Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 26, 2021

Open Thread 2021-016

News & views ...

Posted by b on February 26, 2021 at 13:48 UTC | Permalink


#MarineWarRisk: Yesterday at around 20:40 UTC, a vehicles carrier experienced an explosion while underway eastbound in the Gulf of Oman. Ambrey assess the vessel was possibly targeted due to its #Israel 🇮🇱 and #UK 🇬🇧 affiliations. Read more about this incident on the Ambrey MRI.
— Ambrey Intelligence (@Ambrey_Intel) February 26, 2021

Posted by: librul | Feb 26 2021 14:05 utc | 1

@1 (continued)

I posted this yesterday. No crystal ball required.

Always ask "who benefits?".

There are multiple players that are against the nuclear deal with Iran, the JCPOA.

It is time for "Iran" to be blamed for something provocative. Right on cue.
It will only be a surprise if something doesn't happen. Our mockingbird media
can be counted on to have the same depth of perception (sarcasm) as they have so many times
before and report what they are told to report, see what they are told to see, hear
what they are told to hear.

Posted by: librul | Feb 25 2021 20:18 utc | 12

Let us hope that the situation is a false alarm and the ship
only had engine problems.

Posted by: librul | Feb 26 2021 14:09 utc | 2

The Owl of Minerva finally takes flight:

China opposes EU’s false accusation that China adopts unique state capitalism which poses a challenge to global economic governance: MOFCOM

The announcement came after a report was released by the European Commission on February 18, claiming that the rapid rise of China, demonstrating global ambitions and pursuing a distinct state capitalist model, has fundamentally changed the global economic and political order.

So there can't be more than one system?

I'm not an expert, but, if Hannah Arendt was alive, I bet she would call this "totalitarianism". The "meta-narrative" here is "the global and political order", which, let's be real, is just an euphemistic term to designate capitalism.

Welcome to the Second Cold War, folks.


Here's what is threatening "the global and political order":

Human rights start from poverty alleviation: Global Times editorial

When the French Revolution happened, the new French Constitution was immediately created. It is, until nowadays, the basis for all liberal (capitalist) constitutions in the world, save perhaps the UK.

The French Constitution is a monument of liberalism, and serves as the extraofficial Liberal Manifesto until the present times. What is interesting in it is the fact that the concept of equality for the liberals essentially refers to the Rule of Law, which states that, as long as the rules of the game are the same, equality is guaranteed.

But it never envisioned economic equality. On the contrary: economic equality destroys liberal equality, as it annihilates the concept of freedom, which is the individual's right to enjoy his life and his private property. That's why the EU considers China an existential threat: poverty is freedom according to liberal ideology, as it allows full enjoyment of private property by its owners.


Lavrov: Russia Has Information that US Plans to Stay in Syria Forever, Destroy the Country

Lavrov's speech opens the opportunity for me to approach the decline of the American Empire from a more cultural/social point of view.

During WWII, after suffering its first decisive defeats, Hitler refused to retreat to the old borders, instead opting for a "stay and fight to the death/fight for every piece of land" strategy.

Sure, this option saved the Wehrmacht from massacres initially, but it would result in catastrophic defeats in the third phase of the war (after Kursk).

One of the reasons Hitler insisted with this failed strategy to the end was that, besides the "stabbed in the back" mythology of the interwar period, he didn't want to suffer the same humiliating defeat Napoleon did. Napoleon retreated suddenly after he failed to capture the Czarist government in Moscow, suffering heavy losses in the process. In his return home, he was politically dead.

Analogously, I think there is an element of "we don't want another Vietnam humiliation" in the American Empire nowadays. I think every POTUS after Vietnam has made a point of honor (and of political survival) to never admit defeat and never leave a country it is occupying.

However, this "stubbornness" is also a sign of decline of the POTUS Office:

Wage war: Biden blasted for picking a fight in Syria, letting minimum wage slide at home

The two factors are interlinked: Biden is not able to give his own people what it needs, so he's insisting on an adventure it doesn't need. The more the present and future POTUSes become impotent at home, the more they'll try to solve the Empire's inner contradictions abroad. In this case, the narrative is clear: if you want to get your USD 15.00 minimum wage, you have to invade Syria to get the wealth to back it up.


Obligatory read for the day. Highly recommend:

Opening Up New Frontiers for Marxist Political Economy in Contemporary China

Note that this speech is from November 2015. The Chinese indeed think long-term and Marxism and Marxism only is up to their needs.

Posted by: vk | Feb 26 2021 14:17 utc | 3

The Dems are back in town!


"Congressman Gregory Meeks, a key Democrat, linked Palestinians to the rise of global bigotry, and said he would address the upsurge of racism and hate crimes when he talks to Palestinian leaders.

Meeks, who serves as the chair of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee, lavished praise on Israel at a Brookings Institution virtual conference on Wednesday, and vowed to bolster America's "social, economic and political ties" with its Middle Eastern ally.

"I know how important Israel is to us as a partner, and I am committed to that partnership," Meeks said.

When addressing a question about resuming humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, Meeks spoke vaguely about providing assistance to those who need it and instead highlighted his strong support for Israel and the need to combat antisemitism.

"I also need to state that I want to make sure that when I talk to Palestinians - when I get a chance to it, I believe that we will - that I'm going to serve as a strong voice against antisemitism, which has been rising along with racism around the world and hate crimes," Meeks added.


On Wednesday, Meeks stressed that US military aid to Israel should remain unconditional, even if the Israeli government proceeds with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, which he acknowledged would deal a fatal blow to the two-state solution.

He said the 2016 memorandum of understanding (MOU) that grants Israel $3.8bn in US taxpayers' money should be left alone regardless of the policies of the Israeli government.

"I'm a firm believer that you have to stop annexation," he said. "I'm also a firm believer that Israel has the right to defend itself. And that's why I'm unequivocal in regards to support for the MOU, and that should not be touched at all."

Posted by: daffyDuct | Feb 26 2021 15:12 utc | 4

Consortium News has a "must read" on Mexico: President Lopez Obrador (AMLO) just announced Mexico will ban GMO corn and other products. Better than that---- no more Glyphosate/RoundUp in Mexico. The plan is to be GMO free and Glyphosate free by 2024, in other words... fast.
Bayer is already fighting it. Biden will be in the hot seat on this soon as his trade representative is being vetted as we speak.

"Such pressures may present an early test for President Joe Biden and his nominee for U.S. Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, whose confirmation hearing is scheduled for Feb. 25. Tai won high marks for helping get stricter labor and environmental provisions into the agreement that replaced NAFTA.

Will she and the Biden administration respect Mexico’s sovereign right to enact policies designed to protect the Mexican public and the environment while promoting Mexican rural development?"

Posted by: migueljose | Feb 26 2021 15:13 utc | 5

Congressman Gregory Meeks - anther black misleader. It's the act, and not skin color, party affiliation, race, gender, ethnicity, etc. that matters....

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Feb 26 2021 15:16 utc | 6


Joe Biden’s Syria Airstrike Hit The Wrong Target

Illegal Incursions Spike 5x in One AZ County as Peter Navarro Predicts Record 1 Million Crossings in 2021

Posted by: Dogon Priest | Feb 26 2021 15:29 utc | 7

Biden bombs Syria, and allows congress to quash $15 minimum wage. No $2000.00 covid aid for hungry yanks. Y'all happy you got rid of Orange Man Bad? Dementia Joe would look after you, right? Good luck with that.

Posted by: rgl | Feb 26 2021 15:39 utc | 8

Gender identity and sexual orientation differences by generation

New Ipsos study finds that fewer younger Americans say they are only attracted to the opposite sex when compared to older cohorts

Nearly all Americans describe themselves as either male or female, regardless of age according to a new Ipsos poll. Sexual orientation reveals differences across generations though, with older generations far more likely than younger generations to say they are only attracted to the opposite sex. Adding to this, Generation Z and millennials are less likely than Generation X and baby boomers to identify as heterosexual.

Among Generation Z and millennials, women are slightly more likely than men to say they are equally attracted to both sexes (14% vs. 9%), while men are more likely to say they are attracted only to the same (11% vs. 6%) or opposite (65% vs. 51%) sex. Nonetheless, the majority men and women in this younger cohort says they are only attracted to the opposite sex.

Posted by: Mao | Feb 26 2021 16:15 utc | 9

Posted by: Dogon Priest | Feb 26 2021 15:29 utc | 7 written by a real lunatic

The problem with the strike is two-fold, however. First, he hit the wrong target. Despite Bidens’s efforts to emphasize proportionality, the airstrike was not proportional; rather, it was less . A U.S. Embassy or an airport where U.S. forces reside are not the equivalent of a dusty outpost used as a tea stop for militiamen traversing from Iraq into Syria. Nor are U.S. forces the equivalent of an Iranian-backed militia. A proportional response would more directly target Iranian interests or property.

Posted by: v | Feb 26 2021 16:45 utc | 11


Cancel Culture is a Dress Rehearsal for Mass Murder | Stefan Molyneux

Posted by: Dogon Priest | Feb 26 2021 16:50 utc | 12

Sputnik's report on Lavrov presser after meeting with Afghanistan's FM vk linked @3, shows Russia's changed attitude toward the EU also extends to the Outlaw Empire. His "new" information could easily be based on all the Outlaw Empire's past post-WW2 occupational behavior. Furthermore, in his remarks prior to media questions, Lavrov mentioned the likely aims of the Outlaw Empire's Terrorist Foreign Legion known as ISIS:

"We have a common view that ISIS is a serious factor in the deterioration of the situation in Afghanistan. ISIS wants to enhance its influence, including in the northern provinces of Afghanistan, with a view to turning it into a bridgehead for expansion into Central Asia." [My Emphasis]

I trust the transcript will be finished later today and include more info.

In contrast to what we know about Russia's changed attitude toward the EU, we know very little about its new stance aimed at the Outlaw Empire. Lavrov went well beyond repeating the usual lines about the Outlaw Empire's many violations of the UN Charter and charged:

"they are making the decision to never leave Syria, even to the point of destroying this country."

Of course, that was the initial plan for which there's plenty of evidence. But IMO, Russia's change in attitude is related to the mission given to ISIS, which it likely knows of thanks to its intel sources. ISIS is clearly the Outlaw Empire's Terrorist Foreign Legion and are only in Afghanistan because they were airlifted from Syraq. Putin just met with the Kyrgyz president and certainly talked about this menace aimed at the CSTO. An emergency meeting of Russia's Security Council was held today ostensibly to "discuss the situation around the Nagorno Karabakh peace settlement," but also surely including the illegal attack in Syria where only 4 minutes of warning were provided. Much of Putin's talk with the FSB two days ago centered on Terrorism, and we know Russia was directly attacked by the Outlaw Empire though its Terrorist Foreign Legion. IMO, those acts have been forgotten by the Outlaw Empire but not at all by Russia, and IMO they carry lots of weight in Russia's decision making. Nor will Russia have forgotten that Biden was involved up to his neck in organizing ISIS and other Terrorist groups to destroy Syria.

There's more to my assessment than the above; there's also the roots of the conflict to consider that's been ongoing since the mid 1800s and involves the other part of the Outlaw Empire, the UK, for they are the source of the Russophobia that now controls the EU's actions toward Russia as was already known and just reinforced by new revelations. Lavrov's accusation was made in a very public venue and cannot be ignored by the Outlaw Empire, and IMO is exactly the right accusation to make since the initial criminal cabal that launched the war on Syria are back in the saddle.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 26 2021 18:55 utc | 14

When I watch Canadian TV news - which often has lots of clips outsourced directly from US news media - they often refer to "the UK variant", "the South Africa variant", "the Brazilian variant", etc. But when it comes to new variants from NY and California, they seem to go out of their way to refer to those as "the B.1.526 variant" or "the B.1.427/B.1429 variant" instead of saying "the NY variant" or "the California variant" ... Don't know if anyone else has noticed that too, or it's just me.

Could something like this be how the 1918 flu pandemic that started in the US often gets referred to as "the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic" instead of the "the 1918 US flu pandemic" or "the 1918 American flu pandemic"?

Wikipropapedia names their article instead of redirecting the search term "Spanish flu" to a more accurately-named article.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Feb 26 2021 19:24 utc | 15

Engdahl takes a look at the energy crisis in Texas.

The Green Energy Fallacy

In addition US oil production, centered in Texas, has plunged by a third, and more than 20 Gulf Coast oil refineries are blocked as are grain barge shipments along the Mississippi River. Several analysts of the deregulated Texas grid model point out that had the state maintained a “reliable emergency backup” such as is possible with nuclear or coal power, the blackout could have been averted. Recently Texas has forced six coal power plants to close since 2018, owing to state rules that force power companies to take the subsidized wind and solar power, undercutting the cost of their own coal generation. It simply forced them to shut down functioning coal plants that generated 3.9 GW. Had those still been on line, sources say the blackouts could easily have been averted. Unlike current wind technology or solar, coal and nuclear plants can store up to a month or more capacity on site for power emergencies.

While in northern states like Minnesota where severe winters are common and prepared for, Texas has no such requirements for reserve capacity. For example, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission requires plants to have enough reserve capacity online to ensure the power stays on during extreme circumstances. Instead, Texas operates an “energy-only” market, where wholesale power prices are seen as an adequate incentive to bring more power plants online. The aim of the energy only model was to make intermittent wind and solar more profitable to increase their market share over conventional alternatives like coal or nuclear.

The state grid model forced Texas coal and nuclear plants to sell electricity at a loss on the market because they are unable to reduce their electricity output when high wind and solar output force prices into the red. Ultimately, it forced the unnecessary closing of the six coal plants, just what the green energy advocates wanted. The flaws in the model are glaring, as is the growing dependence on unreliable wind and solar options to get a dubious zero carbon footprint.

Texas ‘Deep Freeze’: Urgent Climate Warning but Not How You Think

Posted by: Down South | Feb 26 2021 19:47 utc | 16

michael hudson article from a few days ago -The Democrats Role in Distracting with Identity Politics

Posted by: james | Feb 26 2021 20:07 utc | 17

This must be one of the worst interviews ever.

Josep Borrell talks to Spiegel about his recent visit in Moscow

Posted by: DG | Feb 26 2021 21:02 utc | 18

Dogon Priest @Feb26 16:50 #12

Cancel Culture is a Dress Rehearsal for Mass Murder

I simply coined it the new book-burning.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 26 2021 21:26 utc | 19

Using his limited space wisely, Pepe Escobar has crafted an excellent essay that takes us from briefings and meetings with Putin and Lavrov to the roots of Russian history, "Putin, crusaders and barbarians." Those following my comments will have already read Putin's words selected by Pepe as he organizes them against the words of Biden and the West. But his best accomplishment is the distillation of Russia's history and how it was deeply molded by the many Steppe nomads. One work he cites is George Vernadsky's essential Ancient Russia. (I've always admired Vernadsky's approach to history: "However, the historian's business is history and not political or moral speculation," which he wrote in his Author's Note in a revised A History of Russia in 1944.) I think it best to avoid further comment and allow the reader to read Pepe's prose.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 26 2021 21:41 utc | 20

Mina @Feb26 16:56 #13

Global Witness doesn't even mention that Dan Gertler is an Israeli billionaire. They refer to him as a "controversial mining magnate."

Dan Gertler's Gencore is the successor to Marc Rich& Co. (THE Marc Rich who was pardoned by Bill Clinton.)


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 26 2021 21:42 utc | 21

The Anglo-Zionist head of the snake will do anything & everything to confront China as they succeeded doing to Germany with the manufacturing of WW1. After all, they want to preserve the exchange value of their printed wealth, their currency, aka the USA Dollar. Only a very big conflagration might do the "divine" job.

Posted by: nietzsche1510 | Feb 26 2021 22:21 utc | 22

Special Counsel John Durham Resigns as US Attorney – Effective February 28th — Before Biden AG Merrick Takes Office

Durham was investigating the Mueller Russia-Collusion coup against President Trump and his administration.
He was appointed as Special Counsel in October.

He resigned as US Attorney in Connecticut.

There will likely be no indictments after the Deep State spied on Trump and attempted to throw him from office.


Update 3:59 pm EST via Twitter/Chad Pergram:

"John Durham steps down as US Atty in CT. But stays on board as special counsel probing origins of Trump/Russia investigation. Biden Admin asked US attys to resign by end of February"

Probably means whatever Durham was investigating will receive a quiet burial.

Posted by: gm | Feb 26 2021 22:54 utc | 23

After reading Escobar's essay, I began trying to find all the volumes of Vernadsky's History of Russia which I read while self-learning Russian history in 1993 thanks to the University of Hawaii Manoa's libraries. The first volume is linked @21. Volume Two, Kievan Russia; Volume Three, The Mongols and Russia; Volume Four, Russia at the Dawn of the Modern Era; Volume Five, The Tsardom of Moscow; and his overview volume, A History of Russia. The series Vernadsky and his academic partner Michael Karpovich initially envisioned was never completely finished as Karpovich died in 1959, and Vernadsky passed in 1973. I found the series to be the best balanced and most in-depth of all the histories of Russia I've read, somewhere around 3,000 pages in all. I suggest leaving the overview volume for last. Do enjoy!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 26 2021 23:28 utc | 24

How the Race for Green Energy is Reshaping Global Politics, Financial Times:

Incidentally, increased demand for copper often signals a coming war.

Posted by: Paul | Feb 26 2021 23:44 utc | 25

I think the message was that we are still here. Just in case anyone thought that something may have changed.

Posted by: arby | Feb 27 2021 0:22 utc | 26

A short while ago, Grieved linked to this extraordinary Renegade Inc episode that deals with the actual nature of banking and finance that proves Hudson & psychohistorian's case for reregulating finance and establishing a massive nationwide chain of small nonprofit banks of the type that exist in Germany. Please pay very close attention to the legal exactitudes of what constitute the transactions that occur between the depositor, the loan applicant, and the bank. If possible, gather the whole clan around to watch; yes, it's that important! Even for those of us who don't live in the Outlaw Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 27 2021 0:59 utc | 27

When Being Black is White Supremacy
The Difficulty Social Justice Warriors have noting Criminality and Evil has no Race

Posted by: Dogon Priest | Feb 27 2021 1:35 utc | 28

Here we go again. The Biden/Harris is doing everything it can to slow walk anything that'd help the working classes upgrade their economic conditions.

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 27 2021 2:21 utc | 29

@Canadian Cents #26 re: sprinkled morsels of fact

It is a strategy to give the busybody something with which to accost his friends and neighbors.

Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Feb 27 2021 3:21 utc | 30

That's '16' ...

Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Feb 27 2021 3:22 utc | 31

I dunno how many have seen the doco made in Wuhan during the lockdown at the start of the pandemic. The Wuhan lockdown lasted 76 days and that is the title of the doco "76 Days". A camera was allowed into the ICU of one of Wuhan's hospitals right from the beginning of lockdown and everything that went on was filmed.

For amerikans unfamiliar with public health systems it will be an eye-opener as although there are no luxury hotel style suites, the latest ICU technology is there and is available to all.
However even those familiar with western 'semi-privatised' public health will also learn how the existing staff pluss out of province volunteers - doctors, nurses and unskilled but willing, gave everything for patients right from the get go.
I'm not going to provide spoilers for the drama that is shown but the patients have a range of dialects, backgrounds & characters, they also contribute greatly. Because many of the patients are aged up to late 90's, a great many of the men fought for the PLA in the revolution. Everyone has a mobile and is competent with their Huawei we hear conversations that break your heart as well as one or two that tell you some sons cannot appreciate their father ever.
But most of all we see how solidarity among diverse people will always win out no matter the battle.

This doco isn't on YouTube (just a few teasers by spruikers) it is on torrent & usenet so those who prefer should grap it from there, otherwise there is a cloud copy available for download right here.

Watch & learn

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 27 2021 4:11 utc | 32

Did @ 33 advised; Good advice, thanks for the "heads up". Watching and learning isn't an American strong suit today. Sad...

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 27 2021 5:56 utc | 33

I read the short Reuters posting quoted below and just had to share it here

GENEVA (Reuters) - United Nations human rights investigators will issue their findings on the case of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on Monday, a U.N. statement said on Friday.

The opposition politician was arrested in Moscow in January upon returning from Germany following treatment for poisoning with what many Western countries say was a military-grade nerve agent.

Agnes Callamard, U.N. expert on killings, and Irene Khan, U.N. expert on freedom of opinion and expression, will issue their findings on their investigation at a Geneva press conference on Monday (1500 GMT), the U.N. said in a statement revealing the investigation.

Can the expert MoA barflies come forward with the background on the authors so we can know what to expect on Monday?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 27 2021 6:46 utc | 34

Just over at Wall Street on Parade and the latest report is on the failing market for US Treasuries which I have written for years is a presage to the curtain call.

The report contains quotes like
As the chart above indicates, yields on the 10-year note have been rising sharply since early August, with the yield more than tripling from 0.50 percent to an intraday spike yesterday of 1.61 percent. The 10-year note opened this morning at 1.52 percent.
The spike in yields comes despite the fact that the Federal Reserve itself has been buying $80 billion each month in various maturities of Treasury notes and bonds. That started in June of last year. As of this past Wednesday, the Fed owned $4.8 trillion of Treasury securities, part of that resulting from its purchases of Treasuries (QE programs) after the 2008 Wall Street crash.

In an additional effort to hold overall interest rates down, the Fed is also buying $40 billion each month in agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS). It owns $2.18 trillion of those, much of that also resulting from the aftermath of the 2008 crash.
On top of the problem of a supply glut is the fact that these mega banks/Primary Dealers have been allowed to gobble up other banks over the years, leading to a dramatic decline in the number of Primary Dealers available to bid at Treasury auctions. In 1988 there were 46 primary dealers. By 1999, there were only 30. Today, there are just 24.

The global private banking system can, and as the above shows is being done, cover up the international decline in purchase of US Treasuries which is the only way countries can basically vote with their money by holding extra amounts in other monies than US dollars.

I am reading that the IMF and World Bank are also looking at revising the way SDRs are measured/valued/allocated and I can't help but think this is another attempt to place an inflated value on the US dollar as the world crashes around us. The intent is to put the elite in a good negotiating position when the PTB come to the world negotiating table.

The shit show continues until it doesn't.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 27 2021 7:08 utc | 35

Debsisdead @33, just watched the documentary "76 Days" after reading your comment - thanks so much for recommending it! I relate to Rotten Tomatoes' characterization of it as a "comforting portrait of humanity". It was filmed inside four hospitals in Wuhan and is "dedicated to frontline medical workers worldwide".

Just saw that it's one of the 15 nominees shortlisted in the Documentary Feature category for an Oscar this spring.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Feb 27 2021 7:30 utc | 36

Links to different streaming services that it's available on:

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Feb 27 2021 8:08 utc | 37

So, why not take a Big Pharma vaccine?

"Then you have the testing of the antibiotic Trovan in Kano, Nigeria, to assess its effectiveness against meningitis. Eleven children died in the trial – five after taking Trovan, six after taking an older antibiotic used as a comparison drug.

Others suffered blindness, deafness, and brain damage, which may or may not have been due to the trials. We’ll never know, because the Big Pharma company responsible settled out of court when sued by the Nigerian government (denying us the whole truth but giving off very guilty vibes), having been accused of conducting an illegal study with no permission from the children or their parents.

The name of the company? Pfizer. And you wonder why black Africans (or any other sane person) might be wary of a vaccine with that name on it. "

Posted by: Bluedotterel | Feb 27 2021 9:23 utc | 38

Bluedotterel @ 39:

There was also a tetanus shot drive in Kenya many years ago that targeted women and girls in the main: odd when you think that men and boys tend to spend more time outdoors doing things that put them at higher risk of getting puncture wounds or wounds infected with tetanus bacteria. Some people associated with the Roman Catholic Church in Kenya decided to do some investigation and discovered that the tetanus shots contained sterility agents.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 27 2021 11:06 utc | 39

Regarding the Renegade Inc. link @Karlof has provided and the interview with Richard A. Werner, the research paper he talks about in the midsection can be read here: Can banks create money out of nothing?.
Strangeley enough, it's probably the first empirical reasarch attempt on how a bank "loan" is indicated on a bank balance sheet. He does it by taking a fictitious loan from one of these small local community banks he talks about in the interview.
The paper is easily accessible and also contains a brief history of the perception on how money is created and how banks operate.

And since the documentary The Spider's Web has been mentioned, there are two complementary films to banking and finance which are worth watching: 97% Owned and Princes of Yen, the latter based on Richard Werner's same-titled book. The book tells the story about a slow coup d'etat that happened in Japan during the 70's and late 80's and how Japan was transformed from a centralized command economy where credit creation was "window-dressed" by the powerful Finance Ministry by means of an artifically created housing bubble into one that is dominated by a neoliberalized Central Bank with all the monetary, financial and social ramifications we can see today, not just in Japan but around the globe.

Posted by: vato | Feb 27 2021 11:19 utc | 40

Paul #26

Incidentally, increased demand for copper often signals a coming war.

It sure does.

Jen #40

There was also a tetanus shot drive in Kenya many years ago that targeted women and girls in the main: odd when you think that men and boys tend to spend more time outdoors doing things that put them at higher risk of getting puncture wounds or wounds infected with tetanus bacteria. Some people associated with the Roman Catholic Church in Kenya decided to do some investigation and discovered that the tetanus shots contained sterility agents.

The evil that stalks this earth is truly despicable.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 27 2021 11:46 utc | 41

The empire tricks are being called out, with their obsession to sanction and old style western “wanted” posters what they’re getting back is to be trolled. Prigozhin, the so called Putin’s Chef is trolling the FBI claiming a 250K reward for information on himself, he provided them with his personal address, Lieutenant Schmidt Embankment Number 7, St. Petersburg RF. He is waiting for them there, to cash his quarter million. Old western movies are kind of old.

Posted by: Paco | Feb 27 2021 12:24 utc | 43

jen@40 speaks of a "sterilizing agent" in anti-tetanus vaccines in Kenya. I did not know there was any chemical agent capable of sterilizing women with a single shot. What was this stuff?

blue dotterel@39 tells a fairly plausible horror story about Pfizer and Trovan, except for the part about how more children dead *from another antibiotic* is somehow evidence against Pfizer and Trovan.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Feb 27 2021 15:19 utc | 44

@40 Jen
Do you have any additional information? When did that happen?

Posted by: m | Feb 27 2021 15:24 utc | 45

jen@40 speaks of a "sterilizing agent" in anti-tetanus vaccines in Kenya. I did not know there was any chemical agent capable of sterilizing women with a single shot. What was this stuff? steven t johnson | Feb 27 2021 15:19 utc |

Surgical equipment is sterilized without any humanitarian issues, except when non-sterile equipment is used. I suspect that "sterilizing agent" was preventing microbial contamination and had nothing to do with affecting the fertility. Those agents were often the focus of anti-vaccination activists. There are also more legitimate issues if the impact of vaccines on fertility is properly tested, that is a particularly current concerns as numerous COVID vaccines are introduced in an accelerated mode. I guess only primate model organism would provide conclusive evidence, and tests on primates are expensive and slow.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 27 2021 16:18 utc | 46

migueljose @ 5, that is very good news, thank you! It is something that doesn't get talked about enough, and a fight in the US that has gone on for years. Part of restoring the spirit of the 'little people' in the US will be the restoration of normal non-oligarchic agriculture, Rodale style. That has to be intensive, small individually owned farms in cooperatives and it should have caught fire back in the 60's when the pursuit of chemical farming got fully underway - chemical fertilizers kill the organisms in the soil, not to mention our own bodies! And Bayer is as responsible as Monsanto was before it got absorbed into Bayer. It's agricultural warfare!!

BRAVO, Mexico!!

Posted by: juliania | Feb 27 2021 16:24 utc | 47

About the "economic model" of the Texan freeze.

It should be obvious to all that "price signals" do not convey public interest all the time, and definitely not in the times of crisis.

To prevent or alleviate a crisis, investments are needed that may be "wasted" or not. I did not notice a public debate like that: "do you want to pay 1c/kWh more so the power supply will be adequate even during to relatively short events that happen every 10 years or so?" It is cheaper to build pipes and other equipment if they do not have to work in cold weather, and to close usually unneeded thermal power stations rather then keeping them capable of producing electricity during occasional weeks of peak demand.

Funnily enough, the "novel pricing mechanisms" reward the companies that did not prevent the crisis, even few kWh's sold at a price 1000 times larger than the usual contributes very well to the balance sheets. IMF is busy convincing borrowing countries to engage in "reforms" of that kind (and worse, persistent jacking up of prices).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 27 2021 16:35 utc | 48

From the consortiumnews article linked @ 5:

Juan Cortina, president of CNA, said his members might sue the government over the bans. “I think there will need to be legal challenges brought by all the people who use glyphosate and genetically-modified corn,” he told Reuters, adding that he also expects U.S. exporters to appeal to provisions of the USMCA trade pact to have the measures declared illegal.

Industry sources also warned that Mexico would never be able to meet its corn needs without U.S. exports and that U.S. farmers would be harmed by the presumed loss of the Mexican export market. Others quickly pointed out that Mexico was not banning U.S. exports, just GM corn exports.

U.S. farmers are perfectly capable of producing non-GM corn at comparable prices, according to seed industry sources, so the ruling could encourage the development of a premium market in the United States for non-GMO corn, something U.S. consumers have been demanding for years.

This is a galvanizing issue. Remember the protests in Hawaii? Ah, if only New Mexico would catch fire from Mexico!!

Posted by: juliania | Feb 27 2021 16:35 utc | 49

Potatoes as well! Do you know how HARD it is to find non-gmo potatoes in the US? I know because I hunt and hunt -- got some the other day advertising how healthy they are - all gmo!!

Killing us off? They are doing their best! The earth is what we are made of, and that has been poisoned since before my kids were born. It's time to grow stuff, even in pots inside to purify your air and keep it properly humidified.

Start now!

Posted by: juliania | Feb 27 2021 16:40 utc | 50

@ juliania | Feb 27 2021 16:40 utc | 52... thanks for highlighting @ 5 migueljose post on what mexico is doing - "Mexico will ban GMO corn and other products. Better than that---- no more Glyphosate/RoundUp in Mexico" that is good news! i hope it can stick.. you mention rodale... have you read any of wendell berrys books on the present state of affairs in usa farming practices, which is much the same in canada?? he is like a voice in the wilderness talking on how we have given over everything to the big agra corporations, while relying on chemical fertilizer and etc. etc. it is quite depressing... any chink in there armor that was exploited would be a good thing.. so i welcome the news from mexico also...

it sounds like you don't have any real health food stores in the area where you live... maybe you have to go farther away for that... i know non gmo potatoes can be gotten in the health food stores here and this can lead to you growing your own too... potatoes are easy to grow - burying the clippings in the ground in the fall or winter will suffice!

Posted by: james | Feb 27 2021 17:06 utc | 51

@ jen and others - tetanus shots... aside from agreeing with @ Piotr Berman | Feb 27 2021 16:18 utc | 48, i would just like to point out it is typically the women who are planting and gardening... working with the soil increases the risk posed which the tetanus shot is supposed to lessen... i wonder if this ought to be factored into all this??

Posted by: james | Feb 27 2021 17:09 utc | 52

vk@3 tells us a five year old speech by Xi is essential reading today. This seems odd, but upon reading you see Xi is impressed by Piketty's conclusions about inequality under capitalism. One of the most conspicuous trends in Chinese economy through the entire Dengist period is increasing inequality, where inequality in wealth and income are continually accelerating, with no concern about this. It is incorrect to think that increasing numbers of billionaires are necessarily incompatible with a rising consumption level so that vaguely defined poverty is alleviated.

There is a certain amount of lip service to Marxist political economy, but Xi lists the theoretical achievements. Brackets enclose my reaction. "As reform [anti-egalitarianism as official policy, no more Cultural Revolution] and opening up [sell cheap labor for export trade] has constantly pushed deeper in the more than three decades that have passed since then, we have brought about many important theoretical achievements in the Marxist political economy of contemporary China. Some examples are the theory on the essence of socialism [it is rule by the CPC not socialized property in the means of production], the theory on the basic economic system for the primary stage of socialism [a NEP-style submission to the market will magically lead to socialism], the theory on establishing and implementing the philosophy of innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared development [pious hope, like talk of a Green New Deal and equally vague], the theory on developing the socialist market economy and making the market play the decisive role in resource allocation [the capitalist class should rule the economy!]while ensuring that the government better plays its role [weakening central planning even more, privatizing even more SOEs, forbidding as much trade union activity as possible, persistently lowering expectations for growth, trying to subsidize domestic capital with BRI?], the theory on China's entrance into a new normal of economic development [be like the US? does this mean anything?], the theory on coordinating the processes of new industrialization, digitalization, urbanization, and agricultural modernization [subsidies to selected private capitalists], the theory on the nature of ownership rights, contract rights, and usage rights for contracted farmland [private property in farmland to develop a US-style agribusiness], the theory on making effective use of domestic and international markets and resources [markets are God and anything that isn't profitable isn't "effective use,"], and the theory on promoting social equity and justice and bringing about common prosperity for everyone [an improved standard of living for those at the bottom is all very good, but if their lives are to be subordinated to the wills of the haute bourgeoisie, aka billionaires and/or Xi, the question is, what happens when the billionaires need more immiseration of the proletariat?]. These theoretical achievements were never discussed by the authors of the Marxist classics...[basically, we've got money now and fuck those assholes]

Xi then issues five principles to follow. First, uphold a "people-centered approach to development..." which even mentions eliminating exploitation and polarization. My belief is that precisely because "the market" aka the bourgeoisie *does NOT* have decisive control over the social production process that the Chinese government is able to deliver so much service to the majority of the population. My belief is also that if Xi were to achieve decisive control of investment by "the market," aka the bourgeoisie, that the government would have to engage in defending bourgeois property against the people.

Second, uphold the new development philosophy which is "innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared..." Everybody likes "innovative," including businessmen seeking a competititive advantage or new skill in exploiting workers. As for them, it's the doing that matters, not the liking. The market is never "coordinated," so this is wanting to have your cake and eat it too. Coordination is the opposite of market."Green" is good, but in the long run green is not a matter for the market, but for planning...and Xi abhors planning, and is moving further and further away from it, despite here claiming to want green. "Open" means I guess foreign trade, hinting that developing enough widespread prosperity to create an internal market seems to be incompatible with exports and somehow doesn't automatically happen because of the magic of the market, so it's important to remember that China is about exporting still? Or maybe it's just a ritual obeisance to Deng.

Third, uphold the basic socialist economic system. At last, public ownership of means of production is mentioned. But, the conclusion is "This represents an institutional guarantee for ensuring that people of all ethnic groups across China are able to share in the fruits of development, as well as an important means of consolidating the CPC's governing position and upholding our nation's socialist system." Socialist economy is for the workers (which is everybody in a sane society, except for the sick and the elderly...children "work" at learning.) Valuing it because it is the power base for the CPC is kind of getting it backwards. At any rate, the socialist sector of the economy, not being for profit, will always be perceived as inefficient because it is in fact inefficient at making profits. And the other forms of property will inevitably try to drain resources directly or indirectly, or at least rely on the public sector stabilizing the economy even as it uses its greater wealth to gain privileges in society and even politically.

Fourth, uphold socialist distribution system. Again, my belief is that it is the public ownership of so large a part othe means of social production under the guidance of a party that is not yet controlled by the bourgeoisie that permits China to achieve as much as it has in providing service to the needs of so much of the population. My comments on specifics Xi cites are enclosed in brackets. "Through consideration of our actual conditions, we established a system of distribution centered on labor-based distribution [people are paid wages but there is very little social welfare especially not transfer payments] while allowing other forms of distribution to coexist. This institutional arrangement has been proven through practice to be conducive to mobilizing the initiative of all sectors [economic compulsion, no wages, no eats] and achieving an organic balance between efficiency and equity [people have to work hard and the state doesn't have a budget problem with welfare]. Due to a multitude of factors, however, a number of prominent problems still exist in China's income distribution. The main problems are that the income gap has grown wider, the proportion of primary distribution accounted for by wages is relatively low, and the share of personal income in the distribution of national income is also on the low side. [It's not so much a multitude of factors but the ever increasing reliance on markets that makes the income gap wide. Creating all those new billionaires means less wages for workers.]

Fifth, uphold socialist market economy. This basically retracts points three and four, because Xi concludes this means "both an efficient market and an effective government." An efficient market means inefficient (i.e., unprofitable) government enterprises are shut down, which reverses point three. And efficient market distribution means greater polarization and an industrial reserve army of unemployed, which reverses point four. My guess is that there is some idiotic notion that the CPC, or maybe just Xi gazing into his navel, can fix up the flaws of capitalism with the correct policies. This is grossly anti-Marxist, as a fundamental conclusion of Marxist political economy is that capitalism is fundamentally irrational, suitable only in certain epochs for developing the productive forces, but inevitable doomed to become a barrier to further development of the productive forces. Given that the number one productive force is *people* this is bad for everyone.

Sixth, uphold opening up. "Conforming to the trend of our economy's deep integration into the world economy, we must develop a more open economy, actively participate in global economic governance, and push the global economic order in a more just, equitable, cooperative, and mutually beneficial direction. At the same time, we must firmly safeguard our nation's development interests, forestall risks of all kinds, and ensure our economic security." More gross anti-Marxism. Imperialism is a real thing. It is not some nation bullying others and all "we" have to do is be cooperative. Imperialism leads to wars. Xi apparently is ready to die for overgrown reefs and rocks in the South China Sea? Far easier than standing against imperialism. Much safer to whine about cooperation. This is just wishful thinking.

That's why vk@3 also links to a rebuttal of the EU's "false accusation that China adopts unique state capitalism which poses a challenge to global economic governance..." I believe the objective structural realities of Chinese economy and the complex class nature of the CPC means that it really *is NOT* a regular capitalist state. And that the EU (and the US) are correct in seeing the present system, as hybrid and confused as it is, incompatible in the end with the untrammeled rule of the bourgeoisies, international or otherwise. That as impaired in delivering socialism to the masses as the compromises with capitalism have left it, China is still not a reliable partner in fighting the proletariat. (Even the bourgeoisie has its own kind of international solidarity and hating labor is it.) The Chinese rebuttal is "China is building a socialist market economy in an all-round way so that the market will play a decisive role in the allocation of resources and the government's role will be better brought into play." The bourgeois is a practical man, and the aspirations for a capitalist restoration are not the deed. My belief is that a full restoration of capitalism will require an attack on the people of China even more violent than the one on the Russian and other working classes in the USSR, compounded by the violence of civil war as China falls to pieces in a new kind of warlordism. (They already are in an age of new kind of concessions.) The Chinese rebuttal further wishes "Unilateralism and protectionism are the root causes of the current WTO crisis, MOFCOM said, adding that China and the EU should work together to maintain and develop the multilateral trading system as the WTO is facing severe challenges." Imperialism doesn't work that way. Global economic governance is not a matter of gentlemen making rational deals as government regulation resolves the contradictions of capitalism.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Feb 27 2021 17:31 utc | 53

@ Posted by: steven t johnson | Feb 27 2021 17:31 utc | 55

I think the EU's definition of China as "State Capitalist" is scientifically wrong.

The difference here is in the long term: the classic post-war social-democrat capitalism doesn't have a long-term project for building socialism; in it, socialism is merely a moral-ethical code whose objective is to "humanize" capitalism. Social-democracy is a closeted "End of History" ideology.

China's model clearly has a long-term project for building socialism not only in its own territory, but also in the rest of the world. It clearly has a History-long vision. The CPC clearly is aware today's China won't last forever, being just another phase in Human History.

The Popular Republic of China also doesn't fit the original, Leninist sense of State Capitalism because, even though Deng Xiaoping's reforms are very similar to the NEP on the surface, at the same time it also has a clear continuity with Maoism. Put in other words, "Dengism" is just an update of Maoism. Lenin was in a desperate situation, and he coined the term "State Capitalism" as a last resort to save the Revolution; it represented a complete break up with War Communism - which in itself also was a term coined out of sheer desperation and struggle for survival (Civil War). Lenin never intended for the term "State Capitalism" to be anything other than a political slogan; he never theorized about it beyond reiterating some basic Marxist theories of History to back it up.

Long story short, the differences between "Dengism" and "State Capitalism" are essentially the differences between the October and Chinese revolutions: the first was already born with its parents trying to strangle it with its own umbilical cord, while the second was born in much more favorable (albeit still very dire) geopolitical conditions.

Posted by: vk | Feb 27 2021 17:47 utc | 54

M. K. Bhadrakumar calls out the moral bankruptcy of the US and its vassals (the "golden billion") that pontificate on human rights while depriving them to others.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Feb 27 2021 17:53 utc | 55

vk@56 disputes the EU's characterization of China today as "state capitalist" as wrong. I agree it is scientifically wrong, something I would say too of all people who try to the phrase to mean a relatively permanent identifiable mode of production with its own relations of production. I think China is a socialist country, imperfect, to a degree hybrid, complex...which is to say, human, made by humans, in the real world under conditions not of their choosing. As to the difference in the world situation for the USSR and China constituting the difference between NEP and "Dengism" (again, "State Capitalism is a meaningless canard,) being the difference between the different situations for the USSR and China, yes, that's true. The conclusion I draw from that though is that NEP quickly failed in the USSR. My best judgment is that if Bukharin had won, then the USSR would have been crushed by foreign invasion. But the more favorable world situation for China (the existence of the USSR, weakened imperialism) means that the NEP equivalent in China can go further and last longer...yet I very much doubt the struggle against even a moribund imperialism (should that be, especially against a moribund imperialism?) means that NEP/Dengism cannot play with building up a bourgeoisie, especially since they have a ready-made Chinese bourgeoisie in Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. Xi et al. want to have it both ways. It was said long ago, a house divided against itself cannot stand. Social divisions deep-rooted in different classes can be compromised only for so long. Making the market the decisive agent means making the bourgeoisie the masters again, in the end.

But on one point, I say vk is simply wrong. Deng is not a Maoist but an enemy of Mao, personally, and an enemy of Maoism. It is not an accident that the Dengist governments have refused even to print all of Mao's works. Mao sent troops into Korea to fight for independence and socialism. Deng sent troops into Vietnam to fight socialism and defend the Khmer Rouge and curry favor with the US.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Feb 27 2021 19:18 utc | 57

Human rights issues:

EU apparently imposed "European Magnitsky" on Russia in the light of Navalny conviction. The wave of articles about the "wave of protests" in Russia died out about two weeks ago. The latest on protests was that small groups of protesters meet at house backyards and make light signal with smartphones. That may shake "the regime".

Biden imposed sanctions only on aides to Mohammed bin Salman even though a new intelligence report said that MBS approved the mission on Khashoggi. No projections if it will "shake the regime" or not. BTW, CIA figured out that the Crown Prince ordered the slaughter, it took not much more than two years:

"Here we come to save the day!"
That means that CIA is on the way!

Yes sir, when there is a wrong to right
CIA will join the fight
On the sea or on the land
They gets the situation well in hand

Serhiy Sternenko (Ukrainian: Сергій Стерненко) is a Ukrainian imprisoned civil activist and lawyer, head of the NGO "Nebayduzhi", former board member and head of the Odesa regional branch of the "Right Sector", an active participant in the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, one of the founders of the "People's Lustration" ... <- Wikipedia, news --> changed the status from "criminal suspect" to "imprisoned". To the surprise of any, he was not tried for fatally stabbing a man with a knife after chasing him for ca. 100 meters, but but a relatively minor crime of kidnapping and torturing a person in an attempt to convince that person to resign from an elected position (town mayor? city councilman? I need to check), and robbing the victim of 15 dollars in cash. I can only guess that it was "People's Lustration" in action. The sentence is 7 years. Fascist friends demonstrate in various places, other people make bets in American Embassy will issue protests or concerns, or clam up on the issue.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 27 2021 19:35 utc | 58

Steven Johnson @ 45, M @ 46, Piotr Berman @ 48 and others:

As GM @ 47 has referenced, the agent found in the tetanus vaccines is HCG which is produced naturally by a woman's body during pregnancy. When combined with a weakened tetanus toxin and introduced into the human body, the combination induces the immunity system to react against both tetanus and HCG. The Kenyan Catholic bishops' group had the vaccines tested in 4 laboratories in Kenya and the labs found HCG in the shots.

The WHO tetanus vaccination program, begun in the 1990s, targeted women and teenage girls in Kenya as a high proportion of newborn babies die from tetanus as a result of the umbilical cord being cut with unsanitised instruments. I must admit I was not aware of this when I posted my earlier comment and did some more reading after posting. The mothers themselves are also often at the risk of contracting tetanus from giving birth, often through tears that occur naturally in the vaginal region. The custom of female genital mutilation that may still occur in parts of Africa despite govt bans in many countries adds to the tetanus risk. In addition many girls are married off at a young age.

Abby Ohlheiser wrote a November 2014 article for The Washington Post on the tetanus vaccination program in Kenya. Barflies should be able to find it on Google or other search engines.

What is the relevance of this discussion besides being an addition to Bluedotterel's mention of the article stating that people of colour were wary of COVID-19 vaccines because of past history in which they were guinea pigs for medical experiments? The relevance is that there are fears and rumours that the Pfizer/Biontech mRNA treatment for the COVID-19 virus contains instructions for cells to replicate a spike protein on the coronavirus's coat that is the same as or similar to a protein that helps the placenta attach to the uterine wall. There is concern that the treatment will induce the immunity system to react against the protein in a pregnant woman's body leading to miscarriage. Whether the effects of the treatment might be long-term or not, long after the initial inoculation, is another issue.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 27 2021 20:25 utc | 59

Good read by Martin Sieff on the wests hall of mirrors delusional politics.

Trapped in the empty luxury and petty court intrigues of Versailles, the French ruling class could only see their own imagined beauty and illusions of power reflected in mirrors. They were ignorant and blind to the despair and rage building up against them among the ordinary people of France.

Today, old Reagan Free Market, minimum government Republicans and tree-hugging, coal, oil and natural gas-hating and abortion-loving romantic Green Democrats who hold the politics of Washington and its media in an iron (and rusting) grip are the true heirs of those decadent French aristocrats. Their Mainstream Media has become a 21st century Cybernetic Hall of Mirrors 2.0. Across the Atlantic the dark and doomed Spirit of Versailles has migrated from the outskirts of Paris to Brussels where it now resides in the European Commission.

History has repeated itself on a colossally larger scale.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 27 2021 21:05 utc | 60

The linked article seems to be about the vaccine developed in India that matches what Jen described as used in Kenya.

30-40 years ago, Indian government was interested in improved methods of birth control, and Indian labs developed and tested such vaccine. It seems like a legitimate birth control method, the described tests were on women with at least two children, presumably with proper consent, although later the issues of consent etc. were a hot political subject in India. BTW, hGC is present in men too, and in animals, anti-hGC antibodies were affecting (eliminating) male fertility as well.

On one hand, the anti-fertility vaccination described there requires three shots, and perhaps the fourth one if the achieved level of anti-hGC antibodies is too low, so if used as one-shot tetanus vaccine, it may be ineffective. On the other hand, surreptitious use of such vaccine, without the consent for their designed effect, is not ethical.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 27 2021 21:15 utc | 61

gm #64

I am not so sure of it being underhanded or under the table. There is no real edge or boundary between gain of function and the various research efforts to understand how coronavirus actually causes infection. If we know how that works then ethical science can design pharmaceutical blockers or vaccines. That is the conventional ethical science approach. How do we isolate those unethical scientists from this knowledge and from the private and military labs where they just cold bloodedly reconfigure the virus to improve infectivity? THAT is the critical point for intervention.

IMO the first step is to close down all military research into bio warfare as that is the highest risk locale for unethical practice to be recruited and considered acceptable and vital 'to the national interest'. Then we need to audit and establish an overview system in the corporate labs. These are difficult things to achieve but they are essential as they are clearly 'in the public interest' to bring under control and strong regulation.

Vaping disease and C8 and PCB and DDT contamination pointed the way to the realisation that crimes against humanity were emerging from research labs as they transited into consumer products. It is that undeniable fact of life that demands strenuous regulatory intervention on behalf of the public good.

Corporations have dramatically increased their assault on Government regulation since asbestos and tobacco and DDT and PCB's were dragged into the regulatory and suppression arena. The assault on the earths ozone through exotic refrigerant gas led to a global ban. This methodical, criminal strike back by certain corporations needs to be arrested as they are seeking dominance and totalitarian immunity from any ethical obligation.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 28 2021 0:13 utc | 62

Prince Harry was interviewed recently in his & Meghan's new home-away-from-home, the US of A. When asked what motivated their Great Escape Harry cited "the toxic UK Press."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 28 2021 0:23 utc | 63

Meanwhile at Strategic Culture a western stenographer contorts logic to the point that stubborn Iran has to continue to suffer and make concessions as it would be unfair to demand that Biden lift sanctions first before JCPOA discussions take place...

and Strategic Culture publishes this trash!!

Iran’s foreign minister recently hinted that “action” will be taken if Trump’s sanctions against Iran – which have devastated its economy and cause excruciating hardship within Iran – are not lifted soon.

And here’s where it gets tricky.

Biden cannot simply do that, regardless of whether he sympathises with Iran’s thinking as it leaves him too vulnerable with no leverage in any further discussions to getting the so-called “Iran deal” back on its feet. And given that the Iranians know this, it is somewhat disingenuous to play for this at this stage, when all parties know that there has to be discussions now, with a heavyweight intermediary, who can offset risks of political embarrassment.

Biden’s in a tight spot as a recent telephone call to Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, after 28 days in office, revealed that he has no magic wand to untangle the eclectic mess that Trump has left in the Middle East – in particular the normalisation of relations between some Arab countries and Israel called the Abraham Accords, which he will want recalibrated. Fine tuning is what is required. Although, in all fairness, Biden has made some bold moves in just a number of days to calm tensions in the region and show that the U.S. is back in the saddle and ready to call in the cavalry in the region, wherever it is needed.

His bio says it all:

Martin Jay is an award-winning British journalist based in Morocco where he is a correspondent for The Daily Mail (UK) who previously reported on the Arab Spring there for CNN, as well as Euronews. From 2012 to 2019 he was based in Beirut where he worked for a number of international media titles including BBC, Al Jazeera, RT, DW, as well as reporting on a freelance basis for the UK’s Daily Mail, The Sunday Times plus TRT World.

Talk about inviting cockroaches into the jam jar. Strategic Culture is ridiculous.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 28 2021 0:34 utc | 65

@ uncle tungsten | Feb 28 2021 0:13 utc | 65

How about this to get your tin-foil hat tingling:

Did you know that Kary Mullis, genius hippie inventor/1993 Nobel prize winner in Chemistry/Medicine for the *PCR method*, and laid-back critic of pcr as a misused diagnostic (as opposed to research/forensic science) tool, (Dr. Sam Bailey homage vid 16 min)

*died* in *August 7, 2019*, of *pneumonia* ("ground glass"?) ?!

That would be right around = the same time as all those mysterious "ground glass pneumonia" vaping/and nursing home cases that got brushed under the carpet....

Posted by: gm | Feb 28 2021 1:01 utc | 66

uncle tungsten @62

Thanks for the thought provoking Strategic Culture article on the Versailles mentality prevalent among the 'western elite' today.

Would you like a tour of the palace?

Like the Bourbons of yesterday the elite of today hove learnt nothing and forgotten nothing.

Coincidently, among the many blunders of the Versailles treaty visited upon Europe, two other blunders and injustices were inflicted upon two of the supposed 'victors' and belligerents the Arabs and the Chinese, who refused to sign the final communiqué.

Japan was 'given' the former German colony in China. This set in train further Japanese expansion.

The world zionist movement was 'given' a foot in the door in Arab Palestine. Which leads to the question, what were they doing at the table? Who invited them?

Of course Palestine became a beachhead for further zionist expansion and misery throughout the region.

Posted by: Paul | Feb 28 2021 1:18 utc | 67

My favourite Poe

Hear the sledges with the bells
Silver bells
What a world of merriment
Their melody foretells
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle
In the icy air of night
All the heavens seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight
Keeping time, time, time
With a sort of Runic rhyme
From the tintinnabulation
That so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells

Hear the mellow wedding bells
Golden bells
What a world of happiness
Their harmony foretells
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight
Through the dances and the yells
And the rapture that impels
How it swells
How it dwells
On the future
How it tells
From the swinging and the ringing of the molten golden bells
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells
Of the rhyming and the chiming of the bells

Hear the loud alarum bells
Brazen bells
What a tale of terror now
Their turbulency tells
Much too horrified to speak
Oh, they can only shriek
For all the ears to know
How the danger ebbs and flows
Leaping higher, higher, higher
With a desperate desire
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire
With the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells
With the clamor and the clanging of the bells

Hear the tolling of the bells
Iron bells
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels
For all the sound that floats
From the rust within our throats
And the people sit and groan
In their muffled monotone
And the tolling, tolling, tolling
Feels a glory in the rolling
From the throbbing and the sobbing
Of the melancholy bells
Oh, the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells
Oh, the moaning and the groaning of the bells

E.A. Poe

Posted by: ld | Feb 28 2021 1:18 utc | 68

@ Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 28 2021 0:23 utc | 66

I saw that too...and thought: "Oh the irony...How fake/clueless can one get?" [They moved to CA.]

Posted by: gm | Feb 28 2021 1:29 utc | 69

Biden’s in a tight spot as a recent telephone call to Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, after 28 days in office, revealed that he has no magic wand to untangle the eclectic mess that Trump has left in the Middle East – in particular the normalisation of relations between some Arab countries and Israel called the Abraham Accords, which he will want recalibrated. Fine tuning is what is required. Although, in all fairness, Biden has made some bold moves in just a number of days to calm tensions in the region and show that the U.S. is back in the saddle and ready to call in the cavalry in the region, wherever it is needed. [cite of Jay Marvin]

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 28 2021 0:34 utc | 68

On the first glance, this is a report from some topsy-turvy world where some landmass with considerable area, population and what individuals in that world call "wealth" dubs itself "the only superpower", and then its leader sweats buckets trying to make a leader of a country which is comparatively puny. Than meekly promises not to make the leader of the puny country frown. On the second glance, it is quite similar to a world that we know.

That said, where did Jay Marvin spotted cavalry "called in the region" to "calm tensions"? As a Pole, I did some readings on benefits -- and limitations -- of good cavalry. The easy to notice benefit is that it can make short work of mediocre cavalry. But I do not recall any historical example of "cavalry calming tensions". It could look like that:

Perhaps Biden should learn Russian and call the calming cavalry...

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 28 2021 1:40 utc | 70

Piotr Berman #71

The USAi cavalry calming obviously includes them riding these particular horses.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 28 2021 10:00 utc | 71

The high level control of the election and judiciary has clearly had Iran as a core target. Trump cooked his own goose by repeatedly stopping short of the desired escalation into full invasion and total destruction. The core high level will have their way with the easily controlled Dems with their imposed Biden & vice puppets. After Iran the original high level ME plan can be concluded. The roadblock requires neutralizing on a permanent basis. If the Russia and China alliance sees that they are still on the list then the escalation of Iran will eventually bring forth the desired nuclear engagement where all sides lose, except for the high level control over the ashes and the holy grail of their unopposed totalitarian future.
There is no stopping this trajectory so better to busy ourselves with the mundane tittle tattle rather than try to do anything. The interim stage of stitching up all freedom is complete.

Posted by: Carver | Feb 28 2021 18:28 utc | 72

Mr. Carver


The United States does not have the power to invade and occupy Iran.

At one time, 40% of US Army's mechanized equipment were in Iraq, to try to occupy a smaller country

Posted by: Fyi | Feb 28 2021 20:02 utc | 73

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