Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 29, 2019

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-78

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Confirms our take:
For Wall Street, Russia Has Become ‘Bulletproof’ - Forbes

>“They’ve made themselves bulletproof,” says James Barrineau, co-head of emerging-market debt for Schroders Investment in New York. “They can pay off all their foreign debts with their central bank reserves. Plus, they’re cutting interest rates. The currency is very stable. And they have room on the fiscal side to spend on their economy.”<


MOHAMMED HASSAN @MHJournalist - 18:42 UTC · Dec 28, 2019
A video shows members of the #Syrian_National_Army mercenaries fighting in #Libya in conjunction with the advance of the #Syrian army forces over the city of #Maarat_al_Numan and its countryside in #Idlib

Other issues:

Russia has received a lot of criticism over the bombing of alleged 'hospitals' in Syria which were registered on a UN sponsored list. The Russian military argued that the positions on the UN list were not of real hospitals but of ammunition depots or command centers of the Jihadis. After it had published dozens of articles bashing Russia's campaign the New York Times has finally admitted that Russia was right:

The U.N. Tried to Save Hospitals in Syria. It Didn’t Work.

United Nations officials only recently created a unit to verify locations provided by relief groups that managed the exempt sites, some of which had been submitted incorrectly, The Times found. Such instances of misinformation give credibility to Russian criticisms that the system cannot be trusted and is vulnerable to misuse.
The groups give locations of their own choosing to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the agency that runs the system.

A document prepared by the agency warned that participation in the system “does not guarantee” the safety of the sites or their personnel. The document also stated that the United Nations would not verify information provided by participating groups.
While investigating an airstrike in November, The Times discovered that a relief group had provided coordinates for its health center that were around 240 meters away. When another hospital was bombed in May, The Times found that the coordinates submitted by its supporting organization pointed to an unrelated structure around 765 meters north.

After questions from The Times prompted the organization to review its deconfliction list, a staff member discovered that it had provided the United Nations with incorrect locations for 14 of its 19 deconflicted sites. The original locations had been logged by a pharmacist. The list had been with the United Nations humanitarian agency for eight months, and no one had contacted the organization to correct the locations, a member of the organization’s staff said.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on December 29, 2019 at 15:42 UTC | Permalink


Interesting news. ANNA NEWS, in a recent report, announced an investigation into the infamous "White Helmets". The material promises to be very interesting, with an abundance of exclusive video, details, interviews etc. The film should be released tomorrow (December 30 at 19h Moscow time).

Here is the announcement (at 9'55).

Btw, I do not exclude the possibility that when this movie is released, the ANNA NEWS youtube channel account will suddenly be blocked again without explanation. Will see.

Posted by: alaff | Dec 29 2019 16:07 utc | 1

Hopefully the NYT-coordinates never get mixed up with those of the New York Army Depot.

Posted by: bjd | Dec 29 2019 16:09 utc | 2

Gig workers getting screwed. Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it - the modern gig economy is nothing more than the "putting out" system redux from the early days of the industrial revolution.
And much like the looms and thread from the putting out system, the owners control pricing for gig workers as well as cut off any possibility of upward advancement.
Vice article on gig workers
Note this isn't one company - it is all of them. When Uber first started, they were paying over $1/mile for drivers - it is now down to $0.60. Equally, the various other gig startups pay more to lure workers in, then cut when they need/want to.

When she initially joined Instacart a year ago, Dorton says she could earn up to $800 during a 40 hour workweek picking up groceries at Costco and Sam’s Club and dropping them off at customers’ homes. But in recent months, her weekly income has fallen to $400 for 60 hours of grocery shopping. “I made more delivering pizza and waiting tables,” Dorton told Motherboard.

Yes, but with the delivery services contributing to the everlasting restaurant crunch, there are fewer jobs delivering pizza and waiting tables. That's a feature.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 29 2019 16:19 utc | 3

to b and MoAs at the bar, wish All A Healthy New Year 2020.

link @ Forbes; in the West, Russia is demonized out of pure envy. Trump's Russian Gas Sanction Strategy Blows Up Two Ways

Trump tried to stop a natural gas pipeline between Russia and the EU. His sanctions were a colossal failure.

Trump's meddling into the internal affairs of the Germany and the EU have blown up, as expected in this corner.

Not only did Trump fail to halt the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany, Russia will build more of it.

And Trump is a sick pup:Claiming Jesus Would Prefer Him Over Obama


why is this guy still free and not tied up at the Tower?
Here is little tony blair-once again, displaying his lack of credibility. Now we know!

Tony Blair sought EU funding while trying to stop Brexit

Tony Blair was bidding for contracts with the European Union for his "institute for global change" as he publicly campaigned to overturn Brexit. The Telegraph can disclose.Documents obtained by this newspaper show that the former prime minister held talks with officials about striking a funding agreement between the European Commission and the not-for-profit Tony Blair Institute (TBI).


Posted by: Likklemore | Dec 29 2019 16:29 utc | 4

Forbes announcing that Russian stocks and bonds are doing well is not confirmation the Russian economy is doing well. That is, if you think of the economy as the social and political arrangements that provide material benefits to the people. If your view is that economics is about rich people making more money and their fortunes growing and growing, possibly. The Forbes article is saying the investments of the wealthy in Russian financial products are safe. I think money put into financial speculation is money not invested in satisfying human needs.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 29 2019 16:33 utc | 5

As you may recall, the 1988 Presidential campaign of Michael S. Dukakis was deeply torpedoed by
the prisoner release
of Willie Horton on a furlough program.

Will Edward Gallagher be Trump's Willie Horton?

Navy Seal Edward Gallagher has been protected from further punishment by President Trump.

If Gallagher does anything, so much as a DUI arrest, between now and the election
Trump owns it.

Is Edward Gallagher a random element that changes all history?

Would the CIA/MI6/FBI set Gallagher up?
Potentially more effective than Russiagate and Ukraingate combined.

Posted by: librul | Dec 29 2019 16:57 utc | 6

@ 5 steven t johnson quote " I think money put into financial speculation is money not invested in satisfying human needs." you've just provided another description of wall st.. thanks...

Posted by: james | Dec 29 2019 17:18 utc | 7

librul no. 6

"Will Edward Gallagher be Trump's Willie Horton?"

No, 1) Willie Horton was black while Gallagher is white and 2) Gallagher was committing crimes against Middle Easterners while Horton committed them against white USians.

Posted by: sleepy | Dec 29 2019 17:38 utc | 8

As a Boomer in America I think I have just become a Deplorable as well with my latest rant titled "Ok Boomer"

My fellow Boomers are in a serious stage of denial and they keep doubling down with the denial. They have their fingers in their ears and eyes focused unblinkingly on their Plato's Cave Displays looking for the answer to their cognitive dissonance.

Not a pretty sight but I am beginning to understand how those "right minded" folk in Germany must have felt when Hitler was doing his thing. I am also beginning to believe that there may no longer be much of a window of opportunity to correct the system because there are so many invested in the wrong direction. ....but shudder at the blow it all up and let Gawd decide concept.

I just don't want to believe, as some commenters here posit, that humanity is inherently bad. Many are just too easily led and socially lazy....too much faith and not enough logic and reason.

What is the next step down in human crazy? Can late empire initiate a nuclear war because they are poor losers and still be thought of as the good guys? Where are the aliens when our species really needs them to deliver a bit of smack down to our hubris?

What will historians write about the Roaring 2020's?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 29 2019 18:14 utc | 9

Strange legal-ish happenings in Ukraine:

"The Kyiv Court of Appeal on Dec. 28 released from custody five former police officers of the now disbanded Berkut unit who had been charged with the alleged murder of protesters during the 2013-2014 EuroMaidan Revolution."
"... on the eve of the court hearing Prosecutor General Ruslan Riaboshapka replaced [the prosecutors] with new prosecutors ...]"
"The new prosecutors supported the suspects’ lawyers, who claimed that there is no risk of the suspects fleeing. Later, the new prosecutors also presented a letter from Riaboshapka saying that the suspects should be released because they are part of the prisoner exchange with Russia."
"Moreover, the Berkut officers are not considered prisoners of war."
"A law enforcement source who could not be named due to ongoing legal proceedings told the Kyiv Post that the Ukrainian authorities intend to have a trial in absentia for the accused Berkut officers if they go to Russia as part of the anticipated prisoner exchange."

Posted by: Keith McClary | Dec 29 2019 18:34 utc | 10

Now that Trump so much complains and threats by Twitter about "civilians" in Idlib...we remember the aerial bombing of the Iraq-Kuwzit highway by US...

This crime cannot be overstated as one of the most disgusting acts the US committed in the region. A column of withdrawing soldiers and civilians which were even found to be in compliance with UN resolution 660, were completely eviscerated by the US Air Force. A war crime.

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 29 2019 18:44 utc | 11

Breaking news from the NYT: 19 of the 20 reports so far of the destruction of the last hospital in Idlib were untrue. The incorrect locations were submitted by the White Helmets (just an honest mistake).

Posted by: Brendan | Dec 29 2019 18:50 utc | 12

New article about Tulsi Gabbard being viciously attacked over religion during Christmas.

Angry Bernie Sanders supporters whom I guess forgot to take their meds over the holidaze are viciously attacking Tulsi because of Jesus? LOL. This new article is specifically about Mike Figueroa from The Humanist Report, a semi-popular vlogger, and also a fanatic atheist type. He used to be a Tulsi supporter, but since he is connected to the TYT network which is funded by Hollywood Billionaire and major DNC Clinton funder Katzenberg, he must have recently been told to toe the party line on smearing Tulsi if he wanted to reap the funding benefits of TYT who are hardcore Tulsi haters, following the DNC line. I guess Tulsi showing the Christmas spirit gave him a reason to look hardcore to his fellow fanatics and appease TYT money folks. Anyways, here is the new article Like, In The Year 2024

Posted by: Kali | Dec 29 2019 19:01 utc | 13

I'm having trouble reading the NYT article that B links to, because the NYT site blocks me by requiring me to open a subscription account, but from the little I was able to see, the UN unit must be monitoring so-called hospitals and clinics in Isdlib province. That must mean that every site reported to the unit as a hospital or clinic is absolutely nothing of the sort. The people reporting to the UN unit are, as Brendan @ 12 suggests, White Helmets jihadists.

Whatever civilians still remain in Idlib will be hostages of the jihadists and unlikely to have any access to medical care whatsoever, apart from what is doled out to them by the jihadists.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 29 2019 19:48 utc | 14

@9 psychohistorian

Well, you know, some of our wiser high priest caste forefathers revised the idea of humanoid behavior down from that of "original sin" down to "utter depravity" after a few more centuries of being just barely literate. it might have been the Calvinists, not sure. Veblen's stages of barbarianism texting was cool too I guess.

Posted by: Donator451 | Dec 29 2019 20:12 utc | 15

US jets have conducted an airstrike on a Kataib Hezbollah base in al-Qaim, western Iraq.
From Elijah Magnier:

The #US bombing of the #Iraqi security forces brigades 45 and 46 at al-Qaem is straight aggression against a sovereign country. #Baghdad should ask the immediate withdrawal of all US forces from #Iraq.

Posted by: Lozion | Dec 29 2019 20:39 utc | 16

Caitlin Johnstone: Narrative Managers Claim White Helmets Founder Was Driven To Suicide By Syria Skeptics

I linked to ZeroHedge's reposting because of the comments which reflect skepticism about the apparent death of Jeffery Epstein as well as James Le Mesurier:

This guy is probably having a cocktail with epstein and his new girl whores.

Coroner concluded that this suicide was one of the most unusual ones that he ever saw. Founder of White Helmets was found stabbed, hanged and shot.

Colonel Klinks Ghost
This has CIA/Mossad written ALL over it. And Jeffrey Epstein killed himself. Got it!

White Helmet is a CIA fraud, and the founder retired with full pension and benefits. Suicide was just a cover for a job well done exit.

Baghdadi's killing was also rather strange.

One either believes the Empire kills those in its service when they have become inconvenient liabilities or these guys (Le Mesurier, Epstein, Baghdadi) were extracted and are living comfortably in retirement.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 29 2019 20:51 utc | 17

As Lozion said, USAF has attacked five positions of the PMU's (KH units), three in Irak and two in Syria, it seems there are a scores of people have been killed and injured in those air strikes, some of them seems to be senior commanders

Could be the Third Iraq War? or may be the First Iran War?

Posted by: DFC | Dec 29 2019 20:59 utc | 18

Thanks B, at my pay grade I am not able to say that White means terror and helmet means ism.

Source in Syria: militants transport chlorine in coordination with White Helmets

the food that feeds and powers the nation state system <= has this site been removed it has been unreachable for days now.. ?/

Posted by: snake | Dec 29 2019 21:03 utc | 19

@Jen | Dec 29 2019 19:48 utc | 14
The quick and easy way to read an nyt article is to open browser preferences and (usually under privacy or security depending on brand of browser) find the cookie or data management dialog, then delete all cookies with NYT in their title. That will get you 3 articles before you have to repeat the procedure.

Posted by: A User | Dec 29 2019 21:03 utc | 20

b - thanks for that data from the nyt article that both @ 14 jen and i can't fully access and which @12 brendan makes mention of..
what i can access - the title - which you also highlight, is a real fine decoy.. they don't come out and say anything of relevance in the highlight, but more obfuscation as per usual for the nyt...

a quote that b quotes above worth repeating..

"After questions from The Times prompted the organization to review its deconfliction list, a staff member discovered that it had provided the United Nations with incorrect locations for 14 of its 19 deconflicted sites. The original locations had been logged by a pharmacist. The list had been with the United Nations humanitarian agency for eight months, and no one had contacted the organization to correct the locations, a member of the organization’s staff said."

yes, i am sure it is much the same in the rest of idlib too, but there will be the predictable gnashing of teeth with russia-syria-iran involvement in removing the 'moderate' headchoppers that west continues to support with bullshit titles from their propaganda dept..

Posted by: james | Dec 29 2019 21:06 utc | 21

"Trump and his allies repeatedly promoted conspiracy theories asserting that the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was opened on false pretenses for political purposes." that is a quote from propaganda site wikipedia.. it amazes me how wikipedia is able to print this type of stuff based off a link to a article! i got to looking at this thanks ew's latest article - “Fact Witness:” How Rod Rosenstein Got DOJ IG To Land a Plane on Bruce Ohr

it continues to amaze me how in lock step these folks are with the basic story line they have been given - trump is in putins back pocket and drivel like that... one can say what they want about trump, but does it always have to blur every other aspect of reality once you have gone bonkers from him?? it appears that way.. i guess that is why they call it tds... oh, and i am using that term, not as a trump supporter, but a reality supporter, lol..

Posted by: james | Dec 29 2019 21:41 utc | 22

Here're b's thoughts on the bombings of PMU sites by Outlaw US Empire jets:

"What were @realDonaldTrump 's intentions when he ordered the 'defensive airstrikes' on Iraq's Khatib Hizbullah? The consequences were obvious to anyone. The deep state wants to keep troops in Iraq. Did Trump intend to get the troops out and used this pretext to get his way?"

That was in reply to this tweet by Brasco_Aad:

"Iraqi PMU Asai'b Ahl al-Haq statement on the American attack on Iraq tonight:

"'The American military presence has become a burden for the State and a source of aggression against our forces and therefore it has become mandatory for all of us to expel them from Iraq.'"

Looks like an informal redeclaration of war against Iraq. Right on the heels of Trump warning Putin about a potential terrorist attack in St. Petersburg. Given the record of the military obeying Trump's orders--deaf--did he tweet saying he ordered the strikes?

A somewhat related development, although report 2 days old:

"On the same day the father of ISIS (Erdogan) visited Tunisia, Algeria has sent a direct warning to the Tunisians stating that it would not tolerate Salafi Jihadis from Syria, Turkey & 'Turkestan' on its doorsteps.

"24 hours later Tunisia stated that it would remain neutral."

Solidarity against Muslim Brotherhood's strong and seems to be growing.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 29 2019 21:44 utc | 23

A research paper by University of Ottawa academic Ivan Katchanovski on the Maiden massacre. He seems to be having a hard time getting the results into the MSM. No shit Sherlock. Can't have anything out there to confront the UkoNazi line of thinking. I ran across this on the Bryan MacDonald twitter feed for those interested.

Posted by: Tom | Dec 29 2019 21:56 utc | 24

I didn't see it in the NYT article, but the false reporting of the hospital locations by "multiple NGOs" was supposedly just done "accidently". That's according to an NYT investigator who used to work for Bellingcat.

My previous comment about the last hospital in Idlib was a joke, but the NYT's Mr. Triebert seems to be serious about the accidental fake news about hospital locations. RIP satire.

Posted by: Brendan | Dec 29 2019 21:59 utc | 25

"On the same day the father of ISIS (Erdogan) visited Tunisia

@Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 29 2019 21:44 utc | 23

How is now Erdogan the father of ISIS, when ISIS/AQ ( indeed two arms of the same body of proxy jihadists serving Imperialist interests...) have their origins in the WOT, which started way before 9/11 event ( used as alibi to invade and loot several ME countries...) AQ was created just to fight Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, where they were fleed around 50.000 foreign jihadis under Bin Laden call to fight the Soviets. Then ISIS just appeared in Iraq curiously when the US troops were being repatriated by Obama, casually they found a way to return....

It is unbelievable how you find always any reason to discharge Trump from his own responsability on, not only keeping, but increasing the troops in Syria and even building a new military base in the oil fields, and the several attacks on sovereign Iraqi and Syrian soils which have taken place so far under his presidecny, alluding always to the fantom "deep state" as responsible when he and only he is the chief of the armed forces....

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 29 2019 22:11 utc | 26

Dear sasha @26--

None of those words you tossed back at me were mine. Please read where the source of the comment arises, then go there to hurl your accusations!

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 29 2019 22:20 utc | 27

@Posted by: sleepy | Dec 29 2019 17:38 utc | 8

Thanks sleeply,
But underlying your comment is an assumption of *logic* in this world. If it ever existed it certainly does not
apply any longer. Look how much mileage the MSM and the anti-Democracy Party got out of the nothingburger Russiagate.
The MSM doesn't even need to smell real blood, they will run with anything to continue the coup.

Anything negative that involves Edward Gallagher between now and election day could be magnified 1 million-fold and
repeated 1000 million times by the MSM and dropped in Trump's lap.

If the CIA/MI6/FBI did attempt to create a sting it need not be as dramatic as the Skripal fakery.
What would you dream up if you were tasked by the CIA to propose something? KISS.

Posted by: librul | Dec 29 2019 22:21 utc | 28

JR @ 17
James Corbett has a compelling take on Baghdadi's most recent demise.
Happy and Peaceful New Year, b and Barflies.

Posted by: robjira | Dec 29 2019 22:38 utc | 29

@23 Karl, apparently, Algeria also rejected a request for a visit by Erdogan. The Maghreb says enough..

Posted by: Lozion | Dec 29 2019 23:21 utc | 30

Hi Sasha @26
Regrettably, I did not bookmark the twitter feed you posted a few days ago of the predator attacking the two herbivores locked in fight. Hence, I am respectfully asking you that if you have an extra moment, perhaps you could re-post that link. I found it to be so perfectly representative of the situation in which we find ourselves. Thank you! Gracias! спасибо!

Posted by: lex talionis | Dec 29 2019 23:58 utc | 31

Lozion @30--

Lots of various details about Libya, Turk intervention, and then we have this curious interaction between Sisi and Putin:

"President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Russian counterpart agreed on a phone call Friday to concert joint efforts aimed at putting an end to illegitimate foreign interventions in Libya, producing a settlement, and combating militias and terror organizations."

Now that's very interesting since the UN recognizes the GNA/Muslim Brotherhood group while Russia and Egypt support the LNA. So, the question on Turkey's "intervention" and the now admitted fact that it's shipping Syria-based terrorists to fight in Libya under its flag. The global public needs a program to properly place the bedfellows in one camp or the other or both. I read some other news, but can't relocate it now, that says some other odd things. There's also a rumor that the SAA is finally going to launch an offensive from Western Aleppo, to which we'll need to take a wait-and-see attitude.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 30 2019 0:22 utc | 32

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 29 2019 21:44 utc | 23 with the links and reporting about building conflict in Iraq and Syria.

I just read the ZH posting and they reported some purported 4 rockets sent by Hezbollah to Camp Taji in response to US air strikes.....where does the tit for tat go from here?

On a related note I find it interesting that some US military commander is saying that troops are going to stay in South Korea regardless of the expiration of the agreement to do so.

For New Years I want to see South Korea, Iraq, Turkey, Ukraine and the Philippine's eject all US military presence. Then we would know that empire is crashing....even if only some did.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 30 2019 0:59 utc | 33

Below is a ZH link to a posting about how opposite China looks at finance than the private finance West

Chinese President Xi Installs Finance Experts To Avoid "Lurking, Devastating Debt Bombs"

In the West, Debt Bombs are a feature, not a bug

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 30 2019 1:10 utc | 34

@19 <= has this site been removed it has been unreachable for days now.. ?/

That site, WhatDoesItMean.Com , is not down.

Posted by: longshot | Dec 30 2019 2:15 utc | 35

psychohistorian @33&4--

Thanks for your reply and linked article! Been doing some musing in tandem with reading … and forgive them their debts--the three branches of the Abrahamic religions all try to deal with one specific phenomena: the bondage suffered by common people at the hands of creditors where we first have Mosaic Law that sought to place the Jubilee Year within the bounds of religious law, then Jesus arrives to try and reinstate that Law and its associated cultural mores, and last we have Muhammad also seeking to undo similar injustices at a crucial historical juncture. All three failed to gain their goal, but elites saw how their lives and writings could be exploited to their benefit. Note that this all occurred in what's known as the West and that the West tried to enslave other peoples to the Abrahamic religions and succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

But, what of the East? Where's the religion, God's messenger/prophet whose mission is to free the people from debt bondage? India we see got messed up by several differing credos and has an in-built, religiously sanctioned system of bondage that currently plagues its development. The remainder of the East developed differing hierarchical systems which colluded with Western Colonialism to enslave the common people.

So, my observation: Does the Eastern method of Communism represent the East's version of the Abrahamic religions given its grounding in Communalism? In the East, it seems very clear that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one, whereas in the West the opposite is in control. In other words, the Cult of the Individual is the bane of humanity since it is taught not to act for the good of all--As the song says: Every Child has to have its own. And as we listen to Billie Holiday, we learn that's the Word from the Bible and it still is news. Why is it news? Perhaps because it goes against a fundamental aspect of human nature to care for all--the Eastern Method as now conceived.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 30 2019 2:32 utc | 36

" the modern gig economy is nothing more than the "putting out" system redux from the early days of the industrial revolution..'

It is the same system as the casualisation which was normal in many industries until the Union Hiring Halls were established. Longshoremen, for example, waited in line for jobs, which were given out on the basis of favoritism and clientelism. Reds need never apply. Bus conductors in the North of England would line up before dawn, dressed as 'respectably' as they could afford, waiting for the day's few precious shifts to be handed out.
For years now increasing numbers of construction workers, truckers and many others have been part of a gig economy.
The big changes seem to me to have been in the 'reforming'(into oblivion) of those unemployment and social assistance systems which allowed those in desperate need of work to collect benefits when work was unavailable. It made all the difference-which is why the capitalists, who like nothing better than to see men, women and their dependents starving, have cut all forms of welfare during the high tide of neo-liberalism.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 30 2019 2:41 utc | 37

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 30 2019 2:32 utc | 36

See my comment #113 on the latest Open Thread as a follow up to you and juliania there and as aligned to yours here

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 30 2019 2:50 utc | 38

@karlof1 #32

Now that's very interesting since the UN recognizes the GNA/Muslim Brotherhood group while Russia and Egypt support the LNA.

Russia also recognizes GNA as the legitimate government of Libya. Watch Putin greet GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and his wife at the recent Russia–Africa Summit. Of course, official recognition does not equal active support. Russia has attempted to mediate between GNA and LNA, but a deal is not possible as Sarraj has little control over various Islamist militias.

Posted by: S | Dec 30 2019 3:23 utc | 39

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 29 2019 14:38 utc | 84

It can be argued that the state of US infrastructure - declining for literally decades - is a sign of that.

The United States hasn’t seen a major infrastructure package since the Eisenhower administration. As a result, much of US infrastructure, from highways to waste treatment facilities and energy grids, has approached the end of its useful life and is in desperate need of upgrading.

Maintenance already accounts for over 60% of national infrastructure spending, and total public spending on infrastructure maintenance and operations rose by $23.2 billion between 2007 and 2017.


And this ugly creature is trying to teach others how to pick their nose?

Posted by: RST | Dec 30 2019 4:04 utc | 40

A User @ 20:

Thanks for the info. I have been able to read the NYT article at my local library now. The deconfliction problem has been ongoing for several years.

It would seem that from the very start the UN has never been all that interested in ensuring that the coordinates of the various hospital sites are accurate and updated regularly but that should be no surprise. After all, if three of the permanent members on the UN Security Council were aware that such "information" was not only deliberately false, sloppily kept and thus difficult to trace and verify, but could also be used against Syria and its allies, they not only would have no interest in giving the UN humanitarian agency responsible for holding the "information" any additional funding at all but would actively work to stop any increases.

Also if there is no guarantee that giving accurate coordinates to the UN humanitarian agency helps prevent airstrikes, why on earth would hospitals (if we assume they were genuine) give such information? They could very well come to the conclusion that reporting their coordinates makes an airstrike more likely.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 30 2019 4:10 utc | 41

by: longshot 35@

Posted by: snake | Dec 30 2019 4:10 utc | 42

@karlof1 #32, @S #39

Russia being “the power behind Haftar” is another CFR/CIA/MSM invention. It has even made it into yesterday’s Bloomberg piece on the 20 years of Putin’s rule. In reality, Haftar was supported by Egypt, UAE and France. Russia leans towards Haftar because it wants the conflict to end, restoring regional stability and allowing it to resume its projects started under Gaddafi (e.g., the Sirte–Benghazi railway). GNA can’t win, so you have to support LNA if you want to end the war.

Posted by: S | Dec 30 2019 4:30 utc | 43


‘Nothing Less Than a Civil War’: These White Voters on the Far Right See Doom Without Trump

Of course, this kind of thing all comes down to scale. How many people are these militians? 100? 1,000? 10,000?

It will be interesting to see what will happen in the USA after Trump loses in 2020.

Posted by: vk | Dec 30 2019 4:55 utc | 44

Hi vk and everyone,
it doesn't matter who wins in 2020 here in USA. It simply doesn't. one coin. two sides.
we did the de-industrialize long before the Soviets, thus destroying whatever compromised working class we never had. and we have been Exceptionally good at it! In full on Guy Debord-land, we are spectacular! (cue the fireworks and pop music - kickoff! WOO HOO!)
thankfully, i deleted a bunch of words i typed and spared us all my utter lack of reason to comment here.
pregret. a word i coined to save myself from the regret of being a fool in front of you all.
but Trump i think will win since the other wing of the war party is rather weak.
thank you.

Posted by: lex talionis | Dec 30 2019 5:47 utc | 45

#Jen | Dec 30 2019 4:10 utc | 41

As for the hospital thing, I remain unconvinced that any of those dodgy stats put out by governments carry any weight with the average Jo/Joe Citizen. After the Vietnam body count nonsense few types I know pay any attention to war statistics.

Even the most rabidly anti-Russian westernised human is unable to clearly articulate why either Russian or Syrian fighters would want to blow up hospitals ahead of ammo dumps & staff HQ's.
I reckon the entire "russkies kill hospitals' bulldust only penetrates the minds of those Syria heads of both sides who imagine all others share their interest.
Especially in amerika, for whatever reason it has become one of those subjects everyone knows about but SFA pay it heed.

Posted by: A User | Dec 30 2019 7:34 utc | 46

vk | Dec 30 2019 4:55 utc | 44

In the linked articel QAnon is mentioned. Viewed from outside the US it seems unbelievable that such a transparent PsyOp can work. No president has been so submissive to Israelian interests so far as Trump. Anybody here who can explain how such a thing can work? Or does it simply mean that to be AltRight means to be braindead?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Dec 30 2019 8:58 utc | 47

“Freedom gas” named Worst Words of the Year

Plain English Foundation has voted freedom gas as the worst word or phrase of 2019.

The term comes from the United States Department of Energy, which rebranded natural gas as “freedom gas” and boasted about bringing molecules of US freedom to the world.

“When a simple product like natural gas starts being named through partisan politics, we are entering dangerous terrain,” said the Foundation’s Executive Director, Dr Neil James. “Why can’t natural gas just remain natural gas?”

Each year, Plain English Foundation gathers dozens of examples of the worst words to highlight the importance of clear and ethical public language.

The full list of 2019’s worst words and phrases follows.

Posted by: Mao | Dec 30 2019 9:03 utc | 48

Another classic Christmas song has been pulled from rotation by a provider of music to department stores, according to a report by CNN.

In recent years “Baby It’s Cold Outside” has been delisted by the censorious left for alleged sexism, this year the perennial “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” has been 1984ed.

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” was penned by Meredith Wilson (best known for 1957’s The Music Man) and was released in 1951.

Listen while you’re still allowed:


Bozell & Graham Column: Smashing Santa and Jesus for Christmas

The war on Christmas marches on. Secularists -- let's say it: atheists -- are leaving no stone unturned. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch said “Merry Christmas” in an interview on Fox & Friends. Leftists pounced, complaining this was a “talking point for the GOP.”

A new Rasmussen poll shows strong majorities favor saying "Merry Christmas," celebrating Christmas in public schools, and religious displays in public areas. But Hollywood sees that old-time religion as a relentless nightmare of oppression. Christmas makes them want to tear the roof off of a Nativity set. They vent through the vehicle they know will resonate: entertainment television. Here it is, no-holds barred hostility, starting with Santa.

Posted by: Mao | Dec 30 2019 9:18 utc | 49

Jen and others. I have found that you can read the NYT (and often others that are blocked) by toggling "reader view" which is available on Firefox.

Posted by: Patrick Armstrong | Dec 30 2019 14:59 utc | 50

Below is a ZH link about the latest Biden rally in New Hampshire

"Don't Touch Kids You Pervert!": Biden Middle School Gymnasium Rally Melts Down Into Chaos

The take away quotes
A Joe Biden event on Sunday at a New Hampshire Middle School gymnasium was interrupted by two protesters, who assailed 'quid pro Joe' with accusations of being a 'pervert' and making money in Ukraine.
On the bright side, Joe was able to avoid calling either of them fat or 'damn liars.'

I love the smell of speaking truth to power in the morning.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 30 2019 16:16 utc | 51

Recession, robots and rockets: Another Roaring '20s for world markets?

This is one of the most macabre, fucked up and outright wrong predictions for the next decade I've read in my life.

At first, I thought it was just the good ol' Japanese morbid humor in action, but then I found out it was bought from Reuters.

How much degenerated you must be to reach the level where you're hoping you're back to the 1920s? (apart from the fact that this diagnosis is patently wrong)

Posted by: vk | Dec 30 2019 16:16 utc | 52

@50 patrick armstrong.. thanks! i had to add that on the firefox add ons, but it works.. thanks!

Posted by: james | Dec 30 2019 17:19 utc | 53


Being almost 100% sure that Israeli cornering East Mediterranean gas reserves was a done deal
and after Cyprus gerrymandered its EEZ under UNCLOS — and Greece signing up
as pipeline terminus in Europe — Trump put this cart before horse — and sanctioned
Nord Stream. Europe was to get Israeli gas. Then Turkey and Libya declared EZZ,
and pipeline cannot go!
Also. there will be other claimants to reserves — Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza.

Nice try — but Israel will not be supplying Germany gas any time soon.

Posted by: Bianca | Dec 30 2019 19:48 utc | 54

Patrick Armstromg @ 50:

Thanks for the tip. I use DuckDuckGo actually but I'll see if there if there's something similar.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 30 2019 19:50 utc | 55

Posted by: lex talionis | Dec 29 2019 23:58 utc | 31

of course...

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 30 2019 20:50 utc | 56

@Posted by: lex talionis | Dec 29 2019 23:58 utc | 31

The link went wrong...I fear..

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 30 2019 20:52 utc | 57

спацибо! thank you! gracias! i wish you a wonderful 2020. hopefully we make it to 2021. me gusta mucha leer lo que usted escriba aqui!

Posted by: lex talionis | Dec 30 2019 22:54 utc | 58

@57 спасибо! disculpe.

Posted by: lex talionis | Dec 30 2019 23:06 utc | 59

@55 jen... firefox is a browser, not a search engine like duck duck go... if you use firefox as a search engine, you can apply what patrick shares..

Posted by: james | Dec 30 2019 23:52 utc | 60

sorry - if you use firefox as a browser...

Posted by: james | Dec 30 2019 23:52 utc | 61

@Bianca #54: Very interesting theory.

Posted by: S | Dec 31 2019 1:06 utc | 62

Below is a link from Reuters about Biden that supports the theory many of us MoA barflies have about the One Money Party in the US

Democratic contender Biden says he would consider a Republican running mate

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 31 2019 2:43 utc | 63

A leopard never changes its spots.

Currently the fukus led eight nations alliance
[with JP but sans Russia, ] are presiding over one of the biggest fucking farce of the century in the UN podium.

These certified mass murderers of Muslims wanna punish China for its de-radicalisation program in Xinjiang, based on zero evidence as usual.

The hypocrisy makes me puke.

Posted by: denk | Dec 31 2019 4:21 utc | 64

Below is a ZH link reporting that Deutsche Bank is now calling the Fed's move since October QE4

A Major Bank Admits QE4 Has Started, And That Stocks Are Rising Because Of The Fed's Soaring Balance Sheet

The take away quote
and overnight none other than Deutsche Bank joined the "truther" chorus, when in a report by the bank's chief economist Torsten Slok, he writes what we pointed out several weeks back, namely that "since QE4 started in October, a 1% increase in the Fed balance sheet has been associated with a 1% increase in the S&P500, see chart below." Not that DB has absolutely no qualms about calling what the Fed is doing QE4 for the simple reason that... it is QE4.
You have to go to the link to see the chart.....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 31 2019 5:53 utc | 65

Thank you Sasha for standing up for the truth about Trump's responsibility for the Neocon bullshet and threats he's tweeting and the U.S. bombings in Iraq. Trump has been obsessed with and after Iran since day one.

I can no longer post from my Android here for some strange reason because the moment I write a comment the Post and Preview prompts disappear. I'm so fed up anyway with the narrative here that Trump is a hostage of deep state and is pulling all this shet against Iran reluctantly. This is insulting, false weasel dodgery to keep protecting Zionist Tramp...Trump. I can't stomach it.

Anyway, it's a relief to know someone here is not falling for the bullshet and worse, pushing it. Glad to read the truth from you. Keep on!

Posted by: Circe | Dec 31 2019 18:10 utc | 66

Karlof1 @ 36

re "forgive us our debts" many versions of the Lord's Prayer say "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." Trespass is interesting as it relates to property. But 'Forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors" is much more pointed and relevant.

Of course I can't say which is the more "accurate" translation of what Jesus originally said. Or, what Matthew said that Jesus said.

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 31 2019 18:30 utc | 67

They could very well come to the conclusion that reporting their coordinates makes an airstrike more likely.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 30 2019 4:10 utc | 41

Except that I think the logic is that Russia knew that the coordinates were *not* medical installations and the information that they were was just a ploy to discredit Russia. I.e. (I think) they truly were not intentionally bombed qua medical installations (wouldn't that be a crime under some Geneva Convention article?) but instead were intentionally bombed because Russia knew they were actually ammo dumps. Have I got that right??

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 31 2019 18:36 utc | 68

VK #44

The NYT wants to have it both ways, branding these people are kooks yet presenting them as some kind of present danger to the republic. I expect the Antifa crowd will become just as ugly if Trump wins. I look forward to NYT piece on the black-masked Antifa activists.

The article is rife with dog-whistle characterizations of these Trump supporters, various types of obvious ad hominems thrown in, and slinging around phrases like "conspiracy theorist" to score easy points.

I cannot take seriously as a news report one that contains in its first sentence the word "Trumpier."

It is a propaganda piece desinged to (again) portray Trump supporters and losers. Trump adversaries get to feel good on the cheap; but IMO Trump supporters who are not official "losers" are the actual targets of this kind of "reporting."

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 31 2019 18:51 utc | 69

Dear bar regulars and fly-by's, I hereby wish to avail me of this open thread on this particular occasion
to wish you all that is good and true to you and your loved ones on this the start of 2020.
Happy new year, Mishko_


Posted by: Mishko | Jan 1 2020 0:24 utc | 70

Trial by MSM op-ed,

Trial by youtube,

And now,
Trial by Manga !

What a wonderful 'rule based' western order !


Posted by: denk | Jan 1 2020 13:46 utc | 71

In case you havent noticed....

The chicoms are getting SO audacious these days,
apparently Chinese spooks in Oz brazenly parked fake Chinese police cars in front of UIghurs immigrants homes to intimidate them.

At least, thats the official story in Oz.

Hmmm...those Aussie.


Posted by: denk | Jan 1 2020 15:32 utc | 72

SARS alert in Wuhan, heavy concentration of tw industries.

Somebody wanna accelerates the flight of foreign investments
outta China ???

Posted by: denk | Jan 1 2020 16:16 utc | 73

DW TV News are reporting that the Turkish Parliament has approved Erdogan's plan to 'help' Libya. Amusingly, Sultan Erdo's precise plans for Libya are, officially, somewhat vague.
I'm so sick of Erdogan's megalomania, greed and duplicity that I hope he tries to outsmart Putin and thereby shoot himself in both feet. i.e. at home and abroad.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 2 2020 17:00 utc | 74

Via Xymphora - a handy epithet for the mood inspired by Fake News.


A 'Heaver' is an article that makes you throw up while you are reading it.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 2 2020 17:28 utc | 75

@bevin #37
I would mostly agree, except that the "gig" economy specifically also encompasses a way to get around both minimum wage laws and FICA employer contributions.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 5 2020 16:07 utc | 76

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