Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 13, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-73

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

---
Other issues:

Covid-19:

The greater depression:

Civil War of 2020:

Liars:

> Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented U.S. President Donald Trump with a doctored video which showed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas calling for the murder of children, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Bob Woodward in his new book "Rage". <

Dune:

  • Dune (1984/2020) side-by-side comparison (vid)
    A side-by-side, shot-for-shot comparison between the trailer for Dune (2020) and the 1984 film adapted from the same novel by Frank Herbert. This video is meant to show the variety of choices made by two different groups of filmmakers 36 years apart when adapting the same written work.
    The David Lynch original looks better to me.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on September 13, 2020 at 12:59 UTC | Permalink

Comments
next page »

Thanks b for all that you do.

Posted by: jo6pac | Sep 13 2020 13:32 utc | 1

I jusy watched the trailer for the current Dune film and it looks great. Nice muted colors, fantastic scale, and what looked like decent casting. The Davis Lynch film was great in terms of set design and atmosphere, I think he nailed it. I found the weirding way sonic projector thingy a little goofy and not related at all to the book. In many ways the film is a loose interpretation, more of a themed attempt at representation. In comparison the current production appears to follow the first half of the first novel.
Herbert wrote the first three novels in rapid succession and this leaves open the possibilities of a franchise. The story never looses relevence. After viewing the trailer, I am very excited to see it on big screen if that ever becomes a possibility...

Posted by: Chevrus | Sep 13 2020 14:17 utc | 2

Latest from the State of Victoria Australia doesn’ look good.

From the Nanny state to the Nazti state from what’s going down.

And they have the temerity to condemn China for authoritarianism.

I won’t mention the Govt. ministers threats to foreign journalists either.

Posted by: Beibdnn | Sep 13 2020 14:30 utc | 4

Brazil's biggest evangelical church is a big criminal organization and money laundry:

Igreja Universal teve movimentações atípicas de quase R$ 6 bilhões em apenas um ano

This has always been the truth about Christianity: their only God is the Money God ("Heavenly Father").

--//--

EU tries not to lag behind US in its attempts to ‘punish’ Russia - Lavrov

"Unfortunately, the EU has chosen the path of sacrificing its own geo-political and strategic interests for the sake of immediate wishes not to lag behind the US in what is called "punishing Russia." We have got accustomed to this," Lavrov said.

In chess, we have something called a "losing move". A losing move is one in which the chess player - in an developed but balanced position, or even a favorable one - makes a move which, at first glance, is winning or developing favorably, but in actuality busts his/her position open and practically (excluding a blunder from the adversary) loses the game. A losing move is often just recognized as such by a much better player analyzing the game or after the game is over (20/20 vision).

In this case, it's Lavrov - the proverbial better analyst - calling the EU's losing move right on the spot. Historians from 100 years from now will point to these anti-Russia decisions as the beginning of the end of the EU.

Posted by: vk | Sep 13 2020 15:01 utc | 5

No mention of Woodward's reporting that Trump publicly dismissed the danger of the virus despite knowing how deadly it was?

Maybe because b would then have to walk-back this assertion (Is Trump Finally Getting It?"):

A small early outbreak in Washington state was soon brought under control. Trump thought that the pandemic was not going to touch him. It was - in his view - like Russiagate and Ukrainegate just another fake scare that the Democrats were using against him.

Despite my pointing out that this statement was false, b never issued a correction:
  • Jul21 18:23 #14

    This is demonstrably false.

    Congressmen and other officials were warned that a pandemic in USA was likely. One Senator passed on this warning to his favored constituents. And NYTimes described how US health officials refused to allow testing for community spread in Washington State. And when it was found, demanded that testing be halted.

    Trump down-played the virus spread and the virus effects for as long as he could. It's very difficult to not see that as deliberately allowing the pandemic to gain a foothold and cause a CRISIS! that Trump/Deep State could use to further their agenda. Trump used the CRISIS! to bailout Wall Street and then Boeing. And his Administration's seemingly inept actions have been a boondoogle for Big Pharma.

    Trump has deflected blame for his seemingly inept handling of the virus to China. This has furthered the Deep State's anti-China agenda and largely given Trump a 'pass'. Biden and the Democrats have little to say about this maneuver because the Empire is a bi-partisan affair.

  • Jul22 16:45 #144

    With every passing day this glaring mistake (as I noted @Jul21 18:23 #14) - which forms the basis of this post - looks more like revisionist history from a Trump apologist.

  • Jul22 18:29 #147

    Trump made a 'wilful decision' to allow the virus to spread in USA just as much as Obama had made a 'wilful decision' to allow the rise of ISIS. Not fighting the disease guaranteed that he would declare a National Emergency and the first thing he did after it was declared was bail out the banks.

    Trump's failure to provide real leadership after he declared the National Emergency has been a boondoggle for Big Pharma and caused more people to die. But Trump blames on China for the outrageous US death toll.

  • Jul24 17:42 #182

    b's pretending that Trump's inept response to the pandemic was an honest mistake is not something that is forgivable.

    Any critic of USA Deep State and Trump can see that Trump's inept response has been a device for the Deep State to push their own agenda.


!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 13 2020 15:02 utc | 6

@b
Re: Stephen Walt
1. Systematic efforts to intimidate the media.
As if the media isn't already captured by the intel agencies, DNC and RNC and others

2. Building an official pro-Trump media network.
This is a negative? When the DNC already has MSNBC and CNN, the Republicans have Fox?
If he was outlawing the above, that would be a dictator move.

3. Politicizing the civil service, military, National Guard, or the domestic security agencies.
Because current and former heads of the CIA, FBI, Army, Navy, Air Force and what not taking up commentator positions in CNN isn't politicization?

4, Using government surveillance against domestic political opponents.
Good God. FISA surveillance of Carter Page and others? What a moron.

5. Using state power to reward corporate backers and punish opponents.
Like Obama, Bush, and Clinton were any different. Zero cred.

6. Stacking the Supreme Court.
Nominating judges is what sitting Presidents do. Did Obama or Clinton nominate any conservative judges? More idiocy.
For that matter, it should be noted that Neil Gorsuch voted for the eastern Oklahoma Indians in the McGirt vs. Oklahoma Supreme Court decision.

7. Enforcing the law for only one side.
Ugh. Again, as if this is different when there's a Democrat in the White House.

8. Really rigging the system.
Yes, that's why there are still elections and he's behind in the polls. Because he's "REALLY" rigging the system.

9. Fearmongering.
This is a legit complaint, but again: FDR pushed the US into World War 2. JFK kicked off Vietnam. LBJ pushed the Vietnam war effort into overdrive. Fearmongering is a tool used by people on all sides, at different times.

10. Demonizing the opposition.
One word: deplorables.

All in all, my tiny bit of respect for Stephen Walt: gone forever. Yet another partisan f***.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 13 2020 15:17 utc | 7

USA profit rate was already plummeting in 2019 (i.e. before the pandemic):

The US rate of profit before the COVID

Posted by: vk | Sep 13 2020 15:35 utc | 8

"Trump down-played the virus spread and the virus effects for as long as he could. It's very difficult to not see that as deliberately allowing the pandemic to gain a foothold and cause a CRISIS! that Trump/Deep State could use to further their agenda. Trump used the CRISIS! to bailout Wall Street and then Boeing. And his Administration's seemingly inept actions have been a boondoogle for Big Pharma."
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 13 2020 15:02 utc | 6

Ok, b. was wrong. Nevertheless, the above analysis is yours. You are still endorsing it, although it's quite obviously wrong.

Trump has answered Woodward : The reason why he downplayed the epidemic was that he wanted people not to panic.
Everybody knows that for Trump, in this year 2020, nothing matters more than to get reelected.
It is easy to seee that he preferred to sacrifice some lives rather than to sacrifice the economy. Ockham tells us that's the actual Trump's plot.

Posted by: Parisian Guy | Sep 13 2020 16:06 utc | 9

Re: Trump's virus response.

Do people here honestly believe that every briefing and every summary document that crosses the desk of the President is to be taken as gospel? As the workings of uncorruptible, apolitical government agencies?

What a laugh!

Funny that you all would probably have preferred POTUS to go against the wishes of these same agencies, Generals, and cabinet that brought the War on Terror to fruition.

If there has been one teachable lesson about the current state of our government and its agencies, it is that they are infested with partisans where so-called expert-advice is actually nothing more than traps laid for a politcal novice as POTUS.

And yet, amazingly, the gut-instinct of POTUS seems to be his greatest asset and precisely the best defense against any agenda being pushed upon POTUS to act in haste and against the greater good.

Are we supposed to trust that Fauci knows everything, when at the beginning he said masks weren't neccessary? Or that the CDC might not be effectively infiltrated enough to advocate an overreaching policy (full economic shutdown) which could very well bring about a similar event as the Great Recession and torpedo POTUS' chance at reelection? Has there been a sound, empirical study that shows the economic-shutdown of state governors has, in fact, curtailed mortalities from Covid? We all know the answer to this. We probably will never know the truth.

I am fully behind a POTUS that uses his gut as DJT has and which has not given in to every agency request and advice that is brought before POTUS.

Tough decisions which there is never 100% agreement around: it requires the gut.

As clickbait advertisements say at the bottom of a story: "Other men hate him for this: the secret of his success!"

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 13 2020 16:22 utc | 10

Parisian Guy @Sep13 16:06 #9

Trump has answered Woodward : The reason why he downplayed the epidemic was that he wanted people not to panic.

Bullshit. He KNEW that the pandemic was a serious threat but had no effective policy to address that threat until it grew to a CRISIS! that he could exploit via bailouts, looting, and China-bashing.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 13 2020 16:26 utc | 11

NemesisCalling @Sep13 16:22 #10

We know that you're a Trump apologist, Nemesis. But this is impossible to downplay.

Trump recognized the seriousness of the virus threat and yet didn't address it effectively and lied to the public.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 13 2020 16:30 utc | 12

NemesisCalling @Sep13 16:22 #10

We know that you're a Trump apologist, Nemesis. But this is impossible to downplay.

Trump recognized the seriousness of the virus threat and yet didn't address it effectively and lied to the public.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 13 2020 16:30 utc | 13

@13 jr.

Just trying to work you into a froth, jr.

You are the flip-side to the circe/jr. coin.

As I have said before: carry on, "jr.".

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 13 2020 16:34 utc | 14

thanks also, for all your do b!

@ jackrabbit... 1 point for a good post that has enraged the local trump supporters, lol...

here in canada the talk of guaranteed basic income is gaining traction.... i find it fascinating... cbc link to this here...

Posted by: james | Sep 13 2020 16:37 utc | 15

Any comment from anybody about the Trafalgar Group latest polls in Swing States ?
https://www.thetrafalgargroup.org/
These are the polls which Michael Moore referred to.
Trafalgar Group is the only polling company which got it right in 2016 and 2018 in the Swing States.
https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/11/10/pollster_who_got_it_right_in_2016_does_it_again_138621.html

Posted by: Parisian Guy | Sep 13 2020 16:37 utc | 16

b
can you sideline all comments that have a 'word' longer than 65 or 70 characters long such as @16 - Parisian Guy's second link which destroys page width? It would be reasonable that links using longer 'words' (unbroken by hyphen line of characters in the link), to be accepted, use the A HREF you have provided that avoids page extension. If those who are bright enough to write their commentary, they should be bright enough to use A HREF without calling their mothers for help.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Sep 13 2020 17:33 utc | 17

Posted by: Parisian Guy | Sep 13 2020 16:06 utc | 9


Persian Guy, Trump’ answer to Woodward is like what in Persian is called “a stick with two ends in shit” meaning hard to lift and not getting shitty. If Trump didn’t want to start a panic, he shouldn’t have said the truth to Woodward, since in early February Trump wouldn’t know if Woodward would go out and say what trump had held from people. IMO American politicians of all sides and their handlers have long stopped worrying on lying since they come to understand modern era campaigns and party spinners can handle people no matter what they feel or think. Trump or Biden will win the election with about 25-30% of votes of all eligible voters in US, still that in an oligarchy with an electoral system that citizens have to have a street address to be eligible to vote, after spending 10 billion dollars.
This not a democracey it is an oligarchey started as a elitest oligarchic system and was continued so to this date.

Posted by: Kooshy | Sep 13 2020 17:50 utc | 18

Sorry for mix up, posted this on election thread

Some thoughts and comparisons with past models on peace between Israel and Persian Gulf Arab States, and US designs to implement a new security architecture for western Asia.

In early 70s when Americans were waist high in Vietnam quagmire and Watergate, Brits knew they had enough, no longer could afford policing the Persian Gulf and maintain their bases in the area. As of the result, the rearrangement of political and security architecture for Persian Gulf region became essential and necessary. In short years most disputes between the Arab states and Iran was resolved, Bahrain and UAE became independent states friendly to Iran, Iran reclaimed her sovereignty to several PG islands, Iraq and Iran’ dispute on Shatt al Arab water way was resolved, same with Kurdish insurgencies against the governments, Iran and Egypt restarted their relation, etc.. This (fake, unsubstantiated) political changes were arranged (mostly by British and Americans) to calm the political atmosphere in the region, making possible for Iran to become the” Police of Persian Gulf” to protect the new and old Arab fake but Rich states around the Gulf while the western powers no longer could afford doing so.

To make a new security arrangement to secure the western investments and interests by Iran in the region. Iran was to become capable to purchase massive amount of new and modern armament and training from the west with little money she was earning from her oil production. While Iran, and most of the oil producing gulf states were suffering from lack of any meaningful infrastructure. The solution to make these countries purchasing power capable of affording massive increase in purchasing western armament and infrastructure, came with a substantial increase in their only source of income, the oil price. What is called the “Petrol Dollar” recycling was created to recycle their earning from oil with Arms and Good from the west, a win, win solution. Meaning US will print unbacked fiat currency which everyone will need to have to purchase oil from the Persian Gulf oil producing states and oil producing states will purchase military goods and other services from (western) oil purchasing states.


By now we all know how long this fake security arrangements worked, yes less than 5 years, with Iranian revolution in 79 the west had to return to the region to protect its Arab client states. The Shah with full political, economic and military support of west could not protect himself from internal revolute, nevertheless the Arab statelets. The fact is, after Iranian revolution of 79 the west never was able, to arrange a meaningful lasting security architecture, in western Asia, to secure its Arab and Israeli clients and interests. Amazingly, while during all this past forty years since the Iranian revolution, besides its Arab client states all major regional Sunni Muslim states of Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan were in full cooperation with the US to restructure and maintain a new security architecture for western Asia outside of Iranian influence. It Never worked it never will, historically is impossible to make such an arrangement without Iran.

The reason I brought this up is, I see a similar even more clumsy and desperate new arrangement is forming up by the west to secure this small, low density high value Persian Gulf statelets. Apparently, this new arrangement is through utilizing Israel as the securing umbrella state, the so called Israel peace with Arabs states in the Gulf, this while unlike the Shah’ time at least on surface Turkey and Pakistan are officially not supporting this efforts.

It is not too difficult to understand peace with Israel, may bring some comfort and approval for Arab sheikhs and monarch while out of their choice they know US like Brits are leaving. But these Arab rulers know peace with Israel will not be accepted in their own Arab streets specially among rebellious Arabs youth. The fact is that these client Arab states more than external security that Israel supposedly can provide, need internal security from their own ever growing rebellious Arab youth. In fact, the recognition of Israel by these rich Arab monarchs makes them to be more insecure internally. Egypt and Jordan after peace deals and recognition of Israel, internally became less secure and more of police states, so was the Shah of Iran.


Looks like all signs are pointing to the direction of western states moving and making new arrangements to leave western Asia, Arab western clients should know they wouldn’t last, Historically and naturally Turkey’s influence will grow in eastern Mediterranean, and Iran’ in central Asia, Persian Gulf region.

Once my father ( a historian) told me, one can rewrite history book as one wish, but you one can’t recreate the geography. Geography of the Persian Gulf is the bitch for US.

Kooshy

Posted by: Kooshy | Sep 13 2020 17:53 utc | 19

Posted by: Kooshy | Sep 13 2020 17:53 utc | 19

Good piece, Kooshy, but perhaps more optimistic for Iran than I would necessarily agree to, as I would expect of an Iranian.

The US is not about to abandon the Gulf states. They can't, as the Gulf states have no defence. I am certain the peace deals with Israel were the result of blackmail by Trump. As you say the Arab street won't agree, but there's not much national population to say no in the statelets. In Bahrain, the majority Shi'a population is opposed to the government anyway, so the King is dependent on the US (and UK) for protection. It's very remarkable that Saudi has not followed the policy. There they do have a substantial population which is resistant to Riyadh, with remarkable events like the surrender of three Saudi regiments to the Houthis without fighting. The Saudis don't dare.

Israel wouldn't like it if the US left, so there'll be limits to US withdrawal. Leaving Iraq and eastern Syria doesn't matter, it's overstretch anyway. But the Gulf is not negotiable.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 13 2020 19:01 utc | 20

@Parisian Guy #16
Indeed. I put up a link several months ago from a Florida Republican polling firm saying Florida was going for Trump.
When I was actually there 2 weeks ago (Orland and Miami), support for Trump was universal among the people I talked to - but of course this is not any type of representative group.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 13 2020 19:01 utc | 21

@JackRabbit #13
You said:

Trump recognized the seriousness of the virus threat and yet didn't address it effectively and lied to the public.

You should make up your mind. He is an idiot or he isn't?
If he "recognized" the seriousness of the virus threat - what could he have done even in the face of Democrat opposition? Let's be truthful: if Trump said: "Lock them down", the hard core blue states would go the other way just to spite him.
In reality, the federal government has no capability to lock down the states. They can legally try to stop traffic between the states, they can lock down international arrivals and departures, they can send CDC people to remonstrate, but that's about it.
The normal course of business assumes a modicum of cooperation between Federal and state level; when that goes, so does everything else.
The rigmarole about the $300/week Trump Executive Order Stimulus is another fine example.

Of course, another way to look at it is the overall situation. Does the virus mandate a lockdown which will destroy entire swathes of the US economy? Throw 30+ million people out of work, of which 28+ million remain unemployed officially?

The largest 2 states which locked down: New York and California: New York ceded its highest COVID-19 deaths per million residents only to New Jersey while California COVID-19 deaths are only slightly below the peak levels in early April.

Hardly a resounding success for the lockdown theory.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 13 2020 19:09 utc | 22

as much as i like tracey's reporting overall he tends to throw in random bullshit that taints the overall argument. the supposed COVID spike from the protests being a good example as it never actually happened. (PDF) nor are the violent "protests" a majority. that's leaving aside the semantic parlor trick of calling dickhead white kids who come from out of town to burn stuff down "protestors" as opposed to "trust funder asshole cracker honkey retards".

(waiting for the inevitable pedantic asshole Martin Princes of the internet to nitpick methodology on both studies...)

and despite what little readability hitchens may have i'm tired of the cowardly couching of reasonable opinions in "well, ____ is a rapist monster who kills and eats black orphans, buuuut..." nobody cares if assange or putin or maduro or ____ (insert the emmanuel goldstein of the day) lives up to your WASPy brit standards of behavior so get off the goddamn fainting couch and act like an adult.

whatever. he's still less annoying than his dead prick brother.

Posted by: the pair | Sep 13 2020 19:09 utc | 23

The "United States," is wallowing around in its own fluids, and is, for better or worse, sinking deeep. There's no telling what will arise in its place....


Martin makes sense, even if you leave out the religious words:

“Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of this world a neighborhood and yet we have not had the ethical commitment to make of it a brotherhood. But somehow, and in some way, we have got to do this. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the way God’s universe is made; this is the way it is structured.”

Martin Luther King

Posted by: donten | Sep 13 2020 19:40 utc | 24

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented U.S. President Donald Trump with a doctored video which showed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas calling for the murder of children, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Bob Woodward in his new book "Rage".
No doubt Netanyahu also told Trump that Abbas was for killing ducks, and the children who fed them – a trick he learned from Gina Haspel.

Posted by: David G | Sep 13 2020 20:06 utc | 25

COVID-19 boosts a non-viable "economic" reality which proves that capitalism is already dead <=by: killwallstreet @ 3
<= Since 1947..capitalism has been dead in USA governed America. It took the powers behind the nation states leadership several decades to get the sweeper machinery cranked up to clean America out. Today's commercial power mostly operates off of global monopolism in feudal lord fashion.


Arrangement without Iran ..Never worked .. never will, historically is impossible to make such an arrangement without Iran. Client Arab states [need] more than external security that Israel supposedly can provide, need internal security from their own ever growing rebellious Arab youth. In fact, the recognition of Israel by these rich Arab monarchs makes them to be more insecure internally. Egypt and Jordan after peace deals and recognition of Israel, internally became less secure and more of police states, so was the Shah of Iran. <= Kooshy @ 19 <= I agree without Iran lasting security is a dream. Iran is the demolition ball, that the nation state machinery have adopted to help the USA wipe competitive America out economic competition. Don't you see, America has been turned into Germany, it has at its head a person.. whose purpose seems to be to destroy competitive America.. in favor of the world global monopoly powered wall street and other paper profit chasers.


asset mix.. by decade tracks the separation of governed humanity from its wealth..

__tangible 83% 68% 32% 205 16%
intangible 17% 32% 68% 80% 84%
year..------ 1975 1985 1995 2005 2015

Source: Intangible Asset Market value Study, 2017
found in several places around the net.


1. The US is not about to abandon the Gulf states. <= by: Laguerre @ 20
<==the population in America is angry that the USA is protecting the gulf states.
2. They can't, as the Gulf states have no defence. <= by: Laguerre @ 20
<== the population in America would like to see the Gulf States disappear.
3. I am certain the peace deals with Israel were the result of blackmail by Trump.<= by: Laguerre @ 20
<= USA power to do things overseas is under building pressure at home.
4. As you say the Arab state won't agree, but there's not much national population to say
no in the statelets. <= by: Laguerre @ 20
<= yes no mind set among the population of support..
5. In Bahrain, the majority Shi'a population is opposed to the government anyway,

6. It's very remarkable that Saudi has not followed the policy. <= by: Laguerre @ 20
<==I think they are moving for support to Russia.
7. There they do have a substantial population which is resistant to Riyadh,
with remarkable events like the surrender of three Saudi regiments to the
Houthis without fighting. The Saudis don't dare. <= by: Laguerre @ 20
<==I think the days of Saudi are numbered no matter unless they manage to get Russian support..

8. Israel wouldn't like it, if the US left, so there'll be limits to US withdrawal.<= by: Laguerre @ 20
<==American citizens would love it. Might be more power in citizens than anyone realizes?
9. Leaving Iraq and eastern Syria doesn't matter, it's overstretch anyway. <= by: Laguerre @ 20
<== only 28 days to leave Iraq.. means a lot of equipment is going to be left for the Iraqis.
and Iran and Iraq are beginning to work together in earnest..
10. But the Gulf is not negotiable. <= by: Laguerre @ 20
<== Nearly every American wants the oil business to return home to America and leave that
foreign black filth and the wars that it attracts in the Gulf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
One_Belt,_One_Road Chinese economic initiative jointly with Iran and India, will, I predict
take over the economy in the Gulf. The USA has an economic problem in domestic America
which is going to force on its governors to expend some resources for local survival.

Posted by: snake | Sep 13 2020 20:10 utc | 26

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 13 2020 19:01 utc | 20


US doesn’t have a choice here like Brits didn’t I still remember Vietnam and US moving out, internal pressure and poverty and class distance is mounting in US, like it or not the focus becomes on foreign adventures expenditure. This is all about the “Arab NATO”, with Israel as the lead axis like US is for the NATO confronting Iran and Turkey influence over western Asia. In the security design Israel and Arab have the same security need and that’s all the reasons they need to be allies. But this concept unlike NATO from start is wrong and untannable, since firstly the insecurity threats are against unpopular Arab monarchs and not against their states or territorial integrity so the Arab streets not only is not concerned but may even become a threat itself, secondly culturally and religiously US and Europeans were a match, in this case not even close , third Israel has never been attacked by Turkey or Iran or Shia, Israeli security concerns comes from the same Arab street that she is becoming allied with. After theses recognitions opening of embassies and flights, I suspect it becomes much easier for Sunni Arab militarist to infiltrate into Israel.

IMO Saudi Arabia has no problem and is ready to jump on the wagon but perhaps is waiting for a signal from Trump for a later date closer to elections, as big foreign policy win, which is not these countries including Israel and the Real NATO countries have no say on their foreign affairs period.

cheers

Posted by: Kooshy | Sep 13 2020 20:23 utc | 27

Any comments about Victoria b??

More police than virus cases?

Posted by: Rae | Sep 13 2020 20:23 utc | 28

Posted by: snake | Sep 13 2020 20:10 utc | 26

You do understand, don't you, that this is US national policy, not a question of Biden or Trump. As long as there are no US casualties, nobody will be bothered to say no. The investment is not that important.

The Saudis aren't really moving to Russia, that would be a big mistake, nor Iraq getting together with Iran, according to my reports.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 13 2020 20:38 utc | 29

Here we have notice of an important upcoming meeting between representatives of Taiwan and China that might help calm the situation:

"... Taiwan's former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng is reportedly scheduled to head for the Chinese mainland for a cross-Straits forum, over which experts expressed positive expectations and said the forum could be 'icebreaking' for current cross-Straits relations.

"According to Taiwan media, Wang is to lead the Kuomintang (KMT) delegation to this year's Straits Forum in Xiamen, East China's Fujian Province which will kick off on September 19.

"The KMT said in a statement that amid the cross-Straits tensions, given the experience and reputation of former speaker Wang, he would surely be able to effectively convey Taiwan people's concerns about the cross-Straits situation to the mainland, and promote understanding across the Straits, media said.

"Given the anti-mainland stance of the separatist Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities, which has been heightened due to its frequent interactions with the US, including US Undersecretary of State Keith Krach's upcoming visit to the island, mainland residents' goodwill toward Taiwan is declining rapidly, mainland observers said, noting the KMT delegation's possible visit serves as a precious opportunity for the mainland and rational voices in the Taiwan island to communicate."

I've previously mentioned the KMT sees the DPP as being very dangerous for Taiwan and the true interests of its people. IMO, the DPP wouldn't exist without direct support from the Outlaw US Empire. One example of how dangerous that partnership is comes from the attempt to erase Chinese history from Taiwan's textbooks:

"The omission of large periods of ancient Chinese history in new textbooks used by some schools in the island of Taiwan, which compress 2,400 years into four pages, is opposed by the majority of Taiwan residents, according to a local online poll. Analysts noted that the act serves as a "soft" method of the Democratic Progressive Party to promote its secessionist agenda by politicizing education."

But this is being met by Taiwanese's majoritarian resistance:

"In an online poll of 10,700 netizens, 66 percent voted 'strongly disagree' or 'somewhat disagree' with deleting large parts of Chinese history from the textbooks, Taiwan-based China Times reported.

"Taiwan residents expressed discontent on social media. One comment on Facebook read 'Just to be clear, the Chinese mainland is able to present the history of the rivalry between the KMT and the Communist Party of China with a neutral tone, while we [Taiwan] are still sparing no effort to wipe our blood relatives out of history textbooks'....

"'The Chinese mainland is emphasizing Chinese cultural identity while DPP authorities keep wiping it out. We are losing our roots and becoming cultural 'homeless' people,' another Facebook user posted.

"DPP authorities are trying to push forward the party's secessionist agenda in a 'soft' way, by undoing the cultural identity that links Taiwan with the Chinese mainland. Culture and education are political tools, Chang Ya-chung, a Taipei-based professor at National Taiwan University, told the Global Times on Wednesday." [My Emphasis]

I could charge the DPP with using Stalinist methods and be 100% correct. Perhaps it's easier to see why the Chinese are pissed off at what the Outlaw US Empire's promoting in Taiwan and in Hong Kong prior as it's trying to accomplish a form of Cultural Genocide as the FB user cited above laments.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 13 2020 20:51 utc | 30

I can’t understand people at this late date – both the Trump worshippers and despisers, and regardless of where they stand on the coronavirus panic – who still take Trump’s words as evidence of what he “really meant” or “really knew”. Hasn’t Trump’s lifetime spent publicly saying whatever was convenient to him at the moment – generally whatever he thought his interlocutors wanted to hear that would also advance his own interest, completely unmoored from any concern with external reality – been enough to show that to be a sucker’s game? (Though it is possible over the long term to use his words forensically to suss out certain tendencies, or even such few primitive beliefs as he does actually hold, such as that a nation’s trade surplus or deficit are equivalent to a business making or losing money.)

If Woodward could prove that Trump knew a material fact (as opposed to a judgment about a fact) earlier than acknowledged, that could be newsworthy. But while the seriousness (or otherwise) of this coronavirus is a (disputed) medical fact, Trump coming down one way or another on it at any given moment tells us nothing about the outbreak, or even what he “knows” or “knew” about it.

This is not to say I’m against Trump facing the consequences for being caught lying, same as anybody else – consequences Trump may be increasingly nervous about as he faces the possibility of having to move out of the presidential palace in a few months only to face motivated New York prosecutors looking hard at his businesses after decades of letting him ooze past the law with only a few minor scrapes.

Posted by: David G | Sep 13 2020 20:58 utc | 31

Posted by: Kooshy | Sep 13 2020 20:23 utc | 27

The protection of the Gulf doesn't cost the US very much. They have to maintain those aircreft carriers and associated weaponry anyway, expatriating them to the Gulf doesn't add much, as long as there isn't a war. So no-one will protest.

Saudi is in a very dicey situation, which is too complicated to describe here. Basically, nobody likes Riyadh, but are paid off by the oil revenues. If Riyadh gave way to Trump's blackmail, there's a danger of overturning the Saudi dynasty. So no Saudi agreement.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 13 2020 21:07 utc | 32

Thanks very much, b, for posting the correct link to the current UCSF video - lots of positivity in that, so it was enjoyable.

I've always felt the covid case count to be rather a relative statistic, not too meaningful as far as numbers go since it depends so much on the ability of states to do an accurate count. Unlike smaller entities such as New Zealand, which are able to do this more efficiently.

The information that leaving out such a questionable statistic and concentrating on deaths gives a declining rate is very good news indeed. Plus I liked Dr. Gandhi's insistence that it is okay to talk in terms of herd immunity! She's a good egg.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 13 2020 21:08 utc | 33

Formerly T-Bear | Sep 13 2020 17:33 utc | 17:

MoA is aware of the problem. MoA cares not.

In defense of the commenters, I’ll note that on the phone which I am using now the “a href” tag simply does not work on this website, likewise the underline tag. (Bold and italic do work, for some reason.)

Posted by: David G | Sep 13 2020 21:15 utc | 34

One of the former fighter pilots who encountered a mysterious flying object off the coast of California in 2004 says the unidentified phenomena committed an “act of war” in the unexplained encounter.
https://www.rt.com/usa/500504-declassified-ufo-act-of-war-radar/

That’s it: time for the U.S. to declare the universe a rogue state. Uncle Sam can start with sanctions to starve all the little gray twerps out there into compliance – and note that the U.S. military defines outer space as beginning at 50 miles altitude, rather than the international (and NASA) standard of 100 km, so that’s millions more cubic miles of ionosphere to blockade on top of all the galaxies. If that doesn’t garner an acceptable response, the new Space Force can be loosed on a stubborn, undemocratic cosmos. Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer will lie on their backs and piss upward in a show of support, with no conceivable ill effects raining back down on them.

Posted by: David G | Sep 13 2020 21:39 utc | 35

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 13 2020 20:51 utc | 30 I could charge the DPP with using Stalinist methods and be 100% correct.

JFC, why are you Anglophones so obsessed with naming anything "Stalinist"????
"Stalinist show trial of Assange" (John Pilger), "Stalinist methods" etc.

Why aren't you equating & relating parts of Anglo-Imperialist methods of eradication to examples of own history instead of letting Stalin pay for it??

Posted by: v | Sep 13 2020 21:39 utc | 36

I am amazed by speculation on US Middle East actions, motivations and intentions by various barflies.

IMO US foreign policy, and more recently domestic policy, has been held in total captivity by the zionist cabal since at least 1917 when Woodrow Wilson sent Henry Morgenthau Snr on a later aborted "peace" mission to Turkey.

https://middleeastrealitycheck.blogspot.com/2010/11/diggers-who-died-for-israel.html

Importantly, the US, with an eye to the proposed future land grab, did not declare war on Turkey alone among the Central Powers in WW1.

US motivation is always first and foremost Zionism and allowing the thief to keep the stolen property. All other current and future developments should become clear in this context.

Posted by: Pail | Sep 13 2020 21:45 utc | 37

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 13 2020 21:07 utc | 32


Previously Trump said without us Saudi wouldn’t last 2 weeks, he was and is absolutely right , just recently he told Woodward I save MBS on Khashoggi murder , he truly did it was him who save Mr. Bone saw, he now owns MBS’ ass. Don you really think if he tells the Saudis to join this peace realty show shenanigan, they have choice to refuse. They are doing this incremental to show significant foreign policy achievement before election, this is obvious to everyone except you.

On the other issue, once pressure starts building up at home and on the ruling elites (like during VN), they will start moving and cutting cost starting with list vulnerable exposures (choosing to move out of SW Asia after Vietnam instead of Europe, due to more danger from USSR, or not moving in and establish bases in PG before Iran revolution). Number of bases and cost of military is becoming an issue which is becoming less possible not to be discussed especially if US starts a real economic war on China. In four strategic body of water theaters of North Atlantic, Mediterranean, Persian Gulf/ Indian Ocean, and South China sea the least vulnerable and exposed to Russia and or China is the Persian Gulf/ Indian Ocean.

Posted by: Kooshy | Sep 13 2020 21:49 utc | 38

Posted by: Pail | Sep 13 2020 21:45 utc | 37

I don't doubt you're right. US policy succeeded British policy in the same sense. There are limits to a colonial policy, though. Especially one where war is declared on all surrounding neighbours. One day those fortified borders may fail.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 13 2020 21:56 utc | 39

Posted by: Kooshy | Sep 13 2020 21:49 utc | 38

I don't disagree, but the US is not going to abandon Saudi, as Saudi supports the petro-dollar. The dollar might fall like a stone, if disconnected from Saudi. As Trump will discover, conflict with China is just an agreeable diversion, if faced with the real problem of the ME. Obama talked about the flip to China, but he didn't actually do it, because the ME interests were too vital (and Israel didn't want it.).

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 13 2020 22:11 utc | 40

Chevrus | Sep 13 2020 14:17 utc | 2:

Herbert wrote the first three novels in rapid succession …
Maybe too rapid. I’ve always thought the second and third volumes would have benefited greatly from an editor forcing Herbert to knock his ideas into more coherent shape – there are even misspellings in the 1970s paperbacks I read, though these may have been fixed since. (I also read the first post-trilogy book, but stopped there.)

Now I see on Wikipedia that “Dune Messiah” wasn’t published until 1969, following “Dune” (1965), so not that rapid. I’ve always felt that after the first book there was a sloppiness that undermined the strength of the saga.

When discussing the films, it should be remembered that this was one of Lynch’s more compromised works, with him being denied final cut and disowning the originally released version. (I know other cuts have been released subsequently; I’m not up on how Lynch feels about them.)

Fans who don’t know about it should try to see the documentary, “Jodorowsky’s Dune”, about Alejandro Jodorowsky’s failed effort to film the novel. That’s a movie I would like to have seen!

Posted by: David G | Sep 13 2020 22:15 utc | 41

Posted by: David G | Sep 13 2020 21:39 utc | 35

Re: "Act of War"

If you read down there, what it say happened is the pilot tried to lock on the UFO, and the UFO jammed him. That's the act of war. Which is itself something to ponder ...

But anyway, you have to assume from that point on that what he sees might be fake, a simulation (if you assume the UFO is real, not and sensor artifact or of earthly origin).

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 13 2020 22:29 utc | 42

the seriousness (or otherwise) of this coronavirus is a (disputed) medical fact, Trump coming down one way or another on it at any given moment tells us nothing about the outbreak
________________________________

Well said.
The same people that proclaim trump has told 20000 lies are somehow convinced that one lone statement by trump is not his usual bullshit

I will say it again -> trump's primary skill is making other people act deranged.

Posted by: jinn | Sep 13 2020 22:53 utc | 43

Bemildred | Sep 13 2020 22:29 utc | 42:

Oh, I assure you I read the article. The incident seems at least as real as Gulf of Tonkin, and we got a whole war out of that.

Your suggestion that the U.S. government might fake something is completely alien to me.

Posted by: David G | Sep 13 2020 22:53 utc | 44

Posted by: Kooshy | Sep 13 2020 17:53 utc | 19

> Some thoughts and comparisons with past models on peace between Israel and Persian Gulf Arab States, and US designs to implement a new security architecture for western Asia.

So you start with this, but then spew quite a bit of smoke in the direction of Iran, which is obviously not Arab. Noted.

> In early 70s when Americans were waist high in Vietnam quagmire and Watergate, Brits knew they had enough, no longer could afford policing the Persian Gulf and maintain their bases in the area. As of the result, the rearrangement of political and security architecture for Persian Gulf region became essential and necessary. In short years most disputes between the Arab states and Iran was resolved, Bahrain and UAE became independent states friendly to Iran, Iran reclaimed her sovereignty to several PG islands, Iraq and Iran’ dispute on Shatt al Arab water way was resolved, same with Kurdish insurgencies against the governments, Iran and Egypt restarted their relation, etc.. This (fake, unsubstantiated) political changes were arranged (mostly by British and Americans) to calm the political atmosphere in the region, making possible for Iran to become the” Police of Persian Gulf” to protect the new and old Arab fake but Rich states around the Gulf while the western powers no longer could afford doing so.

Ask your father the "historian" does changing "Policeman" to "Police" does a "wish" fulfillment? Kooshy's father said, listen here son, "one can rewrite history book as one wish!"

Kooshy took extensive notes that day!

1975 Algiers Agreement

The Three Occupied UAE Islands: The Tunbs and Abu Musa

> To make a new security arrangement to secure the western investments and interests by Iran in the region. Iran was to become capable to purchase massive amount of new and modern armament and training from the west with little money she was earning from her oil production. While Iran, and most of the oil producing gulf states were suffering from lack of any meaningful infrastructure. The solution to make these countries purchasing power capable of affording massive increase in purchasing western armament and infrastructure, came with a substantial increase in their only source of income, the oil price. What is called the “Petrol Dollar” recycling was created to recycle their earning from oil with Arms and Good from the west, a win, win solution. Meaning US will print unbacked fiat currency which everyone will need to have to purchase oil from the Persian Gulf oil producing states and oil producing states will purchase military goods and other services from (western) oil purchasing states.

Kooshy Sr. would be proud of you! You have managed to erase OPEC, and existing (regrettable historic) evidence that shows the West went "nuts" about oil prices and Shah's role in making it happen. And outside of Nixon and Kissinger, even in the US there was strong opposition to arming the Shah.

There are many videos on youtube, for the interested reader, where Shah of Iran was interviewed in the 70s about both of these topics. The tone of the interviewers throughout is interrogative and borderline rude. They questioned him about the price of oil. They asked "why does Iran need so many tanks"?

UPITN 17-4-78 Pahlavi Shah of IRAN interviewd on a range of subjects


> By now we all know how long this fake security arrangements worked, yes less than 5 years, with Iranian revolution in 79 the west had to return to the region to protect its Arab client states. The Shah with full political, economic and military support of west could not protect himself from internal revolute, nevertheless the Arab statelets.

Sadam Hussein backed down after locking horns with Shah of Iran. Sadaam attacked Iran and killed quite a few after your darling revolutionaries gutted and destroyed Iranian military, per your master's instructions.

The security was working and this is why Iran had to be subverted internally. But BUS, UK, France, and Germany, BBC, even Air France, all chipped in to support the "internal revolute" [sic].

> The fact is, after Iranian revolution of 79 the west never was able, to arrange a meaningful lasting security architecture, in western Asia, to secure its Arab and Israeli clients and interests.

Right. Someone important in the trilateral commission wrote the book announcing their plans about this. Educate yourself, Kooshy. Z-big-news is you are yet again blowing smoke here. Shah was removed precisely to create the environment of chaos in the area.

"The fact is, after Iranian revolution of 79 [Iran] was never able, to [regain a measure of its former position, reputation, income, and quality of life, to say nothing of freedoms]". There, fixed it for ya.

Btw, the Petrodollar agreement never included Iran. It was and remains an agreement between USA and House of Said.

> Once my father ( a historian) told me, one can rewrite history book as one wish, but you one can’t recreate the geography. Geography of the Persian Gulf is the bitch for US.

Haha. Too 'Kooshy' by a anglo-zionist mile, buddy.

Posted by: conspiracy-theorist | Sep 13 2020 22:56 utc | 45

The 1984 Dune was complete crap. Lynch may have disowned it, but he was still the director. And a massively over-rated one, at that. "Blue Velvet" was one of the only two or three movies I ever actually walked out on.

I haven't seen the mini-series remake, so can't comment on that. I will download the new one and view it when it comes out on DVD.

Meanwhile I continue to recommend "Mulan".

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Sep 13 2020 23:12 utc | 46

As for the stimulus bill, anyone who thought it would be passed in the first week Congress was back was delusional. It was obvious that in an election year, it would be fought tooth and nail right up to the election (and perhaps beyond). Both sides are motivated to use it to score partisan points. But both sides are also motivated to pass something so they can use that in the election.

I continue to expect another $1200 stimulus check, if nothing else, simply because both sides will want to claim they "helped" the average voter. The rest of the haggling will continue over the business support, unemployment, etc. But I don't expect any bill to pass before the last week of October. And if it doesn't, it will be swept away by the fight over a contested election, in which case we won't see any more assistance until sometime next year - if ever.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Sep 13 2020 23:17 utc | 47

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 13 2020 22:11 utc | 40

I am not saying US will stop supporting Saudis, US as always will have insiders to sure up the Al Saud from internal dissident, for that there is no need to have a large military presence in the region. US military presence in the area was for two folds, first was to be the police and make everybody behave and obey US commands, to threat Iran to submit and to start a war if possible.

But it is now obvious a war with Iran is becoming less and less possible, or even impossible (for same reason you don't hear any more that all options are on table), and Iran is less likely to be scared ( if it was wouldn't publicly announce and attack a US military base) of very vulnerable big expensive US military equipment and bases in her region (IMO, in this case, Iran really hopes to be able to keep his enemies missile range close at all times).

Israel and Arabs wouldn't like it at all but all know if not provoked Iran is not about to attack either of these statelets. Again IMO when US leaves there would be more chance for peace and everybody will behave better.

Posted by: Kooshy | Sep 13 2020 23:27 utc | 48

the ruling class both fight with each other and are united against the working class. HRC and DT can be both best friends and want to stab each other in the throat in the quest for the imperial purple. but mostly the potus who drank the flint mi water is correct when he said, "it's an intramural scrimmage." and so perhaps trump's and hilary's real rivalry is over who can drape him- or herself in God and patriotism the most while branding the "enemy" w/some variation on the "communist" label. they both create conflicts and gamble on the outcome in the stock market vel sim, with as much criminality & profiteering involved as one can get away with. some obvious truths can be uttered ("people make money off of war!") but class betrayal won't be tolerated.

public opinion is just another resource to be exploited. but since the US empire is being checked abroad, methods mostly reserved for foreign lands or minorities will move ever closer to home for all of us. especially as the USG has no plans for a response even to the immediate needs of the wildfire victims, much less long-term strategies for anything but "heckuva job Bernie" levels of staggering incompetence and denial of reality.

who was it that said California is the end of the world? I guess we can't run away from our karmic debt to the earth any more, can we? took capitalism about 100 years mas o menos to destroy California.

Posted by: jason | Sep 13 2020 23:34 utc | 49

heckuva job Brownie, i think it was

Posted by: jason | Sep 13 2020 23:35 utc | 50

Dune.
The David Lynch original looks better to me.
b.

The list of re-made "Hollywood" movies which are superior to the original is still awaiting its first entry...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 13 2020 23:51 utc | 51


Posted by: conspiracy-theorist | Sep 13 2020 22:56 utc | 45

FYI, I usually do not reply to elementary discussions, but this time here to make you better educated on ME issues related to Iran.

1- I never said Iran was Arab, I am Iranian myself

“even in the US there was strong opposition to arming the Shah.”

2- So? big deal, But nevertheless shah’s Army was armed to tooth more than any allies of US inside or outside of region, even more than Israel why? to protect who? from what?

3-Saddam, agreed after there was a resolution on Kurdish insurgencies in his norther provinces ( US accepting and moving their leaders to US for reuse at a later time), later on after the revolution when Saddam understood that US, and all other Arab clients of US will support him in his efforts to confront Iran he tore the agreement up, and went to war with Iran.

4- All US, client oil producing countries that mattered were selling their oil in US dollar and buying western military hardware and services.

You should read more before analyzing, some stuff you wrote is elementary if not childish.

Posted by: Kooshy | Sep 14 2020 0:01 utc | 52

jinn @Sep13 22:53 #43

I wasn't going to comment on David G's ludicrous attempt to excuse Trump but since you have now seconded it, I feel compelled to address this nonsense.

US government officials were briefed on the looming pandemic in late January. One Senator sold stocks based on the information that he received and passed on the information to his top donors.

So Trump wasn't just mouthing off. His statement to Woodward confirms that HE KNEW that the virus was a real threat. And, as I previously mentioned, Trump WASN'T playing down the virus just to keep the public calm - in the six or seven weeks before declaring a National Emergency, Trump did virtually nothing to stop the virus or prepare for a pandemic outbreak. His shutting down air travel between USA and China was merely a band-aid - travelers could easily book flights via third-countries and were not subject to scrutiny when they arrived in USA except that they could self-identify as feeling sick if they wanted to spend two weeks in self-isolation (I don't think USA even had any quarantine measures at that point).

The Trump Administration also approved selling millions of dollars of PPE to China despite knowing that USA was likely to be affected by the pandemic within weeks.

And in February 2020 the Trump Administration showed no interest early warnings of community spread in Washington State. As detailed by the New York Times, a researcher who wanted to test samples for community spread was told not to. When she did it anyway and found community spread, she was told to stop testing.

Then there's the New York outbreak, which apparently came from Europe. How did USA miss the outbreak in Europe (especially in Italy) and thereby completely fail to take measures to prevent that vector of transmission?

Once the pandemic arrived in USA, the Trump Administration continued it's inept response. And that's why USA leads the world in coronavirus deaths.

Too many "mistakes" were made for anyone to believe that the Trump Administration didn't deliberately allow the pandemic to spread.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 14 2020 0:19 utc | 53

Hoarsewhisperer@51 may want to put The Maltese Falcon with Humphrey Bogart on the list of superior Hollywood remakes? Or perhaps the Ingrid Bergman remake of Gaslight? The remake of Ben-Hur is as Hollywood as it gets but perhaps some actually like Francis X. Bushman better than Charlton Heston? Doesn't everything suggest even DeMille did better the second time round for The Ten Commandments? Dont the people who prefer the first re-make of Invasion of the Body Snatchers even have a case?

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 14 2020 0:32 utc | 54

Effectively blocking, or even just delaying, the virus outbreak in USA would have meant that a bailout of Wall Street and Boeing might've been impossible.

The US economic expansion - the longest expansion ever - was already weakening by January 2020. If it had weakened further, many would suspect that the proposed Wall Street and Boeing bailouts were not due to the virus but to crony capitalism.

It's also interesting to note the superbly-timed ARAMCO IPO. Despite years of delays, it finally came to market about two months before the pandemic was first recognized. Wow.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 14 2020 0:40 utc | 55

steven t johnson | Sep 14 2020 0:32 utc | 54:

You beat me to it with a number of plausible examples.

Most people would absolutely rank “The Maltese Falcon” (1941) over the earlier version, though as an extreme pre-Code partisan myself, I might question that. (That goes double for “Waterloo Bridge” (1940) and its pre-Code realization.) On the other hand, many critics and fans rate the earlier “Gaslight” higher, but I’m not so sure, and anyway the first one was British, not Hollywood.

I think we have to give the Wyler/Heston “Ben Hur” the nod over the silent, though many maintain the chariot race in the earlier film is more exciting.

Kudos on coming up with “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1978), which more than holds its own with the 1956 film. Another strong sci-fi candidate is John Carpenter’s “The Thing” relative to the earlier sort-of-Howard-Hawks movie – though I like the 1951 one, and have steered clear of actually seeing Carpenter’s take: too scary! I might also add “Flash Gordon” (1980) compared to the old serial, though that wasn’t really a remake.

One could also point out ancient versions that preceded classics like “Frankenstein” and “The Wizard of Oz”, though that feels kind of like cheating.

Posted by: David G | Sep 14 2020 1:02 utc | 56

v @36--

Within Outlaw US Empire Cold War propaganda, denouncing anything as "Stalinist" carried a rather specific message that is was first most certainly evil and secondly inhuman, and ipso facto something the 100% wholesome and goodly West would never ever do. In this case, we have an ally of the Outlaw US Empire engaging in just that sort of behavior, so I used the proper pejorative to denounce it--savvy?

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 14 2020 1:02 utc | 57

Rabbit @55--

"The US economic expansion - the longest expansion ever - was already weakening by January 2020."

Do please explain how that can be when looking at this chart of actual GDP growth or lack thereof. And recall that even Shadowstats is too generous when measuring GDP.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 14 2020 1:09 utc | 58

Some have been following Matthew Ehret's thesis examining what perhaps could have been and why, and he's added another few pages. Beware his premises. In this installment, Ehret writes that the
"Munroe Doctrine" was "America’s anti-imperial foreign policy since 1823." That couldn't be more incorrect which is too bad since the initial tenor of his essay was excellent.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 14 2020 1:23 utc | 59

What is behind Bahrain's normalisation deal with Israel?
Nobel peace prize to .. you guessed it.

Posted by: Rao | Sep 14 2020 1:28 utc | 60

David g and steven re: body snatchers

Terrific movies, but after growing up with the Sutherland remake, I came to the original with Kevin McCarthy second. And I think it is the better. Great score, terrific lead in McCarthy ("They're coming! They're coming! You're next! You're next!"), tight script, good locations. With the remake, it lulls in the third act before a great finale/twist with Sutherland.

Aliens from Cameron isn't quite a remake...although very similar to Ridley Scott's plot. I feel it is a superior film than the original and in my top 10 greatest of all-time.

Thin Red Line by Terrence Malick is the superior to the original, although how can you go wrong adapting from James Jones? Malick's world building and visual directing/editing is truly that of an auteur/master.

John Carpenter's The Thing is definitely a remake that obliterated the original. Fantastic film and acting from Kurt Russel.

Just watched the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with the daughter. Amazing, timeless classic. The Burton remake was loud and obnoxious...definitely not warranting a rewatch.

Very, very rare to have a remake better than the first.

Egregious attempts:

Robocop (Verhoeven)
Invisible Man(s)
All the horror remakes really
Psycho

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 14 2020 1:31 utc | 61

David G @ 35,

So, do you think Andromeda will be the first of the 7 in the main local group to be brought down by our ersatz spacecadet force ??

Posted by: polecat | Sep 14 2020 1:38 utc | 62

karlof1 @Sep14 1:09 #58

Yes, it's true that official stats don't reflect reality. Even the rose-colored glasses of establishment economists revealed an expansion with weak job growth made up of part-time and low-paying jobs.

But US media report on official stats and those official stats could not hide that a slowdown in US economy was threatening an OFFICIAL recession because Trump tax cut 'sugar high' had run its course.

During 2019, the Fed had reduced interest rates three times and had conducted stealth QE. They were "out of bullets" as 2020 began.

SeekingAlpha 2020 Economic Outlook (published January 6, 2020). See section II: Macroeconomic Outlook where key economic indicators are signaling a recession.

Banks Get Tough on Shale Loans as Fracking Forecasts Flop (published Dec. 23, 2019)

Banks have begun to tighten requirements on revolving lines of credit, an essential lifeline for smaller companies, as these institutions revise estimates on the value of some shale reserves held as collateral for loans to producers, according to people familiar with the matter.

The tightening financial pressure on shale producers is one of the reasons many are facing a reckoning going into next year. Chevron Corp. said Dec. 10 that it plans to take a charge of $10 billion to $11 billion, roughly half of it tied to shale gas assets, which it said won't be profitable soon. Royal Dutch Shel;ll PLC said Friday it will take a roughly $2 billion impairment, and other companies are expected to follow suit in writing down assets, according to analysts and industry executives.


Wall Street and Banks have provided hundreds of billions of dollars in loans to the fracking industry which are nearly worthless (published October 13, 2019):
Figures show fracking has been the focus of intense financing, with Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America providing about $80bn over three years, much of it linked to the Permian basin in Texas.

<> <> <> <>

Also noteworthy: Trump had said that he would not sign an interim trade agreement with China. Yet he decided to do so just as the pandemic was recognized. This friendly gesture came soon before a pandemic would spread from China eventually leading to Trump blaming China for spreading the virus worldwide.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 14 2020 1:57 utc | 63

polecat | Sep 14 2020 1:38 utc | 62:

Well, I think they should start small with, what else?, the Small Magellanic Cloud.

Posted by: David G | Sep 14 2020 2:15 utc | 64

@: karlof1 | Sep 14 2020 1:23 utc | 59

I read the essay earlier today and was puzzled by Ehret's consistent spelling of Monroe as "Munroe." Is this a new type of signaling device? For what? For whom? Egret does link to a description of the Monroe Doctrine which reveals the misleadingness of his over simplification, "America’s anti-imperial foreign policy since 1823." I found the essay well worth the read.


Hope you're doing okay on the coast. It sounds like hell in the west. I have family in the cascades.


///////////////

@ several earlier posts on the href thing

I cannot get the href link to work on the older computer I prefer to use for writing, not that I write very much during this time of year.
I have a newer "device" that can do the href function but it is horrible for writing, kind of like trying to smear out a sentence while being constantly interrupted by suggested alterations and random inaccuracies that need tedious correction. I understand why ...'s is becoming a substitute for other punctuation as it's too labor intensive to get to the correct typepad screen on devices.

I prefer to see the link's information in the body of the link although the A HREF makes text more compact and smooth.

Posted by: suzan | Sep 14 2020 2:42 utc | 65

NemesisCalling | Sep 14 2020 1:31 utc | 61:

I’ve never even heard of the earlier version of “The Thin Red Line”. I saw the Malick film when it came out, and I have to say I was bored silly, but it’s probably worth another look someday.

I also didn’t know about an earlier “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” with a daughter, and I haven’t actually seen Burton’s version, but I doubt it threatens “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” (1971).

A personal favorite of mine is Warren Beatty’s “Heaven Can Wait”, which is a remake of “Here Comes Mr. Jordan”, which is ok but, to me, not as good. (Note the Beatty film is not a remake of the 1943 Don Ameche vehicle with the same title.)

“No Way Out” (1987) is a solid update on “The Big Clock” (1948), though that’s good too. (Again, not a remake of “No Way Out” (1950)).

One more: The French-Italian “The Wages of Fear” (1953) is justly celebrated, but people should check out its (gasp!) Hollywood remake, “Sorcerer” (1977) – it’s really a trip.

But, overall, yeah, the list of misbegotten remakes is far, far longer. I mean: “The Flight of the Phoenix”? C’mon, man! [Biden voice] You don’t mess with perfection!

Posted by: David G | Sep 14 2020 2:53 utc | 66

caitlin johnstones latest - Let’s Be Real: President Biden Would Probably Be More Hawkish Than Trump

Posted by: james | Sep 14 2020 3:19 utc | 67

@ james | Sep 14 2020 3:19 utc | 67 with the Catlin latest posting link about Biden hawkish stance

Does it matter? Which one is more likely to go MAD?

Otherwise, I think one has to look at the alternative to MAD which is bullying, sanctions, tariffs, etc. and who might be best at those strategies.....some would say Trump puts on a better show than Biden.....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 14 2020 3:44 utc | 68

I found this interesting: Why Today’s India is on the Wrong Side of History

Relates to vk's comment @5 about the EU's losing move to help the US contain Russia.

The article refers to Western hegemony as resting on technological dominance. Is control of advanced technologies today similar to control of spice/melange in Dune? Will have to rewatch the 1984 version and look forward to seeing the Denis Villeneuve version.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Sep 14 2020 3:46 utc | 69

@ Canadian Cents | Sep 14 2020 3:46 utc | 69 who wrote

"
The article refers to Western hegemony as resting on technological dominance.
"

I posit that Western hegemony rests on financial dominance, not technical. And until now the West had the military hegemony to enforce it without MAD.....now we are at the collapse/MAD juncture......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 14 2020 3:54 utc | 70

Well, I have to apologize to everybody who was annoyed by the effect on this page displaying because of my href in comment #16

@Daniel G
Yes, I'm on MoA with a smartphone. The underline tag doesn't work, and I stopped to use the href tag long time ago. And since I don't comment everyday, I had fully forgotten about the problem with long url. I remember now having in the past being annoyed by that mistake when it was made by other people.


@to everybody

I'm still waiting for someone commenting the polls here https://www.thetrafalgargroup.org/

These polls give most of the Swing States to Trump.
Experience from 2016 and 2018 tells that Trafalgar polls are the most reliable ( see url in my damned comment #16)

Posted by: Parisian Guy | Sep 14 2020 4:04 utc | 71

Below is a Xinhuanet posting quoting the Russian FM Lavrov

"
MOSCOW, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has criticized the U.S. policy of forming alliances against third countries, including China.

Responding to a question about Washington's attempt to pitting other countries against China, Lavrov said "the policy is alien to us."

"Neither Russia, nor China, nor our allies ever offer someone to be friends against someone," Lavrov said Sunday on a local TV program.

"We have a completely different diplomatic and political culture. We have a desire to develop good relations with everyone," he said.

Russia never puts forward preconditions for cooperation that its partners must deliberately worsen relations with some countries in the first place, Lavrov noted.

"'To be friends against someone,' in my opinion, contradicts the very meaning of the word 'friendship,'" he added.
"

The circle of Western wagons is forming nonetheless....or attempting to be formed would be more accurate and Lavrov is calling out the US recruiting strategy......what will the EU do with Nord Stream II?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 14 2020 4:09 utc | 72

Below is another short post from Xinhuanet that is about finance this time and I comment afterward

"
BEIJING, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- The State Council, China's cabinet, on Sunday unveiled new rules to regulate market access of financial holding companies.

The new regulation requires non-financial companies or other eligible entities, which control at least two financial institutions doing business across financial sectors, to apply to and get approval from the People's Bank of China to establish financial holding companies.

The move is aimed at plugging regulatory loopholes and deepening financial reforms amid efforts to maintain market order, reduce risks and enhance support for the real economy, according to a notice released by the State Council.

The regulation, which will take effect on November 1 this year, specifies rules on a wide range of issues concerning the market access of financial holding companies, including registered capital, shareholders, actual controllers, capital replenishment and risk management.
"

Is China going to open up its financial sector enough to let it be overwhelmed/controlled by Western finance? I hope not and want to believe that China won't be fooled again.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 14 2020 4:14 utc | 73

@69 Canadian Cents and @70 et seq psychohistorian

I think we could see the maneuverings of entities such as India and the US as similar to the positioning of the great houses, such as Atreides and Harkonnen, and not much more than this.

I'm not sure what would parallel the Imperium of Herbert's galactic civilization - once it was perhaps the Roman Pope but I don't know what this schismatic world of ours bends its knee to currently, if there is even one overarching ruler.

But the spice, that must flow, is undoubtedly the interest on private debt. This is really the only new income that exists for the owners of the capitalist world - everything else is just the swapping of credits by the workers and functionaries. This fresh new income is all that matters to the great power of private finance, that wraps itself around our world like a great python at the base of the tree. Debt is nothing, interest is everything. Regardless of what states and kings do, the interest must flow.

The power of private debt is deeply threatened by socialism because it means the end of its income.

In this sense, China and those few other socialist nations that issue their own sovereign money, and pay no tribute to the serpent, are at one and the same time the unruly scum of an enemy that must be crushed, and also potentially the Fremen who ultimately might stymie and control the flow of the spice, cutting it off or letting it flow by offering a competitive money, and capable even if pushed of waging jihad against the Imperium itself to create a new absolute rule.

China wouldn't see things this way, perhaps. But the story could be told this way. And the future, since we're considering fictional parallels, may even write itself this way.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 14 2020 4:36 utc | 74

pyschohistorian @70, agreed that financial domination and the dollar's reserve currency status is a big part of Western hegemony. And to enforce that the US will use military power (ex. against Hussein in Iraq, against Ghadaffi in Libya when they planned to move away from the USD.)

Military power could be seen as derived from control of technologies: ex. guns/armor vs natives in the Americas, guns and iron/steam gunboats vs Chinese junks in the Opium Wars (before which China apparently had the largest economy in the world), nuclear weapons, and these days hypersonic missiles, GPS, 5G, drones, AI, etc.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Sep 14 2020 4:42 utc | 75

Grieved @74, I like that - interest on private debt as the spice that must flow! I was thinking advanced technologies since those, like spice, unlock other powers and capabilities (that and the article I shared was referring to the West trying to preserve its technological domination).

And yes, the 1% can't have examples of successful socialism out there, lest their 99% start asking questions. So any governments that try to serve their 100% and not just the 1% must be constantly be demonized, sanctioned, overthrown, invaded, ...

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Sep 14 2020 5:04 utc | 76

@ Grieved #74 and Canadian Cents # 75

To CC I say that the power of the example of working "socialism" is greater than the power of any military. In a military MAD locked world the power of a social concept and the example of the way that concept is actualized forces the conflict into new territory....social merit.

To Grieved I say that your private spice debt analogy and may resonate with more than the rentier concept. I agree with your take on China's position.....It is up to the aggressor to point out the glaring difference in social contract/organization.

When we are done with all this social reorganization stuff, can we set the stars again as humanity's vision? I have spent the last week in Corvallis, OR not being able to see the sun....or stars. Oregon has more than doubled its previous forest fire loss so far and the season is not over and some of the biggest fires are at 0% containment......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 14 2020 5:05 utc | 77

There have been a few developments in the East Med Turkey - Cyrpus / Greece show recently. (Won't go into the dick swinging between Turkey and Greece though Greece is making all the right moves to provoke the Turks! )))

The first was the US lifting the arms embargo against Cyprus a week or so ago: Interestingly, earlier this year the US had made it clear to Cyprus that it would only be able to procure weapons from the US if it stopped allowing 'port calls' by Russian navy vessels according to an agreement signed in 2015 . Of course Turkey was irked by the lifting of the embargo because it shows clear US support for Cyprus.

Then Pompeo arrives in Cyrpus to sort things out - Of course the US couldn't let Lavrov do the job! He arrives to sign a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the creation of a Cyprus Centre for Land Operations and Port Security. (They called it Cyclops! How clever are those guys!) This then, seems to be a thinly veiled attempt to undermine Russia's use of the Cypriot ports - especially Limassol - which the US claims is not 'humanitarian' but facilitates money laundering - a lot of very, very rich Russians in Cyprus, otherwise known as Moscow on the Med! (This would have changed over time anyway, as Putin had effectively ended the tax haven status for Russians.)
Another point here is that this centre comes after a week of rumours that the Incirlik base could be moved to a Greek Island.

Popmpeo also said that he would continue to support the unification of the island - 'bizonal', 'bicommunal', 'federation' ... etc.

If Pompeo's words and actions count for anything, it seems as though the US is using this opportunity to strong-arm Cyprus over its Russian relations while at the same time asserting its authority over the European border and increasing its influence in the East Med while taking a firmer stance with / against Turkey.

Turkey's reaction was to return its exploration vessel Oruc Reis to an Antalyan port and to shout personal attacks at Macron - guess they thought better of hurling such attacks at Pompeo! Interestingly, Pompeo agrees with Turkey that NATO should mediate the talks! Maybe that explains the Macron attacks; the EU had long since offered legal arbitration which Turkey flat out refused, despite its claims that it is acting entirely within international law.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Sep 14 2020 8:05 utc | 78

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 14 2020 4:09 utc | 72

It’s great that you found what I consider the shiniest pearl of the many that Lavrov dispensed in his speech, and that is that to befriend someone against somebody is the contradiction of friendship itself. Usually journalists pick the headline that better suits their employers, that one was missed and curiously the chinese picked it up.

Posted by: Paco | Sep 14 2020 9:50 utc | 79

Interesting article by Pepe Escobar

https://thesaker.is/from-9-11-to-the-great-reset/

Posted by: Down South | Sep 14 2020 10:02 utc | 80

About coronavirus:
Common colds train the immune system to recognize COVID-19
Does the Common Cold Protect You from COVID-19?

As titles above say common cold infection(s) in the past could be the factor that decides severity of coronavirus infection. That could be the reason in some countries coronavirus infections are milder than in others.

Adding to the pieces linked above: training immune system of an individual is one thing. Evolutionary selection of more resistant individuals over course of several centuries is another. It is quite possible that in areas where common cold is really common the population is both genetically more resistant to coronaviruses AND trained against these. In that respect common cold might have acted as a crude vaccine.


Note: Common cold is caused by several families of viruses Coronaviruses contribute to less than 1/6th cases of common cold.

Posted by: pppp | Sep 14 2020 10:49 utc | 81

Re: "Dune"

Saw the directors cut at a science fiction convention way back when there still seemed to be a lot of years left in the millennium. That was definitely worth wrecking my circadian rhythm for the weekend. I agree with our host that even the cut up version looks superior to the endless stream of remakes.

But why is the capitalist mass media so fixated on remakes?

Part of the reason is that movies are too expensive to take risks on, and remakes will always attract at least the original fans. Like selling bottled flavored carbonated corn syrup water, the consumers know in advance what they are getting. Risk is lowered all around and profits flow in more easily.

Another reason for remakes, though, is to purge any traces of "subversive" ideology that made its way into mass media back in the days before capitalism triumphed in its ideological war against socialism. Keep in mind that to sell poison (capitalist ideology), that poison had to be introduced slowly to the consumers or they would have rejected it right away. They had to build up a tolerance to the poison, and the poison had to be sweetened with traces of the masses' real dreams (socialism). Now, however, there is no longer any need to disguise the poison, and real leftist themes in these old cultural artifact movies have become a hazard to capitalism and a source of possible "reinfection" of the population with socialist ideology that was stamped out. How to get rid of this threat? Neoliberals cannot just outright ban the media, though in some cases they do ("The 'N' word was used! The director exploited racial stereotypes! Burn it! Buuuurn IT!!!!"") Safer, though, is to replace the media with a newer version that has all harmful traces of real leftist thought expunged and replaced with faux left "woke" nonsense.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 14 2020 10:50 utc | 82

Re: "Mulan"

Carefully read the post by karlof1 @30 again. Very carefully read it and ask yourself what Disney is trying to accomplish here. Note that the purge and corruption of Chinese cultural heritage taking place in Taiwanese school textbooks is not an accident. Similar purges and corruption occurred in the textbooks in Eastern Europe immediately following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Step one in the upcoming color revolutions. The point of this was to put capitalists (through their publishers) in control of populations' history, which allows the capitalists to control those populations' views of themselves, which in turn eventually gives capitalism control over their individual identities through mass marketing.

While Eastern Europe crumbled before the capitalist ideological onslaught like poor and naive farm girls being easily recruited into prostitution by sophisticated urban pimps, China is a tougher nut to crack. China has a millennia old culture of respect for and commitment to one's community. More importantly, they have an honor-based culture in which one's social status develops from merit and character. These have to be eradicated for capitalism to take power in China. The population has to be corrupted such that the interests of the individual are elevated above those of the community, and the honor-based source of status must be replaced with victimhood-based status.

I've not seen Disney's "Mulan", but I don't have to in order to know that it contains subversive messaging intended to promote victimhood-based status and "elevate" the individual over the community (atomize the community). I seriously doubt that Disney sufficiently disguised this poison for the Chinese population to be able to find it palatable. My guess is that it will either flop in China, or be viewed as a comedy in which Chinese culture is conspicuously and farcically Americanized.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 14 2020 11:27 utc | 83

German Gov't Claims Three Labs 'Independently Confirmed' Navalny Was Poisoned With Novichok

Yeah, yeah, sure. Where are the test results? Show them!

If you don't like to read, the German government claims three "special laboratories" in France and Sweden "confirmed" Navalny was poisoned with "novichok".

They also admitted they're lying to their teeth: they changed their version about the OPCW. In the first version (from some days ago), they claimed they had given the lab test results to the OPCW; after the Russian government contested the claim (they are a member of the OPCW), there was a moment of silence from Germany. Now they claim to have "involved" the OPCW "in the analysis of the evidence". Russia is a member of the OPCW, where are the test results?

The answer is obvious: there are no test results. They are all fictitious. Those three "special laboratories" are also, by all likelihood, also fictitious. The OPCW was also never involved.

--//--

AstraZeneca ("Oxford") has announced it is resuming its trials, after it "confirmed" the transverse myelitis-like case was not "vaccine related".

Either this was just a fake pause to give that ridiculous "pledge" by Western Big Pharma some legitimacy (it came the day after the pledge was announced in the MSM), or the vaccine really causes transverse myelitis symptoms and they don't care.

The official version claims only one of the 50,000 subjects developed the symptom - which, depending on how many people they pretend to vaccinate (there are competitors, so I don't think they dream about inoculating it to something like 1 billion people), is kind of acceptable (the yellow fever vaccine, for example, kills one in every 100,000 patients, that's why only people who are traveling to risky areas take it, which lowers the denominator and thus saves millions of lives); however, The Guardian managed to interview the subject (he's from the UK) and he claimed he was informed by the hotline "other people" had also developed the same symptoms.

My guess is the British people, who inevitably will only take the AstraZeneca vaccine, are too few to lose a significant amount of lives (and that would be a price to pay to reopen the petit-bourgeois zombie business). The gross of lives lost to the vaccine will probably come from the Third World countries, which don't count as nobody cares.

Posted by: vk | Sep 14 2020 11:44 utc | 84

ARM ditches Samsung bid; sold to Nvidia:

UK tech giant Arm Holdings to be sold to US company Nvidia in $40bn deal

No British government in sight here to block the sale to a US tech giant...

Posted by: vk | Sep 14 2020 11:57 utc | 85

Posted by: vk | Sep 14 2020 11:44 utc | 84

"If you don't like to read, the German government claims three "special laboratories" in France and Sweden "confirmed" Navalny was poisoned with "novichok"."

See, what does the German gov't do: it trots our THREE new independent special labs that all support them: third-party testimonial technique. Merkel has really beshit herself here.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 14 2020 12:06 utc | 86

The final blow to the "China silenced whistleblowers and witheld information" nonsense:

China acted quicker in COVID-19 epidemic than SARS: WHO report

I know what the problem is: SARS only killed Chinese; that's why the West didn't complain at the time.

You see, as long as it's just yellow people dying, everything is right in this world for the Westerners.

Posted by: vk | Sep 14 2020 12:13 utc | 87

Total continued claims for unemployment insurance (UI) under all state and federal programs rose by 380,000, to 29.6 million people (not seasonally adjusted), the highest since August 1, according to the Department of Labor this morning. This was the second weekly increase in a row, after the 2.2-million jump last week.
https://wolfstreet.com/2020/09/10/unemployment-crisis-going-in-wrong-direction-week-25-of-u-s-labor-market-collapse/
According to John Williams of >ShadowStats.com<,if honest numbers were being used the unemployment rate in this country would currently be sitting at 28 percent.

For people already enduring the coronavirus pandemic, the resulting economic poverty fallout for millions !!!! and political bloody high tensions evident in the Black Lives Matter protests and whatever counter protests, the fires added a new layer of misery.
Oregon’s emergency management director said officials were preparing for a possible “mass fatality event” !!!!
https://nypost.com/2020/09/12/wildfires-continue-to-ravage-west-coast-as-death-toll-soars/
Burned cities, hundreds of thousands of evacuees, dozens of victims: terrible fires continue in the western United States
https://www.forumdaily.com/en/sgorevshie-goroda-sotni-tysyach-evakuirovannyx-desyatki-zhertv-na-zapade-ssha-prodolzhayutsya-strashnye-pozhary/

An ominous map shows the entire West Coast with the worst air quality on Earth as historic wildfires spew smoke
https://www.insider.com/west-coast-hazardous-air-quality-worst-on-earth-wildfire-smoke-2020-9
A government agency just warned this week's West Coast wildfires could spark a financial crisis. A top economist thinks the effects could linger for years.
https://www.businessinsider.com/cftc-economist-warn-west-coast-wildfires-could-impact-us-economy-2020-9?r=US&IR=T

Charities scramble to plug revenue holes during pandemic
https://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/515154-charities-scramble-to-plug-revenue-holes-during-pandemic
Barna President Says 1 in 5 Churches May Not Survive COVID
https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2020/august/study-shows-1-in-5-churches-may-not-survive-covid-virus-but-the-gospel-still-goes-forth

The national rig count, according to Baker Hughes data, has fallen more than 70% since the end of August 2019, from 876 to 241, and COVID-19 will likely prevent a quick recovery. Demand is down: The per-barrel price for October delivery is $42.61, compared to about $58 at this time a year ago.
https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/09/07/covid-19-us-oil-industry-wyoming-texas-baker-hughes/5735992002/

Bloomberg is reporting that it is being projected that the number of Americans that are “fighting hunger” will rise to “more than 50 million” (WOW, let's hope BB will get it wrong like with the American Financial Crisis in 2008, are you remember ??!!)
https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2020-hunger-minnesota-pandemic/

What will happen in November??
No matter who is ultimately declared the winner, the other side is going to be convinced that the election was stolen from them and that is likely to throw our nation into a state of chaos.... says a poll done by CBS.

The U.S. saw more gun sales in August 2020 than any other August since the FBI has been logging data on the subject. According to the outlet’s analysis of FBI background check data, there were at least 1.6 million firearm purchases during the past month, a 57% increase compared to August of last year.

Suicides Among U.S. Kids, Young Adults Jumped 57% in Past Decade
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/suicides-among-us-kids-young-adults-jumped-57-in-past-decade/ar-BB18ViMs?ocid=uxbndlbing

Posted by: Ashino | Sep 14 2020 12:31 utc | 88

Rabbit said:
I wasn't going to comment on David G's ludicrous attempt to excuse Trump but since you have now seconded it, I feel compelled to address this nonsense.
__________________________________________

The statements David G made were factually correct while your above statement is counter-factual.
Neither of us was trying to make excuses for trump.
The revelation that trump lied to the public about the virus is not the bombshell that you are pretending it is. Everybody already knows that. This is about as much a bombshell as the revelation that water is wet.

I personally find this story to be just another bit of trump Kayfabe. I don't know why you would trust the story that Woodword and Trump are feeding you. My prediction is this will end up helping Trump more than it hurts. I can't explain how that will work but if it happens I won't be the least bit surprised.

Posted by: jinn | Sep 14 2020 12:33 utc | 89

Also..
China and Iran To Join Military Exercises in Russia
https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/China-and-Iran-To-Join-Military-Exercises-in-Russia-20200910-0007.html\
The Maritime security belt: what is the geopolitical significance of the military exercises of Russia, Iran and China
https://russian.rt.com/world/article/702229-rossiya-iran-kitai-ucheniya\
>Strategic Triangle< Russia - China - Iran
https://zen.yandex.ru/media/id/5daeb98586c4a900ada597cc/strategicheskii-treugolnik-rossiiakitaiiran-konec-gegemonii-ssha-5e0dc0e6028d6800ad2e1630

EMPERORs WITHOUT GARMENTs... U.S.->>EDITION
US sanctions ICC Prosecutor for investigating its troops !!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL
September 9, 2020
https://www.newcoldwar.org/us-sanctions-icc-prosecutor-for-investigating-its-troops/
US sanctions Ukrainian lawmaker who published Biden-Poroshenko tapes for ‘Russian influence’ in presidential election !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL
https://alethonews.com/2020/09/10/us-sanctions-ukrainian-lawmaker-who-published-biden-poroshenko-tapes-for-russian-influence-in-presidential-election/
https://www.stalkerzone.org/cia-curators-were-behind-the-sbu-operation-to-kidnap-33-russians/
‘Horrifically catastrophic’: Report finds so-called US war on terror has displaced as many as 59 million people... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
https://www.newcoldwar.org/horrifically-catastrophic-report-finds-so-called-us-war-on-terror-has-displaced-as-many-as-59-million-people/

The U.S.->War on Your Mind !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :
A Brief History of the U.S. Surveillance-Intelligence Complex https://dissidentvoice.org/2020/09/the-war-on-your-mind-a-brief-history-of-the-u-s-surveillance-intelligence-complex/
U.S. govt-linked PR firm ran fake news networks for right-wing Latin American regimes (Bolivia, Brasil, Honduras, Colombia)
https://thegrayzone.com/2020/09/06/cls-strategies-facebook-propaganda-venezuela-bolivia/

Meanwhile in the pseudo-adult world of hegemonic kindergarden-sandbox-baloney-'play'(LOL):
CIA CURATORS WERE BEHIND THE SBU OPERATION TO KIDNAP 33 RUSSIANS
The original plan was to lure Russian citizens of interest to the SBU into a trap,
to divide Belarusian-Russian relations. This is why the SBU brought the group to Minsk and created conditions for its non-departure to Istanbul.
https://www.stalkerzone.org/cia-curators-were-behind-the-sbu-operation-to-kidnap-33-russians/
CIA - Highly probable has been orchestrating the whole "N"-Poison-Thing !!!??

SOME INSIST:
Evidence the U.S. Is a Dictatorship, Not a Democracy
http://thesaker.is/evidence-the-u-s-is-a-dictatorship-not-a-democracy/

Posted by: Ashino | Sep 14 2020 12:38 utc | 90

post by karlof1 @30

Response by 46=> Meanwhile I continue to recommend "Mulan"<=by: Richard Steven Hack @ 46

Response by Gruff Re: "Mulan" Carefully read the post by karlof1 @30 again. by: William Gruff @ 83

Sorry guys , but I am in the dark.. on what is Mulan?
and text book rewrites of Chinese history.. thanks for some kind of explanation.


SOME INSIST: Evidence the U.S. Is a Dictatorship, Not a Democracy http://thesaker.is/evidence-the-u-s-is-a-dictatorship-not-a-democracy/<==re Ashino @ 90..

<== yes, There is little doubt the USA is a four year cycle dictatorship but not completely. its spilt
there is a domestic USA (Article I) and an International USA (Article II)
A read of the constitution explains Article I is about the elected people in America..
the idea is the governed domestic knows best about domestic America.. So the governed
people are isolated from the general population in state and voting districts. There
each person is allowed 3 votes each in the election cycle.. 2 votes for the two senator
representatives to journey to DC to represent the interest of one's home state
(isolation by state); but remember there are 50 states. voters in one state have no
input to the candidates or their elections to the Senate that occur in other states.
so 98 senators are elected without any input from those who elected the 2 Senators that
make up the 100 total number of Senators<=the elections of these two senators are isolated
to the home state of the person casting the vote.

Isolation happens in the voting district. There each voter is allocated one vote in isolation
from those who vote in 424 other voting districts. There are 425 voting districts.
Your one vote goes to appoint one person to be member of the house of representative
to represent the people from your local voting district (where you live).
<= but there 425 local voting districts (the voters in those districts are isolated from the national
population) Within a district, each voter gets to vote only for the person running for the
position to be appointed to represent his or her home town <=local voting district.. essentially one vote.

So three votes is it.. Isolated by state =2 votes, isolated by voting district =1 vote per voter, that it. So Americans have no at-large vote and very little control over the make up of either house of Congress and nothing whatsoever to say about who is elected to be the President and the Vice President.

Article II of the Constitution (is about the President & VP) does not allow any voter to vote for either the President or the Vice President.. [yes they are big deal popular elections but whatever their outcome it does not matter, the President and the Vice President are selected by the nearly secret very poorly known or understood electoral college.

Article I (congress (house and senate) are about domestic America..

Article II ( the President and the Vice President) have veto power over Article I.
and exclusive authority over the military and foreign affairs..

Posted by: snake | Sep 14 2020 13:49 utc | 91

Another piece of information on Navalny comes out. About the change of narrative on the OPCW's involvement:

OPCW experts personally took Navalny’s samples — German Foreign Office

German Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson Maria Adebahr stated at a briefing in Berlin that "the OPCW personally took samples from Navalny and will launch the procedure in accordance with Paragraph VIII 38 (e) of the Chemical Weapons Convention".

In other words, Germany never sent its lab test results to the OPCW, but alleged OPCW "experts" (that magic word appears again...) personally took the samples within Charité's dependencies, where Navalny was.

The fact that the OPCW already was there already implies the West had already decided Navalny was poisoned by "novichok" before the tests even came out.

Also, not that Maria Adebahr is, like, the third German politician to give an official statement (not counting Merkel herself). We already had Steffan Seibert (Merkel's spokesman) and the Defense Ministry spokesman. It is like the third German ministry to be involved in Navalny's imbroglio. A diversion tactic, aimed at sowing plausible deniability (dividing the lie to many people and institutions, so the blow is softened) when the whole farce crumbles?

Meanwhile, Putin confirmed Russia is being kept in the dark by the Germans - even after an agreement on cooperation on the case:

Putin tells Macron ungrounded accusations over Navalny case inappropriate

"The sides discussed in detail the situation around the so-called Navalny case. Vladimir Putin stressed the inappropriateness of unsubstantiated, ungrounded accusations of the Russian side in this context," it said.

"It was stressed that in order to clarify what really happened German specialists must hand over biomaterials and official findings derived from the analysis of Navalny’s samples to Russia. They should also establish joint work with Russian medics," the press service said.

Posted by: vk | Sep 14 2020 13:57 utc | 92

@Ashino | 90
I have not read of Iran participating in any military drills "In Russia" and the Telesur link does not work. But the second RT link is correct in that military drills will be held in the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean by China, Iran and Russia as explained in this Fars News Agency article.

Iran also conducted naval drills" at the end of last week - practising for the 'big one' at the end of the month maybe? )))

Posted by: AtaBrit | Sep 14 2020 14:00 utc | 93

Obligatory reading if you want to begin to understand China:

Uphold and Develop Socialism with Chinese Characteristics*

*Main points of the speech at the seminar of the members and alternate members of the newly-elected Central Committee of the CPC for implementing the guiding principles of the Party's 18th National Congress. From January 2013.

Posted by: vk | Sep 14 2020 14:19 utc | 94

When I saw the 1984 David Lynch version of Dune I thought it was garbage. I still do. But it is still better than what I've seen from the 2020 version.

Posted by: JasonT | Sep 14 2020 14:47 utc | 95

jinn @Sep14 12:33 #89

When one makes accusations against US government and US political leaders, the response is generally: you have no proof!

When "proof" appears, suddenly the matter is a non-issue: "we known THAT ..."; "are you surprise that ...?"; "it's just politics ..."; etc. Typical obfuscation blather.

<> <> <> <> <>

Supposedly so many anti-US, "woke" people here, yet Woodward's report gets shrugs.

And b's factually incorrect assertions get more shrugs.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 14 2020 15:18 utc | 96

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 14 2020 15:18 utc | 96

Woodward & Trump: I'm not sure what is going on there, but whatever it is, I don't believe it. Bunch of liars are not going to suddenly burst out the truth out of civic mindedness. The political equivalent of "Look! A bird!"

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 14 2020 15:42 utc | 97

William Gruff @ 83,

Disney has been creating propaganda since Walt started the Company ... and has colored many a fairytail, in it's goal towards profit and power - on hyperdrive since the 90's at least! What's come out since then seems to jive with the kind of Clintonian Intersectional/Accela Corridor condescension/power-tripping, in lockstep with the Critical Gender/Race Theory wokeness that has become so popular in the vaunted halls of what constitues American/5-eyes Academia these recent decades! Just look at the results - young people unable to reason and think logically .. only to emote tantrums of ahistorical gibberish!

Posted by: polecat | Sep 14 2020 15:57 utc | 98

Unfortunately, the hopeful message presented in the first article I posted @30above was been torpedoed, "KMT cancels delegation to Straits Forum". Why?

"The Kuomintang (KMT), an opposition party in the island of Taiwan, announced on Monday that it will not send a delegation to attend the Straits Forum that is scheduled to be held in Xiamen, Fujian Province, because it felt 'insulted' after a mainland TV news program said the KMT is asking the mainland for peace amid the intense cross-Straits situation."

Bologna!

"However, after the KMT announced its decision, a news program of China Central Television (CCTV) reported the development with a Chinese headline on Thursday saying 'Taiwan Straits on the brink of war, this man (Wang) will come to "ask for peace" (in Chinese: Qiuhe).' The headline had a significant impact on public opinion within the island, as many people considered it an insult....

"Li Hong, an anchorwoman of the CCTV news program, also explained that 'Qiuhe' means 'seeking peace', which was not meant to insult the KMT at all, but the party and the media of the island widely claimed that 'Qiuhe' means 'begging for peace' and the pro-separatist Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), as well as other pro-separatist groups in Taiwan, are using the incident to hype anti-mainland sentiment."

And what entity is famous for twisting words/phrases into something they don't mean? More from article:

"Li Xiaobing, an expert on Taiwan affairs at Nankai University in Tianjin, said the KMT is falling into a trap set by the DPP, because the DPP doesn't want any communication with the mainland, so it used the CCTV item and distorted the news headline into an official insult, to hype the anti-mainland sentiment among the public of the island.

"'Within the KMT, party members have no consensus on sending a delegation, and KMT president Chiang is also reluctant to send a delegation, since he wants the party to stay away from the mainland. So the CCTV case is just an excuse for pro-localization forces within the KMT to force the leader to cancel the visit,' Li Xiaobing noted."

And there's more to it when you read the entire item.

IMO, push is becoming shove as it's the Outlaw US Empire that's behind the rise in tensions. As I reported last week, China needs to keep the moral high ground regarding genuine international public opinion--which differs vastly from BigLie Media narrative. Xi just finished conferring with the EU, but I don't know if Taiwan was part of that. I don't see Taiwan being an outlier much longer. It's quite possible whoever speaks for China at the UNGA will explain how the outlier will finally be reeled back into China's total fold. Such an operation might even begin the moment that person begins speaking since China can't allow the CIA to further entrench itself and deepen its distortion of Chineseness within Taiwan.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 14 2020 15:58 utc | 99

With regard to SiFi film(s) (not to be affiliated with the Corperate-owned Channel..), one film not mentioned .. which deserves such, is John Carpenter's mid-80's "THEY LIVE". Many of those who've seen it would no doubt consider it a rather ersatz Grade-B flick, but I think it proves out what has come to pass - We ARE as cattle!. Just substitute the Globalizers for those Alien Ghouls... and here we all are - no Holzman lenses needed.

John was a true genus, and a prophet!

Posted by: polecat | Sep 14 2020 16:12 utc | 100

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