Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

Trump pardoned this turkey.


Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on November 22, 2018 at 17:21 UTC | Permalink

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"root" not "route"

Posted by: cirsium | Nov 23 2018 17:25 utc | 101

South Korea's president, Jae-in Moon, is quickly falling in the approval ratings. The failing economy is catching up; it will be a matter of time before the conservatives take over and scalate the relations with North Korea to very dangerous levels.

South Korea has reached its limit. In the 80s, with Japan's and the USA's help, it quickly industrialized and became an hypercapitalist, fascist-like society. The secret was the tested and proved combination of Japanese-style superexploitation of labour cum heavy investments in productive infrastructure (transports and automation). This model has a limit, as Japan itself proves it, and South Korea's time has come.

Posted by: vk | Nov 23 2018 17:25 utc | 102

The Syrian People Desperately Want Peace
Written by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Thursday January 26, 2017
I call upon Congress and the new Administration to answer the pleas of the Syrian people immediately and support the Stop Arming Terrorists Act. We must stop directly and indirectly supporting terrorists — directly by providing weapons, training and logistical support to rebel groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and ISIS; and indirectly through Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, and Turkey, who, in turn, support these terrorist groups. We must end our war to overthrow the Syrian government and focus our attention on defeating al-Qaeda and ISIS.

The U.S. must stop supporting terrorists who are destroying Syria and her people. The U.S. and other countries fueling this war must stop immediately. We must allow the Syrian people to try to recover from this terrible war.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Nov 23 2018 17:30 utc | 103

I think it's wrong to shame recovering democrats to the extent some of you do. What's important is to win them over with the truth that the Democrats, like the Repulicans, are stained with corruption. Do not alienate by painting all the left with the Democratic brush.

There is also a very fine line between cynicism and experience-driven skepticism. Until I hear Tulsi denounce what Adelson does to American democracy, I cannot support her ever again.

Don't expect to come out clean after you feast with swine in their trough.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 23 2018 17:37 utc | 104

LMAO. Russ....I answered that one too...right before you asked the same question agan...if you are demanding we continue playing your silly game please try at least to keep up with your own side of the game.

I'm not shilling for the Demotards anymore than you are shilling for the Green Party...

Oh and I asked you several questions too so play fair and now answer mine. I'll replace the term "Greenbot" with "Russ" since you claim not to be a Greenbot, but rather an "ultraleftist" the questions still apply to your agenda as stated in 86.

Are you ["ultralefts"] now willing to form a political coalition with blacks and hispanics of the underclass? And since your numbers are vastly smaller are you comfortable with participating even though you will be in the minourity, Russ? That is the most compelling question to ask of ["ultralefts"]. Can you check your sense of middle class caucasian superiourity at the door and work well with "others"?

Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 23 2018 17:44 utc | 105

@101 mauisurfer... i have been following tulsi gabbard for some time, including the data you share here.. she talks a good line... i would be very curious to see just how far she goes in the democrat hierarchy and whether she would be able to follow thru on her ideology if she were in a position of greater power... i think it remains to be seen if the system would allow for such an event and i think this is the key point i would like to emphasize.. if the usa political system is able to allow for a crack in the 24/7 war party business as usual, which is what those outside the usa see on display regularly, the world would breathe a great sigh of relief... as it presently stands - people, or even politicians who speak truth like tulsi g. are generally kept away from any position of power... i hope it is not the case with her and i hope she is able to maintain her present positions with regard to the war in syria and wars in general... my position like that of many voters for obama - hinges on hope, lol...

Posted by: james | Nov 23 2018 17:53 utc | 106

Anyone knows why oil price drops?

Posted by: Pat | Nov 23 2018 18:29 utc | 107

james says:

i really resent how easily the west has been duped into consumerism and i can't find a better example then this black friday concept

on some issues americans are actually pretty united. last year from black friday to cyber monday 174 million shoppers spent something like 60 billion dollars. a real group effort. a dopamine extravaganza!

Posted by: john | Nov 23 2018 18:47 utc | 108

Caption for picture:

Trump's bestest friend.

Posted by: Bardi | Nov 23 2018 18:53 utc | 109

Posted by: mauisurfer | Nov 23, 2018 9:53:52 AM | 65

Today, there are about 1,000 native Hawaiian speakers and around 8,000 people who can speak and understand the language fluently according to the UCLA Language Materials Project.
8000 speakers out of the population of 1.5M is 0.5%. No wonder I did not hear anyone speaking while I was there.
I guess you belong to that 99.5% 'slim' majority who do not speak Hawaiian. It is a pity, because you had plenty of time to learn the second official language of your state since 1978, or from 1984 when the language became publicly available to people to learn it. Perhaps you are old now, but you were not old then. I guess you had different sets of priorities at that time, not enough motivation, no pressing need, and that is OK. But, isn't then a bit unfair from you to snap at Debs when you are in fact an English colonial settler just like him? You two have way more in common to each other than to your respective native communities.

Posted by: hopehely | Nov 23 2018 18:57 utc | 110

I think Tulsi has about as much chance as Kucinich and Ron Paul had. Remember, the dems did not allow Kucinich in their presidential debate, and the GOP did not allow Paul.
I have never met Tulsi, do not know anyone who works for her. But I have been very pleasantly surprised by her.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Nov 23 2018 19:00 utc | 111

@108 Oversupply and fears of a slowdown in global growth.

Posted by: dh | Nov 23 2018 19:15 utc | 112

Posted by: spudski | Nov 23, 2018 12:14:36 PM | 99

"Now, I'm totally confused: Wednesday, Gabbard tweeted "Hey @realdonaldtrump: being Saudi Arabia’s bitch is not “America First.” Before that, she tweeted about stopping US support for KSA in Yemen. In July she's with Adelson and that right wing Rabbi?"

It's typical Democrat behavior. In action she's peas in a pod with Trump and the Reps. But as far as empty words, she'll happily send out nasty tweets about Trump and his cronies. (But evidently she stops short of tweeting against the Zionist state. There are limits even to the empty words, as we've seen with "AOC's" furious back-pedalling on the Zionists and Palestinians.)

Posted by: Russ | Nov 23 2018 19:17 utc | 113

I should add, all that partisan Democrat supporters (i.e. a celebrity fan club) want are the empty words. As for action, they fully support all the evils of the US corporate state and empire.

Posted by: Russ | Nov 23 2018 19:19 utc | 114

Not sure if this been posted yet:

Anonymous blows lid off huge psyop in Europe and it's funded by UK & US

In one particular example given as a case study of the group's activities, the docs reveal how effective the strategy could be. According to the documents, the 'Moncloa Campaign' was carried out by the group's Spanish cluster to prevent the appointment of Colonel Pedro Banos as director of Spain's Department of Homeland Security. And all it took was just a seven-and-a-half hour campaign, kicked off by several high-profile Spanish journalists affiliated with the secretive group.

Posted by: Zanon | Nov 23 2018 19:32 utc | 115

Donkey, you're a Dembot hack and shill, and that's why you never answered any questions. I'm finished with your tedium. My brief outline for what needs to be done is clear as to who I'd work with - whoever shares that need, that vision, and that historically-proven strategy. As for details, I've written dozens of pieces on it at my site and won't rewrite the book here. Anyone interested can visit me there. (I already know you're not interested, because trolls never are.)

Posted by: Russ | Nov 23 2018 19:37 utc | 116

Interesting to see the long thread of comments about the US Congress representative for Hawaii. So far though I have not seen anything about Tulsi Gabbard's friendship with and support for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and her connection to an apparent cult-like group within the Hare Krishna movement. Would any MoA commenters in Hawaii who know Gabbard (not necessarily personally) like to comment?

Lalita Mann, "An Insiders Perspective on Tulsi Gabbard and her Guru"

Video of Tulsi Gabbard praising Chris Butler on 50th anniversary of Hare Krishna movement in USA

Posted by: Jen | Nov 23 2018 19:40 utc | 117

Somewhat OT, but this essay does offer good insight into the motivations that unite the major parties in the US, beyond their cosmetic differences.

Posted by: robjira | Nov 23 2018 19:47 utc | 118

Suit yourself Russ although I answered all your questions, some twice and you quit playing this tedious game you started rather than answer mine in return. With that attitude of a wienie it's doubtful you will ever succeed at winning others to your side except those who already agree with you.

Good luck to you in all your future endeavors.

Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 23 2018 20:02 utc | 119

Pat | Nov 23, 2018 1:29:51 PM | 108

In all likelihood: the beginning of PBC (post-bubble contraction), aka run for the hills (at least for a prolonged period of time, meaning 2019). Watching closely.

We're long due for this to happen.

Shale up and running, storage up, Iran still exporting, industrial production stagnating or already in reverse, see Germany Q3.

Posted by: Hmpf | Nov 23 2018 20:10 utc | 120

Cirsium @ 101, KGW @ 121:

News now in is that US Navy officers were definitely on board the Helge Ingstad frigate (now almost completely sunk) and that the Norwegian Accident Commission has sent a letter to the US Navy Forces Europe about the incident.

"US Navy on board KNM Helge Ingstad"

There has been other news - but I cannot find the links - that the frigate was carrying out a navigation training exercise at the time of collision.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 23 2018 20:44 utc | 121

I couldn't care less about her connection to Hare Krishna when Gabbard is currently the only American politician in power who calls for an end to the wars on Yemen and Syria (correctly pointing out the mechanism by which the U.S. wages war against Syria).

Posted by: S | Nov 23 2018 20:50 utc | 122

Greetings all

I was checking Zero Hedge and it appears that Iran has ceased a Saudi fishing boat. Barely significant in the grand scheme of things perhaps, but if MBS and others are looking for an excuse to spit more venom at Tehran then maybe this could be a well timed (or planned) distraction.

One of the comments in ZH mentioned the prediction of $100+ for a barrel of oil by the years end. So many predictions of doom and gloom turn out to be nothing more than hot air, but it is events like this that tend to grab my attention. Geopolitically ephemeral, or an armada of butterflies flapping their wings?

(With a nod to the Sci Fi novelist Peter Hamilton and the armada storms of his Nights Dawn series)

Posted by: Glossopteris | Nov 23 2018 20:51 utc | 123

@ Jen | Nov 23, 2018 2:40:41 PM | 119

In my backpacking days I spent some time in Mattura, Krishna's birthplace. This included a few hours in the temple standing on (what is claimed to be ) the actual birthplace of the Divine personage. It was an intensely spiritual place, by which I mean there was a palpable energy that interacted directly with one's own spiritual being. Make of that what you will. It has been my privilege to be in a few places like that around the world, powerful, spiritual places.
By way of contrast when I was bumming around America in the 80s, the Krishna people fed me for a while. They were pleased to do so, the blessed food being 'prashadam', and by giving it to me (they believed) they were spreading Krishna consciousness. I've never understood why they get such a bad press, they seemed like good people to me.

Posted by: Ross | Nov 23 2018 21:14 utc | 124

Of all the blogs that I read this one has the most intelligent comments. Except for @26 - Marx is so irrelevant that you are still worried about his ideas.

Posted by: Victor Lopez | Nov 23 2018 21:19 utc | 125

At Colorado State University (CSU), administrators have designated the common greeting "long time, no see" as non-inclusive language.

Remember, there is only one crime, thought crime. We must police our speech, remove as many words (and the unpleasant ideas they represent) as possible.

We're learning a lot in exchange for our pound of flesh student loan debt to the friendly merchant, our greatest ally.

By the time this grotesque system is done with me I'll be the ideal slave.

That's according to a student, Katrina Leibee, who writes for the campus paper, The Rocky Mountain Collegian.

Leibee met with Zahra Al-Saloom, director of diversity and inclusion at CSU, who showed her a list of terms and phrases considered contrary to the university's mission of fostering inclusion.

Wouldn’t it be faster just to make a short list of the few phrases we’re still allowed to use that don't represent a crime against our mighty strength of "diversity"

To read full story, search followed by

‘Long Time, No See’ Is Considered Offensive, Non-Inclusive Language at Colorado State University

"Viewed as derogatory towards those of Asian descent."

Posted by: bokin | Nov 23 2018 21:39 utc | 126

US has been ‘pardoning’ Al Saud and Israel for as long as anyone here as been alive.

Posted by: Ninel | Nov 23 2018 21:46 utc | 127

Imagine you had a 2 party Democracy , once upon a time. Over time, both parties , who are financed by the same corporate global ruling elite (Citizens United-yay) find themselves pretty much a mirror image of each other except for the most trivial cultural issues. Essentially one party but wearing different colors/clothes. Some call it a duopoly buts its really a monopoly.

Eventually, people start to see through this and start whispering that they are a one party Democracy like Iran or China (the party does have a Democracy of sorts- limited to the party). For many reasons this is not good because in order for Democracy to steal from the bottom 90% to feed the 1% , those being ripped off have to have someone else to blame (the party in power) and also hope for change (their party gets in next election). Then the cycle can continue on and on as it has for the last 40 years since the coup in the early 70’s following the civil war that took place from 1963-1973 between the good elites and bad elites (good guys lost)

However once people start figuring out there is only 1 party, the blame is directed at the government in its entirety and perhaps at the ruling elite behind the curtain, and they realize there is no hope for meaningful change in the next election. That leads to thinking the government must be changed and replaced and those behind the curtain sent to Gitmo or worse. Thats dangerous thinking to the ruling elite.

So what do they (ruling elite) do, especially after the disappointment of Hope and Change for everyone but the 1% begins an awakening?

Bring out the Fake Wrestling Strategy. Trump /Republicans vs Deep State/Dems/MSM. Its showtime. Entertainment as distraction.

For Fake Wrestling Strategy to work though the lead wrestler ( Heel) must be a good Actor and Unlikeable (except to those who tend to gravitate to Heels). Hillary vs Trump was Heel vs Heel but Hillary was the lesser Heel, and could not do what Trump could over 4-8 years. She just isn’t that good an actor.

This strategy only works if Trump is President. So basically both parties , Deep State, MSM. and their ruling elite controllers wanted the Trump show to distract, entertain, and polarize while executing their other agendas (really just one, rich get richer, bottom 90% keep giving and fighting each other). Keep the game going awhile before giving them another Obama like clone so the herd can relax and feel all is right with the system again. The Face (good guy) always win in the end in Fake Wrestling

To make sure Trump got in Hillarys Emails were leaked by the Deep State via their trapper (Assange )and Deep States Comey let out days before the election that he was reopening the investigation. MSM gave plenty of free coverage to the main Heel, constantly talking about Hillarys emails , didn’t play up Russia Gate too much before the vote and were fairly muted about his shady past and connections , except to those audiences who were already in Hillarys camp.

Yup, their man gets in despite losing the popular vote. The Trump Show is now in progress. Stay tuned and don’t change that channel

After the Trump show , 2020 -2024, which probably closes with an economic collapse like the Bush show did (another opportunity for the ruling elite to get richer blamed on the deposed party/heel) , people might be ready for some more Hope and Change. Probably a woman this time (not Hillary). Netflix is conditioning us for that (House of Cards) .

By then the internet will be completely censored to protect the Fake News , which will be unanimous in their opinion that we really have 2 parties and a functioning Democracy. Perhaps add some more lithium to water supplies, have more states selling pot and more contaminated /toxic vaccines to make you too sick or high to think, and life stays good for the ruling elite.

Posted by: Pft | Nov 23 2018 21:47 utc | 128

Jewish leaders call for new editions of the Bible and the Koran to carry trigger warnings highlighting anti-Semitic passages

A Catalogue of Policies to Combat Antisemitism outlines numerous suggestions

It was produced after a conference organised by the European Jewish Congress this week in Vienna to discuss the new policy suggestions

This is not an April Fools joke news/article -6421233/



Posted by: bokin | Nov 23 2018 22:12 utc | 129

#19, Zanon:

Russia offers plan to remove Iranian forces from Syria, Netanyahu says



# 23, Debsisdead:

So in other words according to the Tass article Russia going in to bat for Iran by saying "If you lift the sanctions against Iran, we'll talk to them about pulling back in Syria a bit - not totally, a bit because Iran will do what they wish", has been paranoically psychotically delusioned into 'Putin' selling out Iran.
The types undermining Syria, Russia and Iran are the types pushing out this lame zionist propaganda from dingbats united.


"Russia did not offer Israel and the United States to lift part of the sanctions against Iran in exchange for the withdrawal of its troops from Syria. This was told to reporters on Wednesday, November 21, by the deputy head of the Foreign Ministry of Russia, Sergey Ryabkov".

Sources: one, two.


Back in summer 2018:

"Peskov refuted data on the preparation of a treaty between Putin and Trump on the withdrawal of Iranian troops from Syria".


Posted by: alaff | Nov 23 2018 23:36 utc | 130

vk @103--

Interesting collection of hit pieces you assembled, none of which deal with the restrictions placed on Korean commerce by Trump's tariffs that have a bearing on the topic it appears you're pursuing. One item you linked was written just after Park was impeached and has no bearing on the current situation and the other blog piece had nothing at all to do with Korea. Asia Times Online was recently bought-out by a CIA-tied ownership group and has taken to publishing hit pieces aimed at every target inimical to Outlaw US Empire interests; I don't expect Pepe Escobar to be published there much longer.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 24 2018 0:09 utc | 131

The French publication, Journal du MAUSS, provides us with an appraisal of Hudson's J is for Junk Economics in French, which machine translates well. In Junk Economics, Hudson channels Orwell as he writes about how language is manipulated to obscure the proper meanings of terminology:

"As advertisers know, naming a product changes the way people perceive it. A major public relations operation has been developed to reverse the meaning of words and make black appear in white. Nowhere is this tactic more political than in the promotion of economic ideology. The current vocabulary of wealth and the transition to an economy of rent and usury is euphemized as progress towards a society of leisure, not debt bondage. Financial bubbles that inflate prices in order to buy a house or a retirement savings plan are called 'wealth creation,' and not inflation by the price of assets related to debt, while a downsizing and a dissolution of industrial enterprises is called 'value creation' and not pillage."

The article is quite good and is great for those who haven't read Junk yet. Much of the neoliberal political-economic plan and actions are explained, helping readers understand the deviance of current economic policy as pushed by Outlaw US Empire and its vassals.

I hope more non-English language publications will do this sort of writing given the magnitude of its importance.


The Kremlin's announced Putin's annual press conference date--20 December--the venue's yet to be determined.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 24 2018 0:34 utc | 132

Regarding the oil price. This one seems caused simply by over-production, as b reported in his post before this one:
Keeping Bin Salman In Place Will Hurt Trump's Middle East Policies

The narrative is that the oil producers expected supply to tighten from the sanctions on Iran, but then Trump waived 8 nations from the sanctions and Iranian oil seems to be moving, so we have over supply. We've also seen that derivatives trading, controlled from Wall Street, can dramatically move the oil price, but I see no reports anywhere of this having happened.

Speaking of Pepe Escobar, in his Facebook page yesterday he passed on information from a ME oil source to this effect:

“What is happening in the oil market is in large part manipulation and in large part due to the inefficacy of the sanctions on Iran.

Oil prices are guided down by cash settlement manipulation. Europe is looking the other way and will accept relabeled oil, Marc Rich-style, as most others. Iran has turned off the satellite tracing of its oil tankers. The oil just disappears in the market.

The sanctions are not working and that is why oil is falling in price as OPEC and Russia had offset this supposed effort to crash Iranian oil sales that has not taken place.

Here's the FB post for those who don't mind going there:

Escobar continues the report with a forecast of oil shortages in late 2019 onward, with prices at least $100 and perhaps $150. This IMO is almost guaranteed to plunge the US and some of the world economy into recession. This seems to be how the oil price gets capped, with global recession that reduces demand for oil - Catch-22.

Many people are talking now about a US recession anyway in that time frame. Oil would make a convenient trigger, although I suspect Trump would make an even more convenient scapegoat, just in time for Hillary's run.

Now there's an ugly thought - sorry. Just when we were getting over the turkey picture ;)

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 24 2018 0:52 utc | 133


The answer why? is simple; consumerism is a drug like coke. When a ordinary woman is asked why does she buy something, she answers she likes to buy, anything it doesn't matter what it is. The act of buying something 'new' is like the rush of the fix; you get the high of the actual process of buying, taking it home, unwrapping it, the smell, the feel, the look, that's the rush. Then comes the downer; you ask yourself, why did I buy it?

The only solution is to buy something else. It's not that capitalism makes us do something we don't want to do, instead, it taps into desires we possess as human beings and diverts them, some would say, perverts them.

I've never forgotten the observation by Johm Beger in 'Ways of Seeing': talking of tv commercials he said that they exploit/utilise three fantasies, 1. the fantasy of the far away place; 2. the fantasy of being someone else and 3. the fantasy of the skin.

I rest my case, such as it is. It's like capitalist democracy, a fantasy.

Posted by: William Bowles | Nov 24 2018 0:52 utc | 134

Back in '69-70, I attended a meditation session led by Chris Butler on the lawn of an episcopal church in Lahaina. He was just out of high school and had a grasp of some religious and moral issues. It was nice, nothing offensive or threatening at all.
I am not hindu, and I do not have any reason to support Modi.
I find all this talk about Tulsi and hinduism is a red herring, designed to diminish her in the eyes of the christian majority, designed to distract people from honestly considering her views on war and peace.
Similarly, all this talk and tweets about Tulsi and Adelson are ridiculous. So she met him, what was she supposed to do, spit in his eye? I am glad she is a civil person who remains calm and attentive in social situations. Nowhere have I seen any statement by her praising Adelson, so if you have seen any, please post a link.
I remember when people expressed outrage that she met with Trump, and people proclaimed that she was a traitor who as going to join his administration. It was just a bunch of nonsense. A member of congress is not supposed to meet with the president? Ridiculous.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Nov 24 2018 1:39 utc | 135


Actions speak louder than words. Her involvement with Adelson in any way is way too suspect. Adelson is a rabid Zionist. He's behind all Trump's dumb moves with Iran, moving U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, proclaiming it the capital of Israel and exonerating MbS. Adelson's views on Syria mirror Israel's. All his views are rabidly Zionist. Gabbard is way too smart not to know that getting involved with Adelson is like jumping head first into a pool of toxic waste. Total contamination. So why did she do it??? You can't go from associating with Kucinich to associating with slime like Adelson. She lost my trust and respect with that!

There's an excerpt on her association with Adelson here:

Posted by: Circe | Nov 24 2018 2:21 utc | 136

mauisurfer | Nov 23, 2018 2:00:07 PM | 112

There you go!
Russ seems to think it's a matter of commitment on the part of the candidate. When in fact, the corporate war machine controls everything.
At worst, Gabbard is tilting at windmills, but at least she's tilting.
It seems idealogues are the most voiciferous and least effective...

Posted by: V | Nov 24 2018 3:25 utc | 137

I have yet another caption: Khashoggi Karma: MbS will reincarnate as turkey ready for head chop and carving.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 24 2018 3:50 utc | 138

S @ 125, Ross @ 127, Mauisurfer @ 139:

I am only asking about Tulsi Gabbard's connection to a group called the Science of Identity or Science of Identity Foundation and what people might know of Chris Butler and the group. The group formed within the Hare Krishna movement so it should be considered as a denomination of the Hare Krishnas, not the Hare Krishnas themselves.

The Science of Identity Foundation apparently received money from Gold Coast City local government council in southeast Queensland in Australia a decade ago. It seems that the organisation applied for and received community funding to run yoga and health education classes. There were allegations that SoIF were using these classes to recruit new members.

"Australian School of Meditation and Yoga (ASMY): Local Governments Fund Cult Recruitment"

"Protest Gold Coast Council Promoting Religious Cult"

Commenters may say what does Gabbard's membership of this group have to do with her political opinions and policies. When I hear news such as her hiring of Kainoa Penaroza, another SoIF member, as her Chief of Staff in 2015 despite Penaroza's relative lack of experience working in government or Congress, and other members of the organisation to work in her political staff, I wonder how much influence the organisation may have on some of her opinions and positions.

There have been allegations that SoIF express and encourage homophobia, and that the organisation even encourages misogyny. I do not know much about the Hare Krishnas and their beliefs but if the allegations turn out to be correct, then I must consider the possibility that SoIF is abusing Hare Krishna beliefs and the Hare Krishnas should (if they haven't already) disown any association they may have with the organisation. Though just as mainstream Islam has difficulty getting rid of Wahhabism, Salafism and other extremist groups that follow the religion like bad smells, I fear the Hare Krishnas will have a similar problem with SoIF.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 24 2018 4:13 utc | 139

Oh here we go. It occured to me that when I posted stuff yesterday about Gabbard and her casual abuse of Hawai'i that I left a pointless path open for "you're a kiwi Aotearoa has been colonised too". I'd rather hoped that MoA was above such whataboutery and while I haven't read the comment in question, deliberately because I try and avoid intense "You're not right, I am" debates because they generate a lot of heat and little light, I have seen a reference to this whataboutery in another post.

I'm not gonna defend the colonisation of Aotearoa because growin up I saw a great deal of injustice, some of which has been put right much of it still hasn't and it was that which led me to spend my life fighting for the indigenous people of the Pacific as did many other 3rd & fourth generation pakehas of my age.

Some of my mob (well one, an Irish deckie on a whaleboat) came to Aotearoa long before the englanders at the height of their "lets take over the world" nonsense set their sights on the land of the long white cloud. They fought with tangata whenua against the englander soldiers, they didn't want to see their adopted home get f**ked the way they had seen so many other places destroyed on their journey to the other side of the word.
Other ancestors came later after the englanders were fought to a standstill by tanga whenua and because the place isn't exactly huge and chocka with easy loot, the englanders settled by way of a treaty. An imperfect solution because there were differences between the english language version of the treaty and the te reo one, plus of course the englanders sought to exploit tangata whenua's general lack of knowledge about property and ownership, alien concepts to a more communal society.
The treaty was sorta adhered to by the englanders with a major exception meted out to the Tuhoe people who had big chunks of land grabbed which were never returned or compensated for and which are still the subject of litigation and negotiation. The biggest problem isn't the land taken by government much of that has been returned over the last 30 years, but weak-arsed neolib governments which are too gutless to force misappropriated property in 'private ownership' be given back. Banks who have a collateral or direct interest frown upon that and gutless pols don't resist banks.

Later forebears came across from Ireland and Scotland following the famine and the clearances. The attraction of Aotearoa was according to the commercial agents who spruiked such things, that because of the treaty none of the land had been stolen. Of course that was a lie as some of it had been but for people eager to escape oppression it certainly seemed more promising than anywhere else where land was being confiscated and indigenous Australians and Americans were still being butchered.

In the end all you can do is what I have always done. That is if I see a spot I like and want to live at, before I get the land checked for pollution I consult with the local Iwi to find out the history of the place I'm interested in (Not that I'm a vast landowner I haven't bought more than a few places in my life and usually have sold them to shift elsewhere or whatever).

Politically tangata whenua have always been formally included either through the 'Maori seats' bizzo where n constituency seats are allocated according to the proportion of voters on the Maori electoral roll against the number of voters on the 'general' roll. Tangata whenua can opt for either roll as they want to.
The numbers of Maori MP's is much larger than that which is proportionally allocated. It hasn't always been that way but that is how it currently is. Some tangata whenua candidates are selected using traditional methods particular to the Iwi that lives within that electorate, many are not and stand outside the allocated seats for general electorates or 'party' seats allocated by proportional representation.

There is much that is still wrong with Aotearoa but it really doesn't compare with the cultural genocide of Hawai'i where the only attention given to the culture seems to be commercial exploitation for tourists.
When I was being more active attending meetings about the state of indigenous people in the pacific, chiefly polynesia the major issues seemed to come from those amerkan and french colonies such as amerikan Samoa, french Tahiti and Hawai'i.

That struck me as being rather anglophile and although I know I have no englanders in my ancestry I considered the forced englander decolonisation post the end of the 20th century euro war had aided that.
However I am also an Australian and I have much shame about the state of australia's ersatz colonies PNG or Nauru, not to mention the rollback of much of what I spent a couple of decades fighting for and trying to help traditional indiginous Australians with in the North.

One step forwards two back appears to be what happens when indigenous people live where there is something the whitefella wants. Indigenous Australians have lost the right to bar balandas (whitefellas) from their traditional lands. The used to be able to prevent anyone including police or government officials from coming in, but Murdoch and little Johnny Howard (an old nemesis) ran a bulldust campaign about child abuse to change the law, now certain types of balandas can come in at will especial the army and police. This is bulldust since they are exactly the sort of slug organisation that attracts pedos.

The worst example is of course timor where corrupt Oz governments have conspired with Indonesia and Portugal to disfranchise the indigenous arm of Fretilin and encourage low lifes like José Ramos-Horta. Timor Leste is the wealthiest nation in the Pacific thanks to its virtually limitless oil fields yet is home to the most impoverished citizens. One of the chief architects of this disaster is a whitefella pol who I once liked and respected - even considered a friend. A balanda who represented indigenous Australians 'Wazza' talked the same duplicitous sh1t that Gabbard talks now. He put together the Oz 'strategy' for Timor, pretended to be a supporter of Fretilin, then when the Timorese won the independence referendum was as horrified as any oil exec.
I don't much think about pols any more. The Gabbard thing kicked off in here with a post from someone asking for MoA to defend her, from attack from the other half of the amerikan empire party. That is repugnant to me so I posted my take on yet another sleazy pol.

One more worthless anecdote. I have a friend and family member about to kark it from emphysema (sp?). She stayed with us along with her 9 yo son when my youngest two were very young. Back then she tried to give up smoking and went to a hypnotist to beat the habit (her lungs were rooted even then) I picked her up from a hypno session once and saw her light up as she came down the steps from her hypnotherapy. She believed if she came out still wanting to smoke that was down to the hypnotherapist not her. Yeah right - whatever.
People who imagine that the things which are so wrong with our current societies can be fixed by ticking a box or pulling the handle of a voting machine are labouring under the same sort of delusion as my friend. Things have gotten so extreme that there is no easy out. The only effective way forwards will come from outside the anodyne guaranteed hygenic but also impotent 'established political structure'.

I do not defend what happens in my part of the world; where possible I try to subvert it, but I do not see what relevance that has to whether a fork tongue such as Gabbard is just another whore of the pols (I use whore non- genderistly there are many more male whores in DC than female ones) or is genuine.

I have yet to see Gabbard do anything other than talk the talk. Sure arguing for peace isn't exactly evil - unless by doing so you are providing a veneer of respectability to the usual rapists and murderers, and from where I sit that is what Gabbard appears to do.
If people vote dem because of Gabbard they are dangerously naive.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Nov 24 2018 4:17 utc | 140

Facing the music: religion, nationalism, and sports have enchanted the working class; socialism hasn’t.
Posted by: ex-SA | Nov 23, 2018 11:38:45 AM | 93
Posted by: ex-SA | Nov 23, 2018 11:45:25 AM | 95

There's a much simpler explanation for the working class's present lack of interest in socialism than the overabundance of MSM-delivered Bread and Circuses.

It's called anti-Communism.
I was born circa end of WWII and grew up in a world in which EVERYONE knew that Communism is Evil. So Evil in fact that it was all but Evil, and certainly ignorant and stupid to ask, or try to ascertain, why?
So that foundation was being laid 70+ years ago and is STILL the Official Capitalist Narrative.

Imagine how surprised I wasn't when I learnt that Communism = Socialism and seen in that light Communism = Community First-ism.

Andrew Feinstein's book, Shadow World, and a 90 minute doco of the same name provides a simple, coherent and linear explanation for how the World came to be dominated by the Capitalists who profit from war, warmongering and weapons sales. So do the musings of Smedley Butler (War is a Racket).

Feinstein begins with the observation that at the end of WWI there were circa 20,000 new millionaires in AmeriKKKa. That's an influential clique/cartel in anyone's language. And it all went Totalitarian Capitalist from there.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 24 2018 4:37 utc | 141

Are you aware that the article you cite was written by a woman who was running in an election against Tulsi for the democratic nomination for Congress?
In 2016 Shay Hodges received only 15.5% of the votes, and Tulsi Gabbard received 84.5%.
I have known the Hodges family since the 60's, and I voted for Tulsi.
Hodges attempted to smear Tulsi as anti gay. In fact Tulsi's father (who was a small politician in HNL) was against legalizing gay marriage, and in fact so was Obama
when he was elected in 2008. But that says nothing about Tulsi, she is not her father.
Even worse is the attempted smear about Adelson. What did Tulsi do? She supported a bill to ban online gambling. There are many reasons to support that position, and the fact that Adelson would benefit from such a law is the least significant of those reasons.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Nov 24 2018 5:54 utc | 142

@112 mauisurfer.. thanks..

@125 S... totally agree with you their...

@132 pft... kinda how i see it too.. thanks..

@138 william bowles... thanks for offering an answer to the madness..

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2018 6:01 utc | 143


No idea where the price of oil will go. Its price is completely manipulated and nothing to do with supply-demand although the supply is also manipulated.

Money is made by the manipulators on the upswing and downswing (shorting futures) so its really about geopolitics in my opinion. The US of course is now the largest producer of oil so high prices benefit their economy overall unlike before when much of the oil was imported. Of course, higher oil prices lead to inflation , which would burst the equity and housing bubbles faster than some would like.

The fall in price could also be a squeeze play to out those betting on 100-150 dollar a barrel in a big way. Sometimes big fish like to feed on other big fish. Leads to bigger fish with less competition.

The backing off on Iran sanctions suggests a desire to lower prices. Perhaps to hurt Russia, Venezuela and Iran (let them ship some but at lower prices). Prices started dropping in October do you know there was insider trading by those knowing of the plan to exempt Irans best customers

Meanwhile the war on Yemen for their oil continues. Most dont know it but Saudi Arabia may or may not be running dry but there may be more oil in Northern Yemen than anywhere else in the world. Perhaps as much as 30% of global reserves. Thats being kept quiet. Saudis will be happy to accept lower prices with that payoff. Then they might do the Saudi Aramco IPO that Trump wants. Once the shares are sold Yemens reserves under their control get announced and vazoom....

Interesting that prices started following as the Houston based InterContinental Exchange (ICE) for Permian WTI came on line. Might be a coincidence though

Anyways, the markets are no longer based on fundamentals, and much data is hidden, so impossible to predict.

Posted by: Pft | Nov 24 2018 6:29 utc | 144

Posted by: V | Nov 23, 2018 10:25:52 PM | 141

"Russ seems to think it's a matter of commitment on the part of the candidate. When in fact, the corporate war machine controls everything."

Um, you're the one fetishizing a cherry-picked politician as somehow magically different from the rest, for some personal reason, certainly no coherent political one.

I'm the one saying they're all indelibly and irretrievably part of the corporate war machine and committed to it, and that therefore your kind of celebrity worship is infantile and anti-historical.

Try to keep up.

Posted by: Russ | Nov 24 2018 7:02 utc | 145

Russ | Nov 24, 2018 2:02:11 AM | 150

Love how you've characterized my comment with words and adjectives I never said or implied.
Why would I try to keep up with a fixed entity; your mind(?) is made up!
Mauisurfer has done a bang-up job of stating facts; not conjecture and propaganda, which is your chosen means of putting forth (mis) information.
Strawmen don't last...poof...
And, I'm done with this idiocy.

Posted by: V | Nov 24 2018 7:55 utc | 146

Posted by: V | Nov 24, 2018 2:55:36 AM | 151

"Love how you've characterized my comment with words and adjectives I never said or implied."

There's the pot calling the kettle black. This:

"Russ seems to think it's a matter of commitment on the part of the candidate. When in fact, the corporate war machine controls everything."

is not just a mischaracterization but a total inversion, as anyone who has read my comments can easily see.

Meanwhile I don't see how I mischaracterized you. I stated the objective fact that you who claim to oppose the "corporate war machine" have nevertheless cherry-picked one corporate warrior to embrace as some kind of mystical exception. Standard behavior among "progressives", and their preferred way of justifying their fidelity to a Party whose every principle and action they claim to oppose. (Of course in reality they don't really oppose Democrat actions at all, they only want to pretend they do. That kind of falsity and hypocrisy is the core of the liberal character. No "progressive" was fooled or betrayed by Obama. They got exactly what they really wanted, nothing more or less.)

Posted by: Russ | Nov 24 2018 8:39 utc | 147

Dramatic drop in the oil price.
My assumption is that price increased because markets freaked out before the sanctions on Iran entered in force and when they noticed that it does not change the equilibrium of the market, price dropped. Would make sense if they had dropped to 70 but the current trend suggests that Saoud Arabia follows Trump's requests which would not be surprising since Khashoggi's case. Any information on the matter?

Posted by: Patrice | Nov 24 2018 12:24 utc | 148

I posted this in last Sunday's open thread

OPEC has lost what control of the oil market it ever had. The actions (or tweets) of three men — Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman — will determine the course of oil prices in 2019 and beyond. But of course they each want different things. While OPEC struggles to find common purpose, the U.S., Russia and Saudi Arabia dominate global supply. Together they produce more oil than the 15 members of OPEC. All three are pumping at record rates and each could raise output again next year, although they may not all choose to do so.

It was Saudi Arabia and Russia that led the push in June for the OPEC+ group to relax output restraints that had been in place since the start of 2017. Both subsequently jacked up production to record, or near record, levels. U.S. output soared unexpectedly at the same time, as companies pumping from the Permian Basin in Texas overcame pipeline bottlenecks to move their oil to the Gulf coast.

These increases, alongside smaller downward revisions to demand growth forecasts and President Trump’s decision to grant sanctions waivers to buyers of Iranian oil, have flipped market sentiment from fears of a supply shortage to concerns about a glut in the space of three months. Oil stockpiles in the developed nations of the OECD, which had been falling since early 2017, are rising again and are likely to exceed their five-year average level when October data are finalized, according to the International Energy Agency

Source: Bloomberg

Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 24 2018 12:44 utc | 149

There was an election in the Oz State of Victoria today.
Dopey, deaf and secrecy-obsessed ScoMo has scared the crap out of Victorian voters.
Three hours after polling booths closed the projected result was...

Lib/Nat (ScoMo's idologues) - 20 seats.
Labor (not much better) - 59 seats.
Green - 1 seat.
Other - 1 seat.
Yet to be decided - 7 seats.

It's going to be fun, in an awkward kind of way, listening to ScoMo's Tr-r-aditional non-explanation of why it's not his fault.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 24 2018 12:45 utc | 150

@149 pft

That's a good post about speculation and oil price

The barrel cost right now is around $60 bucks. Gas here in the PAC NW is hovering around $3.00/gallon. When a barrel of oil was at it's record in 2008 at $150/barrel, gas prices in the PAC NW peaked at around $4.00 barrel. You do the math and tell me price of gas is in any way currently directly correlated to barrel cost.

It isn't. I am reminded of people who claim things like real socialism has never been truly attempted, when speaking of it's track record. If that is the case, can we also say that it would be nice, too, if a freemarket capitalism actually was attempted and not Uncy Sambo saying to shut up, peon, and go back to sleep.

Just like the rest of the American economy, the fundamentals are so skewed that it is pretty much an undead Frankenstein's monster. The perfect modeling clay for hyper-centralized business partners in the know.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 24 2018 13:39 utc | 151


I get that. I'm not that naive, but how do you explain THIS???

Two days before she led a rally on May 7 for Bernie Sanders in California, Gabbard received the Champion of Freedom award at a gala in New York City, which was co-hosted and sponsored by Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam.

The moment I learned about this I lost all trust in her. How could she appear at anything hosted by that rabid Zionist? She's done. Besides she'll never come close to the nomination. Dems will never forgive her meeting with Assad and others on the left of center will never forgive this association with Adelson. It's a moot discussion.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 24 2018 13:40 utc | 152


She could have excused herself from attending with a scheduling conflict or if she were honest, she could have told the hosts that attending would represent a serious political and moral conflict that would end her political ambitions, but nooooo, she had to go get her ego stroked by the biggest Zionist funder of Palestinian misery!!!

Posted by: Circe | Nov 24 2018 13:53 utc | 153

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 23, 2018 7:09:01 PM | 135

The same poll linked in the Asia Times appears in the Korea Times. Yes, it's just one poll, and it could be wrong, but Moon's approval rating has been plummeting -- and it's not because of his peaceful stance towards North Korea, but because of the economy. A president always fights in two fronts: domestic and international. To be successful, he/she must win in both fronts, not just one. So yes, his still above 50% approval only exists because his success in the international front.

The other links I provide aim to show that South Korea is a Japan-type capitalist economy, which depends on concomitant high automation and superexploitation of labor. This is different, for example, to the German model, which depends on spending cuts, or the American model, which depends on consumerism/debt. In South Korea's case, Moon couldn't follow the welfare state model he wanted becase that's not how his country was structured from the end of the 70s. He tried, and unemployment spiked up.

Truth be told, South Korea was already heading towards stagnation before Moon took office: non-regular workers were already 30% of the total workforce -- a clear indicator of exaustion of the Japanese model, that is, low population growth with higher unemployment and lower wages (a blow to the alt-righters, whose doctrine states non-existent migration and stagnant population leads to higher wages and lower unemployment); they forget to calculate automation.

Posted by: vk | Nov 24 2018 15:01 utc | 154

Good news:

Taiwan’s president quits as party leader after major polls setback

One more Taiwanese scalp to the CCP's collection.

Posted by: vk | Nov 24 2018 15:07 utc | 155

Lovely thread, so many opinions and stances.
Re miss or Mrs Gabbard, however you put it she is part of the Democratic Party and as such part of the establishment. Just think Nancy Pelosi and chuck Schumer. Really lovely people, peaceloving and all that, almost not bought by corporate interests.
The progressive Democratic party, yes ?
The US has retarded into a joke, headed by catoonish figures, that the single digit US plebs can understand, no need to complicate matters ehh!
Well lets not interfere, when you enemy is on a course for destruction, politely smile and offer meaningless pleasantries.
The American collapse will happen, how bad it will be is anybody's guess.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Nov 24 2018 15:34 utc | 156

@158 den lille abe... indeed!

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2018 17:22 utc | 157

Europe is the hardest hit by Trump's Iran sanctions. That's deliberate two birds with one stone Trump strategy to undermine the EU economy and cripple Iran's. The sanctions which are basically based on financial tyranny and are an act of war target banks, companies, shipping and ship building, oil & gas industry, scientific, airlines, military, and hundreds of individuals. Basically every sector in Iran.

Italy got a waiver to continue importing crude from Iran but waivers come with a catch: payment must go into escrow account. By far, the stupidest country has to be France that cut a giant energy deal it made with Iran.

Here's some karma for Macron who's all hot air and lip service but in fact is Trump's French poodle.

The EU could reinstate the Iran deal and oppose the sanctions collectively alleging tyranny and provocation of mass instability, but what we have are a bunch of scared EU lap dogs. So Macron deserves what he's getting in the streets and all Europeans should follow the French people's example.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 24 2018 17:55 utc | 158

@ Jen 141 11:13

“. . .just as mainstream Islam has difficulty getting rid of Wahhabism, Salafism and other extremist groups that follow the religion like bad smells . . .”

This is an example of taqiyya – Islamic deception. Wahabbism and Salafism are “mainstream Islam.”

As has been said elsewhere – “no one today is killing, or being killed, for Caesar, or for Napoleon, or for Hitler, but many persons every day are killing or being killed for Muhammed.” As it has been for 1400 years.

Take a look here –

Posted by: AntiSpin | Nov 25 2018 0:21 utc | 159

I just read the posting link below from Xinhuanet and wanted to share. Coming up on the G20, I look at incidents like the one reported below as tinder for folks wanting to start fires

Rebels use "poisonous gas" in attack in Syria's Aleppo, wounding 44: state media

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 25 2018 1:37 utc | 160


As for correlation between ppb and gasoline prices there is one of course. However, oil prices are only a fraction of gasolines cost. What the percentage is I dont know but if one assumes labor, executive costs, transportation , refining and storage costs are relatively fixed I would say oil probably makes up only 1/3 of the incremental cost. So if gas is selling at 3 dollars and prices double, that brings you to 4 dollars. 4 dollars a gallon 10 years ago when oil was 150 per barrel is over 5 dollars in todays dollars

Also, most oil is not bought on the spot market. The bigger oil companies operate on long term contracts with a formula that adjusts for the spot price , but the adjusted price will always be lower than the spot price and volality is dampened. Consider it a quantity discount as they are commiting to much larger quantities over a multi year period compared to contracts purchased on the spot market. These large oil companies also have some leverage over many of the producing countries who lack the hardware to extract, refine and transport their own oil to market and need the support and services of the large companies who are remnants of the seven sisters. These big oil companies are interlocked with big finance and are big players on the futures market that manipulate the spot market prices. Its pretty complex but it does make the price at the pump somewhat elastic so they may take into account their role in the big geopolitical chessboard which benefit them so greatly .Lots of variables.

Posted by: Pft | Nov 25 2018 1:56 utc | 161

I'm late to this thread, apologies. A friend and good neighbor brought me a Thanksgiving meal which has lasted and will last all the way through Sunday. I love Thanksgiving; it's my favorite American holiday because it doesn't talk about war or politics or commercial stuff. It's just about family. And I'm old enough now to have some very precious Thanksgiving memories.

I'm an immigrant and, like debsisdead, a kiwi to the bone. Plus, to my joy, I'm a mixture, pakeha and maori. Lots of kiwis are. So yes, we don't have Thanksgiving down under, and to me that's a loss. I hate Black Friday - NZ like Australia has taken that slur upon it as well, tainted as those countries have become by the commercialism that infects most holidays now. That spoils and degrades them all. So, no, b, this isn't really a holiday to denigrate; that's what the oligarchy does foisting such a term as 'Black Friday' on us immediately after to degrade the celebration. Sure, hokey Norman Rockwell, sure. But family IS family.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 25 2018 2:51 utc | 162

Hello everybody. The Carlsen Caruana World Chess Championship match has absorbed my free time lately.

Even though all the results, so far, have been draws, all the games have been quite exhilirating affairs.

Posted by: Guerrero | Nov 25 2018 5:53 utc | 163

Escalation in Black Sea by Ukraine?

Based on events in Black Sea + bellicose statements by UK military brass & 'Defence' mandarins over last 48 hrs, I'd say its likely UK, Ukraine are baiting #Russia into an int'l incident in order to force escalate/draw-in USA into new faux crisis. Hawks are desperate now.

Posted by: Zanon | Nov 25 2018 13:29 utc | 164

@ 166

More and more provocateurs all over, each trying to ignite a Sarajevo spark. Odds are sooner or later one of them will succeed.

Posted by: Russ | Nov 25 2018 13:44 utc | 165

Yes it doesnt take much. Military provocations, and a media and think tanks, "ngo's", militaries that control the narrative at social media.

Posted by: Zanon | Nov 25 2018 13:50 utc | 166

@ pft 163

Nice overview of barrel-to-pump pricing. I will have to read it again.

According to this site, barrel price makes up a whopping 71% of gas prices. That's why during the peak, gas prices went up dramatically at a fast clip, which leads me to believe that producers have "on-the-fly" formulas to determine pump-price that reflect spot-price more than you think, or, in any case, they used to have these methods. With production hitting peaks in the US, I imagine the Big Sisters and Big Gov't are rigging prices to prop up domestic industry as you allude to.

Meanwhile, our Prez is thanking KSA for production increase to stave off criticism of MBS, but it is having exactly zero-effect on pump price. It's all fucking theater, now.

Scary times.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 25 2018 16:16 utc | 167

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