Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 31, 2019

The MoA Year In Review

The big stories of 2019 which Moon of Alabama covered were:

  • The vindication of Donald Trump by the Mueller and Horowitz 'Russiagate' investigations. The Democrats, driven by the security state, then continued their coup attempt against Trump by impeaching him over 'Ukrainegate'.
  • The slow but continuing retreat of the U.S. from the Middle East demonstrated by its lack of reaction even after the attack on the Saudi oil installations and the shooting down of a large U.S. drone by Iran.

My predictions on these issue for next year are:

  • The unreasonable campaign against Trump will hurt the Democrats in the 2020 elections. Unless something unforeseeable happens Trump will be reelected.
  • The U.S. will pull its troops out of Iraq and Syria.
  • The MAX will not be allowed back into the air unless Boeing ditches MCAS and finds a better way to make the plane certifiable.
  • Mainstream media have suppressed all news about the OPCW scandal. This will only change if major new evidence comes to light.

 

May all of you have a happy new year!

Posted by b on December 31, 2019 at 15:45 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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" Putin's nonsense about their superweapons is a bluff, but at this point it is most likely aimed at his own people. "

From what I have seen of Putin it would be extremely foolish to call that man's "bluff".

Posted by: arby | Jan 1 2020 18:18 utc | 101

arby@100 If Putin has decompensated to the point he believes these things will work as advertised, when Iron Dome/Patriot/THAAD/S400 don't, his own generals should be afraid of him.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jan 1 2020 18:39 utc | 102

Electorial College (EC) to defeat Bernie Sanders in five (5) key states. re: Nick @ 18
What type of program would it take for the voting public to impose its will on the EC?
Where can the names and positions of the voting members of the EC be found? Seems to me it is these people that need the attention of the voting public, since the voting public cannot vote for the
Art II, Sec. 2 white house occupants (P/VP). The MSM promotes that the popular election vote outcome determines who shall be the next President and Vice President. The voters do not realize their democracy has been sidelined; they voters do not realize the Art 2, Sec 2 of the constitution does not allow citizens to elect either of the Article II Section 2 persons [P+VP] to office in the white house.
How can voter expection (erroneous belief, citizens can actually vote for the P/VP) be turned into a reality? Would it do any good to make the indivudal names and backgrounds of EC members into household names? <=after all, it is these persons, not election day voters, who have the power to appoint to office the P and VP. Should alternative media mount some kind of educate the public program about how the constitution gave its Aristocratic members the power to deny all citizens any say in who should be the President? The EC sidelnes democracy, it determines who should be the P and the VP, The US CONSTITUION was designed to favor oligarchs, but given the oligarchs exclusive power to pick the president and the vice price by a democracy sidelining device is going a bit too far, IMO. I think when citizens fully understanding the impact the EC has on their lives, they would express sufficient public outrage to force amended the US constitution so that it returns the voting power over who should be the P and VP, to the people. Shut down the EC. This EC thing is a massive, canyon wide, ungarded security hole in American Democracy! If I were one of the alternative candidates my entire platform would focus on this constitutional outrage and media betrayl. The collective vote of all USA Citizens, not the secret actitives by hidden members of the EC, should determine which Art II Sec 2 persons are to be the head of the government that governs Americans.

Maybe alternative media is positioned to beat the EC at its own game?

Storm @34 not age but Oligarch is the requirement..
James @ 58 trump came into the picture in an unexpected, and unpredictable manner.. he'll go out in a similar manner... IF all continues as is, i agree with b.. <== neither observation accounts for the mystery appearances/disappearances of elected presidents <=maybe the electoral college controls those phenomena, certainly voters have no say.
Pft @ 60 Pentagon officials said on Friday that the USA would deploy several hundred troops to guard oil fields in eastern Syria, despite Mr. Trump’s repeated boasts that he is bringing American soldiers home from Syria. <=Probably Trump meant soldiers on public payrolls would be cycled home for christmas and the privateer and terror inciting armies will guard corporate oil and plunder theft in the interum. <==part of the make them pay program?
by: Really?? @ 64 SharonM@66 Are you saying the EC will vote for Bernie Sanders?
@Passer By #44 We have 2016 election results. <=You dispute that? I snake, certainly dispute that. the EC appointed the President, the popular vote when to Hillary (but it d/n count).
I don’t disagree that the recent immigrants are prime Democratic faithful, but the base of Democratic strength isn’t recent immigrants but the working class in the US. Or at least it was.
by: c1ue @ 77 You still don't get it, the electoral college appoints the president and vp and I will bet there are no new immigrants in the electoral college persons.

Posted by: snake | Jan 1 2020 18:42 utc | 103

Posted by: Perimetr | Jan 1 2020 16:42 utc | 93

It is a great move on Putin's part, the perfect way to end the war in Donbass and draw Europe back into Russias arms. It's not about the money, it was never about the money. Totally takes the wind out of the Congressional gasbags. I think Putin understands our government better than most Americans do.

Combine it with Putin's recent attack on Polish STUPID pro-Nazi anti-semitism back in the day, and it's great politics.

Pompeous just cancelled his trip to Ukraine "because of the incident at the Green Zone in Baghdad". Another of his fuckups. And Kim Jong Eun just told him off.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 1 2020 19:15 utc | 104

Happy and safe New Years to all. As always b, thanks for the current and relevant info, and the therapy..

Chris Hedges latest, a must read, IMO
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-moral-hypocrisy-of-impeachment/

Posted by: ben | Jan 1 2020 19:20 utc | 105

Poll indicates Russians far more upbeat about future than 20 years ago

Look's like Putin has a plan, and at least half the Russian population is on the boat.

It better the next big recession to burst until late 2022, so Putin has enough time to try to bring Russia back to socialism and its former glory before it falls in the Third World trap as many other countries (like Brazil and Argentina) have. This is the only route possible for the return of Russia to superpower status. Putin is a rabid anti-USSR, anti-socialist head of State, but at least he's a frustrated and pragmatic one. I hope he swallows his pride and ultimately chooses what is best to the welfare of the Russian people.

--//--

Continuing on our discussion about capitalism's demographic crisis, we have this as I expected:

France’s Macron Vows to Finalise Pension Reform Despite Vocal Protests

After the second round of the last national election was announced, I stated that the French people would have to make a choice. This choice was: what do you want to lose first: your body or your spirit. They chose to lose their body first. The spirit will soon follow.

Posted by: vk | Jan 1 2020 19:27 utc | 106

Korean economy faces rocky road to recovery

The author presupposes the South Korean economy will recover.

Posted by: vk | Jan 1 2020 19:43 utc | 107

Here is an interesting article on the American oligarchy and their huge mistakes in trying to enforce their agenda on the rest of the world. War of the Worlds: The New Class

"The attempt to isolate the China-Russia-Iran bloc has no way of succeeding and is clearly based on short term profits for the corporations pushing American policy, rather than the health of the economic system as a whole. This is clearly seen in how America is targeting Europe with sanctions over the Nordstream gas pipeline project from Russia to Germany. If you think this is just about the Trump administration you would be wrong, this has bi-partisan support in America and is clearly being pushed by the big banks and corporations with the politicians in both parties being pushed into doing their bidding. This is a huge mistake and like the economic meltdown of 2008 caused by the short-term profiteering of Wall Street greed, we are seeing a far greater mistake being made by the attempt to enforce submission on so many major economic powers. Their obvious reaction is to isolate themselves from American economic reach which means they WILL join the Russia-China-Iran bloc.

Brzezinski’s 2016 advice to bring Russia-China-Iran in from out of the cold was the smart path to follow. It still is. It is THE ONLY way to save the world economy from splitting more and more in ways that adversely affects America more and more and by extension the rest of the world whose economies are tied to America.

The current leaders of both establishment cliques need to accept that their continuance of the Grand Chessboard strategy is outdated and self-defeating — and dangerous. It threatens the lives of so many on a daily basis around the world, including Americans. The rise of China and Russia has made a unipolar world impossible unless the Chinese all of a sudden decide to submit to the LIEO. And that is what the American establishment seems to think they can force on them. They hope to wait out Putin to change Russia when he is gone. While that may be possible, what they hope with China is extremely unlikely. China is aggressively courting other nations for partnerships while America is losing more and more respect among the people and leaders of the world."

Posted by: Kali | Jan 1 2020 19:48 utc | 108

Happy New Year's Day to barflies globally! And a special Happy New Year to Miss Lacy @71 for her generous reply in response to my posting Putin's and Xi's New Year's speeches.

If you have yet to read Putin's speech--or even if you did already--I highly suggest watching the 9min video which has English subtitles, amazingly beautiful scenery of Moscow lit up accompanied by the Russian Anthem. Putin's sincerity is something I very much doubt being capable of any Western Politico, and is certainly in another universe from Trump.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 1 2020 20:10 utc | 109

Perimetr @ 93:

The agreement Putin and Zelensky signed is a small first step towards reconciliation between their respective nations. Zelensky probably realises by now that EU membership is impossible and that Ukraine is a pawn in US plans to isolate Russia. The only place in the world who can offer Ukraine the money and the security and stability the country needs is Russia.

The agreement still guarantees enough gas for Ukrainian domestic needs and for Ukraine to transit to current European clients while the pipelines through Ukraine are still operational. (How much longer though, I don't know. I understand the pipelines have not been properly maintained and are in a state of deterioration.) In the long term, Gazprom will divert the bulk of the gas supply through other pipelines in northern Europe and in the Balkans / Black Sea region, and bypass Ukraine. The agreement is for five years: probably long enough for Gazprom to divert the gas away from Ukraine while the pipelines through that country are still in working order without drawing too much outside attention.

Note also that while Gazprom is required to pay an outstanding debt to Naftogaz, there are also conditions Naftogaz is required to meet.

The agreement is not likely to go down well with factions in the Verkhovna Rada loyal to Poroshenko or the SBU. Every move that Zelensky makes that looks like kowtowing to Russia shifts him a little bit closer to being deposed.

From Russia's point of view, the agreement gives that country space perhaps to make a plan to consider what to do with Donetsk and Lugansk in the event Zelensky is deposed and Ukraine falls into civil war and starts to break up.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 1 2020 20:33 utc | 110

Qanon phenomenon is definitely raising awareness of the
global power structures that most are ignorant of, or
perhaps willfully blind to. It is up to the people to
act on that awareness. In the end christians can only bear witness
as coercion is prohibited. I always try to find the nuggets of
truth amid the mass of misdirections.

Posted by: evilempire | Jan 1 2020 22:08 utc | 111

Happy New Year b- and best wishes for many more!!!

Posted by: frances | Jan 1 2020 23:12 utc | 112

Posted by: juliania | Dec 31 2019 23:40 utc | 56

Nicely said...

True Christianity & "science" are not mutually exclusive

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Thanks, and God bless

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 1 2020 23:39 utc | 113

Is a bigger, better white helmet gas show now playing in Syria?

Posted by: snake | Jan 2 2020 0:04 utc | 114

I saw the best 30 min documentary on RT on the Yellow Vest Movement. The movement is an ongoing war between the police representing the current regime and the people who want a bigger share of the country's treasure. It is what it will take and more to change things. Wow. We are soft in the US.

Posted by: Linda Amick | Jan 2 2020 0:14 utc | 115

Speaking of predictions, here's one unearthed from 2004:

Uncovered 2004 US Intelligence Memo Shows Cryptic Predictions of World in 2020

Posted by: vk | Jan 2 2020 0:52 utc | 116

Global Times has published two worthy op/eds to begin the year. The first is the "unofficial" government editorial "China and the 2020s won’t fail each other" where the following foreshadows the following op/ed:

"China will focus on the domestic market in 2020 as well as the entire 2020s. Outside pressure cannot stop the country advancing. But we should be alert to prevent outside pressure from changing some Chinese people's mentality and its impact on internal policies."

The second's title provides the connection, "US won’t succeed in driving a wedge between China and Central Asia," and focuses on what China thinks the Outlaw US Empire will do:

"Nonetheless, a noticeable trend is that the US is ratcheting up attention on Central Asia. A senior US State Department official revealed in December that a new US Central Asia strategy would soon be published. Although so far Washington hasn't increased any tangible inputs into the region, Pompeo's upcoming Central Asia trip indicates that the US is going to play an ideological card to drive a wedge between China and Central Asia. China has to be vigilant of the US attempt to fuel antipathy against it in Central Asia by smearing China's counter-terrorism efforts as 'Muslim repression.'"

"The Central Asian countries also need to see through the US plot. Mutually supporting each other in terms of counter-terrorism and deepening cooperation between China and Central Asia is in line with all sides' interests. The good momentum of mutual trust and cooperation won't, and shouldn't, be impeded by the US. China-Central Asia cooperation is aimed at a more important and greater goal, that is, common development."

I agree with the writer. The trust and cooperation developed through SCO, CSTO, and the BRI/EAEU organizations and projects is a huge asset that will help defeat the Outlaw US Empire's attempt at destabilization. Pompeo ought to be welcomed like an unwanted in-law, fed and sent on his way.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 2 2020 1:08 utc | 117

to Bemildred #103. That was my first thought as well. Putin is a magnificent strategist no doubt with much input from Lavrov
who is an impressive statesman. I see this as a great success - pulls the rug out of under the nordstream 2 sanctions tirades.
Well played and gives some stature to Zelensky. With the recent pronouncements from Giuliani concerning Ukraine payouts to Bidens, et al, and the bombshell allegation that the endless mudslinging against Trump since his election was in fact a concerted "coup" effort organized by Brennan and Comes with the knowledge of that thug O'Bomber - well my dears, we have some interesting times coming up. No peace is not a dirty word.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Jan 2 2020 2:09 utc | 118

While the United States is riven with political conflict, China's ruling party works diligently for the good of its entire population. The party embraces all such disagreement and "conflict" within itself, and sets all the differences against a meritocratic measure that allows only the best to rise into execution, both in people and ideas, and projects.

Chinese political scientist Zhang Weiwei spends 5 minutes explaining in erudite English how the western view of the Communist Party of China as akin to a political party is wrong:

The CPC is not a "party"

The US political parties, he explains, are viewed in China as "partial interest parties" that compete against each other and represent only parts of the populace. By contrast, the CPC is better regarded as a "holistic interest party". China, he explains, has long been ruled by a unified leadership, operating under the mandate of heaven, in a social contract from Confucius that predates Rousseau's by two millennia.

Zhang packs a lot into 5 minutes, describing this unique civilization. He makes a point I had never been able to articulate before. You may find the clip well worth your time.

Happy 2020, in this Chinese Century.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 2 2020 2:37 utc | 119

CBC has published more propaganda on the aftermath of the US attack on Iraqi military. Some of the more notable BS from the article "But Iran and its allies might have also seen the attack as a way of diverting attention from the anti-government protests." "Iran has been trying to provoke the U.S. into helping it solve its Iraq problem," the Crisis Group, an international think-tank, said in a briefing on the crisis. "The Trump administration, by responding to the attacks in Kirkuk and elsewhere with airstrikes, has obliged."

Who is this International Crisis Group (ICG) with its wacky twist on events in Iraq? The Crisis Group is funded by the Foundation to Promote an Open Society, has George Soros as Chairman and his sons as vice chair and director. Its mission statement is "The International Crisis Group is an independent organisation working to prevent wars and shape policies that will build a more peaceful world." More like promote wars and refugees and create chaos around the world. Robert Malley is the President and CEO of ICG. Malley was on the NSC during the Obama administration. Federica Mogherini is a board member. More swamp creatures than you can shake a stick at. Another tax exempt organization that the lowly citizens of earth pay for.

While digging around I came across the financial statements for some of George Soros's tax exempt entities. WOW. I have always believed that charities have been a scam, a way for the rich to look good and avoid paying taxes. Tax them all. If the government was doing a proper job at home there wouldn't be a need and if governments obeyed international rules there wouldn't be so many disasters abroad.

Open Society Institute budget 2015
Revenue: $369,708,179
Expenses: $186,759,132
Assets: $2,616,062,988

Foundation to Promote Open Society
Budget (2015):
Revenue: $421,000,000
Expenses: $544,915,615
Assets: $7,335,239,392
https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/baghdad-embassy-iraq-iran-protests-jan1-1.5412257

Posted by: Tom | Jan 2 2020 5:17 utc | 120

Miss Lacy @117: Like any good policy, it does many things, and the timing is perfect. Pompeo deciding to go to Baghdad is priceless.

Re Putin: Well, I assume it is not just the one man, we all have our limits. But he/they do play chess, unlike ours who mostly play blowhard corruption. Government conceived as a competition between criminal gangs just cannot govern well, and if you cannot govern well, in the end you wind up weak too.

I started watching Putin during the Georgia fandango, did not think much of him at the time. Since then, I have learned different. It is striking at any time in history to see such effective competence. His/their handling of Ukraine, Syria both very impressive in terms of grasp of situation and parsimonious response. Elegant.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 2 2020 9:00 utc | 121

Tom @ 119 ..

Your post has some creditable evidence to support my Thesis, that most of the wars, military ops, regime change events, financial shenanigans, and starve them out sanctions are arranged in cooperation with persons who have authority, control or influence with national governments by private wealth seeking investors. When a government finds itself the barrier that keeps private investors from a resource or a business interest that is highly profitable or strategically necessary to make a profit, or is necessary to maintain a revenue stream, or is favorable to accumulate more wealth, the protecting government soon finds itself a victim. The victim government has a few options: give in (corruption), defend their rights in a war or allow the investors to have what they want.

Investors seeking access to favorable profit or wealth opportunities will find a way to break down the defenses a government might establish to protect its sovereign interest and the interest of those it governs, unless the government is strong militarily and financially.

My thesis is that "War, regime change, sanction, and such are instituted only when there is a private investment opportunity to be had. If there were no oil and gas beneath pre 1918 Ottoman Empire, wwI w\n\h\b instituted, the Jews would not have been chased out of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Poland or Russia to invade by immigration, and to occupy and regime change, the Ottoman Empire.

Posted by: snake | Jan 2 2020 9:19 utc | 122

Kali @107: Thank you for that link, coincides with my understanding of our politics very well.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 2 2020 9:56 utc | 123

Grieved i did watch your vid. You may be interested in this author /columnist Godfree Roberts on the same topic.
https://www.unz.com/article/chinas-congresses-in-action/?highlight=china+elections

Posted by: col from OZ | Jan 2 2020 10:23 utc | 124

Biden says the truth, sorta...Mark Sleboda's twitter has a video of the young man confessing on camera. "I don't think you should assume I am not corrupt".

Better still is what Sharmine Narwani said on RT show What’s the real plan with Iran? (Renegade, Inc, 8 July RT) (yes, July. Smart lady!)

But my favorite is S. Mohamad Marandi posted on his Twitter

This exchange:


Khamenei.ir
‏ @khamenei_ir
Jan 1

Khamenei.ir Retweeted to Donald J. Trump

"That guy has tweeted that we see Iran responsible for the events in Baghdad & we will respond to Iran.
1st: You can’t do anything.
2nd: If you were logical —which you’re not— you’d see that your crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan… have made nations hate you."

....meantime, the Winter is not frosty enough...the fruit trees are showing signs of budding, and I've got my eye on the bass boat the nuttychrister neighbor intends to abandon when the rapture leaves me behind. fish on! (will we need licenses?, I mean, with so many people beamed up...)


Posted by: Walter | Jan 2 2020 12:16 utc | 125

You'll never understand these western "experts":

Downside risks abound for Vietnam’s 2020 economy - Despite strong growth planners would be ill-advised to lose sight of needed reforms and divestments

It’s not immediately clear that Vietnam’s economic planners are doing enough to avoid that wealth trap. That includes divestment of inefficient state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that continue to gobble up local bank lending at the expense of the private sector.

Privatization of SOEs, known locally as “equitization” and seen as crucial to raising funds for state coffers, has slowed significantly in recent years, with 2019 proving a particularly poor year for initial public offerings (IPOs).

Politics was a factor in the privatization slowdown. For instance, state inspectors often overvalued SOE assets scheduled for privatization, fearful that losing the state money through perceived as “underpriced” share offerings could result in prison sentences.

Yes, those corrupt Vietnamese leaders, whose country has been growing at a 17%-7% rate for decades now, are just a bunch of ideological wackos who put abstract ideas above the concrete social relations of a national economy...

... or, it could be a simple case where they saw the liberal model of the West is bullshit whereas the Chinese one is legit, and are stopping a catastrophic mistake of going capitalist.

--//--

Meanwhile, up north:

AI, big data becoming Shinhan's new growth engines

Sure, sure. AI, big data, etc. etc. are the future of Western Civilization. The South Korean elite already knows that, and is quickly implementing it, because SK is the best etc. etc.

But in the real world:

Korean economy faces rocky road to recovery

It's cute: they still believe there's a "road".

Posted by: vk | Jan 2 2020 12:24 utc | 126

to karlof1 - thanks for the link to the new year speech. Lovely. Do you happen to have a link to the recent Putin marathon presser? Your reference system is awesome!

to Bemildred #120. Yes, elegant is the exact term. Well played. The coming few weeks will be very interesting.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Jan 2 2020 12:34 utc | 127

Thanks for all the hard work you do, and a happy new year to you and your family.

Also, an editorial story suggestion: The fact that a blanket ban on coverage of the OPCW/false-flag is ongoing, does that not suggest that some entity like the so-called Integrity Initiative is in place in Western media? Would the CFR be a likely candidate for that entity? How is that censorship-program administered, out of what "office?" Does it issue "D-notices" on certain topics and talking points for other topics, again, as we saw with the II? The Syrian false-flag seems especially weighted, not only because it produced a verifiable war crime, but also because it implies that the White Helmets murdered more than 40 people to have corpses for their staged bit of death-theater.

Posted by: casey | Jan 2 2020 14:07 utc | 128

@98 Steve

I'm not entirely certain what reality you are living in.

Quote: "His instant recognition of the Kyiv putsch and his instant dismissal of Yanukovych showed this years ago."

Nonsense. This was simply practical diplomacy, recognizing reality and dealing with it, rather than having an hysterical attitude. The Russian Federation could have easily dealt with Porky Poroschenko's and Arseniy Yatsenyuk's (Nulan's boy) upstart coup, much as they did with Georgia, but they chose not to to, understanding the inevitable negative international reaction that would have. Instead they didn't fall for it, they used Plan B, re-acquired Crimea via a democratic vote, stymied Yankee plans to take over the Sevastopol port and hence the Black Sea. Smart. Furthermore, they were happy to have the enormously corrupt basket case that is the Ukraine to be a western problem.

"Apparently the Russian military is being notified of air raids into Syria (and all others?)" Again, of course. It's called de-confliction protocols. Perhaps you'd rather dog-fights between Russian Sukhoi's and Israeli/US airplanes? WW3?

"Putin's nonsense about their superweapons is a bluff, but at this point it is most likely aimed at his own people." They are real honey. Figure it out. They have showed them to American weapon inspectors. Russians were forced to invent these due to American development of (inept) missile defence systems, in violation of the ABM treaty, which the Americans themselves later withdrew from. And the INF treaty, and shortly START 3 will be foregone. I would claim the Yankees are trying to bankrupt the Russian Federation via a new arms race, much as the did with the former Soviet Union (which was an economic war more than anything else), but I doubt that will work now given the Russia-China alliance.

You need to grow up. Attitudes aren't a sensible substitute to understanding.

Posted by: Ant. | Jan 2 2020 14:59 utc | 129

- In reply to another reply (on the topic: South Korea) in this thread:

- Australia & the US both had a housing bubble. what is less known that South Korea had a housing bubble in the last say 10 years. And now the country has to face the downside of the previous credit boom.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 2 2020 15:38 utc | 130

Ant.@127 [nonsense]

First wrong point: Acquiring Crimea by plebiscite ensured a permanent casus belli for use by Ukraine and the usual suspects are concerned. Conceding legitimacy to the Kyiv government, rather than helping Yanukovych turn Crimea and Luhansk and Donetsk (and possibly Kharkov which came close to seceding too,) into the legitimate government, was not practical politics but a political choice. Putin didn't want to fight fascism, because he's not really against it. It would have been one thing to not back a war to reclaim all Ukraine but backing negotiations between the legitimate government of Ukraine in the east would have been...very much like what Russia is trying to do now, except he's conceded the political legitimacy of Kyiv, as against the political legitimacy of Luhansk and Donetsk. It is not at all clear that "losing" the Black Sea would have made any difference. This argument requires that naval warfare against Russia is a serious military threat. This is not clear at all, not even when it was the Tsars versus the Turks. Amphibious landings in the Caucasus? Armadas streaming up the Don? This is not serious. Lastly, the vapid notion that somehow fascists in Ukraine is cheaper than Yanukovych makes not sense on the face of it.

Second point wrong: Deconfliction means no raids, no Russians sitting on their asses while supposed allies get bombed. As for the risk of general war between the great powers, there is nothing in Syria that is worth that risk to Russia. This asks the question of what Putin is doing there at all?

Third point wrong: Gullibility about tech is nearly impossible to cure. New tech never works without extensive testing, period. That hasn't happened. You have no case, much less undeniable facts. The only actual evidence we have was a failed test that killed people. That's evidence against their reality. And, if anyone is trying to bankrupt another party with an expensive and useless arms race, it's Russia trying to bankrupt the US. (Also, weapons of mass destruction are dubious strategy, and it would be foolish of Putin to invest in them rather than ASAT or drones or even EMP if you insist on going off into the wild blue yonder.)

It's obvious Putin is more honest, more competent, more principled (even if they're not my principles, he does have some) etc. than most leaders. But this superweapon stuff is an alarming symptom.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jan 2 2020 15:41 utc | 131

It is nice to see that the US State Department (CIA's overt operations wing) is alarmed by Russia's latest weapons development. It is also pleasing to see that they are still upset about losing Crimea. I appreciate their paid staff coming here to tell us these things.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 2 2020 16:18 utc | 132

RE:OPCW I said in another thread that a key factor is reputation and the media will not talk about the OPCW because they don't see how they can without losing face.
The mainstream are defined by who they trust and who they distrust. The main cause of conformity is that the media hook up their reputation to that of their trustworthy sources and if their sources -Bellingcat- go down so do they. That for me is the baseline of mainstream media conformity and this conformity reaches much wider than the media. It just as well affects academia and the educated public.
The corporateness of the system makes it worse. They make sure the reputation of the organisation is protected so that individuals don't go their own way.
So on matters OPCW the media has no way out right now but to wait. Hopefully a saving narrative will be provided....

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jan 2 2020 16:19 utc | 133

thanks wg... it is probably worth stating given how many posters miss this..

the msm can't talk about opcw as tuyzentfloot mentions without losing face.. it is hard to pussyfoot around that..

Posted by: james | Jan 2 2020 16:33 utc | 134

It seems the recent article by Robert Fisk in the Independent should help stir up some in the western media to start taking these opcw whistle blowers more seriously. Fisk describes his encounter with a NATO officer whose specialty was CW issues and tipped him off that the OPCW was covering up information on the Douma incident. He didn't have enough for an article at that time but in light of the recent leaks he has published his information now.

If there are people inside NATO who were aware that the opcw leadership were hiding technical information on the Douma incident and at least one willing to tell Fisk, one would think this could put some pressure our papers of record to maybe at least address this issue.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jan 2 2020 16:53 utc | 135

Posted by: Ant. | Jan 2 2020 14:59 utc | 129
Posted by: steven t johnson | Jan 2 2020 15:41 utc | 131

I may be an NPC here, but FWIW I prefer Ant's narrative over steven t

The Outlaw US empire's naked imperialist aggression is now in plain view (for those sober enough to know where to look) and it seems everyone not in the West clearly sees it & are charting their courses accordingly (I know I am)

As for who's bankrupting whom, the US is doing a fine job all by itself without any help from anyone else. But then again, it's all by design, is it not? Thank you ZATO...

My only sadness in all this is that the unsuspecting war-worshiping citizens in the West will have quite the hangover (and worse) when the party is finally over, and that time is sooner than most think

“The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.” - John P.Curran

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 2 2020 16:58 utc | 136

The Chinese Mirage. Oh, wait, this is the First World!

Phantom FDI

It turns out that foreign direct investment (FDI) by the imperialist countries is increasingly unproductive. According to a new report by the IMF, most FDI goes into tax havens to avoid tax. 40 percent of FDI globally comes from just seven countries, which collectively account for 3 percent of the world economy.

What Is Real and What Is Not in the Global FDI Network?

"Our estimates imply that Phantom FDI has grown at a faster pace than Real FDI over the last decade and accounts for around $15 trillion, almost 40 percent of Total FDI, globally. Most of the world’s Phantom FDI is in a small group of well-known offshore centers: Luxembourg ($3.8 trillion), the Netherlands ($3.3 trillion), Hong Kong SAR ($1.1 trillion), British Virgin Islands ($0.8 trillion), Bermuda ($0.8 trillion), Singapore ($0.8 trillion) and the Cayman Islands ($0.7 trillion)."

Brad Setser sums it up:

"Foreign direct investment is generally thought to be real investment in plant and equipment abroad—GE building gas turbines in France, GM building cars in China, Siemens building turbines in North Carolina, and BMW and Toyota building cars in South Carolina and Kentucky. Statistically, though, FDI is often investment by one special purpose entity (generally located in a tax center) in another special purpose entity…so called phantom FDI.

It is Time to Change How We View Foreign Direct Investment

One of the biggest recent “direct” investments globally was Microsoft Ireland’s purchase of Microsoft Singapore. That transaction has a huge statistical impact on Ireland (and the euro area), but didn’t have much of an impact on the “real” Irish economy.


Posted by: vk | Jan 2 2020 17:00 utc | 137

"Don't be offended, snowflakes, we still need you as cannon fodder":

British army battles for the hearts of snowflakes and bloggers to fill jobs gap in 2020

According to The Guardian, the British Armed Forces is also open to obese people.

Posted by: vk | Jan 2 2020 17:55 utc | 138

Correct link to #138:

British army battles for the hearts of snowflakes and bloggers to fill jobs gap in 2020

Posted by: vk | Jan 2 2020 17:56 utc | 139

Echoing Miss Lacy's thanks for your repeated link to Putin's New Year address, karlof1! Putin obviously enjoyed reaching out as all-inclusively as that in homage to his oft stated multipolarity theme - which is the golden pinnacle of government, much as the beautiful golden hemispheres that grace the kremlin on a starry night do as well. I do think it is the height of spirituality to so much enjoy the universality of the New Year festivities in that way, echoed by b's post here as well. Happy New Year, b! And thank you for all you do!

Posted by: juliania | Jan 2 2020 18:33 utc | 140

Bernie Sanders would be destroyed by media like Corbyn in UK. - above.

Corbyn was yes vilified (e.g. the anti-semitism hoopla), but that is not the reason Labour’s vote share dropped from a glorious high of 40% (Corbyn, 2017) to 32% (Corbyn, 2019), still better than Brown 2010, 29%, and Miliband, 2015, 30%. (The FPTP electoral system leads to a large loss of seats.)

Corbyn initially said he would respect the people’s vote, re. the Brexit referendum.

Labour attempted to block Brexit in various ways.

Corbyn’s ultimate message was: your vote is meaningless, voting is a mug’s game. We, Labour, did not, sincerely + rigorously (2016-2018) take it into account and now (2019) we will negate it with a new (proposed) vote, even attempting to *reverse* the original vote! Corbyn - no doubt under pressure - threw his support behind a second referendum following some new ‘nebulous’ yet-to-be-worked-out ‘deal.’

That Labour under Corbyn still got 30% is amazing, is due only to Tory-hate, austerity, and lack of alternatives.

Being bashed by the media in the Anglo-World is positive. Look at Trump, painted as a disgusting racist, woman-hater, crude boor, possibly a rapist, etc.

The problem with Sanders is that he should have been a candidate in 2016. (Or even before.) That he couldn’t attain that status brands him as a has-been. In any case, one can question if the Dem. Corporate-Core actually wants to win, for sure they won’t put Sanders up as a candidate. Imho they prefer not to try, to avoid the humiliation of losing. (Yet, they have to pretend to be super keen — TV reality junk for the mopes.)

They have nothing to propose politically. Neither do the Repubs, who will just go with Trump.

The Prez. Election is a weirdo popularity contest, resting on financial calculations, who spends what, who guarantees what legislation, underground deals, earnings, financial high jinks, etc. Utterly divorced from socio-economic, environmental, or other policies, principles, future plans or directions, that *might* actually be seen as being for the common (national) good.

Likklemore above made the point that standing against Killary (imho the most hated woman in the world) was a sure win, so yes, there is a measure of suspense.

Happy New Year to all!

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 2 2020 18:47 utc | 141

on the topic of opcw - craig murray is not letting up putting it inside a bigger context...

The Terrifying Rise of the Zombie State Narrative

Posted by: james | Jan 2 2020 18:53 utc | 142

@ Posted by: Noirette | Jan 2 2020 18:47 utc | 141

But the second referendum thing wasn't Corbyn's fault. He wanted to honor the result of the first and immadiately triple whipped its approval in the Commons in the aftermath of the referendum. For this, he was mercilessly bashed by the British leftist MSM.

Then, he tried to play the "I don't know what you're talking about" game, in order to try to appease both sides. The Labour establishment noticed the trick and called for not one, but two national plenaries (!!) in less than three years in order to pass a party resolution officially supporting a "people's vote" (i.e. second referendum) and thus definitely forcing Corbyn to publicly endorse it (as head of the Party).

This second referendum thing was pure sabotage by the "Blairites".

Posted by: vk | Jan 2 2020 18:55 utc | 143

Saker wrote an interesting summation for 2019 for both the Outlaw US Empire and Russia that's filled with links to items barflies might want to visit. My pen-name at his site is Outlaw Historian, and I did leave a comment. For me, the most interesting link was this one where Russia demonstrates the avangard system for Outlaw US Empire inspectors.

Miss Lacy @127--

Here's your request!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 2 2020 21:00 utc | 144

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 2 2020 2:37 utc | 119

thank you for the link to one of the videos with Zhang Weiwei. I never heard of him, but from the very beginning I learned to like his personality and how he explained the differences between West and East. In the progress I watched many more of his appearances on YT. There was one on which he was speaking at the Schiller Institute in 2017, where he got more time to go into more detail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7XIYP0LvgI

Interestingly, there was chatter and noise in the first ten minutes, but it became silent afterwards. Because what this man was saying had value. The audience started to listen carefully. Zhang Weiwei used only few slides, slides and charts are boring, he was speaking openly and freely. Compare this presentation to other presentations we know, where the speaker gets a frog in his throat, pronounces with difficulty, needs a sip of water, etc. Not so with Mr Zhang Weiwei. The later the presentation goes, the more energetic he becomes. You can see it in his movements, and the more frequent hand movement to his nose.

Besides, the hand movement to the nose means that the person has to smell the hand, smell the taste. Like a goal keeper right before a penalty kick. He has to get the ball. He sniffs his gloves that smell nothing like nature, but the behaviour is instinct. It is a very ancient behavior.

We can only assume that he could go on for two hours or more.

---

Here are my thoughts, which can be seen as some sort of summary:

the Chinese system is dynamic and pragmatic. The Western system is static and opportunistic.

In China, before election, there is selection. A governor has to prove his abilities for a certain time, ruling over a province of dozens of millions of people. If he succeeds, he may get elected into the state government. This reminds a bit of Plato, who said that each governor must be a philosopher. It appears the Chinese system goes even further: a governor doesn't only have to be a philosopher, he also has to prove his wisdom in the real world for a prolonged time. And, by the way, this Chinese system was established and functioning before Plate was born.

We see that women are not on the list. Chinese society is probably as/more patriarchate as Western societies. I will leave it like that. At least China has a female speaker for the government, as well as the Russian government has a female speaker. Both are very good in my opinion.

An important fact is about language. In Western ancient culture, Greek and Latin language were the important languages. But they are all dead languages now. The Chinese language is older than Latin and Greek, and it is still living. With all its dialects in the vast country, as Zhang Weiwei points out, but with a common written language. To me, this is a very profound thing. And without a doubt for any researcher in linguistics and culture.

There is no word for love in Chinese? Winston Tong, one of the best musicians I know, once sang this line. As a Chinese he must know. I still wonder what it is what he meant to say. There certainly must be countless words for love in Chinese language, but I don't know. I don't speak Chinese, and don't have Chinese friends I could call. We don't have Chinese here on this blog, I guess. So the mystery continues for me.*

Globalisation: China defines globalisation only as economic globalisation. Not political globalisation. That's the key point. Because over the past 20+ years globalisation was actually the so-called neo-liberal globalisation: privatisation, 'Arab Spring', 'Color Revolutions', fall of the Soviet Union, fall of the Berlin Wall, etc. For this reason, China has become the most beneficiary of globalisation.

China: people's livelihood first. Government has to do something tangible for people's life. Improving people's living standards instead of chanting empty slogans. China in its entirety encompassed in comparison about 100 European states, and this has to be governed. Compare this to the EU. In my opinion, what China has achieved in the last decades is something Westerners hardly can imagine.

Another thought about the dynamic and adaptation of this Chinese system: in the 80's, people in China were not allowed to wear individual clothing. They all wore Maoist suits. Uniforms. They were not allowed to leave the country. Today it is very different. Everyone can dress as she or he pleases, and there are about 120 million Chinese tourists. Or 130 million.

While it is the same one-party system, which has adapted and changed a lot over 40 years. Western systems are rigid and static. They cannot change that fast, they cannot change at all. Because before they could change, they would need to change the constitution. Which is an almost impossible thing to realise. The Chinese system however is able to adapt rather quickly.

The private sector in China has been built from scratch. The private sector is allowed to compete with the state sector, which forces the state sector to reform itself. They become partners. This is the overall approach. The same applies internationally, with building bridges with other countries. China coorperates with international institutions, the World Bank, etc.

This is all, I repeat, according to the words from Zhang Weiwei. These are not my own words. I added some of my thoughts in it.

* somehow I couldn't find the lyrics of the song 'Theoretical China', neither in my library of lyrics, nor on the internet. What I found is rather scarce, but at least something:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCtc6DriJRA
http://www.electricityclub.co.uk/lost-albums-winston-tong-theoretically-chinese/

Posted by: Phil | Jan 2 2020 21:16 utc | 145

Posted by: vk | Jan 2 2020 17:55 utc | 138

this is indeed bizarre. They somehow try to catch the 'snowflake' meme and apply it to their apply to their recruitments. This is really sick. Similar advertisements are done in Germany.

I wonder how much time will it take that such advertisements will become powerless. They are powerless now of course. But how long will it take that everyone will laugh about these attempts to lure lower class people into this charade.

Posted by: Phil | Jan 2 2020 21:25 utc | 146

Oh Boy! The first installment of the "Keiser Report" for 2020 is beyond outstanding, IMO, not just because it includes Dr. Michael Hudson for the entire show, but because of the topics covered and method used to drive the overall narrative! Max promises more of the same as the election year advances, so set your DVRs to record and bookmark the show's Twitter URL.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 2 2020 22:12 utc | 147

Interview with the guy that managed the soft coup in '44 that resulted in the antisoviet "cold war" and of course created the ground upon we today live. A really fascist dude>

trumanlibrary [dot] gov/library/oral-histories/pauleye#oh1

If not for Pauley and his soft coup and the well-timed departure of FDR there would have been no atom bombing... what a guy! a real murkin.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 2 2020 22:20 utc | 148

In Pepe Escobar's recent article, "In the Footsteps of Xuanzang in Kyrgyzstan", he cites having gotten his historical descriptions from Si-yu-Ki; Buddhist records of the Western World, which we can all read at the link! I'm continually amazed at the content available at that archive site.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 2 2020 23:20 utc | 149

Russia’s oil production hits post-Soviet time record in 2019

Not the Soviet record though:

Russia’s oil production in 2019 reached 560.2 million tonnes. According to statistics, Soviet oil production set a record in 1987 at 569.5 million tonnes. Later it continued decreasing and plunged to 303 million tonnes by 1996

Such was the devastation caused by mr. Yeltsin and his ilk (Chubais et al) and the IMF's "Shock Doctrine".

Posted by: vk | Jan 2 2020 23:35 utc | 150

Yet another New Year's editorial by Global Times on the topic of "China, US to seek balance, boundaries" that sets China's policy in plain English so it can't be misinterpreted. A main excerpt:

"It means China must have a firm stance and be clear-minded over what is most important in China-US ties and what is less or not that significant. The US has offended China openly in terms of ideologies. It is no longer necessary to attach importance to US public opinions about China. But when it comes to China's core interests, China must have the courage to stick to its principles, without fearing a possible collision with the US."

Very similar wording to what Russia, Iran and North Korea have also said. What Grieved @119 wrote is very important when it comes to understanding China, its internal politics and their structure as it explains the connective dynamic between today's Dynasty and those that came before. And it's just as important to note that Chiang's Kuomintang never tried to make any connection with the traditional dynastic past as they were just a bunch of kleptocrats similar to China's traditional war lords who disappear once the new dynasty is soundly ensconced, and that is how Taiwan is viewed by most Chinese--a breakaway war lord riven province that will eventually return to the Dynastic whole.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 3 2020 0:08 utc | 151

TJ @3

The video you link is the clearest explanation of the 737MAX disaster, and how air safety requirements were intentionally subverted in the name of profit (or so I interpret it). Notwithstanding that it is a very low key presentation, it is very effective. And it covers a lot of ground. Below is a youtube link to the lecture which avoids having to download it from the Chaos Computer Club before viewing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlaMQBEg-9M

Posted by: fitz | Jan 3 2020 0:13 utc | 152

@Passer By #44

>>We have 2016 election results. You dispute that?

Even during the 2016 elections, Trump was rejected by the majority of the population, both according to the vote and the polls. In a normal democracy he would have lost. This time, there will be even more minorities, ergo his probability of winning will be even lower, and even if he somehow wins, this will cause a civil war like situation in the country due to a numerically decisive number of people strongly rejecting him, regardless of the situation by state. Ultimately, i see him as the last republican president.


>>I don’t disagree that the recent immigrants are prime Democratic faithful, but the base of Democratic strength isn’t recent immigrants but the working class in the US. Or at least it was.

The new base of the D is the so called coalition of minorities: women, ethnic minorities, lgbt, etc. Women are 52 % of the voters, very important.

The party has moved into identity politics and judging by the strong rejection of the Republican party by women and minorities, it is working.

Trump is just the last dying protest of the declining white majority in the US. There is an american saying that i like: As California goes, so goes the country.

Well, and what happened in California? The Republican Party was wiped out.

Posted by: Passer by | Jan 3 2020 1:46 utc | 153

Rep was to c1ue | Jan 1 2020 9:26 utc | 77

Posted by: Passer by | Jan 3 2020 1:47 utc | 154

updates for the latest "exploits of Chicom agents in the [[[five liars]]] landscape...."

we already heard this one,
Fake Chinese police car in Oz to intimidate Uighurs ..[sic]

It gets better...

Apparently ,
CCP spooks broke into the house of Anne
Marie Brady, a reknowned China baiter in NZ, got away with her laptop.
[sic]2

But you aint seen nuthin yet,

OMFGawd !
A fucking wet job in Oz no less !
As the story goes, Chinese spooks bumped off a would be asset , prolly to silence him off. !

Big fucking [sic]3

UNlike the CIA/MI6 , Chinese intel have been so low key and secretive , I doubt anybody know the name of that outfit.
[[psst..... that so-called Chinese spy Wang Li Qiang, paraded on Aussie TV for a full sixty min interview, couldnt even tell the proper name of his unit either.....some super spy coming in from the cold indeed, heheheh]

UNlike the CIA/MI6, Chinese intel has ZERO record of foreign capers.
Now all of a sudden, We are told that these super duper Chinese agents are running amok in Oz, NZ,
even perpetrating CIA/MI6 style wet job forchrissake !!!

Is this a case of the hitherto defensive Chinese suddenly 'getting more aggressive', a favourite meme from the [[five head serpent]]] these days,
or rather, that [[[five liars]]] are getting more audacious in their scripts ??

To me this is a no brainer.

But you never know with the [[[five liars]]],
Fact is, there'r many right here who swallow every fukus agitprop on China, hook line and sinker.
[nemetroll and pft come to mind,....]

P.S.
Is there a correlation between race and the propensity to lie ????

Posted by: denk | Jan 3 2020 3:29 utc | 155

Caitlin Johnstone on what comes next with US and Iran:

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/01/03/us-assassination-of-top-iranian-military-official-may-ignite-world-war/

Posted by: PJB | Jan 3 2020 4:03 utc | 156

U.S. military has killed Soleimani: Pentagon says US airstrike killed powerful Iranian general (AP). Absolute insanity. If it's okay now to use military to openly murder people of Soleimani's stature—without declaring a war—then all bets are off.

Posted by: S | Jan 3 2020 4:58 utc | 157

Paveway IV recently expressed the opinion that the multiple attacks on Kataib Hezbollah in Syria and Iraq were against the wishes of Trump. It was just Pompeo being sly. It is now time for otherwise intelligent Trumptards, including Paul Craig Roberts, to face the basic fact.

Trump, like his father before him, is a Jew pretending, for the sake of Jews, to be a Christian heritage-American. One is not supposed to say this kind of thing. Antisemitism and all that. But Americans who follow that path remind me of the mythical story of trapped male beavers, that they chew off their testicles to free themselves.

Go back to the beginning of Trump's campaign, or better his whole history in relation to the Jew establishment of New York, and ask, How would it be different if he were a tribalist Jew putting his tribe first with a chosen family path of Judaic crypsis?

(It is another matter that the global Jew establishment is split between the dominant Rothschild financial faction and hyper-Zionists such as Trump. The banksters have been attacking him from the time of the campaign—despite his numerous sops to them such as having Mnuchin, multiply related to the Rothschilds, at treasury—precisely for his reckless anti-Iran policy that threatens the whole financial basis of Jewish power. 200 dollar oil will implode quadrillions in rigged derivatives. Now the financier faction, controlling the Democrats and much of the intelligence bureaucracy, has the perfect constitutional basis for impeachment.)

Trump tweeting the American flag is typical. It should be the blue hexagram. The American golem has been put to work by the Snake. And he even warned the deplorables that they were taking a snake to their bosom.

I do wish figures like Roberts and Paveway would wake up from their Judaic opioid.

And I wish Tulsi would now run with impeachment for all she's worth.

Posted by: sarz | Jan 3 2020 6:44 utc | 158

Nato/Turkey threats to invade Libya is getting a response:

Breaking: Libya's Haftar declares general mobilization to resist foreign forces
https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/breaking-libyas-haftar-declares-general-mobilization-to-resist-foreign-forces/

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 3 2020 22:13 utc | 159

RT & Max Keiser of "The Keiser Report" have launched a new weekly political commentary/news program aimed at the 2020 election called "Front Running 2020," the initial episode of which aired at the end of December, but can be seen/read about here. As you'll discover, Max employs both Renegade Economists Steve Keen and Michael Hudson in this episode, and I expect they'll feature in others as we move toward November. I also suggest watching this specifically and other episodes of "The Keiser Report" to get information and views you won't get anywhere else. His partner Stacy Herbert is an avid tweeter and is akin to most of us barflies politically.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 4 2020 22:26 utc | 160

Below is a link to a very well crafted explanation of the title of the piece by MN Gordon at Economic Prism

How the Fed Robs You of Your Life

The take away quotes
"
Victorian economist William Stanley Jevons, in his 1875 work, Money and the Mechanism of Exchange, stated that money has four functions. It’s a medium of exchange, a common measure of value, a standard of value, and a store of value.

......................
Take the dollar, for instance. Over the last 100-years, it has lost over 95-percent of its value.

.....................
After President Nixon temporarily suspended the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1971 the future was written. The money supply has expanded without technical limitations. This includes expanding the Fed’s balance sheet to buy debt from the Treasury. In a practical sense, Fed purchases of U.S. Treasury notes are now needed to fund government spending above and beyond tax receipts (i.e., fiscal deficits).

...................
Money, like any other good, is subject to the law of diminishing marginal utility. Specifically, an increase in the quantity of money by an additional unit leads to a reduction in purchasing power per monetary unit. As people exchange the increased money against other goods, prices rise. Or, more aptly, the purchasing power of money falls.

......................
The inflation of the money supply, in effect, distorts the prices of goods and services. Subsequent units of a good or service may have a reduced utility, though, over time, their nominal cost increases. This also undermines individual savings…and robs savers – that’s you – of their lives…

When the Fed introduces new money to the economy to finance deficits it debases the dollar. Similarly, when the Fed provokes the over issuance of credit by artificially suppressing interest rates, it further inflates the money supply and debases the dollar. This has the effect of reducing the dollar’s purchasing power.

What does all this have to do with you?

Think of all the days you’d have rather stayed home with your family than schlepping and slogging the day away for money. Think of all the time you spent on the road getting dumped on by clients while your kids were growing up. Think of all the sunny days you missed because you were at the office all day estimating and bidding on ridiculous jobs.

For what? So that after paying taxes on it all, what’s left over would be inflated away from your bank account?

Remember, money, in addition to being property, also represents time and the sacrifices made to earn it. When the Fed inflates your money away it not only robs you of your money. It robs you of your life.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 5 2020 1:08 utc | 161

I don't know if MoA barflies saw this Reuters article or not

The title
Trump tells evangelical rally he will put prayer in schools

The quote
"
MIAMI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said his Democratic opponents would tear down crosses and pledged to bring prayer to public schools at a re-election rally to shore up evangelical support.
"

This is in blatant contravention of the US Constitution that prohibits government support of any religion.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 5 2020 2:11 utc | 162

@snake #103
I have no idea what you're talking about. The electoral college is what determines who wins the presidency.
The electors are no longer appointed by State legislatures, they're totally separate. Most of them have zero latitude in how they cast their vote.
The immigration status of an elector is, frankly, irrelevant in most cases because of this lack of latitude. Electors are state government equivalents of ambassadors: a reward or a paid for gift, depending on your point of view.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 5 2020 15:37 utc | 163

@Passer by #153
The reality is that a lot of people who are conservative, don't even bother to vote in the Left Coast states because most are "all or nothing". This is reinforced over time because it isn't a good spend to even bother campaigning in California, if you're not a Democratic presidential hopeful. The Republican party in California is also notably odd - it is more Goldwater than anything else.
For example, the California Secretary of State shows registered voters to be:
8446397 (Democrat) vs. 4774878 (Republican) vs. 4850971 (No Preference)
Actual vote totals for the 2016 Presidential election: 8753799 HRC vs. 4483810 Trump. More than a little coincidence between registered voters and final results - I did look for data on the actual voter profile vs. registered voter profile but didn't find anything.
The second reality is that "popular" vote doesn't matter. The Constitution and the law both have the electoral college as the decision maker - change the Constitution via amendment if you don't like it.
As for identity politics working: the Democratic party lost something like 1000 seats in state legislatures over Obama's 2 terms.
30 of 49 states are Republican controlled legislature - is that how you define success? source
The HRC defeat by Trump is also instructive - he was outspent by 50%, he has no political experience at all, his own party hates him and yet he still won.
Clearly your idea of "winning" has a strong dichotomy with reality.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 5 2020 16:04 utc | 164

According to a post over at Colonel Lang's blog, the US, having now been given notice by Iraq that they should leave, have up to one year to begin removing troops from Iraq.

To quote Percival Rose on the Nikita show: "That ain't gonna happen."

The goal is war with Iran. You can't do that without troops in Iraq. So they aren't going anywhere - and in fact will be reinforced with tens of thousand more regardless of what Iraq wants. And if Iraq starts an insurgency against the US forces there, those forces will be even more reinforced until there are a hundred thousand or more.

If the Iraq war has to be restarted, so be it. The neocons want their war with Iran - and they're going to get it.

Also, a renewed Iraq war where most of the opposition are "Iranian proxies with Iranian support" - which is how the neocons will spin it - offers yet another perfect way to justify attacking Iran. That will be better than the mere existence of Iranian-related forces inside Syria who haven't done anything against US forces.

The neocons - and Trump - need an *excuse* to attack Iran. A *real* one - not just some drones shot down or unknown bombs on someone's ships or the Houthis shooting at Saudi Arabia. They need dead American soldiers they can directly blame on Iran. They tried that during the Iraq insurgency by blaming Iran for IEDs but that was relatively weak sauce because experts said the IEDs could easily be made in Iraq by Iraqis.

So they'll get them by restarting the Iraq war. That was the original neocon plan anyway - invade Iraq, then invade Iran.

So no, US troops aren't going anywhere. Even if Trump wants to do that to help win the election, *after* the election the neocons and the CIA can arrange for incidents in Iraq blamed on Iran to force Trump to send them back in. Because as is blindingly obvious, Trump *does* have an antipathy to Iran based on his overwhelming support for Israel. Trump *will* start a war with Iran regardless of his *alleged* reluctance to start any new wars.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jan 5 2020 23:38 utc | 165

@Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jan 5 2020 23:38 utc | 165

Yeah, but the people at Lang´s site always see the legal issue when it beneffits the US, but fear that clause or any other for that matter gets immediately withour effect, after the US violated the agreement in such a gross way, and more properly pissed on it.

How in the Earth do you think Iraq will allow the US troops to stay after they have killed about 50 militias who are part of its army along with main figure of anti-ISIS offensive?

In fact, the general prosecutor of Iraq, if the country were not in such shock state right now, should detain the main responsible for US IOR to determine the legal responsabilities for such terrorist act.

You are still fortunate. Pack asap and go before they start realizing.

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 6 2020 0:14 utc | 166

@Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jan 5 2020 23:38 utc | 165

All the USGov shills are posting here and everywhere all the tragedies are going to happen to the Iraqis, that the US is invincible with all its military might, bla, bla, bla, bla, the same message that has already Twitted The Donald, but as that this will not wash.

The Saker has posted his analysis in the same terms you have done here, trying to scare the people of the resistance and the Iraqis, only yes, all mixed amongst the speeches of Nasrallah...so as to provide a cover....

If it were not enough clear to this point, you are unveiling yourselves all the way. I am also missing some very prolific here...

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 6 2020 0:24 utc | 167

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