Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 21, 2019

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2019-41

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Related: Boeing faces largest quarterly loss in its history after a $4.9 billion financial hit due to 737 MAX grounding

The total so far is about $8 billion. Each month of grounding will add another $1.6 billion.

The above take was correct: La Stampa, published on July 17 confirms it (machine translated):

The MATRA operation of the DIGOS in Turin, which in recent days has led to the discovery of a weapons depot belonging to a pro-Ukrainian neo-Nazi group from Turin, does not seem to be over. This morning, Wednesday 17 July, two LR-0 "Rockets" were seized for rocket launchers used to arm MB339 aircraft also supplied to the Italian Air Force.
The entire operation started following the activity of some Italian fighters with extremist ideologies, who took part in the armed conflict in the Donbass region of Ukraine.

How Trump’s arch-hawk lured Britain into a dangerous trap to punish Iran - Tisdall/Guardian
UK navy heard in audio trying to thwart Iran ship seizure - AP
Khamenei’s three commandments for the Iranians: the Middle East is heading towards “maximum danger" - E.J. Magnier

Iran's foreign minister:

Javad Zarif - @JZarif - 0:48 UTC Jul 20, 2019
Unlike the piracy in the Strait of Gibraltar, our action in the Persian Gulf is to uphold int'l maritime rules.
As I said in NY, it is IRAN that guarantees the security of the Persian Gulf & the Strait of Hormuz.
UK must cease being an accessory to #EconomicTerrorism of the US.

Other issues:

U.S. policy failure in the Middle East:

The Wheels Are Coming Off - Gary Sick/Lobelog

A series of events, some of which got little attention in the media, suggest that the wheels may be coming off the Trump administration’s Middle East policy.
Yemen was supposed to yield to overwhelming power. Qatar was supposed to collapse under siege. Iran was supposed to fold when faced with maximum economic pressure. Even the presentation of the economic portion of the Deal of the Century in Bahrain failed to attract the level of investors that had been expected.

There are major shifts in the balance of power underway in the Persian Gulf. They are not what the Trump administration anticipated.

The delusion continues:

U.S. Plans for Post-Maduro Future With Team to Send to Venezuela - Bloomberg

How to defend against U.S. imperialism. Quite long, but an excellent analysis. Recommended:

Michael Hudson: U.S. Economic Warfare and Likely Foreign Defenses - Naked Capitalism

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on July 21, 2019 at 14:44 UTC | Permalink

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psychohistorian @191--

This article frames The Squad versus Establishment:

"Party leaders joining forces to charge ‘the squad’ and their supporters with being un-American is to assert an imagined community. In legal, institutional and historical terms, ‘the squad’ is as American as any of their establishment accusers. What is meant by the charge is that the American ‘community’ is defined by a set of beliefs, not citizenship, geography or institutional affiliations.

"Who it is who gets to define this set of beliefs is the point of contention. Given that ‘the squad’ and their supporters are factually Americans, the onus could in theory be reversed to ask: why don’t the establishment politicians and their supporters leave? The answer gets to the self-legitimating nature of representative democracy. The establishment was elected to represent the people, which gives it legitimacy of place, goes the theory.

"But the same could be claimed for ‘the squad.’ Its members were elected to represent their respective constituencies. This gets to the deeper question of legitimacy that establishment interests don’t want raised. Understood by the establishment is that ‘the squad’ must get around both party leaderships to get its programs enacted. In this sense, opposition to ‘the squad’ appears as it is: opposition to the public interest."

After some excellent exposition, the author hits the nail squarely on its head:

"The subtext of these establishment machinations is that the American political system exists to provide cover for rule by capital. The posture of the political center as the locus of reason is belied by the willingness of establishment forces to risk killing everyone on the planet with nuclear weapons, environmental decline, genocidal wars and dysfunctional economics. It is this political center that is extreme, willing to risk everything to maintain control."

And that's precisely what The Squad, Gabbard and others are aiming to unseat/overthrow. What The Squad needs is to grow into The Platoon, then The Company, and finally The Regiment. The socio-economic conditions exist to foster such growth; but what's needed are more brave activists to arise from the morass and challenge the Deadly Center within both D&R parties. I'm tempted to cite more, but it's better to read such within their context, which IMO is well conceived.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 0:16 utc | 201

@201 Ethnicity shouldn't be a factor but it is. Promising affordable medicare for all sounds good but I don't see the squad getting many white voters until they stop playing the race card. As it is they are playing on racial division, the same way Trump does, and virtually guaranteeing him a second term.

Posted by: dh | Jul 23 2019 0:46 utc | 202

Too few have noticed that IAEA head Yukio Amano passed away, which creates instability at his agency at a very critical time. Zarif said the following:

"Saddened to hear of IAEA Chief Yukio Amano’s untimely demise. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones. R.I.P.

"He was a stalwart supporter of the JCPOA from its inception, and we expect his successor to follow the same path."

The top two diplomats angling for his position are an Argentinian and a Romanian, making their ability to be "a stalwart supporter of the JCPOA" questionable.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 0:54 utc | 203

dh @202--

You must have skipped the following from the linked article:

"The faith versus acts divide that Democrats have relied on politically is a carryover from Christian theology. The rationale of the party faithful is that Democrats use racial appeals like the 1994 Crime Bill, opposing school busing and ‘ending welfare as we know it’ to win elections. In contrast, Republicans hold racist opinions, which makes them racists. However, committing racist acts makes people racists, regardless of their beliefs about race."

Also, far stronger than their ethnicity is their Class Standing, which is what got them elected, and is what they continue to hammer. Again from the article:

"The issue of identity gets to the heart of the neoliberal basis of Democratic politics. Grant for the moment that racism, patriarchy, xenophobia and gender bias describe real social phenomena. (I believe they do). The question then becomes: what, if anything, should be done about them? Each of these describes an aspect of social power. ‘The squad’s’ programs are intended to redistribute power democratically in the dimensions of healthcare, environmental justice and guaranteed employment that pays a living wage.

"Given the existing distribution of power, those with the least stand to gain the most from these programs. To the extent that racism, patriarchy and gender bias have determined the existing distribution of power, correcting these would be accomplished via the size of the benefit matching the degree of the disparity. This is the nature of universal benefits. And it is what makes ‘the squad’s’ programs so politically potent." [My Emphasis]

The Ethnic/Race card has always been used to divide and conquer, to keep solidarity unachievable. Squad members and others know that fact well, which is why they reply with the fact they are serving their constituency, not the political establishment that's assailing them. It's the promise of gaining ground in the realm of economic democracy that excites them and their supporters and what scares the hell out of Pelosi, Trump and their kin.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 1:08 utc | 204

@198 psychohistorian

I'm very glad that you managed to watch the Jacques clip - although I think I posted it before and you probably saw it then.

I posted those links for those who wanted to learn about the Chinese civilization and its policy to all provinces, as well as the economics of freedom - Hong Kong's deficiencies in this matter versus China's bonanza. One knows that plenty of people read good links without comment and equally, it's clear that the repetitive commenters arguing here for all they're worth have no interest in addressing any of that material.

I loved the comment that it's funny how Hong Kong of all things turned out to be the itch that exposed many commenters for what they are. It's useful to see these things although the threads get long.


I have also been noticing how you've been striving to square the circle in your logical and link-filled way with psychohistorian's main theme, buttressing it and explaining it in conjunction with other commentaries out there. I greatly appreciate this. We seem to be almost there. We almost have a lingua franca developed for the distinction between private, interest-bearing finance, versus public, no-cost money as a public utility.


In general I must say that there seems to be an evolving discussion happening through these threads. I always came here for the consensual perspectives that grew out of many contributions.

Paradoxical, in a way, that this happens in spite of the added cadre of arguers lengthening the threads with dispute instead of discourse.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 23 2019 1:08 utc | 205

@204 I read the article. I still see the Squad as primarily appealing to ethnic divisions. Somebody will now accuse me of racism no doubt.

The Squad are making a valiant effort to frame it as a class issues but that isn't the way it will be seen in middle America unless they get more support from people like Pelosi.....who kinda wishes they would go away IMO.

Posted by: dh | Jul 23 2019 1:22 utc | 206

Grieved @205--

Thanks for your comment! It's certainly an ongoing project. I'm often tempted to spar with the "cadre of arguers" but that would dilute my efforts which is what their goal is--to interject FUD and disrupt. It's my hope that the protests in Puerto Rico gravitate North and are emulated by the very large Caribbean community, for they've been just as oppressed on the mainland as on their islands. As Urie's article about The Squad shows, the key to overcoming "centrist establishmentarians" is Class driven commonalities amongst all sectors of society long promised since LBJ's War on Poverty/Great Society Program. IMO, Sanders, Gabbard, The Squad's continual hammering on issues of economic equitability will at long last allow for the inclusion of the public/private financial debate as the discussion finally centers on the Money Power and Ownership in the USA. Hudson's excellent exposition lays out the international aspects of the problem; the job is now to connect it to the domestic problem, which is what I was trying to highlight earlier in this thread.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 1:35 utc | 207

@ dh who wrote
I still see the Squad as primarily appealing to ethnic divisions.
I don't own a TV but have seen some stuff on the intertubes about how well received Ilhan Omar was by her constituents in Minnesota which leads me to believe that the Squad's appeal is to more than ethnic divisions

@ karlof1 with the Counterpunch link.....thanks
It is gratifying to read others in support of my wounded butterfly wing beating One Note Samba.

@ Grieved with the follow up...thanks
Humanity has some work to do to square the circle of competing social contracts. I don't see the West becoming the East but once the cult of global private finance is neutered, we can explore the proper mixed economies (public/private) that provide the best benefits for the greatest number. Many agree that "profit" should come out of the middle of health care, education and a list too long to start here.

But start we should to identify where competition works best and where sharing/socialism is more appropriate.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 23 2019 1:39 utc | 208

dh @206--

Pelosi's their enemy, and an enemy of the American People. Also BigLie Media as Pelosi's ally is another factor--read the McGovern item I linked to. The Duopoly and BigLie Media all serve the Current Oligarchy's interests, which first and foremost is to keep the US citizenry divided so they can't combine to elect politicians that will actually serve THEM instead of the Oligarchy.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 1:46 utc | 210

Posted by: aspnaz | Jul 22 2019 22:49 utc | 196

So you have been here since the hand over but have not noticed the increase in mainlander residents, the increase in mainlander tourists, the increase in population generally and how crowded HK has become?

You are confusing quality of life issues with politics. I do not consider things such as 'more mainland tourists and residents' to be some sort of political imposition or an abrogation of my civil and political rights. Hong Kong people cannot claim to be in some sort of life-and-death political struggle with the CCP and base it upon such things. It's just whining -- petty, racist whinging at that.

Posted by: Herr Ringbone | Jul 23 2019 1:47 utc | 211

@208 I can't really comment without knowing who Omar's enthusiastic 'constituents in Minnesota' consist of. Do you have any facts and figures?

Posted by: dh | Jul 23 2019 1:50 utc | 212

Sorry for the interruption, but can anyone explain the code to enlarge, or reduce the size of the text, on here?

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Jul 23 2019 1:50 utc | 213

@210 Well the Democrats are certainly in trouble but I don't think getting more radical will help them beat Trump....that's all I'm saying.

Posted by: dh | Jul 23 2019 1:55 utc | 214

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jul 22 2019 20:10 utc | 187

Yours was a rather intemperate post, notable in part for its surfeit of unwarranted assumptions about other persons, but mostly for the inclusion of two spectacular ironies:

- You complain of posts with low intellectual value, and then supply one of your own.

- You laugh at identity one-upmanship by ("claimed") gweilos, then go stratospherically meta in the one-upmanship stakes yourself.

Posted by: Herr Ringbone | Jul 23 2019 2:03 utc | 215

@ dh that wants fact and figures about non ethnic support of the Squad

It was the link below with pictures that fueled my comment to you

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 23 2019 2:04 utc | 216

@ aye, myself & me with the question about changing the size of MoA text

That control is in your browser. I use Opera and I have a VIEW tab at the top that has those controls....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 23 2019 2:06 utc | 217

AOC's list of "Radical" policy goals:

"Reminder of what people are calling the 'radical, extreme-left agenda':

✅ Medicare for All
✅ A Living Wage & Labor Rights
✅ K-16 schooling, aka Public Colleges
✅ 100% Renewable Energy
✅ Fixing the pipes in Flint
✅ Not Hurting Immigrants
✅ Holding Wall Street Accountable"

Seems far more Ethical than Radical, which I'm sure is how it's seen by millions of citizens who favor such policies by over 50%.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 2:07 utc | 218

Posted by: dh | Jul 23 2019 1:55 utc | 214
Well the Democrats are certainly in trouble but I don't think getting more radical will help them beat Trump....that's all I'm saying.

When the democrats can't beat a child molesting billionaire who pays no taxes and not only stiffs his constituents, but his business clients too, isn't it time to toss in the towel on either of these losers?

Seems to me like the last time a prez stood up to our banksters was JFK with his executive order #1111, which was in the face of the federal reserve and imho was the straw that broke Jack's life.

Also, imho you can't extract change from either political party, until you remove their power base, which is the federal reserve.

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Jul 23 2019 2:18 utc | 219

@216 Interesting to contrast the excited people greeting Omar at the airport with the glum looking bunch behind Trump at his rally.

And thank you karlofi for the ethical....not radical....agenda. We'll see how far the Democrats get with it. Election promises are easy to make.

For the record I don't have a horse in the race.

Posted by: dh | Jul 23 2019 2:18 utc | 220

dh @212--

You could have done this same basic search as I did to get this fundamental page that provides her district's population, income and ethnic mix:

"Population: 708,082[3]

"Median income: $63,202[4]


67.39% White
16.64% Black
6.05% Asian
8.81% Hispanic
1.23% Native American"

In 2018, Omar carried 78% of the vote within her district--an amount usually termed as a Landslide of Support.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 2:19 utc | 221

@221 Thank you again karlof. I don't like to spend too much time on the internet. Which is why my comments tend to be short.

Anyway clearly a landslide victory. Well done Omar.

Posted by: dh | Jul 23 2019 2:27 utc | 222

Toward the conclusion of the discussion/interview about J is for Junk Economics I've excerpted throughout this thread the following two questions are asked:

"What can people do, in addition to what we do, who feel helpless and powerless and want to achieve economic democracy? Would one example be to nationalize the banks or create some sort of political movement to nationalize the banks?" [My Emphasis]

Hudson's answer's long due to the need to provide current and historical context but ought to be given in full:

" Here’s the problem: once the financial managers have emptied out corporations, there’s nothing
they’d rather do than turn these big corporations over to the workers. Because they’ll say, Okay,
you operate a broke steel company or you operate the broke auto company and see what you can do—as long as they leave the debts in place. But as long as the existing corporate economy—as
long as the car companies and the industrial companies and the manufacturing firms and the farms are all left as deeply in debt as they are, it doesn’t matter who owns them or what they can do as long as they have to repay the debt. So you do need a public option.

"Back in 2008 when Citibank was broke, imagine what would have happened if the government would have said, Ok Citibank’s broke. We’re taking it over. We’re not paying the bond holders and the stock holders because they invested in a criminogenic organization. But we’re going to operate this as a public bank. So now that Citibank is a public bank, and Wells Fargo, and Bank of America, and the other banks that have paid tens of billions of dollars for fraud, now that they’re public banks, they can issue credit cards at cost; at 2 percent interest—what they borrow.
They won’t make loans for corporate takeovers. They’ll make loans to actually help companies
grow. You need a public option for this and you need public banking for this because the existing financial model is extractive, not productive.

"What would be the basis for public banking? One way of getting away from the payday loans that people have is use the Post Offices as the germs of banks. When I worked on Wall Street, 3 percent of American bank deposits were in the Post Office for banks which is why the banks wanted
to drive them under. Maybe 15 or 20 percent were in savings banks and savings and loans. They were mutual savings banks. They don’t exist anymore. They were looted by the commercial banks taking them over.

"In order to change the ownership structure and the function of industry, you need a financial system that actually promotes industry. All of this is what Saint-Simon in France wrote about 200
years ago in the 1810s, 1820s. That was a basis for Saint-Simonian socialist reform, for French
socialist reform. Marx accepted this later. He admired Saint-Simon. You had German banks in the late 19th century following this new public banking model with a unity between government, banks, and industry. Everybody expected that this would become the basis for worker owned for socialist
industrialization. World War I changed all of that and you had a retrogression and that’s what
both Killing The Host and J Is For Junk Economics are really all about, to describe how history was turned into a detour, into a financial detour that’s leading to neoliberalism and to neofeudalism making the kind of world that you want to see—an economy run for the producers
—impossible." [My Emphasis]

It seems pretty clear what Hudson advocates jibes 100% with what psychohistorian advocates: For any chance at economic democracy to occur, the structure of the system must be overturned and rebuilt. And we can thus see why the Pelosis, Grahams, Trumps, Obamas, Bidens, Harrises, Pences, et al in the USA's political system fight against ANY attempt to alter the structure, to provide for any sort of additional public option anywhere within the existing political-economy. And the same can be said for the EU (within the discussion, the Greek situation is addressed) as it's built on the same structural basis, although the cult of Corporate Raiders hasn't yet arrived to plague it.

What needs to be done now is to build a political program around what needs to be advocated/done. Sanders is articulating much of it, but not all. The same must happen in the EU.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 3:28 utc | 223

@223 karlof1... thanks for articulating an overview here karlof1.... i really have to read a michael hudson book one of these days...

Posted by: james | Jul 23 2019 3:34 utc | 224

Karlof1 @ 218, 221

Excellent comments.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 23 2019 3:52 utc | 225

And 223


Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 23 2019 3:54 utc | 226

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 3:28 utc | 223
What needs to be done now is to build a political program around what needs to be advocated/done. Sanders is articulating much of it, but not all. The same must happen in the EU.

Karlof1 answer me this, please? You like Gabbard and since you've brought her up i think she shines above the rest, however, her numbers stink and the MSM will keep those numbers low. Hypothetically, what if Gabbard ran with Dr. Hudson on an independent ticket? That's the kinda squad that might get something done about changing the status quo, eh?

@Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 23 2019 2:06 utc | 217

Thank you for the assist psychohistorian and i thought i had it made since i too use opera, but alas, i also use a Mac and i'm not seeing anything under view, or anywhere else for formatting the type. There is a zoom there, but it's for the whole page, rather than just the text.

Also, i believe it was you who provided a link a few weeks ago regarding 'Letting Go Breath'? I've tried it and nearly asphyxiated myself, because the tempo is too fast so i breathe too shallow. However, your idea gives me ideas on how to improve my practice, so many thanks for that too.

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Jul 23 2019 3:59 utc | 227

Oh, and i figure if we can upset the federal reserve and world bank, Europe should be sure to follow.

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Jul 23 2019 4:01 utc | 228

As a follow up to the comments by karlof1 I want to suggest that the MoA barflies from the US send emails to their Congresscritters in support of the Squad as well as public finance

I just did in support of one of karlof1 comments
What The Squad needs is to grow into The Platoon, then The Company, and finally The Regiment.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 23 2019 4:02 utc | 229

If the quote from this posting is correct then EMP has now been used as a major weapon
CARACAS (Reuters) - More than half of Venezuela’s 23 states lost power on Monday, according to Reuters witnesses and reports on social media, a blackout the government blamed on an “electromagnetic attack.”

If this is true that Venezuela is going to have ongoing serious outages that will show the rest of the world how dirty the West plays the "game". Do any think this will bolster Guidoman's stature and chances?.....I don't

I hope this perfidy gets discussed and fingers pointed in a UN Security Council meeting

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 23 2019 4:15 utc | 230

@ aye, myself & me with the follow up

Yes, the zoom process effects the whole page which can then be resized to your desire...sorry if that is not helpful

I would encourage you to read more about the Letting Go Breath at the web site before trying again and feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss it further.....the pace is constant but the volume of breath is the gas pedal restricted by "effective sighs" (vibrate the vagus nerve). I would also encourage you to review my presentation outline for neuromodulation techniques and underlying mental health science at

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 23 2019 4:40 utc | 231

james @224 & et al--

At the very end of the linked discussion/interview is an excellent set of links to numerous papers and videos written/given by Hudson that are often related to his longer book-length essays. Unfortunately, it ends in mid-2017. In the most recent, he advocates Steve Keen, who I've added to my reading list as Hudson's touted his work before.

aye, myself & me @227--

First, Hudson certainly knows a political movement's required for the needed change to occur; he says as much at the end of the linked item above, and he says what's precisely required. Would he run for office? IMO, no, that's not what he's about. Gabbard's economic thought must grow and mature, although she has a good handle on what must be eliminated. Suppose they won POTUS/Veep; what might they accomplish? Numerous things could be done to redesign/repurpose the Executive, but most of the needed legislation to actually undo/redo the economic structure of the USA requires a like-minded Congress. In other words, we must grow the Regiment into an Army. The ideological change must be as total as possible as there's still the power of the Current Oligarchy to overcome. And for the Movement to accomplish what it must, it needs to be educated and thus become radicalized through that enlightenment. For Gabbard and Progressive Politics, the next debate will be extremely important; she's on the 2nd night versus Biden and Harris, et al, and ought to win with ease.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 5:03 utc | 232

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 5:03 utc | 232
For Gabbard and Progressive Politics, the next debate will be extremely important; she's on the 2nd night versus Biden and Harris, et al, and ought to win with ease.

Thanks for your reply. These debates should be about exposure only and if she were to be the anointed one, then i believe she needs to distance herself from the party that 'can't'. The democrats not only instigated the formation of the fed, they purportedly flip flopped their agenda nearly two decades later. How can anyone vote for such ineptitude?

Imo, for anyone to defeat the establishment and the deep state its going to have to come from deep roots in this country, It's going to have to come from an outside party, that can wrangle the masses to see a better point of view. The candidate's going to need to be as versed in economics, as Dr. Hudson is and be able to explain it in the same simple terms he does. Won't take long for people to understand, if it's put into words they can understand. That's a tough order, when the msm won't help at all, so any true effort to defeat this 'two' party system, should've been started a decade ago. However, anytime would be soon enough for me.

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Jul 23 2019 5:31 utc | 233

@197 Zanon "More about what to come on Russia/Iran relations?"

Well that Zanon puts a question mark at the end of that sentence.

After all, he then links to an opinion piece by (and I kid you not!) the "former head of strategic planning in the Israel Defense Forces".

And what does that Israeli propaganda spokesman propose?

Well, he spends the entire article on the, ahem, rather self-serving concept that what Israel wants in Syria is exactly what Russia should also want.

Except...nowhere in that article is there even the most oblique quote from the Russians that even hints that they might be agreeable to the proposition that they should be Netanyahu's bitches.

Which is Zanon all over: he points to hints dropped by the Israeli as "evidence" that the Russians are in bed with the Israelis.

When, really, all it is amounts to evidence that the Israelis are adept at verballing anyone if it serves their purpose.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 23 2019 8:51 utc | 234

karlof1 232

"Suppose they won POTUS/Veep; what might they accomplish? Numerous things could be done to redesign/repurpose the Executive, but most of the needed legislation to actually undo/redo the economic structure of the USA requires a like-minded Congress."

Like what?

If a president were willing to use the executive power aggressively, and were backed by an extralegal movement built completely outside the system, what would anyone need congress for?

All I recommend there would be for a "radical" president to use the executive power in the exact same way every other recent president has, simply in a different direction.

If this were done effectively and in a popular way, that would then put great bottom-up pressure on the congress to get with the program.

Any objections to my comment on grounds of legality or constitutionalism would be absurd. The establishment Reps and Dems, the corporations and their house media, as well as most ordinary Americans who hold political opinions, display their absolute contempt for both on a daily basis.

Not that there's any danger that Gabbard, let alone any of these other clowns, would do any such thing. Any of them (and that goes for the "Green Party" as well) would on the contrary bend over backwards to prove their "good behavior" to the establishment, except where they'd sell out directly. (And then there's out-and-out con artists like Sanders and the Syriza leadership.)

And of course no one is working to build that movement outside the system, even though history proves this a litmus test for any serious challenge to an entrenched status quo.

Posted by: Russ | Jul 23 2019 9:34 utc | 235

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Jul 23 2019 5:31 utc | 233

"The candidate's going to need to be as versed in economics, as Dr. Hudson is and be able to explain it in the same simple terms he does."

Hudson's way is still far too academic and complicated for the expression needed. Intellectual elites can never "give ideas to the people" from the top down.

What's needed is someone who can use everyday stories and imagery to lead people, not to rationally "understand" but to feel those truths in their gut. That's the only way it ever worked. E.g. Karl Marx wasn't some neutral vessel whose rational studies happened to lead him to his moral position and mode of expression. As a young man he was a passionate enthusiast of Hegel but who felt in his gut there were major errors and things missing morally, and who then crafted a course of study to bring to consciousness and rational expression what his gut first told him.

Posted by: Russ | Jul 23 2019 9:36 utc | 236

@ Grieved | Jul 23 2019 1:08 utc | 205

Have caught up reading to this point this morning (UTC +2).
With your finely reasoned comments about arriving at a balance between private and public resources, please illuminate why there should be any difference between paying for the rent on the use of a car and paying for the rent for the use of credit? Credit represents someone's income that has not been consumed, does it not? Whatever happened to the sauce for goose and gander? My suggestion that there is no operative economic theoretic principles currently in operation will likely fall on deaf ears and blind eyes. …historian's raves of the evils of banking/finance have added nothing to the understanding of anything, rather they are reactions to phantoms, will-o'-the-wisps and things that go bump in the dark as a result of accepting the taught narrative provided by MBA econ 101, hook line and sinker. …historian is one of the premier contributors this site when not repeating the bats in belfry schtick, clouding, obscuring a clear view of the economic opposition. Sun Tzu's "Art of War" suggests not only knowing one's opposition but knowing oneself as well for optimal outcome. It is unlikely either can be known under present conditions although some progress has been made in recent times.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 23 2019 9:55 utc | 237

Russ says:

If a president were willing to use the executive power aggressively, and were backed by an extralegal movement built completely outside the system, what would anyone need congress for

indeed. a judicious application of the disposition matrix to clean out the treasonous, the corrupt, the pedophiles, the Israel firsters, etc. would be immensely effective and i daresay immensely popular as well. this would have to be followed up with (or perhaps preceded by) sending a company of marines to cia headquarters in Langley, giving the occupants 15 minutes to vacate the premises with hands raised, and then burning the place to the ground.

and thus from the ashes would be born a new, wise, and benevolent dictatorship.

Posted by: john | Jul 23 2019 10:27 utc | 238

@ John 238

Well, that would be a far more revolutionary situation than can be conceived under today's circumstance. I was going along with the discussion's premise of electing an imperialist-lite like Gabbard.

But you're right, true movement-building from outside the system is a necessary prerequisite for fielding any kind of bona fide transformational political party.

Posted by: Russ | Jul 23 2019 11:03 utc | 239

Dimitry Orlov is detailed and funny as usual on the Skripal affair and some other things.

Posted by: Russ | Jul 23 2019 12:20 utc | 240

@238 John. A Trump-led military coup?

Well, it's a novel idea.

I had always assumed that Trump's initial fascination for having "his generals" in high positions within his Administration was to ensure that nobody could launch a coup against him.

Obviously not an issue now, since he has long dispensed with all of them.

But Trump using the US military to stage a "coup" against the Congress would be something quite breathtaking in its audacity.

I doubt that he has it in him but, well, never say never.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 23 2019 12:21 utc | 241

Yeah, Right @234: Israelis are adept at verballing

Spot on! Hasbara seem to employ the 'verballing' tactic quite frequently.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Lexico/Oxford English Dictionary (OED):

Verbal as a Verb (Verbals, Verballed, Verballing)
British informal

Attribute a damaging statement to (a suspect), especially dishonestly.

English.StackExchange answer:
Literally it was the practice of police to write a transcript of a verbal statement that was not precisely what the suspect actually said at interview. The suspect would sign it either without checking thoroughly or without realising the incriminating details that were included or aware of the contents but signing under threat or coercion. It is common in Australia to now be used as a metaphor by someone alleging that they are being 'verballed', that is, deliberately misquoted or quoted out of context by an opponent to make it appear that they said something they did not intend.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 23 2019 12:55 utc | 242

Posted by: Russ | Jul 23 2019 11:03 utc | 239
But you're right, true movement-building from outside the system is a necessary prerequisite for fielding any kind of bona fide transformational political party.

I agree with both you and john. I don't see any reason most of the 'dirty' work couldn't be done thru executive orders, altho it'd be likely the corrupt justice dept. would run cover against those orders, a very well versed attorney general would be needed. I agree also, that the american people would gladly accept a new party that had utterly new ideas about how our government is run.

The two party system got us into this mess, they won't help in getting us out of their swamp.

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Jul 23 2019 14:09 utc | 243

@ aye, myself & me | Jul 23 2019 14:09 utc | 243

It took about six (6) years when letters moved as fast as horses to establish the Republican Party and bring its candidate to the White House. Now that letters move with the speed of light, why is it taking so long to begin?

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 23 2019 14:20 utc | 244

footnote for my 238, from wikipedia:

benevolent dictatorship refers to a government in which an authoritarian leader exercises absolute political power over the state but is perceived to do so with regard for benefit of the population as a whole, standing in contrast to the decidedly malevolent stereotype of a dictator. A benevolent dictator may allow for some economic liberalization or democratic decision-making to exist, such as through public referenda or elected representatives with limited power, and often makes preparations for a transition to genuine democracy during or after their term. It might be seen as a republican form of enlightened despotism.

The label has been applied to leaders such as Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman,[1] Mustafa Kemal Atatürk of Turkey,[2] Antonio Salazar of Portugal,[3] Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia,[4] Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore,[5] and France-Albert René of Seychelles

Posted by: john | Jul 23 2019 14:39 utc | 245

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 23 2019 14:20 utc | 244

"It took about six (6) years when letters moved as fast as horses to establish the Republican Party and bring its candidate to the White House. Now that letters move with the speed of light, why is it taking so long to begin?"

Maybe precisely because they now move at the speed of light. In the 1850s these things took some real dedication. Today one piece of dedication can be submerged in a million pieces of noise, with a significant part of that being organized misdirection and obfuscation.

Posted by: Russ | Jul 23 2019 14:41 utc | 246

But you're right, true movement-building from outside the system is a necessary prerequisite for fielding any kind of bona fide transformational political party.

I'm enjoying this discussion and the thoughtful comments.

Russ, it seems to me it always comes down to building critical mass outside the system in order to influence much less change the status quo. And to achieve this requires tireless, painstaking coalition building (yes, poltics even outside the system) because different groups of people will have their own ideas, many not necessarily in synch or contextual with others' ideas.

During the 60s movement (the last time in the US where we saw anything like a "true movement" built outside the system.....50+ years ago!) we had a fairly uneasy alliance between anti-war counter-culture types (based on reaction to the military draft), lefty religious groups (today largely diminished to non-existent as an organising force), civil rights groups (a huge part of the movement then, and again today marginalised as "immigration-rights" groups) and unions (also greatly diminished today).

The movement was chaotic, easily prone to infiltration, never well organised at all and fading to black by the time Nixon was hugely re-elected in 1972 on the back of a southern and working class reaction to the so-called excesses of the left. Racism played no small part in this reaction.

And yet, what are the organising force(s) for building a movement outside the system today compared to the 1960s?

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 23 2019 14:47 utc | 247

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Jul 23 2019 14:09 utc | 243

"The two party system got us into this mess, they won't help in getting us out of their swamp."

Agree 100% with that. Though by now I say the same of electoralism as such, at least until a truly oppositional cultural/spiritual/ideological movement is built, becomes a going concern and way of life for its members, and only then extrudes a political party on its own terms.

But I think attempts at a prefab "alternative party" without building the necessary movement foundation are doomed to failure at best, co-optation and selling out at worst.

Posted by: Russ | Jul 23 2019 14:47 utc | 248

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 23 2019 14:47 utc | 247

"And yet, what are the organising force(s) for building a movement outside the system today compared to the 1960s?"

Based on an intuition (and perhaps wishful thinking), I suspect that if they ever come into existence at all prior to complete socio-ecological collapse, they'll turn out mostly to be people with no prior significant political involvement/action.

These would be people who never found any value in the status quo "polity", but who could be galvanized to action by some disastrous event and/or the truly anti-system idea offered by a rising movement, if the pioneers of such a movement ever could come together and get cracking. Every revolutionary movement (national, social, religious) began with a cadre of writers and thinkers who had definitively burned their bridges and renounced the status quo once and for all.

And where could this cadre come from? I used to think they'd likely come from the ranks of indentured student debtors. But it's been awhile now and it seems like the lot of them are content to grind along still fantasizing about getting what the system promised them. So who knows.

Of course I can't patrol the whole internet, not to mention completely real-world writers and groups, so there could be real ferment going on somewhere which I've never heard of.

Posted by: Russ | Jul 23 2019 15:04 utc | 249

The US has alternate parties and many countries have several. For the most part the PTB seem to manage to stay in control no matter who is elected.
Other countries that elect a government that does not fall into line are then subjected to endless harassments, threats, sabotage and war.

Posted by: arby | Jul 23 2019 15:38 utc | 250

Arby - imo, this is because once "alternative parties" enter the mainstream by being elected they become co-opted by the system which is controlled by the financial elites.

And some of these parties are more or less set up and managed by a segment of the financial elites anyway...such as the Green Party USA. I've always questioned why anyone seeking serious systemic change woud cast their lot with an upper middle class party of primarily white professional/technocratic wonks.

This is in reference to the US. I'm aware GP and other alternative parties fare a bit better in a parliamentary system and can potentially win elections without moving towards the political center.\.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 23 2019 16:01 utc | 251

JR @ 242

Verballing being one of your specialties! Lol, sorry couldn't resist....

Attribute a damaging statement to (a suspect), especially dishonestly.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 23 2019 16:06 utc | 252

Et al--

Michael Hudson's been on the inside and outside observing the system longer than most of us in this discussion. I pointed to his having made observations of the current situation and proposed a solution, but it appears nobody aside from me bothered to read what he suggested.

Question to Hudson: "Do you think the solution is then for there to be some sort of political movement essentially focused on changing the financial system? Is that our only way out of this? Does it have to come from the grass roots?"

Hudson's reply:

"It has to be a political movement. And that requires meaning breaking up the Democratic Party.
The Democratic Party now is the party of Wall Street and the neocons. You have to have some
political party that’s going to work. If you’re a third party, as Ralph Nader found out, the media
are just going to ignore you and you’re not going to have much effort. You have to say, What party can you take over?
The Tea Party people tried to take over the Republicans and you see
where they are. They are way out-voted by the Koch brothers and Donald Trump has just
surrendered to Paul Ryan in the budget. Really the most demagogic, doublethink, Orwellian party
is the Democratic Party and you’ve got to take it away from Wall Street. You’ve got to get rid of
Hillary Clinton and her gang forever

"That requires a fight. If the fight means that the Bernie supporters and the socialists are expelled from the Democratic Party then you want to leave the remaining Wall Street as only the 1
percent. They’ll have the donors but they won’t have any voters at all and the Party that’s
expelled, the Socialist Party, in effect, is going to become the Democratic Party, the real
democratic party. And you’ve got to have a political fight. Without a political movement you’re
not going to be able to achieve any change in the economic system
." [My Emphasis]

Prior to the 2016 election cycle, myself and others called for a movement to rise up to destroy the evil Hudson recognizes--the Neoliberal Clintonites and their associates of which Pelosi and Hoyer are also top public enemies. We saw the great evil within the D Party as it rigged the nomination and the cover up for its illegalities by trying to blame Russia for Trump's win and handicapping his presidency via the contrived Mueller cover up--all of which has polluted many millions of minds that are in great need of cleansing. The Mueller cover up has yet to get what it deserves--prison for all those who contrived it, including Obama and Clinton. It's fear of that outcome that made Pelosi once again say Impeachment's off the table.

Some here think it would be easy to purge the Executive Bureaucracy of all its dead wood and smash the institutions within the Swamp through the use of executive orders. But for those orders to have the power needed to accomplish those deeds, the POTUS/Veep team wielding them needs an extraordinary mandate on the order of winning 70%+ of the popular vote while having the very visible, potent Movement such an outcome would require. What does Hudson say: "That requires a fight" I think he knows just what sort of fight--dirty, viscous, bare-knuckled, barroom brawl, no-quarter, battle for your and your children's future livelihood, more intense than any labor union-corporate battle waged before. He saw such localized fights as a child, which is what IMO drove him to find out how the Beast works then expose it so it can be fought.

And the Fight isn't limited to the innards of the Outlaw US Empire. As the selection of BoJo shows, the UK also needs to have its own Fight. Then there're those nations ensnared within the EU's Neoliberal chains that will need to have their own fights to free themselves.

As such, all the Political Battles are part of the ongoing Hybrid Third World War and represent the task left to multiple national Citizenries to overcome and defeat the Zero-sum, Neolibeal/Neocon led Outlaw US Empire and its small courtier of vassal nations. Call it the Global Revolution for Economic & Political Freedom and a viable, sustainable future.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 16:12 utc | 253

Russia seeks to remove Iran’s influence over Syria army

Russia is working to reform the Syrian army and end Iran’s influence over it by appointing and promoting pro-regime officers and excluding Iranian allies, the American Middle East Policy Institute has revealed.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 23 2019 16:45 utc | 254

@ karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 16:12 utc | 253

With great respect, what you suggest will not happen or will not be successful until either a large majority are educated sufficiently to make complex determinations correctly or are so emotionally committed to a desired end they sweep all opposition before them politically. The New Deal may be the best example of the first path where Lincoln's anti-slavery the example of the latter way. Recent history has provided faux examples of both: Nixon's 'Law and Order' and Reagan's 'Moral Majority' that opened the door and swept away all opposition. I do not think this would be an irrational summary of recent history, and as with some 99.99% of all human activity qualifies as a conspiracy on a grand scale. For short and middle term, I don't see this changing outside systemic collapse; social; political; economic; ecological, all are near or at tipping points awaiting the flapping of a butterfly's wings. The blessing of living in interesting times is nye on.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 23 2019 17:12 utc | 255

Speaking of Omar, an ethics complaint has been filed against her. If any of the accusations in there turn out to be true, it would be like 2 trains in a frontal collision, actual behavior vs. public persona. They accuse her of having married her own brother, for one thing. I find that tough to stomach.

Following an extensive three-year investigation into Rep. Ilhan Omar by investigative journalist David Steinberg, a House ethics complaint has been filed by Judicial Watch calling for a probe into potential crimes committed by Omar and her brother.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Jul 23 2019 17:35 utc | 256

Formerly T-Bear @255--

Your suggestion that education is a prerequisite for the mounting of a successful Movement differs in no respect from what I've written for over 20 years--the deliberately inflicted ignorance of the masses must be overcome for them to overthrow their oppressors and ours. In every single successful labor organizing attempt, education and the promotion of solidarity have always been fundamental for any chance of success. That's one of the reasons why I wrote the Fight will be "more intense than any labor union-corporate battle waged before," for that is essentially what this Fight is all about--Labor versus Capital.

I submit that much educating is occurring as a consequence of the battles for Single-Payer Healthcare, the $15/hr minimum wage and the Green New Deal as they all deal with the equitable distribution of wealth and the economics underlying that goal. Even the simple slogan--If there are Trillions for destruction, there are Trillions for healing and building (Gabbard's spiel)--is understandable by the illiterate. The real question is how much of the message will get through to the masses without BigLie Media broadcasting it. As for Solidarity, Trump's policies are doing that nationwide and in unexpected places as this report on just one incident amongst many shows.

Here's Bernie Sanders's Mantra from his campaign website's main page:

"No one candidate, not even the greatest candidate you could imagine, is capable of taking on Donald Trump and the billionaire class alone. There is only one way we win — and that is together."

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 18:06 utc | 257

Daesh had satellite phones. Wonder if they have call logs like cell phones. Sure would be interesting to know who they called and who taught them how to use such equipment.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 18:25 utc | 258

CS Monitor backstory on Iranian spy coup is rather interesting and worth its quick read.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 18:58 utc | 260

Regarding opposition:
I personally have no faith that the present political system, with or without one or both of the existing political parties, is going to ever muster itself for change.
There is simply too much to be lost by those in power.
In case anyone is unclear how the entrenched maintain power - I would reference the past Occupy Wall Street movement and the present AOC/Ilhan situation vis a vis Pelosi and the DNCCC.
I also believe that the necessary changes are so large that they will be impossible to accomplish without a premier representative from the entrenched championing it (aka FDR, Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson but definitely not Lincoln), or a revolution.
For example: Health Care alone is 18% of the US GDP - with about half of that being waste/profit (depending on your point of view) vs. such notably poor nations like Luxembourg and Switzerland. As I've written about before - the amount of additional spending the US pours into health care is equivalent to 1.5 Defense budgets including VA, special appropriations, etc.
Who will tame that beast? Is that even theoretically possible in our system of Citizen United, much less F35-like "spreading the wealth" appropriations?
No, I see the outcome to be a not-so gradual descent into 3rd world like inequality. The only question then is if the newly destitute former middle classes will rise up before their generation ages out, leaving nothing but peasants.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 23 2019 19:24 utc | 261

Arab states and Israel meetings more frequent than ever?

Arab delegation from Saudi, Iraq after Bahraini envoy meet israeli reps.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 23 2019 19:44 utc | 262

@ karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 18:06 utc | 257

It has been going on quarter century since leaving U.S. so I likely missed reading your work - my loss.

A number of sea-changes I've observed since those days, hardly a one has a positive aspect about it and education hardly ranks at all on that list and that despite the herculean efforts of some of the best and most dedicated professionals in any profession. Or the repudiation of labour as an honourable endeavour (my spell-check is British English) to engage one's life in. As for understanding human nature, I doubt those things have been witnessed for going on two decades or thereabout. One cannot buss in greeting without having a lawyer, three reliable witnesses and a professional psychologist for expert testimony in court. Some sizeable bank account must be needed to even breathe there; a citizen living there is a brave person indeed. And heavens forfend, that any use the words woman and driver together in the same month; using the adjective and noun directly together is American Roulette (Russian Roulette is five empty chambers and one loaded - reverse that for the American version - so exceptional are the survivors). In all, the place has become a strange and wondrous land and completely foreign. Old stories of pioneers relate those settling the northern great planes as being giants of the earth, a trait obviously widely needed there today just to survive. In conclusion, being so far removed in both spirit and time, I will not pretend to know or understand the zeitgeist there anymore and your writing provides a fine mirror to view with. Thanks.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 23 2019 20:37 utc | 263

Here is a list of Epstein backers – and by this I mean powerful figures who have aided and abetted Epstein in crucial ways.

Donald Barr

Ace Greenberg

James “Jimmy” Cayne

Steven Jude Hoffenberg

Leslie Wexner

Ghislaine Maxwell

Alan Dershowitz

Mort Zuckerman

Barry Krischer

Leon Black

Peggy Siegal

Anyone notice a pattern?

Well, don’t! Noticing is not allowed. Look over there, not over here, look at Trump's racist tweets instead!

Posted by: YDF | Jul 23 2019 21:46 utc | 264

Formerly T-Bear @263--

Thanks for your reply! In some important respects, living within the Outlaw US Empire is odious. I once entertained emigrating but then undertook responsibilities I was bound to fulfill which remains my current standing. Thus the need to try and upend the odiousness of the Empire and the contamination it causes to existing anywhere on the planet. As I wrote @253, the Fight to overthrow Empire is truly global with a few polities lucky enough not having to worry much about it aside from its externalities. IMO, undoing the lethal criminal element causing much of the odiousness will be the most difficult aspect in attempting to gain freedom for US citizens and thus the rest of the world's. As described by many, they constitute a Mafia like no other having enjoyed impunity for decades. But there's no other choice than to overcome what constitute the shock troops of Reaction. And they're not just here but global. Thus, while the Grand Political Fight will occur here, the Overall Fight is Global in its extent and few can escape it.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 21:54 utc | 265

YDF @264--

And what do you propose be done about the "pattern"?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 21:58 utc | 266

@254 Zanon "Russia seeks to remove Iran’s influence over Syria army"

It is well worth following Zanon's link for the chuckle it provides.

Note this: "The study pointed out that after its direct intervention in the war in 2015, Russia, which controls most of the Syrian territories,"...

So it is RUSSIA that controls Syrian territory, not the Syrian Arab Army.

Which is a neat trick, since RUSSIA has no significant ground formations in Syria, while the SAA does.

And this: "Russia, the institute said, is currently making major changes in the senior command of the armed forces."

I got no problem with the idea of Russian military assistance to Assad in the shape of both equipment and training. Heck, even in recruiting.

But the idea that RUSSIANS get to select who gets the SENIOR command positions of the SAA?

Preposterous. The very notion that Assad would relinquish that sole responsibility is beyond laughable. It is a recipe for a future coup.

And, btw, who is that "institute" who "said" all this?

Answer: it is the "American Middle East Policy Institute has revealed. In a study published this week,"

So why use a cut-out?

Why does Zanon link to an article by the "Middle East Monitor" that reports on what the "American Middle East Policy Institute" published in their report?

Why not cut out the middle-man and link directly to the source report?

Ah, but it wouldn't be a Zanon-post if it wasn't a 3rd-hand verballing.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 23 2019 22:12 utc | 267

@ #266 karloff1: "And what do you propose be done about the "pattern"?

What I propose is simple: white privilege is everywhere, so make the "pattern" about white privilege, and nothing else

All the media has to do is find some way to put Epstein and white privilege together, and the problem is solved.

Remarkable that they haven't figured out a way to do this yet

Posted by: YDF | Jul 23 2019 22:28 utc | 268

bevin @92--

Introducing the newest Superbug, fungi Candida auris, which has emerged as a result of adaptation to the rising temperatures of the Climate Crisis, and is likely only the first of many new microbes for which humans have few defenses.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 22:35 utc | 269

YDF @268--

Thanks for your reply! But, you raise another question: What is "the problem [being] solved"?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 22:39 utc | 270

Yeah Right

Middle east monitor is a pro-palestinian news source, so why shouldnt I use that? And what is your issue with the institute report? You only read things you agree with? You seems to be obsessed with me, following me around here for something I did to you which you cannot let go, I will for your own health and this blog stop replying to you so please dont reply to me anymore. Thanks! :)

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 23 2019 22:42 utc | 271

"US Willing To Negotiate "Guarantees" For Maduro's Voluntary Exit"


Posted by: arby | Jul 24 2019 0:58 utc | 272

I find it interesting that since the initial reporting which I quoted in comment # 230 yesterday and as follows
CARACAS (Reuters) - More than half of Venezuela’s 23 states lost power on Monday, according to Reuters witnesses and reports on social media, a blackout the government blamed on an “electromagnetic attack.”
there has been NO MSM reporting of this incident.

This leads me to believe it didn't work out as well as expected for empire and it would make empire/US look bad if it was reported on.

The plate spinning of late empire is getting a bit frantic it seems. I noticed they are reporting about the empire colonies of South Korea and Japan Huffing and Puffing with their "air force" against a combined Russia/China joint air patrol.

The only thing encouraging in all this is that if the elite are hell bent (pun intended) for nuclear MAD then they would stop with all the BS propaganda and ongoing war crimes like in Venezuela, Palestine, Yemen, etc. and just instantiate their Rapture

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 24 2019 1:12 utc | 273

@271 Zanon "Middle east monitor is a pro-palestinian news source, so why shouldnt I use that?"

Fer' f**k's sake....

Because by doing so you are linking to a report of a report, when you could have linked to the source material.

Get it?

No, of course you don't

You are posting scuttlebutt about what a 3rd person has said.

Zanon "And what is your issue with the institute report?"

My issue is that you haven't read it, nor do you point to anywhere were I can read it, yet you insist on letting a cut-out tell both of us what to think about it.

Zanon "You only read things you agree with?"

I haven't read the Institute report. Neither have you. That is my point.

Zanon "you seems to be obsessed with me,"

You are an Israeli troll, Zanon.

That much is plainly obvious.
That is my sole "problem" with you.

Why would I let your oh-so-obvious misinformation pass without comment, especially when they are so easily debunked.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 24 2019 1:56 utc | 274

Two items of news concerning Iran.

1. Zero Hedge has a story that Iran oil supplies ot China are being held at Chinese ports and not proceeding through customs, which means the oil is technically still "in transit" and China has not been forced to take a position on the US "sanctions" against purchasing it:
Millions Of Barrels Of Iranian Crude Are Piling Up At Chinese Ports

Further, the oil acts as a strategic reserve for China. From the story, since capacity is never mentioned, I am assuming that China must have large storage capacity at its ports. Certainly there must be a limit, but perhaps China can continue like this for many months of "not receiving" imports.

Iran needs income and China needs oil, but both countries are wealthy in their reserves in each resource, so it's not a matter of settlement being required immediately. The US is turning a blind eye to all this - perhaps it is afraid of blinking?


2. PressTV just released a fascinating documentary on how Iran's intelligence service "crashed" a large portion of the CIA's global network of agents in 2013, and how this came from a deliberate effort by Iran to counter CIA infiltration and subversion by taking the offensive to the enemy.

Iran systematically identified CIA spies in numerous countries and shared this intelligence with a multi-polar world's worth of other such agencies. Furthermore, it acted to plant moles inside CIA operations - not waiting for the CIA to send its spies against Iran, but attacking the CIA operations directly. Story from the Saker but here's the YouTube link:
PressTV Mole hunt Story of busting CIA's 'house of cards'

After 2013, which became publicly acknowledged by western parties, the CIA obviously had to re-start an attempted infiltration of Iran. Iran watched it happen and engaged with it directly, subverting the CIA efforts before they could even gain traction.

Now, this is wartime, and part of this documentary may obviously be aimed at domestic Iranian consumption, both to bolster morale and to warn the populace not to turn traitor because they would be found out. However, if I understand correctly, the documentary is showing faces and names of CIA operatives - totally blown assets now. This all strikes me as quite extraordinary, and also as a huge victory for Iran - and probably the SCO and other free nations around the world that are interested in countering CIA intrusions.

I remember in that interview with Sharmine Narwani on Renegade recently, when Ashcroft asked her the reason for Iran's recent "muscular" pronouncements. Narwani said that if you were watching carefully through the decades, Iran was always this way. It never backed down, minced words or held uncertain positions.

This is a formidable enemy to try to take down, and one sees increasing indications surfacing of how it is fighting.


3. I forgot this one. Iran has inter-continental drones and will use them if the need arises. The context indicates that this refers to foreign fleets out at sea rather than, say, flights to the US mainland. But the headline is compelling:
Iran has intercontinental drones, will use them if necessary: Navy chief

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 24 2019 2:14 utc | 275

@ Grieved with the nice summary of Iran security....thanks

I just read something at ZH about Iran saying it was going to actively manage the ship traffic in the Straits of Hormuz. I am curious how they will do that and not draw confrontation will all the milling US/UK floating coffins? I also read somewhere today where Trump is now saying its ok if we go to war with Iran.....would you expect anything less from a serial bankrupt Deal Maker front to empire?

Empire is fighting for control of global narrative and losing it as I note about about Venezuela.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 24 2019 2:27 utc | 276

Once again Russian AD proves totally useless in Syria. Is it because it is technologically a joke, or politically hamstrung, or both? Does it matter? No doubt Russia gave Israel the intel for its latest strikes on Syria/Iran.

Posted by: paul | Jul 24 2019 3:02 utc | 277


Check out the latest Renegade, Inc. It's a recap of UK history since Thatcher and how the ideas of that time became increasingly financialized, leading to massive inequality, etc. etc - but closer to the end they start talking about how to transform a neoliberal economy into a socialist economy. Interesting that this is the discussion in economically ruined Britain today.

Some good thinking here, and maybe I can give a fuller precis in the next open thread:
Thatcher’s Museum: Are we living in it?

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 24 2019 3:03 utc | 278

@ 276 psychohistorian
I also read somewhere today where Trump is now saying its ok if we go to war with Iran.....would you expect anything less from a serial bankrupt Deal Maker front to empire?

Not me, but nor would i expect much less from an Anti War website headline either;)

I did read some blurbs from msm about the blackout in Venezuela being reportedly caused by electro magnetic pulse, but i had to dig. Seems to me, if it is EMP, then it must be at or near ground level? Since the damage appears to not be widespread and seem to be focused on particular infrastructure.

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Jul 24 2019 3:14 utc | 279

Below is a posting from the The Register about security that belies belief

Low Barr: Don't give me that crap about security, just put the backdoors in the encryption, roars US Attorney General

Take away quotes
Cryptography expert Matt Blaze likened Barr’s line – that citizens' personal and business information isn't worth protecting with top-notch encryption – to "flat Earth bizarre" thinking. "I don’t even know where to begin," the professor added.
“The key point is that the individual’s right to privacy and the [police's] right of access are two sides of the same coin,” Barr said.

“The reason we are able, as part of our basic social compact, to guarantee individuals a certain zone of privacy is precisely because the public has reserved the right to access that zone when public safety requires. If the public’s right of access is blocked, then these zones of personal privacy are converted into 'law-free zones' insulated from legitimate scrutiny.”
Barr cited, as evidence for the need for backdoors, the 2015 terrorist attack in Curtis Culwell Center, Garland, Texas, in which police shot and killed two Daesh-bags as they attempted to open fire on people at an exhibition of cartoons about Mohammed. The FBI is still unable to access about 100 encrypted messages sent by one of the terror bastards before the assault, Barr said.

It sounds scary, though when you actually dig into the case, it’s a baffling example to pick, as the lawsuit that followed the shooting revealed. Yes, two Islamic State terrorists did head out to shoot up the art event, injuring one security guard before being killed. However, the evil duo were accompanied by a third man who was, er, an undercover FBI agent.
“The argument that the government needs to weaken encryption has always been based on the promise that the government will never use this backdoor without a court-ordered warrant,” (Senator) Wyden said.

“But Barr, in his own words and actions, has demonstrated repeatedly that, when it comes to surveillance, the laws don’t matter, the courts don’t matter and even the Constitution doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is whatever he and the president feel like doing."

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 24 2019 3:33 utc | 280

@253 karlof1
Some here think it would be easy to purge the Executive Bureaucracy of all its dead wood and smash the institutions within the Swamp through the use of executive orders. But for those orders to have the power needed to accomplish those deeds, the POTUS/Veep team wielding them needs an extraordinary mandate on the order of winning 70%+ of the popular vote while having the very visible, potent Movement such an outcome would require. What does Hudson say: "That requires a fight" I think he knows just what sort of fight--dirty, viscous, bare-knuckled, barroom brawl, no-quarter, battle for your and your children's future livelihood, more intense than any labor union-corporate battle waged before. He saw such localized fights as a child, which is what IMO drove him to find out how the Beast works then expose it so it can be fought.

Don't get me wrong, karlof1 i very much like what you write, however i find the above statement naive. T'would be quite difficult to get a right minded prez in the white house, but once there the damage to the deep state and the banking system could be quite severe, imho (and all assassination attempts avoided). The biggest problem with your paragraph for me is the fight. It's gonna have to be way more dastardly than your's, for i guarantee the deep state will be using every weapon in their toolbox to stop the threat, so that must be met with the same mentality. Selective extermination would terrorize any body of people to no end and american's have the guns, so they have the means. I deplore violence and i don't even own a gun, but for the kind of violence that is going to be fraught in bringing this outlaw regime to it's knees is going to take like will and violence.

Also, IF such an 'arab' spring were to occur in american and the fed reserve were demolished with the world bank, i don't think the imf would stand a chance of survival either, not only freeing Europe of it's rightful destiny, but most of the rest of the world also. It's kind of like the Nick Lowe song Cruel To Be Kind, in the right measure".;)

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Jul 24 2019 3:54 utc | 281

@ Grieved with the link to Thatcher’s Museum: Are we living in it?

Thanks for that and it is true for America as well but it is called the Reagan Museum we are living in.

It was the goosing of financialization by both the US and UK that occurred as well as the outsourcing of labor that happened.....the race to the bottom that we are still running.

Brainwashing by Hollywood is coming round to bite all in the ass

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 24 2019 4:09 utc | 282

As a follow up to the end of my comment # 273 there is an update from Russia reported by Reuters
SEOUL (Reuters) - Russia told South Korea that an equipment malfunction led its military aircraft into an unintended area on Tuesday, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, citing the South Korean presidential office.

A Russian military officer told a South Korean defense official on Tuesday that the Russian military aircraft, which South Korea fired warning shots at for entering South Korean airspace, appeared to have “entered an area that was not planned due to device malfunction”, Yoon Do-han, a senior official in the South Korean presidential office, said.

Russia’s defense ministry would immediately launch an investigation and take all necessary steps, the Russian officer told South Korea, Yoon said, according to Yonhap.
This report is followed by one quoting China folks saying they didn't enter restricted air space....

If you read long enough you find that there is no international law covering the claims by various country's as to acceptable air space so it is mostly just unnecessary saber rattling for empire, IMO

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 24 2019 5:23 utc | 283

@ psychohistorian | Jul 24 2019 3:33 utc | 280

“The key point is that the individual’s right to privacy and the [police's] right of access are two sides of the same coin,” Barr said.

This is where the 'Zero Sum Game Theory' need be applied, if not for legal reason then psychologic reason should suffice, i.e. not a lot of loyalty should be given to those surreptitiously spying on oneself given one is not involved in, one has never been involved in any phase or act of terrorism at any point in their life. How better to win friends and influence than accuse another of non-existing motivations, are the intelligence services being managed by cretins, toddlers and retards? Seems so if Abrams, Pompeo or Bolton have been involved. Never trust liars when their lips are moving.

Good Catch.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 24 2019 7:28 utc | 284

@283:"A Russian military officer told a South Korean defense official on Tuesday that the Russian military aircraft, which South Korea fired warning shots at for entering South Korean airspace."

As you point out, at no time did Russian aircraft enter "South Korean airspace", and at no time did the South Koreans actually claim otherwise.

An "aircraft identification zone" is not at all the same thing as "airspace", and there is no justification - none whatsoever - for any country to have a fit of the vapours when an aircraft enters such a zone.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 24 2019 10:18 utc | 285
behind paywall

Posted by: mina | Jul 24 2019 12:20 utc | 286

@ Jackrabbit | Jul 21 2019 21:35 utc | 42

" 1) b's comment policy is much more accommodating so it's easier to express progressive thoughts and discuss "conspiracy theories" that might get moderated at But the audience at MoA is much smaller. "

I believe that the audience at Moon of Alabama has grown somewhat , whilst that of others is not as it use to be. Which puts M.O.A. at a higher world rank and growing, assuming the stats at such websites as Alexa to be credible. or

" is a fairly popular website with approximately 641K visitors monthly, according to Alexa, which gave it a very good traffic rank."

Posted by: Fíréan | Jul 24 2019 14:12 utc | 287

Relative to the discussion above between karlof1 and Formerly T-Bear around 253 to 263 concerning how to go about changing things, I would like to throw in $0.02 worth that I have figured out over the decades.

First and foremost is that you cannot "take over" the Democrat Party. The whole organization is disguised to look like it should be easy to take over, but in fact that is no more possible than the laity taking over the Catholic Church from within. The Democrat Party is nothing more than a monkey trap for leftists.

That said, Hudson is correct. "It has to be a political movement", while at the same time any third party is going to be kneecapped by the corporate mass media. An impossible situation? Absolutely, and by design! Playing within the rules of capitalist society assures that the capitalist power hierarchy endures. The best you can hope to achieve is replacing one or more capitalists with other capitalists. Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

A political movement cannot just spring ready made from thin air, like a flash mob that you organize through Twitter or something. Political movements must have a base, and that base must have economic power. Not "$millions in small donations" economic power, but rather the economic power to dictate terms to the corporate elites. Furthermore, if the political movement and its base are to express the aggregate will of the broad masses of the population, then that movement needs some formal mechanisms to aggregate that will and focus it into political policy. This means millions of people somehow engaged in discussion and debate of their interests and through that discussion arriving at consensus on what the political movement is to fight for.

Now challenging the establishment sounds even more impossible, right? If you are thinking of jumping straight into building a political movement, then yes, it is impossible. If instead you are thinking "What preconditions do we need to develop first before we can build our political movement" then you are in luck as the way out is pretty straight forward.

First you need to consider where people naturally gather and use that as your starting point. The supermarket? The mall? The fast food burger joint? No, these places only have transient groups of people who don't really share much in common other than a craving for a lardburger or the need for a new pair of shoes. When we acknowledge that for the majority of people the most defining aspect of their existence and their identity is what they do to survive, and that also happens to be what they engage most of the waking hours of their life in, and for better or worse the people they work with there are the ones they have the most tangibly in common with, then it is clear that we must begin organizing at the workplace.

Of course, most workplaces are the very farthest things from internally democratic, so how would people go about discussing their interests there and collecting their concerns into a political platform? Fortunately, we don't have to start from scratch here and our great-grandparents have provided a solution: Unions.

Unions are generally internally very democratic, and provide a natural structure within which issues can be debated and policy decisions progressively refined from the shop level, through the union local level, to the regional, then national, and even up to the international levels.

Unions also offer the benefit that they provide real economic muscle to back up political demands. Again, we are not talking about financial economics derived from union dues, but rather economics derived from the ability to dictate to the corporate elites by denying those elites control over the union members' labor... strikes, in other words.

Unions also have natural internal mass communications channels that can bypass the corporate mass media. When members choose to use these advantages of their unions to build a political movement to fight the corporate-controlled establishment they will find that fight no longer seems impossible. In fact, it will even seem like the united workforce has an unfair advantage over the power elites. Crushing the establishment will then seem trivial. Indeed, it was this feeling of unfairly beating up the elites that lulled American organized labor into inactivity in the post-war era.

So, taking over the Democrats is not possible. Building a potentially successful third party styled on the Democrats but with a different platform is also not possible. Organizing unions and agitating to get existing ones to take political issues seriously? That is difficult to be certain, but not impossible. A largely unionized population is a precondition to taking down the big business establishment.

Final note: This doesn't mean Americans shouldn't work in the Democrat Party, or the Green Party, or even the Republican Party. Rather, it means that work should be done with an eye towards what will help eventually bring a mass-based Labor Party into existence in America. Observe how Sanders' campaign in 2015-2016 threw open the Overton Window on political discourse in the US and you can see that even political campaigns that are ultimately doomed can move us closer to taking down the elites.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 24 2019 14:41 utc | 288

@ karlof1 | Jul 23 2019 21:54 utc | 265

A false conviction removed any security I had in the U.S., no state border could offer shelter against any spurious allegation that could be concocted against me at any time, or anywhere. That conviction eliminated any future in a union and work, it eliminated my reputation and my business that depended on my reputation, that conviction marked paid to any obligation I had to the state who's stripy rag was displayed on the wall behind the judge passing judgment. I am not an enemy of that state but not a friend either. I will not engage with the violent overthrow of that state but neither will I lift a finger to stay its downfall. My only interest here is the remotest possibility that some experience, some insight I can share might help another to better understand their world and maybe enhance their survival. The system does not know, the system does not remember, the system does not self correct, the system cannot repair itself, the system cannot last and many good people will be hurt. I do not share your goals although I have great sympathy with them. I do not see any other path outside violence that the system can be eliminated but through total and complete collapse, and should violence break out the likelihood of a successful outcome vanishes to near null. There will be many to survive the collapse in one state or another, but the greatest likelihood will be with those having the greatest resources of experience and knowledge at their command, just as it always was.

Had a question if you had found those articles from the magazine yet? If you find an index there was another article from the '90's if I recall about the Ford Foundation that I most highly commend your perusal but more later.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 24 2019 14:54 utc | 289

Concerning non-nuclear EMP weapons, no, they are not science fiction, and yes, they are very real. Raytheon makes them. So is the latest blackout in Venezuela another imperial attack? Almost certainly.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 24 2019 15:03 utc | 290

aye, myself & me @281--

Thanks for your reply! Do please read my 265. As you'll see, I harbor no illusions. Over the years here we've debated the merits/chances of peaceful versus violent revolution with JFK's assessment winning out: Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable. The word "fight" is rarely understood as non-violent and is usually made more specific via "verbal fight" or perhaps "spat."

William Gruff @288--

Thanks for your reply! You'll have noted I framed the "Fight" as one between Labor and Capital, "more intense than any labor union-corporate battle waged before;" and if you know your history of previous battles, some amounted to small wars. But in this battle, the issue isn't over Property Rights; rather, it's over Constitutional & Human Rights. And given the stakes, I don't expect the coming Fight to be peaceful as I point out above and @265.

Formerly T-Bear @289--

I understand and commiserate as I'm now having my own battle with the System, that if it were Principled and Just I ought to win. Currently, it's a waiting game. I find our correspondence helpful as I must think & write on a higher plane, which is how discourse ought to proceed. Collapse is a complex topic that my partner and I recently discussed. The scientist in me watches certain things, like Greenland's rapidly melting ice sheet, the undermining of Antarctica's massive glaciers, and the rising acidification of the ocean next to my home. I see the required political Fight as existential for humanity for as I wrote it transcends borders and is global in scope.

Thanks for interacting and continuing to do so. My little gray cells are dancing as they contemplate how to compose the narrative for Critical Mass.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 24 2019 16:16 utc | 291

Escobar takes on Trump on Afghanistan: "How to kill 10 million Afghans and not win."

"Even considering the rolling annals of demented Trumpism, bolstered every single day by a torrent of outrageous tweets and quotes, what you’ve just read is simply astonishing. Here we have the President of the United States asserting that, 1) The US is not fighting a war in Afghanistan; 2) If the US wanted a war, the President would win it in a week; 3) He would kill 10 million people – although he doesn’t want it; 4) “Afghanistan” as a whole, for no meaningful reason, could be wiped off the face of the Earth.

"Trump said all of the above while sitting alongside Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan – who, in a deft move, is trying to appease the White House even as he carefully positions Pakistan as a solid node of Eurasia integration alongside Russia, China and Iran."

Pepe points out that Afghanistan's all about CIA heroin and making things hard on BRI/Eurasian Integration. For Afghans to live, the Outlaw US Empire must leave and allow Eurasian states to help their fellows. There's no other way.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 24 2019 16:24 utc | 292

Increasing Yuan cross-border trade settlement progress is the topic of this article:

"A vigorous financial settlement along the border is a challenge to the traditional reserve and settlement system based on the US dollar. It will also be an opportunity for China and its neighbors. Pragmatic entrepreneurs should face the reality of China's economic size and view the US dollar system objectively. They should adopt the cross-border settlement system and US dollar system comprehensively, as well as the newly-risen cryptocurrency. Together, a new monetary system that is more open to the BRI is starting to form."

Interestingly, Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency's looked upon in a positive light in contrast to the US Treasury Department. Yes, the times are becoming ever more dynamic.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 24 2019 16:53 utc | 293

@ karlof1 | Jul 24 2019 16:16 utc | 291

… how to compose the narrative for Critical Mass.

Critical Mass: the amount, number, quantity or value at which some event becomes probable. Will that help?

Regret to hear of difficulties there, conflict is best solved by jurisprudence but the price is high and result without guarantee of justice, lawyers are still looking for a dictionary, but that costs extra.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 24 2019 17:25 utc | 294

Formerly T-Bear @294--

Thanks for your reply! Critical Mass is the working title I've employed for a narrative describing the upcoming Political Fight I hope to finish before it unfolds. And yes, it's about as you suggest--a cocktail of the political with the nuclear. My last fictional effort was a story about the impending war in Chechnya and the Caucus region I began in 1991 but was unable to finish before the actual war began. I then attempted another, Murder By Sex, but my idealized method wasn't realistic and the project died. With luck, I'll do better this time!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 24 2019 17:49 utc | 295

The heat has moved from HSBC to Deutsche Bank for some reason

Posted by: Mina | Jul 24 2019 20:19 utc | 296

I refuse to continue the semi-OT topic of global finance on the Mueller thread

Below is a ZH link with a title that is self explanatory and quotes to follow

Russia Urges "Independence" From "Imposed World Order" Of US Financial System

Following Russia signalling last week, its willingness to join the controversial payments channel Instex - designed to circumvent both SWIFT as well as US sanctions banning trade with Iran - new statements from Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called on the international community to free itself from a purely US-controlled international financial system and US dollar dominance.

"We must protect ourselves from political abuses made with the help of the US dollar and the American banking system," he said while addressing a ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Venezuela, according to TASS. "We must turn our dependence in this sphere into independence," he added.
Despite western capitals virtue-signaling their "rules-based order" approach, Ryabkov said instead, "We think that it is not a rule-based world order, it is rather a foisted and imposed world order."

Extinction by losers or change to the global social order is coming

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 25 2019 1:48 utc | 297

psychohistorian @297--

Read the transcript of Hudson's latest Guns & Butter interview that focused on the functions/roles of World Bank and IMF within Super Imperialism which certainly tells the tale of Why nations Must leave the Dollar orbit and all its hegemonic claws behind if resiliency and sustainability is to be achieved. Calling the Washington Consensus International Racketeering complete with hit teams as enforcers isn't at all far fetched as it might seem for the unaware. The NAM meeting accomplished quite a lot as all 130 nations signified their solidarity on a great number of issues many of which are linked to gaining independence from the Outlaw US Empire.

Something I proposed China do with all its T-Bills is to pay off all other NAM nations IMF and World Bank dollar debt and allowing repayment via national currencies. China may indeed have that idea as "Time for China to build cross-border yuan settlements with neighboring countries" is this Global Times article's topic. Wouldn't that be something: global dollar-based debt drastically slashed almost overnight and the World Bank & IMF as institutions destined to finally die along with the racketeering they promote.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 25 2019 2:29 utc | 298

@ karlof1 who wrote
Something I proposed China do with all its T-Bills is to pay off all other NAM nations IMF and World Bank dollar debt and allowing repayment via national currencies.
I had the same thought.....nice

It is not like empire would ever allow China to cash in all their T-Bills

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 25 2019 2:53 utc | 299

Below is a posting at Xinhuanet about the power sabotage in Venezuela

Sabotage cause of new massive blackout in Venezuela: Official

CARACAS, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Preliminary investigation has shown that "an electromagnetic attack" is the probable cause of the massive blackout hitting most parts of Venezuela earlier Monday, an official said.

The sabotage "sought to affect the country's hydroelectric generation system, the main provider of power in Venezuela," said Jorge Rodriguez, the country's minister of Communication and Information.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 25 2019 4:25 utc | 300

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