Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 19, 2019

Open Thread 2019-75

News & views ...

Posted by b on December 19, 2019 at 17:15 UTC | Permalink

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@ Posted by: BG | Dec 20 2019 13:08 utc | 83 with the Boeing Starliner launch today...thanks

From NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was this tweet

Because #Starliner believed it was in an orbital insertion burn (or that the burn was complete), the dead bands were reduced and the spacecraft burned more fuel than anticipated to maintain precise control. This precluded @Space_Station rendezvous.

He is being nice about saying that Boeing's attempt to go to the Space Station was a failure

I expect Boeing stock to go up today......../snark

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 20 2019 16:09 utc | 101

I’m terribly confused, and getting .tired of trying to keep up with the machinations. Trump is a buffoon. I see no reason for the ‘deep state’ to remove him.... he’s the very essence of bread and circus ...just the thing to draw the eye, while the oligarchy continue to despoil the planet. It can’be trump is against war ...there is no real movement by trump to either cut back on war funding, or troops holding captive nations across the world. what is the beef ?
The dnc. And the gop are both owned by the oligarchs, so what would they care who controls the house or senate? is beyond me......

Posted by: James j | Dec 20 2019 16:39 utc | 102

Russ #87

I agree with you.

I always thought that the influx of British colonials to the UK---as I experienced it when I lived in the London in the seventies---was just.

Since then other forces have come into play. Many of them detrimental to the lives of current UK residents. E.g., now the UK is flooded with Bulgarians who undercut wages. This is a different situation.

And current residents also have some rights to have their interests protected.

Although there is far more to say, I am keeping it brief, since my thoughts on this align with those of others who are more knowledgeable and have already stated the obvious connections between foreign military adventures and population movements.

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 20 2019 17:17 utc | 103

Indeed many jurists and legal professors who supported Trump's impeachment are now saying until the Dems formally send the charges to the senate, Trump hasn't technically been impeached at all.

Posted by: Russ | Dec 20 2019 15:43 utc | 96

Yes, and it is quite possible that congresspeople also don't know this, either. I would not assume that they are intelligent and informed on the legal matters that they have so cluelessly launched.

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 20 2019 17:20 utc | 104

@ James J

You argue against yourself.
Is theater.
While they focus on:
1) Stuffing their pockets
2) Getting re-elected
3) Distracting the public from things that matter
4) Making plans for lunch

Posted by: jared | Dec 20 2019 17:28 utc | 105

shout out to blues! hey blues - merry christmas!

Posted by: james | Dec 20 2019 17:30 utc | 106

@69 Dotterel, those were agreements made by the soviets on behalf of a captive nation. Armenians do indeed have moral and legal claims but this is probably the wrong blog upon which to utter such heresy.

Posted by: Telo | Dec 20 2019 17:39 utc | 107

The alternative possibility is that Britain reverts to its long term historic trend of allying with Russia against whichever is the dominant European power. With the loss of the empire in India, the northern boundaries of which were a historic bone of contention with Russia, and the end of the cold war it is not clear that there is any long term reason for competition between the UK and Russia.

Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Dec 20 2019 17:55 utc | 108

Really?? @84--

Thanks for your reply! I just checked and there's nothing yet to replay. First order of business today is a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council about which nothings been divulged yet. Many of the participants are CIS members, so I imagine that meeting will be this evening.

At his Facebook, Pepe Escobar tips his readers to this speech by H.E. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Opening of Symposium on The International Situation and China's Foreign Relations in 2019, Beijing, 13 December 2019,
"Braving Waves and Sailing Forward with Resolve". In it, Wang offers an excellent illustration of how an functional Party leads to a functional nation in stark contrast to what occurred in Russia that Putin described at his Presser:

"We successfully held the fourth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The Plenum made a full exposition of the core tenets, achievements, and remarkable advantages of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics and China's governance system. It put forward for the first time the overarching goal of upholding and improving the socialist system with Chinese characteristics and modernizing China's system and capacity for governance, thus laying a stronger institutional foundation for realizing national rejuvenation. A stable, secure and prosperous China is standing tall and proud in the east of the world, poised to make new contributions to the cause of peace and development of humankind." [My Emphasis]

Such connectivity might also be noted regarding the internal situation of the Outlaw US Empire where neither major party is doing anything to promote the nation's viability as I ranted above last night. Wang Yi provides further evidence of how this situation works in practice as he outlines what will occur next year through six major tasks which I won't copy/paste here.

The old maxim--Don't interrupt your enemy while he's making mistakes--serves well regarding the world versus the Outlaw US Empire. Merkel says the US Senate has declared war on Trump with its sanctions on Nord Stream 2, but I doing so she ignores Trump's boisterous welcome to the bills passage and his earlier condemnation of the project--she closes her eyes to see what she wants instead of opening them to the reality of what's entailed.

Wow! and the day's only beginning here.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 20 2019 18:31 utc | 109

Really?? 101 & 102

I always thought that the influx of British colonials to the UK---as I experienced it when I lived in the London in the seventies---was just.

Since then other forces have come into play. Many of them detrimental to the lives of current UK residents. E.g., now the UK is flooded with Bulgarians who undercut wages. This is a different situation.

And current residents also have some rights to have their interests protected.


Yes, and it is quite possible that congresspeople also don't know this, either. I would not assume that they are intelligent and informed on the legal matters that they have so cluelessly launched.

I agree with both of those. I seldom see any evidence of real intelligence and knowledge among politicians, just sometimes cleverness at lying, intriguing and such. (And often not even that.) Their entire educational and cultural background tends to be purely instrumental, training for hierarchical jockeying, for kissing up and kicking down, most of all for despising humanity and rejecting any knowledge that isn't the party line.

Posted by: Russ | Dec 20 2019 18:34 utc | 110

This article contains
valuable but speculative information on the background of the Papadopolous angle
to russiagate. It is intriguing to say the least.

Posted by: evilempire | Dec 19 2019 22:57 utc | 32.

++++++++Intriguing but so grammatically challenged as to be basically unreadable. Also, dates from July 18.
Any updates on this?

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 20 2019 18:39 utc | 111

Really?? 111

That was supposed to be
"Also, dates from **July 2018.**
Any updates on this?

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 20 2019 18:51 utc | 112

vk vs Karlofi,

Mark Smith deals with the matters you discuss, in his Russian Anxiety. I am leaning towards vk on this.

Posted by: moon | Dec 20 2019 19:06 utc | 113

Tucenz @ 113:

Trump was quoting Rashida Tlaib's use of the word "motherf***er" as an example of the vehemence with which the Democrats have been pursuing his downfall, to the extent that they seem willing to sabotage their chances of winning the Presidency in 2020 and Trump is likely to be back in the White House in 2021.

The puerile part of me is not impressed with the infantile behaviours of both the Republicans and the Democrats, and of those who cheer for one side or the other, at the expense of anything resembling governance.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 20 2019 19:26 utc | 114

to V # 76 I'm with you. It took me a bit longer to pack though..

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Dec 20 2019 19:28 utc | 115

Completely agree with every stinking point trump makes in his letter to Pelosi.

Well done, sir.

And the more I think about it, the more I feel that the implications of an impeachment do negatively impact his reelection chances when it comes to votes from centrists.

Or at the very least, trump is hedging his bets here with this letter against the possibility that the impeachment circus backfires spectacularly and he cements himself as an American martyr and runs over a low energy dem.

Regardless, my point is that impeachment actually might negatively affect his reelection.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Dec 20 2019 19:35 utc | 116

Yang exposed himself during the dem debate where Tulsi was excluded.

During the debate, Yang mentioned he was disappointed that he was the only "debater" of color. And that he missed Kamala Harris and Cory Booker! No mention of your fellow outsider, miss gabbard, Mr. Yang?

It's almost as if he wants to throw his lot in with those two "respectable" candidates and consign the Tulsi phenom to the dustbin of past debates.

There is no excuse for referencing those two jokes and not gabbard.

Who told him that he needs to leave out any mention of miss gabbard? Better yet, do you reader not see the implications of such an omission?

Dems are looking worse and worse.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Dec 20 2019 19:43 utc | 117

I see b deleted my post (was #113) about President Trump's letter to Pelosi being the first ever from the Whitehouse containing the word motherf***er. I guess this was done because I quoted the whole letter from President Trump. Why can't the whole letter be quoted? B did describe it as "... no holds barred but surprisingly factual"
One too many Friday night drinks at the MOA bar reduce you to pedantry?

Posted by: tucenz | Dec 20 2019 20:16 utc | 118

@james, #34

You couldn't get to it because of a malformed http link from O.P. (extra "/" at the end of link)

Assad: Trump Is "The Most Transparent President," He Admits U.S. Government Works For Oil And Weapons Lobbies

Posted by: Realist | Dec 20 2019 20:23 utc | 119

Have now finished reading Wang Yi's speech I linked @109 and suggest all barflies do likewise. There's a lot that might be further highlighted. The following's what I see as the major point of friction as the attitude of those with the Outlaw US Empire's reins of power expect all others to bend to their will instead of making accommodations to a peer nation it will soon become subordinate to:

"On the part of China, what we seek is our legitimate right to develop ourselves. We never had any intention to challenge or replace the US. What we advocate is fairness and justice in the world. We will never go down the beaten track of seeking hegemony with strength. What we pursue is common progress of humankind, never the selfish interests of China itself.

"We always believe that cooperation is the best and the only viable option for China and the US. We urge the US to get cool-headed as soon as possible, and put its China view and world view in proper perspective. We urge the US to work with us for a relationship of no-conflict, no-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. Our goal is to jointly find a way of peaceful co-existence and mutual benefit between two great nations on this planet with different social systems, development paths, histories and civilizations." [My Emphasis]

The bolded text--probably could have bolded all--are the major areas I see the Empire having great difficulty. The behavior practiced by the Outlaw US Empire since WW2 has been the seeking of dominance over all other nations, which is exactly what's articulated in its #1 policy goal of attaining Full Spectrum Dominance. Clearly to make any accommodations for China, Russia, or any other nation, the Empire must renounce that policy goal--publicly--and develop a completely new defense doctrine. Don't hold your breath. But China persists as spelled out in the Second Task:

"Second, firmly safeguarding our national interests. We will stick to our principles and see to it that our bottom lines are never violated. We will work to effectively defuse risks and challenges posed by the external environment, and build strong safeguards for China's sovereignty, security and development interests. With a steely will and more robust measures, we will resolutely defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity, steadfastly uphold our system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, guard against and forestall any attempt by external forces to meddle in China's internal affairs. On the basis of equality and mutual respect, we are ready to work out the problems and differences with the US through dialogue and consultation. But we will never accept unilateral sanctions or any acts of bullying. We urge the US side to bring its China policy back on the right track as soon as possible and truly respect China's legitimate and lawful rights and interests." [My Emphasis]

All bolded text represent flashpoints. Indeed, China spoke for the entire world IMO, excepting the few sycophants. I'll bet no member of Congress has read this speech or even knows of its existence. Trump, certainly not. I'm sure that someone at State knows of it and might even have read it through. Realistically, I don't expect any alterations in Outlaw US Empire behavior; I expect the overall friction between the Empire and vast majority of the rest of the world to escalate. But the overall trend is quite clear: Oceania is sinking while Eurasia and Eastasia are rising. The pomposity present within Oceania and its Airstrip 1 outpost will not decline. The forces attempting to oust Trump seek MEGA--Make the Empire Great Again--and believe they have the psychopathic sociopathic power to create that reality regardless of the cost.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 20 2019 21:00 utc | 120

More proof of the abysmal state of the US Navy:

"The Navy installed a navigation system to save money that it knew didn't work.

"Then when the inevitable crash happened, it blamed low-level sailors for the deaths."

And the Empire's idiot politicos want their navy to take on China & Russia?! They might as well have taken the $740 Million just appropriated for the War Department and shredded it into the ocean as those dollars will end up as nothing other than waste.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 20 2019 22:37 utc | 121

@ karlof1 | Dec 20 2019 21:00 utc | 120

What the country needs is a good $5.00 gime hat with MASA on it (Make America Sane Again), maybe in turquoise.

A nit to pick: When the original "New World Order" was used, the meaning of order included 'organisation' which the British colonies certainly achieved in forming first a confederation out of the colonies and reforming into a large federated republic, certainly at that point in time a new way of ordering the world (and filling the fantasies of the conspiracy minded).

The other nit needing picking, It was R.M. Nixon who styled his presidency as imperial and history tells how that turned out. The detritus of that administration next appeared populating the Reagan/Bush41 regime and the neofascism so dearly loved today became into existence, in its later forms of full spectrum domination and its allied total awareness intelligence gathering, one cannot be without the other. None of this was in the public domain during the Carter administration or earlier, to say it so existed is just rewriting history although history does not usually record well nefarious schemes and secret conspiracies that may or may not transpire. Transgressions to these nits are usually the result of shortcutting one's thought but do lead to mistaken understanding from some less than astute readers. Words have consequences.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 20 2019 22:40 utc | 122

Impeachment happens (in the U.S.) when the House of Representatives brings impeachment charges. The public officer charged is thereby impeached whether or not the Senate (in its dotage) convicts or not. No U.S. President has been convicted of any impeachment charges (though one came very close). Trump has been impeached but at this moment neither convicted nor relieved of impeachment by the Senate. The constitutional transgressions of the House of Representatives under Pelosi are on public record (unless a way of expunging the public record is now available).

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 20 2019 23:01 utc | 123

Some talk on the fall of the Soviet Union here. Its my belief that it was not so much a fall as the elites within the party pulling the plug. Why did they pull the plug? It is because they saw the success of neoliberalism in the west.

The difference between Soviet Communism and Neoliberalism is quite simple. In the former the elite are the party who live better than the non-elite but don't actually own anything. In the latter the elite control the state and lived much better than the communist elite, while owning vast private wealth. Wealth inequality and standard of living inequality was much greater in the neoliberal West than in the Communist East.

This is the same reason that Deng did the same thing at the same time (some coincidence, I suspect the hidden hand was at work helping convince them) . Deng did this a bit differently, not by pulling the plug but by maintaining the Party and transferring the public
assets that had value to them while socializing the losses among the people. He realized he could maintain the national religion of socialism while limiting the socialism to the party elite and turning society at large to a neoliberal playground under authoritarian control.

Today, Income /Wealth inequality in the Neoliberal “West and East” are all equally high. As Deng said, who cares if you call it a black cat (neoliberal capitalism ) or a good cat (socialism), as long as its a good cat (riches and control for the elite)

Posted by: Pft | Dec 20 2019 23:20 utc | 124

Formerly T-Bear @122&3--

Thanks for joining me on this now very lonely thread. I was just reading Caitlin Johnstone's essay about "the news churn memory hole" that allows BigLie Media to do its thing "even when telling the truth." As I read, I said to myself, Thank goodness the people of Russia and China and their news media aren't this way as proven by Putin's aggressive attempt to be as transparent as possible and the success of China's democratic centralism. Caitlin tries to assuage those who think the situation hopeless:

"This doesn’t mean there’s no hope of ever awakening a critical mass to the fact that they live in a society which is ruled by oligarchs who benefit from keeping everyone else poor and powerless and profit from deceiving us into sending our children overseas to murder other people’s children. All it means is that we need to approach the problem with a very specific focus. It isn’t enough to simply expose the truth; we need to expose the truth while forcefully driving home the message that the media organizations which people rely on to form their entire understanding of the world have been deceiving them."

She then suggests we do this:

"Yes, expose the truth, but do it while also saying 'Look! See? This proves that the mainstream media have been lying to you this entire time! They lie to you about everything!' Drive this point home constantly, as often as possible....

"It’s not enough to simply expose the truth. You must also fully, repeatedly and consistently expose the ones who are telling lies."

IMO, that's precisely what we all try to do here--excepting the trolls. But we have no way to assess our effectiveness, aside from the intensity of troll attacks. I might as well try to get a response from my cat. At least Caitlin tries to inform her readers about what to look for. Essentially, the impeachment's a reprise of the OJ Simpson Trial.

Thanks for providing a segue into my rant! Now to post a reply that was earlier requested.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 20 2019 23:37 utc | 125

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 20 2019 23:37 utc | 125 who wrote to FTB
Thanks for joining me on this now very lonely thread.

Thanks for the quotes from Putin and China leadership. I am looking forward to reading the full 4 hour plus Putin QA when you provide the link

Some of us are sometimes off busy saving ourselves or plotting to save humanity. I am excited to be thinking about going after a 2nd patent in my life, this time with two others. I can't tell you what it is yet but will when I am able and it looks more realistic.

To FTB who wrote about President "Millhouse" who not only took the US off the Gold Standard but, IMO, birthed the demon of financialization of the US with his trip to China, etc. I feel bad for Jimmy Carter because I believe his intentions were good but he was played by the Deep State of the time significantly.

As to Catlin's position that advocates of change in the West educate others as to the perfidy of the MSM, I am working to do that within my small circle of friends and agree that it is a good ploy.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 21 2019 0:02 utc | 126

@118 tucenz.. thanks for posting a link to it.. b generally discourages really long posts like that one of yours he deleted.. best to provide a link with an excerpt, as opposed to the whole article...

@119 realist... thanks... it was something simple...

M. K. BHADRAKUMAR often writes good articles.. i enjoyed this one - Pakistan at crossroads. Turkish footfalls beckon.

Posted by: james | Dec 21 2019 0:07 utc | 127

Really?? @84--

Putin delivered a speech at the CIS informal Summit, but again the transcript isn't complete yet as I type. But, what's there already is excellent, and I'm very tempted to copy/paste quite a lot, but I'll cut it down to size.

After several paragraphs of preamble, Putin gests to the meat:

"In addition, the European parliamentarians are demanding that Russia stop its efforts aimed at distorting historical facts and promoting the thesis that Poland, the Baltic countries and the West really started the war. I do not think we have ever said anything like this, or that any of the above countries were the perpetrators.

"Where is the truth after all? I decided to figure this out and asked my colleagues to check the archives. When I started reading them, I found something that I think would be interesting for all of us, because, again, we all come from the Soviet Union.

"Here is the first question. We talk about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact all the time. We repeat this after our European colleagues. This begs the question: was this the only document signed by one of the European countries, back then the Soviet Union, with Nazi Germany? It turns out that this is not at all the case. I will simply give a list of them, if I may."

Putin reels off the six (6) intervening non-aggression treaties prior to Molotov-Ribbentrop, then suggests revisiting the start of the war which was caused by the Versailles Treaty, of which he notes:

"Germany had to pay the Triple Entente countries (Russia left the winners and did not sign the Treaty of Versailles) an astronomical sum of 269 billion golden marks, the equivalent of 100,000 tonnes of gold. For comparison, I would say the gold reserves as of October 2019 are 8,130 tonnes in the US, 3,370 tonnes in Germany and 2,250 tonnes in Russia. And Germany had to pay 100,000 tonnes. At the current price of gold of $1,464 for a troy ounce, the reparations would be worth about $4.7 trillion, while the German GDP in 2018 prices, if my data are correct, is only $4 trillion.

"Suffice it to say that the last payments of 70 million euros were made quite recently, on October 3, 2010. Germany was still paying for World War I on the 20th anniversary of the Federal Republic of Germany."

Clearly the sum demanded was impossible. Unmentioned is the suppressed interview by George Seldes with Von Hindenburg where he admitted the US Army's entry into the war caused Germany's defeat which helped the Nazis as Putin notes at the end of the available transcript:

"I believe, and many, including researchers, agree that the so-called spirit of Versailles created an environment for a radical and revanchist mood. The Nazis were actively exploiting Versailles in their propaganda promising to relieve Germany of this national shame, so the West gave the Nazis a free hand for revenge."

Clearly, to be continued. Versailles wasn't even over when the young JM Keynes left it in utter disgust for the south of France to write his book, The Economic Consequences of the Peace, predicting the treaty would generate the next phase of the war, which it indeed did. Hudson examines the issue here and in numerous other papers, and the consensus is extremely tight amongst historians and political-economists, so Putin is in good company.

But, IMO for our inquiry, we ought to ask why, just as Putin does in part of his preamble:

"I was surprised, even somewhat hurt by one of the latest European Parliament resolutions dated September 19, 2019 'on the importance of preserving historical memory for the future of Europe.' We, too, have always strived to ensure the quality of history, its truthfulness, openness and objectivity. I want to emphasise once again that this applies to all of us, because we are to some extent descendants of the former Soviet Union. When they talk about the Soviet Union, they talk about us."

IMO, one of the major Narrative enforcing entities desires to alter, not preserve, the "historical memory," and we have seen such efforts at distortion here at MoA on this thread and others over the past several years, especially around the annual anniversary of V-E Day.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 21 2019 0:18 utc | 128

psychohistorian @126--

Putin presser w/vid and transcript ought to be 100% complete. As noted by Putin in his words I cited @128, he's been deep into the archives to discover the answers to some pertinent questions to which he wants truthful answers, which IMO is exactly what he's provided; and as such IMO, he easily outranks everyone on this thread when it comes to Russian and Soviet history.

It's Happy Hour and well past time for jazz and a beer. Cheers!

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 21 2019 0:33 utc | 129

While China and Russia prepare to introduce UNSC resolution to reduce sanctions on DPRK to facilitate peace process, Trump prepares more illegal sanctions which by now ought to put to rest the notion he wants to solve the issue. Yes, I know they were initiated and passed by Congress, but did Trump try to negate them or even promise to veto them regardless of the enactment margin? No. And South Korea just said no to paying more tribute to keep itself occupied by Outlaw US Empire forces.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 21 2019 0:51 utc | 130

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 21 2019 0:18 utc | 128

In this subject I agree with Putin: there was only one World War, divided into two parts, and the ultimate culprit for it is very well known by any serious historians: the United Kingdom. The UK couldn't accept it was being left behind in the capitalist race and decided Germany had to be destroyed.

That's why defusing the USA while it declines is such a delicate issue: if the Americans follow the British example, they won't accept their fall without a fight.

The Treaty of Non-Aggression ("Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact") was a stroke of genius by Stalin. It completely caught the UK-France off guard and ultimately won the war for the Soviet Union. It should be celebrated, not hidden, by the Russian and ex-Soviet peoples.

Posted by: vk | Dec 21 2019 0:54 utc | 131

@ Posted by: Pft | Dec 20 2019 23:20 utc | 124

This is one of the main heterodox hypothesis many historians defend on the fall of the USSR.

Although I agree there were certainly many elements of the bureucratic apparatus that thought that way in the 1980s and it fits like a glove to explain the rise of Yeltsin's Russia, I'm impelled to disagree with the hypothesis on the grounds that the evidence don't indicate they wanted to "pull the plug", but to sincerely reform the system (to something more akin to Scandinavian Social-Democracy).

We have all the Gorbachev speeches and policies that clearly indicated he was completely in love with social-democracy was it existed in Finnoscandia, but also we have the fact that the high bureaucrats who made the coup d'etat in August 1991 didn't do so to destroy the system, but on the contrary, to turn the system back to the pre-Perestroika era (i.e. to the Brezhnev era). They were literally conservatives by Soviet standards.

The inexistent popular support for the August coup was a clear indication the conservatives had lost, and there was no way to turn back the clock.

Another factor that indicates there wasn't a neoliberal counter-revolution in the USSR was the very fact Yeltsin had a short life politically. He only won the reelection because the USA propped up his campaign against Communist Party's Gennady Zyuganov, and he wasn't even able to finish his second term. Before that, many top neoliberal advisers fell during his reign. Putin is not a communist, but he also definitely isn't a Yelstinist. In fact, Yeltsin appeared to be the representative of a very small class of Russians, which belonged to the financial sector; the very fact the financial elite of Russia wasn't able to dominate their country politically even after the IMF's Shock Therapy and almost eight years of Yeltsin is also an indicator Russia's descent to neoliberalism was more or less "accidental", and not by design by the Soviet bureaucrats.

Posted by: vk | Dec 21 2019 1:07 utc | 132

Thanks to vk @ 95. You are much more of an expert on the historical events than I am, my one thin line being to return to the culpability in general of those who begin revolutions that don't have stable underpinnings, but rather devolve into slaughter as did that early instance for Russia. I don't have any way of judging which killings were justified - that's not something I believe in.

I of course don't accuse Lenin of giving an order in that instance, and I am not surprised that he would rather have had a trial, (though would the children have been included?)

I'm not really arguing with you at this point - you and karlof1 bring very important analysis to the table. And I was going to point out (had real life urgencies today) that Putin is not condemning communism and the communist party outright - he has frequently said there were a lot of good things accomplished by the USSR and that's part of his wanting to set the war record right. He's a good person to do that as his parents, if I remember, were right in the middle of that. He always impresses me with his fairness and ability to see all sides though he won't suffer argumentative fools who simply have a cardboard platform to stand on.

I probably sound a lot foolish a lot of times, even though these are subjects I am really interested in. I am not sure I follow the economic thrust that karlof1 talks about as being that which fuses the two world wars together, but of course there is a lot of childhood pedagoguery to unravel there. It's a bit like my daughter having fallen in love with the ancient Greeks in college having a very hard time experiencing life in Greece today - she was much happier in Cornwall, for instance, which she knew nothing about!

Posted by: juliania | Dec 21 2019 2:11 utc | 133

I mean by the above example that she was a young person travelling alone and was more warmly welcomed in Cornwall than in Greece. (This was back before refugees and the turmoil of immigration upheavals though, all of which I believe we can lay at the US doorstep; a recent but more stable time than now.)

Posted by: juliania | Dec 21 2019 2:19 utc | 134

Larry Johnson provides a much fuller account of suspicions around the Glucifer 2.0 and DC Leaks "hacks" than I could.

But I have said that they looked suspicious - just as the DNC "hack"/leak looked suspicious because Seth Rich's family and the Seth Rich story has many oddities.

If CIA is setting up these leaks. And, along with the FBI, they are setting up Russiagate. And if Manafort and Flynn were set up (as seems likely) then CIA-MI6-FBI were "meddling" in multiple and sundry ways.

But then there's the strangeness related to the actual election. Sanders was a sheepdog ("Enough with your damn emails!") that wouldn't attack Hillary. Yet Hillary colluded with the DNC against Sanders and then PURPOSELY brought Debra Wasserman-Shultz into her campaign; a move that disrespected Sanders and alienated Sanders progressives - in an election that supposedly SHE HAD TO WIN (for an establishment desperate to avoid Trump, and for herself).

Then there's Trump. An almost cartoonish "outsider" that magically destroyed seasoned politicians - he was the ONLY MAGA candidate and the ONLY populist in the Republican primary race (out of a field of 19). Why is it that NONE of the other candidates could surmise the appeal of a nationalist/populist message? And isn't it strange that Kissinger had called for something very much like MAGA in his August 2018 WSJ Op-Ed.

And we later learned that the alleged "Russian collusion" was really interactions with Jewish oligarchs with Russian roots who are more likely to be loyal to Israel than Russia.

Was there anything genuine about the 2016 US Presidential Election? I have argued frequently that the answer is likely to be "NO".


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 21 2019 2:58 utc | 135

Thanks karlof1 for recommending the speech at 109. In a way I kept thinking of two persons - Edward Snowdon and Julian Assange. These two overturned what could have been the applecart of empire. I don't think I'm being too extravagant in saying this. Before they did what they did, we certainly knew there was something devious and underhanded going on, but only in a vague way. After, if we were paying attention, we knew. Whatever the subterfuges and distractions - we knew.

And all the world knew. A monster was in our midst, and it had Five Eyes. The ability to spy on everyone had been developed, not for a good purpose, but in order to dominate every sphere. Negotiations became not give and take but oneupmanship, winner takes all. Winner knows all.

We took this, (and maybe we were wrong to suppose it) from what we thought we knew about the Soviet Union, and even about China to a lesser extent. In movies, in novels, they were the ones who snuck around listening in on phone calls, terrorizing their own people. Not us.

The funny thing is as they became more like what we thought we were, we decided to do what we were accusing them of. And now, if we want to hear a beautiful speech we have to go to them, not to our own leaders who are too busy trying to destroy one another.

I look forward to a new and more accurate version of history. But, please, keep the good parts, as Putin is doing for the Soviet Union. It hasn't been all bad.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 21 2019 3:24 utc | 136

@ karlof1 in #129 who provided the link to Putin's annual media Q/A.....thanks

I read all 4+ hours of it and am impressed.

In line with the Catlin Johnstone challenge to folks to try and wake up others as karlof1 shared I have sent the link of the English translation to a group of my friends that may just read it and pass it on to others.

I encourage other MoA barflies to read the Putin Q/A and do the same.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 21 2019 6:32 utc | 137

I am pleased to provide the link below from Strategic Culture that I sent an email to requesting they cover this story

Why Western Media Ignore OPCW Scandal

The take away quotes
Given the eerie silence among US, British and European media towards the OPCW scandal it is reasonable to posit that there is a systematic control over editorial policies about which stories to cover or not to. What else explains the blanket silence?
Thus, the OPCW – a UN body – is being turned into a rubber-stamp mechanism by Western powers to legalize their acts of aggression. And yet despite the mounting evidence of corruption and malfeasance, Western corporate media studiously ignore the matter. Is it any wonder these media are losing credibility? And, ironically, they have the gall to disdain other countries’ media as “controlled” or “influence operations”.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 21 2019 6:47 utc | 138

carter wasn't just played by the deep state, he was sabotaged by them. they didn't like his "inordinate fear of communism" statement, didn't like him living up to the treaty and ceding control of the canal back to panama, didn't like his conduct of the negotiations between israel and the palestinians, didn't like his criticism of the death squads. hence the october surprise.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 21 2019 6:48 utc | 139

meant to add, and biden helped the republicans cover up the october surprise, per robert parry later at consortium. deep state loves biden, though they will chuck him overboard without a second thought if the dementia kicks in full blast. come to think of it, they just love candidates with dementia, makes them more controllable.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 21 2019 6:53 utc | 140

Below is a troubling Reuters link with the key quote below it

Russia gas export pipeline in jeopardy as Trump signs sanctions bill

The take away quote
“In anticipation of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Allseas has suspended its Nord Stream 2 pipelay activities,” the company said in a statement dated Dec. 21, seen by Reuters shortly before Trump signed the bill.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 21 2019 6:56 utc | 141

Bellow is another Reuters link, this one about Julian Assange and a Madrid court dealing with the fact that he was spied on in the Ecuadorian embassy in London

Wikileaks' Assange appears in court in Spain spying investigation

For Reuters, it is a decently reported story

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 21 2019 7:05 utc | 142

to V # 76 I'm with you. It took me a bit longer to pack though..

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Dec 20 2019 19:28 utc | 115

LOL, good for you.
I'm just surprised more don't go...

Posted by: V | Dec 21 2019 8:52 utc | 143

@ 143, also Miss Lacy @ 115

Disembarked (the 'empire') the first week of January 1994. What took you guys so long?

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 21 2019 9:43 utc | 144

@ karlof1 | Dec 20 2019 23:37 utc | 125

The coach had arrived and was about to turn into pumpkin with my #122, #123 comments (add 1 hour to utc time). I trust offence was not taken with picking nits in #122, none was intended, however, using common memes not only distorts perceptions and alters nuances involved, less than careful usage of the meme only adds to the persuasive power of the meme and maybe should be avoided if at all possible or devise some other nominative devise that doesn't accrete substance to the meme. I likely did not convey that well before.

Steven Poole, "Unspeak™, unspeak1. n. mode of speech that persuades by stealth. E.g., climate change, war on terror, ethnic cleansing, road map.", ISBN 0-316-73100-5 This book should not be conflated with 'framing' as understood from the U.S. form of framing but points out the deception of meaning by altering nuances needed for accurate communications. Highly informative thesis contained therein.

@ psychohistorian | Dec 21 2019 0:02 utc | 126

"To FTB who wrote about President "Millhouse" who not only took the US off the Gold Standard but, IMO, birthed the demon of financialization of the US with his trip to China, etc. I feel bad for Jimmy Carter because I believe his intentions were good but he was played by the Deep State of the time significantly."

I am not aware the connection between Nixon's opening to China and financialization but am quite sure his destruction of the governments enforcement of law organs removed the government's ability to regulate effectively and that opened the door to financial regulatory capture, the result is where the burr under your saddle comes (and in substance have full agreement with your general thesis, just not the 'who', but that can be sorted later, maybe). I am in full agreement with you about President Carter, maybe the final genuine president the U.S. will ever have. The judgment of the people is usually sound, they are reported to hold President Carter in the highest esteem after what followed; the people are probably correct. Thanks for reply.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 21 2019 10:33 utc | 145

Disembarked (the 'empire') the first week of January 1994. What took you guys so long?

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 21 2019 9:43 utc | 144

Didn't realize it was a contest; just a matter of awareness based on life and personal experiences/values.
Better late than never, no?

Posted by: V | Dec 21 2019 11:23 utc | 146

...I would add that, you were probably more acutely aware, than most of us, to the depth of the U.S. corruption in all its aspects...
Kudos for that...

Posted by: V | Dec 21 2019 11:38 utc | 147

In spite of the explanations by Putin in his usual matusalenic presser of the end of the year ( where he takes advantage of to make a summary of his achievements and explain better his failures and sliddings..) I continue finding quite dishonest from his part to undertake such an attack on V.I Lenin, especially when he has always passed a thick veil over the terrible ( one would say irreparable...) faults of Gorbachov and Yeltsin, to the point of not even mentioning them ever and praise them as statemen whenever he has the ocassion.....

He is slidding dangerously there, since people, after all, especially Soviets, are not idiots...Of course, as he expressed in the same presser, he waits for the phisical dissapearance and the dissipating of their memories of all those who can remember USSR and Bolsheviks achievements to wipe out Lenin´s Mausoleum...for now, it would be way too much an audacity...since he would face for sure a revolution...

On who destroyed what....

How the Bolsheviks "destroyed" Russia

Yesterday, I was viewing a two parts video on the rising of V.V.Putin, by Vitali Mansky, and found curious how much this man has changed, even phisically ( to the point that he even does not seem the same does not change so much once in adulthood, not even in 20 years, all the more when you remain phisically fit...). Just when he arrived in power, it seemed that what he wanted was to restore what of useful and proud the USSR ever had ( eventhough when to assemble again the USSR was already an impossible task ) as illustrated by the restoring of the anthem and the Victory Banner and his explanations on why he did it...One would say he is not the same person properly, both in appearance and thinking....But, well, all were poorer then, and may be money can change people to such limits...

It is astonishing how much the personal style of many has changed in only 20 years...In the videos, only Yeltsin and his familiy seemed to live like Tsars, the rest, including women ( equality seemd to remain...) looked quite Soviet, with their wool stamped pullovers...even a bit untidy, like that Ksenia Ponomaryova with her little worked hair just picked up in a ponytail and absolute absence of makeup...She seemed the epithome of Soviet working woman ( even in its prejudicial aspect of showing herself smoking while at work/celebrations... ). I did not know about this woman till now, but called my attention strongly in her spontaneous and natural stance...

In harsh contrast, the impeccable and quite rigid style of everybody belonging to officialdom now, including Rossiya 1 shows´ conductors. In this, it calls strongly the attention the current constrained stance of women..except may be those unstoppable forces of nature, like Olga Skabeeva or María Zakharova...but you just see that Nailya Asker Zade, as a vivid illustration of constriction....

It seems to me that at that moment, Putin´s first electoral campaign, his advisers and collaborators still retained the Soviet style in dressing and behavioir ( could it be that some even retained some of the ideas?... discarding Chubais, of course...) May be, they were only Surkov and kinda teenager Medvedev who distinguished themselves by their tidy and formal attire, both in black suits ( only Surkov´s always more liberal, even bohemian one would say...this one, I do not know how he manages, but he seems always as an if the thing would not go fully with him...)not so contrasting with which they wear today...Curious enough...both still remain as officials under Putin´s rule...

Putin´s former wife, Ludmila, could be who seemed absolutely most uncomfortable and out of place all the time, sometimes she even seemed like about to throwing up... wishing/needing going back home asap...

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 21 2019 12:08 utc | 148

to V and Formerly T-Bear. Of course it's not a contest. F T-B, I actually take your remark as a kind of backhanded welcome.
Thank you. I thought for many years that if I just tried harder things could change. I actually took to the streets campaigning for that thug O'Bomber. When he dropped his first bomb on the very day of his inauguration, that was it for me. The nine-eleven lies and the afghan lies and the iraq lies went on for eight years. O'Bomber promised "change we can believe in" Remember that? The ultimate stab in the heart. So - as Tupac said, "picture me rolling."

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Dec 21 2019 12:11 utc | 149

(transplantation of an off-topic discussion that was derailing the Max Blumenthal topic)

@ Tuyzentfloot | Dec 21 2019 11:16 utc | 359

Lurk, I probably read Feynman before you were born. You could reread my comments in that context. Peer review increases the trustworthiness of a source. Feynman warns that it should not be treated as absolute, even in the best circumstances. I point out that people misinterpret this and dismiss trust , as if it is an all or nothing instance. It is a matter of amounts. Feynman was a master in building up first hand understanding/knowledge. I point out that we are a complex network of first hand and second hand knowledge and that we should not deny that. Maybe you misunderstand your role in this discussion.

It is not very likely that you read any of Feynman's works before I was born. You certainly did not read specifically referenced "Cargo cult science" before I was born.

Tuyzentfloot, you are embarassing yourself here. In an argument about scientific integrity, involving Richard Feynman's take on the issue nonetheless, your opening statement consists of an appeal to authority that is based on assumptions that you cannot establish factually. Surely you're joking, mr. Tuyzentfloot?

Anyway, even if I were a 6 year old, that would not lessen the strength of any of my arguments. Have you ever heard of "The emperor's new clothes"? I think it's pretty safe to assume that it was written before you were born, so you ought to know about it, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

You could reread my comments in that context.

I could do just that, openly calling you a fool and be done with it. But I'd rather reiterate that science is about independently replicatable experiments, not about consensually trusting sources.

If trust is at all a factor in science then it has to be independently verifiable trust. Not trust from high up above as ordained by those high up above or even from some random guy who makes baseless claims to be your senior.

Maybe you misunderstand your role in this discussion.

O massa, thank you, thank you for providing me so graciously with my bestowed role.


BTW, Tuyzentfloot and pretzelattack, are you in the same cubicle or just one guy cleverly employing different writing styles?

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 21 2019 12:55 utc | 150

@ Posted by: juliania | Dec 21 2019 2:11 utc | 133

Contrary to the Cold War era period, the Russian Revolution is very well documented and translated in English (and there's still a lot of controversies, depending on the ideological view of the author). We can almost trace month by month the history of Soviet Russia in these first decades of its existence, so it shouldn't be a mistery at all to westerners what really happened there before the Cold War begun.

I strongly recommend any person - Westerner or not, whatever your ideological stance - to study the Russian Revolution (both the February and the October ones) to the detail. It is, by far, the most important historical moment of the 20th Century (yes, even more important than the WWs) and for sure one of the most important historical moments in Human History. It completely changed the course of humanity.

Posted by: vk | Dec 21 2019 13:56 utc | 151

Once in a blue moon, The Independent publishes something useful in its home page:

British press dramatically cut criticism of ruling Tories for 2019 election, study finds: Coverage of Labour was also over twice as hostile compared to previous poll

Hostile press coverage aimed at the Labour Party at the 2019 election was more than double the intensity found during 2017’s poll, according to a study of the two campaigns.

Researchers at Loughborough University, who have been tracking political news coverage, also found that British newspapers were half as critical of the Conservative Party in this month’s election as they were in the one two years ago.

Tracking newspaper coverage over five weeks of the 2019 election, the academics found that the intensity of hostile coverage of opposition parties peaked in the final days of the campaign.

By contrast, coverage weighted by circulation was mostly positive about the Conservative Party, with coverage of Boris Johnson’s party improving in the final week.

“This level of negativity towards Labour was far from ‘business as usual’,” the researchers said in a summary of their findings.

“Press hostility to Labour in 2019 was more than double the levels identified in 2017. By the same measure, negative coverage of the Conservatives halved."

Posted by: vk | Dec 21 2019 14:05 utc | 152

@Posted by: vk | Dec 21 2019 13:56 utc | 151

I strongly recommend any person - Westerner or not, whatever your ideological stance - to study the Russian Revolution (both the February and the October ones) to the detail

Could you provide some links, then, since you seem so well informed?

If possible in English or Spanish, thanks in advance...

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 21 2019 14:15 utc | 153

to vk Although I have done some reading on the two parts of the russian revolution and events leading up to it, I would very much like to know more. Of course one can wander the internet tubes hand in hand with duckduckgo, but, if it's not too much trouble, can you share with us a list of the most important books you've read on the subject. Perhaps karlof1 can chime in as well. Thank you.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Dec 21 2019 14:18 utc | 154

On how the Bolsheviks and Lenin allegedly "destroyed" Russia, according to V.V.Putin...Thread...

Is it true that in the Soviet Union (excluding periods of the civil war, the IIGM and the 1930s) people were starving and there was no food on the shelves of stores and supermarkets? Let's deconstruct the counterfeit message of the Cold War.

According to the dramatic propaganda of the West, in the USSR there was no food in stores, no clothes, no furniture, no electronic products. They all lived like starving people, they wore the same clothes for 20 years and they also smiled and had fun because people were naive and confident.

But was it really like that? Is it possible that a huge country, with gigantic resources and a vast territory (1/6 of Earth), of unusually different peoples but united by a common history, could live under the shadow of hunger almost worse than in many countries of the world ?

After World War II. and despite the deplorable situation in the country, the USSR could not weaken its military-industrial complex because it had been put it at the foot of the US, who already possessed nuclear weapons and had several projects to attack the USSR with those weapons.

The US nuclear attack plans against the USSR were six: "Totality", December 1945; "Chariotir", May 1948; "Fleetwood", September 1948; "SAK EVP 1-49" operating plan, April 1949; "Troyal", January 1949, and "Dropshot", December 1949.

Under these conditions, the USSR of Iosif Stalin establishes the 4th five-year plan to restore the affected areas of the country, as well as raising the level of industry and agriculture to pre-war levels and then exceeding those levels in more or less significant proportions.

At the end of World War II there was a shortage of certain goods in the USSR but the most important thing was that the shortage of basic food products was eliminated. Can anyone imagine what would have happened in the US under the same conditions of a devastated country as the USSR?

After the death of Stalin, Malenkov, his temporary substitute, achieves an effective peasant policy: it allows to increase personal plots by 5 times and reduces the land tax by half. The results were optimal: the people began to produce 1.5 times more products.

With the ominous Khrushchev in power came his "American" obsession with corn. As a result, much of the land where wheat was previously grown was now planted with corn, so poor crops appeared and bread and flour began to rise in price.

On the other hand, Khrushchev began to reduce the plots of households in the villages, excessively increasing taxes and introducing others over the forest area, so that the villagers began to mass cut down. With Brezhnev the peasant situation softened.

It can be said that until the 60s there was no shortage of products on the shelves, although from that decade due to the decrease in the number of herds of cattle (and with it the production of meat and milk) queues of people were seen in stores due to shortage.

These interruptions in the food supply were largely artificial, short-lived, focused, unsystematic and relatively eliminated. Second, there were organizations such as Komsomol that distributed products through their organizations.

The recurring use of images of people queuing up in Soviet stores to prove that there was widespread shortage is a very awkward manipulation. People could stand in line to buy food not because of shortages but because they were simply waiting for the store to open.

On the other hand, it should be borne in mind that the price of food in the USSR was low and the purchasing power of citizens was high, which also motivated "predatory purchases" that emptied store shelves and could not recover quickly.

In the USSR during the so-called “years of stagnation” of Brezhnev some speak of that “a real famine reigned.” This is ridiculous. Except for a brief period, as a rule the supermarkets in the USSR were supplied very well with natural and good quality products.

There is a feeling that the shortage of supply in the USSR always occurred constantly throughout its history. But this is not true, since this deficit as an essential, structural and fundamental social phenomenon appeared only in Perestroika.

That's right, with the arrival of Perestroika in 1985, the situation with the supply of food to the Soviet population (and other essential goods) worsened drastically, becoming almost catastrophic. Soviet stores emptied millions of tons of food.

During the Gorbachev term, the cult of money was imposed, lifting restrictions on foreign trade. The consequence: goods from the domestic market, which were at lower prices than those from the world market, go out massively, especially throughout Poland.

For example, at the time of Perestroika, the USSR produced 21% of total world butter production, but there was no butter in stores. Where was it? It appeared in large numbers abroad. In the late 80s and early 90s everything vanished.

In Perestroika, speculators were made of gold. Never better said. With the restrictions on exporting gold in the USSR lifted, they took advantage of it to buy it at low cost (in relation to world prices) and exported it, selling it outside at global prices.

In short, specific negative phenomena about food shortages in a specific period of time of the USSR have become significant episodes of shortages for Western propaganda, covering the entire period of Soviet history. A real hoax.

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 21 2019 15:01 utc | 155


I had noticed Peter Au 1's absence, and was hoping his health hadn't taken a turn for the worse.
I've always appreciated his input here.

Being a long-time resident of Sydney, this fire season has truly been revealing as to what this nation is likely to face in the near-to-medium future.

I have (only half-jokingly) been suggesting to friends that we start up a camel-breeding stud. The whole landscape is becoming increasingly desertified. Funny how that happens when you lose the tree canopy. Makes me wonder if Arabia was largely forest before H.sapiens sapiens arrived en masse.

Where I am located, is over 35km from the nearest fire front (and highly urbanised), and we had ash and burned leaves raining down from the sky the other day.

I am terrified of what is happening, and sadly Australia looks likely to be one of the first to fall in the climate roulette (excepting a few poor Pacific attols).

Cheers and good health to all commenters for the 'silly season'.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Dec 21 2019 15:05 utc | 156

lurk is there some reason you are posting long debunked bullshit from the fossil fuel companies, including your mistake about feynmann? are you posting from the same cubicle as other science deniers here in the past?
the royal society and every other science organization backs the science, just as they back evolution and plate tectonics and the possibility of man landing on the moon, but faithful shills for one of the most powerful industries on earth keep repeating the same crap over and over.
the experiments have been repeated over and over and over again, just like the ones that keep verifying mann's hockey stick. you don't need consensual trust if you can do that. the science is transparent. if there were flaws, the richest industry on earth could somehow scrape up the money to fund debunking studies, instead of launching a decades long propaganda campaign with horseshit like the oregon petition, and email hacks where they distort the contents, and a few bought scientists.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 21 2019 15:19 utc | 157

What the Western propaganda, Trump, Pat Lang, and the section of Nazi International in the US and the West will never tell you about...But, well there were always shortages in the USSR and because of that it did need to be overthrown asap...and you should ask Santa for and must definitely read Mein Kampf to liberate yourself....

“Hooverville” is a term for villages with homeless people in the USA in the 30s of the XX century, where thousands of people lived in cardboard slums, being expelled from apartments, houses and farms; named after the president during the Great Depression Herbert Hoover.

The US Supreme Court "allows" beggars to sleep on the sidewalks and parks of Los Angeles. More than 50 thousand homeless people live in that city. Or how to perpetuate the cycle of misery, unhealthiness and public insecurity. Capitalism everywhere.

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 21 2019 15:20 utc | 158

according to the shills, the scientists are engaged in a massive conspiracy, and onslaught before which the poor, powerless oil companies are helpless. if only they could buy governments but no, they are far too ethical to engage in behavior like that. what did they do with their own scientists that told them co2 causes global warming back in the 80's? they didn't listen to them. instead they bought a professionally crafted narrative, as caitlin johnstone might put it, direct from the same firm that created the tobacco is safe propaganda. that eventually fell apart, decades later, but the tobacco industry made hundreds of millions (at least) of extra dollars, just ignore all those deaths.
as heat records fall all over the planet, as predictions and projections continue to be borne out, the cubicle shills keep repeating the same tired old crap about east anglia, and 1998 hottest year ever, and co2 is good for you, and scientists are afraid to publish dissenting views, etc. they'll continue to insist that climatology is "cargo cult science" without ever providing any fucking evidence that that is the case. just lean back, take a long drag off your cigarette, everything will be fine. piers corbyn says so so it must be true.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 21 2019 15:30 utc | 159

This may have gone unnoticed...from past December 18th...

Today the UN General Assembly, the most representative body of the international community made up of 193 countries, recognized the Bolivarian Government as the only representative of Venezuela.

It is a victory in this second liberation of our country!

Now, it is only needed that the thieves return the stolen assests...I mean, Trump administration ( CITGO ), The Bank of England ( several thousands millions of dollars in gold reserves..), and Guaido and his "self-appointed" government ( debts to CITGO and other Venezuelan assets owed by the US and other thieving countries...)

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 21 2019 15:46 utc | 160

May be related...

On December 20, 1917, the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the RSFSR Vladimir Ilyich Lenin signed a decree on the creation of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage (Cheka), headed by Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky.

Armed attack against the headquarters of Russian espionage in the center of Moscow

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 21 2019 15:57 utc | 161

@ Posted by: Sasha | Dec 21 2019 14:15 utc | 153; @ Posted by: Miss Lacy | Dec 21 2019 14:18 utc | 154

You could begin by reading Lenin's complete works (45 volumes, in chronological order), which are all avaiable for free in pdf on the internet. Just these will take you at least one year of your life, assuming you dedicate all of it on just reading them.

There are also the other "classics", such as the published works of Trotsky (the most important of which is, if memory doesn't fail me, Betrayed Revolution), although, in Trotsky's case, I recommend you to read his works from the time he was still in the USSR: his late texts, written in exile, are kind of idealist and reflect more his sense of impotency than of his scientific side.

Just the economic debate of the time is already a literature by itself, but I recommend you to begin with the debate between Preobrazhensky (New Economics being his most famous) and Bukharin.

Stalin's own writings on the ethnic question is also published and available in English.

On the Revolution's more general history, you have endless authors. Here I will be a little biased and recommend E. H. Carr's History of Soviet Russia if you want to begin with an Anglo-Saxon source. Carr was a contemporary of the Revolution. There's also the works of Charles Bettelheim, which focuses more on the economic and class composition side of history.

Posted by: vk | Dec 21 2019 16:01 utc | 162

Best reads on the Russian Revolution are, of course, written by the people who were actually there. One author, not just of texts about the revolution, but an author of the revolution itself, would be Leon Trotsky. Maligned by capitalists and Stalinists alike, his accounts are rarely accurately portrayed by others so you are best off reading them yourself and making up your own mind.

Trotsky's first account, written in 1918, is History of the Russian Revolution to Brest-Litovsk.

Trotsky wrote a more complete account in 1932 plainly titled The History of the Russian Revolution.

Whatever opinion one has been raised to have about Trotsky, neglecting his account of events in which he played a key role will leave a gaping hole in one's understanding of those events.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 21 2019 16:02 utc | 163

On news that are not really news:

'Too optimistic': Japan tax hike not enough to boost nation's finances

Japan’s tax revenue is expected to end up lower than the record high figure estimated in the fiscal 2020 draft budget, with critics saying the initial tally was based on an economic growth forecast that was “too optimistic.”

Since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to power in late 2012, the actual pace of growth in the world’s third-largest economy has exceeded his government’s forecast only twice.

The only people surprised with this fall are Shinzo Abe and his cronies.

VAT is the most regressive tax that exists in Western Civilization (of which Japan belongs to). It is, by a long distance, the worse tax to raise if you want to raise your revenues.

But neofascist Abe and his ilk don't want to tackle Japan's structural problems: they don't want to address the women rights problem, its geopolitical problems, its labor productivity problems and its cultural problems. How could he? After all, the only solution for all of these would be a socialist revolution in the country, which would imply not only the end of the emperor and his family (therefore, the end of Japan itself), but, most importantly, the end of his degenerate sect of cryptofascist octogenarian capitalists (what I like to call "Japanese Gerontocracy").

Posted by: vk | Dec 21 2019 16:10 utc | 164

Flamengo Will play in 1h.
Piece of cake

Posted by: Zico the Musketeer | Dec 21 2019 16:20 utc | 165

@ psychohistorian #142:

it was decent, as were one earlier from the guardian, leaving one to wonder if that had anything to do with wikiLeaks' lawsuit against them for their lying lies.

wikiLeaks also had this one up yesterday rec: the background of yesterday's hearing about the spanish lawsuit against morales and UC global.

i'd kept trying to find coverage, most often the best reporting is from wsws, and finally this a.m. came thomas scripp's 'Assange gives evidence in Spanish case against security contractor', 21 December 2019

sadly, no press or public were allowed in, but he does have some quotes from outside the court, as well as on the earlier NYT piece, close to 'NYT verifies documents' or some baffling thing philip giraldi had written up.

Posted by: wendy davis | Dec 21 2019 16:25 utc | 166

Jeffrey Epstein was Mossad.
But the CIA and MI6 had to know about the operation.
That they let it continue and thus permit Mossad to increase it's hold over
additional powerful figures in the US and Britain
gives pause.

Posted by: librul | Dec 21 2019 16:34 utc | 167

Karlof1 @128

I am in total agreement with you, and with Putin, and once again am astounded at the intellectual acuity of VVP. He challenges those directly who seek to control the narrative to their advantage and to the demonization of Russia/USSR. It is truly abhorrent in light of what SU citizens went through in the 20th C and what they sacrificed to vanquish Hitler. Germans also suffered horribly from both wars.

As the child of a Jewish German I have read extensively in so-called "revisionist" history and also a number of different types of books, including, e.g., nonacademic books such as On Hitler's Mountain, by Irmgard Hunt (very interesting and easy reading and provides many insights as to what German citizens suffered post-WWI; with good photos from the era). (Also such as Conjuring Hitler, although not in its entirety.) My own reading and the clueless, self-righteousness of ignorant, self-serving Americans inclines me to try to see the German p.o.v. regarding the rise of Hitler and the role of Versailles and also Western actors in facilitating his rise. Also the role of Jewish Germans in the German economy of the twenties. There is little doubt in my mind that Western powers/banks/corporations already wanted to sink Germany pre-WWI and post-WWI encouraged Hitler and hoped he would be a proxy for fighting the Commies. There is also plenty of evidence that Jewish interests in the USA and Britain pushed for USA entry in WWI. As the Russians were the first/greatest victims of Stalin, Germans were the first/greatest victims of Hitler and his totalitarian state. In "Germans" I of course include Jewish Germans.

So I say bravo to VVP for his informed, intelligent pushback. Thanks for posting here!!

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 21 2019 17:02 utc | 168

The man who gave NYU dropout Epstein a job as a teacher at the Dalton School was William Barr's father Donald, an old OSS officer. The Barrs are a CIA family.

Posted by: lysias | Dec 21 2019 17:03 utc | 169

Librul @166

Just reading Jeff Gates's "Guilt by Association."
He discusses at some length an attractive pert blonde named Mathilde Krim, a MOSSAD operative who often overnighted at the LBJ White House (she was married to a Jewish American big shot, Arthur B Krim).

In fact, per Gates LBJ stopped by her bedroom in the wee hours of the morning of was it June 7-8, 1967, the day the Israelis attacked the USS LIberty. Per Gates he told her "The attack has begun."

I won't recount details here of how the plot unwound, and her role in it. (BTW, though, will the words "USS Liberty" ever be uttered on the floor of either house of Congress?? Or has it been, and I missed it? )

Reason I mention her is that Ghislaine Maxwell is very likely just the newest in a series of Zionist Mata Haris. Monica Lewinsky's name has also been mentioned in this context.

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 21 2019 17:12 utc | 170

Compare the following two general situations.

To "victim" perpetrator: "We know what you did. When, where, how often, everything, because we watched you"

To "victim" perpetrator: "We know what you did and who helped you. When, where, how often, everything, because we watched them and you"
To "honey pot" perpetrator: "We know what you did. When, where, how often, everything, because we watched them and you"

They will/should choose the second unless they shut it down/blow it up (but in the US that's for Hollywood movies).

Nasty in every way.

- - - - - - -

A small temporary antidote: Tokyo Sky Drive [Global Goon - Mithrax (Ochre Remix)] YouTube link.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Dec 21 2019 17:25 utc | 171

@Really?? | Dec 21 2019 17:12 utc | 169

"will the words "USS Liberty" ever be uttered on the floor of either house of Congress?"

I remember when Wonder Woman was released. It was treated as a major social event and got lots of free press (I remember the CBS Sunday
Morning show doing an entire segment on it). It starred former IDF member Gal Gadot.
It was released at the same time as the 50th Anniversary of the attempted slaughter of all members of the USS Liberty by the IDF.

If someone was trying to eclipse the 50th Anniversary in the news media with the release of Wonder Woman
they needn't have bothered. On the 50th Anniversary I searched the news media and struggled to find any mention of it at all.

The media was full of Wonder Woman and IDF member Gal Gadot.
Almost nothing for the USS Liberty.

Posted by: librul | Dec 21 2019 17:44 utc | 172

pretzelattack!, how dare you!! going all Gretta on us!!!

With anthropogenic global warming advocates like you, the fossil fuel lobby has a super easy job.

Please point out where you saw me leading the dance with your angry army of straw-demons in the comments leading up to this escalating freakout? I think you can start at this post in the other topic where Gary Weglarz proposes that neither b nor Max B. should think for anyone but themself and writes:

But you sure as hell don't let ANYONE tell you who is credible and who isn't. You make that decision based on your own critical thinking skills.

To which Tuyzentfloot replies:

@340 Gary Weglarz of course you let people tell you who is credible. You rely on other credible people for that.

Tuyzentfloot also invokes the use of peer review in science as an argument for his position, at which point I step in and reply to agree with Gary and disagree with Tuyzentfloot, by accusing him of advocating groupthink and by pointing out some problems associated with the practice of peer review.

This is the apparent point where you get triggered. Note that none of your pet peeves has featured in the discussion so far. The voices of "agw deniers and creationists" are only present in your head, pretzelattack.

You make some bogus claims about the replication crisis, which I try to refute with arguments and references. This only causes more nonsequiturs by you and claims that demons hijacked Feynman. Meanwhile you yourself misrepresent Feynman's statements.

Explaining to you why you are wrong and quoting Feynman's words verbatim is of no use, because regardless of any reason or facts, in this topic again you simply keep repeating your nonsense about Feynman. The imaginary demons are also multiplying at an accelerating rate - can you say hockeystick curve?

Pretzelattack, I am afraid that attempting to reason with you is counterproductive, it only causes more demons. All I have left to give you is the very unorthodox homeopathic approach of treating like with like.

pretzelattack, enjoy James Corbett's How Big Oil Steers the Environmental Movement

At this point I have to apologize to Tuyzentfloot and herebynretract my earlier suggestion about the connection between Tuyzentfloot and pretzelattack. Even though you both made the same misrepresentations about Feynman's "Cargo cult science", I can no longer mistake pretzelattack's pathology for a cleverly spun fictional persona.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 21 2019 17:46 utc | 173

Today, Comrade Stalin has a sea of flowers. This is a popular response to all de-Stalinizers and De-Communistators. Happy holiday, friends!

140 years to Stalin

The Stalinist USSR was the only one in the world able to show that a people can live without parasites, without bankers and businessmen, without capitalists and the oligarchy. Therefore, the power of capital is trying by all means to denigrate the name of Stalin.

And we honor his memory

140 years ago, a great man was born - Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin. Under his leadership, the Soviet Union crushed Nazism, having won the most terrible war in the history of mankind, made an unprecedented breakthrough in the economy and social sphere and prepared to conquer the cosmos!

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 21 2019 17:53 utc | 174

Librul @ 172:

You might like to know that a screenplay "Enemies Within: When Israel Declared War On The United States Of America" is available on Clint Burnette, who wrote the screenplay, is currently working on the logistics for making the film of the screenplay and is prepared to direct it himself if need be. The film is based on his interviews with USS Liberty survivors.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 21 2019 19:20 utc | 175

Librul @ 172:

Re my comment @ 175: Sorry, I meant to say the screenplay is based on interviews with USS Liberty survivors and other research Clint Burnette has done. Getting ahead of myself here!

Posted by: Jen | Dec 21 2019 19:24 utc | 176

Jon in AU @ 156:

Western sides of continents in the subtropical latitudes (20 to 40 degrees on either side of the Equator) usually have hot desert climates. Note that much of western Australia falls within this climatic zone. Northern Africa is an extreme example as a climatic western extension of the Eurasian continent. This phenomenon is due to the pattern of global wind and ocean currents on the western sides of continents, with cold ocean currents passing close to them.

Australia suffers an additional problem in being geologically old and stable. Not much volcanic activity or earthquakes mean much erosion over millennia and therefore thin soil cover lacking in important minerals necessary for good nutrition and health. The plant life that has evolved is dependent on regular fire breakouts to sustain it. New shoots of plants need ash as fertiliser. This probably explains why eucalyptus trees are extraordinarily fire-prone, and encouraging people to plant native species (good at conserving water) is a double-edged sword.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 21 2019 19:49 utc | 177

On why once in power, the far-right always try to perpetuate there by trying to ammend Constitutions ( when not wipping out them directly...) and change the parliamentary and judicial systems, along with any commitment by the country to any international human rights declaration, so as to crush any kind of opposition and avoid the majority of workers, some of whom follishly voted for them, change their minds once discovered they have been fooled, reducing their representativeness by changing proportionality of their usual regions of support...

Boris Johnson is planning radical changes to the UK constitution – here are the ones you need to know about

For you to see that this is a tactic which has its origins in US fascist movement and has nothing of new, here Bannon claiming that they have transformed the Republican party in a workers party and that they need more waitress like AOC in it to reasure the support of the masses...Populism which precedes fascism....

Steve Bannon, Trump's fallen guru: "We have turned the US Republicans into a working class party"

"If we want capitalism to survive, we need to make people capitalist; what we have are oligarchs and servants."

One fails to understand how this lumbrera thinks he could made a capitalist of a person earning a 700 euro/month wage when hiring an apartment costs on average 800-900euro/month...

What Trump and Bannon say about defending workers is becoming increasingly difficult to believe. Two years ago, the president passed a bill of 1.5 trillion dollars to reduce corporate and wealth taxes, including him and his cabinet members. According to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington study center not affiliated with any of the parties, 80% of tax cuts will ease the richest 1% pocket while the middle class continues to experience difficulties.

(...)The Trump Administration has clearly gone against workers' rights by reducing the number of safety inspectors in the workplace, raising the qualification needed to collect the minimum wage or overtime and cornering unions, among other measures.

(...)Former investment banker (Goldman Sachs) and ex-officer of the Navy, it seems unlikely that Bannon and his emphasis on citizenship is sufficient for American flesh and blood citizens who today suffer immense inequalities because of their class, gender and race. According to statistics published in September, the gap between those who have more and the rest reached a maximum last year in the more than 50 years that the United States Census Bureau has been measuring income inequality. According to the independent and non-profit CDC foundation, black women are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related causes.

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 21 2019 20:11 utc | 178

There are some more recent articles, most of the info
seems legit:

These articles have me wondering if factions within the three letter
agencies were running a counter-cointel investigation at the very same
time that the empire, with the collusion of the mass media, was launching
its counterintelligence offensive against trump. There's a meme that's
going around that "FISA cuts both ways". Also consider the news that Durham
is now interrogating Admiral Rogers.

Posted by: evilempire | Dec 21 2019 20:13 utc | 179

vk 162
Probably most people here do not have a years of their lives to spend on reading just one 45-volume work! I love to read, but . . .

Surely there is a good anthology (source book) out there
with a good selection of the most important seminal works on the revolution, written by those who made it.

Here is Tariq Ali's list of 10 best---Trotsky at the top, but I guess he has also been reading Trotsky 24/7 for a year . . .

Whoops I forgot not supposed to publish a link.
OK, here goes with HTML
Top Ten
Top Ten
Top Ten



I very much doubt that this will work so . .. browser search: "Top Ten Books About the Russian Revolution" Guardian"

Sorry I don't know how to fix this.
Why is this now in itals?

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 21 2019 20:54 utc | 180

@ Posted by: Really?? | Dec 21 2019 20:54 utc | 180

Well, if you're an Anglo-Saxon and just want to break the ice, then I would begin with Edward Carr's History (it still is 14 volumes, but you can skip to the ones he writes about the revolution). You can do the same thing with Lenin's complete works (the first volumes are from his pre-revolutionary times).

But the most important thing is to begin with the primary sources and only then go to the secondary sources; or, if you insist on beginning with a secondary source (a companion), then use it carefully, always checking the footnotes for the sources.

But even primary sources must be confronted with the "archaeological" sources. For example, Lenin is a primary source for the October Revolution - but there's a difference about his design and what really happened. It is here that you must check the resolutions and the policies the Bolsheviks really enacted, and compare with Lenin in order to have a faithful picture about what really happened during those chaotic times.

One of the clues for detecting bad secondary sources is when the author tries to blame some big events he or she didn't like to the failures of character of the individuals. This is a bad, idealist, habit Western historians acquired from the ancient Roman historians and it kind of became a vice of Western historiography in general. Macro events never happen because of arbitrary decisions by a couple of people; there's always underlying economic contradictions behind them.

Posted by: vk | Dec 21 2019 21:15 utc | 181

OK, Sorry, I thought all of the instructions related to posting one link.

Here we go again:
Top 10 books about the Russian Revolution

Yay! Seems to work.

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 21 2019 21:17 utc | 182

vk 181:
Why the lesson on secondary/primary sources?

I understand the difference between primary and secondary sources.

Which is why I asked:

Is there a decent anthology/**source book** out there? That means, with a selection of primary sources/original writings/documents.

The Tariq Ali list contains a number of "witness" writings, which I believe are primary sources.

So here goes again with a search for "Documents of the Russian Revolution":

Here is a very handy site, "The October Revolution," presenting a good overview of contemporary writings on topics and links in an outline format.

Here is the URL:

Doesn't look too bad, so I'll leave it.

Here is another one at Alpha History called "Russian Revolution Documents" with many background documents from 1885 onward; I must say, this looks excellent:

Doesn't look too bad, so I'll leave that one too.

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 21 2019 22:03 utc | 183

psychohistorian@137 I would also recommend going to Saker's twitter link that hooks to the video. It really is lovely to see the interaction between the persons in the hall and the moderator, the lady rushing around with the mike, and Putin. We currently have nothing like this in the president's press conferences.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 21 2019 22:39 utc | 184

To conclude with thanks to posters of historical works on the Russian Revolution, my own experience of personal accounts has been through contact with emigre families in my church, and the memory of a beautiful Russian celloist who came during the last years of the USSR and enjoyed being in the little community we had. I realize these would have been personal accounts of having had to migrate, which many intellectuals were forced to do. One of my sons is named for a young man who was sent to the White Sea monastery/prison and subsequently shot there - he had been smuggling in the bread for the communion service. (Solzhenitsyn writes about this in 'Gulag Archipelago', which I have read.

My own readings have been all the great Russian writers, and in particular Dostoievski whose biography by Joseph Frank I have, and recommend. Of course, most of these are pre-revolution.) Among the fiction writers in communist times I'd recommend Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita", as well as Solzhenitsyn's "Day in the life of Isaac Denisovitch" and especially "The First Circle". Not to forget Pasternak's "Doctor Zhivago", the novel, particularly important for the final chapter, which I think speaks truly of conditions before and after the revolution.

Finally, and most importantly I think, is Sergei Schmemann's "Echoes of a Native Land."

These all would be classed as personal accounts. I love them. Also to be noted is that the one book Edward Snowden was given to read at the Moscow airport was Dostoievski's "Crime and Punishment." I don't know if he actually did read it.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 21 2019 23:24 utc | 185

@Lurk #150 #173
Glad to see I'm not the only one who disagrees with the climate panicmongering.

It really is a waste of time to engage pretzelattack though. In the half dozen times I've tried, not even once did this individual respond with a single fact.
Every single outpouring was ad hominem plus some other fallacious type attack - the most common being "fossil fuel company propaganda".

For one thing, the notion that solar and wind are small is only relative. Solar is $200B a year, wind is over $100B a year (vs. $2 trillion for the entire oil and natural gas sectors).

What's really funny is that the fossil fuel company spending on PR and media is actually far, far less than what the CAGW NGOs spend: Greenpeace, WWF, Sierra Club, NRDC, etc etc.

Equally, the notion that the CAGW panicmongers are the "little guys" is also very suspect. The WWF, Greenpeace, Sierra Club and NRDC alone are around $850M a year in budget. The US government has averaged $7.5B a year in climate change spending - research, subsidies, grants to scientists as well as to the above 4 organizations (and more).

To put this in perspective: Exxon Mobile's annual marketing spend on all things is $116M. Chevron's is about $100M. Note this spend is for product, PR, everything - not just any purported anti-climate change activity. The total media spend by the multinational majors is certainly less than what the climate panicmonger NGOs budgets are.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 22 2019 0:54 utc | 186

@ Posted by: Really?? | Dec 21 2019 22:03 utc | 183

Now that I've looked, there's a book published by Edward H. Carr himself, called "The Russian Revolution from Lenin to Stalin 1917-1929". Funny thing is that I have this book with me (forgot I had it). It seems to be a very condensed version of his History, so a good book to start with.

Posted by: vk | Dec 22 2019 1:45 utc | 187

@ Sasha | Dec 21 2019 15:46 utc | 160

What was the vote count?

Posted by: AntiSpin | Dec 22 2019 2:42 utc | 188

@ juliana
I very much enjoyed Fathers and Sons by Turgenev. I quite liked Demons (or the Possessed) by Dostoevsky. Both have characters who were nihilists. I wont try to explain the Russian Nihilist movement, because I'm sure I would get some detail wrong and anger someone here.
Also, I got a copy of A History of Soviet Russia by Georg von Rauch published by Praeger. It came out in 1957, but I learned a lot from that book.
Another good book is We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. It came out in 1924 and is a sort of precursor to 1984 and Brave New World. Dytopia!
I also read the third book by Nestor Makhno, the Ukrainian anarchist. He offers a super interesting first hand account of his experience returning to Ukraine after getting sprung from the Tsar's prison in the 1917 revolution.
I always enjoy reading your postings, juliana! same thing to you, too, VK. Obrigado!

Posted by: lex talionis | Dec 22 2019 3:01 utc | 189

@ c1ue | Dec 22 2019 0:54 utc | 186

C1ue, notice how I did not take any position with respect to the climate change debate. It was all pretzelattack's trying to degrade a discussion about intellectual integrity into climate hysteria.

The link to Corbett that I posted was merely to show pretzelattack that his simple narratives don't do justice to the complexities of reality, not to declare my allegiance to any side in the climate debate.

I can see an obvious negative impact that human activity has on many ecosytems. But that is an entirely different issue than what the global warming alarmist movement is pushing. I also see a lot of big propaganda by big government and its wealthy industry ba(n)ckers, which I find a suspicious pattern.

In general I would rather not take sides in a debate that reeks of framing and where there is more hysteria than discussion. Many truly well meaning people are getting sucked into class warfare. I'd rather avoid getting caught up in those trenches. They're a dead end street from both sides.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 22 2019 9:09 utc | 190

After reading Sasha (| Dec 21 2019 15:01 utc | 155) I went to the account he referenced and was intrigued by one of berlinConfid's retweetings, namely that from . Specifically what intrigued me was the black with white writing flags (now where have we seen those before?!) the "protestors" were waving. Didn't seem at all Chinese in style. Resident MOA sinologists care to comment?

Posted by: tucenz | Dec 22 2019 10:48 utc | 191

You have to give the spooks credit for not giving up:

According to The Sunday Times, the note was discovered by a 6-year-old girl from Tooting, Southwest London, after she bought the charity cards from a Tesco store.

The message, written inside a card featuring a kitten in a Santa hat, read: "We are foreign prisoners in Shanghai Qingpu prison China. Forced to work against our will. Please help us and notify human rights organization."


Found by a six year old girl from Tooting, and written in good English too.

It is also interesting to see what ideas the TPTB are anxious to fend off:

Moscow Wrong to Think Trump’s Impeachment Increasing Sympathy for Russia in US, Kirillova Says

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 22 2019 12:37 utc | 192

My 2 cents on global warming & climate change etc:

1.) We (meaning the human species, all of us) ought to have curtailed our use of hydrocarbons and pretty much everything else, and our population, at least 50 years ago. Now it is much too late to hang onto any stability that might have still existed in our climate back then. It's a big ship, you can't steer it fast, and we have definitely knocked it off course.

2.) Models schmodels, we have only the foggiest idea what it might do next.

3.) "The Precautionary Principle" is the only sensible guide in these things, and we have been trashing that principle with vigor for a long time now.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 22 2019 12:52 utc | 193

@Lurk #190
Indeed. The climate is definitely warming and humans definitely have an impact on Earth and the climate, but catastrophe as defined by the climate warriors is extremely unclear.
Equally, the solutions proposed are simply not ready. Every nation or sub-national state/province that has embraced "green" energy to a high degree has seen electricity costs soar at multiples of respective national averages, because these technologies simply don't work out economically for base load.
Battery storage is a theoretical solution, but the entire annual output of the largest battery maker in the US (the Tesla Gigafactory) would store 3 minutes worth of US national electric consumption, even if the cost weren't eye-watering.
And ironically, much like health care is the real largest problem in the US (not defense spending), the real problem at the ecosystem is human land use - farming and urbanization. Going vegan makes farming worse (more land used). Less urbanization means more resource consumption/land footprint per person.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 22 2019 13:53 utc | 194

c1ue @194

Generally agree. REgardless of the causes, Homo sapiens must respond. As sagely noted by VVP.

Do you have stats on the vegan issue---that vegan eating actually requires more land for farming?
I find this hard to believe. Unless the rest of humanity is just not eating their veg!!
I am not a vegan, have no plans to become one.
But, my understanding is that meat "farming" takes up a huge amount of land, produces a lot of pollution (manure pits from pigs), is harmful to animals (chicken horrors), etc.

As with energy, I see no options other than to learn to farm much *more* intensively and focused and deploy myriad technologies, not rely on a few: reuse all manure, paper, organic waste, gray water, etc. to create soil and irrigate; farm vertically; expand repertoire of animals raised for food (rabbits?); expand portion of population engaged in raising food; expand urban farming; expand use of greenhouses. Etc. etc.

As with energy production, I think food production must become more decentralized. This is also necessary for genuine food security. In this context the most destructive contemporary development is the worldwide land grab by corporations.

The technology and know-how (both traditional and cutting edge) are out there to achieve this. The 2022 Floriade in Almire, Netherlands, should provide some important insights and models as to how this can be done.

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 22 2019 14:11 utc | 195

@Bemildred #193
Agree with 1) and 2) - but the clock can't be turned back. The only real solution is a massive population reduction of the human race - but who gets to choose who lives or dies?

As for 3): Precautionary Principle is nonsense in climate.
Among other reasons - precaution makes sense when risk is real. Why do we not spend hundreds of billions in asteroid defense - we know for a fact that the asteroids have wiped out 90%+ life on Earth at least twice?
The only climate catastrophes on record are due to cold: Vikings getting frozen out of Greenland, famines due to volcano induced cold/years of no summer, Roman and Medieval warm periods ending (grapes used to be grown in the UK during the Roman era, for example).
The panic-mongers seize on every global media magnified weather tragedy as evidence of climate catastrophe: whether hot, cold, drought, flood, tornado, hurricane, typhoon.
Yet global hurricane/typhoon incidence and total energy levels are not higher - actually lower than the average of the existing record. Prior to the Houston tragedy, there had not been a Cat 3 or greater landfall for 14 years - a record in the known record.
Even the IPCC grudgingly admits this:

There is thus low confidence in the level at which global warming could lead to very high risks associated with extreme weather events in the context of this report.

This sentence is placed near the end of Chapter 3 - where "risks" are lovingly detailed. Or in other words, there is no scientific evidence that extreme weather events are increasing due to global warming, and the IPCC doesn't seecan't find any link to date between extreme weather events and higher temperatures. See for yourself here: IPCC SR15 report

Equally, I have no problem with spending billions on researching better energy production technologies - but what we have now isn't it. Piling enormous production subsidies on top of fundamentally uneconomic solar PV and wind (in almost all society level use cases); pouring millions of tons of concrete, cast steel, fiberglass, electricity grid connectors and rare earths in turbine magnets is adding insult to injury.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 22 2019 14:16 utc | 196

From Really's link

Bloody Sunday

Interesting how the NYT relates this story in 1905 compared to how they would spin it now.

Posted by: arby | Dec 22 2019 14:32 utc | 197

Really good article on anti-vaxxing in Texas - I didn't know that the discredited (and medical license revoked) researcher who first published the crap report linking autism and vaccines moved to Texas.
Scientist named Hotez fighting the anti-vaxxers
Ironically, I can see a link between the anti-vax movement and social media/internet disaffection syndrome (IDS).
Engagement is about finding links and provoking outrage; links to "virally spread" /s and outrage to continue engagement. It isn't hard at all to see how parents of a autistic child would get linked together, and that anti-vaxxing groups would represent the highest outrage level available to such a target audience.
Also interesting how anti-vaxxing is shown to be a right choice in Texas (vs left in California).

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 22 2019 14:53 utc | 198

Nassim Taleb article further expounding his Antifragility thesis.
This">">This is the Google cached version for those who don't have/want a Medium account
Long story short: standing the test of time is a valuable way to prove the veracity of anything.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 22 2019 15:06 utc | 199

c1ue @196: Precaution makes sense when risk is unknown. When risk is known, what makes sense depends on the risk and what is known about it. As I said in point #2, I think we are in the former situation, ignorance, and always have been too. And that is aside from the fact that these natural systems are chaotic, i.e. unpredictable, in principle, and prone to phase changes, and we have no direct levers to use for control, and that is why we should not be messing with it any more than necessary.

And it's too late, and that is the best reason of all to stop.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 22 2019 15:43 utc | 200

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