Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 11, 2019

Open Thread 2019-53

News & views ...

Posted by b on September 11, 2019 at 17:26 UTC | Permalink

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I hope Sanders attacks Warren on this:

"Here is what Elizabeth Warren’s healthcare plan does not promise:

• to eliminate premiums
• to eliminate copays
• to eliminate deductibles
• to eliminate private insurance
• to be a 'single-payer' system

"Tell me again how this is #MedicareForAll."

That would give her a big black eye, IMO.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 12 2019 22:42 utc | 101

Sorry this thread's turned into a monologue. Having finished Hudson's essay, I muse about what Sanders will do when the DNC throws the nomination to Warren or anyone but him? Hudson points out the real difficulties in running as a 3rd Party candidate, and Sanders didn't do that in 2016 for what remain unexplained reasons. Hudson's suggested course of action unfortunately isn't guaranteed of gaining the desired result and would likely take a generation to possibly work. At least the people in UK have an actual choice. We within the Outlaw US Empire are subjected to the Dictatorship of the Duopoly.

The next time anyone mentions Russian election manipulation, just point that idiot to the DNC court judgment and tell them to shut up.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 12 2019 23:17 utc | 102

Regarding Iran,...
As with many other countries, with Iran the US is a victim of its own propaganda, in this case that it was US belligerence that forced Iran to negotiate about its civil nuclear program. Why not negotiate? Iran doesn't need and doesn't wnt a nuclear bomb. The only significant enemies Iran has are the US and Israel. If one or the other or both attack Iran then the US Gulf forces and tiny Israel can be easily destroyed with conventional weapons (therefore Iran won't be attacked).
So, the US says, if economic and military pressure got Iran to the table once then they will come back again if the pressures are increased. But Iran says go fish. You can fool me once but not twice.
People are people everywhere, and Persians are no different.
“Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled, that force must be called in to win back our love?. . .Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”. .Patrick Henry

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 12 2019 23:20 utc | 103

latest propaganda report from the once every 2 weeks or so 'usa press dept daily press briefings"... here

some dictatorial quotes below

"MS ORTAGUS: Okay. Got a few announcements today. Yesterday, the administration announced its formal notification to Congress of a proposed sale for the 32 – for 32 F-35A Lightening II joint strike fighter aircraft to Poland, worth $6.5 billion under the Foreign Military Sales program overseen by the U.S. Department of State. The F-35A Lightening II joint strike fighter will enhance the Polish air force’s contributions to NATO and other coalition operations, improve Poland’s self-defense capabilities, and contribute to Poland’s goal of modernizing its military capabilities while further enhancing interoperability with the United States, NATO members, and other allies. The sale of the F-35A Lightening II joint strike fighter to Poland will provide a key NATO ally with the world’s most advanced fighter aircraft, improve its ability to provide collective and self defense, and to reduce its dependence on legacy Russian equipment.

This week, we have seen reports that the Iranian vessel Adrian Darya, formally Grace 1, remains anchored off the shores of Syria, which we’ve been saying was its intended destination all along. Now we’ve seen firsthand the Iranian regime renege on its assurances to the EU that the vessel would not transport oil to the murderous Iranian regime – Assad regime, excuse me. The Iranian regime broke its word and appears intent on fueling the Assad regime’s brutally – brutality against the Syrian people, who continue to face widespread violence, death, and destruction. The ongoing Assad regime assault on Idlib is yet another example.

This fits into the web of lies perpetrated by the Iranian regime for 40 years."

or how about this?

" Moving on, today I have the pleasure of announcing our new Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, Cherrie Daniels. Cherrie, who is a career member of the senior Foreign Service, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role. Most recently, she served as director of the executive secretariat staff in the Office of the Secretary of State. Established in 1999, the Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues works to provide a measure of justice for Holocaust victims and their families by developing and implementing U.S. policy to return Holocaust-era assets to their rightful owners, ensuring the Holocaust is remembered and commemorated in a historically accurate manner, and promoting Holocaust education and research. As special envoy, Cherrie will contribute to the department’s mission of combating anti-Semitism in all its forms and promoting the rule of law. Her assignment underscores the Secretary’s commitment to the importance of resolving outstanding issues of the past."

or this?

"Lastly, the United States joins Venezuela and 10 other nations in invoking the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, also known as the Rio Treaty. This treaty will facilitate further concerted action to confront the threat posed by the former regime of Nicolas Maduro to the Venezuelan people and to the region. This is the first time since 2001, in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks against the United States, that TIAR states will come together under this treaty. The signatories of this treaty are committed to protecting and defending democracy in this hemisphere. This action demonstrates the international resolve to stand beside the Venezuelan people and their struggle for freedom and a future of peace and prosperity. This region collectively recognizes that Nicolas Maduro is the cause of the suffering of the Venezuelan people. He is threatening the peace and stability of the region. Maduro must step aside and allow a transitional government to create the conditions for a free and fair election so that people – so that the Venezuelan people can chart their own future."

that is what i call them propaganda - dictatorial - exceptional nation type quotes.. they reflect all this and more...same stupid shit on iran... narry a word on ksa, israel or any of the other crazy regimes that disregard human rights.. only about how iran isn't complying with the usa's two faced bs...

Posted by: james | Sep 12 2019 23:24 utc | 104

Here's a marvellous maiden speech by Indian MP Mahua Moitra from a West Bengal electorate in which she explains in fiery detail how India exhibits all the signs of a fascist government. People should watch if only to see how their own nations might compare with India.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 12 2019 23:33 utc | 105

the fact is the usa can not dictate to the rest of the world who a country can sell oil to or anything else for that matter... this is more exceptional nation crap from the usa..

Posted by: james | Sep 12 2019 23:41 utc | 106

@karlof1 #105
The trouble with Warren is a combination of the fact that she's a representative of the "meritocracy" - i.e. those who may not have been born rich, but have migrated to the top tier of society, and has a terrible record outside of the consumer protection side.
And even with the consumer protection side - her efforts, including the CFPB, have been pretty thoroughly defanged.
So while I would say that Warren is better than Obama in that she's actually fought for something which goes against the banksters, at the same time, it is completely unclear whether she can actually get anything done. More importantly, to make anything that's gets done, stick.
Combine that with a foreign policy stance that is very subservient to DNCC hawks, I can't say I feel the least bit energized by her candidacy.
So I am in full agreement with Hudson that "working from within" the DNC isn't going to work. The problem is that Sanders is old. He literally doesn't have the time for the long game. Nor is it at all clear that AOC and what not have the chops that Sanders does.
I simply do not see anyone with the courage, conviction and wisdom that Sanders offers - and thus no focal point for any type of long game to pull the left side of the American political duopoly into progressivism.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 13 2019 0:27 utc | 107

They used a Listening device called the Sting Ray.

Most ridiculous thing I have heard. Why would Israelis invest in that kind of device on cell towers for spying when they have another listening device called Jared Kushner, 2 feet away from Trump.

Our country is in deep trouble and Israel is responsible. We may be at a point of no return.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Sep 13 2019 0:31 utc | 108

james @107

If anyone has any doubt about what Bolton's departure means, the US State Department has cleared it up. It means nothing. It's mostly optics.

Just like Mattis' departure. Trump insisted that he was leaving Syria, and Mattis departure was PROOF of Trump's conviction. We know how THAT turned out.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 13 2019 0:43 utc | 109

@ karlof1 104
"Here is what Elizabeth Warren’s healthcare plan does not promise: . .That would give her a big black eye

Here is what Warren'e plan DOES promise . . .
MedicareForAll would be managed by Medicare and not by insurance companies, which would be a major improvement.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 13 2019 0:59 utc | 110

Follow up to my post above:

BBC just reported on Israeli spying and who did they get for an interview for an opinion??? Fred Fleitz, a Zionist Jew who happen to work for John Bolton. Very convenient.

And his answer was that there many countries spying on the WH, namely, Russia, China, Iran..... but no mention of Israel. When the host asked about Israel, he said well, we spied on them as well in 2015 by the order of the president (another jab at Obama).

I mean, who did these people swore an allegiance when they got their jobs? I am sick to my stomach just listening to this dual citizen with no loyalty to this country whatsoever. And these are the people \who are running our the ground.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Sep 13 2019 1:29 utc | 111

Stingray is the brand a US sheriff or police department might use, and of course the FBI itself. The mobile phone surveillance (if that's what it's supposed to be) WH story looks like nonsense simply because there's no need to leave such devices behind anywhere and thus no physical evidence. When the US uses them they usually use them out of a vehicle, helicopter, or airplane. Crank up the power and the airborne versions can cover a lot of ground.

The US does this themselves on a regular basis for all sort of reasons including legitimate ones despite having full control over the networks, cells, and base stations to begin with because doing it adds a lot of capability including intrusion.

One can easily use devices like these out of a backpack or attache case as most likely happened in Oslo, Norway several years ago where nearly the whole city was redirected at various times. That case could have been anyone (including Norway) for any reason including banalities like training mishaps within Norwegian signals intelligence.

Fake news or useless news or unimportant news or any or all of those.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Sep 13 2019 1:38 utc | 112


I guess spying, especially by Israel, has become so common and ubiquitous that you don't have much of an interest in it, hence labeling it useless news. Useless enough to prompt a direct response by Netanyahu.

But you are missing the bigger picture. Useless information, with all due respect, is the technical mumbo jumbo you mentioned. And frankly, it comes across as you defending Israel. Hope not.

The point of all of this is that we have a so called ally that has been spying on us for more than 60 years. They have stolen more sensitive information than any other country and have used it to do more damage than any other country to our national security and sovereignty.

So any news that would bring this to the attention of the people, I don't care how fake you think it is, is significant and should be pursued with a good mention of their spying history. People need to wake up to the fact that this so called ally is worse than our worst enemy and we need to extricate ourselves from this destructive relationship.

Sorry, I am a bit hot when it comes to this subject.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Sep 13 2019 1:55 utc | 113

Uncle Jon 111 "We may be at a point of no return."

The point of no return has long past for the US. That point was Obama's September 20 2016 UNGA speech

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 13 2019 2:16 utc | 114

@95 c1ue - "Escobar is entertaining, but it is important to consider his writing as entertainment more than anything else."

I disagree as completely as one possibly can disagree with this claim.


I did read your remaining three sentences about Trump and his lack of building construction expertise, but I couldn't find anything in them to support your contention.

I'm puzzled by your comment, and its lack of substance, and since you addressed it to me, I thought I should reply.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 13 2019 2:17 utc | 115

Grieved @118: ... I thought I should reply.

I, for one, am glad you did.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 13 2019 3:14 utc | 116

karlof1 @94

Jeremy Corbyn is now shilling for REMAIN.

In his TUC address, Corbyn says:

@3:42: "Be in no doubt: a 'no-deal' Brexit is really a Trump-deal Brexit."

@6:36: "... in that election we will commit to a public vote with a credible option to leave and the option to remain ..."

Note: He's proposing that a referendum be held AFTER Labor wins the election (assuming that they do win)

I sense a possible deal where the government agree to obtain an extension from the EU but ONLY if a referendum is held prior to, or coincident with, the general election AND that the referendum choice is 'no-deal' Brexit vs REMAIN (NOT Corbyn's cushioned Brexit vs REMAIN).

If Corbyn rejects such an offer, he risks being painted as unrealistic, undemocratic, unpatriotic, and self-serving. While Corbyn wants to emphasize his opposition to a 'no deal' Brexit, his straddling between Brexit and REMAIN is politically problematical. In fact, BoJo and the Torys have already declared that Corbyn has shown himself to be anti-democratic.

Corbyn would be likely to agree if, as many believe, he actually prefers REMAIN and/or sees little benefit to any sort of Brexit (the view of most progressives is that Brexiters are racist throwbacks). In fact, it appears likely that Corbyn supports a cushioned form of Brexit only because he doesn't want to alienate voters.

Many people erroneously assume that the City of London wants Brexit. However, IMO the City wants to stay and become the leading EU financial center. They know that their access to trillions of dollars of off-shore money gives them an edge when competing with other financial centers in Europe. The British off-shore financial centers would continue to benefit - even if they must be re-flagged. USA would also prefer that UK REMAIN because inclusion of pro-USA UK bolsters their influence/control of EU.

Thus, I still expect the will of the people expressed in the original BREXIT referendum will be reversed and UK will REMAIN. People are still not cynical enough. They are likely to choose REMAIN when the choice is presented as Corbyn does: "a Trump deal Brexit" vs REMAIN.

If UK does REMAIN, Corbyn/Labor will be blamed for over-turning Brexit and all problems associated with EU integration will be hung around their neck.

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

Question: Why does UK negotiate only bi-laterally? If they made common-cause with other countries that are unhappy with the EU then they might be more likely to succeed in getting changes that make EU membership more palatable to their citizenry.

You know the "fix is in" when self-styled 'tough negotiators' pull punches. Conclusion: the UK establishment likes the EU just the way it is.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 13 2019 3:28 utc | 117

Escobar's value is that he was in Afghanistan at the time of 9 11. Like Magnier, Escobar has his area of expertise which is primarily Asia.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 13 2019 3:30 utc | 118

Don Bacon @113--

Sorry Don, but that isn't what is described on her website, particularly for mental health care. I'd copy/paste the relevant sections of her webpage, but I'm prevented by the webpage in doing so--WHY? Here's one reason: Her proposed "Behavioral Health Coverage Transparency Act would hold insurers accountable for providing adequate mental health benefits..." Definitely NOT "managed by Medicare."

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 13 2019 4:38 utc | 119

Grieved @118--

c1ue is just displaying what it is--a troll--which is why I ignore it completely.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 13 2019 4:40 utc | 120
"The US Justice Department will reveal the name of an individual believed to be connected to the Saudi government who supposedly aided two 9/11 plane hijackers, according to a court filing cited by CNN.
The person’s identity will first be shared with lawyers representing the families of the victims, and remain a secret for the time being. The prosecutors will then be allowed to file a petition with the US Justice Department to release the name to the general public."

The interesting part..
"In a statement, the FBI said it had decided to declassify the name "in light of the extraordinary circumstances of this particular case". The decision, however, required authorisation by Attorney General William Barr himself, the report says."

I suspect the higher up Saudi's involved were disappeared during Bonesaw's 'anti corruption purge'.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 13 2019 5:17 utc | 121

@112 jackrabbit.. completely agree with you.. re @120... did you read craigs post from today?

seems like the game all along is to make sure corbyn doesn't get elected, no matter how dirty they have to play to ensure it..

i am not convinced you are reading the brexit thing correctly, but i don't have a clear conviction on it myself at present..

Posted by: james | Sep 13 2019 6:27 utc | 122

@108 jen... thanks for sharing that video on Mahua Moitra... i think she nails it...

Posted by: james | Sep 13 2019 6:34 utc | 123

@ karlof1 | Sep 12 2019 22:29 utc | 103

IIRC the Clintons used a group Democratic Leadership Committee (DLC) as their organisational agency to obtain the nomination of the Democratic Party (DP). Once having both nomination and election obtained the DLC became effectively the operational Democratic National Committee (DNC) of the DP. Obama had no organisational capacity whatsoever and the Clinton DLC retained operational control and identity of the DNC. This enabled the DP fiasco during the nomination stage and the election campaign of the 2016 elections and is totally responsible for those results. The DNC is still the Clinton DLC hiding under another name. Should verification be needed, pay close attention to the membership to the DP National Finance Committee (DNFC) and study the history of political allegiance or loyalty of each of DNFC's board's members. The answer (Dog or Devil) is in the details. To pretend DNC is the same DNC of history will blind one to the real core of political power of the DP and its owners. YMMV

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Sep 13 2019 7:59 utc | 124

In general.

Before great lathers of emotional attachments are generated in the upcoming 2020 election, take a moment to consider a small thought. When minor candidates are involved in a presidential election the total vote turnout is a historical curiosity for all effective purpose. The system effectively is two party (or one party, two wings). The two effective candidates must obtain 50% +1 of the votes cast between them and their opposition. An example: 1 million votes cast in a given election, minority candidates garner 10% of the vote, the major party candidates must get 450,001 votes to cary the electoral college vote. If those minor candidates do not cary a significant portion of the vote, those major party candidates must obtain 500,001 votes to achieve the electoral college vote. It could be the the deciding factor between the major candidates that one would not have the support for those extra 50,000 votes needed. Fiddling 50,000 votes might become obvious to counting the final tally when the dust of election settles. Moral correctness has a cost, impeccable reason might save the day, but then this is the U.S. being spoken about.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Sep 13 2019 8:23 utc | 125

@ and consider that the electoral college can elect any 35 yer old native born - ie votes only count at that level, by constitutional law.

And consider than the candidates are in a contest not for votes, but for money - and they can say anything without the slightest obligation.

Another name for this is a swindle. It's The Old Army Game - the ringers are the only prize, and all the ringers are empty.

If voting mattered they'd change the system...oh! wait, they do - every time the do not like the results... "An Act of State" (MLK quite probably died at the hands of the ER doctor?) "Jim Douglass on JFK...etc etc.

They do care what people think though...hence the fairytales...

Posted by: Walter | Sep 13 2019 10:10 utc | 126

I spend way too much time on this, may it do someone good to read it.

It should be at least a little bit helpful to anyone with good intent, anyone else doesn't matter.

Uncle Jon I was sort of agreeing with you and it is not a defense of anyone or anything. "Occupied Palestine" as some here named it has plenty of real crimes without making any up and "making it up" seems to be what Politico (who I would not trust, not even to be anti-zionist or anti-Israel) was or is doing.

This is against Politico, not against you: I like speculation and sometimes add some myself — and certainly in a "water" hole like MoA here where we're all Moo-ing the best we can about this or that :) — but it turns into lies if it isn't reasonably clear or easy to assume that it is speculation or alternatively shows what is meant to be proof in such a way as to allow other people to challenge it.

As individual humans this can happen quite often and one can't be too strict without polishing one's own hypocrisy but such consideration does not extend to larger web-sites with editors etc., ie.: to me Politico is clearly deep inside the manipulation territory when they don't and I don't think they ever do. In my view they made or supported the claims rather than merely reported on the claims, this happens automatically when the sources are essentially anonymous (including anonymous name-dropping of a fallacious bent which is even worse) and any proof is not available: they (Politico) take implicit ownership of any claim by such actions.

False allegations (without any genuine proof supplied) sets up a situation where someone later can knock them down and make it seem like the accused was some kind of poor innocent victim. A classic manipulation and propaganda technique. Someone doing that is not uncommon and it is certainly not unusual from the biggest attention whore in Western Asia or maybe the whole world: "Israel".

Most people including government people working in propaganda departments don't know or understand anything about the technical side of things thus they don't realize why what is being said is nonsensical.

Let's hope the following isn't too techno babble for most people. Triangulation is what you do to attempt to find the location of a "fake" base station. If the fake is in a fixed position it is trivial and fast to do it and one should expect that areas of special interest like the WH and surroundings are constantly monitored by (at least) the government for unknown base stations popping up out of nowhere.

In addition the fake can't hide because the whole working principle of it is that it has to be better than its competitors for the intended target which means it has to supply greater signal strength to them. This makes the user devices choose it instead of the real normal base stations. Sure this can be achieved in a directed fashion but the target device always does notice (a normal user often wouldn't). I would expect government cellphones etc. to be modified and to trigger alarms or not select any not white-listed base station in the first place (in addition to a whole lot of other stuff).

Conclusion: the story as presented can not be true in any form. It is pure garbage for all reasons or confuses so many different things as to be worthless.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Sep 13 2019 11:01 utc | 127

If the BBC is getting 9/11
The US dept of Justice is going to reveal (to lawyers and families) the name of a Saudi official who helped the terrorists. Let's be sure it won't be the father of the current KSA ambassador to the US but a much smaller culprit under his direct orders at the time.

Posted by: Mina | Sep 13 2019 11:21 utc | 128

Leon Black not sleeping too well lately

Posted by: Mina | Sep 13 2019 12:47 utc | 129

@130 Sunny Runny Burger

Thanks for your response. I might have come across a bit strong in my post but no offense meant. I’m glad you share the same opinion of Israel. I am a technical person and enjoy those details. But this is one issue that I am willing to overlook that. As I said, the bigger picture here should be the focus.

Plus, this news has prompted repeated response both from Trump and Netanyahu. Whether is fake or not, it has made both of these leaders nervous enough to be worry about voter’s reaction and that I can live with. Plus Israel, machinations should be front and center and any opportunity should be welcomed.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Sep 13 2019 13:25 utc | 130

If you not heard this 9/11 press conference you can watch it: the NY First Responders Urge 9/11 Investigation — Sept. 11, 2019 Press Conference.

In it can hear him say that fire crew made it up to the 78th floor of the South Tower reporting that there were just two isolated pockets of fire and that they would put them out with two lines -- About ONE minute later the South Tower collapsed!

Posted by: jsb | Sep 13 2019 13:42 utc | 131

Sunny Runny Burger @130: Yes, the story of the Israeli Stingrays watching Trump reeks of bullshit, and it's interesting that both Trump and Bibi choose not to ignore it, and that it is getting some coverage, but Diety only knows what it is "for". It's weird, Trump-like, incompetent, I'll say that.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 13 2019 13:49 utc | 132

Formerly T-Bear @127--

Thanks for your reply! Yes, during the 1990s, the Clintons executed a rather stealthy coup and took over the D-Party from a legal POV, which is what generated the court's opinion in the lawsuit filed against DNC for manipulating the 2016 nomination, although that judgment's under appeal. Hudson's article about the coming election mentions the very undemocratic nature of the D-Party but doesn't go into the history of how that came about. I do believe there are some books on the subject, but I can't name them at the moment and haven't read one, although I have read other materials about the Clinton Crime Gang and know they must be prosecuted but haven't as they're certainly "Intelligence Assets" a la Epstein yet with much better protection.

I know I've see-sawed between the politics of the present versus those of the future going back to Obama's initial election regarding what strategy to pursue. Given the way the two corporate parties have legally made it presently next to impossible for a third party to challenge them, I see only one promising method to overturn the status quo. Election laws that now limit access of political parties to ballots are governed by state laws; so, the only way to alter them is to gain control of state houses and governerships, which was the Populist Party approach used to great success by it from 1880-1900. With a nationwide base of support of such magnitude which would also spread to Washington, a reconstituted Peoples Party could then easily take control of the national government. Yes, it would take time, but IMO it's far more likely to succeed than Hudson's suggested hope that the DNC gets "emptied out" and then taken over--I don't see what he calls the Donor Class giving up their DNC asset in such a tame manner. IMO, the required Political Fight must be from the grassroots in every state to oust the Ds & Rs with the aim of relegating them to history's dust bin. Essentially, this would amount to a people's peaceful political revolt against the Donor Class/1%/Current Oligarchy that currently has a stranglehold on power thanks to their legal maneuverings over the years.

Getting such a strategy off the ground will likely be spurred by the actions of the DNC when it throws the nomination to some Neoliberal instead of Sanders. Those supporting Sanders will again stay home or vote Green and the R-Party will win regardless of its candidate. The lawsuit currently being appealed I expect to be resolved in DNC's favor, so no help should be anticipated from that quarter, thus leaving only one possible line of attack that I described above, but with the advantage of having a very angry, motivated polity to initiate it. How fast could such a movement affect change? Hypothetically by 2024, although cynics like the rabbit will say never. The polity thus morphs into Obi-Wan Kenobi as its the only hope for its redemption.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 13 2019 15:59 utc | 133

"China Slaps Britain: You Can’t Afford Hostility" is Finnian Cunningham's explanation of China's use of what I'd call pre-emptive diplomacy:

"China gave Britain a stern warning this week that any naval maneuvers conducted with the US near its declared territories in the South China Sea will be met with a military response.

"Beijing rapped London further, telling it to dump its 'colonial attitude' with regard to Hong Kong. However, the ultimate leverage, was the caustic reminder to Britain that if it wants to trade with China in the future, then it better mind its manners."

As Cunningham reports, the UK's in no position to antagonize anyone, particularly China. But I wouldn't expect to see any change from past behavior until after the General Election.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 13 2019 16:06 utc | 134


one hundred and first chinese warning ;)

Posted by: Jim | Sep 13 2019 16:14 utc | 135

jsb @134

He goes on to describe how the 911 Commission ...

... was composed of political appointees and had the rules dictated to them by some of the same people that should have been investigated and had members that had conflicts of interest;

... had a limited budget: the Whitewater investigation ($60-70m), the Mueller Investigation ($25m), and Space Shuttle Challenger disaster ($175m) all cost far more than the 911 investigation ($15m) where nearly 3,000 people were murdered;

... was directed to complete their investigation in 18 months (they got a 2-month extension).

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

The press conference video includes the head of the Lawyers Committee for 911 Inquiry saying that the law mandates that a grand jury be empaneled to investigate 911 and his organization has sued USA government to ensure that it is.

@b you might want to revise your policy about 911 discussions because there seems to be much more to come.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 13 2019 16:18 utc | 136

Juan Guaidó, the Venezuelan politician fighting to topple Nicolás Maduro, is facing awkward questions about his relationship with organised crime after the publication of compromising photographs showing him with two Colombian paramilitaries.

In an interview on Friday, Guaidó played down the significance of the pictures in which he poses alongside two members of the Colombian criminal gang the Rastrojos identified as El Brother and El Menor.

The photographs appear to have been taken on 22 February as Guaidó used an illegal border crossing to sneak over Venezuela’s western border into Colombia to attend a Live Aid-style concert in the town of Cúcuta.

“I took hundreds of photos that day,” Guaidó told the Colombian broadcaster Blu Radio. “It was hard to know who was asking for a photo.”

Posted by: Jim | Sep 13 2019 16:29 utc | 137

Strategic Culture Editorial on Bolton's departure mirrors the Russian position of awaiting noticeable behavioral change instead of mere verbiage. What they do call out is BigLie Media's praise for Bolton, particularly that of the NY Times:

"In another piece this week, the NY Times commented, again approvingly of Bolton: 'Mr Bolton strongly opposed detente with Iran, and his unceremonious ouster has reignited concerns among some Republicans [and Democrats] in Congress about the White House’s declining projection of American military power around the world.'

"Can you believe it? The so-called US 'newspaper of record' is somehow valorizing an out-and-out warmonger in the form of Bolton, and appears to be advocating 'projection of American military power around the world'. The latter phrase being but an Orwellian euphemism for imperialism and war."

No, the Times isn't just appearing, it's actively "advocating ... for imperialism and war." Too bad the Times doesn't have its editorial offices in Kabul as I'm sure it would get a very quick taste of that war it continues to cheerlead.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 13 2019 16:30 utc | 138

Canthama commenting at SyrPers provides this information about the evacuation of terrorists from Idlib to Libya:

"Turkish backed terrorists are being moved from Idlib to Libya for the past 2 months to fight for the terrorist organization, Muslin Brotherhood/GNA/al Qaeda/ISIS, in Misrata-Tripoli frontline. The amount is not known, but based on the last 2 weeks when some 2,000 terrorists were sent from Idlib to Libya, it is possible to guess that Turkey already sent little less than 5,000 trained terrorists to hold the frontline in Tripoli, which actually they succeeded, the new batch of turkish backed terrorists reverted some LNA gains and held the advance toward Tripoli.
It is yet unknown the effect of these missing terrorists in Idlib, there are still a lot of turkish backed, trained, fed, armed terrorists in Idlib."

Also confirmed is the next phase of the operation to clear the M-4 & M-5 highways now that the truce allowing civilians to leave the combat zone is ending.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 13 2019 16:40 utc | 139

Great article in Asia Times about Huawei and 5G technology. Their CEO has offered to share the patent and license it to anyone who would like to take it apart and re-write the source code.

But, that is not the issue. As always, what US government doesn't tell you is the real kicker. This system is hack proof. Meaning if implemented, no more eavesdropping by NSA, anywhere. Close the doors to signals intelligence and as we all know that is an impossibility. That is why US is being hostile to halt its implementation in any country since it will close all eavesdropping doors.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Sep 13 2019 16:50 utc | 140

Libyan National Army Says It Shot Down Turkish Combat Drone Near Key Airbase

Posted by: Jim | Sep 13 2019 16:56 utc | 141

@ karlof1 | Sep 13 2019 15:59 utc | 136

Thanks for the reply. The state by state strategy has a possibility to work but states are where local interests are the most powerful. Overcoming those is the difficulty, they know their home turf better than anyone and their connections are usually generations old. The late 19th century/early 20th century Progressives came from such connections, rural rather than urban. Now the country is primarily urban and far removed from rural antecedent and the webs of community found there.

Probably the more effective policy would be to develop the idea of not voting for any incumbent (unless the candidate has true bona fides of public service) to public office, local level, state level and absolutely national level. When the oligarchy has to buy candidates for each election for each office, their hold over public service can be broken, and then law can be written enabling public service to prevail. This is the rational way to regain control of government, all other ways may sound achievable but are in fact moralistic wishing which with a pile of money can buy a cup of coffee at an airport. Again YMMV.

P.S. Consider what challenges to political engineering would happen if 10% of the electorate were to adopt such a strategy, or 20%, or 33%. Oligarch control could be banished, their wealth useless. Just think about that.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Sep 13 2019 16:57 utc | 142

Jackrabbit @139

All of the speakers (Richard Gage, David Meiswinkle and Bob McIIlvaine whose son was killed even BEFORE the planes hit **see time stamp of same video linked to his name). People should watch this video, share it and find a way to help (financially or otherwise) to groups such as AE911Truth and Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry)

Posted by: jsb | Sep 13 2019 17:35 utc | 143

Exceellent HK update focuses on PRC actions to get HK government to solve what many believe to be the root problem of the protests--housing. This article in Chinese linked from the first is useful for its pics of housing that help to illustrate the first article's narrative. Also discussed is the politics between PRC and two HK oligarchs who control much of the potential land that could be used for housing. A People's daily article is cited as follows:

"The article noted that taking back land from private owners – in most cases chunks owned by developers but which have laid bare for years – is a delicate 'rebalancing act' between private property rights and public interest. But it said the city’s Basic Law has a specific clause regarding compensation when a person is deprived of land or home, which says it must correspond to the real current value of the property." [My Emphasis]

Asia Times hasn't been very neutral in the Color Revolution attempt. This article is one of its most reasonable to-date. For those able to read Mandarin, there are the two linked articles I mentioned. With the subsidence of the terroristic activity and defeat of the Color Revolution attempt, the legitimate issues can now be addressed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 13 2019 17:46 utc | 144

Formerly T-Bear @144--

Your not voting for incumbents idea goes with voting for Peoples Party candidates at the state level as ballot access for those races is much easier; the lockout for ballot access exists primarily for POTUS primaries and November election as the Ds & Rs have mostly ignored in-state ballot provisions since they view national control as The Prize. Plus, voters still need a candidate to vote for if incumbents are to be shunned. I'm reminded of two Jim Hightower quips: "If God had wanted us to vote, He'd have given us candidates;" and "There's nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos."

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 13 2019 17:59 utc | 145

@ karlof1 | Sep 13 2019 17:59 utc | 147

You are making it too complicated. If a Republican is incumbent, then vote Democratic. If a Democrat is incumbent, then vote Republican. No third party needs be involved, or even formed. Individuals do this, no great organisation is needed even. Social atomisation separates the people, separated people cannot be easily decapitated or bought off. Know your enemy.

Of course, support any and all that strike your fancy, just do not vote for an incumbent. The 95% incumbency rate must drastically fall to a point where bought office holders are less than effective in ability to control government. Is that not your goal?

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Sep 13 2019 18:24 utc | 146

Second trilateral Summit on Syria will be held in Ankara next Monday the 16th between the presidents of Turkey, Iran and Russia. Since the air phase of the renewed operation to clear the M-4 & M-5 highways has already begun, it's likely the overall ground offensive will be in motion. Apparently much will be discussed as numerous bilateral meetings are planned. It's also still unclear if Putin will make an address at this year's UNGA in two weeks.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 13 2019 18:24 utc | 147


"You need a body of civil law with a strong democratic government acting to shape markets in society’s overall long-term interest, not that of the One Percent obtaining wealth by impoverishing the 99 Percent. You need civil law that protects the population from an oligarchy whose business plan is to accumulate wealth in ways that impoverish the economy at large. This requires a body of civil law that would cancel debts when they grow too large for the population to pay. That probably requires public banking and credit – in other words, deprivatization of banking that has become dysfunctional."

Global debt is not meant to be controlled. My goodness, we're at a 3.14x debt coverage ratio now ($247T legacy debt-to-$80T annual earning capacity). This cannot be reeled in as interest payments command a larger and larger swag of human exertion. Our predicament is by design. How else to explain the decades of officious hand-wringing signifying nothing? It was a devised trap all along. Do you really think the ruling class fret our childrens' futures when they RAPE them on cloistered islands in the here-and-now?

The planet is not meant to be rescued. Rather it is to be enmeshed in a carpet of terminal dollar beholdenness. Signs of democratically-answerable market erosions are everywhere. Price discovery has been permanently extinguished. Runaway index funds are the default for valuation-blindness. 'Mere people' are being excised from the equation. The goal is complete value alienation followed by neo-feudal capture and vicious attrition. Like the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the candy facade will fall away (money affectation) revealing only a BIS cage --Orwell's boot on the neck of mankind forever.

Money (the unit of measure that establishes 'net worth' pecking orders) is an interim hamster wheel meant to regulate society until the Chaordic yanks differentiation away, leaving absolute power in its stead. Borders are falling to heighten mass alienation and hasten a flatland. Unique affiliations, the markers of human identity, are falling.

Oligarchism lurks behind this entire process and always has. The top families exist extraneous to the wealth web. The spider only weaves the web, traversing it with impunity. They are so wealthy that wealth is beneath them. Herd-genius was harvested until such time as significant advantage allowed them to break-away. We seem to be at that divergence point now.

Overweening 'passive investing' is yet another sign journeyman discernment need no longer apply. Value investing, once a valid pastime in days of yore, is a running joke. Value is a mystery held by the few. Universal coupons and coffee allowances are next. Have a nice weekend!

Posted by: FSD | Sep 13 2019 18:54 utc | 148

In a sign of the times for debauched Miami, "Porn site submits $10 million bid for naming rights for the Heat's arena."

What boggles the mind is the fact that a porn website could amass $10 million. Maybe it should try to get the naming rights to the Pentagon if it fails in Miami.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 13 2019 19:20 utc | 149

What you claim is utter nonsense. What you know about the Labour Party and British politics is so insubstantial that you discredit yourself by your regular posts on these matters.
Here, for anyone who really wants to understand, firstly what Corbyn is doing and secondly why the Labour Party will win the coming General Election is an article by a journalist who knows what he is about, understands British politics and whose opinions are always worth following, just as 'b's are on this blog.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 13 2019 19:39 utc | 150

"There's nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos."
Times have changed, karlofi, the middle of the road used to be the space which the Populists, as in 1896, for example, were proud to occupy. It was neither Republican nor Democrat but the middle of the road. It is surprising that an old pop like Hightower isn't a bit more respectful of the positions taken by the likes of Tom Watson.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 13 2019 19:43 utc | 151

jsb Jackrabbit.

The very dodgy 911 commission is the aspect I believe people should be concentrating on. Focusing on the buildings is a long road to nowhere.

The dodgy thermite report and the more recent WTC 7 collapse report only divert attention from the criminal investigation.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 13 2019 19:54 utc | 152

search @ WSWS essay >"The Dissolution of the USSR and the Unipolar Moment of US Imperialism"

One may set aside the ideological and doctrinal, and yet gain a great deal.

Long read, yes, but think about how much work went into writing it.

fragment> "... contradiction between the interdependent character of the global economy and the capitalist nation-state system is leading inexorably to a new world war.

Under these conditions, there have been several recent commentaries by US foreign policy analysts bemoaning the end of the “unipolar moment” proclaimed nearly 30 years ago, and looking back upon it with a certain nostalgia.

Among them is a piece published in Foreign Affairs by CNN’s multi-millionaire pseudo-intellectual charlatan Fareed Zakaria, titled “The Self-Destruction of American Power.”..."

(I do so like minced words...)

Posted by: Walter | Sep 13 2019 20:04 utc | 153

@ 156 "The dodgy thermite report and the more recent WTC 7 collapse report only divert attention from the criminal investigation."

That's trollish - your claim of dodgy-ness is unsupported, you imply the same for the UAF report - but offer only pejorative claim - no evidence.

I's silly, (or ?) anyway silly, you want to prosecute, investigate crimes, when the crimes are not defined. Police work starts with the crime. Everybody knows this. Then goes to MMO (means motive opportunity, then you eliminated the ones you didn't do it...) But fist the cops have to inspect the crime scenes... Of course these were immediately ruined...

Think about the lies... Or make up fairytales. Who was in suitable positions of power? Who said they wanted a Pearl Harbor....look who signed the Policy.

Posted by: Walter | Sep 13 2019 20:13 utc | 154

Escobar has been wrong on many, many occasions.
Perhaps you might recall his assertions regarding the death of Bandar - which were totally wrong. Here's a link in case you don't remember.
He spins a good tale and has interesting connections, but doesn't a very energetic job of separating propaganda/fiction from fact.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 13 2019 20:36 utc | 155

Here's an interesting link which shows that the textbook and MSM view in the US about its military past isn't universal, particularly in the military.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 13 2019 20:38 utc | 156


The AUF report in a number of places say NIST assumed. I have checked a number of these claims in the NIST report and found NST assumed very little. The AUF report makes a blatant and obvious change in a girder column connection, having the correct drawing on one page a very obvious change in the computer simulation model shown on the next page.
I have not been able to find the input data used by UAF whereas all NIST input dater and prior testing of individual components is available.
This is the link give by the AUF report for input data. It does not work.

Both the thermite rubbish and the so called report on WTC 7 may have been put together by cranks, but I suspect they are designed to take people down a long road to nowhere - far away from the criminal investigation.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 13 2019 20:59 utc | 157

Starting with the accused "criminal" is a basic error. It may product a ringer, but it does not account for the crime.

It is obvious that such methodology is precisely the pathway away from fact, not as you imply, towards it.

I concede nothing. Investigation, science, begins with observed phenomenon...not assumptions about whodoneit.

We're are impressed though, that so much A7E and UAF work is so easily found to be in error....thousands of men and thousands of hours of work and tests all set aside! better let them know.

Posted by: Walter | Sep 13 2019 21:24 utc | 158

Walter, please link to the thousands of hours work behind the UAF report. That is what I cannot find. NIST have this information available whereas UAF report does not.

But I said, I have only looked at the UAF claims that NIST assumed, and found NIST did not assume.
There is the very obvious change in the contested girder column connection plus one or two or theres that are not quite so obvious.

If the initiation of the collapse occured as per NIST I do not know, but the UAF report has very obvious flaws and can can only be believed using a religious faith, rather than by checking their claims as per NIST 'assuming'.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 13 2019 21:38 utc | 159

@ FSD who provides link saying index funds are the next to suffer in the coming downturn

As I recall when I went looking a few weeks ago Vanguard is the 1st or 2nd biggest holder of Boeing stock

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 13 2019 22:21 utc | 160

I have not been following the US college admission scandal but it is showing we have the best legal system money can buy.

The first perp to be sentenced as I understand it, some woman named Felicity Huffman, is getting all of 14 days in jail.

I sure wish this shit show of the private finance centered God of the West culture would come to an end.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 13 2019 22:31 utc | 161

Some of those Brexit scenarios proposed above. I can sort of see how they might work. Difficult, however, to reconcile them with what actually happened over the last few years.

Some of them are sophisticated reworkings of the memes with which we have all become wearily familiar over the last few years.

- Brexit was fixed for the benefit of the vulture capitalists.

- we voted Brexit because we're racist or neo-Nazi.

Missing is one that used to figure quite strongly and still pops up every now and again -

- We voted Brexit because Putin made us do it.

Then there's the theme that is made much of by figures as diverse as Kenneth Clarke or Fintan O'Toole -

- we voted Brexit because we're dreaming of lost empire.

What seems to be difficult for many to grasp is that we voted Brexit because we don't think it's a terribly good idea to be in the EU.

But I can quite see that that's boring compared with the memes.

Posted by: English Outsider | Sep 13 2019 22:41 utc | 162

@karlof1 141

I posted a comment on the comment section of that article about another quote that said that Bolton was zealous in his pursuit of American power to project the US's interests. I asked what prolonging suffering in Syria and Yemen have to do with America's interests.

It was posted quite late, but still received quite a few recommended votes. How something that stunningly idiotic and editorialist could have been published in a news article is beyond me.

Posted by: Schmoe | Sep 13 2019 23:01 utc | 163

Formerly T-Bear @148--

Thanks for your elaboration! Yes, incumbents must become former politicos, but that still doesn't solve the legal issues over ballot access and just plays ping-pong with the Duopoly.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 13 2019 23:22 utc | 164

The US strategy is to control the world insofar as possible, calling ot a "defense strategy."

of the National Defense Strategy (excerpts)
. . .a Joint Force fit for our time . . .we must use creative approaches . .a dominant Joint Force will protect the security of our nation, increase U.S. influence, preserve access to markets . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 13 2019 23:28 utc | 165

Map from Turkish Textbook proves beyond doubt what's taught to its kids about Turkish Lands. Note it includes all of Cyprus! One commentator says:

"I grew up with this nonsense. It's called as misak-i milli (national pact) designed in 1920 and Cyprus was not included in the original pact. They included CY after 1974. Now it turned into Erdoğan'a dream."

Many have said Turkey has no desires on Syrian lands. This map tells the truth about that. Note its Eastern extent also. Very important information since how many of us get to view what Turkish children--or any others for that matter--are taught.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 13 2019 23:29 utc | 166

bevin @155--

In all fairness to Hightower, he was referring to the shift in politics with the rise of first Carter then Reagan and the onset of Neoliberalism they brought. The populists arose in Northwest Texas, his home state. On the three occasions I had to chat with him during Nader's 2000 campaign, we discussed the Peoples Party, and he has nothing but the utmost respect for what they were able to accomplish and agreed that what's needed is a very similar Movement. Hightower's also famous for asking crowds if they know what an agitator is: "An agitator is the center post in a washing machine that gets the dirt out." Globally, but especially in the West, we need many thousands of agitators!

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 13 2019 23:40 utc | 167

Schmoe @167--

Thanks for your reply! I've used up all my Times freebies and can't read or comment there anymore, which isn't too much of a loss as many of its items get republished in my local rag. Yes, as Caitlin Johnstone espouses, undermining BigLie Media's narrative is extremely important, so commenting as you do is a worthy project! Thanks!

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 13 2019 23:44 utc | 168

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 13 2019 23:44 utc | 172

Just install uMatrix and/or clean your cookies and you're good to go.

Posted by: vk | Sep 14 2019 0:49 utc | 169

@123 karlof1

Thanks for the tip. I couldn't quite remember if I had figured that one out yet. It takes a while sometimes, especially with the moles.

Actually, come to think of it, all it takes is a village :)

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 14 2019 0:54 utc | 170

vk @173--

Thanks for the tip! Although I don't think I'd spend much time at the Times.

Grieved @174--

That one's a specialist: science debunker primarily, but also attempts to delegitimize slyly.

On the BBC thread, I mentioned Caitlin's American Privilege thread and posted one segment. The link goes to all of it. She's also posted it as an article at her website. There's so many that deserve to stand on their own. Here's one:

"American privilege is having a shit fit over election meddling in one tweet, while cheerleading regime change in the next."

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 14 2019 1:16 utc | 171

Pepe Escobar, whom many here find an invaluable source of news and perspective, has a nice post on his Facebook page today. He quotes a reader who quoted him from an old (2013) article of his regarding the first 9/11 - when Allende was overthrown by the CIA and US corporations, and the Chilean nightmare of Pinochet followed.

Since it's cut and paste at the source, I trust it's okay to paste it whole here. It's brief, and from the heart, and the ending cuts like a diamond:

Great essay from Pepe Escobar, circa 2013. THE ORIGINAL 9/11 – A SHORT MEMOIR.

My generation – especially in Europe and South America – was deeply touched by the original 9/11. I was in my first year in college. Hooked on Bowie and Zeppelin, Bergman and Pasolini, surfing and skateboarding, Ducati bikes and lanky beach blondes. More Keats and pre-Socratics than Lenin and Carlos The Jackal. Blissfully unaware of what to do later in life.

By then we, the sons of Marx and Coke, already knew, vaguely, about the CIA - ordered by Tricky “I’m not a crook” Dick - taking no prisoners against Allende in Chile, since the 1970 election. Washington’s “what we say, goes” reigned supreme – as in Kissinger, also in 1970, rascally pontificating about “a country falling to communism because of the irresponsibility of its people”. Tricky Dick went batshit crazy – yelling that Allende’s victory would lead to all of Latin America turning anti-American. We were very much familiar with the horror…the horror in Vietnam – much more aesthetically pleasant when depicted via Godard movies. Yet our skateboards were American, our Hang Ten shirts were American, our vinyl was American.

Then came the avalanche of disinformation and psy-ops – coordinated by Vietnam’s dirty war veterans. The CIA buying politicians and military brass; spying NSA-style on the Chilean embassy in D.C.; distributing “sterilized” munitions; compiling lists of people to be jailed, infrastructure to be “secured”, government installations to be occupied, drawing contingency plans. Chile turned into an unprecedented lab experiment in economic sabotage; ground zero of disaster capitalism.

A key component was the international Allende demonization campaign – the prototype for further campaigns -, a great deal of it in charge of an unknown rookie in foreign policy; George H.W. Bush., then posing as US ambassador to the UN.

And then came 9/11 – and the Pinochet Frankenstein. We watched in horror – desperate to catch a flight to Santiago and join our fellow students against the fascists. And fight with what? Bowie on vinyl and Marx in Spanish? We barely knew how to fire a Kalash. One month later, Kissinger received the Nobel Peace Prize. By then I had made up my mind for good. Fight the power. 9/11 was the stuff to forge a journalist, at least this journalist.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 14 2019 1:26 utc | 172

@175 karlof1

Thanks for that fine piece from Caitlin. I read the Twitter version, and personally, this was the one that struck me to the bone, principally with the concept I've emphasized:

American privilege is having your insane culture normalized around the world via Hollywood and other media so that nobody stops and wonders why we're letting this bat shit crazy nation rule our planet, and so no one makes you feel bad about your American privilege.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 14 2019 2:57 utc | 173

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 14 2019 2:57 utc | 177 with the quote from American Privilege by Caitlin Johnstone

Yes and NO!

America is the current face of the bat shit crazy cult of global private finance folk that rule our planet.

Our species in the West has a structural problem with our form of social organization. We allow this cult of people that are NOT America to project through most of the brainwashed peoples of America/UK/Occupied Palestine onto others.

America is not the cult but the current face of the cult....and as such, we are monsters through FAITH in the God of Mammon definition of our form of social organization.

If we can change the Western structure of social organization we will stop being monsters for the God of Mammon

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 14 2019 4:10 utc | 174

Grieved @176--

Thanks for posting that! And c1ue dares to slander the author!

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 14 2019 4:19 utc | 175

Worth checking this article for the pic. KSA beginning to look like a warzone.
"Drone attacks on two Saudi Aramco factories in Abqaiq and Khurais provinces on Saturday sparked fires..."
"Abqaiq, 60 km (37 miles) southwest of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, contains the world’s largest oil processing plant. Khurais, 190 km further southwest, contains the country’s second largest oilfield."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 14 2019 7:52 utc | 176

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 13 2019 22:31 utc | 164

I have not been following the US college admission scandal but it is showing we have the best legal system money can buy. The first perp to be sentenced as I understand it, some woman named Felicity Huffman, is getting all of 14 days in jail.

I have zero sympathy for these idiots or for anyone who still upholds or has faith in the "college" scam, and the whole combined capitalist-pedagogical ideology it stems from, but how absurd is it that these mere conformists, who are incompetent at imitating the crimes of the elites and the professionals, are made lightning rods to draw off anger and energy while an entire government/banks/university structure of organized crime continues to get off scot free when every last one of them should be stood up against the wall.

Posted by: Russ | Sep 14 2019 8:32 utc | 177

From the latest Boeing thread:

Posted by: Jen | Sep 13 2019 20:32 utc | 4

"It seems that in its zeal to keep staffing costs down amid public calls to revoke the compulsory annual BBC licence fee payment required of all UK subjects who own TV sets, and to maintain its relevance..."

I'm posting this in the Open Thread because it's frivolous comic relief.

Posted by: Russ | Sep 14 2019 8:33 utc | 178

Sorry not Boeing, it's Syria. Need coffee.

Posted by: Russ | Sep 14 2019 8:35 utc | 179

@ karlof1 | Sep 13 2019 17:59 utc | 148
@ karlof1 | Sep 13 2019 23:22 utc | 167

Residing UTC +2, intermission curtain fell on the conversation.

Again, the observation that third party candidates votes act to minimise the vote needed for winning (see @ 128), capping those numbers at some lower level. Usually that level is where both major parties are at parity with each other, look at Florida 2000. At that point, voter finagling is kept near or below the statistical threshold needing further observance and investigation. In that example finagling 10% of the vote would be well above that threshold and cause scandal. The 2000 election cost the government its legitimacy henceforth. Illegitimate governments are not bound by law. Illegitimate governments are rogue governments, doing as they desire. That is the very reason the breakup of legislative hold must be accomplished before any relief can be obtained. Don't fall for diversionary circuses.

This brings to end my position on this subject. Summarising: 1) 3rd party vote reduces effective party vote level to win. 2) Capping vote level about parity reduces statistical obvious finagling of vote. 3) Having effective party vote at or near obtaining 50% +1 can expose actual public support for candidate. 4) Incumbency is fundamentally the cause of officeholder unaccountability, it is they which form a 'club' that effects another political will. 5) Breaking up this 'club' at all levels of government is the priority until that 'club' becomes ineffective in carrying out their owner's agenda. 6) Then and only when political control resides with the public, can the 'swamp' be attended to and measures taken effectively. 7) All else is diversionary circus, designed to entertain the citizen population with universal suffrage (political pulling wool over their eyes). Again YMMV (but likely not by much).

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Sep 14 2019 8:38 utc | 180

I don't understand why successfuly making that 'always oust the actual imcumbent' strategy a pattern cannot easily be countered by buying the "opposition" candidate (all the more if there is not so much of a difference between members of the "elite" which only would be accepted for running in either party of the duopoly). If you can persuade a sufficient portion of the voters to reliably realize that pattern (and to ignore and dismiss from strong conviction all those 'very good arguments' contradicting that decision) - couldn't you then attain by far better voting decisions from them if they really form such a monolithic block as is required even by that "incumbent" strategy, voting results above 33% or say 40% for the third party candidate to the consequence that the "parity" is somewhere near 30% with a margin big enough for not being able to endanger the third party majority?

Posted by: franziska | Sep 14 2019 10:47 utc | 181

@ Grieved | Sep 14 2019 1:26 utc | 176

It is frustrating to see how systematic it has become for US to disrupt another sovereign nation. I believe we now do so fairly openly in S America. Is that what is happening in Mexico, I wonder.

I suspect this is why our media as corrupt instruments of CIA are so freaked out about the possibility of meddling by other nations. It's relatively easy as compared to war.

Speaking of meddling, I found this site interesting thought others might:

Posted by: jared | Sep 14 2019 11:08 utc | 182

@ franziska | Sep 14 2019 10:47 utc | 184

Yes, so oust the incumbent and replace with randomly selected person - one who did not run and who is not "qualified" by experience.

Posted by: jared | Sep 14 2019 11:16 utc | 183

jared | Sep 14 2019 11:16 utc | 186
Of course I did not mention the crucial prerequisite: The support base for that form of organized voting must be a movement - a movement where there is agreement on every issue of relevance (agreement reached by the same reasons and being based on the same news) - and knowledge that this sort of agreement does exist. Then you can send any person of the movement for running because every member is as good as any other. It was that idea of a movement I outlined

Posted by: franziska | Sep 14 2019 11:48 utc | 184

@ franziska | Sep 14 2019 10:47 utc | 184

Hi Franziska, The assumption here is U.S. Federal System. The fact that some 95% of all officeholders are incumbent the remaining 5% are fresh to whatever governmental institution. In U.S. at federal level that is 538 elected officers in Congress, or about 27 new faces each election. The ratio of 27:511 should show the power disadvantage the new ones face. Significantly change that to: about 54 (10% new) a 54:484 ratio; about 108 (20% new), a 108:430 ratio; about 179 (33.3% new), a 179:359 ratio and you can plainly see the power those incumbents evaporates quickly, accruing to those freshly elected. I suspect this also works in other systems as well though the process may be different. The other assumption is some form of seniority holds in any system of governance. Once the grip of status quo is broken, the playing pitch evens out for all players.

My advise is abandon the label 'elite' as it serves little purpose outside propaganda. All successful groups have been led by the higher capacity members of that group for the same reason you choose doctors for their superior knowledge and skills. When these 'elites' get replaced it will be by another 'elite' if that change is to work. Using the shorthand 'elite' only clouds the public's vision of their natural leadership group or for worse, obscures the vision of some cancer effecting that group. The storm and furry you witness in today's political stage is from those who are not fit or are not qualified to be accounted in those 'elites' for the most part.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Sep 14 2019 12:08 utc | 185


The housing in HK is huge business for HSBC, and other likely CIA connected figures. Their interests potentially come to conflict with public interest.

Posted by: j | Sep 14 2019 12:27 utc | 186

looks like the Houthi's finally hit a major oil facilities (two in fact), news is still coming in but it looks like both facilities are a total loss and the two closest cities are being evacuated. I expect that thousands of westerners who work the oil fields will now flee Saudi Arabia

Posted by: Kadath | Sep 14 2019 12:46 utc | 187

Formerly T-Bear | Sep 14 2019 12:08 utc | 188
Does that not even confirm karlof1's strategy? And is there not a prominent precedent, the sweeping success of the GOP short after its foundation? The only idea I would like to add to that of karlof1 is that people might start on a county level as a voting integrity initiative which is a rather unifying concern for voters of all affiliations. Although there may be a vicious circle because opportunities for disenfranchisement, rigged machines etc mostly are based on state laws (afaik).
Apart from this, the inner dialogue within the movement is by far more important.

The idea of a movement (if you haven't just noticed) is intended to replace the entire phenomenon of "elite" (put in quotation marks) or "leadership" itself. It is equal to "politically mature portion of the civil society capable of achieving shared decisions by sensible consensus and shared concepts (criteria of relevance), hypotheses, strategies/rational goals, rules of dealing with the yet unknown (eg risks)". Concerning these "successful groups" you are citing - our time is not comparable any longer to any prior era or period - which btw is true of any period the effect that always something completely new had to be invented for to cope with the problems resulting from... well, a Marxist would say: the condition of the production forces reached at that time. So it is no surprise that there have to be innovative methods to regain control over our incredibly complex decision and reproduction processes on a global level.

Posted by: franziska | Sep 14 2019 13:22 utc | 188

@ franziska | Sep 14 2019 13:22 utc | 191

One more time. In a two party dominant political system, ALL third (or more) parties make it easier for the dominant parties to win the election. Attack the dominant parties by keeping whichever incumbent OUT. Next election repeat. Neither dominant party can obtain seniority to enforce their status quo. Is that so difficult?

And yes, give as much support to alternatives to those dominant parties until the system evolves into a multiparty political system. Until then, No Incumbents returned.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Sep 14 2019 13:31 utc | 189

@ 190
More on the Saudi attack here (scroll down).

"Largest ever attack against Oil facilities #SaudiArabia's #Aramco is carried-out by Loitering drones launched from #Iraq in support of #Houthi rebels in #Yemen. As its result two Aramco's facilities were hit 4 times in #Buqayq/#Abqaiq early morning"

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 14 2019 14:31 utc | 190

Formerly T-Bear | Sep 14 2019 13:31 utc | 192
The only effect I can see is a certain amount of "weakening" the political class by sending in inexperienced newbies on every term. And for that petty gain you would have to accept to be waiting term after term... "until the sytem evolves"? Is there really so much time left?

Posted by: franziska | Sep 14 2019 14:33 utc | 191

@ 193
How will Washington respond to this attack on Saudi Arabia by Iranian-supported forces? Any counter-attack on Iran could lead to the destruction of Saudi Arabia and Israel, as well as on US bases in the Gulf.

The underlying lesson: Don't mess with the Persians.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 14 2019 14:41 utc | 192

Brace yourselves.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Sep 14 2019 15:02 utc | 193

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 14 2019 14:41 utc | 195

Things are certainly heating up in Iraq.

U.S. and coalition troops fighting the anti-ISIS campaign in Iraq have a new process for getting flights approved daily, following an Aug. 15 order from that country’s prime minister that all use of Iraqi airspace would have to be pre-approved or else be considered hostile.

Emergency flights receive blanket approval, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve told Military Times earlier this month, but further details are now available on the pre-approval process for planned air missions.

Iraqi leadership now reviews a daily air tasking order with more detailed information about types of the missions, aircraft and operating areas for each flight, said a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve.

Those include pre-planned strike, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, resupply and transit flights inside restricted zones.

“The process we have in place does not increase the risk of compromise for our operations,” OIR spokesman Army Col. Myles Caggins III told Military Times on Friday.

For situations where troops are in contact and needing close air support, medical evacuation or other aviation back-up, the U.S. and members of the coalition do not have to seek pre-approval for life-and-death situations.

“We continue to coordinate closely with Iraqis on our mission to ensure the enduring defeat of Daesh,” Caggins said, referring to the Arabic term for ISIS. “That mission has not changed. The support we provide from the air through intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, strike, and other capabilities has been a key part of our efforts to enable the Iraqi Security Forces.”

Posted by: somebody | Sep 14 2019 15:10 utc | 194

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 14 2019 14:31 utc | 193

Your source saying that the attack came from Iraq is likely fake. If so, US would know it. More likely Houthis did it as claimed.

According to latest reports Saudi will have to cut half of oil production.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 14 2019 15:35 utc | 195

@ franziska | Sep 14 2019 14:33 utc | 194

No. You break up the dominant party's control of an institution. The only faster way would likely involve revolutionary violence. Your choice.

There are city council (legislative body) that have members that are socialist and even communist on them. They are not a dominate party politically anywhere in the U.S.; these are not affected by not returning incumbents of dominant political parties. Eventually, once such political outsiders are experienced and found to be trustworthy, then the two party system will break its hold on political power (in the U.S.), no other way. Force the dominant political parties to adopt to the political will of their citizens to retain access to power. Recall (or research) how 'organised' the hippies of the 60's were. Yes there was some organisation in local settings but for the most part little organisation existed. It changed a society from what had been its status quo, so don't think individuals sharing some bond: sex; drugs; rock % roll; marching to a different drummer cannot accomplish something. An Other Thought (OT) I had posted here got censored (most likely by accident) and will remain so, but its gist was the same conditions that the myth of the Tower of Babel were at play in the communications concerning economics. I know enough to refrain swimming against the current, the current here is to confound, confuse and conflict meanings of words. I have yet to conduct a meaningful conversation on one subject without being derailed with undefined terms, extraneous terms or nebulous terms from subjects unrelated to the matter being addressed. I shall not swim against that current. Most are unaware of their use of street vernacular for established vocabulary of a profession. Originating in a country that used one language into a different world with multiple languages and having to adopt late in life, I am very aware of the need for languages that the meaning of words is not fungible as it has gotten to be in my mother tongue. Am quite envious of the great fortune of those of multilingual abilities. I can only try to use my language in as excellent a way as I am able. In ending:

Whatever you lend your consent to, gains your power, ∴ use your consent intelligently. Your greatest power happens when you withhold your consent, it brings down empires.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Sep 14 2019 16:07 utc | 196

"All successful groups have been led by the higher capacity members of that group for the same reason you choose doctors for their superior knowledge and skills...." etc.
Actually that is not how "we choose doctors." Is it, Formerly T Bear? Surely you know better?
And just as doctors are not selected on the basis of demonstrated superiority, so are 'leaders' and 'elites' not chosen on that basis.
Society, particularly class society, dominated by privilege, doesn't apportion the best jobs and the most important positions on the basis of merit.
And you must understand that.
The question is why you revert to run of the mill, idle, neo-malthusian ideology-the ruling philosophy of the Powers That Be- when the concept of an elite pops up?
Or do you seriously think that
" ..The storm and fury you witness in today's political stage is from those who are not fit or are not qualified to be accounted in those 'elites' for the most part."
For your sake I sincerely hope not.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 14 2019 16:43 utc | 197

#Peter AU1 #160
Unfortunately, it is a waste of time to debate potential realities with those who have already gone far down the conspiracy path.
I do understand it - when the veil is ripped off, the normal tendency is to overcompensate. Or to put it another way, it is the converted (from) Muslim that eats pork 3 times a day.
I do agree that if there is a scandal, it is much more likely in the intel agency/law enforcement side. There were abundant warnings from many sources of an impending attack - and the fact that the administration vehemently denies that any of these was credible seems more than a little suspicious.
This is far different than saying explosives did it, or thermite, or whatever ridiculous crap. The cornerstone of every discredited conspiracy theory is the utter inability to admit that there are alternate explanations:
Thermite - aluminum in the airplanes. Tons of it.
Demolition - indistinguishable from a structural failure in a building which basically assumed the frame would never be damaged in a large scale. More importantly, a demolition involves fuses and explosives - arson people have found a single cup of gasoline source, it seems very unlikely that a demo job involving hundreds of charges would have zero trace.
Airplanes - even the professional pilots, are more programmers and watchdogs than actual handlers. Learning to program a course is very different than being an aircraft handler - particularly if the work was done before even getting on the plane.
People - every one of these conspiracy theories assumes that hundreds to thousands of people knowingly participated in a project that killed 3000+ of their fellow Americans. And no one has talked.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 14 2019 16:54 utc | 198

Below is a posting at ZH that seems important

Israeli Attacks On Syria Halted After Russia Threatened To Shoot Down Jets

The report also says that Lebanon is included in the threats from Russia

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 14 2019 16:55 utc | 199

@franziska #194
It really hasn't been very productive to engage with your conversation partner. He knows what he knows, refuses to expand on it in most cases, and what little comes out has very little non-obvious value.
If you want to look at historical political changes - they don't occur by the Hudson or "non-incumbent" method. The reality is that political power is most commonly exercised societally, not individually.
South and Central America is an excellent example: Most, if not all, of those countries are dominated by 100-200 families. The ostensible spokesmodel in power may be President or Premier or whatever, but the actual power behind the throne is all of the brothers, cousins, in-laws, allies and what not populating the entire spectrum from loser bastard offspring managing a poor district to senators to mayors in the big cities for the scions.
In the US, the role is less familial than it is classist. We know of the Yale and comparable fraternities, but this is only a specific symptom. The actual class trappings go from the location of home(s) to prep schools to colleges to jobs/companies to churches, squash clubs, operas, charity functions and the like. This certainly occurs in South/Central America, but there it is an outcome as opposed to a unifier itself.
And yet again, we have a recent historical analog: the Communists. Even in a society where there wasn't really money, there was still very much power and prestige from going to the best schools, having the right jobs, living in the right areas, etc.
And so how can these types of 1%-5% oligarchies change? Shuttling incumbents won't do it - there is an inexhaustible pool of new puppets to put in place: scions of the old families first, then reliable politicians (i.e. stay bought) like Obama.
The US was fortunate in that, in 3 instances, members of the elite fought against their own peers to straighten out the system (in their view, not their opponents): Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, and FDR. One was a bastard in every social/emotional sense of the word. The other 2 were basically royalty: TR and FDR were both from long, long lines of really wealthy and socially prominent New York families. I personally think it is their Dutch background which caused them to do what they did - a combination of not being "in" (i.e. English/UK descent like most of their political peers) and some outgrowth of Dutch Calvinism leftovers, but that is only a personal theory.
Where are their equivalents today?
The way societies change is if a member of the oligarchy musters enough support within his own as well as the hoi polloi to take down the rest. Again, long historical precedents ranging back to Greek tyrants.
Or a slave revolution: there's been exactly one in history.
Or enough of the people get pissed off that they are willing to undergo actual revolution. Again, much historical precedent ranging from the British (failed), French, American and Russian (succeeded), Italy and Germany (failed) - all in the same approximate century.
The last category is externally driven change - quite sure that doesn't apply here.
My own view is "the worse, the better". Incremental change is not going to work because the reactionary forces have all the money, power and people. It can and will co-opt those who show real desire to enact change - give up a little now and claw it back later (See research on rich Southern families and how they regained power in less than 2 generations after the Civil War).
Only when enough people have nothing to lose will real change occur.
We're not there yet, and may not be for our lifetimes because the US is still plenty rich enough to buy off most people.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 14 2019 17:15 utc | 200

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