Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 03, 2019

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-64

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama were fewer than usual as your host was a bit under the weather.

This from WaPo is ridiculous:

> [Lt.Col. Vindman] told lawmakers that he was deeply troubled by what he interpreted as an attempt by the president to subvert U.S. foreign policy and an improper attempt to coerce a foreign government into investigating a U.S. citizen. <

That the WaPo scribe lets it stand without pointing out that, constitutionally, the president sets foreign policies is even worse. An earlier NYT piece about an NSC staffer who Trump likes and had asked about the Ukraine had a similar bad formulation:

> Any involvement by Mr. Patel in Ukraine issues would signal another attempt by Mr. Trump’s political loyalists to go around American policymakers to shape policy toward Kiev. <

Other issues:

A good overview of how the conflict in Syria developed:
Russia Isn't Getting the Recognition It Deserves on Syria - Scott Ritter, Truthdig
US Needs To Occupy Syria Because Of Kurds Or Iran Or Chemical Weapons Or Oil Or Whatever - Caitlin Johnstone

Former U.S. supplied proxy forces kill other former U.S. supplied proxy forces with U.S. supplied weapons (video):

Cᴀʟɪʙʀᴇ Oʙsᴄᴜʀᴀ @CalibreObscura - 8:24 PM · Nov 2, 2019
TFSA hitting a YPG/SDF vehicle (Humvee?) with a likely originally US-supplied BGM-71 TOW ATGM.

Russiagate: Growing Indicators of Brennan's CIA Trump Task Force - Larry Johnson, SST
Ukrainegate: Some interesting backstories on John Brennan in this Kiriakou and Matt Taibbi talk. Kiriakou thinks that the 'whistleblower complaint' is a part of the CIA plot against Trump:
CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou on Impeachment, "Assets," and the Espionage Act | Useful Idiots (vid)

Last week Germany won an important battle against the U.S.:
Denmark grants permit for construction of Nord Stream 2 pipeline in its waters - Tass
Europe’s gas alliance with Russia is a match made in heaven - M. K. BHADRAKUMAR, Indian Punchline

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on November 3, 2019 at 14:18 UTC | Permalink

next page »

It was a weird week sadly it is only going to get weirder. Have safe Sunday all and thanks b for your time to get the truth out.

Posted by: jo6pac | Nov 3 2019 14:45 utc | 1

From Caitlin Johnstone's piece...
"We were told that the US must intervene in Syria because the Syrian government was massacring its people. We were told that the US must intervene in Syria in order to promote freedom and democracy in the Middle East. We were told that the US must intervene in Syria because Assad used chemical weapons. We were told that the US must occupy Syria to fight ISIS. We were told that the US must continue to occupy Syria to counter Iranian influence. We were told the US must continue to occupy Syria to protect the Kurds. Now the US must continue to occupy Syria because of oil."

US is in Syria for Israel. Keeping the Syrian oil now is about covering the cost of US long term occupation of the Syrian border for Israel.
Now to see if Trump can come out of the Iraq color revolution holding Iraq's oil. Whatever the outcome in Iraq, the current operation against it has prevented Iraq making any noises about what US is doing in Syria and US access of border crossings into Syria.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 3 2019 15:05 utc | 2

Later this week:

Iran warned months ago it would take further action to free itself from JCPOA restrictions if Europe was not going to stand up to USA bullying and that is supposed to happen later this week. That would likely mean the initiation of the "snap back" process to reimpose UN sanctions.

We should see some sort of resolution of the Israeli election. Netanyahu's former Defense Minister is the key decision-maker. Will he bend the knee or force a third election?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 3 2019 15:07 utc | 3

I might be willing to explore how democracy is being endangered (by endorsing anything) if I could find any example of democracy beyond a ham-radio club or boy scout patrol.

The deep state, and every state shallow deep or in-between, "limits" democracy... This is the essence of all states. And this limitation means that the "democracy" is essentially a fraud, a deception, a ringer, a method of "perception management" - a way of making the mark believe in the con.

I don't mind this reality, it's normal and probably a good thing (think about it).

But I do object to the implications, such as, inter alia, that democracy exists in reality on any significant scale, and that it's desirable - and worst of all, that's it's not a costume - wizard of oz time boys and girls?

You bet... Now go watch the magic show and stop thinking...

Posted by: Walter | Nov 3 2019 15:23 utc | 4

Saudi Arabia’s Aramco officially kick-starts IPO procedure

Newer estimates bet on USD 1.7 trn -- much less than the earlier ones. The process will be slow ("very cautious") and it's not disclosed if they will be negotiated at the LSE or Wall Street.

The capitalists bet on China capitulating to a "capitalist reform" and opening up its precious productive chains and financial sector to open exploitation by Western capital. It didn't happen and now they will sack Saudi wealth. Saudi Arabia will have to "take one for the team"; as a sweetener, they will probably receive nuclear energy technology from the Americans (a technology which, as we already know, can be adapted to develop nuclear weapons).

Posted by: vk | Nov 3 2019 15:29 utc | 5

US now controlling the oil field at Rumailan.

A report here dated Sep 23 on US setting up bases to control the oil.
Provides some detail on bases.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 3 2019 15:32 utc | 6

Peter AU1 @2

This notion of USA profiting from the oil is a smokescreen. It seems much more likely that the oil will be used by, any profits received by, whatever local Syrian organization USA approves of.

Notice that CJ doesn't cite Israel among the many reasons for USA to stay - despite Trump's having done so (he did!). And, while she attacks USA's evil intentions, she's careful not to support Assad ("I’m not an Assadist — he’s a Caitlinist").

I notice this principally because CJ has also sought to elevate Max Blumenthal to a "dissident journalist" on par with Assange via imagery and the formulation: "first they came for Assange ... then they came for Blumenthal".

CJ MUST KNOW that Max B. was a champion of the effort to oust Assad even when he clearly should've know that it was US-Israeli-Saudi proxy war.

CJ MUST KNOW that Max's 2-day suspiciously-arranged imprisonment is nothing like what Assange has experienced.

CJ MUST KNOW that Assange and Clinton are mortal enemies (not an exaggeration as Assange is slowly killed).

CJ MUST KNOW that Max's father is a long-time Clinton operative.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 3 2019 15:37 utc | 7

I see Joshua Landis' twitter says "In 2012, Erdogan asked al Assad to put Muslim Brothers into his Cabinet. When al Assad refused, the former minister said, Erdogan made clear that he would back all efforts to remove the president and replace him with Islamists."

"Turkey May Have Stepped Into Its Own 'Endless War' in Syria"

Ok... and now an entirely unrelated coincidence...Cosmic disaster: Massive fire ravages astronomy center in Turkish capital (VIDEO)

Nothing to see, move along.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 3 2019 15:47 utc | 8

Also worthy of note is Pat Lang's censorship of a comment that made about how bogus Russiagate and Ukrainegate are.

Both the Left and the Right love the partisan food fight that distracts and entertains the masses. LOL.

But it wasn't enough to simply delete the comment, he felt it necessary to smear me, first as a bitter old pensioner, then as a marxist: A rule about comments and commenters.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 3 2019 15:54 utc | 9

comment that I made

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 3 2019 15:55 utc | 10

Gabbard. I read the OFF act today. Compared to AOC’s Green New Deal, my take.

AOC is more mainstream than TG., third-wayer USA style, supports Sanders (OK.. in the pol landscape..) and is more influential / accepted in the establishment. Gabbard far better, on anti-war and other.

A brief look at climate + energy.

Both are pie-in-the sky and ‘claim’ meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.

AOC p.7.. TG similar.

Both propose an aim of “zero carbon emissions” or “net zero carbon” by 2035. (not the same thing of course, but much is confused...)

AOC includes very sweeping societal aims (green jobs etc.), international collab, education, and even:

ensuring a commercial environment where every businessperson is free from unfair competition and domination by domestic or international monopolies

Heh! in the US?

..but is prudent in its language, the phrase as much as technologically feasible is used v. often. Ex.

working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is techno- logically feasible ..

AOC promotes removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere aka,‘new’ carbon capture tech (p. 9.)

*Vs.* TG, the language is clear, the position hard and logically consistent, a “zero carbon economy, using only renewable generation by 2035”, > all electric, as nuclear power is also verboten.

/— How and where the electric energy is produced, stored, delivered to the end user, is not addressed by either bills. Both are against nuclear. These are pol. discourses, and not based on any analysis of ‘energy’ —/

TG OFF act is more sympathetic imho in the sense that it details impacts on poor communities and that these must be adressed, reversed. Many of the points in it are excellent (but only tangentially linked to energy policy.. or climate..), she wants to stop / reverse harm, vs. AOC who touts fantastico green jobs.

refs in 2.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 3 2019 16:11 utc | 11

tulsi on climate change

OFF act (“off fossil fuels”) - link is to US gov site

green new deal AOC

wiki (some history etc.)

link is to US gov site

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 3 2019 16:14 utc | 12

Jackrabbit "And, while she attacks USA's evil intentions, she's careful not to support Assad ("I’m not an Assadist — he’s a Caitlinist")."

This seems common amongst those that identify as green or progressive and not just on Syria and Assad. Assange was similar.
Not long back, I was reading the twitter accounts of a few young and foolish journalists that believed the crap put out by the likes of bellingcrap, so went to Syria to report on the 'revolution'. They ended up featuring in snuff movies but their twitter accounts are still open.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 3 2019 16:22 utc | 13

Apud Michael Roberts blog's facebook:

Robert Reich:
Thanks to Trump’s trade wars, US farm bankruptcies in Sept. soared to 24% — highest level since 2011. Nearly 40% of projected farm profit this year will come from trade aid, disaster assistance, & federal subsidies. Farm aid has now cost more than double the 2009 auto bailout.

Posted by: vk | Nov 3 2019 16:43 utc | 14

thanks b! it's always interesting and thought provoking..

regarding the M. K. BHADRAKUMAR article on nord 2, it seems to me that the coming together of russia and europe is only a matter of time.. as much as the usa would like to impede this, i can't see them being successful.. fact is russia is a part of europe! trying to keep them separate can't work.. new world order...

@7 jackrabbit.. i think where you and i differ is in that you will take a shred of truth - a molehill - and make a mountain out of it.. that's what it looks like with the cj analysis.. i have to say it seems you do the same with the deep state too.. sure there is some truth to what you say, but i think your conclusions are wrong mostly because who make a mountain out of a mole hill.. but regardless, i still appreciate how attached you are to your mountains - but i just don't see it like you..

@12 noirette... thanks for sharing your perspective on all that! it seems to me AOC has been given the fast track hard sell in the msm, where as TG has been given the cold shoulder... someone is really preening AOC for future exploitation as i see it.. i could be wrong.. i have said this before as well..

Posted by: james | Nov 3 2019 16:44 utc | 15

Forgetful Biden gave an interview with the WSJ. He speaks for Israel. The same Israel's plan of some 45 years ago: break up the surrounding countries into warring statelets and we can live and steal in peace; piece by piece.

Biden Compares Trump’s Syrian Oil Theft Policy to ‘Giant 300-Foot Daesh Recruiting Poster

[.] Leaving troops behind like [Trump’s] doing now – he says that what he wants to do is we’re going to occupy the oil fields and we’re going to take ‘em. That’s like a giant 300-foot recruiting poster for ISIS,” Biden said, speaking to the Wall Street Journal.[.]

"Russia’s position in the region has just been strengthened. [Syrian President Bashar] Assad’s position has been strengthened. Iran now has a pathway all the way to Syria and even to Lebanon. If I’m the Israelis I’m not going to be very happy about that. So the whole thing has been turned upside down and we’re in there alone now, basically,” the former vice president said.[.]

Timber Sycamore

During his tenure as Barack Obama’s vice president, Biden was a key supporter of sending US arms to the militants fighting against Damascus. He was involved in the Central Intelligence Agency’s classified weapons supply and training programme, known as Timber Sycamore, which equipped and trained thousands of fighters between 2012 and 2017, when it was closed down by the Trump administration.

Those lapel flag pins with the stars and stripes should be replaced by the blue and white star of David flag pins because it is what it is.

Posted by: Likklemore | Nov 3 2019 17:04 utc | 16

Western/Central Europe coming to terms with Russia and settling down for good relations between neighbours should've been the obvious path back in 1990. I mean, they did it between UK-France and Germany after 1945, it was only logical that they would do the same with Russia - I mean, there's less bad blood between them, overall. Of course, countries like Poland wouldn't be as enthusiastic, for obvious reasons, so it would've been better to come to a common understanding before the former Soviet bloc joined EU, and definitely way better to set up some spheres of influence before the Ukraine mess.

Jackrabbit: Pat Lang can be quite the old thin-skinned "Commies - bad" curmudgeon, which is at best frustrating. On the other hand, I always have a kick at seeing him campaigning for the dissolution of CIA and FBI, like in his latest post. I get that he's also arguing from an efficiency point of view, and I'd agree with him about the efficiency gains, even if I'd be more interested by the mere fact that US agencies would greatly reduced their fucking-up with the rest of the world, if these agencies were gone for good. Heck, I could live with a USA with more efficient agencies this way, since it would still mean them having to get rid of their Full Spectrum Dominance and Global Hegemon wet-dream, and instead focusing on fighting against clear and present danger and genuine threats against the US as a country, not as a global economic and political empire. Heck, I'd be already relieved if not glad if the US went back to Monroe doctrine and were to submit to a reverse-Monroe (as in the US stops messing with the Old World once and for all and doesn't interfer with any country outside the Americas).

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Nov 3 2019 17:05 utc | 17

@14 US farmers appreciate the $28bn aid package and most of them probably still like Trump. Aid like that would be called socialism if any other country did it.

Posted by: dh | Nov 3 2019 17:06 utc | 18

Peter AU 1

It struck me how careful she was about not being viewed as supporting Assad ... while the elevation of Max B. to be the equal of Assange is just an unimportant detail?

MANY journalists that have suffered much worse than Max B. They don't get elevated to being the equal of Assange. A few of them:

There's the woman who reported about ISIS (I think she was Turkish) who was killed.

There's Hitchens.

There's the woman who just reported on the paper trail of weapons purchased for the Syrian "rebels". She's from Bulgeria, I think.

There's Khashoggi.

Assange's struggle is for ALL journalists. It's offensive when used to elevate ONE journalist. Especially, I might add, THIS journalist who 1) has a deep and abiding connection to Assange's Deep State adversaries and 2) has previously demonstrated his willingness to act in a way that furthers Deep State goals.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 3 2019 17:08 utc | 19

@Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 3 2019 15:54 utc | 9

Regarding that post by Pat Lang so derogatory in image illustrating, and following mockery he made of pensioners who receive their well deserved pension check, I wonder what this man who during life long benefitted from such a socialist system like the USAF to enjoy a labour life fixed job , from recruiting to retirement ( whose only requirement was fullfill orders...) and limitless access to free of charge education, which allowed him once retired at such privileged ( with respect the rest of working masses ) young age, be able to profit in the private sector from the knowledge and experience he gained in the public duty, has against public pensions, being himself beneficciary of one ( at least I have not notice he has refused it...and I fear it is not meager...) along with a free of charge full coverage social health system financed by Us taxpayers including those who he makes mockery of.

For the few I know him, he is still angry about the few taxes he has to pay under Trump rule feeling that some of what he pays could go to this pensioners....Of course, like every selfish far-right wing in the military, forgetting that it was those pensioners through their taxes who payed for their education and salary while in the military.

The more I know the man, I have nowhere to catch him from, and it is not only hiss patent arrogance and bigotry, nad hatred for everything which could sound social, it is the absolute lack of solidarity with other human beings ( including those who contributed to what he is...) except those who form his own close circle, unit, or his own, recently reached, upper class.

To me it smells of a new rich all that way from Virginia to here...Un asco!

Honestly, I can not see that astounding value some here find in his site, unless the astounding value to extend the Trump presidency for 4 years more...
Has he pronounced himself about the already recognized stealing of Syrian oil recently? No, there they are he and that Larry Johnson focussed in what more matters ( for them...) the shenanigans on fake theater ( and they both know it, because of insiders of the IC..)of the bipartisan mafiosi system which they beneffit from.

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 3 2019 17:11 utc | 20

Bhadrakumar "The amazing part has been the dogged resistance by Germany to the US pressure tactic to abandon Nord Stream 2."

Think Deutsche Bank, Volkswagen plus the rest of the crap US has been pulling to keep Germany down.
German business had to rebel against this at some point.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 3 2019 17:13 utc | 21

working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is techno- logically feasible ..

Someone needs to get out of their ivory tower once in a while. No diesel, no food. It's as simple as that, unless farmers return to the days of huge crowds of cheap migrant workers and millions of horses to pull small-scale equipment. I don't see many windmill and solar promoters signing up to hoe cotton by hand. I wonder if all those horses would be allowed because of horse farts. Maybe someone can invent a horse and cow fart collector.

Some of the first farm tractors were huge steam powered beasts. If steam tractors burned wood pellets, would that be acceptable?. How big a battery it would take to operate a 300 Hp tractor for 12 or more hours per day - as big as a house?

Well the good news is there is no actual evidence the sky is falling (Correlation is not Causation). Man-made global warming is like "democracy" and "freedom". If any of these actually existed, would the propaganda machines have to tell us a hundred times a day, every day? In the end, reality has a tendency to shred fanciful plans and it doesn't care what anybody believes.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Nov 3 2019 17:13 utc | 22

@ Hoarsewhisperer who wrote at the end of the last Open Thread
I can't shake off the suspicion that cosmology is more about beating around the bush and obfuscation than about fact-finding - especially the more recent Dark Matter trope...

I have only had one college course in Astronomy but I found a sure fire way to stop the cosmologists in their tracks is to posit that Dark Energy and Dark Matter are not just "out there" but just as much part of us as well...and where are the studies about that stuff in us?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 3 2019 17:50 utc | 23

another climate change denier troll? the science isn't based on a "propaganda machine". you know what is? the fossil fuel company funded propaganda campaign that pretends the science is based on correlation.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 3 2019 17:54 utc | 24

dh @18

" US farmers appreciate the $28bn aid package and most of them probably still like Trump. Aid like that would be called socialism if any other country did it."
- And aid like that would be called socialism by farmers if it went to people with dark complexions who live in large cities.

Posted by: Schmoe | Nov 3 2019 18:05 utc | 25

@Posted by: Trailer Trash | Nov 3 2019 17:13 utc | 22

Not to mention that all the allegedly "ecologic" measures which have been promoted so far result equally if not more polluting than the existing ones. As a sample, this article about the pollution which will come from solar pannels and electric cars batteries and their costs of production and elimination who will push the carbon footpirnt to stratospheric levels.

REALLY want to help Mother Nature? Don't drive electric cars, ignore paper bags & forget about organic food

The new "ecocapitalism" is a new form of oblying the working masses to change car more often that they will be able to aforrd due the frozen wages and increasing of prices, and pay more for basic goods like electricity and water, plus adding taxes that will be difficult to justify in a coming environment of recession and economic crisis. This is only the new niche of gainings some "smart" people of always have found to continue increasing their tax of profit.

Economist: Greta Thunberg's 'dream world' could cause "a human tragedy

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 3 2019 18:05 utc | 26

So, if one asks questions : 1) Is the climate actually changing (warming), rather than going through a temporary cycle as in the thirties?
2) If there is a climate change is it totally due to human activities, or only partially, or is it due to natural factors?
3) If the climate changes, ie warms by a degree or two centigrade, is that change a catastrophic event or is it benign and requiring
minor adaptations by humans?
Does that make one a troll in your estimation?

Posted by: erik | Nov 3 2019 18:05 utc | 27

Likklemore @16

Joe "I am a Zionist" Biden has never made any bones about who and what he is. And all of his adult children are married into the Tribe.

Posted by: Donnie | Nov 3 2019 18:34 utc | 28

These remarks about climate change are a reminder that, as a society, we have lost our ability to reason together. The discussion is poisoned, largely, by vested interests-including the fossil fuel industry- using enormous amounts of money to prevent us from reaching conclusions based upon the objective measurement of empirical data and taking action accordingly.
Instead of reason "the market" rules: the market buys scientists and publicists, controls presses and dominates the media. In Congress or Parliament it owns majorities.
My guess is that climate change is real and represents a real threat but that ought not to be a licence for every demagogue and chancer to impose 'solutions' through government or public pressure. The future of humanity is too important a subject to be left to liars and narcissists to play with; it is a matter for serious, considered, unpolluted discussion at every level. In such discussion idiots will be revealed as such, loudmouths discovered to be empty and irresponsible and the weight of truth, revealed in masses of observations testable and available for examination, will lead to popular decision making on a matter too important to be left to others.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 3 2019 18:37 utc | 29

In this report, we get some actual reporting:

Journalist Max Blumenthal Arrested, Hit With Political Prosecution Related To Venezuela Reporting

Unlike Greyzone reporting, here we are given specific information about Max's arrest, including the identify the person who made the charge, the statement that they made, and the alleged existence of video evidence.

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

And now is out with a follow-up to their reporting last week. Aaron Maté interviews Max B.

Here we get more reason to be skeptical as Max B. declares that it's an "obvious case of political persecution" then evades the question of whether he was a reporter or activist when the incident occurred!!!

Max B.: It's highly unusual, the whole thing is highly unusual, it's an obvious case of political persecution and it should be a source of outrage but of course we've heard nothing from the press ngo's. I guess Press Freedom Track, I just saw them say that uh, I wasn't involved in reporting at the time so I was .. um .. so I don't count; they said something like that on twitter in a response to Margret Kimberly. So it's revealing to see the response but it's also encouraging to see the really organic grassroots solidarity that I'm getting.

Aaron Mate: Well, you were involved in reporting at the time, broadly, 'cause you were covering that protest; at the time, specifically, of the incident, you were around when some food was being delivered inside, right?

Max B.: Well, all I can say is that I'm completely innocent, the charges are fake, they're phony ...

The shadowproof reporting and this dodge from Max B. suggests to me that Max B. had decided to help outside activists to deliver food to the activists inside. Thus, he had joined the activists and was no longer acting as a reporter!

And Max B. admits that he was treated like all other prisoners:

Max B.: The second component [the first being the arrest] of how I was treated - that's how poor people in Washington D.C and across America are typically treated in the criminal justice system. People were ALL denied phone calls, they were shackled for long periods. We were held in cages in extremely cold temperatures for long periods ...

Persecution? Nah, just another day in the US criminal justice system.

Even if the charges against him are false, it's not clear that this is really a matter of press freedom.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 3 2019 18:43 utc | 30 the reason for US troops staying Syria...

I think the Al Tanf presence is for Israel's benefit...

But in northeast Syria I think another dynamic is at play...I think Trump really wanted to get out completely and I think he still does...but he simply has not had the power to pull this off...

The entire 'foreign policy' establishment plus their media servants went totally berserk and Trump had to walk back at least some of his plan...

I don't think Syria's oil has much to do with it...Trump simply latched onto that [quick improvisation there] to justify his reversal to his own base that is feeling frustrated that their hero can't even fulfill one of his major promises...

As for the establishment's idea for Syria, I think it has more to do with the Kurds...they are howling about 'betraying' the Kurds...but really it is about USING the Kurds for their own dream of partitioning Syria...

They just can't let go of that...even as the taillights get dimmer and dimmer in the distance...these people are not big on reality...

Plus, they do see a situation with the Kurds that they can exploit...some among the Kurds, like their military commander Mazloum Abdi are totally devoted to the US and will play a willing spoiler role in the northeast if given half a chance...

If this opportunity to continue at some level with the Kurds was not there, the US military command would not go along with a harebrained scheme like staying in a region of Syria that is now more or less controlled by the Syrian government...the shrunken US footprint means you are isolated and really quite meaningless...

So the situation is still in flux...but here's the thing...the Kurdish political leadership is a little smarter than people like Mazloum...they see that they have already lost huge swaths of their heartland to Turkey...not just in the latest incursion, but also Afrin before that and Euphrates Shield etc...

They realize they will lose everything if they do not start playing ball...with Russia especially, the only honest broker in Syria...

So today we have a report that a joint SDF-Russian 'coordination and operations center' has been established in northern Raqqa province...

Notably, the SAA isn't included in this...probably at the insistence of the SDF, which like I said is still not on board with reconciling with the SAA...although we note that in the periphery of the Turkish 'Peace Spring' incursion zone the SDF fighters are fighting alongside the SAA to repel Turkish-backed militants...

SAA has now also moved heavy weapons to the vicinity of the Ras al Ayn border town which is in Turkish hands...

So the dynamics of the fighting are already forcing the SDF to throw in their lot with the some point the break will come and the shrinking US influence in the area is not going to be worth anything tangible to the SDF fighters...

We see also that the US has now evacuated its biggest base with the longest airfield...Sarrin...

That's where that huge convoy of empty trucks headed to...

So the situation on the ground does not bode well for some kind of continuing partnership between the SDF and the remaining US forces...especially as the SAA consolidates its control over the areas in which it has already entered...

So the way I see it, this is a desperate Hail Mary from the die-harders in the regime-change business...they are grasping at straws, literally...the US footprint has already shrunk so dramatically, and the SAA footprint taken its place that there is no going back...

For now the US still have some support among the SDF fighters, as exemplified by that Mazloum character...but as things progress neither the Kurd population in general, nor the Arabs in the area are going to continue partnering with the US...for the simple reason that the US has nothing to offer them...

And as soon as the SDF fighters make that final break from the US...then it's game is really inevitable...the die is already cast...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 3 2019 18:43 utc | 31

That the WaPo scribe lets it stand without pointing out that, constitutionally, the president sets foreign policies is even worse. An earlier NYT piece about an NSC staffer who Trump likes and had asked about the Ukraine had a similar bad construct

As Rumsfeld once claimed, "We create our own reality". However there is nothing real about that so-called reality. More accurate would be "We create our own fantasy, are deluded by it, and cling desperately to our belief in the reality of it".

Posted by: BM | Nov 3 2019 18:49 utc | 32

@31 flankerbandit.. good overview.. i tend to see it in a similar manner.. thanks!

i got a kick out of one of the commenters on that southfront link -

"Latest News: Even though Vladimir Putin has promised to withdraw all Russian troops from the US, Russian forces still does not want to leave the US completely, arguing that it wants to secure oil fields in Texas from ISIS supported by Canada and Mexico, while helping Indians and Indian Democratic Forces (IDF) who did not want to rejoin the US government and refused an offer to dissolve the IDF and join the US army. Although initially Russian troops stopped their support for the IDF.
Wait, there seems to be something wrong with this news! :)"

Posted by: james | Nov 3 2019 18:54 utc | 33

These remarks about climate change are a reminder that, as a society, we have lost our ability to reason together. The discussion is poisoned, largely, by vested interests-including the fossil fuel industry- using enormous amounts of money to prevent us from reaching conclusions based upon the objective measurement of empirical data and taking action accordingly.
Posted by: bevin | Nov 3 2019 18:37 utc | 29

Thanks for your well articulated remarks, Bevin. Climate-change science is not something that can be researched by every Tom Dick and Harry in their kitchen, but, well, some people still think they can. As a very wise person once remarked: The fool who thinks he is wise is a fool indeed; but the fool who knows he is a fool, to that extent at least is wise.

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 3 2019 18:43 utc | 31

I agree with you 100% on Trump and Syrian oil. It is smoke and mirrors forced by the resistance of the Elites. I think Trump knows - and accepts - that grabbing to oil is not viable and that the US will be forced eventually to relinquish it, but it would be domestically too difficult to do so at the moment.

Posted by: BM | Nov 3 2019 19:09 utc | 34

@29 bevin... thanks also.. that was well articulated and i agree with your overview...

Posted by: james | Nov 3 2019 19:35 utc | 35

just in... i wonder what the upshot of this will be?

US military convoy comes under fire of Turkey-backed militants in Syria, no casualties – Russian Defense Ministry

i wonder if they're turkish or usa arms that were given these goons? the usa is being attacked by weapons that gave to the friendly moderate headchoppers? the irony is rich if so...

Posted by: james | Nov 3 2019 19:40 utc | 36

flankerbandit says:

And as soon as the SDF fighters make that final break from the US...then it's game is really inevitable...the die is already cast...

yeah, perhaps. President Assad has an interesting perspective on occupation...a much more profound and apparently longer view…(from a recent interview)

Journalist: returning to politics, and to the United States, in particular, President Donald Trump announced his intention to keep a limited number of his troops in Syria while redeploying some of them on the Jordanian borders and on the borders of the Israeli enemy, while some of them will protect the oil fields. What is your position in this regard, and how will the Syrian state respond to this illegitimate presence

President Assad: Regardless of these statements, the reality is that the Americans are occupiers, whether they are in the east, the north or the south, the result is the same. Once again, we should not be concerned with his statements, but rather deal with the reality. When we are finished with the areas according to our military priorities and we reach an area in which the Americans are present, I am not going to indulge in heroics and say that we will send the army to face the Americans. We are talking about a super power. Do we have the capabilities to do that? I believe that this is clear for us as Syrians. Do we choose resistance? If there is resistance, the fate of the Americans will be similar to their fate in Iraq. But the concept of resistance needs a popular state of mind that is the opposite of being agents and proxies, a patriotic popular state which carries out acts of resistance. The natural role of the state in this case is to provide all the necessary conditions and necessary support to any popular resistance against the occupier. If we put to one side the colonial and commercial American mentality which promotes the colonization of certain areas for money, oil and other resources, we must not forget that the main agents which brought the Americans, the Turks and others to this region are Syrians acting as agents of foreigners – Syrian traitors. Dealing with all the other cases is just dealing with the symptoms, while we should be addressing the causes. We should be dealing with those Syrians and try to reformulate the patriotic state of the Syrian society – to restore patriotism, restore the unity of opinion and ensure that there are no Syrian traitors. To ensure that all Syrians are patriots, and that treason is no longer a matter of opinion, a mere difference over a political issue. We should all be united against occupation. When we reach this state, I assure you that the Americans will leave on their own accord because they will have no opportunity to remain in Syria; although America is a superpower, it will not be able to remain in Syria. This is something we saw in Lebanon at a certain point and in Iraq at a later stage. I think this is the right solution

Posted by: john | Nov 3 2019 19:51 utc | 37

>Does that make one a troll in your estimation?
>Posted by: erik | Nov 3 2019 18:05 utc | 27

As in any religion, questions are not allowed. The constant shouting about oil company anti-"The Sky Is Falling" campaigns is particularly silly. I have never seen a single ad or even a spokesman on TV or radio saying man-made global warming isn't real. Not this year. Not last year. Not ever. Global warming promoters have a giant podium and use it all day every day to shout that they have no voice and drown out everyone else. It's not a good look.

I am no fan of oil companies. I very much resent that people who happen to live on top of the oil are exposed to sometimes awful conditions. There's no need to make a mess, and not cleaning up after oneself, harming people in the process, is unforgivable. That's something oil company managers should have learned in kindergarten.

Currently there is no way to replace petroleum in many applications. People burning whale oil lamps while watching whale populations decline knew they needed a better way, but would have had no way to predict that better way would be petroleum. Funding basic research might find a better way. Building more useless low-density intermittent windmills won't move anybody off petroleum, except in a few unique situations.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Nov 3 2019 19:55 utc | 38

I think Trump has been being loud and blunt about America taking Syria's oil precisely because he knows that it is neither legal nor viable. If he can establish the narrative that all it is now about is oil then the US will be forced to do as Trump has wanted all along and leave Syria.

Reverse psychology.

The role the American President is supposed to be playing for the empire right now is pushing the narrative of a need for more humanitarian murder and downplaying/dismissing any suggestion that the US is in Syria for any reason other than pure altruism. Trump outright stating that the US is going to take the oil is utterly destroying the only narratives that the US can use to stay in Syria.

That is much more clever than I had ever given Trump credit for being.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 3 2019 20:13 utc | 39

>the weight of truth, revealed in masses of observations
>testable and available for examination, will lead to popular
>decision making on a matter too important to be left to others.
>Posted by: bevin | Nov 3 2019 18:37 utc | 29

Yes, actual observations, please, instead of models that don't work. The paleo record seems to show that temperatures rise before CO2 increases. The modern record shows no correlation, as in the recent multiyear "pause" in warming while CO2 was steady increasing.

Claims that global warming causes every kind of unpleasant weather are silly. Too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, more snow, less snow, it's all caused by an increase in a trace molecule. If the weather is unpleasant, it's "carbon". If the weather is good, there's no comment. That's not very scientific.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Nov 3 2019 20:16 utc | 40

regarding "securing syrian oil" - I'd say it was always more about blocking a possible Iraq-Syria pipeline, which would give Iraq and potentially Iran a route to the Mediterranean without either Saudi Arabia or Turkey or perhaps a Kurdistan being in the way.

Posted by: ptb | Nov 3 2019 20:18 utc | 41

I have tossed this around myself when thinking about what is happening.
"I don't think Syria's oil has much to do with it...Trump simply latched onto that [quick improvisation there] to justify his reversal to his own base that is feeling frustrated that their hero can't even fulfill one of his major promises..."

Ending endless wars, expensive wars, bring the troops home, vs extra US military spending, vetoing the congress resolution to pull out of the Yemen war, then there is the US deep state aspect. And then Trumps past statements on the countries US has attacked.
Easy enough to pass off as as a person no deeper than his twitter persona for the seeming inconsistencies.
Trump is overturning the norms or what developed as norms in the post WWII era. One of those norms is that the US must try to give an appearance of moral leadership of the world. Thinking outside the box of the post WWII era, a strategy can be seen in what Trump is doing.

When it comes to foreign policy, Trumps focus is on oil and Israel. China ties in with the focus on oil. Russia may well block what I believe to be Trump's strategy in the middle east and if they do, I may never know for sure if I am right or wrong about the Trump admins intentions.
But at the moment, I have to take it that Trump's moves are based around 'energy dominance' and that includes owning other countries oil.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 3 2019 20:33 utc | 42

bevin @29--

What you posit echoes what Climatologist Michael Mann wrote in Climate Wars.

In Assad's recent interview, on the Outlaw US Empire's illegal occupation and theft of Syrian property, he's willing to be patient and take care of those areas Syria and its allies can return to the national fold. Russia, Iran and Assad are all on the same page and of the same mind when it comes to dealing with the illegal occupation, which they know is untenable in the long run. In fact, it actually serves an excellent purpose in providing the impetus for nations to dedollarize and beware of accepting any sort of aid it offers--this is particularly important in Africa and Latin America. Monthly like clockwork, Lavrov or another top Russian official calls for the Outlaw US Empire to remove its illegally deployed troops, which reminds the world of what the Outlaw US Empire is and its aims being opposite of its rhetoric--Truth is far more potent than propaganda.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 3 2019 20:33 utc | 43

James...yes I like to scan the comments at Southfront too...our own Pave Way IV who also posts here from time to time often has something worth reading...

Thanks for the link about the Turkish-backed fanatics taking shots at the American convoy...a barometer of sorts you might say...nobody wants them there except the 'traitors' that President Assad referred to in that interview...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 3 2019 20:34 utc | 44

>Climate-change science is not something that can be researched
>by every Tom Dick and Harry in their kitchen, but, well, some
>people still think they can.

That sounds a lot like appeal to authority. That won't work. Authorities lie all the time about everything. If a scientist can't explain the basic concepts to people of ordinary intelligence and education, they don't understand it themselves or they are spouting nonsense.

Yes it takes effort, but not a PhD, on the part of ordinary people to make some sense out of all the sound and fury. Most people don't want to make the effort; they prefer to trust what someone else says and hope for the best. The problem is how to find someone trustworthy. Probably not random people on the Internets.

The same arguments are made regarding medical care. Medical research is completely polluted with rubbish research ranging from ordinary incompetence to outright fraud. How can a non-medical person cope? I don't know, but I wouldn't be here today if I simply accepted doctor's claims instead of looking into them myself. Fortunately we now have the internet, Wikipedia to look up medical jargon, PubMed to find interesting abstracts, and Sci-Hub to access the research papers.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Nov 3 2019 21:05 utc | 45

'Even if the charges against him are false, it's not clear that this is really a matter of press freedom." Jackrabbit@30
We have a new champion in limbo dancing
Can anyone go any lower?

Posted by: bevin | Nov 3 2019 21:09 utc | 46

The Golan now supplies 40% + of Israels water and it still suffers from a water shortage.
Why does everyone find it so hard to see what the motivations are ?
Its not about oil, but something far more precious to a country that chose to squander its waters by making the desert bloom.It always bloomed before in a way that was limited by
sensible husbandry of the resources.I have glass plate photos of it blooming in the 1860s my
great grandfather took for his companys Travelogue
From its very founding a deliberate choice was made,the later plunder and genocide of their
neighbors,'useless drinkers" was baked into the cake, something the knew as they made it.

Posted by: winston2 | Nov 3 2019 21:15 utc | 47

trailer trash do you do your own brain surgery? do you trust your neighbor the software programmer to do yours? what on earth are you talking about; why do you trust giant corporations with their financial lives on the line not to lie?

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 3 2019 21:25 utc | 48

@ bevin | Nov 3 2019 21:09 utc | 46

We also would have accepted "The rabbit doth protest too much, methinks." ;)

Posted by: Ort | Nov 3 2019 21:26 utc | 49

Noirette #11

How and where the electric energy is produced, stored, delivered to the end user, is not addressed by either bills. Both are against nuclear. These are pol. discourses, and not based on any analysis of ‘energy’

Noirette see here for a sound description of the solution. It just takes a rational being to divert dollars from the killing machine to the energy machine. Those countries with such rational beings will be well on the road to creating this solution.

I have posted this on MOA before and always happy to post it whenever readers are seeking a well developed technological mix to create all the energy they need. The University of NSW is one of a global leader team in this science and has been in that position for perhaps two decades or more.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 3 2019 21:40 utc | 50

juliania, et al--

At the end of the previous open thread, there were numerous comments related to my remark that the USA needs a new Constitution since the current one's dysfunctional, which rekindles a discussion that began @3 years ago. Also posted on that thread were the requirements for the public to alter the Constitution, which IMO is just as difficult as writing and enacting a completely new document. One comment was well said--we have a good idea what doesn't work in the current Constitution, so it just needs an extensive patch job--and is where my thoughts begin on redrafting/remaking. The several comments related to the quality of people echo the well articulated objections to parts of the Constitution by those known as the Anti-Federalists and were mostly concerned with the extremely unregulated nature of the Executive, whose Article II I refer to as a tabula rasa--a blank slate awaiting precedent to be established and followed, or violated. At the time, the term primarily used for greed and the greed instinct was avarice. Also, the word must--as in have to/it's your duty--had the word shall used in its place, as with the phrase "shall impeach"--the intent being for Congress to discipline even slight transgressions, misdemeanors, with impeachment followed by conviction and removal from office to then be tried as a civilian. I put weight on the lack of impeachment's use because that's where part of our trouble lies, and the consensus here is that well over half of the Federal government is corrupt with many including myself willing to say 3/4s needs to be cashiered--elected, appointed, civil service, and military.

When discussing this topic before, I wrote that Madison's formula had merit but was flawed primarily because he couldn't see into the future and misjudged human nature. Therefore, instead of three branches of government, I propose six: Executive, Legislative, Regulatory, Political Parties/Elections, Military/Law Enforcement, and Judicial. A further regulatory measure I'd write into the Constitution deals with corporate behavior through a revamped federal corporate charter replacing all those previously issued that subordinates corporate behavior to enhancing the Public's Welfare and nurturing the environment that ought to eliminate the immoral pursuit of profit over people and environment. IMO, the current Constitution's Preamble ought to remain as is as it still serves its purpose as the Federal government's rationale (An explanation of the basis or fundamental reasons for something):

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Also requiring inclusion are the tenets of the UN Charter, and along with the Bill of Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. So, as you can already see, this won't be a short, simple document like the 1787 Constitution. Also up for discussion/debate is whether it should be a presidential or parliamentary system, which also brings up the issue of term limits and qualifications for office--besides a host of others.

The above constitute my initial reply to the numerous comments. Yes, it's just a sketch, an outline, but IMO going further at the moment doesn't make sense. The blueprint needs to be made before the timbers are cut and honed and well before the furnishings discussed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 3 2019 21:42 utc | 51

"Western/Central Europe coming to terms with Russia and settling down for good relations between neighbours should've been the obvious path back in 1990..." Clueless Joe@17

It was the obvious path, and one with massive popular support across Europe, in 1945.
No less a person than GDH Cole, the historian, Guild Socialist and Fabian warned in his Intelligent Man's Guide to the Post War World (1947) that by far the most urgent threat to Europe-much greater than that posed by the USSR- was that it would be taken over and reduced to vassalship by the USA.
And it was.
In order to facilitate this, which involved breaking up the united political fronts of the left, which were dominant in Greece, Yugoslavia, Italy and France and ready to take power in Iberia, from fascist regimes widely expected to fall, the United States had to build its proto-Cold War alliances and bring the continent and world to the brink of nuclear war for generations.
A nightmare which still finds its echoes in the tensions in the world and, in particular, in those in eastern europe which reflect the efforts of NATO to incubate the neo-nazi movements which now flourish in, for example, the Ukraine and Poland.
The Cold War, an artificial and poisonous confection devoid of any logic except the drive for hegemony of the US ruling class, has ruined the lives of everyone alive in the western world. Elsewhere it has been used to justify a rolling series of genocides and wars- all aimed against popular movements seeking to overturn imperialist exploitation- which has claimed (and in places like Colombia and Guatemala still does) the lives of tens of millions.
Nothing exemplifies this more than the iconic reality that the young Barack Obama's mother and step father were actively involved in the massacring of a million Indonesians suspected of being supporters of the Communist Party. His grandfather, I gather, was actually tortured by the British in one of the many concentration camps in Kenya in which the treatment meted out to the Communists of Indonesia was prefigured in the war against Kenyan independence. A war justified, it ought to be recalled, on the ground that it was necessary for the UK to suck resources out of its colonies in order to pay for Lease Lend.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 3 2019 21:43 utc | 52

@ Trailer Trash who wrote
The same arguments are made regarding medical care. Medical research is completely polluted with rubbish research ranging from ordinary incompetence to outright fraud. How can a non-medical person cope? I don't know, but I wouldn't be here today if I simply accepted doctor's claims instead of looking into them myself. Fortunately we now have the internet, Wikipedia to look up medical jargon, PubMed to find interesting abstracts, and Sci-Hub to access the research papers.
Thanks for that and I agree. I would be dependent on narcotics and living in a fetal position if I would have believed what Kaiser told me were my limits of healing from taking the side mirror off a SUV moving at highway speed with the back of my bicycle helmeted head. After 13+ years and $200K+ of my own money I am no longer on any drugs thanks to osteopathic trained PTs, a good neuromodulation/neurofeedback provider and now the ongoing use of a photobiomodulation unit called Medlight 630 PRO

Western medicine is more about making money, not healing people and until/unless that changes, advancement will continue to be stifled, because profit. As I continue to write here, health care, education, etc need to not be for profit.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 3 2019 21:45 utc | 53

And notice that the wrecking ball in the White House just doesn’t give a damn. He’s having fun. He’s serving his rich constituency. So what the hell, let’s destroy the world. And it’s not that they don’t know it. Some months ago, maybe a year ago by now, one of the Trump bureaucracies the National Transportation Administration came out with what I think is the most astonishing document in the entire history of the human species. It got almost no attention. It was a long 500-page environmental assessment in which they tried to determine what the environment would be like at the end of the century. And they concluded, by the end of the century, temperatures will have risen seven degrees Fahrenheit, that’s about twice the level that scientists regard as feasible for organized human life. The World Bank describes it as cataclysmic. So what’s their conclusion? Conclusion is we should have no more constraints on automotive emissions. The reasoning is very solid. We’re going off the cliff anyway. So why not have fun? Has anything like that ever appeared in human history? There’s nothing like it.

Posted by: George | Nov 3 2019 22:06 utc | 54

I am reading the SA just initiated their Aramco IPO that is suppose to happen in the next month or less. If the Houthi in Yemen want to have some leverage, IMO, now is the time to shut down more to the SA oil system with one or more attacks.

Why has the situation in Yemen gone off the visibility level?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 3 2019 22:11 utc | 55

From Canada that Ukronazi lobby-land...

Canada's FM Chrystia Freeland on Ukraine

"Ukraine today is on the front-line of the whole world in the fight between democracy and authoritarianism which is why it is an essential element of Canada's foreign policy to support Ukraine in that struggle."

Canadian-Led Peacekeeping Mission in Ukraine 'Plan B' For Kyiv, Official Says

"Asking Canada to take part in a peacekeeping mission in war-torn, separatist-minded eastern districts of Ukraine would be 'Plan B' for the recently elected government of President Volodymyr Zelensky, the country's deputy foreign minister said Thursday. Vasyl Bodnar is in Ottawa for meetings to shore up support among allies..."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Nov 3 2019 22:23 utc | 56

psychohistorian @55--

One main reason is BigLie Media didn't want to give any iota that Houthis did the deed, not Iran. Second were the massive ground victories over Saudi military and Houthi's floating their peace initiative, which was also blacked-out. Plus Houthis were regaining ground thanks to the UAE's decision to withdraw all but their mercs and terrorists. We all know that because we read alt-media and share what we learn. The US-Saudi aggression continues, and I admit to being befuddled as to why the moratorium on further strikes targeting Aramco. The only reason I can fathom is it's due to a back channel communication telling them to cease for the moment, which I presume came from Moscow and/or Tehran. Key replacement parts are still being constructed, so perhaps they're waiting for them to be installed then just before resumption of full operations--Bang!--crippled again.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 3 2019 22:34 utc | 57

karlof1 @ 51:

I believe that one issue about the current US Constitution is that there may be too many checks and balances that each of the three branches of government (executive, legislative, judiciary) exercises upon one another, and among other things this may encourage a very legalistic and narrow interpretation of the Constitution with the result that Congress tends to be loath to commit to reform (because among other things Congress representatives have too many bills to read and understand all at once before debating and passing them, in the time they are given to read bills) and much of the work Congress should be doing passes instead to the US Supreme Court.

Your proposal of six branches of government overloads the current structure and each of them will require checks on their activities by the other branches. The entire system needs to be balanced as well so that no one branch has more power than the others. Do you really want such an unwieldy and complicated system? If I were a Washington lawyer or lobbyist, I'd be worshipping your statue and making money offerings to it every day.

Anyone who wants legislation passed might pretty well be tempted to bypass that whole system, by taking it to the UN and making it an international law or convention, or identifying that branch of government responsible for the area in which the legislation might apply and bribing government officials and the civil service to insert it somehow into the law.

The system needs simplification, not more complication. Perhaps a true federal system of government in which states are responsible for all domestic policy and the Federal government is slimmed down to be responsible just for defence and foreign policy - One government, 50 systems, as the Chinese might put it - might be one worthwhile alternative.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 3 2019 22:50 utc | 58

Donnie @ 28

They are all interviewed before the pretend Selection. Think AIPAC and Rothschild.

But forgetful Joe Biden's worries will not disappear. He should have been more persuasive as Pelosi's impeachment inquisition is imploding. It is alleged the DNC/Brennan and Charlie. Charlie won't testify but offers to answer by the written. He invited UKies to WH

Imploding may be understated.

John Solomon at The Hill sued DOJ for secret memos:

These once-secret memos cast doubt on Joe Biden's Ukraine story

Only a snip: "The memos raise troubling questions:"

Posted by: Likklemore | Nov 3 2019 22:57 utc | 59

psychohistorian #53

Well said and I fully agree. I go to the general practice when I must for a preliminary diagnosis then off to a mighty good Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner (acupuncture PLUS HERBS). Deep tissue massage is a goodie too.

Modern medical tech remedies work sometimes for simple and complex things. I have much faith in nuclear medicine too from direct experience.

Basically I am blessed with a natural clarity of mind that allows me to detect quackery at first sight or sound. It has guided my life in politics and society well and I always consider carefully my first impressions.

Haven't tried leeches deliberately but have inadvertently on my wanders in magnificent forests :)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 3 2019 23:00 utc | 60

It will be moving to see 25,000 attendees at the Climate Summit arrive on foot, by bicycle, sailboat or vehicles driven by renewable energy. None will want to damage the weather by coming by plane or other means of transport with combustion engines.

Greta for her part, has asked for help to Spanish authorities to be able to arrive...
Well, Spanish authorities have a lot of in which to spend, for to spend in Greta´s travels around the world ( I have a week of holidays in Christmas...,if I see they pay for her travel, I am thinking as well in submit a request to the governemnt for helping me see which alibi they invent to justify paying for Greta´s and mine not, when I am a tax payer....)

Why she does not simply return home in a flight with a ticket payed by her own parents, who are making good money out of all this, and stop her campaign on behalf of capitalists to squeeze working people more than they are already?

Greta go home!

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 3 2019 23:00 utc | 61

The Russian constitution.
Yeltsin's Russia and Putin's Russia. Same constitution, different people.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 3 2019 23:07 utc | 62

bevin @46: Can anyone go any lower?

Ort @49: "The rabbit doth protest too much, methinks."

These smears are hollow. Why don't you comment on the issues?

I side with the protestors in the embassy because it's clear to me that think Juan Guido has no democratic mandate. Taking over the embassy was never going to resolve that but it brought media attention to the issues. People made real sacrifices to get that media attention: seven people were arrested during or just after the embassy occupation (all protesters against USA support for Juan Guido).

Max seems reluctant to say that he was reporting when the incident happened. Maybe that's because his accuser claims to have video evidence. Others may also have video. If he was helping the protesters (which many of us would have a natural inclination be sympathetic toward) then he would have crossed the line from journalist to activist.

If that's the case, then attempting to cover his ass by shouting "persecution!" is wrong. And actually detracts from the efforts to protect journalists.

Furthermore, for Max to accept the hype of others that pretends that his situation is anything like Assanges only compounds his error.

And ultimately, that's what brought me into this mess: the offensiveness of making Max B. into an Assange-like figure. Two days in jail is nothing like what Assange has experienced. If not for Caitlin Johnstone's wrong-headed elevation of Max B. (and Max B.'s acceptance of that elevation), I would probably have had knee-jerk sympathy for Max B. like everyone else.

Max doesn't appear to be a violent person. I think it's likely that he'll get the charges dismissed or a light sentence (time served). But I also suspect that that Max does not deserve protection as a journalist in this matter.


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

Bevin's hollow smear leads me to wonder, once again, if his attitude toward me is motivated by butt-hurt at being called out for his child-love commentary. Here's the link and see Jen's comment just before mine.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 3 2019 23:12 utc | 63

psychohistorian @55 karlof1 @57

Logistics could be an issue on setting up anther drone cruise missile attack. Also, each new hit against Arab oil has come from an unexpected direction and unexpected method.

Saudi's pushing their IPO through... international ownership bringing international protection may be part of that.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 3 2019 23:17 utc | 64

Jen @58--

Thanks for your reply! "Too Complicated." Okay. Lets look at the current US Code which are all the laws on the books. One would think that 232 years is more than enough time to write and enact all the laws required to govern, but that doesn't seem to be the case as new laws are constantly being drafted. "Too Complicated." Okay, why is it that regulatory agencies are unable to regulate? is it complexity or corruption of the system? Lets look at money. All the functions of the Fed were once done via the US Treasury. If that was the case, why did the Fed get enacted? Corruption again.

IMO, there are too few people tasked with doing too much and not nearly enough minders overseeing them. The System as currently constituted is too complex for them to deal with. The odious amounts of corruption make it even more unworkable for the citizens for which the government's tasked serving. And there's no way the Executive can manage all it's charged with managing, thus the Regulatory Branch. And since the idea is to inject more democracy and citizen involvement, more people are anticipated to be elected to the new positions, with political parties regulated and elections publicly financed with all media freely accessible to candidates.

IMO, the foremost task is to root out opportunities for corruption and to widen the democratic process while decreasing executive and corporate power such that citizens feel part of the process and empowered.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 3 2019 23:26 utc | 65

"Bevin's hollow smear leads me to wonder, once again, if his attitude toward me is motivated by butt-hurt at being called out for his child-love commentary. Here's the link and see Jen's comment just before mine." Jackrabbit@63

I had no idea that you had made any commentary on, what I take to be, my dissent from the MSM wisdom re Epstein. (I must confess that I rarely read your contributions.) But it would certainly confirm that I was right to learn that you disagreed: you are a fountain of rehashed MSM tropes. And your apology for the treatment of a dissenting journalist is perfect example of the lengths to which you will go, while pretending to oppose the state, to justify its actions. In this you are doing exactly what Assange's "left" critics(who never run out of reasons to side with the state against him) have done, trolling.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 3 2019 23:36 utc | 66

@ uncle tungsten with the comment about health care in response to mine

Yeah, I forgot to mention I take Yin Chiao to keep the colds away and some acupuncture helped me in early healing.

The Chinese are way out in front of the herbal medicine movement and don't get me started about how effecive medical marijuana is which got me off narcotics and I used a lot of until a few months ago when I didn't need it any more...and now even the CBD is too psychoactive for me, hence the Medlight 630 PRO for pain management....don't get hit by a truck/SUV....grin

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 3 2019 23:43 utc | 67

bevin @ 29 said what I consider a "bottom line truth", that colors everything that passes for information on most of the MSM, and social media.

"Instead of reason "the market" rules: the market buys scientists and publicists, controls presses and dominates the media. In Congress or Parliament it owns majorities."

Who you gonna' believe? Those bought and paid for liars, or your own eyes, and reason?

Great post bevin....

Posted by: ben | Nov 3 2019 23:45 utc | 68
"On 31 January 1944 the company name was changed from California-Arabian Standard Oil Co. to Arabian American Oil Co. (or Aramco)"

"In 1973, following US support for Israel during the Yom Kippur War, the Saudi Arabian government acquired a 25% "participation interest" in Aramco's assets. It increased its participation interest to 60% in 1974 and acquired the remaining 40% interest in 1976. Aramco continued to operate and manage the former Aramco assets, including its concessionary interest in certain Saudi Arab oil fields, on behalf of the Saudi Arab Government until 1988. In November 1988, a royal decree created a new Saudi Arab company, the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, to take control of the former Aramco assets (or Saudi Aramco)[29] and took the management and operations control of Saudi Arabia's oil and gas fields from Aramco and its partners."
"Chevron was originally known as Standard Oil of California, or Socal, and was formed amid the antitrust breakup of Standard Oil in 1911. It was one of the "Seven Sisters" that dominated the world oil industry during the early 20th century. In 1933, Saudi Arabia granted Socal a concession to find oil, which finally occurred in 1938 when the largest oil field on earth was discovered. Socal's subsidiary California-Arabian Standard Oil Company evolved over the years, becoming the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) in 1944. In 1973, the Saudi government began buying into ARAMCO. By 1980, the company was entirely owned by the Saudis and in 1988, the name was changed to Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco)."

I had wondered if Chevron still managed Aramco on behalf the Saudi's but it doesn't look like it.
What I did find interesting was that in the 73 oil embargo, US company Aramco, or Chevron, owned and controlled Saudi oil.
"The 1973 oil crisis began in October 1973 when the members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries proclaimed an oil embargo. The embargo was targeted at nations perceived as supporting Israel during the Yom Kippur War.[1] The initial nations targeted were Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States with the embargo also later extended to Portugal, Rhodesia and South Africa. By the end of the embargo in March 1974,[2] the price of oil had risen nearly 400%, from US$3 per barrel to nearly $12 globally; US prices were significantly higher. The embargo caused an oil crisis, or "shock", with many short- and long-term effects on global politics and the global economy.[3] It was later called the "first oil shock", followed by the 1979 oil crisis, termed the "second oil shock"."

All part of building the petro-dollar racket.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 3 2019 23:51 utc | 69

Here is Joe Emersberger on Max Blumenthal

"DC police arrested him at his home on a five-month-old arrest warrant, charging him with simple assault for his attempt to deliver food to the besieged Venezuelan embassy; he was held for two days, and for the first 36 hours was not allowed to speak with a lawyer...
"....With the complicity of DC police, Guaidó supporters tried to block food from being delivered to the embassy during the standoff with the activists. At one point, 78-year-old Jesse Jackson Sr. had to scuffle with Guaidó supporters to deliver food. The DC police were clearly intent on doing as little as possible, even with an elderly, high-profile visitor trying to make a delivery. Former Green Party candidate Ajamu Baraka (age 66) was forced to act as Jackson’s bodyguard, thanks to the aggression of Guaidó supporters and the inaction of DC police..

"..Court documents indicate the false charge of simple assault stems from Blumenthal’s participation in a delivery of food and sanitary supplies to peace activists and journalists inside the Venezuelan embassy on May 8, 2019..."
It really is an open and shut case, and all the smears (his dad was a Clinton operative etc) in the world don't change the basic facts, you are either with the protesters or, like the state's apologists and Venezuela's enemies, against them.

""Ukraine today is on the front-line of the whole world in the fight between democracy and authoritarianism which is why it is an essential element of Canada's foreign policy to support Ukraine in that struggle."
And so it is-siding with neo-nazis and gangster oligarchs against the people of Donbas. It did the same when, as a member of the ICC, it sided with imperialism against the Vietnamese National Liberation Front. And in Haiti where it supported criminal drug dealers (also supported in Honduras) against Aristide and democracy.
The slight difference is that in Ukraine Canadian soldiers are being sent to ally themselves with the direct descendants of the Waffen SS and, indeed one of its leading publicists, Freeland's grandfather whose newspaper used to celebrate the drowning of Canadian troops crossing the Atlantic to fight the people who still hate the Russian speaking majority of Ukraine.
It is what, unfortunately it does

Posted by: bevin | Nov 4 2019 0:08 utc | 70

@bevin #29
Your commentary on the "fossil fuel propaganda" would be a lot more credible if you also talked about the climate change/alternative energy propaganda.
The entire world's oil revenue, for example, is about $2 trillion a year.
The revenue of the solar+wind+NGOs is $1 trillion+ per year - and the NGOs are 100% propaganda as opposed to actually delivering physical product.
Again, I have no objection to having sensible alternatives to fossil fuels. Problem is, they don't exist yet.
Equally, the notion that a "Green New Deal" will make any difference whatsoever to future climate - even by the calculations of the panick-mongers - is absolute nonsense.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 4 2019 0:32 utc | 72

@karlof1 #43
Michael Mann is the poster child for one-sided agitation of climate doom.
Unfortunately, his proclivity to sue people who disagree with him has yielded a constant litany of judicial failures. Or in other words, the courts don't agree with any of his nonsense.
Ultimately the issue is whether the predictions are accurate.
To date, they have not been, and it is difficult to see how models that have been so wrong for decades are magically going to become more accurate in the medium and far future.
So while I absolutely agree that there should be better alternatives to fossil fuels, I equally disagree that we have the technology or capability today.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 4 2019 0:46 utc | 73

Iranian embassy or consulate in Karbala Iraq set on fire.

Bellingcrap looking for nerve agents in the teargas

US will be doing as it pleases in Iraq - and the section of Syria it holds.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2019 1:00 utc | 74

The Supreme Court held in U.S. v. Curtiss-Wright that the President has plenary power over foreign relations.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 4 2019 1:22 utc | 75

@ 73: And IMO, your lack of concern over human behavior degrading the ecology of the planet, is total nonsense.

So, what is your solution? Or do you deny their is a problem?

Posted by: ben | Nov 4 2019 1:38 utc | 76

Sorry, my reply is for 72...

Posted by: ben | Nov 4 2019 1:40 utc | 77

@ 72 said; "Again, I have no objection to having sensible alternatives to fossil fuels. Problem is, they don't exist yet."

Well here's five:

Posted by: ben | Nov 4 2019 1:44 utc | 78

Peter AU 1 @ 74:

Dan Kaszeta's LinkedIn profile here if you want to look.

You'd think someone posing as an expert in chemistry at Bellingcrap would at least have an undergraduate degree in science with a major in chemistry and some experience working in a laboratory.

Why would nerve agents be used in situations that take place in the open air anyway? If they are odourless, they would be difficult to control if a breeze sprang up and dispersed the particles. My understanding is that they are only really effective in situations where people are in an enclosed or restricted environment with no access to water. The sarin gas attacks that took place in Japan in the mid-1990s were in the Tokyo underground train network.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 4 2019 1:51 utc | 79

So is "reverse psychology" the Trump 2020 campaign's "4D chess" meme?

No, stealing Syria's oil isn't because of bureaucrats, or the deep state, or 36DD chess, or any of the endless convoluted excuses/smokescreens trotted out to excuse the King of Israel. Trump is on record before he was elected sayig that Bush screwed up when he didn't take Iraq's oil and since then saying that we should steal resources because might makes right (in his own rambling 4th grade manner).

Excellent quote from Assad @37.

Posted by: sorghum | Nov 4 2019 1:54 utc | 80

The best solutions to the energy/climate issue is "less". Less energy per capita. Less distance for food, work, fuel, school, etc. Less heating of the air in our homes and instead heating people like out great-grandparents did. Less stuff. Less tech. Less of damned near everything in our lives, including mine. The biggest "less" that would make the biggest impact is the hardest one: less people.

Nobody is volunteering to hoe cotton. Why would they considering the extreme luxuries we all have at our fingertips? Part of why such things are unappealing is because any time a human does a machine's job it pays nothing. Part is the generations of propaganda of endless growth and that manual labor is for idiots. This won't change in the US until after the post-reserve currency upheaval subsides.
Just my views.

Posted by: sorghum | Nov 4 2019 2:03 utc | 81

@ 39 william gruff... i had thought of it, but as i have a different impression of trump then that, i crossed it off as not possible.. now i see you entertaining this idea... i give it low odds, but i can't rule it out... i really don't think he is that smart.. maybe i am wrong..

@ 44 flankerbandit.. once again i agree with assad.. that interview was bang on.. no one wants the usa their, with few exceptions.. i wish paveway would post here more often, but he picks his spots, and i appreciate when he does comment! that is a bonus for going to southfront! i don't frequent sf, but i appreciate the work they do.. thanks again for your earlier informative post!

@ 56 john gilberts.. / @ 70 bevin... i really don't believe canucks are this stupid.. i am heartened by the top comments on the cbc article john linked @ 56.. for example - ( top comment ) - "Canada should not let a few Ukrainian nationalists run Canadian foreign policy." 2nd most popular post - " We have no business there at all, our failed journalist should bring the soldiers back."

3rd top comment " Defending the Ukraine with Canadian troops is beyond ridiculous, Russian mechanized forces backed up with overwhelming air-power would defeat them all within an hour or less. Nothing more than a speed bump for Russian tanks. Sadly, Canada couldn't defend itself let alone another country from a military attack."

and 4th and last top comment i am sharing - "NO! Enough sending our tax dollars, let alone armed forces, there simply because of our MFA's personal grudge against Russia! Disband Azov battalion, stop glorifying Stepan Bandera, and fix your corruption - then we will talk!"

link from john gilberts @56 here again..

if you ask me, crystia freeland can go f@ herself and take her shite back to her apartment in kiev where she belongs..

Posted by: james | Nov 4 2019 2:10 utc | 82

ps - the bottom quote "our MFA's personal grudge against Russia!" is minister of foreign affairs - crystia freeland..a good number of canucks are indeed paying attention..

Posted by: james | Nov 4 2019 2:12 utc | 83

Below is an insightful comment, IMO, recently left over at the Impeachment thread that I believe needs more visibility than it will get 238 comments into that thread. The context is the Church Committee that was a congressional effort to peer into the working of US spooksville versus executive efforts in the JFK and learn

On the Church Committee, from all I've read this was one of the ongoing battles in the US between those who felt that executive power should control the country versus those who believed in democracy to one degree or another.

I've heard this described as "The King's men" versus the (small-d) democrats. I suppose it has gone on forever in the US. But in this period the lines might be defined by attitudes towards two key figures of the time: John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Though popular figures amongst the US public, the two were highly divisive amongst the big power centers.

The Kennedy murder ensured that the King's men would retain power at home and abroad. But it deeply shocked most people and few believed the story they were told about it. My opinion is that it really set the stage for all of the conflict of the 1960s.

The hardening of the civil rights movement, the war in Vietnam, the RFK/MLK assassinations, and finally Watergate had damaged all the other power centers so badly that the small-d democrats were able to recover the agenda again. First on Vietnam (Church's bills were instrumental in cutting the cash for the war if I recall) and then on the intelligence agencies. There was just too much trouble in the country for any other course. And the United States still, in that era, had a political system that could be pressured to respond to the will of the country.

The Committee was much harder on the domestic offenses of the FBI than the foreign ones of the CIA. The committee was split into two main parts. The one investigating FBI abuses took on a prosecutorial tone. The one looking into the CIA was conducted with an eye towards "historical understanding." (A side note, fwiw: Bill Miller was the staff director for the side of the committee that investigated the CIA. He would become Bill Clinton's ambassador to Ukraine.)

The Church Committee had many flaws - including some "former" CIA employees on its' staff and arch-conservative members such as Barry Goldwater. Little was accomplished legislatively in its wake (the FISA court is one example of a success). It mostly acted as a sort of truth and reconciliation commission. Some truly shocking episodes were put on the public record: MKULTRA is one example. But much was glossed over or missed entirely.

It did have the effect that the role of the FBI and CIA in American life was reexamined and there was some willingness amongst Representatives to challenge those agencies and attempt to restrain them. The Boland Amendment is a prime example of this attitude (and Oliver North's operations are a good example of the Executive branches attitude towards Congress).

It was the first intelligence oversight committee and spawned the permanent ones in the House and Senate. Though it seems like a useless achievement now that those bodies have been so thoroughly captured by the agencies they're meant to regulate.

In short: it made some small progress, but even that was extremely short lived. Some of the bad actors had been removed. No one went to prison.

The battles continued - Carter undone by the October Surprise, the Executive running its policies behind the back of the Representative branch in Iran-Contra. And all of the scandals that the Congress couldn't (or wouldn't) penetrate: Contra cocaine, the S&L scandal, BCCI, all the intense corruption and intelligence activity of the 1980s. In addition to this, one should check out Robert Parry's work on the Reagan administration's aggressive tactics against reporters (amounting to a new COINTELPRO) and "public diplomacy" campaigns.

In any case, the liberals were losing ground. Most of the old guard democrats in the US Senate were knocked out of office in the 1980 election (a whole story in itself). Controversies which emerged, like the Iran-Contra investigation, produced nothing like Watergate. If there was ever anything like the Church Committee again, it John Kerry's small committee's looking into BCCI and into drug trafficking. Of course his findings were largely ignored by the media.

Seems to me all you have left is the USSR coming undone, we get the first neoliberal president when Clinton comes in (partly because of Ross Perot's disgust over George Bush). And after 9/11 we could forget about all oversight of the intelligence agencies. And that's where we are, as far as I can tell... Pompeo goes from being on the oversight committee to running the agency it is supposed to oversee, and other such farces.


As a side note, it is remarkable to not how much of the committee's work focused on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. A full subcommittee was devoted to investigating it. It produced one of the five major volumes of findings that the Committee produced. And it spawned the House Select Committee on Assassinations which was tasked with investigating both the King and Kennedy murders.

The CIA pulled some interesting tricks to stymie the Assassination Committee. The work of Jefferson Morley can be check out on this issue (keyword: George Joannides). Robert Blakey, the second lawyer in charge of the Committee's investigation, now questions the findings of the Committee because of the CIA's interference of its' work.

Posted by: Guest77 | Nov 4 2019 1:39 utc | 238

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 4 2019 2:15 utc | 84

There is a major social propaganda effort behind the so called leaderless protests in Iraq.
One of the memes is people being killed by teargas canisters. Some people are killed and injured by them, but the propaganda meme is that security forces are deliberately targeting protestors heads at point blank range and the canisters are lodging in their heads.
Many fake videos are being put out on this. Amnesty is pushing the meme for all its worth and bellingcat is connected to amnesty.
I posted this in the last open thread
"Building robust, cutting edge training for emerging methods is difficult. The DVC Summit had presentations from several superstar researchers and journalists (Bellingcat, Malachy Browne, and Bill Marczak, among others). Learning from the projects of superstars is an important and useful way to inspire amateur and student researchers."

Twitter acc of Brian Castner. According to his twitter bio - "Weapons Investigator on Amnesty International's Crisis Team. Former EOD officer."

Brian Castner. Another bio.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2019 2:24 utc | 85

karlof1 @ 65:

The system as it is may be too much for some parts to function properly but micro-managing those parts by, say, splitting the executive function into separate executive and regulatory functions is not necessarily the way to go. In some cases the regulatory function fails because (a) not enough money has been allocated to the necessary institutions; (b) the regulatory laws are deliberately being left ignored; (c) those laws were watered down or written into the books by lobbyists for corporations; (d) maybe regulation at Federal level is not the appropriate remedy and the regulation should be done at State level.

Likewise aspects of the issue of military / law enforcement probably should be State issues and not a Federal issue.

I am of the view that having more minders in government will not relieve, much less resolve, the problem of corruption and in fact might increase it still more by concentrating the roles and functions of Federal government more than they should be. Minders will still be part of the Federal government, part of the Washington / Capitol Hill community and subject to lobbying by Deep State third parties (lobbyists, intel agencies, corporations). The functions should be decentralised by giving more of them to State, County and other local governments. If you want more citizen participation in government, then government has to go out to the people by moving its functions closer to them.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 4 2019 2:26 utc | 86

s @ 81; Nice take on today's problems, and true. We all need to assess our life styles.

Seems as though anytime the status quo is challenged, massive push back occurs. Especially
if huge profits are involved. The profits over people paradigm won't be solved easily.

Posted by: ben | Nov 4 2019 2:27 utc | 87

bevin @70: Here is Joe Emersberger on Max Blumenthal

Sorry, Emersberger colors the truth and his reporting actually confirms that Max B. had joined the pro-Venezuelan protestors to deliver food to the protestors that were occupying the embassy.

That changes everything. Max is not protected as a journalist when he's acting as an activist. And to claim such protection is not only wrong but could put other journalists at risk because Governments might use Max B. as an example of how anti-government journalists operate.

The fact that Max B. was not acting as a journalist makes Caitlin Johnstone's elevating him to a status akin to Assange even more grossly wrong.

How many of the journalists cited by Emersberger as getting media attention had joined with activists they were covering? I'd bet that none of them did. And Max B. has said that he was treated like every other prisoner while in jail.

Max B. has put progressives/alt-left into a difficult position. Support for Max B. will be used to paint progressives/alt-left as extremist and tribal.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 4 2019 2:29 utc | 88

This occurred on 23rd Oct. Less than two weeks later PM Mahdi is gone.

"U.S. troops leaving Syria are only "transiting" through Iraqi territory and will depart within four weeks, the country's defense minister said Wednesday.
Najah al-Shammari spoke with The Associated Press following a meeting with Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper in Baghdad."

"On Wednesday Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi announced he's taking “all international legal measures” over the entry of U.S. troops from neighboring Syria, again underscoring the Pentagon had no authorization for such a move, and that the troops are "not allowed" to remain in the country, but only "transition" on their way to other US bases in Kuwait and Qatar"

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2019 2:37 utc | 89

I strongly suspect dark energy is like epicycles, phlogiston, and ether, hypothetical explanations of phenomena that turned out to be wrong and to require a fundamental rethinking of science.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 4 2019 2:54 utc | 90

Reading around MSM and twitter, the usual suspects are pushing the re-emergence of ISIS. Now the so called leaderless protests in Iraq backed by the usual color revolution propaganda that is bringing anarchy to Iraq. Seems like ISIS is to be resurrected in Iraq... Perhaps so US can 'secure the oil'.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2019 2:55 utc | 91

Jrabbit @ 88 said;"Max B. has put progressives/alt-left into a difficult position. Support for Max B. will be used to paint progressives/alt-left as extremist and tribal."

BFD rabbit. The anti-democratic forces at work will paint EVERY progressive with BS, no matter WHAT they do. IMO, what MB did increases his appeal within the progressive
community. Screw what the other side thinks..

Posted by: ben | Nov 4 2019 3:04 utc | 92

Trump - CIA speech shortly after inauguration...

"The old expression: “to the victor belong the spoils” - you remember? You always used to say “keep the oil”. I wasn’t a fan of Iraq. I didn’t want to go into Iraq. But I will tell you. When we were in, we got out wrong.

And I always said: “In addition to that, keep the oil”.

Now I said it for economic reasons, but if you think about, Mike, if we kept the oil we would probably wouldn’t have ISIS, because that’s where they made their money in the first place. So we should have kept the oil.

But okay. [laughter] Maybe we’ll have another chance."


Trump tweet 2013 "I still can’t believe we left Iraq without the oil."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2019 3:15 utc | 93

For those denigrating pat Lang and his cohorts at sst:

He has shown himself as a consistent critic of American exceptionalism whether through our MIC and military adventurism abroad or through his distaste for the effects of globalism and has demonstrated his desire to help return America to a more nationalist, isolationist, and hence, sustainable, stance.

If he does this while also having little patience for those that not only desire the essential, that which is listed above, but also that the US immediately dispense with any notion of profit, free enterprise, or limited government which is not only interest to him as a scholar of history and a patriot, but also as a Catholic whose Catechism advises limited government, then so be it.

I find it in poor taste to consistently rail against his choices as blog curator and host. Especially wrt the value of his insight and the fact that he is on our side.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Nov 4 2019 3:19 utc | 94

psychohistorian @ 84

Excellent re post. Most of that stuff happened while I was a spectator. I have read much over the years trying to put it all together. In my view the foundation of all of this was a struggle to keep the Bush family and their cohorts in power and everything they represent protected.

The Grandpa was close to Eisenhower and one of his close advisors. His support of Nazi Germany was legendary and drew strong rebuke from President Roosevelt. I view Eisenhower's speech on the MIC as disingenuous as he built it with their help. The killing of JFK threw the power to Texas and their cohorts. Killing RFK cemented what they needed in policy direction.

Watergate pushed Nixon out and cleaned house of the old guard Republicans. Ray Gun came along and upset the apple cart and was forced to take bush as VP and was almost killed a few months later.

Bush ran the show under Ray Gun and then the sons came along. Trump upset the apple cart and took it away from another Bush family member albeit the populace had grown weary of them.

You can trace them back to WWI where the great grand papa sat on the war resources board and made a small fortune. I bet they go back even further to the old "dollar diplomacy" days when the marines were used to protect plantations across the globe. They claim to go back to the foundation of the US.

Power ebbs and flows and if "they" do not get what they want they keep pushing on the other side to obtain their goals. In fact the Left is owned by them as much as the Right is owned by them.

Paul Wellstone was the last real liberal that opposed them and he died in a mysterious plane crash just before reelection. He planned to lead the charge against the coming Iraq war post 2001. It is a sad state of affairs when Rand Paul is the last one left standing to oppose them to some degree from time to time.

Posted by: dltravers | Nov 4 2019 4:04 utc | 95

@ dltravers who wrote in response to my repost of the Guest77 comment about US spooksville
In my view the foundation of all of this was a struggle to keep the Bush family and their cohorts in power and everything they represent protected.
Yes, it is about the Bush family and other families that are never reported in the Fortune 500 richest people because they are hidden behind Trusts and the Fortune 500 of the largest of those is never reported.

It is why I keep harping on the structural social contract need for making the tools of finance public instead of private to take away the lock those families have on the Western world....and US spooksville

Putting time limits on ownership of "property" and limiting inheritance are needed as well, IMO

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 4 2019 4:28 utc | 96

by: karlof1 @ 51 & 68 constitution with 6 divisions; the idea is to root out oppor tunities for corruption and to widen the democratic process.
by Jen @ 58 & 86 constitution needs simplification; more minders in government will not relieve, much less resolve, the problem of corruption and in fact might increase it still more

I think corruption can only be controlled by a third element completely independent of the USA. An auditor of sort? Only two changes to the USA constitution are needed.
1. the manner by which the POTUS and his side kick are elected needs work. The people in each state should elect a candidate from each state, and the 50 candidates should then stand a general election by the people not by the electoral college.

2. The governed should be empowered to audit and prosecute the activities and negligence of the people in government (elected, appointed, employed or contractors to the government)<=hereafter government persons.

How would empowerment of the qualified voter work?
a. a human rights courts would be established and funded by 5% of the receipts of the government.
b. registration to vote would empower the registered voter with the right to audit the behaviors but not the activities of government persons.
3. Each person registered to vote, would automatically be appointed as a human rights auditor HRA.
4. HRA investigate the behaviors and conduct of all government persons, but such audits in no way interfere with the existing duties of the government person be audited.
5. The HRA seeks to discover corruption, fraud or negligent engaged in by the government person while
that persons is conducting the affairs of the government.
7. upon a HRA discovery that a government person, violated a persons human rights or engaged in an illegal, corrupt or amoral behavior, the HRA would file charges alleging such behavior in the Human rights court (2a)
8. The HR Court hears the matter and determines if the case has merit.
9. If the HR Court determines the case filed has merit, the court will impanel a jury of qualified voters who will hear the case in full, and decide the merits and the penalty.

The reason I think this will work, is that it will put HR auditors everywhere, checking on the purity of conduct expressed while in office by the government persons, but it will not interfere with the operation of the government and it will not provide the registered voter with authority to direct how the government persons does her/his job, it just makes sure the government person does not engage in a corrupt, amoral, or illegal activity while a government person.

Pretty much leave the USA constitution as it is, but audit the persons who operate the government.

Posted by: snake | Nov 4 2019 4:29 utc | 97

karlof1 @ 51 & 68
Jen @ 58 & 86
snake @ 97

Thanks for the interesting discussion. This topic has been on my radar for literally decades. I invite you to read a lengthy version of the idea from 10 years ago:

The MoA preview showed that the A HREF... format was not working for this URL, which contains an http header INSIDE an https header. Rather than break the formatting, I have simply included the text with a linebreak where the A HREF format forces one. Do not use the two lines separately. Instead, concatenate them in your browser window; and then go to that combined URL.

My basic point is that we need "division of labor" in politics. No one is smart enough to be an informed voter on ALL topics. Thinking we can is a "monkey trap".

In my proposal, voters (each with votes in a small number of legislatures (perhaps 5 or 10) elect all Congressional staffers, creating approximately 200 legislatures of 100 reps each. Total of ~20,000 legislators - about the same number as today's staffers. Not only does this make bribing the legislative branch about 40 times more expensive; but it also greatly reduces logrolling, since legislatures are so specialized that you can't attach totally irrelevant ammendments. It also eliminates the revolving door between staffers and lobbyists. Furthermore, it reduces the number of voters per representative to the original 30,000. The 30,000 number is widely recognized to be an optimum size for representation. Too big to be hijacked by a clique. Too small (unlike today's 500k voter districts) to dilute citizen representation.

I offer this idea because I also think the US Constitution has been hijacked/broken/hacked. I think all the Color Revolution/Hybrid War techniques have made our Constitution totally useless.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


P.S. Its late, the topic is gigantic, and the thread is already old. I would understand silence.

Posted by: john brewster | Nov 4 2019 5:30 utc | 98

psychohistorian @84--

Thanks for reposting Guest77's necessary addition to the overall context as to why the Executive must be neutered via constitutional change that rids the nation of the subversion that was planted within in 1947. The corruption I'm referring to is the corruption of power that kills and destroys. We've seen that damage this corrupted outlaw nation can and has done to millions of innocent people. My goal is to make that behavior cease and figure out how to ensure such behavior can never recur. Look at the evil of the people provided with power; how do they get there and why? All of that relates to what I wrote about Madison having misjudged human nature, rather badly as it turns out. snake's "auditors" seem akin to my "minders." My initial idea was to add just a 4th Regulatory Branch whose officers would run for election as they'd be apportioned amongst the states. IMO, political parties need to be regulated and elections need to be 100% publicly funded with all candidates allotted the same amount of media time, which would break the Duopoly's lock on the electoral process while election procedures would revert to paper ballots counted by people with all people 18 and older allowed to vote and register at the polls if needed, and would be the only time you'd need to prove your age via ID. Such measures would begin to get money out of politics and open up the entire electoral process so good folks without a ton of money can enter government.

The initial experiment was in self-government. Clearly the formula must be altered for the experiment to succeed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 4 2019 5:38 utc | 99

@ 93 peter... that historical overview on trump would run counter to @ 39 william gruffs outline... essentially trump is your typical garden variety business kleptomaniac and is unusual in his bluntness, but not some brilliant reverse psychology strategist..

Posted by: james | Nov 4 2019 5:40 utc | 100

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