Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 08, 2019

Open Thread 2019-65

News & views ...

Posted by b on November 8, 2019 at 16:04 UTC | Permalink

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@b in regards to Kushner's "plan", that Monty Python's parrot sketch is "dead" on. Here's another Python classic applicable to the arguments bandied about during the Democrat "debates".

Posted by: Trisha | Nov 8 2019 16:26 utc | 1

@1 trisha... exactly!

Posted by: james | Nov 8 2019 16:56 utc | 2

Right wingers and fascists are winning more and more each time there's a vote. What's to become of us? Are we evolving into Klingons or Romulans?

Posted by: Just Me | Nov 8 2019 17:14 utc | 3

@1 trisha

Here's another Python classic applicable to the arguments bandied about during the Democrat "debates".

No, it isn't.

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 8 2019 17:20 utc | 4

Thanks Trisha - my facial muscles needed that. Ranks right up there with Biden's "I'm the most progressive candidate in the race!"

No you're not Yes I am No you're not Yes I am No you're not Yes I am No you're not

Compared to a Cro-Magnon maybe, but just by a tie pin. But Cro-Magnon's didn't wear tie pins! Exactly. Yes they did No they didn't...

Posted by: vinnieoh | Nov 8 2019 17:21 utc | 5

Thanks a million. I was listening to their "Contractual Obligation Album" just two days ago. Comedy is my salve.


Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Nov 8 2019 17:26 utc | 6

Just Me@3.
Borg, controlled by Ferenghi (spell-check req'd), is the current trajectory.
Hope we stop it.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Nov 8 2019 17:28 utc | 7

Who has Trump kept his promise to?

Tea Party foot soldiers?

Repeal and replace Obamacare on day one
Nope. Quietly dropped coverage for prior conditions.

Build a Wall - and Mexico's gonna pay for it!

Not really. Building sectionss of a wall that USA will pay for.

Drain the swamp

Nope - unless by "swamp" Trump means the Democratic Party.

"Lock her up!"

Nope. He says they're good people who have been thru a lot. Aww . . .

End the "threat" from NK "Rocket man"
Nope. No follow-thru on the (sham) Summit.

End the new Cold War

Nope. Increased military spending; ended treaties; militarized space.

End "forever wars", bring the troops home


Bring jobs home

Uncertain: trade War with China doesn't necessarily mean jobs coming back US.

= = = = = = = =

Republican Party?

Cut taxes

Cut regulations on business



Move Embassy to Jerusalem

Recognize Golan Heights as part of Israel


End aid to Palestinians


Don't give up on Syrian regime-change


US MIC, Netanyahu, MbS?

End US participation in the JCPOA

McCain: "bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran"

"locked and loaded"


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 8 2019 17:31 utc | 8

Bloomberg seven days ago...
"To understand what Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is saying, you have to translate him twice: first from Arabic to English, then from politesse to plain-speak. In the first translation, a key passage from his Friday sermon in the holy city of Karbala went like this: “No person or group, no side with a particular view, no regional or international actor may seize the will of the Iraqi people and impose its will on them.”

The second translation: “Back off, Khamenei!”"

Grand Ayatollah Sistani (via Sheikg Karbalaei) warned explicitly #SaudiArabia and the #US, responsible for what had happened to Iraq (ISIS and the destruction that came with it), from interfering with the protestors.
Very very strong message."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 8 2019 17:47 utc | 9

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 8 2019 17:31 utc | 8
one thing you forgot

I'll go after the families - Family separation, an estimated 5000+ children stolen, lost, trafficed, quietly given up for adoption .............

and for those in the US that don't care about such because they are not immigrants or asylmum seekers let me assure you that a state that is actively stealing kids from those that you deem sufficiently 'other' will one day come and steal your children as punishment for your thought crimes.

And really why don't we ever talk about this here? Is it because it is OK?

Posted by: Sabine | Nov 8 2019 17:54 utc | 10

add on to my comment at 10

and yeah, anyone who does not kiss the fat fucks arse and lick his boot is a terrorist.

Posted by: Sabine | Nov 8 2019 17:56 utc | 11

"Right wingers and fascists are winning more and more each time there's a vote..." Just Me@3

Maybe it is just you: in Argentine and Uruguay the fascists and other right wingers just lost elections. As they did in Bolivia. If there was an election in Ecuador the left would easily win, in fact it won last time and would still be in power were it not that Moreno, who his Dad named Lenin, turned coat as soon as his left wing campaign had yielded him the victory. In Colombia fair elections are very rare-basically left wing candidates are killed, if not before, then after the election- but the left appears to have won most of the recent provincial elections.
In Honduras the last election was a landslide victory for the left, until the voting was stopped and the election stolen. In Haiti Aristide would win except that he is prevented from running and kidnapped if he wins. The current US/OAS backed President would not last half an hour without the muscle, from Canada et al, that keeps him in power while the people call for the return of the $2billion that he and his predecessor-chosen by the Clinton Crime family- stole.
As to Brazil the right is in power there because the Workers Party was, first, driven from office by a capitalist plot and its candidate for the Presidency, Lula, imprisoned on totally phony charges and prevented from running. Had Lula run he would have won, easily. Then there is Chile where the post Pinochet settlement is maintained by military force, backed by imperialists. Peru would vote for socialists too if it were given the chance as would Guatemala. Mexico just did.
And that is just one continent-the one most amenable to imperialist power, and closest to being under the thumb of its death squads and torturers.
Around the world there are massive protests against neo-liberal policies and imperialism. In many of them the CIA and MI6 are fishing in troubled waters, as they always do and attempting to divert popular anger against corrupt capitalists into sectarian disputes. That, after all is what they did in Ukraine, where the first move of the coup government was to ban opposition socialist parties. A free election in Ukraine would deliver a left wing government.
Look closer at Germany and you will see that the AfD are simply taking advantage of circumstances that the left has refused to face honestly. The same is true in Hungary and Poland where it has been the traditionalist, semi fascist clerical right wing parties which have dared to challenge the neo-liberalism which the 'left' has promoted and protected. The right wins in Europe by default, when the left refuses to follow its principles (Hello M Hollande Blairite President that was of France!) and often that is because the left parties have been colonised, systematically, by imperialist forces.
Anyway let us see: the election of a socialist government will be the first step in the building of a totally new society organised not for individual profit but for humanity as a whole. It won't come easily but the tendency towards it is as natural to society as the desire to live is to the individual. Underneath everything else-the propaganda, the ideology, the terrorism, fear and ignorance-we are all, everywhere, inspired by the same longing for justice, equality and fair treatment and that is almost always the underlying theme in every election.
Right now there is a very important election taking place in the UK where, against massive opposition from capitalists and leading a party riven with corrupted, treacherous Fifth Columnists, Jeremy Corbyn is putting forward a political platform which could re-invigorate the left internationally.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 8 2019 18:29 utc | 12

Project Veritas released a candid tape of ABC host Amy Robach.

Robach was talking candidly about the story she had developed
three years ago on Jefferey Epstein, which story was squashed from airing by her
bosses at ABC.

What I have not seen discussed anywhere is Amy Robach's attitude.
My take on watching the video of her is that she is not "pissed" or bereaved
for the girls that were molested during the three years that the story was being squashed,
she is "pissed" because of what the scoop would have meant for her and her career.

"And now it's all coming out and it's like these new revelations
and I freaking had all of it. I, I'm so pissed right now.
Like every day I get more and more pissed cause I'm just like,
Oh my God, we, it was what, what we had was unreal."

She is just another example of an MSM stepford talking-head.

Posted by: librul | Nov 8 2019 18:30 utc | 13

"187 votes in favor of Cuba leave the United States looking bad before the world"

The three are the US, Israel, and Brazil.

The two are Colombia and Ukraine.

Posted by: arby | Nov 8 2019 18:32 utc | 14

As I previously noted, Macron's comment about NATO being "brain dead" was an arrow aimed at NATO's purported brain--the Outlaw US Empire. Global Times editorial highlights one of those brain dead placed at the pinnacle of the Outlaw US Empire's leadership: Secretary of State Pompeo. The concluding sentence:

"American elites such as Pompeo have become hysterical due to their ideological paranoia, that's why they keep targeting China in a rude and stupid manner."

The pile of evidence to give that conclusion the writer establishes quite well. Pompeo's thinking is related to the long gone past, which is what we'd expect from a brain dead person. Rather, Pompeo's hysteria and paranoia has a very simple cause: China and a host of other nations are combining their efforts to eclipse the Outlaw US Empire and shunt it out of the way of their development plans and goals. The last thing anyone thinking themselves exceptional wants to have occur is being ignored and considered inconsequential--to paraphrase Billy Joel: to be put on the discount rack like a dented can of beans.

For years, my prescription for the world was to somehow erect a containment vessel around the Outlaw US Empire, and Trump arrives to construct one himself through his policies! For example, some here have opined that the Outlaw US Empire's policy goal regarding Iran's nuclear program is to employ the "snap back" provisions within the JCPOA; however, that cannot be done since Trump removed the Empire from the treaty such that it no longer has any say in what happens. And the EU and E3's standing with JCPOA don't give them any leverage either as although they remain they haven't met their obligations whatsoever. Brain Dead indeed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 8 2019 18:36 utc | 15

That was the vote at the UN to end the embargo on Cuba.

Posted by: arby | Nov 8 2019 18:36 utc | 16

@bevin | Nov 8 2019 18:29 utc | 12

Look closer at Germany and you will see that the AfD are simply taking advantage of circumstances that the left has refused to face honestly. The same is true in Hungary and Poland where it has been the traditionalist, semi fascist clerical right wing parties which have dared to challenge the neo-liberalism which the 'left' has promoted and protected.
Exactly. Why is this so hard for liberals to understand?

Posted by: Seamus Padraig | Nov 8 2019 18:46 utc | 17

Sabine @10&11--

Except that Obama was worse for immigrants than Trump and provides a big problem for Biden. Here're first one then two of a number of items I might provide on this issue, not that I like Trump, but I prefer accuracy versus hyperbole. I've dealt with US immigration policy and the people affected by it since working side-by-side with Braceros harvesting lettuces in California during the late 1960s. It's used as a tool in the overall Class War to divide and rule, and as such it's been very effective.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 8 2019 18:50 utc | 18

Lavrov "I wouldn’t want to drag myself into a discussion about the medical side of this issue.. If Macron had felt that the diagnosis he made [of NATO] was so evident – he had all the right to state it. He knows NATO better than me, since he represents a nation which is a member of the alliance."

Peskov “Whether NATO is alive or dead, and which of its parts are comatose – that’s not for us to decide. We’re not pathologists.”

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 8 2019 19:01 utc | 19

@12 bevin

One of the best comments I've ever seen here! Merci beaucoup!

Posted by: spudski | Nov 8 2019 19:14 utc | 20

This is sorta far out...but a fascinating claim, Gleichsaltung kinna thing. Seizure of a Satrap's army.... nice.

see U.S. Hit for Legalizing Overseas Dispatch of S. Korean Army


The south Korean online paper Voice of People on Oct. 30 carried an editorial slamming the U.S. for trying to legalize the overseas dispatch of the south Korean army.

The editorial said that south Korea and the U.S. try to revise the "note on the crisis management of alliance" stipulating the guidelines of crisis management of the "combined forces command."

It said that the U.S. is pressurizing south Korea to add the phrase "contingency of the U.S." to the note.

It pointed out that if the note is revised, there will be a situation in which south Korean army should be sent to the disputed areas abroad based on the U.S. judgment.

Worse still, the U.S. can demand south Korea take such a military action as a preemptive attack upon the north under the pretext of the "north's threat to the U.S.", the editorial stressed.

Rodong Sinmun

Posted by: Walter | Nov 8 2019 19:16 utc | 21

@bevin | Nov 8 2019 18:29 utc | 12
Exactly, and thanks.
Question: Could Bloomberg change the equation, the equation being that neither Sanders nor Warren not Biden have what it takes to defeat Trump?
And thank you Tulsi Gabbard for speaking out against the war machine and the penal gulag.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Nov 8 2019 19:20 utc | 22

With all the vitriol being leveled against Tulsi to paint her as a Russian plant or useful idiot or whatever, whether from Hillary or the worthless females on the view, a daytime television show aimed at influencing the political opinion of stay-at-home middlebrow moms and retirees (Including low energy males), I think my earlier thought that without the Djt phenomenon, there would be no Tulsi, is proven more and more correct with each passing day.

And for those suffering from such a quickening case of tds, unable to point out that before the current potus, the tpp was a thing, fake news was as of yet unexposed, Syria was a powderkeg with the potential of a Russophobic true believer ready to command and chief, and where immigration as a national question had not been brought to bear on a people that had been for decades suffering the effect of the evil of cheap, exploitative labor, your case against the man is extremely misguided and, dare I say, you are the useful idiot here.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Nov 8 2019 19:41 utc | 23

Another humiliating blow to Latin-American neoliberalism:

Boicote de ‘supermajors’ funciona, e governo vai mudar regime de leilão

Bolsonaro's government tried to auction Brazil's remaining unexplored (but already mapped, so it's certain there's oil there) presalt lots. The expectation was to raise some R$ 109 billion, but it only rose R$ 69 billion. To make things even worse, half of those came from the Brazilian State-owned oil company itself, Petrobras.

There's strong evidence this fiasco came from the international oil cartel; they think they can get the presalt oil for a (much) better price:

Chevron, Exxon, BP, Total e Repsol já tinham anunciado ‘boicote’ ao leilão

The pressure seems to be working. The government has already stated it will do another auction, this time with "changed rules", in order to "estimulate competition between the interested companies".

Another similar episode had already happened during usurper Brazilian president Michel Temer, when, in 2017, he tried to privatize the country's State-owned electricity company (Eletrobras). The auction was "desert" (i.e. no bids).

Why is this happening?

The problem with today's neoliberals is that the capitalist world is completely different from the one of the end of the 1980s and 1990s. In that era, there was excess liquidity from the First World countries -- specially USA and Japan pension funds -- which was purchasing fabulous profit rates in order to stay competitive in the recently-privatized world (pension funds in the USA had to profit at least 7% from each investment in their portfolio to reach ends meet in 2006, according to Dumenil & Levy).

After 2008, there was a crisis followed by a depression characterized by a credit crunch. Reverse stagflation happened (and still happens), where unemployment fell but inflation continued to fall. To put it simply, there's no more foreign money for Latin American neoliberal dictators to grab through the simple liquidation of public assets anymore -- at least not nearly enough to reach fiscal equilibrium (see Argentina for the more spectacular example).

So, yes, there was a cartel arranging for the presalt reserves failure, but this cartel only had to do what it did because -- you're already tired to read it from me -- the profit rates in the capitalist world are secularly falling. Were the profit rates high, the cartel would've already bought the presalt whatever the conditions. They are only bargaining with the already very submissive Brazilian government because they need to: presalt reserves, albeit abundant in good oil, require a unique and pretty advanced technology which was developed by Petrobras. If they invest, profit rate will fall even further, so they must get the oil, but free of investment (after the 2016 coup, they got their hands on the platforms -- but only those who were already installed by Petrobras).

That's also the reason the USA-backed New Silk Road will fail: Western capital won't invest in SE Asia because that would mean money spent to infrastructure (i.e. invesment), and that would erode their profit rates even more. And, sincerely, why would they? They had 70 years to invest there, and 100 years before that (during the colonial times), to do it. Why will they do now, when they are much weaker?

Posted by: vk | Nov 8 2019 19:41 utc | 24

Walter 21 "This is sorta far out.."

Trump is uninterested in the coldwar leftovers. If politically he cannot pull US occupation forces out of their cold war positions, then he wants value for money -returns on investment. Occupied country to pay the costs, plus mutual 'defense'. If those countries kick the US out, that's okay and if they pay their costs and go to fight US wars then that's ok too. Business is business.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 8 2019 19:42 utc | 25

Seamus Padraig @17--

Why? is an excellent question. IMO, their thinking's been muddled/manipulated by Media and the counterintuitivness of Neoliberalism with is very Orwellian and also well designed as such. A case in point can be made regarding the phenomenon known as Reagan Democrats who then morphed into Clintonites and remained Obama supporters after he showed his true colors. There's also truth in what I'd term political timidity due to the planned economic squeeze of Neoliberal policies--people can't afford to lose the mediocre jobs they have else they're out on the street or bereft of their almost worthless health insurance, etc--40% of adults say they can't cover a $400 emergency, a figure on the rise. Of course, I'm referring to the US political-economy, whereas Europeans have it much better as Hudson explained in the interview with German media I linked to and can be found at his site. IMO, the anti-immigrant politics emerging in the EU are directly related to the economy and fears for the future that Neoliberalism can only worsen. And since the EU was constructed as a neoliberal vessel, it's incapable of solving the problem it's made for itself.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 8 2019 19:45 utc | 26

Walter & Peter on Outlaw US Empire troop costs for South Korea--

Lots of recent articles about this issue. Here's one from two days ago citing a recent poll stating 96% don't want to add one more cent to RoK's share of cost to keep occupation troops on their soil. 96% against! And the same news is echoed by all BigLie Media. Such sentiment comes atop similar ones from Germany and Japan. Recall the item I posted saying almost half of South Koreans would support DPRK in case of war between their kinsmen and Japan. Global attitudes are shifting and have been for awhile as we approach the 30th anniversary of the demolition of Berlin's Wall. The writer of the Global Times editorial I linked to above was able to aver his position with great confidence as the vast majority of the planet rejects the attempt by the Outlaw US Empire to resurrect the Cold War and makes its views known through rapidly growing economic affiliation. All Trump's demands for more Tribute do is help further erect the containment vessel being built around the Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 8 2019 20:11 utc | 27

@ Peter AU 1 with comment # 26 that needs repeating and adding to
Trump is uninterested in the coldwar leftovers. If politically he cannot pull US occupation forces out of their cold war positions, then he wants value for money -returns on investment. Occupied country to pay the costs, plus mutual 'defense'. If those countries kick the US out, that's okay and if they pay their costs and go to fight US wars then that's ok too. Business is business.
I read recently that South Korea youth broke into the US embassy and one of their complaints was that the cost to SK for their defense by the US has just been increased by 500%. I hope that will push Korea back together sooner and get rid of the invader masked as a defender.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 8 2019 20:12 utc | 28

@8 when you're right you're right.

we're going to get another no choice election in 2020, in all probability.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 8 2019 20:24 utc | 29

!!Great news!!

Brazil's Supreme Court rules Lula must be released from prison ASAP. But, will this decision meet the criteria he set to accept being released? I checked Pepe Escobar's Facebook but he's not written anything there for 7 hours. I asked him the same question.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 8 2019 20:49 utc | 30

who said this today in an official gov't press release?

"Today, Russia – led by a former KGB officer stationed in Dresden ‒ invades its neighbors and slays political opponents. It suppresses the independence of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. Russian authorities, even as we speak, use police raids and torture against Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians who are working in opposition to Russian aggression. In Chechnya, anyone considered “undesirable” by the authorities simply disappears.

In China – in China, the Chinese Communist Party is shaping a new vision of authoritarianism, one that the world has not seen for an awfully long time. The Chinese Communist Party uses tactics and methods to suppress its own people that would be horrifyingly familiar to former East Germans. The People’s Liberation Army encroaches on the sovereignty of its Chinese neighbors, and the Chinese Communist Party denies travel privileges to critics – even German lawmakers – who condemn its abysmal human rights record. The CCP harasses the families of Chinese Muslims in Xinjiang, who simply sought refuge abroad. We – all of us, everyone in this room – has a duty. We must recognize that free nations are in a competition of values with those unfree nations."

Posted by: james | Nov 8 2019 20:51 utc | 31

@ karlof1

It occurred to me last night that you could create a website. Not that there is anything wrong with this one, quite the opposite. But I feel we need new forums. The alt right have many. Maybe a site where you take articles from others. I spent eight years looking into private equity, hedge funds, shareholder value etc. which I can't communicate with a comment but I could with an article. Also, the books you recommend suggest a historical perspective, something wider. Just a suggestion.

Posted by: Lochearn | Nov 8 2019 21:03 utc | 32


Right now, Lula is speaking to the people and his supporters in the street outside Curitiba prison, and already in freedom.

To clarify on the Court's ruling: the decision says that the accused, with processes which have not exhausted all appealings, therefore have not yet been ultimately condemned, may not be kept in prison. A previous judgement allowed for this to happen if there had been a reversal of judgement along the court instances of the process ( LavaJato - corruption process ). It should be added that this is not exclusive to Lula, eight other accused, including one Lula's minister may be freed pending appropriate legal petition from defense, and any other current prisoner under similar circumstances in Brazil's justice system.

The Supreme Court only re-established the Constitutional order, following on the petitions to constitutional review by legal council association and the communist party.

Keep in mind that Lula is still under several accusations and may not while these processes are not finished to present himself for political offices.

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Nov 8 2019 21:25 utc | 33

Vasco da Gama @33--

Thanks for your reply! I was about to answer my own question that Lula agreed to be let out. As I understand the situation, Lula still has to battle in court to keep his freedom; and he might also be targeted for elimination given the murderous nature of those associated with Bolsonaro. As Lula said upon release, they tried to imprison an idea by imprisoning a man; ideas cannot be imprisoned. For me, it's an excellent birthday gift!

Lcchearn @32--

Yes, I've contemplated starting my own blog, but most platforms are owned or affiliated in some manner with Google, so I stopped looking. I know non-affiliated hosts exist and will likely resume looking upon the turn of the year. I agree about writing longer essays as there are a few topics I'm into that demand expansion. I've been and continue to be impressed with Caitlin Johnstone's success as well as with other younger idealistic, truth-seeking journalists like those inhabiting The Grayzone. In fact, given its content, Grayzone's one site I'll ask who hosts them. Thanks very much for your interest and the support that goes with it!

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 8 2019 22:00 utc | 34

karlof1, I'll drink to that too. Keep the good spirits and health. Cheers!

Bolsonaro, and their supporters are dwindling, the initial success of anti-social media platforms was only that: initial, sufficient to swindle brasilean people in the election alone. This had all the hallmarks of a Cambridge Analytica type campaign, which if not sustained serves only to expose the maracutaia (fraud) before everyone. I think the signs are getting positive, even the media, quite condescending during the campaign now take hard jabs at Bolsonaro and his quadrilha (gang).

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Nov 8 2019 22:23 utc | 35

Random thoughts on the protests throughout the globalized world:

1) Wisdom escapes them

- "Be the change you want to see in the world"

2) Easier to destroy then build

- Ask any 4 year-old in the block play area

3) Choice between protestors/chaos and governments/abuse of power

- All of humanity looses

On a happier note, shout out to Socrates and George Washington! Keep questioning the Sophists and creating the order!

Posted by: OutOfThinAir | Nov 8 2019 23:00 utc | 36

Perhaps one reason Gabbard's political career will continue to be successful:

"I go on Tucker Carlson, I go on Bret Baier, I go on Sean Hannity, I go on MSNBC, I go on CNN—I am here to speak to every single American in this country about the unifying leadership that I want to bring as president, not just speak to those who agree with me."

IIRC, Sanders is the only other candidate who consistently says we need to do this (Change America) together. IMO, there's only one way Gabbard and Sanders will be nominated next year in Milwaukee: That's because We the People hijack the Convention, driving out the Clintonistas, DNC pukes, and their Super Delegates and nominate them via proclamation. All that's lacking to attain such an outcome is the effort, the will, the realization that nothing good's going to happen for We the People unless We do it Ourselves.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 8 2019 23:14 utc | 37

Epitome of America’s Shale Gas Boom Now Warns It May Go Bust [VIDEO]

Americans shouldn't feed themselves the illusion their country will ever be energy self-sufficient again. Remember: the USA is a capitalist economy and, as such, it depends on infinite growth indefinitely in order to exist.

Posted by: vk | Nov 8 2019 23:31 utc | 38

Meanwhile, in democratic and human rights paragon Japan...

Japanese women demand right to wear glasses at work

Posted by: vk | Nov 8 2019 23:38 utc | 39

I for one prefer getting my injections in comment size from savants like Karlofi as opposed to long winded blogs.

Posted by: arby | Nov 9 2019 1:03 utc | 40

Posted by: vk | Nov 8 2019 23:38 utc | 39

News item which of course only exist in the imagination of the press agency ’s correspondent in Tokyo based on something he/she may have read on Twitter without even understanding much Japanese.

The reality is probably that some (younger) lady got rebuked for wearing really ostentatious glasses in a public facing job where the dress asks for restrain.

Posted by: phiw13 | Nov 9 2019 2:12 utc | 41

The Adventura really-made-in-China security camera fiasco is a hilarious display of the sheer level of incompetence by American "manufacturing" and the US military.

The former lacking even the bottom barrel talent to do a basic product rebadge to cover up their fraud, and the latter taking years to notice the screens are in obvious-as-day Chinese. MAGAers should be proud.

Posted by: JW | Nov 9 2019 2:20 utc | 42

Pictures are great for portraying memes, both good and bad.

Below is a link to a web site I frequent called Reading the Pictures and often they have some insightful stuff...including the posting below

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 9 2019 3:02 utc | 43

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 8 2019 18:50 utc | 18

Obama left the building three years ago.

have you got anything to say on the children that the US has stolen and lost under the current shitface administration? No? Why is that so? Cause you can't really say anything else but Obama? Maybe you can say Obummer? or Obomber? or some such nonsense?

Fact is that the US under this current regime has been taking children from their parents and these children are now disappeared.
Also, did three years old had to be their own legal council in deportation hearings? Cause that is currently very much en vogue? Or is that another thing that you have got nothing to say but Obama? OBummer? Obomber?

Christ, this is so fucking tired and washed out.

Posted by: Sabine | Nov 9 2019 5:15 utc | 44

Gitlab, that other (non M$ owned) web-based development lifecycle tool, has just pulled a doozy .
According to the story linked above:

GitLab's director of global risk and compliance, Candice Ciresi, has resigned from the company, accusing the code hosting biz of engaging in discriminatory and retaliatory behavior.

Ciresi declined to discuss the matter with The Register, but the cause of her departure appears to be a company plan to refuse to hire engineers in China or Russia or to let current employees with access to customer data move there.

Apart from those of us concerned that one of the few alternatives to Github's weaponised monetization strategy has revealed itself to be run by a mob of subjectively chauvinistic rockspiders, this pointless decision to employ staff on the basis of their nationality rather than their skills indicates a suicidal wish to fail. Remember that the entire primary purpose of a tool such as Gitlab is that developers can form efficient workgroups able to swap ideas, data and strategies no matter where the individual participants are based. Yet now here is the organisation sabotaging that principle by saying "Whatever, we don't care about that stuff. As far as we are concerned, people from China & Russia are verboten.

Gitlab claims to be acting as a result of customer pressure but one cannot help but wonder if the inanity of this decision is connected to a simpler fact; Gitlab was founded by Dmitriy Zaporozhets and Valery Sizov, two Ukrainians. It was Ukraine's first unicorn .

Posted by: A User | Nov 9 2019 5:25 utc | 45

re Sabine | Nov 9 2019 5:15 utc | 44
I cannot decide if this comment is better classified as "whataboutery", or "strawman". I personally dislike the whataboutery term as it is usually the province of rightwing astroturfers, still there is no doubt comment #44 does qualify as such since 'facts' irrelevant to the subject being debated but which will inspire an emotional response, were introduced.

Posted by: A User | Nov 9 2019 5:38 utc | 46

Sometimes in the flow of history stuff happens that changes the currents in ways that surprise...gunpowder, etc. Thus my intuition inclines me to read outside my limits. And something like a new catalyst can have an effect.

Physics and Chemistry - the invention of the efficient production of ammonia changed matters a lot (Haber et sec). That was in part due to the Brits blockading of Germany in W1.

Dissociation of O and H from H20 is not presently efficient, but if it were, then it might be that, for example, reversible and frugal fuel cells are possible, and of course similarly in PV and thermal solar areas.

These fellas may be opening a small pandora - a breeze perhaps. We'll see, (Tinyurl)/yc3zdqvk "New catalyst material produces abundant cheap hydrogen" (by Queensland University of Technology)

If you did not sleep through high-school chem>

"Gold Doping in a Layered Co-Ni Hydroxide System via Galvanic Replacement for Overall Electrochemical" (tinyurl) /yyfp7k7a

from abstract> "The development of active yet stable bifunctional materials to produce hydrogen and oxygen via electrochemical water splitting is an ongoing challenge. Here, a system based on electrodeposited Ni(OH)2 and Co(OH)2 containing highly distributed gold nanoparticles at less than 0.25 at% to facilitate the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) under alkaline conditions is developed. "

Posted by: Walter | Nov 9 2019 10:44 utc | 47

sabine @44: I'm sorry this makes you so upset, I'm perfectly willing to dump on Trump, I didn't vote for him or Clinton. We see no point in leaving other pols in this country out of the equation, they are all venal and corrupt (with a few honorable exceptions.) We get particularly annoyed by Obama because he was elected with a landslide and both houses of Congress and threw it all away so he could stick his snout deep in the corporate trough (which he is still doing ...). I don't begrudge him the money that much, but I do begrudge him the lies and waste of an opportunity for real political reform. And if you don't think Obama was every bit as much the violent and corrupt asshole Trump is, you are not paying attention. He reminds me of Lenin Moreno in Ecuador, another guy that lied his way into office so he could pig out on cash. Trump at least does not pretend not to be a pig. He's more like the Clinton's, two more pigs who don't hide it.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 9 2019 10:50 utc | 48

Walter: There are some interesting things going on ... It's just hard to say if any will scale efficiently. There were some guys figured how to make tiny little water drops produce peroxide, lots of fooling around with meta-materials, talk of fusion at last, etc.

I like the idea of using gravity to store energy, pipe water uphill, then let it run back down ... I know, I know, it's old tech, but so cheap and easy to maintain. Some other guys were using weights and a tower, etc. But I get the feeling that flywheels are not working out. Also some new battery types, with less expensive materials, etc. But I don't take notes.

I think the main problem is/was/will-be vested interests that prefer things the profitable way they are.

"Keep hope alive." -- J. Jackson.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 9 2019 11:06 utc | 49

@ Bemildred / Yes, me too. Some hydroelectric systems can reverse. Three of the 6 turbine at Oroville Dam, for instance, are reversible. Their efficiency is fairly poor, however, and this low E cannot be greatly improved. Like all engineering, the circumstances tell you what the options are.

Where it works I also favor gravity storage with rail on inclines. There are hysteresis losses, of course. Better than pumping fluid, less loss, depending.

Withal, however, the "Jevons Limit" (a term I coined) makes it clear that yesterdays' open system ways are about over.

They say ROSATOM (?) closed the nukefuelcycle. If true the Russian product looks very good.

The Trinity College computer search method is liable to produce secondary effects in related catalyst chem, some of which may apply to PV chemistry - and perhaps less problematic manufacture. And (alas he's gone) Bill Yerkes' Si manufacturing achievements, by degrees, are also an illustration of how a field matures and changes overt time. see YT (tinyurl) /y44ukxp2

We chatted once or twice.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 9 2019 12:18 utc | 50

Not to overload the chemistry bit, but rather as an example of poor educational standards and the natural consequence.

WSWS has a white propaganda story about a guy, the manager no less, who died as a result of chlorine (I assume) after they combined acid and hypochlorite -

Poor sod.

if you like, the materials in question> (tiny url)

/y6nz5nse (story)

/y23vekfw (reagent #1)

/y6yeno3e (reagent #2)

Terminal dumaz...

When I ran work the MSDS binder was open 100% of the time and I walked the job with the check-book. A "reduction in force" would result within minutes if I found a serious error or deliberate material misuse. "Here's you check, Brother, see ya next time."

Recently the guy across the street, a rente too dumb to walk, discovered "gold"!...all shiny an purtty - found solid in the bottom in an old crucible in a work-shed he's fixing up to rent to the illegals from the South - and dropped everything to rush to the gold exchange for the paper money he imagined would be his for nothing!

He's somehow graduated from college...yet was unable to differentiate 'tween brass and gold...

It's the times... dumb as hammers, and happy about it.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 9 2019 13:03 utc | 51

WeWork fisco updates:

WeWork to sell Meetup, cut jobs in 90-day turnaround plan

WeWork and SoftBank sued over canceled IPO

After WeWork and Uber turmoil, SoftBank lurches into the red

And here's the rationalization the Japan Times gives us:

WeWork's path to turnaround challenged by tainted 'cool factor'

George W. Bush recently told the American press he was "optimistic" about America's future because "democracy is self-healing". Meanwhile, a random JT journalist tells us the problem with WeWork -- which was a blatant scam from the start -- was that society didn't bought on its "cool factor".

This is capitalism today, a make-believe economy that literally depends on magic to keep itself afloat.

Posted by: vk | Nov 9 2019 13:30 utc | 52

Korea alarmed over soaring fiscal deficit

Jae-in Moon's government is textbook why social-democracy, in the long-term, will always fail.

South Korea is a capitalist nation, which means its government is not at the center, but is only one instituion in a sea of institutions. Power rests on a confederation of capitalists, who own the means of production, not on the government.

Since the typical western democratic government (as is the case of South Korea's) doesn't own any means of production, that means its only tools of interfering on the economy is through fiscal and monetary policies. That means it can either print and/or spend more fiat money and/or rise/lower taxes. These tools are not revolutionary and don't work at a structural level.

That's why South Korea's increased spending is only balooning its deficit, while China's is spurring growth and development. South Korea is not China and will never become China, no matter how Jae-in Moon insists on talking as if he was Xi Jinping.

Posted by: vk | Nov 9 2019 13:52 utc | 53

Green New Deal. cont'd. 2 good reads..

David Blood and Al Gore Want to Reach the Next Generation

The Institutional Investor, 2015. (Not greenies..)

excerpt: “When Blood and Gore founded Generation ..they wanted to prove that an approach to investing that concentrates on things other than the immediate bottom line can work. .. to demonstrate that when companies pay close attention to factors such as the environment, social responsibility and corporate governance (commonly called ESG), they improve their profitability.” Hmm..

Ex. Solar.

The Solar Company Making a Profit on Poor Africans --: M-Kopa plans to be a $1 billion company by selling solar panels to rural residents—and providing them with credit.

Bloomberg (no green activist!) 2015.

excerpt: “The company’s core innovation has less to do with its physical product than the method it has developed to make it affordable. Kopa means “to borrow” in Swahili, and each system the company sells is in effect a loan of about $165. Clients pay $35 upfront and agree to make a daily payment of 45¢ for a year, after which the system is theirs.”

If the 45 c. p. *day* is not paid, the system is cut off. (About 20% interest for a massively overpriced overtouted package.) Roughly 90% pay up so it is a *fantastic* biz model.

Generation and M-Kopa are linked.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 9 2019 14:58 utc | 54

Posted by: vk | Nov 8 2019 19:41 utc | 24

Thesis: international oil cartel doomed the auction of Brazilian offshore oil tracts. For sure, they did not rush to outbid their friends in a frenzy. However, there are many investors besides major oil companies. I guess it could be simply low valuation of oil reserves.

One aspect is the threat of Russian model: calibrate export taxes to ensure that the profit of resources companies are "just enough" and not more. Bolsonaro may have sincere love of everything plutocratic, but what about the next government? Hence, in case of success, the profits would be limited.

Then there is possibility of failure, the cost of getting the oil (including licenses, interest etc) exceeding the revenue.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 9 2019 15:21 utc | 55

I've interviewed an East German, but I've friends who did talk with many. And, based on what I've heard second-hand, this is pretty representative about what the average East German thinks about the Bundesrepublik today in relation to the DDR times:

Germany marks fall of Berlin Wall but forgets DDR lessons – US ‘socialist defector’ Victor Grossman

Posted by: vk | Nov 9 2019 15:32 utc | 56

Mein persönlicher Mauerfall (vera lengsfeld) is also an Osti who has some ideas about then/now etc.

I like Grossman, honest guy.


In another matter, FAS secrecy news sometimes points to interesting ideas... and they noticed a change in the lexicon of the US. One with implications, perhaps, about secrets intent or secret policy, I dunno...

anyway, “National Technical Means” Leaves the Lexicon"

here's a fragment. They're puzzled.

ial DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms still included “NTM” (for “national or multinational technical means of verification”) on the list of acronyms in its June 2019 edition, as it has in the past. But by the July revision, it was gone.

A newly updated US Army Field Manual on Army Space Operations proposed a new term that it said replaces national technical means:

“National Reconnaissance Office overhead systems (known as NOS) — formerly referred to as national technical means — are spaced-based sensors designed to collect data in order to support intelligence analysis.”

Except for that new Army manual, though, there is no other indication that these assets are in fact “known as NOS.” See Army Space Operations, Field Manual (FM) 3-14, October 30, 2019.

It is not clear why the traditional term has fallen out of favor.

The use of “national technical means of verification” dates from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. It "

Make what you will....

Posted by: Walter | Nov 9 2019 15:43 utc | 57

@4 Norwegian ... Yes, it is.

Posted by: Trisha | Nov 9 2019 16:15 utc | 58

@Posted by: vk | Nov 9 2019 15:32 utc | 56

Notice that he mentions that "there were no drugs in DDR..."

"... For every 1% that unemployment increases, 40,000 people die ..."

This is what´s is in the origins of drug consum ( not that people is idle by nature and so likes drugs in mass, like certain reactionary personage fanatic of Franco´s dictatorship is holding at SST thread on drugs cartels...), then drug trafficking, organized at neoliberal governments level allied with mafia bosses and criminal gangs, comes fast to anestesize these people now scared and unsatisfied with their new "free" but uncertain way life before they realize that are being enslaved and scammed, and, thus, seeing themselves living into a dictatorship harder, but mainly more deadly, that the pretended previous one thye lived in, decide to revolt...

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 9 2019 16:54 utc | 59

On the Berlin Wall fall...things that you were neverl told...Not everything was wine and roses the other side...even just after WWII..or precisely...
You will test that the construction of the wall had nothing to do with keeping people in the socialist block isolated and ignorant o events and goodness of the capitalist world, but with the continuous military provocations orchestrated by the US and GFR destined in its last instance in invading and annexing GDR...Thread...

Today, November 9, the celebrations are hold for the 30 years since the opening of the state border of the GDR or “Berlin Wall” (real name, ANTIFASCIST PROTECTION BARRIER ). It is time to retell the truth and dismantle the historical falsehoods spilled by the West.

Stalin's biggest mistake, after the end of World War II, was to grant the US, France and United Kingdom the division of Berlin into 4 sectors: one would be Soviet and the rest Western. Thus, the west sector of Berlin was in the middle of the territory of the future GDR.

The Berlin division caused the western sector to be used as a platform for infiltration and aggression against the GDR by spies and criminal groups paid by the US and the GFR, which had its climax in 1953 with the failed coup attempt against the GDR.

The direct antecedents of the construction of the "Wall" in the GDR were in the so-called "Berlin crisis of 1961", a set of military provocations orchestrated by the US and Federal Germany destined, in the final stage, to invade and annex the GDR.

With the growing threat of NATO and the remilitarization of the GFR, Soviet leader Krushchev launches an ultimatum to the Western powers to withdraw all their military troops from West Berlin and the city to become a neutral zone.

Given the refusal of the West to demilitarize West Berlin, the GDR decides to seal itself through East Berlin border (the "Wall"). The USSR and the socialist countries give it their support. Combat Groups of the Working Class and GDR troops are responsible for ensuring its construction.

The mantra of the West that the "Wall" was made to "prevent the escape of citizens of the GDR" is one of the greatest propaganda lies in history, which even Goebbels could not match. The reasons (extended) for the construction of the “Wall”, I expose them below.

1) The Ministry of State Security (MfS - "Stasi") of the GDR, discovered the DECO II and MC-96 plans, which I will explain in detail another day, which prove, with documents in hand, that the FDR with support NATO intended to invade and "liberate" the GDR militarily.

The DECO II plan was signed by the Nazi war criminal close to Hitler, Adolf Heusinger, reconverted after World War II in NATO General and Inspector General of the GFR Army. Heusinger proposed to park nuclear missiles on the border with the GDR.

(2) The objective of creating a border with West Berlin was also to close the GDR territory from terrorist networks created in the GFR (the Gehlen Organization and the KgU (Combat Group against Inhumanity), led by former Nazis like Johann Burianek.

(3) The "Wall" was also made for economic reasons. In 1961, in East Berlin, lived 63,000 people who at the same time were working in West Berlin. Due to exchange rates, they earned 4 to 5 times more than workers in West Berlin.

In the GDR, those people who worked in West Berlin paid very low rents, that is, for the prices and fees that they had to pay for the services offered by the State of the GDR, without having to pay, in addition, a single penny of GDR taxes.

(4) Smuggling and the black market were additional reasons to build the "Wall." The smugglers acted as follows: for example, they took 100 marks from the West, went to the exchange office and changed them to 500 marks from the East.

When they bought in East Berlin (for example, a camera) they went to West Berlin and resold it for a much higher price (suppose, 400 marks). Those 400 marks of the West became 2000 marks of the East, becoming rich in a few months at the expense of the GDR.

This banditry exercise meant a loss for the GDR of more than 35,000 million marks that could have been invested in the construction of schools, hospitals and in a faster increase in the standard of living of the East Germans.

What really bothered the elites of West Berlin and the GFR was not that the "Wall" separated people or "avoid their escape", but that they could no longer enrich themselves by plundering the productive sector of East Berlin and, consequently, of the GDR.

William Blum rightly said: "Before the construction of the Wall thousands of Germans from East Berlin went to work in the morning to West Berlin and returned to East Berlin in the afternoon, so it cannot be said that they were coerced". Why didn't they run away then?

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 9 2019 17:27 utc | 60

@Posted by: Sasha | Nov 9 2019 17:27 utc | 60

Now, on the silenced terror and killing coming from the other Western side of the wall, and what could constitute first color revolution managed through mass media echo chamber and disinformation..Then, as Assad told us the other day, your will find howv no "revolution" to overthrow the stablished order happens without the neccessary collaboration of traitors from inside...Here you will find also the first appearance of the "green" fake left ( Trostskyites ) as willful stooges of capitalism at whose forefront was the US...

(Cont.) Thread...

It was strictly forbidden to cross the "Wall" illegally. It was a militarized BORDER. Against the offender was carried out, as a penultimate recourse, a shot to the air of warning and to persist in his attitude lethal force could be used.

There is talk of more than a hundred fatalities from gunfire by the Grenztruppen (Border Police of the GDR) when crossing the "Wall" ILLEGALLY, but SILENCE about the 29 murders of GDR border soldiers committed by criminals from West Berlin.

Since 1948, the Western occupation forces and the GFR police mainly composed of former professional soldiers of the Hitler Army (the Wehrmacht), the SS and the Nazi police, instigated or perpetrated sabotage and murder against the Grenztruppen.

The “fall of the Berlin Wall” was in no case a spontaneous act of the people of the GDR since it only had an impact on the citizens of East Berlin when the media in West Berlin coordinatedly launched massive propaganda of the opening through its radios and TVs.

Proof of this is that, in 1991, the Director General of Communications of Federal Germany awarded the radio and television stations of the GFR a medal with the explicit justification that the demonstrations in the GDR would not have been possible without their work.

Who decided (with others) the "opening of the Wall" was the traitor Günther Schabowski, member of the Politburo of the SED. The former mayor of West Berlin, Walter Momper, said that Schabowski informed him 10 days before he was going to proceed to the opening of the "Wall" on November 9.

The opposition forces in the GDR were a minority in the population as a whole, only 10%, and were grouped around platforms such as Neues Forum, The Greens, and the Protestant Church, who received money and support from the GFR and the US embassy in Bonn.

The so-called "peaceful revolution" of November 9, 1989, was a counterrevolution ( today it would be called "color revolution"). And it was peaceful because the GDR communists decided not to apply the police repression that is seen today in "democratic" countries like France or Chile.

Summarizing, and taking the words of the journalist Hilary Keenan in her article "The legend behind the Wall", on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the "fall of the Wall":

"Even 30 years after the defeat of communism in Europe, the efforts made by the German state and the media to erase from memory the social achievements of the German democratic republic have not succeeded."

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 9 2019 17:53 utc | 61

There are massive protests against neo-liberal policies and imperialism. In many of them the CIA and MI6 are fishing in troubled waters, as they always do and attempting to divert popular anger against corrupt capitalists into sectarian disputes. by Belvin @ 12..

Its not the government, but its their leaders and supporters that are the problem. Look folks its not the governments.. its their leaders and those who work for them, that are the problem.. Every where exist humanity against the corruption of the persons who operate the nation state system.. But it is the system that keeps the corrupt people in the governor class. The corruption prevents the governed people from be able to attain a system of governance that does not abuse them .. It is a violation of a human right if a person engages in an illegal, immoral, corrupt, or engages in an activity that harms any class of the governed.

Subordinate the Actors in government to human rights lawWhat is needed is to subordinate the beings that man the governments (not the structural parts of the government, not its congresses, not its parliaments, not its CEOs, and not its executives, not its laws, not its military, not its contractors, not its police, not its banking establishments, and not even its bureaucracies) but instead the individuals that man those positions that govern or that engage with the governors.

Holding accountable those in charge. Humanity needs a way to take out of position those who are corrupt, without interfering with the functions of government. Humanity needs a way to remove on the spot any member of the governor class of person who abuse his or her position by violating a human right. Why, because no government has the right to abuse humanity or to violate or deny the rights of any human members of the governed class. Abuse of human rights negates all authority to retain member in governor class.

I suggest the way to do that is to establish a global human rights court. A court that the people in the governed class of people in the world, who want things to improve, contribute to, fund and staff. In other words, a court of justice where protecting humans from infringements of human rights is the only law. A court supported and operated by the people in the governed class of people in the world, no nation state license is needed, wanted or allowed to present a case or be a judge. Operations of the court, would be without any dependency on nation state money, none, nada. No nation state, no organization established by governments (local, regional, national, international) would have no authority over the human rights courts.
So we have a governor class of persons (those in positions in a government) and the governed class of persons (those who are subject to law or jurisdiction by a non human right source of law) and governors are always liable for human right abuses.

Human Right Court Jurisdiction Human rights courts can only acquire jurisdiction over persons in the governor class, if such a governor class person violates, or infringes on, a human right. But jurisdiction can not attach, unless and until a member of the governed class of humans in the world identify, charge, and present to the court of human rights, a activity of a governor class person that violates or infringes a human right, and even then jurisdiction does not attach until the court itself, hears the charge and evidence and concludes the case should be heard to its conclusion.
@ the moment the charged governor class person is eligible to be removed from his or her position and brought to the HR court for trial (temporary impeachment from participation in that position and physical removal to the custody of the court will be necessary, in my opinion). The HR court will hear the case and if convicted, punish the violator. No law or act of mankind should be allowed to interfere with such a system.

Eliminate wars, genocides and sanctions I know its difficult to make happen. But when crowds of governed class persons ( as Belvin @12 points out) insist that their governments submit their governor class people to a global independent human right judicial system, it will be much more difficult for governor classes to use their positions to infringe, or violate, humans rights while in office.

Posted by: snake | Nov 9 2019 17:56 utc | 62

I have read/skimmed a number of articles about the falling of the Berlin wall 30 years ago and it is sickening to me how much these articles are misrepresenting the capitalism/socialism conflict meme.

China keeps being characterized as a socialist country when 80% of the economy can be called capitalist. What is key in China is that the core of finance is socialist and that is what makes all the difference in the world.

But the media and even many commenters here at MoA continue to obfuscate about capitalism/socialism saying that it is one way or the other when that is not the case in China or other countries that don't ascribe to the global private finance Western cult.

The world needs a socialistic core of finance, not a 100% socialistic society. Stop the obfuscation that capitalism cannot/does not exist in countries that are not controlled by the Western global private finance cult.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 9 2019 18:22 utc | 63

Rafael Poch´s trilogy on "the Wall":

The Wall was a consequence of Hitler (I)

Nazi Germany unleashed World War II, invaded, occupied and destroyed countries. The rest were consequences.

The Wall did not fall: it was opened from Moscow (II)

The architect of that collapse, attributed to all kinds of characters, was Gorbachev.

El fin del Muro y la ocasión perdida (III)

Thirty years ago, Germany and Europe missed a historic opportunity to make things a little better.

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 9 2019 19:06 utc | 64

This is how they throw tear gas in Chile, the beast way, after all they had a good school, where would they have learned it?
It doesn't look like fumigating people with orange agent?

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 9 2019 19:54 utc | 65

Curious interview with KGB colonel Vitaly Korotkov:

'Because Moscow Sought a Unified Germany' – KGB Colonel Korotkov on GDR and Agent 'Kurt' Felfe

Posted by: vk | Nov 9 2019 20:16 utc | 66

About Joe Biden's "Delaware way" style of doing politics:

Joe Biden’s Friends and Backers Come Out on Top — at the Expense of the Middle Class

Posted by: vk | Nov 9 2019 20:21 utc | 67

The wall fell on the side of the enemy...
Half of German retirees need a "minijob" to continue living...

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 9 2019 20:28 utc | 68

Pro-independence camp in the center of Barcelona breaks amongst accusations of theft and fraud....

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 9 2019 20:31 utc | 69

Yes, the people definitely was fed up of communism and wanted to be "free" all the West agents who wrote travelodges on the USSR told us, out of several testimonies collected from selected dissidents....

Queue in the Mausoleum of V.I. Lenin. THE USSR. 1980s

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 9 2019 20:46 utc | 70

Treuhand was the GFR agency that was commissioned after the fall of "the wall" and the reunification for the "sale" of the public companies of the GDR. Carl Zeiss optics for 1 mark..... An example among thousands of the theft of the public...

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 9 2019 20:48 utc | 71

=> karlof1, Lochearn, et al.

For anybody contemplating setting up a new website (since there's perhaps a scarcity), I have some 'great' (by my quite lowly standards) advice. First, decide to use the WordPress platform with an independent web hosting service (read up about it at 'wordpress dot org' -- not 'wordpress dot com'). Then:

Visit the website:

Read it all (Bernard may not be thrilled by what may be found there).

(It is always wise to register your domain name with someone other than your active host, even if offered a free one.)

Here are some probably almost decent website hosts (in the order of how I would choose them, maybe:

siteground dot com
nearlyfreespeech dot net
westhost dot com
gandi dot net

Now they all have their own great features, and various misfeatures. They will almost certainly install WordPress for you automatically (possibly excepting 'nearlyfreespeech dot net' which is the best if you have any tech knowledge to speak of).

I have just-the-other-day created a (temporary until I get an independent host) special purpose dedicated site:
Ranked Choice Voting Is A Fraud

I've probably spent weeks (or more?!) gathering these tips (in some sense or other), so I would take this advice very seriously! Good luck!

Posted by: blues | Nov 9 2019 21:06 utc | 72

I have been of the belief that, at least in some ultimate sense, the 'system of financial rituals' must always, ultimately, 'take a back seat' to the (generally collective) sheer 'availability of goods' ('goods' here, includes energy, which is absolutely necessary). These goods generally being obtained via the extraction of resources, production of goods via manufacturing or farming, or the (usually inappropriate) appropriation of goods from other parties. Of course, adequate group cohesion is another essential requirement.

That's not to say that systems of financial rituals lack a certain odd but actual reality.

What I am seeing in the US is a simultaneous depletion of goods, energy, and group cohesion. I believe the loss of group cohesion is more or less the result of a generally malignant influence exerted by a deranged aristocracy. If we could somehow deal with this, we might be able to salvage a fair amount of social viability. But such an achievement certainly does not seem likely at this time. I am currently promoting something called 'strategic hedge simple score voting', a voting method designed to disrupt the party lock-in effect (the 'two party system') by assisting voters to vote strategically. Currently the aristocrats are spending (presumably) hundreds of millions of dollars promoting 'ranked choice voting' ('RCV'/'IRV'), which has been proven historically to paralyze democracy (which is already moribund due to the currently almost ubiquitous (in the US) single selection voting system). You will soon be hearing a whole lot about these voting methods!

Energy depletion is also presents a challenge that absolutely must be overcome. The so-called renewable energy will not suffice. The problem I see here is that we really require focused energy in fairly large amounts, almost certainly in amounts the renewables cannot provide. Carbon energy sources will not be adequate (although carbon based chemistry could be very useful for creating energy storage systems).

Nuclear fission will not be sustainable due to the massive amounts of radionuclides that it always produces, and which will be impossible to adequately cope with. This leaves fusion energy, but the 'containment' problem that causes that to always fail is unlikely to be solved. But I've had another idea.

Presumably just about all of the readers here are aware that quite a lot of effort is currently being expended in building deep underground structures. There is CERN's gigantic Large Hadron Collider (which was probably never going to be of any great worth). And certainly lots of deep underground bases to protect our precious 'leaders' in the event of nuclear war. And, apparently, a lot of private ones as well for the oligarchs. Why not expend such effort to create something that will provide a whole lot of relatively focused energy? To do this we can tunnel deep underground (only in appropriate geographical places), and excavate a very large underground pit (or void) and fill it almost to the top with water. There is a sort of 'room' above this pit, which is wider than the pit. And at the top of the pit, there is a large, well-fortified embankment (or levee). And large, long tunnels have openings all around the walls of the 'room'. Now, we plunge a rather small H-bomb down into say the mid-point of the water in the water in the pit, and then detonate it. This propels the water out of the very large pit, up and over the embankment, and on into the tunnels. Then, we use turbines and generators installed around the base of the embankment to generate electricity by allowing the water that is now in the tunnels to gradually drain back into the very large pit.

When all the water from the tunnels has drained back into the pit, we simply plunge another rather small H-bomb into the water in the pit, and repeat the process. This would produce practically no heavy radionuclides. It would produce a fair amount of Tritium (radioactive hydrogen in 'heavy water' molecules), but as long as you don't actually get it into your body, it is not at all a difficult radioisotope to cope with. Tritium is one of the very least dangerous of all isotopes if handled with any reasonable care. It is strongly radioactive, but that's great, because it causes it to 'burn out' almost totally well within a human lifetime (its half-life is 12.32 years). And its radioactivity is 'beta decay', so it will not produce fast neutrons that turn other materials radioactive.

Posted by: blues | Nov 9 2019 21:13 utc | 73

Below is a short posting at Reuters showing how Erdogan is playing both sides of the fence, so to some point the pickets might start hurting, one would think.

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan and Russia’s Vladimir Putin discussed Turkey’s military offensive in Syria in a phone call on Saturday, Turkey’s presidency said.

Turkey launched its cross-border offensive one month ago, saying it aimed to drive Kurdish-led forces from the border region and create a “safe zone” to settle Syrian refugees.

It halted its advance under a deal with the United States which called for the withdrawal from the border of Kurdish YPG fighters - whom Ankara considers to be terrorists because of their links to Kurdish guerrillas waging an insurgency inside Turkey.

Erdogan later agreed a separate deal with Moscow, which also called for the YPG to withdraw at least 30 km (nearly 20 miles) from the border, but has since said that neither Washington nor Moscow has been able to deliver on the deals.

The Turkish statement on Saturday said Erdogan and Putin confirmed their commitment to the accord they struck at a meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi which also paved the way for joint Russian-Turkish military patrols inside Syria.

It said the two men also discussed bilateral trade, but gave no further details.

The Turkish president is due to hold talks with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington on Wednesday.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 9 2019 21:16 utc | 74

@blues re: energy requirements

Would it not be better to determine which of these energy-intensive processes are really necessary, and trim some of the fat? That nuke scheme seems very convoluted, and in the end requires the manufacture and use of nuclear bombs. Yeah, the use itself can be managed (underground), but the manufacture still is a very dirty process. Also, there will always be that moron who views them as anti-personnel devices.

A holistic approach to 'harvesting' energy does a few very useful things:

1) Reduces reliance on 'single-point-of-failure' items like highly specialized technology

2) Can regionalize the manufacture of the harvesting hardware, providing gainful employment, and distributing the system to reduce the risk of cooption

3) Can maximize the efficiency, since solutions would be tailored to the region/medium

4) Can greatly reduce environmental impact (see 3 above)

As an example, I read an article a few years back about composite piezo 'dog hairs' that, when they swayed gently in the breeze, generated electricity. This device could be strapped to kelp in the ocean with no need to destroy the kelp forest in which it is installed.

Another idea: Install thermocouple networks under pavement everywhere. As the day heats up the pavement, the differential with the underlying earth would generate electricity.

Incorporate as many low-tech sources as possible, and do more with pure mechanical energy. Kunstler decries the demise of the textile mills in his neck of the woods. Those mills were largely powered directly by waterwheel plunked in a nearby river.

None of this can, or should, be done with a single generation source, or even only a few sources.

I am slipping into the Kunstler camp, and don't really see any fancy-new-shiny coming from our present system. It's possible that better organized societies can eventually escape the planet and kindly leave it to further evolve.

If only the elites (of centuries past) had not used procreation as a 'market access tool.'

Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Nov 9 2019 22:02 utc | 75

Press conference with Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Jonathan Rath Hoffman. Note - probing questions that will never be aired.

"Q: The legal basis of controlling the oil fields, the government of Syria is still, based on international law in the U.N., is still recognized legitimate government. Are government forces allowed to go back and retake national resources that belong to ...

MR. HOFFMAN: ... I'll put it very simply. Everyone in the region knows where American forces are. We're very clear with anyone in the region in working to deconflict where our forces are. If anyone – we work to ensure that – that no one approaches or has – shows hostile intent to our forces, and if they do, our commanders maintain the right of self-defense.
Q: I want to go back to the Syrian oil fields. I understand everything both of you had – have said about ISIS. I'm going to try this again. My question is specifically not about ISIS. When Secretary Esper was asked if his phrase "and others" included denying, preventing access to Russian and Syrian forces, not self-defense, denying and preventing access to Russian and Syrian forces, if that was included, he said yes, it does include that.

The president has said that the U.S. is taking the oil and controlling the oil. My question is, what is the legal basis for the U.S. military to be involved in taking and controlling oil, as the president has said, and denying access to Russian and Syrian forces?

MR. HOFFMAN: So, Barbara, I would refer you back to the fact that all of our operations in Syria are done under the commander-in-chief's authorities to – with regards to protecting Americans from terrorist activity, including D-ISIS. And despite the effort to decouple the D-ISIS mission from this, that is what this is about.
Q: What is the legal basis for United – the United States military to take and control the natural resources inside the boundaries of another country?

MR. HOFFMAN: As I just said, the legal basis for this comes under the commander-in-chief's authority for us to be conducting counter-terrorism efforts against D-ISIS. And I – I get your point when you're trying to decouple the ISIS issue from the Syria issue, but it is not a decoupled issue.

Our efforts in the area are focused on our D-ISIS mission and we'll continue with that.
Q: Thank you. You had said that the United – the United States' legal basis to send troops to these oil fields comes from the commander-in-chief. Does President Trump have legal authority to take over these oil fields or is the United States stealing the oil?

MR. HOFFMAN: President Trump's the commander-in-chief and has the authority for us to be doing operations to defeat terrorism. And part of the efforts to deter, prevent D-ISIS – ISIS from obtaining the oil fields is an effort to prevent them from obtaining revenue so that they can fund their terrorist operations globally.

Q: But what legal basis does he have, as opposed to, say, Saddam Hussein invading Kuwait to take the oil fields?

MR. HOFFMAN: Once again – I – I – I don't know where you're going with that question, but once again, the – we have said we have the authority to be in Syria on – on our D-ISIS mission. That authority has been well stated and well – well put out there for the last four years, and that part of the mission, at this time, and – and just to be clear, we've been in this area with the same mission of preventing ISIS from getting those oil fields for the last four years. This is not a new mission. Everybody seems to be – believe that that has changed. That is not – that is not the case.


Posted by: DaffyDuct | Nov 9 2019 22:48 utc | 76

blues @71--

Thanks much for the tips you provided! I'll be looking into them!

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 9 2019 23:56 utc | 77

librul #13

Thank you for that Amy Robach story and the ABC

"And now it's all coming out and it's like these new revelations
and I freaking had all of it. I, I'm so pissed right now.
Like every day I get more and more pissed cause I'm just like,
Oh my God, we, it was what, what we had was unreal."

So Amy what do you have to say about the living founders of Epstein's network?

You know their names, Ghislane Maxwell, Les Wexner.....

What do you have to say? Why don't you take the lead and start demanding their arrest and extradition and so on?

Pissed for sure... Pissed ON by authentic journalists like Whitney Webb.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 10 2019 0:37 utc | 78

uncle tungsten @77: So Amy ... What do you have to say?

Amy had this to say: G. Maxwell that she should "be careful" - a sly way of saying that Ghislaine might be killed like Epstein.

Will anyone be "caught on camera" talking about the possibility that Epstein was extracted? LOL. I doubt it.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 10 2019 0:58 utc | 79

=> Dr Wellington Yueh | Nov 9 2019 22:02 utc | 74

I really think it's going to be very difficult for humanity to stay out of the Kunstler camp of some sort of low-energy lifestyle in the future. Solar cell efficiency will almost certainly improve greatly. Maybe the energy can be stored as methylene. And so on. But there will always be problems. I question whether solar panels can ever be protected from solar flares, for example.

You say =/ Yeah, the use itself can be managed (underground), but the manufacture still is a very dirty process. Also, there will always be that moron who views them as anti-personnel devices. /=

I'll take a wild guess that 95% of the power of the required tiny H-bombs will come from a 'secondary' fusion reaction powered by lithium deuteride (a dry substance comprised of lithium metal chemically combined with deuterium, which is a not-radioactive form of heavy hydrogen). I'm hoping that the normal hydrogen in the water in the 'pit' will 'soak up' nearly all of the fast neutrons, preventing them from making the walls and bottom of the pit radioactive. Some of this 'normal hydrogen' will be transformed into (not very dangerous) radioactive tritium and some will be transformed into non-radioactive deuterium, which can be harvested and combined with a very small amount of lithium, to make the next miniature H-bomb. Some uranium or plutonium would have to be used, in a rather tiny amount, as a 'primary' ('fission') explosive to set off the vastly more powerful lithium deuteride secondary (fusion) explosion, and this fission primary explosion would produce some nasty radioisotope materials, but in really very small amounts. Potentially someone could use these devices as weapons, but this would be nothing like the sort of nuclear war scenario that we worry about in these times.

I think this kind of system could be built at fairly small scale, but not as small as we all would prefer. This is merely another idea that might or might not be practical. We will see...

Posted by: blues | Nov 10 2019 1:35 utc | 80

Below is a Xinhuanet posting about Erodgan's actions with regard to repatriating foreign IS captives to their "home" countries....should be interesting to see how Europe responds

ANKARA, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Turkey said that it would start sending captured foreign Islamic State (IS) fighters to their countries next week amid a row with European nations.
Over the last week, Turkish interior minister Suleyman Soylu has several times harshly criticized European countries for inaction, vowing to repatriate IS militants, even if their citizenship has been revoked.
On Friday, he was even more direct and told semi-official Anadolu news agency that the repatriation process will start as soon as Monday.
"Now we are telling you that we are going to send them back to you. We are starting this on Monday," said the minister, without indicating to which countries the unknown number of IS fighters would be send.
Earlier this week, Soylu warned European states and urged them to take immediate action, saying "Turkey is not a hotel for foreign terrorists."
Following its military incursion in northeastern Syria in October, the interior minister has stated that Ankara had around 1,200 foreign IS fighters and members of their families in its custody, 287 of whom had been captured during its cross-border operation.
The Ministry of Justice is working on legal ways to repatriate those militants to their countries of origin and "will soon take the necessary steps," pro-government Turkish daily Yeni Safak said.
The intransigent position of Ankara, frustrated with European inaction, is also linked to the deterioration of relations between Turkey and its Western allies after the lack of support in the offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, considered as "terrorists" by Turkish authorities.
Several European Union members have stripped their citizens detained in Iraq and Syria of their nationality, preventing them to return home, fearing that they would radicalize people there. They, instead, are insisting that these fighters and family members be convicted in their country of detention.
Britain has stripped more that 100 people of their citizenship for allegedly joining jihadist groups abroad.
But Ankara criticizes Western countries for resisting repatriation by revoking citizenships. "This is sheer irresponsibility," Soylu also said.
Turkish specialists argue that European nations are not bearing their responsibilities in this matter, leaving Turkey, which has over the last years faced deadly IS terror attacks in big cities, to clean up their mess.
"The logical thing to do is evidently to send these people to their countries of origin. But, until now the international community has been unable to find common ground for a solution to the issue," Erol Basaran Bural, analyst at Ankara think thank 21st Century Institute, told Xinhua.
This ex-Turkish army officer argued that Europe was "exploiting legal grey areas" surrounding the problem and throwing the controversial issue into Turkey's lap.
"European nations are seemingly closing their eyes to the issue and Turkey is pressuring them to open them and confront the matter as repatriation of foreign fighters," he added.
A Turkish source close to the government told Xinhua under the condition of anonymity that international law permits that Turkey deports IS fighters caught in Turkey to their countries of origin.
"However there is a legal imbroglio concerning militants captured in Syria, where the central government has no say," a point that Western countries have until now used in their favor, he added.
It is expected that the Turkish leader will discuss the issue of foreign IS fighters with U.S. President Donald Trump at a planned meeting in the White House on Nov. 13.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 10 2019 2:12 utc | 81

Walter #47

Thank you, I like that reference to the hydrogen/oxygen catalyst research at QUT. I wish them luck and the best of science on their journey with that.

If that succeeds then a breeze from pandora's box is the least we can expect. Sure beats fracking for a living.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 10 2019 2:30 utc | 82

blues #72

The so-called renewable energy will not suffice. The problem I see here is that we really require focused energy in fairly large amounts, almost certainly in amounts the renewables cannot provide.

Crap, obfuscation, unsupported nonsense.

The dedicated effort of many people of the sciences have got us well on the way to a better stationary energy future with the primary inputs of wind and solar.

See this

Additional advances for mobile energy are approaching maturity. Certainly the electric drive train solutions are abundant in vehicles right now and the energy supply solutions are well advanced. We may well see an intermediate period where hybrid vehicles become the dominant type but within a decade the need for fossil fuel powered engines will decline dramatically with current emergent technology.

There is no future for nuclear energy as far as humans and planetary life forms are concerned.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 10 2019 3:02 utc | 83

DaffyDuct #75
Thank you and you reminded me of Mohandas Gandhi so I abbreviated a text to this:

Gandhi and the salt tax
Britain’s Salt Act of 1882 prohibited Indians from collecting or selling salt, a staple in their diet.

Indian citizens were forced to buy the vital mineral from their British rulers, who, in addition to exercising a monopoly over the manufacture and sale of salt, also charged a heavy salt tax. Although India’s poor suffered most under the tax, all Indians required salt.

After living for two decades in South Africa, Mohandas Gandhi and soon began working for India’s independence from Great Britain.

Defying the Salt Act, Gandhi reasoned, would be an ingeniously simple way for many Indians to break a British law nonviolently.

Gandhi declared resistance to British salt policies to be the unifying theme for his new campaign of “satyagraha,” or mass civil disobedience.
On March 12, 1930, Gandhi set out with several dozen followers on a trek of some 240 miles to the coastal town of Dandi on the Arabian Sea.
There, Gandhi and his supporters were to defy British policy by making salt from seawater. All along the way, Gandhi addressed large crowds, and with each passing day an increasing number of people joined the salt satyagraha.

By the time they reached Dandi on April 5, Gandhi was at the head of a crowd of tens of thousands. He spoke and led prayers and early the next morning walked down to the sea to make salt.

He had planned to work the salt flats on the beach, encrusted with crystallized sea salt at every high tide, but the police had forestalled him by crushing the salt deposits into the mud. Nevertheless, Gandhi reached down and picked up a small lump of natural salt out of the mud—and British law had been defied.
At Dandi, thousands more followed his lead, and in the coastal cities of Bombay (now called Mumbai) and Karachi, Indian nationalists led crowds of citizens in making salt.

Civil disobedience broke out all across India, soon involving millions of Indians, and British authorities arrested more than 60,000 people. Gandhi himself was arrested on May 5, but the satyagraha continued without him.

An unarmed march of Syrian civilians from the Euphrates to the oil fields accompanied by unarmed soldiers and satellite linked media tools to take the oilfields back could be in order. Or a variation on that theme. Iraqi civilians might be invited by Assad to come from their lands in solidarity.

War Resisters International could be invited.

There are many non-violent ways to overwhelm an invading monster.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 10 2019 3:30 utc | 84

=> uncle tungsten | Nov 10 2019 3:02 utc | 82

The manufacture of semiconductor devices is entirely based upon a vast very complex productional system, which is a 'house of cards' with many potential dead-ends. A solar cell energy based economy does have some potential for success. But we still have no idea of what could turn out to be an unforeseen brick wall.

The subterranean nuclear hydro power idea I suggested is fundamentally quite straightforward, and even simple. And it would produce virtually zero radiation related problems.

The entire question of obtaining usable energy in the future is vastly complex. You have to know a whole lot about a tremendously wide variety of details before you can even begin to pose even the most tentative of predictions.

Posted by: blues | Nov 10 2019 3:58 utc | 85

Nov 10 2019 3:58 utc | 84

Nuk blasts deep underground?

Ummmmm...There is already pretty fair evidence that the earth crust [the "stable " portions of Tectonic Plate theory are called cratons] are suseptible to weakening associated with large numbers of drill points from fracking , oil/gas, etc].

To wit: area like Oklahoma are experiencing large #s of small earthquakes, whereas before such heavy drilling there were near none. [State of OK is estimated well over 500,000 drill points.] Any nuk blasts, not to mention repeats at same location, are looking risky. Is there a remedy?...just in case?

Physical matter scientists still have not solved the problem of nuk waste [radiation emitters] that "they" promised would be solved before there would be any problem.

Beware of solution to a problem creating just the next problem...especially when dealing with global-scale effects.

Brings to mind that prime justification viewpoint: Any effect is better than no effect.

Posted by: chu teh | Nov 10 2019 5:15 utc | 86

Below is a posting by Pepe Escobar about the Trump version of Obama's Trans Pacific Partnership in response to the China BRI

The take away quote
In the end, Blue Dot may be no more than a PR exercise, too little, too late. It won’t stop Belt and Road expansion. It won’t prevent China-Japan investment partnerships. It won’t stop awareness all across the Global South about the weaponization of the US dollar for geopolitical purposes.

And it won’t bury prevailing skepticism about the development project skills of a hyperpower engaged on a mission to steal other nation’s oil reserves as part of an illegal Syrian occupation.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 10 2019 5:36 utc | 87

I have posted two links about Turkey above (73,80) and both spoke about a November 13 meeting in DC between Trump and Erdogan. The ZH link below describes what happened in 2017, the last time Erdogan was in DC when his security staff attacked protesters.

Interesting times....

What will happen this coming Wednesday? Stay tuned....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 10 2019 5:44 utc | 88

The link below about how the Deep State works according to David Stockman will make some MoA barflys happy. I am not a fan of David Stockman because of his participation with Ronnie Raygun, Greenspan and complicit Congress Critters to take SSI which was a stand alone successful insurance program, steal the funds and turn it into an ongoing budget item that has now been seriously compromised because politicians run it instead of actuary types.

In the linked posting below I also believe he gives Trump too much credit for consciously playing what is in reality the losing poker hand of empire.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 10 2019 6:05 utc | 89

blues 84

Propellants need to be relatively slow burning. Not sure how nukes are classified, but you put a bit of high explosive in a gun instead of gunpowder, it will blow up.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 10 2019 6:13 utc | 90

will anybody be caught on camera talking about the obvious epstein whack? maybe relating it to other prison murders? i doubt it!

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 10 2019 7:22 utc | 91

@75 Ergodan originally wanted to take the oil fields and fertile Euphrates strip. The USA deal and consequent Russia deal put an end to his adventure.

Yes, USA literally is holding the oilfields 'securely', not from ISIS, but from Turkey.

SAA would otherwise have been split, attempting to stop a Turk incursion in 2 directions.

US gets paid for minding them for Syria. Everyone (except Turkey) wins.

On TV Trump said he is embarrassed at the number of countries USA is in - his phrase was something like 'I'm embarrassed to say how many'.

Meanwhile, Gabbard has quietly put up a resolution to force the President to admit he has no powers to have troops in the oil area of Syria.

As Syria finishes the Idlib operation (and Trump in so many words encouraged this, by the way), Syria can then turn to peppering the Northeast and the border with Govt posts, bring civil rule slowly as a fait accompli. The borders will soon be controlled thereafter, and with the wind of Gabbards resolution at his back, Trump may well have all the 'excuse' he needs to hand the oil back to Syria and play the peacemaker. By doing the 'take oil' provocation he is already stirring and 'triggering' the dumb MSM to start coupling 'legality' with 'US military' in the Syria context.

After Syria withdrawal he can start to 'finesse' an Iraq pullout.

I think he is an intensely domestic-political animal, intent on a defining and productive second term based on cutting spending. He is an unusual operator, larger than life, cunning, ruthless, intensely focused, ready to try anything, unabashed, a cross between P T Barnum and Loki. A necessary man.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Nov 10 2019 9:01 utc | 92

Can anyone throw light on the report on the RT site about an Ukrainian Boeing 737/800 catching fire? Flown by the cut price Ukraine Sky Up Airlines the incident occurred whilst landing at Sharm el Sheik airport in Egypt, a popular Red Sea destination. I was let to understand all 737/800’s were grounded .

Posted by: Beibdnn | Nov 10 2019 11:44 utc | 93

@ Peter AU1 | Nov 10 2019 6:13 utc | 90

It's common in 12 bore cartridges for the slow burning nitrocellulose propellant to have a small proportion of nitro-glycerin, which is a high explosive - maybe 5% NG. This is "boosted" powder. The guns do not explode.

Gunderson (fairewinds)claims a low order nuclear explosion at Fukushima, I forget which one.

I do not understand your post.

HMX and RDX and so on require serious detonators, by the way... so any smuggling into Iran restricted area would seem to require > 1 party.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 10 2019 12:10 utc | 94

Who spied and spies its citizens more?

Given that the GDR was the most harassed and spied country in the world ... without the "Stasi" I would not have survived a decade. Curious, but according to this book Neohitlerian Germany spied much more on its citizens than the GDR. And it is that propaganda works miracles

I write another data. 7 countries in Europe, including Spain, have secret agreements with the US regarding espionage and are obliged to send to the NSA all kinds of information related to their citizens, both regarding mobile devices and the Internet.

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 10 2019 12:38 utc | 95

Debunking historic propagandist falacies:

Yes, "the wall" separating West Berlin from the GDR was to stop migration, because no one would have thought of crossing through the 1000-mile border without a wall....

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 10 2019 12:41 utc | 96

@ 93 The RT file photo show 737/800. The video twitter seems to show what my amateur eyes see as 737/800.

Left brake caught fire, I should say.

The naziukiesatraps are not bound by law, only rules...?

Well, yagunna believe them or yer lyin' eyes?

Posted by: Walter | Nov 10 2019 12:42 utc | 97

powerandpeople @91 appears to see the undercurrents of the situation in Syria as I do. Trump's "We'll steal the oil!" claims dramatically weaken America's position in Syria (and many other places as well, but let's ignore that for now). The Trump Derangement Syndrome victims obviously view Trump as a mindless cartoon villain (that is the best intellectual depth that most Americans can achieve before their fragmented consciousnesses implode), but Trump is not stupid. He certainly knows that stripping the delusional altruism cover story from American international aggression very gravely jeopardizes America's ability to conduct that aggression.

Try to visualize where the current trajectory is headed. As powerandpeople pointed out above, the areas that the US has been driven out of will gradually have civil order restored. We've already seen the Syrian military conducting patrols into territory that the US supposedly "controls". The Syrian military (and their allies) will continue to return portions of the country to civil order. Each town and road and farm and facility that gets returned to order closes in on the Americans camped out around the oil wells. We've all seen the videos of the Syrian military passing within feet of the US forces on the highways, so it is entirely possible for the SAA to advance their presence face-to-face with the Americans without triggering combat.

Seriously try to visualize where this will be in a year, with the eastern Syrian countryside returned to order and with large contingents of Syrian military (and Russian MPs) surrounding ratty US mini-bases pretending to "protect" oil infrastructure without any hostilities.

Are Americans so stupid as to be oblivious to how ludicrous that state of affairs is? Perhaps, since many Americans really are as dumb as a box of rocks, but the situation doesn't end there. To sell the oil the US forces will have to truck it out... on roads controlled by civil authorities. The authorities can simply set up toll booths and customs facilities on those roads and levy a 1000% tariff on unauthorized oil shipments. They don't even have to stop the shipments, just tax them very highly, since halting the traffic would be spun as "aggression" by western mass media and the minds of western media consumers are all so thoroughly under control that they would actually believe it. Directly intervening in the shipments would need to be avoided. Levying tariffs, though? Tough to spin that as some sort of "aggression", even when the tariffs are steep enough to effectively shut the traffic in stolen oil down.

But that is just one fairly obvious possible course of action that Syria can take after order is restored. There are tons of others, like insisting that the US mini-bases use proper wastewater treatment (environmental reasons, you know), submit to environmental inspections, workplace safety regulations, etc. If troops want to leave the base they have to show a passport, and if they don't have a entry stamp in that passport they get fined (but not detained, since that would be spun to retarded TV viewers in the US as "aggression").

It is tough enough for the empire to maintain its bases in countries where the local authorities have been bought off and blackmailed and otherwise compromised. In a place where the presence of those bases is illegal in every possible way, including violating the empire's own laws? Totally untenable.

Trump is a real estate oligarch. Understanding of how this works is in his blood. There is no chance that he doesn't understand the implications of transitioning the narratives about America's aggression from "humanitarian" murder to outright theft.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 10 2019 12:46 utc | 98

Evey year, when we were little and remembered, Armistice Day was spent at the grave-yards remembering.

But it changed, and now we "celebrate" violence...after all, if your State is continuously blowing people to bits we can hardly celebrate an armistice, can we?

Tomorrow I will again revisit the graves, and the silent guns.

That intelop/darpa project "wiki" has a nice story about armistice day...and quietly skip why the rhetorical embrace of peace was change to a rhetorical embrace of violence... It's "the dog that did not bark".

If one studies the rhetoric one may prise and tease out the dark matter behind the pretty speech.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 10 2019 12:49 utc | 99

powerandpeople @ 92 I agree with your analysis.

I hope though instead of cutting spending in his 2nd term he increases spending for a truly productive domestic program.

Trump has also shown that he understands MMT.  But this is a difficult political sell.  Most of his base I think is trapped in the deficits are bad delusion which helps fuel austerity.

Trump is a political animal and is probably feeding the MIC complex in order to make his withdrawal from Syria somewhat more palatable.  He needs to use his persuasive powers to convince people we have money for things like a well thought about single payer, education and retirement security.  We just need to stop wasteful MIC spending and billions spent on propping up the stock market.

Posted by: financial matters | Nov 10 2019 13:19 utc | 100

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