Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 13, 2019

Open Thread 2019-67

News & views ...

Posted by b on November 13, 2019 at 16:25 UTC | Permalink

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@ Bemildred | Nov 14 2019 13:10 utc | 97


Not before us humans abolish the non-natural person as a rightful legal entity will our predicament end.

Corporations, foundations and other, similar entities exist solely to obfuscate. They are the wool that is pulled over our eyes. In many ways, the state is an even worse an abomination in this respect.

People will keep getting deluded time and again until they understand the essence of the trickery played on them.

Posted by: Lurk | Nov 14 2019 14:28 utc | 101

>> so given the choices forced on the American people by the DNC, I think they made the right decision, just.

The “right” decision was to boycott the election.

Same as it will be in 2020.

Posted by: oglalla | Nov 14 2019 14:35 utc | 102

"..The “right” decision was to boycott the election.
Same as it will be in 2020."
And has been since the beginning: participation rates in Presidential elections (and not just Presidential elections either) are always low. They are very low as a percentage of the population and even low as a percentage of the registered voters. And then there are the various methods of disqualifying voters, which are part of the New Jim Crow, which, like the old Jim Crow, affects poor people generally as well as black people specifically.
Those who doubt that the US is permanently on the verge of disintegration are often focused on the relatively small portion of the population which is involved in the esoteric world of party politics. Because they aren't involved most Americans never get a chance to express their opinions or desires-remember Watts!

Posted by: bevin | Nov 14 2019 14:48 utc | 103

I had imagined that I was alone is understanding Heinlein as a cryptofascist... To the credit, however, we ought to recall his revolutionary aspects too.


Elsewhere @ MoA I see a repudiation of violence.


I too repudiate violence. Like Commandante said, the time for weapons is past.

"And the Good, Phaedrus, do we need anyone to tell us what is good?"

Posted by: Walter | Nov 14 2019 15:31 utc | 104

snake @95 argues "the deep state does not exist" with circular logic that is massively off target.

The deep state is individuals INSIDE the government that do the bidding of the banksters, the military-industrial complex, the globalists and other nefarious interests. None of those interests have the ability to make policy and implement regime changes without the deep state. Yes, outside interests drive the actions of the deep state, but no, those outside interests have no ability to accomplish anything without their deep state operatives. If the US federal government bureaucracy was a) much less powerful, b) much more transparent, and c) more responsive to elected leaders, then none of the bad things would happen. A pipe dream? Yes - but it is erroneous to make a simple declaration "the deep state doesn't exist" without any rational arguments to refute my points in @72.

Posted by: Don Wills | Nov 14 2019 15:33 utc | 105

Don Wills @ 72:

Thank you for your post. You say that there is a deep state, but you then go on to tell us it is not as deep as we imagine. So, I posit we should call it "the shallow state". It is the foam on the edge of the sea as it begins to recede from a high tide of corrupt practices, delicate and lacy at the edges and so mesmerizing and attractive to some. But it is receding. And out there as it departs the Deep People are waiting. They are the depths of an ocean that never disappears. At low tide they are still there, and they will feed the incoming tide. At the turn.

And I also say, you may not care what the future brings, but I do. I have a little granson, born on my birthday, gazing at me with twinkling eyes from his photograph across the room. Family is also something we can call Deep and be truthful about that. It runs in both directions, past and future. The Deep People have Deep Families.

And yes, I know, other grandsons have met untimely deaths this century and are counted as 'collateral damage' by the shallow state. Still they are with us as the past is always with us; they deepen our persons in unaccountable but irreversible ways. They strengthen our family commitments. They are always here, in our memories and in our strengths. They are not collateral; they are the fabric of our determinations, our life blood.

The Deep People do care what happens. The twinkle in their grandsons' eyes burns in their hearts. It is a fire, a consuming force. It never dies.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 14 2019 16:06 utc | 106

I don't know if he was thinking along the lines of my above post, but after I wrote it this came to me from TS Eliot's poems "The Four Quartets" written before and during the Second World War:

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.

[This is the very beginning of the poems.]

Posted by: juliania | Nov 14 2019 16:17 utc | 107

"deep state", "deep people", "the swamp" .. a rose by any other name would smell just as rancid.

"deep people" implies a small, isolated group. IMO, it's more like an iceberg than seashore foam. 90% of it is hidden from view.

My point was that snake's blame of the oligarchs misses the target. I look at them the way I look at any other predator - if the opportunity exists, they will take it. The deep state is THE necessary ingredient for the evil that the US government does.

I too have grandchildren. I am convinced that their lives will be less free, less prosperous, with less opportunity than what the seven generations of Wills family before me have experienced in the US for the last 275 years. So what can I do about it? Typing on my keyboard certainly won't make one whit of difference...

Posted by: Don Wills | Nov 14 2019 17:06 utc | 108

heinlein has long been identified as at least having fascist leanings, but if the text was subverted maybe the movie is good.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 14 2019 17:17 utc | 109

Assad on recent convenient deaths:

"The Syrian president said he saw links between the death of Le Mesurier and the deaths of US financier Jeffry Epstein, Al Qaeda chieftain Osama bin Laden and Islamic State (outlawed in Russia) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. 'American billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was killed several weeks ago, they said he had committed suicide in jail. However, he was killed because he knew a lot of vital secrets connected with very important people in the British and American regimes, and possibly in other countries as well,' Assad pointed out....

"'Both of us know that they [representatives of the White Helmets] are naturally part of Al Qaeda. I believe that these people, as well as the previously liquidated bin Laden and al-Baghdadi had been killed chiefly because they knew major secrets. They turned into a burden once they had played out their roles. A dire need to do away with them surfaced after they had fulfilled their roles,' Assad explained.

"According to him, the death of Le Mesurier is the work of the CIA that got rid of the founder of the White Helmets independently or through the intelligence services of other countries. 'Of course, this is the work of the secret services. But which secret service? When we talk about Western secret services in general, about Turkish and some other ones in our region, these are not the secret services of sovereign states, rather these are departments of the main intelligence agency - the CIA,' he stressed."

Many will nod their heads in agreement with Assad's hypothesis. Indeed, one of the more amazing happenings related to taking terrorists prisoners is the resulting lack of information related to the NATO-Terrorist bond we know exists but rarely sees the light of day in the form of documents, radio intercept logs and other items, although we're constantly treated to a massive parade of captured arms and munitions including chemical weapon precursors stamped with their NATO country of origin.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 14 2019 17:20 utc | 110

Western elites seem to admire and envy Gulf Monarchies. The West is moving toward a society that resembles the Gulf Monarchies: an abundance of immigrant guest workers; neofeudalism, etc. So this 'gilded cages' story is a cautionary tale:

Why Do Dubai’s Princesses Keep Trying to Escape?

First Princess Latifa tried to flee by boat and almost made it to India—before being sent back. Then Princess Haya, Sheikh Mohammed’s “public wife,” refused to return from England. Now the sheikh is battling her in court over their children.

Will greed once again 'trump' human rights? At what point is the notion of 'human rights' completely abandoned? ... via a new definition of "human"?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 14 2019 17:20 utc | 111

Don Wills @108

I agree with your definition (as I think you know).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 14 2019 17:22 utc | 112

I had imagined that I was alone is understanding Heinlein as a cryptofascist...
Not really, you a member of a large community who has been aware of this for decades.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Nov 14 2019 18:03 utc | 113

Global Times Editorial:

"BRICS ties vital in uncertain world."

But what makes the world uncertain? "Global governance is facing enormous challenges brought about by protectionism. The US is the greatest source, followed by the West. BRICS countries do attach great importance to their ties with the US and other Western countries, but such relations can only provide limited dynamic augment.

"In particular, facing Washington which advocates 'America First,' BRICS countries cannot bind their development with cooperation with the US, which is unrealistic and even dangerous."

But the mere fact of BRICS sweeps such concerns aside, although they aren't forgotten:

"BRICS members have differences in geographical features, size and social governance. Some Westerners believe these dissimilarities are stumbling blocks to cooperation. Their understanding of cooperation is outdated. Just as the internet is changing economic activities, globalization is changing conditions, methods and even the purpose of cooperation among countries.

"Past cooperation in the West was mostly driven by geopolitics and then served geopolitical goals. But BRICS' greatest goal is development, offering the members unlimited space for cooperation.

"Development is the most appealing theme of the contemporary era, and strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation is an exploration with inexhaustible driving forces. Despite their distance from each other, BRICS members hold a summit every year and develop an increasing number of cooperation projects, including the New Development Bank."

Apparently, the writer doesn't see "strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation" or development as geopolitical. Rather, "It is a revolutionary exploration, which not only brings specific benefits, but also strengthens strategic initiatives for all BRICS countries."

China clearly remains bullish on BRICS. Putin's Closing Ceremony remarks don't reveal much, although the following was said in a more serious tone:

"The more frequent use of unfair competition methods in global trade, as well as unilateral sanctions, including politically motivated sanctions and rampant protectionism, have undoubtedly impacted the economy. In these conditions, BRICS countries have to exert serious efforts in order to ensure the development of their own economies, and to prevent an aggravation of the social situation and a decline in living standards and the well-being of our countries’ citizens."

Still hoping for a transcript of Putin's remarks from the Business Forum. Sputnik reports Putin called for the increased usage of national currencies in BRICS transactions while also promoting the Ruble as a major foreign currency. RT provides an op/ed written by Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs, chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and research director of the Valdai International Discussion Club wherein he echoes some of Putin's suggestions.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 14 2019 18:07 utc | 114

>> The “right” decision was to boycott the election.

...or start an independent political movement that educates its lowest members so well they know how to spot poseurs. I (wrongly) omitted this option because it takes more effort than most are willing to expend.

Posted by: oglalla | Nov 14 2019 18:08 utc | 115

Heinlein: Boy, I haven't thought about Heinlein for a long time now. The first thing about Heinlein is he wrote some of the most asinine depictions of women I have ever seen. I can only think of a few soft-porn writers who were worse. They are all cardboard cutouts. This was actually kind of typical in the 50s.

He wrote a couple good books, lots of bad ones, a fair number of good SF yarns, mostly for the young. He was indeed a demented Libertarian in modern terms, free markets and free minds and so on. That's more or less why I stopped reading him in my twenties, too much of that shit to wade through.

That said "Moon is a Harsh Mistress" and "Stranger in a Strange Land" are worth a look if you want to widen your horizons.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 14 2019 18:08 utc | 116

Posted by: Sad Canuck | Nov 14 2019 2:38 utc | 64
try tutanota mail.

Posted by: Per/Norway | Nov 14 2019 18:15 utc | 117

@ Lurk | 32

@ Jen | 40

@ Breadonwaters |43

Thanks for Your assessments and arguments!

1. In my comment (|10) I have put the term "civil war" in quotation marks to indicate that it will not be a war with military units against other units, with states against states (as in the first civil war). In the beginning it will be a very disturbing civil unrest and complete chaos. Multiple splits and fragmentations will occure throughout all institutions and all regional corporations, also within the army itself (as far as based on US soil). Only towards the end of this period (about 2 - 3 years) the shape will evolve as I have described (east - west; dominant pressure from Latin America; other foreign influences higly probable ...).

2.A. For the neutral geopolitical observer main problem today are the US. For the observing US elites it is Russia. It was a severe mistake to start the war against 'islamic terror' before the US grip on Russia was complete. Now Putin has torn his homeland out of the transatlantic-angloamerican fist. Would Russia still be under dominance of the US (as started and intended in the 1990s) then the US could face China. Now the US have the problem of Russia and China combined - besides Islam ...

2.B. I suggest to look on the alliance of Putin and Xi as a new Molotov-Rippentrop-Pact. It will hold some more years longer but eternally. What if Russia makes a mistake and looks towards Europe? True, Russia is a very rich and powerful country, but it depends on Europe: more than half of its trade exchange is with European countries. What if Europe falls into civil disorder, too? What if US forces leave Europe? Two years ago such questions were nonsense, but today they are discussed.

3.A. (@ Jen) I am very familiar with Chinese history. I am working on historical cycles, patterns in time. There was a Spenglerian cultural cycle from ~ 1780 BCE which span to 220 CE. After that, with China in the state of a "civilzation", we only see cycles of maximum 300 years of stability. Such a new cycle has started in the 1920s with the foundation of the Chinese Communist Party. This party is the new dynasty and will rule till 2220, formally - becoming weaker and weaker after 2120. But no power on earth can change this cycle, it's too late. During the 21st century the cylce will experience his height line.

3.B. If Russia makes a mistake and engages in Ukraine and Europe - lead into such a temptation by civil disorder and fragmentation in the US - , then the new Molotw-Ribbentrop-Pact between Russia and China will exspire. Because China meanwhile has strong interests in Europe, too, and will not accept Russian dominance over Europe. Therefore the Chinese will be open to talks - about Russia - with the restored USA. The Chinese may even help one of the then US parties to restore internal peace in North America. These future talks between China and the USA over Russia and Europe will not be talks of politicians but talks of "capitalists", Chinese and American ones. Both have hundred years of experience with such bilateral talks ...

My outline is strange and provocative - I know! Keep on watching the changing walk of history - and remember me! Also my outline is restricted to the sphere of geopolitics. The main problem of the world is of course the gap between the powerful rich and the helpless poor. The rich will always fight each other (to get more), but they are also prepared to go into talks with each other when the proper moment has come. Only the poor have no idea and no organization to manage their sad destiny.

Kind regards, Gerhard

Posted by: Gerhard | Nov 14 2019 18:21 utc | 118

Russia steps back on Bolivia, loses battle:

Russia considers power shift in Bolivia a coup, but will work with Anez as interim president – Deputy FM

“We view everything that preceded the power shift [in Bolivia] as actions that equal a coup, but it’s clear that she will be perceived as the leader of Bolivia until the issue of electing a new president is settled,” he [Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov] said.

Posted by: vk | Nov 14 2019 18:24 utc | 119

the talktotransformer seems to be a democrat😂

the terrorist regime in washington just got a lot more dangerous" and that "there is a clear risk to our nation's security."

"This is the day after the election where the American people must hear the president-elect's message loud and clear, not the president's message to our enemies."

The letter has been signed by nearly 500 former U.S. officials, including many who served under Republican administrations.

"For those of us who were in the Trump team, his campaign's attacks on the intelligence community are so alarming that it is simply staggering to think about," the letter said.

"As a member of the intelligence community, I would never have permitted any such statements and would have reported them if they had been made."

Trump is facing backlash from senior Democrats and a growing number of Republicans over his questioning of the CIA's assessment that Russia was behind the hacking of Democrats' emails.

"I'm not going to blame Russia.

Posted by: Per/Norway | Nov 14 2019 18:29 utc | 120

Hong Kong Terrorists at work:

"Does anyone truly believe these are protestors ? Do honest protestors burn Shopping Malls and Christmas tree ? These are freaking paid terrorists by the US and UK. Life time in jail for all of them."

There's evidence of vigilante action being taken by Hong Kongese against the terrorists I've seen posted to Twitter.

So, you're the head of one of the 120 Non-Aligned Movement nations and you observe the acts of the Evil Outlaw US Empire; how do you react and what measures do you take to ensure you and your nation remain unharmed?

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 14 2019 18:42 utc | 121

"There's evidence of vigilante action being taken by Hong Kongese against the terrorists..." --karlof1 @121

To be certain, this is the next big development that we will begin to see in Hong Kong. The police are limited in the amount of force they can apply to the rioters/terrorists due to the capitalist mass media using even very gentle examples of force to fan the flames. The Hong Kong population, on the other hand, has been shocked and confused by the violence and had initially not known how to respond. The general population thought that they and the "protesters" were on the same side, but are now realizing that they are not. If the rioters continue their antics the community will increasingly turn against them. Since the police` hands are basically tied, people will begin to form community defense committees to deal with the terrorists, and since the rioters are choosing the vehicle of violence to express themselves, that is how the communities in HK will answer them.

Wouldn't it be interesting if the community backlash against the rioters' violence gets severe enough that the rioters appeal to the police for protection? I can certainly see things moving in that direction.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 14 2019 19:09 utc | 122

@Gruff 92

I used your opening sentence "So long as the United States continues to serve its function as the core of the capitalist empire it will not be allowed to "break up"." as prompt to the "" robot, and got the following first paragraph in return

So long as the United States continues to serve its function as the core of the capitalist empire it will not be allowed to "break up". As long as the dollar and the Euro are the global reserve currency (as they are currently) and the United States still remains the world's most important military power the US government will never be allowed to threaten to stop providing the vast majority of the world's military hardware.

Quite some truth in that.

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 14 2019 19:10 utc | 123

@ Bemildred | Nov 14 2019 18:08 utc | 116 (Old Bob)

His best (imho)is Rocket Ship Galileo - mostly because he's telling us what he'd heard in the military grapevine of 1945-47 or so...that the elite nazis escaped to South America... They never made the movie, making instead the fascist destinationmooner...frank grey propaganda.

I would like to see a faithful movie of RSG, imagine, M1 Garand shootout with nazis , and in pressure suits!

The Galileo was, as is, they say, the nuclear atmospheric bird the Russians are developing, atomic powered reaction jet. Well, yeah, do the calcs.

My brother ran into people who'd served on cruise ships and knew Bob. His only conversational interest was, they say, his time in the navy as a young man...

Posted by: Walter | Nov 14 2019 19:11 utc | 124

Walter @124: I don't remember reading RSG. I read a lot of SF pulps around then, hand me downs. "Stranger" raised some interesting new subject matter like cannibalism and promiscuity as good things. I stopped reading him after that, tried a few times with the "Job" stuff, but no. Too much political drivel and speech-making.

I tend to think of Heinlein these days together with L. Ron Hubbard, which dates me I know. LRon could write driving drivelly narrative forever, Disco John made a movie of it a while back. Heinlein tended more to speechifying as he got older. Ayn Rand-ish.

Well an air-breathing nuclear-powered missile is an interesting idea, but I'd have to see it work. The problem out in the dark is how to get enough reaction mass, unless you aren't going far or fast. Or that would be my naive impression at the moment. I know they were looking at little nukes and a pusher plate as a kind of drive at one time too. Sounded jerky.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 14 2019 19:35 utc | 125

@ Posted by: vk | Nov 14 2019 11:37 utc | 91

> Japan has been in absolute stagnation for four decades now.

Three decades. The 80s were not at all stagnant in Japan.

Posted by: AshenLight | Nov 14 2019 19:40 utc | 126

Corbett this time is priceless, see tinyurl [dot com]/wpwqobx

Last American Vagabond smashes all the false gods, brutal..

Posted by: Walter | Nov 14 2019 19:57 utc | 127

@ (air breathing nm) : Bemildred | Nov 14 2019 19:35 utc | 125

Popular Mechanics had an article on it. Since it can fly for days, eg hundreds of hours, it has to be AB. Physics. tiny url /yatgpeu5

I worked with an engineer, matter o fact he gave me a large hammer as a curio, who had worked on the atomic jet engine the "A-Plane" that the US developed, to a point. And the Soviets flew an "A-Plane". The nuke-flying-bomb air breather is for real, an emerging gizmo. Real as a poke in the nose.

The Soviets worked on large ICBM capable sub-orbital ram jets. The main designer, whose name escapes me, died unfortunately, and that program got cancelled...under That Good Man, Comrade N. Khrushchev.

One does tend to assume that the Russian boffins have all those foundational aeronautical records and data to work with... Make's it a no-brainer.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 14 2019 20:10 utc | 128

@ Gerhard | Nov 14 2019 18:21 utc | 118

Islam is not the angloamerican's problem, it's their creation (as in they made it into a problem). It serves their interest in keeping the oil rich Middle Eastern countries divided among tribal and sectarian lines and ruled by backward cryptotheocratic despotic dynasties. The fundamentalist extremist jihadists can be sicked on Europe, Southern Russia and Western China, to upset society when required by strategic interests.

You totally disregard my objection that there is no need for the Russians to become aggressive towards (the rest of) Europe. Good trade relations are their best interest. If and when Europe would socially and economically collapse, they would rather keep the problems out, instead of getting sucked in themselves.

Posted by: Lurk | Nov 14 2019 20:21 utc | 129

>Seems the UK is following the way of the USA:
>Life expectancy in UK falls amid rise in avoidable deaths
>in disadvantaged communities, report shows
>Posted by: vk | Nov 14 2019 11:13 utc | 90

Thank you for the link. This is the face of the new eugenics I call "social apoptosis".

Automated production and remote-control murder means that society needs fewer workers and organized killers every year. I remember when the party line was that increasing labor productivity meant that workers could retire earlier and live longer. By the 1970s Dear Leaders realized all those Useless Eaters might cut into profits. Hmm, what to do?

The first round of eugenics was too brazen. Forced sterilizations, "residential" schools for First Nations people, outright lockups of "defective" or otherwise undesirable people, was too visible. Much better to have people killing themselves and blame the dead person for being morally weak or mentally ill. Such a shame. They had so much to live for. We won't mention that society made it impossible to continue living in dignity. We won't mention the endless daily messages that society worships the Strong and the Powerful and despises the old, sick, poor, and anybody who has no labor to exploit.

The most obvious example is people forced to sleep on sidewalks because they can not pay exorbitant rent. They are denied access to public toilets and washrooms then condemned for shitting in the street and smelling bad. But forcing people to sleep on sidewalks is good policy because it shortens their lives by 20 years or more. That is social apoptosis in action.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Nov 14 2019 20:21 utc | 130

#24 Karlof1

"or you're with the Sanders and Gabbard social-democrats and liberation of citizens via the nationalization of education, health care and dignified retirement, and the neutering of the Outlaw US Empire. "

Just read Gilad Atsmon at Unz Review on Sanders's new "testimony" on his declared identity as a "Jewish American," his allegiance to Israel and also the idea of Israel, etc., his vilification of "white nationalism," etc. I am really quite disgusted by this. Sanders's really cannot lead the USA if he is a "Is this good for the Jews" guy, which he strongly appears to be. Also, he is really too old to run.

It's too bad that the Dem party doesn't seem to be able to kick the Zionist habit and the whole identitarian strategy. It will not work for them. It will work against them, and Sanders.

Posted by: Really?? | Nov 14 2019 20:25 utc | 131

oglalla | Nov 14 2019 14:35 utc | 102:

Boycotting general elections when the POTUS is selected is irrelevant; unless you're talking about all elections. It's the Electoral College that selects the POTUS. Everyone can stay home and we'll still get a POTUS. Unfortunately, low voter turnout will not deter the political machine because there always will be devoted followers.

karlof1 | Nov 14 2019 18:42 utc | 121:

how do you react and what measures do you take to ensure you and your nation remain unharmed?

You react in a calm cool collected way. Agitation works because no one can think straight in a fit of rage. However, it's easier said than done.

IMHO, the measures taken against an overwhelming force would be passive-aggressive. Start off with quietly forming a resistance movement with emphasis on securing lines of communication. The opening salvo would be an economic rebellion then finish off with political isolation.

I'm a bit surprised the haven't shut down diplomatic missions of the aggressors on their territory. Have the publicly called them out by name yet?

Posted by: Ian2 | Nov 14 2019 20:25 utc | 132

@ Gerhard | Nov 14 2019 18:21 utc | 118

Oh and one more thing, if there is any state that is prone to breakup it would be Ukraine. The situation for the people of Ukraine will only be getting more desperate in the near future. Given some more years of American looting and nonexistant European support, the eastern half might well want to join Russia spontaneously, if only to not have to freeze to death in the wintertime. The Poles can then have the Galician Banderists.

Posted by: Lurk | Nov 14 2019 20:31 utc | 133

@ karlof1 | Nov 14 2019 17:20 utc | 110

Your paragraph #2: Add to your list the following: Saddam Hussein (President of Iraq); Muammar Gaddafi (President of Libya); Bashar al Assad (President of Syria, under assault to overthrow, likely fate liquidation); Hosni Mubarak (President of Egypt, removed and buried alive (silenced) in military hospital), all bearing witness to the actions of Axis of Evil (Washington-Wall Street; City of London-10 Downing Street; Tel Aviv; Paris-Brussels; and unnamed here others). Look at fate of national authorities housing CIA black sites worldwide. Erdogan (President of Turkey) just missed being silenced as well. These also must be added your calculations of infamy. Tip of hat to wikipedia for spelling assistance.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Nov 14 2019 20:55 utc | 134

Col. Lang's final line in his latest post is "China is the real enemy."

For context, this pertains to the neocons and neolibs preferred boogeyman Russia.

I couldn't agree more, except that enemy is not an apt term. That implies some kind of military confrontation. But why would we pick a fight with China who is just exercising its right to be itself, namely a benevolent totalitarian-dictatorship run by technocrats and endorsed by its own people. Its pursuit is worldwide mercantilist domination.

Solution: stop buying from China. I usually find bumper stickers in poor taste, but in this case I will make an exception, as long as the stickers are not made in China.

We have to start equating the easily-available cheap products of China as the destructive force it really is. It is similar to internet pornography. What's a little yank? What's a little pair of Nikes?

Think about for.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Nov 14 2019 21:03 utc | 135

Sputnik is reporting that the US has spent $6.4 Trillion fighting wars that have killed 800,000 since Sept 11/01, that number is unbelievable, at least 1,500,000 dead in Iraq, 250,000 in Afghanistan, 750,000 in Syria. The US military budget alone has averaged about 650 billion since then, plus the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were funded separately (around 200 million a year), plus CIA/ blackbook projects - 7 or 8 trillion is a more likely number. When things get blown up, no one really knows what was actually bought and existed and what was just a phantom piece of equipment War has always been the ideal cover for corruption

Posted by: Kadath | Nov 14 2019 21:09 utc | 136

I don't know how well this will retain format but it is the latest from the US Fed on providing "liquidity" to the private banking system
Friday, 11/15/2019- Thursday, 12/12/2019 The Desk plans to conduct overnight repo operations on each business day as well as a series of term repo operations over the specified period.

Friday, 11/15/2019 - Thursday, 12/12/2019 At least $120 billion

Tuesday, 11/19/2019 Tuesday, 12/3/2019 14-days At least $35 billion
Thursday, 11/21/2019 Thursday, 12/5/2019 14-days At least $35 billion
Monday, 11/25/2019 Monday, 1/6/2020 42-days At least $25 billion
Tuesday, 11/26/2019 Tuesday, 12/10/2019 14-days At least $35 billion
Wednesday, 11/27/2019 Thursday, 12/12/2019 15-days At least $35 billion
Monday, 12/2/2019 Monday, 1/13/2020 42-days At least $15 billion
Tuesday, 12/3/2019 Tuesday, 12/17/2019 14-days At least $35 billion
Thursday, 12/5/2019 Thursday, 12/19/2019 14-days At least $35 billion
Monday, 12/9/2019 Monday, 1/6/2020 28-days At least $15 billion
Tuesday, 12/10/2019 Monday, 12/23/2019 13-days At least $35 billion
Thursday, 12/12/2019 Thursday, 12/26/2019 14-days At least $35 billion
Some take away quotes from various ZH postings
In short, the Fed's dual mandate has been replaced by a single mandate of promoting financial stability (or as some may say, boosting JPMorgan's stock price) similar to that of the ECB.

Here BofA adds ominously that "by deciding to dynamically assess bank demand for reserves and reduce the risk of air pockets in repo markets, we believe the Fed has entered unchartered territory of monetary policy that may stretch beyond its dual mandate." And the punchline: "By running balance-sheet policy to ensure overnight funding markets remain flush, the Fed is arguably circumventing the most important brake on excess leverage: the price."

So if NOT QE is in fact, QE, and if the Fed is once again in the price manipulation business, what then?

According to BofA's Axel, the most worrying part of the Fed's current asset purchase program is the realization that an ongoing bank footprint in repo markets is required to maintain control of policy rates in the new floor system, or as we put it less politely, banks are now able to hijack the financial system by indicating that they have an overnight funding problem (as JPMorgan very clearly did) and force the Fed to do their (really JPMorgan's) bidding.

And this is where BofA's warning hits a crescendo, because while repo is fully collateralized and therefore contains negligible counterparty credit risk, "there may be a situation in which banks want to deleverage quickly, for example during a money run or a liquidation in some market caused by a sudden reassessment of value as in 2008."

Got that? Going forward please refer to any market crash as a "sudden reassessment of value", something which has become impossible in a world where "value" is whatever the Fed says it is... Well, the Fed or a bunch of self-serving venture capitalists, who pushed the "value" of WeWork to $47 billion just weeks before it was revealed that the company is effectively insolvent the punch bowl of endless free money is taken away.

Therefore, to Bank of America, this new monetary policy regime actually increases systemic financial risk by making repo markets more vulnerable to bank cycles. This, as the bank ominously warns, "increases interconnectedness, which is something regulators widely recognize as making asset bubbles and entity failures more dangerous."

It is, however, BofA's conclusion that we found most alarming: as Axel writes, in his parting words:

"some have argued, including former NY Fed President William Dudley, that the last financial crisis was in part fueled by the Fed's reluctance to tighten financial conditions as housing markets showed early signs of froth. It seems the Fed's abundant-reserve regime may carry a new set of risks by supporting increased interconnectedness and overly easy policy (expanding balance sheet during an economic expansion) to maintain funding conditions that may short-circuit the market's ability to accurately price the supply and demand for leverage as asset prices rise."


Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 15 2019 0:42 utc | 137

What I didn't include in comment # 137 above but did in the last Weekly Open Thread is the following about the recent NOT SHORT TERM actions of the US Fed:

The POMO is a Permanent Open Market Operation (purchases from the primary private banks of Treasuries & MBS) that bought $20 billion between mid-August to mid-September, another bought $20 billion between mid-September to mid-October and $60 billion between mid-October to mid-November....totaling $100 billion of US taxpayers money, so far, and is expected to continue at the $60 billion/month until, supposedly, the middle of next year. (This is the one that should concern folks the most because the economy has supposedly not crashed yet and here the Fed is "foaming the runway" of the private banking system on the backs of Americans already

MBS = Mortgage Backed Securities

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 15 2019 0:49 utc | 138

[... Opus Dei ...] Neo-cons at it again.
Posted by: Ghost Ship | Nov 14 2019 13:24 utc | 98

Opus Dei was created in 1928 is Spain, where Catholics were opposing emerging hordes of godless Communists, Anarchists and Socialists. Since ca. 1960 Opus Dei is active in Bolivia where they continue Work of God, with fruits that he have just witnessed. Sadly, in Bolivia the error of Marxism is compounded by native superstition and paganism under flags of Pachamama. Perhaps Opus Dei is neo-Saint Inquisition, but as conservatists, they have decently long pedigree.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 15 2019 0:54 utc | 139

We have to start equating the easily-available cheap products of China as the destructive force it really is. It is similar to internet pornography. What's a little yank? What's a little pair of Nikes?

Think about for.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Nov 14 2019 21:03 utc | 135

For a moment you made me nostalgic for days when to get pornography you had to buy an album of Titian ($50+) or ancient Greek pottery (rich in gay themes among others).

With China, one has to note that most labor consuming products left China already for Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam, Honduras etc, while China cornered products like LEDs, solar panels. Moreover, China offers disciplined and educated work force that is ideal for making iPhones etc. Trump may succeed in shifting American supplies to Vietnam and Indonesia, which may be fine, but does nothing to increase American industrial jobs. Basically, some industrial policy is needed, "trade war" alone does not work.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 15 2019 1:22 utc | 140

Canthama has provided a very lengthy update on Syria that's close to the top of the comment queue here. What follows are Canthama's concluding points. Note this is all about North & Northeast Syria and also includes a few vids:

"10) The SAA and SDF are fighting side by side in Tell Tamer, where serious battles are taking place, the SAA has transferred heavy equipments there, tanks, artillery and GRADS,

"11) RuAF has partially taken Qamishili airport, it is a mix of airbase and civilian airport, and several Mi35 and MI8 have been using this facility to patrol northern Syria. There are AA placed there, SyAAD has a Pantsir system there and RuAF seems to have brought a Pantsir and maybe other AA (yet not disclosed). Several large planes are landing and taking off from Qamishili airport daily, both SAAF and RuAF. Should S300 or S400 is installed at Qamishili, then it is game over for the US or Israel to fly at will in the area without being painted in all radars. It is said that there are already 100+ Russians in Qamishili.

"12) There are now 3 main forces in northern Syria, SAA, SDF and Russians, some dedicated to patrol de border, while others dedicated to fight the turkish backed terrorists.

"Meanwhile there 4 main forces in NE Hasaka, SAA, SDF, US and Russians, all 4 are bumping into each other there, zero issues.

"13) Last but not least, there are 2 forces in Eastern Syria, US and SDF, both basically at few operational oil & gas fields.

"14) There are already 20,000+ SAA soldiers in northern and NE Syria plus thousands of NDF, heavy equipments are there and now we are seeing airpower (choppers and soon jets) and AA, all said, it is becoming evident that there is no way back, the Syrian Gov will slowly control all the area currently under US and SDC occupation.

"15) There are on going deep dialog between the SDC and the Syrian Gov, a lot of news have been leaked with negative aspects of this talkings, and mostly it is linked to the social media and few SDC leaders, the fact is that certain US influencing institutions are completely against the SDC to talk to the Syrian Gov (most CIA , Dem party and some Pentagon figures) while there some Pentagon folks that are aligned to Trump admin in fostering the bond between the Syrian Gov and SDC.

"A lot have been accomplished in northern and NE Syria so far, after 8+ years of little to no presence, the Syrian Gov is bringing back to life its Institutions and Gov machine, it will take some time, but all indication that there is no way back."

There's quite a lot happening in Idlib and in the Northeast corner of Latakia. In the ensuing comment thread, Canthama offers his take on further developments in Syria's East and on the factions within the Evil Outlaw US Empire driving the conflict. His initial paragraph:

"There is a division in the US, whether this is genuine or not I do not know, but the US seems divided between the warmongers team and the 'let get this clean up' team, I understand the Dem party, CIA and part of the Pentagon favor more conflict with Syria, and clearly there is anther group trying to get out of this mess, I see Trump playing all sides, but he is trying, once more, to leave. The oil thing is BS, the US is pumping very low amount fo oil, Russia said USD 30MM and recently the US says USD 40MM, which most of it is sold to the Syrian Gov thru the SDC, the US is clearly trying to keep the SDC with some sort of money, a way for them to pay the US for goods shipped to them…weapons, it is that simple."

So, the looted oil is used to pay for weapons that were once freely provided it appears, and then goes to the Syrian government. What a convoluted mess. Do please visit the site to read all of Canthama's news and commentary!

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 15 2019 2:28 utc | 141

Not fully true Piotr.

I understand we source other countries for our cheap goods.

But a huge per centage of high demand consumer products including Nike, etc. are indeed still made in China. 20% of imports come from China. By far our largest trading buddy.

Avoiding Chinese products would not only mean a huge increase in domestic production by necessity but also would serve our mission in the west of not interacting with a country that does not share our values.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 15 2019 2:32 utc | 142

@ 142 nemesis calling.. that horse left the barn a long time ago... i don't see the west getting it back in the stable at any point in the future..

Posted by: james | Nov 15 2019 2:42 utc | 143

Avoiding Chinese products would not only mean a huge increase in domestic production by necessity but also would serve our mission in the west of not interacting with a country that does not share our values.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 15 2019 2:32 utc | 142

We should rather trade with Vietnam, Bangladesh and Honduras. Mind you, Bangladesh, a democracy, got his huge share in textile trade not be mere low wages alone, but also by brutal ways of treating workers, disciplined work force is highly appreciated. One should also note a non-negligible trade with absolute monarchies. Formulating what values we share with whom could be a chore.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 15 2019 2:50 utc | 144

NemesisCalling 142
*Avoiding Chinese products would not only mean a huge increase in domestic production by necessity but also would serve our mission in the west of not interacting with a country that does not share our values.*

Why, you sound like that sanctimonious BBC bitch who got the
cheek to 'grill' Xi JIng Ping
'Why should we Brits feel comfortable
trading with a country without democracy, devoid of transparency, whose human rights record make us very uneasy ??'


Posted by: denk | Nov 15 2019 3:47 utc | 145

Ian2 @132: low voter turnout will not deter the political machine

Not voting is the easiest way to express dissatisfaction with the entire system.

What does it accomplish? It withholds your consent and approval.

And when enough people don't vote, that undermines the legitimacy of the government.

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

Forming Movements and protesting is better, but many Americans are too lazy to do that. Simply not voting is super easy and effective if it grows to large numbers.

PS Voting for local offices may still be effective and important. It's the Presidential election that is the most gamed and the most crucial to Empire-First warmongers.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 15 2019 3:48 utc | 146

My gut feeling....

nemetroll = pft


Posted by: denk | Nov 15 2019 4:38 utc | 147

@143 james

Obama said the same thing. I don't believe it.

We haven't even tried it yet.

We need to get the globalist class under control.

@144 Piotr

Like I said, the void of Chinese products would make room for American production. Those smaller countries you named could not handle the necessary capital demand/training to immediately fill it.

I understand those countries have abhorrent workplaces, but so did China at the outset of its boom and to a lesser degree still does today. The workers in those countries will have to step up to the plate and take their lesson from the late 19th and early 20th century workplace strikes and unionization in the U.S., the U.K., and the like.

@145 Denk

Good. Sounds like my kinda lady. Maybe the Brits are starting to come along after all. Or do they secretly long for the continual and systematic gutting of the western worker/laborer?

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 15 2019 4:51 utc | 148

NemesisCalling 148

pray tell, what are those vaunted
'values' of the 'west', to be so
jealously guarded from the chicoms...?

BLood for oil,
Economic hitmen,
State terrorism,
Perpetual wars for profit, ?????

Thank gawd the Chinese dont wanna share such 'values',


Posted by: denk | Nov 15 2019 4:59 utc | 149

@149 denk

How cute and clever.

Are you really going to demand that I do all the work and give to you what you already know?

Grow up, dude.

If you think America has been run in the last thirty years by people who have had its best interests at heart, then you might have had something with your snark.

But it wasn't, so you don't. Time to smell the coffee, brah.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Nov 15 2019 5:25 utc | 150

neme 150
*If you think America has been run in the last thirty years by people who have had its best interests at heart, then you might have had something with your snark.*

Wow, you yanks do have some very legit grievance there I see, how come nobody have the cojones to start a rev ?

I gather that you are so into color rev in China....
Ever consider taking a leaf from your
oh so beloved "hk freedom fighters' ?
Do you have the cojones ?


Posted by: denk | Nov 15 2019 5:34 utc | 151

@flankerbandit, who in 6 stated that MCAS is not so much a stall handling system but rather meant to provide stick control to the pilot via offering a certain feedback. I have experienced the onset of a stall, as vibration, myself, once in a small plane, so I agree that it is a somewhat generic situation in which an intuitive sensing of the airplane can be experienced. However, if this rings true, I'd like to ask if this sort of acute awareness is really dependend on a specific reaction in the stick. I could imagine that a diverse handling experience of a certain type, like the MAX, can be learned in a simulator, so much so that pilots can get acquainted with the unusual behaviour; possibly aided by instruments. - The answer on this question allows to infer if Boeing malignantly forced a sales feature (no pilot re-training required because MCAS), or if exquisite hubris led the design process when the larger engines threw the whole airframe off balance.

I remind my fellow barflies of the electric elevators that are setting back USS Ford. The case is somewhat reminiscent, in that an unstable layout is countered with a brute engineering approach which relies on control technology, i.e. computing power.

Posted by: persiflo | Nov 15 2019 7:50 utc | 152

The workers in those countries will have to step up to the plate and take their lesson from the late 19th and early 20th century workplace strikes and unionization in the U.S., the U.K., and the like....

The workers in those countries can't do what workers did in the US and UK or the US and UK will step in and crush them.

That is the difference, US and UK weren't banana republics/colonies where outside powers could dictate policy.

Posted by: Haassaan | Nov 15 2019 8:16 utc | 153

I do get it. The very idea of winding back the years and putting oneself in harm's way just to act in support of an ideal is rightly an anathema to us pensioners who congregate here. But that truth doesn't give us the right to second guess or denigrate others such as Evo Morales who are still trying to fight the good fight.

Simply electing not to vote for any of the bastards isn't just insufficient, it is the despicable act of a coward unless that course does more. The arseholes love it when the opposition refuses the one (albeit useless) tool offered them. All that tells 'em is that yer not gonna present any problem for them. If you have decided that permanently removing one of the selfish nogoodniks running as a dem or rethug liar, just isn't for you, that doesn't grant the right to do no more without at least putting some skin in the game.

We do understand that as long as everyone who loathes amerika's perversion of citizen input continues to quietly function as a quiet individual now declining input, that nothing can change.

If you believe what you are spruiking and actually want something better than making a p1ssweak effort at assuaging yer conscience, you will get out amongst it and unearth others who believe the same, then devise an act which cannot be ignored or dismissed by the media whores.

No one can tell you what that should be, as only the participants can comprehend the system to the point where they know what could work and what mos def will not, but simply choosing not to vote is the cowardly act of a flea.

Yep its tough - unless one considers most of you have been on the pig's back for a long time and it is only just to call in your marker now.

Posted by: A User | Nov 15 2019 9:04 utc | 154

l. ron's most enduring sci fi work was scientology. amazingly successful, for him anyway.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 15 2019 11:27 utc | 155

See? I pointed out that the NemesisOfHumanity was fascist and its posts continue to affirm that observation. I have also pointed out (in rather wordy ways) that fascism is based upon delusion and disassociation from reality; essentially the polar opposite of the scientific socialism that vk sometimes refers to.

Example of the delusion: "Avoiding Chinese products would not only mean a huge increase in domestic production..."

LMAO! Poor fascists! Reality is never kind to them. After two years of trade war, the US is in a "manufacturing recession" (anyone with an economic clue knows that is the only kind of recession that matters) and farmer suicides are up.

There is no increase in the domestic US production of anything but bullshit, which America is cranking out in record quantities, and with delusional fascists leading that productivity surge.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 15 2019 11:41 utc | 156

@ William Gruff # 156 who wrote
There is no increase in the domestic US production of anything but bullshit, which America is cranking out in record quantities, and with delusional fascists leading that productivity surge.
I agree and want to summarize my comments # 137, 138 to add that on top of the manufacturing recession that you write of and link to that the US has been in a financial recession since the August/September time frame.

The US Fed has and continues to foam the private banking runway with billions of dollars to prop up and delay price/value assessment. One reason that I can think of for that is the coming IPO of Aramco for Saudi Arabia.

Another reason is likely to be a huge game of musical chairs being played where those in control are arranging a specific set of very few chairs to be available for them when the music stops. It will all be legal of course since all these financial derivative instruments that will be in place will have Super-Priority in bankruptcy which gives those creditors of a bankrupt debtor (America) the right to receive payment before others who would seem to have superior claims to money or assets. The other losers in this case will be Social Security, pension funds, state and municipal bonds to say nothing of the savings of the public that think they are protected with FDIC.

If this event does not incite the pubic to nationalize the private banking system and imprison many then a super-national cult of folk will own what is left of the Western world and be defended by xxxx army.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 15 2019 12:18 utc | 157

@156 gruff

Keep trying to bait me, brah.

Are you trying to get me to call you a dirty Marxist or something?

And does anyone notice that actual ideas as to what the US should do us always greeted with, "Look at this delusional fascist who wants to help his country."

Keep in mind that I don't want the same level of decadence the US has enjoyed since the 80s. I do want something sustainable, with the fruits of a nationalized economy more evenly distributed among all demographics. But this is only advocating naturalism in that you can't keep screwing the little guy ad infinitum. It is also in the best interests of elites to take care of their people.


But I digress. Give me a better idea for us Americans.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Nov 15 2019 15:02 utc | 158

Looks like Jeff Bezos won't let that cloud contract from the Pentagon thing go away:

Amazon charges ‘bias’ in Pentagon cloud contract

Posted by: vk | Nov 15 2019 15:31 utc | 159

@ Posted by: AshenLight | Nov 14 2019 19:40 utc | 126

The Japanese Dream was definitely crushed with the Plaza Accord (22 September, 1985). That makes it 34 years already.

I'm rounding up to 40 because nothing miraculous will happen with Japan in the next 6 years.

Posted by: vk | Nov 15 2019 15:36 utc | 160

Numbers show joke is on the US, not Huawei

Posted by: vk | Nov 15 2019 15:38 utc | 161

pretzelattack @155: Yes, LRon even admitted that that was what he was up to, he thought religion was the best racket there was.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 15 2019 15:44 utc | 162

@S #73
I don't know if the transformer "AI" is using IBM Watson, but IBM Watson's sources are certainly the same as the transformer "AI"'s.
Which is to say: IBM Watson sucks in all of the news articles it can access - 3 million plus in English. Its algos then use this data source to populate answers to queries.
The algos underneath are what were created to enable Watson to win the Jeapordy human vs AI challenge.
Thus the machine isn't "writing" anything - it is surveying what other people are writing and re-purposing/substituting.
The way to tell is to give it something which is completely not present in news articles past or present.
All things being equal, I'd bet transformer is using the IBM Watson tech since the NLP processing requires a lot more than simple data intake.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 15 2019 16:17 utc | 163

@NemesisCalling #142
The problem with import substitution is that the factories that used to make these goods were largely moved to China.
China isn't going to give them back.
So in order to attempt to substitute US made for the China imports, the factories have to be built first.
Secondly, China heavily subsidizes the early parts of the supply chains: raw materials and what not. This wouldn't hold true to American factories.
So while the goal and the theory are good, the problem is the execution.
Russia is doing it because they're forced to: sanctions actually accelerates the process because Russian internal investors know there will be a reasonably long term market for Russian goods so long as the sanctions hold true, and the sanctions also lock in Russian capital (that which was repatriated) to some extent.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 15 2019 16:23 utc | 164

Of course, fascists are always just trying to do what's best for their tribe. Does anyone imagine that the Japanese and Germans and Italians of almost a century ago just woke up one morning and decided "Hey, let's be evil! Let's commit the most inhuman acts imaginable against our fellow humans because why not? That would be a great way to spend a few years!"? Of course not. They were just as convinced as our NemesisOfHumanity that they stood for good and were just standing up for their tribe. They were convinced of their own exceptionality, and were horrified by the flapper decadence of prior years, seeking something more divine and purified for their respective exceptional cultures.

It would always be best if people (and whole cultures!) could accept themselves for what they really are rather than building elaborate fantasies in which they play the starring roles. Fascists could achieve peace of mind if they could see themselves for what they truly are, but then with their delusions discarded they couldn't really be fascists anymore, could they? Without their delusions the sinister threats from the scheming Soviets and the inscrutable Chicoms would dissipate from the fascists' minds like the morning fog before the sun. The vast gulf of differences between themselves and those "primitive others" whom the fascists feel obligated to bring enlightenment to, by force if necessary, would dwindle to insignificance without the delusions that the fascists rely upon to view themselves as superheroes.

Finally, without the delusions the fascists would be able to see fascism for the pack psychology that it is, with the fascists just being the beta dogs serving the elite alpha dogs in the hopes for a pat on the head. The "It is also in the best interests of elites to take care of their people" assertion would become apparent to them as a plaintive plea to the alpha dogs of their pack/tribe for security against the imaginary threats their delusions generate.

As an aside, real socialists never say "The elites should take care of the little guy!" On the contrary, real socialists say "The working class should organize itself and seize control of the productive forces of society." The first is begging from one's master, while the second is working towards a society without masters. The first cultivates in the believer's mind the notion that if they better serve their master that they may be rewarded with scraps off that master's dinner table, while the second cultivates the idea that everyone should sit at that dinner table. It is that drive to better serve the elites that powers the viciousness of fascism, while it is the delusion that beta dog status in the exceptional pack is an exalted position that conceals from the fascist their own rabid viciousness.

Posted by: WGruff, dirtyMarxist | Nov 15 2019 16:29 utc | 165

@WGruff #165
The problem is - the Soviet Union showed that even "working class" socialist governments still can be corrupted by power.
That the power is held by bureaucrats as opposed to oligarchs is a distinction without meaning.
From my view, the main problem isn't that the oligarchs are taking more and more control - it is that the balance has shifted too far. So I actually agree with what you're advocating, but only in the short term.
Ultimately, my personal view is that a government that randomly shifts, en mass, every generation is the only type that would work because this is the only way to ensure that smart, motivated people within any system won't be able to long term game/modify the system to benefit themselves.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 15 2019 16:39 utc | 166

Major defense technology leak? Israeli missile interceptor reportedly falls in Gaza Strip and is intact

A crucial part of Israel’s Tamir interceptor, which is used in the middle-range Iron Dome air defense system, seems to have fallen intact in the Gaza Strip, potentially creating a major leak of secret rocket technology.

Posted by: vk | Nov 15 2019 16:40 utc | 167

@ Posted by: c1ue | Nov 15 2019 16:39 utc | 166

From Luciana Bohne, apud Pepe Escobar's Facebook page:

At the 19th Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, President Xi (31 October 2019) reiterated the imperative of "Upholding the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC."

Why does Xi insist on this point as #1 item on the party's agenda of items?

Let's make a comparison. In 1956, Khrushchev denounced Stalin as a "dictator" and of using the party as a sort of church for the worship of his own "personality cult." This was nonsense of course and Mao said so formally in 1963, but it was music to the ears of the capitalist powers, in the lead the US .

Kruscev then decided to liberalize the "Stalinist party"--which was more music to the ears of the capitalist "Free West." He said, since the class struggle in in the USSR was over, there were no class enemies, and everyone could join the party. Opportunist did; corrupt greedy people did, until at last in 1989 it was top heavy with members of the shadow economy--managers of factories, mines, industries of all sorts who had over 3 decades accumulated undeclared private wealth from leeching from the the public wealth. The party had become a club of "entrepreneurs" (thieves) whose best bet for investments of their ill-gotten accumulation of wealth was the restoration of capitalism.

There was much more damage to the party than I can synthesize in a post, but this small bit will do. The party was infiltrated by opportunists of the worst greed. And its integrity, authority, ability to plan the economy according to scientific Marxist Lenininst wisdom and principles died.

Now the US and the Cia had long ago figured that if the integrity of party could be disintegrated the USSR would collapse. And so it did.

The CPC has no intention of China collapsing and falling once again into the avid hands of Western imperialism, which wages capitalist.imperialist class war on China. So, China would never dream of declaring the class struggle over for China.

Its constitution states that China will remain a class society for a long time. Not only because it depends for the creation of wealth on a loyal national, anti-imperialist bourgeoisie but also because China is threatened by imperialism, which is also a class war Kruscev ignored, calling for "peaceful coexistence" with imperialism, since both USSR and the imperialists supposedly shared the goal of peace under the nuclear cloud.

The man was a scoundrel and destroyed the power of the Communist Party, paving the way to the restoration of capitalism.

This is the difference between the Soviet Union post-1956 and China. Mao was not cleansed out of the party and consigned to the lower depths of Hell like Stalin. Whatever his mistakes, he was treated as a comrade not an enemy, his contribution acknowledged, his deficits also--unlike Stalin. Furthermore, his revolutionary contribution to the founding and survival of the People's Republic of China was enshrined in the party's memory. His picture is on the currency. He is loved and respected. The party was not stressed, purged, or divided by making Mao an issue of allegiance.

Finally, by recognizing the contribution of the loyal bourgeoisie to a self-sufficient, independent China, the CPC acknowledges that China is still a class society. No second economy, operating in the shadow for China. The private sector exists and is regulated (and lately bought up gradually by the state). No chance for a clutch of opportunists to accumulate more combined wealth than the state's and so able to take over the state and exact regime change.

This is why Xi specifically demands and requires a strong, centralized, integral, and uncorrupt Communist party. The party is the insurance for the persistence of the path to socialism and eventually communism for China. No party, no sovereign, imperialism-free China

And in this determination of making the CPC the pillar of China's social and economic progress for all the people, Xi is acting as a Leninist. The party is for the people and the people for the party. They are one. Without a revolutionary party and a revolutionary theory (in China "scientific and Marxist) the revolution would die. A it did in the Soviet Union, starting with the Kruscev gambit.

This for the West is "authoritarianism," though the West is ruled by a clutch of authoritarian economic elites who make all the decisions in their own interests. But they call tit "democracy." At least in China, if anything, it's an "authoritarianism" for and by the people--a bit closer to democracy, I should argue.

Posted by: vk | Nov 15 2019 16:54 utc | 168

A world map of countries that do not diplomatically recognise Israel.

Apart from the MENA area, the states that do not recognise Israel are Malaysia and Indonesia in Asia pacific region, and Venezuela and Bolivia in south America.

Venezuela - anti Israel with large oil reserves, Bolivia - anti Israel with large lithium deposits, exporting gas plus has some oil reserves.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 15 2019 17:04 utc | 169

@165 gruff

Your first paragraph runs into the immediate slippery slope fallacy re: the Nazis!

America is different. Due quite frankly to its not being a part of the European land mass and because we have already incorporated all walks of life into our fabric who indeed love their country.

The other nitpick I have is that you play semantics with my phrasing and think that I mean some hypercentralized gov't is needed to "take care of the people." nonsense. What I mean and what anyone can see clear as day is we must rid ourselves of the extractor-class who have sold the little guy down the river. Once people who love this country are actually leading it, one would be amazed what a great people we are when we don't go poking about the world.

I understand you are blinded by your hatred for the U.S. And its citizens. I don't blame you. But I would say the other thing we are really guilty of is being suckered into thinking being the "do-gooder" in the world suits us. It does not. We are guilty of a bleeding heart. And that is how they win one over on us.

But I see you would rather us not revert to a more natural and nationalized stance. I'm afraid all your troll-hunting efforts seem to me anyway as necessary deflection for something very plant-like.

I would advise eyes reading this to take heed of that tactic. You know where I stand. But gruff has nothing to offer the average American but a prescription for more self-hatred and generalized obfuscation.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Nov 15 2019 17:23 utc | 170

@ Posted by: vk | Nov 15 2019 15:36 utc | 160

Taking the long view that's probably true, yet Japan's markets seem not to have noticed until mid-1989.

Regarding @167, my understanding is that the Iron Dome (like most if not all missile shields) is a lemon anyway.

Posted by: AshenLight | Nov 15 2019 17:25 utc | 171

Nemesiscalling @170

You fail to see that America has changed. You've drunk the Kool-Aid that pays lip service to the ideals you cherish while those same ideals are undermined at every turn.

Gruff and others are arguing for the dignity that has been lost ... and more.

USA people are supposed to be sovereign. Instead a small group has hijacked our sovereignty for the benefit of a globalist elite. Perhaps you think you benefit from that? Perhaps you feel comfortable living in an apartheid country that's at war (declared or undeclared) with many other countries?

If you really loved the country as you claim, and the ideals on which it was founded, then you'd be applauding comments like Gruff's.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 15 2019 17:59 utc | 172

@ 124 Bemildred and etc RSG audiobook on YT @ /tinyurl [dot] /qmh9pc7

The gunfight with the nazis is at about 5 hours.

Is "Juvenal fiction" genre. The sole material value is the tell-tale that old Bob had twigged from the MIC grapevine that the German nazis were not entirely defeated, but that the nazielite had escaped and remained at large. That's the basis of the conflict driving the plot. Naturally Bob got it wrong because he seems to have been unwilling to suspend disbelief in the essential good of the US. Unwilling to see the links between those Good Men who pulled the coup on Roosevelt, the UK, and Berlin. Of course it was harder to see in those days...

And a hard telling would have fallen flat in the political atmosphere of '47 + Juvenal fiction is about the only place to say it...

I myself often heard it said that the nazi German elite escaped to South America...'round about 1954 I heard it in the school-yard from a W2 veteran turned teacher. And later I heard this when Israel kidnapped Eichmann, and later still in ROTC from, again, senior NCOs who were W2 guys.

A few years ago the "discovered" all sorta stuff - and there were/are eye witnesses that describe TGM A. H. arriving at the Hotel.

Withal, the nazis did go to the moon...ask TGM v. Braun and his cohort. And they got us to pay for it...


Another good book about them is John Steinbeck's The Moon is Down 1943
It's also a movie, and the flick is on YT tiny url dot /reanqtl

so's the audiobook.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 15 2019 18:05 utc | 173

@172 jr

You have very very poor reading comprehension. Is your personality to think about what you are going to say next before the other person is done talking?

It shows with your persistence with your deep state theory even though truckloads of logic has dumped on your head week in and week out. You are like my flipping wife!

Go back and read my comments before addressing me. You will find that I have consistently been an advocate for non-interventionism, eradicating the globalist class, and reinvigorating American nationalism through relocated production. And it wouldn't take much more than firstly installing officials that love this country.

Oh my goodness, jr. Smh

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Nov 15 2019 18:19 utc | 174

Below is a quote from ZH

Longtime GOP operative and Trump associate Roger Stone was found guilty on seven felony counts related to lying about upcoming WikiLeaks releases during the 2016 US election, along with obstruction and witness tampering.

How long before Trump pardons him to show how much of a farce America has become?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 15 2019 21:05 utc | 175


YOu'r really full of it.

Been cheer leading the HK 'freedom fighters's cause, now you declare yourself an 'anti-interventionist'

GImme me a fucking break.

Posted by: denk | Nov 16 2019 2:21 utc | 176

@176 denk

I sympathize with the western-educated youth in Hong Kong.

And I had doubts as to why they would perpetrate heinous acts of violence against civilians.

I do applaud them for demonstrating, however, and I think the public is still mostly behind them.

But if it simplifies things for you to think I would desire lighting someone on fire, then go ahead and misrepresent me.

Not trying to win the likes of you over anyway.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Nov 16 2019 3:09 utc | 177

neme 177

*I sympathize with the western-educated youth in Hong Kong.*

YOu applaud those stooges of NED/CIA
color rev.


Posted by: denk | Nov 16 2019 3:15 utc | 178

Prik Trump pardoned U.S. military war criminals today.

Trump pardons war criminals

Real nice boy, your Trump.

Just this fact alone is reason enough to impeach his ass, but hush my mouth, on this site impeach Trump is heresy, cause Trump can do no wrong here. It's always someone else pressuring baby Trump to do bad things and poop his diaper.

The good news today is that Roger Stone is facing certain prison for lying to protect Trump. So Mr. Dandy-No-More-Soon will be trading in his mobster pin stripe suit and gangster bonnet for orange overalls. At least the color will remind him every day of whom he's doing time for, namely, the Orange Blob. A sucker is born every day. Something Trump has counted on all his life.

Ahhh...justice is so refreshing, especially, when it's snapping at Trump's bone spur heels.

I can't wait for the next kicker. If the Supreme Court rejects taking up Trump's plea against releasing his tax returns...I'm a believer again. On second thought, I'll aim for Trump sharing a cell with El Chapo.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 16 2019 3:59 utc | 179

*I sympathize with the western-educated youth in Hong Kong.

I don't think they can do anything else. When given the choice to fade or rage, it is obvious the western-educated youth are choosing to rage.*

Wow !
NOw I see what you mean by 'western values',
Blessed with their 'western education', the HK youths choose to fight, not to fade.

Over in the 'west'...

*We've been badly served by our leaders in the past thirty years*

You've been shafted by your leaders for three centuries,
Mark Twain had been writing about pax murikka from day one. [fixed]

All of you blessed with that wonderful 'western education, ' the original articles no less, choose to fade, for all of three centuries.


Posted by: denk | Nov 16 2019 4:47 utc | 180

Circe | Nov 16 2019 3:59 utc | 179 Not that it matters, but formally a pardon involves the criminal first being convicted and then, only then, he may be offered a pardon. He does not have any obligation to accept it, because to accept a pardon involves prerequisite admission of guilt.

In international law, war criminals may be prosecuted by any state, and there's not principle of double jeopardy, but they may be punished only double punishment.

Of course, once the guilty admits his guilt by accepting a pardon, then civil suits at law become fairly straightforward...

see >
The Laws of War: A Comprehensive Collection of Primary Documents on International Laws Governing Armed Conflict 1st Edition

..............the USC is, some say, merely a "goddamnedpiece o paper" (Bushie43)

It does seem to be moot, eh?

Posted by: Walter | Nov 16 2019 11:42 utc | 181


I freely admit I am confused about exactly what the 'rage in Hong Kong' is about.

Has any of these 'ragers' managed to established exactly what freedoms they lack, or desire? And will a change of politicians achieve any of these non-stated freedoms? Maybe more visits by US Marines? What else? Change of hands of a few billions of dollars maybe...

It's just a set of fuck-heads, led and bled by dickheads that want to upset a machine for their own profit and glorification.

Fighting for 'democracy'? There's no such thing.

All 'democracies' do is reflect existing power structures. If you don't believe me, I'll give you the epitome.

Can anyone conceive of a government in the self-described 'most beautiful of democrocies/republics', the glorious US of A, that will not be owned by either Democrats or Republican? What kind of democracy is that? Especially when neither has a stitch of difference in their attitudes towards foreign policy (at least, until Trump started upsetting the war-machine's apple-cart).

If the Hong Kong protesters succeed, I predict they will earn themselves nothing but another Ukraine. Owned by oligarchs and attitudes. Same power structure, different words.

Posted by: Ant. | Nov 16 2019 13:29 utc | 182

NemesisOfHumanity @170 asserts "America is different."

We can rephrase that as "The fascists in Germany and Japan of last century thought that they were exceptional, but they were wrong! Only America is exceptional! America is exceptionally exceptional!"

But Japan and Germany really were exceptional and still are to this day. If one cherry-picks the traits one is using to define "exceptionality" then one can argue that any country is the exceptional one. It just takes some national chauvinism to believe it.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 16 2019 13:31 utc | 183

Of course anything we wish to examine is unique, "exceptional". This is obvious. You are exceptional, my dog is exceptional Germany is exceptional. The term is without semantic value, more or less.

So why use it? what does it really mean in current agitprop jargon?

It's code for "not bound by law".

Willy Sutton was exceptional, so was the Commandante.

And these are indeed "exceptional" times...

Posted by: Walter | Nov 16 2019 14:24 utc | 184

Live video stream: Yellow Vests march in Paris ahead of first anniversary. Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the protests.

Posted by: S | Nov 16 2019 14:49 utc | 185

Ant 182

Voting is not an option.
[45 !@#$%^! in a row in WH says its a feature, not a bug]

NOt voting is not an option.
[tptb wins by default]

ONly way out......
Gawd forbid, a revolution !

But I aint holding my breath !

Irony of irony !
'Western educated' westerners like neme dont seem to develop the
same backbone driving the 'western educated' HK 'freedom fighters' !!!

As a consolation , 'western educated' westerners like neme are reduced to cheering on 'western educated' HKers in CIA orchestrated color rev, to compensate for their own inadequacy.


Posted by: denk | Nov 16 2019 14:58 utc | 186

prob [neme is pft] = 0.9

Posted by: denk | Nov 16 2019 15:07 utc | 187

@ 180 (HK?) What it's about is the Empire establishing a pied-à-terre on the island - opening an ulcer in the body of China, and keeping it open... Perhaps an echo of the Korean ulcer opened by the Truman Administration. And of course Japan remains occupied... These are Imperial Forward Operating Bases, at least to the eye of historians.

Meantime, of course, the Empire is retreating to the near abroad - South America - that's the way it goes, strategic retreat...but it's not smooth, and by "trading" a pied-à-terre in Asia Empire may seek to gain a similar retreat by China in, say Argentina or wherever.

It games out in several ways. All illegal of course, and expensive, and rather stupid. Not that I object. It's just the freak show from the runaway train's filthy windows. We get to watch.


Corbett, to change the subject, analysis of Snowden. Good, with endnotes.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 16 2019 15:23 utc | 188

Walter 188

meanwhile, hardcore 'western educated' HK 'freedom fighters', aka CIA trained agent provocateurs, seem bent on escalating violence to provoke a PLA crackdown.
SOBS in fukus have been salivating for a real ' massacre' in HK.

If their last caper in TAM, that fake
''massacre' has given such a huge
black eye to China, how about a real
time 'massacre' broadcast live to the
world from HK. !

Such is the sobs wet dream, their
fiendish wish is so intense its almost palpable .

Posted by: denk | Nov 16 2019 16:01 utc | 189

Below is a recent quote of Putin from ZH via tweet of @Ben__Rickert


Vladimir Putin: "The Dollar Enjoyed Great Trust Around The World. But For Some Reason It Is Being Used As A Political Weapon, Imposing Restrictions. Many Countries Are Now Turning Away From The Dollar As A Reserve Currency. US Dollar Will Collapse Soon."


Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 16 2019 16:04 utc | 190

I watched the video of VVP saying that, but I got enough Russian to see that the subtitles in English were close. The English was "They will collapse..." It was not the dollar that he was speaking of, I think.

If he's quoted accurately as "They " the implication is that he's got the trigger and a plan, or knows who does. The implication is domestic chaos, one may speculate. The implication is some conditional pre-emptive action of major effect.


Posted by: Walter | Nov 16 2019 21:14 utc | 191

Just watched parts of the video of Prince Andrew talking about his friend Epstein. One denial after another. To me it looked like a skilful bit of lying but I'm curious to know what others might think.

Obviously those barflies who think the story is just a frivolous distraction don't need to answer.

Posted by: dh | Nov 16 2019 23:27 utc | 192

"I watched the video of VVP saying that, but I got enough Russian to see that the subtitles in English were close. The English was "They will collapse..." It was not the dollar that he was speaking of, I think.

If he's quoted accurately as "They " the implication is that he's got the trigger and a plan, or knows who does. The implication is domestic chaos, one may speculate. The implication is some conditional pre-emptive action of major effect.


Posted by: Walter | Nov 16 2019 21:14 utc | 191"


It is the dollar he is speaking of.

The dollar is over-leveraged. There is an enourmous debt-bomb primed and ready.

The holders of much of that debt are institutions, such as pension-funds, retail banks, municipalities, charities etc., who are to some degree obligated, to invest a large percentage of their assets under management in alleged low-risk fixed-income financial instruments.

The problem now is that these "low-risk" financial instruments are no longer as low-risk as they were once alleged to be.

The reason Mr Putin is not panicking about this issue is because this is an issue which will effect the financialised Western economies far more than it will the Russian economy, because the Russian economy carries far lower amounts of debt, both domestic and foreign

Posted by: Realist | Nov 17 2019 0:05 utc | 193

Deutsche Bank, on the other hand, IS panicking, and rightly so

Posted by: Realist | Nov 17 2019 0:08 utc | 194

"Just watched parts of the video of Prince Andrew talking about his friend Epstein. One denial after another. To me it looked like a skilful bit of lying but I'm curious to know what others might think.

Posted by: dh | Nov 16 2019 23:27 utc | 192"


Of course it's a very skillful bit of lying.

He's a made-man of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and as such can command the services of the best trained and most learned Liars in the Realm.

Posted by: Realist | Nov 17 2019 0:17 utc | 195

@ Nov 17 2019 0:05 utc | 193 VVP "They/The"

Whatever you say, but you have not explained why he said they rather than the.

No doubt you are fluent in Russian. I am not.

Nevertheless, whether it's they or the, the result will be the same. I recall that B41 spoke of "lamp-posts", and Obummer of "pitchforks". They must be terrified and under awful strain. Can't expect the best judgement from a crowd like that, can we?

If the buckie go, then the civil order will be undermined, two aspects same same.

Uk going byebye, C Murray says, perhaps also other states. Latent stresses find fissures in chaotic times.

That's a bummer anyway ya' slice it.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 17 2019 0:53 utc | 196

@ Realist and Walter about my/Putin comment re US dollar as Reserve Currency demise

How do you think the pensioners, municipalities, other countries and such are going to take it when the derivative holders come forward after the crash and say "We own everything and its all legal because of our Super-Priority position"?

That is the only reason I can think of why the Fed is "foaming the runway" so it never happens or can be blamed on someone else, if it does.....I still think they would be tres stupid to come forward claiming their "legal" derivatives put them in Super-Priority position over everyone else.....cue the lamp posts or guillotines

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 17 2019 1:33 utc | 197

@ Walter #196

I said "the Dollar" because you alluded to "some conditional pre-emptive action of major effect" on the part of Mr Putin.

No action on the part of Mr Putin is implied nor necessary for the house of financialised Western economic cards to crumble.

Mr Putin is not responsible for the coming debt implosion.

Its effects will be widespread within Western Economies most especially because, as I pointed out "The holders of much of that debt are institutions, such as pension-funds, retail banks, municipalities, charities etc., who are to some degree obligated, to invest a large percentage of their assets under management in alleged low-risk fixed-income financial instruments."

So there will indeed be a strong possibility of the utilisation of lamp-posts and pitchforks.

The newly financially disenfranchised "man on the Clapham omnibus" is going to want to seek some satisfaction for his losses

Posted by: Realist | Nov 17 2019 1:55 utc | 198

"How do you think the pensioners, municipalities, other countries and such are going to take it when the derivative holders come forward after the crash and say "We own everything and its all legal because of our Super-Priority position"?"


Not very well, I should imagine, PH

Posted by: Realist | Nov 17 2019 1:59 utc | 199

It must be, for Mr Putin, a very heart-warming irony indeed that the financial sanctions, unfairly imposed by the US and it's lackies on Russian economic access to the international debt-based financial system, have in fact served to insulate, to some degree, the Russian economy from that ticking debt-bomb I mentioned earlier

Posted by: Realist | Nov 17 2019 2:07 utc | 200

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