier position, a first among equals. But even then Kissinger already foresaw the need to balance back to Russia:

On Feb. 14, 1972, President Richard Nixon and his national security adviser Henry Kissinger met to discuss Nixon’s upcoming trip to China. Kissinger, who had already taken his secret trip to China to begin Nixon’s historic opening to Beijing, expressed the view that compared with the Russians, the Chinese were “just as dangerous. In fact, they’re more dangerous over a historical period.”

Kissinger then observed that “in 20 years your successor, if he’s as wise as you, will wind up leaning towards the Russians against the Chinese.” He argued that the United States, as it sought to profit from the enmity between Moscow and Beijing, needed “to play this balance-of-power game totally unemotionally. Right now, we need the Chinese to correct the Russians and to discipline the Russians.” But in the future, it would be the other way around.

It took 45 years, not 20 as Kissinger foresaw, to rebalance the U.S. position.

After the Cold War the U.S. thought it had won the big ideological competition of the twentieth century. In its exuberance of the 'unilateral moment' it did everything possible to antagonize Russia. Against its promises it extended NATO to Russia's border. It wanted to be the peerless supreme power of the world. At the same time it invited China into the World Trade Organisation and thereby enabled its explosive economic growth. This unbalanced policy took its toll. The U.S. lost industrial capacity to China and at the same time drove Russia into China's hands. Playing the global hegemon turned out to be very expensive. It led to the 2006 crash of the U.S. economy and its people have seen little to no gains from it. Trump wants to revert this situation by rebalancing towards Russia while opposing China's growing might.

Not everyone shares that perspective. As security advisor to Jimmy Carter Brzezinski continued the Nixon/Kissinger policy towards China. The 'one China policy', disregarding Taiwan for better relations with Beijing, was his work. His view is still that the U.S. should ally with China against Russia:

"It is not in our interest to antagonize Beijing. It is much better for American interests to have the Chinese work closely with us, thereby forcing the Russians to follow suit if they don’t want to be left out in the cold. That constellation gives the U.S. the unique ability to reach out across the world with collective political influence."

But why would China join such a scheme? How would Russia be 'forced'? What costs would the U.S. have to endure by following such a course? (Brzezinski's view of Russia was always clouded. His family of minor nobles has its roots in Galicia, now in west Ukraine. They were driven from Poland when the Soviets extended their realm into the middle of the European continent. To him Russia will always be the antagonist.)

Kissinger's view is more realistic. He sees that the U.S. can not rule alone and must be more balanced in its relations:

[I]n the emerging multipolar order, Russia should be perceived as an essential element of any new global equilibrium, not primarily as a threat to the United States.

Kissinger is again working to divide Russia and China. But this time around it is Russia that needs to be elevated, that needs to become a friend.

Trump is following Kissinger's view. He wants good relations with Russia to separate Russia from China. He (rightly) sees China as the bigger long term (economic) danger to the United States. That is the reason why he, immediately after his election, started to beef up the relations with Taiwan and continues to do so. (Listen to Peter Lee for the details). That is the reason why he tries to snatch North Korea from China's hands. That is the reason why he makes nice with Putin.

It is not likely that Trump will manage to pull Russia out of its profitable alliance with China. It is true that China's activities, especially in the Central Asian -stans, are a long term danger to Russia. China's demographic and economic power is far greater than Russia's.  But the U.S. has never been faithful in its relations with Russia. It would take decades to regain its trust. China on the other hand stands to its commitments. China is not interested in conquering the 'heartland'. It has bigger fish to fry in south-east Asia, Africa and elsewhere. It is not in its interest to antagonize a militarily superior Russia.

The maximum Trump can possibly achieve is to neutralize Russia while he attempts to tackle China's growing economic might via tariffs, sanctions and by cuddling Taiwan, Japan and other countries with anti-Chinese agendas.

The U.S. blew its 'unilateral moment'. Instead of making friends with Russia it drove it into China's hands. Hegemonic globalization and unilateral wars proved to be too expensive. The U.S. people received no gains from them. That is why they elected Trump.

Trump is doing his best to correct the situation. For the foreseeable future the world will end up with three power centers. Anglo-America, Russia and China. (An aging and disunited Europe will flap in the winds.) These power centers will never wage direct war against each other, but will tussle at the peripheries. Korea, Iran and the Ukraine will be centers of these conflicts. Interests in Central Asia, South America and Africa will also play a role.

Trump understands the big picture. To 'Make America Great Again' he needs to tackle China and to prevent a deeper Chinese-Russian alliance. It's the neo-conservatives and neo-liberals who do not get it. They are still stuck in Brzezinski's Cold War view of Russia. They still believe that economic globalization, which helped China to regain its historic might, is the one and true path to follow. They do not perceive  all the damage they have done to 90% of the American electorate.

For now Trump's view is winning. But the lunatic reactions to the press conference show that the powers against him are still strong. They will sabotage him wherever possible. The big danger for now is that their view of the world might again raise to power.

Posted by b on July 17, 2018 at 11:41 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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@493 jdmckay... i agree trump is a tramp! i've never thought otherwise!!! that still doesn't get at the fixation the usa msm and many in the usa political class are obsessed with regarding russia stealing the usa election, or that trump is in bed with russia.. until something substantial comes up - nothing so far - it is a complete distraction that supports an increased military build up against russia, continued financial sanctions on russia, the build up of nato onto russias border, the funding for ongoing war in ukraine US releases $200mn in military aid to Ukraine , and ongoing shit like that from the exceptional warmongering nation to the south of me.. so yeah - trump is a tramp, but so is the usa and the msm and political class in the usa too! they have all gone completely off the rails as i see it..

regarding the whole other danger - israel and it's influence in the usa... it has never been aggressively addressed.. congress seems like it is bought and paid for by israel... it is why the same usa msm, and political class are obsessed about iran 24/7... the usa and it's people remain completely ignorant of these connections it seems.. and yet - we are supposed to believe russia is responsible for stealing the usa election and russian influence is controlling trumps every actions.. i guess that is why the sanctions on russia remain in place and trumps fealty to israel - moving the embassy to jerusalem, and all of trumps stooges - nikki haley is a good example - never saying peep of all the war crimes and murder israel does against the palestinian people... and not to forget jared - trumps son in law - fully beholden to israel and saudi arabia on some level too... but, but - it is russia that is the huge influence here and they are fucking with the holy usa democractic system, LOLOL.. it is hard to take this bullshit and i hope the facts on russias culpability show up soon, as i and many others are getting very tired of this storyline that supports the military and financial complex - but not much else.. but - yes indeed trumps corruption runs in the family!!! it runs in the family of the country the usa too for that matter, although i suppose that is too big a topic to address here! it is helpful to know when you are being had!!!

regarding the rothchild influence on trump - check out that video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhTMy9ma2mQ&feature=youtu.be

i am familiar with the uss liberty event and the surrounding story on it..

regarding thom hartmann.. i enjoyed reading the wikipedia page on him and i appreciate you like the man and think he is leading an honourable life! i only have the wiki page and that article from was linked earlier where he says there are only 3 choices of trumps role with regard to russia... i thought it was a hit piece on trump that was unfair and lacking in substance, but i can see it's appeal given how the usa continues to be swamped in anti russia and anti trump msm coverage... if one doesn't question any of that - thoms article fits right in!!

thanks for the conversation..

Posted by: james | Jul 21 2018 16:59 utc | 501

"Green economy" "renewable energy" "climate change" In the Third World, these mass-media catch phrases are mysterious.
¿WHY do "green economy","renewable energy" and "climate change" seem like cartoons?
WHY are these concepts unexpressable in the Nahuatl language?
Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 20, 2018 10:27:07 PM | 477

"Zielona gospodarka", "odnawialna energia", "zmiana klimatu", not Nahuatl but another obscure language that cannot be pronounced.

In the meantime, "renewable energy" already had a major success, the revival of the spirit of Don Quixote (fighting with wind mills, favorite pastime of some tycoons defending the views from their vacation properties).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 21 2018 17:01 utc | 502

ot - jdmckay - here is another example of the ongoing influence of israel on the usa with regard to iran... this is a usa policy briefing given on thursday just past - https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/07/284223.htm

"And in his remarks – I’ll just highlight a couple of things – he will be reflecting on that we are approaching the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. The Iranian regime is the last revolutionary regime on Earth, and it exports its revolution around the Middle East. And he will talk about – survey the last 40 years of stealing from the Iranian people, the terrorism they have committed around the region, the brutal repression at home. He will be exposing some of the corruption of the regime. He’ll be highlighting religious persecution." this is a typical position of the usa... if they offered the same line on saudi arabia, israel, and some of their other '''''strong allies'''''', i might be a wee bit more receptive to it, but much more and worse can be applied to ksa and israel but it is never mentioned!! the usa foreign policy is driven by israel to an undue degree, but again - it is all about big bad russia, lol...

Posted by: james | Jul 21 2018 17:14 utc | 503

Jackrabbit @494

"I see Trump as a good servant to the elite (like Obama) ...IMO Mueller investigation and anti-Trump rhetoric is a smoke screen."

And while we peer into the abyss of smoke, the US announces another $200 Million in military aid to the neo-nazis they installed on Russia's border.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44909625

Please, stop fixating on the script these characters read and watch what they actually do.

Of course, the Trumpsters will fixate on these latest shipments being "non-lethal aid." First, why believe that? Second, what about the anti-tank rockets shipped a week or two ago? When US rockets kill Russian-speaking defenders will that be another brilliant "4-D Chess move?"

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 21 2018 18:12 utc | 504

James @500. Very nicely presented. Most of your comments have been of the short and often pithy sort - effective and clear in their own way, but it's refreshing and enlightening to see you pen a more "long-form" and nuanced post.

Hartmann has been positioned as a spokesman for "the democratic wing of the Democratic Party" for decades. For many years, he had Congressman, and then Senator Bernie Sanders as a regular guest, and they would commiserate on their mutual affection for "progressive" domestic policies. I had always considered him a sincere, though duopoly-fixated pundit.

But during the Democratic Primaries, he never dealt with the evidence of election fraud. Yeah, he voiced the standard MSM "criticism" that the DNC "had their fingers on the scale," but he stayed far away from the actual rigging and criminality involved. Then, as soon as HRC had been crowned, he became a full-throated, even hysterical promoter of the corrupt war criminal, parroting all the absurd talking points.

I don't pretend to know his heart of hearts. But the "facts on the ground" are that he served as a sheepdog to drive his truly progressive, anti-war and anti-empire audience into the embrace of a candidate who could hardly be more opposite of those values.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 21 2018 18:31 utc | 505

@506 daniel.. thanks! i keep it short as most others around here are much better at articulating it then me, yourself included!! but thanks... thanks for your overview on hartmann.. it seems impossible for anyone in the usa msm to get a nuetral or outsiders viewpoint and to convey that to the usa people... it is almost impossible, if not impossible! moa is not american based.. i see the truth seep thru in some of the posts at pat langs site and i am sure there are other sites with an american basis where some truth peeps thru, but generally one has to wade thru a ton of patriotic bullshit.. well, that is the way i frame it, as that is what it looks like to me!! idiotic bullshit might be a better word for it.. typically the military brats are really strong in this suit as well.. they did this and that for their country and they are oblivious to have far out of sync their exceptional country is with the reality of other people's lives and world... as pl has said - americans are generally the least traveled and most remain ignorant of different cultures and how other might perceive them as messed up for good reason..

i like to rant in person, but tend to not do it as much on the internuts, lol.. apparently i used to rant a lot more when i was younger, but have really mellowed with age.. i attribute this to a very understanding wife and the fact i moved into more of a sweet spot in life about 15 years ago and it continues to hold good for me.. thanks for your ongoing comments!!

Posted by: james | Jul 21 2018 20:05 utc | 506

james @ 502/504

just want to acknowledge your comments, I'm aware of latest Ukraine $200m, watched Rothchild video. I had already read statement on Iran (same o'le same o'le).

> it is hard to take this bullshit and i hope the facts on russias culpability show up soon, as i and many others are getting very tired of this storyline that supports the military and financial complex - but not much else <

AFAIC if Trump was not tweeting about Mueller & "deep state" out to get him, talking to Hannity every day as Hannity has been hammering "criminal" activity of Mueller and seems like everyone he ever met... this wouldn't be front page news every single day. Mueller's team has been airtight (+/- 0 leaks). I'm content to let Mueller complete his work & see what he's got. Just looks to me though (hear this all the time from most everyone I know in US) the "divide" has never been wider: you're either pro-Trump or caught in "derangement". This while everything else falls apart.

I said my piece wrt Trump, nothing more to add. I simply believe he's taking us further down the rabbit hole, and looks to me like it's going to get worse before it gets better. Many think Trump's pick for vacant Scotus seat is because of his work in GWB admin supporting all the "unitary executive" bull shit Bush/Cheney erected as smokescreen to insulate themselves from oversight. People think with him on Supreme Court, they will declare Mueller's status unconstitutional and his work will "go away"... poof. Hannity has guests promoting this daily. And like it or not, Hannity drives opinion more then any single media person in US.

If this all goes as current momentum suggests, exact same conversations with exact same circumstances (only worse) will be happening here and everywhere else in 2/4/6 (???) years. This is why I now live in Saigon, couldn't stand idea of spending rest of my life as part of such hopeless & destructive culture. Been almost 20 years of this, that's enough for me.

I think Climate change is quintessential issue of our day. Am more convinced each year. In western US, "fire season"... a term unheard of 5 years ago, is part of the vocabulary now. Over 2500 of 'em in western states last I looked. They're getting bigger, hotter, more frequent and destructive every year. Canary in the mine. AFAIC, if we (whole planet) doesn't deal with this soon, all this other pettiness isn't going to matter much because everyone is going to be fucked.

Posted by: jdmckay | Jul 21 2018 20:29 utc | 507

Jdmckay. Thank you for the effort.... one cannot say you haven't thought about your stance. I am not a trumpet either. I do not buy the Russia 'hacked' the elections either. I think everything Trump does exposes America as the hypocritical shit hole it has become since at least Reagan. Almost every time he opens his mouth he smashes status quo received wisdoms, I applaud him for this,this I think is the main reason for TPDS. It matters not to me if he does this consciously... this hole affair reminds me alot of what happened to slick willy in the 90's. Again thanks for your efforts here.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Jul 21 2018 23:22 utc | 508

@508 jdmckay.. thanks for that and your overview here.. i agree with much of it.. i do think the usa people are very polarized at present - more then i can recall ever witnessing.. i think the war in vietnam and the vibe from the 6070's might have been similar, but i was a young person at the time and unable to compare it properly.. i became friends with a number of draft dodgers in vancouver at the time..

i think you are right about where things are going... how much of that is trumps fault and how much is the general trend the usa has been going in for some time is hard to say.. i think trump isn't helping matters in the short term, but perhaps he is the right guy for the moment in bringing everything to a head - as scary as that thought is..

i agree with you about climate change, but the people who are focused on economics are not focused on the environment and that is most everyone in the world today... money is still the main focus of people and the circumstances of most people's lives make this even more so today.. i live in b.c. and as you note - fire season - is an increasingly common thing every year now..

i have never been to saigon.. we were in malaysia 2 years ago - georgetown and north.. we really enjoyed it and the people of malaysia.. the place is hot though, and i am not a fan of hot weather! but the food and people were fantastic and i would go again in a hearbeat! happy trails and thanks for the conversation... looks like we have some ancestry connections with your last name mckay.. i am mcrae.. cheers james

Posted by: james | Jul 22 2018 0:02 utc | 509

James, you're a gentleman, whom I am most happy to have "virtually" in my life. My wife loves Vancouver, and tried to convince me to go there, and maybe move there for many years.

Unlike you, I love tropic climates, and always expected to move there. You're making me think I should have listened to my wife.... well, I think that often. ;-)

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 22 2018 3:22 utc | 510

james 510
My wife's grandparents had the colours of their Scot's ancestor clan (kilts and so forth). I have never looked into it.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 22 2018 3:33 utc | 511

Climate change is quintessential issue of our day. Am more convinced each year. In western US, "fire season"... a term unheard of 5 years ago, is part of the vocabulary now. Over 2500 of 'em in western states last I looked. They're getting bigger, hotter, more frequent and destructive every year. Canary in the mine. AFAIC, if we (whole planet) doesn't deal with this soon, all this other pettiness isn't going to matter much because everyone is going to be fucked.
Popocateptl's icy peak is at 17,880 feet. The volcano is never dormant. It is either smoldering or exploding rocks and lava. In Mexico City, Thirty million people wake up everyday and sleep every night with the danger of fiery destruction & death beside them.

i agree with you about climate change, but the people who are focused on economics are not focused on the environment and that is most everyone in the world today...
The natural man will naturally think of (physical) economics before environmentalism.

¿Isn't what most affects the atmospheric envelope around the planet *solar activity*?

Are you thinking about how to moderate solar activity and it's radiation emission?

(Skipping ahead to the chase: this isn't all about carbon emission licensing, is it?)

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 22 2018 4:11 utc | 512

Climate change is quintessential issue of our day. Am more convinced each year. In western US, "fire season"... a term unheard of 5 years ago, is part of the vocabulary now. Over 2500 of 'em in western states last I looked. They're getting bigger, hotter, more frequent and destructive every year. Canary in the mine. AFAIC, if we (whole planet) doesn't deal with this soon, all this other pettiness isn't going to matter much because everyone is going to be fucked.

Popocateptl's icy peak is at 17,880 feet. The volcano is never dormant. It is either smoldering or exploding rocks and lava. In Mexico City, Thirty million people wake up everyday and sleep every night with the danger of fiery destruction & death beside them.

i agree with you about climate change, but the people who are focused on economics are not focused on the environment and that is most everyone in the world today...

The natural man will naturally think of (physical) economics before environmentalism.

¿Isn't what most affects the atmospheric envelope around the planet *solar activity*?

Are you thinking about how to moderate solar activity and it's radiation emission?

(Skipping ahead to the chase: this isn't all about carbon emission licensing, is it?)

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 22 2018 4:12 utc | 513

Lets get this straight....

Anya believes China hacks Clinton's email cuz
FBI says so ?

JR agrees cuz 'Pat Lang says so' ?

So this is sufficient to prove China's culpability ?

Posted by: denk | Jul 22 2018 7:12 utc | 514

@ denk | Jul 22, 2018 3:12:31 AM | 514

„Anya believes China hacks Clinton's email cuz
FBI says so ?“

As far as I know any machine that was once connected with the Internet could be hacked theoretically. Or even if a dirty operational system has been installed. Result? One may observe it in the vey moment when the machine is hacked but it is absolutely impossible to prove who is at the end of the line. It is astonishing that such digital „proves“ are admitted at any court. A claim from a highly politicized place like the FBI is a joke, not more.
I find another thing astonishing as well: nobody here and elsewhere knows what Putin and Trump have discussed. So all interpretattions about it are groundless own interpretations, narratives sold with a purpose.

Posted by: Huasmeister | Jul 22 2018 10:53 utc | 515

Huasmeister 515

Exactly.

It boggles the mind that people who hang around MOA for years still swallow the official line hook line and sinker.

Posted by: denk | Jul 22 2018 12:13 utc | 516

Huasmeister and denk. I would add that it's interesting that these charges against China appear the same week that the Trump Administration publicly states that China is our greatest foe.

BTW: re. the Trump/Putin summit, these meetings between heads of state are almost always mostly for show. Whatever agreements/disputes at issue are usually settled behind the scenes before the "Leaders" meet.

I don't know how much influence Russia's "deep state" has over Putin, though I suspect it's substantial. But in the US, Presidents have been principally spokesmodels for the PTSB for a good long time. Sometimes we are reminded of this by the "news" telling us the President has made some decision, only to see others in government completely reverse it.

Two cases during Obama's Administration highlight this. First was when Sec. of State Kerry announced a cease fire and peace process for Ukraine. The next day, Asst. Sec. of State Vickie Nuland gave a press conference in which she declared that no such cease fire would happen.

Then, Kerry announced that the US and Russia had agreed to coordinate the "anti-terrorism" campaigns in Syria, and Sec. of Defense Carter immediately said there would be no such cooperation. Then, the US spent an hour bombing Syrian Arab Army forces at Der Ezoir, killing close to 100 and allowing ISIL to advance and take large portions of the area.


Jimmy Dore did a very good segment from a "progressive" viewpoint on Tucker Carlson's take on the attacks on Trump for meeting with Putin.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 22 2018 16:22 utc | 517

@ Daniel | Jul 22, 2018 12:22:01 PM | 517

Not your fault. But in an environment where you either get „narratives“ or can only try to interprete „what they have done“ we are all left wth vain odd speculations about it. Fact is that part of the US-media criticize Trump using even the term treason for having talked with Putin. And fact is that Israel now did a move that is in essence ultimate alt right policy: to fix an imagined (= artificial) Jewish identity in the constitution. Who has been behind it and against it we do not know yet.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jul 22 2018 16:36 utc | 518

I've two symmetrical rules for
empire watch 101

rule 1
For China, assume innocent until proven guilty

for USA, assume guilty until proven innocent.

Its honed from decades of empire watching, works like a charm.

Posted by: denk | Jul 22 2018 17:16 utc | 519

@511 daniel... thanks!!! back at ya! your wife was ahead of the curve, lol.. women usually are!! got to watch out for that!!!

@512 peter... you strike me like you have some scot/irish in you - like me! apparently my family on my dads side came from ireland to scotland in the 1400's thanks the potato famine.. we located near the isle of skye in kintail.. looking at this family tree my dads cousin had done back in the 80's, prior to all the ancestry websites, is that we are connected with a lot of different mc's!! i think the scots and irish have a lot in common, but i don't know if that is true as i have never lived there.. my dads ancestors came across in 1798 and landed in quebec city via the ship mcdonald, or macdonald.. they walked down to the ontario/quebec border and settled in glengarry county and remained there until my dad moved away in the 40/50's...

@513 guerrero.. regarding your question at the end - i am not thinking about that any... just casual, or superficial observations on the world at this point.. species going extinct and stuff like that.. cheers..

@515 denk... lets flip it around and use the absent facts to frame russia.. this is exactly what most of the usa is doing at present... who gives a shit about facts, when there are none!! so, i would give anya and jr a pass on that for the same reason!

Posted by: james | Jul 22 2018 17:20 utc | 520

denk 520

that's for Daniel.

Posted by: denk | Jul 22 2018 17:40 utc | 521

james 521

Trouble is, lots of people who apply my rule to Russia....'innocent until proven guilty' would
parrots the official meme when it comes to China...
'guilty as charged' !

From what I gathered from alternate media all these years, sinophobia seems to be across the board, whether left, right or central.

hehehhe

Posted by: denk | Jul 22 2018 17:46 utc | 522

@523 denk... i agree with you there... how much of that is some crazed usa ethnocentric viewpoint that is going to manifest in some way, shape or form, regardless?

Posted by: james | Jul 22 2018 18:16 utc | 523

James @521
Harry Belafonte - Man Smart Woman Smarter

BTW: I was thinking you meant 1800s when you referred to a potato famine in the 1400s. But since you wrote your ancestors arrived in 1798, it must have been something else. Potatoes are indigenous to South America, and weren’t introduced to Europe until the late1500s.

I dug around (tsk) to get a specific date for the introduction of the potato to Ireland, and it turns out no one really knows! “Certainly 1586 would seem to be the earliest feasible date for introduction to Ireland, and 1600 the latest, since the potato was already being grown in John Gerard’s London garden in 1596.”

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 22 2018 20:35 utc | 524

@525 daniel... that is very interesting! i had heard there were a number of potato famines, and i may have my dates wrong, but i was told this a long time ago and might have messed up the dates too... apparently these famines happened fairly often, but not all were major.. thanks for that and the harry belafonte song!! i have been playing one called 'the women are smarter' in this blues band in play in here on the island... it is the same song! we do it differently.. i see the grateful dead also played this song.. thanks daniel!

Posted by: james | Jul 22 2018 21:10 utc | 525

James, "...i have been playing one called 'the women are smarter' in this blues band in play in here on the island."

Very cool! I picked up the guitar back in the 1980s and found it both more difficult than I'd imagined, and more magic than I could have imagined. And I've always considered the ability to make music a very high sort of magic... and an ancient one. I posted a link a while ago to some bone flutes excavated from a Neanderthal site in Germany, dated to 43,000 BP!

What instrument(s) do you play? Do you do paid gigs? Have you anything recorded and especially online?

You may have noticed that I post links to music regularly. I dropped the guitar, so I'm back to just playing the stereo (which I like to think I'm quite good at, and is more fitting with my talents). But I still find music to be magical, spiritual, emotional and culturally and historically significant.

I'm from Chicago, so was weened on the Blues. When I first came to CA, I was shocked to see BB and Muddy and Guy featured at the Filmore and Winterland... and all these hippie kids paying to see them. Way cool! Some of these cats I saw perform at no-cover, no-minimum bars!

The mid-19th century "Potato Famine" in Ireland is arguably misnamed. It was a potato blight that drastically reduced the harvests. But at that time, Ireland was growing and exposing an enormous amount of grain to other parts of the English Empire.

Parliament actually debated whether or not to allow the Irish to keep more of that grain, and decided not to. They literally decided that the "Great Dying" (as some Irish call it) was god's will!

Although my heritage is mostly German, I've always considered myself Irish (no doubt much to my sainted mother's consternation as she proudly exclaimed herself as 'pure German" to her dying day). So, I've done some reading on Irish history, and filled my brain with largely useless tidbits.

My wife is part Scot, and when she visited there once, she could see Ireland across the Irish Sea and told her family she wanted to go there. They made clear that was NOT going to happen. LOL

It's a shame there are such feelings because I agree with you that the Scots and Irish are really very similar, Gaelic peoples.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 22 2018 23:01 utc | 526

I should have written "Buddy' instead of "Guy" to be consistent with using first names.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 22 2018 23:03 utc | 527

aaarrgghh.. And Ireland was exporting, not exposing wheat. Sheesh!

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 22 2018 23:05 utc | 528

Guerrero @ 513

> i agree with you about climate change, but the people who are focused on economics are not focused on the environment and that is most everyone in the world today... , <

Not really. China is going green (mostly solar) in a huge way. Germany & several of Nordic countries, Italy as well.

> The natural man will naturally think of (physical) economics before environmentalism. <

Green energy makes sound economic sense. And in long haul, will dwindle energy costs dramatically if implemented on large scale. And then the health benefits...

> ¿Isn't what most affects the atmospheric envelope around the planet *solar activity*?

Are you thinking about how to moderate solar activity and it's radiation emission?

(Skipping ahead to the chase: this isn't all about carbon emission licensing, is it?) <

It's about transitioning out of fossil fuels completely.

Posted by: jdmckay | Jul 22 2018 23:44 utc | 529

daniel! thanks for that... chicago was really a fascinating place for music from louis armstrongs days, right up into the blues music scene - willie dixon, howlin' wolf and all the well known blues cats would have either worked or lived in chicago at one time.. i saw buddy guy and junior wells in vancouver when i was quite young, but other then seeing bb king and a few other folks like that, i mostly had my head in rock music.. my teacher turned me onto jazz and i have mostly been in that most of my playing life in some shape or form.. here's my website if you want to get a better idea of my musical involvement - jamesmcrae.ca

i was in scotland and ireland back in 75 when i was about 19.. i hitch hiked around europe and saw a lot, but in retrospect - not as much as i would have liked! not sure when i will get their again, but i would enjoy going again.. i hope you get to travel therre.. good talking with you!

Posted by: james | Jul 23 2018 0:19 utc | 530

Very cool stuff, James. Thanks for the link. I'll dig in more later, but had to note that I'd just posted a link to Lightfoot's Edmond Fitzgerald last week, and there y'all are performing it!

See? It's all magic!

I'm afraid traveling isn't in my future, but please continue to take every advantage to do so that you can. Long ago I saw a film about really old folks reflecting on their lives. And basically none of them regretted stuff they did. Those that had regrets were for things they hadn't gotten around to doing.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 23 2018 3:07 utc | 531

It's about transitioning out of fossil fuels completely.

I am not qualified in this but I thought it has been shown that petrochemicals are of
mineral origin and that they are NOT composed of rotten leaves and ancient dinosaurs.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 23 2018 5:06 utc | 532

@532 daniel.. thanks for checking it out! i often miss music links, as i am focused on politics more then anything when i come here! thanks for the encouragement on traveling and etc. etc.. i really agree with the sentiment you shared from the old folks in the film.. i think one has to live every day as if it is their last.. living in the moment to your fullest and best ability is the way to go!

Posted by: james | Jul 23 2018 17:01 utc | 533

Nope -- abiotic oil remains an article of faith among some but nobody has ever been able to present legit evidence for it. Oil is also full of biomarkers (porphyrins, terpenes, etc), or at least their resistant skeletons, from the organic matter from which it formed. Most of the petroleum in today's world is still thought to represent the remains of algae and plankton from two major episodes of warming and stagnation ~90 and ~150 million years ago (not much seems to be formed on land though, so probably no dinosaurs, and terrestrial plants tend to carbonize, forming coal).

Posted by: Ash | Jul 23 2018 17:07 utc | 534

The mega-crook Bill Browder and his very protective (and profiteering) co-workers at HSBC:
Jim Comey, on the board of directors HSBC. Robert Mueller, chief counsel, HSBC.
https://brassballs.blog/home/jim-comey-named-to-bill-browders-hsbc-board-of-directors-it-is-a-russian-based-hedgefund-scam-called-out-yesterday-by-vladmir-putin-for-contributing-four-hundred-thousand-dollars-to-the-hillary-clinton-campaign-for-president
http://themillenniumreport.com/2017/05/robert-mueller-the-old-fixer-is-back-in-town/
From the comment section: http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/is-bill-browder-the-most-dangerous-man-in-the-world/#comment-2430883
"An interesting thing about this that has gone almost completely unreported is that HSBC quietly held a series of closed-door meetings with Russian authorities earlier this year regarding the tax fraud charges leveled at Browder and his businesses (HSBC jointly managed Hermitage) and decided to pay up some of the cash he illegally siphoned out of the country (22 million dollars I believe, so a drop in the ocean given the scale of his endeavors, but it’s something.)
“Bill Browder declined to comment” according to one of the few articles on the matter. …Is not all of that more or less tantamount to an admission of guilt?"
So much for the "moral outrage" of Magnitsky Act. The crooks in the US Congress have been glorifying a tax-cheat Browder: https://www.cardin.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/cardin-mccain-statement-on-global-magnitsky-acts-passage-by-house-committee

Posted by: Anya | Jul 24 2018 17:58 utc | 535

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