Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 07, 2019

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2019-38

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Iran now increases the enrichment level from 3.67%, the limit set in the nuclear deal, to 5%. A technically that is reversible. The enriched Uranium can be blended down again.

Javad Zarif @JZarif - 9:55 UTC - 7 Jul 2019

Today, Iran is taking its second round of remedial steps under Para 36 of the JCPOA. We reserve the right to continue to exercise legal remedies within JCPOA to protect our interests in the face of US #EconomicTerrorism. All such steps are reversible only through E3 compliance.

Having failed to implement their obligations under JCPOA—incl after US withdrawal—EU/E3 should at minimum politically support Iran’s remedial measures under Para 36, incl at IAEA. E3 have no pretexts to avoid a firm political stance to preserve JCPOA & counter U.S unilateralism.

Related: What will it be, Boeing? Great airplanes that generate cash flow or great cash flow, period? - Seattle Times

According to Boeing’s annual reports, in the last five years Boeing diverted 92% of operating cash flow to dividends and share buybacks to benefit investors. Since 1998, share buybacks have consumed $70 billion, adjusted for inflation. That could have financed several entire new airplane models, with money left over for handsome executive bonuses.

Other issues:

Britain's man in the US says Trump is 'inept': Leaked secret cables from ambassador say the President is 'uniquely dysfunctional and his career could end in disgrace' - Daily Mail. The fact that British embassy cables were leaked is probably the most interesting point of the story.

Finally: Jeffrey Epstein arrested on sex trafficking charges - Miami Herald

More than a decade after receiving one of the most lenient sentences for a serial sex offender in U.S history, multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested outside of New York, sources confirmed to the Miami Herald Saturday night.

A huge 10+ years old scandal that was swept under the carpet. Epstein paid hundreds of minor girls for 'massage' and sex and peddled them to his friends, including Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Alan Dershowitz. Some of the girls were raped. Epstein allegedly made videos of his friends amusing themselves and used them for extortion. He was sentenced extremely lightly after 'higher people' intervened.

Flight Logs Put Clinton, Dershowitz on Pedophile Billionaire’s Sex Jet and Here Is Pedophile Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's Little Black Book - Gawker, 2015

Mike Cernovich and Julie Brown of the Miami Herald have recently been all over the story. They filed for sealed court documents of the old case and won. Last year the Herald found dozens of Epstein's victims who were willing to talk and published a multimedia series on the scandal: Perversion of Justice.

Some very powerful people will now be afraid that Epstein might talk.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on July 7, 2019 at 13:18 UTC | Permalink

next page »

As much as I'd like to be optimistic that justice might actually be served for both Epstein and his myriad clients/co-conspirators, I think the powers-that-be will again squash this - or liquidate Epstein - before things get out of hand for them.

The American justice system has been corrupted in much the same way the political system has been, and it's primary objective is to protect the rulers from the common folk, not to actually deliver true justice.

I'll watch with anticipation, but I haven't had any satisfaction from either a political or justice perspective since at least the 2000 coup d'etat, so I won't hold my breath this time.

Posted by: Information_Agent | Jul 7 2019 13:37 utc | 1

I posted this on the open thread.

Russian-led assault in Syria leaves over 500 civilians dead: rights groups, rescuers

And yet another report on Russian/Syrian attacks by "rights groups and rescuers." They are accused of using cluster munitions and incendiary weapons (and barrel bombs) indiscriminately. What? No chemical weapons? Magic numbers are used again like "300,000 ... forced to leave their homes," and "3 million civilian lives at risk, including 1 million children." And apparently hospitals, schools, and markets have been targeted.

Reported by? SNHR, HRW, "Idlib-based Civil Defence," "first responders and witnesses," and Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UoSSM). All claim to be independent, non-governmental, etc. This is getting old. The US MSM will cover some of it like the Reuters article but the Syrian story has been worn through. TPTB's main target is Iran so Iran continues to be demonized via the destruction and death in Yemen and Syria.

Posted by: Curtis | Jul 7 2019 13:38 utc | 2

Epstein. Great news for eventual justice. The MSM only paid attention when Trump appointed the Fed prosecutor Acosta as Secretary of Labor. Otherwise it was the Miami Herald and the alt-media who've documented this horrid tale of abuse for 10 years. The MSM kept the story below the radar while sensationalizing the Olympics doctor Nassar case.

Will he talk and incriminate others? Doubtful. It was hoped that DC Madam Palfrey would reveal all but she wound up suicided.

Posted by: Curtis | Jul 7 2019 13:43 utc | 3

Have to wonder if Epstein's was a Mossad operation. The original source of his fortune has never been clear.

Posted by: lysias | Jul 7 2019 13:52 utc | 4

The problem is that some "higher people" also have a vested interest in what might be said. There is also one mystery in the stories about how Epstein extorted very powerful people, which is that the very same very powerful people have the power to suicide Epstein. No matter what's in a safe deposit box, safe deposit boxes don't open themselves. There is also the general principle that the more time has passed the harder it is to prove anything, which is why statutes of limitation are good ideas.

In other words, how are ordinary people supposed to know when an Epstein or a Weinstein are guilty of giant conspiracies? Is the target is the Democratic Party or a true den of iniquity that has been hiding in plain sight? It's reminiscent of Maoists talking about counterrevolutionary headquarters in the Cultural Revolution.

The seizure of the Grace 1 is far more significant I think, and very bad news for Iran so far as I can see.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 7 2019 13:55 utc | 5

Someone as clever as Epstein has presumably furnished himself with an insurance policy in the form of revelations deposited with his lawyers to be revealed in the event anything happened to him.

Posted by: lysias | Jul 7 2019 13:56 utc | 6

On the UK detention of Grace 1 and its legality in terms of innocent passage , here I look over the the different legislation , tradition, and the interactions at work

(Hint, you might come away better informed...but still without a clear answer of what anything stands for)

Posted by: gzon | Jul 7 2019 14:01 utc | 7

Iran is taking its second round of remedial steps under Para 36 of the JCPOA
That's a bit disengenuous. The "remedial steps" are really "pressure steps" (which is okay).
Iran doesn't have to go beyond 300kg and 3.67%. The excesses above the 300kg and 3.67%. which can't be sold, because of sanctions, could be down blended IAW the JCPOA:
>All enriched uranium hexafluoride in excess of 300 kg of up to 3.67% enriched UF6 (or the equivalent in different chemical forms) will be down blended to natural uranium level or be sold on the international market
> In case of future supply of 19.75% enriched uranium oxide . . . not in plates that cannot be fabricated into TRR fuel plates . . .will be transferred, based on a commercial transaction, outside of Iran or diluted to an enrichment level of 3.67% or less within 6 months

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 7 2019 14:22 utc | 8

I was surprised Epstein didn't get wind of this arrest and escape to his private island. But since it's part of BVI, he would probably have been eligible for extradition.

Posted by: Curtis | Jul 7 2019 14:42 utc | 9

Average salary in 37 major Chinese cities reaches 8,452 yuan: report

A 5% rise in relation to last year.


In 1975, Brazil and China had roughly the same GDP -- Brazil, obviously, having a much higher per capita GDP because of its much smaller population.

Both countries took polar opposite directions with their economies: Brazil capitulated to the USA and followed the liberal doctrine blindly; China continued with its socialist strategy.

Nowadays, China's average salary is double the Brazilian average salary (so much for the "slave labor" argument...); China's GDP is thirteen times the Brazilian; and China is a superpower, while Brazil continues to be a banana republic.

Mao was right: for the Third World, it is the task of socialism to do the development stage that capitalism should've done theoretically. This is the dialectic nature of History of the 20th Century.

Posted by: vk | Jul 7 2019 14:47 utc | 10

Sun, Sand, and the $1.5 Trillion Dark Offshore Economy

BVI, where rich people own islands and many businesses use PO Box HQs to hide money.

"Financial services account for 62% of the BVI’s $372 million in government revenue" so they're resisting UK efforts to push transparency laws on them.

Posted by: Curtis | Jul 7 2019 15:02 utc | 11

Chaebol struggle to find solution to Japan's exports curb

South Korea was founded as, was, is and forever will be, Japan's little bitch. That's its ceiling, it's absolute limit.

The Asian Paper Tiger shows its true face.

Posted by: vk | Jul 7 2019 15:08 utc | 12

Is Trump safe because Bill Clinton is also in that stew?

Or could this be what sinks Donald Trump?

Bill Weld, ex-Governor from Massachusetts, is a sober, steady choice for Republican President. Better than anything else out
there, Dem or Republican. I would still cheer if Tulsi Gabbard makes it, though.

Posted by: librul | Jul 7 2019 15:21 utc | 13

@13 I was referring to the Epstein-stew.

Posted by: librul | Jul 7 2019 15:22 utc | 14>Iranian Oil tanker was not headed to Syria,
but to other destination, content is 2 million barrel oil, not 300 k, it was not detained because alegedly violating EU sanction but Trump sanction.

Tell me: who is in the trap?

Posted by: Arata | Jul 7 2019 15:24 utc | 15


You will really appreciate this:

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Posted by: librul | Jul 7 2019 15:31 utc | 16

@15 Arata

Your link was accidentally malformed for that story. Here's a working link:
Tanker carrying Iranian oil not headed to Syria: Deputy FM

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 7 2019 15:46 utc | 17

lysias@6 Lawyers working for a dead rich man are much more vulnerable than lawyers working for a live rich man. And after all they are looking for new employers. Safe deposit box or lawyers' safe, they don't open themselves.

The weakness in the whole vast conspiracy of human trafficking pedophile Democratic Party swamp hell all-powerful monsters has always been the silly idea that one guy can actually blackmail everybody without either incriminating himself first, and getting taken care of one way or the other. And this is weaker than most because all reports are that a henchman, Ghislaine Maxwell, did the dirty work. Turning the henchmen is always the easiest way to take down an opponent. A lot of this seems to anti-Democratic Party demagogy whipping up lurid sexual fantasies. The reality is probably bad enough. Burying real crimes under a mountain of lies may serve a political goal, but that's still another form of cover up.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 7 2019 15:53 utc | 18

@17 Gieved,

Thank for correction.

Posted by: arata | Jul 7 2019 15:54 utc | 19

Posted by: Curtis | Jul 7 2019 14:42 utc | 9

Actually Little St. James Island is in the U. S. Virgin Islands.

Posted by: naiverealist | Jul 7 2019 16:04 utc | 20

UK. House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.

Libya: Examination of intervention and collapse and the UK’s future policy options.

Third Report of Session 2016–17.

Published 14 September 2016 by authority of the House of Commons.


"In March 2011, the United Kingdom and France, with the support of the United States, led the international community to support an intervention in Libya to protect civilians from attacks by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi. This policy was not informed by accurate intelligence."

other quote:

"According to these individuals Sarkozy’s plans are driven by the following issues:

a. A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,
b. Increase French influence in North Africa,
c. Improve his internal political situation in France,
d. Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world
e. Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi’s long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa."

worth a read... :)

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 7 2019 16:05 utc | 21

Have to wonder if Epstein's was a Mossad operation. The original source of his fortune has never been clear.

Posted by: lysias | Jul 7 2019 13:52 utc | 4

Ghilsane Maxwell was/is Epstein partner in crime. She is the daughter of the late Robert Maxwell(alleged Mossad agent)

Alternative media has been talking about this for a long time.

Posted by: O | Jul 7 2019 16:06 utc | 22

Somtimes rumors are true
“After the downing of its intruding drone, the United States told us through diplomatic intermediaries that it wanted to carry out a limited operation in unimportant and deserted region to save face and asked us to avoid giving them a response, but Iran said it would regard any operation as the initiation of a war,” Brigadier General Gholamreza Jalali, the head of Iran's Passive Defense, said on Sunday.

See the full story at this link

Posted by: arata | Jul 7 2019 16:08 utc | 23

re: Grace 1
To go further into the plot that karlof1 and I cooked up, that the tanker was possibly an Iran set-up:
It as been reported that Iran loaded a total of 532,000 b/d of crude in June, and that most of that remained unsold. Grace 1 has a capacity of 300,000 tons, which is 2m bbls (0.1364 factor). So Grace 1 was possibly carrying four days worth of unsold oil.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 7 2019 16:10 utc | 24

naiverealist 20
Thank you for the correction.
Extradition would then be no problem.

Posted by: Curtis | Jul 7 2019 16:12 utc | 25

"The weakness in the whole vast conspiracy of human trafficking pedophile Democratic Party swamp hell all-powerful monsters has always been the silly idea that one guy can actually blackmail everybody without either incriminating himself first, and getting taken care of one way or the other..."
Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 7 2019 15:53 utc | 18

Wrong the intelligence networks have been using pedophile politicians as stooges for years.

Go research "the Dutroux affair"
Go research "Jimmy Savile and how were his connections"
Go research "the Franklin Cover up"
Go research "Who is Michael Aquino"

Posted by: O | Jul 7 2019 16:18 utc | 26

Trump wants Germany to send troops to Syria to replace American troops. What happened to the declared victory? And why not let Syria and Russia finish them off?

US call for Syria troops divides German coalition

At least there are many in Germany (and not just the SPD) who are wary of sending German troops anywhere let alone one of our no-win slaughter fests.

Former Chancellor Shroeder said, "This isn't a banana republic here!" But most governments these days are. What type of government was his?

Posted by: Curtis | Jul 7 2019 16:19 utc | 27

Another segment of Nasrallah's A-Quds Day Speech has been translated into English where he posits the prime mover attempting to generate war with Iran is the Saudis:

"The second reason (indicating the improbability of a war against Iran) is that the Saudi regime and its allies understood with certainty that there will be no US war against Iran. You are dreaming (O Saudis), you spend your money for nothing and you incite for war to no avail. Trump will not fight for you, while it was your greatest hope. The last thing the Saudis had left was this hope (on which they have staked everything). Is there anything they can do? Do the Saud have alternatives (to prevail)? Who will go to war against Iran? The Saud themselves? While in Yemen, according to the information of the Saudis themselves, these young Yemeni fighters who have no army, no huge capacities, who are besieged, isolated, hungry, sick, whatever you want, but Saudi Arabia fails, is defeated and broken against them! And you (the Saudis) would go to war against (such a formidable power as) Iran? Who (will dare attack Iran)? Will they hire Netanyahu to launch a war against Iran? Let him first take care of his own problems (electoral and with Israeli justice)!

"It’s the end of the road (for the Saud)! All their plans and hopes rested, in recent weeks, on Trump, on Trump’s incitement (to war), on Bolton, on Pompeo and all their fellow evil men in b or p, who were threatening to attack Iran and devastate this country. But it’s over. All their hopes were dashed.

"That is why this Summit was convened in Mecca, as I said, to call the Arab and Muslim worlds and the Gulf countries for help."

And the Houthis have escalated their operations against the Saudis while UAE's withdrawing since this 31 May speech was delivered. Within this context, we see the tanker attacks as desperate provocations designed to ignite a war against Iran, but all attempts have failed. That and more has bolstered Zarif's confidence in his communications to the West, which is clearly reflected in today's tweet. Law and morality now power Iran's rhetoric more than ever before against which the EU-3 and Outlaw US Empire have no defense. The words Macron uttered yesterday in an attempt to blame Iran for his lack of action were easily thrown back in his face and further pressure exerted upon him and his EU partners. Again, Iran's cleaver crafting of the JCPOA to provide it with excellent defensive mechanisms upon its breech by the West has proven itself brilliant. The further events unfold the more the JCPOA appears to be a trap set for the West when it broke it as Iran correctly anticipated.

Nasrallah's 100% correct, the Saudi's are "broken." The hubristic overconfidence of the West is in tatters and humiliation begins to become ever more apparent, with the newest tanker drama providing an exclamation point for all the world to ponder.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 7 2019 16:21 utc | 28

Latest Techno Fog thread about the Epstein case:

"The DOJ was really a co-conspirator in all this.

"The DOJ lawyers changed the victim notification letters - letters to sexually abused young girls - at Epstein's request."

The revelations are head-slapping incredible!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 7 2019 16:31 utc | 29

Cynthia McKinney Grills Donald Rumsfeld on DYNCORP Human Trafficking and the BS wargames that happened on 9/11 and missing trillions.

This is why Rep McKinney was railroaded out of congress.

Posted by: O | Jul 7 2019 16:40 utc | 30

The Bush AG at the time of the deal, Michael Mukasey, is a big supporter of Israel.

Posted by: lysias | Jul 7 2019 16:41 utc | 31

On Iran.....from PressTV:
Germany, UK, France and EU urge Iran to reverse decision on JCPOA commitments . .
>Macron said Sunday that the Iranian announcement amounted to a "violation" of the agreement.. .
>"Iran has broken the terms of the JCPOA," a spokesman for Britain's Foreign Office said on Sunday.. . .
>"We are extremely concerned at Iran's announcement that it has started uranium enrichment above the limit of 3.67 percent," a German foreign ministry spokesman said, adding, "We strongly urge Iran to stop and reverse all activities inconsistent with its commitments." . .
>EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic: "We strongly urge Iran to stop and reverse all activities inconsistent with its commitments ... We are in contact with the other JCPOA participants regarding the next steps under the terms of the JCPOA, including a Joint Commission,"
>Iran's Araqchi warned that Iran had planned out 60-day contingencies for every European failure to meet Iranian demands and could potentially ultimately scrap the deal altogether. .

U.N. nuclear watchdog's board to meet on Iran at request of U.S.. . .VIENNA (Reuters) - The United States has called an emergency meeting of the U.N. atomic watchdog’s 35-nation Board of Governors to discuss Iran, the U.S. mission to the agency said on Friday, after Tehran breached its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers.

BTW the IAEA is NOT a United Nations agency, NOT a U.N. nuclear watchdog. The IAEA was formed under the NPT to help administer the treaty. It has referred Iran to the UNSC before, and probably that's what the US has in mind for the IAEA confab on July 10. At the UNSC, Iran has Russia and China.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 7 2019 16:44 utc | 32

One problem has with the Saudis is that the Hajj, pilgrimage to Mecca, is coming up in about a month.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 7 2019 16:47 utc | 33

...One problem Iran has with the Saudis

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 7 2019 16:48 utc | 34

Information_Agent @ 1 says:

I'll watch with anticipation, but I haven't had any satisfaction from either a political or justice perspective since at least the 2000 coup d'etat, so I won't hold my breath this time

nor i. at most we'll probably see something akin to the Bernie Madoff miniseries...

once again they have a wonderful opportunity to do some house cleaning…

to succor us with a new improved bellwether.

Posted by: john | Jul 7 2019 16:51 utc | 35

Overjoyed that Epstein was arrested and there's a chance that he might actually face justice. I'll be praying the rest of his 'buddies' might see some as well, but just like 10 years ago, this might easily be squashed, or Epstein suicided to wrap a bow on everything. At the very least I look forward to watching Clinton, Derschowitz, Acosta, Trump, Andrew et al trying to deny their pedophilia.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Jul 7 2019 16:54 utc | 36

These sick folks are both Democrats and Republicans,
This was the guy who was 2nd in line for US president succession. You don't think the intel agencies run background checks on these twisted people?

"Former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) has been released from a Minnesota federal prison where he served 13 months for a bank fraud conviction linked to his effort to conceal his past sexual abuse of teenage boys, USA Today reported. "

Posted by: O | Jul 7 2019 17:07 utc | 37

Grace 1

She is sat very low in the water, am not sure if tankers use saltwater as ballast ...I think she is fully loaded.

On whether she chose to enter Uk waters:

"The 1997-built tanker, carrying a 2m-barrel cargo, is currently off the Moroccan coast and signalling Gibraltar as its next destination, likely arriving within two days....

Gibraltar is often signalled as a common destination for energy cargoes for which there is no known buyer, and may not be the tanker’s final discharge location."

Which is to say that the stopover was advertised beforehand. The reason for it, or if it was actually meant, is something else.

Posted by: gzon | Jul 7 2019 17:11 utc | 38

What we see developing in eurasia may not be socialism (according to the rarified standards of the sectarian), but it is not barbarism either.

And what is being practised by the Empire, in the United States, in Venezuela, Iran, Palestine and the crumbling United Kingdom is just that a descent into barbarism in which the strong rule, the vulnerable are devoured and survival depends upon the making of corrupt bargains: prostitution in one of its myriad forms.

After all the path being followed by the eurasian societies was pioneered by Carey and the American System not to mention his intellectual mentor Friedrich List who recognised that national economies left to the mercies of neo-liberal free trade would never develop except as imperial peripheries. Neither List nor Carey any more than Bismark and Lincoln were socialists, they were merely intent on preserving their societies' economies from the control of the capitalist dominated marketplace.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 6 2019 17:27 utc | 114 (posted in the Mueller/Aaron Mate thread)

This is correct in my view. The underlying impetus for the policies promulgated by elites is always to serve the survival of the ruling class...and in the US/UK we have reached the most decadent (barbaric) stage of imperialism where the survival of the ruling class has become so self-assured in the minds of our rulers that there is nothing more on offer to the ruled except a delusional refuge in the solidarity of patriotism, nationalism, jingoism, racism.

MAGA, Brexit, close the borders, trade wars, sanctions...none of these offer any economic gain for the ruled of the US/UK. Quite the contrary, the wealthy are to rich too fail. None of these impediments to working class solidarity will severely impact the fortunes of the rulers of the US/UK to any extent as their assets are already globalised and safely stored legally out of reach (along with the assets of the ruling elites of Russia, China and other developing capitalist economies).

Along with free trade deals, tax cuts for high earners and the threat of a no-deal Brexit, special tax-free zones are likely to feature in a Boris Johnson premiership.

The frontrunner to move into No 10 told a Tory hustings event this week that the UK could have six tax-free zones, known as free ports. Belfast, Teesside and Aberdeen are among potential locations. A US congressional report in 2013 estimated there were 3,500 free ports across 135 countries, hosting tax-free zones spanning from car production to fine art storage.

One of those zones, and a potential model for the UK’s post-Brexit future, can be found at the end of a motorway, in a warehouse backing on to Luxembourg airport.

This is no ordinary warehouse: Le Freeport is a maximum security centre for the super-rich to store art, fine wine, vintage cars and other treasures. Roughly the size of three football pitches, Le Freeport has four bullion chambers, space for 750,000 bottles of wine, and airport landing bays designed for armoured vehicles.

I am actually quite more concerned with how we in the US/UK respond to the vice grips of the barbarians around our necks rather than whether the future of Chinese and Russian capitalism will reach the same stages of development in their own future.

As a Marxist sectarian I remain convince they will reach that stage, albeit with their "own characteristics." And their own oppressed will also need to determine how to fight back when the time comes.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 7 2019 17:11 utc | 39

Don Bacon @33--

Khamenei recently spoke, "Hajj is a political religious obligation," & tweeted about the responsibilities of the Saudis regarding Hajj:

"The Saudi government bears major responsibilities. Among their responsibilities is providing security for the pilgrims but they should not create a security atmosphere. While the pilgrims are in Mecca &Medina, they should treat the hujjaj properly, respectfully, &with honor."

The last several years have seen violence aimed at Shiites attending Hajj. This year's Saudi behavior will be critical for its standing in the Islamic world as to its custodianship of the Holy Sites.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 7 2019 17:29 utc | 40

It's long past due for Jeffrey Epstein to be brought to face actual justice for his flagrant crimes, however I imagine there's a high likelihood that these new charges will also be swiped under the rug or in a few months we'll be reading about Mr. Epstein's tragic suicide or heart attack, time will tell.

Posted by: Kadath | Jul 7 2019 17:30 utc | 41

I think that it is a bit premature to say that the Epstein documents will sink Trump. The desire to sink Trump has not gone well up to this point. Trumps's DOJ re-arrested Epstein. That says little for him covering it up.

The press keeps hammering him and that will do the most damage up to 2020 clearing a path for a possible NEOCON left victory.

From what I have read they were recruiting girls at Mara Lago and Trump kicked them out. It was also reported that Trump banned Epstein from Mara Lago for assaulting or "hitting on" an underage girl. Of course all of this is reported not confirmed. The Alt Left says Trump did it and the Alt Right says he is innocent. It is hard to find a good source.

It appears to me that everyone in the NY social scene knew this was going on and said nothing, including Trump. If they did report this got buried in the bureaucracy because the guys doing this stuff were powerful enough to bury the subject.

I bet some big names will come out in these accusing documents none the less. It is about time these girls get justice. They took great risks pursuing this case over the years.

Posted by: dltravers | Jul 7 2019 17:41 utc | 42

"Howard Stern Dishes to Letterman About When Trump Sexualized Ivanka"

Posted by: O | Jul 7 2019 17:51 utc | 43

"Trump Once Praised 'Terrific Guy' Epstein Who Likes Women 'On the Younger Side'

Posted by: O | Jul 7 2019 17:55 utc | 44

Has anyone heard anything more about the Russian sub accident that killed those 14 sailors. Given that all 14 dead were officers (including 2 heroes of Russia) it certainly seems that this was no ordinary mission and that it involved senior officers.

Posted by: Kadath | Jul 7 2019 18:02 utc | 45

Oops appears I made a bad link @ 39

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 7 2019 18:06 utc | 46

I guess the Brits like going after their pedo politicians after they are dead, like Jimmy Savile.
"Edward Heath pedophile investigation: Former UK prime minister would have faced questioning
After decades of speculation, British police have said new evidence presents a serious case against Edward Heath. The former prime minister died in 2005 after 50 years in the Conservative party."

Posted by: O | Jul 7 2019 18:14 utc | 47

A great interview with Michael Hudson. Enlightening.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jul 7 2019 18:23 utc | 48

Any time an enterprise is under control of the state there is a potential of abuse that can nix the "creative power of capitalism" or "social benefits of socialism". Sometimes it is called "rent seeking". Some degree of abuse is impossible to avoid. I would cautiously agree with Gruff that the doctrinaire critique of "nationalization" totally misses the point, and aggregate and anecdotal data suggests positive trends in Russia. Some of those trends were actually stimulated by Western sanctions.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 6 2019 20:26 utc | 126 (in the Mueller/Mate comment thread)

This is a most excellent comment and I can't take issue with much of anything you state. Thanks for the input.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 7 2019 18:27 utc | 49

Second kadath@45, what do you suppose the Russian submersible was up to? 70m long, tethered to a full sized sub, both nuclear powered, and said to be unarmed. I assume it is designed to work at greater depths than the sub can mannage. Russian MOD acknowledged that it was a military mission and that a catastrophe had been averted. Sounds like they were worried about more than the loss of the submersible.

Also Strategic Culture has an article up discussing the giant US embassy in Bagdad which appears to be a logistics and supply hub for the entire world using diplomatic cover to hide what is being transported.

Posted by: the pessimist | Jul 7 2019 18:38 utc | 50

B, how can you pass up the juicy FUKUS seizure of Iranian oil bound for the tormented Syrians?

stroke, you are a Hasbra troll in deep undercover, on a badly needed vacation (I did neglect your donation this year), or you are pounding up dry powder. This story screams out 'Moon of Alabama', ignored by MSM, when covered it is criminally misrepresented.

Just tell me why, no judgment.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Jul 7 2019 18:53 utc | 51

Three years ago the Philippines won an UNCLOS Tribunal decision against China regarding fishing in the South China Sea, and the US has been trumpeting about it since, and expanding its meaning of course. The Tribunal in the Hague unanimously found that China had violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone by (a) interfering with Philippine fishing and petroleum exploration, (b) constructing artificial islands and (c) failing to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing in the zone.

But, but, but. . .from UK Express today:
South China Sea: Philippines Duterte made shocking 'undocumented agreement' with Beijing
Beijing agreed to stop blocking Filipino fishermen from Scarborough Shoal as long as the Chinese would have access to Recto (Reed) Bank. Duterte argued banning Chinese fishermen from the Philippine’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) would cause problems. He confirmed the deal in a speech last week but his spokesman has revealed the deal has not been signed and is informal. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 7 2019 19:20 utc | 52

Here – try these:

>Between 1999 and 2013, Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) leaped nearly 12-fold from $1,330 per capita to more than $15,560 in 2013, outpacing even China’s remarkable economic growth.
>Russia reduced its debt as a percentage of GDP by over 90%, from 144% in 1998 to less than 14% in 2015!
>Gross national income per capita rose from $1,710 in 2000 to $14,810 in 2013.
>Unemployment fell from 13% in 1999 to below 5% in 2014. Among the working population (those aged 15-64), 69% have a paid job (74% of men).
>Only 0.2% of Russians work very long hours, compared to 13% OECD average
>Poverty rate fell from 40% in the 1990s to 12.5% in 2013 – better than U.S. or German poverty rates (15.6% and 15.7%, respectively)
>Average monthly income rose from around 1,500 rubles in 1999 to nearly 30,000 rubles in 2013.
>Average monthly pensions rose from less than 500 rubles to 10,000 rubles.

For a whole lot more – with listed sources, go here:

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jul 6 2019 21:59 utc | 130 (in the Mueller/Mate comment thread

AntiSpin, it would be stupid for me to dispute the economic growth of Russia (or China) during the prior 30 years of their capitalist development. Of course, it also worked for the amerikkkan working man under different circumstances from today during an earlier stage of US industrial development. Let's look at some US growth statistics during comparable time periods in an earlier era of what is known as the "US Century".

GNP growth:

As the Cold War unfolded in the decade and a half after World War II, the United States experienced phenomenal economic growth. The war brought the return of prosperity, and in the postwar period the United States consolidated its position as the world's richest country. Gross national product, a measure of all goods and services produced in the United States, jumped from about $200 thousand-million in 1940 to $300 thousand-million in 1950 to more than $500 thousand-million in 1960. More and more Americans now considered themselves part of the middle class.

The growth had different sources. The automobile industry was partially responsible, as the number of automobiles produced annually quadrupled between 1946 and 1955. A housing boom, stimulated in part by easily affordable mortgages for returning servicemen, fueled the expansion. The rise in defense spending as the Cold War escalated also played a part.

Income Growth:

Average hourly earnings more than doubled between 1914 and 1919, the increase being mainly a result of changes in basic rates of wages. Increases far smaller occurred from 1939 to 1944, and yet factors other than basic wage-rate changes, especially premium pay­ments for overtime, were much more important than in the First World War. The increase in gross average hourly earnings in fac­tories from 1939 to 1944 was 61 percent; the increase in basic wage rates was hardly more than 35 percent

Life expectancy:

white men: 47 (1900) - 67 (1950); black men: 33 (1900) - 59 (1950); white women: 49 (1900) - 72 (1950) black women: 34 (1900) - 63 !950

Social Security (monthly):

1930 - $0 (non-existent)

1940 - $22.82

1980 - $321.10

I'm not arguing for the superiority of US capitalism versus Russian (or Chinese) capitalism. I'm saying these qualified comparisons we see being made which extol the relative virtue Russia are more about the comparative stage of capitalist development and other historical factors (fall of USSR, the Great Depression, WWII) than moral qualities.

It doesn't follow from a reading of history that Russia and China will maintain these quality measures or social solidarity as they ascend the higher stages of capitalist development any more than the US/UK did.

Russia and China may in fact advance along a different superiour route than did the US/UK. However, there is also nothing in the current data which suggests this will be so. Only current propagandistic belief systems suggest this will be so.

And it is my contention these belief systems run counter to the Marxist critique of capitalism.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 7 2019 19:25 utc | 53

And further, I totally get it that the trend to neo-nationalism in the US/UK is fired by nostalgia for the "Amerikkkan Century" when things were as good as they [supposedly] are now for the Russian and Chinese worker on the rise...during the "Globalist Century."

And this nostalgia is being misplayed, misdirected and badly abused by fake neo-nationalist/populist gangsters (Trump/Bannon/BoJo/Farage/etc) into legitimised political power to further weaken the lower middle income working class population...and even leftists (who should know better)...against their own class interest.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 7 2019 19:49 utc | 54

Post Script (I'm done...apologies to those w delicate sensibilities for trashing this open thread)

I've family visitors the last few days. I appreciate all the responses and will read in detail, consider and reply when able.

Today I simply skimmed the thread. I see much made of the statistics regarding income and longevity gains. Of course, someone once said something appropriate about the validity of arguing with statistics, which to me means context is everything.

Increasing from a lower number always yields a higher percentage than when starting from a higher number. But what about other related economic factors?

"Cost of living" for instance. How much has CoL increased since the fall of the Soviet Union? How much disposable income does the avarage Russian retain today compared to his salary?

This seems to me to a very important question to consider when comparing the increased welfare of the average citizen compared with the post USSR starting point or other nations today.

And this is not a loaded question, I'm curious. I would expect the average Russian has much more disposable income today then under the USSR and much less than compared with US/EU average.

The basic Gruff/donkeytale/Jackrabbit starting point, are these gains the result of socialist policies, capitalist policies, or the authoritarian dictates of the "great man?"

Jackrabbit's asertion implies the "great man," that Putin has looked out for the welfare of the Russian people, appears correct to me on the evidence antispin presents. Will this always be the case, that another great man will follow the great man? (and I agree Putin is a "great man", especially in relation to current world leaders). What if, as seems to typically occur, a less than great man follows the great man?

What type of political/economic system remains in place post-Putin is a highly debatable and interesting supposition to consider.

bevin's lengthy comment which I skimmed most likely addresses this question. Also noted, Piotr Berman, JR and some others. All worthy of study, research (AKA "googling") and response. I'll post in the current open thread which is probably best as time has moved on and I'm OT anyway.

Thanks again.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 7 2019 14:43 utc | 133 (posted in the Mueller/Mate comment thread)

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 7 2019 20:17 utc | 55

Interesting that while the Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday article repeatedly mentions Russia, there is no suggestion yet that the Russians are responsible for the leak. This looks like something the GRU might actually do. On the other hand, I'm guessing that the Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday may know who the source of the leak actually is.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jul 7 2019 20:20 utc | 56

They say leak, I'm guessing hack. . .the opposite of the DNC server situation.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 7 2019 20:36 utc | 57

Ghost Ship @ 56
I would put good money on the leaks coming from the elite/deepstate/puppet masters that pull the political strings. Both sides of the pond !
Democracy being an illusion ‘THEY’ have had enough of the clowns running the shambles at the moment! and are taking back control, via the media !
Who owns the Daily Mail ? Nuff said.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 7 2019 20:46 utc | 58

Ali Khamenei talks about negotiations here. The audience reaction at the end of this short video is interesting.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 7 2019 20:49 utc | 59

@Don Bacon 58

Khamenei said that negotiation is just a part of deception from the west. Anything new here that you think is different?

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jul 7 2019 21:07 utc | 60

@51 Christian Chuba... it's a good question.. i think the answer might partly be due the fact the war on iran is ramping up and there will be plenty of time to comment on it.. stay tuned.. my guess is b does a story on this sooner then later...

Posted by: james | Jul 7 2019 21:18 utc | 61

@ UJ 59
Nothing new for Khamenei, he's always distrusted the US. Here we have it on video.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 7 2019 21:26 utc | 62

@56 ghosty


Posted by: nJH | Jul 7 2019 21:57 utc | 63


The economic theory of "privatization of infrastructure = good" has, and always will be, complete bollocks. Thieves and parasites aka the neolibs love it, as it's a ticket to their holy grail of privatized profits but socialised costs.

Singapore once dabbled in privatization of public transportation and it was such an abject failure (Service operators were far more interested renting out space to shops on taxpayer paid real estate than running trains and buses, for example) that they re-nationalized back all of the infrastructure and equipment. When such a tiny and highly efficient country couldn't make privatization work, absolutely no one else will.

Posted by: Jonathan | Jul 7 2019 22:05 utc | 64

@DT 56, 39

The vote to leave the EU was largely carried by working-class votes explicitly against firm instructions from the ruling class. It is certainly ironic that while that ruling class does everything possible to maintain the US Empire, and Britain's role within it, it is happy to subordinate Britain's sovereignty to the soft EU Empire, which itself is happy to take orders from Washington.

The thing about the EU is that as a fundamentally anti-democratic capitalist construct, it can reduce the possibility of pesky voters electing governments capable of implementing socialist reform such as public finance over private, or even a Keynesian anti-austerity budget as we have seen in Italy, where the EU trampled over the elected government. And THAT is pure neo-liberalism. Not just naked capitalism but a capitalism insulated from a democratic will to change it.

A few Tories and ex Tories are not the ruling class any more. The pleb-hating, technocratic, warmongering and feverishly pro-EU Tony Blair is more representative of the contemporary ruling class than the (anti-interventionist) Nigel Farage.

Posted by: Ash (London) | Jul 7 2019 22:12 utc | 65

Actually, in a way it isn't ironic at all. Perhaps the British ruling class just love the structure of empires, and don't like sovereignty. Even our own.

Posted by: Ash (London) | Jul 7 2019 22:21 utc | 66

@ donkeytale | Jul 7 2019 19:25 utc | 53

I have no idea why that was addressed to me – it certainly had nothing to do with my comment at 130 in the Mueller/Mate thread, which was an answer to your question at #112, in which you asked “what has Putin accomplished for the welfare of the Russian people?”

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jul 7 2019 22:34 utc | 67

@ Information_Agent #1 - What coup d'etat are you referring to from a political justice perspective?

Posted by: KC | Jul 7 2019 22:35 utc | 68

@ Jonathan - do you have any links to the Singapore public transport issue? Sounds like an interesting read. Thanks.

Posted by: KC | Jul 7 2019 22:36 utc | 69

So we have Gibraltar. Brit so-called leaders are preparing for Brexit by going back to ancient days of piracy and good old Francis Drake. Sold to me as a schoolkid as some sort of boy's own hero - Spanish Armada and all that - they failed to mention that Britain had only defeated the Spanish by stealing the stuff the Spanish stole from the native populations of Latin America. The Spanish do the heist and the Brits hit them as they're hightailing it home. Then the Brits created what the Spanish call "La Leyenda Negra (The Black Legend) which accused the Spanish of the worst atrocities possible ever. The Spanish reacted by saying well at least we married into local population that we hadn't killed whereas you didn't. How many Mexicans are called Rodriguez and how many Indians are called Smith?

Posted by: Lochearn | Jul 7 2019 22:40 utc | 70

@Lochearn, your British analogy reminded me of Omar Little from "The Wire".

Posted by: KC | Jul 7 2019 22:48 utc | 71

Thank you KC. I noticed the guns in the video. I dislike guns because it is extremely difficult to kill someone without a gun. You have to really, really want to. Whereas with a gun you have that distance, the distance sufficient for a sort of unrecognition of what you are about to do. Then you have life without parole and nobody told you about that.

Posted by: Lochearn | Jul 7 2019 23:09 utc | 72

Baniyas terminal is composed of six submerged oil pipelines each with its own offshore berth located about 1.3km offshore. In all, it receives about 330 vessels a year, up to 290m in length and 15m draught (up to 130,000t for loading and 97,000t for discharging) for both import and export of petroleum products. The Grace 1 is 300,000 t with an average draught of 18.1 metres so it would appear to be too big for Baniyas, it was fully loaded too so its draught would probably be greater than 18.1 metres. Also the Gibraltar authorities/UK only claim 3 nautical miles, territorial limit, yet the Grace 1 was way to the north of the equidistant line for passage through the strait.[for whatever reason].

• AIS Name GRACE 1
• Type Oil tanker
• Flag Panama
• IMO 9116412
• MMSI 355271000
• Callsign 3EYE2
• Year Built 1997
• Length 331 m
• Width 58 m
• Draught Avg 18.1 m / ..

Posted by: Harry Law | Jul 7 2019 23:15 utc | 73

These people have no shame. Now they want to indoctrinate our kids. Isn’t it enough that our kids have to do essays on Anne Frank despite their reluctance.

From the article: “ It also revealed that 41 percent of millennials think the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust was two million or less, rather than six million.”

“The World Jewish Congress is pushing US lawmakers to make Holocaust education mandatory in all schools, citing statistics from a 2018 poll revealing half of millennials can’t name a single Nazi concentration camp.”

Maybe its because they just don't give a shit and are tired of watching a dead horse being beaten everyday.

Posted by: uncle Jon | Jul 7 2019 23:19 utc | 74

KC @ 68:

Interesting article from the Media Team Chariman of the Workers' Party (Parti Perkeja) in Singapore on how privatising what is a public good leads to market failures:

Overhauling Singapore’s public transport model: Market failures in public transport

Why privatising a public good or a public service will always fail:

- when a public good / service is privatised, transparency and accountability to users (the general public) is lost
- the original provision is usually a government monopoly, so against what standard would "private competition" be considered more "efficient"? The "standard" must be the standard of service supplied by the government (along with the price charged) at the time the service was privatised - and this standard will always be found to be "inefficient"
- there are always good reasons why a public good or a public service has to be supplied as such by a government monopoly in the first place, and these are usually reasons like ongoing high costs of maintenance and extending the service to new users, the essential nature of the service (that is, there are few or no good substitutes for it and everyone needs the service) and the existence of freeloaders who get away with using the service for free without affecting other people's use of it (ie if I don't pay the train fare when I use the train, my misdemeanour doesn't deprive other people from paying the fare and using the system)

Another article on the failure of privatisation of Singapore's public metro system:
Privatisation of public transport may have gone too far: Mahbubani

Posted by: Jen | Jul 7 2019 23:19 utc | 75

Ash (London) | Jul 7 2019 22:21 utc | 65 says:

'Perhaps the British ruling class just love the structure of empires, and don't like sovereignty. Even our own.'

There is a very good article over at Zero-hedge, (, that provides a history of the 'Globalist - World Governance' movement, from the early last century, until the present, led by the British ruling class. It is clear from this article that indeed the British ruling class do not like sovereignty, ever their own.

This article also does a good job of positioning the three main actors in the Great Geo-political Game that we watch unfolding before our eyes every day. The three actors are:
- The 'Globalists' - led by the wealthy international elite, centered in London and New York.
- The 'Authoritarian Nationalists' led by Trump and his acolytes, including Netenyahu and MBS.
- The Multi-Polar World Order, led by Russia and China.

If we were to position these three actors on a matrix, with one axis being their position on Global Governance/ National Sovereignty, and the other axis being their position on human relationships, either authoritarian or collaborative, we would observe the following :
Globalists - » Authoritarian; Pro-Global Governance /Anti - National Sovereignty
Authoritarian Nationalists - » Authoritarian; Anti-Global Governance/ Pro-National Sovereignty
M-P World Order - » Collaborative; Pro-Global Governance/Pro-National Sovereignty.

I agree with the authors of the article that 'It is this same British-run deep state which owns Robert Mueller, who along with the Integrity Initiative, Five Eyes and other Deep State operatives are dedicated to overthrowing President Trump'.

However I disagree with the authors that Trump could form a coalition with the M-P World Order, against the 'Globalists', in order to preserve national sovereignty and enhance the well being of their respective societies. Authoritarians such as Trump see the competition between states as a zero-sum game, and thus will never agree to share world leadership with other nations.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Jul 7 2019 23:23 utc | 76

Uncle Jon @ 73:

Not coming to a news media outlet near you: Why Israelis Are Refusing to Send Their Kids on School Trips to Auschwitz

'...Many students talk about a life-changing experience. Raz Strugano, a student at Ben-Gurion University, calls the [school trips to Auschwitz] “an absolute must.”

“Until I went with my school, I stayed away from the subject of the Holocaust because it really scared me, to the point where I couldn’t even watch films about it,” says the Be’er Sheva native who visited Poland with her high school class five years ago. “After being there, I still can’t really fathom what happened, but at least I have a much better idea.”

By contrast, an officer in Military Intelligence says he has many reservations looking back. “I was in 11th grade at the time, and while it was a very powerful experience then, I don’t think I took much away from it, and I honestly don’t think about it that often,” says the officer, whose name cannot be used because he is not allowed to speak with reporters without permission.

“My main problem with the trip was that there was lots of emphasis on the past but hardly any on the future, like how do we apply what we’ve learned to making Israel a better place. The main message I got from the trip was that it’s important to serve in the army and defend the country, and I just didn’t connect to that. I thought it was propaganda.”

Another soldier who asked that his full name not be published also found the trip disappointing. “Sure, there were some very powerful moments, but most of the time I felt like I was walking around a museum with my classes,” he says. “There wasn’t that ‘wow’ feeling I had expected.”...'

Posted by: Jen | Jul 7 2019 23:29 utc | 77

@ 76 jen... the students would be better served taking a trip to gaza and seeing first hand a similar set up the ongoing parallel process..

Posted by: james | Jul 7 2019 23:33 utc | 78

@73 I don't think mandatory Holocaust education can be anything but good so long as it isn't pro-Zionist or pro-R2P propaganda. Hell, I'm surprised it already isn't legally required.

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Jul 7 2019 23:37 utc | 79

@77 james, great idea!

Posted by: spudski | Jul 7 2019 23:43 utc | 80

Seagram Heiress Pleads Guilty in New York Sex Cult Case

Compromise operations are standard practice amongst the zio elite. I would not be surprised if Mossad, MI6, the CIA et al are shutting down competition.

Posted by: C I eh? | Jul 7 2019 23:52 utc | 81

Escaping NXIVM

Since it's the CBC I think we are witnessing a clean up operation. Other Bronfmans have been on the CBC burnishng their images as super awesome people, a few weeks after Clare Bronfman's conviction.

Posted by: C I eh? | Jul 8 2019 0:00 utc | 82

Interesting link regarding Epstein case - Trump seems to be tied into this according to the

attached link

Posted by: curious | Jul 8 2019 0:08 utc | 83

Grace 1

I think the draught is at 22m now (tankertrackers). I think there would be ways around the draught limits at Baniyas, say ship to ship transfer, but not sure.

Assumes sanctions overrule innocent passage, but they question cargo, hence destination. Fuel oil won't normally be for Baniyas, and so might not be sanctioned.
However, the extention of the detention since the above article suggests they have found it was breaking EU sanctions. I haven't been able to find more detail on the cargo or exactly what info was used as basis for extending the detention.

Posted by: gzon | Jul 8 2019 0:18 utc | 84

@54 kadath

Everything has been ultra hushed, to an astonishing level on public forums. Those who know aren't talking even in coded posts. Vids and posts pertaining to the events are deleted. A rocket other than an s200 rocket landed in Cyprus, highest level meetings taking place the same day across the globe, 14 dead sailors during nato sea games, a lot just went on maybe even more is connected

Posted by: Hydration | Jul 8 2019 0:30 utc | 85

Tankers the size of Grace 1 are double hull (safety regulations) and use the gap between the inner and outer hulls for ballast. That is to say they pump seawater between the hulls to improve stability of the ship. These gaps between the hulls are sectioned so that the crew can ballast either side, or front to back, separately. Seawater is heavier than oil so even when they are carrying cargo ships will often use some ballast to improve handling of the ship, or just to balance and level it. Basically, even when fully loaded the ship may be too light for safe handling in certain conditions (oil is bulky, but compared with water not very heavy).

The point here is that it is conceivable that a ship like Grace 1 could be ballasted to ride a couple meters lower for stability, but when in the relative safety of a sheltered anchorage they could pump out the ballast and ride a few meters higher.

I have no evidence that this is what Grace 1 is doing but I wanted to point it out as it is a possibility.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 8 2019 0:35 utc | 86

I see it expressed quite often that moving from a private owned financial system to a public owned system will solve all problems, or most of them.

I would point out that the BOE was privatized after WWII and in the long run that made no difference. The same guys still ran the BOE and the government was still influenced by those with money.

In the US nothing really would change if the Fed Reserve were nationalized. The same people would run it, and government officials would be corrupted.
There would be a million reason why money could not be printed to build infrastructure and provide a single pay health system. Inflation, exchange rates, etc. All BS.

The same for those who call for Medicare for All. It would just be corrupted from within and sabotaged to force you to buy supplemental private insurance. Those without can wait 3 months fir cancer surgery. Those with get VIP treatment.

None of these things can work without Democracy and a Free Press,and appropriate checks and balances. None of these things exist in any form except as myth and illusion.

One can argue when exactly we lost all of these things, or if we ever had them, but the fact is they don’t exist today.

Perhaps this is a bit negative. But until a couple of things I list below happen I will stay negative.

1. How nice it would be if people would be aware that the government has a great amount of credit based on its land, resources and productive capacity of its population and can issue its own interest free money without relying on taxes or loans. The brain washing makes it impossible for most people to grasp this.
2. Can people ever break out of the group think on vaccines and global warming which are actually related to each other as measures that control and/or reduce population . Both are memes promoted by the same MSM and their Big Pharma/Big Foundations (of the super rich) sponsors that so many here distrust when it comes to economics and geopolitics, yet trust is absolute on these issues.

Why are people so easily led into Groupthink? First, lets define what it is and how it works

The late Professor Irving in the early 70’s defined three distinctive features of Groupthink that we can characterise as rules.

Rule one is that a group of people come to share a common view or belief that in some way is not properly based on reality. They may believe they have all sorts of evidence that confirms that their opinion is right, but their belief cannot ultimately be tested in a way that confirms this beyond doubt. In essence, therefore, it is no more than a shared belief.

Rule two is that because their shared view cannot be subjected to external proof, they need to reinforce its authority by elevating it into a ‘consensus’. To those who subscribe to the ‘consensus’, the common belief seems intellectually and morally so self-evident that all right-thinking people must agree with it. The one thing they do not allow is that anyone, either within their group or outside it, should question or challenge it.

Rule three is a consequence of that insistence that everyone must support the ‘consensus’. The views of anyone who fails to share it become wholly unacceptable. There cannot be any possibility of dialogue with them. They must be excluded from any further discussion. At best they may just be marginalised and ignored, at worst they must be openly attacked and discredited. Dissent cannot be tolerated.

A perfect example of groupthink in action is Hans Christian Andersen’s story The Emperor’s New Clothes. When the emperor parades through the streets in what he has been talked into imagining is a dazzling new suit, all his deferential sub- jects acclaim it as handsome beyond compare. Only the little boy points out that the emperor is not wearing any clothes at all, and is stark naked. And, of course, those caught up in the ‘consensus’ all viciously turn on him for pointing out the truth.

Groupthink is a term of the same order as the words in the newspeak vocabulary of George Orwells 1984 – a vocabulary with terms such as ‘doublethink’ and ‘crimethink’. Groupthink is an Orwellian tool of the elite

So whenever you hear the word consensus and see harsh criticism or censorship of those who oppose a view, you should know you are being had by elite forces forcing Groupthink on you. Even if you resist belief you will keep quiet, and thats what they want

But so many seem unaware. Hence the negativity.

Posted by: Pft | Jul 8 2019 0:36 utc | 87

Epstein going to be brought to justice? They brought one charge against him if I read correctly. They could have had him on dozens. However with one the key witness can easily be muzzled (bought off or otherwise) which weakens the case. They probably chose the weakest case. It will play out for years with Epstein on bail. Worst case he gets convicted and sentenced and Trump pardons him on the way out. By then the internet will be so controlled there will be no visible outrage. So don't worry about Epstein talking. If there was any chance of that his plane from Paris would not have landed in one piece

Posted by: Pft | Jul 8 2019 0:45 utc | 88

Grace 1

@ 85

Thanks. The theory by tankertrackers is that she is so low in the water because she is carrying fuel oil, which is heavier than crude. However they did not see her load and sat images were cloud covered. As Syria now has a fuel shortage, I would be surprised if Iran, which has relatively few tankers but is refurbishing some, would use one to transfer fuel oil (low grade remainder of refining process, used for industrial plants maybe or tanker fuel) around Africa. It is possible I suppose, or maybe as an indirect swap for crude somewhere for Syria ? Intelligence agencies will likely have known better what was on board.

Aside that it seemed to go a bit unnoticed that EU had just renewed sanctions on Syria for a year

And not forgetting the position some European countries took in, the part they played in the run up to, the Syrian civil war, it all adds up to something a bit different than is being projected by media.

Happiness 1 is still tied up/retained in Jeddah.

Posted by: gzon | Jul 8 2019 1:07 utc | 89

@ Jen 76

Thanks for the article. It makes even more sense now why they are doing this in US. Because they can’t t sell that lemon to their own population anymore. They have become desensitized. It happens when you hear that all your life, and in many occasions find out it’s a ploy to extort and pillage.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jul 8 2019 1:29 utc | 90

Blooming Barricade @ 78:

I have no issue with making Holocaust or genocide studies mandatory but at what level of primary or secondary schooling should such studies be mandatory? Should Holocaust studies be taught separately and at the same level of, say, mathematics, history or geography, or as part of the history curriculum or the curriculum of some other subject? In some countries, curricula for senior secondary schools may not consider the study of history to be compulsory. If that's the case, how then do senior high students who don't take history or some other subject where the Holocaust would be taught learn about it?

Also students and their parents would be entitled to ask and to know why Holocaust study is to be privileged over the study of other genocides, especially if they are from cultures or societies that had no experience of the Holocaust (either as victims, perpetrators, collaborators or bystanders) and also if their cultures and societies experienced atrocities amounting to genocide committed by Western nations and empires past and present.

As the Ha'aretz article I linked to @ 76 notes, if even Israeli high school students have difficulty in relating what they learn about the Holocaust to their own lives and perspectives - and many Israeli Jews (especially if they are Mizrahi Jews, or Jews originally from Middle Eastern / North African countries) actually don't have a personal connection to the Holocaust - how would high school students in Western countries further removed from the Holocaust psychologically and culturally be able to benefit from such study?

Posted by: Jen | Jul 8 2019 1:30 utc | 91

Couple of thoughts on last weeks debates;

1. When asked if the candidates favored a "gov. run healthcare" or their private healthcare plan only a few raised their hands. The question was a loaded one, a bogus swipe at "medicare for all".

Medicare is a Gov. PAID plan, not a Gov. RUN plan..

2. Not one mention of the "open borders" plan the Republicans accuse the Dems. of backing. On line is awash with that same accusation. Not one mention by either party, of the criminal penalties on employers for hiring illegal immigrants, which is the REAL problem in the U$A.
We, in the U$A,we don't have an "illegal immigrant" problem, we have an "illegal employer" problem.

As usual in the U$A, it's all about the $, not with "justice for all".

Posted by: ben | Jul 8 2019 2:00 utc | 92

Posted by: Pft | Jul 8 2019 0:36 utc | 86

More fundamentally, we need to determine if the historic and prevailing human order is a bottom-up phenomena.

Group think is the intellectual analog of behavior in physical groups. We have two categorical psychologies: as individuals, and as individuals in a collective. Cult leaders, propagandists, charismatic leaders, pimps, and ideologues all seem to have an innate understanding of the machanics of the latter psychology: the mind of a group.

The degree of maturity necessary for a collective of free, fully aware, and capable individuals to act coherently is not evident in today's humans. Such a humanity, for example, would be capable of creating ad-hoc hierarchies or other decision making topologies with transient leadership perfectly content with laying down the scepter and passing it on.

Yet humans remain susceptible to cults of personality.

What was the first commandment? Something about "graven image".

I think it is bottom up.

Posted by: Realist | Jul 8 2019 2:14 utc | 93

Social animals pick and follow leaders with domonstrable, valued skills. Leaders are replaced when they can no longer perform their role effectively. Clearly this is an evolutionarily effective strategy. Animal groups are never very large, nor were early hominid groups. Humans are an evolutionary experiment, and clearly we are still seeking effective ways to organize and satisfy the needs of large groups, a difficult task when no equilibrium is ever reached as technological change and the resulting population increase so far won't allow it.

Posted by: the pessimist | Jul 8 2019 2:33 utc | 94

Curious that in the discussion of Jeffrey Epstein's arrest and how it might or might not drag down his friends in high places, nothing has been said about Prince Andrew and who in Britain or the US may be protecting him from being outed as one of Epstein's circle of clients.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 8 2019 2:57 utc | 95

Case against Epstein (Trump) filed in District Court of New York in 2016 according to this article


______________________________________________________________________________ Plaintiff Jane Doe, proceeding under a pseudonym, brings this action against Donald J. Trump and Jeffrey E. Epstein, and alleges that:

Posted by: curious | Jul 8 2019 3:16 utc | 96

Add to above post: the DailyMail UK newspaper has some additional reporting on Epstein/Trump


Posted by: curious | Jul 8 2019 3:33 utc | 97

@ben 91
"Medicare is a Gov. PAID plan, not a Gov. RUN plan.." That depends, Medicare Parts B and D are not government run, but the primary Medicare program is administered by the federal government.

Medicare has much lower overhead than private health insurance, although Medicare is much more susceptible to fraud, although even conceding that it likely has lower overhead. This does not consider variations in reimbursement rates between Medicare and private health insurance, but outside of the prescription drug context, Medicare would likely have even lower costs.
Is Medicare for All the Answer to Sky-High Administrative Costs?

Posted by: Schmoe | Jul 8 2019 3:38 utc | 98

Would it help Trump to fire Labor Sec Acosta, the squirrely prosecutor who let Epstein walk?

Acosta was rewarded by the gang of pimps and Johns with the cushy job of Trump Admin Labor Secretary.

(He was recycled from the Dubya Bush gang of thieves and murderers.)

Confirmed by the US Senate. Surely the Senatewhores all knew of Acosta's South Florida dirty deal wrt Epstein.

Sidebar: Trump AG Barr's father, as Headmaster, had hired Epstein as a teacher at Dalton Prep School NYC.

Posted by: Kristan hinton | Jul 8 2019 3:50 utc | 99

From TASS "....A crew error could not have caused the tragedy in the Barents Sea on July 1 when 14 Russian submariners died in a fire onboard a research submersible, experts interviewed by Izvestia said. The crews of these submersibles consist of high-class professionals, who learn how to survive in emergency situations, they explained. ...... The research submersible was carrying out bathymetric measurements, namely the works on examining the sea bottom, currents and the depths. Their results are important mainly for ensuring surface and underwater navigation, and may be widely used for scientific purposes. ..."

Posted by: the pessimist | Jul 8 2019 5:53 utc | 100

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