Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 16, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-65

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

  • August 12 - 'Western' Media Falsely Claim That Russia's Covid-19 Vaccine Is Ready To Go
    The international part of the phase 3 trial of the Russian vaccine had already been announced. Now there is more on the Russian side of the phase 3 trial (machine translation):
    Post-registration studies of the Russian vaccine against the new type of coronavirus can begin in 7-10 days, reports TASS with reference to the director of the National Research Center (SIC) of Epidemiology and Microbiology named after N.F. Gamaleya of the Ministry of Health Alexander Gintsburg.

    Several tens of thousands of people will take part in the post-registration studies, Gunzburg noted. He added that research will be carried out on the territory of the Moscow region.

Other issues:


On July 13 we wrote:

Covid-19 - New Quick Tests Are Coming

> These kind of tests are comparable to quick pregnancy test. They are for use at home or at points of care for quick screening. The usual turn around time for such tests is some 15 minutes and they do not require special equipment.
[T]he advantage of the antigen tests is their simplicity, speed and the mass production costs of about one dollar. They can be integrated into normal life processes like international travel without causing long delays. That the tests have some false negatives does not matter much. Epidemiological modeling shows that when often used these are superior to other methods of epidemic surveillance. <

Now these tests are finally there:

FDA clears saliva test for Covid-19, opening door to wider testing - STAT
Quick and affordable saliva-based COVID-19 test developed by Yale scientists receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization - Yale News
Cheap, frequent COVID tests could be ‘akin to vaccine,’ professor says - Harvard Gazette

Faltering empire:

Once upon a time people from outside the U.S. were very eager to get H-1B visas which allow one to work in the U.S. and to maybe become a citizen. There were even profitable scam sites which promised their customers that they could get preferential access to such visas. Those times are gone:
Shocking no one, not enough foreigners applied for H-1B visas this year so US govt ran a second lottery - The Register
Watching mushroom clouds from the beach in LA. Apocalypse...maybe not now, but soon! - Yasha Levine

> We’re living on the edge of a slow-moving apocalypse — surrounded by pristine beaches, multi-million dollar homes, homeless encampments, and a slow-burning pandemic. But that’s the Los Angeles way. Just pretend the world beyond your lawn doesn’t really exist — or, if does exist, it’s all the fault of some malicious foreign power. 

I’m sure buying that extra Tesla will get us out of this. That, and using unredeemable prison labor to fight fires. And of course bringing democracy to Belarus… <

Turkey in trouble:

Congress has secretly blocked US arms sales to Turkey for nearly two years - Defense News
Turkey slams Biden's past call for U.S. to back Erdogan opponents - Reuters
Foreigners Flee Turkish Stocks at Fastest Pace Since March 2019 - Bloomberg
Money for Nothing: currency crisis in Turkey - Yetkin Report

> Based on the numbers as of the end of July, the CBRT’s gross reserves were 90 billion USD. After we account for liabilities, net reserves decline to 26 billion USD. As we adjust for swaps, net reserves decline to -33 billion USD. <


Officials: US seizes Iranian gas heading for Venezuela - Al Jazeerah

> US officials tell AP Trump administration seized cargo of four tankers transporting Iranian fuel to Venezuela.
Iran's ambassador to Venezuela, Hojad Soltani, pushed back on what would appear a victory for the US sanctions campaign, saying on Thursday on Twitter that neither the ships nor their owners were Iranian. <

Tankers de-flagged for using Iranian sanctions-busting tactic - Lloyd's list

Four tankers among 16 discovered manipulating AIS to show a vessel is in one place while it is actually at another loading Iranian crude
Javad Zarif @JZarif - 14:02 UTC · Aug 15, 2020
"Pirates of the Caribbean" have their own judges and courts now.
Sadly for them, stolen booty wasn't Iran's. Fuel was sold F.O.B. Persian Gulf. Ship and flag weren't ours either.
Hollow, cheap propaganda doesn’t deflect from miserable failure of US diplomatic malpractice at UN.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on August 16, 2020 at 12:31 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Exactly! Formalising the Israel-UAE relations has no real advantages for Israel. (Except, of course, when you consider international law a value in itself, what most countries do.)

Posted by: m | Aug 16 2020 12:55 utc | 1

I have to disagree. Making public a tacit arrangement between Israel and the UAE represents a sea-change in Arab opinion. If the Saudis get on board, too, the PLO. Hamas, and even the Palestinian people. will become irrelevancies. Despite the communique, this is a major step towards annexation of much, if not all, of the West Bank, with Gulf Arab approval.

A major diplomatic victory for Trump and Netanyahu. It shows just how much the Arabs fear Iran.

Posted by: bob sykes | Aug 16 2020 13:08 utc | 2

If quick covid testing ever happens here it is months away. Availability of masks took forever. N95 masks are still unavailable to healthcare workers in flyover country. Going through the links in top post they are all discussing processing tests through laboratories. So a $1 one minute test will become a $500 billing opportunity that takes a week. It is the only way we do things here. Tests designed for at home use simply have to go through layers of rent seekers.

Here in Illinois the current claim is 3.3 million of us have been tested, 27% of the population. Utter BS. All it means is 3.3 million bills have been submitted. Even as the number of people even willing to be tested is declining and even as we are all begged to please come in and be tested it is still a bureaucratic feat to get one single person tested. They are still asking if you have traveled to China or Korea in past 14 days. Those who do somehow complete the process still recount being informed ten days later their results have been lost.

By the time all the functionaries, touts, and vermin stand aside and let this happen the ability of anyone to accomplish anything in this nightmare will be gone.

Posted by: oldhippie | Aug 16 2020 13:09 utc | 3

Re: off-the-shelf covid tests (in the US)

This is great news, but just the first step unfortunately. Big subsidy is required, because:
* To be effective, on the order of 1 billion per year need to be produced each month (for a country the size of the US). This is not a crazy number by the way, but for sure an investment of several hundreds of $millions at US prices to set it up, more if they want it fast.
* thus the manufacturing investment needed is the highest of any Covid technology discussed so far
* and the business can disappear at any time if a good vaccine is ready, and also if a similar but cheaper/better competing product of the same type comes

Obviously they have to go through some intermediate scales to demonstrate it all before the above will be considered.

Also, from what I can tell (not certain), US Congress has put the biggest portion of subsidies for Covid related manufacturing into the hands of the office of the HHS secretary, who was a drug company executive and lobbyist. By funding this he might harm his other friends in industry who received earlier rounds of subsidies for other Covid technologies.

I would look to other parts of the world to see if this kind of thing develops (wouldn't surprise me if it already has!)

Posted by: ptb | Aug 16 2020 13:28 utc | 4

above: per year. not per month. bad editing

Posted by: ptb | Aug 16 2020 13:30 utc | 5

More dark humour from the Middle East, Michel Aoun would have left open a reconciliation with Israel in an interview with French media bfmtv in which he refrained from criticizing the agreement with the UAE. A US envoy has just arrived in Beirut to work out the definite drawing of the southern Lebanese border.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 16 2020 14:03 utc | 6

She has little governing and zero foreign policy experience.

@ Bernhard

You said the above which I have bolded.
This means nothing and I forgot to include that in my response #45.
Should Biden win ( they are already working on it) the administration will be swarmed again by the Zionists of the likes of Eliot Cohen, Dennis Ross ( from the Republican party) to your Democrats like Shapiro, Podesta, Jeffrey Feldman , etc etc. like they did during the first years of Obama. They will be ready to offer "their services" to the newbie VP.
Obama got $crewed ( pardon my unladylike language) in the first 18 months of his administration by such people by Emanuel, Summers, Ross.
If Podesta is in charge of vetting and "advising" the president elect on the members of his cabinet and administration , we better watch out.

Posted by: Yul | Aug 16 2020 14:09 utc | 7

bob sykes 2

As Trump said, the Saudi's wouldn't last two weeks without the US and same goes for the other Wahhabi kingdoms. All are British American babies.
Saudi's are in a tight spot now. Very few Muslim countries recognize Israel but the Saudis are supposedly or consider themselves guardians of some holy places.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 16 2020 14:15 utc | 8

Zarif wrote an article on US attempts to destroy the UNSC.
"However, in May of 2018 the U.S. administration declared that it had unilaterally opted for “ceasing participation” in the JCPOA. Since then, Iran and the rest of the international community have been left in the extraordinary position of watching the U.S. become the first government in UN history that not just violates a binding resolution it itself sponsored, but also punishes those governments and companies that uphold international law by implementing its provisions. As I warned the Security Council last month, this status quo is neither desirable nor sustainable. We are thus at a crossroads."

Trump now says he will trigger snapback provisions.

EU foreign policy chief says he cant.

Interesting times.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 16 2020 14:31 utc | 9

Posted by: Mark2 | Aug 16 2020 14:46 utc | 10

I’m glad if the U.S.’s oil tanker heist didn’t directly affect Iran, but that doesn’t get Venezuela the fuel it needs.

Posted by: David G | Aug 16 2020 15:02 utc | 11

On Faltering Empire...

Larry C Johnson over at Pat Lang's SST has a current article up about the recent scarcity of firearms and ammo in AmeriKKKan gun shops. The examples he cites are 9mm handguns, but also the ammo for same which has quadrupled in price since early 2020 - if you can find any.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 16 2020 15:34 utc | 12


Sounds like the shortage of toilet paper that occurred here with the start of coronavirus. I wonder if the yanks are buying bullet proof vests along with all that ammo.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 16 2020 15:42 utc | 13

Zarif says the crude was sold FOB Persian Gulf so it is not Iran's loss, but doesn't say who it was sold to. Hopefully to an opportunist Western capitalist intermediary and not directly to Venezuela. But even if so, there is still a tangible if rather limited loss to the axis of resistance in its ability to play that card in the future, as companies will be more resistant to shipping the oil. No doubt the Iranians have more cards up their sleeves yet to play against the US Dunces.

Posted by: BM | Aug 16 2020 15:59 utc | 14

Why Kamala?
Because, the show must go on.
Look at how many words — including these — it has generated. All, over something that in the end, is irrelevant to any US citizen, since their vote does not count.
The show must go on. Keep entertaining yourselves with, he said, she said. Grand ole show it is too, where everybody gets paid.
The show, the circus, is a running jobs program. Everybody gets paid. The talking heads on the TV, get paid. Photographers, get paid. The bus drivers, get paid. The carpenters setting up the podiums, get paid. The electricians, get paid. The political consultants, get paid.
He said, she said. Squirrel.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Aug 16 2020 16:01 utc | 15

Under the Fog of War people have always done small mercies and mediated for peace between neighbours that weren't Big Deals. Little things to build trust. Ariel Sharon wished aloud that his grandson may not live by the sword, not long before his coma came. To me it still rocks as a beautiful moment. It also shook my favourite prejudice - guys with un-alligned eyes (hot however in liberated chicks , see Picasso). If They actually have two minds , well I can't do anything about that. Just stay out of politics. Next fav prejudice is that your Feets Too Big, see Fats Waller. Once peace is promised what rituals can keep domestic tranquility in societies with no external enemy? Fusbal... Humans aren't mostly beligerent and everday there is Small Peace made in unlikely twitter accounts and real places. Gros Danks b

Posted by: failure D'imaginatio | Aug 16 2020 16:03 utc | 16

I wonder if the yanks are buying bullet proof vests along with all that ammo.
Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 16 2020 15:42 utc | 13

Obviously it makes perfect sense for AmeriKKKans to use 9mm bullets and bullet-proof vests to fight against a virus, after all. "If you see a virus coming your way, just shoot first and ask later". Same old story. Isn't it at one with the entirety of the US Covid saga?

Posted by: BM | Aug 16 2020 16:05 utc | 17

Disaster capitalism... also known as capitalism:

US health insurers double profits during the COVID pandemic

Meanwhile, in China:

It was a terrible second quarter of 2020 in GDP terms for most major economies - but note China.


We’re living on the edge of a slow-moving apocalypse — surrounded by pristine beaches, multi-million dollar homes, homeless encampments, and a slow-burning pandemic. But that’s the Los Angeles way. Just pretend the world beyond your lawn doesn’t really exist — or, if does exist, it’s all the fault of some malicious foreign power.

This is exactly how a typical capitalist Third World country looks like. As a third worlder myself, I didn't find this "slow-moving apocalypse" scenario weird or shocking at all. On the contrary: I immediately related it to home.

If that scenario is an "apocalypse", then capitalism always was the apocalypse - the miraculous 30 years of the post-war boom in some First World countries are the anomaly.

Posted by: vk | Aug 16 2020 16:16 utc | 18

Just solid histories of psywar > psywar[dot]org a matter of interest these days.

There is bias. Cum granum salum comrades...

example> ""The genesis and handling of the story of Oberleutnant Fenn of the German U-Boat service is of some interest as an example of the way in which Black and White propaganda can be dove-tailed and used to support each other." How both white and black propaganda combined with the exploitation of first-class intelligence sources could be used to incite disaffection amongst German U-boat officers and crews."

Posted by: Walter | Aug 16 2020 16:20 utc | 19

The (Saudi royal) Arab News interviews an Emirati diplomat who claims that the deal will reanimate the Two State zombie.

Posted by: Keith McClary | Aug 16 2020 16:23 utc | 20

Google translation:

The F-22 fighter will be able to detect the Su-57 only after entering the zone of destruction of its missiles

One of the main characteristics of the fifth generation fighter is the implemented stealth technology. In general, this is a complex of technologies that is associated with a decrease in radar signature, signature in the infrared range. One of the defining parameters in this case is the effective scattering area (ESR). It is a quantitative measure of the scattering of electromagnetic waves.

In turn, the EPR indicator is associated not only with the stealth technology implemented on the fighter itself (including the use of composite materials in the airframe, special radio-absorbing coatings), but also with the distance from which the enemy's airborne radar is tracking.

Earlier, the manufacturer of the Russian fifth-generation fighter Su-57 called the effective area of ​​dispersion of the aircraft at 0.3 square meters. Of course, this is significantly higher than that of the F-22 and F-35, but even in this case, the Russian aircraft is inaccessible to the avionics (avionics) of fifth-generation American fighters at medium distances. For example, for the modernization of the American APG-77 radar, the detection range of a "standard" target with an EPR of 1 sq.m. is about 200 km. This is with an azimuth viewing area of ​​plus or minus 60 degrees.

Posted by: Mao | Aug 16 2020 16:38 utc | 21

Mao | Aug 16 2020 16:38 utc | 20 Trumpie the Clown : "That's not fair!!"

Posted by: Walter | Aug 16 2020 16:51 utc | 22

The tweets 'b' linked to re. Turkey are very interesting indeed and are pretty much what I felt was going on.
UAE is an interesting choice of partner to the agreement precisely because it has relatively stable relations, all be they pragmatic, with Iran and Qatar - and despite their often being on different sides. Therefore from the off I considered this to be much more a stance against Turkey than the Turkey-Iran-Qatar alliance - and even a means to weaken that alliance. Add to which Qatar's alleged refusal to bail out Turkey again recently shows a cooling of their relationship: Qatar effectively took the decision NOT to save Erdogan's arse!
We've been seeing for some months now a building of pressure against Turkey on many different fronts from banning the 'Grey Wolves' and 'Rabbia' hand gestures in Austria, to petitioning to ban Turkish Muslim Brotherhood imams from German/ European mosques, to the more bullish shut down of the staged 'wave of immigrants' to what we are seeing now in the East Med and the EU's refusal to bail out Turkey. What I await with interest is whether the threat of European sanctions against Turkey comes to fruition for drilling in Cyprus waters.
The issue of Russia (and or course Iran) and its relations with Turkey are also important, and I think we will see the reality of what some called Turkey’s ‘turn’ to Russia – it was in fact never more than leveraging! Nord Stream II I think will not be scuppered - seemingly unrelated but not.
On the economic front, Albayrak seems to be changing tack. As of last week he has adopted the slogan “The Lira’s competitiveness is important, not it’s exchange rate’ - maybe he should have considered that before throwing +/- 60bn dollars at the Lira recently! Anyway, another big Central Bank meeting coming up at the end of next week. we’ll see what happens.
One last thing to give an idea of Erdogan’s election nerves – a) his ‘ally’ Bahceli (MHP) ‘invited’ Aksener (IYI party – break off from MHP) to “return to the fold” b) Word is being spread that Turkic (Turkmen, as they are known in Turkey) people living in Turkey are being offered citizenship if they want it, and the response from Turks is that it is Erdogan’s attempt to increase his votes – key in Istanbul, maybe. After the barbaric purge of immigrants in Istanbul last summer, the numbers will not be very significant imo.

(Sorry for the length of that comment!)

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 16 2020 16:53 utc | 23

AtaBrit 22

Turkey also offered citizenship to any in Lebanon that identified as Turkish or Turkman.

US, Turkey, India - all with big ambitions that they are likely to try fulfilling through military conquest.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 16 2020 17:00 utc | 24

"Is France preparing for strikes against Hezbollah?"

This comment of yours from a previous thread stuck in my mind. Could it actually be not against Hezbollah but a threat against Turkey in Libya and Syria? (ie. not just EMed drilling.)

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 16 2020 17:06 utc | 25

@Peter AU | 23
Interesting and very cynical move.
Wonder if the same has been offered in other countries.
This while Ughyur are being secretly deported of course!!

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 16 2020 17:17 utc | 26

Re: Belarus

I visited The Hill website and spotted a very recent Opinion titled:
A knife at NATO's throat: Why Belarus matters to the US

I expected that the author's name would tell me everything I needed to know about the content to come,
so that was my first stop.

"Frederick W. Kagan"

(correct you are! AEI)

First paragraph:

Belarus has garnered a surprising number of headlines during the pandemic and an election season. Western commentators and some leaders have rightly argued for standing with tens of thousands of Belarusians protesting President Alexander Lukashenko’s obvious rigging of the country’s recent presidential election. Kremlin threats of Russian intervention to help Lukashenko crush the protests raise the stakes for NATO dramatically. If Vladimir Putin gains de facto control of Belarus and the ability to station Russian troops in that country, he could put at serious risk NATO’s ability to defend its Baltic members and, thereby, the credibility of the entire alliance.

Posted by: librul | Aug 16 2020 17:23 utc | 27

Greyzone did well with this expose of foreign meddling in Hong Kong

The NGO community has reacted angrily to the exposure, labelling Greyzone a Kremlin and Beijing linked disinfo site, even as the story was confirmed by South China Morning Post. The SCMP was then labelled “pro-communist”. Facts are wholly partisan, since 2014.

Posted by: jayc | Aug 16 2020 17:30 utc | 28

Whatever UAE and Israel's hasbara are saying and will say in the coming days, it is about buying time for the slaughtering in Yemen continues while having some cheap PR. The UAE have fooled everyone but not the Yemenis when they say they were withdrawing from the conflict.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 16 2020 17:44 utc | 29


Sunny Runny wrote (211 prev thread) that Kamaleon “looks like” Biden, very apt, they are from the same mold indeed.

Harris is basically unelectable, as was Killary. As many have pointed out the VP slot is not that important historically but takes on relevance now, as Biden is basically a sort-of walking, but no longer talking with any meaningful sense, puppet figure.

An ex. of pushing some elder, senile in this case, figure, front stage; a stereotypical characteristic of breaking up, collapsing, Empires or other large authoritarian top-down structures.

The leader embodying past glory (here Obomber reign, ersatz glory to boot) is pushed forward as a continuity figure that can’t be challenged (in Biden’s case severely ‘past-it’ - unmentionable) while others try to scramble and save what can be. Which in the case of the Dems is not much.

All is ghastly theatre to keep deplorables and wokes brains ‘occupied.’ The whole political structure of the US is slowly breaking down and who becomes ‘Prez’ is in many ways irrelevant. The front man or woman at the top of such chaos has little power. Even the ‘cinematic’ - the images, myths, stories, rituals, of the US Presidency are crumbling. Many ppl no longer believe in consensual ‘core’ symbols, values, etc. Imho. From far off.

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 16 2020 18:23 utc | 31

@14 BM

I noted that too, the sale of the gasoline was FOB, which means all risks of shipping belonged to the buyer when its ship left the place of sale.

I read the other stories linked by b, and the situation is not clearly revealed. We never learn definitely that the tankers were headed for Venezuela, only that they spoofed the maritime tracking system in a way that is easy, common and universally known. The system is wide open to abuse, says the Lloyds piece - and it is not known how many ships use this tactic. The 4 ships never arrived at Venezuela, and were next discovered at Cape Verde, which is across the Atlantic from Venezuela but very much closer to Africa.

Meanwhile, these were 4 ships out of 16 identified as using the spoofing tactic. No word on the other 12. Trump says the 4 are now in Houston.

We have long known that Iran is selling its products on global black markets that evade US sanctions but we don't seem to know much about the details. I'm finding it hard to believe that this interdiction will do much to suppress this kind of trade.

And the key takeaway from this is that although the US thieves would love to seize Iranian assets wherever they could, the fact is that they haven't. The only known fact from this episode remains that when Iranian ships transport fuel to Venezuela under the Iranian flag, the US does not interfere.

If that fact were to change, we would be in a new story. Until then, it's petty theft by petty criminals, and we can only dream of their being hung for piracy.

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 16 2020 18:38 utc | 32

thanks b! the articles on related topics are all very interesting... i read 4 or 5 of them...thank you...

@ atabrit.. keep talking... i appreciate your commentary on turkey and etc..

@2 bob skyes... at least you are consistent... regarding uae and israel - putting lipstick on a pig might look good, but it doesn't impress me... uae is shitty lipstick either way and as @ mina notes - all the shite they are responsible for in yemen is more proof of it... you can take all these middle east fiefdoms and let them burn in hell.. of course the usa-uk will continue to prop them up based off their belief in democracy, but everyone knows that is a load of shite as well...

@ 17 BM... great response in reply to peter au... the nutso of it all is very pronounced...

regarding the sanctions and iran-venezuala pressure, and etc... the usa is clearly a rogue nation at this point... unfortunately it has been the world power and leader up until, i am not sure when - maybe still in some respects, but if you read the articles b shares - bread riots, or mushroom clouds and etc - you can see the fucking writing is on the wall for the usa at this point... let me quote from the yasha levine article... below -

"Walking around LA and looking at how fucked things are this holiday season got me thinking…and I realized that this year — 2020 — will mark the 30th anniversary of my family coming to America from the Soviet Union.

Looking around, I gotta say that these decades have not been kind to the America Way of Life. In the time that we’ve been here, just about everything’s gotten worse — more billionaires, more pollution and environmental collapse, more inequality, more wage theft, more energy consumption, more garbage production, more wars, more privatization, more school shootings, more poverty, and of course much much more homelessness. With every year the pitch of the decline has gotten steeper and steeper and it feels like we’re now in free fall. There’s systemic failure and stagnation on every level, papered-over with lies and self-deception. Hell, even basic things like recycling turned out to be a failure and a petro-industry consumerist scam.

Kinda weird for a Soviet immigrant like me to realize that you fled one failing society only to end up in a society that was also entering an accelerated phase of decline and degradation."

Posted by: james | Aug 16 2020 18:42 utc | 33

@Grieved | 32 / @14 BM
It's a strange event.
And as others have mentioned the timing re. s anctions proposal was suspicious.
But Iran, as you say, is trading in different ways with different countries. And its China contracts are sizeable.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 16 2020 18:54 utc | 34

I expect it's doomed to fail, but Ventura seems to be campaigning "Jesse unleashed! & Interview with film legend Oliver Stone (PART I) (RT))

@james | Aug 16 2020 18:42 utc | 33 Szilard opined in Voice of the Dolphin that USSR and USA were more or less 2 elements of a system, thus if one were to fail, then so, in time, would the mirror image twin. Wm Pfaff wrote about about it.

Ultimately it seems to be a moral failure in both examples.

But, and now I am going afield, I hold that Russia and the US remain a pair, with natural mutual needs. Of course some elites' wealth, power, status, would be eliminated if, when, the two vast States were to come to once again to "win-win" cooperation and alliance. Here I would recall "As He Saw It" by Roosevelt, and how the Truman/Wallace switcheroo created the campaign and policy to destroy and loot USSR and Russia.

With, mutual cooperating is the great fear of the elites' in power in US.

Posted by: Walter | Aug 16 2020 19:03 utc | 35

Let’s see? how to couch defeat, from the architect: high principle.

Iran ‘Snapback’ Isn’t Worth the Risk
It would weaken the Security Council veto, which serves U.S. interests at the U.N.
By John Bolton

For the U.S., there is one point of high principle worth dying in a ditch for at the United Nations: Never impair the Security Council veto. That’s what President Trump is preparing to do, exacerbating President Obama’s mistakes in negotiating the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Aug 16 2020 19:09 utc | 36

The fear of Iran(and Yemeni) is greater than any other thing for UAE..Palestine has nothing to do with this agreement and the zionist will go on with their expansion.It has come to full light now how the sunni regimes never thought about Palestine but only to stop the Sciites and therefore help zionism.

Posted by: LuBa | Aug 16 2020 19:40 utc | 37

b, I used to visit Whiskey Bar faithfully, but am a much more irregular visitor to your site (not that you aren't interesting and insightful- you've been one of my 'go-to' places with regard to Syria). It's hard not to notice the shift in political orientation (relative to Whiskey Bar, and the contemporaneous MoA) of many of the comments here, with some seemingly even verging into support for dogma espoused by the cult of QAnon.
I can't be your only American reader who'd be interested in your thoughts on QAnon, especially with the upcoming election. If you're ever at a loss for topics, may I suggest...

Posted by: Sidney Caesar | Aug 16 2020 19:49 utc | 38

b thank you for the Yasha Levine link. Love that writer, dry and incisive wit. Barflies could order a pint and savour the words.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 16 2020 20:06 utc | 39

AtaBrit @Aug16 17:06 #24

"Is France preparing for strikes against Hezbollah?"

This comment of yours from a previous thread stuck in my mind. Could it actually be not against Hezbollah but a threat against Turkey in Libya and Syria? (ie. not just EMed drilling.)

The Sunni and Christian establishment have can not push Hezbollah out of Lebanon or even out of the government. If they are going to capitalize on the opportunity arising from the explosion (an opportunity that they may have some responsibility for!) then they will need outside help.

The verdict in the murder of Hariri is due on August 18th. It seems likely that Hezbollah will be implicated. The anti-Hezbollah effort will probably intensify.

Was Hariri a French citizen? He was born in the French Mandate of Lebanon.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 16 2020 20:14 utc | 41

donkeytale @Aug16 17:27 #27

I receive my monthly check like clock work.

You struck me as a Mossad guy. Are you double-dipping?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 16 2020 20:18 utc | 42

Probably you have noticed that the plain acts of piratery along with coup intends are multiplying at stratosfecir pace...

Also the media are already scaring us all with a new wave of Covid-19, when neither the cases, nor much less the deaths tolls have any comparisonn with those of March...

According to a warning made by Daniel Estulin months ago, the worst at economic level starts in September, when most of help provided by the state will finish and bankrupts and evictions will generalize...

This is why there are some unleashed thorough air, sea and land catching whatever they can...See Turkey...destada...and the US with the oil...After the color revolution was dismantled in HK, now they are trying another in Thailand...and Belarus...also Mozambique has suffered the assault by ISIS....

BTW, the Frech Army has been deployed in Beirut Port....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 16 2020 20:34 utc | 43

donkeytale #43

The yankistan theiving hegemon will demise and all of its own accord. From my armchair the least I can do is analyse and comment.

I wish the hegemon good riddance and I have confidence in the revolutionary and violent spirit of the USA citizens to achieve that.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 16 2020 20:35 utc | 44

donkeytale @Aug16 20:27 #43

Donkeytale sheds light on an important issue. Much more important than why Biden choose Kamala. But it needs more development.

My two cents:

1) I sense that there are many at moa that justify their support for Trump via the belief that Trump's buffoonery strips the veil from the Empire.

I vehemently disagree.

Trump is just a figurehead (like Obama, GWBush, and Clinton). The US Deep State is fully in control. Their plan will proceed whoever is in office no matter how it is ridiculed. You can't fight them by attacking their stooges - each of whom is replaced in 4 or 8 years. IMO you can only fight them by exposing the "illusion of democracy" and how their cronyism and militarism wastes money and makes us less safe.

2) There have always been trolls at moa spread disinfo. And there always will be. But there are also people here that fight that disinfo with truth and a wider perspective. It is a valuable service and I commend them.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 16 2020 20:50 utc | 45

Was Hariri a French citizen? He was born in the French Mandate of Lebanon.
Saad Hariri is born in KSA
It was Tonton Chirac who bestowed French citizenship to the Hariri family for service rendered by Rafic Hariri(aka money and contracts for French companies in the ME )

Posted by: Yul | Aug 16 2020 20:55 utc | 46

H.Schmatz #44

BTW, the Frech Army has been deployed in Beirut Port....

Hooray, another bunch of hapless crusaders off to glory.

Message from General Giap - entice them into the countryside and SMASH them.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 16 2020 21:00 utc | 47
does no one care that the mystery of the bombing at Lebanon has been solved?

Posted by: snake | Aug 16 2020 21:08 utc | 48

snake #49

does no one care that the mystery of the bombing at Lebanon has been solved?

Beware, VT speaks with forked tongue. And you, snake, of all people must know that by now.

One does not need a nuke when you have compliant allies like the phalange and sunnis setting up a big bomb for you. Given the report from #44 it could have been the French too (perhaps it was French Zionists) :o

Onward christian soldiers....etc

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 16 2020 21:19 utc | 49

donkeytale # 50

Thanks for your vote JR but of course I will be deleted unfortunately because I speak the truth and b is clearly a servant of a fascist tendency where memes matter more than truth.

Thank you donkeytale but I notice you have been begging for the delete de gras for a fair while now and yet b in his mercy has stayed his hand. Methinks he likes that armchair you are sitting in and the odd squeaking sounds it make as it turns. I will shout you a stein of absinthe.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 16 2020 21:26 utc | 50

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 16 2020 18:23 utc | 31

like your comments and may I add.. Trump who once called Edward Snowden ‘a spy who should be executed,’ now says he'll look into a pardon." If Trump really cares about Ed Snowden or any whistleblower, he would have pardon Julian Assanga long ago? Trump further said in and before 2016. Allow Russia to deal with the Islamic State in Syria and work with Vladimir Putin to wipe out shared enemies. Bringing troops home. He also said the US should "stay the hell out" of the Syrian war. Donald Trump electrified campaign audiences by denouncing “Trigger Happy Hillary” Clinton. The same gimmick during 2016 now repeating will turn the tide and swing votes to his side. Do you believe anything Trumped bragged and promised? The NeoLiberal, democratic, progressive and Independent - some may switch from Biden-Kamala to team to Trump-Pence team.

He's a fake before and today. Yes Kamala is a model of Hillary and unelectable by herself. Trump “likely to target Alibaba too.” President elect Trump invited Jack Ma and Niger Farage to his Hotel.

I predict Trump will win and refuse to vote for either teams. Last presidential election almost write-in Putin or Xi Jinping, but decided not to, the States and FBI will traced me, Instead I voted Dr. Stein.

Posted by: JC | Aug 16 2020 21:29 utc | 51

The World socialist web site does a solid dump on Jacobin.

Marcetic adds: “Watching Harris cackling like a cartoon villain about prosecuting parents of truant school kids is one of the more bone-chilling things you’re likely to see in politics.” Indeed, this is true. Harris is a despicable figure.

However, for Marcetic such statements are only preliminary to reasserting the inevitable conclusion to which Jacobin and its co-thinkers in the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) always arrive: promoting the lie that with enough pressure, these figures can be pushed to the left.

He writes near the end, “Both Harris, and to a lesser extent, Biden, have shown a limited but encouraging propensity to gesture leftward under pressure. The current unprecedented conditions, coupled with the still small but growing power of the US left, mean the next four years aren’t necessarily doomed to be a repeat of the Obama years.”

The "left" tag applied to the Democratic Socialists of America is total fraud.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 16 2020 21:36 utc | 52

@Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 16 2020 20:34 utc | 44,
"BTW, the Frech Army has been deployed in Beirut Port..."

Posted by: Sidney Caesar | Aug 16 2020 22:13 utc | 53

I've certainly noticed Sidney Caesar. I haven't seen my comment surface from the other day when I mentioned I only use this nom de plume on here and a little on the Saker and I'm getting emails using this nom de plume and the e-addie to send me pro-Trump messages and soliciting me to join some inner circle of Trump's where I can "be one of his close advisors" and other such rubbish. Either our personal info is being given or sold to Trump or a visitor here is forwarding our info to the wrong people. I worship the ground that awaits both candidates.

Posted by: Madison James | Aug 16 2020 22:20 utc | 54

Is the Beirut blast really all about China's BRI (and Syria's 4 seas strategy which links up with BRI)?

Lebanon: Pearl on the New Silk Road or Zone of Dark Age Chaos (by Matthew Ehret)


China's "intention to bring real reconstruction programs to Syria are also well known and President Bashar Al Assad’s long overdue Four Seas Strategy first announced in 2004 (and sabotaged with the Arab Spring) is finally coming back on line. President Assad had won 7 countries over to sign onto it’s construction by 2010 and entailed connecting all four major water systems (Mediterranean, Caspian, Black Sea, and Persian Gulf) together via rail and infrastructure corridors as a driver for win-win cooperation and regional modernization. Assad had said of the project in 2009 “once we link these four seas, we become the unavoidable intersection of the whole world in investment, transport and more.”

"When Chinese delegations first made their vision for the BRI’s extension to Lebanon known in March 2019 where the Arab Highway from Beirut to Damascus and rail to China was floated, western stooge Saad Al Hariri said no, preferring instead to sign onto a $10 billion IMF plan. Over a year later, not one iota of infrastructure was built."

"The Iran-Iraq-Syria regional participation in the broader New Silk Road is incredibly important, especially since Iraq signed a September 2019 Memorandum of Understanding to join the BRI under a new infrastructure-for-oil program. This plan involves China’s reconstruction of the war-torn region under a multiphase program of hard infrastructure (rail, roads, energy and water projects), and soft infrastructure (hospitals, schools and cultural centers)."

"On June 17, 2020 the Chinese Embassy publicized an offer to extend BRI projects to Lebanon featuring a modern railway connecting coastal cities in the north with Tripoli through Beirut to Naquora in the south. China’s National Machinery IMP/EXP Corporation also offered the construction of three new power plants of 700 MW each, a new national energy grid and port modernization."

"Pompeo’s obsessive drive to eliminate Hezbollah and especially the influence of Nasrallah in Lebanon has less to do with any perceived threat Israel claims to its existence and everything with Hezbollah and Iran’s embrace of China’s Belt and Road Initiative."

"When Chinese offers were renewed in June 2020, Pompeo’s stooge David Schenker (Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs) gave a June 23 interview stating that Hezbollah “is not an organization that seeks reform, but rather one that lives on corruption”. Schenker warned Lebanon from falling into the “China Trap” and said that Nasrallah’s demands that Lebanon “look east” was “shocking”."

"It is noteworthy that the same day China made its offers known publicly, Washington imposed the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act to punish all who wish to trade with Syria which itself has not only further crushed Syria’s cries for economic reconstruction, but had taken direct aim at Lebanon which sees 90% of Syrian goods flow through its borders to the Mediterranean."

Posted by: ADKC | Aug 16 2020 22:23 utc | 55

re: Iran-Russia trade, Iran-BeltRoad

Caspian sea, port expansion in Russia to more than double cargo capacity.
XinhuaNet (short item)
Global Construction Review (has more detail)

Caspian sea, containerized shipping to/from existing Russian ports
Teheran Times

Related reference
ITE (major caspian sea ports as of 2017)

Posted by: ptb | Aug 16 2020 22:31 utc | 56

Madison Janes #57

You repeat yourself, so allow me to repeat a variation on my previous retort.

EVERYTHING you and all write and transmit to this blog is intercepted, analyse, inquired of etc looooooong before it arrives at MoA inbox.

Your ISP will sniff it, record it, pass it on to authorities or commercial clients. The mega internet choke points of relay stations, undersea cable links etc will be monitored sniffed and evaluated. They will store all of your data. If you are considered potentially deviant they will take whatever data generated by any device remotely linked to you.

There are supercomputers and memory warehouses dedicated to the task. They will then link all your contacts with the contacts of everyone else they deem 'of interest' to see if there is a pattern or an imaginary pattern. Just like the Gwestern intelligence services did when tracking terrorists in the 60's but they ended up with more data than they could manage. Times have changed. Your smart wrist watch will betray you, your smart google tv cast device from your smart phone will betray you, and all of these devices have betrayed you from the minute you purchased them.

So consider the network and trails that gets you to the bar before you accuse the patron.

There is likely no hiding place.

It is called 'digital' human terrain mapping. Snowden gives us a mere glimpse.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 16 2020 22:41 utc | 57

when i read bellyaching, i just think it's a troll...

@ 35 walter... thanks for your perspective... you might be right.. we have no way of knowing.. thank you for mentioning this book 'listening to the dolphins'.. i was unaware of it and just read a book review that was quite fascinating which you or others can read here if interested...

Posted by: james | Aug 16 2020 22:46 utc | 58

@56 He's probably referring the the French navy helicopter carrier "Tonnere". I guess that counts as 'French troops in Beirut' amongst the more excitable readers.

Posted by: dh | Aug 16 2020 22:58 utc | 59

On USA notes this week ;/

Ammo availability-
.380 cal (for close quarter range/conceal carry) is mostly unavailable
9mm cal very difficult to find/price doubled if you can
.223/5.56 cal unavailable

Overall supply of common western rounds depleted and prices doubled. Ironically eastern European caliber ammo available.

Gun sales skyrocketed beginning covid/ catapulted during floyd protests


Outdoor Recreation retail-
friends local shop business way up, says they stock the wall of dehydrated food in a.m. and sells out daily
butane/propane fuel canister shortages- canister sales up and Korean co. that manufactures the canisters sold out of canisters (to fill w fuel) creating vacuum of availability


Prescription Meds for Depression/Anti Anxiety National stockpile depleted with shortages increasing. Sales of both skyrocketed past months. Neighbor who started on them told by Dr that availability may be difficult.


Traveling Nurse conversation re Ohio, Florida and now working in Wa. ICU- commented about massive spike in suicide attempts from all age ranges. She has seen minimal covid cases in all states, nurses being furloughed and/or encouraged to take vacation time as hospitals are lean on patients. Believes there are rampant cases of systemic fraud false positives of covid. Face mask conversation was illuminating but I won't go there. Perhaps Fauci's initial face mask statement was actually medical science based and not a lie or mistake?


Alcohol Sales way up Nationally. Wine maker friend said sales are up 30% in spite of forced closure of retail wine tasting shop and winery visits.


Witnessed a convoy with 2 batteries of M142 HIMARS Lockheed Martin High Mobility Artillery Rocket System 30 miles outside of Seattle. Rare sighting even with Ft Lewis nearby and Ranges for training 2hrs East in desert. It was a little creepy to see.\


Wrap up-

Guns selling out
Ammo sold out
Dry food and fuel availability selling fast or ran out
Depression/Anxiety med spikes and lean inventory
Suicides (all age ranges) increasing
Alcohol sales heavily increased
Potential systemic Fraud on Covid case number reporting
Military Maneuvers of curious weapon systems spotted

2020 keeps giving.
I have a sneaking suspicion we may see some near future event that will kick-in Americans amnesia on Covid and "disappear" it's prominence. I could be dead wrong about that- how long it will be used to destroy lives, economic classes, social control remains to be seen.

Posted by: CitizenX | Aug 16 2020 23:08 utc | 60

apparently attacking others works wonders... you're proof of it!

Posted by: james | Aug 16 2020 23:14 utc | 61

@Posted by: Sidney Caesar | Aug 16 2020 22:13 utc | 56

I think could be related to the announcement of next is obvious that some people will want to cause mayhem...

What needs to be known is what side the French are in...we could be surprised...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 16 2020 23:16 utc | 62

ADKC @Aug16 22:23 #58

Is the Beirut blast really all about China's BRI

This seems like CYA from Israel. Part of the hasbara propaganda ops around the Beirut explosion. There appears to be a furious pointing of fingers away from Israel along with a whisper campaign against Hezbollah as being ultimately responsible for putting citizens at risk.

Let's not forget that the war on Syria was planned and waged by the anti-Iran conspirators countries for over a decade now. Years before BRI was a 'thing'.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 16 2020 23:19 utc | 63

@Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 16 2020 23:16 utc | 66:
This is what your link 'proves':

Posted by: Sidney Caesar | Aug 16 2020 23:34 utc | 64

Jackrabbit #67

Assad's Four Seas Strategy (and its link with China's putative BRI [then known as modern or new Silk Road]) predates the Syrian War.

Posted by: ADKC | Aug 16 2020 23:37 utc | 65

Posted by: CitizenX | Aug 16 2020 23:08 utc | 63,
"Traveling Nurse conversation re Ohio, Florida and now working in Wa. ICU- commented about massive spike in suicide attempts from all age ranges. She has seen minimal covid cases in all states, nurses being furloughed and/or encouraged to take vacation time as hospitals are lean on patients."

I work ER, my daughter-in-law's an intensivist, both in (different) early COVID-19 hotspots. Pt census was down, some deliberately (as elective procedures were cancelled), some unexpected (people avoiding hospitals for serious and not-so-serious (the vast majority of ER patients)) ailments. Some staff was furloughed, now virtually everyone back to work as the hospital census has normalized.
There was no "massive spike in suicide attempts" (although the # of psych patients we saw in the behavioral health unit of our ER remained 'stable' throughout the worst days of the pandemic, many of them the usual characters- homeless- who c/o 'suicidal ideation' to get off the street for 3 days).
Anyone claiming there were "rampant cases of systemic fraud false positive cases of covid is either lying or an idiot (of course, both are possible). There were many more 'false negatives' of people whose chest imaging and labs were diagnostic for COVID-19. In fact, we've probably undercounted COVID-19 deaths by a significant number- we're likely > 200K- we're number one in the world thanks to Trump administration malfeasance, misfeasance, and nonfeasance.

Posted by: Sidney Caesar | Aug 16 2020 23:53 utc | 66

I should add, I work in one of the largest university affiliated hospitals in the country. While patient census was in fact down in the the aftermath of the nightmare that was March and April, those two months saw both ER and multiple ICU's (including two converted step-down units that were graded up, with physicians and nurses who otherwise wouldn't care for ICU patients given 'crash courses' in ICU care)overwhelmed and staff worked to the breaking point. I've got 2 words for any of you morons who question the legitimacy of this pandemic- fuck off.

Posted by: Sidney Caesar | Aug 17 2020 0:03 utc | 67

American interference in the bilateral relations between Germany and the Russian Federation is being performed under the "Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act", or "CAATSA". This is rather sinister because "CAATSA" is pronounced exactly the the same way as "katsa", which according to Wikipedia "is an agent of the Mossad, who collects information and runs agents, similar to a case officer of the CIA".

On the other hand, if the name of the act were amended to "Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Order", or "CAATSO", it would be pronounced the same as "cazzo" - the Italian word for a certain male organ - which at least makes it clear what Trump is trying to accomplish.

First Trump goes down in flames at the UN on Iranian sanctions, then the very next day it is announced that 24 members of the EU held a conference call with Pompeo, and threatened counter-sanctions. Will the European Poodles hold to their purpose, or will they slink away like whipped dogs?

Posted by: groucho | Aug 17 2020 0:09 utc | 68

How Jeff Bazos got rich:

Mayrand Food Deport:
Montreal, Canada
Caputo Pizza Flour 25 kg (55lb)
$42.99 ($32 USD)

55 lb Caputo Pizza Flour
$172.45 (USD)

Posted by: krypton | Aug 17 2020 0:16 utc | 69

Australian news media have reported that a cancer treatment BromAc (in development for over a decade) is being tested by a team led by Professor David Morris as a prophylactic to limit the spread of COVID-19 in infected people from their nasal passages to their lungs. A trial is being established in a hospital in Melbourne to start in September this year.

Canberra Times: "Tests underway for COVID-19 treatment"

"... BromAc has been under development for 11 years for use in cancer treatment and includes two components that together dissolve the spike of COVID-19, rendering it unable to infect other cells.

One of the core agents is a pineapple stem enzyme tested in the lab after it was observed that pigs eating pineapples were resistant to particular gastro conditions.

“We’ve taken a drug in development for more than a decade and asked whether it can be adapted for treating people infected with COVID-19, Professor David Morris said in a statement on Monday.

“Our lab results show the new drug renders the COVID-19 spike ineffective, stopping it from infecting other cells.

“We hope the results will show the treatment can confine COVID to the nose and throat and prevent lung infection, and stop infected patients from passing on the live virus,” he said.

It’s hoped an infected person could take the medication at the first signs of COVID-19 and stop the virus in its tracks.

“This could provide a very safe and effective way of saving lives, protecting vulnerable workers preventing hospitalisation and getting people infected by COVID returning back to their everyday lives.”..."

It has to be emphasised that the drug is not a cure but would be used as a preventative medicine by people infected with COVID-19 and as yet showing only early symptoms or no symptoms.

BTW I heard rumours that Lukashenko was targeted for regime change because he refused IMF loans worth nearly US$1 billion on the condition (among others) that he enforce a strict lockdown on Belarus similar to Italy's lockdown. "Belarus president unwilling to accept additional terms to get foreign loans"

MINSK, 19 June (BelTA) – Additional conditions which do not apply to the financial part are unacceptable for Belarus, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said when speaking about external lending during a meeting to discuss support measures for the real economic sector on the part of the banking system, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko asked the participants of the meeting how things were with the provision of foreign credit assistance to Belarus. “What are our partners' requirements? It was announced that they can provide Belarus with $940 million in so-called rapid financing. How are things here?” the head of state inquired.

At the same time, he stressed that additional conditions which do not apply to the financial part are unacceptable for the country. “We hear the demands, for example, to model our coronavirus response on that of Italy. I do not want to see the Italian situation to repeat in Belarus. We have our own country and our own situation,” the president said.

According to the president, the World Bank has showed interest in Belarus' coronavirus response practices. “It is ready to fund us ten times more than it offered initially as a token of commendation for our efficient fight against this virus. The World Bank has even asked the Healthcare Ministry to share the experience. Meanwhile, the IMF continues to demand from us quarantine measures, isolation, a curfew. This is nonsense. We will not dance to anyone's tune,” said the president.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 17 2020 0:20 utc | 70

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 16 2020 15:34 utc | 12 Larry C Johnson over at Pat Lang's SST has a current article up about the recent scarcity of firearms and ammo in AmeriKKKan gun shops. The examples he cites are 9mm handguns, but also the ammo for same which has quadrupled in price since early 2020 - if you can find any.

I follow a number of gun sites, being pro-gun myself. The amount of *new* gun buyers is extraordinary. The gun sites and Youtube channels are publishing introductory articles in order to help the new gun owners get oriented to the procedures and responsibilities of owning a firearm. The explanation for all the new gun buyers is simple: They're afraid of their fellow Americans, and they're afraid that, given the riots and police brutality, they can't rely on the state for their own protection. This has been true for decades (actually two centuries), which is why Americans own so many firearms (400 million as the previous count owned by 80-100 million Americans with 16-20 million carrying concealed - that latter number is rising quickly, too, up 8 percent from previous year.) But with the pandemic and riots, many more people have woken to the fact that everyone has to be responsible for their own security. The result has been high prices and low availability for ammo and the more common and popular makes of handguns (Glocks, etc.) The anti-gun crowd is furious about this - screw 'em.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 16 2020 15:42 utc | 13 I wonder if the yanks are buying bullet proof vests along with all that ammo.

Yes, they are. Cheap body armor plates that can be inserted into the hydration pack pocket in backpacks are becoming a big thing. These plates are usually rated Threat Level IIIA which means they will protect against almost all handgun bullets (with some rare exceptions) as well as shotguns - but not rifle ammunition. They can be obtained for between $100 and $200 in various sizes, usually 10"x12". Given the public fear of active shooters, especially school shootings, parents buy them to put in kids' backpacks. Gun owners who practice at the range buy them to avoid any possible accidents while at the range.

Tactical trauma kits - medical supplies that are useful for emergency treatment of gunshot wounds such as tourniquets, chest seals, Quick Clot blood stoppers, etc. - are also a big deal these days.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 17 2020 0:26 utc | 71

"I've got 2 words for any of you morons who question the legitimacy of this pandemic- fuck off."
Posted by: Sidney Caesar | Aug 17 2020 0:03 utc | 72

How do you really feel?

Thanks for relating your experiences. Lots of different perspectives from medical care workers. Of course anyone who defaults to "fuck off moron" regarding this covid thing seems to be locked in on their own narrative.

I will wait for time and history to process this event with clearer viewpoint. Currently it is all a clusterfuck and I refuse to take a narrative stance until then.

Posted by: CitizenX | Aug 17 2020 0:29 utc | 72

Posted by: BM | Aug 16 2020 16:05 utc | 17 Obviously it makes perfect sense for AmeriKKKans to use 9mm bullets and bullet-proof vests to fight against a virus

It has nothing to do with the virus per se. It has to do with fear of possible social collapse as a result of the virus - and that was aggravated by the protests and the police response. Americans don't trust other Americans not to go postal if there are food shortages or other major problems. They also quite rationally expect crime to go up as a result of 1) more unemployment of more people, and 2) more criminals let out of prisons due to the pandemic spread inside prisons.

Preppers were warning about pandemics for decades. Now they're warning about the second wave of the pandemic and more lockdowns and food shortages as a result of the first wave effects compounded by the second wave. They're expecting an increased probability of a "SHTF" moment. Having a firearm is just part of being prepared for anything.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 17 2020 0:34 utc | 73

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 16 2020 22:41 utc | 60 There is likely no hiding place.

There is, but it requires technical expertise beyond the capability of most people. Mostly it requires mobility. As the movie "Hackers" once said: "You don't hack a bank from your house. Are you stoned or stupid?...That's universally stupid, man."

And then, of course, just monitoring MoA and other sites, one can simply compare attitudes and how they are expressed to detect who is who, regardless of fake names. Which is why I post under my own name and always have on every site I've ever visited.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 17 2020 0:46 utc | 74

Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 16 2020 21:32 utc | 54 all my comments are deleted by b.

Gee, you come in here and call b a fascist - and then you wonder why he deletes your comments. Not that I've noticed that myself since I seem to recall reading quite a few, to my sorrow. But taking that tack might justify calling you an idiot.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 17 2020 0:50 utc | 75

Posted by: CitizenX | Aug 16 2020 23:08 utc | 63 I have a sneaking suspicion we may see some near future event that will kick-in Americans amnesia on Covid and "disappear" it's prominence. I could be dead wrong about that- how long it will be used to destroy lives, economic classes, social control remains to be seen.

A new war would do wonders to take people's minds off the pandemic and the economy. They can watch American cruise missiles blasting off from battleships, and American aircraft bombing civilian neighborhoods again, like Iraq. The newscasters can talk about how "beautiful" it all is...

An "October surprise" could be just what the doctor ordered, as it were. And I suspect Trump is thinking the same thing. I believe the common wisdom is that no sitting President has been defeated in an election during a war. Don't know how true it is, but all that matters is whether Trump believes it. And you can believe me that his alleged distaste for starting a war in comparison with losing the election comes out second best in his mind.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 17 2020 0:56 utc | 76

A video of the evil Frenchies unloading their assault weapons at the destroyed port. Wheel loaders and tip trucks. Looks like they intend to raze Beirut and leave nothing standing. Pallets of supplies and stuff as well so I guess they intend to have a big party with the relief supplies once the job is done.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 1:03 utc | 77

AvT @vanterheyden

No MSM coverage of the riots taking place in The Hague. This wonderful Dutch city is feeling the fallout from the Progressive agenda

Posted by: Mao | Aug 17 2020 1:04 utc | 78

As someone who despises sports on all levels, I'm loving this...

Cal, Stanford fall sports fallout: Salaries cut, dreams dashed, budgets busted

The Pac-12’s decision to ban athletic competition until at least Jan. 1 will have a ripple effect. No games for athletes such as Bynum to play. No games for fans of Pac-12 teams to attend or watch. No games for conference networks to televise.

And no revenue — hence, an economic calamity — for already-strapped athletic departments, including those at Cal and Stanford.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 17 2020 1:04 utc | 79

Posted by: ADKC | Aug 16 2020 22:23 utc | 58

The biggest threat to countries has always been traitors and the lack of national unity. The IMF has, is and always will be an enabler to the former.

Posted by: J W | Aug 17 2020 1:04 utc | 80

@Posted by: CitizenX | Aug 17 2020 0:29 utc | 77,
"I will wait for time and history to process this event with clearer viewpoint."

Except you didn't:
"Traveling Nurse conversation re Ohio, Florida and now working in Wa. ICU- commented about massive spike in suicide attempts from all age ranges. She has seen minimal covid cases in all states, nurses being furloughed and/or encouraged to take vacation time as hospitals are lean on patients. Believes there are rampant cases of systemic fraud false positives of covid. Face mask conversation was illuminating but I won't go there. Perhaps Fauci's initial face mask statement was actually medical science based and not a lie or mistake?"
Moronically echoing an anecdote you read on the internet to advance your "Escape From New York" fantasy is not waiting "for time and history to process this event with clearer viewpoint".

Posted by: Sidney Caesar | Aug 17 2020 1:07 utc | 81

Hopes the world economy can grow itself out of the mountain of debt being accumulated during this year’s pandemic shock may have failed to factor in the uncomfortable prospect of a peaking population within the next 50 years.

The sweeping COVID-19 pandemic, related lockdowns and resulting historic recessions have forced governments and companies around the world to borrow to bridge the gap, and left central banks with little choice but to keep debt servicing levels affordable.

The International Monetary Fund in June estimated public debt as a share of gross domestic product in advanced economies on aggregate will now shoot to record highs above 130% this year and next, topping levels seen shortly after World War Two.

Even by the end of the first quarter of 2020, the pandemic-related scramble for credit had pushed total government, corporate and household debt more than 10 percentage points higher to a record 331% of GDP, or some $258 trillion, according to data published by the Institute of International Finance. The figure for so-called “mature markets” is as high as 392%.

The IIF also points out that due to COVID-19-related lockdowns corporate debt has soared, with $4.6 trillion of bonds sold in the second quarter alone compared with quarterly averages last year of $2.8 trillion.

With the United States Treasury conducting record sized 10- and 30-year bond auctions this week alone, no one’s in any doubt there is a lot of debt piling up.

The U.S. Congressional Budget Office in May updated its long-range forecasts for government debt held by the public and reckoned that at $116 trillion by 2050, the public debt ratio was set to more double to 180% by then.

Posted by: Mao | Aug 17 2020 1:10 utc | 82

Edug-kun @wing_of_night

I think we don't talk enough (or at all) about how US bombed Laos 270 Million times, making it the most bombed country ever.

There were approximately more than 580,000 bombing missions on Laos between 1964 and 1973, that’s one every eight minutes, every day, for NINE YEARS

Posted by: Mao | Aug 17 2020 1:12 utc | 83

Sidney Caesar #72

Thank you and very well said, I trust Q and its fleas find some other dog to chase.

The assault on the Americas by this virus is real enough. But those states that have aided and abetted its transmission and lethal impact are the lowest form of life. It is sad to see that the USA voters are confronted with two evils, neither of which is safe to choose. I trust there will be another reasonable choice.

Perhaps the Mae West dictum is worth considering:

"When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before".

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 17 2020 1:14 utc | 84

ADKC @Aug16 23:37 #70

predates the Syrian War.

Planning for the Syrian War began well before 2011, as described in March 2006 by Seymour Hersh in "The Redirection":
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

. . .

The policy shift has brought Saudi Arabia and Israel into a new strategic embrace, largely because both countries see Iran as an existential threat. They have been involved in direct talks, and the Saudis, who believe that greater stability in Israel and Palestine will give Iran less leverage in the region, have become more involved in Arab-Israeli negotiations.

. . .

Nasr went on, “The Saudis have considerable financial means, and have deep relations with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis”—Sunni extremists who view Shiites as apostates. “The last time Iran was a threat, the Saudis were able to mobilize the worst kinds of Islamic radicals. Once you get them out of the box, you can’t put them back.”

The Saudi royal family has been, by turns, both a sponsor and a target of Sunni extremists, who object to the corruption and decadence among the family’s myriad princes. The princes are gambling that they will not be overthrown as long as they continue to support religious schools and charities linked to the extremists. The Administration’s new strategy is heavily dependent on this bargain.

Nasr compared the current situation to the period in which Al Qaeda first emerged. In the nineteen-eighties and the early nineties, the Saudi government offered to subsidize the covert American C.I.A. proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Hundreds of young Saudis were sent into the border areas of Pakistan, where they set up religious schools, training bases, and recruiting facilities. Then, as now, many of the operatives who were paid with Saudi money were Salafis. Among them, of course, were Osama bin Laden and his associates, who founded Al Qaeda, in 1988.

This time, the U.S. government consultant told me, Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that “they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.”

. . .

In the past year, the Saudis, the Israelis, and the Bush Administration have developed a series of informal understandings about their new strategic direction. At least four main elements were involved, the U.S. government consultant told me. First, Israel would be assured that its security was paramount and that Washington and Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states shared its concern about Iran...

Fourth, the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations. Syria is a major conduit of arms to Hezbollah. The Saudi government is also at odds with the Syrians over the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister, in Beirut in 2005, for which it believes the Assad government was responsible. Hariri, a billionaire Sunni, was closely associated with the Saudi regime and with Prince Bandar.

. . .

Jumblatt then told me that he had met with Vice-President Cheney in Washington last fall to discuss, among other issues, the possibility of undermining Assad. He and his colleagues advised Cheney that, if the United States does try to move against Syria, members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood would be “the ones to talk to,” Jumblatt said.

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, a branch of a radical Sunni movement founded in Egypt in 1928, engaged in more than a decade of violent opposition to the regime of Hafez Assad, Bashir’s father. In 1982, the Brotherhood took control of the city of Hama; Assad bombarded the city for a week, killing between six thousand and twenty thousand people. Membership in the Brotherhood is punishable by death in Syria. The Brotherhood is also an avowed enemy of the U.S. and of Israel. Nevertheless, Jumblatt said, “We told Cheney that the basic link between Iran and Lebanon is Syria—and to weaken Iran you need to open the door to effective Syrian opposition.”

There is evidence that the Administration’s redirection strategy has already benefitted the Brotherhood. The Syrian National Salvation Front is a coalition of opposition groups whose principal members are a faction led by Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian Vice-President who defected in 2005, and the Brotherhood. A former high-ranking C.I.A. officer told me, “The Americans have provided both political and financial support. The Saudis are taking the lead with financial support, but there is American involvement.” He said that Khaddam, who now lives in Paris, was getting money from Saudi Arabia, with the knowledge of the White House. (In 2005, a delegation of the Front’s members met with officials from the National Security Council, according to press reports.) A former White House official told me that the Saudis had provided members of the Front with travel documents.

As we now know, in 2011 this planning came to fruition via the so-called "Syrian uprising", a misnomer for a Syrian Muslim Brotherhood operation sponsored by Saudis and supported by USA. al Queda soon joined the fray, and later ISIS would too. Just as planned.

Seymour Hersh's detailed reporting makes no mention of Assad's Four-Seas and BRI. The US-Saudi-Israeli concern was focused on Iran and on Syria as an ally of Iran.

<> <> <> <> <>


Here's a part of "The Redirection" that is relevant to Lebanon today:

Leslie H. Gelb, a past president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said that the Administration’s policy was less pro democracy than “pro American national security. The fact is that it would be terribly dangerous if Hezbollah ran Lebanon.” The fall of the Siniora government would be seen, Gelb said, “as a signal in the Middle East of the decline of the United States and the ascendancy of the terrorism threat. And so any change in the distribution of political power in Lebanon has to be opposed by the United States—and we’re justified in helping any non-Shiite parties resist that change. We should say this publicly, instead of talking about democracy.”


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 17 2020 1:17 utc | 85

I'd like to the NYT version, but that's behind a paywall. This site summarizes...

The True Coronavirus Toll in the U.S. Has Already Surpassed 200,000

Counting deaths takes time and many states are weeks or months behind in reporting. The estimates from the C.D.C. are adjusted based on how mortality data has lagged in previous years. Even with this adjustment, it’s possible there could be an underestimate of the complete death toll if increased mortality is causing states to lag more than they have in the past or if states have changed their reporting systems.

But comparing recent totals of deaths from all causes can provide a more complete picture of the pandemic’s impact than tracking only deaths of people with confirmed diagnoses.

Of course, idiots will use this to proclaim that "it's just the flu"... At this point, given the number of *actual* deaths *directly* attributable to COVID-19, it's utterly irrelevant whether it's 165,000 or 200,000. It's still three to four times what the normal flu is. It's also utterly irrelevant what the IFR or the CFR is.

*It's not the fucking flu, morons."

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 17 2020 1:20 utc | 86

Richard Steven Hack #76

Cheap body armor plates ... can be obtained for between $100 and $200 in various sizes, usually 10"x12". Given the public fear of active shooters, especially school shootings, parents buy them to put in kids' backpacks.... are also a big deal these days.

Mate, I'll buy in a load of steel plate cut it and even paint it at that margin.
I guess steel plate is still imported from China :)

Check this out Wally, could pay for the farm tractor.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 17 2020 1:21 utc | 87

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 17 2020 0:56 utc | 81

An "October surprise" could be just what the doctor ordered, as it were.

I have no inside knowledge, but I would think a steady diet of October Surprises going forward was likely. The closing window of Trumpdom and the desperate need to close it should have all & sundry trying everything in the toolbox, we are already at a level drooling propaganda groupthink where most any ludicrous story can and will be forced into the narrative. Nobody really believes anything any more, if you got a good rap you're good to go, it's all lifestyle choices.

The Israelis will be worrying about Biden and losing Trump, Trump will be worrying about his future, and all in the context of hegemonic decline and jockying for position in the post-hegemonic space. A recipe for a very messy period going forward, at home and abroad. What's Pompeo likely to do? My, one just does not know where to start.

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 17 2020 1:26 utc | 88

US COVID-19 death toll rises for 5th straight week

The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks...

The world hit the grim milestone of 19 million cases late Thursday.
The time between each million case has whittled down with each milestone. Cases crossed 18 million just four days ago.
The total crossed 10 million on June 28 and 15 million on July 22. Diagnosed cases hit 1 million on April 2 and 5 million on May 20...

Deaths from COVID-19 continued to increase for the fifth straight week, according to The COVID Tracking Project.
This week, 7,591 deaths were reported, up 11.5% from the week before, it found.
The steady increase follow surges in new cases in June and July, it said.
More people have died so far in August than were reported in the month of March, it also noted.

COVID-19 testing, meanwhile, declined in the U.S. for the first time since early March, according to The COVID Tracking Project. This week’s tests were down 9.1%, or about half a million tests, over last week's national peak of 5.7 million tests, it reported. The drop was likely due to multiple factors, including Hurricane Isaias, which prompted testing sites in Florida to close, reporting issues in California and testing inconsistencies out of Texas, it said.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 17 2020 1:29 utc | 89

uncle tungsten

gotta be armour plate rather than mild or low alloy steel, though I guess the buyers wouldn't know the difference till they were shot and after that they may not be in any position to ask for their money back.

Bisalloy make wear plate and armour plate here and that seems to be whats used in industry requiring a bit of wear resistance and toughness rather than imported steel.

Bisalloy products are a bit expensive so just a bit of mild steel looking pretty should sell well.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 1:30 utc | 90

uncle tungsten "Check this out Wally, could pay for the farm tractor."

Some moths ago wally mentioned some old workshop machinery and thinking about a forge. Seeing that sentence, I had visions of wally beating out medieval armour for the american wannabe knights.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 1:37 utc | 91

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 17 2020 1:21 utc | 92 Mate, I'll buy in a load of steel plate cut it and even paint it at that margin.

It's not necessarily *steel*, however, LOL. It depends on whether it is "soft" body armor, made of various materials, or "hard" body armor, which is usually some form of steel or ceramics, but might also just be multiple layers of aramid fibers or something. "Hard" vs "soft" also relates to the conformability of the armor to body shape.

This is the sort of thing I was referring to. Note that it is not steel, but aramid fibers. This, on the other hand, is ballistic steel.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 17 2020 1:49 utc | 92

Richard Steven Hack #79

There is, but it requires technical expertise beyond the capability of most people. Mostly it requires mobility. As the movie "Hackers" once said: "You don't hack a bank from your house. Are you stoned or stupid?...That's universally stupid, man."

You reminded me of 'The Shockwave Rider" by John Brunner 1978 and the worms therein. Its a good read, or was back then.

As a total aside, whilst searching for that correct title above, I scanned a wikipedo link on a list of notorious hackers. Guess who was missing? Guciffer 1. They listed Guciffer 2 the CIA impostor but ignored G1. wikipedo is too cute sometimes.

G1 was a Romanian lad who 'hacked' Bush the moron, and Colin Powell as they had too easy passwords like 'password' (Podesta was not the first fool!) and then tried to hack the Romanian defence secretary and was undone and imprisoned in Romania. He worked out the defence secretaries password by finding out the suburb she was born in. Then the evil empire extradited him for more punishment and I haven't heard of him since. He used a laptop 'given to him by a French man he met in a pub'.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 17 2020 1:56 utc | 93

"Hospital staff sent in to help Melbourne aged care homes heavily infected with coronavirus say they are being regularly confronted with distressing scenes."

coronavirus spread from quarantine to health care to old peoples home here in Vic and now the oldies in those places are dying like flies.
A few days ago it was made public that health care workers in Vic do not have N95 equivalent masks. They are held in reserve.

china, when it was first hit with the bug had a large number of healthcare workers contract it with over forty dying. When the went to N95 grade masks, very few healthcare workers caught it.

I rang my daughter the other day to see if she was getting the N95's. shes in QLD but what she has seen here shocked her a bit, health care workers working with covid only getting normal surgical masks.
Political health care at its finest.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 1:57 utc | 94

This sounds good to me - assuming they prove no negative long-term side effects. It it proves specific to the virus, it might not have any. It uses "nanobodies", antibody-like immune proteins that naturally occur in llamas, camels and related animals. They work by attaching themselves to the virus "spikes" that attach to the ACE2 receptors, preventing the virus from attaching.

Engineered Molecule That Could be Inhaled Shows Promise for Protection Against COVID-19

In an aerosol formulation they tested, dubbed “AeroNabs” by the researchers, these molecules could be self-administered with a nasal spray or inhaler. Used once a day, AeroNabs could provide powerful, reliable protection against SARS-CoV-2 until a vaccine becomes available. The research team is in active discussions with commercial partners to ramp up manufacturing and clinical testing of AeroNabs. If these tests are successful, the scientists aim to make AeroNabs widely available as an inexpensive medication to prevent and treat COVID-19.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 17 2020 1:58 utc | 95

Richard Steven Hack 97

That pic of ballistic steel. Does that have a coating of some kind? It has a very coarse surface unlike any other pic of ballistic steel I have seen.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 2:11 utc | 96

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 17 2020 1:56 utc | 98 You reminded me of 'The Shockwave Rider" by John Brunner 1978 and the worms therein. Its a good read, or was back then.

Yup. I read it and a number of other books by Brunner. He was very good at predicting a "cyberpunk" future before cyberpunk was a thing. "Stand on Zanzibar" was another great one, as was "The Jagged Orbit."

"they had too easy passwords like 'password' (Podesta was not the first fool!)"

Oh, yeah, every year someone posts a list of the most used passwords - and it's usually the same list, more or less.

I use a fairly long password made up of names of certain people plus some numbers and special characters for access to my machine and my password manager - I use KeePassXC which runs on Linux and Windows - and my Bitcoin wallet. Beyond that, I use the password manager generated random passwords for my bank account and a handful of other sites where security might matter. Beyond that, I tend to either use a common set of passwords for sites where security doesn't really matter, or I use Facebook to login to sites where that is allowed (and security doesn't matter.) I *don't* try to use a completely random password for every site, which is next to impossible to do in your head. As the referenced articles says, most people have 130 different places to log in to - impossible to use random passwords for all of them. I'm one of the "49% re-use their passwords only for ‘non-sensitive’ accounts" - which is quite rational.

Cracking passwords these days relies on certain software, huge data files of word lists and already hashed words, and the graphics processing units of modern video cards (the same tech used to mine cryptocurrencies.) The top 12 password-cracking techniques used by hackers

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 17 2020 2:16 utc | 97

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 2:11 utc | 101 That pic of ballistic steel. Does that have a coating of some kind? It has a very coarse surface unlike any other pic of ballistic steel I have seen.

Yes, body armor tends to be coated with various substances. See here. It's a bit more complicated to build effective body armor than just taking a piece of steel plate and painting it.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 17 2020 2:21 utc | 98

Peter AU1 #96

I had visions of wally beating out medieval armour for the american wannabe knights.

If he called them 'amazing polly breast plates' the Q anon crowd would buy thousands.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 17 2020 2:21 utc | 99

New Survey Identifies 98 Long-Lasting Covid Symptoms

Studies have shown that Covid-19 infects much more than the respiratory system. By late spring, we knew the disease was affecting the body from head to toe, swelling the brain and compromising many of the body’s organs, and that it could be a blood vessel disease. A new study suggests Covid-19 can infect the thyroid gland, causing excess hormone release.

And as time goes on, studies have begun looking at potential long-term effects.

Heart images taken 10 weeks after people contracted Covid-19 found 78 of 100 had some sort of inflammation or other abnormalities, even if the people had few or no preexisting cardiovascular issues, researchers reported July 27 in the journal JAMA Cardiology.

Once again proving, this thing ain't "the flu".

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 17 2020 2:24 utc | 100

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