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July 01, 2018

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2018-33

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama:

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on July 1, 2018 at 16:31 UTC | Permalink

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All issues we discuss at MoA seem to revolve around the political mafia (aka "the establishment", "the borg", etc.) that runs Western governments.

Direct democracy via "Blockchain Enabled Voting" (BEV) seems to be the best way to end the vise-grip that "the establishment" holds on their populations:

Traditionally, the authorities organize the elections and the process is closed, centralized and from top to bottom. The BEV is the opposite. The process is managed by people and is transparent, decentralized and bottom-up. While participation in traditional elections reinforces state authority, participation in the BEV imposes the supremacy of the people. From this perspective, it should not be surprising how the links between the BEV and the transitions to one are raisedmore [sic] direct, decentralized and bottom-up democracy.

For anyone that is interested in learning more, it's easy to find info about "blockchain voting" on the internet. Here's another one:

Blockchain voting still isn’t perfect or ready for primetime yet. However, it’s likely to be a massive change in democracy once it does reach legitimacy. Making voting easier and more transparent will create a more engaged electorate.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 1 2018 17:19 utc | 1

Blockchain voting may be good. Yet, what of the billions of folks who dont have a computer?

Will they be comfortable having their votes be certified by certain digital cloud algorithms?

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 1 2018 17:31 utc | 2

currently having an online debate about conditions in the crimea, specifically alleged russian oppression of crimeans in 2018, but also conditions leading up to the initial referendum (my opponents claim annexation or conquest, and cite a freedom house survey to back it up--from what i can see freedom house is fully funded by the us govt). my understanding is the us fomented the coup in ukraine, along with nato, as opposed to the ukrainian people rebelling against a russian puppet, which is the us line i believe. any articles or sources detailing the us role in all this, or rebutting claims that crimeans are being terrified into silence in 2018 about russian oppression, would be appreciated.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 1 2018 18:05 utc | 3

"Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and ‎the United Arab Emirates say they will back the U.S.'s Middle East peace plan regardless of whether the Palestinian Authority is on board.

"Under that plan, Palestinians would be given small, non-contiguous parts of the West Bank and only limited sovereignty over that territory while nearly all of Israel’s illegal settlements, which cover around 60 percent of the West Bank, would remain.
In addition, Palestinians would not be given East Jerusalem as their capital and no right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants would be granted.

"Saudi Arabia had openly promoted the deal to Abbas last year and essentially threatened him to accept the deal."

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 1 2018 18:59 utc | 4

3 Just quoting "Western" mainstream sources:


"Ethnic Russians in the majority, Tartars and Ukrainians in the minority."


About half of the respondents admit to having been taken by surprise by Russia’s actions in 2014. Interestingly, there is agreement among the Crimean population, including the Crimean Tatars, that successive Ukrainian governments had neglected the region. Roughly one third of respondents pointed to this neglect as the main cause of the developments in 2014. ... The majority of survey respondents agree with the statement that the different ethnic groups in Crimea currently live peacefully side by side. Twenty percent disagree “fully” or “rather” with this statement, thereby indicating both an uncertainty and unease with the situation at the moment that reaches beyond the Crimean Tatar share of the population (about 12 percent). This result is mirrored in the reaction to the ban on the main political Crimean Tatar organization, the Mejlis, by the Russian authorities: 20 percent “fully” or “rather” disagreed with this step, compared to 80 percent endorsing this policy. ... The survey clearly spells out the severe disruption of links to the rest of Ukraine, limited travel to other parts of Russia, the absence of personal international reference points, and a near-complete integration into the Russian media sphere.

This combination makes any change in the opinions of the majority of the Crimean population on the annexation unlikely in the foreseeable future. However, it is also clear that the Crimean population’s high expectations in the Russian economy and trust in Russian (but not Crimean) institutions needs to be carefully managed by Moscow in view of the already strained financial situation of the majority of the Crimean population.

Compare to Ukraine

The authors are also cautious about drawing overly-optimistic conclusions about the present time: “The risk of conflict emerging within Ukrainian society and growing serious remains, based on noticeable differences among residents of different regions about the further geopolitical direction the country should move in. There are also serious problems connected to restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the model of coexistence with those living in the regions that are currently occupied, how to reach reconciliation and mutual understanding.” ...

Joining the EU remains a strong desire among a majority of Ukrainians. In September 2016, 51% of those surveyed by the Rating Group put integration with the EU ahead of joining Russia’s Customs Union or some other association. Still, in Rating’s September 2015 survey, 57% of Ukrainians did so, and in September 2014, 59% did. This noticeable decline could be the result of a number of factors. For one thing, the Association Agreement did not have a noticeable impact on the standard of living of most Ukrainians. Many Ukrainians are also upset at what they see as the European Union’s limp response to Russia’s aggression against their country. And the way the granting of a visa-free regime to the EU has been dragged out for years and the obvious internal squabbles among the Union’s members have also left their imprint on Ukrainians.

Ukraine is a very diverse country. Trump coming to an agreement with Putin that eases tensions instead of agreeing/dividing on spheres of influence would be their best hope.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 1 2018 20:01 utc | 5

Are we now officially in the era of 'if you don't do as i say i will kill you' and that is ok for some here? then why the gnashing of the teeth and the ripping out of hte hair when it comes to Syria, Yemen etc. Its essentially the same thing. I mean if its ok for the Ukraine why and now the Palestinians why is it not good for the others?

The us and russia come to an agreement on how to split the loot, and the 'loot' has to bend over and ask for more?

Posted by: Sabine | Jul 1 2018 20:38 utc | 6

What is happening in Germany? Is "open borders" that Merkel has championed on its last legs? It seems that the CSU is worried about the coming elections in Bavaria where AfD might do much better than expected. Just as the outcome of the Italian elections was for a government coalition opposed to illegal economic immigration under the guise of asylum for political persecution.

Hungarian foreign minister in an interview with a snowflake BBC reporter. It seems that the political trend in central Europe is away from multi-culturalism. Hungary wants to maintain its culture.

This seems like the same contention between the Democrats who want "open borders" and "catch & release" while Trump wants to deport all illegals.

Posted by: ab initio | Jul 1 2018 22:24 utc | 7

pretzelattack@3 re:"...rebutting claims that crimeans are being terrified into silence in 2018 about russian oppression."

I honestly have not heard anything about actual oppression - just that some Ukrainians and Tartars are still - today - not terribly happy with the secession/annexation/transfer. Acts of civil disobedience were generally individual, "I don't want to be part of Russia and I'm not signing these papers or paying taxes," kind of thing. I know any polls of Crimeans are noted to be terribly flawed - neither the pro-Russian nor the pro-Ukraine people trust anyone taking polls. They'll not answer or give an answer that seems to agree with whatever 'side' the pollster might be from.

I can't see how this issue could be fairly considered without at least an acknowledgement that in 1954, 1.1 million people in Crimea woke up one day to find they were now citizens of the Ukraine SSR. No polls, no vote, no discussion and no terribly good reasons.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jul 1 2018 22:26 utc | 8

Pretzel Attack @ 3:

If you need sources to back up your argument that the US helped to foment the Maidan uprising that overthrew the Yanukovych government, here are a couple that feature a video and a transcript of a phone conversation.

Information CLearing House: Victoria Nuland [former US Assistant Secretary of State for Europe during Obama administration] Admits: US Has Invested $5 Billion In The Development of Ukrainian "Democratic Institutions"

The article includes the video of the speech Nuland gave to the Washington press corp in December 2013 in which she talks about "investing" the $5 billion.

A transcript of the phone call between Nuland and the then US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt discussing who to select for the post-Yanukovych government in Kiev at this Global Research link:

This is the famous phone call in which Nuland utters her most memorable lines: "Yats [Yatsenyuk] is the guy [for deputy prime minister]" and "Fuck the EU".


I have also found details of the Korsun massacre incident that occurred on 20 February 2014. I had known about this massacre but in a hazy way and had thought only a few people had been killed. However this incident is much more grave and this was the stimulus for the Crimeans to organise their independence referendum and break away from Ukraine.

Eight buses of Crimean supporters of the Yanukovych government were returning to Crimea when the convoy was ambushed by Nazi thugs (who had known of the convoy's movements in advance). The thugs ordered everyone off the buses, beat them up and tortured them. Several people were killed.

More details of the Korsun incident at this Fort Russ link:

Posted by: Jen | Jul 1 2018 22:27 utc | 9

Crimeans are very pleased about their reaffiliation with Russia. To say otherwise is to lie, pure and simple.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 1 2018 22:47 utc | 10

@3 You can add this to Jen @9...

“Americans prepared very seriously and thoroughly for their entrance into Crimea, – said a member of the Federation Council Committee on defense and security, Dmitry Sablin. – A year before the events on Maidan in Kiev, they made repair estimates of a number of buildings in Sevastopol and in Simferopol, where they planned to house the headquarters and intelligence units. Military airfields and garrisons, which then belonged to Ukraine, they considered as their own military installations and even sent instructions for their conversion to NATO standards. In the plans of the U.S. military April 2014 was the start time of upgrades in Crimea. It seemed to them that the issue has been settled. But the referendum had thrown off their plans, and on March 18, Crimea became Russian again, where the overseas guests were no longer welcome. Americans later themselves acknowledged that the Russians outplayed them on all counts. Well, and from helplessness imposed sanctions — as a revenge for Crimea”.

Posted by: dh | Jul 1 2018 22:51 utc | 11

Pretzel Attack @ 3:

Here's a Russia Insight documentary in which survivors of the Korsun massacre help re-enact the incident:

Posted by: Jen | Jul 1 2018 23:02 utc | 12

Pretzel Attack @ 3

You can add this to DH @ 11:

Renovation of Sevastopol School #5, Ukraine
Solicitation Number: N33191-13-R-1240
Agency: Department of the Navy
Office: Naval Facilities Engineering Command
Location: NAVFAC Europe and Southwest Asia

This is the tender put out by the US Navy to invite private companies to propose renovation plans for a school for naval officers' children in the military base in Sevastopol.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 1 2018 23:08 utc | 13

Sabine @6: On political/national/ethnic determinations.

It is a messy situation. I had thought one of the reasons we hate the Nazis is because ethno-nationalism is evil. And yet, most of the West’s leaders fully support Israel, and the AZ Empire is promoting Kurdish ethno-states in Iraq and Syria (though not in Turkey, where 50% of all Kurds live).

We were all ready to accept a referendum that would have seen Scotland secede from Great Britain, and yet when people in regions of 1991 Ukraine resisted the Western-fomented coup in 2014, and voted to secede, we are told they are terrorists to be crushed.

Most of the national borders in the Middle East and Africa were created by an elite in Great Britain and Europe, which divided families and crammed together enemies, creating the inevitable century of turmoil. And yet, here most of us support the sovereignty of some of those artificially-created neocolonial states.


Personally, I believe in the right to self-determination. If a group of people in a region choose to form, or dissolve, or maintain, or expand a political entity, then they should be allowed to. Such decisions should be made by the will of those people only.

What I see as illegitimate is people from outside that region interfering to force their will on others.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 1 2018 23:40 utc | 14

Adding to my @4 and earlier posts about Jordan, Egypt and KSA negotiating with Israel/US to "solve the Palestinian problem." Today’s leak on the Trump/Kushner, Netanyahu/bin Salman “Peace Deal of he Century:”

Egypt to take over Gaza. With $4 Billion from who-knows-where, they will build a port (and other infrastructure planned at the Bilderberg/NEOM Project I linked to earlier). The West Bank to be almost entirely annexed by Israel, with tiny Bandestans where pockets of indigenous Palestinians will be encircled by “Security Walls” and patrolled by IOF forces.

No Palestinians have been involved in this “Peace Plan,” but would be forced to abide by it, or face severe consequences from basically everyone.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 1 2018 23:49 utc | 15


There is an idea out there that blockchain technology was created by CIA/NSA backed engineers. How can it be trusted for elections?

Regardless of the above concerns, the real problem with elections is with the information people get to decide who to vote for (much of lies) and the financing for establishment backed candidates. Election fraud in counting and restricting participation is part of the problem but only part of it.

Posted by: Pft | Jul 2 2018 0:02 utc | 16

Pretzel Attack @ 3:

I keep finding juicy things for you!

Here is a link to a documentary "Crimea for Dummies" by Los Angeles-based film-maker Miguel Francis Santiago in 2014. Watch it and judge for yourself whether Crimeans seem genuinely happy at being part of Russia again.

MFS also travelled to the Donbass and made a documentary about his journey there. I saw the documentary a couple of years ago and from memory I believe he met Givi, one of the Donbass military commanders. Givi died in early 2017 when a missile hit his office.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 2 2018 0:42 utc | 17

7 It is a fallacy to assume that all Hungarians share Fidesz view on multiculturalism - at least when it comes to moving abroad themselves.

Talking about Germany with all the theater CSU's chances of an absolute majority in autumn's Bavarian elections- that is what the theater was about - have not improved.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 2 2018 0:42 utc | 18

Jen. Thanks for the great links on the Ukraine situation. Oliver Stone created a stunning documentary, that is the best on the subject I've seen: "Ukraine on Fire"

Unfortunately, it appears to be banned or at lest heavily censored within the US. I saw it on RT.

I found a version with foreign language over-dubbing which my ear finds difficult. But it does have CC in English.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 2 2018 1:32 utc | 19

Pft @16

There is an idea out there that blockchain technology was created by CIA/NSA backed engineers. How can it be trusted for elections?

Well, no one can say for sure. Some people are suspicious because the guy that created blockchain in 2008 is anonymous (he signed his paper with the pseudonym "Satoshi Nakamoto").

Here's some reasons to believe that blockchain was not created by, and is not controlled by, CIA/NSA:

1) The nature of blockchain is very anti-establishment. Why would CIA/NSA create a technology that is adverse to the interests of the establishment that they serve?

2) By the time of its creation, the commercially-available technology behind blockchain had matured to the point where a blockchain application was possible. The CIA/NSA doesn't "own" this idea any more than they "own" the tech like micro-processor or email.

3) The 'building blocks' of a blockchain app are not fixed - anyone can roll their own. And there has been much work to improve blockchain in every way.

4) CIA/NSA is said to collect info via 'hooks' at the most basic level (like every processor and router). IT researchers can't prevent them from seeing WHAT you do but it's very likely that they could expose any attempt to interfere because the auditing is very advanced.

But DON'T TRUST ME: look into it for yourself!

"... the real problem with elections is with the information people get to decide who to vote for"

Instead of voting for representatives, citizens could vote directly on legislation.

We already have voting on referendums, but 'real world' voting is a difficult and time-consuming process. So it is done infrequently. A trusted online voting system would allow voting to happen often so that voting could be extended to voting on legislation instead of representatives.


>> Ordinary people suggesting legislation;

>> ordinary people voting on what suggestions should become formal proposals;

>> ordinary people debating those proposals;

>> ordinary people voting on those proposals;

>> ordinary people reading audit reports and choosing what service providers to hire/fire.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

What blockchain allows for is to cut out intermediaries. That is as true in governance as it is in business.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 2 2018 1:51 utc | 20

Daniel @19

Its available on Vimeo after a free sign-up.

I'm watching it now.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 2 2018 2:24 utc | 21

big day in Mexico with the general election, I anticipate that Obrador will win, he's currently leading but only 1% reporting, too soon , but right where the polling suggested he would be at around 46%

at the beachfront restaurant I got to here on Sunday, I asked 5 of the employees, and not one of them voted; several said they never vote. I asked one why, because of the 'mafia' he called it, above the government, that controls everything...and if any candidate gets too far out of range on the narrative, like Colosio did in 1994, they snuff him out. that's how he explained it; those are among his believed thoughts that things here can't really be changed.

I see now while writing this that zerohedge says that Obrador wins "in a landslide", with 49% according to exit polling..... While those corrupt slackers the PRI at only 18% (lmao!!) and the right wingers from PAN (who started this horrific drug war as instructed by the USA) at around 27%

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jul 2 2018 2:33 utc | 22

Hello There! I'm curious to know if any readers have comments about a recent Sy Hersh interview. In response to a question about Russian interference in the last US presidential election Hersh replied:

"I have been reporting something, I’ve been watching something since 2011 in Libya, when we had a secretary of state that later ran for president, and I will tell you: Some stories take a long time. And I don’t know quite how to package it. I don’t know how much to say about it. I assure you that there’s no known intelligence that Russia impacted, cut into the DNC, Podesta e-mails. That did not happen. I can say that.

I can also say Russia learned other things about what was going on in Libya with us and instead of blowing — [. . . lots cut out here before returning to the topic . . . ] The fact of the matter is, if Russia wanted to do, cause lot of difficulty to the American election they could have. Instead, they went and talked privately to us. So when the government says Russia intercepted stuff that was very important to us, I’m being very fuzzy about it, it wasn’t about the election. They told us that there were certain people in America doing things that were very deleterious to the War on Terrorism for personal and financial gain, and they could have blown it publicly but they went internally to us."

The full text is at the Intercept:

Does anyone have any comments on what Sy Hersh is discussing? Who is he talking about?

Posted by: Peter L. | Jul 2 2018 3:21 utc | 23

I wonder why it appears that the USA did not sufficiently meddle in the Mex. election. Typically the US heavily involves
itself to ensure a compliant austerity type is elected.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jul 2 2018 3:59 utc | 24

@3 pretzelattack

I second all of the very valuable responses made to you, but no story of Crimea would be complete without Crimea. The Way Home. Documentary by Andrey Kondrashev

I've seen several uploads of this documentary, which was made in 2015. But the resolution of this version is superb. I recommend it for everyone actually, and I'm happy to say that it's being hosted on the Vesti News channel - which is worth exploring in its own right.

This is the definitive story told from the inside of the people of Crimea forming a resistance force to take their land back from Ukraine. It was already happening but the Korsun massacre detailed above by commenters was the galvanizing point that showed the Crimeans that Kiev was coming to massacre it also, unless it resisted. And as everyone knew, Crimea was hated most of all, and its suffering would be far worse than that of Donbass.

Kondrashev is a popular Russian news commentator, and he interviews Putin extensively in the film. This was made one year after the Crimea restoration to Russia, after the events of that time, coordinated by Putin, were de-classified.

The documentary is a dramatic and stirring work. You will be totally in love with with Crimea and the Russian people by the end of it. And you will understand how the Maidan was a US color revolution in classical style. Your heart will jump when you see the snipers kill the hard-pressed Berkut. And it's a true story, made from real footage, and with parts reenacted by the actual people.

When the polite green men show up, in the very nick of time, you may find yourself weeping with gladness.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 2 2018 4:08 utc | 25

@24 Donald has tweeted his congratulations to Obrador and looks forward to working with him.

Posted by: dh | Jul 2 2018 4:08 utc | 26

Those little green men of the "Crimea. The way home" documentary. You see them in Syria. Calling in airstrikes on themselves when they are cut off, standing their ground when all around them retreat, and policing cities and towns that have entered reconciliation agreements.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 2 2018 4:52 utc | 27

That should have been polite green men in my post @27.

The Saudi's. Interesting watching them agree to whatever Trump wants. The most recent one was Trump telling them to raise oil output. The Saudi's now are very pro zionist and will back them against the Sunni Palestinians no matter what. If Trumps tells them to pay for a US war or occupation they pay. If they are told to by lots of useless junk from the US MIC, they buy it and manage to pull a twisted smile when Trump turns the screws about billions being peanuts.
Seems very much like KSA is now an expendable asset for the US, and their only chance of survival is a lot of 'yes sir, how high sir'.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 2 2018 5:17 utc | 28

Russia won its match against Spain in the World Cup - against all odds. Sports commentators are clear that this came from the strategy of solid defense and no attack. I'm not an expert but apparently running up goals in the regular 90 minutes of play would only have opened up the field for the technically superior Spanish team to score even more goals.

Instead, what Russia did was focus intensely on the tightest defense, that even Spain could not break through. The reason for this was to throw the match into extra time, which is where last-minute game changing could occur. And so it was. The match itself was stoic and boring. But the extra time was where multiple goals and penalty plays happened, and it was in this blur of action that Russia was able to win.

Russia won by a mere sliver of happenstance, but she was only there in that window because of her strategy. And so a strategy that some might call defeatist, led to the opportunity for victory.

This all reminds me of something very Russian.


I've been wanting to float this idea in an open thread. Thinking about how Russia won the Great Patriotic War (WWII). She retreated, and retreated, and retreated. The Germans came on. And Russia retreated, until she had the killing blow in her grasp, and then she struck. And she was no longer retreating but fighting back, and it became clear that she had always been fighting, was always fighting, but was also always maneuvering for the killing blow, and she would give up everything - all ground, all infrastructure, all people - in order to get to that point where she could conclusively win the fight by destroying her enemy.


Every time we hear an armchair comment that Russia should do this or should do that, or at least should show some spirit and respond to a provocation, we should remember how Russia fights and how Russia wins.

Russia appears to be retreating, but it is only in order to reach the position of holding the killing blow in her hand. She never strikes with less than the decisive blow, to finish the fight.

Those in the west and in the commentariat who fail to see this could become much wiser by understanding that if Russia does not appear to act or react to a situation, it is because the stakes are not yet high enough for the Bear to reach out its paw and end the aggravation. And since fools will never learn, we can only hope that Russia's opponents never raise the stakes high enough for Russia to send them to their eternal silence - sadly we must hope for fools to live so that we all don't die.

It's such a simple equation, this business of retreating all the way to victory. Funny how people miss it. I always recall how Dmitry Orlov described the Russian character and the Russian way of taking offense and fighting back, in his wonderful and entertaining essay Peculiarities of Russian National Character. It's always worth a re-read, and if you've never read it, you'll enjoy it. More to the point, I think it nails the Russian position superbly well, and explains much about Russia's strategies and tactics.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 2 2018 5:55 utc | 29

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 2, 2018 1:17:16 AM | 28

How different is it really from the past 70+ years (since that 45’ meeting between FDR and the then ruler of KSA), and especially since the “oil shocks” of the 1970’s ? The Trumpians are little more direct and crude in their wording, but that is really the only difference I see.

Posted by: Peter L. | Jul 1, 2018 11:21:17 PM | 23

Look no further than the first sentence of the text you quote. It has been documented a few times, including in the Intercept, that there were some very serious money flows towards a certain foundation run by the family of the named person. Money flows that originated in the Gulf. Money flows that were related to what happened in Libia.

Posted by: Philippe | Jul 2 2018 6:01 utc | 30

Peter L. @23
I haven't listened to that particular interview yet, but can say the the HRC emails with Sid Blumenthal show the reason we got in bed with Sarkozy (and Britain) to destroy Libya was:
1. To steal the nationalized oil
2. To steal the hundreds of tons of gold and silver.
3. To prevent Libya from developing a pan-African gold dinar and development bank to complete with the Federal Reserve petrodollar and the IMF.

I can also say that Hersh documented that Ambassador Stevens was an arms dealer, smuggling Libyan military weapons into Syria to finish the "regime change" operation still ongoing there. Also, HRC knew her "rebels" were hunting down and murdering any black Libyans they could find even before Gaddafi was anally bayonet raped.

If I come up with more after listening, I'll post again.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 2 2018 6:24 utc | 31

Peter AU1, KSA has been a client state of the US ever since FDR muscled in on Great Britain's deal in 1845.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 2 2018 6:30 utc | 32

Here is Sy Hersh yesterday with Chris Hedges;

Posted by: V | Jul 2 2018 7:59 utc | 33

Russia isn't backstabbing Iran, Syria and the Palestinians during all its meetings with Israel and the US. No not at all. Russia is playing 11 dimensional chess.

Posted by: paul | Jul 2 2018 8:43 utc | 34

Recently came across the following article written by F. William Engdahl in 1996 which might be of interest to some here:

The secret financial network behind "wizard" George Soros

The last page of the above article can be found here:

Soros's looting of Ibero-America

Posted by: integer | Jul 2 2018 8:49 utc | 35

Nothing to See Here

Rather like Janet Jackson's nipples,
It's been a while since we've seen the Skripals.
Not so long ago they were all over the news
As official drones droned their official views.
They said that in Salisbury wherever you look
Lurked sinister types splashing novichuk.
Door handle specialists had been imported,
Or so the BBC unquestioningly reported.
A laundry list of despicable acts
Only vaguely coincident with the salient facts.
Boris Johnson wasn't sitting on the fence,
He don't need no stinkin' evidence.
'It was them Russkies wot dunnit, no doubt about that',
Said the country's pre-eminent diplomat.
KGB thugs sent to put the boot in,
By Mr. Evil, Vladimir Stalin Putin.
Novichuk's lethality was re-emphasised again,
More deadly than others by a factor of ten.
Yet somehow miraculously the Skripals survived,
In Salisbury General they inconveniently revived.
And that was all we heard for a while
Bar a weird statement in machine-prose style.
Then a curious video right out of the blue
That looked like an advert for flyaway shampoo.
A chilled out Yulia said she was contented,
And consular access had not been prevented,
But no, she didn't want to meet up with her kin
(Not that the government would let them in).
The whole production was charmingly informal,
As though poisoning and exile were perfectly normal.
This remarkable young woman's taken it all in her stride,
Seemingly happy to go along with the ride.
Her boyfriend, her job, her dog and her flat
All peremptorily dumped at the drop of a hat.
The un-fake corporate media performed as tasked
Ensuring awkward questions remained unasked.
And all this ludicrous b-movie rigmarole
Was discreetly d-noticed down the memory hole.
The legal and diplomatic situation's now clear:
'Move along sir, nothing to see here.'

Posted by: Willie Wobblestick | Jul 2 2018 10:53 utc | 36

Zanon | Jul 2, 2018 8:08:31 AM | 37

You'll have to forgive me, but; "...Russia is on the wrong course on Syria...?
Just how is that?

Posted by: V | Jul 2 2018 12:26 utc | 37

Daniel @31: Hersh documented that Ambassador Stevens was an arms dealer

I think you mean CIA gun-runner.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 2 2018 13:18 utc | 38

Zanon | Jul 2, 2018 8:56:06 AM | 39

Hmm, frankly, with all I've read, I do not see how you come to that conclusion.
In fact quite the opposite.
Iran is not weakening, nor is Hezbolah and Syria.
Russia is steadfast in its support of all of the above. Russia talks with Israel, as it must; but as the stronger hand, Russian concedes nothing.
Syria will be sovereign and Iran will maintain its sovereignty as well.
The U.S. is in fact losing its hegemon over the ME. And you can put that in the bank.
You can conjecture all you like; I go by results and they are self evident.

Posted by: V | Jul 2 2018 13:24 utc | 39

That would have something to do with Big Oil's long history of compromising national security for profit

Russia effectively dried up oil deliveries by ISIS from Syria and Iraq via Turkey.

This here is Nafez Ahmeed on what went on when splitting up Syria was considered feasable.

Putin’s announcement after Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian jet that Turkey has been systematically facilitating ISIS oil sales illustrates how the terror-entity has become a figleaf to justify military action.

As INSURGEintelligence has previously reported, there is significant evidence that high-level elements of Turkish government and intelligence agencies have covertly sponsored Islamist terrorist groups in Syria, including ISIS, and that this has involved permitting black market oil sales.

Why, however, did Vladimir Putin wait until the murder of a Russian pilot before announcing Russia’s possession of intelligence on Turkish state-sponsorship of ISIS?

There can be little doubt that Putin had previously been more interested in protecting Russian relations with Turkey as an emerging gas transshipment hub to Europe, under which he and Erdogan planned to build the multibillion Russia-Turkey gas pipeline, Turkish Stream — now suspended after the recent diplomatic furore.

US, British and French military operations have been similarly inconsistent, inexplicably failing to shut down ISIS supply lines through Turkey, failing to bomb critical ISIS oil infrastructure including vast convoys of trucks transporting black market oil, and refusing to arm the most effective and secular Kurdish ground forces combating ISIS.

It has become increasingly clear that the US-led coalition strategy is aimed primarily at containment of the group’s territorial ambitions within Syria.


As Russia expands its military presence in the region in the name of fighting ISIS, the US, Britain and France are now scrambling to ensure they retain a military foothold in Syria — an effort to position themselves to make the most of a post-conflict environment. As the US Geological Survey Minerals Yearbook put it:

“Most of the international investors who pulled out of Syria following the deterioration of the safety and security situation throughout the country… are expected to remain so until the military and political conflicts are resolved.”

In this context, as Russia and Iran consolidate their hold on Syria through the Assad regime — staking the claim to Syria’s untapped resources in the Mediterranean — the acceleration of Western military action offers both a carrot and a stick: the carrot aims to threaten the Assad regime into a political accommodation that capitulates to Western regional energy designs; the stick aims to replace him with a more compliant entity comprised of rebel forces backed by Western allies, the Gulf states and Turkey, whilst containing the most virulent faction, ISIS.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 2 2018 14:52 utc | 40

"Thinking about how Russia won the Great Patriotic War (WWII). She retreated, and retreated, and retreated. The Germans came on. And Russia retreated, until she had the killing blow in her grasp, and then she struck." Grieved @29

Essentially the same strategy that Kutuzov employed to destroy the 'Grande Armee' - with big assists from the weather and the terrain.

Posted by: Activist Potato | Jul 2 2018 15:15 utc | 41

44 Update on what is going on in Libya

Posted by: somebody | Jul 2 2018 15:23 utc | 42

The nyts says all the isis all going to Jordan and israel.ho ho.The msm wasn't going too stab the israels in the back!

Posted by: dahoit | Jul 2 2018 15:39 utc | 43

Trump and Putin definitely have a lot to discuss in Helsinki. I can see Donald setting the agenda...

"Vlad I'll be honest with you. The Israelis want me to destroy Iran. Ukraine is becoming a basket case. Assad is winning in Syria and the North Korea thing is going nowhere. I hear a rumour the Brits are planning another Golden Showers dossier. Can you help? Congrats on a successful World Cup BTW.'

Posted by: dh | Jul 2 2018 15:51 utc | 44

@47 'The trade war isn't going well either. Even Canadians are bitching.'

Posted by: dh | Jul 2 2018 16:12 utc | 45

@ 36: Me like....

Posted by: ben | Jul 2 2018 17:33 utc | 46

@ fastfreddy

I wonder why it appears that the USA did not sufficiently meddle in the Mex. election. Typically the US heavily involves itself to ensure a compliant austerity type is elected.

Lopez Obredor was robbed of the Presidency in 2006; there was a prolonged organized popular protest.

I guess the CIA couldn't credibly stop AMLO from winning the election by popular vote and that major
mass-media confidently plans to set on fire: paper bag after bag of ca-ca, on the front steps of Los Pinos whilst cooking-up virulent "anti-corruption" impeachment against the new president, a la Lula in Brazil.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 2 2018 17:44 utc | 47

I remember that now. Same Obredor of 2006 who was expected to win at that time. There were USA instigated riots and a USA instigated vote recount too, IIRC.

Yes, I suppose they intend to Lula him - Which will begin very soon.

"Corruption Allegations" are one of the tools in the toolbox. It's how that evil Harper came to power in Canada. He's still lurking among the other nefarious vampires intent on destroying the commons.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jul 2 2018 18:06 utc | 48

When Felipe Calderon obtained the Presidency “by whatever means”, the left wing in Guerrero was insured the governorship, since the “López Obrador effect” had positioned the PRD in the rebellious South.

PRI dinosaurs went crazy though, watching the left taking over in Guerrero, where the great swing in electoral popularity was only a logical reaction to the stolen Presidencial election of 2006.

Hot money poured into the state, into political parties of every color.

A new PRD militancy took on vigor and PRI political operatives trembled
that this situation of Guerrero in the hands of the left might not prolong for decades.

So all manner of traps were set out, and traps within traps, to discredit the PRD with the population, hoping and intending that all those politicians would become corrupted by the burning funds of mysterious precedence; and so it did come to pass that, soon enough, the old PRD devolved into an ineffectual entity with a substantial budget, shamefully bereft of authentic ideals.

Very early in this process of discreditization, Lopez Obrador left the PRD party, starting from scratch his own true left party Morena.

However, before a popular electoral political process could develop naturally, hot money was circulating greed, envy, mistrust, and chaos, as a savage narcowar erupted in Guerrero, with massacres, revenge killings, extortion, kidnapping, tortured, stabbed, dismembered, decapitated, flayed, burnt alive..., all manner of previously unimaginable cruelties.

Evidence of the new flamboyant violence was on display to the population on bridges, in public squares and in the newspapers.

The heightened sense of insecurity made guerrerenses almost forget all about the teachers’ marches and the red flags of the miners' strike.

Hot money invaded wherever gainful employment was scarce.

In Costa Chica Community Self-Defense associations emerged, called “volunteer guards” by locals resorting to pre-Columbian civic modes to organize a reply to this new calamity of unchained crime.

Evidently puerile violence gave way to macabre and increasingly flagrant massacres in a pornographic recording of corpses with signs of torture in police notes on the internet.

But no one knew where La malilla came from, nor where
it escaped to, nor how it perpetrated its bad acts with such facility.

No one could tell where danger came from, nor who to trust.
And everyone was fearful that the least thing said might reach the ears of the gang.
Supposedly among the evildoers it was also a deadly tangle of exfiltrations, and of betrayals.

Yes, gentlemen, we were on the brink of an abyss, the economic crisis was all over us; we felt the rigor of a great national disaster. The son-in-law unable to face his wife’s father.

The mother of children abandoned by their dad who emigrated to work in Chicago despaired,
mortified by the money she owed, and because she couldn’t envisage a future for her children.

Poor people with their guts stuck to their backbone by hunger could hardly bear their sorrows.

Gentlemen, it is said that hunger is cabrón.

But still more cabrón is he who endures it.

In that fateful time, there were too many of our countrymen suffering, falling ill and expiring, all because our economy had responded to the dictates of a foreign ideology.

Well, — exclaimed the professor, pausing and looking at his glass with a facial gesture suggesting disgust, then he stammered: — God does not like it! — Another pause, and he finished optimistically:

— Enough already with talk of politics, friends. Let’s enjoy this mezcal.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 2 2018 18:12 utc | 49

Municipal Presidency Elections Taxco de Alarcón, Guerrero, México.

Surprise winner is Marcos Parra! - Official Quick Count results:

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 2 2018 18:25 utc | 50

Cant find the link right now but a tweet from Telesur mentionned 1300 (!) political deaths during this Mexican election campaign.
La vida no se vale nada, for real..

Posted by: Lozion | Jul 2 2018 18:53 utc | 51

integer @35. Not a fan of George Soros? Ready to peak into the rabbit hole?

Donald Trump has been business partners with George Soros in at least $6 Billion in properties for more than a decade before his candidacy. They were even codefendants in a RICO suit (organized crime, as in the Jewish Mafia).

After spending 17 years at Goldman Sachs, Trump’s new Treasure Secretary, Steven Mnuchin ran OneWest Bank in CA. Guess who he worked for? George frigging Soros.

So, Trump is partners with infamous globalist atheist George Soros, Orthodox Jews, Islamic Extremists, Goldman Sachs and GHW Bush's Carlyle Group.

And one more morsel to ponder. The CEO of CNN (portrayed as rabidly anti-Trump) is one of a long list of Globalist Zionists who have been Trump supporters for decades.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 2 2018 20:05 utc | 52

Daniel @ 55: Thanks for the links. Politics and $, do indeed, make some here-to-for unknown "strange bedfellows"...

Posted by: ben | Jul 2 2018 20:16 utc | 53

"Mexico Votes Overwhelmingly for “Change” by Electing López Obrador President"

"We can only hope that Mexico’s new president will stand up to the Trump administration’s terrible policies on detaining asylum seekers, caging children, tearing children away from their parents, and supporting regime change in Latin America, among many others,” Weisbrot said."

From TRNN:

Hope it's better than the "change" Obama brought the U$A..

Posted by: ben | Jul 2 2018 20:37 utc | 54

thanks very much for the responses, I will read or watch each. I think it will be useful to keep a library of useful links to at least try to inform people who think the new york times or the washington post or freedom house are reliable sources on the foreign policy of the american empire, especially regarding russia.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 2 2018 20:39 utc | 55

Has Trump "de-neoconised" Bolton?

Who’s Afraid of the Trump/Putin Summit?
Ron Paul • July 2, 2018

Bolton, who has for years demanded that the US inflict “pain” on Russia and on Putin specifically, was tasked by Trump to change his tune. He was forced to shed some of his neoconservative skin and get involved in peacemaking. Trump surely deserves some credit for that!

Posted by: Virgile | Jul 2 2018 22:02 utc | 56


I believe Trump and his neocons are putting on a smiley face until the congressional elections are over. If the polls aren't favorable they might start something up earlier. Its also a strategy to make yourself out as a good guy then claim you have been betrayed leaving you no choice but to fight. The average Joe falls for it everytime.

Posted by: Pft | Jul 2 2018 22:13 utc | 57

I found a copy of Tolstoi's "War and Peace" in a Salvation Army thrift store that was actually printed in English during WWII and had as its foreword a comparison between the current war and the way the War of 1812 played out. (I gave it to my daughter as a Christmas present, since she had written a thesis on the Tolstoi novel.)

Loved your description, Grieved @ 29, of the Spain/Russia soccer match, and I agree it was agonizing to watch, even for one who hasn't watched many games of soccer and has had to listen to these ones in Spanish, due to the powers that be in their infinite wisdom not wanting to feature this fascinating competitive display. And even for one inexperienced in all the finer points I could see that this match was, if nothing else, merely a fractal of that persevering spirit the great novel epitomized. It was indeed all about defense, and it worked!

I would also recommend the video on Crimea you linked. That video is a classic, and showed the huge advance Russia made in telling its story to the world - they learned from fragmented accounts online of the early horrific events as Ukraine was torn apart that they had better be among the first to tell the story and to tell it well.

The World Cup events are simply a privilege for us all to come, look, see how varied and how glorious are all the national peoples as they compete on the athletic field instead of that of war. It's perhaps good I don't understand much Spanish. I have to look at the faces, watch the footwork (amazing!), and listen to the crowds.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 2 2018 23:04 utc | 58

Humorous interview with Michael Isikoff on his Russia Collusion Scandal book, similar to the previous interview with Luke Harding: here.

Note how Isikoff names Putin's annexation of Crimera (with no mention of course of the preceding US-backed coup in Ukraine) and the now-discredited Crowdstrike Ukraine hacking story as examples of Russia's evil. I think these interviews are a great service since they allow the pushers of the Russia narrative to speak for themselves, forcing them to answer basic questions of evidence, and allowing them to expose themselves for the frauds they are.

But, according to Isikoff, Mueller is planning something really big this summer, before Labor Day, so stay tuned for the grand finale of the Russia probe! As Isikoff already notes, it will probably have something to do with "obstruction of justice"; oh okay... so no collusion then... but according to Isikoff if one is still skeptikal of this whole affair by now they must be unhinged crazy conspiracy theorists. I mean, what reasonable, self-respecting person wouldn't believe our highly respected intelligence community?

Posted by: George Lane | Jul 2 2018 23:30 utc | 59

Imagine that


Posted by: b4real | Jul 3 2018 2:28 utc | 60

@52 Guerrero

Thank you for this accounting. I've been seeing articles everywhere about the election and the new course for México, but they were too dense and political for me to read just now. I wanted to get to the heart of the matter.

So there is the heart of the matter, as you tell.

Thank you, from the heart. Enjoy that mezcal.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 3 2018 2:42 utc | 61

Peter L et al. This is the best Sy Hersh interview I've seen during his current book promo tour.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 3 2018 3:41 utc | 62

Looks like Merkel has agreed to detention centers on Germany's border where illegal immigrants will be detained and then deported back or sent to other countries in the EU where these illegals registered for asylum. I am sure many countries on the frontline ain't gonna be very happy since Merkel invited all these economic migrants in the first place.

Seems similar to what Trump is proposing but maybe the German media is not braying like the MSM in the US.

Posted by: ab initio | Jul 3 2018 4:18 utc | 63

b4real @63: Imagine that.

The article you link to is misleading. While this particular town may have been successful in throwing out criminals and corrupt politicians because it is so remote, many other groups that have tried to do the same have been co-opted (see below). I think the only thing that will stop the Cartels is legalizing drugs. The story of the Autodefensa indicate that the Cartels are too entrenched to be eradicated.

And, until and unless proven otherwise, my expectation is that the new Mexican President is most likely to be another Obama copycat: employing populist rhetoric to mask support for the status quo.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

According to the documentary "Cartel Land" (which won many awards and is available on Netflix), the "Autodefensa" movement was co-opted by the Government and the former leader was jailed. The government formed a new rural defense force ("Fuerza Rural") that was compromised by having many drug criminals in its ranks. The documentary ends with a scene where Fuerza Rural members are cooking meth and one of them talks of their dual role as "part of the government" and the cartel.

A VICE story about the transformation of Autodefensa from a vigilante group to government-sanctioned "Rural Defense" described the co-option as follows:

Dr. José Manuel Mireles, the former chief spokesman of the council of self-defense forces and leader [and founder] of the Tepalcatepec autodefensas, remarked to a local radio station last week that the movement is “divided and infiltrated by criminals.”

Local autodefensa leader Estanislao Beltran — known as ‘Papa Smurf’ for his impressive facial hair — has been accused of forging a deal between the government and the Knights Templar [Drug Cartel] to restore order to the area.

“Papa Smurf got rid of Dr. Mireles because he was unwilling to negotiate with people he believed had ties to the cartel,” a local named José Mariano Villalobo told VICE News. “But we’re here to make the region a better place to live. If we can achieve that, I’m not concerned about the politics.”

This post describes the corrupt administration that co-opted the Autodenfensa"

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 3 2018 5:04 utc | 64

An interesting bit of news from Syria

"According to the source, the YPG has agreed to remove all posters of ‘Abdullah Ocalan from streets and areas under their control in Al-Hasakah.

Furthermore, the YPG will allow the Syrian Army to reopen recruitment offices in the Al-Haakah Governorate.

This preliminary agreement comes after the government met with Kurdish delegates in both Damascus and Qamishli city."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 3 2018 5:35 utc | 65

Posted by: ab initio | Jul 3, 2018 12:18:07 AM | 66

If you believe what the media is telling you and the public spectacles politicians think works for them ...

The agreement is on detention centers on the German/Austrian border ie. Bavaria. Germany has a lot more borders and Seehofer does not have the police to close even the German/Austrian one without leaving other parts of Germany unpoliced.

Police in Germany are federal, same as the decisions on detention centers. Federal countries with Green, Social Democrats or the Left in it won't do it. Presently it is Saxony and Bavaria. In both states CDU/CSU is under pressure from AFD taking huge chunks of voters from them.

In November there will be elections in Bavaria. CSU almost certainly will lose their absolute majority. That means they will have to form a coalition with either Greens or Social Democrats, maybe Liberals if they are strong enough. All three have a very different stance on immigration. They could form a coalition with AFD. All of this will split CSU membership. They are finished.

CSU is not only under pressure from AFD. Now they basically copied AFD's stance on immigration they are losing the truly religious part of their base - the pope being on the side of immigrants, plus the middle class entrepreneurship who employ migrants and are threatened to lose their investments in that. These Bavarian small and medium businesses are very international and they are CSU's core base.

CDU/CSU cannot decide on immigration alone, they are part of a coalition with Social Democrats. They have no chance of any coalition that will support a tougher immigration stance.

CDU/CSU themselves are split on this.

There is a really good interview with Ivan Krastev on "The Unmaking of the Liberal Revolution" discussing "populist" trends, Europe and migration.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3 2018 9:32 utc | 66

Most likely this will be Merkel's last term, she is doing everything to be in power it seems even when its about to depart from her open border policies,

"ANGELA Merkel has held onto power as the German Chancellor secured an agreement in a humiliating compromise with her Bavarian ally who threatened to quit and bring down her government in a row over the EU migrant crisis."

Is Merkel herself living in the immigration filled suburbs? Of course not, what a hypocrite.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 3 2018 10:19 utc | 67

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 3, 2018 6:19:16 AM | 73

She is living in Berlin, which has a left (Social Democrats) - left (die Linke) -green government.

As a rule, the multinational places in Germany do not vote AFD. It is the places where there are hardly any foreigners.

It is a psychological reality that is non factual.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3 2018 10:49 utc | 68

b4real @ 63:

I would advise you to be careful with the sources you quote. I read ZeroHedge too, it's quite a good source of news, but Tyler Durden does report and interpret news from a libertarian point of view. His article on Cheran gives the impression that the town has no government (or very minimal government) yet thrives and keeps order with autonomous voluntary militias.

I checked some other sources and found that Cheran does have a town council whose members are elected for three-year terms. They are paid small salaries and are accountable to neighbourhood assemblies. Order in the town is kept by the Ronda Comunitaria whose members (male and female) are volunteers. They check and question anyone trying to enter or leave the town at three checkpoints.

Crime levels are low and are mostly fuelled by alcohol. Punishment is by fine, community work or time in prison. Cheran hires lawyers from outside to deal with more complicated cases.

Since becoming self-governing in 2011, Cheran has reclaimed 3,000 hectares of land by planting seedlings from its nursery. The Ronda Comunitaria patrols the land daily. Anyone wanting to cut down a tree must obtain permission from the town council.

Cheran's example of direct democracy works because the town is in a remote area where few outsiders visit. Everyone in the town knows one another. The fact that most of Cheran's inhabitants are indigenous Purepecha might account for much of the social cohesion that exists.

It would seem that with Cheran's direct democracy, most townfolk give a considerable amount of their time and energy in policing checkpoints and the forest, and in organising and participating in regular neighbourhood assemblies.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 3 2018 11:51 utc | 69

Zanon 78 et others

You seem to selectively interpret what you read. Nowhere does
any Russian official state that Iran must withdraw from Syria.

Only that "no foreign troops should be in the southern part of Syria."

Including US, and other troops. Only the Syrian Army is to be there.

Posted by: CarlD | Jul 3 2018 13:44 utc | 70

News from the great white north...

On Target: Neo Nazism on the Rise in Ukraine

On July 1, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will head to the NATO summit in Brussels and apparently his single point of concern for his fellow leaders will be that of continued support for Ukraine. There is nothing new in this approach as Canada has long been on the 'Russia bad, Ukraine good' oversimplified foreign policy bandwagon for some time now.

Trudeau's message at the NATO summit needs to reflect the reality of Ukraine's growing trend of far-right violence. It is high time for plain talk and bad manners with Poroshenko: 'Get rid of your Nazis.'

Stephen Harper Criticized for Speaking at 'Free Iran' Rally Hosted by 'Cult' Former Terror Group

"Even among voices opposing the Iranian regime, however, the group is controversial for its extremism, cult-like leadership and history of violence..."

But hey, if you can support Israel you can support anything...

Posted by: John Gilberts | Jul 3 2018 13:55 utc | 71

@Grieved 25

I wish to concur wholeheartedly with Grieved's strong endorsement of “The Way Home” video which depicts the Russian rescue of the Crimean people from the oncoming Ukrainian nazis, and the Crimean people's vigorous, clearheaded taking charge of their own future. Watching it is a powerful, very moving and enlightening experience. If you watch it you will be very glad that you did.

Just to reiterate –

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jul 3 2018 14:27 utc | 72

Daniel | Jul 2, 2018 4:05:48 PM | 55

Thanks for the links, however I've looked through all of them (except the nojeveje one which is broken) and am not seeing the kind of connection between Trump and Soros that you claim exists. Soros was heavily invested in a Clinton presidency, and has been one of the key puppet masters pulling the strings of the anti-Trump movement since Trump was elected. Sure, Soros and Trump may have both been involved, in different capacities, in some of the same NYC real estate deals in the past, but Trump has only recently become a politician, and his political platform is anathema to the political aims and ideology of Soros's Open Societies Foundation.

Posted by: integer | Jul 3 2018 14:33 utc | 73

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 3, 2018 7:23:06 AM | 79

The halo effect

Social scientists call this the “halo effect”: a phenomenon, repeated across Europe, in which people are most likely to vote for far-right politicians if they live close to diverse areas, but not actually within them.

Jens Rydgren and Patrick Ruth, sociologists at the University of Stockholm, wrote in 2011 that people in such communities may be close enough to immigrants to feel they are under threat, but still too far to have the kinds of regular, friendly interactions that would dispel their fears.

Eric Kaufmann, a political scientist at Birkbeck College in London, has found that rising diversity can push the “halo” outward. East London was a center of far-right activity in the 1970s, but as neighborhoods there became more diverse, far-right support fell and rose in the whiter suburbs just beyond them.

Which would mean that more immigration will be less AFD. And more immigration there will be. At the same time CDU/CSU insist they will be tough on refugees they are agreed on an immigration law for needed professions.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3 2018 15:00 utc | 74

@zanon @v and others

I deleted the pissing contest about Russia's position towards Iran in Syria.

Iran is in Syria on invitation by the Syrian government. Russia is obviously not in the position to decide on Iran's position in the country. Iranian advisors will leave when the Syrian government asks them to do so. This is unlikely to happen as long as the U.S. occupies parts of the country.

Posted by: b | Jul 3 2018 15:36 utc | 75

Carl D

Check this:

Lavrov’s statement (that Iran, Hezbollah should leave) followed on from one issued by Moscow’s Special Envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev who in no uncertain terms said that Russia’s aim for a foreign troop withdrawal from Syria includes both Iranian and Hezbollah personnel.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 3 2018 15:43 utc | 76


Just because region A vote for immigration regardless of the problems that comes with it, doesnt mean region B will.
Like yourself from what I understand, that doesnt mean there are no other germans that do see alot of problems and do not want the same troubles plagued their region.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 3 2018 15:48 utc | 77

@75 b... thanks.... one would figure that much would be obvious, but apparently not with some of the posters here!

Posted by: james | Jul 3 2018 15:58 utc | 78

Sorry for the delay in posting these tight oil & gas reports, but life gets in the way at times.

To obtain these reports, you'll need to go here and follow the directions to download Shale Reality Check. Previous reports and other writings are here. Another website providing the above report and others is here. The main point provided by the reports is distilled from their executive summaries and presented on the latter website:

"To meet reference case projections in its Annual Energy Outlook 2017 (AEO2017) more than 1 MILLION shale gas and tight oil wells would need to be drilled between 2015-2050 in the top plays, at a cost of $5.7 TRILLION, and require 100% of proven reserves plus 60-73% of unproven resources. (Proven reserves have been demonstrated by drilling to be technically and economically recoverable; unproven resources are thought to be technically recoverable but have not been demonstrated to be economically viable – as such they are much less certain than proven reserves.)

"One can only assume that the EIA’s optimism is based on technological improvements made over recent years. Technological advances have included longer horizontal laterals, a tripling of water and proppant injection per well, and more fracking stages. But as the data show, these improvements have only led to a faster depletion of oil and gas reserves, not a growth in the total amount of oil and gas that can be produced. Ultimately, technology can’t overcome core characteristics of shale — steep decline rates (wells decline between 70-90% in the first three years, and field declines without new drilling typically range from 20-40% per year) and variable reservoir quality, with “sweet spots” or “core areas” containing the highest quality reservoir rock typically comprising 20% or less of overall play area.

"Tight oil and shale gas producers have focused their efforts and technological improvements on targeting these “sweet spots” and in many plays we are already witnessing the point of diminishing returns. But the EIA is counting on — and asking the American people to bank on — technological miracles overcoming physical limits. A sound energy policy, however, should be based on reality." [Emphasis original except last sentence.]

The reports aren't too technical, and the reader should take notice of the great differences between what the USGS says versus the EIA. What's not mentioned by the author but was written about in the past is the politicization of EIA energy outlook reports. And yes, they take awhile to read. IMO, a great mistake's being made in an attempt to drill and sell it all now versus conserving reserves by using imports first. The strategic oil reserve was also mentioned in the previous discussion. The type/quality of oil it contains must be noted as it's not compatible with most refineries in the USA as it's mostly what's known as heavy/sour, which makes it cheap to buy but expensive to refine into usable products.

I'll close by highlighting a book Petrotyranny by John Bacher who maps the relationship between the lack of democracy and presence of hydrocarbons within nations, and we must recall that the Outlaw US Empire became the very first Petrotyranny thanks to Rockefeller, his banker allies and an already extremely corrupt Congress. (For excellent info on that, one must read Ida Tarbell's "biography" of John Rockefeller's Standard Oil: The History of the Standard Oil Company.)

It's become rather apparent that the Outlaw US Empire has become a Paper Tiger of sorts militarily, economically and diplomatically yet refuses to recognize those realities as it trods onward in quest of Full Spectrum Dominance, killing, maiming and displacing millions of innocents in the process, abroad and at home--one need only look at what the Republican Governor of Kentucky is trying to do to his poor citizens and understand his actions are not an aberration.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 3 2018 16:06 utc | 79

@ Zanon | Jul 3, 2018 11:48:53 AM | 77
Trouble is: as people in regon B do not have own fact-based experience with foreigners and depend only on media that they dismiss as "Lügenpresse" (media that offer only lies). So they do not have a basis for a rational judgement. How would you call the case that somebody dares to have an opinion without having gained a basis for it?

Posted by: Huasmeister | Jul 3 2018 16:08 utc | 80


They dont have to have their "own" experience since they already see the troubles connected to the immigration policies in the neighbouring region.
Its like saying you shouldnt be allowed to support palestinians because you have no direct contact with israelis. They too claim that westerners are duped by palestinian propaganda/Lugenpresse.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 3 2018 16:35 utc | 81

Pretzel Attack, the very basics. (plus see all the other good posts above..)

Crimea was part of Russia / the USSR from 1783 to 1954, when it was transferred to Ukraine SSR.

Even the W-controlled Wiki says the Soviet Praesidium, leader Krutshchev at the time, didn’t have the right to do so, to my surprise. (Expected it would just flatly describe..)

Also is stated that only 13 / 27 of the Praesidium members were present to take that decision. As I always learnt ‘only half’ this seems to be correct as well. The wiki is not too bad anyway, sure it is a complicated history. At the end of the text, wiki in this entry uses the word “seized” for Crimea rather than the milder “annexed.” (The word ‘annexed’ is generally used because of Kosovo. It is the strongest allowed possible as it has no legal definition.)

Transposed..: the US Senate with half its members present simply gifting New Mexico to … Mexico (to please some leader, whatever..) ! With a majority of citizens being ethnically ‘Americans’, or feeling themselves to be such (as ethnicity is a rubbish word for multiple dimensions), speaking English, and in poll after poll (afaik, re. Krim) stating they would prefer to be part of the US, with that hope coming to pass only when Mexico starts to splinter and fall apart because ‘gangs - criminals - drug wars - whatever' etc.

The metaphor does not take into account that the status of Crimea as part of Ukr. was from the start ‘special and separate’ - an *Autonomous Republic*, the ONLY one, and thus had independent powers, ex. its own Parliament, with quite wide decisonary powers. Which is why the separation could legally take place.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 3 2018 17:16 utc | 82

I hope barflies within the Outlaw US Empire will read David Swanson's excellent review of DSP Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's campaign platform.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 3 2018 17:23 utc | 83

Posted by: integer @73

"I've looked through all of them (except the nojeveje one which is broken) and am not seeing the kind of connection between Trump and Soros that you claim exists."

The opening sentence of the Chicago Tribune article:
“Donald Trump has lined up three New York hedge funds, including money from billionaire George Soros, to invest $160 million in his Chicago skyscraper,”

Later: “The document does not identify the other participants, but a key member is Grove Capital LLP, according to sources familiar with the transaction. The firm manages most of the multibillion-dollar real estate portfolio of the $13 billion Soros Fund Management, from which Grove Capital was spun off last month.”

From the NY Times article:
“Vornado, which received a 49.5 percent interest in the building [666 Fifth Ave]…”

Vornado is a Soros property:

RICO Lawsuit Filed Against George Soros and Donald Trump

I could easily produce even more linkages between Soros and Trump and his Cabinet, but considering how poorly you assessed what you'd already read, I fear you're experiencing some cognitive dissonance.

"It's a big club, and you and I aren't in it." George Carlin

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 3 2018 20:17 utc | 84

i see the closed shop over at emptywheel has an interesting article up where marcy states she had to contact the fbi due the circumstances and has been living in a type of altered reality ever since.. while i empathize with her situation, the jackals that comment regularly on her site refer to anyone with a different view as trolls 24/7... and, it was no different today when b chimed in.. as far as they are all concerned, anyone who doesn't think russia meddled or stole the election for trump is crazy.. they leave no room for any doubt... they are so sure of themselves, it is quite embarrassing for them..

Posted by: james | Jul 3 2018 20:37 utc | 85

Although some, for political or financial reasons will have an interest in overestimating or straight out lying about oil reserves, others like the fellows of the Post Carbon Institute have an interest in seeing doom and gloom for the oil industry (be it for genuine environmental concerns or whatever).
Proven reserve numbers are very dependent on tech and oil price at any given time. Shale has the double whammy for environmentalists, as not only does it release pollutants into the air when consumed, but the damge done to ground water ect in the fracking process.
For geo-political purposes, it is more important what the US politicians and people of influence believe now, rather than what actually eventuates. It is what these people believe that will influence the US course and strategy in the great power game.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 3 2018 21:05 utc | 86

Nice of you to slander the author of that series of reports who I've met on several occasions as most certainly is NOT a doom and gloomer.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 3 2018 21:23 utc | 87

Stick to the topic. I originally brought US oil reserves in to these threads because I suspect that is influencing the geo-political direction of the current administration. You have gone out of your way to prove this theory wrong which is no problems to me as you have brought up some good points, but now you take it personally that I do not fully buy into your argument.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 3 2018 21:36 utc | 88

Post Carbon Institute have been predicting peak oil, supported by data for some time now, but as each peak oil date comes and goes, the peak oil date is moved back. With that history, it does look as though they look at the data from a pessimistic veiw point

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 3 2018 21:45 utc | 89

With regard to Peak Oil, whatever the formula to account for current and future discovered reserves, the entire equation is bounded in turn by the theory that oil is created from organic fossils and that, essentially, there's no more being made.

But there is another school of thought that calls oil "a-biotic" and says it is continually forming in the earth. William Engdahl has a seminal introduction to the concept: Confessions of an “ex” Peak Oil Believer - F. William Engdahl, 2007

The article will drive your plausibility meter into the red zone, but it will also leave you with a large pang of "What if?" After all, it IS Engdahl, and we are talking about the Russians, who do tend to run on their own schools of physical findings.

It seems to be true that Russia finds oil where no one else ever thought it sane to look.

And it does seem that no one has actually proven the theory of fossil origin, scientifically, because no one thought it necessary. It all appeared so obvious, from the discovery of oil in organically hollowed reservoirs, and thus in the company of fossils.

But this could actually be a world-sized case of mistaking correlation for causation. The Russians aren't telling - they stopped sharing their data on oil a long time ago.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 3 2018 23:01 utc | 90

The Peak Oil crowd had me bought in a decade or more ago. But as Peter AU correctly notes, their "due dates" have come and gone numerous times. Not unlike the "End Times" religionists. I had a photographer back in the early 1970s who was so sure the Jehovah Witness end date was nigh that he sold me many thousands of dollars of photo equipment for the $700 he'd computed was all he needed to live until the end.

BTW: I told him I'd loan him the $700, and store his equipment in a back room of my studio. But if I was right, he could come back and I'd give him his job back and sell him back his gear at no interest.

He never reappeared. I went to his apartment a while later, and it was empty with no forwarding address. I've been concerned about his fate ever since.

I'll also add that the "Peak Population" crowd have been just as wrong just as many times.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 4 2018 1:11 utc | 91

Interesting reading suggests why Yemen is a target. Way beyond my ability to verify.

30th anniversary. "On 3 July, 1988, Iran Air Flight 655, flying from Tehran to Dubai, was shot down by the USS Vincennes, a huge United States missile cruiser. All 290 people aboard the Iranian airliner were killed, including 66 children, and 38 people of non-Iranian nationality. The Vincennes was rewarded shortly after for this act of mass killing, having received presidential honours upon return to American shores."

Posted by: Pft | Jul 4 2018 1:33 utc | 92

Abiotic Oil another reason Russia must be crushed

Pretty good counter here though

Posted by: Pft | Jul 4 2018 1:48 utc | 93

Pft @91. Great article. James turned me onto the thesis that Biblical Jerusalem was actually in Yemen just a couple weeks ago. I've done some digging and found some fascinating evidence to support that hypothesis.

Some writers claim that the "Coalition" is bombing archaeological sites to destroy evidence of this historical Jerusalem and Israel/Judah.

Yemen also has geo-political value, forming one side of the 20-mile wide pincher that closes off the Indian Ocean from the Suez Canal.

This article was first published by GR in February 2010, → five years prior to outbreak of the US-Saudi war on Yemen.

"Among Washington’s strategic objectives is the militarization of major sea ways. This strategic waterway links the Mediterranean to South Asia and the Far East, through the Suez Canal, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden."

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 4 2018 2:56 utc | 94

Daniel | Jul 3, 2018 4:17:42 PM | 84

Sigh. No, I'm not experiencing cognitive dissonance. I just don't buy what you are trying to sell. The terms of the $160m loan to Trump were not favorable to him, so it's hard for me to see this as anything beyond a standard financial deal between a real estate developer and a group of 3 hedge funds. Trump was only tangentially connected to the RICO lawsuit you reference. He had invested $11m in the GM building and was bought out of his share in 2003. The RICO lawsuit was filed in 2008 and was centered on the sale of the building that took place after Trump has sold his share. Also, I already knew about Mnuchin, Soros, and OneWest. After the subprime real estate crisis Kamala Harris, who will almost certainly run in the 2020 Democrat party primary and who was Attorney General of California at the time, declined to prosecute OneWest, and has since received campaign contributions from Mnuchin and, to a much larger extent, from Soros. Mnuchin is simply an opportunist. I also already knew about Kushner and his financial vulnerability due to 666 Fifth Ave. I've always found Kushner problematic for a number of reasons, not least because of his relationship with Netanyahu, but that doesn't mean that Trump is "partners" with Soros.

In conclusion, your take on the relationship between Trump and Soros falls short of the kind of rigorous analysis that is needed to properly assess these kinds of topics. You may have found some financial links between Trump and Soros, but they all occurred before Trump threw his hat into the political ring, and are fairly insignificant in any case. You also neglect to assess important evidence, like Soros's involvement in the Clinton campaign, his subsequent efforts in mobilizing protests against Trump, and that many of Trump's policies are in conflict with Soros's political aims. In my opinion you are missing the forest for the trees.

Posted by: integer | Jul 4 2018 3:58 utc | 95


"You may have found some financial links between Trump and Soros, but they all occurred before Trump threw his hat into the political ring, and are fairly insignificant in any case."

When tallied, they came to $6 billion in properties. They were partners, however "tangentially" either you or their legal filings make it seem. I wrote that these ties go back to at least 10 years before Trump's campaign.

Yes, I have a file on Harris, which I spread around, first as she ran for Senator, and now it's awaiting here presumed run for President. One West is the least of it. She's just Hillary 2.0. If you're interested in more dirt on her, (of the "not a progressive" variety) let me know.

And of course, I've read all the MSM articles linking Soros to the Clintons, and the various anti-Trump protests.

One thing that amuses me is that Trump supporters, who know the MSM lies to us constantly about things big and small, still totally believe the MSM narrative about Trump/Clinton. He was never an outsider. Here's one big hint: Longtime Rothschilds employee (and Trump's Commerce Secretary) Wilbur Ross bailed Trump out 1/4 century ago when his real estate and gambling empires went bankrupt. He felt Trump would be useful down the road.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 4 2018 4:21 utc | 96

Daniel | Jul 3, 2018 4:17:42 PM | 84

FWIW I'm not a USian or a Trump supporter. Out of interest, did you read the article on Soros I linked to @ 35? I'm guessing the answer is no. Soros has a long history of connections to the CIA and MI6, both of which have desperately tried to derail Trump's presidency. That fact alone severely undermines your claim that Soros and Trump are "partners". Anyway, feel free to have the last word, I believe I have made my position on this matter clear.

Posted by: integer | Jul 4 2018 4:26 utc | 97

It ain't rocket science right? Not long back I posted links to the development of the NK-33 rocket engine.
Both US and soviet scientists in their rocket science wisdom decided this type of engine could not be built.
The Russian honcho of the space program being a bit ignorant, went to Sukhoi who built the engine. Now the rocket scientists of the US and Russia use this design to get their shit into space.

Why is it that rather than being a springboard, some knowledge confines people to a box? This seems to occur in all professions and trades.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 4 2018 5:11 utc | 98

one of the characteristics of moa that i have always felt grateful for is the generally civil discourse among the folks who post here... thanks for continuing in that vein as much as possible... moa is an oasis in an otherwise challenging internet environoment...

thanks also for the many interesting links everyone.. i don't have time to read them all, but i have scanned a few and hope to get to them in the next day or two...

@71 john gilberts.. thanks for the continuing updates on canada and our brain dead leader trudeau, who is almost as bad as harper.. they are on a par... we really need some better leadership then what we are seeing at this point..

Posted by: james | Jul 4 2018 5:12 utc | 99

I am working on this civil discourse bit james .. workin on it. As you say, a good forum.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 4 2018 5:21 utc | 100

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