Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 17, 2021

Open Thread 2021-014

News & views ...

Posted by b on February 17, 2021 at 16:07 UTC | Permalink

next page »

I'll come back when people more informed than I post some great links.

Thanks b

Posted by: jo6pac | Feb 17 2021 16:12 utc | 1

Soaring EU-Xinjiang trade in textile machinery, tomatoes piles pressure on Brussels to act on alleged forced labour

Oh yeah, Westerners care so much about forced labor, such a bunch of humanitarians and humanists.

Oh, wait, no, they're not:

Mars, Nestlé and Hershey to face child slavery lawsuit in US

It's been what, 25 years that one of the worst kept industrial secrets in the West is the target of a cheap-ass backyard NGO with nothing ever happening?

Westerners are against violations of human rights only until it touches their lifestyle. If this red line is crossed, then everything goes - even genocide and slavery.

Posted by: vk | Feb 17 2021 16:16 utc | 2

Winter storm kills at least 17 people, millions still without power in frigid Texas

Americans dying like flies to a harmless cold and they still want to invade and annihilate Russia...

Posted by: vk | Feb 17 2021 16:47 utc | 3

Colombia Reports: Colombia’s far-right government sunk in an even deeper legal and diplomatic crisis on Sunday after bungling an attempt to meddle in Ecuador’s presidential elections. Mafia puppet president Ivan Duque had already isolated himself after his far-right Democratic Center party meddled in the US presidential election in November last year in opposition of President Joe Biden.

NACLA: [Haiti] The voices within Haiti that foreign corporate media amplify are those of political parties. The Kolektif Anakawona outlined at least two other much larger opposition segments connected to grassroots organizing. On November 29, the popular organization coalition Konbit issued a five-language call for solidarity. The workers’ movement Batay Ouvriye outlined popular demands for whomever takes office. A group of professionals, Fowòm Politik Sosyopwofesyonèl Pwogresis Ayisyen (FPSPA), denounced the United Nations for rushing elections and its support for what FPSPA qualifies as a dictatorship. David Oxygène, with the popular organization MOLEGHAF, critiqued the political party consensus as olye yon lit de klas, se yon lit de plas—rather than a class struggle, it’s a struggle for position (power). Both he and activist Nixon Boumba underscore that the opposition plan is a short-term solution, when Haitian movements are asking for long-term solutions and changing the system. Activist-journalist Jean Claudy Aristil and others point out the fundamental hypocrisy and limits of “Western democracy.” Moneyed interests, including imperial powers, who dominate the political process in Haiti are by no accident part of the same transnational capitalist class that has rigged the system in the United States—the model for other political systems in the Americas.

LAHT: [Haiti] The kidnapping of an elderly man in the Delmas 19 neighborhood in Haiti’s capital led to a spontaneous protest on Tuesday by the victim’s neighbors, which ended with the dispersion of some 150 people by the Haitian police using tear gas.

Resumen Latinoamericano: [Brazil - Lula interview] Now the outlook is formally the same, but in a very different political scenario. With the corruption of Lava Jato and the ex-Justice Minister Sergio Moro, and the erosion of the image of President Jair Bolsonaro, the political and legal climate is quite different. Even in sectors that would never be suspected of being Lula supporters, there is a general consensus recognizing not only his innocence, but also that this whole maneuver was carried out expressly to prevent him from being elected, which is a way of recognizing that there was a coup d’etat against the Worker’s Party (PT) and that the election of Bolsonaro was the product of a gigantic manipulation.

Guyana Oil Now: Any gathering of Guyanese émigrés whether in London, New York, Toronto, at a Pub or restaurant, watching Test Cricket at Bourda, Kensington Oval or Sabina Park — almost inevitably — the issue arises: Guyana’s potential, immense economic potential. Then, again usually, the utterly predictable occurs as someone remarks: “… we’ve been hearing this refrain forever! When shall potential become reality?”. Undoubtedly, this was the situation at kickoff — the very beginning of European imperial expansion in the hunt for El Dorado. Today, there’s an amazing opportunity for this vaunted, hitherto elusive potential actually converting to its kinetic form, it’s about to become reality! Indeed, IMF projections suggest 2020 economic growth outcome for the country may be a whopping 86%. The bulk of this is attributable to oil and gas.

LAHT: Venezuela has been known in recent years as one of the world’s worst performers in economic activity and business confidence, but surprisingly there seems to be some good news for making it to a new little-known type of world rankings for many people: cryptocurrency mining.

Posted by: Maracatu | Feb 17 2021 16:50 utc | 4

Rush Limbaugh dies; If there is justice in the universe, and reincarnation is a reality, Rush will reincarnate as a poor black child, in a red state, down in the South.

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 17 2021 17:53 utc | 5

This could have gone on the previous thread,
but it is ok here as well. Is there such a thing
as "off topic" in an Open Thread.


Neocons never collide with reality
they just rewrite around it.

Have I got a drinking game for you !

The Neocon Reality Check Game

Zoom connect to a party of friends
and simultaneously read through the
linked Neocon article together.

A Superpower, Like It or Not
Why Americans Must Accept Their Global Role
By Robert Kagan
March/April 2021

There are so many facepalm worthy sentences
and paragraphs that you will have trouble
pouring fast enough to keep up with the party.

So here is the only rule:
When everyone in the party simultaneously facepalms
at a given Neocon nugget
take a good swig. The louder the facepalm
the deeper the swig.

And that is it!

You will never finish/survive the article together
unless you pick up where you left off
at you the next lunch time.

Remember: Be Responsible! Only read Neocons with a drink
at the ready.


Foreign Affairs has been called
the Bible of the Deep State. Hallelujah!

Posted by: librul | Feb 17 2021 18:21 utc | 6

vetinLA @5--

Thanks for your reply on the other thread!


Pepe Escobar's sequel to his "Why Russia is Driving the West Crazy" muses about Germany creating enough sovereign space for itself to become more closely aligned with Russia and China, a desire first expressed by Leibniz @300 years ago. I posted the following comment to Pepe at his FB:

"Pepe, if as you write, 'The pedestrian geopolitical reality is that the EU is an Atlanticist institution – de facto subordinated to NATO,' then how is an 'increasingly assertive German sovereignty guiding the heart of the EU, which translates as increased EU sovereignty' going to come about when the Outlaw US Empire occupies and controls the EU, ECB and Germany via NATO? IMO, something is going to get broken, NATO being my choice given its boot on the entire EU's necks.

"Yes, they are 'dummies,' but they are first and foremost cowards. And the Outlaw US Empire's Congress is being duped by the Insurrection Narrative that will result in more anti-Russian sanctions since all D-Party nuts KNOW that it was Russia that wanted Trump to continue as POTUS. The upcoming 'investigation' will be the Third Episode of Russiagate, replete with zero facts and hundreds of allegations deemed the real deal, with no active defense provided for Russia as usual."

Pepe's deadline was too early for him to include Lavrov's further blasts against the EU at his presser with Finland's FM that I linked and posted excerpts from which would have bolstered his essay's point that the EU/EC must make a choice between Russia and the Outlaw US Empire. If the EU/EC continues to blindly follow the Empire's diktat and further sanctions Russia, then a complete rupture in relations becomes quite possible with most of the negative fallout damaging EU nations who foolishly maintain their consensus to present their United Front of Stupidity.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 17 2021 18:29 utc | 7

A saying in Donbass, something along the lines:

Reporter asking Ukranian: why are you bombing Donbass?
Because Russians are there! - he says.
Reporter asks again: then why aren't you bombing Crimea too?
Because Russians are *really* there!

Posted by: Abe | Feb 17 2021 18:39 utc | 8

Interesting read by F William Engdahl about whom and what lies behind the agricultural reforms being pushed by Modi in India:

Modi Shock Therapy

In September, 2020 in a rushed Parliamentary voice vote, rather than a duly-registered formal vote, and reportedly with no prior consultation with Indian farmer unions or organizations, the government of Prime Minister Narenda Modi passed three new laws radically deregulating India’s agriculture. That has sparked months of national farmer protest and nationwide strikes.The protests which are spreading across all India, demands repeal of the three laws.

In effect the laws end restrictions on large corporations’ buying land and stockpiling commodities to control farmer prices. They also allow large multinational businesses to bypass local or regional state markets where farmers’ produce is normally sold at guaranteed prices, and allows business to strike direct deals with farmers. This all will result in the ruin of an estimated tens millions of marginal or smallholder farmers and small middlemen in India’s fragile food chain.

The new Modi laws are measures the IMF and World Bank have been demanding since the early 1990s to bring Indian agriculture and farming into the corporate agribusiness model pioneered in the USA by the Rockefeller Foundation decades ago.Until now no Indian government has been willing to attack the farmers, the country’s largest population group, many of whom are on tiny plots or bare subsistence. Modi’s argument is that by changing the present system, Indian farmers could “double” income by 2022, an unproven,dubious claim. It allows corporations to buy farm land for the first time nationally so large companies, food processing firms, and exporters can invest in the farm sector.Against them a small farmer has no chance. Who’s behind the radical push? Here we find the WEF and the Gates Foundation’s radical globalized agriculture agenda.

The WEF Agenda Behind Modi Farm Reform

Posted by: Down South | Feb 17 2021 18:43 utc | 9

re: that scoundrel Limbaugh's death:

"No. I did not attend his funeral. But I wrote a very nice letter saying that I approved it." - Mark Twain

Posted by: michaelj72 | Feb 17 2021 18:45 utc | 10

powerful people design and implement a secret effort .
Time reveals it

Posted by: snake | Feb 17 2021 19:00 utc | 11

We have several commentators and who knows how many readers living in Texas some of whom are living through a debacle on such a grand scale that led the authors of this news report to call Texas a "Failed State" all due to its deregulation fetish:

"Texas hates the federal government so much it has its own outdated power grid. No other state in the country has been quite this stubborn, stupid and self-destructive about energy policy. This crisis is brought to you by deregulation."

The ideology that prompted the "stubborn, stupid and self-destructive energy policy" is known as Neoliberalism--for it's all about increasing profits and thus dividends for the few over the needs of the many.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 17 2021 19:01 utc | 12

Look at how those evil communist dictators from Russia, Venezuela, Cuba and China treat their own citizens! Like if they were disposable!

‘Only the strong will survive’: Texas city mayor resigns for lashing out at residents asking for help during deadly storm

Oh no, wait. It's just your average day in the USA.

Posted by: vk | Feb 17 2021 19:12 utc | 13

Re post nr. 9 by Down South
about India events: Modi Shock Therapy (Bill Gates)

please see this:!!

Posted by: JB | Feb 17 2021 19:24 utc | 14

Marcatau #4

Thank you, great post on South America.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 17 2021 19:29 utc | 15

Just when I thought (again) that they couldn't possibly sink any lower, I find that the US and its allies are allegedly committing widespread grain theft and crop destruction in Syria.

Biden Forces Vacate a ‘Wheat Silos Army Base’ in Hasakah after Looting it

Hearing is Not Like Seeing: NATO’s Terrorists Burning Syrian Wheat Crops – Video

Trump Forces Loot Syria’s Grains, Smuggle Them to Iraq

Ambassador Jaafari Issues Formal Complaint on US Burning Wheat Fields

Turkish Madman Erdogan Stealing Syrian Wheat, Kids Injured by Bomb

The above articles are all from the same source, which clearly (and very reasonably) has an axe to grind. Does anybody know of reliable corroborating reports? Thanks.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Feb 17 2021 19:33 utc | 16

The Australians might find some bunya nuts to eat.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 17 2021 19:37 utc | 17

Re: karlof1 | Feb 17 2021 19:01 utc | 12

I guess those Texas grid system owners bought into the WEF/Borg Gates global warming guff, hook line and sinker, and didn't think they needed to winterize their natgas wellhead operations or windmill generators anymore.

Gates will have the last laugh too. All that cheap[ish] sugarcane/sweet potato/peanut/rice farmland he bought up in Louisiana and Arkansas, will soon be worth a lot more as the Grand Solar Minimum kicks in, and the corn-belt shifts 200 miles southward into his holdings.

Posted by: gm | Feb 17 2021 19:41 utc | 18

Rush's obnoxious pronouncements might have been more tolerable if he had been sincere, but there were gaping inconsistencies between what he insisted of others vs what he did himself.

People like Limbaugh should go to jail, says Limbaugh

Posted by: farm ecologist | Feb 17 2021 19:59 utc | 19

Another excellent example of the vast differences in the system of governance between Russia and the Outlaw US Empire is presented by This conference between Putin and State Duma party faction leaders: "LDPR faction leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Communist Party faction leader Gennady Zyuganov, leader of A Just Russia faction Sergei Mironov and leader of the United Russia faction Sergei Neverov, as well as State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Kiriyenko."

The first significant difference is that all present are as one in the promotion of national priorities, particularly the needs of citizens as Putin notes:

"I know that there are currently over 1,000 draft laws in the State Duma portfolio, including extremely important, systemic ones, which must be adopted without delay to ensure the implementation of our economic programme, improve the business and investment climate, protect the labour and social rights of our citizens and, in general, strengthen the Russian state."

Later this year Russia will hold elections for the formation of the 8th Duma; but while important, Putin reminds these legislators that the needs of the people still come first:

"In this connection, I would like to note that, of course, the federal parliamentary election has tremendous significance for Russia, for our state’s sustainable and effective development, for the successful accomplishment of those highly important tasks that are reflected in national projects. All of them pursue the main goal of improving the quality of people’s lives, elevating it to an entirely new, much higher level.

"This direct request is an unequivocal instruction to all state-power tiers. Instead of merely waiting, the people are rightfully demanding tangible and visible results and changes. By the way, special heightened responsibility rests with the Big Four parties. While relying on the support of millions, they must set the pace for the future election campaign, conduct it in a constructive and substantive manner and demonstrate in-depth and mature discussions. Rather than merely, excuse me, quarrel with one another, they should show their approach and their national development options. And, what is particularly important, it is necessary to maintain dialogue culture even with the most irreconcilable opponents."

Both paragraphs deserve emphasis. IMO, Russia is a far more mature nation politically than any NATO nation.

The Speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin raises this very crucial issue:

"Quite possibly, it would be correct to note that, despite global developments and the latest US presidential election, considering the extent to which the world has changed and the fact that national legislation is not being implemented, we have to do our best to prevent similar developments in Russia.

"Above all, we are referring to the situation regarding major IT companies that virtually annul the legislation of all countries and address freedom of speech matters at their own discretion. We have to protect these fundamental rights, and we have reached a consensus on this matter: We have to do everything possible, so that the people of Russia can freely express their will, and so that everyone can exercise his or her right. [My Emphasis]

I see no efforts occurring here to deal with this issue. My Hats off to the Russians for dealing with what's clearly become a menace. That Russia is working hard to preserve and protect basic freedoms while those same freedoms are being limited elsewhere is surely news that's not getting the public airing it requires. For those few closely watching Russia from abroad, it's clearly setting itself up to be THE land of opportunity. IMO, even at this early point, Russia is clearly the More Perfect Union.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 17 2021 20:02 utc | 20

Thanks Down South @9 on Modi's agri-reforms. The closer one looks at this the more its global significance emerges. The effect will be to enclose land currently being worked by the poor peasantry. Given that enclosure will transform those farmers into landless proletarians will we see a rise in industrial exploitation of India's workers by Western capital? Is India being prepared to take the place China held as global manufacturing's supply of cheap labour? Dislodging primary producers from land has been a hallmark of capitalism historically since labour can only become abstracted when it has been evicted from networks of embedded exchange like subsistence agriculture (which includes social identity, religion, local economies, etc). It will sink India's agricultural poor into a yet deeper circle of hell. But India is not China. It will stoke revolutionary volatility in south Asia.

Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 17 2021 20:06 utc | 21

Putin's response to the Duma Speaker is worth citing fully. Too bad so few will read his words:

"What you have said regarding the so-called platforms, the IT companies, presents a major challenge, and not only to us alone. You can see what happened in the United States. This is a watershed running across the world as a whole, an ideological watershed, which is absolutely obvious. I have said this before, but I can repeat it now: if they behave like this in their own country, how will they treat others if they think themselves exceptional? This is a serious matter, and we certainly need to think about it in advance, this is the obvious thing.

"As for freedom of speech, the situation is perfectly clear to us as well. The so-called double standards have manifested themselves so vividly recently that we have no doubt about how our so-called opponents will behave towards us, no doubt at all.

"Just take a look at Ukraine, where three leading channels have been shut down at the stroke of a pen. And everyone keeps silent, while some have even given them an approving pat on the back.

"How can we comment on that? The only thing we can say is that they are using these instruments to attain their own geopolitical goals. This is also true for Ukraine. Why are the developments pivoted on Nord Stream 2? They want Russia to pay for their Ukraine geopolitical project, that is it. In fact, this is a rather primitive and simple thing. We have become aware of this long ago, but this is the world we are living in.

"Or take a look at what has happened in Latvia. They have clamped down on 16 of our media outlets, but the only reaction to this is silence. Why have the Western truth seekers not provided any assessments of what is happening to freedom of expression there, in Europe? No, there are no evaluations, as if this is how it should be, because they are allegedly fighting propaganda. As if what they are doing is not propaganda. What is it then? This is an instrument of attaining their geopolitical goals, in this particular instance, with regard to our country.

"We must take this into account. I would like to say once again that this is nothing out of the ordinary. I believe we have been observing this, seeing this happen for a long time, but the recent events have especially vividly confirmed the correctness of our views and assessments." [My Emphasis]

Myself and many others would certainly like to know what Putin sees as "their geopolitical goals" as well as those "with regard to our country." I know Putin's said he sees the Outlaw US Empire is trying to deter Russia's development, but that seems too simplistic to me knowing that the #1 policy goal is Full Spectrum Dominance.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 17 2021 20:22 utc | 22

I love to read Chris Hedges whenever I can. Here's a bit from his recent essay on the new and dangerous 'Cancel Culture' - which has become a rather effective and 'liberal' elitist weapon against, among others, those who criticize Israel, as well as against many radicals, and Wikileaks....
Chris Hedges: Cancel Culture, Where Liberalism Goes to Die

....The cancel culture, a witch hunt by self-appointed moral arbiters of speech, has become the boutique activism of a liberal class that lacks the courage and the organizational skills to challenge the actual centers of power — the military-industrial complex, lethal militarized police, the prison system, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, the intelligence agencies that make us the most spied upon, watched, photographed and monitored population in human history, the fossil fuel industry, and a political and economic system captured by oligarchic power....

....The cancel culture was pioneered by the red baiting of the capitalist elites and their shock troops in agencies such as the FBI to break, often through violence, radical movements and labor unions. Tens of thousands of people, in the name of anti-communism, were cancelled out of the culture. The well-financed Israel lobby is a master of the cancel culture, shutting down critics of the Israeli apartheid state and those of us who support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement as anti-Semites. The cancel culture fueled the persecution of Julian Assange, the censorship of WikiLeaks and the Silicon Valley algorithms that steer readers away from content, including my content, critical of imperial and corporate power.

In the end, this bullying will be used by social media platforms, which are integrated into the state security and surveillance organs, not to promote, as its supporters argue, civility, but ruthlessly silence dissidents, intellectuals, artists and independent journalism....

Posted by: michaelj72 | Feb 17 2021 20:33 utc | 23

The last outstanding nugget from Putin's conference is an admission by Putin of his political-economic philosophy made during his reply to the Communist Party's Gennady Zyuganov:

"The growth of unemployment during the pandemic – it is not big but it is still here and we are seeing and recording it. I speak about this all the time and encourage the Government to do what is necessary to reach pre-crisis levels. In general, the situation is improving and has proven to be better than preliminary forecasts. But you are right. It is clearly necessary to focus on this all the time.

"Of course, I know that the Communist Party is always concerned over issues of privatisation. I have also spoken about this. Probably, our approaches to this matter do not always coincide, but at any rate I believe we share the common view that privatisation for the sake of privatisation is unacceptable for us, especially the way it was carried out in the 1990s in some areas. It must be beneficial for the economy; it must improve the economic structure. We must proceed from the premise that any step in this context must create a better, more efficient owner de facto, in practice rather than formally. But obviously, this must be done in a certain environment so as not to give away what costs millions and maybe billions for next to nothing. This is the bottom line for us." [My Emphasis]

Lots of trolls accuse Putin of promoting Neoliberalism. The above proves them liars. Putin's foremost concern has always been for the welfare of his fellow Russians. If I haven't made that clear over the years of my reporting on his speeches and pressers, then the failure must be on those feigning blindness when they can see perfectly well.

IMO, the four main political parties are all fundamentally nationalist, even the Communists. I don't think anyone/party anti-Russian/pro-Neoliberalism has any chance politically, and won't for many years. However, it's what I'll term progressive nationalism that seeks to promote the same in its partners--even in those nations that don't deserve such treatment. Russia takes the high road and doesn't deviate, which I find commendable. It's my hope that the Eurasian Bloc will follow the examples of Russia and China, but selfishness and greed are formidable obstacles, not to mention exceptionalism.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 17 2021 20:49 utc | 24

Chris Hedges, Just talkin' 'bout revolution [against the Borg? Chris can't quite bring himself to name just who "they" are] on Jimmy Dore yesterday:

"These know, quite literally, will kill us...not just us...I'm talking about snuffing out the possibility of the next kids...and they have to be stopped"

Posted by: gm | Feb 17 2021 20:56 utc | 25

Posted by: Maracatu | Feb 17 2021 16:50 utc | 4

Latin America updates: thank you.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 17 2021 20:49 utc | 24

Updates on Russian politics: thank you.

Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 17 2021 20:06 utc | 21

Is India being prepared to take the place China held as global manufacturing's supply of cheap labour?

I think that is the right idea. The impulse will be to grab and hang on to as much as they can, Fortress America, fending of the barbarian hordes.

Posted by: librul | Feb 17 2021 18:21 utc | 6

Re Kagan piece: this is exactly the same bullshit they were peddling in the 60s & 70s, anybody who does not want war is an isolationist. It is like if you don't want to bomb them, then YOU don't care about them enough. Classic. That's where the cognitive disconnect comes from. Up is Down. Full tilt Orwell.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 17 2021 21:36 utc | 26

@ karlof1 with the rants

The link below will stir you up even more I expect.....sorry, just the piano player

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 17 2021 21:37 utc | 27

re @karlof1
The ONLY thing that has changed between 2014 and now is back then Putin was frozen with fear and couldn't act when West stole Ukraine because he was afraid his rich buddies will be hit with sanctions. the West knew that VERY WELL and played him good, stealing ukraine right under his nose. Putin inactions made them even more insolent and brazen, they began to simply lie and invent fake scenarios(Skirpal pozoning) and he still couldn't and wouldn't do anything due to fear of sanctions. So we get 2021 when they(West) can openly troll him and he now knows that no matter what he does or doesnt do, they will put more sanctions on RUssia anytime they feel like it. lavrov wants to stop talking to the West and shut down Russia to the West? thats exactly what the West whats them to do. No more technology for YOU, Russia!
Let's see if that makes him act.
Care about Russian people? Please. If he did, he would be implementing all sorts of laws to help the deepening poverty in Russia(not that the West is any better). he does nothing.
Time for Putin to stand up or shut up and admit he is a failier as a leader and let Shoygu do what needs to be done. Otherwise Russia will be in a heap of trouble and China will pick them up for a song.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Feb 17 2021 21:38 utc | 28

Do you think the state of Alaska might one day ask to be Russian again?

Posted by: passerby | Feb 17 2021 21:41 utc | 29

Astonishing lack of understanding of history, basic humanity and common sense.
It seems no one among the current group of "victors" has heard the phrase "win the battle but lose the war."
With all the witch hunting and hate mongering going on, it also seems no one in authority has heard "treat others as you would have them treat you."
Also applies to WEF Great Reset Masters of the Universe.
A huge amount of karma heading their way.

Posted by: CJ | Feb 17 2021 21:42 utc | 30

Just reading at The Register that the semiconductor plants in Texas are doing too well and maybe Samsung won't build their $20 billion dollar plant there......

The shit show continues until it doesn't

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 17 2021 21:49 utc | 31

Dishonest translations serving as propaganda weapons for the West against China:

The expression used and which forms the basis of the article in The Australia is "摒弃意识形态偏见", which might be better rendered as "abandon ideological bias"

Posted by: vk | Feb 17 2021 22:00 utc | 32

I hope everyone understands that the user with the moniker Hoyeru is a troll and as such gets no response from me for its deliberate lies and slanders.

As for what was discussed today, TASS provided several news items based upon them of which this is one related to the freedom of speech issue.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 17 2021 22:08 utc | 33

karlof1 | Feb 17 2021 19:01 utc | 12

Yeah, we're all "rugged individualists" until we're not. Not talking about ordinary folks in Tx, but the neoliberal/Thatcherite/Reaganism inspired trope that put Tx in this predicament. Somewhat related: many years ago read an article, which was produced through the DoD that posited that distributive computing is far more resilient, robust, and less prone to widespread catastrophic collapse than centralized schemes. I have always extended that thought to our national energy grid. That article you referenced also points out that the rest of the country electric grid is interconnected, though it still relies (imo) too heavily on large centralized generation plants (many of which are located in my immediate area.) Two nights ago (during the most recent snowstorm) we too (upper Ohio valley) experienced a 2hr power failure in the middle of the night. I saw the day prior to that stories of deliberate rolling blackouts across the Midwest and suspect the same thing was done here, even though this region was not named in the reporting.

Are you - or others here - familiar with EGS - Enhanced Geothermal Systems, or AGS - Advanced Geothermal Systems?

Posted by: vinnieoh | Feb 17 2021 22:12 utc | 34

Wanna' know who the "deep state" folks are? peruse this:

JUNE 6, 2019

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 17 2021 22:16 utc | 35

gm@ 18

Climate science 101 says that a warmer climate will also have greater extremes. Thou shalt have much weather. Record low temp in Texas is minus 23F, minus 31C. So the extensive buildout of wind power has no de-icing capability for the propellers? Natural gas backup is not working because the pipelines froze and broke? Generating stations are offline because it is too cold? Pure fourth world engineering. No engineers, no regulators. Just cost cutting in the stupidest possible manner.

Residential pipes are bursting. Not in thousands of residences, in millions. This is a major disaster. Katrina was tiny compared to this. Right now people can’t even leave, can’t go searching for food, can’t go looking for water, everything is iced. Of course no food is moving in either. Major disaster, major impacts. In a functioning country National Guard and regular army would have been sent in yesterday. In a functioning country none of this would have happened in first place. House of cards just fell down

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 17 2021 22:20 utc | 36

Thierry Meyssan:
"...They talk about national unity, but have launched a witch hunt, compared to which McCarthy’s witch hunt was no big deal. They dismissed hundreds of advisers in the Pentagon; they have tried to remove an elected representative from the House of Representatives because she questions the official version of the 9/11 attacks; or they want to arrest all the members of the QAnon movement. They don’t pacify the United States after the capture of the Capitol, but push it into civil war."

Posted by: Mario | Feb 17 2021 22:37 utc | 37

@36: It could be worse. You could own an electric car.

Posted by: passerby | Feb 17 2021 22:38 utc | 38

psychohistorian @27--

Thanks for the FYI. That's not at all an unexpected assault on a method for the people to redress grievances, not that it was actually acted upon since the Executive has a very nasty habit of not obeying the law.

I'm curious as to how Russia will regulate Western Big Tech platforms licensed to operate within Russia if they violate the terms of the agreement outside its borders, as Twitter did recently to a Russian group outside of Russia. Perhaps Russia will make an extraterritorial law such that if Twitter, for example, unjustifiably freezes an account as it does daily it will lose its rights to operate within Russia. As for the individual user, IMO its dumb to sign onto a service that you know practices censorship and shares private data with governments and other entities--either you value your own privacy or it will be stolen from you. With luck, quantum computing and its encryption algorithms will destroy all efforts at data collection; but those days are a ways off and will likely first become available on Chinese devices which the West will ban.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 17 2021 22:43 utc | 39

Do you think the state of Alaska might one day ask to be Russian again?

Posted by: passerby | Feb 17 2021 21:41 utc | 29

From memory, from somewhere on the internet, probably soon after Russia regained Crimea.
Journalist: "Is Russia going to revisit its past control of Alaska?"
Putin: "No. Russia already has enough cold."

Posted by: tucenz | Feb 17 2021 22:47 utc | 40

vinnieoh @34--

When I lived in California, I visited the geothermal works at Geyserville on numerous occasions over the years, and did the same when I lived in Hawaii. But as for EGS or AGS, I'm not up to speed, although I have read studies related to geothermal as a potentially wider energy source than currently applied. As for power outages due to grid failure, while much of Oregon was being assaulted with ice and snow, we here on our portion of the coast just got rain and no power problems thanks to our system's design. Eventually, people will be forced to harness the planet to get electricity even if Helium-3 fusion becomes a reality--that is if the Neoliberal Parasites don't blow everyone up in their vain attempt to stay in control via nuclear war.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 17 2021 22:59 utc | 41

karlof1 | Feb 17 2021 22:59 utc | 41

Thanks for your reply. I have to run right now but will try to return later this evening and post several links to what I asked about. Somehow (for someone who tries to stay abreast of science and technology,) I missed this, and only became aware of it because my sister asked me to find out about it. With all the bad news, it might hold out a glimmer of hope, or even better.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Feb 17 2021 23:08 utc | 42

Have only heard of Thierry Meyssan at MoA, but only a shameless liar or a witless fool thinks the Truman/Eisenhower Red Scare was nothing compared to this "witch hunt." Hundreds of people were dismissed from government losing their clearances, which impaired *any* employment whatsoever. Labor unions were purged. Hundreds were deported, or attempted to deport, including a major union leader, Harry Bridges, detested for leading a great longshoremen's strike. for God's sakes, dozens or maybe even hundreds of mere actors, writers and directors were blacklisted in Hollywood, as if they were meances. Whether this Meyssan is an original scumbag or a mere stenographer for propagandists is irrelevant. This is epic nonsense that should shame him irreparably.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Feb 17 2021 23:10 utc | 43

I wonder what our Aussie barflies have to say about this:

"Facebook to ban Australian users from reading and sharing news in response to government’s Big Tech bill."

That's right! FB Australia is going to ban its users from discussing a legislative proposal by the Australian government that would regulate Aussie FB.

If that's how they choose to operate, more nations will ban them. And again I ask why have anything to do with an organization that censors basic content.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 17 2021 23:24 utc | 44

re karlof1 #46

Google promised the same about two weeks ago as the Murdoch controlled Oz legislature is pushing to ensure that if big tech carries links to articles in news sites such as Murdoch's Daily Telegraph or Fairfax's Sydney Morning Herald they, big tech, will have to kick back a proportion of the advertising revenue they make.
Despite it being murdochian the claim has some merit, but no monopoly is going to acquiesce to such a small population as Australia's so Google, FB, Twitter etc, will just ban all news links to Oz sources.

The Oz conservatives are likely to do their usual "damn the voters, full speed ahead" as long as nothing else crops up to make this too on the nose.
This if it happens will be a win win for the Oz population as they will revert back to sourcing their own news and sharing it with others free of big tech's control & censorship. It will be an interesting time, although the monopolies will be pushing shock horror tales about it outside Oz. There is no chance of it happening in amerika as BidenCorp is a big tech puppet, but it could happen eventually as the fishwraps still retain considerable power over the amerikan political structure.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 17 2021 23:41 utc | 45

Debsisdead @47--

Thanks for your reply! I recall one of the Cold War talking points was that the Free Flow of Information was Vital to democratic governance and was a major reason why the USSR and Warsaw Pact was so backwards as they stifled all information flows through censorship and other means. VoA Trumpeted that constantly. Such hubris is going to encourage the world's nations to come together to control what are clearly becoming outlaw organizations.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 17 2021 23:58 utc | 46

I guess many will have noticed corporate media's latest kabuki Biden has sidelined MBS.
I imagine this will have been organised with some Saudi officials beforehand so that there won't be any interruption in capital flow between the elites concerned.
In one way this could give bin Salman the reputation he needs among average Saudi shit kickers as now he can portray himself as a leader who is trying to buck the empire which he can blame for SA's drop in standard of living.
It is likely theatre so that all the loudmouth pseudo progressive dims in congress can save face while amerika keeps coining billions outta that oppressive regime.

If BidenCorp is actually serious about forcing bin Salman out of power, which it appears to be, one anonymous official was openly discussing bin Salman's move to 'retirement in his french chateau' (as if that could work any replacement would have to do a Kashoggi on him - urgently), I would say they are in for a rude surprise as afaik not even the englanders at the height of their empire, were silly enough to go head to head with el Sauds whose crazy fascist ethos buttresses a really stubborn self belief.
amerikan 'allies' will also be difficult to convince as it is they who the Saudi regime will pressure first. eg after BidenCorp renounced further military support for the rape of Yemen, the englanders piped up with the news they themselves would be doing no such thing.
Obviously the new amerikan administration believes it has a strategy, but once it become apparent that strategy is based on overtly sticking their nose into another nation's politics, as opposed to the usual covert coup/assassination etc, there will be major backlash from everywhere including the UN.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 18 2021 0:01 utc | 47

@ oldhippie | Feb 17 2021 22:20 utc | 36

It appears the main issue in with respect to electrical power system in Texas right now is that a large proportion of power generation comes from natural gas-fired turbine plants [makes sense; natgas is clean, abundant nearly everywhere in TX, cheap (practically a waste/by-product of oil extraction)].

Trouble is Texas natural gas well-head separating (oil/H2O etc)/processing equipment is not built to handle normal ie below freezing, cold weather [duh...some cost-cutting decisions made by authorities who evidently drank deeply of the global warming kool-aid the FAKE WEF Borg media has been pumping out the last 2+ decades] and consequently, the well-heads froze up, and Voila, => no natgas to run the the gas-fired power plants.

More unsettling repercussions that you are not likely to hear about from fake MSM for some time here: (13 min)

Posted by: gm | Feb 18 2021 0:08 utc | 48

i don't know that natural gas is all that clean.. i think that is incorrect actually...

is texas situation a really big deal?? someone comparing it to katrina and new orleans.. is that a fair comparison? what's happening down on the moron ranch? does gw have power?

good one passerby @29!

Posted by: james | Feb 18 2021 0:42 utc | 49

@36 oldhippie

Not as apocalyptic as it may seem. I wrote a comment on the situation in the earlier thread here.

Temps are starting to move up and tomorrow (Thursday) should begin the thaw. Friday is sunny and 47 deg F for a high, then sunny weekend and following. So we're over the worst of it. The lowest it ever got was around 0 deg F.

The infrastructure failed - the people paid to manage this failed - everybody is angry, 10 people died so far last I heard.

Rolling blackouts, some people very much suffering, townships opening warming shelters - probably not millions of pipes bursting. Not totally iced in, just nowhere to go. People stayed home. Businesses stayed closed. Not totally without food, people stocked up staples in 2020.

Not that dire. Absolutely fucking disgusting, and a hardship that touched everyone - some people got really screwed and I don't know why the treatment was uneven like that - not demographics, something with the grid. Dire, yes, and life-threatening to some or perhaps many (numbers not clear to me yet), but not so dire as your picture suggests. Nothing like Katrina, except the same ineptness.

But heads will roll. The governor has mandated an investigation into the regulator, ERCOT. What follows next is of great interest. Facts will appear. I'll post anything useful.

I heard a rumor it was getting better. Could be less blackouts. Will post now in case power goes off ;)

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 18 2021 0:45 utc | 50

On the semiconductor front, another punch to the gut of the US semiconductor industry this time delivered by the recent Texas cold snap:

Samsung had to temporarily shut down its chip plant in Austin, Texas, in the US. Following heavy snowfall in Texas, the South Korean firm was ordered to completely shut down its fab and cease the production of chips. Apart from chip shortage, such power outages can cost millions of dollars in damages to the company.

According to the report, Texas authorities ordered shutting down fabs, which affected not only Samsung but also NXP Semiconductors and Infineon Semiconductors. A 30-minute power shutdown at Samsung’s fab in 2018 had destroyed 3% of the global supply of NAND chips. Last month, an unplanned power loss occurred at the company’s Hwaseong chip plant, and it took Samsung several days to restore power and resume chip production at full capacity.


Posted by: Arch Bungle | Feb 18 2021 0:49 utc | 51

@ 52 grieved.. here is a quote from your post on the other thread...

"After all, we pay these people to handle the infrastructure. That's their only job. How can they be allowed to fuck it up this bad? What can they possibly blame for this? Will the people let them? What exactly, in political terms, will ensue from this?

This is interesting because this is a picture of the US, with its crumbling infrastructure. "

i am curious how infrastructure is to be maintained and paid for if americans don't want anyone or anything to be taxed??? all these politicians saying no taxes.. how does it work exactly?? mind you there is an amazing bank account for military spending.. for that - no problem!

Posted by: james | Feb 18 2021 1:17 utc | 52

RE: "i don't know that natural gas is all that clean.. i think that is incorrect actually..."

-james | Feb 18 2021 0:42 utc | 51

Better than coal and off-line nuke plants which are coming back up to take up some of the slack from the natural gas starved plants:

Posted by: gm | Feb 18 2021 1:18 utc | 53

Despite being asked to leave a year ago, NATO is preparing to greatly expand its presence in Iraq to upwards of 5000 troops, reporters for Reuters were told on eve of NATO meet. (previous commitment: 500 troops)

"Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, a former intelligence chief and U.S. ally who took office in May, is eager to have a greater NATO presence in the country at a time of rising insecurity, diplomats said."

The mission is publicly stated to be focused on terrorist group ISIL, but NATO officials are now saying Iran-sponsored militia groups are also considered a "threat" requiring attention from this force.

Posted by: jayc | Feb 18 2021 1:20 utc | 54

@ gm.. not as good as electric though, once you have the dam built... other options are better...

Posted by: james | Feb 18 2021 1:22 utc | 55

@james | Feb 18 2021 1:22 utc | 57

We are talking about Texas here. Have you ever been there?

Big state with hardly the topography nor hydrology for hydropower.

Posted by: gm | Feb 18 2021 1:30 utc | 56

gm @50--

The Climate Crisis isn't merely the warming of temps due to the greenhouse effect; it also cuts the temperature gradient between the equator and polar regions such that it causes the jet stream to slow down and for its waves to have greater amplitude. That phenomena allows for gaps wherein the polar vortex can penetrate far deeper than it once could--and this also occurs in the Southern Hemisphere. The whole shebang is based on fundamental physics as myself and others have explained many times here over the last decade. Texas regulators were told often they needed to insulate their wellheads but they refused because that would decrease shareholder profits--typical Neoliberal bullshit. As I stated, the mechanism driving the crisis is based on high school physics--pressure gradients are what drive winds; when they decrease, wind velocity decreases. This 11 minute video interview clip with Dr. Jennifer Francis explains it all quite well along with graphics.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 18 2021 1:37 utc | 57

@ gm... i didn't realize we were only talking texas..

movie called carbon nation - documentary... some might want to watch...

Posted by: james | Feb 18 2021 1:51 utc | 58

A good recap of the current situation with regards to silver. Hang on to your seats folks..

Posted by: Lozion | Feb 18 2021 1:59 utc | 59

pat langs new website in case anyone missed it and wants to know...

Posted by: james | Feb 18 2021 1:59 utc | 60

Texas Could Have Kept the Lights On

This Texas debacle may light a heated debate in the USA for the next weeks, for two reasons:

1) Texas is the big alt-right/Trumpist Festung for the foreseeable future. Their nation-building process involve catapulting Texas as the anti-California, the conservative version of the Shining City on the Hill, around which the USA will be rebuilt;

2) What is happening in Texas right now goes directly to the heart of neoliberalism, which is the political doctrine that vertebrates the alt-right. That's why conservative ideologues such as Tucker Carlson et al are desperately scrambling on TV and social media to blame the outage on the so-called Green New Deal.

What is happening right now in Texas, therefore, may be another episode on the battle for the soul of the American Empire.

Posted by: vk | Feb 18 2021 2:24 utc | 61

Thom Hartmann podcast on the Texas SNAFU;

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 18 2021 2:27 utc | 62

Thanks @ Karlof1 for refuting @ gm's falsehoods and misconceptions with facts. The myth of “grand solar minimum” has been dispelled

Conflating The Great Reset with Climate Science facts is an unfortunate mistake. Wake up @ gm: “the global warming kool-aid the FAKE WEF Borg media has been pumping out the last 2+ decades” -- because there is nothing fake about abrupt climate change nor disingenuous in the multitude of scientists that study it who are warning of the immediate dangers. You must be blind not to notice the mountain of evidence, both measured and observable. After all, the ice sheets and permafrost and glaciers are not massively melting because of media hot air!

Posted by: norecovery | Feb 18 2021 2:29 utc | 63

@Posted by: james | Feb 18 2021 1:59 utc | 62


Is there a back story to the switch?

Posted by: librul | Feb 18 2021 2:29 utc | 64

@54 james

My good friend, I don't think you intended to create a straw man, but one managed to arise and saturate your entire, broad-brush query.

It's unanswerable. I tried. Several paragraphs, but it would take weeks. And I know you know better. So maybe with a better framing of the query there might be something I could respond to.

Catch you down the line...

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 18 2021 2:29 utc | 65

James @54 & Grieved @67--

It appears to me both posts asked rhetorical questions that answered each other.

Posted by: norecovery | Feb 18 2021 2:44 utc | 66

In the 'rule based democrazies'.

Rule NO 1...

It pays to have 'friends ' in 'high place' the cesspool.

Exhibit A

FUKUS orchestrated mass rapes in INdon, 1998

YOu dont need no ICC investigation, its all in broad daylight.


BUt heck,
Indonesia, like India, is.....
Licensed to rape.

The complete silence of Albright and the U.S. press on this matter is hardly surprising. Prabowo was until recently the golden-haired boy of the Pentagon, which poured millions into the training of Kopassus units, even after Congress ordered it to stop.

The U.S. press was also silent during two peak periods of army violence in the past: the army instigated murders of a half million or more Indonesians in 1965, and the 1975 invasion of East Timor, which resulted in 200,000 or more deaths in that small country. And the U.S. Government and press allowed many years to pass before admitting that troops which had received Pentagon training were responsible for the massacre of civilians in El Salvador and Guatemala.

Posted by: denk | Feb 18 2021 2:52 utc | 67

World News
Friday, November 21, 2008

Published: March 20, 1999


EDITOR'S NOTE: The U.S. government has spoken freely about human rights violations in Asia, especially in China and Burma (Myanmar). Yet extremely serious violations in Indonesia have gone un-remarked, notes PNS commentator Peter Dale Scott, despite the fact that the U.S. plays a significant role in that region. Scott, a former Canadian diplomat is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

By Peter Dale Scott

U.S. Secretary of State Albright made headlines when she protested the treatment of dissidents in China and Myanmar (Burma).

But she was silent about a much bigger crime against humanity - the rapes and murders and disappearances of dissidents and ethnic Chinese in Indonesia last spring.

This silence was not noted in the press, yet a word from Secretary Albright on this topic would carry some weight, for the United States itself has armed and trained the Indonesian armed forces, including the specific units accused of these crimes.

Last May, four students were shot and dozens of Chinese were killed or raped in a wave of violence which, according to almost every observer, was centrally organized rather than spontaneous. Witnesses attribute the crimes to teams of hoodlums delivered by trucks, and these accounts are backed up by some pictures taken with remote cameras. The anti-Chinese violence in particular suggests a pattern familiar in recent Indonesian history: the army deflecting resentment from itself and on to a prominent minority.

Many knowledgeable observers speculate that the arranged violence was part of a power struggle between Defense Minister Wiranto, who was tolerating protest to bring about political change, and General Prabowo (Suharto's son-in-law), who had already encouraged anti-Chinese propaganda. After the violence Prabowo was abruptly demoted. An investigation conducted by Wiranto led to the arrest in mid July of ten members of the Special Forces or Kopassus, formerly commanded by Prabowo and one of his close allies, in connection with last spring's disappearances, kidnapping, and torture of political dissidents.

Extensive investigations conducted by Asiaweek and the Far Eastern Economic Review also suggest that Kopassus and Prabowo may have instigated the anti-Chinese violence. Meanwhile two prominent Muslim leaders, Abdurrahman Wahid and Amien Rais, have called upon the Army to, pursue their investigation at a higher level than that of those already arrested.

This is not only a matter of simple justice. The hopes for a more democratic Indonesia depend on the Army's purging itself of those who would maintain power through fomenting violence and racial hatred. And this is why Albright's silence is so significant and so disappointing. She has declined to give human rights guidance to the country where it would be most appropriate.

The complete silence of Albright and the U.S. press on this matter is hardly surprising. Prabowo was until recently the golden-haired boy of the Pentagon, which poured millions into the training of Kopassus units, even after Congress ordered it to stop.

The U.S. press was also silent during two peak periods of army violence in the past: the army instigated murders of a half million or more Indonesians in 1965, and the 1975 invasion of East Timor, which resulted in 200,000 or more deaths in that small country. And the U.S. Government and press allowed many years to pass before admitting that troops which had received Pentagon training were responsible for the massacre of civilians in El Salvador and Guatemala.

As a low-level member of Canada's Foreign Service some years ago, I saw at first hand how swiftly decent bureaucrats would rush to cover up the crimes of their government and its allies. If the U.S. is to guide Indonesia away from racial politics, and towards a more open and civilian government, it will take determined pressure from an outraged citizenry and Congress. © COPYRIGHT PNS

Match ALL words


Purchase at EXODUS eShop

Purchase at EXODUS eShop

AfroAmerican Web Ring
© WebRing Inc.
AfroAmerican Web Ring
<< Prev | Ring Hub | Join | Rate| Next >>

Posted by: denk | Feb 18 2021 3:02 utc | 68

Evgeny Prigozhin:

It looks like the current American leaders have decided that only military force is capable of providing their safety from the anger of the people, which often ends with the storming of the state buildings in the United States. I guess the American leadership needs to address the Russian military retirees, who have more and more often come to the defense of peace and democracy around the world in recent times. The services of Russian military specialists would cost American taxpayers much less than the support of an army of thousands in Washington, D.C. I believe there will be more benefits, and less cruelty, sexual harassment and other perversions. The only things we can't give you under any circumstances are transsexuals and homosexuals. We don't have them.

National Guard could be stationed in DC until at least the fall: report

Posted by: Mao | Feb 18 2021 3:06 utc | 69

@ 66 librul.... not that i know of.. i think it just means more independence and not beholden to typepad format mostly.. could be more.. if i find out more, i'll let you know..

@ grieved - norecovery - guilty as charged!!! i kind of knew i would be opening up a hornets nest with that one! frankly i think @63 vks post is hitting the proverbial nail on the head as i see it... but i doubt this conversation suggested will happen either.... again, i repeat... all the signs are out for the decline of the usa and nothing seems to show any sign of any of it stopping... i hope i am wrong because it bodes ill for a lot of people, including the people where i live.. cheers and thanks for your many fine posts grieved...

Posted by: james | Feb 18 2021 4:21 utc | 70

@28 Hoyeru
I think you might be a troll. Your comment implies much in that direction!
Ukraine in 2014 and indeed today is a sovereign nation and meddling or intervention is a breach of the UN charter. Had Russia intervened it would have labelled a pariah state, it is only the outlaw US that can get away with such crimes. Crimea was a touch and go operation, but it was quickly accepted by the west as a fait accompli, especially after the referendum, and because the west realized that Sevastopol was a bridge much too far. The United States dreams of a nice Black Sea port were crushed in almost an instant.
The rest of your post is lacking in critical thinking huugely, no one in Russia cared much about the false flag op "Skripal", it has even become a global joke, with many funny memes around. Your comments about internal matters in Russia are just inane allegations, without any solids.
No Lavrov does not want to shut down relations to the west, he mentioned it as a possible consequence of further "sanctions" or economic warfare. Fact of the matter is the sanctions have helped Russia in the long run, the have made Russia almost autarkic and self-sufficient.
Remember Russia and its allies is an "alliance" of roughly 5 nations, pitted against the Hegemon and its +30 vassals, a fight in which you need to be smart, not fast.
Lastly, for all its bravado NATO will not and can not attack Russia on the battlefield, the European NATO partners armed forces are generally in shambles, there is no political will for such an endeavor, neither among politicians nor the public.
Putin a failed leader? This statement almost made me spew coffee on my keyboard. I am afraid I have reassigned you the the "moron" class of commenters. There is no need to refute such rubbish, Vladimir Putins actions speak for themselves. His admittance of failure in the Kursk incident, speaks all the more in favor of him.

Posted by: Den lille abe | Feb 18 2021 4:38 utc | 71

@ 59 karlof1

But, but how can that be when the Earth is flat?
It is almost pointless to discus science with United States residents today. They are generally mired in "beliefs" driven by religion, political affinity, or the constitution or some other nonsense. Most Americans today are the victims of an educational system, that in cases, completely ignore scientific facts.
I position that the American educational system is best compared to education in the Middle Ages (1300-1500). 1 or 2% do get top class educations, but that is hardly enough.
Of course this is my opinion.

Posted by: Den lille abe | Feb 18 2021 4:53 utc | 72

re Lozion @ # 61

I guess I'm a lot more cynical about these precious metal urgers than you Lozion, especially regarding silver where greedies have been trying (and failing) to corner the silver market since crown prince Leopold of Belgium gave it a go about 1860 something. He cut the right arms off the eldest sons of families in the Congo where his silver mines were, that was to drive the locals off land he wanted to steal then mine and to force the now starving former African cattlemen to work in his mines for slave wages & conditions.
I seem to remember those Kochs had a go at it much more recently.
The dingbats always claim that silver is 'too cheap' that it should be at a price closer to gold, but they fail to comprehend the salient facts a)that silver has many more diverse sources than gold and b) that silver has many industrial uses that determine its price. If the cost of silver goes too high industry will shift to an alternative conductor one that is dearer than silver usually is, but which now because of a rise in silver prices, costs less than silver does. If that occurs demand will drop significantly so eventually the price must drop. The death of traditional photography had a huge impact on the demand for silver, if greedy manipulators drive other industries to silver alternatives the value of silver will go through the floor. Try as these arseholes do, silver is never going to be appealing for jewellery as gold is.

Just listening to that Steer spruiker for a couple of minutes demonstrates that. Initially he says that banks & silver traders have dropped the cost of rolling over future contracts so that investors are discouraged from taking delivery, then he goes on to say that there is a massive shortage and prices are going to rise.
If there was a genuine rather than a manipulated shortage banks would want people to take delivery now when prices are allegedly lower than they will be in 3 or 4 months when the price has really shot up.
Could it be that banks & big traders are encouraging investors to hang on to contracts and not realise them because that in of itself will create an artificial shortage - for a while until industrial silver users change to an alternative material creating a low demand glut and leaving thse long investors skinned to the bone.
Unless these blokes are forced to declare their interests in the markets they are spruiking, they can never be trusted, ever. IMO they're all just greedy little silver tongues happy to con others outta their cash.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 18 2021 4:55 utc | 73

The ONLY thing that has changed between 2014 and now is back then Putin was frozen with fear and couldn't act when West stole Ukraine because he was afraid his rich buddies will be hit with sanctions. the West knew that VERY WELL and played him good, stealing ukraine right under his nose. Putin inactions made them even more insolent and brazen, they began to simply lie and invent fake scenarios(Skirpal pozoning) and he still couldn't and wouldn't do anything due to fear of sanctions. So we get 2021 when they(West) can openly troll him and he now knows that no matter what he does or doesnt do, they will put more sanctions on RUssia anytime they feel like it. lavrov wants to stop talking to the West and shut down Russia to the West? thats exactly what the West whats them to do. No more technology for YOU, Russia! Let's see if that makes him act.

The Ukrainian Putsch occurred during the Sochi Olympics. Regardless, The Russian government prioritized it's objectives and secured Crimea, first. Then it enabled the DonBas to resist.

Yes, it wanted to protect NordStream2. Back then selling Gas to China was a frustrating wet dream.

In the past 7 years Power of Siberia came on line. The oil pipeline to China came online. Russian Civil aviation overcame debilitating sanctions designed to kill it, and now fields the IL-96-400 == MC-21-310 == SJ100R == IL-114-300. Using Russian Engines, Russian CarbonFibre composites, Russian landing gear. Next up are Russian avionics and control systems to replace Honeywell - Rockwell/Collins systems. These planes are below the 10% threshold. They can be sold to Iran/Venezuela/Ecuador/Bolivia or any other sanctioned state.

Russia now exports wheat and other grains. Russia is in JVs with China to grow soybeans in Siberia. Russia fielded the world's first floating Nuclear Powerplant. Russian Lighwater WVVER nuclear power plants burn twice the percentage of their fuel charge all others do. Russia just commissioned a nuc plant in Belarus, eliminating that country's power shortage. All these events happened in the past 7 years.

The Russian government used the time to make it's financial system sanctions proof, and it's economy ditto.


Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Feb 18 2021 5:04 utc | 74

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 17 2021 22:20 utc | 36

Good summary. Don't also forget the spoiled food both in grocery stores and peoples' fridges/freezers.

Some I'm sure were able to put frozen stuff outdoors and the refrigerated stuff either in the house or into the freezer. But this crisis is only just begun when the shortages really start hitting home. I have relatives there who have been without electricity for literally 72 hours as of a few hours from now. Most were able to escape to friends' houses or relatives, but some are forced to bear it out with the roads completely impassible to all but AWD and 4x4 vehicles (or tire chains - not common at all in Texas) and hilly areas are the worst.

Grocery stores with backup power have limited hours, lines are out the door, they are out of stock of charcoal, propane and most importantly water - there are "boil notices" in effect throughout the state due to the water system issues you mentioned. Plumbing supplies will be exhausted immediately and there will be some without water for 2 weeks or more after the freeze has lifted on Friday. Gas stations have no gas because thousands of people bought it up so they could keep themselves and family warm (or charge phones) and the re-supply deliveries are on hold until the roads are passable.

What happened in Texas is an epic clusterfuck of cascading disasters brought on by only a few players - ERCOT (the electric "reliability" council of that state), several dozen power generators that use natural gas and which were at some point supposed to have winterized their gear but never did because ERCOT is the only regulatory authority. The wind turbines only supply 13% of the state's electricity and Norway, Sweden and Netherlands (among others) have turbines in much harsher environments than 4" of snow and some ice. But in fact, on Tuesday night, it was wind turbines in the Gulf of Mexico that enabled the restoration of power to many thousands of homes in the Houston area according to news reports and word from back home.

@karlof1's article above from CommonDreams/Consortium News sums it up nicely and I'm sure more damning information and commentary is on the way once Texas is "Open for Business" again, having been completely shut down by some cold weather and a few inches of the white stuff.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 18 2021 5:07 utc | 75

Posted by: gm | Feb 18 2021 1:30 utc | 58

There is hydropower in Texas. Some dams produce more than others, but Amistad dam in South Texas produces several megawatts.

For general reference:

In 2012, the average American home consumed 10,837 kilowatt-hours per year. This works out to an average use of 0.34 watt being used per second, which means that one megawatt of energy generated could furnish power to approximately 2,941,176 homes per second.

In 2009, the Amistad Dam plants produced a total of 296,734,000 kilowatt hours.

To your other points, did you happen to click on karlof_1's article from Consortium News? It had numerous embedded links including ones to power industry publications. Most of them are critical of Texas' ERCOT and the push for deregulation and cost cutting. Guess what, though? Texas residents have some of the highest electricity prices in the USA. what good does deregulation do for the average "consumer"? Very little.

Look up El Paso, TX Western Energy Interconnect online. Let us know how El Paso fared during this disaster that, itself, is literally everything that needs to be said about how good Texas' approach to electricity generation and distribution is working. This has nothing and everything to do with The Borg and you have them exactly backwards. The neoliberal/neocon Borg members that make up the LNG and LNG-based power generation industry in Texas are indistinguishable from those represented by Joe Biden. And Donald Trump.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 18 2021 5:28 utc | 76

When somebody says "we need to ice him!" I now know what it means.
(Faint attempt at humor)

Posted by: Den lille abe | Feb 18 2021 5:56 utc | 77

Den lille abe @ 74

I suggest the problem is 'mis-education' through mass media and popular culture. I doubt that academic study can bring about a sensitivity and understanding of the web of life and its inter-dependency. More often than not, science encourages specialization that fails to develop a holistic worldview. There were indigenous tribes that lived for centuries pretty much in harmony with nature, whereas in a much shorter time industrial civilization has nearly destroyed the stability of the climate system and polluted the environment to the extent that biodiversity has greatly diminished and many species are dying off due to loss of habitat. At this rate, we humans will inevitably go extinct.

The United States and the Western World (as we define our version of industrial civilization) are not the only societies that exploit the planet's resources for short-term gains and long-term prosperity. Many others want the comforts, conveniences, material wealth, and 'lifestyle' that we have, without understanding the externalities which are an unavoidable bi-product of fossil fuel and other resource consumption resulting in degradation of the environment. Very few people comprehend the fact that the greenhouse gasses already released into the atmosphere will cause continuing forcing of heating for decades, so the only possible remedy would be massive-scale carbon capture and storage. It's highly questionable this could ever be developed rapidly enough to 'save our bacon' even if there were the political will.

I think the notion of technological solutions to climate change is a conundrum, since these require massive energy inputs. Unless fusion nuclear power can be developed (a HUGE 'if'), none of the "renewable" sources is without severe limitations as they both require fossil fuel inputs and cannot fully substitute for those. That is especially problematic considering population growth and demand for "a better life" by the multitudes of impoverished people. Most of us in the developed world who produce a far larger individual carbon footprint are loathe to significantly reduce our consumption and accept the inconvenient consequences, so we are actually the bigger problem. There's also the Jeavons Paradox, which demonstrates how increased energy production results in greater overall consumption.

No doubt, diverting energy and resources from military activity to climate change initiatives and socio-economic needs would help a great deal, but humans seem incapable of evolving a sense of 'caring and sharing' so as to shed the motivations of self-aggrandizement and conflict, to stop engaging in offensive and defensive behaviors, and to develop an awareness of shared responsibility for the health and welfare of all life on earth. Now we're getting to the crux of the problem: lack of human evolution. I don't think that education can change those motivations and the destructive behavior that is magnified by herd mentality, the desire to dominate, and the widespread perception of 'us versus them' that pervades most societies.

I am not 'bullish' on the human species. For me, the path of acceptance of near-term human extinction is the only way to reconcile what I see as inherent faults in our species that are incompatible with the natural world. I see this climate crisis as Nature's Revolution to end this phase of experimentation on this planet by eliminating the invasive species that precipitated the destruction of the ecosystem through our ignorance and hubris.

Posted by: norecovery | Feb 18 2021 5:56 utc | 78

Correction to my earlier post. When I left Texas in 2016 they did in fact get about 15-20% of their power from wind. I guess it's gone up to 33% now.

But the 13% number wasn't without significance. Of the millions of people who lost power during this mild by most country standards winter storm, only 13% was due to wind while 87% was failed LNG plants. To add to that and repeat the earlier point, wind turbines actually added to the restorations late Tuesday after the American news cycle had completed, so that has been circulating mainly in my social media and I'll have to find a link to back it up.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 18 2021 6:09 utc | 79

@james | Feb 18 2021 0:42 utc | 51

i don't know that natural gas is all that clean.. i think that is incorrect actually...

What exactly do you mean by saying natural gas is "not clean"? By which criteria do you measure cleanliness?

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 18 2021 6:53 utc | 80

god, does anyone read Pat Lang's website/blog anymore? I can't stand how conservative most of those people over there are.
I found the place useful and informative when they wrote about Syria and such during more active days of the war there, a few years back. But now, I check it out from time to time and usually quickly exit.

Posted by: michaelj72 | Feb 18 2021 6:58 utc | 81

This looks like a good time to discuss mixed economies. In this case we are going to show different mixed economies within the US.

On another thread responding to Grieved I gave him the link to Tacoma Public Utilities which has been been providing power and water to the region since 1893. My uncle was an engineer for them and, at least at that time, they prided themselves on keeping facilities and equipment up-to-date. And I expect to a large degree they are still similarly motivated....they are motivated to serve the public, not make a profit.

And then we have the unfolding story of Texas, where it is at least clear at this time, that some utility decided that profit was more important than being reliable.

At the US national level we are back to socialism with both the TVA and out West, the BPA.

We are just talking utilities here, not public schooling which, in the US, use to be almost all public, nor health care, etc.

I bet even VK could tell about the mixed economy in her home country and how it compares with neighboring ones instead of the ideological white noise she spews here constantly...go get your own web site, please.

My point is that all countries have mixed economies at the national and maybe different at the regional/state levels....and, in the West, they have been evolving over time mostly based on predation by the financial folk.

Again it comes back to having private instead of public finance because that core structure of the social contract permeates the rest of the motivations/narratives of the resulting society.

The West is a top/bottom society because of global private finance and the shit show dog-eat-dog for profit world we are seeing look like shit around us is because of the God of Mammon motivations. If humanity can eliminate/deprecate private finance and grow public finance then core human services can be provided by organizations who are motivated, NOT BY PROFIT, but by providing a social service/product.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 18 2021 7:01 utc | 82

@karlof1 | Feb 18 2021 1:37 utc | 59

The Climate Crisis isn't merely the warming of temps due to the greenhouse effect; it also cuts the temperature gradient between the equator and polar regions such that it causes the jet stream to slow down and for its waves to have greater amplitude. That phenomena allows for gaps wherein the polar vortex can penetrate far deeper than it once could--and this also occurs in the Southern Hemisphere. The whole shebang is based on fundamental physics as myself and others have explained many times here over the last decade

I am sorry, but this is politicized an non-scientific nonsense. In science there are 3 categories of hypotheses: "plausible", "wrong", and "not even wrong". The 2 first play an important role in progressing real science, hypotheses that are proven wrong (i.e. scientifically falsified) play an important as they help define the limits of scientific knowledge and push plausible hypotheses forward.

The "Climate Crisis" is pathological science that belongs in the "not even wrong" category, there are no falsification criteria. As you demonstrated, it is defended using ad hoc excuses thought up on the spur of the moment. Its basis is political, not scientific.

Symptoms of Pathological Science

As for the claims of supposed deadly Global Warming, now relabeled as "Climate Crisis" because there is in fact no scientific significant measured or even measurable Global Warming, plus the whole term is scientific nonsense anyway. Temperature is a local intensity and you simply cannot average many temperature measurements in different places and call that "global temperature", it is totally meaningless. I have 2 thermometers on my property, a Stevenson Screen and a wall thermometer. They disagree significantly and the difference is not constant over a day or season. The Stevenson Screen measurement disagrees with itself over time, because of detoriation of the white paint causing differences in readings FAR exceeding the published miniscule changes that are known to be doctored as well. Also the number of thermometers contributing to these measurements are not constant. It started very recently in the 1700's with one thermometer and from there it grew. You would think the numbers would always grow and the quality would be better and better, but that is the opposite of reality. In the 1990s the number of thermometers contributing to "global temperature" fell dramatically, and their center of gravity (or average latitude) started to move south. So anyone can imagine what that does to the integrity of the "data" that is presented.

Then there is this myopic idea that a few decades of temperature measurements using a linear trend over 30 years on a largely 60 year quasi sinusoidal oscillation has anything to do with proper science, especially when you choose the cool 1960s as your convenient starting point.

The earth is billions (american billions that is) of years old, claiming a "climate crisis" on a few years of data that have been massaged to death is not honest. Even if we select a very short period, say the last 15 000 years we can easily show that the Earth's climate is characterized by large temperature swings, with shorter calm periods in between. What we have now is a remarkably constant and steady climate, there is no crisis other than in people's heads:

Graph over climate the last 16 000 years

Before this became politicized, we used to call warmer periods "climate optima". For example around the year 1000, the climate was so warm that the Norse vikings could travel to and sustain agriculture on Greenland, and made their way to America via Leiv Eiriksson who found wine grapes in the Boston area and called the place "Vinland" (Wine land).

The Norse had to abandon Greenland early in the 1300s, as the climate got colder due to solar long term variation (our Sun is a variable star). In the 1600s there were ice fairs on the river Thames in London over a period of months for several years. This was during the Maunder Minimum (a grand solar minimum), where the Sun had almost no sunspots for over 70 years.

Early in the 1800's you had the Dalton minimum, characterized by extremely cold weather, attested among others by Napoleon's attack on Russia. There is a famous graph illustrating that.

In the late 1900s we have had what is essentially a solar maximum over several solar cycles, or a climate optimum if you like. What we are entering now is the Eddy Minimum, a new grand solar minimum, leading to colder temperatures similar to the Maunder Minimum in the 1600s.

Evolution of spotless days in SC24-25 and comparison with other cycle transits

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 18 2021 7:49 utc | 83

@7 karlof
I think NATO is generally misjugded.

If one looks at the North Atlantic Treaty as the legal basis of NATO and it`s exact wording it`s suprising just how vage it is. NATO requires it`s members only "to take appropriate measures to restore security" (or something like that) if one of it`s members get`s attacked. Nothing more. There isn`t even a clause that necessarily requires military action.

During the Cold War (1.0) it was generally understood that the NATO countries would go through a global nuclear war together if necessary. That`s not the case anymore. The last military/political instance when NATO stood really together as an alliance was the Afghan War of 2001, since then every single military intervention and every singly major political undertaking of the West has been conducted by ad hoc coalitions which were composed of both NATO and non-NATO countries.

NATO today is not a military alliance anymore. It is mutual non-agression pact and a military standardisation office.

Posted by: m | Feb 18 2021 8:16 utc | 84

Cheers to all bar flies, lot of interesting stuff going on here while I sleep. I'll be brief:

...when them cotton balls get rotten
You can't pick very much cotton

Golden days of US music:

The death of traditional photography had a huge impact on the demand for silver

True but photography is silver photography by definition, digital stuff is no photography since it is not permanent, therefore the "graphy" part of the word is not accomplished, even color film lasts longer than digital stuff and the quality, whoever has shot Kodachrome or TriX stuff knows what I'm talking about. Black and white is alive and kicking, by now I've shot the minimum required -according to b/w prophet Cartier Bresson- ten thousand shots to start taking ok pictures.

Crimea flew away, they were looking for contractors to repair old schools in Sebastopol, living quarters for US troops, I guess cookie Nuland was dreaming about the Livadia Palace, to sleep in Nicholas II, Stalin or Roosevelt bedrooms, one at a time. Too bad Victoria, your cookies did not cut it.

Posted by: Paco | Feb 18 2021 8:21 utc | 85

@ karlof1

You might call me a troll again but this is pretty ridiculous.

I believe we share the common view that privatisation for the sake of privatisation is unacceptable for us, especially the way it was carried out in the 1990s in some areas.

Putin is speaking to Zyuganov, a communist.

It would be hard for a communist to defend privatization of ANYTHING, let alone for the "sake of privatization". In your mind, what is honestly an industry that can be privatized AND be made to serve the people better? This is not even ideological purism, this is just nonsense and confirms that, even in flowery speech, Putin is a gatekeeper.

As usual, I would refrain people from trusting speeches, but rather compare the data, how many hospitals, how many highways, how many schools, how much russian wages have increased this year compared to the last.

Actions matter, not words.

Posted by: Smith | Feb 18 2021 8:34 utc | 86

_K_C_ | Feb 18 2021 5:28 utc | 78

I think there is something wrong with your math. I find that your total annual power from the dam divided by the total annual power of an average house comes to 27,381 households. One megawatt is not all that much, there are huge wind turbines in Germany, Netherlands, and elsewhere that can make 5 megawatts.

only 33% of total energy is a welcome surprise to me. I think that is great and had no idea there was so much already. Texas sells electricity to other states too.

I suspect they will learn from this cold snap and put measures into place to prevent it happening in the future.

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 18 2021 8:44 utc | 87

Norwegian | Feb 18 2021 7:49 utc | 85

Interesting link about climate. The NASA graphs (2 at the bottom) imply that we are on a generally falling temperature period. Minimum to be reached by 2025. Then a small (hopefully only "small") ice age. Call it a depressed age.
Even NASA is starting to realise that something is changeing?

Clearly more substantial proof is required, but whatever the reason, I think the trend is obvious. Since it is only a trend, warmer/cooler periods within a given period will happen.

One remark concerning "climate" change, is that extremes are felt at top and bottom of the temperature range. ie. There are more very cold spells and storms and more very hot ones (droughts and fires). In the middle one or two "extra" degrees do not make a great difference. To most people, the ambient, normal temperatures are unremarkable in themselves. Although "climate specialists" love to wave propaganda red rags in front of the masses, the physical impact is what counts for most.


oldhippie | Feb 17 2021 22:20 utc | 36

"Major disaster, major impacts. In a functioning country National Guard and regular army would have been sent in yesterday."

Can't have them leaving the White House on it's own, can we? (Bidens Buddy body-guards guarding AOC from flipping again?)

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 18 2021 9:18 utc | 88

"Minimum to be reached by 2025".
oops. My bad reading. "Ice age" to be reached by about 2050. The 25 refers to the solar cycle number 25, and the 2025 refers to the maximum of the sunspot cycle.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 18 2021 9:40 utc | 89

NATO today is not a military alliance anymore. It is mutual non-agression pact and a military standardisation office.

Posted by: m | Feb 18 2021 8:16 utc | 86

Seriously? Maybe you should that to Russia, I'm sure it will make them feel better.

Posted by: Perimeter | Feb 18 2021 9:56 utc | 90

Climate science is a simple science, basic amount of word salad will change that. The planet is getting warmer as a result of greenhouse gases, and will continue to get warmer at an increasing rate regardless of the this "climate cycle" or that "Maunder Minimum". Those cycles have all been accounted for in the models, people act like climate scientists haven't taken science classes past high school.

Cherry picking climate anomalies changes nothing. The Norse settling Greenland is once such cherry pick repeated ad nauseum. That particular climate anomaly was regional. The rest of the globe was colder in 1000AD due to a large volcanic eruption in Korea. The colder temperatures meant less summer thaw in the artic/greenland. Less summer thaw meant a weaker counter to the Gulf Stream, which means a stronger Gulf Stream which means a warmer Greenland/Scandinavia. The opposite is now occurring, more ice melt, which ultimately will lead to cooler temperatures in Northern Europe while the rest of the planet warms up faster.

It isn't coincidence that flat-earthers and climate change denialists share similar demographics.

Climate science is far from ad hoc or spur of the moment. There is a deep body of research dating back to the 1860's. The most powerful corporate powers on the planet have done wonders spending billions of dollars to brainwash people. Follow the fossil fuel money and you will see the farce being perpetuated.

Posted by: Jason | Feb 18 2021 10:00 utc | 91

It looks like Germany's renewable power generation has collapsed.

Meanwhile EU was forced to buy record amounts of russian gas to avoid freezing.

Germany’s ‘Green’ Energy Failure: Germany turns back to ‘dirty’ coal and natural gas as millions of its solar panels are blanketed in snow and ice

Posted by: Passer by | Feb 18 2021 10:01 utc | 92

Greenies parties in Western Europe have always been headcases, they are against fossil fuel, they are also against nuclear power, and now they are against importing gas from Russia.

What they want is de-industrialization and depopulation, thus importing more immigrants/refugees for them to easily exploit.

Posted by: Smith | Feb 18 2021 10:14 utc | 93

m #86

I get the clear impression that NATO is an aggressive, war mongering, provocative clown cart. That is because it goes out of its way to be a willing instrument of UKUSAi to provoke Russia when Russia is totally restrained in doing anything aggressive toward its neighbours.

Your posit that it is a sweet and innocent defensive standby in the event of an attack is not credible. Can you understand why a nation such as Russian Federation might be alarmed at its antics?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 18 2021 10:21 utc | 94

uncle tungsten | Feb 18 2021 10:21 utc | 96

It is also a black hole, both intellectually and for the money.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 18 2021 10:36 utc | 95

psychohistorian @ 84

I honestly don’t understand your fetishisation of public utilities.

South Africa is a mixed economy and the SOEs are a walking disaster that costs the country untold billions through nepotism, corruption, incompetence and outright looting.

You want a real shit show ?

The national power utility Eskom Fresh moves under way to address debt albatross at lossmaking Eskom

The national airline SAA SAA is on its knees – it doesn’t have enough cash to pay staff or keep its planes in the air for much longer, and government is currently scrambling to borrow R2 billion to keep it going.

PRASA Johannesburg - The finances of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) are in such disarray that Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu has found it hard to deliver his recommendation on the state of affairs at the state-owned entity.

Instead, Prasa obtained a disclaimer of opinion following two years of clinching qualified audits.

I could go on and on. It is not for nothing that all three rating agencies have downgraded our economy to junk.

Posted by: Down South | Feb 18 2021 10:54 utc | 96

Re: Rush Limbaugh: If Rush Limbaugh hadn’t rattled their cage, Republicans would never have given up being losers. To this day GOP prefers to lose. Until 1994, Democrats had controlled the House for 40 straight years. From 1955-1980, (25 years) Democrats controlled both the House and Senate.…To this day, the Republican Establishment is much happier in the minority. In Nov. 2018, the GOP left 38 U.S. House races empty, no Republican on the ballot. Only 3 races lacked a Democrat candidate. In case anyone asks you.

Posted by: susan mullen | Feb 18 2021 10:56 utc | 97

Bad SOE can be fixed and re-structured by a just government.

"Good" private companies still mean you have rogue elements that can hamper a just government or simply control a corrupted government. This is plain to see nowadays, with Twitter and Facebook having the ability to censor actual government officials, and even China moves in to regulate people like Jack Ma.

I honestly can't see why people would defend private entities, or specifically private corporations after 2020.

Posted by: Smith | Feb 18 2021 11:17 utc | 98


Tyranny by Propaganda is Tyranny by Force

Why it was correct to end the evil of critical race theory.

Posted by: Dogon Priest | Feb 18 2021 11:32 utc | 99

To the ones who believed this pandemic is "fake news":

Pandemic cut life expectancy in U.S. by a year during first half of 2020


Western media ‘desperate’ to doubt WHO findings they don’t like

I've already been reading Westerners (mainly Americans, but not only) proposing that China should pay, in the form of war reparations, all the damage done to the rest of the world from this pandemic.

This is a pathetic and desperate proposal, that could only come from the spoiled middle class from the First World, because it doesn't have any economic basis, as pandemics are natural phenomena, and wasn't China's fault. You would be artificially transferring social wealth from a place where it was created and is useful to other random places where it will be probably wasted. It would be a monumental misallocation of wealth that would plunge the world economy into an even deeper crisis.

The illusion that wealth can be created by a false sense of justice, in a legal fiction, is typical from the peoples who live in a world dominated by finance and services sector. It's pure alienation.


China provides vaccines to more places, fulfills promise

And this is not PR. On the contrary, it's the scientifically correct approach.

Vaccines only work when they create the so-called herd immunity. If a vaccine has 100% efficiency, it would be needed 70% of the target population to be vaccinated to create this effect. In a pandemic, the target population is the entire world population by definition, so the entire population of the world has to be vaccinated in order for the vaccine to work (Sinovac has 50% efficiency, therefore 100% of the population has to be immunized with it in order to achieve herd immunity).

China is helping itself - literally, not in the PR sense - by vaccinating the poorer countries with higher infection rates first. The Chinese people can wait a little bit more as they live in a more advanced country that can endure the pandemic a bit longer. Besides, the sooner these more vulnerable countries recover economically, the sooner the Chinese economy will get from full recovery.

In many occasions, being altruistic is the logic solution even if you think individualistic. That's the lesson the Chinese are teaching us right now.


Pfizer, Moderna vaccines have reduced effectiveness against South African variant, new studies show

They will have to re-engineer the vaccines, which is admittedly faster than the traditional adenoviral vaccines because mRNA are synthetic, but that would mean re-sending the batches, which is on many orders of magnitude more expensive.

mRNA vaccines were a stupid idea for this pandemic and were only taken further because they could be patented and sold at exorbitant profits:

Why did the three biggest vaccine makers fail on Covid-19?

The big three incumbents preferred to prioritise their tried and tested methods. “Companies tend to rely on their proprietary technologies because they think they can trust them — and don’t want to infringe on rivals’ intellectual property,” said Mansoor
Amiji, professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Northeastern university.

I have reported before that before COVID: "Big pharma did little research and development of new antibiotics and antivirals. Of the 18 largest US pharmaceutical companies, 15 had totally abandoned the field."


L. Brent Bozell IV, descendant of prominent conservative family, charged in Capitol breach

Doesn't look like Antifa to me.


Post-Soviet democracy:

Latvia goes further than a simple ban on Russian TV news – Riga will FINE citizens for watching ‘illegal’ cross border channels

Phew! Thank god the USSR is gone! So much repression back then...


‘Meddling in Russia’s judicial affairs’: Kremlin blasts ‘unlawful’ ECHR verdict on Navalny

Could some European here explain to me why does the ECHR keep insisting with this kind of bullshit?

Russia is a sovereign nation, the ECHR has no jurisdiction over it.


@ Posted by: Down South | Feb 18 2021 10:54 utc | 98

The presence of SOEs doesn't define a "mixed economy".

SOE is simply the property of the State. The State is the owner, but can act as a normal capitalist when administering it.

SOEs usually arise in capitalist nations in situations where a given sector of the economy is a natural monopoly and is so valuable that the capitalist class infights endlessly, resulting in the sector not being explored at all. Then the States weighs in and takes it.

SOEs in China are socialist because China is a socialist State, not the reverse.


@ Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 18 2021 7:01 utc | 84

Well, if you're so obsessed with the concept of mixed economy, then you first need to define what are the pure economies, and tell us all which are the holotypes of such pure economies in History.

But I would like to clarify something: science works on models, not the literal reality. When you write a mathematical equation on the blackboard, you're exposing a model that is describing reality, not reality itself. The same applies with humanities: it's all about which is the dominant form of sociometabolical reproduction, not that only one can exist. Capital is the objective process described scientifically by Marx in Capital; capitalism is the society where capital is dominant.

Posted by: vk | Feb 18 2021 12:24 utc | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.