Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 26, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-59

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

---
Other Issues:

U.S. Civil War of 2020:

Near and Present Anarchy - Susan Zahkin / The Baffler (long read)
Buildings damaged in Minneapolis, St. Paul after riots - Star Tribune
Meet the Youth Liberation Front behind a militant marathon of Portland protests - Seattle Times

Boeing 737:

Boeing 737 Max Ungrounding Pushed Back Again; WSJ Sources Say Early 2021 - Naked Capitalism
Southwest says slowed delivery of Boeing 737 MAXs could slip more - Seattle Times
FAA warns engine on Boeing 737 jets could shut down mid-flight, issues emergency order directing airlines to inspect, replace critical part - Chicago Tribune
Boeing to delay 777X as demand drops for big jets: Sources - Channel New Asia

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on July 26, 2020 at 14:26 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Wall street will give them permission without the need to wipe Nasrallah off.

But there has to be the excuse for the electorate. You don't simply "declare war". Even Hitler didn't do that.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 27 2020 12:58 utc | 101

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 27 2020 11:30 utc | 105 Find a nice mrs Hack and have lots of little Hacks, your body is just vehicle for your family genetics traveling through the century’s. Do what you can then pass the baton on.

Not going to happen. I don't care what evolution wants. Not to mention that so far it's ended up with the dolts and morons we have. Fortunately due to accident a handful have the smarts to produce Transhuman enabling technologies - hopefully before nuclear war or some other pandemic renders it moot.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 27 2020 13:00 utc | 102

From CNN
"the Oman government announced that the country will go into a "complete lockdown of all governorates of the Sultanate" from July 25 until August 8, after a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, according to Oman's News Agency.

Oman has one of the highest number of cases per 100,000 people, according to data collected from Johns Hopkins."

What kind of tourists does Oman get apart from Gulfies, a few expats, and UK and US military?
Or is covid a mutation of the old camel flu?

Posted by: Mina | Jul 27 2020 13:02 utc | 103

Ukraine 2.0's war preparations. The propaganda tells us to 'look over there at the authoritarians'.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/threats-to-australian-democracy-are-closer-to-home-than-china-20200726-p55fj0.html

Specifically in relation to China, they point out that, "sweeping and vague 'national security' legislation imposed on Hong Kong has undermined the rights, freedoms and futures of millions of people".

But a series of recently passed or pending measures in the Commonwealth Parliament give rise to concerns about our own, home-grown authoritarianism. They include a roll out of facial recognition technology, forcing technology companies to decrypt information held on their customers’ computer systems, forcing technology companies to provide access to their customers’ cloud-based information without notification to the owner of the information and extending ASIO’s compulsory questioning powers.

While it might be accepted that the extreme violence associated with terrorism offences justifies extraordinary powers – extreme violence at least offers a bright line border around these extraordinary powers. That certainly cannot be said about the "sweeping and vague" definitions used in this bill to trigger the compulsory questioning power: dealing with information which prejudices Australia’s "political, military or economic relations with another country”; or activities in collaboration with a foreign power which are clandestine or deceptive and are "detrimental to Australia’s interests”. It is hard to imagine more "sweeping and vague 'national security' legislation" than this.

ASIO would be allowed to compulsorily question anyone about these things – not just suspected offenders. This includes journalists, business people, university academics and staff, lawyers, citizens, residents and visitors. ASIO would simply have to show the questioning would "substantially contribute to the collection of intelligence" about foreign interference, which seems to be the main target of the bill. The person could then be questioned for up to 40 hours (not including breaks). If the person refused to attend, they would be arrested. Refusal to answer or giving false or misleading answers would carry a maximum five year sentence. Rules that are fundamental in our legal systems – indeed protected by the constitution in the United States – are overturned by this bill. People – including people already facing charges – will be compelled to provide evidence that may then be used to prosecute them. They could have a lawyer present, but the lawyer would be confined to clarifying questions that were ambiguous or unclear.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 27 2020 13:02 utc | 104

Posted by: vk | Jul 27 2020 12:48 utc | 106 US Navy should build a multinational amphibious task force with allies' attack ships and fighter planes to counter China

That's a weird notion. Why "amphibious"? Who's going to invade China by sea (or land)?

Not to mention if the US can't out-build China's navy, who else is going to? South Korea has a huge ship-building industry, but they're not going to antagonize China - their top trading partner (China is US$136.2 billion, 25.1% of total South Korean exports; the US is 13.6%). Japan is China's third largest trading partner. Who's left? Vietnam? India, of course - they only do 5% of exports to China and 13% of imports. And India does have a significant navy with 295 ships, including an aircraft carrier, 14 frigates, 11 destroyers, 22 corvettes, 16 submarines, 139 patrol aircraft, and four mine-warfare vessels. But that's not "amphibious". And they're well behind China in fighter aircraft. According to an article I found: "China has 3,210 aircraft in comparison to India with 2,123 aircraft. China has two times the number of fighters and interceptors than India. It also has 507 serviceable airports compared to 346 airports in India."

So the US doesn't have anyone who can really help it challenge China militarily nor help it significantly with the logistics of such a challenge. So much for that plan.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 27 2020 13:16 utc | 105

Ukraine 2.0's war preparations.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 27 2020 13:02 utc | 110So

the US doesn't have anyone who can really help it challenge China militarily nor help it significantly with the logistics of such a challenge. So much for that plan.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 27 2020 13:16 utc | 111

And therein lies the rub....

They'll continue to lean on their basement gimp aka Australia to be the court jester in their merry band of bullies on the High seas.

Go on, buy more toys that will only switch on when fighting for your master uncle Sam. So much for sovereignty.

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 27 2020 13:31 utc | 106

@Hack,

how conscious are you of your glaring contradictions? you said in another thread how much you liked the film V for Vendetta, especially the part where Portman's character loses her fear, yet you are so afraid of the natural limitation of mortality that you openly (and naively) hope the transhumanists will save you from death.

have you ever considered that people are MORONS because sociopath transhumanists like yourself have been engaged in a centuries long social engineering project to dumb-down enslave the masses while they use technology to turn themselves into a different, more evolved species?

what Mark2 was kindly suggesting you do is what most humans do to live on past their own death--reproduce with a loved and trusted partner.

of course, when someone is as hateful as you are, that's probably not a possibility. too bad you don't have the money to buy one of those AI-powered fuck dolls your transhumanist pal Jeffrey Epstein was investing in before he "died".

Posted by: lizard | Jul 27 2020 13:43 utc | 107

Ouch, lizard.

TBH:
- I hope to be saved from death by tech that regrows kidneys and fixes brain matter. (I’m not a fan of the “upload” idea because I see it as a copy.)
- I think AI fuckdolls will be fun. Why do you react so strongly to the idea and conflate it with Epstein’s other activities? Do you know that Epstein wore underwear? I hope you don’t wear any.
- I don’t accept that the only “way forward” is to reproduce. But, if you think the world needs more copies of you, go right ahead.
- While I fear my own death, I appreciate the virtue in people who risk their own for a cause. Can we truly appreciate their sacrifice if without that fear? I see no contradiction in this.

You be you, lizard, and let others be themselves.

Posted by: oglalla | Jul 27 2020 14:33 utc | 108

@oglalla,

if you get (i.e. can afford) life-extending kidney treatments before we address global hunger and stop genocides in places like Yemen, then you are just another privileged asshole benefitting from the fruits of guiltless sociopaths who have been exploiting people like cattle for centuries to develop these technologies.

but you are right, abusing AI fuck dolls would be an improvement over these monsters raping and murdering children. yet somehow I doubt the best technology money can buy will ever be able to approximate the suffering of a human child.

Posted by: lizard | Jul 27 2020 14:47 utc | 109

>> you are just another privileged asshole benefitting from the fruits of guiltless sociopaths

Well, yes. I’m not going to throw away the fruit. Just because psychos want it doesn’t mean the tech is evil. If they had spent less on weapons and murdering people instead of science and medicine, we would have the tech decades ago. The psychos held it back.

I hope you and everyone gets to take advantage of it, too. I believe the tech should be free.

As for guilt, I have some but less than a few years ago. I’ve tried to wake a few people up to horrors the psychos commit. There’s insufficient traction. I accept this failure of mine (one of many) and watch in horror as it continues. But, I don’t think I should feel survivor’s guilt over it. Nor should you.

I take some comfort in knowing I’m not alone — that you and others here on MoA that feel much the same way, with some variation, of course.

Posted by: oglalla | Jul 27 2020 15:07 utc | 110

Some people seek to live on after death in the things they create while alive. Things like novels, symphonies, bridges, scientific theories, and stuff like that. I don't quite see how yet another meat bag on the planet with some of my genetic code could be thought of as "immortality", but I suppose the same kind of "immortality" that cabbages and cattle can achieve is the best some folks can hope for.

As for the AI fuckdolls, I say "Hell yeah! Bring `em on!" If they have decent battery life, can keep up with me on a short hike, can do everything my cell phone does, and have a Free Software OS that I can hack at, then I'm sold. They wouldn't even need a sex feature to get me to adopt the tech, which I suppose would make them something other than a fuckdoll, but whatever.

I do, however, wonder at the hate shown for sex toys. Do we get this judgmental about an ugly girl's vibrator? Or a lonely homosexual's butt plug? I suspect there is fear among some that if these "AI powered fuckdolls" become mass consumer items like cars or cell phones that they will undergo continuous improvements. Better processors, better skin textures, better actuators, better programming for speech and expressions, and so on. It may not be too many generations into development that these "AI powered fuckdolls" begin to offer more rewarding companionship than any human could ever hope to, even beyond the sex aspect. They probably won't smell as bad as real people do either. I wonder how long that "new car smell" would last with them? Humans fresh out of the factory don't smell that good.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 27 2020 15:16 utc | 111

@ 62 grieved... that's a great track - supernatural.... one of my favourite drummers plays on that too - Aynsley Dunbar... he is on some of my favourite zappa records - grand wazoo and etc. etc.. fantastic drummer and as you and john will note - that track is not happening without the drums! peter green is really great too! dunbar is still alive and making music..

@ 104 old hippie.. is that you? some of the guitarists i don't recognize! gonna have to look them up!! thanks..

@ 115 lizard... for all the darkness, there is a lot of light too... think about what you want to focus on... cheers james

Posted by: james | Jul 27 2020 15:22 utc | 112

@oglalla,

that is probably a more generous response than I deserve, so thank you.

advanced technology--to those who don't know any better--can appear like sorcery, and those who hold back technology do so for specific reasons, like, say, to appear like gods amongst us lesser beings.

I'm reading my second book by Jasun Horsley, titled Prisoner of Infinity. he posits that ritualized child abuse is a sort of psyche-shattering technology being used to speed up evolution (he specifically references transhumanism and the rising technocracy), and he ties the fragmentation that occurs to the emergence of UFO abduction narratives, specifically taking on Whitley Strieber.

for those who want to anticipate what's coming, Horsley is doing phenomenal work.

Posted by: lizard | Jul 27 2020 15:23 utc | 113

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 27 2020 4:17 utc | 74


Actually there is even some real, and not only relative, decline for the US, for example US life expectancy is dropping. This is a pretty bad sign for a developed country. Same for UK btw.

On the issue of China gaining during the Covid crisis, they gained in raw power, for example gained in GDP relatively to the US. And they gained in debt levels too, relatively, as US debt levels exploded due to the crisis. Now you have V-shaped recovery in China and poor, W-shaped double dip recovery in the US. With far more debt added.

Of course there is the issue of public relations and soft power. On the one hand the US blamed China for the pandemic, but on the other hand it embarrassed itself due to its poor performance in containing the pandemic, compared to other countries. And the US lost points around the world due to rejecting WHO right in the middle of the pandemic. Europe and developing countries did not like that at all.

Don't forget that Covid also weakened the US military, they have problems with it, including on ships and overseas bases, and even broke the biggest US exercise planned in Europe for the last 30 years. And the pandemic in the US is still raging, its not fixed at all and death rates are increasing again.

Here for example, the futurologists from Pardee Canter that that China gained during the crisis, in raw capabilities.

Future research and relative power between countries is their specialty.

"Research Associate Collin Meisel and Pardee Center Director Jonathan Moyer use IFs (International Futures) to explore the long-term impact of COVID-19 in China in this Duck Of Minerva blog post"

"Where broad measures of material capabilities are concerned, the picture is clear: COVID-19 is closing the gap in relative capabilities for the U.S. and China and accelerating the U.S.-China transition. Through multiple long-term forecast scenarios using the International Futures tool, Research Associate Collin Meisel and Pardee Center Director Jonathan Moyer explain on the Duck of Minerva blog that China is likely to gain approximately one percent of global power relative to the U.S. by 2030 due to the economic and mortality impacts of COVID-19. This share of global power is similar to the relative capabilities of Turkey today."

https://pardee.du.edu/news/research-associate-collin-meisel-and-pardee-center-director-jonathan-moyer-use-ifs-explore-long


Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 27 2020 0:03 utc | 51

Ok, we will see on Biden, if he wins. Maybe you will be right, maybe you won't. As i said the Pentagon and the Intelligence Services are pushing for a Cold War with China, its not simply Trump, so we will see what will Democrats do.

On the issue of the USD, Stephen Roach also says that there will be a significant decline in the medium term.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-decline-of-the-us-dollar-could-happen-at-warp-speed-in-the-era-of-coronavirus-warns-prominent-economist-stephen-roach-2020-06-22

And the JP argument is pretty logical - if the US share in the global economy is declining (and it will be declining at least up to year 2060), and if the level of US debts is reaching all time high levels, then the USD will decline. I agree with that argument. It is fully logical.

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 27 2020 15:30 utc | 114

b, my comment is not showing up for some reason.

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 27 2020 15:32 utc | 115

Posted by: lizard | Jul 27 2020 13:43 utc | 113 you are so afraid of the natural limitation of mortality that you openly (and naively) hope the transhumanists will save you from death.

As I've said before, it's a question of awareness, not fear - or at least, no more fear than is built-in to the brain of any human. The difference is I'm aware of the behavior that fear produces.

I recommend reading Alan Harrington's "The Immortalist", in which he covers all these mundane objections and shows that fear of death is the root of all human behavior. Absolutely everything you do is based on it.

"have you ever considered that people are MORONS because sociopath transhumanists like yourself have been engaged in a centuries long social engineering project to dumb-down enslave the masses while they use technology to turn themselves into a different, more evolved species?"

Oh, I'm well aware of the dumbing down effect of the elites and the US educational system (which produced you, apparently). It has nothing to do with Transhumanism, which aims for the exact opposite.

"what most humans do to live on past their own death--reproduce with a loved and trusted partner."

And so they die. Pathetic.

"your transhumanist pal Jeffrey Epstein'

So everyone you don't like becomes a "transhumanist" in your eyes? Pathetic. You have the level of conceptual comprehension of a five-year-old.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 27 2020 16:15 utc | 116

Did you know that roughly one person in a hundred is clinically a psychopath?
Last year, the Occupy Movement drew a distinction between the top 1% and the remaining 99% — as distinguished by measures of wealth and income. Of course, this breakdown is misleading since there are many top income earners who sympathize with the plights of others and are not part of the problem. Now the real defining metric reveals itself: 1% of the global population is comprised of people who exhibit psychopathic tendencies.
From:
https://empathysurplus.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/how-will-the-99-deal-with-70-million-psychopaths/

Posted by: Antonym | Jul 27 2020 16:20 utc | 117

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 27 2020 15:16 utc | 117 It may not be too many generations into development that these "AI powered fuckdolls" begin to offer more rewarding companionship than any human could ever hope to, even beyond the sex aspect.

That's been discussed in robot circles for some time, not to mention science fiction. That's why people don't like the idea. They're afraid they can't measure up - just like they're afraid they can't measure up to other people. And if they can't measure up to other humans, what are they going to do with a superior machine? Or a superior genetics breed of human? The X-Men stories pretty much cover that (although they're really just an allegory on human racism.)

These people have seen too much Star Trek (the original series). They think humanity proves itself by doing what Captain Kirk always did - act like an idiot, and somehow the superior intelligence can't figure that out because it's supposed to be "insanely rational" as the saying goes and has no conception of emotional behavior.

Back when the Eliza program - a simple language parsing effort - was first invented, there were a number of versions available on the early microprocessors. I once spent half an hour or so determining how easy it was to cause it to fail the Turing Test. It was fairly easy. But that's because it wasn't remotely "AI" of any significant kind.

It's idiotic. Superior intelligence is just that. It will understand what needs to be understood - and humans really aren't that "deep". A superior intelligence would take one look at human behavior and go: "Oh, right, primate hierarchical species driven by the fear of death. Fight or flight syndrome. Conscious reasoning overwhelmed by emotion. Over-active imagination (god, demons, states) in liu of scientific investigation. That pretty much covers it."

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 27 2020 16:26 utc | 118

Worldmeter stats for today: Worldmeter COVID-19 USA July 28 2020
Note that California, Florida and New York are all roughly around the same number of total nCOV cases, but that the NY number of deaths is 4 times greater than CA and 5 times greater than FL.
And note further that FL has a disproportionate number of elderly: 4.36M (20.1%) over 65 vs. CA 5.67M (14.3%) vs. NY 3.21M (16.4%)
Yes, Florida is later in its infection curve (as is CA) - we'll revisit this in 6 weeks, but it seems highly unlikely that either FL or CA will catch up to NY in terms of nCOV total deaths despite having a similar number of cases.

Further note: Florida population is 21.67M, California is 39.56M vs. New York 19.54M - so the deaths as mortality per million are even lower. nCOV deaths per million: New York's nCOV mortality rate is 6 times greater than Florida and 7.85 times greater than California.

Florida has no lockdown in most of the state - I talked with a police officer in the Orlando Sheriff's office recently and he said that everything was open, including Disneyland.

California, on the other hand, has been under some form of lockdown continuously since March and has had a mask mandate to boot.

Given: New York's actual nCOV infection rate is certainly higher, very possibly significantly higher, than the official totals.

Nonetheless, the reality is that deaths are what matter.
This disparity in outcomes is very difficult to explain if lockdowns are truly effective in overall pandemic cycle harm reduction. The same can be said for mask mandates.
As I've noted before - California's nCOV death rates have been pretty much the same since April, so the notion that lockdowns spread out the deaths does seem valid.
The point of a lockdown spreading out the deaths was the reduce the actual percentage nCOV infected who died due to insufficient hospital resources as well as the number of people infected. If, in fact, the deaths aren't happening due to insufficient hospital resources (which New York never hit), then why exactly are the lockdowns beneficial? Lockdown certainly hasn't "stopped nCOV in its tracks"
Unlike masks, lockdowns very much have an enormous impact beyond health.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 27 2020 16:31 utc | 119

Yup, the 1-3% of complete psychopaths are a major source of trouble. And sooner or later, we'll have to get rid of them, or maybe just jail them and get them out only when massive violence is needed, against whatever existential (and possibly extraterrestrial) threat will occur in the future.

As for transhumanism, it's nowhere near close to useful right now and will take many decades before anything serious happen - if only because, despite some people's wishes, there's still a massive social limitation to what kind of testing and research can be done in this matter.
That said, I think the discussion shouldn't as much focus on RS Hack or on transhumanism but rather on the absolute failure in the whole reasoning of the elites: they won't be able to ride the wave and survive a possible collapse, and live long and prosper in some dystopian transhumanist future. They won't, because they're too fucking stupid to create or to lead such a complex system. These idiots haven't been able to do that for the last 200 years and they only have a world close to ruin to show for themselves; they've failed again and again because they're mostly inbred morons or degenerate buffoons, no better on average than the common human being. They won't save us and won't save themselves. Left to rule the planet, they will fuck it up just like they've fucked up for decades. Heck, it's even worse when you deal with collapse futures, because they surely can't survive on their own in a lower tech world. So, we might lose, but whatever happens, they will lose as well; they're just not yet aware of it.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jul 27 2020 16:32 utc | 120

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 27 2020 4:17 utc | 74


Actually there is even some real, and not only relative, decline for the US, for example US life expectancy is dropping. This is a pretty bad sign for a developed country. Same for UK btw.

On the issue of China gaining during the Covid crisis, they gained in raw power, for example gained in GDP relatively to the US. And they gained in debt levels too, relatively, as US debt levels exploded due to the crisis. Now you have V-shaped recovery in China and poor, W-shaped double dip recovery in the US. With far more debt added.

Of course there is the issue of public relations and soft power. On the one hand the US blamed China for the pandemic, but on the other hand it embarrassed itself due to its poor performance in containing the pandemic, compared to other countries. And the US lost points around the world due to rejecting WHO right in the middle of the pandemic. Europe and developing countries did not like that at all.

Don't forget that Covid also weakened the US military, they have problems with it, including on ships and overseas bases, and even broke the biggest US exercise planned in Europe for the last 30 years. And the pandemic in the US is still raging, its not fixed at all and death rates are increasing again.

Here for example, the futurologists from Pardee Canter that that China gained during the crisis, in raw capabilities.

Future research and relative power between countries is their specialty.

"Research Associate Collin Meisel and Pardee Center Director Jonathan Moyer use IFs (International Futures) to explore the long-term impact of COVID-19 in China in this Duck Of Minerva blog post"

"Where broad measures of material capabilities are concerned, the picture is clear: COVID-19 is closing the gap in relative capabilities for the U.S. and China and accelerating the U.S.-China transition. Through multiple long-term forecast scenarios using the International Futures tool, Research Associate Collin Meisel and Pardee Center Director Jonathan Moyer explain on the Duck of Minerva blog that China is likely to gain approximately one percent of global power relative to the U.S. by 2030 due to the economic and mortality impacts of COVID-19. This share of global power is similar to the relative capabilities of Turkey today."

https://pardee.du.edu/news/research-associate-collin-meisel-and-pardee-center-director-jonathan-moyer-use-ifs-explore-long

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 27 2020 16:37 utc | 121

Posted by: Schmoe | Jul 27 2020 0:11 utc | 52


Schmoe

I think you should not worry too much about the chip/semiconductor issue.

David Goldman is sceptical that the US will be able to stop China on this.

"The chip ban gives the world an enormous incentive to circumvent the US"

https://asiatimes.com/2020/07/tokyo-electron-shares-soar-due-to-us-restrictions/

https://asiatimes.com/2020/06/us-potshots-at-huawei-miss-chinas-grand-design/

https://asiatimes.com/2020/06/how-huawei-can-work-around-us-chip-ban/

Basically Huawei still has advanced suppliers, from South Korea and Japan. And some of them are refusing to yield.

The problem for the US is that China is the world's biggest semiconductor market and biggest chip importer on the world, which gives enourmous initiative for private businesses to circumvent US made equipment in order to export to China. Then also China is stashing large quantities of chips. By 2025, it should be able to replace foreign production with homegrown.

So these bans are lose lose situation for both the US and China - yes, this will cause come costs to China up to 2025. But it will also lead to US companies, such as Qualcomm, to lose the chinese chip market, which is the largest in the world, and there is nothing to replace it. These are hundreds of billions of losses for the US due to gradually losing the most lucrative market.

Thus, in relative terms, China does not lose from these games, as the US will pay a large price just as China. It is lose-lose situation, but in relative terms the same. US loses just as China loses.

And do not forget that China warned that a full US attack on Huawei will lead to Boeing being kicked from the country, which is becoming the biggest aviation market in the world, and will lead to hundreds of billions of losses for that company too, and will probably burry it under Airbus. China needs lots of planes up to 2028, when they will replace them with their own, worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Elevating Airbus over Boeing, which already has big troubles, will be a significant hit for the US aerospece industry. So China has cards to play too.

On the issue of the US getting some countries to ban Huawei, it is again lose - lose situation - that is both the US and some of its allies will lose due to using more expensive 5G equipment and will lose more time to build their networks. So China loses, and US and some allies lose, but in relative terms things remain the same between them powerwise, as they both lose.

Do not forget that Germany said that it will continue to use Huawei equipment, and this is the biggest economy in Europe.

Germany's three major telecommunications operators Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica have been actively promoting 5G in recent years. They implement the "supplier diversification" strategy and use Huawei equipment in their networks among other vendors.

Peter Altmaier, German minister of economy, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on July 11 that Germany would not exclude Huawei from the country's 5G network rollout.

"There can only be an exclusion if national security is demonstrably at risk. However, we will strengthen our security measures, regardless of which country the products come from," said Altmaier.

"There is no change in Germany's position," a spokesperson of the country's Interior Ministry told local broadcaster ARD on July 16.

So we can say that probably half of Europe will be using Huawei. Still, as you said, a large part of the world will exclude it. Maybe half of world's GDP. Unfortunately things are not perfect. One bright spot in that is that Huawei is betting on emerging markets, and emerging markets have higher growth rates than western markets - that is, they will matter more in the future.

I would agree that the US is harming China, but the damage is not large IMO, as these are mostly lose lose situations where relative power stays the same. And with time, there will be significant damages for the US too, such as losing the biggest chip and aviation markets and the empowerment of Boeing competitors such as Airbus.

So its not too bad in China.

Thus, after mentioning all of this, i do not think that Pompeo is smelling blood and moving for the jugular, its not such a situation as China is not that vulnerable, it is more likely to be US elite anger due to the US weakening and China gains during the Covid 19 crisis.

On Hong Kong China had no options. It was a lose-lose situatuion. If they allowed everything to stay as it is there would be constant colour revolution there and they will be constantly in the media.

Maybe it is better to stop this once and for all. They hoped that the Covid crisis will give them cover to do this. It did not work very well.

Unortunately you are right that the Trump strategy of bullying works many times. Supposedly there should be costs for the US in soft power and world opinion, but we are not seeing them. I guess most of the world is too cowardly and prefers to go with the flow. They will abandon the US only after the US lost anyway.

Well, it is not an easy situation. Still, the US reactions are very strong and hateful precisely because things are still not good for it and its decline is continuing, regardless of some tactical victories, where in some cases it is a lose lose situation anyway.

So don't worry too much, the data shows a significant decline incoming for the US.

2019 China 1,27 times bigger in GDP/PPP
2030 China 1,8 times bigger in GDP/PPP

US debt to GDP 2019 80 %
US debt to GDP 2030 125 %
US debt to GDP 2050 230 %

"Highway Trust Fund (HTF) will be depleted by 2021, the Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund by the beginning of 2024, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) trust fund in the 2020s, the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) Multi-Employer fund at some point in the mid-2020s, and the Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) trust fund by 2031. We estimate the theoretically combined Social Security OASDI Trust fund will run out of reserves by 2031."

http://www.crfb.org/blogs/major-trust-funds-headed-insolvency-within-11-years

Military budget (before Covid estimates, Trump budget)
2019 3,2 % of GDP
2030 2,5 % of GDP
(Could drop to 2,3 % of GDP due to Covid)

Civilian discretionary spending
(before Covid estimates)
2019 3,2 % of GDP
2030 1.8 % of GDP (drop to all time low)
(Could drop further due to Covid)

That is not to mention the big divide in US society, and the ongoing Covid crisis, which is still not fixed in the US. But is largely fixed in China.

Do you see the decline now? They have a big, big reason to be worried. A significant decline is coming for the US.

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 27 2020 16:40 utc | 122

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 27 2020 0:03 utc | 51

Ok, we will see on Biden, if he wins. Maybe you will be right, maybe you won't. As i said the Pentagon and the Intelligence Services are pushing for a Cold War with China, its not simply Trump, so we will see what will Democrats do.

On the issue of the USD, Stephen Roach also says that there will be a significant decline in the medium term.


And the JP argument is pretty logical - if the US share in the global economy is declining (and it will be declining at least up to year 2060), and if the level of US debts is reaching all time high levels, then the USD will decline. I agree with that argument. It is fully logical.

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 27 2020 16:42 utc | 123

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 27 2020 10:35 utc | 99

snake #97

<"I>Thank you and you sure are on fire right now."

My reply to snake STFU. That snake in Chinese we say ”I've eaten more salt than you eat rice”, or translate to Americans ”I've eaten more salt than you had eaten bread, butter and potatoes all your life.”

Posted by: JC | Jul 27 2020 16:45 utc | 124

then why exactly are the lockdowns beneficial? Lockdown certainly hasn't "stopped nCOV in its tracks"

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 27 2020 16:31 utc | 124

I think you're conflating a number of factors.

Lockdowns do work but it's never 100%. Essential services still need to run and some people will break the rules. Facts of life. But largely it did what it said in the box in suppressing the load on hospital's.

It was a suppression strategy, the genie was already out of the bottle and it was never meant to be a eradication strategy a la New Zealand.

I posit NY is an outlier because of:

1. At that time America seemed to think its not their problem and not prepared. Trump said US has the best of everything blah blah blah.

2. The NIH Not Invented Here syndrome. In its hubris US largely did not take what was at the time empirical learnings, observations and experience from abroad.

Remember back then it was all about ventilators, ventilators and more ventilators. Asia is so backwards so their experiences must be discounted. We'll just do what Italy did and amp that up for NY.

Worked out great.

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 27 2020 16:50 utc | 125

Posted by: Antonym | Jul 27 2020 16:20 utc | 122

There was a fiction book I may have referenced here before called "The Gemini Man", which is precisely about that concept: that there are a certain percentage of psychopaths. It was technically science fiction since the story considered that psychopaths - or more precisely "high functioning psychopaths" - constituted a "new species." The main character was an intelligence agent who had been recruited precisely because of his "pathology" and trained to a high degree. He single-handedly brought down the Soviet Union by causing a nuclear reactor disaster which had ripple effects throughout the Soviet Union economy (nonsense, of course, but that was just to introduce the character.) He is repatriated from a Russian prison and because he is considered too dangerous to release back into society, he is put in a psychiatric institution to assess whether he could be "repaired" or would have to be killed. He verbally duels with his attractive female psychiatrist, of course, and eventually escape, also of course. Eventually the psychiatrist concludes that he represents a new species - and she is then told by her superiors that in fact there is likely several million more such individuals in the world waiting to be heard from.

It was a good read. The author was in the private security business, as I recall. From the book blurb:


ABOUT THE AUTHOR RICHARD STEINBERG worked his way through college by age twenty. He founded his own high-risk international security firm at twenty-four. After recovering from a gunshot wound incurred in the line of duty, he now lectures on issues including counterterrorism, international security matters, and the history of assassinations in America.


I recommend it.

Alan Harringon - the author I recommended above of "The Immortalist" - also wrote a book about psychopaths which addressed these issues. I haven't read that one yet.

In my view, it doesn't matter whether one is "psychopathic" or not. That's mostly a label for a set of behaviors which are context-free. What matters is whether the psychopath is "rational" or "irrational." Or more precisely, what his philosophy is and whether he reasoned it out or whether he is simply pursuing an emotional obsession. In other words, is he Batman or the Joker? Which one is more "psychopathic" than the other? Which one has a clearer picture of society than the other? That's what the whole history of that comic book has been about, for decades.

Or one can simply review the arguments for and against individualist anarchism - which for most people is "psychopathic." Unfortunately, individualist anarchists consider most people to be psychopathic - or at least neurotic (if that term has any actual meaning.) If individualist anarchists oppose oligarchs, which are the psychopaths? The Batman comic actually dealt with that in the form of a character named "Anarky".

And finally, let's not forget that a lot of people consider psychologists and psychiatrists to be, if not psychopathic, then at least sociopathic in their urge to get everyone thinking just like them. And then there's Thomas Szasz, a long-time critic of conventional psychiatry.

And then there's the wag who said that if the average American were President, he'd govern like Idi Amin.

So I submit that it's not as easy as simply declaring that every oligarch is a psychopath. That's called "explaining the unknown by the still more unknown."

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 27 2020 16:51 utc | 126

@A.L. #130
New York locked down on March 22, mere days after California did.
Nor is it at all clear thar ventilators matter: going on a ventilator means you're 50% likely to die anyway.
So once again: how exactly did the lockdown help in New York?
Secondly, if lockdowns really matter - why is California not seeing any type of New York/Europe type pattern? i.e. both death and nCOV case numbers are not significantly reducing.
Note that Sweden is showing the exact same pattern as New York: an initial spike, then numbers falling to the low double digits deaths per million per day.
Honestly: using New York as a positive example for anything COVID-19 related is utterly ludicrous. New York has the worst performance of anywhere except Lombardy and New Jersey.
And New Jersey also locked down - 1 week after New York.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 27 2020 17:03 utc | 127

The point of a lockdown spreading out the deaths was the reduce the actual percentage nCOV infected who died due to insufficient hospital resources as well as the number of people infected. If, in fact, the deaths aren't happening due to insufficient hospital resources (which New York never hit), then why exactly are the lockdowns beneficial? Lockdown certainly hasn't "stopped nCOV in its tracks"
Unlike masks, lockdowns very much have an enormous impact beyond health.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 27 2020 16:31 utc | 124

You've actually answered your question the lockdown are not used to stop Ncov in it's tracks it is used to buy time for people to prepare and put public health guidelines into effect in addition of reequipping the hospital and healthcare system with things they need to combat pandemic. Perhaps most importantly to buy time trying to understand the disease during their earliest encounter where little we know about be it on general public level or by the experts and health workers.
Much of the data we're now fed are data that where extreme countermeasures such as lockdown have been applied and it certainly said extreme measure that put the public awareness up on health guidelines during pandemic.
I agree with you though that there might be no difference to the statistics whether one to get into lockdown or not regarding their spread. However there would be no public official would want to be responsible for non action.
Thankfully Trump had volunteered to gather said data of active countermeasures vs none. We'll see whether these so called second wave eventually swamped the hospital in USA.

Posted by: Lucci | Jul 27 2020 17:06 utc | 128


Will Trump be a Dead Man Walking before Election Day?
27.07.2020 Author: Jim Dean

An interesting article in NEW Eastern Outlook. Look like two dead men walking before and after election day. Welcome to America the land of the Free?. Yesterday Trump even admitted the country is broken. Look like the wishes come true from "Liberate America Revolution of Our Times Five Demands Not One Less Never Forget In unity In solidarity, "

https://journal-neo.org/2020/07/27/will-trump-be-a-dead-man-walking-before-election-day/

"Trump is having a bad week, and he knows it. He grows more dangerous as his polls sink lower,...beyond his just losing elections.....Prosecutors have been preparing for years to bring cases not only against him, but possibly even his family. He has an Attorney General who could go down with him, and this is no overzealous boast..... Ex-30 year criminal prosecutor Glenn Kirshner has been doing daily ....Kirshner is not alone...... ..."

Posted by: JC | Jul 27 2020 17:10 utc | 129

@ RSH

>> that's because Eliza wasn't remotely "AI" of any significant kind.

Is this about your mother?

[Each time you are finished talking, remember to type RET twice.]

@ lizard

>> that is probably a more generous response than I deserve, so thank you.

Nah, i think you’re a good person and I vaguely understand your point. (I’m glad to hear I reacted like “how I’d like to react” rather than “how I often do”. So, thank you.)

Posted by: oglalla | Jul 27 2020 17:13 utc | 130

"Bolivia postpones general elections to mid-October "

Third time. The US backed coup "government" know they won't win an election.

Posted by: arby | Jul 27 2020 17:15 utc | 131

Perimetr @79--

No, I wasn't mistaken. The number comes with a citation and link as I wrote. Here it is again:

"The American Bar Association’s Task Force Committee on Evictions revealed that a staggering 28 million homes [Link at Original] are at risk of coming under eviction orders due to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic." [Emphasized for clarity]

Australian lady @67--

Thanks for your reply! On voting, I've voted Green or Independent since 1992 for President. For Congress and state offices, either D, Green or Working Families since 1992. For local, most are unaffiliated, On propositions, I vote for those that expand rights, are people friendly or limit corporate power. On Bond issues, I vote for those aimed at supporting people. I've been voting since 1974, and have cast ballots in 5 different states. In 2003, I voted against the recall of California's Governor Gray Davis. The closest I ever came to voting for an R-Party candidate was for Independent Ross Perot in 1992. From 1996-2003, I was a Green Party Delegate for Santa Clara County, California, helped write the 1998 state election platform for the Green Party, and in 2000 worked for Nader's Presidential Campaign. Aside from a few local issues, I've been mostly aloof from active politics since moving to Oregon in late 2003. I considered working for Tulsi Gabbard's campaign, but never got answers to the serious questions I asked early this year which I posted as commentary here. Oregon will vote for Biden, but I won't, and the alternatives have yet to be announced. I'm happy with my Senators Wyden and Merkley, and with Governor Brown and her team--all have done a very good job handling COVID. Congressman Schrader needs to go, however, as he's a Blue Dog, Neoliberal Democrat. I recently coined a term that fairly well describes my political outlook--Collectivist Libertarian, which might be reduced to Communitarian.

Thanks for asking your question. IMO, the biases you read about are orchestrated by The Establishment as part of their Narrative that aims to further their attempts to Divide and Rule, as are what's known as the Culture Wars. Republicans were once the party of Small Government; but with the advent of Reagan/Bush, we saw the largest expansion of the federal government ever alongside the movement to allow corporations to capture the agencies charged with regulating them--the Rentier Class Wet Dream come true.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 27 2020 17:26 utc | 132

Naked Athena Speaks. As I presumed, she dances for money in Portland and goes by Jen:

"'All the federal officers and cops, I looked at them and they stand there with this stance. Feet planted, shoulder width apart, arms at their side, chest up, head high, and it's a warrior stance... and it's not earned. The fury arose in me and I told my friends 'I want to be naked, I want to confront them', and my partner said 'I'll hold your clothes', and so I ducked in a doorway and took everything off except my mask and my hat... because its cold. And I walked out there...

"​'None of these people [protesters] have weapons. Empty their pockets, take off their clothes—nobody has weapons here. I just wanted them to see what they're shooting at.'"

If you can access Facebook, the interview/podcast is here. She's not unlike the dancers I've known in my life--Courageous, unabashed, athletic, and political. And I'll bet the national debt that the goons she confronted felt rather diminished--perhaps for the first time ever--as they walked away into the night.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 27 2020 17:45 utc | 133

How this impacts the reserve currency status is the more important question and logic is rather non correlative when it comes to human greed which is a primary feature of alleconomicsnat.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 27 2020 17:30 utc | 133

Depends whether the US weaponize their global payment system or their foreign owned treasury bonds. If they don't i doubt they'll be replaced by anything soon even as it weakened. Oil rich arab country unlikely to rebels against US so as long as energy securities are pegged in dollars other countries wouldn't mind to keep their dollars.

Posted by: Lucci | Jul 27 2020 17:56 utc | 134

Actually there is even some real, and not only relative, decline for the US ...

Yeah you can find an indicator here and there that shows absolute decline. I said the weakening was mostly relative, not that there wasn't any absolute decline.

But my original point was that USA decline has not been great enough to significantly constrain their response to the challenge posed by Russia and China. Anyone hoping that systemic weakening will hobble USA/Empire's ability to respond will have to wait a decade, or two, or three.

... Don't forget that Covid also weakened the US military

This is temporary.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 27 2020 17:58 utc | 135

1994 Bombing of Jewish Community Center Building in Argentina https://thegrayzone.com/2020/07/26/police-spys-testimony-official-us-israeli-amia-bombing/ perpetrated by members of Argentine govt, not Hezbollah by Gareth Porter


While I sometimes read articles casting doubt on the official narrative that this was a Hezbollah operation this is the first one that offers an alternative culprit. Gareth Porter suggests that anti-Jewish elements in the Argentine govt were responsible. He documents the their prior anti-Jewish activities along with the revelation of a Argentine Police officer who was tasked to infiltrate the Jewish Community who unwittingly contributed to the bombing by passing along building schematics to the Federal Police that he obtained from his wife who worked in the building. He wanted to come clean but his story was covered up because it was against the interests of the Argentine govt.
Also, there is forensic evidence that the bomb exploded inside rather than outside the building.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 27 2020 18:14 utc | 136

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 27 2020 11:30 utc | 105 Find a nice mrs Hack and have lots of little Hacks, your body is just vehicle for your family genetics traveling through the century’s. Do what you can then pass the baton on.

Gosh, I couldn’t even imagine such a grim future: A bunch of little sociopaths running around.
He couldn’t pro-create even if he wanted to, because he considers himself ’The Last Great One.’ Everyone else is a moron or an idiot.
He couldn’t pro-create even if he wanted to, because there is not so much mojo left in that 71 year old body. Enough to still blather about the ‘War With Iran’ though. Won’t live long enough to see it (his dream war, with all the pics of bloody Iranian babies), regardless of how much tech advancement (transhuman shit) to take out his dark, deranged, criminal mind and make it live longer. Oh, the horrid thought. Thankfully, will NOT be realized.

He couldn’t even be US president for one day and play the game I laid out for him.
It’s very simple game (last open thread). It’s his (er chickenshit’s) move.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jul 27 2020 18:29 utc | 137

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 27 2020 17:58 utc | 135

Ok, on that point, based on the data i posted, i would say that the US Empire will be in no position to try to subjugate the world after 2030. And it will be technically impossible at 2040 as CBO estimates point to hyperinflation at that point (8 % annual budget deficits and growing).

The will be too much US debt (record levels) after 2030, China will be too big and independent on chips or aircraft at that point, and too many budget cuts, both military and civilian, that will constrain the US. In addition, due to the rising multipolarity of the world, it could be expected that many countries will get nuclear weapons at that point, making unipolarity even more obsolete. Other countries will become more powerful too, and Asia will become the center of the world economy, breaking the restraining aspect of US sanctions. Everybody will be looking to trade with Asia. And US allies, btw, are projected to decline as share of world economy too.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 27 2020 17:30 utc | 133

Oh, i have no issue with the dollar being weaker and thus helping the US. My concern is about it being used as a reserve currency and a worldwide weapon, used to subjugate other countries and the whole world defacto to the US empire, as well as the usage of the reserve currency to steal from the rest of the world via inflation and thus parasitise upon the world.

So what is going to happen, as per reserve currency, according to JP Morgan and others?

The dollar will decline in the medium term, as the US will ne ;ess important economy in the world and money printing will be utilised to pay for the massive US deficits. Many countries will create their own payment systems, bypassing SWIFT. Some of them will be linked too.

Yuan, rupee, and other emerging countires currencies will rise un importance.

A basket of currencies plus gold (it is already increasing in value) and cryptocurrencies will replace the dollar.

So you will be looking (after 2030) at something like dollar being 30 % of reserves and transactions, yuan and euro being maybe 25 % each, and 20 % for the rest of currencies. Gold will be more expensive and cryptocurrecies will be more widely used as well.

There will be a multipolar currency world. Based on trade dependence to the local power pole. The US, Anglosphere and Latin America being part of the dollar zone, EU, some countries around it and parts of Africa using mostly the euro for reserves and trade, former USSR using mostly the ruble (Eurasian Union), China and parts of Asia and Africa using the Yuan as their most important currency (China will be biggest energy importer by far, retiring the petrodollar), and the rise of mid level players such as India, Iran, Turkey, Indonesia, etc.

All of this will ensure increased independence of other countries from the US. Thus after 2030 we are entering a multipolar world and unipolarity is ending.

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 27 2020 18:37 utc | 138

117.
I must have had terrible luck in my life if only 1% are true psychopaths, its much much higher than that.
Bob Maxwell I knew was one from my several encounters with him over decades.
Jimmy Saville had me fooled,I was on the Stoke Manderville Charity board with him,he appeared like a homosexual
Trump figure,and then there is Donald,our paths crossed when building next to Mar a Lago.
A grown man whining like a spoiled three year old denied his toy.
I think psychopaths invented psychiatry so they could hide behind its false stats.

Posted by: winston2 | Jul 27 2020 18:53 utc | 139

Lucci--
"Oil rich arab country unlikely to rebels against US so as long as energy securities are pegged in dollars other countries wouldn't mind to keep their dollars. "

I'm pretty sure that the oil buyers are the ones who will decide not only the price but also which currency.

A biggy will be China and I doubt that they will go with the US buck.

Posted by: arby | Jul 27 2020 19:17 utc | 140

"US attorney general explains the real reason Washington is hostile to China"

link

Posted by: arby | Jul 27 2020 19:42 utc | 141

"Ben Norton
@BenjaminNorton
·
Jul 25
This map says more than any article you'll ever see in corporate media about why Western imperialist countries (that have spent decades killing Muslims) suddenly pretend to care about Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China.

They want to break China up and stop its Belt and Road Initiative."

MAP

Posted by: arby | Jul 27 2020 19:50 utc | 142

Passer by @Jul27 18:37 #138

I answered in the new thread that's based on your comment.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 27 2020 21:14 utc | 143

Mina #103

What kind of tourists does Oman get apart from Gulfies, a few expats, and UK and US military?

One US military visitor would be enough or one US warship visit to attend the brothels.

One visiting soldier dragged it into Australian northern US base and there is no knowing what is happening at Pine Gap in Central Australia.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 27 2020 21:29 utc | 144

c1ue #119

Lockdown certainly hasn't "stopped nCOV in its tracks"
Unlike masks, lockdowns very much have an enormous impact beyond health.

Lockdown and mask wearing has worked perfectly well in most competent societies. People with conditions needing repetitive hospitalisation were able to access their services too.

The USA is an exceptional country so do not expect the same outcomes.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 27 2020 21:43 utc | 145

JC #124

Perhaps snake is a closet dragon ;)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 27 2020 21:45 utc | 146

I see no mention of Pepe Escobar's excellent article about the current state of the Hybrid War aimed at Brazil that ought to get more attention than the predictable escalation aimed at China.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 27 2020 23:28 utc | 147

I know of several Brits who've been go on 'desert adventure' holidays to Oman.

Posted by: Joeydeacon | Jul 27 2020 23:38 utc | 148

Arby @141 on why we hate China I buy that explanation. From the link ...

"Washington’s substantive grievance with China is that the Chinese Communist Party has pursued a state-directed development model which has vaulted China from the ranks of poor countries relegated to the role of serving US profit-making interests"

Up til now my pet theory is that China is the next biggest country that blocks our world domination as evidenced by the fact that it was the only country that resisted our oil embargo against Iran. However, your explanation fits the timeline better and it also explains the USA's extreme and irrational hatred to countries like Venezuela and Cuba.

While I hated our genocidal hatred towards Iran, I understood it in the context of our decades long brainwashing along with some blood being spilled but Venezuela? What the heck did they ever do to us to stir up such feverish emotions that they have become a curse word as we mindlessly bray ... soooooo-cialism.

We in the U.S. have such an insecurity that we cannot accept that any other system is better than what we have in any minor way. NO. We are the best at everything. This HAS to be true.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 28 2020 0:04 utc | 149

For those that thought New Zealand had some autonomy from five-eyes

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hongkong-security-newzealand/new-zealand-suspends-extradition-treaty-with-hong-kong-idUSKCN24S2U1?il=0
"New Zealand has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and made a number of other changes following China’s decision to pass a national security law for the territory, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said on Tuesday.

“New Zealand can no longer trust that Hong Kong’s criminal justice system is sufficiently independent from China,” Peters said in a statement."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 28 2020 0:04 utc | 150

Just under a week ago, the new Iraqi PM traveled to Iran.
RT
"Khamenei met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Tehran on Tuesday, the PM’s first trip abroad since taking office in May. During the talks, the ayatollah stressed that the American presence in Iraq is an ongoing “source of corruption and destruction,” citing Soleimani’s assassination earlier this year in Baghdad as a case in point.

Following the sit-down with Khamenei, the Iraqi PM appeared at a news conference alongside Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, echoing the ayatollah’s calls for improved relations and insisting he would not “allow any aggression or challenge to Iran” to be launched from Iraqi territory."

Today's news... Reuters
"Clashes between Iraqi protesters and security forces in central Baghdad killed at least two demonstrators overnight, security and medical sources said on Monday.
It was the first such deadly incident in months at Tahrir Square, which became a symbol of anti-government protests during months-long mass unrest last year.
The protesters had begun marching from Tahrir to nearby Tayaran Square chanting about worsening power cuts during a heat wave that has sent temperatures soaring above 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit).
Security forces tried to contain the march and fired tear gas, according to police, medics and protesters. The protesters threw stones and petrol bombs, a security source said."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 28 2020 1:03 utc | 151

Evil China is sending seeds to America.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/virginia-utah-unsolicited-seeds-china
https://www.businessinsider.com.au/packages-of-jewelry-from-china-contain-mysterious-seeds-2020-7
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8560549/Seed-packets-mislabeled-jewelry-mailed-dozens-Americans-six-states-China.html

Plenty more of them all the same.
"“That is rather random. I don’t think I’ve heard of seeds before,” Rupp said. “The first thing to do is Google your address and see what’s out there… Numerous things will come up when you Google your address. It’s kind of scary sometimes.”"

"Virginia’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services also said on Friday that it was aware of reports of several residents receiving “unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China.”

The department said that while it had not identified the seeds, they “may be invasive plant species.” It asked recipients not to plant the seeds but to contact the Office of Plant Industry Services."
Ecetera ecetera

Typed the numbers off a pack in one of the pics and it brought them up on Amazon.
Hawaiian Papaya seed that is also grown a lot in Japan. Currency is Yen.
https://www.amazon.co.jp/Balai-パパイヤ-ハワイ-フルーツ-野菜盆栽/dp/B07HKDGBY1

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 28 2020 1:53 utc | 152

@ uncle tungsten | Jul 27 2020 10:27 utc | 92 who wrote
"
....I cant imagine how depressing it can be when immersed in the USA. Indoctrinated into powerlessness.
"

I learned a phrase early in my life that served me very well when I got hit by a truck riding my bicycle

Defeat isn't bitter if you don't swallow it.....I will only be powerless when I am dead and, even then, the example of how I lived my life will linger with some for a bit.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 28 2020 2:01 utc | 153

@passer by 122

Thanks for the lengthy response. I always try to see reality accurately, but do tend to have a bearish / pessimistic bias.

Posted by: Schmoe | Jul 28 2020 3:17 utc | 154

Below is a posting from Xinhuanet that shows what Russia thinks of Trump trying to get them back into the G7

"
MOSCOW, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Russia has no plan to rejoin the Group of Seven given its satisfaction with the Group of 20, the Kremlin said Monday.

"The G20 probably better meets modern economic realities from the point of view of economic development centers in the world," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

According to Peskov, the G7 lacks global significance because it excludes China, India, Brazil, Turkey and other countries.

Russia was part of the Group of Eight along with Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, but its membership was terminated over Crimea in 2014.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 28 2020 4:57 utc | 155

Yankistan tries to get coronavirus into North Korea.
"Escape to North Korea: Defector at heart of COVID-19 case fled sex abuse investigation"
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-northkorea-defecto/escape-to-north-korea-defector-at-heart-of-covid-19-case-fled-sex-abuse-investigation-idUSKCN24T0IY?il=0

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 28 2020 6:13 utc | 156

Najib vows to bring MH17 culprits to justice
https://malaysia.news.yahoo.com/najib-vows-bring-mh17-culprits-justice-230053325.html?

Malaysia's Najib found guilty of corruption in first 1MDB case
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-malaysia-politics-najib/malaysias-najib-found-guilt

1MDB kicked of shortly after MH17. Brought to light by a yankistan 'journalist' and 'invesigators'

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 28 2020 6:34 utc | 157

JC #129

Good for Kirshner and his going after Trump. From the same report in NEO...

Kirshner is not alone. In theory, he represents ex-Federal prosecutors and Department of Justice people who have watched as the Trump administration has politicized the Justice Department with their man, AG Robert Barr viewed as serving as Donald Trump’s ‘fixer’ first, and the country second.

In response, the new Kirschner declared plan is to rebuild the Justice Department and institute reforms so that no President would ever be able to subvert it as Trump has done. This would require Democratic control of both chambers, and the current political trend is making that more likely every day.

Let us not forget that this old unreformed DOJ FAILED to go after the Awan family spies and blackmailers and especially failed to go after their minder/mistress/promoter Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Let us please not return to the same old DOJ that Kirshner pines for. Let us see if any DOJ or any Kirshner type champion will go after the perpetrators of the single most invasive coercion of the US Congress EVER and go after Debbie the deadbeat from Florida.

And let us hope that Kirshner has a desire to prosecute the biggest deliberate breach of USA national security ever and watch him and his REFORM ?? team go after Hilary Clinton for her gross mismanagement of national emails on her home based server that was never checked and certified by the NSA or any other branch of US government. The entire world was likely watching the email traffic on the Hilary Clinton home server. For IT spies it would have been as simple as turning on the netflix or tv any night of the week.

And then there is the murder and NON theft of Seth Rich. Could the old or new DOJ or FBI do something? Could Kirshner? Not F'ing likely. Sad. Instead they will go after Trump - not Barr, perhaps they will go after Assange?

"politicised the Justice department" give me a break! The USA justice system is exactly the same as that in Orwell's 1984.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 28 2020 7:39 utc | 158

Peter AU1 #157

More on Najib here by the fearless Sarawak Report.

I would not believe anything Najib has to say. He will cease his lying and deceit 24 hours after his demise at best.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 28 2020 7:46 utc | 159

Sakineh Bagoom #137

He couldn’t even be US president for one day and play the game I laid out for him.
It’s very simple game (last open thread). It’s his (er chickenshit’s) move.

Please don't vomit in the bar!

Its bad form Bagoom and barflies are allowed to be different etc. I prefer to avoid cancel culture and am happy to debate with RSH from time to time and I appreciate his perspective as well. Viva la difference!

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 28 2020 7:56 utc | 160

Peter AU1 #152

Typed the numbers off a pack in one of the pics and it brought them up on Amazon.
Hawaiian Papaya seed that is also grown a lot in Japan. Currency is Yen.
https://www.amazon.co.jp/Balai-パパイヤ-ハワイ-フルーツ-野菜盆栽/dp/B07HKDGBY1


Well done brother Pete. It will take the NSA another month to figure that out.

They blame Chine and it is not Aliexpress the best but Amazon the dreadful. HO HO HO.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 28 2020 8:00 utc | 161

psychohistorian #153

Defeat isn't bitter if you don't swallow it.....I will only be powerless when I am dead and, even then, the example of how I lived my life will linger with some for a bit.

Thank you and I fully subscribe to that adage.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 28 2020 8:03 utc | 162

uncle tungsten

Re Najib. Malaysia did not join with five-eyes on MH17. There was no profit in it for Najib to do this. Perhaps Najib was corrupt..but why then did he go against five-eyes. I haven't tried to research that question, but simply leave it open.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 28 2020 8:18 utc | 163

National Geographic videographer Trip Jennings was shot in the face by impact munitions, smashing through gas mask eyehole.


In urgent care, the doctor left the room multiple times as the pepper on me caused her to cough uncontrollably. She wore a respirator to stitch my eye. As I left the hospital near sunrise, another protester was being admitted with the same injury.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 28 2020 8:24 utc | 164

Cops brutally jump an underage youth for...wait for it...riding a bicycle without a helmet...

Group wants officers fired after video of Ridgewood cops detaining teen on bike goes viral

Detaining, more like beating the crap out of him...

I'll repeat my oft-repeated mantra: The only good cop is a dead cop.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 28 2020 8:29 utc | 165

A group called UnicornRiot obtained a police manual for handling riots back in 2017. Same tactics being used this year in the protests. Article from 2017:
Trump’s FEMA to Train Local Police for “Field Force” Crackdowns; Inauguration NSSE Nears


Trump characterized recent protest crowds on Twitter as “professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting.” The label of “professional protester” is actually formalized in this FEMA training document. In Module 6, FEMA trains local police to believe that “professional protesters” are not like “everyday citizen” or “anarchist” protesters, and take action accordingly.

And this:


The slides discovered in 2010 described how Colonel Francey, of US Army North (ARNORTH), was responsible for overseeing revisions to CONPLAN 3502, and had refined the plan in the aftermath of the heavily militarized 2009 G20 NSSE in Pittsburgh. This established a link between NSSE activity and ARNORTH’s overall ‘martial law’ style contingency planning.

Hypothetically, President Trump and DHS Secretary Clarke could agree with a governor that what they deem a “civil disturbance” had exceeded “Title 32” authority and simply swipe aside domestic limitations traditionally known as “posse comitatus” on federal military control. Thus, they’d activate the fully federalized CONPLAN 3502, which would put the Pentagon, rather than the state’s governor, directly in control of the targeted population.

We almost hit that in June and now in Portland. Anyone want to bet that we hit that after November 3 if Trump loses (and more so if he wins)? Martial law is coming.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 28 2020 8:40 utc | 166

This doctor says the books on how the pandemic is doing have been "cooked"... no government figures on the pandemic can be trusted from now on.

The CDC, the HHS and cooking the COVID books


The character of released COVID-19 case numbers changed abruptly on the day hospitals were told to give data to the HHS instead of the CDC. Unsurprisingly given past actions, that change occurred along partisan lines. While Blue State numbers continue to rise, suddenly reported cases in Red states are level or declining, despite the fact that there is no real reason they should be. I’ll walk you through the data to see why the conclusion that data are being manipulated seems hard to step away from.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 28 2020 8:46 utc | 167

In California breadbasket, hospitals overwhelmed as COVID-19 infections soar

The morons here will tell you the lockdown "didn't work." In fact, it did. What didn't work was the (partial) re-opening - precisely as predicted.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 28 2020 8:52 utc | 168

Peter AU1 #163

Re Najib. Malaysia did not join with five-eyes on MH17. There was no profit in it for Najib to do this. Perhaps Najib was corrupt..but why then did he go against five-eyes. I haven't tried to research that question, but simply leave it open.

There was danger joining with five eyes and danger opposing. He did not oppose. He went along. All Najib's stolen $billions from the Malay Sovereign Wealth Fund were in western banks or banks in the middle east that the west could coerce. So he was not about to rock the boat.

Najib had nothing to gain by being overly difficult about any inquiry, he just had to pander to his electorate somewhat and 'demand justice' express regret, convene mourning ceremonies and lament that war zones are terrible and terrible mistakes are made - etc etc. Oh, and sue the bejeesus out of Sarawak Report who ultimately exposed the naked little rat and his naked little wife. Thieves and scoundrels both. The Sarawak Report archives are excellent.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 28 2020 9:01 utc | 169

Hygiene Theater Is a Huge Waste of Time

All the scrubbing the stores do isn't going to help if people are allowed to get too close without a mask...


Surface transmission — from touching doorknobs, mail, food-delivery packages, and subways poles — seems quite rare. (Quite rare isn’t the same as impossible: The scientists I spoke with constantly repeated the phrase “people should still wash their hands.”) The difference may be a simple matter of time. In the hours that can elapse between, say, Person 1 coughing on her hand and using it to push open a door and Person 2 touching the same door and rubbing his eye, the virus particles from the initial cough may have sufficiently deteriorated.

The fact that surface areas — or “fomites,” in medical jargon — are less likely to convey the virus might seem counterintuitive to people who have internalized certain notions of grimy germs, or who read many news articles in March about the danger of COVID-contaminated food. Backing up those scary stories were several U.S. studies that found that COVID-19 particles could survive on surfaces for many hours and even days.

But in a July article in the medical journal The Lancet, Goldman excoriated those conclusions. All those studies that made COVID-19 seem likely to live for days on metal and paper bags were based on unrealistically strong concentrations of the virus. As he explained to me, as many as 100 people would need to sneeze on the same area of a table to mimic some of their experimental conditions. The studies “stacked the deck to get a result that bears no resemblance to the real world,” Goldman said...

As long as people wear masks and don’t lick one another, New York’s subway-germ panic seems irrational. In Japan, ridership has returned to normal, and outbreaks traced to its famously crowded public transit system have been so scarce that the Japanese virologist Hitoshi Oshitani concluded, in an email to The Atlantic, that “transmission on the train is not common.”

As I've said all along, it's a matter of probabilities. Fomites may be rare, but why take the risk? Keep washing hands and using hand sanitizer. I have carpet in my room. I wash hands or apply hand sanitizer when I touch it, even though I assume any virus particles there have been absorbed into the carpet fibers or trampled on by my (sock-wearing) feet. And if I touch my socks or my bare feet I do the washing or hand sanitizer bit again.

But scrubbing the floor isn't like to matter that much.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 28 2020 9:02 utc | 170

We Can Eliminate Covid-19 if We Want To
We are always four to six weeks from being able to do what countries around the world have done


The major objection to all this? People who think this infringes on their “rights.” But on the way to Walmart, they had to drive 30 mph. They couldn’t park in a handicapped space. And they can’t just eat the cheese balls in the store. Their rights can’t harm others.

Herd immunity is just herd thinning. And that assumes we understand how immunity works. Which we don’t. I’m not willing to lose 500,000 mostly older and low-income people. And subjecting tens of millions with chronic illness to protect a right you didn’t know you had three months ago.

But of course, that's precisely the problem: Trump doesn't want it to happen. So it won't. Instead, it will get worse until at least January when this jerkoff gets kicked out of office.

By the way, he's losing Florida. If he doesn't get Florida back in the next 99 days, he's toast. Supposedly no Republican has ever made office without Florida.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 28 2020 9:09 utc | 171

Speaking of Sarawak Report and the USA justice malfunction. How far will this case go in the USA before the Clinton Foundation organises a fix?

Kuwaiti royalty are special in the hearts of the USA and they have stopped throwing babies out of humicribs I am told.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 28 2020 9:21 utc | 172

Richard Steven Hack #171

By the way, he's losing Florida. If he doesn't get Florida back in the next 99 days, he's toast. Supposedly no Republican has ever made office without Florida.

Well he could always win Florida by prosecuting Debbie Wasserman Shultz. She has to be the most detested politician in the deocrazi ranks. But then there is always the chance of accidental strangulation by the hat band on his chabbad fedora. Way to go Trumpy.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 28 2020 9:27 utc | 173

Richard Steven Hack #170

Carpet cleaning and hand sanitising etc + But scrubbing the floor isn't like to matter that much.

Mist spray tea tree oil on your carpet. Some uses described here.

This oil is used in many places for sanitise and anti-fungal etc. Space suits, diving suits...

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 28 2020 9:35 utc | 174

Peter AU1, re: Evil Chinese seeds story, the funny thing is that the only connection to China is that there are 'Chinese characters' on the package because that is all one needs to know that they are evil. Isn't there anyone in any newsroom who can figure out how to translate these inscriptions? "From Monsanto with Love"

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 28 2020 11:28 utc | 175

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 28 2020 9:35 utc | 174 Mist spray tea tree oil on your carpet. Some uses described here.

Ah, no. This carpet is already decades old and doing anything to it will only make it worse. Management wants me to get rid of it but I told them there are two problems with that: 1) first it would take them two weeks to put down the tile - and I can't afford to be out of Internet for that long, and 2) with carpet I can walk around in socks and not fall and break my neck - not so much with tile. I'd have to put in throw rugs and still have an even chance of dying by broken neck - or at least some other fracture.

So the carpet stays - un-misted.

Thanks for the advice, though.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 28 2020 13:07 utc | 176

Please don't vomit in the bar!
Its bad form Bagoom and barflies are allowed to be different etc. I prefer to avoid cancel culture and am happy to debate with RSH from time to time and I appreciate his perspective as well. Viva la difference!
Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 28 2020 7:56 utc | 160

It’s not just vomit uncle t. It’s guts on floor and feces too. I’ve been dealing with this mendacious war-monger for over a decade. I too, would like to debate him, but when he consistently quotes me out context to get his point across, there is no point. We are beyond differences. He has to either play the game, or STFU about the ‘War With Iran.’
Apparently you don’t mind stepping in his drivel.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jul 28 2020 14:45 utc | 177

More data on herd immunity: Review of actual European COVID-19 behavior vs models

excess mortality in Sweden over 2020 to date was 5,500, or 24%. That is only about half the excess mortality percentage for the UK (45%), Italy (44%) and Spain (56%), and is also lower than for France (31%), the Netherlands (27%) and Switzerland (26%), despite Sweden not having imposed a lockdown or shut primary schools.

As for the Hack above: if COVID-19 infection levels and deaths have been flat since California since April, why exactly are the hospitals overflowing?
Far more likely that the problem there is that there are fewer hospitals beds today, in the less wealthy areas, than 20 or even 40 years ago.

But than, the Hack clearly doesn’t exit his libera bubble to look at either underlying raw facts or other views on any subject.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 28 2020 17:06 utc | 178

CJ Chuba,

Yes, Venezuela. And now guys like Trump openly brag about tougher sanctions and nerry a peep from anywhere about some sort of justification. Seems they have passed the point where they feel the need to say why they are crushing a people who are not in anyway a threat and that didn't take much at all.

Just some crap about Guaido and some fluff about the plight of Venezuelans under the present government.

Lots of screaming and hollering about BLM , etc., but not a care about what the government is doing to a whole nation.

Conclusion; Most don't give a fuck if it's not on their doorstep and the propaganda machine barely needs to try.

As far as the insecurity part; Isn't that the same reason used to justify all the people owning AK47's.
Seems it's in the DNA.

Posted by: arby | Jul 28 2020 17:55 utc | 179

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 28 2020 8:52 utc | 168

"The morons here will tell you the lockdown "didn't work." In fact, it did. What didn't work was the (partial) reopening - precisely as predicted."

Too many morons around, the moron chief in the WH and the other one campaigning for his job..

Last night while sleeping on the sofa reading an article from my Honor smartphone - Biden’s vice president. Thinking, it's true Biden a walking zombie, he's now deciding between Elizabeth Warren the fake American's India or another black woman. Possibly few to decide.... Michelle Obama, Susan Rice or even Kamala Harris.

Michelle Obama? Holly shit! Another Obama after Biden drop dead? Susan Rice a proven shitty liar and war monger a China hater? Kamala Harris, now Biden getting very promising another Caribbean Indian-stock, real India's Indian. Single-handed Gabbard Tulsi destroyed Kamala Harris during the primary debates...grantees die-hard NeoCon incarcerated more Black and Hispanic - During his term as Attorney General Ca.

Sitting back thinking if Trump able to sell the above and to NeoCons and NeoLiberals during his coming debate... I bet many pro Biden will switch and votes Trump another term.... and guarantee a civil war in China and sealed Trump MAGA, - the man who started WW3?

Posted by: JC | Jul 28 2020 18:19 utc | 180

uncle tungsten 169

It was the US that took him down - FBI investigation according to the media of the day and it kicked off a month or so after MH17. Najib had sent a small team straight to the site to take photographs of the wreckage and collect the black boxes.
This didn't go down well as the evil Ruskies were supposed to be preventing anyone going to the site. Makes me think he wasn't that corrupt that he would sell his own country.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 28 2020 18:46 utc | 181

US bill backing Taiwan.
https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2020/07/25/2003740514
"The US Senate on Thursday passed its version of the US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for next year, including provisions that support Taiwan’s participation in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), the world’s largest maritime warfare exercise, if appropriate.

The “six assurances” were given by then-US president Ronald Reagan in 1982 and include pledges not to set a date for ending arms sales to Taiwan, not to hold prior consultations with China regarding arms sales to Taiwan, and not to be a mediator between Taiwan and China.

They also include assurances that the US will not revise the TRA or press Taiwan to enter into negotiations with China.

The NDAA also highlights US support for the development of Taiwan’s military, including through arms sales, exchanges between top defense officials and military exercises.

The NDAA also acknowledges China’s “increasingly coercive and aggressive behavior” toward Taiwan, contrary to the US’ expectation of a “peaceful resolution” of Taiwan’s future."


The next Taiwan bill.
https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2020/07/29/200374075
"Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday.

US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands.

According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force against Taiwan; if China intends to seize Taiwan-controlled areas, including Penghu, Kinmen and Lienchiang counties; and if the lives of Taiwanese, including military personnel, are threatened,..."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 29 2020 1:54 utc | 182

A couple more Taiwan bills the Trump regime has brought in.

S.1678 - Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act of 2019
https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/1678/text

H.R.535 - Taiwan Travel Act
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/535/text

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 29 2020 2:41 utc | 183

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 29 2020 2:41 utc | 183

I told you earlier Trump desperate for war with China. I mean real a civil war. Trump will win another term going to war. Biden is a deadman walking a ZOMBIE. If Biden picks a black women, Susan Rice or Kamala Devi Harris. Biden will win. A civil war between China and Taiwan a MUST. Lately Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loon (LHL) got mixed up in USA-China politic. BTW, LHL a Major reserved in the Singapore Arm force (SAF). Every Fucking Singapore's Ministers are from SAF and trained by the USA. Singapore train their pilot in Arizona, now train their SAF in Darwin before that in Taiwan changed I think??, Aust.

Posted by: JC | Jul 29 2020 4:28 utc | 184

This site must be heavily monitored for ideas. Where do the Persians get theirs?
They are playing out exactly the game that I created for RSH. For reals. Well, on a fake carrier, but his game has real ones with real folks on-board.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2020/07/28/irans-navy-shoots-missile-mock-up-u-s-aircraft-carrier-strait-of-hormuz/5524875002/


Iran's navy fired a missile from a helicopter at a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday – a fake one, which Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard had towed into the strategic waterway as part of war games and military drills that illustrate the persistent threat of conflict between Tehran and Washington

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jul 29 2020 4:49 utc | 185

JC 184

When you were talking civil war, I was thinking on the mainland, within PRC.
Civil war between mainland and Taiwan .. looks to be what US is aiming for.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 29 2020 6:57 utc | 186

There will be no civil war on the mainland of China. The closest the CIA/State Department got to that was with the redneck Uighurs in Xinjiang, but that societal bomb has been defused.

If JC has been talking about conflict between the mainland and Taiwan then that does make more sense. Time is still on China's side with Taiwan, though, so it isn't clear to me what could provoke China to feel the need to force reunification right away. We are at worst two decades away from the border between Taiwan and the mainland largely dissolving where trade and travel are concerned, and shortly after that Taiwan abandoning US "protection" and beginning integration with the mainland military. Reunification is just some legal technicalities after that.

That doesn't mean there won't be any violence. There will almost certainly be some of the CIA's fascist "stay-behind" cells and death squads that will try to sabotage everything they can and "spark uprisings", but taking those cells down will just be policing actions and not war. That might not even involve any mainland forces at all and local military units will handle it.

The only thing that I can imagine that would force the mainland to try and advance the timeline for reunification would be if the mainland microchip supply situation is much more dire than it appears, and China's leadership is doubtful of the local ability to get 10nm and 7nm chip foundry processes in production in the next couple years. It seems far fetched to me, but this might motivate China to... what, invade and then nationalize TSMC? It seems as though a "solution" like that would be disruptive to production in the short term, and with the rate at which new generations of chips go into production the short term is the only one that matters. As one can see, even this is an unlikely scenario.

Another possibility would be if the US provokes a fascist coup in Taiwan. But even though it would be painful for them to stand by and just watch, I doubt the mainlanders would intervene militarily. More importantly, such a US backed coup could be used by the mainland as fuel for propaganda that would drive a wedge between Taiwan and the US. After all, the most powerful propaganda is the kind that is true.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 29 2020 11:30 utc | 187

In the context of recent ( and past...) moves by the UK against Spanish recovery from the economic damage of Covid-19 pandemic, when in the first times of reopening in Spain, and worst moments of the pandemic, uncontroled in the UK, they did not have any problem sending in their tourists here, espeically those who did not respect the recommended health measures on use of masks and distancement...

Extract from the minutes of the discussion on Spain that took place at the Potsdam conference, with which begins the recently published book by Enric Juliana (deputy editor of the Spanish newspaper, La Vanguardia), We have not come to study here, which, through a past history, it returns us to the reality that we live now; at a time of global uncertainties, and that shows how Stalin tried to "put a cloak on us" (as the bullfighters say ...) and bring the subject up for discussion to find a solution, and how the UK and the US pulled a thick veil over the question and changed the subject ...

https://twitter.com/arpaeditores/status/1288413297579044865

The crossing of interests between the United Kingdom and Spain at crucial historical moments. An old story.

Potsdam, Germany, July 19, 1945. World War II has ended. Churchill, Stalin and Truman talk about #Spain and about Francisco Franco.

STALIN: "It is necessary to examine the question of the regime of Spain. We Soviets consider that the current Franco regime was imposed by Germany and Italy and that it poses a serious danger to the freedom-loving United Nations".

CHURCHILL: "The British government is also very upset with Franco and his government. That they have taken the prisoners out and shot them for events that occurred a long time ago indicates that Spain is not a democracy according to British ideas on this issue". ..
.. "When Franco sent me a letter proposing an alliance against Russia, I sent him a cold reply. This shows that the feelings of Great Britain are contrary to the Franco regime".

STALIN: "I have not received a copy of the British response to Franco."

CHURCHILL: "I see some difficulty in accepting the draft proposed by Generalissimo [Stalin] in the first paragraph, which deals with the rupture of any relationship with the Franco government, which is the government of Spain" ...
.. "Considering that the Spanish are proud and susceptible, such a measure would have the effect of uniting the Spanish around Franco, even those who now deny him, instead of separating them from him".

TRUMAN: "I have no sympathy for the Franco regime, but I do not wish to take part in a civil war. The war in Europe has been more than enough. We would be very happy to recognize another government, but it is a question that has to solve Spain itself".

STALIN: "That is to say, that there will be no changes in Spain? It is feeding on semi-fascist regimes in other countries. […] We must resolve this issue here. I propose to make an evaluation of the Franco regime".

CHURCHILL: "I don't agree. There are many things we don't like about other countries, like Yugoslavia or Romania. I don't know what the Spanish really think [about their regime]".

TRUMAN: "I suggest we move on to another topic and we will return to the point of Spain later."


Posted by: H.Schmatz | Jul 29 2020 11:46 utc | 188

@Posted by: H.Schmatz | Jul 29 2020 11:46 utc | 188

Thus, the UK and US governments should explain to the world, and especially to their own citizens, why they, who have intervened and continue intervening everyhwere, from the most Eastern location in Asia to the most Southern location in Africa to the most Western location in America, to the most Northern location in the Pole, allegedly against "dictators" and their "regimes", like they say they have done and are doing, for example, in Syria, Lybia and Irak, refused to intervene in Spain and in its case leave it to the Spanish people to decide, when "decide" in Spain was not allowed, political parties ans thus free elections suspended and forbidden under menace of death, and nobody could move a finger, less the tongue, during 4 decades, to save the Spanish people 40 years of harsh fascist dictatorship which resulted in the higuest numbers of dissapeared people in the world after Cambodia....

One day we will know to the least detail how the UK and the US benefitted from Franco dictatorship, the same way they benefited from every dictatorship in Africa , Asia and America...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Jul 29 2020 11:59 utc | 189

"Indeed, as Xie adds, China is already is quietly reducing its reliance on the dollar in cross-border trade and services. The percentage of the payments and receipts denominated in yuan in total FX transactions by banks for their clients increased to 37% in June, from 19% two years ago, according to data compiled by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, with the Bloomberg strategist also calculating that the usage of the dollar has declined to 56% from 70% - a decline of ~20%.

"Some people say, 'Domestic debt is not debt, but external debt is debt. For the United States, even external debt is not debt.' This seems to have been the case for quite some time in the past, but can it really last for a long time in the future?"

As Xie concludes referring to the chart above, "apparently China isn’t waiting to find out the answer.""

from ZH

Posted by: arby | Jul 29 2020 12:03 utc | 190

Sakinah, see what the US says about this mock up--

"Iran's IRGC Attacks US Carrier Mock-Up In Massive Drill Off Hormuz Strait

US forces in region on high alert as US commanders slam Iran's "irresponsible and reckless" military maneuvers...


It is ok for them to plan and fund massive war games with south Korea and Taiwan and fly war jets at Syrian commercial planes, BUT Iran is being irresponsible and reckless. Too much!

Posted by: arby | Jul 29 2020 12:09 utc | 191

"Thousands of US troops to begin moving out of Germany within weeks – Pentagon chief "

link

Posted by: arby | Jul 29 2020 14:00 utc | 192

William Gruff 187

From what I have read, Taiwan declaring Independence is a red line so this may be what US is aiming for.
This the the latest Global Times editorial

"Washington is hysterically instigating a new cold war against China, while most countries are dealing with it passively. It's indeed unpopular for Washington to make its China policy crazy and force other countries to take sides. It is doomed to face many difficulties as there is no driving force for its implementation.

Under such a situation, the most important thing for China is not to make mistakes. China should avoid providing any chance that can be used by the US in its anti-China mobilization campaign in the West. As long as China responds properly to the US' provocations, keeps in mind its strategic goals, and doesn't allow the US to dominate the interaction between the two sides, US efforts will be in vain."

US needs and I think is intending another MH17 - 9/11 type event to use against China.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 29 2020 14:24 utc | 193

@ Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 29 2020 14:24 utc | 193

There are three problems for Taiwan on its eventual declaration of independence:

1) conceptually, they would be admitting they aren't the real China, which will go against all its history. Remember: Taiwan is just the name of the island; the Taiwanese simply call themselves "China", i.e. they are the real China - the Popular Republic being the fake China. They use the Republican flag (that flag is older than the PRC's). So, it's not your average European separatist region wanting statehood: it's an existential conflict against two entities which claim they are the same country. For the Taiwanese to suddenly claim they became "independent" would sound like goalpost moving by the Taiwanese leadership, a tacit admission of defeat (i.e. that the PRC is the real China).

2) internally, there's political-ideological polarization in Taiwan. There is a significant faction (some 20-30% of the entire population) who are pro-reunification (modern KMT, but there are other smaller groups). It's not a simple operation for the Democrats to just declare independence and invite American troops to the island, not at all.

3) Taiwan's economy has been stagnant for the past few decades, and now is simply in depression. Its population is dwindling fast, and its economy was already growing at much lower pace than the PRC. The PRC was much clever in this sense: they put their hand where their mouth is. Every Taiwanese has flat out full rights as Chinese citizens. They can freely go to the Mainland, have Chinese passports, become members of the CCP etc. etc. The Mainland's policy is to simply ignore Taiwan government's existence. And it works: Taiwan hemorrhages dozens of thousands of young highly educated citizens to the Mainland each year. The reason for that is simple: socialism, when built over the correct material base, is the better system. On the economic front, Taiwan has already lost the war.

Posted by: vk | Jul 29 2020 14:49 utc | 194

"Australia-US looking to ramp up joint military exercises in South China Sea"

link

Posted by: arby | Jul 29 2020 15:05 utc | 195

"Andre Vltchek
@AndreVltchek
·
Jul 24
#Trump &his degenerate "foreign policy" towards #China, #Venezuela, #Iran, #Russia, #Cuba, #Syria + other countries, will eventually break his own balls. There is now powerful, solid anti-imperialist anti-fascist alliance in place all over the world. Imbecile- he does not see it!"

Posted by: arby | Jul 29 2020 15:10 utc | 196

@H.Schmatz

I enjoy reading your commentary. It is always smart and interesting and fleshes out issues that we discuss here with historical perspective.

Gracias!

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 29 2020 15:50 utc | 197

@Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 29 2020 15:50 utc | 197

I did not think anybody will miss me here, less, you, Jackrabbit, honestly, you know, always seems that the audience and posts are so centered in the US and its issues...Always wondered whether anyone would be interested...
Anyway, I do it because it is "highly likely" there are not so few people here, even European, who ignore many historical facts...and, at the same time, to debunk the usual insults/topics we are always awarded by the anglosaxons, and which were repeated by far righters Sebastian Kurz and Hans Rutte in the last meeting of the Eurogroup...

I will retake my usual rythm of posting in a while, I hope.... for now I am just exhausted, must be from have being dancing and drinking...as those vultures lied about us...in the very faces of our representatives....

Did you know that we Spaniards work way more hours a year than both, Dutch and Austrians? Yeah, it is out there in some statistic...at the same time we earn way less than them, still we manage to not go over there with such a face of constipated and, yes, still manage to find time to drink and dance, why we should embitter ourselves?....Then, our biggest corporations reside legally in The Netherlands to avoid paying taxes here or to pay the least, even less than any average worker...then, they come the Dutch and buy our privatized hospitals, built and equiped with public money, like it is the case of Hospital Infanta Leonor in Madrid...Go to ask the doctors and nurses there how they are doing amongst this unending pandemic....
We have the enemy inside...I do not discard that some from the international far-right associated amongst themselves to ruin Spain and Italy, so as to disrupt the EU as competing economic power, and then come to buy everything at cents like it happened in Greece during 2008 crisis, I fear that was how some thought of solving their accute economic problems....Everything will get clear in plain day light with time, as happens with everything...It is also very suspicious how the fascist party Vox, along its mothership, the far-right PP, continuously questioning and labelling as illegitimate the elected executive while putting stones in the path during the whole pandemic, repeats verbatim all what Pompeo says...

The Mediterranean countries, from Beirut to Algeciras, should associate in a ( yes, why not? ) "Club Med", of harassed/sanctioned, to fight these pirates and looters...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNkcAUAv1kw

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Jul 29 2020 23:33 utc | 198

@Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 29 2020 15:50 utc | 197

Your welcome, gracias a ti! ( Was first in the above post, got out after refreshing, sorry )

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Jul 29 2020 23:35 utc | 199

@ H.Schmatz | Jul 29 2020 11:46 utc | 188, 189

Paul Preston has written a magnificent, superbly researched and honestly narrated biographies about Franco built from archived diplomatic and governmental sources; neither a demonology nor hagiography as is the norm with the dictator/terrorist. I know the biography has been translated to Spanish but was read in English, either makes for engrossing, informative and engaging reading that illuminates the passing of a tumultuous period in history of one of its main actors. The book: "Franco", ISBN 978-0-00-686210-9 (English). Highly commended.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 30 2020 7:41 utc | 200

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