Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 07, 2021

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2021-011

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

> Lavrov: Power pressure, ultimatums, sanctions and penalties through exterritorial restrictions on those who want to develop normal relations are methods and instruments from a colonial past.

Unfortunately, the European Union increasingly resorts to these instruments, which are a US invention. This is sad. <

Other issues:


To the President, something felt amiss. “It was all very, very strange,” Trump said on Dec. 2. “Within days after the election, we witnessed an orchestrated effort to anoint the winner, even while many key states were still being counted.”

In a way, Trump was right.
Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears. ...



Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on February 7, 2021 at 12:30 UTC | Permalink

« previous page | next page »

U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellen: Too soon to say if changes needed to address market volatility

Let the woman who received USD 7 million in de facto bribes from Wall Street during the last two years to sit on the system like a bored mule.

Posted by: vk | Feb 8 2021 12:22 utc | 96

I agree that the nomination of Yellen was disturbing. Why they could not find a high executive of Goldman Sachs to head DoT? Perhaps all were busy... but in that situation, there was a dire need for someone intimately familiar with Wall Street, and Yellen passed that requirement with aplomb. Incidentally, the position Secretary of Treasury comes with some ethnic restriction which somewhat decreases the pool of candidates that can be considered, Yellen is OK from that point of view. This is perhaps fair, ethnicity of cabinet Secretaries is delicately balanced, so only gradual changes can happen in each Department.

More interesting is what could be done to diminish market volatility. "Minnesota Rep. llhan Omar, for instance, tweeted, “A small tax - 0.1% - on each Wall Street trade would reduce high-frequency trading, a practice which drains profits from retail investors and benefits only the very rich." She added that a financial transaction tax, or a tax on buying and selling stocks, bonds, and other financial contracts, would help to even the playing field between retail investors and large hedge funds, helping to prevent the super-rich from getting richer while lower income Americans struggle."

This is a cite of Sunday commentary on RCP by "Kevin Chambliss is a member of the Florida House of Representatives and a past president of the Miami-Dade NAACP and of the Miami-Dade Democratic Black Caucus." The representative explains how misguided this idea is. He explains that it would hit middle class and the precarious savings of those people "Pensions, 401(k)s, 529 educational savings, and retirement funds: Few people understand that these funds are typically managed by Wall Street companies and they are traded often to maximize investments. "

Frankly, I was not aware of that. Bulk of my retirement savings was in three mutual funds and I did not change allocation for decades. A typical fund has turnover below 50% (above it is called "a high turnover fund"), so this tax would impose yearly 0.05% (or less) of "wealth tax" which is quite a bit less than normal management costs. But ignorant as I am, it is nice to see that Democrats in Congress worry about working and middle class.

Incidentally, folks on both sides of GameStop brouhaha have much, much higher turnover, especially that they trade "on margin". So called "day traders" would be wiped out, forced to find jobs like barristers, impacting the poor people who have these jobs currently. Thus working people would be hit.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 8 2021 14:54 utc | 101

Indonesian Slaughter, Allen Dulles, and the Assassination of JFK

A Review of Greg Poulgrain’s book JFK vs. Allen Dulles

Before I digress slightly, let me state from the outset that the book by Greg Poulgrain that I am about to review is extraordinary by any measure. The story he tells is one you will read nowhere else, especially in the way he links the assassination of President Kennedy to former CIA Director Allen Dulles and the engineering by the latter of one of the 20th century’s most terrible mass murders. It will make your hair stand on end and should be read by anyone who cares about historical truth.

Posted by: Mao | Feb 8 2021 14:58 utc | 102

Capitalist propaganda:

Taiwan Will Restrict Lunar New Year Activities Due to COVID-19 Threat [no paywall because the article is covering the COVID-19 pandemic]

Taiwan remains one of the world’s preeminent success stories in warding off the coronavirus pandemic – the island has recorded less than 1,000 total cases and just nine deaths.


Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said this week it would institute crowd control measures at national scenic areas during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.

It also delayed the reopening of schools after the winter break by four days and resurrected a program, created by the Ministry of Labor last year, that allows parents to take family leave due to the delays.

Those are not measures taken by a capitalist country which has less than 1,000 cases and just 9 deaths. Not at all.

If those numbers were truth, Taiwan would've already reopened everything, so it could restart its economy with all of its cylinders. With many more cases, Mainland has not just already reopened its economy, but even reauthorized its festivities - indeed the Mainland will have its Chinese New Year festivities as normal, and its schools are already opened.

And the Mainland is a socialist economy - a system that naturally cares more about people than capitalism. Taiwan, being capitalist, would've already done all the Mainland did and more. We've already witnessed many capitalist countries around the world fully reopening at the slightest sign of fall of monthly cases (e.g. the Iberian nations, Brazil, UK). We've also been witnessing Japan's hysterical insistence on having the Olympics going - even when its number of cases and deaths continue to soar.

With such spectacular numbers, we should expect Taiwan not only to be fully reopened, but also propagandizing it to the seven winds. It would certainly not be postponing school classes, let alone restricting its Chinese New Year festivities.

That is, unless those numbers are false:

Taiwan recorded most of its local COVID-19 transmissions prior to April 12, 2020, after which the country went over eight months without recording a single locally transmitted case.

Eight months without a single new case. That's remarkable. Or, the most simple explanation, they stopped counting.

The public is back on high alert after a cluster infection originated in a hospital in the northern city of Taoyuan last month. Many Lunar New Year gatherings were already canceled or postponed, and Taiwan’s railways have reinstituted stricter rules that had previously been relaxed after the spring of 2020.

Most likely scenario here is that this cluster was so FUBAR (officially, it was only twelve cases) that even the Taiwanese alienating and highly repressive MSM couldn't contain the news from the public. They then stifled the case the most they could and fabricated a small number. It is unlikely Taiwan went through eight consecutive years without a single new case and then, all of a sudden, have a giant cluster in a hospital (which is a controlled environment against infections).

Indeed, the situation may be much worse than we think:

Taiwan has avoided a large-scale outbreak and has never ordered the closure of schools, restaurants, or most businesses. Temporary restrictions on large indoor gatherings had been lifted by the summer of 2020.

So, there never was a true lockdown in Taiwan. It most likely adopted the Swedish policy. How did they managed to go through eight months without a single new case? Again, most likely scenario is they stopped counting and are adopting a laissez-faire attitude ("make it live, let it die"). They only stepped back a little from it because the number of new cases and deaths are beginning to get out of control even by capitalist standards. As the link to the hospital clusters indicate, deaths must have spiraled out of control by mid-January:

Taiwan went over eight months without a locally transmitted case of COVID-19 before a pilot for Taiwan’s EVA Air infected a Taiwanese woman in December. It has reported 12 cases in the hospital cluster since January 12.

On January 19, Taiwan’s government canceled celebrations for the Taiwan Lantern Festival, held annually to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The presidential office has also canceled its Lunar New Year reception, while some city governments have canceled their own lantern festival events.

The Taiwan Railway Administration said it would stop leasing main halls in the country’s train station. It also installed partitions in food court areas and positioned tables further apart.

Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsang said on January 21 that Taoyuan General Hospital had completed a mass evacuation of patients so that hospital buildings could be disinfected by a team of government workers and members of the army’s “chemical warfare” group.

This hysteria doesn't match the relaxed policies from April-December 2020, so the only plausible explanation is that Taiwan must be in a very dire state, and that the number of cases and deaths were high since they stopped counting in April. When the pandemic reached the hospitals, even the laissez-faire central government must have decided they went too far. I wouldn't be surprised if Taiwan, in truth, has one of the worst numbers of both cases and deaths - even worse than the USA -, and that they're covering all of that because, in their vision, it's a necessary sacrifice in the propaganda warfare against the Mainland:

Taiwan has firmly refused to supply vaccines made by China and has warned that any imports of Chinese-made vaccines are banned.

According to CECC data, Taiwan had ordered nearly 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses as of the end of 2020. This included 4.76 million doses from COVAX, 10 million doses from AstraZeneca, and 5 million doses from an unidentified company.

Just like during Chiang Kai-shek's time, the people under the liberal-nationalist dictatorship are being used as disposable pawns in their elite's personal little game of self-enriching.

Posted by: vk | Feb 8 2021 15:11 utc | 103

Alistair crooke continues to bemoan the follies of The West:

Collective Hysteria: Western Leaders Work to Alter the Definition of Reality

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 8 2021 15:20 utc | 104

PB @ 101

There is a technical term for buy-and-hold investors. They are called “dumb money”.

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 8 2021 15:25 utc | 105

@karlof1 | Feb 7 2021 22:24 utc | 64

One might think this coup will have negative affects for China's BRI, but that's actually unlikely. In contrast, Thailand is the most politically unstable nation within ASEAN thanks to its longstanding ties to the corrupt West and its CIA and MI-6 actors.

I din't think it will have a negative effect for BRI.

Thailand is the only country in South East Asia that has never been colonized. It is quite a stable society even though there have been numerous palace coups. After Thaksin and his sister was ousted, Thailand holds the CIA at arms length and has good relations with China. High speed rail from Bangkok to Nong Khai and Vientiane on the other side of the Mae Khong and further north to China is being built now.

The events in Myanmar is by some (in Thailand) being interpreted as a parallel to the situation in Thailand after Thaksin.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 8 2021 15:44 utc | 106

Posted by: vk | Feb 8 2021 15:11 utc | 103

I've seen some praise to both Thailand and South Korea over their handling of Covid-19 outbreak and even some faint ones for Vietnam. But never Taiwan. Maybe because stench was so bad that the Island's foreign media allies decided to steer clear of it.

Posted by: Hangar | Feb 8 2021 15:45 utc | 107

vk @Feb8 15:11 @103

WTF? Just one wild speculation after another:

  • If those numbers were truth, Taiwan would've already reopened everything, so it could restart its economy with all of its cylinders.

    vk creates a strawman that he can knock down and arrive at a contrived conclusion: No lockdowns = Swedish policy = very dire state (that Taiwan is covering up).

  • It most likely adopted the Swedish policy.

    vk's Swedish massage of the facts.

  • ... the only plausible explanation is that Taiwan must be in a very dire state, and that the number of cases and deaths were high since they stopped counting in April.

    The only plausible explanation is that vk wrote this comment while in a very dire mental state, possibly he was high ... uh, very high.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 8 2021 15:50 utc | 108

vk @Feb8 15:11 @103

WTF? Just one wild speculation after another:

  • If those numbers were truth, Taiwan would've already reopened everything, so it could restart its economy with all of its cylinders.

    vk creates a strawman that he can knock down and arrive at a contrived conclusion: No lockdowns = Swedish policy = very dire state (that Taiwan is covering up).

  • It most likely adopted the Swedish policy.

    vk's Swedish massage of the facts.

  • ... the only plausible explanation is that Taiwan must be in a very dire state, and that the number of cases and deaths were high since they stopped counting in April.

    The only plausible explanation is that vk wrote this comment while in a very dire mental state, possibly he was high ... uh, very high.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 8 2021 15:50 utc | 109

@uncle tungsten | Feb 8 2021 3:22 utc | 90

I published a younger dryas link for you at the new york times thread (uncle tungsten | Feb 7 2021 21:20 utc | 136). You might appreciate the science.

Thank you for the heads up on that! I have been watching Antonio Zamora and his Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis for a couple of years. In these time of dreadful pathological science domination, Mr. Zamora presents real, credible science. In my opinion he deserves recognition among the very best.

His discussion of the origins of the Carolina Bays is solid evidence of the impact that struck the Laurentide Ice Sheet over Michigan 12800 years ago and wiped out the megafauna in North America and in my opinion also decimated advanced civilizations world wide, of which there are still remnants in places like Cusco/Peru (Sachsahuaman), Tiwanaku/Bolivia plus Egypt (pyramids, Serapeum...), Lebanon, Turkey (Gobekli Tepe) and several other places. This stuff is really explosive wrt. to the US hegemony today, because it demolishes the foundation of US/Western exceptionalism and shows it was always a total fraud.

On a much lighter note, there is a delightful video on that YD impact subject here
Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis PROVEN WRONG???

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 8 2021 16:06 utc | 110

oh boy, the jerkrabbit put both paws in.

what happened to your trump-of-the-people? and all your other wild speculations? And if you don't agree with VK speculation, why don't you respond with your own? ahhh yes, riding the coattails of more popular posters for attention. How is your blog doing?

hop along bunny. you know the poster (a la circe) who just don't get it? ya - that's you.

Posted by: hahaha | Feb 8 2021 16:19 utc | 111

hahaha @Feb8 16:19 #111

Is that you vk?

I like a lot of what you write. Just not this latest.

"trump-of-the-people" - that's a laughable mis-characterization. moa readers know of my concern that Trump is an faux populist pro-establishment/Deep State headfake - the Republican Obama.

Riding coatails? I have no interest in that. You are just attempting to kill the messenger.

Please show us any credible report that indicates that Taiwan may be hiding infections and deaths.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 8 2021 16:30 utc | 112

@ Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 8 2021 16:30 utc | 112

Not me. Sorry.

Posted by: vk | Feb 8 2021 16:34 utc | 113

@ John (36)

Please stop feeding that damned troll !!

Posted by: MarkU | Feb 8 2021 17:07 utc | 114

Biden/Blinken seems to be a real necon just as we expected.

Blinken: US to 'Re-engage' With UN Rights Body, Move It Away From 'Disproportionate Focus on Israel'

Posted by: Zanon | Feb 8 2021 17:08 utc | 115

@ jackrabbit... i have a friend in taiwan - taipei... covid doesn't seem to be happening in taiwan... he sent me pictures of him playing music in a club in taipei which lots of people in it..

Posted by: james | Feb 8 2021 17:09 utc | 116

which - with..

Posted by: james | Feb 8 2021 17:10 utc | 117

Posted by: vk | Feb 7 2021 14:07 utc | 7

A development on the Indian glacier debacle:
'It Was Waiting to Happen': Hindu Monks Blame Dam Construction Activity on Ganges for Flood Tragedy

There's a certain situational irony here:

For most of last year, interwoven with the "China Virus" propaganda campaign was a thread crossing thousands of forums with the theme of "Three Gorges Dam about to Collapse".

(This narrative looked manufactured and supported mainly by a combination of American and Indian users and organisations)

So despite the obvious tragedy one can't help thinking "be careful what you prophecy for others, it may be a prophecy for you ..."

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Feb 8 2021 17:19 utc | 118

It's rare, but Asia Times is publishing something worthwhile unlikely to be found elsewhere, a three-part interview: "The man with a plan for Korean Peninsula peace: Presidential adviser and longtime peacemaker Moon Chung-in tells Asia Times the time is right to bridge the DMZ."

There's been quite a vacuum when it comes to any sort of news on the Koreas, which makes this a timely item.

"[Moon] admits that many consider him a 'liberal idealist or a North Korean sympathizer' but describes himself as 'a progressive realist.' 'Morality and law are beautiful, but we are stuck with reality,' he said. 'My argument is we should start with the Korean reality.'

"That reality is a nuclear armed – and very stable – North Korea. 'Kim Jong Un has consolidated political power,' he said. 'So if your aim with North Korea is changing the regime, it won’t work.'

"Though many around the world believe dictatorships are destined for inevitable collapse, three generations of Kims have deeply entrenched their regime. 'It is unprecedented, we should not take these factors lightly,' Moon said. 'That is why we should take North Korea as it is, not as we wish to see it.'"

"For these reasons Moon is probably the highest-profile champion of engaging North Korea. 'If you want peace, you have got to talk to your adversary,' he said. 'It’s very simple: We need engagement for peace! We need it for prosperity!'"

The following overview I found very informative. From what's reported, it appears to me that the North politically is slowly becoming organized along CPC-lines. However, the Succession Question always seems to dominate any discussion about the North. I hope that issue's muted in the following two installments.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 8 2021 17:31 utc | 119

Mao @ 102.

Excellent find.

"The CIA, after all, is a creation of Wall Street and their interests have always been joined. The Agency was not formed to provide intelligence to US Presidents; that was a convenient myth used to cover its real purpose which was to serve the interests of investment bankers and the power elite, or those I call The Umbrella People who control the U.S."

I keep seeing that Dulles pop up. He was one evil person.

Posted by: arby | Feb 8 2021 17:31 utc | 120

The only plausible explanation is that vk wrote this comment while in a very dire mental state, possibly he was high ... uh, very high.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 8 2021 15:50 utc | 108

There are two texts that are a must for anyone interested In political matters, "Mikado" of Gilbert and Sullivan and "Letter of a deranged sorority sister". I will quote the latter: "... but you suck at sober events too!" What makes you think that vk would write something different with a brain free from chemical perturbations?

Here both of you do not understand that a basal state can differ from your expectations. Pointless paranoia may be a basal state for Taiwan, and lack of imagination allowing to conceive multiple plausible explanations may be a basal state for vk. Both are widely observed in many populations.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 8 2021 17:37 utc | 121

Piotr Berman @Feb8 17:37 @121

I was poking fun at vk's speculation and his use of the word "very" to emphasize it. I used vk's own formulation as satire. I was not seriously suggesting that he was high. Did you notice my immediately preceding, lighthearted quip: "Swedish massage of the facts"?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 8 2021 17:56 utc | 122

Harvard Chemistry Chair Placed on Leave After Federal Gov. Charges He Hid Chinese Funding

Chemistry department chair Charles M. Lieber has been placed on an “indefinite” paid administrative leave after being charged in federal court with failing to disclose funding from the Chinese government, according to University spokesperson Jonathan L. Swain.

Lieber was charged with “making materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to U.S. government agencies, according to an affidavit filed Monday. The charges come as both the United States government and Harvard embark upon a campaign to curb “academic espionage,” a process by which researchers funnel academic information to foreign governments.

Lieber reportedly lied to the Defense Department and the National Institutes of Health about ties he allegedly had to China’s Thousand Talents Plan, per the affidavit. The TTP was established in 2008 by the Chinese government to attract scientists from across the world. The federal government, however, has designated the program a danger to national security.

Posted by: Mao | Feb 8 2021 18:08 utc | 123

Global Times reviews Biden and China's diplomatic exchanges that occurred over the weekend as much occurred centering on what Biden said:

"After his speech at the Department of State, Biden revealed more about his foreign policy, including China-related policy, at an interview with CBS News that was released on Monday. 'I'm not going to do it the way Trump did. We are going to focus on the international rules of the road' and 'We need not have a conflict, but there is going to be extreme competition,' he noted."

Quite a few analysts and Chinese government officials have their reactions noted after the above paragraph. Of major prominence is what Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai said in an interview [Link at original] with Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN on Saturday:

"'[T]here is a clear need for a good sense of mutual respect. People have to show good will and good faith,' while answering the question about his comment on the talk between Chinese top official for foreign affairs Yang Jiechi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, at the request of the latter, earlier on the same day.

"Cui said the readout released by the US Department of State on the talk 'shows the example of power rather than the power of example.'

"'Of course, all countries have values and interests to defend. For China, national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, these are the core values and core interests we will defend, we will do whatever it takes to defend them, no matter who says what,' Cui noted....

"Cui said to Zakaria in the interview that 'we very much welcome the US to rejoin us. But honestly, many people are asking themselves: Will the US change its policy in a few years' time again? Hopefully, this will not be the case.'" [My Emphasis]

If Biden thinks the Outlaw US Empire can outbest China in a competition, he's in for a rude surprise thanks to the Empire's woeful domestic condition in a vast number of areas. And seeing what's happening in Congress to try and patch the gapping gash in the ship-of-state's keel, the Obama-like doubletalk will only worsen the situation. The reality is the USA is in competition with Domestic Forces--the Neoliberal Parasites--draining its resources, not with any other nation--all the damage done is 100% self-inflicted. But the Imperial credo is not to look at its own shortcomings and instead to find scapegoats overseas. I don't think the public can be fooled by that anymore, so BidenCo will have to produce strong results related to the domestic arena to keep its Congressional advantage beyond 2022.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 8 2021 18:09 utc | 124

Morgan Stanley analysts initiate a long rouble position

Morgan Stanley initiated a long Russian rouble position against a 50-50 basket of the dollar and the euro it said on Monday, targeting a 6% rise in the Russian currency.

“We think it’s time to get back into Russian assets,” the U.S. investment bank’s analysts said in a note titled “Enough Waiting, Time To Buy”.

They said new U.S. sanctions being proposed in relation to the poisoning and jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny would not pose a material risk to Russia’s macroeconomic outlook, while the recent rise in oil prices should help the currency.

Posted by: Mao | Feb 8 2021 18:12 utc | 125

US Trade Deficit in 2020 Worst since 2008, Goods Deficit Worst Ever Despite First Ever Petroleum Surplus. Services Surplus Drops Again

The US trade deficit in goods worsened by 6% in 2020, to $916 billion, the biggest and worst ever. Exports of goods plunged by 13.2% to $1.43 trillion, the worst since 2010. Imports of goods during the year fell by 6.6% to $2.35 trillion.

Posted by: Mao | Feb 8 2021 18:25 utc | 126

@ Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 8 2021 17:37 utc | 121

Of course my comment on Taiwan is just a theory, extrapolated on my previous knowledge over how comparable nation-states are fighting the pandemic and on the objective information of two articles I quoted (which I judge to be truth for many reasons).

The first article I quoted also clearly states Taiwan has the perfect system - a lockdown-less nation with a perfectly disciplined people. To put it simply, I believe this specific part of the article is a fabrication for propaganda purposes: Taiwan is too perfect to be truth. Therefore, one of the information must be false: either Taiwan is enforcing a "draconian" lockdown a la Mainland or Taiwan is going Swedish and letting natural selection take its course. I argued Taiwan was going laissez-faire, and it looks I was right: james @ 116 confirms through a primary source that Taiwan has not been enforcing a lockdown on the level of the Mainland.

The main reason I think Taiwan has not chosen the Mainland route is very simple: Taiwan is a capitalist society. Capitalism depends on a constant circulation and production of commodities to survive. Therefore, lockdowns are inherently anti-capitalist: we know that because we have other capitalist countries to compare. Any excuse the capitalist governments have to loose the lockdown or, better, to lift it up, they're using. There's a limit for every system, and, even if we consider Taiwan as some magical, unique society, we still have to accept that it is capitalist at the end of the day, so it is still constrained by the limits imposed by the reproduction of the system.

Another factor that stacked against Taiwan is the fact that it must keep a constant economic competition with the Mainland: that makes it more prone to go even more laissez-faire than other capitalist nation-states. Well, if Taiwan sees itself as in a state of war against the Mainland, that means it is treating the lives sacrificed to the SARS-CoV-2 as just a necessary cost to win the war.

A third reasons I think Taiwan is going laissez-faire - and paying the price in lives - is that pro-Taiwan propaganda suddenly stopped in the West. At the very beginning of the pandemic (up to the end of April), the Western MSM was publishing articles and articles about Taiwan's success story. But they were also doing the same with Japan and South Korea. This is important information to us, because we know the fate of these two countries: both ended up relaxing their lockdowns (which were never to the level of Mainland China to begin with) and the number of cases begun to skyrocket, and in Japan's case it became clear it was suppressing the cases count (only doctors were allowed to test people, by the central government's orders). As it became clear, the MSM suddenly stopped praising the three countries, but news only leaked for Japan and South Korea. A simple extrapolation tells us the same thing must have happened to Taiwan, with the exception the island is ideologically important to the West, therefore an extra effort was made to cover its failure in containing the pandemic.

Important evidence is contained in the articles themselves. Zero cases since April until December is simply too good for an island with a population of 23.5 million. The zero cases sound even more absurd when you take into account the fact that the same article mentions the island never banned international flights (only enforcing a 14-day quarantine), and never fully closed any of its businesses and schools. And the cases dropped to zero suddenly, in April. This is important, as the beginning of May was the date the lockdown in Wuhan was lifted, and China declared victory against the pandemic. The timing is too much of a coincidence; Taiwan probably artificially dropped its number of cases (by stop counting) to declare victory more or less at the same time as the Mainland, for PR purposes.

But the most suspicious evidence is the good old cui bono question. We have a society that managed, through perfect discipline, enjoy the best of the two worlds: zero cases and zero lockdown. Then, all of a sudden, a tiny cluster in a hospital (12 cases, in a controlled environment) happens and the New Year festivities are cancelled and the classes are postponed? If Taiwan had mastered the control of the pandemic without a lockdown, why not use this miraculous system instead of a lockdown? What made the force shield crack so suddenly? The only logical explanation here is that there was never a Taiwanese model, and that its cases between April and December were never zero. Most likely, the pandemic was out of control and got so out of control in January 2021 that it became impossible to even keep the PR façade.

Posted by: vk | Feb 8 2021 18:50 utc | 127

Planned legislation to establish new business areas in Nevada would allow technology companies to effectively form separate local governments.

Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak announced a plan to launch so-called Innovation Zones in Nevada to jumpstart the state’s economy by attracting technology firms, Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Wednesday.

The zones would permit companies with large areas of land to form governments carrying the same authority as counties, including the ability to impose taxes, form school districts and courts and provide government services.

Posted by: Mao | Feb 8 2021 18:52 utc | 128

Today's Global Times Editorial relates to my @124 where the crucial question is seen thusly:

"But in the Global Times' opinion, Biden has predicted that there will be 'extreme competition' between China and the US. Yet he has set a bottom line for this, which is to avoid turning such competition into a major power conflict. He also said he would replace Trump's approach with 'international rules.' Thus the question boils down to this one: What are international rules?" [My Emphasis]

The editor does an excellent job here beginning with this first of three paragraphs:

"To be honest, China is not afraid of competing with others, no matter how fierce the competition might be. China has always been serious in abiding by international rules. It is the most ideal state for China's development that all countries compete with one another in accordance to the rules. This is not a high-profile empty talk, but the deepest part of China's values. Almost all Chinese elites have fought their way through the harsh rules of gaokao, or college entrance examinations. Respecting the rules is in the blood of the Chinese nation. It has become our starting point of dealing with international rules."

And finishing with what many should have anticipated:

"Rules apply to all countries. The system of United Nations should be the most authoritative starting point of the international rules. But which country is more respectful to the UN, China or the US? Which country has more conflicts with international multilateral organizations, China or the US?

"The answers [ought to be] obvious." [My Emphasis]

And that provides the grounds for the editor to begin an offensive dealing with rules that was clearly begged.

"If the new US administration emphasizes rules so much, it should respect the original intent of international rules first thing first. It should not equate international rules with US interests and turn them into a veneer of legality and a global passport to take care of the US national interests....

"We hope the Biden administration abandons the rude manners of the Trump administration and respects the rules to create new space for China and the US to engage in benign rules-based competition - in a bid to profoundly reduce uncertainties in international relations."

And in closing, the BIG question is asked:

"How can China-US relations be maintained under the logic that China has been violating the rules?"

IMO, Biden has set a trap for himself as the Outlaw US Empire violates the rules daily. The easiest way to reduce the Outlaw US Empire to a "normal" nation is to dismantle Dollar Hegemony and replace it. Hudson's Oxford Talk revealed how the Empire gained its "Godfather Nature" that it so clearly must lose for the world to be free from its damaging hegemony and for global rules to have an opportunity to work.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 8 2021 18:56 utc | 129

Stonebird | Feb 7 2021 16:42 utc | 23

OK, they still have problems (water) as the Ukrainians have cut that off, but there is a new desalination plant being built.

Which, incidentally, is a Crime Against Humanity". I.e. illegal under UN rules.

I noticed yesterday that the Chinese Foreign Ministry was quoting MoA about Uighurs changing their story. So that answers the question: "does the Chinese government notice what is said in MoA?"

Posted by: foolisholdman | Feb 8 2021 19:39 utc | 130

Down South | Feb 7 2021 17:35 utc | 30

I can see one major difficulty in reducing the population of the Earth to >1 billion, namely, I do not see the Chinese agreeing to commit suicide on that scale.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Feb 8 2021 20:02 utc | 131

james @ 35 - I am enjoying your enjoyment! I am reading a book a friend from college sent me: "Last Boat Out Of Shanghai" by Helen Zia. At first I did not think I would be too interested, as the subtitle is "The Epic Story of the Chinese who fled Mao's Revolution." Huh, I thought at first. But the actual story is very factual and interesting to anyone who doesn't know much about the history of those times in China. I am learning a lot I didn't know, always a good thing.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 8 2021 20:16 utc | 132

Jay | Feb 7 2021 17:53 utc | 37

I can claim no expert knowledge of the facts of the 2020 election, but I find the refusal of all the courts to even consider any of the cases Trump and his supporters tried to bring before them and the insistence, in every mention of trumps claims (and without any discussion) that Trumps claims of a rigged election were "without foundation" (Or other words to the same effect.) very suspicious.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Feb 8 2021 20:21 utc | 133

@132 juliania... thanks... the brothers karamazov is such a great book! i couldn't put it down last night! i have a few other books on the go, but it is tricky doing a balancing act with them all.. and i have other things to do too! the book you describe sounds very interesting and educational... i would like to read a book on mao... he is an interesting character! my friend was telling me he gave the drug addicts a year to clean up and get off drugs, or they would be shoot... it is an interesting approach, very different then the one we are taking here in b.c.!! i can see the merits in it too.. i know it sounds harsh, but i see the wisdom in it too.. here in b.c. there are so many chinese.. i used to think it would be a good language - mandarin - to learn, but aside from studying tai chi and learning a small bit of chinese culture thru this medium, i don't know that much about china really... i would enjoy going their, but i don't know if it will happen...

on a related note - i got turned onto fermented green tea less then 2 months ago... most of it comes out of china... i am presently drinking a cup of pu-erh tea... they call it dark tea... you can read up on it all here if you are interested...

Posted by: james | Feb 8 2021 20:41 utc | 134

foolisholdman | Feb 8 2021 19:39 utc | 130

Strange crimes for strange times. Are you hinting that the UN might be criminal ? oooh

A successful chinese business man that I once met; In his house. He played chess with his son of about 14 (approx:) Who made a decent try but lost. The son left and I asked why he didn't let his son win sometimes to encourage him. Answer; "NEVER, if he wins he will KNOW he has really won". (He wouldn't have to doubt the valdity of the win). Very good lesson for me as well. The son would have to deserve the win, but he would be "certain" of it. If the Chinese "win" they will know they have won completely and will take pride in it.
Looking at the arguments for and against the "rules based order". I can't help comparing the Israeli-US-UK attitude, where if they find a loophole, then they take it. Pretty close to being out and out corruption. When applied to the Financial system, (gamestop and naked shorts) we are beginning to see where that is going to leave the rest of us. When the breaking of a "rules based system" is applied to National, Governmental affairs, it gives an (temporary?) advantage to the trickster, and then usually means that others refuse to play along.

Can the US start using the same "rules" as others or is it too late? I don't know.

Mark you; I am sure that the thousands of "rule makers" today, who think they have a divine right to tell others what to do, are similar to the "male virgin social club worker" I met during my student days. He was in charge of supplying contraceptives to the wives of Irish Navvies in the back end of Birminham (UK). (Get drunk, bash the missus, shout at the kids, and .... etc. etc.) But he KNEW the "rules", evidently.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 8 2021 20:53 utc | 135

@ james | Feb 8 2021 20:41 utc | 134 who wrote
on a related note - i got turned onto fermented green tea less then 2 months ago... most of it comes out of china... i am presently drinking a cup of pu-erh tea... they call it dark tea.

Yes, its quite flavorful. There is an aging process with some of it and I have some from 10 years ago in a hard round mushroom shape that I chip off to free some leaves.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 8 2021 21:14 utc | 136

Mao #102

Greg Poulgrain is a person of absolute integrity. The murdering continues in West Papua.

If Greg Poulgrain has written a book, then we all should read it. Salut this tireless advocate and great spirit.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 8 2021 21:15 utc | 137

james @ 134 So far my book on China isn't about Mao - I'm halfway, and it deals with several Shanghai families, focussing on one child in each, from before WW2 and now that war having ended, the Japanese having departed, and the US abandoning assistance to the National government, which is not doing anything other than taking the loot and fleeing to Taiwan. (Even truckloads of national art treasures were shipped out, many of the wealthy supposing they would be 'back soon'.) The Communists are coming down from the north, and inflation in Shanghai is through the roof, with every family trying its best after the turmoil of the occupation, simply to survive. Those who aren't part of the corrupted regime are being wooed by the Communists and poor folk certainly don't fear them; many are going north to join -- very interesting stuff. China did suffer enormously in those turbulent times, and the children in the story experienced the worst and best colliding extremes as their lives rose or plummeted -- does make vivid those happenings currently around the world and how it is only beginning in the US, with the first shocks to the system starting back in 2008. I'd wondered well, where are our oligarchs going to go? Well, silly question, some of them already to my native land, obviously.

The latter scenario is brought home as a credible reality by comments at the Matt Taibbi interview link b has provided here. Some of them poignantly detailing the family disruptions that have already happened. That was my first read this morning. Thanks, b. Very sobering.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 8 2021 22:10 utc | 138

OK, they still have problems (water) as the Ukrainians have cut that off, but there is a new desalination plant being built.
Which, incidentally, is a Crime Against Humanity". I.e. illegal under UN rules.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Feb 8 2021 19:39 utc | 130

It is more of economic sabotage rather than a CAH, people in Crimea never had an issue with drinking water, and for personal hygiene, they got time slots (rolling cut-off of water), but agriculture and some industries were hit badly.

Was is rather important is the attitude of Ukrainian government (and Ukrainian nationalists, the two rather grumpily cooperate) toward the people of Crimea and the provinces of Lugansk and Donetsk. They do not view them as "their people", what bad can be done for them is good. To a degree, the same goes for people in the territory "under control" who prefer to speak in Russian, for example, education in Russian got forbidden at all levels, starting from elementary -- it is sketchy how thoroughly it applies. Suppose that like 200 years ago the Kingdom of Denmark include the totality of Scheswik and Holstein and then, out of the sudden, education in German is forbidden.

Question: would it be weird if the German speaking locals would be pissed off?
Question: what should be done if Germany marched in and organized a plebiscite?

BTW, Bismark had done that, without a plebiscite, but with good cheer from the "occupied German-speakers".

More generally, how to weight "territorial integrity" with the interest that folks have in having a government that does not hate them?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 8 2021 22:37 utc | 139

Richard Escrow on the "Stimulus Checks": "Note to Democrats: $1400 + $600 Does NOT Equal $2000: On Covid-19 survival checks and our national deficit of the soul." On the "national deficit of the soul," Escrow is beyond correct, and millions will agree with his arguments. But IMO it's a sure thing Ds won't listen and then will wonder what hit them in 2022.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 8 2021 23:48 utc | 140

Don't skip this: Patrick Armstrong on "Navalny and Treason":

"Collaborating with foreign intelligence structures to create a poisoning narrative would appear to fit the definition of treason. How about writing a letter to a foreign head of state asking him to sanction your country?...

"Maybe Moscow is going to make an example of the latest Western favourite and charge him with treason and prove it. Maybe that’s why this video was released. It would appear to be a case of 'providing financial, technical, advisory or other assistance to a foreign state or international organization . . . directed at harming Russia’s security' as the treason law puts it. A revision of the law that came into effect, as it happens, in the year the video was recorded."

Armstrong's essay becomes even more important given what Lavrov had to say today:

"'In a situation where Western countries are trying to make the Navalny topic almost the main one in the dialogue with our country, I would like to reciprocally share my assessments of the practical steps taken by the actors of this story in the sphere of politics and propaganda, which are in the focus of our official interests,' Lavrov said when asked to comment on an open letter from Russian neurologist Vitaly Kozak, who is working in Switzerland."

The linked Sputnik article has more on the developments. I doubt if the preparation is being made to assist Assange as some have suggested. As Armstrong reminds us, these "games" have been ongoing for many decades well before Putin became a political player and is always aimed at smearing Russia's credibility. Perhaps Russia will finally say Нет больше!

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 9 2021 0:30 utc | 141

Coming out of lurk for a post.
I found this article quite informative on recent US/Iran relations. A good prepper. Not much I can argue with.

And for those that seem to think war with Iran is a thing: As per Millennium Challenge war games in 2002, a war game costing $250M, and involving 50,000 personnel — was not possible. General Paul Van Riper leading the red team kicked butt by sending messengers on bikes. Read it for yourself:

War is now even less possible due to Iran having MAD capability. Shown with terminal guidance in rockets with range of 1200 Miles, a range that includes all the empire’s bases, ships, assets— yes, not nukes, and only if one considers only that single aspect of Iran’s Armed forces, and NOT sea, undersea, drone, S300 and own variant, allies, and proxies, etc., etc.
If you think war with either China, or Russia is possible, well, then, you can include Iran as the trio.

As for Israel sending bombers to Iran: Pure propaganda. Nothing could be further from the truth. The only thing that an Israeli attack on Iran can do, is to get the war started. If you think the empire will outsource that decision to Israel, think again.

Also, If you think Hezbollah is the only Iranian answer/deterent, well think this: There was a time when two countries ( Iraq, and Syria) sat between Iran and Israel. Now Nutty has to run to daddy Putin and ask: Don’t let them (eye-ranians) any closer than 40 mile from our (nonexistent) borders.

Back to lurk.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Feb 9 2021 0:46 utc | 142

@131 foolisholdman & Down South @ 30

That was my thought also, namely that there really are two competing viewpoints in this world. The struggle between them is the mark of the ages we live in.

Engdahl makes his case well that the rich have for decades seen what would be obvious to any of us if we were rich, that the carrying capacity of the planet has been exceeded by too many consumers. Their solution comes naturally to them without really having to be told.

Having made their money from welcoming the expansion of populations of debt slaves and consumers for an endless conveyor belt of products, the rich now discover that the world has limits, and they settle to a different game: maximize personal holdings of plunder and let the world fall apart, because it all helps to reduce population, and all they can see is the need to gather enough wealth to carve out their safe dominion in the remaining world.


What the rich have actually discovered of course is that there are 7 billion too many people on the planet - for the planet to carry the rapacity of their capitalist plundering. I suspect China would say that the planet can sustain 10 billion under socialist management.

I conjecture that population would manage to go down anyway, through the mysterious mechanism of organisms knowing themselves to be in jeopardy, without any intervention by the rich - but demographic changes happen over generations, and global population could perhaps peak at 10 billion even as the downsizing was apparent. This is simply my conjecture.

So we have two very real viewpoints when we step all the way back and look at things. The contest is between those who would literally and deliberately kill off most of the human race in order to continue their system of wealth holding, and those who would manage wealth in order to sustain all of the human race.

This is a very large game. When I look at it in cold reality, I find that we simply don't know which view will prevail. And it could take hundreds or thousands of years for this struggle to wage itself until the socially kind view prevails, if such a thing will happen - which all persons of good conscience must surely believe can happen, and should be fought for.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 9 2021 1:03 utc | 143

Below is a ZH link of the latest Glenn Greenwald piece that I expect many to resonate with

Glenn Greenwald Obliterates "Tattling, Hall Monitoring, Speech Policing" Journalists After Taylor Lorenz Self-Owns Into Oblivion

The only criticism I have of his piece is that he does not point to the people behind the curtain that employ the gutter journalists of our day

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 9 2021 2:51 utc | 144

Below is an article I originally saw at ZH but then went to the source

US Convoys Enter NE Syria, Signaling Plans to Stay

The take away quote
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, some 50 vehicles in a US military convoy crossed into Syria this weekend and head for bases in the nation’s NE Hasakeh Province.

Details aren’t clear on why the convoy arrived, beyond delivering equipment. The Observatory noted this is the ninth such convoy to enter Syria in 2021, meaning nearly two convoys per week are showing up.

I now see humanity as this huge pot of stew that is coming to a boil. Which element of the stew will spill over the sides first is a fools game but watching them approach the edge is interesting.....sigh

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 9 2021 2:57 utc | 145

Russians played a prominent role in a WEF Great Reset simulation exercise last year, reports Whitney Webb. Another one is scheduled for July. Webb suggests a planned collapse of the financial system is in the making.

”Last year, the World Economic Forum teamed up with the Russian government and global banks to run a high-profile cyberattack simulation that targeted the financial industry, an actual event that would pave the way for a “reset” of the global economy. The simulation, named Cyber Polygon, may have been more than a typical planning exercise and bears similarities to the WEF-sponsored pandemic simulation Event 201 that briefly preceded the COVID-19 crisis.

“On Wednesday, the World Economic Forum (WEF), along with Russia’s Sberbank and its cybersecurity subsidiary BI.ZONE announced that a new global cyberattack simulation would take place this coming July to instruct participants in “developing secure ecosystems” by simulating a supply-chain cyberattack similar to the recent SolarWinds hack that would “assess the cyber resilience” of the exercise’s participants. On the newly updated event website, [link given in original article] the simulation, called Cyber Polygon 2021, ominously warns that, given the digitalization trends largely spurred by the COVID-19 crisis, ‘a single vulnerable link is enough to bring down the entire system, just like the domino effect,’ adding that ‘a secure approach to digital development today will determine the future of humanity for decades to come.’

“The exercise comes several months after the WEF, the ‘international organization for public-private cooperation’ that counts the world’s richest elite among its members, formally announced its movement for a Great Reset, which would involve the coordinated transition to a Fourth Industrial Revolution global economy in which human workers become increasingly irrelevant.

“This revolution, including its biggest proponent, WEF founder Klaus Schwab, has previously presented a major problem for WEF members and member organizations in terms of what will happen to the masses of people left unemployed by the increasing automation and digitalization in the workplace.

“New economic systems that are digitally based and either partnered with or run by central banks are a key part of the WEF’s Great Reset, and such systems would be part of the answer to controlling the masses of the recently unemployed. As others have noted, these digital monopolies, not just financial services, would allow those who control them to “turn off” a person’s money and access to services if that individual does not comply with certain laws, mandates and regulations.

“The WEF has been actively promoting and creating such systems and has most recently taken to calling its preferred model ‘stakeholder capitalism.’ Though advertised as a more ‘inclusive’ form of capitalism, stakeholder capitalism would essentially fuse the public and private sectors, creating a system much more like Mussolini’s corporatist style of fascism than anything else.

“Yet, to usher in this new and radically different system, the current corrupt system must somehow collapse in its entirety, and its replacement must be successfully marketed to the masses as somehow better than its predecessor. When the world’s most powerful people, such as members of the WEF, desire to make radical changes, crises conveniently emerge—whether a war, a plague, or economic collapse—that enable a ‘reset’ of the system, which is frequently accompanied by a massive upward transfer of wealth. . .

“Some will say that a ‘cyberpandemic’ is an inevitable consequence of the quickly developing hi-tech world in which we live, but it still fair to point out that 2021 is the year that many have been predicting for the financial destruction of big institutions that will lead to new economic systems that align with the Great Reset. The inevitable collapse of the global banking system, resulting from the off-the-charts corruption and fraud that has run rampant for decades, is likely to be conducted through a controlled collapse, one that would allow wealthy bankers and elites, such as those that participated in Cyber Polygon, to avoid responsibility for their economic pillaging and criminal activity…

“A massive cyberattack, such as that simulated at Cyber Polygon 2020, would allow faceless hackers to be blamed for economic collapse, thus absolving the real financial criminals of responsibility. Furthermore, due to the difficult nature of investigating hacks and the ability of intelligence agencies to frame other nation states for hacks they in fact committed themselves, any boogeyman of choice can be blamed, whether a “domestic terror” group or a country unaligned with the WEF (for now, at least) like Iran or North Korea. Between the well-placed warnings, simulations, and the clear benefit for the global elite intent on a Great Reset, Cyber Polygon 2020 appears to have served not only its publicly stated purpose but its own ulterior motives.”

Simulation of a coming cyberpandemic

Posted by: suzan | Feb 9 2021 3:39 utc | 146

@ psychohistorian | Feb 8 2021 21:14 utc | 136... i would like to try some other kinds.. i quite like this pu-erh stuff from yunnan!! where did you get what you have from?

@ juliania | Feb 8 2021 22:10 utc | 138... the book you are reading sounds very relevant for the times.. i wish i had more time to read more books! i will check out the matt taibbi article and comments - i know there were 2 that b linked to, and i looked at neither of them... thanks..

Posted by: james | Feb 9 2021 5:24 utc | 147

@ james | Feb 9 2021 5:24 utc | 146 who asked about my source for pu-erh tea

I get mine from a local acupuncturist who gets his stash through Wing Ming (a Chinese herbal store) in Portland Oregon. Ask around for such store in your area or Vancouver and if they carry aged pu-erh tea...I paid $35 for my mushroom puck.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 9 2021 5:37 utc | 148

Trump declared victory ON ELECTION NIGHT and Biden claimed victory just as soon as he was sure the mail in ballets would be counted. My dog probably won, but my cat claims that only cats are eligible to vote, the mouse says cats are not eligible to vote because they kill mice so the snake won.

I am an American, Biden is a USAer.

Without all of the ballets in my control for the duration of the verification of the tally, nothing meaningful can be produced. Once i have control of them all I will check the tally, and so too can millions of other Americans. and we Voters can collectively authenticate the ballets and reconcile the tally differences, and actually re-tally the results based on the facts obtained from the face of the authenticated ballets that contain the votes to be counted to determine the election outcome. After all, why should the USA count the votes Americans cast? Voting counting and ballet authentication should be done by those who are eligible to vote.

To be meaningful every ballot must first be validated, and those ballets that c/n/b authenticated removed, then tally the validated ballot to determine the election outcome.

Here is another POS. There is mounting evidence that there is not now nor has there every been more of virus threat than in years past .. even more evidence suggest the virus claimed to be such a threat might have been lab produced. Facebook apparently is fearful that such secrets might be revealed so it wants to stop further investigation?

Let me make it clear I am neither a Biden nor a Trump fan, my concern is the dishonesty associated with
whom ever is elected to the USA.

Posted by: snake | Feb 9 2021 6:12 utc | 149

@139 Piotr Berman
That are all very good points and I agree. But whatever happens with Crimea and Ukraine - that still leaves the much bigger problem that now significant parts of Europe feel existantially threatened by Russia. Germany - and in particular France - would like to move closer to Russia but can`t because that would tear the EU apart and make them even more dependent on the USA. Washington, of course, fuels the tensions as much as it can.

I can imagine that humiliating Borrell in all public felt really, really good. But which problem exactly has been solved by doing so? He will now tell the foreign ministers at the next EU summit that flying over to Moscow in order to sorting out at least some of the problems by just talking had been naive and that not introducing new sanctions in the Navalny case has been reiceived as a sign of weakness in Russia.

Posted by: m | Feb 9 2021 6:39 utc | 150

@EoinW (22)

I envy the USA. People can actually flee Lockdowns and move to states without them(for now).

I'm a USian citizen myself, and I certainly am not proud of it. I dunno where you currently live, but here in the USA there is no paid maternity leave or universal healthcare.

Considering how divided society has become, couldn't we divide every country in two? One half for lockdowns and the other half for people who don't wish to live under lockdown. I guess that wouldn't work because governments would have to surrender half their power. We know they never willingly give up any power.
I've seen the same argument - to split the USA into two countries - as a hypothetical solution to the disparity between 'red' and 'blue' states. Some have counter-argued that a state voting either side tends to be fragmented even within - there are examples of voters in urban areas voting Democrat and voters in rural areas voting Republican. If this is not a good analogy, then let me know.

Posted by: joey_n | Feb 9 2021 9:18 utc | 151

" not introducing new sanctions in the Navalny case has been reiceived as a sign of weakness in Russia."

Posted by: m | Feb 9 2021 6:39 utc | 150

And the conclusion is....????

For starters, anti-Russian paranoia is an official ideology of ruling parties in Poland and Baltics, with varying degrees of insanity. Currently ruling party in Poland raised this level very, very high to use it as a cudgel against perfectly anti-Russian opponents. The phenomenon is strongly encouraged by USA and European Atlanticists. Being "afraid of Russia" is an ideological position with scant relation to facts. Were they indeed afraid, they would behave ingratiatingly, and they do not. For example, anti-Jewish smears (and at occasion, anti-Ukrainian) are persecuted, anti-Russian smears are not (like calling Russian as retarted Mongoloids). Navalny is just a topic to use as a cudgel, like the retarded conspiracy theory about a catastrophe of a Polish plane near Smolensk in Russia was used against opponents of PiS (ruling in Poland).

Navalny, a lawyer, purposely violated conditions of a suspended sentence, and purposely made a video hurling baseless invectives at people, and why should he be absolved of responsibility? Some wise [deleted] say that it would be wise, because it would improve relationship with EU and USA. And what is the putative causality chain for that putative improvement?

Surely, not the high priority given by EU and USA to human rights. Show me sanctions on KSA for numerous and extremely previous human right violations (including slicing an inconvenient journalist into small pieces, politically motivated execution, mass repressions of religious minorities etc. With evenhandedness, Biden should sanction KSA and RF by not allowing them to buy American weapons and call it a day (he did with KSA).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 9 2021 12:01 utc | 152

extremely previous -> extremely previous

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 9 2021 12:03 utc | 153

extremely previous -> extremely grievous, I do not know why autocorrect is particularly aggressive when I post at MoonOfAlabama, to the point that I cannot explain why I misspelled.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 9 2021 12:09 utc | 154

The Peoples Republic of China, the mainland, insist, historically correct, that Republic of China, Taiwan, is a part of mainland China.

There is no such thing as "historically correct," and your logic would mean the US is still a part of the British empire. It is much longer than 1776 since China governed Taiwan.

You know an awful lot about the 737 Max and nothing at all about Taiwan. You are usually far more empirical, I suggest you do some real research.

(Long-time reader, based in Taiwan since 2005.)

Posted by: jason kennedy | Feb 9 2021 12:23 utc | 155

American concentration camps:

After St. Louis jail unrest, inmates’ advocates allege desperate conditions while officials defend pandemic response

“They are desperate in there, and anyone would be at this point,” Erika Wurst, a lawyer with the St. Louis public defender’s office, said of the more than 700 people detained at the St. Louis Justice Center, a six-story building a few blocks from the city’s riverfront.

Wurst and other advocates allege that inmates have been mistreated during the coronavirus pandemic, left in de facto solitary confinement and minded by jail staffers who do not maintain proper safety protocols. City officials, meanwhile, defended their management of the facility, saying they have provided appropriate treatment and protective equipment.


Protests behind bars have a long history in the United States, with incarceration cutting off many of the other ways people might typically demonstrate, said David C. Fathi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project.

“Incarcerated people can’t call their member of Congress,” he said. “They can’t go down to the capitol to lobby. They’re stripped of the right to vote. In some prisons, even written petitions are banned. For incarcerated people, strikes, civil disobedience and other forms of personal protests are really the only ways they have to make their voices heard.”

Quick, call the HRW!

Posted by: vk | Feb 9 2021 12:24 utc | 156

suzan | Feb 9 2021 3:39 utc | 146

Thanks for the post.

Webb suggests a planned collapse of the financial system is in the making.

I would rather say that they have seen that a financial collapse is inevitable,, so how can they profit from it, and who can they blame?.
The situation at the moment is ridiculous, ranging from MMT, Target2, hiddden debts, massive known debts, black pool derivative-obligations/speculation, corporate irresponsibilty and greed, to the 0.0001% already owning the almost all the rest!

Seen in that light, the "reset" is a means to limit the coming destruction and following population revulsion. ie They want to save themselves.

Surely it has been realised that when the dollar/Euro/whatever collapse, all the other currencies will collapse at the same time. Societies themselves will not resist either. Neither the Chinse, US or Russians are immune - and they know it.

The repressive actions being taken at the present time, (covid ultra-intrusive restrictions, increased police and armed forces, coming "credit scores" based on docility and obedience, imposing "politicians" that are subservient to money, etc) are all to eliminate the last refuge of ordinary people. That of neighborliness. "Know your neighbor", and in the event of a common disaster, you will find your neighbor will help you. It is one of the most basic human reflexes. For a numerically very small group, several billions of angry humans are not the best of neighbors either.


PS. OT a bit. "Stakeholder capitalism" reminds me of a science fiction story where all the "non active civilians" were given "stocks" (ie food vouchers) and given "Trank" to reduce them into TV fodder, while watching organised warfare (using only technology not later than 1919, but with real dead)
If you were not in the "ruling class", the only possibility to advance your personal "class" was to join in the fighting. Wars forever, as today ?)

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 9 2021 13:23 utc | 157

The EU has won a ruling in favour of forcing a cash-less society on us all.

Major financial institutions such as Visa and Mastercard along with the International Monetary Fund, billionaire Bill Gates and the US Treasury, have been lobbying for cash to be abolished worldwide and replaced with digital only currencies.

The CJEU has ruled that national governments remain free to issue laws that would force all public entities, or even private ones, to accept euro cash, but also to pass laws which restrict this obligation to accept cash. The condition is that this cannot be done with the purpose of regulating what legal tender entails......
It is best understood from the desired outcome, which is ex-post legalisation of existing restrictions on the acceptance of cash.

I don't see the "partial defeat" for Gates in spite of the headline

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 9 2021 15:09 utc | 158

Surely it has been realised that when the dollar/Euro/whatever collapse, all the other currencies will collapse at the same time. Societies themselves will not resist either. Neither the Chinese, US or Russians are immune - and they know it.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 9 2021 13:23 utc | 157

I do not see why. Consider how Russia survived the most recent oil shocks. It was a hit, but no collapse. Russia does not encourage highly leveraged investments, foreign reserves are diversified, the need for foreign direct investments is decreasing, no need for foreign credits. China is resilient for similar reasons.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 9 2021 15:18 utc | 159

I'll give you that Russia is probably the best insulated, and has had experience of societal collapse. (Chinese second?)

I was trying to "square the circle" and I wondered why the Russians became involved with the Central Banking cabal. ”Last year, the World Economic Forum teamed up with the Russian government and global banks to run a high-profile cyberattack simulation that targeted the financial industry, an actual event that would pave the way for a “reset” of the global economy.
From Suzans post at; suzan | Feb 9 2021 3:39 utc | 146

I assume that there may be a devious path being set up for some as a "get out of jail card". By trying to, at the last minute, placing assets in a secure sitation. But what does Russia get out of it?
I see that Gates and others (Musk) invest heavily in China already, and from the Taiwan thread, that the intertwining in the subterrean financial/corporate world has more twists than an Agatha Christie novel. Nominal ownership after a general collapse can be moneyed into a restitution of Assets later. (WWII and the restitution or continuation of the Top 655 families control over assets. Continuity of power.)

So why is Russia involved with the Rothschild Cabal (Private money printing) and the WEF reset?

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 9 2021 15:54 utc | 160

subterreanean => a complex way of saying underground, and it would have been better but not as polite, to say "more twists than Agatha Christies knickers". (for all I know she could have worn "bloomers").

If you are using Microsofts spell checker: they know better than you what you want and they do not miss a chance to tell you. "Knickers" had them foiled as beyond the beyond.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 9 2021 16:11 utc | 161

james @ 147 I have just read the section where the communist army has entered Shanghai - the observation from one of the residents is that chaos had been already in the city caused by the departing Nationals, who had ordered citizens to give up all their monetary valuables as a curfew had been imposed, threats often carried out against citizens who were suspected of being communist sympathizers (many were at this point), and residents simply awoke to find the troops were there, having come in silently overnight, their peasant sandals making no noise, and were, like the Capitol army, sleeping in all buildings. When awoken they simply say 'we are the people's army' and are gratefully received. Some of my characters were in colonial type schools and those were kept open so they could graduate. Still departed Nationals are sending bombers over so all is not completely calm...

"...If the Shanghai locals were bewildered by the disciplined ragtag soldiers lining their streets, those bleary-eyed country boys were equally stunned to awaken in the Paris of the East. Few had ever seen such towering skyscrapers, grand mansions, fine motorized vehicles, or Westernized Chinese who looked to them as alien as the foreigners.

At St. Mary's Hall, Doreen and several other girls had spent the night at a teacher's cottage, huddled on the floor and out of the path of stray bullets. After Benny found her safe and unharmed, he couldn't resist checking on his own nearby campus. A sea of soldiers greeted him: two thousand Red Army troops asleep on the grassy commons by the landmark old camphor tree. He would have stopped to pray at the Pro-Cathedral, but it too was occupied by soldiers sleeping on the pews and floor. In contrast to the chaos and looting of the retreating Nationalists, the Communist victory was almost peaceful.

Some fighting flared up outside the city proper, in Pudong and Woosung in the east and by Hongqiao in the west. After a small Nationalist unit put up a last-ditch fight near the Bund, they surrendered once they realized they'd been abandoned by their fellow soldiers. Other Nationalist troops who had been left behind simply shed their uniforms and disappeared into the teeming city, clad only in their underwear.."

Posted by: juliania | Feb 9 2021 16:17 utc | 162

@ Norwegian | Feb 8 2021 16:06 utc | 110

I thought this Antonio Zamora 9 min YT on comet/meteor fragment secondary impact effects producing not only the Carolina bay features but also distinctive tsunami debris "chevron' patterns adjacent to rivers and bodies of water, and in well dated landslides from strikes that landed in the Appalachian highlands of Southwestern Virginia, was especially informative and well presented:

Posted by: gm | Feb 9 2021 17:12 utc | 163

As if the fiasco in Moscow was not enough, today Borrell addressed an empty European Parliament to keep digging a deeper hole for himself and what is a lot worse, for Europe. I could not watch it all, the same old Columbus deal, here we bring you beads and trinkets, we want your gold.

But what worries me personally, how about the vaccine? Ukraine says that long live democracy, or neonazism, they are not rabbits to be experimented upon, and Peskov retorts, bravo, there will be more vaccines for the ones that want them.

How can they say the things they say so shamelessly, talk about human rights when tv stations are banned in Ukraine and the Baltics, when during the IIWW 75 jubilee nazism is tolerated and silently encouraged. It does not make any sense to me, and everything looks darker day after day. Hard to figure out how are we going to get out of this one.

Posted by: Paco | Feb 9 2021 18:05 utc | 164

Moon Chung-in interview Part 2, "Trump’s failure is Biden’s chance on North Korea," revisits the historic negotiations between Kim and Trump that were eventually sabotaged by Bolton. Moon strongly believes Biden ought to closely examine Kim's deal offer to Trump as the basis for reentering negotiations. Essential excerpts:

"'After the Pyongyang summit on September 19, Kim Jong Un, for the first time, said openly, ‘We have committed to make every effort to turn the Korean peninsula into a land of peace free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threat,’ Moon recalled. 'South Korean critics used to say that unless Moon Jae-in got a verbal assurance on denuclearization, the summit would be a failure, so the Moon government worked very hard to get that.'

"Moreover, a very public statement was made when President Moon joined Kim in the North’s huge May Day stadium before a capacity crowd.

"'I was sitting in the front row of the stadium. President Moon gave a speech and said, ‘I agreed with Chairman Kim to get rid of nuclear weapons and create peace on the Korean peninsula for our descendants,’ Moon recalled. '150,000 North Koreans gave him an enthusiastic applause. That showed North Korea is really committed to denuclearize.'

"Many might say the regime had corralled these citizens – who were, anyway, loyal members of the Pyongyang elite. Moon differs. Dubbing the moment 'historic,' he called the public response, 'a collective expression of willingness to denuclearize.'

"'150,000 Pyongyang citizens heard it and showed an unexpected support! 150,000 is almost one-tenth of Pyongyang’s population, and they constitute the core of the public in North Korea,' Moon said. 'To give a South Korea leader the chance to give a talk at the May 1st Stadium was unprecedented.'"

Presidents Moon and Kim went though extensive efforts to create a workable document that included very specific goals Trump would likely accept, and there were very high hopes at the time.

"Seoul, dedicated to playing an intermediary role between the US and the North, had worked to draw commitments from Pyongyang ahead of the second North Korea-US summit in early 2019. The resultant commitments were legitimate, Moon says.

"In the post-summit Pyongyang Declaration, Article 5 stipulated that North Korea would dismantle its Dongchang-ri ballistic missile engine test facility and launch pad, and would consider dismantling Yongbyon completely, for good.

"'That was the first time a North Korean leader, in written form, had given very specific suggestions,' Moon said. 'President Moon had tried very hard to get Yongbyon on the table.'"

It was then on to Hanoi:

"Kim arrived with specific proposals for “complete and permanent dismantling of the Yongbyon nuclear facilities in return for lifting five UN sanction resolutions related to the civil economy and people’s livelihoods,” Moon said.

"Though the deal did not encompass a separate, suspected uranium processing facility at Kanson, near Pyongyang, or his existing stockpile of warheads, Moon was confident in the well-regarded US special envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun, who believed he could convince Trump to reciprocate what Kim was offering....

"Citing Bolton’s memoir, The Room Where it Happened, Moon notes that Bolton read Biegun’s proposal during his flight and was unhappy about it. Bolton called then-vice president Mike Pence, who intervened with the White House chief of staff. A second US position was hastily drafted."

Bolton succeeded; there was no deal:

"'Kim really wanted a deal, but Trump kicked it away,' Moon said. 'The US should realize that it cannot make progress on denuclearization of North Korea without making small successes that are vital to initial trust-building between the two'....

"Moon says he considers Bolton the villain. 'Trump could have come up with some deal with Kim Jong Un and changed the entire landscape on the Korean Peninsula,' he said. 'I would say it was carefully orchestrated sabotage by Bolton that derailed the Hanoi summit.'" [My Emphasis]

And that's where the issue stands. Moon offers some suggestions as to what Biden might consider. An outstanding opportunity was lost for both Trump and Kim. President Moon has continued his efforts; but without any hope of movement by the main impediment, relations between North and South have also suffered. My own opinion is for the Koreas to move forward and ignore the Outlaw US Empire's posture and through their progress to confront it with the fait accompli of unification. Part three will likely be published tomorrow. And no, I didn't excerpt it all.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 9 2021 18:07 utc | 165


"‘We have committed to make every effort to turn the Korean peninsula into a land of peace free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threat,’ "

and free from nuclear threat. As long is the US is around that threat is not going away no matter what deals the North and South make.

Posted by: arby | Feb 9 2021 18:28 utc | 166

Paco @164--

Yes, the situation is amazingly bad, IMO because of the constant denial of access to information that must be provided via numerous treaties, a point conspicuously missing from this Fyodor Lukyanov op/ed. The big problem is the EU's insistence on treating Navalny as a political prisoner when he's merely a common criminal getting what he deserves based on his own actions. I don't know if you saw Patrick Armstrong's essay on Navalny or had time to read it, but he advances an interesting thesis that ignores the current diplomatic impasse. Lavrov made some comments published by Sputnik that have yet to be posted to the MFA's English website. However, TASS interviewed Maria Zakharova who made some excellent observations:

"EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell’s statement on the results of his visit to Moscow that was posted on his personal blog runs counter to what he said during a news conference on February 5, which makes one think that someone is dictating the European Union how to behave toward Russia, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview with TASS."

What would induce Borrell to lie so obviously? And how does his behavior impact his relations with Lavrov? Would you meet with him again? Perhaps a general notice ought to be made by the Kremlin that the EU is no longer agreement capable as is the case with the Outlaw US Empire?

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 9 2021 18:32 utc | 167

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 9 2021 18:32 utc | 167

I’ve been following that visit and its consequences closely, I’m going to read Armstrong’s article, I’m sure it will have some good insights, but I am flabbergasted by the hypocrisy of European functionaries and the local press. At some point of Lavrov’s talk he referred to the Catalonian case with a subtle praise to Spain for standing up to the principle of local laws under pressure from other European countries and asking for reciprocity, we have our laws, respect them. But here we go, our Foreign minister reacted acrimoniously restating a talking point repeated here ad nauseam, “we do not have political prisoners, we have politicians in prison”. Zakharova reacted to that artificial construct by calling the ministress’s talking point, it is “technology” and dare devil piloting. The Catalonian issue is a very sensitive one here in Spain, irrationally faced, so much so that even the vice president Iglesias is being harshly criticized for stating that our democracy is not so fine when there are going to be elections in Catalonia and one president is in jail and the other exiled, boy, they are going after him like a rabid wolf pack for stating the obvious, and I do not support Catalonian separatism.

I fear Europe is so enmeshed with the collapsing empire that we are going to drown together, what a bunch of mediocre careerists at the wheel.

Posted by: Paco | Feb 9 2021 18:47 utc | 169

Yes, I was aware of the events and characters described in Armstrong's article, funny but true, it is easy to forget all the artificial characters of the never ending saga like the nut case Pavlensky who burns the Lyubianka's door to become a western hero and then is locked up in Paris after burning the door of The Bank of France. I call them Bic Heroes, like the Pussy Riots, used them and throw them away. By the way, do you remember Savchenko? I'm Nadya, we are Nadya, the Ukrainian Joan of Arc, where is she now?

It is high time to stop being nice and I think the breaking point came with the Borrell visit to Moscow, I was so shocked at the final Lavrov statement, Europe is not a reliable partner, that I even had doubts about hearing it properly, I then checked the transcript just to be completely in shock at such sincerity. The order of business has changed and it was high time for that to happen, enough of that "partner" bullshit.

Posted by: Paco | Feb 9 2021 19:09 utc | 170

arby @166--

That will remain the case until the Outlaw US Empire dies, and perhaps even beyond that. Moon did an excellent job of formulating a deal acceptable to Trump, and it needs to be repeated that it was done for Trump and not for South Korea, for which the nukes aren't the real issue. If they integrate, then North and South would share the threat coming from the Empire even if all Imperial forces were removed from the region and pulled back to Guam and Hawaii. And when one contemplates the current situation, that threat is already shared--It's to the benefit of ALL Koreans that the Outlaw US Empire removes its occupation allowing normal interaction to resume. The same also applies to Japan.

If humanity is to mature, then all forms of Imperialism must cease to exist. Controllers must accept the fact that their behaviors must change--they must evolve and become humane humans.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 9 2021 19:12 utc | 171

Paco @170--

Yes, I recall most all of the pawns. Will the next EU generation be different, or will they retain the psychosis Putin says is responsible for the EU's bad behavior? How representative is the EU of Europe? Does it live in its own little bubble in Brussels; and if so, how much longer can it retain legitimacy? Many say there're no ideological differences, but I object to that notion because they're many in evidence; just look at where the primary focus of development lies--improvements in everyone's lives: The Citizenry's wellbeing is THE goal. It appears the West has completely forgotten those that populate it in favor of those who suck the blood from them.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 9 2021 19:28 utc | 172

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 9 2021 19:28 utc | 172

You are asking the right questions, but the answers are not encouraging. The next generation is going to be different but that does not mean better equipped to face reality, immigration and common consuming standards will have a strong impact. The psychosis will remain or get worse with an information realm completely colonized by the empire, the EU is a remote proposition, geographically from where I live, and as an institution.

Posted by: Paco | Feb 9 2021 21:22 utc | 173

Paco @173--

Thanks very much for your honest although uncomfortable reply. I too am aloof yet within a very uncomfortable structure. So, I travel via computer. Yesterday was Russia's Science Day, which is apparently a national holiday. And again thanks to the Kremlin we get an excellent insight into Russia's activities in that sphere--it's a veritable paradise for scientists from any field!! After firing up a new reactor, Putin speaks about policy:

"Mr Kovalchuk has just mentioned the attention the Government is paying to strengthening our country’s scientific potential. Indeed, this is long-term and systematic work. It has been going on consistently over the recent years. I am referring to the development of an advanced research infrastructure of universities and research centres, a support system for young talents and the involvement of our compatriots in scientific projects.

"Time has shown that we have been doing the right thing, and timely too. Education and science, and Russia’s technological sovereignty, have become not only important, but to a large extent decisive, key factors in national security and the quality of life today....

"Our policies in scientific research and technology and steps designed to support national scientific research must meet the challenges of a whole new level of complexity. Our goal extends beyond gaining new knowledge and making breakthrough discoveries. Importantly, technological progress must serve the people and be widely available....

"Importantly, we need to apply similar efforts to achieve fast implementation and scaling of technologies and then use them to create competitive products in other areas that are critical for society and every individual. We are talking about accelerated digitalisation, solutions designed to protect the environment and to produce high-quality food, innovative environmentally friendly energy sources and state-of-the-art medical technology. Four years ago, we included these critical areas in the Strategy for the Scientific and Technological Development of Russia.

"Ambitious research and technology programmes have been launched in agriculture and genetics, which are the areas where research can significantly improve the quality of life and life expectancy, and improve the health of the nation.

"I propose discussing the implementation of these complex programmes during a series of special meetings to be held soon. Importantly, they have already made it possible to combine the capabilities of universities, research organisations, private businesses and companies with state participation, so that we can now quickly create and introduce innovative technology solutions.

"In this regard, I believe we must use this approach in yet another sphere that is critical for society. I have just signed an executive order on launching a federal research and technology programme focusing on environmental protection and climate. The point is to develop and implement, in conjunction with businesses and the scientific community, domestic technological solutions that will ensure environmental safety, improve the environment, and make an effective contribution to overcoming the challenges posed by climate change."

Putin then makes special note of who is becoming the new cadre of scientists:

"I will quote some interesting figures now: according to sociological polls, almost two thirds of parents support their children’s decision to pursue science. Indicatively, since 2016, the number of such families has almost doubled. As for young people themselves, every tenth is ready to choose a scientific career. In terms of human resources, Russian science is really becoming one of the world’s youngest. Quite recently, we were concerned that it was getting old. The situation is changing and our young people are achieving important results in medicine, genetics, quantum physics and other promising areas."

Putin then singles out just a few of the many and briefly describes their accomplishments. After four years of Anti-Science idiots attempting to run the Outlaw US Empire, I can't help but applaud:

"Today, young scientists, winners of the 2020 State Prize in Science, are taking part in the session of our council. Experts describe their discoveries as a true scientific breakthrough. I will describe these works, these achievements with great pleasure and pride, as far as our format permits it today.

"Vladimir Maximenko was the first to explain many complicated cognitive thinking processes, which made it possible to create new systems for monitoring the activity of the brain, as well as methods of early detection of serious neurological diseases and relevant rehabilitation.

"A research team – Yevgeniya Dolgova, Yekaterina Potter and Anastasia Proskurina – have developed innovative medications and methods for treating oncological diseases. In effect, they have created a universal platform for the effective individual application of a wide spectrum of anti-tumour agents and technology.

"Owing to a genuine breakthrough in microbiology and genetics, Kirill Antonets and Anton Nizhnikov have brought science very close to the development of effective methods for treating serious hereditary diseases.

"The innovation by the team headed by Yevgeny Khaidukov paves the way to the development of new materials in industry and biomedicine. In particular, it makes it possible to replace damaged tissues with various polymers."

It's awesome to know outstanding progress is being made in the entire realm of science and how the Russian people want it to service the transformation of the human condition. Unfortunately, the entire meeting isn't covered in the transcript, but more than enough is revealed to know that both Russia and China are far ahead of the Outlaw US Empire and will continue to further widen the gap because of how their socio-political structure's arranged. And yet there's more:

"Let me repeat, the competitiveness of the national economy and domestic companies depends on the level of technological and scientific development. Daily life, the wellbeing of every person and of course Russia’s security are directly linked to it.

"We are seeing that global competition for technology and knowledge is rapidly gaining momentum all over the world. I said this in the beginning. In effect, there is nothing new in this statement. It is perfectly obvious that the country that gets ahead will determine the further development of all of humanity. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that scientific and technological sovereignty is a matter of Russia’s present and future.

"We have everything we need to be in the lead in science, primarily, talented young people and strong scientific schools.

"We must build up this potential. And we must not depreciate it, but unfortunately, this is the result of disunity, weak and limited communications between ministries, agencies and research centres that are supposed to work for a common goal in technological development." [My Emphasis]

And to improve the situation, Putin in consultation with his associates reviews the new proposals for resolving these issues, which the reader can consult. Putin will not allow complacency. He demands rigor, dedication and teamwork in a manner that ties the individual to the state and vice-versa. Putin's evolution as a leader has also resulted in Russia's remarkable evolution as a nation, while the West as no equivalent and is reduced to smearing a great man.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 9 2021 22:14 utc | 174

Iranian Intelligence Minister Hints at Atomic Bomb: “It Won’t Be Our Fault” (EurAsia Daily, February 9, 2021 — machine translation)

Posted by: S | Feb 9 2021 22:16 utc | 175

Below is a quote from Tal Zaks, chief medical officer at Moderna in last October's British Medical Journal

Is it that there is a “current public need for knowing expeditiously that a vaccine works” or is it that there is a current corporate need to sell as many doses as possible before this whole thing starts to unravel in front of mutation-created variants that render the vaccine ineffective?

China does not go through this mental masturbation of morals and that is why its form of social governance will persist and endure.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 10 2021 0:44 utc | 176

@ juliania | Feb 9 2021 16:17 utc | 162... thanks for more of an overview with what looks like a fascinating read... i did happen to look at the matt taibbi article you mention.. it is fairly shocking what some of those speculators have gone thru - both past and present... i am curious if you are copying and pasting that off a free online version of the book? thanks..

Posted by: james | Feb 10 2021 1:31 utc | 177

Some discussion between Rania Kalec and Ben Norton on the colonial empire's predation on the people of South America. US Meddles In Ecuador As Region Resists Imperialism w/ Ben Norton

1 Hour video

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 10 2021 2:09 utc | 178

When the GameStop situation was first reported on here I wrote that the HFT folks would just front run Reddit and that is what Wall Street on Parade is now reporting

Retail Traders Are the New Lab Rats in High Frequency Trading Schemes

The take away quote
This is the latest chapter in the long running saga of how Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department are allowing high frequency traders to fleece the public under the pretext of providing liquidity to markets.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 10 2021 2:10 utc | 179

Manipulating the Covid Statistics:

Manipulating diagnosted case numbers by misuse of pcr:

Dr. Sam Bailey; Covid-19: "Behind the PCR Curtain" (12 min, with lots of documentation/references in the description box)

Manipulation of Covid death counts in US by CDC rewriting the reporting criteria in March 2020:

COVID-19 Data Collection, Comorbidity & Federal Law: A Historical Retrospective (October 12, 2020; peer reviewed study)

From Page 20 Conclusions:

Figure 9. COVID-19 Using the March 24 Exclusive Guidelines vs Using the 2003 Guidelines. Had
the CDC used the 2003 guidelines, the total COVID-19 be approximately *16.7 times lower* than is
currently being reported
. [1][30][State & Territory Health Departments]

Posted by: gm | Feb 10 2021 2:58 utc | 180

karlof1 #174

And Putin plays policeman for scientist wage justice: Here in a brief video.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 10 2021 3:28 utc | 181

Jimmy Dore's reaction to the Molly Ball/Time Magazine Gloat article on how the BORG conspiracy proudly "fortified democracy" by "changing the rules and laws" and censoring speech, and stopping the flow of information [not to mention a bunch of other things], and thereby stole the 2020 election from Trump:

Establishment's Secret Project To Control 2020 Election & Censor Critics Revealed. (29 min)

Posted by: gm | Feb 10 2021 3:30 utc | 182

psychohistorian #179

There are lab rats and there are low life rats:

Holder came from, and returned to, the law firm that fronted for Big Tobacco for forty years. He did nothing to curtail high frequency trading.

Eric Holder is the epitome of the slimy corrupt swampsters that run the dimratss party.

If the high speed traders ever get to court what's the bet that they will claim first amendment rights for the free speech from their computer servers that front run the people trading in the market. "Oh woe they will chant and fie on any evil person who would deny their little intel box the right of free speech". Eric Holder will be leading the case of course. The Supreme Court will rule that machines (like corporations) have equal rights to people and that they deserve to make money on the stock market too.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 10 2021 5:43 utc | 183

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 10 2021 3:28 utc | 181

And that is how Putin has earned the aura of people’s Tsar, not so much a distant unseen and untouched father of the nation but a close one by using popular expressions deeply rooted in common folk’s language.

After discussing the truly low pay of scientists Putin asks the finance minister, where is the money Zin? quoting a line from a very popular and funny song by the late bard and poet Vysotsky. It reminds me of a TV add back in the 80’s in Canada and the US, it was for a hamburger chain, two old ladies take a look at a hamburger and one of them asks “where is the beef?”. That makes a lot of points for the people’s Tsar.

Where is the money Zin?

Where is the beef?

Posted by: Paco | Feb 10 2021 6:05 utc | 184

To b and all barflies, I highly recommend giving Yasha Levine a read on the Navalny, errrr, situation. He's a Ukrainian American that is very knowledgeable about what's going on over there as well as Russian politics and the body public.

Also check out his other Substack pieces on the matter and other subjects. I pay $5 a month to just three substack authors: Taibbi, Greenwald and Levine.

His wife joins him in a "podcast" frequently discussing these matters as well:

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 10 2021 6:10 utc | 185


Would it make sense for you to sign up on Substack? That way you wouldn't need to rely on individual donations via PayPal or whatever form they mainly come in. I'm sure there are small fees attached to an 'account' there, but joining Greenwald, Taibbi and many other voices who speak truth to the establishment's narrative might increase your reach and the amount of $ in your bank account.

Just a suggestion and I'm sorry I wasn't able to donate this last time around.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 10 2021 6:12 utc | 186

@ _K_C_ | Feb 10 2021 6:10 utc | 185... you have to subscribe to read your first link... i am conflicted on the subscription model myself.. it would be fun to talk about it here at moa, i think... i like donation system better myself... i have enjoyed reading yasha on the topic of navalny.. oh well!

maybe the dilemma for me is given so many options to read different articles for free, the only financial support i am giving anyone at the moment is b.. i could extend it, but it would be a bigger commitment of my time for reading online stuff... i guess i am not keen to do that.. thanks for your posts! i don't have to pay for the comments here thankfully!

Posted by: james | Feb 10 2021 6:32 utc | 187

James (and all) sorry I wasn't aware. Generally I get the emails and when you click on the article headline you get a LOOOOOONG token that probably tells the Google puppetmasters exactly who (me) is sharing and where, hence I 'sanitize' them by removing the tokens.

Here's the text of the article (sadly what's missing are the many embedded URLs/hyperlinks including videos - :-( ):

Last week Evgenia and I released an episode where we talked about Alexei Navalny’s neoliberalism. We stressed that Navalny isn’t against oligarchs or even the existence of an oligarchy, he’s simply against Putin’s oligarchs. Well, we came across another data point that confirms our view of things.

And that data point is Evgeny Chichvarkin.

Chichvarkin is an exiled former Russian billionaire now living in London. He’s famous for setting up “Evroset,” one of the biggest mobile phone store chains in Russia. He fled to the UK after being forced to sell his company in a shady Kremlin-connected oligarchic corporate raid and has since become a fashionable merchant, sporting a Nicholas II mustache, wearing ridiculous outfits, selling wines and spirits, posting workout videos from Dubai, and professing a philosophy of freedom and hedonism. He’s into opposition politics, too, and a big Navalny fan.

While Navalny was being treated for poisoning and recuperating in Germany, Chichvarkin was his guardian angel. He bankrolled Navalny housing costs and picked up some of his medical bills. And this not the first time Chichvarkin helped out with Navalny’s political struggle. He’s been backing him for years and even started a fund in 2019 to allow Russians to donate to Navalny’s campaign while maintaining anonymity. Some of these people, he told Svoboda, were children of the Kremlin elite who wanted to support Navalny without their parents finding out.

What’s interesting about Chichvarkin is that he’s a committed libertarian and has long been known as an active backer of libertarian and “free-market” causes in Russia, including providing funds for Russia’s Libertarian Party — a necrotizing outgrowth of a political movement started in America and foisted on the world by Charles Koch.

Evgenia first became aware of Chichvarkin’s libertarian activism almost a decade ago while shooting her documentary about Russian libertarians. She never finished the doc, but she put together a couple of short clips from her footage — including a teaser intro and various interviews with party leaders and members. They are a weird, thoroughly colonized bunch of people. They host tea parties and wave around Gadsden flags in the middle of Moscow, as if it has any relevance to Russian politics.

For all his whacky beliefs in the science of libertarianism, Evgeny Chichvarkin is an unexpectedly likable character. He very candid, too. And recently he’s been on a media blitz, talking to Russian and Ukrainian journalists about why he supports Navalny and how he believes Navalny’s politics are now much closer in alignment with his own libertarian and free-market views.

Navalny and his supporters have worked to obscure Navalny’s own politics in the service of building as big and diverse base of support for his movement as possible. So Chichvarkin’s interviews and media appearances — even if very brief — are unique and important, giving us a tiny glimpse into the conversations Navalny has in private with his moneyed backers.

For instance, in an interview with a Ukrainian journalist last month, Chichvarkin mentioned discussions he and Navalny had about privatizing Russia’s energy infrastructure:

“I sat recently with Navalny and discussed how we would sell Russia’s natural heritage of Gazprom and Rosneft in pieces. Everyone agreed that it would take several years to prepare, and the right kind of bankers would be needed so that the state budget gets the maximum price [for these assets],” he said. “Do you have any idea what income will come in from Nord Stream? It’s a procaine needle shoved into into Europe! Of course it’ll be completed, and the gas will be shipped…Potentially, trillions of more revenue are waiting.”

The re-privatization of Russia’s fossil fuel wealth and infrastructure is a controversial position that I don’t think would go over well with a lot of Russians. So it’s weird Chichvarkin is so open about it. But like I said, he’s weirdly candid.

And a few days ago, he dialed into Rain, a Russian liberal opposition television station, to talk about Navalny’s support for the free-market:

Q: Will you continue to support Navalny in the future?

A: If it doesn’t move hard to the left, of course, yes. The the recent direction of his politics has made me more and more optimistic about that. The last thing we said about [Navalny’s political] program, I don’t think that his view on these issues have ever been talked about in public in Russian. There are still old things, generic positions that will help get him elected — things like a 25,000 [ruble] minimum guaranteed, I don’t know, salary and things like that. But in general he is almost a disciple of free-market economics. And for that I thank the council of wise men who have been around him all this time.

Interestingly, Chichvarkin seems to be implying that the populist and leftwing economic positions Navalny trots out from time to time are a ruse meant to get maximum support from the Russian people and don’t really reflect Navalny’s own politics or his agenda. It’s a weird thing for Chichvarkin, a Navalny supporter, to say out in the open like this. Whatever his personal political views, saying it can only harm Navalny’s prospects with the wider Russian public. But there it is…Chichvarkin seems to just like to overshare.

Anyway, check our episode if you haven’t already. And take care.

—Yasha Levine

PS: Thanks to Tarik Cyril Amar for pointing me to the Evgeny Chichvarkin’s interview with TV Rain. Tarik is a great historian. Buy his book!

PPS: Here are a few more clips from Evgenia’s half-fished libertarian doc.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 10 2021 7:08 utc | 188

Consider two images:
The first of these is here and is of Orangeutans defence team entering the semate.
The second image here is of Trump prosecutor James Raskin blathering. You may need to watch this video for 5 or 6 seconds before you discern the odd commonality between both prosecution and defence spruikers.
If you do notice and are an amerikan, do you care that a foreign power is playing 'heads I win, tails you lose' with your nation's political future?

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 10 2021 8:27 utc | 189

The Good

Journo to US Amish community member:

"Why have there been no Corona virus cases in your community?"

Amish community member:

"We don't watch TV."


to The ugly. (Warning; sensitive, heaped bodies) about the ongoing "forgotten" war in Donetsk and the result on women and children. A major mortar attack on a trolley bus. NATO training Ukrainians ?

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 10 2021 9:33 utc | 190

All about vit D, from the latest studies

Posted by: Mina | Feb 10 2021 9:38 utc | 191

Debsisdead | Feb 10 2021 8:27 utc | 189

who knew that beanie caps were so popular with lawyers?

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 10 2021 9:53 utc | 192

Quick translation of an excerpt, Lavrov addressing Russian diplomatic corps during the celebration of their day:

Any attempts by Russia to become independent, to defend its right to an independent foreign policy, to defend international law, are met with increasingly fierce resistance from Western colleagues who want to make us, by and large, "obedient". They want to force us to agree with those very dubious interpretations of universal values that contradict Russian cultural and civilizational traditions. They want Russia to be a "convenient" territory for promoting their own interests in the security, economic, and socio-political spheres. Every day we see how these attempts become more and more violent. Our forces, knowledge, and experience, based on the wisdom of our predecessors, must be used most actively to persistently promote the foreign policy course set by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Posted by: Paco | Feb 10 2021 11:14 utc | 193

Do the Ukrainians want to try to do the same as Turkey in Armenia/Azerbaijan? A quick war using Drone tech to eliminate static positions?
This is a real possibility as they have been getting the same Bayraktar drones, and having surprise inspections

While channels 112 Ukraine, ZIK and NewsOne had just been censored, an inspection of the state of combat readiness.......

......A total of 63 pieces of heavy weapons were detected on the Ukrainian side this week in violation of the Minsk Agreements. And this number is increasing week by week.

This is one area where Biden could start a new proxy war.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 10 2021 12:59 utc | 194

Interesting article that I recommend reading:

The Disarticulation of Pandemic War Propaganda - An investigative analysis takes apart a hackneyed piece of propaganda authored by an international alt-right clique with links to the Pentagon.

In this multi-part investigative analysis, we will dissect a daring piece of propaganda titled “The Chinese Communist Party’s Global Lockdown Fraud” published on Medium which has been making the rounds on social media purporting to demonstrate that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is behind the global lockdowns and, by implication, the pandemic itself. The heavily-annotated “open letter” is addressed to the FBI and calls for an “expedited federal investigation into scientific fraud in COVID‑19 public health policies.”

The article delves into many narratives used by Western propaganda. This is the interesting part for the comment section of this blog:

Regarding the recent PCR test cycle threshold scandal, WHO’s guidance once again serves as the jumping off point. But, of the three Chinese studies purportedly “cited” by WHO, only one deals with PCR testing cycles. Belying their claims, it was the study itself, which relied on WHO guidance to conduct the laboratory tests that resulted in the 37 to 40 threshold. The other two studies relate to the clinical characteristics of the virus and molecular and serological investigation of patients with the virus, respectively.

The authors run into some murky waters they know to stay clear of. The former, in particular, represents a Pandora’s box that will only unleash a barrage of connections to the global biowarfare mafia covered in the Engineering Contagion series I co-authored, that go back decades and sheds light on some of the darkest corners of the emerging biosecurity state. The letter’s focus on the Corman-Drosten Protocol used in the most common PCR test available was developed with “in silico (theoretical) genome sequences used to create their PCR protocol by Chinese scientists including Yong-Zhen Zhang and Shi Zhengli, Director at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

I saw a lot of commenters here in this blog parroting the far-right propaganda from that piece regarding PCR cycles. Now we know the original source of that fake news.

We must assume there are a lot of alt-righter propagandists infiltrated in this blog.

Posted by: vk | Feb 10 2021 13:47 utc | 195

james @ 177 I don't know if there is an online version, that was just from my actual book copy - getting into Korean war now -- that comes right after, plus the McCarthy business. I am so ignorant, didn't know Japan had occupied Korea and Allies made the division after 1945 -- so all of that additional war horror right after disruptions in China, and both Chinese regimes treating populace badly after the initial changes.

The book is about students mostly and how they fared, so that takes it into the US, Hong Kong, Taiwan, anywhere that those refugees have gone. Much upheaval. Not as much about the continuance of the Communist takeover as very few of the Shanghai group stayed, though their families did - I will post if there are any more such direct experience accounts. Very much reminds me of "Dr. Zhivago" though not fictional. I do remember Pasternak saying somewhere he wanted to put on record what was happening to diverse individuals he'd known during the revolutionary period, so not just his imagination at work there either.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 10 2021 16:30 utc | 196

@ _K_C_ | Feb 10 2021 7:08 utc | 188... thanks kc! that was a fun and quick read! essentially this Chichvarkin guy wants russia to be more open for exploitation and private ownership of russia... i am sure he goes over well with navalnys usa-uk state handlers if nothing else! navalny is going to have to come up with a more original approach then the one he has taken so far.. i think he is yesterdays man, but given how the west pushes him as hard as they are here - i don't know if he has anywhere near the same traction in russia.. i get the impression he doesn't... and i can't see that changing... for me navalny is just another version of juan guaido in a regime change kind of mentality that seems to be a permanent feature of the west.. the west can't get over itself and works so hard to cater to the elite who will happily exploit any country they can get a foothold in... until putin is gone, i don't think they stand a chance with navalny.. they need a much more convincing character and he ain't it!

@ juliania @ 196... you are making me very interested in the book! you could be in book sales!! thanks for the additional overview... i was surprised to find out japan also occupied malaysia during the same time and they were not nice to the malaysians either... the historical period for china and surrounding area - korea, is an important one and one i would like to know more about... i wonder if the chinese have any writers like dostoyovsky?? lol... if so, i could get interesting insights that way too... i still think i need to find a book on chairman mao, but your book sounds very good for casting light on an important modern time frame in chinese history...

i like the chinese people.. all my interaction has been positive... i can't say exactly the same for the japanese, but maybe it was skewed by a few instances.. i have had some japanese friends who i really liked and were fun people to connect with.. but, i can't say i understand the japanese psyche near as well as the chinese... i guess i am stereotyping here which is not smart or fair! thanks for your additional comments..

Posted by: james | Feb 10 2021 17:03 utc | 197

Thank you, karlof1 @ 165. It's hard when initiatives like that are suppressed by idiots. What a legacy that would have been!

Posted by: juliania | Feb 10 2021 17:08 utc | 198

james @ 197, you are welcome! I am sure the Chinese have some wonderful authors - will leave that to others to say. I did know about Malaysia - those war years we in NZ had sent our troops to Greece, North Africa, Europe -- so just the 'home guard' preparing to defend our shores until US Marines came. We had small concrete boxes all around the coastline, maybe two or three could fit in, more observation posts than anything else. About the size of a bus shelter. And just thinking of the interminable wars today, lots did happen then in a very short space of time, though it seemed a long time to all involved. New Zealand was fortunate; after that war, the US went home and civilian life was peaceful.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 10 2021 17:22 utc | 199

So how is that impeachment going on?I watched a bit,but it was such a drag.

Might be of interest to some americans that ukranian neo-nazi's were on the front line in the Capitol raid.Look here:

Might be of interest also that die Welt published an article incriminating germany's covid-czar Drosten for falsifying PCR test-limits,causing every little running nose to be diagnosed Covid.

Posted by: willie | Feb 10 2021 17:45 utc | 200

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