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

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john Brewster @98--

I see we were typing at the same time. Yes, the representational ratio is a concern. My 4th Branch idea is similar but different from yours. Yes, the topic's broad with many facets. My question for you: Where do you see the constitution as "broken"? My problem is with the Executive's excess of power, but have other issues too. Yeah, it's late; I'll return in the morning.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 4 2019 5:45 utc | 101

@ben #76 & #78
Concern for what humans are doing to the planet extends far beyond fossil fuels.
The greatest damage done is outright human usage of land. How would you propose to fix that? Kill a bunch off? Who gets to choose the dead vs. the living?

As for the 5 technologies - they work only to people who have very little interest in the details.
Wind and solar: every kilowatt of generation capability must be accompanied by some form of backup, because both wind and solar are extremely unreliable. This is on top of being extremely expensive - a fact covered up by enormous subsidies of solar and wind. If battery backup is deployed, the expense gets literally an order of magnitude worse.
The creation of solar PV and wind turbines also requires enormous natural resources and land. 1 Megawatt of wind turbine requires 103 tonnes of stainless steel, 402 tonnes of concrete, 6.8 tonnes of fiberglass, 3 tonnes of copper and 20 tonnes of cast iron.
A solar PV panel requires a multi-hundred million dollar manufacturing plant plus all manner of toxic chemicals and rare earths.
Tide: limited to a very few locations, and the total amount that can be practically generated over a long period of time is also very unclear.
Geothermal: again, great in a few spots. Not a primary source unless you're Icelandic.
Human power: Your car has 100+ horsepower. A human generates around 0.1 to 0.3 hp except for very brief sprints. Replacement of even just car power (let's ignore ships and planes for now) would require a whole lotta humans. But isn't the human footprint a problem already?
So no, these technologies aren't ready. We've had decades of enormous government subsidies in the US and Europe; Energiewende is a failure: Germany is building more coal power plants because they both need baseline capacity and wind+solar ironically prices out natural gas - because natural gas requires constant flows but coal plants can stockpile supply. And even then, wind turbine installs in Germany has basically stopped.
The US (federal and state level) has spent well over a $100B dollars in subsidies on alternative energy deployment (not R & D, and mostly solar PV) in the past 10 years alone - this has increased the share of solar and wind energy production to...3.3% of overall energy use. To put this in perspective, energy generated by wood is only slightly less than solar, hydro is slightly more. Nuclear is more than double solar+wind (8% vs. 3.3%).

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 4 2019 5:47 utc | 102

@sorghum #81
I agree with what you said, but what happens when large numbers of people don't agree that less is enough?
And who chooses the less?
Ultimately, that's the problem.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 4 2019 5:49 utc | 103

@p #84
I strongly recommend you read the Angelo Codevilla interview.
He worked for the senior Senator in charge of Intelligence, and his characterization of the Church committee is 100% different than yours. In particular, he said straight out that the Church committee was in no way an outside effort to reform anything. It was one group of insiders (the FBI) making sure that they wouldn't get sued in the future for eavesdropping domestically. The rest was just a sideshow.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 4 2019 5:52 utc | 104

@ snake, dltravers, john brewster and karlof1, etc.

I still believe that the 1st step is to take away the private punch bowl of finance that lets whoever buy the best government they can afford with fiat money. Once that happens, IMO, all the associated BS around who does what for who gets focused on by and for the people but I agree that transparency/auditing/minding needs to be required to insure corruption is eliminated.

Making money be by and for the people continues to be the requisite first step needed to occur, IMO....and it is, or can be, a very clear demand, understood by many/all to be in support of......the jackboot of global private finance tools must be eliminated and replaced by totally sovereign or sovereign collusions of public owned and focused tools.
/end rant

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 4 2019 5:55 utc | 105

james 100

Trumps position of "Take the oil" goes back to at least 2013. For whatever reason, most prefer to ignore it. Trump trying to take the troops home but thwarted by the military or whoever makes a better dream I guess.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2019 5:56 utc | 106

@john brewster #98
The assumption with extended division of power is that there will be balance between the different forces.
This assumption is false. What we have today is an oligarchical class with representatives both in and out of government, and extending across all branches of the private sector as well as government departments.
Making more positions for bureaucrats won't work any more than it did for the Soviet Union, because we're well past the point where future leaders are able to escape the bureaucrat hive. The bureaucrats go to the same schools, the same churches, the same restaurants, the same vacations. They read the same books and talk and marry each other.
Changing a few titles and creating departments isn't going to change the outcome any more than the creation of DHS made the US more secure.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 4 2019 5:58 utc | 107

@ 81 sorghum .. less... good comment.. thanks..

@ 103 c1ue... presently the corporations are calling the shots... that is who is choosing here... as consumers, we have the ability to say no, but it would be nice if we had gov'ts that weren't beholden to corporations as they presently are... knocking down a rain forest for money and etc. etc. etc... it is short term profit and murdering the planet... as i said - presently the banking system and corporations are calling the shots, but they don't work in the planet or humankinds interest.. in fact, they are contrary to these interests and values that will ultimately sustain us..

the other thing is this is what governments are for... to govern... presently they are run by big money... that is the unfortunate reality and it has to change asap... just look at the usa - rep / dem gong show where money is calling all the shots..

Posted by: james | Nov 4 2019 5:58 utc | 108

@106 peter.. i am curious what william gruff has to say to this.. see his post @39..

Posted by: james | Nov 4 2019 6:00 utc | 109

karlofi @ 101

If democracy works at all, it doesn't work with the voter/legislature ratios we have. Everyone knows that a dozen or so tiny red states can veto any legislature by their disproportionate representation in the Senate.

Its also clear that Congressional districts at 500k voters are only reachable by TV ads and other forms of manipulation only purchasable by deep pockets.

Finally, the Congressional staffers do most of the detail work, and their eyes are on their future employability at lobbying shops. The staffers don't represent us. They represent the corporations, billionaires, and other countries that fund the lobbies. The staffers must be directly elected.

I said "if democracy works at all". As the population is dumbed down, riled up, and driven to the attention span of a gnat, I wonder if its possible for the average voter to find the time and the information necessary to acutally inform himself enough to participate. My solution is political "division of labor" - vote only on a few topics, that it would be possible to be informed about. My solution is different than "liquid democracy". I don't like the idea of proxy voting. Looks like another way to bamboozle folks.

Thanks for responding so late. I must sleep. Will check in the AM.

Posted by: john brewster | Nov 4 2019 6:10 utc | 110

Went back and re-read it. My thought, which I have put in a number of comments is that the poat WWII era ended with the election of Trump.
A big part of that era has been the US trying to maintain the facade of the moral leader of the world. That was no longer holding up. The dollar hegemonic empire was dying.
Most still think, for whatever reason, that the US must maintain this facade - that the US cannot operate outside this facade..

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2019 6:12 utc | 111

ciue @ 107

Making more positions for bureaucrats won't work

I know I did not spell it out in detail, but I did say that I would have 20,000 legislators. That is less than the current 25,000 staffers. Furthermore, these people are not bureaucrats, they are elected officials, subject to voter discipline. The point is to get rid of bureaucracy, to drag it into the light of day. To reduce logrolling backroom deals. To make all elected legislators personally known to the specialized (30k) constituencies.

I certainly recognize the hold of oligarchy. But, what is one to do, short of just bowing down to them, other than try to invent forms of democracy that cannot be so easily manipulated?

Posted by: john brewster | Nov 4 2019 6:15 utc | 112

The US with there 'spreading democracy' and 'nation building' crap since WWII is just a blip in history. Trump's just going back to way things were always done. Might makes right.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2019 6:15 utc | 113

@113 peter au... i can't see the might makes right scenario working out here and i can see a lot of disillusioned fans of dumbocracy too!

Posted by: james | Nov 4 2019 6:19 utc | 114

Stupid circular arguments based more on wishful thinking (I like being warm in winter at the flick of a switch/using my my car/tractor/truck) are worthless and it saddens me to see them repeated over and over.
I'm old enough to know the oppression young scientists went through in the 1970s and even 1980's when they could not get their work on global warming published despite having been peer reviewed by established honest fellow scientists.

Meaning that some went for years without tenure. This happened to a cousin who is now emeritus prof at a decent uni, yet still has to wear shit because he won't sign up to the nonsense weak-arsed 'work-arounds' that politicians favour as a means to keep 'the greenies' off their backs without annoying heavy hitter billionaires. (That one really gets him goin' as he says "f++king ignoramuses, the only label I wear is scientist, I been going where science leads for more than 50 years, yet any untrained arsehat thinks they can use their ignorance & prejudices to hang a label offa me").

Poor f++ker froze his pink bits in Antarctica for 14 years and all he copped was shit pay and no recognition until the late 80's and even then his penchant for talking facts not convenient tosh made him only barely tolerated.

I've always likened the issue to a collection of batteries, that is to say, if there was a big mob of batteries randomly dotted about this planet which over the last 4 billion years or so gathered in a big chunk of the sun's energy beamed at earth until some mob of greedy goons fronted and began discharging all that accumulated energy over the space of 150 years or 1 forty millionth of the time it took to accumulate all that energy, don'tcha reckon things would heat up quite a lot, given as we are pushing out far more energy each year with hydrocarbon combustion, than any increase in the sun's energy, in fact some 56 times greater (~ 2.83 watts per square meter) than the increase in radiative forcing from the small shift in the sun’s energy (~0.05 watts per square meter) between 1750 and 2011, it seems kinda stupid to blame anything but the hydrocarbon combustion, (or random battery discharge) doesn't it?

The last week or so tossers been tearing out hair, wailing and gnashing teeth at the news the deep state has owned to fucking us over.
All that finger pointing ignores one sad but true fact abouty en masse humans, that is too many are happy to toss logic, facts and proven rationales overboard if it becomes convenient to do so. This is exactly how scum like the so-called 'deep state' get ya'll; you lap up irrational nonsense if it means doing so will minimise inconvenience,

So they say, "no money for education, health or housing is sad, but then a lot of you can still have a bit of that anyway on yer card, since the alternative to spending all taxes on keeping amerika safe, as we have shown, is fighting murderous sand n++gers and damn thieving guatemalan injuns in yer front yard.
If you don't feel like climbing outta yer laz-y-boy, tick my box 'cos all these fellas reckon if you do, you'll be cool as". tick, tick tick, tick, tick, oops TOCK!

Posted by: A User | Nov 4 2019 6:41 utc | 115

Trump 2011
"...Obama’s decision to send armed drones into Libya is “a little late” to save the many lives lost, was another sign of his weak leadership, and if he was president he would just go in “and take the oil.”

“Well it’s a little bit late, his whole thing is a little late — he takes so long to make decisions,” Trump said. “And he might have been better off making no decision, or going in early, because so many people have been killed in Libya — it’s unbelievable — it’s a carnage. So, I just don’t think he knows what he’s doing, Greta.”
Van Susteren asked Trump what he would do if he was president, considering it has been some two months since Obama said Libyan despot Moammar Gadhafi must go.

“I would go in and take the oil — I would just go in and take the oil,” Trump replied. “We don’t know who the rebels are, we hear they come from Iran, we hear they’re influenced by Iran or al-Qaida, and, frankly I would go in, I would take the oil — and stop this baby stuff."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2019 9:00 utc | 116

Trump proudly retweeting the news and video of Iranian consulate in Iraq being stormed by protestors.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2019 9:37 utc | 117

re: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2019 9:00 utc | 116

Yep like him or loath him at least orange retard doesn't (often) speak with a forked tongue.

Personally I loathe him just as I loathe all humans (including some members of my whanau) who put their own personal interests ahead of those of the rest of us.

However the slimy low life trump seems honest enough about his naked greed & contempt for other humans to own it. All the rest of the slimy double dealing low life pustules on the arsehole of humanity made prez strove to avoid the same exposure of their base character.

That doesn't make orangeade a good human, all it makes him is a slightly more honest one than all his predecessors, which, lets face it doesn't mean much at all.

Nevertheless this causes me to state what I have been spouting for quite a while now.

Amerikans can dismiss types like myself as unwanted or irrelevant, frankly I dunno if I give a toss either way.
What I do know is something which many of you indoctrinated amerikans will reject outta hand.

This is, that however much you want to believe, eg that a cellar full of nukes will save you, they won't, because the arseholes who control the switches, keys or whatever you want to call 'em, as per usual, won't give a toss about what you believe/want.
They will be too busy trading off their micro-edge of say in the ancient amerikan regime for a sliver of a gain in the next world order. They will screw you then blame your ignorance on their superior, 'knowledge of how the world really works', compared with how you have been told it does.
This furphy will be swallowed for however long is deemed essential, despite them all having spent a good chunk of their existence in leading y'all up the garden path.

Swallow, choke, spit the lot out; it won't make a damn bit of difference now so many have become wise to the transparent 'amerikan act'.
\You're all gonna go, cos the only way to avoid that is to reject your indoctrination, which, thru no fault of yer own, very few are capable of.

Posted by: A User | Nov 4 2019 9:51 utc | 118

Steve Pieczenic reckons Nancy Pelosi is a zombie looking for a place to die.

5 minutes of good typical cutting commentary. Love him or hate him Steve is direct to the point.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 4 2019 10:25 utc | 119

karlof1 @ 101:

The excess of power that you have identified in the Executive level of the US government is the consequence of a Constitution developed back in the late 1700s by an upper class landed aristocracy whose main experience of government was dominated by the system of Western monarchy of the time. (In those days, during the late 1700s, most Western monarchies were absolute monarchies.) Sure, some of the Founding Fathers knew the Iroquois system of federal government well enough that they were able to work the idea of a federal system of government into the system they were creating but ultimately what they ended up with was a system that still privileged the position of President as a monarchical institution. The character of George Washington and the characters of those who followed after him at least until the generation of the Founding Fathers died out may have had enough influence on the institution of the Presidency that the powers invested in the position became fixed by custom and tradition, and so to this day the position of the President and the associated powers have remained sacrosanct.

That the President is also the Commander of the armed forces is another hangover from monarchy (though subject to Congressional approval - but that may not be enough of a check) and that function may be worth taking away from the position.

If you have not already heard of Daniel Lazare, you may like to read his book "The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution is Paralyzing Democracy" where he lays out his thesis that the separation of powers in the US Constitution and the checks and balances placed on them by the original framers of the Constitution encourage the diffusion of political power and responsibility (buck-passing) leading to fragmentation, inertia and stagnation which extends to society, culture and the economy at large. Reform is next to impossible and the responsibility for reform and change falls onto the US Supreme Court. (This also means that Presidential appointments to the US Supreme Court assume greater importance in society than they should, with appointees' past personal histories and peccadilloes being raked over by the media as the example of Brett Kavanagh and his past treatment of women illustrates.)

A second issue that Lazare raises is the composition of the Senate in which states with small populations have equal representation with states that have large populations. This arrangement has the effect of privileging minority interests over majority interests and again acts as a brake on political and social reform in areas such as the civil rights of minority groups, abortion rights and the teaching of evolution in schools and universities.

I might say that I'm not entirely in agreement with Lazare over his notion that the separation of powers is to blame as several other countries also have a similar three-way separation of powers of government without the problems that the US system has. Admittedly those countries have much younger governments and constitutions than the US does and it may be that ultimately we must realise that no system of government and no constitution can last indefinitely without being subjected to change and reform.

Posted by: jen | Nov 4 2019 10:51 utc | 120

Germany's Angela Merkel decided to close all German nuclear power plants by 2022 and all coal-fired power plants by 2038. So either Germany gets Russian gas or the country shuts down real soon now.

After WW2 many Germans had to choose between suicide, fleeing to South America, or facing justice. Angela Merkel has bought a ranch in Paraguay, a wise choice.

Posted by: passerby | Nov 4 2019 11:25 utc | 121

@121 escape? Ah! Submarines and thru Spain...Stalin said Spain for Does Die Hundchen desire spiritual nearness to the bones of That Good Man, Adolf - and his colleague Borman? (they say he had the stuff on the money) Mr H and Mr Epstein...extraction cements enemies in conspiracy so evil that they may not be uttered, eh?

"corrections" also cement the tongue...ask 41 (oh, right, that Good Man is also gone).

And so do magic airplanes and spontaneous "collapse"...

Not part of the con? Then the truth may be permitted, but if it affects the view of the ringer it may not be said.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 4 2019 11:40 utc | 122

Some of the pieces at Lazare's blog are quite interesting.
On changing the US constitution - "Revolution is crazy, far-fetched, fantastic — and unavoidable."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2019 11:53 utc | 123

james @109
Peter AU1 @106

Remember when Stephen Colbert used to do his TV show "The Colbert Report"? Despite his frequently breaking character, there were many people who believed Colbert to be the hardcore conservative blowhard that he played in that show rather than the neoliberal that he is.

Trump used a similar shtick for his TV show. Remember that prior to Trump starting that show he was a Democrat. The difference between the two was that Trump wasn't overplaying the conservative blowhard persona for comedic effect like Colbert was, and that Trump stayed in character. In fact, Trump continues to stay in character. If we assume that Trump was recruited to run for President as his TV show persona in order to help his friends the Clintons get back into the White House, then we have already assumed that he is using reverse psychology and is aware of it.

Next consider how, if you are opposed to America's wars, you go about convincing a public that is desperately clinging to an exceptionalist narrative of America's noble self-sacrifice to help the peoples of the world by killing them that the US motives for the wars might be something a little more commercial in nature and decidedly less than altruistic? Please try to recall what the response was to people who argued against the war in Iraq, for instance, by claiming that the US was after the oil. They were shouted down and ridiculed in the corporate mass media and blacklisted from further exposure to the public.

If on the other hand you happen to be playing a neocon on a TV show, you can make the same argument by having your character loudly support stealing other countries' resources. This is actually far more effective at exposing the empire's activities than trying to patiently explain that the empire is doing resource grabs and is not on humanitarian missions.

I realize that I said "That is much more clever than I had ever given Trump credit for being", but note that I never argued Trump was "...some brilliant reverse psychology strategist." On the contrary, this strategy is one a child could work out. Stephen Colbert even did similar moves while in character in his previous TV show, so it isn't even like Trump would be breaking new ground here.

I don't believe Trump to be any sort of genius, but I don't think he is stupid either. His Bachelor's is in economics, which, while not the toughest degree ever, at least is not the college version of special ed like a business admin degree is. I do believe Trump is a classical liberal who was trapped into his persona of a neocon by unexpectedly winning the election. To avoid destroying the "Democracy Show™" and jeopardizing his class of oligarchs he must now stay in character 24/7. That gives him some unique opportunities, and unmasking America's imperial adventures abroad that he personally opposes by bluntly blurting out what those adventures are really about is one such unique opportunity.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 4 2019 12:16 utc | 124

To people here bitching about the American system and its need to write another Constitution, see this:

Xi says China's democracy is whole-process democracy

It doesn't matter what's written in a piece of paper, but the concrete relations of production of a given society.

Posted by: vk | Nov 4 2019 12:17 utc | 125

Revolution happens as a consequence of Change when it's rapid and large scale and lats just a smidgen too long. Yes, inevitable unless the power-elite has the ability, motive, and desire to mitigate these three factors. What's inevitable is the failure of the PE to mitigate. Sorta mene mene telel upharsin kinna thang...

Many thanks for the clue to GDH Cole, the historian. Now to some reading...


about climate change and the duality of thinking...

(A) Climate changes, fast, sometimes. Humans are vastly changing the climate. They can't do much about it, either.

(B) The PE can't mitigate, but they can use the Changes as leverage to gain more power - ie "colonize change", essentially turn climate change into a vehicle to increase their temporal power.

These are two discrete facts> real change, and the con around it. Confusing them leads in circles...

Boffins speak fact, pols speak... Yeah, right. "Spin", brown spin.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 4 2019 12:19 utc | 126

@ passerby | Nov 4 2019 11:25 utc | 121

'Angela Merkel has bought a ranch in Paraguay,..'

This is pure conjecture by one Christoph Hoerstel, not presenting hard data to corroborate his claim - to be taken with a huge grain of salt.

Posted by: Hmpf | Nov 4 2019 12:30 utc | 127

They say The Good Man, B43, "bought a ranch in Para..." But he did not...he had his child do it for him.

Same fur Die Hundchen? (OK, no kid, agent)

Being near to spirit of the escaped Fuhrer gehmutlich ist.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 4 2019 12:41 utc | 128

William Gruff 124

Thanks for going into more detail on your take on Trump. My take is partly influenced by one chapter in his book Art of the Deal. I forget what the chapter is called, but in it he explained his veiw on business and deals and so forth. Much of what I see of him now is still the same.
I remembered seeing a few early interviews of Trump on youtube and dug a couple up. As you will see from these interviews Trumps veiw on the world and the US part in it is unchanged since 1980. Thirty nine years. All that has been added in the intervening years is the reality TV twitter persona.
Trump interview 1980
Trump interview 1987

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2019 12:55 utc | 129

That 1980 interview. Iran and oil. We should have the oil and I think we lost the opportunity. !980.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2019 12:59 utc | 130

There's a lot of ignorance on both sides here about the environmental debate.

The pro-electric auto lobby is very aware production of lithium batteries pollutes more than petrol-based engines. But that's not the argument they're using.

Their argument is that global warming must be stopped at any price. Global warming is just one type of pollution.

They single out global warming for one very simple reason: global warming extinguishes all agriculture in a very short period of time. For example: if global average temperatures rise 1ºC, all coffee production in Brazil would have to be transferred to its southernmost States (today, its production concentrates mainly in its "middle south", or Southeastern, States). There is no "let's just go to the beach in Siberia" future for humanity: we're going to starve to death much earlier than that.

Lithium batteries production are highly pollutive to the soil and the water. The pro-electric engine troupe simply argues its better to sacrifice a random group of Third World countries than to sacrifice the entire humanity.

Posted by: vk | Nov 4 2019 13:10 utc | 131

Trump has a hatred of Iran since the Tehran embassy hostages. Iran made a laughing stock of US, made US appear weak... according to Trump. Now he is President of US and commander in Chief of US military and his views are still the same. Destroy Iran and take the oil.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2019 13:14 utc | 132

@ Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2019 13:14 utc | 132

I agree, but the implication is troubling... We (both) assume Trumpie decides and acts based on emotion, I think.

Yeah, he probably does. This is not good. One thing that would mean is that he's a mark, controllable by any con... Poor schmuck. A fall guy.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 4 2019 13:21 utc | 133

c1ue@72 writes:

"Your commentary on the "fossil fuel propaganda" would be a lot more credible if you also talked about the climate change/alternative energy propaganda."

My argument was that we should discuss the matter reasonably rather than encourage competing interests to shout lies at us. Clearly, you enjoy the current 'fun' of swapping one liners and repartee while the planet heats up and resources waste away.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 4 2019 13:26 utc | 134

Now Trudeau's Foreign Minister-Chrystia Freeland- is co-ordinating her efforts with those of the US in Bolivia where Morales' recent and decisive victory is being challenged in order to de-legitimise a socialist government.
This excellent article explains the Neo Nazi strategy of initiating regime change:

Posted by: bevin | Nov 4 2019 13:31 utc | 135

He may act on emotion regarding Iran, as he believes Iran humiliated the US back in 79 80, but not in the way of instant reflex emotional response. It will be well thought out, and I would guess that he is willing to take calculated risks.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2019 13:40 utc | 136

In the 1980 interview of Trump that I linked earlier, the first section consists of Iran and oil. The second section is Trumps response to the interviewer asking him if he had thought of becoming president and if television had changed elections. Trump goes into what is required to win elections in the age of television.
At some point in time since that interview, Trump developed the persona that won the 2016 election.

The link again.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2019 14:02 utc | 137

Wm Gruff @124, others: Yeah, he's an actor, a better one than The Gipper(R) for example, and further: politics is and always has been a form of theater, and he is indeed acting all the time in public. This is obvious, can be observed. What he is actually up to beyond covering his own butt and building his dynasty etc. is more problematical. Not saying he is not a dumb ass or a is nice guy or anything, just that he has survived and prospered in the NYC snake pit (no offense to snake here intended) so he is not a chump. And the idea that he is trying to save anybody else and this is his clever way to do it does not work for me. Personally what I see is he really doesn't give a shit, deep down. Deep down, he's a shallow narcissist. But he is not a dummy, and in the end he cannot be lying to himself that much. He's almost as old as I and and nobody has slowed him down yet. I tend to think he is a naive born member of one of our various mafias (not necc. Italian) here, and that is his orientation and where his objectives come from. What he is not is a vanilla suit-droid US politician. They are really dumb. And you can observe that too.

vk:125: Yeah, no piece of paper is going to fix it. "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

Epstein: I don't believe he is dead, and that seems to be the one idea they want to fend off, that he's not dead. They want to keep the suicide/homicide debate going, but for some reason it's not possible that instead of strangling him they just walked him out of there.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 4 2019 14:08 utc | 138

It's 737NP "no problem" and it's all fake, er...about just what the suit says, belief, not reality > "Restoring the trust of the traveling public in the safety of the 737 MAX once it’s recertified is our top priority,” a Boeing spokesman said, the WSJ reports.

The plane may be formally cleared to fly before the end of the year, and even though the companies have lost out on money due to the groundings, it will be at least another month before they are ready to welcome passengers on the 737 MAX again. The airlines want the planes to initially take several trips without ticket holders and eventually fly executives, members of the media and potentially corporate clients to vouch for the aircrafts’ safety. "

It's about appearance...the ringer can't look empty. But it is.

see "US airlines won't immediately bring Boeing 737 MAX back to the skies even if FAA says it's good to go – reports" (RT)

Posted by: Walter | Nov 4 2019 14:23 utc | 139

Karlof1 -

In Oregon you’ve got 4M people and 60 congress members plus 30 senators or 45 000 people per rep. That’s pretty close to 30 000:1.

Seems the original idea of 50 states is still pretty workable, however it seems to have been steamrolled by the federal machine. If you paid your taxes only to the state and not the fed, I gotta think things would be corrected in a pretty short order.

My reading of the Federalist Papers doesn’t really ever advocate for a federal income tax, but it did provide for free movement of people. States competing for inhabitants? Seems exactly like what Madison would have wanted with no new constitution required.

Posted by: TSP | Nov 4 2019 14:34 utc | 140

if humans are causing the climate to change, then they obviously can do something about it. whether they will do that is another question, given the array of powerful forces that profit off the status quo in the short term.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 4 2019 15:10 utc | 141

@ pretzelattack | Nov 4 2019 15:10 utc | 141

"obviously can..."

It's obvious from the science, man..and they can't because they're being colonized by deception by the PE (C. W. Mills term)

Ok, I concede that in some fractional sense, in some marginal degree.

But the Biggie is setting cities afire all at once...that'll cool things yeah, sure man, people can change climate change change - in exponential ways that look really stupid.

It's an "option".

Posted by: Walter | Nov 4 2019 15:22 utc | 142


Innumeracy is a real problem. Many who could easliy pass a literacy test, were such a qualification to vote, would not have a prayer on a test of numeracy. Even a simple test, such as 'which is greater, 2 or 30?' would weed out a large part of the population. By the way, all states have 2 US Senators.

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 4 2019 15:22 utc | 143

Bemildred @138: They want to keep the suicide/homicide debate going ...

Thats because suicide/homicide doesn't implicate CIA/Mossad. They push the notion that Epstein had many powerful enemies (the wealthy that he blackmailed) that wanted him dead (and could pay someone to kill him in jail).

But why would they wait until he was jailed? Anyone that wanted to kill him could've done so much more easily when Epstein was walking free.

The extraction hypothesis implicates CIA/Mossad. Only an intelligence agency could/would pull that off.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 4 2019 15:26 utc | 144

it was a lot cheaper and in the long run less risky to just off epstein in the prison. that's why
i believe he's dead.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 4 2019 15:28 utc | 145


Jeffrey Lewis Retweeted Daniel Wertz

"Jeffrey Lewis

These people are fucking idiots.

Jared Kushner: "You can see from these letters that Kim wants to be friends with Trump, but his father told him never to give up the weapons. That’s his only security. Trump is like a new father figure. So, it is not an easy transition." …"

Posted by: arby | Nov 4 2019 15:45 utc | 146

Wm Gruff, Peter AU 1, Walter, james

My view of Trump is much less sanguine. He's an egotistical social-climber that has always strived to be the consummate insider. His idol is Roy Cohn. His mentor is Bill Clinton.

Trump makes bold moves when he knows the fix is in. One memorable example is the ice-skatting rink in New York's Central Park. He took over this failed project and publicly guaranteed that it would be completed on time and on budget. And, of course, it was. Not because of Trump personally, but because of Trump connections behind the scenes (Trump is said to have worked with the mob on construction).

And so it is with the Presidency. He wouldn't do it if he wasn't guaranteed to win. He's too egotistical. And he bragged many times during the election, directly and indirectly, about his certainty of winning. Some examples:

- He tells us that when he asked his trophy wife about running, she said that if he enters the race, he'll win it.

- He tells us that he feels that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it.

- He's the first President (ever?) that doesn't release ANY tax returns ... and he gets away with it.

PS Hillary was also more hawkish than Obama. And Trump picked up the "Birther" nonsense that she started.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 4 2019 15:48 utc | 147

Crooke channels Escobar and JFK: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." There is an alternative to There is No Alternative (TINA), and that's the complete evisceration of Neoliberalism. It's not just the Outlaw US Empire's Middle East Project that's in retreat, there's also its engagement in Europe and within the structure of international trade and finance. It's very curious that Occupied Palestine tries to sow unrest when itself is dysfunctional with no government having been formed despite two elections.

To the troll c1ue--you slander of Michael Mann merely serves to cement the fact that you are indeed a troll. Mann took those who slandered him to court and won a more than decisive judgement against them which vindicated his science while destroying what served as arguments of deniers like yourself. This will be the last time I waste my time on you.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 4 2019 16:20 utc | 148

arby @146: Yep, they are. Kushner seem sort of Zuckerberg-like, but even less socially adept.

JR: Well I agree the theorizing gets much more interesting once you get past the idea that he's not dead. Pretzelattack does have a good argument that it's cheaper to just kill him, but that assumes that killing him is "not expensive", whereas one might assume Epstein took measures to protect himself against that sort of thinking. In fact that appears to one of his businesses. I think we all agree what is needed is a good, thorough investigation.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 4 2019 16:20 utc | 149

About Syria...

I'm going to point to a commentator I usually find quite accurate...Salman Rafi Sheikh...

“Robbing” Syria’s Oil to Thwart Syria’s Recovery

There are three objectives that the US aims to achieve through this “control” of Syria’s oil. First, it can thwart all attempts towards Syria’s territorial reunification under Damascus. Secondly, it can keep a lid on a critical source of Syria’s economy and can thus thwart Syria’s economic recovery and reconstruction.

Thirdly, by “controlling” the oil, the US can clip Kurds and prevent their bid to make a deal with the Russians and the Syrians for integration with Damascus.

This third one is the main one, as I have stated here before...also this tactic of keeping the Kurds in play is the way to achieve the first objective, which is to prevent Syria from regaining territorial integrity...

So really it's not about the's about regime change...and barring that, then plan B which is to at least keep Syria somehow partitioned and somewhat dysfunctional...

So that US strategy of staying in that REDUCED footprint all hinges on the Kurd collaborators...the US compradors in Syria...

But is it likely to work long-term...?

I don't think so because a lot of irreversible damage has been done already to the US plan of setting up a Kurd statelet...with the SAG and Russia controlling the major cities and highways the writing is on the wall...

Everywhere the SAA arrives the people are ecstatic...they don't want any more bullshit fighting over nothing...they want to resume their normal lives and have access to state services like health care and education, clean water, etc...

Only the die-hard regime-changers in Washington want to keep this some faction of Kurds as exemplified by the moron Mazloum Abdi, the SDF military commander...[notable for his theft of Baghdadi's underwear]...

Stealing underwear is not going to put food on the table of ordinary Mazloum's triumphalist interviews to his western media patrons doesn't mean shit...

Also I have to say I disagree with Peter if I understand his argument to be that Trump never intended to pull out completely, but always wanted to 'grab the oil'...

I think it's pretty obvious that Trump has tried for a year now to get out of Syria...the first attempt was completely thwarted...with Mattis leaving in a huff over the mere thought of it...and now when Turkey forced the US hand, again the establishment pushed back hard enough to keep that vastly reduced territory...

Holding onto this territory is nothing more than clutching at a straw to keep from being swept down the is not viable either from a political perspective [the Arabs there would really prefer a divorce from their Kurd overlords and may be in fact chafing at the US presence in their midst as well]...

The Syrian government's position is only going to grow stronger as its reach and effective control soaks into all that territory that is outside this ridiculous US 'patch'...

The Russian bridge across the Euphrates at Deir Ezzor...the control of Tabqa dam and its electricity...the highway from Tabqa to Kobani etc...the entire M4 highway stretching across the entire northeast from Aleppo to Iraq...

Really this ridiculous 'plan' from the US establishment is fucking laughable...these people are so blinded by their own desires that they have lost control of their own common sense...

It is a house of cards...and I say it's going to collapse a lot sooner than most expect...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 4 2019 16:25 utc | 150

@ Jackrabbit | Nov 4 2019 15:26 utc | 144

"But why would they wait until he was jailed? Anyone that wanted to kill him could've done so much more easily when Epstein was walking free."

They put him in because otherwise the deception might not work, and one assumes, to sweat him and who else? Especially who else - those people were chittingthemselves in fear. It's a theory, but if That Good Man had dirty pictures of Billyboy, for example, billy'd sweat, eh?

Then, theater...walk this way, sir... one must seek the Mise-en-scène, amigo. And when you see a set scene, you know it's theater.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 4 2019 16:30 utc | 151

A very silly, childish line's being taken regarding the decision by numerous ASEAN nation heads of state to not attend the current summit since Trump refused to attend for the second straight year. Current Outlaw US Empire National Security hack O'Brien pouted and moaned:

"A full or partial boycott by ASEAN leaders will be seen as an intentional effort to embarrass the President of the United States of America and this will be very damaging to the substance of the ASEAN-US relations."

No single person need do anything to "embarrass" Trump as he does that constantly all by himself. What Trump's second snub in a row tells the ASEAN is he has no interest in interacting with those nations, that they ought to continue to turn toward EAEU/BRI for their further development. O'Brien's lament reflects the arrogance of the Outlaw US Empire quite well.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 4 2019 16:43 utc | 152

james @ 15. Yes…and AOC’s proposal has dozens of co-writers, sponsors (or whatever the correct term is) while Gabbard’s has none.

As the Dems having nothing to ‘sell’ except identity politics it is natural that a few younger ‘non-white’ women candidates join and then rise to some prominence, there being none would be a death knell.

That they would then have opinions polarised towards an ersatz ‘left’ (stop racism, etc.) and take up some redistributive / reparative - “democratic socialist”, etc. - ideas (ex. cancel student debt, Medicare for all, free Unis), with Sanders as a model or pre-cursor (at least for AOC) and be extremely green around the edges was entirely to be expected. (Gabbard is somewhat different.) The New Blood vs. the Old Blood scenario plays out clumsily because of the internal contradictions / denigrations.

The goals are aspirational, irrealistic, a call for approval and ‘votes’, a bid to be on TV, be liked w. tons of upvotes, as in trivial contests that are fun but don’t impact reality. And of course rise and get rich in the chosen career.

The goals I mentioned cannot be realised without radically changing the old order. For ex. cutting off shareholders in the MIC, Medical Industrial Complex (nationalising it, in short, and with zero favors to cos. / lobbyists, etc.) Natch, some grudging leeway, mini-reductions to the ‘goodpayers,’ could be given to students in debt, for ex.

No diesel, no food. Trailer Trash 22, yes, the huge machine of mechanised agri can’t function without FF. Which is very heavily subsidised.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 4 2019 17:00 utc | 153

@ 124 william gruff / @ 129 peter au and etc. etc.. william - i have never watched tv since i left home - many years ago.. i know the name steven colbert, but haven't watched him.. the video with trumps comments on iran are troubling that peter left are troubing..this is a guy who has so identified with the american angle, that he is incapable of seeing it from the other side.. that is not a person you want running a country that has to relate to others in the world at large unless you want some fanatical leader for your country... i just can't see trump as that sophisticated here william.. maybe i am wrong..

'egotistical social climber' as jackrabbit says, is not a bad way to frame trumps focus - personality... he is a bit too self centered to get outside of himself.. that sort of characterizes the way many people around the globe view americans... they know a lot about their own country, but next to nothing about others..

Posted by: james | Nov 4 2019 17:01 utc | 154

pretzelattack @145, Bemildred @149

Then why not prove that he's dead? It would have been so easy to do that.

Was this all concocted just to spark conspiracy theories:

4chan message?

ear and nose mis-match?

G. Maxwell's Good Boys In-and-Out message?

I tend to think that G. Maxwell's message was done as an attempt to counter and discredit the first two. Trolling the conspiracy theorists that had evidence that Epstein had been extracted.

And here the nagging truth: While there are pros and cons to keeping Epstein alive, it would've been much easier for any powerful person that had been blackmailed and/or any intelligence agency that wanted him dead to have killed him in the years BEFORE he went to jail. They didn't. Epstein's death in prison (however it may have occurred) is just an embarrassment to USA. Nobody believes the official story.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 4 2019 17:03 utc | 155

vk @ 71 posted. Mystery solved ..

refers to emotional trauma and fear.


Pesticides likely caused 'Havana syndrome' that affected Cuba-based diplomats.

I wasn't crickets that is for sure.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 4 2019 17:10 utc | 156

That Good Man Jeff had and has a boss, and when a man disappears his boss keeps the records. The dirty pictures have not been made public, this is strong evidence that brother E lives...think about how blackmail gets life insurance and consider what did not happen. Dog did not bark? Inside job.

"Opus 187 Pelosi Dem’s Death Knell" discussed the Colbert bit with the senile Mz P...

Posted by: Walter | Nov 4 2019 17:13 utc | 157

Yet another announcement of a "Strategic Failure" by the Outlaw US Empire:

"A prominent Republican who advises President Donald Trump called America’s 5G strategy 'the biggest strategic disaster in US history.' US efforts to impede China’s telecom giant Huawei from dominating the global market in fifth-generation mobile broadband have failed, while incompetent regulation and corporate misbehavior have held back the United States’ 5G effort at home, the politician told a closed-door gathering of Republican donors and activists."

Wow! Bigger than the failure in Vietnam. Bigger than the failure in the War on Poverty. Bigger than the failure to attain Full Spectrum Dominance. Bigger than the failure to enforce fundamental US Constitutional Law. That's some massive failure then and all self-inflicted. And it appears Republicans still want to stick with the man who caused this "strategic disaster." Funny how the article makes it seem as if the Outlaw US Empire has some semblance of an Industrial Policy where the government will be the entity creating the USA's 5G Network--semiconductor stocks are up so help pump before the dump!

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 4 2019 17:13 utc | 158

@150 flankerbandit.. thanks... obviously the oil can be used a number of ways as the commentator quoted suggests.. ultimately though, i think your analysis is correct in the long term.. this is not a strategy that can survive in the atmosphere of syria at present... something will give sooner..

@153 noirette... i love idealistic people.. i am one too.. however, it is important to not cloud the idealism with an absence of reality! the changes needed in the usa and the world more generally are significant and will require a lot of change... most people don't embrace change, but resist change.. upvotes are irrelevant as you note..

a few people have talked about agriculture... in 100 years we have gone from being self sufficient, where people worked in the fields and were party to the lands they worked in, to having agriculture run by large corporations.. the idea of the small farmer is not in sync with reality.. there are very few farmers.. big agriculture has swallowed them up in loans and etc for machinery and etc. etc.. the transition back to anything different, or like the past would be a long transition in terms of time.. we have lost our agrarian roots and are really a rootless people in western cultures in particular.. read a wendell berry book for more insight..

Posted by: james | Nov 4 2019 17:15 utc | 159

there was an autopsy jr, that's normally enough. and claiming the body is somebody else needs some evidence. somebody above said it's cheaper to give him plastic surgery and go find him another island, but the potential problem is still there. as far as epstein's protection, i think somebody gave that to the ptb. the protection would in any case rely on being publicised, and we know how obedient the msm is.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 4 2019 17:22 utc | 160

At the ASEAN Summit, in Trump's absence, Russian PM Medvedev conducts deals as a complete marriage between ASEAN, SCO, and EAEU moves closer to consumation:

"Asian countries are beginning to realize that there is a need to search for new methods of constructive interaction instead of establishing blocs and unions that oppose each other. 'The current situation in relations between the countries of the region and Asian countries’ determination to create an open and non-discriminatory market environment are proof of that,' Medvedev said."

Developments aiming at such a marriage are moving quickly:

"'The Eurasian Economic Union has experience in creating a common market and I would like to point out that the Union is open to cooperation with all interested partners ... We welcome the interest that Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines have shown,' Medvedev added.

"He noted that free trade agreements had already been signed with Vietnam, Singapore and China, talks were underway with India."

Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia will soon join them. The dominoes are falling but in a manner never expected. The EU probably well before 2030 will need to join the EAEU, although IMO it will need to dissolve itself into the new organization. By continuing to act as the international rogue nation with its illegal and immoral unilateral actions, the Outlaw US Empire continues to act against the best interests of its citizens and its business community.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 4 2019 17:44 utc | 161

So blundering Trump, not understanding the ever-stated, soteriological narrative of the American Empire, finally breaks through and demands some old school tribute.

Are the elites' calculus so childish to think they can invade/invite the world on the backs of monopoly money and domestic taxes? Isn't that sort of the inverse of empire? Or, at least, traditional empire?

Perhaps we can only hope for more naked emperors, like Trump, to point out the silly, school boy mistakes of our global blood march in the name of salvation. Maybe then, Tom and Jane, on main street USA will see the country for what it truly is: broke, bloodthirsty and voracious for more.

Posted by: Wes Baker | Nov 4 2019 17:51 utc | 162

The US has a tighter grip on Syria's oil than ever. That's the upshot of Putins' supposed brilliant diplomacy.

The main change that needs to happen in US politics is, I think, a third house of Congress, one ten times larger.

The elites have such a chokehold on society now that I think it is too late, however, for any reform to have any meaningful impact. The elites various tricks - such as divide and conquer, distraction, disinformation, chasing red herrings, cultural manipulation/propaganda, etc.. - have delayed reform to the point where it can no longer affect anything. The power of the elites is deeply entrenched, on one hand, and backed up by overwhelming technological advantage on the other. Only an act of God will stop the boot stomping on the human face forever now.

By forever I mean until we can all be replaced by robots and cyborgs. It's hilarious to watch many of the young folks with their cell phones, which seem to be almost surgically attached. They are fully ready and eager to become cyborgs. They can't wait for their implants.

We are now at the point where all humans can do is try to make the most of the time we have left.

Fwiw, I think money needs to be heavily invested in R&D for alternative energy. It should be a civilizational commitment. But for that to happen we'd have to get the elites off our necks, something we no longer have any way of doing.

Epstein? I think it's highly unlikely he's dead. He seems to have been a made man, so to speak. For whatever reason, the theatrical production that is our society needed the character he played eliminated. Perhaps this had something to do with limited hangout. Perhaps some factional struggle was involved. Perhaps he went too far in some way. Regardless, he is undoubtedly enjoying a very nice retirement.

Posted by: paul | Nov 4 2019 17:56 utc | 163

Also happening at the ASEAN Summit sans Trump today the finishing touches on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement were applied so it can be signed next year:

"Once signed, the RCEP will become the world's largest free trade pact, covering about half of the world's population and more than one-third of the global GDP, and 40 percent of global trade. Under the agreement, tariffs will be reduced significantly and other trade barriers will also be removed.

"'This should be a very clear message and example that countries, despite differences in their political systems, could put their differences aside and seek pragmatic solutions,' Chen said. 'It could be seen as a direct rejection of US unilateralism and trade protectionism.'"

Given all the developments I've reported happening at the ASEAN Summit, it's no wonder Trump chose not to attend as the tables are now being reversed on the Outlaw US Empire. The world's increasingly saying: Play by our civilized rules or continue to sit in your corner and pout--want a piece of the action; you'll need to change your ways.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 4 2019 18:12 utc | 164

@ flankerbandit | 150

I would say be careful of seeing what you want to believe.

The near term view is U.S. retreating, but also digging in.

Though I wish the Syrians a positive outcome, it seems to me that maybe they are (militarily and economically) too weak to protect their sovereignty - the U.S. is truly a frightening monster controlled by dark forces has fairly well developed the technique of bomb and run and surrogate warfare backed by unlimited funding.

It seems to me it will only stop once the rest of the world realises that it is similarly endangered by this rogue monster. They will not act out of charity, only once it becomes a mater of self-preservation.

Posted by: jared | Nov 4 2019 18:27 utc | 165

Techno_Fog's Twitter has some excellent updates on Flynn's trial:

"At the appropriate time, Flynn will file a separate motion asking that the Court dismiss the prosecution for egregious gov't misconduct and in the interest of justice."

Yes, the frame-up was amazingly inept. So let the blowback begin.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 4 2019 19:00 utc | 166

@ Bemildred 138

Just as I was thinking along those lines I read your post and mostly agree about Trump. But I'll put it in my own words. Trump has been part of the power elite for some time, rubbed elbows and they all invite each other to each other's parties. No distinction at all exists between bankers, corporatists (or real-estate speculators) and politicians. He knows the political animal inside and out and long ago figured out that 21st C US politics is a giant con. Agree that beyond the notion that he could beat all of them at their own game, I detect no purpose, no plan other than his own self-aggrandizement. Those that see him as some 3d chess master, cleverly changing the nature of US policy I would remind as many here have done: he gleefully presided over yet another major expansion of military funding; ditto for a giant tax give-away to the already horrendously wealthy; Yemen catastrophe continues with US (his) support; encourages Israeli piracy; and nixed an arms control agreement with Iran that not only could have led to less tension in the region, but ensured that the US acceleration away from relevancy there reaches supersonic speed. Those are just a few of the ways that he is perfectly in line with the (descending)arc of US history. Or, as I put it several days after the election of '16: Probably most Native Americans would see it as perfectly natural that a real-estate speculator is now the captain of the US ship of state.

But I don't mean to rag on about Trump. The entire US political scene is terminally cancerous; the empire is already dead, it just doesn't realize it yet.

also, elsewhere - re Syria's oil. Sorry that I'm too lazy to find the particular post and poster: the object of US policy is no longer (if it ever was) control of oil for the sake of the US (as in our stable economic functioning.) The PE could give a rat's ass about the needs of the proles, you and me. No, their realization is that you can control any nation's economy (and hence their politics, etc.)if you can control their access to energy, and Syria will be strangled for having the audacity not to be absorbed. Perhaps it was a further joke of Assad's that we haven't yet fully appreciated, in his deferring to the US as a great superpower.

As for Epstein: he's just another WMD - weapon of mass distraction.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Nov 4 2019 19:55 utc | 167

As far as the political situation goes, the pendulum always swings. I'm sure most of us here agree that the Empire has gone too far. Time will tell the tales of woe. On climate change, how many of you here are doing anything in your personal life to mitigate so called "climate change"? Have you given up your computers, cars, TV, clothes, medicine and the myriad other things that you depend on? Do you grow your own food, raise your own animals and harvest them? Can you kill, skin and butcher an animal? Without oil, how would YOU survive? Talks cheap. Action? Not so much. When everyone here is self sufficient and oil free, call me and tell me what it's all about. Because the last few weeks in CA have proven that alternative energy is a farce. If we had an EMP attack, half the people would die in the first month.

Posted by: Shadow | Nov 4 2019 20:35 utc | 168

LOL...I'm going to file these two comments under 'nice try...' [or perhaps 'sour grapes' might be the more appropriate folder...]

The US has a tighter grip on Syria's oil than ever. That's the upshot of Putins' supposed brilliant diplomacy.

And this...

@ flankerbandit | 150

I would say be careful of seeing what you want to believe.

The near term view is U.S. retreating, but also digging in.

That's really what I look for in a rebuttal...short and substance required... seems the actual map of Syria has a different 'opinion'...

While the US is 'digging in' in its little remaining fleck of territory...we notice that the Syrian government has increased its territory by several thousand square km, without firing a shot...[as well as regaining its entire border with Turkey]...

I just wish Putin could keep on failing like this just a few more times, and the whole thing will be over and done with...

I seem to remember the Germans were also 'digging in' after Stalingrad...LOL

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 4 2019 20:40 utc | 169

vinnieoh @167:

"Probably most Native Americans would see it as perfectly natural that a real-estate speculator is now the captain of the US ship of state."

Heh heh heh heh heh. Heh heh heh. Heh heh. Heh.

Yeah, I like your take on Trump too.

Our "leaders" are a vindictive bunch too. They don't like the people they govern. Trump is in many ways quite representative, they look down on just about everybody else. Anybody who does not obey. Mean. Pricks. A predatory economy run by pricks.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 4 2019 20:46 utc | 170

@ 167 vinnieoh / 170 + 138 bemildred... i too share both your overviews on trump! that is an ironic observation from the native americans position, but it really fits.. it has to do with the whole concept of private ownership that has been aggressively pushed down our throats since what seems like forever..

Posted by: james | Nov 4 2019 21:10 utc | 171

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Nov 3 2019 21:05 utc | 45
it is not worth the effort!! the climate cult and tesla cult members are so far beyond reasoning that you are wasting your energy.. Just nod along.. i never waste time with true believers, they have chosen a side and no one or inconvenient facts will change their mind, it is locked tight.. kind of like Bezmenovs "usefull idiots"only with a few new twists imho..
It may not be a popular opinion, but it is mine.

Posted by: Per/Norway | Nov 4 2019 21:32 utc | 172

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

I think so too, and I've worked in closely related fields. Are you familiar with the Milgrom's work on "MOND" (modified Newtonian dynamics)?

Posted by: AshenLight | Nov 4 2019 22:13 utc | 173

vinnieoh 167 "Perhaps it was a further joke of Assad's that we haven't yet fully appreciated, in his deferring to the US as a great superpower."

As far as military power goes, Russia is the only country that matches the US in strategic firepower. No country even comes close when it comes to projecting conventional military power.
So called nation building is what US have always lost. Trump isn't into nation building.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2019 22:30 utc | 174

Few know that in Russia today is National Unity Day, which historically is related to the end of the Time of Troubles and victory over the Polish-Lithuanian invasion in what's known as the Polish-Muskovite War and dates from 1613. As its name implies, its a celebration of Russianness that Putin specifically resurrected in 2003, using well chosen words to accentuate what he wants to convey:

"It is loyalty to our homeland that nourished the will and determination of our ancestors, who united in a people’s volunteer army over four centuries ago, overcame turmoil, saved our country from disintegration, and liberated it from invaders.

"They left their descendants an unfading example of a great deed, when the interests of our Motherland, its fate and future prevailed over everything else. Defending them became a unifying cause for people of different ethnicities, social strata and religions....

"The most solid and reliable foundation for Russia’s progress is the unity of our society and loyalty to the values of peace, trust and mutual respect between different ethnicities. The entire history of our great country has bequeathed to preserve these traditions. And we are perfectly aware that only together will we reach the highest goals, solve the most complicated tasks and give a proper response to any challenges."

That Putin chose to remain in Russia to personally celebrate and promote this holiday has a significance not lost on Russians as Medvedev is clearly making excellent progress at the ASEAN Summit. Russians ought to reflect on the decade that's about to end and admire the vast progress they've made in digging themselves out of the grave Neoliberalism and national traitors dug for them, and they did so with very little external aid.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 4 2019 22:33 utc | 175

"chosen a side" lofl, yeah, like choosing evolution over creationism is "choosing a side". hint, one side has all the evidence, the other side, financed by the fossil fuel companies who knew about global warming in the late 70's, has propaganda.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 4 2019 22:59 utc | 176

Per...enjoyed your comment about the 'true believers'...

Also had to look up Bezmenov to find out who you are talking about in the context of 'useful idiots'...LOL

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 4 2019 23:17 utc | 177

Btw 'Pretzel'...if you can prove that hydrocarbon fuels come from 'fossils' then myself and many thermodynamicists will be mightily impressed...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 4 2019 23:19 utc | 178

Bezmenov himself appears to have been a useful idiot.,_1983%E2%80%931986)
"In 1984, he gave an interview to G. Edward Griffin. In the interview, Bezmenov explained the methods used by the KGB for the gradual subversion of the political system of the United States.[7]

Under the pen-name Tomas D. Schuman, Bezmenov authored the book Love Letter to America[8]. The author's biography of the book likens Bezmenov to Winston Smith, from George Orwell's 1984.[5]

Tomas D. Schuman was associated with the World Information Network (WIN) of Westlake Village, California."

World information network about page (video has a picture of Churchill directly behind the slime bags head).
"It is the beginning of the home of those that are dedicated to the dissemination of the Truth.

It is the beginning of the home of those that are dedicated to providing the tools, training, events and gatherings that will enable all that wish to take part in them the ability to create whatever they truly want in their life.

It is the beginning of the home of those that will settle for nothing less than being Happy and Free."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2019 23:52 utc | 179

In case any of you want to get froggie, I live in the blackout zone in CA. You learn to be prepared. So, I know first-hand what's going on. The blackouts have generated sale's in diesel, gasoline and generators. Yeah baby,that's combatting "global warming". Do you have a better solution? I'd love to hear it.

Posted by: Shadow | Nov 4 2019 23:56 utc | 180

flankerbandit @178--

Looks like you'll need a definition of fossil. How about this one:

"A fossil (from Classical Latin fossilis; literally, "obtained by digging")[1] is any preserved remains, impression, or trace of any once-living thing from a past geological age. Examples include bones, shells, exoskeletons, stone imprints of animals or microbes, objects preserved in amber, hair, petrified wood, oil, coal, and DNA remnants."

Seems that definition of fossil includes oil and coal, therefore fossil fuels. Yes, I know very well that hydrocarbons derive from decayed organic materials that have been "cooked" and "aged" to a particular degree related to their constituency. So then, lets have a gander at the definition of fossil fuel:

"A fossil fuel is a fuel formed by natural processes, such as anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms, containing energy originating in ancient photosynthesis.[1] Such organisms and their resulting fossil fuels typically have an age of millions of years, and sometimes more than 650 million years.[2] Fossil fuels contain high percentages of carbon and include petroleum, coal, and natural gas.[3] Commonly used derivatives of fossil fuels include kerosene and propane. Fossil fuels range from volatile materials with low carbon-to-hydrogen ratios (like methane), to liquids (like petroleum), to nonvolatile materials composed of almost pure carbon, like anthracite coal. Methane can be found in hydrocarbon fields either alone, associated with oil, or in the form of methane clathrates."

Footnote 1 in the above definition takes us to this 16 page paper, "Thermochemistry of the formation of fossil fuels" taken from Fluid-Mineral Interactions: A Tribute to H. P. Eugster, © The Geochemical Society, Special Publication No.2, 1990, Editors: R. J. Spencer and I-Ming Chou.

Footnote 3 says,">">
(Cannot get link to properly format using html tag. Hope it doesn't distort page width.)

"Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons, primarily coal, fuel oil or natural gas, formed from the remains of dead plants and animals.

"In common dialogue, the term fossil fuel also includes hydrocarbon-containing natural resources that are not derived from animal or plant sources.

"These are sometimes known instead as mineral fuels."

I omitted footnote 2 since there's no electronic version to access.

Given the above information, you may want to reconsider your comment.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 4 2019 23:58 utc | 181

Where the fuck did the second web address come from that messed up the page format?! I didn't include it. Thank goodness I included a note with my initial comment.

My apologies, but it's the software, not my action, that caused the SNAFU.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 5 2019 0:02 utc | 182
"The amazing, creative, and immensely bold protesters established a radio station in #Tahrir
to communicate the vision and demands of this #revolt in #Baghdad #Iraq add this to the
newspaper who first issue was printed today. So proud and in awe"

A week or two back I posted a link to an article on the US military unit at the Qatar base
that specialises in this field.
"The command oversees PSYOPS and civil affairs soldiers, which helped to disperse messages
and establish governance in areas liberated from the Islamic State group over the past few years."

"“I’ve been accused of calling leaflets and loudspeakers audio and trash littering, but they do
have a time and place," he added. "Syria is a great example. When the fiber was cut and the cell
towers were down, people are hungry for information. So guess what was working there? Leaflets.”"

"Requests for products are often built by the Military Information Support Task Force-Central at
Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. The small team there can sketch, print and record products, often
using U.S. Air Force assets to airdrop leaflets, as well as use electronic warfare aircraft
to relay airborne radio and television broadcasts."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 5 2019 0:12 utc | 183

Sorry Karlof...not going to argue about this here...

I have a deep background in thermodynamics...ask any of these clowns who are churning out so-called 'papers' about fossil fuel 'chemistry' whether these theories have ever been demonstrated in a laboratory...? [or even if they have a background in thermo...]

The answer is no, because the formation of such long hydrocarbon chains can only happen under conditions of extremely high heat and pressure...which are of course absent at the strata depths where the biomass of living organisms has ever existed and been deposited...

You need to go much much deeper into the earth's crust than that to get the required heat and fact below the crust and into the mantle...

There is a huge body of incredibly rigorous scientific work called the Russian-Ukrainian school of abiogenic oil that explored the thermodynamics rigorously...

'Fossil fuel' is a physical impossibility...the fact that we are now reaching oil and gas at depths exceeding those where life ever existed is prima facie proof of that...

It's just another case of fooling the sheeple...this will be my last word on this subject here, as there is no sense getting into technical matters that don't mean anything to the layman...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 5 2019 0:22 utc | 184

About hydrocarbon...I am under the impression that CH3 is present in interstellar space at a level of something like one molecule per cubic meter...but this impression stems from 50 years ago... Whatever the concentration it's we come to primordial methane, maybe...and that seems to fail to meet the definition of fossil...semantics? yeah.

In other matter, XM25 grenade...see wiki on exploding bullets, the matter is in dispute, but the dispute says quite abit.

In other other I see all 6 fleet carriers are in port for repairs east coast, and one west coast. They say USN is looking to "Carnival Cruze"..(man have you ever seen the engine room on a cruise ship?) looking for ways to turn the carriers around faster...ways to pencilwhipthejob. Phuckngreat.

(thoughts do come, is Admiral B. J. Obzz 'fraid to lose one to the inferiors? Man might ruin his career that way)

Posted by: Walter | Nov 5 2019 0:30 utc | 185

No, I don't know Milgrom's work.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 5 2019 1:20 utc | 186

Funny, I was at the Institute for Advanced Study for one of Milgrom's years there, 1985-6, but I don't recall meeting him. Of course, I was in a different field, ancient history.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 5 2019 2:46 utc | 187

c1ue #102

Your absurd nonsense on alternatives to fossil fuel energy is so 1980's. Take a look at the real world. See here for a sound description of the solution.

There are huge problems with so many humans demanding so large a supply of natural resources. It may well be that the food scarcity issues will be the biggest threat to human survival at its current level. The rate of extraction of sea life and the pollution entering the rivers and oceans is a devastating thing to contemplate.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 5 2019 3:02 utc | 188

karlof1 #166

Thanks for the reference to Techno Fog's twitter. I see Nancy Wheeler is making a complete fool of herself AGAIN. She must be paid well. I have a distinct feeling that this whole shambles will end badly for Strzok, Page and McCabe and especially the Wapo's David Ignatius. The latter being a vile swamp critter.

Not sure what is happening with that defamation process that Lokhova has launched against the Wapo and Ignatius but I sure hope she mauls Halper and Andrew on the way through.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 5 2019 3:53 utc | 189

Not only does Canada do the bidding of the powerful Ukrainian ultranationalist lobby but of course the Zionist one as well. So it should come as no surprise to find that the IDF will be recruiting in Toronto on Remembrance Day. Thanks to TRNN's Dimitri Lacaris for this info:

"From November 11-14 the Israeli Consulate in Toronto will be recruiting Canadians to serve in Israel's terrorist military. It is obscene that Justin Trudeau's government allows this terrorist recruitment to occur on Canadian soil.'

Lest we forget...

Posted by: John Gilberts | Nov 5 2019 4:25 utc | 190

@ Posted by: lysias | Nov 5 2019 1:20 utc | 186

MOND is interesting; there are observations that it explains perfectly that dark matter does not, although as currently constituted the inverse is also true. I read an excellent summary paper a few years ago that was very readable, which I'll have to try and find again now, but the essence is that rather than an undetectable dark matter being responsible for the observations, things deviate from Newtonian dynamics under extreme conditions (in this case, very low accelerations) -- just like we see with relativity.

I did just happen to see this today: -- a 2018 Nature paper from a team that found a galaxy that has little to no apparent dark matter, contradicting standard models.

Posted by: AshenLight | Nov 5 2019 5:20 utc | 191

Thanks for the extent of your reply @ 51, karlof1, on Constitutional issues. I have had
similar interests to yours ever since the Bush administration put the Constitution at risk
and although I have not at all kept following Thom Hartmann once Obama was not remedying
that situation but only dragging 'what is legal' into the mire of his can-kicking and
shoddy behavior masked by elite suavity that fooled many into voting him a second term -
although all of that, he, Thomm Hartmann said some interesting things about corporations
and the Constitution during those years.

Here's just a bit of that:
"...While corporations can live forever, exist in several different places at the same time,
change their identities at will, and even chop off parts of themselves or sprout new parts,
the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, according to its reporter, had said that they
are "persons" under the Constitution, with constitutional rights and protections as accorded
to human beings. Once given this key, corporations began to assert the powers that came with
their newfound rights."

I am sure you were also following the thread of his argument back then.

My suggestion is that we not dismantle the apparatus of government, but rather have groups
from around the country discussing and remedying the parts of it that have been abused,
misused, corrupted by showing, as Hartmann did back then, where the major entities have
overridden the Constitution's own rule of law. Corporations, for instance, are not persons.
There was a Court ruling that put that idea in place, but it was an unConstitutional
ruling. It needs to be corrected.

I'm sure there are other instances like this. But this was one of the first. It's a
matter of taking the document we have, and much like with civil rights legislation,
adding and correcting what had gone before, using the entire document as a matrix.
And perhaps I'll put myself into BM's quoted adage at #34, giving it my own tweak of
"He who knows not
and knows not that he knows not
is a fool; shun him
He who knows not
and knows that he knows not
is a a wise man; follow him.
We might think we are wiser than those who created our Constitution. I'm sure the
elite who corrupt it do. They are fools.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 5 2019 5:23 utc | 192

Excellent point, PeterAU1 @62! And I have two more critical areas for
discussion and remedy:

1) Money is not speech nor should elections be tainted by it. The poor are as entitled to representation in government as are the rich. (In fact, I would say more so.)

2) Voting on printed ballots handcounted by our peers and able to be physically stored for any recounts to occur if needed. (with all the ramifications of that process in order to allow ALL adult citizens to have a vote as is their birthright.

This all could be done with the internet as an asset. Constitutionally!

Posted by: juliania | Nov 5 2019 5:40 utc | 193

@ Posted by: AshenLight | Nov 5 2019 5:20 utc | 191 about MOND

I visit APOD (Astronomy Picture Of the Day) regularly and wouldn't you know it but today they reference galaxies that question MOND

See here: for 2019 November 5 if not within current 24 hour period

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 5 2019 6:14 utc | 194

juliania 193

I guess the point I was making in my comment @62 is that the people have as much
or more to do with what a country is than the written document.
Pat Lang put this in a comment at his blog...
"over time the same disease that besets all mature bureaucracies would emerge"

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 5 2019 6:47 utc | 195

Get a load of this:

US Challenges China's Belt And Road With New Global Infrastructure Scheme

The first thing I notice is the bafflegab:

"The development of critical infrastructure—when it is led by
the private sector
and supported on terms that are transparent, sustainable,
and socially and environmentally responsible—is foundational to widespread
economic empowerment," said OPIC's David Bohigian. "Through Blue Dot Network,
the United States is proud to join key partners to fully unlock the power of
quality infrastructure to foster unprecedented opportunity, progress, and

Let me repeat that: "foundational to widespread economic empowerment".

But then I think it is probably a good thing if our foreign policy wizards have
figured out that they are going to have to try to compete. It's an interesting
map too.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 5 2019 7:00 utc | 196


From the link ""Australia is committed to promoting high-quality infrastructure, inclusive approaches,
and facilitating private sector investment in the Indo-Pacific region,"

We offered some islanders some glass beads a month or two back. They didn't seem impressed

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 5 2019 7:21 utc | 197

Nauru was it, where they were warehousing refugees? True sons of Britain,
just like us here. Just the sort of thing Trump or one of his monions
would do.

Yes, there it is:

I don't talk about Oz much, too much like us I suppose. Pot not calling
the kettle black. And besides we have a lot to do with it.

Appreciate your posts, very informative.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 5 2019 7:43 utc | 198

There was dumping the refugees on Nauru and New Guinea, but more recent was the pacific Islands forum.
Plenty of argument here about the cause of climate change, but for some of the pacific islanders,
their islands are going underwater.
""You can talk and you can write and you can propose a lot of strategies and plans for economic growth but
without dealing with the issues of climate change all those efforts will be severely compromised," he said.
He said he was disappointed by Mr Morrison's approach during the negotiations, which he believes was at
odds with Pacific values of respect and trust.
"In a family atmosphere you don't openly challenge and argue," he said."
"One of China's most senior politicians, Vice Premier Hu Chunhua also attended the China-Pacific Island
Countries Economic Development Cooperation Forum in Samoa alongside 10 Pacific states, where he signed
an action plan for economic development and cooperation. The details of that plan have not been made public.

Wesley Morgan, a Pacific expert with the Griffith Asia Institute, said China, the United States, Japan
and Australia were stepping up their commercial, diplomatic and aid relationships in the Pacific, giving
the small countries bargaining power."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 5 2019 8:11 utc | 199

Bemildred #196

Thank you for that post

when it is led by the private sector and supported on terms that are transparent, sustainable, and socially and environmentally responsible

Weasel words from those bastions of radical evil.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 5 2019 9:00 utc | 200

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