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
« previous page

b - newsflash!!! it would be good to read about germanys approach to the navalny caper... is it going to be the navalny sanction act, or something else??

Posted by: james | Sep 15 2020 17:18 utc | 201

vk@183,

Confucius was born more than 2500 years ago. My understanding is that Confucianism was termed by his followers or people at a later time, not by Confucius himself. In any case, it is indeed old by age since its inception. However, its concepts and principles are not outdated because it is old. Human is human. and human nature seems not to change much over the 2000+ years, IMHO. When I was a teenager, I didn't appreciate much what Confucius said. However, as I get older and has more life experience, I appreciate and agree with his teaching much much more. China is a civilization with a long history. And Chinese are not dumb. There are reasons why Confucianism can stay through the dynasties (though Chinese dynasties did use some Confucian concepts to their advantage for governing). During the second half of Zhou dynasty (at Confucius's time), Chinese had a lot of different schools of thoughts (more than one hundred, maybe). However, most of them are no longer available now.


karlof1@195,
Thanks for your comments and you are right. In traditional Chinese concept, it seeks for harmony with the nature, not trying to conquer it. So Chinese basically look for co-existence, win-win, and mutual respect. (Well, I have to admit Chinese do fight very hard within themselves settle who is the boss over Chinese history and the infighting is sometimes very brutal. But that can be considered as special cases and typically occurs once around one or more hundred of years). It puzzles me as to why the west, especially the anglo-saxon axis, is unable to understand those ideas. I am not sure if it's related to the Christianity concept one-and-only-one-God so the west embeds the one-and-only-one concept into the bottom of its consciousness. Therefore, it thinks itself as the one-and-only-one and all-for-one(me)?! I don't mean to start an argument about Christianity or religion. I am trying to understand it from a cultural aspect. And it is my understanding that Christianity plays a very important role in the west history. You are more than welcome to correct me if I misunderstand it.

Posted by: LuRenJia | Sep 15 2020 17:47 utc | 202

Fanatic and highly aggressive EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell does a "Freudian Slip", admits the EU was not only behind Belarus, but also behind Ukraine:

Josep Borrell Confusing Ukraine With Belarus in Address to EU Parliament Raises Eyebrows in Minsk

Posted by: vk | Sep 15 2020 17:57 utc | 203

Here is Donald John Trump, "anti-globalist" hero:

Trump says he wanted to ASSASSINATE Assad, blames ex-defense chief Mattis for staying his hand

Posted by: vk | Sep 15 2020 18:00 utc | 204

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

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

I didn't say anything about your nationality, you ibn-al-its-ok-to-rewrite-history. And no, a tokhm-e tazi is not an Iranian.

I 'cited', you ibn ignorance. You and your daddy are in the lying busines, not moi.

Posted by: conspiracy-theorist | Sep 15 2020 18:11 utc | 205

Speaking of pod people, am I to understand that many here feel that China is more balanced and harmonious with nature than the west? That they practice better interaction with their physical environment in production than the west?

Omg, people, at least understand the origins of your religions.

They came to be thousands of years ago, long before industrial production was able to taint waterways and the skies with smog.

Before, the only way humans were able to change the flow and life of rivers was to literally drink rivers dry which is what a conquering Persian empire did under Xerxes on their way to meet the Greeks.

Ancient religions of easternism did not understand nature as the environment, as we modern humans do today with measurable natural sciences.

These ancient religions understood religion as pertaining to the questions of ontology: Being and nothingness, which also belongs to Being.

There is no nature worship as there is today in the deluded environmentalist movement which has been thoroughly infiltrated by nefarious, political actors.

To be harmonious is to be aligned with these teachings. Taoism is more a treatise on leadership, because it wants the people to be under the sway of the way. It desires this because this most closely resembles what the beautiful constitutes in the east.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 15 2020 18:30 utc | 206

The David Lynch original looks better to me.

Posted by b

========================================================
Just the costumes alone in Lynch's version win hands down. And, the FX hold up damn well 3 whole decades later!

Posted by: Jun | Sep 15 2020 18:43 utc | 207

@198--

That Global Times editorial specifically referred to the winning of "Public Opinion" via news media, not via the arts, which is a different endeavor.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 15 2020 18:43 utc | 208

@ conspiracy-theorist | Sep 15 2020 18:11 utc | 205.. don't be an ass... if you don't like or agree with what kooshy says - ignore him...

Posted by: james | Sep 15 2020 18:59 utc | 209

LuRenJia @202--

Thanks for your reply! Much can be learned about the why to your inquires through a close reading of Edward Said's Orientalism. I also offer these Pepe Escobar essays having additional information and leads, "Why Xi won’t repeat Ming Dynasty mistakes" and "The deeper roots of Chinese demonization" and "The unbearable lightness of China" are a few of his offerings written over his career. This links to the entire Pepe Escobar Archive at Asia Times. This essay "Why the New Silk Roads are a ‘threat’ to US bloc" is very instructive. And perhaps prior to tackling Orientlaism it would be wise to read this long essay by Said, the author, about his effort.

Fifty some odd years ago I took a class on Comparative Religions which began my investigations into the topic and I still consider myself a student, although I was accredited to teach introductory classes on the subject. Much of the divide is deep seated and goes back to the initial conflict between Islam and Christianity--Islam being seen as Eastern when it's actually Western provides you with one example of the very muddled thinking involved over the centuries. I could write more and inundate you further, but I believe I've done enough to keep you busy for awhile.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 15 2020 19:17 utc | 210

@208 Karlof1

You're splitting hairs.

Besides, China already has a monopoly on its own propaganda-machine in its own country. Hard to be more in the driver-seat that that. It's their own damn fault if they can't put out a good enough product to sway the world to their side.

And how it relates to Gruff's comments about western art is that he believes there is no daylight between the fine arts and our news media, which he claims is all controlled by the CIA.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 15 2020 19:26 utc | 211

karlof1@210

Thank you very much for the generous sharing. I will check out the links when I get a chance.

In addition, my understanding is that Islam and Christianity believe in the same God, isn't it? If so, could we say they are two branches or "implementations" of the same origin? Thanks again.

Posted by: LuRenJia | Sep 15 2020 19:38 utc | 212

@ LuRenJia | Sep 15 2020 17:47 utc | 202 who wrote
"
It puzzles me as to why the west, especially the anglo-saxon axis, is unable to understand those ideas. I am not sure if it's related to the Christianity concept one-and-only-one-God so the west embeds the one-and-only-one concept into the bottom of its consciousness. Therefore, it thinks itself as the one-and-only-one and all-for-one(me)?! I don't mean to start an argument about Christianity or religion. I am trying to understand it from a cultural aspect. And it is my understanding that Christianity plays a very important role in the west history.
"

I think you understand the situation quite clearly.

This comment is also in response to Juliana (sp?) about #199 and can't go back... who wrote about how Christians are "responsible" for all earth's creatures. I don't remember all the references in the bible to this but it has always struck me as another one of those "better than others" sorts of wrongful assumptions.

I mean, if you are to believe that you are God's gift to all the earth's creatures then how much more of a leap of faith is it to believe that you are indeed better than other humans because you have FAITH in your mythical delusions.

I posit that it is quite possible/likely that there are creatures on the earth that are much more important to the Cosmos than humans....those Plato's Cave Displays and such have sure made us stuck on ourselves. The biggest fallacy is the concept of God when in fact there is only unknowing for sure....at least in my lifetime that I can observe.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 15 2020 19:39 utc | 213

Karloff: IMO, all Asian "Ways" such as the Tao are pathways offered for harmonious living within Nature of which humans are a part, not separate from or above Nature as Western Metaphysics tries to do--Humans aren't the only creatures created in god's image; ALL creatures are. And therein lies the Metaphysical Divide between Eastern and Western ways of thought. As Climate Change is proving, humans are incapable of dominating Nature. Rather, Nature will alter its ways to deal with human behavior just as the Daisy World model predicted, which in time went from Gaia Hypothesis to became the foundational basis for Earth Systems Theory.

I think that Karloff disputes mumbo-jumbo with an alternative mumbo-jumbo. Concerning "Asian ways" and "Western ways", there is always a variety of strains with profound diversity of actual applications of the principles, including innovating masquerading as continuity. Some deconstructing is needed. What is "domination"? If you look at domination of humans by humans, it tends to be a package deal for the dominating ones: wealth with its advantages for paranoia and insecurity -- slaves, serfs, voting sheeple etc. can turn disobedient and turn on their masters, fellow dominators can turn on some of them to repartition the spoils etc. Thus paranoia and efforts to restrict lower classes in various ways, say, screening what they see in electronic media (or hanging minstrels for singing lyrics that threaten authorities, information control in Middle Ages). A rise accumulates potential energy that is eventually released by a fall, flattening etc.

"Domination of Nature" has similar aspects.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 15 2020 19:55 utc | 214

On the subject of remakes and Disney...I am pretty sure the main motivation behind live action remakes is to extend the copyrights on the material for even more decades.

On the subject of Confucianism, one of the classics Confucianism bases itself on is a book of rites for the Zhou emperor, religious rites intended for the health of the state/dominion/people. The emperor was deemed to be in some sense more a pope or other divine leader than our popular idea of a monarch. Another classic was a book of divination. Two key texts are The Great Learning and The Doctrine of the Mean, which are not clearly naturalistic, to say the least. Starting from Mencius, Mengzi, on, Daoism, a mystical philosophy was blended with Confucianism. Yin yang, the Five elements and all the panoply of Chinese traditional medicine are deeply intertwined with Confucianism. Religion in many respects is magical medicine (witch "doctors" and shamans as healers or even Scientology as magical psychiatry!) Easy confidence that Confucianism isn't a religion is unwarranted i think.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 15 2020 20:15 utc | 215

steven t johnson@215,

You seem to mix a number of things together. Can you elaborate the definitions/criteria of religion you apply to determine Confucianism is a religion? IMO, Confucianism is not a religion and no specific God or Gods exist in Confucianism. Chinese emperors don't claim a role as pope. The heaven's mandate is not God's mandate or delegate. It is not easy to describe the Chinese concept Tien in English. It is not God. Nature may be closer to the meaning but not 100 percent.

Confucius himself referred to a few Chinese books at the times in his teaching. However, those books are not religious. Not sure if you took the ritual that Zhou emperors did for ancestors as religious. However, it is not and that is only a small part in the related book. Confucius himself was an expert of Yi-jin. Yin-jin talks about Ying-Yang. But Yi-jin is to describe Chinese observations about how the nature operates (more in a philosophical approach, not "today's scientific" interpretation), not about religious thoughts. After Confucius passed away, his followers edited The Analects, which becomes the primary Confucius book.

Chinese do have a religion Dao-jiao, which is related to Daoism but not directly derived from it. Dao-jiao appeared much later than the original Daoism (a few hundred years later).

Posted by: LuRenJiia | Sep 15 2020 21:06 utc | 216

From the looks of the 2020 election, it can only be described as a bait and switch operation by the Democratic party. Bait and switch is a tort, a crime. Anybody even thinking of voting Democratic presidential is aiding and supporting that crime. Don't be party to election fraud. If neither candidate is suitable, just don't vote. All third party candidates do is lower the number of votes between the two major parties to achieve the 50%+1 needed to prevail, make these turkeys have to garner a full 50% of as many or most all votes cast in the election. Moralist voting accomplishes nothing but a personal feel good emotion.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Sep 15 2020 21:20 utc | 217

LuRenJia @212--

Yes, both religions along with Judaism are based upon the family of Abraham, which just got recognized in the treaty title between the UAE, Bahrain and Occupied Palestine. That the three have warred amongst themselves for most of their history ought to raise more than a few eyebrows. Add to that bit the series of Papal Bulls in the 15-16th Centuries (all can be found via this link ) that determined the only genuine human was a Christian all others being of some different, sub-human origin. Within the book of Genesis, the Hebrew god confers dominion over Nature to humans, a concept that then becomes the core of all Abrahamic religions since they all share the Old Testament in common that the commentator @214 above seems to have forgotten.

Anthropology tells us a different story about human development relative to Nature such that all human societies/cultures saw themselves as residing within Nature with Nature ruling all. The Hebrew thinking represented a new way of seeing humans within the natural world--they were made to dominate it, which is what to have dominion over means. This revolutionary way of thinking developed at a time when human societies and their cultures in the region were undergoing great pressures and flux with the spread of settled agriculture and construction of permanent settlements. Meanwhile in Asia, there was no similar revolution in thought regarding the relationship between Nature and Humans. Much can be learned of this time of transition from the late Joseph Campbell's The Masks of God, Volume 1: Primitive Mythology as societies developed cultural tools aimed at appeasing Nature. By looking at the traditional Grecko-Roman Pantheon, which was based on a variety of gods endowed with specific natural attributes and ruled by one patriarchal god--Zeus/Jupiter--after it subdued the previous matriarchal goddess--Hera/Juno, we can see how they were quickly jettisoned after 2,000+ years with the advent of Christianity being adopted as the state religion by Constantine in the 4th Century as the rule of Nature slowly became subsumed by the rule of man. No such jostling of gods or adoption of religion in hopes of winning a battle occurred in Asia. Indeed, the Three Teachings are still conflated as being religions when they are actually philosophical systems. The West has long desired to defeat the Three Teachings so its One True Religion can become dominant--those Papal Bulls still rule in very important ways.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 15 2020 21:47 utc | 218

Actually, psychohistorian @213, I was referring to The Old Testament Book of Genesis, which related specifically to karlof1's two suggestions about creation - one that all creatures were made in the image of God, rather than only mankind, and the other concerning man's dominion over the earth, the interpretation being one of domination, and therefore a 'power trip'.

My point, as usual, wasn't to disagree with other Eastern spiritual paths, but to say that there is, as I said previously, an Eastern Christianity that does include respect for ecological concerns. I'm always reminded of a photo I saw once of the leader of the Russian church, Metropolitan Kyrill holding converse with a penguin at the South Pole (where incidentally there is a small Russian church that had been taken plank by plank and set up for worship - causing me now to wonder if South Pole communities are safe from covid or not.) At any rate, the Metropolitan looked himself like a rather large penguin; I thought (and think) that was quite wonderful, and sad.

At any rate, Russia being one of the entities we are trying to understand, my explanations are, I hope, helpful.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 15 2020 22:56 utc | 219

I'd like to add a bit to the 'Dune' discussion before I forget. I hadn't read any of the books or seen the original movie, but recently (well, a year ago really) the town book discussion group posted it as subject matter for the next meeting, so I found a copy and read it, just the first volume, then attending the group meeting. My only contribution was that I thought Herbert was drawing on the slightly earlier film "Lawrence of Arabia" in creating his main character, for which I was taken to task by another participant who insisted the film was made after the book had been written, so that was impossible. Deflated I left and looked it up; happy to find I was correct in the time sequence. I think it's worth analyzing the similarities, given conditions of conflict still so very present in the area Lawrence became part of. So I wonder, can any such links as I felt there are in the book be better shown by either movie? And might that be an underlying motive for the current re-emergence of Dune?

I'll have to go reread it.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 15 2020 23:11 utc | 220

karlof1@218,
Thanks very much for the detailed reply. Regarding the link for the Papal Bulls, that leads to an article of a Spanish city. I seem unable to find the info that you mentioned. Maybe I missed it. Thanks again.

Posted by: LuRenJiia | Sep 15 2020 23:12 utc | 221

@ 217 t-bear

Did you see this Freudian??? Slip from Harris?

Utter ethical-bankruptcy from those dims contorting their conscience to vote for that bait-and-switch.

So bleeding obvious. But that is how brazen you can be when you have them at your trough.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 15 2020 23:19 utc | 222

Back to psychohistorian, I will grant you that creatures often display affection and even sacrificial love for humans, so that is a wonderful connection. Still in the best sense we more often look after them, and ought to be looking after our environment, even if as it is clear, there are woeful ways in which mankind has failed in this calling.

It didn't have to be. Wiser heads could,and do, heal the planet or at least small corners of it, mostly by allowing nature to be a participant in the process,which is the only way it will ever succeed. And indeed, humans have made such a mess of it that leaving the planet to its own devices may be the only answer in the end. That is our fault, no question.

My only answer to that is to keep trying with the little bit of it that I'm allowed to husband, trying to do better.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 15 2020 23:21 utc | 223

So once again we learn that those who have no experience of the experience offered by any school of teachings can contribute best to the world's understanding of these experiences by saying nothing.

For they know not.

We see at work here the classical error of noticing the finger pointing at the gorgeous moon, the finger that offers the priceless experience of the moon itself to all those who can follow directions - but there are those who will waste all their thought describing the finger.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 15 2020 23:28 utc | 224

karlof1 @ 218, papal bulls of course are not a part of Eastern Christianity, since the Catholic church had deviated from Eastern Orthodoxy much earlier than those you describe, in essence westernizing the church by asserting the dominance of Rome. Indeed, the anthropological story is a different one, a scientific one, from that being described in Genesis - the latter being in no sense a factual account. How could it be? For Christians these writings are spiritual in essence, as they are for many other religions. And there are many interpretations possible for such tales, whose truths are multilayered, as are all good and ethical parables.

In your comparative studies, karlof1, did you consider Eastern Christianity? I only ask because you seem to ignore it. And yet, as I said, the faith is fundamentally entwined in Russia's history, so I do think it deserves attention.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 15 2020 23:38 utc | 225

Again, karlof1, I am not fully understanding the following segment of your comment @ 218:

"The Hebrew thinking represented a new way of seeing humans within the natural world--they were made to dominate it, which is what to have dominion over means. This revolutionary way of thinking developed at a time when human societies and their cultures in the region were undergoing great pressures and flux with the spread of settled agriculture and construction of permanent settlements. Meanwhile in Asia, there was no similar revolution in thought regarding the relationship between Nature and Humans."

I wish I knew better the Hebrew, can only reference the Greek, but the actual text is simply one which parallels, to my way of thinking, the anthropological account of humans first being IN nature, then domesticating animals and growing crops. I don't think there is more to it than that- thought processes being in the eye of the beholder. In the church we call Christ "Lord" and lordship is the connotation of this text, as well as primacy or 'firstness'. It's being in charge of something. Which Asian farmers also did, as a practical matter. I don't know how you describe agrarian practices otherwise, but to me this is what is being indicated here, and you can do it in harmony with nature or not.

Joseph Campbell is a good man, but he does have a certain mindset and agenda. A faith such as Christianity goes deeper than you are implying here. In its own way it is like Confuscianism or Buddhism in that respect.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 16 2020 0:11 utc | 226

Now, building cities is something else entirely.

;)

Don't get me started!

Posted by: juliania | Sep 16 2020 0:17 utc | 227

LuRenJiia @221--

Oops! My mistake. Lets try here, Treaty of Tordesillas; the one prior to it, Treaty of Alcáçovas; and the third, Treaty of Zaragoza. Note how they're all framed as treaties instead of direct edicts by the Church.

I must also note juliania's numerous objections that what's known as the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christianity wasn't involved in this racist imperialism which are correct and has thus suffered great damage from the immorality of its parent. There's a very great deal the central institution, the Roman Catholic Church, must answer for, beginning with the falsification of its own existence and the seeking of power at the expense of its own practitioners along with the deliberate twisting of the primary message and mission of the human it elevated to the status Son of God. The most recent detailed discussion we've had at MoA of this is related to the recent book by Michael Hudson, …and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption — From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year. Hudson talks about his work here in this interview with the references to Jesus beginning at about the 1/4 mark. As for the issues related to Christianity, you can read about many of them in this very well documented book that can be downloaded after freely joining the archive here.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 16 2020 0:49 utc | 228

juliania re Dune: There is in fact a relationship between the movie Lawrence of Arabia and Dune, even in the white man who leads the desert dwellers to safety. (We may be sure the Atreides are "white.") They have a common source, the man T.E. Lawrence, author of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, once famed for its spiritual wisdom drawn from the people of Arabia. There is a lot more to Herbert's novel than warmed over Lawrence, but that was one of his influences. Hence the obvious similarities. I suppose one could focus on the obvious dissimilarities...


LuRenJia@216 seems to want to narrowly restrict "religion" to worship of a personal deity. A private dictionary is irrefutable, of course. I say that listing the I Ching, a book of divination, as a classic, along with the book of rites, is quite enough of an appeal to the supernatural. Mandating the performance of the rites is also open acknowledgement of the supernatural.

A more or less random quotation from the Doctrine of the Mean (one of the four Confucian books alongside the Analects, the Great Learning and Mencius.
"The Master said, "How greatly filian was Shun! His virtue was that of a sage; his dignity was the throne; his riches were all within the four seas. He offered his sacrifices in his ancestral temple, and his descendants preserved the sacrifices to himself. Therefore having such great virtue, it could not but be that he should obtain the throne, that he should obtain those riches, that he should obtain his fame, that he should attain to his lon life. Thus it is that Heaven, in the production of things, is sure to be boutiful to them, according to their qualities. Hence the tree that is flourishing, it nourishes, while that which is ready to fall, it overthrows. In the Book of Poetry, it is said, "The admirable amiable prince displayed conspicuously his excelling virtue, adjusting his people, and adjusting his officers. Therefore, he received from Heaven his emoluments of dignity. It protected him, assisted him, decreed him the throne; sending from Heaven these favors, as it were repeatedly" We may say therefore that he who is greatly virtuous will be sure to receive the appointment of Heaven." Admittedly a public domain translation by James Legge, but, public domain is cheap.

The declaration is that "Heaven" rewards virtue, of the emperor at least. That matters of course because the emperor performing the rites serves some sort of supernatural function. So no, the emperor was not a pope in the sense of pronouncing on doctrine. But the ancestral rites are comparable to a Pope consecrating a bishop or saying Mass. Certainly, "Heaven" here is not "Nature." You could write "Providence," but that's just a nondenominational synonym for "God."

Another way of putting is to remember---or be told, if one didn't already know---that the popular religion of the average church goer may be very, very different from the refined ideas of the educated theologians. Often they are well-versed in secular philosophy, a field which has often be deemed a handmaiden to theology, anyhow. It is notorious that clergy may have far less literal beliefs in the supernatural, even to the point of not accepting Jesus did miracles. But that does not mean Christianity is not a supernatural religion with a personal deity. Popular Confucianism blends in with Chinese traditional medicine, for one. Daoism is not just Laozi and Zhuangzi either. Daoism is also the popular religion you mention. The high-minded, purified versions of Confucianism, Daoism, Christianity, even Stoicism in the late Roman empire, were not magically separate from popular worship. The elites just wished they were.

But again, if one chooses a private definition rather than actual usage, there is no refutation.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 16 2020 1:33 utc | 229

Thanks to steven t johnson @ 229 - worth waiting for. I'd agree, there is more to it of course.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 16 2020 2:13 utc | 230

Thanks for your reply, karlof1 @ 228. A correction though - it is Eastern Orthodoxy that is the parent, not Catholicism. One might say they came to be at the same time, but it was Catholicism that made the changes, Orthodoxy that stayed with previous form.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 16 2020 2:17 utc | 231

karlof1@228,

Thank you very much for the updated info. It is quite a bit of reading. Thanks again.

Posted by: LuRenJia | Sep 16 2020 2:37 utc | 232

karlof1 and juliania,
Thank you both. Your conversations are very intriguing. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: LuRenJia | Sep 16 2020 2:39 utc | 233

steven t johnson@229,

It looks like you know a lot about Confucianism and the related contents. However, what you described seems not correct understanding. I wonder what your sources are and how you know about Confucianism. Honestly, your comments about Confucianism is new to me. I never know that Chinese emperors' performing of the rites is supernatural.

I Ching is definitely not a book of divination although divination is probably the most common "use" (or misuse) of I Ching. As I noted earlier, I Ching records Chinese observations about how nature operates. It is not supernatural. If one studies I Ching is for divination, the person would get the meaning of I Ching wrong. Using I Ching for divination is like a side-effect after one understand I Ching very well, not the goal or its purpose. It's like in Buddhism, one may get some special ability if he/she gets to a certain level toward enlightenment. However, these special abilities are side-effects on the path to become a Buddha, not the goal. The goal is to become a Buddha. Buddha specifically prohibits his followers to show any special ability in normal circumstances if one posses it. It's because it will distract people from working toward the goal, which is very bad.

As for the four Confucian books you noted, it started by one Confucian scholar Chu Xi in Sung Dynasty. Subsequently, Ming Dynasty used it for examinations of government officials and Qing Dynasty followed. So it was used broadly for more than 500 years and became somewhat normalized. Mr. Chu's interpretation for the four books is his interpretation. It's not necessarily universal though.

I also have noted earlier. Tian (Heaven) in Chinese is a complex concept. IMO, there is no word in English that can precisely express its meaning. One would be able to better appreciate it if one knows Chinese and knows it very well.

On the other hand, Laozi and Zhuangzi are two main figures in Daoism, which is more like a school of philosophy. Dao-jiao is the religion you referred, I believe. The two Daosim and Dao-jiao are related but quite different.

That's all I can say on this. If you still think Confucianism and Daosim are religions, there seems little that I can help.

Posted by: LuRenJia | Sep 16 2020 3:22 utc | 234

@ NemesisCalling | Sep 15 2020 23:19 utc | 222

Thanks for the reply.

Some report from either RT or Sputnik mentioned Harris' faux pas, secret democratic plans revealed. With links problems arise:
twitter - must agree to conditions/ I don't
youtube - must accept cookies/ I won't
facebook - must something/ have never used, never will
google - just another alphabet company, e.g. FBI,NSA,CIA,DIA,etc.

After commenting, an edit became obvious. The line:
"Bait and switch is a tort, a crime."
should read: *Bait and switch is a tort, a crime and fraudulent*.

Now back to the comparative theological seminary in progress …

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Sep 16 2020 9:58 utc | 235

The house committee report on the Boeing max came out a few hours ago.
Needless to say it finds no evidence of illegality No! shock horror how can that be? /snark but it does 'tell off' those little imps at boeing and the FAA. eg:

"“The fact that a compliant airplane suffered from two deadly crashes in less than five months is clear evidence that the current regulatory system is fundamentally flawed and needs to be repaired,” the staff wrote in the report released early Wednesday."

Aaah OK that will fix it . . . not! Of course releasing it right now when amerikan minds particularly amerikan media & political minds, were busy pushing out their facile election drama is pure coincidence.
I'm sure that most amerikans will fulfil their patriotic duty by flying boeing but equally the rest of the world will not. Increasingly at domestic flights ( which are about all tht is going round here) passengers in front of me ask who made the plane and if it is boeing not airbus, they request a different flight.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 16 2020 11:35 utc | 236

Making a lemonade out of a lemon:

Global views of U.S. plunge to new lows amid pandemic, poll finds

“I still think there is admiration for the United States, but it may be waning very quickly — especially if Trump gets reelected,” said Sudha David-Wilp, a senior transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund in Berlin.

Posted by: vk | Sep 16 2020 11:48 utc | 237

NemesisCalling @198: "I extrapolated from Gruff's thesis that all western cinema and much of its art is that dastardly creation of CIA..."

Translation: "Oh, lookie here! I made a straw man!"

Mass media movies are not art. They may contain some art, but they are not in and of themselves art, unless you are stretching the definition such that it also includes pickup trucks and cans of soup. They are manufactured products created using socialized industrial processes like anything else that big business cranks out for the public to consume, with the one difference being that big business knows they can decisively manipulate large portions of the public with the content of that product. It's kinda like adding fluoride to water, only the impact on people's behavior from mass media is real and measurable.

Poor Camus didn't live to see what capitalism would do to mass media art; alienating the artist from his work in precisely the same way that the worker is alienated from the product of his labors. Mass produced art is just another commodity now, like bottled carbonated corn syrup water or t-shirts.

"...not the judge but the creator will rule..." Poor Camus! Little did he know that it was the owners of the canvas, the brush and the oils who rule, not the art worker who wields those tools. Mass media locks the artist under the thumb of the managers who serve the investors, and the jobs of those managers is to make certain that the investors' interests (all of those interests, including world domination) are catered to by the workers under their direction, including the artists whom Camus thought one day would rule.

I don't despise western art. I despise capitalist consumer media products that are fed to the consumers like artery-hardening and equally mass produced burgers and fries.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 16 2020 12:00 utc | 238

Grieved @ 224

So once again we learn that those who have no experience of the experience offered by any school of teachings can contribute best to the world's understanding of these experiences by saying nothing

and mutely cognize whatever argus-eyed daemon's tooling around in the heavens above our neighbourhoods?

or wordlessly see through the eyespots on peacock's tail?

or do you just mean rather than blow enough hot air to float a sky full of barrage balloons?

Posted by: john | Sep 16 2020 12:44 utc | 239

""Without the US, the WTO could operate even better," He said. "The US has left the WHO, and the WHO hasn't changed; the US left the Paris Agreement, and the agreement's role hasn't changed; the US left the UN Human Rights Council and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and they were just one country less. We shouldn't view the US anything more than just a country."


Talk of US quitting WTO swirls


Posted by: arby | Sep 16 2020 13:52 utc | 240

juliania@230 You're welcome.

LuRenJia@235 "As I noted earlier, I Ching records Chinese observations about how nature operates. It is not supernatural." The I Ching is not a science book, not even a very ancient first effort. You want observations of nature, you get stuff like the Hippocratic corpus. Descriptions of plants and animals, medical histories, remarks on earthquakes and volcanoes and storms, observations on minerals, herb lore...Those are naturalist description. The claim that the I Ching is something like esoteric writings on alchemy (look up hermeticism too,) actually reinforces the close relationships between Confucianism and religion. Being someone raised in a theistic religion, I can authoritatively assure you that the Doctrine of the Mean extract simply is not rationalist or secular. You may insist the true Confucianism and Daoism distinct from the popular religions. But to my eyes that is exactly like someone claiming the liberal theologian who denies the resurrection is the true Christian and the believers praying for healing in churches are entirely distinct. It carries no conviction. Fortunately, my absurdly empirical approach to defining religion is unpopular. But even if it were correct, you could still insist on the superior sensitivity and intensity of your feelings validate you.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 16 2020 14:01 utc | 241

Without knowing, women in immigrant concentration camps in the USA allegedly were submitted to uterus removal surgery (whistleblower nurse Dawn Wooten):

Sem saber, mulheres teriam sido submetidas a retirada de útero em prisão para imigrantes nos EUA

Posted by: vk | Sep 16 2020 14:35 utc | 242

Western religions explains the natural world in terms of human experience.

Eastern religions explain human experience in terms of the natural world.

That's why Western religions have a human God (saying God made man in his image really means God has human form) and why Jews as a group claim a personal relationship to God.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 16 2020 14:52 utc | 243

University of Michigan Graduate Students 'get it':

I think that the Democratic and Republican parties do not serve the people or the working class in any capacity. They serve the owning class, they serve corporations, and the vast majority of politicians under those banners serve their own interests far before they serve the interests of their constituents.”

Their strike is not supported by United Federation of Teachers or the Democratic Party:
There is no doubt that the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the parent organization, exerted pressure on the GEO to shut down the strike before it became a catalyst for an expanding movement against the reckless back-to-school policy, which in Michigan is being spearheaded by the Democratic Party. Seeking to isolate the UM strike, AFT President Randi Weingarten, a leading official in the Democratic Party, did not even bother to issue a tweet about it.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 16 2020 14:57 utc | 244

What did Trump know and when did he know it? Inside his Feb. 7 admission

By the time President Donald Trump privately told journalist Bob Woodward on Feb. 7 that the coronavirus was “deadly stuff” transmitted by air, a threat “more deadly” than the flu, the warnings around him had been rampant.

National security adviser Robert O’Brien had told Trump that Covid-19 would be the “largest national security crisis of your presidency.” Top trade adviser Peter Navarro was drafting urgent pleas to manufacture more medical supplies and personal protective gear in the U.S. Other worried senior aides were organizing meetings about the potential severity and spread of a pandemic.

Yet Trump continued to downplay the threat publicly — comparing it to the typical flu, insisting the virus would disappear quickly and offering frequent praise for China’s response. The president appeared committed to keeping the public focused on more upbeat matters such as the rising stock market


!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 16 2020 15:18 utc | 245

Whether you like it or not, jackrabbit, Christianity, Judaism, Islam are all Eastern religions in their foundational texts. And the phrase "in the image of God" ought to be interpreted as it reads, that just as we talk about our 'better angels' as being our capacity for goodness, so in terms of our thoughts about a most high Being, we say we are made in the image of that Being. It doesn't at all mean that God has a human form. His form is unknowable. We cannot hold in our own minds all that Being is, because we are not it. It is more than us, but we attribute all our best qualities as gifts emanating from that Being. And all humans, at their best, whatever religion or non religion they profess, relate to the natural world as inhabitants thereof. They will give a different description perhaps of the process, but, in that fundamental relationship, we are all the same.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 16 2020 15:26 utc | 246

US National Institutes of Health 'Very Concerned' With AstraZeneca's Vaccine Test Hiccup, Media Says

There's simply no reason not to choose the Russian vaccine over the AstraZeneca ("Oxford") one. The science is more solid and the trials corroborate with the science.

The USA should swallow its pride and ideological sectarianism and buy the Russian (Gamaleya) vaccine.

Posted by: vk | Sep 16 2020 15:29 utc | 247

In regards to comment 242 by VK, it is amazing the parallels between the Vereinigten Staaten and Nazi Germany just prior to and during WWII. The only thing missing is really good marches. Watch for Nuremburg II to built just outside Washington, DC to facilitate those "really good marches". SIeg!

Posted by: William Heflin | Sep 16 2020 15:31 utc | 248

@247 VK

Agree a 100%

Posted by: CarlD | Sep 16 2020 15:47 utc | 249

@karlof1 #59
When a writer can't even spell "Monroe doctrine" correctly, or attribute it correctly to President James Monroe (he was President in 1823) - said writer's credibility is zero.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 16 2020 15:51 utc | 250

Germany, Germany, Germany... when will you ever learn?

Hitler pics & swastikas: 29 German police officers suspended amid major probe into Nazi content sharing

As the Americans like to say: you can put lipstick on a pig, but it'll still be a pig.

Speaking of pigs with lipstick:

Cocaine Cowboys: Venezuelan Military Shoots Down Drug-Laden US Plane

Supply and demand: Americans love cocaine, so cocaine must come to them.

On other related news:

Germany Reportedly Offered Washington LNG Investment Worth $1.2Bln to Save Nord Stream 2

I don't think a paltry sum of USD 1.2 billion will satisfy the Americans. They've been very expensive, voracious whores since the meltdown of 2008. Either way, if the deal is closed, that would mean this worked:

US Plays Key Role in Belarus Unrest, Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Says

This is my hypothesis: initially, Germany went "Prussian" and tried to Ukraine Belarus (with Russia next with the Navalny imbroglio). After this failed, they went Atlanticist - as some kind of "plan B" - and went after NS II to save face. Merkel has a singular talent for maintaining both factions of the German elite more or less happy within her government, so this is quite possible.

The USA for certain were involved in Belarus, but I don't think they are related to this recent EU anti-Russia fervor. More likely, they were going to decapitate Lukashenko wanting the EU or not, and Germany just had to work with what they had. Besides, the election would happen in 2020 and the next just at the end of 2024, so it wasn't a case where there was a better timing either way.

Posted by: vk | Sep 16 2020 15:55 utc | 251

I ching is not an oracle book,but can be used as such.In my opinion it is a description of how nature proceeds.The never-ending following up of events within the timeframe that we all live in.It is science,in another way than we generally understand science.I Ching details the flowing of Heraclitus' "Panta Rhei"

About two years ago,I threw the three coins that the oracle needs to get the six lines of the hexagram.I wrote it down,then looked up the judgment,as well as the specifics of the lines,weak or strong.I was interrupted by a phonecall,and then a visitor came to my house.I forgot about it until a week later I decided to throw another one.I wrote it down ad somehow it looked familiar.Consulting my notes in my notebook I saw I had been bequeathed with exactly the same hexagram and exactly all the same strong and weak six lines as in my throwing the time before.Now if some scientific mathematician can give me the odds on this I would be very grateful.

Posted by: willie | Sep 16 2020 16:07 utc | 252

Also thanks to you, LuRenJia. Your comment at 234 is very interesting and helpful.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 16 2020 16:11 utc | 253

Strange goings-on at UM/Ann Arbor/State of Michigan

Looking into the UM Grad Student Strike reveals a lot of dirt.

  • The University filed suit against the Graduate Student Union as part of fighting their strike then THE NEXT DAY in an online 'Town Hall' they thank the Union for "raising important issues".
  • The University ignored a Professor's sexual misconduct of two decades and actually rewarded him by naming him Provost.
  • The University hired the controversial Ann Arbor Chief of Police that promoted an officer that unjustly killed a black woman in 2014.
  • Michigan Governor is under fire for her coronavirus/covid-19 failure policies. Like putting Covid-19 patients into nursing homes. (NY Gov. Cuomo had also returned Covid-19 patients to nursing homes.)

=

Insider (Whistle-blower) Op-Ed: The University’s summer of lies

Accompanied by graffic with this caption:
I was wrong to believe that we could avoid the deterioration and rot that has run through our country. Now Schlissel runs our college like Trump runs America: with dishonest impunity, and grave risk to us all.

Schlissel faces no-confidence vote from UM faculty senate
A day after University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel acknowledged mistakes in planning the school's reopening amid COVID-19 and said he could feel an erosion of trust in him, the university's faculty senate plans to take a no-confidence vote in him.

The resolution, among several to be taken up at a 3 p.m. meeting Wednesday, faults the UM leader for the university's response to the pandemic and for his handling of sexual misconduct allegations against former Provost Martin Philbert, "who was dismissed for sexual misconduct that was known to members of the university community for decades," according to the resolution of no-confidence.

The resolution also says he "has yet to produce a model, analysis, or scientific data predicting the risk levels for the Fall 2020 reopening plans," that he ignored recommendations for ensuring a safe return to campus and did not respond to "grave concerns" expressed by students and faculty.

It also says Schlissel "failed to properly and effectively address reports of Martin Philbert’s misconduct, despite the university receiving information 'various times over the course of more than 15 years, including during key periods when he was under consideration and later selected for senior positions within the university.'"


Democrat governors who ordered nursing homes to take COVID patients probed by DOJ
The Justice Department said it is probing four Democratic-led states that pushed nursing homes to admit new residents during the coronavirus, despite heightened risks to the elderly population from contracting COVID-19.

New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Pennsylvania have been under scrutiny for high mortality rates, particularly among the elderly.

The states all issued orders pushing nursing homes not to refuse new admissions even though there may have been warning signs of COVID-19. New York, for example, specifically banned testing for people being transferred from a hospital to a nursing home.


!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 16 2020 16:23 utc | 254

@ LuRenJia | Sep 16 2020 3:22 utc | 234.. i would second juliania's comment to you... thanks... my way of seeing the spelling of those names - lao tzu and chang tzu is different and i think of it as taosim, not daoism, but other then that, i suppose it doesn't matter much... we are translating from a completely different language.. i too think taoism is more a philosophy then a religion, although when i think about that more, philosophy and religion seem very closely connected.. i would say the way i distinguish them is one is formal - orthodox - going to a church, and the other isn't...

interesting conversation either way..

Posted by: james | Sep 16 2020 16:31 utc | 255

Poverty, hunger and hatred put Brazilian people, Bolsonaro supporters on their knees:

[VIDEOS] Locals ransack supermarket in Rio de Janeiro's metropolitan area after food prices skyrocket in Brazil

Venezuela who?

Posted by: vk | Sep 16 2020 16:32 utc | 256

Oh yeah, one more thing:

The University asked Ann Arbor police to break up student gatherings of 25 or more - despite the simmering tensions between AAPD and the black community.

Note: UM has it's own Campus police so this request seems gratuitous and yet another irritant after UM hired the controversial AAPD Chief of Police.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 16 2020 16:32 utc | 257

I am skimming ZH stories and there is one where the head of the US CDC is telling the Senate that masks offer better protection against Covid-19 than vaccines

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 16 2020 16:36 utc | 258

As part of CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor), a new industrial park was inaugurated in Rashakai. This is a strategic city in NW Pakistan, between Islamabad and Kabul.

https://www.geo.tv/latest/307811-agreement-signing-for-development-of-rashakai-sez-to-be-held-at-pm-office-today

Posted by: Jun | Sep 16 2020 17:44 utc | 259

juliania @Sep16 15:26 #246

And the phrase "in the image of God" ought to be interpreted as ... being our capacity for goodness ...

You are stretching here. Anthropomorphism in Western religions are well established.

And your "ought to be" is honored in the breech as Christians actually focus on the image of Jesus (yes, I know, he is merely one part of the Trinity - nevertheless ...).

=
And all humans, at their best, whatever religion or non religion they profess, relate to the natural world as inhabitants thereof.

In the middle ages the Catholic Church put the earth at the center of the Universe. This was logical for a religion that starts from human experience. I don't believe Eastern religions "relate to the natural world" in that manner.

<> <> <> <> <>

And in your defense of Christianity you ignore the other "Abrahamic religion" that I mentioned: Judism. Which claims a special relationship to a God that has human characteristics like vengefulness.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 16 2020 17:46 utc | 260

juliania @Sep16 15:26 #246

And the phrase "in the image of God" ought to be interpreted as ... being our capacity for goodness ...

You are stretching here. Anthropomorphism in Western religions are well established.

And your "ought to be" is honored in the breech as Christians actually focus on the image of Jesus (yes, I know, he is merely one part of the Trinity - nevertheless ...).

=
And all humans, at their best, whatever religion or non religion they profess, relate to the natural world as inhabitants thereof.

In the middle ages the Catholic Church put the earth at the center of the Universe. This was logical for a religion that starts from human experience. I don't believe Eastern religions "relate to the natural world" in that manner.

<> <> <> <> <>

And in your defense of Christianity you ignore the other "Abrahamic religion" that I mentioned: Judism. Which claims a special relationship to a God that has human characteristics like vengefulness.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 16 2020 17:46 utc | 261

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 16 2020 18:02 utc | 262

[VIDEOS] Locals ransack supermarket in Rio de Janeiro's metropolitan area after food prices skyrocket in Brazil

Venezuela who?

Posted by: vk | Sep 16 2020 16:32 utc | 256

Brazilian poor are better off, because their supermarkets have a larger variety and quantity. In Venezuela supermarkets are not worth rioting. On top of that, Brazil does not have the worst Covid-19 mortality (per million)in Americas, Peru, Chile and Bolivia are even worse (Equador tiny bit behind, USA, just a little more). Venezuela has 35 times smaller Covid-19 mortality than Brazil.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 16 2020 18:02 utc | 263

@238 gruff

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

Communists have done this with their art since its rise.

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

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

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

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 16 2020 18:18 utc | 264

@264 addendum

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

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

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

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

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 16 2020 18:35 utc | 265

I see what you did there!

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

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

... which Trump also works for ...

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

Enjoy the Show.

=

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

LOL.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 16 2020 19:05 utc | 266

Funny-
I've been studying, practicing and training in Taoist Arts, Buddhism and Chan/(union of Tao/Buddhism) daily for over 35yrs. I have absolutely nothing to say about those arts other than the above.

Spend time around ANY Christian and it's only a matter of time before you are drenched in a bucket full of vomit about God, Bible, Good and Evil, guilt and a myriad number of insane hypocrisies of their and its "superior" beliefs.

"The Tao that can be spoken of is not the everlasting Tao"

Posted by: CitizenX | Sep 16 2020 20:06 utc | 267


Germany Reportedly Offered Washington LNG Investment Worth $1.2Bln to Save Nord Stream 2

I don't think a paltry sum of USD 1.2 billion will satisfy the Americans. They've been very expensive, voracious whores since the meltdown of 2008. Either way, if the deal is closed, that would mean this worked:

US Plays Key Role in Belarus Unrest, Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Says

This is my hypothesis: initially, Germany went "Prussian" and tried to Ukraine Belarus (with Russia next with the Navalny imbroglio). After this failed, they went Atlanticist - as some kind of "plan B" - and went after NS II to save face. Merkel has a singular talent for maintaining both factions of the German elite more or less happy within her government, so this is quite possible.

vk
----------
Good selection, but incoherent hypothesis: what is the difference between a Prussian position and Atlanticist position? Prussia had a longish history, with period of wars and amity with Russia. Bismarck, a recent epitome of things Prussia, presided over an amical period. Thus if there is any difference, a Prussian would make some cost-gain calculation, and an Atlanticist would protest any delay in following American lead.

In that light, Navalny incident can be precisely a type of cost-effective Prussian move to appease Americans, not to unleash sanctions on NS-2 connected companies, and of course to complete the pipe. They did not want to waste all that effort on cowing Atlanticist Danes to submission? If anything, besides the bottom line, it warms cockles to see some zone of influence in action.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 16 2020 21:53 utc | 268

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

LOL.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 16 2020 19:05 utc | 266

That ANYONE can cite Epoch Times gives me a pause, but that ANYONE can cite people citing Epoch Times... Tut, tut, Jackrabbit.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 16 2020 21:57 utc | 269

Mass media movies are not art. They may contain some art, but they are not in and of themselves art, unless you are stretching the definition such that it also includes pickup trucks and cans of soup.
Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 16 2020 12:00 utc | 238

I am a Philistine on the subject of arts, so I do not catch the pickup truck reference, but cans of soup are definitely included in the annals of Serious Art:

Campbell's Soup I: Tomato, c.1968
Andy Warhol
Size
26" x 42"
Framed Art Print
Price
$181.99 (deleted, there is a deal!)
$151.99

One could object that a truly serious art would not be humiliated with discounts, but this is a reproduction after all. The original is there in the supermarket in all its glory.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 16 2020 22:09 utc | 270

If I were the Russian Federation,

I would judge Navalny for High Treason in absentia, strip him of his Russian Nationality and prohibit his entry in the country, shut all his organizations and those that are his affiliates.

Declare him a malfeasant foreign asset looking to harm the Federation for his Western Masters.

In case the EU would stop NS2, I would shut gas flow through the Ukraine
or raise the price sky high. Restrict gas flow to Belarus to its strict neccessities and raise the price of any additional gas flow to EU level.

Now that fall and winter are approaching, let the West have a just retaliation for its shenanigas.

Posted by: CarlD | Sep 19 2020 21:26 utc | 271

@ Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 16 2020 21:53 utc | 268

It makes sense. Let's follow the whole thing in a timeline, from past to present:

1) Belarus color revolution (early August); we know for a fact it was headed by the EU, therefore by Germany;

2) Navalny fake poisoning (late August); Navalny flew to Germany (Berlin, of all cities) at personal request of her wife. Germany spearheads the attack against Russia.

So have almost simultaneous operations in East Europe, divided by two weeks. Both events involve the same country: Germany.

But there's a "1.5" moment in this timeline, one which complicated Germany's master plan:

1.5) Belarus color revolution failed too quickly, even before Navalny was "poisoned" (mid August).

Germany certainly planned the whole thing to be successful. I don't have to prove that, it's simply human nature to like winning and hate losing.

Let's assume everything went according to the plan. We would then have:

Belarus color revolution success, Lukashenko toppled, liberal junta empowered in Minsk → EU and NATO get a foothold in Minsk (the gateway to invade and flatten Moscow militarily) → Navalny is "poisoned", Putin gets on the defensive, giving time for NATO and the EU to consolidate their newly gained position → Russia is completely vulnerable militarily and economically (new sanctions), opening the way to a neo-Yeltsin after Putin's death.

This pattern follows the Ukrainian one. Indeed, what saved the day for Russia in Ukraine was the fact that the brave peoples of the Donbass and Crimea acted quickly and decisively, completely neutralizing all the gains of the EU in Western Ukraine and, to top it off, creating a financial black hole to the IMF (as Western Ukraine is a failed state). Yes, you heard that right: the milky bar you're buying in the USA and Europe is financing neo-nazis in Western Ukraine.

Belarus wasn't so simple: it is a big plains, indefensible if invaded. There's no "Belarusian Donbass". Lucky for Russia, again, there's a little piece of paper called "Union State" and Lukashenko is a very popular head-of-state, who commands absolute power in Belarus. He quickly and easily crushed the color revolutionaries and took decisive action in the frontier with Lithuania and Poland and mercilessly arrested Western and Russian "journalists" (i.e. propagandists). The Europeans miscalculated: they didn't take into account that Lukashenko, as a communist, doesn't believe in those transcendental postmodern liberal credos. As a Marxist, he doesn't believe in fairy tales.

Whatever the details, fact is such an aggressive expansion attempt led by Germany marries well with its old Prussian doctrine. Germany is an American protectorate, but it's hard to believe it is in a such deplorable state as to allow the CIA and NATO to use it as a façade to war against Russia. There must be some boundaries. If that's correct, then there must exist a nationalist, "Prussian" faction of the German bourgeoisie with huge influence in the Bundestag. Indeed, the German car industry has significant investments in Russia proper. I think they want even more - specially if sweetened with cheap gas (Nordstream II finalization).

But, with loss, comes division, and the failure of the Belarus color revolution compromised the Navalny phase of the operation. My hypothesis here is that some Atlanticist faction of the German bourgeoisie - which represents the traditional spirit of West Germany, the spirit of the Cold War - took the reins of the Bundestag and used the Navalny operation as an anti-NS II operation. I've already mentioned the list, which includes the Green Party and others. They certainly have friends: Lithuania, Poland, West Ukraine and the other Baltics immediately came to their support for the cancellation of the NS-II. Militarily speaking, the picture here is clear: East Europe is to be converted into a buffer zone between Russia and "Europe". The German Atlanticists certainly plan to use Polish and Baltic hate towards Russia to forever cut it off from the European Peninsula (EU). This also aligns much better with NATO's interests, as we can deduce from the sad case of Norway and, to a lesser degree, Sweden (with their evil/Russian dolphins and whales theory).

All this little story only makes sense if there are two factions in the German capitalist class, with roughly the same power.

Posted by: vk | Sep 19 2020 22:31 utc | 272

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