Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 12, 2020

Open Thread 2020-11

News & views ...

Posted by b on February 12, 2020 at 13:55 UTC | Permalink

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Best money laundering is the legal one

Posted by: Mina | Feb 15 2020 15:08 utc | 301

'Communist,' 'left-wing version of Trump': Liberals freak out as Bernie makes major gains in Nevada, Texas polls

Reversing the old western Cold War joke: "first they came for the communists - and I did nothing, because I wasn't a communist. Then... free speech determined I was also a communist, and they came for me - and I did nothing, because I didn't know I was a communist and was caught by surprise".


'West is Winning': Pompeo Says He's Happy to Report That the Death of NATO is 'Grossly Exaggerated'

I'm not going to play "who's the western version of Flavius Stilicho" game because Russia is still deciding which side it will pend to for the forseeable future. After Putin dies, anything can happen, so who knows for sure?

But, if Russia enter the "eastern side" of the geopolitical game, then the numbers are not good for the West, which will essentially become the USA and its Third World and decadent periphery. Europe is already at its maximum potential, so nothing will come from there. The Third World was structured for centuries to be inescapably dependent on money-capital from the center, i.e. the USA and will be a black hole of capitals in the long term if the Americans are to keep its Highlander philosophy (that "there can be only one (superpower)"). Africa is a complete mess, with many nation-States not really being true nation-States - many are just a confederation of tribes with a UN seat and the likes of Somalia don't even have a State (it's the libertarian utopia).

Like old Rome, the Western part will probably be on the losing side is a schism happen. Even if Russia listens to its heart instead of its brain and drifts west, the situation would still be dire, because Russia is a very poor country, without the capital resources to re-civilize at least Eastern Europe (i.e. Europe until Poland). There's a reason the USSR was what it was. Sure, China can always be nuked to oblivion - but at this point we would just be playing the nihilist card.

Posted by: vk | Feb 15 2020 15:46 utc | 302

@Parisian Guy #287
You said in post #101: "you're a genuine person who cannot imagine how much cunningly some humans could behave."
This is a direct commentary on me as a person as opposed to an examination of my arguments - which is the definition of ad hominem.

Secondly, I didn't address directly your post #101 statement because it seemed self evident in its contradiction to your statement:

For myself I don't care what Bannon says. I watch his acts. Here in Europe he tried, and failed, to build "The Movement" which was nothing more than a kind of federation of these conservative groups who are at the same time nationalistic and Zionist... Can you see the snake oil trader?

Where in the above is Bannon being an evil, cunning genius? Is it evil or cunning or just understandable that Bannon reaches out to other conservative groups to attempt to build solidarity?
Wow, it is like Obama appealing to liberals in Europe - does that mean Obama was cunning and evil as well?
Equally, since Bannon is doing the reachout very openly and publicly - this is radically different than QAnon.
Clearly your analysis is not objective.

You then double down on your statements by saying:

your many first-hand experiences of cunning individuals is the consequence of your difficulties to speedily identify them during the first period.

My first hand experiences involve assisting law enforcement to catch and convict cyber criminals. Thus, very likely unlike your experiences, I have real world validation of my method.

You then said next:

you're not enough wanting to understand the disagreeing opinions.
Look at what you did basically. You just tried to disqualify my POV by unsubstantiated claims that I was parroting the Dems or Maher. You just didn't take care it doesn't match some facts which you already know:

What you said is exactly what Maher and the DNCC says. You furthermore have yet to present any objective evidence other than your own opinion. How then should I take your views?
Ok, let's say you derived these views objectively. Did you put forward the evidence? The chain of reasoning? The self criticism to see if the evidence, chain of reasoning and conclusion is potentially weak?
I didn't see any of that. What I responded with was a very clear thesis, plus my reasoning, plus pointers to where you could see Bannon speak for himself. Not only did you refuse to watch them - which is a tell that you are the actual one who is uninterested in objective evidence or understanding the other side - you then come back with a thesis that I am somehow the one who is naive.
You then weaken your own case further:
I told in the comment which you answered first, that my Qanon = Bannon idea came from the Great Awakening video, when it was released one or two years ago. I was the only one to make this diagnosis at the time. I could claim that Maher is parroting myself today. It would be dumb, for sure, but at least the timeline would be consistent.

So in other words, your views came from a propaganda video made by other people. Nice.
Then we come to the crux of your belief:
the link between Bannon and the European nationalist-zionist is a documented fact, perfectly understood by real nationalists here in Europe. Again, this has nothing related to the Dems babbling. And I guess that most of them ignore that, since they often peddle the fantasy that Bannon is an antisemitic populist. You can check the zionism of Bannon by searching in Breitbart about Hezbollah.
- the Bannon/Cambridge Analytica story was reported in the best right-leaning French daily newspaper, which is Le Figaro. Lot of factual information, and the story does hold water.

This is interesting for several reasons:
1) You equate Bannon's US-centricity with zionism. Uh - major contradiction.
2) You equate US-centricity/nationalism with anti-semitism and also European nationalism-zionism. Even disregarding the fundamental oxymoron of a US-nationalist who is zionist, only the most naive of children would believe that a pragmatic true believer would not reach out to make allies with those who share some beliefs. And would simultaneously believe that a person is nothing more than a mirror image of their allies. Under your formula - Zbigniew Brzeziski is a pro-China fan because he hates Russia, while Kissinger is a Russia-lover for being pro-US working with China.
3) It is clear you are liberal and dislike the rise of the far right all across Europe. Nothing wrong with that. However, there is plenty wrong with:
a) failing to understand the reasons why the far right is winning
b) believing that the far right in Europe is the same as Bannon; that Bannon is the same as Trump; and the Trump and Bannon are far right in the US.
4) Lastly, Le Figaro. I've already spoken to the fact that you clearly don't do your own research or independently validate what you are informed of by what you read/watch. Since you are apparently a believer in objective analysis - if not necessarily a practitioner - do you at least agree that left leaning publications like Le Figaro have an intrinsic bias against the conservative? And that they are not a reliable objective source of data regarding people, beliefs and movements which they are fundamentally opposed to?

From my perspective - Bannon is very much over-focused on China. He ascribes all that has gone wrong in the US to the impact China has had on the economy - without recognizing that the political and economic effort that allowed China to do this, is a function of Americans - specifically the American elite of both liberal and conservative bent.
Yet he isn't wrong in the sense that there has been too much "coddling" of China. As a former Goldman Sachs bankster, he naturally is blind to the destruction of the American economy due to the financial sector; blind to the negative impact of pharma, health insurance and private equity owned hospitals/health care providers on Aemrican society and likely blind to the US over-reach abroad.

That's what I really believe. Simply because I understand what and why Bannon pushes for doesn't mean I agree (or disagree) with everything he does.

Which comes full circle to the last bit of ass-u-mption which I find offensive: that simply because I understand Bannon (much as I understand Bernie, Biden, Harris, Warren, and now Gabbard), that I must necessarily fully endorse him.

My recommendation to you is to spend more time in areas that are actively uncomfortable to you. I regularly read both Naked Capitalism and Burning Platform - because these represent the liberal and the hard right, respectively. TBP in particularly is infested with all manner of outright and barely disguised racists - but it is nonetheless a genuine window into the fears and desires of the hard right conservative. And while I hate a significant part of what they say, at the same time I understand (from engaging with them) what has driven them to that state: the identitarian politics and policies which are increasingly dominating American law and practices.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 15 2020 15:53 utc | 303

More climate panicmonger propaganda - that isn't even pretending to be objective.
Forbes and National Geographic (and earlier nonsense about the heat blob on the west coast) decry

The U.S. is already grappling with climate change’s heavy costs, like when a powerful ocean heatwave struck the Northeast and devastated the region’s lobster fishery.

The problem with this statement is that it is 100% false.
1) The "heat wave" is anything but unusual. Here's the actual data
Scroll through a few years and see just how exceptional it has been.
2) That the "heat wave" affects the lobster fisheries in the Northeast.
Here's a graph showing more lobsters landed in the 'hot' years
Here's a graph showing how it was easier to catch lobsters those years as well
Or in other words, the "heat wave is killing the lobsters" is 100% nonsense.
There's plenty more in the source article Willis Eschenbach

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 15 2020 16:03 utc | 304

A second Syrian gov't chopper brought down by s2a missile, likely a manpad, marks 2nd chopper down in only a few days by Turkish-backed militants, according to zerohedge.

My question is, do manpads mark a serious escalation from the Turkish side and what will be the coordinated Syrian-Russian response?

Those fucking Turks and their neo-ottoman bullshit.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Feb 15 2020 16:19 utc | 305

c1ue @ 305

Not so fast.

Your ocean water temp chart is for "Massachusetts Bay", while your lobster chart is for "Maine".

What you aren't saying is that the whole lobster fishery moved north about two hundred miles. So, Maine is having bumper "crops", while southern New England lobster catch is way down.

I live in New England. Here, we all can see what is happening. It is warmer across the board. The sea life is moving north.

Nice try with your cherry picked data.

Not buying it.

Posted by: john brewster | Feb 15 2020 16:35 utc | 306

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 15 2020 15:53 utc | 304

I deliberately stopped reading you when you started "1) you equate ...... 2) you equate"

I was already at this stage counting too many misunderstandings, then this "equate" paragtaph demonstrated your will/need to misunderstand.
If you calmly check what I actually said, and what I never said, you'll discover that you were hallucinating.

Our exchange cannot continue, unless you correct yourself.

Posted by: Parisian Guy | Feb 15 2020 16:48 utc | 307

Thank you, jalp @290. Here's some facts from the comprehensive article:

"Nicolas Maduro won reelection in May 2018 in a process declared free and fair by hundreds of international observers, but a sham by the U.S. government and Western media. Some sectors of the Venezuelan opposition refused to accept the result, and in January 2019, Guaidó, a theretofore little-known politician, declared himself president, despite never having stood for the position. Throughout 2019, he called on the military to rebel and overthrow Maduro. Despite being supported financially and politically by the U.S. government, each coup attempt failed, and left him in a weaker position than before. His last coup attempt in November went so poorly that few inside the country even noticed. Nevertheless, the Trump administration has continued to hold him up as the legitimate president of the country, even as his approval ratings dip below 10 percent. While the United States and dozens of its allies recognize him, the United Nations and three-quarters of the world’s countries continue to acknowledge Maduro’s legitimacy. Guaidó’s mentor Leopoldo Lopez told journalists that if they successfully capture power, they will call on the United States to formally govern the country.

I strongly recommend a read of the entire article. Bravo to the defenders of international law!

Posted by: juliania | Feb 15 2020 17:04 utc | 308

@Walter #293, @S #299: By the way, if you plan to follow Karl on VK, you might also want to subscribe to Pepe Escobar’s VK and Petri Krohn’s VK.

Posted by: S | Feb 15 2020 17:10 utc | 309

With respect to Venezuela and other South American countries, the United States has consistently disobeyed its own previous adherence to UN policies, said policies which it, as karlof1 has previously pointed out, enshrined in its own rule of law with its major contribution to the birth of the UN itself. It is a huge disparity, even irony, that the UN is housed in New York, where the first capital of the United States had been housed. And the latest flagrant flouting of that history has been the welcome accorded to the usurper by the entire Congress during the State of the Union address.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 15 2020 17:18 utc | 310

- There are rumours "floating around" that:

1) the US and other forces didn't fully destroy ISIS. And even helped to let members of ISIS escape from the battlefield in eastern Syria & north western Iraq.
2) ISIS is getting stronger.
3) ISIS is involved in (more and more) attacks on the shiite government and the shiite militias with bombs, mortars & rockets.

- This all suggests to me that ISIS is being used again by Saudi Arabia, the US and even Israel to foment more unrest in Iraq. There is also a story that the US is (trying to) carve/carving out a separate state in (north-)westeren Iraq.

- Perhaps B has more info on this/these development(s) in Iraq ?

Posted by: Willy2 | Feb 15 2020 17:41 utc | 311

This catchy line, caught me> " It is as if Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who came to international prominence by exposing US National Security Agency surveillance operations, were on trial in New York and the media did not bother to show up."

@ WSWS "Alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower Joshua Schulte on trial in New York"


john brewster | Feb 15 2020 16:35 utc | 307 (climate/seasons/move/)

@ about 40 North we had new growth on fruit tress before Groundhog Day, And wild bees too, also hummingbirds...Spring moved some +4 weeks - and very mild frosts in December.

It happens also that bears and cats and pigs will come out of the mountains to drink and forage in the long and hotter Summer...then we'll have another jolly fire-season. The coyotes never leave, but are adapted so well that they're seldom seen.

Posted by: Walter | Feb 15 2020 17:44 utc | 312

@Parisian Guy #308
I'm fine with "the exchange" stopping, since you clearly have a double standard regarding what you assume of me vs. the same being done in return.
You've demonstrated nothing thus far except that you take your data from biased sources and are unwilling to seek original information at the source.
Good day.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 15 2020 18:33 utc | 313

@john brewster #307
Had you bothered to look for something besides affirming your own bias, you'd note that the temperature link allows you to search the records for many different locations.
In total, there are 16 locations listed including Central Maine shelf, Eastern Maine shelf, Western Maine shelf, Off N.H., etc etc.
So nice try - but fail on you.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 15 2020 18:38 utc | 314

c1ue @ 315

No. You posted Mass. vs Maine. Those stats are misleading.

When I called you on that, you give a vague pointer to other stats (which charts exactly? What is the link to them?). You don't post those stats. You once again, leave the data lookup to the reader. That is called "tasking", and it is a well-known internet debating tactic.

If this other data you allude to were conclusive, you would have posted it directly - as it is your responsiblity, as the one who made the original assertion, to do when that assertion is challenged.

So far, 1) you posted misleading data; and 2) you response is that I should do your research for you.

These are not the tactics of someone with a solid case.

Posted by: john brewster | Feb 15 2020 21:18 utc | 315

here is another way to indoctrinate young, innocent youth. Like the innocent youth that gets hired by agencies as soon as they leave school.

It is a choir, singing ancient chants. The remarkeable thing in this performance is that the children start singing from behind, and walk slowly onto the stage. Very well done and performed.

After that beautiful introduction, step to 17.03 where the real music starts. After that you may stop the video, or continue the concert. Outstanding is a litte boy who shakes left and right when he sings. He is probably the one that will become a musician.

Posted by: Phil | Feb 16 2020 0:49 utc | 316

Below is a recent, very short, posting at Xinhuanet

BAGHDAD, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Rockets struck near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad early on Sunday, local media reported, adding that the extent of the damage remains unclear.

As I just wrote on the Bloomberg posting/thread, I think a whole lot of world history outside the US (s)election is going to happen in the next 8-9 months.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 16 2020 4:11 utc | 317

This from Truthdig;

An excerpt:

"With both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary behind us, one thing is abundantly clear: the establishment still cannot stomach a Bernie Sanders nomination. Writing in Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi points out how corporate media fell all over itself on Wednesday to undercut the Vermont senator’s win in New Hampshire, just as it fabricated Pete Buttigieg’s victory in Iowa just a week ago."

Posted by: ben | Feb 16 2020 4:58 utc | 318

Latest Jimmy Dore show. A good one.

Posted by: ben | Feb 16 2020 5:06 utc | 319

Fu Ying, a veteran Chinese diplomat, challenged "Huawei ban" Nancy Pelosi

"Do you really think the democratic system is so fragile it could be threatened by this single high tech company, Huawei?"
Meaning: Socialism with Chinese Characteristics superior to democracy?

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Germany on February called on countries

Posted by: JC | Feb 16 2020 5:21 utc | 320

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 15 2020 18:33 utc | 314

I told you to calmly check what I said, before answering. You were not courageous enough to do that. Therefore I'll have to help you:

For instance I said that:
- the Bannon/Cambridge Analytica story was reported in the best right-leaning French daily newspaper, which is Le Figaro. Lot of factual information, and the story does hold water.

To which you answered:
4) Lastly, Le Figaro. I've already spoken to the fact that you clearly don't do your own research or independently validate what you are informed of by what you read/watch. Since you are apparently a believer in objective analysis - if not necessarily a practitioner - do you at least agree that left leaning publications like Le Figaro have an intrinsic bias against the conservative? And that they are not a reliable objective source of data regarding people, beliefs and movements which they are fundamentally opposed to?

Look at the reality: when I wrote Right, you understood Left,

What is demonstrated here? Like in your parallel exchange with John Brewster, you behave like all these small narcissists who cannot imagine their smartness has some limitations. In order to keep their self-delusion, they have to distort reality.
Hence, your wrong data for Brewster.
Hence, when I wrote "right leaning newspaper Le Figaro", you hallucinated "biased left leaning newspaper such as Le Figaro "
You don't need an ophtamologist. All your many other misreadings were done for the same purpose: to reject any bit of reality which could destroy your self-delusion.

You already have been charged of such behavior previously, therefore you preemptively reverted the charge, and you ridiculously claimed that I was the one who entertained his self-delusion by means of reality distortion from the leftist Figaro.

Your ridicule did not stop here.
You also lectured me about personal search. Again you were preemptively reverting the charge, since you didn't even do the most easy, asking wikipedia:
"Le Figaro is the oldest national daily in France and is one of the three French newspapers of record, [...]
With its conservative, right editorial line,[...]"

Posted by: Parisian Guy | Feb 16 2020 18:43 utc | 321

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 16 2020 4:11 utc | 318

I do feel the same. But without certainty. We should try one month without ZH doom porn to have a more distant POV. We should,😉 but we won't.

Posted by: Parisian Guy | Feb 16 2020 19:01 utc | 322

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