Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 18, 2019

Open Thread 2019-40

News & views ...

Posted by b on July 18, 2019 at 16:43 UTC | Permalink

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dear b,
I hope in the near future there will be sitreps about syria again, especially since the changing context factors with a new turkish military offensive about to kick off in northern Iraq, especially since the turkey sent thousands of fighters south and even starts attacks against Lattakia from turkish ground.

Posted by: Tageslicht | Jul 19 2019 9:23 utc | 101

“US downs their own drone”. HA-HA, RETARDS.

"We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else. I am worried that USS Boxer has shot down their own UAS [Unmanned Aerial System] by mistake!", Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Twitter, referring to the recent incident.

Posted by: Featherless | Jul 19 2019 9:38 utc | 102

|@ Jackrabbit | Jul 18 2019 19:49 utc | 33

Have been studiously avoiding all things Epstein but it seems metastasising everywhere to the extent it eliminates all from serving jury duty at any trial.

Consider this: The timing is such that suggests an attempt to 'hole below the waterline' the Clinton machine [Billary is prime example that the species Homo Sapiens is the only one that is best led by the smallest protrusion below the waistline]. Recent U.S. history records the Clintons used the DLC (Democratic Leadership Committee) to ascend to the WhiteHouse. The DLC subsumed and subverted the existing DNC (Democratic National Committee), replacing it entirely and still holds control over the Democratic Party itself. I think verification might be obtained by examining the makeup if the Democratic National Finance Committee and look at the membership of that committee and discern their loyalties. In whom controls the money, you will find the control of the party. The re-emergence of the Epstein saga cannot help but expose the Clintons to that limelight and what would follow. This may be the only method to liberate the Democratic Party before the time removes the actors from the stage. Just my opinion - helpfully offered.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 19 2019 10:53 utc | 103

Obviously Hillary could not use the Epstein case during her campaign since she had her own Anthony Weiner. And too many pictures of Bill with prostitutes around the net (one is said to be taken at Epstein resort in St James).

Posted by: Mina | Jul 19 2019 11:27 utc | 104

Gibraltar extends detention of Grace1 for a further 30 days

https://www.chronicle.gi/gibraltars-supreme-court-extends-grace-1-detention-order-amid-talks-to-defuse-tension/

Gas Courage tanker headed out of Iran waters towards Fujairah, no idea why it was drifting in Iran waters, doesn't seem like a usual place to wait, next to a shipping lane.

Posted by: gzon | Jul 19 2019 12:07 utc | 106

I have conjectured that the Epstein arrest is designed by 'the Rothschilds' to topple Trump for pushing ahead, despite many warnings delivered in public through their mouthpiece Economist, with his series of campaigns against Iran for the sake of Likudnik Israel. The risk to the global financial system, mainly the dark ocean of Jewish capital, is too great—for reasons Bernhard has spelled out.

http://www.twf.org/News/Y2019/0711-TrumpRothschild.html

I think the pressure has borne fruit, and the offer by Zarif reflects that. The fake drone downing, denied by Iran, is just cosmetic bluster.

Maybe an agreement can be put in place before it's too late. Maybe Trump will be brought down anyway, to set an example. Let's see.

Posted by: sarz | Jul 19 2019 12:31 utc | 107

Thanks to c1ue and uncle tungsten for responding
to my post #13:
Posted by: librul | Jul 18 2019 18:40 utc | 13

@Posted by: c1ue | Jul 18 2019 18:58 utc | 18
@Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 18 2019 22:03 utc | 53

uncle tungsten,

Appreciate the suggestion of using tinyurl to solve
the parsing problem of url from web.archive.org.
It had actually occurred to me but I originally rejected it
as I myself do not click on links that are
created with tinyurl - if I am not mistaken,
one never knows where one will end up if one
clicks on a tinyurl. I was burned that way once.
However, I could provide a tinyurl as you suggest
and the reader can decide for themselves if they
want to risk the click. So thanks again.

c1ue,

Something further had occurred to me.
Reuters, as you acknowledged, turned a statistically
insignificant measure into a major headline - accusing
Republicans of being racists. Online polls were taken by IPSOS
that IPSOS itself said did not have the ability to measure
at a fine graininess. A change of +3% approval was counted
by the polls after Trump's boorish Tweets:
""Why don't they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."
He added: "These places need your help badly, you can't leave fast enough. I'm sure that Nancy Pelosi
would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!"

However, these online polls do not, as IPSOS itself says, have the ability
to measure changes as small as 3%. Per Ipsos, the "credibility interval"
is 5.6 %. That, however, did not stop Reuters from plastering the accusation as their
front and center headline!: "Republican support for Trump rises after racially charged tweets: poll"

You, c1ue, rightly noted that no change was seen in Republican approval, per the Reuters/Ipsos polls.
What occurred to me later was to look at the Democratic numbers from these online polls and what
is seen is that those numbers did not change either as a result of Trump's Tweets.

We do need to remember that these were online polls. And must take
care when interpreting their statistical results.

What can be safely taken away, garnered, from these two polls is that Reuters is once again
proven to be untrustworthy propagandists.

Posted by: librul | Jul 19 2019 12:31 utc | 108

Speaking of prions and Mad Cow disease:

From Mad Cow Disease to Agrochemicals: Time to Put Public Need Ahead of Private Greed

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 19 2019 13:18 utc | 109

It simple to explain why modern China has autonomous regions.

During the Civil War, there were two sides: the Communists and the Nationalists (KMT). The nationalists were the "anti-minorities" (i.e. pro-Han supremacy).

The Communists didn't care and didn't see the world as divided by minorities/ethnicities etc. etc., but they analysed the China's concrete reality and saw KMT's Han chauvinism as an objective weakness in the war. They then offered those ethnicities autonomous status should they win the war given they fought on their side. That's why we have autonomous regions in China today (Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Guanxi and Ningxia). The only exception to this case is Tibet, which was reconquered in 1950 and was very problematic from the start, so the communists simply copied the model.

Obviously, this logic doesn't apply to the Christians, which, with sponsorship from the Vatican and support from the West, knows no territorial bounds and is trying to indoctrinate the Chinese people in order to prepare it for a Color Revolution, resulting into a regression to a more reactionary and poor country (that's why the few countries that have official diplomatic ties with the Vatican are also the only ones who still officially recognize Taiwan as the true China today). So, yes, against the Christians, you bet your life the government is not afraid to play the "godless reds" role.

Posted by: vk | Jul 19 2019 13:27 utc | 110

Posted by: sarz | Jul 19 2019 12:31 utc | 109

Trump is a marketing guy. Never mind the facts of the product.
He bet on Iran not saying anything - wrong.

The sanctions are the goal not the means.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 19 2019 13:31 utc | 111

"What the Epstein case reveals about the US is that either this country is so poor that it finds completely normal to have dozens, or rather hundreds, of 15 years old girl going directly from school to an old pervert's appartment 'give a massage' or more for 200 bucks or it wants to impose this kind of society as a model. "
Mina@99

That is it Mina: the problem, however, is not 'poverty' (the USA is very rich in relative terms) but inequality.
Prostitution is the very essence of capitalism: the teenager selling his/her transient sexual attractions; the 'loyal worker' tugging his forelock and thanking the Boss for 'giving him employment'; the NYTimes or Torstar journalist faithfully recording the propaganda leaked by the CIA; the politician...etc.
In a system in which everything is for sale why would not a nubile 15 year old sell the only thing that she can sell-in a seller's market?
The bases of the Epstein scandal are these: Capitalism and Hypocrisy. Capitalism forces people to sell themselves or starve, hypocrisy-of the sort exemplified in the mass pretense that young women only become sexually attractive after their 18th, 16th or twenty first birthdays (depending upon jurisdictions). It is hypocrisy that vastly increases the value of these liaisons, thus making it possible to persuade a man to betray his country rather than have it generally known that he employed a nubile young woman to 'massage' him.
It is a weird society in which Epstein is widely reviled for his sleazy practices while veterans of the appalling attack on Fallujah-including the Commanding Officer- are held to be honourable men.
As Robert Burns said "I'd rather give the life to one than be the death of twenty."

Posted by: bevin | Jul 19 2019 13:32 utc | 112

Hidden in Plain Sight: The Shocking Origins of the Jeffrey Epstein Case

Posted by: Acar Burak | Jul 19 2019 13:49 utc | 113

Ok, this is totally off topic, but please have patience:
I have a few old plain white Levis T-shirts from 20 years ago, they were made in the USA, they were pure cotton and I love them. They have the little (tiny) red tags on the arms (with the Levi logo), same as the Levi Jeans use. Know what I mean?
Anyway, they now have holes in them and every time I take off the T-shirts the seam catches on my nose and I hear a ripping sound, letting me know that I am closer to losing them, closer to having to buy one of those stretchy T-shirts that clings to your belly: I hate clingy material.
I treasure the Levi T-shirts because they are "perfect", one of the things I loved about the USA, but I cannot find them any more. Levis now get their stuff made in China, so the T-shirts are the same as all the other brands, literally the only difference is the logo and that is sprawled across the chest or back.
What can I do, I want a real cotton T-shirt without some company logo sprawled all over, but I am happy to have a discrete little red tag on the sleeves. I like the little red tag, it is small enough to be missed, it is discrete, nothing is more sexy than discrete.
I live in HK and tried to get them made by the local tailor, but the tailor said that they cannot get the material any more: although I take that with a pinch of salt, what can I do?
Ok barflies, what should I do to replace these T-shirts? Where can I get something that will last me 20 years and feel just as good?

Posted by: aspnaz | Jul 19 2019 13:53 utc | 114

U.S. is evil part ... Iran grain ships stuck in Brazil due to U.S. sanctions

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-brazil-iran-sanctions/iran-grain-ships-stuck-in-brazil-without-fuel-due-to-u-s-sanctions-idUKKCN1UD2QM

This story makes me sick. Iran is now reduced to bartering because they can't trade in dollars. We also sanction civilian exports such as 'urea' and even after bartering with Brazil for corn they can't buy fuel from Brazil due to sanctions to return it to Iran.

I really hate the Pence / Pompeo / Rubio axis because they claim to be such great Christians.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jul 19 2019 14:00 utc | 115

@116 aspnaz

I thought I had your answer until you said you live in Hong Kong. I've had trouble with tee shirt quality for the last few years - a friend told me there was a cotton shortage about 5 years ago, which is when the stores in the US started carrying these flimsy, stretchy things. I would guess cotton is still available, at a price. I have also heard that, paradoxically, the US subsidizes the US cotton crop greatly so as to present an unfairly low price to the world and make its exports competitive.

None of which surprises me, given the neoliberal economic wasteland the US now lives in.

My answer finally was Duluth Trading Company in the US, which makes real cotton tee shirts you can order online. And no logos. Happiness is now complete.

~~

So the economic lesson here is that I can buy a real cotton product, that will last, for about 30% more than the cost of a shit product, that is cheaper, won't last and doesn't satisfy anyway. I can do the same with food bought at the Farmers Market - it appears to be more expensive but it packs vastly more nutrition per dollar.

What has happened is that the real price of real products has gone up, as the value of the money has gone down. Lesser products appear cheaper but actually deliver less value. Good products are still available, and they cost more but deliver a greater return on investment.

I don't find your dilemma off-topic at all. Good luck with your search. Check out the affluent people and see where they shop and what they're buying. Look for the principal ingredients or constituents of their products. Look then for those constituents without the branding that the rich buy, and perhaps you'll be lucky enough to find them outside of a monopoly or a patent.

And, off-topic from a HK problem - who would have thought that US society would sink so low into poverty that it would fall below the means to buy cotton?

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 19 2019 14:19 utc | 117

Posted by: aspnaz | Jul 19 2019 13:53 utc | 116

Just google "organic cotton hongkong" , you can order it via Alibaba.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 19 2019 14:32 utc | 118

@ Jul 19 2019 14:19 utc | 119

And don't forget the size, volume and/or weight got smaller as well as the price gone up. Don't even go neat pharmaceuticals if you want to avoid a life-threatening shock to your financial system.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 19 2019 14:34 utc | 119

The RT show "Renegade Inc" is one of the crispest sources of economic understanding available anywhere, and this week has an excellent interview with a British economist that I highly recommend:

Rentier Britain: All the rent goes to the 1%

As the intro states: Host Ross Ashcroft is joined by economist, author and co-founder of Basic Income Earth Network, Professor Guy Standing to discuss rentier capitalism and reclaiming the commons.

Further:

There are three fundamental issues that lie at the heart of our current economic malaise: the first is unearned income and wealth from land rent, the second is the creation of money by privately owned banks, and the third is rent-seeking that is used to juice profits out of intellectual property through copyright and patents.

But the political class, supported by lobbying, continues to avoid addressing these issues. So monopolies grow larger and larger, and as they do, more and more people are excluded from the economy.

To really address the root causes, why don’t we start by calling out the rentier economy as a structural issue that no progressive society can actually afford?

Professor Standing has a prescription for taking back the commons and restructuring society. With a nod to commenter psychohistorian I continue to feel that the eventual replacement of private money with public money will most likely be achieved with smaller preliminary steps that lead up to this, and I think the movements that Standing talks about may form a good part of those steps.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 19 2019 14:35 utc | 120

Mina @99: What the Epstein case reveals about the US ...

Bevin @114: Prostitution is the very essence of capitalism ...

The Epstein case is not about inequality, prostitution, or capitalism and doesn't "reveal" anything except how corrupt/corrupting ideologues (in this case, Zionists) are.

The women were lured with the prospect of giving massages and then coerced into sex and groomed for use in an influence operation - likely with Mossad knowledge and blessing. To blame anyone except those directly involved: Epstein, Ghislane/Mossad is finger-pointing that benefits the culprits.

See my comment @77 for more and my comment from the Epstein thread, which includes:

A smart minority group that seeks to push a country into illegal wars for their own purposes would anticipate some degree of backlash. Epstein compromised "people that matter" who might lead a backlash or could be useful to quell it.

The Mega Group sought to safeguard their position in American/Western society against a backlash - exactly what Epstein said his job was.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 19 2019 14:39 utc | 121

@librul #110
Polls of any kind, much less online, are increasingly unreliable - as if the Trump election and Brexit weren't enough proof.
I personally think the problem is that Western societies are increasingly "unfree": while there is freedom of expression in theory, in practice there is an enormous amount of social repression such that people just don't talk about opinions that aren't a majority view.
Add to this the clear liberal bias with all the major online platforms; it isn't surprising to me that real world results don't match polls.
I have been of the opinion that the freedom of the internet would be bogged down as every possible niche and group would self-isolate; it appears that this is only somewhat true as institutional narratives - expressed via the policies of the online platforms - still exert power, only without the overt desire to serve the overall population which the old-school print and radio media sought to do.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 19 2019 14:53 utc | 122

@Jackrabbit #123
I would be more open to your theory if the most vulnerable to Epstein prosecution fallout weren't Democrats.
It seems more likely that this is coming about from a lack of protection (Clinton/DNC) and increased awareness after Weinstein/MeToo, seasoned with a modicum of Get Trump.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 19 2019 14:58 utc | 123

UK's renting millennials face homelessness crisis when they retire: Report finds at least 630,000 will be unable to afford private rents on their pension income

The UK's economy has been deteriorating since the crisis of 2008. The problem is British capitalism, of which Brexit is only a symptom.

Remainers are dellusional if they think that if they implode the result of the 2016 referendum, all of their problems will magically go away.

Posted by: vk | Jul 19 2019 15:00 utc | 124

@124 'people just don't talk about opinions that aren't a majority view"

Absolutely true. I happened to be in the UK 3 years ago at the time of the Brexit referendum. I travelled around and I saw Remain stickers in house windows everywhere and very few Leave stickers. Not many people were openly for Leave. How people vote when they are alone in the booth is another matter.

Posted by: dh | Jul 19 2019 15:03 utc | 125

@ grieved 122

By public money it is meant government money?

What we have now is hybrid government / private money. The "private money" is given standing by legal tender law, and is usually backed by government debt (which is government money), itself backed by taxes.

If you issue government money and keep its volume fixed, using taxes only as source of public income and spending, then there is visibility to the use of law. If the volume is adjusted by government though, then it is theft by dilution, and inevitably corrupt by its opacity.

There is nothing, in creating public money, to stop finance using that money in leveraged form, via private contract. The difference being that a public central bank without power of new money creation would not bail out the errors, and so caution would exist.


This is really no different from a gold standard, except that foreign ownership would not likely cause a means to unbalance a nation, as it would be administrative currency and unbacked.

Fiat (government currency) rarely gets left unmodified historically.

Or you could let people choose the money they liked and do away with most of government, making it work to try to tax somehow. That way would make it very clear to people what government actually is. You never know, people might actually choose to voluntarily give their money to government because it has some good idea or they actually believe it.

Posted by: gzon | Jul 19 2019 15:10 utc | 126

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 19 2019 14:39 utc | 123

Zionists like Trump?

Posted by: somebody | Jul 19 2019 15:33 utc | 127

UK oil executive admits role in international corruption conspiracy

The Capitalist International in action.

Posted by: vk | Jul 19 2019 15:37 utc | 128

Posted by: Christian J Chuba 117
I really hate the Pence / Pompeo / Rubio axis because they claim to be such great Christians.

I believe throughout the history of christianity the fellows you mention above have proven themselves to be great christians. Perhaps even greater than the pope and his cardinals and bishops, only time well tell.

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Jul 19 2019 15:47 utc | 129

jackrabbit #123 The women were lured with the prospect of giving massages and then coerced into sex and groomed for use in an influence operation

you're missing an important component, many of them weren't women (yet) when they were lured, they were girls, generally poor and many with big dreams. they were lured by money, access to power, mansions, exposure, prospects of getting modeling or acting roles, things like that. and don't disqualify that girls at that age seek recognition of their own femininity, especially ones who don't have fathers around. they were groomed and then passed around, drugs included. since the beginning of time men (lots of them) like having sex with minors (boys and girls). at one time that was accepted and legal, now it isn't but the desire is still there, hence the ability to harness that desire, profit off it, and use it for blackmail remains. honey traps are nothing new. epstein is a pedophile and used his access to the high and mighty to his economic advantage. he could also sell or barter his "evidence" to his cadre of acquaintances, whether that be governments or whomever. it remains to be seen if he can barter it for his own freedom, again.

Posted by: annie | Jul 19 2019 15:48 utc | 130

Consortium News now has a weekly broadcast; read details here. Today at 2pm EDT there'll be:

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson, journalists Michael Isikoff and Pepe Escobar, political scientist As’ad AbuKhalil and author George Szamuely on Episode 2 of CNLive!"

Also, Michael Hudson was recently on the RT program "Keiser Report" talking about "How rising housing prices and education are making us poorer." It can be seen here.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 19 2019 15:49 utc | 131

@ vk 130

Or corrupt government?

Individuals are free to offer, government is not supposed to take. Maybe you think the private should act as a keeper to government business ...

Posted by: gzon | Jul 19 2019 15:51 utc | 132

Brexit. BoJo will be PM next week. How long he lasts is moot.

Link gives flow charts of various outcomes.

https://jonworth.eu/brexit-what-next/

BoJo might not gain a majority to govern - might not survive a vote of no confidence - quit.

Some Remainers planned to get the Queen to intervene to stop No-Deal, rather fanciful.

No-Deal can only be cancelled / postponed by:

— Revoking article 50. Can only be done the Head of State/Nation, Boris, Lizzie could occupy that role for a brief appearance. (Fanciful won't happen.)

— UK requesting another extension ( > EU requires a formal request to deliberate on), agreement needs EU27 to say OK, > have to communicate, meet, etc.

Macron will not ‘veto’ alone because ‘history’ (> be blamed for Brexdisaster) but he will imho find company, as this crazy circus has lasted 3 years now and EU at all levels are fed up. ‘Insecurity’ money, time, no scope for other projects, Brexiteers in the EU Parl. is an embarassment, best to cut the cord.

The UK was unofficially offered a 5-year moratorium (“extension”) and refused, reportedly ( .. ?)

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-delay-article-50-extension-eu-panorama-bbc-documentary-a9009981.html

Under the conditions of an extension, Boris might negotiate something re. N. Ire. (losing DUP support), or some changes to the Political Declaration (it isn’t binding, these are intents merely, can be re-worded, modified..) All proposals would be conditioned to, first, * signing the Withdrawal Agreement * the EU has made that clear, time and time again.

No possibility of any ‘new, different, deals’ exists. The UK will ‘crash out’ of the EU end October. Maybe that was the aim all along? Ticking the clock down ++, to an inexorable end-point?

The grand sweep. Brex will change Intl. rels. The UK, or what is left of it, after NI leaving, possibly Scotland as well, will become a US colony.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 19 2019 15:57 utc | 133

Tageslicht @103--

Here're 3 of the Twitter links I follow to keep up with what's happening in Syria and beyond. From those, you can expand to include their sources.

Canthama
Geroman
Y.N.M.S.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 19 2019 16:01 utc | 134

It's blind men with the elephant scenario trying to sort out three big issues playing out with potential to rock the empire (or world). 1)Russiagate/Spygate 2)Epstein 3)Iran As Caitlin Johnstone writes, it's all about narrative control, and we'll see a wild scramble to set narratives which do the least damage to Imperial goals. How are the three connected, with potential synergistic effects either amplifying or minimizing efforts to find the truth?

1) Russiagate/Spygate---I'd opine the basic narrative can be understood about 90%, with many actors and actions and motives still hidden. In a nutshell, intelligence agencies doing domestically what they've always done (and with MLK, Cointelpro, etc. here too). As for Dem pres. candidates, it seems only Tulsi Gabbard resisting the truly stupid narrative still being pushed by Harris, Booker, Biden, etc. My gut level is investigations by AG Barr and IG Horowitz will do little to root out the deep rot that they could easily exp[ose, and Epstein or Iran dimming whatever spotlight is shone. Check out Dan Bongino who had this issue mostly nailed many months ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aevtHHULag&t=1525s

2) Epstein case---Blind man touches trunk but suspects something huge and powerful is attached. I have no idea how the narrative will play out. Who benefits, who gets hurt? Who wanted this story to develop at this time? Wag the dog to divert from Spygate allegations? I've seen lots of credible scenarios offerred but most of the iceberg remains hidden. As the "bombshells" dribble out, it could be the perfect salacious story to dominate the news cycles for a while.

3)Iran---More potential for catastrophe here with escalations compounding quickly. The Russiagate hoax was used in similar vein against Russia, with the ensuing Russian Roulette only avoiding hot war because there was only one bullet in the chamber and Putin acted wisely. Do Bolton, Pompeo, and Trump realize with Iran there's five bullets in the chamber, but still risk playing the game?

I suspect we've got some crazy times ahead

Posted by: kabobyak | Jul 19 2019 16:06 utc | 135

As to the Iranian drone allegedly shot down:

- I note that it was not announced by CENTCOM and not mentioned on its website; Trump is the only one having announced it
- Iran has released footage that should prove that no drone was downed

Posted by: bjd | Jul 19 2019 16:27 utc | 136

aspnaz @116 observed the decline in quality of t-shirts.

Of course the quality of consumer products has dramatically declined over the last half century. How else do you think inflation has been disguised over that period? Hidden inflation that covertly eroded wages in the West? By my rough guesstimate this hidden inflation has cut wages in the West by about a half, while at the same time driving real profits for most big businesses (particularly big finance) into negative territories. Sure, the elites are getting wheelbarrow-loads more dollars than they did before, but those dollars now only buy cheap, disposable t-shirts. T-shirts of a quality like that which in 1970 came out of a union factory in New Jersey and sold at the local department store for a couple bucks are now special order items that could cost you a week worth of Uber-driving to procure.

It is not just t-shirts, obviously. Your shoes are now vinyl-impregnated cardboard with soles that are made of foam to conserve materials. If you have an alarm-radio next to your bed bought this century then the plastic of its casing is a small fraction of the thickness of the plastic in a similar product from 1975. I've gone through about a dozen electic woks over the years, but an old electric skillet that was passed on to me when my grandmother died almost half a century ago still works perfectly... and it was already old when I got it!

Naturally, if this decline in quality had happened overnight then like frogs dumped in boiling water the population in the West would have rebelled immediately. Instead the decline has happened incrementally, with barely discernible changes year to year. In fact, this change has not even been a deliberate plan by the captains of industry. Instead it has simply been the result of accumulated efforts to improve labor efficiency and profitability.

Figure back in the olden days t-shirt maker Hanes had their own factories. When the capitalist wanted to improve profits he would sic his supervisors hired thugs on the workforce and have them whip that workforce into working harder to produce more t-shirts for the same pay. When production was moved out to low wage parts of the world the production moved to a contract model. The capitalists who owned the Hanes logo and IP now just placed orders with a generic textile factory in China that competed with other generic textile factories for the orders. Hanes just supplied specifications for what they wanted. Now to improve profits Hanes' has to either shop around for cheaper generic textile factories, or they have to adjust their product specification that they send to those factories. The remaining actual employees of Hanes are now all various types of management and office staff. If they can somehow prove their worth to the owners' lieutenants (c-level management) then they get a bonus at the end of the year. If not, then they are out on the street. So every remaining Hanes employees compete against each other to keep their jobs by either frantically look for ways to shave $0.005/unit cost from each t-shirt made, or hunt for a cheaper generic textile factory, or try to use the magic of marketing to boost sales, or try to find a way to scam truck drivers or freight companies to get cheaper shipping, and so on. Each and every fiscal quarter the remaining Hanes workers must go through this to prove themselves worthy of their salaries.

"If we change the specification such that the material used in out t-shirts is to be knitted from 40 weight yarn to 42 weight yarn, the customer won't notice the difference and we can save $0.005 per unit! That's a savings of half a $million for every hundred million t-shirts!"

Then the next year that employee needs to prove himself again and proposes moving from 42wt to 45wt yarn to justify his keep... and the year after is 45wt to 48wt, and so on.

From year to year nobody notices the change, but when you compare the same product from two or three decades ago to what is available now you can easily see the quality difference. This gradual decline in quality masks a portion of inflation as the product prices only increase a little while their value is reduced.

One of the criticisms of Marxist analysis is that it predicts that over time the rate of profit will fall. The critics point to major stock indices and crow "See?!? Marx was wrong!" In fact, though, the rate of profit is falling since the rate of real inflation is actually higher than what is calculated.

The elites' profits have peaked while we end up with crappy disposable t-shirts and vinyl-impregnated cardboard shoes. What a deal!

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 19 2019 16:38 utc | 137

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 19 2019 16:38 utc | 139

There is another crucial aspect about this as well and that is 'planned obsolescence'. This is why landfills are getting filled up so fast now. This is what drives throw away consumer culture.

The Phoebus Cartel is good place to start for anyone wanting to find out how 'planned obsolescence' became regular practice in manufacturing.

Posted by: O | Jul 19 2019 16:55 utc | 138

Anyone who can find a statement by a US Official other than Trump alleging the downing of an Iranian drone gets a virtual beer.

Posted by: bjd | Jul 19 2019 17:01 utc | 139

bevin: “Epstein is widely reviled for his sleazy practices while veterans of the appalling attack on Fallujah-including the Commanding Officer- are held to be honourable men”


Yes, there is a lot of White privilege in our North American Economic Zone and Israel Cannon-Fodder Deployment Sector. Those goyim cannon fodder who were sent by righteous neocohens (and there’s a list of (((names))) responsible for that war, it’s a very long list, and almost every name on there is a dual citizen (US/Israel)

but I digress...the goyim cannon fodder who were sent to die in Fallujah for Israel are just as guilty as Epstein, and they should have ALL died for Israel, like they were supposed to.

Instead, a few of them survived, and this is the real crime

Posted by: oranssi | Jul 19 2019 17:12 utc | 140

@ Saoirse | Jul 18 2019 19:20 utc | 26


The comments in response to that Giraldi article could get you arrested and imprisoned in 16 European countries (following in the tradition of Voltaire and “freedom of speech” /sarc) however holocaust denial is not illegal in any Muslim country.

Tehran even hosted a conference for WWII revisionists. To debate questions, instead of putting people in prison for asking them. This Tehran conference could NEVER have happened in any Western country. That should tell you something

Posted by: oranssi | Jul 19 2019 17:19 utc | 141

aspnaz @116--

Look for The Mountain T-shirts. No, they're not plain white; rather, some are quite arty. We own a very wide selection including this one.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 19 2019 17:20 utc | 142

Grieved, Psycho and others. Is it not possible that all the 'positive' aspects of China's rise today could inevitably turn negative as the capitalist journey progresses? The west also had an era where it pulled millions out of poverty and had stronger social tendencies. Think new deal era..... is it not possible that china will experience a deregulating period ....think Reagan Clinton....... that will lead them to unregulated capitalism we see in the west today?

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Jul 19 2019 17:24 utc | 143

bjd @140--

Check out this twitter vid is cool! It shows an Iranian drone video over the US Fleet yesterday:

"State media of #Iran's Islamic Regime released this video today & claimed that it shows #IRGCNavy drone filming #USNavy's USS Boxer at #HormuzStrait yesterday."

There's a mini controversy over the dating method, which is ISO 8601 format, that you'll read in the thread. No, not a US officer, but even better IMO!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 19 2019 17:35 utc | 144

Gene Sharp's swarming adolecents,
HK chapter, part 2

Looks like CIA/MI6 man on the ground has been exposed, he and many other gweilos have been openly directing, goading the swarming adolescents in ever more violent provocations against the police.

If it looks like a thug, walks like a thug.......
https://www.greanvillepost.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/jeff1Western-spy-working-with-HK-turncoats-400x400.jpg


https://www.greanvillepost.com/2019/07/08/confucius-laozi-and-buddha-are-humbly-winning-against-the-imperial-west-in-troubled-hong-kong/

Posted by: denk | Jul 19 2019 17:46 utc | 145

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/07/19/601318/Iran-drone-footage-USS-Boxer

Iran has published a video of Trumps Boxing match with an Iranian Drone..

Posted by: snake | Jul 19 2019 17:56 utc | 146

‘Sheer lie’: Iran elite military show VIDEO ‘proving’ no drone downed by US in Strait of Hormuz


🔴 DO NOT MISS 🔴#IRGC releases video showing its #drone -the #US alleges to have downed-safely returning to its base after monitoring #USSBoxer before and after the vessel sailed through the Strait of #Hormuz.

Do not miss the video

 

Posted by: arata | Jul 19 2019 17:56 utc | 147

Tannenhouser @143--

I certainly understand your concern. But if the CCP's master plan's to be believed, then their aim is to not allow that to occur, particularly as they acknowledge the Climate Crisis's reality and thus seek to build a sustainable society following the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. This page has a series of 18 slides detailing the goals and how they're to work within China's context. This page has a series of 20 videos that reveal China's plans for their implementation. Altogether, a very impressive effort well beyond anything the Outlaw US Empire has ever done on the subject. There's more than just the above to the entire plan, but that's a significant portion.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 19 2019 17:58 utc | 148

@147 Game of Drones? Sorry....couldn't resist.

Posted by: dh | Jul 19 2019 18:00 utc | 149

What’s being played here?

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201907191076296971-sound-as-a-dollar-why-trumps-fed-pick-may-be-a-harbinger-of-gold-standard-return/

I find this hard to believe, especially since the last president who tried this found himself with a bullet in his head.

Or is it that petrodollar has run its course and the Fed/BIS are hedging their bets?

Confusing picture.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jul 19 2019 18:03 utc | 150

@ 130 Aye, myself & me. I don’t know quite how to interpret your message. Pompeo is deliberately trying to split the Orthodox Christian Church in Ukraine to hurt Russia. He openly admits to lying, cheating and stealing. He was the chief of one of the most despicable Govt. Agencies ever created. His grasp of Theology is more akin to a satanist. How then can he be considered in any sense, great, let alone any sort of Christian? The same goes for Pence, a member of a splinter Protestant group who lost their way centuries ago. Rubio doesn’t act in any way as a Christian is commanded to by the scriptures. I know this may be Christianity U.S.A. but their practice of Christ has nothing to do with anything Holy.

Posted by: Beibdnn. | Jul 19 2019 18:03 utc | 151

I see we have 3 links to the same video! It's also on b's Twitter, so he's seen it too. At the vid's beginning, what looks like a helo's landing skid is shown several times; so, is it a drone or helo taking the video?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 19 2019 18:09 utc | 152

For what its worth;

RT News has reported an English/British tanker has been captured for violation of maritime laws. It is also on their news page.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 19 2019 18:37 utc | 153

Karlof1, Iranian drones have those skids, like helicopters.

Posted by: Featherless | Jul 19 2019 19:02 utc | 154

Rania Khalek:

Here’s everything you need to understand the US-China trade war. It’s the start of a dangerous new cold war that is bipartisan. It’s all about preventing China from surpassing the US in wireless technology. The US is losing, so it resorts to bullying

VIDEO
https://twitter.com/RaniaKhalek/status/1151593871740198912

Posted by: curious man | Jul 19 2019 19:16 utc | 155

@ karlof1 | Jul 19 2019 18:09 utc | 153

I saw a photo of drones atop car-like vehicles on a runway on either RT News or Sputnik today. It sounds like a useful launch technique and landing would be skids directly on runway. Saved air-drag and landing gear weight and technically cheap.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 19 2019 19:17 utc | 156

Uncle Jon @151--

I saw that item too and just skimmed over it. IMO, there's no way the Outlaw US Empire could revert to the Gold Standard, the easiest reason as to why is to examine why it abandoned it in the first place. Here, Hudson reviews that history--just use Ctrl-f to search the article for the word gold. Although the following 3 paragraphs tell most of the story, please read the entire interview as it's quite important.

"But beginning in 1950 with the Korean War, the U.S. balance of payments moved into deficit for the first time. It got even worse when President Eisenhower decided that America had to support French colonialism in Southeast Asia, in French Indochina – Vietnam and Laos. By the time the Vietnam War escalated in the 1960s, the dollar was running large balance-of-payments deficits. Every week on Wall Street we would watch the gold supply go down, losing gold to countries that weren’t at war, like France and Germany. They were cashing in the excess dollars that were being spent by the U.S. military. By the 1960s it became clear that America was on a trajectory to run out of gold within a decade because of this overseas war spending.

"It finally did, by August 1971 when President Nixon stopped selling bold on the London exchange and the price was allowed to soar far above $35 an ounce. The U.S. balance-of-payments was still running a deep deficit because of the fighting in Southeast Asia and elsewhere, creating a permanent balance-of-payments deficit. The private sector was just in balance during the 1950s and 1960s. The entire deficit was military.

"When America went off gold, people began to wonder what was going to happen. Many predicted an economic doomsday. It was losing its ability to rule the world through gold. But what I realized (and was the first to publish) was that if countries no longer could buy and hold gold in their international reserves, what were they going to hold? There was only one asset that they could hold: U.S. Government securities, that is, Treasury bonds."

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 19 2019 19:32 utc | 157

Replies about Iranian drones with skids. Yes, after much looking I found what I think was the type used, the 4th one here with number PO46A-52.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 19 2019 19:38 utc | 158

For people here worried about China's approach to "green economy":

Forget Tesla, it’s China’s E-buses that are denting oil demand

Posted by: vk | Jul 19 2019 19:55 utc | 159

Tannenhouser @144 asked: "Is it not possible that all the 'positive' aspects of China's rise today could inevitably turn negative as the capitalist journey progresses?"

Sure, that's possible. It's also possible that life on the planet could be wiped out by a large asteroid tomorrow, but why dwell on things that show no evidence of coming to pass anytime soon? There has been plenty of fake hand-wringing over China's impending doom for many decades now and doom has never arrived for them. To be certain, they have experienced some of capitalism's negative consequences (pollution, uneven development, corruption), but are successfully navigating those treacherous waters. Why worry yourself that they cannot continue?

In fact, though, more people in the West are most worried that China's success will continue. Perhaps you are not one who hunts for tragedy in China to cackle in glee over, but plenty of others are. After all, we Americans and our poodles in Ye Olde Country are exceptional; we're the best!

"USA #1! USA #1! USA #1! USA #1!" (come on, chant it with me!).

The very idea that China could successfully eliminate poverty and want in their country and build a happy, safe, and progressive society where we have failed is an insult to our self-image, so we pray for disaster to strike them. The ecstasy many in the West experienced at learning of the explosion in Tianjin back in 2015 was practically orgasmic, for example.

So while I often ask "Why worry for China's success?", I know that few are actually worried for China's sake. Rather, they are worried that China will succeed and are simply looking for reassurance that it is not so.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 19 2019 19:58 utc | 160

On the previous page of this thread @88, I link to Ray McGovern's article announcing the next phase of Russiagate--Deep State-gate. Now we have the Flynn case to complicate things as Margot Cleveland details in this long twitter thread, which is based on her article published by The Federalist today:

"Latest Development In Flynn Case Proves Special Counsel Was A Cover For Taking Down Trump."

Together the two articles are like a double-barrel shotgun aimed at Mueller and Obama's DoJ.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 19 2019 19:59 utc | 161

karlof1 @159

That drone definitely looks like the one.

Here's the thing about that drone, though: It looks to be built dirt cheap. I am not denigrating it by pointing out how much more expensive American drones are, but rather complimenting it because the Iranian engineers seem to understand what the true strength of drones should be, which is that they should be practically disposable. If they are cheaper than the missiles used to shoot them down, then who loses when one is shot down?

With that in mind, if the US navy fired a missile or missiles at it and the drone made it home anyway, well... I could see why the crew on that ship might exaggerate about the accuracy of their shots when they report the incident.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 19 2019 20:14 utc | 162

William Gruff @163--

Thanks for your reply! Do note that blog entry's from 2016 and the pic's likely older, so a modern version may not appear as cheap; however, your point's well taken!

As for Cleveland's article, the publisher raised a red flag and sure enough at the very end its Russophobia rears up by trying to link the Steele dossier to Russia instead of to MI-6 and the Clinton Campaign as has IMO been conclusively proven. That in turn makes the conclusion's she draws shakier, which is too bad since there was zero reason to include Russia or the Steele dossier in her item.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 19 2019 20:46 utc | 163

Gotta share this short, very well thought-out twitter vid--Gabbard on Trump's recent remarks:

"What makes us Americans has nothing to do with our skin color or political views, but rather our commitment to a set of ideals enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Trump’s efforts to intimidate those with dissenting views infringes upon the very essence of America."

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 19 2019 20:55 utc | 164

Gee, getting lonely here on this thread! Oh well, here's another poser:

"Brennan was spending $15 bn a year (CIA Black Budget) without any accountability or obvious results. Gen Flynn wanted an audit and introduce accountability. Brennan had to stop Flynn. Guess what happened next."

Funny things happen in the threads, like when commenters don't just put their foot in their mouth but swallow their leg whole!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 19 2019 21:07 utc | 165

Merkel on Trump's attacks against the congresswomen
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/videos/merkel-on-trump-go-back-comments-this-is-something-that-contradicts-the-strength-of-america/vi-AAEzRLo

Posted by: Mina | Jul 19 2019 21:27 utc | 166

I just want to post this video,that shows the french public in Paris on Bastille Day,where you can see the utter absurdity of police force arresting people for wearing yellow tee-shirts,and in general eliminating all yellow objects from the sight of the passing martial presidential convoy.They can't do anything about the massive whistling and shouting,but they will pop yellow balloons.They made about 170 arrest,three yellow vest lmeaders included,preventively.
The leader of the Tour de France who wears le maillot jaune on the forthcoming last etape finishing on the Champs Elysees will need doubling his sprint if he wants to avoid being taken into custody,I suppose....

Posted by: willie | Jul 19 2019 23:28 utc | 167

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=113&v=pvIkMGN4Dpw

Posted by: willie | Jul 19 2019 23:29 utc | 168

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=113&v=pvIkMGN4Dpw

Posted by: willie | Jul 19 2019 23:29 utc | 169

@karlof1 158

That interview was on UNZ.com as well. I listened to the audio interview. Most enlightening and I have bookmarked it for reference.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jul 19 2019 23:42 utc | 170

Grieved, somebody and Karlof1: Thanks for the recommendations.

Posted by: aspnaz | Jul 19 2019 23:59 utc | 171

The June 19, 2019 Oliver Stone-Putin interview's transcript is now available at the Kremin's website. Just a bit:

"Oliver Stone: Yeah, I know, I know. That’s true. But I don’t know what is going on with the "American culture. It’s very strange right now.

"Vladimir Putin: Is there an American culture?

"Oliver Stone: As you know, I’ve been very rebel all my life. Still am. And I have to tell you, I’m shocked by some of the behaviours and the thinking of the new generation. It takes so much for granted. And so much of the argument, so much of the thinking, so much of the newspaper, television commentaries about gender, people identify themselves, and social media, this and that, I’m male, I’m female, I’m transgender, I’m cisgender. It goes on forever, and there is a big fight about who is who. It seems like we miss the bigger point.

"Vladimir Putin: They live too well. They have nothing to think about.

"Oliver Stone: Yeah, but it’s not a healthy culture.

"Vladimir Putin: Well, yes."

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 20 2019 0:02 utc | 172

I see some crazy stuff on Twitter but with this one I must LMAO like the guy who retweeted it:

"Foreign Policy: F-35 Sales are America's Belt & Road"

If that's there purpose, then it will fail miserably.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 20 2019 0:23 utc | 173

Karlof1@149 as always.... thanks. That is good looking plan. I wonder if at least recognizing the pitfalls of unregulated capitalism will work this time, as I'm not convinced uncle sam wasn't at least aware at the time. Considering capitol has operated in much the same manner since...... ever. I can't shake suspicion that once mammon is done with uncle sam its going to find a home with the chairman. Here's to that not happening.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Jul 20 2019 2:24 utc | 174

@175 Tannenhouser

The great thing about the chairman is that he's ruled by about 300 people who are colleagues and share, if not supreme power, then supreme responsibility for the nation. And their rule is superior to his, if they agree in the majority.

These 300 are in turn informed by thousands of others who channel the voices of the regions and ultimately of a million villages.

One day we should have a discussion on the actual mechanics of the governance of China. It's actually a very strong system.

All those who worry about the future of China parse its future in western terms. But even its present already doesn't compute in western terms. Its future can only be understood in Chinese terms.

China is fine. And will be even finer. Trust, hope and wait - all will be well. This is the Chinese Century. Wisdom returns to world affairs at long last.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 20 2019 5:27 utc | 175

@ Tannenhouser who wrote
"
I can't shake suspicion that once mammon is done with uncle sam its going to find a home with the chairman. Here's to that not happening.
"
In a karlof1 comment about Putin/Stone interview Putin said this
"
"Vladimir Putin: Is there an American culture?
"
I don't see the West adopting the China culture but think about how much of the West "culture" is the projection of the global private finance elite. That is in the process of being taken down and I suspect it will create a culture vacuum in the West for a bit. A new Western culture needs to arise under the core tenant of public finance and limitations on inheritance and ongoing ownership of private property.

It will be a big change and will only be similar to China in the public finance part initially.....how long is it going to take for the public to understand that the war that is being fought is about public/private finance? I suspect the financial crash and subsequent global debt reconciliation will be the biggest change agent in the initial process.....I don't see the global private finance elite walking away from this war with all the spoils.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 20 2019 5:40 utc | 176

@Uncle Jon #151
The petrodollar makes a lot less sense today as the US imports relatively little oil compared to China. China is the largest oil importer today and the largest Middle East customer.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 20 2019 11:57 utc | 177

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 20 2019 0:02 utc | 173

Well if a statesman says this

"Vladimir Putin: They live too well. They have nothing to think about.

"Oliver Stone: Yeah, but it’s not a healthy culture.

"Vladimir Putin: Well, yes."

Fire him immediately. Or run as far as you can.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 20 2019 12:46 utc | 178

@115 aspnaz:

You poor man.
@115, aspnaz: You poor man. Your pain is understood. A good white T-shirt is hard to find (and that’s a nudge-and-wink at the line from the classic Happy Hooker: a good man is hard to find, but a hard man is good to find).
To start with, you’d probably know that apparel – especially fast fashion – is one of the most environmentally destructive industries.
Maybe your couturier is nudging you to do your green bit by consuming less, or he simply does not have the machinery to handle T-shirts. I mean, like, not many people ask for custom-made T-shirts, right?
Those cost up to outrageous hundreds of greenbacks with silly slogans, such as the pretentious We Should All Be Feminists by Dior. Or a DHL send-up T.
For your unique situation, you may wish to trot down to Sham Sui Po (before they throw out the fabric merchants out) and maybe you can find the right cotton material (though honestly might be looking for needle in haystacks).
They may even help find someone who can take on your commission, based on your sample.
I suggest a side zip on the shoulder, so that you can open up and not stretch the T-shirt neckline.Pure linen would be a good substitute for this design, if you can 't find cotton.
I owned a T-shirt of that design from Giordano, when it was still owned by the dreadful Jimmy Lai.
Today, of course, the jumped-up rioters would not be caught dead in the brand.
Oh, look! How stylish the snowflakes are, as they march with masks, hardhats, designer Ts and sneakers from their favorite Hypebeast site!
At worst, you really can try Zara – they have plain slogan-free T-shirts in good shapes that are quite comfy, but no lifetime guarantee, alas. Always hand wash.
Good luck!

Posted by: LittleWhiteCabbage | Jul 20 2019 13:03 utc | 179

Someone has posted this on another thread. Not to start a discussion here but I am amazed with the amount of news I read to realize I never heard about the Wikileaks/Dutroux dossier (although I heard of Dutroux in the European MSM of course).
I wonder now it the whole story (Eastern Europe girls kidnapped/trafficked) does not play a part in the very low participation rates the EU elections get in Eastern Europe.

Posted by: Mina | Jul 20 2019 13:14 utc | 180

I think it should be obvious that when Putin says Americans "live too well" he is euphemistically saying that Americans are decadent, dissipated, and intellectually and emotionally stunted and atrophied. Russians seem to be like that, and even refer to countries that declare themselves enemies of Russia as "partners". I rather doubt he is saying that more Americans should go hungry or anything like that, but if your worldview depends upon believing that then go right ahead.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 20 2019 13:16 utc | 182

VK

Chinese total debt to GDP now tops 300%

Does Xi have a handy speech ready for you explaining the real estate bubble and corporate debt bubble as yet further examples of China's genius-level socialist planning?

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 20 2019 14:40 utc | 183

In response to William G. @ 138. On food only.

In CH, always rather slow to adopt ‘modernity’ as being ‘conservative’ - food remained old style for a long time. — Continues today: GMOs are forbidden, excessive/unjustified hormone use is forbidden, farm animals are ‘protected’ (supposedly, other topic.) Result, one kilo of prime beef is sold for 100 US dollars, imho not high enough..

Anyways, point is:

Until about 1975 (based on my childhood memories and later hindsight, looking things up) what poor ppl ate / could buy, and what the top 10% bought, displayed, did not differ in nutritional value or enjoyment to partake of if that makes sense. Local white wine (Chasselas grapes) was v. cheap, still is, equivalent to Veuve Cliquot as a ‘substance’, without the prestigious bubbles, bottle, brand, price, accredited ‘sophisticated taste.’

The poor ppl’s stew and the juicy prime rib steaks came from the same animal. Chickens were identical - one bought them whole - and there was just one store that sold ‘imported’ ones, from F, Brittany, cost more, so what. Tomatoes were tomatoes (echoes of.. a rose is a rose - brexit means brexit ..ha ha) and were not triaged in function of snob value, attractivity, packaging, and price.

Gradually a segmentation of the market occurred, affecting quality of what was sold to the poor or now labelled ‘lower middle class’, not to mention refugees, etc. In many countries.

> In the US, the food deserts; junk food sold for profit; prison food, school food (set up to absorb USDA surplus) .. Poor ppl do not eat the same food as the rich in nutritional terms. They must give up their last pennies to eat stuff that harms them, long term, or rapidly impacts their children. Scandalous.

No. 1. point imho.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 20 2019 14:57 utc | 184

Young Spaniards between 16 and 29 years old have an annual net salary of 11,345 euros. Of it, they dedicate 91% to rent a house

https://twitter.com/el_pais/status/1151929884312264715

In the GDR, the % of the net salary that was spent on housing was 3-4%. It's only for you to see how terrible communism was.

https://twitter.com/liberal_subven/status/1152176844604674049

With a great discussion below the Twit...

I think what some criticize about communism is the lack of freedom, not the social benefits. The question is, is there a need to sacrifice part of the freedom for the state to guarantee those benefits? 3 replies 0 retweets 3 Likes

Marine
@Mpivila
Jul 19

Speaking of freedom in the abstract does not make sense, or come on, it's a total idealism. In a materialist vision of freedom, it is the social benefits - having a job with paid vacations, a house, health, education - is what makes you free.
1 reply 6 retweets 33 likes

jean lannes
@J_lannes
Jul 19

I do not pretend to demonize the historical communist regimes. And I absolutely agree that without "economic" freedom, you are not truly free. But I deduce that you recognize the lack of some freedoms in those regimes. My question is whether it is impossible to combine both.
2 replies 0 retweets 2 Likes

Marine
@Mpivila
Jul 19

I get it. It is that from my point of view they are not different things. And yes, there was a lack of certain "freedoms", like enriching yourself based on the work of others. And in that case I think it's great that this freedom does not exist. It's about seeing specifically what those freedoms are.
1 reply 2 retweets 7 likes

jean lannes
@J_lannes
Jul 19

Are you really telling me that it was the only freedom that was missing? Those who jumped the wall, why did not they come out the door? And why did they want to leave? You can criticize all the horrible things about capitalism and say the benefits of communism without the need to idealize it, I think.
1 reply 0 retweets 0 likes

Marine
@Mpivila
Jul 19

They wanted to leave because capitalism is shit that shines a lot, but then it stinks. And the GDR was not a communist, it was a socialist country. Therefore I do not idealize their communism, nor their socialism. Socialism in very fucked up, because it faces the greatest powers.

Posted by: Sasha | Jul 20 2019 14:57 utc | 185

Oliver stone attacked by neocons at Dailybeast. Why? He doesnt want to warmonger against Russia, that trigged a smearing campaign against the filmmaker.

"Oliver stone's latest piece of pro-putin-propaganda may be his most shameless move yet"
https://www.thedailybeast.com/revealing-ukraine-oliver-stones-latest-piece-of-pro-putin-propaganda-may-be-his-most-shameless-move-yet

and second article startts with:

"Filmmaker and conspiracy theorist Oliver Stone has made no secret of his admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, but now he has taken it to a whole new level by trying to make him his 22-year-old daughter’s godfather. "
https://www.yahoo.com/news/oliver-stone-asks-vladimir-putin-031303288.html

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 20 2019 16:15 utc | 186

Canadian dissident Yves Engler has an interesting new piece on his blog discussing a US cable revealing the obvious about FM Chrystia Freeland and Canadian foreign policy under Trudeau. And its suppression by Canadian media.

US Says Trudeau Adopts 'America First' Foreign Policy, Media Ignore It

https://yvesengler.com/2019/07/19/us-says-trudeau-adopts-america-first-foreign-policy-media-ignores-it/

"Wouldn't you think the corporate media would be interested in the US embassy's reaction to the appointment of a new Canadian foreign minister? Especially if that reaction was to claim Ottawa had decided to adopt an 'America First' foreign policy?"

Posted by: John Gilberts | Jul 20 2019 18:19 utc | 187

Michelle Obama slept for 8 years:

Obama: "Obama presidency had no scandal."

Caitlin: "She only gets to say this because in our bat shit crazy world, murdering, exploiting and oppressing large numbers of people isn't considered scandalous."

Me: What, letting all those lawbreaking banksters go scot free which was obstruction of justice and giving Wall Street several Trillion$$ wasn't a scandal??!! I think she has PTSD from living through those 8 years given the crimes and lies.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 21 2019 0:20 utc | 188

karlof1 @189: That is the one thing I still do give Obama credit for, at least publically he did not wallow in squalor in his private life, and with this country's history of racism and bigotry of all stripes, that is a big deal. Him being the first AA president was a big deal, and him looking better than any recent predecessors in that regard was a big deal too. Otherwise I agree.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 21 2019 1:56 utc | 189

I 'm sorry Bemildred but I see Obama as a nasty war criminal and a traitor to his AA cousins in Uncle Tom's clothing.

I didn't come here to write that but was instead going to comment on the weakness of the SQUAD in relation to Trump. but they go together.

I voted for Obama for hopey/changey and the first thing he did was bail out the private banking system to the tune of trillions.

And now we have this "progressive" congressional SQUAD calling Trump a fascist which is a misleading dog whistle if ever there was.

But what they do not implicate is the global private finance elite that the rest of the world is at war with.

Why in heck is there none in the Western public space calling a spade a spade? WWIII is currently being waged over public/private finance but none are even acknowledging the core stakes at risk.

So here we have the West in conflict with China/Russia/Iran/Venezuela/Cuba/NK, and yet none point out the obvious central theme of the conflicts.....private versus public finance.

The Western "culture" is built around private finance/property and ongoing inheritance and yet we don't even get a chance to talk about the dirty laundry of the West, let alone the criminal actions that have been taken to maintain the global private finance jackboot.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 21 2019 2:19 utc | 190

Below is a link to a posting at Strategic Culture

New US Pentagon Chief – Vested Interest in War & Conflict

Mark Esper spent seven years as a senior lobbyist for Raytheon, the US’ third biggest military manufacturing company.....This is Trump draining the swamp in 11 dimensional chess somewhere in delusion land. In congressional hearings Esper made it clear he would not recuse himself from Raytheon related decisions.

What is going to happen to America when wars cannot be prosecuted anymore and private finance loses WWIII with China/Russia/Venezuela/NK/Cuba and the rest of leaners in that direction?

I look forward to building America back into its original dream of E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One)

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 21 2019 4:39 utc | 191

Sorry if this is a duplicate - what I posted seems to have vanished.
karlof1 | Jul 18 2019 22:51 utc | 58
If you do not already know this, I think you will find this very relevant to the discussion of "Where did AIDS come from?" : http://www.fourwinds10.com/siterun_data/government/homeland_security_patriot_act_fema/news.php?q=1248038656
If it isn't a smoking gun it must be some sort of firearm that make a rather thick sort of mist!

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jul 21 2019 9:28 utc | 192

Featherless | Jul 19 2019 2:57 utc | 80

Is the Veterans Today website a disinfo/limited hangout propaganda site ?
I just read an article there on “The Khazarian Mafia” that seems like a mix of truth and made up stuff, ultimately to get folks to discard any “baby with the bathwater”, I’d guess.
How legit is Veterans Today ?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jul 21 2019 10:12 utc | 193

Re 194 which got posted accidentally when I was distracted.

Veterans Today had a very curious article, for a short time yesterday, in which everybody's wishes were going to come true. Well, every good body's, anyway. It was full of stuff such as is more usually to be found on UFO sites. (It was pretty sure that Netanyahoo was a reptile.) Maybe they are onto something or maybe your suspicions are justified.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jul 21 2019 10:18 utc | 194

foolisholdman @195:

VT is alt-right, can be interesting or informative at times, but has to be considered an "unreliable narrator", they make stuff up to attract clicks. That is pretty common these days. I visit a lot of such sites at times, to see what they agree and disagree about, but I don't believe unless I get corroboration elsewhere.

Posted by: bemildred | Jul 21 2019 14:38 utc | 195

foolisholdman @193--

Thanks much for providing that link!! The topic and discussion surrounding it is familiar to me, but I haven't done much investigation into it, although I believe its veracity. Given the timeline presented, it's likely such research was ongoing prior to the hearing that generated the documented request for funding. Fortunately, the planned level of depopulation failed, and select cases--such as Magic Johnson's--prove the ability to deactivate was developed contemporaneously. Pop culture was very reflective of the Truth with several movies--The Omega Man and The Andromeda Strain--being very prescient. It's a shame this was posted at the end of a mostly dead thread. I'll repost it to the current open thread so more barflies will see it! Thanks Again!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 21 2019 17:05 utc | 196

VT sometimes say true. Sometimes not. Intelop, and not journalists... That said, read....sometimes their sources seem to be imaginary, sometime valid.... Granum Salum amigo///

Posted by: Walter | Jul 21 2019 20:21 utc | 197

aye, myself & me | Jul 19 2019 8:22 utc | 98

Yes, I read it. AMAZING! I grew up with a very poor opinion of the US government and nothing has done much to improve my opinion of it since. However, reading that article was a real eye-opener for me! I had always thought that the US government was much too soft on organised crime, but reading that article made me realise that I had totally misunderstood the relationship. It isn't "too soft" on organised crime - it IS organised crime writ large! There is no distinction, they are all one organisation. That is why the CIA is the way it is.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jul 25 2019 20:14 utc | 198

librul | Jul 19 2019 12:31 utc | 108

Reuters is owned by Rothschilds.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jul 25 2019 21:01 utc | 199

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