Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 29, 2019

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2019-56

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

A long way: Russian military reform – Part 3 -

The Mammoth Stress Test of British Democracy - Consortium News

The Pee Tape Is Real, but It’s Fake - Slate
Zelensky made a presentation at some conference. His opening powerpoint show was quite amusing.

Other issues:

The Privatisation of Espionage: What on Earth is MI6-Connected 'Citizens=Network' Up To? - Kit Klarenberg / Sputnik

Spanish security company spied on Julian Assange in London for the United States - El Pais
Julian Assange ‘subjected to every kind of torment’ in Belmarsh prison as he awaits extradition - Independent

Recommended read:
Ready, Fire, Aim: U.S. Interests in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria - Chas Freeman

An excellent portrait of Putin:
The Key to Understanding Vladimir Putin - National Interest

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on September 29, 2019 at 15:43 UTC | Permalink

next page »

uncoy - my Russian made software is working! LMAO

Posted by: donkeytale | Sep 29 2019 15:56 utc | 1

thanks b! you are on a roll!

Posted by: james | Sep 29 2019 16:28 utc | 2

In "Ready, Fire, Aim" Chas Freeman's concludes:

For $14 billion or more, we should get something more than that.

Shouldn't that be "trillion"?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 29 2019 16:57 utc | 3

Thanks b for this bunch of posts.
A long way: Russian military reform – Part 3 -

Since my knowledge of military matters is neither intimate nor up to date a lot of the info in this report went over my head. However, the entire update seems to be based on Russia's presumed reaction to the presumed 'failure' of its 2008 military campaign in Georgia - as summarised in this extract from the report:

"Only the second factor, the embarrassing performance for a great power in the 2008 Russo-Georgian War, led both the political and military leaders to a willingness for an uncompromising enforcement of military reform."

My recollection of that particular storm in a teacup is that Sakashvili launched his assault fully expecting US-NATO to intervene on Georgia's behalf, but US-NATO chickened out as soon as the shooting started. It is also my recollection that Sakashvili made some seriously stupid blunders, the worst of which was failing to dynamite the tunnel through which Russian forces & armour were able to invade.

His second most serious blunder was placing the Georgian artillery shelling the 'rebels' in easily destroyed clusters with limited means and avenues of retreat. The Russians also bombed an aircraft assembly plant, instantly putting an end to a juicy and reliable stream of Rubles. The 'war' only lasted for circa 6 days and I don't recall anyone claiming that Georgia won it.
Which begs the question "What else is wrong with's report?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 29 2019 17:41 utc | 4

Thanks for the last of your links in 'other issues' b - having just finished reading that, I have to say my only point of disagreement was when it came to that of Crimea. I thought the observations there were not very explanatory. While the point about Primakov's U-turn over the Atlantic when Belgrade was bombed on the Orthodox Easter Sunday (I hadn't realized that) was an excellent point it seemed that the annexation of Crimea details left a lot to be filled in that we here have spent a lot of time discussing.

I'll just add that while time-consuming, Lavrov's recent press conference at the UN is well worth absorbing in its entirety.


[As I distrust my own accuracy, I have given this in separate lines that should be linked for the full access]

Posted by: juliania | Sep 29 2019 17:43 utc | 5

OOps, senior moment!

Without realizing it, I gave the link to the post I was discussing - here is the UN link to Lavrov's speech:


Posted by: juliania | Sep 29 2019 17:49 utc | 6

Boeing engineers and safety investigators are scrambling to find out how many Boeing 737NGs have cracked 'pickle forks' after finding several in the jets.

A pickle fork is the part that helps attach a plane's fuselage to its wing structure. It helps manage the stress, torque and aerodynamic forces that bend the connection between the wings and the body of the jet.

Posted by: jpmoshe | Sep 29 2019 17:55 utc | 7

Since it's an open thread, I would like to recommend this interview with Costas Lapavitsas (former Greek MP and economics professor in London). In this interview he discusses his recent book "The Left Case Against The EU", where he argues that the EU is structurally both a neo-liberal machine and unreformable. The latter stands in stark contrast to his fellow countryman Y. Varoufakis' conviction, who set out to reform that beast. (Lapavitsas quips Varoufakis 'the true utopian' in this interview :-).

I have watched this interview in recent days and I remembered it when I read an RT article today, about a demonstration in Manchester, where people demanded both a remain in the EU and an end to austerity. Which would seem quite absurd, if Lapavitsas is even only halfway right.

I would very much appreciate comments from my fellow barflies on this interview.

Posted by: Das Kommentariat | Sep 29 2019 18:06 utc | 8

I posted this in an earlier thread, but apparently no one is reading there anymore, so I hope that my repeating it here will be acceptable.

Warren on Biden

Nearly 18 years ago, Elizabeth Warren published a multi-count indictment of Joe Biden's legislative and political history.

It was actually titled:

Harvard Law School Public Law
Research Paper No. 032

What is a Women's Issue?
Bankruptcy, Commercial Law and
Other Gender-Neutral Topics

by Elizabeth Warren
Harvard Women's Law Journal Vol. 23, Spring, 2002

But considering that Biden was named (not favorably) 40 times (25 times in the text and 15 times in footnotes) in the 56-page document, it's clear that she intended to make a very strong point about Biden's concern for women, children, debtors and the entire non-privileged portion of the US population.

The paper can be accessed here:

If for some reason you cannot access the entire document from the site, I have the original pdf, and perhaps I could forward it to b, and see if he'd care to do something with it to make it more accessible.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Sep 29 2019 18:36 utc | 9

Boeing omitted safeguards on 737 Max that were used on military jet: WSJ
Boeing Co. engineers working on the 737 Max passenger plane’s flight-control system omitted safeguards included in an earlier version of the system used on a military tanker jet, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The engineers who created the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) flight-control system more than a decade ago for the military refueling plane designed the system to rely on inputs from multiple sensors and with limited power to control pitch, the Journal said

The newspaper cited one person familiar with the design saying this approach was taken in order to guard against the system acting erroneously or causing a pilot to lose control.

Posted by: jpmoshe | Sep 29 2019 18:59 utc | 10

Colombia Reports: Colombia’s government fabricated at least four pieces of evidence in an attempt to tie Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to Colombian guerrillas, French news agency AFP reported Friday.

The Chas Freeman link you posted is excellent!

Posted by: Maracatu | Sep 29 2019 19:06 utc | 11

@Maracatu | Sep 29 2019 19:06 utc

"The Chas Freeman link you posted is excellent!"

I have yet to read anything less than excellent from Chas Freeman.

I would like to remind us that Freeman in 2009 was about to be appointed to a higher position in the national intelligence community. As the wikipedia meekly writes:

"After several weeks of criticisms from prominent supporters of Israeli policy, he withdrew his name from consideration and charged that he had been the victim of a concerted campaign by what he called "the Israel lobby".

Posted by: Das Kommentariat | Sep 29 2019 19:40 utc | 12

The world is getting complicated.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman tweeted a message in Farsi, English and Hebrew, wishing “Jewish compatriots” and “all true followers of the great prophet Moses” a Happy New Year, Ynet reported on Sunday.

This comes just over a week after the extreme Jewish group Lev Tahor (Pure Heart), which many call a cult, asked for political asylum in Iran.
According to Ynet, Lev Tahor declared its “loyalty and submission to the Supreme Leader and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran” in its asylum documents.

The group, which was founded in Israel, has resided in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Guatemala.

The Jerusalem Judge Rivka Makayes, whose ruling defined the group as a “dangerous sect,” wrote in her decision that the group “treats the children of the community, with severe physical punishment, with underage marriage (from the age of 14 for boys and 15 for girls), with spouses who sometimes have age differences of up to 20 years.”

Posted by: somebody | Sep 29 2019 20:10 utc | 13

AntiSpin @9--

Did she write that while still a Republican? Okay, I checked myself and according to this, she changed to D after 1996, but the more damning information there is her belief in Neoliberalism.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 29 2019 20:11 utc | 14

Remembering Jaques Chirac, whose contribution to Liberty, Fraternity, Egality should be embossed in stone in every capital city on Earth and reproduced inside the cover of every school text book...

"He missed a wonderful opportunity to shut up!"

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 29 2019 20:19 utc | 15

@ Das Kommentariat | Sep 29 2019 18:06 utc | 8

In a narrative form, you might find your answer if 'painted' in broad strokes. The destruction wrought by WWII was severe, means were desired to avoid any chance of repetition. Beginnings of what is now the EU were formed soon after the war's end in a Coal and Steel Community (C&SC)which eventually became The Treaty of Rome that furthered economic cooperation and trade. At this point one should consider that at least three political generations have been involved in the development of the EU and its monetary zone, arguably a fourth generation is now in control. The first generation accomplished The Treaty of Rome's established a political union with the European Economic Community (EEC) furthering the scope of the Coal and Steel Community. The second political generation furthered the EEC through Schengen Zone of borderless travel as well as establishing common trade, agricultural and fishing policies under its watch. The third political generation designed and effected a common money zone thinking it was a common monetary zone in that it had a central bank and little else in common. A common money zone worked well enough in somewhat equal pricing for goods and services throughout the zone but the regulatory law still resided in national governments, working well within that nation but ineffectual at EU levels as Brussels had become the dominant player in these affairs and the third generation had not either the education of their predecessors or their experience for a guide, adopted the neoliberal mindset of diminished governance as optimal political condition, less government is better economics - what not to like in that. This is where the problems with the current EU lay and now a fourth political generation is beginning to take over, without any direct knowledge or experience of the founding or the political reasons for its being. The original wisdom that began the EU is now two generations under earth, the question will become if hubris of the day or respect for history prevail in their deliberations. Interesting times ahead.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Sep 29 2019 20:21 utc | 16

@ karlof1 | Sep 29 2019 20:11 utc | 14

But Karlof1, you know as well as anybody that everyone educated with neoliberal MBA Econ 101 will have no other economic thought before them, it may cause then to actually think and that is entirely EVIL. YMMV.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Sep 29 2019 20:32 utc | 17

Re: Kit Klarenberg / Sputnik

As other nations British Forces are keen to use sailing in training and an active social competition platform. Around the corner from one site in Gosport is the old Fort used by MI5/6 /SIS as a type of British "The Farm" though in truth much training happens elsewhere.

Whistleblowers are a high insurance risk, especially with metros and busses. It all happens.

I had the pleasure to spend time with David Shayler.

...who is sometimes ridiculed for claiming to be Jesus or living as a trans dressing female, or using large amounts of Marijuana and coming across as a bit out of sorts or living in a fantasy land. I saw no such disconnection from reality, quite the reverse. When I met David he was very self aware and razor sharp and fully present. We talked of his aborting his handlers instructions to car bomb Qaddafi's car with his wife and family inside, ( the attempt being subsequently discovered and Qaddafi's security processes altered). It was clear to me by the end of the evening that David was still alive only because he could be discredited through his behaviour and lifestyle. What he knows, he knows regardless of how he lives, dresses or imbibes. If you're out there David, I salute you clearing out their programming, for finding and living true to your moral compass and for crossing that Rubicon even though it has cost you so much and so dearly. Thank you for your shared truths.

Posted by: dennis | Sep 29 2019 20:54 utc | 18

Japan lifts consumption tax amid recession fears

The raise is a symbolic 2% increase (from 8% to 10%).

Since Abe's rise to power, Japan has been essentially governed by Paul Krugman -- the Keynesian extraordinaire in the USA -- as a private counselor to the Japanese Premier himself. To put things in simpler terms: Japan has been Keynesian paradise for ten consecutive years.

Under Krugman and his keynesian sidekicks, Japan was the first to aggressively lower interest rates and print money. It was the first significant country to adopt NIRP (negative interest rates). The results were null. Now, Abe is rising taxes because there's no new revenues and essentially admits his economic policies were wrong.

Money by itself doesn't solve all your problems. Economy is politics, politics is society in motion. A bureaucrat playing with balance sheets in the ivory building of a Central Bank cannot solve the problems of a Nation-State.

Posted by: vk | Sep 29 2019 20:58 utc | 19

Within Tim Kirby's rant at Greta, he discloses some news I think many aren't fully aware of or appreciate its importance: Russia has squared the circle on Nuclear Power with a fuel cycle that uses all waste products and thus creates none. Here're 18 PowerPoint slides from a ROSATOM presentation from ATOMEXPO 2017 describing the process. The considerations I've always had regarding the use of nuclear power were the waste issue followed by the safety issue, the latter solvable while the former wasn't. IMO, that's now changed. I sure my opinion on this will be challenged, and I should state now that I agree with little from Kirby's rant.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 29 2019 21:00 utc | 20

After Pompeo met with Kissinger, Sanders reminds the world of his utter dislike for the man:

"Henry Kissinger was one of the most destructive Secretaries of State in the history of this country.

"A Sanders administration will not be taking advice from Henry Kissinger."

The article goes on to remind readers Sanders's enmity for Kissinger is longstanding and not just being used to take a one-time jab at Pompeo. And we might well wonder what those two criminal minds were discussing as the UNGA had just concluded.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 29 2019 21:11 utc | 21

There has been some recent talk on ‘negative interest rates’ which can be hard to get the mind around.

Ellen Brown dos a nice job clarifying the issue and bringing up some of the pitfalls.

“Second, the U.S. dollar is inextricably tied up with the market for interest rate derivatives, which is currently valued at over $500 trillion. As proprietary analyst Rob Kirby explains, the economy would crash if interest rates went negative, because the banks holding the fixed-rate side of the swaps would have to pay the floating-rate side as well. The derivatives market would go down like a stack of dominoes and take the U.S. economy with it.”

Posted by: financial matters | Sep 29 2019 21:23 utc | 22

In interview broadcast today on NBC, Zarif recalls earlier Cyber Attacks and other past and current aspects of the Outlaw US Empire's hybrid war it's waging against Iran:

"The United States started that cyberwar with attacking our nuclear facilities in a very dangerous, irresponsible way that could have killed millions of people."

Some may know the Empire barred Zarif from visiting his friend of 40 years, Iran's UN Ambassador, who's hospitalized with cancer, but he was able to converse with and see him thanks to technology, although I'm sure both would've preferred an in-person visitation.

And for those who missed it, here's Zarif's twitter vid clip of him outlining Rouhani's HOPE plan proposal.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 29 2019 21:26 utc | 23

financial matters @22

Thanks. I don't doubt that we're heading rapidly towards a significant economic correction.

Martin Armstrong is convinced this will hit in January 2020:

Posted by: dennis | Sep 29 2019 21:29 utc | 24

financial matters @22--

On negative interest rates, I'm sure you'll find this essay rather juicy, "Are We Approaching the End of Super Imperialism?"

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 29 2019 21:30 utc | 25

karlof1 @ 25

Thanks for the link. Very good article

As Ellen Brown describes negative interest rates can be a 2 edged sword.

People get upset if money markets ‘break the buck’ and they find their simple, safe money market accounts declining in value. They then tend not to leave their money there.

The EU though is using them to slowly extinguish member nation debt to try and keep the EU together. This is necessary because the nations don’t have sovereign currencies.

As your link discusses we probably would have been better off using some sort of bancor for a reserve currency. (At least some sort of a multipolar approach).

Posted by: financial matters | Sep 29 2019 21:57 utc | 26

Karlof1 @ 21

Going through the popularity of quotes on is something of a tiny barometer in the thinking community:

The Trial of Henry Kissinger by Christopher Hitchens

“The burden therefore rests with the American legal community and with the American human-rights lobbies and non-governmental organizations. They can either persist in averting their gaze from the egregious impunity enjoyed by a notorious war criminal and lawbreaker, or they can become seized by the exalted standards to which they continually hold everyone else. The current state of suspended animation, however, cannot last. If the courts and lawyers of this country will not do their duty, we shall watch as the victims and survivors of this man pursue justice and vindication in their own dignified and painstaking way, and at their own expense, and we shall be put to shame.”
― Christopher Hitchens, The Trial of Henry Kissinger

It is perhaps of interest to note that Hichens succumbed to a virulent form of cancer similar to the one that later affected Hugo Chavez. An author sorely missed.

Posted by: dennis | Sep 29 2019 22:04 utc | 27

The Houthis have routed significant Saudi forces near Najran in south Saudi. Here is a 58 minute video showing the scale of the achievement.

Posted by: Yonatan | Sep 29 2019 22:36 utc | 28

China officially opens its massive new airport in Beijing

Posted by: Aziz | Sep 29 2019 23:17 utc | 29

Martin @ 29
"....While it’s true that China as whole has a long way to go in GDP-per-capita....."

But in terms of GDP purchasing power, China is already way ahead of USA, essentially doing way more with less overhead. Sadly as data has become the most valuable asset on the planet, and weaponised - so many citizens are misled daily. I don't think the USA has fully got its head around the fact that it's already lost economic poll position. When the coming market correction hits, countries with a gold backed currency will initially hurt like others, but failing regional hostilities will come out so much better.

Posted by: dennis | Sep 29 2019 23:23 utc | 30

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey would continue to buy natural gas from neighbouring Iran despite U.S. sanctions, Reuters reported on Friday.

"Speaking to reporters on his return flight from the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Erdogan said Turkey was not afraid of possible U.S. sanctions over its trade with Iran, adding that Ankara did not want to sever its cooperation with Tehran," Reuters said.

Posted by: Aziz | Sep 29 2019 23:24 utc | 31

From Michael Roberts' facebook:

Brilliant and insightful analysis of the value-added in global commodity chain of the production and sale of I-phones by Ahmet Tonak.…/190922_Notebook-2_EN.pdf

see this.

Tonak measures the rate of surplus value in the process and finds that it at 2458%! So: "Workers who make iPhones in the 21st century, in other words, are twenty-five times more exploited than textile workers in England in the 19th century."

"What does this number – 2458% – tell us? It tells us that an infinitesimal part of the working day is devoted to the value needed by the workers as wages. The bulk of the day is spent by the worker producing goods that enhance the wealth of the capitalist. The higher the rate of exploitation, the greater the enhancement of the capital’s wealth by the worker’s labour."

Also interesting to note that producing an IPhone has an organic composition of capital (constant capital/variable capital) of around 15 times.


UNCTAD, the UN's trade research agency, reckons in its latest report that "the world economy is heading into troubled waters, with recession in 2020 now a clear and present danger."

Slowing global economy reveals debt distress as biggest threat to international stability

Even ignoring the worst of the downside risks, the report projects global growth to fall to 2.3% in 2019, compared with 3% in 2018. But several big emerging economies are already in recession and some advanced economies (including Germany and the United Kingdom) are dangerously close.

The slowdown in growth in all the major developed economies, including the US, confirms that relying on easy monetary policy and asset price rises to stimulate demand produces, at best, ephemeral growth, while tax cuts for corporations and wealthy individuals fail to trigger productive investment.

Trade growth is set to slow sharply this year following weakening global demand, compounded by the unilateral tariff actions of the United States administration; trade growth dropped to 2.8% last year and is likely to be closer to 2% this year.

The UNCTAD report's economists are clearly in the heterodox area, as they argue that the cause of the Long Depression is guess what? "financialisation".

Theft or exploitation?- a review of Stolen by Grace Blakeley

"10 years on from the crisis, the global economy remains excessively financialized and fragile."

Interestingly, lead economist Kozul-Wright points out that “talk of convergence between North and South amongst international investors has been exaggerated; for many developing countries, per capita income divergence is the new normal” .Indeed, strip out China and the absolute gap between the leading capitalist economies and the rest is widening in absolute terms. Imperialism rules.

The report finds that by 2017, total developing-country debt had reached its highest level on record, at 190% of GDP. "Contrary to popular narratives, this is mainly composed of private sector debt, which has risen from 79% of GDP in 2008 to 139% in 2017, rather than public sector debt which represented just 51% of GDP in 2017. The increase in private debt since the financial crisis has been particularly sharp in high-income countries, reaching 165% of GDP in 2017 but the trend is also visible in low-income countries."

Debt matters.

Posted by: vk | Sep 29 2019 23:47 utc | 32

karlof1 and financial matters, I have a question that will probably sound extremely stupid as I don't understand economics at all, much as I appreciate what both Ellen Brown and Michael Hudson try to tell me - the brain is getting old. I was just wondering, is the derivatives markets the reason we can't do amnesty for student loans as we aren't in control of those any longer? I mean, everything gets tranched out so nobody has the power to do what it seems Chase did in pulling back on Canadian credit cards and taking a loss there.

Apologies if that's just showing my ignorance - you can just ignore me. It's just something I've been wondering.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 29 2019 23:57 utc | 33

juliana @ 34

Very good question. I would say no.

Similar to the mortgage crisis, I think the govt could just buy up the debt. This time though, rather than just support an inflated cost of housing they would be freeing up students to support the economy and be able to buy housing etc.

Even worse than this is seeing outrageous medical expenses and people getting stuck with huge unpayable bills or deciding not to get needed treatment. Medicare for all is also within reach if our 1% didn't want everything.

Deficits aren't bad by themselves. They just need to managed wisely. Austerity is a failed neoliberal strategy.

Posted by: financial matters | Sep 30 2019 0:12 utc | 34

Engdahl nails it again

He points out that “a key player in the linking of world financial institutions with the Green Agenda is outgoing Bank of England head Mark Carney (who recently called for a new global reserve currency to replace the USD ). In December 2015, the Bank for International Settlements’ Financial Stability Board (FSB), chaired then by Carney, created the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), to advise “investors, lenders and insurance about climate related risks.”

In 2016 the TCFD along with the City of London Corporation and the UK Government initiated the Green Finance Initiative, aiming to channel trillions of dollars to “green” investments. The central bankers of the FSB nominated 31 people to form the TCFD. Chaired by billionaire Michael Bloomberg of the financial wire, it includes key people from JP MorganChase; from BlackRock–one of the world’s biggest asset managers with almost $7 trillion; Barclays Bank; HSBC, Swiss Re, the world’s second largest reinsurance; China’s ICBC bank; Tata Steel, ENI oil, Dow Chemical, mining giant BHP Billington and David Blood of Al Gore’s Generation Investment LLC. 

Goldman Sachs, which spawned among others ECB outgoing President Mario Draghi and Bank of England head Carney, has just unveiled the first global index of top-ranking environmental stocks, done along with the London-based CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project. The CDP, notably, is financed by investors such as HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, American International Group, and State Street Corp.
Top rated companies in the index include Alphabet which owns Google, Microsoft, ING Group, Diageo, Philips, Danone and, conveniently, Goldman Sachs.

On October 17, 2018, days following the EU agreement at the One Planet Summit, Juncker’s EU signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Breakthrough Energy-Europe in which member corporations of Breakthrough Energy-Europe will have preferential access to any funding. The members of Breakthrough Energy include Virgin Air’s Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Alibaba’s Jack Ma, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, HRH Prince Al-waleed bin Talal, Bridgewater Associates’ Ray Dalio; Julian Robertson of hedge fund giant, Tiger Management; David Rubenstein, founder Carlyle Group; George Soros, Chairman Soros Fund Management LLC; Masayoshi Son, founder Softbank, Japan. 

When the most influential multinational corporations, the world’s largest institutional investors including BlackRock and Goldman Sachs, the UN, the World Bank, the Bank of England and other central banks of the BIS line up behind the financing of a so-called green Agenda, call it Green New Deal or what, it is time to look to the actual agenda.

The agenda is less about making the planet a clean and healthy environment to live. Rather it is an agenda, tied to the UN Agenda 2030 for “sustainable” economy, and to developing literally trillions of dollars in new wealth for the global banks and financial giants.The agenda is an attempted financial reorganization of the world economy using climate, to try to convince us ordinary folk to make untold sacrifice to “save our planet.” “ (Not unlike a new religion to control people)

Although Engdahl does not say so everything happening today is theater to set the stage for the New World Order where an illusion will be presented that seems to leave the US in the dirt but where the global powers behind US supremacy simply take a more visible Global role, much like the money powers in the City of London did when they passed the torch to Wall Street , while continuing to pull the strings from London and with many simply moving their base across the pond. Perhaps Shanghai is the next move for the ruling financial elite.

Posted by: Pft | Sep 30 2019 0:14 utc | 35

Hitchens went nuts in his last years with his condemnation of what he called Islamofascism and his support of the War on Terror. May have been connected with his discovery of his partially Jewish ancestry.

Posted by: lysias | Sep 30 2019 0:19 utc | 36

Well, as Mao pointed out:
"Religion is poison"
He did get some things right.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Sep 30 2019 0:28 utc | 37

lysias @37

A few of us may have been disappointed when Hitchens backed Bush, Iraq and WoT. We don't know what may have happened had he lived to see Assange and Snowdon revelations. When a body is riddled with Opiates its perhaps hubris to hold their final opinions against them. He did spot the Clintons miles away:

“Some years ago, after the disappearance of civil rights workers Chaney, Goodman, and Schwirner in Mississippi, some friends of mine were dragging the rivers for their bodies. This one wasn’t Schwirner. This one wasn’t Goodman. This one wasn’t Chaney. Then, as Dave Dennis tells it, “It suddenly struck us—what difference did it make that it wasn’t them? What are these bodies doing in the river?” That was nineteen years ago. The questions has not been answered, and I dare you to go digging in the bayou. —James Baldwin, The Evidence of Things Not Seen, 1985”
― Christopher Hitchens, No One Left to Lie To: The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton

“One feels almost laughably heavy-footed in pointing out that Mrs. Clinton’s prim little book, It Takes a Village, proposes sexual abstinence for the young, and that the president was earnestly seconding this very proposal while using an impressionable intern as the physical rather than moral equivalent of a blow-up doll.”
― Christopher Hitchens, No One Left to Lie To: The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton

Posted by: dennis | Sep 30 2019 0:39 utc | 38

@ Posted by: juliania | Sep 29 2019 23:57 utc | 34

There's nothing that stops the USG from eating up all that student debt. It would have the same consequences as any other financial commodity bought and sold in the market.

Probably the main reason student debt is not forgiveable in the US is because it is an important tool of recruitment to the military.

Debt is a promise of payment somewhere in the future. The lenght of this time is usually called "maturity". A "good" debt to be the owner of basically depends on two factors:

1) if the subject that owes to that debt objectivelly has the means to pay it back when it matures (by whatever means necessary, even if he/she/it has to sell its own soul); and

2) your place on the line of receiving the debt payment when it matures (in the case you're the only owner of the debt, it is implied you're the first on the line to receive it).

The catch here is that financial institutions -- e.g. a bank -- resell their clients' debts to third parties. They also divide those debt into x smaller abstract parts and resell them to more than one third parties. And also they mix those abstract parts with other abstract parts from a combination of y other debts in the form of a "package" and resell them. Those third parties that bought these also do the same and so on.

The result of this was that Wall Street, by September 2008, was sat on a pile of rotten papers that were all graded AAA+. Those grades, it was later discovered, were bought through what were essentially bribes paid to Moody's et al. The trick was this: the main Wall Street financial institutions "paid" for "consulting" with those grading institutions, who, as a result, produced a "manual" showing them how to ideally mix rotten debt with good debt in order to dribble their own system in order to get those AAA+ grades.

What triggered 2008 was a critical mass of very bad debt that kind of matured at the same time and, because leverage with rotten papers, caused a domino effect on the whole market. The buck stopped with the working class, who saw their pension funds evaporate overnight and their taxpayer money go to bail out the bankrupt financial institutions and other strategic corporations (QE). The buck always stops with the working class because, in the capitalist system, it is only the working class that can pay the bill. And it is the only one that can pay the bill for the simple reason it is the class responsible for producing all the wealth in the world.

The 2008 crisis was special because it was structural. Before that, crises happened, cyclically, and only at the periphery of the capitalist world (i.e. the Third World, e.g. SE Asia, Russia, Brazil, Argentina). The world market suffered for some months, the USA quickly entered in motion through the IMF and capitalism emerged apparently stronger than before (to the point some conservative economists still defend recessions under the argument they are good for "adjustments" of the system). However, 2008 happed at the capitalist HQ: the USA itself. It also didn't happen because some random politicians or fraudsters corrupted the system, but because the system worked wonderfully: in 2006, the Nobel Prize of Economics winner won said prize on a thesis that "proved" capitalism perfected itself to a point where recessions could not occur anymore.

Posted by: vk | Sep 30 2019 0:42 utc | 39

@ juliania with the question about student debt

One important factor about student debt is student debt differs from other types of debt in that it typically cannot be discharged in bankruptcy except in cases of undue hardship.

Since almost all loans are fully guaranteed by the government, banks can sell them for a higher price, because default risk is not transferred with the asset.

As of July 8, 2016, the federal government owned approximately $1 trillion in outstanding consumer debt, per data compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. That figure was up from less than $150 billion in January 2009, representing a nearly 600% increase over that time span. The main culprit is student loans, which the federal government effectively monopolized in a little-known provision of the Affordable Care Act, signed into law in 2010.

Prior to the Affordable Care Act, a majority of student loans originated with a private lender but were guaranteed by the government, meaning taxpayers foot the bill if student borrowers default. In 2010, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated 55% of loans fell into this category. Between 2011 and 2016, the share of privately originated student loans fell by nearly 90%.

Prior to the administration of Bill Clinton, the federal government owned zero student loans, although it had been in the business of guaranteeing loans since at least 1965. Between the first year of the Clinton presidency and the last year of George W. Bush's administration, the government slowly accumulated about $140 billion in student debt. Those figures have exploded since 2009. In September 2018, the U.S. Treasury Department revealed in its annual report that student loans account for 36.8% of all U.S. government assets.

The cost of federal student loan programs is widely debated. The CBO provides two different estimates based on low discount rates and "fair value" discount rates. If you rely on the fair value estimate, the government loses approximately $100 billion to $250 billion per year, including $40+ billion in administrative costs. In other words, the government does not recoup the value of the loans, putting present and future taxpayers in the position of guarantor.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 30 2019 1:00 utc | 40

wiki imples hitchens didn't get diagnosed with cancer till 2010, several years after the iraq war that he supported so vociferously.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Sep 30 2019 1:05 utc | 41

@ dennis 24

Thanks for the video link. Sobering and ominous. There is only one way the west can crawl its way out of the coming depression and that is a global war. And that is as if they win. Dangerous times, whichever way you look at it.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Sep 30 2019 1:16 utc | 42

@juliana #34
Student debt is not dischargable via bankruptcy due to changes in the law.
Prior to 1976, student loan debt could be discharged by bankruptcy. Congress changed it that year so that loans could not be discharged unless they had been paid for 5 years. This was later changed to 7.
Then in 1998, bankruptcy was completely removed unless the (ex) student could show "undue hardship", but this applied only to federal student loans. This was yet another Clinton/Republican Congress gift to banksters, along with repealing Glass Steagall.
Then in 2005, the law was further changed so that the above applied to private student loans as well.
In 2010, the federal government took back the (then) 45 year old charter to allow private companies to issue student loans which are backed by the government.
Private loans are still possible, just without the federal guarantee.
So as you can see, the student loan situation has nothing to do with basic economics and everything to do with money, power and predatory practices.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 30 2019 1:49 utc | 43

@38 duncan

Yes, religion is poison for those who put their faith in hyper-centralized government. No argument here.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 30 2019 2:05 utc | 44

@ b who wrote
Zelensky made a presentation at some conference. His opening powerpoint show was quite amusing
What a hoot!!! The clip gives us a close and hilarious understanding of how it would have been if world leaders have a WhatsApp group. The video is a part of the dinner entertainment from what I read, not the more serious speech given in the morning.

Thanks b!!!!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 30 2019 2:13 utc | 45

I would consider a single-payer option for healthcare, but asking low-income owners like myself to foot more of the bill for their employer healthcare seems like bad proposition and runs counter to any semblance of sane government that will be sustainable going forward without galvanizing warring factions in our country currently to hate the opposition even more.

There is so much more reform that I would encourage before forking over x-amount of treasury on further entrenching the status quo of our wasteful healthcare system. Because that is all I am getting with "universal healthcare": throwing insane amounts of money at a system that will forever fail to reform itself, just as with the military.

Countries in the EU don't understand how unhealthful most Americans live and how the solution to most problems here in the state is to up the dosage, never mind how this or that pill runs counter to the effects of another prescribed pill.

We have no national diet, no culture in eating, which is a gigantic problem.

And so when I hear "universal healthcare," I think further enfeebling the population down the rabbit hole of irresponsible living and the unsustainable expectations that big government will provide.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 30 2019 2:18 utc | 46

"Impeachment is about cosmetics. It is about replacing the public face of empire with a political mandarin such as Joe Biden, himself steeped in corruption and obsequious service to the rich and corporate power, who will carry out the same suicidal policies with appropriate regal decorum. The ruling elites have had enough of Trump’s vulgarity, stupidity and staggering ineptitude. They turned on him not over an egregious impeachable offense—there have been numerous impeachable offenses including the use of the presidency for personal enrichment, inciting violence and racism, passing on classified intelligence to foreign officials, obstruction of justice and a pathological inability to tell the truth—but because he made the fatal mistake of trying to take down a fellow member of the ruling elite."

From Chris Hedges on Truthdig;

Full article;

Posted by: ben | Sep 30 2019 2:40 utc | 47

@ ben # 59 with the Chris Hedges Truthdig article....thanks

Here is another quote from that article I want to comment about
It was the seizure of power by corporations that vomited up Trump. And it will be only by freeing ourselves from corporate rule, by rebuilding our democratic institutions, including the legislative bodies, the courts and the media, that we can roll back from the abyss.

What is unstated is that the global private finance cult is the steering wheel for those corporations.

And China does not allow private ownership of its Central Bank.

The West will only be free when it allows China to win WWIII that we are in from the global private finance cult.

And only then will corporate rule be tamed and our social institutions returned to service the people instead of the global God of Mammon cult

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 30 2019 3:01 utc | 48

Could there be a better way than war to free humanity from human-less, non negotiable rule by the mega corporations and their elite, powerful, wealthy beyond all reason oligarch owners?
Corporate rule, meaning rule by the mega powerful monopoly franchised government sponsored and supported corporations, really is rule by the elite via their personally owned corporate proxies(these proxies are feudal lords in most western societies). A better way to avoid a likely=> no winner world war <=might be to impose a global tax of say 99.9% against all personal or corporate wealth in excess of $400,000 (or some level) and to impose an annual limit on profits of say $40 per employee and a salary and or personal earnings limit of say $100,000 on all wages or fees or passive income for any one year. Prices worldwide would even out, the need for trade agreements would disappear. Homogenize the economic status of humanity, instead of promoting differentiation of humanity so a few can benefit at the expense of the many. The money collected could pay off the debts of all nations and to retire everyone's derivatives. balancing the global need to give everyone access to the fruits of our civilization seems far better than killing off the population in war after war. Containing the greed is far better than promoting greed.

MBS may have had the right idea when he assembled his nation's wealth for a shake down.

Posted by: snake | Sep 30 2019 3:48 utc | 49

From Truthout;

Posted by: ben | Sep 30 2019 4:21 utc | 50

We have no national diet, no culture in eating, which is a gigantic problem. NemesisCalling | Sep 30 2019 2:18 utc

Culture of eating changes over time, sometimes for the better. For example, Germany for centuries had Diet of Worms, but, happily, this is a thing of the past.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 30 2019 4:50 utc | 51

The ruling elites have had enough of Trump’s vulgarity, stupidity and staggering ineptitude [so they prefer Biden] From Chris Hedges on Truthdig;

I did not see evidence of Biden being more apt or intelligent (or knowledgable) than Trump. Concerning vulgarity, Biden was reported to be "weird", so there he could be an improvement. Overall, I am not sure if Chris Hedges reliably divines the opinions of "the ruling elites". It is also to be seen that the impeachment investigation will give any benefit to Biden: if anything, Republicans and their friendly media now focus on Biden and mendacious aspects of the investigation. Congressional investigation is a platform for grandstanding, and Republicans may perform better.

It is much easier to see what are the benefits for confrontational (in terms of foreign policy) forces within CIA: an exhibit that they inflict pain or worse on ANYONE who does not follow the confrontational script. That bodes well for the plan regardless of the person elected in 2020. On domestic issues "the ruling elite" is actually split.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 30 2019 5:28 utc | 52

vk @ 40

They also divide those debt into x smaller abstract parts and resell them to more than one third parties.

These were the CDO's where something was taken from an asset class that was considered safe,(a house mortgage) but the most profitable and therefore the most sold was sub-classifications of morgages by sectors of the population that didn't have stable work and disengeniously bundled up in such a way (to a laymen that probably seemed fraudulent) into something that appeared solid and stable AAA or AAA+ . That ratings agencies colluded in this process (which brought in huge revenues to the USA, by being unloaded onto European and Asian banks) asked questions for perhaps the first time to the present wider population about the nationalistic affiliations of players....

Uncle Jon @43

....the video implies that an asset class that was previously considered safe (as morgages were in 2007/2008) - low interest/negative interest govt bonds and CDO's /synthetic CDO's ( ie not the bond but a "side bet" on groups of bonds) have been traded in similar ways, which will systemically underperform when a recession hits and those AAA bonds are shown to contain junk thats BB at best. Yes trouble ahead, Armstrong -who's known to have been correct before (he saw the Yeltsin Russia collapse years ahead) predicts.

pretzelattack @ 42

It was April 2010 when the " collateral murder" videos were first released, I guess I'm being too kind in saying at that point he had personal things more pressing to deal with, perhaps he did go off the rails, your call.

Posted by: dennis | Sep 30 2019 6:05 utc | 53

20 - Your PPT claims 40x waste reduction but admits there is still significant waste, and by level of radioactivity, only a 3/4ths reduction. Of course, that applies only to the waste, not to any of the dozens of world-killing accidents, more noteably Chernobyl and Fukushima, but also routine low-level release by BWRs, which 'burp' radioactive gases, always vented at night so as not to alarm the polloi, but easily identified in their location by air beta-sampling hotspots on the world map.

And of course, once the waste cycle begins, like US PacNW gigantic Hanford waste dump, massive leaks are already occurring and it's only a matter of time before they reach the Columbia River, at which point all irrigation and water supply withdrawal must end, and Hanford become the third world-killer.

My take on this 'Saint Gerta', financed by Royals, feted by Apparatchiks and poster child for the SJW 'Great New Dealers', is they picked her as an actress ingenue, her father an actor and her mother the Royal MeisterSinger, and groomed her, the way a pedophile grooms a young child. She's a meme spox for Bernie-AOCs' Great New Deal', at $16 TRILLION, conveniently the sum of all Boomer Wealth, after Wall Street fees, IRS capital gains and income taxes, and Big Hospice reverse-mortgage auto-debits.

It's a clever shakedown swindle, using this girl-child, ... like Gore's Carbon Tax and Credit Scheme, selling dispensations to Corporate to continue to pollute, in return for slashing-and-burning the last rainforests for more Corporate 'biofuels' plantations, whether palm oil, GMO corn or GMO soy. There are 100,000s of 'climate refugees' now fleeing Gore's Cap & Trade bulldozers, starving, raped and dying beside the track, ...yet Saint Gerta had nothing except babbling about some 'Sixth Extinction'.

She's a child actress, like a Shirley Temple or a Judy Garland. It was a shallow end of the kiddie pool enfant-terrible speech to an unelected self-appointed UN, and Bought and Sold Big 5 Media, while the SJW Green Brigades prepared their Big Banner 'Great New Deal' diversion campaign, hoping the Millennials and GenZs never realize their Boomer Inheritance is about to be stolen under their noses.

Then what? We'll have no need for nuclear or any other kind of power, then. Once the Boomers' Wealth, (the last free and unencumbered wealth anywhere on Earth) is lock-boxed in a vault in WADC, and taxes leap to 75% for GND + M/C4All, and their Open Borders sends 100,000,000s pouring into the resulting retail and real estate wastelands, there won't BE any power demand. Nobody will have two nickels to rub together, or be able to pay their utility bills. Any intelligent observer on the street can see this is happening in real-time right now. Product shrinkage and price inflation has become obvious.

By 2024, Saint Gerta will be a torn and discarded theater ticket lying in the gutter, as panicked mobs carry hand-scratch placards and petrol bmobs, begging for more GMO corn kibble, while the Chosen Ubers of Mil.Gov.Sci wear high-cap M☭GA! hats and shiney gestapo boots, celebrating their PERS pensions fully funded, and jetting around the world to different festivals of the feted good life, oblivious to the burgeoning flophouses, the tent cities, the ghettos and the gulags.

A New Dark Ages of the Fourth Reich of One Thousand Years, ...and Saint Gerta as its Smiley Face.

Posted by: Jack Martin | Sep 30 2019 6:32 utc | 54

Jack Martin
There are no alternate energy sources for Russia. Perhaps wind with de-icing for the blades. Winters rule out hydro and solar. Nuclear or fossil fuel are the only choices.
Russia is by far the leader in nuclear power generation tech. For many countries, nuclear or a combination of alternative and nuclear will be the only way to go. China is going this way, leading the world in solar, plus setting up nuclear power plants.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 30 2019 7:04 utc | 55

@karlof1 #20

This sounds interesting and is certainly welcome in terms of reducing nuclear waste. Being no expert in nuclear technology I'm nevertheless skeptical if this recycling system will work so smoothly without any drawback as it is described by Rosatom. And even if it works, it will not change the fate of industrial civilization as we in Western societies know it because electricity is no solution for individual traffic, which is strongly dependent on fossil fuel with its high energy density. There will definitely be much less cars on Earth in 100 years, let alone trucks.

And climate change is not the only problem of industrial civilization. Extinction of species, erosion of soil come to mind. So it's still helpful to consult websites like who deal with climate change, resource depletion and environmental destruction.

I don't understand your last sentence because it seems to contradict what you wrote before. Do you agree with Kirby's rant or disagree?

Posted by: mk | Sep 30 2019 7:09 utc | 56

head over to The Saker.
Scott Humor has a theory that all this impeachment circus is largely a smokescreen to eclipse any noise from the United Nations General Assembly, in which most of the leaders of the world blasted Israel for its ethnic cleansing campaign.

Erdogan in particular gave an excellent roasting, which was reported on most alt-media (eg RT),

Curiously, Erdogan’s statement that “words are not sufficient,” weren’t reported in the Western media at all, and they were mis-translated and mis-reported by the Russian-language media. The RT ‘forgot’ to translate this statement, and other media outlets reported this statement by mis-translating it as “If the images of the innocent Palestinian woman, who was murdered heinously by Israeli security forces on the street just a few days ago will not awake the global conscience, then the world is standing at the point of global moral collapse.”

I'd suspected at least one zionist amongst RT's editors, with just little omissions or word twists like that every so often, not enough to be obvious hasbara but too much to be merely fear of lobby backlash.

Posted by: ziogolem | Sep 30 2019 10:35 utc | 57

Erdogan's statement I referred to above should have been reported as:

“If the images of the innocent Palestinian woman, who was murdered heinously by Israeli security forces on the street just a few days ago will not awake the global conscience, then we are standing at the point where words are not sufficient.

Posted by: ziogolem | Sep 30 2019 10:52 utc | 58

Okay, I always suspected Zionists colluded to put Trumo in power. That's still true since Trump was largely financed by Zionist oligarchs, American and Russian.

That being said; someone owns Trump's ass and it's not Trump's definition of the Deep State, because I never saw someone so intent on hiding his finances. It smells bad.

Posted by: Circe | Sep 30 2019 11:15 utc | 59

There is an alternative to nuclear for supplying the world's power needs, but it requires a massive investment in infrastructure up front to get off the ground. Decades ago I had imagined that the United States could implement this alternative as part of a deliberate, measured, and carefully planned transition to real socialism (the private sector cannot implement the alternative I speak of). Sadly, over those decades America has become even less class conscious, but more importantly stupider and more metaphysical and delusional in its collective thinking, decisively removing the United States from the running for leading humanity to the next stage. The can opener challenged Millennials, while skilled at addressing imaginary problems such as cultural inclusion of non-existent genders and races that are themselves just imaginary social constructs, are not equipped to solve real world issues.

Fortunately for humanity, China isn't suffering from America's baizuo mental infirmity, and isn't afraid of big projects that cannot show profitable returns for many years.

To understand the alternative one must first recognize that there are really just two different sources of power available for humans to utilize: atomic and solar (let's ignore for the moment tapping the Earth and it's major satellite's kinetic energy in the form of tides). Wind power, hydroelectric, ocean thermal, biomass, and yes fossil fuels, are all just solar energy captured in different ways and at different times. To progress with solar humanity needs to move the energy collection closer to the source. The Chinese are planning on doing just that.

Whichever nation makes the investment in the necessary infrastructure to implement large scale orbital solar will own the energy supplies of the future and lease those supplies to the laggards. And that future is not so distant as many in the petroleum-addicted West would like to imagine.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 30 2019 11:22 utc | 60

China's 100MW molten salt power station

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 30 2019 11:38 utc | 61

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 30 2019 7:04 utc | 55

Russian climate zones are extremely diverse. They have lots of possibilities for alternative energy, they just lack the motivation.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 30 2019 11:51 utc | 62

John O. Brennan:

"A reminder to federal officials:

There is no limit on the number of individuals who can use the whistleblower statute.

If you think you were involved in unlawful activity as a result of a directive from Mr. Trump or someone doing his bidding, now is the time to report it."

Posted by: Martin | Sep 30 2019 11:54 utc | 63

Thanks. Looked up one of the hydro power stations. I guess ice is not a problem as they would be drawing water from well below the ice.

As to power other than thermal in Russia, it would be hard to get motivated for at least an initially more expensive source of energy when they are just getting in front from the nineties, the US hits them with sanctions and whatever else to try and destroy their economy.
I see they have a little power from geo-thermal. I had read some time ago that hot rocks were relatively deep in Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 30 2019 12:19 utc | 64

Re 20, 54, 56

The Rosatom powerpoint is an advertisement selling breeder reactors, the wet dream of all the nuclearists. How wonderful, an endless generation of plutonium - fuel for breeders and pits for thermonuclear weapons -and additional hundreds of thousands of tons of fission products that must be kept out of the biosphere for 100,000 to 1 million years. No problem!

There already are 250,000 tons of high-level nuclear waste, and the majority of it sits in spent fuel pools at commerical nuclear power plants. If there was some simple way to deal with this incredibly toxic waste it would have already been done. But there isn't. A single spent fuel pool in the US often contains more cesium137 than was released by all atmospheric nuclear weapons tests combined.

It requires less than half a gram of cesium137 to make a square kilometer uninhabitable for 100-300 years (slightly more than 1 gram to do the same for a square mile). Don't believe me? Look at the key to map of the Chernobyl exclusion zone. It shows 40 curies of cesium137 per sq km in the exclusion zone; there are 88 curies per gram of cesium137. Figure something like a ton of cesium137 sitting in each of the 100 spent fuel pools in the US. Sure hope those cooling systems don't stop working . . . the US Air Force says if they lost off-site power (say from a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse that knocks out the US electrical grid for months or years) they could wind up boiling off and letting all the cesium get loose.

Cesium is the second most volatile element after mercury and most of it becomes a gas by the time a spent fuel rod overheats to the point of ignition or rupture, which is why radioactive cesium becomes the predominant radioisotope of concern in catastrophic reactor accidents (a great deal of it is released as a gas and it has a 30 year half life, which means it takes about 300 years for most of it to self-destruct).

The Rosatom powerpoint suggests that radioactive cesium (and strontium) are "Valuable radionuclides -- to be SOLD". Anybody interested in buying tons of cesium137 and strontium90? Or maybe some nice plutonium (15 millionths of a gram of plutonium, if inhaled, will cause death by pulmonary fibrosis, and plutonium has a half-life of 24,400 years, only dangerous for the next quarter of a milllion years). Of course, I am sure there are many who would be ready buyers for the plutonium.

We continue to ask all the wrong questions about nuclear power. Building more breeder reactors is exactly the wrong path to take . . . making more nuclear waste and plutonium is hardly a solution, rather it is a Faustian bargain that leaves Hell to pay for all living things.

Posted by: Perimetr | Sep 30 2019 12:42 utc | 65

Another censored book--

Andre Vltchek
‏ @AndreVltchek

Western censorship is becoming grotesque! I cannot get my best selling 840-pages book "Exposing Lies of the Empire" on line as an e-book! They do all they can to block it! How scared they must be of truth, or even of different points of view!!!"

Posted by: arby | Sep 30 2019 14:20 utc | 66

@ Jack Martin | Sep 30 2019 6:32 utc | 54

ChipNik! Great to hear from you, Bro.

I enjoy reading your riffs. So, please stop by more often...and don’t just lurk like me. :-)

Posted by: oglalla | Sep 30 2019 14:46 utc | 67

@ arby 67
Western censorship is becoming grotesque!
They can go beyond censorship, like when they put Kevin Trudeau in prison for ten years for writing and publishing books which threatened big pharma. I (and others) got a lot of good information out of his books, including "Natural Cures Revealed."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 30 2019 14:54 utc | 68

dennis, it was known long, long before the collateral murder videos what a massive screwup the iraq war was. it was known in real time, as curveball's information was proven wrong over and over again by hans blix. the democrats knew even as they gave bush the go ahead to go to war. i don't know what caused him to go off the rails, but it wasn't opiates given in 2010 or 2011.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Sep 30 2019 15:22 utc | 69

"Wind power, hydroelectric, ocean thermal, biomass, and yes fossil fuels, are all just solar energy captured in different ways and at different times. To progress with solar humanity needs to move the energy collection closer to the source. The Chinese are planning on doing just that."

In 2019-21 China plans to complete 9 nuclear reactors larger than 1000 MV. However, they already build an insane number of coal power plants, for example, to produce majority of world aluminum. India has a lot of nuclear reactors to complete soon. Russia has several nuclear plants to complete and a gigantic hydro project in Arctic.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 30 2019 15:39 utc | 70

Debate arises over Moon's 'socialist' policies

A debate is arising over the Moon Jae-in administration's economic policies, with some conservatives going as far as calling them "socialist."


However, the business community has accused many of the policies, including the drastic minimum wage hike, as being anti-business. Critics claim that such policies have distorted the labor market, dispiriting enterprises and dampening domestic demand.


Critics point out that the Korean economy is a capitalist economy where compensation is based on merit.

It's good to see a debate on the open, without euphemistic rhetoric (except for that "based on merit" lie at the end). South Korea is a capitalist economy, and that's its limit. If the South Korean people wants socialism, it will have to do a revolution, not elect a random bureaucrat into office.

The economic system of a society matters.

Posted by: vk | Sep 30 2019 16:26 utc | 71

Thanks to Financial Matters, vk, psychohistorian and c1ue for responding to my question. Especially the latter who wrote:

"...the student loan situation has nothing to do with basic economics and everything to do with money, power and predatory practices."

I did surmise, vk, that the military benefits from the ongoing mess, and that may be the overriding reason the practice was set in non-bankruptcy terms. It's actually a non-acknowledged draft situation that does away with the kinds of protests we saw during the Vietnam era. And of course, as then, the rich have ways of avoiding the process entirely.

It probably doesn't matter to the government that more than one-third of its assets (thank you, psychohistorian) are tied up in student loan debt. They wouldn't be in any hurry to see that discharged as long as there are willing enrollments to fill the many bases year after year.

I was struck by a section of Lavrov's press conference where he described the difference between the American occupied zone in Syria and the surrounding parts of that country that are being restored to their native inhabitants. Certainly a lot of the US 'occupants' are kurds, but they are not local to this region and they are not going about the business of restoring the country.

It makes me wonder what the troups in other occupied areas are doing. Draining swamps and restoring farmlands perhaps?

Posted by: juliania | Sep 30 2019 16:31 utc | 72

Piotr Berman @71

I am curious if you happen to know how many 1GW nuclear power plants will be enough to satisfy all of humanity's needs for the next century? The next two centuries? When will we have built enough of them that we don't need any new ones?

The Chinese plan for orbital solar is planned for large scale implementation around 2050. While that may seem like the unimaginably distant future, laughably beyond the scope of any possible capitalist planning (any capitalist planning beyond one or two fiscal quarters is a joke), China's planners are looking further into the future than a mere thirty years.

How many power plants - nuclear, coal, or otherwise - will need to be retired by 2050 do you think?

Some who post here at MoA might be young enough that, barring Armageddon, they live to see China making the transition to being the new energy OPEC. Heck, if I were to cut back on some of my vices and there were a few medical advances in the coming years even I might live to see that. Furthermore, I am confident that the Chinese are being very conservative with their estimates for the time needed to develop the technical and industrial capabilities for the project. Unlike the United States, where long ago hubris far outran competence, the Chinese are still barely testing their wings and building up their confidence. Despite Socialism with Chinese Characteristics being radical beyond conception by western standards, China's planners' plans are still rather more staid than necessary.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 30 2019 16:34 utc | 73

Remember the Peace Corps?

Posted by: juliania | Sep 30 2019 16:40 utc | 74

Brexit. One article i read, the Queen questioned aides about how she could sack the PM, before he requested her assent for his proroguing of Parliament. She must be fed up.

A kind of inevitability was built in. Cameron’s ‘deal’ (the concessions the EU made, quite consequent really) to prevent ‘Leave’ winning, his “strategy” as he put it, to prevent Brexit “failed” - the hope that Farage and potential Brexiteers would be pretty much squashed for 20 years evaporated.

The mistake, as noted at the time, was allowing Farage and UKIP to become such a threat (leaching the Tory vote, etc.) that something had to be done. The opposition, if one can even call it that, did nothing or v. little on the public stage - democracy, the will of the ppl, whoo! - *democracy* is a word from the toolbox of political propagandists, deliberately chosen, now enshrined as a holy word.

Tabling the Ref. vote (link) in Parl. shows that the Tories and the DUP voted for the ref as one man, 87% turnout; the SNP against (96% turn out); only 9% of Labour voted - > voted for. (LibDems, as they were at the time, did not vote.) An origin of the present shambolic sh*t storm.

A weak, ineffective Gvmt, built on tribalist loyalty to Party, ancient history, and the positions, income!!, respect, that the belonging affords, a FPTP system in the one house, Commons, not ‘nominated’ (vs. Monarchy, House of Lords, Civil Service..) So, extremely vulnerable to all kinds of influence, including financial, personal favors, etc.

May’s ‘deal’ refused 3x, Bojo’s ‘no deal’ contested (Benn Act), Cameron’s ditched long ago…

The UK will not survive - as a whole entity - the Brexit debacle. Everyone has been putting off the end-game, the final solution (if I may), as no-one wants to 'own it' or be taxed as 'responsible' in any way, so all pretense to staving off is seen as ++ (extension of leave date, etc.), except for Bojo and Cummings, who are stepping up to the plate.

What a surpise. Brexit party MEPs are EU’s biggest earners in second jobs, study finds

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 30 2019 16:50 utc | 75

@juliania #73
The military may benefit, but it is a consequence - not a driver.
The US is a heavily financialized economy. It should not be surprising, then, that the politics is equally financialized. That's what the bankruptcy law changes for student loans arose from, as did the repeal of Glass Steagall. Constant attacks on anti-usury laws are another example.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 30 2019 17:00 utc | 76

from Fox News
GOP lawmaker digs up audio of Rep. Schiff telling prank callers he would accept Trump dirt from Ukraine . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 30 2019 17:19 utc | 77

@ Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 30 2019 16:34 utc | 74

Yes, solar energy is the future -- as long as it is captured beyond the ozone layer, not after (as is the case today).

That's why the pro-Greta people don't understand: orbital solar energy stations is very advanced technology. It is vast both in complexity and in scale. It is the State, and only the State, that can bring all the necessary elements to pull it off someday.

Elon Musk, Greta Thunberg, Greenpeace, WWF et al are not the future of green economy: only a socialist system, with a strong government under proletarian rule, can solve this issue once and for all while, at the same time, aiming to the very long term future (space colonization). Those rogue space cowboy capitalists won't do it.

Posted by: vk | Sep 30 2019 17:22 utc | 78

@vk #79
Orbital solar sounds great, until you understand that the beams sending power down are weapons.
Not going to happen prior to a unified world government.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 30 2019 17:30 utc | 79

Zarif's Meet The Press interview:

"My full interview with @ChuckTodd for @MeetThePress on Sunday, September 29."

Zarif during his stay for UNGA was interviewed by all 4 BigLie Media outlets, which he linked to via his Twitter if you missed my notifications earlier.


Nice to see the discussion about energy. Someone asked if I agreed with Kirby's rant and I said no and thought I repeated same. Yes, personal transport will suffer when hydrocarbons cease to be cheaply available, but that form of transport was effectively loaded onto people through the spatial arrangements of their habitat in the Americas almost exclusively as noted by the documentary The End of Suburbia I linked to on an earlier thread.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 30 2019 17:51 utc | 80

"...the beams sending power down are weapons." --c1ue @80

Not really. The energy density for the microwave power transmission beams would only be about 1kw/m^2, which isn't enough to really do any spectacular harm. Maintenance workers for the receiving rectennas, who would be exposed to that beam regularly, would have to take precautions against long term effects, but zapping a city with one of the beams would be profoundly anticlimactic. Not at all Hollywood-compliant. No glowing craters like you get as the side effect (actually main point?) of nuclear power.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 30 2019 17:58 utc | 81

The impact of a change in the automotive field, currently heralded by GM plant closures, from internal combustion engines to electric motors will be tremendous. The electric cars will be better for the environment and simpler, but more expensive. Many jobs will be lost in manufacturing of the vehicles (and all their components) and in maintenance, going from a power train with thousands of parts to one with hundreds.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 30 2019 18:58 utc | 82

60, 82 - If the world is to 'survive' as hospitable for humans, rich and poor alike, first we have to crush Pentagon-NASA-MIC, drowning that monstrous baby in the bath water, and that means DC-Marvel-Disney fantasia too. Your space-based solar power schtick is absolute fantasy. Stop the science-fantasy rubbish! SBS would be Pharoah's power supply, the Ubers, not the Peoples'.

Pure unadulterated science fantasy has overtaken the country, and now the world, with the AGW GND WWEI12Ys. And yet we KNOW 'Great New Deal' is purely a Bolshevik wealth-redistribution confidence scheme to enact their BRUTAL new COMPULSORY energy tithe-taxes, to support an even DEEPER metastasizing Deep Corporate:State.

The real future of our slow-motion apocalyse is Credit:Debt Slavery! There is no debate! Look:

French Revolution > Macron;
American Revolution > Trump;
Russian Revolution > Putin;
India Revolution > Modi;
China Revolution > Xi;
etcetera, etcetera.

Do you deny it? We are BUGGERED. Pentagon-NASA-MIC Mil.Gov.Sci is nothing more than a profit pipeline, that's all, 'bicycling' the People's Treasury into countless hidden offshore despot tax dodges. Once they finish looting the last of Boomers' Wealth, it's endo, friendo. Do the metrics. Unless you're Royal, or Rich, or Chosen of Mil.Gov.Sci, or Big 5 Psyop Media, you'll just be another useless mouth to feed, lurching towards Bethlehem and your next 5 sq m flophouse. Then the hearse comes after midnight, and the cardboard coffin and the crematorium.


Posted by: Jack Martin | Sep 30 2019 19:06 utc | 83

@ karlof1 | Sep 30 2019 17:51 utc | 81

Nice one Karlof1!! your line of ~'s just shot the page width. Bloody difficult trying to read now. Thanks, really thanks a whole lot. Do none of you purported geniuses not understand that continuous letter strings cause this to happen? You all need minders it looks like.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Sep 30 2019 19:12 utc | 84

The exceptionals have spoken and blessed us with their laughter! Notably, though, that laughter is strained and tinged with hysteria.

Here is something else for the exceptionals to laugh hysterically about:

Two indicators for China’s manufacturing activity beat expectations

China’s Caixin manufacturing PMI jumped to 51.4 in September

The Chinese are winning the trade war and the land of Trumpian exceptionals who started that war is losing.

That must be "magic", huh?

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 30 2019 19:26 utc | 85

Some here will have read Engdahl's essay about the Outlaw US Empire's Shale Oil Ponzi Scheme that's seen $$Billions invested but not one cent of profit declared despite the issuance of dividends by some of the involved companies. As I type, WTI's trading at $54.70 and Brent is again under $60 at 59.69 with the price trend continuing downward despite fresh video evidence of the damage done to Saudi oil infrastructure--Why? Two answers present themselves: Demand destruction; excessive oil market product inventory. Demand destruction has two components: greater energy use efficiency and slowing economic growth. Excess product inventory is due to Iranian and Venezuelan oil still being deliverable. Thus, the TrumpCo plan to save the Shale Ponzi Scheme from itself has failed. From the essay:

"... some $9 billion worth of debt is set to mature over the second half of 2019 and banks are becoming reluctant to continue financing [feeding the Ponzi Scheme] in a weaker economy. Then a staggering $137 billion indebt matures between 2020 and 2022."

To meet that level of debt, $100+ oil prices need to be happening now, but aren't anywhere in sight. Shale oil producers and their stockholders might be forgiven in hoping for another Houthi strike on Saudi facilities that actually takes a significant 5+Mmbbls/day off the market, although that probably won't be enough to break the $100/bbl mark. A war for control of Arabia might completely shutdown Saudi exports, and that might do the trick. The big question: Will TrumpCo allow the CIA to pull off such a caper and install the exiled al-Saud Prince or one of his cohort and establish a Constitutional Monarchy? Technically, the Outlaw US Empire's promise to protect Saudi would still hold as it would merely be replacing one al-Saud for another and as such it would have an even firmer grip on the Saudi government. What the Outlaw US Empire cannot abide is the replacement of the Sauds with an anti-US faction composed of Shia from the East and South. Sure, it would get the oil price hike, but the petrodollar recycling mechanism the Empire depends on would be disrupted and perhaps destroyed; and at this time, that's something TrumpCo can't allow to occur. Oh, and 8 more EU nations signed onto to instex for trading with Iran. Seems the false accusations and UNGA speeches had an effect.

On demand destruction, globally, more mass transit and high speed rail comes online, while ever more electric (particularly in China) and high mileage ICE cars are bought while older gas guzzling SUVs are recycled. It's not that the SUV-type has stopped being sold; rather, it's that they now get 2-3x the mileage than the earlier tank-like behemoths. As I type, the basic gasoline futures contract for 42,000 gallons (One railroad tank car) is trading at 1.568/gal--a ten cent drop from a week ago with the trend being downward. That may change some as Summer gas blends get replaced by their Winter counterparts. AAA shows national average price at $2.64/gal, with some places close to going under $2/gal. When the highest ever prices were recorded in 2008, nobody in their right minds would have said gas would now be as cheap as it is. And it's wondered why refineries go out of business--the margins are too tight.

Thus the complete disarray of Outlaw US Empire Southwest Asian policy and its attempt to use energy as a foreign policy lever--both have boomeranged. Add in the failed Trade Wars, and all have harmed domestic policy and the economy. The Impeachment furor is doing Trump a favor by drowning out such news that might help the D-Party.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 30 2019 19:29 utc | 86

Formerly T-Bear @86--

And greetings to you too! I stopped my line of ~~~ well before they'd have caused the page to expand, and I checked the page via the preview function and it looked dandy! As you know, I'm sensitive to your plight and wouldn't do anything to aggravate it.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 30 2019 19:36 utc | 87

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 30 2019 19:29 utc | 88

> As I type, the basic gasoline futures contract for 42,000 gallons
> (One railroad tank car) is trading at 1.568/gal--a ten cent drop
> from a week ago with the trend being downward. That may change some
> as Summer gas blends get replaced by their Winter counterparts.

Switching to a winter gasoline mix should continue the downward trend, not reverse it -- in the winter you can use cheap short-chain hydrocarbons as part of the blend, but they boil off almost immediately when it's warm, so the summer gasoline mix is purer and more expensive.

Posted by: AshenLight | Sep 30 2019 19:38 utc | 88

Sometimes one has to go to MSM to find some interesting points nobody has told yet...not even alt-media....

Nazanín Armanian points out some notes in her blog about the Aramco attack

Posted by: Elora Danan | Sep 30 2019 19:41 utc | 89

@ karlof1 | Sep 30 2019 19:36 utc | 89

Appreciate your reply, that was the only unbroken line showing from where I finished reading at about 70 (IIRC) above, pointing the fickle finger as it were. Maybe your system may have accommodated whatever line you made, mine doesn't and that is why I keep trying to point out the very simple request (to little or no avail) to please judge what you are producing and please try NOT to create such strings that can cause the page width to severely widen. Like wispering to stones it appears. But thanks for reply anyway. Rest of page will be skipped now.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Sep 30 2019 19:49 utc | 90

William Gruff @87--

To add to your display: "US Blacklist Backfires as Huawei Starts Building 5G Base Stations Without American-Made Parts." And:

"The Chinese tech giant has made strides to replace American-made hardware, software and technology in its 5G internet and smartphone divisions after being placed on a US Commerce Department blacklist earlier this year."

Yet another TrumpCo Trade War disaster.

Ashen Light @90--

Yes, correct, but there's usually some price turbulence in the interim which would disturb the current downward trend. My bad for not being more precise. When gas hit $4 in 2008, I thought by now the sight of big gas-powered motor coaches/RVs would no longer occur, but they seem to be more visible than ever as they rumble along Hwy 101 here on the Oregon coast. IMO, the cheap gas/oil is a direct result of QE and will vanish when QE's forced to end.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 30 2019 19:52 utc | 91


For some time now Russia and OPEC have planning supply. Keeping prices where they want them. I think this has more to do with current oil price levels than the factors you have mentioned. My guess is, prices will be kept at current level until US frackers are out of business.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 30 2019 19:53 utc | 92

@Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 30 2019 19:29 utc | 88

You seem to be an expert in derivates...and that reminds me of what I read today...that the new crisis has already a name..."The Derivatives Crisis".... which will probably wipe out of all the bank deposits and pensions ( except those of the elites who do not have them in banks...banks are only for poor working people...)...The author is saying that those who are now in active duty will never be able to retire and will have to work till death, and that those who are already retired will have to fight till death for their pensions....

Can not post here the article...

Posted by: Elora Danan | Sep 30 2019 19:55 utc | 93

I see MEK has polished its image and now calles itself 'National Council of Resistance of Iran'
Fox News...
"Iran’s main resistance group claimed Monday to have intelligence detailing how Tehran was behind the recent attacks on a Saudi oil facility -- just days after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani challenged the international community to provide such evidence of its involvement.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said it has received information from within the government that detailed the missile and drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities on Sept. 14.
It announced its claims in a report, along with an accompanying press conference in Washington, D.C. The report says that the attack was ordered on July 31 by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, with both Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif present.
The group says the information is based on MEK (Mujahedin-e Khalq) sources from within the regime and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). MEK is part of the NCRI."

Web site for the new image MEK.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 30 2019 20:05 utc | 94

Addendum @ 92

Still addressed to Karlof1,
Above near beginning of comments a 'Das Kommentariat' made a request for feedback about some subject. No one else bothered. My reply was to present how the EU structure developed and those responsible for that development changed throughout EU's history, giving a framework which finer details consistent with that framework could be hung with some confidence of historical fidelity. From that, this commentator could judge for themselves whatever matter they had with their specific subject and that way no one would be telling this entity what to think or how to think but to think for themselves. This obviously was way above Das Kommentariat's pay-grade as was the curtesy of a reply. Having written off my efforts as an exercise in futility, all too common these pages, it set up a state of curmudgeonly sensitivity which your ~'s unfortunately triggered. Tomorrow will be better.

This page is nearly over so next one should be back to normal.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Sep 30 2019 20:29 utc | 95

@Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 30 2019 20:05 utc | 96

MEK is a terrorist cult sect and a toll of CIA/Bolton/Giuliani/Pompeo to slander and attack Iranian pupolation and state.

If you take the time to read ( with a translator..) the article by nazanín Armanian linked above, you will discover that Iran by authoring that attack would be actually shooting itself in the foot...and the current iraniana authorities, apart from not having attacked ever anybody so far, are way too intelligent to do it...

"1) They are not suicidal, just when Trump insisted on alleviating the sanctions and expelling John Bolton - the main anti-Iranian hawk - from his team.

2) The tension in its relationship with the KSA (and with the UAE) was eing reduced

3 ) Iran is aware that Iranian oil facilities themselves are vulnerable to a counterattack.

One more fact: just two days before the attack, Iran signed a 440 million dollar contract with the local company Petropars to develop the Belal gas field that it shares with Qatar in the Persian Gulf. Now, everything freezes."

Meanwhile from the CIA/Mossad part:

"The CIA / Mossad from Saudi Arabia:
1)a false flag attack carried out by a sector of such intelligence services, with the method of "demolition" from inside the facilities. They have a long history in this type of actions. They are upset about the cessation of John Bolton that took place five days earlier. His march caused the fall in Brent crude oil prices by 2%, something that had not happened with the departure of its two predecessors: Michael Flynn and Robert Mueller.

2)On the 12th, US security forces find miniature listening devices called "StingRays" near the White House, and suspect Israel not Daesh jihadists!

Bolton's forces will fight back.

Surprisingly, the Fifth US Fleet in Bahrain, its military bases in Oman, Kuwait, UAE, the mega base in Qatar - which is the headquarters of the US Combined Air Operations Center and controls the entire Middle East - or the five scattered bases in the Saudi territory itself, including that of “King Abdul Aziz” the place of the attack, they did not even notice that about twenty flying objects pierced the sky of the country, traveling from end to end of the country to discharge their explosives. Even the Aramco complex itself (with swimming pools, a large golf course and tennis court) is "protected" by a private army, equipped with anti-aircraft missiles. Some military commanders may have been distracted watching football, but all?
US imperialism needs a war with Iran, otherwise it will cease to be. It is in the public domain that, in addition, a faction of the US establishment intends to end the dark family of Sauds, to "qatarize" this strategic country...."

Posted by: Elora Danan | Sep 30 2019 20:37 utc | 96

@Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Sep 30 2019 20:29 utc | 97

Before totally desisting...I still hope you can find the strenght and mood to read my comments...eventhough the distortion of the page...I just cannot wait for the next page to appear...

Love T-Bears....especially oldest....

Posted by: Elora Danan | Sep 30 2019 20:48 utc | 97

Elora Danan

My comment was on MEK now going by the name of 'National Council of Resistance of Iran' in the US. A much better face to put to the US public. MEK were a designated terrorist organisation in the US, now the Trump admin works closely and publicly with them in its attacks on Iran.
Murdoch, owner of fox news is perhaps Trump's strongest supporter in these attacks.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 30 2019 20:50 utc | 98

@ Elora Danan | Sep 30 2019 20:48 utc | 99

Thank you for the kind words, and the new page awaits. Astute presentation you gave and Peter AU 1 @ 100 wraps up nicely as well. Cue bono is strangely satisfied as to who done it for a lot of miss attributed events along the Persian Gulf that attempt to finger Iran. Kudos.

Now we should be on new page but in UTC +2 it's time to call a day. Need restoration before tomorrows tilting at windmills.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Sep 30 2019 21:03 utc | 99

A quick study of Ukraine Then and Now by Yasha Levine

Posted by: bevin | Sep 30 2019 21:09 utc | 100

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