Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 10, 2019

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2019-09

It was a quiet week as your host had the sh**s and was generally unwell. The full service will resume next week.

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama:

Steffan Watkins found that the weapons mentioned in the above post came within a larger CIA operation.

Steffan Watkins @steffanwatkins - 4:54 utc - 10 Feb 2019
U.S. registered Boeing 767 Cargo plane N881YV (ICAO:AC23C6), operated by 21 Air, LLC, wet-leased to GPS-Air, flew every single day from 2019-01-11 to 2019-02-07 from Florida to VZ or CO, sometimes both; then stopped.
On the 7th. Why might that be?
Funny story; do you know when the Venezuelans published the name of the suspect flight and laid out the spread of guns allegedly from the plane? February 5th. Flights stopped when the public were told about them happening February 7th.

Others found that several people involved in the above flights were also involved in 'extraordinary rendition' torture flights for the CIA. They, of course, deny this but the evidence is clear: Miami Herald: Air charter firm, client both deny role in alleged shipment of arms to Venezuela

When I wrote the above I was not aware of this Greg Palast piece on the same issue: In Venezuela, White Supremacy Is a Key Driver of the Coup

More on Venezuela:

RT has an interview with Rafael Ramírez who ran the Venezuelan oil industry under Hugo Chavez. He fell out with Maduro and very much dislikes his policies. He is also against the U.S. led coup attempt. I sthere a chance for a 'third way'?
Hasta la (Cha)vista? Rafael Ramirez, ex-permanent representative of Venezuela to the UN

Fox News claims that "Venezuela stockpiles 5,000 long-range Russian missiles" that threaten the United States. Those 5,000 missiles are Man Portable Air Defense Missiles (MANPADs) with a maximum range of some 6,000 meters(!).

Adam Johnson list other propaganda points:
Western Media Fall in Lockstep for Cheap Trump/Rubio Venezuela Aid PR Stunt

The Democratic Party leadership is fully on board with the Trump administration's regime change plans and repeats all its talking points. It suddenly forgot #Russiagate and that Trump only does what Putin wants him to do.

It is hard to think of anything more condemning than this:

John Bolton @AmbJohnBolton - 1:43 utc - 10 Feb 2019
Appreciate @SpeakerPelosi‘s strong statement of support. The U.S. stands united in its support of Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaidó, and of the peaceful, constitutional transition to democracy in Venezuela.
Pelosi Statement on the Situation in Venezuela

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on February 10, 2019 at 15:12 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

We often neglect how valuable oil is, 7 years old article.

"With oil, even hillbillies can live a comfy life and slather a veneer of culture onto their persons. That’s us. With oil, even a bad government can appear decent, because living standards are up, and the masses can buy toys. A barrel of black gold equals 3.8 years of human labor, and since each American consumes a world-highest 24 barrels a year, that’s 91 slaves for each man, woman and child. With oil, even debt and wage slaves can have their own slaves."

Posted by: ex-SA | Feb 11 2019 16:43 utc | 101

If that's true why has the extractivist system moved to such economically inefficient modes as fracking and oil sands refinement, among others?

Posted by: Russ | Feb 11, 2019 10:55:05 AM | 99

Well, according to a political analyst at a political gathering I watched yesterday,the US got into the fracking ruinous business so as to throw the prices to the soil by pumping without rest, no matter the costs, with the aim of strangle Venezuela in preparations of this coup in the making, while at the same time prejudicing Russia. Of course they had in mind recovering the costs elevated to the third potence by looting PDVSA and Venezulean gold.

Fort Apache: Golpe por Petróleo en Venezuela...

Posted by: Sasha | Feb 11 2019 16:59 utc | 102

ex-SA 100

That's interesting, and telling. The mentality of wanting slaves, and believing it's impossible to live well without slaves.

The part I still don't get is why the rich are never satisfied with how much money and power they have, but only ever use it to amass yet more money and power, and so on and so on and so on...

And the whole civilization of the one-off fossil fuel binge has that exact mentality to the core, including the great majority which never really benefits, and now slowly but surely is being liquidated, austeritized.

Getting back to the rich and their flunkeys, why are none of them ever satisfied?

One of my core axioms: All this worthless expensive eco-destructive junk makes no one happy, makes no one feel safe, on the contrary increases unhappiness and fear. And that's just the rich, let alone the vast mass of atoms who grind and run the rat-race, who spend their lives in a shocking electrified maze, and their anger-filled politics shows it.

Don't tell me anything's comfy. Western imperialists (i.e. 99% of the people of the West) don't look like they feel comfy.

Don't tell me lifespan is increased. #1, it reached its peak and now is declining in the US, not because it physically has to but because of a broad social consensus against health. #2, what's the good of a longer life if one's miserable and a de facto slave?

One of the worst lies of all has been the idiot notion, still widely believed to this day, that technology in a commodity-based system can be "labor-saving" and can increase leisure time, happiness, and freedom. Over a hundred years of evidence has proven the opposite, that it really means joblessness in a job-based society, deliberate economic statelessness, total fear even for the temporary job-holders, and the sure increase of pain, fear, insecurity, ecological destruction, social cancer, physical cancer, physical death.

That's the death religion of this necropolitan civilization.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 11 2019 17:05 utc | 103

Alastair Crooke provides a profound article: "Suddenly Europe Is an Open Question – ‘A Nazi EU?’"

"An establishment pillar of the European ‘order’ – the Frankfurter Allgemeiner newspaper – explicitly touches the ‘live rail’, which is to say, it ran an op-ed last month titled ‘A Nazi EU?’, speculating on whether or not the present EU, dominated by Germany, should be understood as a lineal extension of German National Socialism. This has not before been an issue at all touched upon in mainstream German discourse. That it appears at all signals something important: a recognition that the dissidence being experienced by the EU has its roots in something other than just populist grievance tantrums. It is the resurfacing of an ancient struggle for the ‘soul’ of the international political order."

Considering the evidence presented and the great mass of additional evidence that isn't, there's much to sustain the accusation. Clearly, the EU structure is ideal for it to be controlled by the Outlaw US Empire, and the EU's actions confirm that beyond doubt. IMO, the EU must be broken for Europeans to regain their freedom and ability to control their governments such that their interests are advanced, not those of International Finance. Herman Hesse wrote and published Journey to the East in 1932 just as the shit began hitting the fan, which in his own literary manner detailed why everything was about to go to hell--again. And while Europe doesn't seem to be headed toward a repeat of the two 20th Century catastrophes, it has yet to truly break free from their consequences to become masters of their own destinies--to become truly free and independent nations prior to enrolling into freedom inhibiting organizations like NATO and the EU.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 11 2019 17:12 utc | 104

Russ @102--

Good day! I provided this essay to psychohistorian a few days ago: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren written by John Maynard Keynes in 1930. It won't directly answer the questions you ask; rather, I think it helps one ask better questions.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 11 2019 17:23 utc | 105

@102 Russ - "The part I still don't get is why the rich are never satisfied with how much money and power they have"

It's a human thing, not just a rich-person thing. It's actually true of all sentient beings that desire is unrelated to acquisition but arises and exists as an impulse in its own right. The poor have only fantasy to play with in this respect, but the rich have a world of opportunity spread before them. It's a very easy thing to become obsessed with anything that you have some engagement with.

I may be wrong, and I can't find it now, but I have long believed it was G.K. Chesterton who said this lovely thing: "To think, as we do think, that we could have money without becoming like the rich, is to think we could drink and stay sober."


The Buddhist teachings on how the mind works make this very clear. And even earlier this was known, as Krishna told Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita: "Lust can never be satisfied."

As an aside, if human nature is of compelling interest to you, then you should study Buddhist teachings. They are offered from the direct perception of how the mind works, and are infallibly true. Furthermore, every pronouncement and claim is possible for us to test ourselves, and indeed we are instructed to do so in order to accept any of them.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 11 2019 17:39 utc | 106

@100 ex-SA

Thanks for that article. I love Linh Dinh's writing. Sometimes I'll go to Unz Review and get sidetracked by some of his pieces. I can't resist. And this article I had never seen, it's a great, short essay. He sees us, we humans in our societies, so incisively, and he seems unafraid to speak out about what he sees.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 11 2019 17:41 utc | 107

Grieved @ 65 wrote: I don't think I've ever seen one definitive source that can say what percentage of the oil price at any one time is a reflection of supply/demand, and what percentage is a result of manipulation.…

Yes. No answers can be found, imho.

Oil price .. -> all FF in various forms incl., nat gas, coal, etc. somewhat march together in price. (-> other discussion), all include unavoidable ‘extra’ industry costs and raked in profits / manipulations, etc. such as

State / with Corporate / other support for a needed commodity -> Subisidies (huge in the US btw, there is no ‘free market’ at all, that is a myth) -> Protection from sabotage, theft -> securing transport routes and those who carry out the moving, ex. oil tankers. Refineries and other industrial processes -> transport again -> delivery, coordination with end-users such as trucks in the USA, etc.

We have created a system that rules us but that we can’t unpack or understand, and then, in fine, manipulate or control. It is very fragile, and only the ‘profit’ motive keeps it going in a jerky clownesque way. Once the slim margins of ‘profit’ (some proudly screwing over others, yay !..) vanishes, the whole circuit will collapse.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 11 2019 17:58 utc | 108

@103 karlof1 - "And while Europe doesn't seem to be headed toward a repeat of the two 20th Century catastrophes"

Yes, there is a difference now isn't there? Europe could easily go back to conditions of war between its member countries, just as it has done forever, but now something looms over it like a vast shadow, and it is Asia, the voice of the larger world, the world of sanity.


ps..still reading the article, and thanks.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 11 2019 18:08 utc | 109

Just fired up a new FB page to help get the truth out there:
Will be building this over time.
Feel free to visit and give it a Like.

Posted by: bc | Feb 11 2019 18:24 utc | 110

I thank mourning dove for the Whitney Webb article posted at #21, and Robert Snefjella for drawing attention to it. Very comprehensive analysis of the current comparison between Columbia and Venezuela. This struck me from the article:

"... since 2011, Colombia has been the site of ongoing genocide against the country’s largest indigenous group – the Wayuú – in the country’s Guajira region, after the Colombian government diverted their only source of water to support the operations of the country’s – and continent’s – largest coal mine.

The suffering of the Wayuú, who have reported the deaths of at least 14,000 children due to the lack of clean water, has gone unreported by the same outlets that routinely raise concern about lack of essential goods in Venezuela..."

And in terms of migration, the article goes on to report that there are Wayuu refugees in Venezuela supportive of Maduro, but naturally not even considered in the latest attempted coup.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 11 2019 18:35 utc | 111

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 11, 2019 12:39:08 PM | 105

"It's actually true of all sentient beings that desire is unrelated to acquisition but arises and exists as an impulse in its own right."

The entire natural world disproves that. All sentient beings - plants, non-human animals, humans - don't naturally act that way. The evidence is that only "civilized" hominids are afflicted with this disease. That may bring up the chicken-and-egg question - did certain hominids encourage agriculture because they saw a way to concentrate power insatiably, or was this concentration an "accident" at the outset but which gave its beneficiaries the disease. Either way those who feel wealth and power (in well-indoctrinated systems, even those who never taste anything but the sole of its boot) almost always become such squatter-vandal vermin.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 11 2019 18:49 utc | 112

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 11, 2019 12:12:08 PM | 103

I think the EU always was essentially a Carolingian revival project, with the eventual long shot of expanding to the UK and almost becoming a Roman Empire 2.0 (minus North Africa and the Levant). I state this because the EU has never even contemplated the thought of including Russia (for an obvious reason: NATO). Was the EU really a "eternal peace for Europe", it would operate to include Russia, create an European Army and ditch NATO. That would be a true European superpower, more powerful than even the USA.

My suspicion became true when, facing Brexit, France and Germany renewed their friendship in Aachen (Can the Aachen Treaty revive Europe?<>). Even the Chinese noted the symbolism of the city, since Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle)was the seat of Carolingian/German emperors for 600 years.

The Romans didn't see themselves as Westerners. After becoming an empire, they've always seen themselves as a world empire, Rome being the world's capital (CAPITA MVNDI). When Aurelian returned the Roman Empire to its former borders (minus Dacia), he received the title "RESTITVTOR ORBIS" (restorer of the world). If the modern population estimates are precise (and I don't think they are), then Rome (the whole empire) had, at its apex, 1/4 of the world's population -- proportionately, more than contemporary China and India combined. It was truly (if the numbers are more or less precise) a world empire.

The concept of Europe was only born, very slowly, after Charles the Hammer ("Martel") victory against the Caliphate at the Battle of Tours (732), and definitely after the fall of the Carolingian Empire (which drew the raw frontiers of Western Europe we know today).


@ Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 11, 2019 12:23:49 PM | 104

Yeah, I've read this article. It's hilarious. Shows how dellusional the ideologues of capitalism were even back then.

Posted by: vk | Feb 11 2019 18:53 utc | 113

"Asia Rules" is the theme of Pepe Escobar's latest; although when you've finished, you're likely to remember the title as "Eurasia Rules." Educational and informative as usual, the book he hypes at the beginning seems like it's worth the read, although the French work cited later begs to be translated for the bigger audience. Interesting just how recent the concepts of East and West were developed, just as the reminder of Said's observation still carries great import.

I wonder if humans will ever advance to the point where the arrogance of specialness finally loses its hold on certain psyches. Perhaps if humanity can survive the exploits of those captured by that trait that will eventually occur.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 11 2019 18:56 utc | 114

I will just add to Grieved's excellent explanation of oil price factors at #69 that the importance of these manipulations and fluctuations is exacerbated currently by the increased problems of global climate change, which is now beginning to bite hard for countries that are vulnerable to the extremes. We haven't paid a lot of attention on this forum to this aspect of global affairs, but it is going to become more and more important, so I suggest we do. And not by saying that alternative energy factors other than fossil fuels are not viable, because they are. See the latest article at on insurance factors, which references this.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 11 2019 18:58 utc | 115

Russ @99

Because not every country has oil.

And the abundance of oil is not the same as that which is made available to the market.

And the existing extraction/production facilities (i.e. the investment) are a limit to what can be produced; the availability of oil isn't and has never been a limiting factor.

And, in a capitalist economy much more money/profit is made from shortages than abundance.

The reason why the US dived into fracking is that they didn't want to be dependent on other countries. The reason why the US want to takeover Venezuela is for the same reason.

It is estimated that Venezuela has 362 years of oil. Libya has 131 years of oil. Iran has 109 years of oil.

I suspect that both Saudi Arabia (69 years) and Russia (20 years) have much more years of oil than estimated.

US is on target to blow its oil reserves in 10 years. So you can see why the US want to takeover other countries oil.

In the long term the oil will run out, but that doesn't mean that there is currently a real global shortage. Production facilities, pollution, market manipulation, cartel behaviour and climate change implications all affect what amount of oil is available; the actual amount of oil does not provide a restriction.

If you want an example less loaded than oil then look into and consider the diamond market, and then ask yourself is the oil market any different.

Posted by: ADKC | Feb 11 2019 18:58 utc | 116

Sorry, that was Grieved@65 for the explanation of market factors with respect to oil.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 11 2019 19:00 utc | 117

ex-SA @102

But the actual oil itself is really worthless. Nigeria has hundred's of oil spills and it is more economic to allow the spills than to repair them. Only political, pollution and environment pressures cause corporations/government to stop and clean up oil leaks.

The human investment that you refer to is related to the infrastructure required to extract and produce oil; the oil itself is abundant and for all intents and purposes worthless. The market manipulations is what gives the barrel of oil an "inflated" value.

Posted by: ADKC | Feb 11 2019 19:12 utc | 118

AKDC 117

"And the existing extraction/production facilities (i.e. the investment) are a limit to what can be produced; the availability of oil isn't and has never been a limiting factor."

That's what I focused on. The EROI gets worse and worse. And even today there are political limits - New York state has a fracking moratorium because the destruction zone would coincide with the McMansion zone. Suddenly people discover environmental justice.

Not that I'd bet money on these gilded types not submitting in the end, as ironic as that would be.

But imagine if enough people had enough Darwinian adaptivity to sense that fossil fuels are toxic waste which has to be kept underground lest one's people be enslaved and mass murdered, and were willing to fight for this since flight isn't possible.

I suppose I'm a utopian, but I have hopes to see the beginning of such an evolutionary adaptation within my lifetime.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 11 2019 19:14 utc | 119

Jen | 42

Hi Jen,
well... what can I say? Maybe just that he's had a weird "career". Other than that, I don't know what to believe. What's certainly hard to believe is that this guy should still be out and about, or that the forces alledgedly trying to hunt him down wouldn't be able to track him at least roughly. The fact that he's not a topic in the MSM is odd, too.

You think he was a cutout or figurehead from the get-go?

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Feb 11 2019 19:27 utc | 120

Ugh! Zionists are already trying to get rid of Rep. Omar Ilhan for speaking the truth in Washington.

Peter Beinart, liberal (on all things but Israel) go suck on a lemon--Apartheid ENABLER! I just viewed his criticism of Ilhan. Shilling for Zionism and Apartheid using the AScard. Low, low blow as usual.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 11 2019 19:27 utc | 121

ADKC @117--

While The Oil Drum was up and running (its archives remain searchable), the topic being discussed was deeply delved into by its global experts. The ultimate answer as to how much oil remains to be extracted is based on EROI--Energy Returned on Energy Invested: A positive balance must be the outcome for oil extraction (or any other extractive resource)--no more energy will be imputed into oil's extraction than that which the extracted oil provides. However, it was admitted that this maxim might be ignored for reasons related to national security. Note that the equation has nothing to do with oil price or the monetary cost of extraction, refining, and distribution of product. The result is that oil will most certainly be left in the ground as it's too expensive in terms of energy to extract. One of the ongoing arguments about the economics of Canada's tar sands relates directly to this equation as when all inputs are considered the outcome is barely positive--and that was a dozen years ago when input costs were lower than today's. It's quite likely that without subsidies, Canada's tar sands EROI would be negative today.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 11 2019 19:29 utc | 122

Russ, you countered Grieved's observation thusly:

posted by: Grieved | Feb 11, 2019 12:39:08 PM | 105

"It's actually true of all sentient beings that desire is unrelated to acquisition but arises and exists as an impulse in its own right."

The entire natural world disproves that. All sentient beings - plants, non-human animals, humans - don't naturally act that way. The evidence is that only "civilized" hominids are afflicted with this disease.

I will say, on behalf of the original quote, that what Grieved is describing does pertain, in the obvious truth that all sentient beings want to, try to, do their best to, keep living. That is the basic desire we all possess, which can indeed become corrupted into a desire for other things.

And this brings me to an observation about some other posts on the subject of Dostoievski's Grand Inquisitor. One might say that the Inquisitor is playing on that basic desire all sentient beings possess, at its lowest, most basic level. He says, in imitation of Satan's temptation of Christ, give them bread and they will be satisfied. That is power.

But recent history has shown that human beings have the capacity to rise above that basic desire. I think of the Russian people, who underwent suffering of great proportions during WW2, and more recently had to undergo the sanctions on their country that took away a comfortable lifestyle in order to themselves be free of oppression by the West. And in Syria, sacrifices have been made that I can't even imagine.

The book isn't called "The Grand Inquisitor".

It is called "The Brothers Karamazov".

Posted by: juliania | Feb 11 2019 19:31 utc | 123

@ADKC | Feb 11, 2019 2:12:47 PM

But the actual oil itself is really worthless...

If there was not oil World as it is today would stop, it is main resource which powers at least 60-70% of everything around us! Have you ever manually dag a hole in the ground, or ploughed the field, or walked 25km to the market, hospital, ...?

3.8 years of human labor in the West is worth ~$100k, and artificiality depressed prices of oil and other resources are causing most of the disparities in the World last 100 of years, or so.

Are we talking about same thing, I can not follow what you are trying to tell me?

Posted by: ex-SA | Feb 11 2019 20:17 utc | 124

The 'Carolignian' inspiration of the EU resonates with me.
Alistair Horne-Strategic Culture- points out that it, the First Reich, inspired a certain Hitler too. He adds that Hitler was far from being a nationalist and that his imperial ambitions are similar to those underlying the EU.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 11 2019 20:21 utc | 125

juliania @124--

"... all sentient beings want to, try to, do their best to, keep living."

If a salmon or another anadromous fish (they live to die after doing their part to prolong the species) could answer, I wonder what it would say? Yes, they do their best to keep living, but their destiny is to die so that they can live-on. Are salmon aware of their fate? I don't think fish biologists can answer that yet. The male praying mantis would be another creature to question, and I'm sure there are others that provide a similar spoke in the works. What I find extremely fascinating are creatures who decide to combine forces and commit symbiosis, and can do no more than suggest reading the works of Lynn Margulis on the topic as she remains the expert even after her recent passing: Microcosmos; Symbiotic Planet: A New Look at Evolution; What is Life? and What is Sex? are 4 of her 2+ dozen books to begin with. We wouldn't exist at all without symbiosis or the vast microbial support system. And what of prions? And indeed, what confers sentience? Do prions qualify? What about an amoeba?

None of the above is meant as critique. Rather, it's more of a reflection that religion needs to catch up with science. and that large segments of humanity need to become civil if they want to be accepted by other humans instead of intolerably tolerated.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 11 2019 20:41 utc | 126

103rd anniversary of Emma Goldman's arrest provided Working Class History the opportunity to provide a link to her online autobiography. If she were alive today, I wonder what she'd say about AIPAC.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 11 2019 21:12 utc | 127

re: Brexit,

I surmise that one of the reasons for Brexit lies in the prospect
of recolonisation of certain African countries and other weak
independent nations around the World.

Once freed of the limitations imposed by their belonging to the EU,
they will feel free to employ their relative might to subdue some lesser fries
and reopen a new page of 21 century colonialism.

As one of the lap dogs of the US they are certainly entitled to part of the
riches to be plundered anew.

For why should the English become "hard and forceful?" if not in view of
such military adventure?

Posted by: CarlD | Feb 11 2019 21:15 utc | 128

Dear b,

thanks for your efforts in keeping us well informed.

Get well soon.

I would suggest that you take 30ml of a solution of magnesium chloride
morning and night .

30 grams per liter of water. I have been taking it for four years now and
am free of any joint or bone ache. I am 75 but look like 60 at most.

One amazing side effect is that cialis does not cause any bone pains
like I experienced before Magnesium chloride.

Posted by: CarlD | Feb 11 2019 21:20 utc | 129

karlof1 127

"If a salmon or another anadromous fish (they live to die after doing their part to prolong the species) could answer, I wonder what it would say?"

I suppose they would object to dams, and would be especially offended by the vileness of fake "environmentalists" who tout "renewable" hydropower for the sake of their pleasure cars and sex dolls and missile systems.

"I don't think fish biologists can answer that yet."

The ones that want to keep their jobs know what to say. According to Jensen's Endgame, they said Oregon fish don't need water to live.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 11 2019 21:32 utc | 130

juliania 124

"I will say, on behalf of the original quote, that what Grieved is describing does pertain, in the obvious truth that all sentient beings want to, try to, do their best to, keep living."

To keep living isn't usually so hard, especially for people. People living for life, and working for use, were healthier and had more leisure than civilized subhuman grinders. It's when they psychotically drive and grind themselves that they make it artificially hard. That's not part of nature, contrary to the ideologues here who try to claim the opposite.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 11 2019 21:44 utc | 131

karlof1 105

I'm not sure I agree with any of that.

A major industrial economy such as Germany, surrounded either by much smaller economies or by also-ran economies, will inevitably tend to dominate those other countries. It is permissible to see the EU as the mechanism by which it does so. To some extent the EU is a front organisation for that and does in some respects have an inevitable similarity to Festung Europa. But I don't believe that looking for ideological continuity with Nazi times is at all meaningful.

"Given these circumstances, this will likely happen" is all one can say. These circumstances - being the biggest fish in a pond of also-rans - obtained in later Wilhelmine Germany and in later Nazi Germany. They obtain now. The historical parallels are illustrative but imply no continuity other than the continuity of industrial dominance.

It's up to the other countries of Europe, the UK included, to recognise that there is nothing sinister in that industrial dominance. It's just how it is.

From this it follows that it's up to us weaker countries to retain our independence in these circumstances. It's no good expecting the Germans to do it for us. As the Irish, Scots and Welsh found at various times in the case of the UK itself, it's a fact of life that more powerful countries dominate or absorb weaker countries on their periphery unless the weaker countries can take care not to be dominated or absorbed.

We took no such care. That is the truth behind the Brexit debacle. The tactics used by Brussels are open to criticism, strong criticism, but they would have been easily brushed aside had it not been for the ineptitude and indecisiveness of the UK negotiators.

It is the causes of that ineptitude and indecisiveness on the UK side that must be examined if we are to understand that Brexit debacle. It's no good blaming Berlin/Brussels for the threats, or tracing such threats back to earlier times. We must look at why we gave in so often to the threats, and even on occasion invited them, if we are to understand where Brexit went wrong.

Posted by: English Outsider | Feb 11 2019 22:07 utc | 132


Here one senses a warm tone of encouragement and support not always apparent in written text. This is not a criticism by any means, but just a subjective observation. I generally agree with your thinking, especially concerning the presidency of the crazed imperial clown. Sometimes I find your style of expression resembling that of journalist Caitlin Johnstone, who I like and follow.

Your extended hand serves to reinforce the bond between kindred spirits...a bond which should be celebrated. We need to reflect on that more often. It might mitigate the occasional spasms of rancor which can arise from needless ad hominem.

Posted by: metni | Feb 11 2019 22:26 utc | 133

Only 75% of oil is converted to energy or fuels. The rest is used for asphalt and road oil; and feedstocks for making the chemicals, plastics, and synthetic materials that are in nearly everything we use.

A world without oil can not be imagined, unless without humans.

Since Hubberts Peak, every estimation of the worlds oil reserves have been wildly wrong, much lower than the true reserves. We will never know the true amount of reserves because that information, even if known, is controllef by Big Oil and those they control. They obviously prefer we all think its in short supply otherwise we would be paying 30 cents a gallon for gasoline still

As for CO2, plants love it, warmer is better than cold. Climate changes, always has, this is a good change. Our Climate history says another ice age is in our future (distant or recent) . If before that happens we lose some sea front property and relocation inland is needed, so be it. Plenty of land for all. When the great floods came at the end of the last glacial period 12000 years ago and during the halocene optimum 6000 years ago , man had to move inland or be drowned. Wont be the first time.

Meanwhile everyone worried about CO2 from oil while ignoring the fact tens of thousands of satellites needed to support 5G will be launched in coming years introducing much carbon black into the stratosphere with unknown climate effects, not to mention the carbon footprint of installing tens of millions of antennas on streets/land that 5G will need to microwave us all (humans, birds and animals) with unknown but worrying consequences to health.

Posted by: Pft | Feb 11 2019 22:38 utc | 134

English Outsider @133--

Thanks for your reply!

You wrote: "It's up to the other countries of Europe, the UK included, to recognise that there is nothing sinister in that industrial dominance. It's just how it is." [My Emphasis]

The problem isn't with Germany's "industrial dominance;" rather, it's the financial/fiscal/fiduciary aspects of the EU's diktats that're being called out, particularly by Varoufakis and the evidence he and others provide. What Crooke's calling our attention to:

"Yet an article such as this piece from the Frankfurter Allgemeiner newspaper – and its discussion of the purported link between European integration and national socialism – Wolfgang Münchau remarks, represents 'an explosive connection' [suggested reading linked at original] hitherto confined only to fringe discussion in Germany. It underlines that the Euro-élite are beginning to recognize the potential combustibility of this conflict. They can see that real issues – ancient struggles about the very nature of politics, society, culture and how human potential is to be developed – are at issue."

With AfD becoming a prominent political force within Germany and EU policy going against the interests of a majority of Europeans--all combined with Trump's alienation--I expect to read more discussion about EU's efficacy.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 11 2019 23:10 utc | 135

Scott Bingeington @ 121:

Abu Bakr al Baghdadi sure has had a strange career. There were reports in June 2017 that he'd been killed in a Russian air strike in Syria. The Russian Defence Ministry was sure that he'd been hit and official Iranian government news media confirmed his death. By August 2018, the fellow was running about and making speeches again.,_bodily_harm,_and_arrest

Perhaps he is being kept in a cryogenic chamber and is wheeled out every so often (as Osama bin Laden was after his death in Tora Bora in December 2001 or in a Rawalpindi military hospital some years later, whatever) whenever the US needs to keep everyone focused on looking in the wrong direction.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 11 2019 23:12 utc | 136

Pft 135

"A world without oil can not be imagined, unless without humans."

That's funny, I would've sworn humans did just fine for tens of thousands of years without oil. And it looks like things really went bad in proportion to the burning of fossil fuels.

I'm not worried about your carbon hemorrhage. The faster and more decisively self-destructive the better.

Actually I do worry for it, I bleed from my soul for it, but I know you'll push it to your worst, the most you can do. So I think the fastest and most acutely self-destructive is best. That's the only hope for a future humanity in Gaia's next phase, which almost certainly will be affected by modern civilization's death ride as it tries to take down all life with it.

As for you Pft and yours, enjoy your plastic-suffused water and food. We'll see what the effects of that are going to be.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 11 2019 23:17 utc | 137

Scotch Bingeington @121, Jen @137

Baghdadi is also said to have been imprisoned by USA during/after the Sunni uprising. During this time is said to have made connections with Sunni resistance leaders and umm... impressed them.

How fortuitous that, after Obama was prevented from repeating the Libyan regime-change model via bombing Syria (Kerry: "US doesn't do pinpricks"), ISIS grew from virtually nothing and would make Raqqa their capital so that the bulk of their energies would be directed to defeating Assad while USA, Turkey, Israel and others looked on. And it's totally believable that this rag-tag group captured Mosul within months of a campaign during which they grew from dozens to thousands of fighters./sarc LMFAO

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 12 2019 0:56 utc | 138

ex-SA @125

I'm not disputing the use value of oil anymore than I would of water (a far more valuable resource). I am just saying that oil is abundant and the true free-market cost would be much lower than it is, if it wasn't subject to manipulation.

The marginal cost of producing a barrel of oil is very small, which is why I described it as worthless; this was intended as juxtaposition to your claim that a barrel of oil has a value of 3.8 years of human labour. Similar claims could be made about a loaf of bread (that it has a very high use value but actually costs very little to produce).

The achievement of human development is to mass produce very cheaply what previous generations couldn't possibly imagine. The achievement of capitalism is to hijack that process, control supply and set (high) prices; in other words to profit from creating shortages. This is why great poverty exists at the same moment in history that humanity has the resources and productive capacity to end poverty for all.

Posted by: ADKC | Feb 12 2019 2:11 utc | 139

@ pft 73

Thanks for the list, pft. The 400 studies for parents/researchers book looks very interesting.

As for my daughter, it appears that WA state is seeking to remove the philosophical/personal exemption for compulsory vaccines only. So the religious exemption will remain (for now).

It is truly incredible that more people are not up in arms about compulsory vaccination. They don't even register it as a medical ethical question and just blindly believe the medical establishment's "They are safe!" line.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 12 2019 2:49 utc | 140

@karlof1 #123: Negative EROEI won't necessarily stop the extraction of oil. There are different kinds of energy. For example, electricity generated by nuclear plants could be used to power microwave heaters extracting oil from oil shales (not to be confused with shale oil). Why would humanity do that? Because oil is not just a source of energy, it is also an input for chemical industry. As long as it's more energy-efficient to extract oil from the ground than to synthesize it (or its products) from H2O and CO2, the extraction of oil will continue (even with negative EROEI).

Posted by: S | Feb 12 2019 3:01 utc | 141

looks like the dem party is closing ranks and what they think is an anti semite comment or two from Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar

the regrettable part is omar making an apology for stating a fact..

Posted by: james | Feb 12 2019 3:26 utc | 142

@ james with the Ilhan Omar story

Thanks for that. Catlin Johnstone just has a posting up about it as well.

I commented there and will to you/MoA that it is a good example of why my approach of trying to change global finance tools from private to public is better positioned for success than attacking people.

Attacking people is a lost cause and a waste of effort. Do I need to point out that my solution probably addresses the people problem even better? Why do folks not get that? You asked how to get there from here in another thread and I think the best approach is education about the reality/alternative because that understanding is hidden behind brainwashing and faith breathers currently.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 12 2019 3:46 utc | 143

@ pyschohistorian... thanks... i did happen to see your comment in the comment section on the bottom of the article.. i appreciate your position and thoughts, however i think the article is fine to address what it does as well..if everyone didn't feel threatened to talk about the big influence aipac and the israel lobby has, it would be fine to talk about this too..i see the intercept has another article up now - from 5 hours ago, talking about this same topic..

Posted by: james | Feb 12 2019 5:08 utc | 144

As Krishna told Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita: "Lust can never be satisfied."
Posted by: Grieved | Feb 11, 2019 12:39:08 PM | 107

But enough poetry! I am in tears; let me cry. It may be foolishness that every one would laugh at. But you won't laugh. Your eyes are shining, too. Enough poetry. I want to tell you now about the insects to whom God gave “sensual lust.”

To insects—sensual lust.

I am that insect, brother, and it is said of me specially. All we Karamazovs are such insects, and, angel as you are, that insect lives in you, too, and will stir up a tempest in your blood. Tempests, because sensual lust is a tempest—worse than a tempest! Beauty is a terrible and awful thing! It is terrible because it has not been fathomed and never can be fathomed, for God sets us nothing but riddles. Here the boundaries meet and all contradictions exist side by side. I am not a cultivated man, brother, but I've thought a lot about this. It's terrible what mysteries there are! Too many riddles weigh men down on earth. We must solve them as we can, and try to keep a dry skin in the water. Beauty! I can't endure the thought that a man of lofty mind and heart begins with the ideal of the Madonna and ends with the ideal of Sodom. What's still more awful is that a man with the ideal of Sodom in his soul does not renounce the ideal of the Madonna, and his heart may be on fire with that ideal, genuinely on fire, just as in his days of youth and innocence. Yes, man is broad, too broad, indeed. I'd have him narrower. The devil only knows what to make of it! What to the mind is shameful is beauty and nothing else to the heart. Is there beauty in Sodom? Believe me, that for the immense mass of mankind beauty is found in Sodom. Did you know that secret? The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man. But a man always talks of his own ache. Listen, now to come to facts.”

Posted by: Guerrero | Feb 12 2019 5:14 utc | 145

@ karlof1 comment #106 with the link to the 1930 Keynes essay on Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren

Thanks for that and I encourage others to read the piece as well. I thought I had read most of what Keynes had written but missed this essay.

Let me provide a quote from it and then a comment about the last thought expressed
I see us free, therefore, to return to some of the most sure and certain principles of religion and traditional virtue – that avarice is a vice, that the exaction of usury is a misdemeanour, and the love of money is detestable, that those walk most truly in the paths of virtue and sane wisdom who take least thought for the morrow. We shall once more value ends above means and prefer the good to the useful. We shall honour those who can teach us how to pluck the hour and the day virtuously and well, the delightful people who are capable of taking direct enjoyment in things, the lilies of the field who toil not, neither do they spin.

But beware! The time for all this is not yet. For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to every one that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. For only they can lead us out of the tunnel of economic necessity into daylight.

I look forward, therefore, in days not so very remote, to the greatest change which has ever occurred in the material environment of life for human beings in the aggregate. But, of course, it will all happen gradually, not as a catastrophe. Indeed, it has already begun. The course of affairs will simply be that there will be ever larger and larger classes and groups of people from whom problems of economic necessity have been practically removed. The critical difference will be realised when this condition has become so general that the nature of one’s duty to one’s neighbour is changed. For it will remain reasonable to be economically purposive for others after it has ceased to be reasonable for oneself.
Keynes believed, or at least wrote, that humanity "...will remain reasonable be economically purposive for others after it has ceased to be reasonable for oneself." Sounds like socialism to me....maybe even communism.... not self-centered capitalism

What would Keynes say about the politics of today?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 12 2019 6:11 utc | 146

Karlofi @ 136

Thanks. You provide a lot to think about. I'd just like to focus on one small corner of the debate.

When we get the leading English expert on Brexit, Richard North, writing today of our House of Commons "A troop of baboons would be easier to predict" you'll understand that I'm reluctant to pretend I can identify the motives and intentions of the interest groups involved.

And that's our side of the Channel. Lord knows what's happening on the other.

So I cannot dispute Mr Crooke's take, or indeed yours. In fact it's clear you recognise the essential unviability of the EU/EZ as presently constituted. I believe you are also convinced that it is an institution directly opposed to the interests of the peoples of Europe, not merely of the UK.

But I do not believe it is significant that the neocon/neoliberal EU - for that is the way it's gone and clearly will go further if allowed - shares some features with the European dispensation under the Nazis. I believe that picking out those features and giving them prominence over others renders our view of the conflict less accurate.

I get restive when, as very often happens, those against Brexit shout "British Empire" at those of us for. As if we were motivated or inspired by a vision that was well past its sell by date a century and more ago. I notice that one of our MP's, Mr Clarke, was over in Germany recently explaining to anyone who'd listen that Brexit was primarily a result of the "Leavers" clinging to such outmoded stereotypes.

Such rubbish, yet of course it resonates with those looking for a stick to beat the leavers with. I do feel, very strongly indeed, that we should not pick up such sticks ourselves. We should not seize on stereotypes from a past now long distant and shout "Nazi" at the EU enthusiasts.

Posted by: English Outsider | Feb 12 2019 10:47 utc | 147

English Outsider @148--

Thanks much for your reply! I agree tossing the term Nazi around is poor tactics as Neoliberalism is its own brand of totalitarianism as it seeks to use Financial tools as the yoke of control, which is something Hudson pointed out long ago. Like Crooke, what I took as important from his and the articles he cited is the very fact that the subject's being discussed because a serious portion of Germany's electorate backs AfD and other nations have their own version, Italy's having gained power, with Austria and Hungary apparently already lost although still within. IMO, Greece should have bailed and called the "loans" illegitimate just as its judicial system determined.

What's most annoying is that most people everywhere deserve a better political-economic system than currently in place as most of those systems are based on the Zerosum philosophy of Neoliberalism that's meant to bankrupt the masses while promoting the smallish elite. I interpret Corbyn's Movement and those wanting to exit as being akin to the Puritan Levelers that Cromwell doublecrossed and massacred because of their moral argument, which Corbyn hammers on daily. IMO, given May's chronic dishonesty and that of the Tories and Blairites generally, it's likely Brexit's in the best interest for Englanders, Scots, Welsh, and Irish.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 12 2019 16:59 utc | 148

Oops! MoA seems to be having Cloud troubles as my comment to English Outsider didn't go where it ought. Hopefully, it will appear sometime today.

psychohistorian @147--

I imagine Keynes would be shocked by the degree of incivility and degradation of morals well below that which existed prior to WW1. I did find an online version of his Economic Consequences of the Peace in which he predicted the Great Depression and reignition of WW1; the link is within the first sentence on this page.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 12 2019 17:20 utc | 149

40th anniversary of Iranian Revolution brought forth an avalanche of entirely predictable BigLie Media lies about the nature of today's Iran versus the Shah's. But in the linked video:

"The Shah of #Iran's one-time foreign minister & ambassador to Washington, Ardeshir Zahedi, gives props to the Islamic Republic and its achievements over the past 40 years - then calls foreign-funded Iranian opposition 'corrupt' and 'traitors.'"

IMO, that's a massively substantial stamp of approval, and a well deserved kick in the groin to the "corrupt traitors."

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 12 2019 18:27 utc | 150

Cynthia McKinney Exposes Congress Pressure to Support Israel

Former US lawmaker Cynthia McKinney says every candidate for Congress has to sign the AIPAC pledge to vote for supporting the military superiority of Israel.

Cynthia McKinney is the bravest woman in politics. When she was in congress she introduced a bill (HR 1106) to have then President Bush impeached for the Iraq has WMD lies.

She also exposed the Dyncorp sex slave trade and confronted Rumsfeld over the Pentagon’s missing billions.

Posted by: Ariana | Feb 12 2019 19:16 utc | 151

F@cking CNN fired Marc Lamont Hill for siding with Palestinians, fired Rick Sanchez a few years back for telling the truth about certain media gatekeepers shilling for Israel, helped the Lobby slander Helen Thomas virally as being AS, and now CNN is trying to destroy Rep. Omar Ilhan's career for daring to take on THE J...W..SH ISRAELI LOBBY as they tried to smear Rep. Tlaib before her. So can all these courageous people, and great human beings who dared to speak truth to power: Sanchez, Thomas, Lamont, Tlaib and Ilhan and others they tried to taint all be wrong and f@cking CNN and their f@cking overseer lobby be right???
I DON'T THINK SO! Damn you CNN for helping to ruin good people's careers!

Posted by: Circe | Feb 12 2019 19:36 utc | 152

Karlofi @ 149.

I wish I could see Corbyn as a Colonel Rainsborough but I'm not sure he's up to that, or that he's a worthy successor to the fire in the belly Labour politicians of the past. All he shares with them, seems to me, is a continuing dedication to the unsound Labour economic doctrines of the past. I shall probably vote for him, if I vote again, because he seems to have an objection to bombing foreign civilians; but I'm under no illusion that he has any useful recipes for us.

Great reference to the Keynes. I read it as a young man and was put off it because I thought the style otiose. How superficial! Solid good sense and the preliminary observations as relevant today as then.


Posted by: English Outsider | Feb 12 2019 19:56 utc | 153

Omg!!! Zionist Trump is trying to pressure Rep. Omar Ilhan to resign!!! He just commented that she should resign! Damn hypocrite.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 12 2019 20:10 utc | 154

Rep Ilhan Omar has apologised for telling the truth about AIPAC and Israel, and so the 24 hour national emergency is already over

Maybe someone showed her a video of what happened to former Ohio Rep James Traficant when he dared to expose the truth about Israel's control over America.

His tractor flipped over and killed him

So now that Rep Omar has apologised, everyone can get back to "business as usual"

Posted by: Ariana | Feb 12 2019 20:10 utc | 155

@156 Ariana

Nope, Trump doesn't accept her apology. He said her apology is not sincere and she should be thrown out of fp committee or resign! So Trump wants her out!

Posted by: Circe | Feb 12 2019 20:21 utc | 156

@ 157 Circe

"Trump wants her out!"

For telling the truth

Unreal. I'm having trouble even processing the absurdity of this

And I was just thinking about Rick Sanchez, earlier, fired from CNN for telling the truth, and as far as I know, no one has ever heard from him since then

Posted by: Ariana | Feb 12 2019 20:31 utc | 157

@158 Ariana

Oh yeah, Trump wants her gone and slammed her apology. He went on and on that she should resign and that she doesn't belong on the Foreign Relations committee when in fact her candor is a breath of fresh air and she couldn't be more perfect for that committee.

Rick Sanchez was a CNN anchor and had a CNN show on primetime. Then he got replaced on the primetime show and was told a Latino person wasn't really suitable to anchor and then fired based on comments that alluded to Jews as running the media and therefore not comparable to latinos joking that Jews were not an oppressed minority.

After that he was fired and his career took a major dive. He worked as a second chair sports commentator for a university in Florida. He apologized for calling Jon Stewart a bigot, when Stewart made fun of Sanchez all the time and could have been the reason a CNN executive wanted to demote Sanchez as anchor. Sanchez apologized to the ADL and met with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Then he went from second sports anchor to Mundo Fox and Fox Latino as a correspondent.

Now he got the ultimate revenge: He's anchoring a news show on RT! 😁

Posted by: Circe | Feb 12 2019 21:29 utc | 158

@ Circe 159

Thanks for the interesting update about Rick Sanchez. That’s some good news for a change, and I’m glad to hear that he’s okay

I once considered doing research to find out what happened to Sanchez after he was fired from CNN, but I was afraid of what I might find

I was afraid I might find that he’d died in a freak “accident”, like James Traficant (whose tractor flipped over and killed him) or that he’d been found dead in his Hotel room, right after his cabin burned down, like what happened to Michael Piper Collins after publishing “Final Judgment: The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy” (where Piper Collins blames Mossad for JFK’s assassination)

Hopefully Rep Omar will stay on the Foreign Relations Committee and will not let Trump or anyone else pressure into resigning

She might be the only politician we have right now with any courage and we need her

Posted by: Ariana | Feb 12 2019 22:35 utc | 159

Here is a posting at ZH that I found interesting...the results are from the end of January but I missed the initial ZH posting

"Fed Warns Dollar "Might Not Retain Its Dominance Forever"

The take away quote
And here the TBAC (Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee) made a surprising, tongue-in-cheek observation, namely that reserve managers have been very gradually increasing allocation to other currencies, and that the USD share of FX reserves has steadily come down from 72% in 2000 to 62% now even though the "USD is still the dominant reserve currency."
The report says that US borrowing for the next decade is estimated to be 1 - 1.5 trillion per year and the CBO says no recession in next decade projections.......when you own the money system the fat lady never has to sing.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 13 2019 1:21 utc | 160

Had to back up a bit to get to the "open thread", but sight of yet another article by a paid hack praising the F-35 just got me mad.

F-35 Will Cost Less to Operate Than Older Fighters .... Loren Thompson, Forbes

5 Signs the F-35 Fighter Is a Smashing Success And why China and Russia would never want to face it in battle. .... Loren B. Thompson

The F-35 Fighter Is A Success. So How Do We Keep It Ready And Reliable For The Next 50 Years? .... Loren Thompson

A 'Space Force' Will Make The F-35 Fighter Indispensable To Air Force Relevance .... Loren Thompson

It's true this paid troll always has a little blurb tucked in somewhere like "I should mention that I have business ties of one sort or another to several companies engaged in building the F-35... but he's still catapulting the propaganda for Lockheed. I'm not the first to notice:

Arms Manufacturers Pay This Man to Mock Journalists

Nice work if you can get it. Never mind that the thing is a genuine POS.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Feb 13 2019 1:22 utc | 161

Very insightful yet old documentary on Venezuelan oil...

The Assassination of Hugo Chavez

Posted by: dan | Feb 13 2019 19:45 utc | 162

Looks like even farcebook is not exempted from paying protection fees.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 15 2019 5:21 utc | 163

I am here to rant about the next plate spinning by late empire, the Trump declared National Emergency

Just another distraction while the West is set up to continued to be R2Ped by the elite that own global private finance and everything else. The elite have had since 2008 to set this up you can bet that their money is mostly safely tucked away and not at risk like all the pension funds, etc. They are calling the timing of the world crisis as created by Trump antics.

While all the focus will be on all the spinning plates crashing the backroom deals will be made and a new world order will be born.....any bets on the winners?

Xinhuanet is even playing their part in the circus show with this posting about US debt situation

Spotlight: Experts warn of potential risks amid skyrocketing U.S. national debt

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 16 2019 2:57 utc | 164

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