Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 02, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-09

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

> “Both overall enemy-initiated attacks and effective enemy-initiated attacks during the fourth quarter of 2019 exceeded same-period levels in every year since recording began in 2010,” the report said. <

Other issues:

Libruls:

How the US empire stole the left's ideas - Joseph Massad /MEE

> [T]alk of the “agency” of the oppressed began to be deployed in defence of those who espouse imperial and racist ideas against their own people - and whom the US chooses as spokespeople for them. <

Speaking power to truth - The Critic
Patrick Porter reviews The Education of an Idealist by Samantha Power

> Even by the genre’s standards, the author is boringly self-obsessed. Mundane everyday life over-intrudes. She even commends herself for reproaching herself for her self-absorption. “I would catch myself feeling satisfied by a powerful speech I had made at the UN, or a compelling argument I had put before the President. I would then excoriate myself for measuring the wrong thing. “It’s not inputs that matter,” I would hear in my head. “It’s outcomes.”’ Aren’t you glad you didn’t write this? <

Assange:

Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer on the case of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange
"A murderous system is being created before our very eyes" - Republik.ch

Russiagate:

Rosie memos @almostjingo - 1:40 UTC · Jan 30, 2020

Well geez this is awkward. Despite being told for years that "Internet Research Agency" was working for Putin the DOJ admits it's not going to offer any evidence in the case "that the Russian Government sponsored the alleged conspiracy" MUH RUSSIA. @TheJusticeDept


bigger

Fun:

Creating traffic jams in Google Maps by pulling a cart with 99 second hand smartphones - Simon Weckert

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on February 2, 2020 at 14:51 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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@Jon_in_AU #69
Again with the ad hominem.
It never ceases to amaze me when people require scientific, ethical or logical credibility to be dependent upon a person's overall personal adherence to cultural norms.
Was Alan Turing's work in cryptography as well as early computing tainted because he was deviant - because homosexuality was considered abnormal at the time?
Are Einstein's theories invalid because he was romantically involved with his cousin?
What about Gandhi? He was a major horn-dog with literal teenagers sharing his bed even in his 70s. He was so bad that he literally left his father's deathbed to "do it" with his wife.
Dr. Roy Spencer is a credentialed climate scientist. He has a PhD in meteorology and is a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama, Huntsville. He has numerous peer-reviewed papers, has been part of numerous scientific organizations and committees including NASA. He also is a major contributor to 1 of the 2 satellite based temperature records.
But these credentials are secondary to the facts of what he writes.
Every single time you fail to address the facts of what is written vs. anything else - particularly secondary and irrelevant personal views, you do nothing but discredit yourself.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 3 2020 5:46 utc | 101

@96 william gruff... quote - "it is never other countries' governments spying on one that people need to worry about. It is always their own government that they need to be concerned with" of course that is exactly right....and as i said @78, "of course that is a lot right there if i have this right." your better with words then me...

Posted by: james | Feb 3 2020 5:53 utc | 102

c1ue@99

(1) My understanding is that the cost benefit ratio is improved when several horizontal lines “flared” from the same bore hole and that longer lines also improve reduce costs.

(2) “the way fracking operates makes me think that parent/child is less of an issue - because the fracking itself is creating its own "catch basins".” Good point, however in some cases it would result in more fracking fluids being used. The main downside (legal) is if there are two or more fracking horizontals close enough that fluid and condensate leaks from one to another and there are two operators sucking on the same straw.

(3) Agreed with the economy of scale and the ability of larger operator to apply technology more effectively and negotiate better deals from suppliers. This also reduces the tragedy of the commons where small operators abandon drilling pads leaving the taxpayer to pick up the bill.

(4) I agree that there are technological improvements being brought on line such a pulse plasma technology (PPT) as a way to “blast” clogged horizontal fracking lines in the case of sandstone formations. I hesitate to overstate technology after reading several hundred comments at the oilprice.com website as I was the only one who could name a new technology (PPT) that would save the day.

I still accept the arguments that EROEI still applies to hydrocarbon recovery as described at the Our Finite World website. However, if you consider other energy producing technologies there is great promise in other technologies such as the NuScale nuclear reactor that has been operating at Oregon State University for over 10 years. The Idaho DOE site will be installing several soon. The success of this approach is leading several other groups to design their own version of this type of safe reactor.
https://advantage.oregonstate.edu/feature-story/oregon-state-nuscale-partnership-powers-future-nuclear-energy

There is also the potential for using a local small NuScale nuclear reactor to produce heat to boil water and thus warm up the fracking lines to increase recovery.

Another technology already in operation for oil shale operations is heel to toe burning with injected oxygen to convert heavy Kerogens to a lighter hydrocarbon that can be pumped to the surface.

Thanks for the kind and thoughtful response – it made me think outside the box!

Posted by: krollchem | Feb 3 2020 7:55 utc | 103

Some articles from a couple of years ago that are relevant given the debates about the coronavirus' origins.

Putin Questions US Air Force DNA Collection From Ethnic Russians
https://www.mintpressnews.com/putin-questions-us-air-force-dna-collection-ethnic-russians/233946/

Collecting Russian DNA? Confronting the Threat of Ethnic-Specific Bioweapons
https://www.globalresearch.ca/collecting-russian-dna-confronting-the-threat-of-ethnic-specific-bioweapons/5620863

Posted by: ak74 | Feb 3 2020 8:04 utc | 104

Hong Kong hospital strike kicks off as top doctor backs mainland China border closure calls amid coronavirus fears

Calling for strike when the professionals are most needed is a vicious thing.
This meddling technique resembles teacher strike action in Poland during school exams (primary, middle and high school exams - Matura, april-may 2019).

Posted by: pppp | Feb 3 2020 8:13 utc | 105

Posted by: Circe | Feb 2 2020 21:47 utc | 46

NO I WILL NOT YIELD!

Wow! That's what I love about him, unyielding.

Until the DNC steals the nomination from him. Then he yields, stops, halts, defers, bows, kneels, scrapes, grovels, and does all he can to help the thieves. We saw it in 2016, and we'll see it in 2020. Sanders presents a moron test.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 3 2020 10:33 utc | 106

And Zaccheus is the little rich man who climbed a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus passing by. The lovely point to that story in Luke is that when folk scoff that Jesus immediately wants to dine with Zaccheus, Jesus replies that he came to save the lost.

Rich people today are indeed lost. They probably need to climb a few trees.

And what's the same thing, they (and all who have any such power) sure need to stop cutting them down. But I don't expect to see that for as long as the economic civilization can prop itself up.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 3 2020 10:42 utc | 107

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Feb 2 2020 23:40 utc | 69

Hmm, a few interesting comments here. Anyone that actually takes a look at the complexity of life, our world or universe couldn't possibly believe its all an accident of the theory of evolution, a fantasy that essentially explains nothing.

Dear oh dear, pop down to the green grocer to cure cancer? Take the time to research, many cancers can and have been stopped, however the regime is a little bit more radical than chewing on a celery stem and needs be before too advanced. Chemo statistically is worse than doing nothing, hopefully you never need make the choice to undergo it. And yes I've seen it in action.

Posted by: Rancid | Feb 3 2020 10:45 utc | 108

Whoops forgot to say that was a riff on juliania @ 98.

For anyone interested in tree trivia, the "sycamores" encountered in the Bible are of the genus Ficus, figs. They have no relation to Platanus, what's called sycamore or plane trees in the US and Europe.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 3 2020 10:49 utc | 109

juliania | Feb 3 2020 5:25 utc | 98

I vaguely knew the idea about GHD. You've illuminated the old memories. Thanks.

A fascinating history is The Battle for Christmas, Nissenbaum.

Who knows "mummering"?

Perhaps instead of climbing trees, the rich will have to invite the poor to dine, and the mummerers will ask them to climb trees - to get away, or to join them in one class, and give away their swag.

Posted by: Walter | Feb 3 2020 11:13 utc | 110

Russ | Feb 3 2020 10:49 utc | 108 (figs)

I believe the Romans eradicated the Jerusalem Palm. This, I was taught, was the source of the figs which, being juicy and delicate, then the weep-out a fluid that, as the watery aspect evaporates, "honey", as the St James translation translates "milk and honey"...

I hope I haven't muddled the story.

And I have read that the boffins (in zionlandia) have grown a specimen from a treasured seed they found - somehow. However the tree is one that reproduced sexually...and...alas...they don't have a specimen of both sexes.

Posted by: Walter | Feb 3 2020 11:27 utc | 111

Adeyinka Makinde (@blogspot) posted a shot history of Francis Cromie that is part of the Russian Revolution.

an excerpt>

"Cromie died in a hail of bullets on Saturday, August 31st 1918 during an invasion of the British Embassy in Petrograd by Bolshevik forces angered by British efforts aimed at overthrowing the government established by Vladimir Lenin. It was the day after Lenin had been sho..."

I get the idea that Cromie and Brother Comrade VVP would have respected one another. Remember Vlad defending against the mob?

Posted by: Walter | Feb 3 2020 11:45 utc | 112

HK economy shrinks for first time in a decade

Tried to trade blows with a much stronger enemy, that's the result.

I just hope that liberal scum from HK to finally come to its senses and formally capitulate to the Central Government - for their own good.

--/

China stocks crash on virus fears after market break

The fall was 8-9%. Unusual, but not extraordinary.

China is much less dependent on the financial sector than, e.g., the USA. High fluctuations over perceived danger is normal with fictitious capital.

A 8-9% fall in the stock market would be disastrous for economies like the UK and the USA - but not for a socialist economy like China's. We should not fall for the catastrophist claptrap, which projects the failures of their own countries/systems as if they were China's, coming from the Western MSM (specially the Anglo-Saxon one).

--/

A Small Revolution in Germany by Philip Hensher – review

Posting this here just for the laughs.

It's only appropriate that this review is in the "fiction" section of The Guardian. Very fitting for the Germans: even in imagination, there's only place for a "small revolution". Typical for a nation of people who can either think big, or act big - but never both at the same time.

--//--

@ Posted by: vig | Feb 2 2020 19:06 utc | 21

???

I don't think there's any mystery in what I said: after the French Revolution, the French government divided itself in three factions: "left" (Jacobins), "right" (Girondins) and the "center" (swamp). The center was literally called the "swamp", I'm not inventing the term.

True, the original center is not the direct equivalent of today's "centrists"/"moderates". What characterized the original center was that they put their votes to sale - that would make them the equivalent to the modern day "physiologist" - which are generally center, but can easily drift to the left or right when the circumstances are favorable.

But the point that is worth highlighting here is that the original political spectrum was all right-wing by today's standards: there was no democracy at the time, the working classes didn't have the right to vote (vote was censitary). Scientific socialism still didn't exist, and both the Jacobins and the Girondins would perfectly fit in today's right-wing. They were more akin to the American system, where both are from the war party, playing good cop and bad cop.

It was only with constant struggle, which lasted more than half-century, that the communists slowly forced the bourgeoisie to cave in to universal suffrage and accept the first social-democrat parties.

Marx lived almost his entire life nationless. He was purged both from Prussia and from France. He lived in complete illegality and died in absolute poverty.

--//--

@ Posted by: Pft | Feb 3 2020 2:38 utc | 94

No, Natural Selection theory requires life to be random.

Charles Darwin was very clear: for his natural selection theory to work, breeding must be by chance ("random") by definition. Otherwise, there's no way the ecosystem can exert pressure on life and thus molding it (he didn't know genetics existed, but his theory predicted its existence).

After he lays the general theory, he delves into the exceptions that makes natural selection "imperfect" (e.g. geographical isolation).

Even at the physiological level, it is clear the cells within a multicelular body "don't know what they are doing". A simple example for that is our blood tests: there's no definite "normal level" for nutrients such as cholesterol, sugar, fats etc. etc. at the individual level. Each intestin absorbs a different proportion of nutrients; once those nutrients fall in the blood, it connects with the cells completely randomly. The cells "know" what to do and they do what they were born to do (because they are, deep down, a mechanism), but they definitely don't know "why" they are doing it.

Posted by: vk | Feb 3 2020 12:23 utc | 113

Posted by: Antoinetta III | Feb 2 2020 20:38 utc | 34

No he was talking about the meeting for islamic organization and cooperation taking place today in SA..from which Iran has been excluded!!

Posted by: LuBa | Feb 3 2020 12:34 utc | 114

Warning: this is a tongue-lashing for anyone here who has a scintilla of integrity left. Cynics like Russ and Jackrabbit--keep scrolling, and Trump bootlickers like William Gruff, idem--especially not for your hopeless, hapless ILK. I had the courtesy to warn you so don't b🤫itch at me later.

Nothing matters more at this time than supporting and promoting the only real anti-war candidate who will reinstate the JCPOA and avoid war with Iran. NOTHING!!! Everything else, every other discussion is secondary, irrelevant and MEANINGLESS to saving hundreds of thousands of lives and more in future! BERNIE SANDERS has been in opposition to war since he entered Congress! In 1991 when everyone was rushing into the Gulf War and refused to hear him speak, Bernie Sanders was the lone voice before an empty Congress opposing that war and prophetically warning it would trigger many more wars in the region, and he was right!

For the past few days I too am a lone voice here promoting the importance of Bernie's campaign in an election that will be CRITICAL TO THE WELL BEING AND SURVIVAL OF MILLIONS on this planet for different reasons, and yet here you are writing about lesser things and ignoring this important event that will affect all our lives and probably more! What else matters more right now at this moment, than the potential to save countless lives, FGS⁉️

You claim you are against the Empire and yet you completely ignore the efforts of a man who for 30 years (actually 40) has been actively protesting and trying to legislate against military escalation, against the Military Industrial Complex, against increasing military spending, against regime change and Empire building and AGAINST WAR! Yet he's for lifting people out of poverty, for human rights and legal and social justice for all, not just Americans.

WHAT KIND OF HYPOCRISY IS THIS HERE??? You railed against escalation in Syria during the Obama years and now you are silent when we are on the precipice of war with Iran and the only candidate who truly wants to reverse course has a once in a lifetime shot to be elected?

Who are you really, here⁉️⁉️⁉️

THIS ELECTION IS CRITICAL. THIS IS A SINGULAR OPPORTUNITY IN OUR LIFETIME TO STOP THE EMPIRE AND ALL YOU CAN DO IS LOOK THE OTHER WAY AND DISTRACT YOURSELVES WITH LESSER INCONSEQUENTIAL SUBJECTS AND IGNORE THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM⁉️

You wasted pages of praise for the election of a lunatic Ziofascist President, Trump, who you thought or pretended is anti-war, who I warned would further hostility in the ME region with Yemen and Iran and his Apartheid scam peace plan, and he is doing just that and you were wrong: the Empire is stronger and its rulers more prosperous than ever with your precious Ziofascist in charge!

How can you look the other way and ignore this singular opportunity to stop Trump and the pursuing madness in the Persian Gulf region and even in South America, or are these mere, unlimited opportunities for your amateur risk-free armchair logistics and frustrated genius to be on permanent display? Better yet, you could be one of the many characters stuck on one of the Little Prince's asteriods namely as armchair generals, diplomats and scientists forever resolving meaninglessness in a vacuum of nothingness.

I'm disgusted with this glaring hypocrisy! If you continue to ignore this moment in history with the election campaign of Bernie Sanders that represents real dismantling of Empire building for good, all your past, present and future concern for whatever threatens this planet will be MEANINGLESS REDUNDANT GIBBERISH in wasted time and space!

Mark these words on you calendar, because your ignorance of this critical time to support, if only with mere words, and help promote a man devoted to the plight of humanity and peace, will make them PROPHETIC. I will make sure I remind you again and again of this monumental lapse and FAIL in judgment at this critical time!

Posted by: Circe | Feb 3 2020 12:46 utc | 115

Apologize for linking to what was formerly an interesting financial blog (quite revealing I thought).
But I thought this an interesting and positive development:
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/meet-moderate-rebel-just-arrested-france-war-crimes-syria
I am hopeful that Macron may grow enough to seize the opportunity to demonstrate a better way forward - he seems to have potential.

@ Circe
Pro tip: U.S. politicians have learned a technique of saying one thing to get elected and then doing pretty-much the opposite once in office. Given a moment to think, I am sure I could help with an example. The issue with Bernie is he is at best weak and very possibly complicit. I would be more cautious. However, is is certainly better on surface than the rest, save one.

The only system that seems to me would work in this situation of complete control of the election process is a system of random candidates with no expience in the political real. Trump was almost that but seriously flawed person and isolated.

Posted by: jared | Feb 3 2020 13:19 utc | 116

Posted by: Walter | Feb 3 2020 11:27 utc | 110

I believe the Romans eradicated the Jerusalem Palm. This, I was taught, was the source of the figs which, being juicy and delicate, then the weep-out a fluid that, as the watery aspect evaporates, "honey", as the St James translation translates "milk and honey"...

I hope I haven't muddled the story.

And I have read that the boffins (in zionlandia) have grown a specimen from a treasured seed they found - somehow. However the tree is one that reproduced sexually...and...alas...they don't have a specimen of both sexes.

I think you're combining two stories. There's the "sycamore fig" Ficus sycomorus featured seven times in the Hebrew scriptures (e.g. Amos is said in the King James to have talked about growing sycamores) and once in Christian scripture. (The Luke example Juliana cited.)

Then we have the date palm Phoenix dactylifera which also appears in the Hebrew scriptures. It sounds like you're talking about a long-extinct variety previously mentioned by Josephus and Pliny. Archaeologists found some date stones in the ruins of Masada which were carbon-dated to c. 2000 years.

The Zionists were able to get one (a "male") to germinate, named it Methusaleh and planted it at a Negev kibbutz. Now they hope to find more ancient stones and germinate a female. Otherwise they can try back-crossing with a genetically close variety.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 3 2020 13:22 utc | 117

The media ..is not supporting poor Bernie!!!! Rashida Tlaib [is] booing ..=> Hillary [is]=> .. is trashing Sanders . .the Iowa caucuses [is coming] .. the Jury hearing [Sanders vs Hillary] has been tampered with,. Grass root supported Sanders wants to wear TRUMP's diapers. Written IRT post of Circe @ 31 <=sounds to me like a football game. The producers of the propaganda are promoting the game by pitting the players on the different teams against each other in an imaginary stand off. General Election Politics is a major component of the divide and conquer strategy that keeps Americans in the dark <=politics is just on more establishment binary imposed against our American democratic society by those, who control the Republican form of government that governs Americans.

Propaganda (Billions are spent) to promote teams and players in the imaginary American voting game. Americans voting for who shall be their President and VP is one more fake. Team hero and Teams are supported in media to further divide the American population and to dupe the audience into believing that their vote counts [its like leading the pigs to slaughter with bacon]. Are USA citizen voters so gullible? Do USA citizen voters actually believe their vote or even that their collective vote counts in deciding which player is going to next wear the white house diaper? <==Voting is the game, propaganda is used to excite audiences into supporting the game. But the game and its propaganda are just one more part of the divide and conquer binary that keeps 350,000,000 Americans in their place, so 527 persons can rule America.

Show me the outcome of elections for the P or VP is somehow determined by US Citizen general election voters. General election votes do not make a difference I am certain Circe knows full well that he is not allowed to vote for any of these persons seeking Article II office (President or VP), so why does he allow propaganda about a fake-vote pull his chain? <= The vote of USA voting Citizens <=does not extend to electing persons to the office of President or the VP, Citizen votes that count are limited to just three votes per voter: 2 (1 for each Senator from the voters home state), and 1 (for the member of the house for the voting district the voter is assigned to). Two fake votes are included on the general election ballot, but neither of those allows citizens of the USA in general elections to determine who shall be the next, to wear the white house diaper.

Amendment 12 to the Constitution of the USA says " The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct list of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for a Vice-president, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the Government (over Americans ) the United States, directed to the President of the Senate: The president of the Senate shall, in presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.<== A lot more is said in that long winded 12th amendment<= it has not yet been classified as secret, so American citizens can still read the constitution that allows the few to rule the many.

<===Circe after you read Amendment 12, advise does your vote really count? Can your vote make a difference in deciding who is to be the next to wear the white house diaper? Unless you are a voting member of the electoral college.. what's all of the excitement about? Hillary is a louse because it is good for the divide and conquer strategy.. Bernie is a sweet guy because every team needs someone to play against. Trump is a bystander with electoral college in his hip pocket. Bernie has trouble spelling electoral.

Only the electoral college can vote to determine the next baby to wear the white house diaper. If you want to make a difference study the electoral college.

Posted by: snake | Feb 3 2020 13:22 utc | 118

reinstate the JCPOA and avoid war with Iran.

Since you stopped paying attention to reality a long time ago, let me bring you up to date: The JCPOA was never anything but a scam designed to restrain Iran temporarily until the empire felt ready to scrap it and move to direct confrontation.

But then, fake treaties and initiatives are a Sanders specialty. You yourself admitted to me that the Yemen resolution was fake and that you didn't care. So yes, I suppose a president Sanders would try to do a Fool-Me-Twice with a renewed JCPOA.

Speaking of those who can be Fooled Twice, I refer you and all Sanders-mongers to my previous remark.

Mark these words on you calendar, because your ignorance of this critical time to support, if only with mere words, and help promote a man devoted to the plight of humanity and peace, will make them PROPHETIC. I will make sure I remind you again and again of this monumental lapse and FAIL in judgment at this critical time!

Do you grow sycamores?

Posted by: Russ | Feb 3 2020 13:31 utc | 119

Sanders and Gabbard are the most legit candidates I've had the chance to vote for in my lifetime; as sad as that is to say, it is, at the same time, almost miraculous. It means we've been given one last chance to try to slow down this hell bound global empire. Sadly, it is clear now that the international community - such as it is - accepts the decision by the Hegemon to crush and trample the last vestiges of respect for international law and human rights. Putin's cynicism in this regard is even more egregious than Trump's or Netanyahu's. This deeply wicked person, Putin, thought it would be quite funny to send a prisoner back home to Israel for "humanitarian reasons", while tacitly signing on to open and forever apartheid in South Africa, oops, Israel, and ethnic cleansing! Force a smile and raise a glass of vodka! Ah, that Vladimir, always with that touch of wit! Always that charm! And let it be understood that Trump's new plan is backed up by the unspoken threat of unlimited force. We in the belly of the beast have one last chance to say no to the monstrous future that has been unveiled for humanity. We are lucky that way, after a manner of speaking. This 'vision for peace' situation isn't just about Palestine. The Hegemon is sending a clear message to all. Unlimited force and unlimited cruelty wait - not for long - for those who resist.

Posted by: paul | Feb 3 2020 13:36 utc | 120

@114 I am a big Sanders fan but the key point is that he has started a movement. If he is cheated again in 2020 the movement will grow stronger and more organized. Change must come and that change must include a shift towards concern for others as we are all in this together. I am talking morality. The self interest philosophy pushed by the neoliberal state is the root of division and the justification for greed which has led to gross inequality. The people supporting Sanders must internalize this required change if we have any hope of a society. Otherwise it will be more and more a mad max country.

Posted by: Linda Amick | Feb 3 2020 13:39 utc | 121

Circe | Feb 3 2020 12:46 utc | 114 B Man and Empire, and Trumpie the Clown...

Walter does not think the Empire is good for America, not for the Americans, not for most people in the world. He reasoned that an ignorant sociopath egomaniac criminal might be expected to ruin any realistic efforts to preserve Empire, and would accelerate the collapse, thus creating opportunities for the client class in the several satrapies to change sides...which is the path to imperial collapse in History. And what we are watching happen. That was his reason to cast a vote (which was not counted in his "winnertakeall") province, to cast a vote for the Clown of Orange. For background on this idea see A. McCoy. I can quote his remarks if you like.

Walter's reasoning seems to have been valid.

We would not like to see anybody in office who might try to salvage the Imperium, as that's not possible, but would instead be terribly violent and futile. Time runs in only one direction...Clown of Orange is our MacBeth? Well, Pencer would like a try, but he too would see Birnam Wood advance to the very ramparts, eh? Time cannot be reversed, empires too have seasons. And when it's Time to toss out the ways of doing, they get tossed, no matter what. Change creates the necessity for and gives birth to Revolution, like it or not.

Bernie would probably also add to the process of disposing of the Empire...but Wally's not sure, yet. Not that it matters...the direction and general outcome is obvious, war, and defeat.

And "they" are going to "count the votes" and tell us who we "elected".

Right.

Posted by: Walter | Feb 3 2020 13:44 utc | 122

Russ | Feb 3 2020 13:22 utc | 118 Figs/dates

Yes, I realized they were probably two / ie Figs /dates... Thanks. You have added good things to know.

I do hope that the boffins will manage to restore the "honey" dates. I'd like to taste the taste.

Posted by: Walter | Feb 3 2020 13:50 utc | 123

Posted by: Linda Amick | Feb 3 2020 13:39 utc | 122

I am a big Sanders fan but the key point is that he has started a movement. If he is cheated again in 2020 the movement will grow stronger and more organized. Change must come and that change must include a shift towards concern for others as we are all in this together. I am talking morality. The self interest philosophy pushed by the neoliberal state is the root of division and the justification for greed which has led to gross inequality. The people supporting Sanders must internalize this required change if we have any hope of a society. Otherwise it will be more and more a mad max country.

Anyone who wants to eradicate the self-interest philosophy (i.e. the bourgeois liberal individualism which is the core ideology of modernity) and truly transcend all it has wrought will need to go vastly beyond running a mildly "alternative" candidate within the framework of a core system institution like electoralism. It would require a transformation of the entire culture and the complete replacement of all such institutions, since these institutions are endemic to the civilization rooted in that very idea of sociopathic "self-interest". Individualism as such (the ideology, not always the practice) is a virulent and collectively lethal modern disease which needs to be eradicated.

Of course the Sanders campaign most definitely is not any kind of "movement" I've seen. It existed in 2016, ceased to exist for a few years, and then another campaign recently cobbled itself together. Where's the day-to-day, year-to-year movement activity been? I previously offered the example of the Jehovah's Witnesses as, whatever else one thinks of them, a bona fide movement, and asked where's the movement like that which of Sanders is a part. No one answered.

But that's what a real movement is. Think Christianity. Think Islam. Think Marxism. Think the Populists. Think Zionism. There's a few examples of the kind of movement that would be needed.

Not only does Sanders with his very lukewarm centrist social-democracy (nothing remotely "socialist" in spite of his use of that term) not represent any such change, he doesn't even want to buck the system by shaking up its fake "two-party" calcification. On the contrary, he wants to do whatever it is he wants to do 100% within the framework of the Democratic Party, by far the oldest bourgeois capitalist party on Earth. Indeed he's so committed to the cause of system electoralism and the Democratic Party in particular, that he has solemnly sworn to be a loyal Democrat soldier and do his best to deliver his supporters to whatever candidate the Party retches up. He unilaterally made and kept that promise for 2016, he unilaterally made and will keep that promise for 2020.

Of course that's part of the proof that he's not sincere at all but is a con artist like I've always said: If he were on the level, and were really trying to get any part of his agenda enacted through the Democrat framework, would he ever unilaterally throw away the one real bargaining chip he had, the threat to mount an independent campaign? Of course not. No one would. (Well, maybe Corbyn would. But I doubt Sanders is as stupid and cowardly as Corbyn. That only leaves the con-job option.)

Anyway, that's the kind of movement which is necessary, the kind of hard work building an entire new culture within and opposed to the old, year-in-year-out. The only kind of "movement" worthy of the term.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 3 2020 14:24 utc | 124

Posted by: Walter | Feb 3 2020 13:50 utc | 124

"I do hope that the boffins will manage to restore the "honey" dates. I'd like to taste the taste."

It would be interesting. I wonder if our Western palates haven't been too spoiled by now not to be disappointed. True, some of us do find foraged "weeds" like lamb's-quarter as tasty as store-bought greens. But as far as sweet tastes, I wonder if ancient varieties, if they could be revived, would seem to measure up to what moderners are used to.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 3 2020 14:32 utc | 125

Russ | Feb 3 2020 14:24 utc | 125 Movement

Good post. But I would remark about Time.

One can imagine, say, a railroad. Xerxes might have imagined one. Why didn't he build one? Greeks invented a steam engine, and stopped. Why?

Each did not have the cheap steel, of course, nor did the Imperial Boffins or Greek philosophers know how to make it, nor how vital coal was, and did not see a need. Nor, I expect, was there any need.

It was not Time, yet.

I would offer the idea that Movements arise as the prerequisite circumstances come to be. And that this circumstance tends to occur and grow Movements when rapid and massive change occurs, such as the collapse of empires.

Posted by: Walter | Feb 3 2020 14:37 utc | 126

Brexit. In a way, nothing much has changed and the future of GB-EU (and other..) relations remains completely open. I still think a crash-out (or extremely ‘hard’ Brexit) is v. likely.

Change: the Withdrawal Agreement has been signed. Bojo’s is not essentially different from May’s, with the exception of the N. Ireland imbroglio, on which Bojo capitulated bang off. The Guardian gives the news (old article)

https://bit.ly/390corD

And offers up all the pages removed/changed:

https://bit.ly/3b73lXF

The WA only spells out what pertains in the ‘transition’ period. The political declaration is not binding.

This ‘getting Brexit done do or die’ and now it is ‘done’, gong banging and Chateau Margaux (or whatever) is political theatre. At which Bojo is quite adept. All that has been accomplished is putting off any real decisions / positions / compromises for another year (and possibly for another after that.)

Over the years we have seen polarisation on this issue as it became the no. 1 political thing. Through positive feedback loops from pols to ppl to pols etc. (Compromisers like Corbyn were vilified - well he so for other reasons as well.) An orderly exit will be imho extremely difficult to achieve, if not impossible. We still don’t know what the preffered situation of any pol.party, group, collectivity, is, as the nitty-gritty has been studiously avoided or kept invisible by the MSM and the silencing of others who might 'have interesting info', like top civil servants, business associations, demographers, clever wahtevers, etc. (Lack of participation.)

Underground, but unoccordinated, sloppy, unfocussed forces at work, imho.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 3 2020 14:41 utc | 127

New big (over 50 minutes) ANNA NEWS report from Syria. The development of the military operation in Idlib.

Posted by: alaff | Feb 3 2020 14:45 utc | 128

Posted by: snake | Feb 3 2020 13:22 utc | 119

Only the electoral college can vote to determine the next baby to wear the white house diaper. If you want to make a difference study the electoral college.

Most Americans are unaware that the fix is there or even how the college works to make it so.

If there was an Independent that happened to beat the pants out of the D/R candidates he would be "fixed" in the College. That is their "safety valve" for accidents in the Demo-cratered Process of selecting a President.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Feb 3 2020 15:07 utc | 129

Brexit will end up by breaking up GB.

The ‘devolved’ parliaments of N. Ir., Scotland and Wales, have voted against the WA.

The Welsh Assembly has joined the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly in rejecting the Brexit bill.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-politics-51181641

Now, I am not a GB constitutional (well that doesn’t exist, but you get the meaning) scholar, though I would say these devolved parliaments are pretty much for show or non-functioning (Stormont not sitting..) but obviously this creates an internal problem, which will be handled, solved, how ??

Today I saw Tusk said the EU would be dee-light-ed to welcome Scotland back into the EU - when previously the EU did not make any positive noises about break-away regions - following the Spain-Catalonia situation, where Spain made dire threats should the EU support Catalonia in any way with even one breath about police violence.. 1.

1. With the exception of NI which it has been tacitly admitted, and probably planned, would be accepted immediately (as it would be one EU country, Ir, annexing some ‘new territory.’) Like: Spain taking over Andorra.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 3 2020 15:10 utc | 130

Noirette @131

I was going to write essentially the same thing.

Sometimes, the establishment will give the people what they want but transform that into something that serves their interests. That's what the UK-EU and UK-US negotiations are likely to do. The devil is in the details.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 3 2020 15:27 utc | 131

Posted by: Walter | Feb 3 2020 14:37 utc | 127

I would offer the idea that Movements arise as the prerequisite circumstances come to be. And that this circumstance tends to occur and grow Movements when rapid and massive change occurs, such as the collapse of empires.

I've thought about that too, but it seems too unfalsifiable and too much of a success philosophy to be of much use: The movements that succeeded did so because it was Time, and those that failed did so because it wasn't Time.

I agree that the question is enough of a mystery that it tempts one to stop looking for rational explanations. Certainly by any rational measure, by any measure of Darwinian adaptivity, any mentally and physically healthy group of people would have reached its point of radical rejection and transformation of this political and socioeconomic system long ago. Certainly by 2008-09 at the very latest, any sane person not within the 1%, even those still doing relatively well, would know that their liquidation too was underway and their bell soon would toll.

(And that's not even getting into the biological insanity of ecocide, literally destroying the very biological basis of one's own existence. None but the most berserkly mal-adaptive species would do that. But for purposes of this discussion I'll leave ecology alone and just stick with the politics.)

The only explanation left would be that the modern domesticated housebroken masses really have been drained of all vitality and are so enervated they're no longer capable either of mentally assessing their circumstances nor of action even if they could accurately assess things. Nietzsche thought newspapers (i.e. the MSM) alone might be enough to drain and enervate people. And he didn't even live to see the rise of mass consumer culture, all the infinite worthless dangly shiny things. That includes celebrity fandom culture, which includes modern electoralism as its most virulent, deadly form.

Finally, it's possible that the neoliberal refinement of the old fascism truly has become so effective that even when a real spark is struck, the co-optation machinery simply engulfs it. In that case it really would be impossible to do anything on a mass level until the civilization collapses of its own unsustainable weight.

Interesting that you mention the Greek steam engine. I was just thinking of that while replying about the palm date "honey". I've often wondered how impressive we'd find the various steam entertainments devised by Heron of Alexandria, which were so impressive to viewers of his day.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 3 2020 15:38 utc | 132

Russ @125

Exactly right.

In fact, Zionism co-opts Western-European elites and thus is antithetical to any populist real populist Movement.

Any real independent Movement is likely to quickly realize that the Empire is adverse to the interests of ordinary people.

By channeling people into a Party led by Zionists, Sanders supports the Zionist agenda.

Sander's socialism is the carrot, TDS is the stick. When used in combination: dumbass Democratic Party donkeys pull Zionist/Empire carts.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 3 2020 15:42 utc | 133

I am heartened to read I'm not alone on my opinion of Sanders, but alas, I must take on the fools and cynics but I do not suffer them gladly.

@119 snake

Why bother using space with copy/paste. Do you not read English? I wrote no CYNICS!

@120 Russ

Don't misquote me to get your way; I am glad for every effort Sanders made to stop, and bring awareness to the massacre/genocide in Yemen. Do you really think that a Senate in its present Trumpian state would even entertain an original Sanders Resolution to end any war?

And fyi, in a Bernie world, a JCPOA would have a different meaning than JCPOA(dot).WAR.

And quit infesting minds with your termite philosophy. Bernie wasn't sitting on his hands since 2016. He worked to get progressives like AOC, Tlaib and Omar into Congress and has authored books on revolutionary change and continues his activism. Seems to me, if you hit the New York Times Best Seller list you are influencing a multitude of minds in the direction of that kind of revolutionary change; WAY MORE than you with your IDLE form of change via cynical prattle. Thank goodness for fresh air you're so quick to stifle!

@123 Walter

Your reverse psychology is not working. You're reassuring us, don't worry, have patience, Nero will destroy the Empire one day, but in fact, he's destroying everything and everyone else while we wait, and wait. You're like a Pied Piper; like Evangelists who befriend Zionism piping the Jews to a pretend Zionist paradise while believing that one day it will lead to their catastrophic end, when Zionists are in fact using them, just like Trump uses your illusion that he's really destroying the Empire. However, you did set Russ straight on the REALITY of mounting a VIABLE 3rd party at this time.

Of men, mice, swine and pearls...At least Steinbeck shocked the conscience of men towards some humane progress with his dose of cynicism. But Russ's cynicism only helps rot, i.e. corruption, overwhelm all good. You're a cynic in purist sheep's cloth.

CYNICS, UGH! 🙄

Posted by: Circe | Feb 3 2020 15:48 utc | 134

@ Posted by: Noirette | Feb 3 2020 15:10 utc | 131

Complementing what you said:

Brexit & the British Working Class

What I like about Tony Norfield is the fact he's one of the few scholars who share a thesis which I also believe in: that, in the international sphere (international division of labor), the working classes of the developed countries ("First World") are essentially conservative and will continue to play this role until the end.

This is not a very complex thesis. Take a random middle class person from a random capitalist country. This person will, most likely, play the "exploited working class" card when facing the capitalists - but will play the pro-capitalist card ("class enviousness", "laziness of the poor", "genetic inferiority of the poor" etc. etc.) when facing the lower working classes. That's because the middle class has some access to some devices which make it distinct both from the capitalist and the proletarians.

Marx had already warned us about the middle classes in capitalism. In the 18th Brumaire, he told us about a "petit bourgeoisie", a class "crushed between the capitalists and the proletarians", a bunch who "doesn't know if it is capitalist or working class". In Capital, he quickly describes the managerial (middle) class, i.e. the class of workers whose job is precisely to think like a capitalist, whose job is to do the "dirty work" for the capitalist.

If we extrapolate this domestic logic to a world of capitalist nation-states, the logic also works between two proletarians. A proletarian from the UK, for example, may behave like a capitalist vis-a-vis a Polish proletarian. This can be the case because the British proletarian lives in a bubble and receives in pounds - a currency with more purchase power than the Polish ruble or whatever is its currency right now. A worker from NY will certainly behave conservatively internationally for the simple fact much of their revenue (including retirement funds) are in Wall Street portfolios - so, what is good for Wall Street (at least internationally, outside the USA) is good for the newyorker working class, and so on.

Posted by: vk | Feb 3 2020 16:00 utc | 135

Posted by: AntiSpin | Feb 2 2020 19:37 utc | 26
Thank you for that link.

Posted by: Per/Norway | Feb 3 2020 16:05 utc | 136

Thanks to Russ and Walter above - on the ficus sycamorus, my old book 'A Fountain of Gardens' references it thusly: "The sycamore fig, or Egyptian mulberry, is related to Ficus carica, though it is a much larger tree whose light porous wood has been exploited in building work. The fruit is inferior to the true fig and less sweet, but it crops several times a year and has been of considerable food value to the poor..."

It then gives a quotation from Gerard's HERBALL, 1597:

There issueth fourth of the barke of this tree...a liquor, which being taken up with a spunge, or a little wooll, is dried...this mollifieth, closeth wounds togither, and dissolveth grosse humors."

Posted by: juliania | Feb 3 2020 16:09 utc | 137

>I would offer the idea that Movements arise as the
>prerequisite circumstances come to be. And that this
>circumstance tends to occur and grow Movements when
>rapid and massive change occurs, such as the collapse of empires.
>Posted by: Walter | Feb 3 2020 14:37 utc | 127

Yes, this. The river can not be pushed. In the meantime, we can prepare for the flood as best we can and practice building rafts like the Occupy movement. Some of their operational details for running meetings, etc. were a little wacky and impractical, but so what. They were trying, and learning, until Uncle Sam decided to stomp on all of them at the same time.

Old farts might have some possibly useful insights from past campaigns. Or maybe we are just mumbling into the beer mugs. Here is one mad raving: I have found through hard experience that consensus is a good goal, but not a very good process. Some version of Roberts Rules of Order usually works better.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Feb 3 2020 16:24 utc | 138

Posted by: Antoinetta III | Feb 2 2020 20:38 utc | 34
Iran is a member, duckduckgo the headline and you will find the article...

Uncle Tungsten
Try yandex browser, built in adblock and easy to use.

To those still using g00gle, explorer and edge, STOP!
Duckduckgo and start is better search engines, easier to use for research on "tabu" topics.
Yandex browser, Brave browser, Vivaldi browser are very good browsers. I use Yandex and have Brave for downloading youtube, Dtube, dailymotion videos etc.
Vivaldi have the best personalisation options and you can tweak just about anything just like you want it, i tried it but i was so used to my Yandex browser and i chose stick with it.
Yandex mail is .ru so it is fun to send messages to your "muuh" Russia msm watching friends and family😂 but that may be my infantile sense of humor speaking..

Posted by: Per/Norway | Feb 3 2020 16:27 utc | 139

vk @ 136 interesting didn’t know of Norfield.

It is doubtful that the British working class will turn against the Conservative Government as the dream of a bright future outside the EU fades away. It may not take long before their promise of more investment in poor areas of the country is exposed as a fraud, but that does not mean there will be any progressive resistance. Instead, the greater likelihood is that the working class will double down on aggressive nationalism.

from link you posted:

https://economicsofimperialism.blogspot.com/2020/02/brexit-british-working-class.html

Yes, a real fear, that. The reason why the PTB HAD to get rid of Corbyn. Though ‘working class’ is vague -> other discussion.

Jack, heh, right on. Though imho in this case there is great confusion, opposing currents at work, and no agreed-on aims or grand concensus.

More on the intl’ scene:

The EU will back Spain over its territorial claims to Gibraltar in the next phase of Brexit negotiations ..

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/feb/01/brexit-trade-talks-eu-to-back-spain-over-gibraltar-claims

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 3 2020 16:34 utc | 140

.C > " You're reassuring us, don't worry, have patience, Nero will destroy the Empire one day, but in fact, he's de.."

Wally does not do reverse psych. He repudiates cunning and tries to be blunt, and true, it's in his character, genetic, I imagine...runs in the family. He has been known to stand up in church and contradict a preachers bs sermon (and get asked to leave). As did his dad...

I didn't say that "don't worry...". It was a general. and Marxist, opinion. Ethics is circumstantial. You don't make railroads until the steel is cheap. When it is, they can't be stopped. Worry all you like. It doesn't make steel.

Be ready. Times Change.

Russ, yes, I agree. Tight control exists, but it's shaky...one rare event, a big one, would create Revolution, but it would have to overwhelm the apparatus of control. Most people would probably die right at the start. Perhaps a really Jolly CME, perhaps a big rock...maybe a lost war (gee yatink?) whatever, when it's Time, it's on. A matter of metastatic triggering. Empire and industrial civilization are highly metastatic, but cannot stop Change or Time.

I don't see any harm in voting. But neither do I see much potential there. Like I said, vote, then they'll call you to a jury, where the vote count is honest.

I note that Trident now has a nifty and ever so attractive 5 kt "weapon" that "they" say is usable. These are "deployed" (man I hate this wartalk lingo). If they fire a rocket from a US submarine nobody will know whether it's a little bomb or a massive one... What will Comrade VVP do about the incoming? (he's already promised this)

It's obvious that they always double, that empire is in zuswang, and war is all they are able to see. That's the "plan"...

If that goes forth, look for defeat, and revolution.

If/when, it'll probably kill me. Nothing to ardently hope for.
...............

Russ | Feb 3 2020 15:38 utc | 133

Interesting, the steam engines (Watt et sec) gained from the understanding of concepts of heat as the equations were discovered, latent heats of materials, phase conservation, the Scottish distillers sent their boys to university and the investments paid off, sort of.

Then there's Jevons...who described that improvements in efficiency increased the demand for resources, and did not reduce them. A sort of Malthusian engineering concept. This seems, in part, to suggest that the Re-emergence of Russian, Indian, and Chinese Empires, based on industrial growth, are headed for big trouble...

Not 'till later, of course. It's a question of Time. And Change.

Posted by: Walter | Feb 3 2020 16:34 utc | 141

What are the chances Circe comes back here and eats her crow when/if Bernie sheepdogs for the establishment AGAIN imo.
That is the real question. FWIW I hope they all feel the Bern, and he gets the nod...just no faith he will. Oh and the Killer Mike stump speach Circe posted yesterday was PHENOM.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Feb 3 2020 16:41 utc | 142

Trailer Trash @139:

>I would offer the idea that Movements arise as the
>prerequisite circumstances come to be....
>Posted by: Walter | Feb 3 2020 14:37 utc | 127

I would offer the idea that never before in history have we seen such a determined and system suppression of dissent and co-opting of people's Movements:
  • GW Bush: "If you're not with us, you're with the terrorists"

  • The take-down of Occupy Wall Street; and attack on Tea Party Movement

  • faux populist, "outsider" Presidents to diffuse and co-opt anger

  • Jeffery Epstein's compromising of 'people that matter'

  • Sanders and Democracy Works! propaganda

  • Social Media manipulation / "Fake News" / and Russiagate;

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 3 2020 16:46 utc | 143

I find it sad that people here believe that Trump and Brexit represent the collapse of the Empire when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. The increasingly more Zionist U.K. will be much more dependent and aligned with the Zionist U.S. It's a marriage made in hell accelerated by Zionists who totally, unjustly eviscerated Corbyn's campaign for the pupose of consolidating power.

@134Jackrabbit

Quit with the abstract presumption that Sanders is a Neoliberal!

Sanders is a pragmatist. He's using the name only to gain the seat of power so he can restore that power to its rightful owners, the people. He's using an old name to create a new democratic party that will attract a new breed of legislators over the years, but he will have veto power in the meantime, and will push the mandate the prople want.

His intention is to use carrots and sticks ON Israel to achieve justice for Palestinians. No doubt when he looks at Trump's swiss cheese Apartheid scam, he'll come to the conclusion that he's looking at ONE STATE that must conform to real democracy: equal rights under the rule of law!

Zionists made their bed when they reckessly built everywhere on Palestinian land. Actions have consequences. There are not 10 realities. The only reality is surrendering land to make a contiguous separate state for Palestinians OR ONE STATE with equal rights and a combination of solutions for refugees with either choice. My guess is he'll make it simple; cause removing Russians from the West Bank kicking and screaming is not feasible and Sanders is a pragmatist. So it'll be the rule of law, justice and equality for ALL.

Why do you think the entire Democratic and Republican establisment are trying to get him out of the race and Bloomberg will spend up to 3/4s of a BILLION to achieve it???

The jig is up. If people want to eliminate Zionist corruption; it'll happen and it's fitting that the first Jewish President make justice happen for Americans and Palestinians with the assurance that the rule off law prevail for ALL equally. No more expansive control or resistance required!

THIS SHET AND THE BLOWBACK HAVE GONE ON FOR LONG ENOUGH!

Posted by: Circe | Feb 3 2020 16:54 utc | 144

Russ@125 - I would be a bit more charitable towards Mr. Sanders, in that he has been so deeply committed to his role within the party structure that it hardly suggests at this very late stage he can indeed burn all those bridges he has built within, as Circe points out. So, given his age, he is perhaps doing all that he can do given his life's accomplishments, which I am sure he feels have been every bit as forceful as they could be. He really does want to be an influence from within.

The quotation you begin with is very insightful, and the same could be said also for the Green Party efforts, which I voted for in the last presidential election. I'm sure that was also an attempt to 'instantaneously' create a movement, but there were huge obstacles which are endemic to the system in place to prevent even a modest showing.

I do think there is more of a movement underway now than is evident on the surface, but the ptb (small caps) works hard to deflate evidence of it at every opportunity. They've had to spend, spend, spend to achieve this - and they are not indestructible. Sooner or later those walls of wealth are going to totter and fall. And candidates like Bernie, or like Jill Stein, have helped that process along.

I think his big error, but sadly it happened too early perhaps, was in not joining forces with Jill Stein when she offered that opportunity. It all does trace back, I think, to the hardships faced by Jimmy Carter. The walls were going up then, and Reagan put the last blocks in place. After that it was go along or get lost.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 3 2020 16:56 utc | 145

Well, yea. Of course. Their "movements" vs Our movements...a nice equilibrium, until...

But of course the gods favor the people that are, like all good boy scouts, prepared for opportunity...ask Lenin.

"I would offer the idea that never before in history have we seen such a determined and system suppression of dissent and co-opting of people's Movements" Wally sees their efforts as strong evidence of their fear, of the truth that things are probably already "fertile",and of the proximity in Time of the metastatic prerequisite for sudden change not in their favor, ie revolution.

Posted by: Walter | Feb 3 2020 16:59 utc | 146

A really interesting interview with an overseas Chinese, on China and its relations with the Chinese diaspora, Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.
Mekong Review interview with Wang Gung Wu

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 3 2020 17:01 utc | 147

Tannenhouser @143:

What are the chances Circe comes back here and eats her crow when/if Bernie sheepdogs ...

I'd say slim to none.

1) The 'game' here is to shill for Bernie then call for Party Unity!! to combat the greater evil of TRUMP.

2) IMO the establishment will throw Bernie supporters a bone this time around via Tulsi as the VP pick. I'm already on record for the establishment having tipped it's hand:

The Deep State Has Chosen: Biden-Tulsi 2020

PS Biden-Tulsi will lose to Trump. IMO the Zionist establishment is overjoyed that faux populist Trump is already "locked and loaded" for war with Iran.
!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 3 2020 17:03 utc | 148

Another bad day for Boeing:


An Air Canada Boeing 767 has been forced to circle Madrid ahead of an emergency landing after part of its landing gear fell off and entered its engines

According to Spain’s main pilot union, SEPLA, the aircraft lost pieces of its landing gear on takeoff from Madrid's Barajas airport. The aircraft is now forced to circle the airport for some time to burn fuel in order to reach the maximum allowed weight to make a safe landing.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Feb 3 2020 17:05 utc | 149

there seems to be a misunderstanding about how rigged the election game is in the u.s. you can't get elected as an independent, the green party couldn't even get on the ballot in a lot of states. the choices are taking over the democratic party or, in my view, things like a general strike. revolutions can get very messy and violent. people who claim sanders is a sheepdog are ignoring everything the mightly wurlitzer is doing. carter faced something similar, but it wasn't as widely recognized then. now bernie could refuse to support the democratic candidate, which he obviously should do if he gets robbed again, and if he doesn't i won't support him anymore. the game is rigged, and sanders is by far the best hope to fight against that.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Feb 3 2020 17:17 utc | 150

It sure looks bad when the wheels fall off...musta been a commie saboteur...

Just for that reassuring comfort, see "On a wing and a prayer" Aljazeera

Yeah, it's about the NG (no good) flyer, not the improved auto-destruct model.

Buy the ticket, take the ride... Just like Hunter T wrote.

NFW Wally's gettin on another airplane unless he gets to drive. (which means pretty much never)

Posted by: Walter | Feb 3 2020 17:23 utc | 151

pretzelattack | Feb 3 2020 17:17 utc | 151

Wally does not favor revolution as any moral goal at all. He agrees with John> “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

And notes that, as pointed out by several, "they" are preventing - preventing peaceful revolution, or as I prefer to say "change". Ya can't stop time, but when you try, it makes the payback so much worse.

Posted by: Walter | Feb 3 2020 17:28 utc | 152

Posted by: juliania | Feb 3 2020 16:56 utc | 146

Sanders... has been so deeply committed to his role within the party structure that it hardly suggests at this very late stage he can indeed burn all those bridges he has built within... So, given his age, he is perhaps doing all that he can do given his life's accomplishments, which I am sure he feels have been every bit as forceful as they could be. He really does want to be an influence from within.

I don't see how the effects of that scenario realistically can be distinguished from his being a conscious deliberate sheep-dog.

the Green Party efforts, which I voted for in the last presidential election. I'm sure that was also an attempt to 'instantaneously' create a movement, but there were huge obstacles which are endemic to the system in place to prevent even a modest showing.

That goes back to what I said about the need truly to build a movement as the core of its members' way of life. Only when the hard work of building such a movement culture has been done can a political party then be extruded with any chance of confronting the system on the movement's own terms, rather than cobbling oneself together as a pre-domesticated ape of the system. (The same is true of getting one's message across in the MSM on one's own terms.)

What happens with all these flimsy attempts at independent campaigns and third parties is that they put the party horse before the movement cart.

Anyone who wants to read a classic study on the rise and fall of a real movement should check out Lawrence Goodwyn's The Populist Moment. He describes the origins and causes of the 19th century American Populist movement, how the movement culture was based on its system of Farmers' Alliance cooperatives, why the movement was forced by the system's financial blockade on the cooperatives to prematurely field the People's Party, and how the Democratic Party then co-opted and destroyed the movement's political strength. (The Democratic Party was serving that primary destructive purpose in the 1890's and earlier.)

Posted by: Russ | Feb 3 2020 17:29 utc | 153

@krollchem #104
You said:


(1) My understanding is that the cost benefit ratio is improved when several horizontal lines “flared” from the same bore hole and that longer lines also improve reduce costs.

Very possible; as I noted, I have not done a deep dive in shale fracking. I would only add that there are certainly structural considerations when drilling from a single location - and that displacement probably is intended to address those. Or in other words: even if you could drill 100 bores from one spot in theory, in reality you might not want to due to structural integrity of the underlying base. Like poking 100 steel pins into the same piece of cloth.

(2) “the way fracking operates makes me think that parent/child is less of an issue - because the fracking itself is creating its own "catch basins".” Good point, however in some cases it would result in more fracking fluids being used. The main downside (legal) is if there are two or more fracking horizontals close enough that fluid and condensate leaks from one to another and there are two operators sucking on the same straw.
Agreed, but that would be a function of cost, no? There may also be environmental impact difference - both positive and negative.
(4) I agree that there are technological improvements being brought on line such a pulse plasma technology (PPT) as a way to “blast” clogged horizontal fracking lines in the case of sandstone formations. I hesitate to overstate technology after reading several hundred comments at the oilprice.com website as I was the only one who could name a new technology (PPT) that would save the day.
No doubt - the prospect of money does provide incentive to innovate. Personally, it is my experience that major and rapid changes are extremely rarely due to a single innovation, but time will tell.
I still accept the arguments that EROEI still applies to hydrocarbon recovery as described at the Our Finite World website. However, if you consider other energy producing technologies there is great promise in other technologies such as the NuScale nuclear reactor that has been operating at Oregon State University for over 10 years. The Idaho DOE site will be installing several soon. The success of this approach is leading several other groups to design their own version of this type of safe reactor. https://advantage.oregonstate.edu/feature-story/oregon-state-nuscale-partnership-powers-future-nuclear-energy

There is also the potential for using a local small NuScale nuclear reactor to produce heat to boil water and thus warm up the fracking lines to increase recovery.

Another technology already in operation for oil shale operations is heel to toe burning with injected oxygen to convert heavy Kerogens to a lighter hydrocarbon that can be pumped to the surface.


My EROEI views are based on economics - the Finite World arguments are based on ideology. Even the notion of EROEI under 1 is unsustainable is false - if the input energy is of a different form and desirability than the output energy.

As for nuclear: I would note that the notion that nuclear energy is going to replace fossil fuels in our lifetimes is extremely unclear. The ideological opposition by the "greens", expressed through lawfare, is extreme.

Thanks for the kind and thoughtful response – it made me think outside the box!
No worries, I always appreciate other people's insight, views and pointers to data. Thank you for the considered discussion!

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 3 2020 17:30 utc | 154

Posted by: Circe | Feb 3 2020 15:48 utc | 135

I didn't misquote you. You conceded on Bernie's "terrorist" loophole and said "I don't care". If I knew where to dig up the link I would.

Do you really think that a Senate in its present Trumpian state would even entertain an original Sanders Resolution to end any war?

All the more reason not to have made it fake in the first place.

You're a cynic in purist sheep's cloth.

What could possibly be more cynical and mind-poisoning than to keep propagating the lie that this system can reform itself even the slightest bit? Especially when you're here shilling for the Trump/(Biden/Warren/Bloomberg/Hillary) sham this year same as how you shilled for the Trump/Hillary sham in 2016.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 3 2020 17:32 utc | 155

There are those who can't tell the difference between Biden and Sanders. They couldn't see the difference between Blair and Corbyn either.
I have no illusions about Sanders. Or about the anti-democratic systems hard wired into American politics, but what Sanders represents, a burgeoning popular movement which is not far from having reached the critical mass necessary to become self sustaining; and which is all about principles rather than sordid office seeking, is something that is crucial to the mobilisation of people power which, alone can put the fear of God into the scammers who have been, milking the American people throughout the nation's existence.
What Bernie represents is a test of the Democratic Party and the two party system, to destruction. If he wins the nomination all the old verities of neo-liberalism are off. If he fails to win it will be because the Primary system has been corrupted to the point of losing all credibility.
This article- dissecting a typical political career- is only for those with strong digestive systems.
"Amy Klobuchar, endorsed by New York Times, denounced for railroading black teenager to prison for life.."
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/02/03/pers-f03.html

Posted by: bevin | Feb 3 2020 17:33 utc | 156

@143 Tannenhouser

I hope you looked at the other videos I posted. Together they tell an undeniable story of authenticity.

I have faith. So far I had the good fortune of dishing the crow for others here to eat.

I'm not going to lie. Getting rid of Trump is an absolute. This is is why SANDERS MUST WIN, because I'm not sure a 3rd party could defeat Trump, since that would mean it would have to siffon 99% of the votes from the Democrats. That's not realistic. It's just not reality. Therefore Trump would win again, and his 2nd term will be Ziofascim on steriods.

There is just too much to lose. He's already done too much damage to FREEDOM, the judiciary and the rule of law, and on an international level; it's madness. His level of Ziofascism is already beyond INTOLERABLE.

But there's STILL HOPE! People must flood the caucuses for Bernie. What else is there to get out of this rock hardplace prison? This is the time to take a leap of faith with Bernie! I pray people fighting for change aren't dragged back by the faithless to a choice that represses progress and gets us nowhere.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 3 2020 17:37 utc | 157

juliania | Feb 3 2020 16:09 utc | 138

"on the ficus sycamorus, my old book 'A Fountain of Gardens' references it thusly: "The sycamore fig, or Egyptian mulberry, is related to Ficus carica, though it is a much larger tree whose light porous wood has been exploited in building work. The fruit is inferior to the true fig and less sweet, but it crops several times a year and has been of considerable food value to the poor..."

It then gives a quotation from Gerard's HERBALL, 1597:

There issueth fourth of the barke of this tree...a liquor, which being taken up with a spunge, or a little wooll, is dried...this mollifieth, closeth wounds togither, and dissolveth grosse humors.""

Thanks for that reference.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 3 2020 17:39 utc | 158

Walter--

I applaud your usage of Time and Change as they're immutable constants that are impossible for humans to stop, although some believe they can prevent Change. The Populists came very close to instigating big Change at the end of the 19th Century. And they indeed did cause some needed and unneeded changes to occur in the structure of the US Federal government. IMO, if women had the vote in 1896, the USA would be quite different as they would've put the Populists in charge.

Change is occurring now. A plethora of organizations are fusing together with Sanders campaign effort. More people have their eyes open and ears attuned than at anytime since the late 1960s, IMO. The Establishment's Narrative isn't selling as easily anymore. The results from Iowa today will set the tone. The DNC's altering its rules to accommodate Bloomberg prove yet again that it's a corrupt organization out to serve its own very narrow interests instead of those of the people it claims to represent. One benefit of Russia- and Ukrainegate is the breeching of the taboo of foreign interference in government and elections--the Zionists and Occupied Palestine are now very fair game as no alien entity can be deemed immune: Either it meddles or it doesn't--the issue is Black & White.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 3 2020 17:42 utc | 159

@Rancid #109
Einstein wasn't a believe in organized religion - i.e. Judaism or Christianity or some other. However, he was a believer that there was some form of organization - physics or natural as opposed to metaphysical.

As for cancer: cancer is a runaway outcome of genetics. There are therapies being tested now where specific types of T-cells - ones which are able to identify cancer cells - are isolated then grown to attack cancers.
I personally know someone who had significant extension of life due to an extremely expensive phage based treatment - similar to the T-cell above but using phages.

The intersection of evolution and cancer (an outcome of flawed evolution) could be termed a function of Deep Time; the development of cellular/systemic behavior over millions and billions of years can create all manner of fantastic outcomes as well as contain all kinds of ridiculous errors and oversights, particularly since biological evolution is via overwriting as opposed to replacement.

Dmitri Belyaev's seminal work with foxes is a fantastic example: while Siberian foxes in the wild have a broadly similar appearance and behavior; crossbreeding to minimize the genes controlling color and temperament uncovered a wildly diverse set of behaviors and appearances underneath - easily demonstrating how the enormous variety of dog breeds could have arisen from their common wolf ancestor.

Or in other words, the Great Dane to Chihuahua genes were always there - they just weren't allowed to express until breeders teased them out.

It isn't difficult to see, from the above examples, how all manner of harmful expressions can occur - particularly if they express sporadically and after breeding age. This is reinforced by the known difficulty of fighting cancer: there are just so many ways it can occur.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 3 2020 17:43 utc | 160

@vk #114
No, evolution is not random. Truly random mutations are extremely rare, particularly ones that are able to be passed on.
Secondly, evolution isn't the replacement of the old with the new. It is the overwriting of some new characteristic and/or behavior over the old. Or in other words, it is more like a pastiche than an original artwork.
Lastly, cells and systemic behavior. You leave out the many mechanisms which an animal or plant uses to manage its systems.
The individuals cells don't have any blueprints or instructions, true, but there are plenty of feedback mechanisms and organs which implement said control mechanisms.
Your description of behavior in a multi-celled organism only holds true for the most simplistic ones.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 3 2020 17:48 utc | 161

@snake #119
In the early years, the electoral college voters were selected by State legislatures - and furthermore had no obligation to vote the way they were expected to.
This is no longer the case. Your notion that the individual vote doesn't matter is only true of the individual vote, but that applies to any and all votes in a large nation, no matter what.
However, the expressions of the individual votes do control elector behavior today - more than 99% of the time.
There is still the majoritarian issue; if 50.1% of the votes are for X - all of the votes for non-X are not represented. But that's life.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 3 2020 17:52 utc | 162

: karlof1 | Feb 3 2020 17:42 utc | 160 Change

Yes, I see the same things.

There is a formal metaphysics of conflict. I worked on this "up on the mountain" , until I was satisfied. It's been some 10 years I guess. One phenomenon in the creation of conflict I labeled "mitosis"...the polis or natio or gang or church, "decide" to divide, then they can enter into complex kenetic response couples, and it gets wild after three.... I kept notes of course. But stopped without completing the work...all I wanted to know, I had learned..mostly that such a thing really existed, and a little about it.

BTW, in detail, Conflict is absolutely unavoidable over Time. The inescapable reason for this foundational proof is latency. An Nth actor cannot know all about his circumstance in real time. He only knows part of what used to be. He must act or die. Thus he is naturally liable to enter into conflict with nature, which does not wait.

That's right before our eyes. Mitosis. It's what's happening now.

I'd add that a characteristic of metastatic system change is that it's generally very fast. State #1 = loaded revolver / state #2 = bang

USSR was highly metastatic. Szilard seems to have thought (Wm Pfaff) that without USSR, America would collapse. He did not say how.

Maybe we'll see if Szilard was right.

No going back. Plutonium spheres do not return to their status quo ante.

Posted by: Walter | Feb 3 2020 18:00 utc | 163

@Walter #127
There are many reasons why the Greeks didn't/couldn't build a steam engine, including:
1) Inability to manufacture to sufficient tolerances
2) No industrial use for coal; the early steam engines were so inefficient that they were only usable to pump water out of coal mines
3) Cast iron. The West didn't start creating it until the 15th century or so, even though the Chinese were using it since before Christ.
So there were plenty of reasons why there wasn't a Greek steam engine: no technology, no materials, no capability and no need.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 3 2020 18:01 utc | 164

How critical is this election???

CODE RED. The patient is almost DEAD, and NO!...

I don't mean the FCKING Empire that is stronger and more prosperous than ever!

I mean OUR VOICE, THE TRUTH, FREEDOM AND JUSTICE AND OUR POWER TO PROTECT THEM.

FGS! Drop the mundane, drop everything and run to grab this last opportunity to keep them ALIVE.

BERNIE SANDERS WILL DEFEAT TRUMP. COUNT ON IT. BELIEVE IT DAMNIT!

Posted by: Circe | Feb 3 2020 18:07 utc | 165

In other news: Canada has just become a 3rd World country:

F-18 fighter jet escorts Air Canada Boeing after LOST landing gear forces emergency landing (VIDEOS)

Welcome to the club, fellow Canadians!

Posted by: vk | Feb 3 2020 18:08 utc | 166

: c1ue | Feb 3 2020 18:01 utc | 165

Yes, indeed. This is true. The need follows the doing, and the doing, the circumstance, was not there, as you say, "no need".

But they absolutely could have done it...beginning with the coal and learning to cast rather than forge. I am reasonably sure that the Egyptians built cupola furnaces with bellows worked by slaves, but unsure if they got hot enough to cast. This may be related to the sea-peoples from the West circa 1186 BCE, who brought steel and iron technology as well as ruin.

Jared Diamond may have pointed out the role of happenstances in the geography that tend, by circumstance, to make people make cheap steel. Happened to England. Coal and Iron near one another on a pirate island...what could go wrong?

Posted by: Walter | Feb 3 2020 18:13 utc | 167

Circe @158: I'm not going to lie. Getting rid of Trump is an absolute.

Circe @166: BERNIE SANDERS WILL DEFEAT TRUMP.

And there it is! Just as I wrote @149:

The 'game' here is to shill for Bernie then call for Party Unity!! to combat the greater evil of TRUMP.

Bernie and Circle will gladly support Biden-Tulsi when the time comes. Circe will SCREAM that Bernie's "Movement" forced Biden to pick Tulsi and that WE MUST vote for avowed Zionist Deep-Stater Biden to stop Zionist Trump. LOL.

It's one political scam after another in Zio-USA.

Only a genuine popular Movement will stop this insanity.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 3 2020 18:46 utc | 168

You are welcome, Russ @ 159. I did go look at another reference book I have, Smith's Bible Dictionary (picked up at a thrift store). It said the tree is mainly used for shade, (similar in aspect to a walnut tree spread) and that the fruits grow on the trunk rather than on branches. Also, that they need to be individually pricked four or five days before picking - I assume to release bitter juices.

Circe should not be annoyed - I think we could be stimulating those still within reach of the Democratic Party. I am not. If as is looking increasingly likely the party inserts any other candidate, I think the movement gathers steam. Circe forgets the huge number of people who simply don't vote any longer. That's movement potential. Local would be progressives running as Dems be warned. Those numbers will grow. It's almost half right now. As Circe has pointed out very forcefully - he's the last chance for the Dems. But they lost me with Obama, and then I took a look back at Clinton. It's all about trust, it really is. And that terrible feeling you are responsible in your own little vote for what happened after -- not a good feeling at all.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 3 2020 18:47 utc | 169

——
To those still using g00gle, explorer and edge, STOP!
Duckduckgo and start is better search engines, easier to use for research on "tabu" topics.

Posted by: Per/Norway | Feb 3 2020 16:27 utc | 140
——

OK, I followed that posters advice and looked for:
"saddam hussein infrasound cannon"
Then I searched for "the gulf war syndrome".

Then I researched for the opening footage of CNN 1991 Iraq war anouncing the air raids at Baghdad, rewatched the news anchors faces display a sense of tremendous relief and wild joy in their eyes, trying to shove at our throats strange lights capture from infrared cameras just above Baghdad minutes before cruise missiles were accuratelly hitting the capital. No wonder, the US Tactical Reconnaisance Program was back uninhibitted, accurately delivering target data for the ships and air command centers.
Yes! US was back on their superpower throne! Full war time ability restored!

Likklemore | Feb 2 2020 17:16 utc | 8

Thank you! I am reading the links and doing research.
Wait! Look at what I stumbled uppon:
A Saudi (now in the US) scientist, doing biology research in a Micro$oft funded college, from the "Vaccine couple", Bill and Melinda fund, putting videos with weird scenes at the endings, teaching "star trek physics biology"! WHAT?

"A scientific aproach in Star Trek evolution" (advertising the speech)
https://youtu.be/KEoK_IvjKgo
"Evolution in Star Trek why so many human species" (the speech)
https://youtu.be/9ZawWUNs8SQ

Enjoy!

Posted by: Qparticle | Feb 3 2020 18:57 utc | 170

@Walter #168
Sorry, but you completely misread what I wrote.
The need drives the doing, not the other way around.
The British were using coal to compete with the Dutch in making salt, sugar and porcelain - that is what drove the demand for coal. These were mature industries established by the Dutch using peat for fuel.
Cast iron started being used in Europe around the 15th century - for cannon making.
The need for more coal drove the initial steam engine development, which in turn leveraged existing expertise in cast iron from cannon making.

The Greeks had no commercial use for coal.
They didn't make cast iron.
They couldn't have made an iron steam engine without major intervention.
And as islanders, they had zero need for railroads.
So I completely disagree with your notion that the Greeks "could" have made steam engines in their pre-Christ, pre-Rome heyday.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 3 2020 19:18 utc | 171

They did make them. Of bronze one assumes. This is accepted fact. I myself have built machine tools in a foundry that made it's own lathes and mills from Iron and Coke. And I myself have built a simple steam engine that involved zero iron. Hero was a Greek. For a glimpse see YT The Knight Foundry... Not Greeks I'm sorry to say, Germans and Irish and Italian...and alcoholics destined for Heaven 'cause they been to Hell.

Posted by: Walter | Feb 3 2020 20:07 utc | 172

Circe
Is there a way to encouraging you to moderate your enthusiasm and save at least 1/3 of all that energy for insight?

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Feb 3 2020 20:13 utc | 173

walter i wasn't favoring avoiding it as a moral goal, i was favoring it as a saving all our asses goal. check out who has most of the guns. on the other hand, the u.s. military has been pretty damned ineffective at coping with insurections even in countries that aren't the u.s. would there be another macarthur to shoot up the protestors like the bonus army? stay tuned, because there is a good chance we will find out. the ptb aren't looking like they will go quietly.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Feb 3 2020 21:13 utc | 174

pretzelattack | Feb 3 2020 21:13 utc | 175

Yeah. I think you're right. Peace, Brother. It's such a stupid shame...pitiful.

Posted by: Walter | Feb 3 2020 21:24 utc | 175

pretzelattack | Feb 3 2020 21:13 utc | 175:

People in power rarely go out quietly.

Posted by: Ian2 | Feb 3 2020 21:50 utc | 176

Less than 3 hours left to begin the process of getting that Ziofascist jakal out of the White House, return power to its rightful owners, people, and then reversing Citizens United and gradually fumigating all the corruption out, and SANDERS is the only honest guy FULLY committed to that task!

No particlar issue is going to win this election. Both the primaries and the general election are going to come down to THIS CRITERIA: WHO'S AUTHENTIC, HAS THE BEST OPERATION AND CAN GENERATE THE MOST PASSION AND ENTHUSIASM?

Only one person on the Left CAN AND WILL WIN AND MEETS ALL THE CRITERIA, and that's BERNIE SANDERS. Everyone else is mashed potatoes and gruel, safe for many but real LUKEWARM. None is as honest.

It's going to be a numbers game from start to finish. Older libtards will go to the polls come rain or shine. The younger generation will only come out if they're energized, motivated by incentives for them and believe in the genuineness of the Nominee! THEY LOVE BERNIE. BERNIE IS THEIR GUY.

THIS IS NOT 2016. The Trump team is much more powerful. So you centrists out there--it's your turn to sacrifice, and pick the person who's got a grassroots operation good enough to go up against the Trump machine.

If Dems pick a lightweight like Buttigieg who has ZERO appeal to Black people, if they pick Biden who has Zero appeal to young people, if they pick Bloomberg who has ZERO appeal to the latter and former groups, if they pick Warren who doesn't come close to Bernie's ground game and is a risk--then Dems are going TO LOSE BIG TIME.

It's going to be about numbers, passion and enthusiasm. PERIOD.

BERNIE OR LOSE BERNIE OR LOSE BERNIE OR LOSE BERNIE OR LOSE BERNIE OR LOSE BERNIE OR LOSE BERNIE OR LOSE BERNIE OR LOSE

It's that simple.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 3 2020 21:52 utc | 177

Haven't seen anyone provide a link to Alastair Crooke's latest, "Israel in the Middle East — A Civilisational and Metaphysical War." I dug into the Metaphysical aspect a little at my VK platform, but I still want to address the idea that the Outlaw US Empire constitutes its own Civilization--and can anyone honestly deem it civilized to begin with.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 3 2020 21:55 utc | 178

First post from a long-time lurker.

It would be nice to know more about the relationship between the Russian and Syrian military. Even though Putin seem to be a rather cynical REALPOLITIKian I believe that after 4-5 years of fighting along side of eachother, there should be an quite an amount of solidarity between the respective militaries? At least between the russian soldiers & officers stationed in Syria, and the syrian soldiers & officers on the other hand.

Considering the history of Russia (fighting off invaders to defend their very existence during centuries after centuries - even though the Russians themselves have their share of colonialist adventures towards their neighbours, I guess...) I would think that the Ruskies should have quite a lot of respect for the Syrian Arab Republic and the SAA?

Also, I´ve often been thinking how this long, complicated war might have affected the Syrian psyche. Even though far from every syrian have much love for their government (this war started as a genuine, justified protest movement, after all, before it got hijacked by the Empire) - even though that, I´m thinking that this war for survival against foreign jihadi mercenaries might have brough the nation together? Also it must have been a real baptism of fire for Bashar al Assad - it can´t have been easy to lead a country though a decade of war.

Posted by: David Wadström | Feb 3 2020 22:12 utc | 179

Posted by: David Wadström | Feb 3 2020 22:12 utc | 180

Quite true. Bashar al Assad was not supposed to be the leader of Syria, but when his brother was killed he was called back. The guy comes across largely as a soft-spoken Ophthalmologist ... because he is. Whenever I have listened to him speak, or see the reactions of his people to him I've been very impressed. I can't remember the city, but shortly after it was liberated by the SAA, there was a video of Assad driving a car himself into the city to check on the people there.

He has taken mountains of vitriol from the West, but if he had fled in 2015, the black flag of ISIS would be flying over Damascus, and we would have witnessed a nauseating bloodbath.

Posted by: SteveK9 | Feb 3 2020 22:40 utc | 180

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 3 2020 21:55 utc | 179 with the link to Alastair Crooke's latest....thanks

I tried to create a VK account and failed....may try again but not highly motivated

Crooke ends with
"
....towards Judeo-Christianity maintaining ‘system leadership?
"


I continue to see Judeo-Christianity as a proxy in our social contract for global private finance (Hand, The Invisible religion to bind them all)
I have long considered monotheism and private finance to be the ugly child from the Enlightenment period the West never really finished going through.
The US was founded on separation of church and state but now has a motto of In God We Trust and is the face of the global private finance god, Hand, The Invisible.

That is how I describe the "metaphysical" view of humanity's condition and looming decision point.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 4 2020 0:03 utc | 181


Vk@114

With all respect to Darwin science has come a long way since his time. Evolution was a religious concept he applied to biology, and at least as applied to evolution of a species, had some degree of usefulness.

The doctrine of randomness has been projected as a matter of pre-existing philosophical belief. What the priests of evolutionary randomness would have us overlook is the fact that organisms are participants in, and revisers of, their own genomes. We must overlook the way the organism responds intelligently, and in accord with its own purposes, to whatever it encounters in its environment, including the environment of its own body, and including what we may prefer to view as “accidents.”

Overlooking all this, we are supposed to see blind, mindless, random, purposeless automatisms at the root of all genetic variation leading to evolutionary change.

Randomness in science is every bit as wishful as miracle is to religion. Simply a weak explanation for what is not known, requiring an extraordinary blind leap of faith.

In her 1983 Nobel address, geneticist Barbara McClintock cited various ways an organism responds to stress by, among other things, altering its own genome. “Some sensing mechanism must be present in these instances to alert the cell to imminent danger,” she said, adding that “a goal for the future would be to determine the extent of knowledge the cell has of itself, and how it utilizes this knowledge in a ‘thoughtful’ manner when challenged.”

By means of endlessly complex and interweaving processes, the organism sees to the replication of chromosomes in dividing cells, maintains surveillance for all sorts of damage, and repairs or alters damage when it occurs.

In certain human immune-system cells, portions of DNA are repeatedly cut and then stitched together in new patterns, yielding the huge variety of proteins required for recognizing an equally huge variety of foreign substances that need to be rendered harmless. The complexity of the immune response to a simple cold virus is mind boggling. Many types of cells, signaling proteins, various innate system molecules and adhesion molecules , etc working collectively and interactively to mount a offensive and defensive response, and not mindless cells each doing their own individual thing. Its a coordinated effort that puts the military to shame and could not possibly have evolved in a random manner

The human genome yields some 250 different cell types (and thousands of subtypes) , derived from a single cell type HSC, making cells for the brain and muscle, liver and skin, blood and retina. The genes in your stomach lining and the genes in the cornea of your eye are the “same” genes, and yet the immediate context makes very different things out of them.

Organisms generate new genetic material by duplicating entire genes, modifying them, and supplying them with regulatory elements. This can occur through direct duplication of genes or even larger chromosomal segments, and also through reverse transcription, whereby messenger RNA molecules, produced from DNA, are transcribed back into new DNA, which can then be modified.

For example, two duplicated genes can, via a number of different pathways, fuse into a single chimeric gene. And not only protein-coding RNAs, but also small regulatory RNAs can be reverse-transcribed into DNA and their functions diversified. And again, various repetitive and mobile elements called “transposons” can move around in the genome, often being duplicated in the process and then co-opted either as new protein-coding genes or new regulatory genes.

It has now been shown that transposons move around in the developing mammalian brain, altering the genome from cell to cell. They provide enough diversity among neurons so that we can optimize our response to a variety of environments . And now it is being found that transposons also “jump” in other cell types much more readily than was previously thought.

Recent findings support the existence of transposon-mediated gene regulatory innovation at the network level, a mechanism of gene regulation first suggested more than forty years ago by McClintock.

Southern Illinois University neuroscientist David G. King wrote that “the dictum, ‘Mutations are accidents,’ has grown obsolete,” adding that protocols for “the spontaneous, non-accidental production of genetic variation are deeply embedded in genomic architecture.”


With transposons, the organism reshapes its genome through elaborately organized and synchronized processes often affecting considerable stretches of DNA. A recent discovery is of protein-coding genes being composed “from scratch” — that is, from non-protein-coding genomic sequences altogether unrelated to pre-existing genes or transposable sequences.

According to the 1977 paper by the preeminent French biologist François Jacob the probability for creation of new protein-coding genes de novo (from scratch) by random processes “is practically zero.” And yet, recent work has uncovered a number of new protein-coding genes that apparently arose from previously noncoding (and nonrepetitive) DNA sequences.

If we take seriously Jacob’s “practically zero” probability for random, de novo assembly of functional, protein-coding genes from noncoding DNA sequences, then, given that such assembly does in fact somehow occur, the obvious thing to suspect is that the process is not random. Nor does the scale of the problem, as it is now emerging, look trivial.

Italian geneticist Vittorio Sgaramella, after noting the various alterations of the sequence throughout the cells of our bodies : “The human genome seems more complex but less autonomous than originally believed.”
Less autonomous because so many concerted activities of the organism are brought to bear on it.


And then there is the rapidly rising interest in neo-Lamarckian, epigenetically mediated inheritance of acquired characteristics. By one means or another, the organism pursues its own genomic alterations with remarkable insistence and subtlety.

All these revelations about coherent genomic change have prompted University of Chicago geneticist James A. Shapiro to speak of “natural genetic engineering.” “We have progressed from the Constant Genome, subject only to random, localized changes at a more or less constant mutation rate, to the Fluid Genome, subject to episodic, massive and non-random reorganizations capable of producing new functional architectures.”


Two geneticists from the University of Michigan Medical School, writing in Nature Reviews Genetics, remember how “it was previously thought that most genomic rearrangements formed randomly.” Now, however, “emerging data suggest that many are nonrandom, cell type-, cell stage- and locus-specific events. Recent studies have revealed novel cellular mechanisms and environmental cues that influence genomic rearrangements.”

Certainly from the organism’s side I see nothing to suggest any fundamental role for randomness.

Posted by: Pft | Feb 4 2020 0:22 utc | 182

Just watched an advance preview of a documentary talking about CRISPR.
Pretty decent overview on the science, also tried hard to be balanced between the “techno-optimists” and the “techno-pessimists”.
This was followed by a discussion with 4 senior people closely involved with that tech.
As I understand it, the film will be shown in March for 1 week in NY, SF and LA; if there is good turnout, there will be a wider distribution.
In any case, a couple interesting notes:
CRISPR was first demonstrated in 2012. The first clinical test - on a sickle cell anemia sufferer, already has started. Sickle cell anemia is a single base pair mutation, and the person has been doing well for 6 months so far. The 2012 to 2019 timeline from proof of concept to treatment is unprecedented.
The researchers were also very honest: rich people are already asking/thinking how to take advantage of it.
There are also living animals with 60+ CRISPR changes which have reproduced without issue.
Needless to say, the issue is eugenics.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 4 2020 3:50 utc | 183

per/norway... i hope someone takes your suggestions up on search engines and browsers.. i agree with you..

@ 180 David Wadström quote "(this war started as a genuine, justified protest movement, after all, before it got hijacked by the Empire) ... that is wrong.. that is propaganda david and it's wrong.. this plan has been in the works for a much longer time.. do some research on wesley clarks comments on this specific topic..

Posted by: james | Feb 4 2020 4:51 utc | 184

right on cue there are reportedly a lot of problems in iowa getting the results. must be the results dnc doesn't want.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Feb 4 2020 5:01 utc | 185

Developing: Iowa State Democratic Party spokesperson tells @NBCNews that it is putting caucus data through "quality control procedures" out of an abundance of caution and currently has no timetable for when any results would be released.

Grabbed this off a Twitter feed. Let the shitshow begin. LOL

Posted by: Ian2 | Feb 4 2020 5:10 utc | 186

Surprise!!! There's a huge fck-up with the Iowa results. No results are in and they should have been in 2 hours ago!

Okay, now I'm getting really worried for Bernie. I'm thinking rigged, I'm thinking hack, wtf is going on???

Already Bernie who appeared to have the highest turnout is disadvantaged by the caucus system because he's a left progressive and Warren is splitting that electorate with him and since she's been showing a pretty good turnout too she qualifies for 2nd round, so her supporters don't go to Bernie, they stay put. However, that Neolib neophyte, Obama wannabe, Buttigieg, also has a pretty good turnout, but Biden doesn't so in the 2nd qualifying round Biden's supporters are all moving to Buttgieg and so are Klobuchar's. So Buttigieg is challenging Sanders for the lead in the 2nd round cause Bernie can only get Yang, Gabbard or Steyer and they have much fewer supporters.

If Bernie only had one or two competitors he'd run away with it, same if it was a normal primary with several candidates, but the caucus system sucks, and is not good when the field is crowded with centrists and only two left progressives both viable! The caucus favors the centrists and mostly Buttigieg because he gets supporters from other centrist candidates who don't make it to the 2nd round when their tally is under 15%.

If Warren wasn't maintaining the 15% threshold Sanders could get her supporters since he leads in several precincts, but when she's low in certain precincts her suppporters end up splitting between Sanders and Buttigieg! What a mess!

This is crazy, and to top it off there are major issues, inconsistencies with the reporting of results, and system being used to tabulate results. They're claiming this is not a hack, and they're going back to check the paper trail! Whuuut?

REALLY??? Oh shet! I'm pissed.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 4 2020 5:12 utc | 187

the process was rigged last time, no surprise it's rigged this time. it is slightly surprised how incompetent the dnc is at it, you would think all that practice would help.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Feb 4 2020 5:16 utc | 188

from what i'm reading, they don't even know who wrote the caucus voting and reporting app. i don't know if this is snark, but one poster said cnn is already blaming russia. i need to go get drunk.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Feb 4 2020 5:25 utc | 189

The results are not even in and Buttigieg is already declaring victory. WTF--What arrogance! No one is supposed to have the results until the mess is cleared up.

This stinks. Buttigieg will never, ever beat Trump. He has ZERO support with the black community and he's homosexual and a Neolib centrist.

You'd think this primary happened in a third world country or banana republic.

The real test is going to be South Carolina and Nevada. Buttigieg is funded by corporate deep pockets, but his negatives with AA's and Latinos are high, and no amount of money can erase that and buy him the nomination.

Months ago, when b linked an article on Buttigieg's liabilities, I wrote then that I suspected Buttigieg is the spoiler that the PTB are using to assure Trump a second term. Boy, I really hope my suspicions were wrong!

Posted by: Circe | Feb 4 2020 6:08 utc | 190

Matt Couch🎙@RealMattCouch·8m

Breaking: The Iowa Democrat party just hosted a conference call with all the candidates, it got heated and they hung up on the campaigns... #IowaCaucuses

I’m making more popcorn 🍿😂😂😂

[attachment: MSNBC video of report]

Matt Couch🎙@RealMattCouch·1hr

Breaking: The Biden campaign has sent a letter to the DNC and they do not want any results released to the public until all campaigns have been brief about what actually transpired tonight in the Iowa caucuses...

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 4 2020 6:15 utc | 191

Get a load of this tweet!:

reporting system vetted by former Clinton campaign manager

Oh well that figures! Hillary' been trying to take Sanders down for two weeks!
🤬🤬🤬

This gets worse by the minute! Okay, I'm livid!

Posted by: Circe | Feb 4 2020 6:39 utc | 192

I bet the people of Milwaukee is looking forward to the coming convention.

Posted by: Ian2 | Feb 4 2020 6:42 utc | 193

DNC has stolen Bernie's thunder

Every news show talking about Trump's SOTU speech tonight should be talking about Bernie's victory. But because of this oh-so-convenient screw up, they will not.

Why am I not surprised?

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 4 2020 6:46 utc | 194

Iowa Update

Pete Buttigieg's campaign apparently contributed funding for the voting app that is said to have failed.

Claim: The wife of a staffer on Buttigieg's campaign is married to the CEO of the company that developed the app.

Many are saying this is a conflict of interest ...

... and denouncing Buttigieg' speech after the results were delayed in which he said that his "victorious" campaign is going to New Hampshire.

Now trending on Twitter: #MayorCheat

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 4 2020 7:12 utc | 195

Oh so now Buttigieg AND Hillary Clinton have ties to people who developed and vetted the app? And Trump's been milking the obvious: that the DNC is trying to rig the election against Bernie to sow division.

This is a nightmare. Damn the 3 of them!

Posted by: Circe | Feb 4 2020 7:24 utc | 196

Published 11 December 2019

Trump Redefines Anti-Semitism in Bid Against Critics of Israel

Trump stated clearly that the decision targets the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) calling it an “anti-Semitic campaign against Israel.”

United States President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that would effectively allow the government to interpret Judaism as both a race or nationality and religion under federal law so that the Education Department can take direct action against what he views as “anti-Semitism on college campuses.”

The order will trigger Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that requires educational institutions receiving federal funding to not discriminate based on national origin; meaning the government can now withhold federal funding from any college or educational program that is deemed to allow or endorse “anti-Semitism.”

However, on Wednesday, Trump stated clearly that the decision targets the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) calling it an “anti-Semitic campaign against Israel.” This comes as BDS has gained notoriety in college campuses across the U.S. with more people understanding and backing the Palestinian struggle.

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Trump-Redefines-Anti-Semitism-in-Bid-Against-Critics-of-Israel-20191211-0020.html

Posted by: Sarah | Feb 4 2020 7:44 utc | 197

BERNIE WON IOWA!!!!🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Sanders caucus numbers press release

Damn you MayorCheat for trying to steal Bernie's victory!!! RAT.

THE MEDIA BETTER APOLOGIZE FOR GOING ALONG WITH THE CHEAT.

MAYORCHEAT

Posted by: Circe | Feb 4 2020 7:44 utc | 198

Usually the winner of the 1st important primary victory gets a flurry of donations and that RatCheat Buttigieg tried to steal that privilege from Bernie along with falsely claiming victory!!! And the fake media are complicit! BIG FAIL FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT'S CANDIDATE!

Posted by: Circe | Feb 4 2020 7:58 utc | 199

Circe@199
Welcome to the caucus system that I mentioned several days ago is rigged by the party. I have even seen party officials shut down a District delegate count and several days later only send the meeting place for the second vote to supporters of the party selected candidate.

I did note that mostly old more conservative people show up as caucus events. The young supporters who support Sanders tend to prefer attending distractions such as concerts, sports and parties.

Setting up a grass root system takes a lot of hard work and requires removing the local party hacks a few years before the primaries. If you cannot control the local party organization it is very hard to win.

Here are some youtube videos that support Bernie and why. Unfortunately good ideas are often drowned out by the insiders who control most organizations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ihlYqdDXXs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8KpA-vP_qM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcob-EuVeWU

Posted by: krollchem | Feb 4 2020 8:49 utc | 200

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