Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 18, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-83

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

  • October 13 - Professor Chossudovsky Is Wrong - Here Is How PCR Tests Work
    Last week there was an outbreak of Covid-19 in Qingdao, a harbor city of 11 million in south China. Two dock workers had fallen ill. A CT scan room used for the Covid-19 patients was not properly disinfected and another 14 people got the virus. Alarmed about the outbreak the authorities tested all people in Qingdao. Within 5 days 10.8 million RT-PCR tests were taken and processed. Chossudovsky and others claim that these tests often produce 'false positive' results. So how many 'false positives' did they find in Qingdao?
    Qingdao finishes city-wide testing, finds no new COVID-19 cases - Global Times
    None. Zero. Nada. RT-PCR tests DO NOT produce false positive results.

Other issues:

Covid-19 politics:

Rather than viewing the Chinese government’s reaction as a sign of its love of a lockdown, I now think of it as emblematic of the bureaucratic élan that underlies much of China’s rise over the past few decades, from the largely successful economic policies that went counter to the shock treatment advocated by many Western experts to its rolling out a national highway and high-speed rail network—public engineering feats that Western countries used to accomplish quickly but that now drag on for years or decades.

Covid Europe:

  • This was Europe five days ago. Denmark, Germany and Austria had little incidence. But the cultural levees sprang leaks and the yellow countries are now also turning red.



Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on October 18, 2020 at 14:09 UTC | Permalink

« previous page | next page »

Good morning MOA & the world
Here’s a positive vibe
I like the Chinese theme !

B take this one down if needed. And thanks for your stoicism !!!

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 19 2020 7:12 utc | 101

I take a look at the web site of "Die Welt", a German newspaper. There are articles with 30, 200, 1000 comments.
One article on the front page stands out. "Paris - Teacher decapitated - Perpetrator lived as refugee in France": only four comments.
Today, when the article is no longer on the front page, I look up the article in the newspapers' archive: 101 comments.

If you visit Berlin, I suggest visiting the former headquarters of the East German secret police. It's a museum now. You can spend a quiet afternoon there, looking how they did things 30 years ago, and see how much we have progressed since.

Posted by: passerby | Oct 19 2020 7:31 utc | 102

I generally eschew posting about Aotearoa partly because all of ya amerikans, euros, englanders & ozzies inevitably put on yer best inadequately suppressed patronising act, but chiefly because explaining the context always takes so long and is too frequently misinterpreted.

However I thought I'd throw this in. Newsroom is one of two publications in Aotearoa who publish solely on the net, which employs an actual newsroom of journos, so I do visit them daily even if they are just another purveyor of neolib tosh.

Yesterday Newsroom journo Tova Obrien interviewed former National Party (Aotearoa tory party) hack pol Jamie Lee Ross, who was tossed outta the Natz after exposing the under the counter donations the party had been copping from Chinese donors -(yeah, yeah but that is not the point of this post you binary thinkers).

After Jamie copped the flick he thought he would try to hang on to his outrageous salary by creating his own political movement. It didn't go well, so he hooked up with a band of Covid and a range of other widely shared but entirely fallacious takes on moon landings, the shape of planet earth etc) thinkers and they promoted each other.

Now I have some major issues about how both the media & the punditocracy reacted to Ross's co-chair Billy T.K.jnr (whose Dad used to entertain us all down the bopeep when I was a kid) especially the lack of analysis about why it was that a sizeable chunk of indigenous Aotearoans rejected Covid 19 science, still that doesn't extend to the act of Ross which was a blatant hail mary attempt to keep the easy money flowing.

Never theless according to graunid 40 year old pretend schoolboy hack Owen Jones the interview is "One of the most amazingly savage interviews you'll ever watch. She has no chill whatsoever. It's like watching someone's anxiety dream"
or on the other side of the pond Glenn Greenwald says "An absolute masterclass in interviewing a politician by New Zealand's @TovaOBrien
- one of the best interviews of a politician I've seen. Also one of the most entertaining."

Why is it that this interview raises two questions for me (1) Why does it feel that O'Brien is shooting fish in a barrel & (2) This was made the day after the election, why didn't kiwi journos bail up all the crappy pols so forcefully before election day?

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 19 2020 7:35 utc | 103

@Richard Steven Hack | Oct 19 2020 5:24 utc | 94

You gotta love this stuff. These are exactly the kind of people that I once planned to simply execute. Anyone who doubts that Facebook, Google, Twitter and the rest are simply (not-so-covert) agentcies of the government are simply deluded. All these outfits need to be hacked, exposed, disrupted, replaced by open-source P2P encrypted alternatives, and the people in charge shot in the head.

The reason why I oppose censorship of any kind is it allows people like you to expose yourself as extremists promoting violence.

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 19 2020 8:49 utc | 104

@ Norwegian

Not like you have a choice. The future is coming towards nanny state where speech is censored and monitored, like in China.

I weep for future generations that they won't ever know the joys of the early 00s.

Posted by: Smith | Oct 19 2020 8:55 utc | 105

@Smith | Oct 19 2020 8:55 utc | 105

the joys of the early 00s.

Such as the joys of September 2001 possibly?

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 19 2020 8:59 utc | 106

@ Norwegian

Probably. 9/11 was pussy shit compared to the 10s, and now we are approaching the 20s, I'll still take 9/11 over it.

Posted by: Smith | Oct 19 2020 9:02 utc | 107

Norwegian @105
It’s the way you tell’m !
Ha ha ha I just fell about laughing reading that comment.
So tell me ——- what’s Richard Steven Hacks ‘body count’ as an extremist?
In comaparison to The UK or American govenment home or abroad ?
I know which is the true extremist !
You guys just like your victems to silent.
Sorry but no.
But carry on you two ——
This double act is a subject lesson in brainwashed mind control thinking.

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 19 2020 9:27 utc | 108

There is a real possibility that MAS has won back the presidency of Bolivia, if one can go by the exit polls.

But note that the exit poll was run by MAS itself. The mood in the streets seems to be jubilant, though.

And God —I mean Pompeo the pompous— has not pronounced himself, yet, about how the people of Bolivia are doing it all wrong, and deserve to be sanctioned. /sarcasm

Posted by: phiw13 | Oct 19 2020 9:45 utc | 109

Dear Karloff1
I seldom comment but often resend your work to people union and working class writers/activists who redistribute stuff.
You often are ahead of the pack ie recently re Lavrov.
Liked the Russian song!
What I appreciate about this blog is the high level of the comments., Even from the trolls most of whom I naturally skip.
Life is too short.

Posted by: Now's the Time | Oct 19 2020 9:45 utc | 110

oldhippie 20#

About your hunch the beheading of a teacher near Paris could be a false flag,I think now yo could be right.When I see government officials reactions to fuel hatred between communities,and the fact that all political parties that condemned Jean-Marie Le Pen for decades for similar assertions as they state now themselves,this teacher killing is now used to step up a civil war in France.This country is the one with most muslims in Western Europe,and the one that treats them the worst,putting them in ghettos,with bad schools,bad transport and so on.War on Islam is coming here.

Now there is still not one witness who has seen the actual beheading,although it was done just after school's out.The guy has been shot with nine bullets at 200 meters from the spot,while unarmed,and by police officers from the BAC( Brigade Anti-Criminelle) that normally would not have been around at that time and place.Also given the fact that longtime Israel server Bernard Henri Levy is now stirring up hatred in the media,like he did with Khadafi and Yanoukovitch(he was on the 100 most influential peoples list in 2012 Time Magazine,or was it 2011),along with ex-minister of the interior Manuel Valls,who swore eternal allegiance to Israel,and who was protected by Mossad agents the day after the Nice Fête Nationale Carnage-by-Lorrydriver when visiting the place points to the deep state implication,in my opinion.I'm sure that that was staged,amongst other attacks on average citizens,never on politicians.

It all fits in very well in the Talmudic scheme of Israel setting up Ishmael (arabs,islam) to Edom (Europe,christians) so they eliminate each other to the great victory of Israel,like their Yahweh promised in so many torah sequences.

Here's a video,where rabbi's expose the zionist rabbi's,because they are not all zionists and happy to kill the rest of the world.

By the way,does anyone know that the fire of Notre Dame de Paris,april 15th 2019 happened 777 years,day to day after on the same spot Sorbonne professors did burn a lot of jewish books.Some rabbi's saw it as a divine punishment working out.

I think I start believing the Protocols of the Elders of Sion.A good book to read is Umberto Eco's The Cemetery of Prague,which gives you also quite some insight in historical events from another point of view,as well as the fact that France secret services have been longtime around to influence public opinion.The interesting thing is that the main protagonist is the only person in the book that is fictional.All others ,and they range from Garibaldi upto Dreyfuss,did all really exist and every word they say or write in the book is documented.

So the question is:How can we convince ordinary french people and ordinary muslims who just want to take care of their families,like most of us do,that shady forces are trying to fuck us up competely?

Posted by: willie | Oct 19 2020 10:59 utc | 111

Murdoch - aka Bullshitters R Us Inc.
Kevin Rudd, ex-PM of Oz, the bloke who saved Oz from the Sub-prime scam by putting Billions of $ in the pockets of millions of low-income ppl, wants a Royal Commission into Murdock's 75% ownership of Oz TV and Print media. He has a petition with 320,000 signatures supporting the idea. Unfortunately, with Zio-nazi Scum Mo in charge, it won't fly - but it's a start. Naturally, Murdoch's Fake News organisation isn't reporting it.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 19 2020 11:01 utc | 112

From the tone of the narrative here
you can feel that cnn is reporting something against the MSM current directions
"Matovic explained that it was his belief the only way to contain the outbreak is through mass testing"
This is only what the WHO had been advocating since February.
Of course the WHO ppl are corrupt to the core and they save their heads by never criticizing the states, or just very mildly (recently one of their officials said lockdowns were counterproductive but... who cares)
Raoult says that the new, very contagious strain, is less mortal that the spring one, and that we are probably going down in the epidemy. He is completely against mass vaccination,

Posted by: Mina | Oct 19 2020 11:09 utc | 113

karlof1 @ 53

The intellectual capacity of these comment sections will grow much dimmer if you do decide to cease commenting. Having said that, I will endeavour to hang out more at your website. Thanks for all the great ruminations.

Posted by: Digital Spartacus | Oct 19 2020 11:14 utc | 114

Willie @ 111
What a brilliant comment right there, at last ‘sanity’
We should all take that comment frame it and put it on the wall. (Gen)
That’s why I love MOA.
Say no to the haters, simple as that.

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 19 2020 11:16 utc | 115

Posted by: willie | Oct 19 2020 10:59 utc | 111
(Muslims in France)

I'm inclined to agree with your pov on this disgrace.
In a TRULY Secular state no-one would bother wasting time & space by using religion as a political football.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 19 2020 11:19 utc | 116

Please Karlof1,do not kid your self.A lot of pêople ,including me ,value very much your contributions,links,and astute interpreting of Global Times articles,and your takes on China and Russia politics.I agree completely with most of your writings,but indeed find myself not worthy of responding to most of it.I agree with suzan and james on this.I skip all your comments on Finance,Hudson and covid though,but I don't feel obliged to tell you why.

And with that you find even the time to read volumes and discuss with your missus.Stay around please!

Posted by: willie | Oct 19 2020 11:19 utc | 117

willie @ 111

It does not matter how thoroughly you are able to dismantle and discredit the story. The image has been planted in your brain. Even for you, who has ceased to believe the official narrative, the image will always be there. Highly successful psyop. It never matters if these stories are true or false. It never matters how badly written the narrative is.

I am insulted by how badly written most of these psyops are. But they have learned they don’t need to pay good writers. Badly scripted news items stir your brain to mush just as effectively as well crafted items.

Posted by: oldhippie | Oct 19 2020 12:12 utc | 118

I wish it were just propaganda but I´m not sure. According to the PEW Research Center unfavorable views of China reach historic highs in many countries If it`s really true, can anybody explain it to me?

Posted by: m @ 28 with great response by: JB @ 49 the words by: kiwiklown 76 and How will they smear China with the Biden corruption?by: psychohistorian @ 89 <=I thought PEW was a expression of unpleasant odor? You can be sure about the views of China by Americans: In USA governed America, Opinion of China by Americans has moved from China is backward country with despicable leadership, to governed Chinese people have been boarded to the same boat with USA governed Americans, both made into deck hands, made by use of force, rule of law, and government done in secret in idiots of the media. Understanding the Chinese plight is a direct result of moving America to China, Americans opinion of China has moved from Don't care to feel sorry for the Chinese people on one hand and regret that they are enjoying our industries on the other hand. This realization that the Oligarchs moved America to China, has helped Americans see the problem in their own government and the institutions the USA now supports versus what it used to be.

Americans understand that it was not the Chinese masses that stole from Americans, their quality educational institutions, their happy go lucky trust in their fellow Americans, and the industries that fed Americans, but instead it was in the USA, and its Oligarch cronies, just as in China: the persons in control of government were used as a conduit for crime and profit of global enterprises.

Americans also understand it was copyright law, patent law, and privatization contracts and sales of public domain property to highly privileged private enterprise that made possible the Oligarch relocate America by export of American industry to China project. The Oligarchs were after cheap labor and unregulated destroy-able environment places; Wall Street, the USA government, and global banking conspired to move American industrial know-how, American industrial productivity, and American inventiveness and creative genius to China, destroying in the American propensity based on trust of their fellow man, to do business on a hand shake. Why in the hell would Americans not think better of China now than before? China has been made into America by the very people that now want everyone to hate, and war against, China.

by: Jen @ 52 Several different methods of nucleic acid amplification.. RT-PCR is just one. <= Completely agree<=not only different ways to detect, quantify and and assess Covid 19 but <=but different ways to stop the impact of the virus. Instead of chasing a never likely to work immune system activating vaccine against Covid 19, why not spend all that research money on developing a way to deny any Corona Virus access to a single human cell? In other words, deny the virus its ability to infect a human cell, so that no vaccine is ever needed, no matter which corona virus is attacking humanity. I think it comes down to blocking some receptor activity.. and maybe attaching GFP or something to the virus by areosol.. just don't have a lab nowadays to test stuff like this.

Russia has turned its cheek for the last time, Aside from Paco, apparently no other barfly watched. I ask myself if my efforts in posting such material are worthwhile. by: karlof1 @ 53 <=I appreciate your warnings and like very much having a Russian spokes person at the bar..thanks. I think we are seeing in Syria that Russia front,, already a exchange of prisoners and strong backing down by the the oil theives. Something is up.. and Russia is pushing that wave .. When Russia quits dealing with Israel and Turkey.. Russia means business will have meaning.

If Biden wins, nothing changes. But Trump is the Deep State favorite. by: Jackrabbit @ 74 <= if either wins, Americans lose.

These are exactly the kind of people that I once planned to simply execute. Anyone who doubts that Facebook, Google, Twitter and the rest are simply (not-so-covert) agencies of the government are simply deluded. All these outfits need to be hacked, exposed, disrupted, replaced by open-source P2P encrypted alternatives, and the people in charge shot in the head. by: Richard Steven Hack @ 94 <= Agree.. might want to add 5g, Windoze and iphone providers to that list.

The reason why I oppose censorship of any kind is it allows people like you to expose yourself as extremists promoting violence. by: Norwegian @ 104 <= lets see war in Syria, Yemen, executing Generals on peace missions, Lebanon, Afganistan, venezuela, dropping A bomb's on people already suing for peace, invading Iraq, doing 9/11 and pearl harbor against one's own people.. don't match up to extremism?

Posted by: snake | Oct 19 2020 12:20 utc | 119

@ karlof1

>> I ask myself if my efforts in posting such material are worthwhile

Dude! When I visit MoA, I look forward to reading your comments. I dont reply because I don’t want to pollute the board with non-additive responses.

Posted by: oglalla | Oct 19 2020 12:59 utc | 120

First of all, the Deep State is a fictional enemy created to herd the mass straight into the Chosen trap that appears as the innocent victim under attack by nefarious DS forces.

There is only one powerful cabal feverishly working out of Wall Street to get Trump re-elected, Zionism. Whoever gets the multi-million dollar backing of its representatives like Rupert Murdoch and Sheldon Adelson IS the Chosen and they're pulling no punches against Biden to ensure Trump is re-elected. Murdoch is in on the smear campaign against Biden using the Hunter Biden e-mails and Adelson is financing a Super-Pac Preserve America to the tune of $75 MILLION to attack Joe Biden on every air wave with negative ads, and no doubt every machination out there is being financed to boost momentum for Trump and derail Biden.

So all you hypocritical Trump bootlickers, like Hoarsewhisperer, who pretend to rail against Murdoch, Fix News, and Ziofascists are merely spinning your wheels trying to get Trump's image out of the swamp.

The truth is that Trump is swimming in Ziofascist cash and covered in filth. Rudy Giuliani is the Ziofascist cabal's sewer gofer. Sleazy Giuliani is throwing the dirty kitchen sink at Biden but it ain't sticking cause the Ziofascist cabal in their lust for power to make Zionism's hold absolute pushed the fascist card too far too soon and lost a big chunk of support.

I want a front row when your precious Pootie/Nuttyahoo investment Trump crashes in blazing eruption like the Hindenburg 2020.

It'll be fun to witness your Ziofascist blowhard and his fading trophy wife on stilts skulking away from the White House, the People's House for the last time.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 19 2020 13:13 utc | 121

@ Hack

>> And based on the responses from the other barflies above, much more appreciated than mine is. LOL

I enjoy reading your posts, too, Mr. Hack.

As with karlof1, I don’t have much original material to contribute and rarely disagree with you. Plus, even on small disagreements, i don’t feel inclined to nitpick.

Also, there are some days I lack the time to read all MoA comments.

Posted by: oglalla | Oct 19 2020 13:21 utc | 122

@snake | Oct 19 2020 12:20 utc | 119

lets see war in Syria, Yemen, executing Generals on peace missions, Lebanon, Afganistan, venezuela, dropping A bomb's on people already suing for peace, invading Iraq, doing 9/11 and pearl harbor against one's own people.. don't match up to extremism?

I am sorry, but that is a strawman argument. I never said or implied what you write, please be honest. The violent extremism proposed by Mr. Hack is not justified by other crimes, large or small.

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 19 2020 13:27 utc | 123

Mr. Crooke has a new one, which looks pretty interesting:

The Two Undersides to Geo-Politics

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 19 2020 13:30 utc | 124

@ Bemildred

Facial survelliance, data mining, data analytics, 24/7 monitoring, hi-speed 5G always online all the time, "smart" and "safe" cities, cashless society with each individual wallet controlled by the state or a 3rd party corporation.

Is this the vision of the future? Why does it sound so dystopia?

Is this China really the "hope of the world"? Why is it not hopeful?

Posted by: Smith | Oct 19 2020 13:49 utc | 125

@vk #41
It is a mistake to think that modeling can remove fundamental sources of error.
The paper I referenced is an excellent example: the range of false positive rates was from 0% to 16.7%.
How do you model such that such a range of false positive rates can be excluded, without destroying actual data?
The answer is: You cannot.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 19 2020 13:55 utc | 126

Karlofi, please continue to post here. Please notice that many of the non-troll posters immediately responded in this way. I often forward your remarks to friends and sometimes and tempted to plagiarize them (lol) because they are so astute

Posted by: Perimetr | Oct 19 2020 14:09 utc | 127

Posted by: Smith | Oct 19 2020 13:49 utc | 125

Don't worry, we aren't going to have any of that stuff here. We'll have our own standards, that's what Crooke is talking about. You should like that, it will mean more small & medium manufacturing coming back here. Lots of investment to re-tool all our industry, etc. Of course we lose some large share of the global market that way, but so what? Globalism sucks. The Internet titans won't like it either, they are finally going to have to compete. Apple will hate it.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 19 2020 14:09 utc | 128

I’m with them !

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 19 2020 14:23 utc | 129

@karlof1, 53, 18 October

I do not comment much but I do read your comments and follow up on your links. I appreciate the information given, the different viewpoint and the discussion with other barflies. Please continue to post here.

Posted by: cirsium | Oct 19 2020 14:37 utc | 130

@Kiza #85
My view of Trump has always been that he would be a massive disruptor - not that he is any form of savior.
I had no expectation that any 4 years by anyone would enable a sea-change in the United States or even just the President's office; all I could hope for was the presence of such an outsider to shake things up in the (small) hope that change would occur.
From this perspective, his presidency has been 100% successful.
My question for you is:
If the "smart" people don't vote, then don't they deserve what they get?
For this election, I have registered to vote for the first time in 24 years.
This is not because of Trump. I didn't vote at all in 2016 even though I had a very strong suspicion that the election was going to be far closer than the polls indicated.
I live in a state where conservatives are 100% disenfranchised, not just by the state electoral system but by as feckless a conservative opposition as can be imagined.
Rather, there are 2 ballot propositions which I am motivated enough to vote on:
1) Proposition 15 - which will "split roll" the property tax roll. This proposition specifically is aimed at reforming Proposition 13 - which in turn is directly responsible for across the board declines in California. Proposition 15 backers were really smart: instead of attacking Proposition 13 directly, which would be thwarted by the commercial and ultra-wealthy interests enlisting the 10% and elderly to its defense, they chose to reframe the debate by focusing just on $3m+ properties and large company owned land. Note farms are specifically excluded.
2) Proposition 22 - which is the Uber/Lyft/Doordash/Postmates/etc "Empire Strikes Back" ballot. The "independent contractor" loophole, which underlies all of these businesses' models, is the modern way to get around minimum wage and employee protection laws. These companies have spent $180+ million to date fighting against California court and regulatory rulings forcing them to reclassify their "independent contractors" as employees.
This is the most egregious move I've seen - even worse than PG & E's $40M attempt to cement themselves as utility providers a few years ago - and attempts the same thing: to require a 75% approval to make any changes, which is 99% the same thing as making changes impossible.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 19 2020 14:40 utc | 131

Accounting for the TDS - this is an excellent article about how Trump is hated mostly because of his personality as opposed to his actions - said actions being no different than any of his predecessors:
Secret Powers of the Presidency

Note that Obama, W Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Truman, FDR etc all had these powers and used them.

Is it better that we have a smooth talking sellout, a dunce, a brilliant but corrupt hack, an ex-CIA head, an actor, a peanut farmer etc be the spokesmodel disguising imperial powers or a loose-lipped bull in a china shop?

FDR used these powers to imprison American citizens of Japanese descent in accordance with his anti-Asian prejudice, so it isn't like these are new.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 19 2020 14:50 utc | 132

Excellent analysis of Erdogan’s ‘On the field and at the table’ policy of military intervention in local / not so local conflicts and its eminent failure, Why is Turkey absent from the table despite being in the field? Again, this is an Al-Monitor article. No apologies for that. I read around but honestly there is so little worthwhile analysis of Turkish politics. (An example of the dross that fills the ether is Cunningham’s extraordinary “Erdogan’s revenge for Syria ” article. ))) )

Anyway, here is an excerpt for you:

“Above all, Ankara’s field-table equation goes wrong because of the disparity between its goals and means. Despite being NATO’s second-largest standing force, Turkey tends to exaggerate its military deterrence in distant regions. The efficiency of Turkish armed drones in the conflicts in Syria, Libya and the Caucuses has led to an overblown sense of “strategic power,” though such power projection takes more than drones. The Libyan experience in particular has shown that Turkey’s military capabilities fall short in ventures far beyond its borders. Moreover, the government’s bragging about “fully indigenous” drones took a blow earlier this month as Canada suspended the export of crucial drone parts to Turkey… “

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 19 2020 15:12 utc | 133

Roy G | Oct 19 2020 3:55 utc | 80.... it might be a set up on that laptop... hard to know... we need more info and we probably won't get it..

Posted by: james | Oct 19 2020 15:14 utc | 134

China should have become more popular due to it's handling of the Coronavirus epidemic, not less. Does anybody have an explanation? m @ 9

The anti-China stance and propaganda has been notched up and is becoming relentless. (Reasons for it are another topic.)

As for the corona part, many believe that the Chinese created this virus (see e.g. Trump’s heavy hints) and that they deliberately or accidentally released it. Others simply think CV19 is the outcome of disgusting food habits, wet markets, dirty ch*****, with the pangolin involved somehow, and that the Communist authorities covered it up (see the brave Dr. who died) thereby creating a pandemic and killing oodles of ppl. See also Bemildred's response.

linda @ 11. Yeah that Urie article…well… Yes, Trump is v. useful. The dementia candidate is a terrible pick, as is the despised Harris. The corrupt Dems, part of the Duopoly, are trying to keep their place at the trough. They refused to win with Sanders in 16, and are doing something similar now, an easy interpretation. I actually believe that their moves have a desperation behind them, a kind of last-ditch, almost end-times air. Being ‘politicians’ who don’t do ‘politics’ and have no ‘serious’ policies / platforms / laws to propose, just skating on fame, image, idpol, and various forms of corruption and propaganda, well ... maybe that isn't so hot.

The official J. Biden website is pathetic. The screen I get has only two messages: DONATE (fills the whole screen practically with huge red dollar amount tabs) and the only message is “Together we will beat Donald Trump.” If you click thru, the first shot is more of the same. Scroll down and you can buy T-shirts! (Trump’s is awful as well but different, can’t analyse all that now.)

Jackr. 23, I’d actually agree with much of what you wrote, but it is still the case that ppl vote, and do so in function of X, Y, Z, and that is part of the whole story (or scam in your terms.) It keeps the whole show going and how it is done is worthy of discussion. - !! (to borrow)

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 19 2020 15:21 utc | 135

There is an interesting response to one of the articles posted by vk @17. The article being referred to is Hong Kong cannot afford to say ‘I don’t mind’ to being overtaken by Shenzhen, President Xi’s ‘miracle’ city. A commenter there, "leetangctl", had this to say concerning Shenzhen vs Hong Kong:

Shenzhen knows where it’s going and its people are focused and aligned in making the changes or sacrifices needed to get there.

Hong Kong, on the other hand, knows only where it doesn’t want to go—with its people bickering and consumed in hindering others. There is no alignment, no vision, and only a hope that somehow after all parties impede every each other in every way, that somehow everything will fall into place.

It struck me when considering that observation that I cannot think of a single western (bourgeois) "democracy" where policy isn't shaped around a struggle defined by what people don't want. They don't want walls built, or they don't want specific minorities mistreated, or they don't want to be part of the EU, or they don't want this president or that president, but not only are there no political organizations promoting a vision of a shared destination for western societies, the very possibility of a shared destination is not even part of public discourse.

I suppose that may be because, particularly in the US and Europe, there is a sense that we've already created the perfect society, and all it needs is just some minor tweaking. There is nowhere to go from here except perhaps a few more Black CEOs and maybe enforcing the use of gentler euphemisms in our language. If this is the case, and I believe it is, then the West not only no longer possesses the economic wherewithal to lead humanity to the future, but also lacks the vision and imagination to do so.

At some point China stopped following the West and started forging their own path. This change probably started many years ago, but the inflection point where paths parted came this year. The West is in the breakdown lane of the great highway of life, smoke billowing from the engine compartment. China pulled over to offer assistance, but the West flipped them the bird and threatened to throw rocks so China moved on. This isn't a tragedy, though. This is some great hope for humanity. The only vision for the future the US and its imperial vassals could offer for the last few decades has been "Project for a New American Century", which has been far from the sort of thing that could inspire school children to work hard for.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 19 2020 15:21 utc | 136

there is nothing wrong with the Internet. It’s working as intended. The Internet is fucked because our society is fucked.

From another excellent Yasha Levine writeup: The Social Dilemma? Nope Just Silicon Valley

Kudos for calling out Renée Diresta and her previous work taking down Roy Moore using fake Facebook and Twitter ... yes, exactly what Russiagate alleged. Of course, Diresta had unknown resources giving her access to

650,000 likely AL voters with a combination of persona accounts, astroturfing, automated social media amplification, and targeted advertising Using these tools, we ran an aggressive campaign that contributed historically high turnout in the specific Democrat districts we targeted, a 5% drop in voter turnout compared to the [ text obscured ] Congressional race in hard R districts and drove write-in votes to a number of [ text obscured ] including one who unwittingly asked one of our conservative Facebook pages to [ text obscured ]…

The full "New Knowledge" report can no longer be seen - Twitter has taken it down (!) - but what is notable is that it was $100K spent on a local election with clear external assistance (data access, methodology, possibly infrastructure) and tried to sway all of 50K voters. And this was in 2017...

The NYT even talks about this - but of course probably nobody had actually seen it.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 19 2020 15:26 utc | 137

@RoyG #80
@james #134
If the measure of anything is its enemies, then Clapper coming out and saying it is Russian disinfo (as opposed to false info) is a foolproof endorsement.
Clapper as ex-Intel head should have all the resources to know if this is faked; that he can only muster the tired old "Russia" card is indication that this is damage control.
Overall - the likelihood of this being fake is extremely low. The point of the pictures being posted is that they're proof that the laptop was indeed owned by Hunter Biden. Nor has there been accusation of theft or any dispute that the computer shop owner was in improper possession of it.
From a professional standpoint, there is some ambiguity on whether he may have looked too deeply into the laptop - reports that he saw information while initially working on it - but ultimately what legally matters is:
1) that he has legal possession
2) that he attempted reporting to legitimate authorities (the FBI)
3) that he has not published the data widely but gave it to someone he considered of moral authority to handle (a la Snowden).

You can quibble who he gave it to, but I don't see any evidence anyone can legitimately quibble with what this information is.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 19 2020 15:33 utc | 138

Here's a scary article (apologies if anyone has already posted a link to this):

On another topic; the teacher in France really was beheaded and really is dead. The Chenchen kid who killed him is also really dead now, too. Please do not start with the 'false flag" shit. Not everything is a false flag. I mean, y'all do know that, right? Once you label everything as a false flag or fake media, you cede the ability to address problems that need to be addressed. And if we (as in, we the people) don't address these societal issues, I can assure you that the powers that be WILL address them, in their usual fashion. Which never turns out very well for the rest of us.

Posted by: teri | Oct 19 2020 15:35 utc | 139

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 19 2020 13:30 utc | 124

Very interesting link indeed, but the gist of the matter is nothing new, brings to mind the failed joint NASA ESA mission to Venus, the landing module crashed because of a manufacturing confusion between inches and centimeters. We are bound to the same parallel universe in technology standards. The USA never adopted the quasi universal metric system, they won’t adopt any other standard that is not US imposed.

Posted by: Paco | Oct 19 2020 15:38 utc | 140

@ c1ue | Oct 19 2020 15:33 utc | 138... i agree with you... that is an argument that the e mails and data are legit... without substantiating, i tend to believe its legit...

Posted by: james | Oct 19 2020 15:49 utc | 141

@ Posted by: c1ue | Oct 19 2020 13:55 utc | 126

You know the margin of error is 16%. This means that, every 100 tests, 16 will come with the wrong result. But that also means the other 84 tests came out with the right result.

Multiply this by dozens of millions, and you have a better picture of the state-of-the-art of the pandemic in your country or city than if you didn't have done any testing (with no testing, you could have any scenario from zero people infected to 100% of the people infected). And that's even without considering the re-testing, which is done according to protocols designed to mitigate the margin of error.

All in all, I wouldn't be surprised if the real margin of error in China is less than 1%, if not virtually zero. With the virus genome in hands (which they have since late January), they can choose the segments of the virus that they know, together, won't match any other virus. It then boils down to the quality of the manufacture of the test itself and the quality of the labs that process them.

In fact, I've already posted in this blog many times a link from The Global Times, answering an complaint from Sweden, which claimed the Chinese tests they imported were "defective". The manufacturer officially answered to Sweden that they tests are so good that they can catch tiny quantities of the SARS-CoV-2, and the reason for the "false positives" actually were due to the Swedish government's arbitrary threshold to consider a person "infected". So, the reality is that the Western Governments are fabricating negative results by artificially raising the bar for their citizens to be considered infected, not that the PCR tests are defective. The PCR test are, in reality, too good for the West's standards.


@ Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 19 2020 15:21 utc | 136

The situation in Hong Kong is even worse than the one you describe.

In the First World countries, you at least know you're the owner of your own destiny, that you build your own reality for yourself. This at least opens the margin for initiatives in the direction of reforming your own system (or to die trying). It creates an arrogance in the good sense of the word, in the sense of a "can do" attitude. Of course, ultimately their efforts will fail because liberalism is failed by design (as scientifically demonstrated by Marx), but that's another matter for another discussion.

Hong Kong is has a colonial past, so it's not even that they "know where they don't want to go": they don't even know how they got where they are now. Their reality was imposed from above (the British Empire), like if an alien species had imposed it to them.

This is the reality of the Third World: artificial nations/regions whose peoples don't know where they are, how they got there and where they're headed to. They are peoples without History, cattle that goes according to the terrain and to the whip that comes from above.

Posted by: vk | Oct 19 2020 15:49 utc | 142

m @28: "If [unfavorable views of China reach historic highs] is really true, can anybody explain it to me?

Brainwashing is an amazing thing, isn't it? Perhaps you should be asking why "majorities say China has handled COVID-19 outbreak poorly" when it is painfully obvious that they handled it exceptionally well... astonishingly well, where those who perpetrated the bio attack on China are concerned.

How can it be that so many people in areas under the American empire's thumb believe something so obviously and demonstrably counterfactual? There may be more to this than meets the eye. It may be that many people in the West secretly strongly suspect that SARS Mk II was a US bio attack on China, but are outraged that China used geostrategic judo to avoid serious harm from that attack. Many of the people from the 14 countries interviewed know that the United States tried to sucker punch China, but are furious that China dodged the punch resulting in America breaking its own arm.

This is just the outrage of the bully's beta dogs that their alpha dog was made a fool of. It is all just temporary as the betas will not long continue to form a pack with an alpha that has demonstrated weakness. Of course, this puts the alpha in a desperate situation... cornered, you could say. What do cornered dogs do when they feel threatened?

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 19 2020 15:50 utc | 143

latest on the hunter laptop from pat lang
Did the Bureau sit on the laptop to "own" China Joe?

Posted by: james | Oct 19 2020 15:53 utc | 144

@vk #142
The problem is that you are still arguing over a false premise: that I believe PCR testing is invalid.
If you care to review what I have been posting - you will find that what I said is that false positive testing is dangerous when infection rates are low.
If infection rates are high, the false positives don't matter - but this does not hold true when infection rates approach false positive rates. For a normal disease, this doesn't matter so much for society, but for nCOV/COVID-19 - the laws and societal actions arising from these test results DO matter.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 19 2020 15:54 utc | 145

RE: c1ue | Oct 19 2020 14:50 utc | 132

That Harper's piece by Andrew Cockburn you shared is terrific.

After reading it I would have to assume that among those secret PEADs (“presidential emergency action documents”), there must be at least several that give the president (and vice president/select executive branch officers too [?]) unconditional/complete/perpetual immunity from prosecution for virtually any/all crimes they commit during the course of carrying out their official duties of office.

Which means of course, *none* of the torturing, war-criminal, constitution-violating former presidents (or their top CIA/FBI etc. brass) and their grifting/self enriching VPs and secs of State still living, will ever see the inside of a courtroom for their crimes committed while in office.

Posted by: gm | Oct 19 2020 15:57 utc | 146

@ Posted by: snake | Oct 19 2020 12:20 utc | 119

Check the list of the 14 countries chosen by the PEW.

First of all: why 14 countries? Most honest economists use the OECD list of member-nations as the bare minimum necessary to consider any research they do "global". The OECD is the club of the 37 most rich countries (36, as you would have to exclude China itself), and their list alone already heavily favors the West ideologically.

But the PEW arbitrarily chose 14 specific nations. Why did they do that?

The answer can be only one: they already projected the research to show a sharp increase in anti-China ideology. So they got the sample to show that.

Posted by: vk | Oct 19 2020 15:58 utc | 147

correction from #147: China is not an OECD member. Brain fart.

Posted by: vk | Oct 19 2020 16:00 utc | 148

@138 c1ue-less

Trump is hated mostly because of his personality as opposed to his actions - said actions being no different than any of his predecessors

...if I remember correctly, before Trump, we had a deal with Iran and the EU was initiating commercial and trade deals with Iran. Under Trump the deal was replaced with multiple acts of war against Iran and threats against anyone trying to do business with Iran.

Before Trump we had lip service threats against Venezuela, now with Trump we have Neocon Elliot Abrams heading subterfuge for regime change in Venezuela.

Before Trump we had Palestinians able to negotiate with legally recognized pre-76 terms; now we have Trump selling off the West Bank and Palestinian rights to Israel, and Jerusalem no longer in play!

Before Trump relations with China were not warm, but tolerably cool; today with Trump we're looking at the start of a Cold War.

Before Trump, Assange had asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy where he fathered a child with no official charges issued in the U.S.,; now under Trump, Assange is charged with serious crimes, is behind bars pending extradition and headed for Life Imprisonment in a U.S. Federal Prison.

Before Trump, people with pre-existing conditions could get healthcare; now Trump is using a soon to be Conservative SCOTUS majority to do away with healthcare altogether.

Trump gave major tax breaks to Wall Street and pissed on everyone else.

Trump inherited an economy on the rise and today 220,000 people are dead mostly because of his depraved negligence and millions of people are out of work and the economy is tanking.

No, I don't hate Trump just because he's a blowhard narcissist; I HATE EVERYTHING HE'S DOING, and most people in the real world, not in your fantasyland agree with ME.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 19 2020 16:00 utc | 149

@ Posted by: c1ue | Oct 19 2020 15:54 utc | 145

But how do you know infection rates are low?

Think about it on the reverse: what is the margin of error if you don't test anybody?

The answer is: the margin of error is 100% - as you can range from nobody being infected (0%) to everybody being infected (100%).

You're presupposing the politician who's governing your country, state or city already knows, beforehand, if the population he/she's governing has a low or high infection rate. You're attributing your leader psychic powers, which is blind faith, which is not science (it's the opposite of science).

Like I said before: you don't need 100% certainty to make things happen. In fact, 100% certainty is extremely rare in science (maybe just the field of Mathematics deals with absolute certainties). The Romans built the Colosseum without our modern tools and techniques, but they did it, with what they had in hand at that specific moment.

Posted by: vk | Oct 19 2020 16:04 utc | 150

To put what I wrote above in perspective, here are the California reopening criteria:

Stage 1: More than 7 new cases per day per 100K population
Stage 2: 4-7
Stage 3: 1-3.9
Stage 4: less than 1

If we have a false positive rate of 1%, then a comprehensive (100%) COVID-19 testing program would never exit Stage 1 (1000 false positives per 100K tests).
We could have a 1% false positive rate coupled with as low as 750 tests per day per 100K population and still be above the Stage 1 infection rate.

I didn't say this before - but the Qingdao announcement looks like propaganda far more than it does reality. PCR tests can and do spit out false positives - the notion that the entire city of Qingdao (population 9 million) was tested and showed no positives - false or real - is risible.
This is infinitely more so if PCR testing alone was used. PCR testing followed by ELISPOT or similar testing for positives would be credible but the timing of the testing regime would seem to preclude this (not to mention the cost).

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 19 2020 16:05 utc | 151

@Circle #149
What is really funny, is that I find you funny.
Never before have I seen anyone post with as little credibility as you.
In fact, you are so wrong that the opposite of your pronouncements is 100% correct.
That is admirable itself and statistically improbable.
Please do continue to make pronouncements. They are valuable (in reverse).

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 19 2020 16:09 utc | 152

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 19 2020 15:12 utc | 133

RE: Turkey's problems, yes, good article, I don't know that I've seen it laid out like that before. I would add that since the Gulen coup, Erdogan has been busy coup-proofing his military with the usual consequences. Regular witch hunts. Not that he is wrong mind you, being one of Uncle Sugar's friends just gets you couped faster.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 19 2020 16:09 utc | 153

@vk #150
You are doubling down on a wrong premise: that I am against any testing or even PCR testing.
You have significantly damaged your credibility - both by failing to read what I wrote, then by redoubling your attacks based on the incorrect premise, finally by failing to read what I have repeatedly clarified.
I disagree with significant parts of what you write because of your strong ideological leaning, but now even the parts which I accepted - I will have to reconsider given your behavior documented under this b post.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 19 2020 16:14 utc | 154

thanks to Karlofi for providing the links to Lavrov statements. Copied below is text from one of the links. Not the same old "our partners" language anymore lol.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions at the presentation of the Valdai International Discussion Club analytical report October 13 2020

excerpts from question/answers:

"During your opening remarks, you mentioned that modern institutions were becoming inefficient and losing their importance and meaning. I would like to know what led you to this conclusion. The thing is that the only obvious and universal reason for making generalisations of this kind is, as I see it, the US policy starting from the withdrawal from the ABM Treaty. After that, there was a relatively long pause, followed by an across-the-board demolition of all arms control and non-proliferation instruments: the INF Treaty, the Treaty on Open Skies, and the START-1 Treaty that will go the same way soon. These form the international legal infrastructure of stability, which actually the entire world community definitively regarded as good and not evil.

I am also referring, apart from international treaties and agreements, directly to multilateral organisations – both the UN, and the specialised agencies it has created, and, of course, the Bretton Woods institutions (the IMF and the World Bank Group). The US has withdrawn, if I recall rightly, from UNESCO and the UN Human Rights Council, and has announced that it will pull out of the World Health Organisation (WHO). In my view, the US is also studying in a detailed and concerted manner a possibility of leaving the WTO, whose operations it has impeded for a number of years now. It uses the filibuster to block personnel appointments to the agency that deals with the resolution of disputes, thus preventing it from acquiring a quorum needed for disputes to be in fact resolved based on the WTO and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

One can also recall instances, where the United States simply does not want to implement any treaties that at least in some way restrict Washington’s free hand internationally, be it economic, trade, investment or any other sphere. The levers used are obvious, sanctions, threats, ultimatums, and so on."

Yet another trend that also gives food for thought from the point of view of the existing institutions’ viability is the following. Our Western colleagues are seeking to privatise these multilateral international organisations, as is manifested in the activities of the UN Secretariat, to mention just this body. I will not dwell upon this, but everyone is well aware who takes and how the key decisions are made and who exerts the decisive influence on the position of the Secretariat, which must be absolutely impartial and reflect the approaches of the international officialdom that takes an oath of impartiality and rejection of directives coming from any government. This also transpires in the activities of specialised agencies.

I have repeatedly cited examples of how, in fact, the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) has been “raped.” In a direct and gross violation of all rules, the West has insisted on an illegitimate vote, following which it declared that the OPCW Technical Secretariat would from now on be vested with the UN Security Council’s functions and have the right to identify those to blame for various situations, where there were reasons to assume that CWC-prohibited chemical weapons had been used. Before the West “violated” this universal document, the Technical Secretariat only had the right to establish the fact of use or non-use of a prohibited chemical in response to an application from any CWC member state.

When they fail to organise and rush a “privatisation revolution” through legitimate organisations, topics are taken outside of universal discussions and various partnerships are established, as our French colleagues did by creating a partnership against impunity for the use of chemical weapons and a partnership against human rights violations, although there is the UN Human Rights Council, a legitimate and universal agency. But, in all evidence, not everything is working out there to the benefit of our Western colleagues. They want to have a venue where they will decide who should be punished based on their own rules rather than international law. Established outside the universal organisations of the United Nations, these partnerships create structures to fit their own needs and interests, which will punish those whom these people will identify as culprits.

The EU is actively following in the footsteps of the US, increasingly relying on the threat of sanctions. Brussels has created two mechanisms to punish those, who, in its opinion, will use chemical weapons and violate human rights. All of this is outside of the UN Security Council and in no way tallies with the principles of the UN Charter. If this is understood to be a new reality, then, in my view, we must fight it. Good and evil will not disappear anyway. I am convinced that not only the spirit, but also the letter of the UN Charter are absolutely fine for the modern-day world, if we want it to be a little bit more democratic and just.

. . . Look at what happened at the recent EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting, all the moralising and lecturing there, statements that Russia missed its chance to explain what happened to Alexey Navalny. More conceptually, not so long ago, a couple of weeks ago, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen stressed how important it was to shed the illusion that Russia under the current government will be able to regain the status of the EU's geopolitical partner. That was a drastic statement from the highest official in the European Commission. It seems to me that we need to stop looking back at these assessments.

Today I spoke with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell for more than an hour; we got deep into detail. I told him frankly and I said so publicly: if the EU is arrogant enough to declare, with this sense of unconditional superiority, that Russia must understand there will be no “business as usual,” well, Russia wants to understand whether there could be any business at all with the European Union under these conditions. I will not go into detail, although there is a lot that could be said, about the EU behaving in an absolutely inappropriate, unacceptable manner, with regard to the same Navalny incident. This is the case with the statement that as many as five EU countries have already established the truth, and that our attempts to ask them to provide the facts that led them to those conclusions are outrageous and we cannot even question them. Remember the great actor and governor Arnold Schwarzenegger playing that tough guy in films who always, every time someone tried to express doubt, just said, trust me. Even so, I trust him more than I trust the European Union, which is now trying to use the same approach. I mean use it as a rule, and not within the framework of international law. We would like the EU and Germany to follow international law in the situation with Navalny. There is the 1959 European Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and the protocols thereto. We are referring to those. We ask Germany to fulfil its obligations under these international legal instruments. But Germany says, you have international law, but we have a rule. And the rule is that if we do not trust them, the blame is on us.

In the last twenty years, we have always had self-esteem. But those people who are responsible for foreign policy in the West do not understand the need for mutually respectful communication. So we should probably stop communicating with them for a while. Moreover, Ursula von der Leyen declares that geopolitical partnership is not working with the current Russian government. So be it, if that’s the way they want it."

Posted by: Perimetr | Oct 19 2020 16:15 utc | 155

@gm #146
It is not clear that what you speculate is possible: ex-post-facto and permanent immunity from prosecution.

Among the reasons:

1) PEAD is executive authority. There are many gray areas in the US government which the PEADs allow operation. Laws (legislative branch) and justice (law enforcement/judicial branch), however, are not.
Note I am not saying that members of either branch would never roll over when confronted with a PEAD - what I am saying is that a PEAD, if clearly unconstitutional and in violation of existing law, would have no power to compel. It seems unlikely that a PEAD would be any different than a public Executive Order - for which we have seen many, many instances where both federal and state governments have simply ignored them.

2) Nixon. If PEADs against prosecution existed before Nixon, he never would have resigned. Would Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, W. Bush, Obama have created one? Not clear at all to me.

3) The converse: the prestige of the POTUS office is dependent on public acceptance. A blatant, public crime avoided via PEAD would provide a very strong possibility of destroying this acceptance. This is one reason why the pardoning of convicted criminals by subsequent administrations is a far more strategic method than a ham-handed PEAD declaring immunity. Note both Democrat and Republican presidents have been doing this.
Or in other words: even a PEAD conferring immunity could never be used more than once - and even then, to permanent damaging effect.

To return to the FDR use of a PEAD to imprison the Japanese Americans: there was no law preventing this back then. Nor is it clear that anyone inside or outside of this group tried to fight it on Constitutional grounds - although I would think someone would try.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 19 2020 16:27 utc | 156

@ Posted by: c1ue | Oct 19 2020 16:14 utc | 154

The logic of your argument induces the reader to conclude you're against any kind of testing.

The only economically viable test on a mass scale right now is PCR. You're completely disregarding its effectiveness by calling the Qingdao mass testing "propaganda". Which implies Qingdao shouldn't have done it.

The other solution would be to do much more expensive and labor intensive blood tests. This is economic nonsense from a mass testing point of view. But you surely know that, therefore you're advocating for not testing unless people literally begin to die in the streets and the healthcare system literally collapses (at which point it's too late to do anything).

Which implies you consider the COVID-19 "just a flu", which implies you consider anything that can even suggest a lockdown "propaganda".

Long story short: you've already internalized that the COVID-19 is not serious at all, therefore any attempt to fight it through any kind of lockdown is propaganda and therefore shouldn't be done.

Posted by: vk | Oct 19 2020 16:28 utc | 157

Posted by: Paco | Oct 19 2020 15:38 utc | 140

Yes, it's a serious subject, we used to have fairly good standards setting bodies here, but we're still using inches etc. a lot. I have not really looked into it, but I would wager that part of the reason we lost interest is standards are open, and we've become very fond of proprietary standards so we can extort money for them. What computer company would not like to own it's own proprietary API to its own important piece of software? Is that not the basis of many financial fiefdoms?

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 19 2020 15:21 utc | 135

RE anti-china propaganda: You left out the bats, they eat bats. Am I the only one that wonders about the imaginations of our propagandists? The sort of things they think about?

On another subject, you got the Dems exactly right, this is all about control of the party, better to rule over the rubble of a defeated party than lose control to someone new. That is what gets you a place beside the money river and your own bucket.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 19 2020 16:34 utc | 158

indian punchline latest on the broader russia -turkey dynamic...

Posted by: james | Oct 19 2020 16:48 utc | 159

Richard Steven Hack @Oct19 5:17 #91

... much more appreciated than mine is. LOL

You've done good work countering the Covidiots. Your tech commentary is valuable. And generally you bring a value perspective.

Conversations that you've had about Iran have been very interesting too. I'm on the fence wrt attacking Iran. It wouldn't be a conventional war where the aim is to make territorial gains. It would be a standoff conflict using drones and missiles. But I think that smacking-down China is probably the Empire's priority. Still, any shooting war (in Taiwan straits, or South China Sea, for example) is likely to mushroom into WWIII that involves all anti-Empire countries.

<> <> <> <> <>

It's impossible to give everyone at moa the credit and appreciation they deserve.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 19 2020 16:53 utc | 160

@152 c1ue

You know what's really enjoyable is your predictable reaction to a facts-based smackdown. I got you with the mitigating facts on your bogus, biased claim that red states handled Covid's financial fallout better than blue states, and now it's 2 for 2 with the glaring truth about just some of the shit Trump's pulled so far.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 19 2020 16:59 utc | 161

Posted by: james | Oct 19 2020 16:48 utc | 159

Thank you for the Bhadrakumar. He seems to be taking the Turkish side. I agree the Astana format seems most likely to lead to a "permanent" solution, they all have a stake. I think Putin does not want Erdogan expanding into the Caucasus and points East, we had some discussion about that here recently.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 19 2020 17:29 utc | 163

Circe @Oct19 13:13 #121

First of all, the Deep State is a fictional enemy created to herd the mass straight into the Chosen trap that appears as the innocent victim under attack by nefarious DS forces.

There's a great deal of evidence that a Deep State does exist. It's deliberately hidden and well hidden via "national security" protocols. It's not bureaucrats or billionaires but the national security state that manages the Empire with assistance from bureaucrats and billions.

We all saw an example of this with Epstein, who got a sweetheart deal because "he belongs to intelligence". CIA and Mossad work together much more than not.

Instead of denying that the Deep State exists, the Deep state has cleverly used put the perception of a hidden power to good use by creating the pretence that a fictional Deep State is trying to unseat Donald Trump when, in fact, the true Deep State is who installed Donald Trump (as well as Obama, GWBush, and Clinton). Trump willingly works for them to meet the challenge from Russia and China.

Deep State media control allows for psyops / gas lighting the public. And cross-jurisdictional operations in a globalized world mean that they can skirt any rules or democratic oversight.

The truth is that Trump is swimming in Ziofascist cash and covered in filth.

The truth is that the whole system is corrupt. Presidents are lightening rods for criticism. As long as people blame ONE PERSON for everything, the corrupt system continues unimpeded.

Another favorite device is to blame "capitalism". The problem isn't capitalism, it's anti-democratic oligarch capitalism and the MIC which makes war, or the threat of war, profitable.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 19 2020 17:30 utc | 164

@Posted by: c1ue | Oct 19 2020 16:27 utc | 156

I'm guessing a big part of the reason that PEADs are a closely held secret set of laws/understandings immunizing official acts within executive branch (but undoubtedly well-known/ indeede insisted upon in the collective sense historically by executive branch high officers as a precondition for their service), is precisely because it IS a big gray area with many potential paralyzing constitutional conflicts, should push come to shove with other two branches of Federal govmt.

However, as the Harpers article makes clear, this body of PEADs have been in place/increased for nearly a century, and there have been no serious constitutional challenges of them that have become public during that time.

On the few modern occasions I can recall off-hand when prosecutions of high executive branch officers were threatened/begun (Agnew [for kickbacks prior to becoming VP], Nixon, Casey and Weinberger (Reagan CIA/DoD Iran-Contra; Scooter Libby)), Nixon and Agnew resigned under threat of impeachment but otherwise no criminal penalties; Casey was brain-cancered before prosecution, Weinburger went to trial, but was soon pardoned by Bush 1. Same story with Libby: went to trial and was convicted, but immediately commutated by Bush 43, later fuly pardoned by Trump.

None of the presidents, VPs or top executive branch imprisonators, torturers, murderers, or crimes-against-humanity war-criminals, or major financial enrichment criminals while in office in the last century have every stood in front of a US Federal court for these most serious crimes, to my recollection.

Posted by: gm | Oct 19 2020 17:55 utc | 165

@james | 159 / @Bemildred | 163

Interesting post. And yes, he does seem to be adopting the Turkish stance. But he is also making some pretty silly statements, I think. This, below, for instance, is a ridiculous claim.

"Indeed, Nagorno-Karabakh crisis exposes certain contradictions in Russian policies. On the one hand, Russia befriends Turkey but on the other hand it resents Turkey’s aspirations to be a regional power."

Before anything else the term 'regional power' to describe what is nothing less than aggressive military intervention is disingenuous at best! Anyway...

Let's recap. Russia bombed shit out of Turkish convoys, imposed crippling economic sanctions and then 'managed' Turkey in Russian-Turkish relations and Syria for years using the reinstatement of certain sanctioned business and energy opportunities as leverage. That is not 'befriending' that is 'managing'/ 'leveraging'. It is pragmatism.

At the same time, Russia has been very supportive of Turkey's growth as a regional power, but it understands fully that the region requires a balance of power not another dictatorial authority and has not been supportive of Turkey's aggressive military policies anywhere. At best it has been indifferent, Cyprus/ Greece for instance, and at worst it has been on the opposing side - Syria (including Kurds), Libya and now Azerbaijan/ Armenia (Russia's stance is anti-Turkey, not anti-Azerbaijan or anti-Armenia)

What did you guys make of it?

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 19 2020 18:17 utc | 166

Thought this was interesting. I am a keen believer in ‘distraction’ politics and Erdogan is a master illusionist in this respect. So, this caught my attention “Exclusive: Turkey to abandon some observation stations in Syria's Idlib
”. All the more so given that one of the authors is the infamous Ragip Soylu (mostly AKP friendly and usually well informed though capable of reiterating propaganda bollocks when beneficial.) So, I am kinda convinced there is merit in this story.
Could it explain Russia’s ‘coolness’ over the Azerbaijan/ Armenia conflict so far? Is it allowing the conflict to simmer while the big deal is happening or about to happen in Idlib province?

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 19 2020 18:33 utc | 167

@Paco #140 re: space and units

One of the experienced hands on that project was a colleague of one of my former bosses (and family friend). Don't recall which specific entity did it, but it was either NASA or the contractor for which he worked that wanted to 'streamline' (i.e. 'beancount'). They wanted to cut his pay and hours, and have him train new (cheaper, some H1B) guys. He said no, and demanded a modest raise as a counter. They canned him. He was one of few on the project who knew to remind two teams to check things like imperial-to-metric conversions in documentation.


Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Oct 19 2020 19:02 utc | 168

@karlof1 53

karlof1, please continue with your thoughtful comments. I rarely comment because I usually have nothing to add. There are likely many others who feel the same way.
It is distressing that most people I know here in USA do not seem capable of considering any facts or ideas outside the narrow window of the "mainstream". Sometimes I try to pass on articles I read here or at the few news sites I trust. I get few replies. The suburban Democrats are some of the worst. It's as if they have been captured by a cult.
Your comments are a welcome dose of sanity. Please don't be discouraged, and thank you.

Posted by: Tiger Lily | Oct 19 2020 19:19 utc | 169

Someone from off-guardian is pissed of:
"Moon of Alabama – It’s time to say goodbye"
What a bunch of peanuts!

Posted by: Wolle | Oct 19 2020 19:27 utc | 170

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 19 2020 18:17 utc | 166

Bhadrakumar: I have observed in the past that he catapults the propaganda, and appears to be naive at times, but nevertheless he has a sharp eye. That article is exemplary of both. He was a diplomat after all.

Erdogan etc.: I'm just watching at the moment. The retreat from the outposts seems to be real. I can think of some theories for whats going on in the Caucasus, but nothing to confirm, and I think it's better to shut up and wait.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 19 2020 19:42 utc | 171

With so little discussion of these very important revelations, I ask myself if my efforts in posting such material are worthwhile. Zakharova's an excellent spokesperson and puts out an excellent weekly recap; so, I'll retire from my efforts and cede them to b and others. All the trolls can now rejoice, particularly those disguised as barflies.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 18 2020 23:12 utc | 53
Thank you Karlof1. They still get read.

Posted by: David G Horsmab | Oct 19 2020 20:09 utc | 172

I need to acknowledge the many who've commented here and asked me to soldier on with my contributions--Thank You Very Much! As you'll have seen, I continued to follow Lavrov's exploits as he's currently much more of a public figure than Putin. I note that Crooke has a new article, "The Two Undersides to Geo-Politics," which I've only skimmed at present but certainly deserves to be well discussed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 19 2020 20:10 utc | 173

@vk #157
You are again doubling down on your error.
Understanding that testing result based policy decisions is vulnerable to false positives inherent in the testing - I firmly believe this should be something worthy of both knowing and considering.
As I have also posted: there are ways to address at least some of these problems.
On the other hand, if your objective is a blind faith in a policy which you prefer, then your behavior is more understandable if still unacceptable.
Nor am I convinced that mass testing is itself either a panacea or even a major component in responsible COVID-19 response. For example: contact tracing or mass testing - I would prefer contact tracing.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 19 2020 20:15 utc | 174

@Circe #161
Sadly, you keep on brandishing what you think are facts, but in reality is just propaganda.
Your inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality is precisely why your pronouncements are so very, very wrong.
Some recent examples - since you can't seem to remember:
1) Bernie isn't a Judas goat.
2) Trump will die of COVID-19

The actual list is so very long. And entertaining.

Again, I appreciate your role in MoA - it is highly entertaining.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 19 2020 20:17 utc | 175

@gm #165
What you recall is correct, but the facts of the record does not automatically equate to a PEAD preventing prosecution of a standing/former President.
It is far more likely a class issue: the elites recognize that destroying the integrity of the POTUS office damages their power.
Put in more friendly terms: preserving the brand takes precedence.

Nor is selective prosecution something that should be surprising to you. Sitting congress members can do inside trading with impunity. Cocaine is endemic among judges.
One rule for us and another for the masses - that's the sad reality today.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 19 2020 20:24 utc | 176

@ Bemildred | Oct 19 2020 17:29 utc | 163 / 171

@ AtaBrit | Oct 19 2020 18:17 utc | 166

i appreciate Bhadrakumars viewpoint, but like everyone else here, he only sees a particular angle and part of the picture.. i can't say that i see as much, but i do agree with you atabrit in some respects with regard to the recent history on russia and turkey... my own limited perspective is that russia is a very skillful actor on the world stage... i don't feel exactly the same with regard to erdogan, although he has held up longer and better then i thought he would.. geo politics really is like a game of chess and some seem better at it then others... i can't say i agree with bhadrakumars viewpoint, but it is hard to me to challenge it with facts other then to say some of our viewpoint is based on facts, and some of it is based on intuition and more subtlety... for me it is all more grist for the mill in a better understanding of what is at play in a game that is constantly changing.. as a betting person i would be betting on russia winning in the game of chess on the world chess board with regard to turkey and usa moves.... however, all this can change and i will revise my position as we move forward accordingly...

Posted by: james | Oct 19 2020 20:42 utc | 177

Nathan Rich has published the Covid Timeline for interactive response.

See the utube presentation here.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 19 2020 20:57 utc | 178

Posted by: james | Oct 19 2020 20:42 utc | 177

Well the thing is Erdogan owes Putin quite a lot, and Erdogan really cannot afford to piss Putin off again, and Pashinian(sic) was asking for trouble, him & Lukashenko both, playing footsie with the West, and the problem in N-K really does need to be sorted out, and moving jihadis to Azerbaijan from Idlib is one way to get them out of there, and the war in N-K is a nice PR cover for withdrawal from Idlib, so I could see a little collusion going on, but it's too messy and
much too speculative. The narrative as it is stinks a bit for sure.

I think the Russians will let it stew for a while and then step in, with the support of Iran and Erdogan's "reluctant" agreement. But Erdogan will have to get something out of it, some (but not all) territory back maybe. Straighten out some lines, make some connections. But reason will only take you so far in these things.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 19 2020 21:11 utc | 179

@ Bemildred | Oct 19 2020 21:11 utc | 179.. turkey disputes it sent jihadis to N-K.... i don't know, but it would certainly help get rid of some of them for erdogan! i think you are right... russia will let it stew for a while and step in if need be with iran and turkey support with some backdoor deal... i see usa-west meddling as ongoing and not letting up however.. lavrov basically said this in the interview that karlof1 linked to a few days ago.. cheers...

here is the latest from amn -
"BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:30 P.M.) – Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said this week that Turkey’s goal in Karabakh is not to liberate the lands of Azerbaijan as it says, but rather to seek to control gas supply lines to Europe.

The Armenian Prime Minister stated on his Facebook page that the battles in the Karabakh region are taking place in order to determine his legal status, pointing out that the war would have been avoided had it surrendered Karabakh."

Armenian PM reveals Turkey’s goal in the Karabakh war

Posted by: james | Oct 19 2020 21:22 utc | 180

An FYI--Facebook has blocked Pepe Escobar from his page for at least a month. He can be followed at his VK Space or at his Instagram account, for which I have no link. Gotta be related to the Gringo Election since he supports neither of the above.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 19 2020 21:24 utc | 181

@ karlof1.... i tell everyone who will listen... boycott fb and twitter.... why doesn't pepe have his own website like bernard, pat lang, craig murray, michael hudson and just about everyone else??? i could say the same for you since you are such a prolific poster with lots of valuable insights and links to pass on... it is not that hard to start your own website... i can't believe pepe hasn't done this yet and needs to resort to fakebook and twitter to get his viewpoint out..

Posted by: james | Oct 19 2020 21:31 utc | 182

"OV | Do you think the coup took place, primarily, to stop Bolivia industrializing its own Lithium?

RH | Yes absolutely, also, the whole situation in regards to lithium has been kept very hidden.

The Fight To Save Bolivia’s Lithium

Posted by: arby | Oct 19 2020 22:47 utc | 183

Talk about TDS!? What is going on with these prominent and "respected" anti-trumper cable TV personalities?

First C-SPAN's long-time prominent host and (cancelled) 2nd prez debate moderator Steve Scully is suspended after being caught lying that his tweets to former Trump associate Anthony Scaramucci had been sent by hackers,

And now prominent long-time CNN Legal analyst Jeffery Toobin has been suspended by *both* CNN and the New Yorker after being caught 'spanking the monkey' during a business Zoom video conference!

Posted by: gm | Oct 19 2020 22:56 utc | 184

james @182--

Pepe set up his VK page specifically to deal with FB censorship. I don't know why he doesn't have his own website, but then Chomsky doesn't have one either and relies on other venues. As the InfoWar escalates, Pepe may change his mind.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 19 2020 23:03 utc | 185

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 19 2020 16:53 utc | 160 Iran. It wouldn't be a conventional war where the aim is to make territorial gains. It would be a standoff conflict using drones and missiles.

It would start that way, yes. And probably continue that way for some while. But eventually the US will have to "fish or cut bait", primarily because there is no way they can keep the Straits open for shipping without landing troops on the Iranian coastline - which will have to be a massive undertaking given the length of the coastline. And then the US will take serious casualties among its ground troops. The US Navy is simply not capable to adequate "de-mining" operations to keep the Straits open. And that means a high oil price spike, regardless of how low the price is normally at the time. Which then impacts the US population at the gas pump and the US economy.

The other option for a possible invasion would be if the US decides to try to seize the Iranian oil fields near Iraq. Not a goal I would recommend, but who knows, the US might try it. Given that Iraq will be fighting the US, or at least trying to deny them access to Iran, that would be a total mess as well.

But initially the US will definitely be trying an air and naval fight - which simply won't work, even if it manages to devastate the Iranian civilian infrastructure (which is all US air power is good for.)

"But I think that smacking-down China is probably the Empire's priority. Still, any shooting war (in Taiwan straits, or South China Sea, for example) is likely to mushroom into WWIII that involves all anti-Empire countries."

Agreed. The emphasis now appears to be China, with Iran as an afterthought, much to Israel's disgust. Israel is currently ticked off because the arms embargo has stopped. They're claiming they will do "whatever is necessary" to "stop Iran re-arming" - which is mostly bluster without US direct support.

"It's impossible to give everyone at moa the credit and appreciation they deserve."

Thanks for your comment to me in that regard.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Oct 19 2020 23:55 utc | 186

Posted by: oglalla | Oct 19 2020 13:21 utc | 122 I enjoy reading your posts, too, Mr. Hack.

Thanks, it is nice to be appreciated simply to confirm that I'm not the only one who is bat-shit crazy. :-)

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 19 2020 8:49 utc | 104 The reason why I oppose censorship of any kind is it allows people like you to expose yourself as extremists promoting violence.

By George, I think you've got it! Yes, I am an extremist promoting violence. Just remember - I promote *smart* violence, not the stupid kind everyone else promotes. :-)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Oct 20 2020 0:10 utc | 187

@karlof1 #181

It is quite surreal and cool to see VK become a refuge of sorts for Western dissidents. It used to be a social network for school kids from CIS countries, a place where they would post silly pictures and doodle on each other’s walls—an entirely unserious thing like TikTok. Never in a million years would it have become a platform for Western truth seekers and freethinkers, were it not for the blatant censorship by Facebook and Twitter.

Unfortunately, your VK blog does not get nearly as many hits as it deserves. I’ve been thinking lately, maybe you should create blogs on Medium (like the one Caitlin Johnstone has mirroring her official website) and LiveJournal (like the one Boris Rozhin has)? You can cross-post your articles to all three blogs, and create links between them in the description sections. That way, if one of these sites’ discovery algorithms works well with your content, it would drive traffic to all three blogs. Medium would probably be best at driving global eyeballs, while LiveJournal would drive CIS eyeballs and protect your online presence in case of censorship by Medium. LiveJournal also has an option to allow anonymous comments, which is important as many truth seekers are privacy-conscious and avoid commenting that requires registration (I know I do).

I would also like to suggest a feature for your blog: book reviews. We only get an occasional glimpse at your library through your comments, which are scattered over hundreds of posts here on MoA. It would be very useful to have a centralized place which one could visit to see a list of books that you consider important with your review of each book. This could then lead to “book lists” for certain topics, e.g., “Essential book list on the Fed”, “Essential book list on the U.S. ‘Golden Age’”, etc., with a short blurb for each book explaining why it is important.

Posted by: S | Oct 20 2020 0:11 utc | 188

And now for Crooke's latest article, "The Two Undersides to Geo-Politics," which discusses the competition between the Outlaw US Empire and China in the realms of tech/geoeconomics and finance. Crooke explains the first underside:

"At the explicit level, today’s geo-political struggle is about the U.S. maintaining its primacy of power – with financial power being a subset to this political power. Carl Schmitt, whose thoughts had such influence on Leo Strauss and U.S. thinking generally, advocated that those who have power should ‘use it, or lose it’. The prime object of politics therefore being to preserve one’s ‘social existence’.

"But at the underside, Tech de-coupling from China is one implicit aspect to such a strategy (camouflaged beneath the catch-phrase of recovering ‘stolen’ U.S. jobs and intellectual property): The prize that America truly seeks is to seize for itself over the coming decades, all global standards in leading-edge technology, and to deny them to China.

"Such standards might seem obscure, but they are a crucial element of modern technology. If the cold war was dominated by a race to build the most nuclear weapons, today’s contest between the U.S. and China — as well as vis à vis the EU — will at least partly be played out through a struggle to control the bureaucratic rule-setting that lies behind the most important industries of the age. And those standards are up for grabs."

In the above regard, Crooke mentions "China Standards 2035":

"The China Standards 2035 plan will lay out a blueprint for China’s government and leading technology companies to set global standards for emerging technologies like 5G internet, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence, among other areas. It will work in concert with China’s other industrial policies – namely the controversial Made in China 2025 policy – as the country’s leaders seek to become global leaders in high-tech innovation."

That article in turn links to its explanation of Made in China 2025. As one may presume, they're two branches of one overall policy goal.

After a review of the tech arena, Crooke provides a lengthy explanation by Pepe Escobar about what's occurring on the finance side wherein Crooke concludes:

"The point here is two-fold: China is setting the scene to challenge a fiat dollar, at a sensitive moment of dollar weakness. And secondly, China is placing ‘facts on the ground’ — shaping standards from the bottom up, through widespread overseas adoption of its technology."

Sounds quite similar to what the USA did through its UL listings to harmonize tech standards a century ago when it was once the on the cutting edge next to Germany. Crooke closes with evidence that China's on the march:

"According to research by RWR Advisory, a Washington-based consultancy, Chinese companies have done 116 deals to install ‘smart city’ and ‘safe city’ packages around the world since 2013, with 70 of these taking place in countries that also participate in the Belt and Road Initiative. The main difference between ‘smart’ and ‘safe’ city equipment is that the latter is intended primarily to survey and monitor the population, while the former is primarily aimed at automating municipal functions while also incorporating surveillance functions. Cities in western and southern Europe together have signed up to a total of 25 such ‘smart’ and ‘safe’ projects."

Given the fact that the Outlaw US Empire has consistently lied about its spying and gross unconstitutional invasion of privacy and sports an organization of killers in the CIA, I have more trust in the Chinese to lead humanity to a moral future.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 20 2020 0:15 utc | 189

S @188--

Thanks so much for your suggestions! I often get too involved here at MoA and forget to post writings to VK. Yes, even those who enrolled as Friends don't seem to visit and as you saw only a few bother to comment. I might do better at VK if I were more prolific/consistent in my writings/postings. Thanks again!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 20 2020 0:24 utc | 190

Former OPCW Chief Says His Office Was Bugged While USA Pushed Iraq War (Medium, Caitlin Johnstone, October 19, 2020)

“And interesting thing is — and I never said this before — is that I had then a person that was the head of the security of the Organization,” Bustani said. “He used to be an American. He had a large office full of equipment. I called him, the Monday after that happened, I called his office to check with him how come he didn’t know, he was in charge of security of the building, how come he didn’t know that there was such bugging equipment behind me. And he wasn’t there. And I was told that he was traveling to Germany, and I asked then, ‘Who allowed him to go to Germany? I am his direct boss. He was my subordinate, he was directly subordinate to me.’ Nobody could say anything. So I said ‘As soon as he returns tell him I want to have a word with him.’ This was the Monday. You will not believe it Aaron, but on Tuesday as I got to the OPCW I am told that I should go up to the head of security office and when I got there the office was empty, and this person disappeared and never showed up again. Never showed up again.”

Posted by: S | Oct 20 2020 0:25 utc | 191

In its way, this complements Crooke's article, particularly its conclusion:

"Whether Tiktok or Huawei survives the Trump Administration, the Chinese are no longer willing to indefinitely subsidize American R&D going forward. Efforts are afoot for Chinese companies to remove their dependence on critical American technologies – from electronic parts to chips to software to machinery – throughout their supply chain. They will demand this of themselves and of their partners in Europe and Japan and S. Korea and everyone around the world. A new ecosystem will soon arise that is intentionally stripped of critical 'American' components and technology to better serve the Chinese market. This will be the lasting influence of Trump. China has no choice. China may suffer in the short term, but China is determined to win in the long term."

The perspective brought by the author is very refreshing.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 20 2020 1:25 utc | 192

@ karlof1

"America has often made China into the world’s bogeyman over censorship. But China or not, there is no such thing as “freedom of speech.” Today American companies, including Google, censor on behalf of governments the world over on diverse issues such as privacy, blasphemy, defamation and hate speech to disinformation, copyright and national security. Just look to Twitter, Facebook, and Google’s “transparency report” for some shocking statistics."

"Side note – if there is ever one topic I fundamentally and deeply disagree with the Saker about, it is on the notions of “freedom of speech.” For me, there is no such thing as “freedom of speech.” There are always limits and contingencies to speech, limits that depend on a society and its history, whether it be blasphemy, defamation, misinformation, disinformation, a violation of privacy or of copyright, hate speech, speech that incite, speech that spur violence, speech that undermines national security, and so on."

That's kinda sad in a way, and the rather important part, because we see admission that whether the West or China wins, there won't be "freedom of speech".

The westerners bastardize it, but the chinese do not believe in such a thing.

What would happen to all the dissident sites? Would they all happen to be "speech that undermines national security"?

Posted by: Smith | Oct 20 2020 1:40 utc | 193

@190 karlof1 - " I might do better at VK if I were more prolific/consistent in my writings/postings."

My friend, I think you have to ask yourself what it is that you want, and ultimately make that decision.

Escobar for example doesn't have a website because (I surmise) he gets published as a working journalist and this is his main goal. He strives to see through to the truth of a thing, and to publish that truth to the public record - and there it can end...or take on whatever life of its own it wishes.

But Escobar, baby, he's gone. The moving finger has writ and moved on.


You must decide what you want. I find in many comments here and elsewhere the great human desire and ability to communicate. For myself, I don't even find it within my own sphere to care if anything I ever offer travels far, or to track it wherever it may go. When I offer it here, it's gone, mine but no longer really mine.

But you obviously want some sticking thing, some concrete edifice to arise from your effort. I get that, totally. I wish I had the answer for you. You've practiced here over time, and you've sent effort to a few causes and tried a few things. I admire your beating heart that wants to find the perfect switch to restore the revolution of the people that has always been ongoing and that never dies - and if you ever find it, you will see me by your side at the barricades.

We are all looking for that moment. We will all meet at that place.

But not yet. Close, but not today.

Good fortune in your explorations...forgive me if I speak too long, or out of turn.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 20 2020 2:05 utc | 194

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 19 2020 15:21 utc | 136 -- ".... Shenzhen knows where it’s going and its people are focused and aligned in making the changes or sacrifices needed to get there.... Hong Kong, on the other hand, knows only where it doesn’t want to go—with its people bickering and consumed in hindering others. There is no alignment, no vision, and only a hope that somehow after all parties impede every each other in every way, that somehow everything will fall into place."

Beautifully spoken, very astute observations by that commenter "leetangctl" whom you quoted.

".... I cannot think of a single western (bourgeois) "democracy" where policy isn't shaped around a struggle defined by what people don't want.... not only are there no political organizations promoting a vision of a shared destination for western societies, the very possibility of a shared destination is not even part of public discourse."

Thusly do I say that the West is ungovernable. Far easier to herd cats than to lead people with individual rights and no social responsibility, no communitarian empathy.

".... the West not only no longer possesses the economic wherewithal to lead humanity to the future, but also lacks the vision and imagination to do so."

The West has never led anybody anywhere. They just used might to make it right to help themselves to the world's resources. Brutality rewards those brown people who resist. Look at how the "civilised" English made the Indian army pay for such resistance at Lucknow: the Indians first had to lick up the blood of dead English soldiers from the ground; then eat meat forbidden to them (Muslims had to eat pork, Hindhus had to eat beef); and then immediately hung and strung on tall trees. A far kinder "leading" would be, for example, how the East gave the printing press to the West, leading to the rise of Europeans then in the Dark Ages. But, as I asked (rhectorically) of karlof1 elsewhere, how does an immoral man become moral? How?

"At some point China stopped following the West and started forging their own path. This change probably started many years ago, but the inflection point where paths parted came this year. "

Strongly agree with your observation. Something to do with the Chinese virus. Or is it the American virus?

"The West is in the breakdown lane of the great highway of life, smoke billowing from the engine compartment. China pulled over to offer assistance, but the West flipped them the bird and threatened to throw rocks so China moved on."

Love your analogy. May I use it in my discourses please?

Posted by: kiwiklown | Oct 20 2020 2:13 utc | 195

thanks karlof1... i like what S and grieved had to say to you and i would 2nd all of what they said too... cheers james

Posted by: james | Oct 20 2020 2:17 utc | 196

@james / @bemildered

Tend to agree with both of you that it is difficult to read what is going on at the moment but that the official narratives are hardly believable.

One thing we mustn't forget is that one of Erdogan's main fears regarding withdrawl from Idlib province is / was that he does not want such highly armed and experienced militias on his border. He has been using this as an excuse to remain in Idlib for years now.

If Lindsey Snell's reports are true, and Lavrov seems to be convinced, then thousands of jihadi militias have been sent to Azerbaijan probably for target practis. That partial withdrawl from Idlib has begun can not be coincidence.

Remember also that the Arab nations are pressuring Erdogan to leave Syria, and in an interview while in Qatar recently, Erdogan purposefully spoke about Turkey's presence in Syria being temporary.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 20 2020 4:26 utc | 197

#166 AtaBrit

Erdogan is a war criminal. Wars of aggression are what resulted in the Nazi's swingin' in the wind.

The Nazi's atrocities depicted in this movie (link below) reminded me of to many similar atrocities throughout the world since WW2, most that can be traced back to the west. Syria, Guatemala, Chile, Cambodia to name but a few. Erdogan has done similar crimes and should be swinging on the end of a rope as well but is for the moment useful to the west and East. I have to give him some credit how he is able to balance all those forces. but how long can he juggle all those balls? And he keeps adding balls. The next one he adds could very well be his Stalingrad.

NK is about to involve General Winter and the low ground in the south has been given up by NK and now they can pound AZ positions from the mountains to the north. This will become a no man's land once again and this conflict will be in a stalemate at least until spring. But Erdogan can have go at Sirte next if the rumors turn out to be true. Erdogan is pulling up stakes on a few observation posts in Syria, but most likely a penny pinching move. It isn't cheap waging multi front wars (with other peoples money). Then there is always the Greeks for him to pour scorn on. Have I left anyone else out other than cocking a snoot at Trump and Putin?

And what about Israel helping Turkey commit another genocide on Armenians? What's with that? Answer, "When it is a question of money, everyone has the same religion." Voltaire

On the bright side of my ledger, I felt a bit of a lift today with MAS winning the election in Bolivia. The good guys win one for a change. Not out of the woods yet I fear. There is still a lot of mischief that can be done. And there is always the tried and true Death Squads. The end of Empire can't come quickly enough for me.

If this movie doesn't move you, nothing will. Best war movie period.

Posted by: Tom | Oct 20 2020 7:08 utc | 198

@Tom | 198

"The next one he adds could very well be his Stalingrad."

There have been a few key articles questioning whether this is not indeed his Stalingrad now. We'll see. What is happening, however, is that there seems to be a strengthening of alliances against Erdogan and his Turkey. If Russia can somehow mediate a solution to the Azeri- Armenian crisis, this could undermine Turkey's relationship with Azerbaijan which then would leave Turkey completely in the cold.

"And what about Israel helping Turkey commit another genocide on Armenians? What's with that?"

Just money? But also a testing ground for drones buit more importantly further developing Azerbaijani cooperation against Iran.

Mustn't forget the key date of 2023. The proverbial could well hit the fan around that date, if not before.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 20 2020 10:58 utc | 199

violent extremism proposed by Mr. Hack is not justified by other crimes, large or Norwegian @123 irt Snake @ 119.. thank you Norwegian.. no offense meant, your point is clear.. but maybe misunderstood my meaning: most elected leaders
(nations, global empire or multinational game changing for profit corporations) are headed by extremist during disruptive times<= implies <=no word, argument or reasoning results in win win for non-violent because they are no match for automatic weapon armed guys, supported by a tank and aircraft ..

Strength not substance (has the upper hand). At the heads of industries steel mills, market providers, cell providers, railroads, shipping and banking historically h\b devious extremist (<=use violence by proxy via nation state or private armed force <=to unblock denial or to eliminate risk) .. Extremist are violent but leaders of the nations states are not only violent they are greedy and often corrupt too; explains violence between nation state leaders.

IMO there were too few knowledgeable MR. Hack's out side of the state controlled military. Hacks are needed to assure the security of the masses from the harms and wrongs extremist led entities inflict.
masses <= are expected to hold still for __ law [copyright, patent, and license], regulation [barriers], bureaucratic crippling <= which private commercial interest impose by the use of national or international entities to inflict "hold still while we screw you status" on the masses.
Genocides occur because there are no armed hacks in the target populations <=5g is a mass population control technology usable at different levels of violence by both government and industry: mind control, population behavior control, genocide, crowd control, and propaganda distribution <=these different levels..allow to paint the environments in accord to propaganda <= which on its surface seems none violent, but which is often the hidden cause of violence and almost always is expressed in divide to conquer strategy. Owning a monopoly in oil seems to be non violent, yet the world powers divided into two teams, and fought over who owns the oil...

The Declaration of Independence (1776), says that "when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce (the governed] under absolute Despotism, it is the Right (of those oppressed), its is the duty (of the oppressed), to throw off [the Oppressor], and to provide new.. Guards for the future Security." .. <= means to me the masses are authorized upon a determination of the existence of Tyranny to dispose of their Oppressors; in whatever manner necessary (it is also a re-affirmation of the right of self determination). The Oppressor c\b\a state or private parties who use the state or private armies, to oppress the masses as was the case in the American Revolutionary war fought to remove armed British protection, and control by rule of law, imposed by British Commercial interest d/b in the British Colonies on the Americans in the colonial society.

When duty calls Mr. Hack will be appreciated. Posted by: snake |

Posted by: snake | Oct 20 2020 15:52 utc | 200

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