Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 16, 2020

Open Thread 2020-74

News & views ...

Posted by b on September 16, 2020 at 17:47 UTC | Permalink

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Tensions over Taiwan are back at the top of the Global Times website with three articles dealing with the upcoming visit by the Outlaw US Empire's Undersecretary of State Keith Krach. "Krach's visit to Taiwan should be punished: expert: "US official’s planned trip 'a serious provocation, risk to region.'" "Krach's visit to bring misfortune to Taiwan: Global Times editorial":

"A strategic game of the century between China and the US is being shaped. This is a reality every country and every force in the Asia-Pacific region have to face. Among all regional forces, the Taiwan authorities are the most stupid. Smart ones would go after profit and avoid harm, seeking to butter their bread on both sides in the China-US game. But the Taiwan authorities are destroying their strategic maneuvering ability by completely siding with the US, turning itself into a pawn and a punching bag of the US, bearing the growing risk of an outbreak of a military conflict in the Taiwan Straits."

And "Tsai's risky secessionist collusion with US brings trouble to Taiwan society":

"Taiwan has never managed to hold an equal position in trade talks with the US, but has been commanded by Washington to open its market wider. Ractopamine-enhanced pork will highly endanger Taiwan people's health, but this is not of concern of the US. The 'America First' principle espoused by Trump, which aims at protecting US economic and trade interests, will not change due to Tsai authorities' role as a pawn in the China-US strategic game."

Ractopamine is an animal food additive banned in 160+ nations and was previously banned by Taiwan.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 16 2020 18:15 utc | 1

Did Merkel blink, or is she still trying to wriggle a way out?

Posted by: j. casey | Sep 16 2020 18:28 utc | 2

@1 Michael Droy. Covid reporting was the reason why I left this otherwise excellent blog for several months. Every journalist or blogger has his or her own expertise. Moa is great at analysing color revolutions and other things. For COVID there are others who are great at it, but bad at other things. Nobody is perfect. When I came back to MOA it was like a breath of fresh air to not read about COVID for a change. Maybe we should just keep it that way.

Posted by: Joost | Sep 16 2020 18:51 utc | 3

This open thread came at a nice time :)

Germany tries to "buy off" the US and/or sell a thoroughly rotten deal internally.

It also indirectly supports my earlier comment about a lack of appropriate LNG terminals (but I could still be wrong). The time to build them (if approved) in a European country can most likely be measured in years :P

Sputniknews.com reports on the German news report.

Of special interest is that they translate a part of it this way:

""In return, the United States will allow the construction and operation of Nord Stream 2 to proceed unhindered. The US will not exercise its legal scope for sanctions," Die Zeit quoted the letter as saying."

Which makes much more sense but could still be entirely wrong as other translations say the exact opposite: that it does not exhaust the legal options for the US in regard to future sanctions.

So does
"werden nicht ausgeschöpft"
mean
"will not be exhausted"
or not?

If it does then Sputniknews are wrong despite how crazy it seems to not exhaust the possibilities for sanctions (but the Germans ought to know the US will do whatever anyway and break anything).

The original German document is not available for the public as far as I know.

The referenced "Die Zeit" news article is likely the following one (in German).

For the translation due to copyright issues I've posted it along with the most popular comment at pastebin. It will last for as long or as short as it does. Copy it (there is a download button on the site) if you want to keep the translation handy, it's is plain text.

I used Deepl.com to translate (they're also German btw), it seems very good to me, much better than others and good enough that it could be used as a tool to learn languages.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Sep 16 2020 18:56 utc | 4

@j.casey #1
When has Merkel ever not toed the Atlanticist line, publicly?
Yet Nord Stream 2 goes on...

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 16 2020 18:57 utc | 5

@ gruff 238 (from last open thread)

I agree that nefarious forces have infiltrated the fine arts as of late. These forces have always "nipped at the heels" of artists who attempt to steer the "signified" to align with a political use.

Communists have done this with their art since its rise.

In the past, you have given the example that the art of Jackson Pollock and abstract expressionism was harnessed by the CIA to be used politically. This is, of course, not true. Just because the CIA sought to export and harness an artist's work for political means does not mean that this was the artist's intention or that art critics can't play a role in clearing the air about these works of art and return the signified back to to its original intent or even reveal more about the work of art, itself, than what the artist intended.

As I said before, western art works in spirit. It is a part of spirit. It fights automatically against any attempts to corral it and use it for material gain.

And so it is that today, western art is very well threatened by what you and I know to be nefarious forces in the west. This, we are in agreement with.

To add to this, think about how much modern art is indeed a critique of the world in which the artist lived.

Then think about how a communist might seize upon the artist's critique and declare that the artist is a friend of communism for, say, showing the bad of American life.

We would argue, as art appreciators, that the communist goes too far. The artist is not saying that communism is a solution to what ails the west. The artist is merely pointing out the bad in that spirit can work its way through cultural understanding of these evils and arrive by spirit to its destination, appropriating and supplanting this evil through the Hegelian dialectic that works in spirit.

This is proof of the impatience of Marx and his unwillingness to engage with philosophy in spirit.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 16 2020 19:03 utc | 6

I see what you did there!

The cover-up of the cover-up continues to fall apart ...

... so Trump can claim to fight "the Deep State" invisible enemy ...

... which Trump also works for ...

... while no Deep State lackey will ever see a jail cell.

Enjoy the Show.

=

ZeroHedge, citing CIA's Epoch Times: Mueller Team Had Lisa Page's Phone It Claimed Was Lost, Email Shows

LOL.

<> <> <> <>

PS Re-posted from Week-in-Review.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 16 2020 19:08 utc | 7

Just finished watching the most recent Keiser Report including the second half guest interview, and I suggest barflies take 25 minutes and do likewise if they want to learn about the future economic direction within and without the Outlaw US Empire. The episode is titled "Chart of the Year," the chart shows disposable income and its source: In 2008 with the fraudulent bank crisis, 18.8% came from the federal gov't; in 2020, that amount rose to 24%. You can see it here. I suggest looking at the other charts offered at that twitter page, particularly the small business revenue and retail investor activity charts, the latter also discussed during the program.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 16 2020 19:31 utc | 8

Did you see Prof. Norman Finklestein speaking on the UAE-Israel-Bahrain deal? He says its a con to try and paper over the failure of "The Deal of The Century." It is hilarious.

Also, what's happening with the "Cuties" controvery is hilarious--people on the left who hate Tulsi Gabbard for making them look like a bunch of sellouts to Wall St. and War Inc. jumped at the chance to call her a Quban because she said "Cuties" looks like it was made for pedos. What is funny is that their anarchist dream boyfriends and scary girlfriends doing all the rioting AND who want to turn America into a giant Autonomous Zones (remember CHAZ?) have as their main philosophical teacher a self-proclaimed pedo (Hakim Bey) who coined the term and concept of "Autonomous Zones" because he said he wanted a place free from all laws so he could do the sex with boys (lol!)

Posted by: Kali | Sep 16 2020 19:53 utc | 9

German industry has no choice: only Russian gas will do. How did it get to this situation?

Ever since 2015 the Merkel government has needed support of the Greens. The political cost of this support has been huge. Closing nuclear and coal-fired power plants. Large investments in wind and solar energy. Yet this has not resulted in a reasonably priced, stable power supply. Now a plentiful supply of cheap natural gas is needed to install gas turbines to prop up the mains. Wind and solar energy production goes up and down fast; the Grrman word 'Flutterstrom' means something like 'fluttering current'. Gas turbines are one of the few power plants that can change output fast enough to keep the mains stable if the wind goes down and the sky becomes cloudy at the same time.

In a related development, the European Union has decided to spend some 30.000 million euro for hydrogen based batteries The idea is using hydrogen energy storage to even out the electricity production.

When a society makes politically correct decisions it shows.

Posted by: passerby | Sep 16 2020 20:33 utc | 10

Capitalism must be abolished in order for black lives to matter, Alicia Garza, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter, said at a conference in 2015.

Black Lives Matter has experienced a resurgence of support in 2020 following the May 25 death of George Floyd. Celebrities and large corporations have poured millions of dollars into Black Lives Matter Global Network — BLM’s national arm — and other organizations that support defunding the police.

“It’s not possible for a world to emerge where black lives matter if it’s under capitalism,” Garza said in 2015 at the left-wing convention Left Forum. “And it’s not possible to abolish capitalism without a struggle against national oppression and gender oppression,” she added.

https://dailycaller.com/2020/09/15/black-lives-matter-cofounder-alicia-garza-abolish-capitalism/

Posted by: Mao | Sep 16 2020 21:21 utc | 11

Finnian Cunningham doesn't mince his words over the vast difference in responses between the non-poisoning of Navalny and the declared desire by Trump to assassinate Syria's President Assad:

"Trump’s bragging about murder just reflects the open descent of American power into the gutter of gangsterism. There is no shame relishing in the power to murder. There is only arrogance and presumption of impunity.

"That impunity is afforded by the spinelessness of Western leaders and corporate news media whose function is increasingly seen to be a propaganda laundry service for American war crimes and state terrorism.

"They jump to sanctimonious condemnation of Russia over dubious accusations of assassination involving apparently inefficient nerve poison, and without any evidence whatsoever.

"But an American president wallows in murderous schemes like a Mafia boss, and Western governments and media say nothing. That silence amounts to complicity."

In other news, I've learned Xi will travel to the Outlaw US Empire to deliver China's portion of the 2020 UNGA Debate which begins on the 22nd.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 16 2020 21:25 utc | 12

Re.: Venezuela

A UN probe alleges that Venezuelan police and security forces carried out extrajudicial executions and otherwise massively violated human rights. Caracas argued the UN action against it was part of a hostile US-led campaign.

Does anybody have any insight regarding the veracity of these allegations? Note the weasel words such as "reasonable grounds to believe"...

Posted by: farm ecologist | Sep 16 2020 21:25 utc | 13

Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy told Sean Hannity he believes Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has consumed Tide Pod laundry detergent Tuesday night.

“Sean, with respect, there are times, particularly recently, when I think Speaker Pelosi is one of those people who tried Tide pods,” Kennedy told the Fox News host. “I want you to think about what she proposed today, this is what the speaker is threatening to do.”

https://dailycaller.com/2020/09/16/kennedy-nancy-pelosi-eaten-tide-pods/

Posted by: Mao | Sep 16 2020 21:30 utc | 14

Daily Caller @DailyCaller

"A Harris administration together with Joe Biden..."

Freudian slip?

[VIDEO]

https://twitter.com/DailyCaller/status/1305689964911394822

Daily Caller @DailyCaller

Joe Biden Calls His White House Bid The ‘Harris-Biden Administration’

https://twitter.com/DailyCaller/status/1306186176135606274

Posted by: Mao | Sep 16 2020 21:40 utc | 15

More than 200 senior military officers backed President Donald Trump’s reelection in a letter warning that 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden will lead to socialist and Marxist influences on American government.

“It can be argued that this is the most important election since our country was founded,” the 235 retired senior military officers wrote in the letter open letter, which was released Monday by the Trump campaign, according to Military.com.

“With the Democratic Party welcoming to socialists and Marxists, our historic way of life is at stake,” the former officers wrote.

The letter continued: “We believe that President Donald Trump is committed to a strong America. As president, he will continue to secure our borders, defeat our adversaries, and restore law and order domestically.”

https://dailycaller.com/2020/09/15/senior-former-military-officers-biden-trump-marxism-socialism/

Posted by: Mao | Sep 16 2020 21:42 utc | 16

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden mistook Iran for Iraq in a slip-up during a speech he made in Tampa, Florida, on Tuesday.

The former vice president held up his schedule, which he noted includes daily updates on how many U.S. soldiers have died while serving overseas.

"U.S. troops died in Iran and Afghanistan, 6,000, as of today, 923," Biden said. "Not roughly 6,900 — 923, because every one of these fallen angels left behind a family, left behind a community. There is an empty seat at that table now."

Biden corrected himself when he noted the number of U.S. troops who were wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"U.S. troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, 53,192. Not over 53,000," he said. "I have flown back on those C-130s with the caskets draped coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan. I have been there at Dover airbase when those bodies come home."

Biden's verbal gaffes have been the subject of attack by President Trump's reelection campaign, which has put out ads, social media posts, and messaging on his slip-ups to suggest he is mentally unfit for the presidency.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/joe-biden-mixes-up-iran-and-iraq-during-speech-in-florida

Posted by: Mao | Sep 16 2020 21:48 utc | 17

Washington Examiner @dcexaminer

@JoeBiden: "I'm not the president.

[@realDonaldTrump] is the president."

[VIDEO]

https://twitter.com/dcexaminer/status/1306328586392162304

Posted by: Mao | Sep 16 2020 21:51 utc | 18

@ Posted by: farm ecologist | Sep 16 2020 21:25 utc | 13

Here you go:

UN Report on Venezuela "Abuses" Written by Investigators Who Never Visited Venezuela

It's not the first time the UN is used as a false flag battering ram against Venezuela. Some years ago, Bachelet visited Maduro on behalf of the UN just three days after a USA-UN backed attempt to assassinate him was made (the "drone incident"). Maduro welcomed her and showed her everything - and even then she produced an absurd report picturing Venezuela as a Human Rights-raping dictatorship. The Venezuelan government dissected her report (which was probably already ready by the time she landed in Caracas) point by point the day after.

Posted by: vk | Sep 16 2020 21:52 utc | 19

Mao @16--

Those officers just proved they're 100% blind to the reality that is before them with Powell and Trump's mismanagement of the economy. They don't appear to understand the very basic fact that both the Ds & Rs work for the same paymasters.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 16 2020 21:57 utc | 20

US artist David Datuna wants to build a copy of USSR founder Vladimir Lenin's resting place in Washington and buy the communist leader's mummified body, which is currently preserved in a landmark mausoleum on the Red Square, the artist's press service said on Wednesday.

"The artist explains the meaning of the art object by significant changes in the United States, which are expressed in the movement of society towards socialist and communist transformations. The US people are tired of the policy of aggressive capitalism, under which they are forced to pay off loans all their lives and do not have free access to medicine. Lenin and his mausoleum are the most striking symbols of changes, the demand for which in 2020 is especially high in the United States, and is being more and more discussed ahead of the presidential election," the press service explained.

The artist intends to buy Lenin's body for an initial payment of $1 million but is ready to raise more than $1 billion for this purpose.

https://sputniknews.com/us/202009161080478649-us-artist-datuna-wants-to-buy-lenins-embalmed-body-from-moscow-mausoleum/

Posted by: Mao | Sep 16 2020 21:59 utc | 21

Northwest on fire!
Fire& unprecedented smoke ... The whole West is on fire and the smoke in our little town is beyond unhealthy

NASA Smoke Model for this week

We've had extremely high levels of pm25/ for days now. It's been very unhealthy to dangerous.

What happens if we pass 500?

Takes "I can't breathe" to a whole different level.

I know there are Pacific Northwesterner's on this board. How are you guys coping? Check in...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 16 2020 21:59 utc | 22

President Donald Trump revealed Tuesday that he wanted to assassinate Syrian President Bashar Assad earlier in his presidency, reversing his previous denial that the issue ever came up.

“I would have rather taken him out. I had him all set. Mattis didn't want to do it," Trump said in an interview with Fox & Friends, referring to then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. "Mattis was against most of that stuff."

Trump's comments are similar to a report in journalist Bob Woodward's 2018 book "Fear," which said Trump ordered the Pentagon to assassinate the Syrian president after a chemical attack on civilians in April 2017.

"Let's [expletive] kill him! Let's go in. Let's kill the [expletive] lot of them," Trump is said to have told Mattis.

According to the book, Mattis acknowledged Trump's request but later turned to an aide and said he would not do "any of that."

Following the book's publication, Trump denied the account, dismissing the book as "fiction" and telling journalists that assassinating Assad "was never contemplated, nor would it be contemplated."

In the Tuesday interview, Trump personally attacked Mattis as "highly overrated" and "a bad leader," saying "he was terrible to me, he was a terrible general."

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/09/15/trump-assassinate-syria-assad-415093

Posted by: Mao | Sep 16 2020 22:03 utc | 23

This deserves spreading widely, from the Assange extradition trial yesterday, Tuesday the 15th September.

The gloves were off on Tuesday as the US Government explicitly argued that all journalists are liable to prosecution under the Espionage Act (1917) for publishing classified information, citing the Rosen case. Counsel for the US government also argued that the famous Pentagon Papers supreme court judgement on the New York Times only referred to pre-publication injunction and specifically did not preclude prosecution under the Espionage Act. The US Government even surmised in court that such an Espionage Act prosecution of the New York Times may have been successful.

It is hard for me to convey to a British audience what an assault this represents by the Trump administration on Americans’ self-image of their own political culture. The First Amendment is celebrated across the political divide and the New York Times judgement is viewed as a pillar of freedom. So much so that Hollywood’s main superstars are still making blockbusters about it, in which the heroes are the journalists rather than the actual whistleblower, Dan Ellsberg (whom I am proud to know).

The US government is now saying, completely explicitly, in court, those reporters could and should have gone to jail and that is how we will act in future. The Washington Post, the New York Times, and all the “great liberal media” of the USA are not in court to hear it and do not report it, because of their active complicity in the “othering” of Julian Assange as something sub-human whose fate can be ignored. Are they really so stupid as not to understand that they are next?

Err, yes.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/09/your-man-in-the-public-gallery-assange-hearing-day-10/

Posted by: JohninMK | Sep 16 2020 22:11 utc | 24

karlof1 @Sep16 21:25 #12

That's an good insight about the double standard.

But I think that the callousness of Deep State spokesperson Trump is more than that. I see it as deliberate approval-seeking-from AND dog-whistle-to his MAGA supporters.

It started when he claimed in 2016 that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any voters. Cynics actually agreed with Trump's honesty. Now we see Trump prediction come true as apologists defend him after he admitted to lying to the American people about coronavirus in which nearly 200,000 Americans (so far) have died.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 16 2020 22:11 utc | 25

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

Russia continues work on the creation of the first nuclear planetary aircraft

As it became known just yesterday, parts of the structures of the first nuclear planetship in the history of the planet Earth are already embodied in metal. At the same time, the general public does not know how far the work on the breakthrough project has already gone.

https://jpgazeta.ru/rossiya-prodolzhaet-raboty-po-sozdaniyu-pervogo-yadernogo-planetolyota/

Posted by: Mao | Sep 16 2020 22:11 utc | 26

@ 12 karlof1... i 2nd jackrabbits comment... more hypocrisy on display...

here is an obit for stanley crouch who most of you probably don't know...

Stanley Crouch, Towering Jazz Critic, Dead At 74

Posted by: james | Sep 16 2020 22:23 utc | 27

Re Dr. Li Meng Yan.

When I first read the title to the news article, I said to myself: How can a Chinese level such an accusation at her own country?

Then , of course further reading told me that she was seeking British nationality, that she hailed from Hong Kong and wanted to please her British and American masters, and hurt Mainland China.

Anything to mess up China as a revenge as she is no longer under British protection in Hong Kong. Did she actively participate in the Hong Kong disturbances and feels she is in danger of being arrested for sedition?

Then she is trying to engender some notoriety with a view to generate some revenue.

Now, of course she would be a good false flag candidate as her death could be attributed to Xi.

Sure thing is that she is never going back to China. Never.


Posted by: CarlD | Sep 16 2020 22:41 utc | 28

Posted by: vk | Sep 16 2020 21:52 utc | 19

thanks very much!

Posted by: farm ecologist | Sep 16 2020 23:05 utc | 29

ICYMI-- Directed Energy weapns in space just acknowledged bt Sec Def Esper 0-16-2020 ...after Dutchsinse caught their use live [!] fe days ago while b'casting video. "Dutch" does regular and accurate earthquake forecasting.

Dutch YT video of live catch 9-08-20:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDnzPkuJiX0

Today's Esper ack. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0RfYQuCL_M

Posted by: chu teh | Sep 16 2020 23:06 utc | 30

In #29, above, note is a spacing "dashM" [_M] in Esper URL.

Posted by: chu teh | Sep 16 2020 23:09 utc | 31

We’ve never backed a presidential candidate in our 175-year history—until now

By THE EDITORS | Scientific American October 2020 Issue

Scientific American has never endorsed a presidential candidate in its 175-year history. This year we are compelled to do so. We do not do this lightly.

The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people—because he rejects evidence and science. The most devastating example is his dishonest and inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which cost more than 190,000 Americans their lives by the middle of September. He has also attacked environmental protections, medical care, and the researchers and public science agencies that help this country prepare for its greatest challenges. That is why we urge you to vote for Joe Biden, who is offering fact-based plans to protect our health, our economy and the environment. These and other proposals he has put forth can set the country back on course for a safer, more prosperous and more equitable future.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/scientific-american-endorses-joe-biden/

Posted by: Mao | Sep 16 2020 23:14 utc | 32

Farm Ecologist @ 13, VK @ 19:

I can only find one recent instance in Venezuela in which Special Forces agents executed two journalists working for a community TV station.

Venezuelan Special Forces Agents Arrested for Extrajudicial Killings (Venezuelanalysis.com, 26 August 2020)

Up to eight agents and a public lawyer who helped four agents escape arrest were involved in the plot. These people are likely to be infiltrators or to have been bribed to target the reporters.

I would say this incident and others are the kind of information that the UN relies on to blacken the Maduro government, after the original incidents are deliberately twisted and exaggerated so as to suggest that the behaviour and actions of the infiltrated agents who carried out the execution are typical of the Special Forces as a whole, and by implication typical of the Venezuelan government and its institutions.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 16 2020 23:31 utc | 33

re #29 Note at 18:05 on "Dutch" video he realizes it is a space-based source... e.g. beam weapon from a satellite!

Posted by: chu teh | Sep 16 2020 23:32 utc | 34

@27 CarlD

Re: Li Meng Yan paper on Covid lab origin

As reported elsewhere by now, the authors list their affiliation as the "Rule Of Law Society + Foundation", which is Steve Bannon's China-regime-change vehicle. Making this a very effective free-advertising PR stunt.

See for yourself in the preprint paper here. And here is the ROL society website, rolsociety.org

Posted by: ptb | Sep 17 2020 0:13 utc | 35

@ Posted by: Jen | Sep 16 2020 23:31 utc | 32

From the Land Destroyer article:

The three-person team was unable to visit Venezuela, but based their findings on 274 remote interviews with victims, witnesses, former state officials and others, and analysis of confidential documents, including legal case files.

So, yes, for sure the UN must have included this absolutely random case in their dossier (the two journalists may have been killed for many other reasons not related to freedom of speech, and the agents were judged and arrested either way), but they claim a much longer list of sources.

It's not the first time "remote interviews" were used for lawfare. The OPCW used the same legal creature to legitimize the White Helmets and accuse Assad of using chemical weapons against women and children at the height of the Syria-ISIS War. In fact, they are random videos found on Twitter.

Those UN humanitarian organs are merely repositories for wives of Westerner oligarchs who are bored with their socialite lifestyles and want some adrenaline/grown-up routine. They are not flying to Caracas (much less to Syria), trust me.

Posted by: vk | Sep 17 2020 0:23 utc | 36

Although to be honest that rolsociety website is just absurd on its face. For $100mm that's the best they can do? I think not.

Posted by: ptb | Sep 17 2020 0:24 utc | 37

Berlin has offered to invest €1 billion in US liquefied natural gas (LNG) if Washington lifts sanctions against the Russia-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, newspaper Die Zeit reported on Wednesday.
https://www.rt.com/business/500822-germany-offers-us-deal/

I actually think it may be a reasonable win-win offer. Just as a commercial matter I think it makes sense for Germany and other Western European countries to subsidize the U.S. LNG supply to a certain extent, for instance by building such infrastructure, plus if necessary a limited ongoing subsidy to keep the LNG supply chain active at a lowish level. They should have an alternative ready to go if Russia tries to put the squeeze on them with the gas supply and/or prices some time in the future.

I’m not indulging in Evil Putin Russian Bear stuff; it’s just that it’s worth some money to Germany to keep its options open. And with Germany having decided to hurry global warming along by shutting all their nukes, they’re going to be burning a lot gas.

I expect a Biden administration will want to climb down from this particular confrontation, and this could be a mechanism for what the current Orange Occupant would call a “deal”.

Posted by: David G | Sep 17 2020 0:33 utc | 38

So now we get the full story. Tibetans were part of the Indian army's operation on the Chinese border.

"At a funeral last week in the mountains of northern India, one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s top aides paid respect to a Tibetan soldier killed on the front lines of deadly clashes with China."

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/secret-tibetan-military-force-raises-210000211.html

Posted by: dh | Sep 17 2020 0:39 utc | 39

China rises.


"Executives from major U.S. corporations took turns appearing online at a Chinese virtual technology expo Tuesday, reaffirming the strategic importance of the market despite the intensifying tech rivalry between Beijing and Washington.

The 2020 Smart China Expo Online is being held in Chongqing -- where Chen Min'er, a close ally to Chinese President Xi Jinping, serves as Communist Party secretary -- as well as online. Chen is eager to advance the development of cutting-edge technology for industrial breakthroughs.

Top executives from China's leading tech companies, like Huawei Technologies, Tencent Holdings and Baidu, as well as U.S. giants like Qualcomm, Intel and Hewlett-Packard, spoke at the expo's opening ceremony.

Frank Meng, chairman of Qualcomm China, said the company had already invested in over 60 Chinese startups. "More than 10 smartphone models made by Chinese companies use Qualcomm's 5G chips," he said.

Intel China President Ian Yang announced plans to bolster chipmaking facilities in Chongqing, arguing that "the digital economy will develop the fastest in China."

Meanwhile, Jason Juang, managing director of HP China, expressed support for Beijing's Belt and Road infrastructure-building initiative, explaining that "HP ships computers by railfrom its Chongqing factory to around the world."

Although the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has sanctioned Huawei and other big Chinese players, China continues to woo leading American technology companies. "With the global economy slowing down from the coronavirus pandemic, the Chinese market, which is back on a trajectory for growth, is more important than ever," a U.S. tech executive said.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/China-tech/What-decoupling-US-tech-executives-line-up-to-speak-at-China-expo

Posted by: daffyDuct | Sep 17 2020 2:07 utc | 40

Black humor: if someone (anyone) really really really wanted to ruffle the US election all they have to do is to kill Harris very soon and blame Iran/China/Russia/Venezuela/North Korea/Syria/Palestine/Nicaragua/Pakistan/India/Turkey/Cuuuba :P/Lebanon/Hezbollah/Al Qaeda/ISIS/the far right/communists/socialists/Bernie Bros/AFA/BLM/Fox News/CNN/FBI/CIA/WHO/UN/etc. XD

Only pointing out the bleeding obvious but I guess I better hope she's very safe now and doesn't do something stupid like trip and break her neck or mistakenly use any of Biden's pills.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Sep 17 2020 4:07 utc | 41

vk and farm ecologist

Those "Independent"(NOT) inspectors conducting this investigation must also work for OPCW. Remote learning is becoming very fashionable these days. At least they wouldn't loose their heads going to Venezuela. The same can't be said for a visit to that paradise in Idlib.

Since these "inspectors" can't do an honest days work anymore investigating crimes committed by the US and Israel and other western satraps on pain of being treated like Julian Assange,(Each day Julian is woken at 5am, handcuffed, put in holding cells, stripped naked and x-rayed. He's transported 1.5h each way in what feels like a vertical coffin in a claustrophobic van. He's in a glass box at the back of court from where he can't consult his lawyers properly. (Stella Moris twitter account) they do what their masters tell them to. Otherwise no paycheque, and CERB and other covid relief aid is about to end. This is all a distraction from the crimes of the real evil empire. Oh look, there goes Navalny the squirrel. I hope Putin doesn't poison his "nuts".

Posted by: Tom | Sep 17 2020 4:59 utc | 42

Mao @25

Wow even if this is just a ground test mockup it's still very exciting. The USSR was the first to send an electric rocket engine to space with the Zond 2 Mars probe on 30 Nov 1964 and used nuclear reactors to power the radars in their US-A ocean surveillance (US carrier tracking) satellites from 1967 onwards. Put these two techologies together and you have a real 'planetship'. Soviet space scientists had big plans for these nuclear-electric spacecraft in the '50s and '60s as part of an expedition to Mars:

http://www.astronautix.com/t/tmk.html

The idea of launching a nuclear reactor into space may seem dangerous but as long as you use a launch escape system like the Soyuz (which saved 3/3 crews when Soyuz failed during ascent to orbit) it's probably safer than leaving one to operate for decades on Earth under the supervision of a for-profit power company.

Posted by: Paora | Sep 17 2020 5:10 utc | 43


4# Sunny Runny Burger

The whole Navalny-saga has been staged in cooperation with fifteen Der Spiegel and 7 die Zeit journalists,as John Helmer has stated in his really very interesting and entertaining gorilla radio interview.Udo Ulfkotte comes to mind,who wrote a book how CIA commands and keeps under threat a lot of news outlets in Germany and Europe.It looks as if the regimechangers jumped a bit to quick on the Navalnychok bandwagon,without really thinking through the in and outs and consequences.By passing the hot potato of the crippled poisoning story to Sweden and France ,the result is that now Macron,Putin and Merkel will sort it out together,and Annegret and Heiko,who both failed in taking over their own political parties and were rewarded with the Defense and Foreign affairs ministries,are now exposed as the atlantist lying puppets they have been groomed to be.They are utterly incompetent and stupid,like the rest of their generation coming to power,especially the females that became Defense ministers in NATO-countries.AKK and Maas however will be most likely find another job within the European Union framework,as is done usually for incompetent or in their own country compromised politicians.

Posted by: willie | Sep 17 2020 7:05 utc | 44

Below is a link to a Xinhua posting

China, Russia to strengthen cooperation in four areas: Chinese FM

The take away quote
"
First, the two countries will support international anti-pandemic cooperation, and in particular, support the World Health Organization in playing a coordinating role, support various countries in accelerating drug and vaccine research and development, and call for efforts to stop politicizing the pandemic and virus.

Second, China and Russia will set an exemplar of major-country peaceful coexistence, and constructive major-country coordinative relations are indispensable to solve global problems.

Third, the two sides will strengthen cutting-edge scientific and technological innovations. China and Russia have complementary advantages in science and technology, and will implement the projects of the Year of Scientific and Technological Innovation, improve applications of scientific and technological advances, promote two-way exchanges of talents, and encourage investment in high-tech, internet and other fields.

Fourth, they will safeguard international justice and equity. China and Russia will firmly safeguard the core position of the United Nations in international affairs, defend international laws and the basic norms governing international relations, and actively reform and improve the global governance system.
"

Does empire really believe it can either divide and conquer or otherwise overwhelm this global duo?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 17 2020 7:11 utc | 45

Below is another Xinhuanet posting link

China issues white paper on employment, labor rights in Xinjiang, Uygur Autonomous Region

The post is a summary and they provide a link to the whole paper at the end and I am just beginning to read it but think the following quote from it is instructive.

"
Xinjiang is located in the northwest of China. For historical and a range of natural reasons, it has long lagged behind other parts of the country in development, and there is a large impoverished population. The four prefectures in southern Xinjiang, namely, Hotan, Kashgar, Aksu and Kizilsu Kirgiz, in particular have a poor eco-environment, weak economic foundations, and a serious shortfall in employment carrying capacity. They are identified as areas of extreme poverty. In addition, terrorists, separatists and religious extremists have long preached that "the afterlife is fated" and that "religious teachings are superior to state laws", inciting the public to resist learning the standard spoken and written Chinese language, reject modern science, and refuse to improve their vocational skills, economic conditions, and the ability to better their own lives. As a result, some local people have outdated ideas; they suffer from poor education and employability, low employment rates and incomes, and have fallen into long-term poverty.
"

China is offering education, job training and jobs for all and I would challenge the West to offer the same.....moderate prosperity for all.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 17 2020 7:23 utc | 46

Maybe what the US and the west in general needs is a US version of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The urban/rural divide is greater now than ever in the west with rural areas impoverished and in despair. What it needs now is Make Rural XXXXX Great Again I will leave it up to those better versed in this to build on or tear it to shreds. But as Ramin Mazaher describes developing the human capital of rural China (along with Dongping Han who wrote The Unknown Cultural Revolution: Life and Change in a Chinese Village) laid the foundation for modern China.

http://thesaker.is/a-necessary-revolution-in-discussing-chinas-cultural-revolution-an-8-part-series-1-8/

Posted by: Tom | Sep 17 2020 7:31 utc | 47

Another interesting article on the rural urban divide by Ramin Mazaheri and how the fake left just doesn't get it.

"Because he was raised in reactionary America Rittenhouse likely does not have the proper, modern and progressive education of these groups I’m about to list, but I immediately saw the possibility of similarities between him and members of the Iranian Basij, the Cuban members of Committees for the Defense of the Revolution and members of the Chinese Communist Party. I immediately perceived a possibility that Rittenhouse was not motivated by only evil, racism and rage, but by a desire to help and serve, patriotic love, self-sacrifice and other worthy impulses."

"I have to pass on an unfortunate reality: not all gun-toting heroes are as handsome and dashing as Che Guevara.

Your average male Basiji buttons his shirt all the way to the top, wouldn’t be caught dead in public in shorts and would likely pause and reflect if you asked him whether he was “dashing”. Basiji women can be similarly blasé about being perceived as chic.

"But I guarantee you that if they protected your house from being burnt down, or prevented your getting thrown into poverty due to your store’s stock being looted, you would think these nerds were the coolest people in the world."

I have learned not to bother asking US fake-leftists about their opinion of the 17-year old Basiji who in 1980 went to face the Iraqi invader (and the soldiers of many Western nations) totally, totally outgunned and died to protect his family and home. Asking an American Democrat to comment on the still-living reality of these enormous sacrifices is like asking them to comment about life on a distant planet.

Rittenhouse is not a hero such as they, of course, but the US left cannot even perceive the world in these very real, life and death terms – Rittenhouse and his supporters grasp this reality much better.

The American fake-left instead are consumed with identity politics and transgender bathrooms – they have no real concept of what leftism is for countries which have actually seen war and colonisation"

http://thesaker.is/why-the-us-left-loses-they-cant-support-kyle-rittenhouse-kenoshas-jacob-blake/

Posted by: Tom | Sep 17 2020 7:43 utc | 48

@3 Joost
I couldn’t agree more re: CoVid silence here at the blog. I likewise have returned to read some more, but won’t forget the censorship of well informed posters such as Jackrabbit, Jen among others. Proof is found inside the passage of time.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Sep 17 2020 8:56 utc | 49

The word "socialism" is a slur in the U.S. I wish it wasn't but it is. Try using "public sector" instead. Almost everyone understands and supports some public sector-- police, fire, bridges, schools, roads...
Every country has a "socialist" sector. Just don't call it that in the U.S. You will find more support for your/my position if the "s" word is not used.
My apologies to non U.S. barflies. We Americans are kind of fragile...

Posted by: migueljose | Sep 17 2020 10:37 utc | 50

Lequel choisir ?

Posted by: Charles Michael | Sep 17 2020 12:01 utc | 52

Posted by: vk | Sep 17 2020 11:35 utc | 51

It's awful to quote a war criminal like Churchill, but he qualified Poland as the jackal of Europe…
What's kind of strange is Germany’s attitude, incomprehensible.

Posted by: Paco | Sep 17 2020 12:11 utc | 53

@ Posted by: Paco | Sep 17 2020 12:11 utc | 53

Just look at the map. If Germany wants to dominate Europe, it has to dominate Poland first. That's not optional.

Posted by: vk | Sep 17 2020 12:23 utc | 54

Posted by: vk | Sep 17 2020 12:23 utc | 54

Well looking at the map one would think that Poland plays with fire claiming old territories to the east since Germany could do the same with almost half of western and northern Poland. But Germany domination tool is the Euro, it does not matter what the formal borders indicate.

Posted by: Paco | Sep 17 2020 15:05 utc | 55

Erdogan is publicly humiliating the EU:

Erdogan Fans Feud With 'Incapable' Macron in Incendiary Tirade Amid Turkish-Greek Mediterranean Spat

It will be interesting to see how the Europeans react, because Turkey is still drilling in the East Mediterranean and absolutely nothing is happening against them.

Posted by: vk | Sep 17 2020 15:09 utc | 56

Below is a Reuters quote show the pot calling the kettle black

"
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. diplomat for East Asia, David Stilwell, said on Thursday China’s recent actions around the world were not those of a responsible global actor, but of a “lawless bully.”
"

Facts would say the opposite and document serious projection but Orwell might be proud of the example of the Newsspeak or whatever it was called in 1984.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 17 2020 15:14 utc | 57

If you can't beat them, ban them..

"Ecuador: Correa's Party Denied Ability to Register for Election"


ban them

Posted by: arby | Sep 17 2020 16:27 utc | 58

All hands on deck, ten years after -not the rock group- the polish go back to the presidential plane crash in Smolensk. They want the flight controllers, after a joint investigation now they claim traces of explosives on parts of the plane that were changed when the plane was last serviced, in Russia since it was a Tupolev. Guess what, one of the labs that found traces of explosives is from…. the UK¡¡

Posted by: Paco | Sep 17 2020 17:16 utc | 59

David G | Sep 17 2020 0:33 utc | 38

I understand the arguments you're making, and they are political or geopolitical. Whether you or others will agree or even consider my remarks that follow here I guess will depend on whether you consider climate change a real human crisis. I do, and therefor:

Liquifying natural gas is probably one of the worst applications of that fuel source imaginable because the process of liquification is very energy intensive and will itself release vast amounts of greenhouse gases. Add that contribution of GHG's to that of the ocean-going vessels which also add their contribution. There is also the process of re-gasification at the receiving terminals though I'm not conversant with the energy demand involved in that.

It's difficult for me to discuss this issue without coming off like a US isolationist or "America First(er)," but there is so much BS surrounding the hydraulic fracturing gas boom in the US that it is difficult to get to the real bottom of things. These frack wells have a relatively short productivity window and just how much can eventually be produced is not at all certain. At this time there is already more produced in the US than can be consumed here immediately, and this is the real impetus for exporting it as LNG. Living in the heart of the Utica/Marcellus (and having been part of the boom making it work) I can tell you that it was sold to all us ordinary citizens as a guarantee of energy security for the next 100 years. That is not the real or actual belief of the gas producers: theirs is to sell as much of it as quickly as possible to try to generate as much profit as the market will bear - period. US energy security is a phrase for US suckers.

What I'm getting at, in a nutshell, is that the US does have an immediate opportunity to get mostly off of coal just with the new gas boom infrastructure already built out, but only if we keep it here. Do we not (or should we not) have a responsibility to lower our emissions, along with the rest of humanity? Again, substituting one slightly less polluting hydrocarbon for another is a dubious strategy considering the severity of the crisis (imo,) but it would be a step in the right direction. LNG processing negates any advantage natgas has over coal or oil. It also goes balls-to-the-walls to produce, sell, and consume it, when the actual reserves may in fact be dubious.

Geology is a hobby of mine, so I'm no expert, but it seems to me that shalegas deposits should be ubiquitous on every continent. I know that popular European sentiment has basically said NO to hydrofracking, and for very good reasons, but why should the US be the sacrifice zone for European sensibilities?

In 2014 the Obama administration commissioned a study and report by the US DOE (I've referenced it here in the past) to answer the question: "Will LNG sourced from the Marcellus/Utica and exported to Europe and Asia INCREASE GHG emissions?" It purported to be a cradle to grave analysis (from fracking to LNG conversion, transport, and off-loading) and compared that to a summarized model of current European and Asian use of coal and fuel oil. The report concluded that it was basically a wash, but the report was flawed because it only took the gas to the receiving terminals in Rotterdam and Shanghai, and not to the grave of distribution and consumption. That DOE study also asked the wrong question, which should have been - Will it REDUCE GHG emissions? That answer is a definitive NO.

As I said, these considerations will only seem important if you consider climate change a crisis that must be addressed.

I downloaded the report as a pdf, and so have no e-link to offer. The exact name of the report is: "Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Perspective on Exporting Liquified Natural Gas from the United States May 29, 2014 DOE/NETL-2019/1649"

Posted by: vinnieoh | Sep 17 2020 17:26 utc | 60

Should have been: 2014/1649.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Sep 17 2020 18:11 utc | 61

I commented yesterday that the episode of the Keiser Report I linked was certainly one not to miss, including the second half interview with Michael Pento, who Max asked to stick around for the next show. I must say that Mr. Pento ought to be listened to as he's extremely concerned about our current distress and the further chaos that's coming. That said, here's that next episode which delves into the massive prevarications done over the last 5 decades about a number of differing issues along with the economy. And yes, you'll want to listen to Max let Mr. Pento expand upon the "Fiscal Cliff" that was mentioned at the end of the previous program.

Apparently, the NPR investigation into plastics recycling (Audio report at link) Stacey uses as metaphor wasn't just released according to this announcement. The initial video program was called "Plastic Wars" and is available at the link. My searches turned up no transcripts, so the video report and the audio report from 9/11/2020 are it.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 17 2020 19:24 utc | 62

Yesterday on the following thread to this one I posted a comment as follows ———
Large explosion in the U.K.
whilst I admit to deliberately writing that headline as an ‘attention grabber’ it may have distracted from the importance of my comment.
As we speak, the daily rate of infection in the U.K. is exploding !
Reliable estimate 5000 new cases a day, increasing exponentially.
This is mainly new infections in schools, which have reopened less than two weeks ago.
This really is very very serious !!!
Anyway I ask people here to read the thread on this twitter account, please first check the start date time line. If ness click/ tap on account name to update.
I would also recommend going back about 3 days.
If you wish to keep a finger on the pulse re U.K. there are many heavy hitter good people here, worth keeping.
Treat it as a portal.

https://mobile.twitter.com/toryfibs/status/1305942528768774144

Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 17 2020 19:58 utc | 63

No tragedy without a touch of comedy, the incredible criminalistic work of team Navalny led by the mysterious Pevchikh/Singer collecting all sorts of evidence, and successfully taking it out of the jurisdiction where the supposed crime was committed. The comedy side of it, the brand of the supposedly contaminated water bottle: Sacred Source, as headspring initially, but with interesting connotations.

Posted by: Paco | Sep 17 2020 20:47 utc | 64

For real comedy, the way Batka Luka wipes his rear with political correctness, he calls directly and in a very original way self-proclaimed president Tikhanovskaya Guaidikha, sounds great, Guaido in Russian, feminine and sort of demeaning, all in one word¡¡¡

Posted by: Paco | Sep 17 2020 21:00 utc | 65

I finally took the time to write a new essay for publication at my VK Space with the title "Why Money" since humans existed just fine for several million years without it, and many out-of-the-way societies continued to do so until the first half of the 20th Century.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 17 2020 21:08 utc | 67

Merkel is a hapless dupe? Merkel is a duplicitous has been?

Neither

Merkel is the perpetrator of the entire Navalny hoax.

Here is an interesting take on the Navalny idiocy:

To find out what's really going on, I interviewed Swiss businessman Pascal Najadi. He's known for investigating high-level misconduct. Cases from Great Britain to Russia to Malaysia have been on his radar screen. Now he's seen a blip appear from Germany. He tells me it is about the Navalny case. Here's my interview.

The 'hate russia' mania is so pathetic.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 18 2020 0:56 utc | 68

vinnieoh #60

Thank you and YES to your comments. The lunacy of freezing natural Gas to ship from USA to Europe is STUPID and only a klutz with not one iota of care for the planets GHG emissions would dream of it. But there you go its being done FROM all over the planet TO all over the planet.

Merkel could have been much smarter on the Navalny balancing act but she has no intention of balance she is a captive leader, an intentional duplicitous clown and she seems to think sufficient German citizens and corporations will fall for it or, like donkeys, fall in line.

The current energy needs of Europe can be met with a transition process from nuclear and coal to a much cleaner and economically viable mix while using the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 as a transitional energy source. But Merkel has just pissed that option against the wall. And neither Merkel or the two centrist parties and their Green hostage give a damn.

This is mighty bad news for Germany and the rest of the european nations.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 18 2020 1:16 utc | 69

This is something fun...

https://twitter.com/NYTWA/status/1306636414910595073

Taxi drivers read Michael Hudson!

Posted by: juliania | Sep 18 2020 1:30 utc | 70

AstraZeneca vaccine volunteer developed spinal inflammation & ‘rare neurological condition’ after two doses – report

A British participant in AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine trial was diagnosed with a serious neurological disorder weeks after her second dose of the inoculation, an internal company document shows.

A previously healthy 37-year-old woman was hospitalized this month after receiving two injections of the pharmaceutical giant’s new vaccine, where it was determined she developed transverse myelitis, a rare neurological ailment caused by inflammation of the spine, according to an internal AstraZeneca safety report obtained by CNN.

That is not the subject found and interviewed by The Guardian the day after the trials were paused. If memory doesn't fail me, that subject was a male. This one is a "healthy 37-year-old female".

This vaccine is bust. So far, I only trust the Gamaleya one.

Posted by: vk | Sep 18 2020 1:32 utc | 71

Al Jazeera is reporting that Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the UN-recognised Fake Libyan Government, said he'll resign in October, citing "progress in talks to unify the country" (which NATO destroyed and looted in 2011).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 18 2020 2:32 utc | 72

Below is a posting from Xinhuanet that provides a good description of the evolving mix of private enterprise and SOE (State Owned Enterprise)

China rolls out new measures to boost reform and development of SOEs and private businesses

China is in the process of developing its 14th 5-year plan for its society and the 3 year plan for these changes fit within a broader framework for development and focused on improving the lives of its citizens unlike the West that wants to fleece or be rid itself of the "deplorables" of humanity.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 18 2020 3:33 utc | 73

Below is a short posting from Xinhuanet about Russia/Belarus/empire

"
MOSCOW, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko stressed "the inadmissibility of any interference in the internal political processes" in Belarus during a phone talk Thursday with U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan.

Rudenko also emphasized the inadmissibility of "attempts to destabilize" the situation in Belarus and "impose unilateral mediation services from outside," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

He said that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko's initiative to carry out a constitutional reform to liberalize the country's political system is promising.

On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergei Naryshkin accused the United States of playing a key role in preparing the protests following Belarus' presidential elections.

He alleged that the preparations began in 2019 and early 2020, when Washington channeled about 20 million U.S. dollars through various non-governmental organizations to help organize the protests.
"

Reads like a clear calling out of empire perfidy to me.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 18 2020 3:36 utc | 74

Just read the following in an anonymous comment to The Register

Trump thinks he's modeling himself on Marlon Brando in the Godfather - unfortunately he has achieved Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now

Yep

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 18 2020 5:08 utc | 75

psychohistorian #75

"unfortunately he has achieved Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now

Yep"

Very well said. On Biden - you could directly quote LBJ on Gerald Ford:-

"He's a nice fellow but he spent too much time playing football without a helmet."

“He can’t fart and chew gum at the same time.”

(politely interpreted by the msm as "walk and chew gum at the same time".)

I reckon Biden can do better than Ford who had a reputation for clumsiness. He never recovered from an incident in 1975 when he tripped over getting out of the presidential jet in Austria. I am waiting for that roll down the stairs whereupon Kamala Harris rises to the top of the dung heap. One small step for a man and one giant leap backwards for mankind.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 18 2020 6:30 utc | 76

@farm ecologist

I know the situation in Venezuela extremely well, so I can comment on this. Of course, I support Maduro and the Chavistas, however, I am also an honest person and I will criticize them where it is due. This report is very badly politicized. What you are getting out of it is that the police and security forces apparently run beating, torture, and murder squads against dissidents.

That's funny because dissidents regularly rally up to hundreds of thousands of people in Eastern Caracas and nobody lifts a finger against them! The opposition press can only be glimpsed by imagining Fox News if it was an order of magnitude worse than it is. It has a lot of blood on its hands and for a long time, it issued regularly calls to assassinate Chavez. This is the sort of fare that they traffic in day to day in this "dictatorship."

Yet the Chavistas let them say whatever they want, including stuff that would probably even get them shut down even here in the US. 75% of the newspapers and TV stations in this "dictatorship" are run by the opposition, and they are wildly, almost psychotically anti-Chavista. Yet they get to broadcast and print all they want. That's got to be the most lenient dictatorship I've ever heard of! There is no dictatorship.

The opposition is mostly made up of open traitors who have attempted repeated violent and undemocratic coup attempts at the democratically elected governments. Yet almost all of them roam about free. A few were forbidden from running in elections for 15 years because they were behind extremely violent repeated coup attempts against the government. In any normal country, most of the opposition figures would be in jail for treason and sedition.

You think the US would tolerate repeated violent coup attempts against it? The Chavistas put up with the most outrageous opposition on Earth, and they barely lift a finger against them. Almost no nation on Earth would go as easy on an openly putschist opposition as Venezuela has. This is because Venezuela realizes that if they lift a finger against the opposition, the US will come down on them hard.

I actually believe that Venezuela is one of the freest and most democratic countries on Earth, as almost no other country would put up with a violent and traitorous opposition like they have.

In addition, Venezuelan elections have long been the gold standard against which all other elections must be measured. Venezuelan elections are simply one of the finest examples of free and fair elections you can find on Earth. Once again they did this because they realized that if they acted even 1% dirty in elections like most countries do, not to mention having utterly undemocratic and openly fraudulent elections like we do, it would bring the US down on them hard. So they resolved to design a model election system that would be the gold standard of free, fair, and fraud-proof elections. Yet every time they have an election and a Chavista wins, there's "massive fraud." Any evidence? Of course not!

Now, on to the charges. The charges of beating, torture, and killings by police and security forces are sadly correct. However, all of the people being subjected to this abuse are suspected criminals, almost all of whom are probably guilty of terrible crimes. As you may know, Venezuela has one of the highest crime and especially violent crime rates on Earth. It's almost all located in the poor neighborhoods that are hotbeds of Chavista support. The crime and violent crime is off the charts in these areas and has a lot to do with the drug trade.

So this is a case of state police and security officers beating, torturing, and executing violent criminal suspects, almost all of whom are probably guilty. Chavistas have been complaining about this for a while, but not much gets done. There's a long culture of impunity in the police.

I can think of one case of abuse of a political prisoner. A top military officer was arrested and charged with being one of the top figures behind a coup attempt. While being interrogated, he "fell" out of a top story window and died. It's pretty obvious he was pushed. But this man was a top military officer, possibly a general, who committed violent treason against the state. So the state killed him. What do you expect the state to do? These are the kind of "political prisoners" who are being mistreated or killed and their numbers are not large.

Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Sep 18 2020 6:42 utc | 77

@Jen

Those were death squad murders of two radical left Chavista local grassroots radio journalists. The security forces who murdered them have been arrested. These officers were apparently turned by the opposition and were essentially working for the opposition, in effect running a rightwing death squad within the Chavista security forces. The Chavistas have never once murdered the Left opposition to themselves. Put a few in prison, yeah. Murdered? Hell no.

These weren't even Chavistas. These were just Guaido's traitors in the security forces doing some of his dirty deeds for whatever reason.

Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Sep 18 2020 7:07 utc | 78

The European parliament has recognized la Tichonovskaya as legal president for Belarus.The European parliament wants sanctions against the Lukachenko regime,and more against the Putin regime for poisoning Navalny.This of course argumented with strife for liberty in those countries.
The people of europe do not understand that this is the work of american stooges that want to start another world war,leading to the third destruction of Europe.
The famous liberty of european people is well illustrated by the fact that on those two subjects ,all comment sections of the main newspapers le Figaro are heavily moderated.You'll have 350 comments,that in one click turn out to be less than ten.
The ignoring of the giant anti corona protests gatherin over a million citizens in Berlin recently,with a speaker named Kennedy,which was brought down to 38000 attendants both in France as in German media says it all....
Now I'll wait for the same twenty-odd countries that recognized Guaido as venezolan president to join the EU in recognizing Tichonovskaya as Belarussian representant.UK,Australia,Canada,who else.

Posted by: willie | Sep 18 2020 7:32 utc | 79

I wonder if Mrs Merkel is sorry she bought into the Navalny version of NATO's anti-Putin Skripalmania plot yet? ABC America and PBS are showing a White Helmets-style video clip of unidentified hands purportedly belonging to members of Team Navalny, reaching into an ultra-tight shot of an anonymous bedside table, in an anonymous location, to recover two water bottles with blue caps.

Unfortunately for Ms Merkel the video doesn't explain why Navalny was staying in a cheap hotel with cheap furniture, nor when the video was shot. The time is quite important. In a normal hotel a vacated room is tidied and cleaned within hours of the guest's departure and certainly no later than early the following day.

Since the Original Story was that Navalny drank some Meddled Tea at the airport, and the Germans didn't blame his illness on Skripal-chok for a couple of days, via the MSM, it would be silly not to ask "How long after the hotel room had been cleaned and tidied did Team Navalny go to the hotel to shoot their White Helmets movie?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 18 2020 8:19 utc | 80

karlof1 @ 67

i read and enjoyed your essay...i wonder if our friend psychohistorian did as well?

...'cause after i left this comment back on September the 12th...

why not go back a little further to the age of no money, of barter and cuneiform certification?

it's even been proven highly effective in times of monetary crisis,...at least the bartering part...

you know, help me build my house and i'll supply you with cooking oil

...the guy dumped on me like i was some kind of war criminal, nor did i hear a word from you on a subject that apparently was fresh on your mind.

so what exactly gives on the parameters for discussion around here?

Posted by: john | Sep 18 2020 10:22 utc | 81

Funny how differently one can see the world.

To me "Marlon Brando in the Godfather" is a lame and stupid criminal while "Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now" is an intelligent and sincere individual switching sides and going native. The second is a superlative bordering on idolatry while the first is an insult.

The Australians did all right (if one thinks they had any business being there, which they didn't) in Viet Nam before the CIA came along with their necrophiliac ear-collecting bullshit. The Australians should have killed the "Americans" while saying they were KIA.

There's more than one lesson there for those who want to learn.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Sep 18 2020 10:36 utc | 82

John it's a bar not a town-hall meeting, everyone has their own corner and then (linking with the topic of KIA in the last comment of mine) someone like Theophrastus (always with the same old necrophillic hard-on for dead Greeks, I bet you it's in his profile) walks in thinking they're clever and will have some fun trolling everyone :)

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Sep 18 2020 10:43 utc | 83

#79 willie

Well,because of unanimity needed for European Union decisions,the sanctions on Belarus are stalled.It is the isle of Cyprus that conditions its vote pro-sanctions to imposing sanctions on Turkey,which is a threshold most countries do not dare to cross,Germany not in the least.Turkey has a lot of power in european countries and all atlanticist sissy government officials shit their pants before Erdogan,who regularly visits turkish and AKP gatherings in various european countries while governments look the other way,even in the face of clashes between kurdish and turkish.

Posted by: willie | Sep 18 2020 10:48 utc | 84

Sunny Runny Burger @ 84

it's a bar not a town-hall meeting

no, it's not a bar, it's just another obscure, impersonal, anonymous blogspot...

Posted by: john | Sep 18 2020 11:06 utc | 85

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 18 2020 8:19 utc | 81

After Germans demanded publicly that Russia is supposed to cooperate they now have no leg to stand on as Russians could not have found the incriminating bottle.

The bottle being removed from a hotel room full of Navalny's friends points to Navalny's friends.

I don't think German arguing would go very far even if they tried.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 18 2020 11:35 utc | 86

@ Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Sep 18 2020 6:42 utc | 77

Police forces posing as death squads is a common feature in Latin America. They are not a Venezuelan - let alone a Chavista - invention.

That news about the two journalists' assassination is a non-issue. Brazilian "police forces", for example, eat anti-deforestation journalists and activists in the Amazon in their breakfasts and nobody bats an eye.

Posted by: vk | Sep 18 2020 11:40 utc | 87

"Bolivia’s ‘interim president’ withdraws from upcoming election, one day after poll shows pro-Morales candidate in the lead "

if you can't beat them, run away and scream fraud

Same shit going on in Ecuador.

Posted by: arby | Sep 18 2020 12:23 utc | 88

"Trump will ban US downloads of Chinese apps TikTok & WeChat starting September 20 "

because---

"Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement on Friday that the bans would “guarantee our national security and protect Americans from the threats of the Chinese Communist Party.” "

All Americans can rest easier now.

Posted by: arby | Sep 18 2020 13:33 utc | 89

Too much absurdity in Navalny case to take anyone’s word on trust — Kremlin

"We cannot explain this, because this bottle, if it ever existed, had been taken somewhere in Germany or elsewhere."

"This means that an object that could serve as an evidence of poisoning has been shipped away. This is yet another question: why and so on," he said.

[...]

"De facto, the situation is as follows: the OPCW Technical Secretariat says ‘we know nothing, talk to the Germans,’ and the Germans say ‘we know nothing, talk to the OPCW," the spokesman [Peskov] said.

Germany's case is already lost. Each blow to their lies are impelling them to tell other lies to cover for the previous ones. By now, Russia already knows the Belarusian intercepted intelligence is genuine and that this is a fully-fledged fabrication by the Germans. They're only playing now - Peskov knows the bottle doesn't exist because he knows the Omsk doctors are telling the truth.

--//--

Exclusive: Sergei Lavrov Talks About West's Historical Revisionism, US Election and Navalny Case

Good interview. Recommend.

--//--

CDC says U.S. should have enough coronavirus vaccine to return to 'regular life' by third quarter of 2021

I think those propagandists from the OECD should review their review on their world economy forecast.

--//--

Art eats itself in the capitalist world:

It’s a Banana. It’s Art. And Now It’s the Guggenheim’s Problem.

What a time to be alive: when you degenerate to such a level that makes Socialist Realism look good.

Posted by: vk | Sep 18 2020 13:51 utc | 90

Daniel Estulin is pointing out at that the alleged photo of Navalny with wife and friends at German hospital he allegedly has shared in his Instagram account has been photoshopped...

https://twitter.com/Herbert_Keg/status/1305817199509155840

He states that Navalny´s head has been somehow "glued" to another body whose postions are not natural at all...

I would say that his wife´s head has been "glued" to another body as well...look at the superposition...

This points at the possibility Navalny and wife have been fully "Skripaled", and thus already dissapeared from public view..to an unknown destination...Probably from first minutes of his tranferring to, allegedly, Germany...That would explain why there is no evidence available to the Russians...in spite of the so many diplomatic requests...
Heiko Mass just has not Navalny on his hands any more...if ever he had...

Of course, it may happen that he is in BND´s hands...or in a Bundeswehr base...and we are assisting to an ongoing coup in Germany...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Sep 18 2020 14:05 utc | 91

What a time to be alive: when you degenerate to such a level that makes Socialist Realism look good.

Why shouldn't it, it always looked good except during the dark decade in the 90's when the biggest country in the world was almost sold over on a one to a thousand valuation.

Take a look to the restoration just accomplished on the Northern River Station, Moscow river, the northern part of the city, I have a series of pictures of a run down place falling apart, to top it off in the winter, shot from the frozen river, a sad and depressing picture, and now a fantastic park.

https://www.the-village.ru/city/fotorep-eda/rechnoy-vokzal

Posted by: Paco | Sep 18 2020 14:42 utc | 92

uncle tungsten | Sep 18 2020 1:16 utc | 69

Thanks for your kind words. I'd emphasize that the shalegas boom is all about money - period. Hope that Germany and the rest of Europe comes to their senses soon regarding their US "friends." I also believe that the Ukraine coup/fiasco has a lot more to do with the US shalegas industry than has been realized (the Russian pipelines that transit Ukraine.) Before the coup Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon, and Chevron all had mutual development agreements with ptb's in Ukraine to develop shalegas plays in NW Ukraine and the Donbass. I found a map of the proposed play in the Donbass and it almost exactly matches the region now under the loose control of Russian leaning separatists. So, touche HRC et al - Biden included. There is of course so much more to the sick game of geopolitical chess being played out in eastern Europe.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Sep 18 2020 15:31 utc | 93

Helmer on Navalny...


A Tale of Two Bottles - Navalny Poison Slowest Acting Weapon in Assassination History

http://johnhelmer.net/a-tale-of-two-bottles-navalny-poison-slowest-acting-weapon-in-assassination-history/

"Their tale of the two bottles invites an epoch-load of incredulity..."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Sep 18 2020 15:55 utc | 94

john @82--

Thanks for your reply! Sorry I missed the comment you made you're referring to. The 12th was a Saturday, and I seldom use a computer on the weekends during the Summer, which is when I want to spend as much time as possible with my Missus.

If you've been around MoA for 8 or so years, you might have seen me write/question why human culture is so dysfunctional in which I put forward several hypotheses in explanation. That issue/question still remains at the core of my studies; and with the recent musings of a cashless society & basic income coming from the Establishment's direction, I thought it would be a good time to write about them. If you've taken the time to watch any of the recent Keiser Reports I've linked, then you know just how distorted and dysfunctional the core of the financial system is within the Outlaw US Empire and in related places globally--and that extends to the practitioners of Neoliberalism. I'm hoping to arrive at some sensible alternatives that can be discussed while also watching the moves China's making in this realm. Thanks again for reading!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 18 2020 16:25 utc | 95

Taiwan's back on the front burner, "PLA Friday drills not warning, but rehearsal for Taiwan takeover: Global Times editorial", and "PLA starts real combat-oriented drills in Taiwan Straits amid Krach’s visit, approaches island from four directions". From the editorial:

"From our point of view, the PLA is still restrained. Every time a high-ranking US official visits Taiwan, the fighter jets of the PLA should be one step closer to the island. If the US secretary of state or secretary of defense comes to Taiwan, the PLA should fly its aircraft over the island and conduct exercises above it. The missiles we test should also fly over Taiwan, even its 'Presidential Office Building.' If Taiwan authorities continue to act aggressively, such scenarios will definitely come true....

"The US and Taiwan must not misjudge the situation, or believe the exercise is a bluff. Should they continue to make provocations, a war will inevitably break out. Those who have underestimated China's determination recently have all paid the price. China decisively put forward the implementation of the national security law for Hong Kong. China has shown that it doesn't fear war on the China-India border. The Taiwan Straits is by no means a place where separatists can act recklessly. If Taiwan authorities try, they will definitely be met with the mainland's military solutions.

"Taiwan is a small place. It has no conditions for a modern military confrontation. Taiwan independence is a dead end." [My Emphasis]

From the second article, which put the notion that Taiwan has its own 'airspace' in quotes, signifying that it doesn't:

"The PLA operations have multiple dimensions that make secessionists on the island a turtle in a jar, and the PLA can turn the exercises into real action any time if Taiwan secessionists insist on their obduracy."

Some say Trump's not trying to promote a war. I disagree:

"On Thursday, US Representative Tom Tiffany introduced legislation calling for the US to resume formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and end the 'outdated and counter-productive' one-China policy....

"Experts also said that if the US scraps the one-China policy, then Article 8 of the Anti-Secession Law of China will be activated, which means China shall use nonpeaceful and other necessary means to solve the Taiwan question once and for all." [My Emphasis]

I'm sorry to have to write the following, but I've had about all I can take from the actions of the Outlaw US Empire: Go ahead Trump, scrap the policy then get into your coffin.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 18 2020 17:22 utc | 96

vinnieoh | Sep 17 2020 17:26 utc | 60:

Indeed, I was making a narrow, political-chessboard sort of point, but energy policy questions should never any longer be considered apart from environmental ones, in this case not only greenhouse emissions, but localized harm from fracking. Thanks for the information!

Posted by: David G | Sep 18 2020 17:56 utc | 97

Lavrov engaged in an important interview with Sputnik News which has published some of the conversation, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs only has an incomplete transcript available as I type. As usual, Lavrov's very detailed in his answers and the questions this time are also rather complex. The result is I suggest people read the article then tomorrow consult the transcript which ought to be whole by then.

Lavrov's an excellent human, and he's clearly troubled by our times. So, we too ought to be troubled and aware that the primary trouble maker is devoid of any moral scruples.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 18 2020 18:04 utc | 98

Seems I have this thread all to myself, which is rather sad. On the 17th, Lavrov also conducted an interview with RTV1, with a complete transcript provided by The Saker's website. It appears the Sputnik reporters also watched that interview as they mostly avoided the topics discussed on RTV1. Lavrov's a little more lively and he's asked good questions that provide interesting answers like the following about soft power:

"So, brainwashing is what America’s soft power is known for."

Yes, it's a long transcript, but unless you read it you won't know what's really happening.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 18 2020 20:48 utc | 99

@ karlof1

please do not be discouraged by the lack of replies to your posts. I have been called a fool by at least one regular here so I tend to not write much to try out the old adage of better to be thought a fool than open your mouth and prove it.

for me, it is difficult to expand on your points, I just kinda nod my head and add your ideas to others in my own attempt to make sense of this crazy world we live in.

you are one of the heavy hitters on this site, please continue and don't assume silence means you are being ignored

Posted by: dan of steele | Sep 18 2020 22:07 utc | 100

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