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

« previous page
Deutsche Bank slashes 18,000 jobs worldwide, Asian operations hit

Read more at this link

Posted by: arata | Jul 8 2019 7:36 utc | 101

Severomorsk, the submarine base where the submersible was taken is on the Russian northern coast near the border with Finland. Press statements say it was conducting bathymetric survey in the Barents Sea within Russian territorial waters. The continental shelf extends about 900 miles to the north from Severomorsk ( map ), territory which I believe Russia claims ( map ), and it would share an undersea border with Norway for this distance ( map ). The ocean depth in the continental shelf region is generally less than 1000'. Why would one need a submersible capable of deep diving on the shelf? If they were at the shelf edge when the accident occurred then how long would it take them to transit 900mi? Perhaps they were installing underwater sensors of some sort or another. There is quite some interest in the whole region over the past decade...

Posted by: the pessimist | Jul 8 2019 8:13 utc | 102

or was it down there cutting or tapping undersea fiber optic communications cables?

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jul 8 2019 11:58 utc | 103

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

I'm talking about the 2000 coup d'etat that installed the Bush administration, which was needed in order to allow 9/11 to happen without any resistance.

Posted by: Information_Agent | Jul 8 2019 13:00 utc | 104

Iran exceeds enrichment levels allowed by JCPOA in mad race to develop nuclear weapon to attack Israel and the U.S. ... (the FOX and MSM version)

Here is the truthful version ...
Iran has always needed some uranium up to 5% enrichment as fuel for their nuclear power plant, they needed a mixture of levels. They agreed to limit their enrichment to 3.67% and let the Russian company supply the small amount needed above that level. Since their supplier has been cut off, they are providing all of their own fuel.

They are now saying that they will produce up to 20% (or higher) 'as needed', they are not declaring an intent to stock pile highly enriched uranium but the liars in the MSM will lie about what Iran said.

What Iran might do is subject to debate but Iran is the ultimate authority on what they say they will do

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jul 8 2019 13:03 utc | 105

news headline and lead graph:
Afghanistan remains a dangerous place
The recent deaths of three more service members and two more contractors serve as a painful reminder that while much of the nation might have forgotten, Afghanistan remains a deadly place for the men and women who serve there. image

A great nation requires human sacrifices by youngsters who "serve their country," a " painful reminder" in order to sanctify its hegemonic aggression in foreign lands. It gives the politicians a basis for forever war, justified because people are dying for it. How could it be wrong? (memories of the Aztec sacrifices) And to the survivors who are able to return in one piece, civilians say thank your for your service. Whatever it was, it must have been important for you to risk your life.

Currently the Pentagon is hurting because of inadequate recruiting. Sign up for the infantry and get a $40,000 bonus, this offer won't last long. We all ought to add whatever we can to this difficulty.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 8 2019 13:07 utc | 106

Ash (London)

Farage will take his mother's milk directly from Washington if he gets in. How is this any different from going through the EU which takes its mother's milk from Washington? The price for a direct connection to Trump's teat will be costly....loss of EU membership comes isn't cost neutral let alone poditive and a newly negotiated trade deal with the "Art of the Dealer" with no leverage post-Brexit on the Brit side won't make up the difference.

The problem with Brexit is the solution it presents to the working class isn't real. The closed system of economic globalism will not be severed simply by Britain exiting the EU. The system will acclimate and wealthy Brits will find (probably already have found) their workarounds.

The ruling classes (of all nations) love wealth and the political power they derive from wealth. Sovereignty is strictly for the little people. Wave the flag! Have a parade! Look at all those cool jet planes!

My question remains: what will the working class gain from Brexit?

Look at all the populist, neo-nationalist promises the "anti-interventionist" Trump made to the US working class...what has he delivered beyond a nice July 4 military parade and some entertaining red meat speeches to the faithful? First he tried with all his might to reduce what little healthcare safety net exists in the US without having a viable solution (after lying during his campaign that he did) and then he cut taxes on the wealthiest, creating a record budget gap and increased income inequality.

More and better military budget sure. The better to serve up war, which is always and everywhere in the West the end result of aggressive nationalism.

Brexit was based on similar candy coated lies to those offered up by Trump (Bannon having his greasy hands on both). Once in power Farage may play a harder line than Trump. No matter. The game pieces are all still firmly controlled by the ruling (upper) classes in Britain and across the globe.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 8 2019 13:07 utc | 107

Helmer's latest on Ukraine - including the role of Canada's foreign minister Chrystia Freeland - excellent and informative as always...

Will the Ukraine Parliament Election Reverse the Maidan Putsch, Drive the Galicians From Power?

"The message from Ukrainian democracy, 'alive and kicking' according to Freeland in Toronto, is that ending the civil war is far more important to most Ukrainians right now than ending the oligarchs' role in Ukraine's politics - on condition the oligarchs also back an end to the war. If the pre-election poll results materialize on July 21, there will be minimal support in the new verkhovna Rada for the US-Canadian war. That is unless Freeland and Volker can rig the vote on July 21; intimidate Zelenksy and remove Kolomoisky."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Jul 8 2019 13:20 utc | 108

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

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

Why is there no point, which should come first, that Sarkozy simply did not want to return the money taken from Gaddafi?

Posted by: curious man | Jul 8 2019 13:23 utc | 109

on Iran --
Pompeo tweet
Iran's regime has taken new steps to advance its nuclear ambitions. Once again, the regime uses its nuclear program to extort the international community and threaten regional security. The world’s top sponsor of terrorism can never be allowed to enrich uranium at any level.
Alastair Crooke here
.. the crisis between Iran and Washington is only nominally about nuclear issues. .When Secretary Pompeo speaks of negotiations being only possible – as and when – Iran were to become a “normal nation”, he plainly means only ‘when Iran abjures its revolution’. . .Again, this reflects a complete lack of understanding of ‘that’ which makes Iran precisely what it is. . .In short, Shi’ism is experiencing a renaissance, just as the Arab ‘system’ continues its downward trajectory in terms of its popular legitimacy and credibility. For the US to think that the Gulf States are capable of confronting Iran – of quenching this Shi’a renaissance – is . . . naïve. .

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 8 2019 13:33 utc | 110

About the border between Russia and Norway there's nothing of any particular importance except in Russia and that would be the Russian North Fleet. Friendly relations on both sides of the border, free movement of Russian and Norwegian permanently settled nationals living close enough to the border (I think it is something like 50 kilometers, people on both sides travel across the border regularly).

Finland doesn't enter the picture, they don't have access to the ocean up there, it may look close on maps but that's an illusion.

Border between Norway and Russia

The Norwegian side is essentially not defended and that is on purpose. The NATO cold war plan was to halt any advance much further south down towards the middle of Norway (a hell of a long way away). It would of course never happen, any war would not only have gone nuclear but have been over long before that.

I've said it before on MoA: the idea of any conventional war back and forth in this region or through it as an attempt at invasion is simply laughable purely due to geography and climate (and the clouds of bloodsucking bugs in summer, clouds not swarms, windshield wipers become one of the most essential parts of any car; can't drive blind, got to get the mush away). The Nazis tried messing around up there and all they accomplished was to ruin life for the inhabitants and burn up what little there is to burn up there (not much really, civilian houses) using scorched earth tactics while retreating.

Parts of northern Norway were liberated by the Soviets. People remember.

Anyone still talking about the now settled Barents Sea dispute is outdated, the simple obvious compromise solution that had been obvious from the start and all through the Cold War was signed by a Norwegian government with Jens Stoltenberg as Prime Minister in 2010. Yup the NATO guy, same person.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jul 8 2019 13:43 utc | 111

A couple of random thoughts on the tanker seizure....

Technically, I think the seizure was not piracy, which is by definition theft by a non-state actor. This was enforcement of a physical blockade (whether against Iran for exporting or Syria for importing) by a state actor, and thus was quite simply an act of war.

As to why the tanker, while still in international shipping lanes, eased nearer to Gibralter, I suppose it would have been possible for the Brits to have spoofed the ship's GPS signals, making it think it was further south than they actually were. Or bribed the captain. Of course, if you factor in b's analysis that the "tanker troubles" so far have tended to play to Iran's benefit, and if true that the oil was indeed not bound for Syria, it must be recognized as a possibility that this was a bit of a setup by Iran to embarrass the Brits, drive further wedges into European support for actions against them, as well as giving them one free retaliation for use at a time of their choosing.

Posted by: J Swift | Jul 8 2019 13:50 utc | 112

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


Despite spending billions on intelligence agencies and equipment, NATO depends on Bellingcat and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights for its information. They are credible sources despite being on NATO’s payroll (UK in the case of SOHR and the Atlantic Council in the case of Bellingcat); Russian sources are not credible because they are on Moscow’s payroll.


Posted by: curious man | Jul 8 2019 14:00 utc | 113

Flight of fancy: Trump claims 1775 revolutionary army 'took over airports'

Historical blunder in July 4th speech compounded by mixing up war of 1812 with war of independence

Posted by: curious man | Jul 8 2019 14:02 utc | 114

Don Bacon points out that the Pentagon is having trouble finding enough recruits. For a while recently there was a big sign on the road to town mentioning the $40K and emphasizing that the recruit will "earn respect".

I have long thought that the wages paid to the lower classes are kept at around $9-12 an hour partly to enable the military find desperate young people to join up.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Jul 8 2019 14:17 utc | 115

@39 donkeytale said 'As a Marxist sectarian I remain convince' might you indulge me here, what is the definition of a 'Marxist sectarian'. I'm intrigued...

Posted by: h | Jul 8 2019 14:20 utc | 116

The brazen insistence of the Hegemonic establishment that Iran is the one breaking the deal, which was already broken by most of the other partners, is almost awe-inspiring.

Posted by: paul | Jul 8 2019 14:25 utc | 117

The collapse of globalization:

South Korean leader urges Japan to withdraw export curbs as survey shows most Japanese back them

As we already know for some time now, the rise of the far-right in the First World and the "emerging economies" was a symptom - not the cause - of the end of globalization.

Posted by: vk | Jul 8 2019 14:25 utc | 118


US biggest threat is its poor education, not China

Posted by: vk | Jul 8 2019 14:27 utc | 119

King of the heap: US named world’s top trash maker, risks being buried in its own garbage

While the US makes up 4% of the world’s population it produces 12% of its trash, more than both China and India.

Posted by: curious man | Jul 8 2019 14:28 utc | 120

h @ 116

I was paraphrasing from bevin's comment. In this context I predict the recent success of Russian and Chinese capitalism results from the "developing" stage. When the economies fully attain the highest stage of development they will experience similar problems as face the west today...deterioration of the working class wage base, financialisation, corporate monopoly, falling rates of profit.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 8 2019 14:32 utc | 121

SRB @111, if referring to the post @102 Severomorsk submarine base is near the border with Finland. Russia shares an under sea border with Norway. It claims the coninental shelf beyond the 200 nautical mile limit. It isn't clear what strategic top secret mission the Russian submersible could have been on over the continental shelf. Do US subs traverse Norwegian territorial waters to spy on Russian activities? Perhaps they were placing sensors to detect US subs. Maybe this kind of task could require a specialized craft with a specialized, highly trained crew. Under sea cables - in the Barents Sea?

Posted by: the pessimist | Jul 8 2019 14:37 utc | 122

Jen @ 91

History classes regarding WWII and the "Holocaust" - yes, no problem. So long as it is made abundantly clear to the students that, in fact, the Jewish populations in Nazi controlled Europe and in Nazi invaded Russia were: a) *not* the *only* ones to be gassed, hanged, shot and otherwise killed, not the only ones deliberately targeted for elimination. That along with the Jews killed, far greater numbers of Slavs (Russians especially c. 20-27 million) were also killed by the Nazis (German and their eastern European supporters). Their lands were to be the "Lebensraum" and in any event they too were viewed as "inferior."

Then there were the Roma peoples, numerically fewer killed, but proportionately about the same as the Jews killed. And before the gas chambers got going, or the death pits were filled with hundreds of the shot to death, the Nazis targeted and killed the German handicapped, particularly the mentally handicapped. Not to mention the socialists they imprisoned in their first concentration camps, the 3 million or so Russian POWs who were deliberately starved to death....

Frankly I seriously doubt that the pro-Zionists who are pushing for this mandatory "Holocaust" education want any of the other populations the Nazis targeted for elimination, and slaughtered, included. Indeed, I would argue that were anyone to take a poll of today's post-1960s generations and asked them which peoples did the Nazis target for extermination and thus kill, few if any would know that any other groups of people, aside from Jews, were in fact both targeted and killed.

And yes, I believe that we should also teach about the genocidal ethnic-cleansing, the other Holocausts, that we Europeans in particular have inflicted on other parts of the world i.e. Australia, the USA, Canada, Latin America, Africa, Middle East, India-Pakistan etc etc...

Posted by: AnneR | Jul 8 2019 14:41 utc | 123

h @116: "...what is the definition of a 'Marxist sectarian'."

Someone's supervisor chewed him out and told him to try to better fit in with the forum culture. 'Marxist sectarian' is his best guess as to what that might be.

Keep in mind, though, that most Americans imagine socialism to be something like turbocharged liberalism, with separate public restrooms for all 37 officially recognized genders. Communism must then be about separate public restrooms for every single individual (except white men), and it was this ideal that Marx killed billions and billions of innocent women, children and puppy dogs to achieve.

Or something like that.

Expect a copy/paste from Wikipedia as an answer, though.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 8 2019 14:46 utc | 124

Gruff - hahaha

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 8 2019 14:52 utc | 125

Thanks donkeytale @121

And William Gruff @124 I like the way you think. Great response.

Btw, Epsteins indictment is unsealed -

And keep a look out for the soon to be 2000 pages to be unsealed in this case with whom @Cernovich and the Miami Herald won suit over last week.

Posted by: h | Jul 8 2019 14:56 utc | 126

Gruff @ 124 -

For a description of "forum culture," you could do worse than review Pft's comment @ 87...

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.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 8 2019 15:01 utc | 127

@ J Swift 112
...possible for the Brits to have spoofed the ship's GPS signals,

...more random thoughts on the tanker seizure....
I'm sticking with my guess that this was an Iran set-up, involving two million barrels of unsold oil in a huge non-Suez tanker that just had to stop at Gibraltar for "foodstuffs' but really to give the UK, on an Iran-planted tip that the tanker was bound for a sanctioned Syrian refinery, an opportunity to plan and act on, yet again, a propaganda-driven act against an enemy nation, not Russia this time but Iran. . .And the UK fell for it. Let's see what Iran does next on the tanker, which might offer further insight one way or the other. Does Iran have a plan for phase 2? is the question.

I always tend toward a conspiracy, and here it really grabs me because (1) Iran is smart, they have to be and (2) the UK can always be counted upon to be a faithful US puppet (except they got taken in this case b/c of their vulnerability to do stupid things).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 8 2019 15:07 utc | 128

@dt 127

So you are saying the forum culture is marxist and the sectarian bit is to avoid the look of concensus?

Posted by: gzon | Jul 8 2019 15:12 utc | 129

Here is today's indictment to EpsteinGate -

@Techno_fog is breaking it down here -

Posted by: h | Jul 8 2019 15:17 utc | 130

.. 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.

dltravers at 42.

Yes travers.

Trump, DT, on the campaign trail made veiled accusations referring to child trafficking (not pedophilia per se.) He aimed a public jab at Killary which shocked ppl, despite the Laura Silsby affair. (link) "The Swamp" was gloriously ambiguous.

DT, as a self-admiring and righteous modern quasi-Puritan (no drink, smoke, drugs..) not part of the in-crowd ...> one reason why he is loathed by the PTB. Sarkozy has a similar personal profile, other story, in a different cultural setting.

Yeah, gossip column territory, not good...

If blackmail could have been used against DT to scotch his candidacy 2016 in the *last* weeks, imho it would have been actioned, as Killary was solidly endorsed by the PTB (oligarchy with a fake duopoly posturing on the pol stage) but nothing could be evidenced, except the Russia-3x stuff, which was instigated before the 2016 election - ‘weak’, as such accusations are always murky / indeterminate, anything can be made up or hyped without directly claiming criminal acts or wrong-doings that are actionable in law or might lead to ‘impeachment.’

Starbucks has more than 100 coffee houses in Russia. Is it guilty of collusion?

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 8 2019 15:18 utc | 131

The corporate media’s failures on Iraq – and now Iran – aren’t ‘mistakes’. They’re part of its DNA

In the months and years following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Western media became filled with hand-wringing attempts to excuse its support for a crime of aggression predicated on lies. Today, as the US turns its imperial gaze to Iran, many are concerned that the corporate media is making all the same ‘mistakes’ again. But are they really mistakes? Or is this simply what the mainstream media does?

Posted by: curious man | Jul 8 2019 15:21 utc | 132

@DB 128

OTOH Syria is now cut off from fuel supply. Apparently Suez is not accepting Iran oil (Turkey WAS the only allowed buyer), all destinations in Syria are sanctioned by EU/US, and the oil producing regions of Syria are pretty much offline or foreign controlled . If Turkey is following sanctions, then that only leaves Russia to supply (or via Libya maybe?). Does not mean there isn't a ruse of one kind or another going on either, at the least Iran would have thought out what happened if stopped and reckoned it would be to own advantage also.

Noticed US is suggesting Germany send troops for Syria (ZH).

Posted by: gzon | Jul 8 2019 15:27 utc | 134

Trailer MH17 - 5 Years on

Posted by: curious man | Jul 8 2019 15:39 utc | 135

Here Is Pedophile Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's Little Black Book

Donald Trump, Courtney Love, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and uber-lawyer Alan Dershowitz may have been identified by a butler as potential "material witnesses" to pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's crimes against young girls, according to a copy of Epstein's little black book obtained by Gawker.

Posted by: curious man | Jul 8 2019 15:48 utc | 136

What mistake?
Even if Iraq had WMD's does not give another country the right to attack and bomb it.
The WMD thing was just a made up excuse that only their existence was somewhat questioned but not the validity of the right to attack and bomb was ever questioned.

Several countries have WMD's with the US having the most massive amount.

Posted by: arby | Jul 8 2019 15:54 utc | 137

Gzon @ 129

I meant "forum culture" in Gruff's context resembles the definition of Groupthink described in Pft's comment.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 8 2019 15:54 utc | 138

h @116: "...what is the definition of a 'Marxist sectarian'."

The term is intended to differentiate the semi-positivist Kautsky-Plekhanov version of Marx from Marx himself.

To be specific: Marx at the beginning of his career- in his critique of the privatisation of the Forest Commons- was interested in defending peasant communities. And towards the end he learned Russian in order to be able to read about the Russian communal farming 'mirs' which he, in contradistinction to those of his followers who saw capitalist development as a necessary step towards socialism, believed could progress directly to socialism.

Marx's idea is clearly one of enormous importance to 'underdeveloped' countries who want to eradicate poverty without going through the dreadful agonies of capitalist industrialism. Unlike the fans of capitalism, insouciant professors observing the lives of human 'ants', Marx-who studied the history of the rise of capitalism in the UK-understood, as did his Manchester friend Engels, what appalling horrors are implied by the transformation of peasant 'subsistence plus' production into capitalist commodity production.
Almost any course is preferable to the descent into capitalism in a world dominated by imperialism- China understands that and so did the Bolsheviks. Those I call sectarian Marxists-not so much. They seem to be enslaved by the old Scots Enlightenment ideas of development by stages, the iron law that humanity progresses from hunting and gathering, to agriculture, to commerce, to industry etc.
That's Marx without the dialectic, which is what many people seem to want.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 8 2019 16:04 utc | 139

That whole argument seems to be based on this line---

"but their belief cannot ultimately be tested in a way that confirms this beyond doubt. "

I notice the word "reasonable" is missing for starters.

IMO there is mountains of evidence provided on this forum for its conclusions.

Posted by: arby | Jul 8 2019 16:06 utc | 140

Sorry, referring to DT @127

Posted by: arby | Jul 8 2019 16:13 utc | 141

Look at all the populist, neo-nationalist promises the "anti-interventionist" Trump made to the US working class...what has he delivered beyond a nice July 4 military parade and some entertaining red meat speeches to the faithful? First he tried with all his might to reduce what little healthcare safety net exists in the US without having a viable solution (after lying during his campaign that he did) and then he cut taxes on the wealthiest, creating a record budget gap and increased income inequality.
Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 8 2019 13:07 utc | 107

Cutting taxes on the wealthiest was a foolproof way to test the validity of Neoliberalism's trickle-down mantra. If it results in trickle-down to Trump's base then good for them. If it doesn't then he's got a mandate to launch an "Eat the rich before they eat you" campaign.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 8 2019 16:13 utc | 142

Cutting taxes on the wealthiest was a foolproof way to test the validity of Neoliberalism's trickle-down mantra. If it results in trickle-down to Trump's base then good for them. If it doesn't then he's got a mandate to launch an "Eat the rich before they eat you" campaign.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 8 2019 16:13 utc | 142

That's what that was? Lol. Here I thought it was just the same ol "trickle down" tax cuts for the rich that Reagan and GW Bush previously supplied when the GOP also had control of Congress. I stand corrected.

I'll bookmark your comment and come back to publicly eat crow when Trump launches his "Eat the rich before they eat you" Campaign. This will be an especially entertaining episode worthy of a double order of fried raven because Trump himself will get eaten in the process of launching his own mandate.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 8 2019 16:25 utc | 143

@ DT 138

Concensofobia is a secular culture of its own. Just don't say you agree.

Posted by: gzon | Jul 8 2019 16:32 utc | 144

gzon @ 144

Also there are way too many comments on this blog!

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 8 2019 16:37 utc | 145

Arby @ 144

We are all entitled to our own opinions, especially when we keep it humble.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 8 2019 16:40 utc | 146

Argh, meant Arby @ 141.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 8 2019 16:40 utc | 147

BTW, gzon nice neologism. When I google "consensofobia" I get:

Noun. xenofobia f (uncountable) xenophobia (a pathological fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners)

Surely a google mind control conspiracy at work....

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 8 2019 16:46 utc | 148

Though I am pleased by Epstein arrest and prosecution, I feel it loses some edge after 10 years - was open joke.
Have uneasy feeling is just bread and circus - taking slack for russiagate.
It's a big problem - basically we now have (again) an elite class who decide our fate.
Apparently having to hide their debauchery has become something of a bother.
They have been working at "normalising" pretty-much everything - censorship, mcarthyism, overthrow of weak governments, privatization of military, no borders, bank bailouts, etc, etc and prostitution, sexual slavery, pedophilia...
Though I appreciate the efforts of those who continued to seek justice (if thats what is happening here)..
I still am left to wonder why this guy and now.
Anyway, it's pretty good. Hope to be hearing about asset seizure shortly.

Posted by: jared | Jul 8 2019 17:36 utc | 149

bevin @ 139 - your theoretical discussion is very good but seems contradictory in spots. Marx saw a path to socialism which didn't go through capitalist barbarity and [according to you] the bolsheviks and Chinese understand this...however, the bolsheviks are now extinct and the Chinese seem to be following Plekanov whether they will admit this or not.

And to say this is what a "Marxist Sectarian" wants to happen ignores one of the basic laws of internet discourse....accurately describing something is not necessarily the same as endorsing it.

Calling a market economy "socialist" when that economy contains all the features of a global capitalist market economy also ignores the rule of calling a duck a duck: increased Chinese gini coefficient to similar "barbaric levels" as the US (1990-present), the impressive growth of state owned/publicly traded Chinese investment banks, and now opening the financialisation spigot to foreign banks in pursuit of the 1.47 million Chinese high net worth individuals' combined $27 trillion of private investment capital.

And I will allow the BRI to be defined exactly as the Party defines it, a humanistic, co-development program with underdeveloped countries, not an exercise in Chinese multinational corporate imperialism, since the data remains contested and anecdotal....on both sides of the discussion.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 8 2019 18:24 utc | 150

DT @ 150

Anecdotal yes but so far I have not seen even anecdotal evidence that there is Chinese corporate control of the Government to the extent that China is sanctioning , threatening and otherwise using military and government might to force their will on other countries.

Posted by: arby | Jul 8 2019 18:52 utc | 151

"As blogger David Burge put it, ‘It’s always the billionaire convicted pedo with private Lolita Express jets to his own orgy island that you least expect.’ Droll but accurate. How did the Department of Justice manage to miss this ongoing scandal for years?

The likely answer is that Epstein has lots of rich and powerful friends. As we say in Chicago, ‘He knows a guy who knows a guy.’ He must have known lots of guys. They were passengers on his planes, visitors at his estates."
- Charles Lipson

Posted by: spudski | Jul 8 2019 20:51 utc | 152

@DT 107

Bexit isn't about Farage being PM or trade deals with Trump. It is about democracy, sovereignty and accountability. Tony Benn once said "Being summoned to Brussels as a government minister was like being dragged to Rome in chains". I'm not suggesting that leaving EU is going to solve the matter of globalism and its elites but improving whatever democracy we have is a good start. Future aims could be to abolish the House of Lords, the Royal Perogative and to introduce Proportional Representation.

I'm not sure why you see sovereignty as (to paraphrase) "Little people waving flags at fighter planes". I see sovereignty as Syria's right to defend its territorial integrity and Venezuela's right to elect its own government. As Italy's right to introduce anti-austerity measures and Hungary's right to its own immigration policy.

As for how the working class can benefit - well, we are seeing how the pro-EU elites wish to not only over-rule the referendum, but would evidently prefer to remove the vote from the working class altogether if it won't rubber-stamp their authority. Democracy won't overthrow the ruling class overnight but without it we've got no chance.

As an aside, my boss blames Brexit (before it has even happened) for him having to pay workers more, while his property is worth less. I said to him "so workers earning more money and having less expensive housing costs is a bad thing?

Posted by: Ash (London) | Jul 8 2019 21:37 utc | 153

Oh brugger. So much for my editing skills.

Posted by: Ash (London) | Jul 8 2019 21:39 utc | 154

So Zerohedge has this speculation posted on the submersable's cargo/mission: doomsday mission Basically an insurance policy that no first strike will ever be survivable, for anyone. Putin has said in a speech something to the effect that "why would we want to live in a world without the Russian homeland and Russian people?", or, if you f*ck with us we are all dead. I don't know... maybe, the rhetoric after the fact from the MOD suggests something like this might be the case. Russia rules a good bit of the arctic and has unmatched capability and experience in the region. The poles have some interesting characteristics that might help with dispersal. Not my field of expertise though.

Posted by: the pessimist | Jul 8 2019 22:36 utc | 155

Rethinking Epstein as more news comes out.

His arrest may be politically motivated. In return for naming some names that benefit Trump in the upcoming election , his pal Epstein gets a light sentence or not so light (but gets pardoned when Trump leaves office) . Thats why Trump cooperated in the negotiation, he may have the deal worked out with Epstein through his middlemen.

Imagine Clinton getting arrested during next years election. Democrats would be demonized and deenergized and will be jumping ship faster than rats in a sinking ship. Trump probably pardons him too.

Posted by: Pft | Jul 8 2019 23:22 utc | 156


Marx was a fan of capitalism and saw it was a necessary step on the path toward socialism. Maos socialism failed because China had an insufficient capitalist base. Marx saw it would be the excesses of capitalism that would occur in the late stages of its evolution that would create conditions for socialism.

Unfortunately for Marx he did not anticipate workers embracing capitalists materialism so things did not develop as planned. The Frankfurt school sought address that with Cultural Marxism and adding an environmental based secular religion to produce the cultural cohesion needed to give up capitalisms materialism to save the planet

But one must have capitalism before socialism is possible

Posted by: Pft | Jul 8 2019 23:34 utc | 157

Horsewhisperer @142

“Cutting taxes on the wealthiest was a foolproof way to test the validity of Neoliberalism's trickle-down mantra. If it results in trickle-down to Trump's base then good for them. If it doesn't then he's got a mandate to launch an "Eat the rich before they eat you" campaign.”

Well real median household income has dropped 1.1% since January and now is at no growth since late 2017. The U6 unemployment is at 7.3%. Taking into account discouraged workers and those forced out of the workplace due to age , criminal records or low IQ /obesity and it jumps to 21%. No trickle down in sight.

Unfortunately people are so dumb they see the stock market thats propped up by the Fed buying futures on dips and stock buy backs as the key measure of the economy

Trump is actually one of the rich that should be eaten. So I believe if the bottom feeders (bottom 90%) wake up hungry the depopulation agenda will be accelerated

Posted by: Pft | Jul 8 2019 23:47 utc | 158

To pessimist:
The mystery is deeper.

I apologize for all the parentheses (I should be drinking now, this is written in haste).

This feels far too much like an episode of Hetalia (a sarcastic Japanese anime about the foibles of world nations personified) but as far as I know Norway doesn't care at all about the "owning the North Pole" and extended continental shelf stuff, the Canadians quarrel more with the Danes (because Greenland is Danish) than Russia, China (and many like them) is enamored with the harsh romance of the arctic and antarctic (they've got good taste! It is a bit like space exploration) and the Americans (being completely unnecessarily defensive rather than welcoming —the US South Pole base is amazing) have China (and the rest of the world) stuck in their throat and thus also Russia if the northern seaway thing works out better than it has so far, but as usual the wrong kind of Americans are clueless since it's a coastal route (and anything else would be insane) and thus entirely Russian.

Severomorsk is closer to Norway than Finland and considering the trip to Finland would have to go through small-ish rivers or over land… ;) (lovely Finland has no coast up there, none. Barents Sea = no Finland, Baltic Sea = much Finland).

No cables worth anything to military or intelligence as far as I know (they have nowhere to go to and if they did they would lead the way directly to it), any cables that are there are very low scale civilian stuff at random points along the coast for electricity and civilian communication to reach the most remote places people live (if anyone was willing to spend money on that instead of doing things differently). Svalbard is far away and everything there is bounced between satellites anyway (by everyone in the world since everyone has that right according to the Svalbard treaty for "non-military" use, and communication/data often isn't deemed military enough).

US subs might well run around (although crossing the border from Norwegian waters would be extremely dumb and unnecessary) but considering the Norwegians are among the go-to people for everything seismic (and often also naval such as that "US" drone supposedly captured outside Yemen, made in the US by a Norwegian company thus skirting laws against weapon sales) and have spy vessels (that the Russians complain about) as well as commercial seismic and geology vessels up there (oil exploration) almost all the time the US probably doesn't have to. The Norwegians are supposedly good at signals intelligence (SIGINT) too, ie. detecting everything electric and magnetic.

Even old-ish civilian (oil exploration) seismic tech is astonishing, everything (except kelp etc.) is visible and recordable, any changes easily detectable. Any "mysterious" dug down (or not) cables would stand out both seismically and in SIGINT. Oil is deep, one could have some kind of mechanical mole tunneling through with a cable and it would still show up like a neon sign.

If the Russians were placing sensors that wouldn't matter, they wouldn't care that they were detected and they would have many overlapping lines of defense/detection. I doubt they need to place any sensors at the sea bottom or exposed in such a way in the first place.

And anyway that kind of job is not something one uses such highly decorated people for.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jul 8 2019 23:53 utc | 159

A few shots before the rum:

- That ZH article has a MIT physicist who doesn't understand half-life (it doesn't "turn on" after five years, it doesn't need time to start or settle) and (although this is a very minor point) neglects or ignores that 4 out of 5 isotopes of Cobalt are always radioactive/decaying anyway (bomb or no bomb).

- Russia and China and the US all have solutions for revenge from beyond the grave and probably by now (after sixty years or so) don't need to add any more onion layers to it.

- The rumor in the ZH article isn't particularly credible (if it was the leaker is dead now). Not everything secret has to be a Hollywood plot.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jul 9 2019 0:20 utc | 160

SRB@159, Finland was only mentioned initially for general geographic location, nothing to do with the coastal states. As the edge of the shelf north of Severomorsk is ~900 mi distant it would be... 2 or 3 days transit for those ships? There the ocean drops away to ~13,000' depth, but there seems no where else that the submersible would be needed (yes it's capabilities are secret and so everything is speculative). The ice has already retreated from most of the Barents, so only the last bit would be under the ice. I had guessed that what ever they were doing was closer to the shore as they were noted to be back at base almost as soon as the story broke, but why would they be engaged in 'bathymetric survey and measuring currents' over the shelf? Exchange with the Atlantic does affect the ice and rate of retreat - not a job for secret subs though... The ocean away from the shelf margin is not "Russian territorial waters" and not claimed as such. Curious.

Posted by: the pessimist | Jul 9 2019 0:39 utc | 161

As you say all parties have in place some doomsday plan - yet the US MIC response to the Russians saying "we are deploying a new suite of weapons that cannot be defended against so you might as well sit down and talk arms control" was to speed up development of their own hypersonic/laser weapons and talk about militarizing space post haste. Ever seeking a dominating 'first strike' capability. [well maybe just hogs rushing to the trough, but still crazy]

Posted by: the pessimist | Jul 9 2019 0:52 utc | 162

Yes, I agree 100 percent with the majority of commenters here that there should be Mandatory Holocaust education for ALL American schoolchildren!

In addition, they should be required to watch Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (multiple times) as well as Holocaust, the 1978 four part TV miniseries starring Tovah Feldshuh, which recounts the Holocaust from the perspective of the Weiss family of German Jews

Ideally this mandatory Holocaust education should begin in kindergarten, and not end until the student graduates from high school, and either joins, or better still, gets drafted into the military (because along with mandatory Holocaust education, we need to bring back the draft) so the student can be trained to identify and kill Israel's many enemies and then sent overseas to fight and die in another war for Israel

Posted by: hadassah | Jul 9 2019 0:54 utc | 163


Good question. As hunter-gatherers, man lived together in small groups. It was all about survival of the group. It was true authoritarian socialism. The leader tended to be the strongest member of the group and was accepted as long as his decisions resulted in prosperity for the group. If not he would be challenged by someone within the group who sought to reverse the groups fortunes. The bottom controlled their destiny in so far as the leader was dependent on them and he needed to satisfy them

Leaders stayed in power so long as the group prospered. In return the leader got the biggest share of food and the best place in the cave.

Along with civilization came larger groups. Individuals within the group competed with others in the group for survival. The leader assumed power by force and hired men to protect him and the group. He sat on the thrown and ruled

Between the leader and bottom members of the group there was a middle tier. This middle tier became what we know of today as the elite. They accepted the leader so long as he allowed them to exploit the bottom feeders

. However, the bottom feeders were numerous and strong and would rise up when conditions were too tough. So the leader had to provide a balance between the elites and bottom feeders.

The bottom feeders were important to the both elites and leader as a supply of labor and food. If things got too tough they would leave and migrate elsewhere. Labor was in short supply in a very labor intensive society

One way leaders prevented uprisings and unwanted migrations from the bottom feeders was via the Jubilee. Michael Hudson explains this well. However, too many Jubilees angered the elite who would respond by assassinating the leader.

So eventually, the leaders and elites sought to eliminate the jubilee by providing the protection the leader needed from the bottom feeders. This was done with a larger military which required higher taxes that elites were happy to pay to be free from Jubilees. Having a large military meant keeping them busy by attacking neighbors and plundering their wealth. This gave them additional labor in the form of slaves.

No longer were the bottom feeders so valuable, but they were still important so needed to be controlled

One way they did this was by taking over the religions of the people . They were then kept under control by religious leaders that depended on the elites and leaders support for their well being.

There was no more jubilee. Bottom feeders became slaves or debt slaves under the elites, military, religious leaders and the emperor/monarchy who led them all

And so for over 2000 years men have been enslaved in one form or another. During the enlightenment there was a brief period where men were under the illusion they were free, but the freedom the enlightenment brought forth was the freedom of the elite from monarchy and religion, which were for almost 2000 years worked as a 3 legged stool for civilization.

Monarchs, religious leaders and elites all worked together against the bottom feeders and competing monarchs/elites/religions in neighboring states. The elite saw they were still dependent on religious leaders and monarchs who each made their separate demands on them. A few decided on a plan to break free and take all.

The elites in all nations were able to unite via secret societies which culminated in the illuminati and a World Plan . The illuminated elites were united regardless of nationality and religion. They were members of all nations and all religions. United in a common goal for global rule via their control of money. With the support of the military they would start war after war to destroy nations by conquest or debt. They would destroy religion by splitting each religion and having one faction fight the other, and pitting one religion against the other . They would bring down monarchies and replace them with Democracy where they would control the political leaders. They would control the printing presses and thus control peoples perceptions of reality

Today the bottom feeders are numerous but weak. Controlled with lies they believe to be true and debt. Their labor is not as important due to industrial capitalism, and tech such as AI and robotics. They are divided culturally and racially and incapable of a united resistance. The elites control all and are not constrained by morality of religion , or the needs of the monarch or the well being of the too numerous bottom feeders which many believed needed to be culled

They are the illuminated elite. They are collectively the one true God. All must kneel to their power and pay tribute.

“Bottom up” of the past is no more except when the Gods command it for their pleasure. Today its all Top Down, and bottoms everywhere clench in fear.

Posted by: Pft | Jul 9 2019 1:12 utc | 164

Are there any jobs suitable for individuals with low IQ and obesity? Secretary of State comes to mind, but it is true that jobs like that would not help the millions in poor communities.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 9 2019 2:27 utc | 165

arby @ 151

I agree with your statement! In the US wealth and power derive from the corporation while in China corporate wealth and power are largely conferred by the state onto the owners of the corporations who are members of the Party. And in the US we do see a revolving door between high level corporate executive positions and top governmental positions.

And China is historically less warlike than the US and EU no doubt. May China forever remain peacefully inclined as it ascends to dominant world political and economic hegemony.

Read my links please. Very detailed analyses of the increasing inequality in China based on similar dynamics we see in the West: rural vs urban inequality, higher educated versus less educated, dominance of high tech sector wealth increase rising off the charts in recent times.

Do not be afraid of facing these truths however unpalatable these may seem.

No white knights whether Chinese or Russian will save us from our own oppressors. We will need to save ourselves.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 9 2019 2:49 utc | 166

I can't find who posted the initial link, thanks

Michael Hudson is quite clear about how global private finance has run the world with lots of global examples of their perfidy in this piece.

b, I think you have troll issues

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 9 2019 2:58 utc | 167

And, as if the world isn't fucked up enough, there's this insanity;

"Russia Launches Floating Nuclear Power Plant; It's Headed To The Arctic"

Posted by: ben | Jul 9 2019 3:33 utc | 168

For all you folks from Canada and others there is this

The Strange Case Of Chrystia Freeland And The Failure Of The “Super Elite”

The last line
While the universe may be organized by a principle of reason, no one can say the same applies to the mind of an oligarchic.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 9 2019 5:23 utc | 169

And from ZH there is this

In Major Provocation To China, US Approves Sale Of $2.2 Billion In Weapons To Taiwan”

The opening lines
For those wondering how to make sure that any trade "ceasefire" between the US and China falls apart faster than a trip on board the Lolita Express, here is a suggestion: today the US State Department approved the possible sale to Taiwan of M1A2T Abrams tanks, Stinger missiles and related equipment at an estimated value of $US2.2 billion despite vocal Chinese criticism of the deal, AAP reported.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 9 2019 5:27 utc | 170

Thanks to Bernhard and all contributors for your efforts to enlighten the darkness.

I would like to share something regarding the downing of MH17. The material is in german, maybe somebody more fluent in english than me can translate.

Telepolis on Josef Resch's offer to reveal substantial evidence on MH17

His letters to Westerbeke, JIT, the dutch and german prosecutors, european court of justice and others

The material is not published yet, but seems to be pointing to the west as initiator of a sinister plot or as the very culprit.

Is there something to it? Resch fears for his life and wants to publish everything in a press conference. The german press is completely mute on the matter, which can be telling.

Posted by: Reminder | Jul 9 2019 7:17 utc | 171

More proof of the complete identity of the alleged "two parties", and how fake is the alleged Democrat opposition to Trump, as a near-consensus bipartisan alliance gives Trump congress's Syrian policy recommendation.

To sum up the bipartisan consensus: US imperialism is good and necessary, permanent war in the Mideast is good and necessary, and the most impoortant reason for the US to do this is to protect the Zionist state.

Yet many here still look to the Democrats for Leadership.

Posted by: Russ | Jul 9 2019 8:57 utc | 172

And, as if the world isn't fucked up enough, there's this insanity;

"Russia Launches Floating Nuclear Power Plant; It's Headed To The Arctic"

Posted by: ben | Jul 9 2019 3:33 utc | 168

What is insane about a sustainable carbon free energy supporting industry to the north of Arctic Circle?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 9 2019 13:11 utc | 173

Old timers remember that Murmansk (and Severomorsk which is to NE of Murmansk) was closer to Finland than to Norway before WW2
And now it is closer to Finmark than to Finland.

BTW, the Norvegians and Finns who freely cross Russian border are probably Saami reindeer herders, I would imagine that there are either customs or conventions allowing them to ignore Arctic borders.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 9 2019 13:22 utc | 174

curious man @ 109. I don’t know. As a British assessment, it is slanted to their pov/aims. Also, perhaps because they stress the geo-political aspects and set aside the personal - a debt… Yeah, Sarkozy just took the money and I suppose felt he deserved it what with the grand welcome at the Elysée. Saif al-Islam has always said he has proof of the transfer. Another point is that Kadafi adored Cecilia Sarkozy, who had tremendous influence over him, Kadafi (Bulgarian nurses affair, amongst others.)

Gruff at 124, that made me laugh out loud. ha ha.

bevin 139, yes. Imho the big flaw in both Marx and bowlderized subsequent take-ups, such as you point out in your last sentence, ex. a progression (re-formulated) from hunter-gatherers to farming/poor peasants to industry to (now) hightech - a brand of crazed technotopia - mixes up socio-political systems and use of / extraction / manipulation / the environment (eg oil, big agri), while neglecting the latter.

For Marx, pursuing my line for now, the natural environment was a theatrical stage on which human action unfolded in function of ‘human’ organisation(s) knowledge, etc. In any case, imho, and I consider this v. important, the two aspects are not coordinated properly, or aren’t so in any meaningful way by Marx, or today by anyone with clout.. (Rapacious disaster capitalism doesn't count.)

See for ex. the difficulties (or silliness, or paid up propagandists aspects) that bedevil or steer Green Parties, as a contemporary ‘mirror’ though that is perhaps giving them too much credit/importance.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 9 2019 13:58 utc | 175

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 9 2019 13:11 utc | 173

The insanity lies in the "sustainable".
1. These nuclear reactors do have accidents from time to time. Never mind what to do with nuclear waste.
2. Everybody including Russia seems to count on the ice melting not on stopping global warming. Scientists seem to think you could stop it with a global forrestation project. Effects on the climate by global warming are unknown.

Radiation has genetic effects that are passed down the line. Humankind is on a trip forming an ecosystem they hardly understand.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 9 2019 14:30 utc | 176

Add to 176

As is - Russia as part of the Soviet Union has already dumped nuclear waste throughout the Arctic.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 9 2019 14:36 utc | 177

Partisangirl with more on Epstein and those connected to his network. Here she promotes the notion he was a Mossad agent and links to an article:

"Basically #Epstein was a Mossad agent, who was close friends with Ehud Barack, and who used little girls to blackmail American politicians into supporting #Israel."

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 9 2019 17:30 utc | 178

Good movie about the Holocaust education is "Defamation".

Re British based global ruling oligarchy the coup against Henry Wallace shold be discussed.

Very good review

I also strongly recommend GAB.AI + Dissenter against censorship.

X22REPORT and Sir Patrick Mac IPOT have great geopolitical analyses.

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Jul 10 2019 4:05 utc | 179

Ash (London) @ 153

Bexit isn't about Farage being PM or trade deals with Trump. It is about democracy, sovereignty and accountability. Tony Benn once said "Being summoned to Brussels as a government minister was like being dragged to Rome in chains". I'm not suggesting that leaving EU is going to solve the matter of globalism and its elites but improving whatever democracy we have is a good start. Future aims could be to abolish the House of Lords, the Royal Perogative and to introduce Proportional Representation.

I'm not sure why you see sovereignty as (to paraphrase) "Little people waving flags at fighter planes". I see sovereignty as Syria's right to defend its territorial integrity and Venezuela's right to elect its own government. As Italy's right to introduce anti-austerity measures and Hungary's right to its own immigration policy.

Well, I think we are somewhat saying the same thing. While backers claim Brexit is an issue of sovereignty, they also awallowed wild accompanying claims of predicted economic benefits, future growth unshackled from EU regulations, suddenly freed-up government money to resuscitate NHS, etc that were proven to be "unrealistic" to put it charitably. Now Johnson is making similar claims again of money that will be magically available to heal the wounds post-Brexit. I don't believe you can entirely separate economic considerations from what is cancellation of Britian's largest trade deal. In fact, I make those considerations paramount.

Tony Benn's comment is of course ridiculous hyperbole. He appears to have a bright future as a social media commenter. To me Brexit appears very similar in its arc of development to the Trump phenomenon. At first, as the rabble roused, most conservative elites were against or ignored, but after the ballot measure won most of the Tories and many Labourites jumped aboard the populist train out of a fear-based perception of fake solidarity with the "people," or at least with the 52% of the 72% of the electorate who voted leave.

I hope you are correct in your hope that Brexit will lead to a comprehensive reform of the political system. I'll predict what you will get instead of reform is your own buffoonish dear leader of the Tory Party who will cuts to the rich.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 10 2019 13:23 utc | 180

...we also cannot ignore the very meaningful vote of the forces of globalisation on Brexit...British Pound is sinking in value on the currency markets. While this is a plus for British exports the fact is Britain is a net importing nation and a weak currency means higher costs for those imports.

Iow, there is no escaping tyranny of globalisation unless Britain becomes entirely self-sufficient which of course isn't remotely possible in the short term if ever.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 10 2019 13:48 utc | 181

Kudos for b in "RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP" from Patrick Armstrong at SST:

AMERICA-HYSTERIA II. To Mueller's surprise, the IRA actually showed up in court. A judge has just ruled that Mueller's indictment "does not link the defendants to the Russian government". Once again, Moon of Alabama was far ahead of the mighty MSM: eighteen months ago, he said it was a click-bait operation; nothing to do with the Russian government or election interference.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 12 2019 2:55 utc | 182

As Hajj is coming up for many muslim people, they're going to be going to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. I would assume there would be more world peace and a ceasefire during this time.

Posted by: Newsography | Jul 12 2019 3:37 utc | 183

@Pft #164
One major problem I have with the conspiracy theories/Illuminati/New World Order etc etc is how exactly these oligarchs from very different worlds get together? And determine who is legit or not? And keep them focused on a single purpose?
I can understand better some informal network in Europe in the past - as most of the royals in Europe were literally related. However, there are many instances of one royal family duking it out with another: Kaiser Wilhelm, King George V and Tsar Nicholas were literally cousins.
How then are the scions of the Long March CCP survivors integrating with the tech billionaires and old NE money (Bushes etc) of the US? The various ME nations?
Sure, there are events like Davos and Bilderberg, and shared fancy universities like Harvard, but still there has to be some form of vetting. Who does it? What happens to those rejected? Who keeps the all the arrogant pricks in line?
The conspiracies assume that the rich people are so like minded as to be collectively working towards some far reaching and significantly future goal, when it seems impossible to get a dozen random leaders of nations to do the same. As if they were union organizers only without any actual driving need to unionize.
Sure, there are examples where this is absolutely true: monopsonies in sectors of business. But the rewards for cooperation are very clear in these cases vs. not cooperating. The same isn't true for billionaires and national leaders already at the pinnacle - what is their reward for being a good footsoldier (or perhaps lieutenant) in the NWO or Illuminati or whatever?
The failure to explain this is the primary issue I have with these world domination theories; any reasonably detailed study of human history shows that the vices: greed, arrogance, stupidity and what not are the primary drivers of sovereign activity.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 12 2019 20:58 utc | 184

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