Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 10, 2019

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-66

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

There are other government funded organization in Britain which, like the Integrity Initiative, write and tweet against the leader of the opposition: Home Office-backed counter-extremism group waging Twitter campaign against Corbyn - Middle East Eye

I am amazed how the Impeachment Circus and the mainstream media continue to ignore the facts of this story:

Joe Biden has been a favorite target for Trump-allied lawmakers. Many have adopted Trump’s unsubstantiated assertion that Biden pushed for the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, because he was investigating Burisma.

Other people get it:
Why the Only Thing Democrats Will Succeed in Impeaching Is Their Own Integrity Daniel Lazzare, Strategic Culture
Why Is Christopher Steele Still a Thing? - Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
The “Deep State” Is a Political Party - Jefferson Morley, New Republic

The CIA is emerging as a domestic political party.
...
Brennan put a friendly finger on my chest. “The CIA is not involved in domestic politics,” he said. “Period. That’s on the record.”

This he asserted confidently, at an event where he had just spoken about about influence campaigns on swing voters and implied that Hillary Clinton might be right in calling U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard a Russian asset. Even seasoned analysts, it seems, have their blind spots.

Motivation to impeach Trump is about control of Democratic Party - Rick Salutin, The Star

What shifted [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi] now? I’d say the answer is: this impeachment isn’t directed at Trump at all, it’s about undermining the rising left-wing opposition in the Democratic party. They are plausibly on the verge of seizing the party agenda away from the neo-liberal consensus of the Clinton-Obama decades — with issues like universal public health-care and equitable taxes. They’ve even found ways to fund campaigns without bowing to the corporate gods.

Related:
Pentagon Claims US Authority to Shoot Any Syrian Govt Official Who Tries to Take Control of Syrian Oil - Common Dreams

A day after we wrote the above Iran shot down a low flying drone that had penetrated its air space. CentCom made a statement that practically said "It was the CIA's drone, not ours."
This will only intensify U.S. 'regime change' efforts: Iran announces discovery of massive oil field

Iran has discovered a massive new oil field, President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday, a find that would boost its proven reserves by about a third in a rare piece of "good news" for an economy battered by US sanctions.

The police are quite brutally clearing the major protest sites. On Monday Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi will announce some additional reforms.
Iraq factions reach deal to save government, 'end protests'; PM urges return to normal life - Strait Times
Iraq’s feel-good ‘revolution’ - Asia Times

Other issues:

Potential new conflict areas:
Jordan to retake lands leased by Israel in 1994 peace accord

Jordan’s king announced Sunday that two pieces of land leased by Israel would be returned to the “full sovereignty” of Jordan as the two countries marked a chilly 25th anniversary of their landmark peace agreement.

Israel has controlled the agricultural lands for over 70 years and had been permitted to lease the areas under the 1994 peace agreement, with the assumption that the arrangement would be extended once again.

Benin President Orders Economic Decolonization From France
France still controls the foreign currency reserves of its former colonies in Africa. But the Françafrique and the Franc zone are coming to an end. The French will not like this and may well intervene, as they did in Libya.

When people in South America rage against rightwing governments the media ignores them or lies about it.
Chilean Protests: A Revolt against Neoliberalism the Media Refuses to Acknowledge - Alan Macleod, Mintpress
When the U.S. collaborates with rightwing extremists to launch coups against elected presidents U.S. media applaud.
US Plotting New Coup d’etat to Oust Bolivian President Evo Morales -21 Century Wire
No Evidence That Bolivian Election Results Were Affected by Irregularities or Fraud, Statistical Analysis Shows - CEPR
Evo Morales just announced new elections which he is likely to win.

737 MAX:
After Lion Air crash, Boeing doubled down on faulty 737 MAX assumptions - Dominic Gates, Seattle Times
The piece includes a link to a Boeing presentation from March 1, MCAS Development and Certification Overview, which has a few new details and includes several whoppers.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on November 10, 2019 at 14:32 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Magnier should share what he is smoking.

Posted by: Mina | Nov 11 2019 11:14 utc | 101

Do check out the picture of the new President.

It appears all of the Morales admin has resigned. Now the "opposition" must try to govern. I don't think this was expected. Morales has apparently refused to leave the country. I have no idea what is going to happen, but I do think this is just warming up.

Bolivia: Opposition lawmaker assumes presidential post

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 11 2019 11:15 utc | 102

Japan's current account surplus shrank 3.3% in first half

Very bad news for a country which prouds itself in being an exporter economy.

Posted by: vk | Nov 11 2019 11:40 utc | 103

Tellingly the western media once again spread disinformation about another western-led coup against leftwing-leader in Bolivia, even denying there was a coup at all!

Meanwhile some good news:

Founder of 'White Helmets' James Le Mesurier Found Dead in Istanbul - Reports
https://sputniknews.com/world/201911111077278912-founder-of-white-helmets-james-le-mesurier-found-dead-in-istanbul---reports/

BLaming Russia, Syria for this death in 3, 2...

Posted by: Zanon | Nov 11 2019 11:52 utc | 104

Spain election: Far right doubles its seats as poll fails to break deadlock

One more liberal democracy which is incubating fascism.

And people still believe in the bogus theory of "totalitarism".

Posted by: vk | Nov 11 2019 12:03 utc | 105

Two words come to mind when informed about Le Mesurier's death. GOOD RIDDANCE!

Posted by: Symen Danziger | Nov 11 2019 12:16 utc | 106

Re: 103 Zanon,

Good news, if true, about the death of Le Mesurier, now to wait for more information, if it turns out he died of "natural causes" then you can bet he killed by some security services and the West is just hiding the truth in the hopes that it doesn't discourage future terrorist mentors from being recruited. If they say he was murdered, they will claim it was all the fault of those dastardly Russians and Pro-Assad Syrians (expect more sanctions to follow on both). Of course, that's assuming he's dead at all, What would really be interesting if this whole story just fades into the ether over the next couple weeks; the US/French/British are all twisted up on how to get to their desired end state (or should I say non-state) for Syria, so I think it's quite possible that they are closing up shop on the White Helmets and are moving their agents to a new location under a new identity. Yes I know Trump gave them a few millions dollars last week, but who's to say that wasn't just a cover story to give start up funds to a new organization and "retire" valuable members. Again, we'll know more in a few weeks

Posted by: Kadath | Nov 11 2019 12:20 utc | 107

In HK, a dumb protestor tries to rob a gun off a cop and gets promptly and rightfully shot for it. Was fully expecting the usual Western MSM liars to report the shooting while conveniently omitting the robbing, and at least one Guardian UK certainly didn't disappoint here.

Posted by: JW | Nov 11 2019 12:35 utc | 108

NemesisCalling @78

Yes, you are a fascist. That doesn't mean that you are always wrong or anything like that. Fascists regularly embrace socialist policies as it helps when they play the "Democracy Game™" to fool the working class (and themselves) into thinking that they are the good guys. Fascists are people too, after all.

psychohistorian @72

What you are seeing in Bolivia is 100% pure capitalism without the disguise that it uses to fool and buy off the working class in the imperial center. When one tries to deflect and redirect from the real nature of the problem, one becomes the problem. One becomes an enabler of evil. That is not a good place to be.

Sasha's response sounds harsh and "mean" to the politically correct pseudo-left in North America and Europe, but that poster is absolutely right. Watching as what passes for the left in the imperial center "Tsk!Tsk!" and clutch at their pearls is extremely offensive to those who have seen or experienced the empire's handiwork firsthand, so please excuse that poster for sounding upset.

By the way, you cannot have capitalism without private finance. That is like having competitive sports in which nobody is allowed to win; it cuts the heart and soul of capitalist incentive out of the system entirely. To be certain, private finance has to go, but that is just one part of the puzzle.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 11 2019 12:46 utc | 109

Japan is showing a lot of interest in MMT type policies and has invited Bill Mitchell, an Australian MMT economist to give a series of lectures. They are at a more advanced stage of implementing some of these policies and Bill has created a 4 part series on the subject called Q and A Japan style.

In part 2 he discusses the timely topic of how Green New Deal type policies interact with Job Guarantee proposals.

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=43558

""Question: The Green New Deal by Ocasio-Cortez, UK Labour or Varoufakis etc. is receiving attention in USA or Europe. What is the theoretical and personal relation between MMTers and proponents of GND?

I cannot comment on the “personal relationships” between the people or groups mentioned.

But, in general, I do not consider the concept of Green New Deal is viable unless there is a simulataneous acceptance that Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) provides a coherent response to the question “How will we pay for it?”, which is at the heart of resistance to the proposals.

The ‘How to pay for’ narratives always serve to derail a coherent discussions about the scope and magnitude of the transformation that will be necessary.

An MMT understanding allows us to dismiss the financial aspects of any likely transformation, and, instead focus on the real resource implications, which is core to MMT analysis.

In this respect, the Green New Deal will involve a massive transformation in real resource usage and, will in my view, require resolution to the most fundamental question of the organisation and ownership of the mode of production.

That is, it is unlikely that the transformation can be successfully completed within a capitalist system given the scope of the government intervention that will be required.

The elements of a Just Transformation framework will challenge the very basis of capitalist organisation that has morphed into a dominance of finance capital over industrial capital.

These elements will include:

-Social and economic equity.
-Well-paying and secure jobs for everyone who wants to work.
-First-class education and training, health and aged care.
-Government take back control of natural monopolies, strategic public assets etc.
-Community resilience and well-being for all regions.
-Stable and ethical financial system.
-1st-class public infrastructure – transport, communications, utilities, etc
-Sustainable energy security.
-Meaningful and sustainable climate action.

So widespread nationalisation of what were once public utilities, elimination of most speculative financial activity, revamped education and training systems focused on societal well-being rather than feeding private profit, elimination of the precariat labour, elimination of speculative behaviour in energy production and the big carbon producers, and more

.MMT economists may differ about the specifics of these elements – in terms of importance and design features – but are at one with the view that the discussions should never be about the financial capacity of government to pursue and implement them.

We are united in eschewing the involvement of the financial markets in ‘funding’ the transformation, which many Green New Deal advocates think is an essential step towards viability.Some of the groups mentioned in the Question fall into this trap, which is based on an erroneous understanding of the capacities of the currency-issuing government.""

Posted by: financial matters | Nov 11 2019 13:05 utc | 110

i'm waiting for them to claim russia used poison gas on the white helmet guy.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 11 2019 13:19 utc | 111

A comment from the Victorian Age about the problem with "private capital":

“Men nearly always speak and write as if riches were absolute, as if it were possible, by following certain scientific precepts, for everybody to be rich. Whereas riches are a power like that of electricity, acting only through inequalities or negations of itself. The force of the guinea you have in your pocket depends wholly on the default of a guinea in your neighbors pocket. If he did not want it, it would be of no use to you; the degree of power it possesses depends accurately on the need or desire he has for it, – and the art of making yourself rich, in the ordinary mercantile economist's sense, is therefore equally and necessarily the art of keeping your neighbor poor.”

– John Ruskin “Unto the Last”

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 11 2019 13:21 utc | 112

William...excellent comment...

I have heard this trope before about avoiding so-called 'isms'...why...?

Is there some kind of voodoo about saying that fascism is very real and has existed for a long time...?

This is like denying that religion exists...

Like you say, the private control of finance itself is part and parcel of capitalism...we see also how capitalism itself has evolved to be dominated by predatory finance and rent extraction, as opposed to its early roots as simple control of productive industry...

Socialism is likewise evolving now as we see in China...the key is that there is a government there that sees itself as answerable to the people...and has set up a quite elaborate mechanism of planning and supervising the economy...

Those who think that a capitalist economy like our own is not centrally planned are deluding themselves...the plutocracy plans and schemes day and night...how to capture government authority and regulators...how to implement their plans for domination and mass exploitation etc...

The so-called 'market' economy is more centrally planned [by a small group of powerful plutocrats] than the Soviet system ever was...nothing happens by chance, or by some 'invisible hand' of the market...that is as stupid as it gets...

The idea that China is capitalist is pure nonsense, and is in fact a big part of today's capitalist propaganda...

Godfree Roberts has written some very insightful things about how the CCP go about running things so smoothly...it's a huge effort...and there is a huge FEEDBACK mechanism that is directly RESPONSIVE to the people, and how well certain plans and ideas are working...

For instance, new ideas are tried out on a smaller scale in pilot-like projects to see how they might work...if successful they are rolled out on a big scale...

Some here have talked about rich mainlanders who bring loot offshore to places like Canada and elsewhere...this too is something that the CCP is cognizant of, and you can be sure they are working on a solution...

For instance every large privately owned enterprise [like Huawei for instance] has a CCP executive within the top management ranks who is there to keep an eye on things and can summon authority that exceeds the CEO, if need be...how is this 'capitalistic'...?

Again Roberts has more info on the particulars, but it is similar to the way that the Soviets had a party person [political officer] embedded in military units...the idea being a system of checks and balances...

The Chinese have allowed private ownership of a large sector of manufacturing industry for the most part...this is not questioned...and this has mostly worked out very well and has allowed many thousands of small and medium enterprises to create a lot of output...

But there have also been problems of outright corruption [and these have been dealt with extremely harshly to set an example]...the Xi administration is focusing much of its energy on putting in place a mechanism that will keep this entire system of private enterprise clean and in its place...which is to be a net benefit to the people...and not a way to profit at the people's expense...

So to sum up, the whole thing boils down to countering the current fascist propaganda that China is successful only owing to capitalism...thus the brainwashed American masses can comfort themselves in continuing to believe that socialism 'doesn't work...'

This is a very big issue...people need to understand that this is just another capitalist lie...and it is quite evident once one actually begins to learn about the intricacies of the Chinese system...

But the propaganda streaming out of capitalist tools like the US media uses a very broad brush that paints over the details of the Chinese socialist system...thus reinforcing the indoctrination about the simple formula 'socialism = bad'...[or how 'isms' don't matter...]

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 11 2019 14:18 utc | 113

@pnyx - Thanks for linking the NZZ piece

"Biden / Ukraine: Others begin to get it: 'Further scratches become visible on the picture of the Bidens in the Ukraine affair' (original in German: 'Am Bild der Bidens in der Ukraine-Affäre werden weitere Kratzer sichtbar' nzz 9.11.19, nzz.ch/international/ukraine-affaere-rolle-der-biden-familie-undurchsichtig-ld.1520759)"

Funny it is mostly a recap of my findings of Biden in Ukraine. The piece links to William Bowles (https://williambowles.info/2019/10/08/when-ukraines-prosecutor-came-after-his-sons-sponsor-joe-biden-sprang-into-action/) and attributes that the findings to him.

But it is not Bowles but a copy my piece here (https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/10/biden-timeline.html).

So the Neue Züricher Zeitung, the most prestige Swiss outlet, is practically quoting MoA.

I am honored.

Posted by: b | Nov 11 2019 14:20 utc | 114

Andrew J. Bacevich weighs in on US foreign policy:

Let me briefly sketch out an alternative narrative that more accurately captures our present predicament. Since the end of World War II, successive administrations have sought to devise a formula for assuring American consumers access to Persian Gulf oil while also satisfying pressing domestic political interests. Over a period of decades, that effort succeeded chiefly in giving birth to new problems. Out of these multiplying difficulties came the 9/11 attacks and their immediate sequel, a “war on terrorism” meant to settle matters once and for all.

To state the matter bluntly, 9/11 was an expression of chickens coming home to roost, a massive strategic failure that the ensuing military campaigns beginning in 2001 and continuing to the present moment have affirmed. Given the dimensions of that failure, the likelihood of resuscitating X’s illusory Pax is essentially zero.

There is no going back to an imagined Golden Age of American statecraft in the Middle East. The imperative is to go forward, which requires acknowledging how wrongheaded U.S. policy in region has been ever since FDR had his famous tete-a-tete with King Ibn Saud and Harry Truman rushed to recognize the newborn State of Israel.t

So succinct.

The Blob: Still Chasing After Pax Americana

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 11 2019 14:35 utc | 115

@ Posted by: b | Nov 11 2019 14:20 utc | 114

The very fact Bloomberg had to enter the Democratic Party presidential race is the definite proof Biden's corruption and involvement on the destruction of Ukraine is so overwhelming and difficult to hide that it will eventually be impossible to cover it with the NYT and WaPo power alone should he be chosen as the nominee.

Posted by: vk | Nov 11 2019 14:41 utc | 116

@ Bemildred.

When the quotation you provided is accepted as describing external forces intruding into US political and physical space you may be repeating a not true thing. It's quite clear that the junta we might name "Junta B-41" was in on the hit. That's not chickens coming home, it's a fox in the hen-house, or maybe snakes. The 911 fairytale is TBS, right down to magical events.

(" 9/11 was an expression of chickens coming home to roost, a massive strategic failure that the ensuing military campaigns beginning in 2001 and continuing to the present mo...")

An attack is not a strategy. An inside job is another matter, and that Strategy, one of establishing a fascist Heimat", er "Homeland" ober Ahmurka, has worked, at least so far.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 11 2019 15:17 utc | 117

Bemildred...thanks for that chestnut from John Ruskin...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 11 2019 15:26 utc | 118

Mina @101: ... share what he's smoking.

:)

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 11 2019 15:28 utc | 119

"
Scott T. Patrick
‏ @PompeiiDog

Why was Evo Morales overthrown? He was nationalizing the highly profitable lithium industry and planning to deal directly on the international market rather than exporting the commodity at bargain prices to Western corporations"


"Bolivia has %43 of World's Lithium mines. Batteries from smartphones to Electric cars are all made with Lithium. Evo Morales was investing in facilities to produce Lithium as a high end export material rather than just exporting the mine itself."

Posted by: arby | Nov 11 2019 15:42 utc | 120

Peter AU1

Somewhere on his blog "Sic Semper Tyrannis", maybe earlier this year, Pat relates the tale of how when working for the US Gov. in Bolivia he gave medical help to someone and was rewarded with information which led to the capture of Che Guevara. This may be what Sasha is referring to.

Posted by: Johny Conspiranoid | Nov 11 2019 15:44 utc | 121

Walter @117:

Well, I noticed the point you raised. I was a software engineer, not a real engineer, so I have steadfastly stayed out of arguments about 9/11 and what really happened.

I have always found the whole 9/11 thing implausible, and still do, but I've been used to that sort of thing since the 60s. Three new impossible things every day. I considered the uses of passenger jets as weapons on more than one occasion while riding around in one, seeing the buildings go by as you glide to the runway, so I wasn't surprised.

And then I realized, like the next day, that our leaders, whomever they might be, intended to make it a military affair, and since then I've been waiting for our collapse.

I don't believe I've seen any attempts to emulate 9/11 though. Certainly some other aircraft terrorism, like in Ukraine.

It was kind of obvious that the Bushites were all ready at the gate when 9/11 happened, Patriot Act Mighty Wurlitzer and all, so I don't doubt their complicity, but other than that I don't want to fight.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 11 2019 15:45 utc | 122

A good piece by Alastair Crooke today...

Cornering and Strangulating Iran Has Backfired on Israel

He describes sanctions against Lebanon, particularly its banking sector, plus a 'Euromaidan-type assault' on Iranian allies in Lebanon and Iraq...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 11 2019 16:07 utc | 123

Kadath / Symen Danziger

Indeed,too bad this bastard wasnt arrested by Syrian forces and put in court for all the horror his soldiers have commited in the name of White helmets. Now he died without getting any punishment for the terror he caused.
Who is running the White helmets these days?

Posted by: Zanon | Nov 11 2019 16:11 utc | 124

Quote: "A recent Global Times editorial ( .. ) the West was incapable of seeing and thus appreciating the critical role of the Communist Party of China in directing China's success since Western dogma says government's incapable of being dynamic or innovative -- that only the private sector is capable of being that and doing so. And thanks to the teaching of the false Neoliberal doctrine as truth in schools and universities, Western governments and their publics will continue to do the wrong thing by following a false path.." -- karlof1 @ 60

Quote: "If you read many who come and comment at MoA that supposedly are "educated" you will notice that they continue to think and write in terms of the conflict being between socialism and capitalism (...) China is 80% capitalistic as are other "socialistic" countries but what matters is what part of the social economy is socialism versus capitalism." -- psychohistorian @ 72

Even long-ago groups (1) set aside ‘capital to invest’ in the shape of making tools (costly in materials, expertise, time …), keeping seeds (ditto), training children/youth to hunt, build shelter, give warnings, etc. Accumulating one good or another for a reserve store in slim times, for transformation at a later date - commodities - (reeds,coverings, etc.) or for favorable exchange, or even for coercion. By necessity, all such societies were socialistic, in the sense that sharing and re-distribution played a vital part, without which all would have collapsed.

Rent seeking or monopolisitic capture existed in the sense of a powerful ppl claiming a stipend (rake-off?), leaders lived better / had more wives / more space / whatever because of decisionary power, status, built on ‘skill’ or ‘success’ or ‘x’, perhaps merely dynastic, (small tribe), or, later, because of supervision and control posts that were needed to enable larger societies to function (Priest administration which regulated stores, exchanges, contracts - Sumeria), often resting on an over-arching narrative like a religious one. Here too socialism was at the core: without re-distribution to the poor, perhaps for their work, care offered to women and children, and regular debt forgiveness (formalised in Sumeria but existing before of course, in the ‘buddy no prob’ style) the society would have broken down.

Capitalism and socialism are modern terms (18th, 19th? cent.) and are strands that exist in all human and maybe even some animal groups. Meme key-words (i.e. not needed when analysing how one society functions, any will be both in part) that serve today as a rallying cry:

“Sorry...but the conflict is between socialism and capitalism...between the rich and the working masses, especially those who work and still they remain poor....as has always been....who says otherwise is only trying to fool the masses…” Sasha 76.

Yes, a class struggle between the working ‘poor’ and rentier domineering ‘rich’ is boiling over now.

1. upper paleolithic to early sumeria, snippets

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 11 2019 16:16 utc | 125

@ peter au and psychohistorian.... i see it like peter au with regard to canada here psycho... it sounds as though the same set up exists for australia... these are not taiwanese people... they are chinese.. i know first hand... also see jens comment@ 100--

@ jen... thanks.. yes, b.c. was doing the same game as quebec, saying if you had 250 grand you could buy canadian citizenship.. all you had to do was start a business.. back in the 90's that sounded like a lot of money, but it wasn't... now houses here in the vancouver and extended area are insanely priced in many multiples of the 250 grand number..

in many respects we get the worst of the worst - those who would be the opposite of community workers.. instead they are the ones that found a way to work the system.. either that, or china is generating a lot of millionaires and giving them carte blanche to go forth and multiply in places like canada and australia...

@ flankerbandit... that is an interesting take on western propaganda - chinese capitalism and etc.. thanks for the perspective...

Posted by: james | Nov 11 2019 16:28 utc | 126

@109 gruff

Aw, I see. I am a fascist, but that doesn't mean I am wrong all the time. Makes perfect sense.

However, I see that you never question the implication of what calling one a fascist really means and are content with letting that label rub up against someone like shit on a suit. In this case, it is perfect for not addressing the content of my posts but rather offer the subtle cue that they should be relegated to fly over territory. I'm sure it works very well on lesser-minded posters. This is part and parcel of your role here as gatekeeper. There are several others like you.

You toss labels around because you have no room in your totalitarian paradigm for the other. Simple as fact.

Meanwhile, it will never dawn on you your role in not allowing certain aspects of the discussion to take place. And it is obvious what happens when a question is labeled to denigrate and is dismissed. It never goes away, as you say, but festers in the collective unconscious. Perhaps we are seeing this resurgence, this return of the repressed, with all the "far-right" winning the world over.

Or perhaps you are again not listening to what the world is telling you. So much to spew out, eh gruff? Never time to get the temperature of the room. I've seen it my whole life.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 11 2019 16:30 utc | 127

@ 114 b... kudos on that, but it would be better if they had the integrity to give you the revenue for the article as well.. i recall william bowles posting here at moa previously... i guess he still reads here..

Posted by: james | Nov 11 2019 16:39 utc | 128

I would love to hear b's take on recent events in Bolivia. To me, they look very much like a U.S. sponsored coup. The MSM is soft-pedaling the whole business, which is usually a tipoff.

Posted by: Rob | Nov 11 2019 16:44 utc | 129

Just seen this:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/11/11/james-le-mesurier-british-ex-army-officer-trained-syrias-white/

The guy that ran White Helmets just fell off his balcony and died this morning. aged 43.

Clearly murder I'd say. Plenty of motivation on all sides. Mass PR attempt to clean his image I'd imagine. TV could be hard to watch for a few days. They'll pin it on the Russians (or Chinese might be more modern).

Oddly enough I was wondering about the HK demonstrator that died falling from a 3rd floor parking lot "escaping from those violent HK police - how convenient.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Nov 11 2019 16:47 utc | 130

I don't think Le Mesurier "died", from natural causes, for example. Someone threw him off the balcony of his apartment. His wife said he'd taken a sleeping tablet, but that doesn't usually lead to sleepwalking. More likely one of his (Syrian) associates came (thus let into the apartment), and betraying him, did the dirty.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 11 2019 16:50 utc | 131

Rob @ soft pedaling

https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone


Posted by: arby | Nov 11 2019 17:04 utc | 132

@ Bemildred

I never took the test, and joined the union instead. Passed on GE's offers. It turned out fine, and fun.

Movie excerpt @ YT about the "B-41 Junta" and the fellas like That Good Man Prescott. https://youtu.be/QQoBAc95tnw

The coup goes 'way back.

And yes, details about the magic on 911 is essentially circular and silly. It's was "job"...that's enough.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 11 2019 17:15 utc | 133

On the differences between America's and Russia's Armed Forces:

Putin Explains Why Russia Can Afford to Spend Less on Defence

Posted by: vk | Nov 11 2019 17:21 utc | 134

News more relevant to where we live: Seattle local government with 2 richest men in America can't pay its bills
Note that the state of Washington apparently passed a Proposition 13 type bill: first in 2001, overturned by State Supreme Court, then reinstated in 2007.
Took only a decade and a bit before the 1% limit hurt Washington State's local governments...

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 11 2019 17:24 utc | 135

Noirette...thanks for an interesting and informative comment...

Also for calling attention to Karlof's comment at 60...

Utilization of the Entrepreneurial aspects of Capitalism that provide for dynamicism and innovation works as long as they're employed for the public's benefit...

This idea of the supposed 'innovation' inherent in 'entrepreneurial capitalism' is another one of those myths that are just taken for granted and assumed to be true...

It's not quite like that...if we think of innovation as being specific to advancements in science and technology [as opposed to say process innovation in social organization or resource management etc]...then this idea is certainly false...

The advancement of science rests on education...it's as simple as that...the more resources you devote to building up an academic and scientific infrastructure, the more scientific innovations will be forthcoming...

The alleged 'dynamicism' of private enterprise is failing miserably in this regard...the prime example being America's increasing lag in the most scientifically demanding endeavors, like spaceflight and advanced armaments...both of which are completely privatized...

It was only during the 1960s Apollo program where an intensive top-down government effort yielded impressive progress...that successful strategy was then promptly abandoned and top-flight science handed off to the profit-seeking private sector...with disastrous consequences...

Today, the US has been dependent on political rival Russia for human spaceflight for nearly a decade...as well as rocket engines for its critical national security rocket launches...[which it cannot manufacture itself]...

The gap in advanced armaments technology is just as startling...with Russia clearly opening a large lead in groundbreaking hypersonic technologies, scramjet engines etc...

For those who have had an inside view of the aerospace industry over the last decades, the gap in technical capability is truly startling...for instance, there would be no ISS if not for the Russian Mir space station technology on which the ISS is based...

When looking at why this state of affairs has come to be, it is helpful to have again an inside perspective on the absolutely huge academic and scientific infrastructure that was built up during the Soviet era...

In the meantime, the capitalist US is not the least concerned with building up such a national science capability...this is obvious...recent figures on STEM graduates...

We note that China produces nearly 10 times as many as the US, with only four times the population...Russia with half the US population produces as many...

In engineering it is even more pronounced...

We note that even Iran, with one quarter the US population [but with a decidedly socialist system] is near the US in both categories...

The US is becoming a third-rate power in science and technology...[and no iphones and other consumer gizmos don't really count for anything]...

The simple fact is that in order to truly innovate, you need to have a PLAN...crony capitalism like the US defense industry, or the privatization of space technology are really producing diddly squat...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 11 2019 17:25 utc | 136

Was there ever a definitive post-mortem on the Russian passenger airliner downed over Egypt (after US threatened Russia with 'consequences' following Syrian intervention)?

Posted by: the pessimist | Nov 11 2019 17:36 utc | 137

@Rob - "I would love to hear b's take on recent events in Bolivia. To me, they look very much like a U.S. sponsored coup. The MSM is soft-pedaling the whole business, which is usually a tipoff."

It is of course a U.S. supported coup:

The Trump Administration Is Undercutting Democracy in Bolivia

As someone else summarized:

To summarize what's happening in Bolivia, the socialist President who presided over that country's greatest economic expansion in living memory just won reelection, and his opposition started dragging members of his party out of their homes and murdering people until he resigned.


The poor will suffer. The indigenous will suffer. Bolivia will suffer. And I guarantee some US corporations are gonna get access to some immensely profitable raw materials. That's all they care about.

The background: Bolivia picks Chinese partner for $2.3B lithium project

Posted by: b | Nov 11 2019 17:57 utc | 138

Zanon @ 104

BLaming Russia, Syria for this death in 3, 2...

You should read many of the comments on retweets of The Guardian article. Then again, perhaps you shouldn't as the stupidity on display will take away any pleasure of knowing he is dead. As for "falling from a balcony", I'd like know how many times.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Nov 11 2019 17:59 utc | 139

US is trying to put Russia and China in the position where they will have to dump Iran or act outside international law. US will most likely succeed in getting UNSC sanctions reimposed on Iran.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-eu/europe-should-consider-renewed-sanctions-on-iran-germany-suggests-idUSKBN1XL1H1?il=0
"“Iran must finally return to its commitments (under the 2015 accord),” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said before a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels.

“Otherwise we will reserve the right to use all mechanisms specified in the deal (for sanctions to be reimposed),” he said,"

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 11 2019 18:04 utc | 140

Thanks to all posters. The information about Bolivia is sobering but very helpful. I was struck also by karlof1's repost of his email to psychohistorian @ 60:

"...What the Chinese are doing as you noted is keeping the primary sink of Capital under public auspices such that all major public supporting infrastructures are publicly owned and operated. Even the Communist Party of China is publicly owned--which is what political parties within the West ought to be so they can't be captured like the P and R-parties to work against the public interest..."

So, I was thinking what does it mean in the US to have a publicly owned political party - something like publicly owned businesses? Only small donations permitted to the party coffers? Sort of like unions are structured? That seems a possible and interesting development. This country ought to be able to attempt this.

We might say the Green Party tries, but maybe the FDR model isn't the appropriate one to this day and age. I don't think younger folk (then me) are 'turned on' by FDR since the generational link is broken. And maybe too they are not turned on by 'isms' either.

I like the last words of your quote above, karlof1 - maybe a "Public Interest Party", PIP for short? I wish Grieved was posting, hope he/she is in good health. The input on China from Grieved's research in depth has been very helpful.

Public interest is very far reaching, and takes in models from Russia and China to Venezuela and Bolivia, with Syria and Ukraine right there in the mix as well. It's a far reaching concept that rises above the 'ism's'.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 11 2019 18:26 utc | 141

Heiko's words are despicable beyond belief, of course. It is the US and EU that abandoned the deal long ago.

Indeed the UN sanctions will surely return, with Russia's and China's blessings as usual. Russia and China could put a stop to this insanity but they simply choose not to. In on the game.

Posted by: paul | Nov 11 2019 18:28 utc | 142

James Le Mesurier, founder of White Helmets, reported found dead in Turkey.

Posted by: Imagine | Nov 11 2019 18:31 utc | 143

Peter, I don't think there will be any UNSC sanctions on Iran under any circumstances...

The MSM reporting is delusional, as always...

First off, those sanctions cannot be reimposed without a NEW UNSC resolution...both China and Russia will certainly veto any such resolution for the simple reason that the US is in violation of the UNSC resolution [2231] which made the JCPOA INTERNATIONAL LAW...[and which the US also voted for under Obama]...

Both Russia and China are sticklers for international law and particularly UNSC resolutions, which are in fact the last word on international law under our postwar legal order...

The US is clearly in default here...so there can be no way to overstep that stumbling block...

In fact I will say that it will never even be tabled at the Security Council...the Russians and Chinese will make clear to the E3 that they will veto and that will be that...watch and see...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 11 2019 18:39 utc | 144

https://www.export.gov/article?id=Bolivia-Hydrocarbons
"Bolivia - Hydrocarbons
This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data."

"The Hydrocarbons law (Law 3058, May 2005) and a subsequent Supreme Decree (May 2006) require that companies sell all production to YPFB and that domestic market demand be met before exporting hydrocarbons. Furthermore, these laws transfer the entire transport and sales chain over to state control. After the law was enacted, hydrocarbon companies were required to sign new contracts with YPFB, agreeing to pay 50 percent of gross production in taxes and royalties."

"Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 11 2019 18:41 utc | 145

Just curious 'paul'...

How could Russia and China 'put a stop to this game'...?

And how are they 'in on it'...?

China by continuing to buy more and more oil from Iran...?

And Russia by offering to sell one million barrels of oil per day for Iran...?

I think it's very curious that the Russians and Chinese are the 'bad guys' here...

And I'm sure I'm not the only one who notices such a discordant sentiment expressed here...so please go ahead and explain further...we're all ears...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 11 2019 18:48 utc | 146

I usually try to read all the comments before making my first of the day, but I have yet to do so, although I looked to see if anyone had linked to Escobar's report on Lula and Brazil, which is an extremely important article for events within Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, and the rest of the world that's resisting the Outlaw US Empire and its Neoliberal/Neofascist attack dogs.

The information Pepe provides is very important as it jibes with what Assad averred in his RT interview, for which I'm still looking for a transcript. Here's Pepe's warning about the likely future course of events, which has CIA scrawled over every act:

"With the military betting on a strategy of chaos, augmented by Lula’s immense social base all over Brazil fuming about his return to prison and the financial bubble finally burst, rendering the middle classes even poorer, the stage would be set for the ultimate toxic cocktail: social 'commotion' allied with 'terrorism' associated with 'organized crime.'

"That’s all the military needs to launch an extensive operation to restore “order” and finally force Congress to approve the Brazilian version of the Patriot Act (five separate bills are already making their way in Congress).

"This is no conspiracy theory. This is a measure of how incendiary Brazil is at the moment, and Western mainstream media will make no effort whatsoever to explain the nasty, convoluted plot for a global audience." [My Emphasis]

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 11 2019 18:57 utc | 147

Re: Paul #142,


Yes, the US and the EU betrayed the Iran deal the moment the ink was on the page and Trump's actions merely formalized an open betrayal. However, with respect to Russia and China's intentions regarding Iran, I surmise that they have realised that a bifurcation of the world economy into a US sphere and a non-US sphere is now unavoidable and they are playing the long game. By allowing the US/EU to continue threaten and harass Iran, violating their own agreement, they are in effect allowing the Europeans to slit their own throats with respect to their trustworthiness and independence, after all why sign an agreement with the EU if they fold like a wet tissue the moment the Americans change their minds. Whereas the Russians and Chinese give iron-clad guarantees and are dependable allies.

Further, the Russians and Chinese are under no formal obligations to defend Iran's interest (and both states have prior, though minor, issues with Iran), so I imagine they see the American's actions as useful for indirectly pressuring the Iranians into more favorable trade and security relations. That having been said, I imagine the Chinese and Russians have jointly agreed to some non-negotiable redlines regarding US actions towards Iran that they will allow. Namely, I think if the US were to attack Iran they would start funneling arms to them immediately and turn a blind eye towards Iranian counter moves in the rest of the Middle East. Though I'm curious as to b's opinion on this matter, what does he think the Russians and Chinese would do if the US attacked Iran or were crazy enough to invade?

Posted by: Kadath | Nov 11 2019 19:02 utc | 148

Kadath...

I imagine the Chinese and Russians have jointly agreed to some non-negotiable redlines regarding US actions towards Iran that they will allow.

I agree with that...

I imagine they [Russia and China] see the American's actions as useful for indirectly pressuring the Iranians into more favorable trade and security relations.

I don't see this at all...I don't think trade has anything to do with it...security only indirectly...

I think Russia and China would like to see Iran move toward a more mature diplomacy, that is more in alignment with the impeccably legalistic position of the two powers that are shaping the emerging new order...

The overarching aim for the duo is to restore a functioning international legal order, as embodied in the creation of the UN and its charter...as well as the supreme authority of the Security Council...

This order was the outcome of WW2 in which both China and Russia suffered greatly...and both are adamant about restoring a genuine legal order where outlaw states cannot thumb their nose with impunity...

The key here is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization...which is clearly the most important supranational 'club' in the world...and only getting stronger...

Iran has been in the SCO 'waiting room' for a long time now...even Turkey will likely get in sooner...

A couple of reasons for that, and it has to do with Iran's politics...

First, Iran is a theocracy at bottom...the state embodies many desirable aspects of socialism in its functioning, but it also views itself as the 'defender' of world Islam...anywhere, anytime...

This is not up to par to the diplomacy practiced by the likes of Putin and Xi...

For instance, the Iranians were quick to jump into the manufactured 'Rohingya crisis' in Burma...which is clearly an agitation project designed to put a stick in the spokes of the BRI...

China was surely irritated...

For Russia, another irritant coming from Iran is its maximalist approach to Israel...we note that a large population of Israel is Russian-speaking...

Israel does have the right to exist in its pre-1967 borders, as established by UNSC 242 and other subsequent resolutions...[it must also withdraw unconditionally from those occupied territories as per those resolutions, but, with the US backing, is ignoring international law]...

So Iran is not quite up to par diplomatically as far as the two big powers shaping the new world order are concerned...

However...I do not think that either Russia or China would try to exploit the pressure on Iran by steering it towards the path they would like...I don't think they would make such a linkage, as this itself is bad diplomacy...

The bottom line is that there is probably zero desire on either Russia or China's part to exploit Iran's situation...this is not how these two powers operate...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 11 2019 19:49 utc | 149

That was the problem with Le Mesurier: he worked with Syrians. They're quite used to the idea of suborning a subordinate or a bodyguard to assassinate the chief. Nothing to do with the Russians, who would have chosen another method. He admitted to the apartment someone he knew, while drowsy from the sleeping tablet his wife said he had taken. An easy job to chuck him over the balcony, no noise. The wife, asleep, noticed nothing. I forget whether she also is supposed to have taken a tablet. Sleeping tablets are not good for the health, in this case rather permanent.

Frankly, good riddance, the price of what he'd been doing.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 11 2019 19:56 utc | 150

Bolivia coup was orchestrated with direct assist of OAS analysis/report which identified alleged voting fraud. OAS report focuses on a vote-counting system called TREP, which was adopted by Bolivia and others in the region on direct advice of OAS. The TREP system is meant to provide/ publicize initial results, but it is not "official". The official results come from a slower and more thorough vote count process. The OAS claim of irregularities in the TREP count is largely irrelevant, as it was never intended to be "official" or legally reflect official results. There were no irregularities in the official count, won by Morales, and the so-called "delay" was in fact the natural process of the slower moving count to produce the official result.

See this analysis by the Center for Economic and Policy Research:
http://cepr.net/publications/reports/bolivia-elections-2019-11

Posted by: jayc | Nov 11 2019 21:10 utc | 151

NemesisCalling @127: "I see that you never question the implication of what calling one a fascist really means"

What is fascism? It usually has a religious component, be it Protestant, Catholic, Hindu, Shinto, and yes, Muslim, Buddhist and even Jewish.

OK, so defining fascism by religion isn't going to get you anywhere as it runs the gamut.

There are certainly white fascists, but there are also Black fascists, Japanese fascists, Indian fascists, Chinese fascists, Latino fascists... I guess ethnicity won't get you anywhere with explaining what fascism is either.

Nationalism? No, there are fascists of pretty much every nationality, so that hardly gets us anywhere closer to understanding what it is.

A fetish for crisp uniforms? No, fascists are just as likely to wear filthy rancid goat scented rags.

Fascist ideology is malleable. It morphs to be whatever it needs to be at the moment. So the what is the one common aspect that fascism always possesses? Answer: In the class war between labor and capital, fascists always back capital and oppose labor.

When it comes down to a street fight big business doesn't have the numbers to counter labor from within their own class, and the capitalist elites don't want to get their hands dirty anyway. As a consequence they must recruit goons and societal support for those goons from the small business class, the sub-working-class, and from the working class itself to defeat the working class. To accomplish this recruiting the capitalist elites use their control over mass media to make appeals to every prejudice that exists in society to turn those influenced by those prejudices against the working class. Every form of tribalism is exploited, and since the precise characteristics of the major tribalist divisions in society differ from region to region, and even neighborhood to neighborhood, the composition of the fascist forces recruited to attack the working class tends to vary from place to place.

If fascism is so variable in all of its characteristics, how then can anyone say who is and who isn't a fascist?

The answer to that is actually fairly easy. When the class war breaks out into the open, as is the case in Bolivia right now, the people who are not lords of capital but still throw their lot in with capital are fascists.

In other words, in North America and Europe, fascism is far more prevalent than most people are willing to face.

Doesn't it make you feel better to know that fascism is just the proper name for anti-socialist?

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 11 2019 21:30 utc | 152

Sasha 68

What do you mean by 'Pat's unit' in relation to Ché Guevara. I looked it up but could find nothing.

@Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 11 2019 8:27 utc | 95

I mean Pat Lang´s unit of cazadores ( as he called them...)of the Bolivian army who he bragged online had trained and was directing at the time they caught an anemized asmatized Guevara of 50 kg weight which he, as commander of such "unit", delivered then to be summarily executed by Bolivian government at the time, of course, under CIA/Pentagon orders.

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 11 2019 21:39 utc | 153

While Trump denounced Morales, the US State Department stepped in to sanitize Washington’s position, with a senior official telling Reuters that the US has “no preference” among opposition candidates. The spokesperson did say, however, that anyone who tried to “distort” last month’s vote should not be allowed to participate.

That's MAS banned from the election by the cunts in the fucking State Department. Imagine if the Russian MFA announced that neither the Democratic nor Republican parties could field presidential candidates in 2020. Trump is an idiot but the State Department, DoJ, and Treasury are the real bastards. Forget the CIA, that's just a bunch of senile tossers who have wet dreams about Cold War 2.0.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Nov 11 2019 21:40 utc | 154

According to the RT.com and Sputnik news reports on James le Mesurier's death, his wife only found out after the police knocked on the front door and informed her.

So how did the police know and who informed them of the incident?

James le Mesurier and his wife had been living in a house in Istanbul's Beyoglu district not far from the British consulate. Several European nations and Russia maintain consulates in that district which historically has housed generations of European ambassadors to Ottoman Turkey / Republic of Turkey since the 1500s at least and was a cosmopolitan area where diplomats from various nations and Ottoman representatives exchanged news, gossip and information, discussed culture and politics, and of course spied on one another.

One should not rule out the possibility that James le Mesurier might have died accidentally from a combination of sleeping tablets, anti-depressant medication (oh dear, the poor fellow, I wonder why???), alcohol and feeling dizzy up on the balcony during the night. Equally one should not rule out the possibility that he was done in by his own perfidious-Albion side. Let's wait for the Turkish coroner's report.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 11 2019 21:43 utc | 155

@Posted by: Jen | Nov 11 2019 21:43 utc | 155

According to a report in Spuntnik Spanish, his own wife stated that he had been taking psycothropic drugs lately, along with sleeping pills and anti-depressants...really a bad combination...

It could well be that he kept for himself some of the Captagon shipped in industrial quantities through Turskish border for his and US coalition´s "jihadists" for them to slaughter better the Syrians...

Of course, knowing the historical record of the MI6, that this man was using such a combination of psychotropic substances, could well end in him confessing his role in the Syrian destruction once the smoke beggins to clear and the end of war, with its War Crime Tribunals, unfailingly, comes...

Whatever the reason, Good Ridance!
Because of him and his government, hundreds of thousands of innocent and patriotic people have died, the SAR has been reduced to dust, and the hugest wave of refugees since WWII has taken place and still in the move, whose effects are mainly suffered by neighboring countries in the ME, and parts of Europe, not precisely UK...

In the end, UK, if you watch attentively, has never been really part of Europe, it remains an island shoring up to the West... which has always had more to do with the US than with any other European nation...Indeed through centuries an enemy of Old European Empires...an allien entity to the EU.
If they got with it leaving the EU, well, Good Ridance too, as they have always acted as the Troy Horse of the US here, dynamiting as they could, through the US satraps, like Thatcher in the past, and now Johnson, what of the welfare state so deservedly the working masses who fought the past great war pressured to award themselves....

In the end pirates join pirates...as always have been...

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 11 2019 22:18 utc | 156

Jen #155

Good news, thanks Jen. Apparently devout people on their way to early morning prayers discovered the mess and informed police.

Good news for the week.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 11 2019 22:20 utc | 157

FWIW, for now, I am not assuming that Le Mesurier is in fact dead at all.

In the Epstein case, people were readily prepared to consider a third option to the much publicized "suicide or suicided" question. Why not in this case?

FUKUS would certainly not like the possibility of Le Mesurier being questioned or even held resposible for some of the atrocious acts objectively ascribable to the White Helmets goons. After all, the initial media hype about these crooked 'angels' is bound to be overtaken by documented facts in the long run. At some point in time, too many impertinent questions will be asked.

Whereas most common helmet wearers are relatively faceless goons that can easily be dismissed as individual rogue elements gone off script or simply gotten rid of along the way by means of "management by drone", unfortunate jihadi infighting or simple sacrifice unto the Syrian army, Le Mesurier himself has a far too high profile and far too many implicating connections to the imperial nerve centers and therefore represents a serious liability to his controllers.

His disappearance from the public view should be considered rather convenient for some players, including the Turks, who are, incidentally, managing the stage of his alleged death. Nor is his wife a neutral witness.

Posted by: Lurk | Nov 11 2019 22:29 utc | 158

@ Le Mesurier . The normal life expectancy for the Good Man reads as 95, or thereabout. There's no button in "lifestyle" for "MI6".

KUBARK manual call for falls.

Dead men tell no tales? Yes they do.

There are no accidents in the political realm...

Posted by: Walter | Nov 11 2019 22:38 utc | 159

Are we starting to witness some state cinture in Spain?
After yesterday warning, is the socialist government of Sánchez turning, at least a bit, if only in form, socialist?

( after the advance of the "devotes of Trump´s night worship" in yesterday elections and probably progession of Spanish policy investigation on Barcelona riots, two events that reinforced each other? )

Spain condemns military intervention in the resignation of Morales

Spain criticizes the role of the Bolivian Army and Police in the resignation of President Evo Morales, after protests against his re-election.

Spain joins the avalanche of international comdenations before the proceeding of the Bolivian Army and Police at the juncture that the Latin American country is going through, since, according to a statement issued on Monday by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this regard, that proceeding reminds past times in Latin American history, even more when President Evo Morales opted for a new call for elections.

"Spain condemns that the process opened yesterday towards a new electoral call has been distorted by the intervention of the Armed Forces and the Police, suggesting to Evo Morales to submit his resignation", the note said.

Likewise, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls “all actors to avoid resorting to violence” and “to guarantee the security of all Bolivians (...) including former President Morales himself, his relatives and members of his administration”.

For his part, the general secretary of the Spanish Unidas Podemos party, Pablo Iglesias, has written on his Twitter account that “Coup d'etat in Bolivia. Shameful that there are media that say the army makes the president resign. In the last 14 years Bolivia has improved all its social and economic indicators. All our support to the Bolivian people and Evo Morales”.


Posted by: Sasha | Nov 11 2019 22:41 utc | 160

flankerbandit @136 points out that capitalist entrepreneurial innovation is a farce, but I would like to add some points.

Lots of really cool tech was developed in the US after WWII and up to the early 1980s. Much of this came from giant corporate research institutes (think Bell Labs, Palo Alto Research Center, IBM's Watson Works, etc). From the mid-1980s to the present these incredibly productive research institutes have all but vanished. The remnants of what remains of those corporate labs certainly don't produce very much of interest anymore.

Why did capitalism create these labs, and what happened to cause their decline?

The research institutes came into existence because AT&T used to be a monopoly.

Americans didn't have so much of a "business friendly" fetish back in the 1950s as they do now. As a result they were extremely suspicious of and hostile to AT&T for being a monopoly. Of course, it made sense to have a unified communications network across the nation, so AT&T as a monopoly could provide better service than dozens of smaller competing businesses. The capitalist propaganda against nationalization was intense, so the public settled for hardcore regulation of the monopoly instead. Part of this regulation was a requirement that AT&T spend a hefty chunk of their revenue on research and development.

The problem, from a capitalist perspective, was that the amount mandated be spent on R&D by the regulations was far more than AT&T management could come up with profit-bearing lines of research for. As a consequence they hired scientists and set them up in laboratories just to consume the required number of dollars. This is to say that as a result of heavy regulations AT&T began to pour money into pure research rather than the applied type of research that can be justified to bean counters. This resulted in mountains of science, much of which remains lost in old filing cabinets to this day.

Those who like to meta-study science itself will tell you that most pure research doesn't really yield anything worthwhile. At the same time, most of the really big advances come from pure research. The successes of this pure research led AT&T to branch out into a wide range of technologies beyond just telephones and telegraphs. This began to be a business threat to other big players in the tech industries like IBM, who then had to set up their own huge freewheeling research institutes in order to remain competitive. Due solely to AT&T being forced by the government to setting up extensive research labs, many other businesses across a multitude of sectors of the economy were likewise forced to heavily invest in R&D.

Of course, AT&T would rather have just given that money spent on R&D to their investors, so they lobbied to have the regulations removed. By the end of the 1970s the American public had been successfully brainwashed by capitalist mass media into feeling a need for "business-friendly" government, and deregulation was the order of the day (thank you Jimmy Carter for starting that!). Even as such, people of that time were not ready for an unregulated monopoly to control telecommunications, so AT&T was broken up into smaller units that could focus on just making the biggest profit possible. The "Baby Bells" rode on the momentum of their former success, neglecting research and running their infrastructure into the ground. America then went from having the best communications infrastructure in the world, literally decades ahead of everyone else on the planet, to barely staying above third world status.

With Bell Labs reduced to a joke, there was no longer a justification for others like IBM and Xerox to keep spending on pure research themselves. Pure research was rationalized away. That said, what is referred to as "pre-market" research is still done today, even if not in the giant corporate research institutes. This is now done in universities on the public dime. The "innovative entrepreneurial capitalist enterprises" circle the college campuses like vultures waiting for students and faculty to develop something they can make money off of and when they see it they swoop in and snatch it away for a tiny fragment of its cost and value.

The point here is that AT&T was so micromanaged by government regulators that it should have just been directly managed by those regulators. AT&T should have been nationalized rather than broken up. Capitalism had nothing whatsoever to do with AT&T's prodigious technological productivity. That "innovation" was 100% the result of government "interference" in the Market. Most of the heavy lifting for innovation today comes from "pre-market" research at universities and is funded by the public. Very little fundamental innovation in the world today is financed by private investors.

The take-away? You don't need capitalism for innovation. On the contrary, capitalism interferes with and holds back innovation.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 11 2019 22:58 utc | 161

This is why Trump and his administration are fascists....( in case any doubt still remained...)

The parents claim the creature...

One step closer to democratic, prosperous, free Western Hemisphere? Trump hails ouster of Bolivia's Evo Morales

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 11 2019 23:19 utc | 162

@Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 11 2019 21:30 utc | 152

But, with that explanation, it is like you are whithewashing fascism as a merely opposing political view, which is precisley the position and pretension of the Trumpers, when it is not. Fascism is incompatible with democracy and human rights...as the recent ( just overnight the coup...) declarations by The Donald on the events in Bolivia come to confirm...

You forget a main characteristic of fascists, that is that they aspire ( and when the circumstances allow it, always try...) to wipe out their political adversaries from the face of Earth, as the case in Bolivia is so flagrantry illustrating. Along with their political adversaries, who are always those who position themselves in the side or as representives of the people, they always try to wipe out also all those subgroups of human beings they consider utermenschen...In this cathegory they will include many, slavs, latinos, jews, gypsies, black people...

Then, once in power, they will use terror to keep the citizenry ( who otherwise will rebel once the real "program" of the nazis unveiled ) in control...

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 11 2019 23:34 utc | 163

That the US system is as a whole fascist falls plainly in the faces of all its deluded and anestesized citizens when you see today that neither Pelosi, nor Schumaker, nor Clinton, nor Biden have said a word agsint what happened yesterday in Bolivia or against the words of the POTUS who "allegedly" they try to overthrow...a representation described by Trump himself, in the heights of stone face, as coup d´etat...

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 11 2019 23:53 utc | 164

Sasha @163

I stated that fascism has no ideology. It cannot be a "political view".

The fascists in Rwanda are Black. The fascists in Israel are Jewish. The fascists in Ukraine are Slavs. The fascists in Colombia are Latinos.

Fascism isn't about one ethnicity or another. Ethnic prejudice is just one (of many) handle that the capitalists elites use to get some parts of society to attack other parts. The people who fall under that control by the capitalist elites are fascists.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 12 2019 0:08 utc | 165

b mentioned lithium with reference to Bolivia in his 139 above

Nov 11, 2019 -- Bolivian Coup Comes Less Than a Week After Morales Stopped Multinational Firm's Lithium Deal
"Bolivia's lithium belongs to the Bolivian people. Not to multinational corporate cabals."

The Morales move on Nov. 4 to cancel the December 2018 agreement with Germany's ACI Systems Alemania (ACISA) came after weeks of protests from residents of the Potosí area. The region has 50% to 70% of the world's lithium reserves in the Salar de Uyuni salt flats.
Among other clients, ACISA provides batteries to Tesla; Tesla's stock rose Monday after the weekend.
As Bloomberg News noted in 2018, that has set the country up to be incredibly important in the next decade:
Demand for lithium is expected to more than double by 2025. The soft, light mineral is mined mainly in Australia, Chile, and Argentina. Bolivia has plenty—9 million tons that have never been mined commercially, the second-largest amount in the world—but until now there's been no practical way to mine and sell it. . .here

But Teslas catch fire....from ZPower--
Actually, lithium may be in trouble for vehicle batteries.
Just as lithium-ion (Li-ion) replaced nickel metal hydride (NiMH) before it and nickel cadmium (NiCd) before that, silver zinc (AgZn) batteries are on track to replace Li-ion too, according to a McGraw-Hill forecast as far back as 2010. Since then silver zinc has been perfected and are on the market for rechargeable hearing-aid “button” batteries by ZPower LL (Camarillo, Calif.) They are nonflammable and could provide up to 40 percent more run time than lithium-ion batteries. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 12 2019 0:19 utc | 166

According to Ruptly:

#Mexico has granted asylum to #EvoMorales, confirms foreign minster

Posted by: Lozion | Nov 12 2019 0:45 utc | 167

Credit where its due: both Corbyn and Sanders have issued statements against the coup in Bolivia.
On the other hand the recently re-elected, appalling government of Canada has backed it to the hilt. Was probably involved in financing it. See yves engler
https://dissidentvoice.org/2019/11/canada-backs-coup-against-bolivias-president/

The State Department which rarely misses a chance to discredit the democracy that it so hates, is accusing Morales of 'distorting' the election result. Nobody is suggesting that he didn't win the election, at most it is being claimed that his margin of victory, more than 10%, was exaggerated.
A similar, equally spurious claim was used to justify the coup against Aristide. There it was not disputed that Lavelan candidates had won their senatorial elections but that their victories were merely pluralities not majorities.
For this offence Canada, the US and (let it be recalled) Brazil occupied the country, kidnapped Aristide and banned his party from running in future elections.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 12 2019 0:53 utc | 168

William G on capitalism and innovation...

Thanks for a very good case study...yes, for all intents and purposes AT&T might just as well be labeled under 'state owned enterprise' at the time...

And that was another era...I will add here that the 'golden' three decades or so after the war, life in the US for ordinary folks really was pretty good...

The shop floor worker took home a decent pay on which a family could live nicely without a second income...own a nice home and send the kids to college...most of the manufacturing jobs were considered 'semi-skilled' labor, but were in fact quite skilled by today's standards...

The company president took home maybe ten times that of the shop floor worker...the financialization of everything that wasn't nailed down had not yet even started...

I went to college in Michigan [quite far from home] in the 1980s and knew family friends there...the elder patriarch had worked at GM, starting as just a guy on the line, but moved up to foreman and was an incredible source of technical knowledge about manufacturing...the house they retired in, in Grosse Pointe was nothing to sneeze at...

This kind of fair deal and upward mobility for the ordinary worker is long gone now...with temp jobs, no benefits and working in an Amazon warehouse for 11 bucks an hour [under sweatshop conditions literally]...

[An entire series from this local paper on Amazon here...]

Of course this doesn't stop the government from showering King Bezos with billions of our tax dollars to come up with some grifter scheme involving supposed rocket engines and spacecraft...

So yes, those were much different times...and yes, capitalism does not lead to innovation...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 12 2019 1:15 utc | 169

Sasha @ 156, Uncle Tungsten @ 157:

Thanks for the updates. Although I wonder how the police were able to identify James le Mesurier and contact his widow before she even realised he was missing if no documents were found on his body. Either he was already well-known in the neighbourhood or the police contacted the British consulate and the staff there were able to identify him quickly.

Apparently le Mesurier and his wife went to bed at 4am after taking sleeping tablets. His body was later found in the street at 4:30am.

The house has been sealed off. No knowledge as to whether the widow is being considered a suspect.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 12 2019 2:22 utc | 170

Thanks Jen.

Maybe he is destined to die as often as Bin Laden(9)or Bagdadi(7).

Integrity Initiative will crank up its stenographers across the globe to eulogise about his great deeds for humanity and meanwhile the White Helmets will continue stealing children and killing them for authentic use.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 12 2019 5:17 utc | 171

Don Bacon #166

Thanks for that link Don, but the website power electronics news is down or otherwise unreachable. I trust that link is valid as I have tried many configurations and two search engines and get same error both times.

I am keen to investigate that site.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 12 2019 5:26 utc | 172

William Gruff | Nov 11 2019 22:58 utc | 161 et al

The old AT+T, as a .gov regulated monopoly, was authorized to provide a healthy dividend to its stockholders Thus its stock [and bonds] was known as a "widows and orphans" SAFE investment. Holders were basicly guaranteed the dividend because ATT minimum-rate-of-earnings was regulated by .gov I.e., it was a safe investment for anyone of even modest means to SAFELY earn a dividend on savings at
higher-than-bank-deposit rates and even better than rate of inflation.

Likewise, there were a slew of "widow and orphan" stocks and bonds.

There was little need for investment/financial counselors for middle class and the more modest savers.

Compare present scene. No monopoly/guarantees of profitability = manipulation/speculation with weak-tea oversight. No safe investments except Treasuries that pay far less than the rate of inflation; and financial advisors charging 2% and 20% on principal and gross with no guarantees.

Posted by: chu teh | Nov 12 2019 7:59 utc | 173

karlof1 #14

I should note that the self declared voice of the Progressive Community Common Dreams.org had nothing to say about this important contest and its outcome just like its kin BigLie Media.

I'll drink to that!! Common Dreams is more like common soma. I browsed through there a day or two ago and it was just dead boring. They are the voice of nothing burger. The good news will will be brought from Ghent to Aix with a little help from the new media and a candidate or two.

That interview with Randy Credico was too poor sound quality for my crappy ears. Will look for a transcript in a while but many thanks for the post.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 12 2019 8:23 utc | 174

Here is Hamish de Bretton-Gordon on the death of his friend:

'The work James and the White Helmets did is phenomenal. There are few people who have done more on the humanitarian side,” said Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a chemical weapons expert who served with Mr Le Mesurier in the army and was a friend.

“But like all of us he suffered from Russian and Syrian disinformation and propaganda. To claim he worked for MI6 and al-Qaeda is a contradiction and crass. He was an amazing army officer and humanitarian,” Mr de Bretton-Gordon added.'

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/james-le-mesurier-death-white-helmets-istanbul-fall-syria-spy-russia-a9198071.html

Posted by: Cherrycoke | Nov 12 2019 9:22 utc | 175

uncle tungsten | Nov 12 2019 5:26 utc | 172

(powerelectronicsnews) [dot] com Works now.

Glad to know about it. Thanks y'all.

...........

In other matter, Max n Stacy @ E1461 flat out predict, state, dollar more or less shattered within 9 months. By? Gold (20k tons) and Chinese gold backed crypto...

I'll wait and see, as if I ha a choice. I suppose we could make bets - a betting pool and the winner who accurately predicts the dollars' colapse gets....worthless buckies? Oh well....

...........and it's November and pleasant to ride a motorcycle in shorts and t shirt...what can go wrong?

Posted by: Walter | Nov 12 2019 14:12 utc | 176

Cherycoke--

Very interesting that his bestest buddy was a Chemical Weapons Expert.
Seems to me that the White helmets and chemical weapons go hand in hand.

Posted by: arby | Nov 12 2019 15:07 utc | 177

Some people consider Zoltan Poszar the pre-eminent repo expert.  He has a good take on the current problem in this podcast:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-11/this-is-why-the-repo-markets-went-crazy-and-why-december-could-be-even-worse

The fed is known as the lender of last resort as they are the ones that ultimately come up with, print, supply, digitally create the cash. Interestingly, Zoltan describes J P Morgan as the lender of next to last resort.  This relates to their function as the bank with the most reserves and the overseer of most repo operations.

He sees the current repo flare up where rates went from 2% to 10% in a day in September as being a technicality do to recent rule changes.

Banks used to be able to take their reserves into negative territory overnight to fund the repo market and get reimbursed by the fed (overnight fed funding on the margin)

Now as a result of Basel 3, they have to keep a certain positive reserve balance and the fed has to keep that up which ran into some recent problems due to the fed winding down QE
.-----------------

So in my view kind of a technicality and kind of not.  Some questions I think still need to be asked like should the Fed be pouring in public funds to support repo?  Surely yes for some trades.  But are we the public also supporting a large amount of speculative derivative trading which is likely not benefiting the general public.

Posted by: financial matters | Nov 12 2019 15:27 utc | 178

Just saw this at https://saraacarter.com/horowitz-report-will-be-damning-criminal-referrals-likely/

I think USA politics has become little more than toxic, there is naked partisonship in the oligarch-owned mass media, and politicians on both sides that care little for honesty and truth and looking after the American people, they only care about their own lust for power.

But I think Michael Horowitz and William Barr (and by extension John Durham) are the two smartest moves Donald Trump has made. The others aren't really relevant, they are inevitable Washington politics. He's not stupid, the Donald. He may well succeed in draining the swamp. Horowitz and Barr I believe are professionals, that will follow due legal processes and the chain of evidence, hopefully without fear or favour, as is only proper.

I have a nasty suspicion we're going to see a serious can of worms start to open up.

Posted by: Ant. | Nov 12 2019 15:35 utc | 179

@177

Not *a* chemical weapons expert, *the* chemical weapons expert.

http://acloserlookonsyria.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Porton_Down_investigates_Syria

Posted by: Cherrycoke | Nov 12 2019 15:36 utc | 180

Hamish Bretton-Gordon was a major media talking head with the Salisbury/Skripal poisoning, he owns a factory at Melksam near Salisbury manufacturing gas masks and chemical protective clothing for the defence industry and export sales. Also a major player in Israel’s London lobby group bumping up defence spending and aid to Israel along with false anti-Semitic smears against the Labour Party.
On other news U.K.
the Labour Party have today been subjected to a massive computer attack (dos) in the midst of a general election. Nigel Farage (fascist party) have agreed not to put up candidates in Tory seats, but consontrait on attacking Labour seats.
Thank you William Gruff and Sasha for you definitions of Facism.

I predict a false flag terrorist attack in the U K before the election to encourage
People to vote Tory, just like the three attacks before Teresa May was elected.

Posted by: mark2 | Nov 12 2019 16:00 utc | 181

| Nov 12 2019 2:22 utc | 170 (the smackerro from the balcony bit)

Cops figure, often, that the guy who called them is their best suspect.

An exception is the cop who finds the last person who was with the then living - now-dead body....and asks personal questions about that. The trouble is, he's hard to find, sometimes.

The KUBARK handbook (see wiki "U.S. Army and CIA interrogation manuals") does advise dropping people from height...

That guy, the fella what dropped the body, that's your fella...and the idea is that he did it to himself...repeat, repeat.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 12 2019 16:10 utc | 182

@180

Seriously, a wiki article? Yes, likely sarin in the Ghouta incident, which suspiciously happened just when UN inspectors landed in nearby Daamascus to confirm the SAR's removal of chemical weapons. The article fails to provide any proper evidence of responsibility, indeed, neglects to mention evidence contrary to the established meme that 'Assad Did It!'

And really, you have to be skeptical of anyone using Elliot Higgins' blog, a noted source of disinformation (which at least has made him rich).

This might be more informative: https://nocheinparteibuch.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/zahran-alloush-prime-suspect-for-the-cw-attack-in-ghouta/

Posted by: Ant. | Nov 12 2019 16:17 utc | 183

Somewhat belated comment but had to say it's great to see other people talking about private finance being the root of all western imperial evil. The internet media echo chamber can sometimes drown out all the opposing voices so it's good to realise there are other people out there thinking the same.

Posted by: Northern | Nov 12 2019 16:39 utc | 184

Ant.

Well according to “mediabiasfactcheck”, Bellingcat is just about the most reliable reporting :

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/?s=Bellingcat

How about that.

Posted by: Canuckistan | Nov 12 2019 16:41 utc | 185

This idea of the supposed 'innovation' inherent in 'entrepreneurial capitalism' is another one of those myths that are just taken for granted and assumed to be true.. flankerbandit.

Absolutely. The “innovation inherent in entrepreneurial capitalism” is a wink-wink rationale for “you can try anything to squeeze out the maximum profit.”

By definition, this fails in the long run, as when all the ‘profit’ niches have been cannibalised, burnt up, only a Wasteland is left. This comes about because to ‘make a profit’ one has to concentrate on conditions as they are in the *present* (e.g. ‘my’ yoghourt factory: milk prices, packing, minimum wage, trucking costs, etc.) without any regard for anything else. Some call it short-term thinking.

That the slogan was part of US econ ethos (economics is junk science, a modern religion) say, 300 y. ago to today.. comes about because of reliance on ‘unlimited ressources’ which permit ‘profitable’ transformations (ex. oil extraction, to serve the car and suburbia) and rapine (ex. monopolies, finance scams, med scams, etc.)

And what is a bright young STEM US qualified person to do? Work for a Big Corp that stresses the bottom line is quarterly profits and maintaining ‘shareholder value’? Quit? Not if he/she has children.

(see also Gruff 161, which i read after this post)

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 12 2019 17:14 utc | 186

"
News > Bolivia
Bolivia's Evo Morales Lands in Mexico"

Posted by: arby | Nov 12 2019 17:26 utc | 187

"BRUSSELS — The EU's top court ruled on Tuesday that goods from Israeli settlements must be labeled as produced in occupied territory, a decision hailed by Palestinians and condemned by Israel, which said it would try to persuade countries to ignore it."

Posted by: arby | Nov 12 2019 17:32 utc | 188

b @ 138

Substitute lithium for oil and it is obvious that the US and Canadian leaders are resorting to the “ANGOLA VARIANT” strategy. https://www.rferl.org/a/1093703.html

The outcome of the ANGOLA VARIANT applied to Bolivia will be the same:

“Governments of countries which earn most of their income through the export of a single raw material often are unwilling to promote human rights or social welfare. But at the same time, these states are very much prepared to spend money on the military both to justify their existence and to keep themselves in power. “

… they have chosen to concentrate wealth in the hands of a few, an arrangement that almost always contributes to both corruption and repression in the short term and to instability over the longer haul.

“…the government …become(s) ever more corrupt, (increasing) its reliance on security forces to keep the population in line”

“But the Angola variant serves as a reminder that any reliance on authoritarianism supported by the export of raw materials can have another and much less positive result, one that neither the exporters nor the importers of these raw materials ultimately are likely to be satisfied with. “

Posted by: krollchem | Nov 12 2019 17:41 utc | 189

AT&T took advantage of what was clearly a Natural Monopoly. Cellular telephony gives the appearance of an open market, but that's not really true in the same way that airtravel is also a Natural Monopoly artificially constructed as an open market. Most corporate research is now done by the National Research Laboratories which exist within the Department of Energy, while most pharmaceutical research is done at the Center for Disease Control, and the MIC has its own net centering on DARPA. Lots of Socialism there, huh! One example: Bernie Sanders has made it a point to show that the patent for the making of insulin was sold for $10 to Big Pharma which sells it to the public for as much as $100 a dose for something the public collectively contributed to being made available. Many more similar examples exist.

Generally, all public support systems are Natural Monopolies and ought to be publicly owned as the public at large is the beneficiary and competition doesn't improve services. The USA is perhaps the most backward nation in this respect, costing its public several $Triliion annually--$Trillions that ought to be subtracted from GDP, not added.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 12 2019 17:58 utc | 190

You are very correct Cherrycoke.
Not "a" but "the" chemical weapons expert--

"Hamish de Bretton-Gordon's role in collecting samples for MI6

In a comment on the SicSemperTyrannis blog, David Habakkuk, a retired television producer and historian of intelligence services, reveals an interesting discovery:-

"Also of interest are contributions to the ‘Brown Moses Blog’ by a former British Army CBRN expert called Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon. From his entry on the ‘Military Speakers’ website, and other material, it seems likely that he was instrumental in providing ‘environmental’ samples from incidents prior to Ghouta in which sarin was used to Porton Down. This has quite large implications. (See http://www.militaryspeakers.co.uk/speakers/hamish-de-bretton-gordon-obe/"

It's clear that Bretton-Gordon (HBG) had a key role in the MI6 operation to collect samples for Porton Down that was reported in the Times and Telegraph during April 2013. "

Posted by: arby | Nov 12 2019 18:03 utc | 191

Cherry coke @ 175

If the man was as described, a fine romantic hero in the mould of Lawrence, kind, selfless, “humanitarian” (didn’t someone say that of Kurtz?) then one could see that events in Syria over the last seven years might have driven him to take his life.

But over that time many many millions of dollars must have gone through his hands and if he was not an idealist, the temptation to divert some of it must have enormous. Maybe this is relevant.

I wonder if he found it strange to be working in area where the last major war involved the British Empire giving the Vichy French a right going over. You can understand the French resenting it!

(Or maybe he has been whisked away, for his own safety, to join Epstein, Christopher Steele, Skripal Mr and Miss etc on some remote outback ranch in Australia (give us a hand with the shearing Skrippers!))

Posted by: Montreal | Nov 12 2019 18:16 utc | 192

Looks like lithium, alongside oil and gas is part of US energy dominance.

http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2017/ph240/hanley1/
"Despite its strong economic position in Latin America and inexpensive mining opportunity, Chile has been unable to capitalize on the market-share in this industry because of excessive government regulation. Outdated government quotas limit the amount of lithium that Chilean mining companies like SQM can extract. According to some estimates, the Atacama salt flat alone could more than quadruple production to 350,000 tons per year without extracting more brine, says Eduardo Bitran, CORFOs chief executive. [4] Meanwhile, the Australia is producing more lithium as the market expands and Chile is quickly losing market share, and its strategic partnership with the U.S. and China. [4]"

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 12 2019 18:26 utc | 193

@ Canuckistan | Nov 12 2019 16:41 utc | 184

"Well according to “mediabiasfactcheck”, Bellingcat is just about the most reliable reporting :"

Oh really? Please consider the following piece of fallout from the recent Integrity Initiative:

How about that?

How about Bellingcat member Dan Kaszeta being paid by these shady British state disinfo organizations to write shilling propaganda pieces.

What about Bellingcat's links to the Atlantic Council, a flaming NATO agitprop outlet.

Or what about the tidbits reported above by 'arby | Nov 12 2019 18:03 utc | 190', pointing out even more shady actors' links to Bellingcat (née Brown Moses Blog).

Could it be that your beloved “mediabiasfactcheck” is very uncritical or even biased? FWIW they list Snopes and Washington Post Fact Checker among "most trusted fact checking web sites"

Maybe you are a troll, but not a very good one at that? How about that?

Posted by: Lurk | Nov 12 2019 18:48 utc | 194

financial matters @ 178

Repo is essentially overnight collateralized lending. (although technically and this can be important if it fails to unwind, the asset is actually sold rather than lent)  Dealers through institutions like JPM receive USD and give (sell) various collateral to JMP to hold such as treasury securities, mortgage backed securities, corporate bonds, equity (particularly market index type equity), etc (collateral)

The money earned on these transactions is often used to fund the interest that money market funds pay out.  In fact the success of these transactions can even determine if money market funds hold their value.  Hence the connection between repo and the feared money market crashes.

This money that the dealers receive is used as the liquidity lubricant that they need to stay in business and clear their daily trading activities.  However, they also want to use it to make more money.  This seems to bring up the potential for more and more risky type activity to occur.  The question is who is benefiting and who is holding the bag if these trades go south.

Posted by: financial matters | Nov 12 2019 18:53 utc | 195

A medical expert who was a guest on the Fault Lines radio show this morning said that neither Michael Baden nor anybody else checked the DNA to make sure that the dead body was really Epstein's.

I'm currently reading Ronan Farrow's book about his Harvey Weinstein reporting and the efforts made to stop him, entitled "Catch and Kill". On page 329, one of the private investigators employed by the Mossad-associated "private" Black Cube firm hired by Weinstein to use unethical methods to prevent reporting is quoted as saying, "To me, this is like doing a mitzvah. I'm doing something good for Israel." I susoect many of those who protected Epstein had similar thoughts.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 12 2019 18:58 utc | 196

To add to my comment @181
This morning bbc radio ‘today program’
An interview with Hamish Bretton- Gordon regarding James Merciyer.
Plus in the same program an interview with Bill Browder !!! Yes him of the Maginsky act fame, talking about Russian donations to the Tory party!
Here - -
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-50366956

My view is, the deep state actors have taken over this U.K. election.
And to top it all here in the U.K. we’ve got a bad case of the Hillary Clinton’s cropping up in just about every talk show and interview couch available!
What’s going on ?

Posted by: mark2 | Nov 12 2019 20:10 utc | 197

Following President Trump's somewhat aggressive speech to The Economic Club of New York, unofficial mouthpiece China Global Times tweeted:

@HuXijin_GT

"
Quite a lot of criticisms and complaints about China from President Trump in his latest speech, but hardly anything new. Similar statements of senior US officials have bored people. It seems this US administration really believes a lie repeated a thousand times becomes truth.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 12 2019 20:14 utc | 198

craig murray has an article up on The Sad Death of James Le Mesurier there are some links to the gchq also, of interest...

The death of James Le Mesurier actually, it appears like it is the gchq putting this out, but that makes no sense.. here is more info on this site -
The site concerns the corruption and lack of accountability which exists within the British signals intelligence agency GCHQ, other agencies and the civil service more generally.

Posted by: james | Nov 12 2019 23:02 utc | 199

further to @197 - 2nd link..

When an organization has no oversight, it is inevitable that excessive secrecy and extensive powers as is the case with GCHQ, corruption will flourish. In this respect, it is telling that whilst I have been creating this blog, I have been subject to Denial of Service attacks.

The harassment which I experienced began whilst I was at Saint Catharine’s College, Cambridge under the auspices of GCHQ and other agencies. The college I should state is a place where individuals are awarded places in the hope or expectation that they will work for the intelligence services.

I may at some point upload the full account of the harassment which I have experienced at the hands of British intelligence but some details are available here.

https://www.gchq-gov.org/

Posted by: james | Nov 12 2019 23:04 utc | 200

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